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Published on May 30th, 2012 | by JLedger

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News "In Brief" week ending 6/1/12

J Street promotes anti-Israel politicians
The “pro-Israel, pro-peace” advocacy group J Street is reportedly soliciting money for congressional candidates who are known for anti-Israel views. According to the Washington Free Beacon, J Street has endorsed more than 50 political candidates. Of those, a large number have openly expressed hostility toward the Jewish state. At least six of the candidates oppose an alliance between the U.S. and Israel, reject Israel’s right for self-defense, and have backed measures intended to force Israel to stop the blockade of the Gaza strip.
For example, J Street endorsed U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), who refused to sign a 2009 resolution affirming Israel’s right to defend itself and condemning the Goldstone Report, which author Richard Goldstone himself eventually retracted.
“They’re showing their true colors,” Morris Amitay, a former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) who currently runs his own political action committee told the Free Beacon.
J Street has also been known to actively oppose candidates who express differing points of view. For instance, the group has called for the ouster of U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), who opposes a two-state solution and advocates for “one contiguous Israeli state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.” J Street has also targeted U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH), who co-sponsored the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012.
—JointMedia News Service

Palestinians ignore global boycotts
Despite several countries choosing to boycott Israeli products, the Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to sell Israeli goods. Even though PA officials encouraged the recent boycotts by South Africa and Denmark, Israeli products like Strauss and Tnuva regularly fill shelves in Palestinian cities like Bethlehem. “People love and buy Israeli products,” said one Bethlehem mini-market owner. “If my clients see that the product has Hebrew letters on it or if it says the product is from Israel, they are sure that it is better,” he added, according to Yedioth Ahronoth.
—JointMedia News Service

Veteran advocate wins $100,000 Bronfman prize
Eric Greitens, founder of an organization that reintegrates post-9/11 veterans into society, on Tuesday, May 22 was named as the winner of the 2012 Charles Bronfman Prize. The $100,000 award goes to “a young humanitarian whose work is informed and fueled by Jewish values and has broad, global impact that can change lives,” according to The Charles Bronfman Prize Foundation.
Greitens, a 38-year-old former Navy SEAL, in 2007 launched St. Louis-based “The Mission Continues,” which offers six-month community service fellowships to veterans, placing them at local non-profits based on their personal interests. The veterans often transition to full employment or higher education after their fellowships.
“Eric Greitens views those who have sacrificed on the battlefield as national assets. As history proves, this has not always been the case,” said James Wolfensohn, former president of the World Bank, on behalf of the Bronfman prize judges. “By teaching us to respect and value this generation of warriors, he is not only a humanitarian, but also a leader guided by the light of just and noble ends.”
—JointMedia News Service

Senate, admin differ on Palestinian refugee bill
The Obama administration is opposing a Senate amendment seeking to force the State Department to report how many Palestinian refugees are receiving aid money from a U.S. tax dollar-funded UN agency. The bill compels the government to quantify how many Palestinians receiving aid were actually displaced after the Israeli Independence War of 1948, and how many are descendents of such refugees. The amendment passed even though it faced strong opposition from the State Department, the Jordanian government,
and the UN refugee agency. It will probably reduce the number of recognized Palestinian refugees from approximately five million to about 30,000, the Washington Free Beacon reported. “The amendment simply demands basic transparency with regard to who receives U.S. taxpayer assistance,” said Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), who proposed the bill.
—JointMedia News Service

Israeli teens win Intel prize
Students from the Torah U’Mada yeshiva high school of the Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) recently won third place in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh. Nerya Stroh and Gal Oren each won $2,000 for inventing a user-friendly computerized device, AquaStop, which detects water leaks in real time.
Additionally, at the Israel phase of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition in Israel, another group of Torah U’Mada students finished first place in the field of energy and water. The students, David Agassi and Bashan Yehezkel, advanced to the international phase of the Stockholm competition, which is run by the Swedish royal family, the Jerusalem Post reported.
—JointMedia News Service

 

Israeli-manufactured drone

Singapore buys Israeli-manufactured drones
The Singapore Air Force has officially announced its receipt and deployment of the Heron-1 unmanned aerial vehicle, which is manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries, the Straits Times daily newspaper reported in Singapore on Thursday, May 24. The announcement boosts Israel’s already strong international standing as a top-grade UAV manufacturer.
The Straits Times called the drone “Singapore’s new eye in the sky,” and said, “Heron-1 not only makes it easier for soldiers to conduct reconnaissance missions but is also safer for them to spot the enemy.” The drones will replace others used by the Singapore Air Force since 1994. The previous drones, known as “Searchers,” were also manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries, but required teams
of pilots to launch and land them.
—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service
Terrorists intensify efforts to abduct Israelis
Several Palestinian terrorist cells were apprehended near Hebron recently, and one of them had been planning to abduct an Israeli
in Kiryat Arba, on the outskirts of Hebron, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) officials said on May 23, according to Israel Hayom. The revelation followed a report that the agency had exposed another group that had tried to abduct an Israeli in the Binyamin region of Judea and Samaria.
The cell planning the Kiryat Arba abduction included three Hamas members from Hebron. The group’s leader was Matiz Suliman Mahmad Qawasmeh, 21, who has been imprisoned by Israel several times over terrorist-related activities, including having helped his brother transport the terrorists who carried out a suicide bombing in Dimona in February 2008 in which an Israeli woman was killed. Qawasmeh recruited two of his friends for the planned Kiryat Arba abduction and, in preparation, detonated several explosive devices along the security fence around Kiryat Arba to test the Israeli military’s reaction and observe its operational procedures.
—JointMedia News Service           

 

A statue of Raoul Wallenberg

Statue of Raoul Wallenberg vandalized in Budapest
A statue of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who rescued thousands of Jews from the Nazis in Hungary during World War II, was vandalized in Budapest on Tuesday, Army Radio reported. A group of Conservative rabbis from New York reportedly visited the site and saw five bloody pig legs tied around the statue.
“We must not allow antisemitism to raise its ugly head,” said a statement issued Wednesday, May 23 by Israeli Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar. “We must act determinedly against all incidents of anti-Semitism. We must not make the mistake of taking this lightly. These acts are directly aimed against the Jewish people’s existence.”
—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service


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