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>Israel Faxx
>JN April 21, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 74

Netanyahu, Arafat will Meet in London

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

The Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed to a British-American plan for meetings in London early next month, but they still have very different views of how to move the peace process forward. A news conference was held in Gaza between the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Arafat has refused to meet with Netanyahu in recent months because of what he considers inadequate and insulting Israeli land offers. But the format of the London meetings is not the only thing in dispute. Arafat and Netanyahu disagree on how to move forward, with the Palestinians demanding more West Bank land than Israel is willing to give, and Israel demanding more Palestinian steps to fight terrorism, although the Palestinians and some Israeli officials say they are already making a strong effort.

Arafat accused Netanyahu of never carrying out any of his promises. And he also chided the US for not making its widely reported compromise proposals officially public. Netanyahu reassured his Cabinet Monday that while he is willing to go to London he has not promised to deliver anything new. But Israeli government spokesman Moshe Fogel says progress is possible, and Israel is ready to make concessions, if the Palestinians are.


Another Water Line Sabotaged

By IINS News Service

A Mekorot Water Company water main between the Negev community of Dimona and Beersheva was sabotaged Monday leaving an Air Force base without water. The cutting of the main follows last week's attack, at which time many Negev communities were left without water for about 16-hours during an oppressive heat wave.

Police have stated that although the protection of the water mains is not their responsibility, they would now act in an advisory capacity to assist Mekorot and other utility companies to improve security around their installations.


Nazi Hunter Slams Berlin Holocaust Memorial Plans

By IINS News Service

Veteran Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal on Monday criticized draft designs for a Holocaust Memorial to be built in Berlin, saying none of them conveyed the full horror of the genocide. "This (the memorial) is about commemorating Six Million innocent people who were murdered -- I cannot find this message in any of the designs," Wiesenthal, 89, wrote in the Berliner Tageszeitung newspaper.

Plans for the monument, in memory of the Six Million Jews murdered by the Nazis, have provoked much emotional debate and criticism in Germany. A short list of four designs is under consideration.

Chancellor Helmut Kohl wants to reach a swift decision on the final design and has been reported as saying he is confident the project will go ahead despite opposition.

But apart from Wiesenthal, Berlin's Jewish community and its Mayor Eberhard Diepgen have also expressed reservations over the short- listed designs, saying they were too abstract.

Wiesenthal said both the victims and the perpetrators of the Holocaust should be noted by name for future generations in the chosen monument, adding that none of the short-listed designs did this.

The groundbreaking ceremony to unveil the design is due to take place Jan. 27, 1999 -- 54 years to the day after the liberation of the Nazis' Auschwitz death camp.

Of the four designs on the list, Kohl favors one by New York-based architect Peter Eisenman and sculptor Richard Serra. They envisage creating a graveyard-like labyrinth of 4,000 concrete pillars up to 24 feet tall.

Wiesenthal himself is involved in a memorial to Viennese Jews murdered by the Nazis. "The Nameless Library," a 2,432 square-foot white concrete cast of a library turned in on itself, is to be built in the heart of the Austrian capital.


Netanyahu to Participate in New York's Israel Day Parade

By IINS News Service

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will arrive in New York next month to participate in the Salute to Israel Parade May 17. The prime minister decided to lead the parade marking Israel's 50th Anniversary despite the General Security Service concerns over his personal security.

Ambassador Shmuel Sisso, Consul General of Israel in New York, said on Sunday that more than 2,000 politicians and American Jewish leaders will gather at New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's residence, on the morning before the parade.

Netanyahu is also expected to attend this reception. "This is about to be the biggest Salute to Israel Parade ever," Sisso said.


Unemployment on the Rise

By IINS News Service

Many labor leaders expressed their concern over the rising national unemployment statistics. In March, another 10,000 Israelis joined the ranks of the unemployed, representing a 6.5 percent increase. The recent wave of unemployment has been reported to have hit the cities of Tel-Aviv and Haifa in a big way. Ashkelon, Maalot and Upper Nazareth are just some of the cities joining the list of areas with an unemployment rate exceeding 10 percent.


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