Arab Cabinet Member Says
Peace Is Not Imminent
ALTHOUGH Prime Minister Ehud
Barak has declared his readiness to sign a final peace agreement with
the Palestinians in one year, one member of his cabinet is not so
Deputy Foreign Minister Nawaf Massahla, speaking at a dinner
for Shaare Zedek Jerusalem Medical Center held at the Plaza Hotel, said it
would take longer to achieve a settlement.
hope during Barak’s four-year term we will find the permanent solution
between us and the Palestinians.”
Massahla, an Israeli Arab who has been a member of the Knesset
since 1988, sits on the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
He was optimistic about the chances of a settlement with Syria:
“I believe that by the end of this year we will start to negotiate with
As for Israel’s relations with Jordan, prospects are looking up.
He cited two projects that Israel signed.
project will connect “all the electricity and energy of Jordan with
Israel.” Companies in South America and Europe are investing the $700
million in the project.
Another enterprise is aimed at combining two separate airports in
the south into a joint Eilat-Aqaba airport.
I asked Vernon Jordan, a Washington attorney and confidant
to the President, if he was going to help Hillary Rodham Clinton in
her New York campaign for the senate.
“I’m not here to talk politics,” he said. “I’m here to
talk about Shaare Zedek. I came because of my friendship with Paul
Menno Ratzker, president of the American Committee for
Shaare Zedek, presented Miller with the Jerusalem Humanitarian Award.
Miller is executive vice president and general counsel of Pfizer, Inc., a
client of Jordan’s law firm.
Jordan told about his first trip to Israel in January 1967
with 10 other black Americans. While playing basketball in Jaffa, he fell,
but made the basket. Back at the hotel, his wrist began to swell. His
friends took him to the home of an Israeli doctor. After being treated,
Jordan and his friends sat in the living room and shmoozed with the doctor
and his wife until 6 in morning.
“I have never forgotten the warmth and care in that home that
night,” Jordan said.