Newsletter : 8fax0718.txt
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Kuntar Pledges to Follow in Mughniyeh's Footsteps
Child murderer Samir Kuntar led the way as he and the four Hizbullah terrorists, all
freed Wednesday by Israel in exchange for the bodies of IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and
Eldad Regev, paid homage Thursday at the graveside of assassinated Hizbullah
second-in-command, Imad Mughniyeh. "We swear to God... to continue on your same path and
not to retreat until we achieve the same stature that Allah has bestowed on you," said
Kuntar. "This is our great wish. We envy you and we will achieve it, God willing." Kuntar,
a Druze, carried out his 1979 attack on Nahariya three years before the Shi'ite Hizbullah
terror group came into existence.
Israel Buries 2 Soldiers Returned in Hizbullah Prisoner Swap
By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel was in mourning Thursday, following a controversial prisoner swap with the
Islamic terrorist group Hizbullah in Lebanon in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli
soldiers who were captured in 2006.
Thousands of people attended the funerals of the two Israeli soldiers. Mourners
included government and military officials, family and friends. Karnit Goldwasser is the
wife of one of the two soldiers, whose capture sparked the Lebanon War two years ago. "My
heart is crying in pain," she said. "Although I am without you, I will always be with
Goldwasser traveled the globe over the past two years, meeting with world leaders, in
an effort to win the release of the captive soldiers.
While the prisoner swap brings closure to the families, it has sparked heated debate,
because Israel released five Lebanese prisoners, including top terrorist Samir Kuntar. He
was convicted of killing an Israeli in front of his four-year-old daughter in 1979 and
then smashing her head with a rifle butt.
Former Defense Minister Moshe Arens said the deal erodes Israeli deterrence. "This deal
and the circumstances under which it was made will provide encouragement and incentive to
Hamas and to Hizbullah to abduct soldiers in the future, and make even more extreme
demands. And that means the sum-total is negative."
But current Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who spoke at the funerals, said the government
made the right decision. Barak vowed that, if soldiers fall into captivity, the State of
Israel will take all the necessary steps to bring them home.
Nazi Jews: A Historical Paradox
By Brian Cuban ©2008
Would it surprise anyone to learn that upwards of 150, 000 soldiers of partial Jewish
descent served in the Nazi army during World War II?
I had no idea until I attended a lecture by Bryan Mark Rigg, Ph.D. discussing his books
entitled "Hitler's Jewish Soldiers" and "Rescued from the Reich." What is even more
startling is that Hitler was aware of this, and for a while allowed them to serve. In most
cases these soldiers did not have any knowledge of the Holocaust killing machine. From
their viewpoint, they were simply German patriots fighting for their country.
Many did not consider themselves Jewish. Some were unaware of their "Jewish blood."
Some had been baptized as Christians. And at least 20 of these soldiers were awarded The
Knights Cross. The most prominently known of these commanders of Jewish descent was Gen.
Erhard Milch who had one Jewish parent. He was deputy to Herman Goring, the head of the
Luftwaffe (the German air force).
When I look back at my own Jewish immigrant background, the specter of Jews fighting
for the Nazis sickens my stomach. My ancestry is similar to other Jewish immigrants. Both
sides of my family immigrated to the United States from czarist Russia during the early
1900s to escape the brutal exterminating pogroms of the Russian authorities.
Some Russian Jews immigrated to Poland only to be ultimately persecuted by both the
Nazis and Poles. German-born Jews treated Jews from Eastern Europe as inferior calling
them "Ghetto Jews.". But these eastern European Jews constituted the majority of the Jews
massacred during Hitler's "Final Solution."
The common public perception is that no one of Jewish descent would have ever been
allowed to serve the Nazis, and, if discovered, would be immediately deported to a forced
labor or extermination/concentration camp. This was not the case because Nazi racial
classifications, defining who was a Jew or not was complex. The classification dispute
became controversial as the Nazis bent their own racial criteria.
Rigg documents Hitler's obsessive involvement in deciding which "Jews" would be
discharged, deported or declared of "Aryan blood." Most of those of Jewish descent were
ordinary Wehrmacht soldiers. But some rose to high-ranking positions of authority in
Germany . And some directly or indirectly participated in the Jewish killing machine.
Germans of Jewish descent were fighting for a country whose official policy was that
they were second-class citizens and, in most cases, not even human. Germans of Jewish
descent were fighting for a country that was deporting their relatives to concentrations
camps. Germans of Jewish descent were fighting for a country who, some say, planned to
ultimately exterminate them as well when Germany won the war.
The Nazi Party classified Jewish people as full Jews, half Jews, and quarter Jews. Each
classification was treated differently with regards to whether they could serve in the
German military and what rights, if any, they had under German law. As previously
mentioned, according to Jewish law, a person is determined to be a Jew if the person's
mother is Jewish.
Many of those of partial Jewish descent (although considered Jewish by both Jewish law
and Nazi racial classification) had so assimilated themselves, through intermarriage, into
German-Christian society, that they did not consider themselves Jewish.
Some were practicing Christians but this changed through Hitler's racial classification
system and the Nuremberg Laws, which officially designated the majority of people of full
and partial Jewish descent second-class citizens or "Mischling." The word means they came
from a mixed marriage and had partial Jewish ancestry.
Germans of partial Jewish ancestry who had practiced Christianity all of their lives,
were suddenly classified as "Mischling" Jews under the racial laws and suddenly stripped
of most rights.
The German racial classification system for Jews and the resulting disparate treatment
with regard to military service in the Nazi army highlights some of the fundamental issues
of Jewish Identify that exist to the present day. What does it mean to be Jewish? What
qualities and beliefs make someone Jewish? If your mother is Jewish you are certainly a
Jew in terms of Jewish Law.
But that may not be how you look at yourself if you were not raised in the Jewish
tradition. Are we as Jews defined by our culture, our religious practices or how others
view us? This was the dilemma faced by many of the Mischling in Nazi Germany. This is a
historical and religious conflict faced by Jews today as mixed marriages have become more
common and accepted in the United States . Jews argue among themselves over this issue. It
is a conflict that transcends time.
Brian Cuban is an attorney working for Mark Cuban Companies, as well as executive director of the Mark Cuban Foundation, which currently administers The Fallen Patriot Fund. Mr. Cuban was born and raised in Pittsburgh , received an undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University and a law degree from The University of Pittsburgh School of Law. His web site can be found at http://www.BrianCuban.com.
Circumcision: A Painful Decision
By The Oregonian Staff
A recent Oregon court case focused attention on circumcision, an enduring religious
ritual for Jews and Muslims that is otherwise declining as a medical or cultural practice
The state Supreme Court heard arguments from a divorced couple about circumcising their
son. The father, who had converted to Judaism after the divorce, favored the circumcision
of his 9-year-old son, who had expressed interest in converting. The mother argued that
the boy was afraid to tell his father that he didn't want to be circumcised.
In January, a lower court ruled in favor of the father, who has custody of his son. The
mother appealed. The Supreme Court decided that the boy, now 12, should have a chance to
weigh in. The case is still pending.
Custody rights may be at the heart of the Oregon case, but it has sparked discussion of
circumcision -- the removal of all or a portion of the foreskin of the penis. For
centuries, Jews have circumcised infant boys. They cite the book of Genesis, in which God
commands that Abraham, his son and their descendants be circumcised as a sign of their
Ordinarily, a brit milah, Hebrew for "covenant of circumcision," is held on the eighth
day of a boy's life, at home in front of family and friends. A trained mohel performs the
ritual. In recent years, some Jewish families have had their sons circumcised in the
hospital by a specially trained Jewish physician. The family holds a naming ceremony at
home on the eighth day. In Islam, circumcision is a religious rite and usually occurs by a
boy's seventh birthday.
In the United States, infant circumcisions are often performed for secular reasons.
Parents choose to have sons circumcised so they will look like their fathers or blend in
in a locker room, or because they believe the procedure aids with cleanliness or reduces
Some circumcised men argue that the procedure has lessened their sexual sensitivity.
Medical studies suggest that circumcision reduces the risk of penile cancer, urinary tract
infections and HIV transmission. But the American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirmed in 2005
that there was insufficient evidence to consider the procedure a medical necessity.
In Oregon, about 26 percent of boys born in 2006 were circumcised in hospitals. The
figure, based on state and national statistics, does not include infants circumcised
outside of hospitals. Nationally, the figure for infant circumcision declined from 65
percent in 1980 to about 56 percent in 1997 and has been relatively stable since.
Regionally, fewer boys are circumcised in the West: In 2005, 31 percent were
circumcised in hospitals there. The figures were 75 percent in the Midwest, 65 percent in
the Northeast and 56 percent in the South.
Two-Thirds of Egyptian Men Harass Women
Nearly two-thirds of Egyptian men admitted to having sexually harassed women in the
most populous Arab country, and a majority said women themselves are to blame for their
maltreatment, a survey showed on Thursday.
The forms of harassment reported by Egyptian men, whose country attracts millions of
foreign tourists each year, include touching or ogling women, shouting sexually explicit
remarks, and exposing their genitals to women. "Sexual harassment has become an
overwhelming and very real problem experienced by all women in Egyptian society, often on
a daily basis," said the report by the Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights.
Egyptian women and female visitors frequently complain of persistent sexual harassment
on Egyptian streets, despite the socially conservative nature of this traditional Muslim
The behavior could have repercussions on Egypt's tourism industry, a major foreign
income earner, with 98 percent of foreign women saying they had experienced harassment in
the country, the survey said.
The survey of more than 2,000 Egyptian men and women and 109 foreign women said the
vast majority of Egyptians believed that sexual harassment in Egypt was on the rise,
citing a worsening economic situation and a lack of awareness or religious values.
It said 62 percent of Egyptian men reported perpetrating harassment, while 83 percent
of Egyptian women reported having been sexually harassed. Nearly half of women said the
abuse occurred daily.
Only 2.4 percent of Egyptian women reported it to the police, with most saying they did
not believe anyone would help. Some feared reporting harassment would hurt their
reputations. "The vast majority of women did nothing when confronted with sexual
harassment," the survey said, adding that most Egyptian women believed the victim should
Some 53 percent of men blamed women for bringing on sexual harassment, saying they
enjoyed it or were dressed in a way deemed indecent. Some women agreed.
"Out of Egyptian women and men interviewed, most believe that women who wear tight clothes
deserve to be harassed," the survey said. It added most agreed women should be home by 8
The survey said most of the Egyptian women who told of being harassed said they were
dressed conservatively, with the majority wearing the Islamic headscarf. The harassment
took place on the streets or on public transport, as well as in tourist destinations and
foreign educational institutions.
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