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$900 Million to be Invested in Two New PA Cities


Two unidentified cities in Palestinian Authority-controlled Samaria are on the drawing board in projects that reportedly will involve an investment of $900 million, according to a report published in the Jerusalem Post Wednesday.

No infrastructure has yet been built, nor has final approval yet been tendered by the Israeli government. The identity of the investors was not released, although the report said the cities would include "thousands of homes as well as malls, high-tech call centers and hotels."

Israel Air Force Head Draws Iran-Hitler Link

By Israel Faxx News Services

The commander of the Israeli Air Force urged his top brass to consider Iran's president a possible modern Hitler.

Maj. Gen. Eliezer Shkedi recently distributed a letter to senior Air Force commanders in which he noted the similarities between Adolf Hitler's pre-Holocaust rhetoric and the anti-Israel vitriol of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"These statements, at this time, are becoming relevant in light of the direct and veiled threats of the Iranian president about the existence of the State of Israel," read the letter, which was leaked to Yedioth Ahronoth.

"The words take on special meaning in light of Iran's efforts to build its military nuclear capabilities and deliver systems the can reach Israel. We must remember and not forget. We must rely only on ourselves," Shkedi concluded.

Shkedi is the Israeli military officer entrusted with contingency planning for a war with Iran, and his pilots have been training for long-range bombing runs. The Israeli Air Force is also in charge of missile defense systems.

Shkedi's deputy, Brig. Gen. Amir Eshel, led an F-15 warplane formation that flew over Auschwitz in 2003, a ceremony designed to underscore Israel's vow to use military power to prevent a repeat of the Holocaust. Israel News Faxx, in its Feb. 16, 1996 edition, headline and story stated: Iran May Reach Nuclear Capability within Eight Years. Foreign Minister Ehud Barak told members of the U.N. Security Council that Iran will possess the ability and the knowledge to produce nuclear weapons within eight years. The Foreign Minister emphasized the danger that Iran poses to the world and to the Middle East. He expressed hope that the Security Council would move to monitor the development of non-conventional weapons in Iran, as it has in Iraq.

Hitler a Hero on Palestinian Authority Radio


A new Palestinian Authority (PA) radio broadcast has glorified Hitler, the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported. A rebroadcast of a quiz last week asked listeners to identify the person whose "golden year was 1940, when his armies invaded Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Holland and Belgium and defeated France" and who "refused to surrender and continued to fight for two more years." His suicide was described as "his bitter end."

The winner who identified the "hero" as Adolf Hitler received a prize of 600 shekels.

The Holocaust was not mentioned, representing the previously stated thesis of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who has denied the Nazi murder of six million Jews. PMW also noted that a new PA 12th grade history textbook features the history of World War II without mentioning Jews or the Holocaust.

Admiration of Hitler in PA newspapers is nothing new. A PA newspaper which proudly listed the ways in which different foreign leaders singled out the Arabs of Israel as examples of ideal revolutionaries proudly began the article with a quote from Hitler.

"Adolf Hitler, while exciting the Germans of the Sudetenland - the Sudetenland is a German province that the Allies had annexed to Czechoslovakia after the First World War - told them in his broadcasts: Look at what the Palestinian revolutionaries are doing to Great Britain." [Al-Rissala (Hamas Weekly) May 18, 2006]

The Hitler - Arab alliance during World War II is a factor in the continued admiration for Hitler apparent in PA society. Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Arab leader in pre-state Israel under the British Mandate, was a staunch ally of Hitler. The meetings between the Mufti and Hitler are well documented.

Israeli Troops Ready to Move into Gaza

By VOA News

The Israeli military said it has completed plans for a major offensive in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip aimed at halting Palestinian attacks. Army Chief, Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, said Wednesday a ground operation is ready to start, pending the government's approval.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned on Tuesday that Israel would eventually have to launch an extensive operation in Gaza to stop the frequent attacks from the coastal strip.

Earlier Wednesday, Israeli strikes killed two Hamas terrorists and wounded several others in Gaza. Israel frequently carries out attacks against militants to prevent them from firing rocket and mortars toward Israel from the Gaza Strip. It has killed more than 20 terrorists in the past 10 days.

Judea and Samaria: IDF Rounding Up Jews' Weapons


The IDF is conducting a large scale operation to confiscate weapons from the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, according to Channel 10 TV. The purpose of the operation is described as "putting the settlers' gun permits in order."

The security coordinators of the communities in Samaria have been summoned to a meeting with IDF officers Thursday; community leaders are convinced that the IDF intends to collect many of the weapons in the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Hillel Reinus of Yitzhar said: "I have no idea who is giving the order, it seems to be coming from up high, but they've decided to take the weapons away from everybody." Another resident of the community, Igal Amitai, added, "They are abandoning citizens, it is irresponsibility, but everything pales compared to reality."

Chanukah in Iraq Calls for a Little Creativity

By Stars and Stripes Mideast edition

It's not just the cultural and religious sensitivities that make celebrating Chanukah "downrange" in a predominantly Muslim land a bit of a challenge. It's the little things, too — like finding out that the base dining facility does not have kosher sour cream, seemingly a must for any potato latkes worth the name.

While the ceremonies do not come close to reaching the fever pitch associated with Christmas on bases downrange, service members at several bases in Iraq paused Tuesday night to mark the first of Chanukah's eight nights.

At Camp Taji, for example, Chaplain (Capt.) David Goldstrom, a rabbi with the 4th Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, led about 50 service members in an evening service. Goldstrom is one of three Jewish chaplains tending to U.S. troops in Iraq.

Another of the Jewish chaplains, Capt. Andrew Shulman of the 4th Battalion, Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, performed similar services at Camp Striker, also in Baghdad. Until about two months ago, Shulman was the only Jewish chaplain serving the estimated 160,000 U.S. service members in Iraq.

Shulman said the circumstances will make Chanukah a little different than at home. "The custom is to eat oily foods on Chanukah, as the miracle had to do with oil," he wrote in an e-mail. "In the U.S., people eat potato latkes — kind of like a poor man's hash brown. In Iraq, we don't have eggs to mix with the potatoes ... so a woman from Cedarhurst, N.Y., mailed me 10 pounds of frozen potato triangles (not so frozen anymore) and apple sauce to dip them in."

But, Shulman said, "I checked at the [dining facility], and their sour cream isn't kosher, so that's a no-go. Oh, and there really aren't any `windows' at Camp Striker to display the menorah in, so we'll light it inside the chapel on a table."

Shulman also said that on Thursday, he and other officials will perform a menorah-lighting ceremony taped by public affairs videographers for later broadcast. The ceremony will be held in Saddam Hussein's old al Faw Palace, with soldiers from Afghanistan and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger participating via video.

"Chanukah is really about respect for each other's religious beliefs," Goldstrom said. "While the historical events the menorah commemorates is related to a military victory and the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem, when you look at the history and the political and cultural context, it was about people fighting against oppression, persecution and for the opportunity to practice their religion.

"And that's a great message for what we are doing here in Iraq. Helping a culturally diverse country while remaining true to the high value we place on religious tolerance and pluralism."

Asked about the sensitivity of celebrating a Jewish holiday in a Muslim country, Goldstrom said, "American soldiers are both culturally sensitive and committed to religious pluralism, so we both respect the host nation's cultural and religious sensitivities while providing an opportunity for our service members to observe their faith traditions."

Promoters: Evel Knievel was Anti-Semite

By Israel Faxx News Service

Two Jewish promoters said stunt driver Evel Knievel was a virulent anti-Semite. The promoters publicized Knievel's famous 1974 attempt to jump Idaho's Snake River Canyon. One is suing Knievel's estate for part of a judgment that was never paid after Knievel beat him with a baseball bat.

Knievel died Nov. 30 from pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 69.

Shelly Saltman, 76, had won $12.75 million in damages from Knievel in 1977 after the daredevil was convicted of beating him with a baseball bat over an unvarnished book Saltman had written about him. Saltman told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he is suing Knievel's estate, claiming that the unpaid damages plus interest now add up to more than $100 million.

Knievel claimed that Saltman had portrayed him as "an alcoholic, a pill addict, an anti-Semite and an immoral person," while Saltman said that he believed it was an accurate portrayal of a man he had admired.

Promoter Bob Arum, 77, called's Michael Marley on the evening of Knievel's death to remind readers of Knievel's temperament. "He used to always say the three things he hated the most were New Yorkers, lawyers and Jews, so I was three for three with this guy," Arum told the boxing Web site in a call from his home in Albuquerque.

Knesset's Menorah Sculpture to Relocate


Recent security issues have prompted the Knesset to consider relocating one of Israel's most recognizable international symbols, which now stands outside Knesset building in Jerusalem, onto securer government grounds.

Created by Jewish-British sculptor Benno Elkan and considered one of Israel's most recognizable international symbols, the Menorah was given to Israel by the British parliament in the 1950s and has been standing in Jerusalem's Rose Garden since 1966.

According to the report by Yedioth Ahronoth, it was recently discovered that this staple of Jerusalem tourism is technically not within the city's jurisdiction, but rather under the Knesset's, making it subject to the Knesset Guard's security protocols and restrictions, even though it's not on actual Knesset grounds.

Given the site's popularity, the Knesset has decided to look into relocating the sculpture into the Knesset grounds themselves, which are just across the street from the Rose Garden. Should the relocation materialize, it will allow the Knesset Guard to make sure both the sculpture and its visitor are properly secured.

"The way things stand now, the Menorah is located in the middle of the garden… it's not very visible and it's a problem to provide it with the proper security," said Knesset Director-General Avi Balashnikov. "If we relocate it we will be able to give it the right lighting, exposure and protection it deserves."

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