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Court Fines Man NIS 425,000 for Refusing to Divorce Wife

By Ha'aretz

The Jerusalem Family Court on Tuesday fined a husband NIS 425,000 for refusing his wife a divorce. In 1992, after the husband first refused the divorce, the wife filed suit in the Rabbinical Court in their town to require him to do so. In 2002, the court ruled the husband was required to give the divorce, but set no sanctions if he refused, and the High Rabbinical Court also refused to set sanctions. The woman then filed suit in Family Court through the Yad L'Isha organization. In a ruling her lawyers are calling precedent setting, the court fined the man NIS 200,000 and an additional NIS 225,000 fine for pain and suffering.

Adir Zik: Wake Up! It's a Border, Not a Security Fence


A popular talk show host, termed "Israel's Rush Limbaugh," has come out strongly against the separation fence, warning that in actuality it is a final border being foisted upon the Israeli public.

"Let us be clear: [Prime Minister] Arik [Ariel] Sharon has already signed a commitment to the Europeans and Americans that he will return Israel to the pre-1967 borders (including [eastern] Jerusalem) with slight adjustments as demonstrated by the route of the separation fence. The fence is not a security barrier, it is meant to be an international border between Israel and Palestine," Zik wrote in this past week's B'Sheva newspaper.

"Gaza is just the first step," wrote Zik, arguing that "facts on the ground" are being created even in places previously considered immune to abandonment, such as the Golan Heights and Jordan Valley. "If you travel today along the Jordan Valley road, where it meets the green line [near the Beit She'an Valley], you can see the actual border crossing [between Israel and a future PA state] that has been built there, ready for use.

"Bus service from Kiryat Shmona to Jerusalem through the Jordan Valley has already been cancelled. Buses serving Jordan Valley communities now come only once every two hours. Development funds for the Jordan Valley have been frozen completely. All of Judea and Samaria is being prepared for expulsion in the next phase. While Gush Etzion may be inside the fence for the time-being, everyone outside the fence is slated for uprooting and expulsion."

Backing up his assertion of a commitment to a near-complete withdrawal from Judea, Samaria and Gaza, Zik cited the recent drastic shift in Israeli-European relations. "Our Foreign Minister is all of the sudden an honored guest throughout Europe, welcomed in the salons of European Union politicians and economists. How did this happen? Did the Europeans have some sort of divine revelation that has led to their repentance and sudden love for the Jewish people?" Zik asked. "It is the promised withdrawal from parts of the Land of Israel and the division of Jerusalem - that is the price promised to the Europeans, signed and sealed."

Zik also reported an alarming development aimed at countering the strengthening movement encouraging the refusal of orders to expel Jews from their homes. "I have heard from trusted sources about the organization of military militias by the Israeli left. There is great concern in military echelons about a massive refusal of the transfer orders by religious and Sephardic combat soldiers who view such orders to be illegal. To counter this phenomenon, an operative program to establish militias made up of left-wing ideologues and kibbutz members who hate settlers is being put into action.

"If mass refusal takes place, the militias will be brought into the IDF and will act with force and decisiveness to push through the uprooting and expulsion." Zik wrote that although his claims sound alarmist, "I take upon myself full responsibility for the accuracy of every word of what I have written."

Settlers Slammed for Orange Stars to Protest Pullout

By Ha'aretz

Settlers protesting the disengagement plan were condemned on Tuesday for their new tactic - orange Star of David badges, reminiscent to the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear during World War II.

Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman issued a statement saying "the residents of Gush Katif are sending an appalling and misguided message to the people of Israel and the world by this public relations ploy, aimed at fostering attention to their opposition to the disengagement plan. "While the setters have every right to peacefully and democratically protest this plan, likening the Holocaust to this political process, no matter how painful, has the effect of fueling Holocaust denial by de-legitimizing the unprecedented horror of the Shoah," the group said.

Labor Knesset member Yuli Tamir submitted a bill that would make it illegal to use Holocaust symbols and images for purposes that are not educational or to perpetuate the memory of victims. Shinui leader Yosef Lapid, a Holocaust survivor, said the tactics tarnish both the settlers and the memory of Holocaust victims. "Making someone move out of his home is sad, but its still not a concentration camp, nor the gas chambers nor the ovens at Auschwitz," Lapid said.

200,000 Israelis Have Emigrated Since 1990

By Ha'aretz

Nearly 200,000 Israelis have emigrated since 1990, the Central Bureau of Statistics told the Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee this week. A CBS official said that some 184,000 emigrated from 1990 to 2002, and that there has been a rise in the number of emigrants in recent years apparently as a result of the economic and security conditions in the country.

The CBS estimates there are some 572,000 Israelis living overseas, but those numbers do not include the children of Israelis born outside the country, so it is significantly lower than the Foreign Ministry's estimate of some 709,000 Israelis overseas. According to the immigration agency specializing in immigrants from the former Soviet Union, known as Nativ, some 74,000 immigrants from those areas left Israel between 1990 and 2000, but about 40,000 of them went West, with Canada the favorite destination.

According to the Absorption Ministry, some 8.8 percent of immigrants from the former Soviet Union "drop out" and leave Israel, a proportion considered less than the dropout rates in other groups of immigrants. Since the beginning of the year, 20,352 new immigrants arrived in the country, compared with last year's 22,189.

Keeping the Land of Israel Close to Your Heart


Two recently discharged IDF soldiers are seeking to bind entrepreneurial ingenuity with ideological loyalty to the Land of Israel and the Zionist spirit. Atlanta-born Jeremy Gimpel, together with fourth generation Texan Ari Abramowitz, made Aliyah (immigrated to Israel) and joined the IDF out of a love for the Land of Israel. Now the two olim chadashim (new immigrants), having finished their regular national service, have embarked on an effort to strengthen the emotional and spiritual connection of lovers of Israel worldwide, to the Jewish homeland.

Together they founded Admil - a Hebrew acronym for "The Land of Israel." Admil is a team of new immigrants who have come 'home' to Israel. Members of the group regularly address youth groups, solidarity missions, and Christian Zionist groups. "It is an honor and a merit to live in this beautiful Land and I feel it is my obligation to share my passion and perspective on the physical and spiritual connection of the Jewish people to our land," said Gimpel, who lives in the Gush Etzion town of Efrat with his wife, Tehila, and young son Lavi.

To fund the project, the duo has launched the "Land of Israel Necklace." The necklace is a crystal glass pendant filled with soil from various sites all across Israel - including Jerusalem, Hebron, Massada, Bethlehem, as well as water from The Dead Sea, The Jordan River, The Sea of Galilee and other locations.

"By wearing the Land of Israel, as an object of adornment, the land remains in one's consciousness and, literally, close to one's heart," said Abramowitz, adding "This necklace is representative of the revolutionary shift in our generation's relationship with the Land of Israel - whereas our ancestors for 2000 years were buried with a small bag of earth from Israeli placed upon their heart, our generation is not waiting until they are six feet under to place the Land of Israel close to their heart - constantly reminding us of how much there is to be built and how privileged we are to live on this holy patch of earth." More information about Admil and The Land of Israel necklace is available online at

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