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  Israel Faxx                                      \/ /  \/ /
  August 24, 1994 Volume 2, #158                   / /\__/_/\
  Electronic World Communications, Inc.           /__\ \_____\
  8916 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215             \  /
  Internet: ewcnews@tso.uc.edu Phone: (513) 563-7424   \/
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In Springfield, Mo., friends of a fish named Ethel are mourning her loss and promising not to eat her. At about 20 pounds Ethel was believed to be the largest bass in captivity. She died of old age at her home, a fishing-equipment company. The owners plan a memorial observance for the fish later this week.

Peres: Give Germany a Permanent Security Council Seat

By Evans Hays (Bonn)

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, on a visit to Bonn, says Germany should play a more active role in world affairs and have a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Peres' visit to Germany has focused on political and economic issues.

At a news conference in Bonn, Peres told reporters the world must view Germany now not with a view to the past but with a view to the future.

He said Germany should play a larger role in world politics and deserves a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, which now has five permanent members.

Peres also called on the European Union to expand its economic cooperation with Israel. Germany is the current president of the union. The Israeli foreign minister has also urged Germany to invest more in his country.

During a meeting with German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel after his arrival in Bonn Monday, Peres raised the issue of German relations with Iran. Israeli Ambassador Avi Primor said Germany believes a dialogue with Iran is the best way to get Iran to change its policies, which Israel, the United States, and other countries believe include the support of terrorism. Primor said Israel does not agree with this view.

German Neo-Nazi Parties Join Forces

By Evans Hays (Bonn)

With Germany's federal election for a new parliament and chancellor less than two months away, two right-wing extremist parties have announced plans to join forces in the political campaign. This has prompted the German Interior Ministry to order an investigation of the Republican Party and keep it under surveillance.

Interior Minister Manfred Kanther has announced he has ordered agents from his ministry to keep a close watch on the Republican Party following the announcement that it was joining forces with the German Peoples Union for the election campaign.

The Republicans, who are led by a former Nazi SS member, have long claimed to be a conservative party representing traditional German values. They have distanced themselves from the right-wing and neo-Nazi violence that has plagued Germany since unification four years ago.

But Kanther says the Republicans, by aligning themselves with the German Peoples' Union, were sliding ever closer to extremism. Kanther, in unusually blunt language for a cabinet minister, said the Peoples' Union had been extremist for years and has no rivals in what he described as political repulsiveness. He said any organization that aligns itself with the Peoples' Union has dropped its mask of respectability.

Reacting to a wave of right-wing violence directed mainly at foreigners and Jews, authorities in Germany banned several small neo-Nazi groups. But so far they have refrained from banning the two biggest organizations: the Republicans and the German Peoples' Union.

Right-wing political organizations have only a small, although highly visible, following in Germany and most experts agree they cannot win the five percent of voter support required to enter parliament.

But their existence is an embarrassment to the government, which itself has come under fire for not doing enough to stamp out neo-Nazi violence.

Early Empowerment Agreement to be Signed Today

The Israeli and Palestinian delegations in Cairo have begun drafting the final version of an agreement on early empowerment - the transfer of certain civil responsibilities to Palestinians in the West Bank. Head of the Israeli delegation to the talks in Cairo Major General Danny Rothschild said he believes an agreement will be signed today.

According to the report, the Civil Administration in the West Bank will begin transferring authority for education in the Ramallah area today. Then, tomorrow, education responsibilities for Nablus, Jenin, Kalkilya and Tulkarm will be transferred to the Palestinians.

Amendment to New Capital Gains Tax Allows for Deduction of Capital Losses

The Income Tax Commission is currently drafting the government's proposed capital gains tax legislation which will include an amendment allowing for the deduction of capital losses. The benchmark Mishtanim index of stocks traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange rose 3% Tuesday. The Finance Ministry forecasts that the gross domestic product will grow by 6.2% in 1994.

Schindler's Hits Videotape Market

By Keming Kuo (Washington)

One of the most highly-acclaimed films of the decade, "Schindler's List," is being released on videotape this month -- and in a special package allowing even further study of the events surrounding the life and times of Oskar Schindler.

Schindler's List," director Steven Spielberg's Academy Award-winning epic about the Holocaust and Oskar Schindler's humanitarian efforts, has been seen by millions of moviegoers. Since its release last December, "Schindler's List" has grossed more than $300 million at theaters worldwide. But some screenings in the United States of the film have been marred by insensitive youths who have talked or laughed through portions of the film.

This month, "Schindler's List" is being released on video [$100 each] so families and groups may watch the film together at home or in schools. A limited number of special collector's editions [$140] will include a letter from Spielberg, a book of photographs from the production and a copy of Thomas Keneally's novel, on which the film is based. Spielberg and the film's director of photography, Janusz Kaminski, reportedly spent a month ensuring the film-to-video transfers was done just right. Each limited-edition set also includes a compact disc of composer John Williams' Oscar-winning soundtrack, with Williams conducting members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and violin soloist Itzhak Perlman.

U.S. Distributors Look to Israeli Films

The American Independent Film Producers Association, separate from the big commercial Hollywood production corporations, has been looking for films to distribute and has decided that Israel represents one of three foreign sources to take part in this year's marketing campaign.

On September 18 a seven-day screening of Israeli movies will take place at the Angelica Film Center in New York, which has gained a prestigious reputation in the past 10 years. It specializes in small-budget productions with relatively new directors. Five Israeli movies will be shown in the September screenings, including 'The Flying Camel' (Dir: Rami Na'aman); 'A New Land,' (Dir: Orna Ben Dor); 'Coffee with Lemon' (Dir: Leonid Gurevitch); 'Black' (Dir. Shmuel Hasifri); and 'In the Name of Love' (Dir: Idit Shahori). None of these movies has yet been released in Israel.

Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit Opens at the Vatican

By Peggy Polk (Rome)

When they agreed to establish diplomatic relations last December 30, the Vatican and the State of Israel opened the door to dialogue after nearly 2,000 years of mutual mistrust. A tangible proof of this new era of friendship is the exhibition of fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls on view at the Vatican until October 2.

The Vatican setting for the exhibition could hardly be more different from the desert where the Dead Sea Scrolls originated. It is the Salone Sistina -- built in the late 16th century during the reign of Pope Sisto IV as the main reading room of the Vatican Library and now part of the Vatican museums. It is a huge room, walls and ceilings covered with delicate frescos.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority has brought some of the Judean desert to the Vatican -- huge photographs of the limestone caves where the scrolls were found between 1947 and 1956, and of the ruined city of Qumran where they are believed to have been written by a Jewish sect called the Essenes between 200 BCE and 70 CE.

It was the dry, constant temperature of the desert that preserved the fragments of goatskin. Glass display cases maintain that temperature and humidity, and light flashes on them for only seconds at a time.

The Dead Sea Scrolls have traveled to the United States several times but never before to the Vatican. According to Massimo Ceresa of the Vatican Library, the Israeli Antiquities Authority proposed the exhibition within weeks of the agreement to establish diplomatic relations.

The Israelis organized and mounted the exhibition, bringing the special display cases from Jerusalem. But Ceresa says the Israelis did suggest a Vatican contribution. "We were asked to put some of our manuscripts as a, let's say, as a, to enrich the exhibition with the manuscripts of those authorities who talked about the Essenes."

The authorities include Pliny the Elder, Josephus Flavius and Philo of Alexandria, who lived in the period of the Essenes.

The scrolls contain quotations from Psalms, from Leviticus and other books of the Old Testament, biblical commentaries, apocalyptic visions, liturgical works and what appear to be the rules by which the Essenes lived.

Fragmentary though they are, they supply a wealth of information about a time that was crucial for Jews and Christians alike -- when the foundations were laid for rabbinical Judaism and the early Christian church was emerging.


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