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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Netanyahu: Iran Developing Precision Missiles to Attack Israel from Iraq, Yemen

October 28, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu & US Treasury Secy. Steve Mnuchin. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israeli GPO)

Israel has long faced the Iranian missile threat from neighboring countries—with the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and the Assad regime in Syria—but now Iran is looking to expand their range of terror, and its accuracy too. Iran is developing precision missiles capable of striking a circle less than 16.5 feet (five meters) across, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Monday. He went on to tell visiting United States Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that Iran wants to base those weapons not only in Syria and Lebanon, but also Yemen and Iraq.

“Iran is seeking to develop now precision-guided munitions, missiles that can hit any target in the Middle East with a circumference of five to ten meters. They are developing this in Iran,” a press release from Netanyahu’s office quoted him as saying. “They want to place them in Iraq and in Syria, and to convert Lebanon’s arsenal of 130,000 statistical rockets to precision-guided munitions. They seek also to develop that, and have already begun to put that in Yemen, with the goal of reaching Israel from there too.”

Iran has been backing the Houthi rebels in Yemen, as well as militants in Iraq, for years. They have already attacked rival Saudi Arabia using those Houthi allies from Yemen, and that’s not all. … Continue Reading

Israel Congrats US on Killing ISIS Leader, Says ‘We Can Defeat Terror’

October 27, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and US Secy. of State Mike Pompeo. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israeli GPO)

With the United States on Sunday announcing a US Special Forces raid had resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Israel not only congratulated the US but noted the operation sends an important message. “Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump & US forces on the successful operation to eliminate ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi,” Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz posted to Twitter. “This is an important step in the war against one of the most brutal terrorist organizations in history & a strong message to the free world that we can defeat terror.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his own congrats to their chief ally. In comments published by his office, Netanyahu congratulated US President Donald Trump and called the death of the ISIS leader an “impressive achievement.”

“This reflects the united resolve of the free countries led by the United States to fight the forces of terror, the terror organizations and the terrorist states,” said Netanyahu. “This is an important milestone, but it’s part of a longer battle which me must win.” … Continue Reading

Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty Reaches 25th Anniversary, Offering Hope and Caution

October 27, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The peace treaty between Israel and Jordan achieved its 25th birthday on Saturday, and the comments—or lack thereof—marking the anniversary offer both hope for peace in the region and lessons of caution. The treaty, signed between the neighbors in 1994, is “historic” according to a Twitter post by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “This peace has since enhanced security & prosperity for our peoples,” tweeted the Ministry.

On the other side, a former Jordanian Ambassador to the Palestinian Authority stood up for the treaty against detractors in his own country. The Jerusalem Post cited an opinion article in the Jordanian government-run al-Rai newspaper in which Amb. Ziad Khazer al-Majali recalled the treaty was termed a “gift” by then-Jordanian King Hussein, a signatory of the accord. Al-Majali also criticized those in the Jordanian government that oppose the deal and urged that hate not be allowed to “poison the atmosphere of moderation and love of peace that we enjoy.”

Despite those positive sentiments, it stood out who didn’t say anything at all about the accord on the anniversary—the leaders of Israel and Jordan. … Continue Reading

International Judo Bans Iran for Refusing to Compete with Israeli

October 22, 2019 News

Iran is being sanctioned again – this time in Judo.
Illustrative official meeting in Iran. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Iran is down for the count in international judo, after a major judo competition body on Wednesday banned the country from competing due to their refusing to compete with an Israeli. The International Judo Federation (IJF), in a news report on their website, said in the 2019 World Championships in Tokyo in August, an Iranian judo competitor, or judoka, was instructed to withdraw from the competition rather than face off against Israeli Sagi Muki. The Iranian judoka, Saeid Mollaei later informed the IJF of the Iranian demand he throw the match.

After reviewing the evidence—including testimony from another Farsi speaker who confirmed the instruction from the first Deputy Minister of Sport of Iran and the Iran National Olympic Committee’s President telling Mollaei not to compete with the Israeli—the IJF decided to uphold the ban on Iranian judo competitors. Per the news statement, the IJF said the ban would remain until the Iran Judo Federation “gives strong guarantees and prove that they will respect the IJF Statutes and accept that their athletes fight against Israeli athletes.”

One of the concerns, according to the IJF, is that throwing the match effectively served as “competition manipulation”. The IJF also cited principals such as “mutual understanding and a spirit of friendship, solidarity, and fair play”, as well as opposition to discrimination. … Continue Reading

How Gantz Could Build A Government, Without A Majority

October 22, 2019 Special Feature

If unity fails, could Gantz still succeed? President Rivlin (center) with Netanyahu and Gantz. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach, Israeli GPO.

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 join together and the swing vote secular Yisrael Beiteinu party is so far non-committal, wanting instead to join the two major parties in a unity government. Altogether that equals deadlock and a third round of elections.

But what if math wasn’t such a problem? Could Blue and White leader Benny Gantz cobble together enough numbers to be Israel’s next prime minister without a governing majority? It’s possible, and here’s why.

… Continue Reading

Israel Discusses Syria Situation with US, Russia

October 21, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and US Secy. of State Mike Pompeo. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israeli GPO)

With Turkey invading Syria to battle the Kurdish minority—making an already volatile Syrian civil war even more complicated and dangerous—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the situation in Syria with both the United States and Russia in a span of four days. On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin phoned Netanyahu to congratulate him on reaching his 70th birthday, and during the call they also discussed “the situation in Syria and developments in the region,” according to a press release from Netanyahu’s office. The call comes one day before Putin was scheduled to talk with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to the Russian Presidency Twitter feed.

The discussions on Syria with Moscow follow a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Jerusalem last Friday. According to a press release from the US State Department, Pompeo and Netanyahu discussed “regional security and the announcement of an immediate ceasefire in northeast Syria” between Turkey and Kurdish forces. CNN has since reported there have been numerous alleged ceasefire violations by both sides. Meanwhile, Syria wasn’t the only regional hotspot discussed by Pompeo and Netanyahu—Iran was another. … Continue Reading

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