Newsletter : 7fax0313.txt
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>JN March 13, 1997, Vol. 5, Number 44
Sweden to Probe Wartime Past
Sweden has agreed to launch a full-scale probe into its wartime
dealings with the Nazis, the World Jewish Congress said. Executive
Director Elan Steinberg said Sweden promised a thorough examination
of its handling of bank accounts of Jewish victims of the
Holocaust. Sweden was one of four neutral nations in Europe whose
dealings have come under WJC scrutiny in the aftermath of Swiss
dealings, surrounding unclaimed bank accounts of Jews believed to
have perished at the hands of the Nazis during World War 2.
World Gangs Up on Israel at U.N.
By Elaine Johanson (VOA-United Nations)
The UN General Assembly Wednesday opened debate on Israeli
construction plans in east Jerusalem, after the United States last
week vetoed a resolution in the Security Council. The Assembly
session is expected to continue into today.
Non-aligned and Arab countries are working on another resolution
that Israel is likely to lose because governments cannot veto
Assembly decisions. Resolutions of the General Assembly are not
legally binding. But the UN body -- which seats the entire UN
membership -- delivers what are considered widely as moral
victories to aggrieved parties who are rebuffed in the more
prestigious Security Council.
Meanwhile, Israel continues to reject UN involvement in the
present crisis. Ambassador David Peleg accused the Palestinians
of pursuing a contentious course: "What are the Palestinians
seeking from the UN? To turn the clock back to the dark days
preceding the peace process? To the days of enmity, confrontation
and stagnation? The multitude of UN resolutions relating to the
Arab-Israeli conflict failed to advance the peace process even one
However, the Palestinian representative argued Israeli
intransigence on the housing issue has left his people with no
alternative but to seek political support at the United Nations.
The United States supports Israel's position -- not on east
Jerusalem, but on keeping the United Nations out of the peace
process. Washington rejected last week's resolution in the
Security Council also on the grounds that it made sweeping
assumptions about the illegality of all Israeli settlements.
Netanyahu Angry at UN Intervention
By Elizabeth Arrott (VOA-Moscow)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lashed out at his
critics and said any plans to convene an international conference
on Middle East peace would violate earlier agreements. Diplomatic
pressure is on Netanyahu to call off several controversial plans.
But the Israeli leader seemed more annoyed than persuaded. "I am
getting, frankly, fed up with the idea that everything we do is a
violation of the agreement and everything the Palestinians say is
in compliance with the agreement. That is not the case."
Speaking to reporters in Moscow, Netanyahu blasted opponents
critical of plans to build Jewish housing in east Jerusalem. He
said the proposal is in accordance with the previous peace deal.
However, the Israeli prime minister added a conference scheduled by
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat for Saturday could violate that
pact. Netanyahu said if the aim of the meeting is to draw new
guidelines for peace, Israel opposes the idea. The purpose of the
Saturday meeting remains unclear.
A King Comes to America
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)
Jordan's King Hussein left for Spain and the United States
Wednesday. The crisis in the peace process is at the top of his
agenda for talks with Spanish and US officials. King Hussein's
visit to Washington follows similar meetings by Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.
King Hussein is sure to bring up the latest crisis in the peace
process, which was fueled by Israel's decision to build new homes
for Jews in east Jerusalem.
Jordan has been on relatively good terms with Israel since signing
a peace treaty in 1994. But this week, King Hussein sent an angry
message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accusing him
of destroying hopes for peace and -- the Jordanian monarch added
"All that I believe in or have worked to achieve."
King Hussein and Mubarak had already warned the Israeli leader
building new homes in east Jerusalem would violate the interim
agreements signed with the Palestinians and could undermine the
peace process. Netanyahu's recent visits to Amman and Cairo did
not succeed in easing tensions.
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