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>Israel Faxx
>JN Nov. 5, 2003, Vol. 11, No. 191

Israeli Arrested for Hacking Mossad Website


The Mossad Intelligence Agency website used to recruit future agents was hacked by a 23-year-old Israeli resident.

According to an AP report, both the Prime Minister's Office and Justice Ministry, who share responsibility for the intelligence agency, refused comment.

The suspect was charged in a Jerusalem court but details of when the attack occurred were not released. The computer attack was described as "sophisticated," adding the man did penetrate the system. Officials added that he did not succeed in deciphering the information extracted from the Internet site.

Sharon Adviser Wants Arabs to Wave Flags and Take Loyalty Oaths

By Yair Ettinger, Ha'aretz

A sweeping series of proposals designed to cultivate patriotism among Israeli Arabs, flag-waving to predicating the issuance of identity cards upon taking loyalty oaths to the state, was submitted to the special ministerial committee responsible for the implementation of the findings of the Or Committee report.

The author of the suggestions, Uri Borovsky, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's adviser for Arab affairs, appeared at Monday's session of the ministerial committee, which is headed by Justice Minister Yosef Lapid. The Lapid Committee is supposed to submit later this month formal recommendations for state policy toward the country's Arab minority, and for changes in Israel's police force.

In his briefing, Borovsky challenged one of the main findings of the Or Committee, which earlier in the year released a long-awaited report on the causes of altercations between Israeli Arabs and police in autumn 2000. The three-man Or panel called for the reducing of social gaps between Jews and Arabs in the country, and supported specific measures designed to reduce discrimination, including the furnishing of special budget allocations to Arab communities, and the increased employment of Arabs in the public sector.

Borovsky took exception to the committee's line of argument. "There is no discrimination today" between Jews and Arabs, he told the committee members. He said that "the state of Israel will respect those who respect it," and outlined a new policy based on what he called the principle of reciprocity. Among other measures, the policy would include laws and regulations requiring all citizens, Jews and Arabs, to take a loyalty oath prior to receiving Israeli identity cards. The new rules would stipulate that Israeli flags must be flown on public buildings such as schools and municipality facilities.

The new policy would also encourage people from minority groups to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces or in national service frameworks. As a first step, these incentives would be directed especially toward Christian Arabs and Bedouin. Sharon has in the past expressed support for the idea of encouraging Arab citizens to participate in national service frameworks. Up to now, however, Sharon's government has not seriously discussed this national service proposal.

Arafat Extends Emergency Cabinet

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

Palestinian chieftain Yasir Arafat has extended the life of his emergency cabinet after failing to reach agreement on the formation of a new government. The one-month term of the emergency cabinet was due to expire at midnight. Arafat's decision was made during a continuing power struggle that has delayed the formation of a new cabinet.

Despite a month of negotiation on the issue, Arafat and his Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia are still locked in a disagreement over who should serve in the key post of interior minister. The position includes responsibility for some of the Palestinian security forces.

Qureia supports the appointment of former top Palestinian police commander, Nasser Yousef, who is demanding that all of the security organizations be placed under his control. Yousef's selection is opposed by Arafat, who wants to retain authority over key Palestinian security forces.

In the absence of any agreement on the issue, an Arafat spokesman said. Qureia had been asked to continue serving as the head of an emergency government. The spokesman said the current Cabinet will serve in what he called a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed. The announcement was made just hours before the mandate of the current emergency cabinet was due to run out.

Qureia said he expects to be able to present a new government to the parliament by next week. But he acknowledged that the issue of control over the security forces has not been resolved.

Rabbi Ravitz Released from German Prison in Time for Shabbat


Knesset member Rabbi Avraham Ravitz (United Torah Judaism) and his wife found themselves in a German jail cell for three hours recently - all because he had left his passport behind.

The story began when he was released from a Swiss hospital after successfully undergoing medical treatment. He and his wife then visited the Rhein Falls on a river bordering France, Switzerland and Germany. "There are some beautiful falls on the river," Ravitz said, "that as soon as you see them, you can't help but blurt out, 'How wondrous are Your creations, O God." He said that the highway goes in and out of the three countries, yet there appeared to be no need to carry a passport.

The German border guards who stopped him did not agree, however. They told the Ravitzes that they were to remain under arrest until their companion drove back to the hotel and retrieved the passports. Though Ravitz was able to make contact with the Israeli Foreign Ministry, and though an Israeli official from the consulate in Germany asked to speak with the German guard, the latter refused to answer any phone calls "until the passports arrive." They finally did, and the Ravitzes made it back to their hotel only a short time before the onset of the Sabbath.

Berlin Fires General Who Praised Anti-Jewish Speech

By Reuters

The German government fired the commander of the prestigious "KSK" special forces on Tuesday after he praised a lawmaker who had sparked outrage with comments widely interpreted as belittling the Holocaust.

Defense Minister Peter Struck said he had ordered the dismissal of Brig. Gen. Reinhard Guenzel, who had written a letter of support to Martin Hohmann, a conservative deputy who said Jews, like Germans, could be seen as "perpetrators."

"The case is closed for me, I have decided that he will be relieved of his command, that he will be sacked," Struck told reporters. "I don't think it can be called an honorable dismissal for a general when a minister decides to throw him out. This is about a lone, confused general who agreed with an even more confused statement made by a conservative member of parliament."

In a speech to his local constituency on Oct. 3, Hohmann said it was mainly Bolsheviks of Jewish descent that had taken part in mass executions during the 1917 Russian revolution and Jews, like Germans could therefore be called "perpetrators."

Hohmann, who has been rebuked by Jewish leaders and all the main political parties including by his own, the opposition Christian Democrats, had read Guenzel's letter of support out to the ZDF television channel.

The case had embarrassed the Christian Democrats and dominated headlines in Germany, where remarks critical of Jews or Israel often trigger uproar because of the country's lingering guilt over the Holocaust.

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