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Comment on the agreement between Israel and the PLO
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NETANYAHU HAS placed compliance monitoring in the hands of an administration which has shown it has more important concerns than Palestinian compliance. In return for this the only solid Palestinian action will be a meaningless vote by the PLO executive committee reaffirming Arafat's letter to Clinton. Everything else will be subject to American interpretation. Such incompetence could have been understood if we were back in 1993, before the Clinton team put on its blindfolds. But today, after the premier's own office has issued reams of reports proving... the Clinton team's "hear no evil, see no evil" approach towards Arafat, such a concession is inexcusable.

Jerusalem Post, Israel

IN EFFECT, the negotiations were between the Israelis and the Americans, who, thanks to President Clinton's dogged persistence - coupled with bribery of an amount not yet revealed - have managed to put themselves back in control of the incubator that is the Middle East. After nearly 19 months of stalemate, the result is a few expensive crumbs of comfort for the Palestinians. But they may be important ones.

The Daily Star, Lebanon

THE ZIONIST entity thrives on US support. Without America, Israel will lose its ability to survive. We must wake up and restore, by force if necessary, our arrogated rights from the puppets of Zionism and American imperialism. This vicious circle must be broken as soon as possible if we truly aspire for freedom and a better tomorrow. If we wait any more the Zionists will humiliate us further, and we, the masses, will bear the brunt because our leaders are insensitive.

Palestine Times

THE SIGNING of the second pullback agreement is an important economic event. But the positive economic consequences of the agreement could be spoilt by a political shake-up in Israel. The danger lies in the possibility that elections will be brought forward to the beginning of 1999, which would mean an election campaign at the same time as the budget debate. Such a situation opens the way to populist decisions such as reckless spending. If elections take place in the next few months, the government will be hard put to point to economic achievements that will make the public ignore the recession and the level of unemployment. Whoever takes difficult, even fateful decisions in the political sphere, ought to behave just as responsibly in the economic sphere, and take advantage of the agreement to the economy's benefit.

Globes, Israel