Newsletter : 10fx0611.txt
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Israel: There Was No Aid on the Mavi Marmara
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed Israel's representatives the world over
that there were never any humanitarian supplies or equipment aboard the Turkish ship Mavi
Marmara, where Israeli commandos were ambushed by armed mercenaries posing as peace
activists on May 31st.
As of June 7, Israel had only offloaded equipment from the Defeny, one of the four
freighters taking part in the flotilla trying to break the Gaza naval blockade. The
equipment offloaded was loaded onto 26 trucks, and an additional eight trucks are waiting
at the Kerem Shalom crossing to enter Gaza.
Israel Lobbied China to Support New UN Sanctions on Iran
By Luis Ramirez (VOA-Jerusalem)
In the months leading up to the U.N. Security Council's vote imposing new sanctions on
Iran, Israel had been working to convince China, one of the council's permanent members,
to vote for the measure. Israel argued that Tehran's nuclear program poses a threat to
the oil supplies that Beijing needs to fuel its economy.
Israel on Thursday praised the U.N. Security Council's decision to impose new sanctions
on Iran, calling the action important and useful.
Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told VOA that swaying China was a very
high priority. "Since China has a very intense and ramified economic relationship with
Iran, it was very important to have China on board not just for the credibility of the
resolution but also for its implementation."
Some Israeli officials, speaking anonymously, have disclosed details of a meeting
between a high-level Israeli delegation and Chinese officials in Beijing in February.
The New York Times quoted one Israeli official as saying the Chinese appeared unmoved
when the Israelis spoke with them about the potential damage to China's economy if Israel
carried out an air attack on Iran. However, the Israeli official added the Chinese
"really sat up in their chairs" when the Israelis described how such an air strike would
disrupt oil supplies to China.
Iran is a major petroleum supplier to China, which depends heavily on oil imports to
fuel its economic growth.
East Asian Studies Professor Yitzhak Schichor at Hebrew University has written
extensively about China's international energy policy and has advised Israel's government
on Chinese affairs. He says Beijing has for some time viewed the possibility of Israeli
air strikes on Iran as dangerous.
"There could be a kind of military action. The Chinese cannot rule out this
possibility," noted Schichor. "And the price that China is going to pay for the
disruption of its vital interests in the Gulf, in Iran, in my view, is too high. And I
think this is one reason, maybe, why China decided to support sanctions, or certainly not
to oppose them."
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for the elimination of the
It may never be known if Israel's efforts influenced China's vote on sanctions, but it
highlights Israel's tenacious efforts to sway international decisions in the face of what
it sees as an existential threat from Iran.
While welcoming the sanctions, Israel says it will not rule out military action against
Iran if the sanctions are not implemented.
Turkey Invites Nasrallah, Who Fears IDF will Kill Him En Route
Turkey's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has reportedly invited senior Hizbullah
terrorist Hassan Nasrallah to Ankara. However, Nasrallah fears the IDF will assassinate
him if he emerges from the hiding places in Lebanon he has been in since the Second
Lebanon War. Iran may therefore provide security for Nasrallah, Kuwaiti paper Al-Siyasa
Not only is Erdogan to meet Nasrallah, but he is apparently to do so in accordance with
advice from Hamas' leader, Khaled Mashaal. Mashaal recently told Erdogan that a meeting
with Nasrallah would increase his popularity in the Arab street, Al-Siyasa claimed.
Nasrallah is reported to be pleased with the invitation. However, while he hopes to
respond to Erdogan's invitation in the affirmative, the Hizbullah chief apparently fears
that a trip to Ankara could give Israel an opportunity to assassinate him.
In order to safely visit Turkey, Nasrallah will receive aid from Iran's Revolutionary
Guard. Both Iran and Hizbullah will ask Turkey to allow armed Revolutionary Guard soldiers
onto Turkish territory in order to provide security.
Turkey has grown increasingly hostile to Israel under Erdogan's rule. Erdogan harshly
criticized Israel following the early 2009 Cast Lead counter-terror offensive, and soon
afterward canceled joint Turkish-Israeli military exercises while conducting joint
exercises with Syria. A series on Turkish TV depicted Israeli soldiers kidnapping babies
and murdering innocent Arab children in cold blood.
In March 2010, Erdogan told Arab media that sites such as the Temple Mount and the Tomb
of the Patriarchs had never been Jewish, and said PA Arab demands were "top priority" for
In May, Turkey backed the Gaza-bound flotilla that included the Mavi Marmara, despite
the IHH's known ties to Islamic terrorism. The resulting incident last week, in which
Israeli soldiers clashed with members of the IHH aboard the Mavi Marmara, raised concerns
over Turkey's increasing hostility to Israel and friendship with Gaza and Iran. The
invitation to Nasrallah would be yet another Turkish step away from Israel and toward
Children's Book Finds Note of Hope in Israeli Conflict
By Israel Faxx News Services
At a summer camp in north-central Israel, Israeli Jewish and Israeli Palestinian
children come together for two weeks to talk, learn, and play. This camp, documented in
the upcoming children's book "Sharing Our Homeland" provides a reminder of what is
possible with a foundation of mutual respect and a willingness to learn about others.
"Sharing Our Homeland" (http://tinyurl.com/236k4wy) 48 pp. LEE & LOW BOOKS, ISBN 978-1-58430-260-5 $19.95, which will be released on June 26, follows two children, an Israeli Jewish boy and an Israeli Palestinian girl, as they spend two weeks together at summer camp, proving that if people can be taught to hate, they can also be taught to respect and understand one another.
The book, written by Trish Marx and photographed by Cindy Karp, takes readers to
Menashe Summer Peace Camp in north-central Israel, where Israeli Palestinian and Israeli
Jewish children come together to talk, learn, and play. At the end of each summer, campers
walk away with respect for their neighbors and a better understanding of what their
homeland means to both sides. "It's a camp that can change perspectives, futures, and
perhaps the future of a country," said Marx.
Although this "from-the-ground-up" approach often does not receive much attention, it
presents a hopeful alternative to the bleak prospect of ever-escalating violence in and
around Israel. For both children and adults disheartened by the flotilla incident, the
book is said to be a much-needed reminder of what is possible with a foundation of mutual
respect and a willingness to learn about others.
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