Newsletter : 11fx1125.txt
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Fayyad Warns: No Tax Money - No More PA
The Palestinian Authority may soon fail financially and cease to exist, its prime
minister warned on Thursday. Salam Fayyad warned that if Israel does not resume the
transfer of tax revenues it collects for the PA, the entity will collapse economically and
thus cease to exist. Already now, Fayyad claimed, the PA cannot pay salaries to its
Israel's Channel 10 News reported that Fayyad made the comments following a meeting
with Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. According to the report, Fayyad
said that the collapse of PA institutions "is advancing rapidly toward the point at which
they will stop operating."
"We have no money," Fayyad was quoted as having said. "It's not about donations or
international assistance we receive," he added, blaming the Israeli decision to freeze the
taxes it collects for the PA as being the reason for the impending collapse.
A recent World Bank report, while admitting that the PA is undergoing a financial
crisis, said the crisis was primarily due to the lack of donor countries fulfilling their
pledges to fork over billions of dollars to Ramallah.
Israeli officials decided to halt the transfer of taxes to the PA as part of a round of
sanctions against the entity, following its ascension as a 'full-member state' to UNESCO.
Last week, Israel's cabinet voted to maintain the freeze. Israel transfers some $100
million in tax payments to the PA every month.
Foreign Minister Støre reportedly said Fayyad is correct in saying that the PA
will soon cease to exist, and compared the Israeli decision to waterboarding, the method
of torture used by the United States on security prisoners, when interrogators simulate
drowning by pouring water on the head of the prisoner. "This is waterboarding-style
torture only that it has to do with the economy."
Sarkozy: My Remarks About Netanyahu 'Taken Out of Context'
French President Nicolas Sarkozy met for lunch on Thursday with leaders of the French
Jewish community, and said that his description of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu as a liar "was taken out of context." The meeting was held at the
Élysée Palace in Paris.
Sarkozy made the comment during a private conversation with Obama during a G20 summit
in the French Riviera town of Cannes earlier this month and the remarks were overheard by
a small number of journalists but not initially reported.
"You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you," Obama
replied, according to wire service reports.
"I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," Sarkozy told Obama during a frank exchange
where the U.S. president took him to task for backing a Palestinian request for membership
of the UN cultural heritage agency UNESCO.
"The President reaffirmed his friendship and support for the state of Israel from the
very beginning of our conversation," Francis Kalifat, one of the Jewish community leaders,
told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Kalifat added that Sarkozy also stressed his "strong, long relationship and friendship
with Netanyahu and his family," and "expressed his firm desire to move beyond the
misunderstanding." Kalifat told JTA that Sarkozy provided a number of explanations for his
remarks about Netanyahu, but asked the Jewish leaders not to publicize them.
PA TV Commemorates Arafat: "Death for the Sake of Palestine"
On the recent anniversary of former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat's
death, official PA TV produced and broadcast a music video which glorified "death for the
sake of Palestine." The video was translated by the Palestinian Media Watch research
institution and the translated video was presented on its website.
The song honors Arafat as someone who was "friends with the rifle," who "declared the
revolution and continued to fight," "did not tire," and "did not give up on the
The lyrics end with a promise to Arafat to continue his militant path: "We swear at
your grave, by Allah, not to forget your name and your oath. We have not abandoned your
The music video portrays Arafat as the military man he was most of his life, and does
not make any mention of Arafat as a peace negotiator and Nobel Peace Prize recipient. The
video was broadcast daily for a week on PA TV, which is directly under the control of
current PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Official PA TV often honors terrorists who carried out deadly attacks against Israelis.
Abbas has been personally involved in these glorifications.
Rabbinate Presents Pork-Flavored Foie Gras
Israel's Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger on Tuesday announced the discovery of a
special goose species, which tastes exactly like pork. "We are looking into the
possibility of industrial imports of goose," the rabbi said during a culinary conference
at the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, tantalizing the taste buds of every kashrut
observer in Israel.
No virus database has been updated The move presents a real culinary and halachic
revolution, as it offers a solution allowing religious and traditional Jews to discover
the taste of pork, which is forbidden according to Jewish dietary laws.
It turns out that farmers in Spain recently decided to breed geese in
non-industrialized pasture lands. As opposed to the modern methods, they didn't fatten the
geese, but gave them natural food. When the farmers tasted the first chunk of goose liver,
they were amazed. "It tastes like pork," they cried out.
They decided to share the sensational discovery with the chosen people, and sent a
halachic query to Chief Rabbi Metzger. The latter demanded a second opinion, and asked
that the goose liver be sent to three non-Jewish professional chefs in Europe, who are
very familiar with the taste of pork. The three chefs confirmed the discovery of a "rare
Rabbi Metzger struggled with the problem and finally gave his answer: The meat is
completely kosher. His ruling was based on a citation from the Talmud, which states that
for every prohibition God imposed on the people of Israel he created a kosher
substitute with the exact same taste.
So how close are we to a pork-flavored Shabbat meal? Metzger tried to lower
expectations on Tuesday, saying that the geese were still young and that the import of the
mean is still being examined.
"We plan to approve the move and help it happen," the rabbi told Yedioth Ahronoth. "It
could serve as an original Jewish solution for consumers of non-kosher meat, who will be
receiving a proper substitute. As for religious Jews, I believe they will be disgusted at
first, but will eventually get used to it."
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