ICEJ’s Jurgen Buehler to be honored by Knesset

ICEJ News Briefs

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17 Jan 2012
ICEJ’s Jurgen Buehler to be honored by Knesset

The annual “Night to Honor Our Christian Allies” will be held at the Inbal hotel in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening, organized by the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus and the World Jewish Congress. Dr. Jurgen Buehler, the Executive Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, will be a guest of honor and will receive special recognition for his contributions to Israeli Tourism. Also receiving recognition will be Bishop Daniel Williams of the Christian Communion International. The meeting will be attended by several senior Israeli officials as well as leaders from the Jewish communities in several countries around the world.

Another Iranian fishing boat rescued by NATO
In yet another episode on the high seas to embarrass Iran, the Italian warship ITS Grecale, operating in the waters near the Persian Gulf under the auspices of NATO’s anti-piracy mission, rescued an Iranian fishing vessel whose engine had broken down. The Iranian boat had previously been rescued from Somali pirates by a Danish warship on 7 January. Iran’s inability to protect its own civilian shipping in waters so close to its own shores has raised serious doubts about its threats to project naval power further afield. In related news, senior officials from Iraq and the United Arab Emirates told reporters in Abu Dhabi on Monday that they are firmly against Iran’s threats to close the Strait of Hormuz in response to international sanctions. "There is a major confidence crisis with Iran and we also see ourselves as a country that overlooks the Gulf and is definitely affected by tension and escalation," said Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.

Tourism to Israel down since ‘Arab Spring’
Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov lamented on Sunday that the “Arab Spring which became the Muslim Winter” has caused a sharp drop in tourism to the entire region, including Israel. “Those who come from the US or Asia, they don’t know where Egypt ends and where Israel begins. On the map the border is very small,” Meseznikov added. The worldwide economic crisis is also affecting tourism, along with the stong shekel which makes things more expensive in Israel.

Gantz in Brussels for NATO summit
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz was in Brussles to attend the annual meeting of NATO military chiefs on Tuesday. During the conference Gantz will give an address to discuss Israel's security challenges, including Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Iranian threat. He is also scheduled to meet with theUS military's European Command (EUCOM) Adm. James G. Stavridis, British Chief of Staff General Sir David Richards, Russia military chief Nikolai Makarov, as well as the chiefs of staff of France, Spain, Italy, Australia, Canada, Greece and Poland. Back in Israel, the IDF is forming contingency plans for a possible incursion into the Gaza Strip, possibly in the next few months. “Gaza is possibly Israel’s most volatile front today,” a member of the General Staff said this week. “It is a front that can explode at any given moment.”

Israeli doctors perform humanitarian work around the world
A team of Israeli ophthalmologists recently completed a tour of Nepal, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Cambodia, the Maldives and Ethiopia where they performed eyesight restoring surgery on over 2,000 people. The operations were made possible by MASHAV (Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation, which is subject to the Foreign Ministry) in cooperation with NGOs. While they were there, the Israeli doctors also taught local doctors how to continue the work.

Palestinian terrorist sentenced for Fogel murders
The Samaria District Military Court on Monday sentenced Amjad Awad, one of two cousins convicted of murdering five members of the Fogel family in the Itamar settlement last March, to five life terms and seven years in prison. His accomplice, 18 year old Hakim Awad had previously been sentenced to five life sentences and five years in prison for his part in the crime. “I don’t regret what I did, and would do it again,” Amjad Awad said in May. “I’m proud of what I did and I’ll accept any punishment I get, even death, because I did it all for Palestine.” In related news, Israeli police caught two Palestinians with a satchel full of 11 pipe bombs on their way to the court where the sentencing was being held on Monday. The suspects, both in their 20s, were trying to cross the Salim checkpoint near Jenin, the same site where a terror squad was picked up under similar circumstances by the same police officer last week.

UK’s Klegg calls settlements ‘vandalism
British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg addressed a joint press conference in London on Monday with visiting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, during which he declared that “the continued existence of illegal settlements risks making facts on the ground such that a two-state solution becomes unviable. It’s an act of deliberate vandalism to the basic premise upon which negotiations have taken place for years and years. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor issued a statement saying “it is precisely statements like these that vandalize the fragile chances of renewing peace talks and finding solutions to the core problems of the conflict. A better contribution to peace making would be to bring Israelis and Palestinians closer and not inflaming spirits by unwarranted hard talk.”


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