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April 23, 1993 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-04-23

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"If You 113on 1 1-

PLO page 12

You Don't Know."




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as $175 million. But none of
that assuaged the increas-
ingly grim mood in the terri-
And then there's the prob-
lem of the deportees.
Though ostensibly solved by
last February's Christopher-
Rabin agreement, and sub-
sequently removed from the
agenda of the Security N
Council, the plight of the N
396 Hamas deportees
stranded in south Lebanon
remains a very sore issue in
the territories. A recent poll,
in fact, showed a full 80 per-
cent of the Palestinian pop-
ulation opposed to resuming
negotiations until tangible
progress was made toward
repatriating at least a por-
tion of the deportees.
Yet beyond the specific
issues they've raised, what
the Palestinians wanted to =)
convey by postponing the
talks is the sense that they
must be taken seriously.
"We're really hurting, but
our people are proud,"
explained one PLO activist
in the West Bank. "We can-
not afford to return to the
talks looking like wretched,
powerless beggars who
should be grateful."0

White House Upset
With Palestinians

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Mr. Husseini, who stands
to make his debut as a nego-
tiator in the coming round
of talks, can feel the politi-
cal ground crumbling
beneath his feet. And Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin,
with an angry and insecure
public at his own back, has
done little to help him out.
Not only did the prime min-
ister refuse to make any
gesture to "woo" the
Palestinians back to the
bargaining table but — con-
trary to the advice of the
IDF and Civil Admin-
istration — he pledged to
continue the punishing clo-
sure of the territories until
further notice.
Last week steps were
finally taken to help many
of the Palestinians legally
employed in Israel to
receive their March wages.
And on Sunday the ceiling
on the number of workers
granted permits to cross the
Green Line was raised to
In addition, Finance
Minister Avraham Shochat
announced the tripling of
this year's job development
budget for the West Bank
and Gaza Strip to as much

C Linton administration
fumed this week over
the latest delay in
the Mideast peace talks.
That delay, according to
the private assessments of
the Clinton-Christopher
foreign policy team, was
the result of confusion and
dissension within the
Palestinian delegation over
the U.S.-brokered compro-
mise on the Islamic depor-
tees issue.
The latest postponement
in the talks represents one
more step in the deteriora-
tion of relations between
Washington and the
Palestinian leadership that
began during Secretary of
State Warren
Christopher's trip to the
region earlier this year.
Top foreign-policy offi-
cials were also miffed by
the reluctance of Arab gov-
ernments to come to
Washington without a go-
ahead from PLO Chairman
Yassir Arafat.
"There was a feeling that
we had walked the extra
mile in trying to work out
an arrangement that

would satisfy all parties to
the negotiations," said one
administration source.
"The Palestinians appear
to be the hangup now, and
there doesn't appear to be
any good reason for the
delay besides internal poli-
Arab delegations urged
the administration to press
Israel for additional con-
cessions. But administra-
tion sources indicated that
the president and secretary
of state were satisfied that
Israel had responded ade-
quately to the American
compromise package —
and that the ball was now
in the Palestinians' court.
"There's been a degree of
irritation in the adminis-
tration response to the
Palestinians for months,"
said William Quandt, a
Mideast expert with the
Brookings Institution.
"This may not be a factor
at all if the talks do
resume next week. But if
they don't, it may convince
some people in the admin-
istration that this is not a
very promising track." 0
— James Besser

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