A7News: Ahmadinejad Threatens – or Bluffs – To Halt Oil Exports

 

Av 12, 5772 / Tuesday, Jul. 31 ’12

 

 

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Headlines

  1. 1.      Ahmadinejad Threatens – or Bluffs – To Halt Oil Exports
  2. 2.      85% of Hesder Recruits – in Combat Units
  3. 3.      ‘Gaza Hackers’ Breach MK Yuli Edelstein’s Website
  4. 4.      School District Calls Teacher’s Nazi Comments ‘Free Speech’
  5. 5.      Netanyahu’s Men No-Shows at Pollard Session
  6. 6.      IDF’s New Cellphones: Smarter and Safer
  7. 7.      Clinton Denies Aide’s Links to Muslim Brotherhood
  8. 8.      Jewish Gymnast Makes Olympic Finals Performing ‘Hava Nagila’

 

1. Ahmadinejad Threatens – or Bluffs – To Halt Oil Exports

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Whether bluff or bluster, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for a total halt to cure oil exports, a move that could be economic suicide but also could cause a worldwide depression. Iran relies on oil for approximately 80 percent of its foreign income, which Ahmadinejad needs to continue his race for nuclear capability.

Iranian media, controlled by the government, reported Tuesday that he accused world powers of manipulating the oil industry and that halting exports of crude oil would put pressure on oil producers. ”The real price of oil should have been very much higher in the market than what it is presently,” he said.

Ahmadinejad made his remarks at a dedication of two large projects at Tehran’s Shahid Tondgoyan oil refinery. He added that the Shahid Tondgoyan oil refinery was the first refinery being fully completed by Iranian experts and is an “indication of the complete nationalization of Iran’s oil industry.”

“Enemies of Iran could not tolerate the country has found access to the knowledge of producing and meeting all its demand,” he added.

For all of his threats, Ahmadinejad’s comments may reflect both a growing concern that the sanctions are working and the need to win over doubters at home, where the economy is suffering from sanctions despite his mocking the United States and its allies.

Iranian crude exports have fallen sharply because of U.S. and European Union sanctions aimed at starving Tehran of vital oil revenues for its disputed nuclear program by banning imports of both Iranian crude and refined products, Reuters reported.

Washington has prohibited U.S. companies from trading in all Iranian oil products for years, while the EU banned its companies from importing crude and refined products from July 1.

Until 2007, Iran’s inadequate refinery infrastructure and rising demand made it increasingly dependent on imported gasoline – a vulnerability Western powers have targeted by banning fuel sales to the country, the news agency added.

Ahmadinejad said at the refinery that the Western sanctions are “ridiculous,” bragging that Western countries “use oil as a political weapon against a country that is an oil producer itself.”

The U.S. Congress last week approved a new set of sanctions on Iran’s energy and shipping industry.

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2. 85% of Hesder Recruits – in Combat Units

by Gil Ronen

The IDF’s August recruitment cycle – the year’s largest – has begun. About 450 of the recruits are Hesder yeshiva students, who serve in the military in several stints, intermeshed with periods of Torah study.

Eighty five percent of the Hesder students are destined for combat units – a percentage much larger than in the general population. In addition, a disproportionate number of them reach command positions and become officers.

The Hesder students joined infantry brigades Golani, Givati, Kfir, Nahal, Paratroopers and Combat Intelligence, as well as the Armored Corps and Navy.

As their enlistment date approached, they attended study days in which they received explanations about religious soldiers’ special needs in the army, and how to deal with matters of kashrut, fast days, Shabbat eruv and other matters.

The August Hesder cycle is mostly made up of Hesder students who have completed two years of study and are over 20 years old. This year’s cycle has an unusually large number of married men.

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3. ‘Gaza Hackers’ Breach MK Yuli Edelstein’s Website

by Rachel Hirshfeld

The website of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) was hacked today by a group dubbed “the hacker group of Gaza.”

MK Edelstein, who has come under fire from Arab extremists as the result of his steadfast and unwavering work on behalf of the State of Israel, responded by calling the hacking attack “an act of terrorism like any other.”

The hackers, wrote “Death to Israel” and “Free Al Aksa Mosque” on the site, as well as a number of other similar messages, and demanded that Israel stop building in Judea and Samaria, stop the “aggression in Gaza” and release all ‘Palestinian’ prisoners.

There were a number of Hebrew errors on the hacked site, which may indicate that the perpetrators are not native Hebrew speakers and that translation software may have been used.

“No one will succeed in stopping my work for Israeli public diplomacy and on behalf of the settlers of Judea and Samaria,” Edelstein said following the attack. “We defeat our enemies everyday on every front and we will continue to do so on the Internet and in the media as well.”

 

 

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4. School District Calls Teacher’s Nazi Comments ‘Free Speech’

by Rachel Hirshfeld

A Pennsylvania school district says a teacher was exercising his First Amendment rights during a speech in which he drew parallels between Nazi Germany and the United States under President Barack Obama.

Spring Cove School District officials say no disciplinary action will be taken against teacher Philip Waite for comments he made at a July 1 Tea Party rally in Blair County, The Huffington Post reported.

Democrats criticized Waite for the speech, in which he likened federal governmental power to Nazism.

Waite said Adolf Hitler was a “slick, quick talker” who told citizens, “You don’t need to worry about responsibility.”

Speaking after Waite, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Smith said he spoke “eloquently” but later called his comments “divisive and beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse.”

Waite’s 45-minute speech on executive power, given at a July 1 Blair County Tea Party rally, led to criticism from state Democrats, attention from a national news website and a handful of “hate emails.”

However, despite allegations that Waite compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler, Spring Cove School District officials have said it’s not a classroom concern.

“People do have freedom of speech in the public arena,” Superintendent Robert Vadella said. “That’s what we teach the kids.”

Waite maintained that the article oversimplified his words.

“I’m not saying President Obama agrees with what Adolf Hitler stood for,” Waite said. “It really makes it sound extremely hateful.”

Vadella said accusations of teaching bias are not taken lightly, but as long as Waite’s opinions do not cross the line into offensiveness and remain outside the classroom, there won’t be repercussions, a local paper reported.

“The public arena is a free arena,” he said. “At this point, what happened this summer is not an issue here.”

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5. Netanyahu’s Men No-Shows at Pollard Session

by Gil Ronen

MK Uri Ariel (National Union), who chairs the Knesset’s State Control Committee, accused two of the officials closest to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s of deliberately stalling regarding a debate on the situation of Jonathan Pollard.

Ariel said at a session of the committee devoted to the subject of Pollard that he has been trying for months to get the two men – Cabinet Secretary Tzvi Hauser and Diplomatic Adviser Ron Dermer – to reach agreements on Pollard and set a date for a discussion. The two have refused these advances, he said.

The Control Committee finally convened its session without the presence of the two men, on Tuesday.

MK Ariel said that he would consider issuing a legally binding order that would force the two to show up for the discussion.

“It is not true that the state has done everything within its powers [to free Pollard],” he said. “It is a very grave matter that the Prime Minister’s advisers, who coordinate all of the official actions on the matter, avoid giving the public an account of their efforts.”

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6. IDF’s New Cellphones: Smarter and Safer

by Gil Ronen

The IDF will begin to implement a mammoth technological project Wednesday, as its entire cellphone network is migrated from the current provider, Mirs/Motorola, to Cellcom.

The process will take several months.

The IDF Website reports that IDF officers and other eligible soldiers will begin receiving their new phones at eight allocation centers located throughout Israel, from the Shimshon Base near Golani Junction in the north, to Natan Base in Be’er Sheva.

A security system will be embedded in the phones in order to protect the data stored upon them. In addition, it will not be possible to transfer the SIM card from one phone to another.

The IDF’s phones will all be smartphones with advanced technological abilities. Higher ranked officers will be eligible for more advanced models and further upgrades will require additional payment.

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7. Clinton Denies Aide’s Links to Muslim Brotherhood

by Rachel Hirshfeld

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday denied allegations that one of her top aides has links to the radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement, saying there is “no place in our politics” for such “assaults.”

Clinton was marking the release of the State Department’s annual report on religious freedom around the world when she was asked to comment regarding the allegations against her deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin.

Clinton responded by linking the Abedin controversy into the struggle of developing nations to respect minority religions.

“Leaders have to be active in stepping in and sending messages about protecting the diversity within their countries,” Clinton said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “We did see some of that in our own country. We saw Republicans stepping up and standing up against the kind of assaults that really have no place in our politics.”

Clinton has mostly kept silent about the allegations, although State Department spokesman Philippe Reines has previously denounced them as “nothing but vicious and disgusting lies,” adding that, “anyone who traffics in them should be ashamed of themselves.”

The House members who raised the issue, including Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) have doubled down, accusing the media of focusing solely on Abedin rather than the broader risk of Islamist infiltration of government.

In her comments, Clinton called religious freedom a “bedrock priority” of the Obama administration’s foreign policy.

Clinton said the United States was ready to work with Egypt’s democratically elected leaders, but reaffirmed that “our engagement with those leaders will be based on their commitment to universal human rights and universal democratic principles.”

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8. Jewish Gymnast Makes Olympic Finals Performing ‘Hava Nagila’

by Rachel Hirshfeld

American Jewish gymnast Aly Raisman, known by her nickname Aly, reached the Olympics women’s artistic gymnastics finals, beating teammate and world champion Jordyn Wieber.

She not only stunned spectators by grabbing one of the two spots in the all-around individual finals for the U.S., but she did it while performing a floor exercise routine to the tune of “Hava Nagila.”

Raisman, 18, of Needham, Massachusetts, finished second overall in the qualifying round with a total of 60.391, including a 15.325 on the floor exercise that was the best among all the competitors at the London Games.

“I was really, really emotional, way more than I thought I would be,” said Raisman after being named to the Olympic squad. “I thought I would maybe tear up a little bit but I didn’t think I’d hyperventilate like that. I couldn’t even breathe. It was such a special moment and I’m so honored and so excited.”

Raisman’s parents have been getting a great deal of media attention, as they were caught on camera cheering on their daughter as their faces contorted in fear, anticipation and overwhelming excitement.

The young Olympian gymnast is the recipient of the Pearl D. Mazor Outstanding Female Jewish High School Scholar- Athlete of the Year Award, presented by the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in New York, and has been under the guidance of former Israel Olympic team trainers, Mihai and Sylvia Brestyan.

Raisman also finished fourth in the vault, fifth on the balance beam and 23rd on the uneven bars in the qualifying, which ended Sunday.

She will compete in the all-around finals starting Tuesday along with fellow American Gabby Douglas.

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