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News Brief

August 3, 2005
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The Palestinian Authority foreign minister reportedly believes the Jewish community is “the strongest actor in the world, in modern history.” Nasser Al-Kidwa, a nephew of the late Yasser Arafat and formerly the Palestinians’ U.N. representative, was interviewed for a profile of Arafat in the current issue of the Atlantic Monthly. Arafat’s success, Al-Kidwa says, is that he made the Palestinian cause “the cause of the century, while his enemy is probably the strongest actor in the world, in modern history if not beyond.” Asked by Atlantic reporter David Samuels if he is referring to the United States, al-Kidwa whispered, “No. Israel and its supporters. The Jewish community around the world.” Al-Kidwa assumed control of his uncle’s medical records after an ugly dispute between Arafat’s widow and the Palestinian Authority subsequent to his death last November. Al-Kidwa told the Atlantic that he does not believe the French coroner’s verdict of death by natural! causes, though he did not explicitly say that Israel poisoned Arafat, as other Palestinians have alleged.

People from around the world, including tsunami-ravaged Sri Lanka, are attending a course on emergency response at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Twenty-two doctors, nurses and officials are attending the two-week course, which started this week. The program will focus on responding to bioterrorism and earthquakes, coping with epidemics, and the role of international agencies in crisis situations. Other participants hail from Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Russia and Romania.

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