Israel News for July 21, 2016

African Love
The Republic of Guinea, a Muslim country in sub-Saharan West Africa, opened diplomatic relations with Israel yesterday. After signing the agreement, Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold said, “Israel calls on all countries that have yet to renew their ties with Israel to follow Guinea’s example. This way, we can all act together for the benefit of the region’s nations.”

The agreement was signed in the wake of PM Netanyahu’s visits to several sub-Saharan countries earlier this month including Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia, with the aim of reestablishing and strengthening existing diplomatic and commercial ties.

Apparently, the trip worked.

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Not So Fast
But wait, everything isn’t all rose on the African front. Last Saturday Palestinian Authority President Abbas arrived in Rwanda to address the 27th Summit of the African Union. Then he went to Sudan, where he signed several agreements with the government. Tomorrow he’ll be in Mauritania for an Arab League summit.

PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki announced yesterday that the Palestinian Authority and Sudan are coordinating to “restrain Israeli movements” in the African continent. He said, “President Mahmoud Abbas and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir discussed developing a strategy for the African continent and coordinating to restrain Israeli attempts to make a breakthrough in Africa.”

So the battle for Africa is on.

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Arrested Again
Yishai Schlissel, the man who killed one and wounded five in an attack on last years Jerusalem gay pride parade, was arrested in his prison cell yesterday for conspiring with his brother to attack the parade again this year. His brother Michael was arrested. Schlissel’s father denied that Michael conspired with his brother. But the rest of the Schlissel family has been banned from Jerusalem until after the parade, just to be on the safe side.

The parade is scheduled to take place this afternoon under the protection of over 2,000 police officers and security personnel, who are deployed throughout the city. Over 10,000 people are expected to take part in the parade. But as we reported yesterday, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat will not participate in the parade, to avoid hurting the sensitivities of the city’s religious population.

Rabbi Dov Lior, the Chief Rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba, has called on people to attend a protest demonstration against the parade organized by the right-wing extremist Lehava organization. In a letter to Lahava leader Ben-Zion Gopstein, he wrote, “I find it proper to strengthen your hands for organizing the protest against the parade, which the Torah calls an abomination while harming the holiness of Jerusalem and (harming) its residents. You join the greats of Israel who protested against acts such as these and saved the people of Israel.”

Jerusalem’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar condemned the parade saying, “This desecration of God’s name in Jerusalem is an embarrassing phenomenon, it’s one of the most serious sins in the Torah.” He also attacked PM Netanyahu for supporting the event, saying, “It is simply horrendous that the Prime Minister supports these parades. It’s a huge embarrassment; he should come back and apologize in public. He cannot be the Prime Minister of Israel.”

Let’s hope that this year’s parade is not marred by any violence.

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Israeli Victories
Israeli high school students won 10 medals at the International Physics Olympiad which took place in Zurich, Switzerland, and the International Mathematical Olympiad which took place in Hong Kong, China. The Israeli teams ranked 19th and 22nd in their respective competitions.

The top three teams in the Math Olympiad were the US, South Korea and China. The Syrian team, led by President Assad’s son, took home three bronze medals. The top three teams in the physics competition were China, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett praised the Israeli teams saying, “I am proud of the students and coaches for the effort, seriousness, and the honor they brought to the State of Israel.”

Meanwhile, the kids probably had to explain to their ambitious parents why they didn’t do better.

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