Newsletter : 8fax0611.txt
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>JN June 11, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 102
Iran Hangs Jew
A 60-year-old Iranian Jew was hanged last week, apparently for
having ties to Israel or, according to one report, for helping Jews
fleeing Iran. The news agency ITIM reports that the man was known
for his efforts to help needy members of Iran's Jewish community.
Since the 1979 revolution, Iranian authorities have executed at
least 13 Jews, most of whom were sentenced to death for religious
reasons or connections with Israel.
Wiesenthal Center: Swiss Aided Nazi Germany
By IsraelWire and Israel Faxx Staff Report
The Swiss government, while declaring itself neutral, actually
helped Nazi Germany during World War 2, according to a new report by
a leading Jewish organization. The report, prepared by the Simon
Wiesenthal Center, was based on records uncovered in the Swiss
According to the report, the Swiss government allowed 1,200
pro-Nazi youth to train in Switzerland and also sent medical teams
to assist the German military. "The Swiss were always for the
Germans," said U.S. historian Alan Schom, author of the report.
"And they thought the Germans were going to win the war and they
practiced no neutrality whatsoever."
According to the Wiesenthal Center, the Swiss justice minister told
an anti-Semitic group during World War 2 that the country's borders
would be closed off more tightly to Jews seeking refuge. The
minister told the group that the policy against the Jews would have
to be kept quiet.
Justice Minister Eduard von Steiger told the head of the Swiss
Fatherland Association in a memo dated Oct. 17, 1942, that he would
not publicize the policy aimed at restricting an increase in
Jewish influence in Switzerland.
The Swiss government called upon the Germans to inscribe a "J" in
the passports of Jews, to assist them in identifying them at the
border. During the Hitler regime, the Swiss were reported to have
turned away 30,000 Jews who were seeking refuge from the Nazi death
Netanyahu Opposes New "Anti-Missionary" Bill
By IsraelWire and ICEJ News Service
The Israeli government will "pass no laws which limit freedom of
religion," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's media advisor David
Bar-Illan reassured Christians concerned about pending
This latest statement was elicited by the International Christian
Embassy Jerusalem after a new measure passed preliminary reading in
the Knesset last month calling for a three-year prison sentence or
an approximately $15,000 fine for anyone found guilty of "preaching
with the intent of causing another person to change his religion."
In a letter sent to Netanyahu May 27, the ICEJ urged him to issue
a public statement which would "serve to reassure the apprehensions
of those millions of Christians who are motivated by genuine love
and respect for the Jewish state and people."
"We fully understand Jewish concerns over inducements for
conversion, and note that such conduct is covered adequately by
current law. Concurrently, we find it difficult to defend the
censorship provisions which have been offered of late as amendments
to this law: These proposals present troublesome drafting,
interpretation and enforcement problems, and hinder our efforts to
win support for Israel abroad. At the same time, we are extremely
disappointed with the stands taken by some Christian ministries
who have threatened to suspend their support for Israel if such a
bill becomes law."
Opponents of these legislative efforts have argued that it
constitutes an attempt to impose religiously-motivated censorship
and deny Christians rights generally recognized in democratic
countries. It also would spell public relations trouble for Israel,
which heretofore has enjoyed a good record of respecting freedoms
of speech and religion.
Hamas' Chicago Connection Closed
By Michael Leland (VOA-Chicago)
Federal officials in Chicago have seized almost $1.5 million in
cash and property they say was part of a scheme to fund Middle East
terrorism. They say the scheme funneled money to Hamas, a radical
Palestinian group opposed to Israel.
Federal officials filed court papers in Chicago, seizing property
and cash from Mohammad Salah of the nearby community of Bridgeview.
Salah is an Arab-American who was convicted in Israel of channeling
funds to the anti-Israeli group Hamas. He returned to the U.S last
year after serving nearly five years in an Israeli prison.
Government officials seized Salah's home and automobile, as well as
about $1.2 million in cash from bank accounts and safe deposit
boxes held by Salah and his wife, and by the Quranic Literacy
Institute. The institute says it translates and publishes sacred
Islamic texts, but US officials say the institute is involved in
helping fund Hamas operations.
Documents filed by federal officials say the scheme dates back to
1989. They say it funneled money from Europe and the Middle East
to a US-based network of Hamas supporters and then on to Hamas
operatives in the Middle East. The FBI alleges Salah was involved
in recruiting and training terrorists, as well as serving as a
financial conduit for Hamas.
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