August 24, 2018

Senior Iranian Cleric Threatens Israel If US Attacks Iran

Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, a senior member of Iran’s leadership, warned the United States and Israel that both would pay a “heavy” price if the US goes to war with his country, reported the Iranian Tasnim News Agency on Wednesday (22nd).

Speaking to attendees of a Tehran mosque who were celebrating the Eid al-Adha holiday, the hardline cleric said, “The costs of a possible US war on Iran will be definitely heavy for Americans, and any aggression against Iran will inflict costs not only on America, but also on its ally, the Zionist regime.

His remarks came only a day after Iran claimed it revealed its first domestically-produced jet fighter.  Shortly after the unveiling, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Arabic spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, tweeted that the jet bore an uncanny resemblance to the US F-5 jet, which was produced in the 1950s.

Iran’s unchecked ballistic missile development program, which it claims it needs for defensive purposes, was one of the top items on the agenda this week in the talks between US National Security Adviser John Bolton and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In his speech Khatami also echoed Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s rejection of any renegotiation of the nuclear deal that President Trump withdrew from in May.



UN Says It Has Run Out Of Money For Fuel, Medicine in Gaza

The United Nations has run out of funding to pay for fuel needed for hospitals, water plants and other critical facilities in the Gaza Strip, the UN political chief said Wednesday (22nd).

Rosemary Di Carlo also told the Security Council that recent violent escalations between Israel and Palestinian terror groups “threaten to plunge Gaza into war.”

The Security Council held its monthly meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the United Nations was working with Egypt to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and halt the violence.

Di Carlo said she was “deeply concerned that funding for UN emergency fuel, which sustains some 250 critical facilities in Gaza has now run out” and appealed for $4.5 million to ensure essential services for the rest of the year.

The UN undersecretary-general for political affairs also raised concern over a “dangerously short supply of essential medicines” after 40% of the stock of drugs were totally depleted.



Israel’s Non-Jewish Citizens Have Seen Unprecedented Advancements In Their Quality of Life – Smadar Bat Adam

Despite what the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee would have you believe, Israel’s non-Jewish citizens have experienced unprecedented advancements in their quality of life.  While it is true that in the past, outdated cesspools were common in the Arab sector due to the typically unplanned construction in their towns, by 2013 the sewage infrastructure in the sector had been replaced, thanks to government funding and loans.  Sidewalks, traffic circles and vegetation were quick to follow.

Due to Israeli government decisions to approve massive investment in the Arab sector, the high school matriculation rate has increased to 66% in 2017, while the Druze sector now has the highest matriculation rate in Israel.  A decade ago, there were very few community centers in Arab communities, now there are dozens.

Israel is in the midst of a sweeping and natural process of integrating young Arabs into Israeli society: in hospitals and pharmacies, the information technology sector, in academia, and courts and government offices.  All one needs to do is look.



Headstones Smashed At Jewish Cemetery In Poland For Second Time In Less Than A Month

A Jewish cemetery near Krakow was vandalized for the second time in less than a month, resulting in damage to dozens of headstones.

At least 30 headstones were pushed over, some of them shattered, in this latest incident – 20 headstones were shattered late last month, a report said.  Police are investigating both incidents but have no suspects in custody.

Separately, a swastika was etched on the wall of the Jewish cemetery of Malmo in Sweden last month.  Olle Schmidt, a local politician representing the Liberal People’s Party, cited the incident in an op-ed published Wednesday (22nd) by the Expressen daily in which he called for a reform in education about anti-Semitism in that city.

In the op-ed, Schmidt praised initiatives to teach about the Holocaust in the schools in Malmo, which has dozens of anti-semitic incidents annually although it is home to only 800 Jews.

Malmo has about 350,000 residents, of whom about one-third are from Muslim-majority countries.



Israeli Company Modifies Sugar To Get Same Taste With Less

An Israeli company, DouxMatok, which says it is able to reduce the quantity of sugar in food by up to 40% without affecting the taste, announced on Monday (20th) that it had teamed up with Germany’s Sudzucker, Europe’s leading sugar company, to commercialize the product.  DouxMatok engineers sugar grains so that most of the flavor reaches the taste buds, in contrast to normal sugar, where 80% of the sugar goes directly into the stomach.

“Our vision at DouxMatok is to pioneer targeted delivery of flavor and food ingredients, such as sugars, enabling consumers to enjoy the exact same tastes they know and love, with a better and healthier nutritional profile,” said Eran Baniel, CEO and Co-founder of DouxMatok.  “We feel fortunate to have Sudzucker as our European partner in launching our first products and bringing together our vision to life.”

Randolf Burisch, commercial head of Sudzucker’s sugar business unit, said the technology would provide novel ways of reducing the sugar content of food and developing new products.

The company says consumers cannot tell the difference between the modified sugar and the real thing, saying this has been “tested independently and validated by third-party panels as well as major food companies.”  Reducing sugar in food is a goal in the Western world where obesity rates continue to rise.