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Trump, Netanyahu Plan to Discuss US-Israel ‘Mutual Defense Treaty’

September 15, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu with US President Trump. Photo courtesy of Israeli GPO

The United States and Israel could move towards arranging a mutual defense treaty linking the two countries, according to US President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed and comments from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Saturday, Trump tweeted in a pair of tweets, “I had a call today with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the possibility of moving forward with a Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and Israel, that would further anchor the tremendous alliance…. between our two countries. I look forward to continuing those discussions after the Israeli Elections when we meet at the United Nations later this month!”

Netanyahu thanked Trump on Twitter and then spoke further on the proposal on Sunday in comments released by his office. “We agreed to advance a historic defensive alliance between the US and Israel at our upcoming meeting at the UN General Assembly,” he declared.

“This is historic because it adds a powerful component of deterrence against our enemies, alongside maintaining the ability to act, and freedom of action, of our forces. On this we will always insist and it will always be in this defensive agreement just as it has entered into the other defensive agreements. This is a main component for coming generations to ensure our future.” … Continue Reading

Israel Exposes Site Where Iran ‘Conducted Experiments for Nuclear Weapons’

September 9, 2019 News

Illustrative photo of Netanyahu discussing Iran’s “secret nuclear files”. Photo courtesy of: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Israel has once again exposed Iranian nuclear secrets, this time unveiling a site Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday was where “Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons.” The publication of the previously covert site follows Israel’s uncovering of the Iranian nuclear archive that detailed efforts to develop nuclear weapons in the past, as well as a nuclear warehouse that proves Iran violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“Today, we reveal that yet another secret nuclear site was exposed in the archives that we brought from Tehran,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “In this site, Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons. This is the site near Abadeh, south of Isfahan. When Iran realized that we uncovered the site here’s what they did: they destroyed the site. They just wiped it out.

The Israeli premier continued with a warning to Iran’s leadership. “This is what I have to say to the tyrants of Tehran: Israel knows what you’re doing, Israel knows when you’re doing it and Israel knows where you’re doing it,” said Netanyahu. “We will continue to expose your lies. What we see is a consistent pattern of Iranian lies, deception and violations.” … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Reiterates Plan to Annex Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria

September 2, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu in Elkana. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach (Israeli GPO)

With elections just weeks away in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing for Israeli sovereignty over all the Jewish communities in the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria. Those communities—also known as settlements—are located in the so-called West Bank, which is also claimed by the Palestinians. On Sunday, while in the settlement of Elkana, Netanyahu was quoted by a press release as saying, “This is the old, original home of the Jewish people and we will build more in Elkana. We will not uproot anyone here… and with G-d’s help we will apply Jewish sovereignty over all communities as part of the land of Israel and the State of Israel.”

Netanyahu also referred to a major community destroyed in the 2005 Gaza disengagement, in which Israel withdrew from multiple communities in the Gaza Strip in an effort to step towards peace with the Palestinians, saying, “There will be no more Gush Katif; there will be no more uprooting.”

The land-for-peace model has long claimed that Israel could surrender territory to the Palestinians in exchange for a peace accord. However, the 2005 Gaza disengagement and multiple rounds of negotiations with the Palestinians based on that premise have yet to yield peace—something Netanyahu highlighted in Sunday’s comments. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Implicitly Rebukes France for Iran Talks During Tense Days

September 1, 2019 News

The French and Israel aren’t on the same page when it comes to Iran talks, Israeli flags. Illustrative.

French President Emmanuel Macron called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday and the Israeli premier took the opportunity to tell the French leader his view on France’s efforts to engage Iran in new negotiations over their nuclear program and regional tensions: Now is not the time.

A press release from Netanyahu’s office said he told Macron that “the present—when Iran is stepping up its aggression in the region—is precisely the wrong time to talk with Iran.”

The Netanyahu-Macron phone call came after the French met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and speculated about future talks including the United States. Macron, in a press conference with US President Donald Trump published to the White House website, said last week that French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had met with Zarif and that “a roadmap has sort of been set, but nothing is absolutely set in stone. And we will have to move ahead together to find an outcome.” … Continue Reading

Iran Shoots Down Talks with US after Trump Signals Openness to Diplomacy

August 27, 2019 News

Will Iranian President Rouhani moderate Iran, or is he just for show? Illustrative. FEMA/Marty Bahamonde.

One day after United States President Donald Trump openly discussed possible negotiations with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Iranians firmly dismissed unconditional talks between the sides. Rouhani, in comments published by the Fars News Agency, said they were “ready for talks” but told the Americans that they had to remove sanctions as the “first step.” Said Rouhani, “The door cannot be unlocked without this step.”

Rouhani made it clear they were not interested in just a photo op with Trump, while Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif went a step further in a separate Fars report, saying that no meeting between Trump and Rouhani “could be imagined.”

Iran’s tough stance comes after Trump on Monday made his most conciliatory comments toward Iran since taking office. The US President told reporters it was realistic to envision talks with Rouhani within weeks. “I don’t know the gentleman. I think I know him a little bit just by watching over the last number of years what’s happened. I’ll tell you one thing: He’s a great negotiator. But he—I think he’s going to want to meet,” said Trump in comments published on the White House website. … Continue Reading

Trump Says May ‘Put Out Pieces’ of Peace Plan before Israeli Elections

August 19, 2019 News, Peace Process

US President Donald Trump may publish peace plan details soon. Illustrative photo, edited for size. Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead.

The long-awaited “Deal of the Century” peace proposal from the Trump Administration may soon be unveiled—at least parts of it, anyway. United States President Donald Trump on Sunday clarified that he intends to wait on presenting his full Middle East peace plan until after the upcoming Israeli elections, but some details may get shared ahead of the September 17 vote.

“I probably will wait, but we may put out pieces of it,” said Trump of his peace plan in comments to reporters posted to the White House website. “We have some very talented people—as you know, our great ambassador [David Friedman] and others. We have some very talented people. But that’s probably the toughest deal of all— peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians—because they’ve been decades of hate. And it’s tough to make a deal when there’s that much hate.”

The supposedly moderate government heading the Palestinian Authority (PA) has so far turned that hatred towards the Americans by repeatedly disparaging and rejecting the US plan even before seeing what’s in it. However, Trump doesn’t believe his administration’s policies towards the Palestinians—such as withholding funding—are the problem. Rather, he thinks they can be part of the solution. … Continue Reading

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