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EU Urges Equality in Israel

By VOA News

The European Union has urged the Israeli government to guarantee the equality of all of its citizens. The statement Tuesday comes a day after Palestinian officials rejected Israel's proposal to renew a settlement construction freeze in the West Bank on condition that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said that Israel and a future Palestinian state will need to provide equal rights for all of their citizens, whether Arab or Jewish.


Poll: America Supports Israel, Rejects Obama's Policies

By IsraelNationalNews.com

A poll conducted by McLaughlin and Associates has found that the majority of American adults support Israel, and oppose President Barack Obama's Middle East Policy. While a majority of just over 50% expressed approval of Obama's work in office, more expressed disapproval than approval of his handling of American-Israel relations.

Those polled expressed support for Israeli positions. 50.9% said Jerusalem should remain Israel's undivided capital, compared to just 20.4% who disagreed. 77.9% said that Palestinian Authority leaders should recognize Israel as the Jewish state, compared to just 6% who said they should not.

A majority of 57.2% said Arab terrorism and denial of Israel's right to exist is primarily responsible for the Arab-Israeli conflict, while just 12.2% cited Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as responsible for the conflict.

More Americans felt a PA state would increase problems in the Middle East than felt a PA state would be a solution. 25.5% said that if a PA state were created, terrorism against Israel would increase, while 18.7% said terror would decrease and 41.2% said it would remain unchanged.

22.1% said the creation of a PA state would increase anti-American sentiment in the Arab world. 15.7% said a PA state would decrease anti-American sentiment, and 50.2% said anti-American sentiment would be unchanged.

51.6% agreed that Obama has been less friendly to Israel than previous presidents, while 35.4% disagreed. 54.4% said they disagree with Obama's policy of publicly criticizing Israel and not the PA, while 27% agree with Obama's actions.

46.5% said they believe Obama's attempt to reach out to the Muslim world has left America less secure, while 33.1% said they believe America is now more secure.

A candidate's image as pro-Israel or anti-Israel could affect elections, the poll found. 52.7% said they were more likely to vote for a candidate they perceive as pro-Israel, while 24% said they are less likely to vote for someone pro-Israel. 53.6% said they would not vote for an anti-Israel candidate even if they agreed with them on other issues, while just 31.6% said they would.

Another finding was a strong concern that America could be the target if Iran obtained nuclear weapons. 49.8% said Iran is at least somewhat likely to attack America if it develops nuclear weapons, while a smaller number, 45.4%, termed such a scenario unlikely. 59.8% expressed support for destroying Iran's nuclear facilities in order to prevent the creation of a nuclear weapon, if sanctions fail.


U.S. Backs Netanyahu: Israel is Jewish State

By YnetNews.com

The US State Department said Tuesday it supports Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. "I'm not making any news here," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told a press conference. "It is a state for the Jewish people. It is a state for other citizens of other faiths as well."

Netanyahu said Monday that Israel would agree to extend a freeze in West Bank settlement construction if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

"What Prime Minister Netanyahu said yesterday is, in essence a core demand of the Israeli government, which we support," Crowley said. "The recognition that Israel is a part of the region – acceptance by the region of the existence of the state of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people – is what they want to see through this negotiation."

Crowley stressed that the US was encouraging the continuation of direct talks. "This is not a one-way street. It is a two-way street. The prime minister is offering something and asking for something. It is perfectly within the rights of the Palestinian Authority and President Abbas to say there's something I need and there's something I'm willing to give," he said.

"We would hope that the Palestinians would do the same thing and, through this ongoing dialogue, we'll gain the commitment on both sides to continue and to resume in these negotiations."


Papal Session on Muslim Terror Starts by Blasting Israelis

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Pope Benedict XVI convened a synod (meeting) of Middle Eastern bishops to discuss the attacks on the Catholic Church in Muslim lands. However, the bishops have been talking more against Israel than about Muslim aggression against Catholics – or at least, it was the anti-Israeli angle that the Associated Press news agency chose to play up.

According to the report, the pope denounced "terrorist ideologies" that spur violence in God's name and said they were based on false gods and should be "unmasked." However, he despite his own advice, he did not "unmask" the ideology threat by specifying that he was talking about Islamic terrorism.

On Monday, the synod's opening day, "attention focused on the decision by Israel to require new citizens to pledge a loyalty oath to a 'Jewish and democratic' state — a bill criticized by Arab Israelis as racist and a provocation," AP reported.

The Coptic Catholic patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt, Antonios Naguib, who is in charge of running the synod, said that the Israeli decision contained a "flagrant contradiction" since Israel likes to call itself "not just the most democratic but the only democratic state in the region."

"You cannot announce, publish and affirm to be a democratic state and a civil democracy then at the same time say 'in our democracy we require such things,'" Naguib said. "In the logic of classic democracies, that doesn't work," he said.

As mentioned above, Benedict summoned the synod in order to discuss the flight of Christians from their homes in the Middle East. In Iraq, for example, Catholics represented almost three percent of the population in 1980, but by 2008 they were less than 1 percent.

Benedict cited "ideological terrorism" as one of the forces that "enslave" men and threaten the world. Attacks on Christian targets and those identified with Western culture grew more frequent in Gaza since the Hamas takeover in June 2007, experts said. The targets have included churches, Christian and United Nations schools, the American International School, libraries and Internet cafes.

Another report said that the PA was encouraging a "sharp 0demographic shift" in Bethlehem, where the Christian population went from a 60% majority in 1990 to being about 15% of the city's total population today.


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