Wednesday, September 08, 2021

From Ian:

Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie: Boosting Muslim-Jewish relations at Rosh Hashana
For 1,400 years, Judaism and Islam were inextricably linked in the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East and in medieval Spain. Each had a common ancestry, similar values and holy scriptures. We are enjoined by our faiths to find a path toward peaceful coexistence between all religions and all people. Therefore, in order to establish a channel of communication and cooperation between Jews and Muslims, between Judaism and Islam, the following steps are necessary.

First, we must lead by example and communicate to our own congregations that peace is a basic human right. We must stand together should any of our communities suffer harassment or attacks. And we must overcome some of the misrepresentation, demonization, stereotyping, prejudice and lack of awareness in the world through an ongoing educational process that teaches peace and respect for each religion.

Second, as each of us takes enormous pride in our own religion’s history, culture and tradition, so too must we pride ourselves on our level of understanding and tolerance of each other’s religion. Just as we encourage our own people’s pride in our own religions, we must castigate those who show intolerance and ignorance of other religions and cultures.

Third, it is our responsibility to guide our people toward looking for the inestimable value of peace, and not in the “importance” of religious conflict. Yes, the world is made up of different races, colors, ethnicities, religions, and political ideologies. However, the seeds of peace begin to grow when people of all faiths and backgrounds are encouraged to communicate, tolerate, accept, respect, and ultimately trust one another.

As the Jewish new year approaches, let us reflect on the wise words included in the UN manifesto on the Culture of Peace, which states: “We must learn to use one another’s religious belief as ways to connect — not as reasons for conflict.” May these words serve as a guiding light for everybody in this region for the coming year. Judaism and Islam are forever bound together as sister religions. We are intertwined in our faith, liturgy, history and culture. It behooves us to maintain an open dialogue and cherish our similarities and our differences with respect, acceptance, coexistence and love for each other. We owe it to our communities, to our people and to our common father Abraham.
Arizona divests from Ben & Jerry's over its "antisemitic" Israel boycott
The state of Arizona plans to completely divest $143 million from the global ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s as of September 2021 over its Israel boycott.

“Israel is and will continue to be a major trading partner of Arizona,” Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee said on Tuesday.

“As Arizona’s Chief Banking and Investment Officer, I stand with Israel and I will not allow taxpayer dollars to go towards antisemitic, discriminatory efforts against Israel,” she stated.

Arizona is the first state to totally divest from Ben & Jerry’s after the ice cream giant, which is a subsidiary of the British based Unilever conglomerate, announced that it planned to end its contract with its Israeli franchise as of December 2022.

The Israeli Ben & Jerry’s franchise is based in southern Israel and has been in operation for 35 years. It ran afoul of Ben & Jerry’s for its refusal to halt ice cream sales to West Bank settlements.

The boycott decision by Ben & Jerry’s Independent Board of Directors to end its ties with its franchisee was modified by Unilever and the Ben & Jerry’s CEO, who said they wanted the ice cream company to maintain ties with Israel through another franchise that would not allow sales to the settlements.

The office of the Arizona Treasury said on Tuesday that state laws prohibited continued investments in Ben & Jerry’s in light of its boycott decision.




Emily Schrader: Did we learn from the lessons of 9/11?
I don’t mention these intelligence failures to criticize the US for not acting prior to 9/11, but rather to point out that it’s difficult not to see history repeating itself today.

For years, Israel has been providing proof of Iran’s illicit nuclear program and their funding of global terrorism – including against US troops in Iraq. In 2018, Israel provided indisputable evidence that Iran had lied about nuclear weapons programs in the lead-up to the Iran deal. Yet now, instead of US (and EU) taking necessary action, they’ve made it a political game and given Iran more time, through bad decisions like the Iran deal.

The US does not feel the full impact of Iran’s terrorist activity because it occurs far from home, but if the US thinks Iran doesn’t seek to carry out acts similar to 9/11, they aren’t living in reality. Have we learned nothing from the intelligence failures pre-9/11?

While we should be creating a long-term strategy for withdrawal from Afghanistan that prevents from coming to power the very terror groups that assisted in 9/11, the US is instead betraying Afghanistan and leaving millions to die while literally arming that same terrorist organization.

While we should be sanctioning Iran and demanding they end terrorist activity and military action against Israel and the US – as well as maintaining a zero-tolerance approach to their nuclear program – the US is instead discussing re-entering the nuclear deal. No one wants war, but the Biden administration’s approach is shockingly naive.

None of this means that the US should be launching a full-scale war against Iran today, but it does mean that the US is not taking the Iranian threat seriously, and the ramifications could be deadly. The US took its security for granted ahead of 9/11 due to geographic proximity and global strength. They refused to learn from the experience of others, like Israel. As both an American and an Israeli, I know we can’t afford to make the same mistake again.


Seth Frantzman: The Taliban and implicit antisemitism in int'l relations - analysis
HEREIN IS revealed the reality and symbolism of the headlines about the Taliban rejecting relations with Israel. It’s not about Israel: It is about Jews, Judaism, Jewish symbols, Hebrew and everything else having to do with Jews. The fact that sidelining Israel and excluding it in international forums, groupings and foreign policy was given quiet acceptance – including in Western countries where the Holocaust happened – was about enabling antisemitism in foreign policy and enabling the exclusion of Jews and Israelis.

It is not a coincidence that many of the countries that reject ties with Israel have also expelled Jews or make it impossible for them to openly practice their faith. The last Jew of Afghanistan has reportedly left Kabul, for instance. The last Jews of Yemen have mostly been rescued, with help from the UAE.

We have gotten used to this discussion of the “last Jew” of many countries, in a way no one would think to discuss the “last Muslim” or “last Christian” living somewhere. There is only one community in the world in which it is considered normal to reduce them to zero in countries where they once thrived. Where is the Jewish community in Syria, in Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Yemen and all these countries where once there were thriving Jewish communities?

The reduction of a minority community to zero is generally called genocide. We don’t call it genocide because no one put Jews in gas chambers in Yemen; they just made life impossible for the community, indirectly forcing them out. When that happens to racial and religious minorities in the West we call it a hate crime, or racism, or Islamophobia.

What is the phobia that guides the expulsion and disappearance of Jews in all those countries that also lack relations with Israel? It is antisemitism. The foreign policy decision to avoid relations with Israel is guided solely by antisemitism. No other international relations concept can explain it, since no other such concept applies to any other countries or religious minority community in the same way. Thus, the antisemitic speeches of Malaysia’s former leader spell out openly the underlying concepts that guide those in Pakistan and other places. The Taliban have no real reason to reject relations with Israel, except the implied antisemitism that says such rejection is normal in their milieu.
The Goal of Palestinianism
For the Left, social justice is solely for the disenfranchised, the ‘victims’ of unjust Western societies, those whose suffering is ostensibly caused by and is the fault of imperialistic, capitalistic, militant, hegemonic nations—America and Israel foremost among them. And on campuses, where liberal professors have nearly made sacred the politics of race and class and have identified specific sets of favored victim groups for whom justice will be sought, the cult of “victimhood” has even led to compulsory instruction on the mechanics of achieving social justice for the weak in society.

This view of the Jew, or of Israel, the Jewish state, as a political destabilizer, is, of course, also central to the ideology of Palestinianism and the notion that the victims of Jewish power are the dispossessed and weak for whom liberal academics purportedly seek justice. Any tactics, including terror and violence, are considered appropriate and excusable in the victims’ cause of throwing off the yoke of oppression, so the Palestinian, clearly made to suffer daily humiliation and endlessly deprived of a homeland and the right to self-determination, has become the perfect example of the contemporary victim archetype, the Third-World “other,” an ever-present, homeless, dispossessed tragic refuge whose plight could be traced directly to supposed colonialism on the part of the “settler” state of Israel.

This rationalization, that violence is an acceptable, if not welcomed, component of Palestinianism—that is, that the inherent “violence” of imperialism, colonialism, or capitalism will be met by the same violence as the oppressed attempt to throw off their oppressors—is exactly the style of self-defeating rationality that in this age has proven to be an intractable part of the war on terror. America-hating and Israel-hating academics have not infrequently wished for harm to come to these countries at the hands of the victim groups to whom they readily give their sympathies. They frequently, and mistakenly, ascribe to poverty and helplessness the inclination to lead to terrorism on the part of otherwise weak and oppressed individuals. And, like leftist apologists for revolutionary violence in earlier examples of resistance, they see an opportunity for the tables to be turned on the oppressors and an equal distribution of suffering to be brought about in the resulting power shift.

The nearly total rejection by the Left of any recognition of goodness on the part of Western countries, cultivating and promoting Palestinianism, is, according to commentator Melanie Phillips, symptomatic of academics' belief in their own moral superiority, a feature which, at least in their own minds, gives them a more genuine and principled worldview.

“In the grip of a group-think that causes them to genuflect to victim-culture and the deconstruction of western morality and the concept of truth,” Phillips wrote, “a dismaying number of our supposedly finest minds have been transformed from people who spread enlightenment to those who cast darkness before them.”
PragerU: A Palestinian Explains Hamas
How do we make life better for those who live in Gaza? According to Palestinian political analyst Bassem Eid, we start by recognizing who is really responsible for the suffering that happens there.


The West is being played by the Taliban
And as for holding the Taliban accountable: they made promises that they would sever links with al Qaeda in order to secure release of their prisoners and the American withdrawal. But al Qaeda has now put out a statement celebrating the Taliban victory, and a senior associate of Osama bin Laden, Amin ul-Haq was filmed returning to his home in Nangarhar in the east.

This makes the next few months highly dangerous for Afghans. If the Taliban offer a corridor for departing Afghans with visas, can we trust that commitment? The recognition issue is on hold for now. But there will be increasing pressure from the Taliban to take the Afghan seat at the UN, and appoint ambassadors. There may be conditions attached to that, but with no way of holding them accountable. The Taliban have secured support from China, but will need to have far better security in order to persuade the Chinese to put in the serious investments that the Taliban expect. And China will not play an active role on the ground in security.

Meanwhile it has become harder for ordinary Afghans to find out what is going on in their country. Many brave independent Afghan media organisations are still operating, but with less capacity than they had. And that has led to dangerous rumours spreading quickly on social media. There is no reliable reporting on the fighting in the Panjshir Valley, the one province still out of Taliban hands, as social media activists on both sides promote victory on a daily basis.

And in a telling sign of the gap between what the Taliban say and what they do, while the junior cricketers were allowed to leave on their planned tour, the junior girls’ national football team are in hiding with their families, living day to day in fear. That is the reality behind the façade of the English-speaking Taliban front men.
Analysis: The West owes Qatar a Favor over Afghanistan. That Was the Point
As a small state surrounded by better-armed rivals that would no doubt covet its gas fields, Qatar has long felt the need to protect itself with ambitious diplomacy. Four years ago, it found itself in peril when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and their allies, with the apparent tacit approval of the Trump administration, imposed trade bans and diplomatic isolation.

The neighbors accused Qatar of backing Sunni Muslim Islamist groups across the region while simultaneously growing too cozy with Shi’ite Iran. Some in the region wondered whether Saudi Arabia and its allies might even invade, although Riyadh denied harboring any such plan.

Qatar, shielded from the economic impact by its $300 billion sovereign wealth fund, denied wronging its neighbors and held out until the dispute was resolved this January. But the feud underscored the need for it to cultivate powerful friends.

Being useful to the West can help, said James Dorsey, a senior fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

“It’s much an issue about influence as it is an issue about being relevant to the international community in ways in which the international community – if you are under threat – will step in for you.”
Blinken says the Taliban will have to earn its legitimacy
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Wednesday that the Taliban would have to earn legitimacy from the world, after talks with allies on how to present a united front to the hardline new government in Afghanistan.

“The Taliban seek international legitimacy. Any legitimacy — any support — will have to be earned,” Blinken told reporters at the US airbase in Ramstein, Germany, after leading a 20-nation ministerial meeting on the Afghan crisis.

Standing alongside him, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the international community expected the Taliban to uphold human rights, including those of women, grant access to humanitarian aid, and allow those wishing to leave the country to do so.

Maas said he believed Wednesday’s talks were “the starting point for international coordination” on how to deal with the Taliban.

Among the countries that participated in the virtual meeting were European allies and historic Taliban backer Pakistan.

Blinken and Maas both criticized the caretaker government announced in Afghanistan on Tuesday, which has no women or non-Taliban members and includes an interior minister the United States wants to arrest on terrorism accusations.
Footage shows Afghanistan’s last Jew’s perilous escape from Kabul
For more than five days, Zebulon Simantov and over two dozen women and children rode a bus, crossing war-torn Afghanistan and Taliban checkpoints as the country’s last Jew left his homeland.

Footage obtained by Israel’s Kan public broadcaster shows glimpses of the perilous journey taken by Zimantov and his rescuers before they finally, safely reached a neighboring country this weekend.

The footage shows Simantov and the children on the bus, traversing the barren landscape. In the background, rescuers can be heard warning them that they are going through a particularly dangerous area.

Finally, the footage shows him surrounded by children, with faces blurred to protect them and the families left behind, after arriving across the border, from where they will likely be taken to the US.

Simantov, 62, had long refused to leave Afghanistan despite threats.

But with the United States’ complete withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of August leaving the country in the hands of the extremist group, pressure mounted on him to leave.

After initially refusing, he finally agreed.

“What changed his mind finally is that his neighbors said to him go, and take our children with you because they are also in danger,” said Israeli-American businessman Moti Kahana who runs a private security company that extracted Simantov.

“His problem isn’t the Taliban, but Islamic State, al-Qaeda. In his case it’s the other crazies that emerge each day now,” Kahana told Kan. “He fears them,” he added.
MEMRI: The Tragedy Of Afghanistan And Its Three Utopian Disasters
We've all seen them. Those photos of Kabul University women students in fashionable mini-skirts around 1970 contrasted with the Blue Burqa wearers of Taliban years. Vogue magazine actually did a spread "Afghan Adventure" for its December 1969 issue, which showcased both Afghan fashion and cultural sites like the (now destroyed) Bamiyan Buddhas. Sometimes the "progressive" photos are from a bit later, even from the years of Communist rule in Kabul when scarf-free women party cadres would attend rallies. But there is something important missing in the facile discourse contrasting the supposed modernizing past and retrograde present.

Afghanistan, an ancient land turned mostly into a bit of a backwater for much of the early to middle twentieth century, has had the misfortune of living through not one or two, but three ultimately dystopian political nightmares, each offering a deeply ideological, coercive "remaking" of society.

The three utopian disasters were triggered by the overthrow of the Afghan monarchy by Muhammad Daoud Khan in 1973. Himself a prince and cousin of Afghanistan's long-reigning king Muhammad Zaher Shah, Daoud Khan was an arrogant authoritarian who had been eased out of the position of Afghan prime minister a decade earlier and nursed a bitter grudge against the monarchy. The bloodless coup against the king was carried out by Daoud with the help of Afghanistan's communists. Daoud empowered the pro-Soviet People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) and even gave them government positions. He would later turn on the communists and try to crush them, but their penetration of the Afghan National Army had gone too deep and they were able to kill Daoud and most of his family in the April 1978 coup that brought the communists to power.

In one of those circumstances all too well known by students of revolutionary history, the first strongman of communist Afghanistan, Hafizullah Amin, had been radicalized not in the countries of the Warsaw Pact but at the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University. Amin and his colleagues killed tens of thousands of Afghans but his rule was so chaotic that the Soviets intervened directly in 1979, killed him and ruled through other stooges for more than a decade. Russia's last collaborator, the secret policeman Muhammad Najib, would hang on to power until 1992.

Afghanistan's second dystopia began with the triumphant mujahideen of 1992. Supported by the United States against the Soviets, they had been cultivated by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, who favored the most radical and ideological of the feuding factions, with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-e-Islami receiving more support than any other Afghan rebel group. Hekmatyar had been deeply influenced as a young man by the works of the Egyptian Islamist ideologue Sayyid Qutub. Infighting by rival Afghan warlords would destroy much of the country once they came to power (Hekmatyar's forces indiscriminately shelling much of Kabul into rubble) before the Taliban entered Kabul in 1996. Jihadist rule along Taliban lines would continue until they themselves would be overthrown in November 2001 by the Americans following the terrorist attacks on September 11th, organized by Al-Qaeda.
MEMRI: Kommersant Foreign Policy Columnist Yusin: America's Shocking Withdrawal From Afghanistan May Become An Historical Watershed
Russian officialdom is gloating over America's debacle in Afghanistan, but even more balanced observers are aghast. Kommersant Radio's foreign policy specialist Maxim Yusin, who does not trust the Taliban is shocked by America's selfishness in leaving Afghanistan in a worse state than when they entered and taking the decision in total disregard of its Afghan clients and NATO allies. Those who previously relied on American support will have to rethink their options.

Yusin's article follows below:[1]
"The withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan and everything that accompanied it will go down in history as the most graphic, eloquent and shocking symbol of a great power’s humiliation. Of course, there were previous precedents: the withdrawal of the same US from Saigon, the French evacuation of Algeria, and the British departure from India that were no less dramatic and were accompanied by even greater human suffering and casualties.

"However, it was a different era back then; without Internet, social networks, and Telegram channels. Back then, the entire planet was not aware of the scale of the disaster and the mistakes made, people didn’t follow them on live TV.

"Never before has the failure of a great power, of its top leadership, its armed forces, and its special services been so public. The consequences of the events should be realized by all: by America, its allies, and its adversaries. It is even possible that this will be a watershed moment in geopolitics: before and after Kabul. Only time will tell when and at what cost will Washington be able to liquidate the colossal toll to its reputation and whether it can do so at all.

"For now, the picture is lamentable. If one was to compare the situation in Afghanistan to that of 20 years ago, when the Americans started their military operation, then the current situation is much worse.

"At that time Islamic radicals had nowhere near full control of the country. In the country’s north there was a quasi-state, which was under the authority of the Northern Alliance that was not subordinate to the Taliban and filled the role of a peculiar buffer on the borders with the post-Soviet Central Asian republics. Now there is no such buffer; the Taliban have extended their power to practically all of Afghanistan, and they are better armed than the armies of many states in the region thanks to the seized American equipment.

"The Taliban movement used to control mostly Pashtun areas, now it has reached the borders of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran. Thus, there is a tangible danger, despite the assurances of the new rulers in Kabul, that the Afghan chaos may sooner or later boil over beyond the country’s borders.
MEMRI: Marking The 20th Anniversary Of 9/11 – Clips And Reports Added To The MEMRI 9/11 Documentation Project In 2021
In the two decades since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has been monitoring, translating, and documenting content about the attacks in media from the Middle East, South Asia, and beyond. The MEMRI 9/11 Documentation Project, launched to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks, archives all MEMRI translations, analysis, and clips about the attacks and their aftermath, and has amassed one of the largest and most unique archives in the world on this subject. These archives allow an in-depth examination of the ideological roots and other factors that ultimately led to the attacks.

The content includes:
Primary source material from Arab and Islamic print, broadcast, and online media and other sources.

Material from Al-Qaeda and affiliates, including leaders' speeches, interviews, wills, and statements.

Material from ISIS on 9/11.

Al-Qaeda recruitment, outreach, and indoctrination materials.

Conspiracy theories denying Arab or Muslim responsibility for the attacks – some collected from recent sermons in the U.S. monitored by the MEMRI Sermons by Imams in the West project.
Jihadist Threat ‘Getting Worse’, Says Former British PM Blair
Britain’s former prime minister Tony Blair warned on Monday that “radical Islam” remained a “first-order security threat” to the world despite two decades confronting the issue across the globe.

Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the United States, and in the wake of the Taliban retaking power in Afghanistan, Blair argued that the threat posed by jihadist groups was “getting worse”.

He reiterated his long-held belief it could only be defeated by “a combination of hard and soft power” and urged world powers, including non-Western allies, to adopt a more unified approach.

“Islamism, both the ideology and the violence, is a first order security threat; and, unchecked, it will come to us, even if centered far from us, as 9/11 demonstrated,” he said at the Royal United Services Institute military think-tank.

“The leading powers must unite to develop an agreed strategy,” he added, noting China and Russia had an interest in countering it alongside many Muslim countries in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Blair highlighted the radicalism pushed by Shia Iran, and Sunni groups from the Muslim Brotherhood through to Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State group and Boko Haram.

He said they were “the principal cause of de-stabilization across the Middle East and beyond and today in Africa.”
Trial of Accused 9/11 Mastermind Restarts, Days Before 20th Anniversary
The prosecution of alleged September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others restarts Tuesday, just days before the 20th anniversary of the attacks.

Mohammed and his co-defendants, who have been locked up in the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for nearly 15 years, will appear at the military tribunal for the first time since early 2019.

But after a 17-month halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, the proceedings appear likely to continue where they left off, mired in the defense’s efforts to disqualify most of the government’s evidence as tainted by the torture the defendants underwent in CIA custody.

With scores of motions lined up to demand evidence that military prosecutors refuse to hand over, defense attorneys said the pretrial phase could easily last another year, placing far over the horizon any hope for a jury trial and verdict.

Attorneys say the five defendants — Mohammed, Ammar al-Baluchi, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Mustafa al-Hawsawi — are all weak and suffer the lasting effects of severe torture endured in secretive CIA “black” sites between 2002 and 2006.

The five face the death penalty on charges of murder and terrorism.

They are represented by attorneys assigned by the military, as well as pro-bono lawyers from the private sector and non-governmental organizations.


Afghan Fallout: Biden Ruins America's Most Important Relationship — India
If Washington is going to deter a militant China, it needs the support of democratic India. Unfortunately, India looks like the country most immediately — and perhaps most adversely — affected by the Biden-created debacle. As a result, New Delhi could decide to side not with America but with a Chinese ally, Moscow.

India saw the Afghan government as a friend in blunting extremism in neighboring Pakistan, which has always defined itself as India's enemy.

The Biden administration may in fact be willing to defend Taiwan, but that is not all that counts at this crucial time. What also counts are perceptions, and the perceptions that especially count are those in Beijing. Chinese propagandists promoted two narratives as Kabul fell: The United States will not defend Taiwan and an America unable to deal with the Taliban cannot hope to stand up to China.

Those two narratives appear to in fact reflect Chinese thinking, especially because the withdrawal from Afghanistan signaled to Beijing a complete failure of the U.S. intelligence community, the Pentagon, and the White House national security apparatus. Chinese exercises in areas adjacent to Taiwan in August and an August 13 simulated attack on Taiwan with a short-range missile are, in this context, ominous.

India's close ties with Vietnam are an indication that India perceives its security as dependent on an open South China Sea and even East China Sea. Taiwan, which sits at the intersection of those bodies of water, is essential in keeping sea lanes there open.


Why Israel’s transfer to US Central Command could help deter Iran
U.S. Central Command announced Sept. 1 that it has assumed responsibility for U.S. forces in Israel. This positive development reflects changes in Arab-Israeli relations and offers an opportunity to build a more unified and militarily capable American-Israeli-Arab coalition to deter aggression from Iran and its terrorist proxies — one of CENTCOM’s top priorities.

Despite Israel’s location in the Middle East, when CENTCOM was created in 1983, responsibility for the Jewish state was assigned to U.S. European Command. That decision reflected Israel’s political isolation from its Arab neighbors. As a Pentagon news report noted in January with a bit of understatement, Israel’s regional isolation would have “complicated” efforts by CENTCOM to coordinate multilateral exercises and operations that included Israel.

Warming Arab-Israeli ties offer a major opportunity to align key partners against common regional threats. The catalyst for improved Arab-Israeli relations is the Islamic Republic of Iran’s longstanding effort to develop a nuclear weapons capability, as well as Tehran’s determined campaign to create, cultivate and co-opt terrorist proxies across the Middle East to attack both Arab and Israeli targets.

Tehran’s aggression helps explain the conclusion last year of the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords between Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, enabling significant and mutually beneficial opportunities for political, economic and cultural cooperation.

Enhanced military cooperation, however, will likely carry the most direct benefits for regional stability.
Italy, Croatia bring countries boycotting Durban conference to 14
Italy and Croatia joined 12 other countries in boycotting this month’s event marking 20 years since the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, due to antisemitism at the conference and anniversary events.

The Durban IV conference is set to be held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York this month.

The 2001 Durban Declaration singled out Israel as racist. At the parallel NGO forum, activists disseminated copies of the antisemitic conspiracy theory The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, flyers saying Hitler was right and other materials featuring Jew-hatred.

Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust at the 2009 Durban Review Conference, where he called it a “pretext” for Israel to oppress Palestinians. He was invited back to Durban III in 2011, where he did the same.

Croatian news site Vecernji said the country will not participate in Durban IV because of “the constant antisemitic attitudes and the linking of conferences to anti-Israel propaganda and the promotion of intolerance.”

Italy has also opted out of the conference due to its antisemitism, the Italian embassy in Israel confirmed.


Pope tells Israeli rabbis his comments on Jewish law weren’t meant to disparage
Pope Francis has sought to assuage concerns over comments he made about Jewish law that some Jewish leaders viewed as disparaging, according to a new report.

Reuters said Monday that the pope had conveyed to Israel’s chief rabbinate that he had not intended to be seen as passing judgment on the law of the Torah.

Last month Francis caused consternation when he told an audience that the law of the Jewish Torah “does not give life, it does not offer the fulfillment of the promise because it is not capable of being able to fulfill it. The Law is a journey, a journey that leads toward an encounter… Those who seek life need to look to the promise and to its fulfillment in Christ.”

Rabbi Ratzon Arusi, the chairman of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate’s Commission for Dialogue with the Holy See, sent a latter to the Vatican requesting clarification of the comments.

“In his homily, the pope presents the Christian faith as not just superseding the Torah; but asserts that the latter no longer gives life, implying that Jewish religious practice in the present era is rendered obsolete,” Arusi reportedly wrote in the letter. “This is in effect part and parcel of the ‘teaching of contempt’ towards Jews and Judaism that we had thought had been fully repudiated by the Church.”

According to Reuters, Cardinal Kurt Koch, who deals with religious relations with Jews, wrote to Arousi that the pope had not meant to pass judgment on Jewish law.
Ethel Kennedy Opposes Parole for Husband RFK’s Assassin, Sirhan Sirhan
Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, Ethel Kennedy, voiced opposition on Tuesday to a California review panel’s recommendation that the man serving a life term for assassinating her husband during his 1968 presidential campaign be released from prison on parole.

“Our family and our country suffered an unspeakable loss due to the inhumanity of one man,” Kennedy, 93, wrote. “We believe in the gentleness that spared his life, but in taming his act of violence, he should not have the opportunity to terrorize again.”

She concluded by printing in her own hand: “He should not be paroled. Ethel Kennedy.”

Her brief message was issued to the news media 11 days after a two-commissioner panel of the state Board of Parole Hearings concluded on Aug. 27 that the convicted assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, 77, is suitable for parole. It was the first time an initial review panel recommended his release.

The panel’s ruling is subject to a 120-day review by the board’s legal staff, during which the case may be referred to the full board for further evaluation.

California’s governor then has 30 days to reverse the decision or let it stand. That process would most likely put Sirhan’s fate in the hands of Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, assuming he survives a Sept. 14 recall election.

If the governor takes no action, the inmate would be scheduled for release. Sirhan, a Palestinian refugee, has previously been denied parole 15 times.

Ethel Kennedy sided with six of her nine surviving children in publicly objecting to letting Sirhan go free. It marked the first time she has spoken out on the issue, according to one of her children cited by a family spokesperson.
Marathon trial of 20 suspects in 2015 Paris Bataclan attacks begins
The biggest trial in France’s modern history opened on Wednesday of 20 suspects charged over the November 2015 Paris attacks that saw 130 people killed, with the expected nine months of hearings set to reopen still raw wounds.

The suicide bombing and gun assault by three teams of jihadists on bars, restaurants and the Bataclan music venue — planned in Syria and later claimed by the Islamic State terror group — was the worst postwar atrocity on French territory.

The only surviving attacker, Salah Abdeslam, was present with 13 other defendants as the trial started under the highest security at a purpose-built facility at the historic court of justice on the Ile de la Cite in central Paris.

Abdeslam told the court “there is no god but Allah” as he was asked to identify himself at the trial Wednesday.

Six others are being tried in absentia. Twelve of the 20 people on trial, including Abdeslam, face life sentences if convicted.

“We are entering the unknown,” said Arthur Denouveaux, a survivor of the Bataclan music venue attack and president of Life for Paris, a victims’ association.

“We’re eager for it to start but we’re wondering how it’s going to go over the next nine months,” he said.
COVID lockdown: Crowd at Australian synagogue fined for gathering
Police handed out multiple fines to people suspected of gathering illegally to pray on Rosh Hashanah in Melbourne, Australia, despite a coronavirus lockdown on the city, Australia's 9 News reported Tuesday.

The fines issued were worth A$5,452 ($4,016) each and were issued by officers who waited for people at the exits of Ripponlea Synagogue, according to 9 News.

"Victoria Police has spoken to a number of people who attended an address on Glen Eira Road, Elsternwick on Tuesday 7 September. All adults who attended will be issued with a [A]$5452 fine," police said in a statement, according to 9 News.

Police added that they believe a number of people present have yet to speak to the police and the officers are looking for them.
3 reportedly arrested on suspicion of aiding escaped security prisoners
Israeli forces reportedly arrested three people on Tuesday for their suspected roles in helping a group of Palestinian security prisoners escape from prison, as the fugitives remained at large over a day after their disappearance.

Israel has launched a massive manhunt to capture the six prisoners, who are considered highly dangerous, after they broke out of the high-security Gilboa prison early Monday in what is considered to be among the most serious jailbreaks in the country’s history.

Police entered the neighboring Arab towns of Na’ura and Tamra, located northeast of Afula, and searched mosques, according to Hebrew and Palestinian media reports. Numerous checkpoints were placed in the area, Army Radio reported.

The three suspects were arrested in Na’ura, reports said. The detainees did not include any of the escaped prisoners themselves, but were suspected of helping them break out of the prison or flee the area afterward.

Authorities believe at least some of the escaped prisoners stopped in the town for a short time after their breakout and changed clothes there, Haaretz reported.

Police were also conducting searches in the Palestinian town of Jalamah, adjacent to the West Bank border fence, and near the Palestinian city of Jenin, the Walla news site reported. The escapees all hail from the Jenin area.
Rioting reported throughout West Bank after prison break; IDF extends closure
Palestinians held large-scale demonstrations across the West Bank and Jerusalem Wednesday night, some of them violent, in solidarity with the six security prisoners who broke out of Israel’s Gilboa Prison earlier this week.

In at least one case, rioters near the Judea and Samaria Square in the Ramallah district of the West Bank were reported to use live fire against Israeli troops, but missed them. A similar incident occurred at the same place amid a violent demonstration in May, during which two Israeli soldiers were wounded.

Unrest was reported near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, in Hebron, Hawara, Azzoun, near Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, and in other locations in the West Bank.

Two Palestinians were hurt from police’s rubber bullets, and another from a stun grenade during the clashes at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

In the West Bank town of Beita, two Palestinians were hurt by Israel Defense Force’s live fire, the Red Crescent said.

And in Hawara, at least 100 Palestinians were treated by Red Crescent medics, most of them for inhaling tear gas fire by Israeli forces.
Inmates riot across prisons in Israel as manhunt for escaped prisoners continues
Security prisoners rioted in jails across Israel as tensions escalate following the escape of six prisoners from Gilboa Prison using a tunnel they dug in their cell.

The rioting prisoners, mainly belonging to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, set fire to cells in Ketziot, Ramon and Ofer prisons on Wednesday after Prison Service Commissioner Katy Perry placed new restrictions on inmates and moved over 400 prisoners in order to ensure that only one PIJ prisoner would be in a cell at a time.

Israel Prison Services (IPS) said following the escape that it would be sending the other security prisoners at Gilboa Prison to other facilities across the country as a precautionary measure in case there are other tunnels.

Inmates from Gilboa and Megiddo Prison in the North were moved to other jails in the South, but on Wednesday, the IPS backtracked on moving some 150 PIJ inmates from Ofer Prison in the West Bank after prisoners threatened to riot, commit arson and harm guards if they would be transferred.

Five of the six prisoners who escaped belong to PIJ.

Although the riots and fires were brought under control, authorities are preparing for additional violence.

Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bankheld solidarity marches in cities like Hebron and Jenin toward Israeli checkpoints like Qalqilya and the perimeter fence in support of the prisoners.
Palestinians decry measures against inmates, assail ‘heroic’ fugitives
The Palestinian Authority and several Palestinian factions on Wednesday warned Israel against punishing Palestinian security prisoners in the aftermath of the escape of six inmates from Gilboa Prison.

They also warned Israel against harming the fugitives or their family members.

Shortly after the jailbreak, the Israel Prison Service began transferring hundreds of inmates to other prisons.

Dozens of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) inmates held at Ofer Prison were placed in solitary confinement after they refused to be moved to other prisons, the IPS said in a statement.

Five of the inmates who escaped from Gilboa Prison are members of PIJ. The sixth, Zakaria Zubeidi, belongs to Fatah, the ruling faction headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas. The six men hail from the Jenin area.

Leaders of PIJ prisoners announced on Wednesday that all inmates will go on a hunger strike next week to protest Israel’s “repressive measures.”

Palestinian sources said that IDF troops raided several villages and towns in the Jenin area early Wednesday as part of the manhunt for the fugitives.
The Israel Guys: We went to Nablus to find out if it’s still the capital of terrorism
On today’s adventure show, we went to the largest Arab city in Judea and Samaria - Nablus, also known as Shechem. During the Second Intifada and early 2000s, the Israeli media labeled this town as the “capital of terrorism”. Some said that as many as 80% of terrorists in Israel came from this city.

Today, we went to the city to check out the religious and historical sites, experience the culture and meet the people. We also wanted to find out if Nablus was actually the terrorist capital of Israel, and if it is still a volatile place.

The answers might surprise you.


IDF strikes in Gaza in response to arson balloon attacks
The Israel Defense Forces carried out a series of retaliatory airstrikes in southern Gaza late Monday night after incendiary balloons from the Hamas-run enclave sparked three fires near Israeli towns bordering the Strip.

The military said it hit a Hamas rocket production facility and training camp in Khan Younis. Footage uploaded to social media showed the strikes lighting up the skies. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Earlier Monday, incendiary balloons launched from the Strip sparked three fires in Israel’s Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council. Firefighters managed to put out the fires before they could cause significant damage.

Gazans have continued to launch incendiary devices attached to kites or balloons into Israel despite warnings from Jerusalem of zero tolerance for such attacks.

Tensions with Gaza have remained high amid intensified efforts to shore up a ceasefire brokered after May’s war between Israel and Gaza-based terrorists, including a new arrangement for bringing Qatari cash into the Strip to ease poverty there.

The IDF’s Southern Command was preparing on Monday for the possibility that ceasefire talks managed by Cairo could break down, leading to an upsurge in violence and renewed rioting on the border.


Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Why Biden's Aid Will Not Bring Peace
Most Palestinians, however, are clearly unimpressed with both the Biden administration's renewed financial aid and the Israeli government's gestures.... These Palestinians are saying that they prefer Hamas, the Islamist group that seeks the destruction of Israel, over Abbas.

"[T]he Biden administration is deluding itself by assuming that US funds could change the hearts and minds of the Palestinians." — Arab World for Research and Development, August 25, 2021.

Those who want the Oslo Accords rescinded are, bluntly, saying that they are opposed to a peace process with Israel. They are also saying that they do not recognize Israel's right to exist.

Another crucial finding the Biden administration needs to take into account is that the poll found... a majority of those surveyed believe that Israel has no right to exist and should be replaced with a Palestinian state, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

US taxpayer dollars will not drive Palestinians to accept Israel's right to exist. The same applies to the Israeli gestures, which are not likely to achieve the Biden administration's hope of bolstering the PA's standing or advancing the "two-state solution."

The results of the poll are clear: many Palestinians have been so successfully radicalized by their leaders that they want to see Israel removed from the face of the earth.

The only way to change this brutal reality is by halting the messages of hate and the delegitimization of Israel. Until that happens, Palestinians will continue to pocket money from the US and other Western donors, while at the same time moving closer to Hamas and further from any peace with Israel.


PA says 14 officers to be charged for beating Abbas critic Nizar Banat to death
Fourteen members of the Palestinian Authority security forces will be charged for allegedly beating opposition figure Nizar Banat to death in late June, a spokesperson for the forces said on Sunday.

“The investigations have concluded, and the military prosecutors… decided to charge all the officers and forces who participated in apprehending Nizar Banat,” PA security services spokesperson Talal Dweikat told official PA television.

The 14 alleged perpetrators will be charged with fatally beating Banat, under PA military law, said Dweikat.

Banat, a social media activist well-known for his caustic videos condemning the PA leadership, died after being arrested by PA officers in late June. His death sparked rare major protests in the West Bank calling for the downfall of the PA government.

In the aftermath of Banat’s death, the PA arrested 14 officers alleged to have taken part in his beating. All hailed from the Hebron division of the powerful Preventative Security apparatus, Dweikat said on Monday.

But Banat’s family has already pledged not to accept the results of the PA’s investigation into his death. The family formally withdrew its support from an earlier commission of inquiry that led to the arrests of the 14 suspects in July.


Iran Blocks International Inspectors From Nuclear Sites
Iran is blocking international arms control inspectors from visiting its nuclear reactor sites, testing the Biden administration as talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal flounder.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which is tasked with monitoring Iran’s nuclear program, has been barred from inspecting Iran's nuclear sites, according to confidential reports from the organization obtained by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

"Iran has still not provided the necessary explanations for the presence of the nuclear material particles," one of the reports reads. "The Director General remains deeply concerned that nuclear material has been present at undeclared locations in Iran and that the current locations of this nuclear material are not known to the Agency."

Iranian scientists are enriching uranium—a process vital to building nuclear weapons—at an alarming rate. Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz said in August that Iran is just over two months away from obtaining enough enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon, while Iran’s new hardline prime minister Ebrahim Raisi has stalled talks in Vienna over renegotiation of the Iran deal.

Iranian and Western diplomats have participated in six rounds of talks, and Raisi has given no indication of when Tehran may return to the table after the last official talks concluded in June.
UN watchdog: Iran has quadrupled its stocks of 60%-enriched uranium since May
Iran has dramatically increased its production of highly enriched uranium in recent months, while refusing to resume full cooperation with inspectors, the United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday.

Tehran has quadrupled its stockpile of 60 percent-enriched uranium since May, in open contravention of the 2015 accord with world powers that was meant to contain its nuclear program, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported.

The IAEA also told member states in its confidential quarterly report that its verification and monitoring activities have been “seriously undermined” since February by Iran’s refusal to let inspectors access IAEA monitoring equipment.

The agency said that it estimates Iran’s stock of uranium enriched to up to 60% fissile purity at 10 kilograms, an increase of 7.6 kilograms since May. The country’s stockpile of uranium enriched to up to 20% fissile purity is now estimated at 84.3 kilograms, up from 62.8 kilograms three months earlier.

Iran’s total stock of uranium is estimated at 2441.3 kilograms as of August 30, down from 3241 kilograms on May 22, the agency said.

Tehran is only permitted to stockpile 202.8 kilograms of uranium under the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, which promises Iran economic incentives in exchange for limits on its nuclear program, and is meant to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb.
MEMRI: Iranian Political Analyst Emad Abshenas: U.S. May Have Been Behind 9/11; Biden Wanted Kabul Airport Bombings; He Does Not Really Care About American Lives, His Main Concern Is To Undermine The Security Of China, Russia, And Iran
Iranian political analyst Emad Abshenas, editor-in-chief of the Iran Diplomatic, said that the U.S. government and President Biden wanted the Kabul airport bombing to happen in order to undermine the security of the region. He made these remarks in a show that aired on Mayadeen TV (Lebanon) on September 1, 2021. Abshenas said that it was the Americans who brought ISIS into Afghanistan and equipped them with modern weapons. He added that now Iran, China, and Russia must cooperate in order to defeat the terrorism in the region, or else it will spread throughout the entire world. For more about Emad Abshenas, see MEMRI TV clips 9005, 9003, 8608, 8581, 8341, 8320, 8211, 8057, 7939.

"Even With Regard To The 9/11 Attacks, There Are Suspicions That The American Security Agencies Are Behind All This"

Emad Abshenas: "I do not think that the U.S. fought terrorism or even wanted to fight it. Even bin Laden's assassination is doubtful. In Saddam Hussein's case, we could at least see him being executed on TV, but nobody even saw Osama bin Laden's body. The U.S. claimed to have assassinated him and to have thrown him into the sea. I have no idea why they had to throw him into the sea, but many questions are still left unanswered.

"It should be noted that Bin Laden, before becoming the leader of Al-Qaeda, was one of the allies of George Bush, who ordered the attack on Afghanistan.

"Even with regard to the 9/11 attacks, there are suspicions that the American security agencies are behind all this, and have cooperated with Al Qaeda, which was created by America.

"There Is An American Plan To Usher In New Terrorist Organizations, Equipped With Planes And Helicopters"

"It seems to me that there is an American plan to usher in new terrorist organizations, equipped with planes and helicopters. They want to undermine security in the vicinity of Iran, China, and Russia.




Jew hatred has erupted around the world, this woman is fighting it
No. 27: Deborah Lipstadt

The COVID-19 pandemic and the May conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have both given rise individually and in unison to one of the worst waves of antisemitism in recent decades.

Jew hatred from the Right and Left, from white nationalists to so-called progressive and racial justice activists, has erupted across the world resulting in violent assaults, appalling vandalism and terrifying incitement against Jews and Jewish institutions.

In such times, the need for authoritative voices to speak out against the ancient scourge of Jew hatred is paramount, and there is perhaps no one today who is more knowledgeable and has spoken with greater clarity than Deborah Lipstadt.

Lipstadt is the renowned historian of the Holocaust and Jewish history, who famously took on Holocaust denier David Irving in court and won. She has authored numerous books and papers on antisemitism and the Holocaust and was in July nominated by US President Joe Biden to be the next US special envoy to combat and monitor antisemitism.


Man found guilty for far-right attack on Jewish restaurant in Germany
A 30-year-old German man was found guilty Wednesday of an anti-Semitic attack on a Jewish restaurant three years ago in the eastern German city of Chemnitz in which the owner was injured and the restaurant damaged.

The Chemnitz district court ruled that the man, whose name was not given in line with German privacy rules, was found guilty of severe aggravated assault and breach of the peace. Judge Dominik Boerner convicted him of a one-year suspended prison sentence, the German news agency dpa reported.

The judge integrated a different conviction for drug dealing into the man’s sentence, dpa reported.

The man was part of a group that attacked the restaurant on August 27, 2018. The group threw cobblestones at the building which hit and injured the Jewish owner of the Schalom restaurant, dpa reported.

The group also yelled anti-Semitic slurs during the assault. Investigators later found the man’s DNA on one of the stones, dpa reported.

The anti-Semitic attack was part of several days of far-right, anti-migrant riots following the fatal stabbing of a German man by a Syrian asylum-seeker in Chemnitz. Hundreds of far-right rioters came to Chemnitz from all over Germany protesting and chasing foreigners through the city.

At the opening of the trial, the defendant refused to talk. The owner of the Jewish restaurant, Uwe Dziuballa, said he was shocked that night when he stepped out and saw around 10 people, all in dark clothes, who looked at him with hate, dpa reported.
Police investigate swastika painted outside Jewish man's home
Police in Santa Fe are trying to determine who spray-painted a swastika on a wall outside an apartment where a Jewish man lives, according to multiple sources.

Jeff Hornstein, 58, said he and his wife noticed the swastika outside their home as they returned from dinner.

He commented, saying, “I came forward because I felt that I had to stand up to hate, ignorance, and cowardice."

"It's not something I would really expect in Santa Fe,” said a neighbor who lives down the street. “And it's a little too close for my comfort. It's frightening."

Hornstein, an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher who works with the immigrant community, filed a report with the police and the Anti-Defamation League.

“At this point, we don’t have any suspects,” Santa Fe police Lt. Sean Strahon said. “We don’t have anything else to go on.” As of now, they're calling the swastika vandalism and not a hate crime.


Is Israel beating its fourth COVID wave? ‘R’ declines to less than 1
The reproduction rate or “R” has dropped to 0.95, the Health Ministry reported Wednesday evening.

The R is the number of people each sick person infects. At the beginning of the week, the R stood at 1.05, which already represented a decrease from the previous week.

Prof. Eran Segal, the computational biologist from the Weizmann Institute of Science who advises the government, first revealed the good news in a Twitter post on Wednesday.

He said that “the decrease is not due to fewer tests. The number of tests in the last two days is similar to that of a week ago. There is a decrease in both the percentage of positive tests and the number of new severe patients. Happy New Year to everyone.”

The Health Ministry reported 678 people in serious condition, including 171 who were intubated, on Wednesday evening. The number of total serious cases was only up by one since the Sunday before Rosh Hashanah. There were 17 new serious cases between midnight and press time.

There were 6,780 people diagnosed with coronavirus on Tuesday, the Health Ministry said, out of 95,155 who were screened - a 7.22% positivity rate.

The positivity rate before Rosh Hashanah was only 5.31%.
Film Debuts About True Story of Holocaust Survivors’ ‘Revenge’ Plot Against 6 Million Germans
A new film that premiered on Friday on digital platforms is based on the true story of a group of Jewish Holocaust survivors who planned to poison the water system in five German cities after World War II.

In 1945, young Holocaust survivors formed a group called Nakam, the Hebrew word for revenge, and vowed to avenge the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis. Their plot — to kill six million Germans by poisoning their drinking water — was dubbed Plan A, also the name of the film written and directed by Israeli brothers Doron and Yoav Paz, the directors behind “Jeruzalem” and “The Golem.”

The film stars August Diehl (“Inglourious Basterds”), Sylvia Hoeks (“Blade Runner 2049”), Michael Aloni (“Shtisel”) and Milton Welsh (“Conan the Barbarian”).

The Paz brothers, who had family members killed in the Holocaust, said they were inspired to make a film about the Nakam group after a friend revealed that his grandfather returned to his childhood home following his liberation from a labor camp and killed the man who sold out him and his family to the Nazis.

“This blew our minds,” Yoav told Jewish News. “We said, ‘Wow, this is an amazing story. You never hear about revenge.’”

He added, “For us, it was really fascinating. We felt that from this minority group who couldn’t go on with their life, we could learn a lot about all of the other survivors who did want to start a new life, and for them that was the real revenge.”
Israel Wins Six Gold and Nine Total Medals at Tokyo Paralympics, Sets New Records
Israel took home a total of nine medals and set a number of new records at the 2020 Paralympic Games that concluded on Sunday in Tokyo, Japan.

Team Israel earned six gold, two silver and one bronze medal, with eight in swimming and one in rowing. On Aug. 25, Iyad Shalabi, 34, became the first Arab-Israeli to win a medal on behalf of Israel at the Olympics or Paralympics when he received a gold in the men’s 100-meter backstroke. He went on to win his second gold medal in the men’s 50-meter backstroke on Sept. 2.

On Aug. 27, Mark Malyar, 21, earned a gold medal in the men’s 200-meter individual medley and set a new world record in the category. He also won a gold in the men’s 400-meter freestyle race on Aug. 29, setting a new record in the category, and a bronze in the men’s 100-meter backstroke on Aug. 30.

Ami Dadaon, 20, won a silver in the 150-meter individual medley on Aug. 28, a gold medal in the men’s 200-meter freestyle on Aug. 30, and a gold in the men’s 50-meter freestyle on Sept. 2. He set new world records in the 200-meter and 50-meter races.

A silver was earned by Team Israel athlete Moran Samuel, 39, in the women’s single 2,000-meter rowing event on Aug. 28.

Israel’s Paralympics team of 33 athletes competed in 11 sports: athletics, badminton, boccia, goalball, paracanoeing, power lifting, rowing, shooting, swimming, table tennis and wheelchair tennis. The nine medals Israeli athletes won is triple of Israel’s total medal count from the Rio Paralympics in 2016 and the most gold medals Israel has won since the 1988 Games, according to The Times of Israel.


IDF releases rare aerial photos from Mandatory Palestine
The IDF has published a series of rare aerial photos from the 1930s and 40s as part of a digitization project involving millions of photos, videos and documents.

They include photos of the Tel Aviv Port, Nahariya, Kibbutz Ginosar, Kibbutz Ein Gev, and Kibbutz Hanita on the day of a 1938 aliyah wave. Many of the settlements that were photographed were originally founded as homa u'migdal ("tower and stockade") settlements, including the three kibbutzim.

These served the function of being legally resistant to the restrictions of British authorities while protecting Jewish communities during the Arab revolts.

According to the Defense Ministry spokeswoman, IDF archivists were able to identify the settlements and estimate the dates the files were documented.
Kibbutz Hanita four hours after an aliyah wave











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