Newsletter : 6fax1031.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Oct. 31, 1996 V4, #199
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Swiss Pledge Answer on Holocaust Funds by Dec. 4
Switzerland has pledged to answer by Dec. 4 accusations it used the
wealth of Holocaust victims to compensate Swiss citizens for
property seized in Eastern Europe. The Foreign Ministry named two
Swiss historians to examine compensation deals reached after World
War 2 with the then-Communist regimes of Poland, Czechoslovakia,
Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania and Hungary.
British Paper Claims IDF Prepares for City Takeovers
The British newspaper, The Guardian, reports the IDF carried out a
large-scale exercise last week, in preparation for a possible need
to capture the city of Shechem or other cities in Judea and
The paper said Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered the drill, and it
was held under the command of Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan. The IDF
spokesman denied that the capture of cities was rehearsed, but said
that the IDF is preparing for various eventualities.
U.S. Diplomat Visits Slain Boy's Family
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
A senior US diplomat has visited the family of a young Palestinian
boy killed in a clash with an Israeli settler. The diplomat says he
wanted to make both a personal and political statement.
The US Consul General in Jerusalem, Edward Abington, traveled
Wednesday morning to Husan Village, between Bethlehem and Hebron,
to spend some time with the boy's family. Abington has a
six-year-old daughter, and he says he was moved by the boy's story
and wanted to meet his family.
"I decided to visit the family because I was very struck by the
news accounts of the death of a 10-year-old child, a 10-year old
boy. And I just thought that it was an important gesture to go and
pay a condolence call on the parents, and to let them know of my
personal sympathy for their loss, as well as that of the US
Abington, who is one of the US mediators in the current
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, says the death of young Hilmi
Shawash should serve as a reminder to negotiators that their job
is to build a better future for the region's young people.
He says he expects the Israeli government to thoroughly investigate
the case, and to punish the person responsible. The boy was
allegedly beaten to death by an Israeli settler who suspected him
of being among several boys who threw stones at his car.
"If the news accounts are true and the boy was struck and died as
a result of the blows, I see no justification for that under any
circumstances. Children should not be so treated by adults.
There is no justification for that."
Swiss Call Holocaust Money "Pure Fantasy"
By Maxim Kniazkov (VOA-Washington)
The Swiss Ambassador to the United States is pledging his
government's full cooperation in establishing the fate of pre-World
War 2 bank deposits by European Jews who later perished in Nazi
The ambassador called a $20 billion claim recently presented to
Swiss banks by a group of Holocaust survivors and their descendants
The $20 billion claim appeared in a lawsuit filed in Brooklyn,
N.Y., Earlier this month by a group of Holocaust survivors and
their families. They accuse Swiss banks of withholding information
about money and other valuables deposited by their relatives before
World War 2 or in its early stages.
On Wednesday, in a clear bid to stem negative publicity, Ambassador
Carlo Jagmetti said his government is looking into the allegations
-- but called the figure mentioned in the lawsuit speculative.
"Figures were advanced in other contexts in this whole question.
But they were just pure fantasy, in my view. There is one real
problem in all this. That is once we have the truth established,
it might not be sensational."
Jagmetti says legislation aimed at easing Swiss bank secrecy laws
for up to five years, while the problem is being investigated, is
quickly working its way through the Swiss parliament. He expressed
the hope this time span will be enough to establish the truth about
what happened to valuables deposited in Switzerland by victims of
Israeli Firm Handles E-mail for God
An Israeli internet company will place e-mail messages to God in
Jerusalem's Western Wall, where Jewish tradition says God picks up
"We are getting between 15 and 20 messages a day from all over the
world," said Avi Moskowitz, president of Virtual Jerusalem.
Moskowitz said his company does not read the e-mail. The messages
are printed out and stuffed into the Wall's crevices along with the
hand-written messages left there. The service is free on Virtual
Jerusalem's homepage at http://www.virtual.co.il
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)