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Aboriginal Canadians in Israel to Support Aboriginal Israelis


A group of Canadian aboriginals toured Israel this week in order to build bridges with another aboriginal people - the Jews of Israel. "It's a spiritual journey for many of us," Rev. Raymond McLean, from Fairford First Nation in Manitoba, told the Toronto Star. The nine-day tour is being led by nine aboriginal educators and is the second trip of its nature. The first trip was initiated by B'nai Brith Canada after David Ahenakew, a former head of the aboriginal 'Assembly of First Nations,' went on an anti-Semitic rant at a press conference in 2002.

Israeli Helicopters Fire on Palestinians in Gaza Strip

By Larry James (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli helicopter gunships fired four missiles at targets in the Gaza Strip on Monday, killing two Palestinians who, the army said, were preparing to fire rockets into Israel. Israeli military sources said the attack took place when a group of militants were spotted in a cemetery near the town of Beit Hanoun in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, preparing to fire the rockets.

Israel Radio said Palestinian witnesses reported that ambulances had initially hesitated before approaching the scene of the attack because of continuing machine gunfire from the attack helicopters.

In another development on Monday, Israeli security officers found what they believe was a pipe bomb near the fence surrounding the Tel Mond prison. Prison officials say they believe the incident is connected to a hunger strike started by Palestinian prisoners the day before.

Some 1,500 of the estimated 7,000 Palestinians in Israeli detention are said to be taking part in the strike, which was called to protest prison conditions. The prisoners are demanding a range of concessions, including an end to strip-searches. Israel's internal security minister, Tzahi Hanegbi, rejected the inmates' demands. He told The Jerusalem Post that cell phones are often found during strip searches, and that the phones frequently are used to plan terror attacks.

Police Refuse to Accept Responsibility for Forced Expulsion of Jews


Public Security Minister Tzachi Hanegbi announced the ultimate responsibility for the forced expulsion of Jews from their homes under the prime minister's Gaza expulsion plan must fall on the shoulders of the IDF. During a meeting with Police Chief Moshe Karadi and senior Israel Police commanders, it was decided the force cannot undertake such a responsibility, pointing out the completion of the objective would most likely take weeks and the force has other responsibilities.

Hanegbi pointed out the nation's police department cannot ignore terrorism, crime, traffic enforcement and other responsibilities, adding Israel Police would contribute intelligence information and other logistical and practical support, but could not be held responsible for the operation, placing the onus on the IDF.

Poll: 75% of U.S. Jews Say They Will Vote for Kerry

By Ha'aretz

Seventy-five percent of Jewish American voters will vote for Democratic candidate John Kerry in the upcoming November elections, according to a survey released Monday. The study, sponsored by the National Jewish Democratic Council, found that 75 percent of Jews polled said they would vote for Kerry, while only 22 percent said they would re-elect President George W. Bush.

The results contradict Republicans' claims that American Jewry is facing a historic change in voting habits, leading to mass support of Bush in the upcoming elections. Republicans believed a record 40 percent of Jews would vote for Bush in November, but according to Monday's study, the president's base of Jewish supporters has not changed significantly since the 2000 elections, when he received 19 percent of the Jewish vote.

The study also shows Jews ranked Kerry highly on issues such as domestic affairs and the economy. Two-thirds of respondents also said that they believed Kerry would be better for Israel than Bush.

Arafat Paid Neturei Karta 'Rabbi'


PLO arch-terrorist leader Yasir Arafat paid Moshe Hirsch, the leader of the anti-Israel Neturei Karta sect, at least $55,000. Correspondent Haggai Huberman reported that Hirsch received the sum - in two payments in early 2002 - in return for his support of the Palestinian Authority. That was revealed in documents found in Arafat's Mukata compound in Ramallah during Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002. Asked why this news has been revealed only now, Huberman explained that the job of translating all the documents found in the Mukata is a very long and tedious one.

Hirsch serves as the Minister of Jewish Affairs in Arafat's PLO government. The papers signed by Arafat and authorizing the payments to him indicated that the money was not a "salary," but rather an unofficial payment. "Other papers found in the same 'pile' were instructions to pay various individuals various amounts of money," Huberman said.

Hirsch and Neturei Karta have a long history of anti-Zionist activities. Though the payments now color their actions in a new hue, they claim to object to the State of Israel because it does not jibe with their vision of Divine Redemption. According to their view, man's actions are limited to prayer and religious works, and certainly not the actual building of a not-completely religious state in the Holy Land.

U.S. Denies Visa Application: El Al Stewardess Fired


El Al stewardess Meirav Klein, 23, says her lifelong dream is gone, explaining that when American officials denied her a visa to enter the United States, the airline had no alternative but to fire her.

Embassy officials explained that while touring in America a number of years ago following her IDF service, she violated her visa and worked illegally, pointing to her obtaining a commercial drivers license. Klein denied the allegations and her family even hired an American attorney, paying $5,000, to disprove the allegations. They insist she never was issued an American drivers license. Presently, nothing has changed and even a Foreign Ministry request to American diplomatic officials to reconsider the decision has not yielded positive results.

Klein is now appealing to President Moshe Katsav, perhaps her last hope, calling on him to please intervene - hoping a presidential request might result in a visa approval. El Al officials expressed sorrow over the incident, adding that if and when Meirav is granted a visa, her old job would be waiting for her.

Israeli Expertise Enables Olympic Athletes and Spectators to Breathe Easy

By Jessica Steinberg (

As the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens began Friday, officials touted the $312 million security system installed to protect athletes, spectators and residents in the Greek host city. At least 20 Israeli companies as well as Israel's police, army and naval forces, offered their border protection and software expertise, supplying infrared cameras, closed circuit TVs, patrol boats, software systems, even miles of black irrigation tubing, for the Olympic sites and streets in Athens.

Athens' total security budget is more than $1.5 billion was a record for the Olympics, and Israel played a large role. The entire system was set up by San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp., an American-led consortium that included companies such as Germany's Siemens AG; General Dynamics of Falls Church, Virginia; New Jersey-based Honeywell International and more than a dozen Israeli companies, including Elbit Systems, Israel Shipyards, Motorola Israel and Check Point Software Technologies.

"The Israelis aren't the first in security at the Olympics, but they're clearly in the top four," an industry source told ISRAEL21c. "It is a very vast network, and it is the first time it is being done on such a scale at an international level," Greek police spokesman Col. Lefteris Ikonomou told the Associated Press.

Infrared and high-resolution cameras are mounted on 1,250 concrete columns around the capital. A host of 12 patrol boats, 4,000 vehicles, three helicopters and one blimp have been fitted with surveillance equipment, while the consortium also installed a secure communication and information system for security services, as well as a security network for ports such as Piraeus, where cruise ships are serving as floating hotels.

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