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Palestinian Gunmen in Gaza Release Two Foreign Journalists

By Ha'aretz

Palestinian gunmen briefly kidnapped an American reporter and a British photographer in Gaza on Wednesday. Assailants who stopped their car near the town of Khan Yunis and took them away at gunpoint seized the two men working for Knight Ridder newspapers. Seven hours later, Jerusalem-based American correspondent Dion Nissenbaum and British photographer Adam Pletts were freed after Palestinian officials made contact with the kidnappers and security forces mounted a search, officials said. The gunmen belonged to a little-known group calling itself the Black Panther, an armed, breakaway faction of President Mahmoud Abbas's mainstream Fatah movement, militant sources said. Mystery surrounded the motive behind the abduction.


Israeli Denied Compassionate Release, Dies in New Zealand Prison

By Israel News Faxx Services

An Israeli serving eight and a half years in a New Zealand prison for drug running died in a hospital on Thursday after being denied compassionate release, a news report said. Aviv Atias, 28, had been on life support since October 8 when he was declared clinically dead after being taken to hospital and his family had been trying to persuade prison authorities to grant him a compassionate release so that he could return home to die.

The Department of Corrections said he died from assumed natural causes and its manager for prisons Phil McCarthy said an investigation and inquest would be held, Radio New Zealand reported. The Parole Board had refused to release him and Justice Minister Phil Goff said Thursday that he had no power to order officials to let him go. The local Dominion Post newspaper said it understood Atias had tried to commit suicide, but officials would not confirm that.

Atias' family had asked to take him back to Israel so that he can die there and the Howard League for Penal Reform was trying to help them. New Zealand Rabbi Antony Lipman commented that generally the Jewish faith does not accept Atias' state as sufficient reason for a person to be taken off life support. The Dominion Post said family and religious, diplomatic, hospital and prison authorities had been battling each other to decide Atias' fate. The paper said police had described Atias as a "field marshal" in an international drugs syndicate when he was jailed in November 2003 for his part in one of the biggest shipments of Ecstasy to New Zealand.


Rate of Conversions up 50 Percent

By YnetNews.com

Rabbi Haim Druckman, head of the Conversion Administration at the Prime Minister's Office, reported an increase of approximately 50 percent in approvals of conversion requests in Israel in 2005, compared to 2004. According to the data presented to the government, 5,546 people have received conversion certificates in the first nine months of 2005, compared to 3,599 in the whole of 2004. The increase is estimated at approximately 54 percent.

Druckman explained that the change in the policy does not contradict the conversion policy according to Jewish law, which has been implemented up to now. However, the factors related to the conversion process were combined under the definition of a more humane policy, and this dramatically raised the rate of the eligible people. They referred to the joined activity of the relevant courts with the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency, Judaism studies institutes, as well as private bodies.

However, alongside the data presented by the Prime Minister's Office, severe human cases of people whose conversion requests were denied are still occurring in Israel. One of the stories, which belongs to Ibrahim, a Muslim citizen, was published recently in the Bambili website.

"I am an Arab-Israeli citizen. Already two years ago I wanted to convert and approached the Tel Aviv rabbinate. Time goes by and the requests pass from one rabbi to another. It turned into a conversion nightmare for me," Ibrahim said. "At the previous time he asks me to bring a character reference and then he says that he wants to check with the Shin Bet, and I ask him how long will it take you? And he tells me half a year. Then my nerves exploded, and I told him: I am more loyal to this country than you and the Shin Bet person. Besides, the Shin Bet person doesn't do anything according to Jewish law and doesn't understand religion," he continued.

"I approached the state comptroller and the Department of Religious Affairs. But the person who will check my complaint is of course an ultra-orthodox and he is God's landlord and the one who decides instead of God that the secular are atheists, let alone if I am an Arab," he added. "I don't have to tolerate the disgust of the ultra-orthodox. My desire to convert to Judaism has developed since childhood. Even today, when I am 43-years-old, I am still determined. However, I fear that I will not be able to face cruel institutions," Ibrahim concluded.


600 Israeli Soldiers Under Psychiatric Care Plus Suicides

By Emanuel A. Winston (Commentary)

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has left a trail of broken bones, pernicious lies and all the things that indelibly mark a dictator driven by his own interests.

The following is unreported by the Leftist Media: Of the 40,000 soldiers sent in to roust Jews from their homes, 600 are under psychiatric care with seven having committed suicide so far - according to reliable, confidential sources. For every one who has sought help and committed himself to psychiatric facilities, one may assume there are multiples of those numbers who are brooding, depressed who may yet end up in a psychiatric facility or "God forbid" commit suicide for their role in being one of Sharon's storm troopers.

Except for some, Jewish boys and girls are not suited to be warriors against their own people. Some can meet the role model of pathological thugs. Former PM Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres and now Arik Sharon fit that role model, along with the Yattam units, specially selected for their cruel personalities. Clearly, the Sharon government is desperate not to have this story get into either the Hebrew Media or the International Media.

Many played a role in this senseless tragedy of forcible evacuation, which brought the Jewish nation nothing but elevated terror. The Left cheered (and they still are) the hurt done to the pioneering Settlers. Half of the Right of the Likud Party voted to keep their paying jobs rather than to de-throne Sharon. As the Jewish evacuees wander from hotel to hotel, in filthy rooms, little promised compensation, forced to pay mortgages for homes Sharon had demolished, the political hacks appointed by Sharon make promises to the desperate evacuees of Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron (which are rarely kept).

In the meantime, the large army Sharon raised to force the Settlers out are watching the results of what they have done. A dictatorial thug attacked and claimed a legal "Democratic" right to order the forced evacuation. This turned the wonderful IDF (Israel Defense Forces) into a legal but immoral force of criminals.

The decent young members of what was once the most honored institute in Israel, suddenly saw a reflected image of themselves in the infamous Yattam troupes, dragging 10,000 men, women and children out of the homes, gardens and verdant farms they had built themselves over 38 years from the barren sand dunes of Gaza - on land the Arab Muslims didn't want and couldn't make bloom. Then, they saw these good people thrown to the winds by a ruthless Sharon government and knew they had become part of it.

They were told that this was their duty "under democracy" but, in fact, the Sharon thuggery was a democracy in name only. If there is a word for a democratic dictatorship, this is what Israel has become. The change from a semi-democracy that cared about her people to a dictatorship who cared only about itself was not lost on either the young soldiers or the people.

The once vaunted Army has lost its luster as a protectorate of the people. The Israeli Knesset has confirmed that it is a useless organization, dedicated only to its well-paid seats and the financial perks that attend their office.

As for Sharon and his gaggle of corrupt appointees and advisors, they have stained the 'Mark of Cain' on their foreheads as criminals worthy of facing the gallows of a Nuremberg Tribunal.' Sharon's word and even his legal commitments are less than worthless. In the Prime Minister "legal" and binding document entitled: ADDENDUM A: REVISED DISENGAGEMENT PLAN - MAIN PRINCIPLES", many disingenuous and illegal claims which Sharon ignored as if documents are irrelevant. (Note! Most of the Knesset and Sharon's Cabinet did not even bother reading this so-called "Legal Document of Purpose")

Note item # 7: Real estate assets: In summation, Sharon states that "he" will transfer to a third international party the commercial, agricultural and industrial properties owned and developed by the Gush Katif Settlers for the benefit of the Palestinian population not involved in Terror. (Sharon did transfer all named assets to Terrorists, including 400 buildings - those not burned down and looted - which were, indeed, turned over to Terrorists.

I would remind the reader that, in the late 1970s, Sharon started his own Party "Shlomzion" which had a pledge to start a State of the PLO with Yasir Arafat as its leader. His Party failed but, the idea continued on through Rabin and Peres who (in the early 1980s when it was illegal) met with Arafat to plan an evacuation of the 'West Bank' (Judea and Samaria).

Apparently, the sub-level linkage between Sharon, Rabin and Peres (was always there) on the forceful evacuation of Jews from Judea and Samaria. That plan morphed into the failed Oslo Accords and now is a mixture of Yossi Beilin's Geneva Accords (connected to the Bush 'Road Map'). That snake still lives and no one has thought to cut off its head, which would insure the snake is finished.

In the meantime, the 600 soldiers who suffer deep psychological problems for their role as storm troopers are taking their toll. Separating them from other soldiers who themselves are depressed from being misused, is growing. In every army, there is always a certain shock, causing mental disturbance. This grows exponentially when a soldier is ordered to attack his own people.

Please forward this to your local newspaper wherever you are. In Israel, the Leftist Hebrew Media are trying to keep Sharon in power by suppressing such news as soldiers under psychiatric care. Force them to print the facts. Force the army to divulge the statisticians of Sharon's Folly.









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