Washington Free Beacon Editors: A Headlong Rush to Surrender
The former defense secretary Robert Gates famously wrote that Joe Biden "has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades." If the early days of his presidency are any indication, Biden is determined to prove him right.U.S. and European Government Leaders Slam ICC Investigation into Israel
Out of the gate, the administration is demonstrating to the mullahs in Tehran that it so badly wants back into the flawed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that it is willing to ignore Iran's terror attacks on American citizens and soldiers.
Administration officials have been virtually silent about Monday's attack by an Iranian proxy on American forces in Iraq except to say that such behavior "will not be tolerated." In a sop to Tehran, the State Department declined to name the group that took credit for the attack, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, ostensibly because it would throw a wrench into their efforts to re-enter the Iran deal.
The Biden administration is doing more than demonstrating the hollowness of its tough talk. It is rewarding Iranian aggression with an olive branch: Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday told European foreign ministers that the United States was now ready to talk with Iran. According to the New York Times, the Iranians are not through playing hard to get and have offered no indication they will accept the offer. Why not let Biden twist for a few more days to see what further inducements the administration might offer and to savor the humiliation?
They will find a way to return to the Iran deal, to remove the sanctions on Iran even as it persists in terrorizing the region, and to torment Israel as payback for the real and perceived slights of the Obama years.
The International Criminal Court's decision to initiate an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes threatens to undermine the body's judicial integrity and is driven by groups that seek to delegitimize the world's only Jewish state, according to a group of former senior government and military officials from the United States and Europe.Exclusive: IAEA Found Uranium Traces at Two Sites Iran Barred it From
The ICC's recent decision to pursue charges against Israel represents an "unprecedented campaign of delegitimization against Israel waged by the enemies of the Jewish State and supported by numerous international institutions," according to a letter sent by these government officials on Friday to newly installed ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan. The Friends of Israel Initiative, an international coalition of former military and government officials that advocates on Israel's behalf, organized the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The Biden administration and Israel have already condemned the investigation, claiming the court has no jurisdiction to investigate the alleged crimes. Friday's letter by the Friends of Israel Initiative is the most coordinated public rejection of the investigation to date and is signed by several of the most prominent global leaders, including former U.S.-Iran envoy Elliott Abrams, former British Army commander Col. Richard Kemp, former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, former Spanish prime minister José Maria Aznar, former Australian prime minister John Howard, and former president of Uruguay Luis Alberto Lacalle, as well as former foreign ministers of Canada, Italy, and the Netherlands, among others.
The former officials call on Khan to abandon the investigation, which was launched by ex-ICC chief Fatou Bensouda at the urging of many well-known anti-Israel groups, including some that are tied to terrorism. The former officials maintain that the court has no jurisdiction to prosecute Israel's alleged crimes and that Israel is under no obligation to comply with the investigation since it is not party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC.
"The request for an investigation was made by an entity [the Palestinian Authority] which is not a sovereign state within the terms of the Rome Statute, under which only sovereign states may delegate jurisdiction to the Court over their territory," the letter states. "In assigning itself jurisdiction, the ICC disregards and undermines the Oslo Accords, an internationally binding set of agreements that remain in force and continue to be recognized by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority."
The UN nuclear watchdog found uranium particles at two Iranian sites it inspected after months of stonewalling, diplomats say, and it is preparing to rebuke Tehran for failing to explain, possibly complicating US efforts to revive nuclear diplomacy.
The find and Iran’s response risk hurting efforts by the new US administration to restore Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, which President Joe Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump abandoned.
Although the sites where the material was found are believed to have been inactive for nearly two decades, opponents of the nuclear deal, such as Israel, say evidence of undeclared nuclear activities shows that Iran has not been acting in good faith.
Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Kazem Gharibabadi, declined to comment, as did the IAEA itself.
A senior Iranian official said: “We have nothing to hide. That is why we allowed the inspectors to visit those sites.”
Iran has set a deadline of next week for Biden to lift sanctions reimposed by Trump, or it will halt snap IAEA inspections under the deal, which lifted sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program. Next week is also when the IAEA is expected to issue a quarterly report on Iran’s nuclear activities.
Vaccine prevents 98.9% of COVID deaths, Israel’s Health Ministry data shows
Israel’s Health Ministry said Saturday that coronavirus vaccines were “dramatically” effective and the latest data shows the shots were 98.9% effective at preventing death caused by COVID-19.Study: Israeli-made anti-COVID nasal spray reduced infection at mass gathering
“The vaccine dramatically reduces serious illness and death and you can see this influence in our morbidity statistics,” said Health Ministry Director-General Chezy Levy.
According to the data released by the ministry, the vaccine is also 99.2% protective against serious illness, reduces morbidity by 95.8% and decreases the chance of hospitalization by 98.9%.
The data represents Israelis who have received both doses of the vaccine, 14 days after their second dose, versus people who have not received any inoculation. The data is representative of findings up to February 13, the Health Ministry said.
So far, 4,250,643 have received at least one dose, while 2,881,825 have received both shots out of the country’s population of about 9 million. Around 3 million Israelis are not currently eligible to be vaccinated, including those younger than 16 and people who have recovered from COVID-19, among others.
An Israeli-made nasal spray appears to have contributed to a reduced COVID-19 infection rate among ultra-Orthodox members of a synagogue in Bnei Brak amid Rosh Hashanah festivities last year, a new trial has shown.In exchange for captive, Israel said to buy $1m of Russian COVID doses for Syria
Of 83 worshipers who used the spray as instructed before Rosh Hashanah prayers and for the following two weeks, just two contracted the highly contagious virus, in a real-world test of the substance which is designed to create a protective gel layer over the nasal mucosa to blocks viruses from infecting the nasal cells. The study was conducted by makers of the Taffix spray, Nasus Pharma, along with scientists from the University of Haifa, the University of Virginia, and the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. The full study was initially published in November 2020, with an updated version posted last month.
According to the study, Nasus Pharma approached a medium-sized synagogue community of some 250 members in Bnei Brak ahead of Rosh Hashanah in September 2020 to gauge their interest in participating in the trial involving the spray, which was touted as an extra layer of protection. Each member was eligible to collect a bottle of Taffix at the synagogue the day before Rosh Hashana prayers and received written instructions on the proper usage of the spray.
At the time, Israel was a world leader in the number of new COVID-19 cases per million citizens, and the infection rate among ultra-orthodox communities was double that of the general population. Since Rosh Hashanah is characterized by mass prayers in synagogues and family events, there were concerns about Jewish high holiday events as potential post-mass gathering outbreaks, especially in ultra-Orthodox communities. Before the holiday in mid-September, Bnei Brak’s positivity rates for COVID-19 were 17.6%, climbing to 28.1% two weeks later, the study showed.
“This is a community that has different priorities and values,” Nasus Pharma CEO Dr. Dalia Megiddo told The Times on Friday. “Although the government tried to explain and to enlist opinion leaders, it was very clear they were going to go to the synagogue come what may. So we said, ‘OK, this is going to be a super-spreader event.'”
Israel is said to have agreed to purchase an unknown number of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine doses for use in Syria as part of the deal for the return of an Israeli woman who was held by the Syrian regime after crossing the border two weeks ago. The woman arrived in Israel on Friday via Moscow and was being debriefed this weekend by the Shin Bet security agency.Syria denies Israel may fund vaccines as part of prisoner swap deal
According to a report (Arabic) in the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday, Israel is funding the purchase of Sputnik V doses for Damascus as part of the prisoner exchange deal with the Assad regime. The Ynet news site reported Saturday that Israel’s purchase of the vaccine doses was to the tune of over a million dollars.
Reports of the existence of an unpublished part of the agreement circulated widely in Israeli media, but the details were barred from publication by the military censor. Knesset member Ahmad Tibi has hinted that it relates to vaccination doses; MKs are not bound by the censor.
Asharq Al-Awsat reported Saturday that “informed sources” in Israel confirmed the existence of the “secret clause.”
The Assad regime, for its part, denied the report, saying in a statement released by the state-run SANA news agency Saturday that the publication of these details was part of an “attempt to paint Israel as a humane country.”
The release of the young woman was secured in recent days after over a week of diplomatic wrangling, and she landed at Ben Gurion International Airport on a flight from Russia in the early hours of Friday morning.
Mass media reports stating that Israel may fund a batch of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for Syria were denied on Saturday by Syria's state news agency SANA.PA says Jerusalem to vaccinate 100k Palestinian workers; Israel: No decision yet
The statement added that, "Circulating such fabricated information about a secret term in the exchange process, related to getting coronavirus vaccines from the Israeli authorities, aim to defame Syria and distort the patriotic and humanitarian side of the process."
The development comes following a report by Asharq Al-Awsat earlier Saturday morning, stating that Israel would fund the vaccines as part of this week's prisoner swap.
Sources, reportedly from Tel Aviv, told the London-based Arab newspaper on Friday that a "secret agreement" between Israel and Syria had been made, and that it could be related to the vaccines.
It remains unclear how much Israel will spend, or how many vaccines will be donated.
The Palestinian Authority health ministry announced on Friday that Israel had agreed to vaccinate 100,000 Palestinians who work in Israel, following a covert meeting in Ramallah between senior health officials from both sides.Abbas orders release of ‘political’ detainees to facilitate elections
The two sides also agreed on “technical cooperation” to combat the spread of the virus, the ministry added.
But unnamed Israeli officials told the Ynet news site no decision had yet been made on the 100,000 vaccinations. While Israel tended toward assisting in the matter, any such move would need to be approved by the cabinet.
Earlier, reports in Hebrew media said Israeli officials had been non-committal on the matter but said they would examine it.
The Israeli side was represented by Health Ministry Director-General Chezy Levy, the ministry’s public health services head Sharon Alroy-Preis and the government’s coronavirus czar Nachman Ash. The Health Ministry released a statement that confirmed the meeting but made no mention of the Palestinian request.
“Based on the understanding that Israel and the Palestinians live in shared space and the fact that the spread of the coronavirus in the Palestinian Authority may also affect morbidity rates among Israeli residents, ministry officials visited the PA health ministry’s command center and received an assessment regarding the status of the pandemic in the area,” the ministry said, adding that Israeli officials also visited a coronavirus ward in a Palestinian hospital.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered the release of all Palestinians held by the PA security forces on account of their political affiliation or views.Outrage in North Carolina over lieutenant governor’s past remarks about Jews
Abbas also prohibited the prosecution or arrest of Palestinians for their opinions, political affiliation or factional background.
Abbas’s decision came in a “presidential decree” he issued as part of an effort to “promote public freedoms” ahead of the upcoming Palestinian general elections.
The decree came in the wake of allegations that the PA security forces were continuing to clamp down on Hamas supporters in the West Bank, notwithstanding upcoming scheduled elections.
Recently, Hamas officials said that some of their supporters were arrested or summoned for interrogation by the PA security forces.
In the decree, Abbas called for promoting “a climate of public freedoms in all the territories of the State of Palestine, including freedom of political and national action, in accordance with the provisions of the [Palestinian] Basic Law.”
An array of North Carolina Jewish figures and the Republican Jewish Coalition have called on North Carolina’s lieutenant governor to apologize for past comments about Jewish control.
Jewish Insider on Friday quoted a number of Jewish officials who were appalled by Mark Keith Robinson’s comments on Jews and their influence. Robinson, a Republican, has said he will not apologize for things he said before he became an elected official.
“His refusal to apologize is troubling and unacceptable to us,” said Matt Brooks, the director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “These kinds of comments have no place in our society.”
Typical of the reactions of North Carolina’s Jews was Rabbi Lucy Dinner of Temple Beth Or in Raleigh. “I believe that Mark Robinson’s election in North Carolina is, as we would say in Yiddish, a shanda,” meaning a disgrace, she told Jewish Insider.
Among Robinson’s offenses was an attack in 2018 on the creators of the Black Panther character, after a movie about the Marvel Comics superhero came out.
“It is absolutely AMAZING to me that people who know so little about their true history and REFUSE to acknowledge the pure sorry state of their current condition can get so excited about a fictional ‘hero’ created by an agnostic Jew and put to film by satanic marxist,” said Robinson, who is African American, in a Facebook post.
“How can this trash, that was only created to pull the shekels out of your Schvartze pockets, invoke any pride?” he added, invoking a Yiddish pejorative for African Americans. “Shekels,” the name of the Israeli currency, is often used in anti-Semitic literature.
Yet another Jew-baiter demands the elimination of a democratic UN member state while simultaneously quoting a terrorist hijacker. Rejected by his constituents, rejected even by the Labour Party, all decent people should reject him and his racist hatred. @jhrwatch pic.twitter.com/3CtKxEfg4v— Rɪᴄʜᴀʀᴅ Kᴇᴍᴘ ⋁ (@COLRICHARDKEMP) February 20, 2021
Radio-Canada Turns BDS Propaganda into Anti-Israel Article
On February 16, Radio-Canada published an article to its website about how the anti-Israel organization CJPME, has called on Canada “to cancel its $36-million purchase of an Israeli-made civilian maritime surveillance drone over concerns about the manufacturer’s human rights record.”BBC acknowledges antisemitism in Somali language programme
The report by Radio-Canada’s Levon Sevunts (pictured right) masquerades propaganda as legitimate reporting and was press release journalism at its worst.
CJPME is a fringe Canadian NGO which calls for boycotts of a number of Israeli products and of various stores in Canada over their business relationships and activities in Israel, and Judea and Samaria, the “West Bank”. Its past chairman, Dimitri Lascaris, was rebuked by all of Canada’s major political parties for engaging in antisemitism.
CJPME is known for ignoring Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians, including frequent rockets fired from Gaza. Its efforts ultimately deny Israel’s right to self-defence and CJPME regularly demonize Israel for allegedly committing “war crimes”.
Radio-Canada’s article quoted Michael Bueckert, vice president of CJPME saying: “Canadian taxpayer dollars should not be going to bolster the profits of an Israeli weapons company which builds drones to monitor and target Palestinian civilians under occupation.”
This inflammatory and unfounded claim that Israel uses drones to intentionally “monitor and target Palestinian civilians” depicts Israel as a country that engages in state terrorism. In sharp contrast, Israel solely targets terrorists and terror-infrastructure and the Israel Defense Forces have been lauded for doing more to safeguard civilian life than any other army in history.
Late last month we posted about a programme aired on the BBC’s Somali service in December 2020:
ANTISEMITISM GOES UNCHALLENGED ON BBC SOMALI SERVICE RADIO
With the deadline for submission of a complaint having expired by the time we were alerted to the issue, CAMERA UK wrote to the director of the BBC World Service, Jamie Angus, who swiftly informed us of his intention to look into the matter.
A review was conducted but in the meantime Mr Angus moved to a new position and so the reply we received on February 16th came from the Interim Director of the BBC World Service, Mary Hockaday.
That response includes the following:
US deports 95-year-old ex-Nazi concentration camp guard to Germany
A 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard who has been living in the United States was deported Saturday to Germany, the Justice Department said.German Jews Angry at Prosecutor’s Decision Not to Charge Hamburg Synagogue Attacker Because of ‘Mental Illness’
Friedrich Karl Berger, who had been living in Tennessee and had German citizenship, was deported for taking part in “Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution” while serving as an armed guard at the Neuengamme Concentration Camp system in 1945, the department said.
“Berger’s removal demonstrates the Department of Justice’s and its law enforcement partners’ commitment to ensuring that the United States is not a safe haven for those who have participated in Nazi crimes against humanity and other human rights abuses,” said Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson.
A US immigration judge ordered the deportation of Berger, who has been living in the US since 1959, in March of last year.
Berger was stationed near Meppen, Germany where prisoners — Russian, Polish, Dutch, Jewish and others — were held in “atrocious” conditions and worked “to the point of exhaustion and death,” Judge Rebecca Holt said at the time.
Her opinion followed a two-day trial in which Berger admitted that he guarded prisoners to prevent them from escaping. He also accompanied prisoners on the forced evacuation of the camp that resulted in the deaths of 70 of them.
The Jewish community in the German city of Hamburg expressed outrage this week in the wake of a public prosecutor’s decision not to prosecute the assailant in an attack on a synagogue because of alleged mental illness.Hate mail to French-Jewish lawmaker tells her to ‘prepare for the camps’
The attack occurred on Oct. 4th, 2020. A 26-year-old man who arrived at the Hohe Weide Synagogue for services celebrating the holiday of Sukkot was brutally beaten by the assailant, who wore military fatigues and was wielding a foldable shovel.
The assailant — identified as 29-year-old ‘Grigory K’ — was said to have been in an “extremely confused” state when he was apprehended by police.
At the start of his trial, the assailant was reported to have been calm. His victim, who is still suffering from injuries sustained in the assault, gave testimony.
However, the public prosecutor “is convinced that the assailant is said to have acted in a state of incapacity,” the Germany Jewish newspaper Juedische Allgemeine reported. An expert attested that the alleged perpetrator had acute paranoid schizophrenia, accompanied by delusional fears of persecution that triggered the offense. The expert sees “no evidence” that “the accused pursued religious, ideological, right-wing extremist or antisemitic goals with [his] free will.”
In a spate of anti-Semitic incidents in Western Europe, a swastika was carved into the door of a Swiss synagogue and a Jewish lawmaker in France received hate mail telling her to “get ready for the camps.”French police officer finds swastikas, ‘dirty Jew’ daubed on his locker
Yaël Braun-Pivet, a Jewish lawmaker of the LREM centrist party of President Emmanuel Macron, on Thursday shared on Twitter an anti-Semitic hate mail that she received in her private email.
In addition to referencing death camps, the author wrote “This time, it’s the Muslims who will deal with you.” Also, “Jews can no longer come into some neighborhoods. Within two generations it will be whole cities. Demography determines laws.”
In the Switzerland incident, the members of the Jewish Community of Biel on Thursday found the words “Sieg Heil” and “Jews pack” etched onto the door of their synagogue alongside the swastika. Police are searching for suspects, the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities wrote in a statement.
Earlier this month, pig meat was left at two other synagogues in Switzerland.
A Jewish police officer in France found swastikas and the words “dirty Jew” scrawled on his locker at his police precinct.Police in Spokane, Washington Arrest White Power Activist for Swastika Vandalism at Synagogue
The officer, who is part of an elite unit headquartered at the Vélizy-Villacoublay municipality southwest of Paris, discovered the text on Feb. 4, Le Parisien reported Wednesday.
The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, a Jewish community watchdog contacted by the officer about the incident, said the culprits is likely a fellow police officer.
The Jewish officer filed a police complaint and the incident is the subject of an internal probe.
Sammy Ghozlan, the founder of BNVCA and a former police commissioner, called the incident “extremely serious,” as it undermines the Jewish community’s trust in the police, he told Le Parisien.
Police in Spokane, Washington have announced the arrest of a 44-year-old man who was being sought in connection with the daubing of Nazi swastikas on a synagogue in the city on Feb. 8.European tribunal: Bulgarian courts failed to punish Holocaust denier
The man, named as Raymond Bryant, was caught on the security camera system at Temple Beth Shalom in Spokane defacing both the side of the temple and its memorial to the Holocaust. Police seized Bryant at his home on Thursday morning and charged with malicious mischief and harassment.
According to the police, Bryant also admitted to having distributed neo-Nazi leaflets in different neighborhoods of the city. He is reported to be affiliated with at least one white supremacist hate group.
Bryant’s arrest came as synagogue leaders issued a statement thanking Spokane residents for their “amazing response” to the vandalism.
“We remain vigilant in the fight to protect everyone’s right to religious freedom and promote tolerance,” the synagogue said. “We will not let these events deter us from living as Jews in our society.”
Bulgaria’s judicial system erred when it ignored complaints that a far-right politician was inciting to discriminate against Jews and Roma people, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.Black Lives Matter spurs youth to learn about 3-day Dutch strike against Nazis
The ruling Tuesday was on appeals to the European court by two Bulgarian Jews, Gabriela Behar and Katrin Gutman, and two Roma citizens, Kremena Budinova and Vasil Chaprazov, about their judiciary’s refusal to act on their complaints against the far-right politician Volen Siderov of the Ataka party, Radio Liberty reported.
Among the remarks by Siderov was his assertion in a book from 2002 about “the great hoax called the Holocaust — the account that 6,000,000 Jews were gassed and burned.”
The complainants demanded in a lawsuit that Siderov apologize for that statement and promise not to repeat it. But Bulgarian prosecutors dismissed the complaint, citing Siderov’s right to free speech.
Bulgarian courts “failed to carry out the requisite balancing exercise in line with the European Court’s case law,” the Strasbourg-based court said in its ruling.
Eighty years ago, the Netherlands became the first and only Nazi-occupied country to organize a nation-wide strike to protest the persecution of its Jewish citizens.Israeli, Moroccan Students to Learn About Mutual Jewish History Next Academic Year
The so-called “February Strike” was the first large-scale public protest against Germany’s assault on Europe. Remembrance of the event has evolved over the decades from a narrative of Dutch resistance to the more complicated narrative of the Holocaust, in which 100,000 Dutch Jews were deported and murdered.
At the time of the strike, the Netherlands had been occupied by Germany for nine months. The immediate catalyst was the Germans’ pogrom on Amsterdam’s Jodenbuurt neighborhood, in which 425 Jewish men were arrested and deported.
After a nighttime planning meeting, strike organizers delivered flyers to factories urging workers “to show solidarity with the Jewish part of our society that has been hit so hard.” With a rallying cry of “Shut down Amsterdam for a day,” the movement spread to several Dutch cities and paralyzed the country.
Although the February Strike did not make Germany alter its plans regarding the Jews, the nascent Dutch resistance movement gained traction and inspiration from the solidarity shown during three days of protest.
As Dutch historian Bas Kortholt told The Times of Israel, recent events in the United States have some similarities to the strike movement 80 years ago.
“It is always difficult to compare historical events,” said Kortholt, a long-time researcher at the former transit camp Westerbork’s museum.
“But if you compare the strike and for example, the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer, you see that both have had a strong symbolic function,” said Kortholt, a member of the Netherlands’ delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
“Both events inspired people on a large scale to speak up and state their opinions in different ways,” said Kortholt.
Students in Israel and Morocco will be taught Moroccan Jewish history in school starting next year in a historical collaboration between the education ministries of the two countries, The Jerusalem Post reported.‘Jewish Disney bros’ who founded Egypt animation industry make triumphant return
Israeli Education Minister Yoav Gallant and his Moroccan counterpart, Saaïd Amzazi, agreed to establish a system of educational trips, tours and seminars between the countries in an effort to strengthen diplomatic relations. Gallant suggested setting up committees dedicated solely to developing education programs that tie the nations together.
“Amzazi responded enthusiastically to my proposal,” said Gallant, in reference to starting educational trips for students to Morocco. “They will learn about Morocco’s grand history, from an educational as well as social perspective.”
“This is an important announcement for both the citizens of Israel and the citizens of Morocco,” he added.
By the instruction of King Mohammed VI, the school curriculum in Morocco will “include the State of Israel, and the history and heritage of Jews in Morocco.”
Even in Egypt, few today know about the three Jewish brothers who pioneered Egyptian cartoon animation back in the 1930s. On the international stage, they are today compared to a Middle Eastern version of the Disney brothers.Israel’s first university-made nanosatellite launches into space
After nearly being lost to history, the legacy of the Frenkel brothers — Herschel, Shlomo, and David — is being pictured in a new documentary film, “Bukra fil Mish-Mish,” by Israeli director Tal Michael.
In a Zoom interview, Michael told The Times of Israel that as young men, the Frenkels “just fell in love with it, this technology, the animated world, [and just] decided they could do it.”
Not everyone supported them. The documentary’s title refers to an inauspicious early-career conversation they had while seeking funding. When they pitched a leading member of the Bank of Egypt, he called their project “mafish fayda,” or “useless” in Arabic. When they persisted, asking when he might be open to investing, he replied with a well-known expression, “bukra fil mish-mish,” or “when the apricots bloom,” a reference to the short apricot season and generally understood to mean that something will never happen.
Reflecting on the phrase, Michael finds two potential meanings. One is dismissive, but the other allows for a brief possibility of hope — just like the small time frame when apricots do actually bloom. The Frenkels’ story fits right in with the second interpretation.
“For a very short time, they became the Walt Disney of Africa and the Arabic world,” Michael said. Along the way, they took some swipes at their naysayer. “Mafish Fayda” became the title of one of their films, while they named their most enduring character Mish-Mish Effendi. A fez-wearing, hijinks-prone young man, Mish-Mish appealed to rich and poor alike and even starred in “National Defense,” an Egyptian propaganda film by the administration of King Farouk.
Israel’s first nanosatellite to be completely designed, developed, assembled and tested by an Israeli university launched into space on Saturday night, Tel Aviv University shared.
TAU-SAT1 took off right on time at 7:36 p.m. Israel time from the NASA launch facility in Virginia.
“We have now joined the ‘Civil Space Revolution,’ called New Space, in which, unlike the Old Space, not only giant companies with huge budgets and large teams of engineers can build and launch satellites,” said Prof. Colin Price, head of the Porter Department of Environmental Studies at TAU. “We were able to prove that with the right planning, miniaturization and modulation of many technologies, small satellites can be built and launched into space within two years by students, at a fraction of the budget needed in the Old Space.”
TAU-SAT1 was completed about four months ago. It was then sent to Japan for pre-flight testing at the JAXA space agency. It arrived in Virginia two weeks ago. The nanosatellite, which is only 10 by 10 by 30 cm. and weighs less than 2.5 kg., entered space on a NASA resupply spacecraft destined for the International Space Station.
The nanosatellite is expected to orbit at an altitude of 400 kilometers above sea level at what the university described as a “dizzying speed” of 27,600 kph, or 7.6 km. per second. Every 90 minutes it will complete an orbit around Earth. TAU-SAT1 is meant to conduct several experiments while in orbit, including the measurement of cosmic radiation around the earth.