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December 03, 1993 - Image 56

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-12-03

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For Most Israelis,
Peace Is Waiting Game

Jerome J. Kanter J.D.

Outside the territories and Jerusalem, the PLO
accord has had little affect on daily life.

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Tuesday, December 7

er friends back in the
Bronx had this idea that
the air must be tingling
in Israel, that peace fever
had taken hold.
"I kept telling them it wasn't
like that," said the woman, who
has lived in Israel for the last
decade, after returning from a
visit to the United States. "I told
them we don't pay all that much
attention to it, that life feels
pretty much like normal."
The changes in Israel's polit-
ical condition — the negotia-
tions with the PLO, the

that matter, Jerusalem.
"Like everywhere else in Is-
rael, people here feel cut off
from what's happening. They
only get interested if there's a
terrorist attack in the territo-
ries, and then in a day or two
they go back to being indiffer-
ent," he said.
The peace process doesn't
come up in conversation be-
tween Mr. Shalev and his
friends, or between him and his
wife. "People never travel across
the line they don't know what's
going on there."

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The U.S. Embassy In Tel Aviv.

breakthrough with Jordan, the
preparations for Palestinian
self-rule in the territories — are
a millennial upheaval, yet you
wouldn't know it living here day
to day. You would know it with
tremendous clarity in the set-
tlements of the West Bank and
Gaza, and, to some extent, in
Jerusalem. But in the great
mass of the country, the hun-
dreds of cities and towns where
there are no settlers and few if
any Arabs, the feeling seems to
be that the revolution is hap-
pening elsewhere.
A man we will call Eran
Shalev (he preferred not use his
real name), lives in Kfar Saba,
a satellite city of Tel Aviv that
sits right next to the Green
Line. If the PLO has its way,
Kfar Saba will become an Is-
raeli border town next to the
state of Palestine. Yet accord-
ing to Mr. Shalev, the towns-
people are not interested in
what gets discussed in Tunis or
Cairo or Washington, or, for

Mr. Shalev has some idea.
His work brings him deep in-
side the West Bank, where he
deals with Palestinians daily on
civilian matters. Since late Au-
gust, when the Israel-PLO ac-
cord was first revealed, he has
felt a palpable change in the at-
mosphere of the West Bank.
"The Palestinians drive dif-
ferently — before they were
afraid to pass an Israeli car;
they would drive behind you,"
he said. "Now they pass when-
ever they want. They feel freer.
When I talk with the people,
they seem happier, more re-
laxed now. They're glad the
army is going to be leaving. But
here in Kfar Saba? I don't feel
any change at all. When I drive
back across the line to go home
after work, it's like a switch goes
The Israel-PLO accord has
been understood abroad as the
start of a reconciliation between
two warring peoples, a mutual
understanding, something that

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