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Egypt Says No Gas Deal With Israel


Minister of National Infrastructure (Shinui) Yosef Paritzky expressed his disappointment over an Egyptian announcement that Cairo would not sell gas to Israel. Paritzky added he would request an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon immediately upon his return from India. Israel recently opted to close a deal with Egypt instead of buying gas from the PA that is being developed by a British firm operating in Gaza. This deal is no longer a reality since Egypt is unwilling to proceed.

Reports: Korei Accepts Palestinian PM Nomination

By VOA News

A Palestinian official told the Voice of America that Ahmed Korei, also known as Abu Ala, has accepted Yasir Arafat's nomination as the next Palestinian prime minister. The official said Korei agreed to the nomination at a meeting Monday at the Palestinian president's headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Earlier, Korei said he would only take the job if he gets the full support of the United States. He also called on Israel to change its policies and abide by the so-called "road map" for peace. Korei, who is currently speaker of the Palestinian parliament, said he does not want to set himself up for failure like the previous Prime Minister, Mahmoud Abbas.

In Washington, the White House spokesman, Scott McLellan, said the United States believes it is vital for any new prime minister to have the power to press for reforms and stop terror attacks. The European Union gave its support to Korei in a statement calling him a man who believes in peace with Israel.

The United States said it expected the Palestinians' new prime minister to be given full control of Palestinian security services and to crack down on anti-Israeli attacks. A senior U.S. diplomat met with Korei in Ramallah Monday.

Korei said Israel must be prepared to accept what he called "a real ceasefire" and put an end to assassinations, military checkpoints, and the demolition of Palestinian homes. He also said he must have the full support of Arafat.

Korei is viewed as a moderate Palestinian politician. He was part of the team that negotiated the 1993 Oslo peace accords between Israel and the Palestinians. Abbas quit after an extended power struggle with Arafat over control of Palestinian security forces.

Meanwhile, violence in the region continued Monday. The Israeli military said soldiers killed a Palestinian wearing an Israeli army uniform, as he aimed a weapon at soldiers near the Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel.

Sharon Begins Landmark Visit to India

By Anjana Pasricha (VOA-New Delhi)

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon arrived Monday in the Indian capital, New Delhi, on a landmark three-day visit. The first-ever visit by an Israeli prime minister to India shows the blossoming relationship between the two countries. He came to India with a large delegation that included cabinet ministers and top defense industry officials.

India, long a supporter of the Palestinian cause, established diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992. The relationship improved after a Hindu-nationalist government came to power five years ago. The strengthening ties are based on defense and security issues. Israel is now the second-largest arms supplier to India after Russia. Both countries also see themselves as victims of Islamic terrorism.

Brahma Chellany, a foreign policy analyst at New Delhi's Center for Policy Research, explained "they are cooperating now in a number of different strategic areas. They are sharing intelligence, the Israelis are training a couple of thousand of Indian Special Forces in counter-terrorism, and they are also cooperating in the fields of missile defense as well as unmanned air vehicles. So there is a budding relationship," he said.

India's plans to buy an advanced Israeli airborne radar package from Israel will be discussed during the visit. The deal has raised concerns in Pakistan because it will put much of that country under Indian surveillance.

Security is tight for the visit. Sharon has canceled a visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra, apparently due to security concerns. The Israeli prime minister is likely to face some demonstrators while in India because his visit has angered India's leftist parties and some Muslim groups. But New Delhi says its growing ties with Israel will not hurt its commitment to the Palestinian cause.

Israeli Planes Over Auschwitz by Dr. Rafael Medoff (Commentary)

The Israeli planes that flew over Auschwitz last week are a tragic reminder that Allied planes also flew over the notorious Nazi death camp - but failed to bomb the gas chambers and crematoria where an estimated 1.5-million Jews were murdered.

The Israeli planes were over Poland this past Thursday, Sept. 4, to take part in an international celebration of the 85th anniversary of the creation of the Polish Air Force. Recognizing the symbolic significance of their presence, the Israeli Air Force arranged to have three of its fighter jets stage a special fly-over above the site of the Auschwitz death camp.

The event has evoked comments about how the Holocaust might have been averted if Arab and British opposition had not prevented the creation of a Jewish State in the 1930s. True enough. But the sight of Israeli planes flying over Auschwitz should also cause us to ask why the Allied planes that flew over Auschwitz in 1944 and could have bombed the infamous gas chambers, instead bombed only the adjacent oil factories.

The answer is that the Roosevelt administration knew about the mass murder of Jews in Auschwitz, but did not order U.S. planes to bomb the gas chambers, because saving Jews would have resulted in more pressure to let the refugees come to the United States.

This, despite the fact that many more Jewish refugees could have been admitted to the U.S. even within the strict limits of the existing immigration quotas. Those quotas were way under-filled, because U.S. immigration officials created extra bureaucratic obstacles to keep out all but a handful of refugees.

.By 1944, the Roosevelt administration even had detailed aerial reconnaissance photographs of Auschwitz, showing the mass-murder machinery - photos that were taken because the War Department was interested in bombing the German oil factories in the region.

On Aug. 20, 1944, 127 American 'Flying Fortress' bombers dropped more than 1,300 bombs on German factories less than five miles from the gas chambers; on Sept. 13, 96 American 'Liberator' bombers hit the factories again - and stray bombs accidentally struck an SS barracks and the railway line leading into the death camp. There were many other such bombing raids on German industrial sites in that region during the autumn of 1944 and the winter of 1944-1945, but the gas chambers and crematoria remained untouched.

In the new film They Looked Away (directed by Stuart Erdheim; narrated by Mike Wallace), Allied pilots who took part in those raids describe, in chilling detail, how they could have easily struck the murder facilities, but were never instructed to do so.

In his famous memoir, Night, Elie Wiesel recalled how he and other Auschwitz prisoners reacted when the bombers struck: "We were not afraid. And yet, if a bomb had fallen on the blocks [the prisoners' barracks], it alone would have claimed hundreds of victims on the spot. But we were no longer afraid of death; at any rate, not of that death. Every bomb that exploded filled us with joy and gave us new confidence in life. The raid lasted over an hour. If it could only have lasted 10 times 10 hours!"

In Washington, a number of Jewish organizations privately urged the Roosevelt administration to bomb the gas chambers. Assistant Secretary of War John McCloy rebuffed the requests on the grounds that they would divert resources that were "essential" to Allied military operations in Europe. But the fact is that during World War II, American military resources were repeatedly diverted for reasons far less important than the saving of human lives. The same John McCloy who refused to divert a few bombs to hit the gas chambers later personally intervened to divert American bombers from striking the German city of Rothenburg, because he feared for the safety of the city's famous medieval architecture. Similarly, the State Department, which opposed any U.S. government action to rescue Jews from Hitler, in 1943 established a special government commission "for the protection and salvage of artistic and historic monuments in Europe." And General George Patton even diverted U.S. troops to rescue 150 prized Lipizzaner horses in Austria in April 1945.

Perhaps the Zionist leader Rabbi Meyer Berlin was not so far off the mark when he told U.S. Senator Robert Wagner in early 1943: "If horses were being slaughtered as are the Jews of Poland, there would by now be a loud demand for organized action against such cruelty to animals. Somehow, when it concerns Jews, everybody remains silent."

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