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Israel News Briefs

James Bond composer, American views toward Israel, Biden on nukes, and Ukrainian Aid make up today’s Israel News Briefs.

Poll: Younger Americans more negative towards Israel

A new Pew report found that 56% of U.S. youth aged 18 to 29 view Israel unfavorably, and of those aged 30 to 49, the unfavorability rate is 47%.

Still, in spite of often misleading media reports and a worldwide PR campaign funded by the Palestinian Authority leftist organizations, the majority of Americans (55%) view Israel favorably. Among those over 65 years old, only 27% view Israel unfavorably.

Republicans have a high favorability rating of Israel at 71%, while 44% of Democrats hold this positive view.

The survey of 3,581 American adults was conducted between March 21 and March 27.

The survey also found that 83% of Israelis hold a favorable view of the United States, and 89% see the U.S.-Israeli relationship positively.

However, Arab Israelis view the United States negatively with 59% having an unfavorable view compared to only 6% of Jewish Israelis.

The Israeli survey of 1,000 people was carried out from March 16 to May 1.

Israeli loses judo match to Iranian friend who defected from Iran

Israeli judoka Sagi Muki and his counterpart, Saeid Mollaei, an Iranian defector who now competes for Azerbaijan, faced each other for the first time this weekend after the latter was forced three years ago to forfeit a match with the athlete from Israel.

The judokas battled it out in the quarterfinals of the Budapest Grand Slam on Saturday in Hungary with Mollaei coming out victorious. The competitors, who have become friends over the years, also hugged and shook hands after the bout.

Muki said in an Instagram post that even though he didn’t win, it was a “victory of sport over politics.”

He added that “the great message that passed today is a message of friendship against all odds and thus the ability of sport and friendship to bridge all the gaps.”

At the 2019 World Championships, Mollaei, who was then competing for Iran, claimed he was pressured by Iranian officials to deliberately lose in the semi-finals to avoid a possible bout with Muki, who ended up winning the gold medal.

The judoka then fled Iran, was granted refugee status in Germany and competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics under the Olympic flag of athletes without nationality. He later received Mongolian citizenship and now competes under the Azerbaijani flag.

Mollaei eventually moved on to the finals of the Budapest Grand Slam over the weekend, where he won the silver medal in the men’s under-81-kilogram category. Israeli athletes took home a total of six medals in various categories of the competition.

After Mollaei revealed the pressures he faced from Iranian officials at the 2019 World Championships, the International Judo Federation responded by issuing a four-year ban against the Iranian Judo Federation for trying to stop its athletes from facing Israeli competitors.

Israel delivers humanitarian aid to Ukraine

A large cargo of medical and humanitarian aid was recently collected and delivered to Ukraine by the Israeli international humanitarian aid organization IsraAID and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Israel-Ukraine.

A total of 31 pallets weighing 9 tons were delivered to the city of Kharkiv on July 6, the Ukrainian embassy in Israel announced on its Facebook page.

The cargo contained tourniquets, bandages, occlusive dressings, chest seals, surgical packs, hygiene kits and diapers. The embassy said these items “will help save the lives of Ukrainians who are suffering from the horrors of the Russian invasion.”

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israel newsOn its own Facebook post, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry thanked the individuals and companies who donated items for the cargo sent to help Ukrainians affected by the war.

IsraAID’s Emergency Response team has been working over the last several months in some of the worst affected cities in Ukraine during the country’s ongoing war with Russia.

The organization delivered more than 1,543 pounds of rice and 661 pounds of tuna last week to Ukrainian cities severely affected by food shortages. IsraAID has also been operating for the last four months in a tent at the Moldova-Ukraine border to welcome and help Ukrainian refugees fleeing their home country.

Jewish composer of James Bond movie theme dies

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Monty Norman, the Jewish-British composer and lyricist who wrote the theme song for the James Bond films, died on Monday at the age of 94 after battling a “short illness,” according to a statement posted on his official website.

A lifelong resident of London, Norman was born in 1928. His mother bought him a guitar when he was 16, and he went on to have guitar lessons with Bert Weedon, who eventually became one of Britain’s top guitarists.

Norman also got a singing teacher and began performing radio broadcasts with small jazz bands before joining big bands and performing a series of variety show double acts with comedian Benny Hill. He later wrote songs for early British rock artists Cliff Richard and Tommy Steele, and composed for stage musicals.

Norman was hired by producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to compose a score for the first James Bond film “Dr. No,” which was released in 1962. The theme song he created has been used in all 25 Bond films.

The last project Norman worked on before his death was an animated film called “Mississippi Big,” about birds in the Mississippi Delta.

Biden signs pledge with Israel to prevent Iran from getting nukes

U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed an agreement on Thursday to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to expanding and supporting peace among Israel and its moderate Arab neighbors.

The “Jerusalem U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration” states that America pledges “never to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon and that it is prepared to use all elements of its national power to ensure that outcome.”

However, when asked by a reporter during the press briefing at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Jerusalem where they signed the deal when the U.S. might abandon its diplomatic efforts to re-join the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and exercise other means, the president declined to set a deadline.

“We’ve laid out for the leadership of Iran what we’re willing to accept to get into the JCPOA, and we’re waiting for a response,” he said. “When it will come is uncertain but we’re not going to wait forever.”

The agreement also affirms the United States’ commitment to “work together with other partners to confront Iran’s aggression and destabilizing activities, whether advanced directly or through proxies and terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

–Metro Voice and JNS.0rg