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>JN July 16, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 129

Netanyahu Was Close to Deal with Syria

By IsraelWire

In his first interview since his defeat in the national elections, former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu told his Television host that he was close to reaching a deal with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, admitting that no documents had been signed. The deal would have permitted Israel to remain on Mount Hermon, maintaining its early-warning station, while obtaining a peace treaty with the Syrians.


The former prime minister stated however that despite reports to the contrary, he informed Assad that he was unwilling to accept the Syrian precondition for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre June 4, 1967 borders, namely the surrender of the entire Golan Heights.


Incitement Against Christians on Internet Missionaries

By IsraelWire


A Jerusalem yeshiva student was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of publishing inciteful material on the Internet against Christians living in Israel. The student is also suspected of threatening Christians and their belongings.


Ariel Ben-Yaakov, 37, a student in the Diaspora Yeshiva, was arrested after stating several times before fellow students, that he planned on harming Christians and churches. Police revealed that in a search of Ben-Yaakov's room, they discovered the computer from which Ben-Yaakov disseminated incitement via the Internet.


Police have witnesses claiming that Ben-Yaakov threatened to kill Christians and to defile churches. Ben-Yaakov denied that he had threatened to kill Christians, but stated that it was his legal right in a democratic country to work for a law limiting the number of Christians in the country. The court ordered Ben-Yaakov held for 48 hours.


NIS 35 for Military Exemption

By IsraelWire

Non-religious girls in non-religious dress go to the rabbinate, declare that they want an exemption from military service because they are religious, and receive a deposition signed by a rabbinical judge to take to the draft bureau for an almost guaranteed exemption.


The Ma'ariv L'noar weekly magazine for youth sent correspondents to the offices of the rabbinate in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beersheva, and revealed the story. In each city, the girl asked for an exemption on religious grounds paid NIS 35, was shown into the rabbinical judge's office, was asked several easy questions, and minutes later was outside with a deposition for an exemption.


The reporters then called their local draft boards saying that they had depositions from the rabbinate, and were told that all they had to do was to mail the deposition in and they would receive their exemption with no problem.


When asked to comment on the story, Eli Ben-Dahan, director of the rabbinical courts stated that the rabbinical courts are not responsible for military exemptions, only depositions, and that the exemptions are the responsibility of the army.


The army spokesman stated that, by law, any female draftee who swears before a court or rabbinical judge that she is religious is exempt from military service, and that in any case in which the girl's deposition is questionable, it is handed to a civil investigation, and, if necessary, to legal proceedings.


Suspect in Moscow Stabbing Attack Admits Anti-Semitism

By IsraelWire


Nikita Krivchun, 20, the suspect in custody for the July 13 stabbing attack of a leading Moscow Jewish figure, told the local NTV television station that he stabbed Leopold Kaymonovsky, 52, the director of the Jewish Cultural Center at the Choral Synagogue in Moscow because of his opposition to Judaism. He denied membership to any organization and insisted that he acted on his own.


Krivchun is reported to be a second year law student and is being held for stabbing the local Jewish leader in his abdomen, shoulder, knee, thigh and face, using a large hunting knife in the attack. Kaymonovsky remains in serious condition following a six hour emergency surgery.


Russia's chief rabbi, Adolf Shayevich, told The Associated Press he saw a reverse swastika tattooed on the youth's chest and said the young man told him: "We will strangle you anyway. We are 50,000 people strong."


Israeli officials are still waiting for a statement of condemnation from Russian officials following the Tuesday stabbing attack of Kaymonovsky. According to Salai Meridor, the chairman of the Jewish Agency, his organization is still waiting for a response from local officials regarding the stabbing attack. Meridor made his statement at an assembly during which he pointed out there was a large increase of immigrants arriving from Russia, pointing to the rise in anti-Semitism as one of the compelling factors.




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