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Travel Warnings to Israelis


National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Division released travel advisories for a number of destinations, warning Israelis not to visit those countries and to leave immediately if applicable.

The warnings of "high concrete threats" includes Bahrain, Algeria, Djibouti, Tunisia, Qatar, Morocco, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Somalia, Yemin, Kenya, Indonesia, Malaysia, southern Thailand, northern India, southern Philippines and southern Russia.

Israel on High Alert, PA Arabs on Strike

By & VOA News

The Israeli public was placed on high alert Wednesday following threats by terrorist organizations that they would avenge the capture of the terrorist who killed Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi. The nation's police set the public alert at Level Three, the second-highest in Israel, just below that in which a state of emergency is declared.

Security forces on high alert fanned out across the country, focusing specifically on Jerusalem and other city centers where Purim celebrations were taking place. Officials warned the public to be especially wary of possible attempts to kidnap soldiers or civilians who could be used as hostages for exchange with the prisoners captured on Tuesday.

Although Israel had planned to lift its closure of Palestinian Authority-controlled areas which began last weekend in anticipation of Purim festivities around the country, security officials decided on Wednesday to extend it through Saturday.

The threat of revenge attacks by Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is considered a credible and serious matter. Both terror groups vowed to retaliate after 51-year-old Ahmed Sa'adat, the PFLP leader who was the target of Tuesday's raid, was captured by the IDF together with four co-terrorists. "Israel will pay dearly for its actions," promised PFLP officials.

Sa'adat was the mastermind of the assassination of former Tourist Minister Rehavam Ze'evi in October 2001. He and his team were being held in the Jericho prison which was jointly run by the PA and international monitors from the U.S. and Britain.

PA Arabs went on strike on Wednesday to protest the raid which within hours had set off demonstrations throughout the PA-controlled areas. Shops in Gaza and PA-controlled areas of Yehuda and Shomron were closed and school children arrived to find the school doors locked.

Tuesday's attack came after the monitors were withdrawn by the governments, citing unacceptable security risks. Israel had long warned the PA that Sa'adat would be captured or killed if he were to be released.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas cleared the way for just such an event when he announced last week that he had "no problem" with releasing Sa'adat but would not take responsibility for his safety. His remarks came in response to a letters from Britain and the U.S. informing him of their decision to pull their observers. Neither country gave a specific timetable, however.

More than 200 prisoners were transferred to Israeli jails after the siege in which the prison was effectively destroyed. Another 100 were released shortly after questioning by the Shin Bet clarified that they had not been involved in any terror activities.

Shops, schools and offices were closed throughout the Palestinian territories in protest against Israel's siege of the Jericho jail and Sa'adat's capture. Abbas called the raid an insult to the Palestinian people and said British and U.S. inspectors at the jail had cooperated with Israeli authorities, a charge all three countries strongly denied.

Israeli cabinet minister Zeev Boim says Israel decided to act after it appeared to Israeli authorities that Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, would release the terrorists. "Unfortunately when Hamas came to power, after the last elections took place, the situation changed and even President Abu Mazen admitted he was ready to release these murderers," Boim said.

In his first public comments on the issue, Israel's acting prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said Wednesday that Sa'adat and his associates, as well as another Palestinian linked to a massive arms shipment to the Palestinians that was intercepted at sea by Israel in 2002, would now be put on trial in Israeli courts.

PA Grants Murderer of 4-Year-Old Girl Honorary Citizenship


The outgoing Fatah regime in the Palestinian Authority voted on March 5th to grant honorary citizenship to Lebanese terrorist Samir Quntar who murdered a 4-year-old Israeli girl and her father.

According to a report from Palestinian Media Watch, Jordanian terrorist Sultan Al-Ajaluni also received honorary citizenship in the same vote. Both terrorists are serving life sentences in Israeli jails.

In 1979 in the coastal town of Nahariya, Lebanese terrorist Samir Quntar murdered Danny Haran and his four-year-old daughter, Einat. Danny's daughter Yael, just two-years-old, suffocated to death while hiding in a crawl space with her mother. Quntar is serving multiple life sentences totaling 542 years in Israeli prison.

Smadar Haran, wife and mother of the murder victims, described the murder in the Washington Post in 2003: "It was a murder of unimaginable cruelty… It had been a peaceful Sabbath day. My husband Danny and I had picnicked with our little girls, Einat, 4, and Yael, 2, on the beach. Around midnight … the terrorists burst into our building. Danny helped our neighbor climb into a crawl space above our bedroom; I went in behind her with Yael in my arms. Danny grabbed Einat and was dashing out the front door when the terrorists came crashing into our flat.

"I will never forget the joy and the hatred in the terrorists' voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. "This is just like what happened to my mother," I thought.

"The terrorists took Danny and Einat down to the beach. There, according to eyewitnesses, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl's skull against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Quntar."

Various organizations in the Palestinian Authority responded with applause to the announcement of granting honorary citizenship to the two terrorists.

"The 'Friends of the Prisoners' organization sees the decision, of the present government, to award Palestinian citizenship to two Arab prisoners – Samir Quntar from Lebanon and Sultan Al-Ajaluni from Jordan – an act of Palestinian national obligation and in dedication to the honored history that the Arab prisoners have provided to the Palestinian issue."[Al-Quds newspaper, Mar. 7, 2006]

"The Palestinian Liberation Front, through general secretariat member, Dr. Wasil Abu Yusuf, praised the government's decision… to award the imprisoned fighters Samir Quntar and Sultan Al-Ajaluni honorary citizenship as an act of dedication to their struggle and their heroic suffering in the occupation's prisons. [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 8, 2006]

"The Palestinian Popular Committees expressed their appreciation for the government's decision to award the two imprisoned fighters, Samir Quntar and Sultan Al-Ajaluni, honorary citizenship and Palestinian citizenship as an act of dedication to their struggle and their heroic sufferings in the occupation's prisons. [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 9, 2006]

PMW's Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook noted, "Societies measure their heroes in different ways. Some societies honor athletes or performers. Others celebrate caregivers and humanitarian workers. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have consistently chosen to honor murderers as their national icons."

Documented evidence shows that PA TV and PA leaders have long seen Quntar as a hero. His picture is repeatedly shown on TV, and he was proclaimed the "model warrior," "brave," and a "leader" and "head" of the prisoners.

In an August 15th, 2004 TV broadcast, PA Minister of Prisoners, Hisham Abdul Razeq, defined Quntar as the leader of the prisoners: "The torch of freedom [that] was lifted by our heroic prisoners and headed by the great warrior Samir Quntar... our thanks to you.

On August 24th of the same year, prominent PA TV broadcaster Muhammad Albaz told his audience: "A thousand blessings to the warrior Samir Quntar [the audience claps] and to his family in Lebanon and to this hero who was sentenced to 576 years [in prison]. This is the evil, and this is Israeli democracy.

On August 18th, 2004, PA TV termed the murder of the father and girl as an act of bravery: "He was sentenced to 542 years in prison for committing the brave Nahariya action in Palestine [note-Israel city of Nahariya is defined as Palestine.]

On the same day, Arab demonstrators supporting a prisoner hunger strike singled out Quntar as a model to be followed: "We bless the family members of Samir Quntar, we are with you. He is your son but he is also our son, the son of Palestine. We ask of Allah, that there will be 100 more Samir Quntars, 1,000 more Samir Quntars, and 1,000,000 more Samir Quntars that do and act for the Palestinian issue." The speech was broadcast on PA TV.

Israelis Rally Against Canada Seal Slaughter


Animal rights activists held a demonstration Wednesday outside the Canadian Embassy in south Tel Aviv to protest the slaughtering of seals on the beaches of the Newfoundland and Labrador provinces, where the largest commercial seal hunt began in 2003.

The demonstration was part of the International Day of Action for the Seals, organized by the U.S.-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, marked by animal rights groups at Canadian embassies and consulates all over the world.

American animal rights groups are calling for the boycotting of the "Red Lobster" seafood restaurant chain for importing Canadian food products.

The killing of the seals is unsupervised and cruel, as hunters pierce their prey with boat hooks or hit them on the head with clubs so as not to damage their fur, activists said.

According to animal rights groups, 95 percent of all slaughtered seals in Canada are pups, as they easier to hunt due to their inability to swim. In many cases the mothers are killed while the pups are left to die of starvation, they said, adding that some 40 percent of the hunted seals are skinned while still alive.

According to statistics presented by activists the number of seals slaughtered in Canada since 2003 exceed 600,000. The Canadian government claims seal hunting contributes to the economic revitalization of the country's northern region, but animal rights activists say such considerations are no excuse for turning a blind eye to the cruel treatment of seals.

"This is no excuse; the Canadian government is looking out for its economic interests with blatant disregard for the suffering of hundreds of thousands of seals, who are left to bleed to death on the ice," said Alona Haruvi, an Israeli animal rights activist.

Judge: 'Art' Photo is Not Subject to Privacy Law

By New York Law Journal

Not all artists need be starving, a Manhattan judge has ruled. A dispute between a top photographer and the Orthodox Jew whose picture he surreptitiously took at Times Square -- then sold 10 prints of at $20,000 to $30,000 each -- turned on the question of whether the photograph constitutes commerce or art.

As commerce, the picture would be subject to the restrictions set forth in New York's right-to-privacy laws; as art, it would not.

The disputed photograph, Supreme Court Justice Judith J. Gische has ruled, is art. "New York has been fairly liberal in its protection of what constitutes art," Justice Gische held in Nussenzweig v. diCorcia, 108446.05.

New York courts have "recognized that art can be sold, at least in limited editions, and still retain its artistic character," Gische noted. "This analysis recognizes that First Amendment protection of art is not limited to only starving artists. ... A profit motive in itself does not necessarily compel a conclusion that art has been used for trade purposes."

Defendant Philip-Lorca diCorcia's show "HEADS" appeared at the Pace Gallery in Chelsea in September and October 2001. The exhibition featured photographs of 17 people taken without their knowledge in New York, Tokyo, Calcutta and Mexico City. The photographs, tightly focused on their individual subjects and printed at four-feet-by-five-feet, created uncommonly intimate likenesses. In addition to the Pace exhibition, the photos appeared in a catalogue and numerous advertisements and reviews.

Plaintiff Emo Nussenzweig, a Hasidic Jew with a deep conviction that the use of his image violates the Second Commandment's prohibition against graven images, learned of the use of his portrait in 2005. Shortly thereafter, he initiated the present proceeding, alleging that diCorcia and catalogue publisher Pace/MacGill violated his rights to privacy under New York law.

The defendants contended that the one-year statute of limitations precluded the suit: The photographs were published in September 2001, and Nussenzweig filed his suit in 2005. In response, Nussenzweig argued that the statute did not begin to run until he learned of the exhibition.

Gische agreed with the defense, noting that for privacy claims in the First Department, the clock starts with the first unauthorized use. However, noting a split between departments, she opted to consider the merits of Nussenzweig's claim.

The defense conceded that the claim satisfied three of the four requirements of the privacy law: It used Nussenzweig's portrait without his consent within the state of New York. However, the defense contended, the picture was not used for "advertising purposes or for trade," as required by law.

Gische agreed. "Even while recognizing art as exempted from the reach of New York's privacy laws, the problem of sorting out what may or may not legally be 'art' remains a difficult one," she wrote.

"In Hoepker v. Kruger [200 FSupp2d 340], the court recognized that art can be sold, at least in limited editions, and still retain its artistic character," Gische held. "The analysis in Hoepker is consistent with the primary purpose/incidental purpose doctrines that have developed in connection with the newsworthy exemptions to privacy protections."

Though she dismissed the case, Gische wrote that she felt sympathetic to Nussenzweig's concerns. "Clearly, plaintiff finds the use of the photograph bearing his likeness deeply and spiritually offensive," she concluded. "The sincerity of his beliefs is not questioned by defendants or this court. While sensitive to plaintiff's distress, it is not redressable in the courts of civil law. In this regard, the courts have uniformly upheld Constitutional First Amendment protections, even in the face of a deeply offensive use of someone's likeness."

Solo practitioner Georges G. Lederman represented Pace/MacGill. Kenneth Schacter of Bingham McCutchen and Lawrence C. Barth of the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson represented diCorcia.

The decision "strikes the proper balance between New York's privacy law and the First Amendment's protections for artistic protection," Barth said. "The court understood and reaffirmed the principal that an artist's rights just like other free speech rights, can't be curtailed by state law. So we're very pleased by the result."

Jay Goldberg represented Nussenzweig. "I think people have to be very careful when they walk on the street that their tie matches their suit, because people have the right to take pictures no matter how flattering or unflattering," Goldberg said Thursday of the decision. "[Mr. Nussenzweig] has lost control over his own image. It's a terrible invasion to me. The last thing a person has is his own dignity." Goldberg said that he plans to appeal.

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