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.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Afghanistan, Hasidim, Philanthropy, Refugees

Hamas Wants a Renewed Ceasefire, but Doesn’t Understand Israel’s Changed Attitude

Yohanan Tzoreff, writing yesterday, believes that Hamas still wishes to return to the truce that it ended Friday morning with renewed rocket attacks on Israel, but hopes it can do so on better terms—raising the price, so to speak, of each hostage released. Examining recent statements from the terrorist group’s leaders, he tries to make sense of what it is thinking:

These [Hamas] senior officials do not reflect any awareness of the changed attitude in Israel toward Hamas following the October 7 massacre carried out by the organization in the western Negev communities. They continue to estimate that as before, Israel will be willing to pay high prices for its people and that time is working in their favor. In their opinion, Israel’s interest in the release of its people, the pressure of the hostages’ families, and the public’s broad support for these families will ultimately be decisive in favor of a deal that will meet the new conditions set by Hamas.

In other words, the culture of summud (steadfastness), still guides Hamas. Its [rhetoric] does not show at all that it has internalized or recognized the change in the attitude of the Israeli public toward it—which makes it clear that Israel still has a lot of work to do.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security