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Islamic Jihad Makes No Attempt to Conceal the Facts


Islamic Jihad official Nafiz Azzam told the Reuters news agency, "There is no doubt that Prime Minister Sharon's declaration is the result of the level of resistance of the Palestinian people. The removal of settlements or even a withdrawal from Gaza will not end the occupation. Therefore, the resistance will continue." Azzam was responding to a question regarding the terror organization's position vis-à-vis Sharon's announced plan to remove the Jewish communities from Gaza. Hamas released similar statements, vowing to continue attacks against Israel.

Sharon Stands Firm on Gaza Settlement Plan Larry James (VOA-Jerusalem) &

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he would form a new government if any of his coalition partners try to block his plans to remove almost all Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip. The Israeli leader's comments came as conservative members of his coalition warned the government would fall if Sharon tries to carry out his plan.

The Israeli leader's statements were carried Tuesday in the Hebrew daily Yediot Achronot. Sharon told the paper he "will not hesitate to set up another government" adding he has no intention of "being at the mercy of factions that won't permit [him] to handle matters of state." In an interview with Ha'aretz on Monday, Sharon said he intended to present his plan to President Bush later this month during a visit to Washington. And that he intends to explore the possibility the United States would support it financially.

Twenty-one of the Likud's 40 MKs have already announced that they object, to one extent or another, to the unilateral withdrawal. National Religious Party leader Effi Eitam told Army Radio Tuesday that the prime minister must first bring any evacuation plan before the cabinet for debate, prior to making it public in Washington.

Eitam said that if that does not happen then the government's fall is only a matter of time. He said, "There's no doubt that a public, international commitment of this sort is the beginning of the end of the government." The current coalition includes a number of factions and it is not clear who Sharon could turn to in order to form a new government should the religious parties pull out.

"The Prime Minister's notion to destroy the blossoming Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip is an act of insanity and devoid of morality... It will not come to fruition, because myriads of people will prevent it by forming a human wall wherever necessary." So said the Yesha Rabbis Council, in response to Sharon's announcement.

Sharon outlined to his Likud Party on Monday what he described as the first phase of a plan that would result in the relocation of an estimated 7,500 Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip to locations in Israel. He said he would ask the settlers to go voluntarily but did not say what he would do if they don't.

Sharon also said he planned to remove three "problematic" settlements in the West Bank but did not name them. He said he has ordered officials to begin preparations for the relocation but did not provide a timetable.

Supreme Court Blocks Irineos Appointment


The Supreme Court has put the appointment of Irineos as Greek Orthodox Church Patriarch on hold for at least three weeks. The appointment of the controversial figure - whose anti-Semitism and friendship with Yasir Arafat is evident in at least two letters he wrote to the PLO leader - was supposed to take effect Tuesday, following a recent Cabinet decision. The Court made the decision in response to a petition brought by Atty. Dan Avi-Yitzchak on behalf of an unnamed client.

The Greek Orthodox Church in Israel has been operating without a Patriarch since Aug. 2001, when the pro-Israel Patriarch Theodorus died. Though Irineos was chosen by the Church to succeed him, Israeli security agencies were strongly against him because of his ties with Arafat. Only recently did a ministerial committee narrowly vote to approve the appointment, followed by a Cabinet decision to accept the recommendation.

The Avi-Yitzchak suit is based on the same claims made by the General Security Service and the police for several months against Irineos' appointment. At the last ministerial committee session, one of the participants, Welfare Minister Zevulun Orlev, said that for some unexplained reason, the security officials were suddenly silent and did not repeat their claims. The precise nature and details of the current petition's stance are classified.

The Court decision gives the petitioner ten days to present a more detailed case, and then 10 more days for the government to respond. Another suit against the appointment, by a Greek Orthodox Church leader in the Galilee, has also been filed.

Israel 'To Free Nuclear Whistleblower'


Mordechai Vanunu has said he will reveal more nuclear secrets. The Israeli government is set to release a former technician jailed for 18 years after he exposed the country's covert nuclear weapons program. Vanunu will be freed in April, but placed under tight surveillance, Yediot Achronot reported.

Israel's security services would bar Vanunu from giving press interviews, publishing a book, traveling overseas or within Israel, and planned to monitor his correspondence, the paper added. Vanunu would also be required to regularly check in with the police. The security services claim the tough measures are necessary, as Vanunu has declared his intention in numerous letters to reveal new secrets about Israel's nuclear weapons program upon his release.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is due to hold talks with Justice Ministry officials before giving the official approval to the "restrictive measures" to be placed on Vanunu, Yediot Achronot said.

Vanunu was jailed in 1986 after he was tried for treason in secret. He had revealed some details about Israel's nuclear weapons program and the role of its Dimona atomic reactor to the Britain's Sunday Times newspaper. After the details were published, Israeli agents using a "honey trap" - a female agent who asked him to meet her in Rome - to lure him out of London, tricked Vanunu. Once in Italy, Vanunu was drugged and transported to Israel.

Despite protests by human rights bodies and anti-nuclear campaigners, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison and held mostly in solitary confinement.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Seeks Artifacts From Shoah


The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., is seeking original materials to continue to bolster its collection relating to the experiences of the Shoah in Europe, Palestine, the Far East and the Americas. The museum is looking for such original materials as: identity cards, work permits, ration cards, passports, immigration certificates, ship tickets, postcards, letters, diaries, original works of art, photographs, clothing, religious materials, personal artifacts, toys, other artifacts that victims kept, created or used during the war period.

In addition, the museum is looking for any original material that forewarns of Nazi terror, documents the crimes, depicts life under the Nazis, records American and world responses, portrays armed and spiritual resistance and rescue, and shows the reestablishment of life after the war.

The purpose of this collection is to preserve for future generations a record of this fateful period in history. Many important historical materials are held by individuals who lived through the Shoah, or by family members of victims. These personal possessions, especially when placed in the larger context of the history of a specific town, youth group, ghetto, children's home, refugee center, concentration camp, partisan unit, Displaced Persons' camp or refugee ship, are crucial for education, scholarship and exhibition.

Islamic Jihad Makes No Attempt to Conceal the Facts


Islamic Jihad official Nafiz Azzam told the Reuters news agency, "There is no doubt that Prime Minister Sharon's declaration is the result of the level of resistance of the Islamic Jihad Makes No Attempt to Conceal the Facts More than 19 million people have visited the museum Contact: Kyra Schuster, Division of Collections USHMM, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024 Telephone: 202.488.2649

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