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49 Years Later - A Presidential Pardon is Granted

By IsraelNationalNews.com

After 49 years, President Moshe Katsav, Thursday, pardoned Meir Moses, who was found guilty by a military court of revealing classified information. Moses fell into Syrian captivity in 1954 and was charged and convicted with providing the enemy with information. Katsav accepted the recommendations of Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon to pardon Moses, who will be returned to his former rank of captain.


Israel Approves Palestinian Prisoner Release, Troop Pullout from Jericho

By VOA News & Ha'aretz

Israel's security cabinet has approved a plan to release 900 Palestinian prisoners and withdraw troops from the Palestinian town of Jericho. The plan calls for Israel to free 500 Palestinians after next week's Israeli-Palestinian summit, and 400 others over the next three months. About 8,000 Palestinians are in Israeli custody. The Palestinians Thursday rejected the offer to release the prisoners as a gesture to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, calling it "insulting."

The Israeli criteria for release are the same as in previous prisoner releases, meaning that no one with "blood on his hands" (i.e. who killed an Israeli) would be freed. This restriction aroused the Palestinians' ire at a meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's adviser, Dov Weisglass, later in the day.

"This is an insulting proposal," a Palestinian involved in the meeting said. "You're hurting Abu Mazen [i.e. Abbas] rather than coming toward him. You need to release all 237 prisoners jailed before the [1993] Oslo Accords. That's what's important to us - not the 900 you are proposing. You aren't coordinating the names with us."

The Palestinians - Saeb Erekat, Mohammed Dahlan and Hassan Abu Libdeh - said the proposal should be reconsidered. But the Israelis, headed by Weisglass, said that this was the final offer: No additional prisoners would be freed, and none with "blood on their hands."

The crisis over the prisoner releases was largely predictable, since this is an ideal time for the Palestinians to demand additional Israeli concessions: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrives Sunday, and a four-way summit between Sharon, Abbas, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah of Jordan is scheduled for Tuesday. Both Rice and the summit participants are expected to press Israel on its gestures. It is still unclear whether Rice also will attend the summit: The Palestinians want her there, but Israel is unenthusiastic.

In addition to the prisoner releases, the diplomatic cabinet approved several other Israeli gestures. First, Israel will gradually transfer five West Bank cities to Palestinian control. Jericho will be handed over immediately, followed by Bethlehem, Qalqilyah, Tul Karm and Ramallah. For now, however, Israel will retain control over Hebron, Jenin and Nablus, which are considered greater security risks.

In addition, a joint Israeli-Palestinian committee, which will begin meeting next week, will be set up to "launder" Palestinians wanted by Israel. In exchange for Israel not pursuing these men, they will have to turn in their weapons to the PA, sign a pledge to refrain from violence, and remain in their own cities, under PA supervision. However, defense sources stressed, this is not an amnesty, and should the fighting resume, Israel will renew its pursuit of these men.

Finally, Israel will allow the PA to build a seaport in Gaza, reopen the Karni checkpoint between Israel and Gaza, and lift closures and other movement restrictions. However, it will not allow the Dehaniyeh Airport to reopen.

Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres charged that the "blood on their hands" criterion was outdated. But Binyamin Netanyahu demanded that no murderers be released. Sharon also opposed freeing killers, though he hinted that Israel might make exceptions for elderly or ill prisoners. Sharon said that Abbas' election created an opportunity that Israel must seize. "Prisoner releases and deals over wanted men are unpleasant, but we need to decide whether we want to utilize this opportunity, or not," he said. "If there's a violation on their side, our commitments will also be null and void."


Some Gaza Settlers Willing to Forfeit Israeli Citizenship

By Ha'aretz

A number of Gush Katif settlers have come out with a new initiative: They want to remain in their communities despite the disengagement plan and are even willing to forfeit their Israeli citizenship for this purpose. The initiative comes from Avi Farhan, a resident of Alei Sinai in the northern Gaza Strip and a Yamit evacuee. Farhan has been joined by another two Alei Sinai families.

Farhan met Thursday with members of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee who were on a tour of Gush Katif and told them of his initiative. "If it comes to a situation in which the government of Israel gives up on me, I will give up on it," Farhan said. "Despite the fact that I am a reserve colonel and the flag and state are very important to me, with deep sorrow I will ask to hand back my Israeli citizenship and remain in Alei Sinai as a refugee. We will also ask the UN to recognize us as such so that the state won't have feelings of guilt or security responsibility for me. I have no problem with living as a minority in a Palestinian state."

Farhan added, however, that if a national referendum came out in favor of the disengagement plan, he would agree to leave the settlement without resistance. He said he had already been in touch with legal advisers to review the option of waiving his Israeli citizenship.


Eichmann-Capture Details Released for Publication

By IsraelNationalNews.com

The secret details of the capture of Nazi mastermind Adolph Eichmann are now permitted for publication - 45 years later. Eichmann was considered the Nazis' Chief Executioner, responsible for the formulation of the Final Solution and the logistics of the Holocaust slaughter. He was captured by U.S. troops after World War II, but managed to escape in 1946. He finally settled in Argentina in the 1950s with a secret identity. After an arduous search, Israeli agents captured him in 1960, and clandestinely flew him to Israel.

Eichmann's trial began in February 1961, and brought out many aspects of the Holocaust that had not been previously known in Israel or around the world. He was sentenced to death, and was hanged - the only time the death penalty was carried out in Israel - on May 31, 1962. Isser Harel, head of the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, initiated, planned and supervised the capture. Several years afterwards, he wrote a book with all the details of the operation, but was forbidden to publish it in its entirety.

Now, however, Ma'ariv reports that the ban has been lifted. It is officially permitted for publication that the Mossad was involved, and not "Jewish volunteers," as Israel then claimed to Argentina. In addition, it can now be told officially that El Al Israel National Airlines managers and employees played an active role in spiriting Eichmann to Israel.

Meir Amit, who succeeded Harel as head of the Mossad, did not want the book published, for fear of the following details being known: methods by which the informer was contacted, including using two halves of a torn bill of local currency; the special photography equipment used in surveillance of Eichmann's home; methods by which the Mossad agents spied on the house, such as through the hole of a canvas used to cover a car; the constant renting out and switching of cars; the hideout built in the apartment used to hide Eichmann for a week before he was flown to Israel; and more.

Historical researcher Doron Geller writes that Eichmann's trial, "with the recounting of the ghastly crimes the Nazis perpetrated on the Jews, brought out a tumultuous emotional response among the Israeli public and the Jewish people as a whole. Memories that had been repressed burst forth in the courtroom. People screamed and cried and wanted to attack and kill Eichmann in his bulletproof glass box.

The whole story of Eichmann's directing the 'final solution' came out into the open. He asked for understanding and mercy from the Jewish people - claiming that he had acted "under orders", that he was just a "cog in the machine", that he had only done as he had been told... [But after] many centuries, those who had freely humiliated, ostracized, deported, expelled, and murdered the Jews would be answerable for their crimes."


On Anniversary of End of Holocaust, Expert Writes Book on 'What We Knew' Israel News Faxx Staff Report

Despite the ongoing murder of six million people, the average German led a rather normal life for most of the years under Adolf Hitler's regime, according to a new book by Holocaust authority and Central Michigan University history professor Eric Johnson.

Johnson's book, "What We Knew: Terror, Mass Murder, and Everyday Life in Nazi Germany, An Oral History," due to be released this month by Basic Books, is based on a massive survey and interview project of people living in Nazi Germany by Johnson and his co-author, Karl-Heinz Reuband, a German sociology professor at the University of Dusseldorf.

"What We Knew" is a companion to Johnson's earlier work, "The Nazi Terror: Gestapo, Jews and Ordinary Germans," a book based mostly on archival findings that proved ordinary Germans' silent complicity in the Holocaust. Johnson and Reuband surveyed more than 3,000 people and personally interviewed 200 Germans and Jews alive during the Third Reich about their daily lives and experiences during that time. Forty of the 200 interviews are excerpted in the book.

"This is probably the most massive attempt to survey German people, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who lived through the Third Reich and to try to determine what kind of lives they had," Johnson said. "The broad question was how penetrating was terror in the lives of ordinary people. We were very interested in comparing what the Jewish experiences were versus the non-Jewish. It was a vastly different experience for each group," he said.

The survey found that whereas all Jews experienced persecution under the Nazi regime, many Germans led very normal lives, and few felt that they were personally threatened by Nazi terror, Johnson said.

"Millions of ordinary German citizens knew about mass murder." Johnson and his German colleague, Reuband, got into some heated arguments on this point, but they both agreed that at least one-third, and possibly more than one-half, of the German population knew about the Holocaust. "This level of German-American cooperation is unique. I'm the son of an American POW held in Germany during World War II, and he's the son of an average German. Having two people from two perspectives come to an agreement is very important but enormously difficult.

-"We argue that the experience of Jews and non-Jews were completely dissimilar. Hitler's Germany had two faces. To Jews, it was the face of evil. To Germans, it was often the face of an ordinary policeman. Relations between Jews and non-Jews were good before Hitler came to power. But there was a very significant change right when Hitler came to power. Anti-Semitism got ever worse over time.

"More than 80 percent of Germans either said they liked National Socialism or that they found things to their liking. They liked the economic factors. Hitler was credited with getting rid of unemployment. Hitler created a bunch of public works systems - the Autobahn, paid vacation programs. Germans liked the sense of community feeling. Some liked the sense of national pride.

"We shouldn't imagine that all people lead awful lives under a dictatorship. A dictatorship can be popular and can offer a life that seems normal to the majority of its citizens. We need to know that as Americans, if we want to be successful in dealing with places like Iraq and Iran. If we assume that dictatorship is so horrible, that's not the whole story."


Israeli Innovative Bandages Saving American Lives in Iraq

By ISRAEL21c.org (copyright 2005)

In the Gulf War in the early 1990s, US soldiers fighting on the Middle Eastern battlefield sometimes found themselves using dressings dating from World War II to patch up their wounds. In the present Iraqi conflict, however, American forces are now using an advanced new bandage, developed in Israel that can save lives by stopping traumatic hemorrhaging wounds, and can also be used as a tourniquet, or a sling.

The new bandage, called the Emergency Bandage, was developed by First Care Products, a tiny four-man Jerusalem start-up. The bandage marks the first major alteration to field dressings since the 1940s, and has already established its worth.

One of the major causes of death for soldiers at war is not the injury itself, but loss of blood on the battlefield. In the Vietnam war, for example, one in four soldiers died from hemorrhage bleeding or injuries to their extremities. In the current Iraqi war, only one in 10 deaths are attributable to this. One of the main reasons for this is that the US military has changed tactics. In the past, soldiers were taken off the battlefield and then treated for their injuries. Today, they are treated on the spot, which improves a victim's chances of survival. Often it is the soldier himself who takes responsibility for dealing with his wounds.

The Emergency Bandage fits well into the new philosophy of military medicine. In the past, soldiers or medics treating wounds would have to use three or four different dressings to bandage a wound. It was time consuming and often it was difficult to achieve the right pressure on a wound to stop the bleeding.

Ofer Molad, First Care's VP of marketing in the US, remembers how he and fellow soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Force (IDF), would wrap a rock into the bandage to maintain the right pressure. The Emergency Bandage, however, is an elasticized bandage with a non-adhesive bandage pad sewn in. The bandage has a built-in pressure bar, which allows the soldier to twist the bandage around the wound once, and then change the direction of the bandage, wrapping it around the limb or body part, to create pressure on the wound. Aside from this, the pressure bar also makes bandaging easier. A closure bar at the end of the bandage means that it clips neatly into place and will not slip.

The pressure bar also enables a soldier to use the bandage on complicated injuries like the groin and head, which require wrapping in different directions. The bandage can be put on with one hand, as Molad deftly demonstrated. "It's a very versatile bandage. It can be applied quickly and easily by an injured soldier or non-medical personnel for immediate hemorrhage control. It saves time in an emergency situation where every second is crucial."

Certainly the US military thinks so. Last year, the US Army purchased nearly 200,000 bandages for its troops. This year, the US Army purchased 800,000. The Emergency Bandage, nicknamed the Israeli bandage by US troops, was created by American-Israeli Bernard Ben-Natan, a former combat medic in the IDF.


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