May 20, 2024
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May 20, 2024
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65-Year-Old Chassidic Woman Reportedly Gives Birth in Israel

(Arutz Sheva) A 65-year-old chassidic woman gave birth to her first child overnight Monday, after 46 years of marriage. The new mother, named as Chaya Sarah Shahar of Bnei Brak, gave birth to a healthy baby boy at a Kfar Saba hospital. Family and friends of Shahar, and her husband, 67 year-old Shmuel, say the couple are overjoyed and grateful that the baby is healthy. The Shahars are Nadvorna chassidim. They attributed the miraculous birth to a blessing from their rabbi. Last year, a 61-year-old woman in Jerusalem gave birth to her first child at Shaarei Tzedek hospital.

Marking Jerusalem Day, Netanyahu Shared Plans to Build in Jerusalem

( Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said he has a “clear position” that the Israeli government will “build in Jerusalem.”

“I ordered the construction of the Har Homa neighborhood, and today there are tens of thousands of residents there, making it a city within a city,” Netanyahu said during a special Knesset session marking Jerusalem Day, which was celebrated a day earlier on May 17. “I ordered the construction of the Maaleh Hazeitim neighborhood. We are building in Ramot, we are building in Gilo, we are building in Pisgat Ze’ev, and we are building in Ramat Shlomo. We are building inside [Jerusalem] and we are building in its peripheral neighborhoods.”

Netanyahu vowed that Jerusalem “will never return to being a frontline or a border city.”

“We removed the fences, walls, fortifications, and mine fields…. We have put its parts back together,” he said. “This is not to say the unification is perfect, but we will not go back to the past. Jerusalem is located in the heart of Israel and we will not permit any enemy who seeks our destruction to be there.”

Seeking Greater Integration, IDF to Disband Druze-Only Unit After 41 Years

( Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot on Monday decided to disband the IDF’s Druze-only unit, the Sword Battalion, 41 years after its inception.

The IDF said the decision followed lengthy deliberations, extensive preparatory work, and consultations with heads of the Druze community. Recent data indicates that the majority of Druze military recruits explicitly ask to serve in other combat units, with only 5 percent of Druze recruits expressing a preference for the Sword Battalion.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said the decision “reflects the fact that the IDF facilitates the integration of every soldier, regardless of their origin.”

“The integration of Druze soldiers in the ranks of the IDF is a stellar example of that,” said Ya’alon, Israel Hayom reported.

Pope Francis Refers to Abbas as ‘Angel of Peace’

( Vatican spokesman Father Frederico Lombardi said that Pope Francis meant no offense in his purported description of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as an “angel of peace.”

“It is clear that there was no intention to offend anyone,” Lombarditold Reuters on Tuesday.

Pope Francis, who canonized two 19th-century nuns from what was then Ottoman-ruled Palestine, met with Abbas on Saturday at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, where he presented the Palestinian leader with a bronze medallion.

There have been different accounts of what exactly Pope Francis said in Italian during an exchange with Abbas, with initial reports suggesting the pontiff called Abbas an “angel of peace.” Other reporters present said the statement could be translated as “you are a bit an angel of peace.”

The pope’s comments angered many pro-Israel observers who have questioned Abbas’s commitment to peace and his links to terrorism. Last week, the Vatican also came under fire for referring to the “State of Palestine” in a bilateral treaty between the Vatican and the Palestinians.

Chris Christie: ‘US Commitment to Israel Must be Absolute’

( New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who may enter the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, said that the current administration of President Barack Obama has not taken its relationship with Israel seriously enough.

“Over the last few years this administration has taken our Israeli partners for granted, and it is shameful how the president has treated them,” Christie said Monday in a speech in Portsmouth, N.H.

“Our commitment to Israel must be absolute. Israel is a beacon of freedom in a sea of autocracy and our friendship should be unshakeable. Over the last few years this administration has taken our Israeli partners for granted and it is shameful how the president has treated them,” he said.

Christie, who in the past has come under fire from some pro-Israel observers for his remarks on the Jewish state and for one of his New Jersey judicial appointment’s ties to radical Islam, added, “Israel and its people must be supported by the United States and the American president—its existence and its security is non-negotiable, and the Iranians and others who think otherwise must be reminded by America of that simple fact.”

Painting Looted By Nazis Causes US Extradition Fight

(Yeshiva World News) A Russian art dealer living in New York is fighting extradition to Poland to face charges accusing him of refusing to turn over an 18th-century painting taken from a Polish museum by the Nazis during World War II.

Lawyers for Alexander Khochinskiy were in federal court in Manhattan on Monday to ask a judge to throw out an extradition complaint charging him with possessing stolen property. They argued there wasn’t enough evidence to show Khochinskiy knew the 1754 painting – “Girl with a Dove” by Antoine Pesne – was stolen, as required by an extradition treaty, and that he’s the legal owner anyway. Prosecutor Katherine Reilly conceded there were unanswered questions about how the painting ended up in Khochinskiy’s hands. But she argued there was still probable cause for granting extradition.

Khochinskiy, 64, was arrested at his lower Manhattan apartment in February. He was later freed on $100,000 bond. The Third Reich took “Girl with a Dove” in 1943 from the National Museum in Poznan, Poland, according to court papers. At the end of the war, the Red Army recovered the painting and took it to a repository in the Soviet Union, the complaint says.

According to court papers, Khochinskiy tried to return it to the Polish Embassy in Russian in 2010, in exchange for a cash payment compensating his family for land his mother lost during the war. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said he wanted to hear further arguments before ruling. He set another hearing for June 17.


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