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>JN April 1, 1997, Vol. 5, Number 57
Wagner Great-Grandson Haunted by Family's Nazi Past
No place has seemed safe enough for Gottfried Wagner --
great-grandson of the 19th century German composer Richard Wagner
-- since he started giving lectures in Israel denouncing his family
for their "unrepentant anti-Semitism" and close friendship with
Adolf Hitler. He has been subjected to death threats in Germany,
blacklisted by Swiss-based right-wing extremists and his music
seminars in U.S. universities have been disrupted by heckling
neo-Nazis denouncing him as a "traitor."
Arabs Say They'll Freeze Relations with Israel
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo) & Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Arab League foreign ministers have approved a resolution calling on
the 22 member states to freeze relations with Israel, reactivate an
economic boycott and pull out of negotiations until Israel
implements the peace agreements it has signed with the
Palestinians. The recommendations, approved by consensus, were
formally adopted when the ministers closed their two-day meeting in
The resolution is the toughest response yet to Israel's
controversial housing policy in east Jerusalem.
The tough resolution came after an emotional appeal Sunday from
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, who called Israel's housing
policy in east Jerusalem a declaration of war on unarmed people.
Israel says it is "disappointed" at the decision by Arab foreign
ministers to "freeze" relations. Israeli government spokesman Moshe
Fogel says Israel is disappointed that the Arab foreign ministers
did not denounce the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv 10 days ago, and
also, in his view, did not give Israel any credit for difficult
concessions it has made to the Palestinians. Fogel declined to say
what exact impact the "freezing" of relations might be.
Meanwhile, clashes continued on the West Bank between Palestinian
protesters and Israeli troops Monday, but not on the extensive
scale of Sunday. There have been almost daily clashes for nearly
Also on Monday, in keeping with Israel's long-standing policy,
troops demolished the West Bank home of Moussa Ghneimat, the
28-year-old suicide bomber who struck a Tel Aviv cafe in mid-March,
killing three women and injuring 40 people.
Israel says the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, gave a "green
light" for such attacks. But Arafat denies it, and he said Monday
that Israel is responsible for the bombing because the bomber
lived in a village under Israeli control and had a permit to work
in Tel Aviv. Arafat also expressed hope that a new US mediation
initiative will re-start the peace process, in spite of the current
A Jew is a Jew, is a Jew
CINCINNATI (LNS) -- In recent days, various media reports have
implied that not all Jews are legitimate members of the Jewish
people. This notion is absolutely abhorrent and foreign to basic
principles of Judaism.
A Chabad spokesman says they do not recognize the false labels of
Orthodox, Conservative or Reform. A Jew is a Jew. One must not get
carried away with adjectives. The noun is universal -- Jew. We have
one Torah, we are one people, we have one God and one land. Every
single Jew, regardless of his or her affiliation or level of
observance, is a full-fledged member of the Jewish people,
possessing all the privileges and obligations prescribed in the
Torah -- the birthright of each and every Jew.
We embrace all our Jewish brothers and sisters as one people, one
family. All of us should strive to cement our inherent bond, by
helping to reveal the latent beauty and holiness within the essence
of every Jewish soul.
Hale-Bopp Comet in for a Visit
A comet was discovered in July 1995 that has now become bright
enough to be easily seen with the naked eye, even from urban sites,
and will remain easily visible to northern-hemisphere observers
through April 1997. The Hale-Bopp Comet orbits and is still
approaching the sun, with its closest approach occurring tonight.
Daniel W. E. Green of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for
Astrophysics stated that the latest orbital calculations indicate
that the Hale-Bopp comet last passed through the inner solar system
about 4,210 years ago. According to the ancient Jewish text Seder
Olam Rabah, the comet's previous appearance was approximately the
same year that Noah began building the ark.
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