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Arab Children's Gang Terrorizes Jewish Kids in Lod

By Ma'ariv

Ma'ariv Online reports on the arrest of a gang of Arab children ranging in age from 12- 14 who were attacking and beating Jewish children for many months in Lod's parks. The Arab children, also residents of Lod, said that they would beat the Jewish children until they would bleed, in revenge for what the IDF does to their "Palestinian" brothers. The Arab children said that they were angry and frustrated after viewing Al Jazeera TV. Police finally caught up with the gang of Arabs after many Jewish parents filed complaints.

Dalia Rabin Shouts at Right Wing MK at Memorial Service

By Ha'aretz

Dalia Rabin-Pelosoff, Yitzhak Rabin's daughter, shouted at a right-wing Knesset member at a memorial ceremony Thursday commemorating her father's assassination, after Shaul Yahalom harshly criticized the Israeli left for tearing apart the nation by using Rabin's death to focus on his role in trying to forge peace.

National Religious Party MK Yahalom was one of several speakers at the Knesset memorial service, including Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, to blame the left for appropriating Rabin's legacy either for political gain or to try to inhibit the right from expressing disagreement with the peace process. But Meretz MK Yossi Sarid, who also spoke at the Knesset service, said Rabin and his legacy were inherently political.

Eight years after Rabin was murdered at a peace rally by right-wing extremist Yigal Amir, the strife is as strident as ever. The conflict at the Knesset centered on who Rabin was, how the country should react to his assassination, and what the nature of the anniversary of his death should be.

Sharon indirectly slammed the left for "cynically taking advantage" of "all of our pain" by claiming his legacy for themselves, and said that Rabin's ideology was broad enough that people of any political stripe could use his statements to further their own opinions.

"Unfortunately, political officials decided to take advantage of this incident [Rabin's assassination] and memorial services for Yitzhak Rabin to wildly attack people and a path with which they disagree," said Sharon. "We all share the obligation of remembrance, but it's worthwhile to refrain from the manipulation of memory."

The prime minister then quoted remarks Rabin made that are not typically associated with the peace camp - such as support of a unified Jerusalem, including Ma'ale Adumim and Givat Ze'ev, which are located over the Green Line. The anniversary of Rabin's death should be a day of unity, Sharon said.

Yahalom said the left had made a big mistake in making the anniversary of Rabin's death a time of divisive politics rather than a day of unity, and said identifying Rabin with the Oslo Accords only alienated the right. "You're using the memory of Rabin to deepen the divide... to add disagreement and brotherly hatred," adding that the left constantly equates Rabin with Oslo. "How can you expect that those who think that Oslo brought a disaster upon us to identify and to mourn?"

Rabin-Pelossof asked Yahalom from the visitors' gallery, "Why did you call him a traitor?" Right-wing extremists such as Yigal Amir had labeled Rabin a traitor in the time prior to his assassination, which many say helped breed an environment that justified his murder Rabin-Pelossof's husband and daughter walked out of the Knesset to protest the memorial service.

Sarid said there was no escaping from Rabin's political viewpoint, especially his role in forming the Oslo Accords. "Yitzhak Rabin was not Mother Teresa. Yitzhak Rabin was not holy. Yitzhak Rabin was a political man," said Sarid. "The motive for the murder was political, the ramifications of the murder are political... And only the public discourse should be pure and sterile and full of flowery friendship?" he asked. People on the right talk about the "crimes of Oslo" and the "Oslo criminals," said Sarid. "It must be clear that Rabin was and remains the most prominent of these 'criminals.'"

Live From Israel: Top Secret Weapons Test

By Reuters

Live from Israel: A secret long-range artillery test broadcast by mistake across the Middle East on an open satellite television channel. Israel's Channel 10 television captured an unencrypted live feed from one weapons-testing control room to another that was bounced off Israel's Amos communications satellite this week.

The channel broadcast an edited version to viewers on its main evening news program on Wednesday that showed technicians watching the launch and monitoring data-filled computer screens. At one point, the camera showed two Israeli generals, including the deputy chief of staff, looking on.

"It was a serious lapse that should not have occurred," Yuval Shteinitz, chairman of parliament's foreign affairs and security committee, told Israel Radio on Thursday. "Luckily, this mishap did not involve highly classified systems or tests," he said about the Israel Aircraft Industries' launch of what it described in a statement as a long-range artillery shell. Israel's biggest newspaper, Yediot Achronot, said the weapon was designed to hit targets 50km away.

A Channel 10 technician, conducting what the station said was a routine scan of the Amos satellite's frequencies, monitored the feed with a small dish of the type used by home subscribers. Israeli media reports said the satellite's "footprint" covers an area stretching from Iran to Libya. Shteinitz said his committee would investigate the incident.

Natural History Museum Displays Artifacts of Ancient City Petra

By Leah Krakinowski (VOA-New York)

Hundreds of stone-carved artifacts from Petra, famous as "the Jordanian rose-red city half as old as time," are part of a major exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History In New York City. On exhibit are sections of colossal tombs and temples once carved into the harsh, red sandstone cliffs of southern Jordan, three hours south of modern Amman. These architectural achievements likely hold the secrets of the ancient metropolis of Petra and its creators, the Nabataeans.

Glenn Markoe, one of the show's curators, said the Nabataeans were a nomadic tribe who settled in the area and became renowned for their skills in engineering, architecture and trade. "It's a very amazing story of a people that really began as nomads, we think as early as 300 BCE, and were still moving around without permanent habitation. And then in a period of just a few hundred years, by actually harnessing all the revenues from trade that came from southern Arabia, they developed this great royal empire, and the city of Petra, was of course, its tool."

He said historians do know that the construction of an irrigation system brought water to the desert and transformed the city of Petra. "They were incredible engineers in two ways. One was by moving water into the city that allowed the city to flourish, but they were really terrific engineers carving rock, carving monumental pieces of tombs in the rock face to resemble built temples. As you look at them from the outside, you think they are built, but they are just monumental pieces of sculpture just carved into the rock face."

From the second century BCE to the second century CE, the city was a trading hub for silk, spices and other goods, linking India and Southern Arabia with the markets of Syria, Egypt, Greece and Rome. But when trade patterns shifted and a powerful earthquake destroyed half the city in 363, Petra as a metropolis, began to disappear.

Petra: Lost City of Stone runs through July 6, 2004 in New York City and then moves on to the Cincinnati Art Museum next September.

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