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The Daily TIP: Israeli Psychotrauma Team Heads to Pittsburgh to Help Community Recover in Wake of Massacre

Posted by Tip Staff - October 29, 2018

Israeli Psychotrauma Team Heads to Pittsburgh to Help Community Recover in Wake of Massacre
In Wake of Netanyahu Visit, Oman Calls for Recognition of Israel at Regional Forum
For the First Time, Hatikva is Played in Abu Dhabi, as Israeli Judoka Takes Gold in Tournament
Just Like Israeli Humans, Animals at Jerusalem Zoo to Vote Tuesday

Israeli Psychotrauma Team Heads to Pittsburgh to Help Community Recover in Wake of Massacre

A psychotrauma team from the Israeli rescue organization, United Hatzalah, traveled to Pittsburgh to help the community deal with the psychological effects of Saturday's synagogue massacre that claimed eleven lives, The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.

The team, which is working with both Israel's Diaspora Ministry and Pittsburgh's Jewish Federation, will assist community members and victims of the shooting.

"We are heading to Pittsburgh in order to treat those who witnessed the attack and anyone else from the community who feels the need for our assistance," Miriam Ballin, director of United Hatzalah's Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit, said. "We will be utilizing techniques and tools that we have developed here in Israel and have proven to be highly successful in assisting those who have suffered from similar incidents here."

In a call with The Israel Project, Ballin described landing in the United States with her team of five people sitting next to an elderly couple returning to Pittsburgh from Israel. The couple told her that they had turned off their phones because they knew they had friends among those killed, making the trip "emotional."

2,500 people attended a memorial service for the eleven victims, including a couple who had been married for 60 years, two brothers and a Holocaust survivor, at University of Pittsburgh’s Soldiers and Sailors Hall on Sunday night. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto called the massacre, "the darkest hour in our city’s history."

The suspect in the massacre, Robert Bowers has been charged with 29 federal criminal crimes, including violating civil rights laws.

"It is very difficult to exaggerate the horror of the murder of Jews who had gathered in a synagogue on Shabbat and were murdered just because they were Jews. … We stand together, at the forefront, against anti-Semitism and displays of such barbarity," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of Sunday's cabinet meeting.

Avi Gabbay, the chairman of the opposition Zionist Union party, tweeted, "A man who opens fire at a synagogue isn’t attacking Reform or Conservative or Orthodox or Ultra-Orthodox Jews. He is attacking all Jews.”

In Wake of Netanyahu Visit, Oman Calls for Recognition of Israel at Regional Forum

Oman publicly called for regional recognition of Israel, a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a historic visit to the Sultanate on Friday, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Oman’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, told a security forum in Bahrain that, “Israel is a state present in the region, and we all understand this. The world is also aware of this and maybe it is time for Israel to be treated the same [as other states] and to also bear the same obligations.”

Netanyahu traveled to Oman at the invitation of the country’s leader, Sultan Sayyid Qaboos bin Said Al Said, in a development Washington said could help regional peace efforts. On his trip, the prime minister was accompanied by his wife Sara, as well as senior officials, including the head of the Mossad intelligence agency and members of his national security team.

"We are not saying that the road is now easy and paved with flowers, but our priority is to put an end to the conflict and move to a new world," bin Alawi told the forum.

The minister clarified that while Oman was offering ideas to further peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the Sultanate was not acting as an official mediator. Rather, Alawi said, Oman was relying on the United States and efforts by President Donald Trump in working towards the “deal of the century.” Although still not officially unveiled, the Palestinian leadership has derided the deal as "the slap of the century," and have boycotted efforts by the U.S. to formulate a new peace initiative.

Attending the summit, Bahrain's foreign minister Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa voiced support for Oman’s efforts to bring together Israelis and Palestinians, while Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir also stressed that they key to normalization was the peace process.

For the First Time, Hatikva is Played in Abu Dhabi, as Israeli Judoka Takes Gold in Tournament

For the first time, Israel's national anthem, Hatikva, was played in Abu Dhabi, as Israeli Judoka Sagi Muki won the gold medal in his weight division, The Times of Israel reported Sunday.

In the tournament, the Abu Dhabi Judo Grand Slam, in which judokas from 62 nations competed, three of Muki's teammates, Gili Cohen, Baruch Shmailov, and Timna Nelson Levy won bronze medals in their respective weight divisions.

In last year's tournament, Israeli athletes were not allowed to compete under their own flag. When judoka Tal Flicker won gold in last year's competition, he mouthed to words to Hatikva, even though the organizers played the theme for the International Judo Federation when he was awarded his medal.

For the first time, too, an Israeli minister, Sports Minister Miri Regev was invited by the government of the United Arab Emirates to the tournament, and attended in an official capacity, even though Israel and the UAE do not have formal relations. During the rendition of Hatikva, Regev was visibly moved.

During her stay in the UAE, Regev also became the first Israeli minister to make a state visit, accompanied by UAE officials, to the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. "This mosque has a message of brotherhood and peace,” Regev inscribed in the mosque's visitor's book in Hebrew. “I wish a good life and peace for all.”

“It is a dream come true,” Regev said of the visit to the UAE. “For two years we had talks in order to reach this moment and it was hard to stop the tears. I want to thank the authorities in Abu Dhabi and our hosts here who received us in an exemplary manner.”

In an interview, Muki said that hearing Hatikva in Abu Dhabi was "a very moving time in my career."

Just Like Israeli Humans, Animals at Jerusalem Zoo to Vote Tuesday

Municipal elections take place Tuesday (October 30) throughout Israel. The race for mayor in Jerusalem is the talk of the town, and the residents of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo apparently have gotten caught up in campaign fever.

The animals are busily preparing to get out the vote by brushing beaks, combing feathers and fluffing fur — not in support of the human candidates but of their own democratic elections.

The zoo management has announced that six “animal parties” are in the running for the leadership of the zoo and aquarium, to be decided on the basis of a popular vote by human visitors aged three and up.

The zoo expects a large crowd on Election Day because it’s a national holiday and schools will be closed.

Here are the party platforms:

The Barn Owl Party proposes flipping the work schedule from day into night in order to overcome the oppressive traffic jams in the capital city.

The Elephant and Rhinoceros Party promises a “solid Jerusalem.”

The Pelican Party promises to build a nest for everyone affected by the city’s shortage of affordable housing.

The Giraffe Party is offering a green leaf to each voter as a bribe.

The Lion Party vows not to be stopped in its quest for leadership no matter what.

In the zoo’s affiliated Israel Aquarium next door, the Jellyfish and Octopus Party guarantees “absolute transparency” in the voting process.

The polling station in the zoo garden will be open from 11 am to 4 pm, free to anyone paying the regular admission price (one vote per visitor). Results will be published about two hours after the ballot box closes.

(via Israel21c)

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