Newsletter : 3fax1114.txt
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Israel Presents U.N. with Resolution on Behalf of Children
Israel has presented a resolution to the U.N. General Assembly calling on the PA to
fulfill its obligations to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure and bring terrorists to
justice to enable Israeli children to grow up free of the fears of terror. It was the
first resolution presented by Israel since 1976. The PA's U.N. delegate objected to the
resolution, insisting it was political in nature and therefore, illegitimate.
Sharon, Qureia to Meet Next Week
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is preparing to meet his Palestinian counterpart, Ahmed
Qureia, next week to discuss ways to end violence and restart peace talks. Both sides are
under strong pressure from the United States to resume the peace process now that the new
Palestinian government is in place.
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom confirmed Thursday that preparations are under way for
the talks following the Palestinian parliament's approval of Qureia's new Cabinet. Shalom
told the Israeli Army Radio that he expected the meeting between Sharon and the
Palestinian prime minister to be held within 10 days.
It will be the first such high-level talks between the two sides in months following
the resignation of the previous Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas quit his
post in September after losing a power struggle with the Palestinian chieftain Yasir
Arafat, who insisted on retaining control over the security forces.
Arafat chose Qureia to replace him, and the two are said to have a better working
relationship. At the same time, Qureia said he was under no illusions about how hard it
will be to reform the Palestinian administration and reach a peace agreement with Israel.
"We are trying to do the best we can do in favor of our people in this very difficult
Israel said that Qureia's government would be judged by how well it succeeds in halting
Palestinian terrorism. Raanan Gissin, a Sharon spokesman, said success in stopping
violence could pave the way for implementation of the international road map to peace
"Any Palestinian government - and we do not get involved in its composition - must pass
the test of performance, and the test of performance means that they will rein in
terrorism," said Gissin. "Bring about a cessation of violence, terrorism and incitement,
then we can move very quickly forward to the next stage of the road map to peace!"
U.S. Court Rejects Pollard's Petition for Right to Appeal
By Reuters and Ha'aretz
U.S. District Chief Judge Thomas Hogan said a different judge had been correct in 2001
in turning down Jonathan Pollard's request for resentencing. Pollard, 49, who was a
civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, is serving a life sentence at a federal
prison in North Carolina.
Hogan in a 19-page ruling refused to hold a hearing on the evidence, rejecting a second
request by Pollard's lawyers for access to highly classified government documents from
sentencing so they could more effectively pursue clemency.
One of Pollard's New York -based lawyers, Jacques Semmelman, said he was "surprised and
disappointed with both rulings." He said he would go next to the U.S. Court of
Pollard, who was not paid when he began spying in 1984 but later began receiving
several thousand dollars per month, was caught in November 1985 and arrested after
unsuccessfully seeking refuge at the Israeli Embassy. He initially denied he worked for
Israel, but later confessed.
In 1985, Pollard was sentenced for selling tens of thousands of pages of classified
U.S. information to Israel. His former wife, Anne, was sentenced to five years in prison
for assisting him. Pollard's case has become a cause celebre for some Jewish groups in the
United States and his supporters in Israel. Top Israeli government officials have
unsuccessfully pressed the United States to let him out of prison.
Pollard's lawyers argued he received ineffective assistance of counsel by his initial
lawyer, who represented him when he pleaded guilty and was sentenced, and then by his
lawyer, who represented him in his first appeal in the early 1990s. But Judge Hogan said
Pollard over the course of his entire case had "a phalanx of well known, respected lawyers
of the highest reputations."
His lawyers have included Theodore Olson, now the Justice Department's solicitor
general, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, former Supreme Court Justice Arthur
Goldberg and a number of prominent criminal defense lawyers.
Hogan ruled that Pollard's motion for resentencing was barred by the statute of
limitations and had been properly dismissed earlier. "Mr. Pollard has couched his claims
in alleged violations of constitutional rights, such as ineffective assistance of counsel,
but closer inquiry reveals these alleged violations to be merely procedural in nature," he
Pollard's lawyers wanted the judge to give them access to the classified documents,
including a declaration by then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger filed right before
sentencing. Pollard's first lawyer had access to the declaration. A federal judge turned
down later requests for access to it in 1990 and twice by a federal judge in 2001.
Hogan ruled that Pollard and his lawyers have offered no new justification for him to
determine that any of them have a "need to know" what is in the classified information.
"He has presented no credible evidence that the current president is any more willing to
grant him clemency than the previous three presidents who declined to do so," Hogan ruled
in the second opinion. His ruling means Pollard will remain in a federal prison.
Itim News Agency Resumes Operation
The Israeli news agency Itim resumed operating Thursday, after a regional court on
Wednesday appointed attorney Ronen Barak as interim manager for three months, until
investors are found to bail out the financially troubled agency.
The moves prompting the agency's immediate closure were a suit filed by the French news
agency, AFP, for a debt of NIS 900,000 and a suit filed by 20 workers from Itim, whom Itim
owes NIS 550,000. The Labor Court recently ruled in favor of the staff and issued a lien
on three apartments owned by Itim.
Itim was established in 1950 by the Israel Broadcasting Authority and daily newspapers
as a backup system for reports about events their own staff could not cover. For decades
Itim has functioned as the newspapers' stepdaughter. "At the beginning of the `90s the
newspapers still used Itim's stories a lot, but frequently omitted its credit," a reporter
who worked in the news agency at the time says. "This completely erased Itim's existence
from the public's awareness."
He said the agency had a promising business potential, but the large newspapers did not
want it to grow. Despite this, Itim expanded its coverage and in the `90s employed about
30 reporters. It is considered an unglamorous workplace, but a sound basis for beginning a
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