Jewishupdates's Blog

January 12, 2010

A7News: Tehran Bomb Blast Kills Top Nuclear Scientist

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 1:24 pm

logo.jpgTevet 26, 5770 / Tuesday, Jan. 12 ’10

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Headlines

  1. Tehran Bomb Blast Kills Top Nuclear Scientist
  2. Egypt: Netanyahu Coming Around on Jerusalem; PM Denies
  3. Turkey Boosts Ties with Lebanon, Syria and Iran
  4. Petition to Court to Open Up Highways for Jews
  5. Taliban of Jewish Descent? Experts are Checking
  6. Woman Who Hid Anne Frank’s Family and Diary, Dead at 100
  7. Muslim Blood Libels against Jews Spread to Canada
  8. Qatar, PA Investors Break Ground for New PA City

1. Tehran Bomb Blast Kills Top Nuclear Scientist

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

A mysterious remote-control bomb killed a nuclear scientist in Iran Tuesday, and Iran said Israel may be responsible. The government confirmed that the victim, “Massoud Ali Mohammadi was a lecturer in nuclear energy and [that] no suspects have yet been arrested." Another news agency in the country said he was “a senior nuclear scientist."

It is not known if he was directly involved in developing Iran’s nuclear facilties, but government media stated that he was a "staunch supporter" of the Islamic revolution in 1979.

A booby-trapped motorcycle exploded near his home, and the official Iranian news agency said it was not known how many people were killed in the blast, indicating that he may not have been the only victim.

The explosion follows months of protests that were met by violent riot police squads, resulting in dozens of killings and reports of hundreds of people who “disappeared.” Demonstrators have charged that last June’s results in the re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were rigged.

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2. Egypt: Netanyahu Coming Around on Jerusalem; PM Denies

by Hillel Fendel

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office has denied Egyptian reports that he agrees to discuss a future Palestinian Authority capital in Jerusalem. Some analysts believe the denial is too little, too late.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Abu Al-Gheit told a group of European and Arab foreign ministers last week that Prime Minister Netanyahu is willing to discuss enabling parts of Jerusalem to serve as the capital of a future PA state. Al-Gheit said that Netanyahu said as much to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during his visit to Cairo two weeks ago.

Netanyahu’s office issued an official denial on Tuesday morning: “The Prime Minister stands firm, and has made this clear in all his diplomatic contacts with world leaders, that in any future peace arrangement, Jerusalem will remain united under Israeli sovereignty, and that the security borders of Israel will not include a return to the pre-1967 lines.”

Weak Initial Reaction
Earlier this morning, however, aides in the PM’s office did not strenuously refute the reports, but noted only that a position of this nature was not presented by Netanyahu in Egypt.

Following Netanyahu’s recent visit to Egypt, Egyptian officials also stated that the Israeli leader had agreed to return to the 1967 borders with just minor adjustments. Netanyahu said these claims were “not true.”

Prior to the 10-month Jewish construction freeze in Judea and Samaria that was announced in November, Netanyahu frequently denied that he was planning to implement such a policy.

Netanyahu’s Evolution
Steven J. Rosen, a top AIPAC official for 23 years and currently the director of the Washington Project at the pro-Israel think tank Middle East Forum (MEF), opined recently that Netanyahu “has gone through a personal evolution… He continues to be profoundly skeptical that signing a piece of paper can put an end to this conflict. He is a fierce advocate of defensible borders and military strength as the true guarantors of Israel’s security. Nevertheless, he has come back to a second term as prime minister with a deeper appreciation of the reality that his relations with the United States, Europe, and moderate Arab neighbors depend on the perception that he can be a partner in the search for diplomatic progress with the Palestinians. And he certainly knows that many harbor doubts about him.”

Rosen explains that this is why Netanyahu agreed to the “unprecedented” step of “putting a freeze on ‘natural growth’ of settlements. He has drastically curtailed the volume of construction starts, even in the ‘consensus’ settlement blocs that he believes were conceded to Ariel Sharon by George W. Bush.”

Furthermore, Rosen writes, “Now, below the radar, Netanyahu is making a series of additional concessions to Barack Obama and his Mideast peace envoy, George Mitchell… While no one was watching, Netanyahu has in fact agreed to language that Mitchell can accept. With the Israeli agreement in his pocket, Mitchell is now working to bring Abbas around, according to sources close to the discussions.”

Netanyahu Accepts ’67 Lines, Minus Agreed Swaps
For instance, Rosen explains, the PA position is that the pre-1967 boundary must be the basis for all border agreements, while Netanyahu and Israel have long held that the future frontiers must both meet Israel’s security imperatives and reflect post-1967 demographic realities. In the event, “Netanyahu has accepted a solution based on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s formulation: ‘an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.’"

In other issues, such as Jerusalem, refugees, negotiation timelines, and the like, Mitchell has apparently obtained the language he feels he needs in order to get Mahmoud Abbas to agree to resume talks with Israel. Several weeks ago, Mitchell announced that many “gaps had been closed” regarding “terms of reference for negotiations.” Rosen concludes that as of shortly afterwards, “the work on the Israeli side is done. Netanyahu has put the ball in the Palestinian court.”

HaEtzni Warns: Back Nearly to the ’67 Lines
This is cause for great alarm in the nationalist camp, of course. Long-time activist and former MK Elyakim HaEtzni wrote last week, “It appears that the die has been cast. Netanyahu is giving [Abbas] everything he asked for even before the negotiations have started, and in his characteristic manner: Outwardly he proclaims that negotiations must start without pre-conditions, while at the same time an American letter of guarantee to Abbas – every word of which was coordinated in advance with Netanyahu – promises the Arabs the 1967 borders with minor changes.”

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3. Turkey Boosts Ties with Lebanon, Syria and Iran

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is visiting Turkey to ratify agreements that would scrap visa requirements and strengthen defense cooperation as Ankara tightens its friendship with Israel’s three declared enemies to the north. Turkey and Lebanon also are signing military agreements for training, weapons and exchanging expertise.

Turkey’s continuing warming of relations with Iran, Syria and Lebanon comes as leading Israeli media have criticized Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon for disparaging the Turkish ambassador to Israel. Ayalon voiced anger at the envoy on Monday over a Turkish soap opera that spread a blood libel against Israel by depicting Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) agents as kidnappers of babies.

Foreign Ministry bureaucrats suggested that Ayalon and Minister Avigdor Lieberman are trying to create a crisis in order to torpedo a planned visit by Defense Minister Ehud Barak to Turkey.

Ankara used to be considered a close friend of Israel, an image that officials of the Labor party, headed by Barak, are trying to maintain. Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, a veteran Labor politician, said last month that there is no diplomatic crisis between the two countries despite harsh statements against Israel by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ministers.

Erdogan this week castigated Israel for bombing Gaza terrorists, allegedly without provocation, and accused Israel of threatening stability in the world because of its assumed nuclear capability. He said in Lebanon, "Is the Israeli government in favor of peace or not? Gaza was bombed again yesterday. Why?” Although Gaza terrorists have escalated rocket fire on Israel almost every day the past week, Erdogan stated, “There were no rocket attacks” when the IDF retaliated.

At a joint press conference with Erdogan, Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri declared that Israel is an enemy of Lebanon.

Turkey’s closer military ties with Lebanon follow by two months defense pacts signed with Syria and Iran. Erdogan last October stated that cooperation with the Syria and Iran is important for peace in the Middle East.

During a visit by Erdogan to Iran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad praised the Turkish Prime Minister for his “clear stance against the Zionist regime.” Turkey also has signed military pacts with Syria and held a joint military drill with its army shortly after canceling the annual military exercise in which Israel participated.

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4. Petition to Court to Open Up Highways for Jews

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Parliamentary aide Itamar Ben-Gvir and activist Baruch Marzel have petitioned High Court justices to allow Jews to drive on highways restricted for Arabs, based on the court’s reasoning behind last week’s order that a major highway be opened for Arabs.

The court told the IDF that it cannot continue to enforce its blanket restriction on Arabs from driving on a 14-mile stretch of Highway 443, which passes though part of Samaria on the way to the city of Modi’in and Ben Gurion International Airport. The road has been closed to Palestinian Authority Arabs since 2002 after Jews were repeatedly wounded and killed on the highway in dozens of terrorist attacks.

Ben-Gvir and Marzel filed a petition Monday arguing that justice’s statement — “there is no justification for placing sanctions on an entire population” — also should apply to other highways in Judea and Samaria, including Hevron, which are reserved solely for PA Arab motorists.

Jewish drivers are forced to take roads that significantly lengthen their trips, particularly to Jerusalem. The appeal argues that keeping Jews off the highways “seriously damages the fabric of life” for Jews in Judea and Samaria. “If the reasoning applies to Arabs, there is no reason to differentiate between Jews and Arabs because the law should apply equally to everybody,” the petition argued.

The order to open Highway 443 is to take effect in five months in order to give the IDF time to come up with alternative security procedures, but Transportation Ministry officials have warned that an additional result of the decision will come in the form of traffic jams on the main highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Ministry transportation inspector Yishai Taylor said that Jewish motorists will be afraid to use 443 because of the possibility that it will return to being a death trap at the hands of terrorists. The result he said, will be a “complete collapse” of the heavily-traveled Highway 1 from Jerusalem.

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5. Taliban of Jewish Descent? Experts are Checking

by Hillel Fendel

Experts at the National Institute of Immunohaematology in Mumbai, India believe a large group of Taliban Muslims might be descended of the lost Ten Tribes of Israel – and an Israeli rabbinical expert agrees.

Israel’s government is partially funding a genetic study to establish if there is any proof of the link, bringing an Indian expert in DNA profiling and population genetics to the Technion in Haifa. The expert, Shahnaz Ali, will be supervised by Israeli genetic research expert Prof. Karl Skorecki.

Rabbi Eliyahu Avichayil, who has dedicated his life to seeking out descendants of the Ten Tribes and bringing them to Israel, says he does not need or trust genetic testing for this purpose: “Rashi’s explanation to Jeremiah 31, 20 implies that the way to identify the Ten Lost Tribes will be via the Jewish customs that they maintain – and in this case, there are many of them.”

Rabbi Avichayil says that the Jewish-like customs that have been found among the Pathans – many of whom are now of the Taliban tribe – include sidelocks, ritual circumcision at eight days, cities of refuge for accidental killers, four-cornered garments, ritual immersion for women, and more. They also practice levirate marriage – not according to Moslem custom, which allows for various relatives of the deceased to marry a widow, whether or not she has children, but rather closer to Jewish custom, in that only brothers can marry only childless-widows.

The very name of the Afridi tribe, of which many members belong to the Taliban, indicates its origin from the Israelite Tribe of Ephraim, Rabbi Avichayil says. “The Pathans, 22 million strong, include not only the Afridic tribe, some 7.5 million people, but also the Rabanis, the Gadis, the Asheris, etc. – indications that many of them are of the Ten Tribes.”

Asked if we now have to consider the possibility of absorbing millions of Moslems from the east, including Talibanis, Rabbi Avichayil said, “I originally thought that it would be sufficient to merely have a small representation of each tribe, and then the Messiah could take care of the rest. But I was then encouraged by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to continue bringing more and more – but some basic conditions must still be met, such as good absorption arrangements – not as there were with the Ethiopians – and of course a willingness on their part. I met with some Afridi members in Washington, and they were very enthusiastic about what I was saying. If I saw that some of them were interested in converting and living a Jewish lifestyle, I would immediately do what I could to help them come here.”

Regarding Al Qaeda terrorist leader and mass murderer Osama Bin Laden, Rabbi Avichayil said, "No need for concern; he’s not from these tribes, but rather hails from Yemen and Saudi Arabia."

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6. Woman Who Hid Anne Frank’s Family and Diary, Dead at 100

by Hana Levi Julian

The heroic woman who braved the wrath of the Nazis to feed, clothe and hide Anne Frank and her family for two years during the Holocaust has died at the age of 100.

An office secretary in the German-occupied Netherlands during World War II, Miep Gies also saved the young teenager’s notebooks and papers, locking them in a drawer to hold them safe until her hoped-for return after the war.

According to Gies’ web site, the elderly woman passed away after a brief illness – a report that was confirmed by the Anne Frank Museum. The BBC added that she died in a nursing home after having fallen last month.

Gies was named a “Righteous Gentile” by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, and has also been honored by the Dutch monarchy, the government of Germany and numerous educational institutions.

Precious few Gentiles helped Anne’s desperate family – her parents, sister and four other Jews — who were fleeing the Nazis. Gies was the last of those who supplied human compassion and physical sustenance to the refugees before the Gestapo discovered the location of the secret annex behind the canal warehouse in which they hid.

An office assistant in the spice business belonging to Anne’s father, Otto Frank, Gies refused to join a Nazi organization in 1941. To avoid deportation to Austria, she married her Dutch boyfriend, Jan Gies. When the Nazis began arresting Dutch Jews, Otto Frank asked Gies to help hide his family in the annex above the company’s warehouse along the canal on Prinsengracht 263, and to bring them supplies. She agreed, and together with her husband and four other company workers, sustained the family until the Nazis captured them.

Anne Frank’s diary describes in detail the 25 months of her life in hiding from June 12, 1942 until August 1, 1944. The young teenager, who received her diary as a gift for her 13th birthday, later died in captivity at the Bergen-Belsen death camp, in March 1945 – just two weeks before the camp was liberated by the Allied Forces.

Gies, who refused to read the young girl’s papers out of respect for her privacy – which she said was “sacred” – gave the diary to Anne’s father Otto, the family’s sole survivor of the war. He later published the diary as a book in 1947, titled simply, “The Diary of Anne Frank.” It has since been published in at least 65 different languages and is required reading for students around the world as a way to understand the Jewish experience of the war.

Gies resumed working for Otto Frank as he edited the diary, and then devoted the rest of her life responding to mail about the war and refuting the claims of Holocaust deniers. Otto Frank died in 1980, and Gies’s husband Jan died in 1993.

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7. Muslim Blood Libels against Jews Spread to Canada

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

A Canadian Muslim newspaper accused Jews of harvesting children’s organs and then issued a qualified apology for “causing hurt” without stating that the charges are a lie.

Canadian Muslims last week adopted the spreading practice of renewing the ancient blood libel against Jews when the community’s Al Ameen Post published an article accusing Jews of kidnapping “some 25,000 Ukrainian children into the occupied entity over the past two years in order to harvest their organs.”

The source material for the article was Iran’s Press TV network.

B’nai Brith Canada called the Al Ameen posting a "hideous blood libel against the Jewish community and has no place in Canada or anywhere else."

Mohammed Bhamji, the managing editor of Al Ameen, said he did not think the story was racist or inflammatory "because it was reported in the media. [But] I don’t have the facts. When we got that story on the Internet we assumed it was true. We are not professional journalists. We are just a community-based newspaper about anything that has to do with Islam.”

Frank Dimant, executive vice-president of B’nai Brith, replied that Press TV is "the official mouthpiece of the terrorist-sponsoring Iranian regime."

The Al Ameen website offered a qualified apology on its website. It explained, “The leading Canadian Jewish organization, is not pleased with the content of the article, and have [sic] asked for an apology.

The editorial board of Al Ameen Post, without prejudice, extends its honest and sincere apology to our fellow Jewish Canadians for any hurt,” but the site then added, “Defending our news article at this juncture would mean causing further divide in our harmonious multicultural fabric, which goes against our own values, but it is needless to say that the issue of ‘Organ Harvesting in Israel’ was being discussed at the time of our last publication, by major media outlets, and not just Al Ameen.”

It did not state that the charges were lies.

The British Columbia Muslim Association (BCMA) issued a statement denying any official association with Al Ameen but B’nai Brith noted, “We are still very concerned about the fact that an established Islamic organization such as the BCMA. has not apologized to the Jewish community for the distribution of the anti-Semitic blood libel published in Al Ameen, which was disseminated in mosques operated by the BCMA.

The Canadian National Post, where the report of the blood libel first appeared, has called Al Ameen the “house journal of the BCMA."

The phenomena of blood libel, a common practice against Jews in Medieval times and by many Christians since then, has spread rapidly since last year’s Swedish newspaper report that Israeli soldiers harvested organs of terrorists. Hamas has constantly used blood libels in propagandizing to Palestinian Authority Arabs, and the Muslim world has increasingly used the tactic in the past decade.

Turkish television broadcast a soap opera this week that portrays Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) agents kidnapping children, prompting a diplomatic crisis between Jerusalem and Ankara.

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8. Qatar, PA Investors Break Ground for New PA City

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

A Qatar investment firm has broken ground for a new modern Palestinian Authority city, located next to Ramallah and north of Jerusalem and near several Jewish communities. The $500 million project is planned to house 40,000 people and look like a modern Western-style suburb, overlooking nearby Jewish towns. The government’s 10-month building freeze preventing new construction for Jews in Judea and Samaria does not affect Arabs.

The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, an investment arm of the American government, will help PA Arab families purchase homes by providing funds through a mortgage aid program.

The city is to be called Rawabi, Arabic for “hills.” It will require a new access road and will be an instrumental development in placing “facts on the ground” that may threaten the existence of Jewish communities in the area. The PA has demanded that the area, as well as the rest of Judea and Samaria, be included in the country it wants to establish.

The city, funded in part by the Qatari Real Estate Development Investment Company, is designed to include a hotel, movie theater, conference center, shopping centers and offices as well as homes.

The Netanyahu government has encouraged economic growth in the Palestinian Authority, but government spokesmen did not reply to reporters’ questions concerning the building of an access road. The Jewish National Fund has contributed thousands of trees for green areas in and around the city.

Some Arab skeptics question whether PA Arabs can make the change from village life to a planned suburb, but Rawabi is expected to attract middle-class residents wanting to move away from crowded villages and cities.

No Cooperation With Jewish Settlers
Palestinian Authority businessman Bashar Masri helped launch the project and noted that it will generate thousands of jobs for Arabs. Masri also said that cooperation with Israel will not include Jews living in Judea and Samaria. “We will not deal with settlements,” he told The Media Line. "Hopefully, [the] settlements will one day be a suburb of Rawabi and will be inhabited by Palestinians and will be welcome to Jews who want to live in a Palestinian state.”

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