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May 24, 2000

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - (Fwd) Arutz-7 Op-Ed: BEYOND ABU DIS
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 08:40:44 -0400

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From: Arutz-7 Editor <>
Subject: Arutz-7 Op-Ed: BEYOND ABU DIS
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by Jay Shapiro
Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio <>
Broadcast on May 18, 1999 / Iyar 13, 5760

In this Article:
  1. Kafka Would Be Proud
  2. Convergence of Interests
  3. Those Corrupted
  4. Rounding Out the Unholy Alliance
  5. Clouds Overhead

Last week, we witnessed events that can only be described as surrealistic,
even Kafka-esque: The Prime Minister of Israel decided to give part of
Jerusalem away to terrorists whose aim it is to destroy us. As the Knesset
was in the midst of voting, PLO terrorists - using weapons we had ourselves
provided - were shooting at IDF forces throughout the country.

The people that have made these events possible are the coalition of the
post-Zionist Israeli left, ruthless power merchants like Barak, Ministers
Ramon and Ben Ami, and Israel's very own anti-Israel, anti-Jewish Arabs.
Post-Zionists are those who are no longer interested in Israel as a state
of the Jewish people - a state with ties to the Jewish Diaspora and roots
in Jewish history. Guiding the legal side of the post-Zionist agenda is
Chief Justice Aharon Barak and the Supreme Court, while politicians such as
Oslo architect Yossi Beilin steer government policy. Neither the power
merchants nor the post-Zionist left believe in the holiness of the Land of
Israel, nor in the unique mission of the Jewish people. The post-Zionists
actively oppose such ideals, while the power merchants are simply
indifferent to them.

There is yet another group not yet mentioned: those who can be corrupted by
the above coalition. An analysis of the Abu Dis vote in the Knesset shows
us precisely who they are. The vote was 56 in favor and 48 against the
giveaway. Conventional wisdom suggests that the eight Shas members who
chose not to be present for the vote were told to do so in order to collect
a 50-million shekel payment to the party's school system - what I would
call "narrow party considerations." Had these 8 Shas members voted against
the giveaway of Jerusalem neighborhoods, it would not have passed.

As far as Yisrael B'Aliyah is concerned, if party chief Natan Sharansky had
not left the Knesset but had rather stayed to vote against, the number of
opponents would have totalled 57. That same evening, Sharansky had the
nerve to appear at a demonstration in Jerusalem protesting the giveaway.
For reasons known only to himself, Sharansky chose his ministerial seat
over the unity of Jerusalem. It is sad to see how, in a few short years,
Sharansky has undergone a transition from a person who symbolized the
triumph of the human spirit - to a small-time politician. I say this with
great sadness. He is a historical figure whose golden halo has become
tarnished by politics.

Even the National Religious Party finally reached a red line it could not
cross. Rabbi Yitzchak Levy resigned his position because the unity of
Jerusalem and the Jewish people are more important than coalition
considerations and a seat in the government.

The last group in this unholy alliance are Israel's Arabs, who express
overt support for our enemies. They exercise a significant yet subtle
influence on the direction of the country, as well. It is commonly
believed that, with the withdrawal from Lebanon, Ehud Barak capitulated to
groups like The Four Mothers. His real reason for leaving Lebanon,
however, may lie in several items that receive very little coverage in the
Israeli media. One example: In central Israel, not far from the airport,
are two "mixed" towns of Arabs and Jews: Lod and Ramle. In both places,
but especially in Lod, the Arabs have engaged in illegal building on a
massive scale. During the most recent elections, this was a major campaign
issue; in fact, the local mayor was elected on a platform to halt just such
activity. According to the mayor of Lod, more than 1,000 illegal buildings
have been erected in the last few years by local Arabs.

The City of Lod successfully obtained court orders for the destruction of
most of these buildings. Eight months ago, the mayor took action and tore
down one structure. In response, hundreds of Arabs - led by some Arab
Knesset members - rioted, stoned cars, destroyed property and began to
rebuild the illegal structure. As the city authorities prepared to raze it
again, none other than Shimon Peres intervened and asked the mayor to stop.
 In exchange, Peres promised that he would get the Arabs to stop the
building. Nothing was done and the structure was re-built. Since then,
municipal authorities have been powerless to impose the law as police
refuse to execute the court orders. According to the minutes of a meeting
held between the police and the city authorities, the police say that Prime
Minister Ehud Barak has instructed them not to act on this matter.

It's my sense that Barak did not decide on a retreat from Lebanon, a move
that endangers Israel's northern communities, because of the protests of a
few Jewish women's groups. Rather, to hold onto power, he will do all that
he feels necessary to placate the Arabs - because he needs their votes. It
may be true that the Arabs will never vote for a right-wing candidate - but
they may very well vote for other Arab parties or even stay home on
election day.

Jabotinsky, the Zionist leader, was surprised time and again by the refusal
of people to accept the logic of his conclusions when he exhorted them to
leave Europe in the 30's. Max Nordau, the Zionist leader, explained with
painful simplicity, "Logic is the wisdom of Greece, which our nation
abhors. A Jew does not learn through logical thinking, he learns from
tragedy. He will not buy an umbrella just because clouds have appeared on
the horizon. He will wait until he is drenched and catches pneumonia."

We cannot afford to wait. The storm has already begun, and everybody must
do all that he or she can. Rabbi Tarfon, in Ethics of the Fathers, said:
"The day is short, the task is great, the workmen are lazy, the reward is
great, and the Master is insistent. You are not called upon to complete the
work, yet you are not free to evade it." Today, mid-way between the
Festival of Freedom and the Festival of the Giving of the Torah, our future
is in our hands. Jews and Lovers of Zion around the world - those dedicated
to Israel's survival as a Jewish state - must remain strong and undaunted.
Despite all the pain caused by the developments of the last few years, we
will continue to battle our enemies while simultaneously engaging in the
crucial spiritual-cultural battle with our brothers from within. Through
our efforts and Divine help, let us pray that we succeed in preserving the
State of Israel as a distinctly Jewish country.

* * * * * * *
Jay Shapiro heads a consulting firm dealing with United States Government
contracting. Host of a popular current events show on Arutz-7 English
broadcasts, he has worked extensively to promote aliyah to Eretz Yisrael.

Mr. Shapiro is the author of several books of essays about Israel
describing trends of Israeli societal alienation from cultural, national,
and religious roots that threaten the existence of the state. For
information, e-mail <>.

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Real World News items (5/22/00)
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 09:00:29 -0400

REAL WORLD NEWS 05/24/2000

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on
Sunday called the United States ``shameful'' for skimping on
foreign aid to the world's poorest nations where many people live
on $1 a day. In a commencement address to Notre Dame University,
Annan said ``It is particularly shameful that the United States,
the most prosperous and successful country in the history of the
world, should be one of the least generous in terms of the share of
its gross national product it devotes to helping the world's

"Ghost" airplanes, or images of airplanes that do not exist or are
far away, are popping up with more frequency on the radar screens
that control air traffic at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, it was
reported Saturday. On a few occasions, air traffic controllers
unnecessarily ordered pilots to make dangerous sudden turns or
descents to avoid the false radar images, but no near collisions
have occurred, the Chicago Sun Times reported in its Sunday edition.

With soldiers dying in rebel ambushes in Chechnya, Russia's
military is having more trouble than ever filling its ranks,
leaving some units seriously undermanned. Never popular, military
service enjoyed a brief surge last fall when Russian troops moved
into Chechnya and scored a string of victories. Eight months
later, with the army bogged down in a war against elusive
guerrillas and suffering mounting losses, the enthusiasm for
military service has faded. The military says some 2,300 soldiers
have been killed in the war, but critics say the true figure is at
least twice as high.

The last French franc banknotes were printed this week as the
country prepares to switch to the euro currency, the Bank of France
announced Saturday.

The controversial cloning of human organs is to be given the
go-ahead by the government. British scientists will be the first
in the world to be allowed to develop the technology which will
enable them to "grow" organs in other animals. The first human
parts - cloned from a patient's stem cells - could be used for
heart, lung, liver or kidney transplants within the next siz years.

For more than a century, Mexico has made do with just one national
saint. But that's about to change: On Sunday, Pope John Paul II is
due to canonize 27 more for the world's second-largest Roman
Catholic country after Brazil. ``It is very important for national
pride,'' said historian Jean Meyer, who has specialized in religion
in Mexico. ``It's an international boost that strokes the Mexican
collective ego, rather like winning the soccer World Cup.''

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Infobeat News items (5/24/00)
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 09:09:42 -0400

*** Heat wave hits Western U.S.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Record-breaking temperatures in the 90s and
100s across California have melted Sierra ski runs, closed sidewalk
cafes and brought pleas for energy conservation. The mercury has also
been unseasonably high elsewhere in the West this week, with Arizona
and Nevada already seeing midsummer heat. "I'm hot, muggy, sweaty.
The sun's beating me up," said Danny Drum, a construction worker
pushing a wheelbarrow in Las Vegas, where the temperature Tuesday
afternoon was 107, one degree over the previous record for the day.
Phoenix hit 106, but that was almost cool compared to other places in
Arizona this week - a record 117 in Lake Havasu City and 116 in
Bullhead City. See

*** U.S. disaster risk rises with growth

WASHINGTON (AP) - Natural disasters are getting more frequent and
more severe, Federal Emergency Management Agency Director James Lee
Witt said Tuesday, preaching a gospel of preparation and prevention
for Americans. "Tornado activity, we see now, normally starts in the
spring of the year, starting in January. Hurricane seasons seem like
they're much more intense," Witt told editors and reporters of AP.
"We will see," he said, from "what the scientists tell us, some
extremely devastating events in the 21st century." Faced with a
proposed budget of $300 million for a disaster fund, Witt said his
agency studied its disaster costs over the previous five years and
found the average was $2.9 billion annually. That's now the size of
FEMA's disaster contingency fund. See

*** Swiss make Holocaust apology

BERN, Switzerland (AP) - The Swiss government apologized to a Jewish
brother and sister Tuesday for having expelled them with their
parents during the Holocaust, and agreed to pay them $118,000 in an
out-of-court settlement. Charles Sonabend, whose parents later
perished at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland, said the meeting with
Finance Minister Kaspar Villiger and Interior Minister Ruth Dreifuss
was comforting. The $118,000, which the Finance Ministry will pay to
Charles and Sabine Sonabend, is an out-of-court settlement to cover
costs incurred during their legal battle. Charles Sonabend said he
filed the lawsuit because he thought media attention was the only way
to get through to today's young about what happened. See

*** Commission proposes German reform

BERLIN (AP) - Germany must shed its historical trepidation and spend
more money to create a lean, modern and more professional military, a
high-level commission recommended Tuesday. The panel's proposals
marked a sea change for the German military, formed from the ashes of
World War II and defined by the Cold War front line that ran through
the country. They also addressed concerns of the United States, which
has appealed to European countries to take a stronger role in NATO.
While proposing that the total armed forces be cut from about 338,000
to 240,000 by 2006, the panel headed by former President Richard von
Weizsaecker said the number of troops ready for action should be
increased from about 60,000 to 140,000. See

*** House approves Gold Medal for Pope

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House voted Tuesday to award the Congressional
Gold Medal to Pope John Paul II in recognition of his contributions
to peace and religious understanding. The legislation, passed 416-1,
praised the spiritual leader of 1 billion Catholics for dedicating
his pontificate "to the freedom and dignity of every individual human
being" and using "his moral authority to hasten the fall of godless
totalitarian regimes." Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, who introduced the
bill, said the former Polish bishop who became pope 22 years ago "has
sundered despotism and ennobled faith by displaying the courage and
conviction." The bill directs the president to determine the
provisions by which the medal will be awarded. See

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - French Bill Aims to Name Web Page Creators
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 09:14:20 -0400

Anonymity? Mais Non!
French Bill Aims to Name Web Page Creators

By Jason Straziuso
The Associated Press

P A R I S, May 23 — Itīs called the Liberty of Communication Act, but critics say the French government-sponsored legislation would instead encourage the Internetīs first mass emigration.

By requiring that the names of all who publish on the Internet be registered with authorities, the bill could prompt an exodus of French users to Net companies in other nations, opponents say.

The legislation, passed by the House and being debated in the Senate this week, would apply to any company that hosts World Wide Web pages viewable by the public.

It is apparently without precedent in Europe and the United States.

Link via:

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Musical Chairs Too Violent for Children?
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 09:21:40 -0400

Tuesday May 23 8:40 AM ET

 Musical Chairs Too Violent for Children?

LONDON (Reuters) - For generations musical chairs has been harmless fun
for children, but a booklet launched by Britain's Labor government urges
teachers to ban the game on the grounds that it encourages aggression.

The booklet's author Sue Finch had conceded that the advice might surprise
some adults, the Times reported on Tuesday.

``A little bit of competition is fine, but with musical chairs the competition is
not fair because it is always the biggest and strongest children who win,''
Finch was quoted as saying.

``Musical statues is better because everybody wins,'' she said.

Theresa May, education spokeswoman for the opposition Conservative Party,
slammed Education Minister Margaret Hodge for launching the booklet,
saying it was ``political correctness gone mad.''

``Children have played and enjoyed it for years,'' May said.

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - IsraelWire (5/24/00)
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 09:25:49 -0400

2000 - Year of the Palestine Viper
(IsraelWire-5/24) This is the year of the Palestine Viper, according to
Aryeh Keller, a supervisor of the Nature Protection and National Parks
Authority, responsible for trapping snakes for the Authority.

According to Keller, since the beginning of May over 30 Palestine Vipers
have been caught, which is the usual annual amount for Israel. Keller
explained that the large number of snakes might be due to an unprecedented
number of mice and other rodents, because of the large amount of garbage
left in nature sites, unauthorized garbage dumps, on the fringes of
residential areas, and on unused agricultural land. The increased number of
rodents brings with it an increase in the number of snakes. This is the season
in which the snakes come out of their hibernation, needing to feed and to
The vipers remain active until September.

"Anyone who is not an expert, should keep away any time he sees a snake,"
warns Keller.

Keller stated that if one finds a snake in the house, a professional snake
catcher should be called. Every police station and local authority has a
list of snake catchers.

The Palestine Viper is Israel's most common poisonous snake, and is found
from Beersheba to the Galilee. Its length varies between 1.2 to 1.7 meters.
The Palestine Viper has ponderous movements, and can be identified by the
diamond pattern that zigzags on its back and its triangular-shaped head. All the vipers
are nocturnal. The viper gives a warning hiss before striking.

Keller stated that areas around homes should be kept free of weeds and
debris, garbage and rock piles, in order to lessen the attraction for

In every case of snakebite, the bitten person should be rushed to a
hospital. The area of the bite should not be cut, sucked, or chilled with
ice, but should be cleaned with antiseptic, and constricting clothing
should be removed from the area of the wound. The bitten person should also
refrain from eating.

Israeli permitted to raise cannabis plants
(IsraelWire-5/24) In what is believed to be another Israeli first, a
private citizen has been authorized to grow cannabis, better known as
marijuana, in his home.

The citizens turned to officials in the Ministry of Health, documenting his
medical condition and severe chronic pain. He requested permission to raise
the plant, explaining the byproduct would assist him in alleviating the pain from
his illness. Health officials reviewed the medical documentation and the facts
in the case, deciding to approve the request on medical grounds, realizing the
use of the marijuana would be medicinal in this case.

The deputy director of the ministry, Dr. Boaz Lev, together with Yehoshua
Shoffman, a senior official in the State Attorney General's Office approved the

Legislators are currently processing legislation intended to accommodate
the growing of medicinal cannabis in the future. It is expected that it
will be a number of months until the bill is voted upon. Therefore, the
health and judicial officials decided to make the gesture in advance of the
passing of the law, to alleviate the suffering of the citizen.

[ .. snipped .. ]

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Magnet craze fear
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 08:52:22 -0500

Magnet craze fear

A GIRL aged nine was in intensive care last night after becoming the
latest victim of a growing craze that has seen 21 children treated in
hospital for swallowing magnets.

The youngsters, all of whom are from the Sheffield area, have been
admitted to the city's children's hospital in the past six weeks after
accidents which have all involved industrial strength magnets which are worn to
look like body piercings.

The tiny magnets are being attached to either side of the cheek,
nostril, tongue and lips, but they are so powerful that opposite polarity
causes a fierce repellant action.

Doctors are warning parents to be aware of what they are calling the
"life-threatening" craze.

Chantelle Horton, who is expected to be released from intensive care
shortly, accidentally swallowed 12 of the magnets.

She suffered a perforated gut and bowel and all 12 had become lodged
together by the time she was operated on. use index

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Ancient mayor's tomb, 102 mummies found in Egypt
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 09:00:47 -0500

------- Forwarded message follows -------

05/23/2000 14:15:00 ET

Ancient mayor's tomb, 102 mummies found in Egypt

BAHRIYA OASIS, Egypt (Reuters) - Egyptian archaeologists said on
Tuesday they had uncovered the tomb of a powerful but enigmatic
Pharaonic ruler and 102 Greco-Roman mummies, some wearing gold masks.

Gad Khensu Eyuf's 10-metre (33-foot)-deep tomb will furnish clues
about a provincial mayor who dared in his lifetime to represent
himself in temples in the same style as kings, Zahi Hawass, director
of the Giza plateau, told Reuters.

He said his team of 20 had discovered the tomb of Eyuf in April in a
tomb complex of nobles discovered in the 1930s in the town of Bawiti
in Bahriya oasis, 400 km (250 miles) southwest of Cairo, in the
Western Desert.

Archaeologists and restorers have battled with ropes, ladders, dust
and jagged rock since March inside a 100 square metre (1,000 sq foot)
labyrinth to uncover unique statues, colourful wall reliefs, pottery
and jewellery, said Hawass.

Some of the walls are covered in vivid depictions of Eyfu being
prepared for the afterlife by Anubis, the god of death. Eyuf's
12-tonne sarcophagus is adorned with rock-carved portraits and
profiles of the mayor.

One surprise awaited the archaeologists in Eyuf's tomb.

"We found large quantities of hematite (a valuable iron ore)," Hawass
said. "When I entered the tomb I felt the hematite prickle my chest
like thorns. Perhaps Eyuf put the yellow powder to protect his tomb
from unwelcome visitors."

Hawass said archaeologists had searched in vain for almost a century
over the exact location of the burial place of Eyuf, the mayor of
Bahriyah in the 26th dynasty in the reign of Pharaoh Apris (598-570
BC) who built a temple called Apris in the oasis.


"So many archaeologists have sought to find the tomb of Eyuf because
he was so influential," said Hawass. "They also wanted to find out
more information on why he was so influential."

He said pioneering Egyptian archaeologist Ahmed Fakhry had discovered
in the 1930s the burial complex of nobles who served Eyuf and were
buried beside him. But Fakhry failed to uncover the tomb of the
mysterious mayor himself, Hawass said.

More than a decade after Fakhry's discoveries, villagers built houses
over Eyuf's suspected resting place. It was only in March that Hawass
and his team were given permission to destroy the houses and continue
the search for the tomb.

Hawass's team also uncovered 102 mummies in seven tombs dating to the
later Greco-Roman period in a six square km (2.3 sq mile) necropolis
some 10 km (six miles) away from Eyuf's tomb.

Packed tightly in small caves carved into rock, many mummies still
bore colourful scenes painted by mortuary artists. Others had shed
their 2,000-year-old wrappings to reveal rusty-coloured skin and bone.

One female mummy carried a child mummy on her stomach, while another
mummy bore a mask showing people bearing offerings to ancient Egyptian
gods. No intricate paintings adorned the walls like those on the tomb
of Eyuf.

"We were able to date the mummies mainly by the way they had been
mummified," said archaeologist Khaled Salah. "During the Roman period,
the intestines of the deceased were left inside the body and masks
were plastered on to their faces before the bodies were sealed in
their tombs."


Last year, archaeologists discovered 105 mummies of high-ranking Roman
Egyptians in four tombs at the same site. The necropolis was dubbed
"The Valley of the Mummies" after a survey last year suggested that up
to 10,000 mummies could be lying under the soft sandstone.

"The main difference in the mummies we found this year from last year
is that some them date to the Greek period (332-30BC)," said Salah as
he pointed out a mummy of a man wearing a Greek-style beard.

"Also this year, we were able to bring an x-ray machine on site which
will help us do more check ups on the mummies and find out why they
died," he added.

The site became a cemetery under 26th Dynasty ruler Ankkaenre, who
ruled from 526 to 525 BC, but at least two thirds of the finds in the
area are from the Roman period (30 BC-AD 395).

Not much was known about Bahriyah oasis until a town developed there
in the sixth century BC. Its population grew under Greek rule.
Alexander the Great built a temple there after he entered Egypt in 332
BC, but the town's heyday was in Roman times when wine was the chief

Today, Bahriya is a tranquil oasis of date groves and hot springs, off
the tourist track. Its population has shrunk since Roman times and
there are few foreign visitors.

"It was thanks to the wine trade that locals in Bahriya grew rich,"
said Hawass. "That's why they were able to afford such lavish burials.
But I think the water here was rich in iron and that killed off many
of the town's inhabitants at a young age."

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Council of Churches aims to create all-inclusive group
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 11:37:33 -0500

Council of Churches aims to create all-inclusive group,1038,500207725-500290193-501574182-0,00.html

WASHINGTON (May 24, 2000 1:52 a.m. EDT - The
National Council of Churches wants to help form a new organization that
would for the first time include all major branches of U.S. Christianity.
Though much is uncertain about the plan approved by the council's board
Tuesday, one possibility is that the organization itself would go out of

The council is made up of mainline Protestant, black Protestant and Orthodox
denominations. The majority of U.S. Christians are outside the council, in
the Roman Catholic Church, Southern Baptist Convention, and Evangelical and
Pentecostal groups.

"I find this extremely helpful and hopeful," said the chief executive of one
key council member, the Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick of the Presbyterian Church

The board did not discuss the future existence of the council. But chief
executive Robert Edgar said in an interview it's an open question whether
the council would continue on alongside the new body, or disappear.

"Sometimes an organizational structure has to be willing to die. We have to
be willing to entertain that," said the Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson,
chief executive of the Reformed Church in America.

Edgar and Granberg-Michaelson are members of a small task force that will
hold preliminary talks with Christian groups outside the council, invite
them to join the process and propose next steps to the council's national
assembly in November.

The project faces numerous obstacles, both ideological and practical.
Conservative Protestants - Evangelicals, Pentecostals and Southern Baptists
- have been indifferent or hostile toward the council, often accusing it of
theological liberalism and promoting political causes to the neglect of
spiritual ones.

The U.S. Catholic Church decided a generation ago not to enter the council,
partly because Roman Catholics in this country alone exceed the 50 million
members in the council's 35 denominations.

However, since the Second Vatican Council, Catholic bishops have been free
to join cooperative bodies with other Christians and have done so in 55
other countries.

Edgar sent word of the proposal two weeks ago to the National Conference of
Catholic Bishops and the National Association of Evangelicals and plans
early contact with Southern Baptists.

In another major action, the council board settled a long-running dispute by
granting independent financial control to its relief agency, Church World
Service. The agency, which brings in 85 percent of council revenues, has
been dissatisfied with the cost and quality of council administration.
Oddly, leaders' negotiations over the Church World Service problem April 20
led to the idea of creating the new pan-Christian group. "It was a surprise
for all of us," said the Rev. Bruce Robbins, ecumenical officer for the
United Methodist Church.

The council has struggled through financial trouble, with a $4 million
deficit for 1999. Revenues are still "seriously lagging budget," a financial
report said. But Edgar expressed confidence that anticipated special gifts,
staff cuts and other economies would stabilize finances by the end of 2000.

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Woman cleared in exorcism case
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 11:48:25 -0500

Woman cleared in exorcism case

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- A woman who killed her 3-year-old son in an
exorcism ritual was cleared of criminal charges Wednesday due to mental
illness and ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment. The 36-year-old woman
drowned her son by pouring water into his mouth on June 17 last year. She
then stood on him to rid him of evil after becoming convinced he and his
four siblings were possessed by the devil, New South Wales Supreme Court was
told. She later tried to resurrect the boy by placing his body in a scalding
bath and pouring boiling water over him, prosecutors said. After
considering psychiatric reports, presiding judge Justice Greg James found
the woman innocent of the killing due to mental illness. "I cannot pass on
this case without remarking on the terrible tragedy which has overtaken you,
your children, your family and your church," he said. Her husband and other
family members were in court to support the woman. James ordered her held
in a psychiatric hospital until she is no longer considered a danger to
herself or the public.

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Men Kissing in Prime Time
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 11:54:03 -0500

Men Kissing in Prime Time Kissing in Prime Time

( - Actress Ellen DeGeneres made headlines several years ago
when she kissed another woman on her TV sitcom, and tonight, the male
version of "the kiss" takes place on the prime-time TV series Dawson's
Creek. In the season finale, the characters Jack and Ethan share a romantic
kiss. It's a "historically important" event, according to a spokesman for
the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, who called it a milestone
that needs to be passed. Dawson's Creek airs on the WB Network.

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Welcome to the age of killer technologies
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 12:35:56 -0500

Welcome to the age of killer technologies

Thursday 25 May 2000

IN THE midst of amazing and rapidly accelerating technological progress,
with all the benefits it confers, it's time to stop and ask where this
explosion of science is taking us. For most of a career devoted to solving
problems with technology, I gave too little thought to the ultimate
consequences of the power that we are beginning to unleash.

In fact, most of the warnings we have heard have been either in science
fiction or have come from Luddites who bring to the debate little more than
an anti-technology rant. But this is no excuse for ignoring these questions.
Increasingly, I have deep misgivings about the path we are on.

As terrible as the nuclear, biological and chemical weapons threats - the
weapons of mass destruction - were in the 20th century, the underlying
technologies behind them were largely of military use and held closely by a
small number of nation states. We have been lucky enough to have avoided
large incidents involving weapons of mass destruction for more than 50

Today we face another, graver, challenge to our survival. Our most powerful
21st-century technologies - genetic engineering, nanotechnology and robotics
(GNR for short) - carry a hidden risk of huge dimensions. They possess two
characteristics that make them different from previous technologies: they
are self-replicating; and they are "knowledge-enabled" - that is, they can
be used by many individuals and small groups, some of whom may be out to
cause catastrophic damage.

Unless we take strong action, we are liable to find ourselves living with a
whole new category of massively destructive technologies, all capable of
being put into action by widely available commercial devices.

The nearest danger is the release of a deadly pathogen: a bio-engineered
"white plague" that could be highly infectious, have a long incubation
period and be directed at specific groups.

Nanotechnology poses the threat of a "gray goo", perhaps no more interesting
than crabgrass, engineered from materials foreign to the environment, which
would out-compete the existing biosphere. In both cases, recall of these
menaces would be impossible; a global disaster could occur in weeks.

The robotic threat is farther out, but as Hans Moravec has suggested,
"biological species rarely survive encounters with superior competitors". If
we use technology to create robotic intelligences that are superior to ours,
they might come to view us as expendable.

These GNR technologies also, of course, can provide unheard-of benefits for
the world. They will be able to greatly improve our lives and lifespans,
eliminate material poverty and end the need for most manual labor.

We want the benefits of these technologies, but at the same time we have an
ethical responsibility for the future of our species. We must therefore find
alternatives to unacceptable empowerment, alternatives to democratising
extreme evil.

Like those who have grappled with the problems of nuclear, biological and
chemical weapons, we who are involved in advancing the new technologies must
devote our best efforts to heading off disaster. I offer a list of first
steps suggested by our history with weapons of mass destruction:

1. Have scientists and technologists (and corporate leaders as well) take a
vow, along the lines of the Hippocratic Oath, to avoid work on weapons of
mass destruction. Hans Bethe, a Nobel laureate, has called for such a step.

2. Create an international body to publicly examine the dangers and ethical
issues of new technology. Joshua Lederberg, a Nobel laureate who has worked
on biological and chemical weapons containment, points out that this kind of
work has been partially done, in the United States, by the Office of
Technology Assessment, which unfortunately was abolished in the 1990s.

3. Use stricter notions of liability, forcing companies to take
responsibility for consequences through a private-sector mechanism
insurance. A company might use the published opinion of a new, perhaps
international and non-governmental Office of Technological Assessment to
argue for lower insurance rates.

4. Internationalise control of knowledge and technologies that have great
potential but are judged too dangerous to be made commercially available.
This was proposed for military uses of atomic energy in the
Acheson-Lilienthal report at the dawn of the Atomic Age as a way of avoiding
the nuclear arms race.

5. Relinquish pursuit of that knowledge and development of those
technologies so dangerous that we judge it better that they never be
available. I too believe in the pursuit of knowledge and development of
technologies; yet, we already have seen cases, such as biological weapons,
where relinquishment is the obvious wise choice.

We must begin a collective international effort to come up with effective
and practical safeguards. The GNR technologies are being pursued
commercially, driven forward by intense competition and the accelerating
power of computers. It is clear that, left unchecked, they could enable
genocide or result in the extinction of the species. Fortunately, we seem to
have some time to consider and act on the ethical issues, but that time is

I believe it would be immoral to do nothing and just take whatever comes. We
can do better.

Bill Joy is the co-founder and chief scientist of Sun Microsystems. This
article appeared in The Washington Post, adapted from a piece written for

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Making peace: not in front of the kids
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 12:38:54 -0500

Making peace: not in front of the kids

Thursday 25 May 2000

AFTER all these years of Israelis and Palestinians talking about the core
issues - Jerusalem, refugees, prisoners, territory - you'd think there would
be no surprises left now that we have reached the endgame. But the final
peace talks are turning out to be more explosive and shocking than either
anticipated. Why?

Because for three decades, whenever issues such as Jerusalem, territory or
Palestinian refugees returning to Israel were raised, Israelis and
Palestinians had their stock answers ready: "The (other side) is simply
going to have to accept our demand for (fill in the blank) because we can't
possibly compromise on that issue. Sorry."

In other words, although both sides have talked about all the issues
involved in this endgame for decades, when it came to the hard compromises,
they were usually talking to themselves. And what's great about negotiating
with yourself is that you never have to really give ground, so your public
is never surprised.

But now that the Israelis and Palestinians are talking through various
secret channels (talks that Israel temporarily froze on Sunday due to the
recent violence in the West Bank) about the concrete compromises that are
required to make an actual deal possible, it is almost as though they are
talking about these issues for the first time - and their people and
coalitions are not fully prepared.

As a result, many Israelis are shocked at news leaks suggesting a final deal
with the Palestinians will require Israel to give up 90 to 92 per cent of
the West Bank, not 60 or 75 per cent, which had been the working assumption
all these years.

Many Israelis are going to be shocked to hear that, despite their insistence
on retaining a united Jerusalem, the Palestinians will have their own
administrative capital on the outskirts, in Abu Dis, with some access to and
oversight of Palestinian areas in East Jerusalem.

Many Israelis are going to be surprised to learn that, despite all these
years of insisting there be no return of Palestinian refugees to pre-1967
Israel, some Palestinians will be returning under the guise of "family
reunifications". Without these compromises, there will be no deal.

As for the Palestinians, after 30 years of declaring that they will not cede
to Israel one inch of the West Bank, they will be ceding 8 to 10per cent, on
which 80per cent of the Jewish settlers live; Jerusalem will remain the
unified capital of Israel and, while there will be a symbolic return of some
Palestinian refugees to pre-1967 Israel, it will only be symbolic.

Without these compromises, there will be no deal. And these are just the
hard compromises that have leaked. There will be more surprises.

This whole thing reminds me of a couple who for years have suffered through
a bad marriage. They are now meeting secretly with their divorce lawyers to
work out the separation and the only question is: when do we tell the kids?
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are working on all the details in
Stockholm, but they haven't told the kids yet (although many are getting

This helps explain the current surge of Palestinian-Israeli violence. The
Palestinians are enraged at Yasir Arafat because their fathers and sons are
still in Israeli prisons for committing violent acts against Jews that
Arafat ordered. But Arafat is now negotiating with the Israelis about a deal
that might not result in all the prisoners getting out, and he has not made
their release his top priority. Meanwhile, you have Israeli families who are
upset because they have had loved ones killed by these Palestinian
prisoners, and some of them are going to be released as part of a deal.

"And the problem," says the Middle East expert Stephen Cohen, "is that no
one in either society can say to his neighbor to just forget about this
prisoner issue for now - even though they know that to get a final deal that
could ensure that more people are not killed, and more prisoners not taken,
there is going to have to be a compromise in which some Palestinians who
killed Israelis are going to stay in jail and others are going to be freed."

The paradox of peace is that the more separated you want to be, the more
cooperation and cutting of slack is required to get a deal. That is why the
endgame is going to require a whole new set of compromises, a whole new
politics really, for both Palestinians and Israelis.

But when will they tell the kids?

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas L. Friedman is the author of From
Beirut to Jerusalem.

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - British envoy sent Pope bulletins on the Holocaust
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 12:45:47 -0500

British envoy sent Pope bulletins on the Holocaust index


DOCUMENTS found by chance in a Rome flea market prove that Pope Pius XII,
accused of having turned a blind eye to the Holocaust, was given a daily
account of Nazi atrocities by the British envoy to the Holy See.
Defenders of Pius XII, who include the present Pope, insist that he could
not have known about the Nazi death camps, but Francis D'Arcy Godolphin
Osborne, the British Minister to the Holy See, gave the Pope a daily
typewritten report culled from Allied broadcasts after he took refuge in the
Vatican in 1940.

Fabrizio Coisson, a journalist and antiquarian book collector, came across
bound carbon copies of the reports at Porta Portese market in Rome. "I was
astonished to find a signed note in which the British diplomat describes how
every day he transcribed BBC broadcasts and passed them to the Pope," Signor
Coisson said. He did not know how the papers had found their way on to the
second-hand market, but Osborne died in Rome in 1964 and Signor Coisson
presumed that some of his effects were sold.

Professor Owen Chadwick of Cambridge University, author of Britain and the
Vatican During the Second World War, said that the find was remarkable.
Father Pierre Blet, the Jesuit historian whose recent book Pius XII and the
Second World War is seen as the Vatican's riposte to accusations that the
Pope turned a blind eye, said he was astonished by the discovery.

The reports, which Osborne hoped would counteract Italian and German
propaganda, give a detailed account of Jewish deportations, mass killings
and "inhuman experiments". The disclosure is bound to slow down further the
Vatican's much-criticised plans to beatify Pius XII. Rabbi Marvin Hier of
the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los Angeles said it would "desecrate the
memory of the Holocaust victims" to beatify a man "who sat in silence on the
throne of St Peter and watched the trains take Jews across Europe to the
death camps".

Last autumn the writer John Cornwell caused a furore by claiming in his book
Hitler's Pope that Pius XII not only failed to speak out against Nazi
persecution when he was Pope but, as Papal Nuncio (ambassador) in Berlin in
the 1920s and Secretary of State in the 1930s, helped Hitler to come to
power by suppressing German Catholic resistance to the Nazis. The book was
denounced by the Vatican as "trash".

Osborne, who arrived in Rome to represent Britain at the Holy See in 1936
and initially regarded Pius XII as "saintly", retreated inside the Vatican
walls when Fascist Italy entered the war on Hitler's side in June 1940. He
followed Allied broadcasts intently and began compiling what he called
"British wireless news" for the Pope, emphasising "the sufferings of
civilians in Nazi occupied Europe" and German "crimes against humanity".
Although it was known that he wrote the reports, scholars failed to find

In October 1940 he warned the Pope that the Germans were "actively promoting
anti-Semitism in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria". By 1941 the tone became
more dramatic, as the Nazis committed "atrocities in the name of the myth of
the superior race". He wrote: "They are conducting experiments on sick and
mentally deficient children in Germany."

Osborne, noting that Hitler had vowed to "liquidate the Jews for at least a
thousand years", told the Pope that Jews in Poland were being murdered and
deported en masse, adding - in words that carry poignancy with hindsight -
that some were being given "special permits" to travel by rail, "but only by
slow trains".

After Pius XII's Christmas Eve homily in 1942, in which he condemned
extermination "by reason of nationality or race" but failed to mention the
words Nazi or Jew, Osborne stepped up the campaign, informing the Pope in
1943: "In Slovakia, 77 per cent of the Jewish population has been deported
to an unknown destination, which probably signifies death." He added: "The
number of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto has been reduced by 400,000 since last
July - there are barely 35,000 left."

However, Sir Martin Gilbert, the historian and biographer of Churchill, said
the Vatican had sheltered 4,000 Jews during the Gestapo raids in Rome in
1944. Sir Martin, whose latest book Never Again is a history of the
Holocaust, said many Christians had taken a stand against the Nazis, and
that "Christian anti-Semitism" should not be confused with the Holocaust,
which had been "carried out by people who were hostile to Christian values".

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 13:28:14 -0500

[Moderator: I haven't read this book. Just passing the info
along to those that may be interested.]

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent: Wed, 24 May 2000 10:47:11 EDT

---- A N N O U N C I N G -----

by David Basch

    The following is an educational announcement introducing
    David Basch's new book on William Shakespeare. This is the
    third in a series revealing the Poet's deep ties to the
    JEWISH PEOPLE. This book shows this intellect-poet as, not
    the secularized thinker long assumed, but as a man of
    great religious faith -- the inspiration needed today if
    society is to rediscover "the more things in heaven and
    earth" now being lost to a shallow, mechanistic,
    reductionist culture. Shakespeare directly communicates
    these thoughts, accessible only through the CODES he
    embedded within his Sonnets -- now for the first time
    discovered and interpreted.


The folowing is adapted from the back cover of

The Sonnets Deciphered

                          by David Basch

   WHO in the Sonnets is addressed in these swift paced lines?

Nor Mars his sword, nor warres quick fire shall burne:
The liuing record of your memory.

   OR in these moving words ?

     For thy sweet loue remembred such welth brings,
     That then I skorne to change my state with Kings.

These lines were not written to the young man commonly assumed.
In fact, the name of the addressee (and more) to those who can
read it is presented by the codes in each set of lines. The full
story is revealed through William Shakespeare's own hidden codes and
were inserted into the Sonnets for the specific purpose of bringing to
light this information and much else besides. These and other
fascinating insights are promised in David Basch's new book, The
Shakespeare Codes: The Sonnets Deciphered.

In this exciting two-part book, the reader is invited to
experience the exciting process of discovery. Part 1 begins with
the first intimations of the codes and unfolds to a new
understanding of the Poet and his Sonnets. In Part 2, these
insights are applied to the commentaries unlocking the meaning of all
154 of the poems, bringing their share of striking revelations. This
book is a major cultural event that all admirers of Shakespeare will
find positively compelling.


Rabbi Emanuel Rackman
Chancellor, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

    "Once again I have the pleasure of reading David Basch's
    work on William Shakespeare and his links to the Jewish
    people. True to the promise of the title of his new
    book, David Basch has indeed been resourceful in finding
    the Poet's own "codes." As before, Shakespeare is shown
    to draw on literary devices only accessible through an
    understanding of their Judaic sources. These provide
    unique windows to his inner thoughts on many personal
    and general topics. Coming from the eminent Poet, what
    is learned will undoubtedly be an important addition to
    his legacy to the world. It will surely be of enormous
    interest to the Jewish community and will inspire many
    to take a renewed and deepened interest in their
    traditions and learning that had so moved the Poet."

Rabbi Emanuel Rackman
(Comment on cover of 1996
Shakespeare's Judaica and Devices)

    "I not only read your book [The Hidden Shakespeare, 1994]
    and found it very impressive and convincing but the
    additional evidence you have been accumulating [now in
    this book] makes your argument even more persuasive....
    Shakespeare [is] ... probably a genius of Jewish descent,
    a Marrano, intimately familiar with Jewish materials who
    might have wanted to promote the honor of Jews and


Now available from

P.O. BOX 370-577
West Hartford, CT 06137-0577
FAX: 1-603-737-5291

For more information, click on:

               E-mail contact:

------- End of forwarded message -------

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Arutz-7 News items (5/24/00)
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 18:29:41 -0400

ABU DIS DELAY The Knesset decided yesterday that Prime Minister Barak
must effect the transfer of Abu Dis and neighboring villages only after the
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee reviews the situation. The
resolution was initiated by National Union-Yisrael Beiteinu faction Chairman
MK Benny Elon. He noticed that last week's Knesset vote approving the
Abu Dis giveaway was not passed into law, but was rather only a Knesset
decision, and vulnerable to changes. His aides convinced right-wing MKs to
remain until the end of the Knesset session - which ended late at night - and
when the coalition MKs left for home, the resolution was passed by a vote of
21 to 14.

MK Elon later explained the value of the bill: "This resolution ensures that
the transfer of Abu Dis will not be done suddenly and arbitrarily, but will
rather be carried out under close Knesset supervision. There are many
questions that still remain to be addressed - such as the Palestinian
parliament building, 20% of which is within Jerusalem borders, as well as the
new Jewish neighborhood that is to be built there, etc."

HaMor organization has filed a suit in the Supreme Court demanding that the
police cease its discrimination against religious visitors to the Temple Mount.
 Yaakov Hayman, one of two other signatories to the suit - the other is Rabbi
Shlomo Riskin of Efrat - explained its purpose to Arutz-7 today: "We're not
asking for permission to pray, as in previous court suits, because the status
quo is that although Jews are technically allowed to pray there, the police
have been granted the right to use their judgement in deciding how to
implement the law and who to allow in. We are therefore demanding that the
police be relieved of this responsibility, because it has been used in a
discriminatory fashion. Other tourists are allowed to ascend to the Mount
freely, while we - religious visitors - are allowed to visit only in small groups,
only with police accompaniment, with our names written down, etc. There
should be a clear order forbidding police discrimination against us." Hayman
explained that the group's real goal is to be allowed to pray on the Mount -
"actually, our final goal is to build the Holy Temple - but we're taking it step
by step."

The city of Jericho, within Palestinian Authority territory, has been
placed under Israeli closure, until such time as the terrorists who threw
the Molotov cocktail on Saturday night are apprehended. Two-year-old
Shalev (daughter of Sigal) Shabbat is still in very serious condition as a
result of the attack. Israelis are forbidden to enter the Jericho casino
as well.

Arutz Sheva News Service
Wednesday, May 24, 2000 / Iyar 19, 5760

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