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>Israel Faxx
>JN Aug. 23, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 144

El Al's First Female Pilot Takes to the Skies


El Al Israel Airline's first female pilot, Meirav Schwartz, took to the skies this past weekend. Airline officials report she will fly regular jumbo flights to and from Europe.

Israeli Forces Kill 7 Palestinians

By VOA News

Israeli forces have killed seven Palestinians in an upsurge of violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian man in the southern Gaza Strip late Wednesday. In a nearby area, a Palestinian militant was killed when Israeli helicopter gunships fired missiles at a convoy of cars. Israeli television said the militant's father - a suspected Palestinian bombmaker - escaped unhurt.

Earlier, five Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli troops near the West Bank town of Nablus. Several more Palestinians were wounded. There are conflicting accounts of the incident. Israel said its soldiers opened fire on a group of Palestinians who were planting a bomb. A Palestinian official says Palestinian civilians were killed as they tried to rescue a gunman who was fatally wounded.

The killings coincided with a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo attended by Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat. Arafat called for a stronger Arab stance against Israel.

He also demanded the United Nations stop what he called Israel's attempts to destroy the Palestinian dream of an independent state. Wednesday's killings come one day after Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said they would agree to attend German-brokered talks proposed in a bid to end 11 months of violence.

Arab League Holds Emergency Meeting

By Greg LaMotte (VOA-Cairo)

At the request of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, Arab foreign ministers gathered in Cairo for another emergency meeting. It is the fifth such meeting for the ministers since the Palestinian uprising began last September.

The ministers are expected to discuss how they can best help the Palestinian cause. None of the past high-level meetings have led to anything other than public condemnation of Israel and pledges for financial support, and no one is publicly saying this latest meeting will produce anything much different.

So far Arab officials have pledged about $1 billion in support of the intifada but have stopped short of demanding the Arab world break off all ties with Israel.

Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania have peace treaties with the Jewish state and maintain political ties, although Egypt recalled its ambassador to Israel last November and Jordan's new ambassador has not yet taken up his post.

Arafat to Visit Beijing

By Jim Randle (VOA-Beijing)

Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat is due to arrive in Beijing Thursday for talks on the rising tide of unrest and violence in the Middle East.

China's Foreign Ministry said Arafat will brief Chinese leaders on the Middle East peace process, but gave few details. A Chinese source said Arafat will speak with Chinese President Jiang Zemin and other officials.

China, as one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, did back a Palestinian proposal to send international monitors to Israeli-occupied territories.

China has decades-long ties with the Palestinians, but is also interested in upgrading its military with advanced technology from Israel.

Urban Myth X-Rated

By David Emery (

"Good luck," Mr. Liebowitz??? British columnist John Humphrys, reflecting upon the insoluble mysteries of life in last Sunday's Times, posed the peculiar question: "Why were the first words of the second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin: 'Good luck, Mr. Liebowitz'?"

NASA recordings prove Aldrin uttered no such words and Humphrys would seem to be delivering a brand-new variant of a well known urban legend: that Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, purportedly made the puzzling statement, "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky," when his feet touched the lunar sand.

When Armstrong first walked on the moon, he not only gave his famous "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" statement but followed it by several remarks, including just before he re-entered the lander, the enigmatic remark "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky."
Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs. Over the years many people questioned Armstrong as to what the "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky" statement meant, but Armstrong always just smiled.

On July 5, 1995 (in Tampa Bay, Florida) while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26-year-old question to Armstrong. This time he finally responded. Mr. Gorsky had finally died and so Neil Armstrong felt he could answer the question.

When he was a kid, he was playing baseball with a friend in the backyard. His friend hit a fly ball which landed in the front of his neighbor's bedroom windows. His neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky. As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky, "Oral sex! You want oral sex?! You'll get oral sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!"

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