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>JN May 8. 1998, Vol. 6, No. 87

Iraq Says it Rejected Nuclear Bomb Offer in 1990

Israel Faxx Staff Report

Iraq said Thursday it turned down an offer of help in 1990 to build an atomic bomb with Pakistani expertise and reported the matter to the world's nuclear watchdog organization. An Iraqi spokesman said the offer was made by a Greek intermediary, who asked whether Iraq would be interested in contact with a Pakistani scientist to help build a nuclear bomb. Iraq dismissed the offer, calling it an "intelligence trick," and documented the offer with the International Atomic Energy Agency.


Mrs. Clinton Expresses Support for Palestinian State

By David Gollust (VOA-White House)

In a television hook-up with Israeli and Palestinian young people, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton said she supported the eventual creation of a Palestinian state.

Officials rushed to assert that Mrs. Clinton was expressing a personal view and that US policy -- that the statehood issue is to be decided by the parties in negotiations -- remains unchanged. White House spokesman Mike McCurry insisted Mrs. Clinton's comment was not a message to either side or a signal of an impending policy change.

"This was not part of any calculated strategy. And I think it speaks for itself when an immediate clarification is issued by her staff -- that this is something that she did not say in the context of any formal administration policy-making role."

Mrs. Clinton told the youth gathering -- held in Switzerland -- that statehood would be very important for the Palestinian people and for the broader goal of peace in the Middle East.

President Clinton is sending envoy Dennis Ross back to the Middle East to try to iron out remaining obstacles to a Washington summit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat Monday.

The administration has come under attack from Israelis and congressional Republicans for making Israel's acceptance of US proposals for a West Bank withdrawal a condition attending the summit. But in a statement volunteered to reporters here, Clinton insisted he is not trying to dictate terms to either side.

"What we are trying to do now is simply to regain the momentum that has been lost in the past few months -- not by imposing our ideas on anyone. Because only the parties can make decisions that will affect the lives they have to live -- their security and their future. What we're searching for is common ground to achieve what Prime Minister Netanyahu asked us to pursue a year ago -- the start of accelerated permanent status negotiations."

The peace process has been stalled for more than a year over the withdrawal issue. The US proposal, already endorsed by Arafat, is understood to call for Israel to pull back from another 13 percent of the West Bank.

Netanyahu's complaints about what he has called US "dictates" on the issue have been picked up congressional Republicans -- with House Speaker Newt Gingrich condemning what he termed administration "blackmail" on behalf of Arafat.

The final-status negotiations -- which are supposed to be completed next year -- would focus on the core issues of the peace process including the political future of Jerusalem and the question of Palestinian statehood.


West Bank Homes on Sale on Paris' Left Bank

By Arutz-7 News Service

The Yesha settlement organization Amanah has started selling apartments to the French Jewish community. Ronit Douek, marketing director for Amanah, told Arutz-7 that Amanah is appearing in an Israeli housing fair in Paris, together with many other Israeli companies.

"The 27 Yesha communities in which we offer homes can provide things that no one else can," she said, "such as an unparalleled quality of life, a warm and welcoming atmosphere, and attractive prices." This is the first time that Amanah homes are being offered outside of Israel.

Douek said that the French Jewish community is an appropriate target for Amanah's marketing efforts, as many French Jews feel a strong affinity towards Israel in general and Yesha in particular. She also said that many of them have already integrated successfully into these communities. Douek that the media in France, both Jewish and not, has shown a great interest in Amanah's presence at the fair.

In other French Jewry news, conservative extremist French leader Jean-Marie LePen said that his country has the right to view the entire Jewish community there as "foreigners," because the Jews in France are more loyal to Israel than to France. "My remarks are not racism," said LePen, "they are merely patriotism."


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