Former chief rabbi Lord Sacks’ wisdom was without equal, says Charles

The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to former chief rabbi Lord Sacks, describing him as a leader whose “wisdom, scholarship and humanity were without equal”.

Lord Sacks died on Saturday aged 72.

He served as the chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, the figurehead of British Jews, for 22 years, stepping down in September 2013.

He was succeeded by the current chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis.

Charles said in a statement: “It was with the most profound personal sorrow that I heard of the death of Rabbi Lord Sacks.

“With his passing, the Jewish community, our nation, and the entire world have lost a leader whose wisdom, scholarship and humanity were without equal.

“His immense learning spanned the sacred and the secular, and his prophetic voice spoke to our greatest challenges with unfailing insight and boundless compassion.

“His wise counsel was sought and appreciated by those of all faiths and none, and he will be missed more than words can say.

“Although Rabbi Lord Sacks’s death is a cause of the greatest possible sadness, we give thanks for the immeasurable contribution which – in the tradition of the most revered teachers of the Jewish people – he made to all our lives.

“I send my deepest condolences to his family.”

A statement on Lord Sacks’ Twitter page said he died on Saturday morning.

It read: “Baruch Dayan Ha’Emet. It is with the deepest sadness that we regret to inform you that Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (HaRav Ya’akov Zvi ben David Arieh z’’l) passed away early this morning, Saturday 7th November 2020 (Shabbat Kodesh 20th MarCheshvan 5781).”

Lord Sacks was an outspoken critic of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn amid the row over anti-Semitism in the party.

Current chief rabbi Mr Mirvis said the world had lost an “intellectual giant who had a transformative global impact”.

He added: “Rabbi Lord Sacks was an extraordinary ambassador for Judaism, helping many to understand and be proud of their heritage.”

Lord Sacks was also a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day.

Controller of BBC Radio 4 Mohit Bakaya said: “Rabbi Lord Sacks was a man of great intellect, humanity and warmth.”

Tributes were also paid to Lord Sacks by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said: “His leadership had a profound impact on our whole country and across the world.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “He was a towering intellect whose eloquence, insights and kindness reached well beyond the Jewish community.”

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Categories: Antisemitism, Judaism, News, Prince of Wales, Rabbi Lord Sacks

First plane carrying Israeli tourists lands in UAE after deal

The first flight carrying Israeli tourists to the United Arab Emirates landed in the city-state of Dubai on Sunday – the latest sign of the normalisation deal reached between the two nations.

FlyDubai flight No. FZ8194 landed at Dubai International Airport just after 5.40pm, bringing the tourists to the city after a roughly three-hour trip.

The low-cost carrier had sent one of its Boeing 737s to Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv on Sunday morning to pick the passengers up.

The flight flew across Saudi Arabia and then over the waters of the Persian Gulf to reach the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms also home to Abu Dhabi.

The arrival of tourists comes as Dubai in particular tries to revive its vital tourism industry amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The UAE and Israel have agreed to launch regular commercial flights between their countries soon, while other recent flights have carried business and governmental delegations.

FlyDubai plans to begin its flights to Tel Aviv later this month. The airline described Sunday’s flight as a “charter” for the incoming tourists.

It comes as Israel and the UAE, which had maintained covert contacts for years, brought their diplomatic relationship out into the open. It signed a normalisation deal with Israel alongside Bahrain at a White House ceremony in September, making them the third and fourth Arab nations to currently have peace with Israel.

But while Egypt and Jordan earlier signed peace deals, the UAE has said it anticipates having a “warm” peace with Israel.

The Emirates also hopes the deal will aid its efforts to purchase advanced F-35 fighter jets from the US.

The deals also unite three nations that remain suspicious of Iran.

But the agreements did not address the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, who view the pacts as a stab in the back from their fellow Arabs and a betrayal of their cause for a Palestinian state.

The agreements, which were seen as a foreign policy win for US president Donald Trump ahead of the November 3 election, now face the incoming administration of president-elect Joe Biden.

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Categories: Ben-Gurion, Dubai International airport, Israel, News, Normalisation deal, Tourists, United Arab Emirates

Lord Sugar to Donald Trump: You’re fired!

Lord Alan Sugar has given President Donald Trump his marching orders after former vice president Joe Biden clinched victory in the nail-biting US election.

Democratic candidate Mr Biden won the key battleground of Pennsylvania on Saturday – some four days after polls closed – pushing him over the 270 electoral college votes threshold.

However Mr Trump said in a statement he considers the election “far from over” as he repeated unsubstantiated claims of fraudulent ballots and vowed to press ahead with legal action.

Lord Sugar deployed the catchphrase he once shared with Mr Trump when they hosted versions of The Apprentice on different sides of the Atlantic.

The British businessman, who has appeared on the competition show since 2005, wrote on Twitter: “@realDonaldTrump it is with regret You’re Fired!”

When one follower pointed out they had been waiting a while for Lord Sugar to use his famous phrase, Lord Sugar replied: “Just woke up in Auz to the good news.”

Mr Trump judged the US show from 2004 to 2015.

After he declared his candidacy for the presidency, US network NBC announced that Arnold Schwarzenegger would become the new host.

The US president has claimed Mr Biden is “rushing to falsely pose as the winner” and added: “The simple fact is this election is far from over.”

On Saturday morning, a top election official dismissed Mr Trump’s claims of voter fraud.

Mr Trump posted a number of tweets on Saturday, alleging that “bad things” happened, referring to votes being “illegally received” and insisting he has won “by a lot”.

But Federal Election Commission boss Ellen Weintraub said there has been no evidence of voter fraud.

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Categories: Donald Trump, Lord Alan Sugar, News, President, US elections, Your fired