Newsletter : 5fax0708.txt
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Entebbe Memorial for Yoni Netanyahu
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
More Soldiers Say, 'I Cannot Expel Jews'
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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