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December 5, 1999

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Tzemach News Service items
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 1999 09:27:43 -0500

From: "Moza" <>

Tzemach News Service
Week Ending: 4 December 1999 / 25 Kislev 5760

HERE WE GO AGAIN: The UN General Assembly on Wednesday
passed six resolutions regarding Israel and the Middle East. The
three main resolutions call for Israel's withdrawal from the Golan
Heights to the July 4, 1967 borders, the removal of all international
embassies from Jerusalem, and canceling the Israeli Parliaments'
decision to apply Israeli law to the city of Jerusalem. Resolutions
regarding Israeli rule over Jerusalem have been passed every year
at this time since 1980. The vote regarding the Jerusalem
resolution was 139 votes in favor, one against (Israel), and 3
abstentions (Swaziland, United States and Uzbekistan). The other
resolutions covered the "question of Palestine" and authorized the
continued work of the "Committee on the Exercise of the
Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People". One resolution,
calling for resolution of the problem of "Palestinian" refugees from
the 1948 war of Independence and Israel's withdrawal to 1967 lines,
was adopted with 149 votes in favor. The United States, Israel and
the Marshall Islands voted against the resolution, which also
included support for "Palestinian" statehood, while Uzbekistan and
Micronesia abstained.

The representative of Israel Tuesday afternoon reiterated to the
General Assembly that Jerusalem was the united capital of the
State of Israel, as established by King David more than 3,000
years ago.

With an overwhelming majority, the General Assembly also
approved a draft resolution submitted by Egypt to ban nuclear
proliferation in the Middle East region. The resolution calls on Israel
to promptly submit to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty (NPT) and
to put all its nuclear installations under the supervision of the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The draft resolution,
further, calls on Israel to give up its unclear weapons and to refrain
from producing or stockpiling such weapons.

[Editor's note: Sites with information regarding the UN's treatment
of Israel and Jerusalem can be found on our links webpage located

Negotiations to secure a place for Israel in a regional group from
which it could compete for a Security Council seat and other UN
positions appear stalled within the European Union (EU), diplomats
said. The EU, at a meeting of political directors in Brussels on 26
November, failed to reach any decision. The issue is expected to
be discussed again on Dec. 6, the diplomats said. The regional
group, known as Western Europe and Others (WEOG) and
includes nations from Australia to Canada, has been considering
giving Israel temporary membership, an action promoted by the
government of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Under UN rules,
Israel should be part of the Asian regional group, which includes its
Middle East neighbors. But Arab nations have opposed its
membership for years so Israel is seeking a place in the Western
group. Many committee posts as well as the ten non- permanent
seats on the Security Council are nominated by regional groups to
retain a geographical balance. Although some countries never get
nominated for a seat, only Israel cannot compete at all.

"And the L-rd has today declared you to be His people, a treasured
possession, as He promised you, and that you should keep all His
commandments; and that He shall set you high above all nations
which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall
be a consecrated people to the L-rd your G-d, as He has spoken"
(Deuteronomy 26.18-19). (REUTERS, NASB)

Palestinian Authority (PA/PLO) will commence negotiations on the
third redeployment from Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza)
pursuant to the Interim Agreement on Sunday, HA'ARETZ reported.
Prime Minister Ehud Barak instructed the Israeli negotiating team
not to discuss the size of the withdrawal. At this stage, the second
redeployment has yet to be completed, as PLO Chairman Yasser
Arafat refuses to approve the current maps. Barak stated
unequivocally on Thursday that the maps will not be altered.
According to all the agreements, Israel alone determines what land
will be turned over. The PA/PLO has no say in the matter. (ISRAEL

VISITORS FROM THE US: US Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright will travel to the Middle East Sunday to assess the efforts
of the Israelis and Palestinians to reach a framework agreement on
permanent status issues by their target date of mid-February,
State Department Spokesman James Rubin said Monday. In
addition to meeting with Arafat and Barak, Albright will visit Saudi
Arabia, Syria and Egypt to advance progress on all tracks of the
peace process, Rubin said. In addition, US mediator Dennis Ross
and Assistant Secretary of State Martin Indyk, will hold talks with
Israeli and Palestinian leaders beforehand to pave the way for
Albright's visit. The two left the US on Friday. (US DEPT. OF

President Clinton signed into law this week the first-ever legislation
concerning American victims of Palestinian Arab terrorism. The
Zionist Organization of America, one of the major proponents of the
law, reports that 12 American citizens have been murdered by Arab
terrorists since the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993. Of the 23
terrorists involved in these killings, most are free in PA/PLO
territory, and at least five are serving in the PA/PLO para-military
police force. The new law requires the State Department to provide
Congress with regular, detailed reports on American efforts to bring
the killers to trial, including the latest information on which
Palestinian Arab killers are serving in the PA/PLO police or are
out of prison, and more. The bill does not make aid granted to
the PA/PLO contingent on its level of cooperation (ARUTZ-7,

ISRAEL AND CHINA ARMS DEAL: Li Peng, chairman of China's
National People's Congress, secretly visited an Israeli aircraft
factory to see a reconnaissance plane that Israel is building for
China in defiance of Washington's request to halt the project,
HA'ARETZ reported on Wednesday. The aircraft contains an
advanced Israeli-made radar system that reportedly can detect
stealth aircraft and cruise missiles. Under a $US250 million ($390
million) contract signed in 1996, Israel will eventually sell eight of
the AWAC planes to China. The Israelis could deliver a prototype
to China next northern spring. According to the magazine
AVIATION WEEK, Washington has asked Israel to reconsider the
aircraft deal with China. There have been hints that Congress might
retaliate by cutting US military aid to Israel. Israel has informed
Washington that no US-made components are used. The Israelis
are asking why the American government did not involve itself when
the British offered a similar system to the Chinese. An official at
Israel Aircraft Industries told HA'ARETZ that the US was being
cynical and hypocritical. "Let them halt their own sales of Boeing
aircraft and computers to China," he said. The company is building
similar planes for India, South Korea and Turkey.

Meanwhile, Peng pledged his country's support Saturday for an
eventual Palestinian state. Li reminded the lawmakers that China
has a long history of supporting the Palestinian cause. In the past,
China provided the PLO with military training and weapons. Today,
the Chinese are among donor nations that assist the PA/PLO with
financial aid. (AUSTRALIAN, AP)

ARAFAT INVITES MILOSEVIC: Arafat and the Greek Orthodox
Patriarch Diodoros I have sent out invitations to all the leaders of
Christian Orthodox countries, including outlaw Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic, for Orthodox Christmas celebrations on
January 6. Milosevic is an indicted war criminal wanted by the
international war crimes tribunal for recent atrocities committed
against Kosovo Albanians. Diodoros' invitees include the top
leaders from Russia, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Moldova, Belarus,
Ukraine, and Bulgaria, who would join Israeli President Ezer
Weizman at Beit Hanassi for an official dinner. Russian President
Boris Yeltsin just confirmed to Arafat that he hopes to attend.

Meanwhile, Arafat officially opened millennium celebrations
Saturday in Bethlehem. The majority of Bethlehem is in fact
Muslim. Christians are a shrinking minority. But one of the honored
guests, the pope's envoy, Pietro Sambi, told VOA the start of the
new millennium is a sign for the two faiths to show greater respect
for one another. Bethlehem, a Palestinian controlled area, now has
a $180 million facelift from foreign donations and private funds.

Yossi Beilin has instructed his office to give preference to Arab
candidates for positions in committees under the jurisdiction of his
ministry, and in the government in general. The Ministry of Justice
has 32 Arab employees among the some 1,500 ministry
employees. Beilin stated that in cases where there are two
candidates with equal qualifications, one an Arab and one a Jew,
he wants preference given to the Arab. (ISRAEL LINE)

NO FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN PA/PLO: Earlier this week, 20
Palestinian intellectuals and lawmakers published a manifesto
linking Arafat himself to widespread corruption. Eleven of the 20
were arrested by Arafat's police. In Gaza, the Palestinian
Legislative Council, dominated by Arafat supporters, voted 33 to 8
to condemn the dissidents' anti- corruption manifesto. Equally
threatening, they voted to form a committee to monitor lawmakers'
behavior and speech. Arafat wants to arrest the seven legislators
who signed the anti-corruption manifesto but because of their office
are immune to sanctions. In Ram'Allah, some 4,000 people turned
out for a rally in support of Arafat that was organized by his Fatah
movement as a show of force. Several dozen Fatah activists,
standing in small groups on rooftops, fired shots in the air, their
faces covered with black hoods. Marchers chanted, "Unity, unity,
national unity!" (CNN, AP)

RELIANT MERMAID '99: Naval ships and aircraft of Israel, Turkey
and the United States will conduct a combined humanitarian
assistance, search-and-rescue exercise in international waters off
the southern coast of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean. The
exercise, "Reliant Mermaid '99", is scheduled for 14-17 December
1999. The sole objective of this exercise is to practice coordinated
search and rescue procedures for assisting people in distress at
sea. Elements of the three naval forces, which regularly operate in
the Mediterranean, will lay a foundation for more effective and rapid
humanitarian responses to actual maritime emergencies by
familiarizing themselves with each other's capabilities and working
together. The three-day exercise will involve a small number of
ships from each country's forces, along with helicopters and search
aircraft. A total of 390 US sailors will be involved in the exercise.

CONVENTION FOCUS' ON THE GOLAN: Hundreds of people took
part Thursday night in the founding convention of the National
Council for the Golan. The event was held in the Binyanei Ha'Umah
Convention Center in Jerusalem. The presidium of the Council
includes public figures from both the right and left of the political
spectrum, including Likud MK and former Defense Minister Moshe
Arens, former Israel Air Force Commander Herzl Budinger, former
Labor party government Minister Shlomo Hillel, and Gen. (res.)
Yaakov Chisdai. The committee that will attempt to rally public
opinion against an Israeli withdrawal. They have decided to open
with an information campaign concentrating on the issues of water
and security. (ARUTZ-7, ISRAELWIRE)

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Syrians pray for rain following call by Assad
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 1999 12:27:09 -0500

From: <>

12/03/1999 22:17:00 ET

Syrians pray for rain following call by Assad

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - Responding to a call by President Hafez Assad,
thousands of Syrians prayed for rain Friday as a second year of drought
threatens the country's cattle and crops.

Minister of Religious Endowments Mohammed Raouf Ziyada joined
worshippers at a Damascus mosque as they recited verses from the Koran,
the Muslim holy book, pleading with God to send rain.

"Assad's call for the prayers was ... due to the pressing need for
water," said a statement issued by the Ministry of Religious

In Syria, the rainy season usually begins in October. Some provinces
have received small amounts of rain this year. But not a drop has fallen
in the capital, Damascus, which received 3 inches of rain last year, far
less than the annual average of 8 inches.

To deal with the shortage, the government has resorted to rationing,
pumping water to Damascus residents 10 hours a day. The government has
also said that Syrians caught wasting water - for instance, washing their
cars or their terraces with buckets of water - will either be jailed or
ordered to pay a fine.

State-run Syrian television and radio have launched a wide-scale
campaign urging Syrians to be careful while using water.

To help relieve the plight of sheep farmers, parliament earlier this
year eased their taxes as well as restrictions on exporting sheep. It also
is extending loans for the farmers to buy subsidized fodder and has called
on the Agriculture Ministry to increase funding for imported veterinary

The drought has also more than halved Syria's olive production this year -
down to around 385,000 tons from 785,000 tons last year.

Nahi Shebani, director of the Statistics and Planning Department, has
warned that this year's wheat harvest would barely cover the country's
minimum needs.


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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Arutz-7 News items (12/5/99)
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 1999 20:09:22 -0500

From: "Moza" <>


The Waqf's construction works on the Temple Mount continued
uninterrupted over the weekend. The Jerusalem Municipality has
begun legal proceedings against the works, and sought a court
order today to block them. If the Moslem Waqf does not halt its
activities there within a week, the city will ask for police
intervention. The Moslems have recently opened a 12-meter wide
opening in the Solomon's Stables area under the southern area of
the Temple Mount, and great damage to Jewish archeological
artifacts there is feared.

Prime Minister Barak refuses to hear criticism by Likud members
of his handling of the matter. "To hear criticism of our judgement
from some of the main players in the [Hasmonean] Tunnels fiasco,"
he said today, "the ramifications of which we have made an effort to
neutralize, but which helped foster the friction between the Waqf
and the police, which has in turn brought about a situation whereby
Waqf works are occasionally carried out without being coordinated
with the Antiquities Authority - to hear criticism from those who
were key players in this fiasco, is... strange, and even absurd."


"If there is a way to reach an agreement with the Palestinians, then
it's time to do so, but if there isn't - then we might as well know
that right now." So said Prime Minister Ehud Barak on Friday in a
meeting with newspaper editors in Tel Aviv. "The process has been
pushed along by Israel always giving, while the Palestinians only
take. If this continues, we will be left with no strategic assets for
the final-status agreement." Regarding a unilateral withdrawal from
Lebanon, Barak has decided that this option will be examined in
depth only five months from now, if talks with Syria have not been
resumed by then.


Chanukah will be given special significance this year, when the
Temple Institute in Jerusalem unveils its newly-completed Menorah
(candelabrum) at a special ceremony in the Old City's Cardo plaza
tonight. Rabbi Menachem Makover, director of the Institute, said
today that the new approximately six-foot high Menorah has been
built according to the exact specifications of the Torah. "This does
not mean that it will necessarily be used for the Temple," he told
Arutz-7's Yosef Zalmanson, "and in fact we are forbidden to
consecrate it now for Temple use. All those who contributed to the
Menorah were made aware of this point. However, it is suitable for
use in the Beit HaMikdash."

Rabbi Makover said that while the original Biblical Menorah was
comprised of solid gold, "a kosher Menorah may be made of
bronze, or may even be hollow - but if it is made with gold, then the
gold or gold-plating must be of one piece. In order to do this, we
built a bronze substructure, which we then immersed in a vat of
gold. This Menorah is thus plated with almost 43 kilograms of 'one
piece' of gold." He added a timely message: "We felt that on
Chanukah, there could be nothing more appropriate than to have
the golden Menorah return to Jerusalem as a symbol of the rebirth
of the Jewish people and our march towards fulfilling the vision of
building the Temple."

Arutz-7's Ariel Kahane pointed out that "some people have raised
halakhic [Jewish legal] problems associated with building Temple
vessels - maybe you're running ahead a bit too fast?" Rabbi
Makover: "We are simply fulfilling one of the Torah's
commandments. Maimonides, in his list of Torah commandments,
enumerates the positive injunction to 'construct the Temple.' An
important element in the fulfillment of this mitzvah is the
construction of the Temple's vessels. We believe that the vessels
should be the inheritance of the Jewish people, and we are able to
prove this view from a halakhic standpoint." The Institute has just
recently completed two other central Temple Vessels, namely, the
Golden Altar and the Table.

In addition to the website listed here on Friday, information on
Chanukah can also be found on the following sites: * Chabad - <a
href=3D""> </a>
* Virtual Jerusalem - <A
href=3D""> </a> * Nishmas Chaim -
<A href=3D""> </a>


Hackers have cracked the computer system of PLO headquarters
in Tunisia, only to find that "Yasser Arafat has salted away billions
of pounds for the Palestinian Liberation Organization in secret
foreign bank accounts and investments." So reports the London
Sunday Telegraph today. The article writes that the hackers
discovered that the PLO maintains about =A35 billion in bank
accounts in Zurich, Geneva and New York, along with accounts
containing smaller sums in North Africa, Europe and Asia. In
addition, the records reportedly show that the PLO owns shares on
the Frankfurt, Paris and Tokyo stock exchanges, including stock in
Mercedes Benz, and property in prestigious areas of European
capitals. The paper claims that the reports "are likely to prompt
international donors=85 to ask why Mr. Arafat is still demanding aid
for his Palestinian Authority."

Arutz Sheva News Service
Sunday, December 5, 1999 / Kislev 26, 5760 - eve of the 3rd night
of Chanukah

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Dec 6, 1999 TV Programs
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 1999 20:11:57 -0500

From: "Moza" <>

9:00 PM Eastern

 DISC - IF WE HAD NO MOON - Without the moon, life as we
know it would cease to exist.(CC)(TVG)

 HIST - THE TIMES CAPSULE - Grand themes of human
          endeavor in the past 1,000 years; narrated by Harry


 DISC - SAVAGE SUN - The star is the power plant of Earth's
          solar system.(CC)(TVG)

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