Newsletter : 3fax1230.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Shalom Calls for Immediate Revocation of Arafat's Nobel Prize
Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom has turned to the Nobel Prize Committee calling for the
immediate revocation of Yasir Arafat's Nobel Peace Prize. Shalom stated that Arafat's
prize is an "embarrassment" and a "stain" to all the other recipients of the prestigious
peace prize. Marking 25 years since the prize was bestowed upon Prime Minister Menahem
Begin; the senior government minister stated he would be pleased to see the committee
revoke the award since Arafat continues his efforts to block peace overtures in the
Jewish Settlers Vow to Stay in Occupied Territories
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem) & IsraelNationalNews.com
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has taken another step towards unilateral withdrawal, or the
plan he calls "disengagement," by appointing IDF Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland to head the team
that will develop the plan. Sharon announced 10 days ago that if the Palestinian Authority
continues to refrain from fighting terrorism and the Road Map plan thus fails, he would
initiate a unilateral withdrawal from some areas in Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza).
"At the same time," Sharon said, "in the framework of the Disengagement Plan, Israel
will strengthen its control over those same areas in the Land of Israel which will
constitute an inseparable part of the State of Israel in any future agreement."
Jewish settlers are vowing to oppose Israeli government plans to dismantle unauthorized
Jewish outposts in the West Bank. The settlers say they will launch a legal challenge to
the move and confront soldiers who attempt to evacuate them.
Jewish settlers reacted angrily to an order from Sharon, who demanded that four outposts
in the West Bank be removed.
All four were established without Israeli government approval. Three are currently
empty, but the government fears that settlers are planning to inhabit them in the near
future. The fourth, known as Ginnot Arieh, is populated by about 10 families. The
secretary of the populated outpost, Oren Brund, said he would appeal to Israel's High
Court to block the evacuation of the community.
If the court backs the government, he said, he would gather thousands of fellow
settlers at the site in a bid to prevent the dismantling of the settlement. Rabbis in the
West Bank also called for settlers to form what they called a living wall and resist the
More than 200,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank, one of the areas seized by
Israel during the 1967 Middle East war.
Many settlers say the area is part of the land given to the Jews by God and refer to the
territory as Judea and Samaria, the names used in biblical times. Palestinians vehemently
oppose the existence of all Jewish settlements, saying they are an attempt to reduce the
amount of land on which they want to establish a future independent state.
Israel is also facing pressure from the United States and Europe over the settlements
issue. Under the international road map peace plan, Israel has been called upon to freeze
all settlement activity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Samaritans Fight to Survive
By The Observer
The Samaritans won renown for kindness in the time of Jesus. But today they are
ruthless in defense of the purity of their tribe, prepared even to shun their own
daughters to preserve their lineage, a fate that has befallen one of Israel's most
The ancient sect, which was celebrated in the Christian world through the parable of
the Good Samaritan in Luke's gospel, now numbers only 600, divided between two communities
- one near Tel Aviv in Israel and the other near Nablus in the West Bank. Women are banned
from marrying outsiders; those who disobey are ostracized and rejected by the close-knit
The Samaritans are essentially a Jewish sect, although Jews have tended to regard them
as lower than the Gentiles. Their language is ancient Hebrew and their religion is akin to
Judaism, although it does not contain modifications that Jews added over the past 3,000
years, such as the festivals of Purim and Chanukah. The main difference is that the
Samaritans never left the holy lands and they believe Abraham bound his son, Isaac, in
preparation for his sacrifice on Mount Gezirim, not on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem.
Despite their similarities, even in the time of Jesus the Jews shunned the Samaritans
and the two communities were often at war. Now the Samaritans find themselves in the
middle of the modern-day war in the holy land. They remain strictly neutral and carry both
Palestinian and Israeli identity cards.
Men can marry outside the community because for the last 200 years there have been more
sons born to the community than daughters; the ratio currently stands at about five men
for every three women. The Samaritans allow their women to mix freely with the Palestinian
community in Nablus and the Jewish community in Israel. Because of the doctrinal
differences between Samaritans and Jews, Samaritans are educated in secular Israeli
The Samaritans, like ultra-Orthodox Jews, insist that women are isolated from men for
seven days during menstruation and separated from their newborn children for up to 80
Yefet Cohen, a Samaritan priest and curator of their museum on Mount Gezirim near
Nablus, said it was vital that women married Samaritan men. "We are afraid we will lose
our religion if we do not keep separate. Women must marry a Samaritan; otherwise they will
be cut off from everything. Once they leave, they cannot return except as a foreigner," he
For Cohen, the traditions are the source of strength of the community. "We are the
oldest society, but in the face of everything modern we have managed to keep our values.
We have Internet, television and beautiful homes. This does not conflict with our values
and traditions. We lead lives like anybody else during the week, and then on the Sabbath
the whole community comes here and it is like being in heaven." He says it is terrible
when they lose a Samaritan, because many of them still feel on the verge of extinction and
a single loss will reinforce the fear.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)