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>Israel Faxx
>JN Sept. 27, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 167

Wine and Rosh Hashanah

Israel Faxx Staff Report

Israel will drink up some 11 million bottles of wine this coming Rosh HaShanah holiday, according to Industrialists Association statistics. Seven-eighths of this 150-million shekel amount will be Israeli-made produce.

State Department Rejects Anti-Semitic Indyk Motives

By IsraelWire

The Department of State rejected allegations that the suspension of security privileges of its ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, was related to his being Jewish.

In his press briefing in Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the idea that the suspension of the senior foreign diplomat being related to his religion was false, absurd and an insult.

Barak Steps Up Efforts to Build Minority Coalition

By IsraelWire

At the same time that Prime Minister Ehud Barak is working to break the logjam in the Oslo process with the PLO Authority, he is also working to rebuild his shattered coalition.

On Tuesday, Barak was in the Knesset where his toasted the upcoming New Year with party members. To his dismay, less than 12 party MKs arrived to raise their cup with the prime minister. Nevertheless, at least outwardly, the prime minister seemed unperturbed.

The prime minister confirmed that he has been holding talks with the secular Shinui Party, as well as Meretz, and Knesset Members Roman Bronfman and Amir Peretz. He is also attempting to attract Arab parties. The prime minister is working diligently to build a coalition of 60 Mks in the hope of preventing the fall of his government when the Knesset reconvenes in the end of October. He is aware that a 60-person coalition is still one vote short of passing any legislation, but would be an effective block against opposition efforts to topple the government.

He told legislators that his secular reform package was well on its way, adding that public transportation would soon be available on the Sabbath and alternative marriage registrations would be available for those couples not wishing to register with the Chief Rabbinate.

Sharon Plans Visit to Temple Mount

By Arutz-7

Opposition leader Ariel Sharon is determined, despite Palestinian warnings, to ascend to the Temple Mount Thursday afternoon. Likud MK Ruby Rivlin said that he would accompany Sharon, even if the police ask them not to carry out the visit - "which they would never dare to do. Can you imagine a situation in which an Israeli is not permitted onto an Israeli-sovereign site?" Palestinian sources say that the visit will "not pass quietly," and that they may even attempt to prevent it.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians are stepping up their Temple-denial campaign. "The Israelis claim that under the mosques is the Holy Temple," Palestinian 'Information Minister' Yasser Abed Rabbo told the French newspaper Le Monde. "From an archaeological standpoint, I am convinced that there never was a Temple [there]. They have dug out one tunnel after another, and have found nothing. And even if there was a Temple there, is anyone permitted to use a history of 3,000 years to claim [sovereignty]?" The First Temple was built by King Solomon some 2,850 years ago, and the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans 1,930 years ago.

Palestinian Textbook: "Israel Must be Destroyed"

By Arutz-7

Fifteen newly-printed Palestinian textbooks still define Israel as a "conquering state," and one - a sixth-grade book originally published in 1965, which has been printed again and again since then with barely any changes - even states, "There is no alternative other than to destroy Israel." One or more of the books mention Jaffa and Acre as occupied lands that must be recovered, while Jews are mentioned as a target of Islamic scorn.

Snakes in the Pediatric Ward

By IsraelWire

Visitors were shocked when they spotted two large snakes making their way through the pediatric ward of the Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot. Nurses worked quickly to transfer patients in Room 5 to another location.

The worst was yet to come. After the patients were transferred, another large snake was discovered in Room 6, prompting nurses to quickly evacuate that room as well. A snake catcher was summoned and it did not take long for the first snake to be apprehended. They were less fortunate with the second, and a search for the reptile ensued.

Soldiers Know Little About Who They Are

By IsraelWire

Soldiers responding to a questionnaire were unable to say who were Joseph Trumpeldor and David Ben-Gurion and most did not know the words to HaTikvah, Israel's national anthem. Most were unable to state with certainty when the war in Lebanon started.

A team appointed by the IDF's general staff checked the education level of 10 units, including elite combatants, infantry, armored and other units. Discussions were conducted with the unit commanders and then the soldiers were questioned to measure their level of knowledge regarding the nation and its history.

Soldiers were shown a picture of David Ben-Gurion, the state's first prime minister, and most were unable to identify him. When asked how one can travel from the Golan Heights to Beersheva, most soldiers were unable to respond. Soldiers were unable to name one of the operations during the War of Independence. Many thought the war in Lebanon began in 1972.

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