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January 17, 2017 / 19 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Kazakhstan’

Netanyahu to Discuss UN Voting Record During Visit to Kazakhstan

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to leave for a brief visit to Azerbaijan next Tuesday, and then heads to Kazakhstan for a two-day visit, the first ever in that country by an Israeli prime minister.

The timing is not coincidental: two weeks later, Kazakhstan takes up its two-year rotating membership seat on the United Nation Security Council.

Both Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are Muslim-majority nations, with the latter nearly always voting against Israel when it comes to the United Nations and other international arenas.

A former satellite of the USSR, Israeli foreign ministry officials have told JewishPress.com that Kazakhstan’s behavior – and that of nations in similar situations — is explained by simple economic survival. Russia, a close neighbor, almost always votes against Israel, as do the countries from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, of which Kazakhstan is a member.

But another part of the reason for Netanyahu’s visit is to build a “strategic partnership,” according to Israeli envoy to Kazakhstan, Michael Brodsky.

Brodsky wrote in The Astana Times on Wednesday that “Israel’s counterterrorism experience and training have always been of great value for Kazakhstan and other post-Soviet countries, but following a series of terrorist attacks in different Kazakh cities over the last year, the importance of closer cooperation in this field is now more evident than ever…”

The country is “struggling to prevent infiltration of extremists from neighboring Afghanistan,” he added. Kazakhstan is particularly concerned about home-grown terrorism taking root upon the return of several hundred nationals who had earlier traveled abroad to join the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization in Syria. Kazakhistan is hoping to learn from Israel’s experience.

Hana Levi Julian

PM Netanyahu to Visit Australia, Singapore, Kazakhstan & Azerbaijan

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans a multi-stop tour of the eastern hemisphere in the next three months, with visits to Australia, Singapore and Kazakhstan, all of which have never before been visited by an Israeli prime minister.

Netanyahu also will visit Azerbaijan, where he once made a stop in 1997 during a previous term as prime minister. Israel buys most of its oil from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

The prime minister of Singapore has already visited Israel, back in April 2016, so Netanyahu’s visit comes as a reciprocal call, and the Israeli leader has been talking for months about a visit to “down under” as well.

Netanyahu is also planning a trip to Togo in Spring 2017 to attend a summit with West African nations.

In addition, President Reuven Rivlin is set to travel to India in two weeks, following the recent visit to Jerusalem this month by India’s President Pranab Mukherjee.

“Israel’s international relations are spreading in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and many other places,” said Netanyahu in remarks at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

“We realize that this development flows from Israel’s technological and economic strength on one hand, and its security and intelligence capabilities on the other.

Both of these facilitate the development and flourishing of our international relations,” he added.

“This is not to say that we will not be challenged in international forums, like we saw in the scandalous UNESCO decisions, and it is likely that this will continue at the UN, but there is no doubt that even in international institutions, even in these scandalous votes, we have seen a change.”

A specific schedule for the travels of the prime minister and president has not yet been set.

Hana Levi Julian

UNESCO to Question Jewish Ties to Western Wall in Arab-Sponsored Draft Resolution

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

United Nations Watch, a Geneva-based watchdog organization, expressed concern today that UNESCO may fuel anti-Jewish incitement and violence, and the increasing PA Arabs’ denial of Jewish religious and cultural rights, by adopting an Arab-sponsored draft resolution that denies Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s Western Wall and Temple Mount.

The Jordanian-Palestinian draft text on the Old City of Jerusalem was submitted to the 21-member World Heritage Committee, which meets over the next 10 days in Istanbul for its 40th annual session.

“This inflammatory resolution risks encouraging the past year’s wave of Arab stabbing and shooting attacks in Jerusalem and other parts of Israel, which began with false claims that Israel was planning to damage holy Muslim shrines,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

Under the battle cry of “Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger,” incitement in September by Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad sparked a wave of terror attacks across Israel which began on the Temple Mount and eastern Jerusalem. At least 40 have been killed and more than  500 wounded. The Arab attacks include 155 stabbings, 96 shootings, 45 car ramming attacks, and one bus bombing.

The draft now before UNESCO includes the following problematic language:

  • The draft refers ten times to Al-Haram Al-Sharif, exclusively using the Islamic term for Temple Mount, without any mention that it is the holiest site in Judaism. This is part of a larger campaign at the UN, and particularly in UNESCO, to Islamize sites historically belonging to other faiths.
  • This year’s proposed draft is even more extreme than the resolution adopted in 2015. The new version three times uses the Islamic term Buraq Plaza while placing the parallel name “Western Wall Plaza” in scare quotes, implying skepticism or disbelief concerning what is the most hallowed site for Jewish worshippers over two millennia, due to the ancient wall’s connection to the Holy Jewish Temple destroyed in 70 CE. Last year’s resolution also sought to diminish the Jewish connection by putting the name Western Wall in parentheses after the Islamic term, yet the new use of quotation marks intensifies the denialism that was famously promoted by Yasser Arafat’s negotiator at Camp David, and which continues in Palestinian Authority statements.
  • Israel, which is referred to throughout as “the Occupying Power” in Jerusalem, is called to restore “the historic Status Quo,” with the new word “historic”—a change from last year’s text—implying a reversal of any changes since 1967.
  • Jerusalem’s light rail, which is used daily by thousands of Arab residents among others, is accused of having a “damaging effect” on the “visual integrity” and “authentic character” of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem—even though the track passes through an existing highway and only facilitates transportation for visitors of all faiths.

The 21 members on the UNESCO world heritage committee are: Angola, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Croatia, Cuba, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. Good luck to all of us.

Jewish Press Staff

We Have Liftoff (Video)

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

The Amos-4 communications satellite was successfully launched into space on Saturday night from Kazakhstan.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Israel Heading Into Space

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Spacecom, operator of the AMOS satellite fleet, announced that Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has selected Space International Services, Ltd. (SIS) to launch the AMOS-4 commercial satellite. The launch is scheduled to take place this Saturday night from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

AMOS-4 will be the second AMOS satellite launched by SIS on its Zenit-3SLB launch vehicle. AMOS-3 was launched to its 4ºW orbital position in 2008 on the same vehicle. AMOS-4’s launch weight will be approximately 4.2 tons, demonstrating that SIS has significantly increased the Zenit-3SLB vehicle’s performance since the AMOS-3 launch.

The satellite is expected to have a lifespan of 12 years.

Here are some photos from its construction and transportation to the launch site.

amos4-2

AMOS-4 Upper Antennas and Solar panel deployed

AMOS-4 in Communication System Tests

AMOS-4 Solar panel deployed

amos4-5

amos4-3

AMOS-4 Deployed in Space

Cool. I wish I was going with it.

Jewish Press Staff

Report: Muslim Countries ‘Worst Violators of Religious Freedom’

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Ten out of the 15 countries with the worst religious freedom abuses are Muslim, according to the recently released U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) 2013 Annual Report identifying the status of religious freedom throughout the world, and citing countries that are the least tolerant of religious freedom.

IRFA requires the President of the United States, who has delegated this authority to the Secretary of State, to designate as “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs, those governments that have engaged in or tolerated “particularly severe” violations of religious freedom.

IRFA defines “particularly severe” violations as ones that are “systematic, ongoing, and egregious,” including acts such as torture, prolonged detention without charges, disappearances, or “other flagrant denial[s] of the right to life, liberty, or the security of persons.”

After a country is designated a CPC, the President is required by law to take action to remedy the situation, or to invoke a waiver if circumstances warrant (As the late JFK put it: He may be an SOB, but he’s our SOB).

For the 2013 Annual Report, USCIRF recommends that the Secretary of State re-designate the following eight countries as CPCs: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan.

USCIRF also finds that seven other countries meet the CPC threshold and should be so designated: Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.

USCIRF also places countries on its Tier 2 list, where the country is on the threshold of a CPC status, meaning that the violations engaged in or tolerated by the government are particularly severe and that at least one, but not all three, of the elements of the “systematic, ongoing, egregious” standard is met.

The Tier 2 designation provides advance warning of negative trends that could develop into severe violations of religious freedom, thereby giving policymakers an opportunity to engage early and increasing the likelihood of preventing or diminishing the violations. USCIRF has concluded that the following eight countries meet the Tier 2 standard in this reporting period: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, and Russia.

But not to worry – the State Department has issued indefinite waivers on taking any action against Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia. As a result of these waivers, the United States has not implemented any policy response tied to the CPC designation for either country.

Gives a whole new meaning to the slogan “Freedom must be earned.”

In Egypt, the government has failed to protect Coptic Christians, who comprise 10 percent of the country’s 90 million people. The Copts have been tortured and killed and individuals continue to be prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned for “contempt” or “defamation” of religion (Islam).

Somebody should start boycotting Egyptian products…

In Iran, religious freedom for minorities has deteriorated over the last year, a bad year for the Baha’is, Christians, and Sufi Muslims. The Report details that, “physical attacks, harassment, detention, arrests, and imprisonment” intensified.

Jews, Armenian and Assyrian Christians, and Zoroastrians have faced harassment, intimidation, discrimination, arrests, and imprisonment. Anyone who has dissented against the government, a theocratic republic, including Majority Shi’i and minority Sunni Muslims, have been intimidated, harassed, and detained. Several dissidents and human rights defenders have been sentenced to death and executed for “waging war against God.”

Human sacrifice, that must be their god’s favorite pastime.

Yori Yanover

World Powers Give Up on Iran Nuclear Talks

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

The European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers have collapsed.

Ashton said on Saturday that the two sides “remain far apart on substance,” after a second and, apparently, final day of negotiations in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said there was no agreement further talks – neither a date nor a place have been set.

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili admitted there were differences between the two sides. He reiterated Iran’s position that it has a right to enrich uranium, and complained that Tehran was not receiving recognition, as well as more concessions from world powers, before agreeing to curtail its uranium enrichment production. He also stated that the demands and the sanctions “are a sign of enmity towards the people of Iran.”

In the two days of meetings in Kazakhstan, the major powers had hoped to reach a compromise with Iran, whom they believe is engaged in a covert effort to produce nuclear bombs.

Delegates from the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany met with Iranian officials on proposals that would have allowed for exceptions to the international sanctions program against Iran, if the Iranians would shut down their nuclear facilities and turn over their stockpile of enriched uranium.

Earlier, a spokesman for Ashton urged Iran to take a “confidence-building step” and reassure the international community it is not engaged in a nuclear weapons program for military purposes.

Iran claims that its nuclear program has only peaceful purposes, namely power generation.

The United States attended the talks with the four other permanent members of the UN Security Council: Britain, France, Russia and China, as well as Germany.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/world-powers-give-up-on-iran-nuclear-talks/2013/04/06/

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