Google Search

Newsletter : 7fax1121.txt

Directory | Previous file | Next file

Anne Frank's Tree to Survive


The 150-year-old chestnut tree that comforted Anne Frank as she hid from the Nazis during World War II will not be chopped down after all.

Dutch Justice J. Bade ruled in favor of conservationists who petitioned the court to prevent the tree from being chopped down by the city of Amsterdam. City officials wanted to remove the tree due to a fungal disease it was believed would send it crashing to the ground, endangering residents.

And with less than two hours to go in an eBay auction, a bid for a chestnut from the tree has reached $10,240.

Abbas Group Claims it Murdered Israeli

By &

With just one week before a U.S-sponsored peace summit in Annapolis, the military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization Tuesday took responsibility for the fatal shooting of an Israeli.

A leader of Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades called WND to take credit for killing a 29-year-old Israeli civilian in the northern West Bank. Leaders of the Brigades said a cell of their organization in the northern West Bank city of Nablus carried out the attack. The cell is named the Annunciation Brigades, according to Al Aqsa leaders.

Thousands of mourners came to Kedumim Tuesday afternoon for the funeral of Ido Zoldan, 29, who was killed late Monday night as he returned in his car from Karnei Shomron to Shavei Shomron.

Zoldan had been studying in chevruta (a study group for Jewish learning) with a friend, and was on his way home when the terrorists riddled his car with bullets.

US Sending Invitations for Middle East Conference

By David Gollust (VOA-State Department)

The United States has begun sending invitations for the Middle East peace conference it is holding next week in Annapolis, Md. near Washington. The aim of the conference, to include about 40 countries and international organizations, is to formally re-launch Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

Although Israeli and Palestinian officials are still struggling to come up with a policy document for the conference, the State Department has confirmed that U.S. diplomats in the Middle East and elsewhere have begun delivering invitations, starting with the main participants, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The meeting itself is due to begin late Monday with a dinner gathering in Washington, after which the parties will go to the campus of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis for a full day of meetings Tuesday, mostly behind closed doors. A media event, possibly at the White House, will close the meeting on Wednesday.

President Bush first proposed the gathering last July, saying he wanted to jump-start negotiations on a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict after a seven-year freeze.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who will host the meeting, made several trips to the region to prepare for the talks. State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said the conference document would be substantive, but that Annapolis should be seen more as a jumping-off point for negotiations that U.S. officials and the parties hope can yield a peace accord by the end of Bush's term in January of 2009.

"The document is significant, he said."But you should look at Annapolis really as almost a beginning of something new, as opposed to an end-point in and of itself. But it's an important event and the parties are working hard in the run-up to it. We're working in the run-up to it as well as others."

Most invitees are being asked to send foreign ministers. To boost the political credibility of the process, administration officials are hoping for a sizable turnout of ministers from Arab countries including U.S. Gulf allies that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

They say invitations are going to all 13 member countries of the Arab League committee set up earlier this year to promote the organization's 2002 peace initiative. It offered Israel Arab-wide political recognition in return for a comprehensive settlement with the Palestinians, including statehood.

Syria is a member of the committee but has balked at attending the conference unless it is allowed to raise the issue of the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East War.

McCormack said the focus of the Annapolis meeting would be the Israeli-Palestinian track, but that delegates would have an opportunity at some point to raise other issues pertaining to a comprehensive peace.

Annapolis participants would also include senior officials of the international Middle East Quartet, which is made up of Russia, the European Union and the United Nations as well as the United States. The Quartet regional envoy, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, is expected to attend as well as representatives of other organizations including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

12 Jewish Democrats Back P.A. Funding

By Israel Faxx News Services

Twelve Jewish Democrats are among 135 U.S. Congress members urging increased assistance to the Palestinians.

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), the Jewish chairman of the House of Representatives' Middle East subcommittee, and Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), an Arab American, initiated a letter sent Monday to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that argued for more funding.

The letter said the increased aid would be critical to bolstering Palestinian moderates now that Rice is convening renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. "We need robust diplomacy," Boustany told JTA after sending the letter. "The U.S. needs to take a lead in this."

The vast majority of signatories are Democrats, and include top Jewish members such as Reps. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). Fewer than 20 Republicans signed.

The Jewish groups that led the lobbying effort for the letter were dovish: the Reform movement, Americans for Peace Now, the Israel Policy Forum and Brit Tzedek v'Shalom.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee also backed the letter, albeit without proactive lobbying. That stance was controversial and earned criticism from top AIPAC donors who back right-wing causes in Israel.

And a U.S. conservative group led by major Republican Jews is testing for reactions to a potential Israeli strike on Iran. FreedomsWatch recently tested three questions with a focus group of Americans, the liberal investigative journal Mother Jones reported Monday.

The questions, recalled by a focus group participant, were: "How would you feel if Hillary [Clinton] bombed Iran? How would you feel if George Bush bombed Iran? And how would you feel if Israel bombed Iran?"

American Jewish Organizations: Fatah Charter Calls to 'Eradicate' Israel


The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is deliberating a proposed statement calling on Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to change the Fatah charter, which calls for "the eradication of the Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence. "The proposed statement details those clauses of the Fatah charter, drafted in 1964 and never repealed.

Towards that goal, the charter endorses "armed struggle" as "a strategy and not a tactic, to uproot the Zionist existence." The Fatah organization, headed by Abbas, also calls on the world community "to prevent Jewish immigration" to Israel. Fatah, according to its charter, "opposes any political solution."

The statement on the Fatah charter, drafted and presented to the President's Conference by the Zionist Organization of America, calls on Abbas to rescind the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and pro-terrorism clauses of the Fatah charter. "Rescinding these clauses," the statement reads, "would be an important confidence-building measure which would help to create a better environment to achieve progress in the peace talks."

Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chairman of the Presidents Conference, said there has been very limited opposition to the ZOA proposal. Approval by at least two-thirds of the Conference's 50 member organizations is needed in order to issue the statement.

Palestinian Authority officials identified with Abbas claim that Fatah decisions from 1989 allegedly recognizing Israel superseded the Fatah charter's call for Israel's violent demise. However, current Fatah websites carry the charter in its full, original and unaltered form, including the offending clauses. In addition, Abbas' chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, recently rejected recognition of any Jewish State whatsoever when pressed on the issue by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV) introduced a resolution (H. Res.758) earlier this month that urges Abbas to officially abrogate 10 articles in the Fatah charter that call for Israel's destruction and for the continuation of terrorism.

The ten clauses of the Fatah charter singled out in the proposed House resolution and in the President's Conference proposed statement include:

Article 22: "Opposing any political solution offered as an alternative to demolishing the Zionist occupation in Palestine, as well as any project intended to liquidate the Palestinian cause or impose any international mandate on its people."

Article 12: "Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military, and cultural existence.

Article 19: "Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People's armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated."

Article 17: "Armed public revolution is the inevitable method to liberating Palestine."

Article 23: "Maintaining relations with Arab countries … with the provision that the armed struggle is not negatively affected."

Article 8: "The Israeli existence in Palestine is a Zionist invasion with a colonial expansive base, and it is a natural ally to colonialism and international imperialism."

Article 7: "The Zionist Movement is racial, colonial, and aggressive in ideology, goals, organization, and method."

Article 24: "Maintaining relations with all liberal forces supporting our just struggle in order to resist together Zionism and imperialism."

Article 4: "The Palestinian struggle is part and parcel of the world-wide struggle against Zionism, colonialism, and international imperialism."

Article 25: "Convincing concerned countries in the world to prevent Jewish immigration to Palestine as a method of solving the problem."

Saudi Arabia Defends Rape Victim's Sentencing

By Ha'

Saudi Arabia is defending a controversial court decision to sentence a victim of gang rape to 200 lashes and six months in prison. The Kingdom's official news agency, the Saudi Press Agency on Tuesday published a Justice Ministry statement reiterating that charges against the woman were proven and criticizing media coverage of the case.

The U.S. State Department says it is astonished by the court's decision. But, facing questions from reporters Tuesday in Washington, State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack stopped short of condemning the punishment, or calling on Saudi officials to drop the sentence. McCormack said he is not aware of any direct contact between Washington and Riyadh on this issue.

The 19-year-old female rape victim was initially sentenced to 90 lashes for being out with an unrelated male the night of the attack. The justice ministry says the woman "contentedly accepted" the verdict against her.

Then, last week, a Saudi Appeals Court, in the eastern province of Qatif issued a new verdict, doubling the number of lashes and sentencing the victim to jail time, reportedly for "attempting to influence the judiciary" through the media.

A lawyer representing the victim says a judicial committee suspended him from the case and revoked his license to practice law because he challenged the initial verdict. The Justice Ministry statement on Tuesday said he was punished for violating legal ethics.

Seven men raped the victim. Her attackers have been given sentences ranging from two to nine years in prison.

Home Search

(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)

Read today's issue
Who is Don Canaan?
IsraelNewsFaxx's Zionism and the Middle East Resource Directory