Newsletter : 3fax1110.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Mossad Director: Hizbullah Deal Encourages More Kidnappings
The director of the Mossad Intelligence Agency told the cabinet today he opposes the
deal with Hizbullah, explaining it will encourage the additional abduction of Israelis for
future exchange deals and is detrimental to the nation.
Israel Approves 400 Terrorist Prisoner Swap with Hizbullah
By VOA News & IsraelNationalNews.com
.By a slim majority of only one vote, and after a full-day discussion, the Cabinet
approved the exchange of prisoners with Hizbullah. Terrorists who murdered civilians will
not be released.
The Cabinet voted 12-11 to approve the exchange. Israeli state media reported that
Israel would hand over more than 400 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners in exchange for an
Israeli businessman, Elhanan Tannenbaum, kidnapped by Hizbullah three years ago. Israel
will also receive the bodies of three soldiers kidnapped and killed by Hizbullah.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had urged the cabinet to approve the deal because he said
Hizbullah would have executed Tannenbaum if the plan were rejected.
Hizbullah terrorist chieftain Sheikh Nasrallah threw a monkey wrench into the deal
Saturday night, demanding the release of Samir Kuntar. Kuntar and three other terrorists
infiltrated into Israel by sea from Lebanon in 1979, and murdered Danny Haran and his
daughter Einat after abducting them from their Nahariya apartment, as well as policeman
Haran's wife hid in a side room with their 2-year-old daughter Yael, who died when her
mother attempted to stifle her cries. Two terrorists were killed in the ensuing chase by
security forces, and the third was released from Israeli prison in the Jibril exchange in
1985. Kuntar is held in relatively comfortable conditions - eight prisoners in a 10-bed
cell - and as a member of the prisoners' committee, he has been known to support riots and
Nasrallah said last night that he would not approve the deal and would not release
Tannenbaum and the three bodies without Kuntar. Sharon, for his part, was said to be
equally resolute not to release the murderer. He is willing to include
four Lebanese who were involved in battles in Lebanon in which IDF soldiers were killed or
wounded, but not terrorists who killed Israelis on Israeli territory. Finance Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu announced his support for the deal only after a clause was inserted
ensuring that no terrorists who murdered Israeli civilians would be released in the
Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz announced that he would support the exchange, after
reaching an agreement with Sharon on increased efforts on behalf of Ron Arad. The two
agreed, according to a government press release, on "additional steps regarding captive
Air Force navigator Ron Arad, which will be under the supervision of the Prime Minister
and the Defense Minister."
According to a Channel 1 TV News report, the government is weighing "intensive" efforts
towards obtaining the release of Arad, including the kidnapping of terrorists who would
serve as negotiating pawns towards obtaining the release of Ron Arad.
Broadway Play Honors Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir
By Jenny Falcon (VOA-New York)
A one-person play on the life of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir has opened on
Broadway. Golda's Balcony is set against the background of the early hours of the 1973
Middle East War, which nearly ended in a nuclear catastrophe.
On Oct. 6, 1973 -- Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews -- Meir learned
that Egypt and Syria had launched a surprise attack against Israel. With the help of sound
and light effects, veteran stage actor Tovah Feldshuh recreates the early hours of the
1973 conflict. Israel was caught unprepared. Hundreds of soldiers were dying and Israel
was losing tanks and planes.
"No, no, no, no, no. I knew it. I knew it yesterday in my bones," the actress says.
"All right, all right, call a meeting, 6 a.m. Tell the others. My generals. Half of my
cabinet [is] generals, and not one of them could smell yesterday that today it is war. "
Golda's Balcony has moved to Broadway, after a successful run at a small New York theater.
Critics are giving the play mixed reviews. But most agree that actor Tovah Feldshuh
transforms into an almost eerie likeness of Israel's only woman prime minister. Wearing a
wig, a fake nose, and thick brown stockings, Feldshuh becomes Golda Meir at the age of 70.
She smokes one cigarette after another. And she speaks with the thick American Mid-Western
accent that Mrs. Meir picked up in her youth in Milwaukee.
Feldshuh tells the audience the story of Golda Meir's life. Russian-born and
American-raised, a young Golda was exposed to the Zionist Movement and leader David Ben
Gurion, who became Israel's first prime minister. "I was backwash from Russia, but
Milwaukee was where I grew up. And to Milwaukee came a Jew named Ben Gurion," she recalls.
"And he told us of the pioneers in Palestine. He said: 'the Jewish homeland must be the
model for the redemption of the human race!' I was young. It seemed reasonable."
From her struggles and diplomatic missions to her decision to choose her cause over her
husband and children, Golda's Balcony is told entirely from Meir's perspective. The play
is a revision of William Gibson's 1977 show Golda that starred Anne Bancroft.
The 89-year-old playwright, best known for his Broadway hit The Miracle Worker,
revamped the earlier script, which came out of eight months of conversations with Mrs.
Meir, just before her death in 1978. In the new Golda's Balcony, Gibson focuses on
Israel's controversial nuclear program.
Israel is losing the war. Pacing and smoking, Meir is in crisis mode. Her ambassador to
the United States, Simcha Dinitz, is unable to secure 48 F-4 phantom planes from President
Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
"Simcha, you spoke with Kissinger?" she asks. "Well I'm so glad he approved, so where
are the Phantoms? When do we get them? Check out what with the Pentagon? Nixon himself
promised me. Simcha, Simcha, get the Phantoms!"
The play's climax dramatizes a dark hour, now accepted as historically accurate, when
Meir orders the military to ready nuclear weapons for use. With the threat of a nuclear
disaster, the United States provides Israel with the supplies it needs to push back
Egyptian and Syrian forces.
Feldshuh portrays Golda Meir as a revolutionary, a grandmother and a tormented prime
minister who serves chicken soup to her soldiers. The play's title, Golda's Balcony
actually alludes to two balconies that serve as metaphors for Meir's life.
One is a peaceful spot in Tel Aviv with a view of the Mediterranean Sea. The other is
at Dimona, Israel's underground nuclear reactor in the Negev desert that Meir calls a
direct view into hell.
In a particularly poignant moment, Meir laments the struggle that continues to plague
Israelis and Palestinians three decades later. "Our cousins," she said. "Our blood
cousins, if you go all the way back to Abraham. But now, two peoples and one piece of
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)