Newsletter : 8fax1103.txt
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Likud Welcomes Begin Candidacy
Likud members welcomed Dr. Benny Begin's announcement on Sunday that he will leave his
job as head of the Geological Institute and will vie for a spot on the party's list of
Knesset candidates for the upcoming elections.
The son of former Prime Minister Menachem Begin was a three-term Knesset Member, from
1988 until 1999, and served briefly as Minister of Science under Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu. He is known for three blatant characteristics: a political outlook promoting
Jewish sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, a liberal social outlook, and impeccable
Palestinians Accuse Jews of Plotting Ethnic Takeover
As Israel announced a major peace summit scheduled for next week, the Palestinian
Authority Sunday issued an official pamphlet repeatedly referring to Israel as the "hated
entity," while accusing Jews of plotting to ethnically cleanse the region of Arabs.
"We remember all the conspiracies and plans to chase us, which didn't stop from 1948
until today," reads the official PA pamphlet, distributed by PA offices in the West Bank
and obtained by WND. "We are aware of the Zionist plans against our people and their
efforts to destroy the Palestinians aimed at making an ethnic transfer so that Palestine
will be clean of its Arabs and totally a Jewish state."
The pamphlet continues, "We should make all efforts to expose to world the policy and
real image of this hated entity (Israel)."
The PA published the pamphlet to mourn the 91st anniversary of the Balfour Declaration
a statement from the British government that it would favorably view the formation
of a national Jewish homeland. Britain at the time had administered Palestine in line with
a mandate from the League of Nations.
Also Sunday, official websites and publications run by PA President Mahmoud Abbas'
Fatah organization and browsed by WND were saturated with anti-Israel articles and opinion
pieces that mourned the Balfour Declaration and cursed the Jewish state.
The deluge of anti-Israel rhetoric came as Israel and the PA announced they would hold
a high-level joint briefing in Egypt next week for the international community to assess
the status of U.S.-backed negotiations aimed at creating a Palestinian state before the
end of the year.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni will head Israel's delegation, with Abbas representing the
Palestinians at a meeting with leaders of the Mideast Quartet, which consists of the U.S.,
EU, UN and Russia. Ahead of the briefing, Abbas announced in Jordan he does not believe
there would be a final agreement between the two sides before the 2009 deadline.
Israel and the PA have been holding regular, high-level talks expected to result in an
eventual Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.
Shin Bet Security Chief Warns of Possible Assassination Attempt by Jewish
By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)
An Israeli security chief has warned that politicians could again be targeted by Jewish
militants. The head of the Shin Bet, Israel's Security Agency, Yuval Diskin, warned that
Jewish extremists could try to assassinate an Israeli leader. He told the Cabinet that the
aim would be to torpedo peace moves with the Palestinians.
It is a sensitive issue-this week, Israel marks the 13th anniversary of the
assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish militant opposed to his peace
There has been growing tension between militant Jewish settlers in the West Bank and
the Israeli government. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert lashed out at the settlers for recent
attacks on Israeli soldiers and Palestinian civilians.
Olmert told the Cabinet that most settlers are law-abiding citizens who love the people
and Land of Israel. But he said there is also a group, that is not small, that is
threatening the rule of law in the State of Israel, adding that it is intolerable.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak concurred. "The settlers who are breaking the law are a
threat to the state," he said." "This is a dangerous phenomenon" that will not be
Militant settlers are angry over the government's peace talks with the Palestinians,
which could lead to Israel relinquishing most of the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem. The
settlers believe that violates God's command to settle all the biblical Land of Israel. So
13 years after the Rabin assassination, there are growing fears it could happen again.
Olmert Plans Golan Giveaway in Talks with Syria
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is willing to sweeten the deal with Syria in exchange for
direct talks with Damascus.
According to a diplomatic source in Jerusalem quoted late Saturday night by Ha'aretz,
Olmert is considering negotiations over the borders of the Golan Heights in exchange for
face-to-face talks with Syrian officials.
The news comes along with information that Olmert is planning to set a date for a fifth
round of indirect talks with Damascus, to be brokered by Turkey, as were the prior four
sets of negotiations.
The source said that Syria had demanded in prior negotiations that Israel make good on
a promise called the "Rabin Deposit," a deal that Olmert had reportedly put off until the
fifth round of indirect talks.
The pledge was apparently made in 1995 by former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin to
then-U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, and involved a commitment by Israel to
completely withdraw from the Golan Heights. In return, Damascus would promise not to
attack the Jewish State. Olmert has now decided to go ahead with the fifth round of talks.
Kadima party chairwoman and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who still hopes to become the
next prime minister, is less than enthusiastic about the prospect, but cautiously gave a
green light to the talks, if they are confined to "maintenance," she said Friday.
"However," she added, "if we are talking about an attempt to determine facts on the ground
before the election that is inappropriate and unacceptable."
McCain Spokesman Cites Obama Anti-Semitism Connection
Mike Goldfarb, national spokesman for Sen. John McCain's campaign, said this weekend on
CNN that "Barack Obama has a long track record of being around anti-Semitic, anti-Israel
and anti-American rhetoric." However, when pressed by the anchorman to name names, he
And the Los Angeles Times is standing fast in its refusal to show publicly a tape which
it says it possesses, of a fete in honor of "Palestinian-American" academician Rashid
Khalidi. Sen. Obama has said that Khalidi is a personal friend who has often dined with
him at his home. The fete for Khalidi reportedly included some speeches which were
stridently anti-Israel, but the Times refused to make public its tape of the event, which
included an address by Obama.
The LA Times said that the paper "would have preferred to be able to post the video but
could not get the source to agree. The LA Times continues to come under fire from
conservative commentators for its decision not to release the tape. Writing in the
National Review Online, Andrew McCarthy explained:
"The full story couldn't be more relevant. Barack Obama says he is a staunch supporter
of Israel. The importance of the Khalidi festivities isn't simply that Obama lavished
praise on a man who was an Arafat apologist although that is troubling in itself.
What also matters is that many speakers (no doubt including Obama's good friend Khalidi
himself) said extremely provocative things about Israel and American policy."
"While that went on," according to McCarthy, "Obama apparently sat there in tacit
acceptance, if not approval. He didn't get up to leave. He wasn't roused to a defense of
his country. He didn't deliver a spirited condemnation of Islamic terror. He just sat
there. And when it came his turn to speak, he spoke
He was clearly comfortable around the agitators and, equally crucial; they were clearly
comfortable spewing their bile in front of him confident that they were certainly
not giving offense."
"Why would the Times think it's not newsworthy to tell us in detail what Obama sat
through and chose not to refute?" McCarthy asks. "He says he supports Israel, but
shouldn't we get a peek at what he actually does when Israel is under attack. After all,
he wants to be in charge and soon the attacks may be more than just verbal. All of that
could be made known by the publication of a transcript, without breaching any purported
promise to the purported source."
Israel Mulling Joint Airport with PA near Netanya
The Israel Airports Authority is considering building a joint Israeli-Palestinian
airport on the Poleg beach south of Netanya, authority chairman Ovadia Eli said this
Addressing an economic conference at Ben-Gurion Airport, Eli said that the airport
would be jointly managed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority. To facilitate
Palestinian access, it would be connected to the West Bank via a tunnel. "This would be a
confidence-building measure that would enable international fund-raising," he said. "There
are high-level talks [about the proposal] on both sides. Former British Prime Minister
Tony Blair is also involved in the matter."
Eli stressed that no decision has yet been made on whether Israel should have a second
international airport at all; this will depend on the outcome of feasibility studies on
the plan's technical, ecological and financial aspects. And even if the plan is approved,
the airport would not be built for "over a decade."
Nevertheless, he argued, "for strategic, security, economic and labor relations
reasons, another international airport is vital," and a joint venture could eliminate the
competition over air space that might arise if the PA simply built its own airport
Historian: Conditions are Ripe for a King of Israel
The current situation in Israel could have all the necessary ingredients for the
appointment of a king, according to biblical scholar and historian David Solomon.
Speaking on Israel National Radio, Solomon said that problems and divisions within
Israel today and the threats it faces from outside to its security could be interpreted as
the conditions that precede the appointment of a king. "We need a unified leadership,
we've got anti-Semitic regimes on our doorstep that want to wipe us out, we have fractures
within the population," said Solomon.
Drawing a parallel between the current "disastrous absence of genuine political and
spiritual and religious leadership" in Israel today and the period leading up to the
anointing of Israel's first king, Saul, he said that many people might view a theocratic
monarchy as an answer to Israel's troubles today as it was then.
Discussing the period of the early chapters of the book of Samuel, dated historically
at around 1100 BCE, Solomon said that the situation at that time saw a crisis of political
and religious leadership based upon corruption, exploitation and the abuse of power. It
was as a result of this that the people of Israel turned to the prophet Samuel seeking a
different model of leadership, asking instead for a king.
But Solomon cautioned against people being too hasty about appointing a king in Israel
today. "Every generation that is thinking of adopting a new model of leadership needs to
be extremely careful," he said. "Kings can be good but kings can also be very bad."
According to Solomon, Jewish history shows that the decision to appoint a king is
fraught with problems. While Israel can boast figures like King David and King Hezekiah,
it has many more examples of bad kings. "If we had the power to set up a king now, we
would have to be extremely careful," he said.
Solomon said that it is not simply that one good king could easily be followed by a bad
king, but that there is also the problem of how Israel would find the right person to
provide the necessary qualities of leadership. "Let's say that we have all the ingredients
for a king: how would we go about selecting that king?" he asked.
He said the cautionary lesson from the book of Samuel is that people tend to get the
king they deserve.
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