Analysis – Could Syria Bring Rivals Iran, Russia, and Turkey Together?

The Syrian civil war has turned into a power vacuum pulling in fighters from all directions and many nations, with many of them fighting each other in which there are at least three or four sides in the conflict. Yet perhaps the most divisive mini-world war in recent memory may …

Israel—An Ancient King of Making Glass

Centuries before the Land of Israel was a hub for the high-tech industry, the region was among the world leaders in another profession involving science, skill, and specialized knowledge: glass making. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced in a press release on Monday that they have discovered 1,600-year-old kilns used …

Paris Peace Meeting Concludes, Israel Calls It ‘Flat as a Failed Soufflé’

The Paris Peace Conference finally convened on Sunday and issued a broad declaration of plans for peace that ultimately just repeated messages that have already been spoken. Despite bringing together 70 nations, the final statement of the Paris Peace Conference as published by Haaretz provided no clear plans for obtaining …

Israeli Paramedics Save Life of Electrocuted Palestinian Youth

The Israeli military is regularly attacked by Palestinian terrorists who despise their presence, and yet when a Palestinian youth was electrocuted and unconscious, his parents rushed to take him to… an IDF base. A paramedic at the IDF crossing started to treat the young person until the Israeli Magen David …

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Paris Peace Meeting Concludes, Israel Calls It ‘Flat as a Failed Soufflé’

January 15, 2017 Peace and Conflict
Paris held it's peace conference, but did anything happen there? Eiffel Tower in Paris. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Paris held it’s peace conference, but did anything happen there? Eiffel Tower in Paris. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Paris Peace Conference finally convened on Sunday and issued a broad declaration of plans for peace that ultimately just repeated messages that have already been spoken. Despite bringing together 70 nations, the final statement of the Paris Peace Conference as published by Haaretz provided no clear plans for obtaining peace or for restarting negotiations between the sides, with much of the specifics listed generally as the principles already expressed recently by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Haaretz reported that the final statement was “less harsh” than a previous draft.

Israel had long warned the meeting would produce no results, but only encourage Palestinian intransigence by appearing tilted towards pressuring Israel. After the meeting, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon posted to Twitter, “#ParisPeaceConference turned as flat as a failed soufflé. A big show is no replacement for direct negotiations between the parties.” The statement from the Paris Peace Conference announced plans to meet again later this year, “in order to support both sides in advancing the two-state solution through negotiations,” but no dates or additional details were given. … Continue Reading

Foiled Gaza Smuggling Attempts Doubled in 2016

January 15, 2017 Peace and Conflict
Israel stopped a lot of Gaza smuggling in 2016. Illustrative photo of commando knives apprehended amid shipment of plumbing materials destined for Gaza. Photo courtesy of Israel Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority

Israel stopped a lot of Gaza smuggling in 2016. Illustrative photo of commando knives apprehended amid shipment of plumbing materials destined for Gaza. Photo courtesy of Israel Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority

Drones, military clothing, and professional-grade diving equipment were among the myriad items that terrorists tried to smuggle into Gaza last year, but Israel’s efforts to stop such smuggling was even better in 2016. More than 1,200 smuggling attempts were stopped by Israel, which is a 165% increase over 2015, according to a press release from the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The press release noted that dozens of investigations by Israeli security forces “resulted in significant damage of the smuggling infrastructure in the south.”

That doesn’t mean that terrorists such as Hamas didn’t try. The variety of items that were attempted to be smuggled into the Strip included small UAVs, security cameras, lasers, rappelling equipment, dual-use fiberglass, water pumps, and iron pipes. The head of the Israeli Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority, Brig. Gen. (res) Kamil Abu-Rokon, said in the press release, “The defense establishment’s bitter war against smugglers has noticeably slowed the strengthening of terrorist groups in Gaza. In recent months, we have… added technologies and new testing methods that add to our abilities in the daily struggle against the smugglers.” … Continue Reading

Israeli Paramedics Save Life of Electrocuted Palestinian Youth

January 10, 2017 News
Israel's Magen David Adom saves another Palestinian in need. Israeli MDA ambulance. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Israel’s Magen David Adom saves another Palestinian in need. Israeli MDA ambulance. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Israeli military is regularly attacked by Palestinian terrorists who despise their presence, and yet when a Palestinian youth was electrocuted and unconscious, his parents rushed to take him to… an IDF base. A paramedic at the IDF crossing started to treat the young person until the Israeli Magen David Adom (MDA) group could arrive, and thanks to the joined efforts by the Israelis, the boy survived—albeit after a great scare.

The MDA, in a press release, said that their team arrived at the scene and “found a young teen in a severe state.” MDA paramedic Roman Belman, in a video interview produced by the MDA, said the boy had burn marks and no pulse when they arrived. They took over the resuscitation efforts from the IDF paramedic at the scene. “The parents were hysterical and crying, but did not disturb us from doing our work,” said Berman in the video. “After approximately 10 minutes, an amazing thing happened and the pulse returned.” … Continue Reading

Congress Urges Repeal of Anti-Israel UN Resolution, Warns Paris Conference

January 8, 2017 News
U.S. Congress responds to anti-Israel U.N. vote. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

U.S. Congress responds to anti-Israel U.N. vote. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Legislators on both sides of the political aisle in the United States have come out strongly to defend Israel against the United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning Israel and calling Biblical Jerusalem and the Western Wall “occupied” territory—and now those legislators are putting their votes where their mouths are. The U.S. House of Representatives easily passed a resolution late last week calling for the U.N. to repeal the resolution and the U.S. Senate is working on a similar resolution with bipartisan support. The House also warned the upcoming Paris peace conference later this month against any similar moves to predetermine a Middle East peace agreement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the House for their support. “After the outrageous anti-Israel resolution at the UN, the US House of Representatives voted resoundingly to support Israel and reject this one-sided resolution,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “Democrats and Republicans alike know that the Western Wall isn’t occupied territory.” Indeed, the Obama Administration’s failure to veto the U.N. move was criticized by even the most senior-ranking member of President Barack Obama’s own Democrat party. … Continue Reading

Israeli PM—ISIS Linked to Truck Terror in Jerusalem that Killed Four

January 8, 2017 Peace and Conflict
PM Netanyahu at scene of Jerusalem Truck Ramming Attack. Photo by Kobi Gideon / GPO

PM Netanyahu at scene of Jerusalem Truck Ramming Attack.
Photo by Kobi Gideon / GPO

A large truck rammed into a group of Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem on Sunday, killing four and wounding more than a dozen more people before the terrorist was shot and killed. The incident brought to mind the vicious ISIS vehicular attacks in Nice and Berlin last year, and that was more than coincidence according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The spokesman for Netanyahu’s office, Ofir Gendelman, posted to Twitter that the Israeli leader believes the terrorist was actually linked to ISIS, at least in motivation.

“The Palestinian terrorist who perpetrated the ramming attack in Jerusalem is an ISIS sympathizer,” Gendelman tweeted Netanyahu as saying. Meanwhile, Hamas celebrated the ISIS-look-alike attack. On Twitter, the Palestinian terror group posted in Arabic that they “bless the heroic and courageous Jerusalem truck operation.” A press release posted to the group’s Arabic page called the terrorist a “martyr.” … Continue Reading

Hamas Praises Anti-Israel UN Resolution

January 2, 2017 Peace and Conflict
Hamas praised the UN's anti-Israel vote. What does that say? UN headquarters. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Hamas praised the UN’s anti-Israel vote. What does that say? UN headquarters. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Among those who support the recent United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli construction in the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria is a familiar Israeli enemy in the region: Hamas. The terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip posted to their website an article praising the U.N. Resolution, with spokesman Fawzi Barhoum calling it a “significant transformation in international positions.”

Ironically, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power, following her nation’s surprising decision to abstain rather than block it via veto, slammed Hamas’ approach to terrorism against Israelis during her explanation of her abstention vote. “Yet rather than condemn these attacks, Hamas, other radical factions, and even certain members of Fatah have held up the terrorists as heroes, and used social media to incite others to follow in their murderous footsteps,” said Power in a press release at the time. Despite the Americans’ public disdain for Hamas—which they label a terror group—their decision to allow the U.N. resolution to pass has encouraged the terror group. … Continue Reading

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