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Former Mexican president calls leading Jewish Mexican politician a ‘Bulgarian Jew’

(JTA) — Former Mexican President Vicente Fox apologized to the Jewish community after dismissing political opponent Claudia Sheinbaum, a frontrunner in the developing 2024 presidential race, as a “Bulgarian Jew.”

Fox, a right-wing populist and former Coca-Cola executive who was president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, frequently critiques the country’s current left-wing president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in public appearances. Last week, he complained in an interview about López Obrador’s move to stop monthly pension payments for retired presidents by using a derogatory slur to call out “lazy” people who “don’t belong in the government or in the country,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Sheinbaum and other leaders of López Obrador’s Morena party condemned Fox’s comments. Fox then tweeted out rebuttals, calling Sheinbaum a “Bulgarian Jew” and Marcelo Ebrard, a former foreign minister also in the Morena party, a “French snob.”

Fox is a frequent provocateur whose National Action Party is conservative and has strong ties to the Catholic Church. “The only Mexican is Xóchitl!” Fox added, referring to his preferred presidential candidate Xóchitl Gálvez, a National Action senator.

Sheinbaum’s father’s family immigrated from Lithuania and her mother’s family immigrated from Bulgaria. Ebrard is a descendant of French immigrants.

Fox later apologized, writing, “I have a profound respect for the Jewish community.”

The episode highlighted how Sheinbaum, who rarely discusses her Jewish heritage, is already dealing with questions about her identity at the start of what will be an intense fight for her party’s presidential nomination. The L.A. Times reported that she has been derided as a “foreigner” in political discourse and that she recently tweeted out her birth certificate in response.

Bájenle a sus especulaciones, ahí les va de nuevo mi acta de nacimiento. Soy 100% mexicana, orgullosamente hija de padres mexicanos.

— Dra. Claudia Sheinbaum (@Claudiashein) June 28, 2023

Sheinbaum became Mexico City’s first Jewish mayor when elected in 2018. Her popularity has soared since then, and she decided to leave the post to run for a presidential nomination against the incumbent in her party. She has emerged as the main competition for López Obrador in Morena, which is expected to name a nominee in September for next year’s election.

If elected, Sheinbaum would be Mexico’s first Jewish and first woman president.

Sheinbaum, 60, was also previously a well-respected physics and engineering professor who helped the United Nations research climate change.

The post Former Mexican president calls leading Jewish Mexican politician a ‘Bulgarian Jew’ appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Explosion from Hezbollah Drone Leaves Man Seriously Injured in Northern Israel

A suspected Hezbollah drone launched from Lebanon into Israeli territory on July 18, 2022. Photo: IDF

i24 NewsA resident of northern Israel sustained serious injuries on Saturday after an explosive-laden drone, believed to be dispatched by Hezbollah from Lebanon, detonated in a kibbutz located in the Galilee region, according to the Israeli military.

The victim, identified as a member of the Hanita local security team who also served as an IDF reservist, was rushed to a hospital for treatment following the incident.

The Israeli army confirmed that his family has been notified of the situation.

Hezbollah, the Iran-backed militant group based in Lebanon, had previously claimed responsibility for targeting a building utilized by Israeli forces in the border community.

According to Hezbollah’s statement, the group launched suicide drones and rockets from Lebanon towards the northern Israeli community on Saturday afternoon. Sirens alerting residents of incoming drones were sounded in multiple towns near the northern border on two separate occasions.

The attacks by Hezbollah come amidst heightened tensions in the region, with the group reportedly carrying out daily rocket, missile, and drone assaults on northern Israel, particularly amid the conflict in Gaza.

Just a day prior, on Friday night, Hezbollah unleashed a significant barrage of rockets and explosives-laden drones at northern Israel. The onslaught occurred as the country braced for potential retaliatory strikes by Iran or its proxies in response to an alleged Israeli attack in Syria.

The Syrian strike purportedly resulted in the deaths of several members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The post Explosion from Hezbollah Drone Leaves Man Seriously Injured in Northern Israel first appeared on

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Israel Calls Off School Trips, Puts Forces on Full Alert Amid Iran Threat

An Israeli F-35 aircraft is seen on a runway during ‘Blue Flag,’ an aerial exercise hosted by Israel with the participation of foreign air force crews, at the Ovda military air base, southern Israel, Nov. 11, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen / File.

Israel called off on Saturday school trips and other youth activities planned for the coming days, the beginning of the Passover festival, and placed the armed forces on full alert due to a possible attack by Iran.

Announcing the measures in a televised briefing, chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said dozens of combat planes were airborne as part of the state of readiness.

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Russian Forces Seize Village in Donetsk

Ukrainian soldiers stand in front of a building with a Ukrainian flag on it, during an operation that claims to liberate the first village amid a counter-offensive, in a location given as Blahodatne, Donetsk Region, Ukraine, in this screengrab taken from a handout video released on June 11, 2023. Photo: 68th Separate Hunting Brigade ‘Oleksy Dovbusha’/Handout via REUTERS

i24 NewsThe Russian Defense Ministry announced on Saturday that its forces had successfully seized control of the village of Pervomaiske in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, marking a significant tactical advancement on the front line in the ongoing conflict.

While Russia has claimed it has fully taken village, it has not been confirmed yet.

Simultaneously, a Russia-installed official in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region reported that shelling by Ukraine’s military had resulted in the deaths of 10 people, including three children, in the town of Tokmak.

Yevgeny Balitsky, the top Moscow-installed official in the Zaporizhzhia region, revealed that 18 individuals had sustained injuries during the shelling on Friday night.

During the day, Russian troops shelled 8 settlements, striking more than 400 times in Zaporizhzhia Region, destroying residential buildings and infrastructure. There was no information on casualties, the Regional State Administration reports.

Zaporizhzhia RSA

— T4P (@t4p_ua) April 13, 2024

Furthermore, Balitsky noted the significant destruction in the town, stating, “Two people are reported missing. Debris removal and search continues,” through the Telegram messaging app.

The post Russian Forces Seize Village in Donetsk first appeared on

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