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Jam haKinereth:
Wasserstand extrem niedrig

Gallej Zahal berichtet, vom tiefsten Stand des 'galiläischen Meeres' (See Genezareth), Israels wichtigstem überirdischem Wasserreservoir, seit fast zehn Jahren. Der Wasserpegel stehe nur noch einen 1m über der «untersten roten Linie». Einen vergleichbaren Tiefstand hatte es in den vergangenen 60Jahren nur dreimal gegeben, zuletzt 1989. Ein Absinken um weiter 30cm wird für November erwartet. Von Juni bis August hat die israelische Wasser-Gesellschaft «Mekorot» 540.Millionen Kubikmeter Wasser abgepumpt. Das sind 20.Millionen mehr als im Vorjahres-Zeitraum.

Unbedingt ausprobieren - Unser Tip - Just for the fun of it!

Begehung einer Austellung
Taaruchat Menorot / Israel Museum
Die Geschichte eines Symbols

Guerilla Ambush in Lebanon:
Two Israeli Soldiers killed - six others wounded

gs-lazet.gif (1053 Byte)Yesterday afternoon, two Israeli soldiers were killed at a guerilla ambush in Lebanon, and six others wounded - the latest victims in an endless, futile war, raging on unabated half a year after the Netanyahu Government decided "in principle" to withdraw the army from Lebanon. Just a few days ago - on the eve of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement - we took part in the March of Forgiveness held in the streets of tel Aviv by the Four Mothers movement. To the accompanying sound of the Shofar, the traditional Ram's Horn, . the soldiers' mothers who founded that group distributed leaflets to bypassers: "Just as the Shofar ushers in a new year, we demand that the government usher in a new policy concerning Lebanon and seek forgiveness for the failed policies of the past." This afternoon, they will again picket the Defence Ministry - as they already did so many times in the past year... (You can contact the Four Mothers at:

Guerrilla War is also raging at Hebron

An active guerrilla war is raging at Hebron - the unhappy West Bank city which was partitioned, 20% of its territory and 30,000 of its inhabitants being left under a harsh occupation regime so as to preserve the armed enclave of 450 Israeli religious-nationalist settlers created in the city center. Last week, a Palestinian grenade attack left fourteen wounded Israeli soldiers of the garrison charged with guarding the settlers (and far outnumbering them). Since then, Palestinian Hebron is besieged by the Israeli army, while Palestinian inhabitants in the part of the city still directly occupied are under curfew - which does not prevent repeated violent confrontations with the army. We have gotten news from a group of Jerusalem activists of the Hebron Solidarity Commitee, who arrived in embattled Hebron to demonstrate for the only sensible solution: removal of the settlers. Less than a minute after they began their peaceful vigil, police and soldiers surrounded the group, confiscated their banners and taking them off to interrogation and detention. Meanwhile the settlers, to whom the curfew of course does not apply, are "celebrating the Sukkot Holiday" with processions in the streets of Hebron, as well as busing in their political friends from elsewhere, to be entertained at "an open-air performance by superstar Hassidic artists" (as the settler internet site put it).

Die Lehren vom Um al-FachmRiots in Umm El Fahm

Meanwhile, we found nearly all our energy diverted to an unexpected arena: the outbreak of what seemed a new Intifada - not in the Occupied Territories but at Umm El Fahm, an Arab town within the pre-'67 borders. In law, the inhabitants of Umm-El-Fahm - like their counterparts in numerous other Arab villages and towns - are Israeli citizens, a full 20% of the total; they vote in parliamentary elections, and in the past decades started to realise some of the political possibilities which are open to an organised minority in a political system based on coalition governments. But officials in charge of such key issues as land, water or "law and order" continue to treat Arab citizens as enemies, to be held down, "controlled" and discriminated. This decades-old situation is no longer tolerable to a new, confident and assertive generation among Israel's Arab citizens.

Like so many earlier confrontations, the conflagration at Umm-El-Fahm was ignited by the declared confiscation of land - taking yet a new bite of what was left after most of the town's agricultural lands were confiscated in the 1950's and 1960's. Officially the confiscation was aimed at creating a military training ground - but past experience had shown such military confiscations to be often leading to the eventual construction of civilian housing, with the right to purchase such housing reserved to Jews only. The flames of rebellion were fed by the brutal attack of the riot police on the local high school, apparently aimed at "nipping resistance in the bud" and achieving the exact opposite. For three days the town was a battlefield; several hundred inhabitants were wounded, some of them severely, by the semi-military "border Guards" using clubs, tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and in at least some cases live ammunition. They were as brutal as they could come without actually killing somebody.

Very soon, members of various peace groups made their way to the area to bear witness and express solidarity - first from nearby Kibbutzim, followed by organised delegations from Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem organised by such groups as Chadash, Gush Shalom, Peace Now, Rabbis for Human Rights, TANDI, and Bat Shalom. All were stunned by the police brutality. Some became personally embroiled in the confrontations, getting more than a whiff of tear gas (the already experienced locals offered onions, smelling which seems to be an effective antidote). Dozens of activists from Peace Now and Gush Shalom, joining local youths in a vigil with banners reading "No to Confiscations - No to Racism" were doused to the core by police water cannons turned on them, and chased by the relentless police for more than a kilometre - a large group remaining together throughout the chase, Jews and Arabs chanting in unison "Today, we are all Umm-El-Fahm!" even while the Border Guards wielded their batons. The compromise with which the clashes ended represents at least a partial victory for the townspeople: while the confisction is not abolished, the army would not take possession for the next three months, and the landowners would be free to complete the olive harvest. With a modicum of common sense, the government should quietly let this status-quo continue indefinitely, rather then risk a repeated outbreak next January. But good sense seems sometimes in short supply among government officials... A stream of visitors is continuing to arrive at the now-quiet town and visit the highschool - made into a virtual place of pilgrimage where the bloodstains of the wounded pupils are still visible on the classroom walls. Labor Knesset Members supported the request for an independent investigation of the police conduct made by the Israeli Highschool Teachers Union - a body which usually shies away from controversial issues.

As it happened, the Bat Shalom women's peace organization opened today its already scheduled "Succat Shalom" (Peace Tabernacle) at Meggido Junction, just a few kilometres up the road from Umm-El-Fahm. This annual event - bringing together Jewish and Arab women (men are not excluded, either) for peace vigils and intensive discussions - has got this year a new meaning. (The Peace Tabernacle will stay in place also on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 7 and 8. Info from Yehudit Zaidenberg, (06) 653 3785; Su'ad Abdul Hadi (06) 646 6352.; Bat Shalom

Clinton-Netayahu-Arafat summit

With all these happenings, we have nearly lost sight of another intensive American mediating effort towards the Clinton-Netayahu-Arafat summit due in Washington in the middle of this month. Could it be that this time it's going to lead to something? Clinton certainly throws all that is left of his personal prestige behind it. Reading the Israeli papers these days one gets, however, the feeling of deja vu: the same predictions of an impending deal were made in January when the three also met in Washington, and on May when the venue was London... By and large, Israelis seem to have lost interest in the long and weary process.

Ich kaufe Israelische Produkte! Keine Unterstützung für die Siedler!

New Settler Housing:
Netanyahu Announced New Constructions at Tel Rumeida

For the peace-oriented, the Prime Minister has just provided a new reason for scepticism: in the midst of supposedly crucial preparatory talks with Secretary of State Albright, Netanyahu announced the construction of new settler housing at Tel Rumeida in the heart of Hebron - and tomorrow evening he is to be the guest of honor at the ceremony where the settlement of Ariel will get the status of a city - which also entails the construction of an additional 3,000 housing units at this settlement, which is constantly expanding at the expense of neighboring Palestinian lands. At the time of this provocative event - tomorrow, Wednesday at 8.00 PM - Peace Now will hold a protest demonstration at the entrance to Ariel. For details of transportation call (03) 5663291 or contact And on the morning of Friday, Oct. 9, the Yesh Gvul movement will follow with a protest action at a settlement (whose identity they will keep secret to the last moment); here, information can be gotten from Micha 02-6233749, Yisrael 02 5631892, or

Israeli Committee for Mordechai Vanunu

In September The Israeli Committee for Mordechai Vanunu and for a Middle-East Free of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons - to use its full name - marked the twelfth anniversary of The Nuclear Whistleblower's kidnapping and incarceration. The committee's activists, together with like-minded volunteers from all over the world, picketed Vanunu's prison at Ashkelon ,the Defence Ministry in Tel-Aviv, and the Dimona Nuclear Pile - where some of them were arrested trying to carry out a "citizen's inspection". Next week, on Monday, October 12, a further vigil at Ashkelon Prison will mark Vanunu's 44th birthday. (Details from Rayna Moss 03-6882587, Supporters are also urged to send cards and gifts of books for the birthday to: Mordechai Vanunu, Ashkelon Prison, POB 17, Ashkelon, Israel.

In between these actions, the issue of nuclear arms came up to the top of Israeli public consciousness - in a sudden flurry of threats and counter-threats between Israel and Iran, with each side proudly displaying bombers and missiles capable of reaching the other's territory. This verbal exchange coincided ironically with the new peak in Teheran's rapprochement with the West. For Israel to become part of such a rapprochement would require at least some willingness to reciprocate on its demand that other Middle East countries give up their arsenals of mass destruction. A hopefull glimpse in this direction was created by Nes Ziona Mayor Yossi Shvo. Shvo, an average Israeli poitician, in no way a radical, started a campaign against the top-secret State Biological Institute located in his city, just south of Tel-Aviv. Persistant newspaper articles - abroad and recently also in the Israeli press - identified this as the place where chemical and biological weapons are produced on a large scale. Mayor Shvo has not commented on the morality of producing and stockpiling such weapons, nor on the long-term results for the Middle East; he simply declared his displeasure with having this institute in his city, and already got an injunction from the Supreme Court forbidding the Biological Institute to extend its boundaries, and mandating an independent environmental study.

Du sollst nicht begehren Deines Nächsten Haus...The House of Muhammad Fakia of Kattana Village

Since September 16, when five Palestinian houses were demolished on a single day by the Israeli army, the demolition crews seem to have taken a break - confining themselves to threatening "reconnaissance patrols" by military jeeps near some of the threatened houses. Moreover, the military government announced that 700 "illegal" houses and a further 1300 "illegal extentions of houses" would be spared. Both of these results could be attributed to the international protest campaign in which many of you have taken part. Still, we have no illusions that the struggle is over. The military government says that the "pardoned houses" are those which were "built close to existing Palestinian towns and villages" - but refused to clarify exactly what "close to" means. Certainly, it seems unwilling to identify these houses and give their inhabitants an official permit. And the new dispensation gives no new hope to those who live in thousands of Palestinian homes not near town or village boundaries, nor to Beduins whose camps are being systematically destroyed.

This weekend - Friday and Saturday, October 9-10 - Israelis and Palestinians will once again directly defy the house demolitons policy by jointly and openly rebuilding a demolished house - the house of Muhammad Fakia of Kattana village, which was destroyed on August 12, leaving a family with thirteen children homeless, as winter is approaching.

This action is being organized by the Coalition Against Home Demolitions - comprising Bat Shalom, Gush Shalom, Rabbis for Human Rights and others. (It is the action originally scheduled for October 3.)

  • Friday, 9 October: 8:15 a.m: Leave from Gan HaPa'amon in Jerusalem. Return to Jerusalem about 3 p.m. (pre-Shabbat).
  • Saturday, 10 October: 8:15 a.m: Leave from Gan HaPa'amon, Jerusalem. 8:00 a.m.:Leave from Arlozoroff Railway Station in Tel-Aviv.

Adam Keller and Beate Zilversmidt

Meanwhile the Prime Minister's Office should continue to receive critical post.
The text below is an example, which you may use.

To Prime Minister Netanyahu,

Your office has announced the "pardoning" of 700 Palestinian houses against which demolition orders were issued. But nowhere have these 700 privileged houses been identified, so as to give their inhabitants a minimal feeling of security. Moreover, I cannot accept your office's position that hundreds of other Palestinian houses must be demolished because they have been constructed "on state-owned lands or in areas which constitute a security risk". The "state-owned lands" in the occupied territories are a Palestinian property which should benefit the occupied population. The "security-risk" referred to is the totally unaccepatbel concept that areas around illegal Israeli settlements in occupied territory must be kept "free of Arabs."

I call upon you to cease altogether the demolition policy:
Living in a house is a right and not a favor.

The newsletter of the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace

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