Israel in the News Jun/Jul 1995

‘Nazi’ salute upsets Holocaust survivors

News photos of Palestinian policemen raising a Nazi-style salute increase anxiety among Holocaust survivors, according to a Bikur Holim Hospital psychiatrist who researched survivors’ ability to cope with the present. Dr. Yehudit Rappaport and Dr. Shalom Robinson of the center for Holocaust studies found their subjects through Yad Vashem. Those interviewed said anything that reminded them of the Nazi era—including the Nazi-style salutes by Palestinian policemen in Gaza published in the papers—intensified their suffering.

Rockthrowing kids for rent

Gazan activists are offering to organize staged intifada demonstrations of 30 to 40 children for foreign journalists—for only NIS 3 per child, according to a reporter for the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.

Correspondent Sabati Karakurt, who was recently in Gaza, said two men showed him the business cards of foreign journalists who had used their services. In addition to rockthrowing children, they offered the Turkish journalist a demonstration of uniformed men for $300.

They also offered to set up an interview with Hamas or Islamic Jihad members, who would stand in a darkened place and discuss their activities.

Foreign workers replacing Palestinians

Israel is well on its way to “liberating itself from its dependency” on Palestinian labor, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin reportedly told the cabinet recently. Rabin said there are already 59,000 foreign workers in the country, and another 11,000 would arrive shortly. A Rabin spokesman said the move toward reducing dependency on Palestinian workers is “an outgrowth of reality.” He said, “The prime minister spoke about separation, and this demonstrates that the idea is moving in a practical direction.”

Israelis attend Oman oil conference

Three Israeli officials attended an oil industry conference in Oman, the first time Israelis have been allowed to appear openly at a Gulf Arab business venue, conference sources said recently

Security system planned for Temple Mount

Jerusalem police plan to install an electric fence atop the walls of the Temple Mount, including over the Western Wall, to improve security there. A closed-circuit television system is also to be installed on the Temple Mount to give security forces a view of what is happening there at all times. Wakf and other Muslim officials in the city have already been consulted about the moves.

Israeli Muslims are moving toward violence

The General Security Service has warned Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that Israel’s Islamic Movement is moving inexorably toward violence, the London-based newsletter Foreign Report said. In a “top-secret report” prepared after the Beit Lid attack, the GSS is also said to have warned that the long-term aim of the movement—despite its peaceful stance so far—is the destruction of Israel.

Congress urged to stay neutral on Golan

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) sent a letter to all 535 members of Congress recently urging them not to take a stand at this time on stationing US troops on the Golan. The letter is an attempt to head off a preemptive campaign by right-wing critics of the Rabin government in the US.

Israel and Germany expand pension pact

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and German Ambassador Franz Bertele recently signed an annex to the Israel-German Social Benefits Agreement, which will allow Israeli citizens to have years spent in labor or concentration camps in eastern Europe counted toward German pensions or survivors’ benefits. It was agreed that payments to cover the periods in question would be deducted from the German income payments, so that those who are eligible will not have any out-of-pocket expenses.

(All news items are from The Jerusalem Post.)

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