Newsletter : 6fax0313.txt
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Arab Web Site: Hamas May Let People Recognize Israel
The Arab web site Al Jazeera reported Sunday that Hamas might allow recognition of
Israel by referendum without compromising the Hamas doctrine not to do so.
The Hamas terrorist organization published its program on Sunday. One clause states, "The
question of recognizing Israel is not the jurisdiction of one faction, nor the government,
but a decision for the Palestinian people." The web site pointed out that that Hamas could
retain its hard-line image while placing the responsibility on the Arab population if it
were to vote in a referendum for recognition of the Jewish state.
UK Foreign Minister: Israel, Iran Both Potential Threats
Great Britain's Foreign Minister Jack Straw said the world should worry about disabling
Israel's nuclear capabilities as much as it is concerned with preventing Iran from going
Straw said that Britain is seeking a "nuclear-free Middle East." He said that Iran and
Israel were the only two countries left that posed "potential threats" now that Iraq and
Libya's nuclear aspirations have been neutralized.
The foreign minister, who has made headlines in the past criticizing the Jewish state,
conceded that removing the Iranian threat was indeed more urgent than the Israeli one. "If
you want to see a nuclear-free Middle East, you've got to remove that threat from Iran,
including the rhetorical threat to wipe Israel off the face of the map," Straw told
British Channel 4 television. "Once you've done that, then we can get on to work in
respect of Israel."
Former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon faced criticism from defense officials in Israel
over the weekend after he spoke at the Washington D.C. Hudson Institute, saying the
military option against Iran's nuclear project was viable. He responded to the criticism
on Israeli television Friday. "I spoke about the West's military option," he said.
"Whether it is U.S. forces, NATO or the Israeli army that deal with the Iranian capability
- there is a military capability that would set back the program for many years."
Meanwhile, Iran threatened to use its oil as a weapon if the UN Security Council
imposes sanctions over its nuclear program. "If they politicize our nuclear case," Iranian
Interior Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi said, "We will use any means. We are rich in
energy resources. We have control over the biggest and the most sensitive energy route of
Iran is the second largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC). It has partial control over the narrow Strait of Hormuz, at the mouth of
the Persian Gulf, through which crude oil is transported from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the
United Arab Emirates and Iraq to the world market.
Israel Briefs US on Unilateral Border Plan
By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel is seeking U.S. approval for a controversial plan that could reshape the Mideast
conflict. It could be a hard sell, because the plan bypasses the Palestinian
Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Cabinet that he has briefed the U.S. on his
plan to draw Israel's final borders unilaterally by 2010. Olmert has said that, with the
recent election of the Islamic terrorist group Hamas, Israel does not have a Palestinian
The plan calls for Israeli withdrawals from parts of the West Bank, while annexing big
settlement blocs. Jewish settlers in the evacuated territory would be moved inside the
West Bank security barrier, which would become the de-facto border.
Israel said it cannot negotiate with Hamas, because the group has rejected
international demands to renounce violence and recognize the Jewish state. For its part,
the U.S. regards Hamas as a terrorist organization.
While President Bush has said that Israel should be allowed to hold on to some
settlement blocs, it's not clear how much West Bank territory the U.S. would allow Israel
to annex. The U.S. is walking a tightrope, because any annexation would be rejected by its
Arab allies. Hamas has rejected the plan as a land grab, and vowed that resistance to the
occupation will continue.
Polls show that Olmert will easily win national elections in two weeks, so the plan is
likely to shape the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It won't resolve the
conflict, but Israel believes it can manage the conflict behind defensible borders. But
for implementation of the plan, U.S. backing is crucial.
Hamas Platform: Terrorism is Legitimate
The Hamas movement, about to assume control over much of Judea/Samaria, presented its
platform over the weekend - defining Israel as "the Zionist enemy" and approving continued
Ismail Haniye, designated to be the prime minister in the new Hamas Authority,
presented the document to Mahmoud Abbas, the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, in the
framework of the efforts to form a new government. Known as Abu Mazen, Abbas is seeking to
lead his Fatah organization into a coalition with Hamas, but the two terrorist groups have
not yet succeeded in finding sufficient common ground.
The Hamas platform, as outlined in the document, states that the dispute with the
"Zionist enemy" continues, Israel is a conquering state, and that the path of resistance -
a codeword for terrorism - is a "legitimate means of attaining the Palestinian nation's
goals." The platform further states that hudna - a ceasefire that can be suspended the
moment one side feels confident of victory - is also a legitimate tool.
"The conditions for a continued ceasefire," Hamas stated, "are an end to all the
attacks against the Palestinian nation, and the release of the all the Palestinian
"The Zionist government did not allow the negotiations to succeed," according to Hamas.
"Hamas will be happy to learn of a more efficient way of achieving the Palestinian
goals... We will relate to previously-signed agreements according to the interests of the
Palestinian nation... Negotiations are merely a means, and not a goal; past talks have not
provided us with our minimum demands. However, negotiations in the future will be
considered, if they serve our interests."
More excerpts: "The Palestinians have the right to return to every centimeter of their
lands, and this right cannot be ceded. Every Palestinian has the right to return to his
home and land from which he was banished, and not to give up any morsel of his land."
It was first reported that Abbas had rejected the Hamas document as being too vague and
bellicose, but this was later denied. Saed Seyam, a Hamas member of the Palestinian
Legislative Council (PLC), said, "Abbas has not rejected a Hamas letter he received on
Friday [nor] the program of the new cabinet."
Hamas spokesman Assad Farhat said late last week that Hamas absolutely does not accept
the Road Map plan, which he called an "American Zionist program."
Yigal Amir Denied Prison Visits for Semen Smuggle Attempt
The assassin of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Yigal Amir, on Sunday faced a
disciplinary tribunal after being caught on Thursday in an attempt to smuggle his semen
out of prison. He was denied visits for 30 days, making phone calls for 14 days and was
fined NIS 100 (about $22).
Amir has been fighting for his right to marry and have children for the last two years.
He married Larisa Trimbobler by proxy after the Israel Prison Service, backed by the
Attorney General, forbade holding the ceremony in prison.
The couple attempted to smuggle the sperm only a day after the IPS announced it would
allow Amir to pass semen to conduct an artificial insemination procedure, while conjugal
visits would be denied for security reasons.
The IPS said "currently the procedure for allowing artificially insemination [of
Trimbobler] is being formulated." Therefore, Amir was not yet allowed to provide the semen
for the procedure.
On Thursday Amir tried to smuggle over to Trimbobler a plastic bag with his semen
during her visit. Jailers ended the visit as soon as they noticed the transferal of the
Buying a Home in Israel
Uriel Lynn, chairman of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, said during the
2006 Israel Real Estate Conference that "a person earning a gross income of NIS 7,000
(about $1,490) is required to work 56 years in order to purchase an apartment worth
$150,000, excluding the cost of interest payments."
According to Lynn, young couples with a household income of approximately NIS 7,000 are
left with a disposable income of only NIS 1,050 (about $223), after basic living expenses.
"We must improve the ability of young people of the middle class to purchase apartments,"
According to Lynn, the real estate market for new apartments is at a halt, mainly as a
result of the high apartment prices. About 29,300 new apartments were sold in 2005, a drop
of 31 percent compared to 1998, when about 42,900 new apartments were sold.
"The State must give young people the opportunity to buy or rent an apartment without
becoming enslaved to payments for the rest of their lives," Lynn said, adding that a tax
allowance on mortgage interest payments should be given by the State to people purchasing
their first apartment worth up to $150,000 in all parts of the country.
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