Newsletter : 6fax0131.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Jan. 31, 1996 V4, #18
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Drinking a Lot Reduces Danger of Large-Intestine Cancer.
Research at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv has established that
drinking a lot of fluids reduces the danger of cancer of the large
intestine. It was found that those people who drank more suffered
less from symptoms of cancer of the large intestine.
Navon will Investigate Ethiopian Problems
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel's prime minister has appointed a former president, Yitzhak
Navon, to head a committee to investigate the problems of the
country's Ethiopian immigrants. Ethiopian immigrants violently
protested in Jerusalem Sunday after they learned that Israel's
blood bank had been routinely disposing of blood donated by
Ethiopian immigrants. The blood issue stems from a fear of the HIV
virus but the Ethiopians say it is only the latest of many
problems, insults, and discrimination against Israel's Ethiopian
Nearly everyone agreed the blood issue was a terrible insult.
Israeli health officials say the incidence of AIDS among the
country's Ethiopian immigrants is 50 times higher than the rest of
the Israeli population. But other experts argue the incidence is
still very low, and that the chances of getting AIDS-infected blood
into the health care system could have been further reduced by
screening and by the policy which has now been adopted -- freezing
the blood until further tests are done.
Even after the angry Ethiopian immigrants threw smoke bombs into
the parking lot outside the office of Israeli Prime Minister
Shimon Peres, and smashed the windows of cars belonging to his
staff members, he apologized to them. "We need to answer their
expectations and needs. I think the people who were very much hurt
and insulted. And the society must learn how to correct mistakes,
and that's what we are trying to do."
But for many of the Ethiopian immigrants and their Israeli-born
children, the apology and the new government commission are not
enough. "We are not animals. We are human beings like everybody
else," said Zina Abebe, an Ethiopian Jew who came to Israel 18
years ago. "We thought we are part of the Israelis and we're trying
very hard to live in our country. But now, I have to tell you,
there were lots of young people, students, young people from the
army, they're really very, very hurt. And it just demoralized all
the young people."
Abebe came to Israel in 1978, three years after the country's chief
rabbi officially declared Ethiopians who claimed Jewish heritage to
be Jews. The rabbi was responding to a controversy which had been
brewing over an Ethiopian group known in their country as Falashas,
or outsiders. They claimed to be the descendants of Jews, and some
scholars supported them.
But others asked questions the Falashas found insulting. Were
these black Africans really Jews? Or were they perhaps trying to
get out of a poor, famine wracked, war torn country by seizing on
a tenuous historic connection and taking advantage of Israel's
policy of accepting all Jews as citizens?
The decision to accept them has particular irony for the current
Israeli blood bank controversy, because the conclusion was that the
Ethiopian jews indeed have Jewish blood.
Some experts say they are the descendants of (Melenik) the son born
to the Queen of Sheba after her romance with King Solomon about
3,000 years ago. Others say today's Ethiopian Jews are the
descendants of an Ethiopian community which underwent a religious
conversion several centuries ago.
The Israeli government airlifted 22,000 Ethiopian Jews in two major
efforts in the mid-1980s and in 1991. The government says a
similar number arrived on their own in the last two decades.
Today, the Ethiopian immigrants and their descendants number about
56,000 people, including 1,500 soldiers in the Israeli army.
Farrakhan's Controversial African Trip
By Gil Weinreich (VOA-Washington)
Black Muslim Minister Louis Farrakhan is visiting Africa on a tour
that has included visits with Libyan ruler Muammar Gadhafi and
South African President Nelson Mandela. Wherever Farrakhan goes
controversy often follows.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan dubbed his Africa visit the
World Friendship Tour. His friendship with Gadhafi appears strong.
News reports indicate the Libyan leader has pledged a sum of $1
billion for Farrakhan to use to influence the outcome of US
Libya's state-run news agency quoted Gadhafi as saying the two
leaders agreed to fight America from the inside. Farrakhan said the
money would be used to mobilize and unite American blacks, Muslims,
and other minorities to leverage their voting power.
In Washington, White House spokesman Mike McCurry did not comment
on Farrakhan's decision to accept Gadhafi's billion-dollar offer.
But he said the Libyan leader could better spend his money.
In the past, the Nation of Islam leader has described Judaism as
a gutter religion, and has called Asians, Arabs and Jews who own
businesses in black communities "bloodsuckers."
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)