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Hitler Comedy Riles German Jews

By Israel Faxx News Sources

German Jewish leaders have reacted with disgust to a new comedy film about Hitler. "Mein Fuehrer" was produced by Jewish filmmaker Dani Levy.

Dieter Graumann, a vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, who lost family in the Holocaust, told Journal Frankfurt that he could not laugh along with the film, which depicts Hitler as a broken, pitiable figure who hires a Jewish actor to help him regain his political and sexual potency.

Levy, who is Swiss and lives in Berlin, said that his intention was not to present a historically accurate film, but to use a typically Jewish approach of humor and analysis to deconstruct the Nazi psyche.

Hamas Denies Mashaal Spoke of Recognizing Israel

By Ha'aretz and Reuters

Hamas denied Wednesday that its Damascus-based political leader Khaled Mashaal told Reuters in an interview that his group would consider recognizing Israel once a Palestinian state is established. One hour after the Reuters interview was published, the Hamas government spokesman Ghazi Hamad told Ha'aretz that Mashaal said, "Israel exists- and that's a fact."

However, Hamad maintained that Mashaal did not say anything about recognizing Israel. "There was no change in our stance that Hamas does not recognize Israel," he said. Salah Bardawil, head of Hamas' parliamentary faction, told Ha'aretz that after checking with Mashaal, it seems to be that his words were twisted and distorted. "He didn't speak about any recognition of Israel, only a ceasefire with Israel," Bardawil said.

Hamas acknowledges the existence of Israel is an established fact, the group's Damascus-based political chief Khaled Mashaal told Reuters on Wednesday. Israel is a "reality" and "there will remain a state called Israel, this is a matter of fact," Mashaal, who is considered Hamas' main power broker, said in an interview.

The problem was not Israel's existence but the failure to establish a state for Palestinians, said Mashaal, whose party leads the Palestinian government. Formal recognition of Israel could only be considered by Hamas once such a Palestinian state is established, Reuters quoted Mashaal as saying.

Senior Hamas officials have already made similar statements over the past year, saying Israel's existence is an undeniable reality, but this is the first time that such statements are emanating from the group's Syria-based leadership.

This is also the first time that a Hamas official has raised the possibility of full and official recognition of Israel in the future. To date the group's official position, which Mashaal had repeatedly reiterated, was that Hamas will never recognize Israel.

"The distant future will have its own circumstances and positions could be determined then," he said. Past concessions to Israel by Palestinian negotiators went unrewarded, he argued, and his Islamist group would drive hard bargains over key issues such as recognition. For Israel to suck us into bargains in stages and in packages - this road constitutes an attempt to weaken the Palestinian position."

Israel and Western governments have put financial sanctions on the Hamas-led Palestinian government for refusing to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept past peace accords. Egypt has also been stepping up pressure on Hamas to recognize Israel.

Mashaal said Hamas would defy the Western conditions and refuse to consider granting formal recognition to Israel until its demand for a Palestinian state was met.

Hamas wants a Palestinian state that includes Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to homes lost in the 1967 Six Day War and before, Mashaal said. "As a Palestinian today I speak of a Palestinian and Arab demand for a state on 1967 borders. It is true that in reality there will be an entity or state called Israel on the rest of Palestinian land. This is a reality but I won't deal with it in terms of recognizing or admitting it."

Asked about Mashaal's comments, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev responded that Hamas had said in the past it wanted to wipe Israel from the map and there was no indication it had changed its position.

Mashaal also blamed "Israeli intransigence" for the delay in a deal to release captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for thousands of Palestinian prisoners. Shalit's father Noam said Wednesday he would be willing to turn himself over to his son's captors if they release the captured soldier.

"The message must reach Gilad Shalit's family that Israel bears the responsibility for prolonging his captivity," Mashaal said. "There had been real progress and Egypt is making a positive effort but regrettably the talks stumbled in the last few days because of Israeli intransigence. We are keen to release Shalit as soon as possible, but only in return for Israel releasing a number of our men, women, children and Palestinian leaders in its jails," he said.

Mashaal said Shalit was being given "good treatment. The international community is concerned for one Israeli soldier called Gilad Shalit and has memorized his name," Mashaal said. "It must show concern for the suffering of 11,000 Palestinian prisoners who include 400 children and 120 women."

Israelis Believe PA Arabs Want to Destroy Israel


According to the December Peace Index of the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University, 69.5 percent of Israeli Jews said that the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza would destroy the State of Israel given the opportunity.

Since 1994, between two-thirds and three-quarters of those interviewed have seen this as the local Arabs' intention.

Fifty-three percent oppose evacuating most of the Jewish settlements in the territories for a full peace agreement, while only 34 percent favor it. And 68 percent agree that even dismantling most of the settlements would not suffice for the Arabs to sign a full peace agreement with Israel.

The Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research is an academic research institution of Tel Aviv University which surveys public opinion regarding the peace process, the Israeli-Arab conflict, both locally and in the wider Middle East.

The sampling error for this poll is about 4.5 percent in each direction.

Pipeline May Connect Black Sea, Red Sea


An Azerbaijani news website reported Wednesday that Turkey and Israel have agreed in principle to build a water and gas pipeline system connecting the Black Sea to the port Eilat on the Red Sea.

According to the report at www.Today.Az, Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said that Turkey and Israel have provisionally agreed to build a pipeline system connecting the Black Sea to the Red Sea.

The ambitious project involves the building of oil, gas and water pipelines, as well as electricity and fiber optic cables, as part of a seabed pipeline system in the Eastern Mediterranean. Passing through Turkey and bypassing Syria and Lebanon – countries which are hostile to Israel – the pipeline will reach the port of Ashdod, where an existing pipeline terminates at port of Eilat in the Red Sea.

A feasibility study is expected to be completed before the end of 2007 and will determine whether the proposed pipeline system will be an extension of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline or of the proposed Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline. Turkey's Calik Energy and Italy's Eni are currently carrying out a detailed study on the subject.

The Turkish-Israeli pipeline could convey Aseri Light or Russian crude oil to East Asian markets. The natural gas pipeline would be an extension of the Blue Stream Pipeline, which runs beneath the Black Sea. The system could also be used to bring Turkish water to parched Israel.

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