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Israel Sends Rescue Teams to Mexico after Quake

September 24, 2017 Human Interest, Special Feature

When disaster strikes anywhere, call Israel. Image of IDF Aid Delegation Search and Rescue Missions in Mexico City. Photo courtesy of IDF.

Groups of Israelis decided to spend their New Year’s holiday traveling to Mexico—but it wasn’t for a vacation. Search and rescue teams from the Israeli military and the iAID organization went to assist Mexico in recovering from last week’s devastating earthquake—and chose to help out during last week’s Rosh HaShannah holiday, also known as the Jewish New Year.

Israel received a request from Mexico to assist and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commissioned such help to leave for Mexico “as soon as possible,” according to a press release from his office last Wednesday. Later that same day, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) team—consisting of dozens of soldiers—departed, arriving on Rosh HaShannah on Thursday last week, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feedThe Spokesperson’s Twitter feed posted that the IDF team then spent the next several days “helping survey buildings & rescue trapped civilians from the rubble”.

On Saturday, Netanyahu spoke by phone with the leader of the IDF delegation, Col. Dudi Mizrachi, and Israeli Ambassador to Mexico Yoni Peled. “You are shining Israel’s light in the world, a big light,” Netanyahu told them, according to a press release from his office. “It is important from a humanitarian standpoint and also to show the world the true Israel.”

Meanwhile, iAID, an international Israeli aid organization, sent a 15-person search and rescue team during the holiday as well and quickly received special access from the Mexican authorities to a sensitive site. … Continue Reading

Israel and Mexico Talk Business

September 14, 2017 Special Feature

PM Netanyahu and Mexican Pres. Nieto during Thursday’s visit. Photo Courtesy of Avi Ohayon (GPO)

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues his historic tour of Latin America, he meant business in his visit to Mexico. As in, he talked about business with 16 of the leading Mexican businesspeople during a breakfast where a key topic was investment in Israel. He then later met with Mexican Economy Secretary ldefonso Guajardo Villarreal at an event that included economic partners from both countries, and he also planned to talk about free trade during his later meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. It was all part of the first ever visit by an Israeli Prime Minister to Mexico.

“I began my visit in Mexico at a meeting with leading Mexican businesspeople, not for nothing, because the goal of this visit is economic,” said Netanyahu on Thursday in comments released by his office. “Mexico is a giant economy, among the 12 leading economies in the world. Soon it could be ranked even higher and we must be here, and in a big way… Israel is forging ahead, in Mexico as well.” … Continue Reading

Poll Shows Almost 1-in-3 Jews Considered Leaving UK Due to Anti-Semitism

August 20, 2017 Special Feature

British Flag. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

First the good news: In each of the last two years, anti-Semitism has dropped among British adults from the previous year according to a poll published by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA). But the bad news is that 32%—nearly one-third—of Jews polled in 2107 said they considered leaving the United Kingdom in the last two years due to anti-Semitism. The CAA highlighted safety as well as failures by the British government and justice system as key concerns for Jews in the country.

“Overall, rising anti-Semitic crime, the failure of the authorities to take firm action against anti-Semites, and anti-Semitism in politics, have had a severe detrimental effect on British Jews’ sense of security,” said the CAA’s Anti-Semitism Barometer 2017 report. “…Since 2014, anti-Semitic hate crime has risen by 45%, with each year seeing record-breaking levels, but enforcement has remained lackluster.”

Just 21% of the Jews polled believed that the authorities were appropriately addressing anti-Semitism. And it’s getting worse. … Continue Reading

Iranian Space Launch Condemned as Akin to Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

Could Iran’s latest missile launch help them hit the West with nuclear weapons? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

The recent Iranian launch of a space launch vehicle missile last Thursday received condemnation from the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom—which is especially understandable given that the missile research is ultimately a threat to their nations. A statement from the four nations—which compromise two-thirds of the powerful P5+1 group of nations that reached a nuclear deal with Iran in 2015—linked the space missile launch to efforts to develop missiles that can travel across continents and potentially carry nuclear warheads.

The statement, published by the U.S. State Department, pointed to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231as calling upon Iran to “not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such technology like this launch. Space launch vehicles use technologies that are closely related to those of ballistic missiles development, in particular to those of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.”

The ominous linkage of the latest test to weapons of mass destruction was paralleled with a warning from the U.S. about Iran’s behavior. … Continue Reading

Israel Still Aiding Wounded Syrians, Turning Them from ‘Enemies to Friends’

Israeli Pres. Rivlin & wounded Syrian. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Israel and Syria have been mortal enemies since Syria attacked the newly reborn State of Israel almost 70 years ago. But that hasn’t impacted Israel’s ongoing work to help Syrians wounded in that nation’s civil war—and it may even offer hope for peace. It certainly isn’t stopping, even as violence continues to rage. The IDF Spokesperson Twitter page reported that on Thursday night, Israel evacuated seven Syrians needing medical care—all but one of which were women and children—to an Israeli hospital. That theme of aiding children is nothing new.

The Israeli Galilee Medical Center has seen more than 1,500 wounded Syrians, roughly 500 of whom have been children and infants, according to a Sunday press release from the Israeli President’s Office. Dr. Masad Barhoum, director of the Galilee Medical Center, was quoted in the press release saying that he recently spoke to the AIPAC conference and told them of their aid for the Syrians and “to explain how we turned those wounded Syrians from enemies to friends.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said the work is a point of pride for Israel and that it will continue. … Continue Reading

Israel Working on Special Economic Relationship with China

PM Netanyahu and Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach / GPO

Israel is seeking to be on an exclusive list—nations receiving investment from China. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following his recent visit to China, noted in Sunday’s cabinet meeting that while China isn’t investing around the world right now, Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to consider that China have a specific investment policy for the Jewish State.

“China recently decided to restrict, to completely halt, its external investments for its own reasons – I am talking about the world, not Israel,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “In light of my request, the President of China said that he was prepared to consider an exception for Israel, meaning that Chinese investments in the high-tech and other sectors would continue.” And that’s not the only special arrangement in the works between Israel and China. … Continue Reading

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