July 12, 2024
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London Mayor Calls BDS Movement ‘Foolish’

(JNS.org) London’s charismatic and outspoken mayor, Boris Johnson, said that those seeking to boycott Israel are “foolish” and do not have any clout in the United Kingdom.

“I cannot think of anything more foolish than to say you want to have any kind of divestment or sanctions or boycott against a country that, when all is said and done, is the only democracy in the region, is the only place that has, in my view, a pluralist and open society,” Johnson said in an interview with an Israeli Channel 2 reporter in Tel Aviv.

Johnson dismissed any influence supporters of the BDS movement may have in the UK.

“The supporters of this so-called boycott are really just corduroy-jacketed academics that have no real standing on the matter and I think are highly unlikely to be influential on Britain,” he said.

“Not that there is anything wrong with wearing a corduroy jacket,” Johnson quipped.

Johnson is in Israel for a three-day trip focused on bolstering economic ties between London and Tel Aviv, Israel’s leading financial center. During the visit, Johnson toured Google’s headquarters and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Merkel Backs Her Interior Minister After Refugee Row

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere retains the confidence of Chancellor Angela Merkel, a government spokesman said on Monday, after a spat within her cabinet over whether to limit the asylum rights of refugees from Syria.

The government was forced to clarify on Friday that its asylum policy for refugees from Syria remained unchanged after de Maiziere said their applications would be handled differently in the future and that they would be barred from having family members join them.

Asked if de Maiziere retained Merkel’s confidence, government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference: “Of course he does.”

Report: Obama Will Not Let Jonathan Pollard Leave U.S.

(JNS.org) President Barack Obama will not intervene to allow Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard to travel to Israel after his scheduled parole from federal prison next week, The Washington Post reported Monday, citing Obama administration officials.

The terms of Pollard’s release stipulate that he remain in the United States, under supervision, for five years. Obama has the ability to use his executive power to waive that condition and allow Pollard to leave the U.S., but he will not do so, the report said.

Last week, top Obama adviser Ben Rhodes said, “President Obama has not intervened in the judicial process here in the United States, and that’s been his consistent approach. With respect to the case of Jonathan Pollard, he’s made clear that he wants there to be fair treatment under the law, as there should be with any individual.”

Pollard, 61, has spent nearly three decades in prison for spying for Israel. He was arrested in Washington in 1985 and sentenced to a life term in 1987. An American Jew, Pollard was granted Israeli citizenship in 1995. His upcoming parole, scheduled for Nov. 21, was announced in July.

Israel Uncovers West Bank Hamas Network Funded by Gaza and Qatar

(JNS.org) Israeli authorities arrested 24 Hamas terrorist operatives in the West Bank on Monday who are suspected of trying to revive the Hamas network in the area with the help of Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip and Qatar.

Among the detainees were several high-ranking Hamas members who have been arrested before, some of them more than once. According to Israel’s Shin Bet security agency, 19 of the suspects are known to have direct links to Hamas or to have publicly voiced support for the organization, and the remaining five suspects are believed to have secret ties to Hamas.

The Shin Bet believes that the heads of the West Bank Hamas network had been working to renew the Hamas presence in Qalqilya and the surrounding villages and had been preparing to engage in terrorist activity. The squad was reportedly receiving significant funding and direction from Hamas headquarters in Gaza and Qatar. During the arrest raid, more than $8,900 in cash was seized.

Israeli Opposition Leader: On Issue of Israel’s Security, ‘There is No Opposition’

(JNS.org) “When it comes to Israel’s security, there is no opposition,” Israeli opposition leader Member of Knesset Isaac Herzog (Labor) said Monday at the General Assembly of The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

“We will always support, as a position, whatever it takes to foster Israel’s security and qualitative [military] edge,” he said.

Herzog said regarding Monday’s meeting at the White House between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama, “I sincerely hope that what comes out of the meeting has to do first and foremost with strengthening and fostering Israel’s security.”

The opposition leader expressed hope that the “vociferous debate” on the Iranian nuclear issue between the Israeli government and the Obama administration “is behind us.”

“I think we must go back, we must return to intimate relationships between the Oval Office and the Prime Minister’s Office,” said Herzog.

After Netanyahu said he supports a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians in public comments before his meeting with Obama, Herzog told the JFNA conference that he hopes the prime minister’s words will translate “into actions and deeds as well.”

Russia Moves Forward on Delivery of S-300 Missiles to Iran

(JNS.org) Russia announced on Monday that it has agreed to push forward on the sale and delivery of the advanced S-300 missile systems to Iran.

“The deal to supply the S-300 to Iran has not only been signed between the parties but it has already come into force,” said Sergei Chemezov, head of Russia’s Rostec arms firm, at the Dubai Airshow-2015, the BBC reported.

Russia said that the first batch of missiles could potentially be delivered 18 months after Iran specifies what type of S-300 missile it wants.

The S-300 surface-to-air-missile was initially developed under the Soviet Union, and its newer variants are regarded as the most potent anti-aircraft missile systems in the world.

Initially signed in 2007, the $800 million deal between Iran and Russia for the S-300 system was suspended in 2010. But in April, Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the suspension after the nuclear framework deal between Iran and the P5+1 powers.

The United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia have all opposed the sale of the S-300 system to Iran.

Arab Knesset Member Compares Israelis to Nazis at Kristallnacht Memorial

(JNS.org) Arab Member of Knesset Hanin Zoabi (Joint Arab List), who has a well-documented history of anti-Israel rhetoric, on Sunday compared Israeli government policies to those exercised by the Nazis in the 1930s.

Zoabi was speaking in Amsterdam as part of an alternative ceremony organized by pro-Palestinian and Jewish left-wing activists marking Kristallnacht, the 1938 “Night of Broken Glass,” during which a series of deadly riots killed at least 91 Jews throughout Nazi Germany and Austria, and left thousands of Jewish-owned stores, buildings and synagogues in ruins.

“On Kristallnacht, thousands of businesses and hundreds of synagogues were burned. It seems that most Germans kept quiet. Today, when churches and Palestinian homes are burned, when people are burned alive, the majority of Israelis remain quiet,” Zoabi told a small crowd gathered next to Amsterdam’s Kristallnacht memorial.

Zoabi said last month that Israel “has an army that hunts down Palestinian youths and kills them.” In June 2014, when three Israeli teens were missing and believed to be held hostage by Palestinian terrorists, she said the perpetrators should not be called “terrorists.” She also accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.

Israeli Air Force Strikes Hamas Terror Site in Response to Rocket Fire

(JNS.org) A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in an open area in the Sha’ar Hanegev region in southern Israel on Sunday night. No injuries or damage were reported in the incident.

In response, the Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas terror site in the southern part of Gaza. Israel holds Hamas responsible for all attacks originating in the Gaza Strip. There have been around 20 rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza this year.

Israeli Zoo Donates to Thai Elephant Hospital With Check in Elephant’s Trunk

(JNS.org) Thai Ambassador to Israel Angsana Sihapitak received a $1,500 donation from the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo for an elephant hospital in Lampang, Thailand. The check was delivered Thursday by an Asian elephant named Tamar, who presented it to the ambassador in her trunk.

Asian elephants are an endangered species. The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo collected the donation from zoo visitors over a period of three years as part of a lottery contest whose winner would be allowed to spend a day near the elephants at the zoo.

“The Thai elephants arrived in Israel only because of the special request made by the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin to his colleague to bring elephants to the Jerusalem zoo, but [there is] full commitment from the Israeli side to do whatever we can do to promote wildlife conservation in zoos,” said the Jerusalem zoo’s CEO, Shay Doron, Israel Hayom reported.

Rookie Israeli Soldier Thwarts Two Terrorist Attacks in Two Weeks

(JNS.org) An IDF corporal who has only been serving for eight months successfully prevented two Palestinian terrorist attacks in less than two weeks—one on Thursday, when he shot and killed a terrorist who tried to stab Israelis waiting at a bus stop in Gush Etzion, and another in which he shot two terrorists who stabbed another soldier.

On Thursday, a terrorist from Hebron approached the bus stop and was spotted by the soldiers on duty. When Sharif pulled out a knife and poised himself to attack and stab them, he was shot and killed by Cpl. T. of the IDF Kfir Brigade’s Shimshon Battalion.

Cpl. T. said, “While I was guarding the intersection [in Gush Etzion], we discerned the suspect and called out to him to cross the street and come toward us. When he reached us, he pulled out a knife, intending to stab my friend who was with me. That same moment, I cocked my gun and shot him.”

The previous incident took place Oct. 27, when a terrorist stabbed another Kfir Brigade soldier, leaving him with moderate wounds. Cpl. T. was near the attack and responded rapidly, shooting and killing two terrorists.

369 House Lawmakers Urge Abbas to End Incitement Against Israel

(JNS.org) A total of 369 members of the U.S. House of Representatives (out of 435) signed a letter calling on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to end incitement and inflammatory remarks about Israel that undermine peace.

The letter, spearheaded by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Ranking Member Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), says that “unless immediate action is taken to end incitement and bring the situation under control, this escalating violence— including stabbings, shootings and other terrorist acts—will undermine the prospects of a two-state solution.”

Additionally, the letter calls out Abbas and the Palestinian media, who have “undoubtably served to inflame the current situation,” citing false claims they made about Israel changing the status quo on the Temple Mount or executing a teenage Palestinian terrorist who was actually being treated in an Israeli hospital.

Reform Judaism Umbrella Passes Transgender Rights Measure

(JNS.org) The American umbrella body of Reform Judaism passed a resolution to recognize the rights of transgender individuals.

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) voted on the “Resolution on the Rights of Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming People” at its biennial conference in Orlando, Fla., on Nov. 5.

URJ’s Commission on Social Action prepared the resolution, which was passed without opposition, affirming Reform Judaism’s commitment to “full equality, inclusion and acceptance of people of all gender identities and gender expressions.”

Reform congregations, clergy, congregants and other affiliate institutions will now be asked to refer to transgender people by the name and gender of their choosing, include gender-neutral bathrooms and use gender-neutral labels.



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