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>JN May 9, 1997, Vol. 5, Number 84
U.S.A Lo Maveen Ivrit
(The U.S.A Doesn't Understand Hebrew)
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli officials and commentators are striking back at US
officials, who told the Washington Post this week that Israel might
have placed a high-level spy in the US government.
Israeli officials and experts on intelligence matters say the
telephone conversation between israeli agents -- reportedly
intercepted by the US government -- was misunderstood. They say
if the discussion were really about a high-level spy, it would not
have been conducted on the telephone. Rather, they say, the two
agents were either discussing routine matters or their Hebrew was
Israeli officials have accused hostile elements in the US
government of fabricating the story. And an Israeli columnist
wrote Thursday that any criticism for spying on friends should be
directed at the United States for tapping the Israeli phone call.
The Washington Post reported the FBI is searching for an Israeli
spy code-named "Mega." A senior Israeli official said Thursday that
when they find out what "Mega" means, they will realize "how false
and ludicrous" the Post's story is.
Israel's Haaretz newspaper said Mega was apparently a mistaken
decoding of "Elga" -- an old Israeli intelligence word for the
Central Intelligence Agency.
Some Israeli media reported the Jewish state would protest its
closest ally's wiretapping of what was supposed to be a secure
Journalist Uri Dan, who writes about Israeli intelligence, told the
radio: "If it weren't so sad a story it would be funny." He said
Mega was short for the code word Megawatt.
"Whoever covers intelligence matters knows that for more than 20
years two international authorities have been operating, one of
which is called Megawatt and the other Kilowatt."
He said Megawatt was an international reservoir of intelligence
information shared by the United States and other countries,
including NATO members and Israel.
Holocaust Memorialized at the Capitol
By Paula Wolfson (VOA-Washington)
Many of the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps of World War
2 were little more than children when they were freed and began new
lives. They are grandparents now, many old and frail, and they
live in fear that the world will forget and will look the other way
when the warning signs of genocide reappear. They brought their
fears to Capitol Hill. And members of Congress joined in a Day of
The Grand Rotunda of the Capitol is usually filled with tourists on
spring afternoons. They lean against the marble walls, gaze at
the murals, and fill the vast hall with their laughter. But on
this day, the only sound was the mournful wail of a Jewish prayer
for the dead.
On the day set aside to remember the victims of the Holocaust, the
Rotunda became a sanctuary filled with the survivors and their
families. Benjamin Meed spoke for them all. "Survivors have become
witnesses who share our memories with others. We believe that in
remembrance lies the hope and the protection of another generation,
which might otherwise be abandoned and forgotten."
Members of Congress joined those who had seen the horror of the
concentration camps. And Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia,
looking out at the crowd that packed the room, seemed momentarily
at a loss for words. "I have no memories of parents or children or
uncles or cousins caught up and destroyed by the horror. I have
not even that distinctive appreciation of evil that must come from
(a Jewish person) knowing that 6 million people were killed for no
other reason than that they had blood like mine running in their
A ceremony remembering the Holocaust is held each year in the
Rotunda, and with each passing spring, there seems to be a bit
more urgency among the survivors to leave a legacy -- to ensure
that no religious or ethnic minority is ever forced to endure the
kind of inhumanity they experienced first-hand.
They lit candles to remember the dead. There were six large
cream-colored tapers -- each one ignited by a survivor and a member
of Congress. The survivors included a businessman, a poet and a
college professor. And it was somehow fitting that among the
lawmakers was Congressman Sam Gejdenson, a Connecticut Democrat.
He is the son of Holocaust survivors and was born in a displaced
persons camp in Germany amidst the ashes of World War 2.
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