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It may be Arafat's latest shot in the Mideast public-relations war.

The traveling PLO chairman is sending his condolences, via an emissary, to the widow of Dr. Nahum Goldmann. Goldmann, who passed on last weekend, was for many years president of the World Zionist Organization. The reason for Arafat's gesture? Though Goldmann played a pivotal role in the formation of the state of Israel, he also was outspoken to the point of bluntness in his opposition in recent years to Israeli encroachment on Arab land and in urging Israelis to be generous toward Palestinians.

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The emissary is Elias Freij, mayor of the occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem, considered by many US observers a moderate Palestinian.

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