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Israeli Leadership Show Festive Hospitality by Opening the Sukkah to Strangers

October 16, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu hosts lone soldiers in his sukkah. Photo courtesy of Koby Gideon (Israeli GPO)

Hospitality is one of the traditional themes of the Biblical Feast of Tabernacles—temporary dwellings known in Hebrew as a Sukkah or Sukkot in plural—and Israel’s highest-ranking leaders are practicing that virtue with complete strangers. This week during the festival, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted three “lone soldiers”, immigrants serving in the IDF whose families are not in Israel.

“I would like to take this opportunity to again wish a good year to all citizens of Israel and to the soldiers—men and women—who are serving and defending our state around the clock, not just on holidays,” said Netanyahu in a press release on the event. “A good year and a happy Sukkot to you.”

In addition to speaking with the soldiers, who came from Australia, Ukraine and Italy, Netanyahu also spoke with their parents via video phone to give them holiday greetings as well. Netanyahu heard the soldiers’ personal stories, their families and IDF service, while sharing about his own time in the military.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s office, meanwhile, has announced plans to open his sukkah to Israelis during the holiday, complete with a personal souvenir for guests. … Continue Reading

Israeli, German Leadership Agree More Needed to Battle Anti-Semitism

October 10, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu with German Chancelor Merkel. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of Israeli GPO.

Following the horrific shooting attack at a synagogue in Halle, Germany on Yom Kippur, Israeli leadership spoke with their Germany counterparts on Thursday to discuss doing more to address anti-Semitism. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and “expressed his appreciation for her vigorous stand against anti-Semitism,” according to a recap of the call published by Netanyahu’s office.

According to the call summary, Netanyahu also said that it was “important to step up efforts against manifestations of anti-Semitism” to which Merkel agreed. For her part, Chancellor Merkel noted that she also “intended to increase efforts to provide for the security of the Jewish community.”

The discussion comes one day after a shooter attacked a German synagogue on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism. NBC reported that the shooter was unable to break into the synagogue—where the persons inside had barricaded the door—and instead he murdered two other persons, one of whom was at a kebab shop. Others were injured. … Continue Reading

Ancient City Discovered in Israel: ‘Early Bronze Age New York of Our Region’

October 6, 2019 News

Aerial photograph of the excavation site. Photo courtesy of Assaf Peretz, Israel Antiquities
Authority.

A 5,000-year-old city—considered massive for its timeframe—has been discovered as part of a road construction project in north-central Israel. The city, which could have accommodated around 6,000 inhabitants and was more than a quarter square mile in size, displays ancient city planning, societal hierarchy and more. “This is the Early Bronze Age New York of our region; a cosmopolitan and planned city where thousands of inhabitants lived,” excavation directors on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) were quoted in an IAA press release as saying.

An “unusual” idolatrous temple was discovered as part of the ancient city, noted the press release, as well as a fortification wall, residential and public areas and streets and alleyways.

“There is no doubt that this site dramatically changes what we know about the character of the period and the beginning of urbanization in Israel,” Itai Elad, Dr. Yitzhak Paz and Dr. Dina Shalem, directors of the excavation on behalf of the IAA, were quoted as saying.

“…This is a huge city—a megalopolis in relation to the Early Bronze Age, where thousands of inhabitants, who made their living from agriculture, lived and traded with different regions and even with different cultures and kingdoms in the area.” … Continue Reading

Israeli UN Speech Calls for Global Recognition of Jerusalem and Pressure on Iran

October 1, 2019 News

Flags at the UN headquarters in New York. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz had a message for the world, and what better venue to deliver it than at the United Nations General Assembly last week. From recognizing Jerusalem to pressuring Hamas to countering Iran, Katz repeatedly called for all nations to unite in common causes in a speech delivered last Thursday.

“I call on the international community to unite in order to stop Iran,” said Katz, according to a transcript of his speech posted to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. “The world cannot allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. The world cannot allow Iran to develop ballistic missiles, and the world must stop Iran from supporting terror organizations in the region.”

Israel’s top diplomat went on to specifically call for the UN to label Hezbollah and the Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as terror organizations. “They promote terror in the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and all over the world,” said Katz. “And the world must stop them.” … Continue Reading

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

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