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Pro-Pollard Kippah Wearing Jews Expelled from Leftist Rally


Police expelled kippah (yarmulke) wearing Jews, demonstrating to free Jonathan Pollard from prison in the United States, from the pro-expulsion rally on the grounds that their lives were threatened. Other pro-Pollard activists who did not wear a kippah were not expelled from the demonstration. Police approached kippah wearing activists and told them that their kippot identified them with the "right" and as a result they had to leave the area of the demonstration.

Threats, Obscenity and Discrimination Dominate Left-Wing Rally


"Those who invite a civil war should know that we're ready for battle," Peace Now leader Yariv Oppenheimer told a left-wing crowd Saturday night - and was greeted by raucous cheers from the crowd. The left-wing rally in Tel Aviv had been billed as a "peace" rally, but some of the statements were rather militant. Chants and signs reading, "A settler is not my brother," were prominent. Left-wing leader Yossi Sarid has responded to those who warn of a civil war - literally, a "war of brothers" in Hebrew - that, "settlers are not my brothers." Some of the banners calling to "evacuate" Gaza were particularly crass.

Not all left-wing organizers agreed with the rally's militant message. Maj.-Gen. (res.) Ami Ayalon harshly criticized the slogan, "A settler is not my brother." He said it is unacceptable to attack the residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and that they should rather be shown empathy when they face forcible removal from their homes.

Yossi Verter reported in Ha'aretz prior to the rally that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's strategic advisors took part in formulating the messages to be delivered at the demonstration. One such placard read, "Sharon, the nation is with you - continue." Interior Minister Ophir Pines-Paz addressed supporters of a national referendum, saying he would not allow them to "torpedo" the withdrawal from Gaza and the northern Shomron. "We don't need a referendum," Pines-Paz said, "because the majority supports a withdrawal from Gaza."

The numbers belied his claim. Though his audience was only about 10,000 or fewer, according to police estimates, recent anti-withdrawal rallies have drawn from 100,000 to 200,000 protesters from across the country. Among those in attendance were some young people visiting Israel from abroad. These included a busload of Australian youngsters in Israel with the left-wing Habonim Dror youth movement.

Pilgrims Celebrate Palm Sunday in Holy Land

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)

Easter Holy Week began at dawn in Jerusalem's Old City, as bells at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher called the faithful to celebrate Palm Sunday. The ancient church is the traditional site of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. Worshippers from around the world marched through a cloud of incense in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher during Palm Sunday mass. They were waving palm and olive branches, marking Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Fears of terrorism have kept pilgrims away for the past few years, but in the wake of the Mideast ceasefire, they are coming back.

In fact, it was the best turnout since Israel-Palestinian fighting erupted four and a half years ago. Justin Bulgis of La Crosse, Wisc. was not worried. "Always felt safe no fear, no fear," he said, adding that he was overwhelmed to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. "It is definitely life changing, definitely reaffirms what I believe. It is that kind of faith that gives a sense of security, even in the turbulent Middle East. Somebody upstairs is looking at me, and hopefully He will protect me, and He will."

Sharon in 1974: 'I Would Not Fulfill Such an Order'


"This is an immoral order... I wouldn't fulfill such an order." Speaking in 1974, Ariel Sharon added that neither would he issue such an order. He was referring to evacuating Jews from the Land. Sharon said this on June 4, 1974, during an attempt by IDF soldiers to remove a group of would-be settlers from the area that was planned to become Elon Moreh in the Shomron.

Ma'ariv reporter Yossi Valter reported on June 5, 1974 that one of the IDF officers said to Sharon, who had been elected to the Knesset for the first time only five months earlier: "Arik, when you gave us the order to cross the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippur War [[eight months ago], I knew it was suicide - but I went anyway, because that was your order. Now you demand of us to violate an order of our commander? Is that what you would have wanted from your soldiers?"

Sharon then responded that the order to remove the Jews from the land, where they had fenced off a half-acre and set up 16 tents, was immoral, "and to orders of this type, one must refuse. I would not fulfill such an order."

Valter reported that the exchange took place on a "rocky plot of land near Shechem, at the end of a tussle between about 100 settlers and several dozen soldiers who tried to remove them. Sharon took active part in these scuffles, trying to prevent the soldiers from forcibly removing the group members. This group, including women and children, actualized yesterday, for one day, a dream that it had woven for many years: to establish the community 'Elon Moreh' in the area of Shechem, and thus to fulfill the [Torah] commandment of inhabiting the Land."

At another point in the scuffle, Valter reported, a soldier said to Sharon, "As a commander in the IDF, would you want your soldiers to refuse orders?" Sharon responded, "The disgrace is yours. I would never demand [of my soldiers] to carry out such an act."

Ex-Habima Theater Head Accused of Sexual Harassment

By Ha'aretz

Ya'akov Agmon, the former director-general of Habima national theater, will be summoned by police for questioning in the coming days following a sexual harassment complaint filed against him this past weekend. The accuser, a 36-year-old former secretary at the theater who resides in the Sharon region, told police that Agmon made sexually explicit comments towards her, even threatening to fire her should she fail to meet his demands.

The former secretary said that the harassment began a number of years ago yet she waited until she finished working at the theater before filing a formal complaint. She was dismissed from her job in January due to cutbacks at the theater. The woman said that she came forward after seeking help from a counseling center for victims of sexual violence, which recommended notifying the police. Agmon resigned his position from the theater a number of months ago.

Norway Offers Cash to Children of Nazi Soldiers

By Reuters

Norway has agreed to offer children born in World War II of Nazi soldiers and Norwegian women compensation for decades of discrimination, but victims said the cash was insultingly low.

A parliamentary committee offered up to 20,000 crowns ($3,276) to 10,000-12,000 German-Norwegians born in the 1940-45 German occupation of Norway as an apology for lifetimes of abuse ranging from bullying at school to scorn at work. They could seek up to 10 times that amount if they could provide documentation of suffering caused by widespread "hate, fear and mistrust."

The Norwegian War Children's Foundation called the basic amount "ridiculous" and "insulting" and said that almost no one could document abuse dating back 60 years, much of it by people long since dead. " Adolph Hitler encouraged soldiers to have children in Norway, seeing it as an extra breeding ground for his dream of creating an Aryan super-race. After the allied victory, the once-lauded children became despised misfits. Some were abandoned in orphanages or mental institutions, others were raised by single mothers or shuttled back and forth between Norway and Germany.

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