Israel in the News Dec/Jan 1994/1995

Olmert vows to equalize all services for Arabs and Jews

Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert recently vowed to bring Arab neighborhoods up to par with Jewish neighborhoods, warning that if this isn’t done the capital would de facto become a divided city.

“We have the one-sided responsibility to equalize services; it is our unconditional moral responsibility,” Olmert said. “We do not expect them to say thanks. They are citizens, who have rights like all citizens, regardless of their ideology or political views.”

He said he realized most Arab residents rejected Israel’s authority in Jerusalem.

Catholic Church downplays draft admitting its responsibility for anti-Semitism, Holocaust

A Roman Catholic Church document acknowledging the “co-responsibility” for the Holocaust has been drafted, it was revealed recently. The document goes far beyond any previous official Catholic pronouncement regarding the Christian roots of anti-Semitism and the failure of the Church to speak out during the Holocaust.

The document “faces the historical reality of the Church’s anti-Judaism.” It examines the anti-Semitism that spurred the expulsion from Spain, viewing that expulsion as the first link in a chain of events leading to the Holocaust.

Dr. Geoffrey Wigoder, chairman of the Israel Jewish Council for Inter-religious Relations, pointed out, however, that the document … has a long way to go before becoming Catholic doctrine.

Morocco, Israel establish ties

Morocco recently became the second Arab state after Egypt to establish diplomatic ties with Israel, the two countries announcing they would open interest sections in Tel Aviv and Rabat.

This is considered a preliminary step before full diplomatic relations are established. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said … the decision by the North African kingdom was a direct result of “a change—not in words but in deeds—in the policy of the current Israeli government towards the peace process.

“I would very much like diplomatic relations, but one must acknowledge that sometimes patience pays, and better results are achieved by taking things step-by-step,” Rabin said.

Rabin suggests 3-year trial pullback on Golan

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin recently for the first time outlined to the cabinet a plan for a limited pullback on the Golan Heights. The pullback—to last three years—would test the prospects for peace with Syria.

Settlers claim a deal has already been struck that promises total withdrawal and dismantling of all settlements.

“Our position is that—in the first stage—there will be a very slight withdrawal, if possible without uprooting a single settlement,” the PM’s Office quoted him as telling the cabinet.

Rabin also insisted that the process of withdrawal must be linked to normalization of relations.

Terrorists are escaping into Gaza and Jericho

Security officials are concerned that Palestinian terrorists and criminals are escaping into the autonomous areas of Jericho and Gaza. Police Inspector-General Assaf Hefetz called on the Palestinian Police to return Palestinians wanted by the Israeli authorities.

“Jericho and Gaza have become asylums for Palestinian criminals and terrorists,” Hefetz told reporters. He said the Palestinian Police have failed to live up to their commitment to help catch terrorists who flee into their jurisdiction.

Teheran planned Buenos Aires bombing

Iran plotted and oversaw the bombing of the Jewish community center in Argentina, a leading opponent of the regime charged.

“The Buenos Aires explosion was planned in Teheran by the Revolutionary Guard, the Intelligence Ministry and the Foreign Ministry, and was approved by the regime’s security council,” Mohammed Mohaddessin, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance (NCR) of Iran, said.

Mohaddessin refused to reveal the source of his information, other than to say it was obtained “from inside the regime.”

Argentina, meanwhile, fearing reprisals, has withdrawn its threat to cut ties with Iran over its suspected involvement in the bomb blast, according to a top government official.

“When one goes into this kind of stuff, one has to ponder carefully what might happen next,” the official said. “The possibility of a repeat attack is there.”

All articles are from The Jerusalem Post.

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