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Religious Leaders Say No to Gay Parade in Jerusalem


Jewish, Christian and Islamic clergymen in Jerusalem are joining efforts towards preventing this summer's planned International Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem. The religious leaders are calling such an event in the Holy City "a disgrace," adding it cannot be permitted to take place. Former Chief Rabbi Mordehai Eliyahu called on Jerusalem 's mayor to issue an executive order banning the parade. Muslim officials announced that if the gay pride organizers do not heed warnings and attempt to march in Jerusalem, "their lives will be in danger." One parade organizer explained they are not taking the warnings and threats too seriously, explaining that they already marched in Rome, home of the Vatican, so they are confident the parade will be held in Jerusalem as planned.

Top Secret American Military Installations in Israel


A new book by an American military journalist and commentator reveals the extent of the U.S. military presence on Israeli soil. "Code Names," by William M. Arkin, exposes information about at least five US Army bases at secret locations throughout the Jewish State, including one at Ben Gurion Airport and another in Herzliya Pituah. The book also provides a long list of code names describing joint military operations between Israel and America.

Arkin is an independent journalist and military commentator for NBC and a former intelligence analyst for U.S. ground forces. A front-page story in "The New York Times," based on one of the book's revelations has given the book broad publicity and granted it wide legitimacy.

Late Republican Senator Jesse Helms used to call Israel "America's aircraft carrier in the Middle East," when explaining why the U.S. viewed Israel as such a strategic ally, saying that the military foothold in the region offered by the Jewish State alone justified the military aid that the U.S. grants Israel every year. The new revelations also act to weaken the argument for Israeli policy decisions based on "American pressure."

Arkin claims that the officially "non-existent" sites across Israel contain $500 million worth of ammunition the United States keeps in Israel for wartime contingencies. The bases, called Sites 51, 53, 54, 55 and 56 don't appear on any maps and their specific locations are classified and highly sensitive. "It's not just munitions," Arkin wrote in the Washington Post before the release of his book. "The United States has 'prepositioned' vehicles, military equipment, even a 500-bed hospital, for U.S. Marines, Special Forces, and Air Force fighter and bomber aircraft at least six sites in Israel, all part of what is antiseptically described as 'U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation.'"

Sharon to Pardon PA Official Who Planned School Bus Bombing


Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is poised to pardon two PA officials with proven ties to terrorism, including one of the planners of the fatal November 2000 bombing of an Israeli school bus. Rashid Abu Shabak, second-in-command of the PA Preventive Security Services in Gaza, is one of two senior PA officials wanted for their involvement in terror attacks whom Sharon has reportedly agreed to remove from Israel's list of wanted terrorists. The other terrorist leader to be pardoned will be Tawfiq Tirawi. This will be a "good-will gesture" toward Abu Mazen and the PA.

The gestures will apparently take place independently of the mired diplomatic process. PA chief Abu Mazen called on Israel Thursday to agree to a mutual ceasefire involving all the terror organizations. A newspaper in Qatar reported that Abu Mazen agrees to Sharon's plan of establishing a temporary PA state on 42% of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and of pushing off final-status talks for a later date.

The two terrorists to be pardoned have far-ranging terrorist experience. Israel possesses a tape of Abu Shabak discussing plans for the bombing of the school bus with the mastermind of the attack, Preventative Security Service chief Mohammad Dahlan. Abu Shabak also oversaw and coordinated the preparation of the bomb used in the attack. The attack on the school bus killed two Israeli teachers and seriously wounded three young children from the Cohen family of nearby Kfar Darom; all three children lost part of their legs.

As early as April 1997, Abu Shabak sent suicide bombers to target two school buses outside the Netzarim and Kfar Darom communities. Former IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak identified the actual bombers as police officers under the direct command of Dahlan and Abu Shabak. One month before the Kfar Darom school bus attack, terrorists near the Gush Katif junction in Gaza also attacked a busload of 40 Israeli women and children, just as it passed by a PA police station. Israeli intelligence concluded that Dahlan and Abu Shabak were behind that attack as well.

In addition to bus bombings, Abu Shabak has also been spotted distributing mortar shells to Gaza terrorists to be fired at Israeli towns. Israel also accuses him of being behind efforts to build a factory in Gaza to produce large amounts of nitric acid for use in explosives manufacturing.

The other official to be taken off the most-wanted list is Tawfik Tirawi, who was "directly involved in organizing attacks, providing financial aid to operatives involved in terrorist attacks and preparing them to carry out the attacks," according to government sources. Tirawi's ties to terrorist activities have also been documented extensively and even appear on the Israeli Foreign Ministry's web site.

Adir Zik Outlines the Stages of the Expulsion


The disengagement/expulsion plan has begun, according to Arutz-7 broadcaster Adir Zik, with the delegitimization of the Jewish residents in question, as well as government provocations against them.

Excerpts from an article in the B'Sheva weekly by TV and radio personality Adir Zik, formerly of the Israel Broadcasting Authority and now of Arutz-7: "The transfer has already begun. Its steps are clear:

"Stage One: Demonizing the settlers. Turning them, with the help of the Israeli media, from a symbol of Jewish and Israeli pioneering spirit and integrity, into parasites and monsters. After all, it's hard to expel good people...Stage Two: Economic pressure - closing off money sources, drying up their agriculture... Stage Three: Government provocations against the residents, as occurred in Yitzhar. The footage from the recent evacuation in Yitzhar show soldiers brutally hitting youngsters, dragging religious girls in the mud and over the rocks... But when you turn on the volume, you hear the narrators talking about the wild behavior of the settlers and how they harm the soldiers. This is how the Israeli media lie, and everyone buys it...

Stage Four: Bloodshed... I'm not sure if it can be prevented. I think that the Sharon-Peres-transfer government will use its force to evacuate Jewish communities, even at the expense of the lives of many Jews. The Israeli media will cooperate, by not showing the distressing pictures of the expulsion of Jews... But the international media will send hundreds of crews for the historic opportunity of photographing Jews expelling Jews, and Jews destroying Jewish towns, and Jews shooting Jews - a real feast for the eyes!

"If [contemplating] these scenes does not wake up the Jewish People in Israel and abroad, and if the nation doesn't wake up and start protesting in the hundreds of thousands as in Ukraine, then the transfer will happen - and the result will be a split in the Jewish Nation... The left and the secular will win in the short run, but the Israeli society will implode and will be destroyed within ten years...I believe that the Jews will wake up - but better sooner than later."

Europe Remembers Auschwitz Dead and Its Own Darkest Hour

By Roger Wilkison (VOA-Krakow, Poland)

World leaders have joined the survivors of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz to remember the dead and to confront one of the darkest moments of Europe's history, the extermination of its Jews on the 60th anniversary of the camp's liberation. Auschwitz is, as one of its survivors called it Thursday, the world's biggest cemetery. But there are no graves, no markers, only the ashes of the estimated 1.5 million people who died in the camp's gas chambers or perished from exhaustion, starvation or disease. Their corpses were later incinerated.

More than 30 heads of state and government and nearly 2,000 people who survived the horrors of the camp attended the ceremony, which marked its liberation by Soviet troops 60 years ago on a cold, snowy day, at the spot where Nazi doctors sent new arrivals to the gas chambers.

The ceremony began with the evocative sound of a train bearing victims of Nazi persecution to the camp, the most notorious in the archipelago of the Third Reich's death factories. When the trains would arrive from various parts of Europe, the doctors on the platform would swiftly decide who was fit to work, and who went directly to the gas chambers. Most of the victims of Auschwitz were Jews, but there were also Gypsies, resistance fighters from across Europe, Soviet prisoners of war, homosexuals and tens-of-thousands of Poles.

Israeli President Moshe Katsav described Auschwitz as the most horrendous crime scene in human history. "It seems as if you can still hear the dead cry out. ... When I step on the earth of the death camps, I am seized by a trembling fear, lest I tread on the ashes of the victims mixed in Europe's soil," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin compared the Nazis to today's terrorists. "But today, we shall not only remember the past, but also be aware of the threats of the modern world," he said. "Among them is terrorism, and it's no less dangerous and cunning than fascism. It is equally cruel. It has already claimed thousands of innocent lives. There were no good or bad fascists or Nazis. There cannot be good or bad terrorists."

But the anniversary was less notable for the ringing pronouncements of the assembled leaders than it was for the quiet testimony of those who survived Auschwitz, and who are determined to keep the memory of what happened at the camp alive. One of them is Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, who went on to become Poland's foreign minister in the 1990s. "The question to be asked of ourselves and of the world is how much of the truth about those horrible experiences of totalitarianism we managed to pass down to the younger generation. I think that much, but not enough."

And Simone Weil, one of France's leading intellectuals and politicians, who also survived Auschwitz, worries that mankind has not yet learned the lesson of the Holocaust. "And yet, the wish that we all have, which has been so often expressed - never again, never again - has not been respected, because, after all, since then, other genocides have been perpetrated."

This was probably the last time the remaining Auschwitz survivors would be able to come together at the camp where they suffered so much. They are old now, but they are adamant that what they and all the people who passed through the Nazi death factories experienced should never be forgotten.

Israel Marks 60th Auschwitz Liberation Anniversary

By Larry James (VOA-Jerusalem)

While dignitaries from around the world gathered in Poland to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, Israelis noted the occasion in their own way. The atmosphere in Israel was subdued. No official ceremonies were held at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. But the observance did not go unnoticed. Israeli Radio and TV had live coverage of the event in Poland and the commemoration is front-page news in all the papers. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon marked the occasion in an address before the Israeli parliament.

Sharon said Israel has learned the lesson of the Holocaust and that it must defend itself from its enemies and serve as a shelter for Jews everywhere. Sharon had nothing but condemnation for a world that stood by while six million Jews were slaughtered. He said, "We can rely only on ourselves." Others have expressed this sentiment too.

Dr. Giselle Sinkowicz is a psychologist for Amcha, the organization for Holocaust survivors and is herself a survivor. "I went to the Hungarian group in May, 1944. All in all I was a year in the camps, half a year in Auschwitz, and another half year in a work camp, in a labor camp," she said.

Sinkowicz says the experience is one no one could forget. "I hate to say it, but I do not trust anyone, anyone who is not Jewish. German people who come here and I talk to them, and I tell them how I feel, and I tell them what I experienced, and I say I cannot hold you responsible," she said. "But I know, I know that somewhere he absorbed, he drank with [his] mother's milk hatred for Jews."

The echoes of the Holocaust still resonate with the people of Israel. For some, forgiveness may be too much to ask. But a footnote to the remembrances appeared in Yediot Achronot. The paper said that last year, 2,200 Israeli citizens, descendants of Holocaust victims, asked to have the German citizenship revoked by the Nazis renewed.

Sharon: Allies Could Have Bombed Auschwitz Tracks


The Knesset held a special session Thursday marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp. The session began with the recital of the E-l Malei Rachamim memorial prayer, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin, and Diaspora Affairs Minister Natan Sharansky addressed the Knesset.

Sharon said: "The allies knew of the annihilation of the Jews. They knew and did nothing. On April 19, 1943, the Bermuda Conference gathered, with the participation of representatives from Britain and the United States, to discuss saving the Jews of Europe. In fact, the participants did everything in their power to avoid dealing with the problem. All the suggestions for rescue operations that the Jewish organizations presented were rejected. They simply did not want to deal with it.

"The Bermuda Conference was nothing more than a continuation of the shocking story of the 'Ship of the Damned' - the Saint Louis - which set sail from Germany in 1939 with 1,000 Jews who succeeded in escaping from the Third Reich on board. The passengers knocked on the doors of Cuba and ports in the eastern United States, but were refused sanctuary and were forced to return to the shores of Europe. Most of them were murdered in the death camps.

"The leadership of the British Mandate displayed the same obtuseness and insensitivity by locking the gates to Israel to Jewish refugees who sought a haven in the Land of Israel. Thus were rejected the requests of the 769 passengers of the ship "Struma" who escaped from Europe - and all but one [of the passengers] found their death at sea.

"Throughout the war, nothing was done to stop the annihilation [of the Jewish people]. When, in the summer of 1944, the mass deportations in Hungary were carried out, the allies did not bomb the train tracks, which led to Auschwitz from Hungary, nor the murder facilities in Birkenau, despite the fact that they had the ability to do so. Allied planes attacked targets near Auschwitz, but they refused to bomb the camp itself, in which 10,000 Jews were murdered daily. Thus were 618,000 Jews annihilated in a number of weeks - the Jews of Hungary.

"Mr. Speaker, the sad and horrible conclusion is that no one cared that Jews were being murdered...The State of Israel learned [the] lesson - and since its establishment, it has done its utmost to defend itself and its citizens, and provide a safe haven for any Jew, wherever he may be. We know that we can trust no one but ourselves. This phenomenon - of Jews defending themselves and fighting back - is an anathema in the side of the new anti-Semites. Legitimate steps of self-defense which Israel takes in its war against Palestinian terror - actions that any sovereign state is obligated to undertake to ensure the security of its citizens - are presented by those who hate Israel as aggressive, Nazi-like steps.

"These days, the generation which was witness to the horrors is disappearing, and ignorance is increasing. Fewer people around the world have heard of the Holocaust or are aware of what happened in Auschwitz, and the manifestations of anti-Semitism are on the rise. 60 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, the evil, which gave rise to the horror, still exists - and still threatens us. Israel is a very small country, blessed with talented and courageous people. However, it must always be remembered that this is the only place in the world where we, the Jews, have the right and the capability to defend ourselves, by ourselves. And we will never relinquish this. It is our historic responsibility. It is my personal historic responsibility."

Backing up Sharon's claims that the Allies could have bombed the train tracks leading to Auschwitz is none other than former World War II bomber and U.S. Presidential candidate (in 1972) George McGovern. Rafael Medoff and former Rep. Stephen Solarz of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies , in an op-ed published by Knight Ridder, wrote Wednesday that McGovern met with interviewers from Israel Television and the Wyman Institute, and "recalled his days as the pilot of a B-24 Liberator in the 455th Bomb Group, targeting German synthetic-oil plants in occupied Poland - many of them within a few miles of the Auschwitz gas chambers."

"After the Allies gained control of the Foggia Air Base in Italy in December 1943," they wrote, "Auschwitz was for the first time within striking distance of Allied planes. In June 1944, U.S. diplomats and Jewish leaders in Switzerland received a detailed report about Auschwitz, prepared by two escapees. The escapees described the mass-murder facilities and drew diagrams showing where the gas chambers and crematoria were located. As a result, Jewish organizations repeatedly asked the Roosevelt administration to order the bombing of Auschwitz and the railroad lines leading to the camp. The War Department rejected the proposals as 'impracticable,' saying such raids would have required 'considerable diversion' of planes needed for the war effort... Ironically, military resources were diverted for various other nonmilitary reasons... Gen. George Patton even diverted U.S. troops to rescue 150 Lipizzaner horses in Austria..."

Medoff and Solarz write that McGovern called the 'diversion' argument just "a rationalization." In the summer and fall of 1944, they write, "the Allies repeatedly bombed the oil refineries near Auschwitz - at a time when hundreds of Jews were being gassed daily in the camp. On Dec. 26, for instance, McGovern's squadron dropped 50 tons of bombs on oil facilities in Monowitz, an industrial section of Auschwitz, located less than five miles from the site where 1.6 million people were murdered from 1942 to 1944."

McGovern's conclusion: "There is no question we should have attempted... to go after Auschwitz. There was a pretty good chance we could have blasted those rail lines off the face of the earth, which would have interrupted the flow of people to those death chambers, and we had a pretty good chance of knocking out those gas ovens... Franklin Roosevelt was a great man, and he was my political hero. But I think he made two great mistakes in World War II: [the internment of Japanese-Americans, and the decision] not to go after Auschwitz. ... God forgive us for that tragic miscalculation."

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