Newsletter : 5fax1223.txt
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Festival of Lights on Chinese Wall
Chanukah candles will be lit for the first time on the Great Wall of China, Sunday
night, the first night of the eight-day Festival of Lights. Chabad representatives
organized the candle lighting, where the Israeli ambassador to China will appear. The
organization responsible for preserving the Great Wall approved the celebration in which
children will sing Chanukah songs. And public menorahs large and small will be lit at city
centers, army bases, shopping malls, senior centers and hospitals next week by thousands
of Chabad Chasidim who make it an annual project to bring the festival's light into the
House of Israel. Community leaders and political dignitaries are given the honor of
lighting the menorah each night of the holiday.
Violence Against Jews Continues Worldwide
Though many of them have only appeared on page two of local Jewish papers, a wave of
anti-Jewish attacks continues around the globe. In recent weeks...
- In Australia, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry's annual report points to
Jews there increasingly being verbally abused and physically attacked. "There were 332
incidents of anti-Jewish assault, vandalism, intimidation and harassment in the past 12
months," according to the report. Among the incidents reported were arson attacks on
synagogues, vandalism and Nazi graffiti on property, assaults on Jewish men by unknown
assailants, and vandalism of Jewish schools and synagogues.
- A 16-year-old British Jew was attacked with a knife in Manchester last week. His ear
was slashed and his assailant shouted anti-Jewish slogans as he attacked him. A local
rabbi chased the attacker.
- A French court sentenced a 25-year-old man last week to three years in jail for
vandalizing a cemetery with Nazi graffiti and anti-Jewish slogans.
- Three teens in Swampscott, Mass. have been charged with hate crimes after burning a
van belonging to a local Chabad-Lubavitch synagogue. The same Chabad synagogue was broken
into in October and anti-Jewish graffiti was scrawls inside the sanctuary.
- A large menorah was torn down and stomped to pieces by a group of vandals at a South
Philadelphia community center last week. The community says it will put up a newer and
brighter Chanukah menorah to replace it.
- An anti-Jewish TV program called "America is a Changing Country" was aired on cable
access television in Maryland. The program, produced by National Alliance neo-Nazi group,
blames, "Jewish media" for urban decay and the denigration of "Aryan values."
- Thousands of fans of Hungary's Ujpest FC soccer team chanted anti-Jewish slogans
during a league match last month when the team played against MTK Budapest, a team with
Hungarian Jewish roots.
- In Salt Lake City, a plaque featuring a quote by Rabbi Eric Silver, part of the
Judge Memorial Religious Freedom Shrine, was defaced. The plaque featured the words: "Upon
his deeds not his ideas does G-d's favor rest on man.'' Vandals scratched out the words
"G-d" and "Rabbi" and added the words, "Jews suck." Rabbi Silver said, ``It is unfortunate
that in times that we'd like to regard as enlightened this sort of thing can still occur."
- In Peru, Rabbi Guillermo Bronstein, rabbi of Lima's only Conservative synagogue,
told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency of a significant rise in attacks on the country's small
Jewish community. Bronstein attributed the rise in attacks to the increase in neo-Nazi
groups and the perception that the Jews have disproportionate influence in the government.
- Jews in the South Tottenham area of London have reported that they live in constant
fear of violent attacks, citing several recent cases of unprovoked assaults on outwardly
- According to a report released last week, the regimes in the Palestinian Authority,
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Syria promoted Holocaust-denial or defended Holocaust-deniers
over the past year. Iran and Egypt have each been in the headlines several times in recent
months for similar government statements and activities. Just Thursday, the head of
Egypt`s Muslim Brotherhood said that the Holocaust is a "myth."
Also on Thursday a man was put on trial in Austria for publicly swearing allegiance to
Adolf Hitler. A French group was reported to be distributing pork soup to homeless in a
bid to exclude Muslims and Jews from benefiting from their magnanimity.
Family of "Our Man in Damascus" Tells Story
Maurice Cohen, brother of Israel's greatest spy Eli Cohen, talks of his brother's
courageous acts of espionage and his family's yearning to bring Eli's remains to a proper
Eli Cohen worked as an operative for Israel's Mossad intelligence service in Damascus
and successfully infiltrated the highest-ranking levels of Syrian government. Cohen was
responsible for transmitting crucial information that enabled the Israeli army a swift and
decisive victory in their battle with the Syrians over the Golan Heights in the Six Day
With the assistance of Soviet intelligence, the Syrians caught Eli while he was
transmitting a message to Israel. Despite international protests, the Syrians in a brutal
public hanging on May 18, 1965 executed Eli Cohen.
"I am very proud of my brother, but it also a big agony that I lost him. I could not
help him, I could not save his life," Maurice Cohen, himself a retired Mossad agent,
Remarkably, Cohen was recruited to work in the same Mossad unit as his brother Eli, but
neither of the brothers had any knowledge of the nature of the other's work. "We didn't
discuss anything about his job. When he was recruited he told us that he was going to work
for the Ministry of Defense to assist in the import of computer parts for military
purposes. He said he would be working for the army and would be staying in Europe,"
explained Cohen, adding, "I was also recruited and served in the same company that
communicated with my brother. We did not know anything about each other."
Cohen explained how he accidentally happened on information that revealed to him his
brother's true identity as an Israeli Mossad agent in Syria. "At the end of one official
message, Eli sent a private message where he asked 'Did Nadia receive the sewing
machine?'" said Cohen, saying that his superiors in the Mossad claimed not to understand
the code words "Nadia" or "sewing machine." Cohen says he became suspicious of his brother
when he visited his sister-in-law Nadia's home and indeed saw a brand new Singer sewing
machine that she had just received from Eli.
"After several weeks, the Mossad sent a private message to Eli, which read 'Miss Fifi
has taken her first steps.' Immediately, I knew that Fifi was my brother's nickname for
his daughter Sophie. I went to my sister-in-law's house and saw my chubby little niece
walking. I didn't have any doubt then that our man in Damascus was none other than my own
brother," Cohen conveyed.
After finding out the truth about Eli, Maurice kept the secret from his family and the
two brothers never even discussed the matter amongst themselves. "At the time I couldn't
reveal it to anybody. I kept this secret buried deep in my heart. To reveal it would
endanger Eli and betray my own country, which would go against the goals of my brother. I
was partially very anxious about it, but also very proud of my brother who was serving his
country and homeland," Cohen stated.
Eli Cohen convinced high ranking Syrian military officials to plant trees near their
bunkers in the Golan Heights. "Eli suggested the planting of eucalyptus trees to create
shade for the Syrian soldiers and to camouflage all the bunkers," explained Maurice.
"Israel needed the information that Eli supplied to the Mossad." In the 1967 Six Day War,
Israeli pilots bombarded houses surrounded by eucalyptus trees, scoring direct hits on all
the enemy's secret installations.
Despite his determination to convince Syria to return Eli's body to Israel, Maurice
Cohen says he would not be willing to give up the Golan Heights in negotiations with
Syria. "My brother gave up his life for this. My brother's soul is already in heaven, his
body has become dust, and nothing remains of him. I would not want to give back the Golan
Heights to Syria. They hurt their own country, and kill their own brothers. So we have to
protect ourselves and keep the Golan Heights. Nobody else will protect us. My brother and
other soldiers gave their souls and bodies to get this place. Syria is the worst enemy we
ever had," explained Cohen.
Eli's wife Nadia also expressed her strong desire for the return of her husband's
remains. She told dignitaries who were headed for Syria to raise the subject with the
Syrian dictator Assad. Assad's only words uttered in response were, "When the time comes,
we'll discuss it."mms://msmedia.a7.org/arutz7/eng-video/05/dec/elicohen.wmv
Maurice Cohen spoke about the desire of the Cohen family to secure the transfer of
Eli's remains to Israel as something that would grant them tremendous personal peace. "I
want to see my brother's remains back in Israel, because I made a promise to my mother on
her deathbed to bring Eli back to be buried in Israel," said Cohen, adding, "It would be a
humanitarian act. Dead bodies cannot harm anybody. We should be able to lay a stone and go
to pray and visit and say Kaddish for his soul. Our family has suffered for 40 years not
having the remains of our brother."
More information about Israeli spy Eli Cohen can be seen at his website: www.elicohen.org. Maurice Cohen conducts a tour of the Golan Heights several times a year and tells his brother's story.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Leader Calls Holocaust a Myth
The head of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition force in parliament, echoed
Iran's president on Thursday in describing the Holocaust as a myth. "Western democracy has
attacked everyone who does not share the vision of the sons of Zion as far as the myth of
the Holocaust is concerned," Mohamed Mahdi Akef said in a statement.
Akef cited as evidence of Western intolerance the cases of French writer Roger Garoudy,
who was convicted in France in 1998 of questioning the Holocaust, and British historian
David Irving, who faces similar charges in Austria next month.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sparked an international uproar when he said in a
Dec. 14 speech that the Holocaust was a myth.
In Israel, the director of the Israeli branch of the Nazi watchdog group, the Simon
Wiesenthal Center, warned that, "There's no question that a very ugly wave of Holocaust
denial is sweeping the Arab world. The problem is that so far in the Arab world very few
leaders are willing to tell their own people that they have to understand that the
Holocaust did take place," Efraim Zuroff said.
Akef, whose group won 88 of the Egyptian parliament's 454 seats in elections in
November and December, made his comment in an attack on the United States' assertion that
it is promoting democracy in the Middle East. He said the U.S. campaign was a cover for
promoting its own interests and those of the Zionist movement in the region.
"American democracy ... steers the world into the American orbit delineated by the sons
of Zion, so that everyone must wear the Stars and Stripes hat and keep away from the
Zionist foster child," he wrote in his weekly statement.
He accused the House of Representatives of hypocrisy when it threatened to cut off aid
to the Palestinian Authority if the Islamist movement Hamas takes part in January
elections. He also criticized European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana for saying
that Europeans might think twice about aid to the Palestinians if Hamas members were in
Hamas says it is an extension of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which was founded in 1928
and which renounced political violence inside Egypt decades ago. Hamas believes in armed
struggle to replace Israel with an Islamic state.
Last week the deputy leader of the Brotherhood, Mohamed Habib, asked about
Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust, said reports of Nazi attempts to wipe out European
Jews might have been exaggerated.
"We don't have confirmed things to enable us to prove this matter or refute it. It
needs documentation but what one can be sure of is that there were attacks on the Jews but
not by means of gas chambers or perhaps not in these numbers or on this scale," Habib told
Reuters in an interview.
But Habib said the debate was irrelevant to the situation of the Palestinians. "What
the Jews propagate about there being a Holocaust has nothing to do with the way they treat
the Palestinians on the land of Palestine," he said.
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