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Germans Ask US To Cut Aid To Israel. Attacks On Palestinians Must Stop.

Germans Ask US To Cut Aid To Israel. Attacks On Palestinians Must Stop.
Germans Ask US To Cut Aid To Israel.
Attacks On Palestinians Must Stop.

December 14, 2001

Germans ask Powell to cut aid to Israel

By ELI J. LAKE, UPI State Department Correspondent

WASHINGTON

The Germans urged Secretary of State Colin Powell to cut back U.S. aid
to
Israel in an effort to pressure the Israeli government into stopping its
attacks on the Palestinians, a senior administration official told
reporters Friday.

U.S. officials said a senior member of the German delegation meeting
with Powell in Berlin on Monday made the request when Powell was
visiting the German
capital.

"He was the one who was sort of saying you've got to withdraw aid from
Israel,"
said the U.S. official briefing reporters, adding that the German
official did not specify the level of aid he wanted Powell to cut.

Germany is one of the Palestinian Authority's main financial supporters
among
European Union countries. Berlin has consistently called for greater
U.N. and
U.S.involvement in quelling the 15 months of violence between Israelis
and
Palestinians. The United States does not give financial aid to
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's government in the West Bank and Gaza,
but U.S. aid to Israel runs at close to $20 billion annually, largely as
a result of the 1977 Camp David accord establishing peaceful relations
between Israel and Egypt.

In 1997 Israel agreed to phase out incrementally U.S. economic
assistance, but
no such agreement existed with regard to American military aid.

Since the Dec. 1 triple bombing in Jerusalem and subsequent bus
explosion hours
later in Haifa, the Bush administration has focused its Middle East
diplomacy
exclusively on pressuring Arafat to crack down on extremist groups such
as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. EU governments have also urged Arafat to
get tough
against Islamic militants.

The Palestinian police have made several arrests of known militants, but
the Bush administration has demanded that Arafat exercise greater
control in the Palestinian territories as proof of his commitment to
ending the violence.

Shortly after the Palestinian intifada -- or struggle -- began on Sept.
28, however, Arafat released from jail numerous militants that have
spearheaded attacks, including suicide bomb attacks, against both Jewish
settlers in the Palestinian territories and Israelis living inside the
1948 borders of the country.

The Israelis have retaliated with harsh force, using war planes, attack
helicopters,and assassinating known extremists.

Powell told reporters Thursday, "Mr. Arafat has a choice to make. He has
got to
go after these organizations who are ignoring the possibility of peace,
who are
ignoring the Mitchell peace plan, who are ignoring the efforts of the
international community to help the two sides find a way to the Mitchell
plan, and they are a threat to everything we are trying to do."

The Mitchell peace plan is a step-by-step process for ending the
violence and
restarting peace negotiations proposed by an international committee
headed by
former Sen. George Mitchell.

In his tour of Europe and Eurasia last week, Powell told his
counterparts in Ankara, Berlin, Bucharest, London, Moscow and at NATO
headquarters in Brussels that Washington would rather not have its
allies allow the Palestinian leader to visit their countries as U.S.
diplomats were looking to him to take more action on the ground in the
territories.

"The secretary throughout the trip kept saying to his various
colleagues, 'I've been working extremely hard to get things set to try
to get Arafat to do more so that he is doing the kinds of arrests he is
supposed to be doing,'" said the U.S. official who briefed reporters.
"'Every time we build up enough pressure to do these things he flits off
to Europe and you guys receive him in your fancy offices and he's off
the hook and he doesn't do what he has to do and look at the result
now.'" ( Why the hell don't they tell that to Sharon, to stop his
bullshit lying! )

Powell on Thursday told reporters he was not asking any country to
"shun" Arafat, but did not answer questions directly as to whether he
asked the Europeans to not invite him to their capitals. But the senior
U.S. official briefing reporters said of Arafat: "We want him to stay
put. The main idea is don't invite him to Europe, make him stay there,
help me keep his feet to the fire to do the kinds of things he has to
do." ( What he is actually saying it to force Arafat to do whatever they
want him to do. In other words, be their stooge! )

The contents of the letters have not been made public.

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