Newsletter : 7fax0627.txt
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>JN June 27, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 116
U.S Relaxes Computer Export Curbs to Israel
The United States has relaxed curbs on the export of advanced
computers to Israel, the State Department said. Under the new
rules, export licenses are no longer required for computers
performing up to 2,000 million theoretical operations per second.
Under a policy updated in 1995, the sale of advanced U.S.-built
computers with possible military applications was restricted for
countries that have not signed the treaty aimed at curbing the
spread of nuclear weapons, including Israel.
Barak Calls for Restarting Peace Process
By Barbara Schoetzau (VOA-New York)
In New York Thursday, the new leader of Israel's opposition Labor
Party, Ehud Barak, said Israel should immediately take steps to
restart the Middle East peace process. Barak said the government of
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- as a first step -- should
order Israeli intelligence and security services to re-open
coordination talks at once to bring the Palestinians back to the
"We have to approach the Palestinians very seriously. It will not
be easy after all the disappointment that has already happened. But
to approach them and resume the negotiations. The same has to be
done with the Syrians. There is a need to resume serious and direct
negotiations with all partners to the conflict."
Barak, a former Israeli army chief of staff, said the Netanyahu
government's policies are undermining Israel's economic security.
The stalled peace process, Barak said, is partly responsible for
growing unemployment in Israel and drops in its tourism and foreign
investment. "In a way, this is very simple. If there will be no
serious peace process, there will be no security and a heavier
Barak is visiting the United States for the first time since
becoming Israel's opposition leader earlier this month. At a news
conference following a meeting with American Jewish leaders, Barak
predicted Netanyahu will not serve a full four-year term as prime
minister. Earlier this week, Netanyahu survived a no-confidence
vote by a slim margin.
Netanyahu Doesn't Listen to Constituency
By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is continuing his
political maneuvering in an attempt to reshuffle his cabinet,
two days after several key coalition members refused to support
him in a no-confidence motion in parliament.
On Thursday, after 10 days of bitter fighting among members of
Netanyahu's Cabinet, and ugly public accusations between members of
the opposition and the coalition, Israel's President Ezer Weizman
stepped in. The president admitted to reporters that he is worried
about the functioning of the government.
A political columnist for the newspaper Ha'aretz, Akiva Eldar, says
the prime minister is unwilling to listen to the voices from his
own constituency, despite the clear split in the Likud Party, and
the coalition in-fighting.
"He is detached from voices in the Likud and public opinion. And
his rationale is that those people have something personal against
him. And he is surrounding himself with yes-sayers and keeps
convincing himself that those people have nothing to do with
reality and he knows what's best for him and for Israel."
Commentators say both Foreign Minister David Levy and Defense
Minister Yitzhak Mordechai oppose Netanyahu's candidate for finance
minister, Ariel Sharon, the hawkish national infrastructure
Sharon was the architect of Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon
and the Israeli settlement boom in the 1990s. He is demanding
to be made part of an inner Cabinet with Ministers Levy and
Mordechai -- both relative moderates -- that guides Israel's
Pope Calls for Resumption of Peace Talks
By Peggy Polk (VOA-Rome)
Pope John Paul II has appealed to Israeli and Palestinian leaders
to resume peace talks. The pope said he fears new outbreaks of
violence in the Middle East.
The Vatican has disclosed that the pope wrote to Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat
June 16 to express his concern about the breakdown in the Middle
East peace process.
According to Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro Valls, the pontiff
"wanted to stimulate the leaders to make a serious effort to get
the process going again."
To the Palestinian leader, the pope said he fears that "if this
situation continues, it will become increasingly difficult to
revive the quest for the trust that is essential to every
To the Israeli prime minister, he warned that history shows --
above all in the Holy Land -- that if great hopes are left
unfulfilled over a long period of time, they can cause what he
described as "unforeseen provocations and uncontrollable situations
Achieving peace in the Holy Land -- Pope John Paul said -- would
be a worthy way of welcoming the many pilgrims expected to visit
the region for the start of the third millennium of Christianity
in the year 2000.
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