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After Missile Attack on Iranian Weapons in Syria, Netanyahu Promotes Preemptive Strikes

September 16, 2018 News

The Israel-Iran conflict continues. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up piece of Iranian UAV in February. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben Gershom GPO

Israel reportedly bombed an Iranian airplane delivering weapons to Syria at the Damascus International Airport on Saturday, as well as weapons storage rooms at the airport, in the latest round in of conflict between Israel and Iran. The Times of Israel—citing Hadashot TV news, Syrian media and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in their report—said the arms cache near the airport had been intended for either Iranians or Hezbollah.

Just hours after the strike, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vaguely reiterated that Israel is “constantly working to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with advanced weaponry.” Said Netanyahu in comments released by his office on Sunday, “Our red lines are as sharp as ever and our determination to enforce them is stronger than ever.”

The warning from Israel’s leader followed expressions of his support for preemptive strikes in an effort to protect Israel from a more grievous war. One of the worst conflicts in Israel’s history was the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and with the Jewish anniversary of that fight coming up, Netanyahu said the failure to strike first was a critical error that would not be repeated. … Continue Reading

US Ambassador to Israel at 9-11 Memorial Confirms to Everyone US and Israel ‘Stand Together’

September 9, 2018 News

The JNF-KKL September 11 memorial in Israel. Photo Courtesy of the JNF-KKL.

The only memorial outside the United States that names all of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks is in Israel. In view of that, it’s not surprising that US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman highlighted the special bond between the countries at the recent annual ceremony marking 17 years since the attacks.

“In this beautiful plaza, at this inspiring location, we remind the families of those lost and we confirm to people everywhere, that we stand together—Americans and Israelis—and that together we continue to heal and to build, in a spirit of solidarity and commitment to the future,” said Friedman in comments published in a Jewish National Fund (JNF) press release. The memorial was held on September 6 due to 9/11 falling on the Biblical holiday of Rosh Hashanah (also known as the Jewish New Year) this year.

Friedman is a strong proponent of US-Israel ties and at a recent toast for Rosh Hashanah reiterated that sentiment. “This year, let us dedicate ourselves to building upon our great accomplishments, to making the US-Israel relationship even stronger, and to bringing peace, prosperity and security to the region,” said Friedman in a Twitter post recapping the Rosh Hashanah event. … Continue Reading

US Envoy Tells Palestinian Authority to Step Up or Else ‘Others Will Fill that Void’

August 30, 2018 News

The Palestinian leadership is failing, according to the US. PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

The top American diplomat for the Israel-Palestinian peace process rebuked the ruling Palestinian Authority (PA) on Wednesday and issued an indirect warning if they don’t do what’s necessary for their people. In response, the PA again rejected the United States’ peace efforts.

After praising efforts by Egypt to bring about an agreement for calm in Gaza and allow the PA to return to full authority in Gaza, US Envoy Jason Greenblatt pointed to the PA as hurting rather than helping. “The Palestinian Authority cannot criticize from the sidelines,” said Greenblatt in comments posted to the US State Department website. “The Palestinian Authority should be part of the solution for the Palestinians of Gaza and Palestinians as a whole. If not, others will fill that void.”

The PA was forced out of Gaza in 2007 by Hamas in a violent coup. Since then, the sides have repeatedly announced goals to reconcile, only for the plans to collapse each time. The PA reestablishing control of Gaza is considered to be an essential step before an Israel-Palestinian peace solution can be implemented if Gaza is to be included as planned. Without specifying the steps the PA need to take, Greenblatt, who is the White House Special Representative for International Negotiations, laid at least some of the blame for the region’s conflict at the feet of the PA. … Continue Reading

Israeli Researchers Find Pomegranate Juice Could Reduce Risk of Baby Brain Damage

August 22, 2018 News

The Research Team (L-R): Top Row, Dr. Nizar Khatib, Professor Wiener, and Dr. Yuval Ginsburg;
Bottom Row (L-R) Dr. Noor Saadi and Professor Beloosesky.
Photo credit: Pioter Fliter, RHCC.

One of the fruits commonly associated with the nation of Israel—pomegranates—could be a key to reducing pregnancy inflammation and brain damage to newborn babies, according to an Israeli research group who has tested the theory. Professor Ron Beloosesky, Director of the Prenatal Ultrasound Unit in the Division of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Rambam Health Care Campus in Israel, said in a press release that prior research had already shown that pomegranate juice can reduce inflammation.

That’s key, because inflammation can lead to premature birth and can transmit to the baby, increasing the risk of brain damage and lifelong disorders such as cerebral palsy. According to research done by Belooseky and his team, mothers drinking the juice of one of Israel’s Biblical seven species and commonly found freshly squeezed in Jerusalem could help prevent those defects.

“It seems that an accessible and inexpensive juice that can be found in any supermarket has a positive effect on a serious problem that harms mothers and their embryos,” said Belooseky in the press release. After testing the effects of the juice on pregnant rats, human trials are slated to be completed in the next two years. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Calls for More Funds for Israel’s Defense Per ‘2030’ Security Review

August 15, 2018 News

Israel’s security needs money to fight Iran. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up piece of Iranian UAV in February. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben Gershom GPO

Israel’s defense budget will need to grow over the next decade to address the wide range of threats facing the nation—including funding missile defense—as part of their “2030 security concept” announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. The security review considers the upcoming expected threats and as a result of those dangers calls for a larger budget for Israel’s defense. Netanyahu, according to a press release from his office, plans to increase Israel’s security budget by 0.2-0.3% of Israel’s overall economic output, or Gross National Product (GNP), with the goal for the budget to eventually average 6% of GNP.

Israel would have multiple plans for spending the monies, including “Major power-level cyber capabilities”, enhanced offensive abilities to take the fight to the enemy and improving anti-missile defense.

“In the last 20 years we have cultivated a free economy in order to serve national needs, especially security,” said Netanyahu in the press release. “Against the accumulated threats we are at a turning point. Today we are called upon to invest more in security in order to defend our achievements and ensure continued economic growth.” Those upgrades come as Iran is again making headlines for military plans of their own to beat missile defense systems. … Continue Reading

Israeli Government Launches Invest Program for ‘Gamechanger’ Cyber Defense

August 14, 2018 News

Prime Minister Netanyahu at cyber center. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / GPO

In a world in which the threat of a cyber-attack is almost constant, Israel is already a world-leader in cyber-defense technologies, and a new investment program allocating 90 million shekels ($24.4 million) is aiming to do more than just maintain the status quo. It’s specifically targeted to help “groundbreaking” research and development and pilot programs to benefit technologies “with ‘gamechanger’ potential” according to an Israeli government press release.

The three-year funding program—which offers to fund almost two-thirds of R&D costs for certain projects up to 5 million shekels ($1.36 million)—is a joint effort of the Israel Innovation Authority (IAA), the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry, and the National Cyber Directorate.

“The Authority stresses the importance of groundbreaking cyber defense technologies to preserve Israel’s unparalleled prowess in the field,” Chief Scientist, Ministry of Economy and Industry, and Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, Dr. Ami Appelbaum said in the press release. … Continue Reading

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