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>JN Nov. 25, 2003, Vol. 11, No. 205
Israeli Check Bounces
By Israel Faxx News Service
Israel bounced a check to a British man badly wounded by Israeli army fire.
The Defense Ministry sent a check for nearly $14,000 to the family of Thomas Hurndall,
22, an activist with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement, who was shot
in the head by an Israeli soldier in the Rafah refugee camp in Gaza last April, the
Israeli daily Ha'aretz reported. The check was returned for insufficient funds. In a note
with the check, Israel said the payment was for repatriating Hurndall, but did not
constitute an admission of liability in the shooting.
Sharon's New Plan Draws Internal Criticism
By Larry James (VOA-Jerusalem)
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he would soon unveil a unilateral plan to get out of
what he called the impasse with the Palestinians. In an interview with Israel's largest
newspaper, Yediot Achronot, Sharon said he would present his new plan soon, but declined
to give details.
The Israeli leader told his regular weekly cabinet meeting, Sunday, that his plan
parallels but does not contradict the internationally backed "road map" peace plan.
Israeli media are reporting that the Sharon initiative will call for the evacuation of
some Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories. Those settlers would be resettled in
the region of the Negev Desert in southern Israel. The plan is already drawing criticism
from members of Sharon's own cabinet especially expectations that it would include a
dismantling of settlements.
Cabinet Minister Eliezer Zanberg of the Shinui Party said now is not the time to be
withdrawing from settlements. "Evacuation of settlement[s] today can only signalize one
thing to the other side, to the Palestinians, to terror organizations continue your
violent struggle against Israel and at the end of the day you will reach something."
The leader of Israel's National Religious Party, Effi Eitam said his party considers
the dismantling of settlements as totally unacceptable. He said the issue for Israel is
not settlements but international terrorism.
"If the settlements were the problem then we could think rooting some settlements would
be the solution," said Eitam. "But again, I remind what's happened in America, what's
going on in Turkey now, what's going on in many other places of the world where there is
no(t) any settlements, no occupation, no road blocks, nothing just very extreme
Some right-wing members of the government have threatened to resign, if the plan is
implemented. Palestinian officials have expressed strong skepticism, saying the plan is
little more than a public-relations campaign to deflect growing criticism of the way the
Sharon government has handled peace negotiations.
Mussolini: World Should 'Beg Forgiveness of Israel'
By Adi Schwartz (Ha'aretz)
"Not only Gianfranco Fini, but the entire world, including the Vatican and the pope,
should beg forgiveness of Israel," Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of Italy's World
War II dictator and a member of parliament for the National Alliance
party, declared in an interview with Ha'aretz.
The interview coincided with the arrival of Fini, her party's leader and Italy's deputy
prime minister, for his first official visit to Israel, during which he has said he
intends to apologize to the Jewish people for Italy's Holocaust-era
Mussolini's statement is no small matter from someone who once declared: "My
grandfather is the greatest of them all; I will continue to believe this all my life." Her
father, Romano Mussolini, once said that Alessandra is "more of a Mussolini than me or the
whole family put together."
In January 2002, when Fini retracted his famous statement that Mussolini was the
greatest man of the 20th century, Alessandra was so angry that she demonstratively crossed
parliamentary lines to sit with members of the Forza Italia party instead of her own. "In
the end, he will circumcise you all," she taunted other members of her party, "so that
finally be able to make his pilgrimage to Israel." Of Fini himself, she declared: "I don't
like politicians who try to distort history for their own purposes."
Sunday, when asked what she thought of Fini's plan to apologize to the Jewish people,
she said that, in her mind, he had already done so, at the 1995 party conference in which
Fini denounced anti-Semitism. "What is important to me is that Fini listen to the people,
as I did during my visits to Israel," she said.
Mussolini, then a movie actress, visited Israel 11 years ago, at which time she also
visited Yad Vashem. "I saw the piles of shoes, and I was shocked. When I went outside, I
saw soldiers walking around with guns, and I thought how sad it was that you are still not
assured even of life itself," she recalled. As for today, "we need to develop mutual
understanding, not disputes, since we are on the same side," she said.
Mussolini, a niece of movie star Sophia Loren, burst onto the political scene in 1992,
when she was elected to parliament as a member of the neo-fascist party in her home
district of Naples. Over the ensuing years, she made it clear that she was proud to be
descended from Italy's dictator. But in an interview with La Republica earlier this month,
she declared that the National Alliance has truly abandoned its neo-fascist past, and that
this was a natural development.
Asked what her grandfather would have thought of Fini, she replied: "I don't want to
answer that. He is already dead, and I'm a different person ... My family is one thing,
and politics are another. Permit me not to answer that."
Israelis Build DNA Transistor: Are the Borg Next?
By Israel Faxx News Service
Scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have harnessed human cells to
power an electronic circuit. The research, published in the Nov. 21 issue of the journal
"Science," shows "you can start with DNA proteins and molecular biology and construct an
electronic device," Erez Bruan, lead scientist on the Technion team, said in a press
Six years in the making, the project attached a carbon tube one-billionth of a meter
wide onto a piece of DNA, the basic building block of living matter, and then made metal
wires out of DNA molecules at each end of the tube. The result is a transistor that can be
switched on and off using electricity. The project signals the day when nano-technology
will produce ultra-fast, molecular-sized computer chips for medical and general use that
grow like human cells and do not require assembly, Technion officials said.
Kosher is Better All Around
Opting out of kosher seemed a good option for manufacturers seeking to attract an
estimated 500,000 Israelis who do not eat kosher, many from the former Soviet Union. In
the past year, one of the fastest growing retailers has been a new chain that is not
But Israeli food sources say that eliminating the kosher stamp of approval has
backfired on many companies as they have been unable to sell the vast majority of Israelis
and have not been able to take advantage of the growing kosher market worldwide. Even
winemakers, with an eye towards selling Israeli wines to the general market are
acquiescing. Tzora with its 2002 vintage switched over to kashrut. It recently released
its first kosher wine. The company has decided to make all its wines kosher.
Kashrut agencies in Israel say that several companies that had removed their
certification in the past two years "have come back."
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