EXCERPTS FROM INTERVIEW BY DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER YOSSI BEILIN ON ISRAEL RADIO

APRIL 27, 1994

– Elections in the Territories:

We would certainly prefer to see elections held among the Palestinians in the territories, but we are not prepared to force elections on them. Real democratic elections do not exist anywhere in the Arab world, and we cannot come to the Palestinians and say, ‘You must be the only Arabs to hold democratic elections.’

Terrorism is at this point primarily being carried out by those who seek to prevent the implementation of the agreement just as in South Africa there has been an increase in terrorism in recent weeks and months by those whites and blacks who did not want elections to be held, and who thought, up to the last moment, that what they view as a disaster could be prevented by terrorism.

– Amendment of the PLO Covenant:

We could presumably have demanded from the PLO, as a condition for signing the agreement with us, that they amend the Covenant. We did not do so, because we knew that in order to amend the Covenant they require a two-thirds majority of the members of the Palestinian National Council

not of those attending the meeting but of the membership. At present, they do not have the two-thirds needed to make this important amendment to the PLO Covenant. We therefore said that we would accept a letter of commitment from Arafat to this effect, and not insist on a specific date for the time being.

Were we to demand today that Arafat bring this decision before the PLO governing bodies, he would lose, and the situation would be worse than it is now. We must therefore be patient and wait until after the agreement is implemented and the situation is stabilized. Then I believe and hope that it will be possible to amend these articles of the PLO Covenant, and we shall certainly insist on it.