The Brooklyn Hasid and the Israeli Businessman Rescuing Afghan Refugees

With the help of an Israeli businessman named Moti Kahana, an Afghan interpreter who had worked for the British air force since 2003 has been safely saved from the Taliban’s clutches. And the interpreter is not the only one. Jenni Frazer describes the American who funded the rescue:

The mission was paid for by Tzedek, a charity based in Brooklyn founded by Rabbi Moshe Margaretten, a member of the Skvirer ḥasidic sect.

Among those already evacuated with the help of Kahana’s organization, Global Development Corporation, and Rabbi Margaretten’s Tzedek funding are the Afghan women’s soccer team—now understood to be in Australia—and four children, hiding in a Kabul apartment, whose father was murdered by the Taliban and whose mother was desperate to bring them to America.

Moshe Margaretten, age forty, is an unlikely hero for the Afghan refugees he has helped rescue. The grandson of Holocaust survivors, the Brooklyn-based rabbi has wide contacts within the ḥasidic community and through his Tzedek operation has raised thousands of dollars to pay for the rescue missions. As well as providing funding, the rabbi has spent time in helping organize the paperwork to process the departure of many of those who have left Afghanistan.

He first began the work in order to bring out the last Jew in Afghanistan, Zebulon Simentov, but has now committed to rescue whomever he can.

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Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Afghanistan, Hasidim, Philanthropy, Refugees

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin