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A model liberal democracy has voted to ban the construction of new minarets. Swiss Jewish leaders sided with the Muslims in opposing the ban.

Since minarets are an indispensable part of Islamic worship, the Swiss became the first people to say clearly that they do not want Muslims in their country.

The Swiss Supreme Court is not expected to challenge the new legislation.

Not long ago another model democracy, France, banned the hijab, the Muslim female head scarf, in public schools.

But Israel puts up with minarets and churches.

The PM banned the Likud Central Committe meeting intended to investigate his decision to declare a ten-month settlement-construction freeze.

The implication is that Netanyahu expects across-the-board condemnation of his move from his own party.

It is common for Israeli prime ministers to renege on their electoral promises.

The controversial trial opened in a court in Munich. A lot of opinion-makers, notably in Britain, oppose the hunting down of Nazi war criminals sixty-five years after the events. Demjanyuk, 89, is considered by many to be too old to stand trial.

An Israeli court acquitted Demjanyuk on a technicality. The Munich court may not want to convict an elderly Nazi murderer on flimsy evidence because the precedent would bring dozens of other elderly Nazis to trial.

The court has to decide on two issues. First, jurisdiction: Demjanyuk can only be tried in Germany if he took part in murdering German Jewish citizens, who were a very small part of those annihilated in the Sobibor death camp. Second, Demjanyuk claims that he was forced to take part in the murders, rather than volunteering for them. Unlike Jewish law, civil law generally excuses a murderer who acted under compulsion.

The army’s spokesperson vehemently denies rumors that the troops used plastic bullets during routine Niilin riots.

The army would be stupid to hold its fire while two border policemen were wounded.

November 2009
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