World Briefs 11.8.11

The latest news from the global Jewish community.

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IAEA report proves Iran is building nuclear arms

The anxiously awaited IAEA report was finally delivered to news agencies on Tuesday, and offers evidence to prove that Iran is in fact seeking to build nuclear weapons, various news agencies reported.

The report details a series of tests, acquisition of materials, technology and experiments, which demonstrate that Iran has been continuously working on the production of a nuclear weapon since 2003, reported Haaretz.

Although Iran has always insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, the IAEA lists the following on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear weapons work, as reported by Fox News:

--Clandestine procurement of equipment and design information needed to make such arms;

--High explosives testing and detonator development to set off a nuclear charge;

--Computer modeling of a core of a nuclear warhead;

--Preparatory work for a nuclear weapons test, and

--Developing and mounting a nuclear payload onto its Shahab 3 intermediate range missile -- a weapon that can reach Israel, Iran's arch foe.

--JointMedia News Service

(Click photo to download. Caption: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Credit:


Russia chastises Israel for “dangerous rhetoric” against Iran

At a meeting in Berlin with German President Christian Wulff on Tuesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev blamed Israel for increasing the likehood of war with Iran.

"The threat of a military strike could lead to a major war," he warned according to Haaretz. He urged Israel to remain calm and open to the possibility of talks.

The rising tension has come in the days leading up to the IAEA report on Iran, which is widely expected to confirm that the country is seeking to produce nuclear weapons.

Russia has deep economic ties to Iran and according to Haaretz, Western nuclear experts believe that nuclear weapons engineers from Russia have been assisting Iran in its drive to develop nuclear capability.

--JointMedia News Service


Sarkozy “Can’t Stand” Netanyahu

Journalists accidentally overheard a conversation between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and President Obama where the former stated that he couldn’t stand the Israeli Prime Minister and called him a liar, reported Fox News.

The conversation took place at a G20 press conference in France last week. Reporters were wearing headsets for translation and due to a technical glitch, the two presidents’ mics remained on during their private conversation.

According to Fox News, Obama commiserated, "You are sick of him, but I have to work with him every day."

The French media watch website “Arret sur Images”, which was first to report the conversation, reported, “Obama began by reproaching Sarkozy for not warning him in advance that France would vote in favour of Palestinian membership of UNESCO.” He then asked Sarkozy to persuade the Palestinians to slow their statehood bid.  

--JointMedia News Service

(Click photo to download. Caption: Bahrainin Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa (L) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (R) attend the Arab Foreign Ministers emergency meeting on Syra, at the Arab League Headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, on November 2nd. Credit: EPA/Khaled Elfiqi.)

Syrian forces occupy Homs district after shelling

Troops and militiamen loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad moved into a residential district of Homs, Syria’s third-largest city, on Monday night after six days of tank bombardments that have killed scores of people in the restive city, residents and activists said.

Qatar's prime minister has called for Arab states to meet next Saturday to address Syria's failure to implement a deal struck with the Arab League last week to end its offensive.

Under the agreement, Syria was supposed to pull its military out of insurgent cities, set free political prisoners and start talks with the opposition, which seeks Assad's removal and more democratic freedoms, within two weeks.

The authorities say that Islamist militants and foreign-backed armed gangs have killed 1,100 members of the security forces during the seven months of unrest. The U.N. says more than 3,000 people have been killed in Assad's crackdown. Syrian activists put the number of civilians killed as high as 4,200.

--Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service


Coptic Christian Student Murdered for Wearing a Cross

The parents of 17-year-old student Ayman Nabil Labib confirmed last week that he was murdered for refusing to take off his cross when ordered to do so by his Muslim teacher. Labib, a Coptic Christian living in Egypt, was subsequently attacked and murdered by his classmates, reported AINA.

 "They beat my son so much in the classroom that he fled to the lavatory on the ground floor, but they followed him and continued their assault. When one of the supervisors took him to his room, Ayman was still breathing. The ambulance transported him from there dead, one hour later," Labib’s father said according to AINA.

Two Muslim students, Mostapha Essam and Walid Mostafa Sayed, have been arrested and are under investigation for the case.

--JointMedia News Service

(Click photo to download. Caption: French President Nicolas Sarkozy with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Credit: EPA/Ian Langsdon.)

France, the UK and Bosnia likely to deal fatal blow to Palestinians' UN membership bid

The chances that the Palestinian request for statehood could be nipped in the bud seemed to improve over the weekend as three crucial members of the U.N. Security Council indicated that they would not, in fact, support the bid.

 In recent days three European countries whom the Palestinians had been banking on for their support in the Security Council - France, the U.K. and Bosnia - have all indicated that they would abstain when the bid comes up for a vote. This would make it impossible for the Palestinians to garner the nine votes necessary for a majority, although a U.S. veto would, in any event, make the vote nothing more than a symbolic victory.

In a surprise development, Ban himself became the latest to speak out against the admission of "Palestine" to UNESCO last week.

"This will have implications for all the agencies of the United Nations," he warned, presumably referring to funds that might now be withheld from the body.

--Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service


Iran calls IAEA report a fabrication as global censure mounts

New intelligence the U.N. atomic agency plans to release on alleged nuclear weapons work by Iran is fabricated, the Iranian foreign minister said Saturday.

Diplomats have told the Associated Press that the International Atomic Energy Agency plans to reveal intelligence in the coming week suggesting Iran made computer models of a nuclear warhead, as well as other previously undisclosed details on alleged secret work by Tehran on nuclear arms.

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi accused the IAEA of succumbing to U.S. pressure to level accusations against Iran.

Iran is already under U.N. sanctions for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used to produce reactor fuel or material for a warhead. Iran insists its nuclear work is only to produce energy and conduct peaceful scientific research.

--Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service


Europe Makes Moves to Prevent Circumcision

The right of European Jews to circumcise their sons is being called into question, Ynet reported. According to Rabbi Menachem Gelley of London, vice president of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER), a large group of members of the British Medical Association have launched a battle against circumcision.

Human rights and medical organizations have followed suit in Holland and Finland as well, trying to ban circumcision for males under the age of 18 without the approval of a doctor.

Gelley has called on his colleagues to resist measures to eliminate circumcision, suggesting the creation of an official organization of authorized circumcisers which will be recognized in European countries.

--JointMedia News Service


Thousands vote for first-ever European Jewish Parliament

In a four-month process set to conclude on December 15th, voters will elect the first ever 120-member European Jewish Parliament, reported the European Jewish Press.

The European Jewish Union (EJU), which initiated the establishment of the Parliament, said that over 170,000 people have voted so far in 54 European countries.  

The EJU continued that the new Parliament will be based in Brussels, near the European Parliament building, and aims at "bringing together and coordinating the voices of the many Jewish communities and individuals from Western, Central and Eastern Europe," according to the European Jewish Press.

Individuals of varying backgrounds are eligible for election, whereas only members of Jewish organizations and institutions were allowed to run in the past. 

--JointMedia News Service

(Click photo to download. Caption: William Shatner as Star Trek's Captain Kirk. Credit: PD-US.)

For Star Trek episode, Germany marks the final frontier

For the first time ever, German audiences will this week view a special Star Trek episode in which the USS Enterprise battles the Nazis.

The Star Trek episode "Patterns of Force" – in which the "Enterprise" crew fights a planet populated by characters based directly on the Nazis – was made 43 years ago but has never before been aired in Germany. Despite the anti-Nazi approach in the episode, the uniforms and the narrative aroused discomfort in Germany of the 1960s, just more than 20 years after the end World War II. For this reason, the episode was never aired.

Forty-three years after the original broadcast, the German public television station ZDF will air the episode this week. It will be aired under constraints, however, showing only after 10 p.m. and with a disclaimer that the content is intended only for people over the age of 16.

--Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service

Posted on November 18, 2011 and filed under Israel.