Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama is about to reach out to millions of American Jewish voters, the Jewish Week newspaper reported on Friday.
The new drive to reach Jewish voters will include "an expected major speech on Israel and the Middle East," aimed at setting "the baseline and establish Senator Obama as a reliable, strong supporter of Israel," the Jewish Week quoted a Democratic Party source as saying.
At the same time, the report continued, Obama made clear that he would be very willing to directly speak to Iran and Syria.
Responding to a question on whether he would hold dialogue with Tehran and Damascus on CBS's 60 Minutes program, Obama replied, "Yes. I think that the notion that this administration has — that not talking to our enemies is effective punishment — is wrong," the Jewish Week added.
Israeli scholar dropped by Australian Jewish group
A visiting Israeli expert on Islam has lost the support of the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) after encouraging Australia to "cap its intake of Muslim immigrants," the Australian Jewish News (AJN) reported.
Professor Raphael Israeli, who is visiting Australia for six weeks, said "life will become untenable" in Australia "unless the Muslim population is kept in check," the AJN reported.
The comment caused AIJAC executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein to release a statement on Friday "distancing the organization" from the Hebrew University academic.
"Islamist extremism is a genuine and serious global problem, but it is completely wrong to single out all Muslims for suspicion or negatively stereotype the Muslim community as a whole in this way," the AJN quoted Rubenstein as saying.
During an interview with the AJN on tackling Islamic extremism, Israeli said, "You have to infiltrate all those circles where the Muslim radicals operate, to arrest them, and to limit immigration into western countries ... to limit immigration, even students who apply to come from Islamic countries to the West."
Canada is 'true friend of Israel' says Dichter
The Canadian government "is proving itself to be a steadfast supporter of the Jewish state," Minister of Interior Security Avi Dichter told a meeting of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy in Ottawa last week, the Canadian Jewish News (CJN) reported.
The CJN report quoted Dichter as saying, "I am pleased to say that after my brief encounters with your administration, Israel has a true friend and ally in Canada. Here I have found leaders who I believe share our values and know the meaning of courage."
During his tour of Canada, Dichter met with the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, as well as other top officials.
The CJN added that Dichter denied Egyptian claims "that a dual Egyptian-Canadian citizen arrested recently in Egypt had been operating in Canada as an Israeli agent."
"I talked with people in Israel who probably may know about this issue. I would summarize it in one word – nonsense," Dichter said, according to the CJN. He added that the allegations were "a fabrication."