Yeshiva World News

Thousands of “Chanukah Kits” Will Given Out In Ukraine – With Photos Of Israeli Hostages

42,000 Chanukah kits will be given out starting this week to Ukrainian Jewish soldiers on the front lines at the war against Russia, including to the 169 Jewish communities in Ukraine and to Jewish prisoners throughout the country. Kits were packed around the clock in the large logistics center of the “Federation of Jewish Communities in Ukraine” (FJCU) in the city of Dnipro, known as the “Capital of Ukrainian Jewish people”. Beside the Chanukah kits that it’s been given out for 32 years, this year each of them will be accompanied by an poster with the name and details of an Israeli hostage, who is being held by Hamas in Gaza. about 180 different picture of the hostages which will be included in hundreds of different packages. It will be a short explanation of all the entire war, it will appear on the page under the title “Повернути до дому” The translation of “bring them home” in the Ukrainian language. The boxes will of course also contain menorahs and candles, and a dreidel filled with chocolate coins, a game for children and a fancy explanation of the holiday. “In each of the many public menorah lightings outside the cities that we will do again this year all over Ukraine together with Chabad Shluchim, we will remember the abductees and ask the public to pray for their safety and for their safe return home soon” says Rabbi Mayer Stambler, Chabad Shliach and chairman The “Federation of Jewish Communities in Ukraine” (FJCU) which stands behind the all operation together with the Chabad representatives in the country. Like all the last three decades, this year also billboards about Chanukah will be posted outside the cities in Ukraine. According to the Shliach. “The Chanukah holiday is a symbol of the victory of light over darkness, and we are sure that in the two countries that struggle with murderous terrorism, Israel and Ukraine, with God’s help, there will be a clear victory for light over the darkness and evil that slaughter children, women and adults. Chabad Shluchim will once again hold ‘Operation Chanukah ‘ this year with public lightings in the streets of the cities, including community events, and continue to lead Ukrainian Jewish communities despite the challenges. We pray that the Hanukkah holiday who came from the Beis Hmikdosh, we will all march to the Third Beis Hmikdosh very soon”.

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WATCH: “Innocent” Gazans Try To Harm Hostages, Jeer At Elderly Woman, Yell Allahu Akbar

Israeli media reported on Tuesday night that the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups had to change the location of the transfer of Israeli hostages to the Red Cross multiple times on Tuesday evening as Gazan civilians tried to kill them. Other reports said that the return of the hostages was delayed due to the crowds. Unlike previous releases, last night’s release was carried out by not only Hamas terrorists but also Islamic Jihad terrorists, who are seen embracing each other at the end of the video seen below. The “innocent” civilians jeered as the hostages, mostly elderly ladies and a 17-year-old, were escorted to the vehicle, and yelled Allahu Akbar. ‘Innocent Gazan’ civilians again. People with such a clear line between them and Hamas, obviously. Bravely taunting & jeering elderly Jewish women. — Douglas Murray (@DouglasKMurray) November 28, 2023 שחרור החטופים היום בוצע ע”י שיתוף פעולה בין חמאס לג’יהאד האיסלמי אז שהנאצים של החמאס אומרים שאין להם מושג וקשר לחטופים שאצל הנאצים ושל הג’יהאד אז תבינו כמה הם “אמינים” ימ”ש — בז news (@1717Bazz) November 28, 2023 (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

Conservative Attack On Government Regulation Reaches The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a challenge to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s ability to fight fraud, part of a broad attack on regulatory agencies led by conservative and business interests. The case before the justices Wednesday involves the Biden administration’s appeal of a lower-court ruling that threw out stiff financial penalties imposed on hedge fund manager George R. Jarkesy by the SEC. The high court’s decision could have far-reaching effects on the SEC and other regulatory agencies, and it’s just one of several cases this term that could constrict federal regulators. The court’s conservative majority has already reined them in, including in last May’s decision sharply limiting their ability to police water pollution in wetlands. Last year, a divided panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Jarkesy and his Patriot28 investment adviser group on three separate issues. It found that the SEC’s case against him, resulting in a $300,000 civil fine and the repayment of $680,000 in allegedly ill-gotten gains, should have been heard in a federal court instead of before one of the SEC’s administrative law judges. The panel also said Congress unconstitutionally granted the SEC “unfettered authority” to decide whether the case should be tried in a court of law or handled within the executive branch agency. And it said laws shielding the commission’s administrative law judges from being fired by the president are unconstitutional. Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod wrote the appellate opinion, joined by Judge Andrew Oldham. Elrod was appointed by former President George W. Bush, and Oldham by former President Donald Trump. Judge Eugene Davis, a nominee of former President Ronald Reagan, dissented. Jarkesy’s lawyers noted that the SEC wins almost all the cases it brings in front of the administrative law judges but only about 60% of cases tried in federal court. The SEC was awarded more than $4 billion in civil penalties in the 2022 government spending year, the Justice Department wrote in court papers. A decision upholding the 5th Circuit’s ruling could sweep far more broadly, calling into question the authority of administrative law judges at numerous federal agencies, the Justice Department said. A decision in SEC v. Jarkesy, 22-859, is expected by early summer. (AP)

NEED A MINYAN IN GAZA? Shacharis At 6:30, 8:00; Mincha 12:30, 3:45; Maariv 9:15

According to a report by Walla, IDF soldiers have set up a Shul in the central area of the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing ground invasion. In this initiative, the soldiers transformed an existing building into a Shul. They furnished it with benches, a table designated for Seforim and Siddurim. The name of the Shul is “Bais Haknesses Heichal Avraham”. The Minyanim times are updated each day. YWN was unable to find out if there is a sponsorship available for the coffee room. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

1 Killed In US Military Osprey Aircraft Crash Off Southern Japan

A crew member who was recovered from the ocean after a U.S. military Osprey aircraft carrying six people crashed Wednesday off southern Japan has been pronounced dead, coast guard officials said. The cause of the crash and the status of the five others on the aircraft were not immediately known, coast guard spokesperson Kazuo Ogawa said. Initial reports said the aircraft was carrying eight people, but the U.S. military later revised the number to six, he said. The coast guard received an emergency call from a fishing boat near the crash site off Yakushima, an island south of Kagoshima on the southern main island of Kyushu, he said. Coast guard aircraft and patrol boats found one person, who was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, and gray-colored debris believed to be from the aircraft, Ogawa said. They were found about 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) off the eastern coast of Yakushima. An empty inflatable life raft was also found in the area. “The government will confirm information about the damage and place the highest priority on saving lives,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters. The Osprey is a hybrid aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter, but during flight can rotate its propellers forward and cruise much faster like an airplane. Versions of the aircraft are flown by the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. Ogawa said the aircraft had departed from the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi prefecture and crashed on its way to Kadena Air Base on Okinawa. Japanese Vice Defense Minister Hiroyuki Miyazawa said the Osprey had attempted an emergency sea landing. Kyodo News agency, quoting Kagoshima prefectural officials, said witnesses reported seeing fire coming from the Osprey’s left engine. It said a Japanese military base in Saga in southern Japan decided to postpone planned Osprey flight exercises on Thursday. U.S. and Japanese officials said the aircraft belonged to Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo. U.S. Air Force officials at Yokota said they were still confirming information and had no immediate comment. Ospreys have had a number of accidents in the past, including in Japan, where they are deployed at both U.S. and Japanese military bases. In Okinawa, where about half of the 50,000 American troops in Japan are based, Gov. Denny Tamaki told reporters Wednesday that he will ask the U.S. military to suspend all Osprey flights in Japan. In December 2016, a U.S. Marine Corps Osprey crashed off the Okinawa coast, injuring two of the five crew members and triggering complaints among local residents about the U.S. bases and the Osprey’s safety record. A U.S. Marine Corps Osprey with 23 Marines aboard crashed on a north Australian island in August, killing at least three and critically injuring at least five during a multinational training exercise. It was the fifth fatal crash of a Marine Osprey since 2012, bringing the death toll at that time to at least 19. (AP)

ANIMALS: Hamas Claims 10-Month-Old Hostage, Sibling And Mother Are Dead

In a heart-wrenching development, Israel is currently investigating claims made by Hamas regarding the fate of Kfir Babis, a 10-month-old baby who was abducted and taken into Gaza by the terrorist group. Hamas’ armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, has asserted, without providing concrete evidence, that young Kfir, along with his mother, Shiri Silberman-Babis, aged 30, and his four-year-old brother, Ariel, were killed in an Israeli airstrike just before the ceasefire was announced. Notably, Kfir’s father, Yarden, who was also taken hostage by the terrorists, was not mentioned in the statement. The Israeli military has responded to these claims by Hamas, stating that they are diligently examining the allegations surrounding the fate of the baby, who was reportedly held hostage alongside his mother and brother by the terrorists. The world was horrified on October 7th when distressing footage emerged, capturing the moment Hamas terrorists forcibly removed Shiri and her young family from their home in Nir Oz Kibbutz and transported them towards a waiting car. The video displayed a distraught mother clinging to Kfir and Ariel as they were abducted, with shocked neighbors crying out, “She has a baby.” Since that day, there has been no contact with the family. Nevertheless, there had been hopes that they might be released by Hamas as part of a prisoner exchange during the ceasefire negotiations between Israel and the terrorist group. However, Hamas has now claimed, albeit without presenting any substantiating evidence, that Kfir, Shiri, and Ariel tragically lost their lives in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza in the days leading up to the ceasefire announcement. With his distinctive red hair and innocent toothless smile, Kfir’s harrowing ordeal has come to symbolize, for many, the brutality of the October 7th attack by Hamas, which resulted in the loss of 1,200 Israeli lives, both inside their homes and as they attempted to escape a music festival. Earlier today, Kfir’s family conveyed that the baby, who has spent more than a fifth of his young life in captivity, his brother, and parents were not included in the list of hostages set to be released later tonight. Yossi Schneider, Shiri’s cousin, expressed his frustration to Israel’s Morning News, accusing Hamas of treating Kfir and his family as pawns and passing them from one group to another, akin to an animal. These developments come after an IDF spokesperson suggested that Shiri, Ariel, and Kfir may have been handed over to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a jihadist group that seeks to destroy Israel and has historically avoided diplomatic engagement. Yossi Schneider further questioned Hamas’ motivations behind the abduction of the 10-month-old baby and the four-year-old child, asking what value they could possibly hold as bargaining chips. He lamented, “What were the Hamas terrorists exactly thinking when they kidnapped them? What exactly were they afraid of? What did they think that Kfir could do to them? They are passing him from hand to hand like an animal. I don’t understand it.” Eylon Keshet, Kfir’s father’s cousin, also voiced his anguish, stating, “There is no precedent for something like this, for a baby who was kidnapped when he was 9 months old. Is baby Kfir the enemy of Hamas?” Kfir’s family, like other relatives of captives, have been enduring torment since October 7th. They have received no sign of life from […]

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Sports Illustrated Becomes Latest Media Company Hurt In AI Experiment Gone Wrong

Computer-generated writers … writing computer-generated stories? Sports Illustrated is the latest media company to see its reputation damaged by being less than forthcoming — if not outright dishonest — about who or what is writing its stories at the dawn of the artificial intelligence age. The once-powerful publication said it was firing a company that produced articles for its website written under the byline of authors who apparently don’t exist. But it denied a published report that stories themselves were written by an artificial intelligence tool. Earlier this year, experiments with AI went awry at both the Gannett newspaper chain and the CNET technology website. Many companies are testing the new technology at a time when human workers fear it could cost jobs. But the process is fraught in journalism, which builds and markets its values-based products around the notions of truth and transparency. While there’s nothing wrong in media companies experimenting with artificial intelligence, “the mistake is in trying to hide it, and in doing it poorly,” said Tom Rosenstiel, a University of Maryland professor who teaches journalism ethics. “If you want to be in the truth-telling business, which journalists claim they do, you shouldn’t tell lies,” Rosenstiel said. “A secret is a form of lying.” CONFLICTING ACCOUNTS OF WHAT HAPPENED Sports Illustrated, now run as a website and once-monthly publication by the Arena Group, at one time was a weekly in the Time Inc. stable of magazines known for its sterling writing. “Its ambitions were grand,” said Jeff Jarvis, author of “Magazine,” a book he describes as an elegy for the industry. On Monday, the Futurism website reported that Sports Illustrated used stories for product reviews that had authors it could not identify. Futurism found a picture of one author listed, Drew Ortiz, on a website that sells AI-generated portraits. The magazine’s author profile said that “Drew has spent much of his life outdoors, and is excited to guide you through his never-ending list of the best products to keep you from falling to the perils of nature.” Upon questioning Sports Illustrated, Futurism said all of the authors with AI-generated portraits disappeared from the magazine’s website. No explanation was offered. Futurism quoted an unnamed person at the magazine who said artificial intelligence was used in the creation of some content as well — “no matter how much they say that it’s not.” Sports Illustrated said the articles in question were created by a third-party company, AdVon Commerce, which assured the magazine that they were written and edited by humans. AdVon had its writers use a pen name, “actions we don’t condone,” Sports Illustrated said. “We are removing the content while our internal investigation continues and have since ended the partnership,” the magazine said. A message to AdVon wasn’t immediately returned on Tuesday. In a statement, the Sports Illustrated Union said it was horrified by the Futurism story. “We demand answers and transparency from Arena group management about what exactly has been published under the SI name,” the union said. “We demand the company commit to adhering to basic journalistic standards, including not publishing computer-written stories by fake people.” NOT THE FIRST SUCH SITUATION Gannett paused an experiment at some of its newspapers this summer in which AI was used to generate articles on high school sports events, after […]

GOOD RIDDANCE: Joint IDF Operation Eliminates Palestinian Islamic Jihad Commander In Jenin

In a coordinated operation, the IDF, Shin Bet, and Border Police successfully targeted and eliminated Muhammad Zubeidi, a high-ranking member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group. The operation, which took place amid gun battles with terrorists in Jenin on Wednesday, was confirmed in a joint statement by the IDF, Shin Bet, and the police. Muhammad Zubeidi was as the commander of the Jenin branch of the terrorist organization, and was involved in numerous terrorist attacks. He was directly implicated in several shooting attacks and played a significant role in the broader spectrum of PIJ’s terrorist operations, including an attack that resulted in the death of Meir Tamari near Hermesh in May. Zubeidi had familial ties to a notable figure in Palestinian terrorism. He was related to Zakaria Zubeidi, who gained notoriety as one of the six Palestinian prisoners who executed a daring escape from Gilboa Prison in 2021. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

Israeli Doctor: “We’re Horrified By The Stories We’re Exposed To”

The condition of eight of the ten hostages released from captivity in Gaza on Tuesday evening is “complex but stable,” including that of Mia Leimberg, 17, the youngest hostage of the group. Mia and her mother Gabriela, 59, residents of Jerusalem, were visiting relatives on Kibbutz Nir Yitzchak on October 7th and were abducted together with three of their relatives and Mia’s dog Bella, who returned from Gaza with her. Prof. Itai Pessach of Sheba Hospital spoke to the press on Wednesday morning, saying: “The hostages] underwent comprehensive examinations. Some of them suffer from complex underlying illnesses and some from injuries they sustained when they were abducted and also suffered during captivity. Their medical condition is complex and they will need additional testing but they are all stable and there is no immediate danger to any of them.” “These days are difficult and harrowing. Our feelings waver from happiness and excitement, seeing the emotional reunions of the families, to pain and sorrow and at times even horror in view of the injuries we treat and the difficult stories we’re exposed to – things we thought belonged to a different era in history.” (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

Nikki Haley Wins Support Of Powerful Koch Network As She Aims At Trump

Americans for Prosperity, the political arm of the powerful Koch network, formally endorsed Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign on Tuesday, promising to commit its nationwide army of activists — and virtually unlimited funds — to helping Haley defeat former President Donald Trump in the GOP primary contest. “AFP Action is proud to throw our full support behind Nikki Haley, who offers America the opportunity to turn the page on the current political era, to win the Republican primary and defeat Joe Biden next November,” AFP president and CEO Emily Seidel wrote in a memo announcing the group’s decision. “She has what it takes to lead a policy agenda to take on our nation’s biggest challenges and help ensure our country’s best days are ahead. With the grassroots and data capability we bring to bear in this race, no other organization is better equipped to help her do it.” The endorsement may help Haley address one of her biggest strategic liabilities. Despite seizing polling momentum in recent months, the former United Nations ambassador’s campaign has been lacking significant manpower on the ground in primary states to ensure her supporters turn out to vote. But now, she inherits the organizational heft of what may be the most powerful conservative grassroots organization in the nation. The Koch network, previously referred to as the Koch Brothers, has been building a network of paid conservative activists and volunteers in key states for several years. Through this summer and fall alone, Americans for Prosperity activists have already communicated with six million primary voters, either in person at their doors or on the phone, Seidel said. The development marks a particularly painful blow to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had championed conservative priorities in Florida, but struggled to emerge as the clear Trump alternative in the 2024 GOP primary contest. It’s unclear, however, whether the endorsement can help weaken Trump’s grip on the Republican presidential nomination given his commanding lead over DeSantis and Haley in virtually every poll. Back in the spring, the Koch network began running ads across Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — the first three states on the GOP’s presidential primary calendar — focusing on questions about Trump’s electability in next fall’s general election against Biden. And still, Trump remains the overwhelming frontrunner in the race. Seidel said Tuesday that Americans for Prosperity would immediately begin refocusing its efforts on boosting Haley’s primary and general election campaigns with strategic advertising investments, mailers and voter contacts through the group’s network of thousands of conservative activists, which has spent recent months collecting information from Republican primary voters to determine the most effective arguments against Trump. At the same time, Seidel said that her organization would focus on convincing reliable general election voters, who typically don’t vote in primaries, to show up for Haley in this year’s fast-approaching nomination contests. Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung dismissed Americans for Prosperity as “the political arm of the China-first, America-last movement.” “No amount of shady money from George Soros, Democrats and Never-Trump RINOs in partnership with endless-war swamp creatures in Washington will stop the MAGA movement or President Trump from being the Republican nominee and defeating Crooked Joe Biden,” Cheung wrote in a statement responding to the Haley endorsement. The DeSantis camp was not pleased. In a statement, DeSantis spokesman […]

Miriam Adelson To Purchase Majority Stake In Dallas Mavericks Basketball Team

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is working on a deal to sell a majority stake in the NBA franchise to the family that runs the Las Vegas Sands casino company, a person with knowledge of the talks said Tuesday night. The agreement would be in the valuation range of $3.5 billion and take weeks for the league to process, according to the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details weren’t being made public. Cuban would retain control of basketball operations in the deal. NBA reporter Marc Stein was the first to report the potential sale. The company controlled by Miriam Adelson, widow of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, announced earlier Tuesday it was selling $2 billion of her shares to buy an unspecified professional sports team. Cuban said almost a year ago he was interested in partnering with the Sands. He has been a proponent of legalizing gambling in Texas, an issue that didn’t make it out of the state Legislature in a biennial session that ended earlier this year. The 65-year-old Cuban, who just announced he was leaving the popular business TV program “Shark Tank” after a 16th season next year, rose to fame quickly after buying the Mavericks in 2000. Dallas was one of the worst franchises in pro sports in the 1990s, but turned into one of the best under Cuban, with a lot of help from star forward Dirk Nowitzki. Miriam Adelson is the controlling shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., a publicly traded Las Vegas company that built the Venetian and Palazzo resorts but now only has casino operations in Macau and Singapore. The company revealed the sale of $2 billion in stock in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing identified Adelson and the Miriam Adelson Trust as sellers but didn’t specify a team, league or location. If the entirety of the $2 billion goes toward the purchase, it would mean Adelson could be acquiring at least 57% of the NBA team — based on the $3.5 billion valuation. Adelson, 78, is a medical doctor and widow of Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire founder and owner of Las Vegas Sands who died in 2021 at 87. The filing says she will retain 51.3% of company shares following the sale. The family also owns Nevada’s largest newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We have been advised by the selling stockholders that they currently intend to use the net proceeds from this offering, along with additional cash on hand, to fund the purchase of a majority interest in a professional sports franchise … subject to customary league approvals,” the company said in the SEC filing. The vetting process for new owners in the NBA typically takes at least several weeks, and then approval must be granted by the league’s Board of Governors. Cuban also said late last year he wanted to build a new arena in downtown Dallas that would also be a casino resort. The legalization of gambling faces steep odds in Texas, where Republicans have been in power for three decades. Supporters were hoping in the last legislative session to get a vote on a constitutional amendment, but the measure didn’t get out of committee. (AP)

JEWISH HUMOR AMID HELL: What Is The Historian In Gaza Doing?

Dr. Margarita Mashavi, a physician at Wolfson Hospital who is the head of the department treating the returned hostages, told Ynet on Tuesday morning that Israeli historian Alex Danzig, 75, who was abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz, was held together with some of the hostages that have been released. One of the hostages said that Danzig helped pass the time in captivity by giving two-three hour lectures on Israeli history to his fellow hostages. His family is relieved that Danzig is feeling relatively well, and his son-in-law even quipped on Israeli radio: “Well, at least he now has a captive audience.” Danzig, a world-renowned Holocaust educator who was born in Poland, sent a message to his family through one of the released hostages. She reported that he is doing fairly well, a huge relief to his family as he underwent bypass surgery two years ago and takes life-saving medication. “It was a great relief to receive the regards from Alex, to know that he is alive, that he is okay, and that he is receiving his medications,” his son-in-law Yaron Maor told Ynet. “He underwent coronary artery bypass surgery about two years ago, and he needs daily medications. We were happy to hear that he is receiving his medications and that there is someone from his kibbutz with him in captivity who is a nurse by profession and is helping him.” “The moment we heard that he’s delivering lectures we understood that this time he has a ‘captive audience,’ and it made us laugh. He’s an expert in history and loved giving us lectures, until we almost ran away from him and from the table at home. Now, where will his audience escape to? This is what they mean by ‘captive audience’ – they can’t run away from his lectures.” “We were happy to know that he is receiving his medications. We were also happy that members of the kibbutz are together there and supporting each other. That’s a big relief  and there’s hope that he will return home.” (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

US Gas Prices Have Fallen Or Remained Steady For 10 Weeks Straight. Here’s Why

It’s not just you. Across the U.S., prices at the pump have felt milder in recent months. Gas prices have fallen or remained steady since Sep. 19 — marking about a 70-day trajectory of decline, Andrew Gross, spokesperson for motor club AAA, said Tuesday. As of Tuesday, the national average for gas prices stood just below $3.25, according to AAA. That’s down 25 cents from a month ago and 30 cents less than this time last year. Experts point to a recent decline in oil prices and a seasonal dip in demand, as well as easing inflation. Each penny decline in the national average saves motorists close to $3.8 million, according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “If you amplify that times 30 cents, we’re talking about Americans that are spending hundreds of millions less on gasoline today than they were a year ago.” Despite the drop, the global energy market can be volatile and lower gas prices down the road aren’t promised. Here’s what you need to know. WHY ARE GAS PRICES FALLING? A few factors contribute to today’s gas prices, but a big explanation behind the decline is seasonality. In other words, prices at the pump almost always ease at this time of year. For starters, there’s a switch to winter blend gasoline — which is cheaper to produce than the summer blend, Gross notes. And, despite some upticks around the holidays, shorter days make hitting the road less enticing in the colder months. “It’s dark and the weather is kind of crummy, and people just want to stay home,” Gross said. “Demand is a lot less (in the) fall and winter.” On top of the seasonal cycle, inflation, while down from last year, is still high and continues to undercut Americans’ spending habits — which could also be contributing to today’s lower demand, De Haan added. Beyond demand, experts also point to declining oil costs. Prices at the pump are highly dependent on crude oil, which is the main ingredient in gasoline. West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, has stayed in the high-to-mid $70s for the past three weeks — standing at about $76 a barrel as of Tuesday afternoon, down from over $82 a month ago. Oil is a global commodity, so events impacting production and supply such as the Russia-Ukraine war can be felt domestically. There’s also been a notable uptick in U.S. production that is “helping to keep a lid on prices” today, De Haan said. At the start of October, American oil production hit an all-time high of 13.2 million barrels per day, passing the previous record set in early 2020 by 100,000 barrels. Average production has since remained at that level, according to the government’s latest data through the week of Nov. 17. COULD GAS PRICES CHANGE COURSE AND GO UP AGAIN SOON? While the downward trend in gas prices is expected to continue at least into the New Year, anything’s possible. Some experts point to the potential of more cuts from major producing OPEC+ countries — which boosted energy prices in the past. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia and Russia notably extended their voluntary oil production cuts through the end of this year, trimming 1.3 million barrels of crude out of the global market. Some speculate […]

“WE’RE NOT MAGICIANS”: Naftali Bennett Defends IDF Against Attacks Over Palestinian Casualties [VIDEO]

CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Tuesday engaged in a pointed exchange with former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett over the sensitive issue of civilian casualties in Gaza, taking  a critical look at Israel’s military actions against Hamas and highlighting the complexities and controversies surrounding the Israeli-Hamas conflict. “Even if the conservative estimates are right, with 15,000 killed, even if 5,000 of them are Hamas, that’s still a 2-1 ratio of civilians to Hamas. That’s a lot of civilians who have been killed.” He then questioned Bennett on whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would heed the concerns of President Joe Biden regarding these casualties. In response, Bennett provided a defense of Israeli actions, emphasizing the challenges Israel faces in minimizing civilian harm: “Well, Jake, we’re not magicians. There is no magic way to dramatically reduce collateral damage when Hamas’s deliberate goal, intentional goal is to increase Gaza casualties in order for you to ask me that precise question.” Bennett compared the situation in Gaza to historical instances of conflict, such as Nazi Germany during World War II. This analogy was met with a question from Tapper, who asked whether Israel’s offensive in Gaza might incite further animosity and lead to a new generation of terrorists. Bennett replied, “It depends what we do next. I want to remind you that Nazi Germany, in the final months of the war, there were many, many civilian casualties. Yet Germany was denazified after the war and we had a new Germany.” (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

Antisemitic Incidents In Germany Rose By 320% After Hamas Attacked Israel

A group tracking antisemitism in Germany said Tuesday that it documented a drastic increase of antisemitic incidents in the country in the month after Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7. The RIAS group said it recorded 994 incidents, which is an average of 29 incidents per day and an increase of 320% compared to the same time period in 2022. The group looked at the time period from Oct. 7 to Nov. 9. Among the 994 antisemitic incidents, there were three cases of extreme violence, 29 attacks, targeted damage to 72 properties, 32 threats, four mass mailings and 854 cases of offensive behavior. Many Jews in Germany experienced antisemitic incidents in their everyday lives and even those who weren’t exposed to any antisemitic incidents reported feelings of insecurity and fear, said RIAS, which is an abbreviation in German for the Department for Research and Information on Antisemitism. RIAS said that 59 reported incidents related to homes or people’s living environment. In the southwestern town of Giessen, two men forced their way into the home of an Israeli national to remove an Israeli flag hanging out of the window. Several Jews also reported that their homes were marked with Stars of David. In one of the most severe antisemitic crimes, a synagogue in Berlin was attacked on Oct. 18. There was also a rise in antisemitic and anti-Israeli propaganda at universities in Germany, with a total of 37 incidents logged by RIAS. Jewish students reported cases in which fellow students blamed them personally for Israel’s politics. Some of them stopped attending classes for fear of being attacked. The monitoring group said that during the time period analyzed, about one in five incidents, or 21%, was attributed to anti-Israeli activism. “A further 6% can be attributed to Islamist background, 5% of cases were classified as left-wing/anti-imperialist, while the far-right and conspiracy ideology backgrounds each account for just under 2%,” RIAS wrote. “1% of the cases could be attributed to the political center and less than 1% can be attributed to the Christian/fundamentalist spectrum.” In 63% of all cases, the political background was unknown, the group added. While Germany’s government has been one of Israel’s staunchest supporters following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack and the subsequent Gaza war, there were outbreaks of violence at several street protests, in Berlin especially. Jews in the German capital reported antisemitic hostility in grocery stores, on public transportation or from neighbors, and deplored that uninvolved bystanders often looked the other way instead of showing support. “Berliners are called upon not to leave those affected by antisemitism alone, especially in everyday situations,” said Ruth Hatlapa from RIAS. The report pointed out that since Oct 7, even more than before, Jews are once again trying to make themselves invisible to avoid being attacked. “Jews are hiding signs and symbols: a cap over the kippah, the Star of David pendant under the scarf, they no longer speak Hebrew on the street,” the report notes. “Jewish life in Berlin has become less visible, less openly lived.” (AP)

US Tells Israel That Any Military Operations In Southern Gaza Must Keep Civilians Protected

The Biden administration has told Israel that it must work to avoid “significant further displacement” of Palestinian civilians in southern Gaza if it renews its ground campaign aimed at eradicating the Hamas militant group, senior U.S. officials said Tuesday. Separately, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the Israelis have been receptive when U.S. officials have raised the issue. The Democratic administration, seeking to avoid more large-scale civilian casualties or mass displacement like that seen before the current temporary pause in the fighting, underscored to the Israelis that they must operate with far greater precision in southern Gaza than they did in the north, said officials who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the White House. Amid mounting international and domestic pressure about the rising Palestinian death toll, the White House has begun to put greater pressure on Israel that the manner of the coming campaign must be “carefully thought through,” according to one of the officials. Kirby, told reporters separately, “Now you have an added population of hundreds of thousands more in the south that you didn’t have before (the Israelis) moved into Gaza City.” “And so it’s even all that more of an added burden on Israel to make sure that as they start to plan for operations in the south, whatever that looks like, that they have properly accounted for…the extra innocent life that is now in south Gaza.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear that Israeli Defense Forces will eventually restart military operations after the conclusion of the current, temporary cease-fire that has allowed for an exchange of hostages taken by Hamas for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. The two sides agreed Monday to extend the truce for an additional two days and to continue swapping hostages for prisoners. President Joe Biden has said he would like to see the pause — which has also allowed a surge of much-needed humanitarian aid to get into Gaza — continue as long as feasible. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will return this week to the Middle East as the U.S. hopes to find a way to extend the cease-fire and get more hostages released, the State Department said Monday. It will be his third trip to the region since Israel’s war with Hamas began last month. Meanwhile, CIA Director William Burns and David Barnea, the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, as well as Egyptian officials met in Qatar on Tuesday for talks on the same matter, according to a diplomatic official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks. Negotiations are turning to the dozens of Israeli men and Israeli security force members held captive in hopes of keeping the cease-fire and hostage-for-prisoner swap going, said Steven Cook, a Middle East expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. Those released since Friday’s truce started have been mainly women and children. Brokering swaps for Israeli forces are expected to be much more difficult for U.S. and Arab negotiators, Cook said. Hamas in the past has demanded Israel release large numbers of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli detention in exchange for each Israeli soldier. “The price may be too high for the Israelis,” Cook said. The Americans spotlighted their concerns about civilians in Gaza as the […]

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