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Israeli Troops Withdraw from Gaza Town

By VOA News

Israeli forces have pulled out of the northern Gaza Strip, including the town of Beit Hanoun, after a month-long mission to stop Palestinian rocket attacks into southern Israel. Israel says it will redeploy its troops, while warning that the operation to prevent rocket fire is continuing. Meanwhile, in southern Gaza, witnesses say a Palestinian militant leader escaped an apparent Israeli assassination attempt, when an Israeli helicopter fired a missile that missed his car. Jamal Abu Samadana of the Popular Resistance Committees was traveling between Khan Younis and Rafah, when the attack occurred. Israel has not commented on the incident


Terror Victim Refused Entry to U.S> Due to Lack of ´Family Ties´ in Israel

By IsraelNationalNews.com

A resident of the community of Psagot, in the Samaria region, was refused entry to the United States due to the fact that Arab terrorists murdered her family.

American consular officials in Israel rejected a visa application from 21-year-old Sophia Dickstein of the community of Psagot. The reason given was that she did not have enough family ties in Israel to ensure she will not remain in America. This is because Arab terrorists in an attack in the Hebron Hills area murdered Sophia's parents and a brother. Only following the intervention of the daily Yediot Achronot newspaper did consular officials agree to reverse the decision and issue her a visa.


One Third of Austrians Believe Nazi Era Had Good Aspects

By Israel Faxx News Services

More than 33% of Austrians believe that the Nazi era was in some ways positive, although pro-Nazi sentiment in Austria has dropped over the past two decades, according to a poll published Thursday.

But Peter Uhlram of the Fessel-GfK Institute, which conducted the survey, cautioned against inferring from the poll results that anti-Semitism is widespread in Austria. Most who believed life was in some ways good under Hitler likely looked back at developments other than the Holocaust as the positive sides of Nazi rule, such as construction of the first Autobahn and sharply lowered unemployment, he said.

Uhlram said 31% of 4,000 respondents over 15 agreed with the statement that the Nazi era had "good and bad" elements, compared to 47% in 1987.Twenty-seven percent of Austrian respondents questioned in the survey said the period had been "exclusively bad," 40% said it was "mostly bad," and 1% said it had been "mostly good or almost exclusively good," said Uhlram. The survey, conducted between March 9 and June 1, had a margin of error of 1 percent. The Austria Press Agency published excerpts Thursday.

In the past two decades, Austria has largely turned away from depicting itself as a victim of Hitler and begun acknowledging its major role in the Holocaust. Political and church leaders now routinely speak out against anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance that fed the rise of Nazi rule in this country and Germany. The government has also paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation claims to Nazi victims or their children.


Egyptian Magazine Apologizes for anti-Semitic Articles

By Israel Faxx News Services

In an unprecedented move, the Egyptian weekly al-Liwa al-Islami, which is linked to the ruling political party, was forced to publish an apology for two anti-Semitic articles it had published.

The articles stated that the Zionist movement made up the fact that the Nazis used cremation ovens in the Holocaust. "Our institutions, especially those who deal with human rights, have to put an end to the moral and political blackmail", wrote Dr. Rafat Siyad Ahmed. "The story should be about the Palestinian holocaust, not the Jewish Holocaust. The West has a serious problem of double standards."

The writer even adopted the attitudes of Holocaust denier, David Irving, and wrote, "There were no gas chambers in Auschwitz; these chambers were build by the Poles after the war". Ahmed also claimed that Zionism made up the story of Jewish extermination in order to advance their plans to establish a Jewish state.

Immediately after the publication of the article, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, located in Los Angeles, approached two American Congress committees and asked them to announce their disapproval of these articles to President Hosni Mubarak. A similar decry was also sent to the Egyptian ambassador in the Washington, Nabil Fahmi.

The published apology stated that the article was written in accordance to the opinions of the author and do not stem from any values of the Islamic faith. "We received many letters and telephone calls about these articles, some in support but many against them", the announcement read.


Getting Stoned Beats Shell Shock

By The Scotsman (UK)

Israel's army will soon begin using cannabis to treat soldiers suffering from combat stress, the military said Wednesday. An army statement said the medical corps and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem would begin treating victims of post-traumatic stress - commonly known as shell shock - with THC, the active ingredient in the cannabis plant. It said the treatment would begin on an experimental basis.

"The use of THC as part of the treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder was approved by military and civilian committees relevant to the subject," the statement said. A military spokesman said treatment would be given to both conscript soldiers and reservists.

Since September 2000, the Israeli military has been conducting day-to-day operations against Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. During that time many soldiers have been treated for combat stress following service at military checkpoints and in military operations.

The Israeli military continues to ban the use of all drugs on a leisure basis, including cannabis derivatives marijuana and hashish.


New Immigrants Treated to Reduced Bureaucracy

By IsraelNationalNews.com

After 2,000 years of yearning to return to Zion, new olim (immigrants) are not only fulfilling a millennia-old dream, but will now be brought through the process in style. Jews from across the world who wish to make Aliyah (immigrate to Israel) are no longer required to spend 40 years in the desert like their biblical ancestors - they don't even have to wander through the bureaucratic wilderness alone anymore. Starting Thursday, new olim were assigned a personal advisor to guide them through each stage of the Aliyah process.

The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption (Misrad Haklitah) announced the new approach under the motto, "One on One - Changing Over to Personal Absorption," and started assigning "Personal Absorption Counselors" to new olim.

"New immigrants and their families will be assigned a personal absorption counselor who speaks their language and will accompany them throughout their absorption process," read an announcement from the Absorption Ministry. "A personal absorption track will be formulated for each immigrant and tailored to meet each individual's needs."

Whereas a new immigrant traditionally had to meet with up to four different advisors on separate occasions, he will now have the number of one personal counselor who is responsible for all aspects of his interaction with the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.

"As part of the new process, we will no longer wait for the oleh to come to us. We will go to him and make sure that he and his family are taken care of," Mirla Gal, Director General of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption told AngloFile magazine. Gal added that immigrants who arrived under the old system are also eligible for receiving personal counselors.

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