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Palestinians refuse to use Israeli companies to build desalination plant for much needed water

Click photo to download. Caption: Hamas and other Palestinian groups have rejected a UNICEF led mission for Israeli firms to build a much needed desalination plant in Gaza. Credit: James Grellier. The Palestinian Contractors Union, amidst similar condemnation from Hamas and other Palestinian civil groups, is threatening to boycott the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) if the agency does not renege on its offer to accept bids from Israeli firms to build a desalination plant in the Gaza Strip.

These threats came in spite of the fact that Gaza has a serious shortage of pure drinking water, the Jerusalem Post reported. The Palestinian Water Authority reported last year that 90 percent of Gaza’s water supply is polluted. Even though a desalination plant would be crucial to the region, and Israel is a leader in the field, Hamas announced that it would not allow any Israelis to enter Gaza. In addition to threatening to boycott, other Palestinian groups warned citizens not to cooperate with Israeli bidders.

“Faced with a choice between promoting their people’s welfare and harming Israel, both the elected Palestinian government and civil-society leaders unhesitatingly chose the latter. And until Palestinians reverse this order of priorities, peace will continue to be impossible,” wrote Commentary Magazine.

—JointMedia News Service

Ulpana looks likely to be evacuated as decision looms

Upon completing a round of meetings with the heads of the coalition parties and the Likud ministers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu declared on Monday that the outpost arrangement bill would not be passed. 

The bill aims to retroactively authorize construction of five disrupted buildings, comprising some 30 apartments, that are slated for court-ordered demolition at the end of the month. The High Court of Justice ruled in April that the homes had been built on private Palestinian land that must be restored to its owner. The outpost arrangement bill stipulates compensating the owner rather than demolishing the existing homes, circumventing the court's ruling.

Netanyahu asked Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to come up with a legal mechanism that would prevent the relocation of Ulpana homes from setting a legal precedent. Such a precedent would open the door to countless new claims by Palestinians and threaten many existing settler homes. Should Weinstein fail to find a legal solution, Netanyahu might support the arrangement bill. Weinstein was expected to submit an opinion on the matter by Tuesday.

The Knesset plenum will vote on the bill on Wednesday.  

Israel Hayom/JointMedia News Service

Palestinian terrorist kills IDF soldier

Click photo to download. Caption: Soldiers patrol Gaza, where Sgt. Nathaniel Moshiashvili was killed by a Palestinian terrorist in the early morning of June 1. Credit: Israel Defense Forces.A Palestinian terrorist tried to infiltrate the Western Negev from Gaza in the early morning of June 1, killing 21-year-old Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Sgt. Nathaniel Moshiashvili of Ashkelon, Israel National Newsreported.

“The incident took place early in the morning… It was clearly planned, the terrorist made use of the fog and night vision equipment the terrorist to break through the Gaza fence,” Gaza Division commander Col. Tal Hermoni said.

In response, the IDF fired and directly hit a Gaza terror squad that was preparing to launch rockets on the Jewish state. Four people were killed and four were wounded.

Islamic Jihad, in a text message to journalists, identified the shooter as Ahmad Nassar and called him a “martyr who has carried out the heroic attack.”

—JointMedia News Service 

Religious Jews wounded in anti-Semitic attack in southeast France

Three Jews wearing kippot were attacked on Saturday in the city of Villeurbanne, just outside Lyon in eastern France. Ten men armed with iron rods and hammers perpetrated what the French Interior Ministry has officially classified as an anti-Semitic attack.

Two of the three victims were hospitalized, one with injuries to the head, and the other with neck injuries.

The French police reported that the three victims, aged 19, 21 and 22, had been heading home when they were confronted by a gang of three, apparently Muslim, North Africans, Army Radio reported.

A verbal argument erupted, and the Africans summoned seven friends. When they arrived, the group attacked the young Jews with hammers, clubs and metal rods.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault harshly condemned the incident saying "this is a serious case of unexplained violence."

"We will fight anti-Semitism with the law, but through education as well," Ayrault added.

—Israel Hayom/exclusive to JointMedia News Service

Israeli archeologists find treasure from Bar Kokhba Revolt era

Click photo to download. Caption: A hoard of ancient gold coins, jewels, and other treasures from the Bar Kohkba revolt era has been discovered near Kiryat Gat. Archaeologists have discovered 140 gold and silver coins, and gold jewelry, from the time of the Bar Kokhba Revolt about 1880 years ago at a salvage excavation in the vicinity of Kiryat Gat, southern Israel. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) presented the find Tuesday.

The magnificent hoard includes gold jewelry, among them an earring crafted by a jeweler in the shape of a flower, a ring with a precious stone on which there is a seal of a winged-goddess, and two sticks of silver that were probably kohl sticks, according to Israel National News. The treasure was likely hidden by a wealthy woman at the time.

—JointMedia News Service

Flame sought to get Iran’s nuclear blueprints

After the “Flame” computer virus was revealed last week, new information indicates that the virus may have been intended to steal blueprints of Iranian nuclear facilities, Yedioth Achronot reported.

The attack targeted about 600 computer systems in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority. The virus caused 185 infections in Iran alone. "They were looking for the designs of mechanical and electrical equipment," Prof. Alan Woodward, from the University of Surrey, told the BBC.

—JointMedia News Service

Jordanians attack Jews touring a crusader castle with stones and shoes

Click photo to download. Caption: Jewish tourists were attacked by a group of Jordanian Arabs while visiting the crusader castle in Kerak, Jordan on Sunday. Credit: Bernard GagnonJordanian Arabs attacked Jewish tourists Sunday in the city of Kerak, Jordan because the victims wore clothing that identified them as religious Jews. The Jewish group was visiting a crusader castle, along with other attractions.

“Then the people of the town immediately approached the group, threw shoes and stones, and kicked them out of town… the people of Jordan do not accept the Jews entering their homeland, and the Araba Valley treaty between Jordan and the Zionist entity does not represent us,” said grocery owner Salem Jeradat according to the Israel National News.

—JointMedia News Service

Holocaust survivors' objections silence Tel Aviv Wagner concert

Click photo to download. Caption: Tel Aviv University denied a request to hold a concert honoring the works of anti-Semitic composer Richard Wagner. Tel Aviv University on Monday denied a request to hold a concert of works by the 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner on its campus. The request was denied due to strong objections by Holocaust survivors, who argued that staging the concert would be an affront to them.

Wagner was a vocal anti-Semite and is generally considered to have been a formative influence on Hitler.

The request to hold the concert at Tel Aviv University's Smolarz Auditorium was submitted about a week ago. But according to university officials, the name of the organization behind the request was concealed from them, as was the plan to dedicate the entire concert to works by Wagner.

Israel Hayom/JointMedia News Service

Thousands of Israel supporters paint Fifth Avenue blue and white

Click photo to download. Caption: Spectators await the Israeli Air Force fly by in Tel Aviv as part of hundreds of events across the world to celebrate Israel's 64th Independence Day. This included a "Celebrate Israel" parade in New York attended by tens of thousands, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Credit: Deror Avi. Tens of thousands of Israel supporters waved blue and white flags as they marched up Fifth Avenue in New York on Sunday for the annual Celebrate Israel parade.

Elected officials, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, waved to constituents. Also on hand were state Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, who used a bullhorn to shout, "Let's hear it for Israel! And America!"

"Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. We have the right to practice our religion and say what we want to say because young men and women have always answered the call, and that's true in Israel and true in America," Bloomberg said, according to local news channel NY1.

Formerly called the Salute to Israel Parade, the event celebrates the birth of the Jewish state in 1948. It draws students from yeshivas and Jewish day schools around the northeast as well as members of Jewish groups and synagogues.

Israel Hayom/exclusive to JointMedia News Service



McCain says Obama leaked government’s role in Stuxnet virus to rise in polls

U.S. senator John McCain accused President Barack Obama's administration of releasing information on the cyber-attacks against Iran as a way to raise the president’s popularity before the fall election. He also warned of potential security breaches that could result from such leaks.

“Again we see these leaks to the media about ongoing operations, which is incredibly disturbing. Doesn't this give some benefit to our adversaries?” McCain told reporters in Singapore, according to the Israel National News. 

The released report involved an earlier Stuxnet attack and was released just days after Flame, a more sophisticated virus than the Stuxnet worm, struck at least 600 specific computer systems in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority. “We know the leaks have to come from the administration…So this is kind of a pattern in order to hype the national security credentials of the president, and every administration does it. But I think this administration has taken it to a new level,” McCain also said.

—JointMedia News Service

U.S. to confer with Israel on new Iran sanctions, no word on support of Israeli attack

Click photo to download. Caption: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits Tehran's nuclear reactor in February. A U.S. official recently stated that Israel is becoming increasingly impatient with the progress on restricting Iran's nuclear program. Credit: EPA.The U.S. is conferring with Israel about new sanctions on Iran, should future international negotiations fail to curb the Islamic republic's nuclear program, a U.S. official said on Monday. 

Israel has grown increasingly impatient with the lack of progress toward circumscribing the Iranian nuclear program, particularly during the previous rounds of nuclear negotiations between Iran and six Western powers — the U.S., China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany. The third round of talks will be hosted by Russia on June 18-19.

"The sanctions are having an impact on Iran, but I also recognize that more needs to be done. And we are intent on doing more," the U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David Cohen, told Army Radio on Monday. 

—Israel Hayom/JointMedia News Service 






New Jersey political race turns ugly over Jews and Israel

The Democratic race between Reps. Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell in New Jersey has morphed into a battle over religion and political views on Israel as some local Arabs attacked Rothman for being Jewish and pro-Israel.

“One side says, ‘We want this Jew out of office’ and, frankly, it’s pretty unsettling…They emphasized [Rothman] is a Jewish congressman,” Ben Chouake, president of NORPAC, a pro-Israel political action committee based in Englewood Cliffs, told the Washington Free Beacon.  Last week an Arabic campaign poster surfaced in the area, expressing support for Pascrell and urging the Arab community to elect “the friend of the Arabs.”

According to Josh Block, a Democratic strategist and former spokesman for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, “the pro-Pascrell posters…are not calling to elect the candidate who supports a strong relationship between America and the only democracy in the Middle East, one which is rooted in progressive Western values—women’s rights, gay rights, tolerance, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc.”

 —JointMedia News Service 

Yeshiva students graduate as intelligence agents

The pre-military AMIT academy in Rosh Pina recently graduated a class of yeshiva students, who spent the last 17 years studying and training for army service in intelligence units and for positions in spy agencies. The academy is the only civilian institution that offers training and instruction specifically geared toward religious students.

The students conduct research, surveillance, translation, covert operations and counterespionage. They also watch Al-Jazeera, learn Arabic, and read the Quran while simultaneously studying the Torah and Talmud.

Eventually, these young men may be recruited to elite intelligence units within the IDF. Among the graduates of the academy is a senior official with the Shin Bet, Israel Hayom reported. 

—Israel Hayom/JointMedia News Service

Click photo to download. Caption: The Google logo. Credit: Google.Historic Jerusalem and Tel Aviv featured as Google ‘World Wonders’

Google will feature the Old City of Jerusalem as well as historic sections of Tel Aviv on its new platform, the “World Wonders Project.” An addition to Google’s Street View service, the project, launched May 31, allows “travelers” to take virtual tours of historic neighborhoods and sites with a panoramic street-level view. 

Users will be able to go on virtual tours of some 132 historic and heritage sites from 18 countries. The project is presented in six languages, including Hebrew.

“We believe the project can be extremely useful for students, researchers and teachers, who have been given an innovative, interactive learning tool,” a Google spokesperson said.

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service

Click photo to download. Caption: Queen Elizabeth II. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee highlights relationship with Jews

As Great Britain celebrates Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee (marking 60 years of her reign) with a special extended bank holiday from June 2-5, scholars have pointed out that the royal family has had a friendly relationship with the country’s Jewish community for several generations.

The Queen’s opinions on Jews are not verified since she cannot express her personal views in public, but her actions may paint a better picture. Prince Charles of Wales was circumcised by Rabbi Jacob Snowman M.D, a leading mohel in London who circumcised several royal family members in a tradition dating back to George I, Haaretz reported.

The Queen, despite being the head of the Church of England, notably did not object when her daughter, the Princess Anne, married an Italian-Jewish man. Alice of Battenberg, whose son is the Queen’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, was recognized in 1994 by Israel’s Yad Vashem as a “righteous gentile” for saving a Jewish family during the Holocaust in Greece. 

JointMedia News Service

Anti-Israel Turkish march marks two years since Gaza flotilla incident

Click photo to download. Caption: Protesters in Istanbul's Taksim Square on the day of the May 31, 2010 Gaza flotilla incident. Credit: Bektour.Marking the second anniversary of the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident, tens of thousands of Turks attended a demonstration dubbed “marching for the liberation of Palestine” in Istanbul, Israel Hayom reported.

In May 2010, Israeli naval commandos raided a flotilla of ships illegally bound for blockaded Gaza. When they boarded the Mavi Marmara, the commandos faced violent resistance from members of IHH, a pro-Palestinian Turkish humanitarian relief organization. In the ensuing struggle, nine Turkish citizens were killed and dozens were wounded.

At the march, held May 31 at Istanbul’s Taksim Square, many people held posters denouncing Israel, with one saying “Israel threatens world peace.” The same day, Palestinians in Gaza held a memorial service for the “heroes who tried to breach the blockade Israel imposed on Gaza.”

—JointMedia News Service

Report: Photos reveal Iran cleaning nuclear-research site

Satellite photographs posted May 30 by the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security apparently show Iran cleaning a military site where nuclear-weapons research took place, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The images of the Parchin site, taken May 25, display what seems to be the deployment of heavy machinery to move earth and equipment as well as the demolishing of two buildings, according to the Journal.

Even before the new images were revealed, the International Atomic Energy Agency had been pressing Iran to allow inspectors to visit Parchin due to suspected nuclear testing there.

—JointMedia News Service

U.S. Commerce may label Arabs "disadvantaged minority," while Jews face more hate crimes

The U.S. Commerce Department is considering classifying Arab Americans as a socially and economically disadvantaged minority group, making them eligible for special business assistance, after the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) petitioned the department on the issue earlier this year.

According to The Hill, ADC asserts that Arab Americans have faced discrimination and racial profiling since the U.S. increased security measures following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. ADC alleged that the requirement of non-immigrants to register at ports of entry, stricter travel guidelines, and “no-fly lists” primarily composed of Arab Americans all constitute discrimination against Arab Americans.

However, FBI statistics released last November show that out of 1,409 religion-based hate crimes in 2010, only 13.2 percent were anti-Islamic. Meanwhile, 65.4 percent of those hate crimes were anti-Jewish.

If the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) approves the ADC petition by June 27, Arab American entrepreneurs will gain greater access to capital, contracts and trade opportunities. 

—JointMedia News Service 

Click photo to download. Caption: President Barack Obama. Credit: White House.Critics challenge Obama's assertion of Jewish knowledge

President Barack Obama told a group of Conservative Jewish leaders May 29 that he “probably knows about Judaism more than any other president” because he read about it. The same day, Obama mistakenly referred to a Nazi death camp as a “Polish death camp” at a ceremony honoring a Polish resistance fighter Jan Karski.

Critiquing Obama's assertion of Jewish knowledge, former national security advisor Elliot Abrams told the Washington Free Beacon that when Obama connected the establishment of the Jewish state to the Holocaust (a narrative often used to delegitimize Israel) during his 2009 Cairo speech,  “It became obvious…that neither the President nor the advisers upon whom he relied, like Rahm Emanuel, really knew all that much about the Jewish community or about Jewish history.”

Commentary Magazine's Jonathan Podhoretz called Obama's statement on Jewish knowledge “transparently absurd.”

“We can quickly pass over the fact that John Adams and James Madison, among the most educated men in the world at the time, knew Hebrew as well as Latin and Greek and just say that the president is, to put it mildly, punching above his weight here,” Podhoretz quipped in a blog post.

National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor confirmed that Obama in fact was referring to Nazi death camps in Poland and said, “We regret this misstatement, which should not detract from the clear intention to honor Mr. Karski and those brave citizens who stood on the side of human dignity in the face of tyranny.” 

—JointMedia News Service

Iran blames Western intervention for Syrian violence 

In an explicit threat to Israel, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said May 30 that Western military intervention in war-torn Syria would result in a regional crisis that “engulfs the Zionist regime.” Laranjani, a close adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made the remarks in response to calls from some Western officials for action in Syria to stop the bloodshed in the more than yearlong popular uprising.

“U.S. military officials have a poor understanding of themselves and of regional issues because Syria is in no way similar to Libya,” Larijani said. The effects of “creating another Benghazi in Syria would spread to Palestine, and ash rising from the flames would engulf the Zionist regime.” He accused the U.S. and the West of “seeking to pave the way for a new crisis.” 

In response to Larijani, an Israeli government official stressed that Iran is trying to control the Middle East and supports mass murder in Syria. “One can only imagine what would happen if Iran possessed nuclear weapons,” the official said, according to Israel Radio.

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service

Click photo to download. Caption: PJ Library founder Harold Grinspoon makes the non-profit's 3 millionth book delivery, to 5-year-old Jordana Goldstein, in Livingston, NJ. Credit: Rob Loud. Jewish non-profit delivers 3 millionth book

PJ Library—a Jewish non-profit which gifts award-winning children’s books to families across North America, Israel, and the world—delivered its 3 millionth book on May 30 in Livingston, NJ.

Philanthropist Harold Grinspoon, who founded PJ Library in 2005, made the delivery of “Noah’s Swim-a-thon” (by Ann Koffsky) to siblings Jordana and Ryan Goldstein, ages 5 and 8, respectively.

The United Jewish Communities (UJC) of MetroWest New Jersey’s PJ Library program delivers books to 2,400 children each month.

—JointMedia News Service



Arab author forces cancelation of book that includes Israeli writers

Click photo to download. At UT-Austin (right), Arab novelist Huzama Habayeb (left) encouraged writers to drop out of an anthology that include two Israeli authors. Credit: PD.

After withdrawing her manuscript from a University of Texas anthology of women’s voices from the Middle East because two of the 29 writers were Israeli, Arab novelist Huzama Habayeb caused the volume’s cancellation by convincing a total of 12 Arab writers to withdraw their contributions.

Habayeb—born in Kuwait, raised in Jordan and currently living in Dubai—called “Palestine” her homeland when complaining to the university’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies about the inclusion of Israelis Yehudit Hendel and Orly Castel-Bloom in the book.

Israel is “an allegedly legitimate literary Middle Eastern component that desperately seeks acceptance, notwithstanding its ‘genocidal’ practices against Palestinians,” Habayeb said, according to FrontPage Magazine.

“All the Arab writers whom I managed to contact withdrew their contributions,” she said.  Although the University of  Texas initially planned to proceed with publication without Habayeb’s article, the book was cancelled after the additional authors withdrew their contributions. 

—JointMedia News Service

Australia to disburse $90 million in aid for Palestinian refugees

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced that the country agreed to give $90 million in aid to Palestinian refugees over the next five years, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

“I’m very proud to say that since 2007 we’ve helped 470,000 Palestinian children attend school, including more than 200,000 girls, and supported 4,200 health workers,” Carr said. The new agreement will “build on those gains,” he said.

Carr, who met with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on May 28, echoed the Palestinian narrative when he said there could be more than 5 million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East. According to Middle East Forum founder Daniel Pipes, only one percent of the refugees served by UNRWA fit the agency’s definition of “people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.” The other 99 percent are descendants of refugees.

—JointMedia News Service

Florida synagogues silencing Republican congregants

Click photo to download. Caption: The president of Temple Israel in Miami refused to allow a Republican congregant to rebut remarks made by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (pictured). Credit: U.S. Congress.

Recent political discourse at some Florida synagogues has been one-sided, according to reports.

In May, the president of Temple Israel in Miami refused to allow a Republican congregant to rebut remarks made by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). Additionally, Republican congregants were removed from a speech by Ambassador Susan Rice at B’nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

“I see a trend here in South Florida where some synagogues of late are only presenting prominent speakers who represent partisan policy perspectives, and other points of view are silenced,” said Florida Rabbi Sam Intrada, a self-described lifelong Democrat. “This trend to keep out centrist, moderate, mainstream concerns about Israel and stifling discussion about them is very painful to me,” he added.

—JointMedia News Service

Click photo to download. Caption: Dennis Ross. Credit: Nrbelex.

Ross: If Iran goes nuclear, so will Saudi Arabia

Former Middle East envoy Dennis Ross said May 29 that Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has warned the U.S. that if Iran obtains nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia will also try to acquire them.

“If they get nuclear weapons, we will get nuclear weapons,” Ross recalled King Abdullah telling him in 2009.

According to Haaretz, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington, had warned senior NATO military officials that an Iranian nuclear bomb “would compel Saudi Arabia...to pursue policies which could lead to untold and possibly dramatic consequences.”

—JointMedia News Service

Netanyahu calls on Palestinians to ‘give peace a chance’

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke May 29 at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), where he called on the Palestinian Authority to “give peace a chance” and “not to miss this unique opportunity” for peace.

Netanyahu said Israel’s desire for peace “is not always reciprocated” and that Israel “does not want to rule the Palestinians.” He reiterated his commitment to a two-state solution, but argued that Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish national homeland is necessary, according to reports.

—JointMedia News Service 

State Dept. accepts controversial Palestinian narrative on number of refugees

Click photo to download. Caption: Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides. Credit: State Department.

Amid a Senate amendment requiring the government to quantify how many Palestinians receiving U.S. aid were displaced after the Israeli War of Independence and how many are only descendants of such refugees, a State Department official said the U.S. considers the descendants to be actual refugees, The Cable reported.

Additionally, Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides, in a letter to U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) expressing opposition to U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s amendment, wrote that the UN and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) “provides essential services for approximately 5 million refugees.”

Middle East Forum founder Daniel Pipes, however, noted in an op-ed for Israel Hayom that only 1 percent of the 5 million refugees served by UNRWA fit the agency’s definition of “people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.” The other 99 percent are descendants of refugees.

Former deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams noted that no other refugee case in history exists, besides for the Palestinians, in which “the number of refugees grows generation after generation and no efforts at resettlement are made,” the Washington Post reported.

JointMedia News Service

Swiss supermarket chain joins trend of isolating Jewish settlement products

On the heels of decisions by Denmark and South Africa to place special labels on products it imports from Judea and Samaria, a major Swiss supermarket chain is following suit.

The Migros supermarkets will inform customers if products come from Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, rather than only “Israel,” using the rationale that the Swiss government and United Nations consider the settlements illegal under international law, the Associated Press reported.

South Africa previously decided “not to incorrectly label products that originate from the Occupied Palestinian Territory as products of Israel,” and Denmark’s foreign minister, Villy Sovndal, said marking products with these special labels “clearly shows consumers that the products are produced under conditions that not only the Danish government, but also European governments, do not approve of.”

—JointMedia News Service 

‘Flame’ virus attacks Iranian computers

A dangerous virus reportedly struck hundreds of computers in the Middle East, with the highest number in Iran.

Called the “most sophisticated cyber-weapon yet unleashed,” the virus attacked more than 600 computer systems in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority, Israel National News reported.  

“Stuxnet and Duqu belonged to a single chain of attacks, which raised cyberwar-related concerns worldwide…The Flame malware looks to be another phase in this war, and it’s important to understand that such cyber weapons can easily be used against any country,” said Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, a Russian-based multi-national computer security company that discovered the virus, according to Israel Hayom.

Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon hinted that Israel might be behind the cyber attack. “Whoever sees the Iranian threat as a meaningful threat—it is reasonable he would take various measures, including this one,” he said. 

—JointMedia News Service

Click photo to download. Caption: Palestinian terrorists released in exchange for Gilad Shalit (pictured) have risen to public office. Credit: IDF.Released terrorists become ranking Hamas officials

In the wake of the release of hundreds of Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons in exchange for the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit last year, some of the freed terrorists have been elected to high office.

Recent Hamas internal elections resulted in the election of senior terrorists Yihya Alsanwar and Ruhi Mashtaha, both of whom were released in the Shalit deal, to the Hamas Political Bureau. Other terrorists released in the Shalit deal were elected to the General Shura Council in Gaza, Israel National News reported.

—JointMedia News Service


Click photo to download. Caption: Madonna. Credit: David Shankbone.Madonna begins world tour in Tel Aviv

Singer Madonna hosted the opening show of her latest concert tour, “MDNA,” in Tel Aviv on May 31. The show reportedly cost about NIS 15 million to put together, and the stage at Ramat Gan Stadium held about 35,000 people. American television host Conan O’Brien went to Israel especially to cover the show. 

Haaretz reports that about 600 staffers  make up the production team. Three-hundred-and-fifty of those came to Israel with the singer from the U.S last week. Tickets to the MDNA concert around the world range from $45 to $600 for a VIP package.

The Huffington Post has estimated that the entire concert tour will earn at least $300 million. The tour will cover 32 countries, including the United Arab Emirates, the Ukraine and Colombia.

Meanwhile, a member of Madonna’s dance troupe has caused a stir by posting a picture of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and tweeting, “At the amazing Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. I don’t want to say it’s in Israel, but Palestine, strength and honor.” Madonna, so far, has not responded to the tweet.

JointMedia News Service

Posted on June 5, 2012 and filed under Briefs, Israel, U.S., World.