Newsletter : 6fax0321.txt
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U.S. Supreme Court Turns Down Pollard Appeal
The United States Supreme Court refused a petition filed by attorneys on behalf of
Jonathan Pollard, seeking access to classified documents in the hope of obtaining a
presidential pardon in the future. Pollard attorney Elliot Lauer stated the Department of
Justice should not be granted autonomous power to decide which documents are kept from the
public, adding that the Department of Justice is not an arm of the judiciary and not an
impartial body. Pollard, a former U.S. Naval analyst, is serving a life sentence for
providing classified information to Israel. He was sentenced in 1987.
Israel Confirms Deadly H5N1 Strain of Bird Flu
By VOA News & Ha'aretz
Israeli health officials said Monday that tests show the bird flu virus that infected
poultry in the southern part of the country is of the lethal H5N1 strain.
Israel has been culling thousands of birds to contain the virus, after officials said
last week that more than 10,000 turkeys died from bird flu on two farms in the south.
Officials said more culling would be carried out within a three-kilometer radius of the
infected birds, although they said the situation was already under control.
Meanwhile, Egypt reported a second suspected human case of bird flu. Egypt's health
ministry said Sunday a young man hospitalized since Thursday is suffering symptoms of the
disease. It said he kept a farm, north of Cairo, where a number of chickens died last
week. The report followed the death Friday in Egypt of a woman believed to have contracted
the H5N1 strain of the virus.
Bird flu has spread across parts of Europe, Africa and Asia, killing about 100 people
since 2003. Health officials have warned it could mutate into a virus that can be easily
transmitted between humans and create a global pandemic.
The deadly H5N1 strain probably entered Israel from Egypt, sources at the Agriculture
Ministry said Monday. This conclusion - which ministry officials are currently willing to
offer only off the record - is based on the fact that the virus was first discovered in
southern communities (Holit and Amioz) located near the Egyptian border.
According to the officials, the disease apparently came from Sinai via people who
visited Egypt and carried the virus back with them on their shoes, clothing or personal
effects. At least one such person was then apparently employed by the turkey farms where
the virus first erupted - possibly as a supplier of food or equipment, or as a driver who
transported the birds to the slaughterhouse - and he transmitted the virus to these birds.
Another possibility, though this is considered less likely, is that the virus was
carried from Sinai by camels, donkeys or horses ridden by Bedouin smugglers, and that
these animals then transmitted the disease to a Bedouin employed at one of the affected
turkey farms. A third possibility - though this, too, is considered unlikely - is that the
virus was carried by tourists
from Turkey, or by Israelis who had visited affected areas of Turkey.
The most unlikely possibility, according to the ministry sources, is that the virus was
carried by migrating birds. Had wild birds been the source, they explained, it was
unlikely that the virus would have broken out at more than
one farm or two at the most, at the same time, and it is also unlikely that all the
affected farms would have been raising turkeys rather than some other kind of poultry. The
fact that the disease broke out at several farms, all of them turkey-breeding facilities,
appears to indicate that the source was probably a human being, or vehicle, that had
visited all of these farms over the past two weeks.
The officials said that it might even be possible to locate the person or vehicle in
question, as the incubation period for bird flu was three to five days. Since the disease
was first diagnosed in the middle of last week, the initial infection probably took place
either early last week or the preceding weekend. However, the exact source of the disease
may never be determined, the sources added.
Suspicions that the virus had reached Kibbutz Nir Oz and Moshav Amei Oz, both in
southern Israel, were raised when dead turkeys were found at both locations, and the
presence of the virus was confirmed Monday.
"We are talking about infections in six flocks in four locations when there are
thousands of flocks in Israel in a vast number of locations," Shimon Pokomonsky, a senior
veterinarian at the Agriculture Ministry, told reporters.
Turkeys from Amei Oz had been sent Sunday for slaughter, the media reported, and
Agriculture Ministry officials were trying to locate and stop the trucks carrying
Representatives from Israel met on Monday afternoon with officials from the Palestinian
Authority's Agriculture Ministry at Erez crossing to confirm that the avian flu had not
reached the Gaza Strip.
According to Health Ministry figures, emergency warehouses have a stockpile of six
million Tamiflu pills manufactured by Roche Pharmaceuticals, which are supposed to be
enough, should the need arise, to treat 7 percent of the country's population. (This
medication is administered at a dose of one pill per day for a week to 10 days.)
Tamiflu is administered as a preventive measure against the disease, and is the only
substance that has been proved to be somewhat effective against avian flu in humans.
According to the Health Ministry, another shipment of five million pills is due to arrive
in Israel by the end of May, along with a syrup version for children.
A Gaza Muslim preacher said during weekend mosque services that bird-flu virus found in
Israel was sent by Allah to punish the Jews for being the `worst of humanity' and is the
beginning of the outbreak of other diseases meant to destroy the Jewish state within the
next 20 years."
Sheikh Abu Muhammed, an imam at the popular Al-Tadwa mosque in Beit Lahia north of Gaza
City, went on to ask Muslims at his Friday night sermon to pray for the sexual organs of
Jews to "dry out" so they cannot reproduce, a Palestinian at the service told WorldNet
In his mosque speech, Sheikh Muhammed reportedly went on to explain Allah decided to
"hit the Israelis with birds," since birds are mentioned in the Quran as a tool used to
He asked for congregants to "pray for Allah to dry out the sexual organs of the Jews
with a disease so they won't be able to reproduce anymore." Muhammed made his comments in
spite of predictions that the virus found in Israel may surface through migrating fowl in
the nearby Palestinian territories.
Olmert Says He will Change Borders, Keep Lands in West Bank
By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem) & IsraelNationalNews.com
Israel's acting prime minister, Ehud Olmert said he wants to dramatically change
Israel's borders in coming years. Olmert's comments came as opinion polls show him a
heavy favorite to win Israel's general election next week.
In an interview with Israel's Army Radio, Olmert said Israel's borders with the West
Bank would be dramatically different from what they are today. He said he would seek the
views of different groups of Israelis when it comes to drawing Israel's borders and that
he wants all Israelis involved in the decision.
Last week, Olmert said he would keep three large settlement blocs in the West Bank as
Israeli territory as part of his plan to draw Israel's final border with the Palestinians
by the year 2010. He also said that he would keep the Jordan Valley as a security buffer,
but would abandon a number of isolated settlements in the West Bank.
Palestinians have denounced the plan, saying it violates international law and would
doom any possibility of creating a viable independent Palestinian state. U.S. officials
said they believe Israel would hold onto some settlement blocs in any agreement with the
Palestinians, but that Israel should halt all further settlement construction in the West
Bank, including construction that links the large settlement blocs that Olmert wants to
keep with Israeli territory.
Knesset Speaker (Likud) Reuven Rivlin in a Monday night address to a Jerusalem election
event warned that Olmert and Shimon Peres would divide Jerusalem. "Peres did not succeed
in beating [Labor Party leader] Amir Peretz so he moved to a party where he does not have
to be elected," stated Rivlin.
Bias Attacks in France Fuel Concern About Blacks
By Ha'aretz & The Forward
A string of anti-Semitic incidents in the aftermath of the torture and murder of a
young Jewish vendor is fueling concerns that anti-Jewish feelings are spreading in
France's black community
The incidents - three physical attacks allegedly committed by blacks of Muslim descent
- occurred in recent days, following the extradition from Ivory Coast of Youssouf Fofana,
the alleged leader of the gang that kidnapped and murdered 21-year-old Ilan Halimi.
The alleged involvement of blacks has added a new twist to the wave of anti-Semitic
incidents in recent years, which mostly were the work of young Muslims of North African
descent responding to the Palestinian intifada.
A judge charged Fofana for the premeditated murder of Halimi, with the aggravated
circumstance that the crime was motivated by race, after evidence surfaced that the gang
had targeted Halimi because they believed that Jews are rich and the community would pay a
ransom. Fofana has told investigators that the plot was not motivated by ethnicity, but by
money, and has denied that he killed Halimi.
"This affair has transformed Fofana into a hero in the eyes of quite a few people,"
said Sammy Ghozlan, president of the National Office of Vigilance Against anti-Semitism, a
former police chief who has been criticized by some Jewish groups for what they say is his
tendency to exaggerate the anti-Semitic threat. "The attitude of [black] people has
changed in recent years."
Patrick Klugman, vice-president of the anti-racism group SOS Racism, said that recent
events "have reawakened the fears of Jews after a period of calm, and is creating tensions
with the black community and this is very worrying."
The attacks and their aftermath have prompted some virulent exchanges on the Internet.
An e-mail allegedly sent by a small group of black radicals known as Tribu K.A to several
Jewish and antiracist organizations warned against any effort to deny Fofana a fair trial.
"We will take special care of your rabbis' sidelocks," the group threatened, adding, "Let
the brother be judged fairly or you will pay."
Black-Jewish tensions were virtually unheard of in France a few years ago, but they
began to surface after well-known comedian Dieudonne Mbala Mbala started accusing Jews of
controlling the world and enslaving blacks, prompting a flurry of defamation lawsuits by
Dieudonne, who is of African origin and made his name a decade ago while partnering
with a Jewish humorist, has made a series of statements about Jews and Israel in his shows
and in the media. In addition to stating that Jews played a "central role" in the
15th-century slave trade, he most famously appeared in December 2003 on a popular French
television program dressed as an Orthodox Jew and performed the Nazi salute while shouting
"IsraHeil." All the defamation charges against him have so far been rejected by the
Dieudonne is also considering running in next year's presidential elections on a
far-left platform. Late last month, Julien Dray, the spokesman for the main opposition
socialist party, blamed the Halimi murder on the "Dieudonne effect." In response, the
comic issued a statement calling Dray the "Zionist militant" and demanding that he
Last weekend, three anti-Semitic attacks took place in the Parisian suburb of
Sarcelles, where 20 percent of the city's 58,000 inhabitants are Jewish.
On March 3, a local rabbi's 17-year-old son was attacked by two black men near their
synagogue, suffering a broken nose. That same afternoon, an 18-year-old man was attacked
by a group of five men, who insulted him and stole his cell phone. Four of them were black
and the fifth was of Arab origin, according to the police. The next night, a 28-year-old
wearing a yarmulke was verbally and physically abused by four men and suffered a
dislocated shoulder, according to police sources. The culprits, four underage black men,
have been arrested and charged.
Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy announced at a meeting with families and local
officials that police reinforcements would be deployed in Sarcelles, which is located in
an area where several days of rioting by young Arab immigrants took place a few months
Other anti-Semitic incidents have occurred in the country's second-largest city, Lyons,
and the nearby suburb of Villeurbanne, where a sizable Jewish community lives.
According to a poll taken by the weekly news magazine Paris-Match after the Halimi
murder but before the recent incidents, nearly two-thirds of the French believe
anti-Semitism is currently rising.
An online petition addressed to the U.S. Congress and calling for Jews to seek asylum
in the United States has gathered more than 5,200 signatures.
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