Newsletter : 8fax0505.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Salah Urges EU Arabs to `Return' to Israel
Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, has called for
thousands of European Arabs to "return" to Israel. "Your homes await you," Salah told a
large Arab rally in Copenhagen.
Salah also called on the crowd to stop the "Judaization" of Jerusalem. The rally was
held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the modern state of
Israel. Participants gathered to mourn Israel's creation and to call for the "return" to
Israel of the descendents of hundreds of thousands of Arabs who fled Israel during heavy
fighting between the fledgling state and invading Arab armies in the 1940s.
Sunday Times Hints Israel's Evidence on Iran Justifies Strike
The Sunday Times of London reports that Israel's intelligence information on Iran's
nuclear capabilities appears to belie the official United States stance on the issue.
The US National Intelligence Estimate of last December concluded that Iran had halted
its nuclear weapons development program in 2003. However, the Times reports, Israel has
made a breakthrough in intelligence-gathering within Iran, and now fears that Iran has in
fact made significant advances towards attaining nuclear power.
A source quoted by the Times said the new information was "on a par with intelligence
that led Israel to discover and then destroy a partly constructed nuclear reactor in Syria
The head of Britain's MI6 intelligence agency, Sir John Scarlett, is scheduled to visit
Israel later this month, and will be briefed by Israeli Mossad chief Meir Dagan. Iran's
nuclear program is expected to be high on their agenda in an intelligence-sharing process
described by Israeli officials as a "strategic dialogue;" both Israel and Britain have
extensive spy networks in the Middle East.
Israeli officials have briefed US and British officials on their findings, and Israel
expects the US to revise its analysis of Iran's program in the near future. The newspaper
surmises that if Israel "were considering military action against Iran [regarding] its
nuclear program, it would want to ensure it had diplomatic support in London and
An Iranian press agency reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak "threatened" Iran
this past Friday. The agency quoted Barak as saying that Israel is fully prepared to
launch a military attack on Tehran - though he did not elaborate.
"Israel is the strongest country in the entire region, even at a range of 1,500
kilometers," Barak reportedly said, adding that Israel is "willing to be alone with the
Last week, a second US aircraft carrier entered the Persian Gulf, sparking media
speculation in Iran that this was a tacit declaration of war on Iran. The Iranian news
agency also reported that Israel "has been preparing for war for several months now,"
citing Israel's recent nationwide drill testing its emergency response as an example.
Obama: U.S. Would Defend Israel in Attack, 'Nuclear or Otherwise'
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Sunday night that the United States
would defend Israel after any attack, "nuclear or otherwise."
Obama accused rival Hillary Clinton of saber rattling toward Iran by threatening last
week to "totally obliterate" the country if it attacked Israel. "I think it's language
that's reflective of George Bush," Obama said. "We have had a foreign policy of bluster
and saber rattling.
"It is important that we use language that sends a signal to the world community that
we're shifting from the sort of cowboy diplomacy, or lack of diplomacy, that we've seen
out of George Bush," the Illinois senator said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
On ABC's "This Week," Clinton stood behind her remarks. "Yes, we would have massive
retaliation against Iran," the New York senator said. Such an attack on Iran is unlikely,
Clinton said, "but I sure want to make it abundantly clear that they would face a
tremendous cost if they did such a thing."
The Bush administration accuses Iran of seeking to acquire nuclear weapons and said it
could consider using military force to stop it. Iran says its nuclear program is for
Some Democrats and Republicans have called for negotiations with Iran about its nuclear
program and involvement in Iraq, but the administrations has ruled out direct talks unless
Iran stops enriching uranium.
Clinton has said the United States should offer to protect Middle East countries from
Iran if those countries forgo any nuclear weapon ambitions. "I think that we should be
looking to create an umbrella of deterrence that goes much further than just Israel," she
said last month in Pennsylvania, days before she made her "obliterate" remarks.
On Sunday, Obama said any expansion of the United States' nuclear shield should come
"prudently and cautiously" and that Clinton first aired the umbrella idea as a "throwaway
line" during one of the candidates' debate.
Hizbullah Says 'Proud' to Be on the U.S. Terrorist List
The Iranian-backed Lebanon-based terrorist movement Hizbullah said on Friday it prides
itself on appearing on the United States' terrorist list.
"The U.S. administration has no right to give statements on nationalism and terrorism
when it is making the peoples of the world, including the American people, pay the price
for its wars and bloody policies," said a statement by Hizbullah.
Hizbullah's remarks came in response to the report released earlier by the U.S. State
Department which accused Iran of providing aid to Palestinian "terrorist" groups like
Hamas, Hizbullah, "Iraq-based militants," and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. The
statement criticized Washington for its Lebanon policy and accused the U.S. of "provoking
its allies in Lebanon against fellow citizens who support the resistance and the
Hizbullah slammed the U.S. as the biggest threat to international peace and
Israel Hints at Uprooting Settlements in Peace Deal
By David Gollust (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni indicated Sunday Israel may uproot some of its
West Bank settlements as part of a peace accord with the Palestinians. Livni spoke at the
start of a meeting Sunday with visiting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Palestinians have bitterly complained about recent Israeli moves to add housing units
to West Bank settlements, even as negotiators for the two sides are working for a peace
accord by year's end, as pledged at last November's Annapolis conference.
But at a joint press appearance with Rice as the Secretary neared the end of a two-day
visit to the region, Livni noted that Israel dismantled its Gaza settlements in the
disengagement of 2005, and said that settlements are no barrier to the broader peace
"I would like to say clearly that while negotiating the final status issues - the
borders and territory of a future Palestinian state, we showed especially in the
disengagement plan from the Gaza strip that settlements are not an obstacle when it comes
to - well it was not a peace process - but when there was a need for Israel to withdraw
and to send a message of peace, we also dismantled the settlements," said Livni.
Livni said the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stopped building new
settlements and confiscating land from Palestinians, and has no hidden agenda to effect a
land grab before a peace accord is concluded.
Earlier Sunday in Ramallah, Rice heard harsh criticism of Israeli policy from
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who accused Israel of undermining peace
talks by settlement building and refusing to remove hundreds of security checkpoints in
the West Bank.
Israel promised to remove 50 roadblocks during an earlier Rice visit in March, but
Palestinians say many of those taken down were in remote places and their removal has not
materially improved West Bank movement and access.
Rice told reporters she had raised the checkpoint issue earlier Sunday with Israeli
Defense Minister Ehud Barak and that she is interested in not just the quantity, but also
the quality, of Israeli steps to improve the everyday lives of Palestinians.
As to settlements, she said the United States opposes action by either side that would
prejudge the outcome of negotiations: "The United States continues to hold the view that
settlement activity is contrary to Roadmap obligations, and continues to raise with the
Israelis the importance of creating an atmosphere that is conducive to negotiations of the
final-status agreement. And that means doing nothing certainly that would suggest there is
any prejudicing of the final terms for final status negotiations."
The Secretary took part in two trilateral meetings with Israeli and Palestinian
negotiators. But she has avoided comment on the substance of the peace talks and scrapped
plans to brief State Department reporters late Sunday.
She scheduled a second meeting with Prime Minister Olmert for Monday before her
scheduled departure for Washington. Olmert has become the subject of a police
investigation on reported corruption charges, a development that could threaten the
survival of his centrist coalition government.
Rice told reporters the probe is an internal matter for Israel. She said had a very
good discussion with Olmert Saturday and expects the dialogue to continue as the drive for
a peace accord in 2008 continues.
US-Trained Fatah Force Deployed in Jenin, France Offers to Join
Hundreds of armed Fatah loyalists were deployed in Jenin Saturday as the newest and
most trained members of the Palestinian Authority armed police force.
The deployment came as a result of authorization granted by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
as a "good-will gesture" to the Fatah-run PA and its chairman, Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas.
The 450 trained PLO veterans hail from Jordan and received training from United States
General Keith Dayton and his men.
The IDF released a statement shortly after the deployment, saying, "This morning,
approximately 450 Palestinian Authority personnel arrived at Jenin and north Samaria. The
deployment was made after a number of coordinated meetings of different levels between IDF
personnel and the Civil Administration with the Palestinians."
The IDF statement qualified: "It is important to emphasize that the IDF did not pass
the security responsibility in Jenin to the Palestinian policemen, and will continue their
coordination with the Palestinian policemen in Jenin."
Several organizations, most notably terror victim associations and student groups, have
come out against the training and deployment of additional PA police forces. In addition
to the problem of Fatah controlling armed forces while it still maintains terrorist groups
under its control, actual PA police have carried out terrorist attacks as recently as the
past few months.
Ido Zoldan, a former resident of Homesh, was gunned down near Kedumim by a PA police
officer. Off-duty IDF soldiers Achikam Amichai and David Rubin were also shot to death by
a PA officer and PA Islamic court employee who both took refuge at the PA's Hebron
headquarters immediately following the murders.
An armored vehicle given to Fatah when it controlled Gaza was recently used to overrun
the Gaza border in a carefully staged bomb-attack on the eve of Passover two weeks ago by
Hamas. Israel has authorized the transfer of several identical armored vehicles to Fatah
by Russia to its remaining footholds in Judea and Samaria.
France has offered its unsolicited assistance in the form of dispatching troops to
Judea, Samaria and Gaza in the event that an international force is created to patrol
Left-wing groups and even MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) have increasingly
called for international troops to be deployed in areas currently under control of Fatah
and Hamas. Hamas rejects the idea, though Fatah officials have expressed interest.
Yehuda HaKohen of the student activist Zionist Freedom Alliance said, "This new Fatah
force is a police force of gangsters who oppress their own people and kill our people. The
only reason that they are being allowed to have an army is that their corrupt leadership
[Abbas] is pursuing the agenda of the Bush administration to shrink and weaken the State
of Israel. In this local conflict, both sides are being armed by the same western
government. If western powers would stop interfering in our local conflict, maybe it will
be easier to realize peace in our time."
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said France would be willing to take part in such
an international force "when circumstances permit and if the parties so wish."
International forces under the command of the European Union were stationed at the Rafiah
crossing between Gaza and Egypt following the 2005 Disengagement, but fled almost
immediately following the 2007 Hamas takeover of the region. International forces are
currently stationed in southern Lebanon, but even internal UN reports admit they have
failed to stop weapons smuggling and terrorist activity in the area.
Monday Declared 'International Aliyah Day'
More than 400 new immigrants from 23 countries will be arriving in Israel on Monday for
what has been declared International Aliyah Day 2008. Aliyah means immigration of Jews to
the Land of Israel.
The one-day display of the ingathering of exiles, orchestrated by the Absorption
Ministry and the Jewish Agency, will mark the absorption of more than 3,000,000 Jewish
immigrants to the Promised Land in the 60 years since the State of Israel declared
The new immigrants will hail from almost two dozen countries including Argentina,
Australia, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Russia, South
Africa, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States. They are planning to settle in more than 50
communities throughout the Land of Israel.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)