Israel Political Brief June 11, 2012: President Shimon Peres Will Ask President Barack Obama for Humanitarian Pardon for Jonathan Pollard

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Peres Will Ask Obama for Humanitarian Pardon for Pollard

President Shimon Peres will ask President Barack Obama to grant a pardon for Jonathan Pollard on humanitarian grounds.

Source: Israel National News, 6-11-12

Shimon Peres and Jonathan Pollard

Shimon Peres and Jonathan Pollard
INN archive photo

President Shimon Peres will ask President Barack Obama to grant a pardon for Jonathan Pollard on humanitarian grounds.

Pollard, incarcerated for some 27 years on a single charge of passing classified information to an ally (Israel), has been in increasingly poor health. He was hospitalized several times over the past year, including for emergency surgery.

Peres has said he will discuss the issue of a pardon for Pollard with Obama during a private meeting. Since he is himself a president who has the ability to grant pardons, Peres said, he understands the many concerns involved.

The Israeli president spoke with reporters at a briefing he held at Blair House, the official White House guest residence at which he is staying while in Washington D.C.

The issue will come as one of a number of other items to be discussed this week between the two men….READ MORE

Peres in U.S. will press for Pollard’s release

Source: JTA, 6-10-12

Israeli President Shimon Peres, in the U.S. to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, will press President Obama and other American officials to release Jonathan Pollard. Peres, who will meet with American officials ahead of the medal’s presentation at the White House on Wednesday, is carrying a petition signed by some 70,000 Israelis calling for Pollard’s release…READ MORE

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Israel Political Brief June 11, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Injured, Tears Leg Ligament Playing Soccer with Jewish, Arab Youth

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Netanyahu injures leg playing soccer with Jewish, Arab youth

Source: JTA, 6-11-12
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu injured his leg during a soccer match with Jewish and Arab youth.

Netanyahu pulled a tendon in his leg during the Monday afternoon game in Jerusalem, Walla! News reported.  The prime minister slipped on the grass, rose and continued to play and scored a goal, according to Walla!

Netanyahu’s personal physician, Dr. Tzvi Berkowitz, examined the prime minister and diagnosed the pulled tendon, according to the news website. The injury caused the postponement of a Likud Party meeting.

PM Tears Ligament at Children’s Soccer Game

The prime minister scored a goal, but pulled a tendon in the process – fouling out a Likud Knesset faction meeting as a result.
PM shows off torn ligament

PM shows off torn ligament
Israel news photo: PMO

The prime minister scored a goal, but pulled a tendon in the process – fouling out a Likud Knesset faction meeting as a result.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is as agile as ever on the political field, but not quite as light on his feet on the soccer field.

Taking part Monday afternoon in a Jewish-Arab children’s soccer game, the prime minister missed a swing at the ball after about five minutes of game time.

The game was being held at Jerusalem’s Kraft Stadium, and was staged for Peter Greenberg’s show “The Royal Tour.”

Down he went, straining a tendon in the process.

Photo: GPO

Likud Knesset members canceled their regularly scheduled faction meeting in deference to the injury.

“Today I was playing soccer to promote tourism and to show off the youth and the truly beautiful side of Israel — but I tore a ligament during the game,” Netanyahu explained with a slightly sheepish glance at his foot in a video clip sent a few hours later to media outlets.

“It’s not exactly the Euro,” he kibbitzed, showing off the cast on his left foot. “Tomorrow I will be back at the game as a prime minister,” he added, “to continue in other fields, once again on behalf of the State of Israel.”

PM Netanyahu Participates in Soccer Game Between Jewish and Arab Youth

Source: PMO, 6-11-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this afternoon in Jerusalem, participated in a soccer game between Jewish and Arab youth, in the framework of an international project to promote tourism to Israel.  During the game, the Prime Minister slipped on the field, rose, continued to play and scored a goal.

During a subsequent examination, expert orthopedist Dr. Leon Kaplan diagnosed a suspected tear in one of the Prime Minister’s tendons.  A CT scan at Hadassah-Mt. Scopus Hospital confirmed the diagnosis.  The Prime Minister’s left leg was placed in a cast for several weeks.

Prime Minister Netanyahu returned home and will be back at work at his office tomorrow.

 

Israel Political Brief June 10, 2012: Israel’s Rabbis Call for Harsh Protest over Givat HaUlpana

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Rabbis Call for Harsh Protest over Givat HaUlpana

Rabbis lament “destruction for destruction’s sake.” Will homes be sealed off instead of moved?

 

Protesting the planned eviction.

Protesting the planned eviction.
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Rabbis from the Derech HaEmunah movement issued a call to the public Monday in which they asked people to take action against the government’s intention to destroy the Givat HaUlpana homes and evict 30 families.

“We call for the cancellation of the decree of destroying the homes at Givat HaUlpana in Beit El,” they wrote. “This is a decree that the public cannot abide by. It is contrary to the Bible and human morality. It is destruction for destruction’s sake.”

“We call upon the public to carry out a harsh and meaningful protest that will bring about a change in the government’s decision, which endangers thousands of homes that have been built in the settlements,” the rabbis added, with the caveat that “No violence should be used against the security forces or against the settlers, G-d forbid.”

The letter is signed by Rav Haim Shteiner, Rav David Chai HaCohen, Rav Iser Klonsky, Rav Avi Smotritz, Rav Yosef Artziel, Rav Ben Dahan and Rav Shimon Cohen.

Meanwhile, the daily newspaper Yisrael Hayom reported Monday that the state may ask for a postponement of the destruction at Beit El, following intensive contacts between the settlers and representatives on behalf of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, including Minister Gilad Erdan….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief June 11, 2012: When President Obama Awards President Shimon Peres the Presidential Medal of Freedom Could be Jonathan Pollard’s Last Chance for Freedom

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Obama’s ‘Freedom’ Award to Peres May be Pollard’s Last Chance

Jonathan Pollard and millions of Jews are hoping Obama will free him from jail when he awards Peres the US Freedom Medallion Wednesday.

Source: Israel National News, 6-11-12

Free Pollard protest

Free Pollard protest
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Jonathan Pollard and millions of Jews are hoping President Barack Obama will free him from jail when he awards visiting President Shimon Peres the U.S Presidential Freedom Medal Wednesday.

In the cold world of politics, the “Jewish vote” may be the only factor that determines the fate of Pollard, who has been languishing in prison for more than 26 years.

With all polls showing that President Obama has 60-64 percent of the Jewish vote, as opposed to 78 percent four years ago, his political calculations of how many votes he can gain for Pollard’s freedom probably will outweigh humanitarian considerations.

However, the act of working on behalf of a foreign country, even if an ally, claws deeply into the skin of American patriotism, and American Jews are far from united on whether the U.S. president should exercise his authority and pardon Pollard, despite his deteriorating health.

Pollard was sentenced to life for a crime that usually carries a punishment of 2-4 years in jail – passing on classified information on behalf of a foreign country.

He was not convicted of spying, but mainstream media continue to call him a “spy for Israel.” The information Pollard handed over while working at the Pentagon is believed to have involved the Iraqi nuclear reactor, which Israel subsequently destroyed in a bombing raid. The information was not damaging to U.S. security, and an increasing number of American officials have said that Pollard did not get a fair trial and was punished unfairly.

The award of the Freedom Medal to President Peres will give him a prime time opportunity to free Pollard. Pres is arriving with a petition from 70,000 Israelis, backed by media support from the entire political spectrum, for freeing Pollard….READ MORE

Israel Brief June 11, 2012: Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum Defaced with Anti-Israel, Anti-Semitic Graffiti

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Hate Vandals Deface Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum

Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum officials were shocked Monday morning to discover anti-Zionist hate slogans and graffiti praising Hitler.
Yad VaShem

Yad VaShem
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum officials were shocked Monday morning to discover anti-Zionist hate slogans and graffiti praising Hitler.

“Hitler, thanks for the Holocaust” and “If Hitler didn’t exist the Zionists would have had to invent him” were among the graffiti scrawled on the walls of the plaza. Another hate message stated, “Jews wake up – the Zionist regime is dangerous,” and the vandalism was signed by “The global Zionist mafia.”

Yad VaShem director Avner Shalev said, “I am shocked and horrified by this blatant act of burning hatred against the country and against Zionism. It has crossed the red line and is very worrisome.”

He said it is not clear who was behind the vandalism, and police are investigating.

Education Minister Gideon Saar asserted that the vandals “intended to insult public sensitivities.”  One of the signatures indicated that anti-Zionist Jews may have been behind the hate attack, and security cameras may offer evidence of the perpetrators.

Yad VaShem was closed in the morning while workers tried to erase the damage.

 

Yad Vashem hit with anti-Israel, anti-Semitic graffiti

Source: JTA, 6-11-12

Vandals spray painted anti-Israel and anti-Semitic graffiti at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum.

The slogans written in Hebrew, including “Hitler, thank you for the Holocaust,” “If Hitler did not exist, the Zionists would have invented him,” and “The war of the Zionist regime is not the war of the Jewish people,” were mostly found at the entrance to the museum and concentrated near the Warsaw Ghetto Square and the memorial to the deportees.

Police reportedly believe that haredi Jewish extremists, who are opposed to the state of Israel, believing that it should not be established until the arrival of the Messiah, are responsible for the crime, which occurred early Monday morning.

Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev, who is a Holocaust survivor, called the vandalism a “blatant act of hatred of Israel and Zionism,” and said that it “crosses a red line.”

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