Zio-Watch News Round-up

Dr. Patrick Slattery’s News Roundup, January 31, 2015



From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Hezbollah chief says group is not afraid of war with Israel

(JTA) — The leader of Hezbollah said that his group does not want a war with Israel but will take immediate action against any Israeli aggression.

“We do not want a war, but we are not afraid of it and we must distinguish between the two, and the Israelis must also understand this very well,” Hassan Nasrallah said in his first televised speech since his group’s attack on the Israel-Lebanon border that killed two Israel Defense Forces soldiers on Wednesday.

“We don’t fear war [against Israel] and we don’t hesitate in facing it if it is imposed on us, and we will be victorious, God willing,” Nasrallah continued in his speech on Friday that was made in front of thousands of supporters in Beirut and broadcast live on several Arabic news channels.

Wednesday’s attack was believed to be a retaliation for an alleged Israeli air strike on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights that killed 12 Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general last week. Israel officials did not confirm that they ordered the strike.
Click here for the full story

From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Facing extradition, Israeli ‘sex rabbi’ tells Dutch daily he survived Holocaust

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — A rabbi born in pre-state Israel fighting extradition from Holland over alleged sex crimes told a Dutch daily that he is a Holocaust survivor.

Eliezer Berland, a charismatic rabbi from Jerusalem who fled Israel after several women and one minor complained he had sexually assaulted them, made the claim in an interview with the Dutch Volkskrant daily, the interviewing journalist told JTA.

Volkskrant reporter Harmen Bockma interviewed Berland ahead of a court hearing in Amsterdam Thursday on Israel’s request that Berland, 77, be extradited.

The Dutch justice ministry supported Berland’s extradition, rejecting arguments by his lawyer, who says Berland is innocent, too ill to stand trial and that Israel lacks jurisdiction. A court in Schiphol is scheduled to rule on his case next month.
Click here for the full story

From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Portugal adopts return law for Jewish descendants

(JTA) — Portugal’s government adopted legislation that offers citizenship to some descendants of Sephardic Jews.

The letter of the legislation passed Thursday by the Council of Ministers is expected to be made public next month, according to the Jewish Community of Porto.

The legislation was passed in 2013 by the parliament, making Portugal the second country in the world after Israel to pass a law of return for Jews. Spain is poised to pass a similar law.

Portugal’s Jews were forced out of the country along with their Spanish correligionists in the 14th and 15th centuries because of the church-led persecution known as the Inquisition.

Click here for the full story

From PressTV

Israeli troops detain Palestinian youths. (file photo)

Israeli troops have launched an assault on Palestinian demonstrators in several towns and villages across the occupied West Bank, injuring two protesters.

Violence erupted after Friday prayers when Israeli forces attacked Palestinians protesting against Tel Aviv’s illegal settlement activities.

A 60-year-old man and a Palestinian child were wounded in clashes in the village of Kafr Qaddum.

Israeli military forces fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters, and reportedly detained several demonstrators.

Earlier in the day, Israeli troops raided a village near the West Bank city of Ramallah and arrested a 21-year-old man, Palestinian media reported.
Click here for the full story

From Ynet News

It’s over: Jewish National Fund and Israel finally agree to part ways

JNF chief Meir Spiegler says breakaway for ‘purely professional’ reasons, stemming from frequent state violations of agreements; split includes land swaps between the sides.

The Jewish National Fund is in the practical stage of parting ways with the State of Israel and the Israel Land Administration, due to what the JNF says are repeated infractions by the state.

Over the past few days, JNF director general Meir Spiegler and the director of the JNF’s Land Conglomerate, Alex Hefetz, have held a series of meetings with senior Housing Ministry officials, including Minister Uri Ariel and his director general, Shlomo Ben Eliyahu, with the objective of setting up teams to coordinate the process and supervise the transfer of information between the parties. According to Spiegler, the process will be completed by July 29 this year.

Click here for the full story

From Ynet News

Anti-Semitic group plans rally in Jewish area of London

Organizers of march in Stamford Hill, which has biggest Haredi population in Europe, say it is ‘time to fight back’ against ‘Jewification’ of Britain.

An anti-Semitic group is planning a rally against the “Jewification of Great Britain” in an area of north London with a strong ultra-Orthodox population.

The rally, set for March 22, is organized by a group called “Liberate Stamford Hill”, referring to a district of the British capital that has the highest concentration of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Europe.

Click here for the full story

From Ynet News

Islamic State group silent as deadline passes with no swap

Families of hostages remain in the dark as wife of Japanese journalist begs Jordan, Japan governments to approve swap; Jordan says it would only release al-Qaeda prisoner if given proof its pilot is alive.

TOKYO – Families of a Japanese journalist and Jordanian military pilot remained in limbo Friday, a day after the latest purported deadline for a possible prisoner swap passed with no further word from the Islamic State group holding them captive.

Japanese officials had no progress to report after a late night that ended with the Jordanian government saying it would only release an al-Qaida prisoner from death row if it got proof the airman was alive.

Click here for the full story