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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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Lauder welcomes Ban Ki-moon’s ‘long-awaited’ admission of UN bias against Israel

WJC, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder has welcomed outgoing United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s “long-awaited and impactful” recognition of the UN’s ongoing disproportionate stance on Israel and his demand that Hamas once and for all renounce the use of violence and recognize the right of Israel to exist.

However, Lauder added that it had “been incumbent” upon Ban to make such remarks over the course of his near 10-year term, and to voice opposition to the anti-Israel resolutions that have abounded.

“In the nearly 10 years that he has been in office, Ban Ki-moon has vigilantly supported a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians, a shared sentiment that we encourage and respect.

"But his tenure has been replete with some of the most shocking and anti-Israel resolutions of our time, including repeated Human Rights Council decisions singling out Israel for crimes against humanity, while ignoring the fate of nationals in other parts of the world whose lives are constantly at risk due to the horror and terror of extremists in their midst, as well as UNESCO decisions that blatantly and aggressively deny Israel of its historic Jewish ties to Jerusalem and accuse Israel of aggression in its sovereign capacity.

"We believe that criticism of Israel can be sounded when due, but many of the resolutions of the last few years have been so clearly biased and damaging to Israel.

“We welcome Mr. Ban’s final speech to the UN Security Council, particularly his assertion that there is indeed a bias in the international organization he has led for nearly a decade, and the fact that there is incitement and violence ongoing against Israel. As we’ve said so many times before, the UN has been hijacked by states focused on their own political interests that target Israel disproportionately at the expense of real human rights crises desperate of international attention.

“It was incumbent upon Secretary General Ban to issue statements such as these over the course of his near decade-long tenure, but it is encouraging to hear now, even in his waning hours in office, and we very much hope that the message will be absorbed by the bodies operating under the UN in the years to come.

"We stand ready to assist in every diplomatic measure possible to ensure that Israel and the Jewish people are given fair evaluation and treatment in the world’s preeminent international organization,” declared Lauder.
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New survey: 80 percent of impoverished Israelis believe their children will remain poor

Majority of Israeli poor express increasing anger and despair, says new study commissioned by The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews


JERUSALEM,  A new study of Israel’s poorest citizens commissioned by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), by the Shvakim Panorama research institute, reveals a growing sense of anxiety, anger, and despair among a vast majority of impoverished Israelis feeling increasingly disconnected from state institutions and society in general.

The study, of a representative sample of 494 poor Israelis, was released today at The Fellowship’s Conference to Reduce Poverty and Social Inequality in Israel, at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa.

According to the most recent study of Israeli poverty, about 22 percent of Israelis, or some 1.7 million Israeli citizens including 776,500 children, live below the poverty line. The Fellowship study showed Israel’s poor are experiencing growing social isolation and hopelessness, including that:

• 81 percent of Israeli poor say they lack the ability or opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty;

• 80 percent believe their children’s economic futures will not significantly improve;

• 25 percent (one in four) would leave Israel for another country if they could;

• 29 percent (nearly one-third) know someone who has considered suicide due to economic and social pressures;

• 24 percent report a family member has started using anti-depressants in the past year due to their socio-economic difficulties;

• 43 percent do not feel part of Israeli society;

• 65 percent have lost their faith in the country’s main institutions (including the judicial system, government ministries, and the Knesset), with 29 percent saying they don’t vote in Knesset national elections;

• 63 percent do not want their children to serve in the army.

“The survey reveals extremely worrisome statistics on the severity of poverty in Israel, and should serve as a wake up call for leaders of our country and its citizens,” said The Fellowship’s founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. “Poverty is a real threat to Israel’s social fabric and ability to function. It is time for the Israeli government to declare all-out war on poverty with the same determination and the same financial commitment it makes to combat security threats.”





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