Jew Accused of Threatening NYC Synagogue Is Grandson Of a Holocaust Survivor
(JNS) One of the two men accused of planning to attack an unspecified synagogue in New York City is Jewish and the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, his counsel said in court.
Matthew Mahrer, 22, in Manhattan Criminal Court on accusations of criminal possession of a weapon, was ordered held on $150,000 bail or a $300,000 bond despite his lawyer’s request that he be freed on his own recognizance and the prosecutors’ recommendation that he be held without bail.
“There are a lot of questions here,” defense attorney Brandon Freycint said of Mahrer, who has allegedly been diagnosed with autism, bipolar disorder, anxiety and ADHD, the New York Post reported.
“My client is of Jewish heritage. He resides with his parents and his grandfather is actually a 93-year-old Holocaust survivor—and my client is his part-time caretaker,” Freycinet said.
According to police sources, Mahrer and a friend named Christopher Brown were detained on Friday while riding the Long Island Rail Road. Brown was seen carrying guns and a Nazi armband.
The arrests came after a threat to attack a synagogue and tweet “Gonna ask a priest if I should become a husband or shoot up a synagogue and die” was traced to one of the men’s computers, sources told CNN.
According to the Post, prosecutors said police confiscated a loaded handgun with an extended magazine and a bulletproof vest from Mahrer’s Upper West Side apartment, which he and the friend planned to use in a synagogue attack.
Israel’s Chief Rabbi Proposes Amending the Law of Return
(JNS) The Knesset should amend the Law of Return to curb non-Jewish immigration to Israel, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi David Lau of Israel urged.
Lau, speaking at the annual International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries in New York, argued against the current law under which anyone with a Jewish grandparent is eligible for automatic Israeli citizenship
According to halacha only converts and those with a Jewish mother are Jews.
“For 10 years I have been asking to try to change this mistake of the third generation in the Law of Return—to fix it, to ensure that Israel will be a Jewish state, a state of Jews,” said Lau at an event in New Jersey.
Judea and Samaria Are Not ‘Occupied’ but ‘Disputed,’ Says DeSantis
(JNS) In a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition political conference in Las Vegas on Saturday night, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis—one of the front-runners for the 2024 presidential race—defended the right of Jews to live in their biblical homeland of Judea and Samaria.
“I don’t care what the State Department said. They are not occupied territory; it is disputed territory,” said DeSantis. “If you look at our record on issues related to Israel and supporting the Jewish community, it is second to none,” he continued.
“When I first became governor, one of the first things we did was fight back against Airbnb, who was discriminating against Israeli Jews, and we won that fight against Airbnb,” he added. He also said that under his direction, security was boosted at Jewish schools.
“We signed legislation combatting antisemitism. We are not going to allow the universities in the State of Florida to become hotbeds of anti-Jewish sentiment like they have all across this country,” DeSantis said.
200 Charedi Women to Take Part In Development of IDF Drone
(JNS) Some 200 charedi women software engineers from Bnei Brak will take part in developing unmanned aerial vehicles used by the Israeli military, Israel Hayom reported.
The Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicle, made by Israeli defense firm Elbit Systems, is used to gather intelligence and conduct strikes on enemy targets.
The engineers will be employed by the ROX development company and by Elbit, and was unveiled by Elbit President Bezhalel Machles.
During remarks made at the opening ceremony, Machles said that Elbit attaches great importance to integrating women from the Haredi sector into advanced work that is significant to national security.
Top US Official Reiterates Commitment to Preventing Iran From Going Nuclear
(JNS) U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has reiterated President Joe Biden’s commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, according to a statement from the White House.
Sullivan discussed the Iranian nuclear threat during a meeting in Washington with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, who arrived in the United States this week for a five-day visit.
The two expressed their shared determination to address the security challenges posed by Tehran and its proxies, said the statement.
Reuters reported that the Islamic Republic has begun enriching uranium to 60% at its underground Fordow nuclear site.
Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence Directorate chief Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva said on Monday that Iran would soon start enriching at least a “symbolic” amount of uranium to 90%, although he added that it was unlikely to make a dash for the bomb.
Haliva warned that Tehran had made “significant progress” on its nuclear program, and that the international community would soon face its “greatest test” in preventing the Islamic Republic from obtaining a bomb.
Sullivan added that Washington’s commitment to upholding Israel’s security remained “ironclad.”
Broken Promise: Qatar Bans Cooked Kosher Food, Public Jewish Prayer During World Cup
(World Israel News Staff) Despite earlier promises to the contrary, Qatar is preventing Jewish visitors to the FIFA World Cup from attaining kosher cooked food or praying in a public venue during their stay, sources told The Jerusalem Post.
“We were promised to be allowed to create prayer spaces in order for religious Jews who came to see the games to have a place of worship,” a Jewish organization representative said. “We were recently told that they banned places of worship for Jews because they cannot secure them.”
“They were promised to be able to cook kosher food, including kosher meat, but at the moment have only been allowed to sell cold bagel sandwiches,” other sources said, according to the Post.
Yet another source told the outlet that a large group of American Jews had planned to attend but canceled their trip due to the lack of amenities.
Back in 2018, Rabbi Marc Schneier, a well-known Orthodox rabbi of an upscale synagogue in the Hamptons on Long Island, said Qatar had asked him for advice regarding hosting Jewish fans to the 2022 event, a job which would include kosher food, Bloomberg News reported.
Schneier said Hassan Al-Thawadi, secretary-general of the organizing committee for the World Cup in Qatar, requested his help as thousands of Jewish fans were expected to attend the games.
“The FIFA World Cup is about bringing people together, interacting with different nations, cultures and faiths, and making everyone feel included and welcome,” Schneier said.
The food reportedly includes the baking of the first bagels in Qatar and other “Jewish” food, the report says.
For now, however, Kosher in Qatar—under the supervision of Rabbi Mendy Chitrik of Istanbul, chairman of the Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States, and his son Rabbi Eliyahu Chitrik—will sell challah for Shabbat and bagel sandwiches with spreads.
Israel and Japan Take First Steps Toward Free Trade Agreement
(JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid has agreed to move toward signing a free trade agreement with Japan.
An FTA between the two countries will mean “discounts for products and goods from Japan for the benefit of the Israeli market and increasing Israeli exports to Japan, the third-largest economy in the world,” said Lapid.
“This year, we are also celebrating 70 years of relations between our countries and this is further proof of their growing strength—diplomatically and economically,” he added.
The last FTA Israel signed was also its first with an Asian country. On September 27, it ratified a free trade agreement with South Korea.