SHEVAT 5763 - FEBRUARY 2003
Gwen Hamlin, Editor
Ed Christiansen, Associate Editor
DEBKA WEEKLY: Iraq Reports that eleven Iraqi scientists working on illegal weapons programs - biological weapons experts, nuclear engineers etc. – have been put to death with 12 of their close relatives, to secure their silence, are being reported by Iraqi exiles living in USA, London & Geneva etc. It is also reported that 20 senior project directors and 60 of their relatives and families have been forced into army camps in Iraq under military guards and allowed no visitors. This happened after the CIA director James Woolsey said, “That unless the investigators of Iraq were willing to talk to these key scientists, outside of Iraq, they were in danger” —and now they have disappeared! ! !
Dead Sea Scroll Copyright: Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled that the copyright of a Dead Sea Scroll known as MMT belongs to Elisha Qimron, a professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, who with John Strugnell of Harvard University reconstructed the text from six fragmentary copies. This is the first case in which a court has decided that a scholar owns a copyright when he or she has filled in the gaps of a reconstructed ancient text.
JEWISH PRESS: Immigration - The Hebrew Immigration Aid Society has announced an agreement to pay the $2,100 fee that Iranian Jews seeking refugee status in USA must pay to cover their living expenses while their cases are processed in Vienna. Austria is the only European country that offers haven to Iranian Jews who are waiting for application approval for refugee status in the US. Austria insists that all refugees must have sponsorship from friends or family members abroad. 306 visas for Jews still in Iran has been requested and another 300 are being processed, and 177 are now in Vienna waiting to leave for the United States.
Israel Immigration - 35,000 new immigrants arrived in Israel in 2002. Jewish Agency Chairman Sallai Meridor announced this is a significant achievement. Bringing about 800 immigrants weekly during a year presented economic and security difficulties. One-third of the immigrants from western nations, 6,000 from Argentina, four times the number in 2001. 2,000 arrived from France, twice the number that arrived in 2001.
Joseph Lieberman - U. S. Senator Joseph Lieberman and his wife Hadassah, spent a Sabbath in a Kibbutz, near Beit She’an. Lieberman, who has since announced his candidacy for the presidency, told the Yeshiva and Kibbutz members what it’s like to be a religious office-holder.
Opposing Of The Palestinian State - 50 prominent Jewish and Christian leaders with other prominent leaders of government have signed a full page newspaper ad, sponsored by the ZOA of America to appear in several leading newspapers in USA & other countries. The ad is headlined, “President Bush,” “Creating a Palestinian Arab State, Means Creating A New Terrorist State. Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya were given sovereignty. That did not turn them into peace-loving nations.”
Shoe Scan - An Israeli firm developed a device to scan travelers’ shoes for hidden explosives. The briefcase-sized “Safeshoe” is due to be marketed this year at $10,000 per unit, and official from the Ido Security firm told Reuters. Last year, suspected Islamic militant Richard Reid was arrested for allegedly attempting to detonate a bomb hidden in his sneakers during a flight from Paris to Miami.
Technologies For Law Enforcement - A growing number of U.S. police departments are using advanced communications technology developed in Israel to improve their law enforcement and public safety capabilities.
The new system will replace the reel-to-reel tape recorders, and will dramatically speed locating records of investigations, etc. and will make the process more efficient. A major part of the project support communications that protect life and property.
Excerpts - Rabbi Grossman - The past two years have been catastrophic in Jewish experience. More than about 1,000 Jews have been murdered in Israel, thousands wounded and many maimed for life. Now Israel prepares for new elections, which decides how the parties divide the 120 seats in the Knesset by the percentage of votes the parties receive.
Israel is facing unprecedented terror from criminal acts of so-called “suicide” murderers. The security of the people and the future of the Jewish state, should be the only interest of Israeli office-holders. Torah studies are a vital part of Israel and merit of the Jewish State.
Russia - Russia has pledged to rebuff U.S. pressure and complete a nuclear power plant for Iran. The Bushehr project, estimated between $800 million and $1 billion has reached a critical stage as the core of the nuclear reactor is being prepared. Senior Russian officials say they will not give in to pretexts created by other countries.
Brooklyn - An Arab teenaged girl was arrested for beating up a Jewish girl at a Brooklyn Middle School. The victim of the attack was described as a 13 year old honor student. The attack was the culmination of weeks of tormenting by this group, led by one particular Arab girl.
Australia - An Australian Holocaust museum is dedicating a plaque to commemorate a protest staged by Aborigines’ against the mistreatment of Jews in prewar Nazi Germany. When a delegation of Aborigines’ brought a resolution at that time to the German consul, he refused them access to the building to present it. An aboriginal activist who has studied the Holocaust at Melbourne University brought this to the attention of authorities. It was decided to erect the plaque. The museum founded in 1984 is built on land traditionally owned by the Kulin people, an aboriginal group. Today, Melbourne’s 50,000 member Jewish community includes about 8,000 Holocaust survivors.
Swiss Fund Closing - The Swiss government said it plans to close at the end of the year a fund it created for needy Holocaust victims. Since 1997, the fund has distributed some $200 million to more that 300,000 Holocaust survivors. The fund was established after Swiss banks were accused of having close financial ties to the Nazis and of hoarding the contents of long-dormant bank accounts opened by Holocaust victims. It is separate from a $1.25 billion fund set up by Swiss banks in 1998 to settle a variety of Holocaust-related claims.
Food - The worsening economic situation in Israel is causing less money to be spent on food, as total grocery sales fell 6.8% in 2002. Average total monthly food expenditures is 17% of income and 40 years ago food accounted for 43% of monthly expenditure.
Excerpts - Rabbi Jeff Forsythe - When Miriam spoke hard against her brother Moshe (Moses), God became angry with her (Num. 12:6) but spoke softly to rebuke her. We learn the effectiveness of a rebuke is tied to the tone we use. A rebuke in angry tones, the other person “shuts” you out. Express yourself in a soft, polite manner to convey you are motivated by the other person’s well-being. (Lev. 19:17)
BRIDGES FOR PEACE, DISPATCH from JERUSALEM: Flying in Israeli Airspace - Israeli airspace was penetrated about 30,000 times in October, the 8th to be exactly. On this date Lesser Spotted Eagles flew across the state during their yearly migration from Europe to Africa. The birds were actually late, having encountered an unscheduled delay in Turkey due to weather conditions. During their over flight, the eagles accomplished a rare diplomatic feat – Israeli and Palestinian Arab bird watchers worked together in a program that tracks the migration across the Jordan Valley.
Survey - A survey conducted by the Tarrance Group indicated that 62% of U.S. Christian Conservatives support Israel and its policies. Support for Israel among Republicans is sharply higher than among Democrats: 81% of American Jews view President Bush as a strong supporter of Israel.
Rain - Israel receives 75% of its rain from November thru February, and in March often some latter rains, The grapes fully ripen in September. Grapes are a miracle plant. When everyone’s water cistern is drying up, the juicy sweet grape comes. In Hosea 14:5, the Lord says, “I will be as the dew to Israel.” The Israeli grape is able to survive from the dew-fall alone, (7-11 inches) during the dry season.
Wheat - It was recently discovered that wild wheat gathered in Israel contains more than twice the protein of the world’s main agricultural species. It is expected the higher protein traits of this wild wheat will be transferred to the cultivated variety. This could make a profound impact on the world’s protein shortage.
INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING (Van Impe) Israel’s Shin Bet (security) service foiled a plan by some Islamic Jihad activists to poison the drinking water at a Jerusalem Hospital. An 18 year old Arab who had been involved in many attempted terror activities, was to obtain a pass to enter Israel for medical treatment at a Jerusalem Hospital. At which time he was to drop the poison in the water supply of the hospital. He was promised NIS 300 for the job. He was arrested when he went to pick up the pass.
The Scotsman reports: Saddam Hussein has the capability to make an atomic bomb within three years, and has stockpiled enough chemical and biological weapons to wipe out the world’s population, according to the file on Iraq due to be released by Downing Street. The dictator is understood to control enough chemicals to make more than 200 tons of VX, a powerful nerve agent.