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 …

Israel Holding Hamas Responsible as Gaza Attacks Continue

Following more rocket attacks from Gaza against Israel, the IDF hit back at Hamas in a counterstrike last Friday. Based on comments from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, expect that Israeli response to Gaza violence to continue as needed. “We are acting against Islamic Jihad, as it is …

Iraqi Protestors Challenging Iranian Influence Have ‘Clearly Made Iran Nervous’

Protests are making an impact in Iraq, and it’s not just the leaders in Baghdad that are feeling the pressure. Leaders in Iraq’s next-door neighbor and general bad influence Iran are taking notice too, as Iraqi protestors have opposed Tehran’s entanglement in their country. “Iraqis increasingly view Iran as having …

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Israel Exposes Travel Agency as Front for Hamas Money Laundering

July 17, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Fadi Abu al-Sabah, another Hamas terrorist hiding in civilian guise. Photo Courtesy of the ISA.

The Israelis continue to break up terrorist financial schemes, with the latest being the exposure of a group in Judea and Samaria (also known as the West Bank) that was laundering money for Hamas—via a travel agency. “Meet the West Bank-based Al-Haramain ‘travel agency’. Instead of booking hotels, Al-Haramain has in fact been operating a Hamas money laundering ring, transferring illicit terror funds from Gaza to the West Bank. This dirty money funded terror activity and Hamas salaries,” said a post on the IDF Twitter feed.

A follow-up post said earlier this week they had apprehended three Hamas operatives who were part of the ring. Said the tweet on busting this fake travel agency, “We won’t let terror be Hamas’ destination.”

Unmasking the travel agency scam is just the latest exposure of an effort by Hamas to hide terror activities in civilian guise. Earlier this month, the Israel Security Agency announced in a press release they had uncovered a plot to get an explosives expert from Gaza into Israel via a “humanitarian permit in order to receive medical treatment.” … Continue Reading

Israel Urges French to Join Argentina and Add Hezbollah to Terror List

July 17, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu meets with delegation of senior French MPs. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach (Israeli GPO)

The cold war between Israel and Hezbollah continued on Wednesday, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeking another diplomatic victory against the group by urging France to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. “It’s very important that France and the rest of Europe do exactly what Argentina did recently, and that is to declare Hezbollah as a terrorist group. It’s the major terrorist organization in the Middle East and in the world, and it’s operating terrorists on European soil,” Netanyahu told a delegation of visiting senior French parliament members, in comments also released by his office.

“So the most important thing is to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and I think that should be done immediately.” His comments follow a recent back-and-forth of threats and warnings between Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Netanyahu.

A report on Tuesday from the media outlet Clarin said that Argentina was creating a registry of terrorist organizations that had committed terror attacks inside the country. Included among those is Hezbollah, which bombed the Israeli Embassy to Argentina in 1992 and the Jewish AMIA center in 1994. The report said the registry would complement the list of terror groups published by the United Nations, which does not include Hezbollah. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu: If Hezbollah ‘Dares’ to Attack, Israel Will Respond ‘With Crushing Military Blow’

July 14, 2019 Peace and Conflict

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

Israel will unleash a devastating counterattack if Hezbollah were to attack from Lebanon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday, in response to the latest threats from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. “Over the weekend we heard Nasrallah’s remarks on his attack plans. It should be clear that if Hezbollah dares to do some nonsense and attacks Israel, we will hit him and Lebanon with a crushing military blow,” said Netayahu in comments released by his office.

The counter-threat came after Hezbollah Secretary General Nasrallah said in an interview with Al-Manar that another war with Israel would put the Jewish state “on the verge of vanishing.” To prove his point, Nasrallah boasted that they had weapons capable of reaching up and down the Israeli coastline and targeting Israel’s international airport, seaports and petrochemical plants. He claimed Hezbollah had precision missiles and drones, while staying evasive on whether or not they had anti-aircraft missiles.

Netanyahu mocked Nasrallah’s specificity, stating, “I do not intend to detail our plans.” Instead, he simply pointed to how they foiled the plot to build terror tunnels into Israel. “It is enough to recall that Nasrallah had—for years—dug terrorist tunnels, which we destroyed within days.” … Continue Reading

US Accuses Iran of Nuclear ‘Extortion’ at UN Meeting with World Powers

Renewed US sanctions on Iran making an impact. President Donald J. Trump signs an Executive Order on Iran Sanctions. Illustrative. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

The United States on Wednesday harshly criticized Iran’s recent nuclear advancements in a meeting with other world powers at the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog Board of Governor’s meeting, while separately US President Donald Trump threatened increased sanctions on Iran on Twitter. Recent announcements by Iran that the Islamic Republic had exceeded certain nuclear fuel limits imposed under the nuclear deal have been confirmed by International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano, with those reports published to the IAEA website.

In view of Iran’s moves, US Ambassador Jackie Wolcott told the 35-nation Board of the IAEA, “There is no credible reason for Iran to expand its nuclear program, and there is no way to read this as anything other than a crude and transparent attempt to extort payments from the international community.”

“This is an interpretation the Iranian regime itself readily admits, stating openly that it will continue to engage in such provocations until it receives various economic benefits.”

Wolcott, in comments posted to the US Mission to International Organizations in Vienna website, said the US is “committed to denying” Iran receives such economic benefits as a result of the their latest aggressive actions. President Trump took it one step further, warning that more sanctions were on the way, while again slamming the nuclear deal with Iran that the US exited last year. … Continue Reading

DNA Evidence Argues Ancient Biblical Villain Philistines Have European Ancestors

July 7, 2019 Special Feature

Excavation of the Philistine Cemetery at Ashkelon. Photographer Melissa Aja.
Photo Courtesy of Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon.

The Roman name for the region including Israel—which evolved into “Palestine”—may have been derived from the name of the Philistine people who once lived on the coast, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Yet ironically, it turns out at least some of the Philistine’s ancestors are not only not from Israeli territory—they aren’t even from the Middle East. A new study examining the genetic material in bone samples dating to more than 3,000-years-ago found that a “substantial proportion of their ancestry was derived from a European population,” according to a press release on the Leon Levy Expedition Ashkelon project.

“For the first time, thanks to state-of-the-art DNA testing on ancient bones, we are able to demonstrate that the Philistines were immigrants to the region of Philistia in the 12th century BC,” said Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon director Daniel M. Master in the press release, which was published by Lydia Weitzman Communications. “For thirty years, we excavated at Ashkelon, uncovering Canaanites, early Philistines and later Philistines, and now we can begin to understand the story that these bones tell.”

The research, jointly done with Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and published in “Science Advances”, aligns with ancient texts that labeled the Philistines as immigrants, including the Bible. The press release referenced Amos 9:7 as saying the Philistines emigrated from a land known as Caphtor. In Deuteronomy, a people from Caphtor are described as conquering territory later used by the Philistines along the Israeli coastline, including Gaza. … Continue Reading

UK Says Iran ‘Has Broken the Terms’ of Nuclear Deal

July 7, 2019 News

The UK believes Iran has violated their nuclear deal. UK, Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

As Iran announced on Sunday that they had exceeded the level of nuclear fuel enrichment quality beyond the limits set under the 2015 nuclear deal with the major world powers, the United Kingdom officially declared that the Islamic Republic had violated the accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “Iran has broken the terms of the JCPOA, following its announcement that it will start uranium enrichment above the 3.67% limit agreed in the nuclear deal,” said a UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman in comments posted to the office’s website. “While the UK remains fully committed to the deal, Iran must immediately stop and reverse all activities inconsistent with its obligations.”

Higher levels of enrichment for uranium are needed for certain types of nuclear power, higher-still for medical research, and 90% levels are needed for nuclear weapons. Iran’s recent withdrawal from restrictions under the JCPOA is ostensibly a reaction to Europe insufficiently providing Iran economic benefits under the JCPOA, following the renewal of American sanctions after the United States exited the deal in 2018.

The UK statement stopped short of calling for their own renewed sanctions on Iran—the agreed-upon consequence for violating the JCPOA—but did say they were coordinating with other members of the JCPOA “regarding the next steps under the terms of the deal.” In view of Iran’s actions and the lack of action so far in response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday had a simple question for the world powers— known as the P5+1—who negotiated the deal with Iran: “Where are you?” … Continue Reading

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