May 28, 2024
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German Bundestag President: ‘We Must Be Resolute’ in Curbing Anti-Semitism

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) As part of the ongoing 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany, Norbert Lammert, the president of Germany’s Bundestag legislature, gave a speech at the Israeli Knesset. He said, “We must be resolute in curbing anti-Semitism in Europe.”

Opening his speech with a few lines in Hebrew, Lammert said, “Thank you for your kind invitation and warm welcome.” Switching to German, he called it “a great privilege, and also a pleasure, to speak to the representatives of Israel, home to Jews from all over the world, here in the Knesset, the beating heart of a strong democratic state, an open and free society, and the only functioning democracy in the Middle East.”

Regarding the close ties that have developed between Israel and Germany over the decades, Lammert said, “The intensity of the friendly relations between our two countries is indeed one of history’s miracles.”

Speaking about Germany’s Jewish community, Lammert said, “We are especially grateful, too, that after the traumatic experiences of National Socialist dictatorship and the Holocaust, Jewish life has once again resumed in Germany.” He announced that the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism would be holding a conference in Berlin next year.

“We recognize that nowhere in the world has anti-Semitism [that] had more devastating consequences than in Germany,” Lammert said.

Israeli Embassy Teams With Filipino Foundation to Launch Tech Start-Up Contest

(JNS.org) The Israeli Embassy in the Philippines has teamed up with the Filipino foundation IdeaSpace to organize a contest that will select one local start-up company to attend the DLD Tel Aviv Digital Conference in Israel later this year.

In its second year, the DLD Tel Aviv Digital Conference has already achieved international recognition as one of the largest hi-tech gatherings in the world. The conference brings together venture capital funds, investors, inventors and other leaders of the tech industry to showcase start-ups. This year’s conference is scheduled for Sept. 6–12.

Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Effie Ben Matityau told the Manila Times that Israel has long had a “special relationship” with the Asian country, which took in Jewish refugees in the 1930s and voted for the Jewish state’s establishment in the United Nations in 1948, and that the sponsorship of a Filipino start-up is one way to say “thank you” to the Filipino people.

Matityau added that he “hopes that the company, which will be given the opportunity to attend the conference, will bring home lessons from Israel and truly become a valuable asset in the Philippines in the future.”

IdeaSpace is a Philippines-based nonprofit foundation that seeks to help technology entrepreneurs developing their ideas and innovations into successful businesses.

“This is a great opportunity for Philippine startups to once again shine in the global stage,” said Earl Valencia, president and co-founder of IdeaSpace. “Tel Aviv is a city that’s brimming with innovation, and the Philippine start-ups’ representative to this conference stands to gain a lot of insights, possibly investments, as the world of start-ups converges during this week-long event.”

Hebrew U., Boston Hospital Create Algorithm That Scans Genes for Diseases

(JNS.org) The Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston has collaborated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to create an algorithm that could scan as many as millions of genetic sequences from a variety of organisms for links that potentially indicate diseases.

This process could allow doctors, researchers and patients to analyze a gene’s evolutionary profile and would “change the face of biomedical research by creating the ability to identify unique disease-related genes and predict their biological functions,” said the Israeli-American research team, headed by Dr. Yuval Tabach, a molecular biologist and researcher from Hebrew University’s Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Additionally, the development “opens the door to drug repositioning, which holds the promise of new treatments for genetic diseases or cancer,” the researchers said.

Palestinians Suspected of Beating Israeli Jewish Farmer to Death

(JNS.org) David Ben-Kafra, a 70-year-old Jewish farmer from Rehovot, was beaten to death on in an orchard near Moshav Pedaya in central Israel. Several Palestinians are suspected of committing the murder.

Ben-Kafra, who was found alive but critically wounded, was hospitalized at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, where he later died from his injuries. The police were not ruling out nationalistic motivations for the attack, although other avenues are also being investigated.

Ben-Kafra’s son, Daniel Bar, is a spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Religious Services and is also the interim spokesman for the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Bar told reporters that “we are waiting for information from the police and are certain it will do its job faithfully.”

According to initial police information, the attackers are Palestinians illegally residing in Israel. Police units conducted a search of the area, although no arrests were made.

Terror Alert Issued for Israeli Sites in India

(ynetnews.com) India’s intelligence agencies published a terror warning over fear of a possible attack on Israeli tourists of the Israeli embassy in New Delhi.

Local news reports said that security would be increased at the Israeli embassy as well as other Israeli and Jewish sites in light of the alert. It was claimed in India [that the alert is connected to recent reports in the country that India is deepening diplomatic relations with Israel and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to visit Israel sometime in the next year.

Senior state sources in Israel said that according to current knowledge, there is no concrete threat on any specific targets. Instead, they said that the alert is periodical and happens every so often. A similar warning was announced several months ago when an explosion tore through an Israeli diplomat’s car in February of 2012 in the vicinity of the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, wounding the wife of a Defense Ministry representative.

Four years previous, Mumbai suffered a massive terror attack during which a Chabad house was also targeted.

Torah Scroll to Be Sent to the Moon

(JNS.org) French-Israeli entrepreneur Haim Aouizerate is calling on the Jewish people to help fund a project that aims to send a Torah scroll to the moon.

Aouizerate has been in contact with the European Space Agency (ESA), which has agreed to take on the project, working closely with the Zomet Institute, an Israeli nonprofit public research institute that is well-versed in the synthesis of Torah law and modern life. A crowdfunding initiative has also taken off. Outside of Aouizerate’s private funding, the project is being paid for through the purchase of letters or phrases in the Moon-bound Torah scroll. So far, around 200 out of 60,000 letters in the Torah have been purchased.

Torah on the Moon is projected to cost upwards of $6 million to complete. The launch will hopefully take place sometime between the summers of 2016 and 2018.

“People used to buy trees in Israel and the joke was that people would come to Israel and look at every tree to find the one with their name on it. But it was inspiring. This is a little similar,” Marans says. “If you buy a letter, you could look up at the Moon and feel a connection with that Torah and with creation.”

Bolton Says Israel Must Strike Iran

(JNS.org) John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, has expressed his concerns with the Iranian nuclear deal. “My focus is on the threat of a nuclear Iran and how close it is to creating deliverable nuclear weapons,” Bolton said in an interview with JNS.org. “That, and how serious the threat of a nuclear Iran is to Israel and the United States. Any facility that we believe is associated with the nuclear program must be subject to inspection.”

In advance of the June 30 deadline for Iran and the P5+1 nations to reach a nuclear deal, “no notice” inspections of nuclear sites, as well as any inspections of military sites, have been refused by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Bolton said that signing an agreement with Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, is “contrary to United States’s policy that we do not negotiate with terrorists.”

Bolton predicts that Iran will have scores of nuclear weapons within 20 months defense.”

Israel Approves Extending Fence Along Jordanian Border

(ynetnews.com) Israel’s security cabinet has approved extending the fortified fence along its Egyptian border into a section of the frontier with neighboring Jordan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday.

Israel worries that African immigrants and armed jihadi infiltrators might try to reach Israel via Jordan after the Egyptian Sinai border was fenced off with a 5-meter (16-foot)-high razor-wire barrier in 2013. That fence runs from the Palestinian Gaza Strip to the southern Red Sea resort of Eilat.

Netanyahu said the fence would help protect an Israeli airport due to open next year at Timna, 19 km (12 miles) from Eilat, and which has been billed as a wartime alternative should Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion airport come under rocket attack.

“It is part of our national security,” Netanyahu said. The fence, he said, would go up in Israeli territory, “without in any way harming the sovereignty or national interests of the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan.”

The country has already built high-tech fences in the north on the Lebanon border and along the Golan Heights boundary with Syria. Much of the West Bank is also divided by a network of fences, barriers and walls, while the Gaza Strip is closed off behind high fences and walls. A fence along the Jordan frontier would leave Israel surrounded by a steel and concrete ring.

New Website Documents Rising Anti-Semitism on College Campuses

(ynetnews.com) A new webpage, started by the nonprofit campus watchdog AMCHA, features more than 100 testimonies of anti-Semitism from students across the United States over the past year and a half. The information is gathered from public reports and students at 47 American colleges and universities across 20 states.

In their reports, many students said they felt intimidated and frightened by anti-Semitism. Others said they wanted to keep their Jewish identities a secret to prevent being targeted by their classmates. At Florida State University, a Palestinian student accused a Jewish student of being a Nazi and a racist. “I think for the first time in my adult life, I truly understand what it means to stare racism straight in the face,” the FSU victim explained.

Many students specifically mentioned the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) as being responsible for the unsafe conditions on campuses for Jews today. “From their harassment of students participating in the spring break trip, to the Nazi incident and anti-Zionist rhetoric that verges on blood libel, SJP has done everything in its power to make Vassar an unsafe space for Jews,” said a student from Vassar college. These attacks on Judaism not only create emotional distress, but also can have “devastating effects” on students academically. One student complained of being “so riddled with anxiety I couldn’t sleep.”

P5+1 Nuclear Weapon Plan

After more than a decade of intermittent negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, the P5+1 nations, the United States, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and China are nearing a June 30 deadline to reach a final deal with Iran.

The United States has had little diplomatic contact with Iran, but under new P5+1 negotiations, proposals were made to encourage Iran to halt uranium enrichment, a plan that was initially rejected by Iran. According to the Iran Nuclear Review Act of 2015, Obama must submit the deal to Congress by July 9, and lawmakers would then have 30 days to review the pact. If negotiations go beyond July 9, Congress would have 60 days to review the deal—more time to potentially nix the agreement.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has rejected several key components that he had agreed to under a framework reached in April. Many observers fear that negotiators might agree to a weak deal with Iran or no deal at all.

Israeli Border Policewoman Seriously Wounded in Latest Palestinian Attack

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org and Tazpit) An Israeli border policewoman was seriously wounded when she was stabbed by a Palestinian woman at Rachel’s Crossing, the main transit point between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Israeli Emergency Medical Services were called in to transport the injured 20-year-old MP to Hadassah hospital, with a stab wound to her upper body.

Police fighters and private security guards at the scene managed to apprehend the assailant, Misoun Mussa, a 20-year-old Palestinian female with no prior arrests. She was arrested at the scene and brought in for questioning. Three knives were found in her possession. The stabbing victim is currently in a difficult but stable condition at the trauma ward of Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem.

Israeli-Arab Convicted of Hate Crime Against Jewish Worshippers

(Tazpit) The Jerusalem District Court convicted on Monday morning, Ahmed Abu Al-Halaweh (21), a Jerusalem resident and Israeli citizen, on various charges of assault against Jewish worshippers. The attack occurred while the victims were on their way to Shavuot holiday prayer at the Western Wall, which happened on May 2013.

The court ruled guilty on charges of assault and battery, aggravated assault, intention of causing bodily harm, and found the crimes to have been committed with clear racial and prejudicial motives. According to the event’s description, found in the minutes of the court proceeding, Al-Halaweh was participating in a Palestinian demonstration moments prior to the event. One of the victims of the attack was hospitalized for an exceedingly long period. Other victims, including minors and children, suffered various degrees of injury and bodily harm.

After deliberations, the court sentenced Al-Halaweh to a 12-month active prison term and an additional 12-month suspended sentence for the next 3 years.  Additionally the court ruled that Al-Halaweh must financially compensate each of his victims.

Senator Cory Booker Endorses Hillary Clinton

(nj.com and nbcnews) On Monday, as Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic nomination, held a fundraiser in New Jersey, Cory Booker endorsed her. Booker, who endorsed then-Clinton rival Barack Obama in 2008, told supporters that he is backing Clinton just one day before his home state governor, New Jersey’s Chris Christie, was expected to join the race for the GOP nomination.

“Hillary has fought for her entire career to expand opportunities for all Americans, and these last few months have been amazing to behold. We’ve seen Hillary exhibit outstanding leadership not only on apprenticeships and youth unemployment, but also criminal justice reform — all issues you and I care deeply about,” Booker wrote in an email letter to supporters on the day before Gov. Chris Christie formally entered the race for president on the Republican side.

“That’s why I’m so proud and honored to endorse Hillary Clinton in her campaign for president, and I want to do everything I can to help her,” Booker wrote. “I assured Hillary that you would be as excited as I am to support her campaign. Show her that I was right by contributing now.”

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