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August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Netanyahu Warns Current Nuclear Deal ‘Endangers World Peace’

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu slammed international negotiators in Vienna this morning (Sunday, July 12) at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, warning the current nuclear deal being discussed with Iran “endangers world peace.”

The prime minister noted with obvious exasperation that negotiators have now reached the point that they have crossed even their own red lines in their desperation to reach a deal in their nuclear talks with Iran.

All this, while Iran’s top leader is vowing to “wage war” on the United States – which is leading the talks – and which is encouraging Iranians in rallies where they chant “Death to America, Death to Israel.”

“I want to address events in Tehran,” Netanyahu said in Hebrew. (English-language transcript follows)

“Iran’s leader [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei is quoted as saying that they need to prepare to wage war on the U.S., without any connection to whether or not there will be a deal.

“Iranian President Hassan Rouhani headed the parade of hate in Tehran, a parade in which American and Israeli flags were burned, and the crowds chanted ‘Death to America,’ ‘Death to Israel.’

“Meanwhile in Vienna, the parade of concessions to Iran continues, concessions even on issues that were underlined as red lines in the Lausanne agreement – which is a bad deal in itself.

“It advances Ira’s path to nuclear bombs and gives Iran’s occupying terror machine hundreds of billions of dollars.

“Thus, this deal endangers world peace,” Netanyahu concluded bluntly.

Israeli Druze Adviser Mendi Safadi: ‘Real Peace Starts With The People’

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

As Muslims enter the final segment of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the millions who listend to the words of an Israeli American rabbi and his political Israeli Druze companion last week on A9TV television will have much to think about — as will more than a thousand others who met them in person at Iftar celebrations in Istanbul.

Druze Likud member Mendi Safadi, a senior advisor to Israel’s Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation, Ayoub Kara, was honored at Iftar in Turkey with Temple Mount activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick, both at the invitation of Islamic scholar and peace activist Adnan Oktar.

Participants at the celebrated Iftar, held at the Ciragan Palace Ballroom, included representatives of the Orthodox, Protestant, Assyrian and Armenian churches, Mormons and members of various Islamic communities in addition to academics, artists, media figures and famous names from the business and sports world, as well as those from various Middle Eastern embassies.

Mendi Safadi, Israeli Druze Likud adviser to Minister Ayoub Kara, with religious officials at an Iftar celebration in Turkey.

Mendi Safadi, Israeli Druze Likud adviser to Minister Ayoub Kara, with religious officials at an Iftar celebration in Turkey.

Safadi emphasized during an interview with Oktar on his A9TV satellite television talk show that the reason for his visit to Turkey was his ongoing mission to help build peace between Israel and others. He met with political figures from a number of other Muslim majority nations as well, including a number from the Middle East with whom Israel has no current diplomatic ties.

As an adviser to Kara, who has also served for years as a Likud minister, it is Safadi’s job to report to the minister on comprehensive efforts to develop regional cooperation. “Peace does not start with agreement between governments,” he pointed out. “The real peace starts between the people.”

Safadi also noted that although relations between Jerusalem and Ankara are still troubled, “the people in Israel and the people in Turkey, they love each other… The politicians can fight against one another as they like, but we are the people: we are the ones to make the peace,” he said.

That is certainly true when it comes to trade relations: mutual trade volume between the two nations reached more than $5.6 billion in 2014, despite diplomatic friction.

Data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) quoted by Today’s Zaman earlier this year shows that mutual trade volume between Turkey and Israel in 2009 was only $2.6 billion. Turkish exports to Israel that year were only $1.5 billion, and imports from Israel were $1.1 billion. That was the year then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed out of a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos after shouting at Israeli President Shimon Peres. One year later, Erdogan yanked his ambassador out of Tel Aviv and severed ties with Israel in response to an incident in which eight armed Turkish terror activists, and one Turkish-American were killed after attacking Israeli soldiers who boarded a Turkish-owned flotilla vessel that illegally attempted to breach Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza.

Nevertheless, by 2014, mutual trade volume between the two nations had reached more than $5.6 billion – a jump of nearly 50 percent. Turkish exports to Israel were $2.92 billion, and imports from Israel had increased to $2.7 billion in the same period.

The stores in Israel are filled with goods and clothes manufactured in Turkey, which are highly valued by Israelis and tourists alike. For shoppers in either country, there has never been a break in economic ties.

Rivlin: All Relevant Authorities Working to Retrieve Missing Israeli

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin confirmed Thursday that “all relevant authorities are working on the case” of 28-year-old Ethiopian immigrant to Israel, Avraham Mengisto.

The young man voluntarily crossed the border into Gaza 10 months ago and has not been seen since, according to his mother, who says she is holding Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group responsible for his well-being.

Rivlin told journalists at a news conference the release of Mengisto, who is believed to be possibly mentally ill, is a “humanitarian issue.”

The president said in a statement, “We expect those holding him to act accordingly and release him while his condition is stable.” He added that Israel’s security and other government personnel would “continue to make every effort to bring the incident to a close as soon as possible.”

Mengisto walked south along the shoreline from his home in Ashkelon on September 8, 2014, and then simply kept going, crossing the border into Gaza along the way.

Hamas reportedly is claiming the Israeli was taken into custody for questioning but released when it was discovered that he was not a soldier. As it happens, Mengisto has never served in the IDF due to his health problems.

The terror group claims that he entered one of the smuggling tunnels in the southern border town of Rafah and exited the enclave to head into Egypt in order to proceed towards Ethiopia.

Israeli authorities say the terrorist officials are lying, either in order to preserve him as an “asset” for future negotiations with Israel over a possible prisoner swap, or because something happened to him along the way and the person responsible for him is hiding that information – even from Hamas officials.

‘Hamas is Responsible For My Son. They Cannot Shirk Responsibility’

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

The mother of a (possibly) mentally ill young man who crossed the southern border of Israel into Gaza is blaming Hamas for her son’s captivity.

A second civilian, also in his 20s, is being held captive in Gaza as well. All information about the second man, a Negev Bedouin resident of the town of Hura, has been censored, however.

Avraham Mengisto’s mother told media in a briefing today (Thursday, July 9) while meeting with Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni that she holds Gaza’s ruling terror organization responsible for the welfare of her 28-year-old son.

“Hamas is responsible for my son’s fate,” his mother said. “They cannot shirk their responsibility. I [also] hope the state will not cease to act for his return.”

The mayor visited her at the family home in Ashkelon on Thursday after the news of Avraham’s disappearance was cleared for publication. “The family is going through a very difficult time, after the double tragedy that they’ve endured,” Shimoni said. “Askelon Municipality’s social services department has been accompanying them since the first moment. We embrace the family and send them strength and hope that Avraham will be back with his family quickly,” he added.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Avraham’s brother Ilan subsequently said “[We] have decided to behave with restraint and give the government time to get our brother back home and we also ask the people of Israel to show restraint… The family considers this a humanitarian issue and we call on the international community to get involved and work to secure the release of my brother,” he said. “I ask that Hamas consider the condition of my brother and release him,” he added.

Information about Avraham’s disappearance 10 months ago only became public today due to the lifting of a gag order.

Mengisto left his home in Ashkelon early on September 8, 2014, and apparently kept walking along the shoreline until he crossed the border into Gaza. This is not the first time that Mengisto has gone missing; there have been three reports of similar incidents registered with the social services department, although none involved a border crossing.

Mengisto’s mother Agernesh lives in Ashkelon, and his father Ayele lives in central Israel. He is one of nine children in the family.

According to the Defense Ministry there is no concrete information as to his fate; IDF Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Yoav Mordechai told media, however, that current information indicates Mengisto is being held by Hamas.

A military source said Mengisto had initially been arrested by Hamas after crossing the border in September, but the terror organization said it released him because he was not a soldier. The source said there have been several attempts since that time to negotiate for his release.

A Hamas source in Gaza told Ynet that Mengisto is no longer in the region; the source said the Israeli exited the enclave via the tunnels in the southern border town of Rafah, and headed into Egypt.

Mengisto’s grieving mother added that despite her efforts to remain strong, “It hurts me. Since he disappeared, my life has come to a stop.

“Every day I wait for him to come through the door and say ‘hello.’ I pray for his return, and ask anyone who can help us to do so.”

Obama Officials Tout J Street Polls for Jewish Support on Iran Deal

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

The Obama administration is leaning on Jewish leftists to pressure Jewish Congressmen to support an Iran deal by touting a J Street poll claiming that nearly two-thirds of American Jews support an agreement.

The Washington Free Beacon reported Matt Nosanchuk, the White House’s liaison to the Jewish community, advised dozens of “progressive” groups Monday to use the poll to convinced Jews in Congress to back a deal.

Nosanchuk reportedly talked with more than 100 Jewish officials in a meeting organized by the Ploughshares Fund, which the Beacon wrote “has spent millions of dollars to slant Iran-related coverage and protect the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts.”

The report comes two days after TheJewishPress.com wrote here that a recent meeting between senior White House officials and the anti-IDF Breaking the Silence group furthers President Barack Obama’s attempt to make the Jewish left, led by J Street, appear to represent the mainstream American Jewish community.

The J Street website last year ran a headline in capital letters, “Tell your senators: Don’t undermine Iran negotiations with new sanctions.”

It followed with the results of its own poll and an incredulous claim that implies that J Street speaks for most American Jews and that anyone who thinks differently is “underling” President Obama. The website wrote:

While 62% of American Jews support the way President Obama is handling Iran’s nuclear program, organizations that claim to represent the American Jewish community are undermining his approach by pushing for new and harsher penalties against Iran.

TELL YOUR SENATORS:

Though some American Jewish organizations are pushing new sanctions that will undoubtedly undermine negotiations, the vast majority of the American Jewish community supports President Obama’s diplomatic approach to Iran’s nuclear program.

That was last November, when a final agreement was to be reached by November 30.

Last month, J Street published another poll:

American Jews express strong support for a final agreement with Iran that increases inspections in exchange for economic sanctions relief. Fifty-nine percent say they would support such a deal, compared to 53 percent of American adults in an April CNN poll that asked the same question….

‘When it comes to the best way to keep Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, these results make clear that American Jews overwhelmingly support the president’s diplomatic efforts,’ said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami. ‘The numbers just go to show—once again— that pundits and presumed communal representatives are flat-out wrong in assuming American Jews are hawkish on Iran or US policy in the Middle East in general.’

The problem with the poll is that the respondents assume that a deal will deliver the goods.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll covered that point with the significant notation “that a plurality of Americans – 46 percent – say they don’t know enough to have an opinion.”

If the J Street poll had asked, “Do you know enough about the pending deal to express an opinion,” the results undoubtedly would be close to the NBC/Journal poll.

The “Jewish support” claimed by the J Street poll is, in the Beacon’s words, for “a hypothetical deal that does not actually exist.”

President Obama’s love for J Street serves both him and the left-wing organization. J Street, like The New York Times, acts as a puppet for the President who in return makes it feel important by supplying the string.

J Street acts as if it is the spokesman for the entire Jewish community and effectively leaves the predominantly conservative Orthodox camp out of the playing field, much to President Obama’s joy.

His strategy is to show Congress that if the Jews back a deal with Iran, obviously it must be good for Israel because they know better than Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu what is best for the Jewish state.

Israel’s Human Rights and Historic Heroism

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai takes issue with statements made by former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who called Israel “forged and temporary.” Yishai says that while Iran is a repressed society in which democratic aspirations are quashed, Israel is a beacon of human rights with proven historic staying-power. But, he warns, Israel needs to keep hitting that concept home.

Then, Yishai is joined by Knesset insider Jeremy Saltan for a lightning news wrap: Six Arab-Israeli teachers in the Negev have been found to be ISIS-supporters; the budget is being delayed; IDF service is being shortened; and more.

Finally, Yishai is joined by super-IDF-soldier Shai Ish Shalom, who remembers the hostage-rescue operation at Entebbe in 1976, recalling the precision-fighting during the fateful moments of the raid. VOI’s Judy Balint joins in to recount the last official commemoration ceremony of the raid, called Operation Thunderbolt/Yonatan, held in 2001.
Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Russia Steps Up in U.S.-led Nuclear Talks with Iran

Monday, July 6th, 2015

With a wide gap remaining between the delegation of world powers led by the United States and Iranian negotiators, the prospects for a nuclear deal look questionable with one more day till the July 7 deadline.

On Monday, July 6, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met separately in Vienna with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, in an effort to break the deadlock.

Russia has been deeply involved in helping Iran with its nuclear technology development from the start. Moscow has helped Iran build a number of nuclear energy plants in the Islamic Republic, and has also sold Tehran a sophisticated surface-to-air anti-missile defense system as well.

“A mutual desire to find as soon as possible mutually acceptable solutions on disputed issues was expressed,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a cryptic statement released to media.

Iran, however, appears to still not be budging on its positions, with the deadline less than 24 hours away. An Iranian source told news agencies that ‘serious differences’ remained between the two sides.

“The ministerial meeting between Iran and the [six] world powers showed there are still serious differences,” a source close to the Iranian negotiating team told the Iranian state news agency IRNA. “But both sides are also serious about resolving the differences.”

Negotiators on both sides indicated they may stretch the deadline past July 7, as had been done with the June 30 deadline and the deadline prior to that.

White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told reporters in a briefing on Monday, “I wouldn’t set any expectations at this point… I would say that it’s certainly possible” that the “final, firm” deadline for the talks could once again “slip.”

What is even more likely is that Iran will continue to demand impossible concessions — and the world powers will be forced to decide whether they are willing to simply cave to Tehran, or find the strength to walk away from the table.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/russia-steps-up-in-u-s-led-nuclear-talks-with-iran/2015/07/06/

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