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Watch the video of Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones stating that Jonathan Pollard was a traitor to the U.S. and that it was due to America's mercy that he wasn't executed:

Palestinian Rockets Hit Israel Despite Threat of Retaliation

By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem)

At least seven rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip struck southern Israel, a day after Israel's prime minister warned that ending the rocket fire could take a long time

Hamas militants are keeping up their rocket attacks, despite threats of massive retaliation from Israeli officials and a plea by moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to renew a ceasefire with Israel that collapsed more than a week ago.

The Associated Press reported Israel's army has been given approval to broaden ground operations against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Israel has carried out daily air strikes against the terrorists in Gaza for more than a week, killing about 50 Palestinians, but the rocket attacks have continued.

Miri Eisen a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would not say if Hamas leaders will be targeted by Israeli forces, but she did say those who are firing rockets at Israel would pay a heavy price.

"The citizens of the south are now under direct attack by Hamas rockets. We do not go into the operational details of how we will strike, but we state clearly to the Hamas, the Hamas-led government, the Hamas that are firing the rockets barrages into Israel, we will respond harshly and severely."

Hamas leaders have warned Israel not to target their leaders, and have also threatened to kill an Israeli soldier being held by Palestinians in Gaza. Hamas has for the time being also rejected a call by Abbas to agree to a one-month ceasefire with Israel. Hamas leaders said they would only accept a ceasefire if Israel agreed to extend it to include the West Bank, something Israel rejects.

Peres Running for President


After months of indecision, veteran statesman Shimon Peres, father of the Oslo process, has decided to run for President of Israel.

After weighing a run to succeed Ehud Olmert as Prime Minister, Peres finally came to the conclusion that despite the Winograd Commission's findings, Olmert was not planning to resign - or be toppled - any time soon. Peres therefore decided to offer his candidacy for the presidency.

Peres' chief supporter in the Knesset, Kadima MK Yoel Hasson, began collecting the 10 MKs' signatures necessary for the nomination this morning (Monday). The first to sign was Prime Minister Olmert, followed by several Kadima MKs and one from the Pensioners Party. The election will be held in a secret ballot among the 120 Knesset Members on July 13.

Several months ago, supporters of Peres tried to pass a law to render the election open and not-secret. It was felt that a secret vote would hurt Peres' chances, enabling MKs to take the "politically correct" position of supporting the "elder statesman" while actually voting otherwise. An open vote, on the other hand, would force MKs who promised to support Peres to actually do so.

In the previous election seven years ago, several MKs who promised to vote for Peres presumably did not do so, and President Moshe Katzav (now self-suspended) defeated him by a 63-57 vote.

Nearly 84 years old, Peres has served in the Knesset consecutively since 1959, except for a short period last year for technical reasons having to do with his switch from Labor to Kadima. He has served, more than once, as Prime Minister and Acting Prime Minister, as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Communications, Transportation, Regional Development, Information and more.

In 1992-3, under then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, Peres negotiated what became the Oslo Accords with members of the PLO. The secret talks were against Israeli law at the time, in that contacts with terrorist organizations were forbidden.

Former Israeli-Arab Knesset Member Now Advises PA Terror Groups on Hizbullah TV


Former Israeli-Arab MK Azmi Bishara, on the run from the law and living in Jordan, appeared on Hizbullah television over the weekend. "Fatah and Hamas must form a strategic unification including all resistance movements," Bishara advised. "This will allow us to meet our goal."

Bishara faces charges of treason, aiding enemy forces in wartime, contacting a foreign agent, funding terror activates and money laundering if he returns to Israel. Both Hamas and Hizbullah have issued statements in support of Bishara,

Bishara's TV appearance heralded Israel's retreat from Lebanon in 2000 as a great precedent. "The victory in 2000 was a victory not just for Lebanon, but for all Arab people," he said. "Lessons must be learned from this victory."

Asked by a Jordanian paper whether he was considering going back to Israel, Bishara said: "I don't like Israel. I never liked sitting in the Knesset. It was a sacrifice and a concession I made with myself."

Speaking at a conference in the Jordanian capital later on Saturday, Bishara called Israel "colonialist," referring to all Israelis using the Arabic word for settlers. Bishara said that actions like the Disengagement from Gaza were only meant to preserve the Jewish majority in pre-1967 Israel - while in truth, Israeli-Arabs should actually be allowed to vote Israel out of existence.

"Just like the white people in South Africa went about their business in a democratic way, so does Israel," he said. "The settlers [referring to all citizens of Israel –ed.] behave in a democratic fashion and the original residents [Israeli-Arabs –ed.] have been made into a minority who can participate in the democratic process."

The resigned MK answered claims that nowhere else in the Middle East would he be given the freedom of speech to work against the state within which he resides: "Give us Palestine," he said, "and take your democracy back." According to United Press International, Bishara has decided to make the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan his new home. He is living in a home in Amman.

Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane's Murderer Caught


A long-sought Palestinian Authority terrorist was taken into custody by a Special Forces team late Monday afternoon in a joint operation between the IDF, Police Counter-terrorism Unit and General Security Services (Shin Bet).

Khaled Shawish, a senior commander in the Al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades terrorist organization, sponsored by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, was cornered in his car by Israeli forces in Ramallah.

The top terrorist has spent the past few years hiding out in Chairman Abbas' headquarters in the Muqata compound, where former PLO chairman Yasir Arafat lived out his last years trapped by the IDF. A gang of gunmen, including Shawish, was sheltered in Abbas' headquarters during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002.

Binyamin-Ze'ev Kahane, the son of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, and his wife Talia were shot to death and their five daughters seriously wounded in a December 2000 terror attack in which Shawish played a key role.

New Pius XII Biography Rejects Anti-Semitism Charge

By Reuters

Accusations that wartime Pope Pius XII was an anti-Semite who turned a blind eye to the Holocaust are part of a "black legend" not supported by historical documents, the author of a new biography says.

The book by Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli - his fourth on Pius - is being published weeks after the Vatican put Pius a step closer to sainthood, a move that angered some Jews.

Some Jews have accused Pius, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, of being indifferent to the Holocaust and not speaking out against Hitler. His supporters consider him a holy man who worked behind the scenes to help Jews throughout Europe.

"This is a black legend that refuses to die. Pius XII has become a lightning rod for all the presumed responsibilities of the Catholic Church in that period," Tornielli said in an interview with Reuters.

Tornielli, a journalist with the newspaper Il Giornale, has called his 650-page biography "Pius XII, Eugenio Pacelli, A Man on the Throne of St Peter." Eugenio Pacelli was Pius' name before he became pope.

In the book, Tornielli cites new documents from the Pacelli family archives showing that as a high school student Eugenio had a close friendship with a Jewish classmate, Guido Mendes.

As Pacelli rose in the Church, he never forgot his Jewish friend, helping the Mendes family when wartime dictator Benito Mussolini enacted the "racial laws" against Jews in 1938, a year before Pacelli was elected pontiff.

Pacelli, then a cardinal and Vatican secretary of state, helped the Mendes family slip into Switzerland, from where they moved to Israel, the book says.

The Anti-Defamation League has asked Pope Benedict to suspend the sainthood process until the Vatican declassifies its World War 2-era archives "so that the full record of the Pope's actions during the Holocaust may finally be known".

Tornielli's latest book, published by Mondadori, also includes excerpts from letters the future pope wrote to his family in the early 1930s when he was Vatican ambassador in Germany, expressing concern over the rise of Hitler. "It is impossible to have a calm historical debate about Pius because he has been branded 'the Nazi Pope' and this a clear distortion of history," Tornielli said.

This month, the Vatican's saint-making department voted in favor of a decree recognizing Pius' "heroic virtues," a major hurdle in a long process toward sainthood that began in 1967. If Pope Benedict approves the decree, Pius can move toward beatification, the last step before sainthood.

Diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Israel were briefly tested last month over a photo caption critical of Pius under his picture at a state Holocaust memorial in Israel.

The Vatican maintains Pius did not speak out more forcefully against the Holocaust because he was afraid of provoking Nazi reprisals and worsening the fate of Catholics and Jews.

Supporters say Pius ordered churches and convents in Rome to take in Jews after the Germans occupied the city in 1943. "He believed that was the best way to save lives," Tornielli said.

"The Vatican was surrounded by Italy, a totalitarian state and Hitler's principal ally. The Vatican was spied on. Perhaps another pope would have done it differently or spoken out more. The question is: 'what would the result for the victims have been?'" Tornielli said.

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