April 10, 2024
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African Refugees “Voluntarily” Forced Out of Israel

217 African refugees from Darfur and Eri­trea left Israel in June, while the fence that was built along the border prevented even one from entering the state, according to new fig­ures from Israel’s Population, Immigration and Border Authority. Last month’s number was al­most double the 119 who left “voluntarily” in June 2013. Since the beginning of 2014, a to­tal of 4,795 refugees have left Israel voluntarily, while only 19 have entered illegally. The trend of removing refugees who do not have munici­pal permits is ongoing, and the Population, Im­migration and Border Authority continues to enforce the regulations. Human rights activists in Israel and the United States have been pro­testing the treatment of refugees from South Sudan and Eritrea for three years, since then- Minister of the Interior, Eli Yishai, vowed to make their lives as humanly miserable as pos­sible—and followed through on that promise.

IsraelisPopularMideast TradeHub

JNS.org—Israel is becoming a popular hub for the transport of supplies to the Middle East. The number of trucks carrying food, machin­ery, medicine, and other materials crossing be­tween Israel and Jordan has increased 300 per­cent since 2011 to more than 10,000 trucks a year. Since the still-raging civil war engulfed Syr­ia more than three years ago, exporters need­ed to find new trade routes and Turkish exports in particular have begun passing through Israel to Jordan and several other Arab nations. Turk­ish exports increased to more than 77,000 tons in 2013 from about 17,000 in 2010. Israel plans to invest at least $1.7 billion to improve their in­frastructure particularly the Haifa port to move goods to Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and other Middle East nations through the same route once used during the Ottoman and British em­pires.

American Jewish Community Torn on Hobby Lobby

JNS.org—Nine Jewish Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives denounced the U.S. Supreme Court’s contested ruling in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, while Orthodox Jewish or­ganizations applauded the decision. The Court ruled 5-4 that the Christian-owned crafts store chain could not be forced to provide its employ­ees with contraception coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act because doing so would vi­olate its religious liberty. “… An overwhelming majority of women use birth control or contra­ceptives at some point in their lives and the idea that they should be denied access to these ba­sic health care services because their boss finds it religiously objectionable is ridiculous,” said U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). Among the oth­er Jewish Democrats blasting the decision were U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), U.S. Rep. Nita Low­ey (D-NY), and U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). The OU praised the ruling and the Agudath Is­rael of America said the Hobby Lobby decision “affirms that religious freedom is, indeed, a free­dom of the highest order, which deserves broad and strong protection under our law.”

Does ISIS Have a SCUD?

The Daily Mail UK reported that on the day that ISIS announced its Caliphate, they paraded a huge long-distance weapon, be­lieved to be a SCUD, in Raqqa, the city they declared as their capital. They used Twit­ter to let the world know that they have a missile capable of hitting Israel, but ex­perts are dismissive, and say it probably doesn’t work. The missile was mounted on the back of what they called a lorry, which would be the equivalent size of a heavy dump truck in the U.S. Elliot Nelson, a blogger who tracks munitions used in Syr­ia, tweeted: “The only danger that Islamic State scud [sic] is to anyone at the moment is if they accidentally run over a pedestri­an showing it off.” Charles Lister, an expert on the Syrian conflict who works at the at the Brookings Doha Center, called the mis­sile 99% useless, according to the Telegraph.

Caliphate Seeks Global Control of All Muslims

The Daily Mail also reports that upon declaring a caliphate, Sunni militants, whose brutality in attempting to establish control in Iraq and Syria has been branded too extreme even by Al Qaeda, demanded allegiance from Muslims around the world. They have taken over the border of Syria from Jordan to Lebanon. Abu Bakr al-Bagh­dadi has been declared the leader of the Ca­liphate, calling on Muslims everywhere, not just those in areas under the organiza­tion’s control, to swear loyalty to him. “The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expan­sion of the caliph’s authority and the arriv­al of its troops to their areas,” said Abu Mo­hammed al-Adnani, his spokesman. “Listen to your caliph and obey him. Support your state, which grows every day.”

Racheli Frenkel Says Kaddish Berabim at Her Son’s Funeral

Never before had the Mourner’s Kad­dish been recited in public in Israel by an Orthodox Jewish woman. Standing before her son’s covered bier on Kibbutz Sha’alvim, Rachel Frenkel, her husband Avi and their younger son Tzvi Amitai, rose and recited the Kaddish in front of both Chief Rabbis, the head of Shas, and Roshei Yeshiva, including Rabbi Yaakov Shapira of Mercaz Harav Ye­shiva. They all responded, “Amen.” Even if it does not violate the law itself, an Orthodox woman reciting Kaddish berabim has been rare until recently. Last year, Beit Hillel pub­lished a religious responsum about the issue and, as a Yoetzet Halacha, Racheli Frenkel was one of the contributors to that volume. However, no one at the funeral regarded her Kaddish as a “political/religious” statement. It was accepted and understood to be the sincere act of a bereaved mother absorbed in saying Kaddish for her son, and it did make the front page of major Israeli newspapers.

Some Rebel Groups Reject ISIS

TIP—Nine Islamist rebel groups on Mon­day rejected an announcement made the day before by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Le­vant (ISIS) that the Al Qaeda offshoot was re­forming a caliphate extending the group’s in­fluence across the region, tersely noting that “[t]he terms of the caliphate have not been re­alized at present.” The Sunday announcement of the reformation of the pan-Islamic state was met with criticism from the nine groups, which included militias and Islamic scholars, that “le­gally and logically” the announcement was “null and void.” Iraqi Shiite lawmaker Khalid As­sadi brushed off the caliphate declaration as “nothing but a wild imagination of a desperate fanatic gang.” The criticism comes amid state­ments from ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who yesterday declared himself the caliphate’s head, calling on Muslims worldwide to join the new Islamic state.

UN Experts Trace Recently Seized Arms to Iran

Reuters reported that The UN Securi­ty Council’s Panel of Experts on Iran conclud­ed that a shipment of rockets and weapons seized in March by Israel came from Iran and represents a violation of the UN arms embar­go on Tehran. The weapons were headed to Sudan, a country which Western sources de­scribe as a conduit for Iranian arms shipments to Gaza. The Panamanian-flagged vessel Klos C was seized by the Israeli navy in March in the Red Sea before it reached Sudan. Thoug Irani­an denies this, seals from Iranian customs au­thorities on containers that held some of the arms “substantiates the Iranian origin of those containers,” said the experts. Further evidence came from the Iranian bill of lading, cargo man­ifest and the container stowage plan. An Israe­li defense official said there was “no room for doubt” that the mid-range missiles and other weapons on the ship that Israel seized in for Is­lamic Jihad in Gaza on a route through Sudan and Egypt.

MechitzaStreet, OrangeCounty

Gender specific signs, blue for men, red for women, have popped up in Kiryas Yoel to keep men and women away from each other on the street, especially on Shabbos and Yom Tov. The Yiddish language signs are infuriat­ing residents in the area who say segregated sidewalks are unconstitutional. WestchesterN­ews12.com said Satmar Hasidim got on social media to explain that the signs are not com­mands, they are “suggestions” to help pedes­trians when the sidewalks are crowded. One resident tweeted that this was not a feminist is­sue, as the rules apply to the men, as well. Ac­cording to the printer who took the order for the signs, it came from a private individual and not from the village of Kiryas Yoel. An Orange County spokesperson called the signs “outra­geous,” while a rep from the New York Civil Lib­erties Union said they are monitoring the situ­ation.

Gas Deal with UK’s BG Group to Suppy EgyptfromLeviathanField

JNS—Partners in Israel’s Leviathan nat­ural gas field have signed a non-binding let­ter of intent to supply the U.K.’s BG Group with an estimated $30 billion worth of nat­ural gas for its facility in Idku, Egypt. The preliminary agreement, announced Sun­day, comes after supply agreements signed with Jordan and other local countries, mak­ing Israel a major local exporter of natural gas. Once the deal is signed and authorized, the natural gas will be sold directly to BG’s Egyptian facility, which has the necessary infrastructure to liquefy it.

Netanyahu Calls for Fence on Jordanian Border

Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org— Israel needs to construct a security fence along the length of its border with Jor­dan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday. Speaking at the Institute for National Security Studies, Netanyahu said that in any future peace deal with the Pal­estinians, the Israel Defense Forces would be the entity protecting Israel in Judea and Samaria, including the Jordan Valley. Isra­el “must stabilize the region west of the se­curity line in Jordan,” Netanyahu said, add­ing that the territory of a future Palestinian state, up to the Jordan River, would have to remain under full Israeli security control for many.

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