Sometimes I am bereft of ideas for this blog, what to write? Then the daily news comes and events rush in to fill the gap. Two items caught my eye that might not otherwise be noted by most people.
The Israel Security Forces (Shin Bet) and Israeli Police have arrested 5 young Israeli Arab men for setting up an ISIS cell in Nazareth. They apparently were radicalized and obtained sophisticated firearms and went out into the forests to train with them with the intention of killing Israelis. They were however detected and arrested and have now been charged with membership in an illegal organization, illegal possession of weapons and other offences. Security forces in Israel have been on the alert for IS-related groups since the attacks of IS-affiliated terrorists throughout Europe and now in the US. The attacks in San Bernadino CA and in Paris are typical of what mayhem these IS cells want to inflict on western countries in order to try to destabilize them and sow terror. Our security forces got to them first. Pity the security forces in France and the USA did not!
In an historic decision the Royal Spanish Academy has for the first time appointed six Israeli academics who are experts in the culture and history of Sephardic Jewry and the Ladino language that they speak. It should be a matter of pride to Spain that even 500 years after the expulsion of Jews from Spain, Sephardim still retain their cultural connection to Spain. This is a historic turn-around, from the hatred and exclusion of Jews in the old Catholic and fascist Spain, to the acceptance and indeed pride in the connection of the new democratic and liberal Spain. One of the people appointed to the Spanish Academy is Prof. Moise Orfali of Bar-Ilan University, who is a member of the Board of the Inst. for Sefardi and Anousim Studies at Netanya College. We hope this appointment and the conferring od Spansih citizenship on individuals who can confirm their Sephardic origins will usher in a new “Golden Age” in the relationship of the Jewish people with the Spanish people.