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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 Jewish State.

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 reported Thursday.

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 his government.

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 Iran.

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" ( 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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