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November 29, 2015 / 17 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’

Obama, Putin Strongly Disagree over Syria, Ukraine at UN

Monday, September 28th, 2015

(JNi.media) US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday clashed at the annual meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations over their contradictory views for the future of Syria. Obama was vehement about the need to replace Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, while Putin insisted removing him would be a wrong move. Obama suggested Putin’s engagements in both Syria and Ukraine has been damaging to global instability.

“… We see some major powers assert themselves in ways that contravene international law,” Obama said. “We see an erosion of the democratic principles and human rights that are fundamental to this institution’s mission.” He also said, referring to Syria: “We must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the prewar status quo,” Obama said.

Putin advised the world body to stick with Assad, if they wish to defeat the Islamic State. “We believe it’s a huge mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian authorities, with the government forces, those who are bravely fighting terror face-to-face,” Putin said.

The Russian president was very critical in the role of the US in the world, lamenting that “after the end of the Cold War, the single center of domination has emerged in the world. Those who have found themselves on top of that pyramid were tempted to think that since they are so strong and singular, they know what to do better than others and it’s unnecessary to pay any attention to the UN.”

“I cannot help asking those who have forced this situation, do you realize now what you have done?” Putin said, clearly referring to the US, “Policies based on self-conceit and belief in one’s exceptionality and impunity have never been abandoned.”

Obama was equally critical of Russian aggression in Ukraine, at a high cost to Russia’s economy. “We cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated,” he said. He warned that “we, the nations of the world, cannot return to the old ways of conflict and coercion. We cannot look backward. … And if we cannot work together more effectively, we will all suffer the consequences.”

The AP reported that Obama and Putin “briefly shook hands” at the lunch following their speeches. However, they did not speak to one another, seated as they were on either side of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

AP cited US officials who said the crises in Syria and Ukraine call for an Obama-Putin meeting. Obama must discuss with his Russian counterpart his increasingly aggressive maneuvers in Syria, those officials said, as well as push Putin toward a peace deal with Ukraine, which should include not interfering with local elections next month.

Obama’s UN Speech Ignores Israel but Hits Hard at Putin and Assad

Monday, September 28th, 2015

President Barack Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly Monday was extraordinary in its total exclusion of Israel and the Palestinian Authority and its hard-hitting attack on the Assad regime in Syria and its ally Russia.

A strong indication that President Obama has finally realized what he and numerous predecessors did not understand was this statement:

There are no simple answers to the changes that are taking place in much of the Middle East and North Africa.

It is not the first time he has said that, but unlike previous speeches, it was not followed up by the usual pie-in-the-sky statements that “Peace is made with enemies.” or “Solving the Israel-Palestinian Authority struggle is the key to bringing peace to the Middle East.

Saeb Erekat, who chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority and is secretary-general of the parent PLO, was extremely disappointed with Obama’s speech. He said:

Does President Obama believe that he is able to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) and terror or bring stability and security to the Middle East by ignoring the continuing Israeli occupation, settlements and the ongoing Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa [the mosque on the Temple Mount]?

Obama’s speech was a resounding “yes” to Erekat.

The “occupation” never was a threat to the Middle East, but the United States foreign policy gurus couldn’t figure that out, even when the Arab Spring rebellions upended stability and brought anarchy, termed by the United States as democracy, to Egypt, Libya, Iraq and other boiling pots in Arab Muslim countries.

Years after the United States ignored ISIS, it has become Public Enemy No. 1 and is being used brilliantly by Russian President Vladimir Putin to justify direct Russian military force in Syria.

When Putin told the United Nations he is fighting the Islamic State, he could have been more accurate, Russia may be the only country fighting ISIS.

The American-led strike force has proven to be pitiful, as the JewishPress.com reported here last week on the American-trained Syrian rebels who betrayed the United States and delivered American weapons to Al Qaeda.

The President verbally attacked ISIS but he was extremely careful to be polite to Islam, stating:

Part of that effort [against ISIS] must be a continued rejection by Muslims of those who distort Islam to preach intolerance and promote violence, and it must also a rejection by non-Muslims of the ignorance that equates Islam with terror.

President Obama mentioned “Israel” zero times in his speech. Ditto for the terms “Palestinian Authority” and Palestine.”

The only time he mentioned “Middle East” was in the context quoted above, that there are no simple solutions.

But he mentioned Syria eight times and Russia 15 times with harsh comments that were nothing short of cold war speech.

For example:

The history of the last two decades proves that in today’s world, dictatorships are unstable.

Consider Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further aggression in eastern Ukraine. America has few economic interests in Ukraine. We recognize the deep and complex history between Russia and Ukraine. But we cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated. If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation gathered here today. That’s the basis of the sanctions that the United States and our partners impose on Russia. It’s not a desire to return to a Cold War.

But his speech was remarkably chilly towards Moscow. He flatly stated:

Russia’s state-controlled media may describe these events as an example of a resurgent Russia… And yet, look at the results. The Ukrainian people are more interested than ever in aligning with Europe instead of Russia. Sanctions have led to capital flight, a contracting economy, a fallen ruble, and the emigration of more educated Russians

Imagine if, instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy, and worked with Ukraine and the international community to ensure its interests were protected. That would be better for Ukraine, but also better for Russia, and better for the world.

President Obama claimed he does not mind a strong Russia so long as it works with the United States “to strengthen the international system as a whole.”.

That gave him a platform to plow into the Assad regime Putin and Russia’s presence in Syria and ISIS, which he still refers to as ISIL and which he called ” an apocalyptic cult.

President Obama stated:

When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one nation’s internal affairs… Likewise, when a terrorist group beheads captives, slaughters the innocent and enslaves women, that’s not a single nation’s national security problem — that is an assault on all humanity.

Putin has taken the military offensive in Syria, giving him a military and political base across from Israel’s northern border. Putin knows that the Muslim Middle East understands only one word – “force” – but Obama dealt with the issue from weakness because without a military presence, the United States has little ammunition except Obama’s oratory.

He told the United Nations:

But while military power is necessary, it is not sufficient to resolve the situation in Syria. Lasting stability can only take hold when the people of Syria forge an agreement to live together peacefully. The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo.

He could have used that as an excuse to throw in something about the “Israel-occupied Golan Heights,” but he did not.

His speech was remarkable in that it exposed how weak his administration has become in international affairs following the debacles in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, which now is under growing ISIS influence.

American influence had been on the decline for years but accelerated with the inevitable failure of the “peace process.” which was focused on the wrong country and the wrong issue at the wrong time.

Missing Jew Found Dead in Uman

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

The body of missing 28-year-old Amir Shlomo Ohana, an Israeli husband and father of three from Holon, has been found in a lake in Uman, according to ZAKA. Ohana had gone to pray at the grave site of Rabbi Nachman of Uman in Ukraine, along with some 40,000 other Jewish pilgrims this year; including 30,000 from Israel.

ZAKA flew its personnel to Ukraine to help search for Ohana, who disappeared last week. He and his friend had separated in the forest, each to meditate, Rosh Hashana on Tuesday. When his friend could not find him, he reported him missing to local and Israeli police.

Volunteer searchers identified Ohana inside the lake. He was wearing Shabbat clothing, without shoes and socks. According to a report on the ZAKA website, it appeared that Ohana had been sitting on the pier, dipping his feet in the water, when he had what may have been a heart attack or epileptic seizure, and then fallen into the water.

Site where Amir Shlomo Ohana, z'l was located.

Site where body of Amir Shlomo Ohana, z’l was located in Uman, Ukraine.

Specially trained dogs, a drone and almost one hundred volunteers from among the Breslov Chassidic group searched the area for Ohana, as well as divers who searched the lake, 15 Israeli police officers, additional Israeli diplomatic personnel and security officers.

Ohana’s wife has been notified, Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed. Israeli authorities are now working to bring Ohana’s body back to Israel for burial as quickly as possible.


Aliyah Rises 13% Since Last Rosh HaShanah

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Immigration to Israel is up 13% compared with last year, with most of the rise from France and Ukraine among 97 countries whose citizens made Aliyah.

Approximately 3,600 Jews from North American have moved to Israel since last Rosh HaShanah, approximately the same number as the year before,

In the past 12 months, 29,500 Jews made Aliyah, compared with 26,000 in the Hebrew calendar year of 5774.

Most of this year’s immigrants came from the former Soviet Union – 14,100, compared with 10,800 last year – and from Europe, from where approximately 9,000 people came on Aliyah, 600 more than the previous year.

There was a modest increase in Aliyah from South America.

The two largest sources of Aliyah were France, with 7,350 immigrants compared with 6,700 in 5774, a 10% increase), and Ukraine, with 6,900 immigrants compared to 4,600 last year, a 50% increase.

The Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption have been running programs in both countries in order to encourage Aliyah and remove barriers to the immigrants’ integration in Israeli society. Aliyah from Russia also saw a significant 23% increase with the arrival of some 5,900 immigrants this year compared to 4,800 in 5774.

Also in Europe, some 690 immigrants arrived in Israel from the United Kingdom, a 13% increase when compared with the 612 who came last year. Some 400 arrived from Italy, a 30% increase, compared with 300 last year, and 290 came from Belgium, similar to last year’s figure.

Immigrants to Israel came from 97 countries across the world. One immigrant each came from Andorra, Angola, Namibia, Paraguay, the Philippines, and Slovakia.

Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky said:

For the past few years, the majority of immigrants to Israel have been coming from free and democratic Western countries. These immigrants’ free choice to live in Israel, and their preference for Israel over other countries, is the true triumph of Zionism.

Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Ze’ev Elkin estimated that Aliyah in the civilian calendar year of 2015 will be the highest in a decade, with 30,000-35,000 new immigrants expected.

Thousands of the new “olim” are young college graduates in engineering and technology, and more than 1,000 are doctors and other medical professionals.

The three most popular destinations in Israel were Tel Aviv-Yafo, which welcomed some 3,500 new immigrants, the coastal city of Netanya with 3,400, and Jerusalem, which some 3,000 new immigrants made their home in 5775.

N-Ne-Neo Nazis in Uman?

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

The annual flood of Jews coming to pray at the graveside of Breslov Chassidic leader Rabbi Nachman in the Ukraine town of Uman may be a bit more uncomfortable this year.

Nationalist Ukrainian fighters in Uman have attacked the massive tent used to welcome the tens of thousands of Jewish pilgrims who stream to the grave site of the 18th century Chassidic Rebbe.

Uman, in the Cherkazy Province, is inundated each year by Jews from around the world who come to pray at the Rebbe’s graveside on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year.

But this year a Ukrainian nationalist group with neo-Nazi leanings stormed the site and destroyed the large central tent used as a welcome center for the pilgrimage.

The attack was timed for the Sabbath, according to local sources, when the Chassidim would not be able to respond effectively due to the strictures of traditional Jewish observance.

Police were called and responded, but locals reported they “stood by and watched” as the group, allegedly backed by leaders of the far-right Svoboda movement, “caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.”

Anti-Semitic Arson Attack Destroys Hatzolah Ambulance in Ukraine

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Jews in Ukraine are without one of their life-saving Hatzolah ambulances after an arsonist targeted the vehicle Sunday.

Preliminary findings by police after the overnight destruction pointed to an anti-Semitic attack that badly damaged the vehicle and its equipment.

The ambulance is well known in the city – as is the Jewish community it serves, according to police who spoke with media.

It’s not the first time anti-Semites have targeted Hatzolah Ukraine. One year ago, the head of Hatzolah emergency services in the country, Rabbi Hillel Cohen, was beaten and stabbed in the capital city of Kiev by two young men who spoke Russian. The two called him a “zid” — the derogatory Russian slur for “Jew” — and other gutteral words that were unclear. A young couple was also assaulted that same night on their way to the synagogue, a Friday night.

The burned ambulance has been key in accommodating the tens of thousands who visit Uman on their annual pilgrimage to the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov for Rosh Hashana.

Rabbi Cohen and other officials have united with the heads of the Ukraine Jewish Committee and Euro-Asian Jewish Congress in speaking with local officials about the attack and its implications for the community.

The ambulance had served the Jewish community for a number of years; it was also used to escort visiting Jewish groups from the State of Israel and others from abroad. There is now some discussion about the possibility of replacing the vehicle with two new ambulances.

Shuvu International Friends Raising $1.6 Million in 24 Hours [video]

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

In celebration of Shuvu’s 25th anniversary, three generous donors have pledged to match every dollar donated today, quadrupling every single donation made online

Every donation counts in touching the lives of more and more Israelis, instilling within thousands of families a high level of secular and religious education.

Shuvu has been giving the gold standard of Jewish education in Israel for 25 years. With a network of 67 schools, kindergartens, after-school programs and parent outreach programs, Shuvu provides a dynamic educational and welfare network that reaches thousands of Jewish families each year through high-level academic and Torah study.

Initially founded to provide a much-needed education to children who emigrated from the former Soviet Union, Shuvu’s student population now includes many native Israeli children, new French immigrants and other students from diverse backgrounds.

The success of Shuvu’s programs is immense, with more than 22,000 alumni who have gone on to learn at Israel’s top yeshivas, serve in elite army units and land jobs at many distinguished companies. Shuvu has been lauded for its superior educational offerings, its remarkable Chessed programs, and its impact on Israeli society.

This year alone, Shuvu expanded its outreach and opened 29 new first grade classes in existing schools. Over 1,000 new students joined the Shuvu community.

As Shuvu’s founder Rabbi Avrohom Pam zt’l would always say, “It is beyadeinu – in our own hands!” The future of Jewish education calls upon you to help support Shuvu’s tremendous work. And for one day only, each dollar will quadruple! Today’s the day to begin building the future.

DONATE TODAY and help Shuvu pave the way for a brighter future!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/home/promotional-content/shuvu-international-friends-raising-1-6-million-in-24-hours-video/2015/06/22/

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