Newsletter : 1fax0420.txt
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>JN April 20, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 68
Jewish Youth in Holocaust Memorial
By VOA News
Hundreds of Jewish youth from around the world have marched
Thursday from the former Auschwitz death camp in Poland to the gas
chambers at Birkenau.
The Israeli education ministry started the one mile walk over 10
years ago as part of the high school curriculum for Jewish
The marches are held on Israel's Holocaust Memorial Day to retrace
the footsteps of some of Auschwitz's inmates to the gas chambers at
Syrian President Reserves Right to Retaliate
By VOA News
Syrian state radio reported that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
told President Bush that calls for restraint in the Middle East
were useless. Bush telephoned al-Assad earlier Thursday to discuss
the tense situation in the region, particularly in Lebanon.
Syrian radio quoted al-Assad as saying his country reserved the
right to retaliate for what he called "Israeli aggression."
Earlier, the White House said the two leaders agreed on the urgent
need for all parties to use restraint and keep violence from
Tensions between Israel and Syria increased this week after Israeli
planes bombed a Syrian radar station in central Lebanon, killing
three soldiers. Syria has said it will not sit idle in the face of
The Israeli raid came after an attack by Syrian-backed Hezbollah
guerrillas Saturday destroyed a tank and killed one Israeli soldier
in an occupied border area.
EU Condemns Israeli Attacks
By Roger Wilkison (VOA-Brussels)
The European Union has condemned Israel's recent attack on a Syrian
radar installation in Lebanon Monday as excessive and
disproportionate, and it says Israel's brief re-occupation of
Palestinian-ruled areas of Gaza was illegal and should not be
The EU reaction to the latest violence in the Middle East came
nearly two days after the United States pressured the Israelis
into retreating from Gaza and points up the 15-nation bloc's
inability to influence events in the region.
Only one week ago, European Union External Affairs Commissioner
Chris Patten said the EU was beginning to make a real difference in
world affairs because it was speaking with one voice.
EU spokesman Reijo Kemppinen was asked Thursday why it had taken so
long for the bloc to react to the latest Israeli attacks,
especially since the EU used language remarkably similar to that of
the United States.
"I wouldn't say that we are worried that it took us so long," he
said. "This is the European Union, after all, and not a single
state. It unfortunately takes time before the member states are
able to agree on language. And the stronger the language, the more
time they need."
The EU has been financially propping up the Palestinian Authority
since the start of the latest Palestinian uprising last year. It is
also Israel's biggest trading partner.
Holocaust Day and Story
By Arutz 7 News
Israelis from all walks of life, in their homes, cars, businesses,
and on the street, stopped and stood silently for two minutes
Thursday morning in honor of the 6 Million Jews slaughtered by the
Nazis in the Holocaust 60 years ago.
Thursday was Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah). At Yad Vashem
Holocaust Museum, the "Every Person Has a Name" ceremony was held,
in the course of which the names of Holocaust victims were read
aloud. Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer read the names of
Moroccan Jews who were transported to Poland and murdered there.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said at the central ceremony that
Israel is the only place in the world where Jews have the right and
privilege of defending themselves on their own. Six survivors who
established their lives anew in the State of Israel lit torches at
One of them was 67-year-old Dina Levine Baitler, born in Vilna,
Lithuania. When she was six, her father was deported to Siberia by
the occupying Russian forces. The next year, in 1941, the
Germans captured Vilna, and soon after took many of the Jews to an
open pit and opened fire. Dina, slightly wounded by a shot in her
leg, fell into a pit among the corpses.
"At night," she described to Yad Vashem's quarterly magazine, "I
heard a voice of a woman asking in Yiddish if anyone else was
alive. There were wounded people who called out for help. The
guards "heard them, came back, and started to shoot again." Towards
morning, Dina pulled herself out of the pit and headed towards the
forest. She wandered through the forests and villages for the rest
of the war begging for food and shelter; a woman helped her assume
the false identity of a Polish orphan.
After the war, she returned to Vilna and was placed in a Jewish
orphanage. She immigrated to Israel with her husband in 1960, and
today has two children, 10 grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.
Videos about the Holocaust and related topics were screened
throughout the day at the Holocaust Studies Institute in Kibbutz
Tel Yitzchak. At a memorial ceremony there, former Supreme
Court Justice Moshe Beisky attacked the pope and the Western
countries for their silence in the face of the monstrous events of
the Holocaust, but said that we will never forget the "brave
Righteous Gentiles who saved what they could."
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