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 …

Israel Holding Hamas Responsible as Gaza Attacks Continue

Following more rocket attacks from Gaza against Israel, the IDF hit back at Hamas in a counterstrike last Friday. Based on comments from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, expect that Israeli response to Gaza violence to continue as needed. “We are acting against Islamic Jihad, as it is …

Iraqi Protestors Challenging Iranian Influence Have ‘Clearly Made Iran Nervous’

Protests are making an impact in Iraq, and it’s not just the leaders in Baghdad that are feeling the pressure. Leaders in Iraq’s next-door neighbor and general bad influence Iran are taking notice too, as Iraqi protestors have opposed Tehran’s entanglement in their country. “Iraqis increasingly view Iran as having …

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Israel Exposes Terror Network in Syrian Golan Led by Hezbollah Killer of US Troops

March 13, 2019 News

Israel knows what Hezbollah is doing in Syria. PM Netanyahu in the north of Israel. Illustrative.
Photo courtesy of Haim Zach / Israeli GPO.

Just two days after a key United States legislator promised to push for American recognition of the Israeli Golan—citing Israel’s security in his comments—that rationale was highlighted as the IDF exposed a Hezbollah terror network operating on the Syrian side of the Golan next door to Israel. IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, in a video posted to the IDF Twitter page on Wednesday, noted that not only is Ali Musa Duqduq heading a network in Syria “aimed at striking Israel,” but he’s been an enemy of the US before too—killing their soldiers in Iraq.

“For American ears, he has history. He was responsible for the abduction and execution of five American servicemen in Iraq in 2007,” said Conricus in the video, noting that Daqduq served time in prison in Iraq before being released as part of a prisoner swap. The terror network includes Syrians, but is “masterminded by Hezbollah,” according to Conricus.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday pointed out Hezbollah is a terrorist proxy of Iran, which has sought to build a military foothold in Syria. “So I have a clear message for Iran and for Hezbollah: Israel knows what you’re doing; Israel knows where you’re doing it. What we’ve uncovered today is just the tip of the iceberg. We know a lot more,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. … Continue Reading

US Senator Vows Plan to Recognize Golan as Israel’s ‘Now and Forever’

March 11, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu, US Sen. Lindsey Graham & US Amb. to Israel David Friedman on the Golan Heights. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israeli GPO)

In a significant diplomatic win for Israel, US Senator Lindsay Graham—a former candidate for president and a key member of US President Donald Trump’s Republican political party—on Monday openly endorsed Israeli sovereignty over the strategic Golan Heights that border Syria. “I’ve got a simple message. I will go back to the United States Senate. Working with Senator [Ted] Cruz, I will start an effort to recognize the Golan as part of the State of Israel now and forever,” said Graham during a visit to the Golan with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in comments published by Netanyahu’s office.

Graham didn’t stop there, continuing by highlighting that the history behind the territory Israel captured from Syria during the 1967 war is further evidence that Israel should keep it. “Israel occupied this territory by fighting for its survival. This territory was taken by military force because it was used as a launching point to attack the State of Israel. This territory has a rich Jewish history,” said Graham.

Perhaps even more important than Graham’s endorsement, US Ambassador David Friedman—the American representative of President Trump to Israel—was not only present with Graham on the Golan, he sounded moved by the senator’s comments. … Continue Reading

As Gaza Tensions Continue, Netanyahu Warns Israel ‘Will Do Everything Necessary’

March 10, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Gaza rocket attacks have resumed. Spent Palestinian rocket. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

More rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel over the weekend, and Israel responded with air strikes on terror targets. As the tensions between Israel and terrorists in the Gaza Strip brew, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a warning to those who think that next month’s election in Israel will prevent Israel from engaging in another full-scale military operation in Gaza.

“I suggest to Hamas—don’t count on it. We will do everything necessary to restore security and quiet to the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and to the south in general,” said Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office.

Netanyahu acknowledged that some of the attacks stemming from Gaza lately have come from other terror groups besides Hamas. However, given Hamas’ power as the authority in Gaza, the Israeli leader expects the main Gaza terror group to keep the smaller ones in line. “We have recently seen provocations and heads being raised from the direction of the Gaza Strip. This has been done by dissidents, but this does not absolve Hamas,” said Netanyahu. “Hamas is responsible for everything that comes out of the Gaza Strip, and we respond accordingly, with assaults by Air Force planes against Hamas targets.” … Continue Reading

Israel Battles the Behind-the-Scenes Side of Terrorism

March 6, 2019 News

Israel is protecting Europe from terror. PM Netanyahu and EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of: Avi Ohayon (GPO).

The same week that the IDF has had to confront Hamas terrorism from the Gaza Strip, Israel made multiple quieter headlines in their fight against the side of terrorism that isn’t quite as obvious, but ultimately just as dangerous. Fundraising and recruiting—those indirect elements that fuel terrorist organizations—received Israel’s focus as Hamas’ television station was designated a terrorist organization in its own right and Israeli diplomacy sought to cut off more terror dollars.

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed an order that deems “Al Aqsa” television as a terrorist entity, following an investigation by the Israel Security Agency (ISA) that found the station was being used by Hamas to recruit militants. A press release from Netanyahu’s office said that the move was recommended by the ISA and the Israeli Defense Ministry national anti-economic terrorism unit.

The move comes just days after Israeli Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan spoke with officials from multiple Western nations to encourage them to stop financial support of organizations calling to boycott Israel that also have ties to terrorism. … Continue Reading

Britain Declares All of Hezbollah A Terrorist Organization

March 3, 2019 News

British Flag. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The United Kingdom last week decided to define all of the Hezbollah group in Lebanon as a terrorist organization, with penalties for being a member of the entity, and thereby ceased differentiating between the so-called “political” and “military” wings of Hezbollah. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu called his British counterpart Theresa May and thanked her for the move, and added that “he expects additional countries to follow suit,” according to a press release from his office.

The decision, summarized in a news report on the UK government website, said that the order would make membership in or support of Hezbollah a criminal offense. While the “military” wing of Hezbollah has been proscribed as a terror group in the past, the latest decision includes the “political” side of Hezbollah as well.

The British report quoted Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt as saying, “We are staunch supporters of a stable and prosperous Lebanon. We cannot however be complacent when it comes to terrorism—it is clear the distinction between Hezbollah’s military and political wings does not exist, and by proscribing Hezbollah in all its forms, the government is sending a clear signal that its destabilizing activities in the region are totally unacceptable and detrimental to the UK’s national security.” … Continue Reading

Netanyahu and Putin Agree: Foreign Forces Should Exit Syria

March 3, 2019 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu and Russian President Putin at the Kremlin. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach / Israeli GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s focus in last week’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin was concerns over Iranian forces in Syria, and he may have achieved a breakthrough. The Israeli leader on Sunday said that Putin and he “agreed on a common goal—the withdrawal of foreign forces that arrived in Syria after the outbreak of the civil war.”

Based on Netanyahu’s comments, which were published by his office, that could mean that Moscow has concurred with Israel that Iranian base-building for a permanent presence in Syria is not acceptable. And Netanyahu and Putin even have a concrete plan for clearing Syria of these foreign forces: “We agreed to establish a joint team to advance this goal, together with other elements.” Russia is a key ally of Iran and may have diplomatic tools for influencing Tehran.

This is a tricky plan, since Russian foreign forces have also moved into Syria during the fighting there, but Israel’s main concerns are about Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, not Moscow. If Russia follows through on this promise to help nudge out those forces, this would be a key victory for Israeli diplomacy. Israel has already attacked the Iranian presence in Syria in an effort to prevent them from becoming entrenched in the country and thereby move the Iranian military to Israel’s northern border. Israel has also bombed weapons in Syria to prevent them from being transferred to the Hezbollah terrorist group, which is also an Iranian proxy. … Continue Reading

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