Newsletter : 4fax0129.txt
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Knesset Hopes Hatikva Stays Unchanged
A law designed to prevent the changing of Hatikva passed in its first reading in the
The law's sponsor, MK Michael Nudelman of the National Union party, explained that the
law's purpose is to protect Israel's national anthem against certain subversive interests
who would like to change it in order to remove its Jewish character so as to reflect
Israel's pluralistic society.
Israel to Exchange 400 Prisoners for Businessman Held by Hizbullah
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel is to hand over hundreds of prisoners to the militant Lebanese group Hizbullah
Thursday, in order to secure the release of just one of its citizens. German mediators who
helped broker the agreement are supervising the exchange.
For some Israelis the cost of the prisoner exchange is too high.
But Prime Minister Ariel Sharon insists that he has no choice but to agree to the terms
to secure the life of Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannebaum, who was kidnapped by the
Hizbullah more than three years ago.
Sharon's spokesman, Raanan Gissin, outlined the basis of the agreement to bring him
home. "In return for our prisoners and Elhanan Tannebaum, Israel will release over 400
prisoners and detainees who are held in Israeli prison; these include both Palestinians,
as well as Lebanese."
Under the agreement, Israel will also receive the remains of three soldiers kidnapped
and killed by the Hizbullah. An IDF delegation has set off for Germany to confirm that the
three bodies are indeed those of the three soldiers killed by the terrorist organization
40 months ago. The delegation, headed by IDF Chief Rabbi Brig. Gen. Yehuda Weiss and Abu
Kabir Forensic Institute head Prof. Yehuda Hiss, is bringing DNA samples of the family
members of the fallen soldiers Adi Avitan, Benny Avraham and Omar Souad.
Although they have already been presumed dead by Israel, a father of one of the
soldiers, Haim Avraham, says the Hizbullah should also have confirmed this. He accused the
leader of the Hizbullah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, of mentally torturing the families of
the Israeli soldiers. "Three and half years, we don't know nothing about [the fate] of our
children," said Avraham. "We [only] know that the Germans will now finish the negotiations
between the Hizbullah and the Israeli authorities."
The exchange is one of the biggest ever negotiated by Israel and includes the release
of more than 30 prisoners from various Arab countries, 23 from Lebanon.
Zvi Rish, the Israeli lawyer for some of the most prominent of the Lebanese, says the
hand-over will take place in Germany. "The deal will be completed via Frankfurt or another
airport in Germany, in observation [and] in the presence of German mediators," he
explained. The rest of those to be released from Israeli custody are Palestinians. All 400
will be set free at various points in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
At Least 9 Palestinians Killed in Gun Battle with Israeli Soldiers
By Larry James (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli soldiers killed at least nine Palestinians during gun battles that erupted when
tanks raided the edge of Gaza City on Wednesday. An Israeli military spokesman said the
incident began when troops guarding the Jewish settlement of Netzarim saw a group of armed
According to Palestinian witnesses the troops, who were in armored vehicles, initially
came under rocket propelled grenade fire. Two Palestinians were reported killed when the
troops returned fire with the machine guns mounted on the vehicles.
The troops then entered the nearby Gaza City neighborhood of Zaitoun where they met
fierce resistance from Palestinians who opened fire on them with automatic rifles and more
rocket propelled grenades. Witnesses said gunmen swarmed through the neighborhood
attacking the Israeli vehicles as they moved through the narrow streets. The Israeli
spokesman acknowledged there were heavy exchanges of fire but said the raid was a limited
measure and that only one tank and one bulldozer had engaged the gunmen.
Netzarim is located just outside the southern edge of Gaza City and has been the scene
of frequent violent clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants in the more
than three years of the Palestinian uprising. It was the deadliest incident in Gaza in a
month. The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad says it lost five of its members in
the clash and vowed to avenge their deaths. Mohammed al Hindi, an Islamic Jihad leader
said, "The bloody message has been received...and the Palestinian people will know how to
respond to it."
Lesson in PR From the Palestinians
In a masterful stroke of public relations, the Palestinian Authority's official news
agency, WAFA, recently turned its own mistake into an attack on both Great Britain and
those who warn against anti-Semitism.
WAFA reported last month that British Prime Minister Tony Blair had sent official
holiday greetings to PLO leader Yasir Arafat. The report even noted that Blair had
expressed his wish that the Arabs realize their hopes in establishing an independent
The Prime Minister's Bureau in London, however, denied the entire report, explaining
not only that Blair never sent such a greeting to Arafat, but also that such messages are
in general not sent out during Christmas. A Downing Street spokeswoman told AFP in
London, "We are not aware of such a message being sent, so I'm not sure what they're
reporting, to be honest. The prime minister doesn't usually send out messages at this
time of the year. It is not something that we do."
WAFA then jumped on the opportunity. It first "apologized" with yet another mention of
the "independent Palestinian state," stating, "We wish to apologize for making a mistake
by reporting that Mr. Blair had sent a cable of greetings to President Arafat in which he
expresses his hope that the Palestinian people would realize their hopes of establishing
an independent Palestinian state." WAFA insisted, however, that Blair had sent a
"traditional greeting card" in response to a similar greeting card from Arafat on the
occasion of Christmas.
The PA agency then expressed wonderment at "all the fuss" - a reference to the strong
British denial. "Most probably this denial stems from the fear of being accused of
anti-Semitism," WAFA said, "an accusation which the West is usually afraid of, although
the contents [of the alleged greetings] did not include anti-Semitic [remarks] or similar
things... What did WAFA say in its original story? Why all the fuss and who's behind
WAFA then noted yet again its nationalist aspirations, blaming Great Britain in the
process: "The hopes of the Palestinian people and their independent state, with Jerusalem
as its capital, are legitimate. Britain is first and foremost responsible for the nakba
[the 'disaster' of the creation of Israel in 1948]."
Israel, on the other hand, suffers from a dearth in public relations efforts. As
reported by Arutz Sheva, Israel's Foreign Ministry Director-General Yoav Biran said that
the Foreign Ministry public relations budget of less than 40 million shekels (about $9.3
million) is not enough for an efficient international information campaign.
Anti-Israel Propaganda On Cable TV, Newton, Mass.
By Emanuel A. Winston Commentary)
Dear Mayor David Cohen email@example.com phone: 617-796-1100. I understand that Newton, Mass. has elected, through its city board to be a conduit for Muslim Arab Terrorist Propaganda on its Cable TV show. That would make Newton the first town to request that Arab Muslim terrorists be broadcast in America. Clearly, Newton will become well known to Americans in the coming weeks - even infamous.
U.S. soldiers are fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan while Newton's board and
mayor has decided to become a voice for Arab Muslim terrorists broadcasting in
How did Muslim terrorists sign up Newton? Who was paid or has the Newton Board of Cable
TV 'unanimously' volunteered its services - out of sympathy with their cause? Has Newton
become a base for the voice of Arab Muslim terrorists, connected to Arab American Muslim
organizations that are pressing for Newton's accommodation? Who exactly are the Newton
Cable TV Board members? What is their connection to an Arab Muslim terrorist News Network?
The program planned to begin broadcasting into Newton living rooms is called "Mosaic" -
a collection of 11 Middle East TV stations that will bring weekly anti-Israel propaganda
in the form of "news reports" - all done under the guise of 'free speech'. Nine of the
stations are from Arab countries, one from Iran - all controlled by their (non-democratic)
governments). The 11th is the Arabic Channel of Israel.
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