Zio-Watch News Round-up

European policy paper suggests banking restrictions against Israel: Zio-Watch, July 22, 2015


Dr. Patrick Slattery’s News Roundup
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

European policy paper suggests banking restrictions against Israel

TEL AVIV (JTA) — A paper by an influential European think tank proposes that the European Union should restrict its dealings with Israeli banks as a way to combat Israel’s West Bank occupation.

The paper, to be published Wednesday by the European Council on Foreign Relations, says that by dealing with Israeli banks, the E.U. could be contravening its own guidelines, according to Reuters. The guidelines prohibit the E.U. and member states from funding loans to entities in Israeli  settlements. Given that the British government has a controlling stake in some banks, the guidelines would prohibit those banks from dealing with Israeli banks with branches in the settlements.

The paper, titled “E.U. Differentiation and Israeli Settlements,” also said Israelis should not be able to use properties in the settlements as collateral for European loans. The paper also questioned whether there should be a tax exemption for European charities’ activities in the settlements, and whether the E.U. should recognize academic qualifications from institutions in the settlements.

“Under its own regulations and principles, Europe cannot legally escape from its duty to differentiate between Israel and its activities in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the paper said, according to Reuters.

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Palestinian man killed by IDF in West Bank

(JTA) — A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israel Defense Forces soldiers in the West Bank.

The soldiers entered the village of Burkin, near the West Bank City of Jenin, in order to carry out an arrest Tuesday night, according to Haaretz. Clashes broke out with Palestinian youth, who threw firebombs at the soldiers.

The soldiers responded with live fire, injuring one Palestinian and shooting another, Mohammed Ahmed Alauna, 21, in the chest. Alauna was rushed to a hospital and died shortly afterward.

The IDF told Haaretz it was opening an investigation into the incident.

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From PressTV

Members of a Palestinian family collect their belongings near the rubble of their house after it was demolished by Israeli forces, in Kafr Kanna, June 15, 2015. © AFP

The Israeli regime has given the green light for the demolition of five more homes in the occupied West Bank, claiming the buildings have been constructed without permission.

The houses are located in the town of Jit in northern West Bank, near Nablus, and Israeli authorities delivered the demolition orders to the owners of the homes on Wednesday, Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.

The Tel Aviv regime wants Palestinians to obtain permit before building houses. Since Israel rarely issues building permits, Palestinian residents build structures without permission, which are later razed to the ground by Israeli forces.

According to the Palestinian NGO, Applied Research Institute Jerusalem, Jit has so far seen “numerous Israeli confiscations” for the construction of illegal Israeli settlements and the Israeli separation wall.

Reports say from 2000 to 2014, Israel has only issued 206 building permits for Palestinians. This as the Israeli regime destroyed at least 359 Palestinian structures in the West Bank throughout 2014, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

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From PressTV

An Israeli soldier aims his gun during clashes with Palestinian protesters in the village of Kfar Qaddum, near Nablus, the occupied West Bank, July 10, 2015. (© AFP)

Israeli regime forces have shot and killed a Palestinian man during clashes in a town west of the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

The Palestinian man, identified as Muhammad Ahmad Alawneh, was killed in Birqin early on Wednesday during the clashes that erupted after the Israeli forces stormed the town.

The 21-year-old Palestinian was reportedly shot with a live bullet in his chest and was transferred to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Unidentified individuals stand near the body of Muhammad Ahmad Alawneh – shot dead by Israeli forces – at a hospital morgue in Birqin, July 22, 2015.

The Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters as well as live rounds and stun grenades during the clashes with the Palestinians and arrested seven of them, including a journalist identified as Muhammad Ali Atiq.

The killing is the latest in a series of similar incidents involving Palestinians over the past months.

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From PressTV

The AFP photo shows Palestinian fishermen at the port of Gaza City, April 21, 2015.

Israeli forces have injured a Palestinian fisherman in a shooting off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip, reports say.

Witnesses said on Tuesday that an unidentified young fisherman was seriously wounded when he was shot in the back and hand off the northwestern coast of Gaza City.

The sources said the fisherman, who seemed to be in his early 20s, was taken to the al-Shifa hospital, where officials reportedly said he was in critical condition.

However, an Israeli military spokeswoman said Tel Aviv was not aware of any injuries sustained by a Palestinian.

Attacks by Israeli forces on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip have increased since the Israeli war of summer 2014.

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From Ynet News

Israel to end freeze with hundreds of new settlement housing units

Subcommittee on settlements to discuss new housing units in Beit El, Ma’aleh Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, Beit Aryeh after a year without new construction.

The subcommittee for settlements within the Israeli Civil Administration was expected to approve on Wednesday the construction of hundreds of housing units in the West Bank, ending a year-long unofficial freeze.


The subcommittee’s hearing will also deal with the two Dreinoff buildings in Beit El, after a Supreme Court ruling to demolish them by the end of the month led to wide-scale protest from settlers.

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

French prosecutor dismisses Arafat poisoning case

(JTA) — A French prosecutor dismissed a case accusing Israel of poisoning former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

The prosecutor in Nanterre announced the decision on Tuesday, three months after three French judges recommended the case be dropped, the Times of Israel reported.

Lawyers for Arafat’s widow, Suha, who filed the case in France in 2012 alleging he had been murdered, said the judges closed the investigation too quickly.

Arafat died in a hospital near Paris in 2004 soon after falling ill in the West Bank. Traces of radioactive polonium were found on his belongings.

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Nearly half of Americans disapprove of Iran deal

(JTA) — A poll by the Pew Research Center has found that nearly half of Americans disapprove of the recent accord over Iran’s nuclear program.

The poll, conducted during the past week and released Tuesday, found that 48 percent of Americans who had heard of the agreement disapproved of it, versus 38 percent who approved. The deal, finalized last week by the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Iran, limits Iranian uranium enrichment in exchange for a lifting of economic sanctions.

The poll also found that more than 70 percent of Americans had little to no confidence that Iran would uphold its side of the agreement. Thirty-five percent had “not too much” confidence, while 38 percent had none at all. Twenty-six percent were confident that Iran would abide by the agreement.

In addition, 54 percent of those polled had “not too much” or no confidence in America’s and international agencies’ ability to monitor Iran’s compliance, while 45 percent expressed fair or great confidence in the monitoring regimen.

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

The campaign for (and against) the Iran deal gets personal

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden delivering remarks at the Good Jobs Green Jobs National Conference at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. on April 13, 2015. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Vice President Joe Biden had an intimate phone call this week with about a thousand Jewish leaders, beseeching, teaching and preaching the Iran nuclear deal.

Biden’s imploring hourlong call on Monday typified how personal the campaign for and against the Iran nuclear deal is becoming.

President Barack Obama, speaking to veterans on Tuesday, cast the deal as one that would save American troops from dying in a fruitless war. The pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, a deal opponent, is bringing in its members for face-to-face meetings with lawmakers. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu worked the weekend American talk shows. So did John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of state who brokered the deal and called one of Netanyahu’s signature criticisms “dumb.”

Much of the focus is on Congress, which has two months to review the agreement between Iran and six world powers led by the United States. It could vote to disapprove, which would kill the deal, but such a vote must garner two-thirds of Congress to overcome Obama’s pledged veto.

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From PressTV

A file photo showing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next to his wife Sara (AFP Photo)

The Israeli attorney general has ordered a criminal investigation into financial misconduct of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

An official of the Israeli ministry of judicial affairs, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Tuesday that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein’s decision to order the criminal probe into Netanyahu’s excessive spending follows a preliminary inquiry into case in February.

On February 26, the office of Weinstein said in a statement that the evidence collected from Netanyahu’s official residence and his private home, and the testimonies of a former employee at the residence convinced judges to launch a preliminary probe into the case.

The attorney general’s office “believes that the variety of affairs justifies a probe, at the end of which it will be decided whether to launch a criminal investigation,” the statement issued in February added.

The Israeli premier faces accusations of transfer of furniture bought for his official residence to his holiday home in the city of Caesarea in the occupied Palestinian territories, and use of public money to pay an electrician to work in his property there.

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

European Maccabi Games to be held at Olympic venues built by Nazis

Adolf Hitler watching the Olympic Games in Berlin with the Italian Crown Prince, August, 1936. (Fox Photos/Getty Images)

BERLIN (JTA) – They are roaring through Europe, raising dust as they go: Jewish bikers bearing an Olympic-style torch all the way from Israel to this German city.

Next week, 11 core riders will pull their steel steeds into Berlin’s famous outdoor amphitheater, the Waldbuehne, to help usher in the 14th European Maccabi Games — the first ever in Germany — at a venue built by the Nazis for the 1936 Olympics. Other competitions will be held at the Olympic Stadium here, where Hitler presided over the opening of the games that year.

The riders are following in the treads of the Maccabiah Riders, who rode through Europe in the early 1930s to promote the games then being held under British mandate in Palestine.

The July 28 opening ceremony, which will feature remarks by German President Joachim Gauck and a concert featuring Matisyahu, Dana International and others, will usher in 10 days of sports, parties, a Limmud Germany learning event and more. Some 2,300 Jewish athletes from 36 countries will take part, cheered on by fans bused in from across the country by the Central Council of Jews in Germany. And the sports venues, including Berlin’s Olympiastadion, will be open to all, free of charge and under heavy security.

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Amy Schumer’s childhood rabbi dishes on her Hebrew school antics

Amy Schumer speaking about "Trainwreck" at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival on April 19, 2015, in New York. (Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

Comedian Amy Schumer’s childhood rabbi has dished up a few tasty, albeit kosher, tidbits about the foul-mouthed funny girl’s childhood, writing a sweet, joke-speckled post about her Hebrew school antics for Religion News Service.

The “Trainwreck” star, says Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin of Rockville Centre’s Central Synagogue of Nassau County, was “a religious school cutup. In this, she follows a noble tradition.”

The good rabbi goes on to note that Abraham himself was a rebel, always asking prodding questions, as was great thinker Baruch Spinoza, who sat at the back of the classroom and taunted his teachers with jokes.

Salkin also marvels at the fact that his synagogue has produced more than one famous comedian. Schumer’s sister and writing partner, Kim Caramele, standup comedian Dave Attell and former “Daily Show” writer Rory Albanese all attended services, he says.

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Microsoft to acquire Israeli cybersecurity firm

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Microsoft Corp. will purchase an Israeli cybersecurity company for a reported $320 million.

The planned acquisition of Adallom was first reported on Tuesday by the Israeli business publication Calcalist. Microsoft has signed a letter of intent for the purchase.

Founded in 2012, Adallom has 80 employees in Israel, in Tel Aviv, and the United States, in Palo Alto, California. It secures information stored on cloud services, protecting it from cyber attacks.

It will be Microsoft’s fourth acquisition of an Israeli company.

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From Ynet News

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