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Israeli Postal Authority Will Deliver Letters to God


The Postal Authority announced Wednesday that it would deliver all the letters that have been addressed to God. Thousands of letters are sent in the post by Israelis every year addressed to God, and the Postal Authority will place them in between the stones of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City. It is a Jewish tradition that visitors to the Western Wall place notes of request and prayer to God in cracks in between the ancient stones.

Historian: Nazis Wanted to Deport Jews to Soviet Union

By Reuters

A document found in a Moscow archive suggests the Soviet leadership may have rejected a Nazi German proposal to deport Jews from German-occupied territories to the Soviet Union in 1940. A Russian historian working in Germany has published an article in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper describing a letter that raised the possibility of Germany resettling Jews in Ukraine and Siberia.

The historian, Pavel Polian, said he had obtained the letter, which was written by Yevgeny Chekmenyov, a Soviet official in charge of resettlement. It was addressed to then-Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and was dated Feb. 9, 1940. The letter, a portion of which was published in the Berliner Zeitung newspaper Tuesday, discusses a German proposal made to the Moscow government to move more than 2 million Jews from Poland, Austria and Czechoslovakia to the Soviet Union. There were no further details available about the original German letter.

But Polian said he believes Adolf Eichmann and Alois Brunner, who were in charge of Nazi Germany's Jewish emigration centers in Berlin and Vienna, wrote it. Germany and the Soviet Union had a nonaggression pact at the time. But the Soviet leadership apparently rejected almost immediately the idea of accepting more than 2 million Jews from German-occupied countries, according to Polian. "We cannot take these Jews. We have an awful lot of our own already," Chekmenyov wrote in the letter to Molotov. He closed his letter by saying, "I would appreciate your guidance."

The possible deportation of Jews to the Soviet Union was one option mulled by the German government, which was seeking to find a territorial solution to what the Nazis referred to as the "Jewish question." During the late 1930s and early 1940s, Nazi officials had also proposed other ways of evicting Jews from Europe, such as deporting them en masse to the island of Madagascar.

Nearly 6 million Jews were murdered in Europe as part of Adolf Hitler's "Final Solution." Most of them were murdered in six extermination camps.

Teenage Fatah Suicide Bombers and Handlers Nabbed by Israel


Israeli: security forces arrested eight terrorists last month, among them four teenage suicide bombers - all members of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' own Fatah movement. The terrorists were arrested in the Balata and Askar slums, in and around the biblical city Shechem (Nablus). Four of those arrested were recruiters who located and trained young people to become suicide bombers. The four prospective suicide bombers were all 15-16 years old. The terror cell members were apprehended in recent weeks, but the story was only cleared for publication Wednesday.

One of the teenagers told interrogators that he had approached one of the recruiters with a request for help in blowing himself up in an Israeli city. The young Arab said he wanted to be a "martyr" like a friend of his who blew himself up in the Carmel Marketplace in Tel Aviv in November 2004. Three Jews were murdered in that attack, and over 30 were wounded. Another one of the teenage terrorists had already filmed his "martyr video" in a Shechem cemetery when he was arrested by Israeli forces.

The General Security Service (Shabak) announced that the terrorists admitted to their interrogators that the Hizbullah terror group was behind their activities. Wednesday afternoon in the PA-controlled city of Jericho, several dozen armed Arabs stationed themselves in the center of the town and shot in the air for 20 minutes in protest against the PA. Some of them took over the summer home of PA prime minister Abu Ala. They were supposed to have been disarmed, but instead say that the PA did not fulfill its promises to find them jobs and housing.

Chief Rabbis Will Permit Exhumation - If No Jews Remain


Israel's Chief Rabbis announced they would permit the exhumation of the 48 bodies buried in Gush Katif - but only if "no Jewish residents remain and the experts feel that the graves will be vandalized by our enemies."

In a letter to Ilan Cohen, Director-General of the Prime Minister's Bureau, Rabbis Amar and Metzger write that in principle, it is forbidden to exhume a body - unless the exhumation is done for the "honor of the dead. In this case, however," the rabbis wrote, "where the chance exists that the [enemy] will abuse the dead and will vandalize their graves, in the event that the plan is implemented and the graves are left alone, Heaven forbid - it is clear and simple that it would be a matter of respect for the dead to take them to another place where they may rest in peace, and will not be given to abuse, Heaven forbid."

The rabbis emphasized that this should be done with the full cooperation and consent of the families. They also make clear that no graves may be exhumed while Jews still live in Gaza - as opposed to the opinion of some in the government who proposed that the bodies be removed before the actual disengagement. Rabbis Amar and Metzger raised the proposal that the dead should be re-interred in the ancient Mt. of Olives cemetery, opposite the Temple Mount.

Rabbi Moshe Tzuriel, author of many Jewish-legal works and formerly of Yeshivat Shaalvim, expressed his opposition to the ruling. Speaking with Arutz-7, he said that the fear that gravestones may be vandalized does not justify removing the bodies. "We have seen on Mt. of Olives and in Hebron before 1967, that the Arabs do not desecrate the bodies, but only the gravestones," he said.

"Furthermore," Tzuriel said, "whether the families agree or not does not change the prohibition of exhuming bodies. We see that there are many Jewish cemeteries in foreign and Arab countries, and there is no immediate demand to bring the bodies here... The rabbis should have simply said outright: The uprooting is forbidden, period, and the exhumation as well."

Rabbis Amar and Metzger begin their letter with, "First of all, we wish to clarify that we are not discussing the issue of the disengagement at all, and certainly that which we write below is not an expression of opinion on this matter, Heaven forbid... This is a matter of sharp dispute among the military and political experts, and we don't see ourselves as worthy to express an opinion on it... but we call upon the public to pray before God to save us and save our forefathers' inheritance, with salvation and mercy."

Gush Katif spokesman Eran Sternberg responded with disappointment to the rabbis' ruling. He said, "In the framework of the collapse of the various institutions of the regime in the country, the Chief Rabbinate has now fallen like another domino in the general downfall of the Knesset, the government, the Supreme Court, the Attorney General, and more."

PA Media Continue to Use Symbols Illustrating Israel's Demise


Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) has released a report displaying several pictures and symbols used in official Palestinian Authority media dehumanizing Jews and anticipating the destruction of Israel. "Visual hate symbols and pictures have always played an important role in reinforcing the ideological messages the Palestinian Authority wants to send to its people," writes PMW's Itamar Marcus and Barbara Cook. "Images de-humanizing Jews - and promoting their murder, denying Israel's existence and anticipating its demise, regularly appear in the PA controlled print and television media."

This dagger piercing the Star of David appeared for eight seconds on a PA TV program about refugees.

The illustrations of evil-looking Jewish caricatures continue to be widely published, together with claims that Jews run the world and seek to make war. The de-humanized The May 9, 2005 issue of Al Hayat Al Jadida showed a de-humanized Jew as he plots the destruction of the Dome of the Rock..

A Need to be Frank

By Ruta Kupfer ( & Ha'aretz)

On Sunday, June 12, 2005, the 76th birthday of Anne Frank, a picture book by Josephine Poole, bearing the name of the Jewish girl who hid in an office building in Amsterdam and who died at the age of 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, was published in Israel, the United States, Greece, Japan, Korea, France and other nations. The book includes realistic illustrations by Angela Barrett.

The decision to write a book about Anne Frank was not that of the native British writer. In a phone conversation from her home in London, she told Ha'aretz that she only read the diary after the publisher contacted her to write the book about the life of Anne Frank. "At first, I preferred that someone else write the book. As far as I am concerned, everything related to the Holocaust is a nightmare that I would rather not think about.

"I was 6-years old when the war began. When it ended, I looked at pictures of prisoners from the concentration camps in horror, and I preferred to stay away from the subject. The war happened when I was too young to understand its significance, but not young enough to want to research it all from a distance. It affected me physically, and caused me to be stupid and repress the entire subject. I am not Jewish, so it also wasn't a part of my heritage, and I also did not know how I would tell such a horrible story to small children. They see horrendous things on TV but a children's book is supposed to be calming and beautiful."

Despite that, Poole accepted the offer after reading the diary. "I started writing and I understood how important it was, mainly because, despite the miserable circumstances, Anne Frank maintained a positive spirit."

The book, translated by Rimona Di-Noor and published by Keter, opens with the words, "The story of Anne Frank is the story of an ordinary girl, a girl who could sit beside any one of us in our classroom." The classroom invoked here is in one of the lower grades - perhaps, even kindergarten. It is a class of 5- to 7-year-olds, who cannot yet read the diary.

The book moves from the life story of the Frank family to a description of the political atmosphere, which gave rise to World War II. "Germany was blamed for starting World War I, and it was forced to pay enormous sums in compensation for all the destruction. This was a severe punishment. Ten years after the war, Germany was a poor and desperate nation. Feelings of humiliation, revenge and rage arose in the hearts of the Germans, and grew from day to day. They looked for someone to blame for the situation. At that point, the Jews began to worry."

There are few children's books that examine historic-political topics, and even fewer that include illustrations depicting Adolf Hitler. Poole wondered how to present such a difficult subject to a young audience while still considering the offer of writing the book. However, once the book was written, she had no problem with the nature of the illustrations. "The book tells the truth about the period, and we need to talk about the period and the girl. In the diary, she says that she was not brave, that she was very frightened - I didn't want to lose that. All of that had to be included. There were parts that I decided not to put in the book because of the difficult content; the chapter in which her fountain pen was burned in the oven was too horrible - too symbolic. But, in general, the diary is not a difficult book. In many parts, it is humorous."

Before the story begins, there is an entry from Anne Frank's diary, dated Nov. 8, 1943: "I see the eight of us in the Annex as if we were a patch of blue sky surrounded by menacing black clouds. The perfectly round spot on which we're standing is still safe, but the clouds are moving in on us, and the ring between us and the approaching danger is being pulled tighter and tighter. We're surrounded by darkness and danger, and in our desperate search for a way out we keep bumping into each other.

"We look at the fighting down below and the peace and beauty up above. In the mean time, we've been cut off by the dark mass of clouds, so that we can go neither up nor down. It looms before us like an impenetrable wall, trying to crush us, but not yet able to. I can only cry out and implore, `Oh, ring, ring, open wide and let us out!'"

Why did Poole decide not to include entries from the diary in the story line of the book? "That depended on a very complex process of attaining permission from the Anne Frank Foundation," says Poole. "And we also wanted the book to be an introduction to the diary - so that the children who read my book would grow and read the complete diary. We didn't want to cut her work into pieces.

"Anne Frank wanted to be a writer. I am not certain that she was a good writer. She always wrote that her older sister, Margot, was smarter than her. But the diary presents very good writing. She has served as an inspiration not because her writing was amazing and not because she was a saint, but because of her spirit and because it came from her heart. I liked the parts of her diary where she listens to the church bells, and understands that there are children outside who are playing and carrying on as usual. I integrated them into my book."

Poole still does not know how children will respond to the book. In two weeks, she will participate in a book signing for the first time. For now, she has witnessed the reactions of her grandchildren. "I read the book to my grandchildren. I wanted to feel as if they were involved. The Holocaust is taught here. My grandson is 12, and he learns about the period in school," she said.

The book is different in its subject matter, its content and its evocative illustrations than most children's picture books. It is also different in its tragic end, "Anne was only a girl, and her short life came to an end. But her story had only begun."

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