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Iranian Space Launch Condemned as Akin to Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

Could Iran’s latest missile launch help them hit the West with nuclear weapons? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

The recent Iranian launch of a space launch vehicle missile last Thursday received condemnation from the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom—which is especially understandable given that the missile research is ultimately a threat to their nations. A statement from the four nations—which compromise two-thirds of the powerful P5+1 group of nations that reached a nuclear deal with Iran in 2015—linked the space missile launch to efforts to develop missiles that can travel across continents and potentially carry nuclear warheads.

The statement, published by the U.S. State Department, pointed to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231as calling upon Iran to “not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such technology like this launch. Space launch vehicles use technologies that are closely related to those of ballistic missiles development, in particular to those of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.”

The ominous linkage of the latest test to weapons of mass destruction was paralleled with a warning from the U.S. about Iran’s behavior. … Continue Reading

Israel Still Aiding Wounded Syrians, Turning Them from ‘Enemies to Friends’

Israeli Pres. Rivlin & wounded Syrian. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Israel and Syria have been mortal enemies since Syria attacked the newly reborn State of Israel almost 70 years ago. But that hasn’t impacted Israel’s ongoing work to help Syrians wounded in that nation’s civil war—and it may even offer hope for peace. It certainly isn’t stopping, even as violence continues to rage. The IDF Spokesperson Twitter page reported that on Thursday night, Israel evacuated seven Syrians needing medical care—all but one of which were women and children—to an Israeli hospital. That theme of aiding children is nothing new.

The Israeli Galilee Medical Center has seen more than 1,500 wounded Syrians, roughly 500 of whom have been children and infants, according to a Sunday press release from the Israeli President’s Office. Dr. Masad Barhoum, director of the Galilee Medical Center, was quoted in the press release saying that he recently spoke to the AIPAC conference and told them of their aid for the Syrians and “to explain how we turned those wounded Syrians from enemies to friends.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said the work is a point of pride for Israel and that it will continue. … Continue Reading

Israel Working on Special Economic Relationship with China

PM Netanyahu and Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach / GPO

Israel is seeking to be on an exclusive list—nations receiving investment from China. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following his recent visit to China, noted in Sunday’s cabinet meeting that while China isn’t investing around the world right now, Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to consider that China have a specific investment policy for the Jewish State.

“China recently decided to restrict, to completely halt, its external investments for its own reasons – I am talking about the world, not Israel,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “In light of my request, the President of China said that he was prepared to consider an exception for Israel, meaning that Chinese investments in the high-tech and other sectors would continue.” And that’s not the only special arrangement in the works between Israel and China. … Continue Reading

Joint Israeli-Palestinian Cancer Research Raises New Questions about Genes and Environment

February 19, 2017 Special Feature

Joint Israel and Palestinian medical research could teach more about cancer. Israeli MDA ambulance. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Israelis and Palestinians may be in the midst of a conflict dating back many decades, but they’re also working together to fight a different battle altogether—the fight against cancer. Joint research by Israelis and Palestinian professionals looked at Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) tumors in both Arab and Jewish populations and concluded that while some factors associated with NHL seem to be shared for the two groups that live in the same general geographic area, others were quite different. This raises a host of questions that could ultimately help better understand the impact of genetics and environment on cancer g.

It also offers opportunities for more joint work in the future, noted Professor Ora Paltiel, director of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine. Prof. Paltiel, who led the research, said in a press release from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem on the effort that disease research has “the potential to improve and preserve human health, and it can also serve as a bridge to dialogue among nations.” … Continue Reading

Analysis—Trump to Really Reset Some Global Relations, Including with Israel

January 22, 2017 Special Feature

Will Trump be Israel’s best friend? U.S. Presidential Candidate Donald Trump (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right). Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

United States President Donald J. Trump wasted no time in making it clear his foreign policy approach will differ from his predecessor, Barack Obama. Even before he officially took office, Trump was actively supporting Israel in the face of pressure from the United Nations and what ultimately turned into an almost unprecedented lack of support by the U.S. in Obama’s final days in office. And within hours of taking office, Trump was already symbolically reversing Obama’s view of one of America’s closest allies. Many are concerned or at least unclear as to what a Trump presidency will mean for the world. But for some nations, it looks to be a breath of fresh air. … Continue Reading

Analysis – Could Syria Bring Rivals Iran, Russia, and Turkey Together?

August 30, 2016 Special Feature
Could Syria's President bring together unlikely allies? Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (right) shakes hands with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left). Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

Could Syria’s President bring together unlikely allies? Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (right) shakes hands with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left). Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

The Syrian civil war has turned into a power vacuum pulling in fighters from all directions and many nations, with many of them fighting each other in which there are at least three or four sides in the conflict. Yet perhaps the most divisive mini-world war in recent memory may also be the stepping-stone that pulls three regional powers together ahead of the greatest battle of all time.

Iran, Turkey, and Russia have long held conflicting views. Turkey was once the Muslim darling of the West, and has been home to US missiles and strategic military facilities. That naturally put it at odds with Russia, who has battled the US off and on diplomatically, or even militarily, for 70 years. And Russia represents a secular superpower, while Iran is seeking to usher in an era of Islamic dominance, as Al-Monitor recently pointed out in a report on those two nations’ relationship. Yet despite the differences, one expert sees Syria as a place where they share interests—at the expense of the United States. … Continue Reading

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