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  Israel Faxx                                      \/ /  \/ /
  Sept 29, 1994 Volume 2, #177                     / /\__/_/\
  Electronic World Communications, Inc.           /__\ \_____\
  8916 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215             \  /
  Internet: ewcnews@tso.uc.edu Phone: (513) 563-7424   \/
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King Hussein Pits Himself Against Arafat

By Mohamed Ghuneim (Amman)

King Hussein of Jordan declared that he was relinquishing authority over Islamic shrines and religious affairs in the West Bank. But he reaffirmed his resolve to continue Jordan's control of the Islamic holy places in Jerusalem.

The decision to retain Jordan's authority over Muslim sites in Jerusalem and cut ties with others in the West Bank was taken in a Cabinet meeting presided by King Hussein. It said all religious endowments -- and Islamic courts in the West Bank except Jerusalem -- are to be included in Jordan's 1988 decision to sever all legal and administrative links with the West Bank.

The move is seen as a new stage in the conflict between Jordan and the PLO over Jerusalem. The king was angered by a Palestine self-rule authority announcement it will be taking charge of holy shrines and religious affairs in the occupied territories, including Jerusalem.

The Jordanian-Palestinian discord over Jerusalem erupted following the PLO's agreement with Israel on self-rule in Washington last September. Since that time, King Hussein has reaffirmed Jordan's historical responsibility toward holy places in Jerusalem and maintained that he accepts no sovereignty over Jerusalem other than the authority of God.

Gamla Will Not Fall Again
Commentary: Hatikvah News Service

The ancient Jewish city in the southern Golan Heights was called Gamla because the shape of the site resembles that of a camel's (gamal in Hebrew) back. Terraced housing built of the local black basalt (volcanic) rock covered one side of the "hump." The other side, much steeper, was treacherous and unsuitable for habitation. Gamla was well fortified, both naturally and by walls. Then, as now, its fate was tied to that of Jerusalem. The Jews of Gamla fought the harsh decrees of the Romans just as the Jews of Jerusalem did, to keep Judea (Israel) free and independent.

The Romans eventually succeeded in breaching the walls of Gamla. Four thousand Jews were killed in the fighting in the city while 5,000 others fled to the top of the "hump" and were either pushed off the cliffs by the Romans or chose suicide. Standing on those rocky heights where the eagles make their nests, one can almost hear the screams of those long-ago Jews. An audiovisual presentation at the archeological museum in Katzrin relates the story of Gamla's last battle in the year 67 C.E.

In 1967 C.E., the Jews returned to the Golan and Gamla, having fought off the attacking Syrians, pushing them off the heights from which they threatened the Galilee. Today there are 13,000 Jewish residents on the Golan -- modern day pioneers who are now fighting for their right to live in this area which is vital to Israel both for its water resources and its defense advantages. In mid-September, the citizens of the Golan set up their main protest tent at Gamla. The significance of the choice of Gamla is clear. Some people there have proclaimed a hunger strike until the government of Israel declares that under no circumstances will Israel leave the Golan again. The Jews are once again waging a battle in and for Gamla to keep the Golan Jewish. Gamla will not fall again!

German Museum Tells Contemporary History

By Evans Hays

Germany's new Museum of Contemporary History is alive and well, despite some bad reviews in the press when it opened recently. The museum shows how Germans survived World War 2, were divided between East and West during the Cold War, but overcame that division to become a united country again.

Museum visitors can walk through layers of history, beginning with the Hitler years, the concentration camps, the persecution. The museum shows life as it was for ordinary Germans and their victims.

The exhibits include everything from the mundane to the horrible -- from war-time ration books to photographs of Nazi executions. The path through German history moves from the Nazi era to the post-war years and the cold war. It includes a walk through an American airplane used during the Berlin Airlift. From there, the visitor moves into the 1950s and up to the present day.

Some critics have said the museum does not devote sufficient space to the division of Germany during the Cold War and life under communism in the East. Museum spokeswoman Helena von Wersebe rejected that criticism. "That is indeed a misconception and unfortunately many people still have that misconception."

There are close to 7,000 exhibits, more than most viewers can appreciate in one day. But von Wersebe says that is part of the museum's goal. She says the museum wants people to return to see experience their own history.

She says watching the visitors in the museum can be a moving experience. "And I must say it's been very, very, positive, and very touching. I have often seen especially older people come out in tears almost as they have relived part of their own history. I have seen young children or grandchildren with grandparents and families come through. And I have seen them explain history to each other."

Von Wersebe says the museum has not tried to gloss over the crimes of the Nazi era as it portrays modern German history. Asked if the museum wanted to avoid the painful topic of the Nazi years, she replied: "I don't think so. I think we look fairly at the positives and the negatives. It's not our intention to show only the positive, but to show history as much as possible as it really was. It's our interest to be as objective as possible. Specifically to your point of glossing over the National Socialist dictatorship, we don't do that. As a matter of fact, roughly three or four times in the museum we actually look at this topic very specifically.

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