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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

Moscow Could Face War Crimes Charges Over Syria Bombing Campaign

Monday, October 17th, 2016

The European Union strongly condemned Russia on Monday for causing “untold suffering” with its bombing of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.

The air strikes by Moscow and the Syrian regime it backs, said the EU, could constitute war crimes.

In a statement after talks held in Luxembourg, European Union foreign ministers said: “Since the beginning of the offensive by the regime and its allies, notably Russia, the intensity and scale of the aerial bombardment of eastern Aleppo is clearly disproportionate. The deliberate targeting of hospitals, medical personnel, schools and essential infrastructure, as well as the use of barrel bombs, cluster bombs, and chemical weapons, constitute a catastrophic escalation of the conflict … and may amount to war crimes.”

The specific reference to Russia and war crimes in the same statement is significant in that a case may be taken to the International Criminal Court in The Hague with this accusation.

Prior statements have referred to “allies” of the Assad regime. Although Britain and the United States also pressured for sanctions against Russia, this did not succeed, according to international media reports. Extensive EU sanctions are already imposed against Syria, including those involving embargoes on oil and arms, plus bans on more than 200 individuals and 70 entities and institutions.

Moscow announced an eight-hour cease fire set for Thursday as the EU statement was being released to reporters. The truce is to coincide with the opening of a summit for European Union leaders in Brussels at which relations with Russia tops the agenda.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu to Amend the National Service Law to Exclude B’Tselem

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

At the start of the Knesset winter session, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will act to amend the national service law so that it will no longer be possible for young Israelis to do their national service working for the B’Tselem organization, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office, released Saturday night. Netanyahu discussed the amendment Saturday evening with coalition chairman MK David Bitan (Likud).

Prime Minister Netanyahu has previously contacted the Attorney General on the matter, and the latter said the law needs to be amended to exclude the anti-Zionist NGO.

On Friday, Hagai El-Ad, executive director of B’Tselem, appeared before a non-binding session of the UN Security Council, together with the director of Americans for Peace Now, to attack Israeli policy on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

The meeting came a week after the US and the EU had expressed their outrage at the fact that Israel was planning 98 new housing units in Samaria, for the residents of Amona which was slated for demolition by the Israeli Supreme Court. Apparently, the fact that Israel refuses to let a few hundred Jews go homeless poses a threat to the national aspirations of Palestinians everywhere.

David Israel

EU Statement on Terrorism More Like ‘Politics As Usual’

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

The European Union reluctantly, belatedly joined the rest of its international colleagues and released a terse, openly political statement late in the evening, condemning Sunday’s terror attack in Jerusalem. A grandmother and a newly-married police officer both were murdered, and six other people were wounded in the attack.

“The death of two Israelis and injury of several others in a terrorist shooting incident in Jerusalem today illustrate once more the urgent need to bring new impetus to the peace process, as proposed in the recent report from the Quartet,” the EU statement read.

“The EU condemns all such acts of violence, as well as any praise or incitement for terrorist acts, and extends its sincere condolences to the families of the bereaved. “

Hana Levi Julian

EJC: European Parliament Report on Relations With Iran ‘A Massive Missed Opportunity’

Friday, October 7th, 2016

The European Jewish Congress expressed deep disappointment on Thursday with the European Parliament’s passage of a strategy towards Iran after the signing of the JCPOA, the nuclear agreement.

“This road map is an important opportunity to link improved cooperation and relations with Iran on its behavior in the region, notably its assistance to the brutal and bloody Assad regime, and its unrepentant support for terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah which continue to target and massacre innocent civilians,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC, said.

“Additionally, we would expect the European Parliament to make plain that denying the Holocaust while calling for another, against the State of Israel, would be a red line for empowering relations.”

Compiled by Richard Howitt, a member of the European Union’s legislative arm for Britain’s Labour Party, the report on “EU strategy towards Iran after the nuclear agreement” was passed on Thursday by the Committee on Foreign Affairs in Brussels.

“Iran is playing an extremely negative role in the region and beyond and it seems a little absurd to be rewarding the Iranian regime at this time,” Kantor said.

“Europe has a lot of bargaining chips to ensure a less recalcitrant Iran and it is giving them away up front.

“This document barely criticizes one of the worst abusers of human rights and terrorist supporting regimes anywhere in the world.”

Hana Levi Julian

2 Police Officers Stabbed, ‘False Alarm’ Bomb Threat Empties Brussels Train Station

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Two Brussels police officers were stabbed and a train station evacuated in the wake of a telephoned bomb threat Wednesday afternoon, the second to occur within the past 48 hours, according to Belgian authorities.

One of the two officers was listed in serious condition following the attack by a suspected terrorist in the northern Brussels suburb of Schaarbeek. That officer was stabbed in the neck; the second officer was knifed in the stomach. The attacker was shot in the leg and then taken into custody, according to Belgian officials quoted by Flandernews.be.

Meanwhile, just slightly earlier, a bomb threat prompted authorities in northern Brussels to evacuate the Gare du Nord train station on Wednesday, but was later ruled out as a “false alarm.”

The signalling center and the Portalis building were evacuated in addition to the station, following a call from an anonymous tipster, who phoned police at 12:20 pm local time, the UK-based Daily Express newspaper reported.

The station was meticulously searched for explosives, while a number of train lines on the city’s metro system were interrupted as a result of the alert. A Twitter user said on the social networking site that it was the second time this week the northern Brussels station was evacuated for a “bomb alert.”

Two days ago, the same train station was placed on lock-down after a suspicious package was detected in a vehicle near the station.

In addition, a separate bomb threat prompted officials to evacuate the office of the Brussels prosecutor as well, the Libre Belgique daily newspaper reported, quoting police sources.

This past August, a car bomb exploded at about 3 am outside the Brussels Institute of Criminology.

Earlier this year, the Jewish community of Brussels canceled its Purim celebrations after the March 22 horrific twin terrorist attacks on the city’s international airport and its Molenbeek metro station, close to the headquarters of the European Union.

The attack involved three deadly coordinated suicide bombings — two at Zaventem International Airport in Brussels, and one at Maalbeek metro station in central Brussels — killing 32 civilians and wounding more than 300 innocent victims, including two local Jews. Three terrorists were killed. A fourth unexploded bomb was discovered during a sweep of the airport.

The Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization claimed responsibility for the attack, which was carried out by a members of a larger terrorist cell that had been involved in the massive November 13, 2015 multi-site terror attacks in Paris.

Hana Levi Julian

‘Anti-Semitism in Europe As Important As Climate Change’

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

On the eve of the Jewish new year, dozens of members of the European Parliament and heads of Jewish organizations gathered in the European Parliament to discuss the rise of anti-Semitism.

The delegates gathered for a conference focused on “The future of the Jewish communities in Europe,” attended by European Parliament President Martin Schulz and his deputy, Antonio Tajani (EPP, IT).

“The European Union sometimes has a reputation for talking a lot but delivering little,” observed “Rabbi Menachem Margolin, general director of the European Jewish Association (EJA).

“We are on the threshold of the Jewish new year, and unfortunately many of Europe’s Jews live in fear,” said Margolin. “Putting the army outside of our synagogues, radio stations, schools and shops is of course a welcome step to protect the lives of Jews – but this is just a temporary solution that does nothing to change the root cause of the problem.

“The crisis – and it is a crisis – affecting Jews across Europe – deserves the same attention as the EU institutions give to the economic crisis or climate change.

“That starts with a properly funded EU program, that teaches future generations about Jews, the Holocaust and the contributions that we, this small people, have made to the world.

Hana Levi Julian

EU Urges Israel: ‘Advance Peres’ Vision for 2-State Solution’

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

The European Union issued a clarion call to Israel in response to the death of former President Shimon Peres, urging the Jewish State to redouble its efforts to reach a final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

EU High Representative and foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement issued Wednesday morning that she personally was “heartbroken by the death of President Shimon Peres, a man of peace, and an immense source of inspiration.

“President Shimon Peres has never lost hope in peace, and has never stopped working to turn hope into reality,” she said.

“Even in the darkest moments his wit, his irony, his obstinate pursuit of dialogue have been a source of inspiration for many around the world, including myself.

“President Peres believed that the best way to serve the State of Israel and to deliver security to the Israeli people was through peace with the Palestinians. We can only honor his memory with a daily commitment to reconciliation, preserving and advancing his vision for a two-state solution,” she maintained.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, recently re-elected to a second term and known for his anti-Israel positions, reinforced Mogherini’s statement with one of his own.

“Shimon Peres’s role in Israel-Palestine negotiations… should be the spur for a renewed drive for peace and justice,” Corbyn tweeted in a statement on the Twitter social networking site.

Peres was the last living founding father of the State of Israel, the ninth president of the country. He passed away early Wednesday morning two weeks after he was struck down by a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He was hospitalized at Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer Hospital, where he was sedated and on life support, reportedly passing away without pain, hospital sources said. His casket will lie in state in the Knesset in Jerusalem on Thursday, where dignitaries and citizens will pay their final respects; the funeral is set for Friday.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/eu-urges-israel-advance-peres-vision-for-2-state-solution/2016/09/28/

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