Israel, US Race to Stop Extreme Jewish Orthodox Sect from Traveling to Iran; FM Lapid Discusses Abraham Accords Expansion

Reprinted from Honest Reporting.

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Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met with his United Arab Emirates counterpart Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss a range of issues, including expanding on the Abraham Accords. 

Speaking at a press conference afterward, Blinken praised the relationship between Israel and the UAE, which he said has “flourished” since they became the first signees of the historic Accords in September 2020 that saw Israel establish diplomatic ties with four Arab countries.

“We believe that normalization can and should be a force for progress, not only between Israel and Arab countries and other countries in the region and beyond but between Israelis and Palestinians,” Blinken said.

He continued: “As [U.S.] President [Joe] Biden has said, Israelis and Palestinians equally deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, democracy. The president has also been clear that a two-state solution is the best way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace alongside a viable, sovereign, and democratic Palestinian state.”

The meeting also saw two trilateral working groups formed: one will focus on promoting religious coexistence while the other will look at water and energy security, which Blinken said is paramount for Israel and its Arab neighbors in the face of climate change.

   

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Israel and the United States have joined forces to stop members of an extreme Hasidic sect from moving to Iran amid fears they could be used by Tehran as bargaining chips against the Jewish state.

Individuals belonging to the anti-Zionist Lev Tahor group applied for political asylum in the Islamic Republic in 2018 after reportedly swearing allegiance to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to documents that were shown in a US federal court a year later. 

Relatives of Israeli members of the cult, which is mostly based in Guatemala, are said to have contacted the Foreign Ministry and Justice Ministry and warned them of the group’s intentions after large numbers of them were seen at an airport in the South American nation with the intention of traveling to the Iraqi Kurdistan-Iran border.

“The Shalit deal will look like child’s play next to this,” a relative was quoted as saying in reference to the 2011 prisoner exchange with Hamas which saw 1,027 Palestinian terror convicts released from Israeli jails for soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured in 2006.

Guatemalan police reportedly detained some members of the sect who hold US citizenship after a request from American authorities.

   

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Australia is set to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, its Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced in a move welcomed by Jewish organizations.

Speaking in a video statement, Morrison said: “My government pledges to embrace the definition of antisemitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Australia does so as a people, and as a nation. Antisemitism has no place in Australia. It has no place anywhere in the world.”

The IHRA definition of antisemitism is a 38-word statement followed by 11 examples, of which seven relate to Israel.

The news comes as an Irish politician accused Israel of trying to “accomplish Jewish supremacy” in a parliamentary question this month.

Catherine Connolly, the deputy chairperson of the country’s lower parliamentary house, wrote the appalling remark in a submission to Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney in which she asked whether his ministry’s “support for the Jewish character of the Israeli state agrees with the treatment by Israel of Palestinian communities in its attempts to accomplish Jewish supremacy.”

She also queried whether Coveney’s “views on whether these attempts to perpetuate the supremacy of Jews over Palestinians amount to apartheid, and if he will make a statement on the matter.”

   

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A Washington, D.C. council member who sparked an uproar when he suggested Jewish financiers control the weather is in the race to become the next mayor of the United States capital city.

Trayon White Sr., a Democrat, confirmed he was hoping to unseat the current mayor Muriel Bowser, who has yet to confirm whether she will run for a third term.

“He has a tremendous amount of support coming his way because he is willing to speak out for and advocate for those who need the leadership the most,” one of White’s advisors said on Wednesday.

White made headlines in March 2018 when he filmed himself driving in snow in downtown Washington, D.C. and claimed the “Rothschilds [are] controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities.” 

The comment refers to the Jewish Rothschilds family, who have been the subject of numerous antisemitic conspiracy theories. 

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