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May 22, 2024
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Ann Coulter GOP Debate Tweets Called ‘Anti-Semitic’

The controversial conservative, columnist and author Ann Coulter, posted multiple statements to Twitter commenting on CNN’s September 16 Republican candidates debate, a number of which were characterized as anti-Semitic. Coulter, who has over 600,000 Twitter followers, expressed annoyance regarding the frequency of references to Israel over the course of the three-hour Republican debate. Among her most quoted tweets read: “I like the Jews, I like fetuses, I like Reagan. Didn’t need to hear applause lines about them all night”; “Cruz, Huckabee Rubio all mentioned ISRAEL in their response to: ‘What will AMERICA look like after you are president?’”; and “How many (expletive deleted) Jews do these people think there are in the United States?” Coulter later defended her statements, saying that the tweets were “not about Jewish people,” but were instead meant to illustrate pandering on the part of the debate participants.

Iceland Capital Votes to Boycott Israeli Products

( Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, voted to boycott all products made in Israel.

According to a symbolic bill passed in a majority vote by the municipality, the city will not purchase any products manufactured in Israel, whether within or beyond the 1967 lines, “as long as the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories continues.”

Local businesses in Reykjavik are not obligated to uphold the decision. A memo issued by the city expresses support for the Palestinians’ right to independence and condemns “the racist apartheid policies” of Israelis.

“I believe the city is sending a clear message, whereby it will not buy products from Israel as long as it oppresses another people on the basis of its ethnicity and race and the continued existence of a wall within Palestine,” said Reykjavik Councilwoman Björk Vilhelmsdóttir, who introduced the bill.

Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Emanuel Nahshon said, “A volcano of hatred has erupted in the Reykjavik City Council building. For no reason or justification, aside from pure hatred, there are calls to boycott the State of Israel. We hope that someone in Iceland will come to their senses and stop the one-sided blindness against the State of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.”

Reykjavik Mayor to Limit Boycott to ‘Occupied Areas’

( Reykjavik Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson told the RUV broadcaster that Iceland’s capital would limit its boycott of Israel to “occupied areas,” the Iceland Monitor reported. The initial bill passed by Reykjavik’s city council vowed a boycott of products made anywhere in Israel.

“Occupied areas” is the anti-Israel narrative’s descriptor for current Israeli territory that the Jewish state captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, including Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Icelandic media and other media misleadingly reported the mayor’s comments as a “retraction” of the Israel boycott. The Iceland Monitor’s headline stated, “Reykjavik to retract Israel boycott decision.” But according to the same reports, Eggertsson only recommended that the city council’s bill be retracted in its “current form.” By now boycotting Israeli territory beyond the 1967 lines, Reykjavik’s move still mirrors other governmental or corporate boycotts of Israel.

Netanyahu Convenes Emergency Cabinet Meeting in Response to Recent Attacks

(Israel Hayom/ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting in Jerusalem on Tuesday night to discuss ways to stem the recent surge of rock-throwing and firebombing attacks in Israel’s capital, including the killing of 64-year-old Jewish man Alexander Levlovich in a rock-throwing attack as he drove home from a Rosh Hashanah eve dinner. Attending the meeting were the ministers of defense, justice, public security and transportation, as well as Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Shin Bet Director Yoram Cohen and acting Israel Police Commissioner Benzi Sau.“We will fight aggressively against those who are seeking to violate the status quo on the Temple Mount. And we will enact a sharp change in policy regarding the throwers of rocks and firebombs. We will use any means necessary to restore quiet in Jerusalem and the surrounding area,” Netanyahu said at the meeting. Netanyahu announced he would promote fast-track legislation that would set minimum sentences for perpetrators of rock-throwing and firebomb attacks. He also said the quickest way to deal with the problem was to keep perpetrators of such attacks in administrative detention throughout the course of legal proceedings against them. Further, Israel will examine changes in the rules of engagement for security forces and the levying of substantial fines on minors who take part in rock-throwing and firebomb attacks.

Israeli Aid Group Rescues Syrian Refugees off Greek Coast

( The Israeli humanitarian aid group IsraAID was involved in the rescue of dozens of refugees off the Greek coast last weekend. “A boat arrived almost up to the shore when all of a sudden its engine exploded and flipped the boat,” IsraAID founder Shachar Zahavi said in a statement.

“Some of the women, children and babies didn’t know how to swim and our staff immediately jumped into the water to help them, preventing them from drowning,” he said, adding, “After bringing everyone onto the shore safely our medical team treated some of the sick and injured while our logistic team distributed food and water to the rest.”

The IsraAID team in Greece helps refugees with food, water, blankets and even maps with information on their expected journey through Europe. Hundreds of thousands of refugees from throughout the Middle East and Africa have been arriving in Europe in recent months to escape war and poverty. Meanwhile, IsraAID also has a team stationed on the Serbia-Hungary border, where its workers are distributing slings and baby carriers donated by Israelis to refugee families with babies. Comparing the current refugee crisis to that during World War II, Zahavi appealed for more people to come and volunteer. “I hope more people will join us (IsraAID) in reaching out in a helping hand. Our staff is overwhelmed but we cannot stop now especially as more are on their way,” he said. Founded in 2001, IsraAID is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that has provided disaster and long-term relief to threatened communities in countries like Jordan, Haiti, Japan and South Sudan.

Netanyahu to Meet With Putin to Discuss Syria

( Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week in Moscow. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu is expected to speak with Putin about the stationing of Russian forces in Syria. Recently, Russia confirmed that Russian “experts” were on the ground in Syria and assisting with arms deliveries. But US defense officials believe that Russia is establishing a forward operating base in Syria. US Secretary of State John Kerry has repeatedly called his Russia counterpart Sergei Lavrov in a bid to clarify Russia’s intent in the war-torn country. Netanyahu is expected to discuss the threats posed to Israel from the increased weapons flow to Syria as well as the transfer of deadly weapons to Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations.

This will be the first visit to Moscow by Netanyahu since November 2013.

Israeli President Advocates Interfaith Response to Terrorism

( Israeli President Reuven Rivlin met with European Catholic leaders at his residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday, urging an interfaith response to terrorism and stressing Israel’s commitment to freedom of religion and worship.

“On the evening of Rosh Hashanah, Alexander Levlovich, a Jerusalemite, a family man, was murdered when terrorists threw rocks at his car, forcing him off the road,” Rivlin told the Catholic leaders. “This bloody attack shows us once again that terror is terror—whether with rocks, guns or other weapons—and it shows us we must act firmly against all terrorism.”

Rivlin mentioned his recent meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, where he stressed the importance of freedom of worship and religion in Israel.

“In the last years the Christian communities of the Middle East have paid a heavy price for their faith. Israel, as a Jewish and democratic state, is proud that Christians in Israel enjoy freedom of worship, freedom of religion, and do not fear for their lives,” he said.

Rivlin also condemned the recent vandalism against Christian sites in Israel and said the Israeli government “stood together” with the Christian community.

“It is not enough for us, for Israel, to only be a safe haven for the Christian community. We want the community to flourish, to play a part in the Israeli experience, and to be part of Israeli society,” he said.

Cardinal Peter Erdo, president of the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe, said he “admired the dynamism and the modern vitality” of Israel and its people.

“Mutual knowledge and mutual understanding are what is most important for constructive dialogue between people of different cultures and religions. For this we believe it is important that in all our countries, Christians and society in general form a realistic and empathetic view of the history of the Jewish People and Israel,” Erdo said.

First Female Israeli Ambassador to Arab Country Takes Post

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to Israel’s new ambassador to Jordan, Einat Shlain, presented her credentials to Jordan’s King Abdullah II at a ceremony at the Basman Palace in Amman on Monday.

Shlain is the first woman to serve as an Israeli ambassador to an Arab country. She has worked for the Israeli Foreign Ministry for more than two decades. In past roles, she served as head of the international division at the Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Research Center and as a Middle Eastern affairs adviser at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC.


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