Monday, January 09, 2006

A7news: Sharon Begins to Emerge From Coma

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Sharon Begins to Emerge Slowly from Induced Coma
Doctors at Hadassah Hospital have begun the process of easing Prime Minister Sharon out of his induced coma, and he has begun breathing on his own. He is still connected to a respirator, however.
Full Story Below

 1. Sharon Begins to Emerge Slowly from Induced Coma
 2. Ketzaleh Shares Mixed Feelings About Arik Sharon
 3. Fatah Allowed to Campaign in Eastern Jerusalem
 4. Hamas Plans To Join New PA Government After Elections
 5. Analysis: Statistics Show Demographic Revolution in Yesha
 6. PA Troops Fire on Unemployed Arabs; Anarchy Spreads
 7. On A7radio: Final Installment of Riveting Tova Mordechai Story
 8. On A7tv: Jewish Footsteps on the Evacuated Land of Sa-Nur
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Editor: Hillel Fendel
Monday, January 09, 2006
9 Tevet 5766
Beit Orot


1. Sharon Begins to Emerge Slowly from Induced Coma
By Hillel Fendel

Doctors at Hadassah Hospital have begun the process of easing Prime Minister Sharon out of his induced coma, and he has begun breathing on his own. He is still connected to a respirator, however.

Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yoseph, Director of Hadassah in Ein Karem, Jerusalem, said this morning that the process of awakening the Prime Minister could take hours or even days. It involves gradually reducing the dosage of the sedatives. Only at the end of the process, Mor-Yoseph said, will it be possible to evaluate the extent of the damage caused to Sharon's brain and his chances of full recovery.

"The Prime Minister's condition is still critical," Mor-Yoseph said. "This is not a dramatic process. The fact that he is beginning to breathe on his own is the first change; we will not brief you about every change that occurs, but we felt that this one is of great interest, and therefore we are announcing it."

Sharon underwent a CAT scan yesterday, after which Mor-Yoseph said that the liquids in the patient's cranium had drained significantly, and the image of the brain was clearer. No changes for the worse were registered over night, allowing the doctors to go ahead with their plan to ease the Prime Minister out of his coma today.

Doctors agree that it is impossible to predict whether Sharon will fully recover or what the extent of brain damage will be.

The surgeon who operated on Sharon, Dr. Husa Cohen, said recently that some patients in Sharon's situation "do not survive, while others return to work - such that there is a wide range of possibilities... He will certainly remain with some cognitive damage, as this occurs even in much less severe strokes."

Sharon has undergone three operations since his emergency hospitalization on Wednesday night: a seven-hour operation at first, a two-hour affair on Thursday morning, and a nearly four-hour operation on Friday.

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2. Ketzaleh Shares Mixed Feelings About Arik Sharon
By Hillel Fendel

Mixed with feelings of personal gratitude, admiration and even love, Sharon's former advisor says the PM's actions of the past years have left a large cloud over his great contributions to Israel.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Arutz-7, Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz, was a long-time personal friend of Ariel Sharon. When Sharon served as Housing Minister in the Yitzchak Shamir government of 1990-92, Ketzaleh was his top aide and advisor, helping him build communities in and around Jerusalem, the Golan, Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

In light of Sharon's critical illness, Ketzaleh shared his feelings (in Hebrew) with IsraelNationalNews television:

"My connection with Arik goes back for decades. I volunteered and enlisted in the so-very difficult years of the war against terrorism, from 1969 until the Yom Kippur War in 1973, serving in the [elite] Shaked Unit, beginning as a simple soldier up to deputy company commander. During this war, in Gaza and throughout Sinai, I met with Arik very often; I worked under him, and he was the leader and director of the battle, especially in Gaza.

"During the Yom Kippur War, we were in a special force of officers, and at one point, we were 12 officers who fought face to face with 80 Egyptian commandos. I was critically wounded in this battle, and I can say that with G-d's help, and because of Sharon's decision and intervention - the commander told him over the radio, 'If you don't want a dead officer here, then you better get a helicopter over here fast' - and Sharon agreed to send a helicopter into the battleground and get me out of there, and because of that, I can now sit with my family and my grandchildren and enjoy the fruits - both physical and spiritual - of this beautiful settlement enterprise. Therefore, without a doubt, I owe him a debt of gratitude.

"At this point, with him very sick, since it does not look like he will return to public life - we wish him a full recovery and that he return to his farm in the best possible condition - now is the time to say about him only good things. I can say that what he built in the course of the past many years throughout the Land of Israel, and what he built militarily, and his strategic and tactical views in many areas of national development, are all very unique and will certainly be remembered in his favor.

"To my great sorrow, his actions of the past few years, will cloud, not insignificantly, over his image in Jewish history - but I think G-d did him a favor by preventing him, even when he recovers, from doing further damage to the Nation of Israel, and in the final balance, perhaps his positive actions will outweigh the negative.

"As I said, I personally owe him a large debt. Even Moses: When G-d commanded him to strike the Nile River and turn it to blood, he asked Aaron to do it, because he owed a debt of gratitude to the Nile for having protected him when his mother set him afloat. But undoubtedly, the last years have very gravely clouded over the close ties I used to have with Arik - the abandonment of the nation to terrorism, and to the idea that the nation is under this pressure and could be expelled, with Arik himself leading this process, against - I am certain - his inner position, but only because he was pressured into it.

"All this has made it very difficult not only for me, but for many of his other friends who were also close to him. In the last ten years we have had no connection; he cut off ties because he felt awkward, he couldn't look me in the eyes knowing that we worked together for 25 years, and that I know his positions and opinions and thoughts on everything, and it would be hard for him to know that I, Ketzaleh, am seeing him do things that opposed [everything he thought] in so many areas - regarding the Americans and the other countries, and his caving-in towards the Arabs and towards terrorism, and his display of cowardice towards the terror attacks and the Kassam rockets, and the expulsion of the Jews - all this is not easy for those who were close to him. At the same time, I have in my heart a deep love for the man that cannot be erased, and great admiration and gratefulness that cannot be erased.

"I miss the old Arik - a man with great charisma, a man who fills the room with his presence, full of sense of humor, full of joy, a great conversationalist, deep, original, a great lover of the Land of Israel, one who knows every place in the Land and knows the history of the People of Israel. I have stories from here until tomorrow about the old Arik. In the past years, however, he is an Arik that has been under the thumb of cold and intellectual advisors who have everything except for love of the Land, Nation and history of Israel. All they care about is self-fulfillment and reaching their goals as quickly as possible, even at the expense of the People and Land of Israel and the future of the State of Israel."

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3. Fatah Allowed to Campaign in Eastern Jerusalem
By Hillel Fendel

The Government of Israel, at the behest of the U.S., has decided to allow some PA political campaigning in eastern Jerusalem - even though the Oslo Accords forbid PA political activity in the city.

The decision was made in the Prime Minister's Office, at a consultation including Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz, Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra, and heads of the security establishment.

The Palestinian Authority is scheduled to hold elections for its legislature on Jan. 25. Minister Ezra (Kadima) explained today that only independent candidates or groups not associated with terrorist organizations will be allowed to campaign in eastern Jerusalem. "Israel will not permit parties that still bear weapons to campaign in eastern Jerusalem for the PLC elections," Ezra said.

Later in the day, he changed his line: "Extremist organizations working against peace will not be permitted to campaign. Fatah will be allowed to campaign, but not Hamas."

Ezra said that anyone who wants to campaign in Jerusalem must submit a request to the police and the General Security Service. "If they do not submit such a request," he said, "or if the request is turned down, the police will arrive and disband the gathering."

Former GSS head Ami Ayalon, a new member of the Labor Party, said that even Minister Ezra knows that the police will not have an easy time enforcing the new policy.

Israeli police barred PA candidates from Jerusalem last week, drawing a United States call for Israel to allow Jerusalem Arabs to take part in the election.

Israel Radio Arab affairs commentator Avi Yisacharov said that Hamas "will not want to leave the streets open only to Fatah, and clashes can be expected."

Arutz-7 spoke with Yehuda Maman, Minister Ezra's spokesman, and asked if the decision does not negate the Oslo Accords, which ban Palestinian Authority activity in Jerusalem. He said, "The new decision does not permit voting to be held there, but only campaigning... It was decided that this is something that is acceptable."

Asked why Fatah is being permitted to campaign, despite the many terrorist attacks its members have carried out, the spokesman said, "Fatah has a status that is different than Hamas; in this area, Fatah is not defined as a terrorist organization."

Arutz-7 contacted David Baker, an official spokesman for the Prime Minister's Bureau, regarding on the issue of the decision permitting PA election propaganda in Jerusalem. He said, "My office has no comment on this issue. Thank you," and hung up.

Arutz-7 faxed another PM's Bureau spokesman the following questions, and is awaiting a reply:

1. Does today's decision not require a Knesset vote, since it stands in opposition to the Oslo Accords, which forbid all PA political activity in Jerusalem?
2. If not, who determines whether today's decision does not negate the Oslo Accords?
3. Why Fatah yes, and Hamas no? Fatah has also perpetrated many terror attacks against Israel.

Today's decision was attacked from both left and right. Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu said that it will help encourage the division of Jerusalem, thus bringing Hamas terrorists to within shoulder-rocket range of capital residents.

A right-wing Shinui MK, Eliezer Zandberg, said the government’s decision represents “the first sign that [Acting Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert intends to divide Jerusalem.”

A Labor party statement attacked the government for not allowing Arab Jerusalem residents to vote in Jerusalem. "Responsible government policy obligates it to act to strengthen the pragmatic and moderate forces in the PA," according to Labor, "as a defensive wall against Hamas, which is getting stronger."

Although Jerusalem is sovereign Israeli territory, a provision in the Interim Oslo Agreement of 1995 requires Israel to enable at least some PA Arabs to vote in eastern Jerusalem post offices, in an arrangement similar to that used for absentee voters.

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4. Hamas Plans To Join New PA Government After Elections
By Debbie Berman

Leaders of the radical terrorist Islamic Hamas movement intend to take part in a Palestinian Authority coalition government, based on its expected strong showing in the upcoming election.

Polls predict that the Hamas group will do very well against the ruling Fatah party in the upcoming Palestinian Authority parliamentary elections, winning up to a third of the seats. Hamas continues to gain strength in the wake of increased unrest throughout the Palestinian Authority under current Fatah leadership.

This weekend, while visiting families of Arabs imprisoned in Israel, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar announced for the first time his group’s intention to take part in a legislative government. "Yes. We are running for the Legislative Council to put an end to the vestiges of Oslo," said Zahar.

The militant group Hamas, which openly calls for Israel's destruction and has dispatched numerous terrorists to murder hundreds of Israelis, was formed following the 1987 intifada. Hamas views as its mission securing the complete Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and the ultimate establishment of an Islamic state in place of Israel.

According to the Hamas website, Islamic Resistance Movement leader Sheikh Ismail Haneyya asserted that Hamas intends to take part in a new Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) government. "Hamas aspires to form a political national coalition grouping all winning camps in the elections," Haneyya said, "in order to shoulder the national duties, to rearrange the disarrayed Palestinian internal home, and to create a strong PLC able to supervise and bring to account all erred officials in order to realize separation of powers in the government."

At an election rally in Khan Yunis, in Gaza, Haneyya maintained that the Hamas would not enter into a diplomatic relationship with Israel. "We won't negotiate with the Israeli occupation except through rifle muzzles,” he said, adding, "Hamas confounded the enemies and rivals when it engaged in resisting the Israeli occupation and proved its merit in teaching the Israeli enemy many lessons. And today, the Movement is perplexing the enemies anew through its participation in the parliamentary elections without relinquishing its constants."

Haneyya claimed that Israel was growing weaker and that the “Palestinian resistance would win victory over the Israeli occupation.”

Haneyya said he intended to create a new political climate in the Middle East, not to be influenced by the "Zionist enemy" or to be dominated by American political pressures. "Europeans became familiar with Palestinian and Arab compromises and imposition of the American political will in the region, but, we will follow a new philosophy and practical ways that preserve our national constants without any concession," Haneyya stated.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has been under pressure from his Fatah party to postpone the upcoming elections, slated for January 25. Abbas has stated that he would be justified in postponing the elections, because an Israeli decision to bar Arabs from the Jerusalem sector to vote would taint the election results. Israel has not said it would prevent Jerusalem Arabs from voting.

Hamas' Zahar did not think that Abbas would postpone the elections without his group’s consent. "President Abbas will lose his credibility if he postpones the elections," stated Zahar. "Anyone who blocks the elections will lose. The elections will take place."

Haneyya agreed with Zahar, telling a large Arab audience, "The brothers in Fatah had proposed to postpone the election for different reasons, but we have told them that postponing the election will lead to a vacuum and to a dark future. Postponing the election is not the solution. We urged them to go ahead with the election."

Haneyya and Zahar have both indicated that Hamas plans to abduct Israeli soldiers and use them as bargaining chips in exchange for the release of over 8,000 Arabs currently imprisoned in Israeli jails. Israel has called for the disqualification of the radical terrorist group from the upcoming elections.

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5.  Analysis: Statistics Show Demographic Revolution in Yesha
By Scott Shiloh

Despite the disengagement, record numbers of Jews are moving into new homes in Judea and Samaria. The Jewish population living across the post 1967 lines (excluding Jerusalem) now tops 253,000.

Proponents of the disengagement as well as government statisticians might have expected that the number of Jews living across the country’s post 1967 borders would have declined after the disengagement, at least in the short term.

But in fact, the exact opposite has occurred. On the eve of the disengagement, 250,179 Jews were officially registered as living in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, according to Interior Ministry statistics. Among that number were 9,224 Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria who were later forcibly expelled from their homes.

Six months later, the Interior Ministry reports that the number of Jews living in Judea and Samaria (minus Gaza) has increased to 253,074. That jump means that in just four months, over 12,000 Jews moved into Judea and Samaria, an increase of 4.8%.

Even taking into account the thousands of Jews who were expelled, the total number of Jews in the Yesha areas has grown by approximately 1.5%.

The Ministry’s statistics show Jewish demographic growth across the board, from small communities such as Talmon in Binyamin (which jumped by 12%), to large cities like Maaleh Adumim, Beitar Illit, and Ariel.

The Interior Ministry’s statistics, however, substantially undercount the number of Jews living in Judea and Samaria. Many population experts contend they undercount the Jewish population by 10% or more. Israelis are required by law to register their addresses with the Interior Ministry. The Ministry, however, cannot legally register Jews living in dozens of built-up communities which the Ministry does not officially recognize.

Moreover, the Ministry counts only citizens who change their address to locations in Judea and Samaria. Many veteran Israelis and new immigrants are often reluctant to change their official domicile to Judea and Samaria for various personal reasons. Some are afraid of encountering social or political bias as a result of listing an address across the post-1967 borders, especially one in a small community distant from the former lines.

Others, new immigrants in particular, are often in danger of losing retirement or other benefits, because some foreign governments refuse to remit them to nationals living in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

With undercounting taken into consideration, conservative estimates are that the number of Jews living in Judea and Samaria totals 278,000.

The Interior Ministry’s statistics also fail to point out that Jews now make up a very significant proportion of the population of Judea and Samaria.

The number of Arabs living in these areas is the subject of bitter political debate. The Palestinian Authority, which is interested in inflating this figure as much possible, claimed in 1994 that there were 1.35 million Arabs living in Judea and Samaria (including Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem).

Many Israeli demographers contest this figure as being highly exaggerated, especially in light of high Arab emigration rates since the start of the Oslo War in 2000. In fact, the entire Arab population of Judea and Samaria may be 1 million or less.

But no matter which statistic is taken into account, a Jewish demographic revolution is taking place in Judea and Samaria, one largely unreported by the media. The Jewish proportion in Judea and Samaria might even exceed the proportion of Arabs living inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders.

Even based on the PA’s unreliable statistics, Jews now make up close to 20% of the population of Judea and Samaria, a significant minority by any account, one with legitimate rights and interests grounded in the norms of international law.

One thing is clear: Jewish growth in Judea and Samaria far outpaces that of the Arabs. If current trends continue, as they have for the past 30 years, Jews and Arabs will reach population parity in Judea and Samaria in a few years. A Jewish majority in Judea and Samaria is only a matter of time.

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6. PA Troops Fire on Unemployed Arabs; Anarchy Spreads
By Scott Shiloh

Sources in the Palestinian Authority report that PA troops opened fire on unemployed ex-convicts in Gaza on Sunday, killing one.

The ex-convicts were armed and had attempted to break into PA offices in order to demand that the ruling authority provide them with jobs. In the ensuing scuffle, one person was killed and three others wounded.

In another incident indicative of the growing anarchy in the PA, eight PA troops and two armed men were wounded in a shoot-out with criminals in Dir Al Balah, south of Gaza City.

The PA interior office reported that the shoot-out began when one of the troops attempted to arrest a criminal suspect. One of the wounded PA soldiers was listed in serious condition.

Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz expressed skepticism on Sunday as to whether the PA elections could take place as scheduled on January 25, due to the anarchy spreading in PA-controlled areas of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

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7. On A7radio: Final Installment of Riveting Tova Mordechai Story
A7 Radio's "Walter's World" with Walter Bingham
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8. On A7tv: Jewish Footsteps on the Evacuated Land of Sa-Nur
A7tv's weekly culture magazine "Israeli Salad" with Yoni Kempinski
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  • The Temple Institute presents - The high priest’s blue robe.
  • Pirsumei Nissa - Chabad Chanukiyot (menorahs) from around the world.
  • Good News Update - Israel’s defense industry booming.

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