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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

President Barack Obama’s policy of direct diplomacy with Iran may buy Tehran enough time to produce nuclear weapons, Shabtai Shavit, chief of the Mossad intelligence agency from 1989 to 1996, warned in an exclusive interview with this column.

“I don’t believe there is a political solution which can be achieved through negotiations with Iran,” he said. “My concern is that until Obama finishes his learning curve of the subject, the Iranians are going to have maybe the first or even more nuclear bombs.”

  And yet, Shavit also said that at this point in time an Israeli or U.S. strike against Tehran’s nuclear facilities would not completely halt the country’s suspected illicit program. “According to the best of my assessment, I’m afraid [that a military strike to] completely disrupt the whole Iranian [nuclear] project and the whole system is not possible. But there still could be a military option. It depends what are the aims you define for [such an attack].”

Hamas Official Celebrates Kerry Visit

Democratic Sen. John Kerry’s visit last week to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip was a “big sign” of “change” in the U.S.’s position toward Hamas, said Mushir al-Massri, a Hamas spokesman and parliament member, speaking to WorldNetDaily from Gaza.

“This is part of a new era regarding Hamas in the international community,” he said. “Kerry can say there is no change, but Hamas controls Gaza. It’s very important that he came here. I hope next time the U.S. can more openly support Hamas.”

Kerry, who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, became the most senior U.S. government official to enter Gaza since 2000. The Massachusetts lawmaker announced that his trip, which focused on UN facilities in the territory, did not signal any change in U.S. policy toward Hamas.

While in Gaza, Kerry accepted a letter intended for Obama, later determined to have been from Hamas. Ahmed Yousef, Hamas’s chief political adviser in Gaza, said he wrote the two-page letter, which congratulates Obama on his victory last November and petitions the U.S. president to open a dialogue with Hamas.

Congressional Aide
Met Secretly With Hamas

An aide to a member of the U.S. Congress held a secret meeting in the Gaza Strip with leaders of Hamas, according to information obtained by this column.

Sources intimately familiar with the meeting said the aide, a woman, met in Gaza on Nov. 30 with Ahmed Yousef, Hamas’s chief political adviser in Gaza, and Siad Siam, Hamas’s interior minister. Siam served as chief of Hamas’s executive force, a guerrilla militia heavily involved in terrorism, until he was killed in an Israeli strike last month.

The meeting took place at the Museum, a fish restaurant in the Sudaniya neighborhood of the Gaza Strip, just next to the Gaza port. The restaurant is owned by the brother of Jamal al-Khudari, who heads the Palestinian Authority’s Committee for Breaking the Israeli Siege on Gaza.

The sources said the aide – whose name and boss they refused to divulge – entered Gaza under the cover of the United Nations Relief and Work Agency, or UNWRA.

Exhibition Features
Muslim Holocaust Heroes

Albania, a largely Muslim nation, is hosting an exhibition this month that highlights a chapter of world history that generally receives little public exposure: Muslims who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

Scores of Albanian Muslims risked their lives to protect their country’s Jewish citizens and provided refuge for Jews escaping from neighboring countries. Albania is one of the only European countries occupied by the Nazis to have emerged from World War II with more Jews than before the conflict. Only one Jewish family was reportedly deported and killed during the Nazi occupation of Albania, whose population refused to comply with Hitler’s demand to provide lists of Jews residing in the country.

Now, renowned photographer Norman Gershman is featuring work profiling scores of Albanian Muslims and their families recognized by Israel’s Yad Vashem Museum as “Righteous among the Nations” for their efforts in saving European Jews.

Gershman’s showcase, also made into a book of the same name, is titled “Besa: Muslims Who Saved Jews in World War II.” Besa is a code of honor deeply rooted in Albanian tradition demanding that one take responsibility for the lives of others in their time of need.

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.” 

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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