April 18, 2021

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10/10 Links Pt2: Palestinian refugee camps: Facts, myths, & illusions; Goodbye, Barack


From Ian:

Palestinian refugee camps: Facts, myths, & illusions
Why has this festering wound of deprivation and suffering perpetuated and grown? Why haven’t Arab host nations closed the camps and integrated the Palestinians into their own populations? And why, indeed, are there still refugee camps in areas ruled by the Palestinian Authority? Accountability lies not with Israel, but with Palestinian leaders and Arab States.
The same is true of the origins of the refugee exodus. In 1947, the UN Partition Plan proposed two independent states. Israel accepted, but Palestinian leaders, whose state would include the West Bank and Gaza, rejected the proposal. How many Palestinian refugees would there be had the Palestinians accepted this offer of statehood? Zero.
In 1948, Israel declared statehood. The next day Israel was attacked on all sides by Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. Those nations failed in their quest to destroy Israel, and the war they launched caused an exodus of Palestinian refugees. How many Palestinian refugees would there be had the Arab nations not attacked Israel in 1948? Zero.
There is an oft-repeated but false narrative that Israel “expelled” the Palestinians from their homes in 1948. In fact, at Israel’s founding Prime Minister David Ben Gurion proclaimed that all Arab inhabitants were invited to stay “on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its bodies and institutions.” Many Palestinians left, implored to do so by the same Arab leaders who were bent on destroying Israel. A handful were expelled during the war. But, the Palestinian Arabs who took up Ben Gurion’s offer to stay in Israel are today (along with their descendants) among the 1.8 million Arab citizens who are part of a thriving and diverse democracy.
Notably, former Syrian Prime Minister Haled al Azm stated in his memoirs: “Since 1948 we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we ourselves are the ones who encouraged them to leave. Only a few months separated our call to them to leave and our appeal to the UN to resolve on their return.”
Solutions to the problem have been routinely rejected by Palestinian leaders. In 2000, the Camp David accords offered Palestinians another opportunity for statehood. The offer included 97% of the occupied territories, additional land swaps, and $30 billion in compensation for the refugees. But, the proposal also required recognition of Israel’s right to exist in peace. Yasser Arafat rejected it.

Ben-Dror Yemini: How to deal with the next Gaza-bound flotilla

The Gaza-bound flotilla received international media coverage, especially when Roger Waters joined the party and announced that Pink Floyd was reuniting for a special performance for the boat’s passengers. What did we gain from that, asked my friend, who was listening to foreign media reports. Instead of taking over the boat and reminding the world of the Gaza blockade, which turns into a siege when translated into foreign languages, Israel could have acted differently. Why confront a small group of women and turn them into heroes? We could have turned them into what they really are: Useful idiots.
Want to enter Gaza? Go right ahead. We’ll even equip you with medicine and tomato boxes. It’s true that hundreds of Israeli trucks transfer goods into the strip every day, but if you want more – be our guest.
We could have taken the same opportunity to do other things. For example, to equip them with an official letter from the Israeli government, something that would be photographed well on the media. A letter adorned with arabesques in dozens of languages. And if Israel were smart, not only would it not have prevented media coverage, it would have invited a distinguished delegation of journalists from around the world to cover the delivery of the letter.
And what would be the content? Well, the following things should have been written: “The State of Israel wants prosperity and welfare for the strip’s residents. For that purpose, Hamas is required to accept the simple formula of demilitarization in exchange for reconstruction. Instead of investing in tunnels of death, instead of investing in the production of rockets directed at innocent civilians, it is possible to turn over a new leaf of cooperation, of economic investments, of project building. Israel is not interested in a blockade.

Vic Rosenthal: Goodbye, Barack

At last, after eight long years during which Barack Obama a) applied almost unrelenting pressure on Israel, much more obsessively than anything else he did, and b) taught us the painful truth about American liberal Jews – that for them, Israel is just another foreign country – he is leaving the White House. What comes next could be better or worse, but who here won’t be happy to see his particularly offensive brand of hypocrisy and hostility disappear?
But the game isn’t over until January 20, and soon there will be nothing to restrain him from acting on his obsession.
Last Wednesday, the State Department issued a press release in which it “strongly condemn[ed]” Israel’s plan to build 98 homes inside an existing settlement in order to house families that will be displaced by the demolition of another settlement, which has been ordered by Israel’s Supreme Court.
“Strongly condemn” is language normally used for terrorism or, for example, Russian and Syrian air strikes on hospitals in which dozens of civilians die.
The State Department claimed that Israel was violating its assurances to the US that it would not build “new settlements.” Israeli officials called the statement “disproportionate” and argued that it was neither a “new settlement” nor an obstacle to peace.
Administration lackeys like the New York Times and J Street echoed the criticism. The Times, in language that could have been (and probably was) written by NSC staffer and Obama confidant Ben Rhodes, blasted Israel and called for a Security Council resolution to “set guidelines” for Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria. An administration official said that “the White House boiled with anger” (more Rhodesian rhetoric) over Israel’s plan.

Daniel Pipes: The Middle East Studies Establishment Goes Full Warrior

It’s only to be expected. My colleagues and I at the Middle East Forum have for over two decades criticized the decline of Middle East studies; so now, its syndicate, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), has for the first time in 14 years replied in kind. The fusillade takes the form of a letter to Leslie Wong, president of San Francisco State University (SFSU).
MEF’s Campus Watch has documented the disturbing ties between SFSU and An-Najah National University, a radical institution in the West Bank lauded by Hamas as a “greenhouse for martyrs” and described by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as a hotbed of “terrorist recruitment, indoctrination, and [the] radicalization of students.” We believe that Najah’s long and sordid record should make it an academic pariah.
Specifically, we procured a copy of SFSU’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Najah which revealed plans to set up faculty and student exchanges. Finding this agreement with the “greenhouse for martyrs” outrageous, MEF announced a nationwide campaign on Sep. 15 calling on SFSU to cancel the MOU with Najah.
An-Najah University’s long and sordid record should make it an academic pariah.
MESA, always eager to flaunt its anti-Zionist credentials, responded with alacrity: on Sep. 19, its dual leadership of Beth Baron and Amy W. Newhall issued a letter to Wong that needs to be read in full to appreciate its factual inaccuracy and moral obtuseness. It does three things: whitewashes Najah’s history, defends an SFSU faculty member from alleged “harassment” by us, and smears MEF’s motives.

Douglas Murray: The Right to Mock

Mohammed Shafiq was quoted in the Sun saying of Smith: “I think he should apologise immediately. Our faith is not to be mocked, our faith is to be celebrated and I think people will be offended.”
Shafiq does not explain why his faith should not be mocked. Nor does he seem to know anything about the right of free people in free countries to do or say whatever we like about Islam or any other faith whenever we feel like it.
There is nothing special about Islam that means it cannot be mocked. In fact, it would be a very good thing (both for Muslims and everyone else) if it were mocked rather more.
But there in that sentence is the implicit threat again. All insist that their faith “should not be mocked.” And for those who say they are moderates, and are presented as such by the press, it seems to be exceptionally useful that they do not have to be much more explicit than this.
But in this not-so-subtle intimidation do we not see precisely that thing which most worries the public? That despite what our politicians say, the allegedly vast chasm that separates the extremists from the “moderates” seems at times to be almost paper-thin.

Michael Lumish: The Wall of Indifference

Those of us who care about Israel, and who are concerned about the rise of Political Islam face a brick wall.
Those of us who prefer western forms of jurisprudence to the Sharia courts popping up all over Europe face it, as well.
Those of us who care about the maintenance of traditional liberal values, such as freedom of speech, as they erode in the West due to the encroachment of al-Sharia, also face it.
The great irony, of course, is that we often come out of the western-left, yet it is within the Left that the wall of indifference is the most reinforced and most well-guarded.
The progressive-left and the Democratic Party view concerns over Political Islam as a largely racist, right-wing issue to be ignored. Obama, and his people, pay a bare minimum of lip-service to some vague, unknowable curiosity which they call “violent extremism” and that they tell us has nothing whatsoever to do with formal Islamic doctrine.

Arab Australians Stage Anti-Sykes-Picot Play

Including in its cast Professor Ghassan Hage, the Lebanese-born BDSer about whom I recently blogged here (“Israel’s vampiric history”), The Cartographer’s Curse, written and directed by Paula Abood and performed by an Arab Australian theatre company called Third Space Productions, has debuted at the National Theatre of Parramatta, in outer Sydney.
On publicity material for the production we read, inter alia:
‘In 1916, British diplomat Mark Sykes and his French equivalent François Georges-Picot, divided up the Middle East by drawing straight lines on a map.
The Cartographer’s Curse, written and directed by Paula Abood, follows the story of the Cartographer and his family, and addresses the consequences of greed and power on freedom; beyond its impacts on physical borders and boundaries.
“As I gathered pages of sadness about famine and forced conscriptions, and notes about political double dealing by French and British diplomats wrangling to set themselves up in the region as the new colonial masters once the Ottoman Empire fell on its head, this story became something else,” Abood said.
“The postcolonial and ongoing neo-colonial mess that started with those straight red and blue lines … remains with us today as refugees flee Syria and Iraq, the catastrophe that befell Palestine remains an open wound, and the frequent sectarian eruptive bursts of fire that plague Lebanon.”
Far from being fixed in the past, the marks of the 100 year old Sykes-Picot agreement are still visible today….

Corbyn Appoints Holocaust Slur MP to Frontbench

Jeremy Corbyn has been blasted for rewarding a Labour MP embroiled in a string of anti-Semitism rows with a frontbench job. Yasmin Qureshi, Labour’s new Shadow Justice Minister, said in 2014 that the Israel-Palestine conflict was “the same” as the Holocaust. She was initially unrepentant, refusing to apologise before Ed Miliband eventually forced her to say sorry. It’s not the only time Qureshi has been in trouble: she invited blood libel anti-Semite Raed Salah to parliament, dismissed Hamas’ Iranian-built rockets as “home made”, claimed the Trojan Horse schools scandal was a “witch hunt” and attended an event in the Commons with CAGE. The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism tell Guido:
“We now have a Shadow Minister for Justice who holds an antisemitic view according to the definition of antisemitism, a Shadow Home Secretary who thinks that allegations of antisemitism are being concocted as a means by which to smear Jeremy Corbyn, and a Shadow Attorney General who has done more than anyone else to make the Labour Party deaf to Jews. These appointments make it abundantly clear that Jeremy Corbyn has no intention of addressing antisemitism in the Labour Party.”
Well done Jez.

Definitions of antisemitism: a quick guide

As these tables show, overwhelming majorities of Jews think that denying the Holocaust or accusing Jews of exploiting it for their own ends are probably or definitely antisemitic. The same goes for blaming Jews for the economic crisis, saying they have too much power and saying they can’t integrate into their countries.
Where Israel is concerned, 81% of Jews in the survey think that comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is probably or definitely antisemitic. Nearly three quarters think that somebody who boycotts Israeli goods is probably or definitely antisemitic, but only 34% would say the same about somebody who criticises Israel.
Taken together, these definitions represent a remarkable consensus across 31 governments, the UK Police, the National Union of Students and the opinions of Jews in eight European countries. If Jackie Walker – or anyone else – can’t “work with” these definitions, then instead of suggesting that these definitions are no good, perhaps it is Walker who needs to change her way of thinking about antisemitism.

American BDS Organization Takes Its Case to Capitol Hill

The “US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation,” a national coalition of American Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) organizations, will hold its annual conference on October 14-17 in Arlington, Virginia.1 The conference will include a “Lobby Day” on Capitol Hill targeting Members of Congress.
The US Campaign supports BDS and calls for Israel’s destruction as a Jewish state. Rather than opposing particular Israeli policies, it opposes Israel’s very existence and rejects a two-state solution.
The US Campaign leadership and key members support (and in some cases have ties to) designated terrorist organizations and have a track record of violence and incitement.
The policies of the BDS campaign adopted by the US Campaign have frequently been described as discriminatory and anti-Semitic and may violate relevant anti-discrimination laws. Institutions facilitating the work of the US Campaign should carefully consider the possible legal implications of this facilitation.
Members of Congress, regardless of their views on Israeli polices, should be wary of meeting with representatives of an organization that calls for the destruction of a U.S. ally, supports terror and violence, and promotes discriminatory and anti-Semitic policies.

Roger Waters attacks Israel, Trump at California concert

Roger Waters, the former Pink Floyd songwriter, renewed his longstanding criticism of Israel and castigated Donald Trump at a festival of rock elders in California.
While Waters‘ anti-Trump stance elicited some cheers, his statement on Israel drew a more muted response, with some fans clapping but others booing and at least one proudly waving an Israeli flag.
Speaking to the 75,000-strong crowd at the three-day Desert Trip concert, which earlier brought the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney to a vast stage, Waters hailed California students at the forefront of the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign that aims to exert economic and cultural pressure on Israel over what critics call the state’s ill-treatment of Palestinians.

Israel supporter Paul Antey waves the Israeli flag in protest against what he says is the anti-Semitic political beliefs of artist Roger Waters as he performs on stage during the third day of the Desert Trip music festival at Indio, California, on October 9, 2016.

Florida State Senate Candidate: Former PFLP Terrorist Is Like Mandela

Dwight Bullard, a Democratic Party candidate for Florida’s 40th state district, took to Twitter recently claiming that his former terrorist turned tour guide in Eastern Jerusalem was just like the late Nelson Mandela.
Bullard visited Israel this past May to commemorate the “Nakba,” in which the Palestinian-Arabs consider the establishment of Israel to be a “catastrophe.” His tour guide in Jerusalem was Mahmoud Jiddah, a former member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist group responsible for numerous terrorist attacks against Israel. These include the bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket in 1969, killing two Hebrew University students. Jiddah himself was arrested in 1968 for planting bombs and was later released in a prisoner exchange in the mid-1980s.
Bullard’s comparison between Jiddah and Mandela ignores a simple fact about Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa: He supported both the Israelis and the Palestinian-Arabs. In an interview with Ted Koppel in 1990, Mandela said that while he identified with the Palestine Liberation Organization, his political party (the African National Congress) never
“… doubted the right of Israel to exist as a state legally. We have stood quite openly and firmly for the right of that state to exist within secure borders.”
This assertion differs from Jiddah, who never denounced a terrorist organization that has never accepted the existence of Israel.

BBC News’ bizarre ‘Newsbeat’ backgrounder on Syria

The link leads to a backgrounder produced by BBC News for ‘Newsbeat‘ – and hence specifically tailored for younger audiences – which is titled “How the history books will remember Syria in 2016“.
The backgrounder – headed “Newsbeat Explains” – may well raise eyebrows both for what it does tell those ‘younger audiences’ and what it does not. No mention is made, for example, of the fact that the vast majority of casualties in the Syrian civil war have died at the hands of the Syrian regime or of issues such as the barrel bombs, the use of chemical weapons against civilians or the siege and starvation policy employed by Bashar al Assad. Apparently ‘Newsbeat’ does not consider those points worthy of the history books: a section headed “It’s hard to know exactly how many people have been killed in Syria” does not even try to inform audiences about such issues.
Readers are told that the root of the conflict in Syria goes back to “March 2003 when Britain and America and other countries decided to invade Iraq” and that the ‘Arab Spring’ can be attributed to the “economic crash of 2007/08”. The oppressive nature of the Syrian regime pre-March 2011 is severely whitewashed.
In a section concerning Syrian refugees audiences are told that Britain is characterised by “endemic racism” and in a section about the “international players” in Syria, readers are bizarrely informed that:

True Facts, False Conclusions: HonestReporting’s 8 Categories of Media Bias, Video#6 of 8

HonestReporting’s “Red Lines: The Eight Categories of Media Bias” is a new video series based on our latest E-book. In this series, prominent journalists and media analysts discuss the ways news is often misreported.
In this sixth segment, the Times of Israel’s Haviv Rettig Gur and Michelle Chabin with USA Today, NY Jewish Week, and Religion News Service give their insights into how journalists sometimes use true facts to draw false conclusions.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Trump Objectifies Women, Says Paper With Semi-Nudes On Front Page (satire)

Israel’s second-most-popular daily reported today on Donald Trump’s recorded remarks referring crudely to his daughter, and women generally, as sex objects, alongside promotional excerpts from other content featuring photographs of women in various states of undress to attract the reader’s attention.
Yediot Aharonot, the sister publication of the news and gossip site ynet, noted the Republican presidential nominee’s braggadocio in a recorded conversation ten years ago in which he boasted that his celebrity status enables him to grope women and face no serious consequences, and a separate radio interview in which he described his daughter Ivanka as a “piece of ass.” In the right-hand column of the same front page, Yediot placed an image of Dakota Johnson in a revealing dress and a line from a story about her in which she declared she has “no problem with nudity.” Beneath that, the publication printed the photo of a model receiving Botox treatment, unnecessarily showing her bare shoulders and top of her torso.
Yediot devoted most of its front page to the Trump revelations, which have caused previously staunch supporters to withdraw their endorsement of his candidacy. The real estate mogul and reality TV personality apologized for his remarks and the hurt they caused, whereas the Yediot Aharonot editorial board has yet to exhibit the self-awareness necessary to notice its behavior in the same realm. Observers do not believe such a change will occur in the near future.
“Donald Trump is notoriously un-self-aware, but at least he has advisers and campaign staff who can steer him,” explained media consultant Bur Amhaaretz. “But Israeli news outlets, and not just Yediot, have been objectifying women for decades, and would never consider themselves as engaging in anything improper. Even Haaretz, the so-called ‘newspaper for thinking people,’ causally uses women as sex objects in its own advertising for subscriptions.”

BBC continues to ignore Hizballah terror activity in Israel

This is of course not the first time this year that Hizballah’s attempts to set up cells intended to carry out terror attacks against Israelis have been thwarted by the Israeli security services. A similar story came to light in February of this year and two additional cells were discovered in August. None of those stories were covered by the BBC’s correspondents in Jerusalem.
While refraining from providing audiences with any serious coverage of the issue of efforts by established terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hizballah to conscript Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, the BBC continues to frame terrorism against Israelis as the spontaneous product of “frustration rooted in decades of Israeli occupation” – in a manner eerily similar to the dictates of the PLO’s guidance for foreign journalists.
That narrative-dictated framing of course contributes to the BBC’s failure to meet its obligation to enhance audiences’ “awareness and understanding of international issues”.

Nazi graffiti found on NY Jewish cemetery days before Yom Kippur

A Jewish cemetery in the New York State town of Warwick was desecrated with anti-Semitic graffiti on Sunday, the local Times Herald-Record reported.
The graffiti spray-painted onto the stone wall surrounding the cemetery portrayed swastikas, the words “Heil Hitler” and the letters “SS.”
The local Temple Beth Shalom’s 70 year old congregation was heartbroken and upset over the vandalism of their property.
Beth Shalom’s President Jon Gottlieb told the Herald-Record that local police called late Sunday and alerted him of the damage.
The Temple’s Rabbi of 11 years, Rebecca Shinder, said the attacks on the cemetery were “intensely personal,” and that she had “never, ever experienced this before, here or anywhere else in our community.”
“I promise you, Kol Nidre will not be the same this year,” she said, as the attack came just days before Yom Kippur.

The banker who used Nazis to help save Jews

After saving the lives of the two families, von Oppenheim continued to work to save the lives of more people, demonstrating to the Nazi authorities that the metal company was crucial for the German war effort, and its workers – almost exclusively Jewish refugees, most of whom had no experience at all in the metal business – needed to remain in the vicinity of the metal operation.
The ploy worked for a few years, but only a dozen were able to survive. And as von Oppenheim continued in his efforts, the Gestapo caught up with him, framing him and throwing him in jail on charges of treason with a death sentence over his head. He managed to survive in prison, being freed by the Americans before the Nazis could execute him. After the war he returned to the banking business, and he died in 1978.
“My grandfather had done his best to help persecuted Jews,” Florian von Oppenheim said. “Using bureaucratic and legal channels on an international level he helped many Jews.”
But not only did von Oppenheim perform acts of kindness during the war, his legacy lives on in a Holocaust education fund. Today, the Baron Friedrich Carl von Oppenheim Chair for the Study of Racism, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust, founded and funded by the von Oppenheim family of Cologne, annually awards two or three postdoctoral fellowship grants.
“Whenever I reflect on my grandfather’s actions, he helped save 11 lives from two families,” said Florian von Oppenheim. “This is a drop in the ocean compared to the six million who were murdered. But for those 11 individuals and their descendants – it’s everything.”
On October 10, 1996, Yad Vashem recognized Baron Friedrich von Oppenheim as Righteous Among the Nations.

Israeli startup Comprendi wins grand prize in Twitter ad contest

Israeli startup Comprendi defeated 500 contenders from 20 countries to win the grand prize of $250,000 in the Twitter #Promote Ads API Challenge in San Francisco over the weekend. The Israeli company won for its ground-breaking advertising automation solution driven by artificial intelligence and big data, the Jewish Business News reported Sunday.
Twitter flew its 12 finalists to its San Francisco headquarters for the awards ceremony. Impelo, another Israeli startup in the content optimization field, was also among the finalists, the report said.
The contest is one of the ways in which Twitter encourages innovation in advertising technology, and it provides developers with an opportunity to build the most effective marketing tools using the Twitter Ads application program interface.
Tel Aviv-based Comprendi was founded in 2013 by Itai Ben-Zaken, Dr. Kfir Bar and Amit Seker.
“The company offers global advertisers an automated audience discovery platform that reaches contextually relevant and long-tail audiences at scale. Now, with the addition of the newly launched adaptive creative technology, advertisers can automatically customize and personalize ads in real time based on a variety of real-world signals such as weather changes, sports results, trending topics on Twitter and more,” a company press release said.

New diagnostic test distinguishes bacterial from viral infections

An Israeli startup is taking aim at a mega global health crisis: overuse of antibiotic drugs.
Haifa-based MeMed, founded in 2009, has won tens of millions in investments and prizes to advance two initial products: ImmunoXpert, now used by hospitals in the EU, Switzerland and Israel to determine rapidly whether an infection is bacterial or viral; and ImmunoPoC, a point-of-care version not yet on the market.
Because they are usually unable to determine the cause of infection, many physicians prescribe antibiotics to be on the safe side. Experts believe that up to 50 percent of antibiotic drug regimens are unnecessary or inappropriate. And antibiotic overuse is a major trigger for drug-resistant strains estimated to kill approximately 50,000 people each year in Europe and the United States.
ImmunoXpert interprets chemical signals from the body’s own immune system to distinguish with over 90 percent accuracy between bacterial and viral infections, empowering physicians to make more informed decisions.
The Israeli assay has been validated in clinical studies involving thousands of patients worldwide. Further multi-center validation trials are ongoing.

Scientists find new metabolic way to resist viruses

Viral infection — from the Hepatitis C virus that affects three percent of the global population and recent outbreaks of the Zika and Ebola viruses — is one of the leading medical challenges of the 21st century.
New research led by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem says there may be a new way to resist virus infections: by targeting the genetic regulation of metabolic processes on which viruses rely to replicate.
Participating in the research were The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Harvard Medical School, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Tel Aviv University, University Duisburg-Essen, and the University of Düsseldorf.
Viruses are parasites that lack the basic metabolic machinery needed to replicate. To get around this problem, they hijack the metabolic machinery of their hosts in order to complete their life cycle and propagate. However, scientists have never had a good understanding of the metabolic interplay between viruses and the organisms they infect.
In the new research, which appears in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, the international team said it systematically identified a number of genetic switches that control the metabolic response to the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

Ethiopian aliya resumes as first group arrives in Israel

A group of 63 Ethiopian immigrants (olim) arrived in Israel Sunday night, the beginning of a new wave of aliya from Ethiopia in accordance with a government decision passed in August. According to the decision, the government will bring 9,000 Falash Mura to Israel by the end of 2020, starting with 1,300 Ethiopians who are expected to arrive by the end of 2016. This follows a three-year hiatus after a declaration of the “end of Ethiopian aliya,” which left many families separated.
Tears of happiness were shed Sunday night as some of those families were reunited after having been apart for as long as ten years. But for some, that joy was clouded by longing and uncertainty as many still have loved ones waiting in Gondar and Addis Ababa, both cities which have been affected by the violent riots which have have claimed dozens of lives in recent weeks.
In a welcome address to the newcomers at Ben Gurion Airport, MK Avraham Neguise (Likud) said he blessed the families who had been reunited after years of separation. “But in the same breathe, I don’t forget those who still have family waiting.”

Netanyahu says Dimona nuclear reactor to be named for Peres

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday announced that he intends to rename the Dimona nuclear reactor in southern Israel for the late president and prime minister Shimon Peres.
At the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu told ministers, “I intend to rename the Negev Nuclear Research Center in Dimona after Shimon Peres.”
“He was very active in establishing this important project for Israel’s security for generations, and I think that it’s appropriate and right to name the compound after him,” the prime minister said.
The announcement came nearly two weeks after Peres, an elder statesman who held nearly every high office in Israel, died at 93.

IDF Blog: The 7 IDFBlog articles from the past year that you need to read

As a new year begins on the Jewish calendar, we take time to reflect on what we’ve learned in the past 12 months. Here at IDFBlog, we’ve covered threats, innovations, personal stories, and breaking news. In case you missed them, here are some of our best articles of the past year.
ISIS threatens to wipe out Israel – Here’s why we’re taking them seriously
Smart Helmets Take Fighter Pilots to a New Level
Senior IDF official explains the Syrian war on our northern border
“You’re alright. Don’t change.” An IDF soldier on being out, gay, and religious
Global aid to Gaza is on the rise in 2016, as well as Hamas cross-border tunnel construction
10 Leadership tips from Israeli Air Force pilots
How can we prevent the next “lone wolf” attack?

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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