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Romania Announces Plan to Move Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem—And Then Recants

March 24, 2019 News

Jerusalem is the historical and current capital of Israel. Illustrative. Israeli flag at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. By Joshua Spurlock

Another nation on Sunday announced plans to move their embassy to Israel to the capital of Jerusalem—Romania—and then backed off that promise on the same day in high profile government disagreement. The eastern European nation currently holds the Presidency in the Council of the European Union, and on Sunday, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă told the pro-Israel AIPAC conference in the United States they were making the embassy change.

“I am pleased to announce today to the AIPAC audience that after the conclusion of the analysis by all the constitutional actors involved in the decision-making process in my country and, in full consensus, I as the Prime Minister of Romania and the Government that I lead move the Romanian Embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel,” Dăncilă announced, according to a transcript of her comments posted to the Romanian Prime Minister’s Office website and translated by Google Translate.

But just hours after Dăncilă made her statement, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis flatly rejected that any such decision had been made and noted that he has the authority on any final decision on embassy moves, according to a report by Zaire.com and translated by Google Translate. President Iohannis went so far as to call Prime Minister Dăncilă of having “total ignorance in the field of foreign policy” while noting that the issue of moving the embassy to Jerusalem is still under government review.

But it wasn’t all bad news for Israel on Sunday.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Twitter to express his appreciation to Honduras for their decision to take a step towards having an embassy in Jerusalem.

“I thank my friend, the President of Honduras, Juan Hernandez, for his announcement regarding the immediate opening of a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem that will deal with trade, as a first step towards transferring the embassy of Honduras to Jerusalem,” Netanyahu tweeted.
… Continue Reading

Netanyahu Promises Biblical Response to Terrorism

March 18, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu with Israeli soldiers. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (Israeli GPO).

In the wake of a Palestinian terror spree that murdered a19-year-old Israeli soldier and a rabbi father of 12, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear on Monday that the violence would not defeat the Jewish people.” These terrorists will not uproot us from here; the complete opposite will happen. Our response is simple—‘the more they afflict them, the more they multiplied and spread,’” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office, quoting from Exodus 1:12 in the Bible. The comments were timely, as next month is the holiday of Passover, which marks the exodus from Egypt.

The Israeli leader also said that he had given the orders to demolish the home of the terrorist who launched the attack that killed IDF Sgt. Gal Keidan and Rabbi Achiad Ettinger and that “preparations” for that response had begun. He noted that having identified the terrorist, Israeli security forces were in “close pursuit” as of Monday.

“We know that we are in a constant struggle and this requires—of course—the deployment in the field that you see here, but in the end we will defeat the murderers,” said Netanyahu. ‘We will apprehend them. The arms of the security services reach all of these murderers. I want you to look at all of the incidents.” … Continue Reading

Iran, Gas Pipeline on Agenda as US Sec State Pompeo Visits Israel

March 17, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and US Secy. of State Mike Pompeo. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Avi Ohayon (Israeli GPO)

Iran and their terror proxy Hezbollah are expected to be key topics when United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Jerusalem and Lebanon later this week, as well as the potential for Israeli gas imports to Europe. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, previewing the pending Pompeo visit in comments released by Israel, said that the American diplomat would meet together with the Israeli premier and leaders of both Cyprus and Greece “to discuss the laying of a gas pipeline from Israel to Europe. This will bring vast revenue to state coffers that will be directed to the benefit of Israel’s citizens.”

The discussions between Pompeo and Israel are expected to also include Iran and “Iranian proxies,” according to a senior US State Department official, who spoke to reporters on background that was published in a press release by the State Department. Hezbollah is the primary Iranian proxy, and not surprisingly, a key topic for Pompeo when he visits Lebanon—the homebase for the terror group. Perhaps more surprisingly, the topics of natural resources in the region and Hezbollah are linked. … Continue Reading

Israel Exposes Terror Network in Syrian Golan Led by Hezbollah Killer of US Troops

March 13, 2019 News

Israel knows what Hezbollah is doing in Syria. PM Netanyahu in the north of Israel. Illustrative.
Photo courtesy of Haim Zach / Israeli GPO.

Just two days after a key United States legislator promised to push for American recognition of the Israeli Golan—citing Israel’s security in his comments—that rationale was highlighted as the IDF exposed a Hezbollah terror network operating on the Syrian side of the Golan next door to Israel. IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, in a video posted to the IDF Twitter page on Wednesday, noted that not only is Ali Musa Duqduq heading a network in Syria “aimed at striking Israel,” but he’s been an enemy of the US before too—killing their soldiers in Iraq.

“For American ears, he has history. He was responsible for the abduction and execution of five American servicemen in Iraq in 2007,” said Conricus in the video, noting that Daqduq served time in prison in Iraq before being released as part of a prisoner swap. The terror network includes Syrians, but is “masterminded by Hezbollah,” according to Conricus.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday pointed out Hezbollah is a terrorist proxy of Iran, which has sought to build a military foothold in Syria. “So I have a clear message for Iran and for Hezbollah: Israel knows what you’re doing; Israel knows where you’re doing it. What we’ve uncovered today is just the tip of the iceberg. We know a lot more,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. … Continue Reading

US Senator Vows Plan to Recognize Golan as Israel’s ‘Now and Forever’

March 11, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu, US Sen. Lindsey Graham & US Amb. to Israel David Friedman on the Golan Heights. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israeli GPO)

In a significant diplomatic win for Israel, US Senator Lindsay Graham—a former candidate for president and a key member of US President Donald Trump’s Republican political party—on Monday openly endorsed Israeli sovereignty over the strategic Golan Heights that border Syria. “I’ve got a simple message. I will go back to the United States Senate. Working with Senator [Ted] Cruz, I will start an effort to recognize the Golan as part of the State of Israel now and forever,” said Graham during a visit to the Golan with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in comments published by Netanyahu’s office.

Graham didn’t stop there, continuing by highlighting that the history behind the territory Israel captured from Syria during the 1967 war is further evidence that Israel should keep it. “Israel occupied this territory by fighting for its survival. This territory was taken by military force because it was used as a launching point to attack the State of Israel. This territory has a rich Jewish history,” said Graham.

Perhaps even more important than Graham’s endorsement, US Ambassador David Friedman—the American representative of President Trump to Israel—was not only present with Graham on the Golan, he sounded moved by the senator’s comments. … Continue Reading

Israel Battles the Behind-the-Scenes Side of Terrorism

March 6, 2019 News

Israel is protecting Europe from terror. PM Netanyahu and EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of: Avi Ohayon (GPO).

The same week that the IDF has had to confront Hamas terrorism from the Gaza Strip, Israel made multiple quieter headlines in their fight against the side of terrorism that isn’t quite as obvious, but ultimately just as dangerous. Fundraising and recruiting—those indirect elements that fuel terrorist organizations—received Israel’s focus as Hamas’ television station was designated a terrorist organization in its own right and Israeli diplomacy sought to cut off more terror dollars.

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed an order that deems “Al Aqsa” television as a terrorist entity, following an investigation by the Israel Security Agency (ISA) that found the station was being used by Hamas to recruit militants. A press release from Netanyahu’s office said that the move was recommended by the ISA and the Israeli Defense Ministry national anti-economic terrorism unit.

The move comes just days after Israeli Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan spoke with officials from multiple Western nations to encourage them to stop financial support of organizations calling to boycott Israel that also have ties to terrorism. … Continue Reading

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