A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34
IRAN STOCKPILES URANIUM IN RESPONSE TO US WITHDRAWAL FROM JCPOA: In 2015, Iran signed a nuclear deal with the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China, and Russia known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. However, Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the deal in response to US President Donald Trump’s 2018 withdrawal from the agreement.
The ultimate goal of the JCPOA is to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. But since the US withdrawal, Iran has stockpiled enough uranium to produce a weapon, although the government in Tehran insists it has no such goal and that its atomic program is only for producing energy. With the nuclear deal in place, Iran’s so-called breakout time — the period Tehran would need to build a bomb if it chose to — stood at around a year. As Iran has stepped away from the limits of the 2015 deal, it slowly has narrowed that window. (VFI News)
JEWISH, IMMIGRANT-OWNED ESTABLISHMENTS TARGETED NATIONWIDE: On the heels of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police officer, Derek Chauvin, protests have emerged in all 50 US states, and over 40 countries worldwide. The majority have been peaceful demonstrations, but several have devolved into riots after dark—opening the door for looters, provocateurs and other opportunists.
Law enforcement officials in Minnesota have claimed that white supremacists, and even organized crime, have seized upon the chaos to inflict damage on immigrant communities and institutions—including black, East African, and Jewish-owned establishments. In Los Angeles, a number of kosher stores and synagogues were vandalized. In addition, several kosher restaurants, bakeries and stores were ransacked and looted, causing extensive property damage. Liora Rez, Director of the Stop Antisemitism watchdog, condemned the actions of the vandals, saying that “once again we see vile antisemitism being disguised as activism. To vandalize a synagogue during this horrific time does nothing but further divide a broken country.” (J. Post/VFI)
ISRAELIS AND AMERICANS SHOW SOLIDARITY WITH PEACEFUL PROTEST: A crowd of around 200 Israelis and Americans of all colors assembled outside the Tel Aviv branch of the US Embassy in Israel Tuesday night to stage a peaceful demonstration in honor of George Floyd.
Protesters held signs reading “I can’t breathe,” some of the last words the 46-year-old African American man had managed to squeeze out, as he was lying on the street in Minneapolis, Minnesota under the knee of a police officer. The officer pressed down on Floyd’s neck for around eight minutes until he died—after trying to arrest him over an alleged counterfeit $20 bill. The incident of police brutality was caught on camera, and the backlash from the disturbing video has shaken the United States and Americans living across the globe. American expatriate Shoshana Feldman felt compelled to organize in response to the act, despite now living in Tel Aviv. “If I don’t stand up, no one will. And white people have to know that an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere,” Feldman said. “I hope that the States feel the international pressure.” (J. Post/VFI News)
TRUMP TWEET CENSORED – BUT WHY NOT KHAMENEI’S? Last week, US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to issue a threat against the Minneapolis George Floyd protestors, quoting former Miami Police Chief Walter Headley, saying in part, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The tweet violated the platform’s rules about promoting or inciting violence and was hidden under a gray box that viewers must click to uncover.
Twitter rules dictate: “You cannot make specific threats of violence or desire serious physical harm, death or illness to an individual or group of people.” But, when Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei compared Israeli Jews to “cancer,” Twitter did not apply the rule. No gray box appeared on Khamenei’s tweet depicting the destruction of Israel and the words “final solution.” Khamenei later clarified that the expression “final solution” did not refer to the Jews, but “only” to Israel, concluding his new tweet with the textual words: “Eliminating Israel & it will happen.” (VFI News)
NORWAY CUTS FUNDING TO PALESTINIANS OVER HATEFUL, VIOLENT TEXTBOOKS: Norway said Thursday that it will withhold half of the year’s funding to the Palestinian Authority’s education system until it stops using textbooks that promote hate and violence. A report by the NGO IMPACT-se that found incitement to hatred, violence and martyrdom in PA textbooks.
In May, the European Parliament passed resolutions that condemn the Palestinian Authority for continuing to teach hate and oppose EU aid to the Palestinian Authority being used for this purpose. “This is an unprecedented decision by Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide,” IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff said in a statement. “In carrying out the declaration of the Norwegian parliament in December 2019 to cut Norwegian aid to Palestinian education until the hate is removed from textbooks, the minister has taken a principled stand, championing the teaching of respect for the Other, tolerance and peacemaking as the way to resolve conflict.” (J. Post / VFI News)
GLOBAL REPORT: ISRAEL IS THE WORLD’S THIRD BEST START-UP ECOSYSTEM: Evaluating innovation ecosystems in 100 countries and 1,000 cities globally, StartupBlink ranks locations according to the quantity and quality of start-ups and supporting organizations, and factors including ease of doing business and investment.
“Israel is known as the ‘start-up nation’ for a good reason… It is a relatively small country which makes a substantial impact on the global start-up ecosystem… There are a wide variety of verticals where Israel excels, from autonomous driving (Mobileye, Waze), advertising (Taboola), services (Fiverr), and much more,” the authors of the report said. Moreover, the authors said, Israel represents a “shining example” of innovation to other countries courtesy of its ability to become a global hub despite a complicated geopolitical environment, and substantial tax revenues earned by the country from exits and high salaries. All this was done without public sector guidance, the authors add. Yet the local ecosystem has benefited from “the creation of the world’s biggest start-up accelerator” – the Israeli army. (J. Post / VFI News)
DESPITE ISRAELI STRIKES, IRANIAN FORCES MASSING ON SYRIAN BORDER: Multiple drones reportedly belonging to the Israeli Air Force (IAF) carried out a new series of airstrikes against Iranian-backed militias in the area of Deir Ez-Zur in eastern Syria over the weekend.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported a total of 8 airstrikes targeted the Afghan Liwa Fatemiyoun militia. The attack, which killed 12 Afghan militia members, took place just before midnight on Sunday evening and destroyed recent fortifications and Iranian weapon deliveries to the bases of Liwa Fatemiyoun in the Deir Ez-Zur Province. Although the IAF has not confirmed the strikes, Rami Abdul Rahman, the director of SOHR, said he was confident Israel was responsible for the bombardment. The incident on Sunday evening came just three days after Israeli warplanes used missiles to destroy another Iranian facility in west Syria in the vicinity of the city of Masyaf. (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