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Nasrallah Calls USA, Israel Terrorists

By Israel Faxx News Services

Hizbullah supporters gathered in Beirut Tuesday to mark the first anniversary of the organization's "victory" over Israel in the Second Lebanon War. Secretary General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah accused Israel and the U.S.: "The United States and Israel...have (accused) us of being terrorists... If they look into it, they would find that the US is a terrorist and that the Zionist entity is one of terror... What is the definition of terror?"

DEBKAfile Clarifies its Disclosure of Al Qaeda's Radiological Threat

By DEBKAfile

At midnight Thursday, August 9, DEBKAfile's monitors of terrorist web sites and forums connected the messages accumulating from midday. They spelled out an al Qaeda threat mentioning New York, Los Angeles and Miami as targets of attacks "by means of trucks loaded with radioactive material." Our counter-terror sources and monitors stressed "there is no way of gauging for sure how serious these threats are, or how real."

Monday, Aug. 13, the chatter continues. Such disclosures are the daily content of DEBKAfile ­ not only about al Qaeda, but terrorist organizations in the Middle East and other parts of the world. We believe that holding back such information would be irresponsible and wrong and possibly expose people in targeted countries, most predominantly the United States and Israel, to danger. After this data is aired on our free site, our job is done and it is up to the relevant security authorities to decide how to deal with it.

In this case, the New York Police Department very properly responded.

After 24 hours, during which time t he department almost certainly put its vast resources to work to research and assess the DEBKAfile disclosure, security was increased throughout Manhattan and on tunnels and bridges, with radioactivity sensors posted on vehicles, boats and helicopters.

The New York police came up with a further piece of information which was not sourced to DEBKA suggesting that a dirty bomb may go off on Friday evening around 34th Street in Manhattan, where the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden and Macy's department store are located.

At that point, something quite irrational happened: The NYPD's sensible precautions generated a flood of media recriminations against ... DEBKAfile. Unbridled, gratuitous assaults on this publication's credibility came from the publications that missed the story, prominently Associated Press, the International Herald Tribune and FoxNews. Reuters, to its credit, covered the episode fairly and professionally.

With regard to DEBKAfile's record, our readers may recall that in 2003, our counter-terror sources exposed the massive recruitment campaign al Qaeda ran worldwide for an army of jihadis to fight US forces in Iraq under the command of a Jordanian terrorist called Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

Again, in 2005 - and up until the present - we warned that al Qaeda was building networks in Egyptian Sinai and the Gaza Strip. Had the powers-that-be responded in timely fashion to these advance alerts, the situation in both troubled places might have evolved differently.

Netanyahu Headed for Victory in Likud Party Election

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel's main opposition party, the Likud, is holding an election for party leader. And one of Israel's most well-known         politicians is facing off with an increasingly powerful bloc of   Jewish settlers and their supporters.

Israeli opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu is seeking reelection as head of the opposition Likud Party, and pollsters say it should be an easy win. As he cast his ballot, Netanyahu urged the 100,000 members of the Likud to vote. "We are beginning the campaign for the premiership and to bring a future of hope to our country."

Netanyahu, a former prime minister, has soared in the polls since the inconclusive war in Lebanon a year ago, while Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's popularity has plunged. National elections are not due until 2010, but if Olmert's fragile government collapses, early elections could take place next year.

Netanyahu is a hawk who supports existing Jewish settlements in the West Bank and opposes a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. But he wants to appeal to Israelis in the center of the political spectrum, so he has adopted a more moderate approach. He supports peace talks and some territorial concessions on condition that the Palestinians fulfill their commitments to fight terrorism.

That position has put him on a collision course with Moshe Feiglin, a religious settler who is challenging Netanyahu for the party leadership. Feiglin said the Likud has lost its nationalist roots. "We understand that Israel needs leadership that represents the values of t he people of Israel, not the emptiness that the existing leadership represents," said Feiglin.

Feiglin opposes peace talks and any territorial concessions to the Palestinians, and support s expanding Jewish settlement \throughout the West Bank, or what he calls the biblical Land of Israel. While Feiglin does not expect to win, he hopes that a strong showing of perhaps 30 percent of the vote would embarrass Netanyahu and push the Likud Party further to the right.

10 Dead in Counter-Terrorist

By & VOA News

The IDF widened its counter-terrorist operation in Gaza Tuesday afternoon, and unconfirmed wire service reports stated that at least 10 were killed and more than a dozen wounded. One soldier has been lightly wounded as Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists attacked troops in the Khan Yunis area, in central Gaza.

Soldiers arrested more than 100 suspected terrorists and uncovered suicide bomb belts and other explosives in house-to-house searches. Hamas has admitted to the killing of two of its terrorists and Islamic Jihad said its death toll reached six.

Palestinian medical officials said six Palestinians were killed and 26 others persons wounded. They said two civilians, including a 40-year-old bystander and a Hamas militant's mother, are among the dead. Three Hamas fighters and an Islamic Jihad militant have also been killed.

The Israeli army said troops were conducting an operation to search and destroy tunnels along the frontier in an effort to prevent cross-border Palestinian rocket fire. Israel said its soldiers opened fire when they encountered Palestinian gunmen.

Man who accosted Wiesel apologizes

By Israel Faxx News Services

The man who accosted Elie Wiesel in a San Francisco hotel apologized in court. Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate, was on the witness stand in San Francisco Superior Court recounting what he described as his most harrowing ordeal since World War II when Eric Hunt blurted out, "I'm terribly sorry about what happened."

Wiesel said he wasn't sure the apology by Hunt, 23, of New Jersey, was sincere. "I expected it," Wiesel said. "I'm a novelist. I imagine situations. This is something a character would do. It's clever, very clever."

Hunt admitted to police that he traveled 3,000 miles to California to get Wiesel to admit the Holocaust did not occur. He is charged with six felonies, including attempted kidnapping, battery and stalking, in connection with the Feb. 1 incident at the Argent Hotel, where he approached Wiesel, the author of 40 books, in an elevator at a conference.

Hunt was arrested three weeks later after someone identifying himself as Hunt posted an account of the incident on an anti-Semitic Web site.

Bubble Gum with Nazi Sticker Sold in Israel

By Reuters

An Israeli woman was astounded to find a tattoo-sticker of a Nazi soldier inside a pack of bubble gum she had bought at her local store, Ma'ariv reported recently.

"A surprise awaits you," said the "Roll Bubble Gum" pack, showing a picture of a pink wrapper alongside what it said was the sticker, which showed a Nazi officer in uniform and wearing a swastika armband.

Some suggested that the sticker was of "Red Skull," which is the name of a Marvel Comics villain, who is the enemy of Captain America. Marvel featured three Red Skull villains in its comics; the first two were Nazi and the third a communist.

The newspaper quoted Orna Gutman, 23, as telling its website the pack's label was in Arabic and English and stated the gum was made in China but did not name the importer.

Marriage Contract Brings Hope to Women

By Rivkah Lubitch (

Last week, a young student who came to talk to me about marriage and divorce issues left my office smiling and happy. "Now, I am calm," she said at the door. "I am going to sign up for marriage at the rabbinate."

Only one hour before, she told me, quite embarrassed, "I am about to get married in two months, but I have not even opened a file at the rabbinate. I am writing a paper for university that made me despondent. I am not sure I want to marry at the rabbinate."

I managed to ease her mind when I showed her the new and abridged Contract for Just and Fair Marriage of the Center for Women's Justice, which is made up of two parts. The first part is designed to ameliorate the problem of get refusal; and the second part is meant to prevent the problem of agunot (when a husband has abandoned his wife or is incapacitated and unable to give her a get).

The contract is actually a condensed version of two different prenuptial agreements that were put together on a single paper: that of the late Prof. Rozen-Zvi regarding get-refusal, and the main points of the Tripartite Agreement written by U.S. Rabbi Broyde that would thwart agunot (for purposes of clarification: Rabbi Broyde did not approve of our condensed version).

This new contract is user-friendly and has only four clauses, the first three of which are quite similar to other prenuptial agreements on the market. The first clause maintains that each party may demand the distribution of marital property prior to the delivery of the get; the second clause states that the party that refuses to give or accept the get will pay increased spousal support to the requesting party; the third clause in the agreement explicitly says that all disputed divorce-related issues shall be addressed by a family court.

There's a place under these clauses where the bride and groom are supposed to sign in the presence of a notary or marriage registrar. These clauses are valid under Israeli law, and they could be enforced by a family court and the execution office, if, God forbid, the couple should come to that.

It is the fourth clause that is new and daring. In it, the couple declares that their marriage will hold for as long as they do not separate for more than 18 consecutive months; that they agree to nullify their marriage should they actually separate; and that the groom may assign an agent to deliver the get.

These three points have been raised individually in Jewish sources at various times as ways to solve the problem of agunot, but each solution was rejected by our rabbis for a variety of reasons. The innovation of the Contract for Just and Fair Marriage is that it combines the three points together. This clause should be signed by the newlyweds before two who would be valid witnesses under Jewish law.

The good news is that this last clause could resolve all the problems of agunot and get-refusal put together because, from now on, the wife could ask for and receive a get without citing any cause of action, against the husband's will, and even in his absence. The bad news is that the rabbinic judges do not as of yet accept this proposal as a legitimate solution.

We, on the other hand, are optimistic and believe that the good news is better than the bad news is bad. We are certain that if more and more people indeed sign the Contract for a Just and Fair Marriage, its proposed solutions will slowly sink into the consciousness of those rabbis who conduct marriages and divorces, and they will eventually accept it. The first couple (both lawyers) signed the agreement a few weeks ago, a second couple signed last week, and interest in it is rising daily.

So, mazal tov to all the newlyweds, and do not forget to sign the Contract for Just and Fair Marriage.

Rivkah Lubitch is a rabbinical court pleader at the Center for Women's Justice, Tel: 02-566-4390

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