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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Aug. 29, 1995, V3, #158
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Hamas Bombings and the Peace Process

By Adam Phillips (VOA-Washington)

Israel is a tiny sliver of a country, and Jerusalem is almost a small town compared with world capitals like New York, Paris and Beijing. Because of this, whenever Israelis are killed by terrorist violence, the news often affects other Israelis in quite personal ways. Reporter Patricia Golan, who was about to leave for work when she heard the radio news flash about the bus bomb, explains.

"In every case you always know somebody who is somehow involved or someone who knows someone who is involved when someone's been hurt. So, in that sense, it is very personal. Actually, one of the women who was killed in the bus bombing is the older sister of a close friend of mine. And a year ago, there was a bus bombing in Dizengoff in Tel Aviv, and a very close friend of mine was on the bus and was one of the few survivors of that. So, in a sense, just living here, I already know two people who have been in a bus that has been blown up. It's kind of this sickening "deja-vu" where you've seen this horror movie before.

"There are two different things operating here. One is public opinion, and the other is government determination. And the two are not at all the same. Every time there is an attack of this nature, support for the peace process is eroded even more. People's gut reactions is that 'these are Palestinians and how can we hand over control to Palestinians?' And 'our lives will be in danger' and 'Jewish blood is cheap.' And all the rest of the things that people say when they go hit the streets and start to demonstrate. So that's the public side of it, the vocal, public side of it.

"The government side of it is that 'nothing is going to deter us from the path that we have chosen. We have recognized the PLO, we have made up our minds that the only way to find a solution to this terrible conflict is a political solution and this is what we are going for.' "

Berlin Historic Synagogue Rebuilt

By Nina Keck (VOA-Berlin)

Berlin's first synagogue was built in the early 1700s. A century and a half later, the Jewish community had grown tremendously and a second, newer synagogue was built. With its brick work and gold domes, the new synagogue -- as it has always been called -- became a Berlin landmark until it was destroyed by bombs in World War 2. After extensive reconstruction, the new synagogue reopened in May -- this time as a museum and monument to the city's historic Jewish population.

It's hard to miss the new synagogue. With its Moorish-styled domes and oriental architecture, it looks more like a Middle Eastern mosque than a synagogue. But historian Christiane Schutz says by the 1920s, the building -- located in the center of Berlin -- was the heart of the city's thriving Jewish community. "This was then the end of the community, in a way, because in the '20s there lived around 170,000 Jews in Berlin -- which was more than two thirds of the Jewish population in Germany -- and there were 13 synagogues and more than 100 private synagogues around the city."

During the 1920s and early 1930s, the new synagogue was a gathering place for many of Germany's most-famous Jews, including physicist Albert Einstein. But, by the mid-1930s, the situation had changed in Berlin. With anti-Semitism growing under Hitler, thousands of Jews fled the city. Miraculously, in 1938 -- during the infamous Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass -- when Nazi troops destroyed synagogues and Jewish shops all over Germany, Berlin's new synagogue was spared. Hitler's troops had already set part of the building on fire when Wilhelm Krutzfeld, a local police chief, courageously chased off the arsonists and saw that the blaze was put out. It was the only Jewish synagogue in Germany to be protected by a German official.

.By 1940, the German armed forces had taken over the Jewish landmark and used it as a warehouse until Allied bombers destroyed most of the building in 1943. Today, more than 50 years later, the golden domes of the new synagogue once again celebrate Judaism and stand as a memorial to the tens of thousands of Berliners who were murdered during the Nazi Holocaust. Schutz says like the Jewish people -- the new synagogue has survived. And, with more than 10 thousand visitors a week, she believes the museum will help the Jews and non-Jews of Berlin move beyond the shadows of the past.

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