Jews in Arab countries in no hurry to make Aliyah

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30 מר' 2011
Jews in Arab countries in no hurry to make Aliyah

Jews in Arab countries in no hurry to make Aliyah
The small Jewish communities in Tunisia, Yemen and Egypt have shown little enthusiasm for offers to assist them in making Aliyah to Israel, despite repeated efforts to convince them of the peril of their situation or the improvement in their quality of life should they emigrate. Jews in Yemen reportedly don't feel like they're in any danger, despite the turmoil raging in their country, and even those who do want to leave prefer to go to the UK or other Western European countries rather than Israel. Tunisia's 1,500 strong Jewish community has also not been moved by an Absorption Ministry report made available to them which states in part "The regime change in Tunisia as a result of the Jasmine revolution...has brought about the Islamization of the government and rise in anti-Semitism." The Israeli government has also increased the financial assistance it gives to Tunisian immigrants, but so far there are few takers. "For the last 65 years we have always had some leave," Roger Bismuth, the president of the Tunisian Jewish community, said last week. "Lately, I haven't even heard of people leaving. I'm here with my business, family and children."

Iran's relations with Arab countries mixed
Radio Free Europe reported on Wednesday that Kuwait has condemned to death two two Iranians and one Kuwaiti citizen convicted of spying for Iran. Two other men were sentenced to life in prison in connection with the case, while another man and a woman related to one of the condemned men were acquitted of any wrongdoing. In related news, Egypt's official Middle East News Agency reported on Wednesday that the transitional government in Cairo is ready to "open a new page" with Iran, with which it hasn't had full diplomatic relations since 1979. Acting Foreign Minister Nabil el-Arabi told MENA that "The Egyptian government doesn't consider Iran to be an enemy state. We're opening a new page with all countries, including Iran."

Al-Qaida magazine praises 'Arab Spring'
An English language Al Qaida website posted an article on Tuesday by preacher Anwar al-Awlaki which posited that revolts sweeping the Arab world would help the terrorist movement by freeing Islamists from tyranny and giving them greater opportunities to speak out. He was responding to statements from Western governments that the revolts that the revolts would weaken Al Qaida by discrediting its call for violent militancy and its argument that democracy and Islam are incompatible. "Our mujahideen brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the rest of the Muslim world will get a chance to breathe again after three decades of suffocation," al-Awlaki wrote. "For the scholars and activists of Egypt to be able to speak again freely, it would represent a great leap forward for the mujahideen." In the same issue, Qasim al-Raymi, leader of Al Qaida in the Arabian Penninsula, called on Moslems living in the West to kill groups of "Jews and Christians" since it "would stop the striking, killing, occupation, humiliation and disgrace of our holy places that America and the West perpetrates."

'Third Intifada' Facebook page briefly removed
The Facebook page calling for a third Palestinian intifada which managed to receive over 330,000 fans was briefly removed by the Facebook team on Tuesday before reappearing in a slightly different form a few hours later. Some of the posts that led to the initial removal of the hatred inciting page included statements such as "Prepare: Death comes to you, O raider of this abode," parts of Muslim text of Hadith which calls for the destruction of the Jews were also posted on the page. "We continue to believe that people on Facebook should be able to express their opinions, and we don't typically take down content that speaks out against countries, religions, political entities, or ideas," a statement from Facebook read. "However, we monitor pages that are reported to us, and when they degrade to direct calls for violence or expressions of hate as occurred in this case we have, and will continue to, take them down.

Swiss group tries to secure arrest of Peres
Earlier this week a Swiss based pro-Palestinian group called Rights For All, issued an arrest warrant against President Shimon Peres while he was on a visit to Switzerland. The warrant, which was handed over to Switzerland's attorney-general, called for Peres' arrest based on the findings in the Goldstone report. According to Anwar al-Gharbi, leader of the organization behind the petition, Switzerland has an obligation to arrest Peres. The presidential office issued a statement saying that "the petition filed by the Palestinian organization in Switzerland has no influence and that Palestinian organizations file complaints every time a senior Israeli official arrives for a visit overseas. The president's visit was conducted in a warm atmosphere, friendly and without any protests."

State Dept official clarifies US policy on Iran
A senior U.S. State Department official told reporters on Tuesday that if the Iranian people want to change the regime in their country they must do the job themselves. "We may not like this regime in Tehran -- in fact, we don't like this regime in Tehran -- but we believe that this regime will be changed when Iranian people decide it needs to be changed, and by the Iranian people," said Robert Einhorn, the State Department's special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control. Einhorn added that U.S. policy was aimed at changing Iran's behavior concerning its nuclear activities, its human rights record, and what he described as Iranian support for terrorist groups.


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