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Electric Cars Popular in Gaza


Gaza residents are turning to electric cars because of the growing fuel shortage, Reuters reported.

Many residents have also been using cooking oil to run their cars because of the lack of fuel since constant terrorist attacks forced Israel to limit shipments.

In addition, local fuel distributors occasionally have staged strikes to protest the limited amount of fuel, which has been worsened by frequent Hamas confiscations of gasoline. "At first people laughed, saying it would not work; now people are begging us to convert their cars," Gaza car electrician Fayez Anan told Reuters.

Iran's Nuke Plans Spark Race

By WorldNetDaily

Agents with Britain's MI6 intelligence agency who are based in the Middle East have established that 13 countries in the region have drawn up new plans -- or reviewed previous ones -- to build nuclear stations following in the path of Iran's push for an enriched uranium program capable of producing nuclear weapons, according to a report in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

"It is clear that those countries are motivated by what Tehran is doing to enter into the nuclear weapons club," states an MI6 report.

And the International Institute for Strategic Studies, IISS, confirming MI6's findings, said the other nations "have embarked on their programs in order to give them each the option of building a nuclear bomb in the future."

IISS chief executive John Chapman said: "Iran's program has built on regional rivalry, security concerns and sheer one-upmanship. These issues have contributed to a regional surge to obtain nuclear energy. The urgent question for Britain, the United States and other countries with interests in the region is how to confine the expansion to purely nuclear civilian programs. That is exactly what Iran claims it was doing. We have established the truth is otherwise."

By continuing to create enriched uranium suitable to be weaponized for its latest ballistic missile, the Shahab-3, Iran already has established itself as not only a threat to Israel, but to Turkey, a NATO nation; Egypt, with its pro-West government; Jordan, also pro-West; and the United Arab Republics. These are all nations where the West has strategic interests. With its 900-mile range, the Shahab-3 could deliver nuclear warheads to any of these countries.

"It is that growing fear which has triggered the drive in these countries to create its own nuclear shield," states the MI6 report.

John Chapman believes Tehran is "racing to be the first nation in the region to have a full nuclear weapons capability, possibly by 2010. In turn the Sunni monarchs of the Gulf are increasingly worried, not least because Tehran is stirring deep unrest among their own Shia populations."

Saudi Arabia, the leading Sunni power in the region, has publicly expressed its fears about a nuclear-armed Iran. MI6 agents have established that for some time Pakistan's nuclear scientists have provided expert help to the Saudi government to develop its nuclear capability.

(Editor's Note: This report is excerpted from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.)

Carter Claims Israel Has 150 Nuclear Weapons


Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter claimed in Britain on Sunday that Israel has 150 nuclear weapons, the Times of London reported. He made the remark at a local festival that promotes books and literature. Israel has never admitted to possessing nuclear weapons.

Carter has been highly critical of Israel for years and recently published a book attacking the Israeli government for a policy of "apartheid" by building the separation barrier. He also favors direct talks between the United States and Iran in order to prevent Tehran from becoming a nuclear power. He maintained that the alleged nuclear arsenal in Israel is proof that Iran cannot develop secretly develop nuclear weapons.

Knesset's Eldad: Death Penalty for Golan Land Concessions


Quoting from Israel's criminal legislation at a meeting of the Knesset Golan Lobby on Monday, Knesset Member Arieh Eldad (National Union-National Religious Party) said that relinquishing territory to Syria is a crime that entails the death penalty.

If it turns out that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is discussing relinquishing the Golan Heights, Eldad said, then he should be charged with treason. "There is not a sane nation in the world that gives up the territory of its homeland," he declared, in response to statements by senior politicians in the Kadima party in favor relinquishing the Golan to Syria.

"Whoever removes land from the State of Israel's sovereign territory is subject to the death penalty," Eldad explained, adding, "Giving away the Golan Heights to Syria is treason, and the punishment for a person who commits treason under Israeli law is death."

Eldad took the issue up with the Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, as well. He asked that Mazuz instruct the police to investigate Olmert's statements regarding his negotiations with Syria. If it turns out that Olmert is discussing relinquishing the Golan Heights, Eldad said, then he should be charged with treason.

Olmert: Israel Has Not Made Any Commitments to Syria on Peace Agreement

By VOA News

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he has made no promises to Syria about a future peace agreement but it is clear what each side must do. Olmert made the comments Monday during a closed-door parliamentary session. He was quoted by officials speaking on condition of anonymity.

Israel and Syria announced last week that they are holding indirect peace talks mediated by Turkey, eight years after negotiations collapsed over the extent of an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

Olmert on Sunday described his government's talks with Syria as responsible and serious. He did not comment on reports that he is prepared to return the Golan to Syria in a peace deal.

Meanwhile, Iran's official news agency, IRNA, said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for closer defense ties with Syria. The Iranian leader spoke Monday during talks with visiting Syria's Defense Minister Hassan Turkmani.

The two sides reaffirmed their strong ties on Sunday, days after Israel called on Syria to distance itself from Iran and cut ties with Hizbullah and the Palestinian Hamas -- groups supported by Tehran.

Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says Israel is in no position to set conditions for returning the Golan Heights to Syria. Israel captured the strategic plateau during the 1967 war.

Sources: Israel, Hizbullah Strike Prisoner Swap Deal

By Ha'aretz

Israeli sources said Monday that Israel and Hizbullah had struck a deal securing the release of two Israeli soldiers captured by the Lebanon-based terrorist group in a July 2006 cross border raid that sparked the Second Lebanon War.

The sources explained that in exchange for the captives, Israel would release Samir Kuntar, a Lebanese militant currently imprisoned in Israel for the 1979 murder of a Nahariyah family, an Israeli citizen jailed for espionage on Hizbullah's behalf and four other Hizbullah men captured by Israel during the 2006 war. The deal reportedly will also include the return of the remains of ten Lebanese, currently held by Israel, to Hizbullah.

Earlier Monday, Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah hinted that a prisoner swap would soon be completed, telling supporters in Beirut that Kuntar would soon be freed.

The sources refrained from commenting on whether the Israeli captives, Ehud Golwasser and Eldad Regev, were alive. However, a medical report encompassing evidence from the site of the kidnapping near Israel's northern border maintained that at both Israel Defense Forces soldiers were seriously hurt at the scene.

The sources added that the fact that the deal did not include any Palestinian prisoners held in Israel may be indicative of the Israeli captives' condition. The timetable for the exchange of prisoners is not yet clear.

Meanwhile Monday, another source involved in the negotiations over the release of the two captive soldiers said "a prisoner exchange deal with Hizbullah is yet far off." According to the source, Israel has not received any information in recent days to indicate that a deal is in fact within reach. The source added that the German mediator who has been working on the deal was not in Beirut last week, in contrast with media reports to the contrary.

The Resurrected Hidden Hero of the Holocaust

By Reuters

The reputation of Israel Kastner may be about to be restored, more than 60 years after he negotiated a 'blood for money' deal with Adolf Eichmann to save Jewish lives in exchange for cash, jewels and trucks.

Kastner saved more Jews from death in the Holocaust than any other Jew. His reward was the accusation that he sold his soul to the devil and subsequent assassination by Jewish extremists.

Two new books about Kastner have been published and a documentary film is being prepared for distribution later this year. All paint him as a hidden hero of the Holocaust, a man who risked his life in countless bargaining sessions with the Nazis.

During World War Two, he negotiated a train to carry almost 1,700 Hungarian Jews to safety in Switzerland, while he stayed behind to continue negotiating. Later in the war, he also accompanied an SS officer on visits to concentration camps to tell commandants to stop the killings, saving up to 100,000 Jews according to some experts.

At that point, it was clear that Germany was on the verge of losing the war and there would be trials afterward. SS Col. Kurt Becher took Kastner along possibly because he wanted a Jewish witness to his good deed.

Anna Porter, whose book "Kastner's Train" draws on seven years of research, scores of interviews and previously unknown papers, said that it is time to honor Kastner and to dismiss the many accusations against him.

The second book, German literature professor Ladislaus Lob's "Dealing with Satan: Rezso Kastner's Daring Rescue Mission," is part reexamination of Kastner and part memoir. Lob was 11 years old when he escaped with his father on Kastner's train to Switzerland from the Bergen-Belsen camp.

At the time, Kastner was an obscure official of a minor Zionist committee but who had links with Jewish rescue groups in the United States, Turkey and Switzerland. "He was a nobody who had muscled his way into the negotiations," said filmmaker Gaylen Ross. "He was just a member of a small group of Zionists." Ross' upcoming film has the working title of "The Persecution and Assassination of Dr. Israel Kastner."

After the war, Kastner and his family immigrated to Israel. Complaints against him surfaced along with a scathing book by American screenwriter and journalist Ben Hecht. Hecht painted Kastner as a Nazi collaborator who withheld key information from the Allies, stuffed the train with his own relatives and charged for the seats. Kastner had saved 19 of his relatives by getting them seats on the train but 100 other relatives died in Auschwitz.

As for making money off the train, 150 people paid for tickets and that was enough to cover the costs of the other, poorer Jews. In 1952 he was accused of collaborating with the Nazis by Machiel Grunwald, an elderly pamphleteer.

The Israeli government sued Grunwald for libel but the trial proved to be an all-out attack on Kastner, with the lone judge ruling that he had made a deal with the devil. The verdict was overturned in 1957 but by then it was too late. Kastner had been assassinated outside his home by three extremists, his reputation already dead in the courtroom.

Holocaust author and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel says of Kastner, "I followed his trial and I think he wanted to help but he chose the wrong method."

Ross, the filmmaker, likened Kastner to the Rorschach inkblot test, a psychological evaluation in which patients are asked to interpret inkblot patterns. "For me, Kastner is a Rorschach test. People put on him what they feel," Ross said. First and foremost, there is the guilt felt by the survivors for having lived while others died and then there are the moral questions of dealing with the Nazis and of buying Jewish lives for cash, Ross said.

Jews questioned the motives of other Jews, forgetting that the Holocaust was a crime against humanity perpetrated by the Nazis, not Jews, Ross said.

For Porter, the Kastner story is how his acts of bravery could be so fiercely debated even though they equaled those of righteous Gentiles Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg. "He wanted to be seen as a savior of Jews and he was essentially a good man. Schindler called him the most fearless person he knew," Porter said.

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