In yet another intriguing occurrence in the Iranian-Israeli relations saga, a 16 year-old Iranian boy with a particularly vicious brain tumor has been flown to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer in a final effort to save his life. Ynet and Ha’aretz reported that the boy arrived at Sheba, widely regarded as one of the most technologically advanced centers in the Middle East, from Turkey on Friday.
Sheba CEO Zeev Rotstein said it wasn’t the first time Israeli doctors have treated children from adversarial states.
“We hope that with the love and affection we give these kids we are paving the way for at least some understanding between people,” he said. “We can’t change the politics. We are not politicians. We do this because we feel it is our job.” Continue reading
What with non-stop hoopla at the convening of the United Nations General Assembly this week in New York, we offer a quick recap of the main issues to help you sift through the news coverage.
- Predictably, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has created the most amount of controversy. One example: The American Jewish Committee wrote an open letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon protesting a dinner at which Ahmadinejad will be honored.
- Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has also made headlines, primarily because of her planned appearance at a rally organized today to voice opposition to Ahmadinejad. This is the rally that Hillary Clinton pulled out of because she didn’t want to make it a political circus. In turn, it has become a political circus. Update 3:05 PM: JTA puts the number of protesters in the thousands.
- Palin will meet with former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia, and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan in an attempt to bolster her foreign policy credentials (not unlike Barack Obama’s trip to Europe and the Middle East this summer).
- Richard Holbrooke and other government officials write in the Wall Street Journal today that Iran is the primary story of this session for good reason: “A nuclear-armed Iran would likely destabilize an already dangerous region that includes Israel, Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, and pose a direct threat to America’s national security.” (HT: The Telegraph)
- Israeli President Shimon Peres has his hands full with political turmoil in Israel, so he will not attend a General Assembly reception hosted by President George W. Bush tonight. Israel will be represented by UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev.
- President Bush will be making his farewell address to the UN. (Hold for applause?)
Interesting news out of Israel yesterday, where Pensioners Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan said Israel could kidnap Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and bring him to court. Eitan, a former Mossad agent who helped track Adolf Eichmann, said:
The era of hunting down old Nazis is over, but that’s not to say that such operations are completely a thing of the past, and it could very well be that a leader such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suddenly finds himself before the International Criminal Court in The Hague…
Those who spread poison and want to eradicate another people has to expect such consequences.
Iran reacted immediately, writing a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon:
These dangerous threats of resorting to criminal acts against the officials of a sovereign country, or threatening to use force against a member of the United Nations not only constitute manifest violations of international law and contravene the most fundamental principles of the Charter of the United Nations, but are against the basic values of the civilised world. Continue reading