Newsletter : 6fax0523.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
First U.S. Female Rabbi Retiring
By Israel Faxx News Service
The first American woman ordained as a rabbi, Sally Priesand, is retiring. She plans to
give up her post next month at Monmouth Reform Temple in New Jersey and become rabbi
emerita. Priesand was ordained by the Reform movement's seminary, the Hebrew Union
College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in 1972. "I didn't follow this course to become a
pioneer or to champion women's rights," she recently told the New Jersey Jewish News. "I
simply wanted to be a teacher of Judaism. That was my motivation." Priesand has survived
three bouts of cancer.
Olmert in Washington for Talks with Bush
By VOA News & IsraelNationalNews.com
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is in the United States for his first meeting with
President Bush since taking office earlier this month.
Olmert is expected to use his talks on Tuesday at the White House to outline his plan
to redraw Israel's borders, with or without agreement from the Palestinians. The plan
includes removing some Israeli settlements in the West, Bank and strengthening others. He
is also expected to discuss Iran's nuclear ambitions, which Israel views as a threat.
Israel refuses to hold talks with the current Palestinian government, led by the
Islamic terrorist group Hamas. But after his return from Washington, Olmert is expected to
meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
A television advertising campaign in the United States is reminding viewers of the
costs of returning territory to the Palestinian Authority.
The Center for Security Policy is sponsoring the campaign, which Olmert's unilateral
withdrawal plan. The ad, which is being broadcast on national television in the U.S., was
timed to coincide with Olmert's visit to Washington.
To view the ad, go to http://erdb1.eresources.com/cspvideo/Insanity_30TV_2.mov. QuickTime, which can be downloaded without charge from http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/win.html. ids need to view the commercial.
Gun Battle Pits Hamas Terrorists Against Palestinian Police Killed Jordanian
The administrative assistant to the Jordanian Ambassador in Gaza was killed on Monday
and 11 others wounded in some of the heaviest fighting between Fatah and Hamas factions in
the past two months.
The shootout at the Palestinian Legislative Council building in Gaza left Khaled
Radaida dead in the violent battle between the two groups. Radaida died after three
bullets hit the windshield of his car, which was marked with Jordanian diplomatic license
Jordanian Ambassador Yehiya Qarallah was not in the car at the time. A police escort
subsequently brought Qarallah to the morgue at Shifa Hospital, where he identified his
assistant. He reportedly left the building in tears. Although Radaida held a Jordanian
diplomatic passport, he did not have full diplomatic status. Radaida was a resident of
Gaza and was hired there.
Jordan threatened to recall its ambassador and close its embassy in Gaza City over the
affair. Senior government officials in Jordan cited growing concerns about the escalating
clashes between Fatah and Hamas and called upon both factions to put an end to the daily
A government statement by Jordan immediately demanded that "the Palestinian Authority
launch an immediate inquiry into the incident and to provide details as soon as possible,"
according to the official Petra news agency. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
and Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar both called Qarallah to offer their condolences and
promises to investigate. PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and other Hamas officials called
A Jordanian official said it was not clear whether the killing was intentional or
Radaida was caught in the crossfire between Fatah and Hamas. The official spoke on
condition of anonymity due to the investigation into the incident. Viewers, however, said
Palestine TV showed the shooting at the Jordanian diplomat's car.
Defense Minister (Labor) Amir Peretz instructed the IDF's coordinator of activities in
the PA-controlled territories to assist the PA in transferring the body to Jordan. Peretz
ordered the Allenby Crossing to Jordan to remain open later to accommodate the Jordanian
request that the body be expeditiously transferred to Amman.
The two factions gave conflicting reports about what sparked Monday's battles and each
blamed the other for the shooting. A second attempted assassination within two days by
Hamas against a Fatah-affiliated Gaza security chief has ratcheted up the pressure still
Eight people have been killed in the internal fighting in the streets of Gaza so far
this month, including a gunman shot to death overnight on Sunday, with dozens more
Tensions between Jordan and Hamas have been high since Hamas was reprimanded by Jordan
after several of its operatives were charged with smuggling arms into Jordan. Two of the
defendants appeared recently on Jordan TV to say they had been recruited for the operation
by Hamas leaders from Damascus.
Israelis Sue Iranian President On Intent to Commit Genocide
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be the target of a lawsuit by former Israeli
diplomats and legislators who accuse him of intent to commit genocide.
The group announced on Sunday that it will soon file a lawsuit in the International
Court of Justice in The Hague, according to the Ynet news service, accusing Ahmadinejad of
conspiracy to commit crimes against humanity.
The group said it is planning to sue the Iranian president within the next several
months for his calls to "wipe Israel off the map," which constitute intent to commit
genocide, an international crime.
Former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Dore Gold said Ahmadinejad, who also
dismissed the Holocaust as a "myth", violated the 1948 UN Genocide Convention with his
remarks. Iran signed the document in the 1950s, as did Israel.
Gold's Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs is helping the group prepare the lawsuit,
which he said is almost ready for submission. "From our preliminary assessment, there is
no question that Ahmadinejad violated the Genocide Convention, which specifically
addresses the issue of incitement to genocide," he said.
"Ahmadinejad's remarks constitute without a doubt a `direct and public incitement' to
commit genocide," reads the document in part. "The Iranian regime supports terror
organizations, such as Islamic Jihad, which continuously carries out murderous terror
attacks against innocent Israeli citizens. However, the gravity of Ahmadinejad's remarks
is particularly outstanding in light of Iran's attempts to develop weapons of mass
destruction," it says.
Hizbullah Says it Won't Rush to Iran's Defense if U.S. Attacks
The Lebanese-based Hizbullah organization, which is supported by Iran, will not rush to
Tehran's defense if the U.S. launched a strike against its nuclear program, but would step
in if the conflict spread to Lebanon, its deputy chief said Monday.
Sheikh Naim Kassem told Reuters that the group, which was established by Iran in the
early 1980s but has since grown into a political party with 14 seats in the Lebanese
parliament, had no plans to get involved in regional battles.
"Hizbullah is not a tool of Iran, it is a Lebanese project that implements the demands
of Lebanese," Kassem said in an interview in the Hizbullah-controlled southern suburb of
Beirut. "Iran is a big country with real capabilities and can defend itself if it is
exposed to American danger."
Meanwhile, the New York Post reported Monday that the United States also fears
Hizbullah has set up sleeper cells in New York and other major American cities.
According to the report, law enforcement and intelligence officials have said they have
identified about a dozen Hizbullah militants operating in the New York area.
These activities were being closely monitored by FBI counterterrorism agents as part of
a nationwide effort to prevent a possible terror attack if the Iranian nuclear row
escalates, the Post said.
Kassem said it was hard to predict how any conflict would play out, and that decisions
would be made according to the situation on the ground. He said, however, that in
principle Hizbullah would only intervene to defend Lebanon, primarily from any attack by
"Hizbullah has no decision to enter any battle related to the region and has said
repeatedly that its position is one of defense against aggression," he added.
"But we cannot say to Israel, which might attack Lebanon one of these days, that we are
going to sit back and watch, even if Israel called this attack a protective measure for
fear that Iran might benefit from the situation in Lebanon... Such pretexts are
Kassem defended Iran's right to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. But while
Hizbullah continues to receive strong financial, political and moral support from Iran it
is not entirely dependent on that backing.
Pollard: It's a Miracle I am Alive
American spy Jonathan Pollard on Monday sent a letter to Israeli supporters in which he
urged the State of Israel to save his life, saying he is struggling in his prison cell
where he is serving a life sentence for passing US military intelligence files to
"Over the last 21 years it has never been easy for me to get a message out from within
the prison walls. Every such attempt diminishes the limited opportunity that I have for
maintaining contact with the outside world...The fact I am still alive today is a complete
miracle," Pollard wrote in the letter which will be read to supporters during a rally for
his release at the Western Wall on Thursday.
Pollard was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 after admitting to passing thousands of
secretive military documents to Israeli agents. Pollard served as a civilian analyst with
the US Navy.
"From the start of my incarceration I have always deliberately avoided using the
limited opportunities to communicate with the Israeli public to talk about my own private
hell. I have always preferred to forego expressing my feelings of isolation, betrayal and
abandonment; or speaking about my deteriorating health and the life and-death nature
of my daily existence," he wrote.
"Very few prisoners survive 21 years under the conditions in which I have been held and
continue to be held. Those Israeli officials, who have for years claimed to be using
'quiet diplomacy' for my release, while waiting for time to take its own effect, never
imagined that the 'Pollard problem' would still be around after all this time. They never
dreamed that I would refuse to give up and just die," he said.
Former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu is expected to ask Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky
to award Pollard the city's honorary citizenship at Thursday's rally. "We are optimistic
and believe that the Jerusalem mayor will answer the request," an aide to Eliyahu said.
Past efforts by the rabbi to name a street in Jerusalem after Pollard and make him an
honorary citizen failed.
On Sunday, Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef sent a letter to Prime Minister
Ehud Olmert asking he evoke the issue of Pollard's release with President George W. Bush
during his visit to Washington. "According to testimonies I have heard lately, Pollard is
feeling worse with every day that goes by," Yosef wrote.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)