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4 Shebet 5768, 11 January 2008
1. Berlin and Vienna Stand Against the
West: European Divisions on the Iranian Bomb
2. Arutz Sheva
[3. BUSH MEETS WITH OPPOSITION HEAD NETANYAHU
[6. BUSH VISIT DOESN'T
INTEREST WORLD MEDIA
[7. FEATURE: REFUAH
CONFERENCE - A FESTIVAL OF POSITIVE ENERGY
3. Rightists: Bush and Olmert
bringing Holocaust upon us
1. Berlin and Vienna Stand Against the
West: European Divisions on the Iranian Bomb
11 Oct 2007
Toward the end of August, French President Nicolas Sarkozy ushered in a new
phase in the diplomatic negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program by calling
for tougher sanctions against Iran. In the event that the U.N. Security Council
should prove incapable of taking action, Sarkozy demanded that the Europeans
take action themselves: unilaterally. It is only by applying massive economic
pressure, Sarkozy argued, that "a catastrophic alternative" could still be
avoided: "either the Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran." At the same time,
Sarkozy pressured the French energy companies Total and Gaz de France to forego
any further investments in Iran and he called upon French banks to freeze their
business with Iran.
The policy sketched out by Sarkozy is in fact the only non-military option
available. If there is any world power that is in a position to force a change
in Iranian policy without the use of military force, then it is the European
Union. The United States is not in a position to do so, since the United States
already has no trade relations with Iran. China, Japan and Russia are not in a
position to do so, because Iran can live without their trade. Only Europe is
indispensable for the Mullah regime. Forty percent of all Iranian imports come
from the EU. Twenty-five percent of all Iranian exports flow to the EU. Whereas
for Japan and China, Iran is principally an energy supplier, the investments and
imports that keep the Iranian economy itself working come principally from
Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Austria, and France. Germany was and remains
Iran's number one trading partner. The former Director of the German-Iranian
Chamber of Commerce in Tehran, Michael Tockuss, drew attention to Germany's
importance for Iran when he noted, in an interview with the German magazine
Focus, that "around two-thirds of Iranian industry is essentially equipped with
plant and machinery of German manufacture. The Iranians are thoroughly dependent
upon German replacement parts and suppliers."
"Thoroughly dependent": the potential efficacy of economic sanctions could
hardly be made more obvious. A study undertaken in late 2006 by the Iranian
parliament confirmed the obvious: without European replacement parts and
products the Iranian economy would be paralyzed in a matter of months.
We are involved now in a race against time. Who will prove faster: the engineers
building the centrifuges in Iran or the exponents of tougher sanctions in the EU?
It depends, of course, upon the unity of the EU member states. Sarkozy's
initiative would establish the same conditions for companies in all EU
countries. How, then, have the others reacted to it?
In New York for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly last month, Austrian
Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer made clear his response. Referring to the Nabucco
pipeline project that would eventually carry Iranian natural gas to Europe,
Gusenbauer affirmed (link in German): "We are going to do Nabucco in any case."
Whereas Great Britain and the Netherlands are reported to support the French
proposal, Germany and Austria -- as well as Italy (according to the Italian
daily La Repubblica) -- have rejected it. French efforts to win over the German
side have thus far been without success. According to a Sept. 13 report in the
French daily Le Monde, Chancellor Angela Merkel is supposed in principle to
support the Sarkozy proposal, but has explained Germany's hesitations by
reference to her Social Democratic coalition partners.
With the acquisition of the technologies required for producing a nuclear
weapon, Iran will already have advanced far in realizing one of its principal
aims. According to a public opinion poll, if Ahmadinejad obtains the technical
prerequisites for the bomb, 27 percent of Israeli Jews will leave Israel.
By opposing the prompt passage of a new sanctions resolution, Germany has, in
effect, departed from the Western block in order to make common cause with China
and Russia against the core Western powers. It is remarkable that in taking this
unprecedented step it is coming to the aid of a government that denies the
Holocaust and wants to eliminate Israel.
Matthias Kuntzel is a Hamburg-based political scientist and the author of "Bonn
and the Bomb: German Politics and the Nuclear Option." His latest book, "Jihad
and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11," is available from Telos
Press. The above article was translated from German by John Rosenthal.
Jan. 10 '08, 3 Shevat 5768
[3. BUSH MEETS WITH OPPOSITION HEAD
by Ezra HaLevi
US President George W. Bush decided to meet Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu
after initially leaving him out of his itinerary.
After recriminations from Netanyahu associates and claims that Bush was snubbing
the former prime minister, US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones called
Netanyahu's office Wednesday to invite him to meet with Bush Thursday morning at
Jerusalem's King David Hotel. At their meeting, Netanyahu told Bush, "Jerusalem
belongs to the Jewish people and will remain under Israeli sovereignty for
The central subject discussed by the two was the Iranian threat. Netanyahu
expressed appreciation for Bush's role in defending the free world from radical
Islamic terror. Former Netanyahu advisor Michael Freund issued a plea to Bush to
take military action against the "Tyrant of Tehran" to stop his atomic pursuit.
The meeting lasted 45 minutes longer than planned. Also participating were
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor Steve Hadley and
Deputy National Security Advisor Elliot Abrams.
[6. BUSH VISIT
INTEREST WORLD MEDIA
by Hillel Fendel
Only 50 reporters from around the world arrived in Israel to cover the meetings
between US President George Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and PA
Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Danny Seaman, Director-General of the Israel Government Press Office, says
international interest in the Israeli-Arab conflict has faded. When former US
President Bill Clinton came a decade ago, 1,000 journalists descended upon
Israel from the world media.
Seaman emphasized, however, that "when we count how many journalists arrive, we
don't count the 130 or so who arrived with Bush as part of their regular White
House coverage, and also the hundreds who are here on a regular basis."
Seaman told Arutz-7's Hebrew-language "Freedom of Broadcast" show, "The
preparations we made for the international media were very complex and
involved. The Prime Minister's Office set up a special team, headed by Deputy
Director Amnon Ben-Ami, to coordinate all the details."
The wane in world interest in international news was noted three years ago,
Seaman said, when fewer journalists than expected arrived to cover Arafat's
death. In general, the world is more interested in local news. In addition, of
course, there have not been any significant breakthroughs in the talks with the
Palestinians, and none are expected, so there is not much to come for. They have
learned from the past; they have had enough of 'hopes' ever since the beginning
of the Oslo process.
Families of terrorist victims will be brought to meet the journalists, and the
press center will also feature photos of the captive Israeli soldiers:
Gilad Shalit, who is being held by Hamas, and Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser,
who are being held by Hizbullah.
CONFERENCE -A FESTIVAL OF POSITIVE ENERGY
by Hillel Fendel
"A lot of positivity and people wanting to do good." That's how one of some 200
participants summed up the recent First Annual Refuah Institute Conference on
Torah Psychology and Medicine, held at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in
The conference was two days of intensive lectures and workshops on all things
having to do with Torah counseling and coaching, better communication with
others and between our physical and spiritual selves, and bringing out our best
Refuah Institute founder and dean Prof. Joshua Ritchie, M.D., followed by
noting, "When I started in medical school 50 years ago, they told me that most
of what they were teaching us would not be correct 50 years later and they
were mostly right. We're living in exciting times; Torah has always used the
science of its day, and it uses it well."
Physics and Isaiah
The Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, continued this line by
praising the study of nature as a way of teaching us the greatness of the
Creator. "When I was a high school student," he told, "my rabbi and teacher, the
famed late Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, heard in my voice that I was not
over-enthusiastic about learning physics. He couldn't believe it. 'How can you
not like physics?!' he said. 'It's a clear manifestation of [the verse from
Isaiah], 'Lift your eyes heavenward and see Who created all this!'"
Prof. Dr. Yehuda Levi explained, with examples, how Torah Judaism combines the
best of the three main theories of modern psychology ? Skinner's behaviorism,
Freudian analysis, and cognitivism.
Another in the list of super-star speakers - four lectures, three in English and
one in Hebrew, were often going on simultaneously - was Rabbi Mordechai
Neugroschel, Director of the "Judaism from a Different Angle" Center. He
enthralled the participants with his approbation of Holocaust-survivor
psychologist Victor Frankl's theory of logotherapy: "Human beings seek meaning
in life, and they wish to be part of something great," the rabbi said. He also
explained the relationship between the different parts of our spiritual
personality, and how our actions, speech and thought correspond to each.
Rabbi/Doctor Team and Physical/Spiritual Interplay
The physical/spiritual interface was the focus of a well-attended session given
jointly by physician Dr. David Shiller and Torah scholar Rabbi Avraham Sutton.
Their slide show/lecture detailed a view of the human body in which mind,
emotions, and physiology function in unity -explaining why prayer, meditation,
song, and Torah study and commandments enhance our physical health. A long list
of Torah/Kabbalah sources was provided as well to emphasize the soul-body unity.
Joy and Happiness
Another theme that was heavily emphasized throughout the conference - and that
left participants on a noticeable "high" was that of happiness. Mrs.
Liliane Ritchie, RTC, led a "guided imagery" session, before which she reminded
the participants, "Being depressed is not reality, and is not natural; it's just
a way of looking at what is happening. We must hear the voice of truth ? that we
are G-d's children and He loves us and we can see this when we are in a
loving, joyful state."
Jerusalem's well-known author and counselor Rabbi Zelig Pliskin enthusiastically
outlined his "Nine Principles of Joy." These include thinking appreciatively
and gratefully, speaking joyfully and kindly, assuming everything has some
benefit, striving for meaningful goals, and more. To concretize the ninth
principle, "I smile and wave to mirrors; they always smile and wave back" .
Rabbi Pliskin ended the session by distributing, at cost price (5 shekels),
small pocket mirrors complete with a copy of the Nine Principles.
Much of the second day of the conference focused on the developing field of
personal coaching from a Torah standpoint. Empathy, understanding and listening
were repeatedly emphasized throughout the conference as indispensable tools for
those who wish to coach or counsel others.
"I merited to spend over 1,000 hours with the Amshinover Rebbe in Bayit Vegan in
Jerusalem," Prof. Ritchie said, "witnessing how he counseled others. I was able
to see first-hand how genuine empathy, caring, support and a positive approach
actually was successful! The Torah taught this long before Rogers formulated
the Rogerian approach."
A basis for personal coaching based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
was quoted by Rabbi Mordechai Weiss, who said that when the Mishnah in Pirkei
Avot (Chapters of the Fathers) advises each person to set a rabbi for himself,
this was not meant merely for legal, Halakhic questions, but rather that one
must find someone to guide him or her in all facets of life. "This means that
everyone must have his own personal advisor and coach," Rabbi Weiss concluded,
"in order to help him progress in life, spiritually and otherwise, as best as
"Your job as a coach," Rabbi Weiss said, "is to help people discover their own
visions, goals and dreams. There may be multiple paths to accomplish these
goals. The coach must keep in mind that the exact solution must lie with the
client; it is not your job to tell him or her what to do, but rather to listen
very well and hear what the client is telling you."
"In order to be a successful coach," he added meaningfully, "you must live your
own life purposefully. This means to live in full awareness of what you can
accomplish; life is not a spectator sport."
A special treat was the appearance of Harvard Professor Tal Ben-Shachar, who
gave a sampling of his course on "Positive Psychology" - arguably Harvard's most
popular course in 2006.
"The objective of Positive Psychology," he explained, "is to unite the
accessibility of the self-help movement with the rigor of academic research."
In a friendly and humorous manner, juxtaposed with some healthy Zionism ? he
said that he moved back to Israel, where he was born, "because here is where I
feel best, for both family and Zionist reasons" - he outlined five main points
(summarized here in painful brevity):
1. We are allowed to be human, and we are allowed to sometimes have negative
emotions. Instead of trying to be rid of them, we must simply accept and deal
2. Modern society faces an epidemic known as stress, which must be dealt with by
simplifying our lives. Time-outs are important, as is realizing we can't do
everything. A recent study surprisingly found that busy young mothers did not
enjoy being with their children, and then it was ascertained that this was
because they were always doing other things at the same time. It's like
listening to your favorite music, Carlebach and Beethoven, at the same time?
3. The mind-body connection. Exercise is important in overcoming depression.
4. Mindfulness Meditation. This is something that people think comes from the
East, but really it appears in Torah. Everyone jumps at sudden sounds, but not
those engaging in meditation. At a red light, for instance, instead of being
frustrated, use the time to take deep breaths and relax.
Five Nightly Thank-You's
5. Focusing on the positive and appreciating the good. Must we really wait for
something bad to happen in order to appreciate the good that we have? A study
by Emmons and McCullough in 2002 shows that feelings of gratitude lead to
emotional well-being. I personally have found, as has academic research, that
writing down before I go to sleep every night five things for which I am
grateful improves my emotional health in general.
3. Rightists: Bush and
bringing Holocaust upon us
Published: 01.10.08, 22:18 / Israel News
200 right-wing activists gather in Jerusalem to protest US president's visit,
one detained. 'How would the American public react if Bush were to say after his
inauguration that the US must cede Seattle and Manhattan?' SOS Israel head asks.
'A traitor,' demonstrators shout back
Some 200 right-wing activists gathered in central Jerusalem on Thursday evening
to protest the ongoing visit of US President George W. Bush.
Letters to the President
Rightists flood King David hotel with faxes in protest of Bush visit / Roi
Letters addressed to US president urge him to release Pollard and refrain from
advancing Israeli territorial concessions in Jerusalem as part of peace
agreement with Palestinians
The rally was organized by the 'SOS Israel' under the banner of praying for a
unified Jerusalem. Protestors read psalms and carried signs, several of which
warned that Bush and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert were "bringing another
One demonstrator was detained for displaying a fake gun.
"The struggles for the other settlements will be ten-fold what there was in
Amona. It is good to die for our country," said SOS Israel chairman Rabbi Dov
Wolpe, echoing the reputed last words of legendary Zionist activist Joseph
"It won't do Bush and Olmert any good! one land for one nation."
Some protestors held posters depicting Bush, Olmert and President Shimon Peres
wearing kaffiyahs (Muslim headdress), with the words "terror abettors" written
"There is talk of President Bush's vision of two states for two peoples - may
the all-merciful protect us," Wolpe said. "On the day after his election
President Peres said we must cede the territories. If the president of the
United States would have said after his inauguration that Seattle and Manhattan
should be handed over, what would (the American public) call him?"
"A traitor," the demonstrators shouted back.
Wolpe continued to say that "only the coming of the messiah can save us, not the
High Court (of Justice), which is collaborating with the Arabs."
Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, read from a
letter he intends to pass on to Bush: "We expect you to order the immediate
release of Jonathan Pollard prior to your return to the US."
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