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>Israel Faxx
>JN March 5, 1999. Vol. 7, No. 45

Causes El Al Flight Out of the Sky

By IsraelWire

The discovery of a cat stowed away aboard an El Al flight caused the plane with 225 passengers to make an unscheduled landing. The plane left from Tel-Aviv's Ben-Gurion International Airport unaware the cat was loose on the plane. Airline officials explained the wandering feline could have caused damage to the plane and was a safety hazard. The flight set down in Chicago and the passengers were rerouted to different flights. A search was then implemented to find the cat. The mission was accomplished after about six hours.

Israel Denies Reports of White House Phone Taps

By IsraelWire

A senior aide to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, David Bar-Illan, denied allegations that the Mossad Intelligence Agency placed taps on White House phones to record conversations between President Bill Clinton and former white House intern Monica Lewinsky.

According to an upcoming book by Gordon Thomas, "Gideon's Spies - The Secret History of the Mossad," Israel allegedly used the tapes to blackmail the US president.

David Bar-Illan, told United Press International the allegation "is beyond the pale and beneath contempt (and that it is) "beginning to be worrisome that the Mossad is being blamed for all the ills of the world. This brings to mind such things as medieval blood libels and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a Czarist forgery of the alleged plan for Jewish domination of the world.

Labor Allies with Centrist Parties

By David Gollust (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel's opposition Labor party has concluded an alliance with two smaller centrist factions in a move Labor leader Ehud Barak hopes will help him unseat Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the May elections.

Labor party leaders who met in Tel Aviv approved the deal, under which Labor, the centrist "Gesher" party of former Foreign Minister David Levy and the moderate Jewish religious party "Meimad" will run together in the May election under a "One Israel" banner.

The Moroccan-born Levy, who is popular with working class Israelis, split with Netanyahu last year over the breakdown of peace efforts with the Palestinians and the government's austere budget. Under the deal, he will be number-three on the "One Israel" movement's slate of Knesset candidates and will get a senior Cabinet post if Barak wins the race for prime minister.

At the Tel Aviv rally that launched the new slate, Barak repeated his pledge to have Israeli troops out of Lebanon by June if he defeats Netanyahu.

Water is Israel's Major Concern

By IsraelWire

With this winter being among the driest on record, scientists are now reporting there are real fears of the area's water supplies being totally exhausted. A team of visiting international scientists earlier in the week issued a message to Israel, the PLO Authority and Jordan to put differences aside to work to head off the area's real worry, the depletion of the water supply.

"Freshwater supplies in the Middle East now are barely sufficient to maintain a quality standard of living," said Gilbert White. White is heading a team of researchers from the United States, Canada, Jordan, Israel and the PA.

The team's study -- "Water for the Future" -- the three countries must work together if there is any hope of avoiding a disaster in the region, namely, the depletion of the drinking water supply.

At present, there are an estimated 12 million persons living in Israel (including Judea, Samaria and Gaza), and Jordan, and the current population increase is about 3 percent annually. The study said the region receives less than 10 inches of rainfall annually, typical for a desert climate.

PA researchers accuse Israel of pumping about 85 percent of the water available in Judea and Samaria for Jewish communities in those areas, leaving Arab residents of PA areas without adequate water resources. The PA blames Israel for its water problems.

Internet Chat with Netanyahu

Israel Faxx Staff Report

Israel-On-Line will present a special Internet chat in Hebrew with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The chat will take place on Monday, March 8 at 9 p.m. Israel time, and is expected to last approximately 45 minutes.

This event will mark the first time that a sitting Israeli prime minister has participated in a Hebrew language chat on the Internet. A digital camera will also provide pictures of Netanyahu during the chat.

Those wishing to participate in the IOL chat should download the software from IOL's site: Questions for the Prime Minister can also be sent - in advance - to the following e-mail address:

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