Sunday, April 16, 2017

From Ian:

Kay Wilson: A letter to the bereaved parents
As a British-born Israeli Jewish tour guide, I endured a similar experience to your Hannah, but lived to tell the tale. In 2010, while guiding an American Christian tourist, we were accosted by two Palestinian terrorists. They found my Israeli ID and minutes later, my client, Kristine Luken, was dead. When I faced the terrorists in court, I learned that her brutal murder was an unfortunate case of mistaken identity: The terrorists assumed she was Jewish, too.
Hannah's death is intertwined with Kristine's. Both women came to learn about our people. Both came to learn our language and both came to explore our land. Yet both were murdered due to mistaken identity. How unfathomable it is that they are now inscribed in the annals of our history.
Since the terrorist attack, I have been telling my story all over the world, educating people about Israel. I describe how, thanks to our democracy, it was an Israeli Arab Muslim surgeon who saved my life. I also speak about the incitement in the Palestinian Authority, where children are taught that Jews are pigs and monkeys and unworthy of life. I speak about the financial incentive that the corrupt Palestinian Authority government offers terrorists in the form of monthly salaries drawn from monies donated by Western tax-payers.
I also speak for those who are no longer with us, those who have been senselessly and brutally murdered because they were Jewish -- or assumed to be.
Next time I tell my story, Hannah will be foremost in my mind.
Daphne Anson: 'So Why "Free Palestine"?'
At the site of the attack in Jerusalem that took the life of a young British exchange student and wounded two other people, a mindless anti-Israel activist, asked the above question, splutters a response:
Perhaps now she's in the Middle East she might care to confront these situations instead.

BBC reports on British student murdered in Jerusalem exclude the word terror
Originally titled “Jerusalem stabbing: British woman killed in train attack”, the report was amended numerous times and its headline changed as details emerged and the victim was identified – but the word terror does not appear in any of its thirteen versions.
An additional report on the same story appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘England’ page on April 15th under the title “Hannah Bladon Jerusalem stabbing: Family ‘devastated’ at attack“. The word terror is likewise absent from all versions of that article.
When British tourists were murdered in Tunisia in 2015, the BBC accurately described the incident as a terror attack. When an attack in which some of the victims were visitors to Britain took place in London in March 2017, the BBC similarly used accurate terminology to describe it to its audiences.
However, when visitors to Israel have been murdered in terror attacks perpetrated by Palestinians, the corporation has consistently refrained from using accurate language to describe those attacks.
Once again, the BBC’s double standards on terrorism, together with the redundancy of its inconsistently applied guidelines on ‘Language when Reporting Terrorism’, are glaringly apparent.

Trump: 'State of Israel a monument to Jews' faith and endurance'
In his weekly speech on Friday, US President Donald Trump said, "This week, Jewish families across our country, and around the world, celebrate Passover and retell the story of God’s deliverance of the Jewish people.
"The story of the Exodus is a story of freedom. It is the story of an incredible people who were liberated from oppression and raised up the face of humankind.
"Down through the centuries, the Jewish People have lived through one persecution after another–and yet, they persevered and thrived and uplifted the world beyond measure. And now, the State of Israel stands as a monument to their faith and endurance.
"Another day of faith and celebration is also upon us.

Michael Danby MP: Sophie’s bad choices
Australian Ambassador to Israel, David Sharma, has stepped up to repudiate claims that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), his department, cleared World Vision in Gaza of funding the terrorist organisation Hamas. Originally ABC correspondent Sophie McNeill had suggested that DFAT conducted an internal review that found no evidence that Australian aid funds given to World Vision were diverted to Hamas. It is true DFAT answered questions put by McNeill when she inquired whether authorities in Canberra had probed into the grave charges relating to Hamas’s involvement in the World Vision charity. There is a case currently before the Israeli courts against World Vision’s Gaza employee, Mohammad El-Halabi, who is accused of channelling millions of dollars to Hamas. DFAT is only a spectator in that case, not the prosecuting authority. The Beer Sheva District Court will reach its own conclusion. Yet that didn’t stop McNeill tweeting on 20 March:
DFAT has reviewed the management of its funding to World Vision in the Palestinian Territories. The review uncovered nothing to suggest any diversion of government funds. She followed that up with an online report on the ABC in which she wrote: [DFAT] says an internal review into World Vision funding in Gaza has uncovered nothing to suggest any diversion of government aid funding to Hamas.
Worse was the ABC’s utterly irresponsible, indeed fraudulent, heading: ‘No evidence of diversion of World Vision funds to Hamas, DFAT says’. This appalling and uncorrected headline suggested that DFAT had conducted its own review of the matter and had concluded no government funds had been diverted to Hamas. These misleading reports by McNeill were picked up around the world, including by Putin’s propaganda outlet, Russia Today and on the Ayatollahs’ international TV outlet, Press TV. Strangely, other ABC reports are not normally recounted by these controversial media outlets, which in both cases are almost always anti-Israeli. It was this slanted international misreporting that may have prompted Ambassador Sharma to issue a repudiation on behalf of DFAT on 29 March:
In February 2011, producers of the Center For Near East Policy Research’s short film, “FOR THE SAKE OF NAKBA, which exposed UNRWA incitement the UNRWA school system in the Palestinian Authority, presented that movie for a synagogue in Chicago.
Only a few weeks later, UNRWA dispatched a speaker to that same synagogue to raise funds for a new UNRWA holocaust curriculum that UNRWA announced it was about to implement.
This news of an UNRWA holocaust curriculum seemed rather odd to Arab and Jewish journalists who had covered UNRWA for many years, because they had never heard of any such thing in UNRWA. However, as news spread of the initiative, US Jewish groups showered praise on UNRWA for its reported desire to sensitize Arab youth to the holocaust. Israeli intelligence also praised UNRWA for the same reason.
The UNRWA rep toured the US at the time and raised an undetermined amount of funds for the UNRWA holocaust education initiative. However, as reported at the time, there was widespread Palestinian Arab opposition to the UNRWA holocaust education initiative in the UNRWA communities, and the program never came to fruition.
Yet funds raised by UNRWA remained with UNRWA and were allocated to the UNRWA Ministry of Eeducation, which works together with the Palestinian authority – to supply the UNRWA schools with the PA schools with all of the school books.
A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: March 2017
March 11. Britain's foreign aid budget is reportedly funding at least two dozen Palestinian schools, some of which are named after terrorists and murderers and which openly promote terrorism and encourage pupils to see child killers as role models. A Mail on Sunday investigation found pictures of "martyrs" posted on school walls, revolutionary slogans and symbols painted on premises used by youngsters, sports events named after teenage terrorists and children encouraged to act out shooting Israeli soldiers in plays.
Head teachers openly admitted to flouting attempts by British and European donors to control the curriculum at schools. They reportedly print overtly political study aids for pupils, some even denying the existence of Israel, while teachers boast of encouraging pupils to emulate teenage "martyrs" killed in terrorist attacks in the region.
One senior teacher from a prominent West Bank school, when asked what he would say to a pupil threatening to attack Israelis, said: "I would tell them go in the name of Allah."
March 11. Islamic preachers may be asked to begin delivering their sermons in English under measures being prepared to rid Britain of hate preaching. The Telegraph reported that the government's counter-extremism taskforce is working on the plans amid concern that preaching in foreign languages enforces divisions between Islam and mainstream British society and can foster radicalization.
‘Israelis Toast Syrian Slaughter’: The Making of a Modern Blood Libel, Just in Time for Passover
One of the more enduring anti-Semitic myths in Jewish history is the blood libel—the medieval claim that Jews bake their Passover matzo with the blood of gentile children. Perhaps most memorably, the libel was promoted by Osama Hamdan, the official spokesman of Hamas, the designated terrorist group that controls Gaza. The essence of the slander, as by many forms of bigotry, is the recasting of an innocuous Jewish tradition as something sinister. And this past week, just in time for Passover, anti-Israel activists on social media attempted to offer an update to this medieval calumny.
It began when Israel’s deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely posted a photo of her department’s annual pre-Passover toast to Twitter. Her Hebrew caption read: “A toast for the [Passover] holiday in the foreign ministry office this morning. Israel has a moral responsibility to act in the diplomatic arena against the atrocities of the Syrian regime.”

Hotovely thus linked the Jewish history of persecution to the Jewish responsibility to protect others under threat, like the Syrian people. It was a powerful message—and one that that was promptly recast as celebratory revelry for Syrian deaths by anti-Israel propagandists who can’t read Hebrew:
IsraellyCool: Know Your History: Israeli Arab Rustum Bastuni Advocates For Israel To Hold On To Judea And Samaria, 1968
A series where I look at old news articles and use history to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
In the February 01, 1968 edition of The Sentinel, Israeli Arab Rustum Bastuni – a former member of the Knesset and very accomplished man – spoke out in strongly in favor of Israel holding on to Judea and Samaria, which we had recaptured less than a year earlier in the Six Day War.
Note in particular:
Rustum acknowledging how Israel had “created a major social, cultural and economic revolution among its Arab citizens” in the 20 years since its establishment.
The Arabs of the “West Bank” and “Gaza” had not been happy under Jordanian and Egyptian rule respectively
Rustum mentioning how some Gazans had previously wanted to cooperate with Israel, but after we withdrew, they were punished by the Egyptians
'Israel must be ready for confrontation with Hamas this summer'
Israel should get ready for a possible escalation with Hamas in the summer, according to Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday.
"We must be prepared for a confrontation with Hamas this summer," he said, speaking to Army Radio.
A member of the security cabinet and a former IDF general, Gallant continued, stating, "This is a sensitive time and we need to be vigilant in order to prevent it from happening."
The comments came two weeks after Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal said that Hamas is in an “open war” with Israel.
“We were and we still are in an open war with the criminal enemy,” Mashaal declared, speaking via video broadcast to a memorial service in Gaza for Mazen Fuqaha, who was recently assassinated.
In January 2017, an IDF senior military official told Channel 2 that Hamas has fully replenished the military capability it had lost following 2014's Operation Protective Edge. The official said that the terror organization has used the years since the 2014 offensive to work on its tunnels and shore-up its missile programs.
Undercover troops compromised during Nablus operation
Two Israeli soldiers with the Duvdevan special forces were arrested by Palestinian police in Nablus Saturday after their cover was compromised.
According to Army Radio, an altercation erupted at the scene and the soldiers and Palestinian policemen exchanged blows, but no one was seriously injured. The two soldiers were detained for questioning and after a few hours, following coordination with the Civil Administration, they were returned to Israel unharmed.
The incident took place at around 9 p.m. when Duvdevan troops, who specialize in undercover urban warfare, were operating in the Rafidia neighborhood of Nablus. During the operation, two soldiers were discovered by Palestinian police, who proceeded to arrest them.
The soldiers were taken to a nearby police station. After about an hour, during which Palestinian officials contacted the Civil Administration and the Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the two were handed over to Israeli forces.
The soldiers underwent a medical examination, which confirmed they were unharmed.
Supreme Court: Taba Crossing will remain closed
Israel's Supreme Court on Sunday approved Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz's (Likud) decision to close the Taba Crossing to Israelis wishing to exit Israel into Egypt.
The case was brought to the Supreme Court by two Israelis who wanted to vacation in Taba during the Pesach (Passover) holiday.
The Supreme Court's ruling leaves the decision of whether to allow the plaintiffs to visit Sinai in the hands of the Israeli government.
According to the Supreme Court, the infrastructure is not under debate and there was a justified reason to close the crossing to Israelis wishing to enter Sinai. However, the source of the government's decision was unclear, and the Supreme Court ordered the government submit an explanation in writing by April 27.
On April 10, the government decided to close Taba Crossing and not allow Israeli citizens to exit Israel to Sinai until after conclusion of the Pesach (Passover) holiday. However, Israelis are allowed to return from Sinai to Israel, and foreign citizens are be able to freely cross into Sinai.
Israeli prisons brace for mass Palestinian hunger strike
As over a thousand Palestinians held in Israeli prisons prepared to begin a mass hunger strike called by an imprisoned senior Fatah terror chief, Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Sunday that the strike is really about internal Palestinian politics and not an alleged dispute over prison conditions.
The hunger strike initiated by jailed Fatah official Marwan Barghouti is expected to start Monday – to coincide with Palestinian “Prisoners Day,” an annual event held in solidarity with the more than 6,000 Palestinian security prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jails. Barghouti is currently serving five life sentences for his role in murderous terror attacks during the Second Intifada in the early 2000s.
With the annual event comes the concern of increased tensions in the prisons, and in the West Bank with Israeli security forces. Hamas, Fatah’s main rival, announced Sunday that its members will also join the strike, as did the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), another Palestinian faction.
Some 1,500 prisoners associated with Fatah, out of some 3,000, are expected to participate in his initiative. Israeli officials put the expected number lower, at around 1,000-1,100 prisoners. More prisoners are expected to join the strike in later stages.
IsraellyCool: Another Empty Palestine Museum Opens
Notice how there is no description of what the museum actually contains. No description of exhibits, just of plans. And the only photo is the one above, taken from the museum’s website – which incidentally, does not have any photos of any exhibits.
That is because there are currently none.
There are dynamic and experimental exhibits being built in the museum to ensure they reflect the mission and goals of the museum.
Although they claim there was one in 2014 – year’s before today’s opening! (go figure)
In November, 2014, the Museum, in conjunction with the Qattan Foundation, hosted a public exhibition themed “Science Fair Festival”.
In other words, this museum sounds as empty as the $24 million Palestinian Museum that opened last year.
Gaza electricity crisis deepens as sole power plant shuts down
Gaza’s sole power plant shut down on Sunday for lack of funds, leaving the Strip’s 2 million residents with only four hours of electricity per day if a solution is not found to solve the crisis, according to the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company.
It’s a move that only further deepens the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
Reduction in electricity compromises the operation of the desalinization plants that provide clean drinking water and make it difficult for hospitals to provide life-saving medical services.
The Gaza power plant cannot afford to pay the heavy tax the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has imposed on the fuel.
A similar crisis in December was resolved by tax-free donations from Qatar and Turkey that ran out last week. The PA is no longer willing to waive the fuel. A Gaza Electricity Distribution Company spokesman said its costs NIS 2 million daily to run the plant at half capacity and NIS 4 million daily at full capacity.
Death toll in Syrian blast targeting evacuation bus hits 112
The death toll from a bomb blast on a crowded Syrian bus convoy outside Aleppo reached at least 112 people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said on Sunday.
Syrian rescue workers, the Civil Defense said, had carted away at least 100 bodies from the site of Saturday's blast, which hit buses carrying Shi'ite residents as they waited to cross from rebel into government territory in an evacuation deal between warring sides.
The British-based Observatory said the number was expected to rise.
Those killed were mostly residents of the villages of al-Foua and Kefraya in Idlib province, but included rebel fighters guarding the convoy, the Observatory said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which pro-Damascus media said was carried out by a suicide car bomber.
The convoy was carrying at least 5,000 people including civilians and several hundred pro-government fighters, who were granted safe passage out of the two Shi'ite villages which are besieged by rebels.
Assad retains hundreds of tons of chemical weapons, says defected general
Syrian President Bashar Assad still possesses hundreds of tons of chemical agents which he hid from the international community, a former Syrian general who specialized in chemical warfare told the Telegraph Friday.
Brig. Gen. Zaher al-Sakat, who defected from Assad’s forces in 2013 and currently resides in an undisclosed European country, told the newspaper the Syrian leader had deceived United Nations inspectors sent into the country to destroy his chemical stockpiles.
Assad had agreed to turn in his entire chemical weapons inventory in 2013 when the US threatened military action after hundreds were killed in a deadly chemical attack on opposition-held suburbs of Damascus.
But Sakat, who was head of chemical warfare in the Syrian army’s Fifth Division, has long claimed that Assad secretly held on to much of his stash. And after an April 4 suspected chemical attack killed at least 87 people, the defector has said the regime still has hundreds of tons of chemicals at hand.
“They admitted only to 1,300 tons, but we knew in reality they had nearly double that,” Sakat told the Telegraph. “They had at least 2,000 tons. At least.”
British MPs call to strip UK-born Asma Assad of citizenship
A group of British legislators is urging the government to revoke the citizenship of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s British-born wife, Asma Assad.
Some Liberal Democrats in Parliament sent a letter to Home Secretary Amber Rudd on Sunday, saying Asma Assad should not be able to represent her husband and retain British nationality.
“The First Lady of Syria has acted, not as a private citizen, but as a spokesperson for the Syrian presidency,” said Liberal Democrat shadow foreign secretary Tom Brake in a statement.
“This is a barbarous regime, yet Asma al-Assad has continued to use her international profile to defend it, even after the chemical weapons atrocity,” the letter read, in reference to an alleged gas attack earlier this month by Assad’s military on civilians in rebel-held territory that killed over 80 people, many of them children.
“As the Assad regime has presided over a sickening civil war that has brought instability to the region and enabled terrorism to flourish, the justification seems clear. She enjoys dual nationality so would still remain a citizen of the country – and the regime – to which she is so publicly committed.”
Asma Assad was educated in Britain and worked as an investment banker before she married in 2000.
IS death toll hits 90 from huge US bomb in Afghanistan
Afghan authorities Saturday reported a jump in fatalities from the American military’s largest non-nuclear bomb, declaring some 90 Islamic State fighters dead, as US-led forces conducted clean-up operations over their mountain hideouts.
Dubbed the “Mother Of All Bombs,” the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast was unleashed in combat for the first time Thursday, hitting IS positions in a remote area of eastern Nangarhar province.
The unprecedented attack triggered global shock waves, with some condemning the use of Afghanistan as what they called a testing ground for the weapon, and against a group that is not considered a threat as big as the resurgent Taliban.
The bomb smashed IS’s hideouts, a tunnel-and-cave complex that had been mined against conventional ground attacks, engulfing the remote area in a huge mushroom cloud and towering flames.
“At least 92 Daesh (IS) fighters were killed in the bombing,” Achin district governor Esmail Shinwari told AFP on Saturday.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Balak, King Of MOAB, Confused By Sudden Popularity (satire)
The ruler of this tribal kingdom east of the River Jordan voiced puzzlement today at the unusual and rampant invocations of his realm in the news, following the first combat use of the world’s largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan last week.
Balak, King of MOAB, noticed last Thursday that his kingdom’s mentions on Twitter and other social media began spiking, immediately following the use of a GBU-43/B weapon on an Islamic State cave and tunnel complex. While he has yet to determine why people are connecting his kingdom’s name with that event, he remains of two minds about the impact of the burst of popularity on MOAB.
“Western media tend to take a negative view of our policies, given the roots of that society’s intellectual tradition in the scriptures of the Israelites, a longtime enemy of ours,” Balak related in an interview. “For the same reason, the term ‘Philistine’ refers in English to an uncultured person. But here we have the use of my people’s name in a context so completely unrelated to who we are and what we do that I wonder whether there must be some mistake.”
“As far as I can make out, there’s a war going on, and someone used a big weapon – that’s fine, we all want a battlefield edge, be it with chariots, giants, the Hand of YHWH, or the curses of some prophet pronounced against one’s foe,” he continued. “So on the one hand it’s great to have us associated with this dramatic development in military history, but on the other, I’m not so sure I want to be remembered for posterity as the king of a country most closely linked with the first combat use of a 21,000-pound bomb. We have so much else to offer civilization, including our attractive daughters.”
Rouhani: Iran does not need ‘permission to build missiles’
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that Iran does not need “permission to build missiles,” in an apparent response to recent sanctions by the United States on the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program.
“Iran will ask no soul’s permission to build missiles,” the state-run Press TV quoted him as saying.
Speaking at a defense ministry event to show off new Iranian-made weapons, Rouhani claimed that the country’s development of ballistic missiles and other advanced arms is strictly for defensive purposes.
“We have repeatedly declared that strengthening the defensive prowess of Iran’s Armed Forces is only aimed at defending the country and will never be used against another country,” he said.
‘Yes’ camp ahead in Turkey poll on Erdogan powers
The ‘Yes’ campaign to give Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expanded powers was ahead of its rival in a bitterly contested referendum Sunday that will determine Turkey’s future destiny, initial results said.
The ‘Yes’ campaign had won 55.5 percent of the vote while the ‘No’ campaign had mustered 44.5 percent, the election commission said in figures quoted by state news agency Anadolu, in an initial count based on 65 percent of the ballot boxes.
The result could still change as more ballot boxes are counted across the hugely diverse country. The ‘No’ share of the vote was climbing as more ballots were counted, after lagging well behind in the early count, in a nail-biting end to the campaign.
For the changes to be implemented the ‘Yes’ camp needs to win 50% plus one vote.
More than 55.3 million Turks were eligible to cast ballots on sweeping changes to the president’s role which, if approved, would grant Erdogan more power than any leader since modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and his successor Ismet Inonu.
Voting in Istanbul along with his family, Erdogan predicted that “our people would walk to the future” by making the right choice.
Forget BDS: Keep on rocking in the free world
The variations on “Hava Nagila” and “Hatikva” – two “Jewish” songs that foreigners most often associate with Israel – are going to be stretched to their limits over the next few months, as the onslaught of international artists performing at local venues rises to a crescendo.
That quaint obsession has turned into a clichéd but almost obligatory requirement for many visiting bands and artists from the US and Europe, and is a source of pride for concert-goers. But the musicians in question often come away from their experience in Israel with considerably less anachronistic, more vibrant impressions.
“Most of the artists that come here leave as goodwill ambassadors for Israel,” says Guy Beser, the CEO of Bluestone Entertainment, one of the country’s leading concert promotion companies.
“They feel the warmth of the audience and of the people. We take them to the North, the Dead Sea and Jerusalem, and they fall in love with the country. And when they stay and perform in Tel Aviv, they immediately understand that the country is nothing like they expected. After experiencing the real reality of Israel, they leave with a different impression. And the artists talk to each other and the managers talk to each other.”
Week of mid-flight incidents somehow leaves El Al as America’s favorite Airline (satire)
Ben Gurion Airport: There may be crippling strikes, constant davening, and 16 bags per person, but El Al this week succeeded in dislodging United Airlines as America’s favourite airline.
In a poll conducted by the World Wrestling Federation, El Al took top spot for customer service, ahead of previously lovable United Airlines, whose staff, it emerged, are trained in Krav Maga. In violence not seen since Saving Private Ryan, a man was ripped out of his seat and schlepped down the aisle. Speculation that the doctor had removed his seatbelt before the seatbelt sign was turned off proved untrue as his seat was soon filled by trolley dolly Britney, who was, ‘like, late for her shift and had, like, a party to go to’.
A delighted El Al spokesperson said: “While we are thrilled that our aggressive apathy is the new norm, we would draw the line at such aggression shown by United. That is usually reserved for our nation’s Post Office. Also, in Israeli culture, being dragged down the aisle means something else…. Usually, you have 12 months till you need to give them grandchildren.”
Motorcyclist strews anti-Semitic flyers in Brooklyn neighborhood
A man littered the streets of the hassidic Jewish community of Williamsburg, Brooklyn with anti-Semitic flyers as he drove his motorcycle through the streets during the Pesach holiday, the DNAInfo news site reported.
According to the NYPD, the motorcyclist tossed flyers with swastikas and other anti-Semitic drawings.
The biker, who was wearing a black helmet, was seen throwing the flyers as he drove near the intersection of Lee Avenue and Rodney Street on Thursday around 9:30 PM, police said.
The flyers featured multiple anti-Semitic statements and referred to the Holocaust as a "myth."
Moses Bondo, 55, the owner of a nearby food store who witnessed the incident, said: "It's bad. This is the middle of Williamsburg, this is the heart of the [hassidic] community."
"It shows a lot of hate," he added.
Six months after being beaten, Chabad emissary dies of injuries
On Saturday, Chabad emissary to France Rabbi Menachem Mendel Deitsch died as a result of the injuries sustained in an anti-Semitic attack in the Ukraine six months ago.
On October 8, 2016, Rabbi Mendel Deitsch, a longtime Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in France and more recently in Israel, was brutally attacked at Zhitomir’s central train station.
Rabbi Deitsch was severely injured in the attack, and despite hospitalization and continued treatment, his condition continued to deteriorate.
Immediately following the attack, Rabbi Deitsch was hospitalized in the Ukraine. Later, he was airlifted to a hospital in Israel.
In the past month, his health deteriorated, and his life was endangered. On Friday night, with his family and friends beside him, Rabbi Deitsch passed away.
Eurovision Finalists From 28 Nations Visit Israel
On April 5, 28 Eurovision finalists planted trees in Israel representing their countries during a four-day promotional tour ahead of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev, May 9-13, 2017. The planting was held in the Eurovision Forest, a section of the Keren Kayemet L’Israel-Jewish National Fund Presidents Forest.
The artists and accompanying journalists, bloggers, and videographers from 28 countries – Armenia to Switzerland, plus Israel — received a guided tour of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Herzliya. On April 5, the contestants performed their songs for local and international media at the Theater Club in Tel Aviv.
Eurovision reportedly is viewed live by some 200 million people in Europe, Australia, the United States, China, Canada, and other countries.
“Israel Calling 2017” marked the second time that the majority of Eurovision Song Contest participants have toured Israel. The project, initiated and produced by Tali Eshkoli, was held in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage, the Jewish National Fund, StandWithUs, and the Herzliya and Tel Aviv-Yafo municipalities.
Extracting water from air, Israeli firm looks to quench global thirst
Water-Gen Ltd., an Israeli company whose technology captures humidity in order to make drinking water out of air, is not likely to experience the cash-flow squeeze that afflicts many fast-growing companies.
That’s because Russian-Israeli entrepreneur and billionaire Michael Mirilashvili, who is also the vice president of the World Jewish Congress, bought control of the company last summer, and because it has high-profile advocates. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned it in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” about Israel’s high-tech prowess. At the AIPAC conference last month, Harvard Law professor and Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz took the stage to showcase its technology. In September, the company presented its solution at the United Nations.
Not bad for a firm that employs some 30 people, mainly engineers, in the central Israeli city of Rishon Lezion. It was set up in 2010 by entrepreneur Arye Kohavi, a former combat reconnaissance company commander in the Israeli Army who previously set up a firm that developed e-learning software.
“Whatever it needs, we will finance,” said Maxim Pasik, the executive chairman of Water-Gen, in an interview at the Herzliya offices of Beer Itzhak Energy Ltd, when asked about financing options for the firm’s growth. “Water-Gen’s potential is endless. Water from air is the next source of water for the world.” Beer Itzhak Energy is the unit of Mirilashvili’s business that bought a 70 percent stake in Water-Gen.
Netanyahu pokes fun at his own fluctuating coif
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed his lighter side, or rather his lighter top, when he contrasted the green blossoming in nature with the color of his hair in a short video clip published Sunday.
Netanyahu’s hairdo has gained media scrutiny in recent years due to its tendency to change color unannounced, at times assuming a decidedly purple tinge.
The most recent wave of speculation began a few weeks ago, after he arrived at a cabinet meeting with a noticeably darker shade of color to his mop than its usual gray.
By the following week, it appeared to have gone brown, like autumn leaves.
Hebrew media outlets were quick to highlight the phenomenon. Though Netanyahu made no official comment, he did refer to his chameleon coif in Sunday’s video, which was posted to his Twitter account .

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