Israel Resource Review 9th June, 1998


US Government Reclassification of the PLO
by William J. Clinton

TEXT: Presidential Determination: Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) - 3rd June 1998 (President waives provisions of Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987)

Clinton waives the provisions of section 1003 of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987, regarding the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) through November 26, 1998.

Following is the text of the Presidential Determination:

Office of the Press Secretary
(Cleveland, Ohio)

For Immediate Release
June 3, 1998

Presidential Determination
No. 98-29

Memorandum for the Secretary of State

SUBJECT: Waiver and Certification of Statutory Provisions Regarding the Palestine Liberation Organization

Pursuant to the authority vested in me under section 539(d) of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1998, Public Law 105-118, I hereby determine and certify that it is important to the national security interests of the United States to waive the provisions of section 1003 of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987, Public Law 100-204, through November 26, 1998.

You are authorized and directed to transmit this determination to the Congress and to publish it in the Federal Register.

William J. Clinton

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The Historical Record: Clinton's "Waivers" of The PLO
by J. Herring

Clinton's "waivers" of the PLO "before" congress cut off all FUNDING TO THE PLO UNDER THE Middle East Peace Facilitation Act [MEPFA]
From 1994 through November 1997.

Presidential Determination No. 94-30 of June 30, 1994

Suspending Restrictions on U.S. Relations With the Palestine Liberation Organization

Presidential Determination No. 96-8 of January 4, 1996

Suspending Restrictions on U.S. Relations With the Palestine Liberation Organization

Presidential Determination No. 96-20 of April 1, 1996

Suspending Restrictions on U.S. Relations With the Palestine Liberation Organization

Presidential Determination No. 96-32 of June 14, 1996 Suspending Restrictions on U.S. Relations With the Palestine Liberation Organization

Presidential Determination No. 96-41 of August 12, 1996 Suspending Restrictions on U.S. Relations With the Palestine Liberation Organization

Presidential Determination No. 97-17-February 21, 1997- Suspending Restrictions on U.S. Relations With the Palestine Liberation Organization

Clinton's "waivers" of the PLO "after" Congress cut off all funding to the PLO under the MEPFA that ran out towards the end of November 1997

Presidential Determination No. 98-8 of December 5, 1997 Presidential Determination on Waiver and Certification of Statutory Provisions Regarding the Palestine Liberation Organization

Presidential Determination No. 98-29 - June 3, 1998 - Waiver and Certification of Statutory Provisions Regarding the Palestine Liberation Organization

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Al-Ahram: Unrepentant Terrorist, Jerusalem Construction, Jordan

The following are selections from articles which appeared in the Egyptian English weekly, "Al-Ahram" of Al-Ahram Weekly 28th May - 3rd June, 1998

Tourist Killers Unrepentant to the End
by Shaden Shehab

[Heading:] Two brothers, sentenced to death for killing 9 German tourists and their Egyptian driver, were hanged inside a Cairo prison

Saber and Mahmoud Farahat were hanged on Sunday for attacking a tourist bus outside the Egyptian Museum in Tahir Square with firebombs and bullets. Nine Germans and the Egyptian driver were killed in the 18 September [1997] attack.

. . . Six accomplices were convicted of providing the bus assailants with weapons or instructing them in how to make the primitive bombs they used in the attack. They were sentenced each to between one and 10 years' imprisonment with hard labour.

. . . The two brothers showed no regrets . . . . Saber went first . . . . clutching a copy of the Holy Qur'an. He told reporters what he had said already during the trial, that he was not a member of any terrorist group, although he sympathised with the ideology of the anti-government Jihad organization.

Asked whether he regretted what he did, Saber responded: "I have no regrets because my action was Jihad for the sake of God." Reminded that the killing of innocent people was not Jihad, Saber said: "Yes, it is, because they are infidels."

. . . The two brothers, upon hearing the death sentence on 30th October [1997], had hugged each other and repeatedly shouted Allahu akbar (God is great). Saber told reporters that a death sentence was like a "feast day"

During the trial, Saber told the reporters that his only regret was that the victims of the attack were not Jews. The attack, he said, was an act of revenge for a cartoon drawn by an Israeli woman depicting the Prophet Mohamed as a pig.

The underground Al-Gama'a Al-Islamiya had hailed the two brothers as Mujahideen and said they "acted in accordance with what their religion and belief dictate."

. . . Saber had committed an earlier crime on 27 October 1993 when he opened fire on a group of foreigners inside the coffee shop of the Semiramis Hotel. Two Frenchmen and an American were killed and another American, a Syrian and an Italian were wounded.

Saber was not put on trial at the time because an examination by psychiatrists at the government's Abbasiya Mental Hospital. . . confirmed that he was schizophrenic.

. . . The investigation into the bus attack revealed that Saber used to bribe doctors and nurses to allow him to leave and return at will [to El-Khanka Mental Hospital]. . . . The head of the mental hospital, Nessim Abdel-Malek, was sentenced to life imprisonment and fined LE4,000 -- the estimated total of the bribes he received from Saber. Three male nurses were sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment each, two to five years and three to three years. The three sentenced to 10 years were additionally ordered to pay fines of ranging between LE1,000 and 3,600, also the estimated total of the bribes they received from Saber.

Settling for Provocation
by Graham Usher

[Heading:] As Israeli settlers establish yet more 'homes' in the Muslim quarter of [Old City] Jerusalem, Graham Usher reports from an increasingly tense city

One day after Israel commemorated the 31st anniversary of the occupation of East Jerusalem settlers demonstrated the means by which Israel has not only tightened its hold on the city in the intervening years but, should the settlers and others of their ilk get there way, will continue to do so in the future.

. . . the settlers wasted no time in establishing one more Jewish "fact" to add to the 60 or so properties Muskowitch , or groups financed by him, have acquired in the Muslim Quarter over the last decade. By Tuesday morning the settlers had laid eight cement floors, installed water and electricity and set up seven "temporary homes" to house themselves until the Yeshiva [school] is built. And despite having no municipal permit for the construction, the site was guarded by the Israeli Border Police as well as "private" security agents. A cruel irony: the floors were being laid by Palestinian workers.

The Palestinian leadership was typically slow to react. Apart from the presence of Faisal Husseini, the PLO's head of Jerusalem affairs, the only protest against the settlers' actions on Monday came from Israel's Peace Now movement. But on Tuesday members of the Palestinian Legislative Council voted to suspend its session in Ramallah and go, en masse, to confront Israel's latest Jewish settlement in Jerusalem. Forcing their way onto the site, scuffles broke out between the PLC members and the Border Police, leaving at least one Palestinian injured and one "temporary home" destroyed.

Calm was eventually restored when the PLC speaker, Ahmed Qrei (Abu Alaa), met with Israel's Internal Security Minister, Avigdor Kahalani, who announced that a court "restraining order" had been placed on construction in the name of the municipality and Israel's Antiquities Department. The latter had petitioned that the settlers' building had already done damage to the ancient wall that rings the Old City.

But no Palestinian will put much stock in a court ruling to right this wrong. Past experiences -- such as the Ras Al-Amud settlement last September -- suggests a more likely scenario. The settlers will stay put while a court debates the legality of their presence and in the meantime another new settlement will quietly be implanted in the heart of a densely populated Palestinian neighborhood.

King's Pardon Rebuffed
by Lola Keilani

[Heading:] The jailed independent Islamist opposition figure, Laith Shbeilat, shocked Jordanians when he turned down a royal pardon.

Laith Shbeilat, the leading Islamist opposition figure who earlier this year helped secure the release of Jordanian prisoners held in Iraq, last week rejected King Hussein's royal pardon, insisting on completing his nine-month prison term if other political prisoners in Jordan were not released.

In a letter sent from jail, Shbeilat said, "I reject the royal pardon" unless it includes " prisoners who have spent reasonable time in jail and who do not pose a threat to security." The government did not comment on Shbeilat's demand.

A former member of parliament and president of the Jordanian Anti-normalization (with Israel) Front, Shbeilat was sentenced to nine months in prison by a military state security court in early May after he was convicted of instigating the pro-Iraqi Ma'an riots in February.

. . . Shbeilat's decision embarrassed the presidents of professional syndicates who had asked the king to pardon the opposition figure during a meeting last week. The syndicates, with a membership of 80,000 people, were the major force behind Shbeilat's campaign to stop the normalization of relations with Israel. Jordan and Israel signed a peace agreement in 1994.

. . . Shbeilat, a former president of the Jordan Engineers' Association for three terms, already had been pardoned twice by King Hussein in 1992 and 1996, after being convicted by the State Security Court of treason and insulting the monarch.

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Peace Now Encourages Immigrants to Move to Settlements
by Aaron Lerner

"Haaretz" correspondent Alex Somech reports in the June 5th issue of "Haaretz" that in recent months "Peace Now" has organized 4 bus trips for new immigrants to see settlements. Mossy Raz, Political Secretary Peace Now, told Somech that Peace Now has raised several hundred thousand shekels "and we plan to bring thousands of immigrants, who are principally exposed to the Right, to see what is happening here."

Somech joined a bus trip and reports that - "What really interested the immigrants was principally the prices of housing in the settlements. 'The government gives grants to those who come to live there,' explained Raz, 'for 40 thousand dollars it is possible to buy a house, but more than 5,000 houses stand empty and there are no buyers.' He added 'when Yitzhak Rabin came to power in 1992, many of the settlers wanted to leave, but the prices of their homes crashed and they couldn't sell them.'

But this did not cool the interest of the immigrant in a 'cheap house with garden' in the territories, and an argument broke out in the bus around the question 'is it worthwhile to convince the children to buy a house here.' 'Where is there another place that it is possible to buy a home at such a price?' They asked each other again and again.

At the Eli settlement the immigrants asked to get off the bus to go into the empty homes. Peter Kaplan, 70 from Tel Aviv, was impressed with the construction. 'I love terra cotta roofs and an attached garden, I need a house just like this,' he told his friends. Ina Greenebrg, 67 from Ramat Gan, said that she is ready to live there with her husband. 'I don't have an apartment now and am ready to accept almost anything,' she explained. Dima Yankiviya, 73, from Tel Aviv, was uncertain. 'It is very nice here, but where is a theater and library?' One of the guides said cynically that 'there is a pretty nice synagogue here.'

At the end of the trip, when they returned to Jerusalem, some of the immigrants asked to 'tour Har Homa'. The translator explained, 'maybe next trip.' ("Haaretz" 5 June, 1998)

Dr. Aaron Lerner,
Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
P.O.BOX 982 Kfar Sava
Tel: (+972-9) 760-4719
Fax: (+972-9) 741-1645

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Making the Palestine Authority More Palatable for the Israeli Public to Swallow
by David S. Bedein, MSW,
Media Research Analyst
Bureau Chief: Israel Resource News Agency
Beit Agron International Press Center, Jerusalem

On June 3, 1998, the US state department removed the PLO from the list of terrorist organizations. There was no response from the Israeli government. Indeed, Israel state radio reported the item only twice, on the early morning hours of June 4, and Israel state TV ignored it completely.

On June 4, a visiting delegation from NIPAC, that is, the Dutch equivalent of AIPAC, reported to the Israeli government that their government was financing the virulent anti-Israeli textbooks in the new schools of the Palestine Authority. These textbooks are now being scrutinized by Palestine Media Review, an agency that studies texts and media in the Palestine Authority. The Israeli government officials conveyed no reply to NIPAC.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government press office revealed that the head of the Palestine Authority preventive security services, Jabril Rajoub, had issued a "green light" for Hamas to resume terror activity in areas not under the control of the Palestine Authority. When I asked the Israeli prime minister's office if Rajoub's actions would affect policy, I could not get an answer.

And when I asked Danny Naveh, the cabinet secretary, about PA violations and how they would affect the continuing peace process, Naveh answered only in general terms that "Israel has asked for cessation of violations " from the PA. Meanwhile, Israel state radio and TV, under the direct ministerial supervision of the Prime Minister's office, have not been reporting the daily incitement as reported on the official Palestine Broadcasting Corporation TV and radio.

The Israeli state TV and radio have hardly reported the triumphal return to Gaza of Mahmud Abbas, the man who murdered Leon Klinghoffer in 1985. The Israeli state TV and radio gave only muted press reports to Israeli attorney general Elyakim Rubenstein's decision not to ask for the arrest of Abbas. The Israeli state TV and radio have stopped any follow-up stories concerning the fact that the PA refuses to arrest any of the thirty two identified killers who have been awarded

Meanwhile, on June 7, Israel's Commercial Channel Two, which operates under a 50% funding from the Israeli ministry of communications, ran a half hour positive profile of Mohammad Dahlan, the no. #2 man in the PA preventive security services. The Israeli TV reporter did not ask Dahlan about the killers who run freely within the area under his direct control. In other words, the Israeli government, through its releases from the Israeli government press office, goes through the motions of condemning Palestine Authority violations of the peace process. These condemnations widely circulate in the US Congress and the United Nations.

However, the Israeli government does not do that in Israel. Instead, the Israeli government is softening up the Israeli public to deal with the Palestine Authority by obfuscating much bad news about the PLO and the Palestine Authority from the Israeli people.

It is instructive to note that the Israeli government press office, also under the direction of the office of the Israeli prime minister, has not held a single press conference or media briefing concerning Palestine Authority violations of the accord. While Netanyahu flew to the US with two women whose loved ones had been murdered by Palestinian Arabs who had taken refuge inside the PA, the Israeli prime minister have never made any such performance in Israel to "bring home" the killer issue to Israeli public opinion.

A New Acceptance of the American Role

At this point in time, the role of the American government as arbiter of the conflict has become more widely accepted and reported. In the American peace plan that was leaked to HaAretz on June 4th would place the American government as the determinant of PA compliance with issues such as the arrest of murderers who have escaped to the areas under PA control.

Not everyone in Israel would agree to define the American perspective as objective.

For example, the American-Israeli Boim family of Jerusalem received no less than three official letters from the US embassy during 1997 that the murderer of their teenage son David had been arrested by the Palestine Authority and that the killer was sitting in a PA jail.

However, the PA did not arrest the killer of David Boim until February 2, 1998, following a direct request on the matter made by President Clinton to Yassir Arafat.

Most recently, the Jerusalem chapter of the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel made an unprecedented appeal to Clinton to demand that Arafat arrest and hand over the other ten killers of Americans who have taken refuge inside the Palestine Authority.

Meanwhile, the press spokesman of the American consulate in Jerusalem has refused to answer any questions concerning whether the American government has even brought up the issue of killers being awarded asylum within the area under the control of the Palestine Authority.

Yitzhak Mordecai in Jordan: Reflective of Government Policy

The visit of Israel Defence Minister Yitzhak Mordecai with Jordanian King Hussein and Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was accompanied by a series of press statements that emerged from Mordecai's press aide and from Mordecai himself, all of which indicated that Israel would engage in a unilateral withdrawals from major areas of empty lands in the Judean desert and the Samarian Hills, without any real demand from reciprocity from the Palestine Authority.

Mordecai's statement that a withdrawal is in the offing remains a statement that reflects the Israeli government attitude to the Palestine Authority and the Oslo process at this time.

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