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>Israel Faxx
>JN Aug. 25, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 155

Arabs, Jews May Share Common Gene

A medical study shows a gene that causes an inherited tendency

to run fevers may point to common ancestors for a number of Mediterranean people. Jews, Turks, Arabs and Armenians may share the genetic defect that causes Familial Mediterranean Fever, a disease that causes fevers, joint pain and an inflammation of the membranes that line the stomach. Doctors hope that their discovery may allow them to use gene therapy to combat the illness.

Netanyahu Building Far East Trade Relations

By Arutz 7 & VOA Staff

"China has decided not to provide to Iran the means to build a

nuclear reactor," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, following his meeting in the Beijing airport with senior Chinese government officials. Netanyahu said that he received an invitation to visit China at the beginning of next year.

Netanyahu later landed in Tokyo, where he was scheduled to meet with the prime minister of Japan, and hold meetings on economic and communications issues. Netanyahu will visit South Korea for two days after leaving Japan, make a quick stop in Azerbaijan, and will return to Israel Friday.

There is no expectation that either japan or south korea will pull back from israel in a significant way because of the problems in the peace process. But israeli executives and officials are worried economic relations might develop more slowly, due to concerns about the peace process, and possibly at some point, renewed pressure from arab countries.

Last year, two-way trade between israel and japan totaled $2 billion, and israel-south korea trade was about $700 million. In both cases, the trade is fairly equally balanced between imports and exports. In addition, japan is one of the chief donors to the palestinian authority.

Toyota at Erez?

By IINS News Service

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yaakov

Ne'eman are said to be working to encourage Toyota to consider establishing an car assembly plant at the Erez Checkpoint between Israel and the Gaza Strip. The plant would be a joint Israel-PA effort that would employ residents of the PA autonomous areas and Israelis alike. The Italian Fiat firm in the past contemplated opening a factory in Gaza but gave up the idea because of bureaucratic problems.

Israel and Nazi Puppet State of Croatia Plan Formal Ties

Israel and the government of Croatia published a joint

statement announcing their intention to establish diplomatic relations. A statement released by the Israeli Foreign Ministry Sunday said that the two countries had been negotiating for a period of several months. The final secret talks were held last week in Budapest.

During the negotiations, the Croatian representative conveyed the Croatian president's wish to visit Israel as soon as possible in order to personally express the Croatian nation's apology for crimes perpetrated by some of its people during the Holocaust. He plans to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, where he will lay a wreath and honor the victims.

More Racism in IDF

By IINS News Service

Officers of an elite IDF unit are accused of physically abusing

Bedouin soldiers and using racist slurs against them. It has been alleged that the officers poured oil used to clean weapons and salt on the Bedouin soldiers and called them "Bedouin dogs." This comes following several reports of racism in the IDF, much aimed at the Bedouin and Druze troops, most of whom serve in elite combat units.

Last month, when an IDF major made racist statements against the Druze community, Druze leaders called for her dismissal. IDF officials maintain the case was an isolated one but reports of racism and sexual abuse in the IDF continue to increase. The Military Police have opened an investigation into these new allegations.

Israeli Companies Sold Military Equipment To Iran

By IINS News Service

Israel TV reported last week that several Israeli companies

have been selling military products, including night vision equipment and protective clothing, to Iran over the past decade despite a US trade embargo. The companies named in the report denied the allegations.

The TV report was based in part, on statements made by the defense attorney of Nahum Manbar, an Israeli millionaire linked to the illegal sale of chemical weapons components to Iran. Manbar is standing trial behind closed doors in Israel. Manbar's attorneys are trying to prove that selling military equipment to Iran was a norm in recent years. Manbar has said in previous interviews that he was not the only Israeli dealing with Iran.

TV Commercial Features Israel Milk During Mir Space Walk

The Israeli dairy Tnuva has launched a TV commercial featuring

Russian cosmonauts spinning around the Mir space station holding cartons of Tnuva's sterilized milk. The campaign is aimed at improving the image of Tnuva's sterilized milk product, which was hurt last year after a disclosure that a silicone-based agent used for cleaning some of the dairy's machines had been detected in the milk.

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