James Besser |
The Other Wye Battle: Aid
Saturday’s Sharm el-Sheikh agreement will put new pressure on lawmakers to appropriate the $1.9 billion in extra aid promised to help implement last year’s Wye River accord.
But with Congress heading toward a bloody budget shootout with the administration, supporters of the package face an uphill battle for reasons having nothing to do with Mideast policy.
Even as Israeli lawmakers moved to soften this week’s landmark High Court of Justice ruling banning physical force in the interrogation of suspects, an attorney who brought the case vowed to return to court to challenge any modifications.
“What they are talking of is a law to bypass the ruling of the High Court,” said Allegra Pacheco, who represented the Public Committee Against Torture, one of three organizations and seven Palestinians that brought the case. “I don’t think that would work.
Although Israeli Arabs were blamed for two car bombs that exploded Sunday — less than 24 hours after Israeli and Palestinian leaders signed a revised land-for-security accord — a terrorist infrastructure in the territories “in all probability” made the attacks possible, according to Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Zalman Shoval.
by Lawrence Cohler-Esses |
The United States has long barred the types of “physical pressure” outlawed by Israel’s Supreme Count this week in an historic ruling. But that has not hamstrung law enforcement officials here in their counterterrorism efforts, say experts.
This applies even to so-called “ticking time bomb” cases — where authorities are acting to prevent an imminent terrorist attack — of the sort that Israel claims pose a unique threat to its society, these sources say.
With the anticipated signing this week of a modified Wye River land-for-peace agreement, the plea of right-wing Israelis to Prime Minister Ehud Barak not to dismantle any of the 144 Jewish settlements in the territories is likely to take on greater urgency.
“The peace process would not be hurt if our communities stayed where they are,” said Benny Kashriel, the recently appointed chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
As the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks inched fitfully forward this week, Yasir Arafat moved to shore up his leadership position in the Palestinian community by seeking to reunite with several Palestinian groups that had rejected his leadership after he signed the 1993 Oslo peace accord.