Newsletter : 8fax0709.txt
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Nefesh B'Nefesh to Welcome 15,000th New Immigrant
Nefesh B'Nefesh will welcome its first summer aliyah flight at Ben-Gurion International
Airport this Thursday. The flight will bring 220 new immigrants from North America to
The immigrants range in age from 87 years old to 2 months. The flight also carries
Tracy Levy (formerly of Houston, Texas) who is NBN's 15,000th immigrant to Israel).This
will be the first of 13 flights expected to bring more than 2,000 new immigrants over the
course of the summer.
Iran: 'We'll Burn Down Tel Aviv'
By WorldNetDaily.com & VOA News
If the U.S. or Israel attacks Iran, Tehran will retaliate by "burning down" Tel Aviv
and U.S. Naval forces in the Persian Gulf, an official from the elite Iranian
Revolutionary Guards warned Tuesday.
The report quotes guard official Ali Shirazi Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei's representative to the Revolutionary Guards warning that Tel Aviv and
American warships in the Gulf would be among the first targets if Iran comes under
"The first bullet fired by America at Iran will be followed by Iran burning down its
vital interests around the globe," Ali Shirazi was quoted as saying in a speech to
Revolutionary Guards. The Zionist regime is pressuring White House officials to attack
Iran. If they commit such a stupidity, Tel Aviv and U.S. shipping in the Persian Gulf will
be Iran's first targets, and they will be burned," Shirazo said.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokesman, Mark Regev, declined to comment on the threat
to hit Tel Aviv, telling reporters only: "Shirazi's words speak for themselves."
The Iranian threats come amid media speculation regarding an Israeli attack against
Iran. It also comes one month after it was reported the Jewish state held a major military
exercise over the Mediterranean Sea involving more than 100 aircraft. The drill was widely
seen as Israeli preparations for a possible bombing of Iran's nuclear installations.
According to some reports last week, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Admiral Michael Mullen, who visited Israel last month, told the Jewish state it does not
have a "green light" from the U.S. to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.
Last week, WND conducted an exclusive interview with Meir Amit, a former head of
Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, who said Israel should use force to stop Iran from
obtaining nuclear weapons
The comments from Amit, one of the most esteemed figures in the Israeli intelligence
establishment, are significant, since he previously had refused to support an attack
against Iran. "I am in favor of using the power of force against Iran, because if we let
things go as they are we will find ourselves in a very dangerous situation. We have good
intelligence, and we shall decide what is the right timing for any attack."
However, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that he does not see a
possibility of war between Iran and the United States or Israel. Ahmadinejad made the
comment while in Malaysia for a summit of developing Muslim nations.
President George Bush has said repeatedly that he wants to use diplomacy to resolve the
dispute, but added that all options remained on the table.
Paralyzed Palestinian Girl Fights to Stay in Israel
Paralyzed from the neck down in an Israeli strike on the Islamic Jihad commander in
Gaza, an attack that also killed her mother, brother and grandmother, six-year-old Maria
Amin is now fighting against a Defense Ministry order to move her from a Jerusalem
rehabilitation facility to one in Ramallah in the West Bank.
Maria was seriously wounded and has been hospitalized in Israel, paralyzed from the
neck down. Her father can't bear to tell her that her condition will never change. The
Sunday Times (UK) said it has collected 10,000 pounds for Maria.
Maria can move around in a wheelchair controlled by a joystick she guides with her
chin, but her Israeli doctors say her life would be in danger if Israel's Defense Ministry
sends her to the West Bank city of Ramallah. Two years ago, Maria was paralyzed from the
neck down when the car she was traveling in was caught in a missile attack.
The Defense Ministry, which has covered Maria's medical expenses and sponsored her
father and younger brother to live with her at a Jerusalem hospital, has been seeking
since last year to send her to Ramallah's Abu Raya Rehabilitation Centre.
Maria's father, Hamdi, appealed against the decision, but on Tuesday Israel's Supreme
Court put off for a third time a hearing on the case until December, when an injunction
blocking her transfer to the Ramallah facility expires.
Adi Lustigman, Maria's lawyer, told the court that the Abu Raya Rehabilitation Centre
lacks adequate equipment to attend to her special needs. "She needs to live near the
hospital, she must be near the emergency room - things she cannot have in the West Bank,"
Lustigman told reporters outside the courtroom.
"Maria cannot have her mother, brother or grandmother back, she cannot have her body,
but there are things we can do to make things better and this is to take care of her for
all of her life because she cannot survive outside Israel," Lustigman said.
Upset at what he described as foot dragging, Maria's father said he believed the court
did not want to set a precedent that would encourage other Palestinians hurt in Israeli
attacks to seek long-term medical treatment in Israel.
The Defense Ministry maintains that Israeli law does not require the army to compensate
Palestinians injured in fighting against terrorists in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
It said sponsoring Maria was a humanitarian gesture.
Israeli Expertise in Adult Male Circumcisions Helps Africa Combat AIDS
By Chicago Tribune
Inon Schenker, an AIDS prevention specialist, pulled out a medical logbook from a shelf
and opened it to a page filled with handwritten entries. The notations, from 1993,
recorded ritual circumcisions performed on Jewish men from the former Soviet Union at the
height of the wave of immigration to Israel from Russia and neighboring republics.
The entries showed 32 circumcisions by a single doctor during one day--an assembly-line
rate that Schenker believes shows the potential in Israel for helping combat AIDS in
Africa, where recent studies have shown male circumcision to be a significant protective
measure against the disease.
In the heyday of Russian immigration to Israel in the 1990s, about 1,000 adult male
circumcisions a month were performed on newcomers in hospitals and clinics, in accordance
with Jewish law. "Israel is the only country with such experience in mass adult-male
circumcision, and it can respond to a very important humanitarian challenge," said
Schenker, director of Operation Abraham, a project launched last year that dispatched
Israeli surgeons to teach circumcision in Africa.
Because it is obligatory under Jewish law, male circumcision is nearly universal in
Israel and was stepped up as immigrants from the former Soviet republics sought the
procedure to affirm their Judaism and ease their integration in the Jewish state. The
ancient practice is mentioned in the Bible in a passage that describes how the patriarch
Abraham circumcised his son at God's command.
Jewish circumcision ordinarily is performed on newborns, but many of the immigrants
hadn't been circumcised in their countries of origin for various reasons, such as
estrangement from Judaism, restrictions on religious rites in the Soviet era and pressure
to assimilate in gentile society.
As the Russian immigrants flooded into Israelabout 1 million since 1989the
demand for adult circumcisions surged, and the country became a world leader in the field,
with more than 80,000 procedures performed, according to various estimates.
Schenker, who is with the Jerusalem AIDS Project, a non-governmental group that
promotes HIV prevention, is working to marry the experience accumulated in Israel with the
urgent need in Africa for effective programs to fight the AIDS epidemic.
A link between circumcision and AIDS prevention was shown in three studies conducted
between 2004 and 2006 in South Africa, Uganda and Kenya, which found that the risk of
contracting AIDS in heterosexual sex is 50 percent to 60 percent less among men who are
The findings led the World Health Organization last year to recommend circumcision as
an additional method for prevention of AIDS. WHO's recommendations were endorsed at a
gathering of African health ministers.
With the support of the Hadassah Medical Organization, which runs Israel's main
university hospital in Jerusalem and has provided most of the budget and equipment, the
Jerusalem AIDS Project sent three delegations of surgeons to teach adult circumcision in
The southern African nation has the highest prevalence of AIDS in the world 26
percent in a population of about 1 million. "This is part of Hadassah's mission: outreach
to other places," said Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, director general of the organization.
The Israeli surgeons visited Swaziland twice last year and again in February, training
10 local doctors in adult male circumcision and two others in the procedure on newborns.
The Israeli teams included an Israeli Arab doctor with experience in Muslim ritual
Prudence Mkhatshwa, chief nurse in male circumcision at the Family Life Association of
Swaziland, a non-governmental group that partnered with the Israelis, said the training
had helped to significantly raise the weekly rate of adult circumcisions and that the
public response is growing. The procedure, conducted under local anesthesia, was first
offered in Swaziland in 2006.
"Before, people were scared, but now they see the benefits and they are more willing to
do it," Mkhatshwa said from Mbabane, the Swazi capital. She said street billboards are
promoting circumcision, in addition to condom use and abstention from casual sex, as
methods of preventing AIDS.
Dr. Eitan Gross, a pediatric surgeon from Hadassah who served as the project's medical
director, said that working with the Swazi doctors and nurses was a "moving experience.
You had a sense that you were doing something groundbreaking, and they were very
Dachau Seeks Israeli `Twin'
The Bavarian town of Dachau, notorious as the site of the first Nazi concentration camp
in 1933, is seeking to twin itself with an Israeli community.
The Dachau camp served as the prototype for the subsequent network of work and
extermination camps in which the Nazi regime murdered more than six million Jews. About
one-fifth of the 200,000 people sent to Dachau were murdered in its gates.
Dachau Mayor Peter Burgel has already begun networking with Israeli officials and even
visited Israel last week in his search for a partner community. Following the visit,
Burgel told Germany's Welt am Sontag: "It will surely be of Dachau's interest to find a
twin town in Israel, but one must prepare such ground with utmost sensitivity."
A previous proposal to change the town's name was rejected as an attempt to "erase
history" by a far-right town council member. Thus far, one of the only cities to twin
with Dachau as well has been Klagenfurt, capital of the right-wing state of Carinthia in
Austria, whose elected representative is far-right politician Joerg Haider.
Meteor Sighting Sparks UFO Panic in Israel
By Ha'aretz & YnetNews.com
An unexpected meteor cut through Israel's skyline from east to west Tuesday evening and
disappeared shortly after, causing panic throughout central Israel and bafflement among
astronomers who failed to predict it.
The meteor was seen by residents in the Tel Aviv area at around 8 p.m., leading to
alarmed phone calls to the police. "Several calls were registered in which callers
described having seen a shiny trail in the Sharon district," an Israel Police spokesman
said. "We crosschecked with the Israel Defense Forces and its ground units, and came up
with no explanation," he added.
Ram Rafaeli, A resident from Kfar Yedidya described is meteor sighting to Ha'aretz. "I
went on the roof of the house with my sons and we began painting it. My eldest son turned
my attention to a bright object that left a long trail, crossing the sky from east to
west. It was white and radiant, and it shed a bright, strong and shiny light," he said.
Rafaeli explained that at one point he could no longer see the light that divided the
skies. "As I am a man of exact sciences in my professional life, I don't believe in
aliens. It is possible that it was a case of a meteor that entered the atmosphere, but it
does not appear that way. In any case, it was a beautiful site."
Some witnesses said they heard a shrieking sound. Eyewitness Ranik Kortzman said, "I
was in my balcony when I suddenly saw an object with two trails passing over Kfar Saba
from east to west. It was travelling at great velocity and made a shrieking sound
like a missile."
Yigal Pat-El, chairman of the Israeli Astronomical Association and the director of the
observatory in Giv'atayim told Ynet that "meteors enter the earth's atmosphere all the
time. This is not a rare occurrence. The reason we were able to observe this meteor is
because it was relatively large. Most meteors don't weigh more than 1/1000 gram, and this
one apparently weighed a few grams," he said.
Rabbi: Smoking is Halachically Forbidden
Bnei Barak rabbi Moshe Shaul Klein said over the weekend that Jewish law forbids
smoking under any circumstances. The rabbi, a spokesman for the Bnei Barak halachic
council added that Torah law commands Jews to lead a healthy lifestyle.
"Let's take the example of tobacco smoking. Anyone who is intelligent and offered a
certain drink that just one out of 10 doctors says is poisonous would not drink it," said
Klein, suggesting that smoking, having been proven to be deadly, is halachically
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