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October 10, 2003

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PAGE 2 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 10, 20(~ JTA Weekly Summary Following are Jewish Telegraphic Agency's news briefs for Tuesday, October 7, 2003. Sharon marks Yom Kippur War The lesson of the 1973 Yom Kippur War is that Israel should always be prepared for war, Ariel Sharon said. The Israeli prime minister made his comments Tuesday at Israel's main memorial service marking the 30th anni- versary of the war. Israel was caught unprepared when Egypt and Syria attacked on Oct. 6, 1973. FBI funneled cash to Hamas The FBI funneled up to $5,000 to Hamas in 1998 to track how funds get to terrorist groups. The agency used Arizona businessman Harry Ellen to get the money to the terrorist group in an attempt to see whether cash earmarked for charities was going to terrorists. Ellen, a convert to Islam who later had a falling out with the FBI, said that as far as he could ascertain, the cash went to charitable groups. The FBI confirmed the cash transfer. Israel was informed of the operation, which was curtailed without leading to any prosecutions, The Associated Press reported. Israel to get tough on strike Israel may seek back-to-work orders to break a port and customs strike now in its second week. Government officials said Tuesday the move is necessary to end a public sector slowdown in protest of the government's 2004 austerity budget "I will not allow a few hundred cheeky workers to shut down the country," Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Yediot Achronot newspaper. The strike is costing Israel an estimated $40 million daily New count of Russian Jews There are 259,000 Jews in Russia, according to an unofficial overview of the 2002 national population cen- sus. The number that appeared in the Novoye Izvestiya newspaper is close to some of the lower estimates given by Russian Jewish demographers and sociologists last year, before the first post-Soviet census was taken. Some Jewish leaders are questioning the validity of the data. The most recent previous census, conducted in 1989 when the Soviet Union still existed, counted 551,000 Jews within the borders of what later became Russia. The unofficial results published last week ranked Jews as the 28th-largest ethnic group in Russia. According to the results, more than 78 percent of the Jews live in Moscow or St. Petersburg. By Gil Sedan JERUSALEM (JTA)--For a few hours last week, some Is- raeli observers took special interest in the health of Pales- tin|an leader Yasser Arafat. It wasn't out of concern-- but rather out of hope that nature would do what Israel's government hasn't dared to do. Arafat's private physician was rushed from Jordan to examine the 74-year-old Pal- estinian Authority president, who was said to be suffering from a severe case of the flu. To the disappointment of many Israel|s, the doctor came out ofArafat's Ramallah head- quarters and declared, "We were astonished to find him in good health, despite his living in unhealthy conditions." And Ararat, who also emerged briefly from the compound to show that hewas in fine form, indicated he was ready to go ahead with his new Cabinet. Unlike the outgoing Cabi- net of former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, the new one is sure to suit Arafat's taste-- after all, he essentially put it together. Abbas' Cabinet was short- lived because it refused to con- front Islamic terrorist groups, didn't meet any Israeli gov- ernment demands and dared to challenge Arafat's leader- ship. Arafat decided to teach Abbas a lesson, bringing about his resignation after scarcely four months. Politically strengthened by the Israeli government's deci- sion in principle two weeks toUR Do You Have Pre-Paid Funeral Arrangements With Another Funeral Home? We Can and Will Accept All Other Pre-Paid Plans I 10% Discount on . I Imservlces and merchandise[ on any new I I Pre-need contracts. ! I t- mm mm i ~ mm i i ~ m i mm iama i i ~ mm ~ i "l 640 Lee Rd. Orlando, Florida W.E. "Manny" Adams, LFD James R. Cardinal, Executive Director Michael Meyer, Family Pre-need Counselor Tzvi Halikman, Ritual Director photo courtesy of BP Images/JTA Palestinian Authority President gasser Ararat flashes the V.sign with a Palestinian bog during a meeting with support- ers at his headquarters in Ramallah, Sept. 20, 2003. the "Memorandum of Under- standing" on the White HouSe lawn and three years after the launching of the intifada, h was not expected to make good on the Palestinians repeated commitment to eradicate ter- rorist groups. There was, however, a flicker of hope: According to unconfirmed press reportS, Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin sent messages to mill, tints in the West Bank asking them to restrict their "opera" " nl tmns to Jewish targets o Y in the West Bank--that is, JeW- ish residents of that area, mill- tary targets and Israeli driV" ers. ago to "remove" him, Arafatis government was cool in In other words, unde[ ' " "OI1 determined to prove that he is Jerusalem, as it was in Wash- Yassm sorders, an operatl . more relevant than at any ington,wherenooneexpected such as the Rosh Hashing. point in the three-year-old anything good to come out of murder of an 8 month-ol l Palestinianintifada. apoliticalleadershipsoclosely baby at the settlement of "ti "~" The incoming PJ~. prime linked to Arafat. Negohot is considered legl (,w minister, Ahmed Karia, was The most Israel was willing mate, but attacks inside Isr~!,~ expected last week to intro- to offer the Cabinet was the proper should be suspendea | duce a small Cabinet of 10 to benefit of the doubt. The Is- because they might elicit Is",in 12 ministers--after receiving raeli line was: Let Karia's gov- raelireprisalsandtargetedkill" [ r'e the green light fromArafat, of ernmentproveitself, thenwe'll ings ~ course, see. Karia is well aware of the,~'~ Unlike the previous Cab|- U.S. SecretaryofState Colin catch: He realizes that as long [ u~ net, Arafat will no longer ac- Powell said last week that if as Israel and the United states | cept ministers not to his Ilk- Karia's government"does not regard his government as |lie" | ing. Thus, Abbas' strong man, have political authority inde- gitimate, it will be almost i~",[ Internal Security Minister pendent from the machina- possible tomake progress| "I Mohammad Dahlan, was de- tions of Yasser Arafat,' then ward peace. However, he a!~ I posed, tobereplacedbyalong- "we're not going to be able to l~Sehehasfewoptionsfort~| time associate ofArafat, Yussuf mov,e forward on the 'road " eingandpreferstocl~| ! Je~" Nasser. map "peace plan. Palestinian ranks before try [ ~a Some consider Nasser a But Ararat has shown no ing other options. ^~!~a moderate, but too weak to ex- signs of flexibility. He rejected "Karia knows the rules ~1 Yo ercise any policy independent pressure from the Unitedthe game, and that's whY he,| r~, of Arafat's orders. States and Egypt to include chose to form a governnaen~[ ~ Even before Karia formed Dahlan in the Cabinet, deter- IoyaltoArafatandthatiswiddY,f,~ his Cabinet, he urged Israel to mined to show Israel and the supported by the Palesti~[ ""~ bemagnanimousandwelcome United States that he will do ians," Mamduh Nawfal, a],[ ev- it with "a dramatic gesture" things his way. Ararat advisor, said this weeK l that would "renew the politi- Karia was one of the archi- The choice of Nasser as in'| shl cal process.' But initial reac- tects of the Oslo Accords. But,ter tion to the new Palestinian 10 years after the signing of See "Arafat" on page 18 i Th leaves loan guarantee alone[ !i By MatthewE. Berger Clpe:rdchaatmthue~SrhepUlrtdebeb~ WASHINGTON, D.C. the State Department today, monthstopresenttheirC~[ the (JTA)~The Bush administra- the aide said. "No matter what tion will not deduct money your views on the Middle East from its loan guarantees to conflict or loan guarantees, Israel at this time--a blow to there are many members of Palestinian attempts to link Congresswhowillbedemand- the guarantees to the barrier ing a more complete report to Israel is building in the West Congress." The loan guaran- Bank. tees law, authorizing $9 bli- The State Department was lion in guarantees over three to have announced last Tues- years, says the president"shall day the amount that it would submit a report to Congress deduct from the $3 billion no later than September 30 of availabletoIsraelinloanguar- each fiscal year during the antees for next year, because pendency of the program of Israeli spending on Jewish specifying the amount calcu- towns in the West Bank and latedundertheprecedingpro- Gaza. viso and that will be deducted But State Department from the amount of guaran- spokesman Richard Boucher tees authorized to be issued in said that while the loan-guar- the next fiscal year." The Bush antees law requires the ad- administration suggested this ministration to submit a re- summer that money spent on port by the end of September, a security fence in the West it does not mandate a decision Bank could be deducted from about deductions by then. the loan guarantees. Palestin- "Theprocessisunderway," ians say the fence is a land Boucher said. "But don't ex- grab; Israel says it's the only pect us to start laying out spe- way to keep terrorists from cific amounts at this point attacking Israeli civilians. because we've really not made U.S. lawmakers vigorously those decisions, and our con- defended the fence, and the sultations with the Israelis on Bushadministrationhassince these matters continue." But backtracked. Boucher also said reductions Bush told a group of rabbis are likely at some point over on Monday that he supports the next two fiscal years be- the fence as long as its route cause of Israel's construction does not preclude future ne- of a security fence and that gotiations between Israel and U.S. and Israeli officials were the Palestinians. holding talks on the exact An Israeli official in Wash- amount, ington said the country's strat- One Democratic congres- egy was to reach understand- sional aide suggested that ings with the Bush adminis- Bush's failure to follow the tration on both settlement is- law could spawn a lawsuit, sues and the security fence. "The letter of the law is very Israeli and Palestinian officials on both issues. . I~( Peace activists had beeO~| r~s gerly anticipa!!ng the 13t~i! ~g~ administration s calculati~| I~ on how much Israel has s~| 5~, in the West Bank and G .:.1 / While various reports ~ ~| Pal mated the figure at betW .t| r% $200 million and $250 ~| rev lion, a report recently P~I[ e~l lished in Ha'aretz said. ~| rar~ number could be as hign,~l .e~ $556 million annually i~ ~%1 hid military surplus spendi i the Thosenumbersdonotin ! [ees I sth spending on the barrier 'Hopefully, the admioi ! [ , tion hasn't been able to a determination because teh new information out tla ~,~ Still said Lewis Roth, assist .!. / ecutive director ofAmerio" for Peace Now. aci l] An administration ow | said it is unclear whe S i fiWt mite House would re a' l nil number on the loar 7. g,i antee deductions, and,[] could be more than a Y e tii, l i Israel issuedanotefot,[] billion last month, i guarantees. Israelcan ] the additional $1A ~!~! ! available this year the| l December. Loan guata fl i from the United States ~ll [] Israel to take out loa~-[~| IV e reduced mterest rat ~ I 1~ a~d to Israel is not affec[.alC] 1~ Deductions based ! [ ment spending were ~1~| I to $10 billion in loan g~ I e ~" teesinthe 1990s.InfiV~l~f I deO 10 the United States a / I $773.8 million, accor.a l .| -" Americans for Peace II