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Hezbollah Declares Emergency Preparedness Following Reports of Israeli Maneuvers

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 09:17

Hezbollah has declared emergency preparedness֞ and put its forces on high alert after obtaining intelligence that Israel is planning a surprise attack with the support of the United States, the London-based Pan-Arab news website Rai Al-Youm reported Thursday.

The website quoted sources within Hezbollah as saying that “the state of emergency was announced following intelligence that the IDF is carrying out secret maneuvers alongside joint-maneuvers with the United States within Lebanon and off its coast.”

Hezbollah’s assessment is that Israel recently received the green light from the United States to attack in Lebanon, and that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was successful in convincing the Americans to take part in a “swift surprise attack” against the organization.

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According to the report, the lack of such approval was the only thing stopping Israel from attacking up until now. The report also mentioned that such an attack would lead to a severe response from Hezbollah.

Israel and the US are holding a joint military training exercise this week titled ‘Juniper Cobra.’ As part of the exercise, the USS Mount Whitney Navy command ship docked at the port of Haifa on Thursday. The ship has a crew of roughly 500 sailors and officers.

“The Americans taking part in the training exercise emphasizes their commitment to strategic ties between the IDF and the United States, and is part of the joint efforts made to ensure stability and security in the region,” the IDF said.

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Silver Half-Shekel Mitzvah Protecting The Souls Of The IDF Soldiers

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 08:50

After nearly 2,000 years of waiting, it is now possible to purchase a silver half-shekel which can be displayed at home and stored in a vault for use in the Third Temple. Reuven Prager, the tailor specializing in Biblically-styled clothing who sells such coins, is also giving them to IDF soldiers for protection from the enemies of Israel.

Over 20 years ago, Prager had started minting silver half-shekel coins for the purpose of performing the Biblical commandment incumbent upon every Jewish male. Regardless of personal wealth, every Jewish man was required each year to give a half-shekel coin to the Temple.

The rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less than the half shekel, when you give the contribution to the Lord to make atonement for yourselves.” Exodus 30:15

In Temple times, the half-shekels funded the costs of the Temple service. It was also required in order for public offerings to be considered communal since every Jewish household had contributed towards its purchase.

The half-shekel was described in the Bible as weighing 20 geira.

This is what everyone who is entered in the records shall pay: a half-shekel by the sanctuary weight—twenty giera to the shekel —a half- shekel as an offering to Hashem. Exodus 30:13

Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon, a renowned Torah scholar from the Middle Ages who is more famously known as the “Rambam” said that the weight of the coin was equal to 160 grains of barley, which in modern measurements would be approximately eight grams of silver. The value of the coin is dependent upon the whatever the market’s value is on silver.

Even after the destruction of the Second Temple, the practice was continued until 135 CE when the Roman Emperor Hadrian outlawed it.

Prager’s deep desire to recreate this mitzvah (Torah commandment) despite its having been out of practice for almost 2,000 years is reflective on how dear the commandment is to Jews. Due to the significant time gap from when the half-shekel was last given, Prager conducted research on a subject many modern rabbis have not covered.

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Every year, Prager chooses an image for the coin based on the utensils for the Temple. While has placed featured images of the musical instruments and vessels on the coin, he has avoided using the image of the seven-branched menorah (candelabra) that stood just outside the Holy of Holies.

Silver half-shekel (Photo courtesy Reuven Prager)

“I only wanted images of vessels that actually exist now and stand ready for the Third Temple,” Prager explained to Breaking Israel News. “The menorah that stands in the Old City is supposed to be used for Third Temple, but it is is only gold-plated. The Bible states specifically that the menorah be made out of beaten gold.”

Reuven Prager (Screenshot)

Prager is scrupulous about the Biblical requirements, and since the menorah is such an essential part of the daily Temple service, he has refrained from using its image on his half-shekel silver coins.

“This year, I received a Halachic (Torah law) ruling concerning my Biblical wedding ceremonies that surprisingly, also applied to the half-shekel,” Prager explained. “It referred to the halacha that states that in the absence of a menorah made from beaten gold, a menorah made from any metal could be used in the Temple service.”

Prager applied this ruling to the half-shekel project, and for the first time, he chose a menorah as the image for the face of the coin.

Performing the mitzvah requires sanctifying the coin to the Temple. This changes the status of the coin, making it forbidden to use the coin for any other purpose. Since there is currently no Temple for sanctifying the coin, performance of the mitzvah today is typically completed by handing such a coin to “Otzar Hamikdash” (the Temple treasure), an organization that was established for the purpose of storing these coins until the building of the Third Temple.

Three times a year, a ceremony called Trumat HaLishka is held in which the coins are given over to Otzar Hamikdash, and are officially considered to be sanctified to the Temple. The next ceremony will be held on Thursday, just prior to the beginning of the Hebrew month of Nissan.

Otzar HaMikdash has thousands of coins stored in a vault to be used for the Third Temple insured for 125 percent of their value, taking into account the fifth that must be added to replace anything sanctified.

And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. Leviticus 27:31

Five years ago, Prager added another Biblical aspect to his endeavor.

“Whereas every other commandment incumbent on adult men begin from the age of 13, the mitzvah of the half-shekel is unique in the Torah in that it is incumbent from the age of 20,” Prager noted. “This is because initially, the mitzvah was intended as a way to count the men available for battle.”

Everyone who is entered in the records, from the age of twenty years up, shall give Hashem’s offering. Exodus 30:14

Prager decided to reconnect the mitzvah to its military roots by setting up a fund called, “MASHAL” – Mahatzit Shekel L’Chayal – (half-shekel for a soldier). Prager uses the funds to purchase silver-half shekels. He then goes out to the streets of Jerusalem and distributes the coins to young IDF soldiers, religious and secular while explaining to them the mitzvah and the significance of the coin.

Also, a confirmation email is sent to the donor when his coin is given to a soldier.

“The packaging for the coins distributed to soldiers was designed so it fits into their military identification card that they carry in their uniform at all times,” Prager said.

“They can take it into combat. The Bible wanted to have them do this mitzvah so they have an insurance policy for their soul from the moment they go into the army.”

To purchase coins, contact Reuven Prager by email at .

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Thu, 03/08/2018 - 07:52

The city of Shechem appears many times in the Torah (Bible). Yaakov (Jacob) purchased part of the city (Genesis 33:18-20) and later gifted it to his son Yosef (Joseph). When the children of Israel entered the Land under the leadership of Yehoshua (Joshua), they buried Yosef in Shechem. Other important sites in Israel were also acquired via purchase, such as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Chevron. The rabbis explain that because of these Biblically recorded sales, the entire world must recognize Jewish ownership over these three cities. Jews today continue to pray overlooking the city of Shechem, relishing in the knowledge that they are standing in the same location as their ancient forefathers.

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Netanyahu Meets With House Speaker Paul Ryan

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 07:31

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Paul Ryan as he made is way around Capitol Hill earlier this week.

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As Gap in Israel Between Rich and Poor Widens, More Children Suffer

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 07:25

Though Israel is known as the “Start-Up Nation,” the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that the Jewish state has one of the highest poverty rates of any developed country with the gap between the rich and the poor ever widening.

Moreso, the report contends that single-parent families or families with only one working parent have a disproportionate rate of poverty.

Three-year-old Mordechai may not have the words to express his confirmation of this statistic, but the sounds coming from his rumbling belly speak volumes.

Last year, Mordechai’s father, Alon, lost his well-paying job in the high-tech industry. As unemployment benefits wind down and the family’s savings run dry, Alon still has not managed to secure a new position. Their situation is quickly becoming dire.


“My wife earns minimum wage as a preschool teacher,” Alon told Breaking Israel News. “We are barely scraping by on her salary and are already in need of assistance from charity organizations just to keep food on our table.”

Unemployment in Israel actually decreased this January, from 4 percent in December 2017 to 3.70 percent. However, those statistics are not comforting to the 1.7 million working poor and unemployed individuals living in poverty.

For example, Teva Pharmaceuticals recently laid off 2,000 employees.

Meir Panim restaurant-style soup kitchens feed anyone who walks in our doors, no questions asked,” said Goldie Sternbuch, director of overseas relations for Meir Panim charity organization. “Anyone can unexpectedly find themselves on the receiving end of charity.”

With so many children and elderly living in poverty, the gap between the thriving and hungry continues to rise.

In 2017, the Taub Center reported that despite lower unemployment rates in Israel, large parts of the labor market earn very low wages, and the cost of living in Israel is among the highest in the OECD.

The study, “A State of the Nation 2017,” based primarily on Taub Center research reporting the socioeconomic condition of Israel in 2017, makes it clear that anyone can find themselves struggling for their next meal and to feed their family. It notes that, despite lower unemployment, large parts of the labor market earn very low wages while the cost of living remains among the highest in the OECD.

In addition, there is severe inequality of education among students from varying economic backgrounds.

While many of Mordechai’s classmates pay for a balanced hot school lunch of chicken, couscous and vegetables, he is forced to sit with a handful of other underprivileged school mates and served white bread with chocolate spread and water. Israeli chocolate spread is a sugary, icing-like staple in the country.

The negative effects of this lunch are palpable. Firstly, his poor social status becomes clear to his classmates, something he finds embarrassing. In addition, the high sugar content kicks in just when he needs to concentrate on his classroom lessons.


“Poverty can quickly become a vicious cycle if not nipped in the bud when children are affected,” said Sternbuch. “Malnourished children cannot learn in school and often become sick, limiting their future educational success and creating a system where they are doomed to continue working in menial jobs, if at all.”

In order to help Mordechai and other hungry Israeli children receive a hot meal and improve the future of the Holy Land, Meir Panim is running a “feed an Israeli child” campaign. This emergency crowdfunding effort closes March 31.

“If people would partner with Meir Panim and donate just $1 a day, it would make an enormous difference in children’s lives and Israel’s future,” Sternbuch explained.

To donate $1 a day to help feed a hungry Israeli child, please click here.


This article was written in cooperation with Meir Panim. 


The post As Gap in Israel Between Rich and Poor Widens, More Children Suffer appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Czech Republic Wants to Speed up Embassy Move to Jerusalem: Report

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 05:00

The Czech media reported on Thursday that President Milos Zeman is interested in expediting the transfer of his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Czech newspaper, Lidové Noviny reported that an interministerial working group met in Israel in late February to promote the move of the Czech embassy to Jerusalem. The discussion involved the head of the Czech Foreign Trade Association.

The newspaper noted that at this time no suitable building has been found in Jerusalem, and that the Czech Foreign Ministry, after consultation with EU officials, has expressed its opposition to moving the embassy.

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When the UN voted against President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Czech Republic delegation was among the 35 countries that abstained (128 voted for, 9 against, and 21 left the hall without voting).

Israel’s ambassador to the Czech Republic, Daniel Meron, said that “the Czech Republic is one of Israel’s closest allies in Europe and President Zeman himself is a true friend of the Jewish people.”

The post Czech Republic Wants to Speed up Embassy Move to Jerusalem: Report appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Synagogue South of Jerusalem Burned to the Ground

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 04:50

The synagogue in the small community of Givat Sorek, which is located just south of Jerusalem in the Gush Etzion regional bloc, was burned down by Palestinian arsonists on Tuesday night.

Although the arsonists destroyed the house of prayer by throwing firebombs at the building, there were no reported injuries. Nevertheless, the community is very disturbed, particularly because this was not the first time the synagogue has faced such an attack.

“(The political leadership) gave up on the terrorists the previous time and now we have a burnt synagogue,” residents said according to Israel’s Channel 20. “Everyone said they would bring the wrongdoers to justice, but an investigation was not even opened.”

Arsonists, from the nearby Palestinian town of Halhul, had entered the synagogue early February of 2016 and set fire to several Torah scrolls and other holy books.

“The sight of the burned Torah scrolls in Gush Etzion is heartrending,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said at the time. “The assault on our people’s sanctities hurts all the more when it is done at the place that commemorates Eyal, Gil-ad and Naftali, who were murdered by a cruel hand.”

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The synagogue overlooks the site where three Israeli teens, Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel were kidnapped and subsequently murdered in June 2014 by members of the Hamas terrorist organization.

The residents of Givat Sorek hope that security forces bring an end to such incidents.

“For a long time we have been warning that illegal roads are being paved by Palestinians around the community,” the community said in a statement.  “They are endangering the residents of the community and provide easy access for anyone who wants to harm us.”

“We again call upon the security forces to block these roads and restore security to the community and its surroundings.”


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Why Do the Arabs Hate the Palestinians So?

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 02:00

In Israel, and in much of the Western world, we tend to think that the Arab world is united in support of the Palestinians, that it wants nothing so much as to solve the Palestinian problem by giving them a state, and that all the Arabs and Muslims love the Palestinians and hate Israel.  This, however, is a simplistic and partial point of view, because while It is true that many, perhaps even the majority of Arabs and Muslims hate Israel, there are a good many who hate the Palestinians just as much.

Their hatred of Israel stems from Israel’s success in surviving despite wars, terror, boycotts and the enmity aimed at the Jewish state; it stems from  the fact that there is an existing Jewish state even though Judaism has been superseded by Islam, the ‘true religion.’ It is exacerbated by Israel’s being a democracy while they live under  dictatorships, because Israel is rich and they are poor, because Israel is Paradise compared to Arab countries, many of which resemble nothing so much as the last train stop before Hell (see Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Sudan – and the list goes on) …and most importantly, because Israel has succeeded in areas in which they have failed, and their jealousy drives them up a wall.

But why should they hate the ‘unfortunate’ Palestinian Arabs? After all, the Arab narrative says that the Palestinian Arabs’ land was stolen and they were forced to become refugees. The answer to this question is complex and is a function of  Middle Eastern culture, which we in Israel and most Westerners neither understand nor recognize.

One of the worst things in Arab eyes is being cheated, fooled or taken advantage of. When someone attempts to cheat an Arab – and even more so, if that person succeeds – an Arab is overcome by furious anger, even if the person involved is his cousin. He will call on his brother to take revenge on that cousin, in line with the Arab adage: “My brother and I against my cousin – and my brother, my cousin and I against a stranger.”

Regarding the Palestinian Arabs, first of all,  many are not originally Palestinians at all. They are immigrants who came to the Land of Israel from all over the Arab world during the British Mandate in order to find employment in the cities and on the farms the Jews had built.  These immigrants still have names such as “Al Hurani (from Huran in southern Syria)”, “Al Tzurani (from Tyre in Southern Lebanon)”, “Al  Zrakawi (from Mazraka in Jordan),” “Al Maztri (the Egyptian)” and many other names that point to the actual, geographically varied origins of the so-called Palestinians. Why ask the other Arabs, should they get preferential treatment compared to those who remained in their original countries?

Starting with the end of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, the politics in the Arab world began to center on Israel and the “Palestinian problem” whose solution was to be achieved only by eliminating Israel. In order to help succeed in that mission, the Arab refugees were kept in camps, with explicit instructions from the Arab League to keep them there and not to absorb them in other  Arab countries.

UNRWA ensured that they were provided with food, education and medical care without charge – that is to say, the nations of the world footed the bill, while the Arab neighbors of these eternal “refugees” had to work and provide food, education and medical care for their families by the sweat of their brow.  Refugees who were supplied with free foodstuffs, such as rice, flour, sugar, and oil, for the use of their families, would often sell some of it to their non-refugee neighbors and make a tidy profit.

Those living in the refugee camps do not pay municipal taxes, leading to a significant number of “refugees” who rent their homes to others and collect exorbitant sums in comparison with those renting apartments in nearby cities, thanks to this tax exemption. In other words, the world subsidizes the taxes and the refugees line their own pockets.

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In Lebanon, several refugee camps were built near Beirut but were incorporated into the expanding city, then turned into high-class neighborhoods with imposing high rise apartment buildings. Someone has profited from this change, and it is not the man in the street, who has every reason to feel cheated.

The Palestinian “refugee” camps located in Lebanon have been taken over by armed organizations, from the PLO to ISIS, including Hamas, the Popular Front, the Democratic Front and organizations of Salafist Jihadists. These organizations act viciously towards surrounding Lebanese citizens and in 1975 brought on a civil war that  lasted for 14 long  years of bloodshed, destruction and saw the emigration of hundreds of thousands of Lebanese from their villages to lives of horrible suffering in tent camps all over the country’ Many took  refuge in Palestinian “refugee” camps, but the Lebanese refugees received less than 10 percent of what  Palestinian Arabs received, causing much internecine jealousy  and hatred.

In Jordan, in 1970, the Palestinian Arabs, led by PLO head Yassir Arafat, attempted to take over the country by establishing autonomous regions of their own, complete with roadblocks and armed Palestinian Arabs in the country’s north that challenged the monarchy. In September 1970, known as “Black September”, King Hussein decided he had had enough and would show them who is boss in Jordan. The war he declared against them cost thousands of lives on both sides.

Meanwhile, in Israel,  20% of the citizenry within the pre-1967 borders is made up of “Palestinian” Arabs who do not rebel or fight against the state. In other words, the “Palestinians” living in pre-1967 Israel enjoy life in the only democracy in the Middle East, while the Arab countries sacrifice their soldiers’ blood to liberate “Palestine.” Is there a worse case of feeling that you are being exploited than that of an Arab soldier putting his life in danger for this meaningless cause?

Worse still is what every Arab knows: Palestinian Arabs have been selling land to Jews for at least a century, profit immensely from the deals and then go wailing to their Arab brothers to come and free “Palestine” from the “Zionist occupation.”

Reprinted with author’s permission from Israel National News

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What America Can (and Can’t) Learn from Israeli Gun Laws

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:00

When mass shootings take plan in the U.S., commentators routinely raise Israel as a case study to prove that guns in the hands of citizens save lives.

Israel, with its long and painful history of contending with terrorism, is rich with examples that prove this contention. In recent years, armed citizens have stopped dozens of terrorists. In some cases, those citizens acted when cowardly police officers shrank from danger.

For instance, on March 6, 2008, a terrorist disguised as a delivery man entered the Merkaz Harav seminary in Jerusalem with an assault rifle hidden in a television box. He opened fire on students studying in the library.

Two beat cops arrived on the scene but failed to enter the building to stop the killing.

In the event, a seminary student armed with a handgun, and an off-duty infantry officer who lived in the neighborhood, heard the shots and ran to the seminary. The student, a young rabbi, was armed with a handgun; the officer was carrying his assault rifle. Both men ignored the police officers who told them not to go inside. They entered the building and killed the terrorist, ending the massacre. By the time they arrived, eight students, including five high school students, had been killed, while eight more were wounded.

The most recent Palestinian terror campaign, which lasted more or less from October 2015 through April 2016, showed the need for an armed citizenry. In two major attacks in Tel Aviv, the terrorists, armed with rifles were able to kill at will for several minutes because none of the civilians at the sites of the attacks were armed.

In contrast, terror attacks in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, which took place during the same period, were repeatedly stopped at their outset by armed civilians who ran to the scene within moments.

In response to the public outcry, Public Security Minister Glad Erdan slightly loosened restrictions on eligibility for gun licenses and encouraged citizens with gun licenses to carry their weapons wherever they go.

Erdan’s move to loosen restrictions on eligibility for gun permits shone a light on an aspect of Israeli life of which foreigners are largely unaware.

The widespread conception in the U.S., in particular, is that Israeli gun laws are liberal. This is incorrect. Israel has strict gun laws. But at the same time, it has mandatory conscription in the military.

Active duty combat soldiers on leave are often required to take their weapons home with them. Soldiers who do not own gun safes large enough to store their assault rifles are required to take them everywhere they go. As a result, tourists often happily snap pictures of young Israelis carrying assault rifles at restaurants and nightclubs.

Israel’s gun laws are the nightmare of Second Amendment champions. To be eligible for a gun license in Israel you must be 21 years old and a military veteran, or 27 years old.

Only people who meet specific criteria are eligible to apply for gun permits. Israelis who live or work in communities defined as at-risk from a national security perspective by the government can apply for gun licenses. Farmers, tour guides, and people who transport hazardous materials are permitted to carry a gun. Military officers and NCOs on active duty may carry a personal handgun. Veterans of special forces units and other elite security services are permitted to carry a gun. Retired senior officers are entitled to carry a gun.

To receive a weapons permit, you must first undergo weapons training at a certified training facility and receive a health certification from a licensed physician.

If you are healthy and are eligible, you may receive a gun permit. That permit enables you to own and carry one handgun and fifty bullets.

Shotgun and rifle ownership is limited to veterinarians, nature preserve employees, and licensed hunters. These weapons may only be used for animal control.

However, whereas in the U.S. most states do not permit armed citizens to walk around with their weapons exposed, Israel has no such restrictions on its gun owners. Gun owners may carry their weapons openly or in a concealed manner, whichever they prefer.

Whereas private ownership of firearms is constrained, public use of firearms is more widespread. Every school in Israel is guarded by an armed security guard. Everyone entering a school has to pass through a manned, secure entrance.

Armed guards escort all school trips everywhere in the country.

Armed guards and metal detectors are stationed at the entrance to every underground parking lot, every supermarket, every hospital, every shopping mall, and every hotel in Israel.

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All major public events need to be approved by the police. The organizers need to secure the perimeter of their events in coordination with the police. As a result, most of the mass shooting attacks that happened in the U.S. and Europe in recent years would have been much more difficult to carry out in Israel. For instance, the truck ramming attack on Bastille Day in Nice in 2016, in which an Islamic State terrorist killed 86 and wounded 458, would not have been possible in Israel.

In Israel, police would have cordoned off the entire area where the event took place. No trucks would have been permitted to enter the perimeter and likely no unauthorized vehicles would have been permitted to enter the perimeter. Moreover, security guards and metal detectors would have been deployed at all entry points to the event.

The massacre outside the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino in Las Vegas last year would also have been more difficult, if not impossible, to have carried out in Israel.

A security officer at the entrance to the hotel would have stopped the shooter from bringing his weapons and ammunition into the building.

If the killer had managed to smuggle his weapons into the hotel and had begun shooting, it would have taken hotel security officers very little time to identify the source of the fire, enter his room, and stop him.

Israel bars gun ownership from mentally ill individuals. While there are a lot of illegal weapons in Israel – particularly in the Arab community – there is no legal way for someone who is mentally ill to acquire a weapon lawfully.

Despite the vast differences regarding the private ownership of weapons, there are two lessons from Israel’s experience that may be significant for Americans searching for ways to stop mass shootings.

The first lesson that Israel can offer relates to tactics for minimizing the risk of attack. Americans can learn from the Israeli model of controlling entry and exit points from schools and other public facilities; from Israel’s ban on guns to the mentally ill; and from its unapologetic policy of profiling terror suspects.

The second lesson from Israel’s experience is that bravery is a vital social virtue.

Like millions of Americans, Israelis are brave. Because they are brave, they stand up to terrorists. When they have guns, they stand up to terrorists with guns. When they lack guns, they stand up to terrorists with whatever they have.

In February 2017, a group of citizens outside a sewing machine repair shop in Petah Tikva in central Israel stopped a terrorist who had been shooting and stabbing bus passengers by throwing sewing machines at him.

In January 2016, a mom-and-pop grocery store owner in a small town in Judea blocked two knife-wielding terrorists from entering his store by pushing them out with a shopping cart.

A society that values bravery can rely on its citizens to be brave more easily than a society that values victimhood.

Israel’s restrictive gun laws are a function of many aspects of Israeli society that are very different from conditions in America, including its powerful central government, its socialist roots, and its large Arab community.

Israel’s tragic history with terror attacks has required Israel to learn how to secure all public spaces and deploy forces to major civilian thoroughfares. And it has also taught Israelis to be brave.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Caroline Glick

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What Can Israel Do About Its ‘Brain Drain’ Problem

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 00:00

“More than all that you guard, guard your mind, For it is the source of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

Israel isn’t losing its best and brightest because of greener pastures or higher standards of living abroad. It is losing because it is turning its back on its true identity. To solve the brain drain, the Israeli heart must be replenished first.

I understand what lies at the heart of scientists, academics and other great minds who are making the decision to leave Israel.

In 1974, I emigrated from Lithuania to Israel and stopped in Vienna for a temporary transit. All the cars were full of Jews who chose to emigrate to the United States, Canada or Western European countries. My family and another Georgian family were the only ones “crazy enough” to immigrate to Israel. As a young ambitious scientist, I could not imagine that forty-four years later, in 2018, I would be witnessing a different kind of Israel.

In today’s Israel, both great and average minds alike can be easily tempted by dubious organizations to abandon their homeland. The reason is simple: the pursuit of material profit. Many times, these offers come from sources with an interest in weakening Israel, and unfortunately, Israel’s leaders are busy trying to divide and conquer whatever’s left of the pie, rather than making the pie bigger together.

What’s worse, a fertile soil has been created here for people in positions of power to join hands in certain directions. There’s no real way to monitor the various ties being forged between government, military, police, courts and the media. Checks and balances are eroding and separation of powers is not always there. The successful players and brilliant minds who stay here are those who make the most profit.

Our Spiritual Potential Is Our Most Valuable Asset

Had I been warned about this situation forty-four years ago, I would have taken my family to the land of unlimited possibilities and urged the Georgian family to come with me, or at the very least retrace my steps.

What keeps me here in Israel? Only the spiritual potential that lies within our people. We carry a spark of unity that comes from our very foundation as a Jewish people, and if we rekindle it here on the land of Israel, we will rediscover our spiritual mission to be “a light unto nations.”

Being a shining example of unity is our vocation as a people and that is why, deep down, all nations are expecting something to come from us. When we fail to provide that example, the nations are driven to apply pressure on us in various ways, urging us to come together. But if we deliver, we can inspire the whole of humanity towards unity.

Israel has to recognize that the “heart drain” is what causes the “brain drain.” In other words, Israelis have lost touch with that spark of unity that ties them together and has no passion to serve as a beacon of unity for the world. They feel motivated to stick together only when they are under the gun; hence, material profit becomes the only calculation they make.

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Abraham Planted the Seed of Love for All People

The first thing Israel should do is a massive campaign reviving the little-known birth story of the Jewish people, which took place in Babylon 3,800 years ago. Surely, everyone can point to Abraham the patriarch as the father of Israel, but very few can recount why and how Abraham brought us together.

The book of Noam Elimelech writes that “Abraham planted the seed of love for all people,” and Maimonides explains that “he went from city to city, kingdom to kingdom, until thousands and tens of thousands joined him, and they are the people of the house of Abraham… and they became a nation” (Yad HaChazakah).

So Abraham toured all of Babylon, and the representatives from all nations who followed him and practiced the tenet of “love thy neighbor as thyself” above all differences, later became the people of Israel.

Therefore, global unity is the foundation of our nationhood. To put it another way, the people of Israel were a mini-model of a united humanity. And this is why if we don’t maintain our bond of unity above all differences, there’s no real reason for us to stay together on the same land.

Rediscovering this common bond is the only way for Israel to create a renewed sense of patriotism, and reawaken the passion to contribute to our homeland, to a point that it’s more important for us than material profit offered abroad.

Along with this line, Israel should honor and cherish successful researchers and other brilliant minds who choose to stay in the country and thus strengthen the spirit of unity. This could be done regularly through presidential acknowledgment and broad media coverage of their unique contributions.

When we replenish the Israeli heart, the Israeli brain will work even better.

The post What Can Israel Do About Its ‘Brain Drain’ Problem appeared first on Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective..

Air India Cleared to Fly Over Saudi Airspace to Israel

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 23:50

Air India will launch its Delhi-Tel Aviv route flying over Saudi airspace on March 22, the Times of India reported Wednesday, ending weeks of speculation over whether Saudi Arabia would allow flights to Israel to pass over its territory.

The Air India flight will be the first commercial flight to overfly Saudi airspace on its way to and from Israel and will cut flight time by 2-3 hours compared with the route taken by Israel’s national carrier El Al for its Tel Aviv-Mumbai flight.

Saudi Arabia does not recognize Israel and despite reports of covert ties, the airlines of both countries do not fly in each other’s airspace.

The Times of India quoted an Air India official as saying the flight would reach Tel Aviv in just over seven hours. “The flight will leave at 4.50 pm and reach Israel at 8.25 pm [local times]. It will leave Tel Aviv for Delhi two hours later,” the official said.

The flight will leave Delhi three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and will be operated on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

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El Al’s flight has to avoid several countries in the direct flight path as they do not recognize Israel, resulting in a longer route, more fuel burn and higher prices. Last week, the company El Al appealed to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to intervene to gain Israeli airlines access to Saudi airspace.

The TOI report noted that when Indian prime minister Narendra Modi from Delhi to Tel Aviv last July, his Air India One flight also took the longer route to Israel.

However last May, United States President Donald Trump’s Air Force One became the first plane to fly direct from Riyadh to Tel Aviv. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tweeted following that flight:  “Mr. President (Trump), you just flew from Riyadh to Tel Aviv. I hope one day an Israeli prime minister will be able to fly from Tel Aviv to Riyadh.”

Come March 22, if the prime minister chooses to fly Air India, he will be able to do just that.

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5 Hebrew Phrases You Need To Know To Get Ready For Passover

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 10:31

With the Jewish holiday of Passover quickly approaching, (beginning this year on March 30), people all over the world are already getting ready for the week-long holiday. Although every holiday requires a certain amount of preparation, there is much to do even before Passover starts in order to celebrate the festival as God commanded in the bible.

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Here’s what you need to know about pre-Passover preparations:

Before the holiday begins, homes must be purged of all חָמֵץ-chametz. Chametz is any food product made from wheat, oats, spelt, rye or barley that is mixed with water and baked after 18 minutes, causing it to be leavened. Although many people already use this time of year for spring cleaning, the actual Biblical requirement is to ensure that no chametz be found in your home once Passover begins.

No leaven shall be found in your houses for seven days. (Exodus 12:19)”

So important is ensuring that there be no chametz in the home that on the night before Passover, we must perform בְּדִיקַת חָמֵץ-bedikat chametz-checking for leaven, which a thorough search of every nook and cranny of the home to guarantee that no chametz will remain.

The morning after bedikat chametz, any leaven that was found is burned. Called ביעור חמץ-bee-or chametz-burning leaven in Israel, this is often done in a communal bonfire.




Dishes that are used throughout the year cannot be used on Passover because they were used for chametz. People typically have an entire set of dishware just for Passover however, this can be costly. Therefore, a procedure called הגלית קלים-hagalat kelim-immersing of vessels may be performed in order to make vessels kosher for passover. The process involves putting very clean vessels into vats of boiling water.

Every first-born male over the age of 13 is obligated to fast the day before the first evening of Passover. This fast, called תענית בכורים-taaneet b’korim-fast of the first born, commemorates the miracle of the first-born Jewish males being saved during the Plague of the Firstborns in ancient Egypt. This was only one of the many miracles, which took place before the Israelites were freed from Egyptian slavery.

“Throughout the ages, Passover has continuously been observed by the Jewish people, even those who say that they are not religious,” Roni Segal, academic adviser for The Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, said to Breaking Israel News.

“Though observing the holiday takes a lot of preparation, it is also a special time for families to gather and celebrate God’s establishing of the Jewish people as a nation and bringing us out of Egypt and into the Holy Land.”

To learn more about Biblical Hebrew, please click here.




Written in cooperation with the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies. 




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Ohio Clergymen Bless Israel and See Astounding Blessings in Return

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 08:47

A group of over 100 clergymen from North-Central Ohio who came together in a powerful expression of solidarity with Israel, received blessings in the manner described in the Bible promising that those who bless the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be blessed in return.

The clergy, led by Benjamin Mutti and Reverend El Akuchie who are both coordinators of the Richland Community Prayer Network, stood with Israel when they sent a letter of solidarity to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January 2017.

Ohio pastors in support of Israel (Photo courtesy Benjamin Mutti)

In the letter, the clergyman apologized for the some of the actions of former President Barack Obama, particularly when he ordered his UN ambassador, Samantha Power to abstain instead of veto Security Council Resolution 2334. The resolution, which passed unanimously, declared Israel’s presence in “east Jerusalem,” Judea, and Samaria to be illegal.

“These actions of the Obama Administration do not represent the will of the governed,” the letter stated. “Furthermore, this Administration has now been deposed. Most assuredly, we believe that the GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob gave all the land of Canaan to Israel as an everlasting covenant with Jerusalem as its eternal undivided capital.”

“Please be reminded Prime Minister Netanyahu, even though nations conspire against Israel, these people plot in vain. Even though the kings of the earth band together against you and your country, the One enthroned in the heavens laughs.”

Perhaps the most significant part of the letter was its conclusion in which the Ohio pastors bonded their fate with that of Israel, despite the geographic distance from the Jewish state.

“Since our destinies are intertwined together, you will always have friends in Ohio,” the letter said. “What affects your country affects our country. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, your GOD and His people are fighting and praying for you.”

The letter, signed by 103 Christian clergies from North-Central Ohio, was also sent to Rabbi Yehudah Glick, a long-time Temple Mount activist and Member of Knesset (MK) from Netanyahu’s Likud party. The clergymen were yearning to make up for the “crime” of the UN Security Council resolution.

“We believe the Jews should be a light unto the nations,” Benjamin Mutti told Breaking Israel News. “The UN resolution was a national crime. We wanted to bring reconciliation between our people and the Jews and also between us and the God of Israel.”

According to Mutti, that act of reconciliation starting bearing fruit right away.

“After sending the letter, we immediately began seeing signs of God’s favor. The economy rebounded and the ecology also responded almost immediately after we sent the letter.”

One of the ways the economy bounced back was the approval of a hotly contested the Rover Pipeline, a 713-mile natural $4 billion gas pipeline. Although the project would bring jobs and money to the region as well as facilitate the distribution of natural gas throughout the US and Canada, the pipeline was mired in several lawsuits. Its approval came ten days after the clergy sent the letter to Netanyahu. At the time, North-Central Ohio had a stagnant regional economy that was reported as the fifth worst in the country, and Mutti said that the project brought an enormous boost to the region.

“The pipeline company pays the landowners,” Mutti explained. “The employees who put in the pipeline also brought income to the region, and several local companies participated in the project.”

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For many people in Ohio who live in rural communities, the land plays a powerful role in their lives.

“We follow the land,” Mutti said. “We watch nature for answers.” And the answers immediately came.

“According to Department of Agriculture numbers, the spring turkey harvest in Richland County saw a dramatic twenty-four percent increase from last year, whitetail deer harvested was the best in four years, and the cow herd in Richland County, which is estimated in late winter, is now at its largest number in over thirty years, which is amazing!” Mutti said.

Even with all that, the divine gratitude was not complete. In mid-March of 2017, winter storm Stella was poised to hit their region hard. At the last moment, however, the storm changed direction and dumped 30 inches of snow 70 miles away. The region that had participated in the pro-Israel initiative received just two inches.

The clergymen decided to take their blessing of Israel even further. In response to the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement that calls for a boycott on Israeli products, 42 Christian clergies petitioned the Richland County treasurer, Bart Hamilton, in May 2017 and requested that he invest community funds in Israel bonds. The standing county policy did not permit such international investments, but at the urging of the clergy, the treasurer looked into the possibility of doing so. They cited the strong performance of these bonds as an economic incentive.

After consulting with the treasurer, the county’s prosecutor rewrote the investment guidelines for the county, which had stood for 25 years. The treasurer then announced at a public county commissioner board meeting his intention to invest between $100,000 to $200,000 in Israel bonds. That very day, the county appeared to reap a Divinely-sponsored return on the investment.

“The day the County Treasurer announced that the county government would invest in Israeli bonds, was the same meeting that half a million dollars in unexpected revenue were reportedly discovered to alleviate a budget shortfall!” Mutti shared.

It is clear, at least to Mutti and the clergy of North Central Ohio, that blessing the Children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has its advantages.

“There is something about Ohio, but we here feel a close brotherhood to Israel,” Mutti said. “Maybe it is our closeness to nature that allows us to see God’s presence clearly.”

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How did Obama’s legislation get away with it?

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 08:45

David Rubin, Founder and President of the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund discusses the Obama legislation influence on Israel’s 2005 election on Fox Business News.

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GENESIS 35:19-20

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 07:42

Yaakov (Jacob) did not bury his beloved wife Rachel in the family tomb in Chevron (Hebron), but rather in nearby Beit Lechem (Bethlehem). Today, Rachel’s tomb lies on the outskirts of contemporary Beit Lechem and remains a popular prayer destination as illustrated above. Beit Lechem is also the birthplace of King David and the city in which Samuel anointed King David as the King of Israel.

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Pastor and Rabbi Join Together to Bless AIPAC

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 07:22

Pastor Becky Keenan, President and Founder of One with Israel, and Rabbi Debra Newman Kaiman of Am Yisrael Conservative Synagogue in Northfield Illinois joined together to bless the 2018 AIPAC Policy Conference. Pastor Keenan also serves on AIPAC’s National Council.

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Congressmen Call on Dept. of Justice to Investigate Al Jazeera For Incitement to Violence

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 07:00

Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) led a bipartisan letter sent on Tuesday urging U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to enforce the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, with respect to Qatar’s media outlet Al Jazeera.

“For years, Qatar has used its state-controlled propaganda arm, Al Jazeera, to incite violence, glorify terrorist killers as ‘martyrs’ and broadcast hateful, extremist content. But recent reports that the network’s operatives secretly filmed American nonprofit organizations in Washington show the urgent need for an investigation to determine whether Al Jazeera undertook ‘political activities’ in the U.S. and should register as a foreign agent,” said Gottheimer.

“Now more than ever, American citizens deserve to know the difference between foreign propaganda and independent media,” he added.

Zeldin said “Al Jazeera’s radical anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel content is extraordinarily troubling and must be closely scrutinized to determine whether Al Jazeera is in violation of U.S. law.”

“As a state-sponsored news organization that favorably covers foreign terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Hezbollah and others, it is critical the United States takes action where laws are being broken and American interests are being undermined,” said the congressman.

The bipartisan letter was signed by Gottheimer, Zeldin, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Congressmen Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Mike Johnson (R-La.), Peter King (R-N.Y.), Ted Poe (R-Texas), John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), David Rouzer (R-N.C.), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.).

Gottheimer told JNS in January: “We know that the Qataris have been playing all sides for years, financing heinous terrorist groups and giving sanctuary to the leaders of Hamas and the Taliban with hardly any consequences from Washington.”

“No public-relations campaign will cover up the truth: Qatar uses its state-controlled propaganda arm, Al Jazeera, to incite violence, glorify murderers of Jews as ‘martyrs’ and broadcast virulent anti-Semitism,” he had said, referring to a charm offensive by Qatar among U.S. Jews.

Meanwhile, Gottheimer celebrated the Purim holiday with families last week in northern New Jersey.

He joined students as they danced the hora at the Frisch School’s Purim party. The celebration included more than 1,000 local residents marking the Jewish festival.

“North Jersey is home to a strong and vibrant Jewish community, and nowhere is that more evident than at the Frisch School, where hundreds of students come together to learn and grow in their Jewish faith,” said Gottheimer.

“I had a great time celebrating this joyful holiday,” he said. “Thank you to Yeshivat Frisch for welcoming me, and Chag Purim Sameach.”

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Netanyahu Meets Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 06:34

Having a very full day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went right from addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Wednesday to a session with the US Foreign Relations committee.

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Hoping For the Best, Preparing for the Worst: IDF Faces Prospect of War in the North

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 04:00

Israel’s goal of peaceful co-existence with its surrounding neighbors has not prevented the IDF from taking the necessary steps to prepare for a potential war.

Tensions have been rising on Israel’s northern borders with Syria and Lebanon over the past few weeks. On February 10, the IDF shot down an Iranian drone, which had entered Israeli airspace in a clear violation of Israel’s sovereignty.





In response to this escalated act of aggression by Iran, the IDF launched several attacks against targets in Iran and Syria.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently visited the northern border, along with top security officials.

“Our face is turned toward peace, we are ready for any eventuality, and I don’t suggest anyone test us,” Netanyahu said following the visit.

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Numerous IDF officials have been vocal about the high likelihood of an outbreak of war on Israel’s northern border, even within the year. This conflict will likely involve a number of neighboring rogue states, including Lebanon, Syria and Iran.

“The year 2018 has the potential for escalation, not necessarily because either side wants to initiate it, but because of a gradual deterioration,” Maj. Gen.Major General Nitzan Alon, head of IDF Operations, told Army Radio. “This has led us to raise the level of preparedness.”

Any conflict in the north of Israel between the IDF and Iran, Syria, and Lebanon will likely result in battles being fought on multiple fronts. Alon warned that if Israel engages with the Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah terrorist organization in the north, “Iran won’t hold itself back in Gaza. It wants to pay for its interests on the northern border in Palestinian blood.”

This multi-front war situation will be felt across every branch of the military and every citizen of Israel, according to IDF officials. With this foresight, the citizens of Israel, and the IDF are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.





“The officers and commanders of the IDF are responsible for providing its soldiers with military tactics and training while LIBI USA is responsible for providing the soldiers with welfare support, as well as social and financial assistance,” Dr. John A.I Grossman, Chairman of LIBI USA, told Breaking Israel News.

The month of February was spent by many IDF divisions and brigades participating in large-scale military exercises in northern Israel. The Galilee Division of the IDF underwent extensive training in preparation for a possible conflict with Hezbollah on the Lebanese border.

It is believed that the terrorist group Hezbollah possesses an arsenal of over 100,000 rockets, which have been financed and supplied by Iran.

“Conscripted soldiers, along with reservists, took part in the exercise. They practiced a rapid call up for reservists, as well as operation capabilities and readiness to fight in Lebanese terrain,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

“We will continue to train and prepare to ensure the security of the residents in this  region,” Col. Manny Liberty, Commander of the 769th Brigade, told Times of Israel.

Preparation for a war in 2018 dates back to September 2017, when tens of thousands of IDF troops participated in a 10-day mock-war against Hezbollah. This exercise called “the Light of the Grain” was the largest military exercise carried out in Israel in the last 20 years.





“Tens of thousands of IDF troops are gearing up for a war in the coming year. We are available to provide the soldiers with any support they may require while undergoing this trying training,” said Grossman. “We would like to minimize the stresses and concerns in their lives so that they can be fully focused on their military training.”

Added Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, commander of the Aerial Defense Array:

“In the coming weeks, we will train together to face complex and challenging scenarios, which are relevant to the dynamic range of threats that we must be prepares to face.”



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Iran Reportedly Increases Missile Production ‘Three-Fold’

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 03:45

Iran has increased its missile production by three times, a senior commander in the regime’s Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday according to the Fars News Service.

“Our production has increased three-fold compared to the past,” Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force, was quoted as saying at his military’s headquarters.

Hajizadeh also noticeably touched upon the regime’s increased maneuverability of late.

“In the past we had to do a lot of explaining to various bodies for our actions but it’s not like that anymore,” Brigadier General Hajizadeh added.

Indeed, a number of international sanctions against Iran were lifted in return for the regime’s commitment to abide by the principles of the international nuclear agreement in 2015 known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Nevertheless, missile production in Iran has apparently continued, virtually unabated.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear on Tuesday in his address at this year’s annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that Tehran would be stopped.

“We must stop Iran. We will stop Iran,” Netanyahu said. “Last week, we read in the Book of Esther about an earlier Persian attempt to exterminate our people. [Referring to the Jewish holiday of Purim] They failed then. They’ll fail now.”

The United States is currently engaged in diplomatic efforts with its European allies to make the necessary fixes to the JCPOA that would suffice for President Donald Trump to stay onboard. In that vein, French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian paid a visit to the Islamic Republic on Monday in an attempt to convince the regime to curb its missile program. Le Drian made no progress in that regard, saying after the meeting with senior Iranian officials that there “still a lot of work to do” on Tehran’s missile program.

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