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Al Aqsa Claims 18-Kilometer Rocket


Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorists claimed Thursday they have developed a Kassam rocket with a range of 1l miles, putting most major Israeli population centers within range of an attack from Gaza, Judea and Samaria. Terrorist leader Mustafa Abud Kichalot told an Arab news agency that his gang has the advanced weapons and also is planning suicide attacks. His comments were reported days before Thursday's rocket strike, one of which hit a southern Ashkelon industrial area. In the past two weeks, Arab terrorists have fired 92 rocket and mortar shells on Israel.

Shalom: Iran Would Destroy Israel


In an exclusive interview with Ynet on Thursday, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said, "Latest statements made by (the) Iranian president regarding the relocation of Israel to Europe, Canada, U.S. or Alaska prove how extreme the regime is; he is stating very clearly what Iran will do with a nuclear bomb."

Shalom added that a nuclear Iran "would be a nightmare for everyone, not just for Israel" Iran would destroy Israel if it was in possession of a nuclear bomb.

Speaking in response to recent statements made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who once again denied the Holocaust and said Israel should be moved to 'Europe, Canada, the United States, or Alaska,' Shalom said, "This president is saying very clearly what the Iranians will do if they have a nuclear bomb - they would like to destroy the State of Israel.

"Israel can't live with the idea that they (Iran) will hold a nuclear bomb," the foreign minister added. When asked on his solution to the Iranian threat, Shalom said the matter must be referred to the U.N. Security Council and dealt with on the international level.

"The time has come for the Europeans to put an end to the Iranians' efforts to develop a nuclear bomb. If the Iranians will have a nuclear bomb, it will be a nightmare for everyone, not only for Israel.

Last week, speaking at an Islamic conference in Mecca, Ahmadinejad said: "Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and they insist on it to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that they condemn that person and throw them in jail."

"Although we don't accept this claim," he said, "if we suppose it is true, our question for the Europeans is: Is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for their support to the occupiers of Jerusalem? If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe - like in Germany, Austria or other countries - to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe and we will support it."

Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said in Tel Aviv Ahmadinejad was voicing "the consensus that exists in many circles in the Arab world that the Jewish people ... do not have the right to establish a Jewish, democratic state in their ancestral homeland. Just to remind Mr. Ahmadinejad, we've been here long before his ancestors. Therefore, we have a birthright to be here in the land of our forefathers and to live here. Thank God we have the capability to deter and to prevent such a statement from becoming a reality."

Ruling Palestinian Fatah Party Splits

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)

Young Palestinian activists have split from the old guard in the ruling Fatah movement, symbolized by the late Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and led today by President Mahmoud Abbas. The young guard has been winning in Fatah primaries in the West Bank and Gaza, before landmark parliamentary elections on January 25.

The younger generation rebelled when Abbas appointed traditional candidates to the top of the Fatah list. In several instances, gunmen loyal to the young leadership stormed into election offices and closed them down.

Palestinian analyst Mahdi Abdul Hadi said the old guard has fallen from grace, because it is widely seen as corrupt. "Corruption can be political corruption, can be financial corruption (and) can be social corruption. It is exactly another Arab regime."

The old guard returned to the Palestinian territories from exile with Arafat in 1994. But with Arafat's death a year ago, times have changed. "He was the one to protect, to preserve and to deliver," Hadi noted. "Now, nobody is there to do that. That is why the young generation are moving very fast and very quickly and visibly to tell the old guard, 'It is time for us.'"

The breakaway faction, called "The Future," is led by Palestinian uprising leader Marwan Barghouti, 46, who is serving a life term in an Israeli prison on terrorism charges.

Abdul Hadi said the young guard leaders have won popularity by serving on the front lines of the conflict with Israel, and spending time in Israeli jails. "We are witnessing the election of the prison, the culture of the prison," he added. "It is people that have been serving and resisting Israeli occupation."

But Barghouti will have a hard time ascending to power. Israel said he is a terrorist who will remain in jail.

In a related election story, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia has submitted his resignation to run for a seat in the Palestinian parliament in next month's elections.

Qureia, a former Fatah party peace negotiator under Arafat, was required by law to leave office ahead of the January 25 polls. PA President Mahmoud Abbas did not immediately name a replacement.

Rabbi, Raba or Rabbanit?


In 1983, Rabbi Kinneret Shiryon, the first woman to actively serve as a rabbi in Israel, approached the Academy of the Hebrew Language and asked how her job is described in Hebrew. The answer she received was that "the correct term is rabbanit [the Hebrew feminine form of the Yiddish word, rebbetzin, the feminine word for rabbi, i.e., rebbe], but since it is also used to refer to a rabbi's wife, we recommend adopting another term."

Ten years later, Rabbi Einat Ramon-Ascherman, the first Israeli-born woman ordained as a rabbi (abroad), posed a similar question. This time the Academy of the Hebrew Language was more decisive and determined that "it should be rabbanit, just like hazzanit [the feminine form of the Hebrew word for cantor, hazzan], and from now on, this word will have two meanings."

Five years later, the academy was asked for its opinion on the title raba (the feminine form of the Hebrew word for rabbi) and responded that, "the masculine form in Hebrew refers to women as well, whereas the feminine form denotes only the feminine. That is the way Hebrew is and the academy does consider itself permitted to determine something that is contrary to this method."

Another five years passed and in 2003 the Academy of the Hebrew Language offered a clearer response to Raba Dr. Dalia Marks and wrote with admirable candor: "Were we the arbiters, we would decide in favor of raba, but then we would be accused of recognizing this phenomenon ... the same happened with regard to the correct Hebrew spelling of the word `Palestinians.'"

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