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>Israel Faxx
>JN Dec. 3, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 221

Postal Blunder in Telegram Delivery

The Israel Postal Authority was ordered to pay an Ashdod resident a fine of NIS 2,000, for having taken one month to deliver a telegram to him informing him of his mother's death. The man did not attend the funeral nor did he observe the seven-day "Shiva" mourning period or recite the Kaddish prayer, since he never knew his mother had passed away.

Arafat Complains About Israeli Attempt to Expedite Peace

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Palestinian and Jordanian leaders Tuesday criticized Israel again for its effort to change the sequence of events in the peace process. Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat hosted Jordan's prime minister in autonomous Ramallah Tuesday for what Arafat called an effort to save the peace process. Arafat said the current problem is the latest move by Israel to "change the direction of the peace process."

Israel's Cabinet endorsed a plan Sunday to make only one more withdrawal on the West Bank, instead of the three which have been promised. And the Cabinet imposed several conditions, including a Palestinian crackdown on terror to the Cabinet's satisfaction. Full details of the plan are still being worked out and are expected to be presented to the Palestinians by the end of the month.

Arafat also fired another shot in the verbal skirmish he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been fighting in recent days. Earlier this week, Arafat repeated his view that a Palestinian state should be declared in mid-1999 -- the end of the five-year interim period mandated by the peace agreements -- even if negotiations on a final settlement have not been concluded.

That led Netanyahu to threaten that if Arafat does that, Israel would unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank. Arafat fired back Tuesday, saying that in fact, a Palestinian state already exists, and that what remains is to ensure that Jerusalem becomes its capital -- something Israel says will never happen.

30 Percent of High School Students Call Themselves "Racists"

By IINS News Service

A recent survey of Israel's high school students indicates that 33 percent of the Orthodox and 28% of the non-Orthodox students admit to being racist. The study called, "Anti-Semitism and Racism in the Israeli High School System," was conducted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

1,488 students from 25 high schools around the country were polled, representing a cross-section of the population. The majority of the students did state however, that they hold democratic values in high regard. 50.1% of the students stated they feel that Arabs are equal citizens in every respect.

72% of the students want to prohibit Arabs from being represented in the Knesset, fearing it will jeopardize the security and the Jewish character of the state.

Female Pilots at El Al

By IINS News Service

El Al Israel Airlines has decided to eliminate Israel Air Force service as a prerequisite for becoming a pilot for the airline. The announcement come following the lawsuit filed by Orit Katzir, a female pilot who tried to get a job with El Al but did not have air force experience.

Katzir, who is being represented by ACRI (Association of Civil Rights in Israel) stated in her original petition that she applied for a position with El Al in 1993, and was rejected. She has her pilot's license for 10 years and has been employed by a commercial airline in the USA for the past few years. Katzir is considering dropping her suit following the announcement by El Al.

Israeli Students Perfect Their Egg Drop

By IINS News Service

The Technion in Haifa ((Israel's version of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), has sponsored a contest of creative minds to see who could devise a way to drop an egg 100 feet without breaking it.

Yair Solomon, 23, put his raw egg in a jar of apricot jelly, placed it in a plastic tube, sealed it with a water balloon and used a homemade launcher to fire it from a nine-story building.

Three seconds later, it exploded on impact with the egg rolling intact onto a concrete surface. And Monday's accomplishment made Solomon the winner. He wasn't the only one who came up with the problem's solution, but his rocket-propelled egg was the fastest.

Solomon prize is a trip to New York (where 200,000 Israelis already live) and a visit to the NASA Space Center.

Second place went to two students, who placed their egg inside a toy hot-air balloon that floated to earth in 3.2 seconds. An "egg-copter" propelled by Popsicle sticks and equipped with its own cotton ball landing pad came in third, at 5.8 seconds.

The 65 contestants used everything from Silly Putty to toilet paper,
Styrofoam cups packed with honey and plastic Coca Cola bottles weighted down with water to package the egg and toss it from the roof of the school.

Technion President Ze'ev Tadmor said students learned that "engineering is a profession that is very, very creative and it requires imagination. There are a lot of different solutions. Some may fail, and that is also an experience an engineer must have."

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