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Victory in Gaza


A victory over both terrorism and schemes to uproot the Jews of Gaza was celebrated in Kfar Darom Tuesday. Eliezer and Chana Bart held the brit - ritual circumcision - of their week-old son, naming him Amichai [My Nation Lives] Yisrael. Chana is wheelchair-bound and paralyzed in the lower half of her body, following a terrorist shooting attack two years ago. Among her first concerns at the time was whether she would be able to bear more children. The family has seven other children, and the joy in Kfar Darom was complete. Amichai was born the day after Sharon's bombshell announcement of his plan to expel the nearly 8,000 Jews of Gaza from their homes.

IDF Intelligence Chief: PA Arabs will See Retreat as Victory for Terrorism


After a series of informal military warnings against a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, IDF Intelligence Chief Gen. Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash made it official Tuesday. Appearing before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, he said that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's statement of intent to withdraw from Gaza would instigate more terrorism and attacks against IDF forces.

"The Palestinians see [this plan] as a victory for terrorism," Farkash said. Acknowledging that some calls might be heard against continued terrorism after the IDF leaves, Farkash emphasized the likelihood that the plan will "strengthen the legitimacy of terrorism in the view of Islamic elements in Gaza. [The terrorist groups] see it as a surrender to terrorism, and this gives them motivation to perpetrate more terrorism in order to achieve more diplomatic gains."

A predecessor of Farkash, Gen. (res.) Shlomo Gazit, has similarly said, "Our exit from Gaza will transform it into a big armed camp, into which weapons of all kinds will stream via land, sea and maybe even air... Moreover, this capitulation will be rightly viewed as a clear victory for the Palestinian armed struggle."

However, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon has instructed his senior commanders to refrain from commenting on the prime minister's Gaza unilateral disengagement plan, Israel Radio reported. Ya'alon explained to his commanders he is trying to avoid a confrontation between the military and political echelons.

France Probes Bank Accounts of Arafat's Wife

By Reuters

French prosecutors said on Tuesday they had opened an inquiry into transfers totaling nine million euros ($11.5 million) into bank accounts held in France by Suha Arafat, the wife of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat.

The Paris public prosecutor confirmed a report in Le Canard Enchaine weekly that an inquiry into Suha Arafat, who lives in Paris, was launched last October after information provided by the Bank of France and a government anti-money laundering body. The prosecutor's office said they wanted to check transfers from a Swiss-based institution made between July 2002 and July 2003 into two separate accounts held by her in Paris.

Yasir Arafat has rejected allegations of corruption within his Palestinian Authority. Yet it has suffered a fall in foreign donor money amid allegations that some of it has been siphoned off by corrupt officials or diverted to militants waging a suicide bombing campaign against Israel.

Mel Gibson's Fake 'Passion' Effects

By Emanuel A. Winston (Commentary)

Mel Gibson has let his Hollywood imagination get carried away with special effects as he inflated his "Passion" film. Let us deal with a few small things first. Take a look at the lumber being carried by the Jesus actor. Any carpenter - or even lay handyman - will tell you that the Jesus player is carrying a sawmill-produced 6inch x 6-inch x 10-foot timber. In the news clips on FOX NEWS you can see that it is neatly trimmed and squared timber, which is usually displayed in churches and medallions of the cross.

The problem is that the Romans had been crucifying rebellious Jews for many years and didn't commit the man-hours needed to take a tree trunk and hand craft it to a neatly squared and smooth timber, merely to crucify another Jew. The best they could do would be the familiar technique of building a log cabin where two sides of a tree trunk were laboriously chipped with a mattock on two sides so they could be stacked somewhat flat on top of each other. The Romans would not have bothered to square timber and besides, having already crucified thousands of rebellious Jews over 30 years, they had plenty of posts standing and empty, the bodies having rotted away.

Long before Jesus was added to the hundreds of thousands (some 220,000 of crucified Jews), the surrounding forests were chopped down for their Roman torture instruments, which the Christians subsequently adopted as their symbol, the cross. The posts would have been raw trees with bark - no fancy millwork...

The Romans used the tree trunks as highly visible torture instruments to remind passers-by that this was the penalty for rebellion against the Roman Empire. Their objective was not to beat their victims to death before hanging them up but rather to keep them alive for as long as possible. A figure dying slowly over many days, groaning, screaming, pleading for water, was a far better deterrent than whipping a victim so that he would bleed to death in hours - as was displayed in the Gibson film. With the amount of colored ink dribbling down Gibson's Jesus, he would have died in hours from blood loss or infection.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews lined the Road going up the Jerusalem, crucified, babbling insanely as they died of dehydration and pain...The Jews in Gibson's film were made to look grim and threatening, all in accordance with Christian literature of what they call "The perfidious Jew." Gibson was very careful to follow early Church doctrine in demonizing the Jews, which recommended murder as a solution to their "Jewish Problem".

The Roman soldiers look fit and clean, presumably the pre-cursors of the Church of Rome, although they were the ones who actually tortured, beat and crucified Jesus.

The Chicago Tribune of February 8 reported that Reverend Pawlikowski who directs the Catholic Theological Union's Catholic Jewish Studies programs was part of a nine person interreligious panel that sent Gibson a scathing critique of the script last spring. Pawlikowski said: "We concluded that it was one of the worst things we'd seen in 25 years," Pawlikowski said. "It went to all the classical accusations about primary Jewish responsibility for the death of Christ which, of course, was the source of a great deal of anti-Semitism from the Christian side over the centuries."

Hollywood's Weinstein to Film Warsaw Ghetto Classic 'Mila 18'


Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is set to begin filming author Leon Uris' Warsaw Ghetto classic "Mila 18" later this year in the Polish capital, Poland's PAP news agency said Tuesday.

Director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Anthony Minghella, whose work includes the award-winning "The English Patient", are slated to make the film in conjunction with Weinstein, co-producer of the explosive box-office hit "Lord of the Rings" trilogy among a string of other global blockbusters.

Scriptwriter Hossein Amini has adapted Uris' novel for the screen. The story revolves around the harrowing experiences of Polish-Jewish partisans fighting the Nazis inside the Warsaw Ghetto during the audacious, but failed 1943 Ghetto Uprising.

"Mila 18" was the address of the bunker where many of the last surviving partisans of the Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB), including commander Mordechaj Anielewicz, committed suicide to avoid being taken alive by Nazi forces. Translated from the Polish, "Mila" means "pleasant."

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