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Neo-Nazi Highway Clean-up Backfires


Springfield, Missouri officials lost a legal battle but won a moral victory over neo-Nazis who "adopted a highway" in a clean-up campaign after arguments of "freedom of speech" trumped government attempts to stop the group.

The Missouri Department of Transportation decided to reward the neo-Nazi cleanup campaign by naming the highway after Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who fled Nazi Germany and was a prominent civil rights supporter in the United States.

Netanyahu: Change in Iran Could Bring Peaceful Israel Ties

By Reuters

Peaceful relations between Israel and Iran would be possible if new leadership took power in Tehran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview with a German newspaper.

"There is no conflict between the Iranian people and the people of Israel and under a different regime the friendly relations that prevailed in the past could be restored," Netanyahu told German daily Bild.

Hardliner Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called the Holocaust a "great deception" and said Israel should be wiped from the map, was officially re-elected in a June 12 vote that the opposition has denounced as a fraud.

The election has provoked the most violent unrest in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution which ousted the U.S.-backed shah. Iran has accused the West and its media of playing a role in fomenting unrest.

Netanyahu said he had "no doubts" that Iran's citizens would choose a different government if allowed to vote freely. "What we have seen in Iran is a powerful desire on the part of the Iranian people to be free," he said.

In the interview, Netanyahu also touched on ties with the Palestinians. He said Israel shared the view of other governments around the world that the Palestinians should be allowed to live peacefully and freely alongside Israel. "What hasn't been expressed clearly enough was the consensus that exists on the Israeli side and that has characterized successive governments.

"We want to live peacefully next to the Palestinians and we don't want to govern them. We want them to have all the powers to govern themselves -except those handful of powers that could threaten Israel." But he reiterated there were conditions to Israeli recognition of a Palestinian state, including that such a state be demilitarized and that it recognize Israel as a nation. "We don't want to have another Iran next to our borders."

Hamas Denies Claims of Aiding Iranian Forces


Hamas, whose gunmen have openly admitted in the past to being trained by Iran, strongly denied claims it is involved in cracking down on protesters in Tehran. "These accusations are completely untrue," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told WND. Mushir-al-Masri, a Hamas spokesman and parliamentarian, told WND, "This is nonsense and doesn't deserve any response."

Other Hamas members contacted by WND, including the group's chief political adviser in Gaza, Ahmed Yousef, denied the accusations as well. A top Hamas member, speaking to WND on condition his name be withheld, stated, "The Iranian Revolutionary Guards are the best in the world at cracking down on protests. Why would they need help from the movement (Hamas)? It's a ridiculous claim."

Multiple reports quoted witnesses in Iran claiming Hamas was behind attacks on protesters there. The Jerusalem Post Monday quoted two Iranian protesters stating Palestinian Hamas members were helping the Iranian authorities crush street protests. Israel's Yediot Acharonot newspaper carried a similar report.

Other reports in Voice of America and Germany's Der Spiegel claimed as many as 5,000 members of the Lebanese Hizbullah terrorist group were in Iran, where they were being used to control the protesters. The Hizbullah members are often easily identified by their screams in Arabic, claimed Der Spiegel.

Speaking of Hamas' alleged involvement in crushing the protests, one rioter in Tehran was quoted by Der Spiegel stating, "My brother had his ribs beaten in by those Palestinian animals. Taking our people's money is not enough – they are thirsty for our blood too."

When asked if Hamas could have been mistaken for Hizbullah, the rioter was quoted responding: "Ask anyone, they will tell you the same thing. [Palestinian extremists] are out beating Iranians in the streets. ... The more we gave this arrogant race, the more they want. ... We will not let them push us around in our own country."

Study: Climate Change Threatens Mideast Stability

By Reuters

Climate change could spark "environmental wars" in the Middle East over already scarce water supplies and dissuade Israel from any pullout from occupied Arab land, an international report said last week.

Almost 10 years of failed peace talks between Syria and Israel have focused on water in and around the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The vital resource is also a point of conflict between Israel and Palestinians seeking a state.

Regarding the Syria-Israel dispute, the report said Israeli concerns about "food security and reduced agricultural productivity could shift the strategic calculation on whether to withdraw" from the Golan Heights, occupied in a 1967 war. The Golan supplies 30% of the water for the Kinneret, Israel's main water reservoir.

"The expectation of coming environmental wars might imply that the way to deal with shrinking resources is to increase military control over them," said the Danish-funded study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, an independent organization headquartered in Canada.

Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the report said sea-level rises as a result of climate change threatened to contaminate Gaza's sole aquifer supplying 1.5 million Palestinians in the territory. The coastal aquifer, which is shared by Israel, is the only source of fresh drinking water for Gaza, controlled by the Palestinian terrorist Islamist group Hamas. The report said its water quality was abysmal.

In the West Bank, governed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israel draws more water from most aquifers shared with the territory and reportedly restricts Palestinian water use.

Climate change will diminish water resources across the Middle East, the report said. "In a region already considered the world's most water scarce, climate models are predicting a hotter, drier and less predictable climate," it said.

"Higher temperature and less rainfall will reduce the flow of rivers and streams, slow the rate at which aquifers recharge, progressively raise sea levels and make the entire region more arid," said the study, which focused on the Levant, the ancient land now comprising Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

Ancient Man-Made Cave Found in Israel

By Israel Faxx News Services & Newswise

A giant man-made underground cavern from the era of the Roman Empire has been found in Israel's Jordan Valley, scientists said. Researchers from Haifa University's Department of Archaeology say the cave was used as a quarry and perhaps later as an ancient monastery.

The cave was found in March just north of Jericho and is the largest man-made cave ever found in Israel, the newspaper said. Its main hall is reportedly held up by 22 pillars, on which are carved Roman numerals, a Roman legion's pennant, crosses and zodiac-like symbols.

Professor Adam Zertal, who headed the dig, said he dates the cavern to 1 CE. "Initially, the place was utilized as a quarry, which was active for 400 to 500 years," Zertal said. "But the other findings definitely give the impression that the cave was used for other purposes, such as a monastery, and perhaps even a hideaway." Various engravings were uncovered in the cave, including cross markings.

The enormous and striking cave covers an area of approximately 1 acre: it is some 100 meters long and about 40 meters wide. The cave is located 4 km north of Jericho. The cave, which is the largest excavated by man to be discovered in Israel, was exposed in the course of an archaeological survey that the University of Haifa has been carrying out since 1978.

As with other discoveries in the past, this exposure is shrouded in mystery. "When we arrived at the opening of the cave, two Bedouins approached and told us not to go in as the cave is bewitched and inhabited by wolves and hyenas," Zertal said. Upon entering, accompanied by his colleagues, he was surprised to find an impressive architectonic underground structure supported by 22 giant pillars. They discovered 31 cross markings on the pillars, an engraving resembling the zodiac symbol, Roman letters and an etching that looks like the Roman Legion's pennant.

The team also discovered recesses in the pillars, which would have been used for oil lamps, and holes to which animals that were hauling quarried stones out of the cave could have been tied. The cave's ceiling is some three meters high, but was originally probably about four meters high.

Unspoken Memories of Holocaust Survivors

By Newswise

Aspects of knowing about a parent or grandparent's Holocaust experiences and traumas are transmitted to other members of the family through unspoken and sometimes unintentional behaviors in the home. This leads to a "knowledge" and presence of the Holocaust that, despite remaining unspoken, contributes to the life experiences and constitutes the personality of the person exposed to it.

This has been shown in a new ethnographic study carried out by an anthropologist at the University of Haifa and recently published in the peer-reviewed academic journal Current Anthropology. Dr. Carol Kidron of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Haifa interviewed 55 children of Holocaust survivors. The large majority revealed that their only knowledge of their parents' Holocaust experiences was transmitted to them via silent, taken-for-granted everyday interpersonal interaction.

The children were able to get a sense of their parents' experiences through the unspoken. One recalled hearing a parent's nightly cries. Another remembered wondering about the numbers branded on a parent's arm, and others described watching their parents reminiscing or looking through old photographs or memorabilia.

In contrast to previous and well-known psychological studies published so far, which have suggested that the children of Holocaust survivors suffer effects of posttraumatic stress disorder, Kidron was able to conclude that 80 percent of the interviewees did not perceive themselves as suffering from such effects.

Moreover, the "knowledge", the silent day-to-day presence of Holocaust memories that the descendents of Holocaust survivors gleaned, sufficed: As children, they frequently felt no need to question their parents in depth. They had no desire to document their families' Holocaust history. A prominent 95 percent of the interviewees assured that they were not interested in telling the story of their parents' Holocaust experiences in the public domain, or their own. "By forming an experiential matrix, these silent traces maintain an intimate and nonpathological presence of the Holocaust death-world in the everyday life-world," Dr. Kidron explained.

This study disputes the more common views that a survivor's silence results in a damaged relationship with his or her children, or in the absence of an inter-generational Holocaust legacy transmitted to the second generation. It is precisely the presence of the Holocaust past in everyday silent interaction, rather than the vocal transmission of Holocaust testimony or history, that sustains and commemorates the genocidal past in the private familial domain. The accounts provided by the interviewees in this study "depict the dynamic, normative, and self-imposed silent presence of the Holocaust death-world interwoven with everyday life" and indicate that children's relationships with their survivor parents were equally normative.

Israel's Richest Woman Gets Messages `From Above'

By Reuters

Shari Arison, Israel's richest woman and the controlling shareholder of the country's second-largest bank, said in a televised interview she receives messages "from above" and sees things before they happen.

"For many years I've received messages, you could call them transmissions or messages. I see many things before they happen," Arison said in an interview with Israel's Channel Two broadcast late on Saturday. "Apparently I got this gift to see ahead of time, not in order to run and buy and sell to make more money but to lead the world elsewhere."

The Israeli-American Arison, along with her brother, inherited billions from her late father Ted Arison, who founded Carnival Corp, the world's biggest cruise ship operator.

She is the controlling shareholder in Bank Hapoalim and also controls Housing and Construction, Israel's biggest construction company. "There are many people who get messages in this world. With me it works either through a picture, a word or in my sleep, all kinds of ways," she said. "I receive them directly from above," she added, gesturing with her hands.

Arison, who is also known in Israel for her philanthropy, said that two years ago she got a message that there would be an economic crisis and people would go crazy. But she said she believes the world is moving toward redemption. "How long it will take isn't clear. Before the big light the great darkness comes, and I think we are in the period of darkness."

Arison this week is releasing her first book in Israel, entitled "Birth - When the Spiritual and the Material Come Together", which details her journey both spiritually and in business. She begins the book with her premise that the world is "collapsing" because of broad-based greed.

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