Israel in the News Jun/Jul 1991

Israeli Students in a Chinese Backwater
from The Jerusalem Post
Israel’s first group of exchange students to the People’s Republic of China has gotten a close-up look at Chinese rural life. The first Israelis … have just finished their first semester at an out-of-the-way teacher’s college in China’s southwestern Sichuan province. The nearest large city is two hours away by bus. Like the early groups of foreign students at China’s larger universities, the Israelis are kept away from local classmates. But the Israelis’ enforced segregation has eased somewhat since their arrival in late August. Because of the Gulf war, many Chinese are curious about the Middle East.

Greens Man Felt Gulf Peace Was Worth a Million Jews
from The Jerusalem Post
Hans Christian Stroebele, former speaker for the national executive of Germany’s Green Party who resigned three weeks ago following his remarks that it was the “logical consequence of Israel’s policies” for her to be attacked by Iraqi Scuds allegedly made an earlier remark that may stir more controversy.

Only a few days before his remarks to The Jerusalem Post, he told a pro-Israel Greens politician: “If a million Jews would have to die in order to avoid an escalation of the Gulf war, I would take this into account.”

While Stroebele was forced to resign his post and many party officials have condemned his views as irresponsible, “stupid” and not in line with official Greens policy, he nevertheless continues to receive a good deal of support from the rank-and-file, who claim he expresses their feelings.

400,000 Soviet Immigrants Expected This Year
from The Jerusalem Post
Despite the current slump in aliya, 400,000 Soviet immigrants are expected this year, according to Michael Kleiner, chairman of the Knesset immigration and absorption committee. The current slowdown is attributable to the start of the Gulf war, according to Kleiner. He explained that Soviet immigrants arriving now applied for exit visas in January, while those applying for exit visas now will only start arriving in June. According to Kleiner’s information, next month immigrants will start arriving at the rate of 20,000 a month.

MKs Thank Begin for Hitting Reactor
from The Jerusalem Post
Hospitalized former prime minister Menachem Begin was given a letter signed by 100 MKs from right- and left-wing parties last Friday thanking him for deciding to bomb the Iraqi nuclear reactor in Osirak in 1981.

“We dread to imagine what would have befallen us had it not been for this action, which put a stop to Iraq’s nuclear development or led to its postponement by a decade,” the letter said.

The Final Days Are Here Again
from Newsweek
In Israel, fundamentalist Jews are also interpreting the gulf war as the catalyst that will hasten their own end-time scenario—and their long awaited Messiah. Rabbi Leon Ashkenazi, a Jerusalem based scholar, points to the war between Iraq and the allies as the fulfillment of “many texts that speak of a conflict between Babylonia and Rome and Greece, and now this has happened.” Equally important, says Ashkenazi is the immigration of Soviet Jews, which is seen as fulfillment of the “ingathering” of the exiles prophesied in Hebrew scriptures. In this view, preparation for the Messiah began with the Balfour Declaration in 1917, followed by the “unification” of Israel in 1967; it will be completed in 1992 with the rebuilding of the Temple.

Scud, 1; Traffic, 40

from The Jerusalem Post

While only one Israeli died of a direct Scud missile hit during the Gulf war, 40 were killed in traffic accidents.

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