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Christian Population of Israel Succeeding in School, Work Per New Report

December 25, 2018 News

Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Christian population in the State of Israel grew 50% faster in 2017 than the year before—increasing by 2.2% versus 1.4%—and now numbers approximately 175,000 people, according to the latest numbers published by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). While accounting for just 2% of the Israeli population, the success of Christians underscores the egalitarian nature of Israel. Christians on average are doing well from an employment perspective—roughly two-thirds of all Christians in the country aged 15-years-old or older were employed, compared to 65.1% of Jews per CBS numbers from 2015.

Educationally, 78.5% of Christian 12th grade students in Arab education were entitled to receive a matriculation certificate in the 2016/2017 school year, just 0.2% behind the students receiving a Hebrew education. Over 77% of all Christians in Israel are Arab, but they have had more success than their Muslim counterparts: just 59.5% of Arab Muslims were entitled to graduate from 12th grade in the 2016/2017 school year.

In addition, when compared with Arab Muslim students, there are a higher number of Arab Christians in Israel studying engineering, law, architecture, and medicine. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Thanks Austrian Leader for Pushing to Define Anti-Zionism as Anti-Semitism

December 16, 2018 News

Israeli PM Netanyahu and Austrian Chancellor Kurz. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Avi Ohayon (Israeli GPO).

Two key leadership councils of the European Union have endorsed the call for member nations to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that includes denying the right of Jews to have their own nation, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday thanked Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for leading this effort. He also quoted Martin Luther King as giving the same definition of anti-Semitism.

“I recently read a cogent remark by the noted American human rights leader Martin Luther King: ‘When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism,’” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office, going on to thank Kurz for his leadership in the European Union adopting a similar definition.

“Nobody can say that they are not against Americans, but they just think that America shouldn’t exist, just as nobody can say that they are not against Jews, but they think that the state of the Jews does not need to exist,” said Netanyahu. “I thank the Austrian Chancellor for working to expose this absurdity and to precisely define anti-Zionism as a type of anti-Semitism.” … Continue Reading

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

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