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Poland Honors Righteous Gentiles

By Israel Faxx News Services

Poland for the first time officially honored its citizens who aided Jews during the Holocaust. Polish President Lech Kaczynski paid tribute Wednesday to 50 Catholic Poles at a ceremony attended by some 1,800 people at the National Opera in Warsaw.

Most of the honored are recognized by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem as Righteous Among the Nations, gentiles who risked their lives to help save Jews from the Nazis. Some 6,000 Poles are recognized as Righteous Among the Nations, more than in any other country. Before World War II Poland had the largest Jewish population in Europe, 3 million, of which 90 percent perished during the Holocaust.

Abbas Wants State in '67 Borders

By Israel Faxx News Services

Palestinians want a state in all of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday.

In his most explicit agenda statement yet, the Palestinian Authority president said Israel should withdraw to its June 1967 borders in exchange for peace. "It is well known that the Palestinian people should have an independent and viable state existing side by side with the State of Israel, and it is also well known that the Israeli occupation that started in 1967 should come to an end," Abbas told Palestine Television. "All we want is a state on the 1967 borders, meaning the size of the West Bank and Gaza Strip," he said. "We want it as it is."

The remarks appeared to rule out Israel's proposal -- implicitly backed by President Bush -- that the Jewish state keep major West Bank settlement blocs and all of Jerusalem under a future peace accord, compensating the Palestinians with parcels of Israeli border land.

Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will attend a November U.S.-sponsored conference on Palestinian statehood. Jerusalem officials said Israel continues to envisage a territorial tradeoff as the best means of achieving a two-state peace solution.

Hamas: Gaza Rule is 'Temporary,' Wants Talks

By Reuters

Hamas said on Wednesday that it will hold reconciliation talks with the Fatah faction of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and hinted it may be ready to give up control of the Gaza Strip, which it seized in June.

"There is a serious movement in the realm of Palestinian dialogue and we have agreed to hold a dialogue with Fatah in one of the Arab capitals," said deposed Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniyeh. Our administration in Gaza is temporary," Haniyeh said at the end of a public prayer in Gaza. The statements were posted in an urgent bulletin on a pro-Hamas Web site.

Haniyeh's statements mark the first time a Hamas official has called the rule of the terrorist group in the coastal territory temporary. However, he has very little influence on Hamas' armed forces or political decision-makers.

The Western-backed Abbas, who is pursuing a peace deal with Israel, has ruled out re-engagement with Hamas unless the Islamist group submits to his authority and ends its control of Gaza. A Fatah official in Gaza said he could not immediately confirm Haniyeh's statement that new talks would take place.

Haniyeh said the talks would be held after Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim festival that ends the holy month of Ramadan and falls on Friday or Saturday.

An official involved in Hamas-Fatah mediation but affiliated with neither group confirmed that there would be a meeting as early as next week, and said Cairo was the likely venue.

Former US Policy Makers Urge Dialogue With Hamas

By David Gollust (VOA-Washington)

A bipartisan group of former U.S. policy makers urged the Bush administration Wednesday to provide for dialogue with the terrorist Palestinian group Hamas as part of diplomacy leading to the U.S.-sponsored Middle East peace conference in November.

In a letter to President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the eight political figures said the meeting should focus on the end game of an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.

The former officials warned of severe consequences if the conference failed, and they said the gathering should at the very least produce agreement on the contours of a permanent peace accord that should, in turn, be enshrined in a U.N. Security Council resolution.

The eight senior figures, including former House International Relations Committee Chairman Lee Hamilton and former Carter administration national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, issued the letter on the eve of Rice's departure on a critical trip to the Middle East.

The Bush administration has avoided specifics on what the conference should produce. But the bipartisan group called for a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza based on 1967 lines with only minor and reciprocal changes, divided sovereignty with the capitals of both states in Jerusalem, and resettlement of Palestinian refugees only in the new Palestinian state, ruling out a right of return to Israel.

In a telephone conference call, Brzezinski said the plan necessarily calls for painful tradeoffs by both parties.

Former Congressman Hamilton said excluding Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, would only encourage the group to play a spoiler's role. "I don't think splintering or dividing the Palestinians is going to help solve the problem. And you've always got to think when you're negotiating an agreement about the implementation of the agreement, that if you isolate, as the statement says, the Palestinian Hamas group, you exclude them from process and they'll have every reason to try to disrupt the agreement that is reached," he said.

Ahmadinejad: OK, Maybe We Have Some Gays


Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued a clarification Wednesday regarding his statement that there are no homosexuals in Iran. His press advisor, Muhammad Kalhour, explained that Ahmadinejad "simply said that compared to the American society, we don't have many homosexuals."

The advisor said that homosexuality is not as widespread in Iran and the Muslim world as it is in the West, due to cultural, historic and religious differences.

In his speech at Columbia University in New York last month, Ahmadinejad was asked about the execution of homosexuals in Iran and replied: "We don't have that phenomenon in Iran, I don't know who told you that… in Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country."

Ahmadinejad: Ground Zero like Holocaust is a 'False Idol'


The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks already have been used as the reason to attack and kill "hundreds of thousands" of people, according to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said he worries the attack will become another "false idol" like the Holocaust.

The comments came in a video statement on Iran's TV news channel on Sept. 20, and were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute's program to monitor television transmissions.

Ahmadinejad a year ago had been unable to visit the site where about 3,000 innocent Americans died when Islamic terrorists flew hijacked jets into the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

So during his recent visit to the United States to address the United Nations and accept a speaking invitation to Columbia University he asked for permission to visit the site of the terrorist attacks in 2001, but was denied permission.

Then Ahmadinejad, who has proclaimed the Holocaust a hoax in the past, was asked in a TV interview: "You were supposed to visit the site of the Twin Towers, but this aroused controversy and many objections in their media. What do you think of this?"

"I decided to visit there this year to pay my respect to the casualties and convey my sympathy to the families," Ahmadinejad said. "I also wanted to raise several questions and express my views. I wanted to say that in my opinion, this incident is the result of the mismanagement of the world, and the result of the inhuman management of the world. Why did such an incident take place? We need to get to the root causes," he said.

Iran's president said, "We don't want them to turn this incident, in 20 years' time, into another false idol like the Holocaust, which they would use as a pretext to kill peoples, and to prevent anybody from opening this box and examining what really happened in this incident.

He continued, "They might turn 9/11 into something sacred, and whoever does not accept it would be considered an infidel, whereas whoever accepts it would have to accept all the ensuing crimes. In any event, we must express our views. I believe that this way, we would have formed cordial relations with the American people, and could have opened this issue up for discussion. Well, this is exactly what they want to prevent," he said.

He covered several other issues in his response, starting with a portrayal of himself as being victimized by the world's media. "As you know, by spreading lies and by portraying me… For example, they show my picture next to a picture of bin Laden, or next to tanks and cannons firing and killing people. This is psychological warfare," he said.

As WND reported, Middle East terror leaders reported after Ahmadinejad visited Columbia that the event means Americans now are accepting Iran as a "great power" and are reconsidering their belief in the Holocaust.

"This invitation proves that when Muslims and Arabs come from a position of power to the West they receive more respect and consideration to their causes and to their conditions and to their insisting on their sovereignty," stated Abu Mosaab, an Islamic Jihad spokesperson and leader in the Gaza Strip.

"The fact that one of the American universities invited the Iranian president to raise whether the Holocaust happened proves that in the American people and leadership there is a hidden will to raise a serious discussion about these Zionists lies and propaganda," Abu Mosaab stated.

The terror leader told WND Ahmadinejad's address to Columbia "put on the American faces the question of what is your historical proof that this Holocaust happened? Doesn't the Zionist version of what happened deserve to be challenged and questioned and doubted?" exclaimed Abu Mosaab.

In his speech, Ahmadinejad encouraged further study of the Holocaust. He responded to one question by rejecting the contention he questioned the existence of the Holocaust, but responded, "What does it have to do with the Palestinian people?" He went on to defend the rights of "scholars" to question its existence, noting, "There's nothing known as absolute."

WND reported earlier that an adviser to Ahmadinejad said Adolph Hitler was Jewish, was working for powerful Jews and wanted to create a new Jewish state. Mohammad Ali Ramin said Hitler acted in cooperation with Britain, since the latter shared Hitler's desire to force the Jews out of Europe and into a new Jewish state.

Although Hitler's exact lineage is disputed – his father was illegitimate and there is some question about who his grandfather was – virtually no historians conclude the Nazi leader was Jewish.

Ironically, Ramin was recently appointed secretary-general of the new "World Foundation for Holocaust Studies" established at the Iranian Holocaust Denial Conference in December. That conference was attended by notorious former Ku Klux Klan leader and later Louisiana state representative David Duke.

As WND reported, at the Holocaust denial conference, Duke said: "I love my country and my people, but I know that the Zionist extremists lead my country to catastrophe in the Mideast and elsewhere around the world. I know that the Palestinian people, the Lebanese people, even the American people have been sacrificed on the altar of the Holocaust. It is the chronic media and government playing of the Holocaust that has blinded our eyes to new holocausts and new outrages.

MEMRI is a non-profit that monitors statements in the Middle East and translates them in order to bridge the language gap between the West and Middle East.

Palestinian-Born Jewish Convert Convicted of Aiding Islamic Jihad

By Ha'aretz

The Haifa District Court convicted Asaf Ben David, a Palestinian who converted to Judaism, of contact with a foreign agent and conspiring to aid the enemy.

The 39-year-old Ben David (originally Hussam Sawatmeh) was convicted of trying to help his brother Salah, an activist in Islamic Jihad, attain nitric acid for the purpose of preparing explosives.

Ben David was born in the West Bank town of Kfar Tuba. However, after converting to Judaism he married a Jewish woman and moved to the Haifa area. The youngest of his four children is currently serving in the Israel Defense Forces.

According to the court's ruling, Ben David was in contact with his brother regarding the supply of nitric acid between October 2006 and until his brother's death in December of 2006. Following his brother's death, Ben David apparently returned to Islam.

According to the verdict, while mourning his brother's death Ben David lamented the fact that he did not have a chance to supply him with the acid before he died.

In reading the sentencing, Justice Itzhak Amit showed remorse for the incident, saying that it was "a microcosm of the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy." Ben David's two living brothers are in Israeli prisons for security reasons.

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