Monthly Archives: November 2021

PM Bennett Lights Chanukah Candle at Western Wall, President Herzog Lights Candle in Hebron

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — November 29, 2021 … Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett lit the first Chanukah candle at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, with Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz and Western Wall Heritage Foundation Mordechai (Soli) Eliav in attendance.

Before the lighting, Prime Minister Bennett toured The Great Bridge Route, which has just been opened to the public, and which in the time of the Second Temple led pilgrims to inside the Temple. During the tour, the Bennett visited the rooms and halls from that period and observed the ancient finds that served the people of that time. 

President Isaac Herzog toured the Cave of the Patriarchs and lit the first Chanukah candle there. Hebron Jewish community head Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, Kiryat Arba local council leader Eliyahu Liebman, rabbis, IDF and Israel Police commanders, local residents, and yeshiva and ulpana students also participated in the candle lighting.

“We must remember that we are not the only ones whose roots branch out from this tomb,” said President Isaac Herzog. “Today, of all days; here, of all places, in this site sacred to all Children of Abraham – we must continue to dream about peace between all religions and faiths in his land, and to denounce all forms of hatred and violence.”

“My connection and my family’s connection to this place stretches back many generations. Forty-five years ago to the month, Israel’s ambassador at the United Nations, my late father Chaim Herzog, later the Sixth President of the State of Israel, recited the verses from the “Chayyei Sarah” Torah portion that we read in synagogues just a few weeks ago on Shabbat. The verses in which the Torah presents, quite atypically, the story of the purchase of the field of Machpelah in intricate detail. And thus, United Nations ambassadors sat there and heard the whole story.”

“They heard how our Patriarch Abraham purchased the field from Ephron the Hittite at full price. In a break from common practice, it was agreed that these verses would be circulated as an official document of the United Nations—a document that proves and exemplifies our connection to the Cave of the Patriarchs. And thus, the title deed for this holy site became an official document of the United Nations Security Council.”

Herzog concluded: “When we assemble around the wonderful light of the Chanukah candles, it is important that we respect the Israeli principle of mamlakhtiyut and its tenets, listen more to the other, respect difference, and build one bridge after another in order to protect our togetherness, of course without prejudice to any individual or community, their opinions and faiths. We will not agree on everything, but we will always remember that “we are all sons of one man” (Genesis 42:11). That we all share deep roots branching out of this tomb.”

Israel Stops Iran From Supplying Weapons To Terrorists In Judea, Samaria

Palestinian members of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, take part in an anti-Israel parade in the southern Gaza Strip. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — November 23, 2021 … Not a single day passes that Iran does not attempt to murder Jews in Israel.

Israel Defense Minister, Benny Gantz spoke today at the Security and Policy Conference held at Reichman University.
In a speech addressing the international community, Gantz discussed Iran’s operational tactics as well as its aspiration to become a hegemon capable of imposing its radical, terrorist ideology. During his speech, Gantz emphasized the important cooperation and alliance with the United States and members of the international community.

“The people of Israel are not a ‘wandering nation alone and Iran is not only a threat to Israel,” said Gantz.

“Iran aspires to become a regional hegemon and then a global one, exporting its radical ideology in which human rights are destroyed, members of the LGBTQ+ community are hung, women are oppressed, and resources are redirected to the regime. Their methodology is to take over unstable countries like Yemen, which ranks last in the ‘fragile countries” index, similarly to Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Their plan is clear – ‘first we take Damascus, then we take Berlin’”.

Gantz revealed two major bases in the Chabahar region and on the island of Qashm in southern Iran, used to carry out marritime attacks, and storing Shahed type UAVs.

Minister Gantz added: “Iran is also operating outside the region, transferring oil and weapons to Venezuela, operating its Quds Forces in South America and trying to infiltrate its influence into Afghanistan. Iranian terrorism is exported under the directive of Khamenei and the regime’s top leaders. One of their key tools is UAVs – a precise weapon that can reach strategic targets within thousands of kilometers. As such, this capability is already endangering Sunni countries, international forces in the Middle East and countries in Europe and Africa.”

Gantz revealed that: “In February 2018, Iran launched a Shahed m141 type UAV from T4 airport in Syria, which carried TNT explosives. The UAV was intercepted near Beit She’an, Israel and its destination was, according to Israeli INTEL assessments, terror operatives in Judea and Samaria. Iran not only uses UAVs to attack, but also to deliver weapons to its proxies.”

Referring to the international community, Gantz said: “In facing the Iranian threat, the world has many tools it may employ, and it must add a ‘Plan B’ to the diplomatic option. We will continue to work in full cooperation with our American friends and with additional countries. The international community has the tools as well as an interest in stopping Iran, which harms the global economy, foreign policy, security and moral values.”

Gantz concluded: “There is no doubt that a diplomatic solution is preferable, but alongside it, the use of force should be on the table – since it is the continuation of diplomacy by other means. Sometimes the use and demonstration of force can prevent the need for an even stronger use of force. I thank our American friends for the sanctions and actions taken recently in this regard, in order to reach our common goal.”

Israel – Fighting Terrorism And Covid

Eli Kay, a 26-year-old immigrant to Israel, was murdered by a Hamas terrorist in a shooting attack in Jerusalem. Eli, a tour guide, served in the IDF paratroopers and attended a Chabad yeshiva.

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — November 22, 2021 … Following are Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s comments at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday:

“This morning there was a serious shooting terror attack in the Old City of Jerusalem. At the moment we have one dead and four wounded.

On behalf of the government ministers, I share in the sorrow of the family and join in the prayers for the recovery of the wounded.

Earlier this morning, the Israel Public Security Minister and the Israel Police Inspector General briefed me privately on the attack. Our security forces on the scene acted very quickly. Two policewomen and one policeman quickly neutralized the terrorist.

Nevertheless, this is the second recent terrorist attack in Jerusalem. I have directed the security forces to prepare accordingly and be alert, also over concern for copycat attacks. We need to be on heightened security alert and prevent future attacks.

It is possible to draw support this morning from the decision of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to define Hamas, even what is termed ‘the political wing’, as a terrorist organization. Until now only the military arm has been defined as such. Now, members of ‘the political wing’ will be exposed to the same exact sanctions.

This reflects a welcome understanding, that I hope will spread throughout Europe, about how terrorist organizations work. There are no rockets and no terrorism without a political wrapper, without fundraising, without an incitement machine.

I would like to personally thank my friend, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for this important decision, which will lead to more decisions in the future.

During our meeting, I raised the issue with him and I am pleased to see that he has responded. I know that the foreign and defense ministers and all of the agencies worked on this.

In recent days we have witnessed a very serious wave of Covid morbidity striking Europe, and we are also seeing a certain rise in the basic reproduction number here in Israel. The winter is starting and we are on the verge of what appears to be a wave of Covid-19 morbidity among children. Fortunately, we have been closely monitoring the situation even when the trend was positive and so we are ready.

In recent days, many vaccines for children have arrived in Israel in very large quantities ahead of the vaccination campaign that will begin on Tuesday. It should be said – these are special vaccines for children, they have been adapted, and there is only a third of the amount in the dose for adults. These vaccines have already been administered to millions of children around the world, especially in the US.

The Covid vaccines are safe and effective for safeguarding our children’s health.

As I have already said, my son, David, will be one of the first to be vaccinated, and so I expect of all Israeli parents, certainly government ministers, who have children or grandchildren of the relevant age.

In view of the current situation, no further easing is expected within Israel at this stage. It must be said – Israel is open and safe, and we will work to ensure that this continues.

Finally, today we mark the day of appreciation for those who have been wounded in Israel’s wars and in terrorist attacks. Going to battle and defending the State of Israel is an extraordinarily heroic act, but the contribution does not end there. Some people carry the battle scars with them even years later, and some for life.

This day is a good opportunity to stop and say to all those who served and were wounded that we appreciate you and love you very much.

I would especially like to thank Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz for the corrective measure in support of the IDF wounded.

On behalf of the government of Israel, and on behalf of the entire Israeli public, I would like to say to you, to those who have been wounded in Israel’s wars and in terrorist attacks. Thank you very much.”

ADL Sponsors Never Is Now – World’s Largest Summit On Antisemitism Nov. 7-9

Speakers attending ADL’s Never Is Now Conference on anti-semitism.

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

New York — November 4, 2021 … Only days after the three-year anniversary of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh and in an environment today where anti-semitism is surging, the ADL is sponsoring the world’s largest summit to address anti-semitism and hate.

ADL’s sixth annual Never Is Now Summit will address the current state of antisemitism, extremism, and all forms of bigotry, and will discuss ways to innovate against hate.

Amid the highest rates of antisemitic incidents ever tracked by ADL, the program includes crucial conversations about hate and bigotry in today’s world and creating a stronger, more inclusive movement for the future.

The program includes panel discussions featuring experts from across the ideological spectrum, including professors, rabbis, students, corporate leaders, and many more. Featured speakers include Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris; Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman of L’Oréal; Daniel Dae Kim, Actor, Producer, Activist; Baratunde Thurston, Writer, Activist, Comedian; Tracee Ellis Ross, Actress, Producer, CEO; and Yair Lapid, Israel’s Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Juju Chang, Co-Anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline” will host.

Never Is Now, the world’s largest annual summit on antisemitism and hate, brought together 7,000 participants from 28 countries and more than 45 states in 2020.

Register Here!

Follow us on Twitter at #NeverIsNow.