Newsletter : 8fax0219.txt
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Iran Warns Dutch MP: Don't Show Film on Koran as Terror
Iran has charged that a plan by a right-wing Dutch lawmaker to show a film portraying
the Muslim religion as backing terror would be "a provocative and satanic act." It warned
against allowing freedom of speech "to be used as a cover for assaulting the sensibilities
and exalted moral and religious values which are respected by all of humanity," said
Iranian Justice Minister Gholamhossein Elham. Dutch legislator Geert Wilders said his
film, to be shown next month, shows the Koran as a book that incites murder.
Iran: Cancerous Israel to be Destroyed by Radiation
Gen. Mohammad Ali Jaafari, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, has sent a
letter of condolence to Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah following the
assassination of the organization's senior commander Imad Mugniyah, saying he believed
"the cancerous bacterium called Israel" would vanish soon, the Iranian news agency Fars
According to Jaafari, "I am convinced that with every day that passes Hizbullah's power
increases, and in the near future we will bear witness to the disappearance of this
cancerous bacterium, Israel, by the radiation of Hizbullah's fighters."
In the letter comforting Nasrallah over the death of the "shahid" (martyr) Mugniyah,
Jaafari wrote, "There is no doubt that the death of this loyal fighter will strengthen the
determination of all the revolutionary and warrior Muslims in their battle against the
Zionist regime, and particularly the determination of those fighting alongside this
Mugniyah was considered close to the Revolutionary Guards, and particularly to the Quds
Force, which was recently designated by the United States as a supporter of terror.
Together they trained Hizbullah fighters in Lebanon and Iran and planned terror attacks
Upon hearing of Mugniyah's death, the Iranian leaders, headed by supreme leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, sent cards and letters of
condolence to Nasrallah.
Their message was clear: Mugniyah's death would only strengthen Hizbullah, and he would
be replaced by hundreds and thousands of other fighters ready to sacrifice their lives for
the sake of the battle against Israel.
state by the end of 2008, rather than a full-fledged agreement.
'Palestinian Government' in Israel Within Weeks
The Palestinian Authority, aided by international donors, will attempt to open official
institutions in Jerusalem within weeks, WND has learned.
While Israel has not officially approved the PA's presence in Jerusalem, Palestinian
diplomatic sources said there is an unwritten agreement in which Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert's office has agreed not to interrupt some PA activities in Jerusalem.
Hatem Abdel Khader, a member of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah
party and a former member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, held a meeting with
Fatah activists in Jerusalem in which he declared the PA would start officially acting in
Official PA minutes of the meeting, obtained by WND, announced the launching of
"practical PA activities in Jerusalem such as those that took place before the closing of
Orient House in Jerusalem by Israeli Occupation Authorities."
In line with previous Israeli-Palestinian accords, the PA has been barred from
conducting political activity in Jerusalem, although it maintained an office, called
Orient House, in an eastern Jerusalem neighborhood that previously functioned as a de
facto PA headquarters. Orient House was closed down by Israel in 2001 following a series
of suicide bombings in Jerusalem and information Israel said indicated the House was used
to plan and fund terrorism.
Thousands of documents and copies of bank certificates and checks captured by Israel
from Orient House including many documents obtained by WND showed the
offices were used to finance terrorism, including direct payments to the Al Aqsa Martyrs
Brigades terror group.
A press release from Khader said the PA would start acting in Jerusalem on both the
social and political levels "to strengthen Palestinian preservation of Jerusalem."
Khader's release stated the World Bank and other international donors provided $150,000 in
initial seed money to launch PA activities in Jerusalem and that more aid was
Palestinian diplomatic sources claimed they received tacit agreement from Israeli
officials to allow some PA political activities in Jerusalem's Old City and eastern
Jerusalem neighborhoods. David Baker, a spokesman for Olmert, did not return a request for
comment before press time.
The Palestinian sources noted Israel last week arrested Khader, as reported by WND,
accusing him of setting up a Palestinian council in Jerusalem to attend to the needs of
the city's Israeli Arab population. But Khader was released after a few hours and no
charges were brought against him.
Palestinian officials speaking to WND said they recently urged the U.S. to support what
they said is a key demand allowing the PA to open official institutions and to reopen
Orient House to serve as their Jerusalem headquarters. The U.S. brought the request to
Olmert in November, but according to sources in Jerusalem, Israeli officials replied for
domestic political reasons Olmert is waiting to discuss Jerusalem during biweekly
negotiations held with Abbas.
Olmert is facing major opposition from the Israeli Shas party, a member of his
governing coalition whose leadership has stated it would bolt Olmert's government if he
negotiated over Jerusalem.
Olmert, though, previously hinted he would be willing to divide Jerusalem, asking
during a December speech whether it was "really necessary" to retain certain Arab
neighborhoods in Judaism's capital. His vice premier, Haim Ramon, a member of Olmert's
ruling Kadima party, last month reportedly mapped out a future partition of Jerusalem
under a deal with the Palestinians.
But following Shas threats to bolt his coalition, Olmert has denied he is negotiating
over Jerusalem, a claim strongly contested by Palestinian negotiators speaking to WND.
Vatican: Pius XII Sainthood Process Not Stalled
The Vatican's top saint-maker said Monday he was moving ahead with the
beatification of wartime Pope Pius XII, despite criticism Pius did not speak out against
Some critics accuse Pius, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, of being indifferent to the
Hitler's plans to systematically destroy the Jewish people. However, his supporters
consider him a holy man who worked behind the scenes to help Jews throughout Europe.
Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins denied that Pius' sainthood process has until now been
halted over the controversy, as a newspaper report last year suggested. "It has not been
staggered, much less stopped," Martins, who heads the Vatican department that oversees the
sainthood process, told reporters.
The Vatican maintains Pius did not speak out more forcefully against the Holocaust
because he was afraid of provoking Nazi reprisals and worsening the fate of Catholics and
Jews. Supporters say Pius ordered churches and convents in Rome to take in Jews after the
Germans occupied the city in 1943.
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