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Florida Stands With Israel in a Bold New Initiative

Florida will be issuing specialty “Florida Stands with Israel” license plates for those who wish to support the Jewish state throughout the Sunshine State.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation (HB 1135) on Friday, before Rosh Hashanah, which authorized the creation of the special license plate.

Americans For A Safe Israel praises the State of Florida for showing its support for Israel in this manner. An official license plate on Floridian cars now displays strong support of Israel for all to see whether driving the open road, or parked in a public space. We ARE proud of the stronger than ever friendship between Israel and Florida and it makes us smile. Kinda makes us wanna move to Florida too….just saying 🙂

To Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida legislature, we say, THANK YOU!

Source:
Florida to issue ‘Florida Stands with Israel’ license plates, by Jerusalem Post Staff. Jerusalem Post, September 22, 2020

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The Question is When, Not If. The Answer is Soon.

As the normalization train between Israel and Arab nations moves forward, the most pressing question is when, not if, another country jumps aboard.

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft said in an interview with Al-Arabiya Wednesday that another normalization agreement between Israel and an unnamed Arab country will happen in the next day or two.

During the interview, Craft said regarding US intentions on pushing forward Middle East peace in the Arab-Israel conflict that “our plan is to bring more countries…which we will have more being announced very soon…”

Watch the full interview with Ambassador Kelly Craft below.

Sources:
Diplomacy built Israeli-Arab peace. The private sector will sustain it., by Dana Stroul/JT. Jerusalem Post, September 23, 2020

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Reports and Updates from Regavim

New PA School in the Jordan Valley is Illegal
One more illegal school joins the rapidly growing roster of similar structures built by the Palestinian Authority at lightning speed.

The newest to join the ranks is an illegal school built overnight – literally – in the Jordan Valley.

Regavim: “While the Israeli government chatters about sovereignty in the Jordan Valley, the Palestinian Authority is hard at work building a de facto state.”

Source:
Regavim Report, September 23, 2020

UNTSO Compound in Armon HaNatziv
The Israeli government announces “understandings” that would place the United Nations above the law and waive Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.

Regavim’s petition regarding the UNTSO Compound in Armon HaNatziv continues.

Sources:
Full Regavim Report, September 22, 2020

State’s response to Regavim’s petition (in Hebrew)

Aerial view: UNTSO compound at Armon HaNatziv, Jerusalem (Photo credit: Regavim)
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Jewish Self-Defense is Not a Crime

A family from Gush Shilo was caught several days ago in a planned ambush set by local Arabs, who blocked their vehicle with a barricade made of stones and attacked the family’s car with rocks.

Miraculously, the couple and their children were not harmed, but Uri, the father, was forced to shoot a bullet in the air to drive the terrorists away.

The parents and four of their children, ages nine, five, three, and one-and-a-half were in their car at the time of the attempted attack. The rocks shattered their windshield (See photo) and the car was hit by about ten more rocks that inflicted heavy damage.

Renna, Uri’s wife, then related what happened when they came to the police station to file a complaint regarding the lynching. “We arrive at the police station together, and the policeman turns to Uri and asks, ‘Do you want to talk to a lawyer before we start the investigation?’”

‘What? Investigation? Of what?’ We ask. The policeman replies: ‘You will hear about it in the interrogation. It’s about your using your weapon.‘”

Attorney Nati Rom from the Honenu legal aid society showed up at the police station to assist the family. Following his interrogation, Uri was released unconditionally.

While AFSI is grateful that Honenu provided swift and successful legal assistance for Uri, it is an outrage that it was needed in the first place. No Jew should be criminalized for exercising self-defense against Arab aggression.

Source:
Jewish Family Survives Lynching Attempt, Police Open Criminal Case Against the Father for Shooting in the Air in Self-Defense, by HaKol HaYehudi / Yehuda Pearl. Jewish Press, September 22, 2020

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Sovereignty Requires Facts on the Ground

There will be no Sovereignty applied in Judea and Samaria in 2021 or, it stands to reason, in 2022. And probably not in 2023 either. The champagne popping over the historic Sovereignty initiative was replaced with champagne popping over the historic peace deals with the UAE and Bahrain. The bombastic newspaper headlines about Sovereignty were replaced with headlines proclaiming a new Middle East, and the sour faces in the news studios curled their noses at peace instead of Sovereignty. The application of Israeli law in wide swathes of Judea and Samaria was suspended indefinitely, and maybe for the best. The test of Sovereignty is not over, it is only just beginning, and the challenges of Sovereignty only intensify amid this almost-initiative.

Source:
The imperative of practical sovereignty, by Sara Haetzni-Cohen. Israel Hayom, September 17, 2020

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Parallel Images: Abraham Accords Signed, Gaza Fires Rockets Simultaneously at Israel

Yesterday’s Abraham Accords and Bahrain-Israel peace agreement signings were historic and has the potential to redefine life in the Middle East.

However, old ways of Arab thinking were still on display at The White House ceremony on Tuesday. As both agreements were being signed, rockets from the Gaza Strip were fired into Israel’s south. Thirteen Israelis have been injured with one in serious condition. Still, that is thirteen more injuries and much more psychological damage than is acceptable.

One Arab representative in the ceremony spoke of “Palestinian territories” – a term that reflects decades Arab hatred of Israel and attempts to delegitimize it.

With the full text of the Abraham Accords released, we now know that neither agreement mentions anything related to Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria or putting a two-state solution back on the table for discussion. Even though Sovereignty is temporarily (and we hope very briefly) on hold, it is still appears to be a win for Israel.

AFSI took note of this section of the Abraham Accords:
2. General Principles: The Parties shall be guided in their relations by the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law governing relations among States. In particular, they shall recognize and respect each other’s sovereignty and right to live in peace and security, develop friendly relations of cooperation between them and their peoples, and settle all disputes between them by peaceful means.

What the definition of Sovereignty is in the context of this agreement remains to be seen. AFSI’s definition of Sovereignty remains steadfast – SOVEREIGNTY NOW OVER ALL OF JUDEA AND SAMARIA and a UNITED JERUSALEM. Applying Sovereignty is Israel’s historical and legal right. Together with you – our advocacy for Sovereignty must not and will not end.

Sources:
Two states, settlements not part of Israel deals with UAE, Bahrain, by Lahav Harkov. Jerusalem Post, September 16, 2020

13 injured as rockets fired at southern Israel, by Tzv Joffre. Jerusalem Post, September 16, 2020

Abraham Accords Peace Agreement: Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalization Between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel, Official Whit House Document. September 15, 2020

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Trump Brokers Normalization Between Israel and Bahrain

Excerpt from remarks delivered by President Trump, September 11, 2020:

Just a few moments ago, I hosted a historic call between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and King Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain. Both leaders expressed their condolences as well to the American people on this very, very tragic, horrible event that took place on September 11th. And they very much meant it. I want to thank them for that.

There’s no more powerful response to the hatred that spawned 9/11 than the agreement that we’re about to tell you. You will hear something today that’s, I think, very, very important for not only the Middle East but for the world.

In the spirit of peace and cooperation, both leaders also agreed that Bahrain will fully normalize its diplomatic relations with Israel. They will exchange embassies and ambassadors, begin direct flights between their countries, and launch cooperation initiatives across a broad range of sectors, including health, business, technology, education, security, and agriculture. This is a truly historic day.

Source:
Remarks by President Trump on the Announcement of Normalization of Relations Between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain – The White House Official Statement. September 11, 2020

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It’s Time To Normalize Jewish Worship on the Temple Mount

As a new normal takes shape in the Middle East, let’s not forget the current not-normal status of the Jewish people still denied its legal and historical right to worship freely and peacefully on the Temple Mount.

The two Trump brokered peace deals in the last month have created a new buzzword – normalization. Things are now normalizing that had been abnormal for far too long.

One of the most abnormal and aberrant things about the Middle East conflict is the rejection of a Jew’s right to pray on the Temple Mount. This must change if an accord between Abraham’s children is truly meant to be meaningful.

It is time to return Jewish prayer to the Temple Mount. It is time to normalize the Temple Mount.

Source:
Is it time to ‘normalize’ the Temple Mount?, by Nave Dromi. Jerusalem Post, September 13, 2020

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NO JUSTICE! 3 Life Sentences for Accused Duma Killer

Amiram Ben Uliel, who was convicted of the murder of three members of the Dawabsheh family in Duma, was sentenced to three life sentences in Israel on Monday.

The sentence was handed down today after the Central District Court in Lod recently decided to reject the appeal filed by the defense attorneys to throw out his conviction following new evidence in the case.

The request for the overturning of Ben Uliel’s conviction came after Ahmad Dwabsha, the only witness from the house to the incident, who in media interviews described the incident differently from the details of the indictment under which Ben-Uliel was convicted

Obviously there has to be an appeal and we are glad to hear Ben Uliel’s family and friends are preparing to appeal the conviction to the Supreme Court. We wish them strength as they move forward plus a swift turn around in this extremely questionable conviction.

Source:
3 life sentences for accused Duma killer, by Arutz Sheva Staff. Arutz Sheva, September 14, 2020

 

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Israel Needs an Anti-Propaganda Agency-NOW! by Manfred Gerstenfeld

For five years, the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy has been trying to combat the large number of international delegitimization and boycott campaigns against the Jewish State. Its options to combat international antisemitism are limited, and it is doubtful whether it has properly prioritized the issues at stake. Israel urgently needs a separate anti-propaganda agency, something the Strategic Affairs Ministry should have recommended long ago.

Source:
Israel Needs an Anti-Propaganda Agency by Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld. BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,738, September 9, 2020

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