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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Christian Population of Israel Succeeding in School, Work Per New Report

December 25, 2018 News

Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Christian population in the State of Israel grew 50% faster in 2017 than the year before—increasing by 2.2% versus 1.4%—and now numbers approximately 175,000 people, according to the latest numbers published by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). While accounting for just 2% of the Israeli population, the success of Christians underscores the egalitarian nature of Israel. Christians on average are doing well from an employment perspective—roughly two-thirds of all Christians in the country aged 15-years-old or older were employed, compared to 65.1% of Jews per CBS numbers from 2015.

Educationally, 78.5% of Christian 12th grade students in Arab education were entitled to receive a matriculation certificate in the 2016/2017 school year, just 0.2% behind the students receiving a Hebrew education. Over 77% of all Christians in Israel are Arab, but they have had more success than their Muslim counterparts: just 59.5% of Arab Muslims were entitled to graduate from 12th grade in the 2016/2017 school year.

In addition, when compared with Arab Muslim students, there are a higher number of Arab Christians in Israel studying engineering, law, architecture, and medicine. … Continue Reading

Israel Warns Hezbollah, ‘Sees Lebanese Government as Responsible for Everything’

December 17, 2018 Peace and Conflict

President Rivlin with GOC IDF Northern Command at northern border. Photo Courtesy of Mark Neiman (Israel GPO)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin had a stern warning to not just the Hezbollah terrorist group, but to the Lebanese government that tolerates them, against the backdrop of Hezbollah’s terror tunnels into Israel. “Hezbollah’s offensive tunnels into Israeli territory are a clear violation of Israeli sovereignty. Hezbollah, which pretends to be the ‘shield of Lebanon’ will, in the end, lead to its destruction,” said Rivlin in comments to soldiers in the north on Sunday and published in an Israeli press release.

“We see the Lebanese government as responsible for everything that happens in the country and we warn Hezbollah not to subordinate Lebanon to Iran’s agenda, or to use Lebanon as a base for attacking Israel.”

While the president of Israel is more of a ceremonial position with little legal power in the country, the role nonetheless acts as an important voice on behalf of the country. Rivlin, in addition to his current place as president, previously served as the speaker of the Israeli Knesset, or parliament. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Thanks Austrian Leader for Pushing to Define Anti-Zionism as Anti-Semitism

December 16, 2018 News

Israeli PM Netanyahu and Austrian Chancellor Kurz. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Avi Ohayon (Israeli GPO).

Two key leadership councils of the European Union have endorsed the call for member nations to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that includes denying the right of Jews to have their own nation, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday thanked Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for leading this effort. He also quoted Martin Luther King as giving the same definition of anti-Semitism.

“I recently read a cogent remark by the noted American human rights leader Martin Luther King: ‘When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism,’” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office, going on to thank Kurz for his leadership in the European Union adopting a similar definition.

“Nobody can say that they are not against Americans, but they just think that America shouldn’t exist, just as nobody can say that they are not against Jews, but they think that the state of the Jews does not need to exist,” said Netanyahu. “I thank the Austrian Chancellor for working to expose this absurdity and to precisely define anti-Zionism as a type of anti-Semitism.” … Continue Reading

Israel Issues ‘Clear Message’ to Hamas after Terror with Justice, Building Homes

December 16, 2018 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

When terrorists claim Israeli lives, the Jewish State often responds in two ways: administering justice to the terrorists and building new Israeli homes. After one of the most brutal weeks in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) in months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said they had taken down three of the responsible terrorists and were “taking decisive action to find him and we will also deal with him to the fullest extent of the law.”

In comments released by his office, Netanyahu further said he had ordered that the process of demolishing the terrorists’ homes be accelerated and had also revoked work permits for their clans. The moves not only administer justice for the crimes, but are also intended to deter future attacks. “I sent a clear message to Hamas: We will not accept a situation in which there is a ceasefire in Gaza and terrorism in Judea and Samaria,” said Netanyahu. “We will exact a heavy price for this.”

As for a productive response to the violence, Netanyahu highlighted that he had given the go-ahead for thousands of homes to be legalized, two new industrial zones be set up, and for 82 new residential units be approved in Judea and Samaria. … Continue Reading

Israel Warns of ‘Much Stronger Response’ if Hezbollah Tries to Stop Tunnel Destruction

December 12, 2018 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu at IDF Northern Command HQ. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (Israeli GPO).

Israel is in the midst of taking out multiple tunnels built by Hezbollah that stretch from Lebanon to Israel in an effort to prevent the terror group’s next big attack against Israel. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t prepared to battle Hezbollah now if necessary. “The most important thing is the readiness here—both in spirit and in materiel—for a much stronger response if Hezbollah makes a major mistake and decides to attack us or oppose our action [of destroying the tunnels],” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday. “Hezbollah will be dealt unimaginable blows.”

Netanyahu, who was meeting with troops stationed in Israel’s north, was quoted by his office as saying that they had just uncovered a third Hezbollah tunnel and are actually ahead of schedule as they are “systematically dismantling the tunnels weapon.”

Said the Israeli leader, “Hezbollah thought that it could dig unhindered. We knew, we planned, and it did not leak. We maintained secrecy; we planned carefully. We are carrying out exactly what we planned but we are ready for the unexpected. There is great firepower here. We are ready for it and are prepared for it from all sides.” … Continue Reading

Netanyahu ‘Not Ruling Out Doing Anything’ to Defend Israel against Iran

December 12, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu at GPO foreign press event. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach (Israeli GPO)

Iran has repeatedly talked about the destruction of Israel, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear he will do whatever it takes to keep Iran from fulfilling that vision. “Our red line is our survival. We do what is necessary to protect the State of Israel against the Iranian regime that openly calls for the annihilation of the Jewish state,” said Netanyahu on Wednesday. “I’m not ruling out doing anything that we need to do to defend ourselves.”

Speaking at the annual New Year’s toast for foreign journalists, Netanyahu was quoted by his office as pointing out that Israel is already militarily confronting Iran. “For the moment Israel’s military is the only military in the world that is directly engaging the Iranian forces. We’re doing that in Syria and pulling them back,” said the Israeli leader.

Netanyahu noted that Iran’s plan is to bring their army from 1,500 kilometers away (932 miles) to Israel’s very own northern border in Syria. This would enable Iran to set up missiles capable of hitting anywhere in Israel and bring in tens of thousands of militia forces “with the express purpose of destroying us.”

“My policy has been we’re going to stop you,” said Netanyahu. “We’re going to stop things, bad things when they’re small. So we meet Iran head on in Syria and if we need to we’ll do whatever else we need to do to protect ourselves. As you would too.” … Continue Reading

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