Period: May 2012


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By Barak Ravid, Natasha Mozgovaya and Haim Handwerker
Nuclear talks between Iran, Western powers to begin next month; officials in Jerusalem estimate Israel will allow at least three months for discussions, until oil embargo on Iran comes into full effect in July.
Discussions between Iran and the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program will begin on April 13, senior U.S. and EU officials informed Israel on Tuesday. The talks are likely to take place in Geneva.
Officials in Jerusalem estimate that Israel will allow at least three months for discussions, until the oil embargo on Iran comes into full effect in the beginning of July.
Meanwhile, former Mossad head Meir Dagan said he believes Israel will be aware when Iran moves to the stage of nuclear weapon production – for example, enriching uranium to a degree of 90 percent. Dagan said that at that stage Israel would have to attack the Iranian nuclear sites if the international community does not stop its program.
Speaking at an event in a Haifa hospital, Dagan said that currently Israel must not attack Iran, and that a strike on its nuclear facilities should be the last resort.
Dagan said he believed the Israeli Air Force has the capability to significantly damage Iran's nuclear sites, yet warned that such a strike will have serious repercussions.
He added that in case of an Israeli attack, hundreds of missiles will be launched at Israel, together with barrages from Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iranian-linked organizations in Gaza.
President Barack Obama made a direct appeal on Tuesday to the Iranian people, saying there was "no reason for the United States and Iran to be divided from one another."
In a video message marking the Persian new year, known as Nowruz, Obama said the U.S. seeks a dialogue with the Iranian people in order hear their views and understand their aspirations. And he sharply rebuked the Iranian government for setting up an "electronic curtain" around its people that the U.S. says blocks access to much of the outside world.
Israel has been in constant talks with the U.S. administration and the EU in preparation of the talks, and has insisted on holding the Iranians to a timeline. A senior official said that Helga Schmidt, deputy to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, visited Jerusalem a few days ago and discussed the Iranian issue.
According to an Israeli official, Schmidt expressed concern over the possibility of a unilateral Israeli action against Iran. She said that the talks were serious and will be comprised of a series of meetings.
On Tuesday, representatives from the six nations met in Brussels to coordinate positions ahead of the talks. Washington and other European capitals expressed concerns that a breakdown of the talks would lead to a significant escalation and will require a serious examination of a military option. Continued:

May 9, 2012 - The Bill, “H.R. 4133: United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012,” legally binds America to a “Jewish” state…with Jewry’s ink dripping its agenda from start to finish of the legislation.
Moreover, apparently it was due to Jewish intrigue that the Resolution was passed under a procedure called “suspension of the rules” typically reserved for non-controversial topics requiring little debate and allowing for a quick vote.
Middle East specialist, Dr Stephen Zunes, outlines a number of provisions that evince a strong Jewish imprint throughout the Bill:
It is to be US policy to be forever committed to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish state.
• This is the first time in history that Congress committed America to the racial and religious makeup of a foreign state.
Also, any peace settlement would be contingent on Christian and Muslim Palestinians recognizing Israel as a “Jewish” state relegating themselves to 2nd class citizens and forfeiting all Palestinian refugees the right of return to their stolen homes and lands. It is to be US policy to help Israel preserve its qualitative military edge in the region.
• The Bill would thus legally obligate America to maintain Israel’s ability to invade, occupy, and subjugate its neighbors while keeping Israel in a constant state of war and increasingly dependent on the United States.
It is to be US policy to veto any “one-sided” Resolutions at the United Nations Security Council directed at Israel.
• Israel would then be exempt from its ongoing violations of international humanitarian law and future crimes against humanity and related war crimes. View Entire Story Here & Here.
Who then could deny that Congress is under the thrall of International Jewry? Who then could deny that the legislative polity of Congress is dictated by the Jewish Lobby? Continued:

Just Peacemaking Initiative, Fuller Seminary Apr 3, 2012
From David P. Gushee and Glen H. Stassen - September 19, 2011 - (extracted) - "we suggest that Christian Zionists who move from a generalized love of Israel to a specific claim that the contemporary state of Israel has divine title to the entire Holy Land, need to take more seriously the complexity of what the Bible actually says about God’s promises to Abraham.
Genesis 15:18 reads: “On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates.” The next verse goes on to name the various peoples to whom the land belonged at the time.
The territory denoted by the space between these two rivers includes modern-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, half of Iraq, half of Egypt, parts of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, the modern state of Israel, as well as the occupied Palestinian territories.
A literal reading of the text that assumes that the descendants of Abram are only the Jewish people faces a problem here. Either God is not very good at keeping his promises, or God’s plan is for contemporary Israel ultimately to conquer all of these other countries and occupy their land. That would result in an Israel ruled by its 90% majority Arabs, or an Israel attempting to subjugate that 90% by force.
But the promise looks very different if we take seriously all of the offspring of Abraham. Genesis 15:4-5 has God taking Abram outside and telling him that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars of the heavens. Genesis 17:4, probably the pivotal text, has God saying to Abraham: “This is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations.” Many nations, a multitude of nations; many offspring, many kings—read Genesis 17 again and see the plural nouns here."

Mavrix - South African Band Mar 21, 2012 - The New Black - In a first ever musical collaboration between South Africa and Palestine, South African band, The Mavrix, and Palestinian Oud player, Mohammed Omar, have released a music video called "The New Black". The song is taken from The Mavrix' upcoming album,"Pura Vida", due for release in June 2012. Written and composed by Jeremy Karodia and Ayub Mayet, the song was a musical reaction to the horror of the Gaza Massacre of 2008/2009 and then subsequently inspired by the book "Mornings in Jenin", authored by Susan Abulhawa. Mayet had penned the first lyrics in 2009 after the Massacre and the song went into musical hibernation. Having read the novel, "Mornings in Jenin", he then re-wrote the lyrics and the song evolved into its current version.
Haidar Eid, a Gaza based BDS activist and friend of the band, heard the song in 2011 and urged the band to do a collaboration with Palestinian Oud player, Mohamed Omar. He also suggested that the band do a video highlighting the collaboration between South African and Palestinian musicians and also the similarities in the two struggles. The song was recorded by The Mavrix in South Africa whilst Mohamed recorded the Oud in Gaza and, although never having had the opportunity to meet, the musical interplay between the musicians so far apart illustrates the empathy the musicians feel in solidarity with each other.
Produced by The Palestinian Solidarity Alliance (South Africa) and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) along with written endorsements from Haidar Eid of PACBI, Omar Barghouti of the BDS Movement, Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada and Susan Abulhawa, author of "Mornings in Jenin", the song represents a message of support from South Africans, who having transgressed and crossed over their own oppression under apartheid, stand in solidarity with Palestinians who are currently experiencing their own oppression under Israeli apartheid
In a first ever musical collaboration between South Africa and Palestine, South African band, The Mavrix, and Palestinian Oud player, Mohammed Omar, have released a music video called "The New Black". The song is taken from The Mavrix' upcoming album,"Pura Vida", due for release in June 2012. Continued:

By Timothy M. Phelps - March 26, 2012 - The Supreme Court weighed into one of the thorniest issues in the Middle East conflict - who has sovereignty over Jerusalem - ruling that courts have the power to decide whether Congress can order that passports for US citizens born there list "Israel" as their birthplace.
The justices, ruling 8 to 1 on Monday, passed the decision back to a lower court. So Menachem Binyamin Zivotofsky, now 9, will have to wait to find out what his passport will look like.
The US has long taken the position that sovereignty over Jerusalem, which Israelis and Palestinians both claim as their capital, must be resolved in negotiations, so the government does not recognize Israeli sovereignty there. But in 2002, Congress passed a bill urging that the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv be relocated to Jerusalem and ordering that "Israel" should be listed as the birthplace for those born in the city who request it.
The George W. Bush and Obama administrations argued that the law was unconstitutional because it impinged on the president's right to conduct foreign policy.
Bush said in a statement while he was signing the bill that he would not enforce the provision because it would "impermissibly interfere with the president's constitutional authority to ...speak for the nation in international affairs and determine the terms on which recognition is given to foreign states."
Zivotofsky was born at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in West Jerusalem shortly after the law was enacted. His parents, Ari and Naomi, argue that is it unfair to allow about 100,000 Americans born in cities that the US recognizes as being under Israeli sovereignty to have their passports list Israel as their birthplace, but not the 50,000 or so Americans born in Jerusalem. The State Department listed his birthplace only as "Jerusalem."

By Elad Benari - Dr. Meir Rosenne, former Israeli ambassador to the United States and France, said on Wednesday that the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are legal and that this is true under international law... Dr. Rosenne noted that "the PA is not a country. It has a Palestinian Authority and Hamas which controls Gaza but they have no country. All UN documents dealing with Resolution 242 do not mention the word Palestinian."
He added that although some people may not be aware of this, under international law the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria have full legal status.
"American jurists such as former ICJ President Stephen Schwebel have said that Israel has more rights to Judea and Samaria," said Rosenne. "Any legal expert who looks at the UN documents will see that there is no such concept as the West Bank or the occupied territories, but rather Judea and Samaria. That is the terminology that appears in the most official documents."
Dr. Rosenne added that according to the Geneva Convention, all the Jewish communities are legal, saying, "Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention says that an occupying power cannot forcibly move citizens to occupied territory. This was true during World War II when the Germans forcefully moved German citizens to occupied Polish territories. In our case, Israel never occupied Judea and Samaria. Judea and Samaria is an area that has never belonged to another country. Jordanian occupation was never recognized, just as the Egyptian occupation of Gaza was not recognized... The settlers never forcibly entered anywhere, nor were they moved there, so they are perfectly legal."
He also noted that, according to the Geneva Convention, terrorists imprisoned in Israel should not be considered prisoners of war. "The Geneva Convention states that a prisoner of war is a man who openly carried weapons and wore uniforms and respected the laws of war," said Rosenne. "The terrorists do not carry arms openly, they do not have uniforms and they do not respect the laws of war when they kill children. They are not party to the conflict because no Arab state has adopted them. Nevertheless, Israel allows every terrorist to meet with an attorney."

News From Around the World - Monday, June 25, 2012 - Ed DeShields - Israel’s once hidden oil riches are now certain to be so large its treasures could make it the richest oil country in the world. And, its neighbors are not only noticing, they’re boiling mad. It was just forty years ago when Golda Meir, the former prime minister of Israel once famously quipped, “Why did Moses lead us to the one place in the Middle East without oil?”
Well Prime Minister, Moses turned out to have a pretty good eye for what a promised land might look like.
Since oil was first discovered in the Middle East, Israel has been cut off from the world’s exploration resources because of its Arab neighbors. No major oil company would dare explore there in fear of an Arab backlash. Over time technologies in oil exploration have improved and international experts have noticed Israel’s potential.
In the past, oil-exploration adventurers would visit Israel, some of them reminiscent of Indiana Jones, arguing enthusiastically that there had to be legendary oil reserves in the promised land. The adventurers picked their drilling sites according to concealed hints in the Tanach, especially Yehezkel, but the drillings ended in disappointment. The legend of oil riches in Israel turned into a cruel joke. They simply didn’t know what they were looking for and didn’t have the proper technology to find it.
But, in the last three years Israel has discovered one mega-discovery after another. First, it discovered 1.5 billion barrels of oil onshore at Rosh Ha'Ayin, located about 10 miles inland from the Tel Aviv coastline. It was a small but important find that sparked a flurry of exploration activity. Continued:

Middle Class Hit Hard as Recession Ignores Zip Code Boundaries
By Rex Weiner - Published October 21, 2011, issue of October 28, 2011.
Los Angeles — “A couple comes to meet with me,” Rabbi Morley Feinstein recounted, haltingly describing a difficult moment. “They’re senior citizens… extraordinarily caring, dynamic and wonderfully connected as volunteers in the community… sat in my office… said they could no longer afford the cost of synagogue membership, and they actually said to me, ‘We’ve had to think about whether or not to sell our cemetery plots to make ends meet.’ It was painful to hear.”
It was also surprising to hear, given that Feinstein presides over University Synagogue, a Reform congregation in Brentwood, one of Los Angeles’s toniest neighborhoods. But it seems hard times no longer respect ZIP codes.
It’s not exactly “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” but now two of L.A.’s wealthiest congregations have welcomed an unfamiliar sort of professional to their regular synagogue staffs: a social worker.
Funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, A program known as Caring Community has launched with one social worker employed part time at University Synagogue and the rest of the week at Kehillat Israel, a Reconstructionist synagogue that is in neighboring Pacific Palisades.
The location is notable. Pacific Palisades is a community of 27,000 with a median household income of $168,008 and median home sale price of $1.68 million. Steven Spielberg lives here, with neighbors like Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Larry David and Billy Crystal. In Brentwood, to the east, with about 40,000 people, the median home sale price is $1.35 million, and median household income is $102,308. Marilyn Monroe used to live there, and OJ Simpson, too. Continued:

Islamic Movement Likely To Focus on Race for Parliament
By Haaretz - Published December 29, 2011. - Hamas is considering not running a candidate in the Palestinian Authority’s presidential election, which is expected to take place in May 2012, at the same time as elections for the Palestinian parliament and the PLO’s Palestine National Council.
Hamas sources said no decision has yet been made by the organization’s leadership, but most senior Hamas officials lean toward forgoing the presidential ballot and running only in the parliamentary election. Yet Hamas is thought to have a decent chance of winning a presidential race, because PA President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly said he will not run for reelection.
Marwan Barghouti, the most senior Fatah prisoner being held by Israel, has said he plans on running to replace Abbas. But since he is still in prison, it is not clear whether he will be able to do so.
A Hamas victory in the presidential election could put the organization into a difficult political and diplomatic position, as Israel might well not allow a Hamas president to act freely, and might even arrest him.

Europe and the U.S. have been rethinking Mideast policy since the Arab Spring uprisings toppled several pro-Western regimes in favor of Islamists.
By The Associated Press - May.02, 2012 - 7:55 PM - Hamas has been holding secret political talks with five European Union member states in recent months, a senior member of the Gaza-based Islamist movement said on Wednesday. The EU's official stance indicates that it will not deal with Hamas unless the group renounces violence and recognizes Israel. Europe and the U.S. have been rethinking Mideast policy since the Arab Spring uprisings toppled several pro-Western regimes in favor of Islamists.
Osama Hamdan, who handles foreign relations for Hamas, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that talks with European government officials focus on the Hamas positions toward Israel and paralyzed Mideast peace efforts.
Hamdan would not name the countries. Three Hamas officials in Hamas-ruled Gaza said Britain, France and Holland are among them. In response to the AP story, the U.K.' Commonwealth Office released a statement, saying: "We do not have any direct contact with Hamas."
"The Quartet have set out clearly that Hamas must renounce violence, recognize Israel and accept previously signed agreements. Hamas must make credible movement towards these conditions, which remain the benchmark against which its intentions should be judged," the statement added. Continued: