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Our Publication's Guiding Principles
Jewish Floridian, Vol. 1, #1, 10/19/1928

Getting a paper out is no picnic. If we print jokes, people will think we're silly. If we don't, they will say we're too serious. If we publish original stuff, they will say we lack variety. If we clip from other papers they'll say we're too lazy to write. If we stay in the office they'll say we ought to be out hunting news, and if we hunt up news we are not tending to business in the office. If we wear old clothes, we're stingy. If we wear new ones, they're not paid for. Like it as not, some one will say we swiped this article from another newspaper. WE DID.

Palestinian Groups Withdraw From United Leadership Talks

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)

Palestinian groups, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, have announced they are suspending indefinitely talks aimed at forging a united leadership. The move comes just days after Yasir Arafat said he was open to including these organizations in his government, despite strong opposition from the U.S. administration.

The talks began two weeks ago, and were meant to resume on Saturday in Gaza City, following signs that Hamas and Islamic Jihad were ready to join a coalition with the Palestinian Authority. Officials said Sunday the discussions had been canceled until further notice.

Both groups are listed by the U.S. State Department as terrorist organizations, and have been responsible for frequent suicide bombings and other terror attacks that have killed hundreds of Israelis. Palestinian officials said it was decided to postpone negotiations on including these and other groups in the government, to allow the different organizations more time to study the concept of a single national leadership.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials confirmed that both groups had sought a delay to examine various proposals. These groups and the Palestinian Authority have set down their own conditions for forming a national unity government. Hamas officials said if the organization were accepted as a full political partner, they would want their members accepted in all of the various Palestinian security organizations. Hamas then declared that it wanted to draw up a power-sharing formula in Gaza with the Palestinian Authority.

The proposals are being discussed following Israel's plans to unilaterally withdraw troops and remove Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian foreign affairs minister, Nabil Shaath, said he expected Hamas to declare a ceasefire, once Israel leaves Gaza. He expressed the hope that the withdrawal would also pave the way for Palestinian general elections.

'Mr. Sharon, You Have No Mandate'


When Prime Minister Ariel Sharon leaves for Washington, D.C. on Monday night at the close of the Passover holiday, domestic opposition will give him an angry send-off. Protests Mondays will be held under the slogan, "You Have No Mandate."

In the U.S., Sharon will be working towards obtaining a White House declaration of support for his controversial "disengagement" plan, which calls for a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza and the expulsion of its 8,000-strong Jewish community.

A protest organized by the Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza) Council is scheduled for Monday night at 10, the planned hour of Sharon's departure. The demonstrators will stand with "You Have No Mandate" signs all along Route 1, from Jerusalem to Ben-Gurion International Airport. In tandem, Gush Katif residents will demonstrate outside Sharon's Shikmim Farm in the Negev.

The protesters will be pressing the theme that Sharon "Has No Mandate" to "surrender to terrorism and to uproot Jews from their homes." They will also decry any plan "to carry out a transfer of tens of thousands of Jews who settled the land by law and as emissaries of the government of Israel." To retreat from Gaza, the disengagement opponents will note, is to "grant a prize to terrorism and to ignore the warnings of the Chief of Staff, the head of the Shabak, IDF Intelligence, IDF generals and security establishment heads, who say clearly that running away from Gush Katif will increase terrorism."

From the other side of the political spectrum, ultra left-wing opposition Knesset Member Zahava Gal'on has called upon Sharon to address the parliament following his return from Washington. Gal-On explained that it is only fitting that the Prime Minister present and explain whatever understandings and agreements he reached with the U.S. administration. By detailing the events to the Knesset, Gal'on added, Sharon can enlist additional support among legislators.

One issue certain to be raised in Washington is the cost of "disengagement" from Gaza and four Jewish communities in the northern Shomron. According to government officials, a withdrawal from Gaza and several Jewish communities of Samaria and Judea will cost about $1 billion. As reported earlier, the Americans have intimated that some economic aid may be forthcoming, depending on the implementation of the Prime Minister's plans for withdrawal from Gaza.

Google Caught in Anti-Semitic Flap


Search site Google has been drawn into a controversy during the week of Passover over a search listing that directs viewers to an anti-Semitic site when they enter the keyword "Jew."

The dispute began several weeks ago, when Steven Weinstock, a New York real estate investor and former yeshiva student, did a Google search on "Jew." The first site returned was Jew Watch, a site filled with short articles focusing on alleged Jewish conspiracies and other anti-Semitic topics, with headings such as "Jewish Controlled Press" and "Jewish Mind Control Mechanisms." The administrator of Jew Watch did not respond to an e-mail message requesting comment.

Weinstock has launched an online petition, asking Google to remove the site from its index. He said if Google receives 50,000 requests to remove the site, it would comply. "Google is the No. 1 search site, and the fact that the first search result would yield an anti-Semitic site is all too common in a growing era of increased anti-Semitism," he wrote in his introduction to the petition.

The petition site appeared to have been hacked last week, however. Clicking on links to view or sign the petition brought up pages with pornographic images, plus the message, "This guestbook is for the most LAMEST petition ever."

Google spokesman David Krane said the company's search results are determined by a complex set of algorithms that measure factors such as how many sites link to a given page. The company can't and won't change the ranking for Jew Watch, regardless of how many signatures the petition attracts, he said. "Google's search results are solely determined by computer algorithms that essentially reflect the popular opinion of the Web. Our search results are not manipulated by hand. We're not able to make any manual changes to the results." The online petition site is

Bid to Promote Peace Through Beauty Contest


Israeli and Palestinian girls have until end of May to apply to take part in an upcoming beauty pageant that aims to build bridges between the two estranged communities, organizers said.

"We want to promote peace between the two sides, try to use understanding rather than guns," says Uzi Nagar who lives in Gilo. Only contestants from Gilo, Bethlehem and two adjacent villages of Beit Sahour and Beit Jala can take part in the event. Nagar, who says 20 Gilo girls have already applied, dreamt up the idea of the contest, describing himself as "a believer in peace" and a member of the opposition Labor party.

Aware that the project may seem like a drop in the ocean of distrust between Palestinians and Israelis, Nagar insisted, "It is better to do a little than nothing at all." A valley separates Gilo from the Palestinian town of Beit Jala. The area was dogged by frequent exchanges of fire between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen at the start of the Palestinian uprising in September 2000, until Israel built a concrete wall.

Jacqueline Yussef, a hair salon owner in nearby Beit Safafa, is in charge of recruiting Palestinian contestants. "I've had seven entries so far," she said. But some in Bethlehem think the idea of a joint beauty contest is utterly inappropriate as long as Israel continues to occupy Palestinian land.

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