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Dec. 16, 2008, Vol. 16, No. 243

Muslim Cook Misses His Murdered Jewish Employers


A Muslim cook who cooked kosher food for dozens of Jews daily is still trying to come to terms with his escape from the terrorist attack at the Mumbai Chabad House, where his employers, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, were killed.

As bullets fired into the corridors, Zakie "Jackie" Hussein fled into the kitchen, hiding between two refrigerators. "Death was literally standing on the other side of the door," Jackie told the Indian Express. Zakir developed a deep bond with "saheb [sir] and madam" who "taught me so much", a bond so strong that he says he wants to go back to Chabad House when it reopens.

UN Security Council to Back Annapolis Mideast Negotiations

By David Gollust (VOA-State Department)

The U.N. Security Council is preparing to vote on a resolution Tuesday that would put the world body on record as supporting the U.S.-backed Annapolis peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Major powers of the international Quartet on the Middle East discussed the pending resolution Monday at the United Nations in New York.

The parties have not met the goal set at last year's Annapolis conference for an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord by the end of this year. But supporters of the talks including Quartet members are claiming significant progress, which they hope to sustain with the Security Council resolution that is expected to receive overwhelming support on Tuesday.

The Quartet, which includes the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, held a ministerial level meeting at U.N. headquarters on the eve of the special Security Council session on the Middle East.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - who has made nine trips to the region this year to advance negotiations spawned by the Annapolis meeting - said the process is by no means a failure, despite the lack of an agreement.

"They won't achieve agreement by the end of the year," she said. "But they have achieved a good deal of progress in their negotiations, a good deal of progress in the work that is being done on the ground. And I would just remind you that this is the first time in almost a decade that Palestinians and Israelis are addressing all of the core issues in a comprehensive way to try to get to a solution. And if that process takes a little bit longer, so be it."

The Security Council resolution is the product of close cooperation between the United States and Russia - despite their recent disputes over Georgia, European missile defense and other issues.

Appearing with Rice at the Quartet press event, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the resolution is not an attempt to paper over unresolved problems in the peace process such as Israeli settlement policy or the blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

"The main thing is that we have this draft resolution that - together with our U.S. colleagues - we have tabled in the Security Council," he said. "And this lays out the continuance of the process. If you see the text, you would see that in no way does this have to do with superseding the primary goal, which is the coexistence of two states - Palestine and Israel - in peace, stability and security. This resolution does not change anything here. On the contrary it is aimed at continuing our joint efforts and implementing them."

If approved, the resolution would be the first by the Security Council on the Middle East conflict since 2003, when it endorsed the Quartet's "Road Map" to a two-state settlement.

The measure is assured of approval, but possibly not by the unanimous 15 to nothing vote sought by its sponsors. Libya, the only current Arab member of the Council, has indicated it might vote against the measure, arguing that Israeli settlement-building and other policies of concern to Arabs should be specifically mentioned.

Instead, the draft urges both sides to refrain from steps that could undermine confidence or prejudice the outcome of negotiations.

To try to assuage Arab concerns, Rice, Lavrov and other Quartet officials met late Monday with Arab League ambassadors. They stressed their support for an eventual comprehensive peace between Israel and Arab states based on the Arab League's 2002 peace initiative.

In a written statement, the Quartet called the negotiating process launched at Annapolis "irreversible" and said it should be intensified. It reiterated support for Egyptian efforts to calm the situation in Gaza and urged an end to "indiscriminate" rocket attacks from Gaza while calling on Israel to allow a continuous flow of supplies into the besieged area.

It reiterated past calls on Israel to freeze settlement activity and said Israel should address the "growing threat" of settler extremism.

Abbas: This Isn't Over Until All 11,000 Released


Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas greeted more than 200 newly-released terrorists on Monday as they drove into the city of Ramallah. The terrorists were released by Israel as a "good-will gesture" to Abbas in a move meant to strengthen his standing during ongoing Israel-PA negotiations.

Abbas hosted a ceremony for the prisoners and spoke at the event. He called on Israel to release all terrorists currently held in Israeli prisons, and warned that if Israel was unwilling to do so, there would be no peace with the PA. "Our celebration will remain unfinished until all 11,000 prisoners are released," he told the cheering crowd.

Abbas said he would work to free terrorists, no matter what their affiliation. Even those belonging to Hamas, the political rival of Abbas' Fatah terror gang, must be freed, he added. Abbas did not make an exception for those found guilty of direct involvement in murdering Israeli civilians.

Two hundred and nine terrorists were released to Ramallah, and 18 more were released into Gaza. The terrorists released to Gaza were affiliated with Abbas' Fatah. Abbas issued a warning to the Hamas leadership in Gaza during his Ramallah speech, saying, "Brothers of ours have been released from Israeli jails today... We hope they will not find new jails awaiting them."

Multiple Israeli organizations attempted to overturn the terrorist release, among them the terror victims' group Almagor. According to research done by Almagor, 148 of the 227 terrorists released on Monday were convicted for attempted murder.

The group pointed out that rock attacks were not considered attempted murder for the purposes of the research, even though victims of rock attacks have been critically wounded and even killed. Only those convicted of shooting attacks, attempted bombings in populated areas or along roads and firebombing were considered would-be murderers in the Almagor study.

Most of the 227 were arrested in 2006, the group said, meaning most served no more than two years in prison. One terrorist who was convicted of firebombing and planting a bomb served less than half a year in prison.

The High Court rejected petitions submitted by Almagor and others after delaying the prisoner release briefly while the state submitted its arguments. State attorneys said the terrorist release "was made to fit the diplomatic interests that the decision hopes to promote."

Those who objected to the release argued that some of the terrorists belong to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, a fact they said disproved the state's argument that the terrorist release was designed to strengthen Abbas' Fatah faction. State attorneys rejected those claims, explaining that while the terrorists in question may have belonged to Hamas and Islamic Jihad at the time of their arrests, they changed their allegiance while in prison and now identify with Fatah. "Their organizational allegiance today is not with the Islamic groups," they wrote.

While the state rejected arguments regarding most of the prisoners, three terrorists who had been chosen to be among those released Monday were removed from the list following complaints. The three in question had kidnapped and beaten Palestinian Authority Arabs suspected of cooperating with Israel.

Nazi Flag Flies Unhindered in PA-Controlled Hebron Area


IDF commanders have yet to respond to repeated requests by soldiers for equipment to remove a Nazi flag from an electric cable next to an army "pillbox."

The bright red, white and black Nazi flag with its classic swastika insignia was discovered by IDF soldiers two days ago, hanging on an electric wire close to an army guard post near the Palestinian Authority-controlled village of Beit Omar.

According to a source who spoke with Israel National News, the flag is hanging in the same spot, from wires along Highway 60 in the Hebron area south of Gush Etzion, where last Saturday there were Hizbullah terrorist flags waving in the breeze.

"We want the public to see this so people can judge for themselves who we are dealing with in the Palestinian Authority," said the source, who asked to remain unidentified for security reasons. "We need special equipment to get it down, and probably would need the electric company to come."

Despite soldiers' requests to their company officer for assistance in getting someone to remove the offensive flag, however, nothing was done.

"We went to the officer, and he went to the commander," said the source. "And the commander went to his commander, and he said they would send someone to take it down. But it is still there, and it is two days later. And it really annoying to the soldiers, I have to tell you. It is very offensive ­ but we have no way to get it down."

Israeli Company Develops Cheap, Accurate Colon Cancer Test


Colon cancer, which is the third most common cancer found in American men and women, may soon be on the decline thanks to a new Israeli company.

Bio Mark, formed by holding company Micromedic Technologies, has developed a colon cancer screening test which promises to catch the early stages of colon cancer in those who have not yet done preliminary tests. The test is expected to obtain FDA approval within a year.

According to Bio Mark, its new test, which is given as part of a routine blood screening, can correctly identify adenomas, the colon polyps which may become colon cancer, at a success rate of over 80 percent. The test is based on the research of Nadir Arber, a professor of medicine and gastroenterology at Tel Aviv University, who heads the Cancer Prevention Unit at the Tel Aviv Medical Center.

On top of its accuracy and easy, Bio Mark's colon cancer test is also much more affordable than its predecessors. While other tests for detecting polyps are both painful and expensive (about $1,500), Bio Mark's test will cost between $50 and $100, and requires a regular blood sample.

David Solomon, CEO of Bio Mark, told Israel21c that while only two out of five American citizens undergo colon cancer screenings, one out of four people over the age of 50 harbor polyps in the intestine. According to Solomon, 95 percent of colon cancer can be attributed to polyps. Solomon believes Bio Mark's new test will encourage more people to get tested for adenomas, and will thereby save many lives.

Bio Mark, based in Ramat Gan, is also developing a drug to fight colon cancer. Bio Mark's sister company, BioGan, is now developing a kit for early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in women.

Consumers Claim Cooing Doll Says "Islam is the Light"


Consumers across North America are returning a talking doll to stores that they claim says, "Islam is the light." Fisher-Price's Little Mommy Cuddle & Coo doll makes all sorts of noises, but some consumers say it also seems to produce Muslim propaganda. (

Mattel, the parent company, issued a statement saying that the doll says a word that could be interpreted as "night", "right" or "light." "Because the original sound track is compressed into a file that can be played through an inexpensive toy speaker, actual sounds may be imprecise or distorted," the company wrote in a news release. Although Fisher-Price has changed the sound track, some stores have kept the controversially cooing dolls, where they will remain for unsuspecting consumers to buy.

A concerned mother's group called MAMA, or Moms Ask Mattel for Accountability, is taking action, asking why Mattel is not addressing this issue. "If they want to sell a doll that says 'Islam is the Light' then they can do that," Denise Lee of the MAMA Action Group said. "But they need to put some label or something on the package that says, "This doll says 'Islam is the Light.'

"This is not a healthy thing to be putting out in the marketplace when we're in a war on terror, and little children are so susceptible to the messages they hear ­ even from a doll ­ then to take them into the school and talk about them," Minnesota Christian talk show host Jan Markell told OneNewsNow.

Neturei Karta: Chabad Punished for Alliance with Zionists


An article published this weekend in a leaflet distributed by anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox stream Neturei Karta asserted that the terror attack on the Chabad House in Mumbai was a punishment from God for the organization's collaboration with Zionist Israelis.

Six Jews were killed in the attack three weeks ago, including the two Chabad emissaries to the Indian city. Chabad Houses around the world serve as community centers for Jews regardless of the degree of their religious observance.

According to the article, Chabad was rightfully punished for its relations with "the filthy, deplorable traitors ­ the cursed Zionists that are your friends." The writer went on to slam the Hasidic group for inviting to the emissaries' funeral "villainous heads of state who uttered words of heresy and blasphemy."

Chabad itself was imbued with "false national sentiment," the article said, and the organization's centers around the globe hosted religious Jews alongside secular ones without making any distinction "between good and evil, right and wrong, pure and impure, a Jew and a former Jew, a believer and a heretic."

The conclusion, according to the writer, was that "the road you (Chabad) have taken is the road of death and it leads to doom, assimilation and the uprooting of the Torah."

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