News Digest — 6/3/20

NYC ‘Celebrate Israel’ Parade To Be Held Online

The annual ‘Celebrate Israel’ parade, which attracts tens of thousands and many senior officials every year, will be held in a ‘virtual’ format this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The colorful floats will be replaced by computer screens and the various groups of marchers will instead participate via ZOOM.

The virtual parade will be held this coming Sunday, June 7, and will be attended by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Consul General, Danny Danon and others.

Israeli Consul General in New York Danny Danon noted, “Among the parties trying unsuccessfully to separate the State of Israel from New York and its Jewish people this year was the coronavirus, but it failed that mission.  The parade will go virtual, but the love for the State of Israel will remain real this year.  Every year, the day of the parade is one of the most exciting days for an Israeli staying in New York, and this year will be no different.”

The “Celebrate Israel Parade” is the world’s largest public event in support of Israel.  The parade has been held annually on Fifth Avenue in New York since 1964.  Representatives and marchers come from the New York metropolitan area, as well as from other parts of the United States.



PA: Arab States Won’t Return Our Calls About Israeli Annexation

The Palestinian Authority (PA) complained Monday (1st) that it is still waiting for Arab countries to unequivocally support its stance against Israeli sovereignty plans for parts of Judea and Samaria.

In an interview on a Palestinian radio station, Foreign Minister Riyad al Maliki said that he had reached out to Arab leaders, after an Israel Hayom report last week quoted unnamed sources in the Arab world, saying that their governments would make noise outwardly about the coming annexation but would tacitly accept it.

“We have made contact through official and unofficial channels in order to ask for clarification, but we have yet to receive a denial or confirmation regarding these reports,” he said.

Al Maliki added that the Palestinians are looking to the entire international community “to bring about the political isolation of Israel and the Trump administration in the US.”  He also made a veiled threat, saying that if Israel continues with its annexation plan, “it will cause violence, terror and instability.”

The leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf States and Jordan have all supported the Palestinian position in public.

King Abdullah of Jordan said publically, “If Israel really annexes parts of the West Bank in July, it will lead to a massive conflict with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.” 

However Israeli officials have dismissed the idea that Jordan would break off relations with Israel over any annexation, as the kingdom’s security depends in large part on its cooperation with Jerusalem.  It is also dependent on US support.

One Arab official said about the annexation, “Arab relations with Israel are so good, better than ever.  The prospect of historic breakthroughs with the Gulf States are improving every day.  The last thing we need is new tensions with the Israelis.  Who benefits from creating a new crisis now?” he asked.



IAI Tests Short-Range Ballistic Missile, Hitting 2 Floating Targets At Sea

The Israel Aerospace Industries defense contractor performed two tests with one of its short-range ballistic missiles at sea on Tuesday (2nd), successfully hitting floating targets at two distances.

The Long-Range Artillery Weapon System, known by the acronym LORA, was fired first at a target 56 miles away and then at a target 250 miles away, IAI said.

“Under both scenarios, the missile was launched to its trajectory, navigated its course to the target, and hit it with utmost precision,” the company said in a statement.

The firm said the trials were conducted at sea for safety reasons and that the launches were done remotely due to coronavirus restrictions.  They were fired from aboard a ship, but used a land launcher with a command and control trailer nearby.

“A LORA ballistic missile, produced by the Israel Aerospace Industries defense firm, struck targets at sea during a test on June 2, 2020.  Both the weapon system and the missile successfully met all of the trial’s objectives,” the firm said.

The LORA system completed its first trials in 2017, also at sea, ahead of that year’s Paris Air Show.

LORA developer, IAI Missiles & Space Group, is also known by the Hebrew acronym MALAM, and is best known for its air defense systems, including the Arrow 2 and 3 and the Barak 8. 

According to the company, the LORA has a range of 250 miles and is accurate within 32 feet.

Both Israel and Azerbaijan are believed to operate the system, although IAI has expressed interest in selling it to other countries.

“The complex trial, performed under COVID-19 limitations, demonstrated the advanced capabilities of both IAI and LORA, our strategic missile system.  The trial was executed according to a fully functioning design, which tested the system’s maneuvering, strike, and precision, as well as technological developments and enhancements introduced by our engineers,” said Boaz Levy, an IAI vice president and head of Systems, Missiles & Space Group.



BDS Co-Founder Says Goal Of Movement Is End Of Israel

While Israel’s supporters claim that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is aimed at the Jewish state and is a form of new anti-Semitism, its supporters in Western countries say it’s merely a tool to change Israeli policies.

However, in a newly recorded interview on May 21 with the Gazan Voice Podcast, co-founder of the BDS movement Omar Barghouti explained that should the movement’s goal be achieved, Israel would cease to exist.

“If the refugees return to their homes in Israel as the BDS movement calls for, if we bring an end to Israel’s apartheid regime and if we end the occupation on lands occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, what will be left of the Zionist regime?  That’s the question.  Meaning, what will the two states be based on?” he said.

During the 20-minute interview in Arabic to the Gaza audience, Barghouti appears to have let slip the real objective of the movement he founded.

“International law and the right of return?  There won’t be any Zionist state like the one we speak about in present day Israel.  There will be two states.  One democratic for all citizens here [Palestine] and one democratic for all citizens there [Israel].  The Palestinian minority will become a Palestinian majority of what is today called Israel,” Barghouti added. 



Linking The Murder In Minneapolis With Israel’s Efforts To Defend Itself Against Palestinian Terror Is A Big Lie – Jonathan S. Tobin

As always, some of those looking to exploit the tragedy in Minneapolis are attacking Jews.

Asserting that Jewish groups that have facilitated trips to Israel for American first-responders and police are somehow responsible for the killings of unarmed blacks by US cops is not only untrue, it’s a classic example of an anti-Semitic blood libel since it seeks to blame Jews for crimes for which they bear no responsibility.

The training Americans get in Israel actually focuses on the antithesis of stereotypical police brutality by seeking to promote community engagement and nonviolent policing that would make confrontations less likely.

The mission of the Israel Defense Forces is to defend the people of Israel against foes which have not given them a day of peace in the 72-year history of the country.  Its record in protecting civilian lives, including Palestinians who are used as human shields by terrorists, is unmatched.

Intersectionality is a thinly disguised form of anti-Semitism.  It is hate masquerading as advocacy for the oppressed.  It is vital that all decent people reject the attempts to smear Israel and American friends by associating them with incidents like the Minneapolis murder.



Israeli In LA: Palestinians ‘Piggybacking’ On Riots To Wreck Synagogues

“Life in Los Angeles looks like a war zone since riots over the death of George Floyd began – and some Palestinians are taking advantage of the chaos to wreck synagogues,” Eyal Dahan, an Israeli living in the city told Israel Hayom.

A number of Los Angeles synagogues have been vandalized or even destroyed during the riots, including one in Beverly Hills.  According to Dahan, the synagogues have not been targeted by any of the peaceful protesters demonstrating against Floyd’s death, but rather Palestinians who “exploited the opportunity to destroy synagogues.” 

“I saw a PLO flag and them shouting to ‘free Palestine.’  It wasn’t black protesters who did this damage,” he said.

Dahan, a clothing supplier who has lived in the US for 41 years, says the chaos is “immense.”

As Dahan spoke with Israel Hayom, a new wave of rioting and looting began: “Now the looting has started again.  After eight or nine nights, they are starting a new mess.”

Dahan was in Los Angeles during the riots of 1992 but said it is completely different now.  The rioters have learned a lot since then.  Social media helps them form groups, split people – like platoons in a war,  “It’s completely organized, “ he said.