World news

French war graves vandalised with swastikas

By Jennifer Lipman, June 14, 2010

Nicholas Sarkozy has made a public apology after vandals defaced graves in a First World War cemetery in northern France with neon pink swastikas, SS insignia and other obscenities.

The French president called the graffiti covering 12 British and Canadian graves “revolting” and said in a letter to the Queen that it was an “odious act”.

He said he condemned “with the greatest firmness this horrible act” and asked that the Queen should pass on his sympathy and solidarity.

More..

Turkey and Hamas to sue Israel flotilla officers

By Jessica Elgot, June 10, 2010

The Hamas justice minister has agreed a deal with Turkey to sue the Israeli officers who took part in the Gaza flotilla raid.

London-based newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that Hamas’ Faraj al-Ghoul told his Turkish opposite number, Sadullah Ergin, in a telephone conversation, that Hamas had decided to pursue legally the naval officers through international courts.

Hamas said that Turkey had agreed to support Gaza residents, and to stand "stand-by-side" with them.

More..

Analysis: Lebanon War lessons were totally ignored

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 10, 2010

When the commission of enquiry into the botched raid finally gets down to work, they should start by reading a three-year-old document. The Winograd Commission report, written in the wake of the Second Lebanon War four years ago, has no direct connection with the clash off the coast of Gaza, but all it had to say regarding the decision-making process of Israel's political and military leadership is relevant to the current crisis.

More..

Killed flotilla passengers belonged to radical Islamist group

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 10, 2010

Most of the nine men killed on board the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara were members of Islamic movements, it has now emerged.

The majority belonged to Insan Hak ve Hurriyetleri, the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, or IHH. The Turkish Islamist movement has ties to Hamas and al Qaida and financed and organised the ferry's trip.

Israel claims that many of the other passengers on the ferry had links to terrorist groups as well.

IDF officers who were involved in last week's operation say there were two groups of passengers.

More..

Hizbollah opens anti-Zionist 'victory' museum

June 10, 2010

● Abandoned tanks among debris of a shattered Israel
● Fleeing IDF soldiers leave behind weapons and fatigues
● The Star of David has its own tombstone in volcanic rock

Exactly 10 years after Israel withdrew from its security buffer zone in Lebanon, Hizbollah has opened a museum celebrating its "victories" over the Zionist entity.

The new multi-million-dollar complex in the town of Mleeta is the first permanent Hizbollah war museum and has already seen tens of thousands of visitors since it opened last month.

More..

Welcome for new UN Iran sanctions

By Robyn Rosen, June 10, 2010

American Jewish organisations and the Israeli Foreign Ministry have welcomed Wednesday's decision by the United Nations Security Council to impose new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme.

Betty Ehrenberg of the World Jewish Congress said: "The WJC applauds the passage of this latest round of UN sanctions. It demonstrates that the international community is less and less willing to tolerate a rogue state that has an abysmal human rights record and continues to threaten its neighbours and the Western world.

More..

Korea university 'did not cancel Peres visit'

By Jessica Elgot, June 10, 2010

Israel’s President Shimon Peres has been forced to issue a statement denying reports that Korea University had revoked an honorary degree, and said that the ceremony had been cancelled by Mr Peres himself.

President Peres, who has made a working visit to South Korea, denied the AFP report which said Korea University cancelled a speech by the president, where he was to be given an honorary degree.

The President said it was “unequivocally” false and that the President Peres had cancelled the visit eight days earlier to attend a conference for Korean and Israeli businessmen.

More..

Iran faces new UN sanctions

June 9, 2010

The United National Security Council has passed new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme.

It approved a resolution today for a fourth round of sanctions which included prohibiting Iran from buying heavy weapons, tightening financial transactions with Iranian banks and new cargo inspections.

But Iran’s envoy to the UN’s nuclear watchdog, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said Tehran would continue its uranium enrichment activities.

More..

Rabbi who filmed reporter threatened

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

The rabbi whose video led to the resignation of a veteran Washington reporter has been facing death threats.

Rabbi David Nesenoff filmed Helen Thomas commenting that all Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” at a White House Jewish Heritage event in May. She also said Jews in Israel should "go back home to Poland, Germany, America and everywhere else."

More..

Spain bans Israeli group from gay parade

By Jennifer Lipman, June 9, 2010

Israel has been asked not to attend a Gay Pride event in Madrid because of the clashes on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

Organisers of Europe’s largest gay parade have withdrawn the offer for the Tel Aviv municipality to host a float at the event in July.

A Tel Aviv themed party featuring Israeli performers and DJs had been planned for the event in the Spanish capital, along with an appearance by a bus bearing the slogan "TLV Love Embassy".

More..