Newsletter : 6fax1126.txt
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>PD Nov. 26, 1996, Vol. 4 No. 215
80% of U.S. Jews Haven't Visited Israel
The Ministry of Tourism is strengthening its efforts to
increase American Jewish tourism to Israel. Minister of Tourism
Moshe Katzav returned from the United States last week, where he
met with leaders of the Jewish community and of the tourism
industry. One result was a joint call upon American Jewry to come
to Israel. It was revealed at the meetings that 80% of American
Jewry has never visited Israel.
Golan Heights Settlements Will be Expanded
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel plans to expand its settlements on the annexed Golan
Heights, a move that could further complicate efforts to get
Israel-Syria peace talks going again.
The Golan Heights Settlers Association wants to add more than 2,000
new housing units during the next few years. And the Israeli
government is actively working on the first 900.
The effort is still in the survey and planning stage. And the
new homes will likely not be ready for occupancy for more than
one year, at least.
But the political impact of the move will almost certainly be
felt much sooner. Syria objects to the settlements on the land
Israeli occupied in 1967, and it demands the area back in any
Israeli's previous government was willing to return much of the
it, but talks bogged down over details. Israel's new prime
minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, says Israel must keep the Golan for
About 15,000 Israelis and 18,000 Druse Muslims live on the Heights,
which unlike the West Bank, is fully integrated into Israel with
no checkpoints or travel restrictions.
Syria Mobilizes Forces Along Israeli Border
A military source has revealed to the Yediot Acharonot
that Syria is preparing a military offensive option. According to
the source, the plan has been in preparation for a long time, and
is unrelated to the results of the Israeli elections.
The IDF is monitoring changes in the positioning of Syria's
surface-to-surface missiles, as well as the many Syrian military
maneuvers along the Golan Heights border. On the Israeli side of
the border, the Golan Residents' Committee has congratulated Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his plans to develop the area, and
calls for their immediate implementation. Government officials
announced last week their intention of building 900 new housing
units in the Golan. The Prime Minister's Office has clarified that
the intention is to expand existing communities, as opposed to
building new communities.
In an interview with Haaretz newspaper Friday, Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu related to the strategic importance of the Golan
Heights. Netanyahu said, "People tell me that today, in this age of
missiles, territory does not matter. It is true that missiles are
a problem, but tanks are also a problem, and tanks which descend
from high ground are a double problem. To a certain extent,
territory in the missile age is even more vital because the enemy's
land-to-land missiles can disturb the deployment of our reserves
and make the defense of the borders difficult.
"Therefore, the need for strategic depth does not disappear in the
missile age, rather it takes on greater importance. In addition,
high places have great importance for intelligence purposes. For
these reasons, the problem of the Golan is first and foremost a
security problem. We must retain the basic deterrence, and for
this we need sufficient security arrangements. This is the problem
that stands before us and with which we must deal at the
Research by Israeli in China on Prehistoric Humans
The Israeli scientist Prof. Steve Weiner of the Environmental
Sciences and Energy Research Department in the Weizmann Institute
of Scientific Research is the first Western researcher permitted by
the Chinese authorities to work on studying the prestigious "Peking
Man" prehistoric research material.
The studies are examining whether "Peking Man" was the first human
in history who started to use fire for daily needs. The skeleton of
the prehistoric man was discovered some 60 years ago in a cave near
Beijing, and identified as a special, unique, type of human.
Weiner has perfected an instrument to determine precisely what
materials are found in archeological excavations.
Pope Beatifies Austrian Priests Martyred by Nazis
Pope John Paul II tapped two Austrian priests martyred under
Hitler for sainthood Sunday, for their refusal "to worship the
beast and image" of the Third Reich.
In a Vatican beatification ceremony, the pope said priests Jakob
Gapp and Otto Neururer showed there could be "no compromise between
Christianity and the Nazi pagan national socialist ideology."
The pope used a line from the Bible to compare Adolf Hitler's Third
Reich with Satan. It was the second time this year the pope paid
honors to priests killed for resisting Nazi rule.
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