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>Israel Faxx
>JN March 10, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 45

Student Killed Following Purim Party

By IINS News Service

Edward Rothenberg, 23, a resident of Maalot, was stabbed to death following a Purim party in the Haifa area. The Haifa Technion student was found early Saturday morning. It was reported that Rothenberg left the party after a fight broke out. His girlfriend found him bleeding to death at about 5:30 a.m.

Neo-Nazis Arrested in Plot to Blow Up N.Y.'s ADL

By IINS News Service

The FBI said four members of a white supremacist organization have been arrested for conspiracy to blow up several public buildings, including the headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League in New York City and the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.

The FBI says the suspects also planned to assassinate a judge and to poison an unspecified water source with cyanide. The suspects were arrested Feb. 23, in their home in southern Illinois, where agents found explosive materials, grenades and guns. The FBI reported the suspects planned to rob armored cars to acquire the necessary funding for their operations, a method outlined in the "Turner Diaries." The head of the group, 35-year-old Dennis Mitchell, was also a past senior member of the KKK.

Wiesenthal Center Applies Pressure to Swiss

By IINS News Service

A Jewish group has refused a Swiss request to retract a controversial report, in which it accuses Switzerland of internin Jewish refugees in forced labor camps during World War 2.

In a letter to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Swiss government's top envoy for Holocaust issues called the report "nothing but an anti-Swiss polemic" and ruled out an apology that the group had demanded. Instead, Swiss diplomat Thomas Borer asked the group to disassociate itself from the report.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, the Wiesenthal Center's dean, said the center stood by the report but added: "(We) do not believe that the Swiss camps can in any way be compared to German labor camps. Any such comparison is not only historically inaccurate but unfair to Switzerland and we have never said that. We (also) do not deny that the 28,000 Jews in Switzerland were saved from the Nazi Holocaust.

"But that has nothing to do with the central issue of the report, which was whether or not the Jewish refugees were treated in a humanitarian way or treated as unwanted guests. We maintain, by and large, at least until the final stages of the war, they were treated as unwanted guests. We stand by the report."

The report, entitled "The Unwanted Guests - Swiss Forced Labor Camps 1940-1944," was prepared by US historian Alan Schom for the center and released in January.

In it, Schom said thousands of Jews entering Switzerland during the war years were forced into camps, where they did hard manual labor at gunpoint, for little or no compensation. Jews fleeing the Holocaust were turned back, especially after 1942, when Swiss policy hardened and Bern asked Germany to stamp a "J" in German Jews' passports, so that border guards would know whom to reject.

IDF General Compares Orthodox Soldiers to Nazis

By IINS News Service

IDF Maj. Gen. Shlomo Gazit (Res) last week caused a storm when he compared Orthodox Jews serving in the IDF to Nazi stormtroopers.

Addressing a Tel-Aviv University forum, Gazit said IDF soldiers wearing kippot serugot (knitted yarmulkes, generally associated with members of the national religious parties, remind him of Nazis who wore swastikas in the German army.

Gazit apologized for his remarks but nonetheless they sent waves of turmoil through all political circles. Faced with this criticism, Gazit explained that all he wanted was for the army to issue a standard kippa for soldiers to wear.

Israeli Soldiers Wed in Court Hall

By IINS News Service

It has been done underwater and it has been done while bungee jumping, but an Israeli couple has found another unusual place for their wedding vows -- the hallway of a military court.

The couple, two soldiers identified by Israel Radio only as T. and S., were in court facing drug charges. Trying to get out of testifying against his girlfriend, S. decided to marry T. because spouses don't have to testify against each other.

Handcuffed to a military policeman, S. shuffled over to T. and proposed. He placed his wristwatch on her ring finger, as no rings were on hand, and uttered the words: "You are consecrated to me."

Moments later, the newlyweds' lawyer asked the judge to drop the case, since the main witness had just been disqualified. The confused judge turned to an army rabbi to ask if the ceremony was valid. One rabbi said that on the face of it, it was a done deal. Under Jewish law, Rabbi Razton Arussi of Kiryat Ono told Israel Radio it was enough for the sacred words to be uttered and the vow to be witnessed by an observant Jew.

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