Newsletter : 9fax0316.txt
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>JN March 16, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 52
Supermarket Defies Israeli Government
Israel Faxx Staff Report
A Jerusalem supermarket defied a Labor Ministry threat to shut it
down for employing Jews on the Sabbath by staffing only with
Muslims and Christians. Customers formed long lines Saturday.
Ministry inspectors (who were working) showed up early Saturday
but, finding only Muslim and Christian workers, did not fine the
owners of "Drugstore 2000," the first supermarket to open on the
Sabbath in west Jerusalem. Israeli law bans the employment of Jews
on the Jewish Sabbath, from Friday evening to Saturday sundown.
Barak Exonerated of Running From Danger
By Deborah Tate (VOA-Jerusalem)
In Israel, a long-awaited report by the country's watchdog agency
clears Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's main political rival --
Labor party leader Ehud Barak -- of accusations he fled the scene
of a deadly military training accident when he was army chief of
staff. But the report does little to end the controversy -- which
has surfaced as an issue in the current campaign for prime
Barak has been criticized for years for his handling of the fatal
training accident in the southern Negev region in 1992. Five
members of an elite army unit were killed and several others
wounded when a guided missile was mistakenly fired at them during
the top secret exercise. News reports -- which were never publicly
confirmed -- said the troops were preparing for a mission to
assassinate Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
Barak's political opponents -- including members of Netanyahu's
Likud party -- have accused him of abandoning soldiers injured in
the exercise. But the long-awaited report by the State
Comptroller's Office clears Barak -- the country's most decorated
soldier -- of those allegations, and provides evidence that he
remained on the scene for some time.
However, the report, citing conflicting testimony, does not
rule on accusations Barak refused to help the wounded. That
prompted Justice Minister Tzahi Hanegbi -- a leading Barak
critic -- to call for the Labor party leader's retirement from
public life, saying "The moral stain on Ehud Barak remains."
For his part, Barak says he believes he is exonerated by the
comptroller's report. He accuses Netanyahu's supporters of using
the training accident for political gain. "I do not expect any
apology. There is nothing to do with apologies from cynical
politicians who think they can use the blood of IDF (Israeli
Defense Forces) training casualties as a political tool."
Netanyahu says questions still remain about the training accident,
but he is refusing further comment.
More Racism in the PA: Israelis Barred from Marathon
On Sunday, Arabs in the Hebron area participated in the first
International Palestinian Marathon which was arranged by members of
the Temporary international Peacekeeping force in Hebron.
Organizers of the sport event acknowledged that some Israelis did
attempt to register in the hope of participating in the event, but
were barred due to what organizers explained as the Israeli
governments continued refusal to implement the peace accords signed
with the PLO Authority.
Nassim Handan, 23, won the 5-mile race in approximately 13 minutes.
Although the race was 21 miles short of a marathon, organizers
billed it as a marathon.
Abdel Nasser Sharif, director of the Hebron branch of the PA
Ministry of Sports insisted the event was one of peace, but
Israelis were barred because Israel does not want peace. Sharif
added he hoped the event would bring international attention to
Hebron, and increase efforts to evict the Jewish occupiers from
A Minyan on the Great Wall of China
By Lubavitch News Service
Chances are no one in Beijing ever expected the millennium-old
Jewish prayers to be recited atop the nation's most famous
architectural monument. Nor, for that matter, did they expect more
than 120 Jews from around the country to join together for a full
Shabbat of prayers, song and dance.
But that's exactly what happened last weekend when Jews from
Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai came together to collaborate on
photographer Frederick Brenner's latest project.
Jews from each of the communities unanimously agreed to adhere to
the highest levels of Kosher observance, arranged and provided by
Lubavitch of Hong Kong, and to observe a traditional Shabbat led by
Rabbi Mordechai Avtzon, chief Lubavitch emissary in the country.
It was an extraordinary Shabbat experience for everyone and
according to several participants the event's highlight came when
Avtzon encouraged and led an impromptu morning prayer service atop
the Great Wall of China. The mountainous echo turned the
worshippers voices to a booming rumble that could be heard miles
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