The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 22, 1998 · Page 5
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 5

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, May 22, 1998
Page 5
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THE SALINA JOURNAL FRIDAY, MAY 22, 1998 AS V MIDDLE EAST Netanyahu seeks summit to jump-start peace process But Palestinian counters that Israel should agree to U.S. plan, quit stalling By The Associated Press JERUSALEM — Benjamin Ne- tanyahu is seeking a summit with Yasser Arafat to break the 15- month impasse in peacemaking, the Israeli prime minister's chief adviser said Thursday. A senior Palestinian negotiator, however, accused Israel of stalling tactics, saying there was no point in holding "meeting after meeting." "I don't think any talks will help any more. It's time to stop this game," said Saeb Erekat, adding that Israel should accept the U.S. plan for a West Bank troop withdrawal if it's serious about negotiation. David Bar-Illan, a senior aide to Netanyahu, said Israel wanted to see the resumption of direct Palestinian negotiations, which broke off in March 1997. He said the Israeli leader brought up the summit idea in talks with U.S. Mideast envoy Dennis Ross. Direct talks "may be the only way the process could be advanced," said Bar-Illan. T U.S. - ISRAEL U.S. role in talks assessed •:j With diplomacy failing, Clinton administration may say Israel's to blame By BARRY SCHWEID The Associated Press WASHINGTON — After backing off amid congressional pressure and hopes that diplomacy still could succeed, a stymied Clinton administration is moving into position to publicly find fault for the stalemate in Mideast peacemaking. Israel could bear the brunt of the criticism. Barring an unforeseen breakthrough, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is apt to lay out soon what the administration considers to be the primary cause: Israel's implacable resistance to Albright's proposal for a withdrawal from 13 percent of the West Bank. If there is finger-pointing, it could be coupled with a reassessment of the active mediation role Albright and senior adviser Dennis Ross have played in trying to restart negotiations over the future of the West Bank. "We have always said that at some point we may conclude that we were unable to bridge the gaps, and we would say why and re-examine what our proper role should be," State Department spokesman James Rubin said Thursday. "It's not far off," he said. While it is hard to imagine the United States abandoning a quarter-century of shaping settlements between Israel and the Arabs, there could be a time-out on that front — but not, Vice President Al Gore assured a Jewish audience this week, in maintaining close ties to Israel. "Our special relationship is indestructible," Gore told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a potent lobby that particularly is effective in mobilizing support for Israel on Capitol Hill. "It doesn't depend on the peace process. It transcends the peace process," Gore said. The impasse has withstood sustained American diplomatic efforts. President Clinton intervened in January, seeing Ne- tanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the White House and proposing a strategy of phased Israeli withdrawals tied to tightened security. There were several rounds of talks between Albright and the leaders and shuttle diplomacy by Ross in the region. But no matter how Ross rejig- gered the 13 percent pullback proposal, and the fact that Arafat went along after reducing his demand for 40 percent of the West Bank, Netanyahu held to his position that giving up that much land Fow could jeopardize Israel's secu- ity. The administration also is unlikely to escape from this emerging diplomatic defeat without criticism of its tactics, especially the announcement that Clinton would hold a Middle East summit at the White House but only if Ne- tanyahu agreed to the 13 percent pullback. "I don't think any talks will help any more. It's time to stop this game." Saeb Erekat Palestinian negotiator The Palestinians broke off direct negotiations with Israel more than a year ago after Israel authorized building the Har Homa housing project in east Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan in 1967 and the Palestinians want as the capital of an independent state. Israel's call for direct talks with the Palestinians comes at a time of rising frustration on the part of the Clinton administration, which is nearing a decision on whether to re-examine its role as active mediator. That decision is "not far off," U.S. State Department spokesman James P. Rubin said Thursday. Arafat has accepted; U.S. proposals for a 13 percent Israeli pullback in the West Bank in exchange for enhanced Palestinian security measures. But Israel has balked at the scope of the withdrawal and demanded that any agreement resolve the issue of yet another withdrawal the Palestinians expect to be carried out. Bar-Illan denied a report in the Yediot Ahronot newspaper that President Clinton had given Israel one week to accept the U.S. plan. "There's no ultimatum whatsoever," Bar-Illan told The Associated Press. Should Netanyahu accept the U.S. plan, Clinton is willing to hold a Washington summit to be attended by the Israeli leader and Arafat on May 28, Yediot Ahronot said. Maps published Thursday by the daily Haaretz newspaper and based on information from Cabinet ministers and legislators indicate a withdrawal from 13 percent of the West Bank would leave 18 Jewish settlements with a total of 9,000 residents surrounded by Palestinian autonomy zones. Arafat's Palestinian Authority would gain control over 40 percent of the West Bank land, up from 27 percent now, and rule over 89 percent of the Palestinians in the West Bank. We Need... Clothing • Furniture • Miscellaneous Pick-up's Available SALVATION ARMY THRIFT STORE Mon.-Sat. 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. 157 S. 5th • Salina 823-1409 CARROL HAMILTON! Roofing Company Since 1962 Tl Free Estimates, All Work Guaranteed f-800-864-4637 • 785-452-9224 Imagine A Religion Where Individual Differences Are What Bring Pfeopfe Together /e celebrate the idea that each of us is cut from different cloth, and we think we have just the place for you. Sunday, May 24, 9:30 a.m. Chip and Donna Bissell, group facilitators at the the Writers Pad, Inc., a place for creative writing seminars in Abilene, bring alive the characters of Emily Dickinson and Henry David Thoreau , who helped shape early Unitarian thought. 901 Beatrice, Salina, Kansas 785-825-6275 THE UNITARIAN UNIVERSAUSTS Deadlines Retail & Bordered Classified Ads Publication Date Monday, 5/25 Tuesday, 5/26 Wednesday, 5/27 Deadline Thursday, 5/21 @ 4:00 Friday, 5/22 @ 11:00 Friday, 5/22 @ 1:00 Classified Line Ads (No Borders or Artwork) Friday, 5/22 Saturday, 5/23 Sunday, 5/24 Monday, 5/25 Tuesday, 5/26 Thursday, 5/21 @ 10:00 Thursday, 5/21 @ 1:30 Friday, 5/22 @ 10:00 Friday, 5/22 @ 3:00 Friday, 5/22 @ 5:00 The Salina Journal business office will be closed on Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day. Salina Journal Cellular One Introduces super saver air fares. New PCS rate plans with up to 50 % more mimites. 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