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Grapevine August 15, 2021: A warm letter to the king of Morocco

CM 14/08/2021

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 Foreign Minister Yair Lapid carried with him to Morocco a letter from President Isaac Herzog addressed to King Mohammed VI on the occasion of Throne Day. In the letter, Herzog expressed his appreciation for the king’s decision “to establish full diplomatic, peaceful and friendly relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the State of Israel.” Herzog also thanked the king for the commitment of the royal family to guarantee the safety and security of Moroccan Jews throughout the years, and praised the king’s contribution to Arab-Israeli reconciliation in many countries across the region. 

Herzog also stated that he valued the cooperation between Morocco and Israel in many areas including diplomacy, security, economic affairs, culture, tourism, medicine and agriculture and looked forward to expanded and enhanced cooperation. At the conclusion of the letter, Herzog emphasized “the remarkable contribution of the distinguished Jewish community of Morocco to world Jewry and to the State of Israel,” adding that he would welcome the opportunity to meet with the king in person in the near future.
■ A WASHINGTON DC law firm, Heideman Nudelman, & Kalik, PC, which is counsel to American victims of terror, has filed suit in the District Court for the District of Columbia against Syria as a designated state sponsor of terrorism, for providing material support to designated foreign terrorist organization Islamic State for the Paris Bataclan Theatre attack, which was carried out by ISIS on November 13, 2015.
The complaint alleges that three ISIS operatives entered the Bataclan wielding Kalashnikovs and suicide vests. Around 9:40 p.m. each of the three ISIS operatives entered the concert hall firing their rifles, before exploding their suicide vests. The attack killed 130 people. Immediately following, ISIS took responsibility for the attack.

The three operatives who attacked the theater joined and fought for various ISIS units and traveled to and from Syria in the months and years immediately prior to the Paris attacks.
The five plaintiffs in the case are Helen Wilson – who was injured in the attack when bullets fired by terrorists ripped through her thighs, missing her femoral artery by an inch. Four of her family members were also injured and suffered significant pain.
According to Richard D. Heideman, senior counsel for Heideman Nudelman, & Kalik, PC: “As a state sponsor of terror subject to the jurisdiction of the US courts, Syria deserves to be singled out for their sponsorship of heinous acts of murder and terror. They must be punished. The victims of these terrorist acts deserve justice. This case will not only serve to hold Syria responsible for its past acts and but serve as a deterrent against future acts of Syrian terrorism.”
Heideman has previously litigated against Libya, Syria and Iran as well as the PLO Arab Bank and other countries and institutions that have supported terror operations in which American citizens were killed or injured.
Heideman is a leading figure not only in the Washington Jewish community, but in the American Jewish community per se, and has either headed or sat on the executives of several major organizations.
■ THIS YEAR’S international Ironman triathlon will begin in Israel on November 12. It will be the first Ironman event here. To check out the route, Thomas Veje Olsen, vice president of Ironman Europe, came to Israel to meet with local officials and to take a professional tour of Tiberias, which is the starting place of the contest. During his visit, Olsen met with Tourism Minister Director-General Amir Halevy and the head of the Tiberias Ironman committee, Boaz Joseph. The triathlon is considered to be one of the most prestigious of all athletic competitions.
■ IN ALMOST every country, minority groups are more or less familiar with the traditions of the majority, but it seldom works the other away around, except perhaps in the realm of food, because so many of us like to taste something radically different to what we eat at home. This explains the success of Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, French and Italian restaurants – all of which can be found in Israel, along with Korean, Czech, Polish, Vietnamese, etc.
The most dominant of course are the North African, which despite the similarities, have certain nuances detectable to the discerning palate. North African cuisine, which differs from country to country, is not to be confused with traditional Arab dishes, which vary from town to town and village to village, and Arab cuisine per se, is not exactly the same as that in Bedouin towns and villages, the largest and most modern of which is Rahat, the Beduin capital of the Negev.
Lots of Israelis and tourists take day trips to Rahat and other Bedouin towns and villages to feast their eyes and their palates on exotica, but now they can have a more edifying experience of the Bedouin life style and culture.
Beginning Sunday, August 15, a Rahat Summer School pilot project initiated by Jihad Abu Farich and supported by the Rahat Municipal Council, will enable participants to study spoken Arabic for one week, for four hours a day. They will be accommodated in the homes of local families, with whom they will dine, and whose life styles they will be able to observe at close quarters. They will also be exposed to Bedouin culture and local tourist attractions.
Anyone who missed out on this week’s pilot project can still enroll for a second course, which begins on August 22.
Participants will be able to visit Bedouin theater and to join workshops in Bedouin cooking. They will also meet with local artists, and will be able to get a respite from the heat of the hot Negev sun by swimming in the pool of the Rahat Country Club.
The all-inclusive cost is NIS 2,300. For further details and registration call Jihad Abu Farich at 054 7321261.
■ ON THE subject of the Bedouin community, many Bedouin gay youth, just like some of their Jewish counterparts are disowned by their families, from whom they run away and become youth at risk. Some of these runaway youngsters find their way to Beit Dror, a shelter for LGBT youth, where among other things, they are encouraged to continue with their education. To help facilitate this, the employees of ZipRecruit donated laptops to these youngsters. The idea was conceived by key figures of the company, Sefi Mintzer and Ephraim Berkowitz, who in their spare time devote their energies to young people who are lacking family support in any shape or form. Not only did they organize the laptop donation, but also in a voluntary capacity taught a basic programming course to the residents of Beit Dror (which translates as Freedom House). The course was designed as an introduction to the digital world of opportunity. 
Beit Dror serves as a temporary home for young men and women aged 12-18 who come from diverse backgrounds, but whose common denominator is that their families neither understand nor tolerate their sexual orientation. While the youngsters are in the care of Beit Dror, all their basic needs such as clothing, meals and hot showers are supplied. They also receive psychological counseling to help them adjust to the new situation in their lives, and to plan for the future. A similar organization, the Pink Roof, deals with emergency situations involving young people aged 18-25, and provides them with instant aid.
■ AMERICAN-BORN former Jerusalem Post reporter Sheera Frenkel, the daughter of Israelis who moved to California, is the nemesis of Facebook tycoon Mark Zuckerberg. Currently based in San Francisco, Frenkel, a prize-winning journalist, is the technology reporter for The New York Times. Together with Cecilia Kang, she wrote An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination. The blockbuster book was released in June of this year, and since that time the two writers have been pursued by print and television reporters eager to find out how they got their information, and whether there is more to tell.
Frenkel, who spent a decade in the Middle East before returning to America, worked as a foreign correspondent reporting for BuzzFeed, NPR, The Times of London and McClatchy newspapers, was recently the subject of a feature interview in Yediot Aharonot. Some of her television interviews can be seen on YouTube.
■ ANYONE LOOKING for political activist, author and former Labor MK Einat Wilf during the coming fall will not find her in Israel. Wilf will be spending the fall semester in Georgetown University as the Goldman Visiting Professor, living in DC with her family from mid-August to mid-December. She will be teaching two graduate courses offered jointly by the Department of Government and the Center for Jewish Civilization: one on Zionism and Anti-Zionism and one on Political Intelligence. While in America, she will continue to write and reflect on issues relating to Israel and Zionism.
An eloquent speaker in English as well as Hebrew, Wilf is in frequently interviewed on radio and television.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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