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Debunking the Libel Labeling Israel a Child Killer
by Ilse Strauss
Tuesday, 9 August 2022 | The images tore at your heart. Wailing parents—the grief streaming in rivulets down their cheeks—cradled the broken body of Alaa Qaddoum, their 5-year-old son, wrapped in burial shrouds. Qaddoum is one of the Palestinian children in Gaza who tragically died during the three days of fighting between Israel and Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the second-largest terror group in the coastal enclave.
According to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza, the death toll in the Strip now stands at over 50, 15 of them children. And according to the Palestinians, Israeli airstrikes are responsible for all these deaths, including Qaddoum’s.
The accusations are not new. They resound with unwavering predictability during every round of back-and-forth fighting between the terror groups in Gaza and their Jewish neighbor. While the world watches in horror as parents mourn over tiny lifeless bodies, the Palestinians habitually point a finger at Israel. And the world media, human rights groups, governments and social media warriors typically join the chorus of outrage aimed at Israel.
First, let’s be clear. There should be a chorus of outrage. Children perishing in the crossfire of two clashing entities is nothing short of tragic and should elicit an international outcry. However, when Israel happens to be one of the clashing entities, the Palestinians, world media, human rights groups, governments and social media warriors are often quick to accuse Israel, while the blame actually lies with the other side, the side that not only placed these children in harm’s way but also pulled the trigger, pushed the button or flipped the switch that caused their deaths.
Case in point. At approximately 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, an explosion in Jabalia in the Gaza Strip killed seven people, including four children. Initial reports blamed the usual suspect: an Israeli airstrike. Social media soon exploded with outrage. Arab Israeli member of Knesset [Parliament] Ahmed Tibi tweeted photos of three of the deceased children alongside the following message, “This is what the US and the UK refer to as ‘Israel’s right to self-defense.’ Three ‘dangerous terrorists’ killed in Gaza now. Clearly today Israel is a safer place.”
Yet Israel indicated immediately that the Israeli Air Force did not conduct strikes anywhere near the area at the time of the explosion. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) backed up its claim with video and radar proof that the deadly blast was caused by a PIJ rocket that misfired.
The video footage in question indeed showed one of the 1,100 rockets fired by PIJ at Israel rising immediately after it was launched and then rapidly falling until it finally slammed into Jabalia, causing the explosion that killed seven people.
Moreover, the rocket in question was shown to be launched from within a mosque located in a densely populated area, making for a double war crime of firing on a civilian population from within a civilian population—thus turning the surrounding civilians into human shields—and from within a building supposedly dedicated to religious use.
In short, the Palestinian terror faction tried its level best to murder Israeli civilians but failed. The failed attempt killed its own people instead. But instead of owning up, the Palestinian terrorists exploited the situation to garner public sympathy and demonize Israel.
This was not an isolated incident. Of the 1,100 rockets PIJ fired, 200 misfired and fell short inside Gaza, the IDF said. According to IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ran Kochav, the failed PIJ rockets killed more civilians in Gaza than Israeli air strikes did. In fact, the IDF reportedly believes that PIJ rockets are responsible for the death of 12 of the 15 children killed over the three days of fighting.
This is in line with Israel’s commitment to cherish and preserve life, a commitment that is carried over and instilled into the men and women who serve in its defense force.
The IDF has been known to make every possible effort to uphold the sanctity of life—even that of those who seek to destroy her and even if it means failure to achieve an objective. In past conflicts with terror factions in Gaza, evidence surfaced that showed Israel backing down from a mission because it entailed putting civilians in harm’s way.
This conflict was no different. Over the weekend, the IDF revealed video footage of two strikes that were aborted because civilians were observed in the vicinity.
Perhaps Prime Minister Yair Lapid summed Israel’s approach up best when he said, “Throughout the operation, special efforts were made to prevent harm to civilians. The State of Israel will not apologize for using force to protect its citizens, but the death of innocent civilians, especially children, is heartbreaking.”
Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 9, 2022)
Photo Credit: Al Jazeera English/commons.wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
Pray for an international outcry against the PIJ for this atrocity and others like it. Pray that the IDF video will show the world media, and others who are quick to condemn Israel, who the real offenders are in this situation. Cry out to the Lord for an end to the violence that results in such needless loss of life and continually forces Israel to respond with military force to protect Israeli citizens. Finally, praise the Lord that Israel maintains its policy of placing such a high value on the sanctity of life, and pray for the families of these children whose lives were taken by terrorists who have no regard whatsoever for the sanctity of life.
Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts; they continually gather together for war.
Russia Launches Iranian Satellite that Could Be Used to Spy on West
by Kate Norman
Thursday, 11 August 2022 | Russia successfully launched an Iranian satellite into orbit Tuesday morning from a Russian spaceport in Kazakhstan.
The satellite, named Khayyam after 11-century Persian polymath Omar Khayyam, was launched by a Russian Soyuz rocket and was in orbit nine minutes after it was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
The launch is the “beginning of strategic cooperation between Iran and Russia in the space industry,” said Iran’s minister of communication and information technology, Eesa Zarepoor, who was present at the launch, Iran’s Tasnim News Agency reported.
High-resolution images taken by the satellite will be used for Iran’s environmental and agricultural sectors, Zarepoor said.
Washington and Jerusalem disagree.
The Associated Press reported last week that Iran will be able to wield the satellite to monitor Israel as well as the rest of the Middle East.
The West also fears that Russia will use the satellite to spy on Ukraine amid Moscow’s ongoing invasion of its neighbor, according to the Associated Press report, which was republished by the Washington Post.
The Iranian Space Agency (ISA) responded to the allegation in a statement on August 7 in which the ISA said the satellite will be controlled and operated by Iranian experts from Iranian bases.
“No third country is able to access the information” from the satellite, the ISA said, as quoted by Tasnim, calling the Western allegations “untrue.”
Even if the Iranian claims are true that Russia will not be using the satellite in its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Tehran did not counter the claim that it will be used against its archenemy, the Jewish state.
The satellite “is a real breakthrough,” Tal Inbar of the US-based Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance told the New York Times. “For the first time, an Iranian owns and operates a satellite with a high imaging resolution, much better than they had until now.
The high-image resolution images from the satellite will provide Tehran with “much more accurate intelligence information for military operations of their forces as well as for the organizations they support,” Inbar added.
Organizations that Iran supports in the region include Hezbollah, the terror army based in Lebanon, as well as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.
“This is a significant narrowing of the technological gap between Iran and Israel and the United States,” Inbar warned.
The satellite launch comes just under a month after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to his Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi, as well as Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khameini. It was Putin’s first international trip since his invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, and was intended to strengthen ties between the two severely Western-sanctioned nations.
A day before Moscow announced Putin’s trip, the White House said the Iranian government was preparing to equip Russia with several hundred drones for use in its invasion of Ukraine.
Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 11, 2022)
Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls/commons.wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
Pray that this satellite will not be used for any nefarious purposes. Cry out to the Lord that it simply will not function and any attempts to monitor Israel or spy on Ukraine will be unsuccessful. Beseech Him for an end to this dangerous alliance between Russia and Iran that presents a significant threat to Israel, the Middle East and beyond.
For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me. But You have saved us from our enemies, and have put to shame those who hated us.
Immigration from Russia, Ukraine Jumps amid Conflict, Data Show
by Yaron Druckman ~ Ynetnews
Thursday, 11 August 2022 | Since the outset of the Russo-Ukrainian war, the number of immigrants who made aliyah [immigration to Israel] from both countries jumped significantly, according to data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.
The report compared the latest figures with the same period in 2019, before two years of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent travel restrictions slashed immigration to Israel.
According to data, 31,066 people made aliyah from Russia and Ukraine combined since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces into its ex-Soviet neighbor. The figure stood at 9,744 in 2019.
The report reveals that in 2022, 12,175 out of all immigrants are from Ukraine, and 18,891 are from Russia. In the same period in 2019, 2,651 came from Ukraine and 7,123 came from Russia.
The number of Ukrainian immigrants during wartime soared to 12,175 new arrivals compared with 2,651 during the same period in 2019 while immigration from Russia more than doubled, going from 7,123 to 18,891 olim chadashim [new immigrants].
Half of Ukrainian immigrants arrived between the beginning of March and the beginning of April. Arrivals from Russia have surpassed their Ukrainian peers since end of April.
Most olim chadashim from Ukraine are women (63%) whereas immigration from Russia has seen an almost even split between men and women at 49.2% and 50.8%, respectively.
Among the 16-80 age group, women comprise 73.9% of all immigrants coming from Ukraine. The report ties this figure to a ban on fighting-age men from leaving the country during wartime.
Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Statistics also published immigration data for 2021, during which 25,497 people made aliyah, a 29.6% increase compared with 2020.
According to data, the lion’s share of last year’s immigration arrived from Russia (7,640 olim, constituting 30% of total immigration), followed by France (3,594, 14.1%), the United States, (3,480, 13.6%), Ukraine (3,059, 12%), and Belarus (1,014, 4%).
Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir
Praise God for the nation of Israel, a safe haven for Jewish people around the world who are suffering under repressive regimes or because of war or increasing anti-Semitism. Pray that Israel will go from strength to strength and continue to open its doors to Jews from every part of the world. Thank the Lord for the work that Bridges for Peace has been able to do in welcoming so many of these immigrants as they enter the land. Pray that Christians will maintain their generous giving so that we can continue to fulfill the mandate that God has given us to support the Jewish people, especially in their time of greatest need.
“For I am with you to save you and deliver you,” says the LORD. “I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.”
Editor's Note: Amid the surge of immigration from Russia and Ukraine, Bridges for Peace is working to ensure that people arriving from the war-torn region with little more than the clothes on their backs can get off to a fresh start. Donate to our Immigrant Welcome Gifts fund to help us bless new immigrants with basic necessities. They need to settle and feel welcomed in their new homes.
Herzog Calls Putin to Discuss Jewish Agency Closure
by Kate Norman
Wednesday, 10 August 2022 | Israeli President Isaac Herzog phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday to discuss Russia’s attempt to halt the Jewish Agency’s activities in its country, according to a statement by Herzog’s office.
“The presidents discussed Israeli–Russian bilateral relations, including the challenges of the Jewish people in the Diaspora [outside Israel],” the president’s spokesperson said. “In this context, President Herzog elaborated on the issue of the activities of the Jewish Agency in Russia.”
The Jewish Agency received a letter last month from the Russian Justice Ministry ordering it to halt all activity within the country, reportedly accusing the organization of illegally collecting information about Russian citizens.
The Jewish Agency is an autonomous organization that works closely with the Israeli government to encourage Diaspora Jews to make aliyah (immigration to Israel). The organization has been working in Russia since 1989. As it helps Russian Jews immigrate to Israel, the Jewish Agency collects information about their background to validate their Jewish heritage.
A second court hearing is scheduled for August 19, after a preliminary hearing was held on July 28 in Moscow.
An Israeli delegation comprising representatives from Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Prime Minister’s Office, Justice Ministry and Absorption Ministry visited Russia last month. They were instructed by Prime Minister Yair Lapid to “make every effort to exhaust the legal dialogue” as well as “high-level diplomatic dialogue” to keep the local Jewish Agency’s doors open.
The delegation made little headway, however, as Russia refused to even open negotiations by providing steps that Israel or the Jewish Agency could take to stop the impending closure.
The president’s spokesperson did not indicate whether any progress was made during yesterday’s phone call between the presidents.
“The phone call was frank and honest,” the statement said. “The two presidents emphasized the important areas of cooperation between Israel and Russia and agreed to remain in contact.”
“President Putin underscored his personal commitment to Holocaust commemoration and the fight against anti-Semitism,” Herzog’s spokesperson added.
Herzog made the phone call at Lapid’s request in coordination with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the statement concluded.
Lapid warned last month that the shuttering of the Jewish Agency’s offices in Russia could have “a serious impact” on relations between Jerusalem and Moscow.
Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 9, 2022)
Photo Credit: אלעד ברמי Elad Brami/commons.wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
Pray that Russian authorities will back down from their obvious intention to interrupt aliyah by closing the doors of the Jewish Agency in Russia which would have a serious impact on relations between Jerusalem and Moscow. Pray that the many Russian Jews who are waiting to make Israel their home will be able to do so and cry out to the Lord that the many critical areas of cooperation between the two countries will continue.
Save us, LORD our God, and gather us from the nations, to give thanks to Your holy name and glory in Your praise.
Chances of Reviving Iran Nuclear Deal Slim, Israeli Officials Say
by Itamar Eichner ~ Ynetnews
Wednesday, 10 August 2022 | Chances of world powers and Iran rejoining a 2015 agreement to curb Tehran’s nuclear program are very slim, Israeli officials told Ynet on Tuesday.
The European Union on Monday tabled what it called its “final” text to restore the tattered 2015 nuclear pact after four days of rigorous indirect negotiations between US and Iranian officials wrapped up in Vienna.
The sources said they were unfazed by the Europeans’ optimism.
“There was a momentary air of optimism, but it became clear very quickly this was artificial optimism whose aim was to pressure the Iranians into making a decision in hopes that they’ll accept the text as-is,” they said.
“There’s essentially no change; this is a platform whose goal is to facilitate a return to a deal, but there is no change of strategy on the Iranians’ part. They are not interested in accepting this deal and will struggle to return to an agreement that doesn’t improve the original conditions.”
While some high-ranking officials in Iran, including its foreign minister and the head of its National Security Council, support a return to the deal, others are reluctant to accept a deal that could be considered a failure or a concession in the eyes of the public. The latter group includes President Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and the parliament (Majles).
As far as Raisi is concerned, the current deal does not grant him enough freedom of action and he constantly expresses little interest in the West’s offers. Meanwhile, his subordinates are still trying to convince him to change his mind.
Raisi’s mind could still be swayed if the proponents of the deal manage to convince Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to embrace the proposal.
Be that as it may, the Europeans and the Americans believe that turning the screws on Tehran might yield the desired outcome.
“Israel is hoping that the superpowers will not allow the Iranians to continue dragging their feet and realize they are not moving toward an agreement,” the sources said while pointing to a change in attitude in the West with the dawning realization that Tehran is not interested in going back to an agreed framework.
“The pressures exerted on Iran lately are the outgrowth of cooperation between Israel and superpowers, and you can see the results of these actions are felt in Iran.”
Meanwhile, Jerusalem is preparing for three possible scenarios—a new deal, protracted talks, or a crisis.
Tehran’s intransigence is fueling a gradual shift in Washington’s approach on the issue.
It is still unclear what would happen once the European ultimatum expires as the Iranians are believed to be feigning interest in the negotiations to buy more time.
If talks end up falling through, Israel believes the US would impose further sanctions on the Iranians and enforce existing ones in order to increase pressure on Tehran.
One of the main sticking points remains Iran’s demand to remove the IRGC from the US Foreign Terrorist Organizations list, a demand which Tehran seems to have backed from since.
Photo Credit: Dragan Tatic/flickr.com
Photo License: Flickr
Pray for God’s wisdom to prevail as the world powers attempt to force Iran into rejoining the nuclear agreement, causing them to realize that Iran has no intention of moving toward an agreement but is only buying time. Pray that Israel will be prepared for any eventuality and will know exactly how and when to respond.
For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly.
UN Investigator Apologizes for Remarks Deemed Anti-Semitic
by Kate Norman
Friday, 5 August 2022 | The member of a United Nations committee investigating Israel apologized yesterday for remarks he made last month against the Jewish state that were deemed anti-Semitic.
Miloon Kothari serves with two other members on the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI), which investigates alleged human rights abuses in Israel.
Slapping back after what Kothari called attempts to “discredit” his committee, which was established by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Kothari said that COI is “very disheartened by the social media that is controlled largely by, whether it is the Jewish lobby or specific NGOs” in a July interview with anti-Israel website Mondoweiss.
Kothari went so far as to question why Israel is even a UN member state.
His comments sparked backlash from representatives from Israel, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union, according to a statement by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres demanding the disbanding of the COI and the removal of its three members, according to his office’s statement on Sunday. In his letter, he called Kothari’s remarks “reminiscent of the darkest days of modern history.”
Kothari responded with his own letter yesterday addressed to the president of the UNHRC, Federico Villegas.
“I wish to sincerely express my regret and unequivocally apologize for using the words ‘the Jewish lobby,’” Kothari wrote. “The offense I have caused by using these words has deeply distressed me.”
He went on to describe his statement as “completely wrong” as well as “incorrect, inappropriate and insensitive.”
“My intention was to denounce the relentless and vitriolic personal attacks against the members of the commission on social media and some publications, launched to delegitimize and undermine its work,” Kothari added.
As far as his questioning Israel’s status as a member of the UN, Kothari wrote in his letter: “At no place in the interview did I question the existence of the State of Israel. On the contrary, in several instances, during the media interview in question, I have defended the existence of the State of Israel.”
However, during the interview with Mondoweiss, Kothari actually said: “…I would go so far as to raise the question as why are they [Israel] even a member of the United Nations, because they don’t respect—the Israeli government does not respect its own obligations as a UN member state…”
Kothari’s apology was not received well by Israeli and Jewish leadership.
Israel’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Meirav Eilon Shahar, sent her own letter to UNHRC chief Villegas yesterday, calling Kothari’s letter “a transparent ploy to deflect the criticism he has come under…
“This dark episode of the Human Rights Council demonstrates the deeply-rooted prejudices held by the Commission of Inquiry and its Commissioners against Israel and the Jewish people,” Shahar wrote, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post.
Shahar added that this incident reiterates the problems “previously raised about this COI, which is composed of biased activists who were given an unlimited and unprecedented mandate to attack Israel.”
The COI is not the only such UNHRC-established committee to investigate a country of alleged human rights abuses, the Jerusalem Post reported. What sets the COI apart is that it is the only such committee to be operating without a deadline or expiration date.
Shahar reiterated Israel’s call for the COI to be disbanded and its three members to resign.
UN Watch [Human rights organization] also issued a statement yesterday rejecting Kothari’s apology, calling it an “attempt to whitewash his use of a notorious anti-Semitic trope that throughout history has sparked deadly pogroms and worse.”
The statement, issued by UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, added that Kothari “clinging to his post after he obliterated any semblance of the impartiality legally required for a UN investigator, shows that [he] is also without self-awareness or shame.”
Neuer added that Kothari “has disgraced and disqualified himself, and must leave immediately. The other commissioners, Navi Pillay and Chris Sidoti, who have expressed similarly toxic public statements, are no better. The entire commission, created last year at the behest of Pakistan and the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization], must be disbanded.”
Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 5, 2022)
Photo Credit: UN Photo/Jean Marc Ferré/flickr.com
Photo License: Flickr
Pray that the Commission of Inquiry will be recognized as the anti-Israel sham investigative committee that it is, made up of blatantly anti-Semitic activists. Pray that it will be disbanded immediately.
They sharpen their tongues like a snake; the venom of a viper is under their lips. Keep me, Lord, from the hands of the wicked.
How Israeli Software Helps Ukrainian Authorities Save Lives amid War
by Oshrit Gan-El ~ Ynetnews
Monday, 8 August 2022 | In an age of smart devices that have the ability to share a location or broadcast live from anywhere in the world in mere seconds, we all sometimes feel frustrated when encountering service providers that still offer analog service only.
Founder and CEO of Carbyne, Amir Elichai, a few years ago was caught in precisely a situation where an efficient and fast response was crucial but unavailable.
“A few years ago, I went through a robbery attempt at the beach in Tel Aviv. It was the first time in my life that I called the police, which turned out to be a terrible experience,” Elichai said. “They didn’t know exactly where I was, who I was, what was going on around me. It’s the 21st century, and emergency services are still operating like this.”
The lack of proper communication he encountered made it difficult for him to explain his exact location or to provide information about his whereabouts quickly, causing a delay and preventing him from receiving proper assistance.
Following that incident, Elichai decided to establish Carbyne, a cloud-based company that develops technological tools in the field of emergency services and public safety, with the aim of improving the way people communicate with emergency service providers around the world.
“We develop tools that allow emergency services to receive vast information from citizens—including real-time location, video, photos, and texts—in cases when someone can’t speak out loud, such as incidents of domestic violence.”
Carbyne was founded in 2015, and has raised over US $100 million in investment. It operates in three offices worldwide, including the headquarters in New York and a development center in Israel, and over 400 million people worldwide have access to its services. It provides services in 21 states in the United States, in Mexico, and works with various organizations in Israel.
At the onset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the company began operating at a national level, with the aim of helping the civilians who were under attack.
“We had been in contact with the police in Ukraine long before the war broke out,” Elichai said. “We tried to make our systems accessible in the country and we conducted several pilots. When the war broke out, I wrote to the assistant of the Ukrainian deputy prime minister and said we would be happy to help during the war at no charge. They were very happy and jumped on board quickly,” he said.
“Ukraine has limited resources and capabilities. It’s also a very large country, which makes it difficult to get a real-time assessment of the situation sometimes, so ability we provide them information to figure out where to send troops and how to help civilians is critical,” Elichai added.
The installation of the Carbyne systems in Ukraine happened just one week after the Russian invasion. “We did instruction courses remotely, with the help of workers from our development center in Ukraine. So, two weeks after the start of the war, everything was working and fully operational. We extended our system to 22 locations across Ukraine, and all the information about Russian missile strikes, destroyed buildings, and the wounded was coming from civilians in the area to our central control center in Kyiv.”
With all that data, using the software, a situational image could be created and a daily report of damages, injuries, and how to allocate resources could be created. Since it became operational, millions of calls and reports have passed through the Carbyne system.
“Most of the incidents are reports of missile strikes hitting buildings. There was an incident where a family was stuck in a damaged building and had to be rescued, but it was difficult to determine where they were exactly. The capability of people near the building to broadcast a video feed to the rescue forces helped to figure out which floor they were on and extract them,” Elichai said.
“In cases where people who are trapped turn to the police, the software has the ability to pinpoint their height, and whether they are above or below the surface. There was also a case in which a factory was bombed, and it was difficult to locate the building because it was outside residential areas, and our technology helped to save lives.”
In addition to the initial implementation and training on the use of the technology, the company continues to maintain constant contact with the authorities in Ukraine. “We make calls every two weeks, figure out what else they need, and we think the system could help a lot even after the war. When people will return to their homes and start the recovery process. Damage reports could help figure out how to allocate the resources for the repairs,” Elichai explained.
Besides the activity in Ukraine, the company also enjoyed great success in other parts of the world. In the United States, sending real-time locations resulted in the rescue of a 13-year-old girl who was kidnapped and put in a trunk, while the vehicle was on the move. And in India, paramedics gave video training to men, whose wives gave birth at home due to living far away from the hospital, or because of their fear to arrive at one during the coronavirus outbreak.
Photo Credit: Dsns.gov.ua/commons.wikimedia
Photo License: Wikimedia
Praise the Lord for yet another remarkable invention developed by Israelis to help emergency services and ultimately to save lives. Thank Him that Carbyne is having a positive impact in Ukraine as it assists emergency services and individuals that are under attack by Russian forces.
…in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Commercial Flight to Israel Crosses Saudi Airspace for First Time since Riyadh Opened Skies
Friday, 5 August 2022 | A Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv on Thursday became the first commercial plane to traverse Saudi airspace en route to Israel since the kingdom fully opened its skies to airlines in July, local media reported.
Riyadh announced last month that it would open its airspace to “all carriers,” paving the way for airlines, including Israeli ones, to overfly the kingdom and thereby drastically reduce flight times to and from the Jewish state to major destinations in Asia.
At the time, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation released a statement saying: “Within the framework of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s keenness to fulfill its obligations under the Chicago Convention of 1944, which stipulates non-discrimination between civil aircraft used in international air navigation, and to complement the efforts aimed at consolidating the Kingdom’s position as a global hub connecting three continents and to enhance international air connectivity, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announces the decision to open the Kingdom’s airspace for all air carriers that meet the requirements of the Authority for overflying.”
A flight-tracking service showed that the Cathay Pacific plane on Thursday flew over the United Arab Emirates and the Persian Gulf before crossing the Saudi coast near the city of Dammam, according to reports. The aircraft then passed over northern Saudi Arabia and Jordan, entering Israeli territory over the Dead Sea.
Another Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv earlier this week took a different route, reports said, instead flying northwest over China, Kazakhstan and Turkey, and entering Israeli airspace from the Mediterranean Sea.
Saudi Arabia had previously granted special approval for some flights from India and the United Arab Emirates to cross into its airspace en route to the Jewish state, according to media reports.
Israel’s national airline, El Al, is reportedly expected to receive final approval within the week to begin using Riyadh’s airspace.
Saudi officials are also expected to approve direct flights from Israel to Mecca, which will allow Israeli Muslims to more easily make the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Until now, Muslim worshippers had to embark on a lengthy bus ride from Israel to Jordan before boarding a flight to Mecca.
Source: (This article was originally published by Jewish News Syndicate on August 4, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Kentaro Lemoto via Wikimedia Commons/jns.org
Thank the Lord that Saudi Arabian skies are beginning to open to flights to and from Israel. Pray that El Al will indeed receive the go ahead to use Saudi airspace and pray that this important relationship will continue to develop.
The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
The Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream War Continues
Monday, 8 August 2022 | Only days after revealing that attempts to find an out-of-court resolution to the lawsuit filed by the independent board of ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s against its parent company Unilever, the board revealed that Unilever froze its directors’ salaries in July to pressure them during the mediation efforts.
First reported by Reuters, the revelation is the latest chapter in the spat between the multinational conglomerate and the Burlington, Vt.-based ice cream maker known for its far-left social values and support for BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions].
The problem began last summer when Ben & Jerry’s announced that it had cut ties with its Israeli distributor, American Quality Product Ltd.—run by Israeli businessman Avi Zinger—which had been the sole distributor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel and Judea and Samaria for decades.
The independent board had asked Zinger to stop distributing the desserts in Judea and Samaria, but Zinger replied that it was against Israeli law to discriminate against Judea and Samaria by not providing them with the ice cream like in other parts of Israel.
Zinger sued Unilever as a result of the broken contract and for Ben & Jerry’s attempts to compel him to break Israeli law.
In late June, Unilever settled with Zinger by condemning BDS as anti-Semitism and giving Zinger’s company complete control to manufacture and distribute Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel.
Unilever claimed that the sale agreement was made in accordance with its acquisition contract of Ben & Jerry’s in 2000 in which Unilever controls the company’s financial and operational decisions while the independent board of Ben & Jerry’s was allowed to continue making decisions about the company’s social mission.
After Unilever’s settlement, Ben & Jerry’s board sued its parent company on July 5, seeking to prevent the sale. It justified its lawsuit by claiming that the production and sale of Ben & Jerry’s in Judea and Samaria were “inconsistent” with its values.
“This decision for us to go to court is because of Unilever’s sale without our input, which is a clear violation of the letter and the spirit of our original acquisition agreement with Unilever,” Ben & Jerry’s board chair Anuradha Mittal said in an interview with Reuters. “If Unilever is willing to so blatantly violate the agreement that has governed the parties’ conduct for over two decades, then we believe it won’t stop with this issue.”
“If left unaddressed, Unilever’s actions will undermine our social mission and essential integrity of the brand, which threatens our reputation and ultimately our business as a whole,” she added.
A hearing for Ben & Jerry’s lawsuit against Unilever is slated for Aug. 8.
Source: (This article was originally published by Jewish News Syndicate on August 4, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Joshua Small Photographer/Shutterstock/jns.org
Pray that Ben & Jerry’s board chairwoman Anuradha Mittal, who is a left-wing anti-Israel activist, will not be successful in her attempts to enforce BDS in this situation. Pray that Unilever will prevail, that Ari Zinger will be able to continue distributing ice cream throughout the country, and BDS will be dealt another blow.
When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers
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