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Netanyahu: Amazing Rapprochement Ongoing Between Israel and Arab Countries

By Reuters &

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday renamed the Dimona nuclear center for the late president Shimon Peres for his role as a co-founder of Israel's nuclear reactor center. In his speech, he cited the "amazing process underway of rapprochement between Israel and Arab nations, which no one had dreamed of just a few years ago." He added that those "who threaten us with extinction are destined to bring this fate upon themselves." The prime minister credited Peres, his predecessor and a Nobel Peace laureate, with setting up the nuclear reactor in the 1950s as part of a vision of "normalization between core countries in the Arab world and the State of Israel." Speaking at renaming ceremony of the Negev Nuclear Research Center, Netanyahu said: "Anyone who tries to harm us will be harmed." Referring to the Iran-Syria deal, he said: "We are determined to prevent Iran's military buildup in Syria, no agreement will deter us." Netanyahu warned the country's enemies that Israel has the means to destroy them, in what appeared to be a veiled reference to the country's assumed nuclear arsenal. "Those who threaten to wipe us out, put themselves in similar danger, and in any event will not achieve their goal…Our enemies know very well what Israel is capable of, they know our policy, and The prime minister stressed the necessity for Israel to stand strong in the face of its enemies: "In the Middle East, and in many parts of the world, there is a simple truth: there is no place for the weak. The weak are collapsing, slaughtered, erased from history; and the strong, for better or for worse, are the ones who survive. The strong are respected, the strong enter into alliances, and ultimately the strong make peace." Netanyahu also referred to the agreement between Iran and Syria saying, "The IDF will continue acting with full determination and with full might against Iran's attempts to station forces and advanced weapons systems in Syria, and no agreement between Syria and Iran will deter us, nor will any threat frighten us." "We are working to prevent Iran's military buildup in Syria. We will not let go of this goal, just as we did not let go of the effort to bring about the cancellation of the nuclear agreement with Iran, which was perceived as impossible when I first placed it on the international agenda a few years ago," he added. Israel has carried out scores of attacks against suspected Iranian and Hizbullah emplacements or arms transfers in Syria, while Russia, Damascus's big-power backer, and has turned a blind eye. The prime minister also discussed the deepening relations with the moderate Arab states: "The process of normalization of major Arab countries with the strong State of Israel is happening before our very eyes, on a scale that would have been impossible to imagine just a few years ago; a process that will hopefully result in peace. But it is impossible to deny the fact that there remain many enemies in this region and beyond. "I am not merely using empty slogans; I am describing a consistent, clear and determined policy. This is our strategy, and it is backed up with appropriate preparation and ready for the moment an order is issued," Netanyahu concluded.

Iran Claims It Recruited Minister from `Hostile Government,' Possibly Referring to Israel

By World Israel News

Iran recruited a cabinet member of "hostile government" as an agent, Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said, Iranian media reported Tuesday. "Thank God, the Intelligence Ministry's Anti-Espionage Unit is one of the strongest units of the ministry and one of the strongest in intelligence services in the world," Alavi told the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on Tuesday night. "A while ago, you heard that we had (recruited) a member of the cabinet of a hostile country." While Alavi did not specifically state which country, Iranian media outlets are speculating that he was referring to Israel and noted that his comments came four months after the arrest of former Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Gonen Segev, who is currently facing charges of acting as an Iranian agent. In June, the Shin Bet (Israel's Security Agency) announced it had arrested Segev a month earlier and that the former minister was being charged with aiding the enemy in time of war and espionage against the state of Israel. The Shin Bet said its investigation revealed that Segev was recruited by Iranian intelligence which had contacted him via the Iranian embassy in Nigeria. Segev reportedly traveled to Iran to meet with his handlers and, according to the statement, also met with them in safe houses and hotels at unspecified locations where he received encryption equipment to communicate with the Iranian agents. Segev gave his handlers information about Israel's energy sector and security installations as well as diplomatic and security officials. The Shin Bet said Segev had tried to dupe Israelis with connections to fields of interest to the Iranians into meeting with intelligence agents whom he presented as businessmen. All further details about the case have been placed under a gag order. He was extradited to Israel in May from Equatorial Guinea after the central African country refused to let him in due to his criminal past. The former pediatrician and member of the Tzomet Party during the 1990s served a five-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2005 of attempting to smuggle thousands of ecstasy tablets into Israel. The trial on his espionage charges commenced in July. Prosecutor Geula Cohen of the Jerusalem District Attorney's Office stated that "this is a serious affair, when a former minister spies for an enemy state, a country at the top of the list of enemies, it is hard to ignore the severity of the acts."

Pew Study: Nearly Half of US Jews Don't Identify with Organized Religion


Nearly half of U.S. Jews do not identify with an organized religion, a new study by the Pew Research Center finds. More than one in five, however, are considered "Sunday stalwarts" (or Saturday): those who "actively practice their faith, but they also are deeply involved in their religious congregations." The study published Wednesday defines how people practice their religion. It only includes Jews who define their religion as Judaism, or "Jews by religion." Conducted last December, the study of more than 4,700 respondents has a margin of error of 2.3%.

Among the seven categories, 45% of American Jews are listed in the two for the least religious: "religion resisters," who believe in a higher power but have negative views of organized religion, or "solidly secular," those who don't believe in God and do not self-define as religious. The breakdown is 28% as "solidly secular" and 17% as "religion resisters." On the other end of the spectrum, 21% of Jews are "Sunday stalwarts." Eight percent are "God-and-country believers," who express their religion through political and social conservatism, and 5% are "diversely devout," who follow the Bible but also believe in things like animism and reincarnation. The somewhat religious are defined as either "relaxed religious" (14%), those who believe in God and pray but don't engage in many traditional practices, or "spiritually awake" (8%), those who hold New Age beliefs and believe in heaven and hell. Americans as a whole are more or less evenly divided among the seven groups. The largest three groups are "Sunday stalwarts," "relaxed religious" and "solidly secular" at 17% each. The smallest are "God-and-country believers" and "religion resisters" at 12% each. "Jewish Americans are the only religious group with substantial contingents at each end of the typology," the study says.

American Students Go Back to School with Israeli Bulletproof Backpacks

By the Jerusalem Post

As students head back to school, many parents have stocked up on the usual pens and notebooks for their children. Hundreds of others, though, have bought their children something different for the classroom: a made-in-Israel bulletproof backpack. With at least 28 school shootings in the United States in 2018 alone, a recent poll by PDK Poll of the Public's Attitudes toward the Public Schools found that 34% of parents fear for their children's physical safety at school. While it is not a significantly high number, it is almost triple the number of parents from 2013, when only 12% of parents said they were fearful. Schools across the United States have introduced new safety protocols, new preventive technology, and have even floated the idea of arming teachers in classrooms. The violence has also led to a surge in the number of companies selling products designed to help protect students against active shooters, with more than half a dozen manufacturers producing them and selling them at major retailers, such as Walmart and Office Depot, which are carrying them at prices ranging from $130 to $400. One Israeli company has already sold hundreds of its Switchblade backpack during its first two weeks on the market. "As soon as it hit the market it started selling like crazy. We already have so many orders for adults and by parents who buy for their kids," he said of the bag which sells for $497 by The Self Defense Company and Israel Catalogue.

Designed like an ordinary backpack, the Switchblade provides the wearer with protection for the back, and a ripcord releases a protective bulletproof vest to slide over the wearer's head for frontal protection. The bag, which is made of Twaron ballistic material, weighs between 5.7 pounds (2.6 kg.) without hard plates (level 3A protection, to stop traditional pistol rounds and a .357 Magnum) and 11.2 pounds (5.1 kg.) with the ballistic plates (level 3, to stop six .308 rifle bullets). According to Geva, the level 3A protective plates protect against all types of small arms, including 9 mm. and .44 Magnum. The backpack can also carry additional plates which would allow the wearer to be protected from rifles and other arms up to AK-47 protection, he told the Post. "It's a unique product in its quality and has an easy-to-use interface," Geva said of the bag, which can be used both by teenagers and adults. Though the product is not yet designed for elementary school-aged children, the next version will probably be more child-friendly, Geva said. "It's more challenging, but we already have bulletproof vests for children, so we have the experience," he said.

Who Were the Jews of the Titanic?

Last weekend, the pocket watch of Sinai Kantor, a Jew who was on the Titanic when it sank, was sold at auction. The watch includes Hebrew letters and an engraving of Moses with the Ten Commandments. On the occasion of the auctioning of the special watch, Arutz Sheva spoke with Eli Moskowitz, author of "The Jews of the Titanic," who explained who these Jews were and what exactly they were doing on the legendary ship. To "introduce" the Jews of the Titanic in general in addition to Sinai Kantor, the owner of the watch in question, Moskowitz gave a brief background of the events of the period. "The Titanic sank in 1912, but already fifty years before, the Jews suffered pogroms and anti-Semitism mainly in Eastern Europe, and waves of immigration began from the Russian Empire to Western Europe, mainly England and France - and at some point, to the United States, as well." "The period between 1880 and 1921 was called the period of the great immigration of European Jews to the US. More than two million Jews fled from anti-Semitism, pogroms and forced conscription into the Russian army and arrived in the United States - and there were also dozens of such Jews on the Titanic. "There were 2,228 people on board the ship, and the ship was not fully occupied, which could have included more than 3,000 people," Moskowitz continued. "The ship had a first class for the richest, a second class of various professions, and another class of ordinary people, the poorer. "On the ship were multi-millionaires, some of whom drowned, and some of whom were saved. Among the Jews, the second wealthiest person on board the ship was the Jew Benjamin Gogelheim, and he also drowned and was killed." Moskowitz's words indicate that, contrary to what is commonly assumed, the ship was not only used for the enjoyment of the very richest. "Some of those on board were wealthy, such as Isidore Strauss, who was returning with his wife from a vacation in Europe to the United States, but there were also poor people who bought a one-way ticket to escape the pogroms." Out of these poorer travelers "There are about 80 names of people who were for certain Jews, but my research indicates that there were even more Jews because some sailed under false names because they had fled and forged documents. We cannot know the names of the Jews who were on the Titanic. Many of them died anonymously, and we will not know their real names. " As for Sinai Kantor himself, "He belonged to the second class on the ship. He and his wife Miriam were involved in the medical field and wanted to study medicine in the United States. They sailed together from Eastern Europe. From the findings we have of him, even before the watch was known about, it is known that they were religiously observant of Judaism. His body was found and he is buried in a Jewish cemetery in New York. There is Hebrew on the gravestone, which indicates his level of Jewish piety. Not all the Jews who drowned in the Titanic were buried in Jewish cemeteries. "His wife survived when she entered the No. 12 lifeboat at about 1:30 a.m. She came to the United States with language difficulties, and people helped her. She received funding from the Red Cross and other charitable organizations and received a scholarship to complete the dream of medical education." As for the watch itself, Moskowitz said, "I knew about the existence of the watch because every body that was found was recorded before it was buried. There was a list of what he wore and what was found on him, the condition of his teeth, hair, etc. He had personal documents, a telescope and a watch. I noted this in the book without giving special attention to the watch, but now I read an explosive headline that the watch was in the depths of the ocean, but this is not correct. The watch did not sink. It was found on the body, which floated. The body was brought to Canada and from there to New York, where his wife was. The watch was in the family's possession all these years and, for an unknown reason, they decided to sell it now."

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