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Israeli Arab Sires 67 Children

By Israel Faxx News Services

An Israeli Arab is the father of 67 children, a national record. Shehade Abu Arad has been recognized by the Interior Ministry as Israel's top breeder after he registered 67 children that he had with his eight wives, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.

Abu Arad, 58, lives in the central Israeli village of Burgata. Arabs constitute around 20 percent of the Jewish state's population but their numbers are growing thanks to high birth rates.

Senior Official: Israel Prepared to Divide Jerusalem

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem) &

A senior government official said Monday that Israel is prepared to relinquish parts of Jerusalem as part of a peace agreement. However, there is opposition to the plan in the Cabinet and Palestinians said it is not enough.

Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon said the Israeli government would support a division of Jerusalem as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians. He told Israel Radio that under the plan, Israel would transfer many of the Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem to the Palestinians. This would be a key component of an Israeli-Palestinian declaration to be made at an international peace conference in the United States this year.

The plan marks a sea change in Israel's position, after it captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the Six Day War in 1967. Since then it has been an Israeli slogan that Jerusalem would remain the united capital of the State of Israel forever. Ramon said Israel does not need 170,000 Arabs in Jerusalem, about a third of the city's population, to be citizens of the Jewish state.

But the plan is facing opposition from hawks in the Cabinet, like Minister Shaul Mofaz. "We need to strengthen Jerusalem, not weaken it," Mofaz said. A former general, Mofaz warned that handing areas of Jerusalem to Palestinian control would pose a major security threat to Jewish neighborhoods in the city.

Palestinian officials say Israel's position is a step in the right direction, but that it still does not resolve the key issue: sovereignty in Jerusalem's Old City. The Palestinians say any peace deal must be based on an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders, which would include a pullout from the Old City.

But Israel said it would never give up Jewish holy places such as the Temple Mount, which is also home to the Mosque of Al Aksa, the third holiest place in Islam. Old Jerusalem is a focal point of religious aspirations and tensions, and it remains a stumbling block to a peace deal.

The Arabic Al Quds Al-Arabiya newspaper reported Monday morning that Olmert has now come to an agreement with Jordan that Arabs in eastern Jerusalem will be granted Jordanian citizenship. The plan would leave Jerusalem's Muslim holy sites under the control of the Hashemite kingdom, according to the report.

Olmert vehemently denied the report in a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office. "The idea never existed," said the statement.

Dr. Guy Bechor, a leading expert on Arab affairs, said recently that the prime minister agreed in writing nearly two months ago to hand over half of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority. He based his information on "leaks from the Palestinian side." Bechor said that Judea and Samaria, the strategic highlands in the middle of the Jewish State where much biblical history occurred, are also on the chopping block. The Olmert government is pushing for the establishment of an Arab state to be called Palestine alongside the Jewish State. A large but undetermined number of thriving Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria that were built over the past 40 years will be destroyed, according to the agreement.

Olmert's intent to divide Jerusalem also comes in direct contradiction to a previous promise he made to Christian Zionists a year ago, as well as one made by Foreign Minister and then-deputy Prime Minister Tzipi Livni several months ago. "If there is any agreement with the Palestinians it will be brought to the government for its approval, and then to the Knesset for ratification as well," promised Livni.

Olmert Vows to Work Toward Peace Deal With Palestinians

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel's leader has extended an olive branch to the Palestinians in a speech to parliament. He said he is committed to reaching a peace agreement with western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "The current Palestinian leadership is not a terrorist leadership," he said, adding that they too want peace.

Olmert and Abbas have met frequently since the Islamic terrorist group Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June. Hamas routed the Fatah forces led by Abbas, who now heads a parallel government in the West Bank.

Speaking at the opening of the winter session in the Knesset, Olmert said an upcoming international peace conference in the United States would be followed by the resumption of formal peace talks with the Palestinians, adding Israel would have to give up some of its dreams, a reference to holding on to all the biblical Land of Israel. That brought heckling from the right-wing opposition.

Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu warned that Olmert's peace plan would bring the nation to disaster. He said Hamas would quickly take over the West Bank if Israel pulls out, just as it did after Israeli forces withdrew from Gaza two years ago. Netanyahu said Hamas would then launch a wave of terror on Jerusalem that would force many Jews to leave the city.

Olmert admitted that despite the goodwill of President Abbas, it remains to be seen whether he can quell terrorism and implement a peace agreement.

ADL Warns Web Users Not to Sign Petition Against anti-Semitic Site

By Ha'aretz

The Anti-Defamation League on Monday issued a statement warning Internet users against signing an online petition to have Google remove the anti-Semitic Web site from its search results for the word "Jew."

The petition, which was initiated in 2005 by an Internet user identified only as 'SMW' makes signatories' names publicly accessible. According to the ADL these have been posted to anti-Semitic Web sites which then published offensive commentary about them. At the time of writing, the petition requesting Google ban the site from its results had 455178 signatories.

In response to the original petition, Google published a statement which appears below the anti-Semitic site when a search is performed, explaining that its searches are based on algorithms which cannot censor results.

ADL spokesperson Arieh O'Sullivan told Ha'aretz that his organization was aware of Google's explanation, but had requested Google respond to new allegations of signatories' names appearing on other Web sites.

What's in a Word?

By Anshel Pfeffer, Ha'aretz (Commentary)

Many of you have probably received recently an email urging you to sign a petition to the Google super-search engine calling for the removal from its listings of the anti-Semitic website

The petitioners claim that if enough sign, (they mention the number of half a million) the site will be struck off, but a special explanation written by Google insists that while the company in no way agrees with the content of such websites, they have no plans to remove it or others. Google they claim simply reflects what is up there on the web, without issuing judgment.

The debate over Google's morals and business practices is growing, and there are much more knowledgeable writers on the subject. But this new campaign reminded me of another, long-forgotten battle; that of Manchester businessman Marcus Shloimovitz against the Oxford English Dictionary.

Shloimovitz spent long years and a substantial fortune fighting a legal battle against the most respected dictionary in the English-speaking world trying to make it drop two of the definitions for the word "Jew." The first was the noun - "Person who drives hard bargains, usurer" and the second the verb "to Jew" - "cheat, bargain with (person) to lower his price."

After of four-year long case, the high court judge turned him down on a technicality, effectively accepting the Oxford University Press's position that the dictionary was there simply to record the use of words and their history, not to act as a guardian by keeping language clean.

Despite winning the case and keeping the offensive definitions in subsequent editions, the OED did make an interesting change.

In 1976, the sixth edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary came out and in it for the first time the tag - (derog., colloq) was added to the two definitions, denoting that while the word might have been used in these ways in the past, and still is to this day, it isn't the formal meaning and is also used in a negative sense towards Jews and therefore derogatory.

That same year, the second volume of the 6,000 page-long OED Supplement was published, on the letters H-N. In the lengthy entry on "Jew" it chronicled a long history of the word being used in less than positive references but adds the stern warning "These uses are now considered to be offensive."

Interestingly, just as some Jews were unsatisfied by this outcome, there were linguists at the time who also criticized the OED's chief editor Robert Burchfield for going that far.

When I was 11, I read Rudyard Kipling's brilliant teen novel "Stalky & Co." for the first time and was perplexed by this passage: "Pay me my interest, or I'll charge you interest on interest. Remember I've got your note-of-hand!' shouted Beetle. "You're a cold-blooded Jew," Stalky groaned."

What did these English public school boys know of Jews?

I know that Kipling, like a number of other famous late-Victorian writers, was more than a little anti-Semitic, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying his writing, or that of Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh and even the sainted George Orwell, who all displayed similar tendencies at one stage or another of their careers.

We will gain nothing by posthumously sanitizing their works, just as trying to censor dictionaries and search engines won't help us to understand and confront mankind's most ancient hatred.

West Papua Delegation Donates Gold For Holy Temple


Last week, a 34-person delegation from West Papua presented a large amount of gold to be used in the building of the Holy Temple.

The delegation, including representatives of the nation's government, explained that they study the Bible regularly and recently came upon a verse in Zecharia (6:16) reading "And the distant ones will come and build the Temple of God." They discussed the passage among themselves and decided that their faith obligates them to fulfill the verse.

West Papua, located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, is rich in gold mines, so the delegation thought it natural to donate gold for the Holy Temple. The Holy Temple will be built in the place where the First and Second Temples once stood – on Jerusalem's Temple Mount.

The group heard of the Temple Institute in Israel, which deals with advancing the building of the Temple, and on Hoshana Raba - the 7th day of Sukkot - the delegation arrived at the Institute's headquarters in Jerusalem's Old City and presented the gold to Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, a founder of the institute, and Yehuda Glick, its director.

The group presented a kilogram of gold and a large sum of money. They requested that the gold be used to construct vessels for the Temple and that the funds be used by the institute for any purpose it sees fit. The institute has a fund set aside for exclusive use for the actual construction of the temple, as well as funds for building the vessels and engaging in educational projects.

Just two weeks ago, the institute completed a large "King David's Lyre." Its craftsmen are working now on the golden headpiece worn by the high priest. Some of the vessels prepared by the institute for use in the Temple include the golden menorah (candelabra), the show-bread table, the golden altar, Levite musical instruments and priestly clothes.

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