Jews worldwide commemorate Tisha B’Av

Considered the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, Jews worldwide remember the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, as well as tragedies in Jewish history

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Photo: “The destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem” by Francesco Hayez

 

Jews worldwide will commemorate Tisha B’Av Monday evening into Tuesday evening, the ninth day of the Hebrew month “Av”, a day of mourning in remembrance of the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.

Observant Jews fast for a 25-hour period of time, the day considered the saddest day in the Jewish tradition. Some religious people will even sleep at the Kotel (the Western Wall) overnight into Sunday. The Book of Lamentations is also read, along with other traditional texts.

Apart from remembering the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, the day also commemorates the suffering of the Jewish people through out history. The specific tragedies remembered are Romans destruction of Betar in which over 500,000 Jews were killed during the Bar Kokhva Revolt and the Israelites lack of faith in God when given the promise of the Land of Israel- resulting in a generation of Israelites barred from entering the Land.

Traditional prohibitions on Tish B’Av include no eating, no bathing, no pampering of the body, no sexual relations, no listening to music or dancing and no wearing of leather.

In Israel, all businesses and public transportation are closed, however, many businesses and public transportation will be permitted Tuesday.

At the end of the 25-hour observance, it is traditional to break the fast.

Tisha B’Av this years comes just a week after Israeli archeologists unearthed findings dating back to Babylonian conquest and destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem. Archeologists uncovered several artifacts from charcoal covered rooms in the City of David dating prior to the siege of Jerusalem at the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar over 2,600 years ago.

Israel’s Communications Minister confirms talks underway for shutdown of Al Jazeera in Israel

Communications Minister holding talks on Al Jazeera shutdown; Network threatens to take Israel to High Court; Israel following paths of Jordan, United Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain

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Israel has reportedly begun taking action on shutting down Al Jazeera in Israel with talks beginning this week.

According to Israel’s Communications Minister, Ayoud Kara, talks are underway to shut down the Qatari news station that has been inciting violence against Israel in its news reporting, Kara announcing on Monday that talks are being held on the “closure of Al Jazeera’s incitement broadcasts in Israel”.

Kara referred to action taken by Arab states before Israel, including the Bahrain, the United Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan which boycotted Al-Jazeera, with Jordan and Saudi Arabia shutting down the network in June of this year. All fives states officially cut ties with Qatar in early June over its support and sponsoring of terrorism.

Kara stated on Monday “We [Israel] identify with the moderates in the Arab World who are fighting terrorism and religious extremism. Here in Israel, there is no place for a channel that backs terrorism either. We will act like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain and more, which expelled the inciting channel from their countries. We must join forces and cooperate in the war against channels that preach terrorism.”

Last week, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that Israel would be next to ban the news network, stating “The Al-Jazeera network continues to stir violence around the Temple Mount. I have spoken several times to law-enforcement authorities demanding the closure of Al-Jazeera’s offices in Jerusalem. If this does not happen because of legal interpretation, I will work to enact the required legislation to expel Al-Jazeera from Israel.”

Al Jazeera responded, accusing Israel of violating free speech and of acting like a dictatorship, its Bureau Chief in Jerusalem, Walid al-Omari, threatening to take Israel to the High Court. He stated following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s announcement last week, “If they try to discontinue our activity in Israel and close our office here, we will petition the High Court of Justice. How can Israel continue to argue to the world that it is part of a democratic and universal dialogue if it behaves like a dark dictatorship?”

It referred to Netanyahu’s actions as a “crusade” against the network, claiming that “In an effort to repair the damage to his image caused by the Temple Mount crisis, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he will attempt to shut down Al Jazeera’s Israel bureau, again.”

Last week, Al Jazeera claimed that Israel’s accusations as “arbitrary” and “hostile”, announcing that if removed, “Al Jazeera stresses that it would take all necessary legal measures in case they act on their threat.” It claimed that its “network moreover reiterates that it will continue covering the news and events of the occupied Palestinian territories, and elsewhere, both professionally and objectively.”

Iran confirms it successfully launched rocket carrying satellite into space

Fars confirms rocket test of “Simorgh” success; Rocket test is yet another violation of UNSC resolution and nuclear deal

 

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Iran reported that it tested a rocket capable of delivering satellites into orbit, again violating a U.N Security Council resolution.

Fars News Agency, Iran’s state media, confirmed the rocket test of a “Simorgh” (Phoenix) rocket, capable of carrying satellites into orbit. The rocket can carry over 250 kilograms in weight and is another advance in Iran’s missile program capabilities.

While Fars was not specific on when the rocket was tested, it confirmed the event, releasing the statement “The Imam Khomeini Space Centre was officially opened with the successful test of the Simorgh space launch vehicle. The Simorgh can place a satellite weighing up to 250 kg in an orbit of 500 km.” It claimed its space program is peaceful and that the rockets cannot carry nuclear warheads.

The rocket was reported to be carrying several photos of Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Iran is prohibited from testing ballistic missiles under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, as well as under the nuclear deal made between world powers and the United States.

In January of this year, Iran carried out a ballistic missile test, violating the United Nations resolution banning such missile tests. The test was of a Khorramshahr ballistic missile, reports claiming the test failed after reaching 600 miles and exploding.

In May of 2016, Iran reported that it successfully tested a medium-range ballistic missile, the missile tested reported to be capable of reaching over 1, 240 miles. Iran’s Tasnim news agency quoted Iran’s Deputy Chief of Army, Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi at the time who stated “We tested a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers and eight meters error margin two weeks ago. An eight-meter error margin means …full accuracy.”

In March of last year, Iran tested two ballistic missiles with “Israel must be wiped out” written on the missiles. Head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s Aerospace Division, Brid. Gen. Ali Hajizadeh, confirmed the test stating at the time “The reason we designed our missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometers is to be able to hit our enemy the Zionist regime from a safe distance.”

Iran denies its missile development and tests violate any UN resolutions, claiming its military advances are not subject to investigation nor any violation of the nuclear deal made with world powers.

Israel has repeatedly called on the international community to hold Iran accountable for its violations. Iran insists that advancing its missile program and carrying out missile tests are in no violation of international law.

 

Israel removes security cameras from Temple Mount Thursday

Waqf, PA and Hamas claim victory after removal of cameras, Waqf approves prayer at Temple Mount; Netanyahu warns Al-Jazeera against inciting violence, threatens to expel them from Israel

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Israel removed security cameras installed this month at the Temple Mount on Thursday after ongoing protests, some violent, from Muslim worshippers who opposed the increased security.

Following a decision made by Israel’s Security Council Wednesday, Israel began dismantling the cameras on Wednesday night sparking celebration from Muslim worshippers.

Both Fatah and Hamas praised the removal of the cameras as a “victory”, Fatah releasing the statement “The huge victory at Al-Aqsa came thanks to the Palestinian heroes in Jerusalem and thanks to the political leadership headed by Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah movement.”

Waqf and Palestinian Authority officials met on Thursday morning to discuss the situation at the Temple Mount, after both vowed a “day of rage” scheduled for Friday if the new security measures were not removed. Following the meeting, the Waqf called for the resumption of prayers at the Temple Mount.

Also on Thursday, Prime Minister Netanyahu threatened to expel Al-Jazeera from Israel, warning it against inciting violence, the Qatar-based news broadcasters misreporting the events surrounding the Temple Mount. He released the statement Wednesday “The Al-Jazeera network continues to stir violence around the Temple Mount. I have spoken several times to law-enforcement authorities demanding the closure of Al-Jazeera’s offices in Jerusalem. If this does not happen because of legal interpretation, I will work to enact the required legislation to expel Al-Jazeera from Israel.”

Archeologists uncover new evidence of Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem

Findings include ivory statue, jars and storage, as well as walls covered in charcoal; Findings confirm Israel’s constant growth during Iron Age, as well as wealth of the city

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Israeli archeologists have unearthed findings dating back to Babylonian conquest and destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem.

Archeologists uncovered several artifacts from charcoal covered rooms in the City of David dating prior to the siege of Jerusalem at the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar over 2,600 years ago.

Archeologists found several jars for storage, as well as charred wood, fish bones, human bones and seeds. Amongst the artifacts found were an Egyptian ivory statue, pottery jars and rosette seal dating to a decade prior to the capture of the Temple by the Babylonians.

Dr. Joe Uziel, the head of the excavation carried out by the Israel’s Antiquities Authority, described the significance of their findings, explaining, “Classifying objects facilitated controlling, overseeing, collecting, marketing and storing crop yields. The rosette, in essence, replaced the ‘For the King’ seal used in the earlier administrative system.”

On the seal, he explained, “seals are characteristic of the end of the First Temple Period and were used for the administrative system that developed towards the end of the Judean dynasty.”

He spoke of the wealth of the Judean Kingdom, particularly in Jerusalem, describing the “wealth of the Judean Kingdom’s capital is also manifest in the ornamental artifacts surfacing in situ. One distinct and rare finding is a small ivory statue of a woman. The figure is naked, and her haircut, or wig, is Egyptian in style. The quality of its carving is high, and it attests to the high caliber of the artifact’s artistic level, and the skill par excellence of the artists during this era.”

The findings also point to additional evidence of Jerusalem’s constant growth throughout the Iron Age, Uziel describing how the “row of structures exposed in the excavations is located outside, beyond the city wall that would have constituted the eastern border of the city during this period. In the current excavation, we may suggest that following the westward expansion of the city, structures were built outside of the wall’s border on the east as well.”

The finding comes just a fews days before Jews worldwide commemorate Tisha, the ninth day of the Hebrew month “Av”, a day of mourning in remembrance of the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.

Erdogan: Let’s defend Palestine just as we defend Mecca and Medina.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry responds to Erdogan parliament address in Turkey, where he called on Muslims to defend Al-Aqsa and “Palestine”

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of “exceeding the boundaries” regarding recent increases in security at the Temple Mount, calling to “defend Palestine just as we defend Mecca and Medina”.

Speaking before Turkey’s Parliament on Tuesday, Erdogan gave an address centered on attacking Israel, calling on Muslims to resist Israel and defend Al-Aqsa.

Erdogan called on Muslims to make a pilgrimage to “Palestine”, calling on Muslims to defend Al-Aqsa “just as we defend Mecca and Medina”. He stated “I call on all Muslims around the world to go on a pilgrimage to Al-Aqsa, to Palestine, if they are able to, or find a way and help our brothers therein if they’re unable to travel. The more we defend Al-Aqsa, the fiercer the resistance will be. If Israeli soldiers are dirtying Al-Aqsa with their boots, the reason is we fail to defend it decently. Let’s defend Palestine just as we defend Mecca and Medina.”

Addressing Israel, he stated, “Israel, which shows no respect for the Al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock, will see itself suffer the most damage… Israel has taken a dangerous path. By occupying the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Israel has exceeded the boundaries.”

He went on to accuse Israel of “relying on its backers” with “weapons at its disposal” claiming Israel has made a mistake over its increases in security.

On Tuesday, Israel’s Security Cabinet ordered the removal of metal detectors at the Lion’s Gate entrance to the Temple Mount. The Waqf, Palestinian Authority and Arab states rebuked Israel’s continued use of “smart cameras” calling on the State of Israel to remove all newly implemented security in order for protests to end. Muslims worshippers have been praying in the streets outside of the Temple Mount, refusing to enter.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry responded to Erdogan, calling on the Turkish President to deal with Turkey’s “problems and difficulties”, reaffirming that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel.

Emmanuel Nachshon of the Ministry stated that Erdogan “would do better to deal with the problems and difficulties in his country. The days of the Ottoman Empire are over.” On Jerusalem, he stated “The capital of the Jewish people was, is and always will be Jerusalem. As opposed to the past, this is a city where the government is committed to its security, liberty, freedom of worship, and respect of the rights of all minorities.”

PA, Waqf reject “smart cameras” at Temple Mount, demand Israel remove all new security measures

Following removal of metal detectors, Waqf and PA demand Israel remove all new security measures, including smart cameras; Abbas: All new Israeli measures put in place since July 14 must be removed so things can go back to normal in Jerusalem and we can resume our work regarding bilateral relations.

Abbas addresses the Arab League Tuesday (Reuters)

 

The Waqf and Palestinian Authority have rejected “smart cameras” at the Lion’s Gate entrance to the Temple Mount on Tuesday, calling on Israel to remove all new security implemented since the terror attacks over two weeks ago.

Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas called on Israel to remove all “new Israeli measures” set in place after the terrorist attack near the Temple Mount on July 14th. He stated Tuesday after the metal detectors were removed “All new Israeli measures put in place since July 14 must be removed so things can go back to normal in Jerusalem and we can resume our work regarding bilateral relations.”

Abbas also warned that security coordination with Israel would remain frozen until all new security is removed, stating from Ramallah Tuesday evening “If the situation does not return to what it was before July 14 in Jerusalem then there will be no changes.”

Late Monday, Israel’s Security Cabinet decided to remove the metal detectors immediately, announcing that “smart cameras” would be used. The Security Cabinet stated that it adheres to the “recommendation of all of the security bodies to incorporate security measures based on advanced technologies (‘smart checks’) and other measures instead of metal detectors in order to ensure the security of visitors and worshippers in the Old City and on the Temple Mount”.

Muslim worshippers however again refused to enter the Temple Mount, continuing protests by praying outside. Following a meeting of senior members of the Waqf, it announced Tuesday that it would enter the Temple Mount only “once all manifestations of aggression by the Zionist occupation are removed and the situation return.”