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Israel Education Majors Reject Teacher Certifications

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Higher education officials report a sharp drop in the number of young persons interested in being certified as teachers. They believe the primary cause is the poor job conditions, beginning with salary. The overall picture is a nationwide enrolment less than 50 percent of recent years. Of the 5,200 newly certified teaches who graduated last year, only 800 have succeeded in finding employment in their field, Channel 2 TV News reported.


Police Fear Temple Mount Collapse. Sharon Says He Won't Stop Muslims

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Israeli officials fear that thousands of Arab worshippers could be buried alive if, as feared, the Temple Mount collapses under their weight when they arrive for the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan Friday.

Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra warned, based on reports by experts in the Antiquities Authority and others, that allowing worshippers onto the southeastern corner of the Mount, known as Solomon's Stables, could lead to an "unimaginable disaster." The Waqf, the Muslim authority supervising the Temple Mount, said that this is merely an Israeli provocation, and that its own experts have assured it that there is no danger.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met with police who had toured the Temple Mount in Jerusalem earlier on Thursday. Police Chief Moshe Karadi said there was no reason to limit the number of worshippers if several technical matters were taken care of by the Islamic Trust, which oversees the site. "My impression is that those in charge of the prayers on the mount understand the danger and have taken the necessary steps to ensure that worshippers don't approach the [dangerous] area," Karadi said.

Friday is the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan -- generally a month of high tensions, and Jerusalem policemen and soldiers will fan out throughout the Old City tomorrow to prevent disturbances. Sharon said he would not limit the number of Muslim worshippers who may attend prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.


Israel Air Strikes Kill Five Palestinians in Gaza

By Larry James (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli air strikes killed five Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Thursday as the military operation entered its 16th day. The Israeli offensive is aimed at ending rocket attacks on Israel by Palestinian militants. Two Hamas militants were reported killed in one of the attacks on the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza. Two other militants died along with a 70-year-old Palestinian civilian in another attack in the Rafah camp in the southern Gaza Strip.

The army said in that instance it was going after gunmen who had just launched an anti-tank rocket at Israeli troops who were searching for tunnels used to smuggle weapons into Gaza from Egypt. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has vowed to stop Palestinian militants from firing rockets into Israel. The military operation, dubbed Days of Penitence, was launched after a Hamas rocket killed two children in the Israeli town of Sderot on September 29.

More than 100 Palestinian are reported to have been killed in the 16-day operation, including more than 30 civilian non-combatants. Israel said the vast majority of the casualties were Palestinian terrorists. Sharon said Thursday that his plan to evacuate all Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip would begin in May 2005. Israel Radio said the Israeli leader told a closed-door meeting of the parliament's Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee that the withdrawal would last up to 12 weeks.


Hungary Bans Nazi Demonstration Amid Row Over Hate Speech

By: Stefan J. Bos, (Chief International Correspondent, BosNewsLife)

Hungarian authorities have banned a neo-Nazi protest planned for Friday to mark the 60th anniversary of the rise to power of the country's pro-Nazi regime during World War II, the French News Agency (AFP) reported Thursday, October 14.

The Hungarian Future Group, a neo-Nazi group, planned to demonstrate at the former headquarters of the Arrow Cross party in Budapest, which is now the capital's House of Terror, a museum commemorating the victims of that era and of Communism. "The Hungarian Future Group has a big problem now because they can no longer demonstrate where they wanted to originally because they will be interfering with another protest," AFP quoted Gabor Juhasz, state secretary at the interior ministry, as saying.

Interior Minister Monika Lamperth urged had earlier police to "act decisively" against anyone expressing "unlawful and extremist opinions". The 26-year-old student leader of the neo-Nazi group behind the demonstration, Diana Bacsfi, was sentenced to 10 days' in jail this week on charges of disturbing the peace and "inciting public fear."

Bacsfi admitted her group is inspired by Arrow Cross leader Ferenc Szalasi and was reportedly arrested after "greeting" with a Nazi salute people protesting against. After the court hearing, Bacsfi told reporters that she considered herself a "political hostage", the English language Budapest Sun newspaper reported. President Ferenc Madl has praised Parliament for its motion condemning the Arrow Cross regime.

"The Ferenc Szalasi-led Arrow Cross national socialist movement was the most savage, harmful and bloodthirsty enemy of the rule of law based on the respect for democracy, universal human rights and civic values," read the motion, adopted on Monday. However Jewish organizations remain concerned about the level of anti-Semitism in Hungary, where some 600,000 Hungarian Jews died in the Holocaust, after being deported to death camps across Europe by the government in Budapest.

Even politicians make jokes about Holocaust victims, reported Hungarian television on Thursday. Duna Television showed pictures of a Socialist politician mocking victims while laying flowers in their honor in front of the "House of Terror" museum and complaining about the cold weather. After an unidentified person remarked to imagine how cold it must have been for people deported to the gas chambers of concentration camps, Socialist Party deputy Janos Zuschlag answered: "For them it was no longer cold by then," according to a transcript.

He later apologized and said he would withdraw from the race for party president, Duna Television reported. The Liberal junior governing coalition party, Alliance of Free Democrats, other politicians, Jewish groups and civic organizations have said they would take to the streets around the Museum of Terror to demonstrate on Friday, to demonstrate against the Arrow Cross regime and the neo-Nazis.

President Madl said Thursday, October 14, that he "bows his head in respect of the memory of the victims of the Arrow Cross times", and stressed that the "era that must never recur again", Hungarian radio reported.


France Mulls Ways to Sanction Holocaust Doubter

By Reuters

France is checking whether it can take legal action against a leading far-right politician who has questioned whether the Nazis used gas chambers in the Holocaust, Justice Minister Dominique Perben said on Thursday.

The University of Lyon has urged education officials to suspend Bruno Gollnisch, a professor of Japanese there, for questioning how the gas chambers were used in the wartime slaughter of the Jews and querying the death toll.

The president of the European Parliament, Josep Borrell, also called for legal action against Gollnisch, a European deputy who is also the number two man in the National Front party of extreme-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen. "Mr Gollnisch's comments are absolutely unacceptable," Perben told France Info radio in announcing the probe." In an affair like this, I think the response should not only be penal ... but it should be political and possibly also professional." France anti-racism laws have made denying the Holocaust a crime, punishable by fines and even prison.

Gollnisch, who is known as the intellectual of the controversial party, said on Monday he recognized that the gas chambers had existed but thought historians still had to decide whether they were actually used to kill Jews. He called for an open debate about whether the total number of Jews killed in the Holocaust was actually 6 million as stated. He also questioned the objectivity of leading historian Henry Rousso, who is investigating charges that certain Lyon lecturers were denying the Holocaust, by calling him "a Jewish personality."

The CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish organizations publicly condemned Gollnisch's comments at a news conference about Rousso's report on Holocaust denial at Lyon University. European Parliament head Borrell said: "I would like to say clearly to public opinion in Europe and to all those who suffered from Nazi ethnic cleansing that the European Parliament will not tolerate this kind of statement."

At his Monday news conference, Gollnisch also said that serious historians no longer accepted that all the judgments of the post-war Nuremberg Trials of leading Nazis were fair. "I don't know if I will lose my chair as professor of Japanese or even be put in prison for saying that, but I stand by it," he added. Gollnisch, who studied law and political science at Kyoto University in Japan, holds a chair for Japanese language and civilization at the Lyon university named after Jean Moulin - the hero of the French Resistance murdered by the Nazis in 1943.


U.S. Judge Throws Out Holocaust Insurance Suits

By Reuters

A U.S. judge on Thursday threw out 20 separate class action and individual lawsuits against an Italian insurance company for failing to pay benefits to Holocaust victims and surviving family members. District Judge Michael Mukasey said he was dismissing the suits against Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. because of a Supreme Court ruling last year striking down a California law that required insurance companies to disclose information about all of their Holocaust-era policies sold in Europe.

In light of that ruling, Mukasey said it appeared that state laws allowing Holocaust-era lawsuits against insurers are preempted by an Executive Branch policy favoring the resolution of such claims through the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC). "It appears that plaintiffs cannot use the courts to obtain recovery of benefits due under Holocaust-era policies."

The cases, which were filed as class actions and by individuals, were transferred to Mukasey in Manhattan federal court for pretrial rulings. They were originally filed in California, Florida, New York and Wisconsin. In 2002, the judge had refused to dismiss the cases and rejected the insurer's arguments that the United States was not the proper venue for the claims. The insurers said that courts in European countries and the ICHEIC should be used instead. The judge said at the time that the ICHEIC was not an adequate alternative forum for the resolution of the plaintiffs' claims, suggesting a possible conflict of interest on grounds that the commission was financially dependent on the European insurance companies.

ICHEIC was established in 1998 to give Holocaust survivors and their heirs a means of processing World War II-era insurance claims at no cost. However, it has been subject to a number of criticisms including low awards, slowness in making payments, poor oversight of insurers, and high administrative expenses. Recently a California judge dismissed a $1 billion lawsuit filed by Holocaust survivors against the commission claiming it helped Assicurazioni Generali stall in making payments.


Righteous Polish Couple Honored

By IsraelNationalNews.com

A ceremony posthumously honoring a Polish couple that saved a Jewish girl during the Holocaust was held Thursday in the Garden of the Righteous at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. Accepting the Righteous Among the Nations medal on behalf of the couple, Alfons and Aurelia Gawlek, was their daughter Ewa Bielaczyk.

The Gawleks were recognized for their actions in saving Ola Shari (nee Roztach), who was represented at the ceremony by her daughter, Helen Shari-Motro - who sought out and discovered the Gawleks' daughter in Poland.

After Ola's parents died in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II, the Gawleks employed her as a nanny, knowing that she was a Jew pretending to be a Christian. Ola looked after their daughter Ewa. After the war, Mrs. Gawlek gave Ola a large sum of money so as to allow her to start a new life, and the two never saw each other again. Ola moved to the United States, married, and moved to Israel in 1987. She told the story of how she survived the war to her brother and daughter, and expressed her wish to somehow repay the family that saved her. Her daughter Helen, a journalist and lawyer, went to Poland to find the Gawleks, and published an article in the local press telling of her search. Ewa Gawlek, now 64, responded to the article and contacted Helen.

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