Newsletter : 11fx0913.txt
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Neo-Nazi Vandals Deface Poland's Bialystok Cemetery
A group of neo-Nazi vandals has defaced the Bialystok cemetery in eastern Poland, the
second such anti-Semitic attack in the area so far this month.
The vandals rearranged bushes of the site, originally formed into the shape of a Magen
David, or Jewish Star of David. Instead, they formed the bushes into a swastika, police
said, placing them within the original Jewish star.
Cheney: Israel will Bomb Iran Reactor if Need Be
Former US Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that Israel is likely to attack Iran's
nuclear facilities if it proves necessary in order to prevent it from acquiring nuclear
weapons. "I think Iran represents an existential threat, and (Israel) will do whatever
they have to do to guarantee their survival and their security," Cheney told Newsmax TV.
Asked whether he based his prediction on a specific source, Cheney said he cannot
attribute it to any one Israeli source, and "wouldn't want to do that." However, the
former vice president noted he'd had several conversations with top Israeli officials who
"correctly perceive Iran as a basic threat."
Cheney's comments come as Iranian officials kicked off the launch of the Islamic
Republic's 1000-megawatt Bushehr reactor in southern Iran with celebrations and
In his recently released autobiography, "In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir,"
Cheney mentions another state with nuclear ambitions Syria. In an interview with
The New York Times last month, Cheney claimed President George W. Bush rejected his advice
in 2007 to bomb a suspected nuclear reactor site at al-Kibar in Syria, and that he was "a
lone voice" for military action against the country.
According to Cheney, other advisers were reluctant because of "the bad intelligence we
had received about Iraq's stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction" before the 2003
invasion of that country.
Ultimately, it was Israel who bombed the Dair Alzour complex at al-Kibar on Sept. 6,
2007. The following year International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials confirmed the
nature of the al-Kibar site when they reported, "significant natural uranium particles of
In his interview with Newsmax, the former vice president referred to the 10th year
anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, saying "I still worry more than anything else
really about the possibility of a group of terrorists acquiring really deadly
"When we got hit on 9/11 there were 19 guys armed with airline tickets and box cutters.
The next time around I worry they may have a nuclear device or biological agent of some
kind and would be in a position to inflict far greater damage and loss of lives than
anything we experienced on 9/11. I think that's still a very real threat."
Turkey Dispatches 3 Warships to Eastern Mediterranean
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dispatched three warships to the
Eastern Mediterranean to 'defend against Israeli vessels' and ensure 'freedom of
navigation' for his country's ships, Today's Zaman reported.
The move, only the latest in Erdogan's bellicose rhetorical assault on Israel, comes on
the same day he called Israel's boarding of the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara in 2010 "grounds
for war" adding only Turkey's "greatness and patience" had averted conflict.
During the boarding action nine Turkish nationals who participated in a mob that
attempted to lynch the commandos were killed when non-lethal weapons the boarding party
was equipped with as their primary arms proved insufficient to stop the lethal threat
necessitating the use of live fire.
While the UN Palmer Report criticized Israel's use of force resulting in the deaths as
"excessive," it also concluded Israel's blockade of Gaza was "legal and appropriate" under
But Erdogan, whose government has rejected the UN stance in the Palmer Report, insists
Turkish ships will provide protection for ships bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza and
confront Israeli warships outside of Israel's territorial waters if necessary, according
to the report.
State news agency Anatolia released late on Sunday what it said was an original
Turkish-language transcript of an interview Erdogan gave to Al Jazeera television last
It included elements not broadcast as well as original wording for sensitive comments
that had been transmitted only in Arabic translation. "Right now, without a doubt, the
primary duty of Turkish navy ships is to protect its own ships," Erdogan said. "This is
the first step. And we have humanitarian aid that we want to carry there. This
humanitarian aid will not be attacked any more, as it was the case with Mavi Marmara."
Israel's government, however, has said that while it wants to ease tensions with its
former ally it will continue the Gaza-blockade.
The prospect of a Cuban Missile Crisis style showdown at sea with Turkey, a NATO power
and fellow ally of the United States, has led Washington to appeal for restraint and led
to a quiet decision for brinksmanship - and continued enforcement of the blockade - in
Turkey has downgraded diplomatic ties with Israel and halted defense-related trade
after the Jewish state's confirmation last week that it would not apologize for the raid
on the Mavi Marmara in May 2010 in which nine Turks were killed.
Israeli officials have, to date, been divided on how to respond to Turkey. But amid the
diplomatic upheavals of the `Arab Spring,' a spike in terror, Iran's nuclear program, and
the imminent Palestinian Authority statehood bid at the United Nations, Erdogan is just
one more puzzle to solve.
Erdogan previously said that Turkey's "grandeur and patience" prevented it from going
to war with Israel over last year's flotilla clash. In blatantly pompous remarks, Erdogan
insisted the clash was "a cause for war, but we decided to act in line with Turkey's
grandeur and showed patience."
Hamas Distances Itself from PA's UN Statehood Bid
The Palestinian Authority's push to achieve recognition of an independent Palestinian
state in the United Nations has nothing to do with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Hamas
officials said on Monday, adding that the campaign was launched without consulting Hamas
Speaking to the Palestinian Ma'an news agency on Monday, the leaders of several
Palestinian factions voiced differing opinions on the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN,
with both Hamas and Islamic Jihad representatives distancing themselves from the planned
Hamas Gaza strongman Mahmoud Zahar told the Palestinian news agency that the UN push
did not represent the Hamas-ruled Strip, saying that no one "asked the people in Gaza to
take to the streets showing solidarity with the so-called September bid."
"If the Palestinian Authority calls for that, we will oppose it because they detain
people in the West Bank. How can I give them the right to demonstrate in Gaza, while they
do not give us that right in the West Bank?" Zahar asked.
Last month, senior Fatah officials claimed that Abbas had chosen to cool off his
recently signed unity deal with Hamas, citing Western opposition to the surprise turn in
the factions' long-standing feud.
"President Abbas was surprised by the international opposition to the reconciliation
with Hamas, so he decided to slow down at least until September," the Palestinian official
said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss official
"Now, with all efforts focused on September, we want all voices to be with us," he
said. "We are not giving the Americans or anyone else a reason to shun us because of the
reconciliation or anything else."
The unity deal was struck in May after Palestinian youth, inspired by the revolts
against entrenched Arab autocracies, took to the streets calling for unification of the
dueling governments in the West Bank and Gaza.
Another dissenting voice to the PA's campaign speaking with Ma'an on Monday came from
Islamic Jihad spokesman Dawood Shihab, who said the "move needs to be studied to make sure
it will not ignore major issues such as the right of return, and the future of the
Palestine Liberation Organization as a umbrella for the whole Palestinian people."
However, other Palestinian factions, such as The Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine and The Palestinian National Initiative, supported the PA-led move, saying it
was the last chance for Palestinians to reach statehood with the failure of peace talks
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine has announced its support for the UN
campaign. "We support the Palestinian leadership's plan to go to the UN because that is a
natural right of the Palestinians and part of the political battle against Israeli
occupation," Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine strongman Kayid al-Ghoul told
Al-Ghoul also said that he felt the UN statehood bid would mark the end of peace talks
with Israel, instead urging the formation of an international Mideast peace process
"Regardless of the outcome, this step should be part of the political battle we fight
against occupation. It will also be an opportunity to enlarge the circle of solidarity
with the Palestinian people's rights, and to expose Israel's policies and the supportive
US policy," al-Ghoul told Ma'an.
Mustafa Barghouti, leader of The Palestinian National Initiative called the UN push
"the last option for two states," adding that the "time has come for an alternative. There
is no space or place for talks. We won't be slaves to apartheid for the rest of our
lives," Barghouti added, saying, "If South Sudan could get statehood in 48 hours, then
Palestinians should get it."
Israeli Man to Give Birth
A 24-year-old man shocked medical staff in central Israel Sunday after walking into an
emergency room and informing doctors that he underwent a sex change operation and is now
pregnant, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.
The man, who was born as a woman, is the first Israeli transgender to ever be pregnant.
He is married to a man and is in the seventh month of pregnancy.
"Everyone was in shock," said a patient at the hospital who was in the emergency room
when the man walked in. "He looked like a man in every way and insisted that medical staff
address him as a male." The man was reportedly sporting a goatee.
The pregnant man, who asked that his identity remain secret, has been taking hormones
that have made his appearance manlier. Some three years ago, he underwent a breast-removal
surgery in the United States. However, he chose to leave his productive organs intact,
thereby paving the way for the current pregnancy.
The man's friends say that he often volunteers to help teenagers who are confused about
their sexual orientation and identity.
Following a medical examination, the man was released from hospital Sunday. Doctors
apparently ruled that the pregnancy is proceeding as planned.
According to estimates, in Israel only 1 of every 400,000 women seeks to become a man.
The sex change operation usually includes the removal of the female sex organs and
construction of a penis.
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