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Kerry, Israel's Netanyahu to Meet in Rome for Mideast Talks Print
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FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (l) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (l) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.



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Palestinian Official Killed in Clash With Israeli Troops Kerry: Israeli, Palestinian Status Quo Unsustainable Israel's Livni Joins Opposition Chief to Challenge PM in Election Amnesty: Israel Committed War Crimes in Gaza Bombings Reuters
December 10, 2014 5:49 PM

WASHINGTON—
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Rome on Sunday for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on developments in Israel and the West Bank, the State Department said on Wednesday.

"John Kerry will travel to Rome on Sunday to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu on developments in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem and region," department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Twitter.

The talks come as Israeli politicians campaign ahead of March elections.

Psaki said the meeting will include discussions on various proposals at the United Nations to create a Palestinian state.

Jordan circulated a Palestinian-drafted resolution to the 15-member council last month calling for Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory to end by November 2016.

France, Britain and Germany are also drafting a resolution.

"There are a growing number of countries that are pushing for action on this issue at the U.N.," Psaki said, adding: "This warrants discussion with Israel, the Palestinians and key members of the international community."

Palestinians seek statehood in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and blockaded Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as their capital. All three areas were captured by Israel in the 1967 war.

Israel accepts the "two-state solution" of an independent and democratic Palestinian state alongside Israel, but has not accepted the 1967 pre-war borders as the basis for final negotiations, citing security and other concerns.

Meanwhile, tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority escalated on Wednesday after a Palestinian minister died shortly after an Israeli border policeman shoved and grabbed him by the throat during a protest in the West Bank.

Psaki said the United States was "deeply concerned" over the death of Ziad Abu Ein, a minister without portfolio, and called for a swift, fair and transparent investigation of his death.

Abu Ein was convicted of killing two young Israelis in a bomb attack in 1979 and released as part of a prisoner swap in 1985.











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Israel indicts American over plot to bomb Muslims
Adam Everett Livvix, 30, told investigators he had been weighing the possibility of attacking Muslim holy sites in Israel - According to indictment, Livvix conspired with his roommate, an IDF soldier, to steal explosives from the military.

News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

Adam Everett Livvix

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An American Christian from Texas was indicted in Israel earlier this week on weapons charges and told Israeli investigators he had been weighing the possibility of attacking Muslim holy sites in Israel, the Shin Bet security agency said on Tuesday.

The Shin Bet and the Justice Ministry identified the suspect as 30-year-old Adam Everett Livvix, and said he was wanted in the United States on drug charges.

Livvix, who was arrested on Nov. 19, was charged on Monday with conspiring with his roommate, an IDF soldier, to steal 1.4 kilograms (3 pounds) of explosives from the military. When police came to arrest Livvix, he initially tried to escape by leaping down to a patio on the floor below.

The Israeli authorities said an undercover police agent discovered the alleged plot and that ammunition and weapons material stolen from the army were found in Livvix's possession.

A gag order on details of the case, being heard in a court in the central Israeli city of Netanya, was lifted on Tuesday.

"Under questioning, Livvix admitted ... he had weighed various ideas about committing terrorist attacks at different venues and even gave preliminary thought to the possibility of attacking venues [of] Islamic holy places in Israel," the Shin Bet said.

The Justice Ministry said Livvix underwent a psychiatric evaluation on Tuesday after his indictment the previous day.

According to Israeli authorities, Livvix arrived in the region in 2013, living first in the Palestinian Authority, before residing illegally in Israel.

Israel Police said Livvix, who passed himself off as an ex-U.S. Navy SEAL, once received an offer from a unnamed Palestinian to assassinate U.S. President Barack Obama with a sniper rifle during the leader's visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority in March 2013. Livvix declined, but the FBI ended up involved in the case investigating his actions.

Later that year, Livvix entered Israel, the Justice Ministry said, and told Israeli friends he had strong anti-Arab sentiments. The ministry said Livvix later cooperated with his roommate, an IDF soldier, to obtain explosives to blow up unidentified Muslim holy sites. The ministry said police discovered the plot in October.




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'CIA used Israeli Supreme Court precedents to justify torture'
Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report cites "Israeli example" as legal justification for cases where "torture was necessary to prevent imminent, significant, physical harm to persons, where there is no other available means to prevent the harm."

Yoni Hirsch, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

The extensive report catalogued the use of ice baths, death threats, shackling in the cold and much more | Photo credit: AFP

The CIA misled the White House and public about its torture of detainees after the Sept. 11 attacks and acted more brutally and pervasively than it acknowledged, a U.S. Senate report said on Tuesday, drawing calls to prosecute American officials.

The report also revealed that American legal experts based their justifications for torture in extreme cases on precedent rulings by the Israeli Supreme Court. According to a draft memorandum prepared by the CIA's Office of General Counsel, the "Israeli example" was cited as a possible justification for "ticking time bombs" where "torture was necessary to prevent imminent, significant, physical harm to persons, where there is no other available means to prevent the harm."

The Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report, years in the making, accused the CIA of misleading its political masters about what it was doing with its "black site" captives and deceiving Americans about the effectiveness of its techniques.

The report released Tuesday was the first public accounting of tactics employed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and it described far harsher actions than had been widely known.

Tactics included confinement to small boxes, weeks of sleep deprivation, simulated drowning, slapping and slamming, and threats to kill, harm or sexually abuse families of the captives.

U.S. President Barack Obama declared some of the past practices to be "brutal, and as I've said before, constituted torture in my mind. And that's not who we are," he told the Spanish-language TV network Telemundo in an interview.

Obama said releasing the report was important "so that we can account for it, so that people understand precisely why I banned these practices as one of the first acts I took when I came into office, and hopefully make sure that we don't make those mistakes again."

President George W. Bush approved the program through a covert finding in 2002, but he wasn't briefed by the CIA about the details until 2006. At that time Bush expressed discomfort with the "image of a detainee, chained to the ceiling, clothed in a diaper and forced to go to the bathroom on himself."

The report produced revulsion among many, challenges to its veracity among some lawmakers and a sharp debate about whether it should have been released at all.

Republican Sen. John McCain, tortured in Vietnam as a prisoner of war, was out of step with some fellow Republicans in welcoming the report and endorsing its findings.

"We gave up much in the expectation that torture would make us safer," he said in a Senate speech. "Too much."

Five hundred pages were released, representing the executive summary and conclusions of a still-classified 6,700-page full investigation.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic committee chairman whose staff prepared the summary, branded the findings a stain on U.S. history.

"Under any common meaning of the term, CIA detainees were tortured," she declared, commanding the Senate floor for an extended accounting of the techniques identified in the investigation.

The report catalogued the use of ice baths, death threats, shackling in the cold and much more. Three detainees faced the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding. Many developed psychological problems.

But the "enhanced interrogation techniques" didn't produce the results that really mattered, the report asserts in its most controversial conclusion. It cites CIA cables, emails and interview transcripts to rebut the central justification for torture -- that it thwarted terror plots and saved American lives.

In a statement, CIA Director John Brennan said the agency made mistakes and has learned from them.

But he also asserted the coercive techniques "did produce intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives."

In Geneva, the United Nations' special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, Ben Emmerson, said, the report confirms "that there was a clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush administration, which allowed to commit systematic crimes and gross violations of international human rights law."

He said international law prohibits the granting of immunity to public officials who have engaged in acts of torture, including both the actual perpetrators and senior government officials who authorized the policies. "The individuals responsible for the criminal conspiracy revealed in today's report must be brought to justice, and face criminal penalties commensurate with the gravity of their crimes."

The report, released after months of negotiations with the administration about what should be censored, was issued as U.S. embassies and military sites worldwide strengthened security in case of an anti-American backlash.

The U.S. embassies in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Thailand warned of the potential for anti-American protests and violence after the release of the Senate report. The embassies also advised Americans in the three countries to take appropriate safety precautions, including avoiding demonstrations.

Earlier this year, Feinstein accused the CIA of infiltrating Senate computer systems in a dispute over documents as relations between the investigators and the spy agency deteriorated, the issue still sensitive years after Obama ordered a halt to any such interrogation practices upon taking office.

After al-Qaida operative Abu Zubaydah was arrested in Pakistan in 2002, the CIA received permission to use waterboarding, sleep deprivation, close confinement and other techniques. Agency officials added unauthorized methods, the report says.

At least five men in CIA detention received "rectal rehydration," a form of feeding through the rectum. The report found no medical necessity for the treatment.

At least three in captivity were told their families would suffer, with CIA officers threatening to harm their children, sexually abuse the mother of one man, and cut the throat of another man's mother.

Zubaydah was held in a secret facility in Thailand, called "detention Site Green" in the report. Early on, with CIA officials believing he had information on an imminent plot, Zubaydah was left isolated for 47 days without questioning, the report says. Later, he was subjected to the panoply of techniques. He later suffered mental problems.

He wasn't alone. In September 2002, at a facility referred to as COBALT -- the CIA's "Salt Pit" in Afghanistan -- detainees were kept isolated and in darkness. Their cells had only a bucket for human waste.

Redha al-Najar, a former Osama bin Laden bodyguard, was the first prisoner there. CIA interrogators found that after a month of sleep deprivation, he was a "broken man." But the treatment got worse, with officials lowering food rations, shackling him in the cold and giving him a diaper instead of toilet access.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Sept. 11 mastermind, received the waterboarding treatment 183 times. At one point, he was waterboarded for not confirming a "nuclear suitcase" plot the CIA later deemed a scam. Another time, his waterboarding produced a fabricated confession about recruiting black Muslims in Montana.

Gul Rahman, a suspected extremist, received enhanced interrogation there in late 2002, shackled to a wall in his cell and forced to rest on a bare concrete floor in only a sweatshirt. The next day he was dead. A CIA review and autopsy found he died of hypothermia.

Justice Department investigations into that and another death of a CIA detainee resulted in no charges. Now, too, despite the calls for accountability, there seemed little prospect of criminal prosecutions of those who implemented the program, or measures to hold politicians who authorized it accountable.

A law enforcement official said the U.S. Justice Department had no plans to conduct any investigation of the CIA's actions.

After reviewing 6 million agency documents, investigators said they could find no example of unique, life-saving intelligence gleaned from coercive techniques. The report claims to debunk the CIA's assertion that its practices led to bin Laden's killing.


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IDF on High Alert Ahead of Abu Ein Funeral

IDF will send reinforcements to Judea and Samaria, in anticipation of riots during the funeral of Ziad Abu Ein. Share on emailShare on printShare on printfriendlyShare on facebookMore Sharing Services

0 By Kobi Finkler

First Publish: 12/11/2014, 2:12 AM

Ziad Abu Ein in previous clash.
Ziad Abu Ein in previous clash.Reuters
The IDF will be on high alert in Judea and Samaria on Thursday, in anticipation of riots by Palestinian Arabs during the funeral of Ziad Abu Ein, a senior Palestinian Authority official who died Wednesday of a heart attack during riots against the IDF.

As part of the preparations for the funeral, the IDF will send reinforcements to the region. The decision to do so was made in light of intelligence information that was received indicating that Arabs are planning riots.

Abu Ein, 55, was a convicted terrorist who previously held the post of PA Deputy Minister of Prisoners' Affairs. Arab media claimed Abu Ein died after being "beaten" by IDF soldiers, but footage from the event proves that he remained untouched during his heart attack - and refused IDF assistance that could have been life-saving.

He was handed a life sentence in Israel in 1982 after being extradited from the United States in 1981 over the murder of two Israelis in Tiberias in 1979. Abu Ein planted the explosives which killed the two - Boaz Lahav and David Lankri.

But he never served his life sentence over the callous murders - he was released in the Ahmed Jibril prisoner swap deal in 1985, just three years later.

The UN special envoy for the Middle East Peace process, Robert Serry, urged Israel to conduct a "prompt, thorough and transparent investigation" into Abu Ein's death.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon added that he was "deeply saddened" by the "brutal death" of Abu Ein.

Both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas have responded with outrage. Hamas issued a statement mourning Abu Ein's death, saying "the time has come to rally all our forces in facing the criminal Zionist occupation and stop all sorts of security coordination with the occupation". The PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki called for revenge, saying "Israel will pay."


Family of Abu Ein Victim Says Death Does Not Provide Closure

Brother of Boaz Lahav, who died at the hands of Ziad Abu Ein, says Abu Ein's death by heart attack does not have a sense of justice for him.

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By Yishai Karov
First Publish: 12/10/2014, 10:08 PM

Ziad Abu Ein lies on the ground after clashing with IDF forces
Ziad Abu Ein lies on the ground after clashing with IDF forcesReuters
Yaron Lahav, the brother of Boaz Lahav, who was murdered along with his friend David Lankri by terrorist Ziad Abu Ein, stated that Abu Ein's death Wednesday is not a "comfort," but an odd "kind of closure."

Abu Ein, 55, a convicted terrorist who previously held the post of PA Deputy Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, died Wednesday of a heart attack during riots against the IDF. Arab media claims Abu Ein died after being "beaten" by IDF soldiers, but footage from the event proves that he remained untouched during his heart attack - and refused IDF assistance that could have been life-saving.

He was handed a life sentence in Israel in 1982 after being extradited from the US in 1981 over the murder of two Israelis in Tiberias in 1979. Abu Ein planted the explosives which killed the two - Boaz Lahav and David Lankri.

But he never served his life sentence over the callous murders - he was released in the Ahmed Jibril prisoner swap deal in 1985, just three years later.

Yaron Lahav said today to the Almagor organization for terror victims' families that the death of Abu Ein is not closure, exactly, but "provides a sort of sense of closing the circle."

"It is shocking to see how our enemies appoint a child killer to serve as their minister and leader," said Lahav.

"I do not have a sense of comfort when I see how this filthy murderer won, by reaching old age and dying of a heart attack without being punished appropriately for the murder of innocent children."

The IDF said Wednesday afternoon it was "reviewing the circumstances" of the incident and had proposed a joint investigation with the PA. Jordanian pathologists will also join the team as observers, according to an AFP report.



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Unveiled: How a Terrorist Killer Became a 'Senior PA Minister'

Ziad Abu Ein's death death sparked Palestinian Authority outrage, but the PA 'minister' has a rather darker history than some might imagine.

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By Ari Yashar and Ari Soffer
First Publish: 12/10/2014, 2:57 PM / Last Update: 12/10/2014, 4:30 PM

Ziad Abu Ein in previous clash.
Ziad Abu Ein in previous clash.Reuters
Ziad Abu Ein (55), a senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official, died in Ramallah on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack during a 300-strong "protest march" in Samaria according to IDF appraisals; reportedly he had high blood-pressure and diabetes.

Arab sources claim that Abu Ein died after being shoved by Israeli soldiers during a march to plant olives in an apparent land-grab attempt to create facts on the ground.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas lost no time, already calling for three days of general mourning and condemning "the brutal assault that led to (his) martyrdom," vowing "we will take the necessary measures after the results of the investigation into the incident." Likewise, the PA has reportedly cut security cooperation with Israel as a result of Abu Ein's death.

But just who was Ziad Abu Ein?

According to the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency and AFP, Abu Ein served as the head of the PA Committee against the Separation Wall and Settlements.

Significantly, both sources added that Abu Ein was a member of Abbas's Fatah movement's Revolutionary Council, which is also known as the Abu Nidal Organization - a recognized terrorist organization in the US for over 20 years.

After a string of bloody terror attacks conducted worldwide in the mid 1980s, the Revolutionary Council was labeled as the world's most dangerous terrorist organization according to the Council on Foreign Relations website. It remains on the US State Department's official list of foreign terrorist organizations, although it is thought to be largely inactive at present.

And Abu Ein's terrorist past is not just a matter of guilt by association.

Abu Ein himself was handed a life sentence in Israel in 1982 after being extradited from the US in 1981 over the murder of two Israelis in Tiberias in 1979. Abu Ein planted the explosives which killed the two - Boaz Lahav and David Lankri.

But he never served his life sentence over the callous murders - he was released in the Ahmed Jibril prisoner swap deal in 1985, just three years later.


Victim: Boaz Lahav Israeli government Victims of Terror website Even in the decades after his release, Abu Ein continued to advocate for Palestinian violence. In a 2006 interview with Al Alam TV, he said he supported the Oslo Accords - because they enabled Palestinian freer access to weapons to use in terrorist attacks.

"The Oslo Accords are not the dream of the Palestinian people. However, there would never have been [violent] resistance in Palestine without Oslo," he said.

"Oslo is the effective and potent greenhouse which embraced the Palestinian resistance. Without Oslo, there would never have been [violent] resistance."

"In all the occupied territories, we could not move a single pistol from place to place. Without Oslo, and being armed through Oslo, and without the Palestinian Authority's "A" areas, without the training, the camps, the protection afforded by Oslo, and without the freeing of thousands of Palestinian prisoners through Oslo - we and this Palestinian resistance would not have been able to create this great Palestinian Intifada."

Commenting on Abu Ein's terrorist past, Lt. Col. (ret.) Meir Indor, Director of the Almagor terror victims organization, responded to the PA official's death by saying "Almagor isn't sorry and I welcome his death."

"He murdered two youths in Tiberias and fled to the United States, was extradited to Israel...and released. Since then he's been busy with activities against Israel and was advanced to deputy minister of prisoners, and from there to an additional post as minister of the struggle against settlements. His death leaves Israel with one less enemy," said Indor.

As hinted to by Indor, before switching to his post on the PA Committee against "settlements," Abu Ein previously held the post of PA Deputy Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, leading a ministry tasked with providing funds to Arab terrorists jailed in Israel to reward them for their crimes.

Back in June he announced that the ministry was being transferred to Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) control, hinting it was being done to dupe foreign donors and avoid attention over the fact that the PA was bankrolling jailed terrorists in comments translated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).



"We eliminate the international pressure and the attempts to tamper with this issue," Abu Ein declared. "The (PA) leadership wants to keep this holy issue away from the influence of the donor countries, the interference of the donor countries, and the occasional negative influence of the donor countries."

In another statement by Abu Ein back in 2011, also translated by PMW, he claimed conditions in Israeli prisons were "worse than the Auschwitzes of the Nazis." That statement stands in stark contrast to televised comments by released Arab terrorists who spoke of a life of ease in Israeli jails.





Tags:
FatahZiad Abu EinAbu Nidal Organization


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PA Official Vows 'Revenge' against Israel for Abu Ein's Death

PA 'foreign minister' Riyad Al-Maliki says Israel 'will pay' after former PA minister dies of heart attack and refuses IDF assistance.

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By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 12/10/2014, 4:14 PM

Riyad al-Malki
Riyad al-MalkiFlash 90
Palestinian Authority (PA) "Foreign Minister" Riyad al-Maliki has vowed revenge against Israel Wednesday, after the death of former "minister" Ziad Abu Ein was incorrectly blamed on the IDF by Arabic-language media outlets.

"Israel will pay for his death," Maliki stated.

Arab media claims Abu Ein died after being "beaten" by IDF soldiers, but footage from the event just hours ago proves that he remained untouched during his heart attack - and refused IDF assistance that could have been life-saving. Abu Ein previously held the post of PA Deputy Minister of Prisoners' Affairs.

As a result of the incident, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has chosen to cut security coordination with Israel, a move several MKs stated Wednesday will only harm the PA.

Abbas, in his official response, condemned "the brutal assault that led to the martyrdom" of Abu Ein, calling it "a barbaric act that cannot be tolerated or accepted."



Tags:
PAMahmoud AbbasRiyad Al-MalikiPalestinian incitementZiad Abu Ein


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U.S. Chaplain Reprimanded for Quoting Religious Sources

Chaplain was issued punitive letter for providing faith-based solutions in depression seminar.

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By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 12/10/2014, 10:14 PM / Last Update: 12/10/2014, 10:18 PM

Bible (illustrative)
Bible (illustrative)Thinkstock
A U.S. Army chaplain has been reprimanded for "using Christian scriptures and solutions" at a suicide prevention training session.

The chaplain, Joseph Lawhorn, spoke at a seminar held at the University of North Georgia three weeks ago. He was issued a punitive "Letter of Concern" by Col. David Fivecoat, the commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

"You provided a two-sided handout that listed Army resources on one side and a biblical approach to handling depression on the other side," Fivecoat wrote, as reported by Fox News. "This made it impossible for those in attendance to receive the resource information without also receiving the biblical information."

The letter aroused the ire of a U.S. Congressman, Dough Collins (R) of Georgia, who wrote his own letter to Col. Fivecoat. "I find it counterintuitive," he wrote, "to have someone lead a suicide prevention course but prohibit them from providing their personal testimony." He added that the Army's Equal Opportunity policy was formulated precisely to protect the personal beliefs of military personnel.

Ron Crews of Grace Churches International, which organized the training session, explained that Lawhorn "did nothing wrong. At no time did he say his was the only or even the preferred way of dealing with depression." Crews added that the chaplain simply discussed his own struggles with depression, and outlined the methods and techniques he personally used to combat depression.

"His story involves his faith journey," Crews said. "He was simply being a great Army chaplain - in ministering to his troops and providing first hand how he has dealt with depression in the past. That's what chaplains do. They bare their souls for their soldiers in order to help them with crises they may be going through."

Traditional Values Coalition notes that this is just one of many attacks on religious freedom in the U.S. Army. The Air Force recently censored a video created by a chaplain because it includes the word "God," possibly offending Muslims and atheists. Similarly, a chaplain was relieved of his command over a military chapel because he would not allow same-sex weddings to take place there.


Legally, Chaplain Lawhorn's advocates say his presentation is covered by the "right of conscience clause," passed in last year's National Defense Authorization Act, section 533. Lawhorn's legal counsel, Michael Berry, said, "It took a great amount of courage for Chaplain Lawhorn to discuss his own personal battle with depression." He said the Army should rescind the Letter of Concern, which he called a "violation of the chaplain's constitutional rights."




http://youtu.be/mFu5whDYq-Q


TagsThailand Recalls Propaganda Film Featuring Adolf Hitler

'Values' film for children features Hitler illustration; Israeli amb. calls on Thai gov't to introduce Holocaust education over incident. Share on emailShare on printShare on printfriendlyShare on facebookMore Sharing Services

4 By Tova Dvorin

First Publish: 12/10/2014, 5:47 PM

Adolf Hitler
Adolf HitlerThinkstock
The Thai junta (military regime) was forced to recall a propaganda movie on "Thai values" on Wednesday, after the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok and hundreds of people on social media protested an image showing a smiling boy painting an image of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.



The short film, which has been screened before every movie in Thai cinemas since Saturday, features scenes with two Thai boys in their daily lives, with the message being that life includes both winning and losing, according to Thai prime ministerial official Panadda Diskul.

"The film is good, but it has caused a slight misunderstanding in our society," Panadda said. "We won't stop the project, but we will replace that problematic picture with another, more proper one."

Film director Kulp Kaljarek told AFP he did not mean to offend anyone, but was merely attempting to show moral progress.

Meanwhile, Israel's ambassador to Thailand, Simon Roded, told the Daily Mail he was "deeply saddened" by the "trivialization" of Nazi imagery in the Thai film, and that "none of the smart, well educated people checking it had identified it as being problematic and offensive" during the screening process.

He called for Holocaust education to be introduced to the Thai curriculum.

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