Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. – John 8.44

“I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.” Rev 3.9

“I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” Rev. 2.9

GOD cursed the Satanists out of Jerusalem for life. Jesus arrived and focused on Jerusalem because it was the most unholy, evil, place on earth... still is today.

The Nomadic Turks (ashkeNAZIS) have been behind all the Evil in the world since Cain's children... using their News Networks to create the News, and set the stage, to blame their opponents, for everything evil they do, across the globe.



Jewish Communist Dictum:- "Accuse the enemy of those crimes you are guilty of"

1.PROBLEM 2.REACTION 3.SOLUTION.

The Elite Jews create the illness, then sell the Cure. They create Chaos & Terrorism, then sell the solution... for more control and power.

Islam and Christianity have become servants of the Jews. Acting as physical and spiritual cattle for the Jews to harvest in building their Global Satanic Kingdom.

If I converted to Buddhism, does that make me Chinese? If I converted to Hinduism, does that make me Indian? When Khazarians (Turks) converted to Judaism in 740 BC and stole the true Semite Israelite Aegean identity, did that make the counterfeit Jews Hebrew? Well, the Jew World Order seems to think so. They crucified Jesus Christ for exposing them.

The invention of the Muslim Terrorist by our Jewish Governments... to keep us in fear, and to justify raping the World, and slaughtering billions of innocent families in every country for power and control...for their 2 horned God Lucifer... which the Jews named him "Morning Star."

Every Religion Church and Mosque has been infiltrated by the Jews. How do you know? ... if your Church has not discussed the below phrases by Christ... then it has been compromised.

Israel is a person not land

Israel is a person not land

Jacob was renamed Israel. The descendants of Jacob are known as Israelites. Israel is a person not a land.
The term Israelite is the English name for the descendants of the biblical patriarch Jacob in ancient times, which is derived from the Greek Ἰσραηλῖται,[34] which was used to translate the Biblical Hebrew term b’nei yisrael, יִשְׂרָאֵל as either “sons of Israel” or “children of Israel”.[35]
The name Israel first appears in the Hebrew Bible in Genesis 32:29. It refers to the renaming of Jacob, who, according to the Bible, wrestled with an angel, who gave him a blessing and renamed him Israel because he had “striven with God and with men, and have prevailed”.

GOD cursed the Satanic Edomites out of Jerusalem for life. Jesus focused on Jerusalem because it was the most unholy, evil, place on earth… still is today.

“For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.” – Romans 2:28-29

“I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” Rev. 2.9

“I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.” Rev 3.9

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. – John 8.44

https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/report-finds-ashkinazi-jews-descended-from-turks/

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‘No evidence that Russia is involved’ in US fuel pipeline hacking, says Biden

US President Joe Biden on Monday said that there was no evidence so far that Russia was involved in the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had blamed the weekend shutdown of the pipeline on a group called the DarkSide. The shutdown had affected gas supply in parts of the East Coast with reports of people waiting for hours at filling stations.

President Biden said on Monday: “I’m going to be meeting with President Putin, and so far there is no evidence based on, from our intelligence people, that Russia is involved, although there’s evidence that the actors’ ransomware is in Russia.” He added that: “They have some responsibility to deal with this.”

The Colonial Pipeline was hit with a ransomware attack that the FBI says began on Thursday. The hackers stole some 100 gigabytes of data in a double-extortion scheme.

The FBI identified Darkside as responsible for the ransomware attack. In a statement, the agency had said: “The FBI confirms that the Darkside ransomware is responsible for the compromise of the Colonial Pipeline networks. We continue to work with the company and our government partners on the investigation.”

Colonial Pipeline on Monday said that it was partially opening its 5,500 miles [out of the 8,850 miles] of the pipeline — which is the largest fuel network between Texas and New York. Colonial Pipeline had to stop operations for three days due to the ransomware attack. In a statement to the media, it said that “segments of our pipeline are being brought back online.” Colonial added that it is aiming for “substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week.”

Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, the Deputy National Security Advisor, told the media that Mr Biden was being kept updated on the incident. She said: “Colonial has told us that it has not suffered damage and can be brought back online relatively quickly with no fuel disruptions so far.”

Colonial Pipeline, after the attack, said in the statement that it “proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems.”

Meanwhile, on their website on the dark net, DarkSide has rejected any allegations of having an official backing.

DarkSide began attacking medium and large-sized companies last year asking for anything from a few hundred thousand dollars to a few million dollars — to be paid in Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency.

Cybereason, a security company based in Boston wrote on their website that Darkside focuses “on targets in English-speaking countries” and avoids operations in former Soviet bloc countries. It sells its ransomware, a model known as ransomware as a service, and maintains a help desk for negotiations with victims.

It added: “This gang appears to have a code of conduct that prohibits attacks against hospitals, hospices, schools, universities, non-profit organisations and government agencies. No doubt that code of conduct is an effort to establish a level of trust and confidence in victims to enhance the likelihood that they’ll pay.”

Meanwhile, on their website on dark-net, DarkSide said: “We are apolitical, we do not participate in geopolitics, do not need to tie us with a defined government and look for other motives.” It added: “Our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society.”

But Dmitri Alperovitch, one of the foremost cybersecurity experts who co-founded the firm CrowdStrike, believes the group has Russian backing.

He tweeted: “A ransomware group we believe is operating (and likely harboured) by Russia has shut down a company that is moving 45 per cent of petroleum supplying the East Coast. Is it a criminal act? Sure.” He said it also “undoubtedly” has “huge” national security implications, especially in US-Russia relations.

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Israel news – live: Gaza death toll hits 43, as rockets kill five in Israel and unrest spreads

Israel intercepts Gaza rockets with Iron Dome defence system

Israeli airstrikes have now killed 43 people including 13 children in Gaza, according to the enclave’s health authority. Meanwhile, rockets fired from the Strip have killed five people in Israel as hostilities between Hamas and Tel Aviv continue to rage.

Of those killed in Israel, two were in Lod, two in Ashkelon and one in Rishon LeZion. One was reportedly a child. Their deaths came amid a surge in Israeli military activity, with Benjamin Netanyahu promising to expand the offensive against Hamas and the militant group Islamic Jihad, and adding: “This will take time.”

The prime minister has also declared an emergency in the town of Lod, southeast of Tel Aviv, following what police called “wide-scale riots” by supporters of the Palestinians.

The two sides have returned to the brink of war following weeks of confrontations, including a heavy-handed police response to worshippers gathering for Friday prayers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, a site holy to both Muslims and Jews.

Read more:

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UN Security Council to hold emergency meeting

The UN Security Council was planning to hold its second closed emergency meeting in three days on Wednesday to address the escalating violence between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Council diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions have been private, said the UN’s most powerful body had not already issued a statement because of US concerns that it could make things worse.

It comes as diplomats from Qatar and Egypt also work to deliver a ceasefire.

Jon Sharman12 May 2021 10:22

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Gaza death toll rises

Forty-three people have now been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, the enclave’s health authority has said.

Thirteen of the dead were children, according to officials.

Nearly 300 people in the Strip have been injured in the worst fighting since the 2014 war.

Jon Sharman12 May 2021 10:00

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Johnson urges Israel and Palestinians back from brink of war

Boris Johnson says the UK is urging both Israel and the Palestinians to step back from the brink of war.

Both sides should display restraint, the prime minister has said.

Here is the full story:

Jon Sharman12 May 2021 09:38

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Ocasio-Cortez criticises NYC mayoral candidate for attending Eid event after ‘chest-thumping’ support for Israel airstrikes

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday hit out at the New York mayoral hopeful Andrew Yang for scheduling a campaign event around the celebration of Eid after tweeting in support of Israel amid the escalating violence between Israeli forces and Hamas in Jerusalem, writes Namita Singh.

Mr Yang, in his initial tweet on Monday had said, “I’m standing with the people of Israel who are coming under bombardment attacks, and condemn the Hamas terrorists.

“The people of NYC will always stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who face down terrorism and persevere,” he said.

Jon Sharman12 May 2021 09:16

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Israel launches early-morning airstrike bombardment

Just after daybreak on Wednesday, Israel unleashed dozens of airstrikes over just a few minutes.

The bombings targeted police and security installations, according to witnesses, leaving a cloud of dark gray smoke over Gaza City.

The Hamas-run interior ministry said strikes had destroyed the central police headquarters in Gaza City, a compound with several buildings.

Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesperson, said two infantry brigades had been sent to the area, indicating preparations for a possible ground invasion.

Jon Sharman12 May 2021 08:51

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The Independent’s Middle East correspondent runs for cover after rocket scare in Israel

The Middle East correspondent for The Independent, Bel Trew, filmed a frantic scene as she ran for cover after a rocket scare in the city of Ashkelon, Israel.

The reporter was in the city covering the rising tensions between Israel and Hamas in Gaza when sirens began to blare and she was forced to dive for cover.

The footage recorded by Trew during the frenzy shows her helping an elderly woman in a wheelchair as people run to take shelter within a nearby building.

Watch: The Independent’s Middle East correspondent runs for cover after rocket scare in Israel

The Middle East correspondent for The Independent, Bel Trew, filmed a frantic scene as she ran for cover after a rocket scare in the city of Ashkelon, Israel.The reporter was in the city covering the rising tensions between Israel and Hamas in Gaza when sirens began to blare and she was forced to dive for cover.The footage recorded by Trew during the frenzy shows her helping an elderly woman in a wheelchair as people run to take shelter within a nearby building.

Jon Sharman12 May 2021 08:26

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Catch up on overnight developments

Israel protests: Over 80 rockets fired at Tel Aviv from Gaza with security at ‘highest alert’, police say

Over 80 rockets have been fired toward Tel Aviv from Gaza, Israeli police have said, in an “unprecedented” attack many feared may push both sides to the brink of war, write Bel Trew and Samuel Osborne.

The extraordinary scenes captured on camera showed the barrage of projectiles light up the night sky like fireworks as they were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system.

One woman was killed in the “unprecedented ” barrage, Israel’s police spokesperson, Mickey Rosenfeld, told The Independent, adding that it struck at the “very heart of Israel”.

“One woman was killed in Rishon LeZion [ just south of Tel Aviv], “ he said adding: “It is one of most intense rocket strikes on Tel Aviv, one of the most serious and largest in years, striking into the very heart of Israel.”

Jon Sharman12 May 2021 07:41

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Israel ‘destroys Gaza City police headquarters’

Israeli airstrikes overnight have destroyed a number of key infrastructure buildings in Gaza City, including its police headquarters, the city’s authorities said.

Iyad al-Bozum, a spokesman for the Hamas-run interior ministry, said on Wednesday the police compound was blown up after being targeted by a series of Israeli airstrikes.

Shweta Sharma12 May 2021 06:54

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35 killed in Gaza, 5 in Israel as intense bombardment continues

Israel and Gaza remained locked in war-like escalations continuing into Wednesday morning, leaving at least a total of 40 dead on both sides as they traded bombardments.

Officials in Gaza said at least 35 Palestinians have died, including 10 children, mostly in airstrikes by Israel. The Israeli military claimed 16 of those killed were militants.

In Israel, 5 people have been killed so far, with the IDF saying “Israel is under attack.”

The IDF on Wednesday claimed it targeted and killed several top Hamas intelligence leaders, including Hassan Kaogi, head of the Hamas military intelligence security department, and his deputy Wail Issa.

Israeli military spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus confirmed 1000 rockets were launched by Gaza at its territories but 200 of them did not cross the border.

Unconfirmed Israeli media reports say a seven-year-old girl was among those killed in the town of Lod, near Tel Aviv, by rockets from Gaza. A fierce confrontation took place in Lod during the night as Arab and Jewish residents clashed.

Shweta Sharma12 May 2021 06:29

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Benjamin Netanyahu declares state of emergency as riots and arson erupt in Israel

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night declared a state of emergency in the town of Lod, southeast of Tel Aviv.

A state of emergency was declared after police accused Arab residents in Tel Aviv of conducting “wide-scale riots” and arson in the city in support of the Palestinians.“Wide-scale riots erupted by some of the Arab residents and endangering communities,” the police said in a statement. “Vehicles were burnt and damage caused to property.”

Border police officers were deployed in the West Bank to the city of Lod after thousands of people participated in the funeral procession of 33-year-old Musa Hassuna, a Palestinian citizen of Israel who was reportedly gunned down by a Jewish Israeli.

Netanyahu also vowed to step up the offensive as Gaza unleashed a fierce late-night barrage of rockets towards the densely populated Tel Aviv, while protests continued.

Shweta Sharma12 May 2021 06:23

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Young British woman strangled to death in front of child during Athens burglary

A young British mother has been strangled to death next to her baby during a burglary in Greece.

A Greek minister described the killing of the woman as “barbarity” that “rarely” occurs in the country.

Police said three thieves strangled the 20-year-old mother – who has a British passport – in front of her 11-month-old baby after breaking into her home in the suburbs of Athens and making off with cash and jewelry.

They said her husband, who is believed to be a civil aviation pilot, had been bound and gagged. He managed to call police after loosening his bonds.

While the woman has not been formally identified by Greek authorities, she has been named in media reports as Caroline Crouch.

Police said the victim was a British national who was married to a Greek man.

According to local media, her husband told police the thieves pointed a gun to their baby’s head during burglary.

He said he was tied to the floor and his wife was tied to the bed, and both pleaded not to be hurt, newspaper Dawn reported.

The husband told police he told thieves where money was hidden, according to the newspaper.

The thieves killed the family’s dog and left it hanging on the fence of the house in the suburb of Glyka Nera, police said.

The baby was not harmed.

The Greek minister responsible for public order, Michalis Chrisochoidis, said the killing of the young mother was “particularly heinous”.

“One rarely encounters such barbarity in Greece, in Greek society, even among criminals,” he said.

Two teams of detectives had been set up to handle the investigation, the minister added.

Authorities have offered a €300,000 (£260,000) cash reward for information that leads to arrests.

The intruders are believed to have broken into the property in the early hours while the couple were sleeping, according to Greek media.

Additional reporting by agencies

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Boris Johnson urges Israel and Palestinians to ‘step back from brink’ as tensions rise

Boris Johnson has urged Israel and the Palestinians to “step back from the brink” and for both sides to show restraint, amid rising tensions and violence.

“The UK is deeply concerned by the growing violence and civilian casualties and we want to see an urgent de-escalation of tensions,” Mr Johnson said in a short statement posted on social media on Wednesday morning.

Renewed clashes began on Friday when more than 200 Palestinians and 17 Israeli police officers were hurt in Jerusalem.

Thousands of worshippers had gathered at the city’s al-Aqsa mosque for their weekly Friday prayers and were attacked by police with rubber bullets and stun grenades.

The show of force by Israeli authorities was in response to Ramadan protests over police restrictions in the Old City and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

The violence quickly escalated, with Hamas militants firing rockets into Israeli territory and Israel responding with airstrikes.

43 people, including 13 children, have been killed by Israeli airstrikes, while Hamas rockets have killed five .

More follows…

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India’s B.1.617 Covid variant detected in 44 countries, says WHO

The Covid-19 variant responsible for India’s deadly second wave has been found in 44 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The UN health agency said on Wednesday that the B.1.617 variant, responsible for the massive surge of cases in India, has been detected in more than 4,500 samples uploaded to an open-access database “from 44 countries in all six WHO regions.”

“WHO has received reports of detections from five additional countries,” the organisation said on Wednesday in its weekly epidemiological update on the pandemic.

This new variant was first found in October in India and is believed to be transmitting more quickly than the original virus and considered more dangerous. It was also reclassified as a “variant of concern” by WHO and added to the list containing three other variants of Covid-19 — those first detected in Britain, Brazil and South Africa.

“A recent risk assessment of the situation in India conducted by WHO found that resurgence and acceleration of Covid-19 transmission in India had several potential contributing factors, including an increase in the proportion of cases of SARS-CoV-2 variants with potentially increased transmissibility,” it said.

It also pointed that India’s spread could have been a result of “several religious and political mass gathering events which increased social mixing; and, underuse of and reduced adherence to public health and social measures.”

According to WHO, apart from India, the country that had reported the largest number of Covid cases with this variant is Britain.

WHO also pointed to “preliminary evidence” that the variant was more resistant to treatment with the monoclonal antibody Bamlanivimab, and also highlighted early lab studies indicating “limited reduction in neutralisation by antibodies.”

It stressed that “real-world impacts” on the effectiveness of vaccines against the variant for instance “may be limited.”

WHO said the spread of B.1.617, alongside other more transmittable variants, appeared to be one of several factors fuelling India’s dramatic surge in new cases and deaths.

India has become the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in the last few weeks, reporting over 23 million infections so far. It is still behind the US and is the second-most affected country in the total number of cases but experts say India’s outbreak may be much more severe than the numbers reported.

India, with 1.3 billion people, reported 348,000 new infections in the last 24 hours and lost 4,205 people to it — the highest-ever death count that the country has seen.

Additional reporting from agencies

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Swedish pop star Zara Larsson labeled anti-Semite after calling on ‘apartheid’ Israel to stop killing Palestinian civilians

Swedish pop sensation Zara Larsson is facing a backlash on social media after criticizing Israel’s treatment of Palestians, amid a flare-up of violence in the region. The controversial Instagram post was later removed.

In a message to her 6.3 million followers on the platform, the 23-year-old said the ongoing cross-border violence was a “crime” against Palestinians. 

“We have to stand up for Jewish people all over the world facing anti-Semitic violence and threats, but we must also call out a state upholding apartheid and KILLING civilians, funded by American dollars,” the now-deleted post read. She ended the message with the hashtag “#freepalestine.”

The remarks quickly caught the attention of foreign and domestic media. Turkish outlets in particular seemed eager to highlight the Swede’s take on the hostilities, leading some to applaud Larsson’s criticisms of Israel. 

Reactions were more negative in her native Sweden, however. One of her countrymen sarcastically described Larsson as “brave” for defending “terrorists who explicitly want to exterminate Jews.”

The Sweden-Israel Friendship Association urged the pop star to refrain from “spreading lies” about Israel. 

​”If she wants to make an effort, the local emergency medical service gratefully accepts donations. Hamas’ escalation harvests victims on both sides,” the organization tweeted.

Others accused Larsson of “choosing sides” by not condemning the violence carried out by Hamas militants. 

Others were more blunt and explicit in their condemnation, labeling the singer an “open anti-Semite” who “has no brain.” 

Although she was bombarded with angry tweets, some thought the negative reactions were disingenuous, arguing that Larsson was being unfairly targeted simply for speaking out against the bloodshed.

Militants in Hamas-run Gaza have reportedly fired hundreds of rockets into Israel since Monday night, with some projectiles even reaching Tel Aviv. The attacks have killed at least five civilians, including two Arab-Israelis: a woman and a child.

In response to the rocket barrages, the Israel Defense Forces has carried out a series of airstrikes in Gaza. At least 35 Palestinians, including 12 children, have reportedly been killed in the bombings.

The violence comes following days of protests over the planned evictions of several Palestinian families in occupied East Jerusalem, leading to violent clashes between demonstrators and the Israeli security forces. 

Larsson is no stranger to airing controversial views on social media. In June, she responded to reports of alleged police abuse during Black Lives Matter demonstrations by tweeting “Acab”, which stands for “All Cops Are Bastards.”

Also on rt.com Human Rights Watch hurts ‘Israel’s right to exist’ with report accusing it of crime of apartheid, minister claims

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Kazan school shooting: locals create makeshift memorial for victims

People in the Russian town of Kazan are struggling to come to terms with a school shooting in which at least nine people died. Seven students and two staff members have died in the attack. A 19-year-old suspect has been detained.

Many locals have left candles, flowers and toys at a makeshift memorial set up outside the school gates.

Roza Miftakhutdinova is an insurance agent from the area:

“The neighbourhood is (normally) quite calm. We did not expect, we are very surprised that we had such a terrorist attack, we can say that we are in shock. I was at work, I was scared.”

Aigul Smirnova is a music teacher in a kindergarten nearby. When she heard the news, she “burst into tears. I have two children, one of them is a schoolboy, and when I imagine what the children from this school went through, I feel very bad.”

Twenty-one other people, mostly children, were injured. Responding to the shooting, President Vladimir Putin has said he would review the country’s gun control laws.

Watch Euronews’s full report in the player above.

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Biden fumbles attempt to please everyone with tepid response to Mideast violence

NEW YORK — The Biden administration irked quite a few allies on Monday when it blocked the approval of a joint statement from the United Nations Security Council that criticized both sides for the ongoing escalation of violence in Israel and Gaza.

Fourteen of the top panel’s 15 members had backed the draft introduced by Norway, which was subsequently amended to include specific criticism of rocket attacks and incendiary device launches from Gaza. However, it also highlighted looming Israeli evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem and called on Israel to maintain the status quo at the city’s holy sites.

The pointed criticism of Israel, in addition to the Palestinians, appeared to have been enough to give the US mission pause, according to four diplomats who spoke to The Times of Israel on the condition of anonymity in order to reveal what transpired during the closed consultation.

The US mission asked for more time to deliberate the matter, adding that the timing might not have been right for a joint statement, the diplomats involved recalled. Two days have passed, and frustration from member states and other countries watching has grown.

Smoke caused by Israeli retaliatory airstrikes for rocket fire is seen at a residential building in Gaza City, May 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

One European diplomat expressed bewilderment over the US stalling the statement, claiming it was nearly identical to the one issued by the State Department several days earlier. “It appears that saying the same thing as one cohesive unit in the Security Council would have been too much for the Americans,” the diplomat said.

Not only did the stance alienate the Biden administration from allies that it entered office vowing to “reassure,” but it did not even impress Israel, which the posture appeared at least partially aimed at satisfying.

Shortly after the meeting ended, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan issued a statement tearing into the Biden administration over the aforementioned State Department press release, say it was “unacceptable.”

“We are in disagreement with the [Biden] administration and hope to see it wise up in light of the Palestinian disturbances and violence,” Erdan tweeted, albeit in Hebrew. “Pressure must be exerted on the party that spreads violence and hatred — the Palestinian Authority and Abu Mazen (President Mahmoud Abbas), and not on Israel.”

The exchange appeared to be part of a broader trend in which the Biden administration has found itself unable to please advocates of Israel or the Palestinians, both before and since the latest round of violence began.

US President Joe Biden, right, accompanied by from left, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, appears at a virtual meeting with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 1, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

One Palestinian official pointed to a press appearance by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday in which he largely focused on rocket fire from Gaza and urged for calm.

“Gaza did not happen in a vacuum. Where’s the mention of Jerusalem and Israeli violations there?” the official asked, criticizing the looming evictions of Palestinian residents in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah and the crackdown of Israeli police against rioters at the Temple Mount compound.

The official also noted the delivery of a letter from US President Joe Biden to Abbas on Monday, which was the first correspondence the American leader has had with his counterpart in Ramallah since taking office.

“The Israelis made a fuss when Netanyahu had to wait a few weeks to get a call from Biden. Abu Mazen hasn’t even spoken with the president yet,” the Palestinian official lamented.

Downgrading the conflict

That decision to hold off on calling Abbas appeared to be part of a broader strategy to deprioritize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after successive US presidents entered office vowing to tackle the issue head-on.

“This isn’t 2009, it’s not 2014 and it’s not 2017. The parties are far from a place where they’re ready to engage on negotiations or final status talks,” Blinken told The Times of Israel days before the presidential election.

With the pandemic not yet under control, and the larger foreign policy goals of pushing back against increasingly combative Russia and China yet to be fully addressed, it’s no wonder that Biden would prefer not to spend time managing such a protracted conflict.

The administration does not, at this time, have plans to appoint a special envoy to the conflict as was common in previous White Houses, a source familiar with the matter said, and Biden has not yet even announced his pick for ambassador to Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and US Vice-President Joe Biden speak in front of media prior to a meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016. The meeting comes less than a week after a diplomatic breakthrough between the U.S. and Iran that has put Israel’s government on edge.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

However, the hands-off approach has frustrated members of Biden’s own party, particularly since the Gaza escalation.

The dovish Middle East lobby J Street, which endorsed Biden in the presidential race, said Tuesday, “It’s critical that the Biden administration engage proactively in securing an immediate ceasefire and pushing all sides to de-escalate. With lives on the line, our government can and should be doing more.”

That sentiment was coming from within Congress as well. Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell sent a letter to Blinken on Monday calling on the Biden administration to brief Congress on the steps it is taking to deescalate tensions in Israel and Gaza, saying it was key for the US to be playing a “constructive” role.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price dismissed claims during a Tuesday briefing that the United States has “failed to prioritize” the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“That is not the case,” he said, arguing that the US and other countries have “recognized” that the two sides are not in a position to enter meaningful negotiations toward a two-state solution.

US State Department Spokesman Ned Price speaks during a news briefing at the State Department in Washington, February 25, 2021. (Nicholas Kamm/Pool via AP)

“It is not that we haven’t been paying attention. We’ve been deeply engaged, and that predates the current escalation,” Price said.

Indeed, since entering office Biden has restored relations with the PA, which were severed under his predecessor Donald Trump, and restarted aid to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority. On the Israeli side, his senior officials have held regular consultations with their counterparts in Jerusalem, while Washington has acted to avoid major public spats, despite disagreements on settlements and the Iran nuclear file.

But frustration being voiced out of Jerusalem and Ramallah this week showed that those charm offensives were no longer enough.

Washington may be getting the message, though, with one source familiar with the matter saying calls from Biden to Netanyahu and Abbas were “in the cards” if the situation in Gaza continued to deteriorate.

“The United States is doing what we can, knowing that our ability in certain situations is going to be limited,” Price said Tuesday.

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After reviving ancient dates, a Negev pioneer plants seeds against a dry future

In 2005, Elaine Solowey made history when she managed to germinate a 1,900-year-old date palm seed, bringing an ancient species back to life.

Now, the California-born Solowey has set her sights on rescuing dozens of other threatened or endangered types of plants, with hopes of rehabilitating habitats and finding ways to help farmers and others cope with a warming climate in an already arid region.

Revered by plant geeks like a rock star, Solowey, 68, works out of an office crammed with books, old coffee and spice jars filled with seeds, and little vials with different shapes of thorns. She also has two run-down greenhouses that lack even basic temperature control.

It is in this unlikely kingdom at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in southern Israel that she continues to produce more date palms, other plants mentioned in the Bible such as frankincense, myrrh and Balm of Gilead (associated with the caravan that made its way from Gilead to Egypt and to which the young Joseph was sold by his jealous brothers in Genesis 37:25), and yet more species that may hold medicinal potential or the promise of new crops that can be grown sustainably in dry conditions or that are valuable to the ecosystem and in danger of extinction.

Solowey, 68, immigrated to Israel from California in 1974 and has since spent her life on Kibbutz Ketura, which was founded by North American graduates of the Young Judea gap year program in 1973, 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Eilat.

Arriving as a qualified tree surgeon, she went on to earn further degrees and a doctorate by correspondence with US universities. In 2016, she was awarded the Ben Gurion Prize for the Development of the Negev.

Dr Elaine Solowey in her office at Kibbutz Ketura in southern Israel, March 21, 2021. (Sue Surkes/Times of Israel)

Over the last 45 years, Solowey, who holds a doctorate in land reclamation and heads the institute’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture, has been testing plants, mainly trees, in an experimental orchard located just off the main road to Eilat at Kibbutz Ketura.

It’s a Sisyphean task. “There aren’t many fruits we can grow down here,” Solowey said. “I’ve tried around 500 from all over the world, of which maybe 10 show some promise. It’s either too dry or the water is too saline.”

Her latest major project is the creation of a shelter garden — a protected space in which some 70 species of threatened and endangered plants can mature before being introduced elsewhere as part of habitat rehabilitation. The garden will also serve as a preliminary test field for wild plants with the potential to be domesticated and later cultivated.

“We plant in mass [in the orchard]; in the shelter garden we only plant a few trees,” said Solowey.

Divided into eight sections, the shelter garden — located next to the experimental orchard — will showcase biblical plants, incense trees, global ethnobotany (native plants important to the culture and economy of particular peoples), endangered wadi (desert valley) plants, desert agroforestry, desert agriculture, a migrating bird habitat, and medicinal herbs. Many of the herbs are the subject of ongoing medicinal research and study that draws on the knowledge of local Bedouin.

She expects it to open to the public next year.

“Were hoping to do a lot of planting in the next month or so and are starting to make the paths and put down irrigation,” she said.

The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura in southern Israel. (Courtesy)

The project has already received the backing of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority — which Solowey hopes will lead to government funds.

Recently, Solowey was joined by Noach Marthinsen, 32, a desert agriculture researcher who hopes to continue the work started by Solowey and spends his days trying to learn as much as he can from a woman who is a walking encyclopedia and holds much of her accumulated knowledge in her head.

Marthinsen enthusiastically showed this reporter the mostly empty, beige area of sand out of which the new garden — funded by a former British council official, Robin Twite, in memory of his late wife, Sonia — will be carved. Among the plants already in the ground are a bodhi fig tree, a species under which Buddha is said to have achieved enlightenment, and a paloverde tree from the North American deserts.

Noach Marthinsen stands by a specimen of Balm of Gilead at Kibbutz Ketura in southern Israel, March 21, 2021. (Sue Surkes/Times of Israel)

“Not only will this be a reservoir for genetic material,” enthused Marthinsen, who has set up home at Kibbutz Ketura with his fiance and their dog. “It will be educational and awareness-raising and also a place for animal and bird life, with a wetland for birds.”

From ancient seeds sprout new fruit

Solowey, along with her partner in all things medicinal, Dr. Sarah Sallon, a pediatric gastroenterologist who directs the Louis L. Borick Natural Medicine Research Center at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, is best known for having managed to germinate a 1,900-year-old date seed excavated at Masada, the fortress overlooking the Dead Sea  — then the oldest seed ever brought to life.

While Solowey carries out everything that is directly plant-related, Sallon obtains the date palm seeds, organizes the genetic analyses and helps to get the scientific work published.

The Methuselah date palm in its own enclosure at Kibbutz Ketura in southern Israel, March 21, 2021. (Sue Surkes/Times of Israel)

That original sapling, named after the Bible’s longest-lived figure, Methuselah, now stands tall and proud near Solowey’s office. She describes it as “that big boy.” It is one of a long-extinct line of palms that were native to Israel but disappeared centuries ago.

The Medjool and Deglet Nour dates popular here today were brought to Israel from Iraq and Morocco by Jews in the early part of the last century. The only cultivated dates already present were limited plantations of Sayer dates planted by the Ottoman Turks.

When Methuselah turned out to be a male and thus not a source for fruits, Solowey went back to the germinating table, sowing 32 more ancient seeds of the same species as Methuselah, which yielded six saplings. These she named named Adam (after one of her six sons), Jonah, Uriel, Boaz, Judith, and Hannah.

Elaine Solowey (left) and Sarah Sallon enjoying the first Judean dates to be produced in several centuries, at Kibbutz Ketura in southern Israel, September 7, 2020. Hannah, the tree that produced the fruit, is in the background. (Marcus Schonholz)

Last year, pollen from Methuselah was used to fertilize Hannah’s flowers. That resulted in 111 dates.

“They’re the size of the Medjool, but they’re dry and have a lovely honey after-taste,” Solowey said, adding, “If they’d tasted terrible, I don’t know what I would have done.”

Pollen from the Methuselah date palm growing at Kibbutz Ketura in southern Israel, March 21, 2021. (Sue Surkes/Times of Israel)

This year, Hannah’s flowers have been dusted with pollen from Adam and Jonah as well as Methuselah. The dates — developing within the protective embrace of paper bags to keep the birds away — should be ready to eat in September.

Carbon dating has in fact revealed that the seed from which Hannah sprouted is 175 years older than the one that gave birth to Methuselah, meaning a new record. “We think [the seed] dates to between 30 and 65 [CE], and that her heritage is from a date brought back by the Jews who returned from the Babylonian Exile [in 539 BCE].

The other female plant, Judith, is still in Solowey’s greenhouse.

Striking it rich with oil

As head of the Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Solowey has focused on dryland agriculture, developing crops that can make the most of areas with limited water resources and earn farmers an income sustainably, despite fragile conditions in which minor changes to the climate can turn formerly arable land into deserts.

Drylands are found throughout the world and evidence suggests that they are expanding. Desertification is a major environmental issue that harms the land’s productivity and contributes to poverty.

It is this work that led her 29 years ago to become the first person to domesticate the argan tree, whose nuts produce an oil that is touted for its health benefits and is in high demand by the cosmetics industry worldwide. Argan trees require only a fraction of the water needed by date palms.

Solowey and her husband traveled to Morocco to receive their first batch of seeds from the late King Hassan himself.

Moroccan women producing argan oil by traditional methods. (Chrumps , CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

In the Sous valley of southwestern Morocco, wild argan fruits are eaten by goats and then gathered from goat excrement after digestion. The nuts are pressed by hand to extract the oil.

Wild trees are genetically diverse and Solowey has been selecting the best specimens to produce a domesticated version which can be used for commercial argan oil production.

“We planted 1,000 wild trees, got 20 or so very good ones for this area, narrowed them down to seven or eight and we’re cloning them,” she explained, adding that samples have been passed onto the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Agriculture for further development. “I give [the plants] to everybody who asks,” Solowey said.

Argan fruits. (luisapuccini, iStock by Getty Images)

With pure argan oil in high demand, and mechanical processes replacing goat digestion, commercializing production is a potential cash cow, and Solowey’s son Nadav has set up an argan oil pressing facility within the kibbutz, which is now marketing several argan oil products.

The oil has been shown in studies to help cardiovascular health and boosters claim a laundry list of other health and beauty benefits.

“It’s good for the skin and the hair and if you eat it [in its roasted form] it lowers cholesterol,” Solowey said.

Marula fruit. (Ton Rulkens from Mozambique – Sclerocarya birrea – fruits Uploaded by JotaCartas, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Other species with promise include the so-called soap berry tree, whose oil has potential for use as a natural washing machine detergent, and marula, native to South Africa and Botswana, whose fruits are being used to produce oil and a liqueur. Azadirachta indica, a medicinal tree already known as a natural pesticide, is being cultivated to serve as a shade tree, while the salt tree and the palmate fig hold out the promise of sustainably growing edible fruit.

Solowey’s main interest is in trees, but she is eager to domesticate a variety of local, wild shrubs as well, among them the Judean wormwood, species of desert lavender and oregano, the desert stork’s bill, which produces edible tubers, the white bushy bean caper and the hairy thorn plum, the latter reduced in the wild to only a handful of plants.

Desert Stork’s bill — Erodium crassifolium. (Eitan Ferman, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

This year, she retired from teaching, meaning she’ll have more time to pursue these projects and possibly do some sightseeing as well. She dreams of traveling to Oman to see frankincense tree growing in the wild, and to Yemen’s scorched Socotra island, home to an abundance of plant species found nowhere else in the world.

“I’ve taught 50 semesters [at the Arava Institute], which is enough punishment,” she laughs. “Now, I’m an emeritus.”

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Taiwan considers coronavirus lockdown as island registers record 16 domestic transmissions

Taiwan is tightening its coronavirus restrictions after 16 new domestically transmitted Covid-19 cases were detected, marking the highest-ever daily increase on the island, which has largely kept the pandemic under control.

The island, regarded by China as an integral part of the country, reported 16 new domestic cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday. Four more imported cases, including one from India and three from the Philippines, were reported as well, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The figure became the highest reported in a single day on the island since the beginning of the pandemic. Taiwan has kept the coronavirus well under control for months, registering only 1,210 cases and 12 deaths in over a year.

The surge has already prompted the authorities to tighten restrictions, with all business venues ordered to increase prevention measures – or face closure if they fail to comply.

“Taiwan currently has more than two chains of transmission for which we have yet to identify their sources. We are in critical condition now, and this is not a joke,” Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told the legislature on Wednesday.

The minister urged the public not to panic buy amid the Covid-19 spike, assuring them that the island has stockpiled plenty of protective equipment and medical supplies. At the same time, Chen said that the country might see its coronavirus alert bumped to Level 3 “in the coming days.”

Also on rt.com ‘Not a god reborn’: Taiwan defends health minister criticized over minor uptick in Covid-19 cases, urges public to follow rules

Taiwan has a four-tier alert system and has never gone past Level 2, which is currently active. This level bans large-scale indoor and outdoor gatherings of 100 and 500 people respectively, as well as enforcing mask wearing on public transport and in crowded venues.

Level 3, however, effectively stops short of imposing a nationwide lockdown. Under this alert, Taiwanese citizens would be required to wear face masks at all times outside of their homes, while indoor gatherings of more than five people and outdoor ones of more than 10 would be banned, while non-essential businesses would be ordered to shut down.

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Video: CNN’s Cooper Accuses Rand Paul Of ‘Disrespecting Medical Science’ For Questioning Fauci

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has called for The White House medical advisor Anthony Fauci to be investigated concerning his links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origins of the coronavirus.

In a monologue Monday, Carlson asserted that Fauci allowed the pandemic to happen by ‘exploiting a loophole that allowed him to fund research at the Wuhan Lab that likely became COVID-19’.

Carlson was responding to Fauci again suggesting that it’s “possible” mask mandates could continue indefinitely.

“Tony Fauci is punishing the country — you, us, everyone. The question is: why is he doing that?” Carlson asked, suggesting “Maybe he liked it, that’s possible. But you’ve got to think that at least part of Fauci’s authoritarian germ hysterical is a cover for something else. Could it be that Tony Fauci is trying to divert attention from himself and his own role in the COVID-19 pandemic?”

The host then pointed to an article by science writer Nicholas Wade that outlines how Fauci approved dangerous research at the Wuhan facility, that many believe led directly to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Tony Fauci had authorized payment for the research. For five years — from 2014 to 2019 — the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Fauci runs, and has for decades, pumped money to a group called the EcoHealth Alliance,” Carlson continued.

“The EcoHealth Alliance, run by a man called Dr. Peter Daszak, contracted with Dr. Shi to conduct gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab,” Tucker further explained.

“Millions of people have died of COVID-19, so it’s not a matter of score-settling or blame-assignment to figure out where it came from. If you want to prevent the next global pandemic, you have to figure out how this one started,” Carlson added, noting “This wouldn’t have happened if Tony Fauci didn’t allow it to happen. That is clear.”

He concluded “In a functional country, there would be a criminal investigation into Tony Fauci’s role in the COVID pandemic that has killed millions and halted our country, changing it forever. So why isn’t there a criminal investigation into Tony Fauci’s role in this pandemic?”

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Iran now enriching uranium to 63% purity — UN watchdog

Iran has enriched uranium to 63-percent purity, higher than the 60% it has announced, which is already way beyond the 3.67% allowed under the 2015 nuclear deal, a report said Tuesday, citing a document by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“According to Iran, fluctuations of the enrichment levels… were experienced,” the UN nuclear watchdog said in a confidential report, according to the Reuters news agency.

“The agency’s analysis of the ES [environmental samples] taken on 22 April 2021 shows an enrichment level of up to 63% U-235, which is consistent with the fluctuations of the enrichment levels [described by Iran],” the document said.

That is a short technical step away from the weapons-grade 90%. Iran insists it doesn’t plan to build a nuclear bomb, even as its leaders routinely threaten to annihilate Israel and flatten its cities.

The development comes as world powers have been holding high-level talks aimed at bringing the United States back into the nuclear deal with Iran, with both sides signaling a willingness to work out the major stumbling blocks. The talks began in Austria in early April, and a fourth round was held last Friday.

The White House said Friday that sanctions on Iran would only be lifted if the country comes back into compliance with the nuclear agreement. There were no further details given on the potential conditions that would need to be met for the easing of sanctions.

Spokesperson Jen Psaki said that progress had been made in the Vienna talks between world powers and Iran, and that it was a good sign that the discussions were continuing.

Police officers stay in front of the ‘Grand Hotel Wien’ in Vienna, Austria, April 9, 2021, where closed-door nuclear talks with Iran take place. (AP Photo/Florian Schroetter)

The US pulled out of the landmark deal in 2018 after then-president Donald Trump said the pact needed to be renegotiated. The deal had promised Iran economic incentives in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, and the Trump administration reimposed heavy sanctions on the Islamic Republic in an unsuccessful attempt to bring Tehran into new talks.

Iran reacted by steadily increasing its violations of the deal by enriching uranium to a greater purity than permitted, stockpiling more enriched uranium than allowed and using more advanced centrifuges, among other moves aimed at pressing the powers remaining in the deal — Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China — for economic relief.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Israel declares state of emergency in mixed Arab-Israeli town after clashes erupt

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Caitlyn Jenner mocked for rambling interview insisting ‘a guy called Lee’ and other ‘budget people’ helped her understand California’s $3 trillion economy

Caitlyn Jenner is facing ridicule following an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash where she mentioned how “a guy called Lee” and other “budget people” helped her understand California’s huge economy.

When Bash asked the 71-year-old reality TV show star, who is running for governor of California, if she feels “qualified” to take on the fifth-largest economy in the world, Jenner responded: “Yes, because I’m going to surround myself with some really great people.”

“I had meetings this week with budget people—I just was so impressed,” she said.

The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star refused to name anyone she met in particular as she doesn’t “want to expose anybody.”

“I had meetings on regulations, with the Hoover Institution, and this one guy, Lee, was just, like, the best, so smart, been working on regulations in this state for the last 10 years, has solutions,” she said.

“I said, ‘Oh my God, you’re, like, my new best friend, OK?’ I learned so much from him in such a short amount of time, but it’s people like that that I feel like I have the ability to attract to Sacramento, that can make a difference,” she said.

According to the kind of response Jenner gave in terms of discussing economic policy, many spectators noticed an evident Trump-like model.

A user wrote on Twitter: “I still think Caitlyn Jenner needs to be ignored. Imagine if Trump never got all that media attention when he ran for office.”

Jenner defended her lack of experience for the position by highlighting how her entrepreneurial journey has trained her to be the governor of California.

She said: “I have been in the entrepreneurial world. People think — you’ve been in show business, think of you as a reality star. Certainly, I’ve done that, but entertainment is a business, and you have to run that business.”

“But I’ve also done other things. We sold a billion dollars worth of exercise equipment on television. I’ve had aviation companies. I’ve just always been involved in being an entrepreneur and tried to inspire my children to do the same thing. And they’ve done very well in that department,” she said.

One user wrote on Twitter: “So selling exercise equipment on television is a qualification to be the governor of California?”

This article was amended on 12 May 2021 to remove a tweet that misgendered Ms Jenner, and a reference to that tweet.

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Japan’s booking platform for Covid vaccine appointment crashes as Tokyo struggles to kick-start inoculation program

Japan’s platform for booking Covid-19 vaccinations has crashed in parts of the country because of a technical issue with US cloud computing vendor Salesforce, compounding frustration with the government’s handling of the pandemic.

On Wednesday, Salesforce experienced a global outage, described by chief technology officer Parker Harris as a “major disruption,” crippling Japan’s online booking platform for Covid-19 shots, which is using the US technology. 

The booking system crashed in a number of places around the country, including parts of Tokyo and the western city of Minoh. One frustrated Twitter user suggested the government make it possible to get vaccinated without having to register for an appointment online.

Three hours after his first tweet, Harris posted that service were “significantly restored,” but added “we are still not out of impact.”  

Also on rt.com More people dying at home from Covid-19 in Japan as hospitals struggle to cope

Japan’s inoculation program against Covid-19 has faltered, with only 2.8% of its population having received a jab to date – far below other wealthy nations. Despite supply problems, the government still maintains the ambitious target of inoculating the country’s 36 million elderly people by July.

The government has faced several technical challenges during the pandemic, including a Covid-19 warning app that, because of a bug, failed to pass on many notifications of suspected contact with people infected with the virus. 

On Tuesday, it was reported that Japan was seeing more people die at home from Covid-19 as hospitals operate at full capacity. 

Despite the virus and mounting internal opposition, the country is due to host the Olympic Games in July and August.

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‘Out of gas:’ Multiple U.S. states declare emergency, drivers in the U.S. Southeast are scrambling for fuel

Gas (fuel) outages are spreading across the U.S. Southeast as motorists rush to fill up their cars days after the biggest U.S. fuel pipeline temporarily shut down following a cyberattack. Gas stations in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee were seeing some panic buying, said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

Virginia and Florida declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, following North Carolina’s declaration the day before, as the disruption in pipeline operations led to over 1,000 gas stations across a dozen states to run out of fuel, according to S&P’s Oil Price Information Service.

In an effort to get fuel from the refineries in Texas to customers across the southeast U.S., the Department of Transportation’s trucking regulator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, has declared a regional emergency in 17 states and the Washington DC.

While industry experts try to reassure the public, saying hoarding or stockpiling gas will only exacerbate the issue, drivers appear to be panicking. The governor of Georgia also issued state of emergency.

A manager of a Shell gas station in Robbinsville, N.C., told referred to Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D-NC) executive order on Monday. “We got an email saying that it could be without gas [for] extended periods of time because of the pipeline shut down.”

The worst of it appears concentrated in Virginia where 7.6% of stations are out of gas; North Carolina where 7.5% of stations have run out; and Georgia where 5.2% of stations are reportedly empty as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

Gas demand across the U.S. jumped nearly 20% week over week on Monday, with a more than a 40% increase in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. The national average hit $2.97 per gallon, matching the highest since 2018, GasBuddy found.

The volume of those desperate to fill up their tanks is also overwhelming GasBuddy, an app used to find gas. As of Tuesday morning, a company spokesperson announced it was powering down “non-vital services” to accommodate the “intense traffic.”

The scramble for fuel comes after the Colonial Pipeline, which moves fuels including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, halted delivery over the weekend after a ransomware hack by a DarkSide, a criminal network. The ransomware attack on Friday forced Colonial to shut down a 5,500-mile carrying over 100 million gallons per day from Texas all the way to New York. The FBI has blamed ‘DarkSide,’ a group of criminal hackers, but the U.S. corporate media have accused of being ‘Russian-speaking.’ The group did not admit to the attack, but issued a statement on Monday insisting they were “apolitical” and just out to “make money.” Colonial on Friday shut its 5,500-mile (8,850-km) pipeline network to protect its systems.

Ransomware is a type of malware designed to lock computers by encrypting data. The hackers demand payment to let the owner regain access. It is unknown how much money the hackers are seeking, and Colonial has not commented on whether it would pay.

Colonial has yet to announce when its mainline will be fully operational. The affected pipeline runs from Texas to New York and delivers about 45% of all fuel to the East Coast.

Photos and reports from the Southeast are flooding Twitter, showing long stretches of cars waiting for turns at the pump with some drivers bringing gas containers.

No shortage, insists White House

Motorists and even airlines struggled to find fuel across the southeastern U.S. due to the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, but the Biden administration denied there was a “shortage” and blamed “hoarders” for the “supply crunch.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, 27% of stations in North Carolina’s Greenville/Spartanburg/Anderson metro area were dry, according to GasBuddy, an app helping motorists find deals at the pump. So were 31% of pumps in Raleigh and 29% in Charlotte. Atlanta, Georgia reported a 30% outage as well. GasBuddy crashed repeatedly on Tuesday due to surging demand.

The New York Times claimed that since the pipeline’s shutdown due to a ransomware attack, “there have been no long lines or major price hikes for gas.”

Photographic evidence shared on social media indicated otherwise.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm insisted the East Coast was not facing a “gasoline shortage” but rather a “supply crunch.”

“We know that we have gasoline; we just have to get it to the right places,” Granholm told reporters at the White House on Tuesday. She said there was “no cause for hoarding gasoline” and compared it to “hoarding toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic.”

The Colonial Pipeline will be “substantially operational by the end of this week and over the weekend,” Granholm said. Colonial said on Sunday that it would bring the system back online “only when we believe it is safe to do so” and with approval of federal regulators.

Citing a shipper bulletin, the American Automobile Association (AAA) reported that Citgo has run out of premium reformulated fuel at its Fairfax, Virginia terminal, while the Richmond one was out of unleaded regular.

The AAA said the national average gasoline price climbed to $2.96 a gallon and could climb to its highest level since 2014.

American Airlines has made changes to two flights originating from Charlotte due to shortages, forcing passengers bound for Hawaii to change planes in Dallas, and those en route to London to make a refueling stop in Boston. Southwest and United began carrying extra fuel on flights to Nashville and Baltimore, in case they ran into shortages.

Fuel from Europe

U.S. fuel importers are booking tankers to bring gasoline from Europe.

U.S. refiners including Motiva Enterprises and Total cut output at Gulf Coast plants on Monday because of a lack of transport.

One of the most disruptive digital ransom schemes

On May 10, 2021, a Reuters report said:

The attack on the Colonial Pipeline, which carries nearly half the fuel consumed along the U.S. East Coast, is one of the most disruptive digital ransom schemes ever reported.

While the impact remains to be quantified, the pipeline shutdown will reduce fuel availability in the near term, push up prices and force refiners to cut production because they have no way to ship the gas.

U.S. President Joe Biden said there was no evidence thus far that Russia’s government was involved.

Anne Neuberger, U.S. deputy national security adviser for cybersecurity, told reporters that the Biden administration is not offering advice on whether Colonial should pay the ransom.

The episode laid bare the vulnerabilities of energy infrastructure to hackers. U.S. lawmakers responded with calls for stronger protections for critical energy infrastructure.

Colonial restarted some smaller lines on Sunday between fuel terminals and customer delivery points, releasing fuel stored locally to customers. On Monday, it also began manually operating its 700,000-barrel-per-day multi-product fuel line between Greensboro, North Carolina, and Maryland for a limited time while it has existing inventories.

But its main lines remained shut, and an alternative, smaller conduit operated by Kinder Morgan Inc serving the same region reached capacity.

The outage hit ahead of the summer vacation season, when gasoline demand and airline travel tend to peak.

In Georgia, trucking company owner Marcus Blash worried because his business cannot store fuel on site to hedge against price surges.

Florida resident Katina Willey went to several gas stations before she found one that had fuel available. “There were lines at three of the five stations I tried,” she said.

UN Secretary-General

A spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the attack showed that UN member states needed to combat cybercrime to avoid a “devastating impact on the world that we all live in.”

Aim is cash, not chaos

The ransomware gang accused of crippling the leading U.S. fuel pipeline operator said on Monday that it never meant to create havoc, an unusual statement that experts saw as a sign the cybercriminals’ scheme had gone awry.

A terse news release posted to DarkSide’s website did not directly mention Colonial Pipeline but, under the heading “About the latest news,” it noted, “our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society.”

The statement did not say how much money the hackers were seeking. Colonial Pipeline did not offer any comment on the hackers’ statement and U.S. officials have said they have not been involved in ransom negotiations.

The hackers did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The FBI, Department of Energy and White House have all been involved in a rapid response to the hack, and a server used by the gang was shut down over the weekend.

A person familiar with the matter said on Monday that the server held Colonial data and also files stolen in other DarkSide ransomware operations in progress, and that some of the group’s other victims were in the process of being notified.

DarkSide’s statement went on to say that its hackers would launch checks on fellow cybercriminals “to avoid consequences in the future.” It added the group was “apolitical” and that observers “do not need to tie us” with any particular government.

The statement, which had several spelling and grammatical errors, appeared geared toward lowering the political temperature around one of the most disruptive digital extortion schemes ever reported.

On Sunday the largest U.S. refinery, Motiva Enterprises LLC’s 607,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, shut two crude distillation units because of the outage at Colonial, according to people familiar with the matter.

Some security experts said the DarkSide hackers were now trying to put some distance between themselves and the chaos they had unleashed.

There is evidence that the DarkSide group operates out of Russia, U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters on Monday. He said that while there was “so far” no evidence that the Russian government was involved, “they have some responsibility to deal with this.”


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On the brink of war: Hamas surprised Israel and will probably pay the price

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Trump slams ‘Biden’s weakness’ as cause for attacks on Israel

May 12, 2021 by Aryeh Savir – TPS

Read on for article

Former President Donald Trump issued a harsh statement against current President Joe Biden and accused him of generating the situation in which Israel was under attack, the result of his “weakness and lack of support for Israel.”

US President Donald Trump (L) Shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R) During Speech at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. May 23, 2017 Photo By: Kobi Richter/TPS

Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists have launched over 1,000 rockets at Israeli cities and towns since Sunday night, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Trump said that when he was in office, “we were known as the Peace Presidency because Israel’s adversaries knew that the United States stood strongly with Israel and there would be swift retribution if Israel was attacked.”

However, under Biden, “the world is getting more violent and more unstable because Biden’s weakness and lack of support for Israel is leading to new attacks on our allies.”

“America must always stand with Israel and make clear that the Palestinians must end the violence, terror, and rocket attacks, and make clear that the US will always strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself,” he declared.

He further noted that “unbelievably, Democrats also continue to stand by crazed anti-American Rep. Ilhan Omar, and others, who savagely attack Israel while they are under terrorist assault.”

Omar, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, and others accused Israel of committing genocide in its counter-terrorism operation in the Gaza Strip.

“Israeli airstrikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism,” Omar tweeted. “Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defence programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians.”

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley responded that “an act of terrorism is Hamas firing rockets into Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. If a terrorist organization was shooting rockets into DC, I doubt you would have the same response. Israel has the right to defend itself.”

“Now is the time for standing strong with an ally against a terrorist assault. It should not be a difficult choice. Where’s Joe Biden? Where’s Kamala Harris? Where’s the leadership?” she demanded.

“Jerusalem is being attacked by violent rioters and the terrorist group Hamas. It is a shame that some on the left are pushing misinformation and anti-Israel propaganda that stokes the flames,” she said in another tweet.

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Nuclear reactions found smoldering at Chernobyl ‘like embers in a barbecue’

Scientists monitoring the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine have discovered fission reactions erupting within an inaccessible chamber in the ruins of the complex, raising concerns that a further explosion at the site could take place.

Anatolii Doroshenko of the Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants (ISPNPP) in Kiev reported a 40 per cent rise in neutron emissions from the chamber since 2016 during discussions last week about the possibility of dismantling the old reactor, according to Science magazine.

He and his colleagues are now studying the smouldering uranium fuel masses buried within Subreactor Room 305/2 to assess whether they are likely to stabilise on their own or whether a dangerous intervention will become necessary to defuse the situation.

This might involve drilling into the chamber – which has not been seen by human eyes since the world’s worst nuclear disaster occurred at the site 35 years ago – and spraying it with gadolinium nitrate to soak up the neutrons and choke off the reactions.

Maxim Saveliev, also of the ISPNPP, has said it is difficult to assess the severity of the situation without neutron sensors in place, admitting: “We have only assumptions.”

“There are many uncertainties,” he said. “But we can’t rule out the possibility of an accident.”

Mr Saveliev has advocated sending in robots able to withstand the glaring radiation and humidity to install neutron and temperature sensors in the chamber and to retrieve samples to give scientists a clearer picture of what is taking place.

Robots could also be used to install boron cylinders in the tomb to serve as control rods and sop up neutrons.

When the meltdown struck Chernobyl’s No. 4 reactor on 26 April 1986, the intense heat caused uranium fuel rods, their zirconium cladding, graphite control rods and sand dumped over the core of the reactor to extinguish the fire to melt together into a highly radioactive lava-like substance that oozed into the facility’s lower floors, rendering entire rooms and corridors off-limits.

This subsequently hardened beneath the debris into formations called fuel-containing materials (FCMs), which are laden with about 170 tonnes of irradiated uranium, arounded 95 per cent of the original fuel.

It is not immediately obvious why the recent reactions have taken place but one possibility is that a costly new shelter placed over the chamber five years ago could be to blame.

The original concrete and steel structure – hastily erected in the fallout of a calamity the Soviet Union tried in vain to hush up – was known to leak and it is possible that the rainwater allowed in through gaps in the canopy actually helped to cool the chamber and suppress fission reactions.

Without sufficient water in the chamber, there may be nothing to slow down the ricocheting neutrons, which are emitted by decaying uranium or plutonium fuel, meaning the fission reactions could intensify.

The situation has been likened by Neil Hyatt of the University of Sheffield, an expert in nuclear waste disposal, to “embers in a barbecue pit”.

“It’s a reminder to us that it’s not a problem solved, it’s a problem stabilised,” he said, moving to downplay the severity of the problem as it stands but warning against any escalation.

“We’re talking about very low rates of fission, so it’s not like a fizzing nuclear reactor,” he said.

The abandoned city of Pripyat near Chernobyl

(Reuters)

“And our estimation of fissile material in that room means that we can be fairly confident that you’re not going to get such rapid release of nuclear energy that you have an explosion. But we don’t know for sure.

“We have seen excursions like this before with other fuel debris. The neutron base rate has increased, stabilised and decreased again. That’s obviously what we hope might happen.”

Ukraine is currently working with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on a plan to dispose of its FCMs and its conclusions – and the situation at Chernobyl – will have a bearing on Japan’s plans for the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the scene of its own meltdown in 2011.

Prior to the notorious Soviet disaster, the nearby city of Pripyat was a thriving metropolis home to almost 50,000 people.

It was swiftly evacuated at the time and has since become a ghost town entirely reclaimed by nature, its abandoned tower blocks rising up above the treeline as wild deer and foxes roam amid the peeling paint of its empty hallways, apartments, offices and overgrown courtyards.

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Table for Five: Special Shavuot Edition

One verse, five voices. Edited by Salvador Litvak, the Accidental Talmudist

Wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people and your God my God. -Ruth 1:16


Sara Brudoley
Torah Teacher and Lecturer

Rabbi Zeira said, “The scroll of Ruth has neither impurity nor purity, neither prohibition nor permission. And why was it written? To teach you the good rewards of those who perform acts of lovingkindness.” We do, however, learn several laws and commandments from this scroll: laws of converts, laws of gifts to the poor, laws of modesty, laws of property, and more, all from Ruth and her refined actions, and you say, “Why was this scroll written?”

What the sages meant is that if Ruth did not possess a unique character trait, one that everyone needed and that all should learn from her, then all other the good traits you find in her would not have existed. Ruth had a trait that was missing in Israel during that time. The trait of chesed, lovingkindness. Ruth accepts the yoke of mitzvot out of her loyalty to her husband, her mother-in law and HaShem, and she does not ignore the suffering that awaits her.

Ruth’s brave and sensitive behavior towards her mother-in law is a model for accepting responsibility, love and loyalty towards HaShem. Ruth demonstrates how a person can ignore his ego for the sake of a relationship, even when it’s not logical, and against his own interest. She teaches us how to cling to HaShem. The reward for charitable, philanthropic acts is “Kingship.” Ruth the convert became the “Mother of the Monarchy” – the matriarchal ancestor of of King David and Mashiach.


Nina Litvak
accidentaltalmudist.org

Every year on Shavuot when I read this passage, I get teary-eyed. Ruth is the Biblical character with whom I most identify on a personal level. Unlike Ruth, I was born to Jewish parents, but my family was thoroughly assimilated and I came to Jewish observance as an adult like Ruth. I am the first woman to light Shabbat candles in my family in almost 100 years. A convert is known as a “Jew by Choice,” and a returnee to Judaism is also a kind of Jew by choice. Embarking on a life guided by Torah meant rejecting the secular values that have guided my family for a century. Ruth too rejected the values with which she was raised.

Being a Jew by Choice is not an easy path. Ruth traded the elevated status of a Moabite princess for a lowly existence as a pauper dependent on charity. My status as an educated, worldly adult means nothing when I can’t help a second grader with her Hebrew homework. Why did Ruth and I turn off the path we were on and follow the road less traveled? Because it’s the road we were meant to be on all along. The path of three millennia is longer and deeper than the path of a century. Ruth pleaded with Naomi to let her join the Jewish people because she already felt part of the Jewish people. Ruth said “Your God shall be my God” because she knew that Hashem was her God all along.


David Brandes
Writer, producer

Why has Ruth’s statement to Naomi endured through the ages? To be sure, it is a stunning declaration of love and loyalty, reassuring Naomi that she will not abandon her spiritually, physically or tribally. As Rabbi Levi Meier (z”l) writes in ‘Second Chances,’ his profound book on Ruth, “Ruth rises to the challenge of being there for Naomi during Naomi’s most difficult hours. Specifically, because ‘God’s hand is directed against Naomi’, Ruth’s hand ‘reaches out’ to Naomi. By helping Naomi, she is also extending her hand out to God.”

Remember, Naomi has lost everything – her husband, her sons, her money. This is abandonment in its rawest incarnation. Naomi is depressed and hopeless. Who wouldn’t be? Ruth’s genius is that she realizes that Naomi doesn’t need cheering up or empty promises of a better tomorrow. She needs to be seen and she needs to know that her tragic period of abandonment is over. She, Ruth, will stay with her in every way. She gives Naomi hope and infuses her life with a sense of optimism for the future. As Rabbi Meier puts it, “In staying with Naomi, Ruth shows a nobility of character far greater than the nobility she was born into.”

Years ago, I visited patients at Cedars-Sinai for, and sometimes with, Rabbi Meier. It was a revelation. With deep compassion behind the simple phrase, “I am here with you,” Levi gave patients strength and optimism to face the dark unknown. May his memory be a blessing.


Rabbi Elchanan Shoff
Beis Knesses of Los Angeles

Ruth chose to link herself with the Jewish community and our destiny. When a person becomes part of the Jewish people, he or she leaves one world and enters a foreign one. Our community thus becomes extremely responsible to embrace them.

The Torah constantly repeats the command to “love the convert.” But when Ruth goes on to say, “only death will separate me and you,” the Midrash Rabbah records that Naomi replied, “indeed, death will separate us, and each person will be responsible for her own actions. So be charitable and do good deeds of your own. That is all that you’ll have!” This Midrash then goes on to express how no person can aid another person in the world to come. The great Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi assured someone “I will take care of you in the next world,” but he was corrected by a colleague’s wife, “No person can help another in the next world!”

Have you ever met a person disillusioned after they have chosen to join the Jewish community? “I expected more. More honesty, more embracing.” Indeed let’s take this to heart. We can improve. But what brought our leader King David out of the great Ruth was the lesson that she embodied. The community can’t do it for me. I must do this myself. It’s my personal responsibility to be great; at some point, my actions will be all that I have. As we receive the Torah as a nation, with a united heart, don’t forget: take responsibility for yourself.


Yehudit Garmaise
Reporter and Freelance Writer

“Ruth happened upon the field that belonged to Boaz,” we read in Megillat Ruth.

But we know from Parshas Vayikra that “vayikar” does not mean by chance, but rather, Hashem uses this word when He engineers the places we find ourselves.

Ruth had faith that everything she was experiencing was part of a much greater plan. For this reason, she was sure of her path. Ruth was confident and comfortable with herself.

When I wandered into Meah Shearim many years ago, for instance, I knew I had walked through a portal and climbed a ladder to an infinite, starry night sky that I had only previously intuited in my dreams.

Several months into the pandemic, I started writing remotely for a Boro Park news website. After a year of lockdown, the day I got my first vaccination shot, I bought a ticket to work in the Brooklyn office for a week that ended with a friend’s joyous wedding.

Although thrilled to be out and about, and in a such a beautiful, Chassidish neighborhood, I felt slightly unsure. At one point, I said something that conveyed insecurity about not being sufficiently “heimish.”

A colleague bluntly responded: Brooklyn-style, “Don’t have a complex.”

“Be really proud and joyful in being a baalas teshuva (returnee to observant Judaism). Hashem put us each on our journey, from the day we were born: and before. And He continues to guide us at every moment. Let’s all be comfortable in our own skin and feel joy about what we choose.”

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Israel-Gaza: Operation Guardian of the Walls

May 12, 2021 by TPS

Read on for article

Reports, photos and video from TPS as we get them. Times relate to the report and not the incident.

Continuing story


Wednesday   5:47 pm   Anti-tank missile fired from Gaza Strip at a vehicle travelling on one of the roads adjacent to the border. Three injured in various degrees. Rescue forces bombed with mortars. Hamas takes responsibility for the attack.


Wednesday 5:19 pm    Police quell riots on Temple Mount

Police forces suppressed an attempt to riot on the Temple Mount on Wednesday morning and arrested seven rock-throwing Muslims.

The Israel Police and the Border Police were on alert in the morning to prevent riots during the morning prayers on the Temple Mount when thousands of worshipers arrived, including hundreds of masked men who began to riot at some point, throwing rocks and other objects at police forces.

In a determined and quick operation, the police arrested seven suspects for disturbing the order who were transferred to the police for investigation

The holy site is now quiet.

“The Israel Police will allow freedom of worship and religion to every person, but on the other hand will not allow a disturbance and a violent riot that endangers the police and public forces,” it stated.

The Temple Mount has been the scene of repeated clashes in recent days.

In related news, the IDF has launched an operation in Judea and Samaria to arrest terrorist leaders in the region who are trying to generate a wave of attacks, in tandem with the rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian Authority news reported that two Arabs were killed in clashes with Israeli forces.


Wednesday  5:18 pm   Scene of a rocket strike in Tel Aviv area. (TPS)


Wednesday 5:12pm   Residents living near Gaza border ordered to enter their homes, lock their doors. Fear of a terrorist infiltration in the area.


Wednesday 7:00 am   Defence Minister Ganz instructed the IDF to allocate all border police on IDF missions for immediate assistance in restoring order in Lod and mixed cities.


Wednesday 4:29 am     Ben Gurion airport shut down due to rocket fire in the area – woman, 50, killed by rocket in Rishon Lezion

Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) near Tel Aviv was shut down on late Tuesday evening, following rocket attacks on central Israel and the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Videos showed missiles fired from the Gaza Strip being intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system close to the airport.

Flights were diverted to Cyprus and Greece as it initially remained unclear how long the airport would remain closed. Outgoing flights have been postponed.

In a statement, the Israel Airports Authority said that the airport had been shut down “to allow defence of (the) nation’s skies.”

Israel has been under rocket attack since Monday afternoon, with the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist groups targeting Israel’s southern and central regions as well as Jerusalem. Three Israelis have been confirmed to have died from injuries sustained in the missile attacks.


Wednesday 4:12 am   Reports of 1 seriously injured in Holon after bus hit by rocket – 3 moderately injured

Holon: Damage caused by rocket attack.   (Photo by Eitan Elhadez-Barak/TPS)


Wednesday 4:05 am     Lod, during air raid siren just now

Video by TPS


Wednesday 3:54 am   Tel Aviv area, centre of the country under attack  – 130 rockets fired at Israel – Rockets fired as far north as Netanya


Wednesday 3:08 am   Fires burn following riots in Lod  Photos and video by TPS


Wednesday 2:19am    Several fires set in Lod by rioters following funeral for rioter shot last night during violent riots by a Jewish resident who feared for his life. Arrests have been made.

(Photos by Hemda Luz/TPS)


Wednesday  12:19  Israeli police have arrested two Arabs, residents of Hebron, on suspicion of harming Israeli symbols and a racist assault on an Israeli woman.

On Monday, a video was uploaded on the Tiktok network in which an Arab is seen getting out of his vehicle on Road 60 near the tunnels and advancing towards an Israeli vehicle that was in a traffic jam.

An Israeli flag hung on the window of the vehicle. One of the suspects advanced to the vehicle, ripped off the flag, tore it while spiting and cursing the driver, and threatening others around him.

A rapid investigation led to the arrest of two Arab suspects, a 35-year-old Hebron resident who drove the vehicle and documented the attack and a 17-year-old who committed the attack.

“The Israel Police views with severity the damage to symbols of state, assault, and harm to the feelings of civilians and acted quickly to locate the suspects with the intention of prosecuting the suspects,” it stated after the arrests.


Tuesday 11:55 pm     IDF Spokesman in Arabic: We launched a wide and unusual wave of attacks in the Gaza Strip, stay away from any site that contains Hamas weapons.


Tuesday 10:09 pm    Two people were killed Tuesday when a massive barrage of rockets hit the city of Ashkelon.

In one incident, a rocket hit the home in which two women took shelter, burying them both under the debris. One woman was killed and another was seriously injured.

MDA paramedic Israel Lugassi said that when his team arrived at the scene, they saw a one-story building that was damaged, and inside it was two women who were seriously injured. they rescued an 80-year-old woman from the building who was suffering from a very severe multi-system injury, provided her with life-saving medical treatment that included placing arterial blockages and stopping bleeding, and evacuated her to the hospital in a difficult and unstable condition.

Another woman who was fatally injured is being treated at the scene. The victim was a foreign caretaker.

A man was killed by another rocket impact.

Some 70 Israelis were injured and evacuated to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon and Asuta Hospital in Ashdod on Tuesday. The majority suffered from light injuries or were treated for shock.


Tuesday 9:56 pm    The IDF has deployed artillery units to the Gaza border and ordered the mobilization of 5,000 reserve soldiers after rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip continued into Tuesday.

The forces being called up in an emergency procedure include infantry and artillery units as well as intelligence and air force personnel as part of Operation Guardian of the Walls. Photos seen by TPS show artillery batteries and tanks close to the Gaza border. Large numbers of armoured vehicles have been reported to be making their way to Israel’s south from the north.

The IDF will maintain strikes on Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip, an IDF spokesperson stated on Tuesday. After missile attacks had continued throughout the night, the IDF announced it had hit additional targets in Gaza.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday authorized the mobilization of the reserve units, the Ministry of Defense stated. The soldiers have been ordered to join Israel’s Southern Command, the Homefront Command, and the Operations Directorate within the IDF General Staff.

Eight Border Police reserve units have also been called to active duty and are to reinforce police units across the country following the latest violence and Muslim riots in several cities and towns, the Israeli police announced on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the IDF’s “Chariots of Fire” military exercise has been suspended. Launched on Sunday, the month-long wargame was to simulate war on several fronts, and primarily against Hezbollah in the north and was to include a scenario of the massive firing of missiles and rockets from all arenas on the home front.

It was scheduled to be the largest and most comprehensive IDF maneuver in its history and was to include regular and reserve forces from all commands, with the participation of combat forces in the air, at sea and on land, as well as the political echelon, the Ministry of Defense, the National Emergency Authority the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other security bodies.

On Sunday, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi had announced that the operation would not be cancelled or postponed due to tensions in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip but on Tuesday reversed his decision following the latest round of missile attacks.

The IDF has reported that it has eliminated some 30 terrorists since Hamas attacked Jerusalem on Monday evening and after the IDF announced the launch of Operation Guardian of the Walls.


Tuesday 9:34 pm     130,000 residents of Ashkelon ordered to stay in safe areas until further notice.


Tuesday 9:16 pm     Hamas spokesman: “We fired 137 heavy rockets at Ashdod and Ashkelon in 5 minutes. We have many more surprises at our disposal.”


Tuesday 9:14 pm     Attempted stabbing near the IDF Samaria Regional Brigade base, female terrorist arrested.

Scene of the attack in Samaria. (TPS)


Tuesday 8:54 pm     Three people were lightly injured after a rocket struck a residential area in the city of Ashdod.
United Hatzalah volunteers responded to the emergency and treated the injured at the scene.


Tuesday 8:51 pm     Hamas, Islamic Jihad Admits Losses

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) attacked on Tuesday an apartment in a high-rise building in the west of Gaza City, apparently a headquarters of sorts, inflecting significant losses to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations.

Hamas’ military wing announced the death of a number of its operatives and others that are missing as a result of an Israeli attack.

The Islamic Jihad announced that the IAF had eliminated two senior members of its military wing in an airstrike.

Samah Al-Mamluk, a senior Islamic Jihad commander, was killed.

One of the targets of the assassination was Muhamad Abu al-Ata, the brother of Baha Abu al-Ata, a senior commander who was killed in Operation Black Belt in 2019. Muhamad was apparently seriously injured in the strike.

In response, the terror organization fired a heavy barrage of 40 rockets at the city of Ashkelon, and for the first since the escalation, at the city of Ashdod, adding hundreds of thousands of Israelis to the terrorists’ range of fire.

The IDF has eliminated some 30 terrorists since Hamas attacked Jerusalem on Monday evening and after the IDF announced the launching of Operation Guardian of the Walls.


Tuesday 8:45 pm     Direct hit on school in Ashkelon


Tuesday 8:45pm   Idit Zayed, Israeli Jewish mother and midwife, tells (in English) how her usually peaceful neighbourhood, where Jews and Arabs live together was a site of terrifying violence last night as young Arab men rioted. Video by Eitan Elhadez-Barak/TPS


Tuesday 8:22 pm    Reports of direct hits in Ashkelon and Ashdod


Tuesday 8:15 pm     Hamas fire moves north to include the city of Ashdod.


Tuesday 8:10 pm

Result of the Arabs rioting in Lod. (Eitan Elhadaz/TPS)


Tuesday 8:05 pm

Rabbi Yechezkel Cohen examines the bookshelves of religious books in a 3rd grade classroom after parts of the religious school were torched last night by Arab rioters in the Ramat Eshkol neighbourhood in Lod.
Photo: Eitan Elhadez-Barak/TPS

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AOC hits out at Andrew Yang for attending Eid event after ‘chest-thumping’ support for Israel airstrikes

Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday hit out at the New York mayoral hopeful Andrew Yang for scheduling a campaign event around the celebration of Eid after tweeting in support of Israel amid the escalating violence between Israeli forces and Hamas in Jerusalem.

Mr Yang, in his initial tweet on Monday had said, “I’m standing with the people of Israel who are coming under bombardment attacks, and condemn the Hamas terrorists.

“The people of NYC will always stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who face down terrorism and persevere,” he said.

The mayoral candidate was subsequently disinvited from the event where he was scheduled to distribute groceries to needy Muslim families in the Queens neighbourhood of Astoria.

“The organisers of the event decided that it was better if we did not attend and we were happy to abide by the reservations,” Mr Yang told the media during a press conference. When asked if the invite was withdrawn due to his tweet supporting Israel, “I believe so,” Mr Yang responded.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who has expressed her support for Palestinian people in past, slammed Mr Yang for trying to show up at the Muslim religious festivity after sending out a “chest-thumping” support for the Israeli aggression.

She wrote: “Utterly shameful for Yang to try to show up to an Eid event after sending out a chest-thumping statement of support for a strike killing 9 children, especially after his silence as Al-Aqsa was attacked.

But then to try that in Astoria? During Ramadan?! They will let you know.”

MsOcasio-Cortez was not the only one condemning Mr Yang for his Monday tweet. Soon after he expressed support for Israel, the hashtag #YangSupportsGenocide began trending on twitter.

However, his tweet drew support from prominent conservative voices including Donald Trump Jr. retweeting him. The Trump scion wrote: “Do yourselves a favor and look at the quote tweets and replies to this tweet. Dems are now legit pro terror.”

The tension between Israelis and Palestinian security forces rose after a dramatic confrontation at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, wherein Israeli police clashed with Palestinian worshippers as they were celebrating the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. Thirty-five people, including 12 children have been killed in Palestine, while five are reported dead in Israel.

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Six killed in Israel, including father and daughter, as Gaza rocket barrages persist

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Trump slams Biden’s ‘weakness,’ lack of support for Israel

Donald Trump took a solidly pro-Israel stance Tuesday amid an escalation of deadly violence, as the former US president accused successor Joe Biden of “weakness” and lack of support for the Jewish state.

“Under Biden, the world is getting more violent and more unstable because Biden’s weakness and lack of support for Israel is leading to new attacks on our allies,” Trump said in a statement.

Hailing his own administration as “the Peace Presidency,” Trump said Israel’s adversaries knew there would be “swift retribution if Israel was attacked” when he was the US president.

“America must always stand with Israel and make clear that the Palestinians must end the violence, terror, and rocket attacks, and make clear that the US will always strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Rockets are launched toward Israel from Gaza City on May 11, 2021. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

Several nights of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police, particularly around the flashpoint Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, spiraled on Monday night into a confrontation in Gaza.

Since then, barrages amounting to over 1,000 rockets fired from Gaza by terror groups have killed five people in Israel. After retaliatory Israeli airstrikes at least 28 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, with most said by Israel to be members of terror groups or victims of errant Hamas rocket fire.

The Biden administration on Tuesday called for calm and restraint by Israel and the Palestinians, and urged both sides to avoid “deeply lamentable” civilian deaths.

But “Israel does have a right to defend itself,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

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Massive forces sent to Lod as Netanyahu vows to restore order with ‘iron fist’

Israel ordered a massive boost Wednesday morning to police forces deployed in cities with Jewish and Arab populations. The move came hours after a state of emergency was declared in Lod, where intense Arab rioting late Tuesday reportedly saw three synagogues and numerous shops torched, along with dozens of cars.

The rare emergency declaration in the central Israeli city prompted the urgent dispatching of several Border Police companies to work to restore order.

A state of emergency hands police officers more authority and freedom to operate in the locality where it was declared. They can close off areas of the city, enter any place to carry out their duties, and employ “reasonable force” to compel civilians to obey their orders.

Some Lod residents said power was cut in their homes and Molotov cocktails were thrown through their windows, Channel 12 news reported late Tuesday, and police acknowledged having to escort some residents from a community center to their homes as Arab mobs marauded in the streets.

A local man, 56, was seriously hurt when a rock slab hit his car, and was hospitalized. Another local resident was seriously hurt.

The mayor, Yair Revivo, said City Hall and a local museum were also attacked, and compared the situation to the Nazis’ 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom. “Civil war” was breaking out, he said, lamenting that decades of coexistence efforts had collapsed.

Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai on Wednesday moved his official office to Lod to oversee the situation.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tours the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Lod early on May 12, 2021, as a state of emergency is imposed following Arab riots. To his right is Lod Mayor Yair Revivo. (AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the city during the night to oversee the efforts to impose order and end the riots.

“I have been receiving updates all day on what is happening here in the city and I view it extremely gravely. It’s anarchy from rioters and we cannot accept it,” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister urged Lod residents to stay home and said he would impose a curfew if needed. “We will restore law and order with an iron fist,” he said.

Three Jewish men were arrested Tuesday over the fatal shooting of an Arab man during clashes Monday night. They were being questioned on suspicion of murder, while maintaining that the shots were fired in self-defense.

But an initial investigation indicated that the shots were fired toward a man standing dozens of meters away, and a court on Wednesday extended their remand by three days, with Judge Tal Aner saying the self-defense claim “doesn’t match the objective findings.”

Public Security Minister Amir Ohana at the annual Jerusalem Conference of the ‘Besheva’ group in Jerusalem, March 15, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

On Wednesday, Public Security Minister Amir Ohana tweeted that the shooter’s arrest was “terrible.” Ohana said that had the matter been under his authority, he would order the suspect released immediately and recommended that police do so, because “civilians carrying weapons are helpful to authorities in immediately neutralizing threats or dangers.”

Arab violence erupted in numerous other cities across Israel, alongside reports of Jewish attacks, including in Lod, where a Muslim cemetery was set ablaze.

Shabtai called the situation in Lod unprecedented.

“We are seeing a situation in… [Jewish-Arab] cities that we have never seen before, including the incidents of October 2000,” Shabtai said, referring to widespread rioting that broke out among Arab Israelis at the start of the Second Intifada.

Jacob Simona stands by his burning car during clashes with Israeli Arabs and police in Lod, Israel May 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Heidi Levine)

“I don’t feel safe exiting my home,” Lod resident Lior Benisti told Channel 12 news. “We wanted to go to my sister, we have two small daughters and we decided to stay in tonight even though we don’t have a rocket-proof room. Better take the risk of rockets than the mayhem outside.

“I’ve been living in the city for over a decade and unfortunately I predicted this would happen,” Benisti said, adding that after recent riots in Jaffa, “I said it was only a matter of time before this happens in Lod. I didn’t expect it to happen so soon.”

Before the state of emergency was declared, Hebrew media said several ministers had called for an urgent cabinet meeting to receive updates on the situation in Lod, but Cabinet Secretary Tzachi Braverman in response closed the cabinet’s WhatsApp group to new comments.

“Can someone update the cabinet ministers on what’s happening in Lod?” asked Ofir Akunis (Likud). “I am asking for the cabinet to convene to get updates on all fronts.”

Pnina Tamano-Shata (Blue and White) said: “Difficult images. The mayor is helpless. It would be nice to get an official update for the cabinet.”

Likud’s Gila Gamliel said the declaration of an emergency situation “necessitates an update to the cabinet about how this anarchy will be prevented… What about having the army enter Lod?”

But in response, Braverman simply closed the WhatsApp group to new messages and wrote: “The group has been blocked.”

Border Police forces in Lod during riots and clashes between Arab and Jewish residents, December 11, 2021. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Ra’am party chief Mansour Abbas issued a statement early Wednesday morning calling for calm and the restoration of order.

“In the midst of the popular outburst of understandable anger, we are beginning to see that things are developing in very dangerous directions, as peaceful popular demonstrations have turned into direct clashes which threaten the lives and safety of our youth,” the Islamist party leader said.

“I ask you all to assume responsibility, act with wisdom, abide by public order and the law, and preserve your life and the lives of all citizens without exception,” he added.

The Arab-Jewish Hadash party, the Joint List’s largest single faction, also called for an end to violence and the restoration of calm but criticized the deployment of Border Police forces to restore order.

“We support joint demonstrations by Jews and Arabs, against the occupation and the attack on Gaza, but resolutely reject the attempts to lynch, burn property and houses of worship, and any harm to civilians, Jews and Arabs,” Hadash said.

But, the party added, “We reject the introduction of border forces, whose anti-Arab tendencies are known, into Lod. This can only lead to escalation.”

Alongside the clashes within the city, two Lod residents were killed overnight in a direct rocket strike from Gaza on a vehicle in the city’s outskirts.

Khalil Awwad, 52, and his 16-year-old daughter Nadeen Awwad were killed, and his wife was  seriously wounded, in Dahmash, an unrecognized Arab village just outside Lod with a population of 800.

It was a direct hit by terrorists in Gaza, part of a major flare-up that has seen more than 1,000 rockets launched at Israeli civilians — including hundreds directed at Tel Aviv and other central Israel cities — in a day and a half of fighting.

Police called on people to remain near bomb shelters.

“Hamas missiles do not differentiate between Jews and Arabs,” Lod’s mayor Revivo said.

He also appealed to Arab residents to end the protests and called for calm in the city. “The day after, we will still have to live here together.”

Aaron Boxerman and Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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Following Muslim Riots, Israel declares state of emergency in Lod

May 12, 2021 by TPS

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The State of Israel has declared a special state of emergency in the city of Lod in the centre of the country following a second consecutive night of violent Muslim riots in the city.

Lod on fire Photo: TPS

Muslims rampaged through the city on Tuesday night, threw rocks and attacked Jews, set fire to cars, vandalized property, desecrated synagogues, and clashed with police forces, who had apparently lost control of the scene.

A 56-year-old Israeli was injured after being attacked by rock-throwing terrorists and was taken to a hospital in critical condition with a head injury. He is now on life support.

This was the second night in which the city experienced scenes residents described as similar to the Kristallnacht in 1938 in Nazi Germany.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced the immediate transfer of Border Police battalions from Judea and Samaria to Lod to help regain control of the city.

Public Security Minister Amir Ohana announced that he would exercise his authority on the matter immediately.

Netanyahu directed that the rioters “be dealt with severely and that units on the ground be reinforced in order to restore quiet and order to the city forthwith.”

Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai announced that he has moved his office to the city.

Muslims rioted in dozens of other towns and cities throughout Israel, attacking Jews and Israeli targets in an apparent display of solidarity with the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations, which have been bombarding Israel in the past 48 hours.

In Haifa, Arab rioters threw stones at police forces. 26 rioters were arrested.

In Acco, rioters vandalized a restaurant and set it on fire. A police station and a hotel were also set on fire in the city. At the hotel that was set on fire, a person was seriously injured as a result of the fire.

Terrorists fired fireworks at residents’ homes in the Meir Nakar neighbourhood in Jerusalem. As a result of the shooting, a fire broke out and the residents extinguished it.

Police arrested an Arab suspected of assaulting police in Tel Aviv-Yafo during riots in the city.

The police arrested 151 rioters in the northern district.

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WATCH: Maori Party co-leader kicked out of New Zealand parliament after performing HAKA in protest over ‘racist propaganda’

Maori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi was ejected from New Zealand’s parliamentary chambers after accusing a fellow MP of engaging in racist rhetoric, and then performing a ceremonial dance to express his displeasure.

Waititi took offense after National Party leader Judith Collins pressed Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about the government’s plan to introduce a separate health service for indigenous people. The initiative has been billed as an attempt to improve the quality of medical care for the Maori community. Debate over the controversial changes has raged for several weeks, with Collins accusing the government of promoting a “separatist agenda” that was being introduced “by stealth.”

The Maori politician interrupted Collins as she questioned the prime minister, asking House Speaker Trevor Mallard to note the “racist propaganda and rhetoric” aimed at indigenous people. 

He argued that views on indigenous rights should only come from members of the Maori community, adding that non-indigenous people should stay in their lane. 

“If we find this attitude acceptable in this House, the constant barrage of insults to tangata whenua, then I find this House in disrepute,” he said, using the Maori term for indigenous people. 

Mallard then called for order, adding that Waititi’s microphone had been turned off. It was then that Waititi launched into a Haka, a ceremonial dance of the Maori that can be used to issue a challenge. Dressed in a pink blazer and wearing a cowboy hat, the politician planted himself in front of his desk as he began to loudly chant.  

The frustrated House speaker then ordered the MP to leave the chamber. 

Waititi later told the media that Collins was “bashing” the Maori in order to gain the votes of her non-indigenous constituents. 

This isn’t the first time that Waititi has caused a ruckus in parliament. He was ejected from the House in February for not wearing a necktie. He defended his decision by claiming that the garment was a “colonial noose,” choosing instead to wear a traditional Maori necklace. New Zealand’s parliament later scrubbed the tie requirement from its dress code. 

Also on rt.com New Zealand wants to ban cigarette sales to anyone born after 2004 as part of plan to make nation ‘smoke free’ by 2025

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The Book of Ruth: A Zionist Story For Shavuot

The duality of Shavuot is undeniable: On the one hand is its status as an agricultural festival, marking the wheat/barley harvest and the celebration of the precociousness of the land of Israel, and on the other hand is its historic commemoration of the most remarkable event in the origin story of the Jewish People — the Revelation of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

Passover and Shavuot are connected by family ties — Nachshon, a hero of the Seventh Day of Passover, and Ruth’s husband Boaz, who we read about on Shavuot in the Book Of Ruth, are grandfather and grandson. As the ancient Midrash on Exodus revealed, before G-d split the Sea, saved the Jews and drowned the Egyptian soldiers, Nachshon showed his faith that G-d would keep His word by walking into the Sea up to his nose. In the book of Ruth, which takes place during the Era of the Judges, Boaz led the Jewish people through a time of famine and related unrest, which ended when he met and married the widow Ruth.

The duality of Shavuot is prominent in the Book of Ruth. The story of Ruth and Boaz occurs during the harvest, and Ruth’s decision to accept the Torah as law parallels what the Jewish People did at Sinai on the first Shavuot in our history.

What is more, Passover and Shavuot are connected not only by, but through Jerusalem. Shavuot is one of the three pilgrimage holidays named in the Torah, where the Jewish People are directed to travel to Jerusalem and offer sacrifices in the one location on Earth where G-d decreed that sacrifices be made to Him — the Holy Temple. And who built that Holy Temple? Boaz’s great-great-grandson, King Solomon (Shlomo HaMelech). Solomon, the direct male descendent of Nachshon and the son of King David.

Unfortunately, the rich meaning of Shavuot has degenerated over time to cheesecake and confirmations, unseen even by those who more traditionally observe the Yom Tov. Of course, the Shavuot tradition of studying Torah all night long is a good and a beautiful thing. But there is much more to Shavuot for us in our time.

In order to properly internalize the full context of Shavuot, we must look at what made the men of Nachshon’s and Boaz’s family so distinctive. The most distinguishing trait of this family was the ability to show complete disregard for their own individual wellbeing and step forward into the face of danger.

Consider Judah, the son of Jacob, who stepped forward when no one else would and saved the life of his brother, Joseph, when his other brothers planned to murder him. Nachshon, Judah’s descendent and a prince of his tribe, stepped forward when no one else would and entered the Red Sea, demonstrating a genuine faith that we still recall today. Boaz stepped forward when no one else would and took responsibility for Ruth, a convert from Moab, when it was known that Jewish women were prohibited from marrying Moabite men. David, while still a boy, stepped forward when no one else would, and faced Goliath.

And in the Book of Ruth, we find out how other members of this family who did not step forward suffered. Ploni Almoni, Boaz’s kinsman, who would not take responsibility for Ruth, loses his place in Jewish history, and we do not even know his name from the Book of Ruth. (“Ploni Almoni” is Biblical Hebrew jargon for “so and so.”)

Ruth’s first father-in-law, Elimelech, fares far worse than Ploni Almoni. When a drought occurred in Israel, Elimelech took his wife, Naomi, and his sons and chose exile rather than providing our people with leadership. He never returned to Israel. Elimelech and his sons died in Moab, and no future generations would come from their family line.

The lessons are clear. First: Those who are blessed with the talent and fortitude to do what is necessary to help a fellow Jew must heed the call. And second: The Land of Israel is precious and must be treasured. This is not just a Zionist belief — it’s a Jewish imperative. This is Shavuot. This is Judaism. This is Zionism.

Those who are blessed with the talent and fortitude to do what is necessary to help a fellow Jew must heed the call.

When Theodor Herzl stepped forward and initiated the Zionist movement, he heard the call.

When Ze’ev Jabotinsky stepped forward and proclaimed it was time to leave behind the character of the ghetto Jew and showed young Jews it was far better to take a stand, he heard the call.

When the resistance fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto stepped forward to battle the Nazis, they heard the call.

When the soldiers of the various Zionist undergrounds and militias stepped forward to defend the new Jewish State in 1948, they heard the call.

When the Refuseniks and the Jewish activists of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s stepped forward against the totalitarian Soviet Union, they heard the call.

When Israeli intelligence operatives in the 1980s went into the heart of Africa and covertly evacuated Ethiopian Jewish refugees to Israel, they heard the call.

This is Zionism. This is Judaism. This is the love of a brother being responsible for a brother. This is beautiful and it is eternal. Let us be worthy of listening for today’s calls and step forward.

This is what Shavuot demands of us. And the rewards are far sweeter than cheesecake.


Moshe Phillips is national director of Herut North America’s U.S. division. Herut is an international movement for Zionist pride and education and its U.S. website is https://herutna.org/

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Tel Aviv hit after Israel destroys Gaza buildings

Smoke rises after an Israeli missile strike rocks Gaza City on 11 May. Ali HamadAPA images

Israel deliberately destroyed a residential tower in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday despite warnings from Palestinian resistance groups not to target civilian infrastructure.

Videos circulated on social media show the al-Hanadi apartment building collapsing after it was struck by an Israeli missile.

In response, the military wing of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas fired some 130 rockets at Tel Aviv and surrounding areas Tuesday evening.

As a result, Israel was forced to briefly shut down its main airport for almost two hours, diverting flights to Cyprus.

Palestinian resistance rockets also apparently set fire to a major oil pipeline running from the southern city of Ashkelon to the Israeli port of Eilat:

Israel fully anticipated the reaction it would receive after striking the residential building in Gaza.

“We expect that this powerful attack on the high-rise building, which shook all of Gaza, will lead to extensive shooting toward Israel,” an Israeli military spokesperson told Tel Aviv daily Haaretz.

Israeli warplanes and artillery have struck 140 sites in the besieged Gaza Strip, including civilian homes, dense residential neighborhoods, factories, farm land and other infrastructure, according to Al Mezan, a human rights group in Gaza.

An Israeli military strike also hit an area surrounding the Indonesian hospital in northern Gaza, inflicting damage on the hospital.

“This is a deliberate crime in which the occupation is targeting innocent people and now aiming to deprive them of medical treatment,” the health ministry stated.

The ministry said the northern Hala al-Shawa medical center is “completely out of commission” as a result of a nearby military strike, preventing thousands of Palestinians, including mothers and their children, from receiving treatment.

Death toll climbs

Gaza’s health ministry reported 32 Palestinians killed in Gaza since Monday, including 10 children, and more than 200 injuries.

The death toll could climb as more serious injuries are being reported.

In Israel, three people have been killed as Palestinian resistance factions sent barrages of rockets towards the cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon and the Tel Aviv area.

An Israeli military strike hit a seven-story building housing 13 apartments in Gaza City’s Beach refugee camp at dawn on Tuesday.

Amira Abd al-Fattah Subh, 63, and her 19-year-old son Abd al-Rahman Subh, who had special needs and cerebral palsy, were killed in the attack.

Hours later, Israeli warplanes struck another large residential tower with 14 stories in Gaza City, killing three Palestinians.

Israel’s military and its domestic spying and torture agency Shin Bet admitted this was a targeted attack to kill Samah al-Mamluk, the head of the missile unit for resistance organization Islamic Jihad’s military wing.

The same military strike also killed Kamal Qreqe and Muhammad Abu al-Ata, also Islamic Jihad militants.

Israel’s killing of al-Mamluk echoes the assassination of Muhammad Abu al-Ata’s brother in November 2019, Islamic Jihad leader Baha Abu al-Ata.

Videos show women and children running outside the same building covered in dust:

Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz authorized the Israeli army to call up 5,000 reservists – but it remains unclear whether the military will do so.

Threatening more violence

Israeli leaders vowed to commit more violence against Palestinians in Gaza throughout Tuesday.

The Israeli military has its “foot on the gas,” an army spokesperson said, as Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip entered its second day.

“There is one address in Gaza: It is called Hamas,” the spokesman said, adding that the Israeli army will attack it “with great force.”

Such a statement could be a tacit admission that Israel treats Gaza as one massive military target, blurring distinctions that should protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, even as children comprise roughly half of Gaza’s population.

“We will intensify the raids and we will strengthen their pace,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday, after two Israelis were reported killed in Ashkelon.

“Hamas will suffer strikes it does not expect.”

On Tuesday, Gantz, the defense minister, threatened that “for every day that they shoot at Israeli citizens, we will send them back years.”

Gantz appeared to be reviving his 2019 campaign boast that in 2014 he bombed Gaza back to the “stone ages.”

In 2014, he was Israel’s chief of staff commanding the 51-day assault that killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 551 children.

Five children from one family

A rocket-propelled grenade killed eight Palestinians east of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza on Monday, including six children, according to an Al Mezan investigation.

The human rights group did not specify the source of the rocket. Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) has not confirmed the cause of the blast either.

DCIP said that at the time of the incident, Israeli warplanes were overhead in Gaza as Palestinian resistance organizations were firing rockets into southern Israel.

Five of the children killed were from the same family.

Ahmad Muhammad al-Masri, 21, and his sister Rahaf Muhammad al-Masri, 10, as well as their cousins, siblings Marwan Yusef al-Masri, 7, and Ibrahim Yusef al-Masri, 11.

The youngest victim was 2-year-old Yazan Sultan al-Masri.

Muhammad Ali Nuseir, 20, Hussein Munir Hamad, 11 and Ibrahim Abdullah Hasanein, 16, were all killed in the same blast.

Also on Monday, an Israeli warplane struck an agricultural field east of Jabaliya, northern Gaza, killing Sabir Ibrahim Suleiman, 38, and his 16-year-old son Muhammad Sabir Suleiman. Both died of their injuries after being hit with shrapnel.

Sabir Suleiman was reportedly a commander with Hamas’ military wing.

An Israeli warplane struck Muhammad Abdallah Fayyad, 25, as he was walking through the al-Salah neighborhood in Beit Hanoun on Monday, killing him immediately.

An Israeli military strike hit Khan Younis on Monday, injuring three Palestinians. One of them, 37-year-old Salim Muhammad al-Farra died of his injuries the next day, according to Al Mezan.

Collective punishment

Israel imposed collective punishment on Gaza by tightening its 14-year siege of the territory even further.

It completely shuttered the Kerem Shalom checkpoint, the only crossing where Israel allows goods in and out of Gaza, as well as the Erez checkpoint, the only crossing for people between Gaza and Israel.

This “threatens the lives of patients who need to travel to receive medical treatment” unavailable in the Gaza Strip, Al Mezan stated.

Israel also completely restricted the fishing zone, which directly targets Gaza’s economy and its two million inhabitants.

Al Mezan condemned those measures as “the continuation of the policy of collective punishment.”

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.

Ali Abunimah contributed reporting.

Originally published in Electronic Intifada


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Hamas bombs Tel Aviv Area; IAF Hits Hamas HQs in Gaza

May 12, 2021 by Aryeh Savir – TPS

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The Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations continued their massive bombardment of Israeli cities in towns, broadening their radius of fire on Tuesday night to the Tel Aviv area and as far north as Netanya.

Terrorists launch rockets from Gaza into Israel. (Majdi Fathi/TPS)

The terror groups have launched some 1,000 rockets at Israel, killing a father and his daughter in a village near the town of Lod, and a woman in Rishon Lezion on Tuesday night, and inuring tens of Israelis, most of them suffering from light injuries and shock.

Moshe Gomru, Commander, Central District ZAKA, who was at the scene of the fatal rocket attack in Rishon Lezion said that a two-story building received a direct hit.

“When I arrived, there was a large commotion. I saw a woman, who apparently did not manage to enter the safe room in time, lying close to the building, suffering from multiple injuries as a result of shrapnel. MDA paramedics were forced to pronounce her dead at the scene. ZAKA Central Region volunteers are working to clear the difficult scene of human remains,” he recounted.

An 89-year-old woman, a Holocaust survivor, is in critical condition after her home in Ashkelon was hit by a rocket.

A rocket hit the oil pipeline between Eilat and Ashkelon. A large fire is burning at the point hit.

A total of five Israelis and one foreign caretaker have been killed in the rocket attacks.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) responded by hitting significant terror targets and terror operatives across the Gaza Strip, marking the IDF’s largest strike since Operation Protective Edge 2014.

The IAF carried out precision attacks on Hamas and Islamic Jihad headquarters, intelligence centers, strategic targets, and homes of Hamas leaders, situated in high-rise buildings and embedded in civilian centers.

The IAF eliminated Hassan Kaogi, head of the Hamas military intelligence security department, and his deputy Wail Issa, head of the military intelligence counterespionage department, as well as Iyad Fathi Faik Sharir, commander of the Hamas anti-tank missile unit.

An IDF spokesman said Wednesday morning that more than 1,000 rockets were fired at Israel more than 500 targets were attacked in the Gaza Strip.

The houses of Gaza City commander Bassem Issa, commander of Khan Yunis Rafa Salma and the head of Hamas’ military intelligence unit, Muhammad Yazuri, which were used as terrorist infrastructure, were attacked.

A building used by the Hamas terrorist organization in the Remal neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip was bombed. The building housed the intelligence headquarters, the West Bank headquarters, the information department, and the Hamas Gaza Brigade. Prior to the attack, the IDF warned the civilians who were in the building and gave them sufficient time to evacuate the building.

On Tuesday evening, the IAF conducted a massive strike of some 80 aircraft and hit about 100 launching sites in northern Gaza.

“The goal of the operation is to inflict a severe blow on Hamas until it realizes that it was not worth it,” an IDF spokesman said.

Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi stated that the IDF has hit over 500 targets, hitting and killed dozens of terrorist operatives.

“I tell you that on the other side of Gaza – the reality is harsh,” he said.

The Gaza Ministry of Health has reported 35 deaths and 233 injuries since the escalation began.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Tuesday evening that Israel is “in the midst of a major campaign – Operation Guardian of the Walls.”

“Hamas and Islamic Jihad have paid and – I tell you here – will pay a very heavy price for their aggression. I say here this evening – their blood is on their head,” he warned.

“This campaign will take time. With determination, unity and strength, we will restore security to the citizens of Israel,” he declared.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz stated that “the heads of the organizations are crumbling throughout Gaza – and more will crumble.”

“There are a lot of goals in line – this is just the beginning. I know the Gaza arena, the terrorist organizations have been severely damaged and will continue to be harmed due to their promiscuous decision to fire into Israel. We will restore peace and security and do so in the long run,” he said.

To the world leaders, he said that “there is not a sovereign country anywhere that would accept incoming rocket fire on its citizens and population centers. We do not accept it either. It is our right and responsibility to act, and that is what we will do.”

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