Newsletter : 7fax0404.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
>JN April 4, 1997, Vol. 5, Number 60
Israel Deposits 500 Million Shekels in Secret Arafat Account
Haaretz reports that Israel has transferred at least 500
million shekels over the past three years to a secret account of
Yasir Arafat in Tel Aviv. The account - known as Cashbox B - was
opened in the Hashmonaim branch of Bank Leumi in 1994, and only
Arafat and his economic advisor Muhammad Rashid were signatories.
A document of the International Monetary Fund shows that this
secret account is not under the supervision or control of the
Palestinian Authority Treasury.
The source of the money is the import taxes collected by Israel on
gasoline for Palestinian consumption; the other taxes that Israel
is obligated to return to the PA, according to the Oslo agreements,
are transferred to four other accounts in Gaza banks.
A senior Israeli government source said that the money is being set
aside for Arafat in case of an overthrow; Dr. Mahed al Kurd, a high
ranking official in the Palestinian Trade Ministry, said, "The PA
has the right to create financial reserves in case of emergency,
such as a civil war."
Terror Victim Sues Arafat
A lawsuit was filed in a Tel Aviv District Court against Yasir
Arafat and the Palestinian Authority by Shlomi Dan, who was
severely wounded in last year's terrorist attack in Dizengoff
Center. Dan demands 1 million shekels from the PA because of its
negligence in not preventing terrorists from exiting its borders.
Dan has also sued the Arab driver who brought the terrorist in his
truck from Gaza to Tel Aviv. The three defendants - the PA, Arafat,
and the driver -- are represented by Attorney Jihad Klaud Nidam,
who is responsible for legal aid to the autonomy on behalf of the
Justice Ministry in Jerusalem. In the suit, Dan asks the court to
seize the monies held in the Tel Aviv bank account. As a result
of the March 1996 attack, Dan's legs are paralyzed, and his memory
Historian: Jews Served in Wehrmacht
By Kyle King (VOA-Bonn)
An American historian researching the Nazi era says tens of
thousands of soldiers classified as Jews served in the German army
during World War 2. Historian Brian Rigg, who interviewed hundreds
of the former soldiers of Jewish origin, says Adolf Hitler
personally allowed dozens of officers to serve in the army.
Writing in the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit, Rigg tells the
story of several former Wehrmacht officers who served Hitler,
despite their Jewish origins. One of the officers, Maj. Ernst
Bloch, used his wartime position as a high-ranking army
intelligence official to help smuggle an ultra-Orthodox rabbi out
of Warsaw and on to the United States. Another was decorated for
bravery for destroying six Russian tanks in one of the most
ferocious battles of World War 2.
Rigg, who is planning to write a book based on the interviews
he has done, says there more than 10,000 soldiers of Jewish
descent who served in the Wehrmacht. In many cases they did so
while their families were being systematically killed by the Nazis.
Juliana Wetzel, a historian at the Center for the Study of
Anti-Semitism in Berlin, says it is well-known that many Jews
served in the Wehrmacht. "The surprising fact is that he could find
so many people and could find so many names...and people could
identify them as people who were in the Wehrmacht, and were
Reporting on his research, Rigg says in many cases Hitler
personally decided which soldiers or officers of Jewish
descent could stay in the military. And he says the decisions
were different from case to case.
Probably the most well known example was that of Field Marshall
Erhard Milch, who despite his Jewish origins rose to the rank of
Luftwaffe Inspector General and was later convicted of war crimes.
The reasons given by Jews who did serve in Hitler's army are
varied. Rigg says some thought serving the Nazis would help save
their families, others were former World War 1 veterans. Others
thought of themselves more as Germans than as Jews.
Claus Baersch, the director of the "Steinheim Institute for German
Jewish History" in Duisburg, says he believes many served in the
army because they had little choice. "In my opinion...it was an
emergency situation for many of these people, who as Jews were
trying to find security from police, the Gestapo, and the threat of
the concentration camps."
Some historians say they are concerned that Rigg's research will be
used by those who want to minimize German responsibility for the
Holocaust. But others like Juliana Wetzel say the stories of those
who lived through the Nazi era, including Jews who served in the
army, provide a valuable piece to a puzzle that historians are
still trying to understand.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)