Newsletter : 8fax0520.txt
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IDF Prevents Suicide Bombing Kills Terrorist
Alert IDF soldiers spotted a 20-year-old Arab who aroused their suspicion at the Hawara
checkpoint, located 25 miles east of Herziliya. Because of his movements and appearance,
soldiers suspected that he had a bomb on his body and shot and killed him.
The IDF has now confirmed that the Arab was wearing an explosives belt consisting of
several cylinders filled with explosives (de facto pipe bombs).
Barak Discusses Hamas Truce with Mubarak
By VOA News & Ha'aretz
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak reportedly met with Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak Monday in the Egyptian town of Sharm el-Sheikh to discuss a proposed truce between
the Jewish state and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
Egypt has been acting as a mediator between the two sides because the Israeli
government refuses to negotiate directly with Hamas. Hamas won Palestinian elections in
2006, and then seized control of the Gaza Strip last year. Militants loyal to the radical
group have been firing rockets at Israel ever since.
Israel has imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip to pressure the militants to end their
attacks. Israel, the United States and the European Union consider Hamas a terrorist
In Paris Monday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner confirmed that France has had
informal contact with Hamas. He told Europe-1 radio that the contacts were limited but
necessary for France's diplomacy in the region. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri confirmed
his group's contacts with France.
The Hamas-led violence has complicated peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian
President George Bush said Sunday in Egypt that Israel must make tough sacrifices, and
the Palestinians must fight terrorism, to reach a peace deal this year.
Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon on Monday acknowledged that Israel was holding talks
with Hamas, in violation of a government decision not to conduct talks with the Islamist
Palestinian group until it complies with the demands of the Quartet.
The Quartet of Mideast peace negotiators - The United States, the United Nations, the
European Union and Russia - have stipulated that Hamas must renounce violence, recognize
Israel and abide by previous agreements.
Ramon, speaking at a Kadima faction meeting, criticized Israel's negotiations with the
terror group and voiced hope that the cabinet would soon make a strategic decision not to
accept the Hamas presence along Israel's southern border. "The IDF knows what to do," he
said. "We are not fighting a terror organization, but rather a terror nation called
Ramon's comments marked that first time a minister in the Knesset has confirmed that
Israel was holding direct talks with Hamas.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said during the faction meeting that "decision time in the
south is approaching," and that Israel can no longer accept the ongoing rocket fire from
the Gaza Strip into southern Israeli communities.
Jerusalem-Area Arabs Accused of Selling Weapons to PA
The Jerusalem District Police have cleared for publication the news that a group of
Jerusalem-area Arabs have been arrested on charges of trading and selling weapons to
Palestinian Authority residents of Judea and Samaria.
The 13 suspects, who are residents of Shuafat, were arrested in a joint sting operation
by the Israel Police and Border Police over the past several weeks. Each confessed to the
charges against him.
The weapons that were recovered by the police were brought to a munitions laboratory to
determine whether they had been fired.
Meanwhile the IDF approved on Monday the establishment of 20 new PA police stations in
Judea and Samaria as part of the ongoing effort to ease restrictions on Arab life in the
territories. Thus far, four police stations have been established in the areas around the
PA-controlled Samarian cities of Kalkilya and Tulkarm.
The US-trained PA police force is tasked with maintaining law and order in Judea and
Samaria, although the IDF remains in control of dealing with terrorism. The police force
operates only during daylight hours.
Obama Pooh-Poohs Danger from 'Tiny' Iran
Leading Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama pooh-poohed the idea that
Iran or any of a few other "tiny" nations around the world offer a serious potential
threat to the United States or the free world.
"Iran, Cuba, Venezuela? These countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They
don't pose any serious threat to us," he told a crowd at a campaign stop over the weekend,
prompting the probable Republican opponent for the White House to respond that Iran
already is attacking the U.S.
"Obviously, Iran isn't a superpower, doesn't possess the military power the Soviet
Union had. But that does not mean, by any stretch of the imagination that the threat posed
by Iran is insignificant," Sen. John McCain said. "On the contrary, right now Iran
provides some of the deadliest explosive devices used in Iraq to kill our soldiers.
Participants in a forum on YouTube, where video of Obama's statements were posted,
questioned his sanity: "I take back everything I ever said about Obama and correct
myself," wrote one contributor. "He's not just a moron. He's a full scale idiot who knowns
(sic) absolutely nothing about history or the world. Don't worry about Iran? Who stole his
brain? This guy as POTUS
good night free world."
Obama was advocating for his stated position of being willing to hold discussions with
leaders of rogue nations, such as Iran.
Convicted Nazi Guard Demjanjuk Loses US Court Appeal on Extradition
Convicted Nazi guard John Demjanjuk on Monday lost a US Supreme Court appeal that
sought to overturn an order by the nation's chief immigration judge that he be deported to
his native Ukraine.
Without comment, the high court refused to hear an appeal by the 88-year old retired
Ohio auto worker that argued the immigration judge lacked the authority to order his
deportation. The rejection of the appeal marked the latest development in a legal battle
between Demjanjuk and the US Justice Department that began in 1977.
Demjanjuk was once wrongly convicted of being the sadistic Nazi death camp guard "Ivan
the Terrible" and sentenced to death in Israel. The conviction was later overturned when
new evidence showed another man was probably "Ivan" at the Treblinka death camp.
However Demjanjuk was stripped of his US Citizenship again in 2002, when a federal
judge ruled he had been a guard at three other Nazi death camps in Poland and Germany.
Demjanjuk has said he was drafted into the Soviet Army and was captured by the Germans. He
has denied that he ever helped the Nazis.
Noah Flug, Chairman of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors, expressed
the hope that Demjanjuk would be punished appropriately in Ukraine. "It is important that
he receive his punishment, even if it comes late," he said.
Flug added that he believed many Holocaust survivors would feel that justice had been
served. "I know of too many murderers that deserved the death sentence, but were released
and lived their lives in peace. It doesn't matter if he was 'Ivan the Terrible' or not, he
is a murderer because he was a guard at the camps."
Joseph Charny, one of the five remaining survivors of the Treblinka death camp who also
served as a witness for the prosecution during Demjanjuk's trial in Israel, was less
optimistic. "He has already lived his life, and in Ukraine he will be received with open
arms. We, the survivors, are nearing the end and this is useless to us," he remarked.
Regarding Israel's overturning of Demjanjuk's death sentence, Charny said, "He knew how
to act in the trial so they released that murderer. I don't understand why they did it,
they should have done the same thing they did to Adolf Eichman."
Demjanjuk has argued that Chief US Immigration Judge Michael Creppy did not have the
authority to order his deportation. Creppy can only do administrative, not adjudicative,
duties, Demjanjuk's lawyers said. But a Board of Immigration Appeals and a US Appeals
court based in Cincinnati rejected Demjanjuk's arguments, prompting his appeal to the
The deportation order, issued in 2005, says that Demjanjuk can be sent to Germany or
Poland, as an alternative, if Ukraine refuses to accept him.
Demjanjuk's lawyers have said he could be prosecuted and face harsh prison conditions
or even torture if he is sent back to Ukraine, but Creppy and then the Board of
Immigration Appeals said there was no evidence to support those claims.
Demjanjuk immigrated to the United States in 1952 and became a naturalized citizen in
1958. He was first stripped of his US citizenship in 1981 and extradited to Israel, where
he was sentenced to death in 1988 on eyewitness testimony from Holocaust survivors that he
was the Ivan of the Treblinka camp, but his death sentence was overturned in 1993 after
newly released records from the former Soviet Union showed Ivan Marchenko was probably the
sadistic guard at Treblinka.
The United States restored Demjanjuk's citizenship in 1998, but the following year the
Justice Department re-filed its case against him on the grounds that he had been a Nazi
guard at three other death camps.
Vatican: Space Aliens Might Actually Exist
Believing that there are little green men who one day will land on earth does not
contradict Catholic doctrine, according to the chief of the Vatican's Observatory.
Fr. Jose Gabriel Funes told L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican daily, that such
extraterrestrial life "is possible, even if until now, we have no proof. But certainly in
such a big universe this hypothesis cannot be excluded."
According to a report by Catholic News Agency, the interview was titled, "The Alien is
my Brother." Funes, a 45-year-old Argentinean priest who runs the Vatican Observatory,
said, "Astronomy has a profound human value. It is a science that opens the heart and the
mind. It helps us to put our lives, our hopes, our problems in the right perspective.
"In this regard, and here I speak as a priest and a Jesuit, it is an apostolic
instrument that can bring us closer to God," he told the newspaper. Funes said he favors
the "Big Bang" theory about the origin of the universe and that does not contradict the
"We cannot ask the Bible for a scientific answer here," he said. "At the same time, we
don't know if in a near future the 'Big Bang' theory will be superseded by a more complete
and precise explanation of the origin of the universe."
But there is no tension between the Catholic faith and the belief in aliens, Funes
said. "Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures over the earth, so there could be
other beings, even intelligent, created by God. This is not in contradiction with our
faith, because we cannot establish limits to God's creative freedom," he told the
newspaper. "To say it with St. Francis, if we can consider some earthly creatures as
'brothers' or 'sisters,' why could we not speak of a 'brother alien'? He would also belong
to the creation," he said.
"Fr. Funes says that taking the image of the lost sheep in the Gospel, 'we could think
that in this universe there can be 100 sheep, equivalent to different kinds of creatures.
We, belonging to human kind could be precisely the lost sheep, the sinners that need the
shepherd. God became man in Jesus to save us. In that way, assuming that there would be
other intelligent beings, we could not say that they need redemption . They could have
remained in full friendship with the Creator,'" Catholic News Agency quoted him
The journalist for L'Osservatore then asked, "But if they were sinners?"
"Jesus became man once and for all. The Incarnation is a single and unique event. So I
am sure that also they, in some way, would have the chance to enjoy God's mercy, just as
it has happened with us human beings," Funes responded.
The priest heads the Vatican Observatory, founded by Pope Leo XIII, with offices at
Castelgandolfo, near the Apostolic summer palace, and another in Tucson, Ariz.
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