A roundup of recent news concerning Israel:
SPAIN BANS ISRAELI ACADEMICS
From Sept 24, 2009 the AP at Haaretz:
“Spain said Thursday it has disqualified a group of Israeli academics from a solar power design competition because their university is in the West Bank, the latest in a series of low-level European sanctions against Israel over its settlement policy.
Spain expelled the team representing Ariel University Center of Samaria from an international contest called the Solar Decathlon, in which 20 universities are presenting designs for solar-powered homes, a Housing Ministry official said.
Samaria and Judea are the two Biblical names for the land also now known as the West Bank.
“Spain acted in line with European Union policy of opposing Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land,” the Spanish official said on condition of anonymity, in line with ministry rules.”
THE UN CONFERENCE
On Sept 23rd the UN conference of world leaders held in New York gave a platform for Iranian leader Ahmadinejad to denounce Israel as controlling the world media and banking industries, and generally repeating his claims that the killing of six millions Jews during WW2 is a myth. In response, some eleven countries walked out on the speech (reportedly the eleven were Argentina, Australia, Britain, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand and the United States. Canada boycotted the speech outright.)
When Israeli Prime Minister Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahuhad his turn to speak to the UN assembly, (from the Jerusalem Post online) he noted:
“(He called) to task the nations of the world on the international body’s responsibility and criticizing them for not standing up to it.
“The UN was founded after the carnage of World War II,” Netanyahu said, adding that the organization was “charged with preventing the reoccurrence of such horrendous events.
“Nothing has impeded” the work of the UN, he said, “more than the systematic assault on the truth.
“Yesterday the president of Iran stood at this podium spewing anti-Semitic rants… Just a few days earlier he claimed the Holocaust is a lie.
“Last month I went to a villa in a suburb of Berlin called Wannsee,” Netanyahu recalled a visit to the pastoral villa, where over just a few hours on January 20 1942 the Nazis devised the Final Solution – the decision to exterminate the Jews from Europe.
Netanyahu then dramatically showed a facsimile copy of Final Solution documents drafted in Wannsee.
“Is this protocol a lie?” he asked. “Is the German government lying?”
“The day before I was in Wannsee,” Netanyahu continued, “I was given in Berlin the original construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
“These plans I now hold in my hand,” he said, as he was showing the worn-out blueprints to the assembly. “They contain a signature by Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s deputy.
“Are these plans of the camp where one million Jews were murdered a lie too?” he asked.
Netanyahu then turned to attacking Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying “Yesterday, the man who called the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. For those who refused to come, and those who left in protest – I commend you, you stood up for moral clarity.
“But for those who stayed – I say on behalf of the Jewish people, my people and decent people everywhere – have you no shame? No decency? What a disgrace, what a mockery of the charter of the UN.”
Also speaking at the conference was Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi who mentioned that Israel was responsible for the assassination of American president John F. Kennedy in 1963.
During her presentation to the UN, President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner addressed the issue of the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish center (from the Jewish Journal online):
“(She) called for the extradition to her country of Iranian officials wanted in the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish center. Among the suspects wanted by Interpol is Ahmed Vahidi, who earlier this month was confirmed as Iran’s defense minister. The 1994 bombing, which killed 85 people, was allegedly carried out by Hezbollah agents with Iranian sponsorship and organization, but Argentina has not been able to bring anyone to justice for perpetrating the attack.”
HONDURAS AND ISRAELI “MERCENARIES”
Ousted several months ago from the office of the presidency of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya is claiming that Israeli agents are using ‘mind-altering gasses’ and ‘radiation’ to torture him as he stays holed-up in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (From the Miami Herald online)
“Zelaya was deposed at gunpoint on June 28 and slipped back into his country on Monday, just two days before he was scheduled to speak before the United Nations. He sought refuge at the Brazilian Embassy, where Zelaya said he is being subjected to toxic gases and radiation that alter his physical and mental state.
Witnesses said that for a short time Tuesday morning, soldiers used a device that looked like a large satellite dish to emit a loud shrill noise.
Honduran police spokesman Orlin Cerrato said he knew nothing of any radiation devices being used against the former president.
“He says there are mercenaries against him? Using some kind of apparatus?” Cerrato said. “No, no, no, no. Sincerely: no. The only elements surrounding that embassy are police and military, and they have no such apparatus.”
Police responded to reports of looting throughout the city Tuesday night. Civil disturbances subsided Wednesday afternoon, when a crush of people rushed grocery stores and gas stations in the capital.
Israeli government sources in Miami said they could not confirm the presence of any “Israelis mercenaries” in Honduras.”
FLAG FOOTBALL BRONZE
All is not bad news for Israel in world affairs, though (from Jerusalem Post):
“A rare European Championship medal in team was captured this week by Israel when the women’s national flag football team took bronze at the European Federation of American Football championships held in Belfast, northern Ireland.
The Israeli women had won major European club tournaments in the past, but had never before reached the top three against premier international competition, coming in with a previous-best 5th-place finish at last year’s worlds in Canada.
The impressive display in Belfast was good enough to earn the first team sport medal for Israel in any European championship since the 1970s, and was the culmination of months of hard preparation by the dedicated athletes.”
The men’s team from Israel got 7th place.