EU Tweets Condolences, But Policies Are the Problem
JERUSALEM BOMBINGS: TEEN KILLED, 19 OTHERS INJURED: At least one person was killed and 19 people were wounded, in two explosions at bus stops to the entrance of Jerusalem on Wednesday morning, November 23, in what police are treating as a coordinated double terror attack.
The fatality was identified as a 16-year-old Aryeh Shechopek, who was on his way to a yeshiva in a nearby community when the explosion occurred. The Canadian citizen lived in the capital’s Har Nof neighborhood. Both explosions, one at the entrance to the city near the Central Bus Station, and the other in the Ramot neighborhood, occurred at bus stops during rush hour. The explosive devices were said to have been placed in bags left at the stations. The first explosion, which happened shortly after 7 a.m. in Givat Shaul, injured 15 people, including two critically and another four seriously. Magen David Adom said that 12 people were transported to hospitals across the city for medical treatment. The second explosion near the Ramot Intersection in northern Jerusalem took place several moments after the initial explosion. Three people were lightly injured in that attack. The bombs were detonated remotely and were reportedly packed with nails and bolts to maximize casualties. Police are treating the two explosions as a coordinated joint attack, and are looking for additional devices across the city. (JPost / VFI News)
EUROPEAN UNION CONDEMNS JERUSALEM BOMBINGS: The European Union condemned a pair of terrorist bombing attacks in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning, November 23. European Union Ambassador to Israel Dimiter Tzantchev tweeted his condolences to the family of the victim killed in one of the two bombings, and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
“Horrified by the terror attacks in Jerusalem that killed one person and left many people injured, including some in critical and serious conditions. I express my deepest condolences to the family of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to all injured. Terror is never justified.” The injured were evacuated to three different Jerusalem hospitals, including Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, and Hadassah Mount Scopus Medical Center. Police forces were deployed to the scenes of the explosions, closing Route 1 at the entrance to Jerusalem to traffic. (INN / VFI News)
TURKEY AND IRAN ATTACK KURDISH AREAS IN SYRIA AND IRAQ: Turkey and Iran have carried out attacks against Kurdish areas of Syria and Iraq, threatening to destabilize the region and harm civilian life.
Turkey claimed its attacks were in response to “terrorism,” although Ankara has provided no evidence that Kurdish groups are behind any terrorist attacks in Turkey. Iran has claimed that its attacks are designed to counter Kurdish groups that back protests in the country. Kurdish cities have been at the forefront of the two months of protests against the regime. Turkey’s attacks have struck a wide swath of towns and villages across northern Syria and also northern Iraq. Turkey bombarded Kobani, a city that is famous for having resisted ISIS in 2014. It also attacked areas such as Tel Rifat, where many displaced people live as refugees. These displaced people were already forced from their homes by a Turkish invasion of Afrin in 2018, when Turkey-backed Syrian rebel groups drove Kurds and other minorities from their homes. Turkey also bombarded other areas along the border, including the area of Tal Tamr, where Christian minorities live, as well as Sinjar, where the Yazidis live. Yazidis were subjected to genocide by ISIS. (JPost / VFI News)
IRAN TO REACH 90% ENRICHED URANIUM, WEIGHED WORLD CUP TERRORISM – IDF INTEL CHIEF: Iran recently weighed initiating a terrorist attack at the current World Cup soccer tournament and was only dissuaded out of concern for how Qatar, the host country, might respond, OC IDF Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Aharon Haliva said Monday, November 21, at the INSS conference on Iran.
Echoing the World Cup threat, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Monday: “Iran is seeking to make instability a permanent feature. The second that the world around it is stable and flourishing, that is the antithesis of what is happening in Iran. The World Cup could be one of the spots where they might try to create instability.” Haliva said London and the US were both prepared for attacks by Iranian terrorist proxies, but he thought the West still does not comprehend the sustained challenge that Iran presents to it directly. Despite the regime’s concerns, which he said would lead it to act more violently and unpredictably, “I do not see the regime as being in danger.” Iran would likely soon carry out at least a symbolic enrichment of uranium to the 90% weaponized level, Haliva said, adding that the world will be tested as never before. To date, the Islamic Republic has never dared to cross the uranium-enrichment weaponized threshold. Even if Iran crosses this threshold, top Israeli officials still believe it would take Tehran another two years to solve questions related to detonating and delivering a nuclear weapon, Israeli media reported last week. (JPost /VFI News)
IRAN HACKERS CLOSER TO PENETRATING ISRAEL, US DRONES – CYBERDEFENSE CEO: Iran’s team of hackers has recently advanced closer than ever to being able to penetrate and control Israeli and US drones, ClearSky Cyber Security CEO Boaz Dolev said Monday, November 21.
Speaking at the INSS conference on Iran, he listed a number of dangerous trends emanating from the Islamic Republic’s cyber sector. Tehran is expanding its cyber capabilities in every arena, including ongoing improved efforts to hack drones and to develop closer to “zero-day” capabilities, Dolev said. Until now, Dolev was saying that Iran’s zero-day capabilities have been viewed as limited – though the regime did hack aspects of Israel’s water sector in April 2020. Besides improving its own capabilities, he said Iran has started for the first time to more aggressively share cyber attack tools with Hezbollah. This seems to suggest that the Islamic Republic is seeking to multiply the fronts from which Jerusalem must defend itself in the cyber arena, as it has in the physical world. Moreover, Dolev noted Iran’s cyber attacks on governments, such as Albania. The ayatollahs’ cyber attack was successful because it brought down the country’s networks at a moment when a conference of the Kurdish anti-Iranian MEK group was due to hold a major meeting in Albania, he said. (JPost / VFI News)
WORLD CUP: QATAR WON’T ALLOW COOKED KOSHER FOOD, PUBLIC JEWISH PRAYER: Jewish organizations have said that even though they were promised otherwise, Qatar won’t allow any cooked kosher food to be sold or offered to visitors of the FIFA World Cup.
Sources in Jewish organizations told Israeli media that Qatar broke another promise to allow Jewish prayer services in Doha during the games, claiming it couldn’t secure this type of activity, and then banned it completely. “We were promised to be allowed to create prayer spaces in order for religious Jews who came to see the games to have a place of worship,” a representative of a Jewish organization said. “We were recently told that they banned places of worship for Jews because they cannot secure them.” According to other sources, there is an estimate of more than 10,000 religious Jews from Israel and around the world that are expected to arrive in Doha. “They were promised to be able to cook kosher food including kosher meat, but at the moment have only been allowed to sell cold bagel sandwiches,” they said. According to another source, a number of wealthy American Jews planned to come as a large group, but canceled their arrangements since they said they wouldn’t feel secure and not have enough food to eat. (JPost / VFI News)
KEVIN MCCARTHY SAYS HE WILL REMOVE ILHAN OMAR FROM COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENT OVER ‘ANTI-SEMITIC’ COMMENTS: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said on Saturday, November 19, that when he is speaker of the House next year, he plans to remove Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from the House Foreign Affairs Committee over her “anti-Semitic” comments.
“We watch anti-Semitism grow, not just on our campuses, but we watched it grow in the halls of Congress,” he said at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2022 leadership meeting in Las Vegas. “I promised you last year that as speaker she will no longer be on Foreign Affairs, and I’m keeping that promise,” he said to cheers from the audience. McCarthy is the likely next speaker once Republicans take the majority in January, pending a vote for the position on January 3. Republicans will have a slim majority, so he can only afford to lose a handful of votes. Since being elected to Congress in 2018, Omar has made several controversial comments widely deemed to perpetuate anti-Semitic tropes, including saying it was “all about the Benjamins” for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and tweeting, “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” which was seen as equating Israel and the U.S. to the Taliban. In a tweet before joining Congress, the Democrat claimed Israel had “hypnotized the world” and after being elected, she submitted a resolution to the House comparing boycotting Israel to boycotting the Nazis. (FN /VFI News)
ISRAEL AND JAPAN ADVANCE TOWARD FREE TRADE AGREEMENT: Israel and Japan are advancing initial steps for the signing of a free trade agreement, in a move that is expected to bring down tariffs and lower the prices of Japanese-made cars, toys and other imported goods.
“This morning in Tokyo, we agreed to take a first step towards the signing of a free trade agreement between Israel and Japan, which means discounts for products and goods from Japan for the benefit of the Israeli market, and increasing Israeli exports to Japan, the third-largest economy in the world,” said outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid. “This year, we are also celebrating 70 years of relations between our countries and this is further proof of their growing strength – diplomatically and economically.” Japanese companies have invested a total of $13 billion in the Israeli tech industry since 2000, and over 85 Japanese companies are currently operating in Israel, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Japan accounts for 15.8% of all foreign investments in Israeli tech industry, compared to just 1.8% in 2016, and 12% of total investment (foreign and Israeli), according to estimates by consulting firm Harel-Hertz Investment House. At the end of August, Israel and Japan signed an agreement for closer cooperation on defense technology and military equipment. Lapid hailed the advancement of a free trade agreement as “an important achievement for Israel’s economy and Israel’s standing in the world.” (TOI / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff