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September 2000 - Return to Monthly Index            MiddleEast.Org 9/02/00
News, Information, & Analysis That Governments, Interest Groups, and the Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know! 
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            "The main point is what to call the status quo
            because everyone knows there will be no real
            change in the status quo".
                          Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin

            "...daily life won't change in a substantial way."
                          Acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 9/2/00:
   It's fitting that a guy like Bill Clinton should be pushing these -- a master of words and images.  And its also fitting that Yossi Beilin should have let the cat out of the bag, saying in public that things aren't really going to change very much for the Palestinians, other than for some nice words burned into the public mind with a massive propaganda campaign.  Of course, that's not quite how Beilin phrased it.  But it is the reality of what the U.S. and Israel, with much help from the Egyptian and Jordanian regimes, are trying to pull off -- a real-life historical scam.
   Read the following article closely, especially for the missing analysis and perspective.  But then of course, that's what MER is really all about and can be counted on to highlight.
   We've written about Yossi Beilin before -- see "Colonel Yossi"...earlier this year.  And coming tomorrow from MER more weekend reading -- "BEACH APARTHEID" the Israelis are using the "Peace Process" to promote segregation and neo-apartheid in their world.


                         By Howard Goller

     JERUSALEM (Reuters - 29 August) - A senior Israeli official said
     Tuesday that diplomatic language was the key to
     resolving the Jerusalem dispute blocking an end to 52
     years of conflict with the Palestinians.

     Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, an architect of Israel's
     seven-year-old talks with the Palestine Liberation
     Organization, said the sides were looking for
     constructive language for narrowing the differences.

     "The main point is what to call the status quo because
     everyone knows there will be no real change in the
     status quo," Beilin told Israel's Army Radio.

     "The question is only what will be the diplomatic title
     for the situation that will be created when there will
     be peace here. When it's titles that are being discussed,
     it seems to me that it's not impossible to bridge the
     gaps which still exist."

     Among the titles which he said had come up for
     describing the situation in more sensitive parts of the
     holy city were divine sovereignty, custodial
     sovereignty and extra-territorial sovereignty.

     "It's what we tell the Palestinians -- that daily life
     won't change in a substantial way," Acting Foreign
     Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami told the radio in response
     to Beilin's comments.

     Meanwhile, U.S. peace efforts continued in the region
     with the ongoing tour of U.S. special envoy Dennis
     Ross and a brief visit by President Clinton to
     neighboring Egypt.

     Clinton said time was running out for a peace deal.
     He and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak discussed
     how to nudge the Israelis and Palestinians toward an

     The sides have set a September 13 target for a final
     peace, but the date has looked increasingly improbable
     since the failure of last month's Camp David summit
     between Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak
     and the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.

     Since then Egypt has produced some ideas on how to
     resolve the most explosive issue facing peace
     negotiators -- the status of Jerusalem, holy to
     Christians, Jews and Muslims.

     Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East
     war and, in a claim not recognized internationally,
     regards all of Jerusalem as its "united and eternal
     capital." The Palestinians want East Jerusalem for the
     capital of a future state.

                     Ross Meets Barak

     Ben-Ami said Clinton's special Middle East envoy
     Dennis Ross would, by the coming weekend, seek
     reactions from both sides to a "catalog" of conclusions
     the United States had drawn up based on the Camp
     David talks. Ross planned to meet Barak on Tuesday.

     "If the Palestinians indeed will develop a proper way
     of relating to this catalog, then we are in a positive
     game. If they should relate negatively all along the
     way, then it won't go," Ben-Ami said.

     The next key set of meetings will take place next
     week when Clinton is scheduled to meet Arafat and
     Barak separately on the sidelines of the United
     Nations Millennium Summit.

     "What's truly important is agreement between the
     Palestinians and us on all the details of administering
     the city when there will be peace here -- concerning
     for instance police, security, municipal services -- all
     of these things must be clear along with legal matters,"
     Beilin said.

     Beilin said he believed Israel had effectively ceded
     any claim to full sovereignty over Jerusalem's Temple
     Mount, Judaism's holiest site, shortly after capturing it
     in 1967. "The moment we said the Temple Mount is in
     our hands and the next day lowered the flag and said
     we are not praying there, we gave up on our
     sovereignty," said Beilin, one of the more doveish
     ministers in Barak's cabinet.

     Temple Mount is where Jews believe the first and
     second biblical temples stood. It is also known as
     Al-Haram al-Sharif, the Muslim "Noble Sanctuary."
     The site includes Islam's third holiest shrine the
     al-Aqsa Mosque as well as the Dome of the Rock

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