Below are just two items out of Israel that I just didn’t know what to do with but thought were worth sharing:

A 15-year-old Israeli Arab boy was recently beaten twice by his father and brothers after they discovered the youth cultivated Jewish friendships and wore a Star of David. According to reports, the teenager filed a police complaint after the first round of blows during which the Jewish emblem was ripped from his neck. But he was sent home when authorities failed to find significant evidence of the abuse on his body. Upon his return, the boy was allegedly beaten a second time by family members with even greater severity. This time he went back to the police with bruises and signs of violence enough to satisfy the authorities. They removed the 15-year-old from the home and arrested the father and brothers for attacking a minor. Hopefully just penalties will be carried out against the young man’s attackers - and the boy will not back away from his choice of Jewish friends in the future although the price is terribly high. (Sources: Ynet/IHC)

In the latest slight against Israel, the Iranian government is allowing Jews to leave Islamic Republic only if they promise not to immigrate to Israel. The Jewish community in Iran is 25,000 strong - the largest in the Middle East outside of the Jewish state. But in a sea of 65 million Islamic Iranian citizens, Jewish numbers seem small. Most Jews from the region have resettled in Israel or the US during the last 50 years. Presently, the only option for Jews of former Persian [citizenship] wishing to relocate is to pick a place anywhere but Israel to do so. Even now, 40 members of the Iranian Jewish community are stranded in Austria. They recently left Teheran [sic] with required permits and visas in order to immigrate to the US, but American officials have delayed sending the documents. Sojourners are presently caught in between worlds in Vienna. The Jewish Agency suggested they make their new home in Israel rather than California but the travelers declined the option, saying they had promised the Iranian government they would not immigrate to Israel. Reportedly, the Jews stranded in Vienna will soon receive their visas and will be able to commence with new lives in Los Angeles rather than in Jerusalem, or further afield in Israel. (Sources: Ynet/IHC)

There is something both maddening and endearing in the Jews’ not wanting to break a promise they made to Ahmadinejad. I hope he heard about it. I’m sure it will affect his decision on whether to erase Israel or not. Though indeed, he may have made the request out of concern for the lives of the Iranian-Jewish citizens, given his plans for the Jewish homeland.