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Beijing Olympics Go Kosher


Beijing's only kosher restaurant is planning to expand operations and open another store in the Olympic Village prior to this year's Olympics, according to Chabad.

Dini's Kosher Restaurant, which opened for business last March, will feature meat and fish at its second outlet. The new location in the Olympic Village will allow athletes, fans and the media to eat a kosher lunch without having to travel into the city.

The manager expects that the restaurant will serve 400 meals a day. The rabbi supervising the restaurant added that meals for the Sabbath and prayer services also will be available.

Israeli Forces Kill 7 Palestinians in Gaza Raid

By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli troops have killed at least six Palestinian terrorists and a schoolteacher in the northern Gaza Strip. Two of his colleagues were wounded when an Israeli missile struck their agricultural school during the operation.

The fighting started after Israeli tanks backed by aircraft moved into the town of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza to confront the terrorists firing rockets at southern Israel.

Israeli military authorities said they are investigating the incident, but Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio on Thursday military operations in Gaza would continue as long as the rockets keep striking southern Israel. He said the Israeli strikes could increase and will continue, along with the blockade of the Gaza Strip, until the problem with Kassam rockets stop.

Rocket attacks against southern Israel have intensified over the past few days and they are causing more injuries among Israelis.

Hamas militants are claiming responsibility for most of the attacks. Until recently, the terrorists belonging to Islamic Jihad and the so-called Popular Resistance Committees had taken credit for a majority of the rocket attacks. Hamas also claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing earlier this week that killed an elderly Israeli woman. The attack had previously been claimed by two other groups.

It was the first suicide bombing claimed by Hamas in three years. Israeli security officials say the bombing was a new attempt by Hamas to derail peace talks between Israel and the moderate West Bank government of Mahmoud Abbas.

Syria Acquiring Russian Rockets at 'Furious' Pace

By WorldNetDaily

Syria, aided by Russia and Iran, in recent months has been furiously acquiring rockets and missiles, including projectiles capable of hitting the entire state of Israel, according to Jordanian and Israeli security officials speaking to WND.

A Jordanian security official said one of the main reasons Damascus did not retaliate after Israel carried out its Sept. 6 airstrike inside Syria allegedly targeting a nascent nuclear facility was because Syria's rocket infrastructure was not yet complete.

The official said after the Israeli airstrike, Syria picked up the pace of acquiring rockets and missiles, largely from Russia with Iranian backing, with the goal of completing its missile and rocket arsenal by the end of the year. The Jordanian official said Syria is aiming to possess enough projectiles to fire over 100 rockets into Israel per hour for a sustained period of time.

"The Syrians have three main goals," explained the Jordanian official. "To maximize their antitank, antiaircraft and ballistic missile and rocket capabilities."

According to Israeli and Jordanian officials, Syria recently quietly struck a deal with Russia that allows Moscow to station submarines and warboats off Syrian ports. In exchange, Russia is supplying Syria with weaponry at lower costs, with some of the missiles and rockets being financed by Iran.

"The Iranians opened an extended credit line with Russia for Syria with the purpose of arming Syria," said one Jordanian security official. "Russia's involvement and strategic positioning is almost like a return to its Cold War stance."

Both the Israeli and Jordanian officials told WND large quantities of Syrian rockets and missiles are being stockpiled at Latakia, Syria's main port on the Mediterranean Sea, as well as at Syria's Tartus port, another major port area south of Latakia and north of Damascus.

Syria's new acquisitions include Russia's S-300 surface-to-air missile defense shield, which is similar to the U.S.-funded, Israeli engineered Arrow antimissile system currently deployed in Israel. The S-300 system is being run not by Syria but by Russian naval technicians who work from Syria's ports, security officials said.

New ballistic missiles and rockets include Alexander rockets and a massive quantity of various Scud surface-to-surface missiles, including Scud B and D Scud missiles.

Israeli security officials noted Syria recently test-fired two Scud-D surface-to-surface missiles, which have a range of about 250 miles, covering most Israeli territory. The officials said the Syrian missile test was coordinated with Iran and is believed to have been successful. It is not known what type of warhead the missiles had.

In addition to longer range Scuds, Syria is in possession of shorter range missiles such as 220 millimeter and 305 millimeter rockets, some of which have been passed on to Hizbullah.

Israel has information Syria recently acquired and deployed Chinese-made C-802 missiles, which were successfully used against the Israeli navy during Israel's war against the Lebanese Hizbullah militia this past July and August. The missiles were passed to Syria by Iran, Israeli security officials told WND.

Russia recently sold to Syria advanced anti-tank missiles similar to the projectiles that devastated Israeli tanks during the last Lebanon war, causing the highest number of Israeli troop casualties during the 34 days of military confrontations. Syria and Russia are negotiating the sale of advanced anti-aircraft missiles.

Seemingly confirming the information, Mossad Chief Meir Dagan told the Knesset that Syria's military recently has accelerated its acquisition of arms. He did not list specific new weapons or disclose information about Russia's involvement.

"The military alliance between Damascus and Teheran has accelerated the arms race in the region," said Dagan at a meeting of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. He stated Syria's moves do not necessarily indicate the country is likely to strike at Israel.

'Sharia Law in UK Unavoidable'

By Reuters

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the world's Anglicans, said on Thursday that the introduction in Britain of some aspects of sharia, Islamic law, was unavoidable.

His unexpected comments were welcomed by some Muslim groups, but the government was quick to distance itself from them, saying it was out of the question that the principles of sharia could be used in British civil courts.

Williams, speaking to the BBC, said other religions enjoyed tolerance of their laws in Britain and he called for a "constructive accommodation" with Muslim practice in areas such as marital disputes.

Asked if the adoption of sharia was necessary for community cohesion, Williams said: "It seems unavoidable. Certain conditions of sharia are already recognized in our society and under our law, so it is not as if we are bringing in an alien and rival system."

In response, Prime Minister Gordon Brown's office said: "There are instances where the government has made changes in regulations, for example to include sharia-compliant mortgage products, but in general terms, sharia law cannot be used as a justification for committing breaches of English law, nor can the principle of sharia law be used in a civilian court."

"The prime minister is clear that in Britain, British laws based on British values will apply," a spokesman said. "There are specific instances that get looked at on a case-by-case basis," he added, but only if the change was consistent with British values.

Muslim groups welcomed Williams' intervention, calling it a bold move to understand Islam and the wishes of the community. "Sharia law for civil matters is something which has been introduced in some western countries with much success," said Mohammed Shafiq, the head of the Ramadhan Foundation. I believe that Muslims would take huge comfort from the government allowing civil matters to be resolved according to their faith."

Williams said he was not endorsing the harsh punishments meted out in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, where murderers and drug traffickers are publicly beheaded or hanged. "Nobody in their right mind would want to see in this country the kind of inhumanity that has sometimes been associated with the practice of the law in some Islamic states, the extreme punishments, the attitudes to women," he said.

Muslims should have a choice in legal disputes over marriage and financial matters, Williams said. "There are ways of looking at marital dispute, for example, which provide an alternative to the divorce courts as we understand them. In some cultural and religious settings they would seem more appropriate."

Israeli Mathematician Solves 38-Year-Old Math Problem


Prof. Avraham Trahtman of Bar Ilan University has solved an internationally famous math problem known as the Road Coloring Conjecture.

Trahtman, 63, immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union some 15 years ago. He worked at first as a security guard and in house cleaning, and later took his rightful place as a staff member on the Mathematics Faculty at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan.

The math problem solved by Trahtman, a resident of southern Jerusalem, is known as the Road Coloring Conjecture. Its basic format is essentially unintelligible to non-mathematicians, but can be roughly translated into real life by asking: "Is there a map of one-way streets, all colored in one of two colors, for which a set of directions to a certain point can be given that would be correct no matter where one started?"

The problem was originally presented in 1970 by Israeli mathematician Binyamin Weiss and two colleagues. It evoked noticeable interest among specialists in graph theory, deterministic automata and symbolic dynamics, though remained unsolved - until Trahtman proposed his solution this past September.

Its publication in The Israeli Journal of Mathematics caused a stir in the mathematical world, and "has brought great pride to our university and the State of Israel," said Bar Ilan President Prof. Moshe Kaveh.

A Bar Ilan colleague of Trahtman, Prof. Stuart Margolis, said, "Not only did he bring about a world breakthrough, but he also chose to publicize it in an Israeli journal, even though he could have publicized it any other international journal. This shows more than anything else his modesty and great love for Israel." Margolis said that Trahtman had previously, in his doctorate, "solved problems that mathematicians around the world could not solve."

Jewish Pirates in Jamaica?

By Israel Faxx News Services

The discovery of an ancient cemetery in Jamaica has stirred speculation that Jews used to take part in piracy.

Several Jewish graves were found outside Kingston last week, some of them marked with the skull and crossbones, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday. The classic symbol of piracy suggests there were Jews involved in the notorious trade.

Historians are investigating the find, but one expert who is descended from Jamaica's 500-year-old Jewish community appears to have made up his mind. "The major role of Jews and pirates was we were like the brains behind their brawn, i.e. we advised and backed them," Ed Kritzler wrote on the Web site of the United Congregation of Israelites in Jamaica.

"Jewish merchants, in coded correspondence with converso merchants in the Spanish colonies, were able to ascertain what ship was sailing when, its cargo, route, destination, and what its captain may have secreted in his cabin. Thus informed, they financed and advised the buccaneers, and got first dibs on the booty."

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