Newsletter : 7fax0424.txt
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Neo-Nazis protest March of the Living
Israel Faxx News Services
Neo-Nazi demonstrators protested the March of the Living in Krakow, according to a
Jewish organization. During the March of the Living, 200 people participated in an April
14 march staged by the far-right National Radical Camp, a tiny extremist group. The
participants held "Heil Hitler" signs and shouted "This is Poland, not Israel," "Poland is
a saintly thing" and "Jews out of Poland," according to the Warsaw-based Foundation for
the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland. The demonstration in Krakow Market Square
took place amid foreign tourists, including Israelis who were in Poland for the March of
the Living, the foundation reported.
Israel-Arab Lawmaker Resigns
By VOA News
Israel-Arab lawmaker Azmi Bishara has announced his resignation from the Knesset after
leaving the country amid a police investigation. He said he tendered has resignation
Sunday at the Israel Embassy in Egypt.
An embassy spokesman confirmed the move, saying Bishara had handed his resignation to
Ambassador Shalom Cohen at a meeting Sunday morning.
Police announced last week that Bishara is being investigated, but have refused to give
details. Bishara has been an outspoken critic of the state of Israel and its Palestinian
policies. He has said he will stay abroad for a time
Israel's Acting President to Palestinians: Swap Kassams for Computers
Knesset Speaker and Acting President Dalia Itzik has called on Israel's enemies to
abandon the path of violence and seek the well being of their own societies.
"Our advice to you is replace your Katyushas and Kassams with computers and loving
education, the smile of a boy that has a future, and neighborliness," Itzik said during
her speech at the annual torch-lighting ceremony that kicked off Israel's 59th
Independence Day celebrations at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
Itzik delivered the opening speech and lit the central torch. Israel's fifth president,
Yitzhak Navon, also lit one of the 12 torches. "We hear the sharpening of swords and
voices of war from near and afar. In distant Iran, in nearby Syria, in the Palestinian
Authority at out doorstep, there still reside fiery zealots of hate-ridden leaders that
believe in their ability to harm the state of Israel," Itzik said in her speech.
She added that "the citizens of Iran, Syria and the Palestinian Authority should think
twice about why they are so thirsty for battles and blood. Isn't the blood that you have
already spilled enough?" she asked.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that Israel is prepared to make "far-reaching
compromises" and "very painful concessions" to achieve peace with its neighbors.
Speaking at a ceremony marking Israel's Memorial Day, Olmert said the country owed its
fallen soldiers to continue "the vital effort to achieve the peace we long for" and to
"seriously consider every diplomatic initiative".
The 22-country Arab League recently renewed a five-year-old Saudi initiative offering
Israel peace with the Arab world in return for giving up all of the territories it
captured in the 1967 Mideast war. The plan also calls for a solution for Palestinian
refugees and their millions of descendants.
Israel objects to a full withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines and has ruled out any return
of refugees to former homes inside Israel. Nonetheless, Olmert has welcomed the Saudi plan
as a basis for negotiations. "We will respect those of our neighbors who desire peace with
us," said Olmert at a second ceremony on Monday for Israeli civilians killed in Arab
Israel would "discuss diplomatic agreements and the future of the ties between us with
goodwill and readiness to make painful concessions," he said. But referring to terrorists
targeting Israelis, Olmert vowed Israel "will never cease to pursue them and strike at
them until they are destroyed".
Israel marks its 59th year of Independence Day with a population of 7,150,000.
When the state was founded in 1948, there were 806,000 residents. One third of those
people still reside in the country.
Figures published Sunday by the Central Bureau of Statistics indicate that 5,725,000
residents of Israel - 80 percent - are Jewish. Most of the remainder are Arab. The
population has increased 121,000 in the past year. Most of that increase - 89 percent -
reflects natural growth.
Since last Independence Day, 148,000 babies were born here. About 44 percent of the
population resides in cities of 100,000 inhabitants or more. In 1948, Tel Aviv was the
only city with more than 100,000 residents; it had 248,500 inhabitants.
Today, Israel has five cities above 200,000 inhabitants: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa,
Rishon LeZion and Ashdod. These five cities account for 1,810,300 residents, or about a
quarter of the population.
Rural localities house 8 percent of the population. The rural population includes
119,700 kibbutz members, less than 2 percent of the overall population. At the founding of
the state, kibbutzim housed 6 percent of the population.
Is the Clock Ticking for Israel?
By Israel News Faxx Services
Israelis are split on whether their country will last a century. According to a Yedioth
Ahronoth poll published Monday, 47 percent of Israelis say they are concerned that in 2048
-- the centenary of Israel's founding -- there will be no Israel. The rest, 53 percent,
said they had no such fear.
Asked what most threatened the Jewish state's existence, 32 percent of respondents said
natural disaster, 26 percent cited the Iranian nuclear program; 20 percent said a
potential civil war; and 17 percent said the prospect of being defeated by the Arabs
militarily. The poll, which was conducted ahead of Independence Day, had 500 respondents
and a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
Israel at 59: The Continuous Struggle to Independence
By Eli E. Hertz (Commentary)
About six months before the War of Independence in 1948, Palestinian Arabs launched a
series of riots, pillaging, and bloodletting. Then came the invasion of seven Arab armies
from neighboring states attempting to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state in
accordance with the UN's 1947 recommendation to Partition Palestine, a plan the Arabs
The Jewish state not only survived: It came into possession of territories - land from
which its adversaries launched their first attempt to destroy the newly-created State of
In the first critical weeks after the British left the region and Israel declared its
independence, the combined Arab armies of: Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Trans-Jordan, Iraq, and
contingents from Saudi Arabia and Yemen aimed at a small Jewish militia with three tanks
and five artillery pieces. Israel had no air force, and until arms were rushed in from
abroad and a regular army could be organized, it relied on the only strength it had: 70
years worth of social solidarity inspired by the Zionist endeavor.
Israel's citizens understood that defeat meant the end of their Jewish state before it
could even get off the ground. In the first critical weeks of battle, and against all
odds, Israel prevailed on several fronts.
The metaphor of Israel having her back to the sea reflected the image crafted by Arab
political and religious leaders' rhetoric and incitement. Already in 1948 several car
bombs had killed Jews and massacres of Jewish civilians underscored Arab determination to
wipe out the Jews and their state.
There were 6,000 Israeli dead as a result of that war, in a population of 600,000. One
percent of the Jewish population was gone. In American terms, the equivalent is 3 million
American civilians and soldiers killed over an 18-month period.
The Israel War of Independence in 1948 was lawful and in self-defense as may be
reflected in UN resolutions naming Israel a "peace loving State" when it applied for
membership at the United Nations. Both, the Security Council (March 4, 1949) and the UN
General Assembly (May 11, 1949) declared: "Decides in its judgment that Israel is a
peace-loving State and is able and willing to carry out the obligations contained in the
Happy birthday peace-loving Israel
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