Israel in the News Apr/May 2000

Yehuda Levy, Former Post Publisher, Dies
(Taken From The Jerusalem Post)

Former Jerusalem Post president and publisher, Yehuda Levy, has died of cardiac arrest at the age of 64.

Born in Jaffa in 1935, Levy was a thirteenth generation sabra (native Israeli) who devoted his life to his country. He served in the Israel Defense Force (IDF) for more than twenty-five years, leaving the army in 1981 with the rank of colonel.

Even after his discharge from the standing army, Levy never really left military life. He continued to serve in the reserves, acting as IDF spokesman in Beirut during the Lebanon War and filling a host of other posts over the years. Through the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, he brought hundreds of high-ranking U.S. military officers to Israel, helping forge deep ties between senior military figures in both countries.

Levy served as a Jewish National Fund emissary in Vancouver, Canada, where he befriended Hollinger International President David Radler. After representing Hollinger during its purchase of The Jerusalem Post from Koor and Bank Hapoalim in 1989, Levy was appointed the paper’s president and publisher, posts he held until 1997. In that time, he turned the Post into a profitable company and raised the circulation of its titles.

Following his retirement from the Post, Levy helped found Makor Rishon, a Hebrew weekly. He served as its editor and general manager during its first year of operation.

He never missed an opportunity to spread the Zionist message. He was a popular lecturer to Jewish and Christian audiences around the world, and he always sought to further Israel’s cause.

Levy is survived by his wife, three children, their spouses, and eight grandchildren.

New Israeli Invention: Greenhouse for Fish
(Taken from Israel Wire)

In Moshav Ein Hemed near Sodom, giant greenhouses have been erected for the raising of fish. The new invention is the idea of the OZ Rom Company. Company chairman, Moshe Cohen, explained that the greenhouse-covered ponds are connected to the regular ponds by water ducts. The baby fish stay in the covered pond until they reach a certain size, then are transferred via the ducts to the regular fishponds to continue their growth for marketing. The OZ Rom Company hopes for intensive development of its design, if the idea proves successful.

Neo-Nazis March to Protest Planned Holocaust Memorial
(Taken from Ha’Aretz)

In Berlin hundreds of neo-Nazis demonstrated at the site of Germany’s planned memorial to Holocaust victims and, in a politically charged move, marched through Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate. The extreme-right National Party of Germany had been banned by police from demonstrating for fear of violence, but a court overturned the decision and allowed the event to go forward.

Hundreds of police blocked streets in central Berlin to make way for five hundred demonstrators who headed down the main Unter den Linden boulevard to the site of the memorial. They marched through the nearby Brandenburg Gate, an act that is particularly symbolic in Germany, given that the Nazi troops during Hitler’s reign once held torchlight processions through the gate. During past neo-Nazi demonstrations, police have not allowed participants to go through the Brandenburg Gate.

The demonstrators carried a banner at the head of their procession reading “Stop the Memorial,” and some carried the old German red, white, and black national flag—one of which had the word skinheads written on it. Police said that two arrests were made of people allegedly displaying banned symbols. Spreading Nazi propaganda is illegal in Germany. Authorities also stopped about twenty-five marchers from singing a Nazi song.

Russian Emigration to Israel Doubles
(Taken from Interfax News Agency, AP)

Russian emigration to Israel was more than twice as high in 1999 as in the previous year, the Interfax News Agency has reported. According to the Moscow Office of the Jewish Agency, which brings Jews to Israel, 29,534 Russian citizens emigrated to Israel in 1999, up from 13,019 a year earlier, Interfax reported. The news agency quoted the executive vice president of the Russian Jewish Congress, Alexander Osovtsov, as saying that the main factors behind the increase were

Russia’s 1998 economic crisis and “general political instability, [including] the fact that last year’s anti-Semitic component was far more in the center of attention in society.”

Anti-Semitic and neoNazi groups, although small, have steadily grown bolder and more visible in Russia in recent years. They have been accused of beating members of racial minorities, desecrating Jewish cemeteries, and bombing synagogues. While Russian law bars “inciting interethnic strife,” authorities have rarely tried to punish various political groups for their frequent anti-Semitic statements.

Hamas Bombing Plans Thwarted
(Taken from The Jerusalem Post)

Plans to blow up a residential building in Jerusalem or Netanya were foiled with the recent capture of a Hamas terror cell. The cell, responsible for bomb attacks in Netanya and Hadera that wounded 40 people, had already been searching for an appropriate target, according to security officials. General Security Service and Palestinian Preventive Security Service officials have arrested 60 activists since the cell was exposed.

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