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The June 17 issue will be our final issue before we move to Florida. Israel Faxx will resume publication on June 23.

Yad Vashem: "No Holocaust in Romania" Claims are False


Yad Vashem announced its objection to the Romanian government's recent statement that there was "no Holocaust inside Romanian borders between the years 1940-1945." Yad Vashem emphasized that this statement was false, "especially in light of the fact that the murder of Jews in greater Romania during the Holocaust has already been established." In fact, 420,000 Jews were murdered in greater Romania during the Holocaust years.

In a book published by Yad Vashem, Dr. John Ancel reported that the "Romanian government in Bucharest, together with the Romanian army and the Romanian police, bear direct responsibility for the murder of a large number of the Jews in greater Romania during World War II."

Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said, "The information is based on documents that were collected from archives worldwide, including archives in Romania that are now located at Yad Vashem and available to researchers. It is difficult to believe that a country which endeavors to establish a democratic regime would present such a distorted version of historical events."

Palestinian Cease-Fire Talks End without Deal

By Larry James (VOA-Jerusalem)

Efforts to reach a formal ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militant groups have hit a snag. Palestinian militants ended two days of meetings in the Gaza Strip with Egyptian negotiators, without agreeing to a ceasefire.

Egyptian mediators failed to get the militants to agree to a ceasefire, despite reports that the U.S. has given its assurance that Israel would stop targeted killings of Palestinians suspected of terrorism. Hamas leader Ismail Abu Shinab said after the meeting broke up that now is not the time for a truce.

But Palestinian officials remained hopeful that a ceasefire could be agreed to soon. Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath said he hoped to get some answers from the militant factions by Tuesday. The militants have said they would only consider suspending their attacks if Israel promised to halt military strikes, including targeted killings.

They also said they would only observe such a ceasefire in Israel proper and not in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Egyptian mediators have invited the militant factions to continue their discussions later this week in Cairo.

Meanwhile, Israel's parliament gave its support to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's recent statement that a peace settlement would be impossible, unless the Palestinian Authority cracked down on militants. After a tumultuous session, the parliament voted 57-42 for a non-binding resolution in support of the Sharon position.

Sharon told his Cabinet on Sunday that Israel would continue targeting, what he termed, ticking bombs, a reference taken to mean militants about to carry out attacks. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom also rejected the idea of a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, saying Palestinian security forces have to dismantle militias, as required by the so-called road map peace plan.

Abbas Seeks Truce With Palestinian Militants

By VOA News

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas is in Gaza where he will press Palestinian militants to end attacks against Israel. Palestinian officials said Abbas would use Tuesday's talks to persuade militant leaders to accept a ceasefire with Israel.

On Monday, Egyptian mediators ended two days of talks with Palestinian militants in Gaza without reaching a ceasefire deal. Speaking after the meetings, a leader of the militant group, Hamas, said a truce is not possible as long as Israel continues military strikes against its leaders. For its part, Israel said its forces would continue striking Hamas targets until attacks on Israel stop. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the Israeli parliament Monday he has ruled out a peace deal until the Palestinian Authority cracks

'The Aliyah Revolution Has Begun'


Leading religious leaders from the three major denominations of American Jewry have issued statements calling for mass Aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel) from the United States.

One recent statement was issued in the context of encouragement bestowed upon the hundreds of North American olim (immigrants to Israel) who are slated to arrive in the Holy Land this summer with the help of Nefesh b'Nefesh, an organization seeking to revitalize North American Aliyah by removing the financial, professional, and logistical obstacles that prevent many "would-be" olim from fulfilling their dream.

"There are many ways for the Jewish community to connect with Israel and to contribute to the well being of the Jewish state. Of all these expressions though, fulfilling the mitzvah (biblical commandment) of aliyah is the highest manifestation of Zionism. This decision, during these challenging times in Israel, is especially admirable. May God give you strength to succeed in this most important commitment. We pray that you and your family will enjoy living in the Jewish home in peace and success. Together we congratulate you for your admirable decision."

The statement was signed by Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, head of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Rabbi Jerome Epstein, head of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and Rabbi Eric Yoffie, head of the Reform Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

That statement joins a previously released proclamation organized by Kumah - Americans Return to Zion, a grassroots organization dedicated to encouraging and facilitating mass aliyah to Israel by all Jews of the exile. The statement, signed by leading orthodox rabbinic leaders, said:

"Our Rabbis learned: One should always live in Eretz Yisrael, even in a city whose majority is idolaters, and he should not live outside Eretz Yisrael, even in a city with a Jewish majority."(Talmud, Tractate Ketuvot p.110b)

Various Roshei Yeshiva (heads of Talmudic academies) urged all Jews to seriously consider making aliyah. "We believe that a massive return to our eternal homeland will contribute greatly to an alleviation of all demographic, economic and religious problems in Israel today. We urge the entire Jewish Diaspora, particularly the younger generation, to begin viewing aliyah as a goal rather than an option."

Nefesh b'Nefesh brought 550 Jews on aliyah last summer and is expecting to triple that number this summer with three planeloads of North American Jews arriving over the coming months.

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