Newsletter : 7fax0125.txt
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New Historical Maps Available on Internet
The Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem have launched a new web site
featuring 1,100 maps of Israel dating from the 15th century to the 20th century.
Several maps trace the route of the Exodus and the division of the land among the 12 Tribes of Israel. The collection of ancient maps on the site (http://www.jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/maps/pal/html) is part of a much larger collection that includes ancient maps of the world, early printed atlases and travel books.
Olmert: Nuclear Attack Not Imminent
An Iranian nuclear attack on Israel is not an imminent threat, Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert told the Herzliya Conference Wednesday evening.
In his most detailed speech on Iran, Olmert said: "I'm going to give you a situation
analysis on the Iranian threat. There is not one among us that does not feel the threat,
which is not only against Israel, but also against the whole region.
"There is no near threat of a nuclear attack on Israel," Olmert said. "At the stage we
are in, there is still time - though not unlimited amounts, to stop Iran from going
nuclear... We are not apathetic. We can't afford to be apathetic. We are addressing the
According to the British Daily Telegraph, North Korea will help Iran to develop a
nuclear program. North Korea, which conducted a nuclear test last October, will provide
Iran with the results. According to the report, Iran hopes to conduct a similar test by
the end of 2007.
Iran and North Korea have shared weapons technology for years, and Iranian officials
are often present at North Korean experiments involving missile-launching technology.
Military sources worry that North Korea's relatively advanced scientific knowledge could
accelerate Iran's nuclear development process.
Iranian officials continue to deny accusations that they are developing nuclear
weapons, and insist that they seek nuclear power solely for purposes of providing energy.
At the same time, Iran refuses to allow nuclear inspectors into the country, and recently
turned away 38 international inspectors who came to investigate the country's nuclear
Olmert discussed options which were being prepared "in case these diplomatic efforts
don't help," adding: "The central goal, we must realize, is ahead of us. For years, we
have been monitoring Iran's efforts to gain nuclear weapons, under the guise of a civil
"The Jewish nation is scarred with the Holocaust, and won't allow itself to again face
a threat to its existence. In the past, the world was silent, and the outcome is known.
Our role is to refrain from making this mistake again," he declared.
"When the leader of state publicly announces his intentions to wipe a country off the
map, and is busy creating the weapons to do so
we must act with all force against
the plot," Olmert added.
"We have nothing against Iranian people. We are not the enemy of the Iranian people,
Olmert said. "Our desire for peace should not be seen as weakness but source of strength.
Those who threaten our existence, (should know) we have the ability to defend ourselves.
We won't endanger the lives of our nation. We have the right to fully act to defend our
vital interests. We won't hesitate to act. No one should confuse our restraint with
hesitancy to act.
"There is no force in the world that can destroy us, and neither will there be one. We
refuse to be dragged into atmosphere of fear. We have much strength and nothing to fear,
and we won't fear. We can stand against nuclear threats, and thwart them," the prime
Olmert noted Iran's support for Palestinian terrorism, terrorism in Iraq, Hizbullah,
and Hamas, the latter "showing to many the severity of the Iranian threat." He called for
a united front against Tehran to include the UN and Arab states, such as Saudi Arabia,
Egypt and Jordan.
Discussing his recent trip to China, Olmert said "the Iranian threat was a top priority
and central to all meetings. There was unequivocal agreement that Iran can't be allowed to
have nuclear weapons, or the materials needed to make them."
"It's clear to everyone that a diplomatic solution to the Iranian issue is preferred,"
Olmert said. "It's the solution preferred by us
Whoever believes that the diplomatic
solution is preferable must now start pressuring Iran
Katzav in Impassioned Speech: I am Being Lynched
By IsraelNationalNews.com & VOA News
President Moshe Katzav held an impassioned press conference in Beit Hanasi in Jerusalem
Wednesday, defending himself against charges of sexual misconduct.
Katzav tore into Israel's media and police in the news conference, accusing them of
collaborating in a lynch against him and a campaign of brainwashing.
Katzav claimed that Beit Hanasi's legal advisor has been in hospital for four months as
a result of the police's questioning. He said the police threatened a Haredi woman who
wished to testify in his favor, and said police told another witness who wished to testify
in his favor: "Watch out for your family."
Katzav claims Attorney General Menachem Mazuz unfairly influenced the investigation
against him when he said to the media at an early stage of the investigation that he
believed Katzav was lying. The president accused the media and police of violating "every
tenet of natural justice," and claimed the women accusing him of misconduct did it out of
vengefulness and to defend themselves against charges of blackmail.
"What you see here is a volcanic outpouring. It was not part of his (prepared) speech,"
said Katzav's lawyer, Tzion Amir. "It is the boiling lava; it is coming straight from his
"It's all coming out now, all the bad feelings," said a confidante. "I'm not surprised
by it at all. On the contrary, I expected it to happen. The President kept getting bashed
over and one day he just exploded."
Katsav, who is facing indictment on rape and other charges, said he would ask Israel's
parliament to allow him to temporarily step down from his ceremonial post, and will
immediately resign his position if formal charges of rape and abuse of power are brought
against him. But pressure is mounting on Katsav to immediately resign.
Attorney General Mazuz said he has the evidence to indict Katsav and could bring
further charges - such as obstruction of justice and receiving illegal gifts at a later
date. The charges are based on complaints made by four women who worked for the veteran
Under Israeli law Katsav is allowed one opportunity to present his case at a hearing
before a formal indictment is issued. Israel's president enjoys immunity from prosecution
and can only be tried in criminal court if he resigns, if he is impeached by
three-quarters of Israel's Knesset or after his seven-year term ends later this year.
Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, said he should resign, because Katsav could not
fulfill his official duties under the present circumstances. But earlier in the day, Tzipi
Livni, who is Israel's foreign and justice minister, said Katsav should be presumed
innocent unless and until he is found guilty, but he should not fight his case from the
Mr. Katsav is a longtime member of the right-of-center Likud Party who began his term
in 2000. Left-wing members of Israel's parliament said they have the necessary 20 votes
required to bring impeachment charges. Ninety votes are needed to remove him from
The charges are the most serious ever faced by an Israeli politician. If he is
convicted in a criminal court, Katsav could face more than 20 years in prison.
In a related story, Education Minister Yuli Tamir (Labor) said she is considering
ordering schools to takedown pictures of Katzav. Pictures of the President are on the
walls in government and IDF offices and in schools. Teachers also have been instructed to
discuss with their students the indictments against the President.
Blood Banks to Accept Donations from Ethiopian Immigrants
The health ministry announced on Wednesday that blood donations would be accepted from
anyone born in Israel, including Israeli-born Ethiopians. Until now, blood donated by
Ethiopians was discarded due to concern for disease in light of the alarming incidence of
AIDS and HIV in Ethiopia.
The health ministry announced its decision during a meeting between Health Minister
Yaacov Ben Izri (Pensioners) and an organization advocating the rights of Ethiopian Jews
The chairman of Magen David Adom emergency medical service, Prof. Ayelet Shenar, said
Wednesday that the regulations regarding blood donations has been "revitalized" at recent
MDA training sessions for blood collectors. She also mentioned changes that have been made
to the form that a donor must fill out prior to making a donation. According to Shenar,
from now on, donor eligibility criteria will be listed plainly on the form.
Ben Izri also pledged at the meeting to discuss other health concerns facing the
Ethiopian community with Ethiopian experts and health workers as well as Ethiopian rights
"I am well aware of the distress stemming from many causes, not only the discarded
blood donations," Ben Izri said at the meeting. "I have no doubt that there is room for
reform in the general policy being utilized in regard to the Ethiopian community in
Israel. As a minister, I am troubled by the negative and erroneous stigma with (which)
Israel's Ethiopian Jews have been labeled, as a result of publications taken out of
proportion and present a reality which does not reflect the truth."
Gadi Yavarkan, the chairman of the Ethiopian rights advocacy group, said in response
that the health ministry's decision is an "achievement for the State of Israel, and for
us, the younger generation, who want to integrate into Israeli society, and donate our
blood to save a Jewish soul."
"The health minister has expressed his sorrow over the injustices suffered by
immigrants to this country over the years," he added.
Last November, young Ethiopian activists staged a demonstration across from the Prime
Minister's Office protesting the policy that dictated the disposal of Ethiopian blood
donations. Eleven protesters and four police officers were injured during the
Fancy Temple Era Street Found in Jerusalem
Archaeological excavations being carried out in Ir (City of) David, near the Temple
Mount in Jerusalem, have uncovered what is said to be one of the most impressive finds in
the site: a magnificent terraced street from the Herodian era, which served pilgrims and
extended 600 meters from the Shiloah (Siloam) Pool to the Temple.
The store fronts and the splendid appearance of the remains have led researchers to
conclude it was Jerusalem's main street in the Second Temple era.
Drainage canals were exposed under the street. The excavators think these are the
canals mentioned by contemporary historian Josephus Flavius, who said the Romans trapped
the Jews who hid under the streets. The canals contained some cooking pots and remains of
food, which may have served the Jews who hid out there in their final days.
Yad Vashem Asked to Recognize First Arab Righteous Gentile
Khaled Abd al-Wahab, a well-to-do Tunisian farmer who died in 1997, is the first Arab
to be named as a candidate for a Righteous Gentile award from Yad Vashem.
The request to award him such recognition was submitted by Dr. Robert Satloff, an
American Jewish expert on Arab and Islamic politics, following his research on Arabs who
saved Jews during the Holocaust.
Yad Vashem officials declined to speculate on the chances of the request being
approved, but did note that it meets all the formal requirements, at the heart of which is
testimony given before her death by a Jewish woman who was saved by al-Wahab.
More than 21,000 Righteous Gentiles have been recognized to date and of them, around 60
are Muslims, most of them from Bosnia and Albania, who saved Jews. But there is not a
single Arab among them. According to Satloff, "more than half a million Jews lived in
North Africa under Nazi occupation or their allies. They experienced the same persecution
as European Jewry did, except for the Final Solution. It is not logical that throughout
this entire process, not a single case has been uncovered to date of an Arab who saved a
The director of Yad Vashem's Righteous Gentile department, Mordechai Paldiel, said that
the material provided by Satloff indicates thorough research. "We certainly thank him for
bringing this case to our attention."
Satloff feels that in the Arab world there is today a willingness to deal seriously
with the Holocaust, specifically because of the statements of the president of Iran and
the Holocaust denial conference he initiated. According to Satloff, "the major phenomenon
in the Arab world is the relativization of the Holocaust, with statements such as there is
no difference between the Holocaust and the Nakba
(The Nabka) "The Catastrophe," used by Palestinians to describe the events surrounding
Israel's establishment] - they were all crimes. The study of the Holocaust is intended
first of all to prevent genocide. If the Arabs learn more about the Holocaust, their
reaction to the genocide in Darfur and to massacres elsewhere will be much quicker and
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