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November 26, 2015 / 14 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘embassy’

New York Jury Convicts Saudi Man in 1998 Al Qaeda Attack on US Embassy

Friday, February 27th, 2015

A New York City jury convicted Al Qaeda’s ‘minister of communications’ – Khaled al-Fawwaz – on charges of conspiring to kill Americans and destroy U.S. property. The verdict was handed down in a federal district courtroom on Thursday, Feb. 26.

The Saudi Arabian national was the deputy to the late terror chief Osama Bin Laden for nearly a decade, spreading his message to the West.

But he pleaded not guilty and claimed he was not a member of Al Qaeda, saying he does not condone violence. The prosecution accused Fawwaz of creating a media office in London to disseminate Bin Laden’s messages and faciliate communications between Al Qaeda members.

Fawwaz was convicted Thursday in a U.S. federal court on charges of participating in a conspiracy that led to the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in East Africa.

“The defendant worked for years directly and personally with Osama Bin Laden,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Lewis said during his opening argument, the Wall Street Journal reported last month. The messages he helped disseminate included declarations of war that called for Muslims to kill Americans anywhere in the world.

The evidence presented to the juror included printed copies of an Al Qaeda declaration of war – taken from a search of Fawwaz’s home in London – signed by Bin Laden, and floppy disks of drafts of the same message.

Lewin said the 52-year-old Saudi terrorist also helped lay the groundwork for attacks in Kenya and Tanzania that left 224 people dead and more wounded.

Arguing for the defense, Bobbi Sterheim argued that Fawwaz kept the incriminating evidence in his home in order to stay informed of “both sides of the aisle.”

Bin Laden’s son-in-law, Suleiman Abu Ghaith, and Egyptian-born British cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri were both also convicted on similar terrorism charges in the past year as well. Both were sentenced to life in prison, with juries having deliberated for less than two days before reaching a verdict in each trial.

Wednesday’s verdict was seen as a victory for Washington’s efforts to prosecute suspected terrorists in civilian courts.

Unidentified Drones Fly Over Paris Landmarks, US Embassy

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Five unidentified drones were spotted overnight Tuesday flying over flying over various iconic sites in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower – and the U.S. Embassy. It is not clear who sent the drones, nor do authorities know where they went after collecting data.

Officials are “taking this very seriously,” according to news media but because “it’s so easy to buy these drones nowadays” pundits added there was little more to be done.

French police, however, expressed concern about flights over sensitive locations, saying these were not the first.

The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were spotted between midnight Monday and 6 am Tuesday morning. Last month similar flights were seen over Elysee Palace, the home of French President Francois Hollande. In October 2014, drones flew over a number of nuclear plants in France as well.

Security personnel in France were unable to determine the source of any of the drones Monday night, nor could they track down the operators.

‘Bomb Scare’ Empties Israeli Embassy in Uruguay

Thursday, January 8th, 2015


One day after radical Islamist terrorists killed 12 people in Paris, Israel’s Embassy in Uruguay was evacuated Thursday by emergency teams in response to a bomb scare.

Israeli diplomatic staff and visitors emptied out of the Montevideo World Trade Center complex where the embassy is located, after a “suspicious item” was found in the building.

According to a report in the local El Pais, the device was actually placed by the country’s security officials to test local police readiness and response times. The suspicious device had no explosive capabilities and could not have detonated, according to Chief Alfredo Larramendi of the Explosives Brigade.

On November 29, 1947, Uruguay was among the nations who recommended that Israel be admitted to membership in the United Nations. However, on November 29, 2012, Uruguay UN representative Jose Luis Cancela voted in favor of a resolution to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority to a non-member observer state.

The measure passed in a landslide vote that has since allowed the Palestinians to join hundreds of international treaties and organizations – including most recently the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

PA leaders are now proceeding to charge Israel with committing war crimes in PA territory and crimes against humanity from the period starting June 13, 2014 – the day after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered by Palestinian Hamas terrorists.

Cancela told the world body after the UN vote his government believed there could not be a solution for Middle East peace without the existence of two consolidates States. He expressed Uruguay’s support of the “States of Israel and Palestine to live in peace, within safe and recognized borders” but said there was “no replacement for bilateral dialogue, which should resume as soon as possible.”


Canada and UK Close Cairo Embassies Citing Security Reasons

Monday, December 8th, 2014

On Monday, Canada closed the doors to its embassy in Cairo, Egypt, citing security concerns.

The Canadian Embassy’s website only states:

The ability to provide consular services may occasionally be limited for short periods due to unsettled security conditions.

Two days ago, Britain closed its embassy in Cairo, also citing security concerns.

The office of the British Consulate-General in Alexandria is operating as normal, according to the UK’s government website.

The US Embassy in Egypt remains open, but embassy employees have reportedly been told to not wander too far away from their homes.

There is concern that terrorists may try to attack the foreign embassies.

Arab media reports that suspects connected to ISIS were arrested in relation to threats on the UK embassy.

Einat Schlein Appointed Israel Ambassador to Jordan, 1st Female in Post

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Israel has named Einat Schlein to represent the Jewish State in Jordan. She will be the first female ambassador to serve in the post in an Arab country. The appointment is one that could potentially cause complications due to cross-cultural issues regarding gender relations, although of all the Arab nations, Jordan is the most Westernized.

Schlein began her diplomatic career in Amman, and also served at the Israeli embassy in Washington DC. She currently heads a division at the Center for Political Research, an intelligence and analysis-based branch of the foreign ministry.

Israel’s Ambassador Presents Credentials in Egypt

Monday, September 15th, 2014

A new Israeli ambassador to Egypt presented his credentials to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Sunday, perhaps heralding the start of a new era as well. There has been no Israeli ambassador in Cairo since Israel’s embassy was torn apart by a rioting mob in September 2011.

Ambassador Chaim Koren presented his credentials in a ceremony at the presidential palace in Cairo. In his previous post, Koren served as Israel’s first ambassador to the emerging state of South Sudan.

He technically began serving as Israel’s ambassador to Egypt three months ago, working from his personal residence in Cairo. Since he has yet to find an office in the nation’s capital, he will continue to work from his residence there for the time being.

Israel’s government was encouraged by Egypt’s acceptance of Koren’s credentials and saw it as a sign of good relations between the two nations, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

As a follow up, government officials “would be pleased if Egypt were to instruct their ambassador to return to Israel,” said a diplomatic source quoted by the Hebrew-language NRG news site.

Egypt played a major role in mediating the current cease-fire between Gaza terrorist factions and Israel.

Elie Wiesel and Kagame of Rwanda Discuss Genocide & Syria

Monday, September 30th, 2013

There were several important news making items that emerged from our historic discussion on genocide that our organization, This World: The Jewish Values Network, together with NYU Hillel, staged on Sunday night, 29 September, at Cooper Union’s Great Hall in New York City – the venue that brought Abraham Lincoln to national prominence in 1860 – before 1000 people. The event – introduced by philanthropists Sheldon Adelson and Michael Steinhardt and which I moderated – was historic because it brought together the two biggest names in global genocide remembrance: Prof. Elie Wiesel, the living embodiment of the martyred six million of the holocaust, and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the only man alive who can claim to have stopped a genocide when his RPF forces conquered Rwanda in 1994 and ended the slaughter that had taken the lives of nearly one million Tutsis.

As to the discussion of whether President Franklin Roosevelt did enough to stop the murder of Europe’s Jews, Elie Wiesel came down firmly on the side of those who say he failed at this great moral responsibility. He deserves credit for defeating Hitler, Wiesel said, but as a someone who confronted a genocide and did not limit it, he deserves to be severely criticized.

I then turned the question to Kagame, adjusted to the Rwandan genocide. Did he harbor anger toward the United States, a moral and righteous superpower who blew it completely in Rwanda, doing next to nothing to stop the genocide and, arguably, even obstructing the efforts of other nations to assist. No, the President said. We’re way past that. It’s not about anger but our conclusion that we alone can protect ourselves and can never rely on a fickle world for our defense. Rwandans can rely on Rwandans for their defense.

I pointed out to the president that Israel came to the same conclusion about its defense in general, and is now pondering whether it will apply that principle by striking Iran alone, now that President Obama has decided to engage the Iranian president even as he continues to enrich Uranium and fund Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists.

I asked Elie Wiesel about Syria. Given the Bible’s commandment ‘not to stand idly by the blood of your neighbor,’ did the United States have a moral obligation to punish Assad for gassing children, even if he surrenders his chemical arsenal? Wiesel was unequivocal. Both the American political, and Jewish communal leadership had failed on Syria. Chemical gas was a trigger point for genocide and mass murder. The fact that Assad had paid no price for gassing children was a tremendous moral failure that had to be corrected, and the Jewish community should have been at the forefront of saying so.

President Kagame echoed that sentiment. Those who use either chemical, or even conventional weapons to slaughter innocent people must be held accountable or nothing will check further aggression and murder. Here were the world’s two leading voices on genocide were being jointly critical of the American government’s decision to commute the military attack on Assad to simply destroying his arsenal. Even if he did so he still had to pay a personal price for mass murder.

My close friend Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo had already announced, at a press conference we convened in October of last year, that Rwanda would be opening an embassy in Israel. I turned to the President and said to him that countries like Rwanda can understand Israel’s security situation in ways that few others could. The similarities between the two countries is striking. They are of similar size. They have terrorist enemies on their borders. Israel has Iran-funded Hezbollah and Hamas and Rwanda the FDLR in Eastern Congo. Both are regularly criticized unfairly by the UN. Both have had frictions with France which has at times assumed a curiously negative posture toward both countries. And, of course, both have experienced genocides of staggering proportions.

In light of the unique relationship between the two countries, I asked the President would it not be proper for Rwanda to open its embassy not in Tel Aviv but in Jerusalem, becoming one of the first nations to affirm the holy city as Israel’s eternal and undivided capitol? The President was surprised by the question but answered graciously. Rwanda and Israel indeed share similar histories and security challenges. He was very happy that they were increasing their bilateral relations with Rwanda opening an embassy in Israel. It was an important step in an evolving relationship and opening an Embassy in Jerusalem would be too great a leap for now. He and I both smiled at his response, with the President knowing I had put him on the spot and with me knowing that he had artfully dodged my question.

I turned to Professor Wiesel and told him that the full page ads he took out in America’s major publications in March, 2010, mildly rebuking President Obama, with whom he is close, for his pressure on Israel to cease building in parts of Jerusalem were widely credited with reversing the Administration’s policy. Would he be consider taking out similar ads questioning the President’s decision to open diplomatic relations at the highest level of the Iranian leadership without first demanding that Iran cease funding Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists, or enriching Uranium? Wiesel said that Iran’s holocaust denial was dangerous and delusional, and that opening diplomatic relations with the Iranians before they had formally renounced their genocidal aspirations against the Jewish state was unacceptable. He would consider the ads.

At last, I asked Professor Wiesel about a subject he and I had discussed many times. Why was it inappropriate to hate those who have committed genocide? Should we not despise the SS who murdered his family, or Hutu genocidaires who hacked children to death with machetes? Wiesel was adamant. Once you start hating, the emotion is internalized and you cannot control its spread and growth. It’s not long before it is directed even at those whom it is inappropriate to hate.

I have been close to Wiesel for 25 years. He is my hero and teacher. But on this one point, I remain unsure, and continue to despise those monsters who would murder a child because of his nationality, religion, or race. Never again must mean just that, Never again.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/america-rabbi-shmuley-boteach/elie-wiesel-and-kagame-of-rwanda-discuss-genocide-syria/2013/09/30/

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