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>Israel Faxx
>JN March 26, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 56

UN's First Couple Visits Yad Vashem

By IINS News Service

Following an emotional visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum together with his wife Nane, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan stated the world must act to prevent such a tragedy from ever taking place again. Mrs. Annan, is a niece of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis.

"In the memory of the six million Jews who perished during World War 2 the lesson is not only a Jewish one, but a universal one. Never again should humanity allow this to happen," Annan wrote in the visitors' book.

Wallenberg was arrested by Soviet forces in 1945. His fate remains a mystery. Many campaigners eager to clarify what happened to him believe that Wallenberg, who would be 85 years old today, may still be alive. Nane Annan blinked back tears as she and her husband stood for an extended moment in front of a carob tree planted in her uncle's memory on Yad Vashem's Avenue of the Righteous Gentiles, dedicated to non-Jews who saved Jews from extermination.

"This obviously has been a very moving experience for my wife, for myself in particular, and for all of my team,'' Annan said at the end of his visit.

Inside Yad Vashem's museum, Annan wiped away a tear while viewing pictures painted by children in the Lodz ghetto in Poland. He also recognized a photograph taken at Buchenwald of Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, a personal friend. Annan recalled this year's 50th anniversary of the UN declaration of human rights, drawn up after the Holocaust, and lamented the small number of people who had helped the Jews.

"As we recognize this anniversary...one wonders what would have happened if during World War 2 we had that universal standard, would many more people have stood up and challenged?

"If there had been more (Oskar) Schindlers, more Raoul Wallenbergs, would we have saved many more? And the question I always ask is how come there were so few, so few who dared to risk their lives to save others. Why did so many turn away?"

Rabbi Stewart Weiss, active in the fight to put Wallenberg on the world agenda, said it was not pure coincidence that "God made Nane the wife of the UN Secretary-General. It is divine manipulation," he said.


Palestinians Spying on Judea and Samaria

By Arutz-7 News Service

Yediot Acharonot reports Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority has been carrying out wide-ranging spying activities on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

An office in the Orient House, the PA's headquarters in Jerusalem, contains 143 thick folders for each of the Jewish communities -- except for Itamar near Shechem. Dr. Halil Tufkaji, head of the Cartographic Department in the Orient House and of the intelligence-gathering team, told the Yediot reporters that his efforts have benefitted from the cooperation of the American Consulate in Jerusalem, and even that of Peace Now.

The information gathered by the PA includes photographs taken from inside and outside the communities, development plans, security arrangements, and more. The Palestinians asked Ofek, a company that provides aerial photographs, for photos of Judea and Samaria; the company complied, but blacked out the settlements in the pictures. Even after the Palestinians used intermediaries to attempt to purchase the photos of the communities from Ofek, Ehud Friedlander, Director-General of Ofek, refused to comply. The Palestinians finally acquired the photos from a French firm.

The Palestinians claim they need the information to serve them during the upcoming permanent-status negotiations. Shlomo Filber, Deputy Director of the Yesha Council, is skeptical: "An archive of this magnitude, in the heart of Jerusalem, can be accessed by any number of elements hostile to Israel and the Yesha communities. I am sure that if an archive half this size with information on Tel Aviv was located somewhere in Europe, the Mossad would have long ago taken action against it."

He advised the ravshatz (the person responsible for security) in each community to pay more careful attention to suspicious persons, and to use his authority to approach them and ask for identification. "This information can then be transmitted to us, and we will proceed from there."


Bigger Than the Titanic?

(Condensed from Virtual Jerusalem)

NBC is about to begin making a massive effort to tell the biblical story of Noah's Ark in a 4 hour mini-series for the fall that will use state of the art technology. Unlike the Titanic which was recreated on a set in Mexico, Noah's Ark, in reality larger than the Titanic, the biblical ship will be computer-generated.

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