Newsletter : 4fax0115.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Israeli Foreign Ministry Launches Arabic Web Site
Israel's Foreign Ministry has launched an Arabic language Web site to encourage
dialogue among Israelis and Arabs. The website, 'Altawasul,' which means interconnection
in Arabic, is being launched as part of the Ministry's efforts to increasingly expose
different audiences in the Arab world to information about Israel, supplementing the
sparseness of material espousing Israel's point of view in Arabic and addressing Israel's
Arab neighbors in their own language.
Israel May Further Restrict Access of Palestinian Workers
By VOA News & IsraelNationalNews.com
Israel may further restrict the number of Palestinian workers allowed into the Jewish
state, after a woman suicide bomber blew herself up at a Gaza crossing point, killing four
Israelis and wounding 12 other Israelis.
The Wednesday morning attack at the Erez crossing in northern Gaza could affect
thousands of Palestinians who have to work in Israel, but few Palestinians were reported
to have been in the building at the time of the explosion.
Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner said the attack has dealt a blow, not just to
Israelis but to ordinary Palestinians as well. "As a gesture of goodwill, Israel allows
Palestinian workers to come into Israel and the Palestinian terrorist organizations took
this opportunity to kill as many people as possible." The explosion ripped through a
recently opened facility where thousands of laborers and foreigners cross over between
Gaza and Israel.
Speaking to reporters at the site, the commander of the Israeli Army in the Gaza Strip,
Brig.-Gen. Gadi Shamni, warned the attack could have consequences for Palestinian workers.
"We are doing our best in order to facilitate the Palestinians' life in the Gaza Strip, to
enable them to work in Israel, in the industrial areas surrounding the Gaza Strip," said
Shamni. "And an incident like this will not help us to be more co-operative with the
Hamas, a U.S.-government-listed terrorist group, and an armed wing of Palestinian
President Yasir Arafat's Fatah faction, claimed joint responsibility for the bombing.
Rim Salah a-Rishi, 21, the mother of a 3-year-old girl and an 18-month-old toddler was
responsible for the suicide bombing attack. She became the first female suicide bomber of
Hamas. In the past, the PFLP, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah used females. Wednesday's suicide
bombing attack was the seventh carried out by a female.
The spiritual leader and founder of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, warned that there would
more attacks until Israel withdraw from what he called the Palestinian homeland. The
Palestinian Prime Minister, Ahmed Qureia, who has been attempting to persuade Hamas and
other armed groups to agree to a cease-fire, refused to condemn the bombing. He said
Israeli military operations and restrictions on the Palestinians are leading to what he
called an escalation of violence on both sides.
Annan: Israeli Policies No Reason for Anti-Semitism
By Jenny Falcon (VOA-United Nations)
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan warned that Israeli policies in the Middle East could
never justify anti-Semitism. The Secretary General also criticized bigotry against Islam.
Annan made his remarks at a time when physical and verbal anti-Semitic attacks against
Jews appear to be on the rise. In the Secretary General's words, recent attacks against
Jews and Jewish symbols in Europe, Turkey and elsewhere, show that anti-Semitism is not
"the stuff of history."
Annan warned against Holocaust denial and said that no one should be allowed to use
criticism of Israel's actions in the Middle East as a mask for anti-Semitism. "In some
cases, anti-Semitism appears to be a byproduct of the Israel-Palestinian conflict,
particularly with the escalation of hostilities in the past several years. Criticism of
Israeli policies is one thing. But it is quite another when such critiques take the form
of attacks, physical or verbal, on Jewish individuals and the symbols of their heritage
The U.N. leader also urged supporters of Israel not to use the charge of anti-Semitism
to stifle legitimate discussion. In a message calling for an end to bigotry, Annan also
criticized intolerance, harassment and ignorance of Muslims. While the Crusades and
colonialism are examples of centuries old aggression against Islam, Annan said
discrimination and suspicion of Muslims that followed the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
on the United States are recent manifestations of the problem. "One of the most disturbing
manifestations of bigotry today is Islamophobia. Islamophobia is a new word for an old
Mel Gibson Film 'Passion' to Debut on 2,000 Screens
Mel Gibson's controversial new film, "The Passion of Christ," which at first had a hard
time finding a distributor, will be independently released on about 2,000 screens in the
United States on Feb. 25, a Gibson spokesman said on Wednesday. A release on 2,000 screens
is similar to what a major studio release would receive.
The movie, whose dialogue is in Latin and Aramaic, covers the final 12 hours in the
life of Jesus and has come under fire from some Jewish groups who claim its story could
foment anti-Semitism by tying Christ's death to Jewish authorities. But Catholic and
Protestant groups, as well as biblical scholars, have defended the film, saying it sticks
closely to accounts of the crucifixion as told in the New Testament.
Pope John Paul saw the movie in December and told his longtime Polish secretary
Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, "It is as it was," meaning he considered it an authentic
portrayal of Gospel accounts, a Vatican source told Reuters.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)