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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

EU Seeks Iranian Cooperation to ‘Resolve Problems’ in Middle East

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini met Saturday in Tehran for talks with President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Mogherini’s visit followed a trilateral meeting on Friday in Moscow between Iranian, Russian and Syrian foreign ministers to discuss developments in Syria, according to Iran’s official FARS news agency.

During his meeting with Mogherini, the Iranian president “underlined the necessity for cutting aid to the terrorist groups,” according to FARS. Rouhani reportedly “called on the EU to use military and political leverage to pressure those states that are supporting the terrorists in the region.”

Mogherini “stressed the necessity for a campaign against the ISIL (Islamic State terrorist group) and Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra) Front as threats to the world…” The EU foreign policy chief was quoted by FARS as saying, “The EU needs Iran’s cooperation as a key and important power to resolve problems in the region.”

(Yes, these are real quotes.)

Hana Levi Julian

New PA School Named for Mastermind of Munich Olympics Massacre

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

A new public school in the Palestinian Authority has been named after Salah Khalaf, head of the Black September terrorist group.

Among the attacks planned by Khalaf was the murder of the 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, and the murder of two American diplomats in Sudan.

The school, located in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Tulkarem, “will serve as a daily reminder to Arab children that murdering Israelis is a heroic act when they attend the Martyr Salah Khalaf School,” pointed out the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) watchdog organization which translated the announcement of the dedication in the official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.

The Palestinian Authority laid the cornerstone for the new school a few weeks ago, according to the report. At the ceremony, Tulkarem district governor Issam Abu Bakr “emphasized the importance of the project of building the school named after Martyr Salah Khalaf, in order to commemorate the memory of this great national fighter.”

This is the fourth school the Palestinian Authority has chosen to name after this terrorist, in addition to three others in Gaza. Also attending the ceremony were Tulkarem Mayor Iyad Al-Jallad and Salam Al-Taher, head of the Tulkarem Education Directorate, part of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education – which receives funding from the United States and the European Union.

The PMW has released a report, PA Education, A Recipe for Hate and Terror, that documents evidence of 25 Palestinian Authority schools that have been named after terrorist murderers. Also documented in the report is evidence that the PA Ministry of Education is responsible for naming and changing the existing names of PA schools.

The watchdog group has written to the European Union, which funds the salaries in the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education, and called on the EU to hold up its funding on condition the PA changes the names of all schools that bear dedications and names after terrorists.

Hana Levi Julian

Finance Minister Exposing Fresh Meat Market to Foreign Competition

Monday, October 17th, 2016

At a time when free markets are losing favor in the eyes of GOP voters in the US, Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) has decided to open up the fresh meat market to competition from abroad. As part of this move, the quota for duty-free fresh meat imports will be doubled.

Needless to say, the move was not received well by Israeli farmers. On Friday, they demonstrated outside the Kfar Yehoshua train station, where the first commercial service on the Jezreel Valley railway line was being inaugurated. Armed with their tractors and pickup trucks, the cattle growers accused Kahlon of plotting to destroy Israel’s 460 cattle farms. They received support from MK Eitan Broshi (Zionist Camp), chairman of the agricultural lobby in the Knesset.

The Finance Ministry began exposing the local fresh meat market to foreign competition about two years ago, under Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) who now shares the opposition benches with Broshi. Indeed, this year there were a number of fresh meat brands available on the local market at roughly 25% less than the average price. The low price drove high consumer interest and supplies ran out before the end of the year.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, opening up the Israeli market to supplies from the EU countries is intended to replace the frozen meat market with higher-quality fresh meat, a move similar to the Agriculture Ministry’s eliminating the frozen poultry market, which used to encompass the bulk of Israel’s poultry market, replacing it with fresh poultry.

The new move will extend these lower prices to the coming years. The Finance Ministry has been conducting talks with the major local players in the industry, and an agreement has been reached on government subsidies to grass-fed, free range cattle growers and on spreading the import outline so that the market will become completely open by 2020.

The plan is for the quotas for fresh meat from abroad to be raised in 2020 to 17,500 tons, while duty will be reduced to 12%. In addition, local farmers will be permitted to import up to 10% of the market in fresh meat, to encourage local production and safeguard employment.

Israel’s  Chief  Rabbinate supervises the slaughtering of kosher meat  being  imported  to  Israel. Currently,  the  importation  of  non-kosher  meat  to  Israel  is  forbidden. The  Import Department of  the Chief  Rabbinate conducts tests  and  authorizes  slaughterhouses  and  teams of  inspectors.

JNi.Media

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ejc-european-parliament-report-on-relations-with-iran-a-massive-missed-opportunity/2016/10/07/

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