Newsletter : 0fax0927.txt
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>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
State Department Rejects Anti-Semitic Indyk Motives
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
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
Sharon Plans Visit to Temple Mount
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"
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
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
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
Soldiers Know Little About Who They Are
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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