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In New York City, Israeli President Isaac Herzog encounters protesters — and tough questions

(New York Jewish Week) — On New York’s Upper East Side, a crowd of a few dozen holding Israeli flags chanted “de-mo-cra-tia,” the Hebrew word for “democracy.” Some held signs playing on the 1982 song by Ehud Manor “I Have No Other Country” that has become a theme song of their movement. One sign read, “President Herzog, don’t sugarcoat our plight.”

The protesters had gathered on Thursday in advance of Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s appearance at a UJA-Federation event, as part of his New York visit marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel and concluding his three-day diplomatic trip to the United States. Earlier in the week, Herzog had given an address to Congress touting the strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship, eliciting multiple standing ovations, and met with President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C.

The protesters have been setting up shop outside the public appearances of all Israeli government officials visiting the United States for the last six months, in a show of opposition against legislation that would sap the power of Israel’s Supreme Court.  Herzog — whose political party is not in the ruling coalition and who has said the legislation could instigate a “civil war” — has been trying to broker a compromise over the legislation.

On Thursday, even as the first pieces of the judiciary changes neared completion, Herzog expressed optimism about those talks during his conversation with CNN senior global affairs analyst Bianna Golodryga before an audience of Jewish leaders from across New York City. (The event was held at the Midtown headquarters of UJA-Federation. The group is a funder of 70 Faces Media.) Golodryga pressed him judicial reform, the relationship between the U.S. and Israel, aid to Ukraine and antisemitism.

“Right now there are efforts to try and find solutions and I hope that leaders would be responsible and attentive to the ability of finding amicable solutions and live consensus on this issue,” Herzog said on the judicial reform issue. “If one side wins, Israel will lose.”

On claims that Israel has not done enough to support Ukraine, Herzog said that an early detection alert system “like every Israeli has” is set to be deployed in Ukraine sometime next month to warn citizens of imminent attacks. “This is vital to their well-being and their protection,” he said.

Protesters gather outside of an event where Israeli President Isaac Herzog was scheduled to speak July 20, 2023. (Jackie Hajdenberg)

The live conversation followed meetings earlier in the day with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams. People who attended said they appreciated Herzog’s message, even as they remain concerned about Israel’s future.

“What could he have said that would have satisfied this audience? I don’t know,” said Jamie Maxner, director of strategic partnerships and community engagement at Hannah Senesh Community Day School, who attended with others from Brooklyn.

“I did appreciate that from what he shared, that we need to be talking, we need to hear all of the perspectives,” Maxner added.


The post In New York City, Israeli President Isaac Herzog encounters protesters — and tough questions appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Hamas Fires Missiles at Tel Aviv for First Time in Months

An Israeli police officer stands next to the remains of a rocket after rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian Islamist terrorist group Hamas, in Herzliya, Israel May 26 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Nir Elias

Hamas launched missiles at Tel Aviv on Sunday, setting off sirens in Israel’s financial center for the first time in four months, as the Islamist Palestinian terror group sought to show military strength despite Israel’s Gaza offensive.

The Israeli military said eight projectiles were identified crossing from the area of Rafah, the southern tip of the Gaza Strip where Israel kept up operations despite a ruling by the top U.N. court on Friday ordering it to stop attacking the city.

A number of the projectiles were intercepted, it said. There were no reports of casualties.

In a statement on its Telegram channel, the Hamas al-Qassam Brigades said the rockets were launched in response to “Zionist massacres against civilians.”

Rafah is located about 100 km (60 miles) south of Tel Aviv.

Israel says it wants to root out Hamas fighters holed up in Rafah and rescue hostages it says are being held in the area.

On Sunday, Israeli strikes killed at least five Palestinians in Rafah, according to local medical services. The Gaza health ministry identified the dead as civilians.

Israeli tanks have probed around the edges of Rafah, near the crossing point from Gaza into Egypt, and have entered some of its eastern districts, residents say, but have not yet entered the city in force since the start of operations in the city earlier this month.

Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz said the rockets fired from Rafah “prove that the (Israel Defense Forces) must operate in every place Hamas still operates from.”

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant held an operational assessment in Rafah where he was briefed on “troops’ operations above and below the ground, as well as the deepening of operations in additional areas with the aim of dismantling Hamas battalions,” his office said in a statement.

Itamar Ben Gvir, a hardline public security minister who is not part of Israel’s war cabinet, urged the army to hit Rafah harder. “Rafah with full force,” he posted on X.

Israel began its operations targeting Hamas in Gaza after the Palestinian terrorist group invaded southern Israel on Oct. 7, murdered 1,200 people, and abducted over 250 hostages.

Fighting also continued in the northern Gaza area of Jabaliya, the scene of intense combat earlier in the war. During one raid, the military said it found a weapons storage site with dozens of rocket parts and weapons at a school.

It denied Hamas statements that Palestinian fighters had abducted an Israeli soldier.

Hamas media said an Israeli airstrike on a house in a neighborhood near Jabaliya killed 10 people and wounded others.

TRUCE TALKS

Efforts to agree a halt to the fighting and return more than 120 hostages have been blocked for weeks but there were some signs of movement this weekend following meetings between Israeli and U.S. intelligence officials and Qatar’s prime minister.

An official with knowledge of the matter said a decision had been taken to resume the talks this week based on new proposals from Egyptian and Qatari mediators, and with “active U.S. involvement.”

However, a Hamas official played down the report, telling Reuters: “It is not true.”

A second Hamas official, Izzat El-Reshiq, said the group had not received anything from the mediators on new dates for resuming talks as had been reported by Israeli media.

Reshiq restated Hamas’s demands, which include: “Ending the aggression completely and permanently, in all of Gaza Strip, not only Rafah.”

While Israel is seeking the return of hostages, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said the war will not end until Hamas, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction, is eliminated.

AID TRUCKS ENTER GAZA

Khaled Zayed of the Egyptian Red Crescent told Reuters 200 trucks of aid, including four fuel trucks, were expected to enter Gaza on Sunday through Kerem Shalom.

It follows an agreement between U.S. President Joe Biden and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Friday to temporarily send aid via the Kerem Shalom crossing, bypassing the Rafah crossing that has been blocked for weeks.

Egypt’s state-affiliated Al Qahera News TV shared a video on social media platform X, showing what it said were aid trucks as they entered Kerem Shalom, which before the conflict was the main commercial crossing station between Israel, Egypt and Gaza.

The Rafah crossing has been shut for almost three weeks, since Israel took control of the Palestinian side of the crossing as it stepped up its offensive.

Egypt has been increasingly alarmed at the prospect of large numbers of Palestinians entering its territory from Gaza and has refused to open its side of the Rafah crossing.

Israel has said it is not restricting aid flows and has opened up new crossing points in the north as well as cooperating with the United States, which has built a temporary floating pier for aid deliveries.

The post Hamas Fires Missiles at Tel Aviv for First Time in Months first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Treasure Trove recalls a time when the Kingdom of Jordan’s pavilion at the World’s Fair generated controversy, protests and a court battle

In this pamphlet, the country of Jordan is billed as the “The Holy Land”. This material introduced visitors to the Kingdom of Jordan pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. Ironically, the motto of the fair was “Peace Through Understanding”.  It describes a pavilion that includes a “photographic survey of the Holy […]

The post Treasure Trove recalls a time when the Kingdom of Jordan’s pavilion at the World’s Fair generated controversy, protests and a court battle appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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A shooting at Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School involving two suspects is being investigated by Toronto Police

Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School, located near the Finch and Dufferin intersection in Toronto, had shots fired in its direction Saturday at 4:52 a.m. The incident was captured on a security video. The suspects can be seen getting out of a dark-coloured vehicle and opening fire on the school, which serves the Hasidic community with […]

The post A shooting at Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School involving two suspects is being investigated by Toronto Police appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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