Newsletter : 8fax0104.txt
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Israel: H5N1 Bird Flu Strain Found at Kindergarten Zoo
By VOA News
Israeli health authorities said Thursday that they have found the deadly H5N1 strain of
bird flu in dead chickens at a kindergarten petting zoo in the northern town of
Tests confirmed they were infected with the virus that is potentially lethal to humans.
Authorities are checking for other bird flu outbreaks within a six-mile radius of the
In 2006 Israel culled more than one million chickens and turkeys 2006 after the H5N1
virus infected poultry at several communal farms. Migratory birds are thought to have
spread the virus from Asia to the Middle East and Europe.
Katyusha Lands Past Ashkelon
A 122 mm Katyusha missile landed near a hotel north of Ashkelon Thursday, marking the
farthest a missile or rocket has been fired from Gaza thus far.
The Grad-type Katyusha missile slammed into an area near a hotel north of Ashkelon, one
of Israel's largest cities. The missile landed near an area where Jews evicted from Gaza
during the 2005 Disengagement have been living in caravan homes. No injuries were
Katyusha rockets were widely used by Hizbullah to bombard northern Israel during the
Second Lebanon War. They have already in the past been fired toward Ashkelon and Eilat,
but have not yet come into wide use. The longer-range rockets place hundreds of thousands
of Israelis under fire, in addition to those already living around Gaza.
Knesset member Tzvi Hendel (National Union) asked "Where are the hypocrites who
justified the expulsion by saying the country had to protect the lives of [Gush Katif]
residents?" he said. "I am sorry to say that the day the Prime Minister will bear
responsibility for bloodshed is not far away. The IDF must conduct a massive ground
operation in Gaza until the entire terrorist infrastructure is completely destroyed."
Netanyahu: 1948 Borders Mean Missiles in All of Israel
By IsraelNationalNews.com & YnetNews.com
Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday that if Israel were to retreat to
the 1948 armistice line, terrorists in Judea and Samaria would be able to attack every
city in Israel with rockets. Terrorists in Gaza fired a rocket with a range of 20
kilometers on Thursday morning, he said.
"If Hamas fires a rocket with a range of 12.5 miles from Judea and Samaria, it will hit
Dizengoff Center (one of Tel Aviv's most popular commercial shopping hubs)," warned
"[Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert and [Defense Minister Ehud] Barak say the state needs to
return to the 1967 borders," Netanyahu said. "It is clear to them that if we leave Judea
and Samaria, every single part of the land will be under a barrage of rockets."
Netanyahu accused Olmert and Barak of employing a "blind and amateurish" policy that
"has already brought the residents of the Galilee and Haifa under Katyusha fire and has
brought Ashkelon and next Ashdod and eventually Tel Aviv into the
range of fire."
Rabbi Reportedly Wants Olmert Hanged
By Israel Faxx News Services & IsraelNationalNews.com
A right-wing Israeli rabbi drew censure after calling for Ehud Olmert and other
government leaders to be executed.
Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe, a leading Chabad rabbi in Israel, was shown on television
Wednesday addressing an SOS Israel demonstration against the Olmert government's peace
moves with the Palestinian Authority.
"The terrible traitor, Ehud Olmert, who gives these Nazis weapons, who gives money, who
frees their murderous terrorists, this man, like Ariel Sharon, collaborates with the
Nazis," Wolpe said in his speech.
He added that the prime minister, Vice Premier Haim Ramon, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni
and Defense Minister Ehud Barak would be "hung from the gallows" were Israel run
Israeli opposition leader Binyamin lambasted the remarks, which apparently were heard
without protest by several religious lawmakers who attended the rally.
Ramon in a statement said Wolpe's behavior recalled the incitement that led to the 1995
assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Yoel Hasson, a lawmaker with Olmert's
Kadima party, said he would ask Israel's attorney general to take legal steps against
Knesset member Chaim Oron (Meretz) noted that SOS Israel was founded by
Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidim, of whom Rabbi Wolpe is one, Oron called for a blanket ban on
all Chabad activists entering IDF bases. IDF commanders often grant Chabad volunteers
access to military bases and outposts so that the Chassidim can distribute holiday-related
items and perform certain religious rituals with soldiers who are interested.
Wolpe said Thursday that the speech he gave was twisted and taken out of context. When
he said that Olmert, Ramon, Livni and other members of the government would be hung, he
was not calling for vigilante violence, he said, but rather calling on the police to
implement the law.
Rabbi Wolpe wrote a clarification, explaining that he believes violence against a
fellow Jew is unacceptable, but that law enforcement has the right and responsibility to
enforce the law.
One of Israel's laws prohibits providing assistance to Nazis, he said, and Muslim
terrorist groups are the Nazis of our day. If the government provides terrorists with
aid, the government has violated the law, and must suffer the consequences, which include
the death penalty. Wolpe emphasized that he was calling for any such punishments to be
carried out in a legal manner.
Knesset member Chaim Oron (Meretz) noted that SOS Israel was founded by Chabad-Lubavitch
Chassidim, of whom Rabbi Wolpe is one, Oron called for a blanket ban on all Chabad
activists entering IDF bases. IDF commanders often grant Chabad volunteers access to
military bases and outposts so that the Chassidim can distribute holiday-related items and
perform certain religious rituals with soldiers who are interested.
Israeli Arabs: Count Us Out of Palestinian State
If given the option of living in a future Palestinian state, most Israeli Arabs would
prefer to remain citizens of Israel, according to a new survey released this week.
Arabs make up about 20 percent of Israel's population, with a large concentration
living in eastern Jerusalem, including in peripheral neighborhoods Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert's government has stated could be given to the Palestinians for a future state.
Last month, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni hinted Israeli Arabs living in eastern
Jerusalem could remain there and be ruled by a new Palestinian state.
"The future Palestinian state would serve as a national solution for the Palestinians
of the West Bank, those living in the refugee camps and those who are citizens with equal
rights in the Jewish state," stated Livni at a November press conference with France's
But a new poll conducted by Keevoon, an Israeli research and strategic communications
company, found the majority of Israeli Arabs 62 percent don't want to live
under Palestinian rule.
Only 14 percent of respondents said they would prefer to live in a Palestinian state
and not Israel if given the choice, while 24 percent did not express an opinion or refused
Mitchell Barak, managing director of Keevoon, told WND, "The survey challenges the
widely held claim that Israeli Arabs have national aspirations for statehood. Most
expressed a desire to remain Israeli when given a choice."
Barak said the results "also demonstrated a gap between policies articulated by the
Israeli government and the citizens it would affect most Israeli Arabs."
"While senior members of the government here, including Livni, have spoken openly about
a future Palestinian state possibly including Israeli Arabs who live in Israel, most
Israeli Arabs prefer to remain Israeli citizens," Barak said.
Keevoon's survey found the strongest support for remaining citizens of Israel was
exhibited by members of the Druze Arab community, 84 percent of whom rejected the notion
of living in a Palestinian state. Lower-income Arab households also showed strong support,
with 71 percent choosing Israel.
The strongest support for becoming citizens of a future Palestinian state was
demonstrated by Arab students, with 21 percent, compared to the overall average of 14
percent, according to the poll.
The survey was conducted about a month after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert committed at
November's U.S.-sponsored Annapolis summit to aim at concluding an agreement with
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas by next year. The Jewish state is widely
expected to evacuate swaths of the strategic West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem,
handing the territories to Abbas for a Palestinian state.
Israeli officials in recent months listed specific eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods
Israel may evacuate. In a speech in early November, Olmert asked whether it was "really
necessary" to retain certain Arab neighborhoods in the eastern parts of Judaism's capital
"Was it necessary to also add the Shuafat refugee camp, Sawakra, Walaje and other
villages and define them as part of Jerusalem? On that, I must confess, I am not
convinced," stated Olmert, speaking at a special Knesset session.
Just this week, Olmert indicated Jerusalem could be split, stating in an interview with
the Jerusalem Post that the world that is "friendly" to Israel insists on dividing the
Previous Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, including U.S.-mediated talks at Camp David
in 2000, agreed to sections of Jerusalem being split according to population demographics,
with Israeli Arab neighborhoods becoming part of a Palestinian state.
After Annapolis, Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon stated any future division of
Jerusalem would be mapped out along the same lines. "We must come today and say, friends,
the Jewish neighborhoods [of Jerusalem], including Har Homa, will remain under Israeli
sovereignty, and the Arab neighborhoods will be the Palestinian capital, which they will
call Jerusalem or whatever they want," Ramon said.
Since Annapolis, Israeli media reports marked an increase in Israeli Arab clients
enlisting Jerusalem real estate companies to relocate to Jewish sections of Jerusalem.
Would-be Chabad Convert Turned Down
A young Israeli from the former Soviet Union who wished to convert to Judaism was
turned down recently after he told a rabbinic court that he believes former Chabad leader
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson to be the messiah. While some rabbinic judges were
prepared to convert the young man, at least one refused to take part in the
The case will be brought before Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar in the near future.
An estimated several thousand Chabad chassidim believe that Rabbi Schneerson, who passed
away in 1994, is the messiah.
London-Tel Aviv Airline Takes Off as Fares Hurtle Down
British Midland Airways has announced it will launch a daily flight service from
Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to Heathrow starting March 13th 2008. At the present time
only two companies British Airways and El Al maintain the line, along with
charter subsidiaries Israir, Sandor Airlines, Thomsonfly and Arkia.
According to BMI an economy-class seat will cost $497 while a business-class ticket
will cost around $1,230, including taxes. The daily flight to Heathrow will leave Ben
Gurion Airport at 7:15 a.m. and the return flight will leave Heathrow at 12:55 p.m.
Israeli travel agents warned travelers that while the prices may drop, there is a
chance that so will the quality of service in the long term. Furthermore, said the agents,
the addition of two separate service providers for the Tel Aviv-London line
Thomsonfly, that launched in November and now BMI is unwarranted considering the
relatively low number of tourists using the line.
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