Newsletter : 10fx1012.txt
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Latma to Produce Pilot Program for Channel One
The Latma political satire website, founded by Caroline Glick, has been asked by
Israel's Channel One to produce a pilot program for a television series.
Latma became famous with its "We Con the World" music video satirizing the pro-Gaza flotilla. The video got over 3 million hits on the YouTube website, making it one of Israel's most successful videos ever. Those videos can be seen at www.CanaanCommunications.us
Palestinians Reject Israel's Offer on Settlement Freeze
By Luis Ramirez (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has offered to extend a building freeze on
Jewish settlements in the West Bank if the Palestinians agree to recognize Israel as a
Jewish state. The Israeli leader's offer Monday came as talks remained stalled between
Israel and the Palestinians on the issue of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
The Palestinians last week said they would not return to negotiations after Israel
refused to extend a partial freeze on construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied
West Bank that expired September 26.
Speaking to Israel's parliament, the Knesset, Netanyahu said that if the Palestinian
leadership says unequivocally that it recognizes Israel as the national homeland of the
Jewish people, he will ask his government to extend the building freeze.
He said he expects the Palestinians to take trust-building steps and convince the
majority of Israelis who he said have, in the past 10 years, lost trust in the Palestinian
The Palestinians immediately dismissed Netanyahu's offer. Chief Palestinian negotiator
Saeb Erekat told VOA that Netanyahu's demands are unacceptable.
"I don't see the relevance between his need to stop settlement activities in compliance
with international law as an occupying power and his demand for us to recognize his
country and its religious character," Erekat said. "We have recognized the State of Israel
as it exists and we cannot go further than that. But the fact that he needs to have a
settlement freeze in order to resume the negotiations is an obligation for him."
In the past, the Palestinians have refused to formally recognize Israel as a Jewish
state out of concern that would bring discrimination against Arabs who live inside Israel
and give up the rights of Palestinian refugees who were displaced upon the creation of the
state of Israel in 1948.
The aim of the talks - for the Palestinians - is to establish a Palestinian state. The
Palestinians say the Israeli settlements encroach on land that would be part of that
Many Israelis express concerns that a new Palestinian state could be a threat to
Israel. They point to what happened in the Gaza Strip after Israel's 2005 pullout, when
the militant Islamist group Hamas - whose charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish
state - seized power.
PA Arabs, Jews Join Forces; Call to Obama to 'Leave Us in Peace'
Palestinian Authority Arabs and Jews in Samaria worked together Monday to fight a fire
that threatened to wreak irreparable damage at the site of the biblical era temple at
The fire was sparked by a failure in electrical cables that were in use for maintenance
work on Highway 60, the major north-south highway in Judea and Samaria. The Arabs, who
were working on building projects at the adjacent town of Shiloh, joined the Jewish
firefighters and battled thick smoke for two hours until they were able to overcome the
It reached the site of the ancient and temporary temple, which stood for 369 years. The
Jewish People eventually built the first permanent Holy Temple in Jerusalem and began
rebuilding it 70 years after its destruction by Roman enemies.
The presence of Arabs, who risk their lives by even working for Jewish employers
despite new Palestinian Authority legislation outlawing the practice, demonstrated the
ability of both Jews and Arab to join forces, Shiloh residents said. Among similar joint
efforts in the past year, Arabs helped save Jews in eastern Gush Etzion after their
vehicle caught on fire.
"Today's joint firefighting effort is proof that U.S. President Barack Obama should
leave us alone and let us live our lives in peace," one firefighter told Israel National
The fire burned bushes and shrubbery, but the firefighters, aided by a single fire
truck, were able to save most of the trees in the area. The blaze spread quickly because
the trees were still dry from the long and hot summer.
The volunteers used rubber brooms as the flames licked their feet and blistered their
hands. One Jewish firefighter said, "This amazing experience serves as a reminder that
given the chance, local inhabitants can overcome major obstacles working together, and
that the real flames of war are spread through malicious interfering outsiders."
Terrorist attacks, including rock-throwing and firebomb attacks, have overshadowed
joint Arab-Jewish efforts, but both Jews and Arabs recall the pre-Intifada period when the
Arab economy flourished and Jews often shopped in Arab villages and cities, where they now
are usually prohibited.
Official: Arab Christians Face Political Islam Threat
The rise of political Islam in the Middle East poses a threat to Christians in the Arab
world and must be faced down together, a senior Roman Catholic official told a synod of
Catholic bishops on Monday.
At the two week meeting to debate how to protect minority communities in the region and
encourage harmony with Muslims, the Catholic Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria, Antonios
Naguib, also said that attacks against Christians were on the rise due to growing
fundamentalism in the region.
"Since 1970, we have witnessed the rise of political Islam in the region, consisting of
many different religious currents, which has affected Christians, especially in the Arab
world," said Naguib. "This phenomenon seeks to impose the Islamic way of life on all
citizens, at times using violent methods, thus becoming a threat which we must face
Though freedom of worship is guaranteed by the constitution in most Middle Eastern
countries, certain laws and practices limited its application in some countries, he said.
Noting that Christians usually felt the negative aspects of the social and political
situations in the Middle East, he called for them to be treated in a just and equal manner
rather than being "merely tolerated."
"Difficulties in the relations between Christians and Muslims generally arise when
Muslims do not distinguish between religion and politics," Naguib said. "On this basis,
Christians sense uneasiness at being considered non-citizens, despite the fact that they
have called these countries 'home' long before Islam."
Over the course of the meeting, about 180 bishops, mainly from the Middle East, will
discuss problems for the faithful ranging from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and strife
in Iraq to radical Islamism, economic crisis and the divisions among the region's many
Conditions for Christians vary from country to country in the Middle East, but the
overall trend is one of an exodus from the region. Christians made up around 20% of the
region's population a century ago, but now account for about 5% and falling.
Iran to `Prove' US Provides Israel with Nuclear Arms
Iran will soon release documents proving that the United States has supplied Israel
with nuclear weapons, said Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC)
"Based on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), proliferation of nuclear weapons
should be prevented. There is a main question in the Muslim world about where the Zionist
regime [of Israel] has obtained its nuclear weapons from," was quoted as saying Monday,
according to the semi-official Iranian Press TV.
Using the usual adjective "Zionist" for Israel, a country that Hamas and Iran do not
call by name, Jalili stated, "The Zionist regime and those who provided it with nuclear
arms should answer this question."
He claimed that the United States has transferred nuclear material to Israel, which has
declared "nuclear ambiguity," meaning it has not said one way or the other whether the
country possesses nuclear weapons. Most analysts estimate that Israel has approximately
200 nuclear warheads.
Jalili accused the international community of harassing Iran over its nuclear defense
program, including the issue of nuclear centrifuges, in order to overshadow other issues,
such as Israel's nuclear capability.
PA TV: Prizes for Ignoring Israel
While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tries to convince Abbas to admit that Israel is
a Jewish state, PA Television continues to educate the PA public towards the denial of
Israel's existence altogether.
Palestinian Media Watch reports that a daily quiz program on PA TV during the month of
Ramadan asked contestants to name "cities in Palestine" and then awarded prizes to
those who named cities in Israel.
The show host went even further, however, and told one woman player who did not know
the "correct answers" on her own, "Say the names after me: Jerusalem, Gaza, Ramallah,
Haifa, Jaffa, Bethlehem." PMW noted that though Jerusalem, Haifa, and Yafo (Jaffa) are
cities in Israel, and not under PA control, the woman was handed $100 for repeating the
Many other contestants similarly named the above cities as being in "Palestine" and
earned the $100 reward. In addition, contestants were asked to name countries bordering
"Palestine," and received prizes even though or because they ignored
14-Year-Old Sues to be Israel's Youngest Rabbi
Moshe Raziel Sharify, 14, filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court on Sunday asking that
the Rabbinate be forced to grade an ordination exam he took. Sharify, a child prodigy with
an impressive grasp of biblical and Talmudic studies would become Israel's youngest rabbi
if he were to be ordained after passing the test.
The affair began when Sharify was allowed to take the ordination test despite his age,
which was clearly printed on his application to sit for the exam. When he arrived to take
the exam he faced opposition from Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar.
Rabbi Amar seemed to be unaware that his colleague, Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger,
had given Sharify permission to be tested.
While Rabbi Amar eventually agreed to allow Sharify to be tested, the Rabbinate has
refused to grade his test, stating that according to internal rules, the minimal age to
become a rabbi is 22 and that he should not have been allowed to write the
Prior to registering for the test Sharify had been tested on his knowledge of Jewish
law by several renowned rabbis, including Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Tzfat,
Rabbi Chaim Bezek, a senior dayan (religious judge) in the courts of Tiveria and Tzfat,
and Rabbi Gidon Ben-Moshe, the head of Jerusalem's religious court. He had been ordained
to give Jewish legal rulings on matters pertaining to Sabbath observance.
Sharify believes that he passed the ordination exam. His suit - filed by his father's
law office - mentions many famed rabbis of the past and present who were ordained at a
young age, among them Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, and the Chofetz Chaim.
In addition, Sharify notes that a 17-year-old young man was once allowed to take the
ordination exam, and argues that if an exception was made for that man, one should be made
for him as well.
Sharify's father, Dr. Nissan Sharify, said he is not pleased with the way the Rabbinate
has handled the affair. He accused Rabbi Amar of failing to meet with the Sharify family
to discuss the matter.
The suit alleges, "The defendants misled the plaintiff and treated him in a scornful,
humiliating manner. In doing so, they ignored the fundamentals of Jewish tradition, and
ignored the basic norms by which a normal society operates."
Said a prominent rabbi who asked to remain unidentified: "In Judaism, not all halakhic
questions are black and white and can be answered using the logic and knowledge that are
tested on written examinations. There are also those questions whose answers call for
acquired wisdom, life experience and maturity within halakhic parameters. Young geniuses
who have been ordained in the past were not expected to begin to serve the public in that
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