Home » News » Recent Articles:

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

US Switches Traditional ‘Abstain’ Vote to ‘No’ on Anti-Israel Golan Heights UN Resolution

November 18, 2018 News

Will peace return to the Israel-Syria border region?
Golan Heights UN Peacekeepers. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Wolfgang Grebien.

For years, the United Nations has purposely felt the need to reiterate in a resolution their objection to Israeli control over the disputed Golan Heights that border Syria, and for years the United States has simply abstained. But this year, things are different—in Syria, at the UN and with the US vote.

“If this resolution ever made sense, it surely does not today,” said US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley last week in comments released by her office. “The resolution is plainly biased against Israel. Further, the atrocities the Syrian regime continues to commit prove its lack of fitness to govern anyone. The destructive influence of the Iranian regime inside Syria presents major threats to international security. ISIS and other terrorist groups remain in Syria. And this resolution does nothing to bring any parties closer to a peace agreement.”

The Times of Israel said it was the first time the US had voted no on the resolution, which rejects Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Israel acquired the region while defending itself from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greatly appreciated the US vote last week, while saying that Israel wasn’t leaving the Golan. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Meets with World Leaders at 100th Anniversary of End of WWI

November 11, 2018 News

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

The past, present and future of Israel all merged in Paris on Sunday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a global event to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The past—Netanyahu highlighted the importance of WWI in setting the stage for the recreation of the State of Israel—the present—as Netanyahu met with US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin—and the future, embodied in Netanyahu’s conversations with world leaders who hope to grow ties further with Israel.

“I think that there is no better evidence of the State of Israel’s standing in the world than the way we were accepted in this event, from the place we received, literally, in the first line of countries,” said Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office. “I see this as a great compliment to the State of Israel and its achievements.”

According to Israeli press releases, Netanyahu met not only with Trump and Putin, but also German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a number of others. “What was very interesting was a number of African leaders who spoke about the importance of cooperation with Israel and the way it could of course help their countries,” said Netanyahu. “I heard this from countries in Eastern Europe, Western European countries, African countries, Latin America, leaders who came and spoke without question that Israel is a rising force in the world. If someone needed proof, I would say—come to Paris.” … Continue Reading

Know the News and how it impacts You

Stay informed! Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow The Mideast Update on Twitter

Like The Mideast Update on Facebook

Categories