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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Putin Said He’d ‘Act Personally’ to Recover Missing Israeli Soldier Remains

April 4, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin.
Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / Israeli GPO

The involvement of the Russians in assisting Israel in recovering the remains of a soldier lost in action for 37 years was unveiled on Thursday, including help from President Vladimir Putin himself. “Two years ago I turned to you with a personal request—that you help us in finding the remains of the soldiers, including Zachary Baumel, out of the great shared values of comrades-in-arms and fellowship of soldiers,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Putin during a visit to Moscow.

“You responded immediately. You said that you would act personally. You called on your people who did exceptional work and several days ago, you brought us the late Zachary Baumel, to Israel.”

Baumel was lost during the First Lebanon War in 1982. Baumel went missing in a battle with the Syrians in Lebanon, two of Israel’s most hardened enemies. However, in recent years the Syrian civil war has opened that country to a wide range of other nations battling terrorism or taking sides in the Syrian conflict, including the Russians.

Netanyahu, in the comments released by his office, was effusive in his gratefulness to Moscow for their assistance. “You have just now expressed the supreme value that you and the Russian people ascribe to finding the missing and bringing soldiers to burial. This is our common value,” the Israeli leader told Putin. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Hopes New Brazilian Trade Office in Jerusalem ‘First Step’ towards Embassy

March 31, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu & Brazilian Pres. Bolsonaro. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / Israeli GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came away from a visit to Brazil a few months ago with promises from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to open an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. On Sunday, that promise was not fulfilled by Bolsonaro during a visit to Israel, but other actions left Netanyahu hopeful. “I welcome your decision to open a trade, technology and innovation office, an official office of the Government of Brazil, in Jerusalem. I hope that this is a first step toward the opening in time of the Brazilian Embassy in Jerusalem,” said Netanyahu to the Brazilian leader, according to an Israeli press release.

In prior comments, Netanyahu noted that Bolsonaro is making his first visit out of South America by coming to Israel, bringing with him the “largest Brazilian delegation” to ever visit the Jewish State. “You have come to Israel in order to bring relations between us to a new height,” said Netanyahu.

As part of the visit, the two leaders on Sunday signed agreements in security, public security, aviation, and science and technology, as well as memorandums of understanding in health and cyber. During the time with the leader of Brazil, Netanyahu noted that Israeli delegations in a variety of fields have visited Brazil since Netanyahu’s trip to the South American country. He said that the agreements with Brazil were “in wake of these contacts, and this is only the beginning.” … Continue Reading

Israel Prepared for ‘Extensive Campaign’ in Gaza If Needed as Tensions Remain

March 31, 2019 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu in area adjacent to the Gaza Strip. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

More riots and more rockets from Gaza over the weekend left Israel in a “tense time” according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and he is keeping his options open in response—including the prospect of a new war with Gaza terrorists. “I have ordered that IDF forces remain fully deployed around the Gaza Strip. This includes tanks, artillery, ground forces and air forces. We are prepared for any scenario and—if need be—an extensive campaign,” said Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office. “We will do what needs to be done for the security of Israel.”

The Israeli leader’s comments follow a confrontational last couple days. On Saturday, five rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel, with the IDF responding by hitting Hamas military posts in Gaza with tank fire, according to the IDF Twitter feed. One day prior, the IDF posted to Twitter that tens of thousands of “violent rioters” had come to the Gaza border with Israel.

“40,000 violent rioters in Gaza, some armed with knives, explosives, and grenades, are attempting to breach Israel’s border and reach Israeli families on the other side of the fence. If our soldiers weren’t there, they could,” tweeted the IDF account. … Continue Reading

US Formally Recognizes Israeli Control over Golan, Citing Security Concerns

March 25, 2019 Peace and Conflict

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

United States President Donald Trump made history in favor of Israel again on Monday, becoming the first American president to officially recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights region that border Syria. The territory, captured by Israel in 1967 while battling Syrian aggression, is a critical high ground for defense, and this was a key reason for the Trump’s decision.

Against the backdrop of Iranian buildup in Syria, ongoing threats from the terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon and simmering Syrian antagonism against Israel, Trump signed a presidential declaration on Monday proclaiming that “the United States recognizes that the Golan Heights are part of the State of Israel.”

The declaration, posted to the White House website, noted that Israel “took control of the Golan Heights in 1967 to safeguard its security from external threats” and listed security concerns facing Israel today posed by Iran and terror groups such as Hezbollah. Those concerns were shared by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in the US for the Trump signing. “Your recognition is a two-fold act of historic justice,” Netanyahu told Trump in comments released by his office. “Israel won the Golan Heights in a just war of self-defense, and the Jewish people’s roots in the Golan go back thousands of years.” … Continue Reading

Romania Announces Plan to Move Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem—And Then Recants

March 24, 2019 News

Jerusalem is the historical and current capital of Israel. Illustrative. Israeli flag at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. By Joshua Spurlock

Another nation on Sunday announced plans to move their embassy to Israel to the capital of Jerusalem—Romania—and then backed off that promise on the same day in high profile government disagreement. The eastern European nation currently holds the Presidency in the Council of the European Union, and on Sunday, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă told the pro-Israel AIPAC conference in the United States they were making the embassy change.

“I am pleased to announce today to the AIPAC audience that after the conclusion of the analysis by all the constitutional actors involved in the decision-making process in my country and, in full consensus, I as the Prime Minister of Romania and the Government that I lead move the Romanian Embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel,” Dăncilă announced, according to a transcript of her comments posted to the Romanian Prime Minister’s Office website and translated by Google Translate.

But just hours after Dăncilă made her statement, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis flatly rejected that any such decision had been made and noted that he has the authority on any final decision on embassy moves, according to a report by Zaire.com and translated by Google Translate. President Iohannis went so far as to call Prime Minister Dăncilă of having “total ignorance in the field of foreign policy” while noting that the issue of moving the embassy to Jerusalem is still under government review.

But it wasn’t all bad news for Israel on Sunday.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Twitter to express his appreciation to Honduras for their decision to take a step towards having an embassy in Jerusalem.

“I thank my friend, the President of Honduras, Juan Hernandez, for his announcement regarding the immediate opening of a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem that will deal with trade, as a first step towards transferring the embassy of Honduras to Jerusalem,” Netanyahu tweeted.
… Continue Reading

US Sanctions Iran Nuclear Group after Threat ‘Highlighted’ by Israeli Intelligence

Israel and the US are working hard to counter Iran’s nuclear threat. Illustrative photo of Netanyahu discussing Iran’s “secret nuclear files”. Photo courtesy of: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

The United States last week levied sanctions on a total of 31 persons and entities for their connections to an Iranian group believed to be a threat capable of re-launching Iran’s nuclear weapons program when the timing was right—and Israeli spycraft helped showcase that risk. The sanctions target those affiliated with Iran’s Organization for Defense Innovation and Research, known in Farsi by the acronym “SPND.” That entity, according to a background briefing from two US Senior Administration Officials published by the State Department, is headed by the founder of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, and controls groups specializing in radiation, explosives, and missiles.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments released from his office on Saturday, congratulated US President Donald Trump and other key figures in the US Administration for the sanctions moves, which his office said came in the “wake” of Israel unveiling an Iranian nuclear program archive in 2018.

“Iran continues to deceive the international community and lie to the world about its military nuclear program,” said Netanyahu. “The Iranian regime continues to conceal its capabilities and to strive for nuclear weapons. Iran endangers the peace of the Middle East and the entire world and must be blocked.” … Continue Reading

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