Google Search

Newsletter : 5fax0302.txt

Directory | Previous file | Next file

German Bank Buys Large Share of Bank Leumi


A German bank purchased a 10% stake in Bank Leumi Tuesday. Deutsche Bank beat the bids of six other investment companies and will pay $415.3 million for 92 million shares. The German bank is also receiving an option to buy another 49.5 million shares. The sale is part of Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's overall plan to privatize all government-owned companies. The move reduces Israel's portion of the bank to 26 percent. And in other Middle Eastern news, Russia is expected to authorize the sale of various weapons to the Palestinian Authority. Among the weapons to be sold to the PA are armored vehicles.

Rice: Syria-Based Terror Group Planned Tel Aviv Attack

By ABC News

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday that the United States has "firm evidence" that last week's deadly suicide bombing in Tel Aviv was planned and coordinated from within Syrian territory by Islamic Jihad. Until now, U.S. officials have not directly linked the attack to Syria, pointing instead to the supportive climate provided by the Syrians to Palestinian terrorist groups based inside Syria.

She told ABC, "There is firm evidence that Palestinian Islamic Jihad sitting in Damascus not only knew about these attacks, but was involved in the planning." Rice also said the United States would be "prepared to talk with others; with the Israelis, with the Palestinians, with others in the region about this."

Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for last Friday's attack that killed five Israelis and wounded more than 50 others. The attack had caused concerns it could derail the newly renewed peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Shortly after the attack, Palestinian security officials blamed "a third party" for the attack, a veiled reference to Syria, which allows Islamic Jihad to operate from its territory. But, they had not directly said what evidence they had to prove that claim.

Rice told ABC News that though the extent of Syrian involvement in planning the attack is unknown, "Syria needs to be more accountable." Stepping up the heat on Syria, she added, "the Syrians have a lot to answer for" and need to be more active in fighting "Palestinian rejectionists, if indeed they want to support the peace process as they say they do. What we need is for Syria to take its obligations not to support terrorism."

Rice would not respond to the question of whether the United States would tolerate a unilateral Israeli strike on Syria, saying, "I don't think that's a question we should even consider." But she added, "The Syrians know what they need to do."

Palestinian Conference Ends with Pledges of Support

By Michael Drudge (VOA-London) &

An international conference on Palestinian reforms has ended in London with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pledging to implement tighter security and better government in a bid to win new negotiations with Israel. The London conference has generated new international support for Abbas to clean up the corruption and ineffective rule that plagued the Palestinian Authority under Yasir Arafat.

Senior officials from 23 countries and six international organizations have thrown their weight behind a Palestinian work plan to overhaul the Palestinians' government, economy and security forces. The host of the conference, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, said if the goals are reached, and if Israel and the Palestinians can revive peace negotiations, it will make the world a safer place.

"Much of the poison that we want to take out of international relations has swirled around as a result of the failure to make progress on this issue," said Blair. "The benefit, if we are able to succeed, will not just be felt by the Palestinian people or the Israelis, vital and primary though that is, it will be felt by all of us."

The Quartet of countries sponsoring the road map peace plan said that Israel and the Palestinian Authority should hold direct talks and negotiations to push the peace process forward. The remarks were made at the summation of a conference on terror -- a conference to which Israel was not invited. The group also insisted that a new Palestinian state must be "truly viable" and not consist of scattered territories. The spokesman for the parties did not explain how it would be possible to have a contiguous Palestinian state without breaking up the territorial continuity of the state of Israel.

Former Prime Minister's Bureau Head: 'Sharon is a- Existential Danger' to Israel


Yossi Ben-Aharon, former head of Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir's Bureau, said that Likud Knesset members should be worried not about the disengagement referendum, but rather about deposing Ariel Sharon. Ben-Aharon told Arutz-7 that Sharon's disengagement plan is "more dangerous than the Oslo Accords," because it is merely his first stage in his plan to establish a Palestinian state. He added that like the late Yitzchak Rabin before him, Ben-Aharon views a Palestinian state as something that Israel cannot agree to or accept.

Sharon and his aide Dov Weisglass "used all sorts of tricks and deception to implement this plan," Ben-Aharon said. "Sharon is an existential danger to the State of Israel. If he sees that his plan is succeeding, he will continue with more. I have decided to start a daily campaign to call on Likud members, wherever and whenever possible, to depose Sharon as head of the party," Ben-Aharon said. "Sharon has violated the party's constitution, and plans to establish a Palestinian state in the heart of the country."

Ilan Ramon's Diary, Including Kiddush, Found


Israeli scientists have pieced together late Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon's flight diary from recently recovered charred remains. The remains of the diary survived the fiery breakup of the Columbia space shuttle, the 38-mile fall to Earth and two months of sun and rain in a field in Texas. Ramon and six other astronauts were killed when their spacecraft, which was on its way back to Earth following a two-week shuttle to outer space, caught fire and crashed. Much of the world was plunged into mourning over the loss.

Eight months before the flight, the astronauts were asked to make a list of personal items they would like to take into space. Ramon chose the following: A drawing of Earth as it might look from the moon, drawn by a boy who died in Auschwitz shortly before the end of the war. This, because his mother was an Auschwitz survivor.

As a representative of the State of Israel, he took along a Presidential pennant, as well as flags of the Israel air force, the two cities in which he lived - Be'er Sheva and Ramat Gan - and the high school in which he studied. He hung a mezuzah on one of the doors in the spacecraft. He also took silver "hand" used for reading from the Torah, a Kiddush cup used on the Sabbath, and a Book of Psalms. In addition, at every press conference he would proudly say, II am an emissary of Zionism and the Jewish People."

Israeli forensic scientists analyzing the remnants used image-enhancement software and infrared light to read the diary after piecing many of the segments together. Israeli police examiner Sharon Brown, who specializes in recovering documents, marveled at the fact that the cardboard-bound notebook had survived at all. "You know what a lit match could do to that pile of paper?" she told a meeting of forensic scientists in Louisiana this week. One of the pages that survived included the carefully copied words of Kiddush, the Sabbath blessing over wine that Ramon recited in outer space.

Home Search

(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)

Read today's issue
Who is Don Canaan?
IsraelNewsFaxx's Zionism and the Middle East Resource Directory