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Holocaust Survivors and the Media

By Israel Faxx News Service

A Florida magazine in central Florida is interested in writing an article about Holocaust survivors and their experiences. Their stories must be heard and retained. And while their stories may not be pretty, they must be heard so the world does not forget the horrors perpetrated on Jews and others, and that genocide is unacceptable. April 25 is Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). If you know of survivors living in the area please contact Ed Ziegler at (352) 750-3298 or edziegler@theVillages.net.


Israelis in Iran Hunting Nukes, Says British Paper

By IsraelNationalNews.com & Reuters

An Israeli special operations team is working undercover in Iran, according to a report Sunday in a British newspaper.

The soldiers are on a mission to prevent the Iranians from succeeding in their bid to develop a nuclear weapon. They are involved in locating uranium enrichment facilities in Iran, according to the British Sunday Times, and are currently based in northern Iraq. The United States is supporting the move, says the paper.

Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made an oblique reference to the operation on Sunday in his video address to the annual AIPAC conference in the U.S., warning that Israel would not be able to stop the Iranians on its own. Olmert added that he hopes the international community, led by the U.S., would impose sanctions on Iran. He said the country is a threat to the modern world.

Olmert expressed his hope that the international community, led by the U.S. would impose sanctions on Iran, which he cited as a threat to the modern world.


Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz also spoke on Sunday about the issue. He said that Iran poses a major threat to Israel and that the verbal hostility coming out of Tehran is something that needs to be closely monitored.

He added that Iran's nuclear program is "a substantial and existential threat to the State of Israel." He also warned campaigning parties and politicians not to manipulate Israel's security situation for the election, saying the situation is a very serious matter.

The Bush administration, meanwhile, is placing more pressure on the United Nations as it becomes increasingly concerned with its delay in dealing with the matter. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton said bluntly, "the longer we wait to confront the threat Iran poses, the harder and more intractable it will become to solve."

The U.S. on Sunday warned that Iran faced "painful consequences" if it continued sensitive nuclear activities and said the problem would become increasingly difficult to resolve if the international community did not confront it.

Ahead of what could be Monday's crucial international meeting on Iran, Bolton reaffirmed that the United States will use "all tools at our disposal" to thwart Iran's nuclear program and is already "beefing up defensive measures" to do so.

"The Iran regime must be made aware that if it continues down the path of international isolation, there will be tangible and painful consequences," he told 4,500 delegates to AIPAC's annual convention.

Monday's meeting of the 35-nation International Atomic Energy Agency governing board is expected to take stock of Iran's continued defiance of U.S. and European demands to end sensitive weapons-related uranium enrichment activity and then hand the case over to the UN Security Council.

The United States is discussing a 30- to 60-day deadline for Tehran to halt its nuclear program and cooperate with international inspectors or face intensified pressure in the Security Council, a U.S. official told Reuters. Iran threatened Sunday to resume its large-scale uranium enrichment if it is referred to the UN Security Council.


Al Qaeda Advises Hamas

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Al Qaeda's number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a statement aired by Al-Jazeera, urged the ruling Hamas terror group in the Palestinian Authority to continue terror attacks on Israelis.

"Your only alternative is to pursue the armed struggle until the liberation of Palestine and the building of an Islamic state," al-Zawahiri said in the latest Al-Qaeda video, aired by the Al-Jazeera satellite TV station on Saturday. "Reaching power is not a goal by itself."

Al-Zawahiri expressed satisfaction with the rise to power of Hamas, saying: "The seculars in the Palestinian Authority have sold out Palestine for crumbs," and warning Arabs of the PA not to honor any past agreements made with Israel. He expressed reservations, however, with the seeming participation of Hamas in the political process. "We have to be aware of the American game called 'political process,'" he said.

Zawahiri also threatened the United States with additional attacks, calling on President George W. Bush to admit defeat in Iraq and called on Muslims to boycott European nations that published cartoons of Islam's founder, Mohammed. "The insults against Prophet Muhammad are not the result of freedom of opinion but because what is sacred has changed in this culture," he said. "Muhammad and Jesus are not sacred any more, while Semites and the Holocaust and homosexuality have become sacred."

In another recent rallying cry to Muslim's worldwide, al-Zawahiri exhorted: "Nothing will do you good, but toting arms and taking revenge against your enemies, the Americans and the Jews…The crusaders and the Jews do not understand but the language of killing and blood."


Israel Plans to Withdraw From Some West Bank Settlements

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel is planning additional withdrawals from the West Bank, following the pullout from the Gaza Strip six months ago. However, there is mixed reaction among Palestinians.

Israeli officials said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert plans to evacuate some Jewish settlements in the West Bank unilaterally, if, as expected, he wins national elections on March 28. The settlers would be incorporated into big settlement blocs near Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, which would remain a part of Israel.

A senior security advisor to Olmert, Avi Dichter, said it is part of a unilateral plan to draw Israel's final borders during the next four years.

Dichter, a former security chief, told Israel Radio that, while settlers would be evacuated, the Israeli army would retain control of the territory for security reasons.

He said that Israel could not hand territory over to Hamas, which won Palestinian parliamentary elections in January. Israel considers Hamas a terrorist organization, and Dichter said there is no peace partner on the Palestinian side.

In a separate newspaper interview, Dichter said that at least 17 settlements would be evacuated in the first stage - including some considered the most militant. About 16,000 of Israel's 254,000 West Bank settlers live in those communities.

Palestinian officials in the defeated Fatah Party, which supports the peace process, rejected the plan, saying it amounts to dictation rather than negotiation. But Hamas, which seeks the destruction of Israel, said it would welcome any Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territory.

The plan calls for razing most of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. The new Kadima plan would leave Israel with four or five isolated pockets of Israeli presence: a narrow finger 12 miles long from Rosh HaAyin to Ariel in the Shomron; parts of the Jordan Valley; and strips to the north, east, and south of Jerusalem. The rest of Judea and Samaria would become what many politicians have lately referred to as Hamastan.

The communities that are to remain have long been mentioned as the "settlement blocs" of Ariel, Maaleh Adumim and Gush Etzion. Karnei Shomron-Kedumim and the Jordan Valley have, occasionally, also been included in what might remain Israeli territory.

What is new about the Kadima plan, according to Dichter, is that several other communities are to remain as well - at least for the medium range. These include Kiryat Arba and Ofrah-Beit El. In addition, Dichter added, the areas that are to remain Israeli will be strengthened with the addition of the tens of thousands of residents expelled from the other areas.

Dichter explained Olmert is of the opinion that if Hamas does not change its stance, which calls for the destruction of Israel and certainly no negotiations with Israel, then there will be no choice but to carry out further unilateral moves. He is now trying to persuade the U.S. and other foreign entities of this.

Olmert has mentioned the two-state Road Map, a plan designed by President George Bush, less and less of late. The plan, which was approved - with 14 reservations - by the Sharon government in May 2003, calls for the establishment of a state headed by the Palestinian Authority side-by-side with Israel. Olmert feels that the ascent to power of Hamas, which has no intention of recognizing Israel, makes a two-state solution irrelevant.


Hamas Sets Up Standing Army in Gaza to Spread Jihad

By IsraelNationalNews.com

The Hamas terror organization, which won control of the PA legislature in January elections, is setting up a standing army in Gaza based on its military wing, the Al-Kassam Brigades.

A senior official in the Hamas military, known by his nom de guerre, Abu Huzaifa, told the PA news agency Duniya Alwatan that since the disengagement from Gaza, the Hamas has set up military bases in every city in Gaza. The bases have been training a new cadre of highly motivated fighters for the Jihad or holy war against non-Moslems in general and the Jewish state in particular.

Recruits are sent to the camps for four months. The first month consists of basic training, and after that, recruits are taught more advanced military maneuvers.

More specifically, Abu Huzaifa said PA soldiers are taught a number of techniques including firing rifles, shooting Kassam rockets, crawling under fences, and climbing up and down buildings. The instructors are Hamas terrorists who received training abroad.

The goal, he said, was to turn the Al-Kassam Brigades into a full-fledged standing army. That army would be dedicated to eliminating Israel and replacing it with an Arab state ruled by the Hamas. Abu Huzaifa said that military units were already working on developing more sophisticated rockets and explosive devices to advance the Jihad.

Wary of being targeted by Israel, Hamas terrorists have also set up an intelligence infrastructure to warn of an impending Israeli strike, according to the Duniya Alwatan news agency. Terrorist have been deployed at strategic locations in order to provide advance warning as Israeli fighter jets or helicopters approach the Gaza district.

The Hamas said it already has a communications system capable of warning thousands of terrorists of an oncoming Israeli air strike, or of the need to deploy fighters on the border with Israel, in the event that Israel decides to send ground forces into Gaza. Abu Huzaifa warned Israel that it will encounter fierce resistance, should it try to reconquer Gaza from the Hamas.


Madonna Seeks Property in Israel, Geraldo - No Longer

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Singer Madonna is looking to buy property in Rosh Pina, in northern Israel, so that she can greet the Messiah. Geraldo Rivera was planning to move to Israel, but was dissuaded.

The London Times reported that representatives of Madonna, 47, have called home-owners in Rosh Pina, offering to pay generously for their property. Madonna was raised as an Italian Catholic, but has dabbled in Kabbalah study for several years and recently adopted the Hebrew name Esther. She visited Israel in late 2004, and wants to open a Kabbalah study center in Rosh Pina, a small town not far from Tzfat (Safed).

Another celebrity, broadcaster Geraldo Rivera, also recently acknowledged that he once planned to move to Israel. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer that though his father was a Puerto Rican Catholic, one of 19 children, his mother was Jewish and that he had a Bar Mitzvah. He said that he even looked for an apartment to purchase in Israel, and would have liked to run for the Knesset. The idea was shelved when his wife, Erica Levy, to whom he was not married at the time, rejected the idea.

"I would die for Israel," Rivera said, but said that Israel must not be "persecutors" and that he thinks the partition wall - opposed both by Jews of Yesha and Arabs of the Palestinian Authority - is a good idea.

Some 23,000 immigrants made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) in 2005, fulfilling the Zionist vision to bring home the exiles. This number includes 3,052 immigrants from North America in 2005, the highest number to have arrived from that direction in 22 years.


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