Newsletter : 7fax1118.txt
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>JN Nov. 18, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 212
IDF Officer Gets Jail Term for Wedding Affair
Yesterday, we reported that IDF soldier Avishai Ukshi was not
permitted leave to attend his sister's wedding. The officer
responsible for Ukshi missing the wedding was given a jail term
for her actions. IDF officials refuse to state how long a sentence
More Gas Masks Needed
By IINS News Service
In a report Monday to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee, IDF officials informed MKs that the army is short some
400,000 gas masks. They are needed to equip all of the Israelis who
need masks or replacements for their old masks.
Over the past few days, with the Iraqi front heating up, thousands
of Israelis have been turning out at IDF Home Front Command gas
mask stations for new equipment.
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Lashes Out Against Reform Jews
By IINS News Service
Once again Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has captured
headlines with his comments. The rabbi stated the Reform Jews are
not members of the Jewish community. "They should be vomited out.
They are not counted in the nation of Israel." Yosef maintains
there can be no compromise with the members of the Reform Movement.
Netanyahu Addresses Jewish Federations Assembly
By Michael Leland (VOA-Indianapolis)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is urging North American
Jews not to worry about a proposal that would write into law
Orthodox control over religious conversions in Israel. Many Reform
and Conservative Jews in North America say they feel alienated by
Netanyahu told more than 4,000 people at the Council of Jewish
Federations General Assembly in Indianapolis that the proposal
merely writes into law a practice that already exists in Israel --
Orthodox control over conversions. He says it will not affect
Reform or Conservative jews in North America. "No one, nobody can
deprive a Jew of his Jewishness. No power on earth can rob any
Jew of his or her identity. There can be no such thing as a
second class Jew."
Enactment of the legislation has been delayed while Orthodox,
Reform and Conservative leaders try to work out a compromise.
Some Orthodox Jews in the United States have accused Reform and
Conservative branches of trying to impose a weakened standard of
Jewish law on Jews in Israel. About 80-percent of the Jews in
the United States consider themselves Reform or Conservative, and
many people in those branches say they feel if the law is enacted,
they would be so-called second class Jews. The prime minister says
he hopes the matter can be settled without legislation or
Does Arafat Have Parkinson's Disease?
By IINS News Service
A senior Israeli neurologist has expressed the opinion that PLO
chairman Yasir Arafat has entered the early stages of Parkinson's
Disease. Speaking during a Sunday radio interview, Professor
Avinoam Rekhess said he based his view on footage he had studied of
Arafat at public functions.
Cautioning that a definitive diagnosis was not possible from the
video films, Rekhess said however that facial tremors and other
external signs seemed to indicate Parkinson's. He urged Arafat to
seek treatment, saying the symptoms may be significantly reduced by
medications available today.
Arafat and other PLO spokesmen have denied the reports. The PLO
chief attributed his paleness, red eyes and facial tremors to
overwork and a lack of sleep. His wife, Suha, accused Israel of
employing what she called propaganda in a bid to remove Arafat from
At a press conference in Bern, Switzerland, with Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright Saturday afternoon, Arafat's appearance stirred
whisperings among the crowd. HA'ARETZ reports that when an American
journalist asked him how he felt, Arafat smiled and said, "How do
I look to you?"
The journalist responded: "You look teary-eyed; your lips are
shaking; you're speaking slowly; you're pale; your expression is
glazed and I would like you to address the subject."
Arafat, clearly embarrassed, said in Arabic that his eye has been
tearing since he survived a 1992 plane crash in the Libyan desert.
"In addition, I didn't sleep well. I had to work all night and
leave at 5:00 a.m. to arrive here."
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