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

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 …

Israel—An Ancient King of Making Glass

Centuries before the Land of Israel was a hub for the high-tech industry, the region was among the world leaders in another profession involving science, skill, and specialized knowledge: glass making. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced in a press release on Monday that they have discovered 1,600-year-old kilns used …

Palestinian Authority to Give British Student Killer Salary as Light Shown on Payments

The terrorist who murdered British student Hannah Bladon on the light rail in Jerusalem on Good Friday is slated to receive $1000 per month from the Palestinian Authority (P.A.), reported the Daily Mail Online’s Mail on Sunday. The Daily Mail article quoted Itamar Marcus, the Director of watchdog group Palestinian …

Second Thoughts? Trump Orders Review of Iran Nuke Deal

United States President Donald Trump has long said that the Iran nuclear agreement, which involved the major world powers and included the U.S., was a “bad deal.” He hasn’t been as clear about the possibility that he could pull the U.S. out of the deal… until now. Recently, following a …

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More ISIS Vehicle Terror, Bringing to Mind Past Palestinian Attacks

December 21, 2016 Peace and Conflict
Terrorism in every form must be fought. Illustrative banner of terrorists and Dome of the Rock. By Joshua Spurlock

Terrorism in every form must be fought. Illustrative banner of terrorists and Dome of the Rock. By Joshua Spurlock

After a truck ramming attack murdered 12 in an apparent act of terror in Berlin, Germany, Fox News reported that ISIS social media had promoted vehicle terrorism roughly one month ago. The Facebook and Twitter posts promoted an article in their propaganda magazine Rumiyah, which pushed for the “deadly and destructive capability” of vehicles when used in a “premeditated” attack.

Following the latest attack in Berlin, Netanyahu released a statement condemning the terror and calling for united opposition against all forms of such violence. “We send our condolences to the families of the people that were killed and, of course, to the Government of Germany, and we wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, including an Israeli citizen,” said Netanyahu on Tuesday. “This attack joins [other] reprehensible attacks; terror is spreading everywhere and can be stopped only if we fight it, and we will defeat it, but we will defeat it much quicker if all free nations under attack unite.” While Netanyahu didn’t name Palestinian vehicular terror in his statement, it wasn’t hard to recall their many acts of such violence in light of the Berlin incident. … Continue Reading

Paris Middle East Peace Conference Delayed to January

December 17, 2016 Peace and Conflict
Will Paris host a Middle East peace conference? Eiffel Tower in Paris. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Will Paris host a Middle East peace conference? Eiffel Tower in Paris. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

France still apparently intends to hold an international conference on the Israel-Palestinian peace process, it’s just going to be a month later. And possibly without either the Israelis or the Palestinians. French Ambassador to the United Nations François Delattre confirmed late last week what the Palestinians had earlier already leaked—the conference is now set for January, following a report in Le Figaro that the French were previously looking at the week of Christmas for the conference they had been insisting would take place in 2016. Delattre said last Friday in comments posted to the French mission to the U.N. website, that “France will hold an international conference in January, bringing together all the partner states that are committed to peace.”

The Ma’an News Agency reported earlier that week that Palestinian Ambassador to France Salman al-Herfi had already said he’d been told by the French the conference had been postponed to the first month of next year. Furthermore, he said if the Israelis elect not to attend the event—which Israel has long said is an inappropriate international intrusion into issues that should be settled by the two sides—then neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians will be invited. … Continue Reading

Trump Taps Pro-Israel Attorney as Ambassador, to Serve ‘from Jerusalem’

December 17, 2016 News
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)

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)

In the strongest signal yet that the incoming Donald Trump presidency in the United States could be one of the most supportive of Israel ever, pro-Israel attorney David Friedman was named as the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel. And in the Trump team statement, Friedman said he plans to work from the embassy in Jerusalem—which would be an unprecedented step in U.S.-Israeli relations. “I intend to work tirelessly to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem,” said Friedman in comments published by Trump’s transition website.

Trump himself emphasized his intentions to be close to Israel in the statement. “The bond between Israel and the United States runs deep, and I will ensure there is no daylight between us when I’m President,” said President-elect Trump. “As the United States’ Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman will maintain the special relationship between our two countries.” Israeli Education Minister and leader of the Jewish Home party Naftali Bennett tweeted his wishes of success for Friedman, calling him, “a great friend of Israel.” … Continue Reading

Smuggling Hamas Offers Weapons to Enemies of Israel

December 15, 2016 News
Share the terror? Hamas has launched thousands of rockets at Israel, and is offering them to other Arabs. Illustrative photo of spent Rockets fired from Gaza. By Joshua Spurlock.

Share the terror? Hamas has launched thousands of rockets at Israel, and is offering them to other Arabs. Illustrative photo of spent Rockets fired from Gaza. By Joshua Spurlock.

Hamas isn’t content to just launch thousands of missiles at Israeli cities over the last couple decades—now they’re trying to share their rockets with any Arab army willing to shoot them at Israel. The Jerusalem Post reported that Hamas official Fathi Hammad made the offer on Al-Aqsa TV on Sunday. The Jerusalem Post noted it wasn’t clear who was being offered the missiles, but Hamas is believed to have links to some of the region’s worst extremists. That apparently may include ISIS.

While Hamas is denying connections to the terror group, ISIS is claiming a former high-ranking member of Hamas was a liaison to the Gaza-based group. Ynet reported that ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula has claimed that the liaison, Hashem Abdel Aileh Kishtah, was killed. Ynet also noted he has reportedly died on multiple occasions, only to show up alive again.

But while Kishtah was a member of Hamas, the terror group did not claim him after a previous death report in February 2016. Ynet reported that Hamas has told Al Jazeera that Hamas is not linked to ISIS, although Israel has said Kishtah is in fact that link. Regardless of Hamas’ affiliation with ISIS, they are still in the business of trying to improve their military stockpile via smuggling even as Israel seeks to block weapons and dual-use items from entering Gaza.  … Continue Reading

Israel Condemns Attack in Turkey, Expects Mutual Response to Terror

December 11, 2016 Peace and Conflict
Netanyahu condemns all terror in Turkey, and wants the same support in return. Illustrative image of Netanyahu. Photo Courtesy of UN-Photo/Marco Castro

Netanyahu condemns all terror in Turkey, and wants the same support in return. Illustrative image of Netanyahu. Photo Courtesy of UN-Photo/Marco Castro

Dozens are dead in a terror attack in Turkey that the government is blaming on a violent rebellion movement, not the typical radical Islamic terror that has struck around the world. But no matter who is behind it, Israel offered their condemnation of the attack… and expects that the Turkish response would be the same to any attacks in Israel.

“Israel condemns all terrorism in Turkey and expects that Turkey will condemn all terrorist attacks in Israel,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in comments released by his office on Sunday. “The fight against terrorism must be mutual.” Netanyahu’s comments come as Turkey has been supportive in the past of Hamas, a terror group ruling the Gaza Strip that has launched many attacks on Israel. … Continue Reading

Israel Readies to Mark 50 Years since Jerusalem Unification

December 11, 2016 News
Israel will mark 50 years of Jerusalem's reunification in 2017. Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Israel will mark 50 years of Jerusalem’s reunification in 2017. Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Palestinians and even groups within the United Nations might try to deny Israel’s 3,000-year-old connection to the Old City of Jerusalem—but despite all of this Israel will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of their capital city in 2017. In the next couple weeks, the ministry in charge of the festivities will be updating the Israeli national cabinet of the opening event plans and unveiling the Jerusalem anniversary logo, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev announced on Sunday.

“As we recall, a few weeks ago a ridiculous, false and unfounded decision was made by UNESCO, that there is no connection between the Jewish People and the Western Wall and the Temple Mount,” said Regev in comments released by the Prime Minister’s Office. “Thank G-d, they can continue to lie, we will continue with the truth of history.” The Israeli calendar date for the anniversary, which is commonly known as Jerusalem Day, will begin on the evening of May 23 next year. … Continue Reading

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