Newsletter : 7fax1106.txt
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>JN Nov. 6, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 204
Israel May Publish Secret Rabin Murder Findings
Israel said Wednesday it was considering making public the
secret findings of a state inquiry into Prime Minister Yitzhak
Rabin's assassination two years ago this week. Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the examination in an apparent bid to
quash a surge of allegations of a high-level conspiracy to kill
Rabin that might have involved an informer for the Shin Bet secret
service. Netanyahu, a right-winger who swept to power six months
after the assassination, described the conspiracy theories on
Tuesday as "nonsense."
Israel Plans East Jerusalem Housing
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
With US mediators calling for a "time-out" in Israeli
settlement construction and Palestinians demanding a permanent
halt, an Israeli newspaper reports the government is planning
thousands of housing units in occupied territory during the next
Ha'aretz reports the government will sell land next year to begin
construction of the controversial Har Homa neighborhood in east
Jerusalem. It also reports planned land sales for thousands of
apartments in several West Bank settlements.
The report indicates 1,000 apartments will be built initially on
Har Homa, a hill in the southeast corner of Jerusalem. The start
of ground work at the site, claimed by the Palestinians, sparked a
six-month crisis in the peace process. The newspaper reports
another 7,000 units are planned for the West Bank during the next
Israel says it is limiting its settlement construction to only
what is needed and only alongside existing neighborhoods. But
the Palestinians say Israeli government plans such as the one
reported Tuesday show Israel intends to do massive construction. A
settlement slowdown or freeze is on the negotiating table during
talks in Washington.
Israel Calls on International Red Cross to Recognize MDA
By IINS News Service
Starting with its first request to the International Red Cross
in 1949, Israel has once again called upon the world body to accept
Magen David Adom, [Israel's emergency medical service provider],
and its well-known red Magen David symbol.
Israel has always been rejected, having been told the symbol was
not in conformance with the red cross symbol of the international
body. This despite the exceptions made for Moslem countries and the
Red Crescent Society, functioning in PLO Authority autonomous areas
Knesset Member Upbeat on Conversion
By Don Jacobson (by permission of UPI Chicago)
A member of the Israeli Knesset committee debating the fate of
a controversial religious conversion bill says the talks present an
opportunity to reach a historic compromise that could affect many
facets of Jewish life.
Alex Lubotzky of the small Third Way Party told an audience in
Chicago a formula for satisfying Orthodox, Conservative and Reform
Jewry on matters such as conversion and marriage is within reach.
Lubotzky says the Neeman Committee, appointed in June by Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is developing a consensus that he
contends would both allow Orthodox Jews to keep the nation true to
its religious roots and at the same time break their
state-sponsored stranglehold on official religious life.
Lubotzky said, "I'm very optimistic, even though it's dangerous to
be optimistic on such matters. We have an historic opportunity
coming out of this crisis."
Reform and Conservative Jews, many of whom live in the United
States and support Israel monetarily, have reacted with anger
at the proposed law, which was originally supported by Netanyahu.
They say it treats them as less than "legitimate" Jews and they
want Israelis to someday be able to use rabbis of their choice
since the nation has no civil ceremony alternatives.
Lubotzky suggests that Orthodox Jewry should be allowed to maintain
their supremacy on matters of Jewish law but that in return they
should defer to Reform and Conservative Jews on issues of
legitimacy and recognition.
CIA Worried in 1948 About Israel
By IINS News Service
The Central Intelligence Agency warned US President Harry
Truman in 1948 that the newly-created State of Israel might become
a Soviet client, newly declassified documents show.
"Formation of a Jewish state in Palestine will enable the USSR to
intensify its efforts to expand Soviet influence in the Near East
and to perpetuate a chaotic condition there," the CIA said in a
report sent to Truman on May 14, 1948, the date Israel proclaimed
The records of early CIA thinking about Israel were made public
late last month, in conjunction with a CIA-sponsored symposium on
early Cold War perceptions of the Soviet threat.
Published by the spy agency in "Assessing the Soviet Threat: The
Early Cold War Years," the once top-secret documents shed fresh
light on challenges faced by Truman in Asia, the Middle East and
Europe. The records reflect CIA concern over Soviet-bloc arms
shipped to Jewish guerrillas battling Arab irregulars on the eve of
Israel's proclamation of independence.
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