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Israel Faxx \/ / \/ /
August 4, 1994 Volume 2, #144 / /\__/_/\
Electronic World Communications, Inc. /__\ \_____\
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Internet: email@example.com Phone: (513) 563-7424 \/
A church in Baltimore, Md. Is trying to raise $500,000 for repairs.
And members don't mind getting the money in pennies. Leaders of
Saint Ann's Roman Catholic Church say they hope the church will
collect $500,000 in eight weeks. That would be a lot of pennies --
50 million. Saint Ann's church says they will also accept dollar
Knesset Ratifies Israel-Jordan Peace Agreement
By Art Chimes (Jerusalem)
Israel's Knesset has overwhelmingly approved last week's agreement
between Israel and Jordan. The vote was a lopsided 91-3.
Crossing party lines in a non-binding vote, the Israeli lawmakers
gave near-unanimous approval to the agreement that ended the
46-year state of war between Israel and Jordan.
Before the vote, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin urged passage of the
measure, saying the Washington Declaration is an intermediate step
on the way to the signing of a full peace agreement.
Rabin sought to reassure members of the Knesset that Israel is not
making any concessions on the status of Jerusalem, despite language
in the Washington Declaration acknowledging Jordan's special role
in administering the Muslim holy places here.
On Tuesday, Rabin said Israel did not intend to negotiate with
the Palestinians on the status of Jerusalem until 1996. The
Palestinians want to open talks on Jerusalem immediately in an
effort to maximize their control in the city where they hope to
establish the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Christopher will Travel Down Middle East Road
By Victor Beattie (Washington)
US Secretary of State Warren Christopher resumes his Middle East
shuttle diplomacy later this week with a focus on sparking progress
in negotiations between Israel and Syria. The trip comes as
Israel's foreign minister appealed to Damascus to open a two-track
channel for negotiations.
Christopher leaves Washington Friday for Cairo, then goes to Syria,
Israel, and, finally, Jordan before returning home sometime in the
middle of next week.
The trip comes one week after the historic non-belligerency
agreement signed in Washington between Jordan and Israel. Next
week Christopher will watch Jordan's King Hussein and Israel's
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin open a new border crossing between
their two countries.
The Israel-Jordan agreement is widely viewed as giving momentum
to the more difficult talks between Israel and Syria. Those
talks have been stalled over the future of the Golan Heights --
Syrian territory captured by Israel in 1967 and annexed in 1980.
Syria demands a full Israeli withdrawal, while Israel has offered
a partial withdrawal in exchange for tangible signs of peace,
Christopher has suggested the Syrians need to be more flexible in
As Christopher prepares to depart for the Middle East -- Israeli
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres has called on Syria to enter into
private, as well as open, talks. He says private negotiations
might achieve serious progress, much as they did when Israel
negotiated with the PLO in Oslo.
Jewish Leaders Confer with FBI about Terrorism
By Michele Kelemen (Washington)
Representatives of 17 US Jewish organizations met with the director
of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to discuss recent bomb
attacks on Jewish targets in London and Buenos Aires and potential
threats to US security. The Jewish groups say they are pleased
with the FBI's vigilance, but add that the agency needs more
resources for counter-terrorism efforts.
The chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American
Jewish Organizations, Lester Pollack, described the
one-and-one-half hour meeting in Washington as satisfying. He
says FBI Director Louis Freeh and the Jewish organizations are
all concerned about public safety in the wake of what he calls
the heinous attacks in Britain and Argentina. The bombing in
Buenos Aires last month killed nearly 100 people at a Jewish
Pollack says the FBI is doing what it can to help in that
investigation and the one in Britain and to alert the Jewish
community here in the United States to take safety precautions.
He says the meeting with Freeh also covered what steps can be
taken to improve counter-terrorism in general in the United
U.S. May Prosecute Yankel Rosenbaum Murderer
The United States Attorney General, Janet Reno, has stated that the
United States may seek to prosecute Lemmerick Nelson -- the man
accused of murdering Yankel Rosenbaum -- during the 1993
anti-Semitic black riots in Brooklyn, N.Y. Nelson had been
acquitted of the murder by a jury that was found partying with
Nelson's lawyers shortly after the verdict; however, the US
government may seek to prosecute Nelson for 'violating Rosenbaum's
civil rights.' Rosenbaum was an Australian Jew studying for
rabbinic ordination in New York at the time of his murder. [New
Klezmer Musical Opens to Rave Reviews
By Martin Bush (New York)
Klezmer is sometimes called the music of the Jewish soul. This
rhythmic Eastern European folk music permeates and drives a new
musical called "Shlemiel the First."
"Shlemiel the First" began its stage life in 1974 as a play by the
late Isaac Bashevis Singer, the Nobel Prize-winning American
writer. Robert Brustein has transformed it into a sprightly
musical, sprinkling its whimsical plot with lively dances and
traditional klezmer tunes.
"Shlemiel the First," a kind of Jewish fable, takes place at the
end of the 19th century in Chelm, a tiny agrarian town somewhere in
Eastern Europe. The hero of the musical is "Shlemiel," caretaker
of the village synagogue, a simple, guileless fellow with little
One day the members of the town council decide to send Shlemiel
on a mission. "Journey out into the world," they tell him, "and
inform everyone how astonishingly wise we councilmen are here in
Chelm." Unhesitatingly, Shlemiel goes.
One day into his journey, this synagogue sexton meets a mischievous
fellow, and that precipitates the adventure that follows. "Before
you go to sleep, Shlemiel," advises the mischief-maker, "face your
boots in the direction you want to go in the morning." However,
once Shlemiel is asleep -- according to Larry Block, the actor who
plays Shlemiel -- the prankster faces Shlemiel's boots back toward
"But he's convinced that he's heading out into the world. So when
he comes into Chelm, he's amazed to find a town that looks just
like the town he left but surely couldn't be the town he left. He
even meets a woman who looks very much like his wife and two little
children who look like his children. And this woman, who seems to
be a little nicer than his wife, he feels, and he proceeds to fall
in love with her and she sort of indulges him. She thinks he's a
little crazy and the high point of the play: they reignite their
passion. They had been married for many years and had children
together and kind of gotten bored with each other. And then
through another turn of events, his boots get turned around again.
He comes back to town again thinking he's had this adventure. He
forgives his wife who tells him that another man looking like him
came to town. And everyone lives happily ever after."
Even the wise men of the town council eventually admit their folly,
saying: "We're talking about Chelm where dumb is smart, where
stupidity's an art. We put the horse behind the cart. We never
meet until we part."
"Shlemiel the First," produced by the American Repertory Theatre,
has already played to splendid reviews in New York and
Philadelphia, and on September 21st begins a two-week run in
Cambridge, Mass. It may eventually be made into a television or
motion picture film. Jack Kroll's comments in "Newsweek" magazine
are typical of the critical response to the show. He calls
"Shlemiel the First" "the most fun musical of the season."
Actor Block, who plays the title role, says he notices that
people in the audience seem generally willing to suspend belief
and enjoy the show's naive premise.
"It's very far-fetched, and yet it's so silly and done in such a
stylized way that we accept it as a kind of fable, in the way we
might accept an animal speaking to someone. These events, while
ludicrous, make such a good point of how, seen in a different
context, what is familiar to us takes on a new value, that I
think people do find it delightful."
"Shlemiel, the First," a musical of Jewish origins, is a hit,
attended and enjoyed by audiences of all backgrounds. In New York
Newsday newspaper, critic Jan Stewart praises it as the "hippest,
happiest musical of the year."
An "Israeli" Arab Filmmaker Looks at "the Enemy"
In "Blue and White are Not My Colors," Avner Birnheimer tells the
story of the making of the film "Independence" by Nazar Hasan, a
filmmaker with a master's degree in anthropology from the
University of Haifa who lives in a village near Nazareth in the
Galilee. He describes himself not as an Arab Israeli or Israeli
Arab but rather a Palestinian of Israeli citizenship.
In the film he describes how Israel Independence Day is nothing to
celebrate and that on Memorial Day his people feel uncomfortable
being near Jews when the sirens go off in commemoration, when Jews
stand in silence and all traffic stops.
Hasan is particularly critical of well-meaning liberal Jews writing
and making films about his people. To one such author, Hasan
reacted: "I'm sick of reading what the Jews write about us,
although it's important to know what the enemy thinks about you.
I don't care anymore about these liberal Israeli gestures, and I
don't have the patience anymore for these films showing
Palestinians in Israeli society....They should go write about their
Hasan's film was funded by Israel's Channel 2 Television and has
been entered in the Jerusalem Film Festival.
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