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Paraguayan Leader Makes Historic First Visit to Israel

(JNS.org) Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes made the first official visit by a leader of his country to Israel on Tuesday where he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“President Cartes, Horacio, bienvenidos, it’s my pleasure to welcome you and your entire delegation to Israel on this historic visit, the first visit of a president of Paraguay to Israel. It reflects something very deep,” Netanyahu said in a joint meeting.

Our relationship, Netanyahu continued, “It reflects something very deep…Not only the growing partnership between our two countries but also your personal friendship for the State of Israel and also some deeper roots of, some parallels, in our history: Small countries surrounded by a lot of big countries, not always on the friendliest terms. The hope of securing prosperous, secure future in our region.”

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the two leaders signed a number of agreements to cooperate in areas such as legal matters, education, the Holocaust and culture as well as a Memorandum of Understanding on technical assistance for Paraguay. It was agreed that Israel would send a delegation to Paraguay to boost agricultural output and that Paraguay would send a delegation to Israel to learn about technology.

Paraguay was one of 33 United Nations members to vote in support of U.N. Resolution 181 that helped to create the State of Israel in 1947.

“In the name of my country, of all the population, I want you to know Israel is in the heart of all Paraguay. We like you very much,” President Cartes said.

 

U.S. State Department Denies Existence of ‘Secret Document’ on Iran Nuclear Deal

(JNS.org) The U.S. State Department has denied the existence of a so-called “secret document” in the Iranian nuclear deal that outlines how Iran would be able to more quickly produce a nuclear weapon by ramping up its uranium enrichment after the year 2027.

“There is no secret document or secret deal,” U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said.

Instead, Toner said the document “appears to be Iran’s long-term enrichment R&D plan that was submitted by Iran to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) as part of its initial Addition Protocol declaration.”

Toner added that the Iran deal “explicitly refers to this document,” and that its substance was made available to the U.S. Congress “on multiple occasions” before and after the deal.

On Monday, the Associated Press obtained a document that was the only part of the nuclear deal that was not made public last year. The document outlines how key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will ease in slightly more than a decade, which will cut the time Tehran needs to produce a nuclear weapon from a year to six months.

“As of January 2027—11 years after the deal was implemented—Iran can start replacing its mainstay centrifuges with thousands of advanced machines,” the Associated Press wrote in its report. “From year 11 to 13, says the document, Iran can install centrifuges up to five times as efficient as the 5,060 machines it is now restricted to using… Because they are more effective, they will allow Iran to enrich at more than twice the rate it is doing now.”

 

Republican Convention Shuts Down Live Chat Due to Barrage of Anti-Semitic Comments

(JNS.org) The Republican National Convention on Monday disabled the live chat feature on its official live-stream YouTube page after it was bombarded with anti-Semitic comments during a speech by Linda Lingle, the Jewish former governor of Hawaii.

Lingle spoke about the division in Democratic leadership on support for Israel, in contrast to the position of the Republican Party on the Jewish state.

“On one issue after another, from Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), to the Iran nuclear agreement, to the very legitimacy of Israel, they’re divided,” Lingle said about Democrats, continuing that “with those who don’t care for Israel getting stronger in the Democratic Party. You’ll find no such divisions in the Republican Party’s leadership.”

While Lingle spoke, several people wrote in the comments section, “Ban Jews,” “Kike,” “Press H for Hitler,” and “”Oy Gevalt,” Rawstory.com reported, with captured screen shots of the comments.

 

Mayor of Atlanta Defends Ties With Israeli Police Despite ‘Black Lives Matter’ Demands

(JNS.org) The Mayor of Atlanta on Monday said that Israeli police officers will continue to train the Atlanta police department despite demands made by ALTisREADY, a group affiliated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

“There was a demand that I stop allowing the Atlanta Police Department to train with the Israeli police department,” Mayor Reed said at a press conference.

“I’m not going to do that. I happen to believe that the Israeli police department has some of the best counter-terrorism techniques in the world and it benefits our police department from that long-standing relationship,” he said.

Some BLM protestors, and representatives from NAACP, the Nation of Islam and Southern Christian Leadership Council, as well as others, met with Reed on Monday in a closed-door meeting in order to address crimes involving people of color by local police, CBS46 News Atlanta reported.

Other protest groups were left out of the meeting, including ALTisREADY, but their demands were reviewed by the mayor.

ALTisREADY lists on its website that “the people demand a termination to APD’s involvement in the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) program, that trains our officers in Apartheid Israel.””

This is not the first time that the cause of the BLM movement has become conflated with a pro-Palestinian cause. On July 7, the NYU branch of the group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) posted on Facebook that “many U.S. police departments train with the Israeli Defense Forces,” and “the same forces behind the genocide of black people in America are behind the genocide of Palestinians. The IDF assists the NYPD and other American police departments in their oppression and murder of black people.”

 

Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

(By Robert Gluck / JNS.org /edited from original version)

Other than being part of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, Sandy Koufax and Dean Kremer have something else in common: a respect for Jewish tradition.

Koufax—who was recently ranked by ESPN as the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) history—decided not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because the game fell on Yom Kippur.

“I would do the same,” Kremer said in an interview.

Last month, the 20-year-old Kremer became the first Israeli citizen to sign with an MLB team. The right-handed pitcher had also made history in 2015 by becoming the first Israeli drafted by an MLB team, the San Diego Padres, but he did not sign with that club and instead pitched for a year at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). He re-entered the draft in 2016 and was selected by Los Angeles in the 14th round—up from his 38th-round draft slot the previous year—and subsequently joined the Dodgers’ Ogden Raptors minor league affiliate in Utah.

“I feel very honored, it’s a great opportunity,” Kremer told JNS.org. “To represent more than one country, especially my home country, and to be the first, it’s a pretty awesome feeling.”

Kremer was born in Stockton, Calif., and grew up in Tel Aviv.

Asked if he feels pressure as the first Israeli to sign an MLB contract, Kremer said he tries not to think of it that way.

“It’s different for me than, say, someone like Jackie Robinson,” he said, referring to the MLB’s first black player. “Although baseball is growing, it is still not a major sport in Israel. There are a lot of people who still don’t know what it is.”

“If I were Omri Casspi, it would be different,” said Kremer, contrasting himself with the first Israeli-born player in National Basketball Association history and making the point that basketball remains more popular than baseball in Israel.

Although reaching the major leagues is not a sure thing for a 14th-round draft pick like Kremer, or for any minor leaguer, Kremer is undeterred.

“Of course it is possible. And the major leagues, that’s my goal. Hopefully, I will get to Los Angeles to play for the Dodgers,” he said.

“I’m really excited to be a Dodger and I know there is a big Jewish community in Los Angeles,” added Kremer. “I know they will support me.”

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