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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 of Iran.

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

By Reuters

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 transportation systems".

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 Palestinians.

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 other countries."

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 ( 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 of Palestinians."

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 Palestinian people."

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