Israel in the News Aug/Sep 1994

Jerusalem delighted by first-ever U.N. request for Israeli help

from The Jerusalem Report

The request, although unprecedented, is for nothing more than an army field hospital. But in Jerusalem, it’s being enthusiastically interpreted as proof of Israel’s vastly improved international status.

The reason is the source of the request—the United Nations, which has asked Israel to assist in its peacekeeping efforts in Angola by supplying an Israeli-staffed field hospital “I would very much like to see Israelis in the service of the U.N. and other international organizations,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin, “drawing on the rich experience we unfortunately have accumulated during our own long years of conflict.”

More hotel rooms planned in Jerusalem

from The Jerusalem Post

Ten thousand hotel rooms are to be built in Jerusalem to meet the expected massive increase in visitors to the city in coming years, Mayor Ehud Olmert and Tourism Minister Uzi Baram agreed recently.

The additional hotel rooms are needed to accommodate the increased tourism expected for Jerusalem’s 3,000th anniversary celebration in 1996, the nation’s 50th birthday in 1998 and the year 2000, with its great significance for the Christian world.

Shiloah inscription may return for 3,000th

from The Jerusalem Post

The most famous inscription ever found in Jerusalem—a rock carving that confirmed the biblical account of the hewing of the Siloam water tunnel in the eighth century BCE—may return to Jerusalem on loan.

The Israel Antiquities Authority has requested Turkish officials to loan the inscription from the Istanbul Archaeological Museum as part of a planned 1996 exhibition to mark the 3,000th anniversary of David’s establishment of his capital in Jerusalem.

The inscription has been in Istanbul since shortly after it was found in 1880, when Jerusalem was part of the Ottoman Empire.

According to an Antiquities Authority spokeswoman, the Turkish officials said the request will be considered after it is made at the political level.

Locals join Jordan fete

from The Jerusalem Post

A delegation of Moslems from Israel and the [occupied] areas crossed the Allenby Bridge recently to participate in Jordan’s celebrations following completion of the new golden roof on the Dome of the Rock. Jordan’s King Hussein paid for the $6.5m restoration in what is viewed as a bid! to reassert authority over Moslem holy places in Jerusalem.

Report: Israel, Iraq consider links

from The Jerusalem Report

Secret, informal contacts have been established between Israel and Iraq in an attempt to expand the peace process, according to the London-based newsletter Foreign Report.

The contacts were reportedly initiated by an unnamed former defense minister of a European state and a senior adviser to Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.

According to the newsletter, arrangements are being made for a meeting later this year between Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and a top Iraqi official.

Saddam Hussein is understood to believe that an entente with Israel might convince the United States to drop its support for U.N. sanctions against Iraq.

Polluting Internet

from The Jerusalem Report

Neo-Nazis, barred by German law from disseminating literature denying the Holocaust, have taken to distributing it on Internet, the worldwide computer-access network. Germany’s public TV said they are using Internet—which includes bulletin boards and other information-exchange facilities—to publicize demonstrations, distribute hate literature, and send out racist games to computer users around the world.

Space pact signed

from The Jerusalem Post

Representatives of the French National Space Agency and the Israel Space Agency recently signed a three-year agreement for “cooperation in space with peaceful aims and for economic and scientific development.”

Western Wall washout

from The Jerusalem Post

When experts for the Israel Antiquities Authority heard that a cleaning firm was using high-powered steam-cleaners to blast away grime from the Western Wall, they got pretty steamed up themselves. The rabbi with religious authority at the Wall, Meir Yehudah Getz, who had hired the cleaners, got a visit from the Antiquities Authority’s Glora Solar, urging him to call off the cleaners whose methods, he said, were damaging the Herodian limestone blocks. So the lipstick stains, fingerprints and notes requesting divine intervention will remain in place until a gentler cleaning method is agreed upon.

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