Newsletter : 18fx0830.txt
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Netanyahu: Amazing Rapprochement Ongoing Between Israel and Arab Countries
By Reuters & YnetNews.com
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
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
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
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
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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