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Netanyahu ‘Not Ruling Out Doing Anything’ to Defend Israel against Iran

December 12, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu at GPO foreign press event. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach (Israeli GPO)

Iran has repeatedly talked about the destruction of Israel, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear he will do whatever it takes to keep Iran from fulfilling that vision. “Our red line is our survival. We do what is necessary to protect the State of Israel against the Iranian regime that openly calls for the annihilation of the Jewish state,” said Netanyahu on Wednesday. “I’m not ruling out doing anything that we need to do to defend ourselves.”

Speaking at the annual New Year’s toast for foreign journalists, Netanyahu was quoted by his office as pointing out that Israel is already militarily confronting Iran. “For the moment Israel’s military is the only military in the world that is directly engaging the Iranian forces. We’re doing that in Syria and pulling them back,” said the Israeli leader.

Netanyahu noted that Iran’s plan is to bring their army from 1,500 kilometers away (932 miles) to Israel’s very own northern border in Syria. This would enable Iran to set up missiles capable of hitting anywhere in Israel and bring in tens of thousands of militia forces “with the express purpose of destroying us.”

“My policy has been we’re going to stop you,” said Netanyahu. “We’re going to stop things, bad things when they’re small. So we meet Iran head on in Syria and if we need to we’ll do whatever else we need to do to protect ourselves. As you would too.” … Continue Reading

Israel Tells Russia of Their ‘Continuing Intention to Foil Hezbollah Tunnels’

December 9, 2018 News

Israel telling Russia still planning to battle threats in Syria, Lebanon. PM Netanyahu & Russian Pres. Putin. Illustrative photo, courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israel GPO)

Israel informed Russia on Saturday that they still intend to fight back against Hezbollah threats and Iran’s presence in Syria, despite the increase in tensions in recent months between Jerusalem and Moscow over the downing of a Russian plane in Syria last September. Per an Israeli press release, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin of Israel’s “continuing intention to foil the tunnels threat” from Hezbollah that was recently discovered.

Israel is working to destroy multiple tunnels leading into Israel built by the Lebanese terrorist group with the intention of launching large-scale attacks on Israeli communities. In prior comments last week released by his office, Netanyahu told foreign ambassadors the tunnels could allow Hezbollah to launch “a campaign of murder and kidnapping.”

While that’s obviously a key concern, Hezbollah isn’t the only northern threat that Netanyahu discussed with Putin. “I told President Putin that we are continuing our policy: We will not allow Iran to establish a military presence in Syria,” said Netanyahu in comments to the Israeli Cabinet released by his office on Sunday. He further noted their plans to continue to act against “the precision weapons in Lebanon.” … Continue Reading

As US Leaders Welcome Hanukkah, Sec of State Calls Holiday ‘Historic Victory for Religious Freedom’

December 2, 2018 News

Israeli PM Netanyahu lights the Hanukkiah candelabra at the Western Wall. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

From President Donald Trump to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, United States leaders sent their warm wishes to Jews celebrating Hanukkah ahead of the holiday’s start on Sunday night, and the importance of the holiday was not missed. President Trump, in a statement posted to the White House website, touched on Hanukkah’s symbolic importance in saying that “together, we reaffirm the truth that light will always break through the darkness.”

Pompeo even highlighted the holiday’s global significance for freedom, which marks Israel’s historic war for independence over Greek forces seeking to impose Greek culture and worship. “Tonight, the Jewish people will light the first #Hanukkah candle, beginning their celebration of the Festival of Lights. This holiday marks a historic victory for religious freedom. Chag Sameach to the Jewish community in the U.S., Israel, and around the world,” Pompeo posted to Twitter on Sunday.

US Vice President Mike Pence sounded a similar refrain in his own Twitter post, noting that the lightning of the traditional Hanukkah candelabra—or menorah in Hebrew—commemorates “the fight for freedom that began some 22 centuries ago.” … Continue Reading

UK Trade Minister in Israel: Free Trade Is ‘Win-Win’

November 28, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu & UK Int’l Trade Secy. Fox. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

With the United Kingdom well on its way to exiting the European Union next year, they are looking for trading partners in a push for free trade—and that includes Israel. That was a key agenda point for British Secretary of State for International Trade Dr. Liam Fox as he met on Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

“I’ve been a longstanding supporter of the bilateral relationship and this is an ongoing commitment,” Fox was quoted by an Israeli press release as telling Netanyahu. “…As Britain leaves the EU we want to deepen our strategic relationships with those countries who share our values, who share our concepts of wealth creation, spreading prosperity and security and democracy and rule of law. So I think we have a reasonable agenda to work on.”

The press release noted that Netanyahu welcomed steps by Israel and the UK to advance bilateral trade “on the same terms and in any situation.” Said the Israeli leader, “We want to make sure that we continue to expand our mutual trade under all conditions. I leave those conditions to you. But I think that there is a clear trajectory of increase in balanced trade between the two of us.” … Continue Reading

Israel Welcomes President of Majority Muslim Nation of Chad for ‘Historic’ Visit

November 25, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu & Chad Pres. Deby. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israeli GPO).

On Sunday, Israel welcomed the first ever visit from the President of Chad—a country whose population is majority Muslim—and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes this “historic” visit is part of Israel’s improving global relations. “We discussed in my office the great changes that are taking place in the Arab world in its relations with Israel,” said Netanyahu in a press conference with President Idriss Déby, with the Israeli premier highlighting his recent visit to Oman and promising “more such visits in Arab countries very soon.”

Continued Netanyahu to Déby, “As a leader of an African country, an important African country, a majority of whose population is Muslim, you are coming to Israel to renew our friendship and our relationship. I think it is a testament of what is going to happen with other such countries in Africa as well, and I believe that you are paving the way for many others.”

Netanyahu noted in his comments, which were published by his office, that the first-ever visit by a Chad President comes after a “very long hiatus” in relations between the two countries. Chad is a very important country… And I’m delighted that we are resuming our friendship,” said Netanyahu. “We never fully stopped our contacts as we spoke now but we are now expanding them at a very rapid rate.” … Continue Reading

Airbnb Bars Listings of Jewish Homes in ‘Disputed’ Biblical Heartland

November 19, 2018 News

This building is a serious concern to Airbnb. Home in Ma’ale Adummim Settlement in Judea and Samaria region. Illustrative. Photo by Joshua Spurlock.

Airbnb on Monday announced via press release a new policy on listings in “disputed regions.” In a world of options, they chose just one location in which to enforce a new ban on who can list their homes for rent on the space-sharing website: the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria. And while Jews and Arabs live in that area, Airbnb chose only to remove approximately 200 Israeli settlement listings from their site, which allows everyday people to list residences on the website for rentals.

While Airbnb’s statement on their website claimed they hold “deep respect” for the various views on the region Arabs call the West Bank, Israeli leaders saw the move as the exact opposite: anti-Semitism. Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the United States and now a member of the Israeli Knesset (parliament), slammed on Twitter the one-sided nature of the Airbnb decision.

“Airbnb blacklists Jewish apartments in Judea and Samaria—not Palestinian apartments, not apartments in Turkish occupied Cyprus, in Moroccan occupied Sahara, not in Tibet or the Crimea. Airbnb’s policy is the very definition of anti-Semitism. No one should use its services,” tweeted Oren. … Continue Reading

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