Newsletter : 4fax1021.txt
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Was Kahane Right?
A Channel 2 TV survey reveals that 58% of adults aged 18-22 supports "transfer," the
expulsion of Arabs from Israel. 26.4% believe slain Kach party founder Rabbi Meir Kahane
was correct in his call to expel the Arabs, while one-third believe Kach should be
declared a legal organization once again. According to a Ma'ariv report, a survey
conducted during recent days, questioning 500 Israelis representing a cross-section of
society, revealed 13.1% favor a national leader along the lines of the image of Rabbi Meir
Iran Test Fires Upgraded Missile Capable of Reaching Israel
By Ha'aretz & Reuters
Iran said Wednesday it test fired an upgraded and more accurate version of its Shihab-3
medium-range missile, believed to be capable of hitting Israel and United States bases in
the Persian Gulf. "Iran test fired a more accurate version of the Shihab-3 in the presence
of observers," Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani told reporters after a weekly cabinet
meeting. Iran emphasized its missile program is purely deterrent and denies American and
Israeli allegations it wants to develop nuclear warheads which the Shihab-3 could
Earlier this month the official IRNA news agency quoted influential former president
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as saying Iran was able to launch a missile with a range of 1,250
miles. The missile could reach Israel and parts of southeastern Europe. "Experts know that
a country that possesses this can obtain all subsequent stages" in missile production,
Rafsanjani told staff at the Aerospace Research Institute in Tehran. His statement came
days after Iran said it had added a "strategic missile" to its arsenal after a successful
The old version of Iran's Shihab-3 missile was known to have a range of 810 miles -
making it capable of reaching Israel and U.S. military bases in the Middle East. Israel
has expressed increasingly vocal concern over Iran's nuclear program, which, Jerusalem
says, is aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge, saying it is intended
for generating electricity, and has warned Israel against any efforts to destroy its
Israel and the U.S. have developed the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system, one of the
few systems capable of intercepting and destroying missiles at high altitudes. Its
development followed the 1991 Gulf War, when Iraq fired 39 Scud missiles that struck
Israel. Israel Aircraft Industries and Boeing Co. developed the Arrow at a cost of more
than $1 billion.
The Shihab is Iran's longest-range ballistic missile. The country launched an arms
development program during its 1980-88 war with Iraq to compensate for a U.S. weapons
embargo. Shihab is the Persian word for meteor. Based on the North Korean Nodong-1 and
modified with Russian technology, the Shihab-3 was first deployed to Iran's Revolutionary
Guard in July 2003.
Supreme Court: State Must Help Return Kidnapped Boy
It's been two months now since the Muslim father of a Jewish Israeli boy kidnapped him
to Russia and has been raising him as a Muslim - and this week, the Supreme Court ruled
that the Justice and Foreign Ministries must take action. Justice Miriam Naor accepted the
request of the mother, whose name has not been publicized, to obligate the government to
take an active role in returning the boy.
As first reported by Ynet last week, the 10-year-old boy immigrated to Israel at the
age of 4. This was the last time he saw his father, a Muslim with Syrian citizenship -
until two months ago. In August, the boy and his grandmother visited Moldova, from where
his father abducted him and now refuses to return him to his mother. The man forces his
son to behave like a Muslim, and has threatened to take him to Syria if his mother takes
any action on her son's behalf.
With great effort, the mother was able to track down the whereabouts of her missing son
to a town in southern Russia, and was even able to speak with him for a few moments. The
boy cried and asked her to take him home. When the father saw the two speaking in Hebrew,
he separated them and warned that if they ever again speak Hebrew to each other, they
would never see each other again. "He told me that they changed his name to an Arabic one
and force him to pray five times a day," the mother told Ynet. "This is a Jewish boy, and
they're forcing him to act like a Muslim."
She finally filed suit in a Russian court, but she has no legal counsel. "The Israeli
government has not helped me, and now all I'm asking is to send me a lawyer," she said.
"I can't do it any more by myself." The Muslim father, for his part, is a wealthy man,
his former wife said; "who owns four large stores and has several lawyers. I just hope
that he won't bribe the judge. He has five other children from his first wife and his
present wife, and he told me, 'I have six children, and they will all live with me.'"
Before the ruling, the mother's Israeli lawyer lamented, "This is a straight-out
kidnapping case. A Jewish 10-year-old boy, an Israeli, who spent almost his whole life in
Israel and doesn't even know his father, whom he last saw at the age of 4, is suddenly
kidnapped, forced to live like a Muslim, detached from his family, country, friends and
his whole life - and all the State of Israel can do for him is to collect forms and send
them to Russia."
The high court's ruling gives some room for optimism. "The most important thing," the
lawyer said, "is to show the Russian court that Israel is actively involved, has opened a
legal file, and that this is a diplomatic issue in every sense - and not just a personal
matter. With this ruling, it will be harder for the Russian court to ignore our request."
Foreign Minister Shalom and Justice Minister Lapid are expected, in accordance with the
ruling, to issue statements and responses, and "these could change the picture," the
Gaza Girl Death Officer Cleared
By BBC News
The Israeli army has cleared an officer accused of repeatedly firing into the lifeless
body of a young Palestinian girl of "unethical" behavior.
But the officer remains suspended for poor relations with subordinates. An inquiry began
after soldiers told the story of 13-year-old Iman al-Hams's death to the media, provoking
an outcry among many Israelis.
The killing of Palestinian civilians does not always make much news in Israel. And it
is unusual for the army to launch an investigation into the circumstances of such
incidents, says the BBC's James Reynolds in Jerusalem. Without revealing their
identities, soldiers from the Givati brigade platoon told Israeli television how their
officer sprayed Iman al-Hams with automatic gunfire on October 5 in the Tel Sultan
neighborhood of Rafah - a restricted area near Gaza's border with Egypt.
The investigation did not find that the company or the company commander had acted
unethically. "We saw her from a distance of 70m. She was fired at ... from the outpost.
She fled and was wounded," a soldier said. While Iman was lying, wounded or dead, about
225 feet from the Israeli guard post, the platoon commander approached her and fired two
bullets from close range at her head, the soldiers said. He then went back a second time,
put his weapon on the automatic setting and - ignoring their objections on the
walkie-talkie - emptied his entire magazine into her body.
But the army said it accepts the commander's claim that he fired into the ground near
the girl after coming under fire in a dangerous area. It has not explained why the officer
shot into the ground rather than at the source of the fire. "The investigation did not
find that the company or the company commander had acted unethically," an army statement
said. "The investigation concluded that the behavior of the company commander from an
ethical point of view does not warrant his removal from his position."
But the investigation criticized the officer's leadership abilities. "Due to these
failures the company commander was suspended from his position, and his future career [in
the army] will be decided upon in the course of the next week," the statement said. A
separate military police investigation into the incident is continuing.
British Muslim Charged with Inciting to Kill Jews
A Muslim leader in the United Kingdom, Abu Hamza Al-Masri, was charged in a British
court this week with a variety of crimes, including 10 counts of soliciting murder,
specifically, of Jews and other non-Muslims, as well as racist incitement and
The high profile, self-styled sheikh was the imam at the London-area Finsbury Park
mosque. The mosque was attended by Zaccarias Moussawi, the infamous "20th hijacker" of
9/11, and by the failed "shoe bomber," Muslim convert Richard Reid, as well as by three
terrorists involved in the Beslan school massacre. In addition to the charges he faces in
the UK, Abu Hamza Al-Masri is also wanted in the United States and Yemen. In Yemen, he has
been convicted in absentia for involvement in several bombings that killed three people
and a kidnapping that left four hostages dead.
Born in Alexandria, Egypt, the 47-year-old Abu Hamza Al-Masri has also been involved in
Islamic terrorism and jihad in Bosnia and Afghanistan. In Bosnia, he commanded a unit of
foreign fighters who came to fight jihad against the Christian Serbs. In Afghanistan, he
lost his hands in a mine explosion while combating the Soviet incursion there.
Holland: Diary of Holocaust Victim Made Public
The previously unknown diary of 18-year-old Helga Deen - who was murdered along with
her family by the Nazis at the Sobibor death camp in 1943 - has been loaned to the Tilburg
Regional Archive in the Netherlands.
In her diary, Deen describes her experiences, feelings and surroundings at the Dutch
Vught concentration camp in the month before she and her family were transported to
Sobibor. 15,000 Jews were held in the Vught concentration camp between January 1943 and
September 1944. Over 1,000 Jewish children imprisoned at Vught were killed at Sobibor,
The son of Kees van den Berg, who had a relationship with the young Jewish woman during
World War II, held Deen's diary, along with other personal possessions. The Dutch
Institute for War Documentation (NIOD), the Tilburg archivist, as well as other Dutch
researchers have called the diary "remarkable" and "exceptional."
In her last letter in the collection loaned to the Tilburg archives, Helga Deen wrote,
"What we have experienced these months is indescribable and for someone who has not
experienced it, unimaginable."
Top-Ranked in Chess, Be'er Sheva to Teach Game to Tots
Children at 20 Be'er Sheva kindergartens will soon be able to enroll in chess classes
in the framework of a unique program aimed at strengthening the southern city's status as
the chess capital of Israel.
Toward the end of Israel's championship league chess match in 2000, the Rishon Letzion
chess club used donations to buy several top players, including world champion Gary
Kasparov. That dream team was playing Israel's highest-ranking team: Be'er Sheva A. After
a long battle, the Rishon Letzion group won by one point, but the meager victory wasn't
enough to give it the championship and Be'er Sheva remained at the top of the charts.
Be'er Sheva A has recently become, for the 15th time in its history, the Israeli
championship team. But it is only one of 36 groups in the city's flourishing chess club,
all of which play in various leagues throughout the country. The club has 300 members,
about half of them children. The oldest Be'er Sheva player is 85, and the youngest is only
4 years old.
The Negev city boasts world renown; with 85 club members ranked as chess grandmasters,
Be'er Sheva has the highest number of grandmasters in proportion to population size in the
entire world. Club members have achieved first place in the world championship for
pensioners and third place for a group competition in the European championships, in
addition to winning 15 Israeli championships. Four club members have been chess champions
of Israel. Club member and grandmaster Alexander Huzman has even beaten Kasparov. "Every
year I need to order a new trophy case," said club director Eliahu Levant, who founded the
club a year after emigrating from St. Petersburg in 1972.
The achievements are even more impressive given that, unlike other clubs in Israel and
around the world, the Be'er Sheva club does not buy players. All the players have played
in the local chess club or are immigrants who moved to Be'er Sheva and joined the
What is it about Be'er Sheva that has made it the capital of Israeli chess? The answer
lies in the large Russian community, the municipal investment in the club, tradition and,
of course, luck.
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