Newsletter : 7fax0822.txt
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James Bond Actor to Portray Jewish Partisan Hero
The Jewish resistance fighter Tuvia Bielski, who helped save more than 1,230 Jews
during the Holocaust, is to be played by James Bond actor Daniel Craig in a new film.
Defiance, directed by Edward Zwick, is the big-screen adaptation of Nechama Tec's book,
Defiance: The Bielski Partisans. It tells the story of the Bielski brothers in
Nazi-occupied Poland, who escaped into the Belarussian forest and built a secret village
Hamas Threatens to Use 'More Dangerous Weapons'
Hamas has threatened Israel with far more dangerous weapons than the Kassam rocket. IDF
sources confirmed that Palestinian Authority terrorists have longer-range rockets than
those used previously.
Following a counter-terrorism operation in central Gaza on Monday, in which six enemy
gunmen were killed by IDF ground troops, Hamas threatened that it may soon use weapons far
more dangerous and lethal than the Kassam rocket.
Hamas spokesman Abu Obeidah said, "If the Zionists are afraid of the possibility of the
firing of rockets, they should know we possess far more dangerous weapons."
The Hamas threat was similar to Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah's boast last week
that the Lebanese terror group has "surprises" in store for Israel. In his statement, Abu
Obeidah also denied that the six terrorists targeted by the IDF Monday had fired a Kassam
rocket on the western Negev.
IDF sources have stated that Hamas did not make an empty boast regarding its having far
more dangerous weapons than the unguided Kassam rocket. Gaza-based terrorists have
developed or smuggled to their operatives rockets with a longer range than those currently
in use, according to IDF intelligence officials.
Among the more powerful rockets in Gaza are Katyushas such as those deployed by the
Hizbullah in southern Lebanon. The Soviet-made Grad-class rocket has a range of
approximately 14 miles, within easy reach of Ashkelon, sources said. It also can carry
about 13 pounds of explosives. At least three Katyushas were fired from Gaza by PA
terrorists in 2006.
Intelligence officials have warned the government ever since the expulsion of Jewish
residents from the Gush Katif area and the withdrawal of the IDF two years ago that Hamas
has smuggled from Egypt a large arsenal of weapons.
In September 2005, Egyptian border patrol forces took control of the Egypt-Israel
border in Gaza, known as the Philadelphi Route. Prior to the withdrawal of IDF forces from
the border area, a fierce debate took place regarding Israel's dependence on Egyptian
security for preventing terrorist smuggling.
Politicians leading the charge against abandoning the border were Binyamin Netanyahu
and Yuval Shteinitz (Likud), while the plan was promoted strongly by former Defense
Minister Sha'ul Mofaz and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (Kadima). During a Knesset debate on
the issue in late August 2005, Mofaz declared that the deployment of Egyptian troops in
Gaza "is not a military threat to Israel."
Hamas has dug dozens of tunnels in the direction of Israel. Although ignored by the
cabinet, Sharon's National Security Advisor Giora Eiland and IDF Gaza District
Coordinating Office head Colonel Yoav Mordechai warned against abandoning the Philadelphi
Route to Egyptian and PA forces. Mordechai said at the time, "In theory, Bin-Laden could
enter Gaza via the Philadelphi Road if we do not maintain control."
In addition to the tunnels into Gaza, Hamas has dug dozens of tunnels in the direction
of Israel, which enable terrorists to stage terrorist raids on IDF positions and
communities near Gaza.
ADL Reverses Itself on Armenian Genocide
By Israel Faxx News Services
In a dramatic reversal, the Anti-Defamation League's national director issued a
statement Tuesday using the term "genocide" to describe the massacres perpetrated by the
Ottoman Empire against the Armenians.
The ADL and its national director, Abraham Foxman, have faced mounting criticism in
recent weeks for refusing to use the genocide label and essentially opposing a proposed
congressional resolution that would do so. The controversy heated up last week when Foxman
fired the director of the ADL's New England region for denouncing the organization's
position in an interview with the Boston Globe.
"In light of the heated controversy that has surrounded the Turkish-Armenian issue in
recent weeks, and because of our concern for the unity of the Jewish community at a time
of increased threats against the Jewish people, ADL has decided to revisit the tragedy
that befell the Armenians," Foxman said in his statement.
"We have never negated but have always described the painful events of 1915-1918
perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians as massacres and atrocities,"
Foxman said. "On reflection, we have come to share the view of Henry Morgenthau, Sr. that
the consequences of those actions were indeed tantamount to genocide. If the word genocide
had existed then, they would have called it genocide."
Foxman said that he had consulted with "friend and mentor Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel
and other respected historians who acknowledge this consensus."
The ADL leader said the organization still believes "that a Congressional resolution on
such matters is a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between
Turks and Armenians and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important
multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States."
Celebrities' IDF Commando Unit
After the special service program for exceptional athletes and gifted musicians, the
IDF has begun working on a similar program for exceptional celebrities.
Athletes and musicians recognized by the army as highly talented are given the
possibility of enlisting to an "easy" military service, which enables them to continue
training and practicing while serving in the IDF. This week, the IDF Personnel Directorate
decided to launch a similar program for artists in the field of "light entertainment."
The new plan was created in a bid to deal with the growing rate of draft dodging, which
has recently reached 25 percent of all youth. One of the main problems identified by the
officers was the shirking of military duty by the teenagers' role models, particularly
young artists who have chosen not to serve in the army in order to pursue their
"We must make an effort to enlist the public opinion leaders," a senior officer said
Monday. "We see 18-year-olds at the peak of their professional career. They can still
contribute, and we have no intention of giving up on them," said another senior officer at
the IDF's Personnel Directorate.
"Just like we have been letting exceptional athletes and gifted musicians serve under
conditions suitable to the army, which do not harm their career, we should do the same
with those young artists."
As part of the administrative work, formed by the IDF's head of manpower, Colonel Tziki
Sela, a committee comprised by professionals from the relevant fields will examine each
Among the celebrities who will be able to apply for the special program are models,
television presenters and soap opera actors. The IDF will set a limited quota for the
number of celebrities entitled to serve as part of the special program, and those who will
not be accepted will be sent to regular military service.
"We realize that not all soldiers can serve with the Golani Brigade, but there is no
reason for those who can perform on stages not to do so in front of Golani troops on the
Gaza border," said a senior officer at the IDF's Personnel Directorate.
According to the officer, the desired model is celebrities like Roni Duani, Agam
Rodberg and Tom Avni, who served in the army, and this did not interfere with the
development of their career.
According to the senior officer, the three artists received all the days of leave they
needed in order to perform on television programs and entertainment stages. "The army
does not ruin careers. This is a lame excuse used by people trying to dodge the draft,"
the officer said. "These artists are not exempted and we will find a unique service
program for them. It is important for us to see them serve because of the influence they
have on teenagers."
Russian Scientist Publishes History of Pogroms
By Israel Faxx News Services
A scientist from the Russian Academy of Sciences has completed a 1,000-page history of
"The Book of Pogroms" by Lidia Milyakova details the bloody massacres that were
widespread in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus during the three-year Civil War that followed
the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, and continued during the early years of the new Soviet
Milyakova spent six years working on the book. The only funding she received was a $500
grant from a publishing house.
She pored through official and unofficial documents, including more than 360 reports
made between 1918 to 1923 by the so-called "Central Committee for Assisting Victims of the
Programs," which she located in the State Archive of the Russian Federation. The documents
report that 200,000 Jews suffered during the Civil War and its aftermath.
The book proves that nearly all the forces fighting in Russia's Civil War held
anti-Semitic attitudes, from the pro-Monarchy White Guards to the Bolsheviks, and a wide
assortment of local paramilitary and separatist groups. "Common people in hard times often
look unconsciously for a scapegoat," she said. "Jews are the perfect target because of
their visible distinction and absolute vulnerability."
This week, Milyakova was thanked for her book by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and
Heroes' Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem. Five hundred copies were printed.
Report: Brody Eyeing Politics
By Israel Faxx News Services
Tal Brody, a U.S.-born immigrant to Israel who became one of the country's sporting
legends, is reportedly considering a career in politics.
Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday that Brody, famed in Israel for his past basketball
feats and unabashed American-accented Hebrew, was recently offered a senior post in the
Likud Party by its chairman, Binyamin Netanyahu.
Brody confirmed meeting Netanyahu but told the newspaper he has yet to make a decision
on whether to enter politics. Brody was a star player in the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball
team when it won an unprecedented European cup in 1977. Since retiring from the sport he
has been active in the "Israeli Spirit" charity and in encouraging immigration.
Court Questions Israel's Upkeep of Mosques
Israel's High Court of Justice has asked the state to explain its failure to recognize
and help upkeep Muslim sites of worship in the country.
"Why shouldn't the National Authority of Religious Services respect the relevant laws
and introduce ordinances to ensure that all Muslim religious sites in Israel are
preserved?" wrote Justice Edmond Levy in response to a petition by Arab advocacy center
A hearing on the petition last month ended with the state saying it would set aside
about $476,000 for the maintenance of mosques in Israel, but that there was no need for
The court later agreed that just setting the money aside does not guarantee a long-term
commitment to the maintenance of mosques and demanded the state provide explanations for
Adalah lawyer Hassan Jabrin told YnetNews the government's refusal to recognize mosques
was part of an "unjust" policy that ignored "their religious and historical
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