Newsletter : 19fx0107.txt
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Two Israeli Air Strikes against Hamas for Incendiary Balloons
By World Israel News & JTA
Israeli fighters struck two Hamas positions in northern and southern Gaza Sunday night
after a cluster of balloons carried an explosive device onto a field in the Sedot Negev
Regional Council. It exploded while being dismantled by a police robot. Local sources
report that Hamas has begun evacuating its military compounds.
The explosives detonated early Sunday afternoon as a military bomb disposal robot
inspected the model airplane, which bore the name of a Gazan engineering college on its
side. The bomb was flown into Israel using a large cluster of balloons and a drone-like
glider device, landing in a carrot field in the Sedot Negev region of southern Israel
shortly before noon.
In retaliation for the cross-border attack from Gaza, Israeli military helicopters struck
two Hamas positions east of the city of Khan Younis, according to the IDF. Palestinian
media reported that Israel also attacked targets near Jabalia, in northern Gaza, and in
the Zeitoun area of Gaza City, in the center of the strip. The IDF refused to comment on
the Palestinian reports.
There was no clear charge that Hamas had launched the balloons into Israel, but the
longstanding Israeli policy is that because Hamas rules in the coastal enclave, it bears
ultimate responsibility for any such attack.
The bouquet of dozens of colorful balloons was reminiscent of a birthday celebration, the
IDF noted in a tweet. It said that they were "flown from Gaza into Israel by Hamas, with
the intention of killing innocent Israelis."
Bolton: US to Stay in Syria, Warns Assad against Using Chemical Weapons
By Israel Hayom & the Jerusalem Post
National Security Adviser John Bolton raised US concerns on Sunday with Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu over China's creeping role in Israel's critical infrastructure,
particularly its upcoming management of Haifa Port, a frequent dock for the US Sixth
White House officials confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that Bolton raised the Haifa matter.
The Post exclusively reported last month that the US Navy might change its longstanding
operations there once the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) a company in
which the Chinese government has a majority stake takes over the city's civilian
port in 2021.
Senior Israeli officials have recently told the Post that they are aware of Washington's
concerns and are working to address them. "The State of Israel is dealing with all aspects
connected to the establishment and management of infrastructure by foreign companies in
Israel," Intelligence and Transportation Minister Israel Katz, who pioneered the project
and is also a member of the security cabinet, said.
Israeli officials have also confirmed that the government is reviewing how to ensure that
Chinese construction and management of the port does not adversely impact ties with the
US. The Americans are said to be concerned that China will use the port to improve its
standing in the Middle East and potentially gather intelligence on US interests.
The Israeli security cabinet recently convened to discuss friction with the Trump
administration over the port and agreed to set up a mechanism to prevent possible problems
with the Americans. Israeli officials did not immediately confirm whether Netanyahu
presented this mechanism to Bolton on Sunday, or whether it would assuage US concerns.
Commander Kyle Raines from the Sixth Fleet said last month there were currently no changes
to operations in Israel. But "I can't speculate on what might or might not occur in 2021,"
he added, asked whether China's coming presence might affect fleet operations in the
SIPG operated the largest port in the world in Shanghai and was the sole bidder for the
Haifa project. It plans on growing the bay terminal into Israel's largest harbor over the
life of its 25-year contract with the government.
The two also discussed the fight against Iran and their countries' respective new footing
ahead of the planned withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria. A senior U.S. official in
Bolton's team told NBC News over the weekend that despite Trump's declaration that the
withdrawal would be total, an American contingent could stay behind in Syria in the months
following the pullout.
The official also said the U.S. did not have a specific timetable for the planned
withdrawal, despite reports last week that it would take place throughout four months.
Similar comments were also made by U.S. State Department officials, who said the pullout
would be implemented in a manner that we and our partners "continue the pressure on ISIS
and don't leave behind a vacuum for the terrorists."
Regardless of a timeline for the removal of U.S. forces, the official in Bolton's
delegation added that some of the troops leaving Syria would be sent to Iraq. As for the
forces that will perhaps stay behind, it's highly likely those will include the several
hundred soldiers stationed at Al-Tanf, located on the strategic highway connecting Tehran
with Baghdad and Damascus.
Netanyahu also spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday night. The two
leaders discussed the situation in Syria and the airstrike attributed to Israel almost two
weeks ago. According to the Prime Minister's Office, Netanyahu and Putin "agreed on the
continuation of security coordination between their armies, and the prime minister said
Israel was determined to continue its efforts to prevent Iran from establishing a military
foothold in Syria."
Bolton, for his part, warned the Syrian government on Saturday that it should not see the
impending U.S. military withdrawal as an invitation to use chemical weapons. "There is
absolutely no change in the U.S. position against the use of chemical weapons by the
Syrian regime and absolutely no change in our position that any use of chemical weapons
would be met by a very strong response, as we've done twice before," Bolton told reporters
on his plane shortly before landing in Tel Aviv. "So the regime, the Assad regime, should
be under no illusions on that question," said Bolton.
He said he was not suggesting Syria appeared ready to use chemical weapons. "As we
elaborate how the [U.S. troop] withdrawal is going to occur and the circumstances, we
don't want the Assad regime to see what we do as representing any diminution in our
opposition to the use of weapons of mass destruction," he said. If chemical weapons were
to be used, "a lot of options would be on the table ... if they don't heed the lessons of
those two strikes the next one will be more telling," Bolton said.
CBS Refuses to Pull Pro-Israel Interview with Egyptian Leader
By Israel Hayom
CBS News rejected a request from the Egyptian government to pull an interview with the
country's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. Although the network declined to say what
exactly drew opposition from Cairo, the government is believed to be concerned by
el-Sissi's comments on Israel.
Asked in the interview with the "60 Minutes" program whether cooperation between Egypt and
Israel was the closest it had ever been, el-Sissi responded, "That is correct.
have a wide range of cooperation with the Israelis."
Egypt has been fighting an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula for several years, battling
an estimated 1,000 Islamic State-affiliated terrorists that Cairo has allowed the Israelis
to attack by air. In February, Egypt launched "Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018" to rid
the peninsula of terrorists. In recent years Israel has allowed the Egyptian military to
boost its presence in the peninsula several times as part of the country's war on terror.
Other than on security issues, Israel and Egypt maintain close diplomatic ties, as Egypt
is the chief mediator between Israel and Hamas, the terrorist group that controls the Gaza
Strip. The interview, which was recorded when el-Sissi was in New York to attend a meeting
of the U.N. General Assembly in late September, was set to air Sunday evening.
CBS said in a statement the Egyptian embassy contacted the news show "shortly after" the
interview and requested that it not be aired.
Report: Iraqi Delegations Visit Israel, Meet Jewish-Iraqi Experts
By the Jerusalem Post
Three Iraqi delegations composed of 15 local leaders visited Israel in recent weeks,
Hadashot news reported on Sunday evening, the Iraqis visited Yad VaShem, discussed
Jewish-Iraqi history with academics and met Israeli government officials.
The under-wraps visit is highly uncommon as, under the late Saddam Hussein Iraq fired
missiles on Israel during the first Gulf War and many of its citizens were taught to view
Israel and Israelis in a negative light, despite the important presence of Jews in Iraq
since the Babylonian captivity.
The secret visit focused on issues of culture and heritage and included Sunni and Shiite
members, the report claimed that these were not Iraqi-Kurdish visitors.
In June, Iraqi representative at the 2017 Miss Universe pageant Sarah Idan visited Israel
and reunited with Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, after a shared photo of the two women
caused an uproar in Iraq, forcing her family to relocate.
One-Quarter of all Jewish Holocaust Victims were Murdered in 100 days in 1942
Almost a quarter of the Jews killed in the Holocaust were murdered during 100 days in
1942, making it the time frame with the highest killing pace in the 20th century,
according to a new Israeli study. The mass murder between August and October 1942 included
Jews exterminated in Auschwitz, in Ukraine and as part of "Operation Reinhard," an intense
mass-slaughter campaign carried out by the Nazis between March 1942 and November 1943 in
death camps Belzec, Treblinka and Sobibor. The operation itself killed some 1.7 million
That rate during that operation has been "poorly quantified in the past," said Lewi Stone,
a professor at Tel Aviv University, who published his study in the Science Advances
academic journal. He mentioned that the Nazis destroyed most records of the killings.
The estimated average of 15,000 deaths daily during the "extreme phase of hyper-intense
killing" is nearly three times greater than previous approximations. Stone said that the
murder pace declined in November 1942 due to "relatively few Jews left" in Nazi-controlled
places in and around Poland, "so the rate of the killing likely subsided because of the
difficulty of rounding up victims. Historians, social scientists, policy-makers and
journalists have consistently relied on inaccurate assessments that greatly underestimated
the Holocaust kill rate during `Operation Reinhard,'" wrote Stone.
Who Knew? Hebrew May be the Basis for Many English and European Words
English and European words such as alphabet, earth, loco and habitat could come from
Hebrew, according to an independent Israeli linguistics researcher who has written a
number of unpublished dictionaries, articles and books.
According to the English Oxford Dictionary, the word etymology refers to "the study of the
origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history."
Researchers can make inferences based on studying the roots of the words and their
meanings and try to piece together the history of words, though it's far from an exact
Modern works on the subject are lacking, and one IsraeliTony Daccre Barat, 73, born
in Romania and now living in Akko, Israelhas studied linguistics on his own as a
hobby for the past four decades. He and his wife, who has a Ph.D. in architecture, live on
a paltry stipend from the government of $1,200 a month. Barat is familiar with several
languages, including Hebrew, Yiddish, Romanian, French and English.
In 1951, he immigrated to Israel with his family and served in the army, studied political
science at Haifa University, and later studied linguistics for one year in Paris. Barat
noticed during his studies in Paris that nobody was making the links from European
languages to Hebrew and that there was no desire to do so. "Hebrew is a much older
language as well, so it makes sense the roots of words go back before Latin or Greek," he
In 1990, Barat returned to Romania and started a consulting company with his wife,
assisting Israeli investors. "Modern scholarship does not deal at all with the etymology
of European or world languages from Hebrew," said Barat. "It seems crazy at first, as
Hebrew is written from right to left. But if you look more closely, similarities can be
Scholarship exists on the connection between Hebrew and European languages, noted Barat,
adding that he has around 1,500 books in his personal library that touch on the subject,
Barat has many theories regarding the Hebrew roots of certain European language words.
Take the word "earth" in English, which in Hebrew is eretz, or the word more associated
with land, adama. In Arabic, it is ard, German erde, and in Romanian tara. The ending of
these words can have differing pronunciations weather ending with a "se," "te" or "de"
sound. If you experiment with the different ending accent on these words, they sound quite
Or, for example, the word "phrase" (which is the same in French), which Barat concludes
comes from the Hebrew three-letter root "paras" or "faras," from the word "lifrosh,"
meaning to interpret. In Spanish, the word is frase, in Romanian fraza as well, and the
same sound in Russian. The Online Etymology Dictionary says the word comes from the Greek
frasi, but Barat infers it originates in Hebrew.
The word loco in Spanish means "crazy," "distraught" or "deranged," and according to
dictionaries it comes from the Andalusian Arabic lawqa, signifying a foolish person. Barat
theorizes that it comes from the Hebrew word laka, meaning to be defective, to become ill
or to receive lashes.
In Aramaic (a Semitic language that replaced Hebrew for local Jews and was displaced by
Arabic in the seventh-century CE), laka means to be stricken with a disease. The Hebrew
word likui means suffering from a deficiency.
Another is the word habitat, which Barat thinks comes from the Hebrew word for house,
bayit (???) or ha-bayit. The Online Etymology Dictionary puts it as originating in 1762 as
a Latin term on English flora and fauna, literally "it inhabits."
Also, "the word alphabet comes from Hebrew," claims Barat, noting that it is credited to
having a Greek origin. Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and bet is the
second and the equivalent to the English "b." The letter "d" in English is usually
attributed to the Greek delta, "but I think it refers to the fourth Hebrew letter,
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