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Jordan reiterates to Israel, Al-Aqsa a place for Muslim worship only

The ministry's spokesperson Deifallah al-Fayez condemned the "continued Israeli violations."
The Kingdom of Jordan has requested that Israel "respect the sanctity" of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the status quo, after it recently reopened to Muslim worshipers following a two-month hiatus amid coronavirus lockdowns. 
According to Jordan's official news agency Petra, "the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has sent Israel, via diplomatic channels, a memo calling on Tel Aviv as an occupying power to respect the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, and end all provocations and violations there."

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Peace Now asks Gantz, Ashkenazi to halt east Jerusalem Givat Hamatos homes

“This is a destructive plan that, if implemented, will fatally block the possibility of creating territorial contiguity between east Jerusalem and Bethlehem,” Peace Now wrote in a letter.
Peace Now on Sunday urged Alternative Prime Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi to put a halt to the controversial east Jerusalem Jewish GIVAT HAMATOS housing project before it destroyed any possibility of a two-state resolution to the conflict.

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Biden eyes major shifts in US foreign policy, including restored Palestinian aid

Presumptive democratic nominee and his surrogates say his top priorities, if he beats Trump, will include resuming assistance to Palestinian Authority and UNRWA
WASHINGTON (AP) — Should former US vice president Joe Biden win the White House in November, America will likely be in for a foreign policy about-face as Biden reverses, dismantles or severely curtails many of President Donald Trump’s most significant and boldest actions.

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Ariel Sharon planned more withdrawals, former PM says

Ehud Olmert confirms that Ariel Sharon died before a planned major disengagement in Judea and Samaria.


By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert confirmed that the 2005 Israeli decision to remove all 21 settlements from the Gaza Strip along with several more in Judea and Samaria was the first part of a broader disengagement plan planned by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Israel Hayom reported Thursday.

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Marvels Israeli Superheroine Sabra Turns 40

From her first meeting with the Incredible Hulk, this super-agent represented the Jewish angle in American comics

She appeared for the first time in August 1980, 40 years ago. It was in a single frame in “The Incredible Hulk” #250. Her black hair had a bluish sheen, her tight-fitting bodysuit glowed blue and white, and she sported a large Star of David on her chest.

 
Sabra, the first Israeli superheroine, made her debut appearance in the Marvel Universe gazing at the horizon with determined look; a note on the margins of the page promised readers that they would meet her again in one of the upcoming issues.

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Top Twitter Exec Declines to Tell Knesset Why Ayatollah's Calls for Genocide Are Not Banned

A top Twitter executive who took part in a Knesset hearing on Wednesday declined to say why her company had not taken action against genocidal incitement by Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Appearing virtually at the hearing on social media antisemitism, the head of Twitter Policy for the Nordics and Israel, Ylwa Petterson, faced questions on the issue of antisemitism.

 

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Israel could open its skies by mid-August

Health Ministry: Visitors from ‘green states’ could travel without isolation, testing * Netanyahu discusses virus with world leaders * Israel sets new daily diagnoses level: 2,093 in a single day
Israel could reopen its skies as early as August 16, according to the Health Ministry, and anyone who wants to visit Israel from a “green state” may not have to go into isolation or even take a coronavirus test. 
Speaking at a meeting of the State Audit Committee overseen by MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid), Health Ministry Deputy Director-General Itamar Grotto said: “We are preparing to approve an outline for opening the skies,” adding that it “won’t happen tomorrow morning, but as far as we are concerned, we will make every effort.”

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Youth shot on roof near Aish HaTorah yeshiva in Old City

A youth who was standing on the roof of a building adjacent to the Aish Hatorah yeshiva in the Old City was shot twice on Friday afternoon just before the Sabbath began. One bullet grazed his neck and the other lodged in his chest. He was rushed to Sha'arei Tzedek Hospital and is in good condition following surgery to removed the bullet.

The bullets apparently came from the direction of the Temple Mount which is located directly opposite the yeshiva and police believe the shooting to be a terrorist act.

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Women lead way as Haredim make inroads into Israeli tech industry, report shows

Number of ultra-Orthodox tech employees jumped by 52% in 2014-2018; 71% of them are women, according to study presented to President Rivlin

The number of ultra-Orthodox workers in the tech sector jumped by 52 percent in 2014-2018, with women blazing the trail, according to a report that came out Tuesday.

Notwithstanding the increase, however, there is significant room for improvement with regard to the number of ultra-Orthodox employees in the sector compared to their representation in the overall population, their average salary and their active entrepreneurial involvement in the startup industry.

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New 'kosher Netflix' service in Israel lets viewers skip 'immodest' parts

The Tov TV service, dubbed the “kosher Netflix” by the Israeli daily Haaretz, is geared toward observant Jews who follow the religious laws of modesty.

Israelis who don’t want to see racy content have a new streaming service that allows them to skip the immodest parts.

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Temple Mount orgs. on Tisha Be'av: Come up even if you might need to drink

"This year too, on Tisha Be'av, we can progress significantly on the Temple Mount! I won't go into more detail. Everything is dependent on the number of pilgrims."
The Joint Headquarters of Temple Mount Organizations released a pamphlet with a number of rulings concerning Jewish law for those who visit the Temple Mount on Tisha Be'av on Wednesday, including a ruling that even people who are concerned that they may need to drink water after visiting the site should visit in any case.

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In 3rd fatality in a week, 4-year-old boy dies after being locked in hot car

Muhammad Khalil found by passerby in an abandoned vehicle in the town of Fureidis, succumbs at hospital

A four-year-old boy died on Monday after being found in an abandoned car in the northern Israeli town of Fureidis, near Zichron Yaakov.

A passerby noticed Muhammad Khalil in the car and notified authorities. The child was apparently locked inside the vehicle in the summer heat for an extended period of time.

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Tel Aviv Court Rules That Israel Can Seize PA 'Pay for Slay' Stipends

JNS.org – Israel’s Tel Aviv District Court handed down an unprecedented ruling Sunday, saying that the state had the right to seize funds the Palestinian Authority is paying terrorists jailed in Israel.

The court’s ruling followed a petition by the relatives of Mansur Omar, convicted of aiding and abetting a 2005 terrorist attack in which six Israelis were killed, to prevent the state from seizing his PA-provided funds.

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Soldiers arrested for working with Palestinian smugglers

The involved parties, who serve on a military checkpoint, allegedly collaborated with Palestinian truck drivers and smuggled merchandise, stolen vehicles and weapons into the West Bank.
Four soldiers and a security guard suspected of collaborating with Palestinian smugglers were arrested on Monday morning, N12 reported.
 
Police arrested them after a covert investigation that lasted several months, according to the report. The suspects, who served at a military checkpoint, allegedly collaborated with Palestinian truck drivers and smuggled merchandise, stolen vehicles and weapons into the West Bank.

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Fresh charges brought against alleged members of El Al cocaine smuggling ring

Suspects accused of bringing a total of 150 kilograms of the drug into Israel from South Africa

Additional charges have been brought against seven men involved in a cocaine smuggling ring, in which security personnel working for the national El Al airline allegedly used their clearance to smuggle 150 kilograms of cocaine into the country through Ben Gurion International Airport.

Six fresh charges of conspiracy to commit a crime and importing a dangerous drug were brought against the men on Sunday, based on testimony by a state’s witness identified only as AA.

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Peace Now warns of de facto annexation as E1 planning

The E1 project was first advanced by former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and then frozen as a result of US and international pressure.
Israeli promotion of plans for 3,412 settler homes in the unbuilt and contentious area of the West Bank Ma’aleh Adumim settlement known as E1 continues and is a form of “de facto annexation,” according to Peace Now executive director Shaqued Morag. 
“The government has continued to advance de facto annexation,” she told a small group of activists, politicians and reporters on Sunday as she stood on the primarily sandy E1 hilltop.

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Shin Bet said to have secretly tracked most Israelis' phones for over 2.5 years

TV report says security agency got OK from Justice Ministry officials for controversial program, but few in the government were informed; Knesset, phone companies didn’t know

Long before the coronavirus outbreak, the Shin Bet security service was secretly tracking Israelis’ cellphones in a clandestine program to fight the Islamic State terror group that lasted for at least two and a half years, and may still be ongoing, according to a television report Sunday.

The classified program, whose name is under gag order, was approved by a team of senior Justice Ministry officials, headed by then-state attorney Shai Nitzan as well as Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, but was not subject to parliamentary oversight, legislation, or any regulations, Channel 13 reported Sunday evening, without citing a source.

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Intel CEO Throws Future of Israeli Chip-Manufacturing Factory Into Doubt With a Single Sentence

CTech – Some 4,900 Intel employees at its Kiryat Gat factory woke up on Sunday morning with a weird sensation. Their secure workplace was shaken by a single sentence uttered last Thursday by Intel CEO Bob Swan, who said that “we’re going to be pretty pragmatic about if and when we should be making stuff inside or making outside, and making sure that we have optionality to build internally, mix and match inside and outside, or go outside in its entirety if we need to.”

Swan’s words blend well with the global trend set by competing chipmakers to focus on development and leave the manufacturing for others. The scenario in which the manufacturing at the Kiryat Gat factory in southern Israel is shifted to another facility is possible but probably isn’t happening any time soon. Intel is talking mainly about using other manufacturers to back it up rather than let them seize control of the company’s factories. The difficulty the company has faced in supplying chips on time brought it to the understanding that it must outsource some of the production, whether as a complementary or substitutional source. The big question now is what will happen if Intel falls in love with outsourcing and understands that its time as a manufacturer has come to an end?

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Philadelphia NAACP head posts anti-Semitic meme on Facebook

Rodney Muhammad deletes post after backlash, claims he is ‘not familiar’ with ‘Happy Merchant’ cartoon in image posted to his timeline

Jewish groups in Philadelphia have called for the firing of the head of the local NAACP, Rodney Muhammad, who posted a known anti-Semitic meme on his public Facebook page.

The meme, known as “the Happy Merchant,” is an anti-Semitic image used by extremists that the Anti-Defamation League says is commonly used by white supremacists. The meme on Muhammad’s Facebook page included photos of Ice Cube, DeSean Jackson and Nick Cannon, Black celebrities who recently posted anti-Semitic comments on social media, and the quote “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize,” falsely attributed to French philosopher Voltaire. The quote originated with Kevin Strom, an American neo-Nazi. (Jackson and Cannon have both apologized.)

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Tenufa Bakehila - The Israeli non-profit repairing homes, rebuilding lives

For the past 27 years, Tenufa has been working with maintenance professionals in 14 cities, some on staff and some serving as volunteers, in order to provide crucial and necessary repairs.
By JOSH HASTEN   JULY 23, 2020 13:02

Amid the pandemic, a low-income family from Ashkelon, including an older grandmother, two single daughters – one with a history of mental illness and her nine-year-old son – have all been living under one roof in an apartment with a bathroom in desperate need of repair.

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Israeli diplomats buy tahini boycotted over LGBT support

Dozens of officials purchase more than 600 pounds of Al Arz paste to support Arab Israeli businesswoman

JTA — The Arab Israeli owner of a popular tahini brand facing a boycott for donating to an LGBTQ rights group has some friends in the Israeli diplomatic community.

Dozens of Israeli diplomats in the country and around the world have purchased more than 600 pounds (272 kilograms) of the tasty sesame paste to support Julia Zaher, who owns Al Arz tahini in Nazareth.

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Rents down in Tel Aviv, up in Jerusalem

Israel Chamber of Real Estate Brokers vice chair Assaf Epstein: The hard blow is yet to come. I'm worried about what will happen.
 

 

Initial figures about apartment rents for the first half of 2020 seen by "Globes" reveal how the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the usual cycle, whereby rents rise in the second quarter of the year. According to an analysis of the data on the Yad2 website for advertising rental accommodation and figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics, rents have fallen in the cities that are usually the most expensive and have the highest demand.

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Covid-19 hastens decline of Israel's main street stores

Even before the Covid-19 crisis stores were struggling to compete with malls and online sales. "Globes" looks at three Israeli cities.

Long before the Covid-19 pandemic reared its ugly head, the stores in Israel's main streets were losing the battle against air-conditioned shopping malls and the more fashionable power centers. Municipalities have been forlornly trying to revive the fortunes of their main shopping streets, for the most part without any great success. Then the coronavirus crisis hit and caused new hardships for storeowners.

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Israel Refutes Claims It Demolished Coronavirus Testing Center in Hebron

Israel’s civil administration body in the West Bank denied on Wednesday that it had destroyed a Palestinian construction site in Hebron intended for drive-through coronavirus testing.

The Defense Ministry’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) tweeted, “False claims have been made recently that the Civil Administration & the Hebron District Coordination and Liaison Office have demolished or intend to demolish a building site in Hebron designated for COVID-19 testing.”

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Hundreds mass outside Netanyahu's Jerusalem residence in dueling protests

Minor scuffles reported between anti-government demonstrators and counter-protesters; PM: ‘Don’t drag the state into anarchy, violence’

Hundreds of demonstrators massed in two groups on Thursday night near the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, with one rally supporting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and one opposing him.

Anti-Netanyahu protesters have been holding regular rallies outside his official residence on Jerusalem’s Balfour Street, calling on the premier to resign due to his indictment on corruption charges. Rallies against Netanyahu’s economic policies during the coronavirus pandemic have also been held, though mostly in Tel Aviv.

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Jerusalem highway construction aims to modernize traffic flow around historic city

Dubbed “The American Road,” the new highway is being hailed as one of the biggest infrastructure projects undertaken by Jerusalem in the last several years.

(July 13, 2020 / JNS) Jerusalem has started construction on parts of an NIS 3 billion (approximately $870 million) major highway that will eventually serve as a ring road around Israel’s largest city, with the goal of significantly alleviating traffic throughout the capital. At the same time, planners hope that the project will provide easier access for those entering or passing through the city from all sides.

Construction has already commenced on the southern and central sections of the Eastern spur of the highway, which consists of a three-pronged, 10-kilometer (6.2 miles) stretch of pavement known as “The American Road.” When fully completed, the road, which will include bridges and tunnels, will stretch from the Arab neighborhood of Tzur Baher in the southeast to the Naomi Shemer Tunnel in the northeast on Mouth Scopus.

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Greenblatt: Israeli Sovereignty Only with Allocating Land for Palestinian State

“…under the peace plan that we released, that comes with a commitment to set aside a certain area of land for the eventual, potential Palestinian state,” said President Trump’s former envoy to the Middle East peace negotiations Jason Greenblatt in an interview with Israel’s Army radio.

Greenblatt was one of the architects of the Trump peace plan which was introduced officially in late January.

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The Most Popular Video on Israel's Health Ministry YouTube Page Is Meant to Save Arab Lives

Remember when anti-Israel haters accused the Jewish State of withholding information about COVID-19 from Arabic-speaking residents?

It was all false, of course.

But the most popular video on Israel’s Ministry of Health YouTube page is aimed directly at Israeli Muslims, and how they can stay free of COVID-19 during Ramadan. The video urges them to celebrate the holiday only with their families, and to avoid contact with others and large groups in order to stay safe.

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Knesset passes coronavirus law, weakening its oversight of government decisions

Knesset passes coronavirus law, weakening its oversight of government decisions
Law approved 48-35 gives cabinet wide-ranging powers to set virus restrictions, sidelines Yifat Shasha-Biton’s combative coronavirus committee

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Netanyahu said to be set on dissolving coalition, with new elections in November

Associates of PM quoted saying he won’t allow budget to pass by August deadline, thus triggering new national vote; reportedly fears courts will ban him from post amid his trial

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly decided against passing a state budget by a late-August deadline, in a gambit that would trigger new elections in November.

Quoting sources who have spoken with Netanyahu and his associates, Haaretz reported Wednesday evening that the premier is seeking to create a sense of chaos in the coalition to shore up public support for breaking up the government.

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Covid-19 prompts Jews abroad to seek homes in Israel

Alongside a jump in aliya applications is a revival in apartment purchases, and not just in traditional strongholds like Jerusalem.

Thirty years ago, K left Israel for Silicon Valley in California. Twice a year, more or less, he would visit Israel with his family. Recently, he and his wife thought of buying an apartment in Israel, and dividing their time between the two countries. At the height of the coronavirus pandemic they fulfilled their desire, and bought an apartment in Ramat Gan, in the Dan Nadlan "Pisgat Dan" ("Dan Heights") project.

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Netanyahu orders NIS 3.3 billion increase in defense budget

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a NIS 3.3 billion increase in the defense budget, despite the current economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic, saying the move is necessary in light of “the many security challenges surrounding us.”

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Coalition in crisis as bill to ban LGBTQ+ conversion therapy approved

The legislation, proposed by Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz, would take away the license of psychologists who uses conversion therapy, fine them and send them to jail for repeat offenses.
Members of the government coalition clashed on Wednesday after the Knesset approved a bill to ban psychologists from practicing conversion therapy in Israel on Wednesday, amid a stormy Knesset plenum. The bill passed with 42 for and 36 against, with a number of coalition members voting in support, against the government's position.

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Police break up party in honor of Likud bigwig held in violation of virus rules

Despite hard limit of 10 participants at indoor events, at least 35 activists affiliated with party caught at gathering in honor of Yaakov Hagoel Monday evening in Jerusalem
 

Police on Monday broke up a party in honor of senior Likud figure Yaakov Hagoel attended by dozens of party members, for violating government limits on gatherings imposed to help stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, public broadcaster Kan reported on Tuesday.

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45% of World's 14 Million Jews Live in Israel

There are 14,410,700 million Jews in the world, the Knesset’s Aliyah, Absorption and Diaspora Committee revealed on Monday, and 45% or 6,740,000 of them live in Israel, 6,088,000 in North America, 1,072,400 in Europe, 324,000 in South America, 300,000 in Asia, 120,000 in Australia and New Zealand and 74,000 in Africa.

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Teen terrorist who killed US-Israeli Ari Fuld in West Bank jailed for life

Khalil Jabarin also ordered to pay NIS 1,250,000 in compensation to family of victim; widow Miriam Fuld says life sentence suitable for attacker’s ‘abominable’ act

A West Bank military court sentenced a Palestinian teenager to life in prison Tuesday for the murder of Israeli-American Ari Fuld in a 2018 stabbing terror attack at the West Bank’s Gush Etzion Junction.

The Judea Military Court also ordered 17-year-old Khalil Jabarin to pay NIS 1,250,000 ($365,128) to Fuld’s family as compensation.

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Police arrest three young men suspected of stealing expensive monkey

Police opened an investigation earlier this week after receiving a disappearance report for a expensive monkey, apparently worth thousands of shekels, from a zoo in Kiryat Motzkin.

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Madonna Expresses Solidarity With 'Palestine' After Promoting Louis Farrakhan on Social Media

US performance artist Madonna published over the weekend a series of Instagram posts in which she expressed solidarity with “Palestine.”

The “Material Girl” singer, 61, first shared two images that claimed “Google and Apple have officially removed Palestine from their maps,” a rumor that stemmed from a viral Instagram post last week that has since been proven false.

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Jordan could support Israeli-Palestinian binational state, its PM says

But such a country would have to ensure equal democratic rights for all its citizens, stresses PM Omar Razzaz

Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said his country could possibly back a single Israeli-Palestinian state, if it offered equal rights to all citizens.

Speaking to the UK Guardian newspaper in an interview published Tuesday, Razzaz said a binational state could, under those circumstances, be an alternative to the two-state solution that currently forms the basis of international expectations to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Holland Admits it Paid 2 Terrorists Responsible for Murder of Israeli Teen

Two Arab terror suspects involved in the August 2019 bomb attack that killed 17-year-old Rina Shnerb were paid from Dutch taxes, Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag admitted to the Dutch House of Representatives on Monday.

The two terrorists are Abdul Razaq Farraj and Samer Arabid, members of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror organization.

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Israel to remain closed to foreign visitors until at least September

Airports Authority says current restrictions, under which entry granted only to nationals or those obtaining special permit from Immigration Authority, to stay in force

Restrictions preventing foreign visitors from entering the country due to the coronavirus pandemic will be extended until the the beginning of September, the Israel Airports Authority announced Monday.

The ban will continue until September 1 due to the recent surge in virus infections in Israel, the IAA said.

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Nurses end nationwide strike

Israel’s health system to receive 2,000 new nurses, 400 doctors.
The Health and Finance ministries agreed to provide the health system with the manpower it was requesting and the nurses agreed to call off their strike on Monday. 
Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein and Finance Minister Israel Katz announced that they had agreed to fund 2,000 new nurses – 1,600 to hospitals and 400 to the health funds – 400 doctors and 700 administrative assistants and support staff. Some of the new positions will be rolled out in stages.

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76th anniversary of the failed assassination-attempt on Adolf Hitler

by Sharon Oppenheimer

On the 76th anniversary of the failed assassination-attempt on Adolf Hitler, Germany stands on the brink of a pioneering restitution case which may have serious consequences: The grandson of one of the conspirators of the 20th July, 1944, plot and staunch opponent of the Nazis, is being forced by the authorities into escalated litigation regarding property confiscated from his family by the Nazis. He has uncovered Nazi methods which have never before been described in such a precise manner. Should his litigation be successful, a wave of restitution claims may descend onto Germany from heirs of victims who had their property taken by the Nazis in the same veiled manner.  In this regard, questions need to be clarified whether, and to what extent, these methods and facts upon which the restitution claims are founded were known to the authorities all along.  

 

solms-appeal-against-court-2017solms_1943_before_gestapo-prison
On the afternoon of the 21st of July, 1944, Prince Friedrich of Solms-Baruth was arrested by six Gestapo men in his castle Baruth, roughly 50km South of Berlin. He had been a staunch opponent of the Nazis before they even came to power and was initiated into the assassination plans from the start. On the afternoon before the 20th of July he met with General Ludwig von Beck, the head of the conspiracy in Baruth. Field Marshal von Witzleben, General von Hase, Count von der Schulenburg, Count Lynar and Count von Lehndorff were but a few of the key conspirators who would meet with the prince in his home or ride out into the woods with him in order to avoid eves-droppers.

It had already been evident by midnight: The coup had failed. Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, his adjutant Werner von Heaften, General Olbricht and Albrecht Ritter von Quiernheim had been shot on orders of General Fromm. Only General Ludwig von Beck had been allowed to commit suicide. Fromm was an opportunist to the core who feared his complicity would be revealed. In the early hours of the morning Major General Henning von Tresckow had committed suicide in the woods close to Bialystock. Thereafter an enormous action of retribution swept over the participants and conspirators of the plot. The gestapo men, lead by Sturmbannfuehrer Bruhn, placed the prince between them in an open car and drove up and down the main road of Baruth until the last inquisitive inhabitant had realised that their Prince was now in the power of the Gestapo. Then they took him to the notorious headquarters of the Gestapo in Berlin, the Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse prison, today called "The House of Horrors". 

The following day, on the 22nd July, 1944 the princess and her children were thrown out of their home which had been in the family since 1596 and taken into "Sippenhaft“, collective punishment. Hitler had personally ordered the families of the conspirators to be treated according to "collective punishment" because they had "bad blood...traitor blood", as he shouted in his rage. 

 


Toward evening, one of the daughters of Friedrich returned from a dentist appointment in Dresden. She had thus far escaped the arrest and could hardly believe her eyes: SS men were carrying out works of art, paintings and furniture from the family home, loading them onto trucks, while senselessly smashing other furniture. Asked what was going on, one of the SS shouted in her face: "None of this belongs to you anymore! This is no longer your home!"

A few days later the show trials of the conspirators of the 20th July plot commenced under the presiding judge Roland Freisler, a fanatic National Socialist. Only a year prior he had sent members of "The White Rose", a resistance group against National Socialism, consisting mainly of students, to the guillotine. Freisler was notorious for his shouting, his insults and his death verdicts. Marked by torture and hunger, the accused were presented and their prearranged verdicts read. "They are to hang like slaughtered animals!", Hitler had ordered in rage and they were accordingly hung on meat hooks.

 


The hearings and the executions were filmed and declared a "Secret Reich Matter" while Hitler gloated in the humiliation and death-throws of the condemned. Even their ashes were strewn over the wastewater purification fields of Berlin.

 


Friedrich, Prince of Solms-Baruth III became the Personal prisoner of the Reichsführer-SS, Heinrich Himmler. Through the SS, the security services and the Gestapo, Himmler, the epitome of a nerd, organisor of extermination factories and cold-blooded mass murderer of millions, had managed to make a sinister system of surveillance, arbitrariness and terror socially acceptable. He had implemented gigantic plans of expulsion, enslavement and liquidation. 

 


Himmler had special plans for the prince. He would let him live, in a manner of speaking: He would not lead him into a humiliating show trail, but let him suffer hunger, torture and interrogation precisely according to Nazi methods. In the months of his imprisonment, somewhere between hunger, thirst and sadistic torment, Friedrich zu Solms-Baruth prayed to his God. His entire life he had been a devout Protestant, while Himmler and the Nazi leadership followed the darkness of the cult of the black sun, the belief in a white, blond, blue-eyed “master race” and a new insane religion based on teutonic esoteric, racism, occultism and a completely irrational blind hatred towards Jews and Gypsies. 

 


Unlike Hitler, Himmler was sufficiently realistic to realise that the end of the Third Reich was near. The Red Army was daily moving closer into the West and the Allies had already landed in Normandy. Himmler wanted to save his skin and negotiate a ceasefire with the British and Americans, in the worst case even a surrender, but not with the Russians. To this aim he needed neutral Sweden, more particularly its Royal Family, the Bernadottes, in order to initiate negotiations - and the Prince of Solms-Baruth was the uncle of the heir to the Swedish throne. Eventually, negotiations took place between Himmler and Count Folke Bernadotte, Head of the Swedish Red Cross. In February, 1945, Bernadotte was able to achieve the release of  scandinavian concentration camp prisoners in the so-called operation of the "white busses".  During negotiations on the 15th of April Himmler conceded to bring some women from the concentration camp of Ravensbruek to Sweden- one day after he had ordered that not a single inmate of any labour or concentration camp should be left alive . His order was the start of mass executions and death marches. 

 


The other part of his plan envisaged taking the castles and properties of the prince. The Nazis had attempted before to pocket the properties of Solms-Baruth. In the mean-time Himmler sought to obtain the power of disposal over the forestry enterprises of Solms-Baruth, since the SS business enterprise urgently needed timber as raw material, which they were able to obtain at an advantage over all other  Nazi organisations without having to go though any allocation processes. Thus Friedrich´s brother was also arrested who had until then been employed by Friedrich to manage only the estate of Baruth. Himmler made it unmistakably clear that the prince should be left no possibility whatsoever of making any decisions regarding his properties. Himmler initially concentrated on setting up a notarised declaration to transfer the properties of the prince onto his brother under the condition that the brother first subjugate himself to Himmler and declare himself a "good Nazi" while pledging obedience to carry out all Nazi orders and not to accept any orders ever again from his brother, the prince.

Himmler´s instructions to Sturmbannfuehrer Bruhn were to force the prince into signing a declaration after his brother had signed the subjugation document towards Himmler. In the next step the prince was coerced into signing a notarised irrevocable document in which he transferred all his powers of disposal over his entire property in Baruth and Klitschdrof/ Kliczków and accept banishment from these, which also thereby terminated his ownership rights over his enterprises. Only Himmler could personally lift this blockage, which he never did. 

 


Copies of this document were handed out to all regional authorities and SS stations. Some time thereafter the brother of the prince was replaced by a highly decorated SA "Standartenfuehrer"and Major of the Wehrmacht with an Iron Cross. With this diabolical trick Himmler had achieved full control over the enterprises and properties of the prince without the need to confiscate them formally. 

 


After nearly nine months of solitary imprisonment, torture and interrogation, prince Solms-Baruth was coerced into singing this document, factually handing over 17,300 hectares (=173,000 Dunam) in Brandenburg (today Germany) and another  20,000 hectares (= 200,000 Dunam)  of land in Silesia (today Poland) including all his enterprises, castles,  buildings and inventory, in express exchange for his life and the survival of his family. Thereafter he was released: a broken man, robbed of all his possessions  and in disastrous health. His only support was his beloved family. Himmler could well still have had him murdered at any moment of his pleasing, however, he still needed him alive to keep the construction of the veiled confiscation of properes and enterprises as undetected as possible and for unblemished further negotiations with Bernadotte. Until shortly before the downfall Himmler negotiated with Bernadotte, believing he could save himself. Bernadotte hoped to have 10,000 arbitrarily detained Scandinavian concentration camp inmates released who were known as Nazi enemies and arrested. Later, Victor Mallet, the British Envoy to Sweden from 1940-1945, wrote about this in his memoirs. Their last meeting took place during the night of the 23rd to the 24th April. When Hitler heard that Himmler hat attempted to take up contact with Dwight D. Eisenhower behind his back, he few into a fit of rage and excluded Himmler from the NSDAP as well as all state positions. Neither Truman, Churchill or Eisenhower were interested in negotiations. All they wanted was to end the reign of German terror over Europe. 

 


Following the war, prince Solms-Baruth emigrated to South-West Africa with his family. This was only possible because the South African President, Jan Smuts, an intelligence services expert and close confidant of Churchill, had obtained a British Intelligence report confirming that the prince had assisted the Allied forces, been persecuted, arrested and had his properties confiscated by the Getapo as a result of his implication in the 20th July plot and his close association with the key figures in it.  Friedrich lived only a few years longer since his health had suffered greatly due to the time in Gestapo captivity. He died in 1951 in what is today Namibia. 

 


76 years later: In commemoration of July 20, 1944, all the relevant persons and institutions are gathering in Germany. This appointment is symbolic with worldwide effect as the clearest evidence of a collective and physical resistance to the Nazi dictatorship. It serves as proof and moral relief for the German people, that one did not stand idly by to the end. But the truth is, that there are still enough people in Germany who consider the men and women of the 20th July as traitors, just as the general population, with some exceptions, still have not been cured of their Antisemitism and Antiziganism (discrimination against gypsies). The ability of the Nazis to veil their persecution and confiscation methods and allow their seemingly harmless regulations to appear legal are practically unknown publicly. Even the courts constantly revert to a view already fought against by Fritz Bauer in the 1950´s and 1960´s, without consulting historical experts, that the NS dictatorship and its activities are to be viewed and interpreted as those of a Democracy enjoying the rule of law. Logically, this leads to the methods being played down to the extent that the veiled methods of the Nazi jurists and their ideology-drenched language is interpreted as harmless purely according to the wording and not as discriminatory or exclusionary toward their political opponents, the victims.   

 


In 1989, the son, Friedrich zu Solms-Baruth IV, initiated litigation in Germany for the return of the properties and enterprises stolen by the Nazis. Only the expropriated properties and enterprises in Brandenburg/Germany are subject to the current restitution claim. Since the Silesian estates are now in Poland, restitution claims do not apply to these. He did not live to see justice carried out, dying in 2005. Since then, the grandson of the original persecuted victim, Friedrich V, and his legal team have uncovered new evidence which they hope  will convince the German courts to finally recognise the coerced transfer of property onto the Gestapo and order its return.

 


During a hearing in 2014 in which the renown historian Sir Antony Beevor´s testimony was disallowed,  amongst others, the responsible authority for the Federal Republic refused to provide contrasting historical expert testimony. Yet, the court decided in favour of the State, meaning that in the Solms-Baruth case, the current Germany effectively implemented Nazi "law" by classifying as harmless all persecution methods against the prince. 

The courts argue that it was merely a coincidence that the prince was arrested by the Gestapo a day after the failed coup. The presiding judge of the first hearing told the grandson of the original victim: "You have no idea how sick and tired I am of hearing how bad the Nazis were each time someone wants something from me here". Thus far, all courts held the opinion that the wording of the notarised document which the grandfather of the current plaintiff was forced to sign neither led to the loss of property, nor the disposal of power over it, which is why the Federal Republic of Germany, as legitimate legal heir of the Third Reich and the GDR, is the rightful owner of the Solms-Baruth property. This attitude did not change after the document of the 19.02.1945 was found according to which the brother of the prince had to subjugate himself fully to Himmler´s power  in expectation of the irrevocable transferral of power of disposal onto him from his brother. 

So far, the process of coercion is being treated as a harmless agreement between two parties freely signed on an equal basis even though forced in Gestapo captivity to be equated with a contract signed in a notary´s office within Germany today. 

The courts claim, without any historical foundation whatsoever, let alone proof, that, essentially, the plaintiff is unable to prove that his grandfather was forced into signing the notarised irrevocable document and that, moreover, this document does not constitute any loss of his power of disposal over his property. 

 


The judges have categorically refused all historical experts named by Solms-Baruth by claiming that they alone have the superior historical knowledge and that expert witnesses are therefore not to be heard. Normally, in such cases the courts turn to the renown Institute for Contemporary History (IfZG) in Munich. The expert witness statement presented by the plaintiff from this very institute was interpreted into its opposite by the court and the expert was not allowed to clarify what he had meant. The plaintiff is not allowed, under dubious procedural regulations, to enter new evidence into the on-going case but is forced to open entirely new cases for each new piece of evidence found, with resulting legal costs. 

 


Why has the case of Solms-Baruth remained unknown and why it is currently being treated like a hot potato? 

The argument for restitution is founded on a special law enshrined in the Constitution, according to which a factual loss "a loss of property in another manner" is to be treated exactly as a formal confiscation such as, for example, transfer of the property in the deeds books.  

This legal concept is based on a demand by the Allies shortly following WWII, which also became content of the new law and effective in1990 in the Federal Republic. At the time, the Allies insisted on this law being taken up into the Constitution in order to prevent the state from thwarting reparations and restitutions for Nazi crimes. More precisely: They wanted to avoid that in regard to expropriations, reparations would become impossible merely because the Nazis had cloaked their crimes in a veneer of legality, as they did towards all persecuted victims and opponents to the regime. Shortly after WWII,  experts were still well aware of these back-handed Nazi methods, which is why an eye was kept on not allowing them to get away with it. In this regard it is important to note that the expropriation of opponents of the Nazis often resulted in the personal enrichment of Nazis members: The German tax authorities, lead by the "Supreme Finance Director", Berlin, organised investigations, confiscations and exploitations of the victim´s properties, often via auctions and passing them on to party members. Such property shifts were obviously no longer to have any duration following the war.  But this line of thought is abandoned by the courts with the change in historical awareness. Nazi favourites can keep the stolen properties and if it lands in the possession of the state, it seems harmless because it is no longer the Nazi state. However, the result of the loss remains the same since the Federal Republic is the beneficiary of the regulations it created for itself in order to obtain an advantage out of the Nazi property grab carried out against an opponent of the Nazis.

Thus the courts repeatedly ignore precisely this law which resulted out of experience with the Nazi dictatorship, and according to which they are constitutionally bound to adhere, by claiming that the  plaintiff, in this case the grandson of Friedrich Solms-Baruth, has no claim to restitution because apparently no formal confiscation occurred. 

The Federal Republic instead relies on claiming that the theft occurred only after May 1945 and that therefore the restitution laws on which the case is based do not apply - but science refutes this: Chemical analysis of the ink dates the written orders in the Deeds Books for destruction of the deeds registries as proof of ownership of the victim to have been carried out by the Nazis pre May 1945, in other words before the end of the Nazi regime, and thus clearly demonstrates that the Nazis had conspired to cover up their illegal expropriation. Crucially, the original files were preserved and chemical ink analysis in the Solms-Baruth case indicates that roughly 10% -20% of similarly veiled expropriations are to be restituted according to German property law, which had been until now classified as ineligible for restitution since they were categorised as "Land Reform confiscations" under the East German regime.  

 


These new scientific discoveries - in themselves irrefutable proof for a restitution claim according Property Law - along with further documented forensic proof that “Land Reform” was never applied to the Solms-Baruth properties post war, were not even taken into consideration by the Federal Administrative Court, thus forcing the claimant into expensive Constitutional litigation. The Federal Republic of Germany now sees itself faced with extensive litigation which could result in the restitution of innumerable properties which were subject in similar fashion to the veiled Nazi expropriation and persecution model of the Solms-Baruth case. 

 

 

 

 

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