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PA Arabs Forbidden to Flee Street Violence


The Arab "man in the street" living under the Hamas-ruled Palestinian Authority government is starting to realize that voting for the terrorist organization has not brought the shining salvation it promised.

Thousands of Muslim worshippers living in PA-controlled territories are trying to flee their increasingly violent surroundings. Their religious leaders are doing what they can to force them to stay. Sheikh Hamad Al-Bitawi, a Muslim religious leader and Hamas member, has announced that Arab Muslims are forbidden to emigrate from Israel and must remain so as to counteract the fast growth of the Jewish population.

Israeli Commission Criticizes Lebanon War Decisions

By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem)

A government-appointed Israeli commission has harshly criticized Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other senior Israeli officials for their handling of last year's Lebanon War. The much-anticipated Winograd Commission interim report says Prime Minister Ehud Olmert did not have a proper plan when he committed Israel to war last year.

The war began on July 12th, after Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon kidnapped two Israeli soldiers, and killed three others in a cross-border raid. The report criticizes Defense Minister Amir Peretz and Israeli Defense Forces Chief Dan Halutz, saying Peretz had little experience in defense matters and Halutz acted impulsively.

Commission member Ruth Gavison, a retired judge, said the three officials are guilty of not setting clear goals for the war. She also said Israel's initial military strikes were not clearly thought out and others in the chain of command should share the blame. "All three made a decisive personal contribution to these decisions, and in the way they were made. However, there were many others who share responsibility for the mistakes we found in these decisions and for their background conditions," she said.

Olmert has defended his handling of the 34-day conflict, saying it forced Hizbullah out of southern Lebanon, allowed the Lebanese Army to deploy along Israel's northern border, and led to the reinforcement of a small U.N. peacekeeping force with thousands of new troops from six nations.

He called for patience Monday and that he has no intention of resigning. Olmert said he would definitely study the report and that in the future any problems outlined by the Winograd Commission would not be repeated.

In January, Air Force General Dan Halutz, the head of the Israeli Defense Forces stepped down after he was harshly criticized in another report for his management of the war - specifically for his over-reliance on air-power, poor execution of the Israeli ground campaign, and for failing to knock out Hezbollah missile launching sites.

Calls have been mounting across the political spectrum for Olmert to resign, but newspaper columnist Uri Dromi said many of the prime minister's parliamentary colleagues are not quite ready for a change in leadership. "Ehud Olmert is a survivor and he is not the kind of man who made it to the prime minister's office to give it away so easily. Let us not forget that many members of the Knesset (parliament) are not so keen on any changes, because many of them feel they will not be there if there is a re-shuffling or new elections," he said.

The Winograd Commission report examined the first few days of the war when Israel retaliated against Hizbullah with a massive aerial bombardment of southern Lebanon. A final report looking at the entire war will be issued in the next few months.

More than 1,000 Lebanese, mostly civilians, were killed in the conflict, while 119 Israeli soldiers and 39 civilians were killed before a ceasefire went into effect.

Israel Says Nuclear Whistleblower Violated Gag Order

By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem)

An Israeli court has convicted a former nuclear technician, Mordechai Vanunu, of violating a gag order for speaking with foreign journalists. The case goes back more than 20 years and exposed Israel's nuclear secrets to the world. Vanunu was also found guilty of attempting to leave Jerusalem through the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

In 1986 Vanunu was found guilty of treason and sentenced to 18 years in prison after he gave an interview to a British newspaper detailing his duties at Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor, where he said Israel produced 40 kilograms of plutonium for use in hydrogen and neutron bombs. Since he was released from prison he has been banned from leaving Israel or speaking with foreigners.

His lawyers said he would appeal Monday's verdict. Leaving court, a defiant Vanunu called the verdict a blow to democracy, saying information about Israel's nuclear program is widely known, and there is no reason not to let him leave the country. "Everything is published here," he said. "All the bombs that Israel refuses to accept and admit that they have the bomb - they are here."

Israel's policy of so-called "strategic ambiguity" means that it neither admits nor denies possessing nuclear weapons. Based on Vanunu's revelations more than 20 years ago, nuclear experts concluded that Israel possessed hundreds of warheads, making it the sixth-largest nuclear power in the world.

Newspaper Prints Ad Seeking Bids to Build Iranian Nuclear Reactors


The International Herald Tribune included in its paper on April 25 an ad seeking bids from corporations willing to build nuclear reactors for Iran.

The Tribune is owned and operated by the New York Times and distributed together with affiliated left-leaning newspapers across the globe. The following copy of the ad appeared in the Israeli version, which is distributed by Ha'aretz's daily English paper:

The ad (all errors in the ad were in the original) reads: "INVITATION FOR BIDS – Construction of Two Large Scale Nuclear Power Plants In Iran. The Nuclear Power Production and Development Company of Iran (NPPD) (an affiliate company of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran – AEOI) as the owner, invites sealed Bids from contractors/companies for the Design, Supply of Equipment, Construction and Commissioning of two large scale units (1000-1600 MWe each) with third generation Nuclear Power, Pressurized Light Water Reactor in the Bushehr Province of Iran.

"Qualified bidders who have sufficient experiences in the Construction and Commissioning of such plants are requested to obstain (sic) the respective Bid Inquiry Specification (BIS) documents upon payment of a non-refundable fee of €15000 (fifteen thousands Euros) transferred to the following account: Account no.: 01754283800 Name of Bank: Austria Bank-Creditanstalt…

"All bids must be accompanied by a Bid Bont (sic) of twenty million Euros, and must be delivered to AEOI's representatives office in Vienna by 02.08.2007 or to the company's headquarter office in Tehran on 08.08.2007. The bids will be opened at the company's headquarter office in Tehran on 08.08.2007 at 10:00 am in the presence of the Bidder's Representatives who wish to attend.

"For further information, please contact: Mr. Esmaeili, +431-2140971, Email:"

The Vice President of Iran's nuclear program Gholam Reza Aghazadeh explained to Iran's state-run IRNA news agency that the tender presents an opportunity for Western nations to join in Iran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities. "The international tenders for construction of the two nuclear power plants [are] a good yardstick to test the Westerners' good will," he said.

IRNA quotes Aghazadeh promising that Iran will never again stop uranium enrichment and guaranteeing that Tehran will continue to work around the clock to install more centrifuges at its underground enrichment plant in Natanz, "until all 50,000 planned centrifuges are in place."

Israel and the US oppose Iran's nuclear program, which has been accompanied by open threats to annihilate the Jewish state on the part of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as well as the Islamic "Supreme Leader" of Iran Ali Khameini.

Arutz-7 asked Ha'aretz's advertising department whether it considered rejecting the ad seeking builders for Iranian nuclear reactors. Manager Aviva Bronstein said Ha'aretz receives the International Herald Tribune as a finished product. "We sometimes don't even see it until it is in print," she said. "We do not review their ads, only those that appear in the Ha'aretz section of the paper."

A subordinate said that guidelines for ads would reject an ad calling for violence against a certain group of people. Asked by Arutz-7 whether the construction of the means to a nuclear bomb for a nation that has stated its intend to use it for genocide does not fall into that category, the woman, who declined to give her name, said: "I don't believe that falls into the same category."

Bronstein said that there is no ad that would conceivably lead Ha'aretz to refrain from distributing an edition of the International Herald Tribune.

Former No-Nazi Shares His Story with ADL

By Israel Faxx News Services

Several years ago, Tom Martinez was a member of the neo-Nazi terrorist group The Order, which was responsible for several robberies and the murder of Denver talk radio host Alan Berg in 1984.

Last month, Martinez, who left The Order to become an undercover informant for the FBI and now speaks to groups around the country through the Anti-Defamation League, came to Connecticut to spread his message about fighting hate and bigotry. He told the group about his upbringing and how he eventually became a member of the Order as well as the Ku Klux Klan.

Martinez, who is of Spanish-Swedish heritage, grew up in a predominantly Irish-Catholic blue-collar neighborhood called Kensington in Philadelphia. In the late 1960s when he was growing up, businesses began moving out of the area and fathers began losing their jobs as local plants began closing and moving to countries with cheaper wages. His own father lost his job and became ill. Drug dealers began doing their business on the local street corners.

Martinez' father was verbally and physically abusive, but for the most part, Martinez said he and other kids like him grew up in a "loving, concerned Christian families."

He ended up attending one of the worst public schools in Philadelphia, Thomas Edison High School. Martinez and other white teenagers were in the minority at the school which was controlled by three African-American gangs. "It was a bunch of poor white kids forced together with poor black kids," Martinez said. "There were fistfights in the hallway. This was our life."

He dropped out in the 10th grade after another white student was stabbed and killed by a gang member and when his own life was threatened. Wanting to become a baker, he enlisted in the Army and was told he would be trained as a baker. But he grew disillusioned when he was assigned to build bridges instead. He felt betrayed and was discharged from the Army.

At around 19, he married his 16-year-old girlfriend who was pregnant and worked at a donut store for $112 a week. Trying to support his growing family, he applied for another higher-paying job but was told that although his last name was Martinez, since he was not Puerto Rican or Mexican, he could not have the job. He threatened to sue and was given the job, but later quit.

He was soon jobless with two children to support and was feeling hopeless. One day he was watching The Tom Snyder Show when David Duke, the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, was a guest. The handsome and articulate Duke made an impression on Martinez. "He talked about affirmative action…He was like a preacher preaching to me about how white people don't have jobs, or hope."

Martinez became a member of the KKK, attending meetings and spewing the message of white power of that group. He later met Bob Matthews, the leader of the Order and the man responsible for several armed heists and for the murder of radio host Alan Berg.

Martinez was eventually arrested for making counterfeit money used by The Order. After his arrest, he began feeling guilty and regaining his conscience, he became an undercover agent for the FBI and the Secret Service.

During a hotel stake-out in which he was supposed to help capture Mathews, Mathews escaped and members of The Order discovered that Martinez was working with the authorities. Mathews was eventually killed in a shoot-out with the FBI.

Though offered a place in the FBI's witness protection program, Martinez declined but now goes by another name and remains in hiding with his family. He wrote about his experiences in a book, "Brotherhood of Murder" which became a Showtime movie in 1999.

To make up for his past misdeeds, Martinez has for the past 20 years spoken out to ADL groups and at colleges around the country, trying to explain what could cause a seemingly normal American boy to become involved in hate groups like the KKK and The Order. "There is no excuse for hatred, but you can see how easy it is to be attracted to these groups," Martinez said.

Sesame Street Returns to Israel

By Israel Faxx News Services

"Sesame Street" has returned to Israeli and Palestinian television after nearly a decade.

The popular children's educational program, "Rehov Sumsum" in Hebrew and "Shara'a Simsim" in Arabic, was taken off the air in the 1990s due to a lack of funding. The show, which tailors its characters and story lines to its audience, started broadcasting again in December, with the Israeli version featuring new characters such as an Israeli-Arab Muppet and Russian and Ethiopian immigrants.

On Sunday, Education Minister Yuli Tamir, Alona Apt from the children's channel Hop! And Gary Knell, president and CEO of Sesame Workshop, announced the donation of "Education Enrichment Kits" to Jewish and Arab kindergartens throughout Israel. The Israeli series is also tweaking its programming to include the first ever Arab Muppet, Mahboub, who will speak both Hebrew and Arabic. The new episodes will feature Russian and Ethiopian Jewish immigrants. Tamir added "It opens up a new way to deal with issues of conflict. Just teaching children how to live together, how to work together with each other despite their differences."

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