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>Israel Faxx
>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 cause.

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, literary Arabic.

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 state.

The suicide bombers are more than daring heroes in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli occupied West Bank, they are considered models to be emulated.

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 than anyone."

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 Auschwitz.

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 the Holocaust.

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 World War. 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 all needed. 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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