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Irving Denies Gas Chambers Existed

By Israel Faxx News Services

Holocaust denier David Irving said there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz. "At Auschwitz they did not have gas chambers, or at least there is no proof that I am satisfied with," the British revisionist said in an interview with Italy's Sky TG24 News. Irving was convicted and jailed in February 2006 by Austrian authorities for Holocaust denial. His three-year sentence was reduced in an appeal and he was released last month on probation.

Kadima Proposes Handing Judea and Samaria to Europe

By World Net Daily

A member of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Kadima party proposed transferring control of Judea and Samaria to a European task force until the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Following the establishment of the state, the strategic territory would be handed to security forces associated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The proposal comes after WND broke the story earlier this week according to top European and Egyptian diplomatic sources Israel has been conducting behind-the-scene negotiations to hand over most of Judea and Samaria to Abbas' security forces. The sources said the transfer of security control to Abbas would be coordinated by the European Union and Jordan.

Judea and Samaria encompass Jerusalem and are within rocket-firing range of Tel Aviv and Israel's international airport.

At Israel's prestigious Herzliya Conference, Knesset Member Shlomo Breznitz, reportedly a close confidante of Olmert, said the Judea and Samaria should be temporarily transferred to the Europeans and that most of the territory's Jewish communities should be evacuated.

"The only way to get out of the impasse is to transfer the territories, for a limited time, to an international mandate, that will run them until the establishment of a Palestinian state," said Breznitz at the conference.

The Herzliya Conference is attended by Israel's top leadership and regularly maps out the country's agenda for the coming year. In 2004, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced his plan to withdraw from Gaza at the conference.

Breznitz told Ma'ariv that the territories should be transferred to the European community and not the United States because, he said, after the invasion of Iraq America "lost its status as an honest broker in the view of the Palestinians and the Arab states." He said his proposal received a warm reception from European and Palestinian officials.

"I have reason to believe, and I don't want to expand on this, that the Palestinians will support the proposal. Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives from European countries who were shown the proposal also believe that without international help it will not be possible to resolve the conflict," said Breznitz.

According to the Israel Resource News Agency, Olmert regularly consults with Breznitz and is known to spend vacation time with the Breznitz family.

The Knesset member's plan comes after WND quoted top Egyptian and European diplomatic sources stating Israel and the Palestinians have been conducting behind-the-scenes negotiations in which Israel agreed in principal to hand over most of the West Bank in a deal with Abbas.

It also comes after WND reported the EU is in the process of expanding its offices in Israel, including in the PA controlled areas, in anticipation of an increased security role here following what European diplomatic sources say is new momentum regarding an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.

The sources, who said they were directly involved in behind-the-scene negotiations, said one proposal being considered is for the EU and Jordan to supervise the transfer of northern Samaria to Abbas' security forces, which reportedly are receiving aid, weapons and training from the U.S. The sources said major changes in Israeli-Palestinian affairs are expected within a few weeks to two months.

According to an aide to EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, speaking on condition of anonymity, there will be a "historic political evolution and movement in negotiations in the next few weeks and few months, unseen since the Camp David peace talks in 2000."

During the Camp David talks, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered then-Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat a state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, as well as eastern sections of Jerusalem.

According to the diplomatic sources, still being debated in the purported West Bank negotiations is the role of Hamas, which leads the PA and maintains the majority of seats in the Palestinian parliament. Negotiations between Abbas and Hamas leaders for a national unity government have mostly fallen through.

On Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said he viewed any Palestinian elements recognizing the state of Israel as a partner for negotiations "even if it is Hamas." Olmert has made similar comments.

So far, Hamas has refused to recognize Israel but recently offered a 10-year truce with the Jewish state. In a series of interviews this past weekend, Hamas leaders told WND during any 10-year truce period they would build a large Palestinian army and plan for the destruction of Israel.

Olmert's office this week denied the WND reports on negotiations to withdraw from Judea and Samaria. "There were no negotiations regarding a West Bank withdrawal. This would go contrary to other things we have said in the recent past," said spokesperson, Miri Eisin. "Perhaps the officials talking to WorldNetDaily were referring to general expectations for movement in the Israeli-Palestinian arena," she added.

But the European and Egyptian sources stood by their statements that Israel agreed in principal to transfer West Bank security control to Abbas.

Israeli leaders previously have denied reports of pending withdrawals only to later carry them out. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, elected in 2001 on a platform against unilateral withdrawal, at first denied media reports Israel was planning to evacuate the Gaza Strip but later announced his Gaza withdrawal plan.

Olmert was elected prime minister on the platform of carrying out a withdrawal from most of Judea and Samaria, but after this summer's Lebanon war, he has stated another withdrawal would not occur.

Several recent public opinion polls showed the majority of Israelis now oppose a withdrawal. The leaders of Egypt and Jordan have expressed reservations about withdrawal plans, fearing terrorism can spill over into their respective countries.

Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000. It had occupied a small section of Lebanon's border with Israel following repeated attacks by Palestinian terrorists in the area. Since the withdrawal, Hizbullah has staged numerous attacks against Israel, including rocket bombardments of civilian population centers, raids against military outposts and ambushes and kidnappings of Israeli troops. Hizbullah built an arsenal in south Lebanon of more than 13,000 short- and medium-range rockets capable of hitting central sections of the Jewish state

Israel withdrew last August from Gaza. Since then, rockets have been fired almost daily into nearby Jewish communities, Hamas has been elected to power and both Israeli and Palestinian officials have stated al-Qaeda has infiltrated the territory. Israel said the Palestinians have smuggled hundreds of tons of heavy weaponry into Gaza and are preparing for a large-scale confrontation.

Israel, Palestinians Pledge New Peace Efforts

By Lisa Bryant (VOA-Paris)

A week before the Bush administration tries to revive stalled Middle East peace talks, Israeli and Palestinian politicians pledged new efforts Thursday to secure a breakthrough during a high-level conference in Davos, Switzerland.

At the World Economic Forum, Israel Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni made an emotional appeal for Israel and Palestinians to live side by side, and pledged her government would work with Palestinian moderates.

But in an obvious reference to Hamas, the hard-line political faction that controls the Palestinian government, she warned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas against working with extremists. She also held firm to the notion of separate Israeli and Palestinian states.

"The establishment of a Palestinian state as a homeland for the Palestinians is the answer, the national answer to the Palestinians wherever they are," she said. "Those who live in the territories and those who live outside of the territories. And including the refugees."

Livni's remarks came during a special panel on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the World Economic Forum, a four-day meeting of politicians and business leaders that takes place annually at the Swiss resort of Davos. Meanwhile, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators meeting separately in Davos Thursday called for direct peace talks and said they wanted to reach a final agreement within a two-year time frame.

Ex-CIA Director: PA Arabs Are Too Murderous to Have a State


James Woolsey, former Director of the CIA, said in a special interview to IsraelNationalRadio's Alex Traiman that a Palestinian state should wait "many decades." Traiman asked about Woolsey's choice of terminology in calling the present conflict between the West and Islam as World War Four.

Woolsey explained that shortly after 9/11, "I saw an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Eliot Cohen of Johns Hopkins University where he wrote that the Cold War was World War III and that the war against what I call Islamist totalitarianism is World War IV... We have a situation where democracies in the west such as Israel and the US, and Japan and others too, are at war with a group of Islamist totalitarianism ideologies and movements - very loosely analogous to the movements of the 20s and 30s - Fascism, Nazism, Communism, and Japanese imperialism."

Woolsey said that it could take the West "decades to win this war; the Cold War took us four decades to win, and I see no reason to expect this one to be less than that."

Traiman asked, "Iran is actively working on a nuclear bomb and calls for Israel's destruction. How long can Israel afford to wait before taking action? And how long can the US afford to wait?"

Woolsey did not offer a direct answer, but rather some background: "We can only hope that the Israeli and American governments have a better handle on the precise details of the Iranian nuclear program... The Persians [precursors of today's Iranians -ed.] invented chess, and they are playing it well. Hamas and Hizbullah and other groups are their pawns, and the Syrian government is a rook, and their most precious piece - their queen - is their nuclear weapons program. They are moving the pieces around quite cleverly, this week using Hizbullah to overthrow the government of Lebanon; next week it may be something else. They are moving their pieces with skill, and they're a very serious adversary."

Asked his opinion on the establishment of a Palestinian state, the former CIA director recommended that it not happen in the coming decades. He said that though the Jewish presence in this region precedes the Muslim claim - "for some Muslims like Arafat to deny that Jews were ever present here is idiotic" - the Muslims also have national rights in the area.

Openly avoiding the question of the nature or borders of a Palestinian state, he emphasized his opinion that "the Palestinians should not be granted the right to statehood until they start to treat Israeli Jews who settle in the West Bank as fairly as Israel treats its Muslim citizens."

"An Arab Muslim living in Jaffa," Woolsey said, "enjoys freedom of speech, religion, and expression, and can vote for his representatives in the Knesset, and doesn't go to sleep worrying that some government element might come and kill him. I think that once the Palestinians start treating Jewish settlers with that same degree of humanity - and they're very, very far from doing that now - at that point I think we have to seriously consider how they could have some degree of self-governing.

"I won't get into the question of borders, but what I think is that the Palestinians must be held to the same standards as Israel regarding how they treat the other. I am sure this will be many decades from now, though, because their children are taught the Wahhabi doctrine of being suicide bombers and the like."

Asked his opinion on Jonathan Pollard, Woolsey said that though he has favored a significant punishment for Pollard in the past, "now that he has served [over] 20 years in prison, my view is that 20 years is enough. I also think that the close relationship between the US and Israel is also of some consideration, and at this point I think he's served long enough. I won't go any further than that."

Bus Segregation Challenged

By Israel Faxx News Services

Orthodox novelist Naomi Ragen is leading efforts by Israeli women to end sexual segregation on some bus lines in Israel. Ragen and five other women this week petitioned Israel's High Court of Justice to order the national bus lines not to go along with demands from fervently Orthodox communities that female commuters sit in the back and dress modestly.

The biggest bus company, Egged, says that 30 of its lines are segregated by gender at the passengers' request. Ragen told Israel Radio that her campaign was prompted by the experience of being ordered to the back of a bus by a male passenger.

"The driver didn't even open his mouth in my defense," she said. "I got off the bus with the dreadful, dreadful feeling that in my country I have to take a public bus home that is under Taliban rule."

Another woman was forced off a bus in the middle of the highway for wearing a skirt that came only to her knees.

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