Sunday, November 08, 2020

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Our teacher, Rabbi Jonathan
The death of the former British chief rabbi, Lord Sacks, is a heavy blow not just to his family and not just to the Jewish community but also to the wider world.

The greatest of his stellar gifts lay not just in his learning but in the way he was able to draw upon this to convey moral and religious truths to Jews and non-Jews alike. His personal shyness made all the more remarkable his ability to communicate the most profound of messages in the most accessible way.

While he sometimes blundered as chief rabbi in a world of community politics where he was visibly uncomfortable, his outstanding achievements which will be his enduring memorial lay in his writing.

For the Jewish world, his great legacy is the body of prayer books he edited containing his unmatched commentaries on the liturgy. These furnished a profound and illuminating insight into the texts in a historical, literary and philosophical context, all written in luminous and accessible prose. His emailed commentaries on the Torah portion of the week have similarly sustained many with their creative, original and deeply human interpretation of a text whose often obscure or elliptical meaning suddenly emerged as a result into sharp and clear focus.

What blazed out from this great and hitherto unstoppable body of work was his deep love for Judaism and the Jewish people, and the overwhelming lesson of hope that he drew from Jewish teaching and Jewish history and offered to everyone.

And what gave him such unusual authority was something which conversely gave him the most trouble from ultra-conservative rabbis. This was that he straddled two worlds. While these conservative rabbis viewed with unassuageable suspicion anyone who had not been educated solely within orthodox Jewish institutions, the ultra-British Sacks had been educated in non-Jewish schools in London and read philosophy at Cambridge.
Prince Charles mourns UK’s Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: ‘He spanned sacred and secular’
Britain’s Prince Charles on Sunday mourned the passing of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, citing his legacy as a leader.

Sacks, whose extensive writings and frequent media appearances commanded a global following among Jews and non-Jews alike, died Saturday morning at 72. He was battling cancer, which he had announced in October.

In an official statement, Charles called Sacks “a leader whose wisdom, scholarship and humanity were without equal.”

“It was with the most profound personal sorrow that I heard of the death of Rabbi Lord Sacks,” the statement read. “With his passing, the Jewish community, our nation, and the entire world have lost a leader whose wisdom, scholarship and humanity were without equal.”

“His immense learning spanned the sacred and the secular, and his prophetic voice spoke to our greatest challenges with unfailing insight and boundless compassion. His wise counsel was sought and appreciated by those of all faiths and none, and he will be missed more than words can say,” Charles said.

The statement continued, celebrating Sacks’s contributions.

“Although Rabbi Lord Sacks’s death is a cause of the greatest possible sadness, we give thanks for the immeasurable contribution which — in the tradition of the most revered teachers of the Jewish people — he made to all our lives,” it said.

“I send my deepest condolences to his family,” Charles said.
Tributes Pour in as Jewish World Mourns Passing of Former UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
The Jewish world was in mourning on Saturday evening as it learned of the passing of Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks — the former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom and one of the most celebrated public intellectuals of the last 20 years.

Lord Sacks, who was 72, had been diagnosed with cancer last month. Sacks had been treated for the disease on two previous occasions.

Sacks was Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth between 1991 and 2013. He was the author of over 30 books. His most recent title, “Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times,” was published this year.

Rabbi Sacks was knighted in 2005 and made a Life Peer in 2009.

Tributes to Rabbi Sacks were led by the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

Johnson said he was “deeply saddened by the passing of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. His leadership had a profound impact on our whole country and across the world. My sincere condolences to his family, friends and the Jewish community. May his memory be a blessing.”

UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who succeeded Sacks, said the world had “lost a Torah luminary and intellectual giant who had a transformative global impact.”

Rabbi Sacks was “an extraordinary ambassador for Judaism, helping many to understand and be proud of their heritage,” Mirvis said. “He will be deeply missed, not just within the Jewish world, which benefited immeasurably from his teachings, but far more widely, by all those whose lives he enlightened with his wisdom, profundity and inspiration.”

The Church of England’s leading cleric — Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby — paid tribute to Sacks as having been that “rare combination – profound depth, and equally profound commitment to relating with others – that made the leadership he offered possible.”

Lord Jonathan Sacks: 'Anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism'

Arnold Roth: Could Jordan’s celebrity terrorist finally face justice in the US?
Are we perhaps — just perhaps — seeing the beginning of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan finally purging itself of FBI Most Wanted Terrorist Ahlam Tamimi?

You may remember the massive terrorist bombing of a Sbarro pizzeria in central Jerusalem during the deadly summer of 2001. The attack killed 15 people, including eight children, and approximately 130 were wounded, many grievously.

Tamimi, the Hamas operative who selected the busy restaurant for unspeakable carnage, went on record afterwards saying it was all about the children. Her goal was to kill as many of them as possible.

Tamimi delivered the human bomb, a young Islamist zealot with a guitar case slung across his shoulder filled with explosives encased in nails to magnify the flesh-ripping effect, to the target site. She chose Sbarro precisely because she knew it would be filled with kids having lunch.

The spearhead of the massacre, Tamimi was 21 at the time, Jordanian by birth and upbringing, and a student at a Palestinian Authority university with a night job reading the news on camera at a Palestinian Authority TV station. As police and rescuers thronged the smoking remains of the pizzeria, helping survivors and tending to the maimed and murdered, she made it back to the Ramallah studio in time to present that evening’s bulletin. For perhaps the first time in the annals of journalism, the horrific crime that opened the program was the work of the person icily delivering the news report.

What’s extraordinary about the events that followed is how Jordan has kept the Sbarro mastermind safe, famous, comfortable and influential in the most toxic sense of the word for the past nine years. This goes on despite a formal US demand that the Hashemite Kingdom arrest the fugitive who has a $5M reward on her head and extradite her to Washington where she faces terror charges. Two of her Sbarro victims were American nationals. David Horovitz’s epic May 2020 account gives the context: “Failed by Israel, Malki Roth’s parents hope US can extradite her gloating killer” [Times of Israel].

Under a treaty between the two countries signed in 1995, Jordan has handed over a string of fugitive terrorists who are now incarcerated in American prisons. But not Tamimi.

Little reported in the US media, Jordanians — with no apparent sign of dissent — have embraced Tamimi as a hero and inspiration. But now there are signs that Jordan’s King Abdullah II, whose government has spent most of the past decade shielding Tamimi from American justice, may finally be looking to bring her nine-year Jordanian honeymoon to an end.
Michael Lumish: This is not a good day for the Jewish people
As we have seen, the Democratic Party is not supportive of Israel. Face it. American Jews suffer from Stockholm Syndrome (Oslo Syndrome?) and are more than happy to vote for a political party that urinates all over their fellow Jews in Israel.

Personally, I am looking forward to Biden, like Obama, demanding that Jews live in only certain places within our own traditional homeland.

I love the f#@king idea that the Democrats will give my tax money to kill my brothers and sisters in Israel under "pay-for-slay."

And, needless to say, I cannot wait for the Democrats to wreck the normalization efforts that are well underway with some Arab states. If you think that it was mere coincidence that this took place under the Trump Administration, just wait until the Biden Administration -- presuming we get one of those -- spit in the stew.

And, finally, I absolutely adore the idea that the Democrats will refocus on the two-state solution so that when the Arabs say "no," yet again, that they can turn around and blame Jewish Israelis for Palestinian-Arab intransigence and efforts to kill Jews.
Tom Gross: President-elect Biden’s likely foreign policy: Tom Gross in discussion with Jamie Fly
What might Joe Biden’s foreign policy look like? And how will history judge Donald Trump’s international relations?

Will the Democratic Party’s ‘progressive’ wing manage to push the centrist Biden into more anti-Israel, pro-Iranian regime positions?

And will Trump still have an oversized influenced in the Republican Party which will prevent other senior Republicans from asserting control of the party?

Tom Gross and Jamie Fly also discuss US election demographics and how in the 2020 elections many Americans rejected the left’s obsession with identity politics, and gave Donald Trump the best result among Native Americans, African-Americans, Latinos, gays and other minorities than any Republican candidate since 1960 (while at the same time, Trump’s share of the vote among white men decreased).President-elect Biden’s likely foreign policy: Tom Gross in discussion with Jamie Fly
Democrat Anti-Semitism Cost Them Florida and Georgia
Before the election, Brandeis University’s Steinhardt Social Research Institute marked Georgia, along with Florida, as one of the states where the Jewish vote could help decide the election.

Georgia has 103,000 Jewish voters and Democrats had been counting on them to flip the state.

With a Senate election and special election, two Senate seats were up for grabs, and Democrats threw money at former Al Jazeera collaborator Ossoff and activist Warnock.

Jon Ossoff raised $32 million in the Senate election, outspending incumbent Senator Perdue by almost 50%, with much of the money coming from California. Over $50 million was spent on pro-Ossoff ads alone.

In the Senate special election, Democrats raised over $21 million for radical activist Raphael Warnock.

Warnock had signed on to a statement falsely accusing Israel of being an apartheid state, falsely describing Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, as an “occupied” territory oppressed by Israel, and falsely claiming that “Jewish” people engage in “segregation”.
Arabs doubt Joe Biden will bring Middle East peace
Arab leaders congratulated Joe Biden on his election victory, but some people in the Middle East expressed cynicism over US policy even if he pursues diplomacy rather than President Donald Trump's blunt approach to the region's myriad problems.

“I was positive that Trump will not make it to a second term. He was too hostile almost towards everybody. He is (more) fit to be a mafia leader than a president of the United States," said Adel Salman, 40, a high school English teacher in Baghdad.

"Let’s wait and see with the Biden presidency. And I’m saying to all Iraqis don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Is Biden better for Iraq? Let’s wait and see his acts."

Biden may face some of his most complex foreign policy challenges in the region: from wars in Libya and Yemen to reassuring the United States' Gulf Arab allies that Washington can protect them from enemy Iran, even though he has said he would return to the international nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.

"Trump was our friend; he loved Saudi Arabia and protected it from enemies. He handcuffed Iran," said Mohamed al-Anaizy, a Saudi Uber driver. "Biden will let Iran free again and this will hurt us and the whole region."

While Trump had cozy relationships with what critics say are increasingly authoritarian leaders in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey, Biden has promised to take a tough line on human rights.

Some critics of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi expressed hope that US policy would change, reposting a tweet by Biden from July in which he criticized Cairo's crackdown on political activists, and pledged: “No more blank checks for Trump’s ‘favorite dictator.’
Saudis silent as Arab leaders welcome Biden, though some likely preferred Trump
Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, was silent as of Sunday afternoon. Trump enjoyed a close relationship with his “friend” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. He bucked a growing international consensus that bin Salman ordered the murder of opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi and vetoed a resolution that would have ended American military support for the controversial Saudi-led campaign in Yemen.

Biden, however, has had harsh words for his predecessor’s perceived leniency towards the kingdom. He has promised to “review the US relationship with the government of Saudi Arabia and end support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.”

“I would make it very clear we were not going to in fact sell more weapons to them. We were going to in fact make them pay the price, and make them in fact the pariah that they are,” Biden said in 2019.

Since Biden’s win was announced, Saudi Arabia has issued congratulatory statements to two other heads of state, including a note to the president of Tanzania on his reelection. It has yet to comment on the Biden victory.
Former US envoy to Israel predicts Biden will reenter Iran nuclear deal
Former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer predicted Sunday that US President-elect Joe Biden will reenter the 2015 Iran nuclear deal abandoned by the Trump administration, though not without consulting Israel first.

His remarks came as Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani urged Biden to bring the US back into the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“My guess is that the Biden administration will want to find a way to go back in,” Kurtzer told Army Radio. “I think they’ll talk to Israel about it before they do anything. But there will be a very significant interest in resuming that kind of an arrangement that stops the Iranian program and stops the enrichment of uranium.”

One of US President Donald Trump’s signature foreign policy moves was unilaterally withdrawing in 2018 from the nuclear deal, which had seen Tehran limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

The US has since reimposed punishing sanctions on Iran that have crippled its economy, which was further battered by the coronavirus outbreak. In an effort to pressure Europe to find a way around the sanctions, Iran has gradually abandoned its commitments to the nuclear deal. Trump wants to renegotiate stricter terms to the deal, whereas Iran has said it will only talk if the US first lifts its refreshed sanctions.

Kurtzer, who was ambassador to Israel in 2001-2005 under the Bush administration, praised the deal for its capacity to stop the Iranian nuclear development program.

“During the three years when it was in effect, the Iranian program was stopped dead in its tracks, and then it restarted after the Trump administration pulled out of the deal,” he said.
10 ways a Biden win rattles Israel, Palestinians, Middle East – analysis
US policy in the Middle East, especially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran, is likely to undergo a dramatic sea-change, now that Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden looks likely to enter the White House on January 20.

Here are 10 changes that could occur as a result.

1. Trump’s "Deal of the Century" is shelved
A Biden win ends any possibility that Trump’s plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, known as “Peace to Prosperity” or by its nickname as the “Deal of the Century” will come to fruition.

The plan had offered a radical break from past initiatives, in that it allowed for Israel to eventually annex up to 30% of the West Bank and promised to recognize Israeli sovereignty over most of east Jerusalem. As part of the plan, Trump had also included the first ever published map of suggested borders for a two-state resolution to the conflict. The plan was unveiled only in January 2020, with an invitation to the Palestinians to negotiate that was rejected.

The Trump administration itself sidelined the initiative this summer in favor of prioritizing Israeli-Arab normalization deals, with the idea that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would come at a later stage.

Now Trump won’t have time to complete the plan and Biden is not expected to adopt it.

2. West Bank annexation is off the table
A Biden win removes any possibly of unilateral West Bank annexation, even a minor one. Biden will not support it and the Trump administration is unlikely to move on it during the time it has left, because his administration promised to suspend it in exchange for normalization deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Biden will want any sovereignty moves to wait until a final status agreement is reached with the Palestinians. His map of a two-state solution is unlikely to include all the settlements, and as a result, the fear of future settlement evacuations and a possible settlement freeze now returns to the discourse. The settlers and the Israeli Right had warned that the first 10 months of this year represented an unprecedented window of opportunity to annex the settlements. That window has now closed.
Palestinians celebrate Trump’s defeat: ‘An evil has distanced itself from us’
Palestinians hailed the defeat of US President Donald Trump in glowing terms on Saturday night, with some calling it the end of “the worst era” for the Palestinian cause.

“There has never been anything worse than the Trump era. Salvation from it is an achievement,” said Nabil Shaath, a key aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and a former PA foreign minister

Senior Palestinian Liberation Organization official Hanan Ashrawi cheered what she called a “detrumped” United States.

“Trumpism must be carefully scrutinized & remedied to restore the human, moral & legal equilibrium within and beyond the US. Such phenomena do not emerge from a vacuum.”

“Now is the time for holistic & bold therapeutics,” Ashrawi said in a statement.

Palestinian Authority officials had been openly hoping for Trump to be defeated by challenger Joe Biden, who was confirmed as president-elect on Saturday. The PA has consistently charged that the Trump administration was lopsidedly biased toward Israel, and severed all dealings with it after it recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017. The Trump administration saw Ramallah as intransigent and unwilling to compromise.

Shaath’s statement, much like Ashrawi’s, did not congratulate Biden, however. In an interview with The Times of Israel before the November election, Shaath had said that much about Biden’s position on the Palestinian cause was “still unclear.”
Report: Abbas Plans to Ask Biden to Return US Embassy to Tel Aviv
Ramallah is planning to ask President-elect Joe Biden to immediately relocate the US embassy in Jerusalem back to Tel Aviv and rescind the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Israel Hayom reported on Sunday.

Citing Palestinian Authority senior adviser Nabil Shaath, the Hebrew-language daily said that President Mahmoud Abbas has already sent covert communications to Biden stating that he is willing to return to US-brokered peace talks with Israel.

But the Palestinian president emphasized that would only occur if talks resumed where they left off in 2016, under the Barack Obama administration.

Moreover, Shaath said that his government will demand the United States reopen the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington, which has been shuttered since 2018 and renew American aid to Ramallah via the United Nations refugee agency UNWRA.

On Sunday, Abbas extended his congratulations to Biden following his election victory over US President Donald Trump, saying he was looking forward to working with the new administration “to strengthen the Palestinian-American relations and to achieve freedom, independence, justice, and dignity for our people, as well as to work for peace, stability and security for all in our region and the world.”
Hamas Boss Haniyeh Calls on Biden to Undo Trump’s Middle East Moves
Messages from Arab leaders poured in on Saturday, congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory, Anadolu reported.

Senior PLO official Nabil Shaath said that “nothing was worse than Trump’s era, his departure is a gain.” And Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said: “US President Donald Trump, who sought to obliterate Palestine’s cause, has gone and Jerusalem will not go.”

Haniyeh stated that “the Trump administration was the most extreme in its support for Israel at the expense of Palestinian rights. We call on President-elect Joe Biden to make a historic correction to the discriminatory American policy toward the Palestinian people that has caused instability in the region and the world.”

Haniyeh issued the following demands to the incoming president:
1. Reverse the deal of the century
2. Revoke the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
3. Cancel the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem
4. Cancel all decisions related to the attempt to eliminate the issue of Palestinian refugees, and in particular to reduce UNRWA’s budget
IDF: Terror Attack in West Bank Thwarted, Assailant ‘Neutralized’
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Sunday morning confirmed that a suspect attempted to stab Israeli security forces near the Al Fawwar refugee camp, southwest of Hebron in the West Bank.

The forces at the scene “neutralized” the assailant, sustaining no injuries, according to initial reports.

According to outlet Haaretz, the suspect was shot and taken to hospital but his condition was not clear.

In a statement released to the media, the IDF said that “an assailant arrived in the area in a vehicle, exited from the vehicle and advanced with a drawn knife towards the troops in an attempt to stab the soldiers stationed there.

“The troops called the assailant to stop, and operated to apprehend the assailant. As the assailant kept on advancing towards the troops, the troops fired towards him in order to neutralize him.

“No IDF injuries were reported. The assailant was evacuated to a hospital for medical treatment,” the IDF spokesperson concluded, without disclosing further details on the situation of the attacker.
Cabinet approves new Gaza border region town for first time in years
The cabinet on Sunday approved the establishment of a new town in the Gaza periphery region. It will be located in the Sdot Negev Regional Council in the northwestern Negev, which includes Netivot.

“This is great news for Israel; this is great news for the communities in the Gaza border communities,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in opening comments at the cabinet meeting on Sunday, shortly before the establishment of the town was approved.

“We continue to develop the southern towns, including the moshavim and kibbutzim,” he said. “We are developing new neighborhoods in Sderot and Netivot. I must tell you that there is a waiting list for every home. This is the best proof of our national resilience.”

The town is currently referred to in official documents by the temporary name Hanun. It will be located east of Kibbutz Sa’ad and south of Sderot.

Sdot Negev Regional Council head Tamir Idan praised the decision.

“Dear Sdot Negev residents, I’m very excited,” he said in a video on his Facebook page. He thanked Netanyahu and the ministers who worked to promote the establishment of the new town, calling it a “battle of five or six years.”

“This is our real victory as residents over the terror from Gaza,” Idan said. “A holiday for the State of Israel!”
Sheikh Banned From Temple Mount for Lauding Decapitation of Teacher in France
Palestinian Islamic scholar Sheikh Issam Amira was summoned for questioning by police over the weekend for a recent sermon in which he praised the terrorist who beheaded history teacher Samuel Paty in a Paris suburb on Oct. 16.

The sermon in question, delivered at the al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Oct. 29, was recorded and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on Oct. 29. It was brought to the attention of the Jerusalem District Police by Israeli watchdog group Im Tirtzu, which filed an official complaint on Friday.

In its complaint, Im Tirtzu noted that Amira’s presence on the Temple Mount was in violation of a six-month ban imposed on him by police in September—a ban issued as a result of the sheikh’s history of incitement to violence in his sermons, including praise for Islamic State, encouragement of honor killings and urging of jihad against the Jews.

According to Israeli journalist and Arab affairs expert Yoni Ben-Menachem, who shared the MEMRI clip on Twitter, the Jerusalem District Police reinstated the ban after releasing Amira at the end of his interrogation.

“We welcome the response of the police and expect that this sheikh will be prosecuted and held accountable for his radical and illegal actions,” Im Tirtzu said in a statement. “The blood of the citizens of Israel is not cheap.”
PMW: PA: Israel was created as payback for “the defeats of the Crusaders”
Two op-eds in the official PA daily:

- Balfour Declaration was “crime against humanity” - Israel – “the foreign colonialist body” - was “planted” to serve “robbery and theft of the resources of the Arab nation” - The creation of Israel was part of plan “to target [the Arab nation’s] interests, rights, resources, independence, sovereignty, and progress” - Zionism has “control over tools of leadership, money, communications, security, and intelligence in large states and world powers”

Among the Palestinian reactions on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, two op-eds in the official PA daily repeated several libels about Israelis/Zionists/Jews. Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, who is a regular columnist for the paper, added the bizarre claim that the establishment of Israel was Christian Europe’s pay back for the defeats suffered by the Crusaders.

He also claimed that the creation of Israel was only for the purpose of destroying the Arab world by stealing its resources– a PA libel Palestinian Media Watch has documented numerous times:

“The beginning of the robbery and theft of the resources of the Arab nation and its peoples took place in Palestine… the moment the foreign colonialist body – in other words, the State of Israel – was planted in the land of the Palestinian people… This was meant to target [the Arab nation’s] interests, rights, resources, independence, sovereignty, and progress, and also to settle historical accounts with the Arabs and Muslims in response to the defeats of the Crusaders – and not in order to defend the believers of the Jewish religion or [the Zionists] who used them for their purposes.” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 3, 2020]

Another regular columnist, Muwaffaq Matar, who is also a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, similarly wrote that “the Jews of Europe were used as pawns,” implying the same idea that Israel was created merely to satisfy western interests in the region.

“The Palestinian people’s historical and natural homeland – was the scene of the crime, where some of the Jews of Europe were used as pawns in coordination and a complementation of roles with the heads of the Zionist organization.” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 3, 2020]

Times of Israel Corrects Administrative Detention Not Illegal Under International Law
CAMERA’s Israel office today prompted corrections in Times of Israel articles which erroneously reported that the Israeli policy of administrative detention is illegal under international law. The articles, “Palestinian security prisoner’s hunger strike hits 100 days” (Nov. 3) and “After 103 days, Palestinian security prisoner Maher al-Akhras ends hunger strike” (Nov. 6), had erred: “Administrative detention is illegal under international law…”

While Palestinian sources commonly make this claim, that judgement is, at best, disputed, if not outright wrong.

As Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “The issuance of administrative detention orders against detainees who pose a danger to public security in the West Bank is recognized by international law and is in full conformity with Article 78 of the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949.”

Moreover, international jurists recognize the legality of administrative detention for a variety of cases, among them illegal immigration and national security matters.

In response to communication from CAMERA, Times of Israel quickly amended the article to more accurately report: “Administrative detention is considered to be an extreme tool under international law.”
Getty_Anadolu Clarify on Jerusalem Protests; NBC Has Yet to Catch Up
CAMERA last week prompted correction of the caption of an Anadolu/Getty Images picture which had erroneously identified the demands of photographed protesters in Jerusalem. The caption had stated: “Israeli protesters gather on Saturday night in protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanding his resignation over corruption cases and his failure to combat the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in West Jerusalem on October 31, 2020. (Photo by Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images).”

While the pictured protesters were part of a large demonstration including many who oppose Prime Minister Netanyahu’s handling of the pandemic and/or who demand his resignation over alleged corruption charges, those photographed are carrying signs completely unrelated to either of the issues cited in the caption.

The large black and white sign on the right-side of the photograph states “Democracy or Occupation,” indicating the demonstrators’ opposition to Israel’s presence in the disputed West Bank. The other legible signs in the photograph, those on the left, are calling for the release of Palestinian hunger striker Maher Akhras who is serving in administrative detention for membership of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization. (Islamic Jihad sources have identified him as a “commander.” Here Akhras is pictured with the Islamic Jihad flag and scarf.) In response to CAMERA’s communication with Getty Images, its partner, the Anadolu News Agency, a state-run Turkish media outlet, commendably corrected. The amended caption now accurately reports:

JERUSALEM – OCTOBER 31: Israeli protestors display a sign reading “democracy or occupation” (right), and another referring to a detained Palestinian man, Maher Al-Akhras (left), during a protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in West Jerusalem on October 31, 2020. Recent months have seen a wave of anti-Netanyahu protests prompted by his ongoing corruption case and his government’s response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. (Photo by Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Israeli drone kept tabs on spread of fire in Washington state
A drone developed by Israel’s Percepto, a maker of unmanned aerial vehicles, helped telecom conglomerate Verizon inspect critical communications infrastructure that could have been destroyed by fire, in the northwestern US state of Washington, ensuring the potentially life-saving communications capability of rescue workers who could not access the area in person.

The Big Hollow Fire in Washington state burned more than 24,000 acres and resulted in mandatory evacuation orders in September. Concerned that fire, heat, water or smoke damage could potentially interrupt critical rescue and firefighting communications, the company needed to urgently assess the integrity of its equipment and facility.

To access the remote facility with one of its Percepto autonomous drones, Verizon’s drone subsidiary, Skyward, attained a special “beyond visual line of sight” (BVLOS) waiver from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – allowing them to operate the Sparrow without an onsite pilot or on-ground visual observer.

The waiver enabled Skyward pilots to fly the drone missions from their homes -– enabling 24/7 operations and no pilot or observer on site. Getting the waiver represented “a regulatory milestone for autonomous drones for emergency response,” the statement said.

The site itself was just blocks away from an evacuation zone, and the air quality was unsafe for humans, rendering manual inspections of communications infrastructure impossible.
Bicyclists Pedal Thousands of Miles Across America to Aid Sick Kids in Israel
For 20 years, the “Wheels of Love” charity bike ride has created a community of riders from all over the world whose end goal is to raise funds for ALYN Hospital in Jerusalem, Israel’s only pediatric rehabilitation hospital. Last year, the bike ride raised nearly $3 million. This year, the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible for riders from the United States to travel to Israel for the five-day cycling event, and so the American Friends of ALYN Hospital had to adapt the concept to meet the needs of the new reality.

And so #MyALYNRide was created to set personal challenges that can be completed from home and in communities while continuing to fundraise to benefit the hospital, with participants committed to riding hundreds of miles. So far, as much as $1.3 million has been raised with more than 300 riders taking to their bikes this month. ALYN depends on these funds to help cover the financial gap between the money it receives from referring agencies and the actual costs of its best-in-class and innovative interdisciplinary care of children.

“COVID-19 has impacted everyone, and yet our ALYN community has remained engaged and committed,” assures Maayan Aviv, executive director of American Friends of ALYN Hospital in New York City. “The purposeful support of our donors and volunteers has been both unexpected as well as validating. Fundraising is challenging every year — and this year even more so — and yet they have embraced the cause with passion. We are filled with gratitude for their endeavors.”

Brad Sokol, board chair of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, and his wife Lauren are longtime supporters. When going to Israel became out of the question, they set up their own #MyALYNRide and will have completed 250 miles this month. Says the couple: “We are committed to the children, so how can we take a year off?”
Israeli NGO performs 5,555th lifesaving surgery on Palestinian toddler
Israeli humanitarian NGO Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) performed its 5,555th lifesaving procedure last Sunday, with some 50% of those procedures dedicated to treating Palestinian patients.

For its 5,555th procedure, the NGO treated a five-month-old Palestinian boy from Gaza, Mahmad, who - at two weeks of age - was brought to a local hospital after he started experiencing breathing issues, while separately being unable to gain weight - suffering from a life-threatening heart defect.

"I was sure that my son was sick, that if he had access to the right treatment he could be healed," his mother said.

The family was made aware of the SACH program by pediatric cardiologist Dr. Abdelrahim Azab, who is a trained partner of SACH. SACH not only brings children from the Palestinian territories and abroad to Israel for lifesaving treatments, it also trains doctors within these regions to perform the surgeries locally - who learn directly from Israeli health experts.

Mahmad was brought to Wolfson Medical Center in Holon for treatment, where he underwent surgery to save his life. He will most likely need to return to Wolfson for follow-up procedures.

"I felt so powerless before. I knew that I had to be an advocate for my son, and I was empowered by how important it was to give him the best life possible," Mahmad's mother said.
Jerusalem: Before and After Covid-19
Jerusalem was once Israel's most visited city. This comes to no surprise as Jerusalem is a holy city to Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Today the city is empty because covid-19 has forced Israel to closed it's borders to tourism. This is an inside look of Jerusalem then and now.

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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