Newsletter : 9fax0527.txt
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Israeli Submarine Saves Errant Swimmer
An Israeli submarine saved a swimmer who was swept out nine kilometers away from a
Haifa beach on Tuesday. Soldiers on the submarine noticed the man struggling in the water
far away from land, and pulled him on board.
A naval medic gave the errant swimmer first aid at the scene, after which the navy
transferred him to the beach by a separate ship. The man was sent to the Rambam hospital
to receive further treatment.
Iran Sends Warships Into International Waters
By VOA News
Iranian media said that Iran has sent six warships into international waters, including
the Gulf of Aden, just days after it test-fired a new ballistic missile.
Iranian news agencies and newspapers quote Iran's navy commander, Admiral Habibollah
Sayyari, as announcing the deployment. He said the move shows Iran's ability to deal with
On May 14, Iran said it sent two warships to the Gulf of Aden to protect its vessels in
the region from pirate attacks. It is unclear if those two were part of the six announced
In November, an Iranian-chartered vessel was hijacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of
Aden before being released in January. Iran delivers crude oil through the Strait of
Hormuz - the waterway through which about 40 percent of the world's oil supplies are
shipped. Iran has threatened to block the Strait if it is attacked over its nuclear
About a week ago, Tehran tested a medium-range ballistic missile capable of reaching
Israel, southeastern Europe and U.S. bases in the Middle East. The solid-fuel
surface-to-surface missile is a new version of the Sejil that Iran said it had
successfully tested in November.
The White House said Iran's missile program is of great concern to President Barack
Obama, who is trying to engage Tehran in dialogue. The United States and its allies accuse
Iran of working to produce a nuclear weapon, but Iran maintains that its nuclear program
is to produce electricity.
Salah: Netanyahu will Try to Rebuild the Jewish Temple
By Israel NationalNdews.com
Sheikh Raad Salah, leader of the Northern Wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel,
believes Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will try to rebuild the Jewish Temple.
Speaking at a conference organized by website Islam Online in Doha, Qatar, Salah stated
his belief that Netanyahu may try to build the Jewish Temple which the Islamic
preacher called "the false temple" during his current term after allegedly failing
to do so in his first term as Prime Minister in the late 1990s.
"I ask that those with the power to make the political decision hear me," Salah
exhorted his audience. "Netanyahu is about to build the false Temple, and when the Jews
build the Temple they will do so upon the ruins of the Al-Aqsa [Mosque]."
The danger to Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa mosque is "tangible and immediate," Salah said,
echoing similar dramatic statements he has made over the years. "I warn, I ask for aid and
I call out," he said. "We should expect deadly surprises that could hurt Jerusalem in
general and Al Aqsa in particular," he said. "We live in years that will determine if
Jerusalem survives and in Al Aqsa will remain standing."
Salah said that in an effort to prepare world opinion for the realization of its goals
in Jerusalem, Israel sends tourists to the Al Aqsa mosque and tells them that it was built
upon the ruins of the Jewish Temple.
The solution to "the threat against Jerusalem," according to Salah, is a complete
mobilization of the Arab world, including the religious imams, who need to act and
"recruit the masses." He asked Muslim scholars to pronounce edicts that will force "the
Muslim nation and its leaders to confront their duty towards the problem of Jerusalem and
Al Aqsa. A thousand politicians can talk without changing a thing. One religious sage can
do what the politicians cannot carry out."
The Jewish Temple was first built by King Solomon about 3,000 years ago. It served as
the spiritual center of the Hebrew nation and as a place of national pilgrimage and
sacrifice. Serviced by the priestly class (Kohanim) and Levites, the Temple contained the
Seven-Branched Menorah and housed the golden Holy Ark within a room known as the Holy of
The First Temple was razed by Babylonian conquerors, rebuilt by Jews by permission of a
Persian emperor, defiled by Greeks and then re-consecrated by the Hasmoneans, and burnt
down again by Romans.
Jewish religion commands the Jews to rebuild the Temple as part of a Divine plan for
the salvation of the Jewish people and the entire world, but Netanyahu, who is not
considered observant, never has associated himself with efforts by Jews to pray on the
Poll: Israelis Split on Preemptive Strike Against Iran
A new poll of Israeli attitudes towards Iran found that the public is evenly split on
forestalling Iranian nuclear weapons development by means of an immediate Israeli
preemptive strike. Of those advocating further diplomacy, 10 percent said that Israel
should engage Iran directly.
Results of the survey, commissioned by the Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv
University, were published on the sidelines of the CIS's annual conference on Iran May
24-25. The polling was conducted earlier this month among 509 adult respondents
representing all Israeli sectors by the Ma'agar Mochot (Brain Trust) research company.
Fifty-one percent of those surveyed expressed support for an immediate Israeli strike
on Iran's nuclear sites, while 49 percent believe that Israel should wait for the results
of U.S. engagement with Iran before pursuing alternative paths to preventing a
At the same time, a clear majority of the Israeli public (74 percent), including those
advocating a wait-and-see approach, does not believe that American engagement will
persuade Iran to change its course. A full 81 percent believe that Iran will, in fact,
attain a nuclear bomb.
A further breakdown of the statistics shows that majority support for a preemptive
attack on Iran is to be found among male, national-religious and haredi religious Israelis
(61, 62 and 60 percent, respectively). A major difference exists between right-wing and
left-wing Israelis regarding the appropriate Israeli policy, with 38 percent of those
leaning to the left favoring attack, as opposed to 63 percent of those leaning to the
CIS Director Professor David Menashri commented on the poll results, observing, "The
violent language used by [Iranian] President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad and his assertion of
wiping Israel from the pages of history, in addition to Iranian advancement of its nuclear
and ballistic programs, has created a real concern among Israelis. The Israeli public
statements and talk of 'existential threat' used by Israeli leaders to alert the world of
its concern could only add to popular anxiety. Still, I think it is important to note that
half of the population surveyed still believe a diplomatic venue should be used."
Menashri noted that he was "sharply criticized" several years ago for suggesting that
it would be in Israel's interest to engage Iran. The poll results, he believes, clearly
indicate that "the attitude has been changed significantly."
The CIS poll also attempted to determine if Israeli concerns over Iranian nuclear
weapons are sufficient impetus to make Israelis consider emigrating. Seventy percent
rejected the idea of emigration even in the shadow of a nuclear-armed Iran. Survey data
was insufficient to determine what percentage of the remaining 30 percent of respondents
would consider emigrating even without the added threat of Iranian nuclear attack.
Gay Palestinian Requests Israeli Visa
A 30-year-old Palestinian man who has resided in Israel with his partner for the past
seven years has filed a petition with the High Court of Justice asking to prevent his
deportation to the Palestinian territories.
The Palestinian and his partner claim deportation would put him at serious risk of
being arrested and tortured at the hands of Palestinian security forces, as well as
persecution by his extended family because of his sexual orientation and the fact that his
partner is an Israeli.
The petition also says the Palestinian man has been suspected of collaboration with
Israel in the past, which would also put him in harm's way if he is returned to his
Originally from Nablus, the man says he has been harassed in the past by Palestinian
security officers who suspected he had been having an affair with his employer in the West
The couple claim they have appealed numerous times to the Interior Ministry since 2006
in order to gain the status of a common-law couple, however they have not been
The petition says the ministry's decision "is extremely implausible as it has ignored
the evidence regarding the imminent danger homosexuals face within the Palestinian
territories because of their sexual tendencies".
Physicians: Circumcision Could Stymie Risk of AIDS
Male circumcision may prevent at least three diseases that kill millions each year,
according to an article printed in Britain's The Independent.
While it is the world's most common surgical procedure, circumcision ignites no
shortage of controversy, with discussions on the practice frequently devolving into
arguments over religious political, cultural, and ethnic grounds.
While some health benefits have been agreed upon in the past, for the most part doctors
have not considered the procedure necessary across the board and have left the
controversial issue up to the parents.
Three randomized, controlled trials held in South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda between
2005 and 2007 found that male circumcision reduced the risk of contracting HIV by 50 to 60
percent, according to the Independent.
The finding has led to the development of programs offering circumcision in a handful
of African countries, with the backing of the World Health Organization, says The
New evidence has reportedly found that circumcision can also reduce the chances of
contracting Human Papilloma Virus (HPV - the leading cause of cervical cancer of women) by
35 percent and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV - which causes herpes) by 25 percent.
While less publicized, HPV and HSV are global health problems that affect far more
people than HIV.
The Independent cites an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine which calls
the findings "a call to action" for societies to take a hard look at the advice doctors
give patients on circumcision. The American Academy of Pediatrics has decided to launch a
taskforce to review its circumcision policy as an early step in what may be a growing
approach to the report's findings, according to The Independent.
While Jewish and Muslim men undergo nearly universal circumcision as ritual, the
overall rate of circumcision for American men stands at only 65 percent, a number
nonetheless high when compared to the United Kingdom, which has a rate of 16 percent.
Worldwide, around 30 percent of men are circumcised, according to The Independent. "To
carry out 300,000 [circumcisions] a year in the UK on the NHS [the annual number of male
births] would be a huge cost - money which could be used for other things," the article
quotes U.K. Royal College of Pediatrics President Professor Terence Stephenson as
Stephenson said he would advise parents on the benefits of circumcision if they asked,
but would also point out what he calls the drawbacks, which include "discomfort caused by
the procedure, the need for antibiotics and, rarely, complications such as bleeding."
Barry Evans, a specialist in sexually transmitted infections at the U.K Health
Protection Agency, admitted that while circumcision "has a real possibility of denting the
AIDS epidemic in Africa," the matter is far more volatile than most health issues.
"Some people view it as tantamount to child abuse while others say that not to do it
amounts to child neglect and that it should be regarded like vaccination. Very few say
let's look at the evidence, weigh it up and decide if it is worthwhile," The Independent
quotes Evans as saying.
"There is a clear medical benefit to circumcision and if parents are considering the
procedure for religious or other reasons, these should not be downplayed," Evans
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