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>JN Jan. 23. 1998, Vol. 6, No. 13
Palestinians Preparing for War
By IINS News Service
According to Thursday's e-mail edition of Jane's Defense Weekly,
the PLO Authority is preparing for war against Israel, in the event
Yasir Arafat feels the diplomatic route has failed. The report
states that PA forces are preparing for Israeli troops "to
re-occupy" areas throughout Judea and Samaria, currently under the
control of Arafat's PA.
It's Arafat's Time to Visit the White House
By Deborah Tate (VOA-White House)
President Clinton met with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat at the
White House Thursday in a stepped-up effort to try to break a
10-month stalemate in the Middle East peace process.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met with Clinton
Tuesday, has long criticized the Palestinian leader for not making
good on his pledges to fight terrorism.
But Arafat said Palestinians have complied with their obligations
under the peace accords, and said the Israelis have not. The PLO
chairman is seeking a further Israeli deployment from the West Bank
-- an issue he and Clinton discussed. Arafat described his meeting
with the president as "encouraging" and "constructive and warm."
Clinton discussed a US proposal for another Israeli redeployment
with Netanyahu Tuesday. The Israeli leader rejected the proposal,
but said he would continue to discuss the matter with the United
States over the next few weeks.
Clinton proposed that the Palestinian leader meet Netanyahu to try
to end a peacemaking crisis. Senior PLO negotiator Saeb Erakat
quoted Clinton as saying, "I don't accept what Netanyahu is
offering but I can't accept what you are demanding." Erekat said
Clinton had proposed an Arafat-Netanyahu meeting to try to narrow
differences but no date had been set. The PLO and Israel are
deadlocked over the scope and timing of further Israeli troop
withdrawals in the West Bank under their interim peace deals.
No End in Sight to Feud over Conversion
By Arutz-7 News Service
An Israeli government-appointed committee set up to settle a feud
over conversions, which has angered many U.S. Jews, is unlikely to
complete its work before a deadline next week, a committee member
Failure to agree would open the way to even more heated dispute
among Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews over the current
orthodox monopoly on conversions to Judaism in Israel and threaten
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's fragile coalition government.
Religious parties have said they will quit unless an acceptable
compromise is reached, robbing Netanyahu of his two seat majority
in the Knesset.
Minister of Trade Sharansky to Visit Pollard
Minister of Trade Natan Sharansky will visit Jonathan Pollard
in prison next month in North Carolina. Sharansky will be the
third Israeli minister to visit Pollard over the last few months.
Three other cabinet ministers have also announced their intentions
to visit Pollard in the near future.
Pollard's wife, Esther, has been working tirelessly to bring her
husband's case to the forefront of the Jewish agenda both in Israel
and the Diaspora. Jonathan Pollard is the only person in the
history of the United States to receive a life sentence for spying
for an American ally. The median sentence for such an offense is
two to four years.
Non-Profit Anti-Circumcision Group Blocked
By IINS News Service
The Ministry of the Interior blocked the establishment of
non-profit organization defining its name as the organization to
"Combat the Cutting of the Male Sex Organ of Infants."
The application to be granted non-profit status was rejected
because the name was not synchronous with the explanation of the
group's objectives, namely to stop the cutting of the infant's male
organ as part of a religious ceremony.
The ministry responding to the applications stated the group is not
dealing with the sex organs of the general public and it must
choose a different name that is not offensive to segments of the
population. The ministry contends the current requested name will
be offensive to males and Orthodox Jews and is therefore
The ministry added that the Brit Milah (circumcision) ceremony is
considered of paramount importance in the Jewish religion, whereby
males are brought into the faith. The ministry concluded that the
requested name would be understood as a direct attack against this
ancient Jewish practice of circumcision.
91-Year Old Man Found Guilty in Wife's Murder
By IINS News Service
A 91-year-old Holocaust survivor was found guilty and sentenced to
7-years in prison for the stabbing death of his wife of 47-years.
The man, who saw the Nazis kill his first wife and children during
the war, told reporters that he never knew a minute's peace in the
The man, who has cancer and other medical problems, was given a
light sentence, according to the judge, due to his Holocaust
history and advanced age. The guilty man stabbed his wife over 60
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