Newsletter : 3fax0930.txt
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Public Servants Launch Strike to Protest Planned Budget Cuts
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
About 60,000 public servants in Israel have launched a strike, disrupting international
flights and paralyzing land terminals, and seaports. The sanctions are in protest to
planned cuts in the national budget. Israel's Labor Federation, known as the Histradrut,
called the indefinite strike. It is intended to block an austerity budget under which some
government offices will be abolished and thousands of workers will be fired. Tel Aviv's
Ben-Gurion international airport has been badly affected by the strike. Customs staff
introduced a go-slow policy of baggage inspections, examining every bag and suitcase of
passengers entering Israel.
Outgoing Palestinian Minister Criticizes Intifada Violence
By VOA News
The outgoing Palestinian security minister says attacks on Israelis are hurting the
The comments by Mohammed Dahlan came on the third anniversary of the start of the current
Palestinian uprising, or Intifada, against Israeli occupation.
Dahlan said Palestinian militant groups who stage armed attacks against Israelis failed
to understand the world changed following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the
United States. He said the continued attacks allow the Israelis and Americans to label the
anti-Israel uprising as terrorism, and cut international support for the Palestinians.
Dahlan's comments came after he was left off a new cabinet list approved Saturday by
Palestinian chieftain Yasir Arafat's Fatah faction.
In an interview with the Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon, he said armed attacks allowed
Israel to brand the current Palestinian rebellion as a form of terrorism. As a result,
Dahlan said, Palestinians failed to gain strong international support for the
The cabinet under Prime Minister-designate Ahmed Qureia will replace the government
headed by Mahmoud Abbas, who lost a power struggle with Arafat over control of security
forces. Israel and the United States refuse to deal with Arafat. An Arafat loyalist,
Nasser Yousef, who will serve as interior minister and have partial control over security
forces, will replace Dahlan.
In another development, Saeb Erekat has reportedly turned down an offer to continue as
minister in charge of negotiations with Israel.
Barghouti Uses Closing Arguments at Murder Trial to Condemn Israel
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti used his closing arguments at his murder trial in
Tel Aviv to defend the Palestinian uprising and condemn Israel. Barghouti said the
Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, is a justified reaction to what he called Israel's
occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He is on trial on 26 counts of alleged murder,
after playing a leading role in orchestrating the Palestinian rebellion against Israel.
Barghouti, who is the head of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat's Fatah faction in the
West Bank, refuses to recognize Israel's right to try him. He avoided all mention of the
charges that have been brought against him. Addressing a Tel Aviv court in Hebrew, he said
the uprising had taught the Israelis that "the Palestinian people cannot be brought to
heel by force."
He said that within four or five years Israel would either have to agree to the
establishment of an independent Palestinian state or accept the founding of a bi-national
state within its own territory. Barghouti praised the Israeli air force pilots who last
week signed a letter saying they would no longer agree to serve in the Palestinian
civilian areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He congratulated the pilots on coming to
the conclusion that they had been "committing war crimes."
Barghouti, who represented himself without legal counsel, said the Palestinian struggle
against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip must continue every minute.
He said that no one can call himself a Palestinian leader, if he does not, "fight the
A panel of three judges presiding in Tel Aviv said the date set for a verdict, Nov. 10,
might have to be postponed to allow more time to review the large amounts of evidence that
had been presented during the trial.
Jewish Mother Re-United With Son
Four years ago, a Jewish mother lacked the financial means to raise her two children,
and gave the younger one to a Christian-Arab foster family in Jerusalem "until she was
able to take him back." When she came to reclaim her son last year, however, the foster
family refused to return him.
This past week, Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Drori ordered justice served - and
the child returned to his mother. "The mother has a right to raise her own child," Drori
wrote, "and all the more so in the case of a Jewish child whose Jewish mother wishes to
The original agreement between the mother and the foster family stipulated that the
child would be raised as a Jew, but in fact he was placed in a Christian Anglican nursery.
The welfare authorities long took the side of the foster family, but recently changed
their mind and agreed that the mother was capable of raising both her children. Her
attorney Moshe Osditcher praised the Court for ruling both that the ethnicity of a child
is of critical importance in cases of this nature, and that a child should be removed from
his natural home only for as short a period as possible.
Dershowitz Accused Of Plagiarism
By Lauren A.E. Schuker (Harvard Crimson)
DePaul University Professor Norman G. Finkelstein has charged Harvard University Law
School Frankfurter Professor of Law Alan M. Dershowitz with committing plagiarism in his
recent best-selling book "The Case for Israel" - an accusation that has set off a furious
back-and-forth about what does and does not constitute plagiarism.
Finkelstein first accused Dershowitz of plagiarism last Wednesday, when both professors
were on a talk show called "Democracy Now!" to debate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The charge has also surfaced in the October edition of The Nation, in a column called
"Alan Dershowitz, Plagiarist," which cites Finkelstein's research.
In an interview this weekend, Finkelstein accused Dershowitz of "wholesale lifting of
source material" from Joan Peters' book, From Time Immemorial, in which she argues that
Jewish settlements predated the arrival of Palestinians in what is now Israel.
Finkelstein wrote a book contesting Peters' argument-which he dismisses as a
"monumental hoax"-and says he is therefore very familiar with her text. He said that when
he read Dershowitz's book he recognized a lot of material-more than 20 quotes cited to
primary and secondary sources-which mirrored the quotes Peters selected for use in her
1984 book. Finkelstein argues that even though Dershowitz attributes those passages to
their original sources, he should not have relied so heavily on Peters' work.
While Dershowitz acknowledged that Peters' book was a resource he used in his research,
he dismissed Finkelstein's charge that this method of research amounts to plagiarism. "He
doesn't charge that the quotes are untrue or inaccurate," Dershowitz said in an interview
Sunday. "This seems more like a coordinated attack on the book by people who have a strong
opposition to the political and ideological issues presented in my book who are afraid to
take me on with the merits."
In his book, Dershowitz points to Finkelstein as a propagator of the notion that "Jews
have exploited the Holocaust to gain sympathy for a Jewish state at the expense of the
Palestinians, who bear no responsibility for Hitler's genocide against the Jews."
Finkelstein declined to comment on his response to the case Dershowitz laid out in the
book, but said his bone of contention is more scholarly. He speculates that the HLS
professor didn't do his own research. Finkelstein said that borrowing citations from
Peters' book is worse than borrowing from others because, he asserts, the book is biased
and unreliable. "He not only plagiarized, but he plagiarized from a certifiable hoax."
Dershowitz said he worried that Finkelstein was sending "an insidious message that if
you dare to write a pro-Israel book, you risk being called a plagiarist...or having your
integrity attacked. This could easily frighten someone with tenure away, but in this case,
they picked the wrong person. I have the resources to fight back."
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