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MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 7/28/00:
    Some theatrics are hard to stage.  While super busy staging and orchestating most of the Camp David event and press coverage -- from inspiration to how to best manipulate the Palestinians into a deal Barak has been dreaming of accomplishing -- this here-to-fore unreported near-choking experience could itself have changed history and in this case not staged as were most other things.
    Just imagine had Barak had to be brought home in a casket under the circumstances described below.  Just imagine if it had happened to Arafat instead.  And imagine as well if it had happened to Netanyahu at the previous summit.
    History is not predetermined.  Events, and accidents, and summit meetings oftentimes do have a lasting impact on the fate of nations, as well as of individuals.  Just remember for instance how the Hashemites came to rule in Amman, a place Abdullah I, the current king's namesake, had never visited before the British brought him there after the Hashemites lost out to the al-Saud's in the Hejaz.  Or imagine had Saddam Hussein had the good sense to pull out of Kuwait after realizing he had been tricked into invading in the first place.
   Barak was nearly in tears as Hatikva, the Israeli national anthem, was played upon
his arrival back in Israel.  Maybe this near-choking to death experience was part of the behind-the-scenes emotional drama.  Again...just imagine if...

JERUSALEM, July 28 (Reuters) - An Israeli newspaper said on Friday that Prime Minister Ehud Barak almost choked to death during the Camp David peace summit with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.

The daily Maariv said a bone got caught in his throat one evening in his room at U.S. President Bill Clinton's Maryland retreat. Barak was sitting with Israeli delegates.

Gadi Greenstein, a former navy man who took part in the negotiations, performed the Heimlich manoeuvre on the Israeli leader who had been ``choking and croaking'' for several seconds, the paper said.

It said Greenstein dashed over to the former Israeli commando, grabbed him from behind, compressed his diaphragm and lifted him up to save him while most of Israel's tough-talking delegation to the summit looked on in shock.

Later, members of the delegation asked an American doctor to take a look at Barak, who declined to be examined. A senior member of the delegation told Maariv the incident had been frightening. Barak's office had no immediate comment.

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