Israel, Putin Agree to ‘Counter Terrorism’ after Hezbollah Refuses Russian Call to Exit Syria

Russia vaguely but ominously stated their willingness to join Israel in opposing “international terrorism” last week, one day after news broke that Hezbollah had rebuffed a Russian call for the terrorist group to leave Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “expressed readiness to boost the …

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 …

Israel Targets Terror Kite Leader’s Vehicle in Response to Arson Attacks

The IDF is taking the fight to the terrorists who are aiming to unleash wildfires and explosives on Israeli territory using balloons and kites. Over the weekend, Israeli aircraft “targeted the vehicle of one of the leaders of the squads that launched arson and explosive balloons and kites from the …

Austria Will Keep Reminding Middle East and Europe ‘Israel Is Here to Stay’

According to this world leader, Israel’s security is a moral obligation and has promised to keep telling the Middle East and Europe that “Israel is here to stay.” Those words weren’t posted to Twitter by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but on the account of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. “It …

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Rock-Throwing Terror: Palestinian Caught on Camera Hitting Boy on Head

October 22, 2017 News

Palestinian stone-throwing left an Israeli boy needing medical care. Israeli MDA ambulance. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Palestinian stone-throwers have long been a symbol of their fight against Israel—but violently chucking rocks is much more than just symbolic. The latest rock-throwing assault injured a 12-year-old Israeli boy in the head and the Palestinian assailant was caught on camera in the act. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed included video of the Palestinian attacker on Saturday leaning over a wall in Hebron and throwing a rock below before running away. The IDF Spokesperson tweeted that that the injured boy was “taken to receive medical treatment, including stitches. Such violence is nothing less than terror.”

Dani Dayan, head of Israel’s consulate in New York, on Twitter called it a “murder attempt of a 12-yrs-old Israeli boy by a Palestinian adult throwing a rock on his head.” Israeli Prime Minister’s Office Spokesman Ofir Gendelman felt similarly, but noted that the Palestinians do not. “A Palestinian throws a rock on the head of an Israeli boy, tries to kill him. The boy was injured. Palestinians say this terrorist is a hero,” tweeted Gendelman, who is fluent in Arabic. And this isn’t the first time Palestinian rock-throwing has led to dangerous—if not deadly—results. … Continue Reading

Heating Up? More Syrian War Spillover Has Israel Threatening Stronger Response

October 22, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Syrian Representative Addresses Human Rights Council. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

For the second time in as many days, Israel was hit on Saturday with what was apparently errant fire from the Syrian civil war. But after dealing with numerous similar incidents since the Syrian conflict began, Israel has had more than enough. After retaliating to the latest attack on Saturday by striking Syrian artillery, the Israeli military threatened the next response would be even stronger.

“Whether errant fire or not, any future occurrences will force the IDF to intensify its response,” said the IDF Spokesperson in a post to Twitter. The latest attack, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter page, involved five projectiles fired from Syria at the Golan Heights region in Israel. The IDF struck three Syrian artillery cannons in response.

“The IDF holds the Syrian regime responsible & won’t tolerate any attempt to breach Israeli sovereignty or threaten Israeli civilians’ safety,” tweeted the IDF Spokesperson. However, the Israelis aren’t the only ones escalating the situation. The Syrian regime that has massacred tens of thousands of their own people is claiming Israel’s acts of self-defense are actually backing terrorists, and it is complaining to the United Nations and threatening a tough response as well. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Slams Iranian Aggression; Tehran Threatens Nuclear Response to Deal Collapse

PM Netanyahu addresses Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday had a litany of accusations to share about Iranian misdeeds in the Middle East, from religious persecution to attempting a regional takeover. Earlier that same day, Iran reminded everyone of their ultimate threat by openly warning they would halt additional nuclear inspections if the nuclear deal between them and the major powers were to be annulled. “If the nuclear deal is annulled, we will stop implementation of the Additional Protocol,” said Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi according to a report by the Fars News Agency.

That “Additional Protocol” refers to expanded access to Iranian sites and information for the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), according to the agency’s website. But even if the deal is kept as is, Salehi said Iran still isn’t letting international inspectors see everything, specifically emphasizing that Iran won’t permit inspections of their military sites.

Refusing access to those sites was one complaint from United States President Donald Trump, which he noted in last week’s speech are suspected of having played a role in Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program, per the White House website. Netanyahu, for his part, reemphasized the danger posed if the nuclear deal with Iran remains as is, while also detailing what else Iran has been doing in the region. He again applauded Trump for saying that too. … Continue Reading

Israel Joins US in Leaving UNESCO, Netanyahu Says UN Body ‘Platform for anti-Semitic Decisions’

October 15, 2017 News

Israel agrees with the US on UNESCO. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Americans withdrew their full member status at the United Nations cultural body in part due to an anti-Israel bias, so it’s not surprising that the Israelis have joined the United States in leaving the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Israeli Foreign Ministry to pull out of UNESCO “in parallel” with the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump, which Netanyahu called “courageous and ethical” in comments released by his office. The Israeli leader accused UNESCO of having become “a theater of the absurd and instead of preserving history, distorts it.”

Among other acts, UNESCO has designated Hebron and its Tomb of the Patriarchs as Palestinian and challenged Israel’s connections to Jerusalem. On Sunday, Netanyahu escalated his complaint against UNESCO, saying it “has become a platform for delusional, anti-Israeli and—in effect—anti-Semitic decisions.” … Continue Reading

Israel, Regional Allies Applaud Trump Call to Better or Bust Iran Nuke Deal

President Donald Trump delivers remarks on the Iran Strategy. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

United States President Donald Trump on Friday delivered a message that American allies in the Middle East have been waiting to hear: either improve the Iran nuclear deal, or cancel it altogether. “I am directing my administration to work closely with Congress and our allies to address the deal’s many serious flaws so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons,” said Trump in comments posted to the White House website. “…However, in the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated. It is under continuous review, and our participation can be cancelled by me, as President, at any time.”

In particular, Trump wants changes to the so-called “sunset clauses” that cut back on restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities in coming years. The Iran nuclear accord is a controversial multilateral agreement between the major world powers and Iran that was put in place during the administration of Trump’s predecessor, former-President Barack Obama. The deal offered sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for concessions by Iran limiting their nuclear activities.

In addition to Trump’s ultimatum to fix the nuclear deal or else, he also announced plans to place “tough sanctions” on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the powerful government-sponsored paramilitary group that has been involved in terrorism around the world. Israel, Saudi Arabia and others in the region expressed their support for Trump’s new approach to Iran. … Continue Reading

Iran May Ban Traffic App Waze (Again) Because Israelis Invented It

October 9, 2017 News

Waze logo. Image courtesy of Waze.

For second time this year, an Iranian government body is urging a ban on the traffic mobile application Waze—because it was invented in Israel. The Iranian government’s ‎Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content is calling upon the country’s Information and Communications Technology Ministry to block the app, according to the Trend News Agency out of Azerbaijain, citing Iranian media outlets.

Abdolsamad Khorramabadi, secretary for the Committee, reportedly said that work has been designated to block Waze in Iran, but that that process is complicated and takes time.

The Trend report further cited a previous report from the Iranian Fars News Agency saying there are concerns about Waze’s Israeli background. The app was originally invented by Israeli company Waze Mobile before being sold to Google for more than $1 billion in 2013. Iran has previously tried to ban Waze—in March of this year—but later rescinded the restriction. Former United States Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro highlighted the impact of banning Waze in Iran on Twitter in responding to the report. “Considering the reputation of Tehran traffic, that is real dedication to a (sick) cause. Enjoy sitting in those jams!” tweeted Shapiro. … Continue Reading

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