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Abbas to Arab World: Don't Recognize Israel


According to A-Sharq Al-Awsat, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has asked Arab nations not to recognize Israel until Israel agrees to give away Judea, Samaria and all of the Jerusalem neighborhoods regained in the Six Day War.

Abbas reportedly said that Arab countries do not need to promote the normalization of relations with Israel. Arab countries have already made their demands clear, and now Israel must make the next step, he said.

China Rejects Israeli Push for Further Sanctions Against Iran

By Daniel Schearf (VOA-Beijing)

Israel's Foreign Minister has urged China to support more sanctions against Iran for its refusal to stop its nuclear programs. But China has rejected new sanctions.

Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told a press briefing the time is ripe for more sanctions against Iran. She said Iran's nuclear programs and what she called its support for terrorist groups were a threat not only to Israel, but also to the world.

"We believe that there is a need for more sanctions in the United Nations Security Council. China supported, of course, the past two decisions in the Security Council," said Livni. "We believe that there is a need to enhance the sanctions in order to stop Iran since sanctions are influential when it comes to the needs of Iran."

Livni made the comments at the end of a three-day visit to China where she hoped to persuade Beijing to moderate its longstanding relationship with Tehran. Iran is a key supplier of crude oil to energy-hungry China.

China has veto power in the U.N. Security Council and has supported past sanctions against Iran. But China, along with fellow veto-wielding member Russia, has been reluctant to support further sanctions.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao Tuesday rejected any immediate sanctions. "We think at the moment relevant parties are seeking dialogue with Iran to solve the nuclear issue. [We] should [therefore] all the more avoid using sanctions so as not to further complicate the issue."

Iran is developing a nuclear program it says is for peaceful energy purposes, but many nations suspect Iran aims to develop nuclear weapons. Iran stands accused of supporting terrorists and has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel. China has good relations with both Israel and its Muslim neighbors.

Also visiting Beijing, Jordan's King Abdullah urged China to take a more active role in the Middle East peace process. He described China as an honest broker, well respected in his part of the world, whose diplomatic role would only grow in the years to come.

Chief Palestinian Negotiator: Talks with Israel Must Include Timetable for Statehood

By VOA News

The chief Palestinian negotiator says peace talks with Israel must include a timetable for establishing Palestinian statehood.

Ahmed Qureia said in the West Bank city of Ramallah Tuesday that the Israeli prime minister has said he will not accept a timetable. He said that the Palestinians would not accept negotiations without one.

Israelis and Palestinians have been working to bridge differences ahead of a U.S.-sponsored peace conference to be held in Annapolis, Md. The Palestinians have been pressing for a detailed joint document addressing core issues, while the Israelis favor a general declaration of principles. The United States has not yet announced a date for the conference.

In violence Tuesday, Palestinian medical sources said Israeli forces shelled a police station in southern Gaza Strip, killing at least four members of Hamas.

And Israeli Attorney General Menahem Mazuz has said Israel cannot reduce electricity to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip unless officials can ensure that it would not cause humanitarian harm.

Israel began reducing fuel deliveries to Gaza on Sunday and said it would wait for an Israeli Supreme Court ruling before cutting electrical supplies. Israel said the cutting of the supplies is in response to daily rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip aimed at Israel.

The United Nations said fuel and electricity reductions to Gaza are unacceptable. The European Union and Russia also have expressed concern about the cuts.

Muslim Brotherhood Urges Jordan to Dissolve Treaty with Israel


The Islamist organization that is outlawed in Egypt but tolerated in Jordan has called for the dissolution of the treaty signed 13 years ago between the Hashemite Kingdom and Israel.

The Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood organization, claimed in a statement released Tuesday that political progress in Jordan has been stunted since the agreement was signed on Oct. 26, 1994.

"Since the signing of the peace treaty with Israel, freedoms and the rights of citizens have retreated in an unprecedented way. Political and economic reforms have stopped," said the statement, according to the AFP news agency.

The group also urged the Jordanian government to boycott the upcoming U.S.-sponsored Middle East Summit, to be held before the end of the year in Annapolis, Maryland. "We call on Jordan and other Arab and Muslim countries to boycott the autumn meeting and not be involved in a conspiracy of normalization [with Israel]," said the statement.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest political opposition organization in a number of Arab nations, including Egypt, where it has been outlawed and where its members are often arrested prior to elections. In Kuwait, the group opposes allowing women to vote.

The organization is tolerated in Jordan where the Islamic Action Front, which currently holds 17 of the 110 seats in the Jordanian parliament, plans to run 22 candidates in next month's elections. Five of its members were expelled for running in parliamentary elections as independents without the permission of the party, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Prominent Muslim Brotherhood member Sayyid Qutb called for the worldwide re-establishment of Sharia (Islamic religious law) and the use of "physical power and Jihad to abolish the organizations and authorities of the Jahili (pagan) system" in his book, Milestones. The group believes all Islamic governments must eventually be united under a global Caliphate.

Arabs Hate Cartoons

By Ed Ziegler (Commentary)

What do you think when someone mentions cartoons? If you are like me you will probably think you're going to have a good laugh. You might even recall a few of your favorite cartoons. What might come to mind? For example, you might think of "Dilbert," "Born Loser" or "Garfield." Let's not forget some oldies like "Dick Tracy" or "Blondie" since they have been pleasing people for many years.

A comprehensive history of caricatures and cartoons from ancient times to the 1870s was published in 1875 by James Parton in" Harper's Magazine." Caricatures go back to Leonardo da Vinci's artistic explorations of "the ideal type of deformity"-- the grotesque-- which he supposedly used to better understand the concept of ideal beauty.

In mid 2005 and early 2006 the Danish newspaper "Jyllands-Posten" published 12 cartoons depicting Mohammad. Many Muslims around the world consider any likeness of Mohammad, their prophet, sacrilegious. Throughout the world Muslims protested, in many instances, violently.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, an al Qaeda deputy, blamed freedom of speech for "the insult against their Prophet Mohammed," according to a CNN translation. It was also reported that the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq offered a $100,000 reward for the murder of Lars Vilks, the Swedish cartoonist responsible for creating the 12 cartoons of Mohammad. The reward was to be raised by 50 percent if Lars Vilks, was "slaughtered like a lamb."

(To see the 12 cartoons that infuriated oh so many Muslims world wide go to

In 1999 Islamic art expert, Wijdan Ali, wrote an overview of the Muslim tradition of depicting Mohammed. Ali demonstrated that the prohibition against depicting Mohammed did not arise until as late as the 16th or 17th century. Even after the 17th century, up to modern times, Islamic depictions of Mohammed (especially in Shi'ite areas) continued to be produced.

White House spokesman, Scott McClellan said "We would also urge people who are criticizing these cartoons to speak out forcefully against all forms of hate speech, including cartoons and articles throughout parts of the Arab world, which frequently espouse anti-Semitic and anti-Christian views." The 12 Danish cartoons caused Muslims around the world to adamantly protest, supposedly causing 100 deaths. In retaliation Iran called for a Holocaust Cartoon Contest. It doesn't make any common sense to pick on the Jews and Israel when the Muslims were offended by cartoons published in a Danish newspaper. But so much of what the fanatic Muslims do doesn't seem to make sense either. Many countries, including the United States, tried pacifying Muslims by denouncing the Danish caricatures. Is anyone aware of governments previously speaking out against cartoons?

Muslims routinely publish cartoons far more offensive than the 12 Danish ones. Will the free world continue to appease the fanatic Muslims who demand, and seem to be allowed, to enjoy a double standard as with the use of cartoons? They threaten violence and death when the world does not conform to their Islamic faith.

Remember Never Again. Like it or not it is up to you and everyone like you.

(Ed Ziegler is a member of the Temple Shalom Board Of Director (The Villages, Florida) and past president of its Brotherhood. Ziegler encourages your comments. Write to

Sheetrit: Jews Should Not be Granted Automatic Israeli Citizenship

By Ha'aretz &

Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit said during a Jewish Agency Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday that the Law of Return, which grants Jews worldwide the right to Israeli citizenship, should be amended. Sheetrit said that Jews who wish to settle in Israel should have the right to do so, but the state should avoid giving them citizenship "five minutes later."

He fiercely criticized the policy to encourage aliyah among "the lost tribes of Israel" - communities who claim Jewish ancestry but are not halakhically Jewish - and said he would do anything within his jurisdiction to stop it.

Sheetrit also said that his ministry has seen numerous cases of immigrants fraudulently obtaining aliyah benefits. He also referred to the spread of neo-Nazism among young immigrants from the former Soviet Union to support his call for tougher aliyah laws.

He said Israeli citizenship should only be granted to new immigrants after five consecutive years of residence. "It is inconceivable that people who immigrate to Israel are awarded citizenship in so short a period." Candidates would have to swear allegiance to the country as well as pass a language test to ensure their knowledge of Hebrew is sufficient.

Israel's Law of Return, one of the nation's founding principles, allows anyone of Jewish parentage to immigrate freely to Israel and be eligible for citizenship.

The minister also addressed the issue of facilitating the immigration of more Ethiopian Jews to Israel: "If the matter were up to me, I would invest more funds in aiding the community already in Israel as opposed to bringing more here."

As for the lost tribes, Sheetrit urged Board members to concentrate their efforts on the Jews already in Israel rather than investing resources in bringing the tribes to Israel. Some of these immigrants, said Sheetrit, only came to Israel after having had forged the papers proving their supposed eligibility.

The Jewish Agency said in response that "the State of Israel must remain open to any Jew, without any conditions." The agency pledged it would continue to support the Law of Return in its present format and stressed that Sheetrit's statements constituted his private opinion and that he in no way spoke for the agency.

American Jews Act to Prevent Division of Jerusalem


Following hints from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his deputy Haim Ramon that the status of Jerusalem may be discussed at the Annapolis peace conference, 18 Jewish organizations in the US have announced that they would join forces to prevent such a division.

Rabbi Pesach Lerner, executive vice president of the National Council of Young Israel, founded the council to serve as an umbrella for US Jewish organizations trying "to preserve a united Jerusalem." The rabbi claims that the talk of dividing Jerusalem has opened the door for relinquishing control over different parts of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount.

The council is made up of rightist and settler groups as well as non-religious and apolitical organizations. Some of the groups did not even oppose the disengagement from Gaza in 2005. The council claims that each group that counts itself among its supporters has its own agenda and is not necessarily driven by rightwing politics.

Lerner claims that Jewish leaders from all over the world are combining forces and uniting in order to make one thing clear: world Jewry opposes negotiations to relinquish sovereignty over any section of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem has served as the focus of the Jewish people and has been part of Jewish heritage each generation for 3,000 years, Lerner said. According to the Young Israel leader, the Holy City belongs to all Jews, not just those that reside in Israel.

The different groups that merged to form the Young Israel organization represent a minority of American Jews given their close connection to developments in Israel. Most American Jews have little connection to the Jewish state.

Young Israel may be able to secure funding for a hasbara (public relations) campaign against the division of Jerusalem from wealthy Jews from the US and Australia. In addition, they may be able to gain the support of the Christian evangelical community in the US which also opposes the partition of Jerusalem.

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