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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     Dec. 19, 1995, V3, #230
All the News the Big Guys Missed

For subscriptions or back issues, please contact POL management

'Zapruder' Video Records Rabin's Murder

By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)

An amateur video tape showing the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has been sold to Israel's commercial television channel and a daily newspaper. Meanwhile, the trial of confessed assassin Yigal Amir begins today.

The video was made by a recent immigrant to Israel from Poland, Gershon Shalvinsky, an amateur photographer from Tel Aviv. Journalists who have seen the tape have called it shocking, showing the killer hiding behind a potted plant before walking up to the prime minister and shooting him in the back.

The photographer, whose identity has only just been made public, made the film of the Tel Aviv peace rally and subsequent assassination from the second floor of the Tel Aviv City Hall.

It is not clear why Shalvinsky waited for nearly a month before disclosing the existence of the film. He handed it over to the official commission of inquiry into the assassination.

Then, working through a lawyer, he announced the sale of the video. After an intense bidding war, Israel commercial Channel Two, together with the Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot, bought domestic rights to the film for a reported $400,000. Foreign rights will be sold to the highest bidder.

The video is being compared to the footage of the JFK assassination in 1962 which was also filmed by an amateur, Abraham Zapruder. Channel Two's news director says the film may be shown today, the day confessed assassin Yigal Amir goes on trial.

Meanwhile, the commission of inquiry investigating the murder of Rabin has sent warnings to seven top security men that they could be harmed by the findings of the inquiry. Among the seven is the head of the Shin Bet Security Service. The formal warnings mean the men could be indicted and are advised to hire attorneys.

Non-Jewish Asian Women Immigrating to Israel

By Yaroslav Trofimov (The London Observer)

On a Tel Aviv park bench, a group of elderly Israelis chat in Yiddish or Hebrew. On another bench, young Filipino women converse in Tagalog, glancing occasionally at their elderly charges. These young women are known as live-in nurses. In recent years, some 12,000 such nurses, mostly from the Philippines but also from Thailand, Colombia and Poland, have been imported to care for aging Holocaust survivors and battle-scarred veterans of European and Middle Eastern wars.

The employment of authorized Filipino caregivers is heavily subsidized by Israeli social security. Manila-born Gemma Bautista receives a $550 monthly paycheck from the Israeli pension system for the full-time care of Chana Operot, a 76-year-old Moscow-born widow suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

The popularity of foreign nurses has caught the imagination of Israeli Minister of Health Ephraim Sneh who last month announced he wanted the caregivers to become a permanent feature of the Israeli national health system.

The new plan would end admissions to government nursing homes for Israelis who could be taken care of instead in their own apartments.

According to Arik Moshe, the ministry's economic affairs adviser, a live-in nurse would cost the Ministry $600 a month in salary plus $600 in medicine and food for the patient, compared to the $2,000 a month it costs to keep a patient in the government home. Apart from being cheaper, this system would be better for the patients' mental state. It would allow them to remain in comfortable and familiar home surroundings," Moshe said.

Sneh's initiative, the first such scheme in the Western world, drew an angry reaction from the Ministry of Labor, which approves work permits for foreign nurses. In recent months, a surge in demand for caregivers has meant around 500 visa requests a week. "What is this?" sneered Labor Minister Ora Namir. "Everyone who feels slightly unwell suddenly wants a Filipino nurse."

Namir recently launched a campaign to curb the growing influx of foreign, mostly Thai, Filipino and Romanian, guest workers, who already number more than 100,000, up from just 5,000 in 1992.

According to Labor Ministry officials, Sneh's plan, if fully implemented, would bring up to 70,000 caregivers to Israel. "This is becoming a grave social problem. Short-term it will increase unemployment and long-term it seems that many of these Filipinos will manage to stay in Israel permanently, by marrying or otherwise," a Labor Ministry spokesman said.

But it seems that Sneh's dollars-and-sense logic will carry the day. This month, when most of Israel's government-run hospitals have closed down due to a budget crunch, few in the Israeli Cabinet can afford to oppose a 40 percent saving on health care.

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