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Biden: Israeli Threats of Annexation Choke off Hope of Peace

By the Jerusalem Post
Former IS vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee for President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he opposes Israeli plans to annex settlements in the West Bank. During a conversation with Jewish donors, Biden said that both the Israelis and the Palestinians should take steps that promote the two-state solution, and avoid unilateral measures. "I think we also have to make it clear that I do not support annexation," he said. "The Palestinians need to end incitement in the West Bank and rocket attacks in Gaza," Biden continued. "What they are teaching in their schools is still in the school books. No matter what legitimate disagreement they may have Israel, it's never a justification for terrorism and no leader should fail to condemn as terrorists those who commit these brutalities. The Palestinian needs to accept once and for all reality and Israel's right to have a secure democratic Jewish state in the Middle East. And Israel needs to stop the threats of annexation, stop settlement activity because it will choke off any hope of peace." Biden vowed that if elected, he would support the Taylor Force Act while restoring funding to security cooperation with Israel. "I'm going to reverse Trump's administration steps [that] I think significantly undercut the prospects of peace and restore diplomatic relationships with the Palestinian Authority and assistance to support the Israeli Palestinian security cooperation and economic, humanitarian aid for Palestinian people," Biden said during the call. The Jerusalem Post obtained audio of the conversation. "I'm going to fully support the Taylor Force Act, which holds aid to the PA based on payments they make to terrorists in Israeli jails," he continued. "And I was actually in Israel just a few miles away, meeting with Shimon Peres when Taylor Force was tragically murdered," he added. Biden came under fire last week for suggesting he would restore funding for the Palestinian Authority, arguing that it violates American law. "Money is fungible. Biden's stated intention to resume sending US tax dollars to the PA will enable the PA to finance terrorism, and the murder and maiming of more innocent Jews and Americans," said ZOA national president Morton Klein and ZOA chair Mark Levenson in a statement. The former vice president also noted he would not place any conditions on military assistance to Israel. "My commitment to Israel is unshakable," Biden said during the call. As president, I'm going to continue our security assistance under the historic memorandum of understanding that we signed together in 2016 and maintain Israel's qualitative military edge. I'm not going to place conditions for the security assistance given the serious threats that Israel is facing, and this would be, I think, irresponsible."

Officials: Israel behind Cyberattack that Crippled Iran's Largest Shipping Port

By World Israel News
The Washington Post has reported that Israel is responsible for a May 9 cyberattack on Iran's Shahid Rajaee shipping port, creating massive backups on waterways and roads. The Post cited unidentified U.S. and foreign government officials who said the attack appears to have originated with Israel. The Post was also shown satellite photographs from May 9 depicting miles-long traffic jams on highways leading to the port, and another photograph showing dozens of container ships still waiting to be unloaded on May 12. On May 10, Mohammad Rastad, managing director of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO), told Iranian Labour News Agency that the cyberattack failed to penetrate the PMO's systems and was only able to infiltrate and damage a number of private operating systems at the ports. However, a foreign security official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the damage to the port was more serious than the Iranian accounts suggest. He called the attack "highly accurate" and said, "There was total disarray." The Shahid Rajaee port facility, located in the city of Bandar Abbas on the Strait of Hormuz, is Iran's "largest and best-equipped container port," according to the Tehran Times. It is said to account for 85% of the total loading and unloading at Iranian ports. Officials believe the cyberattack may have been in retaliation for an Iranian cyberattack on Israel's water supply infrastructure in late April. Israeli officials viewed Iran's attack on civilian water facilities as crossing a red line, and the security cabinet held a meeting on May 7 to discuss how Israel should respond to the attack. "This was a very unordinary cyberattack against civilian water facilities which is against every ethic and every code even in times of war," a senior official told Barak Ravid of Channel 13 news. "We didn't expect this even from the Iranians. It is just not done."

Researchers Find Ancient Rooms under Western Wall

By Israel
Israeli researchers on Tuesday unveiled mysterious underground rooms with an unknown function, carved out of the bedrock near where the Second Jewish Temple stood two millennia ago. The discovery was made when Israeli students from a pre-military college were excavating a large, lavish Byzantine-era structure from some 1,400 years ago, below the Western Wall plaza in Jerusalem's Old City. Like other sites inhabited for millennia, parts of Jerusalem contain deep layers of archaeology, the result of societies building on top of earlier structures rather that expending resources to clear ruins. Below the Byzantine structure's mosaic floor, the student diggers hit rock bottom. "At first we were very disappointed because we found we hit the bedrock, meaning that the material culture, the human activity here in Jerusalem ended," said Barak Monnickendam-Givon, co-director of the excavation for the Israel Antiquities Authority. But upon further examination, the researchers came across a "very big surprise," he said. "What we found here was a rock-cut system -- three rooms, all hewn in the bedrock of ancient Jerusalem," and connected via staircases, Monnickendam-Givon said. He dated the rooms to the early Roman period and noted the rarity of such structures in Jewish cities then. The find is "about 30 meters from the Temple Mount," where the Second Jewish Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE stood, he said, and contains elaborate carvings and niches, including for the many oil lamps that would have been used for light. While researchers have not yet determined the function of the rooms, Monnickendam-Givon said they could have been underground food storage for a building that "didn't survive." Or they could also have been a separate facility for preparing food for the city's priests or the temple's pilgrims and visitors. "We're finding cooking vessels used to cook daily meals, oil lamps, storage jars that people (used to) store their wheat and barley or olive oil here," he said, noting they "don't have any firm link to the temple itself."

Iran Deploys Military to Battle `Biblical Plague' of Locusts

By Israel Breaking News
Iranian leaders have threatened Israel and the US countless times but fulfilling those threats will have to wait as their army currently has its hands full battling a swarm of locusts attacking the Islamic republic for the second year in a row. Southern Iran is being infested for the second year in a row by a huge swarm of locusts described as the worst in decades. The infestation is only the newest threat in a wave of troubles that has hit the country that has threatened Israel and the US countless times. Iran is was hit particularly hard by the coronavirus and the pandemic also led to oil prices plummeting to record lows, adding financial woes to the countries list of troubles. Economic sanctions led by President Trump multiplied the impact. A wave of locusts swept through East Africa last year, arriving in Iran, but the current wave is estimated to be 20 times larger and is described as the worst in 70 years. This wave very much resembles the Biblical plague in this respect, coming as part of a wave of catastrophes that left the land of Egypt bereft of any food. Locusts invaded all the land of Egypt and settled within all the territory of Egypt in a thick mass; never before had there been so many, nor will there ever be so many again. They covered the face of the whole land, so that the land was darkened, and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Not a green thing remained, neither tree nor plant of the field, through all the land of Egypt. Exodus 10:14-15 According to Jewish tradition, the ten-plagues will reappear before the Messiah. Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David's Tomb on Mount Zion, explained this aspect of the Messianic process to Breaking Israel News, quoting the Prophet Micah. I will show him wondrous deeds as in the days when You sallied forth from the land of Egypt. Micah 7:15 All of the miracles will reappear, all of the plagues, the entire story, in all its pain and all its glory," Rabbi Berger said.

Mystic Rabbis Reveal Daunting Forecast: Jews Outside Israel in Grave Danger. God won't Protect them

By Breaking Israel News
Rabbi Shalom Shmueli, head of the Nahar Shalom Yeshiva in Jerusalem, is known for his powerful mystic messages. Last week, he participated in a special meeting with other rabbis. Rabbi Shmueli gave over a message he had received from his father. It should be noted that Rabbi Shmueli does not make public appearances and his message was made public by Rabbi Yekutiel Fish at his urging. "This announcement must be spread to the entire world," Rabbi Fish told Breaking Israel News. "This is an imminent emergency. All Jews in exile around the world must come to Israel immediately. They are all in grave danger." Rabbi Fish explained that the upper worlds and lower worlds are parallel and connected. When the Second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, the corresponding Temple in the upper worlds was also destroyed. When the Jews were forced into exile, the shechina (heavenly presence) which had dwelled among them since the construction of the Tabernacle in the desert, the shechina accompanied them. "It is known that one of the changes that will take place prior to the final redemption is just as the Jews return from Exile, the shechina will also return from exile," Rabbi Fish explained. "Rabbi Shmueli announced that the return of the shechina, which began several years ago, is now complete." Rabbi Fish explained that lacking the shechina, the Jews outside of Israel have no protection. "They are only protected by the merit of their own mitzvoth (Torah commandments) which are not nearly enough to protect them from the terrible catastrophes which are, God forbid, waiting to come into the world by way of the haters of Israel. Whoever stays there will be in dire straits. All the protection has moved to Israel to protect the Jewish people there. If the Jews do not return from exile now, all the gates will be closed to them." "This has happened many times in history that Jews were thriving in one place and then suddenly, the protection left them and they were trapped. This happened in Spain and Portugal, in Germany and Poland, in Iran. This can also happen in America."

Amazon Prime Video: The Little Traitor

By the Jerusalem Post
Written and directed by Lynn Roth and based on the novel, Panther in the Basement, by Amos Oz, "The Little Traitor," a very moving and intelligent film, is the story of an unlikely friendship that develops between a Jewish boy and a British soldier in 1947 Palestine. The film brings the complexity of Oz's writing to the screen, but does so without being reverential and overly literary, as some Oz movie adaptations have been in the past. This gorgeous, beautifully scored and wonderfully acted film gives a vivid sense of the atmosphere and complexity of life in Jerusalem under the British Mandate. The Little Traitor looks at a period we've seen dramatized as a time of heroes and villains, and looks at another aspect of this era: The intimacy that can develop between sworn enemies. Proffi Leibowitz (Ido Port) is a bright kid who doesn't know he is living in a fraught period of history. His parents (Gilya Stern and Rami Heuberger), like those of most of his friends, are Holocaust survivors. They take life very seriously and worry about him constantly. Although they may seem timid at first glance, they are fiercely opposed to the British and dream of an independent Jewish State. And they don't only dream. At night, Proffi hears strange comings and goings. He knows his parents are secretly helping the Hagana hide illegal immigrants. Though, while his parents may take risks, they try to keep him as sheltered as they can. If he is home late for curfew, they are ready and waiting to punish him. But Proffi, who plans half-fantasy, half-real terror against the British with his friends, isn't afraid of the British - or the Arabs. He feels perfectly at home shopping in the Old City and running all over Jerusalem. But one day, while running home after curfew, he is caught by Sergeant Dunlop (Alfred Molina). He pretends to be menacing for a minute but then Dunlop brings the boy home. In that moment, though, each has grown curious about the other, and Proffi takes him up on an invitation to stop by a café where Dunlop goes to read. The thoughtful Dunlop, who reads the Bible and is learning Hebrew, wants to get to know Palestine and feels a special connection to Jerusalem. And Proffi is longing for attention from an adult who isn't constantly nagging him. When Proffi's buddies find out he is playing snooker with a Brit, however, the entire neighborhood turns against him. We root for the two and their regard for each other to triumph against the narrow-mindedness around them. But it's clear that the situation isn't simple. In the end, except for an epilogue, the movie avoids any attempt at pat solutions of the "Why can't we all just get along?" variety. Molina exudes warmth and loneliness in this subtle, understated performance. His directness also makes it clear that his interest in Proffi is completely innocent. Had there been the faintest homosexual undertone in this story of an intense friendship between an adult man and a boy, it would have ruined the film. But it's clear that the boy is searching for, and has found, a kind of idealized father or older brother.

Israeli Mobster takes on Arab City to Get Back his Stolen Horse

By World Israel News
An Israeli mobster boss took a group of his men and entered Palestinian Authority-controlled territory to retrieve his stolen horse, Israel's Channel 13 reported. The report said the event took place last week. It noted it could definitely have turned into a serious security incident. The mobster, Nissim Alperon, didn't bother informing the Israeli security authorities about the theft. He simply gathered a convoy of 10 cars and in the middle of the night headed into Qalqilya, an Arab city within PA control. Shalom Zohar, a friend of Alperon's, told Channel 13 that the mobster was going to get his horse back no matter what it took. "It's a horse he raised as a baby," he said. Last week, Alperon discovered the horse was gone. It's worth NIS 300,000. The report says it's unlikely whoever stole the horse knew whom he was stealing from. "We worked a few connections with pretty respectable people on the Palestinian side. We really went into Qalqilya, a half hour after the Ramadan fast ended. We arrived at the Palestinian police and demanded the horse," Zohar said. "A gathering started of all sorts of residents who didn't look kindly at the Israelis coming right up to their homes. There was a really big concern that there would be some sort of lynching so the Palestinian Authority sent their police forces and succeeded in moving the crowd a bit." While waiting for the horse, the mobsters shared some sweet pastry with the Palestinian police. A few hours later, Zohar, who acted as middleman, was called by the police and told to wait at the entrance to the city. The horse was brought to them and they returned home.

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