Newsletter : 7fax1120.txt
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IDF Plans to Rent Out Training Facility
The IDF plans to rent out a training facility in Tzeelim to foreign troops.
The urban-warfare training facility includes hundreds of buildings and an audio system
simulating the sounds of urban life and of battle. IDF officials have offered foreign
armies package deals that include housing and classes.
Officials say that several groups have expressed interest, some in order to learn more
about urban warfare and others to improve crime-fighting techniques.
Is Israel Planning to Allow 'Palestinian Refugees' to 'Return'?
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reportedly has agreed in principle to allow a number of
Palestinian Arabs living in what the United Nations terms refugee camps to enter Israel as
part of an Israeli-Palestinian accord, according to a senior Palestinian negotiator
speaking to WND.
Palestinians have long demanded the "right of return" for millions of "refugees," a
formula Israeli officials across the political spectrum warn is code for Israel's
destruction by flooding the Jewish state with millions of Arabs, thereby changing its
Allowing any number of so-called Palestinian refugees to enter Israel would serve as an
admission on Israel's part that millions of Palestinians living in U.N.-maintained camps
are indeed refugees and have a legitimate right to live in Israel.
The Palestinian negotiator, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Olmert's team agreed
in principle let a select number of Palestinians living in U.N.-maintained refugee camps
into Israel in a series of phases that could take up to 15 years.
Though the negotiator said an exact number had not yet been determined, he indicated
there could be as many as 20,000 Palestinians living in U.N. camps, with an initial phase
of several hundred entering Israel with one year of an agreement. He said the first batch
of entering Palestinian Arabs would consist of a sampling from the oldest residents of
various U.N. camps.
David Baker, a spokesperson for Olmert, had no comment on the report Olmert agreed to
allow a number of declared refugees to enter Israel.
The Palestinian negotiator said the Israeli and Palestinians teams have been hammering
out the exact language to be used at a U.S.-sponsored summit slated for Annapolis later
this month at which Olmert is widely expected to outline a Palestinian state in most of
the West Bank in a joint agreement of principles signed by the Israeli leader and
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Various media reports denied by Olmert claimed in recent weeks Israel
would also evacuate sections of Jerusalem and would negotiate what are considered core
Israeli-Palestinian issues primarily the status of Jerusalem and the so-called
return of refugees.
When Arab countries attacked the Jewish state after its creation in 1948, some 725,000
Arabs living within Israel's borders fled from the area that became Israel. Also at that
time, about 820,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries or fled following rampant
While most Jewish refugees were absorbed by Israel and other countries, the majority of
Palestinian Arabs have been maintained in 59 U.N.-run camps that do not seek to settle
those Arabs elsewhere.
There are currently about 4 million Arabs who claim Palestinian refugee status with the
U.N., including children and grandchildren of the original fleeing Arabs; Arabs living
full-time in Jordan; and Arabs who long ago dispersed throughout the Middle East and to
Other cases of worldwide refugees aided by the U.N. are handled through the
international body's High Commission for Refugees, which seeks to settle the refugees
quickly, usually in countries other than those from which they fled.
The U.N. created a special agency the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or
UNRWA specifically to handle registered Palestinian refugees. It's the only refugee
case handled by the U.N. in which the declared refugees are housed and maintained in camps
for generations instead of facilitating the refugees' resettlement elsewhere.
The U.N. officially restricts the definition of refugee status worldwide for
nationalities outside the Palestinian arena to those who fled a country of nationality or
habitual residence due to persecution, who are unable to return to their place of
residence and who have not yet been resettled. Future generations of original refugees are
not included in the U.N.'s definition of refugees.
But the U.N. uses a different set of criteria only when defining a Palestinian refugee
allowing future generations to be considered refugees; terming as refugees those
Arabs who have been resettled in other countries, such as hundreds of thousands in Jordan;
removing the clause requiring persecution; and removing the clause requiring a refugee to
be fleeing his or her "country of nationality or habitual residence" allowing for
transient Arabs who didn't normally reside within Israel to be defined as Palestinian
Palestinian leaders including Abbas routinely refer to the "right of return," claiming
the declared right is mandated by the U.N. But the two U.N. resolutions dealing with the
refugee issue recommend that Israel "achieve a just settlement" for the "refugee problem."
The resolutions, which are not binding, do not speak of any "right of return," and leave
open the possibility of monetary compensation or other kinds of settlements.
The Effect on the Real Estate Market of a Divided Jerusalem
By Baruch Finkelstein
Sellers who will sell cheap now out of fear that the market will decline, or buyers who
will refrain from buying, will probably regret their decisions.
When taking into account the causes that influence the real estate market, one usually
considers factors such as current trends in real estate purchases, the economy, stock
market, mortgage rates, employment resources, the area's crime rate, transportation
services, and a slew of other causes - including the threat of war. National suicide has
yet to be considered. I have been asked by a number of citizens, what will happen to real
estate prices if the government divides the city?
If the north-eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem fall into the hands of the Arabs, real
estate prices will not be our main concern, we will have much bigger problems to worry
about. However, the real estate market will reflect the national mood in the aftermath of
a divided capital.
In the past, political events in Israel have affected the real estate market. In the
early to mid-1990s, for instance, the citizens of Israel were intoxicated with the hope
that Yitzchak Rabin would bring genuine and lasting peace. Real Estate prices skyrocketed,
and developers profited almost wherever they put down their money. Fifty thousand units
annually were built in those days, as opposed to about 25,000 annually in previous
But the political climate back then was not the only dynamic affecting the market. Mass
immigration from the Soviet Union, and the sudden growth of the high-tech industry also
played a role. In other words, the combination of national optimism, a housing shortage
and a new upper middle class caused the real estate market to climb. It is therefore
doubtful that the peace initiative alone ushered in the surge in real estate prices. In
the late nineties, everything came to a halt as all three factors disintegrated.
Immigration from the former Soviet Union slowed down, the high-tech bubble burst and the
disastrous results of the Oslo agreement shattered the peace frenzy.
In 2000, when the Arab uprising struck, Jerusalem was the city that bore the brunt of
Islamic terrorism and the prices of properties indicated the pessimistic and fearful
attitude of the city's residents.
Based on this analysis, we would think that if the proposal to divide Jerusalem enjoys
wide spread public support, and if there would be a real and lasting peace, than prices in
the nation's capital will escalate. If however, the opposite is true, then prices will
either decline or stand still.
However, life in Israel is unpredictable. Trends cannot always be explained rationally.
One would have thought that the 2006 Lebanon war would have caused a decline in sales of
homes up north. In actuality, the war triggered no change on the real estate market at
all. Although Haifa is experiencing a real estate slump, this is due more to internal
problems of that city rather than fear of scud missiles. In Kiryat Shimona the real estate
market is strong as the city is enjoying an increase in sales.
We also must bear in mind that Jerusalem will not be the only city affected. The
division of Jerusalem is slated to take place within the framework of a disengagement of
Judea and Samaria the heartland of Israel. It is likely that this will lead to the
same disastrous result as the Disengagement from Gaza, with every city from Hadera to
Be'er Sheva being in the range of Kassam rockets. What will happen to real estate prices
in Kfar Saba, Ra'anana, Kochav Yair and Netanya if those cities are bombed as frequently
The neighborhoods that will see a certain and sudden drop in real estate value will be
those Arab neighborhoods that will be annexed to Hamastan. Today in Shuafat, a standard
four room apartment runs about $220,000, as Shuafat is one of the more expensive Arab
neighborhoods. Once it is cut off from Israel, it will be under the control of terrorists
and the violent atmosphere of Gaza will likely spread like poison gas to Judea, Samaria
and East Jerusalem. Prices of homes will plummet. What East Jerusalem resident is going to
want to buy a house under Hamastanian rule instead of Israeli rule?
The proposal to divide Jerusalem will or will not come to pass. If the plan doesn't go
through, the status quo will remain, and prices will be subject to ordinary market trends.
If Jerusalem is divided, then the market will be shaped by the attitudes and events that
will shape that period. We should therefore continue to conduct business as if the plan
was not even a consideration.
Sellers who will sell cheap now out of fear that the market will decline, or buyers who
will refrain from buying, will probably regret their decisions. People who are afraid to
buy or sell anyway, will use this as an excuse to support their procrastination. As a
resident of Binyamin, I am proud that the Jewish community here has never ceased to build
and invest. Had we stopped development every time the settlement movement was threatened
we would all still be living in trailers. I expect that same faith will be expressed in
Jerusalem. From Joshua's time throughout modern times, Israel was built with faith, and
will continue to be built with faith.
Baruch Finkelstein is an owner/broker of Remax Center in Jerusalem. Cell: 0545-251-219, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Israelis Remember Sadat visit
By Israel Faxx News Services
Israelis marked 30 years since Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's landmark visit.
Sadat flew to Israel on Nov. 19, 1977 to meet Prime Minister Menachem Begin and address
the Knesset -- a visit that laid the groundwork for the Camp David peace accord the
following year. Israeli media carried extensive retrospective reports Monday in honor of
the 30th anniversary, though the tone was often rueful.
Ties between the Jewish state and the first Arab state to recognize it have been
lackluster for years, and many Israelis fear new disappointments at the upcoming peace
conference with the Palestinians in Annapolis, Md.
"This is the healthiest and best sign of the health of relations between the
countries," Shalom Cohen, Israel's ambassador to Egypt, told Israel Radio. "I think that
the dialogue between Israel and Egypt over the years has proved itself and passed the
Israel is Nearing 60: Will she Reach 61?
By Don Canaan
The modern-day chariot carrying Egyptian President Mohammed Anwar al-Sadat hugged the
intermittently green coastline of Sinai on its historic mission to Jerusalem. Israelis
glancing upward into the clear night sky saw merely a jet banking gently to the
Sadat wanted peace with Israel, but its price, Sadat insisted, had to include the
removal of Israelis from Sinai's sands. That gift of peace silently glided overhead as the
Sabbath disappeared and the stars appeared. At 8:01 p.m. Sadat's jetliner landed at
Ben-Gurion Airport and the first minutes of a then potential peace came to the Middle
Old enemies became new friends. The crowds roared its approval when Sadat shook hands
with Moshe Dayan. A person standing nearby, according to the Jerusalem Post, said Sadat
told Dayan, "Don't worry Moshe, it will be all right."
The peace treaty between the two nations was signed on March 26, 1979 and on April 25,
1982, the events that had started on a November day at Camp David came to fruition. But
Anwar Sadat did not live to see that day. He had been assassinated seven months
Amidst the rubbage and wreckage of destroyed dreams, the sun sets each night on
paradise gone astray. As you remember this article, remember the youngsters who suddenly
grew up--and who, even more suddenly, died.
Chestnut from Anne Frank Tree Goes on Sale on eBay
An Amsterdam resident has put for sale on eBay a chestnut that he says came from the
tree that Anne Frank gazed upon while hiding from the Nazis, as activists fight to save
the diseased tree from being felled.
"I had this idea for a few years, and then I saw that the tree was in the news and I
decided to put the chestnut up for auction," said 34-year-old Charles Kuijpers, who lives
next door to the garden where the tree stands.
City officials recently decided that the 27-ton tree was so diseased that the risk that
the trunk could break was too great, and said that it would be removed on Wednesday.
At press time, bids for the chestnut reached $2,425 in the auction, which is titled "Grow your own Anne Frank tree with a chestnut." http://tinyurl.com/23ca55)
The Jewish teenager described gazing longingly at the tree in the diary she kept during
her two years in hiding. Anne and her family hid until they were betrayed and arrested in
August 1944. The towering horse chestnut was one of the few examples of nature and normal
life she could see.
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