Israel Strikes Weapons Storage Day after US Espouses Support of anti-Iran Action in Syria

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday last week provided American backing for Israel’s efforts to prevent Iran from setting up a new base of operations in Syria. One day later, Israeli warplanes struck weapons storage facilities belonging to Iran, including a target at an international airport in …

Israel—An Ancient King of Making Glass

Centuries before the Land of Israel was a hub for the high-tech industry, the region was among the world leaders in another profession involving science, skill, and specialized knowledge: glass making. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced in a press release on Monday that they have discovered 1,600-year-old kilns used …

Netanyahu Tells Arabs that Iran Is Main Threat, To Talk with Putin to ‘Ensure Freedom of Action’ against Iran

It’s a busy season of diplomacy for Israel against Iran, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Poland last week for a conference with Arab and Western nations discussing the threat from Tehran, and this week he will be in Poland’s neighbor Russia to discuss how to keep combatting that …

Israeli Spacecraft Launching for the Moon This Week

Israel is set to become just the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon, as the satellite “Beresheet”—Hebrew for “Beginning”—is scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX rocket around the end of this week with its destination being the lunar surface. The spacecraft will carry a time capsule to …

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Netanyahu Tells US National Security Advisor ‘Important’ All Nations Recognize Israel Owns Golan

January 6, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Jerusalem. Illustrative. Photo: Amos Ben Gershom GPO

Israel is facing down threats from Iran and their allies to the north, which offers an opportunity to emphasize something that has been true for decades: The Israeli-controlled Golan Heights region is key to Israeli security. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made just that point in comments with United States National Security Advisor John Bolton. He also made the logical next step by stating that the international community should accept Israel’s control of the strategic mountain region, which was taken in the 1967 defensive war from Syria.

“The Golan Heights is tremendously important for our security. I think that when you’re there you will be able to understand perfectly why we will never leave the Golan Heights and why it’s important that all countries recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” said Netanyahu to Bolton in comments released by his office.

The Israeli premier said he has already discussed this matter with US President Donald Trump, who last year recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in a separate move. … Continue Reading

New Brazilian Leader Believes Country Will Gain Respect ‘When It Recognizes Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel’

January 6, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and Brazilian President-elect Bolsonaro. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Avi Ohayon (Israeli GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left his recent visit to Brazil with a promise from new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro that his country would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Since then, that commitment has only grown stronger. Netanyahu, in comments to the Israeli cabinet on Sunday, quoted Bolsonaro after the visit from the Israeli leader as saying, “’I want to be more than a friend of Prime Minister Netanyahu, I want to be his brother. I believe that other countries will respect Brazil more when it recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

Netanyahu, whose comments were published by his office, did not clarify where he heard or read the comments from Bolsonaro, although the sentiment is similar to comments made during Netanyahu’s visit. On Sunday, Netanyahu said, “We have a new ally here and whoever needs additional proof of Israel’s rising status in the world simply needs to look at what is happening in Brazil. They love us and admire Israel.” … Continue Reading

2018 Sets Record for Tourism to Israel as More than 4 Million Visit

January 6, 2019 Special Feature

Jerusalem tourism information center. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

It took Israel 69 years to reach 3 million tourists visiting in one year. It took just one year to reach 4 million tourists in a year. 2018 set a record for the number of tourists to visit Israel in one year, with more than 4.1 million arriving in the Holy Land. “This is the second consecutive record-breaking year in incoming tourism to Israel and this year we have crossed the threshold of 4 million tourists in a year,” Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevi said in a Sunday press release from the Tourism Ministry. “…What was considered a fantasy a few years ago is today a reality: Israel is a preferred tourist destination among tourism destinations around the world.”

In 2017, around 3.6 million tourists visited Israel, which was itself a record at the time according to a prior press release from the Tourism Ministry. Sunday’s press release noted that it took 30 years—from 1948 to 1978—for Israel to finally have 1 million tourists in one year. 40 years later and the United States alone sent almost a million tourists to Israel, with 897,100 Americans visiting in 2018. France and Russia were next on the list with more than 300,000 visitors each. … Continue Reading

US Secretary of State: Withdrawal from Syria ‘in No Way Changes’ Work with Israel

January 1, 2019 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu and US Secy. of State Mike Pompeo. Photo courtesy of Avi Ohayon (Israeli GPO)

While the United States is poised to withdraw 2,000 troops from Syria, that does not signal a shift in the Americans’ support for the defense of Israel or the US determination to oppose Iranian aggression in the Middle East. That was the message from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.

“The decision the President made on Syria in no way changes anything that this administration is working on alongside Israel,” said Pompeo in comments published by the State Department. “The counter-ISIS campaign continues, our efforts to counter Iranian aggression continue, and our commitment to Middle East stability and the protection of Israel continues in the same way it did before that decision was made.”

Pompeo, meeting with Netanyahu in Brazil around the inauguration of the new president in that country, also went out of his way to commend Israel’s military operation to destroy the Hezbollah terror tunnels that were discovered stretching from Lebanon to Israel. Both Hezbollah and Syria are proxies of Iran and are part of Iran’s plans to attack Israel indirectly. … Continue Reading

Israeli Civilian Discovers Ancient Roman Busts While Just Taking a Walk

December 30, 2018 Special Feature

The uncovered Roman busts. Photo courtesy of Eitan Klein, Israel Antiquities Authority

It’s not every day that the average person finds 1,700-year-old sculptures, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen during an everyday activity in Israel. A local resident recently discovered two “impressive” Roman busts near the city of Beit She’an in northern Israel while just taking a walk, according to a press release from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

The top of one of the two sculptures was poking out of the ground and seen by the woman, who along with her husband contacted the IAA Theft Prevention Unit. Inspectors sent to the site were able to find the antiquities, which are believed to be from the Late Roman period (3rd–4th centuries CE).

Nir Distelfeld, IAA Theft Prevention Unit inspector, said in the press release, “It seems that the busts were exposed following the recent heavy rainfall in the area. These are very important finds, which tell us a great deal about the inhabitants of the Beth She’an area in antiquity. We thank the Beit She’an resident for her alertness and good citizenship and she will receive a certificate of appreciation.” … Continue Reading

Brazil President Tells Netanyahu ‘Not Question of If, Just When’ on Jerusalem Embassy Move

December 30, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu and Brazilian President-elect Bolsonaro. Photo courtesy of Avi Ohayon (Israeli GPO)

The list of nations with embassies in Jerusalem is looking to grow yet again, as Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the latter’s visit to the country that Brazil is going to move their country’s embassy to Israel’s capital as well. “Mr. Bolsonaro also said this: ‘I will move the embassy to Jerusalem. It’s not a question of if, just a question of when,’” said Netanyahu. “[United States] President [Donald] Trump said the same thing. He moved the embassy. And President Bolsonaro will move the embassy as well.”

While Netanyahu didn’t give a date, President-elect Bolsonaro is set to take power on January 1.

In comments on Sunday released by his office, Netanyahu said Bolsonaro also accepted an invitation to visit Israel with plans to come by March 2019. Said Netanyahu, “I look forward to receiving him with the same spirit and the same brotherhood that he received me and that you are receiving us.” … Continue Reading

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