Newsletter : 6fax1031.txt
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Israel Refuses Entry to Le Pen's Daughter
A 16-member European Parliamentarian delegation accompanying Marine Le Pen, daughter of
Holocaust denier Jean-Marie Le Pen, has been forced to cancel its planned visit to Israel
and the Palestinian Authority after Israel refused to grant them entry. Israeli sources
said they could hardly imagine Marine Le Pen at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial while
her father, to whom she is close, has denied the Holocaust. He was convicted and fined in
1990 for inciting racial hatred and for saying in 1996 that the gas chambers used by the
Nazis were "merely a detail in the history of World War II."
Five Israeli-Arabs Arrested on Terror Charges
Five Israeli-Arabs were arrested Sunday in the Arab village of Um el-Fahm just hours
after it was released for publication that a young Israeli-Arab woman was arrested for
planning a bombing.
The entire Wadi Ara region of north-central Israel, where Um el-Fahm is located, was
placed on high alert Sunday due to intelligence information that a terror cell was hiding
in the Israeli-Arab villages in the region. Heavy traffic resulted, as police set up
checkpoints along major arteries and checked all vehicles leaving the villages.
Another resident of Um el-Fahm, Ahmed Mohammed Mahmid, was arrested in recent weeks for
burning vehicles belonging to local Arab residents he suspected of assisting Israeli
security forces. Mahmid confessed to the crimes, but claimed the vandalism was not driven
by ideological motives, but because he blamed the owners of the cars for the death of his
The Um El-Fahm arrests were announced the same day that Yisrael Beiteinu joined the
government coalition. The party's chairman, MK Avigdor Lieberman, has called for the
revocation of the citizenship of Israeli-Arabs in Wadi Ara and the transfer of control of
those villages to the PA. In exchange, Israel would annex Jewish populated areas in Judea
Israeli Cabinet Approves Adding Ultra-Nationalist Party to Coalition
By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)
The Israeli Cabinet has voted to bring an ultra-nationalist party into the government.
The partnership is likely to complicate efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert propped up his fragile government by bringing one of
Israel's most controversial politicians into the coalition. Avigdor Lieberman heads the
hawkish Yisrael Beiteinu party, pushing the center-left government to the right.
Olmert has been weakened by fierce public criticism of his handling of the recent war
in Lebanon. Fearing that his government would not survive, he turned to Lieberman. "I
believe this move will create the foundation for a solid and stable government," he
But Lieberman's views on the Arabs have brought charges of racism. He proposes that, in
exchange for Israel holding on to major settlement blocs in the West Bank, Israeli Arabs
should be stripped of their citizenship, and their towns transferred to the Palestinian
territories. In 2002, he called for the bombing of Palestinian gas stations, banks and
commercial centers in response to suicide bombings.
Those views sharply contradict the platform of Olmert's senior coalition partner--the
dovish Labor Party. "I think, we should not be in the same government with Mr. Lieberman,"
said Labor parliamentarian Colette Avital. "I think that both his ideology and his
practice is something that we should not be associated with."
Labor believes Lieberman will torpedo efforts to revive peace talks. But Olmert
disagrees. "The government will continue to pursue the peace process," he said. "First and
foremost with the Palestinians."
Nevertheless, one of the reasons that Lieberman agreed to join the government was that
Olmert has shelved what was once the cornerstone of his diplomatic policy - a unilateral
withdrawal from most of the West Bank. The plan was dropped because, in the wake of the
Lebanon war and the Palestinian election of the Islamic terrorist group Hamas, there is
little enthusiasm among Israelis for more territorial concessions.
Lieberman sees that as an opportunity to expand West Bank settlements. His ideology
worries Palestinian moderates. Nabil Shaath, a former Cabinet minister from the Fatah
party, described Lieberman as a "dangerous" and "ugly symbol" of the new direction of the
Olmert: Israel May Soon Expand Offensive in Gaza
By VOA News
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel may soon expand its military offensive
in Gaza, adding that any increase in the effort to stop Palestinian militant attacks
against Israel would not be a prolonged operation. The Israeli leader made the comments
Monday to a parliamentary committee in Jerusalem.
Israeli troops have been operating against terrorists in Gaza since June, trying to
stop the smuggling of weapons, and the firing of rockets into Israel. Troops are also are
looking for an Israeli soldier captured by militants in a cross-border raid.
In another development, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana says he is
optimistic that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be able to form a unity
government to ease political tensions between Palestinian factions.
Solana said he hoped that within a few days, Abbas would reach agreement with the
ruling Hamas faction on creating a Cabinet of experts and professionals. Solana was
speaking in Cairo Sunday after meeting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Abbas has been seeking to form a Cabinet of neutral business leaders and administrators
without links to either Hamas or his own Fatah faction. Abbas hopes such a Cabinet would
meet international demands and lead to the lifting of sanctions against the Palestinian
Campaign Launched to Seek Justice for Jewish Refugees
Efforts by world Jewry to obtain redress and spread awareness about the eviction of
more than half a million Jews from Arab and Muslim countries received a boost last
The Israeli government, which has refrained from officially backing the effort until
now, has now announced that it would fund and assist the effort. "There are not only
Palestinian refugees," Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit said, "but there were Jewish
refugees 600,000 of whom came to Israel. The State of Israel seeks to put the
claims of Jews from Arab countries on the table, parallel to the extremely well-expressed
claim by [the Arabs] that left in 1948 and 1967."
"The difference," Sheetrit added, "is that no Jews want to go back to those countries.
One can say that there was an exchange of populations for the sake of peace."
Sheetrit said that one of the most important aspects of the campaign is the attempt to
register individual and communal losses suffered by those displaced from Arab and Muslim
countries. He expressed his hope that with the backing of the Israeli government, the
narratives and history of those individuals and communities can finally be fully
An estimated 900,000 Jews were forced to leave their homes in Arab and Muslim countries
in the course of the 20th century. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has
twice affirmed that Jews who fled the persecution of Arab countries were indeed refugees
in every legal sense of the word.
The World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries, one of 56 national Jewish
organizations taking part in the effort, estimates that Jews were robbed of more than $100
billion in personal and communal assets by Arab and Muslim governments.
Goals for the campaign include the establishment of museums in places like Egypt and
Morocco; the protection of Ezra the Scribe's tomb, located in Batzra, Iraq and currently
under threat of destruction; and the protection and return of 400 Torah scrolls rotting in
the basement of the Iraqi Museum.
Another theme voiced by many of the conference's participants who immigrated to Israel
after being thrown out of their respective countries was a personal call to those Arabs
still living in refugee camps throughout the region. "I want to call to my fellow refugees
from Palestine," one man said. "Ask yourselves, `Why am I still in these camps?' Know that
you are being used as pawns, and demand from your own people that they do as Israel did,
allowing you to rebuild your lives and move forward."
Holy War against Gay Pride Parade
Haredim (Orthodox Jews) are threatening to strike a gay parade scheduled to take place
in Jerusalem in two weeks. Most recently, Jerusalem Police Chief Maj. Gen. Ilan Franko met
Sunday with Haredi leader Yitzhak Tuvia Weiss.
Franko asked to learn about the stance of Haredi rabbis who declared their intent of a
'Million Man Protest' against the parade. A source close to the rabbi said that Weiss
told Franko that he cannot promise the police chief that there won't be Haredi violence at
"The rabbi declared there'd be a war over this, that we couldn't stay silent about it.
We cannot give up or compromise about this," the source said.
Even an offer of compromise, that the parade be moved further from the center of the
city, was rejected out of hand by the Haredim. Haredi representatives told the police
chief that they intend to go "all the way" on the issue.
The Kol-Haredi telephone hotline, which supplies news updates from the Haredi sector,
reported the meeting: "The meeting took place at the (spiritual leader's) house
over half an hour. The police chief arrived to see just how serious Haredi leaders are
about this march."
"Do they intend only to protest against the abomination, as is required, or do they
intend to rally without restraint and with full devotion?" queried the broadcast.
"The spiritual leader was clear. We will not give up. We will not come to any dialogue
or negotiation. We're talking about our souls and our obligations to oppose such things
and erase this abomination from the holy city, Jerusalem," it answered.
Kol-Haredi further reported that Franko had shown the Haredim the intended parade
route, in the hopes of convincing them to stay away from areas where it would run. In
response, the rabbi responded, "We're going to war on this issue."
"Not only in Jerusalem, but all over Israel, in Beit Shemesh, Ashdod and 15 junctions
that will be hermetically sealed on Friday, during the abomination parade in Jerusalem,"
The Haredi counter-march is set to take place on Hillel Street, where the march is set
to begin. One plan that came up in Haredi forums is to infiltrate the march with some 50
men who "don't look Haredi
who will "blast" the parade from the inside," said a
source close to Rabbi Weiss.
"He said every cop seen along the way should be beaten. After all, the police will try
and stop us
so we should be prepared and bring sticks to hit them," he stated, adding
"a direct order hasn't been issued, but everyone knows."
The Haredis will most likely be joined in their protests by religious group Agudat
Israel. Despite pushing 90, movement leader Menachem Porush is still active in advancing a
counter-march to the rally. "We haven't yet decided what to do, but we can't, without a
doubt, allow such an abomination to go by as part of the daily agenda in Jerusalem,"
Porush told Ynet. His goal, he said, was to "take away their right to march."
Israeli Earns International Crown as Mr. Gay
By The Desert Sun (California)
A competitor from Tel Aviv, Nathan Shaked, 37, is the new Mr. Gay International after
two days of competition in Palm Springs. Prizes include a modeling contract, a Caribbean
cruise and a trip to Puerto Vallarta.
Shaked assumed the title from last year's winner, Jesse Basham of the United States.
This is the second consecutive year that the competition has been held in Palm Springs,
according to a release from organizers.
Contestants also hailed from Australia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lichtenstein,
Morocco, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Vatican City and Mexico.
"Competitions such as these have been popular in Europe for years, and we're thrilled
to now have a U.S.-based component looking for the "boy next door" to represent the
broader gay community," event producer Don Spradlin said in a news release. "The winner
will serve as a spokesman to raise the visibility of gay men, confront homophobia and
create a positive role model in his travels around the world."
Divorcee Banned from Remarrying
A divorced woman who denied her ex-husband visiting rights to see their child will be
paying dearly: The Tel Aviv Rabbinical Court ruled that the woman would not be permitted
to remarry despite the fact that she is legally divorced.
The woman, who was asked to explain at the rabbinical court why she did not permit her
husband to see their daughter, said that she did so because he was turning the child
against her. The opposition claimed that the mother controls the daughter and turns him
against the father.
"More than on one occasion the father came all the way from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv to
meet his daughter only to return bitterly disappointed because of the mother's
stubbornness," the court stated.
During the session the arbiters quoted Halakhic rulings in which it was deemed that if
a woman breaches the divorce agreement, it could be nullified.
Finally, they decided to add the woman to the black list of women who are prevented
from being married in Israel. Additionally, the court exempted the husband from paying
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