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>Israel Faxx
>JN Sept. 17, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 171

Film Maker Says Israel Too Dangerous for War Movie

Plans for Harrison Ford to film a big-budget movie in Israel about the horrors of war have been scrapped because the country is perceived as too dangerous. Zvi Spielmann of Israfilm, the Israeli provider of production services for the $85 million film "Age of Aquarius," said Tuesday that producer Branko Lustig had called him to say they would film it in Morocco instead starting in February. Lustig called Spielmann on Sept. 5, the day after the last of two suicide bombings pegged to the Muslim militant Hamas group.

New York State Will Assist Holocaust Survivors

By Max Ruston (VOA-New York)

The state of New York is stepping up its efforts to help World War 2 Holocaust survivors and their heirs claim assets allegedly held by Swiss banks and insurance companies. New York's latest effort to help Holocaust survivors and heirs press their claims involves the establishment of a special claims processing office. Eight staff members, based in New York City, will help people press claims concerning assets in Swiss banks between 1933 and 1945.

Michael Barry is a spokesman for the New York State Banking Department, which established the new office. "The reason that New York State decided to launch this office is because it was believed that the Swiss Bankers Association was not doing enough to investigate the legitimacy of the claims."

The move comes amid reports that Swiss banking authorities will soon announce that between 100,000 and 200,000 unclaimed World War 2 accounts belonging to Swiss citizens are still in their banks.

Swiss banks have been under increasing pressure to provide information about unclaimed accounts. Jewish groups have accused Swiss banks of intentionally keeping account information secret, in order to profit from people killed in the Holocaust. Swiss banks released a list of about 2,000 unclaimed foreign accounts earlier this year. Jewish groups welcomed the move but say they believe much more remains to be done.

Announcing the new claims processing office, N.Y. Gov. George Pataki said it marked the first time a US government agency had set up a resource to help Holocaust survivors recover missing assets.

The office will help claimants prepare special forms outlining their cases. Assistance will be provided in seven languages; French, German, Hebrew, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Yiddish. The office will then help file the claims with Swiss authorities and act as an advocate for the claimants. Its services will be provided free of charge, and are not limited to people in New York State.

Swiss authorities do not dispute charges that there have been irregularities in the handling of accounts from the Holocaust period. They have responded by setting up a special fund to benefit Holocaust victims and have begun a review of that period in the country's history. However, disagreements remain between Swiss authorities and Jewish organizations over how much money is at stake.

Cats Used to Train Emergency Medical Procedures of Children

By IINS News Service

Dr. Yechezkiel Weissman, who heads the non-profit organization for the advancement of first aid in children, confirmed reports that cats are utilized in training programs for emergency medical personnel.

Weissman who also serves as Chief of Emergency Services at the Schneider Children's Hospital stated the cats are used in training exercises under supervised conditions for paramedics, other EMS (Emergency Medical Service) personnel, physicians and nurses. He explained the courses are a necessity and although he too loves animals, this does not leave the accepted norms of ethics.

Weissman stated the live animal is a good simulation for students to learn and remain proficient in many skills needed in life-saving techniques used on children. Weissman added the courses are funded by Magen David Adom, who acknowledged the programs and their content.

Some members of the medical community stated the use of cats is not necessary and less than acceptable. The Israeli organization opposing the use of animals for medical experiments has objected to the ongoing training classes.

??Quote of the Week??

Speech to the nation by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi which was broadcast by Libya's state-run television: "The Western countries might invade you one day because of your sun. They don't have sun to produce solar energy, and Libya is a sunny country and is the best placed on the planet towards the sun. Sand is a raw material and the Libyan sand is of high quality. They might colonize you for your watermelons, which are excellent because of the quality of Libya's sand.

"Libya has more than 1,200 km of coast on the Mediterranean. They might colonize you for that. The Libyan dates cannot be matched. They might want to colonize you for that. The camel is also a reason for them to invade Libya. The camel is unique because he can go for months without drinking. He also has good milk."

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