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 …

Iran Ends All Restrictions under Nuclear Deal; Israel Backs US over Killing of General

Iran on Sunday decided to withdraw from all remaining “key” restrictions under the Iran nuclear deal in what was described as the fifth and final such step, just days after Iran’s top spymaster general was killed in an American attack. Meanwhile, Israel reiterated their support for United States President Donald …

Israel Calls for More Iran Sanctions as Protests Rock Tehran over Downed Airliner

The Iran crisis took another twist over the weekend, as protests erupted in the Iranian capital of Tehran and elsewhere against the regime after it was confirmed Iran accidentally shot down a civilian airliner in Iran, killing all 176 passengers on board. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed solidarity …

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Israeli Official Tells Top Legislator EU Parliament ‘Must Never Be Platform for Terrorists’

July 22, 2019 News

Barakat and wife Charlotte Kates at an event in Denmark with the PFLP’s flag in October 2018. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs

After hearing that two known members of a Palestinian terrorist organization and supporters of the boycott and sanctions movement against Israel spoke at the European Parliament, Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan wrote to the Parliament’s president to urge him to condemn the terrorists’ invite and ensure it never happens again. “Such unfortunate occurrences must not be allowed to repeat themselves,” wrote Erdan in his letter, which was published on Monday by Israel. “The European Parliament must never be a platform for terrorists.”

In a letter dated July 18, Erdan informed Parliament President David Sassoli that Khaled Barakat and Mohammed Khatib—who had recently spoken in a public event at the European Parliament at the invitation of Spanish Member of European Parliament Manu Pineda—were in fact known members of the “Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine” (PFLP), an EU-designated terror group.

Erdan said indications are that Pineda not only knew of the two speakers’ ties to terrorism, but also “in the past has expressed his support for EU-designated terrorist organizations such as the PFLP.” The Israeli official said, “This must raise questions about the appropriateness” of Pineda’s roles in certain European committees, including the Committee on Foreign Affairs. … Continue Reading

Mideast Tensions Soar as US Downs Iranian Drone, Iran Seizes Tankers

July 21, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Iran is attacking oil shipping. Oil Tanker. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Navy. Photo by Mass Communication 2nd Class Nathan Schaeffer

Tensions between Iran and the international community escalated last week as an Iranian drone was shot down after threatening an American warship and multiple civilian foreign ships were seized by Iran, including one belonging to the United Kingdom. The drone incident occurred on Thursday, with United States President Donald Trump announcing that a US Navy amphibious assault ship took “defensive action” against an incoming Iranian drone that ignored calls and was “threatening the safety of the ship and the ship’s crew.”

Said Trump on Thursday in comments posted to the White House website, “This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters. The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities, and interests, and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran’s attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce.”

That same day, a foreign ship was captured by Iran, which claimed that the vessel was smuggling fuel, according to a report by the Fars News Agency. One day later, two different British were seized, but Iran claimed to have released the second. The British were outraged over the seizing of ships, and just one day earlier Israel pointed to Iranian “aggression” as why the world should take action. … Continue Reading

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

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