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Trump Congratulates Netanyahu on Re-election as Prime Minister

April 10, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and President Trump. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

While Benjamin Netanyahu has not been officially named prime minister of Israel for the fifth time yet, United States President Donald Trump and his Vice President, Mike Pence both personally called Netanyahu on Wednesday to congratulate him on his victory. Top rival Benny Gantz, of the Blue and White party, conceded to Netanyahu on Wednesday, according to Ha’aretz. With final votes still being tallied, Netanyahu’s Likud party was set to receive 35 seats in the 120-member Israeli parliament, also known as the Knesset. While Blue and White were set to receive the same, Ha’aretz reported that right-leaning political parties had pledged support for Netanyahu, with his bloc expected to reach a 65-55 seat majority.

Trump took to Twitter to highlight his support for Israel and his congrats to Netanyahu: “Spoke to Bibi @ Netanyahu to congratulate him on a great and hard-fought win. The United States is with him and the People of Israel all the way!”

Over the phone, Trump “warmly congratulated” Netanyahu and Israel, according to a press release from Netanyahu’s office. The statement said Netanyahu in turn “thanked US President Trump for his great support of Israel,” listing out the recognition of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, as well as Trump’s “strong stand against the Iranian regime.” In particular, Netanyahu noted Trump recently designated he Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran a foreign terrorist designation. … Continue Reading

US, in ‘Historic Step’, Designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Terrorists

April 9, 2019 News

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

For the first time in American history, the United States is designating part of a foreign government a foreign terrorist organization, as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran will carry that label effective April 15. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted that the unique move to so classify the IRGC—which is part of the Iranian military and has deep ties inside the Iranian economy—is well deserved given the unique range of aggression carried out by the group.

“We’re doing [this] because the Iranian regime’s use of terrorism as a tool of statecraft makes it fundamentally different from any other government,” said Pompeo on Monday in comments released by the State Department. “This historic step will deprive the world’s leading state sponsor of terror the financial means to spread misery and death around the world.”

Pompeo listed out a litany of crimes done by the IRGC: from responsibility for the Khobar Towers bombing that killed 19 American service members in Saudi Arabia to attempted terror attacks in the US, Turkey and Kenya. A separate press release from the State Department noted the IRGC has supported Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and terror groups in Iraq, Bahrain and Syria. … Continue Reading

Putin Said He’d ‘Act Personally’ to Recover Missing Israeli Soldier Remains

April 4, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin.
Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / Israeli GPO

The involvement of the Russians in assisting Israel in recovering the remains of a soldier lost in action for 37 years was unveiled on Thursday, including help from President Vladimir Putin himself. “Two years ago I turned to you with a personal request—that you help us in finding the remains of the soldiers, including Zachary Baumel, out of the great shared values of comrades-in-arms and fellowship of soldiers,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Putin during a visit to Moscow.

“You responded immediately. You said that you would act personally. You called on your people who did exceptional work and several days ago, you brought us the late Zachary Baumel, to Israel.”

Baumel was lost during the First Lebanon War in 1982. Baumel went missing in a battle with the Syrians in Lebanon, two of Israel’s most hardened enemies. However, in recent years the Syrian civil war has opened that country to a wide range of other nations battling terrorism or taking sides in the Syrian conflict, including the Russians.

Netanyahu, in the comments released by his office, was effusive in his gratefulness to Moscow for their assistance. “You have just now expressed the supreme value that you and the Russian people ascribe to finding the missing and bringing soldiers to burial. This is our common value,” the Israeli leader told Putin. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Hopes New Brazilian Trade Office in Jerusalem ‘First Step’ towards Embassy

March 31, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu & Brazilian Pres. Bolsonaro. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / Israeli GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came away from a visit to Brazil a few months ago with promises from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to open an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. On Sunday, that promise was not fulfilled by Bolsonaro during a visit to Israel, but other actions left Netanyahu hopeful. “I welcome your decision to open a trade, technology and innovation office, an official office of the Government of Brazil, in Jerusalem. I hope that this is a first step toward the opening in time of the Brazilian Embassy in Jerusalem,” said Netanyahu to the Brazilian leader, according to an Israeli press release.

In prior comments, Netanyahu noted that Bolsonaro is making his first visit out of South America by coming to Israel, bringing with him the “largest Brazilian delegation” to ever visit the Jewish State. “You have come to Israel in order to bring relations between us to a new height,” said Netanyahu.

As part of the visit, the two leaders on Sunday signed agreements in security, public security, aviation, and science and technology, as well as memorandums of understanding in health and cyber. During the time with the leader of Brazil, Netanyahu noted that Israeli delegations in a variety of fields have visited Brazil since Netanyahu’s trip to the South American country. He said that the agreements with Brazil were “in wake of these contacts, and this is only the beginning.” … Continue Reading

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

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