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>Israel Faxx
>JN Nov. 19, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 213

Cigarette Found in Rye Bread

A cigarette was found baked into a loaf of rye bread made by the Eilat Bakery. A woman, who purchased the bread in the Jaffa area, was shocked to see pieces of the baked cigarette in the bread as she sliced it. The bakery refused to comment on the smoked bread.

Netanyahu Consults with King Hussein

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel Radio reports Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Jordan's King Hussein near London last night in their first talks since relations soured over a failed Israeli assassination bid in Amman. The men met at Ascot, the radio said, however Israeli officials were not available to comment.

Israeli Army Radio said King Hussein wanted assurances Israel would not violate Jordan's sovereignty should the Persian Gulf standoff develop into hostilities between Iraq and the Jewish state. An Israeli air strike would involve Jordanian airspace, as would an Iraqi missile launch against Israel. No one in Jerusalem or Amman said much about the meeting, other than to confirm it happened and Iraq was the top item on the agenda.

During the Gulf War, 39 Iraqi Scud missiles with conventional warheads hit Israel. But Israel did not retaliate at the request of the United States, which believed Israeli involvement might have led Arab members of the anti-Iraq coalition to withdraw. This time, the coalition is even more fragile, and many Arab countries have indicated they do not want Iraq punished any more, particularly through military action.

Israeli officials do not expect Iraq to strike Israel this time. Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai says Iraq's capabilities are severely limited and it has little or nothing to gain from such a move. But Israel is carefully watching the situation, and officials speaking on condition of anonymity say it could not stand by silently if it were hit with chemical or biological weapons.

Meanwhile, Israelis are lining up to receive new gas masks designed to protect against any such Iraqi attack. The army is providing the masks to Israelis free of charge at special distribution centers, but foreigners in Israel are being left to fend for themselves.

Millions of Israelis donned similar masks and stayed in sealed rooms during the Gulf War Scud attacks, but some experts say even such precautions might not be effective.

Iran May Soon Target USA with Nuclear Bomb

By IINS News Service

Iran is just four months away from complete nuclear capability, according to a report in Britain's highly-regarded Janes Intelligence Review. Janes warns unless Western countries immediately act to block the transfer of highly-enriched uranium to Iran, Tehran will be capable of implementing their "atomic revolution" in the very near future.

The report also says that, in the early 1990s, Iraq was on the verge of developing its first nuclear weapon, but was set back by its defeat in the Gulf War.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran is secretly building up a stock of nuclear and ballistic missiles that someday may be targeted at the United States. "Iran is unseen, unperturbed and undisturbed ... building a formidable arsenal of ballistic missiles, actually inter-continental ballistic missiles" that initially will reach the rest of the Middle East, Netanyahu said in a BBC interview Sunday.

"Stage two it would reach Britain and stage three, believe it or not, they actually plan to reach the eastern seaboard of the United States, Manhattan," Netanyahu told interviewer David Frost.

"Now this sounds fantastic, but Iran is, wants to be a world power with the world ideology of fundamentalist domination, seeing the West as its great enemy and it seeks to have the weapons to back up that ideology.

"That is even more dangerous than Saddam because there is a fanaticism, an ideological fanaticism attached to these, to the acquisition of these weapons," Netanyahu said.

CJF Ends Indianapolis Conference

By Michael Leland (VOA-Indianapolis)

Delegates to the General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations were welcomed in Indianapolis, at a time when more North American Jews are expressing disappointment with Israel. Some are upset at the slow pace of the Middle East peace process and many more are concerned about a pending law covering religious conversions in Israel. The legislation has some worried that their Jewish identity is being questioned.

Pamela Dubin of New York says she is upset over pending legislation in Israel that would give the Orthodox branch of the faith formal control over conversions in Israel. Orthodox rabbis already control religious affairs in Israel and the proposed legislation would only formalize that. But Dubin says she worries how this change might affect North American Jews, most of whom are not Orthodox.

"Just if you want to move or if your children want to marry and be there, if you want to attend some courses, God knows how it can affect you? Who is to decide who is a Jew? I think in your heart you know what you are and I think that is where the decisions are made."

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