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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
April 28, 2022
Israeli Astronaut Returns Safely to Earth after Mission to Space Station (Times of Israel)
Israeli Eytan Stibbe and three other astronauts splashed down Monday off the Florida coast after spending two weeks aboard the International Space Station as part of the first private space mission.
The mission blasted off on April 8 and three businessmen paid $55 million each for the privilege to participate.
See also Video: NASA SpaceX Axiom-1 Mission Return Splashdown (YouTube)
Report: Turkey Deporting Hamas Members at Israel's Request - Dana Ben-Shimon (Israel Hayom)
A Palestinian official told Israel Hayom that "Dozens of people identified with Hamas in various circles have been deported. Turkey asked them to leave, and it actually happened in the last few months. Some of the people with ties to Hamas' military wing have been deported."
"The Israelis gave Turkey a list of Hamas members and information about involvement of some of them in 'military' [terrorist] activity. In response, the Turks contacted Hamas and told them, 'You promised you wouldn't do anything like that here, so now you need to leave'."
The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar confirmed Tuesday that some Hamas members who had traveled outside Turkey were not being allowed to return.
Secretary of State Blinken Appears to Confirm Iran Is Targeting U.S. Officials - Jimmy Quinn (National Review)
Secretary of State Antony Blinken seemingly confirmed during testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday that Iran is plotting attacks on both current and former U.S. officials.
Asked, "Is it true that the IRGC is actively trying to murder former senior officials of the United States?," Blinken answered, "I'm not sure what I can say in an open setting, but let me say generically that there is an ongoing threat against American officials both present and past."
Report: Israeli Missiles Destroy Weapons Warehouses at Five Iranian-Backed Militia Outposts in Syria (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights-UK)
Israeli missiles hit five military outposts early Wednesday belonging to Syrian regime forces and Iranian-backed militias including Hizbullah, leading to the destruction of weapons and ammunition warehouses.
Five Syrians and four Iranian-backed militiamen were killed and more than eight others injured.
Survey Shows Israel-Diaspora Ties Remain Strong among Young U.S. Jews (American Jewish Committee)
American Jewish Committee surveys of U.S. and Israeli Jewish millennials (aged 25-40) show that Israel-Diaspora relations remain strong.
72% of young American Jews say it is important that the American Jewish community and Israel maintain close ties, with 48% saying it is very important.
70% think a strong Israel is necessary for the survival of the Jewish people.
55% of U.S. Jewish millennials say being connected to Israel is important to their Jewish identity, and 54% feel emotionally attached to Israel.
52% of American and 24% of Israeli Jewish millennials say a viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is possible.
Border Crossing Reopens for Workers from Gaza to Israel - Roman Meitav (Jerusalem Post)
Israel reopened the border crossing for the entry of 12,000 Palestinian workers from Gaza into Israel on Tuesday.
The crossing was closed for two days following Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza at Israel.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said: "We will continue to show civil and economic generosity only if security and stability are maintained."
Global Jewish Population Not Yet Recovered from WWII - Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post)
83 years since the beginning of World War II and the Holocaust, the Jewish people have still not replenished their numbers, according to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics.
In 1939, the world Jewish population stood at 16.6 million; at the end of 2020, it totaled 15.2 million. At the same time, the world population increased from 2.3 billion to 7.9 billion.
And the good news? The Jewish population in Israel went from 449,000 in 1939 to 6.9 million today.
Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel: Illegal, But Still Active and Branching Out - Nadav Shragai (Israel Hayom)
Seven years after Israel made the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement illegal, and a year after its members played a leading role in the incitement that led to riots in mixed cities in May 2021, the group and groups identified with it continue to incite against the state and are involved in fanning the flames among Arab Israelis.
The leader of the group, Sheikh Raed Salah, who was freed from prison after completing a 16-month sentence for inciting terrorism, has also returned to action.
The ideology of the Northern Branch remains: opposition to Zionism, non-recognition of the State of Israel's right to exist, and support for and sometimes actively seeking its elimination.
Deputy head Sheikh Kamal al-Khatibis is today the most extreme voice in the Northern Branch. He frequently talks about the future Caliphate, with "its capital Jerusalem," and declares: "We are sure that the future belongs to Islam....Islam will control this area."
Poll: Jordanians Prefer Ties with U.S., Wary of Iran - David Pollock (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
52% of Jordanians say good relations with the U.S. are important, according to a new public opinion poll commissioned by the Washington Institute and conducted in March. Only 17% say good ties with Tehran are important.
Further, 60% agree that "Wherever Iran intervenes, it hurts the local Arabs and does not help the Palestinians."
43% picked the U.S. as "the country that can best help protect us against our foreign enemies," while 39% think the U.S. is "the country that will probably be most influential in our region ten years from now."
However, only 10% have even a "somewhat" favorable opinion about the 2020 Abraham Accords between Israel and four Arab states.
The same low percentage agree that "people who want to have business or sports contact with Israelis should be allowed to do so."
Iraqi Columnist: Normalization with Israel Is Not Treason (MEMRI)
On March 26, 2022, Ali Al-Sarraf, an Iraqi journalist who resides in Britain, wrote in the Emirati daily Al-Arab:
"For a long time, the Palestinian revolutionaries saw recognition of Israel as a reprehensible crime, but eventually they themselves recognized it."
"We spent 20 years accusing Egypt of treason for signing the Camp David Accords, until we realized that 'there will be no war [against Israel] without Egypt'."
"Forty years of exporting the [Iranian] revolution, namely of waging wars, forming militias and destabilizing the region, radically changed the perception of who the [Arabs'] enemies and friends are, and who is and isn't worthy of normalizing relations with."
"In Iraq alone, Iran has committed crimes against us that Israel never committed...not to mention Syria and Yemen, and the tragic situation in Lebanon."
"Half the Syrian nation has been dispersed in every direction, due to a decision by Iran and its militias."
Photos - Women on the Front Lines: Inside the Combat Units of the Israeli Army - Daniel Tchetchik (Ha'aretz)
Photographer Debbie Zimelman immigrated to Israel when she was 22, considered too old to enlist in the Israeli army.
After living in Israel for 30 years, she received permission from the IDF to photograph women who had volunteered to serve in combat units.
Her book offers a deeper look into the modern phenomenon of women in combat through interviews and magnificent photos.
Nazi's "Perfect Aryan Baby" Was Jewish - Robert Rockaway (Tablet)
On Jan. 24, 1935, the Nazi family magazine Sonne ins Haus published a front-page photograph of the winner of a competition for "the perfect Aryan child" - a beautiful 6-month-old baby girl named Hessy Levinsons.
Unbeknownst to the judges, Hessy was Jewish. Her parents were unaware that Berlin photographer Hans Ballin, who had taken what they thought was a private family photo, had entered it in the photo contest.
Ballin put Hessy's photograph along with nine others into an envelope and sent it to the office of the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, knowing full well that Hessy was Jewish.
He deliberately entered Hessy's photograph into the contest because "I wanted to make the Nazis look foolish."
Many years later, Hessy, whose family escaped to France and then to Cuba in 1942, was asked what she would say today to the photographer.
"I would tell him, good for you for having the courage. I can laugh about it now, but if the Nazis had known who I really was, I wouldn't be alive."
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Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day in Israel
Each year, six Holocaust survivors are chosen to light torches at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on Holocaust Remembrance Day, which begins on Wednesday, April 27, in memory of the six million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust.
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