News Digest — 12/20/19

Israeli Jets Target Hamas Sites Second Time In 24 Hours In response To Rocket Fire

For the second time in less than 24 hours Israeli jets struck Hamas positions in the southern Gaza Strip following earlier rocket fire on Thursday evening (19th).  The military said that Israeli jets struck an “underground infrastructure and a naval target” belonging to Hamas in the southern Gaza Strip as well as a terrorist military compound in the northern Gaza Strip.”

The IDF said a projectile was fired towards Kibbutz Kfar Azza near the Gaza border earlier in the evening.  A local regional government spokesperson said that there were no injuries or damages after the rocket struck an open field.

The rocket fire on Thursday (19th) came hours after Israeli jets struck a Hamas weapons production facility in the coastal enclave following a rocket fired towards the college town of Sderot around 2:30 a.m.  The projectile was intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

The Israeli military holds Hamas, which has ruled over Gaza since 2007, responsible for all violence.

Late in the afternoon on Thursday (19th) the IDF said it arrested three armed Palestinians who attempted to infiltrate into southern Israel from the northern Gaza Strip.

The previous day, Wednesday (18th) an Israeli aircraft fired and struck an armed Palestinian carrying an assault rifle.  He was spotted by IDF reconnaissance and observation posts, approaching the border fence.

The rocket fire and infiltration attempts broke two weeks of relative quiet in southern Israel.



French Jewish Students Encouraged To Head To Israel Due To Anti-Semitism

As anti-Semitism continues to rise in France, emphasis is now being put on encouraging Jewish students to study in Israel after high school..

This week, 1,000 students from Jewish schools in France arrived in Israel as part of “Bac Bleu Blanc” (graduates in Blue and White), a project initiated and organized by the Jewish Agency’s educational arm, Israel Experience.

The program exposes participants to Israeli universities, academic opportunities and options for aliyah.  Participants also tour the country.

Paul Fitoussi, director of the Yavne school in Marseille, stressed: “All Jews should move to Israel.  France is not our home anymore. The younger generation must do this. My two daughters immigrated to Israel and study in Beersheba, and I am encouraging my third daughter to do the same.”

Yoni Elimelech, deputy director of the Otzar Torah School in Paris’ 13th District, echoed those sentiments.  “While this may sound strange, for us the fact that we encourage our students to immigrate to Israel is perfectly natural.  I think every 18-year-old Jewish boy or girl living in France should immigrate to Israel.”

Fitoussi, who is on tour with the students, described the rise of anti-Semitism in France.  “It is because of increased anti-Semitism, that I decided not to allow students to eat or have sports classes outside the school building….  Often, stones are thrown at students or slurs like ‘dirty Jews’ are yelled at them.” 

According to Israel Experience, to date, over 40% of participants in each program have immigrated to Israel.

Amos Hermon, CEO of the Israel Experience, said in a statement that “in recent years we have seen an increase in the trend of anti-Semitism in Europe as a whole, and in France in particular.  The Israel Experience works to encourage the youth in France to get to know Israel better, and to our delight, many decide to make aliyah,” he said.



Germany Designates Hezbollah As Terror Group

“It is unacceptable that Hezbollah is waging a terrorist fight against Israel in the Middle East, which is being financed through worldwide criminal activities, among other things,” said Mathias Middelberg, the spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Conservatives in parliament.

“In view of Germany’s special responsibility toward Israel, we call on the government to ban all activities for Hezbollah in Germany,” he added.

Middelberg spoke as Germany’s parliament passed a nonbinding resolution on Thursday (19th) banning Hezbollah activities in Germany and calling on the European Union to not only designate Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist identity, but to also ban Hezbollah’s political wing as well.

“The separation between a political and a military arm should be abandoned, and Hezbollah as a whole should be placed on the EU terrorist list.  This could freeze Hezbollah’s funds and assets in Europe more extensively than before,” Middelberg said.

Currently, only the US, Canada, UK, Netherlands, and the Arab League consider both Hezbollah’s military and political factions as one identity.

Earlier this month, Guatemala’s president-elect Alejandro Giammattei promised Israel his first order of business after he takes office will be to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group.  

Hezbollah receives hundreds of millions of dollars from Iran to fund its terror operations and is sworn to wipe Israel off the map.



Pro-Christian Leader Slams ‘Palestinian Jesus’ Myth: He Was A ‘Judean Jew’

With Christmas right around the corner, the president of pro-Israel Christian group Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN) set the record straight on the myth that Jesus Christ was a Palestinian.

“Jesus Christ was born in the city of Bethlehem in Judea to a Jewish mother.  That means he was born and died a Judean Jew. The Bible makes no reference to a place called Palestine, and the suggestion that he was Palestinian is not just heretical but anti-Semitic,” Laurie Cardoza-Moore said.

“This is not just a matter of opinion, the narrative that Jesus was Palestinian is deeply rooted in a global anti-Semitic movement to rob Christians of their true Hebraic heritage and align the Church with radical terrorist groups that seek the annihilation of the Jewish State,” she said.

Laurie Cardoza-Moore suggested that if Jesus were alive today he would not be allowed to enter the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) city of Bethlehem because of his Jewish roots.

“By falsely demoting the Jewish people to religious insignificance and damnation, these irresponsible hate-preachers are putting Jews in danger.  The fictitious notion that Jesus was a Palestinian is the illegimate child of Palestinian terrorists and replacement theologians that could ultimately lead to violent attacks against Jews worldwide,” she said.

PJTN is a worldwide global mission that seeks to educate Christians about their biblical responsibility to stand with their Jewish brethren and all of Israel against the rise of anti-Semitism.

Senior PA and Fatah leaders have long propagated the “historic fact” that Jesus and his mother Mary were Palestinians and that Jesus was the first Palestinian Martyr, reports Palestinian Media Watch.

On December 22, 2014, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas said, “We celebrate the birth of Jesus, a Palestinian messenger of love, justice and peace.”

“The lighting of the Christmas tree each year has many meanings in Palestine…Christmas is one of the permanent Palestinian symbols, and the whole world follows Mass in Bethlehem,” said PLO Executive Committee member Azzam Al Ahmad on December 20, 2018.

Palestinian, Khan Al-Ahmar said, “My children are happy about the lighting of this tree, as it is the symbol of the first Palestinian, Jesus, peace be upon him.  We the members of the Palestinian people, are celebrating Christmas together with everyone in the land of Palestine.”

Pro-Palestinian advocates have also been vocal about this false clam.

In July, anti-Israel political activist Linda Sarsour came under heavy fire after tweeting, “Jesus was Palestinian of Nazarerth and is described in the Quran as being brown copper-skinned with wooly hair.”



Jewish Group To Fix Home Of Albanian Man Whose Father Saved Jews

An Albanian Muslim man whose house was destroyed in an earthquake, in November, will have it rebuilt by a Holocaust commemoration group in honor of his father’s rescue of Jews.

The home of Muhamet Bicaku, 83, was devastated during the November 26 calamity that claimed the lives of 55 people in the Balkan nation.  During the Holocaust, Bicaku’s father Mefail, and older brother, Njazi, sheltered about 20 Jewish families from the Italian and German occupation forces in Qarrishte, a town located about 50 miles east of the capital Tirana.

“From the Depths,” a Polish-based organization that focuses on celebrating the actions of rescuers of Jews, has raised $10,000 to restore the house, the group’s founder, Jonny Daniels, wrote in a statement Wednesday (18th) after visiting Albania as part of a humanitarian mission following the earthquake.  The total cost will be $45,000 and fundraising is ongoing, he said.

Muhamet Bicaku, who was 5 when his father began harboring Jewish refugees, is now living in crowded conditions in the home of one of his children in Durres, 20 miles west of Tirana.

In 2007, he received on behalf of his family the Anti-Defamation League’s Courage to Care Award.  His father and brother were recognized in 1996 by Israel as Righteous Among the Nations, the country’s title for non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

“They offered our people the most basic of human needs, shelter during their difficult times, saving their lives,” Daniels wrote.  “It should be obvious for us today to come together and return that favor.”