Monday, December 19, 2005

A7news: MK Dr. Eldad: Sharon Physically Unfit to Run Nation

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MK Dr. Eldad: Sharon Physically Unfit to Run State
"Someone who is 78, overweight, short of breath and had a stroke cannot run a country." So says MK Aryeh Eldad, the former IDF Chief Physician. Hadassah Hospital doctors say Sharon is OK.
Full Story Below

 1. MK Dr. Eldad: Sharon Physically Unfit to Run State
 2. Likud Voters Choose Leader
 3. National Service for Hareidim, Arabs
 4. Terrorists Arrested in Jerusalem, IDF Fires at Kassam-Launching
 5. The Year in Hatred: Virulent Anti-US Cartoons from the PA Press
 6. Arab MK Bishara: Wipe Out Israel and ´Take Democracy With You
 7. Israel to Host International Youth Cricket Championship
 8. On A7radio: Mamma, Should I Kill Him?
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Editor: Hillel Fendel
Monday, December 19, 2005
18 Kislev 5766


1. MK Dr. Eldad: Sharon Physically Unfit to Run State
By Hillel Fendel

"Someone who is 78, overweight, short of breath and had a stroke cannot run a country." So says MK Aryeh Eldad, the former IDF Chief Physician. Hadassah Hospital doctors say Sharon is OK.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a TIA (transient ischemic attack) last night, was rushed to Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital, and is expected to remain hospitalized until at least tomorrow. A TIA, sometimes called a mini-stroke, involves a brief deprivation of adequate oxygen to part of the brain.

Though a TIA is said not to cause permanent damage, researchers have found that 11% of patients diagnosed with a TIA in an emergency room suffer a stroke within the next 90 days.

The Prime Minister underwent a battery of tests this morning, after which Hadassah Hospital's top doctors held a press conference. The doctors said Sharon's condition is fine and that no trace remains of the stroke. They said that Sharon will be released tomorrow morning, and will be able to resume a full work schedule after a short period of rest.

Dr. Ben-Hur of Hadassah said the stroke-causing clot had been caused by a minor malfunction of the heart, "not uncommon among otherwise healthy people." He said that Sharon would be called in for a heart check-up within a 2-3 weeks.

MK Eldad (National Union), who in the past headed the plastic surgery department in Hadassah Ein Kerem and is an expert in burns, said that last night's incident will "imbue the public with the realization" that a country cannot be run by someone in Sharon's medical condition.

"The incident at hand means that the Prime Minister must reveal his physical condition to the public," Eldad said, "so that the country's fate not be dependent upon a millimeter-sized blood clot." Sharon's press advisor Assaf Shariv said the Prime Minister has said in the past that he does not object to releasing such a report.

Shariv, asked about the political vacuum that would have been formed in the Kadima party had Sharon not recovered, said, "The other parties also do not have a #2 man... I can assure you that soon, Kadima will have a #2 person."

Prime Minister Sharon was on his way to his HaShikmim Farm near Sderot last night shortly after 8 PM, when he began to feel dizzy. He called his son Gilad, and his bodyguards decided to rush him to the hospital. Sharon was conscious the entire time, according to all reports and contrary to some rumors. The hospital staff quickly determined, with the help of an MRI test, that it was a TIA and that his life was not in danger.

Well-wishers from around the world and country quickly sent their blessings of a quick recovery. These included U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Likud candidates Binyamin Netanyahu and Silvan Shalom, Eli Yishai, and many others.

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2. Likud Voters Choose Leader
By Hillel Fendel

The polls are open around the country for the Likud Party's primaries election. Four candidates are running for party leader and prime ministerial candidate, with Netanyahu favored to win.

Former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is the front-runner, but Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom has narrowed the gap, according to most analysts and polls. Shalom is said to have a better-oiled machine for "getting the vote out" than Netanyahu, and Netanyahu has therefore exhorted his supporters and volunteers in the field to work hard to bring every supporter to the polling booth.

In third place is Moshe Feiglin, head of the party's Jewish Leadership faction, followed by Agriculture Minister Yisrael Katz, who is expected to garner less than 3% of the vote.

As of 1 PM, voter turnout was running close to 10% - considered an impressive turnout for that time of day. At 4:30, the turnout was reported at 15%.

Netanyahu has accused Shalom of planning to turn the Likud into an extension of Ariel Sharon's Kadima party and of going along with Shalom's policies. Shalom, for his part, has said that Netanyahu and Feiglin would lead the party too far in an "extremist" direction.

Following Yesha Council head Bentzy Lieberman's weekend endorsement of Netanyahu, Yesha Rabbis Council leader Rabbi Dov Lior released a statement last night calling upon Likud members to vote for Feiglin.

Lieberman said that "only Netanyahu has realistic chances to head a strong nationalist camp and deal with the grave dangers presented by Sharon and the left."

Rabbi Lior said that votes should be cast for "a leader who will be loyal to the holy values of the nation, who will strengthen the country's Jewish identity, and who fought all along against the accursed Oslo process and against the destruction of Gush Katif and northern Shomron."

An official in the Yesha Rabbis Council secretariat said that Rabbi Lior's call came on the heels of Yesha figures' calls to vote for Netanyahu, and that his purpose was to "balance the calls and to express support for Feiglin as well."

The expellees of Gush Katif and Northern Shomron, who do not have permanent homes, will vote in special polling stations in Ir HaEmunah (Faith City) near Netivot, Yevul and Yated in Halutza south of Gaza, Yad Binyamin, Yad Chana, Nitzan and Karmiyah.

Close to 130,000 party members are eligible to vote. The elections will be held in 167 polling stations, supervised by some 170 lawyers and 1,391 ushers. If no candidate receives 40% of the vote today, a run-off election will be held next Monday between the top two vote-getters.

The polls will be closed at 10 PM, at which time the major radio and television stations plan to release their initial projections. This, despite their failure last month following the Labor primaries: Voice of Israel, commissioning Prof. Yitzchak Katz of Maagar Mohot (Brain Base), reported that Peretz had beaten Peres by a 46%-41% margin, while Army Radio, utilizing the services of the Smith Institute, reported a large Peres victory - 52%-38% - over Peretz. In the event, Peretz won by less than 2.4%.

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3. National Service for Hareidim, Arabs
By Hillel Fendel

A committee appointed by the Defense Minister recommends that hareidim and Arabs be compelled to perform National Service - or lose basic rights such as child allowances.

The committee, headed by former Defense Ministry Director David Ivry, was appointed last year to investigate solutions for the problem of low enlistment rates.

The current "army enlistment" law, legislated three years ago, is known as the Tal Law. Its goal was to encourage more hareidi-religious young men to enlist in the army, and stipulates the following arrangement: Yeshiva students may defer their army service for up to four years, until age 22, by declaring twice a year that they are engaged in full-time yeshiva study. At age 22, the students have the chance to leave the yeshiva and work for a year without being drafted, or, of course continue in the army. If they chose work, then at age 23, they must decide whether to return to yeshiva study or to join the work force. If the latter, they must first perform shortened army service - four months for a married man with at least two children - or national service for a year and a half.

During 2003-4, only 77% of eligible 18-year-old Jews and Druze enlisted in the army. Nine percent received "Torah study" exemptions, while 14% did not enlist for health or other reasons.

The Ivry Committee recommends that those who neither enlist in the army nor serve in a national service framework be stripped of their rights to receive government-backed housing mortgages, allocation of land by the Israel Lands Authority, and even monthly National Insurance Institute child allowance payments.

It is felt that without the above threat, neither Arabs nor hareidim will feel obligated to perform national service.

The recommendations have a long way to go before being accepted, but in the meantime, the Cabinet voted yesterday to enable National Service for hareidim. The government resolved that as the goals of the Tal Law have not been sufficiently attained, the Defense Minister must order the army to enable "more attractive" courses of enlistment for hareidi soldiers. Such courses will be similar, in terms of duration and type of service, to hesder units (five years divided roughly 2-1 into yeshiva studies and active army service), Nahal hareidi (three years of service catered to a religious way of life), and new-immigrant service (shortened duration).

In addition, the Cabinet voted to enable young yeshiva students to perform a track of national service. Beginning in 2006, the Welfare Ministry will pay for at least 200 yeshiva students in various tasks, such as firefighting, Magen David Adom, or police work near their homes.

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4. Terrorists Arrested in Jerusalem, IDF Fires at Kassam-Launching
By Hillel Fendel

A Jerusalem terror attack was averted with the arrest of two armed terrorists near Har Homa.The IAF fired at Kassam-launching sites in Gaza; Mofaz says he's not interested now in a ground operation.

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have fired an almost daily portion of Kassam rockets towards Israel over the past two weeks, and yesterday's serving included a rocket that landed in the southern areas of Ashkelon. Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz convened a meeting of senior defense establishment figures, and demanded that the army continue to fire artillery at northern Gaza as a deterrence measure.

The Israel Air Force in fact attacked early this morning four northern Gaza areas from where Kassams have been fired.

However, Mofaz emphasized that he is not interested, at this point, to initiate action that will involved the entry of ground forces into Gaza.

Mofaz was running for head of the Likud until last week, when he suddenly decided to transfer to Ariel Sharon's Kadima party, where he is guaranteed a Knesset seat and, most likely, a Cabinet position. In light of what many viewed as his unabashed opportunism, many questions were raised as to his fitness to make life-and-death decisions in the capacity of Defense Minister.

Ashkelon Mayor Roni Mahatzri, who took a "not to worry" tone after last week's Kassam attack towards the city, is now demanding firm action. He said the residents of Ashkelon sense that the "governmental and defense frameworks are neglecting them," and demands that the army rush up a "Red Dawn" early warning system in the city.

"Yesterday," Mahatzri said, "the terrorists fired a Kassam rocket from a Jewish community that was evacuated, Dugit [one of the three dismantled northern Gaza communities - ed.], and the government is ignoring its responsibility to protect us."

The fear in the army as well as in Ashkelon is that in addition to the dangers facing the residents, the sensitive installations adjacent to the city are at risk. The rockets have already come close to the Rothenberg power plant, as well as the oil pipeline to Eilat. The terrorist organizations have declared that these are, in fact, their targets - and have improved their precision over the weeks and months.

Talk of a ground operation in northern Gaza - the area of the destroyed Jewish communities - is gaining steam, despite Mofaz's objections. The army would not necessarily take over these areas, but would rather enter merely to push the terrorists out of range of southern Ashkelon.

Just outside Jerusalem's new southern Har Homa neighborhood this morning, security forces arrested two Arab terrorists. The Arabs were holding knives and ready-to-fire pipebombs. The two had crossed into Jerusalem from PA-controlled Bethlehem, and were arrested just outside the fence surrounding Har Homa. The terrorists were taken for interrogation.

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5. The Year in Hatred: Virulent Anti-US Cartoons from the PA Press
By Scott Shiloh

2005 was a banner year in the PA press for pernicious material attacking the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq. A selection of poltical cartoons inciting against U.S. forces in Iraq are reproduced here.

Before the Iraq war, the Palestinian Authority was one of Saddam Hussein’s staunchest allies.

Since the United States-led coalition toppled Saddam’s regime, the PA media regularly publishes material supporting the Iraqi insurgents, calling for killing American soldiers fighting in Iraq.

Ironically, the Bush Administration, though committed to winning the war in Iraq, is also determined to establish a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Since President Bush launched his “Road Map” peace proposal, the United States has poured millions of dollars into propping up the PA regime.

Much of the expressions of anti-American hatred in the PA’s tightly controlled media appear in Arabic radio or television broadcasts. A significant amount also appears in the PA press in the format of political cartoons, a form of political commentary that more easily crosses the language barrier.

Below is a selection of anti-American political cartoons that appeared in 2005, in one of the most widely read publications in the PA, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. These cartoons, as well as others from previous years, are depicted on the web site of Palestinian Media Watch.

E-mail readers, click here.

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6. Arab MK Bishara: Wipe Out Israel and ´Take Democracy With You
By Debbie Berman

Israeli-Arab Knesset Member Azmi Bishara claimed in Lebanon that the State of Israel is the greatest robbery of this century.

Bishara, addressing an Arab audience in Lebanon late last week, asserted that Arabs were the original residents of the land and urged Israelis to leave and "take their democracy" with them.

”Israel is the 20th century's greatest robbery, carried out in broad daylight. I will never recognize Zionism even if all Arabs do. I will never concede Palestine. The battle is still long," Bishara stated at a Lebanese book fair in Beirut.

The Lebanese audience received Bishara’s comments warmly. "Return Palestine to us and take your democracy with you. We Arabs are not interested in it," the Knesset Member stated.

"The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is not a demographic dispute, but a national one. It's not the problem of 1.2 million Palestinians living in Israel. They are like all Arabs, only with Israeli citizenship forced upon them. We are the original residents of Palestine, not those who came from Poland and Russia," Bishara told Lebanese newspaper Al-Safir.

MK Azmi Bishara was born in Nazareth in 1956, and received his doctorate in philosophy at Humboldt University in East Germany. Bishara headed the Philosophy Department at Bir-Zeit University, located 15 miles north of Jerusalem, and was a senior researcher at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem. Bishara has announced his intention to campaign for re-election to the Knesset in the party that he founded, the National Democratic Assembly (NDA).

Bishara left Israel for Lebanon last week without receiving consent from the Interior Ministry for his trip.

This is not the first time Bishara has brashly spoken against Israel to audiences in hostile Arab nations. In June 2001, a group of Knesset Members sought to end his immunity from prosecution and brought charges of disloyalty against Bishara for a speech he gave at a memorial ceremony in Damascus for the late Hafez Assad. Bishara appeared jointly with Hizbullah terrorist leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and called for a ‘united Arab nation’ to come together against Israel.

Angry reactions from Knesset members included then-coalition leader Likud MK Ze'ev Boim, who said, "Bishara has publicly connected himself to Israel's worst enemies. This cannot be ignored, and the police should detain him and possibly charge him for conspiring with the enemy."

MK Michael Kleiner of Herut stated, "In any normal country, they'd put him in front of a firing squad. It's inconceivable that an Israeli Knesset Member would encourage Arab states to launch a full-scale war against us."

Bishara returned to Israel over the weekend and claimed that his address in Lebanon was commentary on the subjects of Zionism and citizenship. "I didn’t say anything new that I hadn't said in other places. I've spoken like this in the Knesset," he told Yediot Acharonot.

In addition to his harsh statements against Israel, Bishara also criticized the leaders of Arab nations that maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, including Tunisia where Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom recently visited. "Why does one of the Arab countries provide a home for Silvan Shalom, while the army destroys homes in Palestine on a daily basis? If you want to surrender, do it, but don't force us to give in," Bishara told Al-Safir.

MK Bishara took part in a gathering in the Israeli-Arab city of Nazareth on Saturday, at which it was demanded that Israel recognize the "right of return" for Galilee Arabs who fled during the 1948 War of Independence. The participants called for an alignment of Arab organizations in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority (PA). The gathering was held under the banner, "Responsibility for the Historical Nakba," referring to the "tragedy" of the establishment of Israel as a Jewish state.

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7. Israel to Host International Youth Cricket Championship
By Ezra HaLevi

Israel is preparing to host its first international cricket event this summer.

The tournament, the European Cricket Council's (ECC) Under-17 2nd Division Championship, will take place over the course of a week this coming August. The matches will be held at Tel Aviv's Olympic Athletics Stadium and in Ashdod.

Teams participating will hail from Belgium, France, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Italy and Jersey.

Israel Cricket Association (ICA) Chairman Stanley Perlman said he was thrilled at the decision to hold the event in Israel and promised to make it a great tournament for everyone involved.

"This is not only going to be a sports spectacle, but we also intend to show all participants what a great country Israel is from a cultural, historical and religious point of view,” Perlman said.

Israel, an Associate member of the ICC since 1974, has 18 domestic clubs in three divisions with 270 seniors and 270 juniors playing the game, plus a further 1,000 youngsters involved in development programs.

More information about Israel's Cricket Association can be found by clicking here.

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8. On A7radio: Mamma, Should I Kill Him?
A7 Radio's "The Tamar Yonah Show"
A7 Radio's "The Tamar Yonah Show"

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Mamma, Should I Kill Him?

Knowing the difference between killing and murder. Tamar shares two stories about young, nice, Jewish soldiers who must decide whether to pull the trigger on the enemy. Plus: Prof. Eidelberg speaks on, "Regime Change in Iraq: Desperately Needed in Israel".

For more A7 Radio visit

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