Newsletter : 11fx01120.txt
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Yad Vashem Launching YouTube Channel for Iranians
Yad Vashem announced plans to launch a YouTube Channel in Farsi, the national language
The channel is to be launched in advance of International Day of Commemoration for
Victims of the Holocaust. Yad Vashem currently has YouTube channels in English, Hebrew,
Arabic, Russian and Spanish.
WikiLeaks: U.S. Told Diplomats to Gather Intelligence on Israel, PA
The United States instructed its Middle East diplomats in 2008 to gather data on
encrypted Israeli communications and build financial and "biometric" profiles of
Palestinian leaders, a leaked embassy cable shows.
The secret memorandum, signed by then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and published
by WikiLeaks, suggests the Bush administration fretted about lacking intelligence despite
warm ties to Israel and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.
Citing the needs of U.S. analysts, the Oct.31, 2008 cable presented envoys in Tel Aviv,
Jerusalem and several Arab states with an exhaustive and prioritized list of data
regarding the "Palestinian Issues" being brokered by Washington.
These included "evidence of Government of Israel support for or opposition to actions
to limit and/or reduce settlement and outpost growth" on occupied land where Palestinians
want to establish a state. Settlement growth has been one of the chief obstacles to
negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Written two months before Israel's surprise offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip,
the cable sought "details on Israel Defense Forces operations underway or planned" against
Palestinian militants, "including targeted assassinations and tactics/techniques used by
ground and air units".
Diplomats were asked for a comprehensive overview of Israel's high-tech communications,
from Internet and cell phones to state-run "information repositories associated with radio
frequency identification (RFID)-enabled systems used for passports, government badges, and
The cable sought updates on the movements and private contact details of Israeli
civilian and military officials as well as "biographical, financial and biometric
information on key PA and Hamas leaders and representatives, to include the young guard
inside Gaza, the West Bank and outside".
Hamas Denies Presence of al-Qaida Activists in Gaza
A senior Islamic Hamas leader Wednesday denied Israeli claims that al-Qaida activists
are in the Gaza Strip, claiming Israel was trying to cause antagonism toward Hamas and the
Yuval Diskin, the head of Israel's Shin Bet internal security organization, had told a
Knesset committee on Tuesday that al-Qaida-affiliated activists in the Gaza Strip were
most likely behind some of the latest violence from the coastal enclave. "There are about
500 militant activists that identify with this idea there, and some are in touch with
al-Qaida's regional command," he said.
Hamas official Salah al-Bardaweel however said in a response e-mailed to reporters that
"the aim of the Israeli statements in this respect is to antagonize the West and the world
against Hamas and the Palestinian people.
"Whenever the occupation (Israel) gets into an internal or external political crisis,
it tries to shift attention from what is going on. The Israeli claim to incite the world
and stop its solidarity with our people won't work," he said.
Hamas, which has administered the Gaza Strip since June 2007, reached agreement last
week with terrorist factions in the enclave to stop attacking Israel - reportedly after
Egypt warned the Islamist organization that Israel would launch another offensive if the
attacks did not end.
Neo-Nazi Group Posts Italian 'Influential Jews' List on Website
A U.S.-based international neo-Nazi group of white supremacists has posted a list of
"influential" Italian Jews to its website, the World Jewish Congress warned. The list on
the Italian-language gateway of the "Stormfront" forum website included journalists,
businesspeople, politicians, artists and others.
Italian leaders expressed anger and solidarity with the Jewish community after the list
dubbed a "blacklist of hate" by Italian media appeared on the Internet.
Nicola Zingaretti, president of the Province of Rome, issued a statement saying the
list "reminds us of the most shameful page in our history when, based on similar lists,
thousands of Italians were expelled from schools, universities and workplaces and were
deprived of citizenship and persecuted."
Some 1,200 Italian websites that feature anti-Semitic content currently exist on the
Internet, according to Italy's leading research center on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism,
the Contemporary Jewish Documentation Center. CJDC spokesperson Michele Sarfatti pointed
out, however, "It is very difficult to intervene when the sites have their servers in
Gianni Alemanno, Mayor of Rome, expressed "shame and anger," railing at the authors of
the list, who he said were "ignorant and racist cowards." Italian lawmaker Enrico Gasbarra
called on the European Union to enact legislation that would "put an end, once and for
all, to the possibility of using the Net as a tool of violence and persecution."
PA TV: 'The Rifle is Our Brother'
While Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas insists that the PA wants peace with
Israel, several other senior figures in the PA have assured the public that violence
remains an option.
A video clip created by members of Abbas' Fatah faction and broadcast recently on PA TV declares, "We continue the struggle... We won't throw down our weapons." The music video (http://tinyurl.com/PMWrifle) also contains the line, "We treat the rifle as our brother." It was translated by Palestinian Media Watch.
Similar statements appeared recently in the PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. Fatah
Central Committee member Tawfiq Tirawi told the paper, "Our people will not lay down the
rifle until our land is liberated and the independent Palestinian state arises with
Jerusalem as its capital."
A second Fatah Central Committee member, Nabil Shaath, said, "We are aware that at the
present time it is impossible to return to the armed struggle, despite its being the right
The Governor of Jenin, Qadura Musa, had told Al-Hayat Al-Jadida less than one week
earlier that Fatah remains loyal to its slogan "rebellion until victory." The word
"rebellion," like "resistance," has often been used by the PA to describe terrorism. He
also stated "the rifle will always be independent, and its aim is defense of the
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