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October 2000 - Return to Complete Index                       MiddleEast.Org       10/05/00
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MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 10/4 - 8:00pm:
   It's marvelous political theatre -- Arafat storms out, Albright chases him shouting to the guards "Shut the Gates!  Shut the Gates!".  And these are the people in power and in charge!
   As for Arafat, he's been humiliated and slighted so many times in the past it's hard to take him seriously now.  But then Arafat is if nothing else the survivor, having lead the Palestinian people now since the 1960s!  He knows how to play to his own people; and he knows his people are angry, depressed, and bewildered by Arafat's antics including the leaked info about how chummy he and Barak were just a week ago when Arafat visited Barak's home near Tel Aviv.  Arafat knows very well how to twist and turn in the political wind.  Plus he's preparing the way for feined jubiliation about proclaiming a "State" that is not.
   Just a short time after Arafat's scene and Madeleine's chase, imagine what?  An agreement was "reached"!  Reality is rather different of course.  Essentially the Americans told Arafat "end the violence" or else; giving him some language and political cover making it appear plausible the Israelis were also backing off.  And by the way, Arafat's repeated demand for an "international investigation"...well its still hanging in the air.  Barak "totally rejected the call for an international investigation."  Then Justice Minister Yossi Beilin proclaimed: "I think that, if there are questions and if there are queries, we can answer them ourselves. We don't need a committee biased against Israel to investigate things."  Then Barak added: "We accept American ideas that each side will examine its own activities, that our security teams will sit together to clarify what happened."  And that of course is part of the new "agreement". So much for the demands Arafat has been so vociferously insisting on.  So much for the U.N. Security Council.  So much for the Europeans.  So much for the Arab League.
   While Madeleine was chasing and enforcing, back in Wahsington the State Department issued a "worldwide caution" warning Americans to be vigilant about their personal security in light of the violence in the Middle East. Events "have raised the possibility that there may be protests in support of Palestinians throughout the Gulf region and elsewhere," the department said.
   Also in Washington the demonstrators returned to the Israeli embassy late on Wednesday.  They didn't double their numbers as had been promised.  Rather there were about half as many people as on Tuesday, maybe as many as 150.  But there were no known speakers, just a lot of shouting and chanting.  They did march down to Connecticut Avenue for awhile to show their signs to those heading home through rush hour traffic.  But even the leadership of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) -- which had just yesterday loudly promised to step up the protests and come back every day until the killing ends -- didn't make it.  Clovis and Hala Maksoud, as well as Albert Mokhiber, were themselves no shows.  The police however did slightly increase their forces, batons at the ready.  No media by the way; the only camera was that of MER-TV.


PARIS (Reuters - October 4) - Palestinian President Yasser Arafat angrily stormed out of Middle East peace talks in Paris on Wednesday but was persuaded to return by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright running after him, witnesses said.

Arafat, who met Albright and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak for several hours late on Wednesday, rushed out of the U.S. ambassador's residence and jumped into his car shouting ''This is humiliation. I cannot accept it!''

Albright, like Arafat clearly audible over a portable telephone on which a Palestinian negotiator was talking to a Reuters corespondent, ran out after him shouting to residence guards: ``Shut the gates! Shut the gates!''

Once the gates to the courtyard of the elegant residence in central Paris were closed, Arafat got out of his car and returned to the residence for another meeting with Barak and Albright, the Palestinian negotiator said.

CIA Director George Tenet, who has been proposed as an American mediator at any review of the violence that has claimed 60 lives -- mostly Palestinians and Israeli Arabs -- in the past six days, also attended the meeting, he said.

Asked about the walkout, U.S. officials had no comment while an Israeli official only said that the delegations had split up for consultations.

                        AGREEMENT REACHED!  YEH, RIGHT!

PARIS (AFP - 4 Oct)- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat have reached
an agreement to end seven days of violence in the Palestinian territories and Israel, an Israeli official said late Wednesday.

Under the deal, the Palestinians undertook not to allow protesters to approach three sensitive points at
Ramallah, Nablus and Netzarim in the Gaza Strip, where there have been serious clashes, the official

The Israelis said they would withdraw heavy weaponry from the Netzarium junction and around the Jewish holy
place of Joseph's tomb in Nablus, and promised to ensure that strict regulations were followed before security forces were authorised to open fire on protesters.

In addition, a security assessment would be carried out overnight by Israel and Palestinian officials in conjunction with the US Central Intelligence Agency, the official said.

The agreement was to be initialled Wednesday night in Paris, and probably signed at a meeting in the Egyptian town of Sharm el-Sheick on Thursday.

"Israel is waiting for the violence to stop before signing the agreement fully in Egypt tomorrow (Thursday)," the Israeli official said.

A Palestinian demand for an international of enquiry on the violence had not been agreed on, he said.

                          SYRIAN STUDENTS STONE U.S. EMBASSY

DAMASCUS, Oct 4 (AFP) - Hundreds of Syrian students stoned the US embassy in Damascus Wednesday, breaking windows and burning Israeli flags, an AFP correspondent witnessed.

One demonstrator climbed a five metre (15-foot) high fence surrounding the building and pulled down a US flag. He was pursued by police who prevented him from throwing himself off a roof with the flag in his arms.

Police intervened with clubs and a dozen demonstrators were hurt. Policemen were also seen with blood on their faces after being hit by stones.

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