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Teen Dies From Tongue Piercing-Related Brain Abscesses

( An 18-year-old died Sunday from an infection he contracted as a result of a tongue piercing.

The teenager, an IDF soldier, was hospitalized in serious condition over a month ago after developing 14 abscesses in his brain resulting from the spread of bacteria introduced through the piercing.

Dr. Yaron Bar-Lavi, the manager of the emergency room in Haifa's Rambam Hospital, said the teen was put on medications to combat spasms caused by the abscesses, but that the medication had a detrimental affect on his liver, which ultimately caused his decline and death.

Dr. Bar-Lavi said the abscesses, some of which made their way to the central portion of the brain, were the largest he had ever seen.

Thousands Protest Ahmadinejad in New York

( Thousands of people protested the presence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York City on Monday afternoon. "Our message to him is 'go home, go home and stay there,'" said author and Nobel prize winner Eli Wiesel. Instead of attending the opening ceremony at the United Nations, Ahmadinejad should be on trial in international court, Wiesel said, where he should be convicted of inciting to commit crimes against humanity. Criticizing a leader like Ahmadinejad who calls for nuclear attacks is not enough, he said—such a leader must be brought to trial.

Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik and Natan Sharansky attended the rally.

Last update - 00:46 23/09/2008

19 hurt as terrorist plows car into Jerusalem crowd

By Jonathan Lis and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents, and The Associated Press

Tags: Palestinians, Israel

At least 19 people were wounded at around 11 P.M. Monday night when a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem drove his car into a crowd of Israel Defense Forces soldiers at a busy intersection in the capital.

Two of wounded were in serious condition, four were moderately hurt and the rest were lightly wounded, the Magen David Adom rescue service said.

Most of the wounded were IDF troops on their way to the Western Wall to mark the upcoming Jewish New Year when the attack at the Tzahal intersection, close to the Old City, took place. Advertisement

Jerusalem Police Commander Ilan Franco said the driver of the black BMW was shot and killed by an IDF officer who was among the crowd targeted in the attack. Franco said the driver was apparently acting alone.

"A man in a vehicle struck a number of people in Tzahal Square," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. "We can confirm it was a terror attack. The man was shot and killed."

Israeli TV reported that the car was registered to a resident of Jabel Mukaber, an Arab village in East Jerusalem. The vehicle had a yellow Israeli license plate, the Associated Press news agency reported.

A previously unknown group claimed responsibility for the attack, Channel 2 television said.

An Israel Radio reporter on the scene described a large group of mostly ultra-Orthodox Jews chasing an Arab into the Old City after the attack.

The emergency call came into Magen David Adom at 10:55 P.M., but it described the incident as traffic accident. Only when the ambulance arrived did it become clear that it was a terrorist attack.

"I saw the car coming quickly and hit a group of soldiers and students standing there," an eyewitness said. "It happened very fast. It was impossible to know beforehand that this is what he intended to do."

Rescue personnel evacuated all of the victims to hospitals in the city. Local TV showed footage of a wounded soldier on a stretcher, holding his head, as he was wheeled into an ambulance.

Dr. Yuval Weiss, the director of Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, said that 10 victims had been treated at the hospital, all of them fully conscious.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak released a statement in the wake of the attack demanding a speedup of procedures to allow the destruction of homes of Palestinian terrorists to act as a deterrence. Several years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that destroying houses does not deter terrorists, and the practice was halted.

Jerusalem police said that though there was no prior intelligence indicating a possible terror attack, the level of alert had been raised in recent days due to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the upcoming Jewish holidays.

This is the third time a vehicle has been used in a terror attack in Jerusalem in as many months. In July, two East Jerusalem residents carried out separate attacks with vehicles used in ongoing construction work in the city, killing three people and wounding many others.

Seventeen Soldiers Hurt in Arab Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

( An Arab terrorist from eastern Jerusalem ran over a group of soldiers shortly before 11 p.m. Monday night at Kichar Tzahal (IDF Square) near the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem. The terrorist was shot and killed by an IDF officer in the group.

All of the victims apparently suffered light and moderate injuries, and hospital officials negated earlier reports that two people were seriously injured. Doctors report that the victims were soldiers who had gone to the Old City to participate in the selichot prayers traditionally recited before Rosh Hashanah.

The terrorist was driving a private vehicle when he attacked opposite Jaffa Gate.

Two earlier terrorist attacks this year involved a tractor and bulldozer, killing three Israelis and injuring scores of others. Both of the terrorists were Israeli Arabs from eastern Jerusalem who were working in the city.

Ten of the wounded were evacuated to the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, and all of them are conscious and in good condition.

Seven other victims suffered light injuries and were rushed to Shaarei Tzedek.

Report: Respect for religious freedom fell in Israel E-mail article
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Published: 09/21/2008

Respect for religious freedom in Israel has declined, according to a new U.S. State Department report.

An increase in "societal abuses and discrimination" against "some evangelical Christian groups as well as Messianic Jews" has contributed to a "slight decline in respect for religious freedom" in Israel, according to the State Department's Annual Report on International Religious Freedom.

The report also stated that "relations among religious and ethnic groups" were "often strained during the reporting period, which was "due primarily to the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Government's unequal treatment of non-Orthodox Jews, including the Government's recognition of only Orthodox Jewish religious authorities in personal and some civil status matters concerning Jews."

The report covered the period from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008.

The report also states that Iran has seen "a rise in officially sanctioned anti-Semitic propaganda involving official statements, media outlets, publications, and books." In addition, "the Government's anti-Semitic rhetoric, along with a perception among radical Muslims that all Jewish citizens of the country support Zionism and the state of Israel, continued to create a hostile atmosphere for Jews. The rhetorical attacks also further blurred the line between Zionism, Judaism, and Israel, and contributed to increased concerns about the future security of the Jewish community."

Venezuela also was named as a state sponsor of anti-Semitism in the document "because of statements by the president, other government officials, and government-affiliated media outlets." It added that "the local Jewish community expressed strong concerns that such statements and publications fostered a climate permissive of anti-Semitic actions, creating an atmosphere of fear and distrust of the community."

Clinton, Palin rip Iran
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Published: 09/22/2008

U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin both harshly criticized Iran.

More Breaking News from JTA



Wiesel: 'Persona non-grata everywhere' Photo: Dana Zimmerman

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UN protestors: Stop Iran

Thousands demonstrate in New York against visit by Iranian President Ahmadinejad at rally ahead of UN General Assembly; keynote speaker Elie Wiesel: 'Go home, and stay home' Dana Zimmerman

NEW YORK – Thousands of demonstrators gathered in east Manhattan Monday to protest Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's participation in the United Nations General Assembly. The rally, organized by several North American Jewish organizations, was attended by Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, Natan Sharnasky, and Elie Wiesel, among others.

In his speech, Wiesel advised the Iranian leader to "go home and stay home," saying that his place was not at the UN, but rather, at the international war crimes tribunal, where he should be tried for crimes against humanity. Wiesel slammed Ahmadinejad for repeatedly calling for Israel's extermination and for preaching hatred and nuclear destruction.

Protestor at the rally (Photo: Dana Zimmerman)

The Holocaust survivor and acclaimed author said Iran's president should be treated as a "persona non grata" worldwide, and added that even if he does not yet know this, he will be ultimately arrested. Wiesel also urged all UN delegations to leave the room the moment Ahmadinejad takes the podium.

Meanwhile, Knesset Speaker Itzik said that she never believed that threats to the existence of the Jewish people will be uttered again, declaring that the "nightmare is back" to her regret. Some may think that Ahmadinejad is crazy or arrogant, she said, but bitter experience has taught us to "take him seriously". However, Itzik stressed that this time around the world will not remain silent and will not ignore the Iranian president's words.

"The Free World must act to stop him," Itzik said, adding that the horrors of the Holocaust would not be repeated.

Security concerns at rally
Meanwhile, Ynet learned that Israeli and American security officials initially attempted to prevent Itzik from speaking due to security concerns. However, the Knesset speaker insisted on addressing the crowd, eventually prompting her to agree to a compromise and wear a bullet-proof vest.

"It wasn't very pleasant, but those were unequivocal demands by security officials, and Itzik had no choice but to comply," a source familiar with the matter said.

The protestors on hand, both Jews and Christians, held up signs slamming Ahmadinejad for threatening the US and Israel and calling on the world to stop Iran. Some demonstrators used the occasion to refer to the upcoming US elections, holding up signs praising Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin and criticizing Hillary Clinton. Other protestors, apparently affected by the recent Kadima primaries in Israel and Tzipi Livni's victory, chanted "Tzipi, Tzipi."

Amnon Meranda contributed to this report


Thousands attend anti-Iran rally organized by Jewish groups in New York

By Shlomo Shamir, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service

Tags: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Nobel Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel joined thousands of protesters in New York Monday to condemn Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's planned address to the United Nations General Assembly, which opens Tuesday.

Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik and former minister Natan Sharansky also spoke at the gathering, organized by a coalition of American Jewish groups.

Wiesel said "We urge all the UN delegations across the street to leave the hall when [Ahmadinejad] appears on the stage." Advertisement

"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, go home and stay there, we don't want you here. America doesn't want you here. Nobody wants you," Wiesel called out.

The event sparked further controversy over the weekend when Republican vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin's appearance in the anti-Iran rally in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza was cancelled in a flap between protest organizers and Hillary Clinton, who had also been scheduled to speak.

Clinton aides were quoted as saying that they had been "blindsided" by the decision to invite Palin, which they called a partisan move. In the ensuing controversy, Clinton withdrew her participation, and Palin's invitation was rescinded.

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Last update - 15:42 22/09/2008

Obama pays tribute Although Olmert is Soon to be Indicted on Charges of Corruption

By Natasha Mozgovoya, Haaretz U.S. Correspondent

Tags: Tzipi Livni, Israel

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama paid tribute Sunday to outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert, and welcomed the chance to work with his successor.

Olmert, who is at the center of a series of corruption scandals, formally resigned Sunday. He has been replaced as leader of the ruling Kadima party by his foreign minister, Tzipi Livni.

Livni is expected to be asked by President Shimon Peres to form, and head, a new government coalition. Olmert will remain in power until a new prime minister is officially appointed. Advertisement

"I wish Prime Minister Olmert well and have told him how much I admire his pursuit of peace and his staunch defense of Israel's security," Obama said.

"I look forward to working closely with Israel's next prime minister to strengthen the U.S.-Israeli partnership, and to advance Israel's security."

Obama also praised what he termed "Israel's robust democracy" for its ability to weather the current political upheaval.

This democracy, he said, "is once again demonstrating that it can handle transition, and we are reminded today that the U.S.-Israeli relationship transcends parties and individual leaders."

Obama visited Israel in July of this year, when he met with both Olmert and Livni.

Related articles:

Maariv's publication of Barack Obama's Western Wall note spurs outrage, boycott

Barack Obama tells Haaretz: Two states for two peoples

Obama to PM: Iran action legitimate only if talks fail

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