How Gantz Could Build A Government, Without A Majority

Israel’s second round of elections have been a complex but ultimately straightforward math problem: the ruling Likud party plus their allies equals less than a majority. The opposition Blue and White party plus their allies equals less than a majority. Neither side is willing to make the compromises needed to …

Arab Village Electrician Uncovers Ancient Artifacts, Helps Israel Preserve Them

Arabs can face opposition from their own people for helping Israel, but one Arab villager recently chose to do the right thing in spite of critique and in the process helped Israel preserve history. The resident of the village of Araba in northern Israel, Ahmed Nassar Yassin, is an electrician …

Netanyahu Says Deterrence Strengthened: Terrorists Know We Will Put Attackers ‘in the Crosshairs’

Just days after assassinating senior Islamic Jihad commander Abu al-Ata, and despite hundreds of rockets being fired by Islamic Jihad at Israel since then, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel’s action “changes the equation” vis-à-vis terrorists. “The arch-terrorists know that we can put them in the crosshairs and …

Israel Supports Italian Holocaust Survivor Who Received Hundreds of Death Threats

Italian Life Senator Liliana Segre, a Holocaust survivor, recently succeeded in convincing the Italian parliament to better tackle anti-Semitism, including setting up a parliamentary commission on the issue. In response, Segre has received hundreds of anti-Semitic death threats and now requires ongoing police protection. On Sunday, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin …

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US Says Iran ‘Afraid of Success’ of Palestinian Prosperity Peace Plan

June 26, 2019 Special Feature

The US is promoting a new economic plan for the Palestinians. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The United States on Wednesday wrapped up a two-day workshop in Bahrain aimed at drumming up economic support for the Palestinian people as part of the American “Peace to Prosperity” plan, but not every nation in the Middle East is eager to see that goal achieved. In particular, the US was pointing the finger at Iran, a major sponsor of Palestinian terror organizations that oppose peace with Israel.

“If there is one nation in the Middle East that does not want this effort to succeed, that is afraid of our success, it’s the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said in a video posted to the State Department Twitter page.

“They would much rather see the Palestinian people trapped in an endless cycle of poverty, because they prioritize ideology over the welfare of not only the Palestinian people, but the Iranian people. We are going to continue to support and stand with the Palestinian people while the Iranian regime conducts its campaign of lies and disinformation.” … Continue Reading

US Promises to Consider Israeli Security Concerns in Jordan Valley for Peace Plan

June 23, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu & USNSA John Bolton in the Jordan Valley. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / Israeli GPO

Israel has long claimed that Israeli security force should remain in the Jordan Valley—which acts as a natural buffer shielding Israel from its many enemies to the East—in any peace deal with the Palestinians. This is something of a sticking point, as the territory in Judea and Samaria is also part of the land claimed by the Palestinians, which they call the West Bank. On Sunday, after touring the Jordan Valley with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, United States National Security Adviser John Bolton acknowledged the importance of the valley to Israel, and he promised US President Donald Trump would keep that in mind as the Americans prepare to announce their “Deal of the Century” peace plan.

“I’ll just say that without security there is no peace, there is no long-lasting peace. And I just think it’s too bad, Prime Minister, that more Americans can’t come to locations like this, see the geography, understand its significance, understand how it affects Israel’s critical security position, and explain why Israel has taken the view that it has,” said Bolton in comments published by Netanyahu’s office.

“I can assure you that President Trump will take the concerns that you have voiced so clearly over the years very much into account as we go forward on this.” … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Says Iranian Aggression Spike Due to Generous Nuke Deal, Not US Actions

PM Netanyahu & US National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Photo courtesy of: Haim Zach / Israeli GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphatically pushed back against the narrative that the latest Iranian acts of aggression—including attacking the global oil industry and shooting down an American drone—are due to recent decisions from United States President Donald Trump, particularly his pulling out of the nuclear deal with Iran. On the contrary, Netanyahu argues that the instigator of Iran’s uptick in violence was actually the financial benefits accorded to Iran by the nuclear agreement, and they started years ago.

“The supporters of the Iran deal argued that the infusion of cash, massive cash into Iran’s economy, would moderate Iran. They argued that Iran would become inward-focused, would start nation-building. And in fact, the opposite has happened. The very opposite has happened,” said Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office with visiting US National Security Adviser John Bolton

“Iran used those hundreds of billions of dollars to fund empire-building, not nation-building—that is the stamping of one state after the other, and the devouring of one state after another in the Middle East. Those who argue that Iran’s aggression began after the recent actions are not living on the same planet. This is completely false.”

The debate is key because of what the US response should be—the Americans could return to the nuclear deal with Iran and lessen sanctions as a result, or they could press forward with Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign. One of the leading candidates to challenge President Trump in the 2020 US Presidential elections is Joe Biden, who was Vice President when the nuclear deal was signed. While not stating his ultimate response to the current Iran situation, Biden recently claimed on Twitter that Trump’s decision to leave the deal has led to the increase in Iranian aggression. … Continue Reading

Amidst Regional Tensions, Russia, US and Israel to Hold ‘Unprecedented’ Trilateral Meeting

June 18, 2019 Peace and Conflict

The United States’ Bolton, Israel, and Russia will all meet next week. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Jerusalem. Illustrative. Photo: Amos Ben Gershom GPO

National Security officials from Israel, the United States and Russia are set to meet together next week in what Israel’s leader has called an “historic and unprecedented meeting in Jerusalem.” Netanyahu made the comments on Tuesday, one day after the United States increased its troop deployment to the Middle East again amidst tensions with Iran.

The trilateral world power meeting in Jerusalem has been planned for weeks, with a report in May from The Times of Israel saying the meeting was expected to focus on Syria­­, including Iran’s military buildup in that country and US troop pullout from there. On Tuesday in comments published by his office, Netanyahu said the meeting “is a very important summit for ensuring stability in the Middle East during turbulent times.”

He continued, “What is important about this trilateral meeting, of the two superpowers in the State of Israel is that it greatly attests to the current international standing of Israel among the nations.” … Continue Reading

Iran Will Exceed Fuel Limits in Nuclear Deal Later This Month

June 17, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Illustrative photo of Netanyahu discussing Iran’s “secret nuclear files”. Photo courtesy of: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

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 reported that spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi informed the world of Iran’s progress on Monday, noting that his country intends to walk away from more of their requirements if their economic demands of Europe are not met by the end of their 60-day deadline on July 7.

Enriching uranium for nuclear fuel beyond what is needed for civilian power—including significant enhancement to medical research levels previously reached by the regime’s program before the deal—is on the table according to the spokesman. Nuclear weapons enrichment-levels—an even further step in nuclear fuel efforts—were not mentioned in the report.

Still, the specter of Iran speeding back to activity levels achieved prior to the nuclear deal hangs threateningly, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes Iran should be punished by the world community if they exceed what’s permitted under the accord. “Should Iran make good on its current threats, and violate the nuclear agreement, the international community will need to immediately impose the sanctions regime that was agreed upon in advance, the ‘snapback sanctions,’” Netanyahu was quoted by his office as saying Monday. “In any case, Israel will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons.” … Continue Reading

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

June 16, 2019 News

Golan Heights Cabinet meeting recognizing “Trump Heights”.
Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / Israeli GPO

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 “Trump Heights” in English, was formally approved by the Israeli cabinet and a sign with the special name was unveiled in a special ceremony in the Golan.

“This is an historic day for us,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “We are going to do two things: Establish a new community on the Golan Heights, something which has not been done for many years. This is an act of settlement and of Zionism of the first order.

“The second thing is to honor our friend, a very great friend of the State of Israel, President Donald Trump, who recently recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He is the first international leader to have done so. He tore the mask off this hypocrisy, which does not recognize what is self-evident.” … Continue Reading

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