Russia Tries to Curb Israeli Strikes
LAPID SAYS ISRAEL WILL DEFEND ITSELF AGAINST IRAN IN SYRIA: Israel will continue to defend itself against Iranian actions in Syria, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in Moscow, following a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, amid concerns about Russian moves to curb Israeli strikes.
“Israel will not sit by quietly while Iran builds terror bases on our northern border [with Syria], or while Iran supplies advanced weapons to terror organizations – weapons intended to be used against us,” Lapid said. There cannot be regional stability as long as Iran maintains a presence and continues to export terror, he warned. “We will maintain our ability to defend ourselves in the face of threats from Syria and elsewhere,” Lapid added. The foreign minister acknowledged Russia’s “key interests in the region,” and said that is why the “necessary and effective” military deconfliction mechanism between Moscow and Jerusalem exists. On Sunday, September 5, a Russian-made missile launched from Syria landed in the Gush Dan region. Two weeks before that, the Russian military in Syria said the air defense system it supplied to Syria shot down 22 of 24 missiles launched by Israel. Israel and Russia, which have soldiers in Syria, have a deconfliction mechanism regarding Israel’s aerial campaign to stop Iran from establishing bases near Israel’s borders. That mechanism seems to have been going less smoothly of late, as the Russian military message on missiles came on the heels of a report in the London-based ASharq al-Awsat in July that Moscow believes Washington has given it a green light to foil Israeli airstrikes in Syria.In response to a question from a Russian journalist, Lapid said that “Israel is not considering and never will consider returning the Golan Heights to Syria.” Lapid also warned that Israel reserves the right to act against Iran’s nuclear program. (JPost/ VFI News)
IRANIAN FUEL, HEZBOLLAH ‘SAVIOR’ OF LEBANON: Iran is trying to position itself as a fuel supplier to Lebanon to empower its Lebanese proxy. The goal is to force Lebanon to become dependent on Iran and then all the gas and fuel going to Lebanon will come through Hezbollah, so Hezbollah can provide it to allies and friends.
Overall, Iran’s goal is to impoverish Lebanon, destroy its middle and upper class, encourage its Sunni and Christian community to emigrate, so that Hezbollah will grow in power and that all that will remain is a hollowed-out Lebanese state that is a province within a larger Hezbollahstan that is more powerful than Lebanon. Iran has been doing this for decades, slowly helping Hezbollah swallow Lebanon and create a parallel state and economy. Hezbollah has its own extra-judicial armed forces, a massive illegal armed militia with 150,000 missiles. Hezbollah sends fighters to Syria and conducts Lebanon’s foreign policy. Hezbollah has its own telecommunications network. It is able to control voting for the presidency and prime ministership. It also has a parallel construction, banking, and even supermarket network. Now it will be the supplier of fuel, Iran says.
ISRAELI SECURITY FORCES PREPARE FOR MORE VIOLENCE AS MANHUNT CONTINUES: Israel’s defense establishment is preparing for an escalation in violence in both Judea and Samaria and Gaza Strip, as the manhunt continues for six security prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison last week.
The IDF has reinforced Judea and Samaria with four battalions with a focus on the area of Jenin and the border with Jordan, two locations to where the fugitives could have run. Israel canceled family visits for Palestinian prisoners on Thursday, September 9, until the end of the month, following the violent riots that broke out in jails across the country. The Palestinian Maan News Agency cited the Red Cross as saying families were informed that the visits were canceled due to “dangerous developments” in Israeli prisons. The rioting prisoners, mainly belonging to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, set fire to cells in Ketziot, Ramon and Ofer prisons on Wednesday, September 8, after Israel Prison Service (IPS) Commissioner Katy Perry placed new restrictions on inmates, and moved hundreds of prisoners in order to ensure that only one PIJ prisoner would be in a cell at a time.On Thursday, prisoners set fire to their cells at Ramon Prison in southern Israel. Following the escape, the IPS said that it would be sending the other security prisoners from Gilboa Prison to other facilities across the country as a precautionary measure in case there are other tunnels. Inmates from Gilboa and Megiddo Prison in the North were moved to other jails in the South. On Wednesday, however, the IPS backtracked on moving some 150 PIJ inmates from Ofer Prison in Judea and Samaria after prisoners threatened to riot, commit arson, and harm guards if they were transferred. Although the riots and fires were brought under control, authorities are preparing for additional violence. (INN / VFI News)
TOURIST GROUPS ALLOWED INTO ISRAEL WITHOUT ISOLATION BEGINNING IN TWO WEEKS: Foreign groups of vaccinated tourists from selected countries will be allowed into Israel again starting September 19 in the framework of a special pilot program, the Tourism Ministry told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.
In order to qualify, the tourists will need to present proof of a second vaccination recognized by the Israeli Health Ministry received within the last six months or of a third vaccination. When they land, visitors will be required to take a serological test to prove the presence of antibodies in their blood. Only tourists coming from countries classified as “yellow” or “orange” by the Health Ministry can be part of the groups. Currently, these include all the nations in the world except for Brazil, Bulgaria, Mexico, and Turkey, which are classified as “red.” The ministry said that travel agents and tour operators can submit requests for groups from 5 to 30 tourists, as was the case before the program was temporarily halted due to increased morbidity in Israel and around the world as a result of the coronavirus Delta variant. The program does not limit the total number of foreign tourist groups allowed into the country. The ministry said it expects applications to start arriving last week, after Rosh Hashanah. Israeli borders have been closed to foreign nationals for a year and a half, with very limited exceptions. (JPost/VFI News)
ARIZONA DIVESTS FROM BEN & JERRY’S OVER ITS ISRAEL BOYCOTT: The State of Arizona plans to completely divest $143 million from the global ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s as of September 2021 over its Israel boycott.
“Israel is and will continue to be a major trading partner of Arizona,” State Treasurer Kimberly Yee said on Tuesday, September 7. Arizona is the first state to totally divest from Ben & Jerry’s after the ice cream giant, which is a subsidiary of the British-based Unilever conglomerate, announced that it planned to end its contract with its Israeli franchise as of December 2022. The Israeli Ben & Jerry’s franchise is based in southern Israel and has been in operation for 35 years. It ran afoul of Ben & Jerry’s for its refusal to halt ice cream sales to Judea and Samaria towns. (JPost/VFI News)
OVER 100 HEADSTONES SMASHED AT JEWISH CEMETERY IN ARGENTINA: More than 100 headstones were smashed at a Jewish cemetery in Argentina that had seen similar damage in 2009.
The vandalism at the Tablada Cemetery in the Buenos Aires area was discovered on Sunday, September 5, the Jewish news site Visavis reported. The headstones were between the cemetery’s older section and the new one, which also contains the remains of dozens of victims from the 1994 terrorist bombing at the AMIA (Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. AMIA, the umbrella of Argentine Jewish communities, condemned the vandalism and lamented the “neglect and lack of control” by law enforcement around the cemetery in La Matanza, an eastern district of the Argentine capital. Police are investigating, AMIA said in a statement. It did not say whether there are indications of vandalism being an anti-Semitic hate crime. There are no suspects. In 2009, unidentified individuals defaced more than 60 headstones, including victims of the 1994 bombing. That vandalism also happened shortly before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which this year began on Monday evening, September 6. AMIA did call that vandalism anti-Semitic. (JPost/ VFI News)
2,000-YEAR-OLD QUARRY FOUND TO SUPPLY STONES FOR ANCIENT JERUSALEM: Har Hotzvim, one of Jerusalem’s main hi-tech hubs, owes its name, which in Hebrew means “Quarrymen’s Hill,” to a much more ancient industrial activity: It is where archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority have uncovered a quarry dating back some 2,000 years, the IAA revealed Sunday, September 5.
The quarry was discovered during a salvage excavation before a new building project was set to begin. According to law, a salvage excavation must accompany all construction projects. “The large-scale building projects in ancient Jerusalem, such as the Temple Mount, required a vast amount of building materials and the ability to organize and coordinate the quarrying and transportation of thousands of building blocks to the ancient city,” IAA excavation director Moran Hagbi said. “Building blocks in various stages of spadework were discovered in the quarry,” he said. “For example, we uncovered large, cubical blocks of stone about to be detached from the bedrock, prior to being loaded and transported to the ancient city.” The site has only been partially uncovered. Researchers believe it was two or three times larger than the 600 sq.m. currently exposed. “For us as archaeologists, this quarry presents a golden opportunity,” Hagbi said. “Because some of the stones were left in situ in this way, we can copy ancient technologies and experiment with them to recreate the processes by which the building stones were quarried.” To better understand how ancient workers operated, the researchers plan to reproduce tools and techniques known to have been used at the time to test their efficacy. (JPost / VFI News)
TEL AVIV RANKS 8TH ON TIME OUT’S BEST CITIES IN THE WORLD: Tel Aviv made Time Out magazine’s top cities in the world in 2021, which was published on Wednesday, September 8.
Of the 37 cities that the magazine lists, Tel Aviv places high at number 8, beating out cities like Tokyo, Los Angeles, London, Barcelona, Sydney, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Dubai, and Paris. The section on the Israeli city refers to it as the “city that never sleeps.” Regarding the attractions, Time Out notes that Tel Aviv has “spaces like Dizengoff Square played host to gigs, screenings, and talks.” According to the Time Out poll, 81% of Tel Aviv residents believe their city to be “fun.” Time Out acknowledged Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market and Park HaMesila as notable attractions within the city. Cities that placed higher than Tel Aviv include Montreal, New York, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam. (JPost / VFI News)
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Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff