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Israel Joins US in Leaving UNESCO, Netanyahu Says UN Body ‘Platform for anti-Semitic Decisions’

October 15, 2017 News

Israel agrees with the US on UNESCO. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Americans withdrew their full member status at the United Nations cultural body in part due to an anti-Israel bias, so it’s not surprising that the Israelis have joined the United States in leaving the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Israeli Foreign Ministry to pull out of UNESCO “in parallel” with the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump, which Netanyahu called “courageous and ethical” in comments released by his office. The Israeli leader accused UNESCO of having become “a theater of the absurd and instead of preserving history, distorts it.”

Among other acts, UNESCO has designated Hebron and its Tomb of the Patriarchs as Palestinian and challenged Israel’s connections to Jerusalem. On Sunday, Netanyahu escalated his complaint against UNESCO, saying it “has become a platform for delusional, anti-Israeli and—in effect—anti-Semitic decisions.” … Continue Reading

Iran May Ban Traffic App Waze (Again) Because Israelis Invented It

October 9, 2017 News

Waze logo. Image courtesy of Waze.

For second time this year, an Iranian government body is urging a ban on the traffic mobile application Waze—because it was invented in Israel. The Iranian government’s ‎Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content is calling upon the country’s Information and Communications Technology Ministry to block the app, according to the Trend News Agency out of Azerbaijain, citing Iranian media outlets.

Abdolsamad Khorramabadi, secretary for the Committee, reportedly said that work has been designated to block Waze in Iran, but that that process is complicated and takes time.

The Trend report further cited a previous report from the Iranian Fars News Agency saying there are concerns about Waze’s Israeli background. The app was originally invented by Israeli company Waze Mobile before being sold to Google for more than $1 billion in 2013. Iran has previously tried to ban Waze—in March of this year—but later rescinded the restriction. Former United States Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro highlighted the impact of banning Waze in Iran on Twitter in responding to the report. “Considering the reputation of Tehran traffic, that is real dedication to a (sick) cause. Enjoy sitting in those jams!” tweeted Shapiro. … Continue Reading

Iran Threatens to Missile Strike US Bases, Treat American Troops like ISIS

October 8, 2017 News

The Americans are stepping up pressure on Iran. American flag. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The leader of the Iranian Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on Sunday effectively threatened to launch missiles at American military bases in the Middle East and treat United States troops like ISIS if the US escalates sanctions on Iran and labels the IRGC a terrorist group. Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said that new US sanctions on Iran would be viewed as an American withdrawal from the nuclear deal, according to a report by the Fars News Agency.

As a result, “If the US new sanctions act comes into action, the country (the US) should transfer its regional bases to 2,000km away, that is as far as the range of Iranian missiles,” Fars quoted the IRGC commander as saying.

He wasn’t done there. Following a report from Politico that the Trump Administration plans to label the IRGC a terrorist organization, Jafari unleashed. “If reports prove to be true that the stupid US administration intends to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization, then the IRGC will also specify the US army as a group (and target) like ISIL [a.k.a. ISIS] in all parts of the world, specially the Middle-East,” Fars quoted him as saying. … Continue Reading

Israel Stands ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ with Americans after Vegas Attack

October 2, 2017 News

Israel stands with the US after shooting in Vegas. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Israeli government offered their formal condolences to the American people following Sunday’s brutal shooting spree in Las Vegas. The motive for the attack, which Foxnews reported was the worst in American history with 59 dead and over 500 wounded, is still unknown. While ISIS claimed credit, Foxnews said the FBI concluded at this time that the shooter was not affiliated with international terrorists.

That may mean that he was another “lone wolf” shooter—a solitary attacker who plots and carries out their murderous plans without operational guidance from a terror group. Israel is all too familiar with such lone wolf attackers, although their anti-Israel motivation is generally obvious.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a statement published by his office, said, “On this terrible day, the people of Israel stand shoulder to shoulder with the American people in mourning and sorrow. Our hearts go out to the victims’ families and we wish a speedy recovery to the wounded. We grieve with you.” … Continue Reading

US Says Iran Won’t Have Leadership Position in Syria

September 17, 2017 News

U.S. Ambassador the U.N. Nikki Haley. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Mission to the UN

The Iranians have been providing ample support to their ally the Syrian regime in that nation’s civil war and now have tag-teamed to set up so-called “de-escalation zones” there as well. But despite Iran’s notable influence in Syria now, the United States is insisting they won’t be a part of Syria’s leadership moving forward.

After praising the coalition efforts fighting ISIS in Syria, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Friday, “I think we’re also looking at post-ISIS—what does that look like? And I can tell you, Iran is not going to be in charge, and Iran is not going to have any sort of leadership in that situation to where they could do more harm.”

Haley’s comments, published to the White House website, came in response to a reporter’s question about the “de-escalation zones” in Syria set up recently in a deal involving Iran. The BBC reported on Friday that Turkey and Russia were also in on the arrangement, which tone down the fighting in the area but still permit attacks on militant organizations. … Continue Reading

With Trump Plans Unknown, Netanyahu Says ‘Fix or Cancel’ Iran Nuke Deal

September 13, 2017 News

Will Trump agree with Israel on Iran nuclear deal? U.S. President Donald Trump (left) meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right). Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

Israel didn’t leave it open to speculation about their position on the Iranian nuclear deal ahead of a meeting with United States President Donald Trump, amid growing speculation that Trump could pull the Americans out of the international arrangement. “Let me take this opportunity and clarify,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday. “Our position is straightforward—This is a bad deal. Either fix it or cancel it.”

The blunt comments, delivered in a meeting with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri and published by Netanyahu’s office, line up with a report from Israel Radio and republished by The Washington Post that Israel has multiple changes to the deal to suggest to Trump in their upcoming meeting. The report said one concern for Israel is the “sunset clause” that allows Iran to increase its operational centrifuges after 10 years, which is used to enrich uranium into nuclear fuel. Israel wants that to be a more permanent limitation. Enriched uranium can be used for electrical power, or if enriched further, for nuclear weapons.

Among their other goals, Israel also wants a new determination to prohibit Iran from developing of advanced centrifuges. The opposition by Israel to the Iran deal as it currently stands isn’t new, but the United States may be more open than ever before to withdrawing from the current arrangement. … Continue Reading

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