Agenda-English
Hebrew   | Russian  | French  | Spanish  | Current Issue  | Previous Issues  | Main Page  |

VOL, 2, NO. 7
FEBRUARY 15, 2001
22 SHVAT 5761

 

TWO OLIM SOLDIERS AMONG VICTIMS OF TERRORIST BUS ATTACK NEAR HOLON

UNITY IN FACE OF PALESTINIAN TERROR - BARAK, SHARON'S DEFENSE MINISTER

HAMAS TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR MURDEROUS ATTACK BY GAZA BUS DRIVER; 63 ISRAELIS HAVE BEEN KILLED SINCE OUTBREAK OF VIOLENCE


More in this issue...
Presidents' Conference in Jerusalem
"Yahad": Salutes Aliyah
"Green Light" for Terrorism
Facts & Figures
Georgia Welcomes Sharon Election
Student Olim from FSU
Olim Employment Fair
Religious Girls to IDF
Training in England
From Los Angeles to Israel
This Week in Israel
Golf at the Dead Sea
Bnei Mitzvah at Kotel
B'Teavon

The Terrorist Khalil Abu-Alba trapped in the "Egged" bus


Israel endures a weekend of mourning following the mowing down by a bus at the Azur junction near Holon. Seven soldiers and one civilian were killed in the attack. Three women soldiers were seriously injured, two of them remain unconscious. 23 others suffered varying degrees of injury. The IDF declared high alert following the attack. Tonight, mortar shells were fired on Nezarim and shooting continued along the Jerusalem- Hebron road and Givat Ze'ev, near Jerusalem.

Sergeant Julie Weiner z"l

The victims include two olim: Sergeant Julie Weiner who immigrated alone from France three years ago, through a Jewish Agency ulpan for academics. Julie was meticulous about her dress and appearance and dreamt of becoming an officer. Yesterday she was on her way to realizing this dream. She was waiting for a ride that should have taken her to the opening of an officers' course but this was to be her final journey. Her parents came from France for the funeral, which will take place tomorrow at Mt. Herzl military cemetery, in Jerusalem.


Corporal Alexander Manevich z"l

The second oleh killed is Corporal Alexander Manevich from Ashkelon. He made aliyah from the FSU with his mother and grandmother five years ago. He too planned to be an officer and then study at university. But the arm of terror cut his dreams short. His mother Sofia, burst into tears when she heard the news. Her dearest, only son paid for his love of the country with his life.

The others killed in the attack were 20 year-old Staff Sergeant Ofir Megidish, 21 year-old Sergeant David Iluz, 19 year-old Sergeant Kochava Polanski, 18 year-old Corporal Yasmin Karisi, 19 year-old Sergeant Rachel Levy, and Simcha Shetreet a civilian from Ashkelon age 30 .

The terrorist, 35-year old Khalil Abu Alba from Gaza, left his home yesterday as usual at 05:00 a.m. to drive Arab workers from Gaza in the direction of Tel Aviv. He had been a driver for Israel's Egged public transport company for five years and had passed all the necessary Israeli security checks. After dropping off the workers at Lod and Ramle, he sped towards Holon and perpetrated his attack at the Azur junction. He veered sharply to the right, directly towards the bus stop and into the dozens of soldiers waiting for a ride. He then sped away southwards, towards Gaza and was brought to a stop crashing into a truck, 30 km. further, after police had fired at the wheels of the bus.

As a result of the attack and following consultations with senior defense officials, outgoing prime minister Ehud Barak decided to impose complete closure on all Palestinian areas, close the Dahaniya airport, close all border crossings into Egypt and Jordan and prevent any movement of Palestinians into Israel.

Following this decision, three senior PA officials - Mohammed Dahlan, Yasser Abed Rabbo and Saeb Erekat, were detained for five hours at the Allenby Bridge border crossing with Jordan yesterday after they refused to allow a security check on their cars.

Arafat did not condemn the attack claiming that it was a road accident. President George Bush called Prime Minister Barak to express his condolences. US Secretary of State Colin Powel called Arafat and warned him that continuing terror would hinder the political process.

TONIGHT, BARAK REVOKED HIS DECISION TO RESIGN - WILL BE SHARON'S DEFENSE MINISTER; PERES CANDIDATE FOR FOREIGN MINISTER

The attack and ensuing climate in Israel hastened efforts to form a national unity government. Yesterday, Prime Minister Ehud Barak rescinded his resignation and accepted the position of Defense Minister in Sharon's Government.

Prime Minister elect Ariel Sharon intends to present his government the next week, with Ehud Barak as Minister of Defense and Shimon Peres as Foreign Minister. Sharon strongly attacked the Palestinian Authority for the escalation of terror activity and declared that he will not negotiate under fire.

More in this issue...

PRESIDENTS CONFERENCE TO MEET REPRESENTATIVES OF INCOMING GOVERNMENT IN JERUSALEM

DELEGATION OF LEADERS OF NORTH AMERICAN JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS TO DISCUSS STRENGTHENING TIES BETWEEN US AND ISRAEL

A delegation of leaders from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, led by Ronald Lauder and Malcolm Hoenlein, will meet next week with President Moshe Katsav, Prime Minister elect Ariel Sharon, outgoing prime minister Ehud Barak, Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz and Jewish Agency leaders Sallai Meridor and Chaim Chesler.

"This year the leadership mission is particularly significant, in light of Israel's election results and the change of administration in Washington" said Lauder and Hoenlein. "The heads of the Conference of Presidents must be brought up to date in order to be able to reinforce the ties between the US and Israel and enhance cooperation upon their return to the US."

During the discussions, which will take place between 18-22 February, a wide range of issues will be reviewed including the peace process, the security situation, anti-Semitism in the western world, Palestinian excavations on the Temple Mount, US - Israel relations and Israel's relations with World Jewery.

The guests will also view a presentation of Jewish Agency activities worldwide and will receive an overview of solidarity initiatives of Jewish communities under the auspices of the Jewish Agency.

En-route to Israel, the representatives of the 53 organizations forming the Conference of Presidents will hold a series of discussions in Berlin, together with Jewish leaders from 18 countries in eastern and western Europe and will meet with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and German Foreign Minister Joshka Fischer. The discussions will focus on anti-Semitism in Europe, the repercussions of the spread of Islam and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in totalitarian states, including Iran.


Malcolm Hoenlein, who arrived in Israel to organize the visit of the Presidents Conference, met with Prime Minister elect Ariel Sharon

More in this issue...

JEWISH AGENCY AND NORTH AMERICAN COMMUNITIES "YAHAD" SALUTE TO ALIYAH

A salute to aliyah was held at Kibbutz Kfar Hanassi yesterday, under the slogan "Yahad." The event was organized by the United Jewish Communities of North America, in conjunction with the Jewish Agency. The event was attended by 250 representatives of the Houston Jewish community who are on a week-long visit to Israel.

New Olim entertainment troupes performed at the event, including "Pirchei Mevasseret", an Ethiopian choir from the absorption center at Mevasseret Zion, a dance troupe of FSU new immigrant students from the Jewish Agency's Selah program at the Tiberias absorption center and olim from the Rimon school of music.

Mahareta Baruch, an Ethiopian immigrant and actress at the Habimah theater recounted her trek to Israel. The film "Quara Jews - the Last Journey" - which recently won a world bronze medal at the New York documentary film festival, was shown.

The event was named "Yahad" (meaning together) in order to emphasize the special connection between new immigrants and World Jewry which helps them immigrate and be absorbed. The evening was organized by Tova Wald while Yuval Ravid was artistic designer.

The Jewish Agency also organized visits to absorption centers, meetings with young olim from the FSU, and a meeting with students at the Hadassah Neurim youth village, for the Houston Mission.

More in this issue...

AS THE VIOLENCE IN THE TERRITORIES PERSISTS WE CONTINUE TO BRING TO YOUR ATTENTION BACKGROUND INFORMATION PUBLISHED BY THE IDF CENTRAL COMMAND IN COOPERATION WITH THE IDF SPOKESMAN'S UNIT

ARAFAT GIVES GREEN LIGHT TO ISLAMIC JIHAD TO CONTINUE TERROR ATTACKS AGAINST ISRAEL

PA gave approval to the Islamic Jihad Organization to hold a mass rally in Gaza on December 22nd, to celebrate Iranian initiative to mark "Jerusalem Day."

Participants in the rally were led by a group of several dozen masked Islamic Jihad activists, some armed and others wearing explosive belts, as an expression of their willingness to carry out suicide attacks against Israel.

Hizbollah flags were unfurled at the rally, and Mohammed Al-Hindi, the Islamic Jihad leader called on the participants to mark "Jerusalem Day" as a day of victory and self-sacrifice for Allah.

Senior PA officials also took part in the rally, led by the first Deputy Chairman of the Palestinian parliament Ibrahim Abu Al-Naga, who sharply attacked the Arab states for their poor show of support for the Intifada. Secretary of the Fatah in the Gaza Strip, Ahmed Halas, pledged that: "The intifada will continue and will hurt the Israelis until their blood is spilt everywhere". (Alhiya Al-Jadida, 23rd December).

The PA permission to the Islamic Jihad to hold the rally in favor of terrorism, gives a clear message - a "green light" to continue perpetrating terror attacks against Israel.

More in this issue...

DID YOU KNOW?

  • $ 16,000 - Jewish Agency allocation for the year 2000 to Givat Haviva for meeting "Face to face" project within the framework of projects that foster "Unity and Mutual Respect."

  • $ 23,000 - Jewish Agency allocation for the year 2000 to "Alut" Israeli Society for Autistic Children - Sibling & Friend project within the framework of support of "Special Needs Populations."

  • $ 12,000 - Jewish Agency allocation for the year 2000 to Bible Lands Museum for "On the Seventh Day" project within the framework of allocations "Enhancing Jewish Identity for Israelis."

  • 4,754 Olim arrived in Israel since the beginning of 2001. 3542 are from the FSU.

  • 1,009 new immigrants arrived in Israel this week; 791 from the FSU and Eastern Europe and the rest from France, Tunis, Greece, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Peru, England, South Africa, the US, Canada, and Ethiopia.

More in this issue...

    THE JEWISH WORLD

JEWS OF GEORGIA WELCOME ARIEL SHARON'S ELECTION AS PRIME MINISTER

Georgia's Jewish community expressed delight at the election of Ariel Sharon, who is of Georgian ancestry, as Israel's Prime Minister. Senior members of the community recall Sharon's last visit to Georgia in March 1999 when he was Foreign Minister in the Netanyahu government. Sharon visited the house of his grandmother, who is buried in the old cemetery in Tbilisi, and met leaders of the local Jewish community.

Gemal Agiashvili, member of the Georgian parliament and a senior member of the Jewish community, met Sharon during that visit and recalls Sharon's "strong personality." He recounts his impressions of his meeting with him: "I was very moved when we stood side by side at his grandmother's grave and he read the kaddish prayer from a prayer book which I brought for him. We connected on the human and spiritual level. I believe that someone like Sharon will be loyal to his country and people".

Jamlat Huhashvili, president of the Tbilisi Maccabi Club and a senior sports commentator in the Georgian press, is very proud of the fact that he was introduced to Sharon during his visit to Georgia: "He is a strong man and a real champion. In Israel everyone is like that, but he is one of the best and very close to us, the Jews of Georgia", he said.

Israel Zelinger, head of the Jewish Agency's delegation in Georgia, says that several local Jewish intellectuals, led by author Goram Batiashvili, are currently working on the preparation of a documentary film about Ariel Sharon's Georgian roots. "Part of the film will be shot in Georgia and part in Israel", said Zelinger.

According to Jewish Agency estimates, there are currently some 7,000 Jews living in Georgia, most in the capital Tbilisi. The community has 2 synagogues: one Ashkenazi and one Sephardi. Since the gates of the FSU were opened in 1989, 20,5000 Jews have made aliyah from Georgia, 900 of them in the year 2000.

More in this issue...

400 JEWISH STUDENTS FROM FSU AT ALIYAH FAIR IN JERUSALEM

Four hundred Jewish students from the FSU, on a Jewish Agency sponsored visit to Israel as part of the Birthright project, attended a special aliyah information day, to examine the possibility of studying and working in Israel. During their stay, the students toured the country under the guidance of the Jewish Agency's Tnuat Aliyah counselors, they visited educational institutions, and examined various programs designed to assist those wishing to immigrate to Israel.

The main event took place at Jerusalem's Bayit Vegan Youth Hostel, where the Jewish Agency Tnuat Aliyah held a giant fair attended representatives of the Jewish Agency, the Ministry of Absorption, IDF Spokesman's office, Bank Hapoalim, Jerusalem's Small Business Development Center, the Student Authority and others.

The students arrived at the beginning of the week and will stay for 10 days. They will tour and visit all corners of the country, under the Jewish Agency's Israel Experience Program, which brought thousands of Jewish teenagers to Israel this winter from all over the world.

The Birthright project is operated jointly by the Israeli Government, the Jewish Agency, the United Jewish Communities in North America, Keren Hayesod/United Israel Appeal, and Jewish philanthropists. The project is based on the principle that every Jew has an ancestral right to visit Israel as a young adult and feel part of Jewish unity and the revival of the Jewish people.

More in this issue...

3000 OLIM VISIT EMPLOYMENT FAIR HELD THIS WEEK AT JEWISH AGENCY'S RA'ANANA ABSORPTION CENTER

This week, Teva Pharmaceuticals recruited 40 olim at an employment fair that took place at the Jewish Agency's Raanana absorption center. 3,000 olim from the central and the Sharon region, visited the fair and hundreds received actual job offers.

The fair was organized by the Jewish Agency in conjunction with the Ministry of Absorption and the Ra'anana municipality, in an effort to respond to unemployment among the olim and the persisting downturn in the tourism industry. 100 employers participated in the fair, representatives of companies and commercial organizations, offered employment opportunities.

Participants in the fair included representatives of hi-tech and communications companies, and representatives from the engineering, electronics, metal, medical and food industries.

Eli Cohen, director of the Jewish Agency's Central Region, said that similar employment fairs for olim will take place during the coming year in the Jerusalem and other regions.

More in this issue...

IDF: OVERWHELMING SUCCESS FOR RELIGIOUS WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE

THREE WOMEN FROM FIRST "HADAS" PROJECT INTAKE, COMBINING STUDIES WITH ARMY SERVICE, NOW SERVING AS OFFICERS

Three women from the largest women's Jewish seminary in the world, Midreshet Lindenbaum, are now serving as officers in the IDF; a breakthrough in army service for religious women. The three officers are from the first intake of the "Hadas" project combining studies with army service, and three others signed up for an additional service period, reported program coordinator David Katz.

Thirty two women are enrolled in the program's third intake, and upon completion of their studies - just before Pessach - they will begin a 20-month army service, including basic training following which they will teach Hebrew and Israeli culture at IDF education corps bases. Studies at Lindenbaum Seminary include hassidut, Talmud, lectures and group study.

The IDF reports that the program has been even more successful than anticipated and it is hoping to increase the number of recruits and involve them in additional assignments.

The Jewish Agency is supporting this project financially for the second year running, to the tune of NIS 220,000 ($ 55,000) over a two year period.

More in this issue...

REPRESENTATIVES FROM NORTHERN ISRAEL AT "LIMMUD (STUDY) CONFERENCE" IN NOTTINGHAM

Ten representatives of Israel's Confrontation Line region joined nearly 1,800 British Jews at a week-long educational retreat at the Nottingham University Campus in England for the Limmud Conference. The annual conference, which is one of the highlights of the Anglo-Jewish calendar, is a chance for people of all ages, irrespective of their religious background or knowledge to further their Jewish knowledge and education.

The Israeli group made their presence felt with Israeli songs, contributions to programs, and discussions on the current situation in Israel. "I met so many interesting people" said Tammy Kenton, UJIA's Northern Israel Director who accompanied the group, "and along the way learnt an awful lot myself. I feel that it is very important that 'Israel' is well represented at an event as important as Limmud - and I am very glad that people were so interested in us and what we had to say. It was absolutely great - in fact, several of the group are even talking about setting up a mini version in Israel!"

The Confrontation Line communities are paired with Great Britain through Partnership 2000. At the conference, participants from Israel met many of the speakers including the Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Sallai Meridor and the Minister for Israel Society and World Jewish Community, Rabbi Michael Melchior. The visit to Limmud culminated with an "Israeli evening," during which Israeli delegates told about their themselves and the beauty of the Galilee and delighted their audience with Israeli music.

More in this issue...

FROM LOS ANGELES TO STUDY AT JEWISH AGENCY

Thirty participants in the Los Angeles Solidarity Leadership Mission to Israel last month stayed on to take part in a four-day Program Extension that provided an in-depth look at Jewish Agency programs. Highlights included a briefing by Director General of the Department of Immigration and Absorption, Mike Rosenberg, on aliyah from the former Soviet Union, Argentina, Ethiopia, and other countries in distress, and visits to various absorption sites as well as long-term Israel experiences for North American young adults. Among other things, the group, which included volunteer aliyah counselors and other lay leaders as well as professionals, met with educators at Kibbutz Ramat Rachel in Jerusalem, visited the WUJS program for young adults from the West in Arad.

More in this issue...

THIS WEEK IN ISRAEL

The GSS have arrested a British citizen, Jihad Shuman, on suspicion of belonging to the Hizbollah and being sent to Israel to organize terrorist attacks. Sources in the defense establishment said that this case is further evidence of the fact that the Hizbollah continues in its efforts to infiltrate terrorists into Israel in order to organize terror attacks.


A number of lawsuits have been filed against the PA for compensation and repayment of debts. Parents of the children injured in the attack on the school bus at Kfar Darom filed claims for compensation of NIS 100 million ($25million). The Israel Bureau for the Self-employed is also demanding NIS 100 million, the extent of debts owed by Palestinian businessmen to the self-employed in Israel. The PA also owes tens of millions of dollars to Bezeq Telecommunications Co. and the Israel Electric Company, and consequently Israel is withholding the transfer of taxes to the PA. Israel is being pressured by the international community to release these funds that are currently frozen.


Israel has acceded to a request by the Mongolian Government and is sending this country a range of equipment to help those affected by the harsh winter in Mongolia. Israel is sending ambulances, medication, and winter equipment such as blankets.


According to a compromise agreement signed this week the Australian Jewish sportswoman Sasha Elterman will receive compensation of $4 million from the State of Israel, following her severe injury in the World Maccabi Games bridge disaster three years ago. Families of the other injured athletes will also receive compensation, as determined by the Court. The Israeli Government, World Maccabi and the company which built the bridge will bear joint responsibility for payment of the compensation. Following the settlement, representatives of Australian Jewry announced that their team will participate in the next World Maccabi Games to be held in July.


The Israeli Shikun U'Binui construction company will build a toll road in the Czech Republic, at a cost of a billion dollars. The 80 km. road will serve as a corridor between Poland and Hungary. Negotiations with the Czech Government are currently being finalized.


A 50-year old woman who underwent private surgery for the suction of fat, died six days after surgery after she was diagnosed as suffering from a ruptured intestine while hospitalized at the Ichilov hospital. After her death there was a sharp exchange between the hospital, which attempted to save the woman, and the private surgeon as to the cause of the death. The hospital determined that the fact that the woman was hospitalized in a critical condition just hours after surgery performed by the private surgeon speaks for itself, and rejected the surgeon's "evasive" claims.


Police have issued a warning that toxic, fatal ecstasy pills are being distributed on the market, and are believed to have caused the death of two people this week - a 32-year old man and woman, residents of Kiryat Motzkin, after taking the drug. Two people have been arrested on suspicion of providing the poisoned drug.


Professors Shmuel Streiman and Yosef Amari of the Weizmann Institute are this year's winners of the Israel prize for research in physics for "their enormous contribution to various fields of basic and applied physics". Professors Ruth Ben Israel of Tel Aviv University and Yehoshua Weisman of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have been awarded the Israel Prize for law research "which has influenced the development of labor, ownership and women's status law".


This week a cell phone was heard ringing from the grave of an elderly woman, who had been buried just a few hours earlier. Those attending a funeral at the Yarkon Cemetery were astounded to hear the ringing and only after an examination it transpired that someone who had attended the funeral had apparently dropped the phone into the grave while covering it.


Mass hysteria in Israel due to the all-time record prize in Israel's football pools (Toto) - NIS 36 million ($ 9million). There has been an unprecedented "assault" on the Toto stands, and one participant even filled out forms worth half a million shekels.

More in this issue...

TOURIST DEVELOPMENT AT NORTHERN END OF DEAD SEA GOLF COURSE, PROMENADE AND HOTELS

The World Zionist Organization's (WZO) Settlement Division, in conjunction with the communities of the Megilot Regional Council along the northern coast of the Dead Sea, are currently working on a program to construct a prestigious golf course in their area, to serve professional golfers from all over the world.

Shai Lavi, director of the Settlement Division's Central Region, said that the tourist project includes the development of grassy areas and landscaped parks, covering 2,200 dunam, based on the flow of treated waste water to the area from Jerusalem. The project also includes the construction of hotel accommodation with 1500 guest units, golf facilities, a golf club and the development of related tourist services.

A delegation from the project designers recently visited several golf courses in desert areas in the western USA, in order to study this subject close up. During the visit members of the delegation met with professional designers and leading business companies in this sector, who expressed their willingness to be involved in the various projects. At present the communities are busy locating entrepreneurs and strategic investors from within Israel's tourism industry.

According to Lavi, the golf sector is one of the most active branches globally of the sports sector and attracts considerable activity by players as well as economic activity centering on the running of the golf courses, the sale of hosting and hotel products and services.

The Megilot Regional Council began infrastructure work in the area this week to develop a promenade and water and sewage infrastructure along the northern Dead Sea coast. The WZO Settlement Division plans to assist the economic development of communities in the region through the tourism project.

More in this issue...

PARTNERSHIP 2000 BAR/BAT MITZVAH AT THE WESTERN WALL FOR YOUNGSTERS FROM FRANCE AND MA'ALOT

Thirteen Jewish youngsters from France, students at one of the religious Jewish day-schools in Paris, celebrated a bar/bat-mitzvah ceremony at the Western Wall together with 14 youngsters from Ma'alot. The French Jewish community is partner with the Ma'alot Tarshiha area within the Partnership 2000 project.

The French group arrived in Israel at the beginning of the week for the bar/bat-mitzvah project, which is being organized together with the religious division of the Israel Experience Program. During the week, the French youngsters together with their counterparts from Ma'alot, enjoyed educational activities on Jewish-Zionist subjects and prepared themselves for the bar/bat-mitzvah ceremony.

The educational program also included learning about World Jewry and the French Jewish community, hosting by Israeli families, a visit to the Holocaust Museum at Lochamei Hagetaot and a visit to the Diaspora Museum, activity on the subject of Jerusalem and visits to different parts of the country. The highlight of the project was the bar/bat-mitzvah ceremony that took place at the Western Wall today.

Eliana Geiger, director of the Jewish Agency's Ma'alot Tarshiha office, said that the project is designed to strengthen the bonds between the region's residents and the Jewish community in France, and enhance Jewish identity among Jewish youngsters in Israel and abroad.


Bnei Mitzva at the Western Wall
(photo: Joe Malcolm)

More in this issue...

NICOISE SALAD

Some salads contain enough ingredients to be a full meal. There are dozens of versions of the Nicoise, depending on produce availability. The basic ingredients are tuna, anchovy, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes and black olives. You may choose the other vegetables to suit your taste buds. Here is our favorite version:

Basic ingredients:

4-6 red tomatoes quartered or 8 cherry tomatoes
3 hard-boiled eggs
1 large can tuna (200 gr.)
6-10 anchovy fillets
12 large black olives
1/2 onion sliced in rings

Optional :

Up to 1/2 kg. green beans, slightly cooked
Small amount of cooked, dried beans
1 pepper cut in rings
3 artichoke hearts, cooked and sliced
1 heart of lettuce, leaves separated
6 large sliced radishes
1 sliced pickled cucumber

The salad may be dressed with a vinaigrette dressing prepared with a large quantity of olive oil, fresh basil or chopped parsley, a little ground garlic and sprinkle of capers.

Serve the salad on a bed of fresh lettuce.

B'Te'avon!     Bon Appetit!

More in this issue...