The suspect was reportedly under surveillance at the time of his arrest, BBCi

CYPRUS -- Israel has accused Iran of plotting to kill Israelis in Cyprus after police there arrested a man suspected of being hired to carry out the attacks.  The Israeli prime minister's office said "an act of terror... was orchestrated by Iran against Israeli businesspeople" living on the island. His office denied media reports that the target was Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi.  Iran - Israel's arch-foe - has denied Israel's claims. 

"This regime is always making such a baseless allegation against the Islamic Republic of Iran," the Iranian embassy in the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, said in a statement to Reuters news agency.

The suspect - said to be a 38-year-old Azeri using a Russian passport - was arrested a week ago in Nicosia after crossing from Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, according to local media.

Reports say he had arrived from Russia about three weeks ago and was under police surveillance. Cypriot media say he had a gun with a silencer in his car when he was arrested, though police have not confirmed details of the case.

There are conflicting reports as to who might have been a target. Some reports in Israeli and Cypriot media say Mr Sagi was one of a number of Israeli businesspeople on a hit list. Both the Israeli prime minister's office and Mr Sagi's company, the Sagi Group, denied the tycoon was known to be a would-be victim.

"This is a foiled Iranian terrorist incident," the company said in a statement. "The target for the assassination is not Teddy Sagi but Israelis in Cyprus. Unfortunately, it is so easy to publish incorrect information and damage a person's name."

Other Israeli media reports suggest the plot might be linked to business disputes involving Mr Sagi, whose ventures include online gambling and real estate.

Israel has previously accused Iran or its ally Hezbollah of carrying out, or planning to carry out, attacks on Israelis abroad. In 2012 Cyprus convicted a Hezbollah member of plotting to attack Israelis there. That same year, Bulgaria and Israel accused Hezbollah of carrying out a suicide bombing there which killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian. Iran and Hezbollah denied involvement in the incidents.



The Danville Jewish Community is proud to announce the establishment of the Central Illinois Jewish Communities Archives/Mervis Archives in the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana Library’s Illinois History and Lincoln Collections.

The newly established archives will preserve the contributions of once-thriving small Jewish communities across the center of Illinois outside of major urban centers. The materials include histories of businesses and their owners, which sustained the towns, contributions made by the Jewish residents, information about local rabbis and Jewish leaders, as well as many other historical documents.

“We are excited about the preservation of this history of small-town Jewish immigrant contributions and life during the 20th century,” said Sybil Mervis, a Jewish community leader from Danville, IL.

The initiative to create the archives came from Mrs. Mervis, a longtime leader in the Illinois Jewish communities of Danville and Bloomington, who collected many of the Danville Jewish Community’s documents over the years, after a conversation with Erez Cohen, the executive director of Hillel at the University of Illinois. The two reached out to the director of the University of Illinois’ Program in Jewish Culture and Society, Dr. Dara Goldman, who welcomed the idea and established the connection with the university's library. The archive will include the oral histories of members of the communities, who will be interviewed and whose life stories, and documented.

"Life stories are a vital source of information that cannot be otherwise revealed. They allow us to expand our knowledge in new ways and directions, and reach a more multilayered and accurate historic picture", said Dr. Liat Alon, who works with students on documents included in the archive and the collection of individual life stories.

“Illinois’ rich Jewish history in small towns tells an important chapter in American Jewish history. It is great to see that this history will be preserved in the academic center of the state of Illinois,” said Erez Cohen, Hillel’s Executive Director.  

The records will be housed in the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections at the University of Illinois Library and open to all interested parties, including academic and other researchers, students, and the public. The Illinois History and Lincoln Collections welcomes other small congregations and/or individuals across central Illinois (for example, from Mattoon, Quincy and Decatur, etc.) to inquire, if interested, about the possibility of contributing their records to the archives as well.

“The establishment of these archives provides a critical contribution to future research and engagement with the stories and contributions of Jewish communities in central Illinois,” said Krista Gray, Archives Program Officer for the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections.  “We are grateful to have the opportunity to preserve and make these materials more broadly accessible at the University of Illinois Library.”

A University of Illinois graduate student assistant in Library Science has begun working on the arrangement and description of the records. The initial contributions to the archives are expected to become available to researchers by late spring 2022.

               12-18 Cheshvan 5782                                          Oct. 18-24, 2021 -- THE JEWISH OBSERVER, LOS ANGELES--659th Web Ed.



(l-r) Israeli FM Yair Lapid welcomed on arrival by his Bahraini counterpart Abdul Latif Al-Zayani

BAHRAIN, Saudi Arabia – Israel's foreign minister has made the first official visit to Bahrain by an Israeli cabinet member since the states established diplomatic ties last year.  Yair Lapid had a "historic, warm and hopeful meeting" with King Hamad Al Khalifa and opened Israel's embassy.  The first commercial flight from Manama to Tel Aviv took off after his arrival.

Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan normalised relations with Israel as part of US-brokered deals known as the Abraham Accords.  Until then only two Arab nations - Egypt and Jordan - had signed peace treaties with Israel.

Mr Lapid was greeted at Manama's airport by his Bahraini counterpart, Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, who visited Israel last November.  He then met King Hamad and reportedly discussed economic and security issues, including Iran, which both countries regard as a serious threat.

"His Majesty's leadership and inspiration have led to true co-operation and our meeting outlined the path forward for our relationship," Mr Lapid tweeted.

The Israeli and Bahraini foreign ministers later signed several memorandums of understanding, including co-operation agreements between hospitals and water and power companies.

"Your visit builds on the considerable progress we have already made... and underlines once again our shared desire to spread peace, stability, and co-operation across the Middle East and achieve genuine and lasting security and prosperity for its peoples," Mr Zayani said at a joint news conference.

Mr Lapid said Israel and its friends in the Gulf were "leading today a brave coalition of moderates who are looking forward and creating a prosperous future of stability and tolerance".

Although there was a warm official welcome for Mr Lapid, news agency AFP reported that opponents of the Abraham Accords burned tyres on the outskirts of Manama, sending clouds of black smoke into the air.
Media caption, (September 2020) Donald Trump on Israel-UAE-Bahrain deals: 'We mark the dawn of a new Middle East'

"The visit of the Israeli FM to Bahrain is an act firmly rejected, condemned and denounced by the people of Bahrain," said Sheikh Hussein al-Daih, deputy secretary-general of the banned Shia Muslim opposition movement Al-Wefaq.

Last year, Al-Wefaq described the signing of the Abraham Accords as a "betrayal of Islam and Arabism" because it departed from a long-standing commitment not to normalise relations with Israel until there was progress towards the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

The Palestinian president also rejected the accords as a "stab in the back".  Mr Lapid has also visited the UAE and Morocco since he became foreign minister in a coalition government formed by Naftali Bennett in June. But he has not yet travelled to Sudan, with which Israel's relations have yet to progress.

On Sunday, his Sudanese counterpart Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi told The National: "There's not any sign of normalisation with Israel... and there are no talks at any official level."

At an event marking the first anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords earlier this month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised to "keep normalisation marching forward".

"We want to widen the circle of peaceful diplomacy, because it's in the interests of countries across the region and around the world for Israel to be treated like any other country," he said.  -BBCi



Dreame, the founders of The Big Dream, The British Embassy in Israel, The Ramon Foundation, The Peres Center for Peace &Innovation, ZAZ10TS, EMIS, and the Malchut Production House & Creative Agency took part in a special event in celebration of the International Peace Day recently, Monday, September 20.

The event featured remarks in English, Hebrew, and Arabic and was held in a Sukkah at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in Jaffa. The Sukkah was built using ecological and recycled materials and showcased art that was inspired by dreams for the future of the planet by dreamers and artists around the world. Following the event, a video will be released on Dreame’s YouTube page with images and sounds from the International Peace Day event.

While International Peace Day is not frequently celebrated, Sharonna Karni Cohen, Co-Founder of Big Dream, and Lotte Beilin, co-founder of Malchut Productions, set off to create something symbolic, deep, and special to commemorate this day in a region they didn’t grow up in but now call home. They were motivated by last year’s peace agreements in Israel, and also wanted to expose local children and adults to the concept of peace and discuss what it even means in today’s world.

Efrat Duvdevani, CEO of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation said: “Peres used to tell the younger generation, dare, imagine, think outside the box and always dream big. Shimon Peres and Ilan Ramon shared a common dream to dare and break the boundaries of the earth. They inspired us to be optimistic, to dream big, and see innovation as a tool for a better world. It is an honor for us to take part in this unique project.”

The hour-long commemoration of Peace Day included: Dreams from Afghan, Israeli and Palestinian teenagers, which will be turned into art; Music that was inspired by poetry created by victims of terror; Rappers talking directly about the conflict from both sides. A guided meditation in Arabic, English, and Hebrew taking the participants and audience near and far to the future of the planet.  

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