Newsletter : 6fax0825.txt
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After 14 years, Israel News Faxx will be taking a one-month-hiatus to recharge
batteries. We will return on September 25th with the latest breaking news from Israel and
the Middle East. Don't forget to access our full-text, searchable archives that dates to
Only 1/4 of Israeli-Arabs Supported Israel in War, as Predicted
Though some media headlines blared "Only 18% Supported Hizbullah," poll numbers show
that 73% of the Israeli-Arab public refused to say they supported Israel in its war
The complete results of the poll taken by pollster Mina Tzemach's Dachaf Institute was
released Thursday evening on Knesset Television Channel 99. The numbers that have been
publicized thus far have been interpreted in various ways.
Eighteen percent of the Israeli-Arab respondents said they favored Hizbullah in the
recent war, while 27% said they favored Israel; another 36% of the Arab citizens said they
didn't favor either side. The remaining 19% were not accounted for.
At the same time, the Israeli public was also polled as to how they felt the Arabs
sided. 55% said that most or all of the Arab public supported Hizbullah. The other 45% of
the Jewish public was divided roughly in half: Half thought that half the Arabs supported
Hizbullah, while the other half felt that less than half supported Hizbullah.
Ha'aretz concluded that the Jewish public was proven wrong. Its story was headlined,
"Minority of Israeli-Arabs Supported [Hizbullah chief Hassan] Nasrallah," and the inside
text said that the Jewish predictions about the Arabs were "different" than what the Arabs
In fact, however, the Israeli-Arab tendencies accurately reflected what their Jewish
fellow citizens had predicted. 54% of the Arab public said straight out that they did not
support Israel, the country of which they are citizens, and another 19% could not say they
did support Israel. This jibes with the feeling by 75% of the Jewish public that half or
more of the Arabs supported Hizbullah.
This point could also be phrased differently. 54% of the Arab public said straight out
that they did not support Israel, jibing with the feeling of 55% of the Jewish public that
"most or all" Arabs supported Hizbullah. Furthermore, the additional fact that another 19%
of the Arab public could not say they did support Israel corroborates the bottom-line
feeling of 75% of the Jewish public that half or more of the Arabs support Hizbullah.
A third interpretation, of sorts, was advanced by Arab Knesset member Ibrahim Tzartzur.
He said the survey shows that most of the Arabs oppose the war, and are not necessarily
against Israel. "On the other hand, the clear majority of Jews feel the Arabs are a
traitorous fifth column," Tzartzour said. "The Jews want the Arabs to be more Zionist than
they themselves," he added without explanation.
Israeli Foreign Minister Urges International Community to Act Fast
By Sabina Castelfranco (VOA-Rome)
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said U.N. resolution 1701, aimed at ending the
conflict between Israel and Hizbullah in Lebanon, needs to be implemented quickly so that
a new era can begin in Lebanon. Livni was speaking in Rome following a meeting with her
Italian counterpart Massimo d'Alema, who confirmed Italy's commitment the implementation
of the resolution.
Livni said a window of opportunity exists now to change the rules of the game in
Lebanon. Israel and Lebanon do not have a conflict and the interests of both their
governments are the same as those of the international community.
"About two weeks after resolution 1701 was adopted by the Security Council of the
United Nations there is a need of a full and quick implementation of Resolution 1701 and
and I believe that this can be a window of opportunity for the new era in
Lebanon," Livni said.
Livni said Israel wants to help the international community implement the United
Nations resolution. She said it is not only the Israeli and Lebanese public that are
watching this closely. "We are being watched also by extremists who want to put the region
in flames and this is also the test of the international community, a test for the
determination of the international community."
For his part, the Italian foreign minister expressed the hope that the deployment of
international troops in South Lebanon would allow the area to again become part of a
sovereign Lebanon. He said Italy is ready to contribute on these different fronts to the
effort to resolve the conflict and open a new season of peace and collaboration in the
Italy has said it would be willing to lead the peace mission and has so far pledged the
largest contingent for the force, offering to send in up to three thousand troops.
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said in a statement Thursday Italy had won the U.S.
blessing to lead the U.N. force.
US Blasts Syria on Lebanon Peacekeeping
By David Gollust (VOA-State Department)
The United States Thursday welcomed apparent progress in Europe toward fielding an
upgraded U.N. peacekeeping force for Lebanon. At the same time, the State Department
condemned as "preposterous" Syria's stand that the U.N. force should not be allowed to
patrol its border with Lebanon.
Officials in Washington view deployment of the upgraded U.N. force as critical to
preventing another outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hizbullah, and to getting
more humanitarian relief supplies into southern Lebanon.
As such they are welcoming the French decision to commit 2,000 troops to the envisaged
15,000-member force, and saying the United States would support either France or Italy to
command the expanded version of the U.N. force in southern Lebanon, UNIFIL.
The French initially signaled a readiness to take the lead of the new UNIFIL, but
hesitated last week and said they would commit a total of only 400 soldiers.
However, Thursday French President Jacques Chirac said he was ordering 1,600 additional
troops to take part, drawing an expression of relief from the White House, which said
President Bush welcomes the French decision.
European Union foreign ministers are to meet with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Friday in Brussels to discuss additional troop commitments and define rules of engagement
for the force.
At a news briefing, State Department Acting Spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said the United
States wants a "robust" force that will facilitate withdrawal of Israeli troops from
southern Lebanon, and help fulfill other provisions of the August 12 Security Council
resolution ending the fighting between Israel and Hizbullah.
Those, he said, include blocking the transfer of all weapons into Lebanon except those
approved by the Beirut government. In that regard, he condemned a statement Wednesday by
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that he would not accept a UNIFIL presence along his
country's border with Lebanon.
The United States has long held that Syria has allowed its territory to be used for
trans-shipment of Iranian arms to Hizbullah, and spokesman Gallegos said Syria, as a
matter of international law, must obey the U.N. arms ban:
The Syrian president told Dubai television the presence of U.N. troops on the Lebanese
side of the border would create what he termed "a state of hostility" between Syria and
Other Syrian officials have warned that if the envisaged deployment occurs, Syria would
seal off the border with Lebanon, severing a critical economic lifeline for the country as
it struggles to recover from more than a month of warfare.
Yachimovich: Woman Told Me that Katsav Raped Her Repeatedly
Labor Party Knesset member Shelly Yachimovich said Thursday night that the woman
accusing President Moshe Katsav of rape while in his employ told her that the president
"used every kind of force imaginable" on numerous occasions spanning a few years.
In an interview with Channel 10 on Thursday evening, Yachimovich spoke at length on the
case. She said that the president is suspected of raping women on more than one
A. met Thursday afternoon with Yachimovich. The former President's Residence employee
told Yachimovich, in detail, what she revealed to police during questioning about the
Yachimovich said that she had heard the alleged victim's story and that A. said she had
been raped multiple times over the course of a few years, and that the president had also
"allegedly used every kind of force imaginable."
In response to this statement, the president's defense attorney slammed Yachimovich,
saying she was trying to take on the role of prosecutor, judge and executioner.
According to Yachimovich, A., like many rape victims, had not dreamt of reporting the
case. "I am willing to bet that if the president had not opened his mouth, there would
never have been an investigation into the affair," the MK said. She added that as a person
who has met with many rape victims before, she is convinced that A. is telling the truth.
Following the meeting, Yachimovich announced that she would add her name to an
initiative by her Labor colleague, MK Yoram Marciano, who is looking to gather 20
signatures from MKs in order to begin parliamentary proceedings aimed at removing the
president from office.
Yachimovich said that in light of the serious accusations against the president, it
would be worthwhile for Katsav to gather his belongings and leave the President's
Katsav's questioning by police Wednesday over claims by one of his former employees of
sexual assault continued for a second day Thursday, with officers interviewing the
president for more than four hours at his Jerusalem office.
During questioning Wednesday, in a session which lasted for five hours, police touched
on complaints by two more President's Residence staff that Katsav had also had sexual
relations with them.
Katsav was questioned under caution for five hours Wednesday over suspicions that he
committed various sexual offenses - ranging from sexual harassment to rape - against A., a
former employee of the President's Residence. Katsav denied all the allegations, saying he
has never had sexual relations with any employee of the President's Residence.
The session began with questions about A.'s accusation that Katsav exploited his power
as her employer to force her to have sex with him. "There are a wide variety of sexual
offenses alleged against Katsav," a senior police officer said. "The investigating team is
currently examining which sections of the law, from rape to illegal consensual sex, he
actually violated. Not everything is clear yet."
Within a few days, the investigators are expected to decide whether to stage a
confrontation between Katsav and A. They are also expected to decide whether to question
Katsav's wife, Gila. "This is a complicated investigation from both the legal and
evidentiary standpoints, and it will not be simple to prove the various allegations," said
a police source.
I Won't Fall Prey to Jews for Jesus
By Lenore Skenazy (Commentary))
Usually I take any piece of paper some poor soul is handing out, be it breakfast menu
or psychic healer special. I even take the Jehovah's Witness magazines, when they're in
English. So why do my hands clench into don't-get-that-thing-NEAR-me fists when someone
tries to hand me a pamphlet from Jews for Jesus?
I honestly didn't know - until I started talking with the Christians and Jews who have
studied the group's tactics.
"They're not like anybody else," says Ruth Guggenheim, spokeswoman for the anti-cult
group Jews for Judaism. "Most evangelical Christians are straightforward; they come to the
door and say they want you to become a Christian. They're honest."
The problem is that the Jews for Jesus - in town last month with their biggest mission
ever - say nothing of the sort. While they, too, want Jews to embrace Christ, they only
call this becoming a more "fulfilled" or "completed" Jew. And to make it look, well,
kosher, they dress it up with Jewish symbols.
"Acknowledge what you're doing! Acknowledge that you're asking people to convert to
Christianity!" says Michael Miller, executive vice president at the Jewish Community
Relations Council of New York. Like me, Miller has nothing against people with religious
convictions trying to share them, so long as they don't stoop to deception. And this group
is trying to look as Jewish as Jackie Mason.
"They speak of their houses of worship as 'synagogues,' and their spiritual leaders as
'rabbis,'" said David Berger, professor of religion at Brooklyn College. "They are trying
to appropriate the label of Jewishness."
Their pamphlets feature Jewish jokes. "Good news should make people smile," said Susan
Pearlman, a spokeswoman for the group, which is capping a five-year, 65-city tour with its
New York City mission. The jokes are all used as parables to explain why Jews should
Sorry. Jews can't. That was decided 2,000 years ago.
The pamphleteers' insidiousness dismays not only Jews like me, but the leaders of other
faiths as well - Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, you name it.
The Rev. John Hiemstra, coordinator for the Commission of Religious Leaders of New York
City - an organization that includes the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of
Brooklyn, the local Council of Churches and the Imams Council of New York - deplores such
"deceptive efforts" as "tantamount to coerced conversions." Pretty strong stuff.
But beyond even the evil of deception, there is one more thing that hits me in the gut
when a Jew for Jesus tries to convert me. It's a soul-deep sense of insult. "Someone is
trying to get you to betray not just your religion, but your parents and your
grandparents," says Prof. Berger. "And these people are using Jewish symbols."
That's it! It is an invitation to betrayal dressed up as a celebration of my roots. No
wonder I don't take the pamphlets.
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