Cincinnati Israel Faxx (Newspaper) - March 24, 2009, Cincinnati, Ohio All the news the big guys missed. ISSN 1074- 2255 Free access to the IsraelNewsFaxx. com searchable archive E- mail: dcanaan( at) israelfaxx( dot) com Visit our free archival web site at www( dot) israelnewsfaxx( dot) com March 24, 2009 Vol. 17, No. 55 ( 2009_ 03_ 24) Editor: Don Canaan, Telephone ( 352) 750- 9420, The Villages, FL 32159 A trusted source for Israeli news and information since 1993 ' Don't believe the man who tells you there are two sides to every question. There is only one side to the truth' Poll: U. S. Jews Split on Waging War Against Nuclear Iran By Ha’aretz American Jews are evenly divided over whether the United States should launch a military offensive against Iran if it acquires nuclear weapons. J Street, the dovish pro- Israel lobby in Washington, commissioned a poll which revealed on Monday that 41 percent of American Jews favor an attack, 40 percent oppose, and 16 percent chose neither. The poll also showed the overwhelming majority of American Jews ( 76 percent) favor a two- state solution as the preferred way to end the Middle East conflict. According to the poll , some 72 percent support the Obama administration's first steps in attempting to resolve the Israeli- Arab dispute. Also, 76 percent say Obama is a supporter of Israel, while 69 percent agree that he has a positive vision that can advance the Middle East peace process. If the poll is any indication, most American Jews ( 69 percent) oppose Yisrael Beiteinu chief Avigdor Lieberman's positions vis- à- vis the Arab minority in Israel. In addition, 32 percent of respondents ( 40 percent of those younger than 30 years of age) said Lieberman's appointment to a senior position in the cabinet will weaken their personal link to Israel, as his positions " go against their core values." Nonetheless, 69 percent of U. S. Jews are in favor of working with a Palestinian unity government to advance the peace process with Israel. U. S. Jews are ambivalent on Israel's handling of the recent Gaza war. While three- fourths of American Jews supported the Gaza operation and Israel's right to defend itself, 59 percent claimed that the war had no impact on Israel's security or made Israel less safe. The poll also showed that 60 percent of U. S. Jews oppose settlement expansion in the West Bank while 40 percent are in favor. Among Orthodox Jews, 80 percent support more building in the settlements. Among Jews who donate to political campaigns, 72 percent oppose settlement expansion. UN Rights Exper t Accuses Israel of War Crimes By Lisa Schlein ( VOA- Geneva) & IsraelNationalNews. com A special U. N. investigator said Israel's military assault on the densely populated Gaza Strip appears to constitute a war crime. Human rights expert Richard Falk is calling for an independent investigation into possible war crimes committed by Israel and the Hamas authorities in the Palestinian Occupied Territory. Falk submitted his report to the U. N. Human Rights Council in Geneva. In his 26- page report to the Council, Falk, accused Israel of launching attacks that are inherently unlawful and would constitute a war crime under international law. He called the Israeli attacks a massive assault on a densely populated urbanized setting an inhumane form of warfare that kills, maims and inflicts mental harm on an entire civilian population. Falk criticized Israel for continuing the blockade of Gaza since the January 9 cease- fire despite its proven harmful impact on the civilian population. He expressed concern that Israel has ignored calls by many prominent leaders, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President, Barack Obama to open Gaza- border crossings. U. S. to Replace Iran as Israel’s Pistachio Provider: U. S. pistachio growers in California are trying to replace Iran as Israel’s pistachio provider, according to a Monday report in the Miami Herald. Israel leads the world in per- capita pistachio consumption and the market is worth around $ 20 million a year. Although Israel officially has an embargo on Iranian products, California growers claimed that the nuts made their way through Turkey to Israel and were cheaper than the U. S. variety. After some lobbying, Israel raised the tax on non- U. S. pistachios opening the way for U. S. growers to take over the market. " There is an international consensus that the maintenance of the blockade, which was so harmful to the Gazan people before the combat period starting on December 27th - the persistence of that blockade is an unconditional violation of international humanitarian law and should cease immediately," said Falk. Falk said more than 1,400 Palestinians, including 960 civilians, were killed during the Israeli military offensive in Gaza. Israel, which lost 13 people during the war, disputes these figures, saying the number of civilians killed is far lower. Israel also accuses Hamas fighters of launching rocket attacks from civilian facilities and using civilians as human shields during the conflict. Falk urged the Council to send a fact- finding mission to investigate allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity made against Israel and Hamas. The Associated Press said only one of nine U. N. experts filing reports on the Gaza incursion was allowed into the territory by Hamas. Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Aharon Lashno Yaar called the Special Investigator's report biased and un- objective. " However, Israel has found the report to have no value except to narrowly further the politicized agenda of the Human Rights Council," said Yaar. " The report grossly and undeniably includes significant factual and legal errors and misrepresentations." The Israeli Ambassador said his country was compelled to enter the Gaza Strip in response to years of bombardment of its citizens by Hamas rocket fire. Yaar said Hamas terrorists use women and children as human shields when they launch attacks from schools, homes, hospitals and mosques He denied that Israel does not allow humanitarian assistance to enter Gaza. On the contrary, he accused Hamas of hijacking humanitarian assistance and denying it to their own people. Last month, the United Nations briefly suspended aid shipments to Gaza because it said Hamas was stealing them. Israeli Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has affirmed that he sees the IDF as “ the most moral army in the world” despite the recent allegations of human rights abuses. Addressing new recruits this week, Ashkenazi said the army would investigate all claims of improper behavior, but that if there were such incidents “ they were isolated.” Ashkenazi confirmed that any soldier found guilty of violating the IDF's moral code would face trial. He rejected claims that soldiers had killed civilians in “ cold blood,” saying, “ We must remember where we were operating: in a place where Hamas turned a residential neighborhood into a battleground, public facilities into weapons storehouses.” Allegations that soldiers killed civilians were made last week by two soldiers who graduated one of Israel's few non- religious pre- military academies. The soldiers said they witnessed fellow soldiers shooting civilians who accidentally strayed into closed military zones. The founder and director of the academy at which the soldiers studied, Danny Zamir, opposed the recent Cast Lead operation in Gaza before the allegations surfaced, and in January accused soldiers who participated in the operation of killing children. Iran- Linked Terror Group May be Connected to Haifa Bomb By IsraelNationalNews. com The Iranian- linked Hizbullah terrorist group may be connected to the operatives who planted explosives weighing approximately 100 kg ( 220 lb) underneath a Haifa mall on Saturday night. A massive tragedy was narrowly avoided when a passerby noticed a small explosion in the underground parking lot and immediately notified security personnel.