IDF strikes Hamas posts in Gaza after explosive flown into Israel
The Israeli Air Force struck two Hamas positions in the eastern Gaza Strip on Sunday in response to an explosive device that was flown into southern Israel earlier in the day, the army said.
On Sunday morning, a bomb was flown into Israel using a large cluster of balloons and a drone-like glider device, landing in a carrot field in the Sdot Negev region of southern Israel shortly before noon.
In retaliation for the cross-border attack from Gaza, Israeli military helicopters attacked two observation posts east of Khan Younis that are controlled by the coastal enclave’s Hamas rulers, the Israel Defense Forces said.
“IDF attack helicopters struck two military positions belonging to the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip in response to the balloon-borne explosive device, which was launched by a model drone,” the army said.
In addition to the posts near Khan Younis, Palestinian media reported that the IDF had attacked targets near Jabalia, in northern Gaza, and in the Zeitoun area of Gaza City, in the central Strip. The IDF refused to comment on those reports.
The military did not say who it believed flew the bomb into southern Israel, but said it held Hamas responsible as the rulers of Gaza.
“The IDF will continue to act in defense of the citizens of Israel and against terrorism from the Strip,” the army said.
A drone-shaped device from the Gaza Strip exploded in an agricultural field of an Israeli kibbutz northeast of the coastal enclave on Sunday, causing neither injury nor damage, police said.
Security forces had been sent to the carrot field in the Sdot Negev region where the object landed, the Israel Defense Forces said.
The object was shaped like an unmanned aerial vehicle, with a wingspan of over 1.2 meters (4 feet), and was carried into Israel by dozens of colorful helium balloons. Though similar to a drone in appearance, the device was apparently not capable of flight.
The name of a Gazan engineering college was printed on the side of the drone lookalike.
Police said the device exploded as a bomb disposal robot examined it. The drone lookalike was then carried away.
The Los Angeles Times published a column on Friday evening excusing the charges of antisemitism against the leaders of the Women’s March.
The op-ed, written by the newspaper’s columnist Robin Abcarian was titled, “Can you admire Louis Farrakhan and still advance the cause of women? Maybe so. Life is full of contradictions.”
In the column, Abcarian claimed that she thinks “it is possible to be repulsed by [Farrakhan’s] hateful rhetoric about white people, especially Jews, and still appreciate some of the empowerment work that he has done in the black community.”
Though she criticized the Women’s March organizers for taking too long to respond to accusations of antisemitism, Abcarian wrote that the fruits of the march were so inspirational as to eclipse that.
“While organizers of the Women’s March battled over who said what to whom about Jewish people when, and the merits of a noted antisemite, American women stood up by the millions and changed the country,” Abcarian wrote. “For that, everyone involved in the Women’s March can take a bow.”
But many people – Jewish and non-Jewish alike – were far from moved by Abcarian’s dismissal of antisemitism by both the Women’s March and Farrakhan.
A tweet from the newspaper’s “L.A. Now” Twitter account with a link to the article was subject to what’s known on Twitter as “the ratio.” As of Sunday morning, the tweet had been liked just 294 times, while it had been the subject of close to 2,500 irate replies on the social media platform.
This is the paper that buried the Khalidi Tape, so this is poetic. https://t.co/BN364DuV9D
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) January 5, 2019
The High Court of Justice is set to deliberate in the coming days whether the nation-state law should be changed so that “the right of return” will serve as a counterweight to the Law of Return, thereby allowing the Palestinians to drown Israel in hordes of “refugees” with knowledge of murder and rape that will “return” from the killing fields in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq to realize a peaceful state from the river to the sea. Funnily enough, that river of which they speak is located right here in Israel. While Arab countries maintain a partnership of interests with us against Iran and abandon the Palestinians’ illusions of a “return and a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem,” the Palestinians can take comfort in the Israel hatred popular in those countries of peace, where they stomp on our flag and defiantly oppose their dictatorial governments.
In the meantime, the Palestinians continue to engage in a collective battle against Israel’s survival. In the racist trial of Issam Akel, sentenced to life in prison and heavy labor, the Palestinians declared it forbidden to sell land to Jews.
This is absurd. All the man did was sell the land back to its legal owners. These are properties the Muslims conquered from the Byzantines in 638 C.E. and which were returned to their Jewish owners in 1967. But from the Islamists’ point of view, the rights of the owners of these forcibly conquered lands have expired. Now the Palestinian raiders pretend to be the landowners in our country.
Did the descendants of the Arab feudalists from Lebanon, who sold lands to Jews in the 19tth century, also put their parents on trial?
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said on Sunday that although the Trump administration’s long-anticipated Middle East peace plan is “pretty much completed,” the rollout of the proposal will be delayed by several months.
Israel’s April elections “are a factor, but not the only factor” in the postponement, Friedman told reporters.
The White House wants to release the plan “in a way that gives it the best chance of getting a good reception,” said Friedman, noting that there was still additional “wordsmithing and smoothing” required before it was publicized.
“The challenge to a peace plan is making the case for a much more sober assessment of the realities in this region. The last time there was a meaningful agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians was 1993. A lot has happened since 1993,” Friedman said, referring to the Oslo Accords.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton on Sunday visited the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall and the adjacent Western Wall tunnels, raising the ire of a senior Palestinian official.
Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, took to Twitter to denounce the visit, arguing that it undermines international law and will “only lead to lawlessness.”
“This behavior will not change the fact that East Jerusalem is occupied territory and the capital of the state of Palestine,” Erekat tweeted.
During his visit, Bolton was accompanied by his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabbat, as well as by Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also joined the excursion, during which the men received a guided tour of the tunnels by Soli Eliav, the chairman of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, including a virtual reconstruction of the holy Jewish Temple that once stood at the site.
John Bolton, Amb David Friedman and others get a virtual tour of ancient Jerusalem in tunnel complex beneath the Western Wall. pic.twitter.com/b2a0bVYAas
— Steve Holland (@steveholland1) January 6, 2019
US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, said Sunday that the US military withdrawal from northeastern Syria is conditioned on defeating the remnants of the Islamic State group, and on Turkey assuring the safety of Kurdish fighters allied with the United States.
Bolton, who traveled to Israel to reassure the US ally regarding the Trump-ordered withdrawal, said there is no timetable for the pullout of American forces in northeastern Syria, but insisted it’s not an unlimited commitment.
“There are objectives that we want to accomplish that condition the withdrawal,” Bolton told reporters in Jerusalem. “The timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement.”
Those conditions, he said, included the defeat of remnants of IS in Syria, and protections for Kurdish militias who have fought alongside US troops against the extremist group.
Bolton’s comments mark the first public confirmation that the drawdown has been slowed, as Trump faced widespread criticism from allies and the resignation of US defense secretary Jim Mattis for a policy that was to have been conducted within weeks.
Hey, Arab countries. We’re going to collect $250 billion as an answer to @HillelNeuer‘s question, “Where are your Jews?”
— The Mossad (@TheMossadIL) January 6, 2019
CBS News has rejected a request from the Egyptian government to pull an interview with the country’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Although the network declined to say what exactly drew opposition from Cairo, the government is believed to be concerned by el-Sissi’s comments on Israel.
Asked in the interview with the “60 Minutes” program whether cooperation between Egypt and Israel was the closest it had ever been, el-Sissi responded, “That is correct. … We have a wide range of cooperation with the Israelis.”
Egypt has been fighting an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula for several years, battling an estimated 1,000 Islamic State-affiliated terrorists that Cairo has allowed the Israelis to attack by air.
In February, Egypt launched “Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018” in an effort to rid the peninsula of terrorists.
In recent years Israel has allowed the Egyptian military to boost its presence in the peninsula several times as part of the country’s war on terror.
Other than on security issues, Israel and Egypt maintain close diplomatic ties, as Egypt is the chief mediator between Israel and Hamas, the terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir rejected any possibility of normalization with Israel in an interview with Israeli public broadcaster Kan on Saturday night.
Bashir refused to allow Kenyan airplanes its airspace en route to Israel, after reports in late December said Sudan was expected to allow it. The refusal also followed comments made last year by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying Sudan would permit Israeli airliners to use its airspace while flying to South America.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed also denied that the government in Khartoum intended to normalize its relations with Israel, Kan reported in December.
Israel and Sudan have no official relations.
In a debate in the Sudanese Parliament, Ahmed said the government’s position on the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem was firm, Kan said.
In late November, Abdel-Sakhi Abbas, the leader of the ruling National Congress Party in Sudan, was quoted by the Turkish Anadolu Agency service as saying Sudan’s position on normalization of ties with Israel was clear “and is fundamentally linked to the Palestinian cause.”
Drivers from the Egged bus company announced they would go on strike Monday over concerns that driver and passenger safety were being ignored by the authorities, hours after a bus driver was injured in a West Bank shooting attack.
“The Transportation Ministry and the police systematically and inexplicably ignore the daily threat to drivers and passengers,” Egged driver’s union secretary Tom Promovitz told the Kan public broadcaster.
The announcement came after the Egged Ta’avura bus company, a subsidiary of Egged, announced Sunday morning they were going on strike, effective immediately. Egged Ta’avura operates bus lines in Netanya, as well as some areas of the West Bank and routes in and outside Jerusalem.
A bus driver was lightly injured Saturday night in a suspected terror attack near the settlement of Beit El in the central West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces said.
In a statement, the army said that soldiers were searching the area for suspects in the attack, which also damaged the bus.
The central West Bank has seen a surge in terror activities in recent weeks, including two shooting attacks that claimed the lives of three people.
The Shin Bet security service on Sunday revealed that a group of Jewish teenagers arrested over the past week are suspected of involvement in the murder of a Palestinian woman in October.
Aisha Rabi, 47, was struck in the head with a large stone while sitting in the passenger seat of a car being driven by her husband in the northern West Bank, the Shin Bet said in a statement, providing the first details on the investigation since a gag order was imposed on the case two days after the October 12, 2018, killing of the mother of eight.
The boys are suspected of “terror offenses, including murder,” the Shin Bet said.
The five teenagers are students at the Pri Haaretz yeshiva high school in the northern West Bank settlement of Rehelim. Three of them were arrested last Sunday while an additional two were arrested six days later.
The Shin Bet said that on Saturday morning after the Friday night attack, a group of far-right activists from the settlement of Yitzhar drove to the yeshiva — violating religious laws that prohibit driving on the Sabbath — in order to coach students they suspected were involved in the incident on how to withstand Shin Bet interrogations.
An official in the Honenu legal aid organization representing four of the five of the suspects confirmed to The Times of Israel that Meir Ettinger, a far-right activist and the grandson of extremist rabbi Meir Kahane, was part of that delegation.
The Shin Bet statement confirmed an October 30 report in which a defense official told The Times of Israel that the far-right activists who made the drive were figures known to the Shin Bet who had undergone extensive interrogations at the hands of the agency’s operatives.
Finishing touches were being being applied Sunday to Israeli business mogul Rami Levy’s latest venture, a shopping mall in the northern Jerusalem suburb of Atarot that will serve both Israelis and Palestinians.
The mall is to open on Tuesday morning, a spokesperson told The Times of Israel on Sunday.
Most of Israel’s main commercial retailers are represented in the NIS 200 million ($53 million) project, which spans 25,000 square meters and 50 stores, along with a few Palestinian-run businesses. With 100 percent occupancy, Levy has applied for a permit to add another floor with several thousand square meters to the project.
“There is very high demand for the project due to the size of the surrounding population,” Levy told Globes in November. “I’m not afraid of the security situation… When we started marketing there was a reluctance on the part of the (Israeli) chains because of the location of the project, but at the end of the day they understood the great commercial potential.”
The mall sits at the tip of northeastern Jerusalem in the Atarot industrial zone, within eyeshot of Ramallah and separated from the West Bank security barrier only by a thin road. It is only a few hundred meters from the mothballed Atarot airport that closed in 2001 due to security concerns during the Second Intifada.
In total, Levy said, the mall will serve 120,000 Arab and 90,000 Jewish residents of Jerusalem’s northern neighborhoods, as well as thousands of Palestinians who stream daily into the capital from the northern West Bank.
At a Fatah procession in Ramallah for the 54th anniversary of “the Launch” (Intilaqa) of Fatah, which commemorates its first attempted terror attack against Israel, masked men with Fatah headbands called for murder of Israelis, shouting “blow up the head of the settler”:
Man at rally: “Fatah member, join the camp.”
Participants: “And blow up the head of the settler.”
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 31, 2018]
The men carried unlit torches and Fatah flags and also called out the words “Palestine” and “Shabiba,” indicating they are members of the Fatah Shabiba Youth Movement.
Palestinian Media Watch documented that Fatah Youth Movement members chanted the same chant at Bir Zeit University in 2017:
It should be noted that the PA and Fatah often refer to all Israelis – no matter where they live – as “settlers.” When a Palestinian terrorist murdered American Taylor Force in Tel Aviv in 2016, PA TV News called him and all the others wounded in the Tel Aviv attack “settlers.”
This chant calling to kill Israelis supplements the other Fatah messages on the occasion of its anniversary. Fatah has posted numerous posts on Facebook that have reiterated that Fatah has not abandoned violence. These posts have included images of rifles and photos of armed men and even Palestinian teenagers carrying assault rifles.
Dozens of Palestinians on Sunday protested the arrival of the Greek Orthodox patriarch of the Holy Land at an Orthodox Christmas celebration in Bethlehem.
The protesters shouted “traitor” at Patriarch Theophilos III as he made his way under heavy guard Sunday toward the Church of the Nativity, revered by Christians as the traditional site of Jesus’s birthplace.
Palestinians have been demanding his resignation for having allegedly sold church land to Israelis.
Protesters are enraged over the Greek Orthodox church allegedly allowing controversial sales of its property in mainly East Jerusalem to groups aiding Jewish residency there.
Property transactions with Jewish buyers anger Palestinians, who see East Jerusalem, which contains the Old City, as the capital of their future state.
There were similar protests last January when Theophilos arrived in Bethlehem for the Orthodox Christmas celebrations, which are marked on the seventh of the month, according to the Gregorian, rather than Julian, calendar.
The Greek Orthodox church is one of the largest real estate owners in the Holy Land. It is dominated by Greek clergy while the flock is overwhelmingly Palestinian.
IsraellyCool: Gaza’s New Bottom Feeders
Gaza now has more bottom feeders – and I am not referring to more terror recruits (although I am sure it has more of those too)
When Mahmoud Othman tried to figure a way to save his cafe business in the Gaza Strip, he was amazed by online videos of tourists in Turkey getting fish pedicures. That got him thinking and a unique idea was born: his coffee shop now offers a new service — fish pedicures.
After getting Israeli approval, he recently imported hundreds of Garra rufa fish, a species of small freshwater fish nicknamed “doctor fish,” from Turkey and added a fish spa section to his hookah bar and cafe in Gaza.
The fish, which feed off the top layers of the toughened, dead skin of the feet, have been used in spas as a peeling method for years around the world.
“We wanted to introduce a new idea and service at the cafe,” Othman said. “Doctor fish has remedial and recreational sides.”
Among the benefits, he believes the treatment “helps the body get rid of negative energy.”
I would suggest a better (and cheaper) way for Gazans to get rid of negative energy would be to stop focusing on trying to murder Jews and start building up their society.
Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said Israel is expected to approve the Red Sea-Dead Sea Project with Jordan, according to a report in Bloomberg News.
“This is important for regional cooperation,” Hanegbi said in a phone interview with Bloomberg News. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was convinced that peace has a price, and he agreed to it.”
The Red Sea-Dead Sea Project, an idea conceived in the early 2000s, envisions a pipeline connecting the Red Sea port of Aqaba to an area by the south-eastern coast of the Dead Sea, both within Jordanian territory. This project will provide drinking water to parched Jordan. Palestinians will be able to buy desalinated water from the Jordanians.
“This is the largest joint project in the Middle East between Israel and an Arab state,” Hanegbi said, according to the report. “Jordan has severe water issues and Israel wants to maintain Jordan’s stability. It’s the country with which we have our longest border.”
Jordan and Israel are each pledging $40 million a year for 25 years for the $2 billion project, according to the report.
Brine from the desalinization process will be poured into the Dead Sea, which has been receding at the rate of one meter annually.
The project will also include the construction of a hydroelectric plant to provide power to both Israel and Jordan.
According to the report, Hanegbi denied that the announcement is tied to the elections.
Jordan did not respond to the report.
With Hamas on Israel’s Southern border and Hezbollah on the Northern border it is worth remembering who our so called friends are to the East. And this despite the fact that it is Israel who keeps the Jordanian regime safe.
Far-left Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) embraced anti-Semite and alleged Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer Linda Sarsour this week on their first day in Congress.
The photos came from Sarsour’s verified Facebook account where she praised both freshman Democrats.
“These past two years have been difficult,” Sarsour wrote in a post that featured herself and Omar. “So much heartache, exhaustion, pain, losses, drama, bad policy after bad policy YET today was all worth it. Today was JOY. Today was PRIDE. Today was full of laughter and tears. For every lil girl, especially lil girls of color – this is for you. You are our future congresswomen. You are because they were.”
When Sarsour posted photos of her with Tlaib, she wrote: “Congresswoman of the people! #MuslimWomenInTheHouse”
Sarsour has also appeared to make pro-Muslim Brotherhood statements on her Twitter account, writing in 2011: “Yo the Muslim Brotherhood knows how to parrrttaaay! So much for radical islamists taking over! If these r – they r da coolest! #jan25 #Egypt”
Sarsour’s anti-Semitic beliefs are well documented. She recently blamed the Democrat’s downfall on their support for Israel, and the Women’s March, where she serves on the board, has recently seen a drastic decline in support after allegations of anti-Semitism have roiled the organization.
Call on Univ. of North Carolina Asheville to Replace Tamika Mallory as the Keynote Speaker at its Annual #MartinLutherKingJr Event on Jan. 24 at the LIPINSKY AUDITORIUM. MLK was a great supporter of #Israel and the #Jewish people. Tamika is an #Antisemite https://t.co/U2rmUY0auS pic.twitter.com/CGUSk3TUW8
— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) January 4, 2019
A former medical resident at the Cleveland Clinic who wrote scores of anti-Semitic social media posts apologized, saying “those words do not represent who I am and the principles I stand for today.”
Lara Kollab, who attended medical school at a college associated with the Jewish community, said in the statement released on Friday and posted in a blog post that “I wish sincerely and unequivocally to apologize for the offensive and hurtful language contained in those posts.” She said she visited Israel and the Palestinian territories every year as an adolescent and “became incensed at the suffering of the Palestinians under the Israeli occupation.”
Kollab said the anti-Semitic posts she wrote from 2011 to 2017 came because she had “difficulty constructively expressing my intense feelings about what I witnessed in my ancestral land.”
The posts resurfaced last week after being publicized by the controversial website Canary Mission that hosts dossiers on pro-Palestinian student activists, professors and organizations, focusing primarily on North American universities. Among the posts that got the most attention was a tweet from 2012, when she was a medical student, which said: “hahha ewww.. ill purposely give all the yahood [Jews] the wrong meds….”
She also called for violence against Jews, called them “dogs,” minimized the Holocaust, likened Israel to the Nazi regime, and claimed Zionists control US media and schools.
Is it possible she does not hold these antisemitic views and is sincerely contrite about having expressed them? Yes, it is possible, but I would still like to understand why:
- She left the antisemitic tweets up for years, during her “mature adult” years at college and medical school
- She did not issue her apology the moment the tweets came to light, but rather waited until only after she became international news
- She tweeted as late as 2017:
“Further proof that Israel is more about hatred and white supremacy than it is about world Jewry, in case you didn’t know.”
“Zionists will basically use every opportunity to use the words ‘Israeli’, ‘victim’, and ‘terrorist attack’ in the same sentence. 😒
Because the way I see it, it is also possible she hasn’t really changed at all and is covering her ass as her career prospects take a nosedive.
Only in the San Francisco Bay area can a man arrested for leaving a fake bomb on campus, emblazoned with the words “All Jews F**k off and evaporate” be arrested and still not be charged with a hate crime.
Last Friday Michael Fleming, 48, brought a box labeled “Bomb inside” into the UC Berkeley Police Department.
Anti-Semitics symbols and phrases covered the box. The bomb squad later determined the box did not contain explosives.
Surveillance footage from the campus police department led them to Fleming, who continued his anti-Semitic tirades during his arrest.
According to Berkeleyside: Fleming remains in custody at Santa Rita with a bail of $10,000. He is scheduled to enter a plea next week Friday, according to county court records online
Fleming has not been charged with a hate crime.
Canada’s oldest and largest Jewish charity, the Jewish National Fund of Canada, is the subject of a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) audit following a complaint that it used donations for projects linked to the IDF, Canada’s CBC News has reported.
According to the report, the JNF said it stopped funding projects linked to the IDF in 2016 and disclosed to donors that it had been under audit last year.
“While no law bars a Canadian citizen from writing a cheque directly to Israel’s Ministry of Defense, rules do ban tax-exempt charities from issuing tax receipts for such donations, and also ban donors from claiming tax deductions for them,” the report by Canada’s public broadcaster read.
In October 2017, a complaint was filed by Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) which presented detailed evidence that the charity had been violating Canada’s Income Tax Act as well as Canadian foreign policy.
“Currently, the Government of Canada is putting the interests of JNF Canada above those of Canadian taxpayers, and above the interests of our country,” read the complaint by IJV, adding, “The time has come for the Government of Canada to make the lawful decision to initiate the revocation of JNF Canada’s charitable status.”
On it’s website, the CRA clearly states that some activities may not be charitable when carried out in a country other than Canada, “for example, increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of Canada’s armed forces is charitable, but supporting the armed forces of another country is not.”
However, as the Indy itself reported back in March of 2017, the report in question merely reflected the personal views of its authors, UN officials Rima Khalef and (extremist) Richard Falk, and not the United Nations itself. The report was briefly on the UN’s website, but permanently removed a few days later because it was never vetted, yet alone approved, by the proper UN departments or General Secretary Antonio Guterres.
Though, due to the holidays, it took Indy editors more than two weeks to get back to us, they ultimately upheld our complaint and added the following text to the op-ed following the sentence about the ‘apartheid’ report.
After criticism from the Israeli government who called the report “Nazi propaganda”, it was later withdrawn by the UN Secretary General. Rima Khalaf, leader of the commission that published the report, then resigned in protest citing intimidation and pressure to withdraw the report, the contents of which she stood by.
We’re pleased that the op-ed now notes that the report referenced by the Indy contributor does not in fact represent the position of the UN.
Holocaust survivors experience more chronic illness but outlive the general Israeli population by an average of seven years, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has revealed.
Led by the Tel Aviv-based Maccabi Kahn Institute for Research and Innovation, the study revealed that while excessive rates of chronic comorbidities were reported among Holocaust survivors, their overall mortality rate was considerably lower compared to the general Israeli population.
This may be associated, researchers said, by “improved health literacy and unique resilience characteristics among Holocaust survivors,” including more favorable genetic, physical and emotional characteristics.
The study evaluated approximately 38,500 survivors born between 1911 and 1945 in Europe and 35,000 control individuals born in pre-state Israel between the same years, all insured by Maccabi Healthcare Services.
Holocaust survivors had significantly higher rates of chronic illnesses including hypertension, obesity, chronic kidney disease, cancer and dementia. Yet the overall mortality rate among Holocaust survivors was considerably lower (25.3%) compared with the general Israeli population (41.1%).
When comparing the mean age of death, Holocaust survivors lived on average until 84.8 years old, almost seven years longer than the general population average of 77.7 years old.
Touting Israel’s economic progress, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called his country a “rising global force.”
“Israeli exports broke a record in 2018 and they are expected to reach $110 billion,” Netanyahu told ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. “This is an 8% increase over 2017, an immense increase.”
“This is the result of the strategy that I have discussed many times,” he added. “It is a strategy of opening new markets — and we have opened them.”
“The export of goods to China has risen by 56%,” Netanyahu noted. “The export of goods and services to Japan has risen by 50%. Exports to India and Latin America have risen by 27%. These are all new markets that we are opening.”
“This has increased exports and the GNP, brings money into state coffers, creates jobs and raises Israeli citizens’ wages,” he went on to say. “This is very important news and a very great change.”
The launch of an unmanned Israeli spacecraft to the moon next month is set to be a significant milestone in Israel’s space activity that will elevate Israel’s international status in the field.
Over the weekend, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper published an interview with one of the project’s major donors, billionaire philanthropist Morris Khan, which made no mention of the massive contribution by the Adelson Family Foundation.
The foundation, established by Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson as part of their Israel philanthropy, has donated $23.9 million [taking into account funds that will in effect be transferred in 2019] to the project thus far.
The foundation is responsible for one of the most substantial contributions to the project, one that in fact allowed the project to move forward and overcome the difficulties inherent in such an ambitious initiative and continue the efforts toward the February launch of the Israeli spacecraft.
While the Yedioth Ahronoth piece mentions that Kahn and the other donors have so far invested around $100 million in the project, without making any mention of the significant contribution by the Adelson Family Foundation.
It is as if she is back where she is most comfortable, after having been admitted to the rooms where her parents were never welcome, and then lost her privileges. As with the dissident prophet Jeremiah, her detractors may have broken the yoke of wood but forged a yoke of iron.
This brings us to the matter of Phillips’s developing sense of her Jewishness. When she saw anti-Semitism creeping into the inner sanctums of the self-righteous political Left, she was drawn closer to both Israel and her own developing sense of Judaism and Jewish identity. The descriptions of her battles against the anti-Israel bias in the media are some of the best and most passionate pieces of writing in this book. At a time when anti-Semitism has become commonplace in the British Labour Party and, indeed, the country, these passages are both timely and frightening. In recounting her experiences of being accused of disloyalty, of being less than British and somehow foreign, Phillips exposes the eerily cyclical nature of anti-Semitism.
As I finished reading about Phillips’s journey, I was left thinking that, had she stayed within the leftist safe-space, she would now be lauded as a feminist icon. In fact, since she was brave enough to venture out of that ideological comfort zone, she deserves that honor even more. Perhaps my slight frustration with the lack of personal detail is due to the author’s unwillingness to play into my expectations of what the autobiography of such a person should be. But, characteristically, she tells the story on her own terms.
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