Newsletter : 8fax0211.txt
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Sderot Boy, 8, Loses Leg to Kassam
Doctors lost the battle to save 8-year-old Osher Tuito's leg in the aftermath of a
Kassam rocket attack Saturday night on Sderot; surgeons were forced to amputate Osher's
left leg at the knee and are still fighting to save his other leg, which was also badly
Osher's 19-year-old brother Rami was also rushed in serious condition to Barzilai
Hospital in Ashkelon; his condition is now reportedly stable, but will require more
surgery on his legs.
Olmert Resists Pressure to Invade Gaza after Rocket Attack
By VOA News
Israel is backing away from an invasion of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, despite outrage
over a Palestinian rocket attack. Palestinian murderers have reacted defiantly to new
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is resisting pressure for a major military offensive in
Gaza, after an eight-year-old Israeli boy lost his leg in a Palestinian rocket attack.
The attack occurred in the hard hit Israeli border town of Sderot, prompting angry
residents to march to Jerusalem.
They chanted slogans calling for Olmert to resign and demanded a harsh military
response to the rocket attacks. The Prime Minister told the weekly Cabinet meeting that he
understands the anger. But he said that "Anger is not an operational plan." He said
Israel would continue its current policy of limited military action in Gaza. "We will
continue to go after terrorists and those who send them."
Olmert fears that a major offensive in Gaza would harm U.S.-backed peace talks with the
moderate Palestinian government in the West Bank. But Cabinet Minister Meir Sheetrit of
Olmert's Kadima party said restraint has not worked. He said Gaza neighborhoods used to
fire rockets should be "wiped off the map."
The Islamic terrorist gang Hamas, which rules Gaza, warned Israel against an invasion.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Israeli threats would not deter Hamas from resisting
the occupation. He said any Israeli offensive in Gaza is doomed to failure.
Bodies of Dimona Bombers to be Returned to Hamas
The bodies of two suicide bombers who blew up the commercial center in the Negev city
of Dimona a week ago will be given back to the Hamas terrorist group, reported Voice of
Israel government radio Sunday afternoon.
Islamic law mandates that a body must be buried within 24 hours of death, or as soon as
possible. Retaining the bodies of terrorists is one way to exert pressure on a terror
gang. The strategy is similar to that practiced by terrorists against Jews, who observe
the same tradition of burying a body within 24 hours.
The Hizbullah terrorist organization in Lebanon has withheld bodies of murdered Israeli
captives for years as bargaining chips in exchange for the release of hundreds of
It is not clear why Israel agreed to return the bodies. A 73-year-old grandmother was
murdered in the bloody attack and 40 others were wounded.
Is Someone Lying About Dividing Jerusalem?
Current behind-the-scenes Israeli-Palestinian talks include negotiations aimed at
dividing Jerusalem, according to a senior Palestinian negotiator involved in the
"Since [last November's U.S.-sponsored] Annapolis [summit], our regular meetings have
been dealing with all the core issues, yes, of course including Jerusalem," said the
Palestinian negotiator, who agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity.
The official said he was talking off-the-record for fear of contradicting Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert, who has repeatedly insisted Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are not
dealing with the status of Jerusalem.
The Israeli Shas party, an important coalition partner in Olmert's government, has
stated it would bolt the prime minister's coalition if it becomes clear the Israeli
government is negotiating the ceding any part of Jerusalem. Shas' departure could collapse
"Nobody is talking about Jerusalem. The moment Jerusalem is being discussed Shas will
leave the government period," Shas Spokesman Roi Lachmanovitch told Israel National
Olmert must maintain a majority of the Knesset's 120 seats to continue ruling. He
currently rules with a slight plurality. If Shas, with its 12 seats, bolts the
government, Olmert would be forced to forge a new coalition or face new elections. Most
analysts here believe if Shas does bolt, Olmert could only stay in power if he invites
Arab parties to his government, a move that would be considered highly controversial.
Contradicting Olmert's repeated denials that Jerusalem is being negotiated, the senior
Palestinian negotiator as well as diplomatic sources in Jerusalem and Ramallah told WND
current negotiations are aiming to forge a Palestinian state in eastern neighborhoods of
"The negotiations are going slow but they continue and are substantive," said the
Palestinian negotiator. "We are not yet at the point where we are taking out maps and
talking about this street or that street but Jerusalem is being dealt with now in almost
entirely in general terms, with an agreement that some Arab neighborhoods will become
Continued the negotiator: "For Israeli political reasons, there seems to be a move to
wait until the end of negotiations to discuss specifics of Jerusalem. Meanwhile we are
watching closely any attempts to create facts on the ground such as illegal Israeli
Israeli construction in Jerusalem is not illegal if it's approved by the government.
Current negotiations follow the Annapolis summit, at which Olmert and Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas pledged to create a Palestinian state before President
Bush leaves office at the end of the year.
Since Annapolis, senior negotiating teams including Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi
Livni and chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia have been meeting weekly while Olmert
and Abbas meet biweekly. Olmert's government has hinted multiple times it will divide
'Resign,' Clergy Tell Archbishop of Canterbury
A senior clergyman in the Church of England is calling for the resignation of the
archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, because of his comments promoting Islamic sharia
law in Britain.
The comments were reported by the Times Online, which said the reaction from the
"long-standing member of the church's governing body, the General Synod," was just a part
of the backlash against Williams over his comments.
WND has reported that Williams, chief of the 70-million strong worldwide Anglican
Communion, has advocated for establishment of Islamic law, drawing a rebuke from Prime
Minister Gordon Brown, among others.
The Times Online reported the Synod member, who insisted on anonymity, reported, "A lot
of people will now have lost confidence in him. I am just so shocked, and cannot believe a
man of his intelligence could be so gullible. I can only assume that all the Muslims he
meets are senior leaders of the community who tell him what a wonderful book the Quran
The report said besides criticism from within his church, there's been more adverse
reaction from governmental leaders, including David Blunkett, the former Home Secretary.
Formalizing sharia "would be wrong democratically and philosophically but it would be
catastrophic in terms of social cohesion," he said.
The report said the only group to have supported Williams was the Islamist group Hizb
ut-Tahrir, which said those who have objections are exhibiting "vitriolic hatred."
Williams had said, "It seems unavoidable and, as a matter of fact, 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 an interview months ago with a Muslim lifestyle magazine, Williams compared Muslims
in Britain to Good Samaritans, and praised the Islamic ritual of praying five times a day.
He also has argued the 9/11 terrorists should not be described as evil, the report
"There are real human rights issues under sharia women are not equal with men,"
Alan Craig, a councilor who has campaigned against a mega-mosque planned in East London.
"If he is accepting that sharia could be ingrafted in British law, it can only be
ingrafted if it complies with British law in which case there's no pointing ingrafting
On the newspaper's forum, Louisa, from Winchester, was blunt. "This is BRITAIN, I live
in ENGLAND and we should live under ENGLISH law, no other. This is getting totally
Anne, of Herefordshire, summed up the opinion of many on the Daily Mail forum site,
stating, "What planet is he on?"
Williams' comments came in an interview with BBC Radio 4's "The World at One
"We already have in this country a number of situations in which the internal laws of
religious communities is (sic) recognized by the law of the land as justifying
conscientious objections in certain circumstances," he said.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister's office, however, disagreed. "Our general position
is that sharia law cannot be used as a justification for committing breaches of English
law, nor should the principles of sharia law be included in a civil court for resolving
contractual disputes," a spokesman for Brown's office said.
In the BBC interview, William advised the UK to "face up to the fact" that some
residents do not relate to the British legal system and that Muslims could choose to have
marital disputes or financial matters handled by a sharia court.
Sharia is the Islamic religious law that operates in many Muslim countries around the
world, including Libya and Sudan. Egypt's constitution also defines sharia as the source
of its law. Some nations also have secular codes that operate alongside, but mostly
subservient to, sharia.
Tel Aviv, Gaza City No Longer Sister Cities
The Tel Aviv city council decided Sunday to freeze its "sister city" agreement with
Gaza City. Deputy Mayor Arnon Giladi had proposed that the city dissolve its "sister
city" ties due to Gaza terrorists' rocket and mortar shell attacks on Israeli towns.
"We all hope for peace, but Tel Aviv cannot remain detached from the situation in the
rest of the country at this time," Giladi explained.
City officials voted to freeze the arrangement with Gaza City rather than dissolving it
completely. The arrangement will be renewed if Israel and the Palestinian Authority sign
a final agreement, they said.
Italian Anti-Semitic Blog Stirs Row
Italian police are investigating an anti-Semitic blog listing the names of more than
150 "Jewish university professors," which was removed from the Internet after protests
from politicians and Jewish leaders.
"The Internet has become the main tool for spreading anti-Semitic hatred," said
Alessandro Ruben of the Anti-Defamation League in Italy.
Rome's Mayor Walter Veltroni was among those slamming the blog. "Any attempt to give a
platform to anti-Semitism should concern us and draw a response," he was quoted as saying
by Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
Veltroni added that the "Jewish community was right" to protest the blog's publication,
and stressed that the proper response should be "immediate condemnation and struggle."
"The list of Jewish lecturers reminds us of the racist 1938 laws, yet anyone who seeks
to retake the anti-Semitic path will encounter the resistance of Italians," he said. "This
act is particularly grave because it took place in the world of academia and research,
where the rejection of discrimination and hatred should be even stronger."
The blog, by an anonymous author, listed the names and workplaces of university professors who it accused of "publicly and politically" supporting Israel. It was taken down Friday, said Emanuele Fini, one of the heads of blogsite www.Ilcannocchiale.It, where the blog was first posted on January 16.
Education Minister Giuseppe Fioroni called the blog a shameful "kind of Ku Klux Klan of
the digital age". The blog had links to far-right websites and themes like Holocaust
revisionism, appeals to boycott Israel and war-time fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
Some professors listed on the blog are not Jewish but had signed pro-Israel petitions.
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