כ"ד בכסלו תשפ"ב / Sunday, Nov. 28 '21

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Headlines

  1. PM: Government 'speaks with one voice' on Iran
  2. Mortality doubles in S. Africa where new variant first found
  3. PM to Supreme Court: Western Wall cable car will go ahead
  4. Businesses fear lockdown with the spread of Omicron variant
  5. COVID Czar: We're in control of the situation
  6. Coronavirus Cabinet bans foreigners from entering Israel
  7. Bennett: We want to keep Israel open
  8. The missing photo of Hitler and the Mufti of Jerusalem


1. PM: Government 'speaks with one voice' on Iran

by Arutz Sheva Staff

[youtube:2103163]

Speaking at the start of Sunday morning’s cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett commented on talks due to recommence this week in Vienna between Iran and international powers, with the aim of reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

“Discussions on the nuclear issue between Iran and world powers are soon to begin in Vienna,” said Bennett. “Israel is extremely concerned at the willingness of certain countries to remove sanctions and enable the flow of billions [of dollars] to Iran in return for Iran’s acquiescence to inadequate restrictions on its nuclear development. This is the message we are conveying in every possible way – both to the Americans and to other countries that are negotiating with Iran.

“The Foreign Minister will be delivering a similar message when he meets with other leaders in London and Paris this week,” the Prime Minister continued. “It is vital that when it comes to issues related to national security, the government speaks with one voice.”

Bennett added that, “Defense Minister Benny Gantz has just returned from an significant and truly amazing visit to Morocco. It looks like you all had a great time there, Benny. But aside from the warm welcome you received, what really matters is the Defense MOU that you signed with the Moroccan Defense Minister which is going to usher in an era of cooperation on security issues between our two countries in the areas of intelligence, security industries, and mutual threats. This is an extremely important development.

“To conclude, this evening we light the first candle on the festival of Chanukah,” Bennett said. “As you know, there is a mitzvah to publicize the miracle of Chanukah, which is why we place the Chanukah menorah at the window. Even in our current days of uncertainty, it is vital that we all focus on the good in our lives and enhance the good and the light.

“In the name of all the government’s ministers, I wish all Israeli citizens a happy Chanukah, Chanukah same’ach,” Bennett said, adding, “We got through the Delta, and we’ll get through this, too.”

[קישורים:4:Iran Nuclear Deal]



2. Mortality doubles in S. Africa where new variant first found

by Arutz Sheva Staff

Head of Public Health Services, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, participated in Sunday morning’s meeting of the Knesset Legislative Committee, contributing to its discussion of renewed restrictions placed on the population in the wake of the discovery of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

During the course of the discussion, Alroy-Preis revealed that the Omicron variant appears to have first emerged in October. “It was first sequenced in South Africa, and also in Hong Kong, in people who had returned from trips to South Africa,” she said. “This is a variant of extreme concern due to the large number of very unusual mutations it has, precisely in the regions we are worried about; it has 38 mutations in the spike protein.

“It has the potential of spreading extremely widely,” Alroy-Preis added. “On a certain flight to the Netherlands, for example, 32 people out of the 600 on board were found to be carrying Covid-19, and of those 32, 13 had the Omicron variant. We have also heard reports of fully vaccinated people contracting this new variant and showing mild symptoms.

“So far, we have no information on how the new variant will affect mortality rates in general,” she noted. “But what I can say is that mortality rates in South Africa are doubling.”

[קישורים:4:Omicron]



3. PM to Supreme Court: Western Wall cable car will go ahead

by Arutz Sheva Staff

According to Cabinet Secretary Shalom Shlomo, the opposition of Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli to the Western Wall cable-car project "has no legal significance," and the plan will go ahead.

Shlomo was writing to Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon at the request of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, in light of the fact that this Sunday morning, the Supreme Court is holding a session on petitions submitted by extreme-left-wing and Palestinian organizations against the construction of the cable car.

In his letter, Shlomo wrote: "I would like to clarify after consultation with the Attorney-General that the Transportation Minister's opposition has no legal significance at this stage, as this concerns a national master-plan for infrastructure which was approved by the Ministerial Committee on Planning, Construction, Real Estate and Housing in November 21, 2019.

"Therefore, the cable- car plan for the Old City of Jerusalem is already a legal reality and there is nothing that the Transportation Minister can do about it," Shlomo stressed. "Unless the plan is repealed or amended, the plan remains in existence and is binding by law."

Transportation Minister Michaeli has already stated her opposition to the cable-car project to the Western Wall, claiming that the damage it causes will outweigh its benefits.

Haaretz reported on Friday that the opposition of Michaeli and her office could frustrate the project, as its developers - the Tourism Ministry and the Jerusalem Development Authority - presented it in the planning committees and in court as a transportation project and not as a tourist attraction.

In response to a question from MK Alon Tal (Blue & White) regarding the cable car, Michaeli replied that, "The cable car does not have a significant transportation function," adding that, "the damage it causes will outweigh the benefits. For the purpose of service to the Old City, the Transportation Ministry is promoting the 'Golden Line' route of the light rail in accordance with the strategic plan for mass transportation in Jerusalem."

Michaeli added: "I would like to point out regarding the project's feasibility in the future, that the damage the project causes to the historic scenery of the Old City and the heritage assets that are so important to us, as well as the political and security implications of its promotion, should be examined with due sensitivity."

In 2019, the Netanyahu government decided to build a cable car to the Western Wall that will extend 1.4 km between the First Station complex in Emek Refaim and the Kedem complex in the City of David. Another station is planned in the Har Zion parking lot.

[קישורים:4:Merav Michaeli]



4. Businesses fear lockdown with the spread of Omicron variant

by Arutz Sheva Staff

Almost two years after the coronavirus first made its appearance, the business sector is still trying to recover from the difficulties imposed by lockdowns and other government regulations; the tourism industry has been particularly hard-hit. Now, with the the discovery of the Omicron variant, businesses are once again fearful for their livelihoods, Maariv newspaper reports.

"There is concern among business owners that the government is about to impose new restrictions without allocating full compensation. We hope the economy will remain open with maximum activity and as few restrictions as possible. If restrictions are decided upon, we will fight for full compensation for business owners who are harmed," said Adv. Roi Cohen, representing the Chamber of Independent and Business Organizations in Israel.

He added that, "I'm already hearing about cancellations of flights and planned vacations abroad. We are following developments closely and apprehensively and hope that this time, business owners will not be the ones to pay the price. "

A senior official in the aviation industry also noted: "We have begun to recover from the crisis period, and Israelis are gradually starting to fly abroad again. Tourists were just starting to visit Israel - and now a new variant has arrived that set us back to where we were before."

[קישורים:4:Lockdown]



5. COVID Czar: We're in control of the situation

by Orly Harari

With a new and potentially more contagious variant of the coronavirus spreading through the world and known to already be in Israel, Professor Salman Zarka, Israel’s coronavirus project manager, discussed the country’s efforts to combat “Omicron,” as it has been named.

“According to the data we have, caution is definitely advised,” Zarka said, speaking on Kan Reshet Bet on Sunday morning. “All the same, I must stress that this is not a black-or-white situation with regard to the vaccine. Vaccination remains a relevant factor in the equation; it’s still going to be helpful. The question is only how much.”

Israel has already imposed stricter regulations in light of the new variant’s spread, including a two-week ban on all foreign nationals entering the country. Zarka expressed satisfaction with the government’s decision to do so, saying, “Since we only have limited information on the new variant so far, it is necessary to tighten the restrictions, and I think the steps that have been taken are reasonable. This new variant is already in the country and what we’re trying to do now is keep additional cases out, as far as possible. I think we can say at this point that we’re in control of the situation,” he added.

According to the Health Ministry, seven cases of the Omicron variant have been discovered in Israel (and not eight as originally thought). Four of the seven cases are people who recently returned from abroad. Three of the seven are considered fully vaccinated; the other four received a second dose over six months ago.

Meanwhile, Health Ministry director-general Prof. Nachman Ash told Galei Tzahal this morning that, “If the indications we have so far are confirmed, then we already have transmission of the new variant within the country, and that is, of course, problematic. In the next few days, we will be conducting PCR testing to detect the new variant and find out just how far it may have spread. I do not believe it is widespread at this point, but we’ll know more in another few days.

“If it emerges that the vaccine is effective against the new variant, then we may be able to consider relaxing the restrictions to allow tourists to enter the country once more,” he added. “However, if the variant is extremely contagions, we may want to be more cautious. The two weeks we settled on is a form of time-out that allows us to assess the situation,” he explained.

[קישורים:4:Coronavirus]



6. Coronavirus Cabinet bans foreigners from entering Israel

by Arutz Sheva Staff

Israel's Coronavirus Cabinet on Saturday night approved the restrictions recommended by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz).

During the meeting, the staff of experts presented its position, according to which the COVID-19 vaccinations are more important than ever, in order to prevent severe illness.

In accordance with this, the Cabinet members call on Israeli citizens who have not yet received their booster dose to do so as soon as possible. In addition, Israeli parents are called upon to vaccinate their children.

The Coronavirus Cabinet also agreed on the following steps:

Entry into and exit from Israel: Foreigners from all countries will be banned from entering Israel, other than in special cases approved by the Exceptions Committee.

Israelis who are considered recovered or vaccinated according to the Health Ministry standards will undergo a PCR test upon arrival in Israel, following which they will enter home quarantine. A second PCR test must be performed on the third day of quarantine, and if the result is negative, the person will be released from quarantine. Those refusing to undergo a second PCR test will be required to quarantine for the full period.

Israelis who are unvaccinated will undergo a PCR test upon arrival in Israel, following which they will enter home quarantine. They will then undergo a second PCR test on the seventh day of quarantine, and if the result is negative they will be released. Those who refuse to undergo a second test will be required to quarantine for the full period.

Israelis returning from "red" countries will undergo a PCR test upon arrival in Israel, after which they will be transferred to a government-run quarantine hotel until a negative test result is received. After they receive a negative test, they will be transferred to home quarantine and undergo a second PCR test on the seventh day. If that test is negative as well, they will be released from quarantine.

The State will inform Israelis traveling abroad that there may be changes in the guidelines while they are abroad, and that they will bear responsibility for keeping the updated guidelines upon their return to Israel.

[קישורים:4:omicron]

Strategies for supporting the tourism industry will be discussed in talks between the Finance and Tourism ministries.

In addition, Israel will resume the use of GPS tracking, operated by Shabak (Israel Security Agency), for those who are confirmed to have contracted the new Omicron COVID-19 strain, in order to locate them and cut the chain of infection.

This decision will go into effect after it is approved by government ministers as an emergency measure. At the same time, legislation on the matter will be advanced.

In enclosed areas, the Green Pass will apply for gatherings of over 50 people (instead of for gatherings of over 100 people, as the guideline was until now).

Hanukkah performances and events will remain unchanged, in accordance with the proposal approved last week and as per the Green Pass rules. Enforcement will be increased.

These decisions will take effect at midnight between Sunday, November 28, 2021 and Monday, November 29, 2021, and they will remain in effect for 14 days.

Participating in the discussion were the Health Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Defense Minister, the Finance Minister, the Public Security Minister, the Transportation and Road Safety Minister, the Economy and Industry Minister, the Interior Minister, the Education Minister, the Housing and Construction Minister, the Energy Minister, the Religious Services Minister, the Innovation and Science Minister, the Tourism Minister, the Culture and Sports Minister, the minister in the Finance Ministry, the Director of the ISA, the Cabinet Secretary, the Attorney General, the Deputy Director of the National Security Council, the Prime Minister's Office Director General, the Health Ministry Director General, the Finance Ministry Director General, the Education Ministry Director General, the Director General of the Office of the Alternate Prime Minister, the Transportation and Road Safety Ministry Director General, the Finance Ministry Budget Director, the Defense Ministry Director of Civil Defense, the Director of the Public Health Service, the national coronavirus project manager, GOC Home Front Command, the Director of the Population and Immigration Authority, Prof. Eran Segal, Prof. Ran Balicer, Prof. Yinon Ashkenazy, Prof. Doron Gazit, Prof. Eli Wachsman and other senior professionals.



7. Bennett: We want to keep Israel open

by Yoni Kempinski

[youtube:2103150]

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke Saturday night ahead of the start of the Coronavirus Cabinet meeting focusing on the new Omicron variant.

Turning to Israelis around the country, Bennett said, "We are currently in a period of uncertainty that is not simple and not comfortable to be in. Earlier today, I defined this as 'the foggy period.'"

"The key here is caution and minimal risks. Until we know more, we want to maintain the great achievement of ours with the Delta strain – an open Israel with a functioning economy and an active education system, with children going to school. This is the highest preference.

"To this end we need to maintain tight control of the country's borders. Every day we will learn more and know more. We are ahead of the world in gathering information and in making quick decisions. Over Shabbat (the Sabbath - ed.) we held many, many discussions with the Health Ministry and groups of experts. After Shabbat ended, I also spoke with the CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna.

"The recommendations that we will submit tonight are those of the Prime Minister, the Health Minister and the Health Ministry. We all have one position here, which is very important for the public trust."

[קישורים:4:Omicron]

Bennett emphasized: "I would like to pass along an important message here, also ahead of the large-scale events for Hanukkah: The indications show that the vaccine prevents severe morbidity and the booster is very significant in providing defense against severe illness - meaning even if you are infected, the booster will guard you against severe illness."

"Therefore, especially now, before the variant spreads, this is precisely the time to get vaccinated. This is exactly the window of opportunity in which to protect your family, your children and yourselves.

"Whoever is not inoculated with the booster is simply giving up on a vital layer of defense at a critical time.

"Ahead of the Hanukkah events, so that your children can go out and celebrate safely, take them to be vaccinated!

"Have a good week and a happy and safe Hanukkah."



8. The missing photo of Hitler and the Mufti of Jerusalem

by Shalom Pollack
I would like to introduce a notorious Nazi SS general, a leading Muslim cleric and the father of a nation - all in one.

This person is Haj Amin al Husseini.

Husseini was the powerful patriarch of the leading Arab clan in Palestine in the first half of the twentieth century. He used his political power and religious influence for his life's motif - the murder of Jews.

In an attempt to "mainstream” the Mufti of Jerusalem '' the British appointed him to an official position of power and responsibility.It did not work. It only gave him the platform and prestige to pursue his passion of killing Jews.

This he accomplished on numerous occasions, most notably by instigating the barbaric Hebron massacre of dozens of Jewish families in 1929. (Note: in 1929, there was no Zionist "apartheid occupation”, no "occupied territories" nor "settlers"; just Jews of all ages living in Hebron and horriblly killed by their neighbors)

A Nazi sympathizer, he fled British controlled Palestine during the war. He led a Nazi coup in Irag where he instigated the bloody "Farhud" pogrom against the Jewish community of Iraq.

He then fled to Germany where he was made an honorary SS general by Himmler and proceeded to do all he could in helping the Hitler regime kill Jews. He addressed the Arab world by radio from Berlin winning huge support for the Nazis. He raised divisions of Muslim that fought in the Nazi army. One of their tasks was to guard so that Jews do not escape the trains to death camps.

Husseini intervened in a deal that would have saved a train load of Jewish children for a bribe. Husseini would not allow one Jewish child to escape the gas chambers.

Together with Himmler he visited the death camps and drew plans to build a "facility" in the Dotan valley in Samaria where the half million Jews of Palestine would be gassed as soon as Rommel defeated the British. Eichmann was quoted as saying: "I am a personal friend of the Grand Mufti. We have promised that no European Jew would enter Palestine any more."

After the war, SS general Husseini found refuge in Syria from war crimes judgment. Wherever he appeared in the Arab world he was received as a hero and mentor. His Nazi credentials together with his clerical position were the calling card that opened every door in the Arab world.

Yasar Arafat called him "the father of the Palestinian people". PA authority president Abbas repeated this accolade.

Yad Vashem, the world's foremost Holocaust Museum and memorial had a large photo of Husseini with Hitler on one wall. Opposite was a photo of Jewish soldiers from Palestine volunteering in the British army in the "Jewish Brigade" The contrast was clear.

I say had, because when Yad Vashem was refurbished and expanded in 2005, the Hitler - Husseini photo did not make it into the new museum.

As a tour guide since 1980, I have visited the old museum numerous times and remember clearly how my tourists were shocked by the duo in the photo.

In the new museum, instead of the Husseini - Hitler photo there is a far smaller one of Husseini and Himmler, in a dark corner that no one sees. I finally located it.

When I wrote to Yad Vashem and asked why they removed the photo from the new museum, I was told that the new museum "concentrates on the victims and less on the perpetrators". However just a few feet from the small Husseini - Himmler photo is an entire wall of perpetrators - the architects of the "Wannsee Conference" that drew up the plans for the Holocaust.

I asked a number of local official Yad Vashem guides about the photo. They either did not know of it or said it was political and they did not discuss it with visitors. They were uncomfortable with my inquiry.

I wondered if associating Palestinian Arabs with Nazis was no longer politically correct since the Oslo accords with Arafat in 1993.

All this happened a few years ago. I felt then like I was fighting windmills by myself and so I put my efforts on pause.

Today there is a new chairman of Yad Vashem,

Mr. Dani Dayan came to the position with "right wing " credentials, so I renewed my efforts.I wrote to him asking that he return the photo and asked for a meeting with him about the subject. I was refused a meeting and told that there will be no changes made.

I then encouraged people to write to Yad Vashem and request that the photo be returned. The letter writers were made to understand that there never was such a photo. Emails began bouncing back to the senders. I enquired with Yad Vashem and was told that they changed the email address. I was told the new one and the letter campaign resumed.

In mid-November 2021, Mr. Dayan addressed a well-known and affluent synagogue in Westhampton, NY. My brother, a member of the community, approached Mr. Dayan and told him of my concern. He said he was aware of it and assured him It is not political. My brother asked if he would meet me. He agreed and so I received a call from his office for a meeting.

At the meeting Dayan told me he did not meet with me earlier because he did not like the tone of the letters written to him. He told me that "no one will lecture him on Zionism and love of Israel. His credentials speak for themselves." That is true, which is why I had expectations.

He claimed that I was interested not in historical record but the politics of the Jewish - Arab conflict. I said it was both, which he did not accept. He added that Yad Vashem is not a museum of the Arab - Jewish conflict, that Husseini played only a tiny part in the Holocaust and did not warrant more space than he has in the museum.

He told me that he is in charge and won't bring the photo back, if there ever was one. His advisor chimed in: “There was never such a photo." She asked me if I had photographic proof and I reminded her that it is forbidden to bring cameras into the museum. I asked her if the many signed testimonies of veteran guides that I have gathered is proof enough and she said it was a possibility.

Mr. Dayan was frustrated that I continued to hold firm to my position. I told him that there are growing numbers of people, Jews and non-Jews, who want the truth not be hidden at Yad Vashem and the photo returned. He asked that I leave his office.

I intend to continue my efforts to bring the full truth back to Yad Vashem. Political correctness will not stop me. "Jews, Israelis and Arabs" is my new book that sheds light on the current state of affairs in Israel and at places like "Yad Vashem"

Shalom Pollack is a veteran tour guide, who says: "I have the oppportunity to observe many sides of our beloved country. As a Jew who has come home, I am passionate about sharing my observations and thoughts." He can be reached shalompollack613@gmail.com



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