Newsletter : 5fax1103.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Nov. 3, 1995, V3, #200
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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Explosions Rock Gaza Strip
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Two suicide bombers set off explosions near Israeli targets
Thursday in the Gaza Strip, injuring 11 Israelis, most of them
slightly. A spokesman for the Israeli settlers in Gaza calls it a
miracle no one other than the bombers was killed by the two
According to the Israeli army, the first bomb went off near a bus
carrying childcare workers to an Israeli settlement in Gaza shortly
after 7 a.m local time. The bus had just crossed into Gaza and was
being escorted by two Israeli army jeeps. As the small convoy
passed a Palestinian car, the bomb went off, injuring several
soldiers and people on the bus.
Alerted by that explosion, Israeli soldiers guarding a nearby
convoy prevented the second bomber from getting close to a bus
carrying settlers. The bomber set off his charge 50-meters away,
killing himself but not injuring anyone else.
No one claimed responsibility for the bombings, but the militant
Palestinian group Islamic Jihad has threatened to take revenge on
Israel for the killing last Thursday of its leader, Fathi Shqaqi, by
unknown assailants. The killing of another Islamic Jihad
leader a year ago sparked a series of deadly revenge attacks.
At first, Israeli leaders followed their usual practice --
disavowing any knowledge of the Shqaqi killing, without directly
denying involvement. But Wednesday, without exactly saying Israel
had carried out the assassination, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
said Israel would continue striking against the leaders of violent
organizations. In addition, Israel's health minister told the
Washington Post Israel had punished Shqaqi, but he later said he
was speaking hypothetically.
The Shqaqi killing, Thursday's bombings, and a drive-by shooting
of a rabbi Wednesday on the West Bank do not appear likely to slow
the implementation of the latest Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.
While the investigation of the bombings began, 20 Palestinian
police officers left Gaza as scheduled on their way to the West
Bank to take up duties in the city of Jenin, which is expected to
gain full autonomy in about 10 days.
Wallenberg Honored in Capitol Rotunda
By Gary Thomas (VOA-Washington)
A bust of Raoul Wallenberg was placed in the rotunda of the Capitol
Thursday. Swedish diplomat Wallenberg intervened to snatch
thousands of Jews from the Nazi extermination machine during World
War 2, only to disappear into Soviet hands at the end of the war.
Wallenberg is only the seventh foreigner to have his likeness sit
in the Capitol.
The old American hymn "Simple Gifts" resonated through the
cavernous dome of the Capitol -- a fitting reminder that Raoul
Wallenberg gave some 100,000 people the simple but precious gift of
their own lives at a time when life was painfully cheap.
The idea of a Wallenberg bust in the Capitol came from Congressman
Tom Lantos and his wife, Annette. Both escaped Nazi death camps
because of Wallenberg. "We are here basically to say thanks --
thanks to Raoul Wallenberg and his family and his friends and his
The son of a prominent Swedish banking family, Wallenberg became a
diplomat and was dispatched to Budapest in 1944. Through
stubbornness, ingenuity, and sheer audacity, he saved thousands of
people -- issuing them Swedish passports, placing them in homes
under protection of the Swedish flag, and pulling them off trains
bound for death camps. Estimates are that his personal
intervention saved 100,000 lives.
Chelsea Swett, granddaughter the Lantos', said it was his courage
that made him an authentic hero. "You saved thousands of lives
because you were brave and courageous. That is why you are a hero
to me. That is why you are a hero to so many others. You stood up
to the Nazis and you did what was right."
Wallenberg disappeared, however, at the end of the war. He went to
a meeting with a Soviet officer and never returned. Soviet
authorities said in 1957 he had died of a heart attack 10 years
earlier, but there are reliable sightings of him from other
released Soviet prisoners.
Mrs. Lantos has led an international campaign to free him for some
18 years. It is generally conceded, however, that he is probably
dead now. There have been no sightings of him since about 1980.
Were he alive, he would be 83.
House Speaker Newt Gingrich said it is important to remember
Wallenberg. He noted a study that more than half of American high
school seniors do not know basic history. It is that ignorance,
said the Speaker, that is the enemy. "Ignorance is the breeding
ground of barbarism and brutality. Being educated does not
always mean that you are civilized. Surely the Nazis and the
communists taught us that you can be educated and a barbarian."
The bust by Israeli sculptor Miri Margoli will sit alongside other
heroes in the rotunda. It is a singular place of honor for one who
handed out so many gifts -- and asked for nothing in return.
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