Newsletter : 4fax0915.txt
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Israel Faxx \/ / \/ /
Sept 16, 1994 Volume 2, #168 / /\__/_/\
Electronic World Communications, Inc. /__\ \_____\
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Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (513) 563-7424 \/
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin will sign a special decree in
the near future that will allow Israelis with dual citizenship to
Cabinet Approves Participation in Haitian Peacekeeping Force
Yediot Aharonot reports that the Cabinet decided to respond
positively to a U.S request that Israel participate in a planned
international peacekeeping force in Haiti. The newspaper adds that
the Israeli force will not participate in the planned invasion of
Haiti. The Israeli Cabinet emphasized that the Israeli force will
only take part in the peacekeeping operation.
Message from Yitzhak Rabin to the Jewish Communities in the Diaspora
From Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel and the heart of
the Jewish people, I extend the traditional greeting, 'G'mar
Chatima Tova' - may you and the members of your families, and Jews
everywhere be inscribed for a good year...
Happy New Year to you. May this be a year of peace and security, a
year of prosperity, and a year in which the Jewish people is
blessed with fulfillment. In the words of our traditional prayer,
Grant peace, goodness and blessings, grace, loving kindness and
mercy upon us and all of Israel your nation.
Yom Kippur in Israel
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Israel marked the holiest day of the Jewish year Wednesday evening
and Thursday amid continued progress toward peace and the
potentially violent backlash against it.
Meanwhile Syria's foreign minister called on Israel to respond
quickly to a conciliatory speech made last week by President Hafez
Israeli police are holding nine Israelis accused of planning
attacks on Palestinian targets. Officials say they stopped the
men just as they were about to launch an attack. And Israeli
settlers in Palestinian areas and on the Golan Heights have begun
a series of protests aimed at preventing the Israeli government
from handing over their land to the Palestinians or the Syrians
as part of any deal.
At the same time, the radical Palestinian groups, Islamic Jihad
and Hamas, remain active -- and Islamic Jihad was in the position
Tuesday of having to deny reports it planned a series of new
attacks, with foreigners as the targets.
Still, the atmosphere on this Yom Kippur is very different than
in the past. Israelis no longer face the imminent threat of
war -- such as the one that broke out on Yom Kippur in 1973. And
in spite of the opposition, the peace process with the
Palestinians, Jordan and Syria is moving forward.
Golan Settlers Initiate Protests
By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)
Israeli settlers stepped up their campaign against an Israeli
withdrawal from the Golan Heights. The settlers responded to
Israel's latest offer for a negotiated withdrawal from the Golan
Heights, which Israel captured in the 1967 and 1973 Mideast wars,
and annexed in 1981. The phased withdrawal plan has received a cold
response from Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara, who says it
falls short of the total pullout needed for full peace.
Whatever the government's strategy is on talks with Syria over
the Heights, the issue has divided Rabin's own Labor Party.
Several Labor members of parliament say they would join the Golan
settlers in protesting any plans for withdrawal. They said Rabin's
plan is a reversal of his election promise never to withdraw from
the Golan, from which Syria used to launch artillery shells into
The opposition Likud Party has already said that if it wins the
next national elections, it will not honor any agreement by
the present government calling for handing back the Golan.
Former Likud Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir is outraged by any plan
to withdraw to the 1967 borders, which he says Israel considered
indefensible at the time.
"All our country is very small and the Golan Heights is a very
small territory, and it has no value for the Syrians; for us it
is very important from the strategic point of view, and every point
For his part, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk a-Shara rejects
the idea of a gradual withdrawal. Syria has long demanded that
Israel return all of the strategic Golan Heights as a precondition
to negotiating a peace treaty. In an interview broadcast over
Israeli TV, a-Shara said he could not understand why it should
take as long as three years to evacuate such a small area.
Rabin has promised that any substantial withdrawal from the Golan
will be put to a referendum. But that is easier said than done,
since there are no Israeli constitutional provisions for a
Peres Sees Syrian Peace
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Israel's foreign minister has called Saturday's speech by Syrian
President Hafez al-Assad a "declaration of peace," and says Israel
is ready for serious negotiations. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres
says Assad's speech did not make the solution to Israel/Syria
differences any clearer. But at least, he said, "the air is
Peres acknowledged that Assad again called for a full Israeli
withdrawal from the Golan Heights -- something Israel says it is
not prepared to do, at least not immediately. He called that
statement a "complicated side" to the speech.
Israel has offered a small withdrawal of its forces from the
Heights in return for full peace, and then further negotiations on
a territorial settlement after three years.
Peres said any two parties are bound to be far apart at the
start of talks. And he is particularly pleased Assad spoke about
a full range of relations, which is what Israel wants.
Still, Peres said he has his doubts about the possibility of
a meeting with his Syrian counterpart at the UN General Assembly
in New York this month. That is the kind of direct, high-level
contact Israel and US mediators believe is necessary to make
significant progress toward Israel-Syria peace.
Peace Depends On Money
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Israeli and Palestinian officials agree one of the key tests of
their peace accord will be their ability to bring some degree of
prosperity to the Palestinian territories. The main challenge is
in Gaza, the densely-populated and largely-impoverished strip on
the Mediterranean coast.
Gazans are quick to tell visitors that since Israeli troops
withdrew from much of the Strip in May, people can go out at night.
No more curfews. They also note that there are no more clashes
in the streets with Israeli troops, no more random detentions and
searches, and the children have returned to the schools.
But poverty and unemployment are still rampant, and people complain
about the slow pace of economic change, blaming both international
donors and the new Palestinian authority. Yasir Najar of the
Palestinian Planning Ministry knows that must be changed or unrest
will break out again in Gaza, this time against the Palestinian
For some in Gaza, their way of complaining would likely be violent.
And that is something both Palestinian and Israeli officials want
to avoid, including Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.
"The great test of this agreement will be the economic one. I do
believe that in spite of all the transparent difficulties, there is
also invisible potential. I do believe there are a number of
important enterprises that are going to be built in Gaza, because
in Gaza, the main problem is to provide employment to raise the
standard of living."
Peres says Israel shares the responsibility to help develop Gaza.
But even with Israeli support and an international aid effort,
change has been slow to come to Gaza's economy. The Autonomy
Authority has created some jobs, mainly cleaning the streets and
painting the slogan-covered walls. When political and financial
disputes are resolved and large amounts of international aid
begin to flow, the authority will be able to do more. But
officials and experts agree the long-term prosperity of Gaza
depends on the development of private businesses, particularly in
That means getting investment money into the hands of people such
as Nabil el-Jaru, a Gaza businessman who wants to expand his small
factory, producing household appliances.
El-Jaru's company assembles washing machines in a small factory
behind his store on the main shopping road of Gaza city.
Difficulties of communications, travel and politics force him to
sell most of what he makes locally, and sales have increased only
very slowly. He hopes Palestinian autonomy will enable him to
export, build a bigger factory, and hire more workers.
El-Jaru has managed to visit several Arab countries, and even to
show his products there. He believes there is a market abroad for
goods made in Gaza, if only he had the space and the money to make
El-Jaru's plans are big. He says the loans of up to $80,000, which
might be available from foreign donors, fall far short of his
needs. He wants to build a $700,000 factory -- a plan he admits
might have to wait for a while.
But the initial stages of Gaza economic development cannot wait.
Officials of Israel, the Palestinian area and many foreign
countries agree they must move fast to bring jobs to Gaza. Some
money has been moved, and this week the US announced another $87
million will be made available for loans to Palestinian businesses.
But so far, from the people of Gaza's point of view, aid and
investment have not moved fast at all.
The Israel-Palestinian peace accord was signed a year ago.
Palestinian autonomy is only four months old. But already, the
people of the refugee camps and crowded streets of Gaza are
Left-Wing Calls for Amending 'Law of Return'
Hatikvah News Service
Some call it Moshiach times, some just stand bewildered, but the
fact is that prominent figures in the Israeli left who for
years have vigorously fought against the amendment of the Law of
Return known as the "Who is a Jew" law, are at the forefront
calling for its amendment.
Responding to the reports that hundreds of millions of Indians
considered themselves descendants of the lost tribe of Menashe and
wanted to come to Israel, Uri Gordon, head of the Jewish Agency's
Immigration and Absorption department, who was previously adamantly
against the amendment of the law, is now calling on the government
to change the law immediately.
Referring to millions of people living in poverty in Third World
countries who claim they are of Jewish ancestry, Gordon said,
"These are people who will do anything to reach the West. Other
western countries have closed their doors to immigrants and we do
the opposite. According to the Law of Return it is sufficient to
have a Jewish grandfather, even if he is an Arab terrorist, in
order to make aliyah," he lamented. He warned that the Law of
Return in its present form will throw Israeli society into turmoil
and harm the character of the Jewish state.
Israel is now also flooded with thousands of non-Jews who
immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union and other
countries and want to undergo Reform and Conservative conversions
and be registered as Jews, although according to Jewish Law, if one
undergoes a non-Halachic conversion as performed by the Reform and
Conservative movements, the convert remains a gentile.
According to the present Law of Return, conversions performed by
Reform and Conservative rabbis inside Israel proper are not valid.
Last month, the Reform movement in Israel petitioned the High Court
of Justice about a gentile who underwent a Reform conversion but
the Interior Ministry refused to register her as Jewish. The
Court's decision, which is expected to be handed down sometimes in
October, will no doubt be a landmark decision which will
reverberate throughout the world.
But Reform and Conservative conversions which were performed
abroad, according to the present "Who Is a Jew" law, are considered
Rabbi Yehuda Etzyoni, director of the Committee for The Integrity
of the Jewish Nation, an ad hoc committee that for over 22 years
has been waging a vigorous battle to amend the Law of Return, He
said, "Now everyone sees what the Committee had foreseen and warned
about many years ago, that unless the Law of Return is repealed
immediately, Israel will be flooded with thousands of non-Jews who
will pose a danger not only to the religious character of the state
but to the security of the country as well." Therefore, he said,
"the committee urges the Knesset to immediately amend the law to
read that a Jew is only one born to a Jewish mother or converted
according to Halacha (Jewish Law).
Pork Fat Makes Deadlier Bullet
Hatikvah News Service
New York Times Magazine (August 28) reports that Rabbi/inventor
Moshe Antleman of Rehovot has developed a singularly nasty
weapon for the next war: a bullet that contains pork fat.
Antleman developed the lard-laden ammo because devout Muslims
believe any contact with pig flesh robs the soul of its chance to
The Times Magazine said Antleman has offered his innovation to West
Bank settlers, and he also hopes to interest the Pentagon in this
"refined form of military pork."
According to the Magazine, Antleman said the original idea for his
bullet came from the United States military. It improvised a
"Paradise Lost" tactic against Muslims during the conquest of the
Philippines, burying the enemy dead in pigskins.
George Burns was admitted to a hospital this week. But his agent
says the 98-year-old comedian and singer is feeling well enough to
joke with the nurses. Burns was hospitalized Monday for surgery to
drain fluid from the surface of his brain. The problem is a result
of Burns' fall in a bathtub a couple of months ago. His
representatives say he's expected to spend about a week in the
hospital. Burns has often said that he can't die because he's
"booked." His 100th-birthday appearances in the US and Great
Britain, are only 16 months away.
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