April 19, 2024
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April 19, 2024
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Sodastream’s $4 Million Super Bowl Ad

(JNS.org)—Sodastream, the popular Israeli carbonated drinks company, has announced that it will kick off its 2014 advertising campaign with a $4 million Super Bowl ad for the second year in a row. “The Super Bowl is a proven venue for SodaStream to deliver our beverage revolution message to over 100 million viewers, empowering consumers to enjoy a smarter, ‘better-for-you’ alternative to packaged soda,” said SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum. Israeli Sodastream allows consumers to use regular tap water to create homemade carbonated beverages. Last year, the company generated more than $436 million in revenue.

Jerusalem Undivided Forever

(JNS.org)—Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid said it is a “founding ethos” of Israel that Jerusalem will never again be divided, and that the city is not up for negotiation. Lapid’s remarks came as Jerusalem is discussed in Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations. According to Israel Radio, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is Israel’s chief negotiator, and Yitzhak Molcho, who represents Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in negotiations, have had differences over the possible borders of Jerusalem. Molcho supports maintaining the current municipal boundaries and including some Jewish communities beyond the security barrier, while Livni supports more flexible boundaries to accommodate Palestinian claims in eastern Jerusalem.

Liberman Cleared

(JNS.org) In a unanimous verdict, a three-judge panel on last week acquitted former Israeli foreign minister and Yisrael Beiteinu party chairman Avigdor Lieberman of corruption charges, Israel Hayom reported. Liberman was accused of fraud and breach and trust, but now intends to rejoin the foreign ministry.

U.S. Official: Israeli Planes Strike Syrian Military Base

An Obama administration official told CNN Israeli planes struck a military base near the Syrian port city of Latakia last week. An explosion at a missile storage site was reported in the Middle Eastern press. According to the official, the target was missiles and related equipment the Israelis felt might be transferred to Hezbullah. Israel’s military has long said it would target any transfer of weapons to Hezbullah or any effort to smuggle Syrian weapons into Lebanon that could threaten Israel. Israel has never officially confirmed taking action inside Syria to avoid embarrassing Assad and sparking a potential response.

Amazon Opens Israel

According to Al-Monitor, retail giant Amazon’s CTO, Werner Vogels, announced during a visit to Israel last month that: “We are setting up an entity in Israel to support our cloud activity in Israel, which, up until now, has been supported from Europe.” The Amazon service and sales center, to open in early 2014, will also service the Middle East and Africa.

Heroes to Heroes in Israel

Ha’aretz reports that Heroes to Heroes, an American non-profit group, brings traumatized U.S. veterans to Israel for spiritual healing. The group has organized and financed three Birthright-type trips designed for non-Jewish American war vets—of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the important elements of the trip is the inclusion of disabled Israeli veterans who accompany the Americans during their 10 days of intensive touring. “I’ve had more people thank me for my service here [in Israel] than I have just about anywhere in America,” said Greg Grutter, who did four deployments in Iraq and three in Afghanistan and was medically discharged a year ago after 19 years of service.

IDF Blows Hamas Terror Tunnel

(JNS.org)—The IDF detonated part of a Hamas terror tunnel near the Gaza border in the Khan Yunis area recently. During the operation, a Hamas explosion injured five Israeli soldiers, and one Hamas terrorist was killed in an exchange of fire. An ensuing Israeli airstrike in response to the Hamas attack killed three Palestinian terrorist commanders, Maan News Agency reported. The incidents marked the worst Israeli-Palestinian clashes since the eight-day Gaza conflict of November 2012.

Israel and Japan Collaborate

(JNS.org) –The Israeli and Japanese governments will establish a joint research and development fund. Also discussed was the option of exporting Israeli agricultural produce to Japan. A secondary goal of the trip was to promote the International Dairy Federation conference, to be held next October in Israel with participants from 54 countries.

Hamas Rockets Can Reach Tel Aviv

(JNS.org)—Palestinian terrorist group Hamas is amassing M-75 rockets with a range of 43 miles and the capability to reach the Tel Aviv metro area. While the number of such rockets currently in the group’s possession is still small, Hamas is rapidly working to grow the arsenal. The group does currently have hundreds of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.

Hamas Textbooks: Torah and Talmud ‘Fabricated’

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Hamas has introduced new textbooks in the Gaza Strip that characterize the Torah and Talmud as “fabricated,” The New York Times reported. Gaza schools previously used a curriculum approved by the Palestinian Authority. The new Hamas textbooks describe Zionism as a racist movement whose goals include driving Arabs out of all of the area between the Nile River in Africa and the Euphrates River in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. “The Jews and the Zionist movement are not related to Israel, because the sons of Israel are a nation which had been annihilated,” the books say.

Mahmoud Abbas Calls Terrorists ‘Heroes’ at Prisoner Release Celebration

(JNS.org)—Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas held a celebration in Ramallah in honor of the second set of 26 Palestinian terrorists released by Israel as part of Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations, calling the prisoners “heroes” despite their violent history. Abbas told the crowd, “We welcome our brothers, the heroes coming from behind the bars to a world of freedom and liberty. No permanent peace agreement would be signed as long as there is one single prisoner in Israeli jails,” Abbas said.

Syria’s Chemical Weapons Plants Destroyed, But Actual Weapons Remain

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Syria has destroyed its declared chemical weapons production and mixing facilities, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced. The OPCW now faces the more challenging task of destroying Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, thought to include more than 1,000 tons of mustard gas, as well as the nerve agent sarin. The international community is still struggling to come to agreement on where and how the chemical weapons will be destroyed.

The Kurds Get a Second Chance

More than 200,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees have moved into Iraqi Kurdistan—in the Kurdish world view, a passage from one part of their homeland to another. The Kurds disregard the frontiers imposed almost a century ago by Anglo-French power. Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, is a booming city of shopping malls, high-rises and swank hotels. Oil and natural gas have remade the city, as has its political stability, remarkable when set against the mayhem of the rest of Iraq. The Kurdish regional government and almost five million people who are officially part of Iraq in reality belong to an independent nation. The Kurds inhabit fragments o f Syria by the Turkish and Iraqi borders, in the northeast; their lands contain the bulk of Syria’s oil.

Danish Crown Prince Comemorates Holocaust in Israel

(JNS.org)—Danish Crown Prince Frederik is visiting Israel to commemorate 70 years since the rescue of Danish Jews during the Holocaust. In October 1943, 7,000 Danish Jews were sent to Sweden by the Danish resistance to escape the Nazis. The Prince is set to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem with Denmark’s education minister and attend a memorial concert by the Jerusalem symphony orchestra. Prince Frederik will also meet Israeli President Shimon Peres to discuss bilateral relations between the two nations, Israel National News reported.

God Works in Mysterious Ways

When Rabbi Noah Muroff of New Haven, CT, bought a desk on Craigslist, little did he know that he was also buying 15 minutes of fame. In an attempt to move the desk into his home, he had to take the desk apart. Upon doing so, he discovered a plastic bag containing $100 bills. Counting the money, he discovered that it totaled $98,000. What to do? Muroff immediately called the seller and returned the woman’s money. As he said, “If Hashem wants us to have this $98,000, He will make sure we have it in a way He sees fit.” He told Tablet, “That’s what a Jew is supposed to do.”


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