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Entebbe Memorial for Yoni Netanyahu

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Uganda has dedicated a memorial to Yoni Netanyahu, the IDF officer who dies while leading an elite unit of officers to rescue Israelis kidnapped at the Entebbe airport in 1976. The slain commander's brother, Finance Minister Binyamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, spoke at the dedication ceremony. A plaque on the wall of the old terminal, where the hostages were taken before being rescued, stated, "The government of Israel decided to call the operation 'Operation Yonatan" in memory of the brave commander who lost his life. The rescue operation at Entebbe will always serve as an example in the world-wide war against terror."


More Soldiers Say, 'I Cannot Expel Jews'

By IsraelNationalNews.com

The phenomenon of soldiers refusing to adhere to disengagement-related orders continues to gain steam. Several soldiers stood trial for their intentions this week.

Youths from Gush Katif visited several army bases in the western Negev earlier this week, in an effort to convince soldiers to refuse orders to remove them from their homes next month. The youths were able to enter at least one of the bases, where soldiers who will be deployed in the disengagement are already beginning to move in. The youths tied orange ribbons to tanks, fences, tents and other objects in the base, and called out, "Don't fulfill illegal orders! How will you be able to live with yourselves afterwards?"

Many soldiers expressed sympathy with their visitors, even putting the orange ribbons around their necks. One was filmed making a clear statement: "We're against the disengagement! I can't take this army... They brought us down here by force [to take part in the disengagement]. If we would refuse, they're threatening us with 28 days in jail - you see what's going on here?"

According to sources in Gush Katif, the above soldier was to be tried by his commander for making the above statement. Some youths in Gush Katif tried to locate him and place him in touch with the Lev Yehudi organization, which is providing advice and assistance for those who feel they cannot carry out disengagement orders.

Many soldiers are not scared off by threats of punishment. Hagit Rotenberg of B'Sheva newspaper reports that Chaim Atar of the Armored Corps was sentenced to 21 days in Army Prison 4 several days ago. Atar had informed his commander that he refuses to take part in the blocking-off of Gaza to Jews. He is a student in a hesder yeshiva, combining Torah study with army service, and was offered the opportunity of taking part only indirectly in the disengagement. He refused, and is currently serving his prison term.

Among the many soldiers who have informed their commanders, or are planning to do so, that they will not be showing up for reserve duty in the near future is Rabbi Benny Chukat. He is the rabbi of the Rescue Battalion of the Homefront Command.

One soldier, whose brigade has since been exempted from disengagement duty because of widespread refusal, said that he was originally offered the chance not to be part of the expulsion. He turned down the offer. When his commander asked why, he said that he did not want to circumvent the disengagement - but wanted the opportunity to openly and publicly refuse orders to take part in it.

Corp. Avi Bieber, who was sentenced to 56 days in army prison for refusing orders, has had his sentence cut in half - and his lawyer is appealing to have it cut down to nothing. Bieber was arrested on June 26 after refusing to participate in the violent suppression of protestors who sought to prevent the IDF from demolishing abandoned structures in Gush Katif.

As he was being led away from the scene, a reporter asked him what was going on. "They're beating up Jews, that's what's going on," he said, visibly upset. "It's not right. It's not right and it's not just." His lawyer said that the presiding commander who sentenced Bieber did not allow him to bring witnesses on his behalf, "but rather ruled based on media reports."


Israel Won't Extradite Alleged Jewish War Criminal

By DPA

Israel has refused a Polish request for the extradition of Solomon Morel, 87, alleged to have committed crimes against humanity as the head of a labor camp holding ethnic Germans in Poland's southern Silesian region immediately after World War II, Poland's Rzeczpospolita daily reported. Poland made its second request to Israel for the Israeli citizens extradition on a charge of genocide in April 2004, after an earlier request was refused in 1998.

Justice Minister Andrzej Kalwas said Poland would forward no further extradition requests for Morel to Israel. "Unfortunately I must say that there is no legal chance for this extradition," Kalwas told the Polish PAP news agency. Israel has no extradition treaty with Poland.

Poland's Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) war crimes authority suspects Morel is responsible for the death of some 1,538 ethnic Silesians and Germans held at the Swietochlowice concentration camp between February and November 1945. Morel served as its commander immediately following the defeat of Nazi Germany. Some of the prisoners had Nazi connections.

Morel's case was brought to light in the 1990s when a U.S. Jewish journalist, John Sack, published a book detailing alleged "revenge killings" by Jews placed in charge of prison camps at the end of the war. Poland's post-war communist government imprisoned some 100,000 Germans in 1945, and at least 15,000 are estimated to have died in captivity.

Eyewitness evidence collected during a lengthy IPN investigation suggested Morel used both psychological and physical torture against the nearly 6,000 inmates at the camp, including beatings and starvation. He is also alleged to have allowed the spread of deadly infectious diseases in the camp. "There is no basis to accuse Morel of the crime of genocide or crimes against the Polish nation. He and his family are survivors of genocide, the obvious victims of genocide committed by the Nazis and their Polish collaborators," reads an official statement from Israel's Justice Ministry.

Morel fled Poland to Israel in 1992 after Polish justice authorities launched a criminal investigation against him. In 1998, Israel refused to honor an earlier extradition request; also claiming it had not been presented with evidence of Morel's alleged involvement in war crimes. According to the Rzeczpospolita report, Israel believed that the camp held 60 inmates and emphasizes Morel's wartime experience as a Polish Jew targeted for death by Nazi Germany. Morel's parents and siblings did not survive.

Israel also alleged the Polish request was made "against a Jewish citizen" after 1989 by "a few Germans" after 1989 "during a period of growing anti-Semitism." Israel's Justice Ministry also underscored the fact that "thousands" of Jewish survivors were killed in Poland in the immediate post-war period and claims that many suspects escaped justice.


PA Continues to Laud Female Suicide Bomber as Role Model

By IsraelNationalNews.com

The Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to teach its youth to honor mass murderers, now adding an education program in honor of female suicide bomber Wafa Idris. Idris became the PA's first female suicide terrorist in January 2002. She blew herself up in downtown Jerusalem killing an elderly Jewish man and wounding many others. At the time, the Union of Palestinian Women presented Idris as a role model for Arab feminists.

Since then, the PA has organized a parade for young girls in her honor and named summer camps for children, university courses, and Fatah programs after her. A concert honoring Idris was rebroadcast several times on PA TV.

Most recently, last week, a new PA initiative was launched bearing the female murderer's name. A course, called the "Shahida (Martyr for Allah) Wafa Idris Course for Fatah Women Cadres," aimed at educating Arab women to follow in Idris' footsteps.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reports that it was announced by the PA that the "Public Action Commission, in the Political and National Guidance Section, of the General Security Forces" held a graduation ceremony for the Wafa Idris course. The Commission in cooperation with the General Union of Women and the Public Relations Department in the Jenin District organized it.

It was reported in the Al-Ayam PA daily on July 4th that, "The graduation ceremony for the course of 46 women was organized in the District's hall in the presence of Abd Al-Razeq Abu Al-Hayjaa, the Deputy Governor, Mahdi al-Ahmad, the Director General of the Ministry of the Interior for the district, Ata Abu Armila, Secretary of the Fatah movement in the area, and Hasan al-Aaraj, from the Administration of the Interior...The Ceremony ended with the distribution of diplomas to the female graduates, and diplomas and awards of appreciation to the mothers of Shahids (Martyrs for Allah)."

The Al-Quds Open University also runs a course in "democracy and human rights" named for Idris. In 2003, a summer camp for girls in Kalkilya was named after Idris. UNICEF funded the camp. A concert in honor of Idris has been aired repeatedly on PA TV. The following are lyrics sung in honor of Idris at the concert:

"My sister Wafa, My sister Wafa. Oh the heartbeat of pride. Oh blossom who was on the Earth and is now in heaven. Oh blossom who was on the Earth and is now in heaven. My sister, Wafa. Allah Akbar! Oh Palestine of the Arabs. Allah Akbar, Oh Wafa! But you chose Shahada. In death you have brought life to our will. But you chose Shahada. In death you have brought life to our will [originally aired on PATV, July 24, 2003]


Record Number of N. Americans Moving to Israel on Single Day

By IsraelNationalNews.com

The Nefesh B'Nefesh organization has chartered two El Al flights this coming Wednesday, bringing to Israel a record number of 500 Jewish immigrants from the U.S. and Canada. This will be the largest number of North American immigrants to ever arrive in Israel on one day. The two flights are only the first of seven scheduled Nefesh B'Nefesh (NBN) flights scheduled over the next six months. They are scheduled to bring a total of 3,200 new immigrants to Israel. NBN works in close cooperation with the Jewish Agency for Israel in bringing North Americans to live in Israel.

This is Nefesh B'Nefesh's fourth year of finding potential new immigrants, providing them with financial and other aid, flying them to Israel, and helping their integration into Israeli society. Of the 4,000 Jews who have moved to Israel via Nefesh B'Nefesh since 2002, the organization reports, a full 99% have remained. This summer's olim (new immigrants) originate from 31 US States and 6 Canadian provinces. For further information, see NbN.org.il



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