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>Israel Faxx
>JN Feb. 20, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 33

Palestinians Crack Down on Iraqi Sympathizers

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

The Palestinian Authority is trying to crack down on pro-Iraq and anti-US demonstrations, which have broken out almost daily in the West Bank for more than a week, including one Thursday. The authority closed several private television and radio stations, whose broadcasts some officials said had been inciting the public.

Palestinians have been criticizing the United States and calling on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to fire missiles at Tel Aviv. The small demonstrations, mostly by young people, have persisted in spite of a ban imposed last week by the Palestinian Authority.

This week, the Authority took additional steps, ordering several private television and radio stations to limit their coverage of the Iraq issue and the demonstrations. In the past, private Palestinian broadcasters had generally been allowed to operate with or without the proper licenses.

Walid Awad of the Palestinian Information Ministry says tighter regulation is needed. Awad says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu uses any militant statements by any Palestinians -- such as the demonstrators' call for attacks on Tel Aviv -- to hurt the Palestinian image worldwide, and to delay the peace process. Those are two things the Palestinian Authority wants to avoid.

At the same time, Awad admits there is considerable sympathy for Iraq among the Palestinian people. He says there is an Arab solidarity issue, and he says Palestinians see Iraqis as victims of what he calls US atrocities, just as, he says, the Palestinians are victims of Israeli atrocities. The Palestinian official also says Palestinians feel "hurt" by what he calls the US double standard -- allowing Israel to ignore peace agreements and UN resolutions, while sending enormous firepower against Iraq to enforce other UN resolutions.

Iran Negotiates with Russia for Nuclear Reactor

By IINS News Service

Iran is maintaining contacts with the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry in the hope of purchasing a 40-megawatt nuclear reactor, according to a report from the Israel Consulate in New York City.

Iran is also conducting talks toward the purchase of heavy water from Russia, which would enhance the production of plutonium in a nuclear reactor of this size, and facilitate the manufacture of nuclear weapons.
"If Iran seeks to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons, a 40-megawatt dedicated reactor is a far more efficient means than the Busheir reactor for the production of electricity," said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, an arms-control expert at Bar-Ilan University.

Knesset Health Spa Was Designated as "Sealed Room"

By IINS News Service

The newly-opened Knesset health-spa was designated as the sealed room, should the order be given, in the event of a missile attack to set up the rooms. The room was built with a most advanced air filtration system, as well as showers, which can be used to wash off persons exposed to toxic chemical or biological agents

The Knesset first aid first responder team, made up of Knesset police and other building employees, together with the Knesset's medical team, yesterday conducted an emergency drill, to prepare for the event of a deterioration of the current crisis situation with Iraq.

Kabalists Fly Over Israel to Reverse An Evil Decree

By IINS News Service

Kabalist Rabbi David Batzri, along with nine other rabbis and priests (Kohanim), flew over Israel in a plane seven times, as did Joshua over the city of Jericho. The rabbis took the flight to beseech God to remove the Iraqi threat from Israel.

Ten priests, who were on the flight, blew the shofar (ram's horn), while the rabbis recited special prayers. Rabbi Yitzchak Batzri, [the son of Rabbi David] stated that these ceremonies have already proven themselves in the past. Also on board the flight were Shas Party MK Rabbi Aryeh Deri and Rabbi Uri Zohar.

Old Yiddish Recordings Found

By Arutz-7 News Service

500 hours of Yiddish broadcasts from 50 years ago were recently discovered in New York, and an attempt is being made to re-record them onto modern tape.

Henry Sapoznik, who found the pile of aluminum discs in a storeroom, said that the collection is extremely fragile. "The stuff is falling apart, worse than old paper. [Listening to it] is almost like eavesdropping...back in time. You get a real sense of the moment."

The collection, which was created only to conform with federal regulations that demanded programming samples for reference, includes drama, news programs, poetry readings, advice shows, Yiddish jazz and swing bands, and commercials. Specific recordings include Nobel Literature Prize-winner Isaac Bashevis Singer reading his own work, some of the first anti-fascist broadcasts ever aired in the United States, and appeals in English on behalf of refugees by Albert Einstein, actor Henry Fonda and baseball star Willy Mays.

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