Thursday, January 08, 2009

Busy today...

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Hundreds of Jewish organizations are reassessing their security procedures.

The United States Senate passed a resolution backing Israel and a ceasefire with conditions.
The U.S. Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution calling for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip that would guarantee an end to Hamas rocket attacks.

The resolution, co-sponsored by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the minority leader, "encourages the President to work actively to support a durable, enforceable, and sustainable cease-fire in Gaza, as soon as possible, that prevents Hamas from retaining or rebuilding the capability to launch rockets and mortars against Israel and allows for the long-term improvement of daily living conditions for the ordinary people of Gaza."

The legislation also recognized Israel's "right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism."

A fragile cease-fire collapsed last month with a barrage of rockets fired into Israel. Israel launched major operations on Dec. 27.

The resolution also calls for strong protections for civilians and backs the resumption of peace talks toward a two-state solution.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee applauded the passage of the nonbinding resolution.

"AIPAC strongly supports this important congressional action, which backs Israel's right to self-defense, calls for American leadership to secure a durable and sustainable diplomatic outcome that ends smuggling of arms into Gaza and Hamas attacks on Israel, and expresses strong support for the peace process," spokesman Josh Block said in a statement.

A similar version is under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives and is likely to be acted upon by the end of the week.
Pro-Israel rallies were held in London and Brussells.
More than 1,000 people rallied Wednesday evening near the Israeli Embassy in London. A few dozen Muslim counter-demonstrators, who took part in the earlier daily anti-Israel demonstration, refused to leave the area; a large police contingent separated the two groups. Six of the anti-Israel demonstrators were arrested.

Though police managed to prevent physical clashes between the two groups, in verbal clashes the anti-Israel demonstrators called the Jews “Nazis” and shouted “Shame on you.”

Matt Freelander, the young Jewish Londoner who initiated the pro-Israel rally, told JTA, “I watched too much television and saw too many of the anti-Israel demonstrations.” He started a group on the Internet social networking site Facebook calling for a demonstration in support of Israel. From that point on, he said, “it snowballed,” and the group now numbers 1,000 members.

The Jewish demonstrators carried placards that read “End Hamas Terror” and “Peace to Israel and Gaza.”

Also Wednesday night, a Brussels pro-peace demonstration organized by the Coordinating Council of Jewish Communities in Belgium drew nearly 700 people, according to police estimates.

Called amid heightened security alerts and a wave of anti-Semitic attacks on community organizations, the protest called for peace in the Middle East and condemned the Hamas government in Gaza.

The demonstration was held in front of the Iranian Mission to the European Union, and the organizers of the protest emphasized the support Hamas has been receiving from the Islamic Republic.
A German caucus would like Israel to be accepted into NATO.

Protests have been aimed at athletes and they aren't pretty.
Anti-Israel protesters in New Zealand tried to force the withdrawal of Israel’s top tennis player from a tournament.

A fringe organization called Peace and Justice Auckland issued a letter to Shahar Pe'er demanding her withdrawal on the eve of the tournament. On Thursday, about 20 protesters waved anti-Israel placards outside the entrance to the ASC Classic in Auckland before Pe'er was due to play Russia’s Elena Dementieva.

Pe'er, 22, who received beefed-up security during the tournament, lost the quarterfinal to the top seed in straight sets.

On Wednesday, she rejected the demands of the protesters.

“I have nothing to do with this," she said. "I’m Shahar Pe'er. I came here to play tennis. I know I’m from Israel and I’m proud of my country.”

The protest against Pe'er came two days after an Israeli basketball team was targeted by protesters in Turkey, forcing the players to leave the court before the opening tip of a European Cup match.

Some Turkish fans of the Turk Telekom team threw bottles at the Israeli Bnei Hasharon players. Others stormed the court shouting "Allah Akbar" and "death to the Jews," according to reports.
Incidents have taken place in the land down under, resulting in a guy getting his shoulder dislocated.

A Palestinian man, trying to set a gas station on fire, was shot and killed. He tried setting a Palestinian worker on fire as well.

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