News Digest — 1/20/21

Gaza Rocket Hits Southern Israel

A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday evening (19th), landed in southern Israel without a siren ringing off to alert the locals of an incoming fire, the military confirmed.

The IDF said the rocket landed in an open area near Kibbutz Nahal Oz, which is in Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council that borders Gaza. No injuries or damage had been reported.

The Home Front Command which operates the rocket alert system, said they did not sound the siren on purpose since they could identify the projectile was heading for an open area.

The IDF struck several Hamas outposts in the Gaza Strip in response to the rocket fire.

The incident comes only a day after two rockets were fired from the Palestinian territory toward the city of Ashdod – both landing in the sea.

The military responded by striking Hamas military targets, including sites for digging underground tunnels, some of which stretched into Israel.

“The IDF takes seriously any terrorist activity against Israel and is prepared and ready to act as resolutely as necessary against attempts to harm Israeli citizens and their sovereignty.  The terrorist organization Hamas bears responsibility for what is happening in and out of the Gaza Strip, and it will bear the consequences for all terrorist acts against the citizens of Israel,” the IDF said on Monday (18th). 

While militant rocket attacks and Israeli retaliatory artillery and aerial strikes are frequent, they have largely been subdued in recent months because of the coronavirus outbreaks in both territories.



From Israel: A Farewell Salute To America’s President

“Those who say that we’re in a time when there are no heroes, they just don’t know where to look.”

-U.S. President Ronald Reagan, January 20, 1981

President Donald John Trump will forever be remembered by the people of the State of Israel.  The years of plenty have come and gone, and the president who exemplified the Jewish value of unwaveringly standing with the truth in the face of derision, slander and violence will now stand aside as something else inherits the levels of power in Washington, D.C.

President Trump, you became the envy of the people of Israel when you proved yourself to be a national leader who keeps his campaign promises.  We now see that if there is a will, it is indeed possible.

For as long as any Jew living today can remember, the possibility of a U.S. leader not only recognizing the truth of Israel’s cause, but at times even being a fiercer advocate than Israeli leadership itself and doing the things President Trump has done, would have seemed as impossible as the idea that a Jewish State would arise at all just one century earlier.

President Trump, town squares in Israel have been named after you, communities established in your honor, and coins minted bearing your likeness.  But while all these gestures may commemorate your legacy for generations to come, we as the Eternal People know that the true offspring of the righteous are their good deeds, that perpetuate themselves and protect those who performed them into eternity, in this world and the next.

We salute you, President Donald J. Trump, for a job faithfully accomplished, and for renewing belief throughout the entire world that there are still heroes.



Arab Squatters Take Over Archaeological Site In Samaria

Near Hermesh in northern Samaria lies a registered archeological site called ‘Khirbet Parsin,’ which preserves the biblical name ‘Peresh’ (descendants of Manassah).

The remains of a large Iron Age settlement were discovered at this site, including a mikveh (ritual bath), burial caves and complex underground systems from the Second Temple period.  Sadly these important finds have joined the list of antiquity sites suffering from damage and destruction.

About two and a half months ago, an Arab invaded the site and moved into one of the buildings with his family, carrying out construction work and damaging the ancient finds that bear testimony to thousands of years of history.

The Regavim Movement appealed to the Civil Administration to remove the intruder and stop the illegal work at the site, and were informed that “inspectors have visited the site and served a cease-and-desist order for the destruction of antiquities.”

When the squatters remained at the site and continued to damage it, Regavim again appealed for immediate enforcement.  Civil Administration inspectors again arrived at the scene and confiscated some of the construction equipment and removed a number of trees that had been planted in the area, but did not remove the intruder and his family from the site.

“It is not enough to post an order on the wall and walkway,” says Eitan Melet, Regavim’s Field Coordinator for Judea and Samaria.  “Someone needs to ensure that the order is actually enforced.”  

“We welcome the initial enforcement steps that have been taken at the site, but there’s a long way to go on the road to restoring the rule of law and re-establishing deterrence.  The squatters must be removed from the compound immediately, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law in order to convey a message to other criminals.”



Poll: UK Jews Feel Welcome, Optimistic After Corbyn’s Replacement 

In an annual survey of British Jewish adults, two-thirds said Jews “have a future in the United Kingdom” – the highest level of confidence since 2015.  And the portion of British Jews who said they felt “unwelcome” in the UK fell from 53% last year to 18% now.

The “Anti-Semitism Barometer” survey, conducted in November and December by King’s College London for the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism watchdog group, shows that British Jews are “back from the brink” following the replacement as the head of Labour of the far-left politician Jeremy Corbyn, whom many British Jews believe is anti-Semitic, the campaign said in a statement about the report published Sunday (17th).

2018 was the year that Jews in the United Kingdom were the most pessimistic, when a quarter of British Jews said they thought the United Kingdom held no future for Jews.  At one point, 41% of Jewish respondents considered leaving the country.

The campaign said that the results showed British Jewry is still “scarred” from the Corbyn years.

Corbyn who had called Hamas and Hezbollah his friends and who in 2013 defended a mural depicting Jewish bankers playing monopoly on the backs of Black men, was replaced in an internal election last year.

The Anti-Semitism Barometer report, which did not specify its margin of error, also included surveys with British non-Jewish adults in an attempt to ascertain levels of anti-Semitic sentiment in society.

Of 1,853 non-Jews, the reports showed that 12% held entrenched anti-Semitic views, which agrees with the Anti-Defamation League indexes of recent polls which showed the same views of 11-12% of the same people-group.



5-Minute Charge Battery From Israeli Startup Could Revolutionize Electric Vehicle Industry

Israeli startup StoreDot, which develops fast-charging (XFC) battery technology, has unveiled its first-generation five-minute charge battery engineering samples, the company announced Tuesday (19th).

This represents a significant milestone for the company, which has made it its mission to eliminate the range and charging anxiety of electric vehicles (EVs) by demonstrating the commercial viability of XFC batteries via a small form-factor battery cell.

StoreDot is releasing the first production batch of sample cells, which is targeted at showcasing the technology to potential EV and industry partners.  This first-generation battery was used to demonstrate the full charge of a two-wheeled EV in just five minutes for the first time and can offer ultra-fast charging to a number of other industries, such as commercial drones and consumer electronics.

StoreDot CEO, Dr. Doron Myersdorf said, “StoreDot continues to go from strength to strength as we get one step closer to making our vision of five-minute charging of EVs a commercial reality.”

“We founded StoreDot to achieve what many said could never be done – develop batteries capable of delivering a full charge in just five minutes.  We have shown that this level of XFC charging is possible – first in 2019 with an electric scooter and again six months ago with a commercial drone.  We are proud to make these samples available, but today’s milestone is just the beginning.  We’re on the cusp of achieving a revolution in the EV charging experience that will remove the critical barrier to mass absorption of EVs,” Myersdorf declared.