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November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

ISIS Living High Life in Raqqa, Using Yazidi Females as Human Shields

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Terrorists from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are preparing to defend areas they captured in northern Iraq after scores were killed last week in U.S. and French air strikes. The group has evacuated command-and-control centers in Mosul, Iraq and in Raqqa, Syria, according to a report posted by The Telegraph. They have also begun to use Yazidi women captives as human shields in other places, according to the report.

Raqqa is the informal “capital” of the ISIS “caliphate” and the site where the group has carried out three high-profile beheadings in recent weeks.

But it also turns out that in Raqqa, ISIS terrorists are still pretty much living the high life, when they are not busy with mass beheadings and capturing territory. It’s not a privilege they share with the locals, however.

The terrorists have taken over the governor’s ornate palace, and they are enjoying Western comforts brought to the palace by foreign fighters.

“Although there is a war on, Swiss chocolate is very popular with them,” one resident observed. “And you see some shops reserving Western food for the jihadists. I know that one of them asked a store to get an iPhone 6 for him. It cost $2,500 and was brought in from dealers in Turkey.”

Meanwhile, up to 100,000 Kurds and other local residents in the northern city of Kobane have fled to the Turkish border, where at least 70,000 had made it across by Monday morning in advance of a takeover of the city by ISIS.

Kurds who were moving in the other direction, however, to fight against ISIS, were equally concerned about the air strikes – not wanting to become targets themselves.

Abu Mohammed, a local activist quoted by the National Post and who runs the “Raqqa is being slaughtered silently” website, said, “People are afraid of the air strikes, that they might be used as human shields or be bombed.

“Many people fled to the countryside or to Turkey… When small planes for reconnaissance appear, the jihadists hide. They even lock the doors of their headquarters. They also moved their families, their women and children, outside Raqqa.”

Abu Mohammed added that locals don’t trust America any more than they trust ISIS. “If the U.S. is really against ISIS why did they leave them all that time, and why did they turna blind eye to Bashar al-Assad? He is a terrorist who is bombing us,” he asked.

It’s Raining Chocolates in Tel Aviv

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Along with the much needed rain that drenched Israel this past weekend, Tel Aviv experienced a different kind of rain – chocolates galore – at the city’s annual Chocolate Festival.

From chocolate shwarmas and kebabs, to chocolate jewelry, sculptures, and even a chocolate spa, the festival took place at the old train station in Yafo (Jaffa).

The three-day festival that began on Thursday featured top Israeli chocolatiers and chocolate-makers from across the country and an array of chocolate-related activities for visitors of all ages including chocolate sushi-making. Organized by Yael Rose, an Israeli living in London who has facilitated chocolate festivals across the United Kingdom for years, the Israeli festival attracted some 20,000 people this year.

“We took three things into consideration when organizing this year’s festival,” Eran Levy-Zaks, the press consultant for the festival, told Tazpit News Agency. “We had to choose a time when the Middle Eastern climate was conducive to chocolates – the cool weather in February is always great. And with Valentine’s Day and the general fact that Israelis love festivals, we decided that this was the time to do it.”

While the chocolate industry is not a large one in Israel, people traveled both near and far to attend the second annual Chocolate Festival. The chocolate stalls during the festival were packed, and even the rain didn’t keep too many people away.

Meital, a university student, traveled all the way from Haifa to try the chocolates. “It’s a unique experience and worth the trip,” she explained to Tazpir. “And I love chocolates – especially the sweet variety.” Next to her, Samira, an Arab Muslim  who walked from nearby Yafo, explains that she came the previous year and had to see what was in store for this year’s festival. “But bitter chocolate is my favorite,” she added.

At the boutique Holy Cacao Chocolate stand, flavors ranged from spicy Mexican chili-pepper chocolate to more traditional mint and coffee flavored chocolates. Founded by American Jo Zander, Holy Cacao is Israel’s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker. Located in Ma’aleh Hever in the southern Hebron Hills, it is the only Israeli chocolate maker that imports its cocoa beans.

Perhaps the festival’s most unusual attraction was a chocolate spa, run by Marina Kuzmenko, an owner of a spa in Nahariya which provides chocolate peel treatments to clients. Her chocolate concoction, which is 100% cocoa-based, remains a secret recipe and is inedible, explains Marina, who made aliyah from the Ukraine 15 years ago. “The chocolate is good for your skin and leaves it feeling soft and smelling like chocolate for days,” she says.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/its-raining-chocolates-in-tel-aviv/2014/02/17/

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