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European Jewish, Pro-Israel Web Sites Hacked


Germany's largest Jewish web portal, was hacked so severely last week that all of its subdomains were wiped out and it was completely deleted from its server. This week, a second German web site espousing pro-Israel views, German Media Watch, was hacked into as well. German sources report that the Hagalil site was hacked from an IP address in the Arab state of Qatar, located in the Persian Gulf.

Kassam Rocket Hits Ashkelon Power Station


A few minutes before 3 p.m. Wednesday, Arab terrorists fired a Kassam rocket that impacted in the Rotenberg Power Station outside Ashklelon. It is the first time that the enemy has succeeded in hitting the power station. The rocket was fired from the northern Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported in the attack.

The unprecedented terrorist strike on the Rotenberg Power Station came even as the IDF continues Operation Blue Skies, targeting rocket-firing cells and launching areas with artillery and helicopter gunships. The enemy attackers, for their part, continue to rain rockets down on Jewish towns in proximity to Gaza.

And a team of divers and a group of sappers were working Wednesday afternoon to examine a half-ton bomb dud found in the water near Ashdod harbor. Local fishermen reported the find, which officials said was thought to be old.

Israel Says it Will Set Final Border After Elections

By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel's acting prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said Israel would keep major settlement blocs in the West Bank in any agreement reached with the Palestinians.

Olmert told Israel's Channel Two News that Israel would "separate from much of the Palestinian population that lives in the West Bank." He said Israelis would be gathered into main settlement blocs so as to preserve a united Jerusalem. He also said large Israeli settlements in the West Bank where about 100,000 Israelis live would stay under Israeli control.

Speaking in his first TV interview since assuming the office of prime minister following Ariel Sharon's stroke, Olmert also said Israel cannot give up control of its eastern border, indicating that Israel intends to keep control of the Jordan Valley. But at the same time, he said Israel would withdraw from some territories in the West Bank.

Olmert said Israel's future border is not the one it holds today, adding he believes that on the other side of what will eventually be Israel's final border, there will be a Palestinian state.

Recent polls show Olmert's position is popular with Israeli voters, putting him in a favored position to win general elections on March 28 as the head of the Kadima Party, formed last year by Sharon, before he suffered a massive stroke and cerebral hemorrhage. Olmert's views are almost identical to those expressed by Sharon.

Olmert said he hopes to pursue the internationally backed "Roadmap Peace Plan" with the Palestinians. It calls for Israel to stop building settlements, and for the Palestinians to stop attacking Israel and pursue a negotiated joint settlement leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Hamas Says It Will Decide Palestinian Leadership

By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem)

Leaders of the Islamic terrorist group Hamas wrapped up several days of meetings in Cairo with a warning to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas not to make changes in the Palestinian government without their approval. The Hamas leaders also repeated that they would not recognize Israel.

The Hamas leaders ended three days of talks without naming a prime minister. At a closing press conference the group's political chief Khaled Mash'al said leaders in the Palestinian Authority should not issue decrees or make decisions without consulting Hamas. He said if that happens Hamas will not accept them.

He also said Hamas would not disarm or renounce violence because he said Hamas is obliged to resist what it regards as Israel's occupation of Palestinian land. In media interviews this week, the Hamas leader has said his group could enter into what he describes as a long-term truce with Israel if Israel withdrew to its pre-1967 borders.

Palestinian newspapers have been reporting growing tensions between Hamas and leading members of the Palestinian Authority, most of whose members belong to the rival Fatah Party of Abbas. Hamas soundly defeated Fatah in legislative elections on January 25, which saw Hamas take 74 seats in the 132-seat Palestinian parliament.

Hamas leaders say they want to form a coalition government with other parties, but no agreement has been reached on how to do so. The Palestinian Legislative Council is scheduled to convene on February 16.

Mash'al told the BBC Wednesday that his organization may be willing to deal with Israel, under certain conditions. But in no case would the Islamists recognize an Israeli right to exist.

"A long-term truce with Israel is a position that Hamas could take, but not now, only after Israel recognizes the rights of the Palestinians, to show and confirm its willingness to withdraw to the 1967 borders," said the Hamas leader. Mash'al also used the opportunity to explain why terrorism, which he called "the fight against the occupation," is legitimate.

Iran 'Retaliates', Sponsors Holocaust Cartoon Contest


The best-selling Iranian newspaper, the daily Hamshahri, has decided to run a contest for the "best" Holocaust cartoon. The contest will have 12 winners, the same number of caricatures of Mohammed that have appeared in European newspapers and have led to worldwide Muslim riots and violence.

The supreme authority in Iran, the chief cleric Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared on Tuesday that the cartoons were a Zionist plot in retaliation for the Islamic Hamas movement's recent electoral win in the Palestinian Authority last month.

The Danish editor behind the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed that ignited deadly riots in the Muslim world said Wednesday he's trying to coordinate with an Iranian paper soliciting cartoons on the Holocaust.

"My newspaper is trying to establish a contact with the Iranian newspaper, and we would run the cartoons the same day as they publish them," Flemming Rose said Wednesday in an interview on CNN's "American Morning."

Rose, Jyllands-Posten's culture editor, told CNN he came up with the idea after several local cases of self-censorship involving people fearing reprisals from Muslims. "There was a story out there and we had to cover it," Rose said. "We just chose to cover it in a different way, according to the principal: Don't tell it, show it."

The drawings - including one depicting the prophet wearing a turban shaped as a bomb - have touched a nerve in part because Islam is interpreted to forbid any illustrations of the Prophet Muhammad for fear they could lead to idolatry.

"I do not regret it," Rose said. "I think it is like asking a rape victim if she regrets wearing a short skirt at a discotheque Friday night. In that sense, in our culture, if you're wearing a short skirt, that does not necessarily mean you invite everybody to have sex with you. As is the case with these cartoons, if you make a cartoon, make fun of religion, make fun of religious figures, that does not imply that you humiliate or denigrate or marginalize a religion."

Germany lambastes Iran for dragging Israel into the cartoon fray. A German government minister said that the Iranian newspaper's call for Holocaust cartoons is an attempt to drag Israel into a conflict between Europe and the Muslim.

"After denying the right of Israel to exist and denying the Holocaust, the people around President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad are trying to escalate the situation," Deputy Foreign Minister Gernot Erler was quoted as saying in Wednesday's edition of the Berliner Zeitung daily newspaper. "This fills us with deep concern, that a state is using this clash of cultures as a tool to further its own dominance."

Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany, punishable with up to five years in prison. Printing cartoons that make light of the Holocaust but do not question it would not be a crime but would invite private lawsuits and other legal difficulties for a newspaper in Germany.

Cartoon Contest Fights 'Hate with Humor'

By Israel News Faxx

The World Union of Jewish Students in conjunction with editorial cartoonists, Edward Margolis and Noah Crissey, announced an International Editorial Cartoon Competition for students called "Fight Hate with Humor."

Inspired by an Iranian contest where students around the world have been invited to join in a global competition to create hate cartoons depicting "A World without Zionism", "A World without the United States", and glorifying the "Intifada", they plan with humor "to stand the Iranians on their heads."

According to Margolis, "The whole thing about the Iranian contest would be hilarious if it weren't so terrifying." Margolis said that "editorial cartoons in Iran and throughout the Middle East are taken very seriously and are considered to be a barometer of public opinion. Totalitarian governments recognize the power of these strong visual images and through state controlled media use cartoons to manipulate the masses even where literacy is low.

WUJS is looking for cartoonists that are interested in taking part in its global campaign against the policy of the Iranian government towards Israel and the Jews.

Entries will be accepted until May 1. The best cartoons will be published as part of the global presentation of the WUJS campaign.. Submissions can be made at

Israel News Faxx has offered to publish the winning cartoons on its web site, and in its daily newsletter.

Israeli Rightist Indicted Over Nazi Slur


Right-wing activist and head of the "Women in Green" movement Nadia Matar was indicted Wednesday on charges of insulting a public official, after comparing Disengagement Authority Chief Yonatan Bassi to Jewish collaborators with the Nazis.

In a letter to Bassi, first published by Ynet, Matar wrote: "The truth is you're a modern-day version of the Judenrat. In fact, a much more terrible version, because during the Holocaust this was forced upon Jewish leaders by the Nazis and it's very difficult for us to judge them today."

According to the indictment, a day after the letter's publication on Ynet, Matar submitted to an interview with Army Radio and repeated the same charges made in the letter. The rightist activist later repeated the remarks in an interview with Channel 10.

After learning of the State Prosecutor's Office's intention to file an indictment over the affair, Matar said she was glad the government of Israel made a terrible mistake that it would be sure to regret. Matar said the trial would allow her to hold a public trial against the Gaza and northern West Bank withdrawal and those who executed it, headed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"I will prove in the courtroom that Yonatan Bassi, as well as the architects and executors of the disengagement crime, ranging form the prime minister to the lowliest official, sold their souls to the devil and became the successors of the Nazis, the Arab terrorists, and PLO, Hamas, and Jihad activists."

At the time, Matar added that she hoped the trial would lead to a crisis among government ranks and eventually lead to the toppling of "Ariel Sharon's malicious government."

Planeload of Ethiopian Immigrants Arrives in Israel


A chartered plane brought 150 new immigrants from Ethiopia to Israel Wednesday morning after a long wait and lull in Ethiopian Aliyah (immigration to Israel).

Also on the flight was Jewish Agency Chairman Ze'ev Bielski and 100 North American donors, who stepped in to help fund the mass Aliyah of the remaining Ethiopian Jews waiting to emigrate.

The Americans visited the slums where the new olim (immigrants) had been living while awaiting departure to the Jewish state. Shantytowns were built near Israel's embassy in Addis Ababa as prospective immigrants waited for their visas.

Israel has already absorbed more than 50,000 Ethiopian Jews. Since 1998, though, only 2,500 have been brought to Israel, under a family reunification program. Though the Falash Mura, as they are called, are believed to be the descendants of the tribe of Dan, they undergo conversion when rejoining the Jewish people due to the intermarriage and forced conversion of their ancestors and Jewish legal complications their lengthy estrangement from the Oral Law has presented.

The Union of Jewish Communities in North America pledged to raise $100 million to help with the Aliyah and absorption of Ethiopian olim.

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