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Netanyahu: Olmert Paralyzed in Face of Kassams


Opposition Knesset leader Binyamin Netanyahu (Likud) said Wednesday that no country in the world would agree to a continuous bombardment of its citizens' homes.

"The Olmert government needs to disconnect itself from the paralysis and impotence," he said, "and act against the rocket fire in order to give an immediate solution for protecting the home front, for the residents of Sderot and its surroundings."

Israel Launches Air Strikes on Gaza as Palestinian Factions Call Truce

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem) & Israel Faxx News Services

Israel has launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip in response to rocket attacks, leaving at least five Palestinians dead. (Editor: Other news reports say 17 have been killed). At the same time, warring Palestinian factions have called another truce aimed at ending fighting that has killed more than 40 people since Friday.

The Israeli aircraft fired missiles at Hamas terrorists in Gaza, after more than 20 Palestinian rockets were fired across the border toward Sderot. The Israeli missiles hit Hamas military headquarters in the southern town of Rafah and a car carrying gunmen in northern Gaza.

One Kassam scored a direct hit on a home adjacent to that of Sderot resident Defense Minister Peretz and another one landed on a basketball court in the city. Others landed outside Sderot and Ashkelon. No one was injured.

Israeli air strikes have been rare since a ceasefire with Palestinians in Gaza began more than five months ago. But Hamas, the senior party in a Palestinian coalition government, has stepped up rocket attacks in recent days. Israelis in the hard hit town of Sderot accuse their government of abandoning them.

"We're on the front lines of a war," said one Sderot resident. "We have a very strong army, but instead of the army coming to our defense, they're just allowing us to suffer."

Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Israel is running out of patience. "Israel cannot allow its citizens to be harmed. It will take all the necessary action to defend its sovereignty."

Israel launched its strikes as Hamas and the rival Fatah faction fought fierce gun battles on the streets of Gaza City. The fighting caused heavy casualties, and Palestinians hunkered down in their homes.

One Kassam scored a direct hit on a home adjacent to that of Sderot resident Defense Minister Peretz and another one landed on a basketball court in the city. Others landed outside Sderot and Ashkelon. No one was injured.

Gold: 'Iran Could be Year from Nuke'


One year from now, Iran could possess the means of producing a nuclear bomb - that was the chilling message delivered by Ambassador Dore Gold during an interview with YnetNews.

Gold, who has written numerous books on the Middle East, is President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), and has served as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations.

He was responding to a statement released Tuesday morning by the International Atomic Energy's Director (IAEA), Mohamed El-Baradei, who said Iran had made massive progress in creating uranium enrichment centrifuges, so much so the world should consider it a 'fact that Iran can enrich uranium independently.

Gold said the information revealed by El-Baradei undercut previous estimates of when Iran could weaponize its nuclear process. He answered a number of questions submitted by YnetNews readers, and said Iran was also busy developing ballistic missiles that can reach central and Western Europe.

"If all Iran wanted to do was destroy the State of Israel, it would simply invest in the 1300 kilometer range Shihab - 3 missile, which it already has," Gold said, adding that Iran was however developing North Korean missiles with far great ranges.

Jerusalem Day Festivities Canceled due to Flooding

By Ha'aretz

Celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem were canceled Wednesday after storms caused flooding in parts of the capital.

Police and firefighters began dispersing dozens of visitors and residents from the streets of the city, and the Magen David Adom headquarters in Jerusalem received dozens of calls for help. All were answered without injury. Paramedics took several precautions because of the weather, including deploying front-wheel drive ambulances and extending employee shifts.

In several spots in the city visitors taking part in tours of Jerusalem as part of Jerusalem Day were stranded by the rain and had to be evacuated by rescue services.

Rainy weather in Jerusalem led police to cancel nearly all public events to be held Wednesday for Jerusalem Day, including the central ceremony which was to take place on Ammunition Hill in the city. Also, a graduation ceremony for paratroopers was cancelled after the Sultan's Pools, where it was to be held, became full of rainwater disabling the facility's electrical system.

Heavenly Jerusalem

By Ha'aretz

Imagine that the following institutions are located in Jerusalem: An international court; an international dialogue center for the three, monotheistic religions; an academic center to promote leadership of the Jewish people; an international software development center that focuses on Jewish subjects; and a museum of the Jewish people.

These are only a few of the programs that were to be presented to the cabinet to mark Jerusalem Day in conjunction with an effort to "strengthen the standing of Jerusalem as the civilization capital of the Jewish people."

This is not a utopian vision but a plan supported by the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (JPPPI), a respected think tank led by Prof. Yehezkel Dror, an Israel Prize winner and Winograd Commission member. JPPPI's senior researchers include Prof. Sergio Della Pergola, Emmanuel Sivan, and former-director general of the Foreign Ministry Avi Gil.

The Jerusalem initiative was born two years ago when then minister for Jerusalem Affairs Natan Sharansky devised a project to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the city's unification. Sharansky invited Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski to join him, and the two of them asked the institute to develop long-range projects that would lift the capital from its ongoing cycle of problems, including waste disposal and a limited budget.

Hizbullah TV Crews Filmed in Israel During Lebanese War


A reporter for Al Manar TV operated freely in Israel during the Second Lebanon War despite the fact that the station is a propaganda and intelligence gathering arm of Hizbullah – Israel's enemy in the war. Additional TV stations from enemy countries also had reporters in Israel during the war: Iranian TV, Saudi Arabian TV, and the Al Jazeera news channel.

Omedia reported that Al Manar is not a media network in the regular sense of the word. In the USA it is considered a terror organization and its operation within the USA has been banned by presidential decree since the 9/11 terror attacks. When reporters for a station like Al Manar transmit information about the locations hit by missiles in real time, they are for all intents and purposes enemy spies.

Al Manar's television broadcasts – including those aimed at children – encourage suicide terror attacks and call for the conquest of the world by Islam and jihad. The network also transmits anti-Semitic messages, which have caused European countries, including France, to ban its broadcasts.

The matter was investigated by the committee of inquiry, headed by retired judge Dalia Dorner that was established to review journalistic coverage during the war. When reporters for Al Manar transmit information about the locations hit by missiles, they are for all intents and purposes enemy spies.

A senior official in the Government Press Bureau said that freelance Arab reporters from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and other countries operated in Israel during the war and reported for Al Jazeera, NBC Dubai and Al Manar. During the war itself they were allowed to report from Haifa, even though they did not have government press cards.

The reporter for Al Manar, said the Press Bureau official, is an Israeli Arab. And Israeli citizens are allowed to report for news organizations that operate from enemy states.

When asked whether reporters for Al Manar and Iranian TV submitted their reports to the censor before transmitting them, the IDF Spokesman replied laconically: "the foreign TV stations operating in the territory of Israel are required to submit reports to the censor before broadcasting, and this was true in the Second Lebanon War as well."

Students' Holocaust Film Garners National Attention


A stark picture of piled-up concentration camp victims appears in "Denying the Deniers," a 7 1/2 minute documentary produced by two Jenks High School students, as 75-year-old Fred Strauss says, "No one died in these camps."

There's a pause in his commentary just long enough for the audience to wonder if Strauss is among the many people who dispute that roughly 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

But then Strauss adds that dying is something he'll do with his loved ones surrounding his deathbed. "These people were killed," he says, setting the poignant tone for the Ken Burns-style documentary helmed by 17-year-old Blaine Hoyt and 16-year-old Nick Poss. "The Nazis denied these people their lives and the deniers deny these people's deaths. It's as if these people never existed."

The film, which the student filmmakers produced in roughly six weeks during their film and TV class and after school, placed second in C-SPAN's national "StudentCam" competition.

The short film will air June 4 on C-SPAN at 5:50 a.m., will be followed by a live phone interview with one of the students at 7:30 a.m. during "Washington Journal." "Denying the Deniers" is available for download at

Poss and Hoyt will split the $750 prize money and their film and TV teacher, Clifton Raphael, will receive $125 to purchase digital video equipment for the school.

Raphael said of the film's quality, "The overall style and feeling that it leaves the viewer with, I think, just communicates the message in a very powerful way without hitting you over the head with it."

Before making the film, Hoyt said he didn't realize anyone doubted the Holocaust. "I just figured, like I thought everyone did, that the Holocaust happened and it was very real," he said. "Then I found out that these guys who deny it say it didn't happen. It just seemed like a bunch of wish-wash. It's way out there, and there's no proof. It just seems like, 'How can you do this?' "

One of the quotes that flash on the screen during the film is from David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard born in Tulsa. "The Holocaust is the device used as the pillar of Zionist imperialism, Zionist aggression, Zionist terror and Zionist murder," Duke said.

Along with dozens of gripping images set to somber instrumental music, the students interviewed Strauss, two college professors and Harriet Sherber, an 83-year-old survivor of Kristallnacht, which is translated as Night of Broken Glass, who escaped the Holocaust with her family thanks to relatives in America.

In the film, Sherber makes the point that the Holocaust survivors "make an effort to convince people to tell our story so that people can always stand up and say, 'You're Lying.'"

In just 7 1/2 minutes of film, two high school filmmakers continue that mission begun long ago when Jews didn't die in concentration camps -- they were killed.

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