July 10, 2020

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10/14 Links: Corbyn: EU supports Israel because of the Holocaust; Hamas Probes Israel’s Defenses; Israeli study finds thousands, not millions, of Palestinian refugees


From Ian:

Corbyn: EU supports Israel because of the Holocaust
A 2012 Interview with Russia Today surfaced on Saturday through the British newspaper The Sun outraged Labour members when Jeremy Corbyn told his interviewer that the European Union’s unconditional support for Israel is just a reaction to the holocaust.

When asked what is stopping governments from showing support for a recognized Palestinian state despite a poll showing a majority of British voters being in favor, Corbyn said: “What’s stopping them is a traditional recognition and support of Israel ever since the founding of the state of Israel in 1948 on the basis that the Jewish people were disgustingly and disgracefully and appallingly treated by the Nazi regime, by the holocaust.”

Corbyn added : “It’s a sort of sense of saying that the state of Israel was set up in order to provide a safe haven for Jewish people and that is still quite an important narrative in European politics.”

The Sun reported fellow Labour members blasted Corbyn for the comments and demanded an explanation.

Richard Angell, the director of the group Progress said: “these latest deeply offensive comments by Corbyn show once again his disregard for the Jewish community.”

Labour facing fresh anti-Semitism row as report is set to lay bare the scale of hate crimes against Jewish people for the first time

Bitter divisions over anti-Semitism in the Labour Party will be reopened by Ministers this week with official figures expected to show a rise in hate crimes against Jewish people.

In what Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters will perceive as a deliberate attempt to stoke rows within his party over the ‘racist’ behaviour of his supporters, the Government is planning to release stand-alone figures for anti-Semitic offences for the first time.

The move – part of a new drive to crack down on soaring hate crime – follows a summer in which a future Labour government was said to pose an ‘existential threat’ to British Jews, while Mr Corbyn himself was branded a ‘racist and anti-Semite’ by one of his own MPs.

Jewish safety group the Community Security Trust recorded 727 anti-Semitic incidents in the first half of 2018, including 34 that made specific reference to Labour.

However, the figures to be published this week are expected to provide more detail on the scale of the problem. The Mail on Sunday can also reveal that a Corbyn supporter is facing arrest after failing to appear in court to answer allegations that he branded a senior Labour figure a ‘Jewish pig’ and a ‘bloodsucker’.

High Court freezes deportation of alleged BDS supporter Lara Alqasem

Uzi Vogelman of the High Court of Justice, froze the deportation of alleged BDS activist Lara Alqasem less than one hour before a lower court deadline.

Vogelman gave the state 24 hours to respond in writing to Alqasem’s appeal of her deportation. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Alqasem’s initial appeal to the Tel Aviv District Court was rejected on Friday with the court saying she was still a potential BDS risk.

Throughout the controversy, Alqasem has maintained that she left the BDS movement in April 2017, and that her intention to attend Hebrew University makes it clear that she no longer supports BDS.

Hebrew University has slammed the state both for the allegedly sloppy and superficial evidence presented versus testimony from Alqasem’s University of Florida professors who know her.

It has also said that deporting Alqasem instead of letting her attend classes at Hebrew University is a huge win for the BDS movement.

Netanyahu Threatens Hamas With ‘Powerful Blows’ Amid Latest Gaza Violence Flare-Up

Following a weekend that saw around 15,000 Palestinian rioters wreak violence on the Gaza border, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a warning to Hamas on Sunday.

“Hamas, apparently, has not internalized the message,” Netanyahu said of the Gaza-ruling Islamist terror group at a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. “If they do not stop the violent attacks against us, they will be stopped in a different way and it will be painful — very painful.”

“We are very close to a different kind of activity, an activity that will include very powerful blows,” the prime minister continued. “If it has sense, Hamas will stop firing and stop these violent disturbances — now.”

At least seven Palestinians were killed on the border on Friday.

The IDF said rioters had been “hurling rocks, explosive devices, firebombs and grenades” at Israeli troops and at the border fence.

Lt. Col Jonathan Conricus, of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, tweeted that one group had “detonated a bomb on the Israel-Gaza border fence,” allowing around 20 people to climb through the hole.

He said around five members of the group had then launched an organized attack against a military post inside Israel and all had been killed by IDF troops.

JCPA: Hamas Probes Israel’s Defenses

Friday, October 12, 2018, was particularly violent on the border of the Gaza Strip. Around 15,000 people participated in demonstrations in which seven Palestinians were killed and 250 wounded. An especially severe incident occurred in the vicinity of Bureij in central Gaza.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh made a surprise appearance at one of the demonstrations, fanning the flames further.

Hamas announced on October 13, 2018, that it was responding to violent incidents on the Gaza border, stating, “The Palestinian people have a strategic arsenal of unending heroism and fighting ability, which is making the Occupation’s attempt to conquer it impossible.”

The announcement continued: “The great struggle at the Gaza border expresses real progress in standing against the enemy at point blank range.”

From an IDF investigation, it emerged that Palestinians detonated a large explosive device on the border fence. The explosives blew a large hole in the fence, through which around 20 terrorists infiltrated into Israel under the cover of a dense cloud of smoke created by burning tires. An IDF force fired at them to push them back. Most of them turned back into Gaza, but three of them continued to move on toward a military outpost, where they were shot and killed.

It appears that this was an attempt to test the IDF’s reaction to see if a deadly attack or kidnapping of soldiers on the Gaza border could be carried out to change the balance of the conflict, giving Hamas the upper hand. After abducting soldiers, the Palestinians would demand the complete removal of the embargo on the Gaza Strip.

Hamas warns thousands of Gazans will rush fences if PA squeezes Strip — report

The Hamas terror group warned that Gazans could step up violent protests against Israel and Egypt should the Palestinian Authority impose fresh sanctions on the beleaguered enclave.

Members of the group, the de facto ruler of Gaza, told Egyptian officials that tens of thousands of Palestinians could rush the Strip’s borders in an attempt to overrun Israeli and Egyptian forces, the pan-Arabic daily al-Hayat reported Sunday.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is seeking to regain control of Gaza from Hamas, has threatened to cut off funds to Gaza after Israel began allowing fuel donated by Qatar to be pumped into the Strip to enable increased power for residents.

On Friday Israel halted the fuel deliveries in response to violent clashes on the Gaza border. The border violence, orchestrated by Hamas under the banner of “the March of Return,” has waxed and waned since it began in March and has gained ferocity over the past few weeks.

Citing unidentified Hamas sources, al-Hayat reported that the terror group told Cairo the situation in Gaza “will explode either in the face of Egypt or Israel if Abbas imposes new sanctions on the Strip” and “it is possible that tens of thousands of Palestinian will storm the southern borders with Egypt or eastern or northern borders with the occupation and perhaps thousands of martyrs will fall and we do not want that.”

IDF strikes Gaza balloon launchers amid uptick in border violence

An Israeli aircraft on Sunday carried out a strike on a group of Palestinians launching incendiary balloons toward Israel from the northern Gaza Strip, the army said.

Reports in Palestinian media said a Gazan man was injured in the Israeli strike in Beit Hanoun in the northern part of the Strip.

Also Sunday, four fires, sparked by the incendiary devices launched over the border, raged in southern Israel.

The airstrike and continued arson attacks came as Israel’s high-level security cabinet met for four hours on Sunday afternoon to discuss swirling tensions in Gaza.

The rising border tensions peaked on Friday amid heavy rioting at the fence separating Israel from Gaza. Seven Palestinians were killed, including three who breached the border fence and ran toward IDF soldiers during the chaotic unrest.

‘We spend days and nights in the field until we find the tunnel’

One day, while working at the autoshop, Lavi felt he couldn’t do this anymore. “I was just in the middle of replacing a gear stick, and I dropped it. I left the stick in pieces, and left.” Shortly after that, he called his father and said: “Dad, do everything to get me out of here. I’m not meant to be a car mechanic.”

Sgt. Lavi, 20, a genius who finished his BS in physics and mathematics while still in high school, enlisted in the IDF about two years ago and was sent to a car mechanics’ course in the Ordnance Corps. Like many soldiers who were assigned to positions that don’t fit their skills, his father intervened—with good reason—and searched for a place that would be better suited to his son’s talents, where the army could also benefit from him. And so the State of Israel gained one of the IDF’s few experts on locating underground tunnels.

At the time, some two years after Operation Protective Edge, the IDF and the defense establishment were at a loss when trying to find ways to locate Hamas’s tunnels, which crossed the border and got all the way to Israeli communities. The first project that was launched was the underground obstacle under the border fence, which will be completed next year. The second project, which was launched almost in tandem, was the “technological laboratory to locate tunnels,” or, in short, “the lab.”

“The idea began to take shape even before Protective Edge,” says Col. Yaniv Avitan, the head of the Collection and Assault Unit in the Technological Division of the Ground Forces. “The first steps were made in February 2016, when we started concentrating the efforts to develop technological capabilities to locate tunnels. The beginning was difficult. Many were surprised and couldn’t understand why the Ground Forces’ Technological Division was dealing with tunnels. But despite the surprise, everyone very much wanted to find a solution, and so we got all of the tools and backing.”

While they were working, they realized that to succeed in realizing the advantages of the technology, it wasn’t enough to merely develop it from afar, it must be tested again and again in the field. This is how the “technological laboratory to locate tunnels” came to be—a small group of less than 10 soldiers, with Lavi being one of them, who may be part of the Technological Division, but were physically far away from there, at the Gaza Division’s base, right on the strip’s border.

Israeli study finds thousands, not millions, of Palestinian refugees

An Israeli government study shared with Washington argues that Palestinian refugees number in the thousands, not the millions designated by a U.N. aid agency whose funding has been slashed by the Trump administration, an Israeli official said on Friday.

The fate of Palestinians displaced by the 1948 War of Independence and their descendants has long clouded U.S.-sponsored peace efforts.

Palestinians demand a refugee right of return to lands now in Israel. For its part, Israel rejects this demand, insisting that they settle where they are or in a future Palestinian state. Negotiations toward the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip stalled in 2014.

Demographics loom over the dispute. The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, puts the number of refugees at some 5 million, a tally including descendants of the some 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled in 1948.

Israel says only survivors among the original 1948 refugees should be considered refugees today – an idea fiercely opposed by the Palestinian leadership, which hews to the UNRWA numbers.

The Israeli study has not been published, and there was no immediate reaction from Palestinian officials or from UNRWA on its numbers.

Israeli envoy fumes at UN Security Council invite to B’Tselem

Israel’s envoy to the United Nations on Saturday lashed out at Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and its leader Hagai El-Ad ahead of a Security Council session at which El-Ad has been invited to speak.

El-Ad was invited by Bolivia, currently presiding over the council, to represent Israeli civil society in a periodic session Thursday, October 18, on the state of the Middle East conflict.

Envoy Danny Danon’s office said that while “El-Ad has been invited in the past to UN discussions, this will be the first time in which he participates in an official and influential session of the Security Council.”

“While Danon will represent Israel, [El-Ad] will be joining Israel’s opposition at the council, who are behind his invitation.”

Danon said: “B’Tselem, which has proved in the past that it cooperates with Israel’s enemies, is doing it this time with a nation that has called IDF soldiers ‘murderers.’ This is not only shameful for the organization but a crossing of red lines by foreign countries with an anti-Israeli agenda.”

He promised to expose the “incitement and lies” of both Palestinians and B’Tselem.

PA prime minister refuses to host UN Mideast envoy at his office

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah refused to welcome United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov to his office last week, a senior Palestine Liberation Organization official said on Sunday.

In recent weeks, Ramallah-based Palestinian officials have criticized Mladenov over his role in efforts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

“The EU representative asked to bring Mladenov to a meeting with Prime Minister Hamdallah last week,” Ahmad Majdalani, a PLO Executive Committee member told The Times of Israel, referring to Ralph Tarraf, the European Union’s top diplomat in Jerusalem. “The prime minister refused to receive Mladenov.”

Tarraf and members of the European Parliament met with Hamdallah at his office in Ramallah on October 8.

An EU spokesperson said no UN representatives had planned to attend the meeting between the European officials and the PA prime minister.

The PLO Executive Committee recently decided the Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership will no longer meet with Mladenov, according to Majdalani.

“Mladenov has stepped outside of his role, which is to work on the peace process, not making peace between Hamas and Israel,” he said. “We will still work with other UN officials, but we will not meet with Mladenov or his office. The problem is specifically with him.”

Shin Bet opens probe as settlers suspected in deadly stoning of Palestinian car

Hundreds of people on Saturday attended the West Bank funeral of Aisha Muhammad Talal Rabi, killed Friday night in a stone-throwing attack that caused her car to crash, and which has been blamed on Jewish settlers.

According to Yesh Din, which documents alleged Israeli rights abuses in the West Bank, the stone-throwing at the Tapuah Junction caused 47-year-old Rabi’s husband Aykube to lose control of the car. AP reported that she was killed by a rock that hit her in the head. There was no official word on the exact cause of death.

Rabi was laid to rest Saturday in the village of Biddya, southwest of Nablus.

Aykube told Reuters the couple was driving near a settlement when the attack occurred. “The stones came from the side where the settlement is. I could hear the people speak Hebrew, but I didn’t see them.”

A spokesman for the Shin Bet confirmed Saturday that the security agency opened a probe into the incident, suggesting that it was indeed suspected of being an act of terror carried out by area settlers. The nationalistic crime unit of the police’s Judea and Samaria (West Bank) District is also probing the death, which has been placed under a gag order, although authorities have not ruled out the possibility that a group of Palestinians stone throwers mistook Rabi’s vehicle for an Israeli one.

Khashoggi and the Jewish question

Here’s the rule: If some major event happens in the Middle East, it will generally have an impact on Israel.

The disappearance of Saudi government critic and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey – and the very real possibility that the Saudis either kidnapped him, killed him, or both – is no exception.

On the surface, this story seems distant from Jerusalem. Israel was not involved in any way, and even Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who never misses an opportunity to blast Israel, is not saying that Jerusalem had anything to do with it.

Then how does this impact Israel? As Eran Lerman, the vice president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies and a former deputy national security council head, said: “It is certainly not in our interests to see the status of the Saudi government diminished in Washington.”

But, as it increasingly appears that the Saudi government – even the reformist Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS – had a hand in Khashoggi’s disappearance, that is exactly what is starting to happen: the shine is coming off MBS’s luster.

It didn’t start with this incident. Already in August, when Saudi Arabia expelled Canada’s ambassador and froze new trade deals because of Canadian criticism of Saudi human rights violations, voices were raised in the US asking whether MBS is the right leader to cozy up to.

The Khashoggi incident is strengthening that trend. As a New York Times headline read on Thursday, “Khashoggi’s disappearance puts Kushner’s bet on Saudi crown prince at risk.”

How Saudi Arabia disastrously miscalculated the Khashoggi affair

Khashoggi’s biography symbolized this Janus-faced approach to Saudi Arabia. He was passionate about the Muslim Brotherhood when he was younger and appeared to have supported Osama Bin Laden in the 1980s. Later he cultivated connections to Saudi power structures as a journalist-insider. He even advised the kingdom on its media image. He was also a key source for US officials in Riyadh. Leaked diplomatic cables reveal that a succession of US ambassadors from 1988 to 2012 relied on him for information on the Kingdom. Some relied on him personally and others were consistent readers of his work.

In 2017, as MBS increasingly began to crack down on dissidents, even as he pushed “reform,” Khashoggi found that his mild criticism was too much for Riyadh. He went abroad and began appearing on Al-Jazeera and other media that the Saudi kingdom saw as bitter enemies. Most problematic, he wrote in US media. This provided the cover for US media that had wanted to criticize the kingdom but had been hesitant in the past. Now they had a Saudi insider and they could be seen to be supporting Saudi Arabia while merely critiquing its current Crown Prince.

In addition, the Trump administration’s outreach to MBS, including the Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia in May 2017 and the MBS trip to Washington in March 2018, made Saudi Arabia suddenly a political issue in Washington. Now those who despised the Trump administration could use criticism of Saudi Arabia against Trump. Riyadh became a partisan issue in one of the rare instances since its relations with the US began in the 20th century.

Whatever happened in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul now poses a real risk to Saudi Arabia. It has not handled public relations well since October 2. Its foreign minister Adel Al-Jubeir has not been giving speeches. Usually, he is tenacious in defense of the kingdom, as he was when Riyadh sanctioned Canada in August. It appears the kingdom didn’t think through the consequences of what happens when a well-connected and well-known Saudi disappears in its consulate in Istanbul. This wasn’t like the case of the Russian journalists in central Africa or the Italian in Egypt, because it didn’t happen in some quiet location. If Khashoggi had disappeared while out for a jog it might be another matter.

Some have suggested the brazen disappearance is related to a feeling the kingdom had a blank check from the Trump administration to do what it wishes. But why do it in Turkey, one of the most important countries in the Middle East and one that is hostile to Riyadh? Turkey was under economic strain and perhaps the kingdom thought it could hold that as leverage. But Turkey has turned the tables, slowly leaking information, such as photos of suspicious Saudis at the airport and alluding to a recording of the murder. Turkey also released a detained US pastor on Friday.

Abbas on Khashoggi: The Palestinian people stand with Saudi Arabia

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday issued a statement in which he voiced “full confidence” in Saudi Arabia and praised its leaders for their support for the Palestinians.

The statement, which was published by the PA president’s office, quoted Abbas as saying he has “absolute confidence” in Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

“Palestine was – and shall remain – on the side of Saudi Arabia,” Abbas said. He also voiced appreciation for the positions of Saudi Arabia, “which has always supported -and still does – our just cause and the rights of our people.”

The Palestinian news agency Wafa, which published Abbas’s statement on Sunday afternoon, did not give any reason as to why the PA president had decided to publicly come out in support of Saudi Arabia and its leaders, especially Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

However, Palestinian sources in Ramallah said they believed the statement was issued at the request of the Saudi leadership in wake of charges the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was least seen entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey earlier this month.

The Saudis, the sources said, are seeking to rally Arab support in face of the growing criticism over their suspected role in the disappearance of Khashoggi.

Jewish teens assaulted, robbed in anti-Semitic attack in France

French police have arrested four men suspected of assaulting four Jewish youths in an anti-Semitic assault in Nice, apparently triggered by the assailants spotting a Star of David pendant one of the victims was wearing.

The incident in the southern French city occurred in the city center at about 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, according to a report by the France3 television station.

The four suspects and a fifth teenager, who was not immediately apprehended, assaulted the alleged victims, beating them and causing minor injuries. At least one of the perpetrators also stole a golden chain from one of the victims, the municipality said.

Mayor Christian Estrosi, who has vowed a zero tolerance policy on racist violence and radical Islam activities in his city, said he found the incident “unacceptable,” in a statement from his office titled “Anti-Semitic assault in the center of Nice.” Police officers canvased the city in search of the perpetrators, resulting in the suspects’ arrest within a few hours of the incident.

Texas Jewish Group condemns campaign ad likening Trump to Hitler

Several Jewish groups on Friday scolded Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price for sending a political mail ad equating President Donald Trump with Adolf Hitler.

The Dallas-area organizations said bringing up the Nazi leader for anything other than education or in reference to the Holocaust was “highly inappropriate and offensive.”

“This reference diminishes the inexpressible horror perpetrated and orchestrated by Adolf Hitler with the systematic murder of six million Jews and millions of other victims,” reads the statement. “To use his name and portrayal as a comparison in a political advertisement demeans the memory and humanity of those who perished and cheapens our political process.”

The statement was sent on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas and its Jewish Community Relations Council, the Texoma office of the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Dallas Holocaust Museum and the Southern Methodist University Human Rights Program.

The outspoken Price said Friday that he stood by the ad, which was paid for by his campaign.

Price, who is not up for re-election this year, sent the mail ad to his constituents this week. The ad juxtaposed images of Trump and Hitler and compared the two point by point. For instance, it stated both men had “used racism to rise to power” and urged people to vote for Democratic candidates in the Nov. 6 election.

3 colleges in one NY town ban person suspected of hanging anti-Semitic fliers about Kavanaugh allegations

Three colleges in an upstate New York town have banned the individual who is suspected of hanging fliers that blame Jews for sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on their campuses.

On Sunday and Monday, fliers with anti-Semitic messages appeared on the campuses of Vassar, Marist and Dutchess Community colleges in Poughkeepsie. A male was discovered putting up the fliers on Marist on Monday and identified by the police, according to a Vassar statement.

The individual was not arrested because “the wording of the fliers did not rise to level of hate crime,” Town of Poughkeepsie Police Capt. Kevin Farber told JTA.

College officials said the person has been banned from the three campuses.

The fliers also appeared on two campuses at the University of California, Berkeley and Davis, and two organizations in Iowa.

“Every time some Anti-White, Anti-American, Anti-freedom event takes place, you look at it, and it’s Jews behind it,” the fliers read.

They show an image of Kavanaugh surrounded by caricatures of Jewish members of the U.S. Senate with Stars of David drawn on their foreheads, as well as the Jewish billionaire George Soros, who has been accused of funding opposition to Kavanaugh. The fliers say they are “Brought to you by your local Stormer book club.”

Jews’ headstones smashed in Greek city

Unidentified individuals smashed eight tombstones at a Jewish cemetery in Greece, including that of the former local community leader.

The incident happened last week at Trikala, a city in central Greece located about 240 kilometers (150 miles) northwest of Athens, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece wrote in a statement Friday.

The same city was the scene of one of the Nazi forces’ most thorough liquidations of any large Jewish community, with only 10 people surviving the Holocaust from a community of hundreds of members.

Of those, several were rescued thanks to Princess Alice, the great-grandmother of Britain’s Prince William, who was living in the Athens region at the time.

In September of 1943, members of the Cohen family from Trikala appealed to her for help. She hid several relatives until the Nazis withdrew in October 1944.

The Jewish community of Trikala complained to police about the cemetery desecration and urged authorities to bring the culprits to justice.

Imperva to be acquired by Thoma Bravo for $2.1 billion

Information security software firm Imperva has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by American private-equity technology investment firm Thoma Bravo in a transaction valued at approximately $2.1 billion.

Headquartered in Redwood City, California, with development offices in Tel Aviv and Rehovot, Imperva was founded in 2002 as WEBcohort by Israeli cybersecurity experts Shlomo Kramer, Amichai Shulman and Mickey Boodaei. Imperva will delist from NASDAQ and operate as a privately held company under its current executive team upon the close of the acquisition deal late this year or early next year.

“Thoma Bravo has long admired Imperva’s innovative products and strong market position,” said Seth Boro, a managing partner at Thoma Bravo. “As a leading company that protects data and applications, regardless of whether they live in the cloud, on-premise or in a hybrid environment, Imperva is ahead of the curve from the rest of the cybersecurity industry, and we’re thrilled with this exciting partnership.”

Tel Aviv’s Norman crowned best hotel in Middle East

The Norman Hotel, one of Tel Aviv’s most prestigious, has been selected as the best hotel in Africa and the Middle East by the luxury travel magazine Conde Nast Traveller.

The Norman heads a list of 15 of the region’s most luxurious hotels and is one of five Israeli hotels honored in the magazine’s “Top Hotels in the Middle East: Readers’ Choice Awards 2018.”

The King David in Jerusalem came in second, with the Waldorf Astoria (8th), the David Citadel (9th) and the Mamilla Hotel (11th), all in Jerusalem, completing the Israeli presence on the list.

Other hotels that made the list are located in Middle Eastern luxury hot spots, like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman.

The Norman achieved a total score of 99.29 points on a scale of 100, which also places it as the 21st best hotel in the world.

Since its opening in 2014, the Norman has garnered a number of awards, including “best boutique hotel in the world” from the magazine Jetsetter, the top ranking in Elle’s “top 10 best decorated restaurants in Europe” and Conde Nast Travellers’ gold list of the best hotels in the world.

Israeli help is on the way to Hurricane Michael victims

Israeli humanitarian NGO IsraAID is preparing to deploy an emergency response team to northwest Florida, which has suffered brutal devastation from Hurricane Michael since it made landfall on Wednesday.

Several people have been killed and thousands evacuated from their homes as the category-four hurricane damaged and destroyed houses, hospitals, roads and water systems across the Florida panhandle.

IsraAID’s team in Florida will collaborate with Team Rubicon, an international disaster response organization founded by US military veterans, to aid the return of survivors of Hurricane Michael to their homes. IsraAID also is working with Team Rubicon in North Carolina to remove debris and restore the homes of people forced to evacuate by Hurricane Florence last month.

“This will be the second time in just over a year that we have responded to an emergency in the state, after Hurricane Irma hit last September,” said IsraAID co-CEOs Yotam Polizer and Navonel Glick. “Our team will remain in the area to help people affected by this devastating storm for as long as we are needed.”

IsraAID also has emergency response teams on the ground in the Philippines and Indonesia.

Last year, IsraAID provided disaster relief to communities affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma in Texas, Puerto Rico and Florida; and by wildfires in Santa Rosa, California.

IsraellyCool: The “Apartheid” Israel Lie BUSted!

This next report from Israel’s Channel Kan, is an absolute delight – a feelgood story about a lovely lady, which shows the true Israel – not the distorted version being shopped around by the haters.

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