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VOLUME XIII, NUMBER 3

January 29, 2015

Israel launches campaign to discredit International Criminal Court inquiry By Shlomo Cesana Israel Hayom/JNS.org The Israeli government has launched a public diplomacy campaign to discredit the legitimacy of the International Criminal Court’s recent decision to start an inquiry into what the Palestinians call Israeli “war crimes” in the disputed territories. According to ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, the inquiry – which was initiated after a request by the Palestinian Authority – is not a formal investigation, but rather “a process of examining the information available in order to reach a fully informed determination on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation pursuant to the criteria established by the [ICC’s] Rome Statute.” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently signed the Rome Statute in order to join the ICC after failing to get a U.N. Security Council resolution passed that called for Israel’s withdrawal from the disputed territories by 2017. Israel’s campaign against the ICC inquiry will focus on the fact that the because the charges were filed by the P.A., which is not a state, the court has no authority to act. In addition, the campaign will point out the court’s bias against Israel – a country on the frontline of the war against global terrorism that makes sure to abide by international law by way of

“We will demand of our friends in an independent legal system. The Israeli government decided to Canada, in Australia and in Germany launch the public diplomacy campaign simply to stop funding it,” Lieberman at an emergency meeting in response to told Israel Radio. “This body (the ICC) represents no one. the ICC decision that was convened by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The It is a political body,” he added. A loss of funding would exacerbate the meeting, which took place at Netanyahu’s office, was attended by Israeli security, ICC’s already serious financing problems. Reuters recently reported that the unexlegal and diplomatic officials. The ICC’s decision to launch the in- pected arrival of an indicted defector from quiry into Israeli actions is “the height Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army of hypocrisy and the opposite of justice,” in Uganda would put prosecutors under Netanyahu said on January 18 at the start severe financial strain. The overwhelming bulk of the court’s of his weekly cabinet meeting, two days funding comes from the advanced econoafter the court announced the inquiry. “During my years of public service, mies of Europe and North Asia. Japan both as U.N. ambassador and as prime is the largest contributor, giving $23.7 minister, I encountered these kinds of million in 2014, followed by Germany, events, but this decision by the [ICC] which gave $15.7 million. France, Britprosecutor is in a league of its own,” ain and Italy are also major contributors Netanyahu said. “It gives international to the ICC’s budget, which will rise 7 percent to $164 million in 2015. Canada legitimacy to international terrorism.” The prime minister said Israel would contributed $6.5 million. Japanese Prime fight the ICC’s decision with every means Minister Shinzo Abe and Canadian Forit has available, including the enlistment eign Minister John Baird visited Israel of its allies. Along those lines, Israel is the week of January 19, and the Israeli lobbying member states of the ICC to cut government planned to raise the ICC funding issue with both nations. “Israel funding for the tribunal, Israeli Foreign $$750,065. Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on is adamant that it will have the right to January 18. Israel, which like the United defend itself against all those who wish to States does not belong to the ICC, hopes propagate terror and other attacks against to dent funding for the court that is drawn its citizens, against its territory,” Netanfrom its 122 member states in accordance yahu said at the start of a meeting with with the size of member states’ economies, Abe. “We will not have our hands tied by anyone, including the ICC. We will said Lieberman.

Spotlight

Interactive food project seeks to create “Jewish UNESCO and Jewish TripAdvisor” By Jeffrey F. Barken JNS.org Standing between a display table full of touchscreen tablets and a colorful spread of Israeli cuisine favorites, World Jewish Heritage Organization founder Jack Gottlieb delivers a toast. “Israelis like projects,” he says. “We wanted to create a Jewish UNESCO and Jewish TripAdvisor in a combined application.” Gottlieb’s references to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the popular travel website combine to describe a new interactive mobile app being launched by WJH, which is also rolling out an eBook on Jewish and new Israeli cuisine titled “Israel’s Top 100 Ethnic Restaurants.” On January 14 in New York City, WJH hosted a “Celebration of Jewish Ethnic Flavors,” a cocktail hour and dinner event to launch the eBook at Balaboosta, a highly acclaimed Lower East Side restaurant. The organization sees a rapid global decline in what it calls a “Jewish voice.” That trend

L-r: Israeli food critic Gil Hovav and World Jewish Heritage Organization founder Jack Gottlieb during the January 14 launch of WJH’s eBook, “Israel’s Top 100 Ethnic Restaurants,” at New York City’s Balaboosta restaurant. (Photo by Shahar Azran) is marked by the disappearance or repurposing of cherished cultural sites such as synagogues in countries where the Jewish population has decreased or faced rapid

assimilation, resulting in a loss of shared history for the nation and the Jews calling it home. WJH, therefore, is “attempting to promote tourism to a variety of sites and cultural events around the world that are of great importance to Jewish heritage continuity,” Gottlieb tells JNS.org. The goal is to encourage tourists to venture off the beaten path. “Given the growing interest in food in Israel and around the world, and the fact that it can appeal to anyone, we decided to start [this initiative],” Gottlieb says of the app and the eBook, which will work together to inform travelers about hidden treasures they might otherwise miss. The app provides up-to-date information based on viewer location and is capable of generating tours that highlight dining, museums and other culturally relevant sightseeing attractions. Discover something unique that’s not listed in the app’s database? As with Wikipedia, users can upload articles to the app’s server, establishing an interactive See “Food” on page 4

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Green energy and Israel

News in brief...

do what is necessary to defend ourselves wherever we need to do so.” Despite Israel’s lobbying efforts, even countries that are traditionally close to the Jewish state are unlikely to renege on their treaty commitments to fund the ICC, said Kevin Jon Heller, a professor of law at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. “Germany is probably the least likely country in the world to go against the ICC no matter how supportive of Israel it has traditionally been,” Heller said. “It was one of the very leading states in the creation of the ICC.” ICC prosecutors said on January 16 that they would examine “in full independence and impartiality” crimes that may have occurred in the disputed Palestinian territories since June 13, 2014. This allows the court to delve into alleged war crimes during Operation Protective Edge, which took place in July and August, but not into Hamas terrorists’ June 12 kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in Gush Etzion. Hamas on January 17 welcomed the ICC inquiry and said it was prepared to provide material for complaints against Israel.

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Candle lighting January 30................................... 4:58 pm February 6................................... 5:07 pm February 13...................................5:16 pm

Alternative, renewable green energy is highlighted The Yemen coup endangers Jews living there; Saudi at an Israeli conference, which took on more urgency Arabia blames Israel for antisemitism; Jewish PLUS following an oil spill in Israel. Federations raising funds for French Jews; and more. Opinion........................................................2 Story on page 3 Stories on page 5 and 11 D’var Torah................................................8

Profile for Becky Schastey

January 29, 2015 edition of The Reporter  

January 29, 2015 edition of The Reporter

January 29, 2015 edition of The Reporter  

January 29, 2015 edition of The Reporter

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