LIVE BLOG – Operation Protective Edge Day 16

13:59: Newly appointed British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond arrived in Tel Aviv on a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories. Read more »

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Hagel Urges Congress To Approve Israel’s Request of Add. $225M For Iron Dome

Hagel FlagIsrael has requested an additional $225 million in funding for the production of Iron Dome batteries, in light of the wide-scale use of the system during Operation Protective Edge.

In a letter to the leaders of both houses of Congress on Wednesday, U. S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wrote that the Department of Defense “has reviewed and supports this urgent request.” Read more »







Lawyer: Nazi War Suspect Dies Day Before Extradition To German OK’d



(AP). An 89-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect has died, the night before a judge ruled that he should be extradited to Germany to face trial, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Johann Breyer died Tuesday night at a Philadelphia hospital, attorney Dennis Boyle said Wednesday, the same day that U.S. Magistrate Timothy Rice approved the extradition request. The ruling would still have been subject to a final U.S. government review. Read more »

UN Rights Chief Warns of Possible Gaza War Crimes



(AP). The U.N.’s top human rights official has warned all sides in the two-week war in the Gaza Strip to not indiscriminately attack civilians, and that violations may amount to war crimes.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Wednesday that of the more than 600 Palestinian deaths in the Gaza Strip reviewed by the global body, three-quarters were civilians. At least 147 were children and 74 women, she said. Read more »







Ancient Bible Focus of Lawsuit Between Contentious Jewish Families

bibleA copy of the Bible that is said to be “ancient” has become the focus of a heated dispute between two Jewish families that has led to a $60 million lawsuit, The Daily news reports. The heirs of a Brooklyn man who apparently passed the sacred tome on to them have filed the legal suit against a Florida couple who claim to have found the priceless heirloom in a suitcase and are adamantly claiming the right to keep it. Read more »

Canceled Flights Force American Jewish Youth to Remain in Israel

ben-gurion-airportFocusing on one of the related unfortunate effects of the ongoing military conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, the New York Times has reported about those who have been negatively impacted by the unprecedented cancellation of major airline flights from the United States and Europe into the Jewish state due to the prevalent danger of incoming rockets. Read more »







Poll: Most Americans Favor US Cutting Aid Toi Israel, Palestinians To Force Cease-fire

bibi netanyahu john kerryMost U.S. voters oppose more direct U.S. involvement to end the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza but favor cutting some or all U.S. funding to the two sides to force a peace (or rather a cease-fire) settlement, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, published Wednesday.

The poll shows that just 30% of likely U.S. Voters believe the United States should get more directly involved if the violence continues between Israel and Hamas, while  57% say the United States should leave the two sides solve the situation on their own. This includes 38% of Republicans, 23% of Democrats and 30% of Independent voters. Read more »

Former Met Council Head, William Rapfogal Sentenced To 3 1/2 Years In Jail

willie rapfogelThe longtime executive director the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty in New York was sentenced on Wednesday to three and a half years in prison for stealing more than $1 million from the organization.

The sentence is part of a plea deal, in which Rapfogal was promised a 3 1/2 year prison term on the condition that he pay back the $3 million he personally netted – which he did. Read more »

Ukraine MPs Break Out Into Fight Following Vote To Call Up Additional Border Troops [Video]

ukraine parliamentA physical fight broke out in the Ukrainian parliament after a presidential decree was approved to call up more reserves to defend the country against the growing numbers of Russian troops on the country’s eastern border.

Following the decision, footage shows politicians from Ukraine’s nationalist parties and members of the Party of Regions, formerly run by pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich, pushing and shoving one another in disagreement over the decree, according to The Independent. Read more »

El Al Fares Jump 33% Amid Mass Flight Cancellations

ben gurion airportEl Al spiked prices on Wednesday by as much as 33 percent in reaction to the cancellation of all foreign flights in or out of Israel, Israeli financial Globes website reported.

Globes cited a report written by ISSTA Lines which indicated “vast hikes, of hundreds of dollars, between airfares yesterday, before the wave of cancellations, and this morning.” Read more »

Senate Dems Add $225M For Iron Dome In Obama’s Spending Bill

iron domeU.S. Senate Democrats included $225 million for Israel’s Iron Dome rocket interception system in an emergency funding bill on Tuesday. The bill also cut $1 billion from President Barack Obama’s request for $3.7 billion to deal with thousands of undocumented child immigrants.

“Israel is an essential American ally and needs these assets to defend itself,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said in a statement. Read more »

Taiwanese News Agency: Plane Crashes In Emergency Landing, Killing 51 People

(AP). Taiwanese news agency: Plane crashes in an emergency landing, killing 51 people, injuring 7.

BuzzFeed: TransAsia Flight GE222 took off from the Kaohsiung Siaogang Airport around 5 p.m. local time. It was scheduled to land in Penghu’s Magong Airport at 5:30 pm. Read more »

Brooklyn, NY – Elected Officials, Interfaith Leaders Condemn Hate Attacks Against Muslim Worshipers

douglas jablonReligious leaders and elected officials gathered on Tuesday at the Islamic Society Center in Bay Ridge to condemn what they called two hate incidents at Muslim worshippers outside Brooklyn mosques over the weekend.

According to organizers, a car with blaring lights and sirens circled the Bay Ridge mosque early Sunday morning waving Israeli flags and yelling anti-Islamic slurs. A similar incident happened Friday on Coney Island Avenue, when several passengers threw eggs from a passing by car at elderly worshipers outside the Thayba Islamic Center. Read more »

Chancellor Merkel Pledges To Protect Jewish Community in Germany

MerkelGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged the country’s Jewish community Wednesday her unwavering support amid recent anti-Semitic attacks during pro-Palestinian demonstrations, a government spokesman said.

“The chancellor and the entire German government condemn the anti-Semitic remarks made at pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli demonstrations in Germany in the strongest terms,” Merkel’s spokesperson George Streiter told reporters. Read more »

Strange Bedfellows? Agudath Israel Unites With Christian Walton Family

agudath israelIn an exclusive news story, the Forward is reporting that the Walton Family Foundation – operated by the Arkansas-based religious Christian family of legendary entrepreneur Sam Walton, who founded the highly successful Wal-Mart store chain – has become the largest donor to the fervently Orthodox umbrella organization Agudath Israel.

While Agudah generally receives a great deal of funds from wealthy Jewish developers and health care magnates, it has received more money in the past six years from the Wal-Mart owners than from any other single giver. Read more »

Support For Jewish Self-Defense Group Rises Amidst French Attacks



As outlined in detail by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, shortly before their synagogue was covered in tear gas and smoke, 100 Jews brandishing baseball bats and clubs were singing the French national anthem in front of the religious building’s heavy metal gate.

They had gathered outside the main synagogue in the Parisian suburb of Sarcelles on Sunday to defend it against a primarily Arab mob of 200 men who had massed nearby with sticks and stones, setting garbage cans on fire and chanting “Slaughter the Jews.” The Jewish defenders were singing “La Marseillaise” as an expression of of gratitude toward the 100 police officers that prevented the mob from approaching. Read more »

CEO: Clippers Coach Threaten To Quit If Sterling Stays

Donald Sterling(AP). The interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers testified Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers told him he will quit if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the team.

CEO Richard Parsons testified at a trial to determine whether Sterling’s wife, Shelly, can sell the team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as the NBA looks to force Donald Sterling from the league over racist statements. Read more »

New NYC High-Rise to Feature Separate Entrances for Rich & Poor

nyc high riserIn a glaring example of New York City’s alleged prevalence of income inequality, has disclosed the shocking practice being planned for a new high-rise apartment building set to open at 40 Riverside Boulevard.

The residential structure will feature separate doors for wealthy individuals and lower-income people who rent affordable housing. Extell Development Company, the firm developing the new high-rise, generated outrage when it announced last year its intentions to segregate the rich and poor in this manner. Read more »

Pro-Palestinian Protest in Canada Turns Violent, Organizers Apologize



A pro-Palestinian protest at Calgary’s City Hall in Canada turned violent when they came across some pro-Israel protestors who staged their own march.

Hundreds of people attended the pro-Palestinian protest, which started as a peaceful march, calling for a ceasefire and condemning Israel for the current attacks in Gaza. But when both opposing views met, it turned violent. Read more »

Teen Faces Backlash for Posting Smiling Selfie at Nazi Death Camp

Nazi selfie AuschwitzAn innocent teenager is facing some tough responses after posting a selfie on twitter, a photo of herself smiling happily on a visit to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

Breanna Mitchell, tweeted an image of her standing at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp last month, but recently the picture made the rounds on the Internet, causing a storm over the girl’s apparent insensitivity. Read more »

Mike Bloomberg Takes El-Al Flight To Israel To Combat FAA Ban

mike bloomberg awardFormer Mayor of New York City Mike Bloomberg announced Tuesday evening he’ll fly to Israel in response to the FAA flight ban that was issued to US airlines earlier in the day.

Bloomberg, the first recipient of the Jewish Genesis Prize, will give up on his luxury private jet and fly with El-Al in order to express his solidarity with Israel in a time of crisis. Read more »

Bumbling Bureaucracy: Inmate Mistakenly Released From Prison

Disciplinary action is likely to be implemented after a prisoner was released from Rikers Island by mistake. Police on Monday issued a bulletin, announcing a manhunt for 23-year-old Kimmanie Waisome, who is described as a black male 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 185 pounds. Read more »

800 Pack Metrowest NJ Rally to Declare Solidarity With Israel

Israel ProtestA crowd of about 800 people packed the Whippany headquarters of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey on Monday to express unequivocal support of Israel, as the Jewish state’s military conflict with Hamas in Gaza entered its third week.

Participants waved Israeli flags and erupted in cheers as dignitaries, including Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Rep. Leonard Lance (D-Dist. 7) and State Sen. Thomas H. Kean Jr. (R-Dist. 21), supported Israel’s right to defend itself, highlighted the success of the Iron Dome defense system, and mourned the soldiers who have lost their lives in the latest battles. Read more »

MIT Expert Puts Israel’s Iron Dome Success Rate at 5%

Iron Dome IsraelAlthough Hamas as fired over 2,000 rockets in recent weeks on the Israeli population, very few seem to land in residential areas, Israel claims that it’s thanks to the Iron Dome Missile Defense System, but experts question this claim.

Physicist Theodore Postol, a professor of science technology and national security policy at MIT, wrote an analysis where he claims that the Iron Dome has a success rate of less than 5 percent, and the primary reasons for fewer casualties in Israel are the many shelters provided and the Code Red siren warning, which alerts them to run from an incoming rocket. Read more »

9 Protesters Arrested In ‘Die-In’ Demonstration Inside NYC’s Friends of IDF Office

FIDF protestNine pro-Palestinian protesters are in NYPD custody after staging a “die-in” demonstration inside the Manhattan offices of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.

About a dozen protesters reportedly stormed FIDF’s New York office on Tuesday, reading aloud the names of the  Palestinian civilians killed in Gaza. The protest was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say NO against Israel’s campaign in the Gaza Strip. Read more »

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