Newsletter : 5fax0126.txt
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>PD Jan. 26, 1995, V3, #18
Arafat Flies to Amman for Hussein Meeting
By Al Pessin (Amman)
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat is in Jordan to formally end the
dispute that has soured his relations with King Hussein for the
past several months.
Arafat arrived to full head-of-state honors on a Jordanian plane
sent to bring him from an Egyptian airport in Sinai (Al Arish), 30
miles outside the Gaza autonomous area. He and the king are
expected to sign agreements ending their six-month feud over
stewardship of Jerusalem's Islamic holy places and the Jordanian
peace treaty with Israel.
Reports say in the documents the Palestinians will formally endorse
the Israel-Jordan treaty, and Jordan will promise to turn the holy
sites over to the Palestinians if and when they gain control of
Jerusalem -- something Israel says will never happen.
Israel Decides to Build Homes for Settlers
By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)
Israel's government has approved the construction of hundreds of
new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank ringing Jerusalem.
The decision comes despite a pledge by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
to freeze most building in Israeli settlements.
The ministerial committee was appointed following Palestinian
protests over reports of the housing ministry's plans to construct
tens of thousands of housing units in the West Bank. The government
had pledged to the United States and to the Palestinians it would
freeze building there.
Palestinian leaders have warned that the peace talks will collapse
unless Israel stops all settlement construction.
The ministerial committee met for the first time Wednesday. The
group, headed by Rabin, authorized the building of 800 apartments
in Maale Adumim, a satellite town of 20,000 residents. Another
1,000 apartments are to built during the next two years, all with
private money. And the committee ended restrictions on building in
the settlement of Betar.
Profile of a Terrorist
By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)
Israel is cracking down on militant Islamic organizations in the
occupied territories in response to a suicide bombing Sunday when
19 people were killed - most of them soldiers. Israel is also
demanding stronger preventive action by the Palestinian authority
against the Islamic Jihad and other militant Muslim groups that
attack Israeli targets. In the Gaza Strip many consider the
suicide bombers local heroes -- not terrorists -- as most foreign
leaders, including those in the Arab world, have branded them.
Palestinian police arrested Islamic Jihad spiritual leader Sheikh
Abdallah Shami here at the family home of one of the suicide
bombers, where a wake is being held. In Gaza the bomber, Anwar
Sukar, is considered a holy fighter, a martyr for the Palestinian
His wake is held in the Sejayiyah neighborhood of Gaza City -- an
area known as a stronghold of the Islamic Jihad. One of the
mourners says people in Gaza feel great happiness because of
Sunday's attack which killed so many Israeli soldiers. He says that
the military action, as he calls it, was in revenge for the
killings by Israeli troops of Palestinian police earlier this
month, and the assassination of an Islamic Jihad leader.
One young man calls himself another worshiper waiting to go on
a mission for God's sake. He says he'll be the next suicide
bomber against an Israeli target. A man at the wake has offered
to bring him to Western journalists. The ground rules are clear
-- we can't ask his name, or background --no questions about his
training or targets.
The young man is about 20, with huge brown eyes and long lashes.
His beard has only just begun to grow. He speaks in formal,
He says his most sacred duty as a Muslim is Shehada, Martyrdom, to
die for the sake of God. The fastest way to please God, he says,
is to fight against the Jews. This fight will continue until
they are destroyed or until they accept being a part of a Islamic
The suicide bombers are more than daring heroes in the Gaza Strip
and the Israeli occupied West Bank, they are considered models to
Gaza veterinarian Saud a-Shawa, who describes himself simply an
Islamist, rejects the label of a suicide operation. He says
suicide is forbidden in Islam. Dr. a-Shawa also admires the
bombers, whom he credits with great military skill in managing to
avoid numerous Israeli army checkpoints and penetrate into the
heart of Israel.
"These young men, the holy fighters of the Islamic government,
carrying their souls on their hands and passing through these
checkpoints with thousands of these soldiers on the streets and
everywhere and reaching their aim and target -- target from the
military point, it is marvelous. So, (I think) they are better
Attacks by Islamic extremists have killed 52 Israelis since
October. Seventeen Palestinians have been killed by Israelis in
the same period. The bloodshed is fueling israeli opposition to
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's government and its peace policies.
According to Fathi Shiqaqi, one of the founders of the Islamic
Jihad, 70 men have volunteered for suicide missions. Those who
support the group's radical reading of Islam and its political
program that says the Jews must be driven from all Palestine, say
the attacks will continue, until, in the words of the would-be
martyr -- the day of judgment comes or Palestine is liberated.
Wiesel: All Germans Should Remember the Holocaust
By Evans Hays (Bonn)
A Nobel Prize winner and a survivor of the Nazis' death camp at
Auschwitz, Elie Wiesel, says all Germans, the elderly as
well as the young, must never forget their country's dark past
during World War 2. Wiesel's remarks came in a German newspaper in
advance of the Holocaust commemoration at Auschwitz, in Poland.
Wiesel, who won the Peace Prize in 1986, told the German newspaper
"Young World" (Junge Welt) that everyone must deal with the past.
To avoid doing that, Wiesel said, would be wrong and deceitful.
But he said this does not mean young Germans must feel guilty
about crimes committed by the Nazis. Wiesel said young Germans are
not guilty of the Holocaust.
Wiesel heads the US delegation to the commemorative events at
The parliament in Germany's state of North Rhine-Westphalia has
held its own commemoration for the Holocaust.
The parliament put aside its regular business Wednesday morning
and after a solemn musical introduction turned its attention to
Parliament President Ingeborg Friebe said no one should ever
forget the horror of the Holocaust. She said the death camp and
the extermination of the Jews were a part of Germany's past.
She said the memory of Auschwitz serves as a reminder that people
must fight against racism, intolerance, terror and inhumanity.
Also speaking to parliament was Herman Langbein, an Auschwitz
survivor. Langbein said that all too often people speak of
Auschwitz as a hell, or something unreal.
But he said Auschwitz was a reality, the product of German
national socialism and a people's blind obedience to authority.
The Real Oskar Schindler
By Wayne Corey (Krakow, Poland)
The 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp of
Auschwitz this week brings to mind one man who saved more than
1,000 Jews. It took a Hollywood film to make the name of Oskar
Schindler known to millions of people.
Steven Spielberg's highly praised film, "Schindler's List," was
made in Krakow about a real man, unknown even to most people living
here. That man, Oskar Schindler, came to Krakow from Germany in
1940 -- not to save the 60,000 Jews in the town from Nazi
persecution. He came here to exploit cheap Jewish labor, so he
could quickly make a fortune.
But it was in this shabby industrial town that Oskar Schindler
became something more than a war profiteer, who betrayed, and
eventually left his devoted wife, Emilie.
First, though, he took over the luxurious apartment owned by the
Nussbaum family when the Nazis forced all Jews to move to a
ghetto across the Vistula River.
Schindler, no doubt, had no moral qualms about taking advantage
of the suffering of Jews for his own benefit. He also took over a
small Jewish factory, whose owner went bankrupt before the Second
The factory, at 4 Lipowa Street, just outside the Jewish ghetto,
was enlarged. Seven hundred-fifty Jewish workers were brought in
to make pots and pans, considered essential to the Nazi war effort.
Some of those workers recall how elegant Schindler always appeared
when he entered the factory. They remember the strong, but
pleasant smell of his cologne.
As time went on, Schindler found it more and more difficult to
ignore what the Nazis were doing to the Jews. He persuaded
his good friend, the commandant of a concentration camp here, to
give him more Jews for his factory, even though they were not
Eventually, Schindler's list of allegedly essential employees,
included about 1,200 names. By being on Schindler's list,
the Jews avoided certain death in Nazi concentration camps.
In 1944, as the Soviet Red Army was advancing to the west, Oskar
Schindler moved his factory and its employees from Krakow to what
was then Czechoslovakia.
At the end of the war, Schindler and his wife settled in Argentina,
but he returned to Germany alone later, and died in 1974.
Emilie (his wife) still lives on the edge of Buenos Aires, and is
writing a book about her life and that of her late husband.
One detects some bitterness here among ordinary Poles because of
Oskar Schindler's belated fame. A Polish woman who helped retrace
Schindler's steps says he looked out for himself first, then he did
what he could for the Jews.
Confessing Your Sins to a Computer
In Germany, Roman Catholics do not have to see a priest to
confess. A new computer program offers absolution and penance for
250 different misdeeds and sins--from violation of one of the Ten
Commandments to using ozone-layer destroying chloroflourocarbons.
The computer produces prayers to be said to gain absolution.
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