News Digest — 1/27/21

Netanyahu: ‘Never Again Is Israel’s Mission’

“Israel’s mission is to ensure the Jewish people will never be defenseless against those who seek to destroy them,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“We remember this darkest chapter in human history, when a European country decided to adopt a policy and a program to exterminate every last Jew, mobilizing the full power of a modern developed industrial state to implement this incredible nightmare,” Netanyahu said

“The world has not learned the lessons of the Holocaust and eradicate anti-Semitism,” the prime minister stated.

“The disease of anti-Semitism continues to contaminate and spread,” he added.  “A vaccine to safeguard against the anti-Semitism virus has yet to be found.”

“Anti-Semitism is Iran’s official policy,” he said, “and that regime unabashedly and proudly says day in and day out: Our goal is to murder another six million Jews, to eradicate the Jewish State of Israel.”

Other examples Netanyahu mentioned of places where anti-Semitism could be found were “North American university campuses, South Asian madrasses, and among European elites.” 

Though anti-Semitism remains rampant, Netanyahu pointed out that an important change has taken place since the Holocaust.

“If at the time of the Holocaust, the Jews were homeless, stateless, defenseless, begging others to protect them – no longer.  Today we are firmly rooted in our ancient land, free and strong in our independent state,” he said.

“Israel is the country that provided a homeland for the survivors, a state that rose from the ashes, a state in which the Jewish people regained their sovereignty and independence.”

Netanyahu vowed “not to forget the tragic past and never to allow the Jewish people to once again be defenseless against the forces that seek our destruction.”

“Never again isn’t a slogan.  This is our policy and this is our mission and we will always carry it out,” he concluded.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day instituted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2005, is marked on January 27 each year, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945.



ID Tags Of Murdered Children Unearthed At Sobibor Death Camp

An Israeli archaeological team working at the infamous Sobibor extermination camp where the Nazis murdered a quarter of a million people, unearthed the identity tags worn by four young Jewish children deported by the Nazis, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday (26th).

The personal identity tags made of metal belonged to four Dutch children aged 5-to-11 from Amsterdam and were retrieved from the archaeological excavations conducted at the camp.  The tags were worn like pendants around the neck and bear their names, dates of birth and the names of their hometowns.

The archaeological dig is being carried out prior to the construction of the new visitors center at the camp by a team from Israel, Poland and Holland. 

“Lea, Annie and Deddie’s tags have enabled us to link faces and stories to the names, which, until now had only been anonymous entries in Nazi lists.  Archaeological excavation provides us with an opportunity to tell the victims’ stories and to honor their memory, said Yoram Haimi, one of the Israeli archaeologists.

About a third of the 3,017 Jews deported to Sobibor from the Vught Via Westerbrook concentration camp were children aged 4-to-8 many of them without parents.  However Deddie, 8 years old, was murdered with his family when they reached Sobibor camp in June 11,1943.

“I have been excavating this site for 10 years, but today I broke down,” Haimi said.  “We stood with the tags in the field, near the incinerators, called the center, and gave them the names.  The response was immediate.  We received photos of young, smiling children on our phones.”

“The hardest part was hearing that one of the children whose tag we were holding in our hand, arrived in Sobibor in a delivery of children aged 4-to-8 who was sent here to die alone.  I looked at the pictures and asked myself  – how can anyone be so cruel?”



Former Iranian Cleric: We Have No Problem With Israel

Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani, a former senior Iranian cleric, spoke to Israel’s Channel 12 News on Monday (25th) and called for an end of hostilities between Iran and Israel.

Tehrani, whose “ayatollah” title was revoked by Tehran following disagreements with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said, “I have been speaking in the most transparent way possible for 20 years.  I sit in Tehran and do not work for any country, organization or group.  If they do not like me talking to you or anyone else – it is their problem.  We have no problem with Israel or any other country in the world.”

He criticized Khamenei and said, “In 1986, when he was elected as Supreme Leader of Iran, due to my previous knowledge of him and his behavior, I claimed that he would surely destroy both the religion and the country.  Because of that and because I opposed him, I spent five years in prison.  This disagreement continues to this day.”

“Unfortunately, because our regime is dictatorial and limited to the rule of one person who does not care about the thoughts of most of the public in Iran, the people here cannot even protest quietly and the regime suppresses them violently,” Tehrani said of the political situation in Iran. 

Asked what the average Iranian thinks of Israel, he replied, “You must understand that Iranians and Jews have a long history of friendship.  From what I see and hear in conversations with people here, I have not encountered Iranians who have a bad opinion of Israel.  It is time for the Iranian regime to stop inventing enemies that do not exist.”

Tehrani asserted Israel has nothing to fear from Iran’s threats.  “I do not think this talk about the destruction of Israel is serious.  Do not forget that Saddam Hussein made the same claims and we know where he is today.”



‘Jews Want To Conquer The Temple Mount’ Turkish App Claims

A new Turkish smartphone app is inciting against Jews and Israel, accusing them of wanting to “occupy” the Temple Mount and rebuild the Temple.  The app is also operating a crowd-funding campaign to underwrite anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist propaganda in the guise of Islamic charity work.

The app, titled “The Guide to Al-Aqsa Mosque,” was developed by a local entrepreneur and offers travel packages to Israel that include guided tours of the Temple Mount compound, the Temple Mount mosques, and sites in Jerusalem.  One of these sites is the Western Wall, that the app refers to as “Al Buraq.”

Meanwhile, recent reports indicate that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is interested in thawing the tense relations between Ankara and Jerusalem.

Nadav Segal of the Arab Desk in the Zionist watchdog Im Tirzu and his colleagues investigated the app and said that “The Israeli government should take stringent action to stop Turkish involvement in Jerusalem.”

“Turkish actors are working tirelessly to incite, foment, and light up Jerusalem.  The Turks continue to spread anti-Semitic lies about Israel and the Jewish people.  It’s time for the involvement of Turkish entities in events in Jerusalem to come to an end,” Segal said.



Israeli Drone To Assist Canadian Ships In The Arctic

Elbit Systems announced Tuesday (26th) that Canada’s Public Services and Procurement Office, on behalf of Transport Canada, selected the Hermes StarLiner Unmanned Aircraft System to support maritime environmental protection missions in the Arctic and along the Canadian eastern and western coasts.

The move was made as part of the Canadian National Aerial Surveillance Program.

The Hermes StarLiner is a medium-altitude, long-endurance 1.6 ton UAS that includes a range of commercial aviation capabilities qualifying it to be safely integrated into civilian airspace.  It features detect-and-avoid systems, redundant data-links, terrain avoidance warning systems, automatic take-off and landing capability in near-zero visibility, de-icing and direct lightning strike sustainment capabilities, as well as a powerful heavy fuel engine.

“The Hermes StarLiner UAS will take-off and land in civilian airfields to perform a wide range of operations to reduce harmful environmental impacts, including detection of oil pollution, Ice Patrol and reconnaissance, wildlife survey, Fisheries Patrol and others,” Elbit said.

Canada’s Transport Minister, Marc Garneau said in a statement that “Canada is committed to protecting our endangered species and our marine environment. Integrating remotely piloted aircraft into our fleet will make our surveillance operations more robust than ever.  The National Aerial Surveillance program also helps with search and rescue, humanitarian efforts, illegal fishing enforcement, and the development and regulation of Canada’s drone industry.”

“Adverse weather conditions and short endurance degrade the search and surveillance capabilities of manned aircraft, often preventing them from executing their missions,” Elbit explained in a press release.

“Deploying the Hermes StarLiner UAS will enable Transport Canada to maintain persistent surveillance over vast bodies of water and long coastlines.  Capable of continuous flight, the Hermes StarLiner UAS can operate in adverse weather conditions in both day and night, improving mission effectiveness and increasing the number of missions that can safely be executed,” Elbit concluded.