Who Really ‘Won’ and ‘Lost’ the Israeli Election

The ballots have been cast and there is no clear winner in the Israeli elections. Neither major party—Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud or the Blue and White party led by former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz—has a clear majority in the 120-member Knesset (Israeli Parliament). The final makeup of the next …

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 …

Israel Condemns Turkish Offensive in Syria, US Imposes Sanctions

As Turkey invades neighboring Syria to battle alleged terrorists among the Kurdish minority there, Israel has warned of the potential for “ethnic cleansing” and the United States on Monday issued sanctions against the Turks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also offered humanitarian support to the Kurdish people. “Israel strongly condemns …

Israeli, German Leadership Agree More Needed to Battle Anti-Semitism

Following the horrific shooting attack at a synagogue in Halle, Germany on Yom Kippur, Israeli leadership spoke with their Germany counterparts on Thursday to discuss doing more to address anti-Semitism. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and “expressed his appreciation for her vigorous …

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Israel Talks with Austria about European Efforts to Dodge Iran Sanctions

February 6, 2019 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu and Austrian Pres. Alexander Van der Bellen. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (Israeli GPO)

After pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal last year, the United States implemented renewed sanctions on Iran in an effort to change their malignant behavior ranging from missile tests to terrorism. While European nations have reportedly been looking at ways to evade the sanctions to try and keep Iran in the endangered nuclear arrangement, one central European country hasn’t been so eager to buck the American pressure on Iran and Israel wants to keep it that way.

Austria refused to host discussions on the economic creativity seeking to get around Iran sanctions—known as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)—and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended their European ally for taking that position in comments with visiting Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen on Tuesday. Netanyahu’s comments with the Austrian official come a week after Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl discussed European-Iranian trade with an Iranian diplomat in Vienna, according to the Mehr News Agency.

Netanyahu told Van der Bellen, in comments released by the Israeli’s office, that this “is an area that I’d like to discuss further with you, something that we have obviously very strong opinions about.” … Continue Reading

Israel Announces Conclusion of Operation Northern Shield as Sixth Hezbollah Tunnel Uncovered

January 13, 2019 News

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

Israel on Sunday announced the end of Operation Northern Shield, in connection with their uncovering of a sixth cross-border tunnel linking Israel and Lebanon. The terror tunnels, built by Hezbollah in violation of United Nations Resolution 1701, are believed to have been intended as a method to send terrorists into Israeli territory to launch attacks.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reported the “successful close” to the operation aimed at neutralizing the tunnels in comments released by his office, while also noting the danger that had been posed by the underground structures.

“I think that everyone understands that a very serious threat was averted here. Hezbollah’s operational plan was to use the tunnels weapon to infiltrate many fighters, between 1,000-2,000 terrorists, into the Galilee, to seize communities here,” said Netanyahu. “Everyone understands how the war would look if Hezbollah battalions were in the Galilee, and with the Iranian army opposite the Golan Heights. We have prevented this—and will continue to prevent it.” … Continue Reading

Israel Hits Hamas Targets Following Rocket Attack, Massive Violent Border Riot

January 13, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Explosives can kill. Spent Palestinian rocket. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The weekend turned violent along the south of Israel again, the same week that Egypt reasserted restrictions on the flow of people and goods in and out of the Gaza Strip thanks to Palestinian political strife. The IDF reported on Twitter last Friday that 13,000 Gazans rioted on the border with Israel “throwing grenades and explosives. There were 3 incidents of Gazans breaking through the border fence into Israel. Our soldiers stopped them before they could reach the homes of Israeli families who live minutes away.”

In response, Israeli aircraft struck at military posts belonging to the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group, according to a follow-up Tweet. Said the Twitter post, “The IDF holds Hamas responsible for all violence that emanates from the Gaza Strip.”

Just one day later, a rocket was fired from Gaza at Israel. The IDF Twitter feed said that Israeli fighter jets targeted two Hamas “underground structures,” noting that “We will continue operating to defend Israeli civilians.” … Continue Reading

Israel Strikes Weapons Storage Day after US Espouses Support of anti-Iran Action in Syria

January 13, 2019 Special Feature, Syria

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

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday last week provided American backing for Israel’s efforts to prevent Iran from setting up a new base of operations in Syria. One day later, Israeli warplanes struck weapons storage facilities belonging to Iran, including a target at an international airport in Syria’s capital of Damascus. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the unusual position of claiming credit for the attack on Sunday.

“Israel attacked an Iranian weapons warehouse at the international airport in Damascus,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “This reflects our consistent policy and strong determination to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria. If necessary, we will step up these attacks.”

The Israeli strike follows Pompeo’s speech backing such action at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, which was republished by the State Department. Pompeo told the audience, “We strongly support Israel’s efforts to stop Tehran from turning Syria into the next Lebanon.” … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Tells US National Security Advisor ‘Important’ All Nations Recognize Israel Owns Golan

January 6, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Jerusalem. Illustrative. Photo: Amos Ben Gershom GPO

Israel is facing down threats from Iran and their allies to the north, which offers an opportunity to emphasize something that has been true for decades: The Israeli-controlled Golan Heights region is key to Israeli security. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made just that point in comments with United States National Security Advisor John Bolton. He also made the logical next step by stating that the international community should accept Israel’s control of the strategic mountain region, which was taken in the 1967 defensive war from Syria.

“The Golan Heights is tremendously important for our security. I think that when you’re there you will be able to understand perfectly why we will never leave the Golan Heights and why it’s important that all countries recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” said Netanyahu to Bolton in comments released by his office.

The Israeli premier said he has already discussed this matter with US President Donald Trump, who last year recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in a separate move. … Continue Reading

New Brazilian Leader Believes Country Will Gain Respect ‘When It Recognizes Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel’

January 6, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and Brazilian President-elect Bolsonaro. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Avi Ohayon (Israeli GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left his recent visit to Brazil with a promise from new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro that his country would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Since then, that commitment has only grown stronger. Netanyahu, in comments to the Israeli cabinet on Sunday, quoted Bolsonaro after the visit from the Israeli leader as saying, “’I want to be more than a friend of Prime Minister Netanyahu, I want to be his brother. I believe that other countries will respect Brazil more when it recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

Netanyahu, whose comments were published by his office, did not clarify where he heard or read the comments from Bolsonaro, although the sentiment is similar to comments made during Netanyahu’s visit. On Sunday, Netanyahu said, “We have a new ally here and whoever needs additional proof of Israel’s rising status in the world simply needs to look at what is happening in Brazil. They love us and admire Israel.” … Continue Reading

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