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>JN April 2, 1997, Vol. 5, Number 58
Two Miracles in Gush Katif
Two suicide bombings, aimed against school buses carrying
Jewish children in Gush Katif in Gaza, failed Tuesday morning. A
few minutes before 7 a.m., a bomb, apparently hidden in an Arab
wagon, was detonated on the road leading to the Gush Katif
communities. Some 10 minutes later, another would-be suicide
terrorist blew himself up at the entrance to the town of Netzarim.
Each of the bombs was made from 11 pounds of explosives, about
twice as much the bomb in Tel Aviv which killed three women 12 days
ago. Both terrorists were wearing uniforms of the Palestinian
police. Why the explosions occurred only a few minutes before
school buses passed by is still being investigated.
The Arutz-7 correspondent reports that Palestinian police usually
man a station very close to the Netzarim explosion, but were not
there at the time of the blast; however, Southern Command Maj. Gen.
Shlomo Yannai says that this does not mean that they knew in
advance of the attack. Security sources said again that Arafat has
not taken any action against Hamas and the Islamic Jihad since the
Tel Aviv attack.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's press advisor, Shai Bazak, told
Arutz-7 that the two attacks, though they did not cause
casualties, must be dealt with politically in the same manner.
"There is no doubt," he said, "that the terror organizations
understood from Arafat that attacks such as these may be carried
King Hussein Meets with President Clinton
By Deborah Tate (VOA-White House)
President Clinton and Jordan's King Hussein met at the White House
Tuesday to discuss ways to move the stalled peace process forward.
Clinton says trust has broken down in the wake of Palestinian
suicide bombings and Israel's decision to build a new Jewish
neighborhood in mostly Arab east Jerusalem.
"We have got to reestablish the sense on the part of the Israelis
that the Palestinian Authority is committed to security. We have
to reestablish on the part of the Palestinians that the Israelis
are committed to continuing to build confidence by doing concrete
things as contemplated by the Oslo Agreement."
Clinton says he and King Hussein discussed ways for the parties to
restore trust, but he did not elaborate. The president also said he
looks forward to meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
when the Israeli leader visits the United States next week to
attend a conference of the Israeli American Public Affairs
Reform Judaism Rebukes "Ultra-Orthodox"
By Don Canaan
CINCINNATI, April 1 (UPI) -- Leaders of Reform and Conservative
Judaism have attacked a declaration by a 600-member Orthodox
rabbinical association that the Conservative and Reform branches
"are not Judaism at all."
The president of Reform Judaism's Hebrew Union College-Jewish
Institute of Religion, Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, described that
declaration "as an authoritarian call to delegitimize pluralism in
The Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada
condemned Reform and Conservative Judaism for condoning
intermarriage and assimilation.
A 1990 demographic study of American Jews found that 41 percent
considered themselves Reform, 40 percent Conservative, 7 percent
Orthodox, 2 percent Reconstructionist, and the remainder,
The UOR, Monday, described the liberal movements as "another
religion" and added "It is prohibited to pray in a non-Orthodox
temple at any time."
Zimmerman said Reform Judaism has approximately 1,700 rabbis and
Conservative Judaism, another 1,700.
Reform Judaism's umbrella organization, the Union of American
Hebrew Congregations, called the UOR's declaration "a sad and
Zimmerman told UPI "this is an attempt to destroy the acceptance of
pluralism and those who choose ways other than the ultra-Orthodox
way. We're dealing here with a group that's hellbent on seeing to
it that Israel will be divided from the rest of world Judaism, and
that's ultimately what's going to happen."
The UOR declaration was also condemned by the Rabbinical Council of
America and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
-- the two largest Orthodox rabbinical organizations in North
First Reading of Conversion Law Passed by Knesset
The Knesset voted Tuesday to approve the first reading of the
Conversion Law, by a 51-32 margin (with 7 abstentions). The new
legislation anchors the status quo in law, wherein, among Israeli
conversions, only those performed by the Chief Rabbinate would be
recognized in Israel.
President Ezer Weizmann met with the Knesset faction leaders, in an
effort to find a solution to the Conversion Law controversy. As a
result of his efforts, the religious parties announced that they
would continue to conduct a dialogue with the other parties in
order to come to a mutually-acceptable solution.
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