“[Rabbi Holtzberg] constantly spoke of his fear of a terrorist attack in the Chabad House,” said Meie Alfasi, a photographer for Shterum.org, a news website affiliated with Chabad. “Once I wanted to bring a Reuters photographer to document the Chabad House activities, but he was adamantly against the idea,” said Alfasi.
“He said that he was afraid of pictures, afraid of photographers and afraid of unnecessary public exposure that could harm the Chabad House that is located in a very sensitive area,” said Alfasi, who spent time a few months ago in India, staying for a few days at the home of the Holtzbergs.
Future Prime Minister
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been collecting notes and documents from Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams to ensure that the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama will not need to start negotiations from scratch, WorldNetDaily has learned.
Rice’s State Department is working to assemble the notes and to outline issues on which both sides are close to an agreement, according to informed Israeli and Palestinian sources. With new general Israeli elections scheduled for February, Rice’s move could limit the incoming Israeli prime minister, since the Palestinian Authority can point to notes documenting points of agreement by the current prime minister, Ehud Olmert.
While Olmert’s non-finalized decisions during negotiations are not binding on the next prime minister, documents noting agreements during previous Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have been used in the past – at times as starting points – in subsequent talks.
According to both Israeli and PA sources, American officials took detailed notes of talks at U.S.-brokered negotiations at Camp David in 2000 and then used points of agreement on key issues, such as borders, during the current round of intense Israeli-Palestinian talks, which continue this week.
The Palestinian Authority has asked the U.S. to impose sanctions on Israel if the Jewish state continues building any new housing structures in the strategic and historic West Bank, a top PA source told this column.
The source, who works from PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s office, said the threat of sanctions would be part of a series of Israeli-Palestinian understandings to be guaranteed by the U.S. that both sides are trying to reach before January.
The understandings, the source said, would result in an eventual Israeli withdrawal from the vast majority of the West Bank, an area rich in biblical history and significance. The understandings would also grant the PA permission to open official institutions in Jerusalem but would postpone talks on the future status of the capital city until new Israeli and U.S. governments are installed next year.
Days after the source provided the information, the PA publicly asked Palestinian diplomats to campaign abroad, particularly in Europe, for economic steps against Israeli West Bank settlements.
“We want you to make the whole world aware of the problem because condemnations and press conferences are not enough anymore,” PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad told a public gathering of Palestinian diplomats today.
Fayad reportedly singled out Britain as a model for other countries to follow in imposing economic sanctions on Israeli West Bank construction. Britain has said it is pressing European countries for tighter controls of imports to the EU from West Bank settlements, demanding West Bank Jewish imports be labeled separately from the rest of the Jewish state’s general imports.
“We call on other countries in the EU to follow suit with Britain on this issue,” Fayad said.
Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the book “Schmoozing with Terrorists.”