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>Israel Faxx
>JN July 27, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 136

Bomb Discovered in Moscow Synagogue

By IsraelWire

An explosive device was found in the Lubavitch synagogue near Moscow's Pushkin Square Sunday. The rabbi's son detected the incendiary device and congregants carried it outside where the police, confirmed it to be a real bomb. The discovery of the bomb took place a short time before congregants were to arrive for the first haircutting of the son's of one of the members, a tradition which takes place when a boy reaches the age of three.

Barak: Wye will be Implemented

By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak says he will propose combining implementation of the Wye River peace accords with negotiations on a permanent peace settlement with the Palestinians when he meets today with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.

During a speech to the Knesset Monday night, Barak said combining implementation of the final steps of the Wye River accords with talks on issues such as a Palestinian state and the future of Jerusalem will increase the chances for a permanent peace agreement.

Barak says he is proposing a 15-month time frame for the talks to show there is no magic formula to achieve peace within weeks, and to let the Palestinians know Israel does not want to prolong the negotiations for years.

He called the time frame a "window of opportunity" to reach peace agreements with all Israel's neighbors, including Syria and Lebanon. Barak says he intends to negotiate "on all levels and on all fronts at the same time."

Painting Looted by Nazis Turns Up in the Israel Museum

Israel Faxx Staff Report

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem has learned that one of the finest Impressionist paintings in its collection was looted by the Nazis. The painting, "Boulevard Montmartre, Spring 1897" by Jewish master Camille Pissarro, was donated to the museum several years ago, and has been displayed there for the past two years.

But the European commission on looted art has now identified the painting, worth an estimated $8 million, as part of a large pre-war collection belonging to a Jewish businessman who died in a Nazi concentration camp.

Max Silberberg, of Breslau, had been forced by the Nazis to sell his collection of art and furniture at cut-rate prices in one of many notorious "Jew auctions."

Just last month, another of his paintings, a $5,2 million Van Gogh drawing, was recovered and returned to his only surviving relative, an 85-year-old widow living in Britain.

Silberberg's Pissarro was bought by a German collector, and sold after the war. After moving through various collectors and dealers, it was bought by a New York Jewish family in 1960, and subsequently donated to the Israel Museum, the institution's director, James Snyder, said.

He said the matter was a painful and highly sensitive one, and that the museum was trying to react to the claim as quickly and appropriately as possible. Asked what options were open besides restoring the picture to its rightful owner, should the claim prove correct, Snyder declined to speculate.

David Stern, a London gallery owner - and husband of Pissarro's great-granddaughter - is quoted in a British Jewish newspaper as saying the artist's family hoped the surviving Mrs. Silberberg would redonate the painting to the museum so it could remain on display. Gerta Silberberg, who fled Germany with her husband Alfred in 1939, has lived in the same modest Leicester house for the past 40 years.

Asked why he thought it had taken to long for the painting's identity to become known - it has, after all, been on public display for many years, here and elsewhere - Snyder said it was hard to judge. "Sometimes people don't know where to look, even though it may seem obvious."

Burial Society Refuses to Erect Tombstone for 12-Year-Old

By IsraelWire

The director of the Rishon L'Tzion Hevra Kadisha (burial society) stated they will not permit a tombstone to be erected on the grave of a 12-year-old girl until "her parents pay the last penny owed for the burial."

Orli Berkowitz was interred last month after she died of a brain tumor. Since she was not listed as a resident of Rishon, her parents, who wanted her buried in Rishon, were compelled to pay NIS 20,000 for the funeral service.

Burial society report that half of the agreed upon sum has been paid and the parents agreed to pay the balance prior to erecting a tombstone. The remaining NIS 10,000 remains outstanding but the parents insist they do not have the ability to make the payment.

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