Israel in the News Jul/Aug 2003

Hamas says ‘No peace no way, no how’
“I’m telling you frankly, the attitude of Islam is not to accept a foreign state in this area.” So said senior Hamas spokesman Mahmoud a-Zahar on the BBC. He later met with Palestinian Authority (PA) Primer Minister Abu Mazen to discuss conditions for a “ceasefire.”

Arutz-7 reported that leaders of the Hamas terrorist organization said they would agree to a “year-long ceasefire” with Israel only if Israel released all imprisoned Arab terrorists and agreed to stop all counter-terrorism activities. The conditions essentially meant Hamas was rejecting the call to halt its terrorist attacks on Israel.

A-Zahar appeared recently on Tim Sebastian’s BBC show Hardtalk. Following is a partial, unofficial transcript made available by Arutz-7, in which a-Zahar admitted Hamas will never give up violence, regardless of how much Israel gives up in an effort to make peace.

Q: Dr. Zahar, I asked you a very simple question: If Israel accepts your conditions—the elimination of the occupation—will you renounce violence, yes or no?

Z: We are going to ceasefire—only ceasefire.

Q: Yes or no to that condition? Yes, or no?

Z: I, I, I, I answered you. It’s not the way to say yes or no. We are not going to—

Q: So how can Israel trust your assurances ever? You can’t even give a straight answer to a straight question. How can they trust your answers?

Z: The question is—just a moment. If Israel withdraws from our land, and says that they will not re-attack and reoccupy our country— that’s a big if—they are not going to do that, because they did that before: They occupied our country in ’48, occupied our areas in ’56, and in ’67, and Lebanon in ’82. [IMG Editor’s Note: The area a-Zahar referred to as “our country” was governed by the British not the Arabs prior to 1948 and had been designated as a national Jewish homeland by the League of Nations. The dates he gave refer to Arab-initiated wars to destroy Israel.]

Q: You know what you’re telling me? That under no circumstances will you give up violence until you’ve pushed Israel into the sea. That’s what you want, isn’t it?

Z: Who is saying that?

Q: You’re saying that.

Z: I’m telling you frankly, the attitude of Islam is not to accept a foreign state in this area.

Q: So until Israel ceases to exist, you won’t lay down your arms. Is that right?

Z: First of all, we are a part of the independent Islamist—this is the attitude of thousands and millions of people.

Q: Why do you keep on with this attitude? You are seen by many people in the world as a bunch of ruthless killers, fanatics, terrorists. Are you happy with that picture?

Z: We’re not happy—[but] these people are seeing Islam as an enemy, as a terrorist, but this is a historical mistake. Because Islam is a supreme power in this area, sooner or later we are going to achieve our power, our moral principles, our virtue, in order to implement a real state.

Arutz-7’s Yosef Zalmanson noted that even the “ceasefire” a-Zaharrefered to is merely a temporary cessation of hostilities until it feels strong enough to resume the fight.

Where is Jerusalem?
It seems that Israel has become the only nation in the world without a capital and that the U.S. State Department refuses even to acknowledge that Jerusalem is in Israel.

The State Department still refuses to allow “place of death” on Ben Blutstein’s death certificate to read “Jerusalem, Israel.” Blutstein, from Pennsylvania, was killed last July when Arab terrorists bombed the cafeteria at Hebrew University.

Furthermore, the American passports of his children state they were born in Jerusalem, but no mention is made of Israel.

David Bedein, a Jerusalem-based investigative journalist with the Israel Resource News Agency, has asked why the State Department refuses to recognize that Jerusalem is in Israel.

Bedein noted that the U.S. Consul in Jerusalem, Jeffrey Feldman, asked Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lopolianski to end construction of the Jewish neighborhood of MaalehZeitim, next to the Mt. of Olives. The mayor politely rejected the American request, explaining that Jerusalem is in sovereign Israeli territory. The U.S. Consul rejected that position.

Arutz-7 reported that American sources told Bedein a recent State Department directive favoring cessation of all Jewish construction in Yesha (Judea, Samaria, and Gaza) actually includes Jerusalem as well.

“The issue is clear,” Bedein wrote. “The U.S. challenges Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem in a direct, unprecedented way. . . . Israel’s supporters should demand that the U.S. recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel.”

Arutz-7 also has learned that the BBC Web site’s Country Profiles section does not state a capital for Israel at all. Other countries’ capital cities are classified, logically, as “capital.” But when it comes to Israel, the BBC uses “seat of government” instead.

Alitalia pilot welcomes passengers to ‘Palestine’
JERUSALEM POST INTERNET EDITION—Passengers on board an Alitalia flight from Rome were startled recently when the captain welcomed them to Palestine upon landing at Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.

“This is a very serious matter and we are scheduled to meet with Alitalia’s country managers to see what, if any, steps must be taken in response to this incident,” said Pini Schiff, spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority. The incident occurred on Remembrance Day, when Israel grinds to a halt to memorialize those who have fallen defending the tiny nation.

Orly Segal, Alitalia’s commercial manager in Tel Aviv, said the pilot “won’t fly to Israel any more—that’s for sure,” and said the remarks did not represent the airline’s views.

This is not the first time a European airline captain caused such an uproar. Last summer an Air France pilot welcomed passengers to “Israel-Palestine.” The airline apologized and said the pilot will no longer fly the Paris-Tel Aviv route.

Almost half
of Israel’s children now suffer panic, nightmares
ARUTZ-7—According to new research carried out by the Adler Center at Tel Aviv University and the Judea and Samaria College in Ariel, 42.7 percent of Israeli children said they are suffering from symptoms of shock as a result of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) terrorist war.

The research was based on interviews and data gathered from 3,000 children following a series of terrorist attacks last year. The symptoms include flashbacks of events, nightmares, panic, “troubling thoughts,” feelings of detachment, inability to concentrate, and a general feeling of uneasiness. One of every five children surveyed were found to have had a relative who was a victim of terrorism.

Research yields drug for Parkinson’s, test for Alzheimer’s
Rasagiline, an oral, once-a-day drug shown to be significantly effective in patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease, will soon be presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval. And a new testing system called Mindstreams may be able to detect the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Rasagiline was developed at Technion’s Rappoport School of Medicine in Haifa by Profs. Moussa Youdim and J. Finberg. It has been studied for more than 25 years and probably will be tested on both Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis patients, The International Jerusalem Post reported.

Arutz-7 reported that it may now be easier to differentiate between the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and simple forgetfulness, thanks to a computerized battery of tests developed by the Israeli branch of an American company.

Until now, it has been hard to tell if patients are simply forgetful or have mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a precursor of dementias, such as Alzheimer’s.

The new testing system, called Mindstreams, was developed in Modiin and is considered highly reliable. It takes 20–30 minutes, compiles an instant report, and is user-friendly even for those with little or no computer experience, Arutz-7 said.

Its tests are interactive computerized exercises using standard computer input devices, such as the keyboard, mouse, or joystick, and test specific sets of cognitive and motor functions. They can also be used to diagnose traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, substance abuse, learning disabilities, and more. The developers emphasize that the results must be interpreted in the context of other data relevant to the patient’s condition, Arutz-7 said.

If Rasagiline is put on the market for Parkinson’s sufferers, it will become the second proprietary drug ever made and marketed by Teva, the world’s largest maker of generic drugs. It also makes Copaxone, a primary drug for reducing the frequency and severity of multiple sclerosis attacks, said the Post.

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