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Indian TV: American Sub Spied on Israel


Israeli intelligence last year forced the United States to abort a submarine spy mission, according to India's Channel Two, quoted on the Sify Indian news site. It said such missions are not uncommon. The Israeli navy had spotted the mystery submarine off the Mediterranean Coat last November. It immediately turned around and left the area after its officers realized that Israel had spotted it inside the Jewish state's international territorial waters, about 11 miles off the coast.

Arab Mobs Stone Jews on Temple Mount on Jerusalem Anniversary, Two Jews Injured

By and VOA News

Two people were treated for injuries as hundreds of Arabs pelted Jews on the Temple Mount with stones Monday morning. Police restored quiet after an hour. Reporters at the entrance to the Temple Mount said that a small group of Jews was allowed to ascend to Judaism's most sacred place shortly after 9 a.m., the 38th anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification. Within minutes, a gang of Arabs ran out of the Dome of the Rock and attacked them with rocks.

"With spirit and blood, we will defend al-Aqsa!" the Palestinians chanted. Muslims know al-Aqsa as al-Haram al-Sharif, the third holiest place in Islam, but for the Jews, it is the Temple Mount, the site of the two biblical Temples and the holiest place in Judaism.

Police brought in reinforcements and overpowered the attackers, firing off about seven stun grenades and arresting one Arab who attempted to jump on a visiting Jew. Two Jews were lightly hurt. The police announced immediately afterwards that the situation had become volatile and that Jews would not be allowed to visit the site until further notice. Some journalists were later allowed onto the Mount, and hundreds of policemen were on standby. Some 50 Jews milled around the Mughrabi Gate area, where visitors to the Temple Mount ascend from the Western Wall area, hoping that the ban on their entry would be reversed within a short time. They were soon disappointed, however.

Yishai Fleisher of Arutz-7's IsraelNationalRadio was one of the reporters. Just before police ordered him off the Temple Mount, he reported, "The Arabs are having a mini-rally with flags and slogans on them. Instead of what was supposed to happen - Jews going up to the Temple Mount on our Jerusalem Day, there is an Arab ceremony guarded and permitted by the Israeli police. The police are lined up to give a perimeter for the Arab rally. I am being taken off the Temple Mount right now."

The clash was sparked by Israel's celebration of Jerusalem Day, marking the 38th anniversary of the capture of the eastern half of the city from Jordan during the Six Day War in 1967. Thousands of Israelis marched through the streets, singing national songs and waving flags. Among them was Michael Sandberg, who told VOA, "For 2,000 years, the Jews have been saying, 'Next year, in Jerusalem,' you know this is the heart and soul of the Jewish people."

But Muslims, like shopkeeper Naif Ahmad, see Jerusalem as the future capital of a Palestinian state. "This is our country," he said. "You must know we are under occupation."

At the main Jerusalem Day ceremony, Israel staked its claim to all of the city. "Jerusalem is the anchor and heart of hearts of the Jewish people," said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, "and we will never be separated from it again. Jerusalem will remain the united capital of the state of Israel forever."

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas blamed the Arab violence on Israel, saying that Jewish visits to the Temple Mount are "unjustified and a dangerous violation." Abu Mazen, successor to Yasir Arafat, did not explain what the Jews violated.

Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz Elected to Head Sanhedrin


As parades filled the streets of Jerusalem Monday - Jerusalem Day - the reestablished Sanhedrin convened in the city to elect a Nassi and representatives to lead it.

The Sanhedrin was reestablished last October in Tiberias, the place of its last meeting 1,600 years ago. Since then, it has met in Jerusalem on a monthly basis, various committees meeting more often to discuss issues ranging from the areas of the Temple Mount permitted to Jewish worshipper by Jewish law, to the establishment of courts of non-Jews who accept the Seven Laws of Noah and to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to uproot the Jewish communities of Gaza and northern Samaria.

Semicha - original rabbinic ordination - was successfully reintroduced when hundreds of Israel's rabbis agreed on the worthiness of a certain rabbi to serve on the Sanhedrin. This was also agreed upon by leading Sephardic and Ashkenazic spiritual leaders Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Rabbi Shalom Elyashiv. This fulfilled the Jewish legal requirements as outlined by Maimonides.

The rabbi himself eventually backed down from serving as Nassi of the Sanhedrin due to pressure from a leading Hassidic rabbi, but not before granting semicha to Rabbi Tzvi Idan, who granted semicha to the 71 other members of the body and served as its temporary Nassi.

Since the current Sanhedrin's launch, it has been in a transitional stage as it gathered support and sought to rebuild the institution in accordance with Jewish law. A temporary Nassi was appointed, but the mandated period came to an end, so it was decided at the court's last meeting that as the Sanhedrin strengthens, it must become autonomous from the original founding committee and elect its own officials. Due to concerns regarding external pressure upon individuals not to take part in the establishment of the institution of a Sanhedrin, the names of most participants have been withheld up to this point, upon the request of the Sanhedrin's spokesmen.

The court of 71 rabbis has now decided to select of a group of seven individuals within the Sanhedrin to represent the institution in dealings with the public and with Gedolei Yisrael - recognized spiritual leaders of Israel.

Arutz-7's Ezra HaLevi was at Monday's Sanhedrin meeting, where it was decided to release the names for purposes of transparency as well. It was concluded that the Sanhedrin has become strong enough for its members to be able to withstand criticism, particularly of the "what makes you think you are worthy of sitting on it?" nature. In that vein, it is hoped that the release of the seven names will encourage those who believe that their own rabbis or teachers have something to contribute to the endeavor, to get involved in the monumental task that still lays before the judicial body.

Monday, those present (a minimum quorum of 23 Sanhedrin members is necessary for a vote to take place) chose seven names from a list of nominees to represent the Sanhedrin to the Jewish world and to spiritual leaders. Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz) received the most votes of confidence in his ability to lead the Sanhedrin through the next stage of its development.

Steinsaltz was reluctant to accept the position of Nassi, saying there are much wiser and more capable people among the group and among the Jewish people. "The purpose of the Sanhedrin is to bring unity to the nation." Steinsaltz said, speaking about the unique nature of Jerusalem to bring the Jewish people together. He claimed that there must be someone less "controversial" than himself for the position.

Steinsaltz is regarded as one of the world's leading scholars and rabbis. He holds a degree in mathematics from the Hebrew University in addition to his extensive Torah study. At the age of 23, he became Israel's youngest high school principal and went on to found the Israel Institute for Talmudic Publications. He has published to date 58 books on the Talmud, Jewish mysticism, religious thought, sociology, historical biography, and philosophy. Steinsaltz is best known for his interpretation, commentaries, and translations of the Babylonian Talmud, a task that he began some 25 years ago.

Newsweek magazine said of the Nassi-elect: "Jewish lore is filled with tales of formidable rabbis. Probably none living today can compare in genius and influence to Adin Steinsaltz, whose extraordinary gifts as scholar, teacher, scientist, writer, mystic and social critic have attracted disciples from all factions of Israeli society."

Also present, though not seated around 71-seat semi-circular row of chairs was famed archaeologist Dr. Vendyl Jones, who is working with the Sanhedrin to establish a system of courts for non-Jews adhering to the Seven Laws of Noah, which are obligatory upon all of humanity. One of those laws is to establish courts of justice. The Sanhedrin has established a high court for such purposes and a subsidiary of that court will soon be established in the United States as well.

Among the many topics the Sanhedrin intends to address are the bridging of the divisions between various communities of Jewish exiles who have returned to Israel; the establishment of authentic techeilet, the biblical blue thread Jews are commanded to wear amongst the fringes attached to four-cornered garments; the definition of the measurement of the "ammah" (the biblical "cubit"); the determination of the exact point of human death, so as to deal with the Jewish ethics of euthanasia; and the issue of agunot - women whose husbands refuse to grant them a divorce.

To the Editor:

By David Bedein (Bureau Chief, Israel Resource News Agency)

For the past four months, our news agency hired credible Arabic-language journalists to translate and provide the Jewish media with the content of the media of the new regime of Abbas, and place it on an a website, This was done at a time when JTA did not have the budget to do so. Our agency has also provided this material to members of the U.S. Congress.

The Jewish media has by and large refused to relate to the content of Abbas' new regime, which showed a consistent message of virulent anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism, advocacy of the absolute "right of return" and the continued inculcation of the Palestinian Arab people for war against the state and people of Israel.

Essentially, the Jewish media repeats the mistake of its initial coverage of Arafat during the seven-year period of 1993-2000. As a direct result of the Jewish media not warning the Jewish community of the Diaspora of the real message of Abbas, 20 Jewish organizations met with Abbas, not knowing of the virulent message of hatred that emanates from the man who was and is the protégé of Yasir Arafat. The Jewish media had a responsibility to prepare the leaders of American Jewry for the nature of the man whom they were going to meet, and the Jewish media blew the opportunity.

We can recall that the lack of Jewish media coverage of Arafat's message led to a decision of the UJC to provide the Isaiah Award for Peace to Arafat in October 1999 - a decision that was rescinded after our agency reported the decision. On a personal and professional basis, it would give me great pleasure to report expressions of peace, reconciliation and compromise that emanate from the official Palestinian Arabic language media. Unfortunately, I cannot do so, because it does not exist.

If the Jewish media had warned the world of Arafat's message, perhaps the US would not have nurtured that PLO terrorist, and perhaps some of more than 1000 people murdered in cold blood by the PLO would not have been murdered. Now the Jewish media protects Arafat's protégé, which may result in the US arming Abbas once again.

Please remember: Abbas is one of the authors of the PLO covenant, which has never been amended. That PLO charter is clear in its intention and its program: To exterminate Israel, using the strategy of phases that the PLO adopted in 1974, an amendment written by none other than Abbas.

And please remember that the new schoolbooks of the Palestinian National Authority are dedicated to the memory of Haj Amin Al Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem who lived with Adolf Hitler and who was the mentor of Arafat and Abbas.

The Jewish media has a choice: to report the reality of Abbas' new regime, or to report on all of those State Department cronies who speak and relate to the fact that he wears a nice suit and says the right things in English to the White House. The question is whether the Jewish media will adopt a position of integrity on the matter of Abbas.

Final Portraits

By Avner Shapira (Ha'aretz)

One day in Auschwitz, Dr. Josef Mengele noticed a young Jewish woman from Czechoslovakia decorating the children's roof in her barracks with drawings of characters from Walt Disney films. Mengele was impressed by the artistic ability of the prisoner, Dina Gotliebova, and ordered her to use her brush to portray the victims of the human medical experiments that he was conducting in the camp.

While other Jews who arrived in Auschwitz with her were sent to their deaths, she continued to record the activities of Mengele and his assistants, and thus she was saved and managed to save her mother. Gotliebova, 82, who lives today in San Diego, says, "I stayed alive only thanks to my talent for drawing."

Gotliebova's paintings are on display at the "Art in Auschwitz" exhibition that opened two weeks ago in Berlin, alongside other drawings by prisoners in the death camp, which were created in the years 1940-1945. This is the first time that the works, which until now were kept in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in Poland, are being shown in Germany. The exhibition, which is taking place in the context of the events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, is arousing a great deal of interest. Even German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder participated in the opening ceremony.

Jewish prisoners did not create most of the paintings. In spite of this, it was decided to display the exhibition in the Centrum Judaicum in the New Synagogue on Berlin's Oranienburger Street. Some of the works, which were created by 44 artists, describe situations from everyday life in the place that has become a symbol of Nazi barbarity. Many of the artists drew portraits of prisoners in Auschwitz and recorded the cruelty, torture and suffering that were the lot of those imprisoned. In some cases, these portraits are the last commemoration of prisoners who died in the camp.

In a drawing by Wlodzimierz Siwierski, one sees four prisoners drinking out of their soup bowls. Siwierski - like many of the other artists in Auschwitz - worked in secret and against orders. The artists knew that if they were caught while carrying out artistic activity without permission, they would be punished with immediate death. Siwierski tied his paintings to his body, beneath his clothes, and managed to smuggle them outside the camp.

The testimonies of artists who survived the sights of Auschwitz, which are presented in the exhibition alongside the paintings, provide similar insights. Many of them described the liberating role that art played during their stay in the camp. "I painted portraits in secret, in an attempt to find brief happiness, and what is more important - as a way of forgetting the daily tribulations and turning to another world," wrote the artist Franciszek Jazwiecki.

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