Newsletter : 4fax0121.txt
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Cellular Antennae and Cancer
Out of a population of only 9,500 in the Israeli-Arab village of Usafiye, southeast of
Haifa, a staggering 165 people have died of cancer over the past four years. The
residents say that it's the fault of the many cellular antennas erected there. One Usafiye
resident said, "Every day there's another case of cancer. I have three children, I had a
bad stroke, and I don't want others to have to suffer the same. The neighborhood is full
of antennas, and we decided to get together and stop the monster." In one neighborhood,
three antennas have been erected within a 500-meter radius - only one of which has a
Israel Strikes Southern Lebanon
By VOA News
Israeli warplanes have struck at targets in southern Lebanon a day after the terrorist
group Hizbullah killed one Israeli soldier and wounded another in the area. The attack
followed an incident Monday in which militants fired a rocket at an Israeli bulldozer that
was clearing explosives in the area.
Hizbullah said the bulldozer was attacked after it entered Lebanese territory. Israel
initially said the vehicle was on its side of the border, but a senior Israeli commander
in the area said Tuesday that the vehicle was several meters inside Lebanon when the
The U.N.'s Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is investigating the incident. Israel said
Syria was to blame for the incident and that the Israeli government holds Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad responsible. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told journalists Tuesday that
Israel has the right and the moral obligation to defend its citizens and soldiers.
Syria denies that it has any control over Hizbullah.
In other Israeli news, a Palestinian official in Gaza said Israeli army bulldozers have
demolished 30 Palestinian homes and a mosque in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, near the
Egyptian border. Witnesses said bulldozers backed by tanks rolled into the Rafah refugee
camp before dawn Tuesday and demolished the buildings after allowing residents to gather
some of their belongings.
Israel said the buildings were used as cover for attacks on Israelis. Israel also says
the mosque, which had been damaged in previous raids, is in an area full of tunnels
Palestinian militants use to smuggle weapons from across the Egyptian border.
Israelis, Palestinians Scale Antarctic Summit
By www.israel21c.org staff (with permission)
Fifteen days after setting out on its historic trek, the Breaking the Ice expedition
successfully climbed to the summit of an unconquered Antarctic mountain last Thursday.
Declaring, "Our people can and deserve to live together in peace and friendship," the four
Israeli and four Palestinian participants named the peak "Mountain of Israeli-Palestinian
Speaking via satellite telephone from the peak of the snow-capped, windy 2,770-foot
mountain near the Bruce plateau in Antarctica, expedition leader Heskel Nathanial read
from a statement that the four Jews and four Arabs had written: "By reaching its summit,
we have proved that Palestinians and Israelis can cooperate with one another with mutual
respect and trust."
The expedition, which includes two women, departed in a rented British yacht on Jan. 1
from Puerto Williams, a Chilean Navy base on the southern shore of the Beagle channel,
2,050 miles south of Santiago. The group - including former IDF commandos and Fatah
members - reached Antarctica after sailing 600 miles through some of the world's most
dangerous waters. Then they trekked for a week on Antarctic soil to the foot of the
High winds and driving snow welcomed the expedition team members Thursday morning as
they awakened at their high camp on the morning of the intended summit assault. The
Israeli expedition leader, Doron Erel, and lead mountain guide Denis Ducroz from Chamonix,
France, debated the wisdom of setting out on the projected route, which would take the
inexperienced Israeli and Palestinian mountaineers within feet of yawning crevasses. After
almost an hour, the green light was finally given. The expedition would go for the summit
With crampons attached to their boots and ice axes in hand, the team members ascended
slowly along the icy slopes of a glacier that leads up to the sheer rock faces of the
mountain, itself. In a gesture that was only coincidentally symbolic, they were roped
together in mixed groups of four: these Israelis and Palestinians would literally be
taking responsibility for one another's lives.
Navigating in and above the clouds in near-zero visibility made finding the summit
difficult and led to several impromptu changes in the route. But, finally, at 4 p.m.,
after four and half hours of climbing, on the fourth day of their ascent and more than
13,000 kilometers from their homes in the Middle East, they stood on a spot approximately
1000 meters above sea level, treading on pristine snow where no one has ever stood
The ceremonies at the summit were informal and varied. The three Palestinian men in the
expedition team knelt in Muslim prayer. The Israelis opened a bottle of champagne for
everyone. Palestinian team member journalist Ziad Darwish was moved to tears. "This moment
is so beautiful," he said, "seeing Israelis and Palestinians doing this kind of thing
together. Yet, it also makes me think of all the horrible things we're doing to one
another back home."
Erel, the Israeli expedition leader - said, "The point is that Israelis and
Palestinians have done something unique together, something that required the kind of
cooperation and involvement that you rarely if ever find among us. I can't tell you how
pleased I am about how well we've all gotten along together and how well everyone
performed. No one thinks that we're going to bring peace by climbing mountains, but
everyone should know what we as Israelis and Palestinians are capable of doing when we set
our minds to it. That's what I hope that both our peoples will be thinking when they hear
about what we've done."
That, says Erel, is the impression the members of Breaking the Ice want to leave on
their fellow Israelis and Palestinians: like climbing mountains, making peace requires a
deep personal commitment. These Israelis and Palestinians were willing to go all the way
to Antarctica to drive that message home.
"The idea was to bring together people that could easily be enemies outside. But
because they have this shared goal and a challenge to face together, they have to support
each other in order to succeed, despite any political, religious or philosophical
barriers," Nathaniel told ISRAEL21c back in September when the expedition was still in its
early planning stages.
While the trekkers eventually agreed on a name for the mountain and worked successfully
together as partners, relations were not always easy. Fiery debates broke out over the
security fence, the Temple Mount, peace accords, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir
Arafat, and even the wording of the proclamation. On the last day, they reached a
unanimous agreement that the proclamation should reflect human and not political
Despite vastly different takes on historical and political events, the group bonded and
came to each other's aid during personal conversations as they faced sea sickness, violent
winds, and near-zero visibility during parts of the journey. They also spent many hours
together contemplating the work of nature, as they saw for the first time penguins, seals,
whales, and glaciers in the Drake Passage and the stark landscapes of Antarctica.
The expedition was the first organized by Extreme Peace Missions, a charity that hopes
to bring people together through adventure and sporting endeavors. It was initiated by the
Peres Center for Peace in Israel and is funded by German, Palestinian and Israeli
Soldier Gets 56 Days in Jail for Jaywalking
A soldier who left his base and crossed the road on a red light was apprehended by
military police and eventually sentenced to 56 days in jail. The maximum fine for
jaywalking for a civilian is about NIS 100 shekels. Military police explain he received 28
days in jail for jaywalking and 28 additional days for being insolent. The soldier, who
works in a military kitchen, has an excellent service record.
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