WEEKLY ROUND-UP OF NEWS- Friday, January 30, 2009.
A Left-wing cartoonist is to go on trial on Tuesday on charges of antisemitism for suggesting Jean Sarkozy, the son of the French president, was converting to Judaism for financial reasons.
Maurice Sinet, 80, who works under the pen name Sine, faces charges of “inciting racial hatred” for a column he wrote last July in the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. The piece sparked a summer slanging match among the Parisian intelligentsia and ended in his dismissal from the magazine. L’affaire Sine” followed the engagement of Mr Sarkozy, 22, to Jessica Sebaoun-Darty, the Jewish heiress of an electronic goods chain. Commenting on an unfounded rumour that the president’s son planned to convert to Judaism, Sine quipped: “He’ll go a long way in life, that little lad.” A high-profile political commentator slammed the column as linking prejudice about Jews and social success. Charlie Hebdo’s editor, Philippe Val, asked Sinet to apologise but he refused, exclaiming: “I’d rather cut my balls off.” –Telegraph.co.uk (UK), January 27, 2009.
Iran steers Iraq without firing a single bullet
Iranians manage to play an extremely influential role in Iraq’s daily life without sending a single soldier and without firing a single bullet. Tehran’s weight on the Shiite increases with each passing day. Iranians improve their religious connection and organic relationship. Messages to some extent from Qumand to some extend from Tehran reach their target in Baghdad. Reports prepared by U.S. intelligence are very striking. These reports summarizing the names and activities of new armed groups established in Iraq by the Iranian Ministry of Interior point to the fact that Tehran has been developing its presence in Iraq in an unpreventable way According to estimates, Iran with serious action within five to six years will be able control the country’s Shiite segment and even wipe out traces of the U.S. invasion. The only place in Iraq where Iran does not have a say is the Kurdish region in northern Iraq. – Hurriyet Daily News, (Turkey), January 29, 2009.
“The Gaza victory has paved the way to Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, the Negev, and the West Bank… We will continue fighting until the occupation is defeated on Palestinian soil”
Senior Hamas official Isma’il Radhwan stated at the rally: “The Gaza victory has paved the way to Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, the Negev, and the West Bank. Gaza is not our [only] enterprise; [our national enterprise includes] Gaza and Palestine. We will continue fighting until the occupation is defeated on Palestinian soil.” Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London)/MEMRI, January 29, 2009.
“The Jews Brought Obama to Power In Order to Take Revenge… They Hate America”
“Obama will not complete the plan of George Bush Senior. Obama was brought to power by the Jews. Let me tell you something. In my view, and I might be mistaken, the Jews brought Obama to power in order to take revenge… Before they establish the Semitic Middle East, they want to tear America to shreds, because they hate America. Obama will be the cause…” Lebanese Author, Farid Salman: MEMRI, January 29, 2009.
Iranian-led Durban II “anti-racism” negotiations end in total disgrace: Zionism is racism, apartheid Israel and questioning the Holocaust are now on the Durban II negotiating table
Intensive negotiations last week in Geneva have resulted in a new version of the “Draft Outcome Document” for Durban II – released yesterday. Iran – a Vice-Chair of the executive committee for Durban II – played a leading role in the drafting process, speaking more often than any other single state. The result? Now on the negotiating table: Jewish self-determination or Zionism is racism. Israel is guilty of apartheid and the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust is questionable. Anne Bayefsky, Editor of EYEontheUN, commented: “this ‘anti-racism’ manifesto is much worse even than its predecessor. Islamic and other rights-abusing states had a field day preparing for Durban II. European states were totally unable to introduce the modifications necessary to protect human rights standards or change the clear intent of the conference.” – Eye on the UN, January 29, 2009.
Iran in scramble for fresh uranium supplies
Western powers believe that Iran is running short of the raw material required to manufacture nuclear weapons, triggering an international race to prevent it from importing more, The Times has learnt. Diplomatic sources believe that Iran’s stockpile of yellow cake uranium, produced from uranium ore, is close to running out and could be exhausted within months. Countries including Britain, the US, France and Germany have started intensive diplomatic efforts to dissuade major uranium producers from selling to Iran. Before Christmas, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office sent out a confidential request for its diplomats in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Brazil, all major uranium producers, to lobby governments not to sell uranium products, specifically yellow cake, to Iran. The Times (UK) January 29, 2009.
Copenhagen to host Gaza anti-smuggling meeting
Senior US, European and Middle Eastern officials are coming to Denmark next week to discuss plans to prevent weapons being smuggled into Gaza On the back of a joint Danish-American initiative, a number of foreign representatives will be invited to Copenhagen next week to decide on a plan of action against weapons-smuggling to Hamas in Gaza. Unnamed Israeli sources describe it as an international conference while European diplomats have called it an expert workshop. President Obama announced the meeting on the same day that the US Navy had to release an Iranian cargo ship in the Red Sea, which was carrying a cargo of weapons purportedly to Hamas. A senior source with knowledge of the meeting told TV2 News that ‘the meeting in Copenhagen will focus solely on a possible maritime effort.’ The source said that countries involved in the talks could look towards the international flotilla that has been patrolling the Lebanese coast for more than two years, in a bid to prevent weapons smuggling to the Hizbollah militants in southern Lebanon. – Copenhagen Post, January 28, 2009.
Turkish PM storms out of Gaza debate
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan today stormed out of an angry debate at the Davos forum on the Gaza war with Israel’s President Shimon Peres. “I do not think I will be coming back to Davos after this because you do not let me speak,” the Islamist-rooted prime minister shouted before marching off the stage in front of Mr Peres, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and an elite audience of ministers and international officials at the World Economic Forum. Mr Erdogan criticised the audience for applauding Mr Peres’ emotional defence of Israel’s war in Gaza, before the moderator, Washington Post journalist David Ignatius, insisted that the debate had gone over time. He said Israel had carried out “barbarian” actions in Gaza. Mr Peres had told the audience that Israel had been forced into the offensive against Hamas by thousands of rockets and mortars fired into Israel. “The tragedy of Gaza is not Israel, it is Hamas,” said Mr Peres. “They created a dictatorship. A very dangerous one.” – The Australian, January 30, 2009.
Egypt to Hamas: Take Gaza truce before the Likud takes over Israel
The Egyptian government is reportedly pressing Hamas to hurry up and agree to a ceasefire with Israel’s outgoing Kadima-led government before next month’s elections. Several terms are yet to be agreed upon by both sides, but they have maintained a ceasefire for over a week and negotiations continue. But if Hamas pushes the negotiations past the election, officials caution, the likely victory of a coalition led by the right-wing Likud Party, which condemned the notion of ending the war in the first place, could derail negotiations. Hamas appears to have won some key concessions from the current Israeli government, including a promise to open the long-closed border crossings, critically important as the war torn nation struggles in vain to repair the damage from the invasion. The two sides continue to differ on the length of the ceasefire and other terms. – AntiWar.News. January 26, 2009.
French envoy says Syria prevents Hezbollah from attacking Israel
BEIRUT- French President Nicola Sarkozy’s envoy Philippe Marini told reporters in Beirut that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad prevented Hezbollah from taking retaliation action during the Israeli war on Gaza, local As-Safir daily reported Thursday. “President Assad told me he used his influence to make sure that Hezbollah shows restrain and adopts a responsible attitude during the Israeli war on Gaza,” said Marini, who is on a visit to Lebanon. The “Syrian role was positive,” and the conflict did not expand, added the French envoy, who was in Damascus before visiting Beirut. He said the Lebanese rival leaders, who are involved in the national dialogue, have expressed their appreciation for Hezbollah’s performance during Gaza war – Chinaview.cn. January 29, 2009.