Zio-Watch News Round-up

Dr. Patrick Slattery’s News Roundup, January 8, 2015



From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

France to Palestinians: Don’t resubmit U.N. statehood resolution

(JTA) — France warned the Palestinians against antagonizing Israel by resubmitting a statehood resolution to the United Nations Security Council.

France, which voted for the resolution on Dec. 30, was reacting Tuesday to the announcement made two days earlier by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he would soon resubmit the resolution, Reuters reported.

The resolution before the 15-nation council came up one vote short of the necessary nine needed for passage.

“While we think the Palestinians have the right to move the status quo, at the same time there has to be an effort to find a consensus solution,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters, according to Reuters. “Once you set this cycle off, you get results that you don’t want one way or another.”
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From PressTV

Israeli soldiers fire shots at Palestinian protesters in al-Jalzoo region of Ramallah, West Bank. (File photo)

Israeli soldiers have shot and injured a Palestinian teenager during an overnight raid on a number of houses in a town south of the occupied West Bank.

Muhammad Ayyad Awad, a local official, said on Wednesday that 19-year-old Noor Muhammad Hamid Zaaqiq sustained gunshot wounds in front of his house in Beit Ummar, located eleven kilometers (6.8 miles) northwest of al-Khalil (Hebron), late on Tuesday as Israeli troops sought to arrest six men in the area.

Zaaqiq was on his way back home after finishing work at a gas station nearby. He was hit in the left foot and was transferred to al-Ahli hospital in al-Khalil to receive medical treatment.

Israeli forces also arrested nine other Palestinians, among them teenagers, during separate detention raids in the West Bank.

During recent months, Israeli forces have frequently raided Palestinians’ homes in the West Bank, arresting dozens of Palestinian people, who are then transferred to Israeli detention centers where they are kept without any charges brought up against them.
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From PressTV

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister and leader of the ruling right-wing Likud party, gives a speech in Tel Aviv during a campaign meeting ahead of elections, January 5, 2015.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Tel Aviv will not order the evacuation of any settlements during his term if he is re-elected in the upcoming elections.

“I don’t see such a move as being practical at this point. Since I’m in charge it won’t happen,” he said in an interview with Israeli media, Haaretz newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Despite widespread global condemnation of Israel’s land grab policies, Tel Aviv has approved a series of plans for new settler units in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in recent months. More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank including East al-Quds in 1967.

Last December, Netanyahu called for the dissolution of the parliament after sacking Minister of Judicial Affairs Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid.

The two ministers were among the critics of Netanyahu’s policies.
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From the Jewish Daily Forward

Herpes Illnesses From Circumcision Rite Rise But Mayor Bill De Blasio Stays Silent

City Fails To Live Up To Promise of Policy Shift

Mayor Do-Little As a candidate, Bill de Blasio promised a better policy on ‘Day 1’ to protect infants who undergo a controversial circumcision rite. After a year in office, there is no sign of any change — and the number of sick infants is rising.

By Paul Berger

Published January 07, 2015.

When Bill de Blasio was running for New York City mayor in May 2013, he said that he would “come in day one to City Hall with a new policy” to protect babies from contracting herpes during a controversial circumcision rite while respecting “religious tradition.”

Last January, during his first month in office, Mayor de Blasio said the policy he inherited from his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, which required mohels to obtain written consent from parents before performing the rite, would remain in place until a more effective solution could be found.

The year that followed — 2014 — was the worst since 2006, when the city’s health department began tracking suspected cases of infant herpes linked to the circumcision rite, known as metzitzah b’peh, or MBP.
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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

At least 12 killed in attack on French satirical magazine

(JTA) — An attack on the Paris headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine has left at least 12 people dead, including the Jewish caricaturist Georges Wolinski.

Footage from the scene of Wednesday’s attack posted on the French news website Jssnews.com shows two heavily armed men exiting a black car and shooting a rifle at a police officer near the building. One of the masked assailants then approaches the officer and shoots him in the head.

Ten people also were wounded in the attack; five are in serious condition.

The assailants had cried out “Allah is the greatest” in Arabic and that their attack was to “avenge the prophet,” the French daily Le Monde reported. They reportedly fled in a hijacked car, running over a pedestrian and shooting at officers.
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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

Meet the three American families bankrolling Netanyahu’s reelection bid

As Benjamin Netanyahu kicked off his re-election campaign Monday night in Tel Aviv, JTA reported that over 90 percent of the prime minister’s campaign funds have come from American donors. And of these American donors, the donations from just three families make up over half of Netanyahu’s total campaign funds.

More information on these three families is below. Israel restricts the amount of money that can come from individual foreign donors, so these families split their donations among several members.
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From PressTV

A Palestinian Child fills plastic bottles and containers with water in Gaza on  April 5, 2014.

Water contamination levels in the Gaza Strip have risen to an alarming stage due to the Israeli blockade and frequent attacks, Press TV reports.

According to a report released by the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), over 95 percent of the Palestinian territory’s aquifer is polluted with high levels of nitrates and chloride.

The surface of Gaza’s aquifer has been targeted hundreds of times by the Israeli military in recent years.

Attacks on sewage treatment plants during the Israeli military aggression have resulted in raw sewage leakage into the ground, further contaminating the water resources.

This situation has forced Gazans to buy treated water from filtration stations.
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From PressTV

The file photo shows a street in Gaza flooded by a storm.

Hundreds of Palestinians have evacuated their homes in the besieged Gaza Strip following the outset of a heavy winter storm.

According to Palestinian sources on Wednesday, hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were forced to leave their homes which were heavily flooded by the storm called “Huda.”

Meanwhile, Gaza Municipality warned that the storm can further destroy the infrastructure in the besieged strip which was considerably devastated during the Israeli attack last summer.

The winter storm can bring about a humanitarian crisis as Gaza is still beset with various problems including power shortage, added the municipality.

Reports say that Huda has also hit Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt.
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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

U.S. seeking Polanski’s extradition from Poland

(JTA) — The United States is again seeking to extradite convicted filmmaker Roman Polanski — this time from Poland — over a 1977 sex crime conviction.

Polish officials informed media outlets on Wednesday that they had received an extradition request from Los Angeles prosecutors and that Polanski would likely be brought in for questioning by local authorities in Krakow.

Polanski, 81, the son of Polish Jews and a Holocaust survivor, is a Polish citizen, and a spokesman for the Polish prosecutor-general told The Associated Press that Poland as a rule does not extradite its citizens.

In October, Polish authorities refused a U.S. request to arrest Polanski, whose lawyers subsequently asked for a new hearing in the United States in an attempt to have the charges dropped. The request was refused by a California judge.
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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

Sweden’s foreign minister postpones visit to Israel

(JTA) — Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem has postponed a planned visit to Israel following her country’s recognition of a Palestinian state.

“The foreign minister has decided to postpone her visit to Israel and Palestine,” Wallstroem’s spokesman, Erik Boman, told the French news agency AFP on Wednesday. “Instead of next week it will take place later. No date is yet decided.”

Sweden officially recognized the state of Palestine in October, days after new Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced that the government would make that recognition. In response, Israel recalled its ambassador to Sweden, Isaac Bachmann.

Wallstroem’s visit had been announced last month by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

U.N. chief Ban sets April 1 for Palestinian membership in ICC

(JTA) — Palestine will join the International Criminal Court on April 1, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

Ban made the announcement late Tuesday night, days after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed the Rome Statute, the international treaty under which the signatories accept the jurisdiction of the international war crimes tribunal. The accession to the court will allow the Palestinians to press war crimes charges against Israel.

The U.N. chief also approved the Palestinians’ membership in 16 other international treaties, conventions and agreements.

The Palestinians have filed an ad hoc declaration for the ICC to investigate Israel for war crimes as of June 13 — a date that is one day after the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens by Palestinians from Hebron. The massive search for the teens and Israel’s 50-day military operation in Gaza over the summer would be covered under the retroactive date.
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From the Jewish Daily Forward

Savannah Rabbi Who Gave Sex Abuse Talk to 9-Year-Old Girls Quits Synagogue

Ruven Barkan Won’t Extend Contract After Controversy

By Paul Berger

Published January 07, 2015.

A rabbi whose sex abuse lesson to children divided a Savannah community has decided not to pursue a new contract at his synagogue.

Rabbi Ruven Barkan decided not renew his contract with Congregation Agudath Achim and “will be seeking other rabbinic opportunities,” according to a January 6 email from the synagogue board and the rabbi to congregants.

Barkan did not respond to a request for comment.
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