World Briefs 1-3-12

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Israel in talks to help build Sudanese camp for relocated refugees

Click photo to download. Caption: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greets South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit. Credit: GPO.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed interest in offering aid to South Sudan for the building of a city that would house Sudanese refugees returning from Israel, according to YNetNews. There are currently about 15,000 Sudanese refugees living in Israel.

The plan in question will construct a massive city in South Sudan to which Sudanese refugees who escaped to Israel will be returned. South Sudan has already agreed to take back 10,000 refugees that Israel will fly into the country and make a payment to the South Sudanese government for the acceptance of each refugee. Israeli officials are currently discussing further details of the potential initiative with the South Sudanese representatives.

In total, there are about 50,000 refugees living in Israel today, many of whom have taken great risks traveling to Israel. This has made the issue a divisive one.

—JointMedia News Service


Young German Jews seek assimilation

More than 60 years after six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust and 20 years after Germany welcomed more than 200,000 Russian-Jewish refugees, German-Jewish life is flourishing. But while German Jews are now free to worship, assimilation threatens to engulf them.

On the surface, Jewish life in Germany today is great, Religion News Service (RNS) reported. A 20-foot tall menorah has been burning every Hanukkah in Germany since 2003 and the Jewish Museum of Berlin has held an annual Hanukkah market since 2009. This event draws thousands of visitors each year.

But in smaller German cities, many Jews feel a stronger need to assimilate than to preserve their religion and culture. In Luebeck, only 25 out of 800 Jewish residents came to Hanukkah services this year. Those who came were mostly elderly immigrants from Russia.

“When I come to the synagogue, the services are not so nice like in Israel. There are no other young people, and it gets boring. I know young people who are Jewish, but they don’t want to live like Jews. They want to be like Germans,” said Nina Prinz, 17, according to RNS.

—JointMedia News Service

Iran claims to own missile that can reach Israel and US

Iran is claiming it has successfully fired a long-range missile that can reach Israel and as far as the United States, the Israel National News reported. This occurred as part of a 10-day exercise titled the "Great Prophet Mohommad War Games," in which Iran's Revolutionary Guards tested long-range, short and medium missiles.

“The missile managed to hit the desired targets with precision and totally destroy them,” said the official Iranian government IRNA news agency.

In addition, the Iranian government has threatened that if the need arises, it can close the Strait of Hormuz, a passageway through which the world receives between 20 to 40 percent of its energy needs, said navy spokesman Commodore Mahmoud Mousavi.

--JointMedia News Service

Muslim Brotherhood will never recognize Israel, official says

A leader from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said that the group has no plans to recognize the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, Yediot Ahronot reported. In fact the group might even call for a referendum on the treaty.

Rashad al-Bayoumi told Al-Hayat Newspaper that the Muslim Brotherhood will never cooperate with Israel "no matter what the situation is."

The Muslim Brotherhood has captured nearly half of the votes in the first Egyptian elections after last year's uprising and the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak. The final election round is expected in the coming days.

"On no condition will we recognize Israel. It is an enemy entity, an exploiting, criminal occupier," al-Bayoumi added.

--JointMedia News Service

TV Poll suggests Jews killed Jesus

The Simon Wiesenthal Center forced Fox Latin America to apologize for an anti-Semitic poll that included "Jewish people" as an answer to "who do you think is responsible for the death of Christ," the New York Daily News reported.

Representatives from the Wiesenthal office in Buenos Aires said the poll has set back Jewish-Christian relations 2,000 years and represented an outdated anti-Semitic view that has "resulted in the persecution and murder of Jews for two millennia." The Vatican publicly rejected the view that Jews are to blame for the death Christ in 1965.

Pope Benedict XVI has also exonerated the Jewish people in his book, "Jesus of Nazareth Part II," explaining both biblically and theologically why the Jewish people as a whole cannot be held responsible for Jesus' death. Fox Latin America has since removed the offensive poll.

--JointMedia News Service

Hamas Prime Minister denounces Israel in Turkey

Click photo to download. Caption: Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (L) and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan greet lawmakers of Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey January 3, 2012. Credit: EPA/KAYHAN OZER Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh denounced Israel during a visit to Turkey Monday, Yediot Ahronot reports.

Haniyeh met with the families of the activists killed in the Marmara raid in May of last year. During the meeting he said that "Israel wants to split the Palestinian people in two, using the blockade" and accused the IDF of trying to silence the voice of Palestinian resistance.

The Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) invited hosted Haniyeh in the country. IHH is the same organization that organized the Gaza Flotilla and is considered by Israel as a terrorist group.

"The blood of your victims beat the blockade, your victims are our victims and your wounded are our wounded," he also said. Earlier on Sunday, Haniyeh also met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who discussed the "Jewfication" of Jerusalem and said Hamas must get involved in solving the Palestinian issue.

--JointMedia News Service

Tunisia's first Jewish museum opens its doors

The first Jewish museum in Tunisia opened its doors last week, a remarkable milestone for a Muslim country that once was home to more 100,000 Jews, according to Israel Hayom.

Tunisia is a land rich in culture, and the Romans, Turks and French, all of whom took their turns conquering this small African nation, have left their mark on the population of 10 million. The once-vibrant Jewish community has, over 3,000 years, dwindled to a mere 1,500, but a new museum is expected to serve as a standing testimony to the nation's Jewish history.

Two local Tunisians - a photographer who goes by the name of Rimtimimi and a restaurateur and artisan named Gilles Jacob Lellouche -- are behind the establishment and funding of the museum. The newly-elected Tunisian government, which was born following the Arab Spring protests, has been supportive.

--JointMedia News Service

Israel must pay for fire damage, says Chilean senator

Click photo to download. Caption: A firefighter tries to extinguish a forest fire at the Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. Credit: EPA/Andres Jara.While Israeli tourist Rotem Singer, 23, awaits trial over charges of negligently starting a massive forest fire in Chile, Chilean officials demanded Monday that Israel be compelled to pay damages if he is convicted, Israel Hayom reported.

Firefighters battled three huge wildfires Monday that have burned about 90 square miles (23,000 hectares) of forest, destroyed more than 100 homes and have driven away thousands of tourists while causing millions of dollars in losses. The fire claimed its first victim on Monday: an elderly man who refused warnings to leave his home.

Singer has denied the charges of having sparked the Torres del Paine fire, but according to prosecutor Ivan Vidal, Singer's traveling companions said he set fire to used toilet paper, and then failed to put the fire out completely. If convicted, Singer faces up to two months in jail.

While Israel has not confirmed Singer’s culpability, on Tuesday, Israel's Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing solidarity with Chile "in its sorrow for the damage caused to the rare natural treasure that is the National Park Torres del Paine."

In addition, the Foreign Ministry offered to donate tree seedlings to aid rehabilitation efforts. 

--JointMedia News Service

Opposition leaders in Syria preparing for post-Assad era

Syrian opposition groups, already planning for the day after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad either steps down or is pushed out, met in London on Saturday and agreed that a post-Assad Syria would be both democratic and secular, Israel Hayom reported.

Details of the agreement, seen by Reuters, point to the group's opposition to Western military intervention in Syria, but not that of Arab military intervention. According to the document, the leading groups "reject any military intervention that harms the sovereignty or stability of the country, though Arab intervention is not considered foreign."

The leading opposition group in exile, the Syrian National Council, signed the deal on Friday with the largely Syrian-based National Coordination Committee, according to Moulhem Droubi, a top SNC member from Syria's Muslim Brotherhood. 

--JointMedia News Service





Posted on January 3, 2012 and filed under Briefs, World.