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>Israel Faxx
>JN April 9, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 66

Hamas Urges Arabs to Attack World's Jews

Israel Faxx News Service

The military wing of the Muslim militant group Hamas urged Muslims and Arabs around the world to attack Jewish targets to avenge the death of a bombmaker whose killing it has blamed on Israel. "We call on all the free and honorable sons of our Palestinian people and...all those who care about level and aim attacks against Jewish and Zionist interests which have been spreading all over the world," the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades said.

First Arab Israeli Woman Becomes Officer in Army

By IINS News Service

The Israeli army commissioned an Arab Israeli woman in a historic first for the Jewish state's military.

Caroline Kharman, 21, a Christian from the northern Druze village of Usfiyyeh, was promoted to second lieutenant during a ceremony at the officer training school in the Tzrifin army base near Tel-Aviv. Prior to the ceremony, Kharman told Israel Army Radio she enlisted in the army because she felt Arab Israelis deserve to be treated like any other citizens of the Jewish state.

"I feel I can't fight for my rights without fulfilling my obligations," Kharman said, adding that she wants to be a career officer in the military. "It's my moral duty to serve my country."

Asked if she was prepared to defend Israel against Arabs if necessary, Kharman replied, "I have no problem with this. "I think it's possible to protect Israel's interests while giving respect to Palestinians."

Kharman said her decision to enlist in 1996 ran into initial opposition from both her family and the army itself. "The army had a problem with me in the beginning. They said I had no chance to get in. But I sent letters to the chief of staff, the defense minister and the president and was accepted a month later."

She said her mother insisted that in the Arab community "it was not acceptable for a woman to be out of the house a lot and among men." But with the support of her father, an army veteran, Kharman was recruited in 1996. "I think all Israeli Arabs should serve in the army."

Arab Israelis who remained in their homes after the creation of Israel in 1948 -- make up about 20 percent of the country's population of 5.5 million and complain of economic and social discrimination in the Jewish state. Arabs are not subject to the mandatory military service imposed on most Jewish citizens, but some choose to enlist, notably from the Druze community.

An Ethiopian Vision of Passover on the Internet

By IINS News Service

A new Internet site presenting the Ethiopian Jewish vision of Passover as painted by a recent immigrant to Israel. The artist, Tsagaye Barihun, escaped from Ethiopia in disguise and immigrated to Israel with his family in 1991.

His works appear along with English and Hebrew passages from the Haggadah. The digitized paintings are accompanied by explanations of Ethiopian Jewish history and its connections with other holiday traditions.

The site also features an Interactive Afikoman Hunt, an Internet version of the traditional search. Sharp-eyed Internet surfers -- adults and children--can win free books and other prizes by spotting the missing matza, which the site producers say is "hidden in plain sight" in the website at .

Passover has a special meaning for the Ethiopian Jews, even though the holiday was observed differently in their native land. The biblical story of the Exodus from slavery parallels their own contemporary experience, in which two daring operations by the Israel Defense Forces, Operation Moses in the early 1980s and Operation Solomon in 1991, rescued the community from persecution and civil war in Ethiopia.

Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day

By IINS News Service

This year, Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day will be celebrated Thursday, April 23. This years' theme, marking the State of Israel's Jubilee year, is the contribution of Holocaust survivors to the creation of the State of Israel and their integration into society.

Many survivors, escaping from the horrors of the Holocaust, chose to rebuild their lives in Israel and to join in the struggle to establish the State. They actively rebuilt their lives and established a new generation here, with a Jewish-Israeli identity.

The stories of the six torch lighters, who will light the torches at the opening ceremony of Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day, represent many of the survivors' stories.

The opening ceremony will take place at Yad Vashem April 22, at 8:00 p.m., and will be attended by President Ezer Weizman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, government ministers, Knesset members, the Chief Rabbis, members of the diplomatic corps, as well as thousands of Holocaust survivors and their families.

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