Earlier this week, Airbnb reversed its November decision to ban the listing of nearly 200 Jewish-owned properties in Judea and Samaria. This about-face follows on the heels of Airbnb settling numerous lawsuits filed against it in the United States and Israel as well as being faced with no less than 1,000 requests for arbitration over discriminatory practices filed on behalf of AirBnb users.
Yifa Segal, CEO of The International Legal Forum (and a good friend who has traveled with AFSI) said, “The Airbnb case sets a very important precedent and is of strategic importance. It is undoubtedly a serious blow to the boycott movement. There is no doubt that other economic companies will seriously examine the development in this case.” “In addition”, Segal added, “We should all be very proud of ourselves. This case proves that there is great importance to the cooperative and concerted work of various bodies around the world, and that therein lies the power to expose the truth and correct injustices.” We applaud every lawyer, organization and activist that were involved in this battle!
We applaud the International Legal Forum, Shurat HaDin, the Zionist Advocacy Center and the many private attorneys who have now set a precedent that is sure to guide other companies when dealing with Israel.
Airbnb’s initial decision was discriminatory and fueled anti-Semitic flames for the BDS movement and foes of Israel while it attempted to delegitimize Israel in the process.
AFSI welcomes this important reversal. We hope Airbnb and others have learned – and continue to learn – important truths about Israel; its honor and its strength!
Post-Election Promises of Sovereignty
With Israel’s elections scheduled to begin only hours from now, in his latest campaign pledges, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is making statements we like hearing. He says that his government will annex all the ‘settlements’ in Judea and Samaria if he remains Prime Minister.
There are those who posit that this is just an empty promise in an effort to secure more votes. Does he have inside information on the details contained in President Donald Trump’s forthcoming peace plan? Speculation is rampant on the details of the Trump plan, with many expecting it will involve numerous actors in the region.
In an interview with Channel 12 on Saturday night, Netanyahu vowed that if he wins another term he will annex all of Judea and Samaria’s Jewish communities and evacuate the illegal village of Khan Al-Ahmar.
Netanyahu further stated, “We are dealing [with the Americans] on exercising Israeli sovereignty on Ma’aleh Adumim and other things. Everyone understands the next term will be fateful for guaranteeing our security and our control over key territory in Judea and Samaria.”
Certainly, the only way things will possibly move towards Sovereignty is with a right wing coalition leading the next government.
In their latest Arutz Sheva article, The Sovereignty Movement’s Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments on applying Sovereignty to Judea and Samaria with cautious satisfaction.
Even if Netanyahu’s promises are only election related, why does The Sovereignty Movement see this as an historic moment? They feel that “for the first time a prime minister in Israel sees Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria as a viable political plan.”
The recent barrage of rockets fired into Israel, especially the one that struck the center of the country, has forced pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take stronger action.
In a surprise statement, Netanyahu said today, “All options, including entering and conquering Gaza, are on the table, in accordance with what is good for the State of Israel.”
If Israel is forced to enter into a larger military campaign in Gaza, he stated, “the forces are in place, but that is the last option, not the first.”
The April 11 landing on the moon is almost here!
But first, the most critical maneuver in spacecraft Beresheet’s journey to the moon has been successfully performed. Lunar orbit insertion, or “Lunar Capture,” allows the spacecraft to enter the moon’s gravity and begin orbiting prior to landing.
How much do you know about Israel’s SpaceIL program? Learn more HERE.
Late Saturday night five rockets launched from Gaza fell into open territory in the Eshkol region. In response to the rocket attacks, the IDF struck several terror targets in Gaza belonging to Hamas. The Eshkol Council spokesperson reported that there were no injuries or damages.
Earlier in the day thousands of Gazans rioted to mark “Land Day” and the first anniversary of the March of Return weekly protests. IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis reported that Hamas’s control of the situation had a major impact on the low level of violence and did not turn out as the military expected. The IDF employed the use of crowd dispersal methods, including live fire and tear gas, to keep rioters away from the fence.
Go home! Two children infiltrated Israel armed with a knife. An IDF soldier gave them water and sent them back to their parents. Let this be a reminder to the world about the compassion Israel DOES SHOW as it exercises every right to defend itself from terror.
A week-long photo exhibit at the United Nations in New York City proudly showcased Israel’s worldwide and decades long humanitarian-aid efforts.
This initiative was the brainchild of Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon who stated that the presentation was curated to show people “the real face of Israel.”
“Israel’s Humanitarian Aid Around the World” featured 18 photographs showing soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces and Israeli volunteers aiding those affected by natural disasters, requiring medical care and more in Haiti, Nepal, the Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Syria, Liberia, South Sudan and North Mauritania. The pictures were accompanied by brief descriptions outlining Israel’s work in each location.
After viewing the reception and exhibit, attendees attended a formal presentation. Guest speakers included Surgeon General of the IDF Brig. Gen. Dr. Tarif Bader, Mexico’s Ambassador to the United Nations Juan Ramón de la Fuente, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon and IDF Lt. Shahar Bachar, who was a part of Israel’s humanitarian delegation to Mexico following the 2017 earthquakes.
A beautiful documentary was shown highlighting many of the countries Israel has sent aid to. Key points: Israel is almost always the first country to arrive and is fully set-up with equipment for every possible kind of need. Some doctors and volunteers interviewed said that they don’t even wait for the Israeli government to call asking for their services – they call the government and ask to be sent to the country in crisis. One recipient of Israel’s aid interviewed noted that Israel gets to work right away, while other countries take too long to move into action.
It’s all a part of the Jewish people’s mission of bringing light unto the nations – Chesed. That’s the real Israel.
JNS story HERE. Exhibit photos below.
To learn more about Israel’s global humanitarian work visit IsraAID.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to send additional forces to the southern command. On his visit to the Gaza border today, Netanyahu ordered reinforcement of units in preparation for what could become an “extensive ” campaign.
This week’s recap:
An IDF official reported that over a 24 hour period 60 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza on Monday. Israel’s response was swift and hard hitting. Among those Israel pounded heavily throughout the night: Hamas and Islamic Jihad military compounds in the northern Gaza Strip, offices of Hamas senior political leader Ismail Haniyeh, a building housing the organization’s general and military intelligence headquarters, and internal security offices.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, who cut short his visit to the US, said, “We gave a very, very powerful response, and Hamas needs to know that we shall not hesitate to take all steps required.”
Hamas carried out its threat to increase launches of incendiary balloons into Israel.
While Israel’s enemies keep attacking her, what have they really accomplished for their own interests? Nothing that we can see. In reality, they keep losing and Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi told them so in an open letter.
Why did this week’s rocket attacks on Israel happen? Hamas’ problems at home could be to blame, as Khaled Abu Toameh discusses in his Jerusalem Post Opinion.
Early Monday morning, a rocket fired from Gaza struck a home in Moshav Mishmeret, north of Tel Aviv in the Sharon region. While no fatalities have been reported, seven people are reported injured.
Of concern to AFSI is that Israel’s Iron Dome did not intercept the rocket. It is estimated that the rocket fired can reach a range of more than 100 kilometers and since it travels on a nonlinear path it cannot be intercepted by Iron Dome.
In light of this recent attack, Prime Minister Netanyahu will cut short his visit to the US today. Though Netanyahu will meet with President Donald Trump, after their meeting Netanyahu will return to Israel immediately.
Reports also state that warning sirens were only heard in some areas of Mishmeret and that residents barely had time to respond to the attack.
The IDF began attacks on Hamas positions in response to explosives thrown during night riots. One explosive triggered sirens in in he Eshkol region, says IDF spokesperson. Tzvi Joffre reports in The Jerusalem Post.
AFSI friend Josh Hasten’s inside report tells us “Train service suspended to Sderot, Ofakim, and Netiviot. Shelters opened in Ashkelon. Anticipating a rough night ahead.
Tefilot/prayers to our brothers and sisters in the south (and in the center, and in the north, and in Judea and Samaria, and in all of #Israel). And of course to our #IDF soldiers!”
Hamas inmates riot, stabbing and wounding prison guard in neck. Report by Times of Israel Staff.
Hamas’ ‘night unit’ threatens escalation on Gaza border – will increase its launching of incendiary balloons during the day this week. Sara Rubenstein in Arutz Sheva.
Rafi Eitan, z”l, a lead Mossad spy involved in the capture of Adolf Eichmann, passed away on Saturday at age 92.
Former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit told The Jerusalem Post that Eitan was one of “the founding fathers of intelligence and operations for the State of Israel… He was an out-of-the-box thinker, highly skilled and helped train the next generation” of Mossad agents.