Newsletter : 15fx0619.txt
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Netanyahu Refusing to Apologize for Ex-Envoy Oren's Obama-Slam
The Obama Administration has been pressuring Jerusalem to criticize an article by
former Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren (Kulanu), in which he accused President Barack
Obama of purposely causing a deterioration in US-Israel relations. Arutz Sheva has learned
that the US pressure which began after the article appeared in the Wall Street
Journal Monday continued Thursday, but that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does
not intend to criticize Oren.
The Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Ministry have remained silent despite US
anger, as expressed by the State Department and by US Ambassador in Israel Dan Shapiro.
Shapiro has held meetings and contacts with senior officials in the Foreign Ministry as
well as ministers including the Prime Minister in an attempt to make Israel
apologize for the accusations, or at least make Oren apologize himself.
This pressure appears to have borne fruit in two cases: Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon,
head of the Kulanu party, said Wednesday that the statements are Oren's personal opinion
and do not reflect the positions of the party, and Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan
(Likud) has also published criticism of Oren's statements. However, Netanyahu's confidants
said that he does not intend to respond to the article at all.
Oren's op-ed said President Barack Obama had dropped the two core principles guiding
Israeli-US ties of "no daylight, no surprises." Oren, a former U.S citizen, who served as
ambassador from 2009 to 2013, acknowledged that Israel blundered in some instances, but
added that "while neither leader monopolized mistakes, only one leader made them
deliberately. From the moment he entered office, Mr. Obama promoted an agenda of
championing the Palestinian cause and achieving a nuclear accord with Iran. Such policies
would have put him at odds with any Israeli leader," Oren wrote.
Palestinian Terrorist Prisoners Planning Hunger Strike for More TV Channels
The Israel Prisons Service are presently preparing for the possibility that towards the
end of Ramadan, in July, terrorist prisoners will go on hunger strike to protest their
prison conditions. However, the benefits they are striking for goes beyond the pale of
basic living conditions, according to a report released Wednesday. Among the demands are
more television channels and a canteen budget of 200 shekels ($52) per terrorist prisoner,
according to Walla! News.
Immediately after the abduction and murder of three teenagers Eyal Yifrah, Gilad
Sha'ar, and Naftali Frankel, the IPS decided to re-examine the prison conditions of
security prisoners. The results showed that prisoners have living conditions that are too
good - 17 TV channels, a large canteen budget, and other incentives which may keep
offenders from rehabilitating.
The outgoing IPS chief, Aharon Franco, and his deputy, Eli Gavison, decided to reduce
these benefits to only three TV channels - 1, 2 and 10. It was also decided to reduce the
budget given for canteen purchases.
However, months after the decision was made, the IPS and the Israel Security Agency
(ISA or Shin Bet) have discovered that there are various attempts from leadership within
the prison system to organize a mass protest on the issue. Leaders named include Ahmed
Saadat from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Abdullah
Barghouti, who just managed to embarrass the IPS when he was interviewed by telephone by a
bootleg radio station in Gaza. Representatives of the prisoners have demanded that the IPS
loosen their standards, even partially, by adding more TV channels, allowing more family
visits, and more.
IPS Intelligence and the Shin Bet believe that prisoners will launch a hunger strike
towards the end of the month of Ramadan, which opened on Thursday, inter alia, to test the
flexibility of the new Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud), as well as the
flexibility of the new IPS commissioner expected to be appointed in the upcoming days.
Ramadan Begins for Muslims of Israel and the World.
The Muslim world on Thursday has started celebrating the start of the month of Ramadan,
when Muslims fast from early morning to night and pray for a whole month.
Countless people around the world and Israel will consecrate the next month to the
purification of the soul by avoiding food, drink, smoking, and sexual relations. In the
Arab sector they point out that during Ramadan many will try to "quit lying, gossip and
The fast lasts for nearly 16 hours, starting at 3:45 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m. On the
last day thousands of children and their parents attended processions in Arab towns and
handed out candy to motorists. Most Muslim business owners tend to give discounts on food
and gifts during Ramadan. Muslims will try not to yield to the extreme heat that makes
Amir Asi, a lecturer and adviser on Arab affairs, said: "Ramadan is considered by some
Muslims as a way to weight loss and by others it is a comprehensive insurance policy for
the sins committed in the past year and the opening of a new page with God. "Just as not
all Jews fast on Yom Kippur, not all Arabs fast during Ramadan. One must remember that
according to Israeli law there are no days off for Ramadan. Youths and children who do not
go the mosque every day, flock to the mosques."
Group of 78 'Lost Jews' from India Makes Aliyah
The Shavei Israel organization brought a group of 78 Bnei Menashe immigrants on Aliyah
Thursday from the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, which borders Burma and
These new olim (immigrants) will be settled in Katzrin on the Golan Heights, which was
the tribal patrimony of Menashe (Manasseh) in Biblical times. This is the first time that
Shavei Israel is settling a group of Bnei Menashe on the Golan, some 2,700 years after
their ancestors were exiled from the land. The new batch of Bnei Menashe olim brings the
number of these olim to 3,000.
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