European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 25.03.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 25.03.2016

Major Headlines
  • UN body to compile blacklist of settlement businesses

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva approved a resolution on Thursday to gather a blacklist of Israeli and international companies operating directly or indirectly in settlements in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and in the Golan Heights. This list is to be updated annually.

Israel and the United States attempted to prevent the resolution by gathering support from European countries. However, the resolution passed with a vote of 32–15. The decision to name companies on a blacklist was taken in the debate of the council's agenda item 7, which is an item dedicated to discussing and condemning Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in response, "The UN Human Rights Council has become an anti-Israel circus. It attacks the only democracy in the Middle East and ignores the gross violations of Iran, Syria and North Korea. The absurdity is that instead of dealing with the Palestinians' terrorist attacks and those of (ISIS) in Europe, it decides to condemn Israel.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon said in a reply that marking Jewish businesses in order to boycott them brings to mind dark times in human history. He accused the UNHRC of being a tool of the BDS movement and acting out of anti-Israeli and Antisemitic motives.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry stated that the vote further revealed the UNHRC's "obsession" with Israel at the cost of ignoring areas with severe human-rights abuses, naming Syria, Libya and North Korea. The Ministry further accused the council of cynicism and hypocrisy.

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • Radovan Karadic found guilty of genocide in Srebenica

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić was convicted of genocide in Srebrenica, several counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes by a United Nations tribunal on Thursday and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Karadžić, now 70, is the most senior Serb leader convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia of genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the Bosnia war in the 1990s, including the killing of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica and the 44-month siege of Sarajevo.

“As Srebrenica fell, the long term strategy aimed at removing the Bosnian Muslim population from Srebrenica began to be transformed into a concrete, common plan to eliminate them,” said the presiding judge, O-Gon Kwon, as he delivered the verdict.

The massacre in Srebrenica was a carefully planned operation, the judge said, with Karadžić and the Bosnian Serb military commander, Ratko Mladić, determined in their resolve to kill “all the able-bodied Bosnian Muslim males” in Srebrenica.

Karadžić was the Serb political leader after Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1992. During the war, which broke out weeks after, he also served as a commander of the Serb paramilitary force, whose members are accused of committing the worst atrocities of the 1992-1995 Bosnia war. They include the forced expulsions of Muslims and Croats from Bosnian towns and villages — a practice that became known as ethnic cleansing.

In all, Karadžić faced 11 charges and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. He received a sentence of 40 years for one count of genocide and nine other counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

Click here to read the full article in Politico


  • Yemeni Jew reportedly arrested for helping bring ancient Torah to Israel

The Yemeni government reportedly has imprisoned a Jewish man for allegedly helping to smuggle a historic Torah scroll out of the war-torn country and into Israel.

The man and a Muslim airport worker were arrested for their suspected roles in moving the more-than-500-year-old Torah, of which the government claims ownership, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

According to the Chronicle, the two are believed to have been arrested after local authorities saw media coverage of Sunday’s covert airlift of 19 Yemeni Jews that was carried out with the assistance of the Jewish Agency and the U.S. State Department. The coverage included photos of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reading the Torah scroll with the rabbi of the newly transplanted community.

Jewish Agency spokesman Avi Mayer said he could not confirm whether a Jewish man was currently being detained in Yemen, but said, “The ancient Torah scroll brought from Yemen to Israel this week is the property of the Raydah Jewish community, of Yemenite Jewry, and of the Jewish people.”

Mayer added: “The notion that the Torah should have been left, without protection, in a country torn apart by a violent civil war involving several parties that are viciously hostile to Jews, is preposterous. The Torah is part of the proud heritage of Yemenite Jewry and that heritage will live on in the state of Israel.”

Click here to read the full article in Haaretz

Friday, March 25, 2016
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