Newsletter : 7fax0619.txt
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>JN June 19, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 110
Finance Minister Dan Meridor has resigned following a
government decision to adopt economic policies in direct opposition
to those that he backed. Commentators agree that the political
rivalry between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Meridor has
been decided, for the time being, with a victory for the Prime
Minister of Infrastructures Ariel Sharon is reported to be the
leading candidate to replace Meridor in the Finance Ministry,
although he has said that he is not interested in the post.
Sharon, according to the supposed scenario, would be replaced
either by Justice Minister Tzachi Hanegbi or Tourism Minister Moshe
Shai Bazak, Netanyahu's press advisor told Arutz-7 that the
government decision which led to the resignation of Meridor was not
a personal issue between Netanyahu and Meridor, but was rather of
a purely professional nature.
Swiss Charged with Making Coins from Victims' Gold Teeth
A British Broadcasting Corp. documentary was shown Wednesday
evening that asserts Switzerland and the Nazi regime maintained
more links, before and after World War 2, than had previously been
The BBC documentary alleges the Swiss government and national bank
may have knowingly produced gold coins after World War II using
gold teeth and other possessions of concentration camp victims.
Forensic evidence suggested the banks stamped coins with pre-war
dates to disguise their origins, the BBC said.
Allegations were made during the program that Italian Jews were
transported through Switzerland to concentration camps in Germany.
The assertion came during an interview with a Swiss woman who asked
to remain anonymous, She said she provided humanitarian aid at
Zurich's train station to people aboard trains headed to Germany.
"We knew they were going to Germany," the woman, who was 14 years
old at the time, said. "We knew they were Jews."
The interviewers also spoke with an Italian woman who said she and
others tried to stop trains carrying Italians to Germany from
An historian for an independent commission examining Switzerland's
role in World War 2 told Blick newspaper that it is not the first
time such claims have been made and that the claim cannot be
substantiated without further evidence.
German historian Manfred Messerschmidt said he never heard of
Italians or Jews being shipped through Switzerland by the Nazis.
Switzerland has been criticized for its extensive relations with
Germany during the war, including that it served as banker to the
Nazis, helping to launder the assets of Holocaust victims.
An American commission is auditing Swiss banks to search for
assets that Jewish organizations allege total $7 billion in
deposits and interest, but the banks say it only has a tiny
fraction of that.
Middle East Peace Proposal
By Deborah Cooper (VOA-Washington)
An influential US foreign policy group is calling for a more
aggressive US approach to the Middle East peace process. The
Council on Foreign Relations in New York City says the current
peace process, based on the 1993 Oslo Accords, is on the verge of
The group recommends abandoning the incremental approach of the
Oslo agreement, and developing a new set of principles that accepts
Palestinian statehood as the logical outcome of the peace process.
The report suggests any new approach to the peace process should
include recognition of Palestinian statehood in most of the West
Bank and Gaza Strip in exchange for increased security guarantees
for Israel. Henry Seigman, the project coordinator, says that if
trust is to be restored to the peace process both parties need to
know where the process is leading.
"And so we propose a new declaration of principles that would
commit both parties to the establishment of a Palestinian state so
that Palestinians know that when they make compromises and
concessions, which they will have to make in order to achieve
peace, this is in the service of this overriding of goal, and that
Israelis as well when they make the necessary compromises know that
they would be achieving the security that they need which entails
a whole series of measures including the incorporation of most of
the settlers into Israeli territory."
Seigman adds that while there are no assurances the Israelis would
accept such a proposal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
has on occasion publicly conceded to the possibility of Palestinian
statehood. But Seigman says what's most important is that the
United States show its clear support for Palestinian statehood,
which it has not done in the past.
"That can influence the thinking of the Israeli public and
consequently of its government. But even if this government were
not to accept the framework for a negotiation which we recommend,
which includes Palestinian statehood, at least the debate, the
parameters of the debate will have been changed by the American
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