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Israeline — Tuesday, May 28, 2002 —


** Homicide Bomber Kills 2 in Petach Tikva
** IDF Reservist Soldier Killed in Tulkarem
** Israeli anti-terror team leaves for India
** U.S Solidarity Missions Arrive in Israel
** Ministry Approves ‘Flying Casino’
** Economic Briefs

Homicide Bomber Kills 2 in Petach Tikva

Two Israelis were killed and over 40 wounded on Monday when a Palestinian homicide bomber blew himself up outside a café in a Petach Tikva mall, THEJERUSALEM POST reported. A woman and her 18-month-old granddaughter were killed, and the baby’s parents were among the wounded. The terrorist, from Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s Fatah organization, detonated his bomb among dozens of people, many of them mothers and children, in the Em Hamoshavot strip mall. The attack occurred around 6:40 p.m. Initial reports said that a car, believed to have transported the terrorist, was seen fleeing the scene, prompting a police pursuit involving roadblocks and a helicopter. Another report, however, said that the terrorist may have arrived at the scene on a motorcycle.

Five of the wounded are in serious condition, including a three-year-old girl. Police said the bomb used by the bomber contained around 10kilogramsof explosives, packed with metal objects to maximize the number of casualties. Eyewitnesses said there was a powerful explosion, and fragments from the device were thrown as far as 50 meters. Magen David Adom paramedics treated casualties at the scene and evacuated them in a fleet of ambulances to hospitals in the region, including the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson and Hasharon Campuses in the city, Sheba Hospital in Tel Has homer, and Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba. Some of the younger among the wounded were later transferred to the Schneider Children’s Medical Center for Israel in Petach Tikva.

The funerals of Ruth Peled, 56, from Herziliya and her 18-month-old granddaughter Sinai Kinan will take place on Wednesday.

The PA condemned the bombing in a statement that said, "The Palestinian leadership, which together with the Palestinian people is under continued Israeli aggression, condemns the terrorist attack that targeted Israeli civilians in Petach Tikva. It considers this attack harmful to our cause and struggle, and to the image of the Palestinian people before international public opinion."

Meanwhile, according to HA’ARETZ, a disaster was averted on Monday when an explosive device was found at the entrance to a residential building in Jerusalem. A police sapper neutralized the device, and no one was injured. The five-kilogram bomb was discovered by an Arab gardener in the grounds of the building, at the corner of Sderot Eshkol and Mishmar Hagvul streets in the French Hill neighborhood. The gardener informed the police and a large contingent of security forces soon arrived at the scene. Police said the device had been concealed in a 5-liter metal container and was set to be detonated by remote control via an attached cellular telephone. Jerusalem police sources said they had received several warnings of planned attacks in the city. But most of the warnings were about suicide bombers rather than explosive devices

IDF Reservist Soldier Killed in Tulkarem

Sergeant Major-Res. Oren Tzelnik, 23, from Bat Yam, was killed on Fridayin Tulkarem, during an Israel Defense Forces operation in the city, HA’ARETZ reported. Two other IDF soldiers were wounded. During the operation, Palestinian gunmen fired at the IDF troops, killing Tzelnik and wounding two soldiers who tried to help him. The wounded were taken to Hillel Yaffeh Medical Center in Hadera, one in serious condition and the other with moderate wounds. Tzelnik, who was called to reserve duty three weeks ago under emergency call-up orders, was born in Jaffa, and grew up in Bat Yam. He did his regular IDF service in the paratroopers unit. Friends yesterday described him as the "pride of his neighborhood in Bat Yam.’ According to Israel security officials, the goal of the Tulkarem operation was to prevent terrorist attacks on Israeli targets. The IDF spokesman said that troops will continue to carry out operations in Tulkarem, "as long as it continues to be a primary source of terror against the citizens of Israel and IDF soldiers.’

Israeli anti-terror team leaves for India

A high-ranking Israeli delegation of terrorism experts left Israel for India on Wednesday, to participate in talks on cooperation in the war against terror, HA’ARETZ reported. The delegation is headed by National Security Adviser Major General Uzi Dayan, who will be meeting with his Indian counterpart, Brajesh Mishra. A government source in Jerusalem said on Tuesday that the visit had been scheduled months ago and was not related to the conflict between India and Pakistan. He also said that Israel was not involved in any way in that conflict. The source added that cooperation between Israel and India in the war against terror had increased in the past two years. In the coming days, Dayan will also be visiting the Philippines, which is currently engaged in a war against Islamic terrorism with the aid of U.S. military forces. Dayan will also visit Japan for initial talks on strategic cooperation there in the war against terror.

U.S Solidarity Missions Arrive in Israel

Some 400 Jewish college students from throughout the United States arrived in Israel Sunday and Monday on Hillel solidarity missions, HA’ARETZ reported. The missions will include an accelerated course on Israeli public relations, to help the students cope with the intensive anti-Israel activity that has characterized many American campuses for the last several months. Hillel, the Jewish students’ association on college campuses, generally focuses solely on strengthening students’ Jewish identity. Recently, however, it was drafted into pro-Israel activity, following sharp criticism by the Foreign Ministry for the lack of Jewish activity on college campuses to counter the widespread pro-Palestinian activity there

Meanwhile, according to HA’TSOFEH, another solidarity and action mission with over one hundred American Jewish Committee participants arrived in Israel as part of an anti-terrorism public relations campaign launched by the AJC’s new public relation division. This mission includes terrorism experts, directors of student unions and other public figures.

Ministry Approves ‘Flying Casino’

Minister of Transportation Ephraim Sneh has given the official stamp of approval to a new Israeli invention, the ‘flying casino,’ MA’ARIV reported. The flying casino is basically an airplane for gambling purposes. The request to gamble in the sky was submitted by a consortium of private entrepreneurs from Israel and overseas. The plane, an adjusted Boeing 747, will contain Black Jack tables, a Roulette table and all other casino games. The flying casino will be operated by the Air Atlanta airline and will have a capacity of about 230 gamblers on each flight which will last around 4hours in duration and will depart 3 times daily. The entrepreneurs have agreed to keep all income in Israeli banks and to pay taxes in Israel as well.

The Amnesty International Organization has omitted Jerusalem as the capital of Israel from its annual report, HA’TSOFEH reported. While all the other countries included in the report have an identified capital, the staff of Amnesty’s Israel branch was surprised to find that Israel’s capital was left out this year. In response to questions posed by the Israeli staff to Amnesty officials at the International headquarters, certain data for thereport is taken directly from the United Nations and does not reflect AI’s opinion on any given country’s borders, populations or other statistical information. They added, however, that it was too late to change the report.

Economic Briefs

* The Ofer Brothers’ Einav group and RAD’s Bio Science consortium have been selected the winners of the tender competition to establish biotechnology incubators, HA’ARETZ reported. The RAD Bio Science group was formed by the Zisapel brothers and includes the Israeli Star VC fund, the German TVM fundand other international funds, as well as the German company, Merck. TheOfer brothers formed the Einav group with Genzyme (one of the five largest biotech companies in the world) and the Israeli biotech firm BTG. The group also includes the American VC funds MPM and Equity4Life.

* The Foreign Trade Ministries plan to send several top business leaders to act as economic envoys, HA’ARETZ reported. These ‘business ambassadors,’ chosen by the Manufacturers’ Association and Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce (FICC), include Yossi Maimon of Merhav Group, Michael and Ofra Strauss of Strauss-Elite, Shmuel Dankner of Dankner Investments, Jonathan Kolber of Koor Industries, Yossi Rosen of Israel Corp., Rimon Ben-Shaoul of Koonras Technologies, Zvi Yamini of ZAG Industries, Elisha Yanai of Motorola Israel, and the FICC’s Dan Gillerman and Oded Tyrah of the Manufacturers Association. The business delegates will be sent on missions abroad to provide information on Israel’s economy and the political and security situation. The envoys will seek to deflect any efforts by pro-Palestinian groups to impose economic sanctions on Israel.


Israeline — Wednesday, May 29, 2002 —


** Four Israelis Killed in Palestinian Terrorist Attacks
** Dichter: All Homicide Bombings Emanating From West Bank
** Burns, Tenet Begin New U.S. Initiative
** TAU Awards First Annual Dan David Prizes
** Ofek 5 Satellite Successfully Launched
** Economic Briefs

Four Israelis Killed in Palestinian Terrorist Attacks

Four Israelis were killed in two separate attacks in the West Bank on Tuesday, HA’ARETZ reported. In one of the attacks, in the community of Itamar southeast of Nablus, a Palestinian gunman burst into a yeshiva at around 11p.m., killing three students and wounding two others. The gunmen was subsequently shot dead by a security guard. In a separate incident earlier in the evening, Albert Malul, a 50-year-oldresident of Jerusalem, was killed when shots were fired at the car in which he was traveling south of the West Bank community of Ofra on the Ramallah bypass road. The car was hit by bullets about 700 meters before the Burka junction. Albert’s brother Herzl, 40, who was also in the car, was slightly wounded and evacuated by Magen David Adom to Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus. The assailants, a group of armed men, apparently escaped after the shooting to a nearby village. The following are the names and brief bios of the four Israeli civilians killed in Tuesday’s terrorist attacks:

Netanel Riachi, 17, of Kochav Ya’akov, was an 11th grade student at the Itamar yeshiva. His roommate described him as an excellent student who would help his friends with their studies. Like Avraham Siton, Netanel was a volunteer in Kav LaChayim – Chai Lifeline – an organization devoted toproviding moral and financial support to children suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses such as cerebral palsy, as well as those requiring organ transplants ( Netanel was buried today in Jerusalem. He is survived by his parents and four siblings.

Gilad Stiglitz, 14, of Yakir, was the youngest child of Pnina and Ya’akov Stiglitz. A student at the Kfar Haroeh yeshiva in Hadera, he was considering transferring to the Hitzim yeshiva in Itamar next year and had come to seethe school. Gilad loved basketball and was a fan of Maccabi Tel-Aviv. He also liked to draw. Gilad Stiglitz was buried in Barkan. He is survived by his parents, two sisters and a brother.

Avraham Siton, 18, of Shilo, was the second of six children of Moshe and Pnina Siton. He was looking forward to serving in an Israel Defense Forces combat unit. His father said that Avraham was warm-hearted and loved music. Always ready to help others, Siton was also a volunteer in Kav LaChayim. Avraham was one of 1500 youths who applied to be a counselor in Kav LaChayim’s annual summer camp for sick children. He did not live to receive notice that he had been accepted. Siton was buried in Shilo. He is survived by his parents and five siblings.

Albert Maloul, 50, of Jerusalem, was glad to find the job in Eli where just a week and a half ago, after having been unemployed for several months. His life had been spared two months ago, when he left the supermarket in Kiryat Yovel in Jerusalem just minutes before the suicide bombing. Maloul was buried in Jerusalem. He is survived by his wife, Helen, and their three children: Shahar, Lior and Edan.

Dichter: All Homicide Bombings Emanating From West Bank

Avi Dichter, Director of the Israel Security Agency, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee on Tuesday that he believes that all of the homicide bombers who blew themselves up within the Green Line since the outbreak of Palestinian violence in September of 2000, came from the West Bank, MA’ARIV reported. Dichter and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Shaul Mofaz met with the Committee to discuss the issue of building a security fence around the West Bank to stem the new wave of attacks on Israeli civilians. Following the meeting, Minister of Defense Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and MK (Labor) Haim Ramon met with Prime Minster Ariel Sharon and presented him with a blueprint for the construction of the security fence. Ramon reiterated to Sharon Dichter’s statements regarding homicide bombings emanating from the West Bank.

According to HA’ARETZ ON-LINE, Sharon said at a Security Cabinet meeting this morning that there were no limitation on IDF operations in Palestinian-controlled territory. Sharon said the discussion over Israel’s response to the latest wave of terror attacks would proceed next week, and until then, the current military posture of limited pinpoint operations against terrorists would continue.

Meanwhile, In a separate report released on Tuesday by the Prime Minister’s Office, the ISA said that Monir Makdeikh, a senior Fatah member in Lebanon, directed and financed major terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens during the course of the current wave of Palestinian violence. Nasser Aweis, one of the senior Fatah figures in the West Bank, and Jemal Ahwil, one of the senior Fatah figures in Jenin, who were arrested during operation Defensive Shield, admitted to ISA officials their connections with Monir Makdeikh who directed and funded Fatah organizations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip which perpetrated many attacks against Israeli citizens. Monir worked in conjunction with two main West Bank cells, one in Nablus and one in Jenin.

Burns, Tenet Begin New U.S. Initiative

United States Ambassador William Burns, the Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East, arrived in Israel today, and CIA Director George Tenetis slated to arrive in Israel on Friday as the administration begins a new effort to encourage dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. U.S. President George W. Bush will meet with Tenet at the White House today to plan his mission. "When we get reports back from Mr. Tenet and Ambassador Burns and when we consult with a lot of other people, we will start to integrate all this information and see what next steps should be taken, keeping in mind that we are committed to a meeting some time in the summer," U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said in Rome, where he was attending a summit between NATO and Russian leaders. Burns will seek the views of Egyptian, Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, Saudi Arabian, Syrian and Lebanese officials, while Tenet intends to focus on revamping security arrangements in the West Bank and in Gaza.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, arrived in Israel on Tuesday evening for a three-day visit to Israel, as part of a regional tour. During his visit, Fischer will meet with President Moshe Katzav, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres and Minister of Defense Binyamin Ben-Eliezer. Fischer will also receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Haifa.

TAU Awards First Annual Dan David Prizes

Tel Aviv University awarded the first annual Dan David Prizes, Israel’s equivalent to the Nobel Prize, on Monday, during a ceremony held at th euniversity attended by President Moshe Katsav, TAU’s President Professor Itamar Rabinovich and other distinguished international scholars and guests from around the world, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. The recipients of the prizes included the Warburg Institute Library in London, for its historical research; Dr. W. Daniel Hillis, for his contribution to parallel processing, computerized technology and artificial intelligence, and Professors’ Sydney Brenner, John Sulston and Robert Waterston for their discoveries in bio-genetics and contributions to the mapping of the human genome.

Ten percent of the Dan David Prizes, a total of $3 million, will go towards scholarships for young research scholars from TAU and abroad. The Dan David Prize is an international and cross-cultural enterprise initiated by the Dan David Foundation and TAU. The foundation is committed to encouraging innovative and interdisciplinary research that crosses traditional boundaries and awards are granted to people or institutions with proven, exceptional, distinct excellence in the sciences, arts and humanities who have made an outstanding contribution.

Ofek 5 Satellite Successfully Launched

Israel successfully launched the Ofek 5 satellite on Tuesday evening, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. The 300-kilogram satellite was lifted into low orbit by a three-stage Shavit rocket. The satellite will re-enable Israeli intelligence gathering and early-warning capabilities, such as early-warning detection of changes in military deployments in all enemy countries, including Iraq and Iran. These capabilities were lost afterOfek3 malfunctioned two years ago and the launch of Ofek 4 failed in 1998. The satellite, Israel’s most sophisticated yet, is the only one in the world that was launched into space in a westward direction, counter to the Earth’s spin, in an effort to prevent the satellite from falling into an enemy country in case of a failure. The production of the entire satellite was done by Israeli industries.

Economic Briefs

* Minister of Industry and Trade Dalia Itzik has announced plans to publish a tender to establish another biotechnology incubator, probably in Beer Sheva, GLOBES reported. Itzik said the demand by entrepreneurs participating in the tender showed there was room for another incubator in a developing area. Presently, there are two biotechnology incubators, in Rehovot and Jerusalem.

* Bank Igud (Union) plans to open a representative office in New York, which will service the bank’s business customers and attract other potential business clients in New York and throughout the United States, THE JERUSALEMPOST reported. The bank said its decision was primarily motivated by the increased activities of Israeli diamond merchants in the U.S. and their decision to open marketing offices in the U.S. Igud works extensively with merchants in the diamond sector "and therefore the bank sees much importance in expanding its banking services available to customers in New York and the U.S.," Igud said in a statement released from their main headquarters in Israel.

Today’s Israel Line was prepared by Jonathan Schienberg, Michal Rachlevsky and Adina Kay at the Consulate General of Israel in New York.

Israeline — Thursday, May 30, 2002 —

** ISA, IDF Arrest Female Palestinian Suicide Bombers
** TAAS Military Industries Reveals New Handgun, Rifle
** Shas to Rejoin Government
** U.S. Senator Visits Israel
** Economic Briefs

ISA, IDF Arrest Female Palestinian Suicide Bombers

The Israel Security Agency and the Israel Defense Forces arrested a young Palestinian woman on Tuesday who twice backed off a suicide bombing attack in Israel, HA’ARETZ reported. Arin Ahmed, 20, a Tanzim members from Beit Umar in the Bethlehem area, was supposed to carry out an attack in Rishon Letzion last week, but changed her mind. Ahmed’s operatives managed to convince her to go through with another attack, this time in Jerusalem’s pedestrian mall, but again she backed off. She is now being questioned by the ISA. The ISA also revealed the arrest of another Palestinian woman, Tauriya Hamamra. The 25-year-old Tanzim member from Jaba in the northern West Bank was planning to carry out a suicide attack in Jerusalem. Hamamra told reporters she had decided to go ahead with the attack for "personal reasons" but wouldn’t give further details.

The would-be bomber made her decision four months ago, and contacted a member of her village who lived in Jenin. The man instructed her to go home and "think about it." When Hamamra returned, determined to go through with the attack, he agreed to accept her and put her in touch with Tanzim officials in Jenin. She added that the only reason the attack did not happen at that time was a shortage of explosives in the Jenin area.

Two weeks ago, Hamamra was sent to Nablus where she met another Tanzim activist who was meant to prepare her for an attack. She received training in Nablus and was fitted with an explosive belt, but because of her slight build, it would not fit properly. Instead, she was given a green schoolbag containing a 16 kilogram (approximately 35 pounds) device. The side pockets of the bag were also filled with rolls of explosives with nails packed between them, and covered by a cloth. At the end of her training, she went to stay with her aunt in Tulkarem, where she was arrested on May 20.Hamamra said that the plan was to smuggle her from Tulkarem to Ramallah, onto Qalandiyah refugee camp and from there to Jerusalem. Her handlers instructed her to blow herself up in a busy place packed with people – but the actual location was left up to her.

She added that after she had completed the training, she had a change of heart and decided not to go through with the plan. The key factor in her change of heart, she said, came after her operatives told her to carry out the attack anyway, even if there were not many people around. "I felt they were making a business out of the blood of shaheeds, that all they cared about was that people would say they managed to pull off an attack."

TAAS Military Industries Reveals New Handgun, Rifle

TAAS Military Industries revealed its newest handgun, the Barak, at a first-time open house for journalists at its Academy for Security and Anti-Terror Training, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. TAAS also publicly displayed the Tavor, which it claims to be the world’s lightest and shortest assault rifle. The weapon has been tested by the Israel Defense Forces Givati Brigade.

The double action Barak pistol is the first totally Israeli-produced handgun and an executive said it would soon be available in stores to meet the swelling demand for weapons. It weighs 740 grams (approximately 26ounces),and is available in three calibers: 9 mm, 40 mm and 45 caliber mm. An added feature is the de-cocker, which shuts the hammer after a bullet is put into the chamber. The pistol costs about NIS 2,700 to 3,000 (approximately$600). It is manufactured entirely in Israel.

Meanwhile, TAAS’s academy is training security guards to meet the rising demand created since police made it mandatory for businesses to provide protection against Palestinian terrorists. TAAS opened the academy in 1999and has been training government, military, and private corporations ever since. According to the academy’s Director-General Ami Maor, foreign clients make up about 30 percent of business for the academy, including students from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. The academy also runs cooperative programs with the United States, Greece, India, and Angola. He added that the academy carefully screens candidates to prevent "dubious persons" from joining.

Shas to Rejoin Government

Shas party chairman, MK Eli Yishai signed an agreement with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Wednesday, allowing four cabinet ministers and five deputy ministers from Shas and United Torah Judaism to return to the Government, THE JERUSALEM POST reported.

The deal emphasized an accord that the Shas party will abide by Government decisions and support the government’s economic emergency campaign. In accordance with procedure, Shas members will exercise their party’s right to discuss their reservations about the economic plan between readings of the bill in the Knesset.

U.S. Senator Visits Israel

United States Sen. Sam Brownback (R.-KS), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, is currently visiting the Middle East, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. He is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Israel, as well as with Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman. In April 2002, Senator Brownback introduced the International Cooperative Anti-Terrorism Act, a bill to bolster U.S. military and homeland security efforts by requiring that all nations receiving U.S. foreign aid and assistance cooperate fully in the war on terrorism.

Economic Briefs

* Zoran Corporation and NEC Corporation announced that they have worked together to deliver high quality, affordable DVD recording solutions for consumer electronics manufacturers producing DVD recorders, GLOBES reported.

The combination of Zoran’s and NEC’s proven advanced technologies helps consumers electronics manufacturers to obtain a quicker entry in the DVD recorder market. These technologies enable recording on all of the popular DVD recorder formats.

* Israeli Internet security company Riverhead Networks has launched its Riverhead Guard, a network device that is designed to provide complete protection against hackers that use distributed denial of service (DdoS attacks, GLOBES reported. DDoS attacks present security threats for businesses relying on online service and accessibility. The attacks make computer systems inaccessible by flooding servers or networks with useless traffic so that legitimate users can no longer gain access to those resources. Riverhead says its Guard device automatically learns, analyzes and filters the malicious traffic of an intended victim, forwarding only the legitimate traffic to the intended victim and others on the network.

Israeline — Friday, May 31, 2002 —

** Sharon to Burns: Cessation of Terror, Palestinian Reforms, Only Way to Peace
** Hillel Teaches Jewish Students to Combat Anti-Semitism
** Survivors, Family Members, Mark One Year Anniversary to Dolphinarium Suicide Bombing
** Senior Citizens, Underprivileged Youth, Connect Via the Internet
** Economic Briefs

Sharon to Burns: Cessation of Terror, Palestinian Reforms, Only Way to Peace

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met this morning in Jerusalem with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs William Burns, and Egyptian official Osama al Baz to discuss the status of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.

Burns presented the idea of proceeding on three tracks simultaneously: the political track, the reform track and the security track, a plan the U.S. envoy outlined to Arafat on Thursday. According to Burns, the reforms to the PA need to be carried out with the Palestinian leader Arafat as a central factor on the Palestinian side. Al Baz, an advisor to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, told Sharon that Arafat was a partner capable of holding negotiations that would lead to peace. According to al Baz, Arafat will carry out the reforms being demanded of him. Sharon reiterated that there are two conditions for any diplomatic progress to take place: The complete cessation of terror, violence and incitement, and "the carrying out of comprehensive reforms in Palestinian Authority government establishments. "Burns also brought up the topic of an international regional peace conference, and said that it was imperative to hold it as soon as possible, perhaps even in July.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres, who also met this morning with Burns, said that all the sides needed to come to the conference with their peace proposals ready. At the end of the conference, Peres added, Israel and the Palestinians would hold direct talks on a permanent agreement and there habilitation of the Palestinian economy. He added that both sides would also take part in regional conferences on the war against terror and the economic situation in the Middle East.

Hillel Teaches Jewish Students to Combat Anti-Semitism

Four hundred U.S. Hillel students spent this week in Israel learning how to combat what, according to the Anti-Defamation League, is a 25 percent hike in anti-Semitism in 2001, THE JERUSALEM POST reported. "As things have gotten worse in Israel, things have gotten worse [for Jews] in the US," said Ruthie Warshenbrot, of the University of North Carolina, one of the Hillel participants. The trip was jointly organized by Hillel and the Jewish Agency’s "Israel Experience" company. Students did some volunteer work and met with officials, academics, and the Israel Defense Forces to help bolster their advocacy skills to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel propaganda, and to help students on their home campuses identify with Israel.

Benjy Weiss, who just finished his junior year at Cornell University, where pictures of IDF soldiers gunning down Palestinians with the statement" this is what you can do on birthright" were plastered this March across campus in response to a campaign for birthright Israel, said he feels the Jewish students are often on the defensive and simply reacting to incidents started by the Muslims groups.

Hillels will also be focusing on getting more students to come to Israel under the slogan, "Now we stand with Israel, tomorrow we stand in Israel." Students said they are going back home with strategies on how to be proactive.

Survivors, Family Members, Mark One Year Anniversary to Dolphinarium Suicide Bombing

Survivors and family members of the 21 teenagers killed last June in the Palestinian suicide bombing attack in the Dolphinarium discotheque in TelAviv gathered at the site on Thursday to mark the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, MA’ARIV reported. Katia Falina, 17, who was moderately injured in the attack, said, "the world must understand what it feels like for us, to leave home in the morning and not know if you’ll ever come back."

The ceremony was organized by the Charnoy fund, headed by businessman Michael Charnoy. "I am a citizen," Charnoy said, "and cannot ignore those who lose their lives in terrorist attacks. The entire world must understand what it feels like." Also present in the event were MKs Avigdor Lieberman and Haim Ramon as well as Dov Weisglass, Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office, who delivered his condolences on behalf of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Senior Citizens, Underprivileged Youth, Connect Via the Internet

A new initiative of the Tel Aviv Municipality allows senior citizens to chat and exchange e-mails with youth suffering from developmental problems, HA’ARETZ reported.

The initiative started when the Rotary club donated several computers for a senior citizens club in southern Tel Aviv. Instructors at the club then proceeded to teach the senior citizens basic computer skills, using special techniques including modified keyboards, personal tutoring etc. Officials at the municipality then contacted Nativ, an organization supporting youth suffering from severe developmental programs. The youth spend most of their time in a shelter and are incapable of communicating with the outside world. They were, however, taught some basic computer skills, and were in search of persons to chat and exchange e-mails with.

The senior citizen club agreed instantaneously. "It is a very touching relationship," said Yafit Elmaliach, Director-General of Nativ. She added that the senior citizens and the youth help each other overcome loneliness. "One boy wrote to an older woman," she said, "telling her he didn’t know how to talk to girls. She encouraged him to always keep trying. Another boy helped an older woman find information on the web regarding her hometown in Iran. It’s wonderful for all involved."

Economic Briefs

* A high- ranking delegation of software companies from India spent two days in Israel selling partnership ideology to their Israeli counterparts, THEJERUSALEM POST reported. The Indians are looking for Israeli companies willing to enter joint product development, projects that will give their IT industry – primarily based on producing lines of software code for Fortune500 companies – a push up the value chain. For Israelis, companies entering joint projects with Indian counterparts could benefit from exposure to a new market, cheaper labor, and India’s connection with many of the world’s multinational high tech companies: 185 of the Fortune 500 do outsourcing in Israel.

Eight Israelis, including the managing director of the Ministry for Regional Cooperation are headed to Cairo, Egypt, for a three-day conference on regional cooperation organized by the Pugwash forum, THE JERUSALEM POST reported.

Participants from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Jordan, the U.S., Sweden and Pugwash Italy, will discuss a number of issues including Israeli-Palestinian relations, resuming the peace process, lessons from September 11 on Arab-Israeli-US relations, the ramifications of extending the war on terrorism, a possible U.S. attack on Iraq.