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Egyptian Newspaper: 'There Were No Nazi Gas Chambers'


An official Egyptian newspaper has echoed recent declarations from Iran and asserted that Hitler's gas chambers were "rooms for disinfecting clothing," according to the Middle East Media Research Institute. Al-Masaa printed a column "Israel's Lies" by Hisham Abd Al-Rauf, who claimed that Hitler actually was for the Jews and encouraged immigration to Israel, which then was under the British Mandate. "These massacres, which Israel alleges that the Nazis perpetrated against the Jews, never happened. The famous execution chambers were no more than rooms for disinfecting clothing," he wrote.

Bush to Sharon: Exercise, Diet and Work Less Hours

By Ha'aretz, VOA News &

President George W. Bush told Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to eat less, work less and exercise more in a Tuesday phone call after Sharon's release from a Jerusalem hospital after treatment for a mild stroke, a government statement said.

A pale but smiling Sharon was released from Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem on Tuesday morning, declaring that the incident would not have an impact on his work.

Bush called to wish him well, and advised him, "Be careful about food, start exercising and cut back on work hours," the statement said. The president also reportedly told Sharon that he needs him healthy, and said he hoped to see results of physical exercise and weight loss when the two meet in a couple of months.

Bush told Sharon that he views him as a true partner and courageous leader who displays strong leadership and a vision for peace. Bush said that to win the war on terror together, Sharon must stay out of the hospital.

Also Tuesday, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak called Sharon and advised him to rest, take care of his health and cut back on his workload, another statement from Sharon's office said.

The 77-year-old premier, shaking hands with his doctors, thanked hospital staff for their "dedicated treatment." He also thanked reporters and citizens, saying "I see you missed me, (I) was touched by concern Israelis have shown over my health," adding "I have to hurry back to work." He spoke clearly and appeared fit.

The medical team that treated the prime minister when he was first brought to the hospital told Ma'ariv that Sharon had been quite confused for most of an hour.

"What was said at the press conference was, to understate, not exact," they said. "The prime minister did not know what day it was, what time is was or where he was. For 45 minutes he could not count or perform basic movements. They [the hospital officials -ed.] are not obligated to disclose everything, but to give inaccurate information is already taking a position [on the matter of the PM's health] and is very problematic. Throughout the first night of his hospitalization the confusion continued, to a lesser extent, and Sharon has not returned to himself completely."

Sharon's doctors have ordered him to lose weight. Yedioth Ahronoth reported that one doctor suggested Sharon take up meditation and Tai Chi as an alternative to weight reduction.

Sharon is to turn 78 in February and is known for having a hearty appetite. A former aide told Army Radio, "The man loves food. It will be hard changing him at his age, but we will do our best."

Sharon refused to answer questions over Binyamin Netanyahu's election as Likud chairman on Sunday evening, but added, smilingly, that "It is now time to return to work, move forward," referring to the name of his Kadima party, which he formed last month after bolting the Likud.

Shortly after his return to his Jerusalem residence, Sharon called Netanyahu to congratulate him on his victory in the Likud primaries. He also thanked his rival in the March elections for his get-well wishes.

Hadassah physicians decided to release Sharon after he underwent a new series of tests, including a CAT scan and MRI, to determine the effects of the stroke he suffered Sunday evening. The stroke, termed a mild cerebral vascular event, "Will not leave behind any damage or any traces," said Dr. Tamir Ben-Hur, chief of the hospital's neurology department.

"There's an excellent chance it won't repeat itself," Ben-Hur said. "After a rest, he can return to full functioning. I want him to rest in the coming days, but he is used to hard work so you can't compare him to anyone else. I think after he rests he will be able to return to normal activity."

A senior aide to Sharon said that it would be several days before he returned to his grueling work schedule. "It might be a few days before he returns to his full work level ... his 20-hour day," Ilan Cohen said. "They say in the next few days he needs to get more rest and return to full capacity gradually."

Ben-Hur said the clot had been caused by a minor malfunction with the heart, which he said is not uncommon among otherwise healthy people. Sharon's condition would be closely monitored after his release from hospital, his doctors said.

Palestinian Gunmen Briefly Seize Bethlehem City Hall

By VOA News

A group of Palestinian gunmen briefly seized Bethlehem city hall in the West Bank Tuesday, apparently demanding financial assistance from the Palestinian Authority. About 20 gunmen appeared on the roof of the city hall, ordered all workers out and threatened to open fire.

Palestinian police sealed off the streets leading to the building on Manger Square, near the Church of the Nativity. Officials say the gunmen were linked to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militant faction of the ruling Fatah movement of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. They were demanding money for about 300 members.

The gunmen left the building after about an hour, following talks with the governor of Bethlehem. It was not immediately clear how the standoff was resolved. The incident is another sign of growing turmoil within the Palestinian territories ahead of a January parliamentary election.

Biblical Robe Produced For Use by High Priest in Holy Temple


After much hard work and research, the Techelet (azure blue) robe of the High Priest has been completed by the Temple Institute and it is hoped to be fit to be worn in the Third Temple. The blue coat, or me'il techelet as it is called in the Torah, sports 72 golden bells alternating with 72 pomegranates attached around its hem, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet wool.

The project was researched and undertaken by skilled artisans over the past three years. It will join the already completed ephod and choshen (breastplate), featuring the 12 precious stones associated with the 12 tribes of Israel. They are located at the Temple Institute in Jerusalem's Old City, and it is hoped they will be found fit to be used by the High Priest in the Third Temple.

Master weaver Yehudit Avraham wove the robe using the Navajo "two-sided" weaving technique. The Techelet dye used is the most widely accepted of the blue dyes thought to be the Biblical Blue.

The commandment to make such a robe appears in Exodus 28: 31-35: The blue robe, displayed over the text of the biblical commandment to prepare it.

"And you shall make the robe of the ephod entirely out of blue wool. Its head opening shall be folded over within it, its opening shall have a border all around of weaver's work - it shall be for it like the opening of a coat of mail, that it should not be torn. And you shall make on its hem pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet wool, on its hem all around, and gold bells between them, all around; a gold bell and a pomegranate, a gold bell and a pomegranate, all around. It must be on Aaron in order to minister. Its sound shall be heard when he enters the Sanctuary before Hashem and when he leaves, so that he not die."

"This is the first robe woven entirely out of techelet in nearly 2,000 years," Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute told Arutz-7. "Next week we shall begin to observe the holiday of Chanukah, which marks the rededication of the Second Temple in the days when the wicked King Antiochus rose up against the Jewish people with decrees meant to separate them from God and His Torah.

"Chanukah also marks the day when the original desert tabernacle was completed. Our sages emphasize that every year on Chanukah, when we kindle the festive lights, there's a sublime illumination of holy light that is released into the world - a continuation of the original hidden light of creation and a spark of the light of the holy Menorah in the Temple. Above all, Chanukah is the time of miracles and thanksgiving to God. The completion of this sacred garment marks a great step forward towards the renewal of the Divine service in the Holy Temple."

Click here to listen to Rabbi Richman speak about the robe on Temple Talk.

In the near future, the Institute plans to embark on another major project: the production and supplying of the Torah-specified white garments of the ordinary priests for every male Jewish descendant of Aaron. "Every Kohen from all over the world, will be given the opportunity to register and order his own uniform so that he can be ready to serve in the rebuilt Holy Temple," Richman said.

Beware the Christocrats

By Reuters

Despite fact that many evangelical Christians are strong supporters of Israel, U.S. Jews feel threatened by Christian Right

U.S. Jewish leaders say they are increasingly worried that Christian conservatives want to turn America politically and culturally into a country that tolerates only their brand of Christianity. "There is a feeling on all sides that something is changing," Director of the New York-based Anti-Defamation League Abraham Foxman said.

"The polls indicate a very serious thing - that over 60 percent of the American people feel that religion and Christianity are under attack," he said recently in an interview. "Some are saying we are attacking (Christianity). This whole movement is not anti-Semitic or motivated by anti-Semitism. But sometimes unintended consequences are much more serious than intended," he added.

Foxman recently arranged a meeting in New York involving six Jewish organizations to discuss the problem. He said that while participants did not agree on the exact level of the problem, they felt a strategy was needed. "It's not a war room strategy," he said. "It's to understand what's out there."

He said Jews are a people of faith but are opposed to anyone who would say only they know the truth and want to impose it on everyone else.

While every December brings disputes over what to call the "holiday season" and its trappings, the level of lobbying by those who fear Christmas is becoming something generic has been particularly high this year.

But the issues raised by Foxman and others goes much deeper into American society, ranging from challenges to teaching evolution to bans on abortion and same-sex marriage or deciding what kind of people who should serve on the Supreme Court.

"Every room (from bedroom to classroom) in the American mansion is under assault to impose either de facto or de jure a Christian theocracy - I call them Christocrats," said Rabbi James Rudin, former head of inter-religious activities for the American Jewish Committee. "They are people who believe there should be a legally mandated Christian nation, where the concept of separation of church and state is weakened or abandoned," he added.

Rudin said he has met pastors "who say that Jesus Christ is the ultimate leader of America and that God's law trumps the Constitution ... I'm very concerned." While far from all evangelical Christians hold those views, he said the influence of those who do is strong.

Rudin, whose book "The Baptizing of America: The Religious Right's Plans for the Rest of Us" will be published in January by Avalon, said those with a theocratic agenda are not anti-Semites, and in fact some of them are among the strongest supporters of the state of Israel. But he said they are Christians who see secular humanists and globalists as their enemies and who feel they are being attacked.

Mathew Staver, general counsel of the Florida-based Liberty Counsel, a group which backs conservative Christian causes in court and which has been particularly active in Christmas-related issues, says "there is absolutely no effort that I'm aware of to theocratize America or put down other faiths to expand Christianity."

He credits the increased activity surrounding Christmas issues this year to three years of building an organization over the matter. "People have said enough is enough," he said, citing such incidents as naming Boston's Christmas tree a "holiday tree" and the publication of a sales catalog by a major retailer, which featured Kwanza and Chanukah gifts but made no mention of Christmas.

President George W. Bush, who describes himself as a born-again Christian, also faced criticism recently for sending out cards wishing people a happy "holiday" season. "This clearly demonstrates that the Bush administration has suffered a loss of will and that they have capitulated to the worst elements in our culture," William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights told the Washington Post.

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