Globe Briefs March 5

Globe Briefs March 5

Argentine judge dismisses Nisman accusations against Kirchner

A federal judge in Argentina dismissed the complaint against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner that she covered up Iran’s role in the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing.

Daniel Rafecas in a 62-page ruling Feb. 26 said the accusation against Kirchner and other government officials cannot be sustained by the evidence collected.

The complaint filed by state prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita was based on evidence presented by his predecessor, the late Alberto Nisman. Pollicita, who can appeal Rafecas’ decision, earlier this month charged that Kirchner ordered her Foreign Ministry to sign a pact with Iran to ignore Iran’s responsibility in the Buenos Aires Jewish center attack in exchange for commercial benefits.

Pollicita based the document on the 290-page complaint drafted by Nisman, who was found dead on Jan. 16, hours before he was to present allegations to Congress about Kirchner, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and others.

Rafecas, who has a relationship with the Jewish community, was chosen by lottery earlier this month to review the allegations that Kirchner covered up Iran’s involvement in the AMIA attack, which left 85 dead and hundreds injured.

Israel and Jordan sign water, Dead Sea agreement

Israel and Jordan signed a bilateral agreement to exchange water and to work together to save the Dead Sea.

Government officials from the two countries signed the Seas Canal agreement at a ceremony Feb. 26 on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea. Dignitaries from both sides, as well as representatives from the World Bank and the U.S. embassies in Israel and Jordan, were on hand, according to a statement from Israel’s Regional Cooperation Ministry.

The agreement implements the first stage of the Seas Canal project, including the construction of a desalination plant north of Aqaba to supply water to the Arava region in Israel and to Aqaba in Jordan.

Residual saline brines will be piped to the Dead Sea through an approximately 125-mile pipeline from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea in order to stabilize and save the Dead Sea.

Also in the framework of the agreement, water from northern Israel will be piped to Amman. The effect of the process on the Dead Sea, as well as other environmental effects, will be monitored and studied.

“This is the most important and significant agreement since the peace treaty with Jordan,” said Silvan Shalom, Israel’s regional cooperation minister who signed the agreement on behalf of his country. “This is the peak of fruitful and very good cooperation between Israel and Jordan and will assist in rehabilitating the Dead Sea and in resolving water issues in Jordan and the Arava.”

Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2013 in Washington.

Swastika attack in Montreal considered hate crime

Envelopes on the windshields of at least one of four vandalized cars in a Jewish neighborhood of Montreal contained single bullets and the message “You Will Die.”

The cars in an apartment building garage in the Notre-Dame-de-Grace neighborhood were spray-painted with large red swastikas on their hoods. The swastikas faced the wrong way and one windshield was smashed with a pickaxe, which was left behind. Two of the car owners were Jewish.

The vandalism, which was discovered the night of Feb. 23, is being treated as a hate crime by police. The cars were found after residents gathered in the lobby of the building after the fire alarm went off at 10 p.m. and a resident checked the garage.

“This was not just an act of simple vandalism but a crime targeting the Jewish community,” said Rabbi Reuben Poupko of the community’s main advocacy group, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

The Quebec Legislature passed a unanimous motion deploring the incident.

Danish imam to be charged in Germany for call to kill Jews

A Danish imam who called in Berlin for the killing of Zionist Jews will face criminal charges, German prosecutors said.

Abu Bilal Ismail will be charged in Germany for inciting to hate, Denmark’s TV2 News reported last week.

The charges are connected to statements he made during his July 18 sermon at the Al-Nur mosque, Berlin prosecutors told TV2 News.

“Oh, Allah, destroy the Zionist Jews, they are no challenge for you,” Ismail, an imam from the Grimhoj Mosque in the city of Aarhus, was filmed saying during the sermon, according to a translation from Arabic prepared by the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI. “Count them and kill them to the very last one. Don’t spare a single one of them. Make them suffer terribly.”

The decision to prosecute Ismail follows the Feb. 15 slaying of a volunteer Jewish security guard outside Copenhagen’s main synagogue by a Danish Muslim radical of Palestinian descent.