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Register Your Opposition to Divestment at Christian Science Monitor
Israel Faxx News Service
The Christian Science Monitor, a national newspaper, has an online survey that asks readers the basic question of whether or not to support divestment from companies doing business in Israel. The poll is linked to a news story quoting David Elcott, AJC's U.S. director of interreligious affairs, who has strongly opposed divestment in meetings with the Presbyterian Church. Please vote today at http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1206/p11s02-lire.html. Currently, more than two-thirds of the respondents support divestment. .
Likud Supports Resolution on Coalition Talks with Labor
A resolution backed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on whether to hold talks with the
Labor Party on joining a unity government won a Likud internal vote Thursday night. More
than 62 percent of Likud Central Committee delegates who voted - 1,410 people - were in
favor of the negotiations, according to "almost official" figures announced by Likud
bigwig Yisrael Katz.
A relatively low turnout had initially caused concern for the Sharon camp throughout
the evening, but the polls finally closed at 10 p.m. with a turnout of more than 70
The party's ruling body began voting Thursday morning on a resolution approving the
talks, a measure which may prove crucial to the success of the disengagement plan and to
the survival of the Sharon government. Earlier Thursday, a Tel Aviv court rejected an
appeal that could have thrown a wrench into Sharon's hopes to present a new government to
the Knesset within 10 days of the evening meeting of the Likud ruling body.
Voting began at 10 A.M. to approve new talks toward a coalition "comprised of Likud,
Labor and religious factions," in the words of the resolution drafted by Sharon. The
"religious factions" refers to United Torah Judaism and Shas. A high turnout had been
expected to work in Sharon's favor, and boost the chances of the resolution passing.
Arriving at the ballot at the Exhibition Grounds in Tel Aviv on Thursday afternoon,
Sharon called on the 3,000 central committee delegates to take part in the vote. "Either
Israel progresses or goes to [general] elections. It is important that everyone turns up
here today, votes and contributes to Israel's progress, in every sense. It's simple: Those
who don't vote sink the boat. What is important is to come here and cast a ballot."
In light of the Likud vote, negotiations with Labor, UTJ and Shas are expected to begin
Sunday, after Labor Chairman Shimon Peres convenes his party bureau Saturday night to
obtain its formal consent to the talks.
An Israel Radio poll released Thursday showed that more than 70 percent of Israeli
voters are in favor of a Likud-Labor unity government. But among the members of the Likud
Central Committee, the survey showed 48 percent in favor, and 41 percent opposed.
Sharon's coalition plans will face their next test Sunday, when the Labor Central
Committee meets to determine a date for that party's leadership primary. Peres has
proposed that the decision be deferred until the outcome of the coalition negotiations
with Likud is known. On Thursday morning, Sharon told Army Radio that he would not present
any coalition agreement with Labor for approval by the Likud Central Committee. "At this
stage, there is no need from a legal standpoint. There is nothing more to explain and
nothing more to approve. The government of Israel approved the disengagement plan, and the
time has come to draw a line under this subject."
In August, the Likud Central Committee refused to permit Sharon to form a government
with Labor, but this time Sharon has backing from several key ministers who opposed him
last time. Moreover, the central committee knew that the only alternative to Labor is new
elections, which would probably cost the Likud a significant number of its current Knesset
seats. Three months ago, it still appeared possible for the government to survive without
Israel Urges International Effort on Iran
Israel's ambassador to the United States, Daniel Ayalon, says it is time for the
international community, particularly Russia and the United Nations, to make a more
coordinated effort to curb Iran's suspected support of terrorism and development of
weapons of mass destruction. Ayalon said Iran remains one of the strongest threats to
peace in the Middle East. And he said that Russia, which is helping Iran build nuclear
reactors, could play a positive role in curtailing the threat.
Iran and Russia say the nuclear cooperation program is for peaceful purposes. But the
United States says the nuclear program could help Iran develop weapons of mass
destruction. Ayalon says so far Iran has faced few serious consequences from the
international community for what he calls its nuclear and terrorist activities.
Ayalon refused to comment on Palestinian elections, scheduled for January 9th, other
than to say Palestinian voters would decide whether they want to pursue peace and
stability or continue terrorism. He made his comments at a discussion sponsored by the
Israeli Project, a private organization to promote U.S.-Israeli relations.
Rabbis: Plant Meets Kosher Standards
By the Des Moines Register & ClevelandJewishNews.com
A coalition of rabbis and kosher-certifying agencies said that cattle slaughtering
practices used at a northeast Iowa meatpacking plant are humane and meet standards for
kosher meat production. The group made its claim a week after People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals posted videotape on the Internet that showed cattle stumbling about
after undergoing shechita, or kosher slaughter, at Agriprocessors Inc. in Postville.
Shechita involves slicing a cow's trachea and esophagus. A second cut to assist
bleeding and speed the animal's unconsciousness does not violate shechita or affect "the
kosher status of the slaughtered animal's meat," the kosher group said.
The coalition expressed concern that PETA's videotape "may lead to misconceptions about
the practices . . . and, more generally, about the shechita process itself." The
coalition's statement said, "Shechita typically renders the animal insensible almost
instantaneously." Even then, an animal "may still display certain reflexive actions,
including those shown in images portrayed in the video. These reflexive actions should not
be mistaken for signs of consciousness or pain."
PETA asked government regulators to investigate the practices at the Agriprocessors
plant. Federal investigators were sent last week to Postville, and that investigation is
continuing, said Steven Cohen, a spokesman for the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety
and Inspection Service.
Kashrut authorities and two Orthodox rabbis in Cleveland have disputed claims by PETA
the practices at the Iowa plant are inhumane and violate Jewish and federal law. Over a
seven-week period from late July to early September, PETA secretly taped kosher
slaughtering at Agriprocessors, the largest glatt kosher slaughterhouse in the world and
the only U.S. plant certified to export products to Israel processes meat under the
Rubashkin and Aaron's Best labels.
The 40-minute PETA videotape, which the Cleveland Jewish News has viewed, shows workers
poking each cow with an electrified prod and positioning the animal into a rotating drum.
The cow is turned upside down, exposing its throat to the shochet. The yellow-suited
shochet quickly slices the cow's neck, causing large amounts of blood to gush.
While it is hard to see exactly what happens next, another worker appears to pull out
the trachea and esophagus. The rotating drum is turned, spilling the cow onto the concrete
floor. After the animal quiets, a worker attaches a hook and chain to its hind foot and
hoists the cow up. Each cow is then moved via a conveyor belt to another area, PETA says,
to be decapitated.
The apparent excision or cutting away of the trachea and esophagus is the practice that
has troubled kashrut authorities. No one but the shochet is allowed to touch and remove
the windpipe, rabbis say. Furthermore, pulling out the trachea is not a prescribed kosher
practice. The Orthodox Union "was very concerned" that the video appears to show a worker
pulling out the trachea and has asked Agriprocessors to guarantee that no one is doing
that, says Mike Thomas, spokesman for Agriprocessors. However, he said, "We don't do that
now. What you see on the video is misconstrued."
The problem is that the knife used by the shochet is so sharp; the narrow cut into the
carotid artery can close up again, preventing the rapid and profuse bleeding required by
kosher and federal law. What the videotape shows is a worker cutting the artery next to
the trachea and some stringy and elastic material in order to facilitate rapid bleeding,
While JTA reported that the OU has promised to institute changes at Agriprocessors,
leaving the trachea in place and instead making a secondary cut to sever the arterial
blood supply to the brain, Thomas said the plant has already been doing this for several
years. It's an adaptation developed by Rabbi Chaim Kohn, rabbinic administrator of Khal
Adas Jeshurun, a kosher certifying agency, in conjunction with the USDA.
In 2002, PETA outraged Jewish groups when it began using Holocaust imagery to protest
the meat processing industry. Its "Holocaust on Your Plate" project was displayed at
Cleveland's Public Square in July 2003, comparing the slaughter of animals to the Nazis'
extermination of Jews and others.
Kosher slaughtering has been proven over centuries and in scientific studies to be a
humane process, said Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, executive vice president of the Orthodox
Union, in an interview broadcast online. "PETA wants everyone to be vegetarians," he said.
"They are not just against shechita. They are also against using animals as pets or as
seeing-eye dogs. They have this notion that animals and human have equal status."
Kill, Kill, Kill
By: Ed Ziegler (Commentary)
The title KILL KILL KILL may sound like a Mel Brooks comic movie, however this article
is definitely far from funny. I intend to show a picture of a people who are devoid of
human decency and compassion.
There are Islamic terrorist groups throughout the world, yes also here in America, who
resort to every possible method of terror. Sometimes they say that they only want the
United States out of Iraq and Afghanistan. They always want the elimination of Israel and
death to the Jews. From their
actions it seems that what they really want is to convert the entire world to Islam and
will stop at nothing to achieve their goal.
The Islamic terrorists call it a jihad (a Holy War) making anything and everything
permissible. What they do most is kill or threaten to kill, usually, without rhyme or
reason. They even threaten and murder other Muslims as readily as they do the infidels
On Aug. 28, 2004 CNN reported on the two Russian commercial planes that went down
within minutes of each other that week. Traces of explosives were found in the wreckage.
The Federal Security Service believes terrorism is to blame for the two crashes killing
154 and 46 people, respectively. How sane can these people be if they are willing to kill
a planeload of strangers some of whom might even be their comrades or family members.
According to www.equalityiniraq.com the killing of women by Islamic groups in Iraq continues unabated since the start of the war and the occupation of Iraq by the United States. Two important elements of a woman's independence are being targeted. To prevent women from obtaining an education and to prevent them from working. Imagine being killed for wanting an education, or better yet, trying to earn money to feed yourself and your children.
This year, in Iraq alone, more than 170 foreigners have been kidnapped. At least 34 are
known to have been killed. The Washington Times reported that one of those kidnapped and
eventually murdered by her captors was a Mrs. Tahsin Hassan. Why kill an individual like
Tahsin Hassan, a person who has spent more than 30 years in Iraq dedicating her life to
serving the Iraqi people? If it is for their religion then there must be something wrong
with that religion
As reported by OurJerusalem.com. On November 20, 2000 an Israeli school bus was blown
up outside of Kfar Darom by the Palestinian Preventive Security forces. The wonton attack
killed two teachers, and seriously wounded many of the school children. Three young
children Orit, Yisrael and Tehilla, sustained the most serious of these injuries. Orit,
12, had part of her leg amputated, Yisrael, 7, had his entire leg removed, and Tehilla, 9,
had to have both her legs removed in life-saving surgery.
Attacking a busload of unarmed children is clearly the act of people devoid of decency.
I cannot understand how any decent person can justify blowing up a busload of seven and
nine-year-old children as part of a jihad. Never the less it appears there are numerous
people who approve or condone such actions. These bombings as well as others such as in
Bali, Indonesia and France are but a few of the many acts that display zero compassion.
If these examples are not enough of a concern then the April 24, 2004 report by Patrick
E. Tryle and Don von Natta Jr. of Luton, England should be,
Counter terrorism officials say "The call to jihad is rising in the streets of Europe, and
is being answered." Never Again
(Ziegler is a board member of the New Jewish Congregation in The Villages, Florida, as well as president of the NJC Brotherhood. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)