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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 …

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

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. …

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US at UN Security Council Slams Iranian Terrorism in Europe, Israel

November 19, 2018 Peace and Conflict

U.S. Ambassador the U.N. Nikki Haley. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Mission to the UN

Another Middle East briefing was delivered to the powerful United Nations Security Council focusing on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said it was “very incomplete” because it left out a key threat not just to the region, but the world: Iran. “While this Council remains focused on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, it ignores other very serious conflicts in the Middle East,” said Haley on Monday.

“One has in recent months come to the doorstep of Europe and the United States. That is the continued evidence of increased international terrorist activity by the Iranian regime… Iranian malign behavior does not just target one country, it targets us all.”

Haley, whose comments were published by the US Mission to the UN website, proceeded to list not one but two foiled Iranian terror attacks in Europe in recent months that targeted political opponents. She also noted that Iran backed an attack against a US consulate in Iraq and has supported violence against Israel, a fact among many that recasts Israel’s war with terrorists in Gaza as not just another dispute.

“You also cannot escape the fact that the group responsible for the rocket attacks [against Israeli civilians]— Palestinian Islamic Jihad—is an Iranian supported group. The PIJ is yet another terrorist proxy that Iran calls on to stoke violence and instability in the region,” said Haley.

The US representative argued that these acts of malignant behavior are not isolated incidents for the Iranian regime.

“These attempts to murder their political opponents on foreign soil reflect the true nature of the Iranian regime. These attacks are precisely the sort of behavior that led the United States to re-impose sanctions against Iran,” said Haley. “…Our European allies are increasingly finding proof of that in their own front yards. We must unite in our efforts to stop this behavior before it reaches more innocent people across the world.”

The report that preceded Haley’s remarks wasn’t even complete in its discussion of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, according to the American diplomat. Haley clarified that while the comments from UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov did mention the violence in Gaza, his call for “both sides” to show restraint “misses the mark.”

Haley contrasted the Israeli barrage on military targets in Gaza with the more than 400 rockets and mortars that were “fired indiscriminately from Gaza into Israel.” “Even if you accept Hamas’ excuse that it launched its missiles in response to an Israeli covert operation, you cannot escape the fact that the Gaza militants targeted civilians in response. Their actions were not actions of a nation exercising self-defense, but of a terrorist group seizing a pretext to kill civilians,” said Haley. “…Fact: There is only one side that attacks indiscriminately. One side that targets civilians. One side that terrorizes to achieve its objectives.”

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, praised Haley on Twitter for her words. “Thank you to Ambassador @nikkihaley for, once again, revealing the #truth that there is no such thing as ‘two sides to the conflict,’ there is Hamas that fires missiles at civilian populations, and there is #Israel that protects its citizens. Thank you for standing by Israel!” he tweeted.

Haley, who is leaving her post at the end of the year, concluded her comments on Monday with a call for compromise from both sides. However, she noted that “compromise can only begin with a clear, honest, and complete appraisal of the facts on the ground.”

Without that, she said the monthly discussion at the UN Security Council is “doomed to fail in its objective of helping to achieve peace.”

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, November 19, 2019)

 

Airbnb Bars Listings of Jewish Homes in ‘Disputed’ Biblical Heartland

November 19, 2018 News

This building is a serious concern to Airbnb. Home in Ma’ale Adummim Settlement in Judea and Samaria region. Illustrative. Photo by Joshua Spurlock.

Airbnb on Monday announced via press release a new policy on listings in “disputed regions.” In a world of options, they chose just one location in which to enforce a new ban on who can list their homes for rent on the space-sharing website: the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria. And while Jews and Arabs live in that area, Airbnb chose only to remove approximately 200 Israeli settlement listings from their site, which allows everyday people to list residences on the website for rentals.

While Airbnb’s statement on their website claimed they hold “deep respect” for the various views on the region Arabs call the West Bank, Israeli leaders saw the move as the exact opposite: anti-Semitism. Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the United States and now a member of the Israeli Knesset (parliament), slammed on Twitter the one-sided nature of the Airbnb decision.

“Airbnb blacklists Jewish apartments in Judea and Samaria—not Palestinian apartments, not apartments in Turkish occupied Cyprus, in Moroccan occupied Sahara, not in Tibet or the Crimea. Airbnb’s policy is the very definition of anti-Semitism. No one should use its services,” tweeted Oren. … Continue Reading

US Switches Traditional ‘Abstain’ Vote to ‘No’ on Anti-Israel Golan Heights UN Resolution

November 18, 2018 News

Will peace return to the Israel-Syria border region?
Golan Heights UN Peacekeepers. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Wolfgang Grebien.

For years, the United Nations has purposely felt the need to reiterate in a resolution their objection to Israeli control over the disputed Golan Heights that border Syria, and for years the United States has simply abstained. But this year, things are different—in Syria, at the UN and with the US vote.

“If this resolution ever made sense, it surely does not today,” said US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley last week in comments released by her office. “The resolution is plainly biased against Israel. Further, the atrocities the Syrian regime continues to commit prove its lack of fitness to govern anyone. The destructive influence of the Iranian regime inside Syria presents major threats to international security. ISIS and other terrorist groups remain in Syria. And this resolution does nothing to bring any parties closer to a peace agreement.”

The Times of Israel said it was the first time the US had voted no on the resolution, which rejects Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Israel acquired the region while defending itself from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greatly appreciated the US vote last week, while saying that Israel wasn’t leaving the Golan. … Continue Reading

Terrorist Threat Everywhere: Israeli Officers Stabbed inside Police Station, Rocket Threat Highlighted to UN

November 14, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Terror knife attacks are a threat too. Illustrative photo of commando knives apprehended amid shipment of plumbing materials destined for Gaza. Photo courtesy of Israel Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority

Even Israeli police stations aren’t safe from terrorism, as a knife-wielding assailant chose just such a location on Wednesday night to stab four Israeli police officers in the Armon Hanatziv station in Jerusalem. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Twitter that the four officers were lightly injured and that the terrorist had been arrested. A separate tweet showed a group of counterterrorism police units on the scene.

While reports of a ceasefire between Israel and terrorists in Gaza indicate things are calming down in the south of Israel, Wednesday’s knife attack served as a stark reminder that terrorist efforts to wound and kill Israelis are a threat always—and in any place.

That has been a difficult reality for the Israeli south in particular recently, and their suffering under the massive rocket barrage earlier this week was heard loud and clear on Tuesday at the United Nations. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon posted a video to Twitter showing him playing the rocket-warning siren. “At the #UN, I explained that every time Hamas fired one of its 460 rockets, families have 15 seconds to find their loved ones & run to a bomb shelter. When Hamas fires a rocket, families hear this,” tweeted Danon. … Continue Reading

IDF Soldier Killed in Gaza Fight, Rockets Sirens Resume as Abbas Threatens ‘Tough Measures’ against Hamas

November 11, 2018 Peace and Conflict, Uncategorized

Abbas is very upset with Hamas. PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

An Israeli soldier was killed during “special forces’ operational activity in Gaza” and multiple projectiles were launched at Israel from Gaza on Sunday according to the IDF Twitter page, the same day Hamas was threatened by a powerful member of their own people. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday leveled perhaps his harshest critique of the Hamas terrorist group that runs the Gaza Strip on Sunday when he accused them of a conspiracy to “foil” an independent Palestinian state. Abbas’ comments, which were published in a report by the Ma’an News Agency, further included a warning that the Palestinian government in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) that he heads would be taking “tough measures against Hamas” in the days ahead.

That same day, the IDF Spokesperson reported on Twitter that one IDF soldier was killed and another wounded in an “exchange of fire” during the aforementioned special forces activity. Following that post, numerous rocket siren warnings were posted by the IDF Spokesperson, with one Tweet noting that two projectiles from Gaza had been intercepted by the Iron Dome. The situation was serious enough that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shortened his visit to return to Israel from Paris, where he was meeting with world leaders and marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, according to a press release from Netanyahu’s office.

The day’s violence came as Abbas claimed that Hamas’ plan to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state would not succeed, and neither would the American-led peace process and it’s anticipated “Deal of the Century” for peace. Abbas isn’t alone in his recent critiques of Hamas, and ironically it’s one of main proponents of the American peace plan that also slammed the Gaza rulers last week. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Meets with World Leaders at 100th Anniversary of End of WWI

November 11, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu with US President Trump. Photo courtesy of Israeli GPO

The past, present and future of Israel all merged in Paris on Sunday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a global event to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The past—Netanyahu highlighted the importance of WWI in setting the stage for the recreation of the State of Israel—the present—as Netanyahu met with US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin—and the future, embodied in Netanyahu’s conversations with world leaders who hope to grow ties further with Israel.

“I think that there is no better evidence of the State of Israel’s standing in the world than the way we were accepted in this event, from the place we received, literally, in the first line of countries,” said Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office. “I see this as a great compliment to the State of Israel and its achievements.”

According to Israeli press releases, Netanyahu met not only with Trump and Putin, but also German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a number of others. “What was very interesting was a number of African leaders who spoke about the importance of cooperation with Israel and the way it could of course help their countries,” said Netanyahu. “I heard this from countries in Eastern Europe, Western European countries, African countries, Latin America, leaders who came and spoke without question that Israel is a rising force in the world. If someone needed proof, I would say—come to Paris.” … Continue Reading

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