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Creation or Evolution?

By Guysen Israel News

A poll published in the Israeli edition of the National Geographic reveals that 42% of the Israelis would be convinced that man has been created as described in the Torah, while they are only 31% to adopt the evolution theory. Judaism sees no antagonism between these two versions, since the creation of the world might have preceded the creation of Adam, the first man, by several billion years.

UN Envoy Urges Israel to Accept Syrian Offer to Resume Peace Talks

By VOA News

The United Nations envoy to the Middle East has urged Israel to accept a new Syrian proposal to renew peace talks. Terje Roed-Larsen made the appeal in a meeting with the Israeli parliament's Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee Tuesday. Roed-Larsen, who visited Damascus last week, said he feels Syria has stretched out, what he called, a genuine hand of peace and Israel should grab the opportunity.

Israel leaders have dismissed as insincere Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's offer to resume peace talks without any preconditions. They accuse Syria of harboring groups that want to destroy the Jewish state. Syria and Israel last held peace talks in January 2000.

Likud Leaders: Sharon Has Turned His Back on Jabotinsky


Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin, a long-time friend and colleague of Ariel Sharon, is sorely disappointed with the Prime Minister's ideological turnabout. "Most of the Likud's Knesset Members are not in favor of the Prime Minister's policies," the Knesset Speaker said. "The Prime Minister is conducting a policy that is a 180-degree change from the positions of the movement he heads."

Sharon now sees his disengagement plan as "some kind of holy process," Rivlin told Army Radio, "and not just a 'need for painful concessions.'" He said that the party must undergo a process of "introspection" and decide whether it wishes to continue to carry on the ideology of the Revisionist Zionist Movement of Ze'ev Jabotinsky, or whether it wishes to abandon these ideas and replace them with others.

Jabotinsky (1880-1940) is considered the founder and spiritual leader of Revisionist Zionism. He worked for the establishment of the Jewish Legion and participated in battles against the Turkish and British rulers. He founded the youth movement Betar, aimed at educating its members with a military/nationalistic spirit. Two years later, in 1925, he established the Union of Zionists-Revisionists, which called for the immediate establishment of a Jewish State.

In 1935, after the Zionist Executive refused to clearly define that the aim of Zionism was the establishment of a Jewish state, Jabotinsky resigned from the Zionist Movement and founded the New Zionist Organization. In 1937, the Irgun Tzvai Leumi (Etzel) became the military arm of the movement, with Jabotinsky as its commander. Throughout these years, he continued to write poetry, novels, short stories and articles on politics, social and economic problems. He was the mentor of future Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

Rivlin, in his interview with Army Radio, said that it appears that Sharon is turning his back on the Jabotinsky tradition. "I was sorely offended by Sharon's speech at the memorial to David Ben-Gurion [a bitter personal rival of both Jabotinsky and Begin - ed.], in which he strongly implied that Ben-Gurion was correct in his policies against the Revisionists, including the shooting at the Etzel's ship Altalena."

Sharon said in his speech that Ben-Gurion "knew that this talented and intelligent people is sometimes plagued by factionalism, sectarianism, and in-fighting, and that there were, in its history, unrealistic visions that served as obstacles... Ben-Gurion always emphasized the importance of national authority, the authority of law, and the authority of the rule of the State's official institutions."

Sharon to Take Part in the "March of the Living"


Officials are reporting that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will be taking part in this year's March of the Living, an international, educational program that brings Jewish teens from all over the world to Poland on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, to march from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest concentration camp complex built during World War II, and then to Israel to observe Yom HaZikaron, Israel Memorial Day, and Yom Ha'Atzmaut, Israel Independence Day.

Holocaust Victims´ Bank Accounts Nearing Legislation Phase


Some 4,500 bank accounts of Holocaust victims have not yet been claimed by their heirs, according to the Knesset's Inquiry Committee for the Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets. The committee's report, according to Globes newspaper, states that half of these accounts were opened at what is now Bank Leumi, but that the bank no longer holds any of them. Bank Leumi claims that those accounts, belonging to Jews from Germany, its allies, and occupied countries, were transferred to the British Mandate Custodian of Enemy Property, under Mandatory law.

Israel's Custodian-General now holds almost all of the 4,500 accounts, with only a few still at banks such as Barclay's (now Mercantile Discount) and United Mizrahi.

The committee, chaired by MK Colette Avital (Labor), is on the verge of submitting its final report. The report and its recommendations will be the basis for proposed Knesset legislation and will reportedly recommend that the banks bear financial responsibility for the period of time between the opening of the accounts and their transfer to the British Mandate Custodian of Enemy Property.

In addition, heirs of the account-holders, if found, should receive the accounts' deposits, plus linkage and 4% annual interest. "On the basis of this formula, the aggregate real value of the 4,500 accounts is several hundred million shekels, of which the state will have to pay an estimated 55-60%," reported Globes, adding that the heirs to most of the accounts could be found.

Introducing: The Lowest Spot on Earth


Israel has inaugurated a new tourist attraction: The Lowest Spot on Earth, nearly 3/10 mile below sea level. Tourism Minister Gideon Ezra, Tamar Regional Council Head Dov Litvinoff, and other Israeli and foreign dignitaries took part in the official ceremony Tuesday, transforming the lowest point on Earth into an official attraction. Entrance to the site will be free of charge.

The spot is located on the Dead Sea shore, just to the north of the hotels and near the Ein Gedi nature reserve. Litvinoff explained afterwards that the ultimate plan is to turn the area into the lowest park in the world, in cooperation with Jordan, which borders the Dead Sea from the east. "The plan was to enclose the entire Dead Sea with a road, but the program has largely ground to a halt due to the security events of the past few years. We're continuing our part, though."

A sign marks the site as being 415 meters, or 1362 feet, below sea level. The Tourism Ministry notes that the new low site thus takes its place alongside "other similar spots in the world, such as the highest spots in the world - Mts. Everest, Kilimanjaro and Mont Blanc - and the Equator in the club of geographic greats. "

Tourism Ministry literature also pointed out that the Dead Sea is renowned throughout the world for its curative qualities, and is a magnet for those who seek to benefit from the therapeutic power of its mineral-rich waters.

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