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Monday, August 28, 2006

Some headlines and summaries from JTA

Israel urges Iran sanctions

Israel’s foreign minister urged the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Iran.

Tzipi Livni said Sunday that recent conciliatory remarks by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were aimed at staving off sanctions over his country’s nuclear program when an Aug. 31 deadline set by the Security Council passes.

“One thing is clear: The world must not delude itself that Iran seeks some sort real dialogue. They want to buy time. They must not be allowed to do so. Sanctions must be under way, and the sooner the better,” Livni told Channel 2 television.

Iran has defied Western pressure to abandon technologies that could be used to produce nuclear weapons, but Ahmadinejad said in a speech over the weekend that the program was not intended to threaten the “Zionist regime.”

At the same time, Iran announced that it was opening a new heavy-water reactor, which could produce materials for nuclear bombs.

UJC meets officials on homeland security

Jewish community officials met with administration and U.S. Senate officials to ensure the release of Homeland Security money to nonprofits.

Officials of the United Jewish Communities, the umbrella body for Jewish federations, met last week with staff of the Senate’s Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee.

Staff discussed sharpening language in the Homeland Security Department’s appropriation bill to ensure that nonprofits receive $25 million, as they were allocated in 2005 and 2006; that the funds may be used to defend nonprofits from potential, and not just actual, threats; and that states would be encouraged to spend some of the $1.3 billion they receive on nonprofits.

They also said George Foresman, the department undersecretary who administers the money, was responsive to demands for the release of the 2006 money.

More than half of the 2005 money, which is just now reaching its targets, was allocated to Jewish organizations.

Jewish groups blast Israeli actions

Some U.S. Jewish groups signed onto a letter calling Israeli military actions in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip “vastly disproportionate.”

The “open letter to the Middle East” was published last week by United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of left-wing groups. It said Israel’s reactions to the capture of three soldiers by Hamas and Hezbollah were “vastly disproportionate and are in no way commensurate with a right to self-defense as defined under international law.” It calls “for an end of U.S. military and political support to Israel’s violations of international law.”

Among the 120 signatories are groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and Not In My Name. The letter also calls for an end to the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq.

Danish festival leaves out Israel

A cultural festival on the Mideast in Copenhagen has drawn criticism for failing to include Israel.

According to the Danish daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende, “Images of the Middle East” aimed to improve Denmark’s reputation in the Arab world following controversial cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad led to worldwide Muslim protests, some of them violent.

But organizers of the festival, which started Aug. 12 and runs through Sept. 20 in Copenhagen and eight other Danish cities, have drawn sharp criticism because they presented an anthology of writing from the Middle East that does not include Israel.

The paper reported that the Saudi royal family, a main sponsor together with the Danish government, insisted on leaving out Israelis. The paper said politicians should reconsider whether it was worth financing “such a superficial and amateur cultural festival.”

posted by Somebody @ 10:10 PM Permanent Link


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