US Ambassador Slams Iran for Religious Rights Abuses against Christians, Other Minorities

The Islamic Republic of Iran is not known for being open to religious minorities, and United States Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback highlighted some of the egregious Iranian offenses in a recent speech. Christians, Baha’is and even Sunni Muslims have faced religious persecution from Iranian authorities. …

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 …

Iran Will Exceed Fuel Limits in Nuclear Deal Later This Month

Following the Iranian decision to withdraw from some of the limitations under their nuclear deal with world powers, the Islamic Republic’s nuclear fuel supply has increased to the point that they will exceed the limits on nuclear fuel storage under the atomic agreement on June 27. Iran’s Fars News Agency …

Israel Approves Town of ‘Trump Heights’ in Golan in Honor of US President

United States President Donald Trump made history earlier this year by recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the strategic Golan Heights region at Israel’s northern border, and on Sunday, Israel made history in return by naming a town for a US President for the first time in 70 years. Ramat Trump, or …

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Palestinians Reject US Middle East Conference as Israel Prepares

February 10, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu with US President Trump. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Israeli GPO

The Palestinians are boycotting a conference on peace and security in the Middle East set to be co-hosted by United States and Poland this week, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu already has plans for his focus at the event. But the key official’s agenda for the conference is White House advisor Jared Kushner, who reportedly plans to talk about US President Donald Trump’s too-be-announced Middle East peace plan.

According to a report form The Jerusalem Post, a senior official at the White House confirmed that Kushner, a key figure in the peace plan efforts and also Trump’s son-in-law, would participate in a discussion on the Israel-Palestinian peace process with leaders from other nations. The Palestinians, who have repeatedly rejected Trump’s anticipated peace proposal despite not having seen the final version, called the Warsaw conference an “American conspiracy” intended to pressure others on the Palestinian situation. The comments released by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, and included in a report by the Ma’an News Agency, claimed the Trump government had “declared war” on the Palestinian front and they would ignore any results from the Warsaw conference. … Continue Reading

Terrorist Behind ‘Shocking’ Brutal Murder of Israeli Teen Arrested

February 10, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Terror knife attacks are a threat too. Illustrative photo of commando knives apprehended amid shipment of plumbing materials destined for Gaza. Photo courtesy of Israel Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority

A murder of an Israeli teenage woman, described by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as being done with “shocking brutality”, was solved within hours as the Palestinian behind the attack was arrested by Israeli security forces last week. Netanyahu confirmed on Sunday that the investigation determined the incident was an act of terrorism, according to spokesperson Ofir Gendelman’s Twitter feed. That tweet said Netanyahu personally relayed the conclusions on the murder’s motive to the family of Ori Ansbacher, the 19-year-old who was killed last Thursday in a forest in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu, in separate comments released by his office on Saturday, applauded the quick action of the security forces. “I commend the [Israeli Security Agency] and Israel Police special anti-terror unit for apprehending—within a few hours—the abhorrent murderer of the late Ori Ansbacher. The long arm of Israel will reach whoever hurts us and we will settle accounts with them,” he said, while also expressing condolences and support to Ori’s family “during their terrible grief.”

The Times of Israel reported the Palestinian suspect, Arafat Irfayia of Hebron, was captured on Friday and has previously been imprisoned for security reasons. He had carried a knife with him before launching the attack and was able to reenact the murder, which took place in the Ein Yael forest on the edge of Jerusalem. … Continue Reading

US Forces Train with Israelis as Americans Formalize Plans to Buy Iron Dome Defense System

February 7, 2019 News

Israel and the US working together on missile defense. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The United States and Israel conduct joint training exercises every year that involve missile defense. It’s only fitting that the day before US and Israeli troops began the latest round of exercises, the American Army announced formal plans to buy Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. Discussions surrounding the purchase have been going on for months, according to The Times of Israel, but were made official on Wednesday in a statement from the US Army.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was very pleased with the news. A Twitter post by spokesman Ofir Gendelman quoted Netanyahu as saying, “This is a great achievement & another expression of our strong alliance w/ the US. Israel has ‘Iron Dome’ & an iron fist. Our systems can deal w/ any threat, in defense & offense. I advise our enemies not to test us.”

US Army Col. Patrick Seiber, according to a statement published by CNN, said that the Iron Dome would be “assessed” as an option to protect US armed forces, amongst other options. He said no decision had been made on a specific location for assigning the Iron Dome batteries. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Reminds Foreign Officials Israel Protecting the World from Terror

February 6, 2019 News

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

Israel is often at the forefront of the voices concerned about Islamic terrorism and the nuclear and non-nuclear threats from Iran. But Israel is also at the forefront of fighting back against those dangers, and it’s not just Israel that’s being protected by those efforts. Europe and the rest of the world benefit as well. On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu highlighted the risk posed by radicals such as ISIS and Iran and what that means for friendly foreign powers.

“We are committed to blocking [radicals’] advance and in so doing, we are defending not only ourselves, but in many ways, defending Europe,” Netanyahu said in comments released by his office during a meeting with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.

“Israel is the great fortress, here at the edge of Asia, at the edge of the Mediterranean, that is preventing the forces of militant Islam from sweeping the region and sending millions and millions and millions of people into homeless wandering throughout the continents, especially the continent of Europe,” he continued. “The best way to deal with this is to deal with it here, to defeat these forces here. And Israel is doing more than its fair share in that regard.” … Continue Reading

Israel Talks with Austria about European Efforts to Dodge Iran Sanctions

February 6, 2019 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu and Austrian Pres. Alexander Van der Bellen. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (Israeli GPO)

After pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal last year, the United States implemented renewed sanctions on Iran in an effort to change their malignant behavior ranging from missile tests to terrorism. While European nations have reportedly been looking at ways to evade the sanctions to try and keep Iran in the endangered nuclear arrangement, one central European country hasn’t been so eager to buck the American pressure on Iran and Israel wants to keep it that way.

Austria refused to host discussions on the economic creativity seeking to get around Iran sanctions—known as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)—and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended their European ally for taking that position in comments with visiting Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen on Tuesday. Netanyahu’s comments with the Austrian official come a week after Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl discussed European-Iranian trade with an Iranian diplomat in Vienna, according to the Mehr News Agency.

Netanyahu told Van der Bellen, in comments released by the Israeli’s office, that this “is an area that I’d like to discuss further with you, something that we have obviously very strong opinions about.” … Continue Reading

Israel Announces Conclusion of Operation Northern Shield as Sixth Hezbollah Tunnel Uncovered

January 13, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu in the north.
Photo courtesy of Haim Zach / Israeli GPO.

Israel on Sunday announced the end of Operation Northern Shield, in connection with their uncovering of a sixth cross-border tunnel linking Israel and Lebanon. The terror tunnels, built by Hezbollah in violation of United Nations Resolution 1701, are believed to have been intended as a method to send terrorists into Israeli territory to launch attacks.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reported the “successful close” to the operation aimed at neutralizing the tunnels in comments released by his office, while also noting the danger that had been posed by the underground structures.

“I think that everyone understands that a very serious threat was averted here. Hezbollah’s operational plan was to use the tunnels weapon to infiltrate many fighters, between 1,000-2,000 terrorists, into the Galilee, to seize communities here,” said Netanyahu. “Everyone understands how the war would look if Hezbollah battalions were in the Galilee, and with the Iranian army opposite the Golan Heights. We have prevented this—and will continue to prevent it.” … Continue Reading

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