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Mitchell: Mideast talks ‘serious and substantive’

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment

JERUSALEM (Press Release) — U.S. Middle East Envoy George Mitchell met with journalists on Wednesday, September 15, in Jerusalem, and provided the following information:

MITCHELL: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I apologize for the delay, but it’s the result of the fact that a serious and substantive discussion is well underway. The trilateral discussion this evening lasted for about two hours. Present were Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Abbas, Secretary Clinton, and myself. We’re grateful to the prime minister and to the Government of Israel for hosting the meeting.

Prior to the trilateral, Secretary Clinton and Prime Minister Netanyahu met bilaterally. She will have a separate bilateral meeting with President Abbas tomorrow in Ramallah. Earlier today, the Secretary also met with Israeli President Peres, Foreign Minister Lieberman, Defense Minister Barak, and Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad. Her discussions were productive and focused on ways to support the complementary political and institution-building tracks that are both necessary to achieve a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace. Read more…

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Hostility awaits Pope’s visit to England

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment
By Lloyd Levy

Lloyd Levy

 LONDON — The Pope is arriving in the UK imminently, on the first official visit by any Pope for at least 500 years —yes that’s correct, it was over 500 years ago since Henry 8th decimated the Catholic Church in England, and established the Protestant Church of England in its stead.  

So one would expect a great deal to be made of this official visit (the previous Pope visited in 1982, but it was a Catholic event and not an “official” event). Well indeed, a great fuss is being made, but in a vicious wave of anti religious hysteria, generated by much of the press and TV. The Pope’s visit is being widely criticised on the grounds of child abuse, gay rights, women’s rights, the cost to the Treasury, etc.  Even the Foreign Office officials tasked with planning the trip, were found to be so hostile that they apparently had to be replaced by another team. There appears to be no sense of History, or acknowledgement of how important the issue is to many Catholic British.Anyone would think it was the Devil visiting , rather than the Holy Father.

What fascinates me, is the similarity to the hysterical revulsion the “liberal” establishment have towards the Jewish State of Israel.  It has been a moment of clarity for me.  Clearly the Catholics and Jews are singled out for particular revulsion, because of their affiliation with religious beliefs.  The Jews cannot, in post Holocaust Europe, still be attacked too directly, so Israel is a substitute target. As for the official Protestant Church of England, it is so weak and marginalised, that it appears to be irrelevant, despite in theory being the official state church.  It is to be noted that Tony Blair converted from Church of England to Catholicism soon after he retired as Prime Minister.  Read more…

Dogs in Thanksgiving costume to join Run for the Hungry

September 15, 2010 1 comment

SAN DIEGO (Press Release) – Jewish Family Service and the San Diego Food Bank are teaming up for the ninth annual Thanksgiving Day Run for the Hungry. 

The 10K/5K/ (3.1 mile/6.2 mile) run/walk takes place on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2010 at Petco Park (13th & Imperial) and makes its way through San Diego’s historic Gaslamp District and East Village.

The 10K run begins at 7:10 a.m., and the 5K run/walk starts at 8:15 a.m. Proceeds from the event directly benefit Foodmobile, a program of Jewish Family Service, and the San Diego Food Bank.

Every year family dogs are invited to participate in the run/walk, but this year race organizers are taking doggie participation to another level.  

Officials are inviting run/ walkers to bring their family dogs dressed in Thanksgiving-themed costumes. Read more…

As Yom Kippur approaches in Jerusalem…

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment

By Judy Lash Balint

Judy Lash Balint

JERUSALEM–In the days before Yom Kippur, thousands of Torah observant Israelis rush to finish the ritual of kapparot, where human sins are symbolically transferred to a fowl–generally a chicken. It’s a custom that does not appear anywhere in the Talmud, but whose origin seems to come courtesy of several 9th century rabbis.

In a parking lot near Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda market, dozens of live chickens are whirled above the heads of men, women and children while a pronouncement is made declaring: “This is my substitute, my vicarious offering, my atonement: This chicken will meet its fate while I will proceed to a good, long life of peace.” [See my Kapparot photos from Machane Yehuda at www.Demotix.com] The chickens are then donated to the needy or redeemed with money that goes to the poor.

Meanwhile, curious secular Israelis by the hundreds take part in pre-dawn Selichot tours, where they look in on dozens of congregations where the faithful are immersed in penitential prayers chanted to ancient melodies.

Members of the Kurdish Bashari Synagogue in Nahlaot dance to selichot tunes.

In the streets later in the day, men hurry along with towels to the nearest mikveh (ritual bath). Many have already started building their sukkot (booths) in readiness for Sukkot, the one-week festival that starts the week after Yom Kippur. Sukkot structures of all kinds have sprung up on balconies, street corners and in front of cafes. The final decorations and the schach covering will be added right after the conclusion of Yom Kippur.  Read more…

Peres and Clinton meet the media

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment
JERUSALEM (Press Release)–Israel’s President Shimon Peres and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met the media together on Wednesday, Sept. 15.  Here is a transcript of their comments.

PRESIDENT PERES: Mrs. Secretary of State, ladies and gentlemen, I must admit I knew the Secretary of State a long time when she was called Hillary, and already then I had the highest regard for her – her wisdom, her friendship, her carefulness and caring. And it’s a great pleasure to see you at a very important time in the history of the Middle East, providing us with your experience and knowledge and determination to bring peace.

I heard your comments before the Foreign Affairs in New York. My God, what a list of nations, what a list of problems and it so happened that you are today the traveling ambassador of goodwill all over the world, the most mobile statesman that carries hope and the responsibility. It is in this spirit that we receive you here. It’s a good and (inaudible) and able (inaudible) in our time. The Middle East – new ups and downs. We are not repeating what happened in the past.

There are two important developments that we shouldn’t forget. The nature of the region has changed. It’s less of a conflict between Palestinians and Arabs, and less of a conflict between Muslims and Jews and Christians. It’s more of a conflict of one country that wants to become the hegemon of the Middle East. We used to call it, in the past, an imperial ambition; I’m referring to Iran, which is using terror, and financing terrorists, training them, and building a nuclear threat to the Middle East. I believe all the independent countries in the Middle East feel that they are threatened, no matter to which religion or nation they do belong. It’s also a threat, I believe, to the rest of the world. Nobody would like to see the world living under the double threat of a nuclear bomb and of the terroristic activities. It never happened in history; all this is a new experience and it requires a great deal of courage and wisdom. Read more…

Swastika on Sacramento Kings billboard prompts reward offer

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment

SAN FRANCISCO (Press Release) — The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has announced a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for defacing a billboard image of Omri Casspi, the Israeli-born Sacramento Kings forward, with a swastika.

The swastika, painted on the forehead of Casspi’s likeness, was reported on September 8, the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Dan Sandman, Director of ADL’s Central Pacific Region, which includes Sacramento, on Tuesday  issued the following statement:

“The defacement of Omri Casspi’s likeness with a swastika – an ugly symbol of hate – is disturbing and an affront to the Jewish community and the Sacramento community at large, which has welcomed Israeli-born Casspi with open arms.

“ADL is in contact with the Sacramento Police Department, which is appropriately investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.  We urge anyone with information relevant to the case to contact the Sacramento Citizen’s Crime Alert Program at (916) 443-4357 or to text 274637.   

“We applaud the Sacramento Kings for condemning this anti-Semitic act, and we hope they will continue to lend their voices to the fight against anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry.”

ADL’s 2009 Audit of Anti-Semitic incidents showed that anti-Semitic hate crimes and incidents continued to be a serious problem in California and nationwide.

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Preceding provided by the Anti-Defamation League

Companies soon may recruit the ’emotionally intelligent’

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment

HAIFA (Press Release)–Employees with a high level of emotional intelligence are more dedicated and satisfied at work, compared to other employees. This has been shown in a new study from the University of Haifa.

“This study has shown that employees with a higher level of emotional intelligence are assets to their organization. I believe it will not be long before emotional intelligence is incorporated in employee screening and training processes and in employee assessment and promotion decisions” stated Dr. Galit Meisler, who conducted the research.

The study, which Dr. Meisler carried out under the supervision of Prof. Eran Vigoda-Gadot, and which won the Outstanding Doctorate Award from the Israeli Political Science Association, surveyed 809 employees and managers in four organizations: two public sector organizations and two private companies. The study examined the effects of emotional intelligence on aspects of organizational politics, on employees’ work attitudes, on formal and informal behavior, feelings of justice, burnout and the like. Read more…