“I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring, all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Gen. 22: 17-18
ROOTS AND REFLECTIONS - IN ROMANIAN - WITH BARRY SEGAL: Join Barry Segal every week for his biblically based travel program focusing on the reality of life in Israel. It’s all about archaeology, history, the Bible, culture, music, the language, interviews, the food, and humor. Yes, we even broadcast in Romanian (with English subtitles)! You can view VFI’s Roots and Reflections Program every week on the Romanian channel Alfa Omega TV at the following broadcast times: Saturdays at 12:30 and Friday evenings at 23:00 (Romanian/Israeli time).
ISRAELI RESCUE EFFORTS HONORED BY THE UN: The UN ambassador to Mexico - a country where Israel rushed aide workers and humanitarian assistance after a devastating earthquake in 2017 - will be one of the featured speakers next week at the opening of an exhibition in the UN on Israel humanitarian aid around the world. Israel’s Ambassador, Danny Danon, said the photo exhibition “showcases how far Israel will go to help others in need, regardless of who they are or where they live. We are often the first to arrive after disaster strikes when time is of the essence and aid is most crucial.” Danon said. “Our continued humanitarian activities have saved the lives of thousands of people throughout the world. This exhibition is another opportunity to show the UN the true and beautiful face of the State of Israel, and its moral values.” Danon said the event was “another example of how we are bringing Israel to the UN.” He said that “over the past few years, UN ambassadors that have visited Israel, learned about our technology, and been exposed to our traditions have changed their disposition towards Israel in the halls of the UN. “Mexican Ambassador Juan Ramón de la Fuente will speak at the exhibition’s opening on 27 March 2019 of Israel’s large-scale operation in Mexico City following the major earthquake there a year and a half ago. Israel has, over the years, send humanitarian aid and rescue missions around the world, from Greece and Turkey to Haiti, the Philippines, Nepal and, most recently, Brazil, following the collapse of a dam there in Jan. 2019. (J.Post) There are many ways in which Israel is a blessing to the nations of the world. Some additional examples are: Israel’s unending contributions to the world of high tech providing innovations from which we all benefit daily, Israel’s endless scientific and medical innovations that are saving lives worldwide. Per capita, Israel produces more Nobel laureates than every other country. Israel generously provides its renowned agricultural advances to developing countries, creating sustenance, profit, and independence to nations trying to become self-sufficient.
UN CONDEMNS HAMAS FOR SUPPRESSING PROTESTS: The UN has condemned Hamas for using force to suppress protests by Gazans over new taxes, unemployment and electricity shortages in the coastal enclave, media sources reported on Mon.18 March 2019. Hamas has also arrested dozens of protesters and journalists in recent days since the protests began. Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, criticized the Hamas tactics. “I strongly condemn the campaign of arrests and violence used by Hamas security forces against protesters, including women and children, in Gaza,” he wrote. “I am particularly alarmed by the brutal beating of journalists and staff from the Independent Commission for Human Rights and the raiding of homes. The people of Gaza are protesting the dire economic situation and demanded an improvement in the quality of life in the Gaza Strip. It is their right to protest without fear of reprisal,” added Mladenov. Other Palestinian Arab factions have called on Hamas to allow peaceful public demonstrations and to release the jailed protesters. (Arutz-7)
IRANIAN COMMANDER: ALL OF ISRAEL WITHIN REACH OF HEZBOLLAH'S MISSILES: All of Israel is within range of Hezbollah’s missiles, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said earlier this week. “The current status quo and the current capabilities of the Resistance Front of the Islamic Revolution are all unique accomplishments of the Islamic Revolution,” he said in a media interview. “They [the Jews of Israel] once dreamed of their territorial expansion from the Nile River to the Euphrates River, but after 50 years they have been unable to expand their land even for an inch. They have even lost some of the territories they once occupied and are under full siege from all around their borders,” he continued. Israel and Hezbollah last fought a war – the Second Lebanon War – in 2006 and has since then morphed from a guerrilla group to an army with a set hierarchy and procedures. With the help of Iran, it has rebuilt its arsenal since 2006 and has hundreds of thousands of short-range rockets and several thousand more missiles that can reach deeper into Israel. “To put it in a nutshell, we can say that the enemy has not been successful in the region and all its plots and operations have ended up with nothing but failure for them and success for the Islamic Revolution,” Jafari said.
Israel’s air defenses currently include the Iron Dome, designed to shoot down short-range rockets, the Arrow system, which intercepts ballistic missiles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, and the David’s Sling missile defense system, which is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles fired at ranges between 40 to 300 km. In early March 2019, the IDF announced that the United States deployed its THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system in Israel as part of a month-long joint drill. The THAAD system is considered one of the most advanced systems of its kind in the world, and during the drill will be added to the existing Israeli air defense systems which defend against long-range ballistic missiles. (J.Post) Continue to intercede that Western nations will be equipped, serious and unified with effective solutions to prevent Iran from continuing with its illegal and defiant support of global terrorism, proliferation of ballistic missiles, nuclear weapons ambitions, and military threats against Israel and the West.
HUNDREDS DEMONSTRATE AT UN IN GENEVA OVER HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS: Hundreds of people from cities throughout Europe demonstrated in front of the UN in Geneva, protesting the Human Rights Council’s bias against Israel. The demonstration took place on Mon.18 March 2019 as the council reached Agenda Item 7, the only permanent agenda item, which is devoted solely to condemning Israel. During the dialogue under the agenda item, the council discussed seven separate reports alleging Israeli war crimes and other human rights offenses, the most reports against any country in the world. The report also noted that the council keeps dossiers on Israeli officials involved in what it considers war crimes. United State ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell told the crowd at the rally organized by 24 groups that oppose anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias that Agenda Item 7 “speaks to the fundamental flaws of the Human Rights Council that singles out Israel on a permanent basis. This is not just a form of bigotry. It is a sign of intellectual and moral decay,” he said. Protesters came from cities throughout Europe including Zurich, Lausanne, Milan, Lyon and Grenoble, as well as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Stockholm, Budapest, Vienna, and Jerusalem. The USA last year dropped out of the Human Rights Council, citing its treatment of Israel. Israel joined the USA in leaving the council. (JTA)
9 IN 10 FRENCH JEWISH STUDENTS REPORT SUFFERING CAMPUS ANTI-SEMITISM, POLL FINDS: Nearly 90 percent of French Jewish students said they have experienced anti-Semitic abuse on campus, a poll found. Nearly 20% of the 405 respondents in the Ifop survey said they have suffered an anti-Semitic physical assault at least once on campus. Of those, more than half reported suffering violence more than once. More than half of the students who reported experiencing anti-Semitic incidents on campus said they did nothing about it. Only 8% complained to faculty. Nearly 20% said they did not report the incident or incidents for fear of reprisals. The results of the survey taken this month were published Tue. 19 March 2019 by l’Express. (JTA)
THOUSANDS MARCH IN GREECE IN MEMORY OF HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: 2,000 people held a silent march in Greece's second city Thessaloniki on Sunday 17 March 2019, marking the anniversary of the departure in 1943 of the first train taking members of its Jewish community to the Auschwitz death camp. Participants held white balloons bearing the message "Never Again". They gathered at the city's old railway station where that train pulled out on 15 March 1943. Among those present for the 76th-anniversary commemoration was Jurgen Haus, grandson of a German soldier, who expressed his "deep regret" for the actions of his Nazi forebears. "I am here to break the silence. I love Israel, I cannot remain silent in the face of anti-Semitism," he said in a speech. Thessaloniki had a thriving 50,000-strong Jewish community before World War II but there now remains only around 1,000 Jews. About 96 percent of the city’s 50,000 Jews were murdered in Nazi camps. In recent years, Thessaloniki has held commemorations in mid-March, initiated by mayor Yannis Boutaris, to remember the first of the convoys of Jews rounded up and sent off to the camps from Thessaloniki's railway station. This week’s turnout was the biggest yet. Before that, the fate of Greek Jews had become something of a taboo subject. It was only in 2004 that teaching about the Holocaust became compulsory in Greece and ten years later that a monument would be erected at the site of the former Jewish cemetery which the Germans razed and where the city university now stands. There are also plans to build a Holocaust museum in the city, funded in part by Germany. (Arutz-7)
BGU OPENS INNOVATIVE NEW NATIONAL AUTISM RESEARCH CENTER: Ben-Gurion University will be opening the National Autism Research Center with funding support by the Health and Science and Technology ministries. The center is slated to be the country’s leading information and research center on autism. Scholars will be able to access research, and those who seek new treatment methods or wish to create shared national databases will be able to do so through the center. The new facility will serve academic researchers and healthcare professionals alike with a wealth of up-to-date research, detailed case studies, treatment methods and more, making the National Center for the Study of Autism “an invaluable warehouse of information,” according to BGU President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz. (J.Post)
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Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff