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Why Do We Support Israel?

Dispatch from Jerusalem

Lebanese President- “We Want Peace With Israel”

April 13, 2005

Senior diplomatic officials, who met with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud late last year, quoted him as saying, “We want peace with Israel, and we object to the firings of Katyusha rockets [from Lebanon] to its territory.”

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Survey- 500,000 Israelis Suffer Terror Trauma

April 13, 2005

Nearly half a million Israelis bear elements of severe emotional and psychological trauma due to incidents of terrorism and are in need of medical treatment, a survey released in December 2004 showed.

Despite the fact that most Israelis have never been present at the scene of a terrorist attack, the survey, which questioned nearly 500 Israelis, revealed that 1 in every 10 Israelis is exposed directly to terror attacks. The survey appeared as part of a general study performed by the Tel Aviv University Medical School for Natal, a nonprofit organization that deals with victims of terror and war in Israel.

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Jew Hatred on the Rise Down Under

April 13, 2005

Attacks on Jews in Australia have surged to record levels, due in part to the growing use of the Internet by anti-Semitic groups, a report released by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry has found.

In its annual report on anti-Semitism in Australia, Australian Jewry’s umbrella organization said there were 50% more anti-Jewish attacks between October 2003 and September 2004 than the average recorded over the past 14 years.

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Site of Cana Miracle Discovered?

April 13, 2005

Israeli archaeologists are beaming about their finds at a site on the edge of Kafr Kanna (Cana of Galilee). Two thousand years after Jesus performed His first miracle by turning water into wine at a Jewish wedding in Cana and four days before Christmas 2004, the Israeli Antiquities Authority claimed to have uncovered the place where Jesus got His start.

This is a real possible attraction because there are a lot of Christian pilgrims who are looking to see the real context of Jesus’s life,” said Yardenna Alexandre, the archaeologist directing the excavation.

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Israelis on Evolution

April 13, 2005

The Israeli edition of National Geographic magazine commissioned a poll to determine how Israelis view evolution. The results: More than 42% of Israelis believe God created man, while 31% believe that man was the product of evolution.

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Abu Mazen-  “Little Jihad” Is Over, “Big Jihad” Starts

April 13, 2005

Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) received just over 62% of the vote in the Palestinian elections on January 9, 2005, and took Yasser Arafat’s place as Palestinian Authority (PA) chief—with a practically identical platform.

Appearing before cheering crowds after his win, Abu Mazen said that the period of the “little jihad [holy war] had ended, and now the big jihad is beginning.” This quote led to a quaint exchange on Israel Radio’s morning newsmagazine. Arabic-speaking correspondent Avi Yisacharov played the tapes of Abu Mazen’s quotes and then quickly said, “Regarding the future…” He was immediately interrupted by anchorman Aryeh Golan, who said, “Whoa, wait a second. What’s this ‘big jihad’ stuff?” Yisacharov gave a nervous chuckle and said, “I don’t think he means a real jihad, he just means the challenges ahead of reforms in the PA and the release of Palestinian prisoners by Israel…”

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Israel’s Economic Comeback

April 13, 2005

After the worst recession in the country’s history, Israel is staging an economic comeback. A rise in global demand and dramatic improvement in the security situation helped real gross domestic product to grow by about 4% in 2004. And prospects for 2005 look equally good.

A 20% jump in exports led the 2004 recovery. Gains were especially strong in high-tech gear, such as software and semiconductors, which account for half of Israel’s industrial exports. Tourism, private consumption, and construction also added to growth.

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Long-Range Rockets Smuggled Into Gaza

April 13, 2005

The fear that Ashkelon will come within range of Arab-fired rockets from Gaza is now overshadowed by the fear that locations even farther than Ashkelon will be targeted.

A defense industries expert, quoted in the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot, says that Arabs in Gaza have been able to smuggle in 20-kilometer (12-mile) Egyptian rockets, or parts thereof. These would put within range Ashkelon’s power plant, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Shikmim Farm, Netivot, and possibly even Kiryat Gat.

The rocket in question is 122 millimeters (4.8 inches) in diameter, with a warhead weighing up to 23 kilograms (50 pounds). The most powerful Kassams now in use have a range of 8 to 10 kilometers (5 to 6 miles), putting the Shikmim Farm, to the east of Sderot, just out of range. The terrorists continually improve the rockets’ performance, however, and can send the rockets to within 400 meters (1,312 feet) of a target 8 kilometers (5 miles) away.

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Danger of Temple Mount Collapse has Passed

March 21, 2005

The immediate danger of the collapse of the eastern wall of Jerusalem's Temple Mount has passed, after badly needed repair work was carried out by Jordanian engineers inside the ancient compound, Israel's top archaeological body said in late November.

Earlier last year, the head of Israel's Antiquities Authority, Shuka Dorfman, had warned that the unstable 2,000-year-old eastern wall of the Temple Mount, further damaged from a recent earthquake, was in danger of immediate collapse, which could cause a “domino effect” and bring down other sections of the bitterly contested ancient compound.

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Israel’s Citrus Exports Growing

March 21, 2005

The Israeli Plants Production and Marketing Board, which includes citrus, is optimistic about citrus exports this winter season. It predicts a 36% growth in exports, by volume, to 188,000 tons, and a 40% increase in value, to US $162 million.

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