Newsletter : 6FAx0105.txt
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Hundred of Artifacts Found in Temple Mount Rubble
Archaeologists have discovered hundreds of coins and artifacts in Temple Mount rubble
removed by Arabs who are building a huge underground mosque.
Among the finds are a seal that was used to close sacks of silver at the time of the
prophet Jeremiah, shortly before the destruction of the First Temple. The seal bears a
name that suggests the owner may have been a brother of a priest named in Jeremiah's
writings, according to Bar Ilan University Prof. Gabriel Barkai.
Also found was an iron arrowhead with a shaft used by the Romans in their attack on the
Second Temple almost 2,000 years ago. Other finds date back to the Middle Ages and
"testify to large attendance at the Temple Mount during the Christian conquest and rule
during the 11th to 15th centuries," Barkai added.
Palestinian Gunmen Attempt Gaza-Egypt Border Break
By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem) & IsraelNationalNews.com
Egyptian border police fired warning shots late Wednesday to prevent Palestinians from
cutting through a fence that divides Egypt from the Gaza Strip. The incident occurred
after a day of growing anarchy and violence in the southern Gaza Strip. A mob of
Palestinians had rushed the border fence and tried to cross into Egypt after Palestinian
terrorists used two stolen bulldozers to smash through concrete barriers at the Rafah
Earlier, the terrorists placed explosives at the border crossing and occupied several
Palestinian government buildings in Rafah. The gunmen, who are affiliated with the Al-Aqsa
Martyrs Brigade are seeking the release of one of their leaders who has been linked to the
kidnapping of British aid worker Kate Burton and her parents last week. The three hostages
were freed unharmed after being held for several days.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz warned Egypt Wednesday evening that Israel may
have to return to the Gaza area to patrol the border if Egypt does not stop anarchy and
chaos. According to an agreement with Israel, Egypt is supposed to man the border and
prevent passage of terrorists and smuggling weapons.
Meanwhile, gunmen broke into a house in Rafah and attempted to kidnap the parents of
Rachel Corrie a young U.S. woman who was killed in 2003 when she tried to stop an Israeli
bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian house in Rafah. Corrie's parents are frequent
visitors to Rafah and the gunmen left after being told who they were.
Mohammed Dawwas, an independent Palestinian journalist working in Gaza said the growing
violence and chaos is especially acute in the Rafah area because Palestinian security
officials have less control there than elsewhere in the Gaza Strip. "The southern Gaza
Strip is different from the northern or the middle area of the Gaza Strip. This area is
close to the Egyptian border and there are more guns in that area than anywhere else in
the whole Gaza Strip."
Much of the growing violence in Gaza is being blamed on terrorists who belong to the
Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a violent militia affiliated with the ruling Fatah Party of
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The group is cited by the State Department as a
Abbas has condemned the violence, but Palestinian security officials said they were
unable to contain it. In recent days senior Palestinian security officials have said it
would be virtually impossible to provide security throughout much of the Gaza Strip for
scheduled Palestinian legislative elections on January 25.
Kassams Fired at Sderot and Ashkelon, Just Miss Gas Station
By IsraelNationalNews.com & YnetNews.com
Five Kassam rockets struck Sderot and two landed near Ashkelon, injuring two on
Wednesday evening, despite the creation of a security zone on the site of destroyed Jewish
towns in northern Gaza.
The Kassams that struck Sderot fell very close to a gas station on Road #34. Police
said a direct hit could have detonated underground gas storage tanks and would have been
devastating. Three rockets were also fired Tuesday night, one of them impacting near the
same gas station.
Sderot residents ran for cover as the Red Dawn early warning system sounded its sirens
several times throughout the night Tuesday and again Wednesday evening, alerting residents
of an incoming missile and giving them less than a minute to find cover.
Dozens of rockets have been fired as Sderot in the past week. IDF Chief of Staff Dan
Halutz told the Knesset Defense Committee that the security zone created in northern Gaza
was only designed to protect Ashkelon's power station, and not the residents of Sderot and
the western Negev.
Islamic Jihad and al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility for the Kassam fire on
Israel's southern region.
Immigrant Fights for Her Jewishness and now Her health
Galina Kasimov, 71, is confined to her bed in her daughter's home in the Be'er Sheva
suburb of Omer. A stroke she recently suffered has left her paralyzed on her left side
and affected her speech.
After five days in Be'er Sheva's Soroka Medical Center, her daughter, Natalya
Greenberg, decided to release her on her own volition, as she was unable to afford the
hospitalization expenses, which came to NIS 18,000. Now Kasimov is in need of costly
rehabilitation therapy, at NIS 20,000 per month, to minimize the physical damage caused by
Kasimov's family is unable to pay for her therapy, and so she is in need of government
assistance. She has been living in Israel for six years without civil rights - a new
immigrant's certificate and Israeli citizenship - because the Interior Ministry refuses to
acknowledge that she is entitled to citizenship through the Law of Return (which grants
automatic citizenship to anyone with a Jewish grandparent), despite the detailed
documentation she presented, and in spite of the fact that the rabbinical court in Be'er
Sheva decided three years ago that she is Jewish.
In light of Kasimov's serious health situation, attorney Hila Naftali of the Israel
Religious Action Center petitioned the High Court of Justice in her name. The petition
requests the Interior Ministry be instructed to recognize Kasimov's right to Israeli
citizenship, because of the detailed papers documenting her Jewish origin that were
submitted to the Interior Ministry and to the liaison office in the Prime Minister's
Office, whose job it is to confirm the right to aliyah of immigrants from the former
In order to enable the elderly patient to receive the essential health care as soon as
possible, the High Court was asked to instruct the Interior Ministry, in the interim, to
grant Kasimov the status of a resident of the country, which would immediately entitle
her to health insurance.
The High Court instructed the Interior Ministry to reply within two weeks concerning
its position regarding Kasimov, "while taking into account the special problem of medical
care, which is implied in the petition."
Tracing Kasimov's personal history, which is revealed in the documents gathered by her
daughter from archives in the C.I.S. (the successor to the U.S.S.R.), is likely to provide
an answer to the question: Why is the old woman fighting such a stubborn war for
recognition of her origin, and why is she willing to undergo great physical suffering, if
only the country would acknowledge that she belongs to the Jewish people.
According to the petition, Kasimov was born in 1934 to a family of rabbis from Ukraine.
When she was a child, a year before the outbreak of World War II, her parents fled their
home in Lithuania to the territories of the U.S.S.R. When the Jewish refugees arrived
there, Stalin's regime exiled them to distant areas in Uzbekistan and Siberia. Kasimov's
mother arrived in Samarkand with her husband and her two children, was imprisoned with her
husband, and later apparently died in prison or was executed.
Kasimov and her little brother were brought to an orphanage in Samarkand, and she is
the only member of her family who survived the harsh conditions. Kasimov's daughter said
that when her mother was 17 years old, she received a new birth certificate, like all the
Jewish orphans, in which she was identified as "Galina daughter of Josef [Stalin]. Mother
said they told all the children in the orphanage - your parents are traitors, and
therefore Stalin is your real father."
Her daughter, Natalya Greenberg, 45, immigrated with her husband and her three children
from Uzbekistan with the first waves of aliyah from the former Soviet Union, in the early
1990s, according to the Law of Return. After her aliyah she received an Israeli ID card as
a new immigrant, and during all her years in Israel, the authorities never questioned the
documents she presented.
Surprisingly, however, after she submitted a request in her mother's name to recognize
her as a new immigrant as well, about five years ago, a few months later Greenberg
received a notice from the liaison office to the effect that her Israeli citizenship was
about to be revoked. The reason: "Her mother did not succeed in proving her entitlement
according to the Law of Return." The liaison office claimed after the fact, six years
after examining the reliability of her aliyah papers, that Greenberg had also falsified
her Jewish origin.
According to the liaison office: "The papers presented by Mrs. Kasimov turned out to be
forged, after an examination in the archives in Uzbekistan, and therefore we recommended
to the Interior Ministry to reject her request for Israeli citizenship according to the
Law of Return."
In response to the refusal to accept the decision to confirm Jewishness, which was
taken by the rabbinical court in Be'er Sheva, it was noted: "The decision of the rabbinate
does not bind us, and we are not required to recommend to the Interior Ministry that they
change the `nationality' in the Population Registry."
The spokeswoman of the Population Registry said that the position of the Interior
Ministry would be presented to the High Court..
The Food of Coexistence
By Michal Palti (Ha'aretz Commentary)
What connects an American lottery, a mortar and pestle, and Chanukah? Jawdat Ibrahim
believes the connection is clear: Since the owner of the Abu Ghosh Restaurant won the
Illinois State Lottery in 1990, he has been holding conferences and workshops in his
restaurant and initiating and supporting joint activities for Arabs and Jews.
Last week, 50 children and their parents filled the restaurant to attend a hummus
workshop. Ibrahim and a staff of chefs in both languages patiently instructed the Arab and
After half an hour, the site looked like every other venue that attracts children
during the Chanukah holidays: The place was in ruins. Bowls and pestles were abandoned on
tables, along with empty cups and bottles, and balloons discarded by clowns who
entertained the children.
Outside, dozens of children showed off the hummus they had prepared: studded with
chickpeas, redolent of garlic, mashed to one extent or another, next to a pita or spread
inside, accompanied by balls of falafel or straight up. There were 50 different versions
of childish hummus, each catered to the taste of a particular family.
Chanukah vacation was in full swing and Ibrahim's workshop, advertised by a sign at the
entrance to the restaurant and via word of mouth, attracted numerous 6- to 14-year-old
cooks and their parents, who were happy to sit around tables while their offspring
gleefully ran amok in the restaurant. Each participant received a white shirt and chef's
toque, a mortar and pestle, and, after an hour and a half of grinding and mashing, a taste
of the final product.
Manal Nofel and her three children arrived in a taxi from the Palestinian village of
Shuafat. The children - Maram, 7; Majid, 10; and Zina, 2 - scrutinized the thick paste
that they made. Their mother's sigh of relief was audible all the way down the street:
Three contented children seated around a table and satisfied are not to be taken for
granted at this stage in the vacation.
"My husband heard about the workshop, and I was happy to hear about it, too," she said.
"It's a lovely idea. The children are interacting with others and tasting, and they are
meeting children here who they would not have had an opportunity to meet elsewhere. And
who doesn't love hummus?"
A busy group of teachers from the Givat Ram campus of the ORT Jerusalem Academic
College sat at a table in one of the inner rooms. Majda Atamna, Ibrahim's sister, told her
colleagues about the workshop, and they came to the meeting of hummus lovers, happy to
take part and even happier to dive into a mountain of French fries with soda.
Esther Haviv, a member of the ORT group, brought her granddaughter, Tomer, age 10, and
her grandson, Gal, age 6. "I like to cook, and I cook a lot at home as well," Tomer said.
"I sort of knew how to make hummus but it's always good to get precise instructions, like
Ibrahim conducted the workshop as he proudly walked about the topsy-turvy restaurant
(with) pulled off tables, chickpeas underfoot and bottles of Coca-Cola chugging freely
onto the floor? (The workshop, which included traditional Chanukah doughnuts, was free.)
All of that pales compared to the sincere joy of the community activist who comes with a
television camera team to document the event, including the large photograph of the
restaurateur and King Hussein gracing the entrance.
Ibrahim's life was transformed 17 years ago: The emigrant who left Abu Ghosh to live in
Chicago won a $23 million jackpot in the Illinois State Lottery. "The system there is
smart: You get the money in incremental annual installments," Ibrahim explained. Ibrahim
returned to Abu Ghosh, opened a restaurant, and, as he said, turned it into a center of
He established the Abu Ghosh Foundation, which provides grants to Arab and Jewish
students, organized joint trips, fostered connections with King Hussein, and regularly
hosted emissaries for the Israeli Foreign Ministry. "I'm on their itinerary," he
According to Ibrahim, his model of activism comes from the Jewish community in the
United States. "I would like to see the Arabs in Israel play a role like the Jews in
America, based on initiative and involvement," he said. "I have relatives in Ramallah who
tell me that their children have never met a Jewish child. And children are children.
Activity at an early age is vital - that is where everything begins."
If one judges the impact of this project by the taste of the hummus, Jawdat Ibrahim
found a common denominator with uniquely broad appeal.
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