Newsletter : 0fax0914.txt
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>JN Sept. 14, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 158
Cabinet Minister Seeks to Declare Sunday a Day of Rest
Minister of Diaspora Affairs Rabbi Michael Melchior of the Meimad
Party is proposing that Sunday be recognized as a day of rest in
Israel to permit Israelis a day to take care of their personal
needs such as shopping and chores. The minister feels that by
providing another day off, the confrontations over Sabbath
desecration would be significantly reduced.
Israeli-Arab Cells Uncovered
The General Security Service has uncovered two major Israeli-Arab
cells planning violence against Israeli targets.
Some 45 Israeli-Arabs were arrested, most of them from the city of
Um el-Fahm, in what is known as the Triangle, between Hadera and
Afula. Northern Police Chief Alik Ron said that this was the
biggest Israeli-Arab cell uncovered in more than 10 years, and that
it has ties with the Islamic Movement.
The group had targeted Palestinians "collaborators" with Israel.
Some of the cell members are accused of setting fire to the
barber-shop of a suspected collaborator, trained with home-made
weapons, and posted hundreds of posters threatening to murder
collaborators if they do not reveal themselves within a month.
Yediot Acharonot's Arab-affairs commentator wrote Wednesday,
"The organizing [into cells] of dozens of people planning to harm
national security is no longer 'wild weeds...' It is most
definitely a worrisome phenomenon. Again these are Islamic Movement
members and again in Um el-Fahm...It is doubly worrisome because
this was not a Hamas or Islamic Jihad initiative, but rather a
home-grown initiative from among Israeli-Arabs.
"True, the first-stage targets were collaborators, but it is
reasonable to assume that if the GSS and the police had not caught
them, the next stage would have been Israeli [Jewish] targets."
More Than 650 SLA Refugees Have Left Israel for Lebanon
Senior officials in the security establishment have confirmed
that 650 refugees of the former Israel-allied Southern Lebanese
Army have left Israel, opting to return home and face criminal
charges and probable imprisonment.
Critics of Prime Minister Ehud Barak insist that the continued flow
of SLA refugees back home, despite the realization they will most
likely be imprisoned, is a testimony to the government's failure to
adequately provide for combatants and their families of the former
Officials added that they expect more SLA refugees to return home
as he October start of the school year in Lebanon draws nearer.
Officials acknowledge that about 50 to 70 refugees are leaving
Israel daily, unable to "endure" the absorption process, which they
explain is less than adequate to meet their basis needs.
The senior official added that on a more positive note, about 300
SLA refugees have already moved into their new apartments in
various locations throughout Israel.
The regional school for SLA children in the Jordan Valley has
opened its doors, providing classrooms for 350 students from
kindergarten through 12th grade. The school is employing 35
teachers, most of who are family members of the former SLA
ACRI Files in High Court on Behalf of Lesbians
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has appealed to the High
Court of Justice on behalf of a lesbian mother who filed her
petition against a Rabbinical Court which stated the woman's
lesbian partner may not be present in the home with her
children. According to ACRI, the Rabbinical Court does not have the
authority to impose such a restriction on the mother and her lover.
The 36-year-old woman, who has custody of her three children, was
told by the Rabbinical Court that her lesbian lover may not be with
her inside or outside the home, together with her children. The
court ruled that the lesbian relationship was harmful to the
children and therefore, the lover may not be in the home or meet
The High Court on Monday instructed State Attorney General Elyakim
Rubinstein to prepare a legal opinion on the case.
Female IDF Draftees Sent to Germany
Five Israeli girls, who are in their national service, became the
first in the program to arrive in Frankfurt, Germany, where they
are involved in a new program.
As part of their national service, the girls will be assisting in
Jewish schools in Frankfurt, teaching Hebrew, Zionism and related
According to Akiva Sela of the Bat Ami National Service program,
the persons chosen were the result of a rigid scrutiny to ensure
the candidates were suitable for the challenge. The decision was
made by Sela and his associates to comply with the request by the
Frankfurt Jewish community.
All of the girls speak English and Hebrew while some are also
fluent in Russian and German. While in Germany, they will be
assisted by the Jewish Agency emissary to Frankfurt.
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