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London Mayor Cleared on Comments Against Jewish Reporter


A London panel has cleared Mayor Ken Livingstone of charges of misconduct for comparing a Jewish journalist to a Nazi concentration camp guard. His comments aroused a storm of protest in London's Jewish and non-Jewish community. The mayor was cleared on the grounds that he did not make the comments in his capacity as mayor, but he still faces a charge of damaging his official post.

Sharon Advisor Says PM Will Partition Jerusalem


Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's senior campaign pollster Kalman Gayer has let the cat out of the bag: Sharon plans to divide Israel's capital, Jerusalem, should he win the elections.

Gayer made the statements speaking with Newsweek about the extent of the withdrawals Sharon is willing to make in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

The relevant passage in the Newsweek article states, In theory, Sharon would accept a Palestinian state in Gaza and 90 percent of the West Bank, and a compromise on Jerusalem, in exchange for peace. But the Israeli leader does not believe Palestinians will be able to deliver peace or make other compromises-like forgoing the right of refugees to return to their old homes in Israel-in his lifetime (Sharon is 78).

In the meantime, Sharon wants to "lay the contours of an agreement with the Palestinians," according to Gayer, by creating a Palestinian state in half the West Bank and implementing confidence-building measures."

Sharon appeared on state-run television almost immediately, denying the accuracy of the claims. "The remarks attributed to Kalman Gayer absolutely contradict my positions and my views," Sharon said. "If those remarks were indeed made, they were made by Kalman Gayer alone and they are complete nonsense. United Jerusalem will remain Israel's capital forever." Sharon then reiterated his commitment to the Road Map plan.

The Road Map uses the term "East Jerusalem" as a separate entity from Jerusalem and calls for the opening of Palestinian Authority institutions in the area. There are currently close to 250,000 Jews living in areas of the capital considered East Jerusalem by the Road Map.

Prior to Sharon's announcement of the Disengagement Plan, the Gaza withdrawal plan was floated in the media by now-Finance Minister Ehud Olmert, and immediately denied by Sharon. Political commentators say such trial balloons are a favorite method of Sharon's advisors, in order to gauge and diffuse public opposition to withdrawals.

Knesset member Uzi Landau, who recently bowed out of the Likud leadership race and endorsed Binyamin Netanyahu, said, "We know from past experience that whenever the prime minister rushed to deny something - it is certainly true."

Labor MK Yitzchak Herzog said the whole story was just another manufactured story from the Kadima Party's public relations team, aimed at distracting the public from its lack of a social program.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) said, "It is painful to realize that the one who always accused others of planning to divide Jerusalem has been revealed in all his shame as intending to do so himself."

NRP Chairman Zevulun Orlev said that Sharon intends to once again lie to voters about his true intentions, like when he compared the retention of Netzarim to that of Tel Aviv prior to the previous elections. "Kalman Gayer says out loud what Sharon says in private," Orlev said. "It is now clear that in Sharon's mind, the 'fate of Jerusalem is like the fate of Netzarim.'"

Newsweek Magazine issued a statement Wednesday backing its article. Sharon, in a speech at a traffic safety conference Wednesday, harshly denounced the report as "lies and incitement."

Likud leadership candidate Binyamin Netanyahu stated that the Newsweek statements confirm what he has been saying, warning that a vote for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Kadima Party would bring us back to Kfar Saba and Hadera borders, as well as a divided Jerusalem.

Netanyahu stated voters must return home to Likud. He explained Sharon is waiting to be reelected so he can continue making unilateral land concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

Shteinitz: No "Point of No Return," But Iranian Bomb Closing In


Defense Committee Chairman said Wednesday that there's no such thing as "the point of no return" when referring to Iran's atom bomb production capabilities - but added that the threat is more immediate than believed.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.Gen. Dan Halutz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday that Iran will have reached "the point of no return" in its atom bomb building capabilities by this coming March.

Halutz emphasized, however, that despite its technological capability, Iran would not pose an immediate nuclear threat to Israel. He estimated that Iran's bomb could be ready sometime between 2007 and 2015.

Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman MK Yuval Shteinitz (Likud) did not like what he heard. "For one thing," he explained to Arutz-7, "The term 'point of no return' is not correct. This is an ongoing process that can be stopped at any stage, and therefore there's no point in using a term that is misleading and confusing."

Arutz-7 asked, "Isn't there a point after which the facilities can no longer be bombed because of the danger that the released radioactivity would harm the nearby civilian population?"

Shteinitz said, "No. That is true only for reactors. But Iran is using a different system, of centrifugal force, and in several different facilities in different places, and therefore this danger does not exist."

"It could be," he added, "that some people use this term - 'point of no return' - to refer to the point at which Iran will no longer require international help in developing its nuclear program. But I think they have passed this stage already. Iran is a large country, and just like the U.S. built a bomb without help in 1945, Iran can do the same in 2006."

Shteinitz patiently explained that enriching uranium is a two-step process of conversion and enrichment. "Iran has already completed the first stage," he said, "thus that they are more than half-way there. In the past half-year, Iran has converted 40 tons of natural uranium into UF6. But this is not enough. It must then be enriched, centrifugally, for many cycles, until it reaches a 90% enrichment state. That is the point at which it becomes fissile, that is, capable of being split and releasing the desired tremendous amounts of energy. This is the enriched uranium that is required for a bomb.

"Don't misunderstand me," said Shteinitz, who has a Ph.D. in philosophy. "The Iranians are well on their way to developing nuclear weapons. Time is running out. For Halutz to say that they will be ready anywhere between two and 10 years from now - that's like saying nothing. In my opinion, from the time they begin the enrichment stage, they can have the bomb within 1-3 years. If they accept upon themselves the international restrictions, of course, it will take longer."

Shteinitz said that Halutz had accepted the criticism, and would no longer use the term "point of no return" in reference to Iran's nuclear program.

Mohammed El Baradei, chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said earlier this month that once Iran resumes the enrichment of uranium, it would be only "a few months" away from manufacturing an atomic bomb. He went so far as to estimate that Iran would resume uranium enrichment over the next few days.

It was reported, however, that Iran's atomic chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh said that Iran would not enrich uranium for as long as it is negotiating the issue with the international community. He reiterated, however, that Iran would never give up nuclear fuel production.

And in other news from Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again called the Holocaust a "myth". This time, he made his comments during a live television broadcast of a speech delivered Wednesday morning in the south of the country.

"They have fabricated a legend under the name Massacre of the Jews, and they hold it higher than God himself, religion itself and the prophets themselves," Ahmadinejad said. "If somebody in their country questions God, nobody says anything, but if somebody denies the myth of the massacre of Jews, the Zionist loudspeakers and the governments in the pay of Zionism will start to scream."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev told the French news agency, AFP, "We hope these extremist comments by the Iranian president will make the international community open its eyes and abandon any illusions about this regime."

Holocaust Era Survivor´s Son Circumcised at Age 61


A 61-year-old Miami University professor whose mother raised him as a non-Jew has undergone a circumcision after discovering he is Jewish. His mother fled to the "partisans" who fought the Nazis during World War II, and she then raised her son in Greece. (Editor: Israel News Faxx, after searching its sources, has been unable to ascertain whether this report refers to a professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, or the University of Miami in Miami, Florida.)

She named him "Stephen" and refused to circumcise him in order that he would not know his religious heritage. The professor, having learned his true identity, asked to undergo the circumcision ceremony because he said he did not want to die as a non-Jew.

After the circumcision, the professor also experienced the "redemption of the first born" and a bar mitzvah, followed by a festive meal where he declared he is starting to observe the Sabbath and Jewish dietary laws.

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