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Stray Kassam Rocket Kills 2 Arab Children in Gaza


Kassam rockets fired by Palestinian Authority terrorists in Gaza sometimes fall short of their Jewish targets and kill small Arab children instead. Such an incident occurred Tuesday, when a 6-year-old girl and her 8-year-old brother were killed by a stray Kassam rocket.

The two little children and five friends played with the missile after finding it lying near their home in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiyeh. The two children were rushed to the Kamal Adwan hospital in critical condition, along with their five friends, all of whom were injured by the blast.

Report: Olmert Plans Palestine Land Swap

By VOA News & Israel Faxx News Services

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel has promised quick solutions for many of the day-to-day concerns of Palestinians in the West Bank.

Abbas made the remark on the Voice of Palestine radio after Monday's talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jericho. He said he believed the Israeli leader is "serious" about making progress in efforts to revitalize the peace process.

Olmert plans to offer the Palestinians a state on most of the West Bank, with land allotments from Israel to make up for Jewish settlement blocs Israel would annex, Ha'aretz reported.

Tuesday's report said the Israeli prime minister wants to recognize the Palestinians' claim to all of the West Bank, but instead of giving up on Jewish settlements situated in the territory intends to offer the Palestinians land of equivalent size from within the Jewish state. This land could consist of Israeli Arab towns, an ethnic trade-off aimed at mollifying Olmert's rightist partners in the coalition government, the report said.

The Prime Minister's Office denied the report, saying in a statement: "We would like to clarify that such a plan has not been considered, nor is it being raised for discussion in any forum." The report, which followed Olmert's summit with Abbas, stirred outrage among Israeli Arabs.

Earlier, Olmert said he discussed "fundamental issues" that - in the Israeli leader's words - will soon lead into negotiations about the creation of a Palestinian state.

Israeli officials said the Jericho meeting did not deal with so-called final-status issues, such as setting a border, dismantling Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the future of Jerusalem. The meeting -- the first time an Israeli leader visited a Palestinian town in nearly seven years -- was part of preparations for a U.S. sponsored Middle East peace conference expected in November.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said more meetings would be needed to prepare for the peace conference. Israel captured the West Bank during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. The territory is now a patchwork of Israeli settlements, areas under Israeli military administration, and areas under the Palestinian Authority.

Police Remove Jewish Settlers from Hebron House in West Bank

By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem),

Israeli police and army units removed two Jewish settler families from a house in the West Bank city of Hebron early Tuesday. More than a dozen police were injured in the incident and 11 Jewish settlers were arrested.

Police moved in at dawn to remove the two families who have been squatting in apartments near the Hebron market for several months. About 500 observant Jewish settlers live in the area surrounded by Hebron's 160,000 Palestinian residents.

Clashes between the two groups occur daily, but on Tuesday it was Israeli police who clashed with the settlers. "Upon entering the site, unfortunately stones were thrown at our police personnel at the beginning," said Mickey Rosenfeld, the spokesman for the Israeli police. "Over 14 police officers were injured, not specifically at that area, but in and around the market area, which is a problematic dense area."

The area around the Hebron market has been closed since 1994 when the Jewish settler, Baruch Goldstein opened fire at a shrine venerated by both Muslims and Jews, killing 29 Palestinians. Ever since, settlers have been seeking to re-establish a presence in the area.

The Hebron settlers say the properties they were evicted from on Tuesday were owned by Jews until 1948 when Jordan seized the area during Israel's War of Independence. After Israel captured the area in the 1967 Six Day War, Jewish settlers returned to Hebron.

Noam Arnon, a spokesman for the settlers told Israeli Radio that the settlers are not giving up. Arnon said the settlers would attempt to return to the properties and that Israeli leaders should not try and prevent them from doing so. He told Arutz Sheva Radio that the residents of Hebron and their supporters fought an intense battle to prevent the evictions.

In a statement to the press, Hebron community representatives said, "3,000 soldiers and policemen attempted to remove two families and dozens of youths from Jewish property, which they are now demolishing. This struggle will continue, and we will yet return. We displayed great responsibility - more than that displayed by the Defense Minister - and we demand the fulfillment of the agreement [allowing residents to stay in the Shalhevet neighborhood] and the return of Jews to the Jewish community of Hebron."

Spokespersons for the far-left Peace Now organization saw things differently and called for further evictions of Jews from their Hebron homes. "The eviction of the two families this morning is just the tip of the iceberg," according to Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer. "There are dozens of buildings in the city in which settlers have squatted, with eviction orders issued against them. [The evictions] should be executed immediately."

Hitler's Greatest Musical Hits

By Israel Faxx News Services

A newly discovered box of Hitler's records included music by Jewish composers or played by Jewish musicians.

Kept in a box for 62 years in the attic of a dacha near Moscow, the collection of gramophone discs had been taken from Hitler's Wilhelmstrasse bunker in Berlin by a Red Army reconnaissance officer, Capt. Lev Besymenski. Besymenski, who died this summer at the age of 86, was Jewish. After his death, his daughter Alexandra brought the box of some 100 LPs to Germany's Spiegel magazine.

Russian composers were also banned under the Third Reich. But in private Hitler repeatedly played Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky and hundreds more works he publicly labeled "sub-human music".

In one of Hitler's albums, the famous Polish Jewish violinist Bronislaw Huberman played works by Tschaikovsky. This has surprised historians, since Huberman, who fled Vienna in 1937, a year before the Anschluss, had been declared an enemy of the Third Reich. Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf that Jewish art "never existed."

Alexandra Besymenski said her father had told her that in May 1945 he and his comrades had been dispatched to take an inventory of objects in Hitler's bunker and the chancellery, which lay in ruins. While others collected silverware engraved with the initials "AH," he took albums from Hitler's collection, which he found in numbered boxes, packed for delivery to the Eagle's Nest headquarters in Berchtesgarden.

Besymenski said her father had explained that while he had played some of the records for friends in the early years after the war, he later decided to stow them away because he did not want to be considered a looter.

Now Zat's Vot I Call Musik 1945 features such boot stomping tunes as Mozart Piano Sonata No 8 in A minor with Arthur Schnable. That's at No.5. In at 4 is Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, with the Berlin State Opera Orchestra, soloist Bronislaw Huberman.

Shock indeed, pop pickers. Schnable was a Jew. Huberman was also a Jew. The temptation is to think of Hitler pointing to flaws in the playing and finding reason to ensure such musical imprecision never occurs again by killing Huberman, Schable and all of their families.

"You see," said Hitler. "They kill the music, the Jews. And if you don't have music what is there but nothing? Nothing!"

But there is reason to believe Hitler's music was not based on racial lines. In at Number 3 are Russian arias, including the death of Boris Godunov, by Mussorgsky, sung by the Russian bass Fyodor Shalyapin.

Those Russian Untermenschen may have irregular shaped heads but, boy, could they ever right a show tune. Of course, there is music and there is the right music and while the Jew and the Russian toil the German wins.

So what was Hitler's top tune? It's not trad jazz, that theme tune of lost causes. At No. 2 is Wagner's overture to The Flying Dutchman by the Bayreuth Orchestra, conducted by Heinz Tietjen. And at No. 1 it's Piano sonatas, Opus 78 and 90, by Beethoven.

Cardinal Would `Say Kaddish for his Mother'

By Ha'aretz & Israel Jewish Scene

One day Rabbi Rene-Samuel Sirat was invited to attend a lecture on the Holocaust, held in the amphitheater of the Sorbonne University in Paris. The speaker, a member of the Academie Francaise, moved the audience when he spoke of a Jewish girl who missed out on a golden opportunity to escape a concentration camp to remain near her parents. Eventually, she was sent to her death along with them.

"Next to me sat Cardinal Lustiger," the former chief rabbi of France recalled. "I glanced at his face and saw tears running down his cheeks. At that moment I knew he was remembering his mother, who suffered a similar fate at the Auschwitz death camp."

Lustiger passed away Monday aged 80. Born Aaron Lustiger, he converted to Catholicism when his Jewish German parents sent him to live with a French Catholic family during the Holocaust. He was ultimately appointed to the Church's most senior positions, and served as archbishop of Paris from 1981 until 2005.

On more than one occasion, Sirat met the cardinal entering Paris' main synagogue. "He would come to say Kaddish for his mother," he said.

In 1981, several months after Sirat's appointment as chief rabbi, Jean-Marie Lustiger became archbishop of Paris. The two men became friends. They met frequently, but each time Sirat felt uncomfortable in the presence of the convert who had taken on the mantle of the Catholic Church. On the day he was appointed by the Pope, Lustiger declared that he considers himself both a Jew and a Christian, and that he realizes his Judaism by being a devout Christian.

"I could not remain indifferent to these pronouncements," said Sirat, who is currently on a visit to Israel doing research at the Jewish National and University Library. "Together with French rabbis, I harshly criticized the admixture he had made. One of the rabbis wrote in Le Monde that the moment they prove to him that a circle is square, he will accede to the definition that a Jew is the same as a Christian."

Before his appointment in France, Lustiger visited Israel and even contemplated taking a church position here. He knew Hebrew and studied Judaism in depth. "I was once asked on television what has to happen for Lustiger to be considered Jewish," Sirat said, "so I said that if he returns to the faith, I would even be willing to give up the chief rabbi's seat to him."

Rabbi Urges Better Pay for Matchmakers


High payments to matchmakers could help solve the growing problem of late marriage in the religious sector, Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, head of the Ramat Gan hesder yeshiva, stated in an article published in the synagogue leaflet Komemiyut.

Shapira believes that if parents would be willing to spend more money to reward those who introduced their child to his or her future spouse, this could significantly change the matchmaking scene. In haredi society, for example, it is customary to pay at least $2,000 to the matchmaker responsible for the "shidduch" (the match).

"The phenomenon of late marriages creates another serious problem – an impossible burden on the 'amateur' matchmakers," the rabbi explained. "The matchmaker invests plenty of time in making phone calls and in offers that eventually fall through. He then spends time in helping and counseling the couple. "If we multiply this with the number of attempts and couples, we'll see how this could lead to a breakdown among matchmakers," he added.

The rabbi said that while families usually invest tens of thousands of shekels on a wedding, they are more reluctant to pay the matchmakers who made the event possible. "High pay to matchmakers is important and they justly deserve it," he concluded.

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