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>Israel Faxx
>JN July 26, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 135

Happy Birthday to Rita Starr Klyde in New Hempstead, NY


Passports Will be Valid for 10 Years

By IsraelWire

Good news for Israelis who do not enjoy bureaucracy. Passports will no longer have to be 'extended' every five years and will remain valid for a period of ten years from the date of issue.


Barak, Peres and Other Israelis at King Hassan's Funeral

By Arutz-7, IsraelWire & Laurie Kassman (VOA-Rabat, Morocco)


Israel was well represented among the two million citizens and foreign dignitaries at King Hassan's funeral in Morocco, with Prime Minister Ehud Barak, President Ezer Weizman, Foreign Minister David Levy, Minister of Regional Development Shimon Peres, and others in attendance. Although PA Chairman Yasir Arafat, Jordan's King Abdullah and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were on hand, Syrian President Hafez Assad did not attend.


King Hassan II of Morocco died on Friday night at the age of 70. King for 38 years, he was the world's longest-reigning leader. Shimon Peres revealed that he met Hassan secretly 10 times, beginning in 1978, and that in one of the meetings the king introduced him to Arafat. Israeli law forbade meeting PLO officials before 1993, and Peres had always denied doing so. The late King will be succeeded by his son, 36-year-old Muhammad VI, who reportedly will continue his father's policies concerning Israel.


The Prime Minister's Office on Saturday issued a formal statement praising the late king, calling him a "great leader and friend of Israel."


As the casket bearing King Hassan passed by, the crowds chanted verses from the Koran. Women and children wept openly and men held their heads in disbelief. King Hassan's son, followed behind on a horse-drawn carriage, alongside the male members of his family, government officials and politicians and dignitaries from more than 30 countries around the world.


Hundreds of thousands of people lining the route surged forward, breaking through the barriers to join the official mourners as they walked slowly toward the mausoleum where King Hassan was buried alongside his father, King Mohamed V. Police and security tired to keep them at a distance from the official mourners.


Moroccans describe the late King Hassan as a father figure. For most of Morocco's 29-million citizens, he is the only king they have known. The funeral services concluded with special Muslim prayers for King Hassan who is considered a descendant of the prophet Mohamed.


Vatican Blames Israel of Being Anti-Christian

By IsraelWire


Miffed by Israel's cool response to its efforts to rid the church of anti-Semitism, a Vatican representative said that Israel is to blame for tensions between Jews and the Catholic Church.


The Rev. David Yager shocked a conference on anti-Semitism by saying that Israel's anti-Catholic attitude -- not the Catholic Church's anti-Israel attitude -- is preventing relations from warming as Israel prepares to greet millions of Catholic pilgrims in the millennium.


"The Catholic Church and the Jewish people are now allies, friends and lovers," said the brown-robed priest, who represents the Holy See on a bilateral committee to improve relations with Israel.


However, Israel has angered the Vatican by refusing to acknowledge Catholic overtures of friendship, including recent official declarations against anti-Semitism, Yager said.


He said Israel aimed to keep the Vatican on the defensive, pointing to Israeli reminders of Pope Pius XII's alleged failure to speak out against Nazi atrocities during World War II, which he called a "blood libel."


Israel has sharply criticized a proposal in the Vatican to beatify Pius, the last step before making him a saint, saying his public silence on the genocide of 6 Million Jews facilitated collaboration with the Nazis. The Vatican says Pius acted for Jews behind the scenes.


Jewish participants said Yager was glossing over 2,000 years of Catholic anti-Semitism. "Our questions, our desires to search the truth are not blood libelous," said an angry Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League.


Foxman praised efforts by the current pope, John Paul II, to remove anti-Semitism from Catholic liturgy but said the message was not filtering down to churches at the grassroots level. "We both have responsibilities that we haven't fulfilled," he said, suggesting that levels of anti-Semitism were still higher-than-average among Catholics.


Plane's Synagogue will Always Face Jerusalem

By Arutz-7 News Service


The European airplane manufacturer Airbus is offering to include a synagogue aboard the planes it wishes to sell to El Al Israel Airlines. Airbus is currently competing with Boeing for the sale of El Al's next jumbo jets. Hatzofeh's Danny Shalom reports that the plans call for a synagogue to be built in the lower deck of the plane, and would include seats for 12 worshippers, a full-size stand for Torah reading, and an Ark for the Torah. Airbus noted that it would be technically possible to install the Torah Ark such that it would be able to revolve on its hinges and face Jerusalem at all times.





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