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Menachem Begin Video on Uprooting Surfaces on Internet


Opponents to the government's Disengagement Plan have circulated a short excerpt of a speech by the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin, from his days in the political opposition, on the Internet. In the Hebrew-language video ( , Begin addresses the Labor-led government of his day and says, "Please do not order our dear and beloved soldiers to uproot the settlers. The settlers are soldiers and the soldiers are settlers. ...And in the name of love of Israel and in the name of the love of the Land of Israel, we make the following call - remain in Samaria, and hear us in the Security Council that Judea and Samaria are not for Arafat and his murderers, but for the people of Israel and its children for all generations."

Israel Seeks $2.2 Billion in U.S. Aid for Gaza Pullout

By VOA News

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres said Monday that Israel would formally ask the United States for $2.2 billion in additional aid to help fund Israel's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip..

Peres said that Israel would use the money to remove and resettle Jewish settlers currently living in Gaza and in four West Bank enclaves targeted for closing. The pullout is scheduled to begin next month. Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper reported that the Bush Administration has already agreed in principle to the aid.

Ha'aretz said an Israeli delegation would meet in Washington with U.S. officials to work on details of the package. A report that the meeting already took place could not be immediately confirmed. National Security Council spokesman Fred Jones told VOA Washington has not approved the package since Israel has not yet made the request.

Israeli Ministry Hands Out Book Praising Al Aksa Martyrs


A first-aid course given by the Education Ministry to Druze and Arab teachers shouldn't necessarily be in the headlines. Unless, of course, the text for the course is dedicated to Arab terrorists. Handing out a book in a course on first-aid ordinarily should not make the news, even in country like Israel, where virtually every action by the government is intensely scrutinized by the media, foreign and domestic.

So in a country that's certainly not lacking spicy news items for journalists, an ordinary course on first aid sponsored by a government ministry can only reach the headlines when something so incredulous happens, it literally has the effect of knocking the reader off his chair. That's precisely the effect we expect this article to have on our readers from this shocking, but true report:

In a first aid course sponsored by the Ministry of Education, students were handed out a book that was "dedicated to the families of the holy martyrs of Al-Aksa, the pure souls of our loved ones." In other words, students in this first-aid course for designed for teachers of Arab and Druze youth in Israel, were given books dedicated to suicide bombers and other terrorists who have reached the status of "shahid" (holy) for killing Israelis in the name of Islam.

Al-Aksa is the name of a mosque on the Temple Mount. The Arabs called the Oslo War, which broke out in September 2000 shortly after Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount as an opposition Knesset member, the Al-Aksa intifada. The Al-Aksa Brigades is a terror group responsible for the murder of hundreds of Israelis during the course of the Oslo War.

One Druze teacher, taking the course was shocked and outraged by the book. "I was shocked to receive this kind of book in a course sponsored by the Education Ministry," said the man whose son was killed while serving in the IDF. "I don't understand how the Ministry of Education would allow this to happen."

The teacher said that the ministry asked him not to take up the issue of the book with the media, but when they did nothing with his complaint, he decided to report it. The Education Ministry responded to a report in Yedioth Ahronoth, stating that the book was printed by an external company and was not submitted to the ministry for approval.

PA Text Books Cite ´Protocols´, Reject Peace


A report on the textbooks published by the Palestinian Authority was released Monday, exposing the teaching of Islamic supremacy, the illegitimacy of Israel and citing an infamous forgery as fact. The report was published by the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP), a non-governmental organization whose stated purpose is to "encourage a climate of tolerance and mutual respect between peoples and nations, founded on the rejection of violence and the changing of negative stereotypes, as a means to resolving conflicts."

CMIP's director of research, Arnon Groiss, spoke with Israel National Radio's Yishai & Malkah Fleisher. Groiss, who compiled and translated the material from the PA schoolbooks, said the findings left little room for optimism. "[The school books] follow the same line of non-recognition of Israel as a sovereign state, non-recognition of the Jewish people as having rights in the country and non-recognition of anything that belongs to Jews - including holy places - nothing. Holy places are all Muslim, whether they say they are 'used by Jews' or 'Jews claim' such places are holy," Groiss said.

The assertion that the "occupation" began in 1948 is another central aspect of the schoolbooks that Groiss finds particularly alarming. "Haifa and the Sea of Galilee and the Negev are all Palestinian. They never say 'Israeli territory' - it is only the 'lands of 1948,'" Groiss said.

"They are not so explicit in the books because they know they will be scrutinized. They are much more subtle than Syrian, Saudi Arabian and Egyptian textbooks," he said. "But the struggle for liberation will not end at the borders of 1967, this [message] is very clear. They do not say it explicitly, but the hint is very well understood, I believe, and the teacher is there to explain if necessary."

The seasoned translator and research director says that the inclusion of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a historical document is a disturbing feature of one of the 10th grade history textbooks. "For the first time in the history of text-book publishing in the PA, they claim the Protocols of Zion as a valid document, saying it was a resolution of the first Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland in 1897."

Groiss read from a 10th grade PA textbook: "There is a group of confidential resolutions adopted by the Congress and known by the name 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion', the goal of which is world domination. They were brought to light by Sergey Nilos and translated into Arabic by Muhammad Khalifa Al-Tunisi."

In fact, Nilos, a Russian priest, authored the "Protocols" at the behest of the Czarist secret police. "Our reports are made up of quotations taken directly from the books as-is," Groiss said, reading a passage ("The martyrs rank is above all ranks") from a fifth-grade grammar book. "Analysis is presented at the conclusion of the report."

Some of the report's conclusions include: "The city of Jerusalem is portrayed as exclusively Arab. Nothing is said about the strong connection of the Jews to the city historically and at present, both religiously and nationally. The fact that the Jews constitute the absolute majority in the city today, and have done so for some 120 years, and that it serves as Israel's capital are ignored. Jewish holy places there are not mentioned as such. Rather, it is said that Jerusalem is facing Israeli attempts at Judaization."

"Islam and the Muslims are portrayed as superior to all other religions and their respective followers. For example, the Qur'an alone is safeguarded by God against loss and distortion, unlike sacred books of other religions, and Jews and Christians - unlike Muslims - are not part of 'Abraham's nation'."

"The Jews are hardly mentioned in historical contexts either in antiquity or in modern times (except in a special section on Zionism). Their strong historical ties to Palestine are virtually ignored - even in Christian Education textbooks that speak of Old and New Testament events. At the same time, the Canaanites, and all other ancient nations in the region, are presented as Arab nations, the forebears of the Arabs, including the Palestinians, of today."

"Israel is not recognized as a sovereign state. Its name does not appear on any of the maps where, in some cases, the name "Palestine" appears instead..."

"Israel's image is wholly negative: It has been an occupying entity since 1948 [emphasis added], exclusively responsible for the Palestinian Catastrophe of that year and the source of violence."

* "Peace with Israel is never mentioned, let alone encouraged. Indeed there is at least one text that holds out the hope of final victory and the disappearance of the Israelis as such from the region. The Oslo Accord of 1993 is now presented as part of the violent struggle against Israel and inserted between the two Intifadas of 1987 and 2000."

Jewish Presence in the Land of Israel of Yesteryear


Dramatic findings from the First and Second Temple periods have been uncovered of late in Antiquities Authority digs in the Nachal Toot area. Arutz-7's Kobi Finkler reports that the digs, taking place near Yokne'am in the western Galilee, have revealed the existence of an impressive administrative center from the First Temple period, which ended some 2,500 years ago. In addition, remnants of dense housing in a Jewish village from the Second Temple period - 2,000 years ago - have been found. The Jewish village is thought to have been destroyed at the same time as the Temple, around the year 70 C.E.

The village was found relatively intact, with upright walls and their windows and openings in place. The buildings are clearly laid out around a central yard and a ritual bath (mikveh). Among the artifacts found at the site are clay pottery, stone utensils and metal objects. Most notable was a Jewish signet with three bands. The signet features a light brown oval-shaped stone, a centimeter in width and a bit more in length. A hole pierced through its middle indicates that it was worn around the neck as a pendant.

On the top band is engraved four pomegranates, while old Hebrew writing can be seen on the lower two bands. The name Amichai [My People Lives] can be seen - probably the father of the owner of the ring. The name of the owner himself, who was apparently a clerk in the administration, also appears to be written, spelled with the letters Lamed, Mem, Kuf, Aleph, Het.

Dr. David Amit of the Antiquities Authority, who was able to interpret the writing together with Dr. Esther Eshel of Bar Ilan University, said that the names Makah and Amichai, which are written on the ring, are new additions to the treasury of known names from early times. "The importance of the ring lies in its contribution to our list of names," Dr. Amit said. "In addition, this ring is unique in that it was found in an archaeological dig, and not from antiquities collectors."

The dig was carried out at the request of the Trans Israel Highway Company, which wants to continue Highway 6 - Israel's only toll road - northwards from its present route. Another find from the dig includes several handles broken from jugs that were used to store food and liquid. The words "for the king" appear, as well as the names of the cities Hebron and Zif, which were important Judean administrative cities at the end of the First Temple period.

Sharon Urges Maccabiah Athletes to Move to Israel

By Ha'aretz

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon urged Maccabiah athletes from around the world to immigrate to Israel in his Monday night remarks at the opening ceremony for the 17th Maccabiah.

Some 35,000 spectators, including Sharon and President Moshe Katsav, who declared the official opening of the Games, gathered at Ramat Gan stadium to watch 7,000 athletes from 55 countries participating in the ceremony. "Your arrival here signifies the bond between all the Jewish communities with Israel at the center," Sharon said. "I hope that by the next Maccabiah you will all make aliya to the Jewish homeland and be a part of the Israeli delegation."

(Video of the opening ceremony can be found at,7340,L-3111180,00.html) Katsav said the Games are "a model of solidarity of the Jewish people in the Diaspora with Israel."

Gal Fridman, the first Israel to win an Olympic gold medal, lit the torch. Fridman won the medal for windsurfing in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Jewish American swimming legend Mark Spitz led the American delegation into the Ramat Gan stadium for the opening ceremony. "Every time I come to Israel is a special moment, and this is no less," Spitz said in an interview at the ceremony, which began at 8 p.m. Spitz, 55, one of the greatest Jewish athletes in history, won seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympics, setting a world record in every event he entered. All told, Spitz won 10 Maccabiah gold medals.

The 1,200-person U.S. delegation, the largest in Maccabiah history, includes a number of Olympic medallists as well as administrators and coaches from the NBA. At the other extreme, the Japanese delegation at the opening ceremony consisted of only one athlete.

Four rings of security surrounded the stadium. Throughout the Maccabiah, Tel Aviv District police will secure the competitions and the athletes' residence. Some 1,500 policemen and civil guard volunteers, along with 1,000 private security guards, were on hand for the opening ceremony. "The Maccabiah is a sporting event that has complex security requirements because of the large number of participants and spectators," said Tel Aviv police chief David Tzur. "With VIPs, visitors from overseas and well-known sportsmen attending, the event requires extra precaution on our part."

Israel's first gold medal in 'Jewish Olympics' went to an Arab. The northern Arab village of Sakhnin, already a sports Cinderella story in soccer, has notched a new honor, as swimmer Asala Shehadeh, 17, captured Israel's first gold medal of the Maccabiah Games.

Although often called the Jewish Olympics, competition in the Maccabiah is open to Israeli citizens of all religions. "The Maccabiah is not just for all Jews, it is for all Israelis as well, and I am a proud Israeli," Shehadeh told Yedioth Ahronoth. She rode to Israeli sports glory last year, when the town's soccer team, with meager training facilities and no local stadium, upset all predictions to win the nation's State Cup championship.

In March, the town celebrated again, as Sakhnin captain Abbas Suan, playing for Israel's national squad, stunned Ireland in the 91st minute of a key World Cup qualifying match in March, scoring a tying goal that rescued Israel from elimination.

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