U.S. Briefs 1-3-12

Download this story in Microsoft Word format here.

Israel Security Council: Obama ‘naive’ on Muslim Brotherhood

Click photo to download. Caption: President Obama reflects. Credit: White House.U.S. President Barack Obama is “naive” and needs to face up to the threat presented by the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East, Israel’s National Security Council concluded during a recent strategic discussion.

The council, responsible for providing the prime minister and cabinet ministers with strategic assessments, said it was concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise in Egypt, especially in light of the group’s world view and repeated pronouncements that call the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty into question.

Meeting in Jerusalem, the council concluded that Israel should focus its efforts on the Obama administration, expressing the hope that Obama would take a "harder stance” towards the rising tide of Islam.

—Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JointMedia News Service

CAP under fire for allegedly slanderous Twitter comments

The Center for American Progress (CAP) is accused of slander for a series of anti-Israel posts on Twitter, the Jerusalem Post reported.

A person who identified himself as a CAP blogger posted a statement on Twitter referencing “Israeli apartheid.” He also called American supporters of Israel “Israel firsters.” Another CAP blogger posted on Twitter that Republican Illinois Senator Mark Kirk shows more loyalty to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) than to the United States government.

Several NGOs said the “apartheid” statement is slanderous and that the other statements are blatantly anti-Semitic because they tap into the old conspiracy theory that Jews have an ulterior loyalty that is stronger than their loyalty to their own country.

The two bloggers later said they disagree with the accusations against them but apologize for the careless wording of their thoughts. However, Jason Isaacson, the American Jewish Committee’s director of government and international affairs, said that “References to Israeli ‘apartheid’ or ‘Israel-firsters’ are so false and hateful they reveal an ugly bias no serious policy center can countenance.”

—JointMedia News Service

Several primary candidates say they would vote for Ron Paul if he were nominated

Click photo to download. Caption: Ron Paul. Credit: PD.The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) said that the Republican Party’s support for Israel is questionable because several presidential primary candidates have expressed support for candidate Ron Paul despite his isolationist views on foreign policy, including Israel.

According to NJDC, Mitt Romney has said that even though he doesn’t agree with all of Paul’s views, he would vote for Paul if the candidate won the Republican nomination. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum also said he would “absolutely” vote for Paul, though he hopes that “enough pressure can be brought to bear on him, if he becomes president, that he won’t make these horrific decisions.”

However, Newt Gingrich took a stronger stand against Paul, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he would not vote for him. “I think Ron Paul’s views are totally outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American, “he said.

—JointMedia News Service

Cuban Jewish leaders report Gross is relatively healthy despite incarceration

Click photo to download. Caption: Alan Gross with his wife, Judy, in Jerusalem. Credit: Courtesy Gross family.Cuban Jewish leaders came to celebrate Hanukkah with Alan Gross, the American contractor imprisoned in Cuba, and reported that the prisoner appears to be relatively healthy and in good spirits. This is despite the fact that he is 62 years old and has been imprisoned since December 2009, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Gross was sentenced to 15 years in prison for setting up Cuban Jews with Internet access. Cuba views Gross’s actions as subversive.

“He looks stronger. He has gained a few pounds and is doing a lot of exercise,” said Adela Dworin, president of Cuba’s Jewish community.

Gross and his family were also hopeful last week that his name would be listed among 2,900 prisoners to be pardoned and freed by Cuban President Raul Castro, but he was not included.

—JointMedia News Service

CAMERA: J Street director ignored Israeli actions for peace in column

In a recent column for the Washington Post, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami criticized Israel for maintaining the status quo in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Settlements beyond the Green Line continue to expand, and doubts regarding the existence of a true partner for peace are used to justify continued procrastination in taking meaningful steps toward a two-state solution,” Ben-Ami wrote. He also urged the Israeli government to “take bold, even risky, steps to establish a state of Palestine based on the pre-1967 lines with land swaps.” 

Eric Rozenman, the Washington director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), wrote a letter responding to the column in which he criticized Ben-Ami for ignoring basic facts.

“In 1993, Israel entered the Oslo process with Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization...but Palestinian terrorism, not mentioned by Mr. Ben-Ami, sabotaged it. In 2000, Israel and the United States proposed to the PLO a West Bank and Gaza state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in exchange for peace with the Jewish state. Bold, even risky. But this, too, Arafat rejected and soon after launched the ‘al-Aqsa intifada,’ in which more than 1,000 Israelis and 4,000 Palestinians died. The offer was repeated and again rebuffed in early 2001... and rejected by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 2008,” he wrote.

According to Rozenman, Ben-Ami was also “mute on recurrent rocket and mortar attacks from the Gaza Strip...The PA seeks a unilateral U.N. statehood declaration precisely to avoid the compromises with Israel.”

—JointMedia News Service

Two lists showcase top anti-Israel, anti-Semitic cases of 2011

Click photo to download. Caption: Mahmoud Abbas topped the Simon Wiesenthal Center "Top Ten Anti-Israel/Anti-Semitic Slurs" list for 2011. Credit: World Economic Forum.As 2011 came to a close, NGO Monitor released a list of the most outrageous and absurd NGO actions from the past year related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Additionally, the Simon Wiesenthal Center released its list of the Top Ten Anti-Israel/Anti-Semitic Slurs of the year.

Amnesty International’s new Israel researcher tops the NGO Monitor list with her history of radical anti-Israel activism. Deborah Hyams was one of the women who agreed to become human shields in the West Bank in 2001. No. 2 is Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch, who compared the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to racial segregation and called Muammar Qaddafi’s son a human rights reformer.

At No. 7, the organization selected the members of Machsom Watch who supported and hugged relatives of the men who stabbed the Fogel couple and their children to death.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas tops Simon Wiesenthal’s list for his speech to the United Nations assembly in which he mentioned both Islam and Christianity’s ties to Israel, but not those of Judaism, thereby denying the Jewish people’s connection to the land.

At No. 2 is Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, “I would like to see accurate statistics of how many Israelis have been killed by the bombs thrown by Palestinians or with the rockets that were launched by them? … Israel is inexplicably cruel, against innocent Palestinians, hiding behind the Nazi Holocaust and seeking victimhood....”

Former Dior designer John Galliano also made the list at No. 4, for telling someone “I love Hitler…People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f****** gassed.”

Read the full lists online at NGO Monitor and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

—JointMedia News Service

Israeli company scores U.S. contracts for solar energy development

Ormat Technologies Inc., an Israeli company developing geothermal and recovered energy-based power plants, scored two major contracts with American energy providers, Yediot Ahronot reported.

The company signed one $21.4 million contract with U.S. energy giant Cyrq Energy Inc. for the improvement of a geothermal project in the state of Utah. It also signed a two-year power purchase agreement with California community-owned utility Imperial Irrigation District. This will allow the company to develop its first 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic farm near one of its geothermal plants in the state.

“While Ormat’s roots in solar energy go back more than 40 years, we have recently reinitiated our development efforts in solar projects as a way to expand our renewable energy portfolio,” Ormat Technologies COO Yoram Bronicki said.

—JointMedia News Service

Posted on January 3, 2012 and filed under Briefs, U.S..