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Israel Plans to Plant its Flag on the Moon

By DEBKAfile, VOA News. JTA and World Israel News Israel's SpaceIL with Israeli Aerospace Industries plan to launch Israel's first unmanned moon mission from Florida in December via SpaceX rocket. The craft is scheduled to land February 13, which would make Israel the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon. The overall cost of the project is estimated to be around $95 million. The craft, which is shaped like a round table with four carbon fiber legs, is set to blast off in December from Florida's Cape Canaveral aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, said Ido Anteby, chief executive of the SpaceIL nonprofit. It aims to transmit pictures and videos back to Earth over two days after it lands on Feb. 13, as well as measuring magnetic fields. "Our spacecraft will be the smallest ever to land on the moon," said Anteby. Since 1966, the United States and the former Soviet Union have put around 12 unmanned spacecraft on the moon using braking power to perform "soft" landings, and China did so in 2013. The craft, unveiled at state-owned defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries, stands about 1.5 meters high and weighs 585 kg (1,290 lb). The spacecraft has four carbon fiber legs, and fuel takes up two-thirds of its weight. At 60,000 km (37,000 miles) above Earth, the spacecraft will deploy. It will orbit Earth in expanding ellipses and, about two months later, cross into the moon's orbit. It will then slow and carry out a soft landing causing no damage to the craft. "The landing is the most complicated part. The spot chosen is relatively flat and the spacecraft has eye contact with Earth for communication," Anteby said. "From the moment the spacecraft reaches the point that it begins the landing, it will handle it totally autonomously." SpaceIL is backed mainly by private donors, including U.S. casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and billionaire Morris Kahn who co-founded Amdocs, one of Israel's biggest high-tech companies. "It's a small, smart spaceship," said SpaceIL CEO Dr. Ido Anteby. "Most of its weight is fuel, and when it lands it will [only] weigh 180 kg. It will be in contact with ground stations all over the world; we'll be in radio contact with it throughout its trip." Its first task will be to plant an Israeli flag on the surface and then take still pictures and video. It is expected that the "mission" will wrap up in a mere two days. The organization's aim, besides making history by landing its craft, is "to inspire a generation along the way," as noted on its website. They describe it as "a national mission" to use their story to create an "educational impact," not only for Israeli schoolchildren but students everywhere. To date, 50,000 children have been reached by SpaceIL volunteers in classrooms around the world. Israel Aerospace Industries and the nonprofit SpaceIL announced Tuesday that they plan a December launch from Cape Canaveral to land on the moon on Feb. 13. The landing would culminate eight years of collaboration on the $88 million project.

Private donations mostly paid for the project, including from the American businessman and Jewish philanthropist Sheldon Adelson. SpaceIL's president, Morris Kahn, has provided about $27 million.

Iran's Regional Proxies 'Awaiting Orders to ?Eradicate Evil Israel'

By Israel Hayom

Hizbullah, Iran's proxy in the Middle East, is a ??"mighty power" with an arsenal of over ??100,000 ?missiles aimed at Israel, Revolutionary Guard Corps ?Deputy Commander Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami said in a ?recent speech. ? According to the Middle East Media Research ?Institute, Salami used recent Qods [Jerusalem] Day ?events in Iran to explain the rationale for ?destroying the State of Israel in Islamic ?revolutionary thought, saying, "We are creating ?might in Lebanon – because we want to fight the ?enemy from there with all our strength."? Hizbullah is a powerful player in Lebanese politics. ?The Shiite terrorist group is also doing Iran's ?bidding in Syria, where its forces are fighting ?alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad's army in ?the waning civil war. ? Salami also named "the Islamic army in Syria" as an ?instrument Iran plans to use against Israel on the ?Golan Heights, where Syria and Israel share a ?border. ?He further claimed that Iran has armed the ?Palestinians with missiles, saying that all of ?Iran's regional allies were "awaiting orders to ?eradicate the evil regime. ? "Seventy years have passed since the policy of ?England and America planted in the Islamic world an ?accursed and criminal tree [Israel]. For 70 years, ?this poisoned dagger has been embedded in the body ?of the Islamic nation, and all the problems of the ?Islamic world stem from the existence of the false, ?counterfeit, historically rootless, and identity-less regime named Israel," Salami asserted.? "Israel has caused the Palestinian nation to be ?stripped of a homeland and to roam here and there, ?subject to serious aggression. … This historic and ?ongoing crime is being carried out before the eyes ?of the world. This is the most obvious sign of the ?crimes of America, Israel, and England in human ?history.? "In addition to the threat to Palestine's existence, ?the Zionist regime constitutes a threat as well to ?the entire Islamic world. That is the philosophy of ?the establishment of this regime," he explained. ??"America, thousands of miles away, and behind ?oceans, transferred its geographical, political, and ?security territory to an Islamic land, in order to ?create a secure political and military bridge and ?also to create an ammunition storehouse [for it]. ??[Israel] brings the range of America's missiles ?against the Islamic world 12,000 kilometers [7,500 ?miles] closer, and becomes a tool for imposing ?America's policy against the Islamic world," he was ?quoted by Memri as saying.? "In 1948, 1956, 1973, and 1982, America supported ?this regime against the Arabs, who did not manage to ?triumph, and despair prevailed in the Arab world, ?until the light of pride appeared in the world and ?the imam [Ruhollah Khomeini] transformed the heart ?of Iran with the great [Islamic] Revolution, [and ?set] a new power against the evil of the arrogance ??[U.S.], against the supporters of the Zionist ?regime, and against this regime itself.? ?"The imam [Khomeini] spread the rationale of ?eradicating Israel as a new notion in the world's ?political discourse. Thus, Palestine renewed its ?soul and came alive," Salami declared.? "Since then, the Zionist regime is fearful, ?delusional, and worried. After [Khomeini], Supreme ?Leader [Ali] Khamenei united the Islamic world, ?supported the jihad groups, and thus launched fear ?upon the occupied lands. Since then, the Zionists ?have not succeeded in triumphing over the Muslims in ?any war." ? Iran, he said, has "not allowed the Zionist regime ?to spread politically in the Islamic world, and ?stood against the dangers of this regime. Thus, ?America suffered a great defeat in its Middle East ?scheme. The Islamic Revolution created a mighty ?power called Hizbullah, which today, as the Zionist ?regime itself acknowledges, has over 100,000 ?missiles ready for launch. Hizbullah has tremendous ?might on the ground that can on its own break the ?Zionist regime."? Iran "invites the Muslims to jihad. … Young Muslims ?who care are proud of fighting the Zionists, the ?Americans, and their allies, and becoming a martyr ?is an honor for them. This is our main might.? The more time passes, the weaker this [Zionist] ?regime and its allies become [and] the enemies of ?the Zionist regime became stronger. Against them, ?the Zionists are paralyzed," he proclaimed.? ?"I say to the Zionists that the Americans' coming to ?your rescue is like an ambulance coming after the ?patient has already died. You must submit to [your] ?sealed fate."? The Islamic republic, he said, has "a duty to defend ?the Palestine movement that is now fighting ??[Israel]. We must squeeze the throats of the enemies ?from afar. We must give them no chance to come near ?us, or to focus on us. We are monitoring them from ?afar, and grabbing them by the throat in other ?places. ? "We and the Islamic world are all in the same boat, ?and our security is interconnected. We are defending ?Syria because this is in defense of the oppressed as ?well as defense of Iran. We are creating might in ?Lebanon because we want to fight our enemy from ?there with all our strength.? ?"The enemy is spread throughout the Islamic world, ?and the uniform of jihad is an honor for Muslims," ?Salami said.

Report: More than 2 Million Israelis Defenseless in Case of ?Missile Attack

By Israel Hayom

Over 2 million Israelis will be left defenseless in ?case of a missile attack, a new report by State ?Comptroller Yosef Shapira warned. The report surveyed the war readiness of local ?authorities in Israel and found that 26% of Israelis ??– over 2 million people – have no access to private ?or public bomb shelters.? Homefront Command data included in the report showed ?that 39% of Israelis have access to private bomb ??shelters in the form of a fortified room in their ?home. Another 35% have access to a public bomb ?shelter in their building or their neighborhood. ?The comptroller's audit, performed between August ?and November 2017, reviewed the availability and ?maintenance of bomb shelters in various Jewish and ?non-Jewish municipalities.?

The review was carried out via visits by State ?Comptroller's Office inspectors, who also met with ?local security officers and city officials ?responsible for emergency readiness, and gathered ?the relevant documents. ? Supplementary reviews were carried out by the ?Homefront Command, the Interior Ministry's Emergency ?Services Administration, and the security ?departments at the Education and Finance ministries.? The review concluded that as of late 2017, at least ??20 non-Jewish local and regional councils – 24% of ?municipalities in the sector – fell short of ?properly mapping public shelters in their ?jurisdiction.? The report further found that 38% of students in the ?non-Jewish sector lacked proper shelters in their ?schools, some of which were devoid of bomb shelters ?altogether. ?Many Israeli municipalities also fail to properly ?maintain public shelters, the report said.?

Muslim Democratic Congressional Candidate Calls Israel `Apartheid Regime'


A Somali-American congressional candidate running for the Democratic nomination in Minnesota called Israel "the apartheid Israeli regime." Ilhan Omar's tweet came in response to accusations that a tweet she wrote in 2012, accusing Israel of "evil doings," amounts to anti-Semitism. In an interview with ABC News for a segment titled "Progressive Democrats increasingly criticize Israel, and could reap political rewards," Omar rejected accusations of anti-Semitism by conservative critics. "These accusations are without merit," the Minnesota state representative said. "They are rooted in bigotry toward a belief about what Muslims are stereotyped to believe." Earlier she had tweeted a response to a critic who had accused her of anti-Semitism: "Drawing attention to the apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews. You are a hateful sad man, I pray to Allah you get the help you need and find happiness." She added, sarcastically: "Well you know, if a Muslim says something negative about Israeli government, they must hate Jews. Didn't you get that memo?" Omar, who is among several Muslim women in the U.S. running for Congress, wrote in a tweet in November 2012 that "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine #Israel"

Letter by Martin Luther Calling Jews `Devils Incarnate' is Up for Auction

By the Jerusalem Post

A letter written by German theologian Martin Luther that is critical of the Jews is up for sale at an auction house in Boston. RR Auction is selling the letter dated Sept. 1, 1543, and written in German to fellow German theologian Georg Buchholzer. "You have preached against the Jews and fought serious battles over that with the Margrave….And you were quite right to do so," Luther wrote in the letter, according to the translation provided by the auction house. "Stand fast and persevere!...For these Jews are not Jews, but devils incarnate who curse our Lord, who abuse His mother as a whore and Him as Hebel Vorik and a bastard, this is known for certain... You may show this letter to whomever you wish." Luther, a leading figure in the Protestant Reformation, is referencing the Hebrew words "hevel varik," found in the Jewish prayer Aleinu: "They [non-Jews] worship vanity and emptiness." Bidding on the letter began at $25,000, and stood at $94,948 as of Tuesday afternoon. The auction house estimates the item could be sold for more than $300,000 before bidding closes on Wednesday evening. The handwritten letter is being auctioned off along with more than 1,000 other items, including a 1954 letter from Albert Einstein comparing McCarthyism in the United States to the beginnings of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Other letters in the lot are written by George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi and many others.

French Jewish Family Told to Remove Mezuzah Outside Apartment


The company that manages an apartment complex in France has ordered a Jewish family to remove a mezuzah from the doorframe. The Foncière Bergé Corp. cited its regulations last week in a letter to the Saada family in Montpelier, in southern France, according to what appears to be a copy published on Twitter. During a July 5 inspection of the company's real estate, "a mezuzah was encountered on your doorframe," Fabienne Nourigat of its rental department wrote to the family in a letter dated July 6. "We remind you that no personal object may be presented in public areas and request you move the mezuzah inside your accommodation. Thank you for your understanding." The Eretz news website pointed out that apartments in the same building have doormats on the external side of the door and the occupants have not been requested to remove them. Jewish religious law and customs require that mezuzahs be affixed to doorframes on the portal's external side, according to Rabbi Shmuel Shapira of the Israel-based Tzohar Orthodox rabbinical group and others. Foncière Bergé did not immediately respond to JTA's request for comment.

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