Newsletter : 7fax0515.txt
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Dachau Chief Calls for Admission Fee
By Israel Faxx News Services
The head of the International Dachau Committee called for the establishment of an
entrance fee to the concentration camp memorial. Pieter J. Ph. Dietz De Loos, a Dutch
survivor of Dachau, told the audience that a contribution from each of the 800,000 annual
visitors would help pay for educational programs and additional staff.
It would be the only such site in Germany to charge for admission. The suggestion has
drawn criticism from survivors and from directors of other memorial sites in Germany.
Violence, Political Crisis Deepen in Gaza Strip
By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem)
The Palestinian Interior Minister has resigned as a new wave of violence claimed six
lives in factional fighting, and left more than 50 others wounded. The fighting has raised
fears that the two-month-old Palestinian unity government could collapse.
During the past few days gunmen have returned to the streets of the Gaza Strip, raising
fears once again of an all-out civil war between the Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah.
An Egyptian-mediated truce has largely failed to stop the fighting.
The violence was too much for Palestinian Interior Minister Hani Kawasmeh, a career
civil servant who blamed both factions for failing to support his plan to reform the
Palestinian security forces. He said that since his appointment he has faced obstacles
from both factions that left him without any real power - and that without full authority
to carry out his duties he was stepping down.
Hamas and Fatah now have to overcome their differences and agree on a new interior
minister. In the meantime, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a leading Hamas terrorist has
taken control of the Interior Ministry.
Three months ago, Hamas and Fatah agreed to a Saudi-mediated peace deal known as the
Mecca Agreement - it ended factional fighting and led to the formation of a unity
Palestinian government largely dominated by Hamas.
Palestinian Information Minister, Mustapha Barghouti, an independent member of the
government said he feared that with the latest violence the Mecca Agreement could come
unraveled. "There is absolutely the risk that the Mecca agreement could collapse, and the
government could collapse. That is why we are working very hard now to prevent that from
happening because of that happens it could be the end of the Palestinian Authority."
Barghouti said both factions need to step back and pull their gunmen off the streets
before the violence gets worse. "Both Hamas and Fatah must understand that this internal
fighting cannot continue while they are both members in a coalition of a national unity
Control of the Palestinian Interior Ministry has long been a source of dispute between
Hamas and Fatah. Thousands of security force personnel are under the authority of the
Interior Minister, and it took more than a month for Hamas and Fatah to agree on the
appointment of Hani Kawasmeh to the post.
Thousands of additional gunmen work directly for Fatah and Hamas outside of Interior
Ministry control. Last week, 3,000 additional police under the control of Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas, who also heads Fatah, were deployed in Gaza over the objections
Iranian Leader Warns of Retaliation for Any US Attack
By VOA News
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned that Iran would retaliate with
severity to any U.S. military attack. The Iranian leader spoke Monday during a news
conference in Abu Dhabi at the end of his trip to the United Arab Emirates. It is the
first visit by an Iranian head of state to the close U.S. Gulf ally.
Friday, during a visit to the UAE, Vice President Dick Cheney said the U.S. and its
allies will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. Washington has said it has no
intention of taking military action against Iran over its nuclear program.
Iran and the U.S. do not have diplomatic relations. But the Bush administration has
said since 2005 that it would hold talks, limited to the subject of Iraq, through the U.S.
ambassador in Baghdad. The U.S. accuses Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, a
charge Iran denies.
Tel Aviv New Immigrant Confesses to Murdering Arab Cab Driver
A recent immigrant from France residing in Tel Aviv confessed Monday to the murder of a
35-year-old Arab taxi driver, whose body was found in the city earlier in the day.
The body of the East Jerusalem man was discovered in an apartment on Yona Hanavi Street
on Monday afternoon. His throat had been cut, and his body bore the signs of a severe
A preliminary police investigation revealed that the dead man had been invited to the
apartment by the 25-year-old Israeli, who also holds French citizenship.
Police were first alerted to the murder when officers from the traffic department
noticed two men loitering in the center of Allenby Street in Tel Aviv, at about 4 p.m.
When the two, the suspect and his 21-year-old brother, were detained for routine
questioning, the 25-year-old confessed to having killed the cab driver in his apartment,
and led police to the scene of the crime.
The motive behind the murder seems to be nationalistic, as the suspect said that he had
killed the taxi driver over his Arab nationality. Neighbors said that the suspect had
recently become religious and would regularly attend a local synagogue.
Following the suspect's confession, police asked him to lead them to the apartment.
"When he opened the door we found the body of a man. I immediately turned around and
handcuffed him," said one of the arresting policemen.
The initial investigation revealed that victim's throat had been slit, and that he was
a taxi driver. His cab was found parked outside the building on Yona Hanavi St. According
to estimates, the murder took place several hours before the body was found.
It seems that the suspect's brother arrived at the apartment shortly after the murder
and was not directly involved. "It became clear from the beginning of the investigation
that murderer and victim had no prior relationship. The victim turned out to be an Arab
from East Jerusalem, and the suspect is a young Jewish man who recently became religious.
For this reason we suspected that there was a nationalist motive behind the murder," said
the head of investigations at Yarkon District Police.
The suspect and his brother were then taken to a police station for questioning, and it
became evident to investigators that the murder was premeditated. "I decided to murder an
Arab," the suspect told police.
"We understand that [the suspect] arrived in Jerusalem with the objective of killing an
Arab. We don't know if he made his plans two hours or two weeks before the murder, but
there is definitely evidence that there was planning and thought behind it," said
Commander of Yarkon District Police Brig. Gen. Hagai Dotan.
"When they arrived at the apartment in Tel Aviv, the suspect shrewdly persuaded the
victim to go up the apartment," an investigating officer said. Once in the apartment, the
suspect attacked the victim with a knife and stabbed him to death. It seems that he had
been prepared ahead of time.
MK Ahmed Tibi (Ra`am-Ta`al) said in response to the murder that "an atmosphere of
incitement, hated of Arabs, and the escalating racism in the country are fertile soil for
this crime," and added that "the court will probably find mitigating circumstances for the
Military Service Tames Political Views
Over the course of their military service, Israeli combat soldiers become less right
wing, adopt more dovish political views and are more open to comprise on security issues
according to research completed in the School for Political Science at the
University of Haifa by IDF Reserve Colonel Dr. Zvika Barkai who served as Commander of the
Haifa region and head of the Operations Branch of the Home Front Command.
Additional parameters that effect change in political views include the specific unit
served in, gender and service as an officer. "In the opposite of what would be expected,
military service does not cause adopting militaristic views," said Barkai.
The research surveyed 490 male and female soldiers of every rank and in every branch of
the IDF. Soldiers were asked to respond to the same series of questions at three different
times, before induction, six months into their service and immediately following their
release. The goal of the research was to evaluate whether the army is in actuality the
politically neutral institution that it purports to be and whether it has any effect on
soldiers' political views.
"It's a problem when the public is convinced that soldiers are coerced into adapting
specific political views, sometimes against their will, and to act accordingly. Such a
public belief could limit the ability of the government to use the army for nationalist
missions," remarked Barkai.
The research found that soldiers' political views change over the course of their
service, and that the type of service, length of service, rank, and gender influenced the
change. The initial interviews found that a large percentage of the soldiers began their
service with clear right wing views. Six months into their military service they were more
right wing, but after completing their service they took on more dovish views and were
more willing to compromise on security issues.
In addition, these soldiers adopted more conciliatory views towards minorities in
general, and more specifically towards the Arab minority, and experienced a greater change
in their views about human rights than soldiers who began their service with less extreme
views. Over all, when political views did change during military service, they reverted
back to the original views after release, with the exception of combat soldiers who
maintained more dovish views following their release.
Within the different types of army units, soldiers who served in field units underwent
the greatest change in their political views. The research revealed that all soldiers in
field units, combat and non-combat, underwent a change in their political views. Those
with hawkish views adopted more moderate views and a raised consciousness for minority
Those who served as officers also underwent a substantial change in their political
views. Officers adopted much less right wing and more pragmatic views than enlisted
soldiers. In addition, they underwent a greater change in espousing strongly democratic
values, adherence to the rule of law and minority rights.
Women, on the other hand, underwent a change in political views and became more
right wing and hawkish. At the same time, they increased their support for regulation of
non-conventional weapons more than male soldiers did. Women soldiers experienced a greater
change in their support of democratic values while men underwent a greater change in the
attitude towards human rights and minority relations.
"It is important to note that although men underwent a greater change, their values
were almost identical to women's in terms of concern for human rights at the end of their
service, as they began with more extreme views," explained Barkai.
While army service did not affect the level of religious observance among the soldiers,
it did improve understandings between religious and non-religious soldiers and increased
willingness to compromise on religious issues.
According to Barkai, the research findings demonstrated that military service does
influence political views; therefore civilian authorities need to oversee the values and
messages that the army espouses to ascertain that the military works to assimilate only
universal, accepted values. Only then will the military be an effective agent for the
integration and assimilation of positive values and an agent for bridging and narrowing
The study results led the researcher to recommend that minorities and marginalized
populations be encouraged to serve in the military. He recommended a large-scale draft of
Arabs, increased participation of Druze and Bedouins, ultra-orthodox Jews and religious
women and designing special programs for marginalized youth (who are often excused from
"Even taking into account that expanding the draft to include the abovementioned groups
may have a marginal or even negative effect on the country's security, the latent national
gains should be weighed against the security issues not necessarily by the
military," summarized Barkai.
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