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Religious Council Employees Threaten to Strike


Employees of religious councils have decided to go on strike in two weeks, a move that would bring all religious services to a grinding halt. This would include weddings, burials, kosher certification, rabbinical courts and other services. Workers' representatives have met and made the decision in light of not receiving regular monthly salaries during the past months due to the staggering debt incurred by religious councils. The rabbi of the local religious council in Or Yehuda, Rabbi Rosenzweig, warned that, "Just as it is forbidden to delay the burial of the dead, it is also forbidden to withhold an employee's wages."

Israel Threatens Strikes on Iranian Nuclear Targets

By Ross Dunn & Der Spiegel Magazine

Israel has warned that it is prepared to take unilateral military action against Iran if the international community fails to stop any development of nuclear weapons at the country's atomic energy facilities. Israel is prepared to launch an attack on Iran's nuclear sites in order to paralyze them and prevent them for being operational, the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported.

It said that Israeli security officials fear that the Iranian capabilities of manufacturing nuclear arms have reached an advanced stage, and that the Mossad believes that Iran is already able to manufacture weapons-grade uranium. According to the report a special Mossad unit received orders two months ago to prepare a comprehensive and detailed plan for the attack.

The magazine quoted an Israeli fighter pilot as saying that the mission was complicated but technically feasible. According to the report, Israel has information on six nuclear sites in Iran; three of them previously unknown to the rest of the world, and plans to have F16 fighter planes attack the sites simultaneously.

The State Department and Pentagon declined to comment on the report, as did an Israeli military spokesman, in line with that nation's policy of refusing to say if it has nuclear weapons. Israel is regarded as the only nuclear power in the Middle East. According to a story posted on the newspaper's website, U.S. officials disclosed the information as a caution to Israel's enemies amid heightened tensions in the region and concern over Iran's atomic program.

In an apparent attempt to increase pressure on the IAEA and United Nations to limit the development of Iran's nuclear facilities, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has made what sources have described as a warning of "unprecedented severity."

Mofaz set out his government's position during a visit to the United States stating, "under no circumstances would Israel be able to tolerate nuclear weapons in Iranian possession." He said that in the course of the next year Iran's drive for nuclear weapons would "reach the point of no return."

Mofaz's warning has been reinforced by Meir Dagan, the head of Israel's secret services, Mossad, who claimed that the specter of nuclear weaponry in Iran represented the greatest threat Israel had faced since the founding of the Jewish state in 1948.

Israel has modified missiles to enable a submarine-based nuclear strike. The Los Angeles Times also reported that U.S. and Israeli officials say Israel has modified U.S.-made Harpoon cruise missiles so it can launch nuclear warheads from submarines. The State Department and Pentagon declined to comment on the report, as did an Israeli military spokesman, in line with that nation's policy of refusing to say if it has nuclear weapons.

Fatah Faction Claims Responsibility for Killing Israeli Guards

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

Palestinian chieftain Yasir Arafat's Fatah faction has claimed responsibility for the killing of two Israeli security guards patrolling the construction of a security barrier. The shootings occurred despite calls by the Palestinian leadership for a new ceasefire with Israel.

The Jenin Martyrs' Brigades, a Fatah militia group, said it was behind the fatal shooting of the two Israeli security guards. Fatah is the dominant faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization and is headed by Arafat. The militia carried out the attack despite calls from Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia for all armed groups to enter into a truce before his first meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Ariel Sharon.

A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Jonathan Peled, says such attacks only serve to undermine efforts to implement the international Road Map to Peace plan. "We hear about a new Palestinian leadership. We hear about an intention to move ahead with the Road Map. But here we are on that first line of that first phase of the Road Map, which requires the Palestinian leadership to stop terrorists, to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure and still we do not see it happening."

The shootings took place in the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem's walled Old City, where the guards were patrolling construction of a new security barrier. Israeli forces imposed a curfew on the area and the nearby Palestinian village of Abu Dis and continued searches for the attackers.

There is rising Palestinian anger against the security barrier, which Israel says is necessary to protect its citizens from attacks. The Palestinian leadership says the project is an attempt to seize more land in the West Bank and unilaterally establish the borders of a future Palestinian state. Israel insists the barrier can be dismantled later, when and if a permanent peace treaty is reached with the Palestinians.

EU Buries Anti-Semitism Report Because It Blames Muslims


The European Union prepared a report on anti-Semitism - but buried it because it showed that Muslim and pro-Palestinian elements are involved in most of the incidents. So reported the Financial Times of London.

The European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), which serves as the EU's racism watchdog organization, commissioned a report on anti-Semitism in early 2002, following a sharp increase in anti-Jewish violence. However, when it received the report towards the end of the year, the EUMC objected to the focus on Muslim and pro-Palestinian perpetrators, judging this "inflammatory." The EUMC also did not like that the authors - the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism at Berlin's Technical University - had included some anti-Israel acts in its list of anti-Semitic acts.

In February of this year, for the above reasons, the EUMC decided to shelve the 112-page study. "There is a trend towards Muslim anti-Semitism," the Times quoted one person familiar with the report. "Merely saying the perpetrators are French, Belgian or Dutch does no justice to the full picture... The decision not to publish was a political decision."

Among recent incidents in the latest upsurge of anti-Semitism in European Union countries, a Jewish school near Paris was firebombed on Nov. 15 - the same day two synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey, were devastated by suicide truck bombs that killed 25 and wounded more than 300.

Jews Wanted as Volunteers
Israel Faxx Staff Report

Israel Faxx has received an e-mail from Christopher Lawson (, who works at the Wayne County Museum in Goldsboro, NC. He said that on Dec. 13 at 1 p.m., the museum would be having a presentation on Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa. Lawson asked for Jews who are interested in volunteering to talk about Chanukah. If interested, call 1(919)-734-5023. "Thanks and I wish all the Jews the best of luck here," Lawson said.

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