israelAM for July 27, 2015

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Violence on Temple Mount
Dozens of Arab youths threw rocks and shot fireworks at Israeli police on the Temple Mount early Sunday morning. Four police officers were injured and 3 Palestinians were arrested. The objective of the rioters was to prevent Jews from visiting the Temple Mount on Tisha B’av, the day commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Jewish Temples that stood on the mount. They failed.

Israeli law prohibits Jews and other non Muslims from performing any form of worship on the Temple mount, where the Al Aqsa Mosque currently stands. That even includes whispering prayers or carrying religious texts. But non Muslims are allowed to visit the area during set times. The Arab youths attempted to prevent scheduled visits on Tisha B’av. The police made sure that the visits occurred as planned. Among the visitors was Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel.

Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev said, “The Temple Mount is a holy place for Jews and Muslims. The government must make sure that Jews can go on the Temple Mount throughout the entire year, certainly on Tisha Be’av.”

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin condemned the Arab rioters and said, “I express my support for the security forces and for their determination to prevent any harm or interference to the prayers at the Western Wall, the remnant of our Temple. Such acts of hatred cannot be tolerated, and we will not allow any disturbances to prevent Jews from praying at this holy site.”

The holiest place in Judaism, located in the heart of the capital of Israel, is the only place on the planet where Jews are forbidden from praying. And Jewish police enforce this rule. Think about it.

Antisemitism in Jerusalem
On Thursday morning a group of Jewish women visited the Temple Mount escorted by Israeli police. Throughout the 40 minute tour they were surrounded and harassed by Arabs screaming “slaughter the Jews” and “Allahu Akbar”. The police took no action to stop the harassment.

A 20 year old woman in the group, Aviad Morris, couldn’t take it anymore and responded to the harassment — she said, “Muhammad is a pig”. That’s when the police finally moved the Arabs away from the group. Aviad was arrested at her home later that day for disturbing the public order. A judge dismissed the charges after watching a video of the incident.

US Won’t Block Pollard Release
After serving 30 years in federal prison for allegedly spying for Israel, Jonathan Pollard is set to be release on parole in November and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that she won’t prevent it from happening. According to the U.S. law under which Pollard’s trial was held, a prisoner sentenced to life in prison is released after 30 years.

Lynch denied any link between Pollard’s possible release in the near future and the nuclear agreement signed with Iran. “It would have been extremely far-thinking of people 30 years ago to sentence Mr. Pollard and set this mandatory release date to coincide with the Iran deal,” she said.
Meanwhile, Pollard’s wife is asking the Israeli government to pay for an attorney to facilitate his freedom. For serving half of his life in prison, it’s the least they can do.

Kerry Doesn’t Scare Israel
On Friday US Secretary of State John Kerry told the Council of Foreign Relations that, “if Congress were to overturn [the Iran deal], our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated. And more blamed.” Israeli officials responded yesterday saying that Congress will make it’s decision based on the best interests of the US. They added that, “Attempts to prevent Israel from expressing its position will not stop us from saying what we think about this bad deal with Iran which threatens Israel’s security.”
The battle continues.

Jordan Protests
Israel is planning to build a new international airport just north of Eilat, in the Negev town of Timna. The Jordanians aren’t happy about this. They’ve filed a complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organization claiming that the airport is too close to the Jordanian airport at Aquaba, which could cause communication problems with planes leaving and arriving. 

The Jordanians are still upset about an agreement they made with Israel when they signed their peace treaty in 1994 to join the airports in Eilat and Aquaba into one jointly run airport located in Aquaba. Israel never made that happen.

A spokesman for Israel’s Transportation Ministry said that in recent talks with the Jordanians, “we agreed to continue the meetings and coordination in operating the two airports – at Timna and at Aqaba.”

We’ll have to wait and see what impact the airport in Timna will have on Israel-Jordan relations.

The Golan Hoax
Last week Israeli singing star Eyal Golan filed a complaint with the fraud branch of the Tel Aviv District Police, claiming that he had been hacked and that a wiretap had been used against him for the past two years in order to extort him and harm his reputation during a sex crimes investigation against him.

 Yesterday morning, a computer technician who serviced Golan’s home was arraigned in court on suspicion of fabricating the entire hack and wiretap story. The 27-year-old technician told Golan that enemies of the singer had set up a wiretapping device outside his house and had broken into his email. He denies the charges, and doesn’t seem to have a motive. Apparently, being a jerk isn’t motive enough.

Have an amazing day, and we’ll see you bright and early tomorrow with more Israel news!

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