Israel in the News Aug/Sep 1993

NJ legislature supports the use of deportation

from The Jerusalem Post

Israel has found a welcome ally in its fight against terrorism—the New Jersey legislature, which has overwhelmingly passed a resolution backing this country’s use of deportations.

The state’s general assembly recently passed, by 78–0, a measure offering its “strong support” for Israel’s efforts “to bring terrorists to justice and, where necessary, to expel and deport such terrorists.”

“The rise in violence [in Israel] had an important role to play” in passage of the resolution, said Mike Hollan, a spokesman for the assemblymen who sponsored the resolution. “This brought home what the day-to-day situation might be, why Israel takes the action it does.”

Switzerland chooses its first Jewish leader

from Jerusalem Report

When Switzerland’s Federal Assembly elected her interior minister in mid-March, Ruth Dreyfuss became only the second woman ever named to the notoriously conservative seven member Federal Council that runs the country (Switzerland has no prime minister, and cabinet ministers take turns at being head of government).

What’s more Dreyfuss—a journalist, trade union activist and passionate feminist—is also the first Jew ever elected to the cabinet.

Dreyfuss, 52, mentioned her village and her Jewishness in her acceptance speech to the Swiss Parliament. She was a member of the Swiss delegation to the convention of WIZO, the women’s Zionist organization, in Tel Aviv last year.

David Koresh spurned in Israel

from Voice

David Koresh, the cult leader who died in a blaze of fire with dozens of his followers in Waco, Texas, tried to establish a branch of his sect in Israel three years ago, but failed, according to Rabbi Abraham Peled, who is involved with stemming cult influence on Jews.

Peled … said he had first met Koresh when Koresh was on a recruiting mission in Israel in 1990. Peled, in an interview with the Ma’ariv newspaper, said he found Koresh playing guitar in the streets of Jerusalem, singing songs about Jews, Judaism and Jesus.

“It was clear to me that Koresh was a dangerous man, an unstable person with a tendency toward violence,” Peled said.

The charismatic cult leader had managed to recruit 12 young Israelis, persuading them to return with him to his Waco ranch by offering them free plane tickets and music-connected jobs there.

Peled said he befriended Koresh and the young recruits, persuading most of them to give up the idea and warning Koresh to abandon his efforts, “telling him he would anyway not succeed in making any followers here.”

Koresh managed to win only one convert here, Pablo Cohen, who perished in the April 18 fire in Waco.

Anti-Semitism is on rise

from The Jewish Exponent

The Jewish Agency has decided to send more emissaries to Brazil because of an increase in anti-Semitism and Skinhead activity there, Kalman Grossman, deputy director general of the agency, told the Absorption Committee.

Savrio Levinsky, chairman of the Association of Latin American Immigrants, reported to the committee that the 45,000-member Jewish community in Rio de Janeiro has virtually ceased to function, the rate of intermarriage is more than 75 percent and most Brazilian Jews hide their religious affiliation.

New Shiloh Synagogue

from Baptist Bible Tribune

At the biblical site of Shiloh, an Israeli community made up of 300 people has repopulated the hill overlooking a lush valley where once the tabernacle stood. It was the central place of worship during the childhood of Samuel, the prophet … It is interesting that here, where so many events that we read of in the Bible took place, Jewish settlers have chosen to live. Benny Begin, a member of Israel’s Parliament, has helped to raise funds for the new concrete synagogue which is nearing completion. It is a reminder of Israel’s past … The new synagogue is very much like the original tabernacle in appearance, adorned with panels from its roof suggesting the curtains which once draped over the boards of the original tabernacle.

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