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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem Post’

Opposition: Iran Accelerating Nuclear Weapons Program

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

A new report on the Iranian nuclear arms program compiled by the Iranian opposition group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) shows that Iran is in fact accelerating its efforts to build a nuclear bomb.

MEK is known for its ties with the CIA and the Mossad and was responsible for the revelation of the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in 2002.

The report was obtained by two major Western outlets, the German paper Die Welt and the Jerusalem Post.

The Post revealed that the headquarters of the Iranian organization dealing with the development of a nuclear weapon (known by its Farsi acronym SPND) is based in Mojdeh, a military facility near Tehran.

SPND has seven sub-divisions, each of them dealing with a different element of the process needed for building a nuclear weapon.

The MEK report appeared three days after a publication by the Washington based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) about the ‘washing’ of a building at Parchin, a military complex southeast of Tehran. The IAEA suspects that this building contains an explosive chamber used to carry out nuclear arms related experiments and has repeatedly demanded access to the complex.  Iran has not yet complied with this demand.

These revelations come a few days before Iran and the major world powers are to resume their talks about the Iranian nuclear program.

EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton last Friday expressed optimism about these talks.

She said: “my ambition is that we come away with the beginning of the end of the nuclear weapons program in Iran.”

Ashton’s use of the term ‘nuclear weapons program’ however, clearly went beyond the usual EU description of Iranian nuclear activities.

Iran expert Emanuele Ottolenghi expects the MEK report to be a game-changer in Western perceptions of Iran’s nuclear program.

Meanwhile, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued his rhetoric against Israel, calling the Jewish state a ‘mosquito’.

During the same speech Ahmadinejad made a veiled remark about certain developments in Iran that would enable Iran to become a “developed country.” As a result, he said, “Iran’s enemies would not be able to challenge the Islamic Republic anymore.”

Permanent Artificial Heart Implanted in Israel For First Time

Monday, April 30th, 2012

An artificial heart has been permanently implanted in a patient in Israel for the first time.

Up until now, artificial hearts have been used in Israel to help a damaged heart continue to pump until a donor organ could be located.

The operation on a 63-year-old cardiac patient, who was also in organ failure, occurred over the weekend at the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikvah, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Mechanical heart transplant expert Dr. Jack Copeland, of the University of California at San Diego came to Israel to help with the transplant, the newspaper reported.

The hospital is still searching for a human heart for the patient.

Former Mossad Chief to Speak to Winnipeg’s Jewish Community

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Efraim Halevy, former head of Mossad, is coming to lecture at the annual Distinguished Lecture series in Winnipeg, on May 3, 2012.

The series benefits the work of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada (JHCWC). The evening with Halevy is the primary fundraising event for the Centre which manages museum displays and the Holocaust education and awareness programs. The JHCWC also maintains historical materials which preserve the history of Western Canada`s Jewry, in particular in the province of Manitoba. The community`s genealogical research archives are also maintained on site.

The collection includes copies of community newspapers dating back as early as 1910, over 7000 photographs, a complete database of Jewish gravestones (current to December 2010), and countless manuscripts and papers. This archive is constantly growing; for example, we recently received the Yiddish papers of Adele Wiseman, Canadian literary luminary.

The JHC’s many publications on Western Canadian Jewish history include: Coming of Age: a History of the Jewish People of Manitoba, Our Musical Heritage: a Century of Jewish Musicians and Music in Winnipeg, and nine volumes of essays in Jewish Life and Times, with special volumes on Jewish women, Jewish radicalism in Winnipeg, pioneer life and Jewish Farm Colonies.

Previous invitees to the annual Kanee Distinguished Speaker Series lecture, have been internationally-known speakers such as Sir Martin Gilbert, Dr. Deborah Lipstadt and Ambassador Dore Gold. In 2012 it is Efraim Halevy, former Chief of Israel’s Mossad.

Halevy will speak at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. His topic, “Impossible Missions: Israel’s greatest threats inside and out” candidly outlines the country’s modern day challenges.

The Centre invited Israel’s legendary security consultant, negotiator, political provocateur, speaker, author and retired Mossad Director, many months in advance. His talk, however, comes as Israel grapples on the international stage with its rift between the security establishment and the country’s political leadership.

Winnipeg, nestled at the geographic centre of North America, may be the beneficiary of significant insights from Halevy, renowned for his iconoclastic views.

His often controversial stance is based on a 40 year career in the Mossad. Having moved up the ranks from intelligence officer in 1961 to years as Director of Israel’s elite Institute of Intelligence and Special Operations, Halevy is uniquely positioned to cut through the rhetoric of USA, Israel, Iran, and Syria.

Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions after a lecture of about an hour. It is expected that Halevy will reveal provocative plans and fresh insights for co-existence once and for all.

With service to no less than five Israeli Prime Ministers, countless international dignitaries, and hundreds of missions and negotiations in his charge, he has worked ceaselessly in the cause of Israel’s security. Much of it in “secret diplomacy.”

It is expected that the evening will also touch on the prestigious Shasha Centre for Strategic Studies. The Israeli-based centre researches policy and presents white papers to stimulate public discussion leading to practical policies to effect sustainable change in the Middle East. This meshes well with the education initiatives of the JHCWC as well as its mandate to monitor news and events pertaining to racism, anti-Semitism, and world news affecting the Jewish community.

Winnipeg audiences anticipate fresh perspectives from the man who began to share behind the scene details on his watch in his book, “Man in the Shadows.”

As anonymous in his civilian look as George Smiley, the lead character in a John le Carré novel, Israel’s modern day spymaster and now editorial writer and professor holds that creative solutions must be found and soon.

On Iran Halevy has said, “They don’t know how to extricate themselves. We have to find creative ways to help them escape from their own rhetoric.”

Contrary to the panic generally promoted about Iran’s nuclear arms status, the evening is likely to touch on his views of Israel’s military and strategic might – “I believe that Israel is indestructible.”

Pragmatic and hopeful Halevy is known for his initiatives to “start the ball rolling.”

While to many outside of Israel the situation looks dire, Winnipeg’s audience may find solace in Halevy’s sign off line in a recent Jerusalem Post editorial, where he wrote, “The impossible happens twice a week in Israel.”

The lecture is a public event open to all. For more information on the work of the Jewish Heritage Centre visit http://www.jhcwc.org/

Author A.B. Yehoshua: American Jews are ‘Partial Jews’

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Noted Israeli author and Israel Prize Laureate, A.B. Yehoshua, delivered a lecture on Friday in which he stated that American Jews “are partial Jews while I am a complete Jew.”

“In no siddur is there a mention of the word ‘Jew’ but only ‘Israeli’,” Yehoshua asserted. “In no way are we the same thing – we are total and they are partial; we are Israeli and also Jewish.”

Speaking at the HaKatedra Strategic Friday lecture series, under the auspices of the Land of Israel Museum, Yehoshua said that living outside Israel “is a very deep failure of the Jewish people,” and lamented that immigration numbers from the United States are “minimal” and “embarrassing.”

He challenged American Jews to assume a ‘complete’ Jewish identity: “If Judaism is important to you, then come here, receive it in full and be part of it. But it is important that you understand: ‘they’ and ‘us’ are not the same thing. Do not make do with texts.”

He also accused American Jews of being generous with pronunciations of support but infrequent travelers to Israel: “They should come here more often. All the love they have for Israel, but they were here for barely a five-day visit…barely 20 percent of them [American Jews] have ever been in Israel.”

Yehoshua did not restrict his criticism of diaspora Jewry to Americans, and also took aim at the large Israeli ex-patriot communities living abroad: “There are about 500,000 Israelis abroad who can easily glide into their Israeliness, which they consider only citizenship and not identity … there is nearly no home without a convertible outside. I know these homes, who are well off. Why? Because they cannot find jobs here? The Swedes, too, don’t have work in high technology like they would want, but you will not see so many Swedes in the United States.”

Known more for his outspokenly dovish stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Yehoshua is no stranger to controversy when it comes to Shlilat HaGolah (Negation of the Diaspora). In a 2006 speech in the US at the centennial symposium of the American Jewish Committee, he said “Judaism outside Israel has no future. If you do not live in Israel…your Jewish identity has no meaning at all.” Suffice it to say, his hosts were less than impressed with his choice of words and the forum in which he chose to express them. In 2003, he was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying that “diaspora Judaism is masturbation. Here [Israel], it is the real thing.”

Archeologists Find Evidence of 8th Century Fortress Near Ashdod

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

The Israeli Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of massive walls — likely the remains of a fortress — near Ashdod, dated to the eighth and early seventh century BCE, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post.

“There are two possibilities regarding who inhabited the fortress at that time: one possibility is that it was controlled by the Assyrians who were the regional rulers in the Iron Age. Another possibility is that Josiah, king of Judah, occupied the fort at the time, who we know conquered territory from the Assyrians and controlled Ashdod-Yam in the seventh century BCE,” said Sa’ar Ganor, an archaeologist from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

2011 Olive Harvest in Judea and Samaria Most Peaceful in Years

Monday, January 30th, 2012

According to statistics compiled by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the 2011 olive harvest in Judea and Samaria was the most peaceful in years, with a drop of over 50% in violence.

In 2011, according to statistics obtained by the Jerusalem Post, 33 violent incidents were recorded in comparison to 69 in 2010 and 50 in 2009.

Responses to US Administration Comments on Israel

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman each sparked controversy—independently of the others—with recent comments related to Israel and the Jewish people.

The trifecta of statements, all appearing within the space of a few days last week, has spurred a large-scale debate among American Jews and Jewish organizations, many of whom are doubting the Obama administration’s support for Israel.

Clinton called Israeli democracy to task, raising concerns about two bills that could restrict foreign funding of non-profit organizations. Panetta urged Israel to get back to the “damn negotiating table” and pull itself out of its growing isolation in the region. Gutman said that Muslim hatred for Jews stemming from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should not be construed as anti-Semitism.

Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense for Democracies told the Washington Post that the U.S. is pressuring Israel because it knows it can’t get results from the Palestinians, particularly from Palestinian Authority (expired-term) President Mahmoud Abbas. At the Dec. 7 Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) Presidential Candidates Forum, Newt Gingrich called to reprimand Panetta and expressed shock that Clinton would “talk about discrimination against women in Israel, and then meet with Saudis.”

“This one-sided continuing pressure that says it’s always Israel’s fault, no matter how bad the other side is, has to stop,” Gingrich said.

“Panetta is a fine domestic politician, but his speech was outrageous,” he said. “How about saying to Hamas, give up violence and come to the table?”

Responding to Gingrich’s comments, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told ABC News that the U.S. has an unquestionable commitment to Israel and that Panetta “was simply noting in part of his speech that we should foster greater dialogue with the countries in the region and that Israel needs to do its part. It’s as simple as that.”

Clinton also weighed in on the ongoing controversies regarding gender segregation on several Jerusalem buses, and the demands by some Israeli rabbis that religious army troops not be forced to watch performing women. Clinton said these developments are “reminiscent of Rosa Parks.”

Israeli officials had mixed reactions to the Secretary of State’s remarks. Opposition leader Tzipi Livni said Clinton’s comments should serve as a wake-up call about what’s happening in the country, according to the Jerusalem Post. However, Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Clinton seriously exaggerated.

“The exclusion and segregation of women is something totally unacceptable, and it needs to be stopped, but to cite this as a threat to Israel’s democracy is a big leap,” Steinitz said, according to Haaretz.

The National Conference on Jewish Affairs (NCJA) released a press statement calling to remove Gutman from his post as U.S. Ambassador to Belgium. In the wake of the controversy surrounding his comments, Gutman said that his words were taken out of context.

“Those who use the existence of the Jewish State of Israel or the ongoing deadlock in Israeli-Palestinians peace negotiations as an excuse to hate Jews are nothing more than anti-Semitic bigots… and I am pleased that (Gutman) has expressed regret for his remarks,” U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ) said in a statement.

The White House also distanced itself from the comments by stating it condemns “anti-Semitism in all its forms.”

Scholar and rabbi Dr. Michael Berenbaum, however, wrote in a column for the Los Angeles Jewish Journal that while “Israel is not to blame for anti-Semitism—anti-Semites are to blame for anti-Semitism … there is a direct correlation between actions in the Middle East and an increase in manifestations of anti-Semitism.”

Berenbaum cited France as an example, where “increased anti-Semitism came in waves,” occurring in much greater intensity during the various Intifada periods in Israel. “There can be no doubt about the correlation,” he wrote, adding that the absence of negotiations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict also fuels the extremists.

At the Republican Jewish Forum, Mitt Romney criticized the Obama administration’s general Israel policy, saying the president chastises the country but has little to say about the thousands of rockets launched at southern Israel by Hamas. Romney said the president has also been weak with regard to Iran.

“These actions have emboldened Palestinian hard-liners, and they’re now poised to form a unity government with terrorist Hamas,” Romney said. “And they feel they can bypass Israel at the bargaining table.”

Jonathan Tobin of Commentary Magazine did see one silver lining to the “ominous signals” created by U.S. officials’ controversial comments on Israel, as well as the “failure of the administration’s promises to stop Iran’s nuclear program.”

“No matter what Obama, Panetta, Clinton and their underlings may think about Israel, they are keenly aware a full break with Israel is not something they can get away with,” Tobin wrote.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/responses-pour-in-to-one-sided-administration-comments-on-israel/2011/12/14/

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