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April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

In UK, Muslim Candidate Sneers at Ed Miliband, ‘The Jew’

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

For the first time – at least in this campaign — British MP Ed Miliband has been sneered at by a political candidate because of his faith.

Gulzabeen Afsar, a Conservative Tory candidate for Derby city council in the ward of Littleover said in a Facebook exchange over the weekend that she would never support “the Jew,” referring to Miliband.

“Just can’t take Mr. Ed Miliband seriously!! DC has what it takes to be the future PM,” Afsar wrote. Commenting in response, a Facebook user wrote the candidate should show some respect “for the future PM.” But according to an exclusive report posted on the UK’s Jewish News Online website, Afsar wrote back: “Nah bro! Never ever will I drop that low and support the al yahud lol.”

“Al yahud” is Arabic for “the Jew.”

Anti-Semitic Facebook post by a Muslim Tory politician targeting British MP Ed Miliband, "the Jew."

Anti-Semitic Facebook post by a Muslim Tory politician targeting British MP Ed Miliband, “the Jew.”

Miliband had recently spoken out against both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in a speech in Leicester.

“We need to confront the scourge of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia head on with strong action on hate crimes,” he said. “For the first time ever we are going to make sure that when people commit hate crimes they are clearly marked on the criminal records of those who commit them. And tough new sentencing guidelines which ensure aggravated criminal offenses based on hate crime are properly dealt with by the courts,” he added.

Afsar, 31, describes herself as a Derby woman “born and bred” in a YouTube interview for Islamic Relief.

But members of her party were less than pleased with her remarks, and a spokesperson for the party told The Derby Telegraph her comment “offensive and wrong.” The spokesperson added, “She has removed it and apologized.”

Likewise, Baggy Shanker of the opposing Derby Labour party said, “As an ethnic minority councillor myself, it’s very disappointing. I’d expect her to have better control of her comments.”

A Labour spokesperson added,” With anti-Semitism on the rise across Europe it is abhorrent and terrifying that a prospective Conservative politician would say something like this.”

The candidate herself, however, so far continues to stand for election in Derby as a representative of the Conservative Tory party despite her remarks.

GOP’s Sen. Ted Cruz Courts Jewish Vote in Las Vegas

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

“So tell me, is this the ‘Ready for Hillary’ group?”

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was in Las Vegas talking to Republican Jews on Saturday mixing humor with barbs aimed at top Democrats like Hillary Clinton, running for the 2016 nomination for president.

The junior senator from Texas was addressing a packed room at the Republican Jewish Coalition Spring Leadership Meeting, where influential Jewish leaders also heard him talk about his love of Israel and the president’s failed foreign policies.

Cruz had a stacked scheduled that day, and was slated to head to Iowa from Nevada for a second confab with a Conservative Christian audience in Waukee, where he later talked about Democratic “liberal fascism,” intolerance and “extremism.”

But first he made time to do a little kibbitzing in Las Vegas.

“You know the ‘Ready for Hillary’ campaign has just announced they have their first title: director of email security,” he went on. The barb, referring to the scandal over Clinton’s use of a private server for her entire tenure as Secretary of State – and subsequent deletion of all emails she chose not to share with the U.S. government investigators – underlined one of the major points of the GOP campaign against the top Democrat.

Republicans are hoping to convince voters that Hillary Clinton is not honest or loyal and cannot be relied upon to serve the American people faithfully in the White House.

Although there’s plenty of evidence to support the contention, oddly it seems to be a pretty hard sell. All of the numerous GOP candidates are hammering on these points; perhaps one will get through.

So far Senator Marco Rubio seems to be closest to making the grade. In a recent Fox News poll, Clinton won 45 percent of voters’ loyalties with Rubio was close behind with 43 percent; a statistical dead heat between the two. No one else came as close from the GOP side of the fence.

Weinstein Family ‘So Hopeful,’ No Words for ‘Disappointment, Heartbreak’

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

The family of of Dr. Warren Weinstein is “devastated,” says the wife of the American Jewish aid worker killed in a CIA drone strike aimed at an Al Qaeda senior operative in January, “devastated” and “heartbroken” by their loss.

Weinstein was abducted by Al Qaeda in 2011 while stationed in Pakistan on behalf of the USAID humanitarian organization funded by the U.S. government. Held captive ever since, his family had desperately pleaded with government officials in the U.S. and abroad to “do everything possible” to free the husband, father and grandfather whose health was not robust.

“We were so hopeful that those in the U.S. and Pakistani governments with the power to take action and secure his release would have done everything possible to do so and there are no words to do justice to the disappointment and heartbreak we are going through,” Elaine Weinstein said in a statement.

“We do not yet fully understand all of the facts surrounding Warren’s death but we do understand that the U.S. government will be conducting an independent investigation of the circumstances,” she added.

“We look forward to the results of that investigation. But those who took Warren captive over three years ago bear ultimate responsibility.”

Still, Weinstein’s wife was deeply disappointed with the lack of support her family received from her country’s government.

“Unfortunately, the assistance we received from other elements of the U.S. Government was inconsistent and disappointing over the course of three and a half years.

“We hope that my husband’s death and the others who have faced similar tragedies in recent months will finally prompt the U.S. Government to take its responsibilities seriously and establish a coordinated and consistent approach to supporting hostages and their families,” Weinstein said.

As for the Pakistani government, she said: “They failed to take action earlier in his captivity when opportunity presented itself, instead treating Warren’s captivity as more of an annoyance than a priority.”

In a statement, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told journalists Thursday the operation had targeted a compound in the border region between eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan in which the U.S. had no reason to believe that either Weinstein, or the Italian national also being held captive with him – Giovanni LaPorto, also killed in the strike – was present in the compound at the time of the attack.

The Lack of Jewish Rage, Zionism in Animation, and the Rationale Behind Belief in God

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai takes the occasion of Israel’s Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism — and last week’s Holocaust Remembrance Day — to express his view of Jewish victimhood. He says that while we commemorate Jewish and Israeli victims, the ideology of Jew-hatred is alive and well. He also asks: “If the enemy has a free hand and no fear, can we really say ‘Never Again’? He takes issue with the lack of Jewish society’s “right to rage” when our people are murdered and our country deligitimized.

Then, Yishai is joined by Shlomo Blass, the director of Rogatka, a studio that creates short, pro-Israel videos. Among the founders of Caroline Glick’s satirical Latma series, that poked fun at the Left, he is now launching a new project: “Zionism in Animation” — 100 short videos on different aspects of Zionism, including important historical moments and figures.

Finally, Yishai is treated to a cameo appearance by VOI’s Pinchas Orban, who talks about the rationality behind belief in God.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Netanyahu Warns of Increased Iran Aggression in Middle East

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Sunday that Iran is stepping up its aggression in the Middle East – and that world powers seem to be deliberately ignoring Tehran’s activities in the region.

In his opening statement to the weekly government cabinet meeting, Netanyahu noted how Iran proudly displayed the recent shipment of the S-300 missiles Tehran received from Russia in a military parade.

“Israel views with utmost gravity the supply of S-300 missiles from Russia to Iran, especially at a time when Iran is stepping up its aggression in the region and around the borders of the State of Israel,” the prime minister said.

“Israel also views with utmost gravity the fact that there is no reference to this aggression in the agreement being made between the major powers and Iran.

“There is no stipulation that this aggression be halted, whether at the start of the agreement or as a condition for the lifting of sanctions.

“Yesterday we saw the military parade in Tehran and Iran’s exhibition of weapons to the world. Every year the missiles are bigger and enhanced – in accuracy, strength and deadliness; however, one thing does not change.

“What does not change is the inscription ‘Death to Israel’ on the missiles. Against the threats that I have described, Israel will do whatever is necessary to defend the security of the state and its citizens,” Netanyahu added.

US Consulate Targeted by ISIS in Iraqi Kurdistan

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

U.S. officials in the Middle East are on high alert after ISIS targeted the American Consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan Friday. Kurdish Peshmerga forces operate the security ring around the Consulate.

At 10:44 am local time a car bomb exploded just outside the gates of the US Consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, near Mosul. The city is considered the capital of the Kurdistan region and is located in the center of Kurdistan, with a population of approximately 1.5 million.

Da’esh, also known as the ISIS terror organization, took responsibility on Twitter for the suicide car bombing. Three civilians died in the attack, along with the bomber, and 18 others were injured.

All U.S. and Iraqi personnel were evacuated from the building and no injuries were reported, according to State Department spokesperson Marie Harf.

Although U.S. legislators and military officials are disputing the strategic significance of the target, no one is arguing about the proximity of the attack to Mosul, an ISIS stronghold. Nor is anyone disputing the fact that ISIS is also engaged in battling for control of the only oil refinery in Iraq that is not yet under its control.

Iran’s First Female Ambassador Since 1979 Islamic Revolution

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Iranian news agencies are reporting the Islamic Republic is preparing to appoint its first female ambassador since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham, one of the country’s highest-profile female public figures, has been tapped for the appointment according to the semi-official FARS and Mehr news agencies. It is not yet clear to which country Afkham would be assigned.

If the appointment is confirmed, Afkham would become the second female ambassador in the history of Iran. Mehrangiz Dolatshahi served as Iran Ambassador to Denmark in the 1970s.

President Hassan Rouhani has presented himself to the international community as a moderate and during his 2013 election campaign promised to improve the rights of women in the country. In 2009 Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was credited with having appointed Iran’s first female minister.

Domestic reform in Iran, as elsewhere in the Middle East, is a process that can take decades and is measured in micro steps, rather than milestones – a reality that few Westerners understand.

Girls as young as age 10 are forced into Islamic marriages in Iran, and as in other Muslim-majority nations, there is also a high rate of domestic violence. Neither issue is considered unusual in the Islamic world, although more community leaders are at least beginning to recognize it is a matter for “discussion.”

In October 2014, 26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari was executed in Tehran by hanging for killing a man who tried to rape her. A massive flood of international appeals to the Iranian government on her behalf to stay the execution proved worthless.

Jabbari was arrested in 2007 for killing a former employee of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. She was sentenced to death by a Tehran court in 2009 and the verdict was upheld in by the country’s Supreme Court. The scheduled execution, however, was delayed by several months following reception of an online petition bearing 240,000 signatures, urging her release.

Jabbari herself admitted to having stabbed the victim once from the back but said another man had actually done the killing. Amnesty International said her claim was believed never to have been properly investigated.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/irans-first-female-ambassador-since-1979-islamic-revolution/2015/04/14/

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