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Netanyahu Asks Pope to Condemn Iran


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday and asked him to condemn Iranian announcements on its intentions to "wipe Israel off the map.

"I asked him, as a moral figure, to make his voice heard loud and continuously against the declarations coming from Iran of their intention to destroy Israel," Netanyahu said.

Obama Warns Netanyahu: Don't Surprise Me with Iran Strike

By Ha'aretz

President Barack Obama has sent a message to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu demanding that Israel not surprise the U.S. with an Israeli military operation against Iran. The message was conveyed by a senior American official who met in Israel with Netanyahu, ministers and other senior officials.

The message from the U.S. envoy reveals U.S. concern that Israel could lose patience and act against Iran. It is important to the Americans that they not be caught off guard and find themselves facing facts on the ground at the last minute.

Obama did not wait for his White House meeting with Netanyahu, scheduled for next Monday, to deliver his message, but rather sent it ahead of time with his envoy.

It may be assumed that Obama is disturbed by the positions Netanyahu expressed before his election vis-à-vis Tehran - for example, Netanyahu's statement that "If elected I pledge that Iran will not attain nuclear arms and that includes whatever is necessary for this statement to be carried out." After taking office, on Holocaust Memorial Day Netanyahu said: "We will not allow Holocaust-deniers to carry out another holocaust."

Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak do not oppose American dialogue with Tehran, but they believe it should be conducted within a limited window of time, making it clear to Iran that if it does not stop its nuclear program, severe sanctions will be imposed and other alternatives will be considered.

The U.S. concern that Israel will attack Iran came up as early as last year, while President George W. Bush was still in office. As first reported in Ha'aretz, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Barak made a number of requests from Bush during the latter's visit to Jerusalem, which were interpreted as preparations for an aerial attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Rally Calls on Netanyahu to Resist Obama's Plans


More than 100 people took part in a rally Thursday evening calling on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to reject a "two-state solution." More such events are slated, in Israel and in the United States, as Netanyahu is leaving for his meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington on Monday.

The demonstration, which took place across from the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, was called to encourage Netanyahu to reject American pressure to agree to a new Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Among the dozens of demonstrators were Knesset Members Michael Ben-Ari and Uri Ariel (National Union), former Kedumim Mayor Daniella Weiss, Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe of SOS Israel, and other right-wing and Land of Israel activists.

Ariel called upon Netanyahu to resist the pressures from the American president next week, "and fulfill the will of the people. ...Go to Washington, we are not afraid. Stand up and say, in Hebrew and English: the Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel." Ariel's colleague, MK Ben-Ari, echoed the call for Netanyahu to be strong and not to "fold like in the Wye Agreement."

Daniella Weiss said the coming Netanyahu-Obama meeting is "fateful." She compared the U.S. President to pre-World War II British leader Neville Chamberlain in his approach to Iran and other Islamist leaders. "[Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad wants to exterminate us, and Obama bows down like Chamberlain to Hitler," Weiss declared.

On Monday May 18, the day Netanyahu is slated to meet Obama, a pro-Israel demonstration is planned for Lafayette Park, across from the White House. The organizers have called for people to come from across the region "to rally for a proud and undivided Israel. Our presence on this day is to support [Binyamin] Netanyahu as he meets with President Obama, who is pressuring Israel...."

In announcing the planned rally, the pro-Israel groups involved said, "The support of American Jews hasn't been so vital to the survival of the state of Israel since the very founding of the state...."More information on the Washington rally can be obtained from or

Report: U.S., Allies Put October Deadline on Progress from Iran


Palestinian Authority representative in Lebanon Abbas Zaki said the two-state solution is his preferred approach, as it will lead to Israel's collapse.

Speaking with Lebanese ANB Television on May 7, Zaki said that any ceasefire, or hudna, deal with Israel is not desirable. Instead, the long-time PLO member said, "we must go towards the two-state solution, a solution that even [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad supports."

"In my opinion," Zaki explained, "with such a solution, Israel will collapse. Because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will be left of all their [the Jews'] talk about the Promised Land and the Chosen Nation? What will be with all the sacrifices they gave and then they are told to leave?"

The two-state solution, supported by the United States and most of the world, calls for a Palestinian Authority state in Judea and Samaria, leaving Israel barely 11 miles wide in some areas.

Zaki said that Jews and Israelis "perceive of Jerusalem as having a spiritual status. They relate to Judea and Samaria as a historic dream. If the Jews leave these places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse of itself – and then we will move forward."

Jordanian Media Report: 'Jews Descend from Pigs'


Jordanian media last week quoted Egyptian clerics who declared that Jews are the descendants of pigs -- the only point of debate was whether they are direct descendants or not.

According to a report broadcast May 10 on the Al-Moheed Arab News Network and translated by the media watchdog group, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), "pigs in our time have their origins in Jews who angered Allah... and it is obligatory to kill and slaughter them."

The report quoted Sheikh Ahmed Ali Othman, supervisor of the Da'awa (Islamic Indoctrination) of the Egyptian Waqf (Authority of Islamic Holy Places), and head of its slaughtering division.

Othman based his ruling on a Koranic verse (Koran sura 5, verse 60) that refers to those that Allah has cursed and "made into monkeys and pigs, and who have served abominations. Their place is worst of all, and their deviation is the greatest of all..." He added that this verse referred to the nation of the descendants of the prophet Moses.

An article published May 9 in the Jordanian newspaper Al-Hakika al-Dawliya also quoted the Egyptian cleric: "I personally tend towards the view that the pigs that exist now have their origins with the Jews, and therefore their consumption is forbidden..."

A second view, expressed by Sheikh Ali Abu Al-Hassan, head of the Fatwa Committee (which issues rulings) at Al-Azhar [Sunni Islamic] University, does not draw a relationship between today's pigs and Jews.

Al-Hassan explained "when Allah punishes a group of people, He punishes only them. When Allah grew angry with the nation of Moses, He turned them into pigs and monkeys as an extraordinary punishment... but they died without leaving descendants."

Lieberman's Party Proposes Ban on Arab Nakba

By Reuters

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's party wants to ban Israeli Arabs from marking the anniversary of what they term "the Catastrophe" or Nakba, when in 1948 some 700,000 Arabs lost their homes in the war that led to the establishment of the state of Israel.

The ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party said it would propose legislation next week for a ban on the practice and a jail term of up to three years for violators. "The draft law is intended to strengthen unity in the state of Israel and to ban marking Independence Day as a day of mourning," said party spokesman Tal Nahum.

The initiative could fuel racial tensions stoked by Lieberman's February election campaign call to make voting or the holding of public office in Israel contingent on pledging loyalty to the Jewish state.

Arabs, who make up 20 percent of Israel's population, said the allegiance demand was aimed at them and accused Lieberman of racism.

Israel celebrated its Independence Day this year on April 29, in accordance with the Hebrew lunar calendar. Palestinian refugees around the world and Israel's Arab citizens mark the Nakba on May 15, the day after the British mandate over Palestine ended in 1948.

Jon Stewart Wraps Up Pope's Visit

By Israel Faxx News Service

Jon Stewart weighs in on the papal visit to Israel and the pontiff's alleged 'anti-semanticism' (no, that's not a spelling mistake).

Exposed: Director of Nazis' Anti-Jewish Propaganda

By Reuters

A new German film turns the spotlight on a man many in the country would rather forget: Veit Harlan, director of the infamous Nazi propaganda movie "Jud Suess," wartime hit which helped set the tone for the Holocaust.

"Harlan - Im Schatten von Jud Suess" (Harlan - In the Shadow of 'Jew Suess'), which recently opened in Germany, focuses on the filmmaker's most notorious work, looking back at his output through the eyes of the extended family he left behind.

Director Felix Moeller told Reuters that by shooting the documentary he had hoped not only to explore the previously "taboo" subject of Harlan, but also how the family had dealt with the legacy of his work for Adolf Hitler's regime. "Our history as a nation under Nazism has been researched in great depth. But a lot of families still haven't done anything to find out what went on inside them," said Moeller, 43.

In interviews with Harlan's surviving children and grandchildren, the film presents a broad spectrum of responses to living with the stigma of such a controversial forbear.

Harlan's eldest son recalls how he tried to get his father to take responsibility for the films, while a younger brother refuses to discuss the matter publicly. Other children changed their names just so they could find jobs after the war.

"Jud Suess", which opened in September 1940, was compulsory viewing for Heinrich Himmler's SS and was shown to local populations in countries under Nazi occupation prior to mass deportations of Jews, according to the German Historical Museum.

With a cast of characters that play on popular stereotypes, the film charts the rise and fall of wily Jewish businessman Joseph Suess Oppenheimer, who uses money to buy power and influence among his Christian masters in 18th century Germany. He gradually ensnares the Duke of Wuerttemberg in a web of debt to take control of the state, and rapes a Christian woman before the people rise up to take vengeance on him.

Harlan, whose Jewish first wife later died in Auschwitz, claimed after the war Goebbels had forced him to direct, and refused to take responsibility for "Suess" and other Nazi films.

"It is disputed," said Moeller. "Some say Harlan resisted but there's also considerable evidence that he saw 'Jud Suess' as a big chance for his career and was happy to work on it."

Harlan himself was no genuine anti-Semite, Moeller said. "It's like [his son] Thomas Harlan said: that was the bad thing - he was the guy who sharpened the knife, without actually being an anti-Semite himself," he said.

Alongside "Der Ewige Jude" [The Eternal Jew], the melodrama is probably the best-known piece of anti-Jewish cinema produced under the auspices of Joseph Goebbels' propaganda ministry. In his diaries, Goebbels recorded his delight at the movie, writing: "We couldn't wish for a better anti-Semitic film." Commercial broadcasts of the film are still forbidden in Germany, where it can only be shown under tight restrictions.

Harlan was tried for crimes against humanity after the war but the presiding judge, a former Nazi jurist, acquitted him and he was carried on the shoulders of his supporters from the court room. A second attempt to prosecute him also failed.

Though it is nearly 70 years since the release of "Suess," Moeller felt the film could still be exploited by neo-Nazis. "I think the potential negatives probably outweigh the benefits you could get from allowing it to be shown today."

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