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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ADL: 1,879 Antisemitic Attacks in US in 2019, Including Spike in Assaults

May 1, 2019 News

Even in the US, antisemitism has disturbing trends. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The number of antisemitic assaults in the United States in 2019 more than doubled the number of incidents in the year before, part of 1,879 antisemitic attacks in the US last year according to data released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). That total, while 5 percent less than 2017, still ranks as the third most attacks in one year since the ADL first began tracking the numbers in 1970.

While the overall numbers are deeply disturbing, the outright violence skyrocketed year-over-year—from 19 antisemitic assaults in 2017 to 39 in 2018, including the murder of 11 people at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Congregation in October. The violence impacted 59 victims, almost triple the 21 victims in 2017, noted an ADL press release posted to their website.

“We’ve worked hard to push back against antisemitism, and succeeded in improving hate crime laws, and yet we continue to experience an alarmingly high number of antisemitic acts,” Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director, was quoted in the press release as saying. … Continue Reading

Israel Condemns Passover Synagogue Shooting, Praises Victim as Hero

April 28, 2019 Special Feature

New shooting ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day highlights deadly dangers of antisemitism. Sculpture at Yad Vashem depicting Polish-Jewish doctor and author Janusz Korczak, and children from his orphanage, who all perished in the Holocaust. By Joshua Spurlock.

Another shocking synagogue shooting in the United States occurred on the last day of the festival of Passover at a Sabbath service on Saturday, killing Lori Gilbert-Kaye and wounding three others. The incident was met with a strong response by Israeli leaders and institutions and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning a special meeting this week to discuss the global increase in antisemitic attacks, according to a press release from his office published Sunday.

“I condemn the abhorrent attack on a synagogue in California; this is an attack on the heart of the Jewish people,” Netanyahu was quoted by the statement as saying. “We send condolences to the family of Lori Gilbert-Kaye and our best wishes for a quick recovery to the wounded. The international community must step up the struggle against antisemitism.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that an antisemitic online manifesto has been attributed to the 19-year-old shooter who attacked the Chabad of Poway Synagogue in California. The shooter’s gun reportedly jammed during the attack and he was arrested after fleeing via car.

The woman killed in the attack, Gilbert-Kaye, was more than a victim according to Israeli Minister of Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett, who called her a “Jewish Hero.” … Continue Reading

Israel Foiled Suicide-Bombing Attack Planned on or around Election Day

April 28, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Home in Ma’ale Adummim Settlement in Judea and Samaria region. Illustrative. Photo by Joshua Spurlock.

A Hamas suicide-bombing recruit who had scouted out targets and purchased a vehicle for an attack planned for or around Election Day in Israel was arrested last month thanks to efforts by the Israel Security Agency (ISA) and the IDF. The terrorist—23-year-old Yehiye Abu Dia—was recruited by senior Hamas operatives from Gaza via the internet and was told to target the Ma’ale Adumim community near Jerusalem in Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank. An ISA press release noted that Hamas told Abu Dia to “monitor the best site for the attack” where “there would be a high concentration of buses, civilians and soldiers.”

While Hamas is based in Gaza, an ISA official noted the plot shows the terror group’s ongoing effort to launch terror attacks in the Biblical heartland of Israel.

“The Hamas terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip is constantly working to recruit Hamas operatives from the Judea and Samaria to carry out murderous terror attacks in order to undermine the security and stability of the area,” a senior ISA official said in the press release. … Continue Reading

US Removes All Sanctions Waivers on Iran Oil to Get Imports ‘to Zero’

April 24, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu & US Secy. of State Pompeo. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of: Haim Zach / Israeli GPO

The United States says they are exerting a “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran and this week took their oil sanctions to the maximum by eliminating all waivers on imports of Iranian oil. The oil sanctions that took place last November initially had a set of waivers for seven countries and Taiwan, but as of May 2 no such waivers will be granted, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday. Any country importing Iranian oil will be at risk of US sanctions.

“Almost one year ago, after withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, President Trump implemented the strongest pressure campaign in history against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Pompeo said in comments published by the State Department. “The goal remains simple: to deprive the outlaw regime of the funds it has used to destabilize the Middle East for four decades, and incentivize Iran to behave like a normal country.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the US for the significant step aiming to cut off Iran’s oil exports. “The decision of President Trump and the American administration to increase the sanctions against Iran is a decision of very great importance,” said Netanyahu on Monday in comments released by his office. “This is how to deal with Iran’s aggression and this is how to block it.” … Continue Reading

New Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Leader Said Wiping Israel Off the Political Map Is Their Strategy

April 21, 2019 News

Iran’s leadership remains anti-Israel.
Illustrative official meeting. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Wiping Israel off the map, forcing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to flee via the sea, threatening Europe with missile capabilities if efforts are made to disarm the Iranian missile program—these are just some of the sentiments expressed in the last year by the new leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami. And all of these sentiments were reported by Iranian media.

The IRGC is a powerful military body in Iran that also wields significant economic influence. The IRGC was recently designated by the United States as a terrorist organization due to their involvement in terrorism around the world.

The Mehr News Agency reported in January that Salami went beyond calling wiping the “Zionist regime”—Iran’s codename for the State of Israel—off the political map as just a dream, stating it was in fact a strategy for Iran. He further warned that if Israel went to war with Iran, Israelis wouldn’t even have a cemetery left to them in “Palestine” to bury their dead. … Continue Reading

Israeli President, IDF Chief Hold Passover Meal with 400 Lone Soldiers

April 21, 2019 Special Feature

President Rivlin celebrating Pesach Seder with lone soldiers. Photo courtesy of Tzalamim Be’Klik

It’s always challenging to celebrate holidays without any family, and when one is serving in the military as well, that can make it even more so. In response to that, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and leader of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi on Friday celebrated the traditional Passover meal—known in Hebrew as a Seder—with 400 “lone” soldiers, or IDF troops who do not have family in Israel to support them.

“Despite the difficulties of being a soldier, and even more so of being a lone soldier, you chose to serve the state in order to protect us all,” Rivlin told the event per an Israeli press release. “You are brave and wonderful people. It is a great honor to sit with you here tonight… It is an opportunity for us to give something back to you.”

The Passover meal marks the Israelite’s freedom from slavery in Egypt as described in the Biblical book of Exodus and involves multiple special foods to recall that experience. Rivlin highlighted those themes as important to today’s times as well—especially for the military. … Continue Reading

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