Daily TIP

The Daily TIP: TIP CEO: U.S., Israeli Jews Must Engage in "a Positive, Encouraging Way"

Posted by Tip Staff - October 25, 2018

TIP CEO: U.S., Israeli Jews Must Engage in "a Positive, Encouraging Way"
Outgoing IDF Gaza Commander: Hamas Controls the Level of Violence at the Border
Iran Expert: Khamenei's 50-Year Plan Promotes Islamic Values, Rejects Western Ones
Israeli Teens Win Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals at Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires

TIP CEO: U.S., Israeli Jews Must Engage in "a Positive, Encouraging Way"

American Jews who feel alienated by Israel and its politics should engage more deeply with dialogue and positivity, instead of drifting away, Joshua S. Block, CEO and President of The Israel Project, said in an interview with i24news at the sideline of the Jewish Federation of North America’s annual General Assembly.

Block explained that, as a result of the heated political climate in the United States, “sometimes it’s difficult to separate the feelings that we have or disagreements about policy from the feeling we have about the presidency.” This presents a particular challenge for the pro-Israel, liberal-oriented crowd in the U.S.

However, according to Block, the two positions can be reconciled. As an example, he cited Dan Shapiro, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel under President Barak Obama, who – while not a supporter of the Trump administration – “has been very clear in making his views known about Trump’s foreign policy relative to the Middle East,” including the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate the U.S. embassy there.

“It’s important for Jews and others in the United States to try and separate our partisan feelings from questions of what policy are,” Block observed. “And those of us who are in the business of supporting the U.S-Israel relationship need to help both secure the positive, meaningful gains that this administration is advancing for Israel and the United States, while ensuring that there is not a drop off among those on the left, who can’t make that separation between policy and identity or ideology.”

He warned that “when you leave the playing field and you take the ball and you go home…what ends up happening is you leave the playing field to the people you disagree with.” Block continued: “So the answer is to engage in a loving, positive, encouraging way — not in a paternalistic way that comes from the outside that insists — but one that encourages a dialogue.”

The need for unity and positive dialogue between Israel and the American Jewish community, Block observed, was acknowledged at the conference by Israeli officials from across the political spectrum, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and the Speaker of the Knesset, Yuli-Yoel Edelstein.

Outgoing IDF Gaza Commander: Hamas Controls the Level of Violence at the Border

The IDF's outgoing Gaza Division commander said that the level of violence on the border between Israel and Gaza is controlled by Hamas, the terrorist group that exercises complete political and military control over the Gaza Strip, The Times of Israel reported Wednesday.

Brig. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs made his remarks at the ceremony marking the end of his tenure as the commander of the division and the installation of Brig. Gen. Eliezer Toledano, who is set to succeed him.

Fuchs also charged that Hamas commandeered many of the goods entering Gaza to build its military infrastructure.

“Most of the resources entering the Gaza Strip go toward digging tunnels and manufacturing rockets. Hamas digs into the earth and in doing so curses the land from which orchards could bloom,” he said. Fuchs, who has commanded the Gaza Division since 2016, added that Hamas “dictates the level of violence along the border,” referring to the violent riots under the guise of the "March of Return," which have been going since March 30.

The observation aligns with a statement made by Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas in Gaza, last month. In a speech to a Hamas conference in September, Sinwar said, "After the reconciliation efforts (between Hamas and Fatah) reached an impasse, a number of factions planned to cause an internal explosion in the Gaza Strip, but the Marches of Return thwarted the plan."

Under Fuchs's leadership, the Gaza Division was awarded a letter of commendation by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot for its handling of the Hamas-led riots and destroying tunnels, preventing terrorist infiltrations.

Iran Expert: Khamenei's 50-Year Plan Promotes Islamic Values, Rejects Western Ones

A first draft of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's 50-year plan shows that his goal remains one of "regional, even global, supremacy," in addition to the Islamization of Iranian culture and the rejection of Western values, an expert on Iran wrote in an analysis published Wednesday.

Though the final plan is not scheduled to be published for several months, Khamenei released the draft to get feedback from both the academic and religious establishments. The reason Khamenei publicized this draft "likely stems from the regime’s desire to project self-confidence about its sustainability," Mehdi Khalaji, who studied Shiite theology at religious seminaries in Qom, Iran, and currently is a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, wrote in his analysis.

The fifty-six specific recommendations which cover "all aspects of Iran’s domestic and foreign affairs" aim to promote Islamization of "all facets of life," thus rejecting Western values, and developing a high level of scientific achievement to become more self-sufficient.

Ironically, in Khalaji's assessment, "Khamenei’s blueprint for the next fifty years emphasizes cultural and ideological policies that have repeatedly failed in the past forty years." He explained that "the Islamization of Iranian life has largely failed in practice," due to its failure to develop critical sectors of society, such as finance, as well as resistance from society to enforce religious standards. While Iranian authorities have managed to maintain political control through coercion, the "regime has been unable to make citizens submit to its cultural demands."

"Taken together, the guidelines in Khamenei’s manifesto promise nothing more than relentlessly maintaining the Islamic Republic’s revolutionary character," Khalaji concluded. "This includes resisting any domestic efforts to reform the regime’s ideological aspirations or, more important, its decision-making tendencies."

Israeli Teens Win Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals at Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires

Four Israeli teens came home with medals from the 2018 Youth Olympic Games held in Buenos Aires earlier this month.

On the first day of the 12-day event, October 6, 15-year-old swimmer Anastasya Gorbenko won a gold medal in the women’s 200-meter individual medley. She set a new Israeli record, completing the race in 2:12.88.

On October 15, acrobatic gymnasts Yonatan Fridman, 15, and Noa Kazado Yakar, 14, won the silver medal in the mixed-pair category.

And on October 16, 18-year-old swimmer Denis Loktev won the bronze medal in the men’s 200-meter freestyle.

Israel sent a delegation of 19 young athletes, aged 14 to 18, to the competition.

They competed in artistic gymnastics (Uri Zeiadel), acrobatic gymnastics (Fridman and Yakar), rhythmic gymnastics (Valeriia Sotskova), athletics (Adisu Guadia, Amal Hasanov and Veronika Chaynov), cycling (Eitan Levi and Nadav Raisberg), judo (Ariel Shulman), taekwondo(Daniel Goichman and Abishag Semberg), swimming (Loktev, Gorbenko, Gal Cohen Groumi and Lea Polonsky), triathlon (Itamar Levanon) and sailing (Tomer Vardimon and Naama Gazit).

(via Israel21c)

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