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Tevet  5763                                                                                   Gwen Hamlin, Editor
Ed Christiansen, Associate Editor

December 2002 

SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER

Fight worldwide efforts to boycott the nation of Israel: A global campaign of intellectual and financial divestment from Israel is gaining ground across the globe, with cultural leaders like Desmond Tutu, university professors worldwide and even European government officials calling for a boycott of Israeli goods and services. Two respected scholars in Britain were even fired from their posts at their journals, simply for holding Israeli passports. The Center is fighting these and all other efforts to isolate the Jewish state culturally, intellectually and economically. Prayer, and a positive recognition is of the utmost importance now.

JEWISH  PRESS

Waldheim continues to receive UN pension: Despite his link to Nazi Crimes against Jews, Kurt Waldheim (former United Nations Secretary General) continues to receive an annual pension of $124,754. Waldheim participated in executions of Greek and Yugoslav Jews and Allied soldiers. When he retired from the UN (after 10 years of service) his pension was $80,000 per year, but it was repeatedly increased even as his involvement in war-time atrocities was revealed. At his death his widow will collect half of it annually.

“How to kidnap American citizens”  An Islamic forum has published a guide on “How to kidnap American citizens.” It described methods of location, to information of ways to carry out the kidnapping - and apparently is written by a Bin- Laden associate and the influence of Hamas (terrorists) is evident in the doctrine. One chapter is on “Kidnapping of Israelis”.

‘Material Girl’ Goes Jewish:  Madonna (the material girl) is censured for her highly offensive use of Jewish symbols in her latest video. She is tattooed with Hebrew letters, and wearing leather straps akin to tefillin and is electrocuted in a chair with Hebrew markings. People are offended, not just because she’s a woman “wearing tefillin” but she appears to be using it for something other than Jewish prayer. 

Inmate gets 15 days in Solitary Confinement for accepting Kippah:  An Israeli serving prison time in New York, requested a yarmulka (cap) from his attorney, as the man felt stirrings of repentance and the desire to come closer to his heritage and religion. Tel Aviv attorney Mordechai Tzivin, gave him one and was told by the prison director that it was a crime to give it, and was banned from his client for two weeks. The prisoner was punished by being put in solitary and the Kippah (yarmulka) was taken from him. Tzivin reported the incident to the Congressional Committee for Religious Affairs and is now waiting for a reply.

‘Mein Kampf’ Conviction Overturned:  After publishing thousands of copies of Hitler’s ‘Mein Kamph’ in Czech without any footnotes or disclaimers, Michal Zitko, was last year fined for “promoting & suppressing rights and freedoms.” The Czech Supreme Court has returned the case to prosecutors, saying, “Zitko could not have promoted Nazism because a movement has to exist when a suspected crime is committed.” This ruling makes it difficult to prosecute anyone indulging in Neo-Nazi activity. Czech Jews are shocked at the ruling on this publisher.

Western Immigration To Israel:  Immigration to Israel from the USA is up sharply from last year, but total immigration figures are down. The former Soviet Union is not a bottomless pit for new immigrants, and if Prime Minister Sharon’s goal for a million new “Olim” immigrants is to become a reality, we will have to look elsewhere and North America and Europe are the likely places," says Deputy Immigration Minister Edelstein. The one plane load of 400 from the United States should be duplicated over and over in order to reach the goal.

Yerushalayim, (Jerusalem) the Spirit of the Jewish People:  Jerusalem was never central to the Moslem religion. The Christian world has Rome, as their special city, the Moslem world has Mecca. Never in all the years of the Ottoman Empire, did Jerusalem have any special significance to the Arabs of the Middle East. But Jerusalem has always been deeply inscribed in the heart of every Jew. It is the soul of the Jewish people. Whenever a Jew prays he turns in the direction  of Yerushalayim. The increasing terrorist attacks shows the Moslem world has not changed. Through the years the United Nations resolutions concerning Israel have been ignored by the Arab world.

   In reading the Haftorah (on Succoth) the prophet Zechariah says about Yerushalayim., “Then  shall G-d go out, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of  battle. And His feet shall stand on that day upon the Mount of Olives which is before Yerushalayim on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split along the middle by a very great valley from east to west, and half of the mountain shall be removed towards the north, and half of it towards the south.” (Zechariah 14:4)

   The prayers of the Jewish people throughout the generations are for Yerushalayim. How can we describe Yerushalayim? Can someone describe the spirit? It is difficult to describe the spirit, but the spirit gives life to the body. Likewise, Yerushalayim is difficult to describe, but it means Life to the Jewish People.   (Excerpts from Menachem Porush)

BRIDGES  FOR  PEACE

Concern About The Temple Wall:  There is continued concern about the expanding bulge of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount (South Wall). The bulge has developed on the outside where the major destruction was carried out by the Waqf (Moslem) body which has been destroying much of the inside to build the largest Mosque in the area since 1996. No Jew is allowed to enter the area. A Jordanian delegation has been inspecting the bulge and they report the Wall is about to fall. One year ago it was a “fourth month” bulge, which now is judged to be an “eight month” bulge. Nothing is being done to repair it, and Waqf controls the Temple Mount. 

Palestinian workers:  About 10,000 Palestinian workers demonstrated against corruption in the Palestinian Authority, appearing with empty plates before the P.A. legislature, they chanted ,"Arafat we are hungry, give us a sack of flour." Million’s of dollars donated by Arab countries for the people has disappeared into the offices of high P.A. officials.

Japan:  The Metropolitan Government of Tokyo has imported two tons of water from Israel’s Dead Sea. Visitors in Tokyo Bay can now float in a huge pool of Dead Sea water as if they were in the real thing.

HASHIVAH — THE  RETURN

Amnesty International:  According to Amnesty International’s Middle East report, confirmed by other groups, 80% of Israelis killed by Palestinian Arabs last year were civilians, 20% of them children. These were unarmed, innocent babies, children, women and the elderly, specifically targeted by terrorists for destruction. Hearing AI say that 17% of Palestinians killed last year were children seems shocking too. But the difference between the two statistics is glaring: None of the Israeli children who were killed were throwing stones at Palestinian Militia or carrying bombs towards Palestinian cafes. Palestinian teenagers, in contrast, have been active in attacking Israelis. It is always tragic when the deaths are innocent, and the casualty figures never tell the whole story.
 On the Israeli side, of the nearly 700 Israeli deaths due to the Intifada till this summer, 25% have been civilian women. According to two Palestinian research organizations (and an impartial external research group), about 3% of Palestinians killed were women. Proportionally, eight times as many Israeli women as Palestinian women have been killed.
 Of the 1600 Palestinians purportedly “killed by Israelis,” over 200 were killed by Palestinians themselves (!), accused of collaborating with Israel. Hundreds more were members of the PA security forces, or various terrorist groups, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Al-Aksa Martyr’s Brigades of the PFLP. The total  also includes scores more who were killed accidentally as they were assembling bombs or transporting them to the target site. And the suicide bombers, upon blowing themselves up, were also added to the grand total.

THE  OSSUARY: Hillary Mayell for National Geographic News - Researchers may have uncovered the first archaeological evidence that refers to Jesus as an actual person and identifies James, the first leader of the Christian church, as his brother.
 The 2,000-year-old ossuary (-a box that held bones-) bears the inscription, “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” Until now, all references to the three men have been found only in manuscripts. Andre Lemaire, a paleographer at the Sorbonne University in Paris (École Pratique des Hautes Études), first saw the artifact and its inscription while examining the relics of a private collector in Jerusalem. He dates the box, which was empty, to 63 AD.
  “This is probably going to be the biggest New Testament find in my lifetime, as big as the Dead Sea Scrolls,” said Ben Witherington, a New Testament professor at Asbury Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky.
  “Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all historical religions, and they have to be open to historical inquiry,” he said. “To some extent they stand or fall on the authenticity of the historical record. This gives us one more piece of evidence outside of the Bible that these are real people, and that they’re important people, and provides a small confirmation for the claims made about James as the brother of Jesus.”
 The find is described in the November/December issue of Biblical Archaeological Review.

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