A7News: DM Barak Nixed US Assessment, Says Iran is Working on Bomb

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DM Barak Nixed US Assessment, Says Iran is Working on Bomb

Israel’s Def. Min. agrees with US that Iran stopped work on its nuclear bomb in 2003 – but emphasizes that Iran resumed the work afterward.

  1. DM Barak Nixed US Assessment, Says Iran is Working on Bomb
  2. Responses to Capture of PA Policemen/Murderers
  3. PA Preemptively Demands Release of Terrorists Prior to Capture
  4. Shas, Meretz Submit Competing Abortion Bills
  5. A Bad Week: Courts Cost State 1.7 Million Shekels
  6. Showdown Between Jews and Moslems at Belgian Grocery
  7. The IDF’s New Elite Comedian-Soldiers

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1. DM Barak Nixed US Assessment, Says Iran is Working on Bomb

by Hillel Fendel

Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak says Israel’s assessment is that Iran did stop work on its nuclear bomb in 2003, just as the United States announced – but that it resumed its efforts sometime afterwards.

Barak, a former Israeli Prime Minister, says the U.S. intelligence assessment that Iran has stopped work on its nuclear program is not shared by Israel. “Iran did stop its nuclear program for a time in 2003,” Barak told Army Radio on Tuesday morning, “but in our assessment, it resumed its work at a certain point.” He would not state when that occurred.

Barak said that intelligence assessments “are, by definition, not absolute. The U.S. assessment does not jibe with ours. When I was in Annapolis, and in a previous visit a month before, I met with all the senior Administration officials, and with European intelligence officials, and we discussed this issue. There are various assessments of Iran’s nuclear progress, it continues to be in the center of all our discussions, and time will tell which appraisal is correct. Iran’s nuclear plans continue to be a serious threat upon both Israel and the entire world.”

It was reported Monday that the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate had concluded that Iran halted its nuclear program in 2003. The report stated that Iran continues to enrich uranium, ostensibly for peaceful uses. It is assumed that the report will weaken support for tougher sanctions against Iran both in the U.S. and internationally.
Asked about this prospect, Barak said, “Yes, it might [weaken the hardliners], but it’s not our job to worry about that. We have a lot to do regarding Iran, but talking is not one of them; words do not stop missiles. We cannot allow ourselves to remain quiet based on an appraisal of our good friend across the ocean.”

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2. Responses to Capture of PA Policemen/Murderers

by Hillel Fendel

Nationalist camp politicians and organizations were infuriated to learn that the Arab terrorists who murdered a young Jewish father two weeks ago were members of the Palestinian Authority-Fatah security forces, which have lately been partially armed by Israel and the US.

In addition, after Sunday night’s announcement that two PA policemen had been arrested the day after the murder and a week before the Annapolis summit, it was realized that the news was kept from the public until after the Olmert-Abbas-Bush meeting.

A third accomplice to the murder was later arrested by the PA.

Eldad: Olmert is Responsible for the Murder
MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) reacted sharply: “The blood of Ido Zoldan, may G-d avenge his blood, is on the head of Ehud Olmert and the members of his government, who decided just a few weeks ago to allow PA policemen to enter Shechem, and to give them rifles, ammunition and heavy weapons.”

“Despite our warnings,” Eldad told Arutz-7’s Hebrew News department, “the Prime Minister is not stopping – and just today released even more terrorists. I accuse this Prime Minister of attempting to cause Jews to be murdered in order that his plan be carried out.”

Homesh First
The “Homesh First” organization also responded to the news that the former Homesh resident Ido Zoldan was murdered by PA policemen: “True, Olmert did not pull the trigger, but he created all the conditions that enabled this murder. He allowed the terrorists to wear uniforms and he allowed them to have the weapons that were used in the murder.”

Yesha Rabbis Council
The Yesha Rabbis Council said, “All the ministers of the government of Israel bear the responsibility for the murder of the holy Ido Zoldan. The Arab enemy understands only strength and total dedication, such as Zoldan had, and his friends have – and not weakness and surrender such as that of the Government of Israel.”

MK Nissan Slomiansky (National Religious Party) told Arutz-7, “I originally heard that the reason Israel did not publicize the identities of the murderers was because they had caught only two, and needed the PA’s help in capturing the third one, and that’s why they couldn’t publicize it. If that’s true, I support the government – but if it’s not, and the reason why they did not publicize was in order to ease the Annapolis summit, this is a scandal of unprecedented proportions – and it must be stopped by simply refusing to hold the next round of talks with Abbas.”

Arutz-7’s Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu reports that Israeli media have relegated the news that two PA policemen were arrested for the murder to their back pages, and that some did not even report that PA security forces were involved.

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3. PA Preemptively Demands Release of Terrorists Prior to Capture

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

In an interview with a media monitoring organization, a senior Palestinian Authority official made a preemptive demand for the release from Israeli jails of all those Arabs who will commit terrorist acts during post-Annapolis negotiations. He said they will be targeting “the occupation,” not “the negotiations,” and should therefore not remain in jail.

In light of the publication on Sunday that the terrorists who murdered Shavei Shomron resident Ido Zoldan, 29, last week are members of the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority security forces, the Independent Media Review & Analysis (IMRA) organization has distributed an interview it conducted on November 27, 2007, with Saleh Nazal, Director of the PA Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs. In the brief interview, Nazal clarified, in English, that all Arabs who commit anti-Jewish acts of terrorism, even during the period of PA-Israel negotiations following the Annapolis Summit, must be released from jail before any agreement is signed.

When asked by the IMRA interviewer about the extent of the PA demand for “the release of all Palestinian prisoners,” Nazal said, “It is the position of the Ministry that all prisoners should be released during this process. They are engaged in resistance against the Israeli occupation – not against the peace process. We want all the prisoners to be released because the reason that they were detained was resistance to the occupation.”

IMRA: “So that is to say that people detained for activities they carry out between Annapolis and the signing of an agreement should also qualify for release at the time of an agreement?”

Nazal: “As I told you before. This is resistance against the occupation, not resistance against the negotiations. The Israeli forces are arresting people, building settlements, building barriers. You are looking only now at one party and not looking at the other one.”

Commenting on the interview, IMRA Director Dr. Aaron Lerner said, “The attitude of the ‘moderate’ PA towards the murder of Israelis is not empty rhetoric which can be ignored because it is inconvenient. The rhetoric is anything but empty, as the family of Ido Zoldan learned in the hardest way possible.”

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper quoted PA Minister of Information and Foreign Affairs Riad Maliki regarding the attack on Zoldan by PA policemen. Maliki called it an “isolated incident” that should have no bearing on peace negotiations.

On Monday morning, one day following the General Security Services and IDF revelations regarding the Zoldan murder, Israel authorized and executed
the release of 429 convicted terrorists. Those released were all affiliated with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization, officially regarded by Israel and her Western allies as “moderate.”

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4. Shas, Meretz Submit Competing Abortion Bills

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

Member of Knesset Nissim Zeev, from the religious Shas party, submitted a bill this week that would make abortions past the twenty-second week of pregnancy illegal unless
There were 18,808 official abortion requests in 2005.
carrying to term threatened the mother’s life. MK Zehava Gal-On of the far-left Meretz party had earlier introduced a proposal that would allow women to abort pregnancies for any reason.

Under current laws, women must receive approval from a special committee in order to have an abortion performed. The “termination committee,” as it is known, is comprised of three members, at least one of whom is female. Two of the committee members are licensed physicians and one, a social worker. The law grants the committee the right to authorize abortions for women under the age of 17 or over the age of 40, women who are pregnant due to rape, incest or adultery, in cases in which the fetus has been diagnosed with a birth defect, or if the pregnancy or birth is a risk to the mother’s life or will cause permanent damage to her health.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, there were 18,808 official abortion requests in 2005, down from 19,700 in 2003. Of the 2005 figures, 14,384 requests were filed by Jewish women. Only a few hundred termination applications are denied by the committee each year. The great majority of the requests, nearly 17,000, were filed prior to the 12th week of pregnancy, well before the provisions of MK Zeev’s proposed law would apply.

In explaining her bill, which would eliminate the need for state approval altogether, MK Gal-On called the required meeting with the termination committee a “humiliating ordeal,” and said the requirement discriminates based on financial status. Rich women can afford illegal abortions in private clinics, she observed, while other women cannot afford an abortion if their request is denied. Gal-On submitted the same bill six months ago, but it failed to pass a preliminary hearing, leading her to resubmit it in November.

According to the Shas bill, any abortion after the twenty-second week would need to be approved by two physicians. “At 22 weeks, the fetus is alive,” MK Zeev argued.
MK Zeev’s bill would represent a partial application of Jewish law.
“Terminating the pregnancy at that point constitutes murder and not an abortion.”

MK Zeev’s bill would represent a partial application of Jewish law, Halakha, which generally permits abortion only if there is a direct threat to the life of the mother inherent in the pregnancy or birth. In such a circumstance, the baby is considered tantamount to a life-threatening pursuer until the moment the baby’s head or most of its body has been delivered.

Over 148,000 babies were born in Israel in 2006, according to CBS figures. 71 percent of the babies were born to Jewish families, 23 percent to Arab Muslim families, and the rest to Druze, Christians, and others.

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5. A Bad Week: Courts Cost State 1.7 Million Shekels

by Hillel Fendel

Over the past week, the State of Israel has been ordered to pay two hefty sums in damages: 937,000 shekels ($243,000) to a boy who lost an eye when playing after he was sent out of class, and 750,000 shekels ($195,000) to another boy whose parents’ request for an abortion was rejected, and is now extremely short.

Both cases were adjudicated in the Haifa District Court.

The first case occurred in Kiryat Bialik in 2001. Several 5th-grade youths had been sent out of class for failing to do their homework, and in an ensuing game with a pencil case zipper handle, one of the boys lost an eye; he is now considered to be 30% handicapped.

Judge Yael Wilner ruled that the teacher and principal – who happened to see the boys just minutes before the injury occurred, yet did not ensure that they were supervised – had violated their contractual obligations with the parents to provide supervision to their children. The judge noted that the Education Ministry guidelines say that children must not be left on their own for more than a “short period.” She further noted that the school itself forbids sending children out of class “for any reason.”

Judge Wilner therefore ordered the State to pay 937,000 shekels – 15,000 shekels to the boy’s parents to cover expenses, and the remainder to be placed in the boy’s account that will remain closed until he turns 18.

In the second case, presided over by Haifa District Court Chief Justice Bilhah Gil’or, the State was ordered to pay three-quarters of a million shekels to parents whose request for an abortion over 13 years ago was turned down.

The case involves a boy who is diagnosed with having a type of dwarfism and will not grow more than five feet tall. An ultrasound test on the 21.5-week-old fetus displayed early signs of the condition, yet an internal committee at Assaf HaRofeh Hospital near Tel Aviv rejected the parents’ request for an abortion.

In a detailed ruling reviewing the hospital’s complicated decision process, Judge Gil’or acknowledges that the decision to refuse the abortion was itself a reasonable one: “Hypocondroplasia [the boy’s condition] is not in itself a reason to stop a pregnancy in its late stages, and the test of medical decisions is not one for second-guessers, but for the average doctor on the spot.”

“However,” Judge Wilner concluded, “the fact that a decision was reasonable cannot certify a faulty and problem-ridden decision-making process. In tort law, the significance of a decision that was made in a faulty manner and that caused damage is that the injured party must be compensated, in order that corrective justice be served and in order to deter potential damagers. Otherwise, what significance is there to the obligation of caution that the defendant has towards the plaintiff and his parents?”

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6. Showdown Between Jews and Moslems at Belgian Grocery

by Baruch Gordon

Moslems in Belgium organized a demonstration a few weeks ago at a grocery store which sells Israeli products. The store, located in an Islamic neighborhood of Antwerp, is part of a big Belgium chain: Delhaize..

The Jewish community didn’t sit quietly. Monday evening, they organized a quiet counter demonstration: The whole Jewish community was asked to go to the store and buy as many Israeli items as possible in a show of support for the chain’s decision to carry Israeli products.

Jewish activism in a Belgium supermarket

More than 3oo Jews arrived at the Delhaize supermarket and bought any Israeli product in sight.

“The products disappeared in minutes”, said Meir Vachotzker, who serves as emissary for the Bnei Akiva youth group. “The Muslims in the store had no idea what was going on! Some actually thought that it was a sale,” he noted.

At Grocery: World Bnei Akiva Emissary Meir Vachotzker (2nd from right), Joel Rubinfeld, Secretary-General of the Belgium-Israel Society (3rd from right)

Commenting on the participation in the mass product purchase, Vachotzker said: “It was so amazing to see all the Jews united together for one cause: Israel! Ultra Orthodox and secular Jews together with Bnei Akiva teenagers all united and working together – is so touching and beautiful for me as an Israeli emissary in the Diaspora.”

The product that was sold out first: Yarden wine from Ramat Ha’Golan wineries. Second place was of course: Osem’s Bamba!

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7. The IDF’s New Elite Comedian-Soldiers

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

Not every new recruit can hope to be accepted for the Israeli military’s newest and very exclusive assignment. Beginning with this January’s military draft, just two soldiers will be able to become official IDF comedians. They will be deployed as early as the summer of
They will be deployed as early as the summer of 2008.
2008. Other potential assignments for the recruits of 2008 include IDF magician and IDF karaoke operator.

In recent years, the Education Corps, responsible for IDF entertainment, almost exclusively produced musical performances and stage plays. However, as part of an ongoing restructuring of the military, the IDF is expanding the variety of entertainment provided by and for its soldiers.

Once they’ve completed their basic training, the elite IDF comedians – one man and one woman – will be working with professional writers to create their stand-up acts. The soldier-comedians will perform before the troops at bases throughout Israel. It has yet to be decided if the comics will appear as individual acts or as part of a performance including music and other entertainment.

New recruits who want to audition for the job of IDF comedian will have to bring to the recruitment office endorsements from employers and evidence of their past experience as stand-up artists. Passing this stage, the soldier will be invited for a personal interview and an audition in which the would-be comedian will be asked to perform an original routine. The final selection stage will be in February.

The IDF comedian is not a completely novel position, as military bands in the past included a non-musical entertainer, as well. However, the comedians disappeared from the entertainment troupes over the years. The first official army magician in Israel, however, only appeared in 2004.

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Tuesday, Dec. 04 ’07
24 Kislev 5768

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