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Study: Saudi Texts Promote Hatred


Saudi textbooks still promote hatred of Christians and Jews, a new study says. The textbooks, used in schools in Saudi Arabia and in Muslim schools around the world, promote hatred of "unbelievers," including Christians, Jews, Hindus and atheists, as well as Muslims who don't share the Wahhabi brand of Islam that the Saudi government backs, according to the study conducted by the Washington-based Center for Religious Freedom. In one textbook, teachers are instructed to tell students to "give examples of false religions like Judaism, Christianity, paganism, etc."

Bush Promises to Defend Israel Against Attack


Speaking at a joint news conference following their first meeting, President George W. Bush promised Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that America would respond if Israel is attacked by Iran.

Bush stated the "moment of truth" was nearing, adding Iran must not be permitted to achieve nuclear independence. He spoke of the special relationship between Israel and the United States, adding if Israel were attacked, the United States would come to her side -- emphasizing Israel's security is a US issue as well.

Later, addressing Congress, Olmert said Israel is ready to take risks for peace with Palestinians, but said his government will not yield to terrorism. The Israeli leader called on the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority to renounce violence and recognize Israel, and also urged the world to face up to what he calls the gathering storm of Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Olmert said he extends his hand in peace to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and is confident the two sides can reach agreement on all issues dividing them. However, he added that cannot happen without a Palestinian renunciation of terrorism and recognition of Israel's right to exist.

"But if there is to be a just, fair and lasting peace, we need a partner who rejects violence and who values life more than death," he said. "We need a partner that affirms in action, not just in words, the rejection, prevention and elimination of terror."

Saying Israel would not compromise on the need for peace with security, Olmert recalled Palestinian suicide bombing attacks that caused hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries in Israel.

Israelis know from their history, he said, that they must be willing to take big risks for peace, and called on Palestinians to be a genuine partner. But he said while Israel still considers the U.S.-backed Mideast Road Map for Peace as the right plan, it is not willing to wait forever, repeating his government's readiness to unilaterally establish its final borders by the year 2010.

"Should we realize that the bilateral track with the Palestinians is of no consequence, should the Palestinians ignore our outstretched hand for peace, Israel will seek other alternatives to promote our future and the prospects of hope in the Middle East," he added. "At that juncture, the time for realignment will occur."

If the Palestinian leadership refuses to fulfill its commitments under the Road Map, Olmert added, Israel will not give what he called a terrorist regime "a veto over progress or allow it to take hope hostage."

Olmert said Palestinians could be living in a Palestinian state, side by side in peace and security with Israel, but added no one can make this happen for them if they refuse to make it happen for themselves.

Perhaps the strongest statements by Olmert dealt with what he called the dark and gathering storm casting its shadow over the world, namely the threat of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. Asserting that Iran is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons, he urged the United States and international community to respond.

"The radical Iranian regime has declared the United States its enemy," he said. "Its president believes it is his religious duty and his destiny to lead his country in a violent conflict against the infidels. With pride he denies the Jewish Holocaust and speaks brazenly, calling to wipe Israel off the map. For us, this is an existential threat; a threat to which we cannot consent. But it is not Israel's threat alone. It is a threat to all those committed to stability in the Middle East and the well being of the world at large." Prime Minister Olmert said the world must face up to the threat.

"Our moment is now! History will judge our generation by the actions we take now, by our willingness to stand up for peace and security and freedom and by our courage to do what is right," he added. "The international community will be measured not by its intentions but by its results. The international community will be judged by its ability to convince nations and peoples to turn their backs on hatred and zealotry. If we don't take Iran's bellicose rhetoric seriously now, we will be forced to take its nuclear aggression seriously later."

The Israeli leader's remarks on Iran came as senior officials from the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, including the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain, along with Germany met in London to discuss possible ways to narrow differences with Tehran over its uranium enrichment efforts.

Five Gunmen Killed in Shootout with IDF Soldiers in Ramallah


Five gunmen were killed in a shootout in Ramallah with an elite IDF undercover unit that was exposed while operating in the Palestinian Authority autonomous area on Wednesday. The force's vehicle broke down, and the soldiers quickly became targets for the city's residents, who immediately began pelting them with rocks, bottles and other objects. The incident was aired live around the world, captured by the el-Jazeera Arab satellite TV.

Another force was sent to extricate them, but that vehicle also became entangled and targeted by city residents.

The force was working towards the apprehension of terrorist Muhammed Shubaki, succeeding in their mission. Shubaki is the head of the Islamic Jihad in Kalkilye, and moved to Ramallah to establish an operational base in the PA city.

Shubaki served 20 months of a 20-year sentence in an Israeli prison, according to Ha'aretz, quoting family sources. He was released last year. Soldiers succeeded in capturing and arresting the fugitive. The arrest was confirmed by Islamic Jihad in a phone call to The Associated Press.

One soldier was lightly injured in his head after he was struck with a rock. The PA declared a day of mourning on Thursday in protest. Businesses will be closed for the day, according to Ynet news service.

Gaza Infighting Leads to Assassination of Fatah Security Chief


The head of an elite security force controlled by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was assassinated Wednesday in a car explosion in Gaza.

Abbas' Chief of Preventive Security Services in central Gaza, Nabil Hodhod, was killed and his deputy wounded in a blast that ripped through his car in central Gaza City, near Shifa Hospital. It was the second assassination attempt on security commanders in Gaza in less than a week.

Security sources quoted by The Associated Press said Hodhod had just entered his car when the bomb exploded. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the assassination, which came in the wake of bloody clashes between Fatah and Hamas. The two rival factions have tried several times to rein in their members as the violence escalates into what some fear will become a full-scale civil war.

Earlier Wednesday, three Hamas militants were grabbed by masked gunmen outside a mosque, shot and dumped at a gas station. One of the three later died at a hospital, bringing to nine the number of men who have died in the fighting so far this month. Two more Hamas members were wounded in a drive-by shooting, also in Gaza City.

Fatah and Hamas leaders plan to meet again for talks on Thursday in another attempt to stem the violence before it spirals completely out of control.

Israel Adopts a Chinese Village

By Shanghai Daily

A retractable roof, a modern irrigation system and high-quality vegetables. The features of two advanced greenhouses that Israel has designed for a village in the Beijing suburbs.

The Israeli Embassy in Beijing recently celebrated its 58th Independence Day by adopting the Xiaoliugezhuang village in the outskirts of Dazing District. The greenhouse project is one part of the cooperation. "We decided to celebrate our National Day this year in a unique way," said Dr. Yehoyada Haim, Ambassador of Israel, at the project inauguration ceremony held at the village.

According to Haim, the Embassy will help Xiaoliugezhuang village by introducing advanced methods and technologies in four main fields: agriculture, health, education and community culture.

Besides the two newly-built modern greenhouses, Israeli agricultural experts also installed modern pressurized drip irrigation systems in 20 local greenhouses. Local farmers also received 25,000 quality seeds from Israel, along with training and professional consultation.

Six mobile digital milking machines and data collection software were installed at a family dairy farm. "These modern facilities will make the small-scale dairy farm more professional and increase productivity," said Lior Yaron, an Israeli dairy cattle expert.

In the village there is a clinic, which serves about 5,000 residents from the surrounding area. In order to upgrade the local clinic, the Israeli Embassy supplied medical equipment including surgery comprehensive first-aid set, oxygen concentrator, ultrasound machine and more.

Chang Hong, a member of the clinic's staff said that with all the equipment more local residents will come to the clinic for treatment of minor diseases rather than go to the larger hospitals further away.

In addition, the Israeli Embassy also helped a regional primary school with about 400 students by establishing a library and a playground, and offered books, computers and tracksuits for children.

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing sent a written message Tuesday to Ambassador Haim and expressed his congratulations on the Israeli Independence Day which was celebrated in such a special way in China. Li said China is on the way to build a harmonious society, with one important task to build a new socialist countryside under the concept of developing in a scientific way.

In a mural painting on the school's gate, renowned Israeli painter Rami Meiri and the school children jointly painted their dreams: an Israeli girl and a Chinese girl walking together up some stairs. Behind them are green forests, lawns and the Chinese words "Love from Israel."

Letter to the Editor

By Kenneth Swerdlow

(Editor: The May 24th edition of Israel News Faxx contained an article entitled "Missionaries Target Hassidic Households in New York." The following letter from a Christian reader in Tulare, Calif. was received in reference to that article.)

"What are your communities so scared about. If Jesus is just a representative of another religion -no more, no less, then just discard it and move on. I am bombarded with other religious beliefs continually but I don't get bent out of religious shape. But if Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, hey now you got something interesting to consider.

I both enjoyed reading and was saddened by the critic in the previous Jews for Jesus article. He is so threatened by Jesus- Why? if Jesus is but a man that lived then died then - discard it and move on- But if he is God... then you have a problem.

Why is it so hard for man to believe that God decided to walk amongst them? for a season? If a woman loses a baby and needs comfort will she not go to another woman that has lost a baby so as to identify and to seek comfort?

God wanted man to know that He is able to identify with all our aches and pains. Did not Jewish custom dictate that during Yom Kippur that all the sins of the Jewish people be put on the back of a goat then sent into the wilderness outside of Jerusalem? And then the lamb would be slaughtered, spilling its blood as a sacrifice to God for the forgiveness of the nation. This was a yearly event since the time of Moses.

Now Jesus, who states that he is God came to Earth to place His own body on the sacrifice block for the nation's sins once and for all- like the goat was led outside of Jerusalem walls to die.

It's logical that, putting all religious mumbo jumbo aside, doesn't this make sense? I do not think I would want to be one of those Hassidic missionaries for I think New York will reinstate the stoning rituals on behalf of them

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