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Was Abraham Lincoln Jewish?

By Cindy Adams, New York Post

According to Rabbi Jeff Kahn of Temple Har Shalom in Warren, N.J.: Lincoln's first name was Abraham. His great-grandfather, Mordechai. He belonged to no church. England's town of Lincoln, from whence his ancestors came, had a historic Jewish community dating to 1159. Its Rabbi Joseph was mentioned in the Talmud. When President Lincoln was assassinated, whole Jewish communities sat shiva. Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, who created Reform Judaism, began his eulogy with: "Brethren, Abraham Lincoln believed himself to be bone from our bone and flesh from our flesh. He supposed himself to be a descendant of Hebrew parentage. He said so in my presence." Get full article from Israelite

Bush and Abdullah Back Abbas

By Scott Stearns (VOA-White House)

President George W. Bush and Jordan's King Abdullah are supporting efforts by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to broker a ceasefire between Palestinian militants and Israel. Bush and the king met at the White House where they discussed prospects for peace in the Middle East. Bush said progress is being made in the search for a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and he is continuing to urge both sides to make the sacrifices he says are necessary to end the violence.

"Israel must withdraw from the settlements," said Bush. "There must be contiguous territory into which a Palestinian state can grow. The Palestinians for their part must continue to work hard to fight any terrorist activities within the territories, and the Arab world must continue to work together to help Palestine build the necessary structures for democracy."

Egyptian and Palestinian officials Tuesday met in Cairo with leaders of Palestinian militant groups in hopes of reaching agreement on a comprehensive ceasefire with Israel. Terrorists are considering a proposal by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for a one-year truce. Some delegates to the talks said that would require more concessions from Israel, including promises to stop the targeted killings of terrorist leaders. Israel said a ceasefire must include action by Palestinian authorities to disarm and dismantle those militant groups.

Speaking to reporters following his meeting with the Jordanian King, Bush said the United States is helping Abbas reform his security services to stop that violence. "I believe President Abbas is desirous of developing a state that will live side-by-side with Israel in peace, and we recognize that the Palestinians need help in consolidating security forces and training security forces to defeat the terrorists who would like to stop the march of freedom."

King Abdullah said he believes the Palestinian leader is serious about ending terrorism. "I'm very supportive of President Abbas. I think he is a man of his word and I think you will see him give 110 percent to deal with the security issues and to push the process forward. I truly believe that in this man, Prime Minister Sharon has a partner for peace and I am very optimistic that between the two leaders the process will go forward and go forward positively."

The Bush administration is pushing both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to continue working toward a peace plan drawn up by the United States, the United Nations, Russia, and the European Union. The so-called road map to peace is a series of power-sharing deals aimed at establishing an independent Palestinian state.

U.S. Senator: Sharon Runs Assassination Risk

By Reuters

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon faces the distinct possibility of assassination by an Israeli "wacko" over his commitment to dismantle settlements on the West Bank, a senior U.S. senator said on Tuesday. Democrat Joseph Biden of Delaware, who has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2008, said the personal risk to Sharon had been underestimated.

"I think there is a distinct chance that he could be assassinated," Biden told the Democratic Leadership Council. "I think that there's a real, genuine, palpable concern that he could be assassinated by an Israeli." Biden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations committee, said, "hell hath no fury" like that of settlers who felt they had been betrayed by "the very man who is the father of settlements."

Sharon once exhorted Jews to seize every West Bank hilltop to foil the creation of a viable Palestinian state on territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war. But now Israel is committed to removing outposts and halting construction in main settlements to advance Washington's peace "road map" that promises a state to Palestinians, who have declared a ceasefire in a four-year revolt as part of their obligations.

Egypt Found to Have Developed Chemical Weapons For Iraq


As Israel considers allowing Egypt to control the critical Philadelphi corridor along Israel's border, startling revelations about Egyptian chemical weapons proliferation are coming to light. Egypt secretly helped former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in his chemical weapons program, according to a CIA report.

The report, authored by the CIA's Iraq Survey Group, said that Egypt sent specialists to Iraq in the 1980s to help him manufacture poison gas. Iraq later used the gas against Iranian citizens as well as Iraqi Kurds. The report said that the Iraqi government paid Egypt $12 million, "in return for assistance with production and storage of chemical weapons agents."

The Iraq Survey Group, led by CIA special adviser Charles A. Duelfer, discovered extensive information on Iraq's chemical weapons programs. "During the early years, Egyptian scientists provided consultation, technology and oversight, allowing rapid advances and technological leaps in weaponization," the report said. Despite Egyptian denials following the report, UN arms inspectors confirmed the assertions to the Associated Press. "We were aware from back in 1991 that there was a link between Iraq and Egypt on chemical weapons," former senior U.N. adviser on chemical weapons Ron G. Manley of Britain told the AP.

Iraqis used mustard gas, sarin and other chemical agents against the Iranians during the lengthy Iran-Iraq war. In 1988, Iraqi aircraft dropped sarin and mustard gas on Iranian-held villages in Iraqi Kurdistan, killing up to 5,000 Iraqi Kurdish civilians. Egyptian Embassy spokesman Hisham Elnakib insists that, "Egypt had no relation whatsoever with Iraq in the field of chemical weapons."

Some Israeli officials have long warned against Israeli indifference to Egypt's stockpiling of dangerous weapons. MK Yuval Shteinitz, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said last year that the Egyptians continue to allow arms smuggling to Gaza because they are interested in the continuation of the Israeli -Palestinian conflict. "Egypt's policy is just like Syria's arming of Hizbullah," Shteinitz said, "except that the Egyptians do it more quietly."

The estimated amounts of arms and explosives smuggled in to Gaza in the past four years are: 2,000 kilograms of explosives, 6,700 Kalashnikov rifles (including 5,000 since 2003), 750 anti-tank shell launchers, 33 mortars, 18 submachine guns, 5 anti-aircraft missiles, 580,000 bullets, and dozens of rocket propelled grenades (RPGs). The subject of Egypt arming terrorists with chemical weapons has not been discussed publicly in Israel.

Swedish Prime Minister: Wallenberg is Our Responsibility


Solving the mystery of the disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg - a Swedish diplomat in the early 1940s credited with saving over 100,000 Hungarian Jews from Nazi death camps by granting them visas - is the responsibility of Sweden. So declared Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson in a meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Tuesday. Persson said that his country is maintaining a dialogue with Russia over the fate of Wallenberg, who was imprisoned after the war by Soviet forces.

One by one, Sharon is holding meetings with world leaders and international representatives who have come to Israel for the opening of a new Holocaust museum affiliated with Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Among the leaders in Israel is United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who is married to Wallenberg's niece.

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