1. “I went to Madison feeling financially scared and emotionally depressed but hopeful,” said Paul Adams, who runs a 500-cow organic dairy near Eleva, WI."I came home feeling financially scared, emotionally depressed, unwanted, and unneeded.” 2. Brittany Olson left her Barron County farm at 2am to make the trip to Expo and hear Perdue speak. “To go through the effort to see the USDA secretary, only for him to say that small farms like ours likely have no future made me feel like little more than a peasant in a system of modern-day feudalism,” Olson said. 3. “To me, it really drew a line in the sand on just where this administration stands,” said Chippewa County dairy farmer George Polzin.
Danielle Erdvick summed it up this way in the story:
But I sense a fire growing in the belly of the family farmers I meet in my work with Farmers Union. Farmers are weary. But there’s a growing flicker that’s starting to feed a change in the narrative. No more will they be spoon-fed a top-down vision for rural America. Instead, I see a drive for a farmscape where fair prices, local food systems, clean water, and land conservation are at the heart of farm policy. How can we achieve it? It’ll take actually enforcing America’s antitrust laws and holding corporations accountable when they try to monopolize an industry. It’ll mean addressing market manipulation. It’ll mean not raising our hackles, as farmers and ag groups, every time someone wants to talk about clean water or livestock siting. It’ll mean continuing to adopt regenerative practices and thinking outside the box so we’re protecting our natural resources for our children and grandchildren.
Farmers will never stop voting for Republicans. Sadly, GOP promises of "small government" simply mean they don't really have to do anything for their constituents, and deregulation is anything that basically leaves them alone.
Tariff War is not Their Fight: It seems farmers are okay sacrificing their livelihoods for big corporate interests seeking intellectual rights and protections.
And then the last shoe dropped; Ag Sec. Sonny Perdue told us what big corporate Republican politicians were really thinking about family farmers:
Perdue told reporters that he doesn’t know if the family dairy farm can survive as the industry moves toward a factory farm model ... “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out. I don’t think in America we, for any small business, we have a guaranteed income or guaranteed profitability.”
Jerry Volenec, a fifth-generation Wisconsin dairy farmer with 330 cows, left the Perdue event feeling discouraged about his future. “What I heard today from the secretary of agriculture is there’s no place for me. Can I get some support from my state and federal government?" Darin Von Ruden, president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union and a third-generation dairy farmer who runs a 50-cow organic farm (said) getting bigger at the expense of smaller operations like his is “not a good way to go. Do we want one corporation owning all the food in our country?”
Democrats, Governor Tony Evers backs Family Farms, despite never getting their vote, but after Sonny Perdue's comment, even our laid back Gov. had to say something:
"Are they struggling? Absolutely. But I think at the end of the day we need to get behind them rather than saying, ah maybe you should go larger. I, frankly, resent that the Department of Agriculture secretary from the federal government came in and kind of lambasted them."
But don't take Evers word for it, here's a comment made at the Minnesota Farmfest about CAFO's. Note: Why were visa's for dairy labor ever determined to be seasonal and not year around?:
Wisconsin dairy farmers are still feeling the sting of Trump's visit to Milwaukee in July, where the president downplayed the suffocation felt by farmers here because of Trump's own tariffs.
Trump: "Some of the farmers are doing well. ... We're over the hump. We're doing really well."
"If he's saying farmers are over the hump, he would be badly mistaken," said Darin Von Ruden, a third generation dairy farmer. "In order to get over the hump we need to stop losing dairy farms."
From PBS's Market to Market: Trump's says farmers are happy...
Farmers are slamming Trump's $28 billion farm bailout — more than double Obama's 2009 payment to automakers — as a 'Band-Aid'.
Perdue editorial doesn't repair Damage: Nope, his word salad backtrack to obscure how he really feels, is a little late. In fact, Perdue reminds farmers how this whole problem was really Trump creation:
Purdue: "President Donald Trump has made it his mission to support American agriculture and negotiate better trade deals so our productive farmers can sell their bounty around the globe."
Rubi and Fire Goddess for Genesis 3 Female is a super sexy redhead character of a for Genesis 3 Female that can also become a supernatural creature- the Fire Goddess.
The Dragon Lord in its human form fell in love with the priestess of his cult, and Rubi was born with the power to become a Fire Goddess. With her supernatural powers, she was prepared to fight against demons and orcs. Seductive for the humans, deadly against the fantasy evil creatures.
She has a freckled skin, not only in her face but also in her whole body, distributed in a natural way. Her delicate but intense facial features are also modeled to reflect her internal double nature of passionate woman and Fire Goddess. As a Fire Goddess, she has a special skin with the shades of fire and golden reflections, special makeups and eyes, and ears morph. For the human part, you have casual makeups that enhance her beauty, and also special makeups for warrior characters. As a stunning beautiful woman, a warrior of divine nature, the daughter of the supreme Norse warrior god, or the Fire Goddess... for all of your stories, Rubi is a must have!
Rubi is a very versatile character for Genesis 3 Female, with lots of features that you can use to get many different looks:
FIRE GODDESS OPTIONS: Rubi can also become a Fire Goddess, with all her body changed to the shades of flames, golden reflections carefully placed, two special eyes (all white eyes, and Fire Goddess eyes that have black sclera and red bright irises), two special lips (dark and fire), two special makeups (fire and smoke, and flames). An icon is provided to remove the special options and restore the default base skin.
CUSTOM SCULPTED MORPHS: The custom head morph of Rubi has been made thinking in versatility and beauty. She also has a nails morphs for fantasy ears, long nails, stilleto nails, and a custom morph that simulates the external Anatomical Elements. All these morphs only need Genesis 3 Female Base. The body uses Genesis 3 Female Body Morphs for maximum compatibility with all your clothing.
SKIN DETAIL: Rubi's skin has freckles in her face and all over her body, distributed in a natural way, and her makeups have been designed to not cover but emphasize the beauty of her skin. Her skin also includes features like pores, moles, and variations found in human skin that will give you the quality you need for the new generation of NVIDIA Iray renders. She includes materials both for Iray and for 3Delight. You can use Rubi with or without makeup, if you want to show her natural detailed skin, giving you the possibility to render her in all the moments of her virtual life and situations.
Now your Stephanie4 character can dance the night away too! Don't forget to invite Elite Reby Sky for a fire dance! Also included are new and improved clothing figures (both the skirt and the top), completely backward compatible with previously released INJ/REM morphs and textures.
From Texas Standard . In early January 2017, a fire allegedly started by Mark Vincent Perez burned a mosque in Victoria to the ground. Since then, the community has remained quiet about the motivations for this act of arson. As the case goes to trial, details are finally coming out, one witness at a time.
The formation of a fire whirl in a large-scale urban or wildland fire leads to a significant increase in the fire spread rate, and its strong whirlwind (whose maximum speed may reach 60-80 m/s) also causes a serious damage. It is therefore important from a...
Flame spread is the process by which a flame propagates over the surface of a solid fuel. Its practical interest is that is a primary mechanism for a fire to develop and grow. However, it is also of fundamental interest because the spread of a flame is a c...
(Omaha, NE) -- The Omaha Fire Department is the winner of ten-thousand dollars as part of a nation-wide fire safety contest. OFD was recently awarded third place by the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute for a fire safety video it made. The video is called Close Before You Doze and it educates viewers on closing their doors before going to sleep to increase the chances of survival if there's a fire. The fire department will put the money toward fire safety education.
The Post continues its expose of Avraham Adler, who allegedly hosted advertised sex parties at the tony townhouse he's renting on Seventh Street.
The tabloid claims that he "is leading a 'double or triple life' as an ultra-Orthodox Jew with a pregnant wife and three kids in suburban New Jersey."
“I want a divorce,” an angry Shana Adler told The Post Thursday outside the couple’s modest three-bedroom home in Clifton, New Jersey. “He is not supporting us whatsoever. He’s cut us off completely. My friends are paying our bills.”
For his part, Adler denied that he’s breaking his marriage vows or shunning his religion. "I’m going through a separation and possibly a divorce."
In a Manhattan Supreme Court filing, Wonwoo Chang, the owner of 189 E. Seventh St. between Avenue B and Avenue C, claimed that Adler, who signed a two-year lease here on April 1, has hosted "lewd" parties where "on premises sex took place."
Philadelphia is the birthplace of many pivotal American organizations, including the first volunteer fire company! Located in Olde City, the Fireman’s Hall Museum is one of the nation’s premiere fire museums focused on the preservation of Philadelphia fire history and promoting Fire Safety. Take a look inside and learn the do’s and don’ts of fire safety ahead of Philadelphia’s Fire Prevention Week.
You might remember the Oxtail Soup Shirley made with her mother on the show. Now, she’s coming to YOUR kitchen. This time on Family Favorites, learn how to make Mom Carbone’s Stuffed Calamari with Cindy Santos.
University City’s new mural, the Silent Watcher by artist Faith XLVII, stands 19 stories tall at 39th & Market. Mural Arts Executive Director, Jane Golden, joins us on set to discuss the new 19,000 square foot piece of art. The Site/Sound Festival is Mural Arts Philadelphia’s newest installation that includes audio-visual art. The three core installations take place in various locations.
The Women’s Business Center in Wilmington, DE is sponsoring The Pink Experience, a women-led, power-packed, one-day business symposium where female entrepreneurs can learn from local industry experts.
Lynette Medley of No More Secrets MBS is helping to end period poverty in and around Philadelphia. Her organization sponsors donation drives and delivers products to girls and women in need.
On today's podcast, we'll hear how residents from the north coast are keeping family members fed from a distance, we'll hear about a fire that burned an apartment building in Labrador West on Monday, we'll get an update from two managers of the art centres from Happy Valley Goose-Bay and Labrador City to see what's playing this month, we'll speak with Larry Fleming, a first time candidate who's running for the Member of Parliament for Labrador all that and more.
If you've ever been to one of our events, you know I kind of like signs. Our second annual Misfit Love Day is this Saturday and I finally figured out how to use the little hut we took from a dump site at one of Martyn's jobs. Someone made the little hut we think for a child-there is a cupboard inside, windows, remnants of wallpaper and a smoke stack for charm [I can assure you nobody built a fire in it].
Martyn saw the hut at his job site and laughed out loud to the crew that he better not show me a picture of it or I'd want it. He had planned to not tell me, but...well, he did, and when I saw it I of course knew it held all sorts of possibilities in it. And the thought that some little kid probably loved that little hut...well, now it would be brought back to purpose. When we went to pick it up at the job site, Martyn's boss was there with some crew and they all just chuckled when they saw him there showing me the hut. They helped us get it into the truck which was nice, and off we went. Then on the way home we stopped at the hardware store, and pulling out was another crew member who knew the whole story, and there we were like the Beverly Hillbillies with this hut on top of our truck-he was laughing.
So this little hut has a local history. I keep wondering if someone will show up Saturday and demand to take it back home. I'd be crushed. It is a small town, everyone seems to know everyone so who knows.
Anyway, it will greet people as they enter the pasture of free roaming Misfits, and it is a perfect bookstore. I opened the back door on it, and White Dog rushed in, it was so funny. He had no idea what to do once inside, as he fills it up, so he looks a bit..."Um, can you get me out of here, please?"
The weather appears to be holding well for Saturday. Either way, we will be here, as will our little Bookstore.
NCMS is assisting the U.S. Army in seeking an industry partner who can provide custom kitting as part of a fire suppression system evaluation. The U.S. Army’s Opposing Forces (OPFOR) Surrogate Family of Vehicles (OSV) are in constant use and run at high operational temperatures increasing the risk of fires. The Army is seeking various […]
David Ben-Gurion's stature as Israel's founding father would seem to be eminently secure, given his crucial, perhaps indispensable, role in salvaging the Jewish people from political oblivion and reinstating it in its ancestral homeland. Tom Segev's A State at Any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Gurion is an effort to tarnish his reputation and reinterpret Israel's founding period.
On May 14, 1948, Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel, becoming its first prime minister and defense minister, posts he held until 1963 (with a brief retirement from office in 1953-55). Segev casts Israel's founding father as the destroyer of Palestinian Arab society - deeply implicated in what Segev and his fellow revisionists see as the "original sin" of Israel's creation: the supposedly deliberate and aggressive dispossession of the native Arab population.
The truth is that, far from seeking to dispossess the Palestinian Arabs as claimed by Segev, the Zionist movement had always been amenable to the existence of a substantial Arab minority in the prospective Jewish state.
No less than Ze'ev Jabotinsky, founder of the faction that was the forebear of today's Likud Party, voiced his readiness (in a famous 1923 essay) "to take an oath binding ourselves and our descendants that we shall never do anything contrary to the principle of equal rights, and that we shall never try to eject anyone." And if this was the position of the more "militant" faction of the Jewish national movement, small wonder that mainstream Zionism took for granted the full equality of the Arab minority in the prospective Jewish state.
In December 1947, shortly after Palestinian Arabs had unleashed wholesale violence to subvert the newly passed UN partition resolution, Ben-Gurion told his Labor Party that "in our state there will be non-Jews as well" and all of them will be equal citizens; equal in everything without any exception; that is: the state will be their state as well."
The Haganah's operational plan - adopted in March 1948 to reverse then-current Palestinian Arab aggression and rebuff the anticipated invasion by the Arab states - was predicated, in the explicit instructions of the Haganah's commander in chief, on the "acknowledgment of the full rights, needs, and freedom of the Arabs in the Hebrew state without any discrimination, and a desire for coexistence on the basis of mutual freedom and dignity."
Arab anti-Zionism, Shmuel Trigano argues, has little to do with land, the fate of the Palestinians, or Palestinian self-determination—and everything to do with religion. Citing the historical status of non-Muslims in the Islamic Middle East, he points in particular to two concepts: that of the ummah, a nation of all Muslim believers that transcends ethnic and political boundaries, and that of the dhimmi, protected religious minorities who are allowed to live in Muslim society with legal disabilities:
The concept of the ummah inspired the Arabs to rebel against the [European] colonial powers: not so much for their colonial nature (the colonial yoke of the Ottomans was by and large tolerated), but for their Christianity. A decisive turning point was the rise of nationalism: while the ummah dissolved into nation-states, the pan-Arabism that emerged in its wake provided indirect continuity.
To this situation, . . . an additional factor came to the fore: the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine, under the British Mandate, as provided by the Balfour Declaration of 1917. The problem derived not from the emergence of a new political force in the midst of the Arab countries, but from its Jewish character: as sacrilegious to the Islamic conscience as the Christian colonial powers had been. . . . In these terms, Jewish sovereignty is understood as nothing short of a rebellion against Islam.
Thus, Trigano argues, the conflict between Israel and its neighbors can be understood in relation to the gradual and long-ongoing destruction of the Jewish communities of the Middle East and, more broadly, to the destruction of Christian and other non-Muslim communities. The latter began not recently, with the rise of Islamic State, but with the bloody anti-Armenian pogroms of the 1890s:
The Armenians . . . committed an act of rebellion against [their status as] dhimmi by fighting for national autonomy. . . . A violent response ensued: several massacres were carried out by the Ottomans in 1894-5. . . . Often overlooked is the jihadist nature of these massacres: not only in their motivation and their legitimation, but also in the nature of the acts themselves and the fact that the surviving women and children (some 150,000) were forcibly converted to Islam. The same pattern was to reappear in the second wave of massacres, this time instigated by the Young Turks [in 1915].
When I was growing up to be a "white" person meant to be a person of European descent. This is no longer the case.
To be "white," today, means to be a "bad" person, particularly if you tend to be of the manly persuasion.
In contemporary political parlance, "whiteness" is a signifier of racism, oppression, colonialism, imperialism, privilege, sexism, Islamophobia, transphobia, capitalism, and, most particularly, racism.
The irony is delicious.
"Progressives" -- throughout politics and the academe and, even, corporate America -- consider "white" to be a category of ethnic guilt. In the name of "social justice" they are condemning innocent young kids, particularly boys, of some sort of original sin.
They are, in fact, damaging your children and most of you are A-OK with it.
In this way, the "progressive" movement is deeply religious and increasingly medieval. The movement used to be about open-mindedness. Today it is about hysterical dogma. Mario Savio would not recognize it.
It used to be about social libertarianism and freedom of expression. Today it is about ideological conformity and a Puritanical patrolling of the borders of acceptable thought.
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced on Sunday that he had directed the Population and Immigration Authority to prepare a legal opinion to be used in the deportation of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions founder Omar Barghouti.
Barghouti holds Israeli permanent residency status, which he obtained after marrying an Arab Israeli woman, with whom he lives in the northern city of Acre.
“I intend to act quickly to deprive Omar Barghouti of residency status in Israel, Deri said in a statement announcing the move. “This is a man who does everything to harm the country and therefore must not enjoy the right to be a resident of Israel.”
The Interior Ministry said that the opportunity became available to push for Bargouti’s deportation after Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber notified his office that it had the authority to revoke the BDS founder’s residency status.
This was thanks to a 2018 amendment to Israeli residency laws that makes breach of trust a crime significant enough to allow the interior minister to strip an individual of his or her residency status. According to an interpretation of the law, boycotting Israel could constitute such an offense.
Israel has barred Barghouti from leaving the county a number of times in recent years by refusing to renew travel documents granted to Palestinian residents of Israel who do not have full citizenship.
Last Thursday there was a ‘Keep Talking’ event at St Anne’s Church Soho. It was an event organised and attended by some truly nasty antisemites. The event shows how the suggested differences between ‘far-right’ and ‘far-left’ are illusions. There is just a sewer of extremism – those who build conspiracy theories, and all too frequently pin the blame on the ‘Jews’.
We can begin with this image, which shows Miko Peled speaking at the Church. On his right (our left) – set apart from the audience- are Ian Fantom and Alison Chabloz.
Ian Fantom is a hard-core conspiracy theorist. He wore this t-shirt, suggesting both 9/11 and 7/7 were staged, to an event he organised in 2016:
In 2010, Ian Fantom co-founded a group called ‘Keep Talking’ that was set up because other ‘9-11 truth’ groups were ‘sabotaged from within’. Conspiracy theories about conspiracy groups. Fantom explains this himself in an article he wrote for ‘UNZ review’. The website UNZ is described as ‘extreme-right‘ and pushes Holocaust denial. The founder of Unz is known to have contributed funds to a ‘quasi white-nationalist’ group.
Fantom co-founded ‘Keep Talking’ with the Holocaust denier Nick Kollerstrom. It was interesting to read that the two of them agreed ‘Keep Talking’ would avoid discussion of Holocaust denial because they didn’t want to be ‘derailed’ by the ‘Zionist lobby’.
At the Peled event, Fantom is sitting next to Alison Chabloz. Chabloz is a convicted Holocaust denier. She was able to attend the event because she was recently released from jail pending an appeal. Chabloz is best known for teasing Jews over the Holocaust through the use of music, creating songs that turn the Holocaust into a fictional joke that she sets to classic Jewish tunes. Other far-right activists were also in attendance. The images suggest that James Thring was present. Thring is a confidante of David Duke and is a regular attendee of the ‘Keep Talking’ events.
St Anne’s Church in Soho has apologised for leasing a room to the controversial Keep Talking Group for a talk by Israeli-born anti-Zionist activist Miko Peled.
Peled spoke at the church last Thursday for an event titled “Miko Peled, Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.”
The anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate expressed concern about the event in a series of tweets on Saturday.
St Anne’s Church said on Sunday that it will donate the room hire fee to the Community Security Trust and will review its own booking procedure.
The church apologised “for the offence that has been caused to members of the Jewish Community” and said it opposes “any form of hatred: be it racism, homophobia or antisemitism.”
But Peled denied accusations of prejudice, saying in a statement: “The suggestion that the event in which I spoke in any way shape or form represents hate, racism, homophobia or antisemitism is outrageous and libelous.
Given that Billoo has almost 34 000 Twitter followers, she may not have seen the responses, and she may also not have seen a blog post that highlighted her updated blood libel. But it is also unlikely that she would have cared much if she had noticed the criticism. Like her good friend Linda Sarsour, Zahra Billoo despises anyone who dares to notice contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism propagated by the left. That includes the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), to which Billoo devoted a Facebook post and an almost identical Twitter thread last year in order to educate her followers about the ADL’s supposedly vicious record and odious history.
If you consider an organization that has been fighting anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry for more than a century as an unmitigated evil that must be denounced and shunned, you shouldn’t be surprised when lots of people doubt that you’re just out to criticize Israeli policies.
In this context it’s particularly depressing that Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib decided to issue a full-throated declaration of solidarity with Billoo. Tlaib linked to a thread in which Billoo attributed her ousting from the Women’s March board to “an Islamophobic smear campaign led by the usual antagonists,” which she identified as mainly “right-wingers, from the President’s son to the Anti-Defamation League and troll armies.” It seems fair to assume that Tlaib intended to endorse Billoo’s take when she wrote: “They won’t silence us for speaking out against human rights violations. They will lie, smear our names and call us anti this and that, but we always be pro- humanity & we have the truth on our side.”
Well, if you think it is “pro-humanity” to endorse the kind of blatant anti-Semitism Zahra Billoo propagates, you probably agree with all the Jew-haters who have thought for centuries that Jews are not quite human.
I can easily imagine that neither Rashida Tlaib nor Linda Sarsour nor Zahra Billoo would think I have any standing to define what’s “pro-Palestinian,” but if they insist that it’s “pro-Palestinian” to update age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes by substituting “Israel” or “Zionists” for “Jews”, their Palestinian cause can only attract vile bigots.
As the perilous scourge of visceral anti-Semitism continues unabated in New York City in the form of attacks on Orthodox Jews as well as their homes and synagogues, our elected officials have stubbornly remained mute on the issue of clearly identifying from whence these attacks are emanating.
This past week a synagogue in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn was vandalized on Rosh Hashanah and a hassidic woman was attacked as well. Video footage shows two minority youth throwing a milk crate and a metal mailbox at the synagogue. They were with at least three other young people of color outside the Throop Avenue synagogue. The impact broke a window.
It appears that the best that New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio could muster up in response to these attacks was to call them a "hate crime" on his Twitter account but he never offered a clear and decisive plan on how to deter these attacks.
Having said this, it is long overdue to squarely confront Mayor DeBlasio as well as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Letitia James and others who are committed to furthering the Democratic party agenda of transforming anti-Semitism into a politically "right wing" phenomenon that will only cease to exist when President Trump vacates office.
In response to this dangerous political chicanery of dismissing anti-Semitic attacks when they are committed by minority youth, I thought a letter to the Mayor and his cohorts would be in order.
He sold his soul to kiss the ring of the bloodsoaked antisemite Al Sharpton, a grotesque display of cynicism that will be a permanent stain on his character and record, all for 0%? For Wales? https://t.co/1OA3sDzowu
Several Jewish groups and UK Members of Parliament have slammed a decision by the University of Nottingham to host Labour MP Chris Williamson, who was suspended from the party in February for claiming it has been “too apologetic” about antisemitism.
Williamson was readmitted back into the party in June, but was suspended again two days later after a backlash from the Jewish community and Labour MPs. In August, he announced he was suing the Labour Party over its decision to re-implement his suspension.
Last week the University of Nottingham announced that Williamson would speak on Monday in a lecture series on “British Politics in Crisis” hosted by the School of Politics and International Relations.
The Union of Jewish Students together with the Nottingham Jewish Society called the decision “unacceptable,” adding that they were “surprised wholly.”
“Williamson has been suspended by the Labour Party over antisemitism and has a consistent history of Jew-baiting and defending antisemitism,” read the statement. “Williamson has been invited to Nottingham to add a perspective of an individual who is an ally of Jeremy Corbyn, yet there are plenty of individuals the university could have invited who are not suspended for antisemitism.”
Emily Austen, a reporter who was fired by Fox Sports in Florida for derogatory comments about Jews and minorities, has been hired by the evangelical Christian Liberty University.
Fox dismissed Austen in 2016 as a sideline reporter for the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team and the Orlando Magic basketball team after she recorded an interview with Barstool Sports in which she said she “didn’t even know that Mexicans were that smart,” and that the “Chinese guy is always the smartest guy in math class,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.
In the interview, she also talked about “Jews in Boca,” including one who was “stingy,” and said Jews “would complain and b**** about everything.”
Liberty, the Virginia school run by Jerry Falwell Jr. that was founded by his televangelist father, announced on Wednesday that it was hiring Austen to appear on “Game On,” a sports TV show it produces.
“This is much more than a second chance at my ‘dream career,'” Austen said in a statement posted on Facebook by “Game On.” “I am here to honor God, share the Gospel through athletics, and promote Liberty student-athletes, coaches and staff and their walks with Christ. I once was lost but now I am found.”
Did you know that there is a metro in Bethlehem, West Bank? Well there isn’t but it doesn’t stop this Palestinian student from preaching lies on college campuses just to spread hatred towards Israel.#Stoptheliespic.twitter.com/8hvteUynYy
“Don’t play apartheid.” In downtown Portland, activists with the Democratic Socialists of America handed out flyers calling the public to oppose racism by boycotting the upcoming @trailblazers vs. @MaccabiHaifaBC game. Maccabi Haifa is an Israeli basketball team. pic.twitter.com/ifCFl5IMEG
Following backlash, singer Demi Lovato has profusely apologized for her recent concert in and praise of Israel, insisting she had no idea that the people who treated her so well on the trip were in fact Jews.
Lovato spent her time in the country, which she billed as a spiritual journey, visiting the Western Wall and Israel’s Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, after being baptized in the Jordan River. But soon after she returned, Twitter user @FreePalestine42069 called her out for legitimizing the presence of Jews in the country.
“Debbie (sic) Lovato is an apartheid-loving Zionist!” the user said in a post that earned seven retweets, including three from Democratic presidential candidates. “She is a war crime (sic) and must be brought to the Haig (sic) right now!”
Lovato immediately apologized, claiming she did not know that Israel was full of Jews and that her visit would spark such a negative reaction.
Sam Kiley, a senior international correspondent based in CNN Abu Dhabi’s bureau, has rewritten the history of Israel’s 1948 War of Independence and the 1967 Six-Day War. In his Oct. 3 analysis (“Any war between the US and Iran would be a catastrophe. And no one could win it“), Kiley absurdly asserts that those fateful wars were “to expand territory”: Close to 200,000 descendants of Palestinians who fled their country in successive Israeli wars to expand territory in 1948 and 1967, now live in Lebanon. A similar number are in Jordan.
The 1948 and 1967 wars were fought to fend off Arab campaigns to annihilate the Jewish state, not “to expand territory.” As CNN has in the past reported, in May 1948: “Forces from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon invade, leading to the first in a series of Arab-Israeli wars.”
In 1967, Israel attacked Egypt preemptively to once again thwart a campaign to eliminate the Jewish state. Before Israel’s preemptive attack, Egypt expelled United Nations troops from the Sinai peninsula and blockaded Israel’s port of Eilat, under international law a casus belli. These belligerent Arab actions were accompanied by explicit calls from Arab leaders to destroy Israel. For instance, as President Nasser declared: “Our aim is the full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people. In other words, we aim at the destruction of the State of Israel. The immediate aim: perfection of Arab military might. The national aim: the eradication of Israel” (Nov. 18, 1965).
The Washington Post, for example, gives inordinate column space to the tiny fraction of Jews, American and otherwise, who are against the right of Jewish self-determination. In a Sept. 20, 2019 tweet, Mairav Zonszein of +972 magazine cheered that her publication was “all up in The Washington Post opinion pages today,” with two pieces from the same organization appearing on the same day. Zonszein proudly noted that editors of “mainstream outlets” were no longer editing out or tweaking her use of the term “apartheid.”
As NGO Monitor has documented, “972’s articles promote a marginal agenda from the fringes of Israeli discourse, thus presenting a distorted sense of the debate in Israel.” The blog-based magazine “promotes the Durban strategy to demonize and delegitimize Israel” and its writers and contributors have accused the Jewish state of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “racism.” Indeed, the magazine’s content is completely self-discrediting and its donors are largely foreign and anti-Israel.
A previous editor-in-chief, Noam Sheila, referred to his critics as “the Jewish KKK” and in May 2012, +972 published a cartoon that depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raping US President Barack Obama and eating his limbs. In May 2019, they published an article titled, “By going vegan, Israelis can avoid talking about human rights.”
Elsewhere, the Post has published opinion pieces by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), described by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as “a radical anti-Israel activist group that advocates for a complete economic, cultural, and academic boycott of the State of Israel.” JVP, ADL’s report on the group notes, has celebrated Palestinian terrorists like Rasmea Odeh and Marwan Barghouti.
First, the fact that there were, as Shamash writes, no antisemitic incidents reported during the 2018 high holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) may have something to do with the fact that the UK deployed counter-terror police to protect synagogues on those days. (Indeed, all throughout the year, every Jewish institution in the UK is protected by some kind of security presence.)
Moreover, according to CST, 2018 saw the highest levels of antisemitism ever recorded in a single calendar year.
Finally, the writer’s final claim that, compared to the experiences of Muslims in the UK, “levels of antisemitism are almost negligible” is not supported the data.
CST (a charity that fights antisemitism) recorded1652 antisemitic incidents in 2018.
In that same year, Tell Mama (a charity that fights anti-Muslim bigotry) recorded 1072 anti-Muslim incidents.
Now, let’s look at hate crime data (which is distinct from the data recorded by CST and Tell Mama) reported by the Home Office. It does show more hate crimes in 2017-18 against Muslims than Jews in total numbers . But, given Jews’ significantly smaller population (Jews represent .05% of the population), the RATE of hate crimes against Jews was significantly higher than those against Muslims (who represent nearly 5% of the population).
In late February of this year the Palestinian Authority announced that it would refuse to accept tax revenues collected on its behalf by Israel due to deduction of the amount paid to terrorists and their families.
BBC audiences heard nothing about that financial own goal (or the subsequent salary cuts endured by PA employees) until June, when they were informed that the PA “could be bankrupt by July or August”. The BBC’s explanation of that claim included the topic of tax revenue transfers from Israel:
“The financial crisis was exacerbated this February by a dispute with Israel over the transfer of tax and tariff revenues it collects on the PA’s behalf.
Israel announced it would freeze the transfer of about $139m (£109m) – an amount it said was equal to that paid by the PA in 2018 to families of Palestinians jailed by Israel or killed while carrying out attacks.
Israeli officials say the payments incentivise terrorism. But the PA insists they are welfare payments for relatives of prisoners and “martyrs”.
The PA responded to the freeze by refusing to accept any further Israeli revenue transfers, which account for about half its budget.”
Up to its old tricks, the McGill Daily continues to malign Israel on its pages. This is not surprising from a publication which recently peddled in antisemitism by claiming that Zionism is racism and for having an editorial policy of banning Zionist opinions.
On the September 30 edition, the Daily featured a polemic by its Science and Technology editor, Willa Holt, about “Israel’s September Knesset Election”.
How did the Daily depict Israel? With a Palestinian flag, a freudian slip perhaps!
Instead of providing a neutral analysis of Israeli democracy in action, here’s how Ms. Holt described Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu: Netanyahu ran his campaign on violent colonial promises and racist, hypernationalist anti-Arab statements, including a promise to annex the Jordan Valley”
Holt later claimed that: “Both parties (Blue & White and Likud) in question are advancing further violence on Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, which is already under a de facto annexation, which stands in violation of international law.”
If this isn’t opinion disguised as news, then what is? On what basis can these Israeli political parties be said to have advocated for “advancing further violence on Palestinians…”? As well, it goes without saying that Israel disputes claims that its presence in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) is in violation of international law. Israel claims it has legal standing to presently administer these areas and it asserts ancestral and religious rights too.
Holt concludes by observing the following: “For Palestinians already living under a violent occupation, the election has no positive outcomes. The international community’s inaction in the face of illegal occupation is itself a violation of human rights.”
The accused gunman in the deadly shooting at a San Diego-area synagogue pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and attempted murder.
In addition to entering pleas on Thursday in a San Diego court for firing an assault rifle inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue, John Earnest, 20, also pleaded not guilty to arson charges for a fire a month earlier at a nearby mosque, the ABC affiliate in San Diego, 10 News reported.
One woman, Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, was killed and three people were wounded, including an 8-year-old girl and the synagogue’s rabbi, who lost a finger, in the April 27 shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue.
The murder charge has been classified as a hate crime, making Earnest eligible for the death penalty, though prosecutors from the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office have not said whether they will seek that punishment.
Earnest is being held without bail. He is due back in court on December 5, when a trial date will be set.
Earnest also faces more than 100 hate crime-related counts filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and could also face the death penalty in the federal case, the Times of San Diego reported.
Earnest told a 911 operator in the moments after the attack that he did it to save white people from Jews.
U.K. Cleric Abu Usamah At-Thahabi: I Support Chopping Off Hands of Thieves, But Only in the Muslims World, Not Here pic.twitter.com/2qQ8AWhV18
Hannah Senesh, the Jewish woman who died fighting Nazis as a British paratrooper, may seem an unlikely motivation for Japanese-born artist Julie Robertson.
But the 35-year-old Christian artist, who just spent four days painting a 30-by-40-foot mural of the late Jewish poet, learned about Senesh earlier this year and was struck by her bravery. A national hero in Israel, Senesh parachuted into Europe to help anti-Nazi forces in 1943. She was captured and killed at the age of 23, but despite being tortured refused to reveal any details of her mission.
“To be able to hear the story of such a young girl that had such conviction to do something so dangerous, and then she never gave up information when she was captured, that’s my hero,” she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Wednesday in between finishing work on the mural. “So I really wanted to paint her.”
Robertson, who goes by the name JUURI professionally, painted the mural in the East Village neighborhood of San Diego. She learned about Senesh earlier this year while on a trip to Israel organized by Philos Project, a Christian pro-Israel group. She had been to Israel two other times as part of delegations organized by Artists 4 Israel, a group that brings creatives to the Jewish state.
The Oklahoma City-based artist says she had always wanted to go to the Jewish state because “it’s the starting place of my faith.”
“I’ve always heard about Israel my entire life, but you can’t really know what it is until you go there,” she said.
Shared values and a common history, not soldiers and weapons, guarantee a nation’s security, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said Sunday.
Addressing a rally of pro-Israel Evangelicals, Friedman hailed the recently inaugurated Pilgrimage Road, a new archaeological site in Jerusalem’s City of David, which lies underneath the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, as a “once in a century discovery” that proved beyond any doubt the existence of the Jewish Temple in the city.
“Jerusalem does not only move us spiritually. It literally keeps us safe,” said Friedman. “Let me be clear about an important point: no quantity of bombs or fighter jets or troops really guarantees anyone’s security. What makes a people safe, what makes us all safe, is when we stand for something, when we collectively share values, beliefs, goals and a common history. That’s what Israel’s enemies try to deny it when they object so angrily to the Pilgrimage Road. Because if Israel, God forbids, loses its history, it stands for nothing, and it is no longer safe.”
On June 30, Friedman and other US officials used a sledgehammer to hammer through what they later said was a newly erected cardboard wall in front of the Pilgrimage Road, a now-subterranean stairway that was said to have served as a main artery for Jews to the Temple Mount thousands of years ago.
A small clay bulla, or seal, that was used to sign official letters in the days of the kingdom of Judea waited nearly 2,600 years amid the rubble at the foundations of the Western Wall to be discovered by Israeli archaeologists. For eight years, the rubble has been cleared away, one bucket after another, and taken directly to the site of the Ancient Jerusalem Sifting Project, which is run under the auspices of Ir David Foundation.
Comparatively large finds, such as a chisel used to carve the stones of the Western Wall, turn up immediately. Small discoveries usually come to light only after some time has passed. The dirt that contained the royal seal had been waiting six years to be sifted. A few weeks ago, project volunteer Batya Ofan, dumped it onto a large sieve, washed it down, and uncovered a royal seal from the seventh century BCE bearing the name "Adoniyahu asher al habayit" (translation: Adoniyahu, who is over [oversees] the house) in early Hebrew script.
The Bible uses the epithet "asher al habayit" for only eight people. It was a title reserved for the most senior administrator of a kingdom – in this case, the kingdom of Judea. However, the name Adoniyahu does not appear among those eight. Three different biblical figures – King David's son, a Levite from the days of Jehoshaphat, and a tribal leader from the time of the Prophet Nehemiah - bear the name, but none of them lived in the seventh century BCE. The seal, therefore, introduced archaeologists to a fourth Adoniyahu, who was hitherto unknown.
Archaeologist Dr. Eli Shukron, who once directed the project to excavate the foundations of the Western Wall and oversaw many of the discoveries made there, suggests a possible connection between the seal that belonged to the fourth Adoniyahu "asher al habayit" and another inscription from the same century that was discovered in a burial cave dating back to the First Temple era 150 years ago.
On Yom Kippur in 1967, thousands arrived at the Western Wall for the concluding prayers and to hear the long awaited sound of the shofar.
Prior to the advance of Israeli paratroopers into the Old City of Jerusalem in June 1967, the Western Wall area had been occupied by Jordan and off-limits to Jews.
The 20th century was a transitional time for the land of Israel, and the Western Wall had been under many rulers, from the Ottoman Turks, to British Mandatory rule, to the Jordanians.
Yom Kippur of 1929 followed the devastating pogroms in the land of Israel. Death and destruction was incited largely by the vehement anti-Zionist Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin Al-Husseini. In the aftermath, British authorities allowed the Mechitza (dividing screen between men and women) at the Western Wall, which was prohibited the prior year. Still, the sounding of the shofar was prohibited, due to pressure from the Mufti and his cohorts. That decree remained in effect throughout the years of the British Mandate.
The independent State of Israel was declared on May 14, 1948 and preserved only through desperate defense in bloody conflict. But despite valiant efforts to hold onto it, the Old City fell to Jordanian forces. The Western Wall was then declared off limits to Israelis and Jews.
For the next 19 years, the Western Wall remained that way. When Yom Kippur arrived, the wall stood in solitude, devoid of its faithful. Jews could only gaze from afar — from the Israeli side of the armistice line.
The Defense Ministry has published new archival material describing the drama of the critical hours prior to the outbreak of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
“There is going to be a war tonight,” said IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. David “Dado” Elazar at 4:30 a.m. on October 6, 1973, the day the war broke out, to commander of the IAF Maj.-Gen. Benny Peled and the head of Military Intelligence, Maj.-Gen. Eli Zeira. “There are military signs, moves and reports that should be taken seriously.”
An hour later, Elazar warned Zeira that the military should go on high alert and mobilize thousands of reservists.
At 7:15 that morning, in another meeting with commanders, Elazar concluded: “If no preventative strike will be approved by noon, we will be on immediate alert,” since it was estimated that the war would break out at 6 p.m. Elazar also addressed the issue of evacuating civilians from the Golan Heights to the center of the country.
“I am aware of the political limits of this, but when we are confident that a war is going to break out, it is important that we win as fast as possible,” he said.
The Yom Kippur War came almost as a complete surprise to Israel. A warning notice was given too late for an orderly call-up of the reserves, before the Syrian and Egyptian armies launched a joint surprise attack on IDF positions in the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula.
In the early hours of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, as Israel struggled to beat back invading Egyptian and Syrian forces, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan told his staff to begin looking into drafting teens and elderly ex-reserves soldiers into the fight, fearing the Jewish state may not have the manpower it needed for the battle.
The comments are part of a series of transcripts and reports declassified by the Defense Ministry on Monday, showing the fears, deliberations and painful internal conversations by the Israel Defense Forces’ top brass and senior political leadership during a conflict that even at the time was considered poorly prepared for and managed.
The ministry’s archive released the transcripts from IDF General Staff meetings for the first five days of the war, as well as the final intelligence report given to IDF chief of staff David “Dado” Elazar and defense minister Moshe Dayan on October 5, 1973, one day before the war broke out.
The following day, the Egyptians and Syrians launched their attacks, catching the IDF off-guard. The war was hard-fought and grueling with significant setbacks in the early days, leading to candid expressions of concern by the country’s leaders over Israel’s ability to win it.
“What do I fear in my heart more than anything? That the State of Israel will in the end be left without enough weapons to defend itself… There won’t be enough tanks, there won’t be planes, there won’t be people, there won’t be people trained to protect the land of Israel,” Dayan told the IDF General Staff according to the newly released transcripts.
The then-defense minister told the army to consider conscripting people too old to perform reserve duty or too young to have yet been drafted.
A letter of condolence to bereaved Israeli families written by then-prime minister Golda Meir on the eve of the Yom Kippur War recently was discovered.
In the years following the establishment of the Jewish state, it was customary for the prime minister to have contact with the families of killed soldiers, including sending letters for holidays and official occasions. Meir was scrupulous about the custom and frequently corresponded with bereaved families both privately and officially.
On the eve of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Meir sent a letter, dated October 5, to bereaved families in which she wrote: “Your pain is the pain of the entire nation… Our main concern is achieving peace for Israel. The memory of our loved ones motivates us to do anything in our power so that there be no more casualties, and we know no more bereavement.”
A day later saw the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, which claimed the lives of 2,500 Israeli soldiers.
Meir resigned in April 1974, amid public criticism and a loss of confidence in the government.
The letter will be offered for sale at the Kedem auction house in Jerusalem in December.
Six years ago we documented the BBC’s correction of inaccurate Israeli casualty figures during the 1973 Yom Kippur War:
BBC Yom Kippur war accuracy failure perpetuated over years
However as was noted at the time, at least two other items of BBC content include the same error, stating that the number of Israeli casualties in that war was “about 6,000”.
That claim is found for example in a backgrounder titled ‘A History of Conflict’ which is undated, but appears to come from around 2005.
It also appears in another side-box of ‘context’ appended to an ‘On This Day’ feature – likewise undated, but apparently from around 2005 at the latest.
Forty-Six Years Since Israel's Yom Kippur War
Retired IDF General Yom-Tov Tamir was stationed on the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippur War. Tamir joins us the in studio to speak of the attack on its 46th anniversary. More: On October 6, 1973, a combined attack by the armies and air forces of Egypt and Syria, breached Israeli defenses and launched a nearly three week war that cost the lives of some 3,000 Israelis and maimed and scarred thousands of others. The surprise pincer attack on Israel's holiest day reshaped the country's history, shaking the confidence of the region's most formidable power.
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BUT ISRAEL has some issues on the horizon that, if they would come together at the wrong time, would be a perfect storm. Among these is the increasing hostility of Turkey. Ankara has become more nationalist and religious-nationalist, a toxic mix. It is flexing its muscles, taking over swaths of northern Syria and seeking to keep on track to totally remove the Americans from the region. That would be a setback for the US – and setbacks for the US also impact Israel. Turkey is buying the S-400, not in itself a problem for Israel. Ostensibly, both Ankara and Jerusalem have an interesting relationship with Moscow today, borne of Russia’s increased role in the region, particularly in Syria.
Russia’s role in Turkey is strategic and also related to energy and Syria. This can impact Israel in a complex way. Turkey’s current government is seeking to take up the mantle of being the main opposition to Israel in the region. It bashes Israel over Jerusalem, and its media run hyperbolic stories about Israeli abuses. Turkey is close to the Muslim Brotherhood today and wants to see Hamas have a more prominent role in Ramallah. Yet Israel can deal with Turkey’s anger. The question is whether it can deal with the emerging Turkey-Iran relationship.
Iran has been a challenge for Israel due to a variety of reasons, but lately it is capitalizing on the weakness of its adversaries. That means it is increasingly playing a role in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. That means it is transferring precision missile technology to Hezbollah.
Iran’s IRGC says that it can destroy Israel. It launched an attack on Saudi Arabia on September 14 that has ramifications for Israel. That Riyadh did not respond shows that Israel’s supposed common interests with the Gulf are more problematic than in reality. Saudi Arabia won’t confront Iran. So who will confront Iran? The US? No. The US has signaled it will not. And the next US administration may be more pro-Iran than this one. That could give Tehran what it wants in Syria, which means a kind of “land bridge” that ends near the Golan and threatens Israel.
What Israel faces today is potentially two strong adversaries in Turkey and Iran, although they are quite different in how they confront Israel. Turkey uses soft power; Iran uses hard power. But Israel, appearing strong, now faces these challenges in some ways alone. It is not like the 1950s, when Israel was truly alone. Israel has made major inroads in India, China and elsewhere. But the immediate challenges are still there. It is dangerous to be too confident and arrogant today, and it is essential that Jerusalem seek to analyze and deal with these challenges in the long-term because short term planning won’t work. Iran thinks in the long term – and its role in the region is a long-term role.
Against that backdrop, the 22nd Knesset was sworn in on Thursday in Jerusalem. Many are wondering if, like the 21st Knesset, it will also last for less than two months and perhaps become the shortest-lived legislature in Israel’s history.
As the Post’s Lahav Harkov pointed out on Wednesday, there are only eight new members of this Knesset, as well as another nine who are returning from past stints as legislators, which means that 103 members of the 22nd Knesset will be sworn in for the second time this year.
A proud institution, the Knesset is in danger of becoming a laughing stock. But it’s no joke. Israel needs a stable government and a stable Knesset. Every attempt must be made to prevent the newly sworn-in Knesset from becoming the shortest Knesset in Israeli history.
All parties should take the responsibility upon themselves as if they alone are charged with insuring that a third election is not called for. The country has survived some nine months of paralysis, but it’s only a matter of time before the string starts to unravel out of control and the situation begins to do irreparable damage to Israel and its population.
At Thursday’s ceremony, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein led the MKs with “I pledge allegiance to the State of Israel and to faithfully fulfill my mission in the Knesset.” And the newly sworn-in lawmakers responded: “I pledge.”
Let’s hope they take that allegiance and mission seriously and prevent a third election.
European Union Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Susanna Terstal, writing in the Jerusalem Post on Sep. 21, evidently believes that incessant repetition of the phrase "two-state solution" adds some element of legitimacy and feasibility to the idea. But the two-state solution has never been agreed-upon between Israel and the Palestinians, and does not figure in any of the agreements between them. It is nothing more than an expression of wishful thinking within the UN and the EU.
To the contrary, the Oslo Accords, to which the EU itself is a signatory, clearly leaves the issue of the permanent status of the territories to be decided in negotiations. Thus, whether the outcome will be one, two or three states, or a federation or confederation, remains on the negotiating table. By incessantly plying a two-state solution, the EU is in fact prejudging an agreed negotiating issue.
Suggestions by Israeli leaders to "apply sovereignty" led EU representatives to complain that unilateral modification of the Oslo Accords "undermines the entire agreement" and "dismantles Oslo." One wonders why the EU did not view the recent declarations by the Palestinian leadership canceling the territorial division between areas A, B and C in a similar light. Did this not undermine the accords?
The EU representative also expressed support for a "Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines." Yet the issue of borders is an agreed-upon permanent-status negotiating issue, and her presumption of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines clearly contradicts and prejudges both the Oslo Accords and UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967.
The EU cannot in good faith claim that it does not take sides in the conflict. The EU has not only taken sides, but clearly demonstrates a distinct political bias against Israel in virtually all its positions, policies, statements and dealings regarding the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation process.
The National Museum of Iran opened on Wednesday an exhibition of around 300 cuneiform clay tablets returned from the United States after a drawn-out legal saga.
The tablets were found at the ruins of Persepolis, capital of the Persian Achaemenid Empire (6th – 4th c. BC) in the south of Iran. Cyrus the Great, who ruled during the Achaemenid Empire, is said to have liberated the Jews from Babylonian captivity in 539 BCE, allowing them to return home and build the Second Temple.
The works on display belonged to a group of 1,783 clay tablets or tablet fragments returned to Iran by the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.
In the 1930s, the university had received on loan around 30,000 tablets or tablet fragments found at Persepolis for research purposes, Iranian media reported.
A large portion of the tablets were returned in three batches between 1948 and 2004 before their restitution was blocked by legal action initiated by American survivors of an attack in Israel in 1997 carried out by the Palestinian Hamas terror group.
Blaming Tehran for supporting the armed group, the plaintiffs demanded the seizure of the tablets and their sale put toward the $71.5 million that Iran was ordered to pay in the case.
The proceedings only ended in February 2018 when a US Supreme Court decision banned the seizure of the works.
In March 2018, Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, 58, updated then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo on what the Mossad had found inside Iran's secret nuclear archives that it had stolen from the heart of Tehran in January 2018. Sources close to Cohen told the Jerusalem Post that the information the Mossad seized is "still being used right now" to glean high-quality and valuable intelligence. A map of nuclear sites captured in the operation has yet to be made public. These revelations "even go beyond Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's revelation of the Abadeh nuclear site" earlier this month. Cohen says Pompeo praised the Mossad for redefining "daring and boldness."
Dozens of agents were involved in surveillance missions and the heist itself. Neutralizing any electronic surveillance that could expose them, they spent six hours and 29 minutes nabbing Iran's secret nuclear files, which were kept in 32 safes. They used special torches to slice into these safes. They loaded the vast files onto trucks and used Iranian smugglers to get across the border.
Cohen's view is that relations with Sunni countries in the Gulf are "not as much about personal trust, but about overlapping national interests" - especially when it comes to Iran. For example, while Cohen would be against sharing sensitive Israeli technologies with the Saudis to combat the drone threat from Iran, he would seek to help states in the Gulf combat Iran together in other ways.
Regarding the Palestinians, sources close to Cohen indicate that he does not believe anything will move on the peace process until PA President Mahmoud Abbas leaves office.
There is no chance of a “peace party” returning to Jerusalem unless Israelis see that Palestinians have unequivocally denounced the past, that the celebrations of those who’ve died killing Israelis are rejected. That is impossible to envision in the near-term: neither Fatah, nor Hamas, nor the Israelis, nor Washington want the Palestinian people voting. All fear the worst—the wrong side winning. Perhaps most perversely, the Israelis are invested in a security status quo with Fatah that likely negates the chance of any Palestinian change, and surely makes Hamas more popular on the West Bank than its tyranny in Gaza has earned. But it’s possible that if there were a free vote among Palestinians the hostility towards Israelis—the fundamental rejection of the legitimacy of a Jewish state—could be the common denominator among Palestinians who otherwise loathe Fatah’s and Hamas’ dictatorships. Palestinians again voting could lead to intense violence, among Palestinians and against Israelis. Nonetheless, Palestinian popular sovereignty is likely the only way out of this cul-de-sac. We have two peoples wanting the same land with national and especially religious narratives that negate the other’s. For even non-practicing Muslims, Moses is a great prophet, trying to lead his people toward the one, true calling—Islam. A Jewish homeland wasn’t in Allah’s message. Yet the unrelenting secularism of Westerners reduces the most compelling stories we have to differences about water rights, East Jerusalem, and security checkpoints.
The basic character of a people and faith can change, but that usually happens after a truly devastating military defeat or a long evolution. The Palestinians haven’t actually seen a society-crushing catastrophe; they have endured foreign, non-Muslim overlords, with all of the indignities, and incompetent, avaricious, ambitious, insouciant, deluded and sometimes brutal native rulers (they, however, get a middling score in hideousness in the modern Middle East).
Since 2002, the Israelis appear to have a consensus: Palestinians cannot be trusted. On the other side, Palestinians seem more conflicted about the Jews, more divided religiously and culturally, more prone to internecine violence today than they were when the Israelis directly ruled all of the West Bank and Gaza.
The continuing decline of America in the Middle East will unavoidably remove certain delusions about what might be possible between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The torpor of the peace process under Obama and Trump is likely the new American standard. If they haven’t already, Palestinians will give up on the idea of Washington’s intercession, of American democracy coercing Israeli democracy into making concessions to unelected Palestinian officials. For the Palestinian people that will, at least, change the rhetoric and excuses of the ruling elite.
America’s retreat may tempt the Israelis to act more hubristically towards the Palestinians, to take land in the West Bank that has no plausible security value. But the most effective check on ugly Israeli actions has always been the internal debate, the tension between the executive, legislative, and judicial authorities in Israel’s messy democracy.
For decades out, it’s hard to see anything better than an unpleasant modus vivendi between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Given that it is the Middle East, however, that isn’t an awful state. Americans always want to believe that honesty is the best policy, that without honesty solutions aren’t possible. We are certainly tardy in applying that principle to the Israeli–Palestinian clash.
UAV Warfare Another hint of the effectiveness of Patriot defense are Houthi/Iranian alliance efforts both to suppress it and evade it. To elucidate this point, we need to refer to another aspect of the Houthi/Iranian war machine in Yemen: UAV warfare. UAVs are one of the main pillars of Iranian military doctrine. Together with other weapon shipments, Iran has been providing the Houthis with numerous types of UAVs, both of the larger types used for armed reconnaissance such as the Shahad 129 (roughly equivalent to Israel’s Hermes 450) and smaller “suicide” UAVs (such as the Ababil, used by Hezbollah in 2006 for attacks deep within Israel, which for the sake of Iranian deniability has been renamed Kasef 2). The Houthi arsenal is augmented by the acquisition of mail order UAVs such as the Chinese “Skywalker” available online from Ali Baba. More remarkable, the Iranians have provided the Houthis with knowhow, production machinery and expertise to set up a UAV industry of their own in their stronghold of Sad’ha in northern Yemen. The Houthi UAV industry is now producing unique designs of long-range machines, some equipped with jet engines, obviously designed in Iran. Beyond the classic UAV roles of reconnaissance and light bombardment, the Houthi/Iranian alliance is using them for direct “suicide” attacks on Patriot batteries. Three incidents of direct attacks on Patriot batteries have been claimed: Two attacks were within Yemen, probably targeting UAE batteries in Mocha and Marib, and one attack on a Patriot battery defending the Saudi border city of Najran, with unknown results.
Even more significantly, the Houthi/Iranian alliance exploits the Patriot’s system limitations in engaging low and slow threats in order to penetrate beneath the Saudi air/missile defense shield. In fact, UAVs are now being used by the Houthi’s as ersatz land attack cruise missiles. With immunity against air and missile defense, and with much better accuracy than ordinary ballistic missiles, UAVs now seem to be the preferred weapons for imaginative and audacious strikes deep within Saudi territory. For example, the civilian airport of the Saudi town of Abha, about 120 km. from the Yemeni border, was attacked by Houthi suicide UAVs no less than three times during the month of June 2019, wounding 28 passengers and airport workers. In August 2019, the Houthis managed to strike the Shaybah oilfield deep within Saudi Arabia, almost 1200 Km from the Houthi stronghold in Sad’ha. The attack was carried out by no less than 10 UAVs and sparked a fire in gas storage tanks. Such a complex attack needs precise coordination and excellent navigation, which demonstrates the proficiency achieved by Iran’s UAV operators. While those strikes did not cause excessive damage – perhaps intentionally so – they were propaganda coups for the Houthis, providing them with solid achievements in the cognitive battlefield.
The fourth lesson for Israel is the growing military role of UAVs both for missile defense suppression and for evasion. UAVs were first used by Hezbollah for reconnaissance over Israel even prior to the 2006 Lebanon war. At the closing stage of that war, four suicide UAVs were launched by Hezbollah against Israeli targets (One suffered a failure and fell near the border, two were intercepted by Israeli jet fighters, and the fourth vanished). In the 2014 Gaza war Hamas tried to attack Tel Aviv with its own UAVs (Two, perhaps three UAVs were shot down by Patriot air defense batteries). This experience is not indicative of the future. The Yemen war demonstrates how UAVs will be employed in future wars in significant numbers to erode Israel’s missile defense capabilities by attacking the Iron Dome, David Sling and Arrow batteries. Hostile UAVs, in conjunction with precision rockets, may well be tasked to damage Israel’s critical infrastructures such as desalination plants. Consequently, Israel needs to integrate air defense capabilities into its missile defense systems, and to provide its critical infrastructures with their own point defenses.
The current civil wars in the Middle East – especially in Syria and in Yemen – resemble the Spanish civil war of the 1930s inasmuch as they are exploited by outside powers to test new doctrines, weapons and tactics in realistic battle conditions. What the Axis powers (and to a lesser extent the USSR) did in Spain during the 1930s is being done today by Iran in Yemen.
It would be advisable for Israel’s Ministry of Defense and the IDF to closely study the civil war in Yemen, particularly its rocket and drone warfare aspects. The weapons and tactics in use in Yemen today will be employed against Israel tomorrow.
Israel wants to “share the land and find a way to live together” with the Palestinians, President Reuven Rivlin told Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, one of the highest-ranking Vatican diplomats, when they met at the President’s Residence on Thursday night.
Sandri, who is the Prefect of the Congregations for the Oriental Catholic Churches, came with a delegation that included several Franciscan priests, as well as the Papal Nuncio and the Custos of the Holy Land.
He is in the region to mark the 800th anniversary of the Pilgrimage of Peace to the Middle East by St. Francis of Assisi and his dialogue with the Sultan of Egypt.
Rivlin, who has met with Pope Francis and is aware of the efforts being made by the Vatican to bring about a cessation of hostilities in the Middle East in general and between Israel and the Palestinians in particular, told Sandri that he knows how hard the Vatican is working to find a solution to this century-old tragedy.
Knowing that Sandri is also going to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Rivlin asked him to convey his regards, and noted that Abbas had sent New Year greetings to the people of Israel.
Emphasizing the need to build understanding between Israelis and Palestinians, Rivlin was of the opinion that a valuable asset in this regard was the restoration of the baptismal site at Qasr el-Yahud on the Jordan River near Jericho, where Jesus first met John the Baptist.
The restoration project was approved by Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian leadership, said Rivlin, who was personally involved in the process.
Although the details of the “Deal” are as yet obscure, it would appear the Jordan is slated to play a major role in it—grudgingly or otherwise. Accordingly, the feasibility of the “Deal”—indeed its acceptability—will be dramatically impacted by the nature of the regime east of the Jordan River and its prospective stability (or lack thereof).
After all, although some may hope otherwise, there seems little prospect that any successor regime in Amman will be more favorably disposed toward Israel than the current one.
This takes us back to the crucial strategic importance for Israel of the highlands of Judea-Samaria and the Jordan Valley. As I have been at pains to point out on numerous occasions, not only are these highlands the only topographical barrier between Jordan and the heavily populated coast plain, but any forces—regular or renegade—deployed on them will have complete topographical command and control of virtually all Israel’s airfields (military and civilian, including Ben Gurion, the only international airport), its major ports and naval bases, is principal traffic axes (rail and road), vital infrastructure installations/systems (electrical power, desalination plants and water conveyance), centers of civilian government and military command and 80% of the civilian population and commercial activity.
All of these will be in range of cheap, readily available weapons that have already been used against Israel from areas evacuated by it and transferred to Arab control.
Thus, the rationale of any plan that entails Israeli evacuation of this vital territory will hinge critically on the nature of the regime-type in Jordan, which abuts it from the East.
For whatever other grave detriments their might be in such a plan, it will matter greatly if Jordan is ruled by a government that strives to reign in forces hostile to Israel, or one that is indifferent to their aggressive intent—or worse, is complicit with it.
After all, should the Trump plan entail significant territorial concessions, Israel may well find itself in a situation in which it will have to contend with a huge expanse of hostile territory, stretching from the fringes of Greater Tel Aviv to the border of Iraq—and perhaps beyond.
Accordingly, Israel’s security establishment should indeed draw up plans to deal with prospective alternatives in Jordan—not only how to cope with them once they arise, but to prevent them from arising at all.
Another Arab Spring-like protest movement now seems to be arising, seeking to topple the present Iraqi government. As Israelis, we should support the Iraqi people in their quest for true freedom and democracy.
Mendi Safadi, heads of the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, has noted that if we want to prevent the creation of another Syria, we should call upon the community of nations to intervene as soon as possible to uphold the rights of the protesters, prevent additional bloodshed, and stop the radical Islamists, Iran, and the former Baathists from overtaking the protest movement.
“Today, this Arab Spring has begun to take over Iraq against a government that is corrupt and loyal to Iran,” Safadi said. “These protesters are against the Iranians taking over Iraq. Talks with activists on the ground and the leaders of the protest movement reveal that the people are repulsed by the government, who betrayed their nation by becoming a proxy of Iran. The Iranian takeover of Iraq has gotten the people to revolt, to take to the streets and to demand that Iraq be returned to its rightful owners. They seek freedom and basic human rights that every citizen of this world deserves.”
According to a report from the Internal Commission of Iraq, “The Iraqi government takes instructions from Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qassem Soleimani. Over 700 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard shot live fire at Iraqi demonstrators. There were demonstrators who were killed including men, women and children. The Iranians even went as far as burning a 2-year-old child in a car with her father. The Iraqi people are calling upon the international community to intervene urgently in order to save the Iraqi people, who have suffered under Iran and political Islam. We demand that all pro-Iranian parties be banished from Iraq and to take away all of Iran’s influence in the country. We seek to hold the regime accountable and to change from a parliamentary system to a republican form of government. We seek that the rights of women be respected, as the number of women in the country is very high. The Iraqi people will stop protesting only once our demands are met.”
Protesters in Iraq prepared Friday for bloody clashes with security forces in Iraq after three days of protests that saw the government order live fire against the demonstrators. The protesters are angry. They have tried to block roads to the airport in Baghdad and break into the “Green Zone” where foreign embassies are located. They are shocked that officials have ordered live fire used against them.
The protests began on October 1 in the wake of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi sidelining a popular Counter-Terrorism service commander named Abdul Wahab Al-Saadi. But the real reason for the protests are much larger. They are angry over corruption and wage stagnation and lack of opportunities.
The Prime Minister has closed down internet and sought to isolate cities in Iraq. He gave a speech on Thursday evening and has indicated he could meet the protesters. But there are no clear leaders of the protests. The demonstrators gained some solace when the Shi’ite religious leader Ayatollah Ali Sistani appeared to express sympathy on Friday. Many believed that after prayers on Friday there would be bloody clashes unless the government retrains its tactics. It is not entirely clear which police have been ordered to fire on the protesters, because protesters say they cannot identify them by uniform. Some said it was not the Federal Police but other interior ministry forces. Others claims it was members of Shi’ite militias loyal to Iran, including the Saraya Khorosani unit. But much of this is rumors and has not been confirmed. What is clear is that security forces can be heard in dozens of videos using gunfire. Up to fifty demonstrators may have been killed and thousands injured, including members of the police.
The UN has called on Iraq to have a transparent investigation about the shooting of the demonstrators. “We call on the Iraqi government to allow people to freely exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
Iranian media and local sources in Iraq have reported on the protests sweeping the country with increasing concern that the protesters oppose Iranian influence. This concern has now reached the highest levels of Iran’s regime where the narrative that has been concocted is to blame “foreign” hands for the unrest. Under this logic tens of thousands of young men, leaderless and braving the gunfire of security forces, have been sacrificing themselves by the dozens all because of some complex conspiracy.
Iraq’s government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has shut down internet, social media and even made phone calls difficult in areas across Iraq, all to stop the protests. Yet the protests continue. To discredit them an Iranian cleric on Friday claimed the US and Israel are behind the protests. Supposedly it was to “disrupt a major annual Shi’ite Muslim pilgrimage planned to be held in Iraq later this month,” Reuters reported. “The enemy is now determined against the Islamic nation, America and Zionism are targeting the Arabaeen pilgrimage in Iraq, causing trouble,” claimed Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani.
His full Friday sermon, published at Tasnim News in Farsi claims that “America and Zionism are the enemies of God.” He mentions the Houthi rebels in Yemen who “have shown themselves against the miserable Saudi rulers,” and notes that Saudi Arabia’s reputation has been weakened. This is a reference to the September 14 drone and missile attack on Saudi Arabia. He also mentions the US “maximum pressure” sanctions on Iran and says that it has not been successful. “Endurance is the way of the martyrs.” It is in this context he says that the “enemies” are targeting the religious pilgrimages to the holy sites in Karbala, where Shi’ites make pilgrimage. He calls on people to take refuge in the shrine of Imam Hussein.
In Iraq the senior Shi’ite religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, lamented the deaths of dozens of protesters and called for an end to the deaths, casualties and destruction. He called on the government to listen to the people’s demands about corruption and other issues.
A Russian journalist has been arrested in Iran on suspicion of spying on the Islamic Republic on behalf of Israel, according to family members and Russian media reports.
Yulia Yuzik was first declared missing earlier this week by family members who said she was arrested in Tehran days ago. Her ex-husband Boris Voytsekhovskiy posted on Facebook that Yuzik was facing charges of cooperating with Israeli intelligence services, and that her trial is scheduled for Saturday.
According to Voytsekhovskiy, Yuzik’s charges carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
It wasn’t clear when Yuzik was arrested; her last post on social media was a series of Instagram pictures taken in Kashan, a city in northern part of Isfahan province.
Voytsekhovskiy told Russian media outlets that Yuzik used to work as a correspondent in Tehran several years ago, and she returned to the Iranian capital last week at the invitation of an unknown party.
An anti-Hamas bill has been severely watered down by Congressman Eliot Engel. It’s a turn of events that should trouble every supporter of Israel.
The New York Post revealed this week that Engel (D-NY), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, agreed to change the bill after heavy pressure from Qatar and the Palestinian Authority (PA)
The Post quoted “a personal acquaintance of Engel’s” as saying, “Eliot told me directly that he was getting a lot of pressure from the Qataris” about the bill. At the same time, Engel or his representatives held seven meetings this past spring with lobbyists for the PA, apparently to discuss the bill.
The Qataris didn’t like the fact that the bill mentioned Qatar’s massive financial support for Hamas. The PA didn’t like the fact that it would have penalized regimes—like the PA—that assist Hamas in various ways.
So the bill, which was authored by Rep. Brian Mast (R-Florida), was changed. The language about Qatar was removed, and loopholes were added so that aid to Hamas which is considered “humanitarian” would not be blocked.
We put “humanitarian” in quotation marks because we all remember how “humanitarian” concrete, which supposedly would be used to build homes, instead was used to build tunnels to kidnap and murder Israelis.
At this point in the story, you would imagine that those Jewish leaders who claim to be Engel’s buddies would have intervened to restore the original language of the Mast bill.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan last week dismissed speculation that his country was moving toward the establishing of open diplomatic relations with Israel. Speaking at the Asian Society in New York City last Thursday, as reported by the Middle East Eye website, Khan reiterated Pakistan’s traditional stance on the issue:
“Pakistan has a very straightforward position,” the Pakistani prime minister and former cricket star said. “It was our founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was very clear that there has to be just settlement, a homeland for Palestinians, before Pakistan can recognize Israel.”
His remarks, according to Middle East Eye, were met with enthusiastic applause. They came amid widespread recent speculation at a possible diplomatic breakthrough between Jerusalem and Islamabad. Prominent Pakistani journalist Kamran Khan launched the rumors with a tweet on August 25, asking “Why can’t we openly debate pros cons of opening direct and overt channels of communication with the State of Israel?”
What is the background to the recent speculation, and is there a realistic chance of a breakthrough, or do Imran Khan’s remarks settle the matter in the negative?
THERE IS a school of thought in Pakistan that favors the abandonment, or at least the questioning, of Islamabad’s long rejection of formal ties with the Jewish state. Why now?
A 45-year-old technology administrator at the police headquarters in central Paris went on a knife rampage inside the building on Thursday, killing three police officers and an administrative worker before he was shot dead by an officer, French officials said.
French broadcaster BFM TV said the attacker had converted to Islam 18 months ago.
Officials did not say anything about the motive for the attack and said they were still trying to discover if there was a terrorism link.
The man launched the attack in his office then moved to other parts of the large 19th-century building across the street from the Notre Dame Cathedral.
An officer stopped the attack when he shot the assailant in the compound's courtyard, said a police official. The official was not authorized to talk publicly about the case and requested anonymity.
The IDF and Israel Police thwarted an attempt to smuggle weapons from Lebanon into Israel in September, according to an IDF spokesperson.
An IDF field observer from the 869th battalion spotted two suspects acting suspiciously on the Lebanese side of the border with Israel near the border fence. IDF soldiers went to the scene to check the issue.
Bags found in the area contained about 40 pistols and magazines which were meant to be smuggled from Lebanon into Israel. The background of the incident is being looked into.
One suspect was arrested on the Israeli side of the border and was transferred for questioning by security forces.
"I saw a suspect approaching the fence and immediately realized that this was an unusual incident," said Pvt. Adi ben Naim, the field observer who identified the suspects. "I alerted the troops and directed them to the location. It was only after the incident that I realized that a very large weapon-smuggling attempt was thwarted. My job as a field observer is to identify what takes place in the field and alert my commanders; which is exactly what I did in this incident.
Thanks to the vigilance of Adi, an 18-year-old combat intelligence soldier, a smuggling attempt of 40 guns from Lebanon into Israel was thwarted.
The Israel Defense Forces marked “Mean Girls Day” this week by tweeting a meme of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah.
The meme, posted on Thursday, October 3, was an altered version of a “never before seen” photo published by the Iranian government showing the supreme leader, Nasrallah and Qassem Soleimani — the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.
The IDF photoshopped the Iranians into a “Mean Girls” scene alongside Lindsay Lohan, with the caption: “There’s no one meaner than the mean girls of the Middle East…”
The IDF added #DontSitWithThem and #MeanGirlsDay to their post.
October 3 was a date that was mentioned in passing by Lohan’s character to her crush in Mean Girls, and has since become a pop cultural phenomenon marked annually by movie fans.
The “Don’t sit with them” refers to a line in the movie when Rachel McAdams’s character Regina George is turned away from popular clique’s table at lunch because she’s wearing sweatpants.
The Arab citizens of Israel need rapid development of their areas. They dream of having high-tech zones and industrial centers; they seek enhanced police work to battle the crime that is raging in the streets of Arab cities; and they resent the vicious incitement against them that was led for years by the prime minister and the ruling party. Will the future government, which for now is still nowhere to be seen, be able to fulfill all of these demands and build bridges between the establishment and one-fifth of Israel’s population?
During the recent political campaign, the Likud party accused Gantz numerous times of “planning to create a government with [Joint List MKs] Ahmad Tibi and Ayman Odeh,” but the leaders of the bloc had ruled it out many times. When Blue and White MK Ram Ben-Barak, ex-deputy director of the Mossad, turned to the Arabs this summer, he said that Blue and White needed them “to change the government.” But what will happen the day after such a change is accomplished?
Amjad Iraqi, a contributing editor at +972 magazine, said to The Media Line that what is missing from the tactical decision of the Joint List is thought about the day after. “This decision is quite some gamble that could also backfire, especially if a unity government will be formed eventually between Likud and the Blue and White bloc. I do understand the logic —Ayman Odeh decided to prioritize getting rid of Netanyahu, and most of the public endorsed him because they want to change at least some part of the equation. But how do we know that the Blue and White bloc, whose leaders had their share of critical and negative remarks about Arabs, will be able to live up to its promises?” said Iraqi.
El-Sana believes that if the Joint List is unable to maximize its gains this time around, the alternative for the next time will be voting for existing Jewish parties or for a joint Arab-Jewish party, a project that el-Sana tried to run this time together with the former Knesset speaker, Avrum Burg. There are also many question marks about the participation of the Balad party, which is increasingly seen by many in the Arab public as a destabilizing element that fails to serve its people. “If they were to participate in the elections today by themselves, they would go down. They have three seats in the Joint List, but they are worth only 1.5 seats, or even less” says Darawshe. On the opposite side, Iraqi believes that Balad gives legitimacy to the Joint List, serving as a link between them and the wider Palestinian cause. “Balad still represents a significant portion of voters. They need the Joint List, and the Joint List needs them,” he concludes.
For now, Arab voters seem to be quite satisfied with the result. They proved to be resilient against incitement and intimidation, increased their representation at the Knesset, and now will wait just like everyone else to see how the current political reality TV unfolds.
The leaders of the Joint List will now have to prove to their voters that they can make some real gains with the increased power that they received this time. Considering the shaky structure of the bloc, which includes four different parties with contradicting ideologies, this will not be easy. If no government is formed and Israel goes to a third round of elections, the bloc will have to campaign extremely hard to maintain its success. For now, it is unlikely that the Joint List will top its current result—13 seats. The quiet revolution in the Arab sector, however, will continue, sweeping Arab Israeli citizens away from segregation and isolation, toward integration and equality.
Thousands of Arab Israelis held protests Friday at the conclusion of prayers, a day after a general strike over a wave of deadly violence within the minority community.
Protesters blocked roads, including sections of the major highways in the north of the country. Demonstrators carried signs with slogans such as “our children’s blood is not cheap” and chanted slogans about what they say is police inaction on the issue.
Ayman Odeh, the head of the Knesset’s predominantly Arab Joint List faction, called on the Jewish community to join the protests, saying that a society without weapons should be the ideal for everyone.
“I also urge the Jewish public to join the protests. A society without firearms is a civil and social aim for us all,” Odeh tweeted.
Some Israelis — many, in fact — will celebrate the holiday of Sukkot this year holding their four species bound with holders produced in the Gaza Strip.
Ahead of the Jewish holiday, the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) has approved the import of tens of thousands of four species holders, used for the traditional customs of the holiday.
The four species – the etrog, a citron fruit; the lulav, a frond of a date palm; the hadas, a myrtle bough; and the aravah, a willow branch – are the species the Jewish people are commanded to bind together during the holiday.
The holders are made out of dried palm leaves, woven into a shape that allows the four species to be held together comfortably during the holiday prayers. The abundance of palm trees in Gaza, as well as cheap labor, makes the enclave a prime location for the production of the holders.
Despite the growing tension between Hamas, the terror group that controls Gaza and Israel, COGAT was able to facilitate the import successfully, passing it through the Kerem Shalom Crossing under heavy security inspection.
Halfway between the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Nablus, the road gives way to an exit unlike any other along Israel’s Highway 60. At first glance, this route — lined with palm trees and polished sidewalks that lead up to lavish stone villas — looks like a well-funded Jewish settlement. But a closer look reveals that unlike other typical settlements, there is no security gate at the entrance to the community and its houses are not lined up in rows along the hilltops.
The expensive homes scattered on slopes among olive trees, reminiscent of the famous Hollywood Boulevard, are actually a window into the Palestinian diaspora. The majority of their dwellers are dual American-Palestinian nationals who live in the United States for most of the year and treat the village of Turmus Ayya as their summer home.
Turmus Ayyans are not only based in the United States. These Palestinian villagers are spread throughout the world, with members of the community living in Spain, Panama, Cuba and Brazil. According to the village’s municipal office, there are some 11,000 Turmus Ayyans in total; 4,000 are permanent residents, while 7,000 made their home abroad.
Unlike the majority of Palestinians living in the diaspora, Turmus Ayyans are not refugees of the 1948 war. Rather, they are economic immigrants who chose to leave this West Bank village in pursuit of better financial opportunities. Residents told Haaretz that the first villager to immigrate was Odeh Abdel Qader, who left for the United States in 1909 and worked in Manhattan's Little Syria (where the Financial District is situated today). Local Wadi Abu Awad recalls Qader’s return to the village: "He was the guy who came from America," he says. Throughout the 20th century, Qader’s legacy became an inspiration for other Turmus Ayyans who wished to chase the American Dream.
A picture making the rounds on social media shows the leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, with his six sons, standing healthy in tailored suits, and beneath it, a picture of Gaza youths who have had a leg amputated after rioting at the Gaza fence.
Another example is a recording by a Gazan father whose son was wounded at the border confrontations.
"I was told I needed to provide his medicine out of my own pocket. If he were the son of one of the Hamas higher-ups, the whole world would have given aid."
"Where am I supposed to get money for medicine? They told my boy to get on the bus and protest, and then they threw him out to die."
Iran has not drawn back to a less threatening military posture in the region following the Sept. 14 attack on Saudi Arabia, the top U.S. admiral in the Middle East told Reuters, suggesting persistent concern despite a lull in violence.
"I don't believe that they're drawing back at all," Vice Admiral Jim Malloy, commander of the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, said in an interview.
The United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and Germany have publicly blamed the attack on Iran, which denies involvement in the strike on the world's biggest crude oil-processing facility. The Iran-aligned Houthi militant group in Yemen has claimed responsibility.
Malloy did not comment on any U.S. intelligence guiding his assessment. But he acknowledged that he monitored Iranian activities closely, when asked if he had seen any concerning movements of Iranian missiles in recent weeks.
Malloy said he regularly tracks Iranian cruise and ballistic missile movements -- "whether they're moving to storage, away from storage." He also monitors whether Iran's minelaying capabilities head to distribution sites or away from them.
"I get a briefing of movements on a daily basis and then assessments as to what that could mean," he said.
Relations between the United States and Iran have deteriorated sharply since President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear accord last year and reimposed sanctions on its oil exports.
For months, Iranian officials issued veiled threats, saying that if Tehran were blocked from exporting oil, other countries would not be able to do so either.
However, Iran has denied any role in a series of attacks that have followed, including against tankers in the Gulf using limpet mines earlier this year.
The UN’s nuclear watchdog said Friday Iran had taken “a step in the right direction” towards dealing with questions on its nuclear program but cautioned that the issues have not been “completely addressed.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) did not detail what the questions related to but said it was “discussing substance” with the Iranians.
There has been “engagement” from Tehran in recent weeks on questions relating to its nuclear safeguards declarations to the agency, IAEA acting head Cornel Feruta told journalists in Vienna.
“[That] engagement doesn’t mean that the issues are completely addressed but it’s a step in the right direction,” he added.
Feruta said the queries did not touch directly on the faltering 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers but rather on Iran’s separate safeguards agreement with the agency.
Diplomatic sources in Vienna say the agency has been waiting for information from the Iranians relating to samples taken earlier this year from a warehouse near the capital Tehran.
Iran and the United States have one month to get to the negotiating table, France's foreign minister warned, suggesting Tehran's plan to increase its nuclear activities in November would spark renewed tension in the region.
French President Emmanuel Macron attempted but failed to broker talks between US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York last week.
"We consider that these initiatives, which didn't succeed, are still on the table and it is up to Iran and the United States to seize [them] in a relatively short amount of time because Iran has announced new measures to reduce its commitments to the Vienna accord in November," Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament's foreign affairs committee.
Iran is breaching the restrictions of its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers in response to US sanctions imposed since Washington pulled out of the agreement in May of last year.
It has said its next roll-back would be at the start of November, and diplomats fear that this next breach could force European powers, which are trying to salvage the accord, to respond.
Iran said on Friday that France's call for it to release a detained French-Iranian scholar was an interference in its internal affairs and would not help resolve the issue, the official news agency IRNA reported.
France's Foreign Ministry on Thursday demanded Iran release dual national Fariba Adelkhah, a senior research fellow at Sciences Po university in Paris, who was detained on unspecified charges earlier this year.
"(Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas) Mousavi said the French Foreign Ministry's interference in the case of an Iranian citizen was irrelevant..., and added: 'This will not only fail to help resolve the issue, but rather make the legal process more complicated'," IRNA reported.
Rights activists have accused Iran of arresting a number of dual nationals to try to win concessions from other countries - a charge that the Islamic republic has regularly dismissed.
Adelkhah's arrest came at a time when France and other European powers were caught up in an international standoff over Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal, which the United States abandoned last year.
More than 20 ships carrying around one million tonnes of grain are stuck outside Iranian ports as US sanctions create payment problems and hamper the country’s efforts to import vital commodities, sources directly involved in the trade said.
Trading companies such as Bunge (BG.N) and China’s COFCO International have been hit by payment delays and additional costs of up to $15,000 a day as the renewed US restrictions stifle the processing of transactions, trade sources said.
According to Reuters, food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are exempt from sanctions Washington re-imposed after US President Donald Trump said he was walking away from a 2015 international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.
But the US measures targeting everything from oil sales to shipping and financial activities have deterred several foreign banks from doing any Iranian business, including humanitarian deals such as food shipments.
The few remaining lenders still processing Iranian business face multiple hurdles to facilitate payments as financing channels freeze up.
The conflict between Iran and the U.S. that has created tensions throughout much of the Middle East is now also being felt in Lebanon, where Washington has slapped sanctions on the Iran-backed Hezbollah and warned they could soon expand to its allies, further deepening the tiny Arab country’s economic crisis.
The Trump administration has intensified sanctions on the Lebanese militant group and institutions linked to it to unprecedented levels, targeting lawmakers for the first time as well as a local bank that Washington claims has ties to the group.
Two U.S. officials visited Beirut in September and warned the sanctions will increase to deprive Hezbollah of its sources of income. The push is further adding to Lebanon’s severe financial and economic crisis, with Lebanese officials warning the country’s economy and banking sector can’t take the pressure.
“We have taken more actions recently against Hezbollah than in the history of our counterterrorism program,” Sigal P. Mandelker, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the U.S. Treasury, said in the United Arab Emirates last month.
Mandelker said Washington is confident the Lebanese government and the central bank will “do the right thing here in making sure that Hezbollah can no longer have access to funds at the bank.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign ministry blasted a prominent German official on Wednesday after the commissioner tasked with combating antisemitism told The Jerusalem Post that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration should withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions on Tehran for its nefarious conduct.
The Iranian regime-controlled PressTV wrote that "in an online statement on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi condemned the remarks by Uwe Becker, commissioner of the Hessian federal state government for Jewish life and the fight against anti-Semitism.”
PressTV added that “Becker on Monday called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to put Israel's security above ‘possible economic interests’ that comes with the deal – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”
Becker, the commissioner of the Hessian federal state government for Jewish life and the fight against antisemitism, told the Post on Monday that “the current escalation with Israel should be reason enough for Germany to advocate the.... Iran nuclear agreement, which has been undermined by Iran... [as] dead, and for the necessary sanctions against Tehran to become effective again in their entirety.”
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Today’s home fires burn faster than ever, making escape planning all the more critical to home fire safety.
That’s according to the Morris Fire Department and the National Fire Protection Association, who will be observing National Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 6 to 12.
The NFPA says it takes about 17 minutes to escape a typical home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds, which is why it is imperative that families establish emergency plans well in advance.
That fact is reflected in this year’s theme: “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape.”
Thousands of fire departments across the nation will participate in the annual focus on fire safety. For its part, Morris Fire will be visiting area schools this week to teach children what to do in the event of a fire and how to keep prepared just in case.
The visits will be held one day this week and one day next week, Morris EMS coordinator and public educator Anna Schneidewend said. Schneidewend has been a part of Morris Fire since 2007.
“We want kids to meet firefighters and realize that they’re not scary,” Schneidewend said. “Among other tips, we’ll teach them to make an escape plan with their families, and that they should never, ever go back inside a burning house.”
Members of the NFPA administration give similar advice to families.
“Home escape planning and practice may seem so basic that it’s not even necessary, but in reality, these efforts can have tremendous impact,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of outreach and advocacy. “We’ve seen time and again that advance planning can make a potentially lifesaving difference in a fire situation.”
NFPA statistics show that the number of reported U.S. home fires in 2018 is half that reported in 1980. However, the death rate per 1,000 reported fires has remained steady, reflecting the continued challenges of safely escaping today’s home fires.
Although homes are the places people are at greatest risk to fire – about 80% of all U.S. fire deaths occur in homes – people tend to underestimate their risk. That overconfidence lends itself to a complacency toward home escape planning and practice.
“People don’t think it will ever happen to them,” Schneidewend said. “We need to be on top of changing our smoke and CO2 detector batteries twice a year. When the time changes, change your batteries.”
Morris Fire will be holding their “Touch a Truck” event Oct. 19 at the city parking lot at Washington Street and Route 47.
The demonstration will be open to the public and aims to give a children a chance to explore fire department equipment and familiarize themselves with firefighters. The event will be hosted by Women’s Club of Morris.
Schneidewend also said members of the public are always welcome to visit and tour the two Fire Department facilities in Morris even outside of the observance week.
“Just give us a call first and we’ll be happy to show you around,” Schneidewend said.
NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week since 1922. According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.
In 1925, U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signed a proclamation declaring a national observance that Fire Prevention Week will be the week during which Oct. 9 falls.
For safety information relevant even outside of the week, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.
Nearly the entire student body and staff of Seneca Grade School’s north campus filed out of the building at 11 a.m. Oct. 1.
This wasn’t for a fire drill or recess – it was to honor a longtime neighbor.
On the first day of the month, students, teachers and staff sang happy 100th birthday to Robert Hollenbeck, who walked on campus from his home next door to thank them.
SGS North Principal Lynn McGhee said that Hollenbeck has been a familiar face in Seneca for decades, as well as an excellent neighbor.
“Bob has always been a part of Seneca and he’s always been a kind neighbor to us,” McGhee said. “He always throws the ball back when kids accidentally hit it over the fence.”
McGhee said the school gave Hollenbeck birthday cards when he turned 96, and were excited to repeat the gesture when he became a centenarian.
“Our teachers put together cards and had all the kids sign them. Bob’s a great person, and he’s an example for all the kids. We’re lucky to have him,” McGhee said.
Hollenbeck’s impact on Seneca school’s can be physically seen within the buildings, especially at the South Campus. He installed all the wooden cases that hold the campus’ trophies.
In 2016, Hollenbeck was granted an honorary diploma from Seneca High School for contributions to the local community. He wasn’t able to join the class of 1938 because of a lack of transportation to the school after eighth grade. Hollenbeck is a self-taught musician, farmer and carpenter.
McGhee said the school is looking forward to celebrating his 101st birthday next year.
The old Immaculate Conception Church building in Morris was demolished from Wednesday to Friday in the first week of October, closing a 153-year chapter in the history of the local Catholic community.
The decision to demolish the landmark was made by the Diocese of Joliet over the summer. Diocese Executive Assistant Alex Rechenmacher said that although it was sad the building would be demolished because substantial water and fire damage to the church over the years made renovation untenable.
“The church will live on. The people are the church more than any building,” Rechenmacher said.
A group of around 40 parishioners and curious community members watched the beginning of the demolition Tuesday afternoon.
They stood near the playground across the street as the teeth of the demolition crane bit into the red brick exterior near the chimney. Some observers had tears in their eyes, whereas many others recorded the event on their smartphones.
“This is a melancholy moment for a lot of people. It’s sad that we’re saying goodbye, but it’s happy when we think of how well the building served us over the years,” said Kim Deslauriers, who retired as principal of Immaculate Conception School in 2018. “My belief is that the building is just a vehicle for the people. One good thing I can think of in this situation is that there’s a beautiful ginko tree in the garden behind the church. It’s probably older than any of our parish members. When the church comes down, people will be able to see it from the road.”
Mina Green of Morris had tears in her eyes as she watched the demolition. She said she didn’t grow up with the building, but said that because she’s Catholic, she understands how much a church can mean to a parish.
“I grew up Catholic and went to a Catholic school in Los Angles,” Green said. “I can’t imagine how I’d feel if my church over there was demolished. So many years and generations have touched this church, and it’s so sad it’s going away.”
Sister M. Debrah Funfsinn teaches at ICS and lives near the church. She said that although it’s sad the building is coming down, it was a good decision because the building was falling apart.
“Everyone’s been talking about all the memories they’ve made in this church. Marriages, first communions, confirmations,” Funfsinn said. “We’ll always have those memories. A church is nothing without the sacraments that we practice and the people who live in it. The blessings we received here are still in our hearts.”
The first Immaculate Conception Church of Morris was built in 1866 by the Rev. Thomas Ryan.
The building underwent renovations in 1905 after a fire tore through it – as well as more renovations after another fire in 1990 erupted after the church was struck by lightning. A pipe organ had even been installed in 1974.
ICC began raising money for a larger building in 2002, and it dedicated a new parish building Sept. 25, 2011.
The Rev. Ed Howe of ICC had said in 2011 that the congregation was open to the switch because the old building would live on in the new.
“What made the difference is what I call items of religious heritage,” Howe said. “The stained-glass windows, the Stations of the Cross, the organ and other items [that were in the old church] are in this church now.
A train derailed near Aux Sable Liquid Products on Thursday morning.
Minooka fire crews responded about 9 a.m. to South Tabler Road near Route 6 for the derailment, according to the Minooka Fire Protection District.
“Our rail logistics crew was moving a set of cars with one of our switcher locomotives. The train did not come to a stop and three tankers derailed through our fence, out the westernmost portion of the property and onto the road,” said Scott Seibert, Aux Sable's manager of environment and government affairs. He said that a fence, part of Tabler Road and a guardrail were damaged.
Aux Sable Liquid employees determined nothing was leaking from the empty cars, the fire district said.
Employees worked with Minooka fire officials, Channahon police and Grundy County Emergency Management to ensure no evacuations were needed.
Mercedes Lackey does offer up some excuses - but, as stated in the books, the bleaching effect takes many years. Even if you ignore that this is d20, and that a L0 Cantrip spell can permanently color something (and thus reset that multi-year timer in an instant with the most trivial possible use of magic), are you really attempting to say that "coloring something" is a "hugely wasteful" use of magic even in the books? What makes it harder than teleporting, or throwing a force field around a valley, or setting fire to a forest or hurling lightning? How about applying some dye then? You can do that with no magic at all.
Yes, there's a note about dye not working on Companions because their use of node magic is "like having the sun shining on them constantly" - but that runs into that "years" problem again (and the lack of albinism). My curtains are dyed, and they have had the sun shining on them for much of each day, almost every day, for many years - and yet their colors are still holding up save for some very minor fading. Dye colors are not that fragile.
Mercedes Lackey wanted to give some of her groups and creatures a somewhat exotic appearance (and make them easily recognizable), and so she threw in a quick excuse for it - but like most excuses it really does not hold up to scrutiny. Fortunately, that is not important. This is d20. If someone decides to play a Fire Genasi, with bright red skin, literal fire for hair, and eyes made of glowing purple crystal thanks to a miscast spell, that's fine. No one will care.