Newsletter : 8fax1107.txt
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Rocket Warnings May Come Via Cell Phones
Electronics experts are working on a system that may enable Gaza Belt residents to
receive text message warnings of an imminent rocket attack. Western Negev residents
currently rely on sirens from the Color Red warning system.
The warning gives residents 20 seconds to run for cover from a Kassam rocket attack.
Arab terrorists attacked Israel with more than 30 rockets on Wednesday following the IDF
counterterrorist operation that led to the destruction of a tunnel that was prepared for
IDF Concludes Large Drill Simulating Double-Front War in North
The Israel Defense Forces Northern Command concluded a large-scale exercise Thursday
which simulated a double-front conflagration with Syria and Lebanon.
The drill, codenamed "Shiluv Zro'ot III" (Crossing Arms III), was the second largest of
its kind since the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Among this week's exercises was
a strategic-level simulation involving all IDF commands.
The exercise drilled the Israel Air Force and the Home Front Command in dealing with
protocol and problem-solving missions under the simulated firing of thousands of rockets
and missiles into the heart of Israel's population centers.
In addition to the Northern Command, the air force and the home front command, Crossing
Arms involved the IDF Military Intelligence directorate and the general staff. Unlike
headquarter-level exercises from the past, Crossing Arms entailed the deployment of troops
on the ground, comprising mainly reservists. In addition, helicopter gunships and
airplanes were sent on mock raids and evacuation missions. The aircraft did not fire live
ammunition, according to army sources.
During the drill, the striking aircraft were under orders to focus on imaginary long
and medium-range missile launchers. The responsibility for knocking out shorter range
rockets lay on ground troops that were ordered to carry out an on-paper invasion into
Syrian and Lebanese territory.
Speaking before subordinate officers, Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said that the
importance attached to Crossing Arms III stemmed from the fact that it involved all IDF
operational arms, and from the fact that it was put together in a way which internalized
the lessons of the Second Lebanon War.
During the exercise, Ashkenazi flew aboard a Boeing Integrated Defense Systems AH-64D
Apache Longbow attack helicopter. He also went aboard an Israeli submarine. Other visitors
included President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Israel Warns Obama About Iran Talks
By VOA News & IsraelNationalNews.com
Israel's foreign minister said Thursday that any U.S. talks with Iran may be seen as a
sign of weakness. Speaking on Israeli radio, Tzipi Livni offered her government's first
official note of caution over Barack Obama's election as U.S. president. Obama said during
the campaign he would be willing to hold talks with Iranian leaders. Livni argued that
dialogue at a time when, she said, Iran thinks the world has given up on sanctions, could
The outgoing U.S. administration of President George Bush has sought further sanctions
against Iran over its nuclear program, but has been blocked by Russia, among others.
Iran is under three sets of international sanctions. It has been accused by several
Western countries of seeking nuclear weapons. Tehran said its nuclear program is solely
for peaceful purposes.
Israel, while never acknowledging a nuclear arsenal, is widely believed to hold the
only such weapons in the Middle East. The government fears it could be the target of an
attack by strongly anti-Israeli Iran.
"We live in a neighborhood in which sometimes dialogue in a situation where you
have brought sanctions, and you then shift to dialogue is liable to be interpreted
as weakness," she explained.
Livni maintained a cordial tone regarding the new administration and noted that
"Obama's bottom line on the Iranian issue is very clear. America won't accept a nuclear
Iran." However, she also made it clear that Israel's bottom line would not change. When
the interviewer asked her if she supported any American dialogue with the Islamic
Republic, Livni replied flatly, "The answer is no."
The Foreign Minister said she did not expect any "dramatic" difference between the
outgoing Bush administration and that of Obama, noting that "The outgoing administration
also had people who supported dialogue."
She noted that the difference between the two had to do with style: "There is a
slightly different attitude between the president-elect and the outgoing president, with
regard to how the world relates to extremism in the area. There are those who think that
[America] has to be aggressive, and there are those who think that there has to be
dialogue. Obama falls into the second group."
She added that "Israel is working for sanctions against Iran, and not transmitting a
message of weakness."
Israel is convinced that the Islamic Republic is working to complete an atomic weapon
of mass destruction. Iran has defied all attempts by the international community to halt
its uranium enrichment program, despite several rounds of increasingly severe sanctions
imposed on the country.
Ahmadinejad Congratulates Obama
Enthusiastic about Barack Obama's election, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
congratulated the president-elect Thursday. Tehran "welcomes basic and fair changes in
U.S. policies and conducts," said Ahmadinejad, who encouraged Obama to pursue a policy of
"non-interference" toward Iran, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
"I congratulate you on being able to attract the majority of votes of the participants
of the election," he wrote. "As you know, the opportunities provided by the Almighty God,
which can be used for elevation of nations, or God forbid, for their collapse, are
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have mounted since the Islamic republic refused to
halt uranium enrichment, claiming its nuclear program is a peaceful endeavor. But
Ahmadinejad told Obama he has high hopes for the Democrat's presidency.
"I hope you will prefer real public interests and justice to the never-ending demands
of a selfish minority and seize the opportunity to serve people so that you will be
remembered with high esteem," he wrote. "The Americans who have spiritual tendencies
expect the government to spend all its power in line with serving the people, rectify the
critical situation facing the U.S., restore lost reputation as well as their hope and
spirit, fully respect human rights and strengthen family foundations.
"The nations of the world also expect war-oriented policies, occupation, bullying,
contempt of nations and imposing discriminatory policies on them to be replaced by the
ones advocating justice, respect for human rights, friendship and non-interference in
other countries' internal affairs," Ahmadinejad said.
"They also want U.S. intervention to be limited to its borders, especially in the
Middle East. It is highly expected to reverse the unfair attitude toward restoring the
rights of the Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghans."
Ahmadinejad said U.S. policy has been "based on warmongering, occupation, bullying,
deception and humiliation, as well as discrimination and unfair relations," leading to
"hatred of all nations and majority of governments toward the U.S. leaders."
He encouraged Obama, "If you take steps on the divine path and follow the teachings of
divine prophets, God, the Almighty, will help you to make up in part for the heavy damage
inflicted [by the U.S.] in the past."
Obama's Jewish Chief of Staff Directed Rabin-Arafat Handshake
Rahm Emanuel, President-elect Barack Obama's new Jewish Chief of Staff, was active in
the Oslo negotiations and choreographed the Rabin-Arafat handshake at the White House.
"It was an emotional moment for him," according to public relations consultant Richard
Mintz, who worked with Emanuel. "He would like nothing more than to participate in another
peace agreement signing."
Israeli media Thursday celebrated the appointment of Emanuel, a Chicago, Illinois
Jewish congressman who was born to former Israelis. His father was a member of the Jewish
resistance Irgun movement during the British mandate and the Emanuels named him after an
Irgun member who died in action. The parents met in Chicago after the older Emanuel moved
there from Israel.
Outrage Over Suicide Bombing Computer Game
By London Daily Mail
A computer game in which players assume the role of a suicide bomber and try to kill as
many men, women and children as possible has provoked outrage in Great Britain.
A senior Labor member of parliament said Kaboom: The Suicide Bombing Game, which is
freely available to all age groups on the internet, `devalues human life' and should be
banned. Players move a terrorist of Arab appearance along a busy street to get as close as
possible to the most civilians.
Players of Kaboom adopt the role of a suicide bomber who must try to kill as many
civilians as possible. They then click their mouse and the bomber opens his coat to reveal
grenades strapped to his body before exploding in a shower of bloody limbs. The more men,
women and children are injured, the more points the player receives.
The Israeli Embassy in London is understood to have complained. Scores of Israeli
citizens have been killed by suicide bombers in recent years. But the creator of the game,
an anonymous man from Houston, Texas, dismissed the criticisms.
On the website where the game originates, he has written his intention is to satirize
suicide bombers, not to glorify them. "I'm not Jewish, I'm not an Arab and I'm not a
terrorist. I just think people who blow themselves up are stupid. That's all this game
British Musical Memorializes Warsaw Ghetto
London's West End is preparing to host a musical that introduces a twist in the genre's
typical happy-go-lucky mood. "Imagine This," set in the narrow alleys of the Warsaw Ghetto
in 1942, is scheduled to premiere in two weeks at the New London Theater.
The musical performance tells the story of a theater company working in the ghetto,
through the eyes of a 10-year old boy who lives there. The company attempts to put on a
play that will enliven hope in the hearts of the ghetto's residents, while around them
World War II rages and rumors of the "final solution" penetrate the atmosphere.
Under these tragic circumstances, a love story flourishes, lending the performance a
bittersweet tone. An Israeli ambience is embedded within the play's Jewish viewpoint with
the participation of Shuki Levy, a composer who began his career in the '70s on the stage
Director Tim Sheader said he hoped theater-goers would find a ray of hope in his
production. "It's about humanity human beings on a precipice facing impossible
decisions," Sheader told the Daily Telegraph. "Hopefully people will cry at the end of it
people should be inspired by it. If people have gone to see 'Les Miserable', they
should go and see this."
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