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>PD
>Israel Faxx
>JN March 31, 1997, Vol. 5, Number 56

Israeli Arab Knesset Member Says Kotel is Not Part of Temple

Knesset member Abdul Malik Dahamshe (Democratic Arab Party) says the Western Wall is "not associated with the remains of the Jewish Temple. When the Temple was destroyed not a single stone remained in place. The Western Wall is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque complex. We are not saying right now that the Jews should be barred from Jerusalem. Jewish services at the Western Wall are not a problem. The problem is if Jews want to pray on the Temple Mount."


Clashes Continue as Palestinian is Killed

By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)

Palestinians and Israeli troops Sunday clashed again in several areas of the West Bank. The continuing violent protests challenge Israeli settlement policy in disputed east jerusalem. There were angry stone-throwers at the entrance of every Palestinian city in the West Bank. Just outside of Bethlehem, as in other towns, protesters faced Israeli soldiers armed with rifles and tear gas.

The Palestinians are enraged that, despite international condemnation, Israel continues to build on land they hoped would be their future capital.

In the village of Beit Sahour, thousands of Palestinians took part in the funeral of a 20-year-old student killed Saturday by Israeli army gunfire -- the first fatality in 11 days of violent protests in the West Bank. Israeli forces were beefed-up everywhere, with tanks and snipers on standby in case the violence escalated. In Nablus, hundreds of Palestinian police were deployed around "Joseph's Tomb," a Jewish holy site, to prevent protesters from approaching. Last September six Israeli soldiers were killed by Palestinian police after rioting broke out.

There were also protests Sunday in Arab towns inside Israel to mark "Land Day," an annual demonstration against Israeli land seizures. Those protest marches remained generally peaceful.


Easter Celebrations in the Holy Land

By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)

In Jerusalem, pilgrims from around the world have been celebrating Easter Sunday. Easter week usually attracts tens of thousands of tourists and pilgrims to the Holy Land, but this year the streets of Jerusalem are almost empty of foreign tourists, apparently scared away by the upsurge of animosity and violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Tour guides and hotels have reported cancellations and no-shows by tour groups.

Many Palestinian Christians from the West Bank have been unable to reach Jerusalem for the holiday because of the Israeli closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, imposed a week ago after a suicide bombing by a Palestinian Islamic militant in Tel Aviv.

In his Easter message delivered in Jerusalem, Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah said "Many evils are surrounding us. The main one is the absence of peace. Blood is still, unfortunately, being shed. Violence is still in the hearts, and blindness concerning the rights of others is still in the minds of leaders."

Monsignor Kamal-Hanna Bathish, the second-ranking Roman Catholic clergyman in the Holy Land, spoke of the difficulty of working under the Israeli closure of the West Bank. "I think these last days can tell us something about the difficulty...of the peace process. Some days it looks so bright, some other days it looks completely destroyed."


Neo-Nazis Try Snaring Kids Through Internet

Neo-Nazis and hate groups are trying to recruit children as young as 12 through computer games and alternative music, former recruiter Thomas Leyden says. White supremacists can reach kids right in their homes through the Internet.

The ex-Marine spent all his adult life, until last year, recruiting for neo-Nazi or skinhead groups. There are close to 500 white supremacist songs, in the guise of alternative or grunge music, that can also be found on the Net, he said. Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles said kids can also download violent games -- rip-offs of successful commercial games -- where the object is to kill as many blacks, Jews or other minorities as possible, in order to survive.

"White parents need to talk about this," Leyden said, because it's their children who are being wooed.

Leyden, 30, said he got pulled into the hate movement when his parents divorced. Despondent, he started to hang around with skinheads and listen to white power music. Leyden joined the Marines and learned a combat soldier's skills, which are considered useful by the white power movement. But after 15-years as a neo-Nazi "street soldier" and recruiter, Leyden now speaks out against racism.

Leyden decided to get out of the hate movement after seeing its effects on his 3-year-old son. "He was a bigger racist than I was. It scared me. He started saying he hated the government, yet he didn't even know what country he lived in."


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