- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ISRAEL

Cabinet minister: Abduct Ahmadinejad

JERUSALEM | An Israeli Cabinet minister and one-time spy who helped kidnap Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann and bring him to trial thinks the same tactic could be used on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mr. Ahmadinejad is feared and reviled in Israel because of his repeated calls to wipe the Jewish state off the map. His aggressive pursuit of nuclear technology has only fueled Israel’s fears.

“A man like Ahmadinejad who threatens genocide has to be brought for trial in The Hague,” seat of the international war crimes tribunal, Rafi Eitan said Tuesday. “And all options are open in terms of how he should be brought.”

Asked if kidnapping was acceptable, Mr. Eitan replied “Yes. Any way to bring him for trial in The Hague is a possibility.”

Mr. Eitan, a member of Israel’s inner Cabinet of ministers with security responsibilities, said he was expressing his own opinion and nothing more.

Mr. Eitan, 81, was one of the Mossad agents who kidnapped Eichmann from Argentina in 1960 and brought him to Israel. Eichmann was tried and executed for carrying out Adolf Hitler’s “final solution” to kill European Jewry.

Mr. Eitan later headed a shadowy Defense Ministry unit that recruited Jonathan Pollard, a Jewish-American naval analyst who was caught spying for Israel in 1985 and sentenced to life in prison. It was one of the most damaging episodes in Israel-U.S. relations.

IRAQ

UAE ambassador takes up post

BAGHDAD | The United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Iraq took up his post Tuesday, becoming the first Arab ambassador in Baghdad since Egypt’s envoy was kidnapped and killed in 2005.

Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi hailed the arrival of Ambassador Abdullah Ibrahim al-Shehhi.

“It is a message to all states which are still hesitant to open their diplomatic missions in Iraq,” Mr. al-Hashemi said after Mr. al-Shehhi presented his credentials. “This new, heavy diplomatic presence in Iraq is proof that Iraq has started to recover from the last five years of crisis.”

Washington has urged Arab capitals to establish high-level diplomatic representation in Iraq, partly to dilute the influence of neighboring Shi’ite Iran, which has a full-fledged embassy in Baghdad.

With violence in Iraq at a four-year low, Arab states have begun to re-engage with the Shi’ite-led government in Baghdad after maintaining only low-level ties since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

LEBANON

26 pearls found in single oyster

TYRE | A Lebanese woman working in a restaurant kitchen found 26 pearls in an oyster she was preparing for the table and is to submit the find to Guinness World Records.

Amal Salha, 50, said she was helping out her son in his Al Fanar restaurant on the waterfront in the southern port of Tyre when she made the astonishing find Monday evening.

“I was in the process of opening the shells when I found a number of shining pearls inside one of them,” she said. “I was so startled I screamed.

“It was so beautiful. It looked like a bunch of grapes.”

The 26 pearls were of varying sizes. The oyster had been harvested off the Lebanese coast.

Pearl oysters are unrelated to the oysters normally eaten in Europe, but Mrs. Salha said they were still popular with the French and Italian soldiers serving with the U.N. peacekeeping force deployed in south Lebanon.

“We buy these oysters at $10 a kilo (less than $5 a pound),” said Mrs. Salha’s husband, Raymond. “Generally we find one or two pearls, but 26 is very rare.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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