Newsletter : 7fax0606.txt
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>JN June 6, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 103
Is War Possible in the Middle East?
By Ed Warner (VOA-Washington)
With the breakdown of the Middle East peace process and growing
acrimony between Israel and its Arab neighbors, there is talk of
a possible war.
There is a real change of atmosphere, says Israel's military chief
of staff, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak. He senses more tension in the air.
So in his opinion, war could possibly break out again in the Middle
He cites in particular the shift of Syrian troops from Beirut to
the foot of the Golan Heights. They might launch a surprise attack
on the Golan, then use the threat of their missile force to deter
an Israeli counterattack. From this more favorable position, they
could call for talks.
This could happen, says Robert Satloff, executive director of the
Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "it is not unlike the
logic behind Anwar Sadat in 1973, whereby Sadat chose military
attack as a way to energize diplomacy, to get back eventually
all of the Sinai. The Syrians may view that they cannot achieve
their goals solely by diplomacy and that they would want to go to
war to shake up the peace process and get more attention on their
claims. And that is a distinct possibility."
Satloff says Syria would expect the international community to
intervene and impose a cease-fire before Israel retaliates.
Why would Syria's enigmatic president Hafez al-Assad want to take
such a risk? Satloff says he is concerned with more than the Golan
Heights. "Assad may fear that peace with Israel may force an
opening in his authoritarian closed society. He would no longer
have a rationale for maintaining a military dictatorship, and his
people might demand an opening, which would undermine his rule."
Assad is noted for adroit maneuver, says Michael Hudson, professor
of international relations and Arab studies at Georgetown
University. To go to start a war with Israel would be totally
"If you look objectively at the military balance in the region,
there is no particular reason to think that war is imminent...The
counterstrike that would inevitably occur, should they use missiles
against Israel, would be utterly catastrophic and devastating to
Does Bible Hold Code That Tells Future?
A new book has been published that claims the Torah contains a
secret code that nearly 3,000 years ago foretold the Holocaust and
the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The book
reports the code, found in the Tanach by an Israeli computer
expert, also prophesied other historical events and warns of an
atomic war that may bring the end of the world within eight years.
"The Bible Code" has been purchased by Warner Brothers, which sees
it as a vehicle for Raiders of the Lost Ark fans, but tempered with
doses of predictions.
Its author, Michael Drosnin, a former reporter for the Washington
Post and the Wall Street Journal, said he not afraid to confront
Critics say the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament,
and which religious Jews believe was dictated by God to Moses, is
God's word and should not be used the way it is being used. Drosnin
insists his work is serious and based on five years of research and
the work of Eliyahu Rips, a respected Israeli
mathematician and computer expert.
Rips took all the words in the Old Testament, eliminating the
spaces between them and, turning them into one continuous strand of
Rips used a computer and searched the strand for names and phrases
using a skip code that adds every fourth or 12th or 50th letter to
form a word. He said he found a hidden network of words and
phrases, verified by several experts.
Drosnin said Bible's code provided interlocking information, such
as Hitler and Nazi; the Holocaust encoded; and the words Kennedy
combined with Dallas.
Drosnin said he discovered references to atomic war and Holocaust
and Israel for the year 2000 and 2006, but he saw the combinations
as a warning, not as a prediction.
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