News Digest — 9/21/23

Netanyahu To UN Chief: Time For The UN To Refrain From Its Baseless Criticism

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday (20th) with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the UN General Assembly in New York.

During the meeting the Israeli Prime Minister stressed Iran’s role in destabilizing the Middle East and the entire world.

Netanyahu expressed hope that the international efforts led by the United States for normalization with Saudi Arabia will bear fruit soon, and expressed his confidence that the economic corridor project between India, the Gulf States, Israel and Europe will contribute to strengthen the global economy.

In addition, Prime Minister Netanyahu demanded that the UN Secretary-General change the attitude of the organization’s institutions toward the State of Israel and said it was untenable that while major changes for the better were taking place in the world including the Middle East, the UN was unaffected and remained steadfast in its hostility to Israel.

Netanyahu added that “the time has come for the United Nations to condemn Iranian subversion and Palestinian terrorism against innocent civilians, and to refrain from its baseless criticism of Israel.”



Fiji Sending Delegation To Israel Ahead Of Jerusalem Embassy Opening

The Pacific Islands nation of Fiji will send a delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Villiame Gavoka to Israel this month before opening an embassy in Jerusalem in 2024, Fiji officials said, fulfilling an election promise by Gavoka’s party.

A large delegation will travel on a specially chartered Fiji Airways flight to attend the Festival of the Feast of Tabernacles in Israel, which runs from Sept. 29th to Oct. 6th, the officials said.

Fiji will open an embassy in Jerusalem next year, a spokeswoman from the Fiji prime minister’s office said.

Last month Pacific Islands neighbor Papua New Guinea opened an embassy in Jerusalem becoming the fifth country with a full diplomatic mission in a city whose status is one of the most sensitive issues in the Middle East.

Papua New Guinea joined embassies from the United States, Kosovo, Guatemala, and Honduras in Jerusalem, while most countries maintain their diplomatic representatives in the coastal city of Tel Aviv.

Papua New Guinea’s decision was driven by Zionist church groups in the deeply Christian Pacific nation, and Prime Minister James Marape said Israel would help with embassy costs for two years.

In June Fiji allocated funding for an embassy in Israel in its national budget.  Gavoka wrote on social media last month that he “had made the location of the embassy in Jerusalem a non-negotiable matter in our coalition agreement.”



Riots Renewed For 6th Straight Day On Gaza Border As Crossing Remains Closed

Hundreds of Palestinian rioters gathered along the Gaza Strip border for the sixth consecutive day on Wednesday (20th), as Gazan workers remained unable to transit into Israel.  

Amid the riots, Palestinian terrorists reportedly launched incendiary and explosive balloons from Gaza toward Israel.  According to Palestinian media reports, several Palestinians were wounded by live fire.

The unrest comes after a significant period of quiet on the Gaza border.  Clashes in Israel have increased following Operation Break the Wave in the West Bank, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be edging Israel toward normalization with Saudi Arabia during his New York trip, a move that Netanyahu feels could solve the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Due to the continued riots at the Gaza border, the Erez crossing, which thousands of Gazans with work permits use to exit and enter Israel, has been closed for three additional days since the end of its usual closure on Rosh Hashanah.

The riots on the border were being conducted to amplify the Palestinians economic demands, sources in the Palestinian factions told news media on Wednesday (20th), adding that the factions were not interested in a larger conflict with Israel at this time,

On Wednesday (20th), Lebanon’s al-Akhbar newspaper cited sources within Hamas as saying the terrorist movement sees Qatar’s role in the current situation as “negative,” adding that Qatar was working with Israel to prevent an escalation during the High Holy Days by holding back funds intended for Hamas civil servants in Gaza.

Qatar facilitates a periodic grant for Gaza, including funds for families in need, fuel for the power station, and the salaries of civil servants working in the Hamas-controlled government.   

Meanwhile, security forces on Wednesday (20th) arrested a resident of Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp with a work permit, who was carrying an 11-inch butcher knife at Tel Aviv’s Savidor Train Station. 



Mahmoud Abbas, ‘You Are A Liar, A Hypocrite, And Guilty Of Genocide’ – Rabbi Leo Dee

In a recent speech, Mr. Abbas stated that Ashkenazi Jews are not descended from ancient Israelites but rather from an ancient Turkish people known as the Khazars.

I would like to applaud Mr. Abbas for this untruth, which can easily be disproved today by genetic analysis and reams of historical evidence.

But what interests me more is this question: “Why did he feel it necessary to make this statement at all?”

He stated this, as he did many other hateful lies in the past, for one reason and one reason only: Islam is at odds with Palestinian nationalism.  Yes, he’s spent his life fighting an unwinnable theological battle with the Jewish people and this statement is a beautiful demonstration of the contradiction that his terror regime, and his close allies Hamas and Islamic Jihad, are proliferating every day.

The Quran states that the Children of Israel “settled in a blessed land (Israel)….” (10:93), thereby identifying Israel as the eternal ancestral homeland of the Jewish people.

The Quran then commands the Jewish people to follow the Torah strictly, stating, “O Children of Israel remember MY blessing which I bestowed upon you, and fulfill My covenant that I may fulfill your covenant, and be in awe of Me (alone)” (2:40).  Interestingly, since over 30% of the 613 Torah commandments are connected to Temple worship, the Quran is effectively imploring Jews to rebuild the Temple… In fact, the Quran explicitly mentions the original building of the Temple by King Solomon, “they made for him whatever he wished of sanctuaries (of the Temple), and (basins) as large as great watering troughs, and cauldrons firmly anchored,” (34:13) demonstrating its understanding of this critical element of how we Jews fulfill our covenant with God.  The Quran finally promises that Jews will return to the Land of Israel  in the “latter days” (17:104).

To Abbas, If modern Israelis really were the original “Children of Israel” mentioned in the Quran, then they would clearly have every right, under Islamic law, to reclaim their land and rebuild their Temple.  Hiis only challenge to this truth appears to be his assertion that Ashkenazi Jews (approximately one-third of the Israeli population) do not derive from the original Israelite blood stock.  His claims are laughable to any basic, and non-Palestinian analysis, and serve to draw our attention to the real issue: Abbas’ holy book defends the right of the Jewish people to return to our land and to build our Temple.

Thank You Mahmoud, for this enlightening insight which your bizarre accusation has drawn our attention to.  The Quran is supportive of religious Zionism and even condemns the killing of Jews.  In a direct quote from the Mishnah in Sanhedrin, the Quran states, “Whoever kills a person is considered as if he killed all of mankind” (5:32).  By your own religion, Mahmoud, you are a liar, a hypocrite, and guilty of genocide.  

So, Mr. Abbas, where do you go from here?

Rabbi Leo Dee is the author  of ‘Transforming the World: The Jewish Impact on Modernity.’  He tragically lost his wife Lucy and daughters Maia and Rina in a terror attack earlier this year.



Airport Authority: GPS Jamming Forcing Planes To Land Using Alternative Routes

Incessant GPS interference by unknown forces has recently forced planes landing at Ben Gurion Airport to use alternate routes over West Bank settlements in recent months, the Israel Airports Authority said Wednesday (20th).

The cryptic IAA statement came in response to complaints by the Binyamin Regional Council in the West Bank on behalf of its residents – particularly from those living in the settlement of Hashmonaim – over intolerable noise from planes constantly passing above.

“In recent months, the State of Israel has experienced non-stop GPS jamming from unknown sources, likely from outside the country,” Iris Raz, head of the environmental and engineering division of the IAA wrote, adding that planes are often unable to land using the usual approach.

Because of the disruptions, planes are forced to use a method that carries them over Modiin Illit, Hashmonaim, Lapid and Kfar HaOranim.  

Airport activities have not been harmed by the issue.

Israel’s Channel 12  reported that authorities were looking for a solution.  According to the network, authorities are investigating if Russia’s cyberware units based in neighboring Syria – where its troops are propping up President Bashar Assad’s regime – and across the region, are responsible for the interference.

Russia has denied allegations by Israel in the past that it was responsible for GPS jamming of flights around Ben Gurion Airport.

Moscow has in the past been accused of using a form of electronic warfare known as “spoofing” as a defensive measure despite the disruptions it causes to nearby aircraft and ships.

According to the Israeli Airline PIlots Association, spoofing allows the GPS to receive incorrect location data from a transmitter, making it appear to the pilot as though the aircraft is in a different location, sometimes miles away.  As the GPS continues to show location information, it does not immediately appear as a malfunction.

Binyamin Regional Council chair Yisrael Gantz said in a statement that he was in regular contact with the IAA in order to solve the issue.

“We understand that there are constraints at the security and technological level, but we will continue the ongoing conversation with IAA officials to find alternatives and solutions to the issue,” he said.



40 Jewish Graves Desecrated In Germany

Unknown perpetrators damaged more than 40 graves in a Jewish cemetery in Germany, officials announced on Wednesday morning (20th).

The vandalism occurred in the historic Jewish cemetery in the small town of Koethen, in Saxony-Anhalt.  Jews have been buried in the graveyard for some 400 years.

Sometime between September 15th and 19th, police said, vandals smashed and brought down dozens of gravestones.  Damage to the site was estimated in the thousands of dollars.

The State Police of the Anhalt-Bitterfeld station and the Central Criminal Investigation Service of the Dessau-RoSSlau are currently investigating, German media reported.

In a similar incident in May 2022, 16 graves were damaged in the Koethen cemetery.  The perpetrators behind the damage were not apprehended.

The ancient Jewish cemetery in Worms was targeted by vandals in July 2020.  It is the oldest surviving Jewish graveyard in Europe.  Vandals splashed green paint and desecrated at least 50 graves at the site.

At the time, Rabbi Joseph Havlin, a Jewish leader in Frankfurt told German media, “We are witnessing, and not for the first time, desecration of German Jewish cemeteries alongside a disturbing rise in anti-Smitism in the entire public sphere.”

“We call on the German government to declare an uncompromising fight against anti-Semitism to ensure such acts do not repeat.”

The chairman of the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, bemoaned rising online anti-Semitism that spills over into offline action and violence.

“We unfortunately see how the toxic discourse on social media is turning into real attacks on Jewish institutions and symbols,” he said.