Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

Religious tensions on the rise in Israel – Video


26-12-2011 13:30 Two people have been arrested in clashes between Israeli police and ultra-Orthodox jews in the town of Beit Shemesh. Religious tensions have been rising recently over the community’s imposition of gender segregation in public life

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Inside Story – South Sudan and Israel – unlikely friends? – Video


22-12-2011 02:10 Silva Kiir, South Sudan’s president makes an official visit to Israel. With guests: Herb Keinon, Jacob Akol, and Gamal Nkrumah.

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Inside Story – South Sudan and Israel – unlikely friends? – Video

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Israel debates muffling call to prayer – Video


20-12-2011 09:48 Israeli legislators are considering a controversial law that would ban mosques from using loudspeakers to call worshippers to prayer. A handful of European countries have similar laws in place and this latest proposal has sparked similar mixed reactions.

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Israel debates muffling call to prayer – Video

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Photo-shy: Turkish spy sat to zoom in on Israeli secrets – Video


02-01-2012 06:02 In these days of Sattelite Navigation and Google Earth, we’re all used to looking closely at almost all corners of the globe, although Israel keeps prying eyes out. But now its once former ally in the region, Turkey is to launch a satellite that could blur the lines of Israel’s former protection, and leave it shaprly in the focus of the world’s gaze. RT on Twitter: twitter.com RT on Facebook: www.facebook.com

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Photo-shy: Turkish spy sat to zoom in on Israeli secrets – Video

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Egypt: Fate of peace with Israel – Video


01-01-2012 23:55 The Muslim Brotherhood movement may bring the fate of Egypt’s peace treaty to a referendum.

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Israeli tourist company holds West Bank tours – Video


01-01-2012 00:54 Most tourists who visit Israel go to Tel Aviv, the religious sites in Jerusalem, or the Dead Sea. But more people are now choosing to tour the occupied Palestinian territories, a place most governments advise against visiting

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Hillary Clinton Tells Supreme Court not to Call Jerusalem Part of …

Hillary Clinton Tells Supreme Court not to Call Jerusalem Part of Israel

Filed under: info,Politics — Tags: — admin3 @ 2:49 pm

In a legal brief filed with the US Supreme Court, Hillary Clinton has urged the justices not to call Jerusalem part of Israel. At issue is the birthplace designation on passports given to US citizens born in Israel. The Administration’s policy is to require those born in the Jewish capital to have their place of birth listed as Jerusalem rather than Israel. This rule applies to no other capital city on earth; its only purpose is to refuse to acknowledge that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish state.

The Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case of nine-year-old Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born in Jerusalem in 2002. His parents want his birthplace listed as Israel. Congress passed a law in 2004 requiring Israel be listed as the place of birth to those born in Jerusalem at their request, but the State Department headed by Hillary Clinton has refused. Truly there are powerful forces within our own government determined to divide the Holy City of Jerusalem. Will you stand in the gap for Israel today? The prophet Isaiah wrote of hearing God’s question: “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” Isaiah answered, “Here am I, send me.” What will your answer be today?

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October 7, 2011   Posted in: Israel, Jerusalem, Jews, Judaism, Race Relations  Comments Closed

Israel Builds Settlements and Wants Talks by Pierre Klochendler …

Israel Builds Settlements and Wants Talks

by , October 04, 2011

JERUSALEM — Days after his halfhearted conciliatory U.N. appearance, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had already approved the construction of 1,100 flats in occupied East Jerusalem. Yet on Sunday, he threw his support behind the new Mideast Quartet’s peace plan with the Palestinians.

“Israel is welcoming the Quartet’s call for direct negotiations without preconditions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement. The favorable response came at the end of two meetings of the most influential cabinet ministers of the far-right coalition under Netanyahu.

“Israel calls on the PA [Palestinian Authority] to follow suit and to immediately join direct negotiations,” the statement added.

A fortnight ago, in a last-ditch effort to try to harmonize the Palestinian unilateral statehood bid at the world’s body with bilateral peace talks, the Mideast Quartet for Peace (U.N., U.S., EU, and Russia) issued a new peace initiative for Israel and the PA.

The new plan calls for the parties to resume direct peace talks within a month, to present their proposals for permanent borders and security arrangements within three months, and to reach a final agreement within a time frame “not longer than the end of 2012.”

Yet the approval of the new construction scheme in the Jewish Gilo neighborhood-settlement creates doubts about the stated willingness of the Israeli government to start serious talks with the Palestinians.

From an outsider’s view, Netanyahu seems to have, once again, overplayed his settlement hand. Though the Quartet statement doesn’t mention a freeze in settlement building as precondition for talks, it demands that the parties pledge to refrain from “provocative actions.”

The latest settlement-building approval brings to mind a similar decision. In March 2010, the construction of 1,400 apartments in another East Jerusalem neighborhood settlement was adopted during a visit to Israel by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, considered a supporter of Israel. The embarrassing situation led to a much-publicized crisis of confidence between President Barack Obama and the Israeli leader.

This time too, Netanyahu was personally reprimanded — by Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israel’s staunchest ally in Europe, who let it be known to the German media on Friday that she was “furious” with Netanyahu and that she “doesn’t believe a word [he] says.”

She told Netanyahu, “I cannot understand how just a few days after the Quartet statement, you approve 1,100 new housing units,” the liberal daily Haaretz quoted German media reports as saying.

Due to the troubled relations between the PA and the U.S. in the wake of Obama’s pro-Israel address at the General Assembly, Germany became the preferred channel for relaying Israeli messages to the Palestinians and for trying to exert pressure on President Mahmoud Abbas to agree to negotiate with Israel.

That’s what Merkel reportedly did. She called Abbas. But when she inquired what it would take for him to decide to resume talks with Israel, Abbas urged her to ask Netanyahu to commit to a three-month settlement freeze, the time frame the Quartet has set for talks on borders and security to take off.

“I don’t need him to say so publicly, I need him not to embarrass us,” Abbas is said to have told Merkel. According to Haaretz, Netanyahu didn’t bother to respond to the Palestinian proposal. Instead, both Abbas and Merkel learned that the Gilo construction scheme had taken off.

“Our ties with the German government and Chancellor Merkel are good and close,” read another Netanyahu statement, also released on Sunday. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that Merkel was the one who leaked excerpts of the harsh phone conversation, the announcement went on to criticize the Israeli media for distorting the facts.

“Just as the media was quick to report on a diplomatic crisis with the U.S. — and then it turned out from the president that the ties are stronger than ever — this time it also turns out that Israeli-German ties continue to be friendly just as they were,” the statement read.

Haaretz retorted by noting that Merkel was apparently “so incensed at Netanyahu” that she decided to break the low media profile she’s been keeping in her relations with the Israeli premier. Merkel’s prudence is understandable. In February, it was divulged that she’d chided Netanyahu in a similar fashion for failing to take “a single step to advance peace.”

But “what you see from there is not what you see from here,” says a popular Israeli refrain.

Domestically, Netanyahu is riding a wave of support for his diplomatic approach. His reaction to the German admonishment — he does “not view Israeli neighborhoods as [illegal] settlements” — is shared by most Israelis.

No wonder. They were warned of the perils of an anti-Israel “tsunami” at the U.N. and of a Palestinian uprising that would engulf the occupied West Bank. Now that it’s become clear that “doomsday” hasn’t happened, and that it’s not certain at all that Abbas will get the nine-vote threshold at the Security Council — not to mention Obama’s unprecedented show of support to Israel and the guarantee of a U.S. veto in any case — Israeli Jews can now focus on their more immediate, and rosier, High Holidays season.

The PA has still to approve the Quartet plan. In absence of a settlement freeze, Abbas will surely try to gain time and pursue his statehood bid at the Security Council in order to try to resume negotiations from a position of strength.

On the other hand, these officials have made plain, albeit in private, that they have their own doubts about the feasibility of reaching an agreement within six months with the PA on borders — that is, on territory that would incorporate inside Israel not only settlements blocks in the West Bank, but also Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

(Inter Press Service)

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Israel Builds Settlements and Wants Talks by Pierre Klochendler …

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October 4, 2011   Posted in: Israel  Comments Closed

MJ Rosenberg: Obama: Stop Pandering on Israel

The fact is that there has never been an American president who has been so supportive, for better or worse, of every position taken by an Israel prime minister.

A Congressional aide contacted me last week to tell me a story that he believed illustrated a point I often make.

His boss was visited by a group of eight senior citizens from the district. They had traveled to Washington with a group of retired teachers and decided, on the spur of the moment, to visit their representative. They had no appointment so they did not expect to see him but wanted to see the office, if nothing else.

The aide greeted the group, looked at the congressman’s schedule, and decided that he could at least come out to say hello. He took the names and brought them in to his boss. The congressman perused the list and said, “The names are all Jewish. Are they from a Jewish organization?” The aide said they were not and explained that they were older people on a bus tour sponsored by a charter travel group that catered mostly to retired educators.

The congressman (a Democrat) went out and delighted the group by ushering them into his office and talking to them for a half hour. He opened by telling them how strongly he supported the Obama administration’s opposition to the Palestinian bid for U.N. recognition and how much he enjoyed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of Congress. He elaborated on the Israel issue for a while and then asked for questions.

There was not one reference to anything he had said about Israel or any foreign policy issue. The only issues the visitors wanted to discuss were Medicare and “why Obama doesn’t fight harder” against the Republicans. As Democrats, they all intended to support Obama for re-election but were disappointed with the president, especially for extending the Bush tax cuts.

The aide said that, afterwards, the congressman chided him a little for not telling him that the group was not particularly interested in the Middle East. The aide said that he had not said that they were. It was the congressman’s assumption that their Jewish names meant that they cared primarily about Israel.

Sure, the congressman made a mistake, a common one. Politicians assume that the main issue American Jews care about is Israel. To be blunt, a check to a political campaign from someone with an obviously Jewish surname will be chalked up to the Israel issue, unless the donor specifically indicates otherwise.

It isn’t hard to understand how Members of Congress, and even the president, came to the conclusion that the foremost issue for Jewish donors and voters is Israel. After all, that is precisely what they hear from the lobby and its cutouts (in the media and Congress itself). The lobby promotes the idea that Jews are single-issue people and that their issue is Israel. They do that to enhance their own clout and to prevent policymakers from deviating from the lobby line.

But the polls consistently show that Jews, like most Americans, are primarily concerned about domestic issues like jobs, choice, the environment, equality, Medicare, etc. During the 2008 presidential election, the American Jewish Committee polled Jews on the issues that were most important to them. 54 percent said the economy. 11 percent said health care. 5 percent said terrorism. 3 percent said Israel.

It was against that back drop that 78 percent of Jews voted for Barack Obama in 2008, not because they thought he was “better” on Israel than uber-hawk John McCain.

This brings us to the current drop off in Jewish support for President Obama. According to the Gallup poll (published on September 16th) Obama’s approval rating among Jews is now down to 54 percent (from 78 percent on Election Day 2008).

Naturally, the lobby and its acolytes are blaming Obama’s significant slippage on the Israel issue. They say Jews are abandoning him because he is too tough on Prime Minister Netanyahu.

However, the fact is that there has never been an American president who has been so supportive, for better or worse, of every position taken by an Israel prime minister. No doubt some Jews oppose Obama, citing Israel, but they are the same ones who didn’t like him in 2008.

Also, some may have been duped by the Republican Jewish Coalition into believing that a president that even Israel’s rightist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman admires is anti-Israel! (And now there is Ed Koch who has endorsed Obama because even Koch concedes that you can’t be more pro-Netanyahu than President Obama unless you are… Netanyahu.)

Let me be clear here. I don’t approve of the president’s support for Netanyahu which is obviously politically calculated and bad for the United States, the Palestinians, and Israel. But anti-Israel? Not only is that charge a lie but those making it know it’s a lie.

No, it’s not Israel that has produced the decline in Obama’s standing among Jews. The reason for the decline is that Jews are Americans and support for the president is way down among all Americans. And the reason it is down among Jews, as for their neighbors, is because joblessness is above 9 percent and the economy shows few signs of recovery.

For politicians, including notably President Obama, to behave as if their Jewish constituents are more concerned about Israel than they are about their own families and their neighbors here comes very close to acceptance of the libel that American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the United States. The fact that the lobby tells them that Jews care primarily about Israel is no excuse. To believe it and to act on that belief is offensive. Worse than offensive.

American Jews have been good and loyal Americans ever since they arrived on these shores. They understand and appreciate that America has been, since its creation, the safest place in the world to be Jewish. They understand and appreciate that the U.S. Constitution, and particularly the First Amendment’s separation of church and state, have guaranteed our rights ever since George Washington himself welcomed Jews with the prayer that:

the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while everyone shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.

This is not to say that American Jews do not care about Israel. They do. But our national homeland is the United States and those — especially those in the lobby and pandering politicians — who imply otherwise, insult us all.

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MJ Rosenberg: Obama: Stop Pandering on Israel

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September 27, 2011   Posted in: Israel  Comments Closed

Religious tensions on the rise in Israel – Video




26-12-2011 13:30 Two people have been arrested in clashes between Israeli police and ultra-Orthodox jews in the town of Beit Shemesh. Religious tensions have been rising recently over the community’s imposition of gender segregation in public life

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January 3, 2012   Posted in: Israel  Comments Closed

Inside Story – South Sudan and Israel – unlikely friends? – Video




22-12-2011 02:10 Silva Kiir, South Sudan’s president makes an official visit to Israel. With guests: Herb Keinon, Jacob Akol, and Gamal Nkrumah.

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January 3, 2012   Posted in: Israel  Comments Closed

Israel debates muffling call to prayer – Video




20-12-2011 09:48 Israeli legislators are considering a controversial law that would ban mosques from using loudspeakers to call worshippers to prayer. A handful of European countries have similar laws in place and this latest proposal has sparked similar mixed reactions.

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January 3, 2012   Posted in: Israel  Comments Closed

Photo-shy: Turkish spy sat to zoom in on Israeli secrets – Video




02-01-2012 06:02 In these days of Sattelite Navigation and Google Earth, we’re all used to looking closely at almost all corners of the globe, although Israel keeps prying eyes out. But now its once former ally in the region, Turkey is to launch a satellite that could blur the lines of Israel’s former protection, and leave it shaprly in the focus of the world’s gaze. RT on Twitter: twitter.com RT on Facebook: www.facebook.com

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January 3, 2012   Posted in: Israel  Comments Closed

Egypt: Fate of peace with Israel – Video




01-01-2012 23:55 The Muslim Brotherhood movement may bring the fate of Egypt’s peace treaty to a referendum.

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January 3, 2012   Posted in: Israel  Comments Closed

Israeli tourist company holds West Bank tours – Video




01-01-2012 00:54 Most tourists who visit Israel go to Tel Aviv, the religious sites in Jerusalem, or the Dead Sea. But more people are now choosing to tour the occupied Palestinian territories, a place most governments advise against visiting

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January 3, 2012   Posted in: Israel  Comments Closed

Hillary Clinton Tells Supreme Court not to Call Jerusalem Part of …

In a legal brief filed with the US Supreme Court, Hillary Clinton has urged the justices not to call Jerusalem part of Israel. At issue is the birthplace designation on passports given to US citizens born in Israel. The Administration's policy is to ..

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October 7, 2011   Posted in: Israel, Jerusalem, Jews, Judaism, Race Relations  Comments Closed

Israel Builds Settlements and Wants Talks by Pierre Klochendler …

“ Israel is welcoming the Quartet's call for direct negotiations without preconditions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” the prime minister's office said in a statement. The favorable response came at the end of two …

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October 4, 2011   Posted in: Israel  Comments Closed

MJ Rosenberg: Obama: Stop Pandering on Israel

The fact is that there has never been an American president who has been so supportive, for better or worse, of every position taken by an Israel prime minister.

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September 27, 2011   Posted in: Israel  Comments Closed


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