Jerusalem – While President Bush and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hope to reach some kind of peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians by the end of the year that will also include a solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees and their right of return, on Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives called for a solution to the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries as part of any future peace agreement.
Over 850,000 Jews were expelled from their homes in the Arab world when the state of Israel declared its independence, and the property of many was confiscated by the authorities in the Arab countries.
The U.S. House resolution recommends to the American mediators in the Middle East that they “guarantee that any decision about the matter of Palestinian refugees in the Middle East also include a similar reference to Jewish, Christian or other refugees from Arab countries.”
The initiators of the decision, led by Congressman Gerald Nadler (D-N.Y.), welcomed the resolution. Mr. Nadler said on Tuesday: “Today the House of Representatives has helped shed light on the suffering of Jewish refugees in the Middle East. Their suffering is real and should be recognized. The enforced exile of Jews from Arab countries must be part of the public dialogue in the peace process.”
Israel Public Security Minister: No To A Shelf Agreement With Abbas
“We must not permit the establishment of a terrorist entity by Hamas in Judea and Samaria,” said Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter in an interview to Israel Channel Ten news.
Mr. Dichter warned the Israeli prime minister against reaching a “shelf agreement” with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. “I won’t lend a hand to an initiative of that kind,” he said. “The negotiations with the Palestinians about Gaza have gone brain dead. In Judea and Samaria I’d describe it as a respiratory death.”
Olmert’s And Bush’s Advisers Discuss Iran And Hezbollah
Talks have been taking place between senior Bush administration officials and advisers of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert about Iran and Hezbollah.
Prime Minister’s Bureau Chief of Staff Yoram Turbowicz and political adviser Shalom Turjeman left on Saturday for Washington to meet with senior administration officials, led by National Security Advisor Steve Hadley.
The parties discussed issues connected to Iran’s nuclear program and highly sensitive topics related to Hezbollah.
The Israeli Prime Minister’s Bureau officials refused to give any details about the talks, saying that the two had traveled as part of preparations for the anticipated visit by Mr. Bush to Israel in May.
Mr. Turbowicz and Mr. Turjeman were expected to return to Israel on Thursday.
Talks last week in Israel between Vice President Dick Cheney and Mr. Olmert were devoted mainly to Iran’s nuclear program and the examination of various scenarios, including launching a preemptive strike against nuclear sites in Iran.
China, which until now has opposed the imposition of sanctions against Iran, relayed intelligence to the International Atomic Energy Agency concerning attempts by Tehran to obtain nuclear arms. According to diplomats connected to the International Atomic Energy Agency, China is the most “surprising” one on the list of countries that have relayed new information in recent weeks about Iran’s efforts to obtain technology and equipment to develop its atomic program.
The flow of new information began in the wake of a presentation viewed by the IAEA board of directors, which described Iran’s various paths of development and which contained an assessment that Iran has succeeded in developing an advanced type of centrifuge that would allow it to accelerate the uranium enrichment process.
David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2008