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Today's News

July 25, 2017





Israeli Embassy Guard in Jordan Kills Assailant, Bystander After Being Stabbed with Screwdriver


 An Israeli Embassy guard in Amman, Jordan, killed his 17-year-old assailant and a bystander after being stabbed in the chest with a screwdriver. The attacker reportedly entered the home 
of an embassy official on Sunday evening to replace the furniture when he saw the security guard and stabbed him. The guard then pulled out his firearm and shot the attacker in the chest. 
Reports said the owner of the residential building used by the embassy was hit with a stray bullet and killed.

Jordanian police are demanding to question the guard, while relatives of the stabber are calling for the death penalty. The Israeli Embassy has refused to release the guard to the Jordanians for
 questioning, saying he has immunity. Jordan, meanwhile, refuses to allow the guard to leave the country.The Israeli diplomatic team remains confined to the embassy compound, despite plans 
to evacuate the embassy staff and return them to Israel, Haaretz reported. The Foreign Ministry told the Israeli media that it considers the incident to be a terror attack and related to the 
current Temple Mount crisis. The father of the teen assailant reportedly told a Jordanian television station that he does not believe his son intended to attack an Israeli. However, he also said, 
“I consider my son to be a martyr for Allah.”

Cabinet: Metal Detectors will be Removed from Temple Mount
 By & VOA News

The Security Cabinet decided on Monday night to remove the metal detectors from the Temple Mount. In a statement, the Cabinet said it “accepted the recommendation of all of the security bodies to incorporate security measures based on advanced technologies ("smart checks") and other measures instead of metal detectors in order to ensure the security of visitors and worshipers in the Old City and on the Temple Mount.” Until the implementation of the plan, the Israel Police will reinforce its units and carry out additional actions as necessary in order to ensure the security of visitors on the Mount.

Israel placed the advanced metal detectors, known as magnetometers, at the entrance to the Temple Mount in response to the recent terror attack at the compound, in which two Druze police officers were murdered. The security measures prompted an outcry from the Palestinian Authority, the Jordanian Waqf which administers the site, and the Jordanian government. The Waqf have refused to enter the compound in protest of the new measures and have prayed in the streets outside.

The announcement of the new security measures came after Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump's envoy, arrived in in Israel in a bid to ease tensions. Greenblatt met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu along with U.S. envoy to Israel David Friedman during his visit.

The United Nations' envoy for the Middle East peace process has urged a quick resolution to the current crisis around the Al-Aqsa mosque, also known as the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem. "It is extremely important that a solution to the current crisis be found by Friday this week," envoy Nickolay Mladenov told reporters following closed-door discussions with U.N. Security Council members. "I think the dangers on the ground will escalate if we go through another cycle of Friday prayer without a resolution to this current crisis."

Mladenov said it is "critically important" the status quo that has been in place in Jerusalem since 1967 be preserved, and he urged Israelis and Palestinians to refrain from provocative acts and show restraint. "Jerusalem is perhaps one of the most critical cities in the world," Mladenov said. "It is an emotionally, religiously and historically charged place for billions of people worldwide."

Mladenov said he asked council members to use their influence with all sides to encourage a de-escalation of tensions. The U.N. envoy said perceptions that the events of the past few weeks are "localized" are wrong, and that they have the potential "to have catastrophic costs" beyond Jerusalem and the region.

 Petra: Jews Detained for Praying
 By &

A group of approximately 20 haredi Jews are being detained at a hotel near Petra, Jordan, after they sought to go to the grave of the biblical figure Aharon the High Priest, Ynet reported. The pilgrims' religious items were confiscated, including their tefillin (phylacteries) and skullcaps.  (Monday) was the first of the Hebrew month of Av, traditionally considered to be the anniversary of Aharon's death.

Jordanian police threatened Monday to jail any Jew in the country who prayed, the Times of Israel reported. Rabbi Menashe Zelicha of Bnei Brak said the police told his group that “it is forbidden for Jews to pray in all of Jordan. We are not allowed to pray in the morning, no tefillin, no prayer shawls, nothing – we cannot pray, even in the hotel, even inside our room,” Zelicha told the Kol Chai radio station. “Policemen came into the hotel and were shouting and went wild, saying that in a minute they would take us out of Jordan if we made even a tiny squeak. They told us, ‘Whoever prays will be taken to jail.'”

Russian Court Blacklists Book by 19th Century Rabbi

A prominent rabbi from Russia condemned in harsh terms a ruling by a court in the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi that blacklisted and labeled extremist a book penned by a 19th-century rabbi.

Rabbi Boruch Gorin, a senior aide to Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar and a key figure within Russia’s Chabad-affiliated Federation of Jewish Communities, called “absurd” the recent ruling by a district court in the city to classify as extremist the book “Forcibly Baptized” by Rabbi Marcus Lehmann. The novel, which deals with a Jew’s determination to retain his faith despite external pressures to renounce it, was added to the federal list of extremist materials of the Ministry of Justice of Russia.

In his scathing rebuke, Gorin, a book publisher by profession, said the decision was “a mockery of justice” that belonged in the 19th century. He also suggested it was part of a judicial policy in Sochi to limit the growth of Jewish spiritual life, and went on to compare the move to tendencies to distort the history of the Holocaust in Lithuania.

Gorin’s rebuke was the latest and sharpest in a series of comments reflecting discomfort with authorities and the judiciary by a man who serves as the senior-most spokesperson for Lazar. The chief rabbi’s Federation of Jewish Communities has worked closely with the Kremlin on projects related to Jewish life in Russia, which has blossomed under President Vladimir Putin, whose government has allocated land for the construction of many synagogues.

In May, a Moscow-area court ordered a foreign rabbi serving in the city, Joseph Kherson, to leave Russia, citing his illegal work there without a visa. Earlier this year, Rabbi Ari Edelkopf, the emissary to Sochi of Chabad and the Federation of Jewish Communities, was ordered to leave by a local court on unspecified security charges. Gorin strongly objected to the ruling, which a higher court nonetheless affirmed.Until now, it seemed like a whim of the Sochi court, now it is the decision of the Justice Ministry. And it is an absolute mockery of the entire law on extremism,” Gorin said in a statement. “To say this book is ‘extremist’, a book which had dozens of editions, even in Germany in the 19th century, a book about the religious discrimination of Jews in Medieval Europe — that means to ridicule the idea of the fight against extremism.”

Nonexistent Jewish Community Condemns Israel

While Russia’s mainstream Jewish leaders in Moscow firmly backed Israel’s actions in clashes this week with Palestinians at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, the small Jewish community of Chechnya broke ranks with them and boldly condemned the Jewish state’s “provocations” against Muslims in the holy city.

At least, that was the story reported in the national and local media, including the Echo of Moscow radio station and Chechnya Today – the most popular news site in the predominantly Muslim Russian republic. There was just one problem with the news item: Chechnya apparently has no organized Jewish community, and according to some Jewish people who were born there, also next to no Jews.

The reports about where Chechen Jews stand on the issue of Jerusalem, where Arab rioters clashed with Israel Police on Thursday night and Friday over Israel’s decision to place metal detectors near the entrance to the Al Aqsa mosque, relied on a video message published Tuesday by a man called Mosei Yunayev.

Claiming to speak for the Jewish community of Chechnya, he joined Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov in condemning Israel’s actions at the Temple Mount, where the mosque is situated. Chechen Jews, Yunayev said, “wholeheartedly support” the sharp-worded rebuke of Israel by Kadyrov.Nonsense, I doubt there are even any Jews left in Chechnya, let alone an organized Jewish community,” Tamara Rafailova Kahlon, an Israeli who was born in the Chechen capital of Grozny, told JTA .“They all left, I don’t know who this man speaks for,” she said.

Yunayev denied the assertions. “Those who claim that there are no Jews in Chechnya are far from being Jewish,” he said. And he presented his credentials: “I was sent to the Chechen Republic by the Council of Elders of the Jewish People to restore the Jewish community in the region. Only true believers know how right I am in my convictions.”

JTA could not confirm the existence of an organization by that name; its only presence online originates in Yunayev’s mention in the Chechnya Today article. At other times, Yunayev presented himself as a member of the equally untraceable Congress of Jews of the North Caucasus Federal District.

Rabbi Boruch Gorin, a senior figure within the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, told JTA he is aware neither of that group nor of any other organized Jewish community active in Chechnya. “Chechnya is special in that there is no Jewish community, there are no Jews there,” he told the news site Open Russia.

Chechnya did have a Jewish population in the past. Grozny had a 19th-century Ashkenazi synagogue that was turned into a music school in 1937 and then destroyed during the first Chechen war of 1994-96. But today, “Chechnya has no Jews,” according to the website Gorskie, the official website of the Mountain Jews Community, STMEGI, who have lived for centuries in the Caucasus.

Israelis Outraged at Being 'Marked' at Romanian Resort
 By Israel Hayom

Israeli tourists visiting the Romanian beach resort of Mamaia, considered one of the hottest new destinations for Israelis on the Black Sea, are being singled out as Israeli by purple bracelets they are asked to wear.

Arik Kogan, an Israeli vacationer who recently arrived at the resort, told Israel Hayom that he noticed in the first few days that seemingly everyone was able to recognize that he was Israeli. People spoke to him in Hebrew and knew his country of origin within seconds of meeting him. After three days, he realized that the answer was in the purple bracelets the Phoenicia Holiday Resort Hotel had asked Israelis to wear.

Kogan said he made the discovery after three days of seeing prices changing at bars, beach vendors treating him oddly and locals knowing immediately that he was Israeli. Kogan reported this in a Facebook group for Israelis abroad, and spoke to Israel Hayom about how he discovered the practice.

 "I arrived at one of the bars in the beach area and suddenly I happened to see [a list of] colors for the bracelets: 'Full pension', 'half pension,' and a broad variety of different sorts of guests at the destination hotel. One color stuck out more than the others, however, the purple on my wrist, 'Israeli group.' Immediately it dawned on me, and I realized that this was a sign for Israelis," Kogan said.

"Israelis are the only ones who are marked by their country of origin; none of the other tourists from other countries receive bracelets in such a manner. It's simply not right. I agree that this is reminiscent of the yellow patch," he said, referring to the yellow star Jews were forced to wear under Nazi rule before and during World War II.

Kogan is not the first to complain. A year ago, an Israeli tourist posted in the travel website Trip Advisor that Israelis were marked with purple bracelets given only to them. Kogan later complained to the Foreign Ministry, which responded: "It is bizarre that Israelis are marked with a purple bracelet, very reminiscent of the Star of David on the clothing of Jews during the Second World War. ... The Tourism Ministry is that which should be involved."

Kogan tried to obtain a response from the hotel, which he said pointed a finger at the tourism company Kanfei Meshek, the provider that organizes the vacation in the hotel. The company issued a statement in response saying, "We have nothing to do with this matter of internal arrangements within the hotel, and we certainly did not ask the hotel to mark the fact that the guests are Israeli."

The Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the practice is "despicable and shocking. The Israeli Embassy will work to cancel the marking immediately." Neither the Phoenicia Holiday Resort Hotel nor the Tourism Ministry commented on the incident.

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By Frances Bernay-Cohen

I can't speak for you, but my grandparents came to the United States to find a refuge from "change." They came to The United States where their basic freedoms were guaranteed by the Constitution; where they could build a future on this solid ground.

Whether our forefathers and forI'm sure you will find some truth in this song.






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Air France flew from the U.S. to Israel during the early 1950s. They flew Lockheed Constellations and the flying time was 20 hours.

This promotional film - in English for an American audience - shows Israel as it was three years after the War of Independence .

Please click photo





 Paradise Regained, Paradise Lost

By Don Canaan (Commentary)

This year marked the 34th anniversary of the return of the Sinai by Israel to Egypt--a day of mourning by many of the 2,000 settlers who settled and later were forcibly evacuated by Israeli authorities under the command of Ariel Sharon, from the seaside city of Yamit on the Mediterranean.

Yamit was former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan's dream--a projected seaport and city of 250,000 founded on the Sinai sand dunes overlooking date palm trees and the blue Mediterranean--a populated buffer between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on the other side of the Suez Canal.

Some alternate historians say Moses and the children of Israel passed near the site of Yamit 3,500 years ago as they wandered for 40 years through the Sinai Desert on their way to the proverbial land of milk and honey.

Since April 25, 1982 only the whine of the desert wind weaves its currents through the crevices of destroyed homes, businesses and monument--a memorial to the young men who died during the 1967 Six Day war.

Christians, Jews and Muslims died during three Arab-Israeli wars and battles that took place in the Sinai in 1956, 1967 and 1973--Egyptian and Israeli--young people who fought and died in that desolate, forsaken desert wasteland.

The modern-day chariot carrying Egyptian President Mohammed Anwar al-Sadat hugged the intermittently green coastline of Sinai on its historic mission to Jerusalem. Israelis glancing upward into the clear night sky saw merely a jet banking gently to the northwest.

Official Israeli government policy was that the settlers had to be removed and the army came and forcibly removed the remaining diehard residents. The Jerusalem Post described the scene: Apocalypse had arrived in Yamit and in the dust and noise and destruction one could wander freely. Dozens of bulldozers and giant mobile air hammers were loose in the city like a pack of predatory beasts."

April 25, 20011 marked the 29th anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from Yamit and Sinai and a cold peace between long-term enemies.

That gift of peace silently glided overhead as the Sabbath disappeared and the stars appeared. At 8:01 p.m. Sadat's jetliner landed at Ben-Gurion Airport and the first minutes of a then potential peace came to the Middle East.

Old enemies became new friends. The crowds roared its approval when Sadat shook hands with Moshe Dayan. A person standing nearby, according to the Jerusalem Post, said Sadat told Dayan, "Don't worry Moshe, it will be all right."

The peace treaty between the two nations was signed on March 26, 1979 and on April 25, 1982; the events that had started on a November day at Camp David came to fruition. Sinai was returned to Egypt. Yamit was bulldozed to the ground. But Anwar Sadat did not live to see that day. He had been assassinated seven months before.



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