Sunday, September 09, 2018

From Ian:

On Rosh Hashanah 5779, Netanyahu Expresses Optimism About Future of Israel and Jewish People
In a Rosh Hashanah message he shared on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed optimism about the future of his country and the Jewish people.

“Our people are united not only by a common past, but by a common and burning support and reverence for liberty, for pluralism, for debate,” Netanyahu said. “As we debate, we remember our common heritage, our commitment to our common future, and our common values, of liberty, of inquiry, of ensuring the Jewish future, of contributing to the betterment of the world, and Israel and the Jewish people are doing all of that.”

Watch Netanyahu’s message below:

The 50 most influential Jews of the year
As we begin the Jewish New Year 5779, it’s more difficult than ever before to predict what will happen in our rapidly changing world, and who will most impact Israel, the Jewish world and the world at large. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been the powerful leader of the Jewish state for more than 12 years, and wields significant influence with a range of global leaders from US President Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Netanyahu’s fate, however, lies in the hands of Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit, who is due to decide within the next few months whether or not to indict him in one or more cases involving alleged corruption. That’s why Mandelblit tops our list of influential Jews this year, followed by Netanyahu. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who led last year’s list, retain huge influence over President Trump, perhaps the most powerful person on the planet, and are in third place. Following them is the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, the man primarily responsible for the historic decision to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, on May 14, 70 years after the establishment of the State. To highlight his special role, this special supplement features a fascinating interview with Friedman by diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon. We don’t expect our readers to agree with all our choices, but we hope to provide food for thought and discussion over the High Holy Days. As Shimon Peres once told me, it’s our job to tell our readers what (or in this case who) to think about, and not what to think.

Mazal tov to all those on this list, and shana tova to all our readers!

50 Most Influential Jews:
1. Avichai Mandelblit
2. Benjamin Netanyahu
3. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump
4. David Friedman
5. Maggie Haberman
6. Steve Mnuchin
7. Audrey Azulay
8. Ayelet Shaked
9. Ronald Lauder
10. Gal Gadot
11. Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Liberman
12. Yossi Cohen and Gadi Eisenkot
13. Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, Elana Kagan, and Stephen Breyer
14. Michael Cohen
15. Isaac Herzog
16. Sheldon Adelson
17. Claudia Sheinbaum
18. Miri Regev
19. Esther Hayut
20. Reuven Rivlin

Greenblatt: ‘Pray with me’ for release of Hamas held Israeli captives
United States envoy Jason Greenblatt called on Jews around the world to pray with him this new year for the release of the Israeli captives and the remains of two IDF soldiers that Hamas is holding in Gaza.

“This Rosh Hashanah I will pray for the Goldin and Shaul families that Hamas will return Hadar and Oron to them. I will pray for the Mengistu and al-Sayed families, that Hamas will return Avera and Hisham to them. Please pray with me,” Greenblatt tweeted on Friday in advance of the holiday.

The Mengistu and al-Sayed families also issued a call on Thursday for the release of the two men, both of whom are suffering from mental illness and as a result crossed into Gaza.

They unveiled a new campaign, #SpecialNeedsCaptives, which highlights the fact that these men have a psychological disability.

A Greater Threat to Israel than Iran: The Deception of NGOs
In direct opposition to President Donald Trump’s renewed sanctions against Iran, the European Union has made the grandiose offer of $20.7 million in aid to the Ayatollah Khamanei and his terrorist regime. Mr. Trump made the decision to reinstate the measures in order to halt Iran’s threat of furthering its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Brian Hook, US special envoy on Iran was highly critical of the move by the EU. According to Hook, it is “the wrong message at the wrong time.” He went on to say, “Foreign aid from European taxpayers perpetuates the regime's ability to neglect the needs of its people and stifles meaningful policy changes…The Iranian people face very real economic pressures caused by their government's corruption, mismanagement, and deep investment in terrorism and foreign conflicts. The United States and the European Union should be working together instead, to find lasting solutions that truly support Iran's people and end the regime's threats to regional and global stability." Hook added, “More money in the hands of the ayatollah means more money to conduct assassinations in those very European countries.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined the Trump Administration in condemning the move and efforts to restrain violence perpetrated by Iran in the Gulf Region. Netanyahu called the EU move a “big mistake,” and a “poison pill.”

While the move by the EU has posed a renewed threat by Iran to Israel and the Middle East, there is an even greater and less perceived menace: Non-governmental organizations, or NGOs. Supposedly humanitarian groups claiming only to promote human rights, these bodies are known to be actively involved in discrediting Israel in every way possible.

One of the first moves was the BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) movement. The plan is to turn worldwide public opinion against Israel, to isolate the nation by divesting stocks in companies that conduct business with the Jewish state, decimate her economy through boycotts of Israeli products, and reshape Israel into a pariah state that no one person will be willing to defend.

Often working behind the scenes and totally unaccountable for their political actions, NGOs are the recipients of major subsidies from governments. In September 2001, WCC representatives attending the UN Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance at Durban, South Africa, infamously led the demand to officially denounce Israel for “systematic perpetration of racist crimes including war crimes, acts of genocide, and ethnic cleansing.”
Attempted murder of Brazil’s pro-Israel frontrunner pits country’s Jews vs Arabs
Brazil’s frontrunner presidential candidate, who is openly pro-Israel, chose a Jewish hospital in which to recover after he was stabbed during a street rally.

Far-right lawmaker Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed in the stomach on Thursday while campaigning in Juiz de Fora, in southeast Brazil. Referred to by many as “Brazil’s Trump,” the conservative Christian candidate, 63, was stabbed by an attacker who told the police he was “on a mission from God.” Captured on cellphone videos, the attack with a 4.7-inch sharp knife could hardly have been more dramatic.

Bolsonaro, who was seriously injured, was transferred to Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo.

The fact that Bolsonaro, who recently announced that he will move Brazil’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, refused treatment at an Arab hospital commonly chosen by the country’s most senior politicians fueled rivalry that made headlines and led to conspiracy theories in social media.

“This time the Syrian-Lebanese — known as ‘the hospital of the powerful’ — lost the battle to its rival, the Albert Einstein,” Brazil’s most influential newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported.

The most radical among Bolsonaro’s nearly 10 million followers on social media suggested his life would be at risk if moved from the city of Juiz de Fora to receive medical treatment “by the hands of Arab and Muslim doctors,” adding that, at the Jewish institution, the Israel’s Mossad would be able to protect him.
Why Cutting Aid to UNRWA Is Necessary
With the sole exception of the Palestinians, international law does not grant refugee status to generation after generation of any group until the end of time. The American decision to cut funding to UNRWA is therefore a correction of a false reality that was established with the aim of perpetuating, rather than solving, the Palestinian refugee problem.

The US administration’s decision to cut funding for UNRWA is a bold decision that should have been made in the last century. The Palestinian refugee phenomenon is not unique in human history, but the international approach to it — especially in its treatment by the UN and its institutions — deviates from any universally accepted measure.

Nevertheless, some Israeli security experts warn against the consequences of this decision, which they believe may undermine stability. This is a classic response of experts who cling to a familiar reality rather than take necessary steps that venture into an unknown.

This response reflects natural human anxiety about a changing reality. Consider workers who inform management that they need a raise. The management is faced with a dilemma. To cover the cost of a wage increase, there would have to be a corresponding increase in the price of the products, which could drive buyers towards the competition. If no corresponding increase in the price of the products is made, production will cease to be profitable. Either way, the factory will face difficulties and might close down. In view of these concerns, the management might refuse to raise the workers’ wages, warning: “You are marching towards an abyss.”

This is a classic, rational dynamic that causes people to avoid taking a step that, while desirable, could have risky consequences. Karl Marx presented this behavior as a surrender to what he called “false consciousness.” The workers continue to be exploited through the argument that they are better off preserving the existing situation.
Judean Rose: Mudar Zahran Plays Hide the (Israeli) Flag
Mudar Zahran recently addressed a conference of the Friends of Judea and Samaria in the European Parliament.

The Friends of Judea and Samaria is a tiny lobby comprised of just 14 of the 715 members of the EU Parliament. The aims of this miniscule group are noble: they want the EU to stop funding Arab terror and to “abolish trade barriers of the European Union imposed on Jewish goods from the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).” But what on earth does any of this have to do with Mudar Zahran, the man who has duped the Jews into thinking he is the future ruler of Jordan?? And why did Zahran, after the fact, remove the Israeli flag and the sign that says Friends of Judea and Samaria from his own photos and video of the event?

Zahran’s name is nowhere to be found on the list of speakers for the event. Attendees instead, are vaguely told they will be addressed by Jewish and Arab businessman about their cooperation in Judea & Samaria.

Zahran is not a businessman and has no ties to Judea and Samaria. Mudar Zahran is a welfare recipient living in the UK.

Here is Mudar, claiming he spoke to the EU Parliament.
Liberman: We’ve thwarted terror attacks in recent days meant to disrupt New Year
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Sunday that the IDF has thwarted several terror attacks in recent days meant to disrupt Rosh Hashanah celebrations.

“In recent days, too, we have arrested suspects and prevented terror attacks,” Liberman said, addressing a company from the Armoured Corps at a toast for the Jewish New Year that starts Sunday evening.

“The people of Israel will be able to celebrate Rosh Hashanah with confidence and quiet thanks to IDF soldiers and security forces who will continue to tour and protect us all during the holiday,” he said, without divulging further details.

The defense minister also thanked the company of Armoured corps soldiers, who are also responsible for guarding the West Bank settlement of Nokdim, where he lives.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered similar praise of the Shin Bet security service at a new year’s toast last week where he claimed that “not a day goes by in which there is no thwarting” of an attack.

Netanyahu credited the work of the security agency with helping Israel to avoid much of the violence that has engulfed other countries in the Middle East.
Israel reportedly bars Ahed Tamimi and her family from leaving country
Teenage Palestinian protester Ahed Tamimi and her family have been barred from leaving Israel, her father said on Friday.

Tamimi, 17, was released in July from Israeli prison, where she had served an eight-month sentence for slapping two Israeli soldiers, an incident that was captured on film and made her an icon among Palestinians and their supporters.

Bassem Tamimi told Turkey’s Anadolu Agency that his family had planned to travel to Europe via Jordan so that his daughter could speak about what he called “the Palestinian resistance movement” and her experiences in Israeli prison.

They had planned to leave on Friday morning, but the Palestinian Authority liaison committee informed the family that Israeli authorities refused them permission to leave. Bassem Tamimi told Anadolu that authorities did not provide any reason for the ban.

He told Israel’s Haaretz daily that the family had been invited by human rights groups in Belgium, France and Spain to speak in what would have been a 20-day trip.

The army did not give any comment, but a source told Haaretz that the decision to ban the family from traveling was made by the Shin Bet security service.

Bassem Tamimi called the ban a form of political harassment and said the family would reapply for travel permits in a few weeks and turn to the courts if necessary.
Trump Hits Syria's Fuel Network With Sanctions As Assad Prepares Idlib Assault
The Trump administration announced sanctions Thursday against several entities that provide fuel procurement services to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, including one businessman who brokers trade deals between the government and the Islamic State.

The four individuals and five companies were blacklisted because they are known to have supplied Assad with oil and weapons in violation of international sanctions, according to the Department of Treasury.

Among the newly sanctioned individuals is Muhammad al-Qatirji, an import-export specialist with close ties to the Syrian government. U.S. officials say al-Qatirji’s eponymous company serves as the Assad regime’s principal intermediary with ISIS and has arranged shipments of weapons, oil and other commodities between Damascus and the terror group.

Also added to the Treasury Department’s specially designated nationals (SDN) list were Syrian nationals Yasir Abas and Adnan Al-Ali and Lebanese national Fadi Nasser. The men are key players in Syria’s fuel procurement network, which is used to evade sanctions through clandestine imports of crude oil and petroleum products to Syrian ports.
JCPA: Does the Turmoil in Iraq Signal a Nationalist Awakening against Iran?
Even Gen. Qasem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Qods force, lobbied politicians in Baghdad to block the al-Sadr victory. Iran made great efforts to deny leadership to al-Sadr’s party (which seems to have enjoyed an active American lobby) by trying to establish a bigger parliamentary coalition which could claim the right to form the next government.

On September 3, 2018, al-Sadr announced the formation of a united list of more than 184 members (some media claim 177 members from 16 factions), thus affirming the right to form the government. The new alliance includes the blocs of Vice President Ayad Allawi and Shiite Muslim cleric Ammar al-Hakim, as well as several Sunni Muslim lawmakers and representatives of Turkmen, Yazidi, Mandaean, and Christian minorities.

On the same day, Al-Sadr’s rivals claimed to have formed the larger faction with 145 members. The difference between the two is due to the fact that the Kurdish factions (41 members) have not formally joined either of the two camps. The Kurds have put conditions to their support – first, the recovery of the control of their borders lost to the central Iraqi government after the failed declaration of independence initiated by then-president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG ), Massoud Barzani, in September 2017. The Kurds also seek a more equitable partition of oil revenues and the recognition of a special status of the Kurdish fighters (the “Peshmerga”) together with the payment of salaries to all Kurdish governmental officials.

Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, a former Revolutionary Guard officer and advisor to Gen. Qasem Soleimani (Mehr News, Iran)

The competition between the two blocks seems to have touched a very sensitive Iraqi nerve. Serious Iraqi discontent has been voiced and burst forth over Iran’s brutal meddling in Iraqi politics; its arrogant behavior; the appointment as Iran’s ambassador to Iraq of Iraj Masjedi, a Revolutionary Guards officer for 35 years who used to be Qasem Soleimani’s Adviser in the Qods Force; and behaving towards the Iraqis as if they were obedient vassals while ignoring national sensitivities.

To add insult to injury, press reports have stated that Iran has transferred to Iraqi territory ballistic missiles for the Popular Mobilization Units under Iranian command. Press accounts stress that Basra is undergoing a humanitarian water disaster because of Iranian water projects that diverted and dammed tributaries of the Tigris River into Iraq

The Iraqi response was almost immediate: Faleh el-Fayyad, head of the National Security Agency, President of the Popular Mobilization Forces, and founder of the Shiite “Ataa Movement” was fired on August 31, 2018, from his post by Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al Abadi who declared, “We will not endanger the interests of our people in order to satisfy Iran or anybody else.” The Government charged that el-Fayyad’s active involvement in politics while being a civil servant is forbidden by the Iraqi Constitution. Less than 24 hours after his dismissal, Faleh el-Fayyad was declared by the pro-Iranian factions in parliament, headed by Hadi el-Ameri, to be their candidate to be the prime minister.
Iran’s attack on Kurds is a message to Washington, Riyadh and Jerusalem
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran claimed credit for a missile attack on Kurdish opposition groups in Koya in northern Iraq. The attack on Saturday killed a dozen and wounded numerous others. It was the first time Iranian forces had used this kind of precision missile attack deep inside Iraq. The brazen daylight missile attack is a message from Tehran to the region that it can do what it wants, not only in neighboring Iraq, but throughout the Middle East. In the last year Iranian missiles and Iranian-supported groups using Tehran’s technical advisors have targeted Saudi Arabia from Yemen and Israel from Syria. As Washington seeks to pressure Iran, the missile threat is clear indication that Tehran is flexing its muscles in the face of sanctions.

The IRGC attempted a decapitation strike against the Kurdish KDP-I, an opposition group that has a headquarters in Koya. Numerous senior leaders were present and a missile crashed into the building where they were meeting. This was a precise and unprecedented strike. Although Iran has targeted Kurdish groups in Iraq before, and it has fired missiles at other opposition groups, the missiles used in this attack were precise and showcases Iranian intelligence operations and know how.

The missile attack on Koya should not be seen as an isolated Iran regime attack on an opposition group. Iran has been fighting Kurdish opposition for years and in Iran there have been increasing clashes. But the missile strike was an escalation and should be seen in the context of the Iranian-backed Houthis using ballistic missiles to target Riyadh, flying some 900 km from their launch point. Iranian forces from Syria have also targeted and tested Israel’s defenses. They flew a drone into Israeli airspace in February and fired a salvo of missiles in May. Recent satellite images show missile production facilities in northern Syria. Reports also indicate that Iran has transferred missiles to the Hashd al-Shaabi, or Shia militias, in Iraq. And Iran has armed Hezbollah with missiles for years and also supplied Hamas with technical support.

The big picture then is an Iranian missile threat throughout the region. The National Defense Authorization Act signed by US President Donald Trump in August included passages about Iran’s ballistic missile threat. Congress had looked deeply into how Iran’s missile program threatens the region. During a June speech at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies US Under Secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence Sigal Mandelker said that “Iran must end its proliferation of ballistic missiles.”

About Corbyn
Worrying indeed. Almost 40% of British Jews would “seriously consider emigrating” if Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister, according to a poll conducted for The Jewish Chronicle that was published on Wednesday.

Mr. Corbyn made things personal.

He stoked up his rabid base in ways that President Trump can only fantasize about. He insults Jews day-in, day-out by suggesting that we feel nobody can critique Israel (when most Jews have daily conversations about government and politics in the Jewish state), claims we lack of sense of humor and, despite having lived there for generations, don’t get English Irony. He then feigns mock indignation when there’s a backlash from the community.

It’s sickening and reminds me of a scene I witnessed in Belfast, when a couple were arguing in front of a relative. The man struck the woman and she fell to the floor, and the lady with her started, quite understandably, screaming and crying. The man then turned to the woman who he had just struck who was still on the floor and exclaimed while pointing to the upset woman: “See what you’ve just done? You’ve upset your mother.” I can’t think of a better comparison for the odious leader of the Labour Party and his treatment of the Jewish community in the UK when it comes to Israel. And doubtless, just like the struck woman and her mother, Jews will not forget, nor forgive.

Nor should we.

“Israel is a racist endeavor” is but the veneer on the table of how British Labour sees Jews under Corbyn. The wood itself underneath is – make no mistake – riddled and rotten with antisemitism. And Corbyn is the carpenter to blame.
UK Labour is being led by anti-Semites, former anti-racism watchdog head charges
The former head of Britain’s official equal rights watchdog accused the Labour Party of being run by “anti-Semites and racists,” and said he did not believe party head Jeremy Corbyn’s claims that he is not biased against Jews.

“It doesn’t help that one of our great parties, the one I belong to, is led by anti-Semites and racists who basically want to eliminate anyone who disagrees with them,” Trevor Phillips said Friday during a think tank discussion, according to a report in the UK’s Mail on Sunday tabloid.

Phillips is the former head of the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, which promotes equal rights and oversees anti-discrimination policies in Britain.

Asked if his comments included Corbyn, he answered in the affirmative.

“I think Jeremy Corbyn’s views have been pretty well ventilated and exposed,” he said.

Phillips’s comments came as Labour tried to move past an anti-Semitism row that has torn the party asunder in recent months, amid claims that the party was protecting anti-Semites within its ranks and that Corbyn himself harbored anti-Jewish sentiments.

On Tuesday, the party’s National Executive Committee adopted the provisions of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance‘s definition of anti-Semitism, but added a vague and controversial caveat protecting criticism of Israel, angering many within the party.

Some in the Jewish community welcomed the party’s belated adoption of the definition as a first step, but said more must be done by Labour to win back the trust of the country’s Jews.

NY Democrats claim actress is pro-BDS, soft on anti-Semitism
The New York State Democratic Party in a mailer accused gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon of supporting the BDS movement and being silent on the rise of anti-Semitism.

Nixon, who is gay and attends Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, an LGBT congregation, announced her bid for the Democratic nomination for New York governor in March. She faces incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the September 13 primary.

“With anti-Semitism and bigotry on the rise, we can’t take a chance with inexperienced Cynthia Nixon, who won’t stand strong for our Jewish communities,” the mailer said. It also states that Nixon is “against funding for yeshivas,” supports “BDS, the racist, xenophobic campaign to boycott Israel” and has been “silent on the rise of anti-Semitism.”

The mailer says it was paid for by the New York State Democratic Committee.

Cuomo campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith tweeted: “Governor Cuomo didn’t approve of or have any knowledge of the mailer in question. He disagrees with the language in it, believes it is inappropriate, and urges voters to focus on the real issues in this race.”

Nixon has not publicly commented on the mailer.
Michigan Dem walks back claim Israel aggressor, Hamas legitimate
The Democratic candidate in this year's race for Lieutenant Governor of Michigan walked back a series of social media comments he made in the past, in which he blamed "Israeli aggression" for the conflict with the Gaza Strip, and hailed the Hamas terror organization as the "legitimately elected" leaders of the coastal enclave.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Garlin Gilchrist II, a political activist and running mate of gubernatorial hopeful Gretchen Whitmer, had posted a series of social media posts in January 2009 criticizing Israel and support for the Jewish state among Americans. In the comments, Gilchrist also expressed optimism that President Barack Obama would end what he claimed was a biased, pro-Israel approach in the White House.

On January 4th, 2009, Gilchrist tweeted that he was sick of politicians and Evangelical Christians “kissing Israel’s ass.”

“I'm suck [sic] of politicians and Evangelicals kissing Israel's ass regardless of what they do in the name of ‘defense'.”

Two days later, Gilchrist expressed hope that then-President Barack Obama would end the “Israel-can-do-no-wrong approach”.

In a follow-up comment, Gilchrist expressed his support for the Gaza-based Hamas terror group as the ‘legitimate’ representative of Gaza, while condemning “Israeli aggression”.

“Hamas is a legitimately elected party that only rose to power b/c of Israeli aggression & Western complicity/enablement.”

On Friday, however, the Whitmer campaign released a statement from Gilchrist walking back his 2009 comments regarding Israel and Hamas.

German Jewish leader slams deep-rooted extremism after kosher restaurant attack
The attack on a kosher restaurant in Chemnitz by masked neo-Nazis on the sidelines of an anti-migrant protest shows there’s a deep problem with right-wing extremism in the region and should be treated as a call to action, the head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews said Sunday.

Josef Schuster, who had previously condemned the violent far-right protests on Aug. 26 and 27 before the attack on the Jewish restaurant was even known, said “we need to call the problem by its name.”

“The racist riots and the attack on the kosher restaurant in Chemnitz show how strongly rooted right-wing extremism is in the region,” he said.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets after a German man was stabbed and killed Aug. 26 after authorities say a verbal argument with migrant men escalated. An Iraqi and a Syrian have been arrested on manslaughter charges. That day several foreigners were injured after authorities said they were attacked in the streets.

The next night, around 6,000 far-right protesters including neo-Nazis, members of the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany party and others clashed with counter-demonstrators. On the sidelines, masked protesters attacked the Schalom restaurant with rocks and bottles, injuring the owner while shouting “Jewish pig, get out of Germany.”
IsraellyCool: Babushkantisemitism
Journalist Allison Kaplan Sommer, who is currently in Russia, spotted something disturbing.

I was shopping for souvenirs in Moscow when among the “babushka” dolls, I spotted a Jewish one. “Oh, how cute,” I thought. Then I looked closer. The Jew was clutching …. money!

I opened it up to see if the smaller dolls were anti-Semitic themed as well. Of course they were. A nice greedy family. Yeesh.

Maybe Roger can pick this set up next time he is in Moscow – assumed he didn’t already.
Israeli water filters donated to Cameroon to fight cholera
Water filtration systems from Israeli company NUFiltration were donated to Cameroon to help fight a cholera epidemic there.

As ISRAEL21c reported in July, NUFiltration acquires and sterilizes used kidney dialysis filters that would otherwise be discarded and repurposes them in several filtration products.

One of these products, meant especially for hard-to-reach rural areas of developing nations, is a portable crank-operated machine capable of taking water from a polluted source such a river and purifying up to 500 liters per hour – enough to supply all the daily water needs of 300 to 400 people.

Last May, Israeli Ambassador to Cameroon Ran Gidor displayed NUFiltration’s portable unit at a public event showcasing innovative Israeli products for beekeeping and water purification. Gidor worked with the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s MASHAV Agency for International Development Cooperation to arrange a donation of $15,000 worth of NUFiltration equipment.

According to ReliefWeb, a cholera outbreak in Cameroon has claimed at least a dozen lives and sent hundreds of people, many of them children, to hospitals since May. The World Health Organization says cholera is primarily linked to insufficient access to safe water and adequate sanitation.

“Our aim is to share our technological advances in the domain of water purification with our Cameroonian partners,” said Gidor. “With simple, cheap Israeli technology we can assist those communities in Cameroon that have been afflicted by cholera.”

UN-approved NUFiltration systems also are deployed in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, the Fiji Islands, Cambodia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Mali and Nigeria. They function for three years before needing new filters.
Track and monitor your metabolism with a single breath
Identical twins Michal and Merav Mor have more than looks in common: both earned PhDs in physiology at Ben-Gurion University, both compete in triathlons, both are health researchers and mothers.

Wanting to manage their nutrition scientifically, the Mor sisters came across a metric called respiratory quotient (RQ), the ratio of carbon dioxide (CO2) to oxygen (O2) in the breath. Measuring RQ after sleeping, eating or working out reveals whether the body is producing energy from fat or carbohydrates.

Hospitals and clinics worldwide offer RQ measurement to help athletes adjust diet and activity for peak levels of fitness. However, the process involves sophisticated equipment, professional analysis of results and an hour’s worth of time – not something that could be done at home or on a daily basis.

Lumen, the company cofounded by the Mor sisters and three partners in January 2014, is launching a neat little device that works with an app to analyze breath within seconds and provide a personalized RQ along with suggestions to help you lose weight and optimize workouts.

When you wake up in the morning, you take Lumen out of its charging dock and remove its magnetic dust cap, open the app on your phone, and begin the two-step process guided by the app: Inhale a single breath with Lumen in your mouth, hold your breath until prompted and then exhale into the device.

In half a minute, you’ll know if you should plan a high-carb or low-carb day depending on your planned level of activity. Using machine learning, the device gets to know you better with repeated use, automatically. There’s no food tracking or guesswork involved.
Ancient Hungarian synagogue reopens after 332 years
Ahead of the Rosh Hashanah holiday, an ancient Hungarian synagogue confiscated from the Jews following a pogrom in 1686 has been rededicated at a ceremony attended by Hungarian President Janos Ader.

The two-room Sephardic synagogue, known as the medieval Jewish prayer house, was built in 1364. Situated inside the Buda Castle, the synagogue was converted into residential housing and was all but forgotten until the 1960s, when renovators discovered Jewish markings on the ceilings of the rooms. Following the discovery, the rooms were opened to the public as a museum.

Speaking at the ceremony, Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation executive Rabbi Shlomo Koves said, "Seeing this place 70 years after the Holocaust, seeing hundreds of people celebrating this special event in the Buda Castle with their heads held high, in the presence of the honorable president, I can hear the footsteps of Israel's final redemption."

He said it took years of negotiations with multiple bodies to reach a deal to allow a Jewish congregation to pray at the ancient synagogue.

Budapest-born Asher Faith, who will serve as the synagogue's rabbi, said that "we opened up an old synagogue in extraordinary circumstances, and we're looking forward to good things.

"We'll once again blow the shofar here this Rosh Hashanah, and maybe, in this merit, we will see the Messiah."
Ahead of High Holidays, world Jewry stands 14.7M strong
The world's Jewish population stands at 14.7 million, an increase from 14.6 million in 2017, according to findings published by Israeli demographer and professor emeritus at Hebrew University of Jerusalem Sergio Della Pergola ahead of the Jewish New Year.

Israel's Jewish population increased to 6.6 million from the 6.5 million Jewish residents found to be living in the country last year. In addition, some 400,000 people living in Israel but not registered as Jews are eligible for citizenship under the Law of Return.

According to Pergola's data, 23.6 million people around the world are eligible to make aliyah under the Law of Return.

Some 8.1 million Jews live in the Diaspora, with 5.7 million of them living in the United States.

Other countries with large Jewish communities are France with a Jewish population of 430,000, followed by Canada with a Jewish population of 391,000 and Great Britain, with 290,000.

Argentina's Jewish population stands at 180,000; Russia's at 172,000; Germany's at 116,000; Australia's at 113,000 and Brazil's at 93,000. South Africa has 69,000 Jews, and Ukraine and Hungary have Jewish populations numbering 50,000 and 47,000, respectively.

There are 40,000 Jews living in Mexico, 30,000 in the Netherlands, 29,000 in Belgium, 28,000 in Italy, 19,000 in Switzerland, and 18,000 in Chile.

Some 27,000 Jews live in Arab and Muslim countries. There are 15,000 Jews in Turkey, some 8,500 in Iran, 2,000 in Morocco and around 1,000 in Tunisia.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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