In the last few days there has been a steady stream of news reports saying that an Israeli Jew claimed responsibility for the incendiary anti-Moslem movie said to have touched off rioting in several Arab nations.
But I heard nothing on several national evening newscasts Thursday after the Associated Press tracked down the man responsible for the movie and he turned out to be a Coptic Christian. This man had claimed to be an Israeli Jew in order to turn people’s anger against Jews, another group he undoubtedly hates. And he compounded that by asserting that 100 Jews had financed the movie.
Jews have too often been scapegoats in history. It’s just unfortunate that when the truth is revealed, it is not as widely disseminated as was the big lie.
After being rebuffed by the U.S., al-Qaeda kidnappers have turned to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in their quest to win demands for the release of a Jewish contractor seized a year ago in Pakistan, according to a group that monitors terrorists.
Warren Weinstein, a development expert working in Pakistan for a Virginia consulting firm, was abducted in August 2011 after his three bodyguards were tricked into opening the door of his house and then overpowered by al-Qaeda terrorists, according to the group, SITE Intelligence Group.
Weinstein said on a video appeal to Netanyahu that he had decided to approach him because the U.S. has “no interest” in his case.
“Therefore, as a Jews, I am appealing to you, Prime Minister Netanyahu, to please intervene on my behalf to work with the mujahideen and to accept their demands so that I can be released and return to my family, see my wife, my children and my grandchildren again,” he said.
CNN said White House spokesman Jay Carney had said in response to a similar plea to President Barack Obama that “we cannot and will not negotiate with al-Qaeda.”
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When a senior Jewish German police officer happily obliged reporters and put on a kipah during a solidarity parade with victims of anti-Semitic attacks in Berlin, his picture was snapped and the officer found himself in hot water with his superiors.
Chief Inspector Tuvia Schlesinger told The Times of Israel that he now faces disciplinary proceedings for having violated a 2005 police neutrality rules at the Sept. 2 demonstration that was attended by about 1,000 people.
“I usually don’t wear a kippah, but I granted his request,” Schlesinger said of one of the reporters. “As soon as I donned the kippah and the cameras started clicking, I realized that it was the wrong thing to do.”
At the hearing, Schlesinger will be given a chance to explain the circumstances under which he came to wear the kippah while on duty and in uniform, and German newspapers suggested that he would not be punished.
Schlesinger, the son of Holocaust survivors and a 32-year veteran of the police department, is a member of the board of governors of the Jewish community. He told a German newspaper that when he put on the kippah he knew he was violating the rules but that it was “ludicrous” to punish him in this case. And he said it was not planned as a political act.
“I don’t want anybody to forbid me from wearing a kippah – not even my superiors,” he said. “I am Jewish and I stand by that, and that’s it.”
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An Israeli expert on nuclear proliferation said he believes Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is wrong when he said the U.S. would have “roughly about a year right now – a little more than a year” to respond should Iran decide to make a nuclear bomb.
“You need to know if that happened and you need to know it quickly enough,” said Ephraim Asculai, a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies since 2002.
“When [Panetta] referred to that, he said the source of information [about Iran’s nuclear project] would be the International Atomic Energy Agency. I don’t agree with that. It could be blind to that. And … the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, D.C., estimated that the time needed would be eight to 10 months. So a year would be stretching it much too long.”
Asculai, in a conference call arranged by The Israel Project, said he views the situation as “very serious” because Iran continues to enrich uranium to 20 percent.
“From there it is a short process to the 90 percent that is necessary for nuclear weapons,” he said. “Israel feels quite anxious about the progress of the nuclear process because the Iranian president and others are threatening almost daily the existence of Israel. The U.S. thinks there is still time for a diplomatic solution to the problem; Israel thinks time is running out.”
At this point, Asculai said the Iranians “in all probability have not decided” to make nuclear weapons. But should they decide to make such weapons, he said, no one in Israel “or the United States would imagine that a military attack would do anything but delay their nuclear program. … Some say even a short delay is okay.”
Those people point to the fact that after Israel destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981, it has never again tried to build one, he said.