JNS News Briefs: September 7, 2012
(JNS.org) U.S. President Barack Obama, addressing the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, said America’s “commitment to Israel’s security must not waver, and neither must our pursuit of peace.”
Obama’s statement came after most of the Israel-related talk at the convention in Charlotte, NC, centered on the omission of an affirmation of Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital in the Democratic Party Platform.
The language—that Jerusalem “is and will remain the capital of Israel”—was present in all but one (1988) Democratic platform from 1972 to 2008. Initially absent from the 2012 platform, the Democrats restored the language after three voice votes on the matter Wednesday night.
On Thursday, Obama critiqued Republican challenger Mitt Romney and vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan for being “new to foreign policy.”
“You don’t call Russia our number one enemy—not al-Qaida, Russia—unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War time warp,” Obama said, referencing Romney’s comments from this March that Russia is America’s “number one geopolitical foe.”
In response to Obama’s speech, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades said in a statement that the president “offered more promises, but he hasn’t kept the promises he made four years ago.”
“Americans will hold President Obama accountable for his record,” Rhoades said. “They know they’re not better off and that it’s time to change direction.”
(JNS.org) There’s a new app for those seeking to spice up their Rosh Hashanah menu this year—as well as that of their family and friends.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has launched a Facebook app in advance of the new year that enables users to send e-Recipe cards to each other and connects them with “Jewish communities far and wide and flavors of the Jewish New Year the world over,” the humanitarian group working in more than 70 countries said in a press release, giving leek fritatas from Turkey and cornflour-coconut halava from India as examples of exotic recipes available through the app.
Visit https://www.facebook.com/TheJDC/app_235031903285313 to access the app. Additionally, JDC Rosh Hashanah recipe cards can be downloaded at http://www.jdc.org/recipes2012.
JDC also noted that its work for overseas Jewish communities includes providing “holiday aid and free or subsidized programming to needy Jews and Jewish communities to ensure they can celebrate the New Year with joy.”
“The Palestinian spring has begun, and we are in line with what the people say and what they want,” Abbas said while in Cairo.
But despite Abbas’s attempts at sympathy with the protesters, experts say it might not be enough.
“There is a problem in the performance of the Palestinian Authority,” Sameeh Hammoudah, a professor at Bir Zeit University, told the Times of Israel. “The economic situation here has become unbearable,” he said.
Much of the anger has also been directed against PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and his economic plan. Protestors burned an effigy of him in Hebron on Tuesday and called for his resignation. While Fayyad has attempted to build Palestinian institutions, the PA still relies heavily on foreign aid to operate and subsidize costs.
According to the World Bank, growth of the West Bank economy has slowed down in recent years due to a reduction in foreign aid related to the global recession.
The discovery of the large cistern, which can hold 250 cubic meters of water, sheds new light on the city’s ancient water supply. It shows that the city’s water supply at the time did not rely solely on the Gihon Spring, Jerusalem’s only natural water source.
The cistern’s location also suggests that it could have been used in Temple-related activities. “It is possible that the large cistern found next to the Temple Mount was used in the daily operation of the Temple itself,” archaeologist Tsvika Tsuk said, according to a statement from the Israel Antiquities Authority quoted by the Times of Israel.
The First Temple was built around 950 BCE, according to the biblical record, and destroyed by a Babylonian army in 586 BCE.
(JNS.org) The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) prevented more rocket attacks on Israel on Wednesday and Thursday by striking Palestinians making preparations to fire at the Jewish state. Six Palestinians were killed in the preventative attack.
“We identified an accurate strike,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Several rockets were already fired at Israel last week, and one home in in the town of Sderot was damaged. The IDF said it “will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians, and will operate against anyone who uses terror against the State of Israel,” adding that Hamas “is solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip.”
(JNS.org) American senators, on a visit to Iraq, told the country’s government Wednesday that it may damage its relationship with the U.S. if Iran is allowed to deliver weapons to Syria by flying over Iraqi airspace.
However, a government spokesman in Iraq said Iran claims the flights to Syria are taking place only to deliver humanitarian aid. The source called on the U.S. to prove that Iran is sending weapons to Syria through Iraqi airspace.
U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut Independent, said “this kind of problem with these Iranian overflights can make it more difficult to proceed with the Strategic Framework Agreement in the manner that the [Iraqi] prime minister and we would like to see happen.” Lieberman hopes the matter is “cleared up quickly,” reported the Associated Press.
Iran remains a Syrian ally despite the fact that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces have reportedly killed at least 23,000 people in an attempt to squelch the country’s ongoing uprising.
Preceding provided by JNS.org and reprinted with permission
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