Zio-Watch News Round-up

Dr. Patrick Slattery’s News Roundup, December 17, 2014


From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

Dieudonne seeks accord with France’s Jewish community

(JTA) — French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who has multiple convictions for inciting racial hatred against Jews, wants to meet with representatives of France’s Jewish community.

In an open letter sent last week, lawyers for Dieudonne asked Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Gilles Clavreul, the French government’s interministerial delegate for the fight against anti-Semitism, to organize the meeting.

Such a meeting is necessary, the lawyers wrote, to “determine the terms of an accord which would allow both parties to respect the other.”  The letter adds, “In this affair, there have been too many damages and injuries.”

CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, has not issued a public reaction to the letter.
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From PressTV

Geneva Convention members rap Israel over settlement policy

The file photo shows the Israeli settlement of Ramot in the occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Members of a Geneva Convention have lashed out at Tel Aviv for settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

During a one-day conference in the Swiss city of Geneva on Wednesday, the majority of the members of the Fourth Geneva Convention criticized Israel for pushing ahead with its settlement expansion plans, saying Tel Aviv’s settlement policy is a blatant violation of its obligations as an occupying regime.

The member states also demanded that comprehensive investigations be launched into the crimes committed in the Palestinian occupied territories.

The members “emphasize that all serious violations of international humanitarian law must be investigated and that all those responsible should be brought to justice,” read a declaration adopted by 126 of the 196 signatories of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

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From PressTV

Israeli troops arrest 8 Palestinians in East al-QudsIsraeli forces arrest a Palestinian youth for throwing stones at a checkpoint in East al-Quds (Jerusalem). (File photo)

Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian youth for throwing stones at a checkpoint in East al-Quds (Jerusalem). (File photo)

Israeli forces have abducted at least eight Palestinians, including two minors, during overnight operations on a number of houses across the occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

On Wednesday, Palestinian prisoners’ rights group, Addameer, identified those arrested as Amjad al-Taweel, Uday Radayda, Murad Castero, Zakariyya Abu Nab, Ibrahim Batta, Fadi Darwish, Rami Darwish and Ismail al-Masri.

Israeli troops also stormed a house in Ras al-Amud neighborhood of East al-Quds on Wednesday morning to arrest a Palestinian man. The man was at work at the time, so Israeli officers assaulted his six relatives and put handcuffs on his father.

Israeli forces have abducted at least 115 Palestinians, including 30 minors, in East al-Quds since the beginning of December.

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From the Jewish Daily Forward

Alan Gross Release — and Diplomatic Thaw — May Mean World to Cuba Jews

Isolated Community Could Benefit From Dramatic Opening

Published December 17, 2014.
(JTA) — Alan Gross was imprisoned while trying to connect Cuba’s isolated Jewish community to the wider world. The deal that got him released five years later may do just that and much more.

Gross’ flight home to suburban Washington on Wednesday with his wife, Judy, was part of a historic deal that overturns over five decades of U.S. policy isolating the Communist island nation helmed by the Castro brothers.

“We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries,” President Obama said in announcing Gross’ release and radical changes in U.S. Cuba policy.
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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

Alan Gross credits Jewish efforts for his release from Cuba

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday in Washington, Gross opened his statement with a Hanukkah greeting and a thank you to the president.

“Chag sameach,” he said. “What a blessing to be a citizen of the United States of America. Thank you President Obama for everything you have done today.”
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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

European Parliament passes resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood

(JTA) — The European Parliament passed a resolution that supports in principle recognition of a Palestinian state as part of peace talks with Israel.

The resolution, which was drawn up by five political groups, passed Wednesday in a 498-88 vote in Strasbourg, the European Parliament’s press service wrote in a statement. There were 111 abstentions.

The measure affirms the parliament’s support for “in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution,” the statement said. The nonbinding resolution also states that the parliament believes “these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced.”

In an effort to support the European Union’s diplomatic efforts in the Middle East peace process, the statement said the parliament also decided to launch a Parliamentarians for Peace initiative to bring together lawmakers from the Israeli and Palestinian parliaments.
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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

Lee Zeldin, lone Jewish GOPer in Congress, wins spot on foreign affairs panel

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Newly elected Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York, the only Jewish Republican in the Congress, won a coveted spot on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

Freshman appointments to the Foreign Affairs Committee are rare. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) included Zeldin among the 25 members he named to the committee last week.

The committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), has yet to announce the Democrats who will serve on the committee in the incoming Congress.

Among the 20 Democrats on the current Foreign Affairs Committee, eight are Jewish, including Engel. One Jewish member, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), was not reelected.
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From PressTV

US position on Palestine eroding: Expert

A man hangs a Palestinian flag in the University of Dakar on December 4, 2014.

A man hangs a Palestinian flag in the University of Dakar on December 4, 2014.

An American political commentator says Washington’s position on Palestine is “eroding”, citing a European push to recognize an independent Palestinian state.

Speaking to Press TV, Eugene Michael Jones, who is a writer, former professor, media commentator and the current editor of Culture Wars magazine, said, “The European countries are stepping forward and saying that they’re going to recognize Palestine as an independent state. And this means that the United States position is eroding.”

Earlier in the month, French lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of a motion to recognize Palestine as an independent state. On November 18, Spanish lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a non-binding resolution on recognizing a Palestinian state.

Britain and Ireland also passed similar non-binding motions. On October 30, Sweden went a step further and officially recognized the state of Palestine, drawing stringent criticism from Israel and the United States.

The Palestinians are, meanwhile, seeking a UN vote to set a two-year deadline for Israeli troops to withdraw from the occupied West Bank. The draft is to be handed to the UN Security Council on Wednesday.
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From the Jewish Daily Forward

Australia Commission To Probe Chabad Sex Abuse Scandal

Panel Will Examine Handling of Accusastions at Yeshivas

An Australian Royal Commission will investigate how rabbis and senior leaders of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in Sydney and Melbourne handled the child sex abuse scandal.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse confirmed this week that Chabad in Sydney and Melbourne will be the focus of a public hearing, starting Feb. 2 in Melbourne. Some of Australia’s most senior Orthodox rabbis have already been subpoenaed to supply documents ahead of the hearing.

Streamed live online from the County Court of Victoria, the hearing will examine how rabbis and other senior officials dealt with allegations of sexual abuse against three former employees in Melbourne and one in Sydney.
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