VFI News October 13, 2020

Olympics Under Fire for Failure to Condemn Murder of Iranian Wrestler

The organization Global Athlete issued a scathing indictment of the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday for its refusal to act against Iran's regime in response to the execution of Iranian champion Greco-Roman wrestler Navid Afkari.

“The IOC’s failure to stand up for athletes’ human rights – their willingness to stand by while athletes are jailed, tortured and executed – is a gross abdication of duty," said two-time Olympian Noah Hoffman, a Global Athlete member.

"Navid was targeted because he was an athlete. Any semblance of due process or the rule of law was nothing more than a sham. And the IOC turned away, claiming that Navid is not their problem," he said. "In doing so, they have sent a message to all athletes that they do not have our backs; they don’t care what happens to us as long as the Games go on and the farce of global unity is preserved.”

Global Athlete, a sports advocacy organization that seeks to advance the rights of athletes, said the IOC has neglected its “duty to care for athletes by failing to take action against Iran." (JPost / VFI News)

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. - Amos 5:24

We Must Ban Iran from the Olympics

On Saturday, Sept. 12, Iranian authorities announced that 27-year-old wrestler Navid Afkari had been executed.

Although officials claimed that he had been hanged, BBC Persia reported that the wrestling champion’s family was only permitted to see his face and that his nose was broken, raising suspicions that he had been tortured to death.

Afkari’s sham trial and execution are a stark reminder that Iran’s abuse of its own citizens extends to all segments of Iranian society — even to its athletic community. Whereas other countries view their sportsmen and women as the embodiment of national values and ideals, Iran’s maltreatment of its athletes represents a distillation of the very worst elements of life under the ayatollahs.

Iran’s abuses against its own athletes represent clear violations of basic human rights. They also contravene the Olympic Charter, the set of rules and principles to which every country that participates in the world’s largest sports event must commit. Iran’s outrageous conduct puts it squarely at odds with both the letter and the spirit of the rules governing the Olympic movement. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you end this reign of terror. Iran must be held accountable for their terrible actions.”

Fmr. Saudi Amb. to US Slams PA for Badmouthing Gulf Leaders

Former Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Prince Bandar Bin Sultan Al-Saud chastised Palestinian Authority leadership for its conduct following Israel’s peace and normalization agreements with the UAE and Bahrain, reports the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

Prince Bandar said that the Palestinian leaders had “the audacity to say despicable things” about the Gulf countries and their leaders. He added that while the Palestinian cause is just, the Palestinian leaders have failed at garnering support for this cause.

Prince Bandar further said that the Palestinian leaders have historically placed their bets on the losing party - from Haj Amin Al-Husseini’s support for the Nazis during WWII to siding with Saddam Hussein in his occupation of Kuwait in 1990 and subsequently, his missile attacks against Saudi Arabia.

He said that the Palestinians would repeatedly come to Saudi Arabia for financial aid and advice, and then they would take the aid and ignore the advice. (INN / VFI News)

Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out. - Proverbs 24:19-20

Israeli Company Building Recharging Roads in Europe

Israeli company ElectReon announced Tuesday that it has entered into a strategic memorandum of understanding with a large European infrastructure company, Eurovia, to promote and build wireless electric road systems in Germany, France, and Belgium.

The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality recently contracted with ElectReon to pilot a smart road that can recharge an electric bus as it drives along.

Eurovia is a road construction company operating under the French concessions and construction firm, Vinci S.A. The news came via a company notice to the Israel Stock Exchange.

ElectReon, based in the northern Israeli community of Beit Yannai, has already installed a 1.6 kilometer (1 mile) electric stretch used by a bus and a truck on the 4.1 kilometers (2.5 miles) route between the airport and town center of Visby on Gotland Island in Sweden.

At the end of this year, the company is set to install the first wireless electric road system in Germany, in Karlsruhe in the country’s southwest. (TOI / VFI News)

“How wondrous are your ways, oh Lord. We ask that you continue to inspire innovations like this—in Israel and the world over.”

Israel and Jordan Sign Airspace Agreement

Israel and Jordan reached an agreement allowing flights to cross over both countries’ airspace, the Transportation Ministry announced on Thursday.

The deal allows flights crossing over one country to also fly over the other.

The agreement will significantly shorten the length of flights from Israel to the Gulf and East Asia, cutting the time it takes to travel between countries and cutting gas costs and pollution.

It will also allow the UAE and Bahrain, which recently made peace with Israel, along with other countries in the region, to fly over Israeli airspace.

Jerusalem and Amman reached the deal after several years, but peace between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia allowing Israeli flights to the UAE over its airspace hastened the process. (JPost / VFI News)

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. - Colossians 3:15

“God, we ask that this be a sign of more peace to come—that the region would heal from the generations of conflict in the past, and support prosperity for its future generations.”

US Targets 18 Iranian Banks with Sanctions

The United States on Thursday slapped fresh sanctions on Iran's financial sector, targeting 18 Iranian banks in an effort to further shut Iran out of the global banking system.

However, the US Treasury Department said in a statement that the prohibitions did not apply to transactions for the provision of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices to Iran.

Washington's move affected what the Treasury said were 18 major Iranian banks, most of which were targeted under US Executive Order 13902, which allows the Treasury Department to target entire sectors of the Iranian economy.

The move freezes any US assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from doing business with them. (INN / VFI News)

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. - Romans 13:1

Eli Rozenberg, NY-Born Yeshiva Student, Takes Control of El Al

Eli Rozenberg, the 26-year-old son of millionaire U.S. businessman Kenny Rozenberg, has taken control of El Al Airlines, after a tumultuous debate over who should manage Israel’s flagship airline.

Eli Rozenberg’s $75 million bid to buy control of the airline offered a lifeline, but some in Israel argued that selling to him would amount to a circumvention of the law prohibiting non-Israelis from owning the airline. Eli Rozenberg is a resident of Israel and an Israeli citizen, but his father, who owns a nursing home chain in the United States, is not. The source of the financing for the deal is a 25-year loan from Kenny Rozenberg, Eli Rozenberg confirmed in a meeting with the El Al board of directors, the Israeli business daily Globes reported.

Critics of the deal argued that such a loan amounts to a gift and might mean that Kenny Rozenberg effectively controls the airline.

But Eli Rozenberg pledged that his father had not been given any El Al shares as collateral for the loan. (INN / VFI News)

India-Israel 30-Second Coronavirus Test Should Be 'Ready in Days'

A 30-second coronavirus detection test being developed by India and Israel should be ready in “a matter of days,” Israeli Ambassador to India Ron Malka said on Friday. “All the thresholds have been passed.”

The operation has been dubbed “Open Skies,” and Malka said he believes the testing kit will enable the world to begin opening the skies, since the technology simply requires a person to blow into a tube and the results become available in less than a minute. It is also very cheap to carry out, as the results are delivered locally without the logistics and cost of sending the sample to a lab.

“It will be good news for the entire world,” he said.

Malka said that India would likely serve as the manufacturing headquarters for this rapid-test kit.

Israel sent a senior-level delegation from the country’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development to India in July to develop the new and rapid coronavirus tests in cooperation with their Indian counterparts, while treating Indian patients with coronavirus. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we thank you for the amazing progress that has been made. Please continue to spur this forward, to save and improve as many lives as possible.”