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>Israel Faxx
>JN March 6, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 43

U.N. Committee: Israel Practices Racism

By Lisa Schlein (VOA-Geneva)

United Nations human rights experts have accused Israel of racism and of practicing discrimination against its minority Arab population. Tensions ran high during a review of Israel's human rights record by the Geneva-based UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The Israeli delegation admitted that problems of inequality existed. But it said that Israel was taking steps to prevent discrimination and to eradicate the gap between the Jewish majority and the Arab minority.

However, an independent expert on the committee from Egypt disputes this. Mahmoud Aboul-Nasr scorns Israel's claim that it was the only democracy in the region. "It is a little bit difficult to accept to see on the television every day bulldozers destroying homes of Palestinians and saying that we are a democracy."

The head of the Israeli delegation, Robbie Sabel, says he expected a fruitful discussion with the committee. Instead, he says Israel was, once again, used as a political football. "We felt that perhaps things had been changing. What we saw here was going back to the old, I would say bad days of the UN being used as a forum for propaganda."

Egyptian Police Investigate Possible Mossad Agent

By IINS News Service

An Egyptian businessman filed an official complaint with Cairo police that his daughter is working as an agent for the Israeli Mossad. Adal Gabriel called upon police to issue an arrest warrant for his daughter, Monira, a resident of London.

According to the report, which appeared in an Egyptian newspaper, 19-year-old Monira visits her family in Egypt occasionally, "to acquire important information for her Mossad superiors."

In light of the complaint, the office of the state prosecutor has ordered an investigation and a warrant was issued to arrest Monira in the airport, if and when she arrives in Egypt. Gabriel told police that his daughter, who lives together with her mother in London, has two passports, British and Egyptian.

Maryland Suspect's Dad Suggested Israel

By IINS News Service
The father of Maryland murder suspect Samuel Sheinbein say he sent his son to Israel, following the brutal killing of a teen-age acquaintance because he feared his son was suicidal. The suspect's father, Sol, gave his version of events for the first time at a hearing in Jerusalem District Court, insisting he was not attempting to have his son evade prosecution when he sent him to live with relatives in Israel.

The 17-year-old suspect is claiming Israeli citizenship and fighting extradition to Maryland, where he is charged with the murder and dismemberment of Alfred Tello Jr. Israeli law bars the extradition of citizens.

The suspect's father, a Washington patent lawyer who was born in what is now Israel and holds an Israeli passport, said he was convinced that Israel was the only place where his son would be able to "calm down."

"I understood that he did not want to come home, that there was talk of suicide and that he had both a rifle and a fast car," his father said. "We were very worried."

The father also stated his son ran away from the family's home Sept. 19, the same day police knocked on the door to say a body had been found in the neighborhood and that his son was wanted for questioning. The father called his brother and "apparently explained to him...that it was an act of self-defense and that he [his son] did not want to return to Maryland because no one would believe him."

The father told his brother that his son had the victim's rifle, and that his friend Aaron Needle, who is also charged with the murder, wanted the two of them to commit suicide. "I decided that the only place where he wouldn't be able to get a fast car and use the gun was Israel, where I have family." At the time, there was no warrant for his son's arrest.

Israel's Justice Ministry has argued that the suspect may be extradited because there is doubt about his citizenship. The Jerusalem Court is expected to complete hearings on the issue this week. No date has been set for a ruling.

The suspect and Needle, also 17, were both indicted in Maryland on one count each, of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the case.

US officials have rejected a compromise suggested by an Israeli judge, under which the suspect would have returned voluntarily to the United States to stand trial and return to Israel, if convicted, to serve his sentence.

Mr. Sheinbein produced a series of papers to try to prove that he, and through him his son, are Israeli citizens. He described how as a child he was dragged back and forth between Israel and the United States, by a mother running away from an unhappy marriage. "I always thought of myself as an Israeli. I felt that being in the United States was temporary. When I came back here I felt at home."

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