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ADL Warns of E-mail Hoax Aimed at Jews
Israel Faxx News Services

The Anti-Defamation League warned Jewish leaders about an e-mail scam targeting Jews. The scam, a new version of a Nigerian ploy to lure recipients into transferring funds to an offshore bank account, plays on fears of anti-Semitism to coax Jews into parting with their money.

At least four recipients in Texas contacted the local ADL office to inquire if mass killings and kidnappings of Jews in Africa were really taking place. In South Florida, the ADL sent about 4,000 e-mails to area Jewish leaders warning them of the hoax, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Israeli Labor Party Leader Ousted

By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem) &

Israel's Labor Party has voted out its current leader, Amir Peretz, who serves as Israel's defense minister in the coalition government. The Labor Party primary vote could eventually bring down the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

In a decisive vote to change its current leadership, Labor members gave former Prime Minister Ehud Barak a slim victory in the party primary, over the former head of the Shin Bet domestic security service, Amir Ayalon. Both men polled well ahead of Peretz, but neither gained the necessary 40 percent margin of victory for an outright win.

Barak and Ayalon will now face each other in a runoff contest, in two weeks. The primary vote marks a stunning political comeback for Barak, who was defeated in national elections in 2001 by Ariel Sharon, shortly after the second Palestinian intifada began.

Zeev Feiner is a former Peretz aide and a longtime Labor Party insider. He said Barak's refusal during the campaign to speak to reporters or discuss his past performance as prime minister was a winning strategy. "I think Ehud Barak had an amazing campaign. Instead of us talking about Ehud Barak's past and his failures in the past, we are all busy discussing whether he is talking or not talking," said Feiner.

"If he would be talking, the public would be discussing his failures - did he change, did he not change what would he be doing differently from the past or what are his views. His aim was, and he managed to have us speak about him keeping silent, but he managed to keep all the problematic problems on his side outside."

Although Barak won a narrow victory over Ayalon, his election as Labor Party leader in the runoff is not assured. Recent polls show Amir Ayalon gaining support from many of Peretz's former supporters and defeating Barak in a runoff.

Both Barak and Ayalon called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to step down, following the recent release of a report by a government-appointed commission that heavily criticized his leadership in last year's war in Lebanon. Olmert is also under pressure from Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who would like to replace him as head of the ruling Kadima Party.

Zeev Feiner said Olmert would gain, if Barak becomes Labor Party leader, while Tzipi Livni could benefit if Ayalon prevails. "I think that Ehud Olmert is hoping that Ehud Barak is elected, because Ehud Barak will stay and keep a stable government for Ehud Olmert, because they both have an interest on buying time until elections," he said.

"Then we have Tzipi Livni who wants to take over and Amir Ayalon could help her by saying he is only willing to sit in a government with Kadima if Ehud Olmert is not heading that government."

Unlike Amir Peretz, both Ehud Barak and Amir Ayalon are senior members of Israel's military and security establishment and both are seen as potential future prime ministers. However, polls show that if an Israeli election were held today, the big winner would be the right-wing Likud Party, led by former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - leading to speculation that the next leader of Israel's Labor Party might want to keep Labor in the current coalition government, for the time being.

Reacting to the Labor Party's vote, Knesset Member Yuval Shteinitz (Likud) reacted with a harsh analysis of the nature of that political party.

"Labor has become a militaristic party with a fascist atmosphere about it. I know of no political party in the Western world in which most of its leaders in the last decade have been generals, and in which the primaries were led by a general and an admiral who collected around them support groups of generals, colonels and retired heads of the secret services," Shteinitz said.

Israeli Forces Kill 2 Palestinian Terrorists in Gaza, Detain 4 in West Bank

By VOA News

Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinian terrorists in a gun battle that broke out during a cross-border raid into the Gaza Strip early Tuesday. Palestinian medics identified the dead men as Hamas militants Abdul Karim Shaath and Mohammed Muamar.

In the West Bank, the Israeli army said it arrested four wanted men in an overnight raid in the refugee camp of Balata. Palestinians said the detainees include Jamal Tirawi, a member of the Palestinian parliament and all are members of the Fatah faction of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Monday, an Israeli air strike destroyed a building used by Hamas in the northern Gaza, after Palestinians fired nearly 10 rockets into southern Israel, injuring one person. Hamas has kept up their rocket attacks, despite an appeal from President Mahmoud Abbas to renew a ceasefire with Israel in Gaza that collapsed more than week ago.

Minister Eyes Sudanese 'Exodus'

By Israel Faxx News Services

Citing biblical morality, Israel's justice minister called for the country to take in Sudanese refugees. Daniel Friedmann said Tuesday that Israel, which in recent months has seen an influx of refugees from the Darfur genocide who made it into the country via the Egyptian Sinai, should consider granting some permanent asylum.

"This is a question currently faced by the State of Israel, and which is directly linked to what happened 3,000 years ago and more, at the time of the Exodus from Egypt," Friedmann said in a speech to Israeli lawyers. "There are instructions in the Torah that teach about compassion, with aspects that we do not see in the laws of other peoples. The emphasis is on why there is a need for compassion."

Some Sudanese refugees in Israel have found temporary homes in kibbutzim, while others have been locked up as possible enemies of the state given the official state of war between Israel and Sudan.

Petition to Bring Eli Cohen's Remains to Israel


A group of Syrian expatriates is calling on Syrian President Bashar Assad to allow the transfer of Israeli spy Eli Cohen's remains to Israel. The group will send a petition to Assad in the near future, asking him to allow Cohen to be reburied next to his family and loved ones as a "humanitarian gesture."

Cohen's wife, Nadia Cohen, said she hopes the petition "will reach attentive ears." Cohen was punished 42 years ago when he was executed by Syria, she said, and "there's no need to continue punishing his family and his children."

Israel to Publish First List of Holocaust Victims' Assets

By Ha'aretz

The Company for Locating and Retrieving Assets of People who were killed in the Holocaust intends to publish a list of properties and invite heirs of the victims to claim them.

However, the banks have refused to cooperate with the company and transfer the accounts of Holocaust victims' to it. Two Knesset members from the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee threatened to petition the High Court of Justice to force the banks to return the money to the Holocaust victims' heirs.

The company's acting head, Yishai Amrami, said a list of some 500 lots, some 50 apartments and NIS 60 million in various bank accounts, is to be released in two weeks. This will be the first publication of a list of Holocaust victims' assets that have been held in Israel.

The move is intended to launch the process of returning of the Holocaust victims' property and funds - many years after a similar process took place in European states.

The company for Locating and Retrieving Assets of People who were Killed in the Holocaust is in charge of concentrating all the assets, locating the victims' heirs and returning the property to them. Amrami briefed the committee about the company's activities, including its talks to reclaim victims' property from other bodies.

The Custodian General recently transferred 335 lots, 53 apartments and NIS 60 million and 1,000 files of Holocaust victims' assets to the company. The company will publish the details of every file. The negotiations with the Custodian General over the final sum to be given the company, including profits on assets, interest and linkage have yet to begin.

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) and Himanuta Ltd., a wholly-owned JNF subsidiary, have begun transferring 136 lots to the company. These properties that the Custodian General, JNF and Himanuta have handed over to the company will comprise the first list, as well as details of 9,000 bank accounts that were located by the parliamentary inquiry committee to locate and reclaim Holocaust victims' assets.

The Israel Lands Administration (ILA), which received 56 other lots, has leased them. The company has begun negotiating over payment for these lots. "We asked Bank Leumi for all the data and documents it had. We were refused," the company's officials reported to the Constitution Committee.

Bank Hamizrahi told the company that it rejected the results of the Knesset's inquiry committee, and Discount Bank denied having any assets of victims. "I stand shamefacedly before people who have been waiting for seven years for us to return the money they deserve, and none of them has received anything yet," said MK Colette Avital, who headed the parliamentary inquiry committee.

She and MK Marina Solodkin (Kadima) said at the meeting that they would petition the High Court to make the banks return the Holocaust victims' money to the heirs. "It's scandalous that Bank Leumi isn't giving the money. We must ask the High Court to revoke the bank's license," Solodkin said.

Bank Leumi head of foreign relations and public relations Gideon Shor said the bank was "cooperating with the company with a lot of good will." He said the bank has allocated NIS 35 million to cover its debts to Holocaust victims and is waiting for the company to submit its own estimate as a basis for negotiation.

Constitution Committee chair Menachem Ben Sasson said he would meet directors of the bodies holding Holocaust victims' property and demand they transfer the assets.

ADL: Anti-Semitism Persistent Among Arab Christians


The Anti-Defamation League said a recent statement by a prominent leader of the Coptic Church, who claimed that the New Testament says that the Jews killed Jesus and that the Vatican was wrong to apologize for 2000 years of church-based anti-Semitism, "shows the persistence of anti-Semitism among Arab Christian leaders."

According to a translation of an interview with Egyptian Copt Patriarch Shinoda III, provided by The Middle East Media Research Institute, the Coptic leader told an interviewer on Egyptian TV that the Vatican was wrong to apologize for longtime church teachings about Jews as Christ killers.

"It is disturbing, but not surprising that there are still Christian leaders in the Arab world who not only wholeheartedly ascribe to the deicide charge, but who teach it to their congregants as a core tenet of their faith," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director.

"It shows the persistence of anti-Semitism among Arab Christian leaders and contributes to the already virulent anti-Semitism that is part of the mainstream in many Arab nations. It also shows the need for education and leadership for tolerance in Middle East not only among Muslims, but Christians as well."

"What is the Vatican apologizing for?" Patriarch Shinoda III said in his April 8, 2007 appearance on Egypt's Dream 2 TV. "It has done nothing that warrants an apology. I don't like things that are done for appearance's sake. Everything must have depth and reasons. What are they apologizing for?"

When the interviewer noted that the Catholic Church had apologized for describing Jews as "Christ killers," Patriarch Shinoda responded, "The New Testament says that they (Jews) are. Is the Vatican against the teachings of the New Testament?"

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