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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Reuters’

Aide: Romney Would ‘Respect’ Israeli Decision to Take Military Action Against Iran

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

A senior aide to U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on Sunday that Romney would “respect” an Israeli decision to use a military strike to deter Iran from developing nuclear weapons, according to Reuters.

Dan Senor, Romney’s national security aide and co-author of the book Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, spoke to reporters shortly before the Presidential hopeful was scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Senor was quoted as saying: “If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing that capability, the governor would respect that decision.” Romney believes “”we should employ any and all measures to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course,” Senor continued, and “recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself, and that it is right for America to stand with it.”

The comment is understood as an attempt by the Romney campaign to distinguish the Republican candidate from President Barack Obama on a hot-button issue; Obama has been vigorous in trying to dissuade Israel from taking military action against Iran, asserting instead that economic sanctions should be allowed to run their course.

A short while later, the former Massachusetts Governor met Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Office. Netanyahu welcomed Romney to Israel, and wasted no time delving into the Iran nuclear standoff: “I heard some of your remarks a few days ago – you said that the greatest danger facing the world is of the Ayatollah regime possessing nuclear weapons capability. Mitt, I couldn’t agree with you more, and I think it’s important to do everything in our power to prevent the Ayatollahs from possessing the capability.”

Appearing to take a shot at Obama’s policy on Iran, Netanyahu said: “We have to be honest and say that all the sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian program by one iota. And that’s why I believe that we need a strong and credible military threat, coupled with the sanctions, to have a chance to change that situation.”

Romney responded by saying that he was “honored to be here on the day of Tisha B’Av, to recognize the solemnity of the day and also the suffering of the Jewish people over the centuries and the millennia, and come with recognition of the sacrifices of so many.

“Unfortunately,” he continued, “the tragedies of wanton killing are not only things of the past, but have darkened our skies in even more recent times.”

Turning to Iran, Romney did not refer to Senor’s comments but said: “as we face the challenges of an Iran seeking nuclear capability, we must draw upon our interests and our values to take them on a different course and to assure that people recognize throughout the world that the United States and Israel are bound in our commitments to one another.”

After his meeting with Netanyahu, Romney met with President Shimon Peres and Kadima Chairman Shaul mofaz before visiting the Western Wall.

Reuters obtained excepts of a speech Romney was to deliver on Sunday evening, in which he planned to speak in greater detail about the need to face the Iranian nuclear threat with steadfast determination.

“When Iran’s leaders deny the Holocaust or speak of wiping this nation off the map, only the naïve – or worse – will dismiss it as an excess of rhetoric,” he is expected to say. “Make no mistake: the ayatollahs in Tehran are testing our moral defenses. They want to know who will object, and who will look the other way…. My message to the people of Israel and the leaders of Iran is one and the same: I will not look away; and neither will my country.”

Information from Reuters was used in this article.

Swede Held for Planning Attack on Israelis in Cyprus

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

A Swedish citizen of Lebanese origin suspected of planning to attack Israeli targets in Cyprus was ordered held over by a court there.

The Cypriot court on Monday ordered the man, 24, detained after noting the similarities between his actions and those of the Bulgarian suicide bomber who killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver in an attack on an Israeli tour bus at the Burgas airport.

The man in Cyprus had been arrested earlier this month, accused of tracking the movements of Jewish tourists, Reuters reported. He reportedly is being held on suspicion of espionage and conspiring to commit a crime.

Cypriot Justice Minister Loucas Louca said in a news conference Monday that the investigation will continue through Friday. He said the suspect belongs to an organization not on the European Union list of known terrorist groups, but did not name the group.

He was arrested two days after arriving in Cyprus from London, and was found with a list of tourist spots frequented by Israelis, according to reports.

Mitt Coming to Israel, Banking on Obama’s Cool Ties with Netanyahu

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will leave on Wednesday for a week-long trip to the Olympics in London, Poland, and Israel.

Romney’s visit to Israel will be an opportunity to appeal to both Jewish voters and pro-Israel evangelical voters. He will also take advantage of his good relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose relationship with President Obama is on the rocky side.

Romney aides say the trip is a “listen and learn” tour, meaning the candidate is not planning to make any policy pronouncements. Readers may recall that candidate Barack Obama’s 2008 trip abroad was a huge success, especially when he spoke to a very large audience in Berlin, declaring, “The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand.”

According to Reuters, in London Romney will meet Prime Minister David Cameron and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Romney is planning to do some fund raising from Americans living in Britain.

In Warsaw and Gdansk, Romney will hold talks with Polish officials and former Solidarity leader Lech Walesa.

Romney has criticized Obama’s handling of Iran in no uncertain terms, and vowed not to allow it to develop a nuclear weapon. Romney made few friends in Tehran by declaring that “ultimately, regime change is what’s going to be necessary.”

“The focus of the trip really is about learning, listening … and it’s about continuing to project Governor Romney’s strong view that America needs to stand by its allies, particularly allies that are under siege, like Israel,” said Romney foreign policy adviser Dan Senor.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Jerusalem in May and heard complaints from the Israeli leadership about the current state of the U.S.-Israeli relationship, a source familiar with her meetings told Reuters.

Then there’s the fact that President Obama has skipped Israel on his trips to the region.

“It’s not a trivial issue that Obama has not been to Israel during his presidency,” Republican foreign policy expert Michael Goldfarb told Reuters. “Of course he went as a candidate, but he ran as a pro-Israeli figure and in office has not lived up to his promises.”

Egypt’s Power Struggle and the Fate of Christians

Monday, July 16th, 2012

In defiance of Egypt’s top generals and highest court, Muslim Brotherhood President-elect Mohammed Morsi reopened parliament last Tuesday. In only his third week in office, Morsi’s rapid-fire pursuit to broaden the Brotherhood’s power openly challenged the country’s ruling military council. Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority fears that the restoration of parliament, which will grant greater powers to Islamists, will be used to institute Sharia law and stifle religious freedom.

Egypt’s lower chamber, the People’s Assembly, convened on July 10, after a ruling by the Supreme Constitutional Court on June 14 ordering the parliament’s dissolution. Saad el-Katatni, the assembly’s speaker, told lawmakers the session was being held to seek a “second opinion” by an appellate court in an effort to reinstate the Islamist-dominated legislature. The court, however, did not accede to the chamber’s request; it upheld its earlier ruling that the parliament had been elected unconstitutionally and that its dissolution was “final and binding.”

If the parliament were to be reinstated, the Muslim Brotherhood—which holds nearly half the seats in the Islamist-dominated assembly—would head both the legislature and the presidency. Yet, a Brotherhood-controlled civilian government appears to be what Egypt’s ruling generals fear most. Only a week prior to Morsi’s announcement as president, the military announced a constitutional declaration on June 17 that expands its control over civilian politicians and strips the head of state of most of his powers. Morsi’s move to defy the court ruling by reconvening parliament was not only considered to be illegal by the military council, but also a direct challenge to the establishment’s authority.

In a warning to the president, the military said it would support the country’s “legitimacy, constitution and law” by upholding the court’s ruling.”[This is] language that means [the military] will not stand by and watch the rulings of the country’s top court ignored or breached,” the Christian Science Monitor reported.

Despite the military’s grip on power, Bret Stephens, an editor of The Wall Street Journalargues that Egypt has already been “lost” to Islamists and that a radical future, similar to what was seen in Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, lingers on the horizon. “Egypt under the Brotherhood will seek to arm Hamas and remilitarize the Sinai. By degrees, it will seek to extract concessions from the U.S. as the price of its good behavior. By degrees, it will make radical alliances in the Middle East and beyond.”

Daniel Pipes, President of the Middle East Forum, argues the contrary, however, saying that the military, not the Brotherhood, has the ultimate power in Egypt. “Not only was the [presidential] election symbolic, but it was also illusory, in that the military leadership scripted it,” Pipes wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Times. “[Mohammed Morsi's] job is undefined. A military coup could brush him aside… Mohamed Tantawi is the real ruler of Egypt. Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), field marshal, and minister of defense, he serves not only as the commander-in-chief but also as the effective head of all three of Egypt’s branches of government… The [military] exploits the Muslim Brotherhood and other proxies as its civilian fronts, a role they are happy to play, as it has permitted the Islamists to garner an outsized percentage of the parliamentary vote and then to win the presidency.”

Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority, who make up 10 percent of the population, hope that Pipes is right; they are fearful that if the Brotherhood gains leverage over the military, the country could quickly transform into an Islamic state.

“There is a Brotherhood strategy to work toward building an Islamic country,” Yousef Sidhom, editor of the weekly Watani newspaper and a Coptic Church official, told The Associated Press. He added that the Brotherhood will withhold government positions from Christians, tax non-Muslims, and base education around Islam.

The Brotherhood will not likely accede to pressure by the military: its members vowed to “fight in the courts and the streets to reinstate the Parliament,” according to The New York Times. Prior to the reconvening of parliament, the Brotherhood’s Secretary-General, Mahmoud Hussein, called for a “million-man march” to “regain the parliament,” and denounced the military’s hold on power. A few hundred protestors supporting the Brotherhood responded to the call in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Monday, chanting, “We love you Morsi,” and “Down with military rule.”

Hamas: Morsi Will Protect Gaza from Israel

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

The head of Hamas in Gaza said Egypt’s new president would shield Gaza from attacks by Israel and would lift the blockade.

Ismail Haniyeh told worshippers in a mosque Friday that he is confident Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi “will never provide cover for any new aggression or war on Gaza,” Reuters reported. “We are confident that Egypt, the revolution led by Morsi, will not take any part in blocking Gaza,” he added.

Morsi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist party.

Israel maintains a blockade on Gaza in an effort to keep weapons out of the strip.

So far, Hamas has seen no policy shift since Morsi’s election, and, according to Reuters, diplomats are saying the Egyptian leader had so many domestic problems that he could scarcely afford to spend much time on the Palestinians.

Both President Abbas and Hamas are expected to be urged by Morsi to end their conflict, which resulted in a civil war in Gaza a few years ago.

“No one can help the Palestinians more than they can help themselves. They should take daring steps to end their rifts,” an official in Cairo told Reuters.

JTA contributed to this report.

Arafat’s Ninth Life Was Clipped by Poison

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Man, that really unpleasant looking man, officially known as Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini (if you say it backwards you get the phrase: “But I shaved already this morning” in Arabic) had the force of life in him.

Remember how many times he almost died?

In March 21, 1968, at the battle of Karameh, in the original “Fatah Land” east of the Jordan River, the IDF attacked using heavy weaponry, armored vehicles and fighter jets. the PLO surprised the Israelis with their tenacity. The Jordanian Army got involved, and the IDF pulled out. Some 150 PLO terrorists were killed, and at least 84 Jordanian soldiers and 28 Israelis. Who stayed alive? Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini.

In September, 1970, after several attempts to assassinate King Hussein of Jordan had failed, and the PLO had hijacked a bunch of airplanes in less than two weeks, and had been using the refugee camps in Jordan as their state-within-a-state, the Jordanians had it up to here with Yasser. Staring September 15, massive Jordanian army units massacred as many as 25 thousand Palestinians. Syrian tanks shelled the capital Amman. In the end the PLO was pushed out of Jordan, to Lebanon, leaving rivers of blood behind. Who got out of the river alive? Yasser, that’s my baby.

Once in Lebanon, PLO cross-border raids against Israel grew ever more daring, until the Coastal Road massacre on March 11, 1978, when a dozen PLO terrorists landed by boat south of Haifa, hijacked a bus and sprayed gunfire at passengers and at passing vehicles, killing 37 civilians. The Lebanon War ensued in several stages, until the IDF pinned down the PLO in Beirut, demolishing much of the city and the country in the process. Thousands of Palestinians perished, as did hundreds of IDF soldiers, but Arafat, naturally, stayed alive, as the U.S. and European governments in 1982 brokered safe passage for the PLO, guarded by US Marines, to exile in Tunis.

Arafat came back to Lebanon a year later, settling down in Tripoli, northern Lebanon. He was kicked out by agents of Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad. But they were careful not to kill him.

In 1985 Israeli Air Force F-15s bombed the PLO headquarters in Tunisia, North Africa, killing 73 terrorists. Arafat was out jogging that morning. Jogging!

Then there was this NY Times story from April 9, 1992: “Yasir Arafat was found alive in the Libyan Desert early today, nearly 12 hours after his Russian-built private airplane crash-landed in a sandstorm. Three of the 13 people aboard the plane were killed in the crash. The dead were identified as two Palestinian pilots and a technician.”

Then came the Oslo thing, and later the Second Intifada, at which point it became clear that Yasser Arafat had some deal with the Devil to keep him alive while around him literally thousands of his people were being torn to pieces. Come to think of it, no one is responsible for more Palestinian deaths than Yasser Arafat, and many different organizations and individuals had very good reasons to want him dead.

Somebody finally did it.

According to a Reuters report, traces of the poisonous element polonium were found in Yasser’s belongings, and his widow is demanding that his body be exhumed for further tests.

Good for her. A reunion.

Arafat at last died in France in 2004, after a sudden illness which baffled doctors at the time. Reuters says many Palestinians have long suspected he was poisoned.

Darcy Christen, spokesman for the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland, told Reuters on Tuesday that it had found “surprisingly” high levels of polonium-210 in Arafat’s belongings.

Surprisingly? Are you kidding me? Surprisingly?

God bless whoever was the agent of destruction who saved the Palestinian people from their very worst enemy. For the sake of divine poetry, I hope it was a Palestinian.

Muslim Brotherhood Candidate Wins Egyptian Presidential Elections

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Although results from Cairo give establishment candidate Shafiq a 58 percent lead in the capital, winning Cairo will not be enough to put Shafiq ahead of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mursi in 27 governorates.

If these results stand, Mursi will have won Egypt’s first post-uprising elections with 51.89 per cent of the vote, succeeding toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Downtown Cairo is filled with the sounds of horns and chants as Mursi supporters are descending on Tahrir Square.

Official results will be announced by the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission on Thursday, June 21, and the ruling military council will “hand over power” on 30 June.

As the vote count began on Sunday, a decree from the ruling military council assigned only limited powers to the new head of state, and reclaimed for the military council the legislative rights of the Islamist-led parliament, after the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) dissolved parliament last week.

Both Liberal and Islamist opponents denounced this as a “military coup.”

The Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi was in weekend a run-off election against Ahmed Shafik, former prime minister under the deposed and ailing Hosni Mubarak.

“The results posted by the Mursi campaign on their website, which show Mursi in the lead, reflect to a large degree the results tallied by the electoral committee,” the member, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

Other officials contacted by Reuters refused to comment on the Brotherhood’s claim.

“The election commission has nothing to do with the announced results,” committee member Mohamed Momtaz said, while a second member, Osama Salama said: “We are still conducting the tally process.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/source-confirms-brotherhood-candidate-mursi-leads-egyptian-vote-military-coup-brewing/2012/06/18/

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