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Tacerea evreilor din Rusia

In Putin’s Russia, Jewish groups adopt silence as best protection


More then 6,000 young Russian-speaking Jews participated in summer camp programs offered by the Jewish Agency in the former Soviet Union -- activities that so far have avoided problems with the government. (Photo credit: Courtesy of the Jewish Agency via JTA)

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, it didn’t take long for international Jewish groups to rush into Russia and begin rebuilding institutions of Jewish life that had been destroyed under generations of communist repression.

In the two decades since, Russian Jewry has undergone a remarkable revival, and Diaspora Jewish institutions from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to the Jewish Agency for Israel to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement have been there every step of the way.

But with the environment in President Vladimir Putin’s Russia growing increasingly hostile toward foreign nongovernmental organizations, could the operations of international Jewish groups be in jeopardy?

“We’re in a very reactionary phase,” said James Brooke, the Moscow correspondent for the Voice of America. “The current leadership doesn’t favor civil society and prefers vertical power, which is an authoritarian, dictatorial concept from the top of ‘salute and shut up.’ ”

On Oct. 1, in a sign of rising tensions between Washington and Moscow, Russia announced that it was ending all US Agency for International Development operations in the country, ending a program that has invested more than $2.7 billion in Russia since 1991 to promote “a more open and innovative society and a strengthened partnership between Russia and the United States.”


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Israel highly vulnerable to all-out strike by Iran’


10/18/2012 13:04

Deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Salami warns attack against country’s nuke facilities would speed up Israeli regime’s annihilation; Ahmadinejad: US influence waning due to massive debt, loss of legitimacy.

Iran Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi


Israel is highly vulnerable to an Iranian military attack, Deputy Commander of the Revolutionary Guard Brig.-Gen. Hossein Salami said Thursday according to Iran’s state-run Press TV.

“Following the infiltration of Hezbollah’s drone into the [airspace of the] occupied lands, the Zionist regime came to the understanding that such psychological warfare has not yielded any result but instead led to the strengthening of the determination of its enemies and now the Islamic Revolution has the upper hand over the Zionist regime,” Salami said.

Last week, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah took credit for sending a drone aircraft into Israel, saying in a televised speech on the Al- Manar station that the aircraft was Iranian-made. Iranian officials have touted the infiltration of Israeli airspace, with the country’s Defense Minister AhmadVahidi calling it Hezbollah’s „natural right” and saying that the move has “shown the weakness of the Zionist Regime’s Iron Dome.”

Israel’s defense strategy is feeble, Salami said according to the Press TV report. He added that “the regime’s defense mechanisms are highly vulnerable to all-out strikes by Iran.”

Salami also warned the West against initiating a strike on its nuclear program, saying such an attack would only speed up the Israeli regimes annihilation, according to the Press TV report.

Ahmadinejad predicts downfall of US

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted the impending downfall of the „US empire,” blaming the collapse on a combination of the country’s massive debt and its loss of legitimacy within the international community, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported Thursday.

“How long can a government with a $16,000 trillion foreign debt remain a world power?” he asked at a press conference with Kuwaiti media personnel. „The Americans have injected their paper wealth into the world economy and today the aftermaths and negative effects of their pseudo-wealth have plagued them.”

He added: “An empire, or a government, remains in power so long as the people under its power support it, but today the Americans have acted in a way that the world nations do not like them at all, and therefore, their international legitimacy is annihilated.”

Ahmadinejad also predicted that the West would soon drop their alliance with the „Zionist regime,” saying that Westerners and US politicians are increasingly „at a loss” as to why Israel exists.

Downplaying the effect of Western sanctions on the Iranian economy, Ahmadinejad said that the Islamic Republic would persevere. „The hegemonic powers have no way [forward], but to change the conditions.” Earlier this month, riots broke out in Tehran in protest of the collapse of the rial currency, which has lost some two-thirds of its value against the dollar in the past 15 months, stoking inflation that is now running at around 25 percent.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

Despite his country’s reeling economy, Ahmadinejad questioned who was really suffering under the sanctions. „These sanctions are in fact imposed against the European countries,” he charged. „It has now been five years that they have imposed sanctions against Iran, but the question is, which one is experiencing tougher economic conditions, the EU, or the Islamic Republic?”

Earlier this week, the EU agreed to impose further sanctions against Iran’s banking, shipping, and industrial sectors, cranking up financial pressure on Tehran in the hope of drawing it into serious negotiations on its nuclear program.

Turning to his country’s illicit nuclear program, Ahmadinejad termed Western pressure as „boring,” and expressed that his country would proceed in its drive for a peacefully nuclear program. “Due to the political approach of the world oppressor powers, the Iranian nuclear issue has become a boring issue. Today everyone knows that the westerners are basically opposed to the advancement of the Iranian nation and even if the nuclear issue would be solved they would resort to another pretext, such as Iran’s manufacturing of satellites, or even production of medicines, or becoming a space power, to interfere in our internal affairs.”

Addressing increasing speculation that the Persian Gulf could become a flashpoint for violence between the West and Iran, Ahmadinejad said his country would respond to any threats posed against it. “I do not think such a war would occur, because we all contribute to the establishment of security in this region, but at any rate when the United States make some threats, Iran, too, responses to them. Everyone knows that it is not possible to urge the Iranian nation to retreat resorting to war threat.”

Reuters contributed to this report

The Jerusalem Post

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Bomba cu ceas – Iran

Iran is moving fast toward nuclear weapons despite sanctions

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns the world that time is running short to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions in speech at the United Nations.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns the world in speech at the United Nations that time is running short to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

With Iran fast approaching nuclear weapons capability, the European Union stepped up financial, trade and technology sanctions that are aimed at the regime’s atomic appetite. Pray that they work as none have before.

The world is in an ever-shortening race for time, the object being to crimp the country’s economy, foment growing popular unrest and, finally, pressure the mullahs into standing down before military action becomes necessary.

Added to an oil embargo and a freeze on assets of Iran’s central bank, the new restrictions draw a bead on essentially anything Tehran can use to make money or create nuclear weapons.

Business with Iranian banks, except under very narrowly controlled conditions, is outlawed, as is purchase of natural gas from Iran. EU ships are forbidden from transporting or storing Iranian oil or petrochemical products. Also barred are dealings with 34 entities that provide financial support to the Iranian government and the sale to Iran of raw materials that could be useful to a nuclear or ballistic missile program.

Iran’s economy is already a near-basket case. Its currency, the rial, has lost 40% of its value against the dollar in recent weeks. Inflation is rampant. Goods are in short supply. Protests have flared.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have responded with gamecock defiance. Meanwhile, the centrifuges that process Iran’s uranium toward its goal of weapons-grade purity spin away.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu illustrated Iran’s sinister time line dramatically in his UN speech last month. By spring or summer, Iran is likely to have weapons-grade or fissile uranium, and then it would be practically impossible to head off the actual assembling of a weapon, he told the General Assembly.

Netanyahu deployed a chilling cartoon of a bomb to show how close Iran is drawing to the mullahs’ goal of nuclear capability. President Obama, who has pledged to prevent Iran from acquiring atomic weaponry, declined to endorse Netanyahu’s call for drawing a so-called red line that Iran would be forbidden to cross.

Netanyahu thanked the EU for its new moves, acknowledging it had imposed “tough sanctions” that are “hitting the Iranian economy hard.”

But they still haven’t gotten us there, as his country, threatened in its very existence, is all too well aware. Speaking of the sanctions, he added: “We will know that they are achieving their goal when the centrifuges stop spinning.”

They must, and soon.



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We won’t live with a nuclear Iran

Prime Minister: David Cameron speaks at the annual United Jewish Israel Appeal dinner in London last night

David Cameron last night warned Iran is a ‘threat to the world’ and Britain will not ‘learn to live’ with the regime getting nuclear arms.

The Prime Minister said he told Israeli premier Binyamin Netanyahu now is not the time to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities since it would unite Iranians behind the regime.

But he held out the prospect of air strikes in future if the Iranians do not come to the negotiating table.

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Gaza rocket explodes near Ashkelon home

File photo of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip (photo credit: Edi Israel/Flash90)

rocket fired from Gaza hit close to a house in the Hof Ashkelon area Tuesday night. Two people were treated for shock and minor damage was inflicted on the building, Channel 10 reported.

The rocket attack followed an announcement on Tuesday by a Sinai-based Salafist group that they would avenge the IDF’s killing of terrorists in an airstrike on Gaza this weekend.

“We, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdes group tell the Jews that the blood of our brothers in Palestine is ours and their revenge is ours… So wait for our painful reply and revenge,” Reuters reported the group saying in a statement posted on the group’s websites.

On Friday, members of the al-Qaeda-linked group fired a rocket that landed in the yard of a house in the southern Israeli city of Netivot. There were no injuries in that attack.

In response, the IAF struck terrorist targets in Gaza early Saturday morning. Late Saturday night, an Israeli strike hit in Jabalia in northern Gaza killed Salafi terror chief Hisham al-Sa’adani.

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