US/World News

"In Brief" week ending 7/6

Romney to visit Israel
(JNS.org) Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will visit Israel this summer, the New York Times reported Monday. During his trip, the former Massachusetts governor is set to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “[Romney is] a strong friend of Israel and we’ll be happy to meet with him,” Ron Dermer, Netanyahu’s senior adviser, told the Times. “We value strong bipartisan support for Israel and we’re sure it will only deepen that.” Netanyahu and Romney first met as consultants for the Boston Consulting Group. This year, the prime minister reportedly called Romney on Super Tuesday to brief him on the situation in Iran. This will be Romney’s fourth visit to Israel.
Christian minorities persecuted by Muslims
(JNS.org) Muslim persecution of Christians was rampant in countries with significant Christian minorities during the month of May, the Middle East Forum (MEF) reported. In Indonesia, a mob of 600 Muslim tossed bags of urine and other items at the congregation of a Protestant church, while authorities sealed off 20 Christian houses of worship for “not having permits,” according to MEF. Four Muslim youths broke into the Church of St. Joseph in France and threw pebbles at 150 worshippers. In Pakistan, a group of Muslim men beat a woman pregnant with twins and caused her to suffer a
miscarriage; the men, who allegeldy raped the woman’s 13-year-old niece, were trying to force her to drop those charges against them.

 

Egypt’s Morsi working for release of terrorist who targeted NY
(JNS.org) Egypt’s new president said he would try to attain the release of Islamist terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted for planning follow-up attacks to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the New York Times reported. President Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, said in Cairo that it his “duty” to free Egyptian civilians imprisoned in the U.S. — namely Abdel-Rahman, who is serving a life sentence in a Butner, N.C., prison for foiled attacks he plotted on landmarks throughout New York City. Abdel-Rahman was accused of leading a terrorist organization
called “The Islamic Group,” which was responsible for the killing of 58 foreign tourists and four Egyptians in the 1997 “Luxor Massacre” in Deir el-Bahri, Egypt.

 

West Point cadets train with the IDF
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) A delegation of five cadets and an officer from the United States Military Academy at West Point visited Israel in June for a weeklong training seminar at the Israel Defense Forces’ Tactical Command College, located five miles north of Tel Aviv. This was the fifth year in a row West Point cadets visited Israel.

 

Jordanian king meets with Hamas leaders
(JNS.org) Jordanian King Abdullah II met with seven Hamas leaders on June 28. The meeting focused on a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, reported the Associated Press, even though the Hamas charter explicitly denies Israel’s right to exist. Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal headed the gathering, which marked the second time he met with the Jordanian king.

 

Clinton urges Latvia to return Jewish property
(JNS.org) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on June 28 urged the Latvian government to give current Jewish groups property that was seized by the Soviet Union from Jews who were killed during the Holocaust. The property includes schools, synagogues and other buildings. “The United States strongly supports restitution or compensation for those whose property was confiscated by either the
Nazis or the Communists,” Clinton said at a news conference in Latvia. However, Latvia is currently one of the European Union’s poorest states, making property restitution to Jews a controversial
issue in the country. Latvian nationalists also oppose special treatment for Jews, arguing that current laws suffice for the restitution of nationalized property.

 

German court: male circumcision against interest of child
(JNS.org) Jewish groups have voiced outrage at a German court’s decision that the physical integrity of a child is more important than parents’ religious beliefs. The ruling came after the circumcision of a four-year-old Muslim boy caused the child heavy bleeding. Prosecutors had charged the doctor who performed the procedure with grievous bodily harm. The doctor was eventually acquitted, but a regional court ruled that circumcision “contravenes the interests of the child to decide later on his religious beliefs.” Though this ruling does not explicitly prohibit male circumcision in Germany, it sets a new legal standard for similar cases on the issue. The ruling was “outrageous and insensitive” as well as “an unprecedented and dramatic intervention in the right of religious communities to self-determination,” said Dieter Graumann, the head of Germany’s Central Committee of Jews. “Circumcision of newborn boys is a fixed part of the Jewish religion and has been practiced worldwide
for centuries.”
‘Jewish Nobel Prize’ to be awarded next spring
(JNS.org) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and Genesis Philanthropy Group founder Mikhail Fridman announced the new Genesis Prize — worth $1 million — which will be awarded by the prime minister close to the Passover holiday this year. Dubbed by Israel as the “Jewish Nobel Prize,” the award is an international prize honoring Jews for their achievements in science and the arts. “The prize symbolizes Jews’ great contribution in human development and will be a source of pride for young Jews around the world,” Netanyahu said.

 

Presbyterians fabricate anti-Israel Mandela quote
(JNS.org) Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (PCUSA), during its June 30 – July 7 biannual conference in Pittsburgh, Penn., fabricated a quote from former South African president Nelson Mandela on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
“Apartheid is a crime against humanity,” a PCUSA resolution stated, attributing the quote to Mandela. “Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular children.” However, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) noted Monday that the quote was written by anti-Zionist activist Arjan El Fassed, and not spoken by Mandela. The source of the quote can be found here, in an article written by El Fassed titled “Mandela’s First Memo to Thomas Friedman”: http://www.mediamonitors. net/arjan28.html El Fassed has said that there is “no possible basis” to say that he “intended people to believe the memo was written by anyone other than
myself,” admitting that the words were his, not Mandela’s.

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