Thursday, January 30, 2020

From Ian:

PMW: PMW exclusive: PA gave 517.4 million shekels to terrorists as salaries in 2019
As US President Trump demanded “halting the financial compensation to terrorists” PA documents just publicized show the PA admits to paying 517.4 million shekels in salaries to terrorists in 2019, a rise of 15 million shekels compared to 2018.

Israeli government stipulated that the PA spent 150 million shekels on the payments to wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorist “Martyrs” in 2018

PMW has calculated that this figure has grown by at least 1.6 million shekels, in 2019

Accordingly, in 2020, the Israeli Government must deduct no less than 669 million shekels from the taxes Israel collects and transfer to the PA

According to recently published Palestinian Authority financial reports, Palestinian Media Watch can expose that the PA has admitted to spending no less than 517.4 million shekels ($149.7 million/€136 million) paying salaries to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners in 2019.

The PA expenditure on allowances to wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists was at least 151.6 million shekels in 2019. Accordingly, the total minimum PA expenditure in 2019 on its payments to terrorists and families of dead terrorists - its Pay-for-Slay policy- was 669 million shekels ($193.6 million/€175.8 million).

In accordance with the Israeli law, Defense Minister Naftali Bennet should present the National Security Cabinet with a report showing that the PA expenditure on its Pay-for-Slay policy was no less than 669 million shekels.

Israeli law demands that this figure be deducted from the monthly tax transfers Israel makes to the PA.
Uganda expected to move its embassy to Jerusalem - report
Uganda is reportedly planning to announce that it is moving its embassy to Jerusalem next week, sources close to the Ugandan president and the Ugandan Christian community told The Jerusalem Post.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry could not confirm the report.

The Hebrew website Ynet reported on Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to travel to Uganda on Monday, but did not cite a reason for the visit.

Sources close to the community told the Post that the move has been in the works for three years.

Pastor Drake Kanaabo, who ministers at the Redeemed of the Lord Evangelistic Church Makerere in Kampala, Uganda, told the Post that he had been hearing rumors about the move.

"I got a note from sources that Uganda is moving the embassy," he said, though he noted that he was unable to confirm the rumors with senior leaders by press time.

He said it is important that Uganda move the embassy to the holy city "because of our past good relationship with the State of Israel.

"On a spiritual level, Uganda regards Israel as the mother of Christianity," he told the Post. "Ugandan Christians are no longer standing on one leg for Israel, but two - in prayer and action. Israel is the only first-world country that is near to Uganda and Africa."

Backpacker Naama Issachar walks free in Russia, boards PM’s plane back to Israel
Israeli-American backpacker Naama Issachar reunited with her mother on Thursday at Moscow’s airport after her release from Russian prison, and boarded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official plane on her way back to Israel as a free woman.

Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, greeted Naama in front of the cameras, along with Yaffa Issachar, after pushing for months for her release, which comes weeks before national elections in Israel.

Naama Issachar, 27, was sentenced by Russia to 7.5 years in prison after nearly 10 grams of marijuana were found in her luggage during a layover in a Moscow airport in April. She has denied smuggling drugs, noting that she had not sought to enter Russia during the layover on her way to Israel from India, and had no access to her luggage during her brief stay in the Russian airport.

Issachar, who was held in a Russian prison for some 10 months, was seen hugging her mother and greeting the Netanyahus inside the terminal.

The four then crossed the tarmac and boarded the plane without stopping to make a formal statement or answer questions from the many reporters in attendance.

“Let’s go home, let’s go home,” the prime minister said.

It was a unique event, where journalists from all major Israeli news outlets provided extensive coverage and television channels interrupted their regular broadcasts for the release of a young woman who committed a criminal offense, but whose fate — widely viewed as a disproportionate punishment — has gripped an entire nation.

Report: Netanyahu seeks to bring Pollard to Israel before elections
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strives to bring former spy Jonathan Pollard to Israel before the March 2 elections, local media reported on Wednesday.

The report cites a source within the Likud party, who said the premier aims to have Pollard on Israeli soil a week before Israelis cast their ballots in the country's unprecedented third elections in the same year.

Pollard, a US citizen who was caught spying for Israel and served 30 years in prison, was released in 2015 on parole. He is currently subject to strict terms and is not allowed to leave the US.

In August 2019, he revealed in an interview to Channel 12 News that he asked Israel’s prime minister to help him receive a commute on his parole after learning his wife was stricken with cancer, so he could take better care of her.

From his cramped little apartment in Manhattan, New York, the former spy said he had urged Netanyahu to intervene on his behalf and ask US President Donald Trump to let him "go home" amid his recent familial crisis.

In response, the Prime Minister’s Office released a statement, saying that "Israel remains committed to bringing Jonathan Pollard back home. The prime minister will continue with his efforts to bring him to Israel."
IDF strikes Hamas targets in southern Gaza in response to attacks
The Israeli Air Force carried out strikes on the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday afternoon in response to attacks earlier in the day, the military said.

“Earlier today, fire was identified from the Gaza Strip toward an observation antenna and explosive balloons were launched into Israeli territory,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

“In response, a short while ago, IDF aircraft and tanks targeted a number of observation means used for intelligence collection by the Hamas terror organization, in the southern Gaza Strip,” it said.

Palestinian media in the Gaza Strip reported that three separate sites were targeted.

On Thursday, a bundle of balloons connected to an explosive device were found in the area of the Ashkelon Coastal Regional Council. There were no injuries.

Earlier in the day, Ibrahim al-Shantaf, identified as a member of Hamas’ military wing, died in an accident while working in one of its underground tunnels in the Gaza Strip.

El Al to halt all flights to Beijing until March
Israel's El Al Airlines announced a halt on all flights to Beijing until March 25 in light of the spread of the Novel (new) Coronavirus on Thursday, following the lead of other carriers that have suspended or scaled back flights to China due to the viral outbreak.

The decision was apparently made after El Al employees refused to fly to China, according to Calcalist. Thursday's flight from Beijing to Ben-Gurion Airport will return as scheduled.

New directives released by the Health Ministry on Wednesday also contributed to the decision.

The death toll from the spreading virus, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has risen to 170, with the total number of known cases rising to 7,711, according to China's National Health Commission.
Holocaust survivor moves European Parliament to tears with speech
Italian Auschwitz survivor and Senator for Life Liliana Segre received a standing ovation for her address to the European Parliament, in a ceremony marking International Holocaust Memorial Day.

In a powerful speech that moved many MEPs to tears, Segre recounted her experience as a young girl facing the evils of humanity, while also launching a mighty message of love for life and to strive against racism and antisemitism.

“I am extremely emotional to be here in the European Parliament," she said. "Upon my arrival, I saw all the flags displayed at the entrance. So many colors, so many countries that are here in a spirit of brotherhood, with people speaking to each other and looking at each other directly in the eyes. This was not always the way things were." She also specifically addressed British MEPs, expressing her sorrow for their imminent departure – the Brexit deal was approved by the EU Parliament on the same day.

Born in 1930 into a Jewish family in Milan, Segre was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 at the age of 13.

For the past 30 years, she has been one of the most active witnesses of the Holocaust, speaking to thousands of schools and groups all over Italy.

In January 2018, she was appointed senator for life by the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella.

International Holocaust Memorial Day falls on January 27, the day that the Red Army liberated Auschwitz – or, more accurately, as Segre recalled during her speech, the day that Soviet soldiers reached the Nazi extermination camp that the Germans had abandoned several days earlier, and uncovered its horrors for the first time.
LBC: Holocaust survivor calls on politicians to act now on online hate speech
Manfred Goldberg BEM is concerned that social media has "taken the place of the Nazi propaganda ministry".

Manfred Goldberg BEM came to the UK in September 1946 having survived three and a half years in several labour and concentration camps.

He joined Maajid Nawaz in the studio to discuss the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz being liberated.

Manfred Goldberg said: "Today's social media sites are incredibly powerful and I feel that we are fighting an uphill battle which cannot possibly win unless some form of effective control is imposed on these websites.

|"At the moment, it's a free for all. The propagators of this propaganda can hide behind fake identities.

"There's no consequence for them so lies can be propagated with no risk attached to be out to have lied and misled people.

I feel that such controls are long overdue and I hope and pray that eventually, some politician will be brave enough."

LBC: "It's not the England I came to": Auschwitz survivor tells LBC
Ivor Perl said that when he arrived in England, he thought it was "heaven'. He told Andrew Castle that it's no longer the England he came to.

Ivor Perl was born in 1932 in Hungary. He had five brothers and three sisters.

He was taken to Auschwitz, aged 12, with his entire family. Only Ivor and one of his brother survived.

He spoke to Andrew Castle as part of the commemoration of 75 years since Auschwitz was liberated.

Ivor told Andrew Castle about his experience of the Holocaust.

He was first deported to a ghetto, then to Auschwitz.

He described arriving there as "horrendous" and how it followed a four day journey in a cattle truck with 70 to 80 people.

Upon arriving, he was separated from his mother and sisters. He never saw them again.

Major Barak's Grandmother Was Liberated From Auschwitz.
75 years ago, Barak's grandmother was liberated from Auschwitz after surviving the Holocaust.

Today, Barak is an officer in the IDF. This is their story!

Btsalmo Demands Firing of Sabado Cartoonist After Antisemitic Cartoon
Btsalmo, a human rights organization based in Israel, has written to the editor of Sabado Magazine, demanding the dismissal of cartoonist Vasco Gargalo for his cartoon of a “Palestinian” Holocaust. The cartoon depicts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shoving a PA flag-draped coffin into an oven bearing the infamous slogan from the gates of Auschwitz, Arbeit Macht Frei, “work will set you free.”

The letter to the executive editor of Sabado was copied, among others, to the Portuguese Prime Minister, the Ambassador of Portugal to Israel, Israel’s prime minister, and the Israeli Ambassador to Portugal. Btsalmo CEO Shai Glick, notes in the letter that the cartoon qualifies as both Holocaust denial and minimization according to the official International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.
Thousands call for congressmen to withdraw support for 'antisemitic' CAIR
More than 9,000 Americans have signed a petition calling on members of Congress to withdraw statements of support issued to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization which the petition's signatories say is antisemitic.

More than 120 members of Congress, including Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Pramila Jayapal and Mark Poucan, and presidential hopefuls, senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, wrote letters to CAIR last year ahead of the organization's 25th anniversary, praising its work.

The letters were printed in full in the program for a gala held to mark the occasion; three were from Republican representatives.

But thousands of Americans have called on the congressmen to renounce their letters, arguing that CAIR is an antisemitic organization and therefore cannot be supported by anyone who claims to oppose racism.

"Although CAIR leaders claim to oppose antisemitism, they routinely put blatantly antisemitic speakers front and center at some of their biggest events, including their recent 25th anniversary gala. No organization that truly opposes antisemitism would highlight such prominent bigots," the petition text states.

The petition statement cites four figures connected with CAIR who have displayed antisemitism publicly.

The first is Democratic representative Ilhan Omar, who is herself one of the authors of the letters of support. Omar headlined the gala at which the letters were circulated.

Labour refuses to give leadership candidates its response to EHRC antisemitism probe
Labour general secretary Jennie Formby has refused to make the party’s submission to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) available to candidates fighting to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

The JC understands that, at a meeting on Wednesday, Wigan MP Lisa Nandy asked for the material - submitted as part of the equality watchdog's probe into whether the party is institutionally antisemitic - to be shared with the four candidates.

But Ms Formby said she had been told to refuse this request after seeking advice from Labour’s external counsel.

She also insisted that former deputy leader Tom Watson and other members of Labour’s shadow cabinet had been offered an opportunity to view the submission last year.

One party source told the JC: "It seems astonishing the general secretary is refusing to share the EHRC submission from the party.

“One of the first major jobs Jeremy Corbyn’s replacement will have to do is implement the findings of the EHRC.

“To keep the leadership contenders in the dark over the party’s position is a joke, really.” (h/t Zvi)
Jewish groups ‘disappointed’ with Montreal rejection of IHRA
The Federation CJA and the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs-Québec (CIJA) have expressed concern over the decision of Montreal’s mayor not to support the adoption of International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism.

According to the organizations, the Montreal City Council was expected to vote on a motion calling on the city to adopt IHRA on Monday, but the vote and debate, introduced by Lionel Perez, was postponed to Tuesday morning because it coincided with International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau.

“During the [Tuesday] debate, Mayor Valérie Plante proposed to refer the motion to the Commission de la présidence du conseil, suggesting that the city of Montreal should develop its own definition of antisemitism,” the statement said. “Perez rejected the proposal and withdrew the motion.”

Reacting to the situation, Federation CJA president Gail Adelson-Marcovitz and CIJA cochairman Reuben Poupko said they were deeply disappointed in Plante’s decision.

“[The mayor] did not support the adoption of the most widely accepted definition of antisemitism, a tool endorsed by reputable international bodies and adopted by dozens of democratic countries, including Canada, to enhance the fight against resurgent antisemitism,” the two said in a statement. “Indeed, Canada and many other countries recently chose to restate their commitment to IHRA and its definition of antisemitism.” (h/t Zvi)
MESA Hits Bottom, Continues Digging in Support of Anti-Israel Activism
MESA's letter defends SJP, which organized a boycott of pro-Israel student groups. MESA it opposes the Department's investigation because it's "politically motivated," and thatthe complaint conflates support for Palestinians and criticism of Israel with antisemitism.

That claim is false. SJP and related groups who promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel are not critics of Israel or Israeli policy; they are opposed to Israel's existence.

MESA president Dina Rizk Khoury. Khoury, who supports academic boycotts of Israel, co-signed the letter,

If you thought that MESA couldn't discredit itself any more after inviting Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill to deliver the keynote address urging academics to support BDS at its annual meeting last year, this letter shows the association isn't done.
BBC Exploits Holocaust Remembrance Event With Gratuitous Propaganda
The reference to “occupied Palestinian territories,” which has nothing at all to do with the report’s subject matter, is both gratuitous and, as CAMERA’s Gilead Ini has explained in another context, incorrect. Guerin’s inference of how some Israelis see their country, and her implication that this view is unjustified, is insulting to the many people for whom Israel was, in fact, a lifeline after they survived a genocide, as well as to their descendants.

The report was criticized by many, including former BBC executives. The British Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women asserted that the report would “only serve to feed and fuel antisemitism.” The editor of the Jewish Chronicle called the report “depraved,” explaining, “note that ‘but’ in her final sentence. You Israelis, she is saying, are the bullies now, with your military and your occupation. ‘But’ you have the gall still to think of yourselves as being the persecuted.”

And the Board of Deputies of British Jews stated, “In an otherwise moving report on the experiences of a Holocaust survivor, Orla Guerin’s attempt to link the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the horrors of the Holocaust was crass and offensive.” In light of Guerin’s history of bias, the BOD wrote, “it is questionable why the BBC would even use her for this sensitive assignment.”

The BBC has so far defended Guerin’s report, claiming that her “brief reference in our Holocaust report to Israel’s position today did not imply any comparison between the two.”

This is not the first time that the BBC has inserted political commentary concerning Israel into coverage of unrelated issues concerning Jews. In January 2015 Tim Willcox of BBC News interviewed a French-Israeli woman attending a rally in memory of the victims of the Paris terror attacks. She expressed concern about persecution of Jews, saying “the situation is going back to the days of the 1930s in Europe,” whereupon Willcox stated, “Many critics though of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well.”
Retired US Army commander: Iran Quds Force not the same without Soleimani
Iran and Hezbollah will not risk a major war with Israel, ex-CIA director and general David Petraeus said on Wednesday.

Speaking from the INSS annual international conference in Tel Aviv, Petraeus explained that a combination of US and Israeli military power had established deterrence with both Iran and Hezbollah from major risky actions, even as they might risk smaller confrontations.

Petraeus said that, “Iran will not risk a major war because it would put its survival at risk,” stating that Tehran knew Jerusalem would not hesitate to unleash massive force in a broad conflict and that even the US might get involved.

He added that he believed Russia would act to restrain the Islamic Republic from major destabilizing activities.

Regarding Hezbollah, he said, “Hezbollah will not risk a full war” with Israel “unless it is pushed into a corner.”

The former CIA director said that, “we in the US underestimated for years” the significance of the blow Israel “dealt Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War.”

He said Israel’s use of force against Hezbollah in 2006 deters Hezbollah from a larger fight to this day.

Iranian chess master: Hijab 'limits' women instead of 'protecting' them
Female Iranian chess grandmaster Mitra Hejazipour has openly claimed that the hijab serves as a "limitation" for women not "protection," demonishing the country's compulsory hijab dress codes in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

Hejazipour added that the hijab serves as lucid representation of a set of beliefs that designate women as "the second sex."

"It creates many limitations for women and deprives them of their basic rights. Is this protection? I say definitely not, it is solely and merely a limitation," she wrote.

Hejazipour claimed further, that starting around the age of six, a relative used to bully her into consistently wearing her hijab, even around the house. At the age of 27, after more than 20 years of consistently wearing a hijab everywhere she goes and considering she has now become "an example to others," the chess grandmaster has decided "not to have a share in this horrendous lie and not to play the game of 'We love the hijab and have no problem with it' anymore."

She protested in clear dismay of the hijab late last December, when she removed her hijab during the World Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship in Moscow - a move that got her sacked from the Iranian national team and expelled from the Iranian Chess Federation after playing for the Islamic Republic for over 18 years.
Iranian factory makes Israeli and American flags to burn
Business is booming at Iran's largest flag factory which makes US, British and Israeli flags for Iranian protesters to burn.

At the factory in the town of Khomein, southwest of the capital Tehran, young men and women print the flags by hand then hang them up to dry. The factory produces about 2,000 US and Israeli flags a month in its busiest periods, and more than 1.5 million square feet of flags a year.

Tensions between the United States and Iran have reached the highest level in decades after top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad on Jan. 3, prompting Iran to retaliate with a missile attack against a US base in Iraq days later.

In state-sponsored rallies and protests in Iran, demonstrators regularly burn the flags of Israel, US and Britain.

Ghasem Ghanjani, who owns the Diba Parcham flag factory, said: "We have no problem with the American and British people. We have (a) problem with their governors. We have (a) problem with their presidents, with the wrong policy they have."

"The people of America and Israel know that we have no problem with them. If people burn the flags of these countries at different rallies, it is only to show their protest." (h/t Zvi)
Iranian Animation Group Releases Video Depicting Countless Coffins of American Soldiers
On January 21, 2020, an Iranian animation group called SSAFF uploaded an animated video titled “Ayn Assad” to the Iranian website The animation shows the “aftermath” of the January 8 Iranian attack on the Ayn Al-Asad airbase by depicting hundreds of coffins covered in U.S. flags that have skulls instead of stars. A helicopter is shown flying over the coffins, and the pilot says into his radio that there are “many corpses” that cannot be evacuated with one helicopter. The pilot then requests for an additional helicopter to be sent to evacuate the bodies. The animation ends with the following quote from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei: “They received a slap in the fact [that] night.”

New York Guardian Angels patrol a Jewish neighborhood on edge
On a windy January night in Brooklyn, a young Jewish woman wary of rising anti-Semitism in her city threw a man who had confronted her to the sidewalk.

It was Ariana Gold's first night of training with the Guardian Angels, a volunteer neighborhood patrol group that has started patrolling the borough's Crown Heights section, where attacks against ultra-orthodox Jews have risen in recent months.

"I think a lot of people are afraid and I think rightly so," Gold said. "We've seen a lot of attacks in the Jewish communities."

Gold, 28, who lives in a different Brooklyn neighborhood and is not ultra-orthodox, is among the first group of local Jewish women to sign up with the Guardian Angels, which was born in New York during the high-crime late 1970s and now has branches in dozens of cities across the country and around the world.

The defense techniques she was shown on her first night are designed to "bring a person into submission without really hurting them," said martial arts master Milton Oliver, 51, a construction supervisor and Guardian Angel since 1982.

Gold, a New York native who has been boxing for exercise for five years, found her way to the Guardian Angels after spotting a recruitment poster in the subway.

"I believe in community engagement and working with communities, I believe in martial arts and self-defense, I believe in volunteerism and taking care of the people around you," said Gold, who works at a non-profit organization. "So, this kind of combined all of those traits."
Comtech Telecom to buy Israel’s Gilat for $532m in cash and stock deal
US Comtech Telecommunications Corp. said Wednesday it will buy Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. for $532.5 million in a cash and share deal.

Founded in 1987 with its headquarters in Petah Tikva, Israel, Gilat is a maker of satellite networking technologies and services. Its product portfolio includes a cloud-based VSAT network platform, high-speed modems, high performance on-the-move antennas and high-efficiency, high-power amplifiers.

Comtech, a maker of products, systems and services for advanced communications solutions, has agreed to acquire Gilat in a cash and stock transaction for $10.25 per Gilat ordinary share of which 70% will be paid in cash and 30% in Comtech common stock, resulting in an enterprise value of approximately $532.5 million, the two companies said in a statement. The price is a premium of some 14.52% to Gilat’s 90-day volume-weighted average trading price, the statement said.

Upon completion of the transaction, Gilat’s shareholders will own approximately 16.1% of the combined company.

The combined companies will employ some 3,000 people and offer satellite technology, public safety and location technology and secure wireless solutions to commercial and government customers around the world, the statement said.

Following the deal, Comtech will seek to dual list its shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the statement said. The US company’s shares are currently listed on the Nasdaq, while the shares of Gilat are listed on both exchanges.
Israel Electric inks deal to help safeguard Tokyo Olympics from cyberattack
Israel Electric Corporation (IEC), the nation’s main electricity provider, has signed an agreement with a leading energy utility in Japan to help it secure infrastructure against cyberattacks during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and further, the chairman of the Israeli utility told a gathering of officials, entrepreneurs and investors at a cybersecurity conference in Tel Aviv.

“A Japanese top energy utility corporate, and IEC have signed a collaboration agreement for cyber services, including support at the Tokyo Olympics,” Yiftah Ron-Tal, of the IEC, said at the Cybertech 2020 conference on Wednesday, without disclosing the name of the Japanese corporation.

Yosi Shneck, the head of cyber entrepreneurship and business development at the Israeli firm, said the idea behind the deal was to help the Japanese company secure its critical infrastructure during the Olympic games and for additional cooperation even after the games are over.

The Israeli energy firm has similar cooperation agreements with an electricity producer in Canada and a European utility, he explained in an interview with The Times of Israel on the sidelines of the conference.

On Wednesday, Israel Electric launched a suite of new cybersecurity products and services that include both software and hardware to protect the energy industry from cyberattacks.
Defense firm exhibits novel way of fighting fires from higher altitudes
Since the 1950s, aerial firefighting has been conducted using liquid cascade drop methods, which require firefighting sorties at low altitudes.

Although effective, these methods are restricted to daytime-only flights because of their altitude.

Haifa-based defense firm Elbit Systems is changing the way fires are being fought, after completing its first successful test of the HyDrop system, which allows planes to fight fires from a higher altitude and with higher precision.

Elbit said the test took place during a field demonstration, as part of an exercise led by the Fire and Rescue Service.

During the exercise, two Air Tractor aircraft from were directed to extinguish a burning field from as high as 150 m., which is more than four times higher than the average altitude of a standard aerial firefighting sortie, it explained.

“Using the HyDrop system, each aircraft launched 1.6 tons of 140-gram liquid pellets in a computed ballistic trajectory, achieving a precise hit with saturation of one to two liters per square meter.”

Plans afoot to bring 400 member of Falash Mura community to Israel
Efforts are underway to bring 400 members of the Falash Mura community in Ethiopia to Israel before the March 2 election, with a vote in the cabinet to approve the initiative expected at the following cabinet meeting next week.

In October 2018, the government approved a decision to bring a thousand members of the approximately 8,000-strong community remaining in Ethiopia to Israel in 2019, but only 600 were brought by the government that year.

Likud MK Gadi Yevarkan is apparently involved in the initiative to bring the remaining 400 of the 2019 quota, although he did not respond to requests for comment.

Avraham Neguise, a former Likud MK, is also working on the effort and said he hoped government approval would be given as soon as possible, saying they could arrive in the next few weeks.

Concerns have been raised that the effort to bring the 400 members of the community is a political ploy to boost the Likud’s electoral appeal to the 121,000-strong Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel.

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