Israel in the News Dec/Jan 1997/1998

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Ashes of Holocaust Victims Buried at German Cemetery
(from the South Jersey Courier Post)
Hundreds of urns filled with human ashes that were discovered at the former Buchenwald concentration camp were buried [recently] at a mountain cemetery.

The 701 metal urns were found May 7 by carpenters working on the roof of the crematorium. They had no markings to identify the dead, in accordance with the Nazi policy of keeping their victims nameless, officials of the Buchenwald Foundation said.

The Nazis interned about 263,000 people from more than 30 countries at the camp in the woods of the Ettersberg, a mountain outside Weimar, 125 miles southwest of Berlin.

More than 56,000 people died there, including at least 11,000 Jews.

Web of Deceit
The government has lodged a protest with the Palestinian Authority over these maps appearing on its Internet Web site, which do not identify Israel. “This is the very manifestation that casts doubt on the Palestinian Authority’s willingness to make peace with Israel,” said David Bar-Illan, the prime minister’s director of communications. “The fact that the word Israel does not appear on any map published by the Palestinian Authority or by any Arab state is an indication that the Arabs have not reconciled themselves to Israel’s legitimacy,” he said. Bar-Illan noted that identical maps are used in schools under the PA’s jurisdiction, including those in Jerusalem.

Roman Site Linked to Paul
Archaeologists believe they have uncovered the building in Caesarea in which Paul, the greatest figure of the early Christian church, was incarcerated for two years before being sent to Rome for trial in 60 CE.

A building complex covering 15,000 square meters has been identified as the seat of the Roman government in the 1st century CE.

According to Yosef Porat of the Israel Antiquities Authority, the complex included a large palace with a luxurious bathhouse and administrative offices. The site is located between the Roman amphitheater and hippodrome, close to the sea.

A mosaic floor in one of the rooms in the office wing bore the Latin inscription “…adviorib(us) offici custodiar,” translated by Prof. Leah de Segni of the Hebrew University as “…I came to this office—I shall be secure.” Prof. Werner Eck of the University of Koln thinks the room served as the office of a security unit.

Porat said the office wing likely housed the audience hall into which Paul was brought for a hearing before the Roman procurator. The Jewish leadership in Jerusalem had demanded Paul’s trial after he preached “transgressions of the law” and brought gentiles into the Temple. As a Roman citizen, Paul could, and did, demand trial before a Roman Court.

A change in procurators apparently led to his extended incarceration before being shipped off to Rome.

Only about 60% of the site has been excavated thus far, said Porat, and no room has yet been identified as the audience hall into which Paul was brought.

The building was initially presumed to be Herod’s seaside palace, but excavations subsequently showed it to post-date Herod by a generation. Porat said he sees the site becoming a major attraction for Christian pilgrims.

The Hot-Dog Has Landed!
Frankly speaking, Israel is getting another American import.

Eighty years after Nathan Handwerker, a Polish immigrant, first pitched his hot-dog stand in Coney Island, Brooklyn, Nathan’s Famous has granted a hot-dog franchise that is to open 10 restaurants in Israel over the next five years.

“The fit between Nathan’s and Israel is strong,” said Rick Boudreaux, Nathan’s VP. The hot dog is a “portable product popular in areas with food on the go.”

The franchise granted to Natanel, an Israeli-Brooklyn group of investors, is Nathan’s first international venture. Natanel must open a minimum of two restaurants a year for five years under its franchise agreement. The first are expected to open next year in Jerusalem and Netanya. All are to be kosher.

Jerusalem’s Jewish Growth Rate Dropping
Slowly but steadily, the overall rate of growth of the Jewish population in Jerusalem is decreasing each year, and projections published [recently] indicate that by the year 2010, the Arab population in the city will be 31 percent.

The overall population in Jerusalem at the end of 1996 stood at 603,000, of which 422,300, or 70%, were Jews. The overall population grew 139% since the Six–Day War, with Jews growing by 114%, and Arabs by 163%. The average Jewish household has 3.6 people, while the average Arab household has 5.4 people.

Projected figures for the year 2010 show a population of 817,500, with 251,000 Arabs and 214,000 haredim. The haredim will make up 38% of the Jewish population, and 26% of the overall population.

While the Arab population difference is only 1% between today’s figure and 2010, Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert said he is concerned with the growth rate of the city’s Arab population.

“There is a danger that the changing proportions of Jews and Arabs in this city will add to the already strained relations between the two groups, and this worries me,” he said at a news conference.

Israel Deemed 2nd Healthiest Country
Despite dire warnings by politicians and doctors of the medical system’s impending financial collapse, Israel is the second healthiest country in the world, according to a statistical analysis compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit in London…

Only Sweden came out ahead of Israel in the analysis, which considered a dozen different health care indicators, rather than just life expectancy. The criteria included deaths from cancer, infections, and heart and respiratory disease, the HIV infection rate, the number of doctors and nurses per 100,000 residents, immunization rates, and maternal and infant mortality.

The report notes that Israel has a very high rating “even though this particular state is a regular target for terrorist attacks.” Road accident rates were not included in the calculation.

(All other articles taken from The Jerusalem Post.)

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