Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid speaks at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations event in Jerusalem on February 19, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Yeshiva student assaulted in Crown Heights
For the third time in three weeks, a person affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement has been assaulted in Crown Heights.
The victim, a 22-year-old yeshiva student, had been walking home from the Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights when he was attacked at around midnight on Tuesday night.
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The Crown Heights Info news website reports that the victim felt as if he was being followed and crossed the street, only to discover someone coming at him from the other direction as well.
The two African-American assailants punched and kicked the yeshiva student until he managed to break free and run, catching the attention of police officers. One officer took one of the assailants into custody immediately, and another officer chased after the second assailant, catching him two blocks away. Both assailants were armed with knives, according to the report. Both assailants had prior arrests.
The victim, who had fled, called Crown Heights Shomrim, a Jewish volunteer patrol group, who put the victim in touch with police and offered Hebrew translation services until police translators were available.
The father of the victim tells CrownHeights.info “they didn’t demand anything from him, all they wanted was to hurt him, to take his life,” and added “my son was lucky [that a police officer] who understood Hebrew just happened to be passing by that intersection and saw my son running for his life.”
On April 21, a 52-year-old father of two wasbeaten and chokedwhile walking home in the afternoon from Shabbat services in Crown Heights. Anarresthas been made in that attack.
Welcoming Alibaba founder, PM praises his drive to innovate
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Jack Ma, the founder and chairman of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, in his Jerusalem office.
“It’s wonderful to welcome you in Israel. You can come here as often as you’d like. In fact, you can stay here,” the prime minister tells Ma.
“You are a very successful leader in a very competitive business. The world belongs to those who innovate and Israel is the nation of innovation,” Netanyahu adds.
The Chinese business magnate, investor, and philanthropist is scheduled to give a talk to students at Tel Aviv University tomorrow, as well as receive an honorary doctorate from the university and meet with researchers in the fields of artificial intelligence, engineering and computer sciences.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shakes hands with Alibaba founder Jack Ma on May 2, 2018. (Haim Tzach/GPO)
Panning Abbas’s anti-Semitic rant, German FM says his country responsible for Holocaust
Condemning a speech from Mahmoud Abbas in which the Palestinian Authority president claimed that the Holocaust was not the result of anti-Semitism, Germany’s Foreign Minister asserts that his country was responsible for “one of the worst crimes in history.
“Therefore, we must respond resolutely to any anti-Semitic expression,” says Haiku Maas, in reference to Abbas’s address in front of the Palestinian National Council on Monday.
Among the Palestinian leader’s claims in the speech were that Adolf Hitler facilitated the immigration of Jews to Israel by reaching a deal with the Anglo-Palestine Bank (today Bank Leumi) under which Jews who moved to the British Mandate of Palestine could transfer all their assets there through the bank.
EU slams Abbas for ‘unacceptable’ anti-Semitic rant
The European Union lambastes Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for an “unacceptable” speech he gave denigrating Jews to the Palestinian National Council on Monday.
A statement from the EU spokesperson says the address “contained unacceptable remarks concerning the origins of the Holocaust and Israel’s legitimacy.”
“Such rhetoric will only play into the hands of those who do not want a two-state solution, which President Abbas has repeatedly advocated,” the EU says.
“Holocaust education remains central to building up resilience against all forms of hatred in our societies. Antisemitism is not only a threat for Jews but a fundamental menace to our open and liberal societies,” the body adds.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he chairs a Palestinian National Council meeting in Ramallah on April 30, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI)
Abbas touched on a number of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories during what he called a “history lesson,” as he sought to prove the 3,000-year-old Jewish connection to the Land of Israel is false.
He said his narrative was backed by three points made by Jewish writers and historians, the first being a theory often criticized as anti-Semitic that Ashkenazi Jews are not the descendants of the ancient Israelites.
He went on to claim that the Holocaust was not the result of anti-Semitism but rather of the Jews’ “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters.”
Iran denies Morocco accusation of Polisario arms delivery
Iran denies that it was involved in a weapons delivery to the Polisario Front movement seeking independence for Western Sahara, after Morocco cut diplomatic ties with Tehran over the allegations.
Morocco, which has close relations with Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday accused Tehran of using its Lebanese militia ally Hezbollah to deliver weapons to the Polisario Front.
Tehran has hit back, saying the North African nation had used the allegations as a “pretext” to break off diplomatic ties.
“Remarks attributed to the foreign minister of Morocco about cooperation between an Iranian diplomat and the Polisario Front” in Western Sahara are “false,” Iran’s foreign ministry says in a statement.
The Islamic Republic respects the “sovereignty and security” of countries with which it has diplomatic relations, and follows a policy of “non-interference in (their) internal affairs,” it adds.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said on Tuesday that “a first shipment of weapons was recently” sent to the Algerian-backed Polisario Front via an “element” at the Iranian embassy in Algiers.
Tunisia says Croatia nabbed operative behind hit on Hamas engineer attributed to Israel
The Tunisian Justice Ministry is reportedly claiming that one of the operatives behind a 2016 hit on a Hamas-linked engineer that has been attributed to Israel has been arrested in Croatia.
Both Hamas and Hezbollah have accused the Mossad of killing Mohammed Zoari, 49, who was shot to death at the wheel of his car outside his house in the Tunisian port city of Sfax in December 2016.
Zoari, an aviation engineer and Tunisian national, was confirmed by Hamas to be a central figure in its weapons development. The group called him a pioneer in developing its unmanned drones.
Israel has not responded to the accusation by Hamas that it was behind the Tunisian engineer’s death.
Members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, hold a banner bearing a portrait of Mohammed al-Zoari in Gaza City on December 18, 2016. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)
11 dead in suicide attack on Libya election commission
Eleven people have been killed in a suicide blast in a Libyan electoral commission office in the country’s capital, according to local officials.
A government spokesman says that in addition to the bomb, gunshots were also exchanged between the assailants and security forces outside the building.
The attackers set the building ablaze, according to spokesman Khaled Amar, who fled with other staff following the attack. Reports said the gunmen then engaged security forces in a street battle.
Local media reports that there were a total of four attackers.
The blast comes amid pressure that the UN has been placing on Libya to hold elections by the end of 2018.
Special counsel team has floated idea of subpoena for Trump
IThe special counsel leading the Russia investigation raised the prospect in March of issuing a grand jury subpoena for US President Donald Trump, his former attorney says.
Attorney John Dowd tells The Associated Press that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team broached the subject during a meeting with Trump’s legal team while they were negotiating the terms of a possible interview with the president.
It is not immediately clear in what context the possibility of a subpoena was raised or how serious Mueller’s prosecutors were about the move. Mueller is probing not only Russian election interference and possible coordination with Trump associates but possible obstruction of justice by Trump.
‘We’ll pay a high price for that mistake’ — Lapid pans PM’s touting of Mossad op
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid criticizes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s publication of the Mossad’s capture of Iran’s nuclear program archives.
The opposition lawmaker claims that the prime minister’s televised presentation earlier this week was a “a professional mistake.”
“Among the intelligence community, there is nothing less than shock at his decision to publish the intelligence incursion on television,” Lapid says in a statement.
He insists he is not a “Netanyahu hater” and opposed the Iranian nuclear deal, but claims that the prime minister is “making mistakes that he did not make in the past.”
Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid heads a faction meeting at the Knesset on March 12, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
‘Torn and broken’ after desert flood disaster, academy head resigns from post
The head of a pre-army academy involved in last week’s desert hike, in which 10 teenagers were swept to their deaths by a flash flood, announces his resignation from the post.
Yuval Kahan releases a statement, saying he is “torn and broken” over last week’s tragedy in the Judean Desert’s Tzafit River.
“I will never be able to find words that can express the sorrow I feel. The role of the head of the preparatory program is first and foremost an educational role that requires the full trust of the trainees, their families and all those who are involved in the program,” writes Kahan.
“I know that in the shadow of this terrible tragedy, this trust, which is the basis for the ability to lead and educate, cannot exist, so I decided to submit my resignation.”
“I will continue to be committed to everything that will be required of me for the sake of this enterprise and its continuation. I am unable to comfort the families which lost the most precious thing of all, and I join in their sorrow,” he adds.
Kahan and an instructor at the academy — Aviv Bardichev– were released to house arrest on Monday after being arrested on Friday on suspicion of causing death by negligence for ignoring flash flood warnings
They were released to house arrest for five days and are barred from entering the academy’s offices or from contacting anyone involved in the investigation.
Yuval Kahan. (Courtesy: Bnei Zion pre-military academy)