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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...

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 Jewish burial.

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 War.

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, stated.

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://

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: 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

By Reuters

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 parliament.

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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