World Briefs 1-24-12

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After Iran sanctions, EU turns attention to Mideast peace talks

Click photo to download. Caption: Following the EU's move to place unprecedented sanctions on Iran, foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will monitor talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Jordan.Credit: World Economic Forum.After the EU on Monday passed unprecedented sanctions against Iran's oil industry and central bank, officials in Jerusalem believe Europe will now turn its attention to advancing peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel Hayom reported.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is scheduled to arrive in the region Tuesday to monitor talks being held in Jordan between the two sides, the first direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians since September 2010.

Ashton was expected to meet with Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Jerusalem, and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah, German news agency DPA reported.

-JointMedia News Service

Ancient Jewish scrolls discovered in Afghanistan

150 Jewish documents from the 11th century were discovered in Afghanistan’s Samangan province, Reuters reported. The documents were likely smuggled to London, where private antique dealers are currently holding them.

Shaul Saked, who is teaches at the Comparative Religion and Iranian Studies department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has seen some of the documents (including poems, commercial records, and judicial agreements), told Reuters that the culture of ancient Afghan Jewry remains a mystery to this day.

"Here, for the first time, we see evidence and we can actually study the writings of this Jewish community. It's very exciting," Shaked told Reuters. 

-JointMedia News Service

20 percent of Germans still anti-Semitic

A study released by the German Parliament shows that 20 percent of Germans today are still anti-Semitic, the Washington Post reports. The majority of actual anti-Jewish crimes are committed by right-wing extremists, the report also said.

"Anti-Semitism in our society is based on widespread prejudices, deeply rooted cliches and on sheer ignorance about Jews and Judaism," one of the authors, the London-based German history professor Peter Longerich said according to Deutsche Welle.

Just days before the release of the report, representatives from around the world gathered to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, the Nazi conference which planned and the led to the extermination of more than six million Jews during the Holocaust.

German President Christian Wulff called the place where the conference was held, now a museum, "a place of German shame." He promised that Germany will do everything so that “terror and the murderous hatred of others never finds a place in Germany again.”

-JointMedia News Service

Egypt’s Islamists win 75 percent of parliament

Islamist parties took nearly three-quarters of the seats in Egypt’s parliament in the country’s first elections since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power last year, election officials and political groups reported on Saturday.

An Egyptian parliament dominated by hard-line Muslims has liberals and even some conservatives concerned that the new legislature will take an overly religious tone. The new parliament will be tasked with forming a committee to write a new constitution, and it remains unclear whether that document will be written while the generals who took power after Mubarak's fall are still in charge, or after presidential elections this summer.

In the vote for the parliamentary lower house, a coalition led by the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood won 47 percent, or 235 of the 498 parliamentary seats. The ultraconservative Al-Nour Party took second place with 25 percent, or 125 seats.

At a press conference on Saturday, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badia said that his movement would uphold the peace agreement with Israel. He emphasized, however, that, “after the military council transfers power to elected civilian agencies, all international agreements that Egypt has signed will be re-examined.”

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service

Egypt’s Islamists win 75 percent of parliament

Click photo to download. Caption: Muslim Brotherhood deputy Mohamed El-Beltagy gestures and speaks up as he objects on the choice of the head of the parliament during the first Egyptian parliament session after the revolution that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak. Credit: EPA/KHALED ELFIQIslamist parties took nearly three-quarters of the seats in Egypt’s parliament in the country’s first elections since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power last year, election officials and political groups reported on Saturday.

An Egyptian parliament dominated by hard-line Muslims has liberals and even some conservatives concerned that the new legislature will take an overly religious tone. The new parliament will be tasked with forming a committee to write a new constitution, and it remains unclear whether that document will be written while the generals who took power after Mubarak's fall are still in charge, or after presidential elections this summer.

In the vote for the parliamentary lower house, a coalition led by the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood won 47 percent, or 235 of the 498 parliamentary seats. The ultraconservative Al-Nour Party took second place with 25 percent, or 125 seats.

At a press conference on Saturday, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badia said that his movement would uphold the peace agreement with Israel. He emphasized, however, that, “after the military council transfers power to elected civilian agencies, all international agreements that Egypt has signed will be re-examined.”

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service

London students play Nazi card game and attack Jew

Students from the London School of Economics attacked a Jew who objected to a Nazi drinking party during a student ski trip, Israel National News reported.

The student reportedly objected to a game in which cards were laid out to form a swastika and participants had to “salute the Fuhrer.” After voicing his objections, the man was attacked by fellow students who broke his nose. A university spokesperson said the school would take appropriate disciplinary action if the allegations prove true.

These are not the first instances of anti-Semitism to plague Great Britain in recent years. Tanya Gold, a journalist for the Guardian, wrote that the incidents are mounting up, including “the heckling of an Israeli orchestra, the graffiti on university walls, the demand that Jews denounce Israel if they wish to be accepted in polite society, the plays and TV films written without context, the violence against Orthodox Jews (visible Jews), the sale of anti-Semitic toys in Poland, the terrible fact that 12,000 Facebook users think to mock the Holocaust, not lament it.”

—JointMedia News Service

Mein Kampf could be published in Germany after 67 years

British publisher Peter McGee is planning to print excerpts from Adolph Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” in Germany, the first time the book is being printed in the country since 1945, Agence France-Presse reported. The infamous memoir outlined Hitler’s anti-Semitic views.

McGee says he will print the excerpts with historical commentary that would contextualize the work, and historians supporting the move say that more than 60 years after the Holocaust, it is time to lift the taboo that has been placed over the book in Germany. They add that the book is easily accessible in other countries.

“Mein Kampf” is not actually banned in Germany, reported the Sydney Morning Herald, but Bavaria, which holds the copyright for the book, has thus far prevented its publication in the country. Even the president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, Dieter Graumann, said he sees no problem with publishing the excerpts because the book is already widely available on the Internet. However, the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants has urged Bavaria to prevent the publication, calling it “crass commercialism” and “a moral offence to the memory of all Nazi victims.” 

—JointMedia News Service

Owner of doomed ship is Israeli-American businessman

Click photo to download. Caption: Costa Concordia, the doomed ship that sank off the coast of Italy, is owned by Israeli-American businessman Micky Arison. Creidt: EPA/VIGILI DEL FUOCOIt has emerged that Israeli-American businessman and billionaire Micky Arison owns the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that sank last week off the Italian coast, Forbes.com reported. Arison is the CEO of Carnival Cruises, which owns a series of cruise ship lines.

Arison—who also owns the Miami Heat basketball franchrise, is the son of Tel Aviv-born Ted Arison, who fought in the Israeli war of independence and later became a businessman in the U.S.

 

“This is a terrible tragedy and we are deeply saddened. Carnival Corporation & plc offers our sympathies and heartfelt condolences to all of the Costa Concordia guests, crew members and their families,” the company said in a press release last week.

 At least 11 people have been confirmed dead in the ship disaster and 21 are still reported missing, according to Fox News. For Carnival Cruises, the financial loss is also great. Company shares have dropped and the crash could cost the company $100 million, $.11-$.12 per share.

 —JointMedia News Service

 

 

Posted on January 23, 2012 and filed under Briefs, World.