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2001-01-04

The Israeli-Palestine Conflict: War, Pr War, and Peace Prospects

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After accepting the U.S. peace proposal as a basis for further negotiation, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat sought support today from Arab governments in a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo.

Many in the Arab world have objected to the major concessions the U.S. proposal require. The proposal denies some 4 million Palestinian refugees the right of return to their homes in Israel, from which they were exiled in 1948. In addition, the proposal allows for Israeli annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The Syrian Foreign Minister reportedly opened the meeting by saying that the plan should not even be discussed, and the Lebanese Foreign Minister declared that the right of return was sacred. Arafat is expected to give a final answer on the U.S. plan only after the talks at the Arab League.

While the war in the Middle East rages, a public relations war is also being fought here in the United States. A few days ago, a writer for Brill’s Content magazine reported that the Israeli PR machine began a concerted effort to alter a supposed image of the rock-throwing Palestinians as David and the gun-shooting, missile-firing Israelis as Goliath.

Guest:

  • Eve Gerber, staff writer, Brill’s Content.
  • Alon Pinkas, Consul General of Israel in New York.

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