Shorts: Mideast

Gay marriage fight hits Israel

jerusalem (jta) | A gay Israeli who is a former member of Knesset married his partner in Canada.

Uzi Even married Amit Kamah Sept. 17 in Toronto. Now the couple is planning to fight to win legal recognition for their union from Israel’s Interior Ministry, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Interior Minister Avraham Poraz has voiced sympathy for “alternative” unions, but he still faces opposition from religious Israelis for whom gay marriage is anathema.

Israeli ‘refuseniks’ discharged

jerusalem (jta) | Five Israeli conscientious objectors were kicked out of the Israeli army after spending almost two years in the stockade.

The army cited “conduct unbecoming” soldiers as the reason for the dishonorable discharge Tuesday of the five men, who were jailed in 2002 for refusing induction orders. The activists remained firm in their opposition to Israel´s handling of the Palestinians.

“Everything done in the military is connected, in one way or another, to the occupation,” one of the five, Noam Bart, told Israel Army Radio. “We stand by our views and were ready to pay the price.”

Egyptian cleric rules Islam forbids yoga

jerusalem (jta) | A religious edict saps the energy out of yoga enthusiasts in Egypt, where clerics say the 5,000-year-old practice violates Islamic law.

Answering a religious question put forward, Egypt’s highest theological authority called yoga an “ascetic Hindu practice that should not be used in any manner of exercise or worship.”

The edict, published in the pan-Arab daily newspaper Al-Hayat and obtained Sunday, Sept. 19, by the Associated Press, called the practice of yoga “an aberration” and said mimicking it is “forbidden religiously.”

Ten Jerusalem Arabs arrested for attacks

jerusalem (jps) | Ten Arab Israelis were under arrest for allegedly carrying out repeated firebomb and stone-throwing attacks against Jewish residents of the city.

The 10 suspects are believed to be members of the Palestinian Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror organization.

They are suspected of carrying out a series of attacks, including fire-bombings and stone-throwing against Jewish houses over the last several weeks.

During their interrogation, the 18- to 21-year-old suspects told police investigators that they carried out the attacks “in order to prove that the intifada in Jerusalem was not dead,” Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said.

Gilad Sharon’s bunny business

jerusalem (jta) | Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s son Gilad is breeding rabbits for a non-kosher Israeli meat factory.

Ha’aretz quoted the Tiv Taam meat company Monday as saying Gilad Sharon’s extensive agricultural experience made him a valuable partner in raising the rabbits.