Newsletter : 7fax0912.txt
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>JN Sept. 12, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 168
Rabin's Widow Says Israelis too were "Terrorists"
The widow of assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Leah,
says Israelis too were once "terrorists" and should not expect
Palestinian President Yasir Arafat to succeed 100 percent at
fighting terrorism. Speaking minutes before her meeting with
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Rabin said, "I have doubt
about how much terrorism can be uprooted. We were also terrorists
once and they didn't uproot us and we went on dealing in terrorist
activities. Despite all the efforts of all of the British army in
the land, we went on with terrorism."
Albright Ends Visits with Arafat and Netanyahu
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright concludes her visit to
Israel and the Palestinian territories Friday morning, after making
her most detailed demands on both sides. She called on Israel to
take a "time out" from several of its policies, and on the
Palestinian Authority to arrest terrorists and their supporters.
Albright returns to autonomous Ramallah Friday to meet with
Palestinian students and to see the Palestinian leader, Yasir
Arafat, for the second time on this trip. US officials say she is
looking for some follow through from their meeting Thursday, where
officials say she was encouraged by a new commitment to fight
After the meeting, Arafat had strong words for the terrorist
groups, calling the terrorists "prisoners of the past" and enemies
of the hopes and dreams of the Palestinian people. And he declared
that his Autonomy Authority rejects the violence and terrorism they
carry out, and will fulfill its responsibilities under the peace
accords, which includes fighting terrorism.
But the secretary's most dramatic moment Wednesday came when she
addressed the Israeli government during a speech to Israeli
students. "Israel should refrain from unilateral acts -- including
what Palestinians perceive as the provocative expansion of
settlements, land confiscations, home demolitions and confiscation
of IDs. We believe that a "time-out" from these kinds of
unilateral action will create a climate in which such an
accelerated approach can succeed in achieving a final
Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement."
Albright said those Israeli policies undermine Palestinian
confidence in Israeli intentions. The senior official who spoke
later said the United States believes the start of a comprehensive
Palestinian war on terror must be followed by such Israeli steps.
Israeli government spokesman David Bar Illan says if there is a
terror crackdown many things can be discussed, but he indicated
at least one of the steps the United States wants is not likely
to be taken. "We're saying categorically that we're not going to
freeze building in the settlements."
Bar Illan was particularly adamant about not stopping the
controversial east Jerusalem housing project on Har Homa, a key
Palestinian demand. But he indicated one thing Israel might do
is turn over at least some of the tax revenues due to the
Assad is Next on Albright's Agenda
By Ron Pemstein (VOA-Damascus)
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright completes talks with the
Israelis and Palestinians Friday and flies to Damascus for her
first meeting with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, but the
prospects for progress are not bright.
If there is a crisis of confidence between the Israelis and
Palestinians, there is a crisis of suspicion between the Israelis
and Syrians. There have not been formal peace talks between them
since March 1996. There has not been an American secretary of
state here since April of last year when Warren Christopher
shuttled between Jerusalem and Damascus to restore a ceasefire
between Israel and Lebanon.
The Israelis suspect Syria is behind the recent renewal of
hostilities in Lebanon. The Syrians suspect Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu wants to reverse the previous Israeli
government's promises about withdrawal from the Golan Heights
accompanied by security arrangements.
A Syrian official says Assad will inquire about any progress
Albright was able to make in her talks with Netanyahu and Arafat.
The director of Syria's Second Television Channel, Yayha al-Riedy
says he does not hold out much hope for satisfying Israel's request
for security guarantees. "Israel expects everybody to guarantee its
security, but you know peace brings security. Security does not
bring peace. Israel wants everybody to be its policeman just to
protect its security. Israel itself should be the policeman and a
policeman that believes in peace. So far they have not proven that
they want peace and security."
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