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Alleged Sex for Votes During Likud Primary

By Israel Faxx News Sources

The Israeli media have been focusing on a juicy political scandal involving alleged irregularities in the Likud party primaries. A secretary for one candidate told Israel's Channel 2 television that her boss had asked to her to hint that she would be willing to have sex in exchange for votes. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and other Likud officials are worried that the scandal could hurt the party's chances in next month's elections.

Palestinian Gunmen Clash With Israeli Forces

By Larry James (VOA-Jerusalem)

Palestinian gunmen and Israeli forces fought each other in a clash, early Monday, at the border between the southern Gaza Strip and Israel. One Palestinian was reported killed in the incident one of a series of events that have raised tensions in the area.

It has been a surprisingly quiet period in Israel, with only scattered incidents of violence reported over the past week. Israeli security forces said that was because they have been successful in intercepting Palestinian militants intent on attacking Israelis.

The firefight in the southern Gaza Strip, while a reminder of the long string of violent incidents that have rocked Israel and the Palestinian territories for more than two years, was not as unnerving to Israelis as the headlines in Monday's paper that three more Israeli Arabs have been arrested and charged with terrorism.

The three men, all from East Jerusalem and all in their early 20s, are charged with planning to launch a missile at a helicopter bound for the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, and of planning to set off a huge bomb near the residence of the prime minister.

They are also accused of planning bombings at several other neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Police said they found an 88-pound explosive charge along with two mobile telephones to detonate it. They said the explosives were bundled with several 81mm mortar shells, to increase the killing power of the device.

The arrests were announced the same day four other Israeli Arabs were convicted of carrying out a series of terror attacks that killed 35 Israelis and wounded more than 200 others. The men were given sentences ranging from 60 years to 35 consecutive life sentences.

Among the bombings attributed to the group was the March blast in Jerusalem's Moment Café that killed 11 people. Prosecutors said the group also led a suicide bomber to a pool hall in Rishon Lezion, on Israel's Mediterranean coast, last May in which 15 people died.

The four were also convicted of the July bombing of the cafeteria at Hebrew University, which killed nine people and of trying on two occasions to derail trains with explosive charges. They are also said to have been behind two attempts to blow up fuel tanker trucks. In one of those incidents, the bomb detonated as a tanker drove into a fuel depot, north of Tel Aviv. Only one person was injured in that incident because the explosion failed to set off the tanker.

Israeli prosecutors say the men used their Israeli identity cards to move freely about the country. There are an estimated 210,000 Israeli Arabs living and working in Jerusalem. Most of them have kept a generally low profile since the most recent cycle of Israeli-Palestinian violence erupted, more than two years ago.

Blair Invites Palestinians to Britain to Revive Peace Process

By Michael Drudge (VOA-London)

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has invited Palestinian leaders to London in January for talks on reviving the Middle East peace process. Blair told parliament Monday he wants the talks to focus on Palestinian political reforms and ways of getting the Middle East peace negotiations back on track.

He did not identify the Palestinian officials who will be invited to the London conference, and there is no indication that Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat would attend. Blair said the four chief Middle East mediators, the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, also would send representatives.

The British prime minister has been pushing for new Middle East peace talks, and had earlier expressed hope for a peace conference before the end of this year. Blair has frequently argued that peace in the Middle East should be pursued with as much vigor as the war against terrorism and the suspected weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Canadian Indian Leader Praises Hitler


David Ahenakew, a senator with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) in Canada, a former chief of the organization and a former chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), praised Nazi leader Adolph Hitler, accused the Jews of conspiring to control the world, of starting World War II, and of "killing people in Arab countries."

A report in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix on Dec. 14 quoted Ahenakew as saying, "The Jews damn near owned all of Germany prior to the war... That's how Hitler came in. He was going to make damn sure that the Jews didn't take over Germany or Europe. That's why he fried six million of those guys, you know. Jews would have owned the goddamned world. And look what they're doing. They're killing people in Arab countries."

According to the newspaper, the Indian leader agrees with Germans he met in the late 1950s who told him that Jews started World War II, saying, "How do you get rid of a disease like that, that's going to take over, that's going to dominate?" He also claimed, "I saw the Jews kill people in Egypt when I was there. The Palestinians, Arabs. I saw them (Israel) f---ing dominate everything."

"I don't support Hitler. But he cleaned up a hell of a lot of things, didn't he? You would be owned by the Jews right now the world over. Look, a small, little country (Israel) like that and everyone supports them. Who the hell owns many of the banks in the states, many of the corporations? Look at here in Canada. Izzy Asper (chair of CanWest Global, the owner of The StarPhoenix). He controls the media. What the hell does that tell you? That's power. That's f---ing power," ranted Ahenakew.

According to the Star Phoenix, "Ahenakew made his remarks after giving a 45-minute, profanity-laced address to between 150 and 200 delegates attending an FSIN conference on a new Health Canada policy requiring Indians to sign a consent form before receiving certain health services." FSIN vice-chief Lawrence Joseph said that Ahenakew is an unelected official who does not speak for the FSIN. Joseph was quoted as commenting, "It depends on how it's packaged."

Mezuzah Thief Apprehended


A Kiryat Gat policeman who stopped a 70-year-old man who he felt was acting suspiciously as he passed storefronts was shocked to learn he had apprehended a mezuzah thief.

The man who police report has a psychiatric history was ripping the religious encased scrolls from doorposts of stores and homes. He had over 60 in his possession at the time he was taken into custody. A check revealed that he had been placed in a mental health facility in the past. It was less surprising to learn that while in the facility, he ripped the mezuzot (scrolls) off the doorposts of the rooms there as well.

Yet Another Gold Medal - In Cooking

By Israel Faxx News Sources

Competing in the Ethnic Kitchen category at the International Culinary Arts Competition in Shanghai, at the end of last month, an Israeli team of chefs won the gold medal with their locally flavored platters.

Ha'aretz reported that the chefs used ingredients native to Israel, including dates, pomegranates, the fruit of the Sabra cactus plant and various herbs. The chefs also presented native foods, such as falafel and humus. The Israeli team was competing against chefs who prepared dishes native to the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.

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