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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 29,876

Journal Archives

Britain Warns Diplomats Not To Meet Israelis In Public

London's Foreign Office has cautioned its diplomats abroad not to travel in cars with Israelis, or meet with them in public for fear of being targeted by terrorists trying to attack Israelis abroad.

The warning came in wake of the recent terror attempts on Israeli envoys in New Delhi, Tbilisi and Bangkok, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Thursday.

Israel's Foreign Ministry Director-General Rafi Barak called on all Israeli envoys abroad to take extra security precautions as fears increased that terrorists would attempt to attack Israeli targets abroad again.

"In these moments all elements are doing all they possibly can in order to find the best solution in this current reality. All Israeli Foreign Ministry employees abroad should mind the security precautions," he said.



Russia Warns Israel Not To Attack Iran

Russia warned Israel on Wednesday that attacking Iran would be a disastrous and played down the failure of a UN nuclear agency mission to Tehran, saying there is still a chance for new talks over the Iranian atomic program.

"Of course any possible military scenario against Iran will be catastrophic for the region and for the whole system of international relations," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told a news conference.

It was one of Russia's starkest warnings against resorting to force, an option Israel and the United States have not ruled out if they conclude that diplomacy and increasing sanctions will not stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.

"I hope Israel understands all these consequences ... and they should also consider the consequences of such action for themselves," Gatilov said. "I hope a realistic approach will prevail, along with a sensible assessment."



War And Neglect Leaves 500,000 Afghans Homeless: Amnesty

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, February 23, 2012 6:25 EST

Half a million Afghans displaced by war have been left homeless and struggling to survive because of government and international neglect, Amnesty International said Thursday.

Around 400 people join makeshift shelters around the country every day, Amnesty said in a report entitled “Fleeing war, finding misery”, based on three years of research.

The Afghan government estimates that more than 40 people froze to death this winter, the harshest in 15 years, with at least 28 children dying in camps around Kabul.

The government is “not only looking the other way but even preventing help from reaching them” in an attempt to avoid making the settlements permanent, Amnesty researcher Horia Mosadiq said.



Israeli Supreme Court Overturns Ultra-Orthodox Military Exemption Law

REPORTING FROM JERUSALEM -- Israel’s Supreme Court has dropped a political hot potato on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plate by overturning a law that had effectively exempted tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox religious students from mandatory military service.

The decision could force Netanyahu’s conservative coalition government -- which includes leading religious party Shas -- to tackle one of thorniest issues dividing Israel’s religious and secular communities.

The court ruled that the current law must expire by August, and some predict the debate could become so divisive, it might tear apart Netanyahu’s coalition or trigger early elections.

Only a fraction of ultra-Orthodox students join the army. Currently, nearly 70,000 have been exempted under the law, according to military figures.



Israel Dismisses Warnings From US About Attacking Iran

By Jeremy Herb - 02/22/12 12:39 PM ET

Israel’s foreign minister on Wednesday said it's not the business of the United States whether his country decides to attack Iran.

Foreign Minister Avigor Lieberman said that warnings from the United States and Russia about an attack would not affect Israel’s decision-making.

“[It] is not their business,” Lieberman said in an interview with an Israeli TV station Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

“The security of the citizens of Israel, the future of the state of Israel, this is the Israeli government’s responsibility,” he said.



Obama To Address Pro-Israel Lobby Amid Heightened Tensions Over Iran’s Nuclear Program

By Associated Press,

WASHINGTON — The White House says President Barack Obama will address the annual conference of AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby, next month.

The White House says Obama will speak at the conference on March 4. He will hold meetings the following day with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will also be in Washington to attend the conference.

The president’s election-year remarks to AIPAC come as Republican presidential candidates question his support for Israel and his handling of Iran’s nuclear threat. Obama says he is a staunch supporter of Israel.



Jordan's King Blames Israel For Deadlocked Peace

King Abdullah II of Jordan on Tuesday blamed Israel for deadlocked Mideast peacemaking in a meeting with US Jewish leaders, the official Petra News Agency said.

But the king's guests offered a more optimistic version of events, saying Abdullah had also been complimentary of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's position in recent peace talks.

Jordan last month played host to talks that have subsequently been broken off. Palestinian and Israeli negotiators have blamed the other for the cut-off.

Petra said Abdullah was specifically concerned over Israel's "unilateral policies." It said that included changing the identity of the traditionally Arab sector in east Jerusalem and tampering with Muslim holy shrines there.



Israel: Public U.S. Objections To Military Attack Serve Iran's Interests

Israel has protested to the United States over recent comments by senior American officials critical of any Israeli attack on Iran, saying this criticism "served Iran's interests."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and other senior officials made their displeasure known to Tom Donilon, U.S. national security adviser who has been in Israel this week.

A senior Israeli official said Netanyahu and Barak told Donilon of their dissatisfaction with the interview given by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, to CNN on Sunday.

Dempsey said "I don't think a wise thing at this moment is for Israel to launch a military attack on Iran," and a strike "would be destabilizing" and "not prudent."



IDF Says Ground Invasion in Gaza ‘Matter of Time’

It is only a “matter of time” before the IDF has to re-enter Gaza to control terror, IDF Chief of Benny Gantz warns, three years after the three-week Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign.

The IDF has carried out a consistent policy since several months after Cast Lead to retaliate after almost every terrorist attack on Israelis. Hamas and other terrorist groups, both allies and rivals, have carried out hundreds of rockets, missiles, mortar shells and sniping attacks since the end of Cast Lead in January 2009.

Israel has been operating on the basis of a “Negev roulette” policy, by which the military usually carries out a symbolic response to terrorist attacks that cause no physical injuries or serious property damage.

When damage is more severe, so is the response, even though most of the terrorist attacks are launched without guidance systems that can pinpoint targets. Gaza terrorists basically attack rural areas in the hopes of hitting human targets and know that if they hit a crowded urban center, there is more likelihood of a large-scale retaliation.



NYPD Monitoring of Muslim students sparks outrage

(02-21) 10:15 PST New Haven, Conn. (AP) --

Yale University and student groups are condemning the monitoring of Muslim college students across the Northeast by the New York Police Department, while Rutgers University and leaders of Muslim groups are calling for investigations.

The New York Police Department monitored Muslim college students far more broadly than previously known, at schools far beyond the city limits, including the Ivy League colleges of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, The Associated Press reported Saturday.

Police talked with local authorities about professors 300 miles away in Buffalo and sent an undercover agent on a whitewater rafting trip in upstate New York, where he recorded students' names and noted in police intelligence files how many times they prayed.

Detectives trawled Muslim student websites every day and, although professors and students had not been accused of any wrongdoing, their names were recorded in reports prepared for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.


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