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Michael Jackson's Jewish Children

By The Jewish Journal

Speculation continues as to whether Michael Jackson's two older children will be returned to the custody of their Jewish mother, Debbie Rowe, which, by extension, makes son Prince Michael I, 12, and daughter Paris Michael Katherine, 11, also Jewish. Jackson married Rowe in 1996, when she was six months pregnant.

The couple divorced in 1999 and Rowe gave up her custody rights, but according to the LA Times, legal experts believe that as the children's biological mother, she can probably reclaim the two. As Adam Wills reported in The Journal in 2004, Wills quoted Rabbi Shmuley Boteach as saying, "I was shocked to hear that [Rowe] was Jewish, but since Prince and Paris are Jewish, I think they should be raised Jewish."

Axelrod: Iran Has Nuclear Weapons


In an apparent mistake, President Obama's senior adviser David Axelrod stated during an interview Sunday that there are nuclear weapons in Iran which are a threat to the entire world.

No country has ever claimed Iran currently has a nuclear arsenal. A 2007 U.S. intelligence estimate previously claimed Iran halted its nuclear weapons-related work in 2003, although that report was highly criticized. Other American agencies have stated Iran could obtain nukes by 2013 or later.

Israel maintains Iran could have enough enriched uranium to produce a nuclear weapon in less than a year, although other Israeli estimates put the timeline at 2012.

Axelrod, a Stuyvesant High School graduate, said in little noticed comments to ABC News that there are already nuclear weapons in Iran. "I think the president's sense of solicitude with those young people has been very, very clear, and we're very mindful of that.

"We are also mindful of the fact that the nuclear weapons in Iran and the nuclearization of that whole region is a threat to that country, all countries in the region, and the world. And we have to address that. We can't let that lie," he said.

Axelrod was responding to a question from ABC News' Chief Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos about whether U.S. talks with Iran's leadership would undermine the opposition movement in Tehran. The White House did not immediately respond to a WND query about whether the U.S. has new information indicating Iran possesses nuclear weapons.

An Israelis security official said there was no indication Iran currently possesses a nuclear weapon.

Obama to Jews: Stop Building Homes in Israel


The Obama administration told the Palestinian Authority the "golden era" of Israeli construction in sections of Jerusalem and the strategic West Bank will soon come to an end, a top PA negotiator told WND.

"The U.S. assured us that for the first time since 1967, we are going into a period where there will not be allowed a single construction effort on the part of the Israelis in the settlements, including in Gush Etzion, Maale Adumum and eastern Jerusalem," said the negotiator, speaking from Ramallah on condition his name be withheld.

Maale Adumim is located in eastern Jerusalem. Israel reunited the eastern and western sections of Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Six Day War. Eastern Jerusalem, claimed by the PA for a future state, includes the Temple Mount.

The negotiator told WND the positions of the PA and U.S. regarding ongoing Jewish construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem "are closer than ever. The U.S. used to differentiate between natural grown and adding new communities. Not anymore. No construction will be allowed, not even natural growth," the PA negotiator said.

"Natural growth" means adding additional housing to existing communities to accommodate the needs of a growing population. The negotiator spoke Sunday just before Defense Minister Ehud Barak took off for Washington, D.C., for meetings with the Obama administration.

The negotiator claimed that while Barak might reach an understanding with the U.S. regarding possible West Bank movements, such a deal would be for Israeli political purposes and wouldn't translate into actual Jewish construction on the ground.

The Obama administration recently demanded Israel halt all settlement activity, including natural growth, in apparent abrogation of a deal made by President Bush to allow for natural growth.

The West Bank borders major Israeli cities and is within rocket firing range of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Israel's international airport.

Military strategists long have estimated Israel must maintain the West Bank to defend itself from any ground invasion. Terrorist groups have warned if Israel withdraws, they will launch rockets from the West Bank into Israeli cities.

Many villages in the West Bank, which Israelis commonly refer to as the "biblical heartland," are mentioned throughout the Torah: The book of Genesis says Abraham entered Israel at Shechem (Nablus) and received God's promise of land for his offspring. He later was buried in Hebron.

The nearby town of Beit El, anciently called Bethel, meaning "house of God," is where Scripture says the patriarch Jacob slept on a stone pillow and dreamed of angels ascending and descending a stairway to heaven. In that dream, God spoke directly to Jacob and reaffirmed the promise of territory. And in Exodus, the holy tabernacle rested in Shiloh, believed to be the first area the ancient Israelites settled after fleeing Egypt.

She Found Out She's Pregnant 4 Days Before Giving Birth


Reut Yosef didn't understand why she kept on gaining weight despite her strict diet. But a visit to the doctor revealed she was nine-month pregnant Yosef, 27 from Rishon Lezion, gave birth to her firstborn son on a Saturday two weeks ago, only four days after discovering she was pregnant.

Reut, who is overweight, enrolled in a dieting program about four months ago, in a bid to reach a healthy weight before she and her husband start trying to have a baby.

However, despite a strict diet plan and the support of a dietitian, Reut failed to lose weight, and in fact gradually gained more and more pounds. Her husband Dror, 29, even blamed her of eating secretly and raiding the refrigerator at night.

On June 8, the couple decided to take a home pregnancy test, which showed that Reut was pregnant. "I don't know why we decided to do it," said Dror. "It was some sort of a hunch, because we could see Reut wasn't losing weight, and remembered that two months ago she experienced some irregularity in her period. We assumed she was in her first trimester and scheduled a doctor's appointment."

Two days after taking the home test, the excited couple met with a gynecologist. The medical examination revealed that Reut was somewhere between week 35 and 38. In other words, she was already nine-months pregnant. On Thursday morning Reut was diagnosed with hypertension and the doctors were worried she might also be suffering from preeclampsia.

She was immediately sent to the Emergency Room at Assaf Harofeh Medical center near Tel Aviv and given an injection to induce labor. She went into the delivery room on Friday and gave birth to Dvir on Saturday, after a 26-hours exhausting delivery.

Asked how she missed the fact she was pregnant, Reut explained: "He was apparently a very quiet baby, and because I'm fat he was well-padded. He didn't kick and I didn't feel anything, maybe only something that resembles gas."

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