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13 Tishrei 5763 •
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from page 28
Even if Yehiyeh's intentions are good,
he is still finding it difficult to imple-
ment them: Last week, he met in Gaza
with representatives of Palestinian
political groups and tried — in vain —
to convince them to hold their fire.
Yehiyeh's main line of argument was
that the Palestinians should give a
chance to the "Gaza/Bethlehem First"
deal he reached with Israeli Defense
Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer.
Under that deal, the Palestinian .
Authority will resume control for secu-
rity in those areas, and Israeli troops
will withdraw. If quiet prevails, the
arrangement will be extended to other
Every Palestinian "has to help us to
make the rule of law prevail in our
areas, from the areas that the Israeli
troops leave," Yehiyeh told Reuters. "If
the situation remains as it is, we will
never be able to set up our state."
However, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and
the Fatah militias all announced that
they opposed the deal, and would con-
tinue their "acts of resistance" against
Ultimately, Yehiyeh failed to meet
the two major conditions Israel and
the United States set: unifying all mili-
tias and P.A. security bodies under one
umbrella and ensuring that the funda-
mentalist organizations accept the
orders of the Palestinian Authority.
Yehiyeh has found little help in
Zuhair Manasra, the new West Bank
head of the RA.'s Preventive Security
Service. Manasra has been unable to
impose his authority on the various
militias in the region.
Some feel Yehiyeh will find support
for his position among the Palestinian
population. Analysts point to recent
demonstrations in the Gaza Strip in
which Palestinians called on their gov-
ernment to provide "bread and work,"
and a recent public opinion poll that
showed Palestinian support for a more
A recent survey by Search for Com-
mon Ground, an organization devoted
to conflict prevention and resolution,
showed that 80 percent of Palestinians
would support a large-scale nonviolent
protest movement, and 56 percent
would participate in its activities.
Skeptics, however, point to other
polls that have shown strong popular
support among Palestinians for suicide
bombings and other terrorist attacks
According to the Common Ground
survey, carried out by the Palestinian
Jerusalem Media and Communications
Center, 62 percent of Palestinians
think a new approach is needed in the
intifada. Overwhelming majorities —
from 73-92 percent — approve of vari-
ous methods of nonviolent action,
according to the poll.
Large numbers of Palestinians also
told the pollsters that they would be
willing to participate in specific nonvi-
olent actions, including boycotts and
forms of mass civil disobedience.
Thus, some wondered if the
Palestinian political atmosphere was
ripe for a new policy along the lines
Yehiyeh was urging. Even Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon said last week
thit he believed the Palestinians were
realizing the futility of their assault on
Israel, making him optimistic that the
two sides might soon return to peace
HONOR from page 29
Not every rabbi who received the
High Holiday package felt inspired.
Rabbi Gerald Wolpe, former spiritual
leader of Har Zion Temple, a
Conservative congregation in Penn
Valley, Pa., wrote an opinion piece in
the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent high--
ly critical of the rabbinic group's
Rabbi Wdlpe says it is "totally off
base" for the group to be tailoring
the High Holiday prayers to "be
more sensitive to our enemies," in
part because Jewish prayers are
already aimed at the suffering of all
"I am very uncomfortable with the
approach that says, 'I know how God
would aced he only had all the facts,"'
Rabbi Wolpe says. "To me, this is not
good theology. It's not even good
need to recognize the holiness of every
human life, and the tragedy of every
For Rabbi Bolton, that story trans-
lates into the current need to_ defend
the religious values underpinning the
Jewish state. Current Israeli policies
are threatening Israel's moral character
to such a degree that we may soon
reach a point of no return," she says.
But Rabbi Lippman, of the inde-
pendent Kolot Chayeinu: Voices of
Our Lives, in Brooklyn, says rabbis
run certain risks by voicing anything
less than total support of Israeli
"The voice from the American
Jewish community has been pretty
monolithic — you're quickly labeled
anti-Israel if you say anything critical
of Israel," she says.