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Category: World News (page 3 of 21)

News and events from around the world, commentary and discussion from an Israeli perspective

Anti-Israel Protesters Attack Australian Cops

Outside a Max Brenner coffee shop down under, in Melbourne, Australia, no less than nineteen anti-Israel protesters were arrested and three Melbourne city police men were lightly wounded, astonishingly, when the anti-Israel protesters attacked them.

The demonstration was to accuse the Jewish State of “ongoing ethnic cleansing.” The demonstration was held outside the Max Brenner store because its Israeli parent company, the Strauss Group, reportedly supports the IDF.

Federal Labor lawmaker Michael Danby accused the “prejudiced extremists” of being hypocrites.

He mentioned that:

“While 1500 people are murdered in Syria, they launch their own sad little attack on a chocolate shop because it also has stores in Israel…”

One of the organizers of the protest, Salem Nasser, is said to belong to a group called Socialist Alternative.

The Socialist Alternative website, which organized the “demonstrations that successfully shut down the Israeli-owned Jericho/Black Pearl cosmetics company” found in the very same Melbourne shopping mall. Socialist Alternative advocates what it calls a “Third Intifada”. The organization also takes credit for a similar incident that happened outside a chocolate shop near Sydney last month.

Vacation in Saudi Arabia

U.S. and Israeli Jews will not be able to fly code-share flights from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia under Delta Air Line’s new partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines, set to commence in 2012.

Saudi AirportSaudi Arabia, which is strictly governed by Sharia law, requires citizens of almost every country to obtain a visa. People who want to enter the country need a sponsor; women, who must be dressed in Saudi standards of modesty, are to be met at the Saudi airport by a man who will be chaperone.

Saudi Arabia bans anyone with an Israeli stamp in their passport from entering the country, even if they are in transit. The kingdom has also been accused of withholding visas from travelers with Jewish-sounding names. Religious paraphernalia like bibles, or anything not related directly to Islam are to be confiscated at the airport.

The Jan. 10 agreement allows Saudi Arabian Airlines to become a member of SkyTeam in 2012 after “fulfilling all membership requirements,” according to a statement by SkyTeam. The Saudi airline is SkyTeam’s first ever member from the Middle East.

I Ran For Cover

Hey, what ever happened to Iran? The quiet kid in the corner. Sitting nicely, perhaps, apprehensively as totalitarian regimes in the Middle East fall into civil war, one by one, like a great game of dominoes.

Oh, they didn’t go anywhere. They’re still being their mischievous selves!

On Tuesday, the second day of the Great Prophet Mohammad War Games 6, Iran simultaneously test-fired 14 2,000-range missiles at one single target. Enough firepower to spook the geese in all directions. The missiles were launched near the central city of Qom.

Head of the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace division, Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said:

“Iranian missiles can target US bases in Afghanistan and any part of Israeli territory.”

He swankly asserted that the United States has made Iran’s objective easier:

“Their military bases in the region are in a range of 130, 250 and maximum 700 kilometers in Afghanistan which we can hit with these missiles.”

The Islamic Republic does not need to increase the range of its missiles because Israel is only 1,200 km away from Iran and the U.S. bases are even nearer, some 120 to 700 km away from Iran. Asked if Iranian missiles would pose a threat to Europe, Hajizadeh insisted that while Iran had the technological capacity to create longer-range missiles, the 2,000-km range had been precisely chosen with Israel and US bases in mind,for the reason that “we do not feel a threat from any other country.

According to one source, Iran is working at top speed on some three new ballistic surface missiles with longer ranges than ever. The Shahab-4, for targets at a distance of 3,200-4,000 kilometers; the Sejjil (2,500 kilometers) and the Ashura-Ghadr 110A (3,000 kilometers). Shahab-4 and Ashura/Ghadr 110A are capable of hitting central and western Europe. Iran is also reportedly developing intercontinental ballistic missiles – Shahab-5 (5,000 kilometers) and Shahab-6 (10,000 kilometers), putting North America within hitting range.

In July Iran will unleash the Kavoshgar-5 rocket that will put monkeys into space. Iranian media says that five monkeys have completed their training and the most impressive monkey will be chosen to shoot off into space.

Iran is poised to have a nuclear power plant in operation by August. Built largely with Russian funding, the two countries insist the nuclear plant will be used for power generation, exclusively.
Should we believe this?

Note to Obama

Dear President Obama,

I am writing today with a somewhat unusual request. First and foremost, I will be asking that you return America to its August 20th, 1959 borders so that Hawaii is no longer a state and you are no longer a citizen.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Did Obama Violate the Constitution With Libya Bombing?

A group of bipartisan lawmakers filed a federal lawsuit against President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, requesting a court to bar the administration from using U.S. funds for military action in Libya.

LibyaThe lead plaintiffs, Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat from Ohio, and Walter Jones, a Republican from North Carolina filed the lawsuit at U.S. District Court in Washington Wednesday afternoon, as the White House prepared to deliver an address to Congress.

Along with Kucinich and Jones, the plaintiffs are Democratic Representatives, Michael Capuano of Massachusetts and John Conyers of Michigan; and Republicans Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, Dan Burton of Indiana, Howard Coble of North Carolina, John Duncan of Tennessee, Tim Johnson of Illinois, and Ron Paul of Texas.

Jones told National Journal:

“For too long, the Constitution has been put on the back shelf for so long when it comes to the issue of war…I’m sure the drafters of the Constitution would be with us. For too long the Congress has stood in the stands and not been on the field when it comes to the issue of the war.”

In the 36-page lawsuit, the lawmakers claim the president violated the law by going to war in Libya sans any declaration of war from Congress as required by the War Powers Resolution. They also contend the administration is violating the North Atlantic Treaty, which “allows only for military actions in defense of a member state” and requires that any U.S. involvement in a NATO action occur only in “accordance with [the] respective constitutional processes” of the United States.

Boy Brings Life of Neo-Nazi Dad to an End

How about this one? On Sunday, May 1, a fourth-grader from Riverside, California, took a Rossi .357 revolver out of his dad’s closet and fired it at the sleeping man laying on the living room couch.

The 10-year-old child was arrested for the murder. Tried in juvenile court, the next hearing date is scheduled for July 22. If found guilty the boy will remain in juvenile hall until he is age 18, then he will be placed in another youth detention facility, until the age of 25.

So who was the dad? And why did the boy do it?

According to the court documents, Jeff Hall, who died of a gunshot wound to the head, was a well-known Neo-Nazi leader. The boy also claimed Hall beat he and his mother regularly, and he feared they were going to divorce.

Juvenile court Judge Charles Koosed agreed last Wednesday to delay taking the plea from the 10-year-old. The judge said he and the boy’s attorney agree the child should first have a psych evaluation. Among possible pleas are not guilty by reason of insanity.

The boy’s stepmother, Krista McCary, has been charged with child endangerment and failure to properly store a firearm. Police officers said not only did Hall and McCary keep numerous weapons in the home, but that three of their children knew how to access the .357 revolver that was used in the shooting.

In 2010, Jeff Hall gained media attention during his campaign for a seat on the Western Municipal Water District in Riverside. During his campaign for the seat he was open about his Neo-Nazi convictions. During his tenure at the National Socialist Movement, Hall piloted demonstrations in Los Angeles and Riverside in which supporters yelled “white power” and waved swastika flags while giving the ‘heil Hitler’ Nazi hand salute.

The War on Terror Chapter Two

Of Hamas

Last Tuesday, Fatah and Hamas signed a preliminary unity deal with Hamas and 11 other factions in Egypt. This happened one day after Hamas mourned the eradication of Osama Bin Laden. A formal ceremony is held this Wednesday.

Khaled Mashaal, the number one leader of Hamas who has been living in Syria since his exile from Jordan last year, arrived in Egypt on Sunday as Fatah and Hamas for meeting concerning the new unity government.

Islamic Jihad as well as other terrorist organizations were present for the signing; President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, sent a representative for the preliminaries. He is scheduled to arrive for the formal signing ceremony Wednesday.

Mashaal’s deputy, Musa Abu Marzouk, told reporters:

“We won’t recognize the Zionist entity. Our rights are still usurped and it’s illogical for us to recognize the Zionist entity because that would be at the expense of our stolen lands and our people in the refugee camps…Most of the Arab countries don’t recognize Israel, and yet they continue to deal with the international community…”

Osama bin LadenMeanwhile, Hamas are not the only local yokels denouncing America’s execution of Osama bin laden. Israeli MK, Ibrahim Sarsoor, of the Arab party, Ra’am Ta’al, called the assassination a murder.

In a statement to the press he said:

“The mixing of Arab and Muslim blood into election campaigns in the U.S. and Israel is no longer uncommon…Anyone who follows the cycle of blood and elections in American-Israeli culture in the last ten years will see it clearly and without a doubt….I cannot rule out that the murder of Bin Laden was the start of Obama’s election campaign for a second term, especially in view of the fact that the Republican majority in Congress is waiting to pounce on him over his political steps on both foreign and internal affairs…The murder of Sheikh Bin Laden must cause us to pause and consider not only the event itself, but also what stands behind the action, so that we raise the hard questions whose time has come.”

The New York Times reported Hamas’ mourning of Bin Laden; but an Israeli Arab MK? well…

“The Arab nation has taken its first steps toward its second independence through the revolutions against the oppressive regimes…The West in general and the US in particular should learn the lessons as soon as possible. Even if it murders jihad leaders and spills the blood of pure innocents in Arab and Muslim countries, topples regimes and replaces them with ones more loyal to it, the US will not succeed in changing the feelings of hatred of our nation toward it, especially on the Palestinian question.”

Sound like extreme Muslimism? Vitriol, almost? Repeated attempts to block Sarsoor’s, Ra’am Ta’al, party from running in the Knesset have been blocked by the Israeli Supreme Court.

Osama bin Laden’s regime, al Qaeda has networks around Israels’ borders in Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. Al Qaeda cells based in the Gaza Strip carried out many armed attacks launched on the Gaza-Israeli border and Jewish civilian locations. For instance, the murder of Italian pro-Palestinian activist, Vittorio Arrigoni, on April 14 was an “operation” commanded by an al Qaeda operative from Jordan named, Abdul Rahman al-Briziti.

Counter-terror sources at DebkaFile revealed that Al Qaeda’s units:

“Are ensconced in the southern, central and northeastern sectors of the Gaza Strip: The southern cluster is based in the northern and southern districts of Khan Younis, a town of 220,000 inhabitants 4 kilometers east of the Mediterranean coast and 1.5 kilometers from the Israeli border…A second group more or less controls the town of Deir al Balakh, a town of 150,000 in the central region. A third is embedded in the Zaitun and Nuseyrat districts of Gaza City.”

Debkafile’s counter-terror sources reported that:

“These Al Qaeda operatives have built themselves at least six fortified villas in those three locations. Like the Abbottabad villa-fortress where Osama bin Laden was killed Sunday night by a team of US Seals, the Gaza villas have top security and dominate the surrounding skylines…The success of the American, Israeli and Egyptian agencies in foiling a major terrorist attack in Sinai was played down by Washington and Jerusalem, conduct that deserves an explanation in the new anti-al Qaeda climate.”

Hamas’ de facto head honcho, Ismayil Haniyeh, was the only Muslim leader in the world to “bluntly condemn” the United States for killing Osama bin Laden.

Ismail al-Ashqar, a Hamas lawmaker, described the long-awaited capture and execution as “state terrorism that America carries out against Muslims.”

DebkaFile reported that:

“In private conversations, Hamas leaders confess that they really do regard the United States as the worst and most blood-stained oppressor of Middle East Arabs, aside from Israel. Despite their ideological differences, they genuinely regard Al Qaeda and its fighters as heroic mujahedin and prized allies.”

On Wednesday, May 4, Khaled Meshaal will fly into Cairo from the Hamas headquarters in Damascus to meet Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and concertize a unity pact.

Of Egypt

Meanwhile, Egyptian Finance Minister, Samir Radwan, has been quoted saying the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty, which in post Mubarak Egypt does not “obligate his country to sell natural gas to the Jewish State.”

In an interview with a local newspaper during a visit to Kuwait last Sunday, Radwan stressed that gasoline prices must be updated and adjusted to the price levels of the global market, regardless of whether the exports go to Jordan, Israel, Syria or Spain.

Of Osama Bin Laden

A Kuwaiti man called Abu Ahmad is reportedly the inadvertent source that led the United States to the al Qaeda mastermind’s hideout Last July.

The DailyBeast reported:

“CIA operatives tracked the man while he was driving a white Suzuki in Pakistan.Eventually, the courier led them right to the sprawling mansion where bin Laden had been hiding. The most recent cache of WikiLeaks files related to Guantanamo Bay turns up Ahmad’s name several times. The Kuwaiti is linked closely to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a key planner of the 9/11 attacks. It’s not clear whether he was at the compound during the raid.”

In 2003, the American government released pictures of Saddam Hussein’s dead sons Uday and Qusay Hussein, however, only after their bodies had been worked on by a mortician. The United States is debating whether to release the photos of a dead Osama bin Laden in order to squash rampant conspiracy theories. The haste with which the corpse was thrown into the sea seems strange to many inquisitive citizens.

Austria to Renovate Mauthausen

The Jewish Telegraph Agency reported that in a $2.4 million restoration project, Austria is to renovate the site of the Mauthausen concentration camp.

Mauthausen  LiberationThe two-year project includes building a hall of names in memory of the camp’s victims, similar to the one at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, and a new display about the Shoah and upgradings of the permanent exhibition.

A statement on the website of the Austrian Interior Ministry said:

“We are sending a signal that the republic is assuming its national and international responsibility to commemorate the victims of the Nazi regime,” Interior Minister Maria Fekter said in a statement. “We are also standing against intolerance, racism and anti-Semitism.”

At least 95,000 prisoners died in Mauthausen; more than 14,000 of whom were Jewish. About 200,000 people visit Mauthausen each year.

Song of a Prisoner

Alan GrossLast month, Alan Gross, a 61 year-old US aid contractor was sentenced to 15 years in a Cuban prison for crimes against the state. After a two-day trial, a panel of judges accused the American Jew of being involved in a US-funded “subversive project” to “topple the Revolution.” Actually, Gross was working for the Bethesda, Maryland-based Development Alternatives, Inc. on a USAID-backed democracy-building project. He was hired under an $8.6 million contract.

Bonnie Goldstein of PoliticsDaily.com, wrote last year, of the project, from the American perspective:

“Since 1996, a small effort to stick our thumb in the island’s eye developed with the formation of a “Cuba democracy program” within USAID to deliver “humanitarian aid” and “information” to “human rights and political activists” and families of dissidents. For years the democracy program’s budget, about $2 million to start with, was funneled into grants to Cuban American groups in Miami that ostensibly used the money to somehow promote freedoms for Cubans still on the island.”

Unfortunately, program funds were misused. A 2006 audit and investigation by the GAO highlighted taxpayer monies used to purchase Godiva chocolates, Nintendo GameBoys and cashmere sweaters. An alleged embezzlement scheme by another grantee was discovered in 2008, leading a member of the House to challenge USAID’s annual program allocation, which had by then grown to $45 million per year. The agency agreed to more closely monitor its contractors, and soon after Alan Gross was hired via DAI to travel to Cuba.

He was convicted of “acts against the independence and territorial integrity of the state” for setting up covert Internet networks for Cuba dissidents utilizing “sophisticated” communications technology. The prosecutors sought a 20-year sentence for the worker, who has been jailed since his Havana arrest on December 3, 2009.

Immediately, the United States, who contended Gross was only setting up Internet access for the island’s Jewish community, came to his defense.

CubaThis week, former US President, Jimmy Carter, (famous for criticizing Israeli policy) is scheduled to meet with Jewish leaders in Cuba concerning Gross. According to the agenda, Carter is scheduled to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro and Roman Catholic Cardinal Jaime Ortega before leaving on Wednesday.

The trip is under the aegis of the Carter Center, who insist the trip’s aim is to discuss economic policies and improve relations between the US and Cuba.

US officials insist that the 15-year sentence imposed on Gross is a “stumbling block to any rapprochement…” between the nations.

In a statement welcoming Carter’s mission, Gross’s wife, Judy, said:

“If he is able to help Alan in any way while he is there, we will be extraordinarily grateful,” she said in the emailed statement. “Our family is desperate for Alan to return home, after nearly 16 months in prison. We continue to hope and pray that the Cuban authorities will release him immediately on humanitarian grounds.”

Last month, the Reverend Jesse Jackson also complained to Cuba concerning the situation; saying “granting him freedom on humanitarian grounds could open the door for better relations.”

He said:

“I am not making a legal case. I am making a humanitarian plea, a moral appeal…I hope that Raul [Castro] and the governing officials see the advantage of letting him go. Every time a prisoner is let go, it opens the door for increased dialogue and possibilities.”

Tragedy in Japan Threatens Sushi Supply

In the aftermath of the devastation in Japan Israelis fear a shortage in the ingredients of Sushi.

Dudi Afriat of the Rakuto Kasei company:

“There may be a shortage of sushi components, but we are still studying the situation… We’ll be wiser once the situation in Japan stabilizes and the reconstruction begins…I assume we’ll know if there is going to be a shortage in the coming week. The main fear is of a shortage of the Kikkoman soy sauce. One Kikkoman factory in Japan was damaged and there have been delays in the supply, but we hope it won’t stop the regular chain of supply.”

“Most of the containers arrive in Israel from the US, but the entire management is in Japan…At the moment, it’s very difficult communicating with them. There are a lot of disruptions. Yesterday I spoke with our contact in Japan, and he said it took him 10 hours to get to the office from home…So at the moment the situation is unclear, and it all depends on the Japanese. I trust them, because they love the soy sauce more than we do. My only fear is that they’ll have to import Kikkoman from the US, and that will affect the imports to Israel…About 85% of the soy sauce used in Israel is Kikkoman. This is a very unusual figure in the world…Israeli chefs feel very connected to this product. After the tsunami I received phone calls from hysterical people fearing a shortage of Kikkoman.”

Other products that could be affected due to problems in importing or damaged factories are miso (traditional Japanese seasoning), pickled Japanese pumpkin and cabbage, and certain kinds of seaweed. A deficiency could also be felt in the wasabi supply.

Afriat said:

“The Japanese food unit in Israel has grown by some 800% in the past five or six years…Five years ago, there were up to 20 sushi restaurants in Tel Aviv. Today there are more than 130. A survey we conducted recently revealed that sushi is the No. 2 take away food in Israel…Kikkoman, the world’s biggest commercial brand, has an amazing infiltration level. It can be found in one-third of Israeli households, and it’s clearly a Japanese product. Surprisingly, we bring real naturally fermented soy sauce, which costs much more than other types of soy available in stores, and Israelis still appreciate and purchase it…We import 900 kilograms (1,984pounds) of Kikkoman bottles a year, and 54 tons of rice for sushi a month. It’s an amazing amount. Tel Aviv is the fifth city in the world in the consumption of sushi per capita, and fourth in the world in the number of sushi restaurants per capita.”

Germany Deems Settlements the Cause of Middle East Turmoil

Along with 13 other members of the United Nations Security Council – that is everyone, discounting U.S. president Obama – Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany voted in favor of a resolution deeming Jewish settlements outside of pre-1967 borders, illegal.

Germany historically has voted ‘nay’ or abstained from voting in any laws criticizing the Jewish State. Chairman of the German Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Ruprecht Polenz, told the New York Times’ Judy Dempsey:

“the vote was highly unusual…It means that Chancellor Angela Merkel is trying to explain to the Israeli government that with the extraordinary changes taking place across the Middle East, time is not on its side when it comes to resolving the conflict with the Palestinians…”

Merkel’s calling Jewish settlements the true flashpoint of the conflict is a misnomer. The source of the conflict really goes back to the beginning of the 20th century; and some would argue it is really a metaphysical phenomenon, one that Germany knows better than anyone else in the world.

When Netanyahu caught wind of Merkel’s change of heart he furiously phoned the Chancellor to make clear his grievance. The conversation leaked to Haaretz:

Merkel replied to Bibbi’s complaint:

“How dare you?”

“You are the one who has disappointed us. You haven’t made a single step to advance peace.”

Last year, the German Parliament unanimously passed a resolution criticizing the blockade of Gaza and Israel’s storming of the Mavi Marmara.

Israeli and German relations are now the rockiest they have been in some 63 years.

Between Survival and Democracy

Hosni Mubarak, Abdullah II, ObamaMubarak was in tight with the West. He was progressive, but progressing toward what? He wanted peace between Palestine and Israel, but no democracy in Egypt. Obama wants more land and more time for the Palestinians, yet he does not demand democracy among the Palestinians whose political chasm often results in the jailing of journalists and citizen bloggers, and even sectarian violence.

Yair Lapid wrote in his column in Yediot Achronot Saturday:

“We’re both good and bad, we love our country and hate it, we think we cannot go on like this but also know there is no other choice.”

He wrote,

“We are both Jewish and democratic, even though it’s unclear what this means. We thank God for choosing us from all nations, but we also remember that he disappeared once, when we most needed him.”

The article continued in a state of uncertainty, bouncing between one extreme and another; symbolic of Israel’s foggy reality, and evocative of, well, democracy.

But if circumstance has not plunged us far enough into a state of uncertainty, the White House has. President George W. Bush influenced us to give up the Gaza Strip, resulting in an impossible situation; the tiny strip of land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan in width, and Lebanon/Syria and Egypt in length, has become a hologram. Turned toward the light you see Palestine; turned away from the light, you see Israel. In between the light and the dark is either the humanitarian and democratic push for peace, the splitting of the land into two countries, living side by side in peace; or a giant puddle of Jewish blood.

With the exit from Gaza in the first decade of the millennium, influenced by a Republican American President, partial to Christian Zionism, the IDF was forced to choose between admittedly disproportionate military operations and blockades, or slow but imminent destruction.

On Friday, President Obama met with Democratic donors in Miami saying:

“When you look at what’s happening around the world what’s happening in the Middle East, it is a manifestation of new technologies, the winds of freedom that are blowing through countries that have not felt those winds in decades, a whole new generation that says I want to be a part of this world. It’s a dangerous time, but it’s also a huge opportunity for us.”

He continued, “All the forces that we see building in Egypt are the forces that should be naturally aligned with us. Should be aligned with Israel.”

But three or four months before Obama told Mubarak to step down, he told Netanyahu to continue the moratorium on West Bank housing; organizing peace talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, under the aegis of none other than Hosni Mubarak. Obama is saying this: Israel should sacrifice land; AND endure more and more terrorism as a result. And a new democracy in Egypt will push Israel even FURTHER left; demanding the sacrifice of MORE land, that is the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem; AND to endure missile and mortar attacks with a smile on her face. This, according to Obama, according to Israel’s left, is what is good for us.

If almost every Arab nation is thrown into a state of turmoil, though, dog-paddling between autocracies, monarchies and god-blessed DEMOCRACY; why should the Jewish democracy in Israel be the one getting pushed around? Now we make two observations: The Obama White House becomes more and more admired by the Arab world; and Israel becomes less and less secure. Time will tell, but for now it seems as if the truth is found somewhere between survival and democracy.

University of Pittsburgh Israeli Propaganda War Rages On

Students for Justice in Palestine produced a video of their rude, immature protest of an Israeli speaker at the University of Pittsburgh. Their video was riddled with inaccuracies, out-of-context quotes and a general disregard for character or respect (not to mention shoddy camera work and even worse editing).

This is their video, but edited with subtitles to give it more context, and with the face of the speaker blurred as per his request regarding security concerns. The entire University of Pittsburgh community has been embarrassed by and ashamed of Students for Justice in Palestine, and this video shows why.

Also, a little lawyer speak: This video is a legal commentary production as defined under the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107.

Dershowitz to Defend Assange

Alan M. DershowitzHarvard Law School Professor and much-listened-to, publicized, mild, spokesperson for Zionism, Alan M. Dershowitz, will be joining Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s legal defense team. He will be serving in an advisory capacity. Assange’s main attorney, Geoffrey R. Robertson, who has experience working with Dershowitz, contacted the professor to assist with the case. He was also part of the legal “dream team” that successfully defended O.J. Simpson.

Dominating headlines throughout the last year, the Wikileaks organization has recently come under scrutiny for releasing leaked documents from the U.S. State Department. While Mr. Assange is not facing charges in the U.S., he is facing extradition in the U.K. apropos to a sexual assault investigation in Sweden.

The Wikileaks staff did appear in American courts in Alexandria, Va. concerning the Justice Department’s subpoena of all communication records between Wikileaks and its supporters, via Twitter. Twitter is expected to ignore the order.

“This is an outrageous attack by the Obama administration on the privacy and free speech rights of Twitter’s customers—many of them American citizens.”

Dershowitz says he is interested in the case, which deals with the prompt propogation of information via the Internet, because of the connection with “new media” like Facebook, Twitter, and blogging, as well as its relationship with the Fourth Amendment’s defense of privacy.

Dershowitz said:

“Look at what the new media did in Egypt…The U.S. is trying to encourage new media in Iran, but trying to shut it down in the U.S. It is not just Assange’s First Amendment rights, but our First Amendment rights that need to be protected.”

Walk Like an Egyptian

On Saturday, Palestinian women hit the streets of Gaza City to celebrate the ousting of Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, calling the event a “victory of Egyptian youth.”

Egyptian women read Egyptian Today newspaperOf course, when the news of the toppling of Mubarak broke, Hamas leaders were quick to urge Egypt’s new leaders to lift the blockade of Gaza.

Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, urged Cairo to “immediately” open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza.

One idea:

If indeed Egypt’s coastal blockade of Gaza is now over, why not merge the Gaza Strip and Egypt into one Arab nation.

Meanwhile, the top US military commander will visit Israel and Jordan on Sunday and Monday to reaffirm American support following the Egyptian revolution.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, will begin his trip in Amman, Jordan where he will meet with King Abdullah II and his Jordanian counterpart, Lieutenant General Meshaal Al-Zabn.

Pentagon spokesman, Captain John Kirby said:

“He will discuss security issues of mutual concern and reassure both these key partners of the US military’s commitment to that partnership”.

Once in Israel, Mullen will hold talks with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres as well as the country’s military leaders.

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