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Warning: Israel Stands Alone Regarding Right of Return


Following Nabil Shaath's remarks (as published in the Aug. 18th issue of Israel Faxx) demanding the "right of return" to Israel for hundreds of thousands of Arabs, Israeli journalist and analyst David Bedein wrote why Israelis should be very concerned.

"Nabil Shaath declared," Bedein wrote, "that the U.S.-sponsored road map mandates the right of Palestinian Arab refugees to return to villages from 1948 which have been replaced by cities, collective farms and woodlands in the present-day State of Israel. Surprisingly, Shaath was correct. All you have to do is to read the Road Map at to know that the Saudi initiative, which supports the right of return, provides the basis for the Road Map.

"Thousands of maps recently issued and distributed by the Palestinian National Authority in Arabic and in English," Bedein wrote, "provide a clear guide for Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendants to forcibly take back the 531 Arab villages lost in 1948 which have been replaced by Israeli cities, collective farms and woodlands.

"Even though Shaath supposedly reversed himself the next day, Bedein and IMRA noted that a widely-circulated PA press release, still found at;id=994, clearly states, 'No condition has been set for a return [only] to an independent Palestinian state.'

"Where does the U.S. stand on this issue? Not with Israel." Bedein wrote: "Shimon Shiffer, senior diplomatic correspondent for Israel's Yediot Acharonot newspaper, reported on May 23, 2003, two days before the Israeli government ratified the Road Map, that the Americans 'rejected one of Israel's central demands, namely, that the Palestinian Arabs would agree to concede the right of return in return for Israel's recognition of a Palestinian Arab state.'

"They also rejected Israel's demand to remove the Saudi proposal - which includes a full withdrawal to the June 4, 1967 lines and Israel's recognition of the right of return, in return for full Arab recognition of Israel - as one of the main sources of the Road Map's authority. Israel has requested that the U.S., Canada, the EU and the Scandinavian countries who are involved in Middle East negotiations issue a clear statement of opposition to the Arab demand for the 'right of return.' However, none of them will do so.

"Checking with ranking diplomats from the U.S., Canada, the EU and Scandinavia, I have discovered that all diplomatic missions in Israel, including the U.S., demand that Israel allow some refugees to return. They universally quote a recent Palestinian poll that 'only 10 percent' of the Palestinian Arab refugees would want to return to their villages that they left in 1948.

"Well, since UNRWA counts 3.9 million people who qualify as 'Palestinian Arab refugees,' that would mean that Israel would have to absorb some 400,000 Arabs who would claim their homes and villages, which are now in the heart of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa along with hundreds of kibbutzim and moshavim.

"Israel stands alone in its position that Arab refugees and their descendants have no legal or moral right to take back their villages from 1948. However, the Road Map is based on precisely that presumption. Most Israelis do not know that. [This is because Israeli media over the past 10 years have had] a tendency to downplay any negative prognosis of the 'peace process.'"

Jewish Agency 'Conquers' Eilat


The Jewish Agency has dispatched specially trained counselors to Eilat to inform 12,000 French vacationers there about immigration opportunities. The French-speaking counselors began today setting up information stands at various hotels in the city, and will provide the French visitors with up-to-date information on immigration opportunities and advantages. The stands will be erected at the Royal Beach, King Solomon, Sport, Laguna, Dan and Royal Grand Hotels.

Among the topics the counselors will discuss will be educational, professional, and living options; immigrant rights; assistance programs for teens and university students; aliyah preparatory programs; and volunteer and professional internship programs run by the Jewish Agency in Israel.

Diet Watermelons


After pioneering the mini-watermelon, Israeli researchers have now developed a low-calorie, yet still sweet, watermelon. And without any genetic engineering.

Agricultural scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced the development of a watermelon with significantly less sugar content than regular watermelons. As sugar is the source of the fruit's caloric value (54 calories per 4 oz. portion), the lessened sugar content lowers the amount of calories as well. The new variety of watermelon, researchers said, contains from 20 percent to 40 less calories than normal watermelons.

As reported by Atid-EDI's business bulletin Fortnightly Report, "To create the diet melon, researchers isolated a variety whose sugar content is composed mostly of fructose. Fructose is the sweetest kind of sugar and less sugar is needed to make the melon sweet, hence less calories."

Iran Sends a Warning to Israel


Iran has sent a warning to Israel regarding any planned strike against its nuclear facility, al-Bawaba reported. "I hope the Zionist regime will not commit any adventurist act," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi said.

Israel has "demonstrated that it is adventurist and does not respect any principles and, if it makes such a mistake, it will pay a very heavy price," he made clear.

Tel Arad National Park


Tel Arad, on the outskirts of the modern city of Arad, has both a lower and an upper city. The lower city was inhabited only during the early Canaanite period (3150-2200 B.C.E.). At the time, the 250-acre Canaanite settlement with its 1,200-meter-long wall was one of the largest cities in Eretz Israel. The squares, public buildings, residences, temples, and open areas were all planned down to the last detail. The streets were designed so that the rainwater would run into a reservoir, dug in the lowest section of the city.

The residences, all built according to the same plan, consisted of a large open room and a smaller additional room, which was used either as a kitchen or a storage area. The entrance to the house was on one of the short sides of the larger room. Archeologists term homes like this "Aradian" after Tel Arad.

The upper city is called "the hill of fortresses" and was initially settled during the Israelite period, which began in 1200 B.C.E. Over the years, a number of fortresses were built here, each on the ruins of the previous one. An unusually sturdy wall surrounded the fortresses. In the fortress courtyard, archeologists found an Israelite temple with a sanctuary and a small room, which served as the Holy of Holies. The Arad temple is a smaller version of King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem. Remnants include a meter-high, red-painted gravestone found on the tiled platform of the Holy of Holies; an altar in the courtyard outside the temple; and shards inscribed with the names of priestly families. The fortress stood in different forms until the Persian period (sixth century B.C.E.).

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