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Ahmadinejad: West is Emptying Clouds


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that, "Climatic changes during the last year in Europe and Asia are a result of the emptying of rain clouds initiated by European countries, which caused an abundance of rain there and dryness in Iran and the region."

The IRNA news agency, which carried Ahmadinejad's words, said he made them during the dedication of a dam and that he intends to take legal action against the practice to prevent its continuation.

Obama: Palestine-Israel Solution Must Be Based on 1967 Borders; West Bank and Gaza Areas Must be 'Contiguous'

By VOA News

President Barack Obama said Thursday that lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians must be based on two states, with Israel in its 1967 borders, with conditions. In a major speech on U.S /Mideast policy, the president prodded both sides to return to negotiations.

(The full video can be seen at

Obama has endorsed a key Palestinian demand that a Palestinian state should be based on borders as they existed before the 1967 Six-Day War. "The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states" and that "The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state."

A statement from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called the U.S. policy shift "indefensible." Obama hosts the Israeli leader at the White House on Friday, in what is sure to be a contentious meeting.

The president devoted the final portion of his 46-minute speech to the continuing failure to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which have been stalled since last September. "Now, ultimately, it is up to the Israelis and Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them - not by the United States, not by anybody else. But endless delay will not make the problem go away."

The president had blunt talk for both sides. He warned the Palestinians that what he called "efforts to delegitimize Israel" would end in failure. And Obama cautioned the status quo is unsustainable and Israel must also act boldly to advance the peace process.

He said that what he called "the wrenching and emotional issues of the future of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees" still wait to be resolved….But moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair, and that respects the rights and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians."

The president also acknowledged the complication presented recently by the unification of the Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas. The United States and Israel consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization.

"How can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist? In the weeks and months to come, Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer to that question. Meanwhile, the United States, our Quartet partners, and the Arab states will need to continue every effort to get beyond the current impasse."

After the speech, Hamas accused Obama of deception and favoritism toward Israel.

Israel Expects Obama to Take Back `1967 Lines' Demand


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was quick on the draw Thursday in voicing clear displeasure with President Barack Obama's Mideast policy speech. "Israel appreciates President Obama's commitment to peace," the response began, curtly. "Israel believes that for peace to endure between Israelis and Palestinians, the viability of a Palestinian state cannot come at the expense of the viability of the one and only Jewish state."

That is why Netanyahu expects to hear a reaffirmation from Obama of U.S. commitments made to Israel in 2004, which were overwhelmingly supported by both Houses of Congress."

"Among other things," Netanyahu reminded Obama, "those commitments relate to Israel not having to withdraw to the 1967 lines which are both indefensible and which would leave major Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria beyond those lines.

"Those commitments also ensure Israel's well-being as a Jewish state by making clear that Palestinian refugees will settle in a future Palestinian state rather than in Israel.

"Without a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem outside the borders of Israel, no territorial concession will bring peace. Equally, the Palestinians, and not just the United States, must recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and any peace agreement with them must end all claims against Israel."

Netanyahu will make clear that the defense of Israel requires an Israeli military presence along the Jordan River. He will also express his disappointment over the Palestinian Authority's decision to embrace Hamas, a terror organization committed to Israel's destruction, as well as over Mahmoud Abbas' recently expressed views which grossly distort history and make clear that Abbas seeks a Palestinian state in order to continue the conflict with Israel rather than end it."

Netanyahu said on Thursday Israel would object to any withdrawal to "indefensible" borders, adding he expected Washington to allow it to keep major settlement blocs in any peace deal.

Unity Between PA and Hamas is a Devastating Blow to Peace.

By Michael B. Oren (Israel's Ambassador to the U.S)

The world shared the American people's gratitude for the Special Forces who rid us of Osama bin Laden, but there was one flagrant exception.

"We condemn the assassination of an Arab holy warrior," declared Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of the Hamas regime in Gaza, who also deplored "the continuing American policy … of shedding Muslim blood."

This is the same Hamas that has launched hundreds of suicide bombers and thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians. Hamas terrorists have held Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, in solitary confinement for nearly five years without a single Red Cross visit. And just last month, they fired an antitank rocket at an Israeli school bus, killing 16-year-old Daniel Viflic. Such atrocities have affected the lives of all Israelis. My own sister-in-law, Joan Davenny, a visiting teacher from New Haven riding on a bus to Hebrew University in Jerusalem, was murdered by a Hamas bomber.

In spite of these scars, we still seek the creation of a Palestinian state that will live side by side with Israel in mutual recognition, security and respect. This is of paramount interest to Israel. We are willing to make painful sacrifices to achieve it and to put forth new ideas for advancing the peace process. And the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, we hoped, would be our partner.

But Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to negotiate with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, listing a number of preconditions that have never before been demanded by Palestinian leaders and that could never be met by any Israeli government. Instead, he revealed his plan to declare Palestinian statehood unilaterally, without making peace, a violation of treaties with both Israel and the United States. In a recent Newsweek interview, he criticized President Obama for failing to live up to Palestinian expectations and for mishandling the peace process. Then, last week, Abbas signed a unity pact with Hamas, an Iranian proxy, dealing a devastating blow to peace.

Indeed, while the world welcomed Bin Laden's demise, the pact delivered a potent victory to terrorism. Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. Both insist that Hamas cannot be recognized — much less engaged in peace talks — without first renouncing violence, accepting Israel's existence and abiding by all previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has stressed that without meeting these conditions, "We will not deal with, nor in any way fund, a Palestinian government that includes Hamas." The pact also jeopardizes the progress in Palestinian institution-building and economic development achieved by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, whom Hamas bitterly opposes.

Israel does not object to Palestinian unity. On the contrary, we want to negotiate with a Palestinian leadership that speaks for its people in both the West Bank and Gaza. "I'll negotiate with anyone who wants peace," Netanyahu said, following the pact's signing. But can Israel regard as negotiating partners those who speak of its destruction? How can Israelis interact with an organization whose covenant proclaims that "Israel will exist until Islam obliterates it" and "the Day of Judgment will not come until the Muslims fight and kill the Jews."

The inclusion of Hamas in the Palestinian leadership would seem to put a stop to the already stagnant peace process, but there are still ways to revive it. Under the leadership of the United States and Europe, the international community can uphold the criteria for participation in the process: no terror, recognition of Israel and acceptance of all previous accords. Any attempt to establish a Palestinian state unilaterally must be resisted and Palestinian leaders urged to return to — and remain at — the negotiating table. There, those Palestinian leaders genuinely committed to peace will still find Israeli counterparts and an Israeli public prepared to discuss all the core issues and swiftly conclude a comprehensive agreement.

The pact between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority underscores the need for renewed negotiations now. The Palestinians, along with many Middle East peoples, are at a crossroads. One path turns backward to intolerance and conflict, while the other advances toward freedom and coexistence. The first leads to Bin Laden and his Hamas admirers; the second can still be blazed.

Jewish Self-Defense Training in Upstate NY

By Israel Faxx News Services

Camp Tel Chai is a unique camp experience in North America. It is a two-week Israeli Military style boot camp in the rugged woodlands of Upstate New York.

The camp was conceived in 2006 by a group of freshly discharged Israeli combat soldiers living in the United States as a means of providing average American Jews with the skills necessary to protect their communities against terrorism, crime and natural disasters. They formed Kitat Konenut New York (New York volunteer emergence readiness squad) and have been running the camp every summer since.

Camp Tel Chai recruits highly skilled Israel Defense Force veterans to run its training. Many of these veterans have served in special counter-terror commando units and have participated in numerous engagements in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas.

Camp Tel Chai seeks to provide American Jews with the sense of responsibility that comes with the high professionalism and intensity of IDF combat training. It seeks to build campers mentally and physically to the point that they feel confident in taking personal responsibility for their community in case of an emergency.

A Camp Tel Chai spokesman said, "As proud Americans, we feel it is essential for Jews to express their constitutional right to bear arms. Part of the goal of camp Tel Chai is imbuing our campers with an understand of the importance of individual gun ownership, and much of our training is devoted to teaching responsible gun handling and use. We also provide campers with in-depth knowledge of federal, state, and local gun laws so campers can go home to their communities and purchase their own legal firearms."

The program focuses on both armed and unarmed self defense techniques and provides participants with an array of means to defend oneself and community against a variety of attacks. It also focuses on the legal aspects of self defense, rules of engagement etc. The dates in 2011 will be Wednesday August 10th, through Sunday August 21st.

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