August 9, 2007
Briefs: Hebron settlers removed, Olmert plans land swap, Romney backs off Hezbollah
(Page 2 - Previous Page)"France loses a great figure of our country's spiritual, moral, intellectual and religious life," French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a statement.
Facebook Ads Pulled
At least six British companies pulled out of Facebook.com after their ads appeared on the pages of the right-wing British National Party. First Direct bank, mobile phone giant Vodafone, Virgin Media, the Automobile Association, Halifax Bank and the Prudential all have withdrawn their ads. The firms decided to pull their ads from the networking Web site after discovering their appearance on the pages of a political party long associated with anti-Semitic activity in Britain.
Virgin said it made the decision to "protect its brand."
First Direct spokesman Rob Skinner said, "We have got to make sure that the places we advertise are consistent with our own values and identity."
Facebook has declined to comment on the decisions. Though British National Party leaders deny their campaigns are anti-Semitic, in 1997, party leader Nick Griffin asserted in his pamphlet "Who are the Mindbenders?" that "very few people in Britain are aware of the huge influence over the mass media exercised by a certain ethnic minority, namely the Jews."
A Vodafone spokesperson said the company would resume advertising only when "more robust controls" were in place to specify where their ads would appear.
Ads on Facebook run on random rotation.
Romney Backs Away From Hezbollah Citation
Mitt Romney's campaign said Hezbollah was not a proper model for his vision of U.S. diplomacy, addressing a controversy arising from his earlier remarks. The statement from the campaign for the former Massachusetts governor, a front-runner in the race for the Republican presidential candidacy, came in the wake of a weekend town hall meeting in Iowa in which he cited Hezbollah's social network as a model for reaching hearts and minds.
"Gov. Romney believes that bloodthirsty terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas have smothered the progress of the people and nations where they have built their networks, Lebanon serving as an example," spokesman Kevin Madden said. "These terror organizations cannot and should not be allowed to gain an advantage with the citizenry in Muslim nations just because they mask their terror agenda with an offering of some vital services."
Romney had made the comparison in explaining why he would expand on President Bush's AIDS program in Africa, widely regarded as earning goodwill.
"Hezbollah went into southern Lebanon and provided health clinics to some of the people there, and schools. And they built their support there by having done so," Romney said. "That kind of diplomacy is something that would help America become stronger around the world and help people understand that our interest is an interest toward modernity and goodness and freedom for all people in the world."
The National Jewish Democratic Council slammed Romney for those remarks.
"Any candidate for president should know that Hezbollah's social programs are inseparably tied to terrorism," it said.
Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency
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