Shorts: mideast

Arafat sees ‘Passion,’ calls it ‘impressive’

ramallah (ap) | Yasser Arafat watched Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ’ and afterward a top aide to the Palestinian leader compared Jesus’ pain during crucifixion to Palestinians’ suffering in the conflict with Israel.

Nabil Abu Rdeneh, one of Arafat’s closest advisers, watched the film along with the veteran Palestinian leader and a group of American and European Christians and Palestinian Muslim clerics.

“The Palestinians are still daily being exposed to the kind of pain Jesus was exposed to during his crucifixion,’ Abu Rdeneh said in a statement after he viewed the movie.

Arafat, who watched the film on a small TV set in his Ramallah office, said the movie was “historic and impressive.’

Class action against Dimona

jerusalem (jta) | Employees of the Dimona nuclear reactor who developed radiation-linked illnesses are suing Israel for negligence.

Israeli media reported that 17 former and current Dimona technicians had petitioned the High Court of Justice to order the government to pay them full medical compensation for illnesses they said were caused by radiation exposure.

From the bench to the bunny

jerusalem (jta) | Religious youth put an Israeli judge’s portrait on the cover of a mock Playboy magazine in an anti-porn protest.

“Crusader for the Jewish Character of the State of Israel,” read the sardonic headline under the portrait of Dalia Dorner, who retired from the Supreme Court last week after ruling that mild pornography could be broadcast on cable television.

The mock magazine was issued by the youth movement of the National Religious Party ahead of an address by Dorner, 70, on Thursday, March 25, at Bar-Ilan University. She did not comment.

Online doctor says to diet for peace

jerusalem (jta) | An online doctor is prescribing a healthier diet to solve the Middle East conflict.

Hugo Mann and his Web site,, are urging people in the Middle East to follow his “Land of Milk and Honey” diet because “diet and behavior are inseparable.”

Mann says Middle Easterners live on a “hate diet,” which includes alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, meat, honey and sweets, but they should replace it with “the love diet,” which includes dairy products, eggs, fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds.

“Perhaps some of the anger and violence in the Middle East is dietary in origin,” he said.

Mistaken for a Jew, Arab killed by Fatah

jerusalem (jta) | Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement apologized after its gunmen killed an Israeli Arab they thought was a Jew.

George Khouri, a 20-year-old Christian student from Jerusalem, was shot dead while jogging in the capital city’s French Hill neighborhood Friday, March 19.

The al-Aksa Brigade, the terrorist wing of Fatah, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying initially that it had killed a Jewish settler. When it became clear that the victim was an Arab, the brigade apologized and called him a “martyr” for the Palestinian cause.