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December 27, 1991 - Image 106

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-12-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I NEWS

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Jerusalem (JTA) — Jewish
extremists, flouting the au-
thority of the elected leader-
ship in the West Bank, con-
tinued to make violent
forays into Arab townships
and villages over the
weekend, despite appeals by
the security forces not to
take the law into their own
hands.
The situation posed a
dilemma for Defense Min-
ister Moshe Arens, who ap-
peared to have convinced the
Council of Jewish Mayors to
reject vigilantism as a re-
sponse to the road ambushes
and other terrorist acts
perpetrated by Arabs of late.
The problem is that the so-
called "action committees"
that are responsible for the
violence no longer accept the
authority of the Council of
Mayors, the elected repre-
sentative body of Jewish set-
tlers in the administered
territories.
They demand that Mr.
Arens negotiate with them
instead of the mayor.
The action committees ap-
parently are governed by re-
ligious injunctions pro-
claimed by militant rabbis
who influence Orthodox,
ultranationalist settlers to
bypass their recognized
leaders.
For the first time since
Jewish settlement in the
territories began, there is no
single, officially recognized
body in charge.
Mr. Arens is unwilling to
negotiate with a welter of ad
hoc groups. But the only
alternative to an all-out con-
frontation between the
Israel Defense Force and the
settlers is an understanding
between the two parties.
An understanding is
possible only if the IDF can
convince the settlers that it
can best cope with the grow-
ing number of Arab terrorist
attacks.
There was speculation
here that another "senior
minister" would mediate
between Mr. Arens and the
militants, but no indication
who that minister might be.
High on the list of settler
demands is legal action
against leaders of the Pales-
tinian intifada. The settlers
have protested against the
apparent immunity given
Palestinian leaders such as
Faisal Husseini and Hanan
Ashrawi.
Ms. Ashrawi has been ser-
ving as spokeswoman for the
Palestinian delegation
engaged in bilateral peace

talks with Israelis in Madrid
last month and most recent-
ly in Washington.
Jews from Kiryat Arba
and Hebron, associated with
the late Rabbi Meir
Kahane's extremist Kach
movement, ranged through
the neighboring Arab
village of Si'ir, smashing
windows, solar heaters and
one car, local residents re-
ported.
The Arabs complained
that the settlers fired shots
during their rampage.
In Nablus, local residents
said that Jews fired shots at
houses and cars in the
Rafidiya neighborhood. Four
cars were reportedly damag-
ed.
The anti-Arab Kach
movement, ousted from the
Knesset several years ago
for its blatantly racist plat-
form and program, seems to
be behind the incursions.
At the other end of the po-
litical spectrum, about 5,000
members of the Peace Now
movement formed a human
chain in Silwan, an Arab
enclave in east Jerusalem,
to protest the recent
takeover of Arab houses by
Jewish settlers there.
The settlers have received
backing from the Israeli
government, but the courts
must still issue a final ruling
about the legal validity of
their claims.

Neo-Nazi
Is Convicted

Vienna (JTA) — An
Austrian provincial court
sentenced Walter
Ochensberger to three years'
imprisonment for neo-Nazi
activities, provoking an out-
burst from the startled
defendant, who had been ac-
quitted of the same charges
at three previous trials.
Mr. Ochensberger
publishes a newsletter called
Sieg (Victory), which he
distributes mainly outside of
schools. It alleges that the
Holocaust never occurred,
that gas chambers never ex-
isted.
Nevertheless, it took near-
ly nine hours of delibera-
tions before a jury in
Feldkirch, a small city in
Vorarlberg province, near
the Swiss border, convicted
the neo-Nazi.
The problem in this and
the earlier trials was the
jury's reluctance to impose
the mandatory five-year
prison sentence.

C

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