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Last week, a massive explosion occurred at Iran’s military base at Parchin – a facility also believed to be one of its illicit nuclear facilities. Much speculation has been made about why the explosion occurred. Writing at The Weekly Standard, Lee Smith says that Iran blames Israel – and its ally, the United States – and is using its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, to retaliate:
Experts continue to debate whether the explosion at an Iranian military base at Parchin earlier in the week was an act of sabotage.
The New York Times notes that the satellite images of the incident showed evidence “reminiscent of pictures of a missile-development site 30 miles west of Tehran that was virtually destroyed during a test in November 2011 that killed 17 people, including Gen. Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, the leading force behind Iran’s advanced missile efforts.”
Nonetheless David Albright, head of the Institute for Science and International Security, told the Times that it “could have been an accident.” However, Hussain Abdul-Hussain, writing in the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Rai, reports that European diplomatic sources in Washington confirm that ”the massive blast … was no accident, but a premeditated attack by a foreign country.”
Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 8:23 AM | Stand For Israel
The Fellowship’s Chicago office is blocks away from the route taken by the city’s traditional Italian-American parade put on each Columbus Day. We were proud to be able to attend this year’s parade, which honored Italians who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust:
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The theme of this year’s Columbus Day Parade is the brave effort by thousands of Italians during the Nazi era to save Jews from the horror of the Holocaust.
In a world beset by new forms of terror today, such as Ebola and ISIS, Chicago’s Italian-American parade is sending a powerful message. History demands that we do what is right, not what is safe.
Not a single Jew of any national origin under Italian control was handed over to Germany until 1943 when Italy was invaded by the Nazis. And, as journalist Jonah Goldberg has noted, “Jews in Italy survived the war at a higher rate than anywhere under Axis rule save Denmark.”
Floats in the parade will honor Italians — individuals and whole towns — who risked their lives for their fellow man.
There was Giorgio Perlasca, an Italian businessman in Budapest, who is credited with saving as many as 10,000 Jewish lives by impersonating the Spanish ambassador to Hungary. He granted Spanish citizenship to thousands of Jews.
There was Giovanni Palatucci, police chief in the port city of Fiume, into which thousands of Jewish refugees poured. He arranged transfers to Southern Italy and safe passages to Palestine. He issued false papers to hundreds of Jews who lived in the city.
Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 2:07 PM | Stand For Israel
Between the civil war that has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Syrians and the threat of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), life in Syria is brutal. This is especially so for the few Jews remaining in the ravaged nation. The Times of Israel brings us this uplifting story of a Syrian Jewish family who was smuggled into Israel by a network of caring people, so that they might find a better life:
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The family, one of the few remaining Jewish families in Syria, arrived in Israel “with nothing,” according to a Netanya businessman who helped them immigrate, Army Radio reported.
“In the first stage, the mother and daughter arrived, then the whole family came,” the businessman, identified only as David, told the station. The family arrived with no possessions, so “we donated to help them with everything they needed… we did our best to help them in their acclimation to Israel,” David added.
The businessman is part of a network of Israelis of Syrian origin who helped the family. MK Yisrael Hason of Kadima, who was born in Damascus and came to Israel at age seven, is part of the group. MK Shaul Mofaz of Kadima, who was born in Iran, hosted the Syrian family in his sukkah on Sunday.
The Jewish community in Syria is one of the most ancient in the Diaspora and was once concentrated mainly in Aleppo and Damascus. After World War I the community saw mass emigration to the US, the land of Israel and Latin America. After the creation of Israel in 1948, most of the remaining Jews left Syria, while only a few thousand remained, many of whom were slowly smuggled out of the country.
Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 11:18 AM | Stand For Israel
Throughout Operation Protective Edge this summer, Israel’s Iron Dome defense system saved the lives of many Israelis as it knocked down terrorist rockets launched from Gaza. Now Israel Hayom reports that Israel has successfully tested a similar defense system for the Israeli Navy:
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The Israeli Navy secretly tested an upgraded anti-missile system designed to protect naval vessels several months ago. The test was crowned a success.
The defense system, which uses Barak missiles, was upgraded to confront the growing threat of Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles.
The Yakhont missiles pose a threat mainly because of their potential use by Israel’s neighbors. Russia has been supplying Syria with Yakhont missiles since 2010. Hezbollah, in southern Lebanon, is also believed to possess these shore-based missiles.
The test was conducted as part of a general overhaul of the navy’s defense systems, which also provide protection for offshore drilling rigs.
Not all the details of the test were released, but according to the military, the exercise involved a mock-Yakhont missile fired from sea, which was successfully intercepted by the Israeli Barak missile, fired from an Israeli Navy missile boat.
Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 10:51 AM | Stand For Israel
Yesterday in Cairo, Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas asked for $4 billion in aid to rebuild Gaza. He received international pledges for at least that much. However, writes Elliott Abrams, the world is aware that Hamas still controls Gaza, and that the money meant for rebuilding might only go to rebuild the terrorist organization:
There are at least two main issues. First, Egypt and Israel want to be sure that construction materials do not go to Hamas for its construction of tunnels, arms depots, and other means of making war rather than for building homes, schools, and the like. They also want to be sure that Hamas does not smuggle in arms and ammunition. This means the establishment of a border control regime and some way of identifying end users inside Gaza. Second, the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah (or the Palestinian Authority–same thing) continues.
On October 12 in Cairo, at an international conference on rebuilding Gaza, PA president Mahmoud Abbas will ask for $4 billion in pledges. He may get some pledges; cash is a different story. Many donors are wary of corruption in the PA and in Hamas, and fear Hamas efforts to divert funds and materials to illicit terrorist uses. Donors from the EU have made some foolish statements about how tired they are of paying for reconstruction of buildings that Israel then bombs, and appear to be seeking some Israeli promise never to strike Gaza again. This is impossible, because Hamas remains in charge in Gaza and may well decide to launch fusillades of mortars and rockets into Israel again, hiding as it usually does within, behind, and under civilian facilities such as houses, mosques, and hospitals. If this happens Israel will respond, so the kind of pledge some European donors have been seeking is impossible to give. Hamas has chosen war several times before and may well choose it again.
The central problem is that Hamas is still running Gaza. The new Palestinian “technocratic”…Read More » Comments (13) »
Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 8:35 AM | Stand For Israel
The singing competition American Idol has long been a popular TV show in the U.S. Its counterpart Arab Idol is the most popular program in the Arab world. Recently, two Israeli Arabs were contestants on the show. Because the two singers are from Israel, their country of origin was shown on a map. This, however, caused uproar around the Arab world, as the map was labeled “Israel.” Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh says this shows that the Arab world’s problem with Israel is its very existence, and until this type of incitement ends, chances for real peace will remain remote:
The Saudi MBC TV network was recently forced to apologize to its hundreds of millions of viewers for using the name Israel instead of Palestine.
The apology came after viewers strongly condemned the network and threatened to boycott its programs over the use of a map with Israel’s name on it.
The reason Israel appeared on the MBC’s map was because of the participation of two Arab citizens of Israel in its popular Arab Idol contest. The show, based on the popular British show Pop Idol, is the most widely viewed in the Arab world.
The two Arab Israelis, Manal Moussa, 25 and Haitham Khalailah, 24, are from villages in northern Israel. They are among many contestants from all over the Arab world who are performing songs on stage in front of four judges and the public.
This is the first time that Arab Israelis have participated in the popular show.
When this season’s show began in mid-September, the TV station introduced a map with the names of the contestants’ countries. This year, of course, the map showed Israel as one of the countries taking part in the show.
The Saudi station and directors of the Arab Idol show quickly learned, however, that they had committed a big and unforgivable crime. Within minutes, they were flooded with requests to remove Israel from the map and apologize to all Arabs for this “serious offence.”
The condemnations did not come only from Palestinians,…Read More » Comments (18) »
Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 8:26 AM | Stand for Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking on CBS’s Face the Nation, said ISIS must be defeated because its ultimate goal is to try and dominate the world. However, Netanyahu also said that Iran is an even bigger danger than ISIS because of its nuclear ambitions and oil money.
Also this week in Israel in the News:
• A deadly explosion occurred at Iran’s secretive Parchin military base just outside of Tehran this week. Two workers on the base were killed.
• At a meeting of airport security, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Homeland Security gave a stark assessment of the most pressing global terror threats.
• An attack by the terrorist group, Hezbollah, on Lebanon’s southern border with Israel wounded two Israeli soldiers.
• U.S. and European Union are hopeful that sanctions imposed on Russia in response to the crisis in Ukraine will cause them to withdraw from the conflict.
• E.U. officials threaten penalties against Israel over construction in East Jerusalem.
This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas with reflections on the Jewish holiday, Sukkot, which began this week.
Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 5:00 PM | Stand for Israel
The week-long celebration of Sukkot – the Feast of Tabernacles – begins tonight at sundown, so Stand for Israel is suspending activity Thursday and Friday, October 9 and 10. We’ll be back on Monday, October 13 — and rest assured, if any critically important developments related to Israel come up over the weekend, we’ll be here to let you know about them. We wish our Jewish friends a joyous Sukkot, and thank all of you for always standing for Israel!Comments (0) »
Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 4:37 PM | Stand For Israel
… you are to take branches from luxuriant trees–from palms, willows and other leafy trees–and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. Live in temporary shelters for seven days … so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. (Leviticus 23:40-43)
Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, begins tonight at sundown. In this photo from 1949, an Israeli family builds their humble sukkah (the shelter mentioned in Leviticus), just as Jews have for millennia – and still do today. We wish our Jewish friends a festive and joyful Sukkot. Shabbat shalom.Comments (2) »
Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 3:27 PM | Stand For Israel