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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Iran Announces Restart of Activities at Underground Nuclear Fuel Plant

November 5, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

An underground nuclear fuel facility—that one expert said has no apparent “significance” for civilian use—is set to resume nuclear activities as the Iranians continue to undo restrictions on their nuclear program imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal. On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that starting on Wednesday Iran would inject uranium gas into the centrifuges at the Fordow installation, according to the Fars News Agency, as the Islamic Republic continues to try and pressure Europe to make economic concessions to offset sanctions imposed by the United States

This is the fourth time this year that Iran has made a move that runs counter to the requirements under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The same day as Rouhani’s latest announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear again his country’s stance on Iran developing nuclear weapons.

“Given Iran’s efforts to expand its nuclear weapons program, expand its enrichment of uranium for making atomic bombs, I repeat here once again: We will never let Iran develop nuclear weapons,” said Netanyahu on Tuesday in comments released by his office. “This is not only for our security and our future; it’s for the future of the Middle East and the world.” … Continue Reading

Israeli President Tells US, European Envoys ‘Anti-Semitism Not A Jewish Problem Alone’

November 4, 2019 News

President with US and European envoys. Photo courtesy of Mark Neiman (Israeli GPO)

Envoys and coordinators tasked with fighting anti-Semitism from the United States and Europe met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday, and that globally diverse crowd was fitting for Rivlin’s message. “We share the understanding that anti-Semitism is not a Jewish problem alone. It is a problem for all humanity,” said Rivlin, according to press release recap of his comments.

“We are engaged in a bitter joint fight against any expressions of anti-Semitism— from the right, the left or from radical Islam. Anti-Semitism is anti-Semitism is anti-Semitism. There are no gray areas and there is no option other than zero tolerance.”

Rivlin went on to highlight a specific modern form of anti-Semitism that impacts his country directly: anti-Israelism. “One can criticize us so long as it is criticism,” said Rivlin. “The moment it turns to boycotts and actions against Israel that are influenced by anti-Semitism—we will not accept it.”

One of the government officials joining Rivlin, German Government Commissioner on Anti-Semitism Dr. Felix Klein, was quoted as echoing the Israeli President’s belief in a global response. … Continue Reading

Gaza Rocket Strikes Israeli Home, IDF Hits Hamas Targets in Response

November 3, 2019 Peace and Conflict

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

Just one day after a rocket fired from Gaza shattered an almost month-long calm, a terrorist rocket hit an Israeli home in the southern city of Sderot—just one of a ten rocket barrage last Friday. In response, Israeli fighter jets bombed multiple Hamas sites, including naval compounds and weapon manufacturing and storage sites, according to the IDF Twitter Feed.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded that his country views Hamas as the party in charge of Gaza and all that happens there. “It must be understood that as far as we’re concerned, Hamas is responsible for every attack originating from the territory of the Gaza Strip. We’ll continue to take action on all fronts for the security of the State of Israel, both openly & covertly, on land, sea, and in the air,” said Netanyahu in comments posted to the official Prime Minister Twitter feed.

Israeli Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Twitter that the rocket that hit the Sderot house caused no injuries. He separately tweeted a photo of a car that had been damaged in the rocket attacks as well. The IDF Twitter feed, after stating that Israel had hit a number of Hamas sites in response, noted, “Terror targets civilians. We target terror.”

… Continue Reading

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

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