Newsletter : 3fax1106.txt
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Israeli Call-in Show - "Science and Genesis"
Call toll-free to discuss, "Science and Genesis--are they compatible?" Israel National Radio's Eli Stutz hosts Bar Ilan University physics professor Natan Aviezer, author of "In the Beginning: Biblical Creation and Science." Call in toll-free: from North America 1-800-270-4288. Listen to the program at http://www.israelnationalnews.com/metafiles/asx/israelnn.asx.
Kissinger: Sharon Could Make 'Astonishing' Concessions
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said in remarks broadcast Wednesday that he
was quite optimistic that the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock can be broken, and that despite
Israel's "tactical stiffness," past experience has shown that even Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon would make "astonishing" concessions if there were an opportunity for
The former American foreign policy chief said that if some positions were changed,
"especially on the Arab side," progress would be made in the current period. Kissinger was
the central speaker Tuesday at a ceremony in the Israeli Embassy in
Washington marking the eighth anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.
"There are ways to get out of the deadlock, and I am actually quite optimistic,"
Kissinger said in an interview with Israel Radio. "Some positions will have to be changed,
especially on the Arab side, about the survival of Israel, but I think that we are at a
phase where progress will be made."
Asked about PA Chairman Yasir Arafat, Kissinger said, "Arafat knows what he has to do.
He doesn't need to be talked to. He's known for 10 years what he should do in order to
have peace, and he hasn't wanted it."
The former secretary of state added "The way to a breakthrough, is that the moderate
Arabs convince the Palestinians, or assist the Palestinians, in defeating the terrorists."
"Whatever the tactical stiffness of Israel is, on the big issues it has made astonishing
concessions every time there was an opportunity for peace. They did it under Rabin, they
did it under (former prime minister Ehud) Barak, and they would do it under Sharon, or
Sharon to Seek Approval for Israel-Hizbullah Prisoner Swap
By Sonja Pace (VOA-Jerusalem)
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he'll ask for cabinet approval for a prisoner exchange
between Israel and the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terrorist group. There is no indication
whether a deal has been finalized, but the announcement follows months of negotiations. A
statement issued by Sharon's office said the prime minister would submit the outline of a
prisoner exchange deal for cabinet approval on Sunday.
A prisoner exchange is expected to involve the release of several hundred Lebanese and
Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum, who was
kidnapped three years ago, and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers, who were captured and
killed by Hizbullah. There has been some controversy over whether information about
missing airman Ron Arad, who was shot down over Lebanon in 1986, would be included. Some
Israeli media have reported it would be.
There is also some controversy about efforts to obtain the release of Elhanan
Tannenbaum since he disappeared under somewhat dubious circumstances. Tannenbaum, a
colonel in the Israeli Army reserves, had apparently amassed large gambling debts and was
lured by an Israeli-Arab friend to go Belgium and then to the United Arab Emirates for
potentially business deals to solve his financial problems. Hizbullah then kidnapped him,
drugged him, put him in a coffin and shipped him to Lebanon. German mediators were allowed
to see Tannenbaum and were reportedly shocked by his poor physical condition. Israeli
media have reported that he was tortured, beaten and had his teeth extracted.
Israel Lifts Military Blockades Against Most West Bank Cities
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel has lifted military blockades against most West Bank cities in a bid to ease the
humanitarian plight of Palestinians. Israeli officials said the decision is also a
goodwill gesture toward Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, who is trying to form a
Israel announced it had ended internal closures on all Palestinian cities in the West
Bank with the exception of Nablus and Jenin. The Israeli Army said these two cities should
continue to be sealed off due to the large number of warnings that Palestinians are
planning to use them to launch terror attacks.
Palestinians in all other cities will now be allowed to travel outside their areas,
providing they have a permit. The restrictions are being eased two months after Israeli
forces encircled Palestinian self-rule areas in response to suicide bombings.
Israeli officials said its decision was aimed in part at boosting support for
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, also known as Abu Ala, who is attempting to build
a new government and has stated his willingness to re-start peace talks.
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said that more goodwill gestures are needed to
restore trust between the two sides and set the climate for a return to negotiations.
"Israel is trying to do everything that is needed to bring the peace process back on
track. I think that it is very important that Abu Ala will form his new Cabinet." Shalom
also urged the Palestinian Authority to dismantle, what he called, the terrorist
infrastructure in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, saying this would speed up progress toward
ending the conflict.
New Blow to Much-Delayed German Holocaust Memorial
Berlin's Holocaust memorial suffered a new setback on Wednesday after it emerged that a
firm banned from the project because of its Nazi past had provided materials already built
into its foundations. The discovery has cast doubt on whether construction of the memorial
to the six million Jews killed by the Nazis will go ahead or if the foundations and
pillars must be torn out at huge expense. Some 25 of 2,700 pillars have been put up since
Last month, work was halted after it emerged that architects planned to use an
anti-graffiti chemical made by Degussa AG, which was in Nazi times the parent company of
Degesch, the supplier of Zyklon B hydrogen cyanide gas to the extermination camps.
Germany spent years debating how to express remorse for the Holocaust. The memorial,
designed by U.S. architect Peter Eisenman, is costing more than 26 million euros ($29.81
million) and is due to be completed in 2005. It consists of a maze of pillars across an
area the size of several soccer pitches near Berlin's landmark Brandenburg gate.
The German trustees overseeing the project in the heart of Berlin decided to exclude
Degussa to avoid causing pain to the relatives of the victims of the Holocaust. After
checking the implications of removing Degussa from the list of contractors building the
pillars, the trustees found this week that a Degussa subsidiary supplied a
concrete-thinning agent for the pillars and their foundations.
Several hundred-foundation platforms have already been laid on the site and 25 pillars
installed. Removing them would be expensive, said Uwe Neumaerker, spokesman for the
trustees. "This was discovered after checks were ordered on October 23. The trustees will
have to take a new decision," he said.
Degussa said last month it regretted the trustees' decision to exclude it from the
memorial project but accepted the move.
It is one of 16 companies that initiated a plan in 1999 to compensate Nazi-era slave
laborers and is a major contributor to a 2.56 billion euro fund into which 6,500 firms
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