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Israel under fire

Israel under fire

Families in southern Isra...

Pitch for Hope competition calls on youth in UK, US, and Israel to propose creative ideas for curbing racism and anti-Semitism in sports

Pitch for Hope competition calls on…

NEW YORK – Chelsea Footba...

PM Netanyahu meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin

PM Netanyahu meets with Russian Pre…

Prime Minister Benjamin N...

The IDF’s response to ongoing Hamas terror attacks

The IDF’s response to ongoing Hamas…

The Kerem Shalom Crossing...

WJC US renews calls to extradite accused Nazi criminal to Germany: ‘Justice must be served’

WJC US renews calls to extradite ac…

NEW YORK – The World Jewi...

PM Netanyahu attends ceremony marking 70th anniversary of the Acre prison break

PM Netanyahu attends ceremony marki…

I call on the leaders of ...

ADL Condemns' 'Absurd' U.N. Special Session on Jerusalem

ADL Condemns' 'Absurd' U.N. Special…

New York, NY, The Anti-De...

Jerusalem is our capital. We will continue to build in it and foreign embassies, led by the US embassy, will move to Jerusalem. It will happen.​

Jerusalem is our capital. We will c…

PM Netanyahu's remarks at...

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Israel under fire

Families in southern Israel awoke to the sounds of red alert sirens calling them into their bomb shelters
Men, women, and children, had 15 seconds to run and seek shelter in the middle of the night. These rockets were continuously launched at these communities and have remained ongoing.
Hamas has launched more than 100 rockets and mortar shells at Israeli civilians.

The IDF carried out the largest wave of daytime strikes since Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014. The IDF struck more than 40 terror targets in the Gaza Strip, including 2 terror tunnels, 2 large logistic centers, and a Hamas Battalion HQ in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza.

“All the Iron Dome batteries and other elements were deployed in the last few weeks and prepared for this situation and we are ready for all possible scenarios,” said Chief of the Aerial Defense Array Brigadier General, Zvika Haimovich.

Before the strikes began, the IDF Arabic Spokesperson, Maj. Avichay Adraee sent out warnings to the civilians in the Gaza Strip in Arabic, warning them to stay away from areas where they know that terror activity is taking place. So far, there are no known casualties on the Gazan side.

“A combination of terror along the security fence, arson terror, and rockets are what eventually caused us to retaliate against Hamas,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, Head of the International and Social Media Branch. “The purpose of the strikes was to stop the terror against Israeli civilians, stop the terror on the fence, and to stop the arson terror.”

Since March 2018, the State of Israel has endured Hamas terror in the form of weekly violent riots, arson kites, incendiary balloons, and most recently, rockets. For months Hamas has targeted Israeli civilians on a weekly basis. The riots on the fence are becoming more violent, as an IDF officer was injured yesterday when an explosive device was thrown at him. He was wounded in the chest and is currently recovering and stable. This officer’s injury represents the increasingly violent nature of the riots along the security fence and Hamas’ true intentions behind the “Great Return March.”

The IDF holds Hamas responsible for everything occurring in and emanating from the Gaza Strip. The IDF will continue to defend Israeli civilians and sovereignty against those who seek to harm either.

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Pitch for Hope competition calls on youth in UK, US, and Israel to propose creative ideas for curbing racism and anti-Semitism in sports

NEW YORK – Chelsea Football Club and The World Jewish Congress today launched the international Pitch for Hope competition
the first stage of a three-pronged joint initiative on combating the widespread phenomenon of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and anti-Semitism in sports, under the banner Red Card for Hate.

Pitch for Hope is a hothouse of ideas, calling on young people ages 18-30 in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Israel to submit proposals for a unique and creative project to harness the spirit of comradery in sports to build bridges between people of all backgrounds, faiths, and walks of life.

In the UK and the US, Chelsea FC and the WJC have been reaching out to potential participants representing institutions working toward coexistence, including Jewish and Muslim organizations, as well as leading educational institutes. The competition in Israel will draw participants from minority groups in the peripheral north and south of the country, and people of all religions – including Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Druze – as well as members of the lower socio-economic strata, and will take a focus on the visual arts.

Finalists will be invited to present their proposals at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge stadium in London to a panel of judges representing the WJC and Chelsea FC in September. The winners from each country will receive a $10,000 grant from Chelsea FC and the World Jewish Congress to develop and implement their pilot project.

The competition will expand to Germany and France for a following round next year, following high-demand from football clubs across Europe.

This initiative was made possible due to a generous contribution from Chelsea FC Club owner Roman Abramovich and World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder.

WJC CEO Robert Singer said: “Anti-Semitism is as dangerous in the sporting world as it is in civil society, and both are growing at alarming rates. It is our duty, as fans and as teams alike, to work together to put an immediate stop to this phenomenon. The World Jewish Congress and Chelsea Football Club are committed to sending a clear message that the spirit of sport must be tolerance and respect, not hatred and xenophobia. We look forward to seeing the creative proposals submitted by our participants, and are confident that working together, we will make a difference."

Chelsea FC Chairman Bruce Buck said: “We hope that our joint initiative will start a process that we believe is vital and long overdue. Change does not happen overnight, it takes time, education and understanding, and therefore we have devised the initiative as a long-term project that will grow and build, and hopefully inspire other clubs to follow our lead and create their own anti-Semitism initiatives, as well as working together with us on joint campaigns and activities.”
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PM Netanyahu meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Kremlin in Moscow, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin
and made the following remarks at the start of the meeting:

"I would like to compliment you on the very successful World Cup that Russia is organizing. The entire world is watching with great interest, including us in Israel, and I must say I am as well. So thank you for the invitation to watch the game later this evening.

Of course you mentioned the moving parade in honor of the victory over the Nazis, which was a great event that made an impression in Israel and I think around the Jewish world.

Every visit such as this is an opportunity for us to work together to try to stabilize the situation in our region, increase security and increase stability.

It is clear that our focus is on Syria and Iran. Our view that Iran needs to leave Syria is well-known; it is not new to you.

Several hours ago a Syrian UAV penetrated Israel's airspace. We shot it down and we will continue to take strong action against any trickle [of fire] and any infiltration into Israel's airspace or territory. We expect that everyone will respect this sovereignty and that Syria will strictly abide by the [1974] Separation of Forces Agreement.

The cooperation between us is a central component in preventing a conflagration and deterioration of these and other situations; therefore, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to discuss these matters and, of course, all other issues. Truly, thank you."
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The IDF’s response to ongoing Hamas terror attacks

The Kerem Shalom Crossing will now only be open to humanitarian aid, including food and medicine that will be approved on an individual basis by COGAT. Exports and marketing of goods will no longer take place at the Kerem Shalom Crossing.

The Kerem Shalom Crossing

This is in light of the ongoing arson and additional terror attacks at the hands of the terror organization, Hamas. This includes infiltration into Israel from the Gaza Strip, terror tunnels discovered leading into Israel from the Gaza Strip, including two near the Kerem Shalom Crossing, and violent riots along the security border. In addition to putting the lives of Israeli civilians at risk and breaching Israel’s sovereignty, Hamas also simultaneously exploits and endangers Gaza residents.

Additionally, the expansion of the designated fishing zone in the Gaza Strip ends today, Monday July 9. For the past three months during the fishing season, the extension increased from six to nine nautical miles. The fishing zone will be returned to six nautical miles today.

This is in response not only to the most recent terror attempts by Hamas, but also in addition to the discovery that took place on June 3 of a terror tunnel located within a Hamas military post that exited to the sea. As well, on May 29th, the Israeli Navy apprehended a Palestinian boat with approximately 17 Palestinians that attempted to breach the legal naval blockade.

The State of Israel aspires and acts to improve the living conditions of civilians in the Gaza Strip. However, the IDF has decided to take these measures due to the recent situation in which the Hamas terror organization is exploiting Gazan residents and launching arson and explosive balloons and kites towards the Israeli communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip. The current situation doesn’t allow the residents of southern Israel to safely maintain their daily routine. Should these severe conditions continue, IDF measures will persist and intensify.

The Hamas terror organization is responsible for all activities occurring within the Gaza Strip and the consequences that follow, including the suffering Gazans experience. The IDF will continue to operate as necessary to defend the State of Israel.
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PM Netanyahu attends ceremony marking 70th anniversary of the Acre prison break

I call on the leaders of Europe: Stop financing the terrorist regime that is financing terrorism against you on your soil. Enough with the policy of appeasement and weakness regarding Iran.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the Underground Prisoners Museum in Acre, attended a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the Acre prison break. Following is an excerpt from his remarks:

"Against those who threaten to destroy Israel we are taking strong action to ensure the future of Israel.

Even when we are the few against the many and when it is necessary to stand against the entire world we do this here, in our region; we do it in the international arena, we break down wall after wall, and sometimes it is necessary to break down walls of hypocrisy.

This week there was an example of Iran's boundless hypocrisy and brazen gall: This week the President of Iran met with leaders in Europe in order to try and overcome President Trump's sanctions regime – and I tell you that this attempt will fail – even as Iran planned a terrorist attack on French soil in Europe.

It was no coincidence that this attack was thwarted.

I call on the leaders of Europe:

Stop financing the terrorist regime that is financing terrorism against you on your soil. Enough with the policy of appeasement and weakness regarding Iran."
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Israel and Senegal announce end to crisis

​Israel will immediately return its ambassador to Senegal and Senegal will support Israel's candidacy as an observer to the African Union.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the fringe of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) conference, met with Senegal President Macky Sall. The two announced an end to the crisis between their countries.

Israel will immediately return its ambassador to Senegal and Senegal will support Israel's candidacy as an observer to the African Union. The two countries will also resume joint projects that were suspended in the wake of UNSC Resolution #2334, which Senegal proposed along with New Zealand.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Sall also agreed on cooperation in security and agriculture. The Prime Minister invited the Senegalese Foreign Minister to resume his visit to Israel, which had been suspended as a result of the crisis.
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World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder urges football associations worldwide to reject anti-Israel vote in FIFA

WJC, The World Jewish Congress and dozens of its affiliated communities around the world are urging national football associations to reject a forthcoming vote regarding the standing of the Israeli Football Association (IFA) within Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), set to take place at the international football body’s upcoming Congress in Bahrain.

In a letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder wrote: “The WJC strongly opposes any efforts by member countries to manipulate FIFA for their own political interests. The campaign of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) to sanction Israel has no place on the FIFA Congress’ agenda.

“We appreciate the recent efforts by FIFA and Mr. Tokyo Sexwale, chair of FIFA’s Israel-Palestine Monitoring Committee, to find an equitable solution to any questions concerning the IFA. As you must be aware, the IFA has complied wholeheartedly and in good faith with all FIFA requests and initiatives to resolve outstanding issues concerning its relations with the PFA. Jews and Arabs play together on Israeli football teams and the IFA is proud of the mutual respect fostered among them by the beautiful game. The IFA brings Israelis and Arabs together in the only democracy in the Middle East that provides equal rights to Jews, Muslims, and Christians.

“With anti-Semitism and other forms of extremism on the rise across the globe, it is vital that organizations like FIFA continue to promote the values of sportsmanship, goodwill, and harmony between different communities and nations. As violent manifestations of racism and intolerance resurface in football stadiums, we must be especially vigilant in preventing toxic and divisive political agendas from undermining FIFA’s mandate of inclusion and camaraderie.

"FIFA’s position as the most prominent regulatory body in the sporting world, one which bridges divides between countries and peoples, must be safeguarded. By keeping politics out of football, FIFA’s central role in the effort to promote respect among nations through sports will be secured.

"To emphasize FIFA’s commitment to global peace and international fellowship, we recommend that it hold a friendly exhibition match between Jewish and Muslim players. This would highlight the spirit of camaraderie that FIFA embodies and ensure that the Federation, which represents football for billions of people worldwide, does not become a political battleground. We stand ready to assist in any way necessary."
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Israel – The Magic Land at the Holy Land

  • Published in Travel
The Holy Land of Israel is steeped in age old traditions, culture and history, holding many wonders to be explored and enjoyed. This country is blessed with a unique abundance of findings and sites, animals and plants and a wide variety of different landscapes. The land mass of Israel equates to the size of New Jersey in the USA.

The geographical location of the Land of Israel and the fact that it has been a land bridge throughout history has given the Land of Israel great importance and interest in the eyes of various rulers throughout history, believers of many religions, pilgrims and travelers from all over the world and even in the eyes of various animals... Traveler along the Land of Israel descends from an Alpine environment on Mount Hermon (at the north end of the land) to the central mountain range in the Galilee, Samaria and Judea, will cross desert territory in the Negev and will eventually reache the Tropical coral beaches of Eilat, the southest point in Israel. Traveling from the coastal plain (located along the Mediterranean Sea) eastward crosses the Judean low land and climbs into the towering mountains of Jerusalem, descending immediately afterwards through the Judean Desert and reaching a huge cliff (part of the Syrian African Rift Valley) which descends to the Dead Sea - the lowest point on earth.

The Land of Israel is a unique tiny piece of land where you can find holy places of numerous faiths and religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Baha'i, Samaritan, Druze etc. The 2 monotheistic faiths, Judaism and Christianity, were created here, while Islam - which was created in the 'Arab Peninsula - has its 3rd holiest place on earth in the Land of Israel.

Israel is not only a land with great bonds to the past, but holds, also, well founded links to the present, having great importance worldwide to science and technology. Israel is ranked fifth among the most innovative countries in the world. Many renowned inventions that changed the world were created here, in this fascinating land of milk and honey: The first computerized instant messaging-chatting program ICQ (by the way, the company was called ICQ based on the English phrase "I Seek You"). Try to imagine your life without USB flash drive – yes, this was also invented here. Waze, a social network navigation application, was invented in Israel. Dripping irrigation system was invented in Israel, a land on the verge of the desert. DiscOnKey, Firewall and the list goes on and on in varied fields. It seems that fulfilling the BDS message may only harm the wellbeing of humanity.

Visiting the Land of Israel open hearted will eventually make the visitor realize the great achievements accomplished here during the past 70 year. No doubt, there's still a great deal of work to do, but we should keep in mind that nowhere else did a newly born state absorbed refugees numbered 1.5 times of its local citizens - immediately after a painful independence war, waged against 5 armies. Dire as it was – the size of the achievements may just be magnified… This is indeed The Magic Land at the Holy Land.

Hope to see you here soon!

Shai Shvalb

Israel Tour Guide


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230 Ukrainian Immigrants Arrive in Israel for Passover, Part of Effort to Rescue Embattled Jews

JERUSALEM, More than 200 new immigrants (“olim”) from Ukraine landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport on a flight organized by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), allowing many of the olim to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Freedom of Passover in Israel for the first time. The Freedom Flight is part of The Fellowship’s ongoing rescue of embattled Jews around the world.

Israel's minister of immigration and absorption, Sofa Landver, greeted the olim, who included 78 families, with four Holocaust survivors and more than 40 children. Most are expected to settle in Israel’s north and center of the country. A second flight arriving from Ukraine on Wednesday will bring the total to 232 new olim.

Some of the olim came from war-torn areas in Ukraine where they’ve lived as refugees in their own country in recent years amid violent conflict with Russia. Many have also suffered economically, as Ukraine has experienced an intense economic crisis fueled by the conflict.

Olski and Irina L. came to Israel with their daughter from the city of Dnipropetrovsk. “Life in Ukraine has become life without a future, especially for families with children. Because of the continuing war the economic situation is also terrible. For us it was clear: if we are looking for a future for our children, it is better to do it in the land of Israel,” the couple said.

Yitzchak B., a Holocaust survivor, said: “World War II began when I was 12. The Jews were asked to gather to register. My family heard a German soldier yell out, ‘Death to the Jews,’ and immediately understood the source of the urgent registration. In a split-second decision, my family left the place and asked Polish friends to please hide us. They agreed and we hid throughout the whole war. Now that I am making aliyah [immigrating to Israel], I feel a strong sense of mission and commitment to the State of Israel.”

Landver greeted the immigrants as they disembarked. “I am very happy about the continued wave of aliyah and am sure that together we will provide the olim who just arrived with the best possible care and optimal absorption in every part of life so that they will immediately feel at home,” she said.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president and founder of The Fellowship, also told the immigrants, “The new olim that have joined us today are carrying with them the burdens of a political war and an economic war. The open opportunity for the olim to come here and begin a new life, living in a strong and independent country, constitutes a rescue for them. The holiday of freedom that we will all celebrate soon is a significant expression of the concept of freedom that the olim will feel in Israel for the first time. I call to all of the people of Israel to remember the olim, invite them to their homes for the seder meal, and celebrate their freedom with them.”

The flight was made possible thanks to the support of The Fellowship’s 1.6 million Christian donors in the United States and around the world. Since December 2014, The Fellowship has brought more than 7,100 immigrants to Israel from 25 countries where Jews are facing rising anti-Semitism, conflict or economic challenges. Nearly 80 percent of the immigrants (5,178) have come Ukraine.

The new arrivals will receive $800 for each adult and $400 for each child from The Fellowship, in addition to having their flights financed. This support comes in addition to an “Absorption Basket” of aid and benefits the olim receive from the ministry of immigrant absorption.
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Ambassadors Against BDS: 2,000 gather at United Nations HQ in New York in support of Israel

The World Jewish Congress and Israel’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations on Wednesday hosted more than 2,000 dignitaries, public officials, NGO representatives at the UN headquarters for the second Ambassadors Against BDS summit. The opening session of the conference was held in the iconic General Assembly Hall of the United Nations.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said: "The effort to delegitimize the state of Israel being waged on college campuses and the anti-Israel obsession at the UN are one in the same. They both seek to deny Israel’s right to exist. [...] They are both extensions of an ancient hatred. And how tragic is it that, of all the countries in the world to condemn for human rights violations, these voices choose to single out Israel.

"Iran, Syria, North Korea and other barbaric regimes are excused by the BDS movement. It makes no sense. And it has no connection to any reasonable definition of justice," said Haley.

In his keynote address, WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert R. Singer, who spoke on behalf of WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, thanked Haley for standing with Israel and standing “up against the bias that prevails here.”

Singer also criticized the anti-Israel BDS movement, saying: “The boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement says it wants peace. It claims to fight under the banner of human rights. But this movement is based on lies, incitement, and deception. BDS is not about peace. BDS is not about helping the Palestinians. BDS is not about human rights. What BDS really wants is to deny the Jewish people’s right to a homeland in Israel.”

“We must tell all who question Israel’s very right to exist: The State of Israel is not up for negotiation. The State of Israel is here to stay,” Singer declared. Pointing to recent measures taken by governments and other institutions against BDS, he added: "Operation Fightback is underway, and we are winning." Singer noted that the "Winds of change are blowing even here, at UN Headquarters."

Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Danny Danon, welcomed the particpants of the summit, also criticizing the United Nations anti-Israel bias: "The halls of the UN are now being infiltrated by the boycott movement. The UN’s Human Rights Council is creating a blacklist of companies and corporations operating in parts of Israel. This is pure anti-Semitism, and together with the US, our greatest ally, we will keep fighting until BDS is eliminated.”

“We are here today with a simple message for those who seek to harm the Jewish state and the Jewish people. We will keep fighting until we eliminate BDS completely, from the campuses to the UN, and we will keep fighting until anti-Semitism is finally defeated,” Danon added.

Other speakers at the opening included Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky and Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice.
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