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40% of Israel's Arab Citizens Deny Holocaust


Anti-Jewish or Anti-Israel sentiments are up among Israel's Arab citizens, according to Haifa University. 40.5 % of Arab Israeli citizens say that the Holocaust never happened. This figure is up from 28 percent who denied the Holocaust in a similar survey three years ago.

Only 41 percent of the Arab citizens of Israel recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state, down from 65.6 percent who did so in 2003. A mere 53.7 percent recognize Israel's right to exist as an independent state at all, compared with 81.1 percent in 2003.

Obama: I Can't Tell Israel Not to Fear Iran

By Ha'aretz &

President Barack Obama has said he cannot tell Israel not to fear Iran's nuclear ambitions, in comments published ahead of a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

"I understand very clearly that Israel considers Iran an existential threat, and given some of the statements that have been made by President Ahmadinejad, you can understand why," Obama told Newsweek. The magazine will publish the full interview on May 25.

"Their calculation of costs and benefits are going to be more acute," he added. "They're right there in range and I don't think it's my place to determine for the Israelis what their security needs are."

Obama's comments came after CIA chief Leon Panetta informed Netanyahu last week that Obama demanded that Israel not launch a surprise attack on Iran. Netanyahu is expected to raise the issue of Iran's nuclear program, which Israel and Western nations say is aimed at manufacturing atomic weapons, during his visit to Washington.

In the Newsweek interview, Obama said he wanted to offer Iran an opportunity to align itself with international norms and international rules. "We are going to reach out to them and try to shift off of a pattern over the last 30 years that hasn't produced results in the region," he said.

But the president added that he was "not naive" about the difficulties of such a process. He said if the overtures to the Islamic Republic failed, "The fact that we have tried will strengthen our position in mobilizing the international community, and Iran will have isolated itself."

Israel has acceded to American demands by pledging to coordinate its moves on Iran with Washington and not surprise the United States with military action.

During Panetta's trip he informed Netanyahu that Obama demanded that Israel not launch a surprise attack on Iran. The message expressed concern that Israel would cause an escalation in the region and undermine Obama's efforts to improve relations with Tehran.

However, the content was nothing new: The Bush administration also sent tough messages to Jerusalem a year ago, including a demand that it not strike Iran. Israeli officials believe that U.S. foreign policy professionals are vehemently opposed to an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, so this position was transmitted from the previous administration to the present one.

The U.S. expects Israel to coordinate its military actions with Washington, a condition to which Jerusalem has agreed due to its dependence on U.S. aid. The Iranian threat will play a central role in Netanyahu's talks with Obama, Congress and senior U.S. officials during his visit to Washington.

After the premier returns, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will head to Washington for his first visit. Lieberman will head the strategic dialogue between the U.S. and Israel, which will focus on Iran.

There may be "some differences in approach" between the White House and Netanyahu, the Israeli leader's national security adviser acknowledged ahead of a highly anticipated meeting between the two Monday.

"There are many hurdles on the road to living side by side in peace with the Palestinians," continued Uzi Arad, pointing to the takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007 by the Hamas terrorist organization.

"That is the presence of a huge terrorist infrastructure that was put in place, established precisely at the time when Israel evacuated Gaza and allowed the Palestinians to rule themselves," he said.

Arad, a close Netanyahu aide, said the threat posed by Iran will be central to the discussions. "This is an existential matter," he said. "Iran is constantly advancing toward a nuclear capability, and joint efforts with the [Obama] administration to prevent this will be at the center of the discussion."

Iran Presidential Hopeful, 12, Wants to Move Israel to Hawaii

By Ha'aretz

A 12-year-old Iranian schoolboy who hopes to unseat hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has vowed that, if elected, he will resettle Israelis in Hawaii, The Scotsman reported.

"I will buy Hawaii, Obama's birthplace, from the United States and lease it to the Israelis who will go to live there - so that they don't kill children in Gaza," the Scottish daily quoted presidential candidate Kourosh Mozouni as saying. The paper said Mozouni made the comments to reporters after he turned up to register holding his father's hand and waving a written campaign manifesto.

Mozouni also plans to ban computer games and boost the wages of Iranian fathers so that mothers do not have to work, the paper reported.

According to The Scotsman, dozens of eccentrics register to contest the presidential elections every four years, brightening the otherwise deadly serious event until they are inevitably banned from running.

Meanwhile, a reformist challenger to Ahmadinejad has criticized the hard-liner's denial of the Holocaust, saying it has served Israel's interests and pushed the country deeper into international isolation, a newspaper reported Saturday.

Advisor: Netanyahu Sees Iran as Amalek


An advisor to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has compared Netanyahu's attitude towards Iran to the traditional Jewish view of Amalek, the ultimate enemy which must be destroyed.

Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, writing in the New York Times Op-Ed section Saturday, said that Netanyahu is not bluffing with regard to the possibility of Israel attacking Iran. "His preoccupation with the Iranian nuclear program seems sincere and deeply felt," Goldberg writes. "I recently asked one of his advisers to gauge for me the depth of Mr. Netanyahu's anxiety about Iran. His answer: 'Think Amalek.'"

While Netanyahu is a non-observant Jew, the evocation of Amalek by an aide to could be a hint that some religious feeling is nonetheless coloring the Israeli government's view of the Iranian threat.

Amalek is a nation that wished to wipe out the Jews. It was the first to make war against Israel, attacking the rear guard of the Israelites on their deliverance from Egypt. Jewish tradition holds that the Amalekites are the undying enemy of the Jews. It also showed the way to the other nations as to how to destroy Israel.

Though no identifiable Amalekites remain in the world, the Torah commands the Jews to wipe out every last vestige of the evil that Amalek represents. Every year, when the Torah passage known as Zachor is read, Jews stream to their synagogues to hear the verse, " 'Remember what Amalek did to you on the way, upon your departure from Egypt'... 'You shall erase the memory of Amalek from beneath the heavens, you shall not forget.'."

Goldberg also quotes "friends and advisers" of Netanyahu who say that he took three lessons from his brother Yonatan's death, in the heroic raid on Entebbe in 1976: "The first is that those who threaten Jews, and have the means to carry out their threats, should be neutralized pre-emptively. The second is that no one will defend the Jews except the Jews themselves. The third is that destiny has chosen the Netanyahus to expose and battle anti-Semitism — before it reaches the point of genocide."

Dershowitz: Prosecute Ahmadinejad Over 'Incitement to Genocide'

By Ha'aretz

Leading American Jewish attorney and civil libertarian Alan Dershowitz on Friday called for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be prosecuted for "incitement to genocide." He presented his case in a post published on the Weblog of Canadian newspaper the National Post.

Dershowitz, who is well-known as a defender of free speech, argued - using the example of Ahmadinejad - that incitement to genocide should be criminalized because it is an instruction rather than an idea to be debated. "It is closely analogous to the incitements to genocide that have been punished in Rwanda," Dershowitz wrote of the Iranian president's continuous references to Israel's destruction.

Ahmadinejad has called for Israel's elimination in the past, although his exact remarks have been disputed. Some translators say he has called for Israel to be wiped off the map. Others say a better translation would be vanish from the pages of time - implying Israel would disappear on its own rather than be destroyed.

"It is the equivalent of a military order given by a commander to his troops or by a mafia don to his soldiers," Dershowitz wrote in the blog post. "It is to be followed without question or dissent. In this respect it is the antithesis of freedom of speech, the opposite of the marketplace of ideas. It closes off discussion, debate and dissent."

`The Producers' Wins Rave Reviews on German Debut

By Israel Faxx News Services

The Producers", the raucous Broadway hit featuring SS men dancing in swastika formation and the rousing song "Springtime for Hitler." scored rave reviews over the weekend after its Berlin premiere.

Although the Nazi send-up, which has taken in more than $1 billion (730 million Euros) worldwide, has been staged in translation in Hitler's birthplace Austria, as well as in Tel Aviv, backers hesitated to take it to Germany.

And even before the cast arrived in Berlin from Vienna, promotional banners resembling Nazi red-white-and-black flags on the theater facade prompted angry calls to the police -- even though the illegal swastikas had been replaced with pretzels.

According to reviews of Friday's debut however, the answer to the question posed widely in the German press -- "Can Berlin laugh at Hitler?" -- was answered with a resounding "yes."

"If you do not like jokes about Nazis, sex, old women, gays, blonds, performing artists and their audience, then you had better stay at home," said reviewer Rafael Seligmann, writing in the tabloid Berliner Zeitung. "But if you love in-your-face, irreverent slapstick, then you should see "The Producers,"" he said, adding that the premiere had played to enthusiastic crowds. "A gay Adolf Hitler who sings and dances. A laughable figure. And what did Berliners do? They laughed at him! Finally," he added.

Another reviewer -- Christoph Stoelzl writing in the Berlin Morgenpost -- said: "The enormous applause when the first preview ended, as well as the continuous shrieks and squeals and laughs during the scenes, suggest that people will be streaming to Berlin's Admiralpalast."

"What could be funnier than a gay Hitler?" asked Eleonore Buening in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The plot of the musical revolves around two Jewish con artists on Broadway who figure that with a scam, they can make more money staging a flop show than a hit so they set out to develop the worst play of all time. But the result, "Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp With Eva and Adolf at Berchtesgaden", is taken for a brilliant satire by the New York theater crowd.

During the show, a camp Hitler sings "Heil Myself," iron crosses dangle from dancing girls' bustiers and the leg-swinging chorus line are clad as storm troopers -- hence the concern about Germans' reactions.

Summing up the anxieties, Seligmann asks: "Can we really do that? Laugh about Hitler?" He answers himself: "Not only should we laugh about Hitler. We must laugh about him. Especially in Berlin."

Israel's Jewish-Arab Duo Finishes 16th in Eurovision Final

By Ha'aretz

Israel's Jewish-Arab singing duo, Achinoam Nini and Mira Awad, came up short Saturday in their bid to bring Israel its fourth Eurovision victory, finishing in 16th place. (

Favorite Norway, represented by Alexander Rybak with the song "Fairytale," blew away the 25-nation field to win with a record 387 points.

Israel finished with 53 points, winning points from 10 of the 42 voting countries. France awarded Israel 10 points, while Belgium and Bosnia-Herzegovina gave Israel eight points. Andorran, Estonian and Slovakian voters also rated the Israeli duo highly. Israel won the tournament in 1978, 1979 and 1998.

Despite hopes of success in Israel, the pair was a long shot from the start. Most British bookmakers offered around 150-1 on Israel to win the song contest, with only Croatia rated lower.

Nini and Awad won a place in the finals on Tuesday night, when they performed the song "There Must be Another Way" in English, Hebrew and Arabic, competing against 17 other artists.

The choice of a Jewish-Arab team to represent Israel at the competition had sparked criticism and debate with a gravity that couldn't be further from the Eurovision competition itself, a festival of flamboyant pop and unapologetic kitsch.

Nini, a regular on the world music scene known internationally as Noa, and Awad, a local actress and singer, were selected by Israel's national broadcasting authority. Their selection came a day after Israel launched its Gaza offensive in December to halt rocket fire by Hamas militants.

Awad, who is the first Arab ever to represent Israel at the competition, was criticized for agreeing to go and became the subject of a petition organized by Israeli Arab artists who said sending her and Nini, a veteran peace activist, was a deliberate attempt to portray Israel as something it is not.

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