Israel Strikes Weapons Storage Day after US Espouses Support of anti-Iran Action in Syria

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday last week provided American backing for Israel’s efforts to prevent Iran from setting up a new base of operations in Syria. One day later, Israeli warplanes struck weapons storage facilities belonging to Iran, including a target at an international airport in …

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 …

Netanyahu Tells Arabs that Iran Is Main Threat, To Talk with Putin to ‘Ensure Freedom of Action’ against Iran

It’s a busy season of diplomacy for Israel against Iran, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Poland last week for a conference with Arab and Western nations discussing the threat from Tehran, and this week he will be in Poland’s neighbor Russia to discuss how to keep combatting that …

Israeli Spacecraft Launching for the Moon This Week

Israel is set to become just the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon, as the satellite “Beresheet”—Hebrew for “Beginning”—is scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX rocket around the end of this week with its destination being the lunar surface. The spacecraft will carry a time capsule to …

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Israeli Researchers Find Pomegranate Juice Could Reduce Risk of Baby Brain Damage

August 22, 2018 News

The Research Team (L-R): Top Row, Dr. Nizar Khatib, Professor Wiener, and Dr. Yuval Ginsburg;
Bottom Row (L-R) Dr. Noor Saadi and Professor Beloosesky.
Photo credit: Pioter Fliter, RHCC.

One of the fruits commonly associated with the nation of Israel—pomegranates—could be a key to reducing pregnancy inflammation and brain damage to newborn babies, according to an Israeli research group who has tested the theory. Professor Ron Beloosesky, Director of the Prenatal Ultrasound Unit in the Division of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Rambam Health Care Campus in Israel, said in a press release that prior research had already shown that pomegranate juice can reduce inflammation.

That’s key, because inflammation can lead to premature birth and can transmit to the baby, increasing the risk of brain damage and lifelong disorders such as cerebral palsy. According to research done by Belooseky and his team, mothers drinking the juice of one of Israel’s Biblical seven species and commonly found freshly squeezed in Jerusalem could help prevent those defects.

“It seems that an accessible and inexpensive juice that can be found in any supermarket has a positive effect on a serious problem that harms mothers and their embryos,” said Belooseky in the press release. After testing the effects of the juice on pregnant rats, human trials are slated to be completed in the next two years. … Continue Reading

US Creates Government Group to ‘Drive Daily Progress’ on Change in Iranian Regime Behavior

August 22, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Israel and the US agree on Iran. Meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Jerusalem. Illustrative. Photo: Amos Ben Gershom GPO

The United States is determined to push for what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called “major changes” in the behavior of the Iranian regime—including their nuclear and missile activities and their support for terrorism—and so he recently announced the formation of the Iran Action Group at the State Department to focus on this effort. “Our hope is that one day soon we can reach a new agreement with Iran,” said Pompeo in a Department press release on August 16.

“But we must see major changes in the regime’s behavior both inside and outside of its borders. The Iranian people and the world are demanding that Iran finally act like a normal nation. The Iran Action Group will drive daily progress on these objectives and I hope do much more.”

Pompeo said that the Group would be “key” to working with other nations on countering the Iran threat, and they join what is already a robust effort. Just this week National Security Advisor John Bolton visited Israel with Iran on his mind. And Brian Hook, the new head of the Iran Action Group, was in London last week for “productive discussions” with European allies on Iran. “We will continue to build on those areas where we are in agreement with our allies and partners around the world and we will work to find consensus on those areas where we are not,” said Hook, in a separate press release last week. As Bolton saw firsthand, Israel already agrees. … Continue Reading

UN Chief Lists Int’l Troops as Means to Protect Palestinians the Same Day Gazans Riot against Israel

August 19, 2018 Peace and Conflict

United Nations vehicle. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

In the wake of months of arson attacks against Israel by kites sent from Gaza, hundreds of rocket attacks from Hamas on Israeli civilians and regular Gaza border riots, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres listed international troops as an option to defend the Palestinians—from Israel. The Ma’an News Agency said that a report published on Friday by Guterres provided four possible methods to protect Palestinians—which the UN chief acknowledged is “highly complex.” One such option was armed UN peacekeepers or troops from “like-minded states” under a UN mandate to provide “physical protection.” Other options included additional aid and UN observers.

Yet the same day the report was released, it was Israel who was once again in need of self-defense. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed reported that “thousands of Palestinians rioted along the security fence with Gaza, hurling several firebombs” and explosive devices on Friday, along with multiple infiltrations into Israel by suspects who quickly retreated back into Gaza. This is nothing new. Israel has spent months defending their border with Gaza from hordes of violent Palestinians interspersed with Hamas terrorists. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said that it’s not Israel who is threatening the Palestinians—it’s their own leadership, including the supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority (PA). … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Calls for More Funds for Israel’s Defense Per ‘2030’ Security Review

August 15, 2018 News

Israel’s security needs money to fight Iran. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up piece of Iranian UAV in February. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben Gershom GPO

Israel’s defense budget will need to grow over the next decade to address the wide range of threats facing the nation—including funding missile defense—as part of their “2030 security concept” announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. The security review considers the upcoming expected threats and as a result of those dangers calls for a larger budget for Israel’s defense. Netanyahu, according to a press release from his office, plans to increase Israel’s security budget by 0.2-0.3% of Israel’s overall economic output, or Gross National Product (GNP), with the goal for the budget to eventually average 6% of GNP.

Israel would have multiple plans for spending the monies, including “Major power-level cyber capabilities”, enhanced offensive abilities to take the fight to the enemy and improving anti-missile defense.

“In the last 20 years we have cultivated a free economy in order to serve national needs, especially security,” said Netanyahu in the press release. “Against the accumulated threats we are at a turning point. Today we are called upon to invest more in security in order to defend our achievements and ensure continued economic growth.” Those upgrades come as Iran is again making headlines for military plans of their own to beat missile defense systems. … Continue Reading

Israel Lightens Restrictions on Gaza to Emphasize ‘Calm Is Better than Violence’

August 15, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Illustrative example of goods shipped to Gaza. Photo courtesy of the Israel Tax Authority.

With multiple days of general quiet on the Gaza border, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced on Facebook on Wednesday the re-opening of the Israel-Gaza border crossing back to its normal function “as a clear message for Gaza population: calm is better than violence.” Lieberman’s statement, posted in Arabic and translated into English on the Facebook page of Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) authority that works with the Palestinians on the ground, said that Gazans would “win” when Israelis have calm and “lose when #chaos prevails.”

The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed in a series of posts on Wednesday that the Kerem Shalom border crossing would “be re-opened this morning for full activity” and that the fishing zone of Gaza’s coast would be expanded out to nine nautical miles.

The relaxing of restrictions comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the closing of the Kerem Shalom crossing in July in an effort to curb Hamas terrorism with economic sanctions. For months, Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip have been launching attacks at Israel in the form of rockets, fire kites, and attempts to breach the border crossing to invade Israel. In recent weeks, there have been multiple upticks in rocket violence, prior to the latest period of calm. … Continue Reading

Israeli Government Launches Invest Program for ‘Gamechanger’ Cyber Defense

August 14, 2018 News

Prime Minister Netanyahu at cyber center. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / GPO

In a world in which the threat of a cyber-attack is almost constant, Israel is already a world-leader in cyber-defense technologies, and a new investment program allocating 90 million shekels ($24.4 million) is aiming to do more than just maintain the status quo. It’s specifically targeted to help “groundbreaking” research and development and pilot programs to benefit technologies “with ‘gamechanger’ potential” according to an Israeli government press release.

The three-year funding program—which offers to fund almost two-thirds of R&D costs for certain projects up to 5 million shekels ($1.36 million)—is a joint effort of the Israel Innovation Authority (IAA), the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry, and the National Cyber Directorate.

“The Authority stresses the importance of groundbreaking cyber defense technologies to preserve Israel’s unparalleled prowess in the field,” Chief Scientist, Ministry of Economy and Industry, and Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, Dr. Ami Appelbaum said in the press release. … Continue Reading

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