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>Israel Faxx
>JN Dec. 24, 1997, Vol. 5, No. 235

Netanyahu and Arafat Tension Release Toys a Hit

The tennis ball-sized squeezable rubber models of the heads of Prime Minister Netanyahu and PA Chief Arafat are big sellers in Israel- for the Chanukah season. The rubber caricature-type figures are advertised as good "releases for tension". Wound up and tense? Give a squeeze and relax.

Ritual Baths May Pose Health Hazards

By IINS News Service

According to the data compiled by the Knesset Public Inquiry Committee, ritual baths (Mikvehs) throughout Israel may pose a health hazard to those using them.

A representative of the Ministry of Health, Shalom Goldberg, told officials that many of the nation's ritual baths are unsanitary and pose a health hazard, especially privately owned ones.

Israeli law calls for the water of the ritual bath to be changed after 10 persons have immersed in it. This is not done but Israeli law does not make provisions to shut down baths that do not comply with the law.

Chabad Constructs the World's Largest Menorah

By IINS News Service

Located near Latrun, visible to motorists traveling on the Jerusalem-Tel-Aviv Highway, the Chabad/Lubavitch Movement has constructed, what is believed to be, the world's largest menorah. The menorah stands 21.6 yards high and weighs 17 tons. It is constructed of steel pipes. Prominent rabbinical figures will light the menorah each night of the Chanukah Holiday and they will be lifted up to the menorah by a crane.

Soldier's Organs Transplanted to Six Patients

By IINS News Service

The organs of IDF soldier Alina Gerstein, 19, who died suddenly of a rare vascular defect last week, were given to six patients around the country.

A 45-year-old patient in Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital received her liver; the heart was given to a 49-year-old man in Petach Tikvah's Beilinson Hospital; a lung was given to a man, also in Beilinson Hospital; the pancreas and kidney were transplanted in Tel-Aviv's Ichilov Hospital; the second kidney was given to a patient in Haifa's Bnei Tzion Hospital.

The parents of the donor consulted with a rabbi prior to reaching their decision and explained that once they new it was permitted under Jewish Law, they felt comfortable with the decision, one they are certain their daughter would have agreed with.

Good Enough for the IDF but Not for Citizenship

By IINS News Service

Despite that fact that 19-year-old Jonbo Fantiya has been living in Israel for six years, and today serves in the Israel navy, officials in the Ministry of the Interior have a problem issuing citizenship papers to her.

About two months ago, Fantiya and her sister went to the Ministry of the Interior office in Netanya and applied for passports. They wanted to visit their parents in Ethiopia. Officials told them to leave their identification cards and they would process the request.

After some time passed, Jonbo returned to see what was the cause for the delay. She was then told that her identity card and that of her sister were being confiscated because, she was told, that she and her sister were not Jewish.

Officials in the ministry offered the two permanent residency status and the proper travel permit to allow them to make the visit to Ethiopia and return.

Fantiya said her father is Christian but her mother is Jewish. She added she has relatives in Israel, all of whom are considered Jewish. (In accordance to Orthodox Jewish law, the "Jewishness" of a person is determined by the mother only).

The ministry said the identification cards were confiscated because the two entered the country with forged papers. For now, the two were given permanent residency status but according to Tova Alinson, in the Ministry of the Interior, the issue of citizenship is still being investigated.

Another Tnuva Milk Scandal

By IINS News Service

Rachel Elimelech of Ashdod said she almost swallowed a nut and bolt that was inside a container of Tnuva milk she had started drinking.

"Suddenly, I felt something hit my teeth, then I almost choked. I managed to spit it out and saw a nut and bolt," she explained.

Elimelech and her husband spoke with a Tnuva Dairy representative, who stated it appears the nut and bolt were from a malfunctioning machine. He offered to compensate them with cash and dairy products. The offer was turned down. She insists that she wants her damaged teeth to be repaired- with Tnuva picking up the bill.

In the past laboratory tests confirmed the presence of dirty water in the chocolate milk, silicon in the long-life milk and rodents in other dairy products. The silicon problems caused the government to close down one of Tnuva's plants until the situation was satisfactorily rectified.

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