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Jerusalem Gets First Solar-Powered Dumpster


Jerusalem's municipality has placed its first solar-powered garbage dumpster on Jaffa Road, in the city center, according to Globes. The solar-powered dumpster can accommodate 750 liters (200 gallons) of compacted waste even though it is only 150 liters in size.

The dumpster has a built-in solar-powered compression system that can compress garbage to up to a fifth of its volume and operates for up to five days on the power supplied by just one hour of sunlight.

At Least 18 Dead in Gaza Border Violence; 40 Kassam Rockets Hit Sderot

By Jim Teeple (VOA News-Jerusalem) & Ha'aretz

Parts of southern Israel were subjected to a barrage of 40 Kassam rockets and dozens of mortars Tuesday, the Israel Defense Forces said, in the wake of IDF raids in Gaza that killed 19 Palestinians. Of the dead, 15 were confirmed as armed terrorists.

Three militant Palestinian factions, including a group allied to Hamas, claimed responsibility for the rocket fire. Hamas claimed responsibility for 17 of the mortars.

In the months leading up to Tuesday's raids in Gaza, the Islamic terrorist group hadn't taken the lead on the assaults, but had allowed other militant factions to attack southern Israel with impunity.

Four residents of Sderot were lightly wounded after the Kassams struck the western Negev town, causing a power outage in some neighborhoods. Also Tuesday, an Ecuadorian volunteer working in the fields of a kibbutz near Gaza was shot dead by a sniper from Hamas' armed wing. Carlos Chavez, 21, was killed when a Palestinian sniper fired from the border area into Israel.

Chavez had been working in a potato field near the kibbutz border fence, Ein Hashlosha's security chief said. He was hit in the back and taken by his friends to the kibbutz infirmary.

Yochai Kopler, a potato grower who worked with Chavez, said "sniper and mortar fire opened up. We didn't have luck this time, as we did the other times. Every day they shoot at us, and we run away like rabbits."

"It's tough for us to receive news like this," said Annie Rotman, who is responsible for the kibbutz's volunteers. She said that Chavez came to the kibbutz two months ago. "Only yesterday, we spoke with him, laughed with him. Everyone here is afraid," she said. "The volunteers do the work, and when there is shooting, they go into hysteria. We are finding it difficult to digest what has happened."

David Lanos, 19, also a volunteer on the kibbutz, said the sniper fire came as they were preparing to plant potato seeds. "I told him, 'Sit down, they're shooting at us.' We managed to hide behind a car. When he stood up to get into it, he was hit in the back." Lanos then told Chavez not to go to sleep. "He answered 'I'm not able,' and then I lost him."

An IDF spokesman said Chavez's showed the need for continued military operations in Gaza. "The shooting of the Ecuadorian youth demonstrates the necessity of the defensive measures the military is carrying out with pinpoint operations," IDF spokeswoman Major Avital Leibovich said.

In Sderot, a five-year-old girl was among those wounded when the house she was in sustained a direct hit from one of the rockets. The child had been treated by a psychologist in the past for anxiety due to the Kassam attacks on Sderot, and her father vowed his family would leave the western Negev town for good.

Another rocket damaged several other homes and hit a power line, plunging parts of the town into darkness. Earlier, a Grad-type Katyusha struck an open field in southern Ashkelon. No injuries or damages were reported.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket fire on Ashkelon, a city of 120,000 people about 10 miles from Gaza. Most rockets land just a few kilometers from the Gaza border.

One of the fatalities in the IDF operations on Tuesday was the 24-year-old son of Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar, the last surviving founder of the Islamist group.

The Hamas leader called the attack the result of collusion between President Bush, Israel, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' government in the West Bank. Abbas condemned the Israeli incursion, calling it a massacre and a slap in the face to peace efforts.

Israel's president and ceremonial head of state, Shimon Peres, said as long as Palestinian militants keep firing rockets from Gaza, Israeli troops have no choice but take measures to stop the firing.

It was the bloodiest day in Gaza since last June when Hamas and Fatah forces battled each other, and the most violent clash between Israeli forces and Palestinian murderers since the Mideast peace process was revived last November at the Annapolis peace conference.

The fighting started when the terrorists discovered a group of Israeli troops moving into the northern Gaza Strip on a mission to destroy a house used to fire rockets at southern Israel.

Noa Meir, the spokeswoman for the Israeli Defense Forces said it was a routine mission. "There is not a big operation or anything new from what we have been witnessing in the past month," she said. "We need to operate there in order to keep these snipers and terrorists away from the fence in order to keep civilians safe. There are approximately 30,000 civilians living in that area."

PA Chairman with PLO Flag That Erases Israel


Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was filmed this week at a PLO Central Committee meeting with an emblem that negates the existence of Israel as a backdrop. The PLO emblem includes the PA flag above a map which depicts Palestine replacing the entirety of the State of Israel.

Palestinian Media Watch Directors Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook explained that the emblem "symbolizes that all of Israel is, or will someday be, 'Palestine.'"

The video from the PLO meeting, which took place in Ramallah, was broadcast on PA television on Sunday, January 13. The event took place just days after Abbas met with President George W. Bush and reiterated his commitment to peaceful negotiations with Israel.

On November 28, the day after the Annapolis Conference, official PA television broadcast a map of the region obliterating Israel completely and replacing it with a Palestinian flag.

The Untold Story of U.S.-Israel Secret Nuclear Deal

By Ha'aretz

New revelations about the circumstances under which Israel and the United States reached a secret understanding on the Israeli nuclear program, and the Richard Nixon administration came to recognize Israel's policy of "nuclear ambiguity," appeared in an article published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, was coauthored by Israeli historian Avner Cohen, who wrote "Israel and the Bomb" (1998), and William Burr, an expert on U.S. nuclear weapons policy.

Cohen and Burr reveal internal documents of the Nixon administration about contacts with Israel over the nuclear issue, including Israel's official notification to the U.S. that it would not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The "nuclear understanding" reached in 1969 between then-Prime Minister Golda Meir and Richard Nixon ended a decade of American pressure on Israel to stop its nuclear program.

In the 1960s the Americans sent inspectors to the Dimona nuclear reactor, and officials in the Johnson administration sought to condition the supply of F-4 Phantom fighter planes to Israel on its signing the NPT. Israel refused and adhered to its vague pledge "not to be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East."

Nixon's entry to the White House in January 1969 heralded a change in U.S. policy. Cohen and Burr revealed that the administration worked up documents on the ramifications of a nuclear-armed Israel, the contents of which remain classified.

According to documents that have been declassified, the administration was of the opinion before Meir's first Washington visit, in September 1969 that Israel was already in the possession of nuclear weapons and was capable of deploying and launching Jericho ground-to-ground missiles. Based on that assessment, the U.S. State Department recommended that Nixon pressure Meir to pledge that "Israel would not possess nuclear weapons, would sign the NPT, and would not deploy missiles." Cohen and Burr say it is not known whether Nixon tried to do this, but that "subsequent actions indicate that he did not."

Meir and Nixon met in private at the White House on Sept. 26, 1969. The precise contents of their conversation remains a blank, but it is known that it led to an understanding between the two countries. According to internal memoranda by Nixon's national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, Nixon had made clear to Meir that it was in America's interest that "Israel make no visible introduction of nuclear weapons or undertake a nuclear test program."

The administration was offered this formula, according to which "introduction of nuclear weapons" meant announcing their existence or performing a nuclear test, in conversations several months earlier with Israel's ambassador to Washington, Yitzhak Rabin. Refraining from an announcement or test would obligate Israel to keep its nuclear program clandestine, and maintain vagueness regarding its capabilities.

After Meir's departure, according to a Kissinger memo from Oct. 7, 1969, Rabin assured the administration that "Israel will not become a nuclear power" and "will not deploy strategic missiles until at least 1972."

When Kissinger asked how a country could become a nuclear power without "possessing" nuclear weapons, Rabin said the Israelis "prefer" their formulation.

Nixon accepted Kissinger's recommendation that Rabin's assurance, vague as it was, be considered an Israeli commitment to wording connoted by the NPT, which states that nonnuclear states agree not to "manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons."

The tentative Nixon-Meir understanding governed Israel's nuclear conduct and the U.S. stance towards it ever since. Over time, this secret agreement became the foundation for a U.S.-Israeli deal, accompanied by a strict code of behavior that both countries closely followed. But this deal undermined the credibility of the United States, which is accused of applying double standards in its nuclear nonproliferation policy. Israel's nuclear capability became the most secretive weapons of mass destruction program in the world, thanks to the Nixon-Meir deal.

Ms. Magazine Refuses Ad Focusing on Israel's Women Leaders


The veteran and widely distributed women's magazine Ms. has rejected a paid advertisement by the American Jewish Congress that was intended to draw attention to the leading women office-holders in Israeli government.

Turning down the ad, Ms. Magazine editors initially expressed worries about a "firestorm" as a result of the ad's publication, but last week added that it was rejected for being partisan to the Israeli Kadima party.

The proposed ad consisted of photographs of Supreme Court Chief Justice Dorit Beinish, Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik above the words, "This is Israel." As the American Jewish Congress noted in a recent press release, the advertisement "did nothing more controversial than call attention to the fact that women currently occupy three of the most significant positions of power in all three branches of the Israeli government -- judicial, legislative and executive."

Ms. Magazine's Executive Editor Kathy Spillar told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last week, "Because two of the women in this ad were from the same political party," that showed favoritism, and the magazine's policy is not to get involved in the domestic politics of another country. Spillar noted, however, that "ironically" this month's issue has a two-page spread profiling Foreign Minister Livni.

According to Director of the American Jewish Congress' Commission for Women's Empowerment, Harriet Kurlander, when she tried to place the ad, she was told it "will set off a firestorm" and that "there are very strong opinions" on the subject.

In a statement released on Monday, Editor Spillar responded to the American Jewish Congress accusations of bias, noting, "Over the past four years (16 issues) Ms. has covered the Israeli feminist movement and women leaders in Israel no fewer than 11 times." The ad, according to Spillar, "implied that women in Israel hold equal positions of power with men."

Explaining the editorial decision to reject the paid Congress ad, Spillar wrote, "Ms. policy is to accept only mission-driven advertisements from primarily non-profit, non-partisan organizations that promote women's equality, social justice, sustainable environment, and non-violence. In Ms. Magazine's judgment, the ad submitted by AJCongress for consideration was inconsistent with this policy." The ad, according to Spillar, "implied that women in Israel hold equal positions of power with men," which she claimed was a misrepresentation.

The fall issue of Ms. for 2007, its 37th anniversary edition, included an article titled "Faceless in Gaza," another called "Senora Minister" and a third entitled "Feminist Polygamy?!" Past issues have included profiles of Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi and Queen Noor of Jordan, and a feature called "Images of Palestine," which discussed the Ramallah Film Festival and gave sympathetic reviews to films concerning "the liberation of South Lebanon" from Israel and legitimizing terrorism.

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