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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Majority Recommends Netanyahu as Next Prime Minister of Israel

April 16, 2019 News

President Rivlin with United Right faction. Photo courtesy of Mark Neiman (Israeli GPO)

It’s official. Barring an unexpected breakdown in political negotiations to form a new governing coalition, Benjamin Netanyahu will once again be prime minister of Israel. Tuesday was day two of the Israeli political parties informing President Reuven Rivlin of their recommendations for the next prime minister of Israel, and a majority of legislators in the Israeli Knesset (parliament) nominated Netanyahu.

Appropriately, it was the politically right-leaning United Right party whose support pushed Netanyahu past the 60 legislator threshold to form a majority ruling group in the 120-member Knesset. Rivlin, in comments published in an Israeli press release, highlighted this honor when United Right recommended Netanyahu.

“With your recommendation, you have formed a majority of the people in favor of the candidate,” said Rivlin. “Your recommendation is of great significance to the discussions we are holding here.” … Continue Reading

Syria Claims Israel Struck ‘Military Position’; Israel Vows to ‘Continue to Act’

April 14, 2019 Peace and Conflict

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

The official Syrian news agency on Saturday reported that Israeli forces attacked a “military position” in the western area of the country, leading to the destruction of buildings and wounding multiple “fighters”. One day later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not officially claim credit for the attack, but he did allude to it by referencing action to the north of Israel in comments at an event for families of fallen IDF soldiers.

“We do not rush to battle. Who like us knows that the cost of war is terrible? But let no one misunderstand us—when the security of Israel is at stake, we act with all our strength. Whoever puts us in danger puts himself in far greater danger,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office.

“We will continue to act on all fronts, including in the north, because we are not prepared to allow anybody to entrench in strength and endanger the State of Israel. Strength is the guarantee of our existence, and it is the essential and fundamental condition in achieving peace with our neighbors.”

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) claimed that Syrian air defenses managed to take down some of the Israeli missiles in the attack, although the incident still resulted in damage and casualties. … Continue Reading

Israel Calls International Criminal Court Dismissal of Trial of US Forces ‘Very Important’

April 14, 2019 News

Israel believes they benefit from the US court victory. PM Netanyahu meets with VPOTUS Pence. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israeli GPO)

The Israeli military won a victory on Friday, not on the battlefield but in the courtroom. The International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague rejected the request of the prosecutor to bring war crimes charges against US forces involved in the Afghanistan conflict. The decision, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is far-reaching and sets a precedent for dealing with soldiers from Israel—who like the US has a robust judicial system and is not party to the ICC treaty.

However, while Israel and the US responded to the decision as though it is broad in scope, the ICC decision itself did not appear to exclude the US or other parties from war crimes cases in the future and dismissed this prosecution mostly due to circumstantial reasons, according to the ICC website.

Nonetheless, Netanyahu called the ICC decision “very important” in comments released by his office on Sunday. “This blocked a move that would have upended the original goal of establishing the international court,” said Netanyahu, who said the court emerged after crimes such as genocide intending “to deal with countries and regions that have no true legal system.” Israel and the US, he noted, are not in that category. … Continue Reading

How He Became the Unbeatable Bibi Netanyahu

April 11, 2019 Special Feature

PM Netanyahu oppose. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach (GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—known also by his nickname “Bibi”—is expected to be named as Israel’s leader for the fifth time, extending his record-setting run as prime minister to well into it’s eighth straight year. It will also give him a chance to catch Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, for the longest total time serving as Israel’s leader at a little over 13 years, thanks to Netanyahu’s earlier 3-year run in the 1990s. But how did he do it? How did Netanyahu not only manage to return to power, but stay there longer than anyone else in Israeli history? … Continue Reading

Trump Congratulates Netanyahu on Re-election as Prime Minister

April 10, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and President Trump. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

While Benjamin Netanyahu has not been officially named prime minister of Israel for the fifth time yet, United States President Donald Trump and his Vice President, Mike Pence both personally called Netanyahu on Wednesday to congratulate him on his victory. Top rival Benny Gantz, of the Blue and White party, conceded to Netanyahu on Wednesday, according to Ha’aretz. With final votes still being tallied, Netanyahu’s Likud party was set to receive 35 seats in the 120-member Israeli parliament, also known as the Knesset. While Blue and White were set to receive the same, Ha’aretz reported that right-leaning political parties had pledged support for Netanyahu, with his bloc expected to reach a 65-55 seat majority.

Trump took to Twitter to highlight his support for Israel and his congrats to Netanyahu: “Spoke to Bibi @ Netanyahu to congratulate him on a great and hard-fought win. The United States is with him and the People of Israel all the way!”

Over the phone, Trump “warmly congratulated” Netanyahu and Israel, according to a press release from Netanyahu’s office. The statement said Netanyahu in turn “thanked US President Trump for his great support of Israel,” listing out the recognition of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, as well as Trump’s “strong stand against the Iranian regime.” In particular, Netanyahu noted Trump recently designated he Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran a foreign terrorist designation. … Continue Reading

US, in ‘Historic Step’, Designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Terrorists

April 9, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and US Secy. of State Mike Pompeo. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Avi Ohayon (Israeli GPO)

For the first time in American history, the United States is designating part of a foreign government a foreign terrorist organization, as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran will carry that label effective April 15. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted that the unique move to so classify the IRGC—which is part of the Iranian military and has deep ties inside the Iranian economy—is well deserved given the unique range of aggression carried out by the group.

“We’re doing [this] because the Iranian regime’s use of terrorism as a tool of statecraft makes it fundamentally different from any other government,” said Pompeo on Monday in comments released by the State Department. “This historic step will deprive the world’s leading state sponsor of terror the financial means to spread misery and death around the world.”

Pompeo listed out a litany of crimes done by the IRGC: from responsibility for the Khobar Towers bombing that killed 19 American service members in Saudi Arabia to attempted terror attacks in the US, Turkey and Kenya. A separate press release from the State Department noted the IRGC has supported Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and terror groups in Iraq, Bahrain and Syria. … Continue Reading

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