Newsletter : 7fax0105.txt
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Ex-Jerusalem Mayor Kollek Laid to Rest
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said during Thursday's funeral for Teddy Kollek that the
former mayor said he had transformed Jerusalem into a true capital of the Jewish
"David Ben Gurion declared Jerusalem Israel's capital in 1949. Teddy Kollek made it
so,"" said Olmert. Kollek led the holiest city of earth from 1965 to 1993, presiding over
the reunification of Jerusalem from 1967, successfully reaching out to most of the
capital's various minorities. Kollek was laid to rest Thursday morning in the Greats of
the Nation area of the Mt. Herzl Cemetery.
Six Killed in Gaza Infighting
Tensions continue to run high between Fatah and Hamas: A senior Palestinian Preventive
Security Service officer, Mohammed Ghayeb, was killed Thursday evening along after Hamas
gunmen fired an RPG at his house in northern Gaza.
Two of Ghayeb's subordinates were also killed in the attack, as well as a bystander.
The officer's wife was critically injured, and several other people were wounded as
Ghayeb was on the phone to Palestine TV just moments before his death and appealed for
help as his house came under attack. "They are killers," he said of the Hamas gunmen.
"They are targeting the house, children are dying. They are bleeding. For God's sake, send
an ambulance, we want an ambulance, somebody move."
Amongst Fatah ranks there is much outrage over the siege which has had a devastating
affect, especially due to the fact that Hamas groups prevented anyone who wasn't loyal to
the organization to approach the area.
Hamas said however that they were forced to raid Ghayeb's house after he and the other
gunmen on the premises refused to surrender several gunmen who had taken refuge in the
house and opened fire at Hamas security forces earlier in the day, killing one.
Hamas denied the firing of shells towards the house, saying however that they were
forced to raid the house and use force as those fortified inside were endangering their
men and refused to turn themselves in.
Earlier Palestinian sources reported that Ayman al-Subuh, 26, a member of Hamas'
special security apparatus, was killed in a fire exchange between Hamas and Fatah in
Jabalya. Three other Hamas members were injured, one of them seriously.
Palestinian Violence Kills Four in Gaza, Fighting Spreads to West Bank
By VOA News
Several clashes among Palestinian rival Hamas and Fatah fighters have killed four
people and wounded at least 25 others in Gaza. The dead include three fighters allied with
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction and one member of the ruling Hamas
A senior Fatah colonel, Mohammed Ghareeb was among those killed when Hamas fighters
bombarded his home with gunfire and rockets.
Fighting Thursday also spread to the northern West Bank, where witnesses say
unidentified militants attacked at least two senior Hamas officials. Palestinian Health
Ministry Deputy Director Bashar Karmi from the ruling Hamas group was also abducted during
the night and released at dawn. In Jenin, further north, assailants torched the car of
another Hamas official. Following reports of violence, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh
Thursday called for calm.
Meanwhile, Palestinian journalists have held protests against Monday's abduction of a
news photographer in Gaza City. There has been no word from photographer Jaime Razuri or
his kidnappers. Razuri works for Agence France Presse.
Kidnappings are frequent in the Gaza Strip, but hostages are usually released within
hours. The French news agency's regional director says he has no information about
Razuri's whereabouts or his health.
Israel Stages Raid in West Bank
By VOA News
Israel has staged a military raid into the West Bank town of Ramallah, sparking gun
battles with Palestinian terrorists there.
Witnesses said at least four Palestinians were killed and at least 20 injured.
Arabic television showed live pictures of the gun battles and of wounded being carried
away from Ramallah's central square.
Israeli troops moved into Ramallah Thursday afternoon with armored carriers and
bulldozers. Palestinian officials said the Israelis wanted to arrest a terrorist from the
al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade, an armed group linked to the Fatah movement of Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas.
Mubarak, Olmert Meet in Sinai; Egypt Condemns Israeli Raid
By VOA News
Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak met Thursday
in a bid to revive stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Speaking to reporters in the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Mubarak criticized an
Israeli raid earlier Thursday in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. He called for an end
to violence that he said hinders the peace process. Four Palestinians were killed during
Responding, Olmert apologized for Palestinian casualties caused by the raid. He said
the incursion was aimed at protecting Israelis from terrorists. Israeli newspapers said
the terrorist Israel was seeking escaped.
Mubarak said his talks with Olmert focused on attempts to revive the peace process. The
leaders also discussed efforts to free an Israeli soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit,
kidnapped in June by terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
There was no announcement Thursday of a prisoner swap. Israel is reported to be ready
to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the soldier.
It is not clear how Thursday's raid in Ramallah will affect a prisoner swap.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the raid. In a statement, he said it
proves that Israeli calls for peace are fake.
Pontiff-to-be John XXIII Helped Rescue Thousands of Hungary's Jews
By Jay Bushinsky (Washington Times)
Newly discovered records document the role of Monsignor Angelo Roncalli, a Vatican
diplomat in Istanbul during World War II who later became Pope John XXIII, in helping
rescue thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust.
They also lend weight to arguments that Pope Pius XII, who was pontiff during the war,
failed to do all he could to prevent the systematic massacre of millions of Jews.
The memoirs, documents and letters stashed away in the private collection of a Jewish
associate of Monsignor Roncalli describe frequent late-night meetings in the Vatican
compound in the heart of Istanbul. There, the two men composed urgent messages to the Holy
See and obtained false papers to enable Jews to escape the reach of the Nazis and their
Examined recently by Tel Aviv University professor Dina Porat, an
internationally-respected authority on the Holocaust, the documents attest to a unique
relationship that had consequences of historic importance.
Monsignor Roncalli was serving as papal nuncio in Istanbul, essentially the Vatican's
ambassador. He went on to become one of the most beloved popes and, by convening the
Second Vatican Council in 1962, opened the Catholic Church to a wave of modernization that
included a revised liturgy and major efforts to unite with other Christian
His ally in the effort was Chaim Barlas, who had been sent to Istanbul as an emissary
of the Jewish Agency Rescue Committee, established by the Jewish community in what was
then Palestine to try to save European Jews from the Nazis.
"Roncalli allowed Barlas to meet him in the middle of the night to draft urgent letters
to Pope Pius XII about the plight of Hungarian Jewry," Mrs. Porat said in an interview.
"He told Barlas that he sent cables to [Pius], but did not receive replies. It seemed to
him that his ecclesiastical superiors who could act did not, and he wondered why."
Mrs. Porat said she found several handwritten letters from Monsignor Roncalli to the
pontiff, composed with the help of Mr. Barlas, which included criticism of the Vatican and
others for failing to do enough to help the Jews. The men intensified their efforts after
the receipt in June 1944 of a report by two Slovakian Jews who had escaped a month earlier
from the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.
That and a subsequent account describing the grisly massacre under way there came to be
known as the Auschwitz Protocols. Mr. Barlas "translated it into German, drafted a
precise summary dated June 23, 1944, and was granted an audience with Roncalli a day
later," Mrs. Porat said. "Roncalli wept upon reading its contents and relayed it
immediately to the Vatican."
Pius subsequently wrote a letter to Adm. Miklos Horthy, a Nazi ally serving as
president of Hungary, urging him to halt the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Poland,
which was being expedited by Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann. "By July 7, 1944, they were
stopped," Mrs. Porat said.
Yitzhak Minerbi, one of Israel's leading specialists on the Vatican's conduct and
policies during World War II, said Monsignor Roncalli's contribution goes far beyond
alerting the Holy See to the genocide.
As confirmed by the Barlas papers, he also issued transit passes and approved false
baptismal certificates that enabled 12,000 Jews to escape Hungary, Minerbi said.
Monsignor Roncalli's efforts also have been lauded by Baruch Tenenbaum, head of the
International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, named after the Swedish diplomat who plucked
outbound Jews from deportation trains and hid them in safe houses throughout the Hungarian
Asked about Pope John XXIII, Tenenbaum said: "He should be cited by Yad Vashem,
Israel's Holocaust memorial, as the foremost name on its list of righteous gentiles."
Those honored at the memorial are non-Jews who risked their lives to rescue Jews from the
Students Hope to Collect 13 Million Pennies
By Akron Beacon Journal
Laura Hood knows that the children in her fifth-grade Hebrew class at Akron, Ohio's
Temple Israel will be among the last people who are able to hold the hand of a Holocaust
"The survivors that are here now were children who made it through. We have to make sure
the children today know about the horrors of what happened to the 13 million people who
died in Europe because they were considered not to be the perfect race,'' Hood said. "It
is our hope that the children today will learn the lesson and promise the survivors and
themselves that this will never happen again."
To help her 14 students and the community grasp what 13 million looks like, Hood and
her class have launched a project called `"Pennies for People: Each Penny has a Face --
What `Cents' Does This Make?" The goal is to collect 13 million pennies to represent the
13 million lives lost in the Holocaust.
"I want anyone who donates to hold a handful of pennies and imagine that they are
holding the terrified hands of the humans who were marched into the gas chambers,'' Hood
The penny collection was inspired by the Tennessee paper-clip project. That began in
1998 as a way to help the middle school students at Whitwell Middle School raise their
awareness of diversity. The middle school is in Whitwell, Tenn., a rural community that is
almost exclusively white and Christian.
The students decided to collect one paper clip for each person killed by the Nazis in
the Holocaust. By the end of the project, in 2001, they had collected 11 million paper
clips, which are housed in a World War II rail car that serves as a permanent Holocaust
The rail car, built in 1917, was once part of the railway system used to transport Jews
and other victims of the Holocaust to concentration camps. The Tennessee school still
collects donations to maintain the memorial.
Temple Israel student Kyle Gersman, 11, said it is important for his generation to
learn about the Holocaust. `"It was a bad time. A lot of people died for no reason," said
Kyle, a student at Old Trail who is in Hood's Hebrew class. "We need to know about what
happened so we can prevent something like that from happening again."
Kyle and many of his classmates at Temple Israel have received permission from their
principals to collect pennies at their schools. Each of them has a plastic container to
hold the pennies until they can turn them in at their Wednesday Hebrew classes.
The students have collected more than 65,000 pennies in three weeks. Their first goal
is to collect 6 million to remember the 6 million Jews who were killed. The ultimate goal
is to collect 13 million to represent all of the victims, both Jewish and non-Jewish.
"When I think about all of the people who lost their lives, it reminds me that I am
very lucky to live in a free country,'' said Mallory Schweiger, a student at Bath
Elementary School. ``We shouldn't throw memories of the Holocaust away."
The students have decided to donate the collected pennies to an education project to
raise awareness of the Holocaust at Temple Israel, the United States Holocaust Memorial
Museum in Washington, D.C., and Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
Yad Vashem is the Jewish people's memorial to the 6 million Jews killed. It contains
the world's largest collection of information on the Holocaust and is a leader in Shoah
education, commemoration, research and documentation.
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