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Netanyahu returns to Israel

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7 Mar 2012 (All day)
Netanyahu returns to Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah landed in Israel Wednesday afternoon after their five-day trip to the US and Canada, which he described as "very important." Declaring his joy in being back in Israel in time to celebrate the holiday of Purim, he lamented that in the time of Esther and Mordechi “the Jews were not masters of their fate and were unable to defend themselves” but adding that “we're now in another era where we are strong and sovereign." He also said that the Jewish State is not as isolated as many people say it is, with many friends in the world who will support it in a time of need.

Panetta gives review of US-Israel cooperation at AIPAC
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta addressed the AIPAC 2012 Policy Conference in Washington DC on Monday, speaking of his warm feelings for the Jewish State going back to his time in Congress and declaring that “No greater threat exists to Israel, to the entire region, and indeed to the United States, than a nuclear-armed Iran. Military action is the last alternative if all else fails, but make no mistake: When all else fails, we will act.” After going over several common interests between the two allies, he added that “Our shared desire and our shared commitment to working together are absolutely essential. We are stronger when we act as one.” Panetta is the first US Defense Secretary to address the conference in over 20 years.

For the full text of Secretary Panetta’s speech, click HERE

Israelis gear up for Purim and Women’s Day
Israelis are in a festive mood this week as the holiday of Purim, based on the book of Esther in the Bible, corresponds with International Women’s Day on Thursday. Women’s Day is celebrated by a large number of immigrants to the Jewish State from the former Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries, and Purim is universally loved by children of all backgrounds. The Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce Businesses reported a sharp rise in the sale of toys, costumes and candy on Tuesday, as Israeli families prepared to share the joyful holidays.

Hamas declares it is not Iran’s puppet
The Guardian newspaper quoted senior leaders of the Islamist terror militia Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday as declaring that they will not join in an Iranian led attack on Israel, despite long standing ties with the Islamic Republic and a recent solidarity visit to Teheran by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. “Hamas is not part of military alliances in the region,” insisted Salah Bardawil, a member of the Hamas political bureau. “Our strategy is to defend our rights.”

For a comprehensive report on “The Truth about Hamas” click HERE

Rabbis declare Temple Mount off limits for Jews
Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, supported by several other senior rabbis, issued a public statement on Tuesday warning the public that visiting the Temple Mount is forbidden by Jewish law. The statement is a specific reaction against an increasing number of attempts by Jewish nationalist leaders to lead groups of Israelis up onto the Temple Mount, which has led to several clashes in recent weeks with Moslem worshippers, drawing in security forces and raising tensions in the Old City. National Union MK Arye Eldad denounced the declaration, saying it damaged the Jewish claim to the Temple Mount and thus the entire Land of Israel. Other prominent rabbis tried to find a middle way, but the question is far from settled and the potential for clashes on the Temple Mount remains high.


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