Australia Ducks Jerusalem Recognition
ISRAEL BLASTS AUSTRALIA ABOUT-FACE ON JERUSALEM RECOGNITION: Israel on Tuesday, October 18, slammed the Australian government’s announcement that it will not recognize the city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Earlier on Tuesday, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said that the status of Jerusalem must be decided through peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians instead of unilateral decisions. “We will not support an approach that undermines a two-state solution”, Wong said, “Australia’s embassy has always been, and remains, in Tel Aviv.” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the about-face by the new Labor government is a worrying sign. “Given the way Australia reached its decision, as a rushed response to a false media report, we can only hope that the Australian government is more serious in other matters.” “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and nothing will ever change that,” Lapid added. Israel’s Foreign Ministry also blasted the decision, vowing to summon Australia’s ambassador for a dressing down. “Israel expresses its deep disappointment in the face of the Australian government’s decision which stems from short-sighted political considerations.” “Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years and will continue to be the eternal and united capital of Israel regardless of this or that decision.” Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said he was “saddened” by Australia’s decision. “The united city of Jerusalem was and will continue to be the capital of Israel forever. Declarations like this do not advance anything, and are of no benefit.” (INN / VFI News)
PUTIN COURTS ERDOGAN WITH PLAN TO PUMP MORE RUSSIAN GAS VIA TURKEY: Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, October 13, that Moscow could export more gas via Turkey and turn it into a new supply “hub,” bidding to preserve Russia’s energy leverage over Europe.
At a meeting in Kazakhstan, Putin said Turkey offered the most reliable route to deliver gas to the European Union, and the proposed platform would allow prices to be set without politics. Russia is looking to redirect supplies away from the Nord Stream Baltic gas pipelines, damaged in explosions last month, that are still under investigation. Russia blamed the West, without providing evidence, and rejected what it called “stupid” assertions that it had sabotaged the pipelines itself. Putin told Erdogan the hub would be “a platform not only for supplies, but also for determining the price, because this is a very important issue”. “Today, these prices are sky-high,” he said. “We could easily regulate [them] at a normal market level, without any political overtones.” Relations with NATO member Turkey are vital to Russia at a time when the West has hit it with waves of economic sanctions, which Ankara has refrained from joining. (JPost / VFI News)
CALLS GROW FOR ISRAEL TO SEND UKRAINE WEAPONS, AS US OFFICIALS CLAIM IRAN SECRETLY SENDS MISSILES TO RUSSIA: Israeli ministers have said it is time for the country to support Ukraine with arms shipments after US officials claimed on Sunday, October 16, that Iran has secretly agreed to supply Russia with surface-to-surface missiles.
The Islamic Republic has been sending drones along with Iranian troops into Ukraine to operate them, siding with Russia in its bloody invasion. Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai wrote on Twitter: ‘There is no longer any doubt where Israel should stand in this bloody conflict. The time has come for Ukraine to receive military aid as well, just as the USA and NATO countries provide.’ His comments came after there were reports quoted by American media, claiming that Iran is stepping up its arms supply to Russia. Tehran has finalized terms for additional weapons shipments, including two types of Iranian surface-to-surface missiles, the sources said. A shipment of Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar missiles, weapons capable of striking targets at distances of 300 and 700 kilometers respectively, are set to be delivered for Putin’s troops to use against targets in Ukraine — where Russian soldiers have been targeting civilians with missile strikes. Moscow has been searching for allies for its nearly eight-month war in Ukraine after invading the country on February 25, only to have its nose bloodied by fierce Ukrainian resistance and a subsequent counter-attack. (DM / VFI News)
RUSSIAN EX-PRESIDENT: IF ISRAEL SENDS WEAPONS TO UKRAINE, IT WILL DESTROY MOSCOW TIES: Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday, October 17, warned Israel against sending weaponry to Ukraine, saying it would destroy all diplomatic relations between Jerusalem and Moscow.
“It seems Israel will supply weapons to the Kyiv regime. A very reckless move. It will destroy all diplomatic relations between our countries,” Medvedev wrote on Telegram. Medvedev currently serves as the deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia, and is considered to be a key ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. His comments came shortly after explosive-laden suicide drones, apparently including Iranian-made Shaheds, struck Ukraine’s capital early Monday. At least one person was killed. There has been no official statement from Israel that it is planning to send military aid to Ukraine. (TOI / VFI News)
MANY NEW ZEALAND JEWS HAVE BEEN HARASSED OVER ZIONISM – REPORT: New Zealand Jews are saying that the most common form of antisemitism they experience is related to Israel and to anti-Zionism, according to the local human rights group “Humanity Matters.”
Overall, two-thirds (65%) of New Zealand Jews said that they have experienced antisemitism on social media in the last three years. The report aims to explore the Jewish experience in New Zealand and to understand the unique challenges facing the relatively small Jewish community. More than half (52%) of the Jewish people living in New Zealand said that they encountered antisemitic misinformation or disinformation online that was either directly related to Israel or to anti-Zionism during the last 12 months, according to the report. The next highest type of antisemitism was due to “financial” reasons, alluding to the antisemitic trope that claims Jewish people control international finance, or that Jewish people are “good with money.” More than a quarter (27%) of the respondents said they encountered this kind of antisemitism online during the last 12 months. Only one percent of respondents said they have encountered no antisemitism online over the last 12 months. (JPost / VFI News)
POLICE ARREST 8 PALESTINIANS SUSPECTED OF AIDING ESCAPED GUNMAN WHO KILLED SOLDIER: Eight Palestinians suspected of aiding a gunman who allegedly killed an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint near Jerusalem earlier this month were arrested by Israeli security forces in the predawn hours of Tuesday, October 18.
Sgt. Noa Lazar, 18, a member of the Military Police’s Erez battalion, was shot on October 8 along with a civilian guard, when the gunman opened fire at a checkpoint near the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem. The guard was hospitalized in serious condition. Lazar was rushed to the hospital, but died of her wounds shortly after. The suspected shooter, 22-year-old Udai Tamimi, managed to flee the scene into the camp, where he is thought to likely still be hiding. Police said the eight suspects, residents of the Shuafat refugee camp and the nearby West Bank town of Anata, were relatives and acquaintances of Tamimi. A Border Police spokesman said that during the searches overnight, weapon parts and military vests were seized. The spokesman added that Palestinians hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at officers, who responded with riot dispersal means. There were no immediate reports of Palestinian injuries. (TOI / VFI News)
RECORD 1.5 MILLION ISRAELIS VISITED NATIONAL PARKS DURING SUKKOT BREAK: A record-breaking number of Israelis flocked to the country’s national parks over the weeklong Sukkot holiday, according to official data.
The Nature and Parks Authority reported Monday, October 17, that approximately 1.5 million Israelis visited national parks and nature reserves over the past week, a 22 percent rise compared to Sukkot last year. The most popular sites were Caesarea National Park, which saw 44,000 visitors, followed by the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, which attracted 35,000 people, and Masada National Park, which drew 32,000 visitors. Heritage sites like Masada and other ancient forts, including Yehiam and Apollonia, saw a particular increase in visitor interest. The head of the Nature and Parks Authority, Raya Shourky, said it partnered with the Tourism Ministry and Mifal HaPayis, Israel’s national lottery, to provide extra activities for visitors at the sites during the Sukkot break. The most visible initiative provided was “Breathing Culture,” which included organized jugglers, singers, musicians and actors to entertain tourists at the parks. (TOI / VFI News)
CYPRUS, EU LAUNCH PROJECT TO LINK ISLAND TO EUROPEAN GRID: Cyprus launched an EU-funded project on Friday, October 14, to link the eastern Mediterranean island to the European electricity grid via an undersea power cable billed as the world’s longest and deepest.
The European Union has approved 757 million euros ($736 million) in funding for the 1,200 kilometer (750 mile) cable to Greece, which will end the island’s “energy isolation” as the only member state without any gas or electricity connection. The EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, has said the “898 kilometers of undersea cables and maximum sea depth of 3,000 meters will set new world records for a project of this kind.” Speaking at the launch ceremony, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said the surge in energy costs sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year had underlined the project’s importance. Simson said it would help Europe diversify its sources of energy and boost its energy security. She told the East Mediterranean Gas Forum conference in the Cypriot capital that the region can play an increasingly important role as a short- to medium-term supplier of gas and pointed to a June deal for Israel to send more gas to EU countries through Egypt, which has facilities to liquefy it for export by sea. (TOI / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff