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Bush Rejects New Settlements in West Bank

By Scott Stearns (VOA-Crawford, Texas)

President Bush said Monday that Israel should not build new settlements in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met with President Bush at his ranch in Texas. Bush said Israel must abide by an international peace plan known as the road map, which prohibits the construction of new settlements. "I've been very clear. Israel has an obligation under the road map. That is no expansion of settlements."

Sharon is planning to start withdrawing more than 8,000 Israelis from Gaza and parts of the West Bank in July. While that plan would close all 21 Israeli settlements in Gaza and four of the 120 settlements in the West Bank, Sharon has also approved plans to build more than 3,000 new housing units in a West Bank settlement east of Jerusalem.

But the United States has objected to the Israeli plan to build the additional homes in the suburban Jerusalem West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim. Speaking to reporters after their meeting at the Bush ranch in the nearby town of Prairie Chapel, Sharon said the president's opposition to new Israeli settlements in the West Bank did not disappoint him.

He told the president that Israel would meet all its obligations under the peace plan regarding settlements and would remove unauthorized outposts. But as for the largest Israeli settlements already in the West Bank, Sharon said those would forever remain part of Israel. "It is the Israeli position that the major Israeli population centers will remain in Israel's hands under any future final status agreement, with all related consequences," he said.

Bush continues to support that position, as he did one year ago when he endorsed the prime minister's plan for pulling out of Gaza. He said existing population centers must be taken into account in talks on the final dividing line between two independent states. "New realities on the ground make it unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will be achieved only on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities. That's the American view," he said.

Sharon is counting on that U.S. support to help convince Israeli critics that his planned withdrawal from Gaza and northern areas of the West Bank does not mean the end of all Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Some settlers have become increasingly vocal in their opposition to the prime minister's plan. For the first time, Sharon told NBC News, he has increased his own personal security because of Israeli threats. "There is an atmosphere of civil war, but I am fully convinced that I will make every effort to avoid that, and I am sure that we will be able to implement the disengagement plan with all its difficulties quietly and peacefully," he said.

Bush praised the Israeli leader for what he calls his "courageous initiative" to pull out of Gaza and part of the West Bank. He said there is a new opportunity for peace in the Middle East following the death of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and the election of a new leader, Mahmoud Abbas. Bush, who never met with Arafat, has invited Abbas to the United States for talks. No date has been set.

Thousands Protest Withdrawal Outside Bush Ranch


Thousands of people were in Crawford, Texas Monday to demonstrate in favor of the Land of Israel and against US pressure on Israel to relinquish parts of the Holy Land. The rally, organized by Women in Green, Pastor Jim Vineyard, the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies and others, coincided with a meeting between President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Vineyard took the podium and addressed the Jews of Israel. "We want to tell you that there is a groundswell movement starting, and we will do everything we can to get the message to all Bible-believing people in America that the only true position that Bible-believing people in the US and around the world can take is that the Land of Israel belongs to the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and not the sons of Ishmael, Arafat and Abu Mazen."

"We are here in Crawford, Texas trying to get our voices heard by Mr. Sharon and Mr. Bush," Vineyard told the crowd. He then put Israel National News's Ezra HaLevi on the loudspeaker via cellular link to Israel. The pastor told HaLevi, "I was interviewed the other night, and the reporter said, Rev. Vineyard don't you know that the majority of Israelis are for disengagement?" Vineyard then told the story of the 12 spies related in the Bible, wherein 10 out of 12 of the leaders of the Jewish people advised the Jews to refrain from conquering the land, while only two advised them to follow God's directive to enter the land and inherit it. The pastor reminded those present that "those who followed that majority decision died in the desert and had their bones bleached while the next generation entered Israel"

HaLevi told the crowd, via telephone, that in fact the people of Israel are ready to rectify that sin, "but although in our generation 10 out of 12 may be ready to inherit the Land of Israel, the other two happen to be the Prime Minister and who controls the media - but fear not, the truth will rise up and we will prevail."

Vineyard, pastor of the 3,500-member Windsor Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, told the Los Angeles Times, "I wish I could be with President Bush for 15 minutes, to stand with him with a Bible and tell him that when he stands before the judgment seat... he will have to give an answer... why he gave the little Land of Israel to the Arabs."

Hizbullah Flies Unmanned Aircraft over Northern Israel

By Ha'aretz

Lebanon's Hizbullah terrorists flew an unmanned surveillance plane over northern Israel on Monday, a Hizbullah source said. "An Islamic Resistance surveillance plane Mersad 1 flew over several Israeli settlements today and returned safely to base," a Hizbullah source said.

An Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman confirmed the report and said the small aircraft flew for several minutes over Israeli territory before returning to Lebanon. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev called the drone flight "unacceptable." "We're concerned that Hizbullah is trying to deliberately torpedo any chance there is for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians," he told AP in Jerusalem. Israel has said it believes the drones are made by Iran, a major supporter of Hizbullah.

The drone flight came after an Israeli reconnaissance plane earlier Monday flew over southern Lebanon and the eastern Bekaa Valley - where Syrian forces are carrying out a withdrawal from Lebanon, the Lebanese Army command said. Witnesses said that just after Hizbullah announced the flight, Israeli warplanes broke the sound barrier over the southern port city of Tyre and a nearby Palestinian refugee camp.

Hizbullah said in November it had flown a small reconnaissance drone into Israel for the first time in response to repeated Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace. It said the plane returned safely to base, but witnesses said they saw a drone fall into the sea.

New PA Text Books Teach Anti-Semitic Forgery as History


An urgent request has been sent to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to bring to the attention of President Bush the presence of anti-Semitic material in the new Palestinian Authority textbooks.

The new PA history books, among other things, present the infamous anti-Semitic forgery produced by Russian police The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as an accurate portrayal of the decision of the First Zionist Congress. "There is continued incitement in the PA and it has even intensified, surpassing and solidifying the anti-Semitic line that has been recognized there in recent years," Minister Natan Sharansky, who sent the information to Sharon, said.

Arutz-7's Ruti Avraham reported that Sharansky, who is Minister of Diaspora, Society and Jerusalem, contacted the Prime Minister after he received copies of the newly published PA textbook that presents, for the first time, the Protocols as "historic fact and the secret decision of the First Zionist Congress."

According to Sharansky, nowhere in the PA History book does it mention that the Protocols are in fact a forgery. "The exact opposite, the matter is presented in the introduction regarding the First Zionist Congress in Basle [Switzerland], which took place in 1897, and the book goes on to claim that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are the decisions of that Congress."

The book in question is a 10th grade History book called, "History of Modern and Contemporary World, Grade 10 (2004). The section cited by Sharansky appears on page 63 of the book, which is already in use in PA schools.

"The presentation of the Protocols in a false manner is particularly severe due to the fact that it has seen renewed popularity, with new editions of the book widely printed in Syria and Egypt and available in book stores and on the internet throughout the Muslim world in recent months," Sharansky said.

No mention of the anti-Semitic textbooks was made during the press conference following the Bush-Sharon meeting Monday. Sharansky hopes, though, that the issue, which has in the past outraged the US Congress and resulted in legislation limiting funding to the PA, will convince Bush that the PA is not living up to its promises.

Urgent Appeal Received by Israel News Faxx

By Friends of the Raziel Family

We give a part of ourselves to 3-year-old Omri Raziel, a happy, cheerful little boy who loves to play with toy cars and listen to "Lion King," He is in mortal danger. Reading this e-mail may help save his life and bring him back home to his loving family.

One night, about eight months ago, Omri started screaming in pain. It turned out that the pain focused in his feet and made it impossible for him to walk. Omri was hospitalized immediately in Dana Hospital, the children's ward of Ichilov in Tel Aviv. There they started an intensive series of tests. Despite their efforts, the doctors couldn't find a thing, though the pain started "climbing" up his body to reach his hands.

At this stage, after three weeks of hospitalization, Omri lost much of his eyesight. An immediate head CT showed that Omri had a head tumor that injured the optic nerve. A biopsy confirmed the worst: it turned out that the tumor is a cancerous and of a particularly severe kind, Non-Hodgkins-Lymphoma (Large B cell Lymphoma). It is a particularly virulent cancer, stubborn and difficult to cure. The severity of the illness (graded by doctors 1-4) was graded 4, to describe the severity of Omri's Disease.

After four chemotherapy treatments, severe eyesight impairment, excruciating pain, severe side effects and sleepless nights, there followed an optimistic period for Omri and his family. It looked as if little Omri was overcoming his illness. The results of the tests were normal, the pain lessened, and Omri looked well and was lively. All this lasted for about six weeks.

Suddenly Omri's pain returned. This time he suffered from severe headaches. More tests indicated that the virulent cancer had come back, and had now penetrated the cerebrospinal fluid and the bone marrow. Chemotherapy had not cured Omri. Omri was defined as a rare medical case due to the return of the cancer while still in chemotherapy. The regular treatments were useless, and Omri started undergoing a therapy with an experimental medication, a biological one, that is used in this country for the first time in treating a young child.

Despite this it is quite clear now that bone marrow transplantation is Omri's only chance to overcome the disease. Bone marrow transplantation is a fairly simple procedure that may save Omri. Scores of patients were saved this way. unfortunately, all his immediate family members and more distant relatives were checked and found unsuitable. A search through bone marrow pools here and abroad came out negative as well. But there is a chance that there is a suitable donor among us. For this it is necessary to start a nationwide campaign.

Today the family, together with the bone marrow pool of the non-profit organization Ezer Mizion, is organizing such a nationwide campaign. It will take place on Tuesday, April 12th. The locations of the donation centers will be advertised through the Israeli media. The aim is to collect tens of thousands of specimens that should increase the chance of finding a suitable donor for Omri. The blood samples will help finding suitable donors for other cancer patient as well. The results of these new blood tests will join the donors' pool of Ezer Mizion, which at present consists of about 190,000 potential bone marrow donors. Thanks to this pool the lives of about 140 cancer patients have already been saved, men, women and children that otherwise wouldn't be with us today.

The cost of one blood test for tissue typing amounts today to $60. Regrettably, the collection of blood samples is not enough. To overcome Omri's and other patients' disease we must mobilize financial resources for each and every test. To give Omri a chance to live we need more than $1 million. The success of the operation depends on our being able to raise the necessary sum.

Please help us! Monetary donations can be transferred to a special account opened for this purpose, by sending checks or by credit card: 1. Online donations: Via Ezer Mizion's website: Fill in your credit card details and indicate OMRI RAZIEL in the comments box. Donations by phone: In Israel: Please call 1212-33-1900 In the USA: Please call (718) 853-8400 3. Checks made out to "Ezer Mizion" can be mailed to: Oranit Ezer Mizion, 40 Kaplan St., Petach Tikvah 49210, ISRAEL. Many thanks, The Raziels

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