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Israeli Elections

May 30, 1996
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The results of the Israeli election are not yet final, but it looks as though Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu beat Labor leader Shimon Peres by less than one percentage point. The vote was widely seen as a referendum on the peace process. Not long ago Netanyahu trailed Peres by 20 points, but the wide gape closed after a series of terrorist attacks raised fears about Israeli security. Netanyahu opposes the direction of peace talks —- he promises to close the PLO headquarters in Jerusalem, keep Jerusalem united, hold onto the Golan Heights, and escalate the building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The election shows that Israelis are nearly evenly divided on the future of their country. However, the Israeli Arab vote went to Peres -—- This means that the overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews voted for Netanyahu. GUESTS: RONI BEN EFRAT, ORGANIZATION FOR DEMOCRATIC ACTION, a party that supports a two-state solution. Efrat is the editor of a bimonthly English language magazine called CHALLENGE. A native Israeli or Sabra, Ben Efrat spent 9 months in prison in 1988, accused of being a member of the Front for the Liberation of Palestine. She is a mother of two adult children and her son was also sent to prison for refusing to patrol in Israeli-occupied territories.

AZMI BISHARA, NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC ASSEMBLY and Professor of Philosophy at Bir Zeit University. Bishara’s party is pushing for full equality for Arabs in Israel.


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