US/World News

“In Brief” week ending August 10, 2012

Lollapalooza music fest heads for Tel Aviv
( The famous American rock music festival “Lollapalooza” will be coming to Tel Aviv’s HaYarkon Park next summer, according to MTV News. Perry Farrell, front man for Jane’s Addiction, developed the idea after playing in Israel last year. Farrell, born Peretz Bernstein, has visited Israel many times and described Tel Aviv as the perfect location. “In Tel Aviv, you have all the hotels right on the beach, and man, let me tell you, it’s sexy!” Farrell said. “[Israelis] love to dance. And they have their parties right on the beach. You can be in the water, rocking out.” Israel is the third international location for the festival after it previously expanded to Chile and Brazil. Lollapalooza has been held in Chicago’s Grant Park since being revived in 2004 and has hosted some of the biggest names in rock and hip-hop.

Bill on Jewish refugees reaches House
( A bill has reached the U.S. House of Representatives calling on the American government to recognize the rights of Jewish refugees who were driven from Arab and Muslim lands after Israel’s founding. While Arab leaders have long called for a “right of return” for descendants of 600,000 Palestinians whose homes were located in what became Israel, about 850,000 Jews who lived throughout the Arab world and Iran also became refugees. The bill is based on information from a 2007 report, “Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries: the Case for Rights and Redress,” by former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, David Matas, a Winnipeg-based refugee lawyer, and Stan Urman, Canadian executive director of New York-based Justice for Jews from Arab Countries.
The bill calls on lawmakers to recognize the status of the Jewish refugees in the same manner as they recognized the status of Palestinian refugees. The refugees from Arab lands did not only include Jews, but also Christians and members of other minority religions from North African, Middle Eastern and Persian Gulf countries.

Israeli technology to aid African villages
( Jewish Heart for Africa, a nonprofit organization that brings Israeli sustainable technologies to African villages, has received special consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which will allow it to participate in nearly all of the UN’s initiatives for social and economic development. The nonprofit was one of 241 groups to receive the status out of 624 applicants. Recently, the organization completed its 58th solar project in Africa and installed solar panels at schools, medical clinics and orphanages in villages throughout Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi. The panels bring electricity to communities located far from other electricity sources, and connecting them with electrical power also allows them to support refrigerators filled with vaccines, water pumps and light bulbs.

India docks warships in Israel
( Four of India’s top naval warships docked in Haifa this week as part of a four-day visit to Israel to “strengthen service-to-service linkages” and celebrate 20 years of diplomatic ties, the Economic Times reported. The warships, which are equipped with advanced electronic sensors and missile systems, show “the importance India attaches to the growing Indo-Israeli relations and continued cooperation and engagement between the two countries is expected to grow,” Indian officials said. Indian sailors will also pay their respects at a memorial of Indian soldiers who died fighting for Allied forces during the liberation of Haifa in World War II. Stories of the Indian soldiers’ bravery were recently included in Haifa’s school curriculum.

Baseball bat deals blow to U.S.-Turkey relations
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to Shortly after a recent phone conversation between President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday, the White House issued a photo of the president holding the phone in one hand and a baseball bat, signed by baseball legend Hank Aaron, in the other. The photo outraged many Turks, who interpreted it as an insult to Erdogan. “The photo reveals from whom our prime minister receives orders to rule the country,” Metin Lutfi Baydar, an opposition politician for Turkey’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) party, said. White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden issued a statement insisting “The president values his friendship and close partnership with Prime Minister Erdogan.” Meanwhile, a columnist for the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet proposed a retaliatory photo: “Our prime minister should hold something in his hand while speaking to Obama — slippers, a belt or a rolling pin.”

Netanyahu asks Romney to work for Pollard release
( During Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel on July 29, Bibi Netanyahu handed him a letter signed by the heads of all parties in the Knesset (except Arab parties) calling for the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, who is currently spending his 27th year in a U.S. prison. Pollard’s advocates in the U.S. Congress and elsewhere say his life sentence resulting from a conviction of spying for Israel — without intent to harm the U.S. — is disproportionate to his crime. During a visit to the U.S. in June to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Israeli President Shimon Peres asked President Barack Obama to grant Pollard clemency. The White House, however, did not budge. “Our position has not changed and will not change today…I would simply remind you that Mr. Pollard was convicted of very serious crimes,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at the time.

U.S. to utilize Israeli border-protection technology
( An Israeli company, Elta, will install a radar system to monitor the U.S.-Mexico border for illegal immigration and drug smuggling. Elta’s technology can identify potential human infiltrators from as far as 13 miles away and vehicles from 26 miles out. The U.S.-Israel agreement opens up a potential market “worth hundreds of millions of dollars” to Elta, according to
India has expressed interest in similarly using Israeli border-protection technology.

Palestinians object to Israel-EU trade upgrade
( Palestinians for Dignity (PFD), a West Bank youth group, protested the European Union’s recent upgrade of trade and diplomatic relations in more than 60 areas with Israel. “Barring meaningful action [to reverse the upgrade] the Palestinian youth movement will organize to protest the latest manifestation of EU complicity and to challenge its presence and operations in Palestine…This latest move by the EU is nothing less than outrageous… this duplicitous behavior epitomizes the reasons why the Palestinian people have no faith in the EU,” PFD said in a statement published by the Ma’an news agency.
The youth group chastised the EU despite the fact that the European body is “the largest provider of economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA),” Shoshana Bryen noted in an op-ed for American Thinker, adding that the Palestinians protested “not for the benefit of the Palestinian people, but to demand that Israel be slapped.”

Google, Apple remove Hezbollah app
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to Google and Apple have both removed a Hezbollah application for streaming video from its Al-Manar satellite television network from their respective app stores, tech media website CNET reported on Tuesday.  The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) wrote to Apple when it became aware of the app, and it was removed from the iTunes store July 29. A spokesman for Google told CNET on Tuesday that it had also removed the app from Google Play. Al-Manar, the broadcasting arm of Hezbollah, had been advertising the app on its television network. The U.S. State Department included Al-Manar on its Terrorism Exclusion List in December 2004.

Boeing uses Israeli helmet in new combat jet
( The Boeing Company will incorporate new-age helmets that use technology developed by Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd. into its new stealth combat jet, the F-15 Silent Eagle. Elbit’s helmets — employing the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System — are cost-efficient because they require less ancillary equipment than others, while their head-tracking technology allows all processing to be done within the helmet and provides easy transitions from day to night modes, according to Globes. “Integrating this enhanced system onto the Silent Eagle took less than three months between ‘go-ahead’ and first flight,” said Greg Hardy, Boeing’s program manager for the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System.

Israeli humanitarian charity sets up field hospital in Ecuador
Israelis near Gaza border block goods in protest of Palestinian riots
Richard Dreyfuss criticizes Jews, not antisemitism

Leave Your Reply