Iranian leader uses Turkey visit to slam Israel

August 19, 2008

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seized the opportunity of visiting Istanbul to launch fierce attacks on Israel.

His visit caused diplomatic tensions between Israel and Turkey, which enjoy close relations.

‘"The deep-rooted reason for all the aggressions, oppression and bloodshed in the region is the Zionist regime,'' he said at a press conference as he ended his two-day working visit to Istanbul last week during which he had extensive talks with Turkish leaders on bilateral relations and Tehran's nuclear ambitions.


Israel asks US not to soften on Iran

By Nathan Guttman, August 1, 2008

Fearing a softening of America's stance towards Iran, Israel has sent its highest ranking defence officials to Washington to stress the need for leaving all options open when dealing with Tehran's nuclear threat.

Israel's defence minister, its chief of staff and two other ministers have held talks in Washington over the past fortnight to persuade the US not to abandon a twin approach toward Iran: increasing economic and diplomatic pressure while making clear that the use of military force will not be ruled out.


Israel seeks strike on Iran after missile test

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 11, 2008

Israel is hoping that the ballistic missile test by Iran on Wednesday will help to persuade the United States to give it the “green light” to attack the country’s nuclear installations, according to an Israeli diplomatic source.

The Shihab-3 rocket was launched as part of a nine-missile salvo during an exercise. The move was condemned by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, as well as presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain.


Israeli top brass split over plan to hit Iran

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 27, 2008

Media reports of a recent wide-scale Israeli military exercise over the Mediterranean — widely interpreted as a dry-run for a possible attack on Iran — have highlighted stark differences among the Israeli leadership over what action to take against Iran’s nuclear programme.

More than 100 F-15 and F-16 fighter planes, backed up by rescue helicopters, air-refuelling aircraft, command-and-communications and electronic-warfare planes, flew almost 1,000 miles simulating the flight-path which would be used to bomb Iran.


Far-right’s first lady goes public on Shoah-denial

By Leon Symons, June 13, 2008

An attempt by a woman described as “one of the leaders of the extreme right” to justify her support for Holocaust deniers and Iran has been condemned by anti-fascist commentators.

Lady Renouf, a close friend of David Irving, has written to the JC in response to an article by columnist David Toube two weeks ago. Mr Toube criticised Lady Renouf’s support for disgraced academic Nicholas Kollerstrom, dismissed in April as an honorary fellow of University College London for publishing a paper claiming the gas chambers of Auschwitz never existed.


Minister’s threat of Iran attack ‘sends oil price soaring’

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 13, 2008

A weekend newspaper interview with Israel’s Transportation Minister, Shaul Mofaz, who threatened Iran with military action, has been deemed a major cause of the latest spike in oil prices.

Mr Mofaz’s threats coincided with the unofficial start of his Kadima leadership primaries campaign, but its reverberations were felt much further afield than Israel’s political scene.


Protests greet Iranian leader

By Ruth Ellen Gruber, June 6, 2008

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prompted street protests and diplomatic snubs during a one-day visit this week to Rome, where he also reiterated attacks on Israel.

The controversial Iranian leader, making his first trip to the West as Iranian president, was in Rome on Tuesday for the World Food Summit of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).


Obama woos Israel lobby

By Nathan Guttman, June 6, 2008

The largest-ever conference of pro-Israel activists convened in Washington DC this week. It took a political flavour as presidential candidates used the event to tout their pro-Israel credentials and tried to court the Jewish community for support in the coming November elections.

The main message sent out by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) focused on the need to take tough measures against Iran. Presidential hopefuls followed suit, promising to increase pressure on Tehran, if and when elected to the White House.


Olmert in his Aipac swansong

By Nathan Guttman, June 6, 2008

In what may be his last trip as prime minister to Washington, embattled Israeli leader Ehud Olmert met President George Bush and congressional leaders.


Why President Obama could be good for Israel

By Daniella Peled, June 6, 2008

A more involved US president might boost the peace process

Barack Obama has so far managed to defy one expectation after another. He has come from being a virtually unknown greenhorn to defeating Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential candidate. And he may yet become America’s first ever black president, as well as one of its youngest.

So would President Obama repudiate the whispering doubts about his pro-Israel and Jewish-friendly credentials that have accompanied his campaign?