Iran Regime Claims Unrest Defeated, But Unjustified Imprisonment May Continue Protests

The most powerful security force in Iran and a close ally of the regime has claimed that the Iranian uprising has been crushed, but media reports and Twitter are implying that hasn’t happened yet. A reason for the latest outcry in Iran is due to the hundreds of people imprisoned …

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 …

US to UN: Drone Incursion to Israel ‘Wake-up Call’ that Iran Plans to Stay in Syria

The Iranian drone that violated Israeli airspace last week was more than just an escalation—it’s a sign that peace in Syria is a ways away according to the United States and regional conflict may be here to stay. Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, warned the powerful …

Investigation: Turkey Turns ‘Blind Eye’—Sometimes Encourages—Hamas Illicit Activity

A Turkish citizen arrested in Israel for working with Hamas has helped unleash an investigation that led to accusations on Monday that Turkey has been ignoring—and at times enabling—Hamas fundraising and militaristic activity and has even indirectly allowed the terror group opportunity to research weapons for fighting Israel. The delve …

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Netanyahu Prepped to Talk Syria with Putin in Russia This Week

August 20, 2017 News

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of the office of the President of Russia.

With Israel reportedly in the skies over Syria striking weapons bound for terrorists and Russia in the same skies defending the Syrian regime in that country’s civil war, coordination has been key to avoid tragic wartime mistakes. And that’s not the only reason why the top leaders of Israel and Russia will be meeting this week. According to a report from The Times of Israel, the American-Russian mediated Syrian ceasefire is of particular concern to Israel.

The reason for that concern? Iran. The report noted that Israel is alarmed that Iran is seeking to establish a physical base in Syria. The Times of Israel said that such a situation would help enable Iran to develop a contiguous corridor from Iran to Lebanon, traveling via allies in Iraq and Syria. With Iranian-sponsored-terrorist-group Hezbollah in Lebanon, such a land link poses multiple concerns.

In the meantime, the reason publicly announced in an Israeli press release regarding the meeting with Russia is to coordinate their air forces in Syria, in addition to discussing “the latest developments in the region.” … Continue Reading

Iran Has So Many Missiles They Have Storage Space ‘Problem’

August 14, 2017 News

Will Israel need to defend itself against Iranian missiles? The David’s Sling missile defense system. Photo courtesy of the IDF.

Iran’s missile capabilities have been making headlines, especially after they fired multiple missiles into Syria to strike terrorists in that country and as the United States has repeatedly condemned new Iranian missile tests as threatening. Turns out Iran isn’t just testing missiles, they’re stockpiling them too—and so many they are running out of room to store them.

“The rate of our missile production is so high that we are faced with the problem of space,” PressTV reported Brigadier General Hossein Salami as telling state television last weekend. Salami, the second-in-command of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), also warned the United States that a military confrontation with Iran would result in Israel’s “destruction.” He was quoted by PressTV as saying, “A war in the Persian Gulf would be a fluid one that would move far beyond the imagination of the Americans and engage all the areas bearing their interests; it would be drawn toward the Zionist regime and its destruction.”

And Salami isn’t the only one threatening Israel—apparently that missile strike on Syria was meant as a warning to Israel too. … Continue Reading

Trump ‘Optimistic’ as Envoys Seeking Middle East Peace Return to Region

August 13, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Trump feeling good about Middle East peace prospects. U.S. President Donald Trump (left) meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right). Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

The American envoys working to restart peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are heading back to the region soon, and United States President Donald Trump is “optimistic.” That characterization of President Trump’s feelings on the situation came from the Twitter feed of one of the envoys, Jason Greenblatt, who said he would be joined by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy Dina Powell. “I look forward to returning to the Middle East soon with Jared Kushner & Dina Powell as we pursue peace,” tweeted Greenblatt last week.

Israel is looking ahead as well. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments to the Israeli cabinet released by his office, noted that the envoys are coming soon “in an effort to advance the peace process. Of course, we will welcome them as always.” The upcoming American visit follows the Temple Mount crisis in which Arab terrorists killed two Israeli policemen, and then Arabs protested the Israeli set up of metal detectors at the Temple Mount entrance to prevent future attacks. Israel eventually took down the metal detectors.

However, rather than shy away from talks now, Trump sees this as an “opportunity” according to The Times of Israel. … Continue Reading

Palestinians, Iranians Battle Israel in the Sports World… By Not Playing

August 13, 2017 News

Palestinian teen shows nationalistic pride, by refusing to play sports against Israelis? Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Israel’s enemies often sound and act very open to confrontation, but in the world of sports they aren’t even competing or are told not to do so. In August alone, two Iranians were banned for life from the national soccer team for just playing against an Israeli team while a teenage Palestinian kickboxer refused to spar against an Israeli. According to The Jerusalem Post, the Palestinian withdrawal allowed the Israeli to advance to eventually win a bronze medal in the IFMA Youth muaythai World Championships.

The Palestinian Ma’an News Agency quoted Palestinian Association of Kickboxing and Muaythai Muhammad Ahmad Zeidani as saying the Palestinian teen refused to compete with the Israeli because the Palestinians haven’t made an official decision “over whether to face Israeli athletes in any sporting event.” Israeli Prime Minister’s Office Spokesman Ofir Gendelman slammed the Palestinian withdrawal on Twitter. He tweeted that the Palestinian Authority “abuses sports&incites against peace: A Palestinian kickboxer refused to fight his opponent b/c he was Israeli.” Meanwhile, the Iranian penalty for playing against Israelis drew criticism even inside Iran. … Continue Reading

US Calls for Tougher Enforcement against Hezbollah ahead of UN Mission Renewal

August 8, 2017 Peace and Conflict

UN headquarters. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon may be overseeing over a decade of general calm, but the United States isn’t content with the effort to truly keep the peace. In particular, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley highlighted Hezbollah’s arms buildup, which is in violation of the U.N. Resolution that ended the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. She said she agreed with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres that they want the efforts of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to be enhanced to “prevent the spread of illegal arms in southern Lebanon.”

Said Ambassador Haley in comments released by her office, “These arms—which are almost entirely in the hands of Hezbollah terrorists—threaten the security and stability of the region. UNIFIL must increase its capacity and commitment to investigating and reporting these violations. The United States will continue to raise the threat posed by Hezbollah as we seek significant improvements to UNIFIL when the Security Council renews its mandate this month.” … Continue Reading

Israeli Police Meet with Arab Authorities to Discuss Cooperation Despite Low Turnout

August 7, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Israeli President Rivlin hosts meeting between Israeli Police and Arab leaders. Photo courtesy of Mark Neiman (GPO).

If Arabs and the Israeli Police don’t communicate effectively, it’s certainly not due to Israel not trying. Recently, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin hosted a meeting between Israeli Chief of Police Roni Alsheikh and Arab local leadership to discuss cooperation between the Police and Arabs and “to examine ways to advance the common issues and concerns,” according to a press release from Rivlin’s office.

However, the number of Arab leaders who attended fell short of Rivlin’s hopes. “I am very sorry that many of the council heads who wished to arrive did not come due to various pressures,” said Rivlin. “It is a shame, because we are destined to live together and we have to find a way to promote this understanding inside all of us.”

The meeting comes against the backdrop of tensions between Israel and the broader Arab community following a terror shooting committed by Arabs in the Temple Mount area that killed two Israeli policemen. In response, Israel set up metal detectors at the main entrance to the Temple Mount complex, but later removed them after outraged Arabs protested and the greater Arab world turned it into an international incident. And much as the recent police meeting was under-attended by Arab leaders, so too were condemnations of violence lacking from Arab leadership, lamented Rivlin. … Continue Reading

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