Bringing the Jews Back to Egypt

April 15 2022

Earlier this year, Rabbi Joshua Berman led a group of Israelis on the first-ever kosher tour of Egypt focused on sites relevant to biblical history. He describes this “mind-bending” experience:

In Egypt, for the first time in my life, I walked around a city where the vast majority of people were like me—devout practitioners of their religion. There was something liberating about not sticking out like a sore thumb in a secular liberal landscape.

To tour the sites of ancient Egypt is truly to walk in the footsteps of the Exodus. . . . Some of the discoveries are truly revealing. At the seder table, we recall how God delivered Israel from Egypt “with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.” Most would be surprised to learn that this biblical phrase is actually Egyptian in origin: Egyptian inscriptions routinely describe the Pharaoh as “the mighty hand” and his acts as those of “the outstretched arm.”

None of this would [tour would have been possible] without the Abraham Accords, whose tailwinds have carried Egypt along as part of the moderate Suni axis and its rapprochement with the Jewish State. Egyptair, which for years refused to fly its planes into Tel Aviv, now does so with daily service. To be sure, this is not for love of Zion but for love of mammon. The Egyptians want Israeli business travelers to transit to Africa through Cairo. They want Jews to visit Egypt because it helps their economy. But not so long ago, such interests couldn’t overcome animosity and radical ideology.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Abraham Accords, Ancient Egypt, Egypt, Exodus, Hebrew Bible

 

How China Equips the Islamic Republic to Repress Its People

In its dedication to bringing totalitarianism into the 21st century, the Chinese Communist party has developed high-tech forms of surveillance using facial-recognition software, a vast system of “social credit,” and careful control over its subjects’ cellular phones. Even stricter and more invasive measures are applied to the Uyghurs of the northwestern part of the country. Beijing is also happy to export its innovations in tyranny to allies like Iran and Russia. Playing a key role in these advances is a nominally private company called Tiandy Technologies. Craig Singleton describes its activities:

Both Tiandy testimonials and Chinese-government press releases advertise the use of the company’s products by Chinese officials to track and interrogate Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang province. According to human-rights groups, Chinese authorities also employ Tiandy products, such as “tiger chairs,” to torture Uyghurs and other minorities.

Iran has long relied on China to augment its digital surveillance capabilities, and Tehran was an early adopter of Beijing’s “social-credit” system, which it wields to assess citizens’ behavior and trustworthiness. . . . Iranian government representatives have publicized plans to leverage smart technologies, including AI-powered face recognition, to maintain regime stability and neutralize dissent. Enhanced cooperation with China is central to those efforts.

At present, Tiandy is not subject to U.S. sanctions or export controls. In light of Tiandy’s operations in both Xinjiang and Iran, policymakers should consider removing the company, its owner, and stakeholders from the international financial system and global supply chains.

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Read more at FDD

More about: China, Human Rights, Iran, Totalitarianism, U.S. Foreign policy