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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Politicians Predict Impact of Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ Peace Plan on Israel

September 15, 2019 Peace and Conflict

What will the Trump peace plan look like? PM Netanyahu and US President Trump. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Avi Ohayon (GPO)

The long-awaited Middle East peace plan from United States President Donald Trump is not expected to be unveiled until after Tuesday’s Israeli election, but Israeli politicians are already making bold statements about details in the as-yet-unseen plan dubbed “The Deal of the Century.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments released by his office on Sunday, reiterated his pledge to extend Israeli sovereignty to the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, known as settlements.

He then went on to imply that was part of Trump’s vision. Said Netanyahu, “These things will come up in the plan of the century; it will come very fast after the elections.”

Meanwhile, a right-wing political rival to Netanyahu warned on Sunday that that positive prediction for Israel isn’t the whole story. Former Israeli minister of education Naftali Bennet, a candidate with the Yemina party running for Israel’s parliament (Knesset), posted to Facebook that the Trump plan would ultimately create “islands” of settlements in an “ocean of “Palestine”, according to a report in “The Times of Israel”. … Continue Reading

Arab Village Electrician Uncovers Ancient Artifacts, Helps Israel Preserve Them

September 11, 2019 Human Interest, News-Drash

Some ancient artifacts are discovered by accident. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Diego Barkan, Israel Antiquities Authority.

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 that last weekend inadvertently discovered artifacts dating back thousands of years. According to a press release from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), Yassin was just leaning against a mountain ridge when it partly crumbled and exposed pottery and a copper dagger blade that are believed to be 4,500 years old.

While finding the historically valuable items was surprisingly easy, Yassin’s next step to find them a safe home was not—but he chose to do the right thing anyway. “Ahmed showed good citizenship from the start by delivering the findings to the Antiquities Authority,” Nir Distelfeld of the Antiquities Theft Prevention Unit was quoted in the press release as saying. “He told me there were some who called him a dupe and a traitor in that he handed the artifacts over to the state [of Israel], but he chose to act as a law-abiding citizen.

“Ahmed realized that this was not his private property, but a legacy belonging to the general public and must reach the professional bodies responsible for antiquities.” … Continue Reading

Israel Exposes Site Where Iran ‘Conducted Experiments for Nuclear Weapons’

September 9, 2019 News

Illustrative photo of Netanyahu discussing Iran’s “secret nuclear files”. Photo courtesy of: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Israel has once again exposed Iranian nuclear secrets, this time unveiling a site Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday was where “Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons.” The publication of the previously covert site follows Israel’s uncovering of the Iranian nuclear archive that detailed efforts to develop nuclear weapons in the past, as well as a nuclear warehouse that proves Iran violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“Today, we reveal that yet another secret nuclear site was exposed in the archives that we brought from Tehran,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “In this site, Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons. This is the site near Abadeh, south of Isfahan. When Iran realized that we uncovered the site here’s what they did: they destroyed the site. They just wiped it out.

The Israeli premier continued with a warning to Iran’s leadership. “This is what I have to say to the tyrants of Tehran: Israel knows what you’re doing, Israel knows when you’re doing it and Israel knows where you’re doing it,” said Netanyahu. “We will continue to expose your lies. What we see is a consistent pattern of Iranian lies, deception and violations.” … Continue Reading

Gaza Violence Explodes—Literally—with Rockets, Drone Attack

September 8, 2019 Peace and Conflict

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

Just two weeks after Israel foiled an Iranian drone attack plot, Gaza terrorists launched their own drone attack and bombed an Israeli military vehicle on Saturday. In response, Israel struck multiple Hamas targets. The incident follows the firing of multiple rockets at Israel from Gaza on Friday, with a report from The Times of Israel that Egyptian mediators were in the Gaza Strip seeking to deescalate the situation.

IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus reported via Twitter on Saturday that Gaza terrorists “apparently tried to attack IDF soldiers with an IED dropped from a small drone flown over from Gaza. No injuries, slight damage to vehicle. Probably same type of drone used for photography.” In response, per posts to the IDF Twitter feed, Israel struck the terror squad “responsible for launching the drone” as well as “a number of Hamas targets, including offensive naval equipment and 2 military compounds in Gaza. We hold Hamas responsible.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments released by his office on Sunday, said of Israel’s counterstrikes, “We are acting vigorously against any attempt to harm our citizens and soldiers. Just like we showed again last night, we will not tolerate any attempted aggression against us and we will maintain the security of Israel.” … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Reiterates Plan to Annex Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria

September 2, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu in Elkana. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach (Israeli GPO)

With elections just weeks away in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing for Israeli sovereignty over all the Jewish communities in the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria. Those communities—also known as settlements—are located in the so-called West Bank, which is also claimed by the Palestinians. On Sunday, while in the settlement of Elkana, Netanyahu was quoted by a press release as saying, “This is the old, original home of the Jewish people and we will build more in Elkana. We will not uproot anyone here… and with G-d’s help we will apply Jewish sovereignty over all communities as part of the land of Israel and the State of Israel.”

Netanyahu also referred to a major community destroyed in the 2005 Gaza disengagement, in which Israel withdrew from multiple communities in the Gaza Strip in an effort to step towards peace with the Palestinians, saying, “There will be no more Gush Katif; there will be no more uprooting.”

The land-for-peace model has long claimed that Israel could surrender territory to the Palestinians in exchange for a peace accord. However, the 2005 Gaza disengagement and multiple rounds of negotiations with the Palestinians based on that premise have yet to yield peace—something Netanyahu highlighted in Sunday’s comments. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Implicitly Rebukes France for Iran Talks During Tense Days

September 1, 2019 News

The French and Israel aren’t on the same page when it comes to Iran talks, Israeli flags. Illustrative.

French President Emmanuel Macron called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday and the Israeli premier took the opportunity to tell the French leader his view on France’s efforts to engage Iran in new negotiations over their nuclear program and regional tensions: Now is not the time.

A press release from Netanyahu’s office said he told Macron that “the present—when Iran is stepping up its aggression in the region—is precisely the wrong time to talk with Iran.”

The Netanyahu-Macron phone call came after the French met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and speculated about future talks including the United States. Macron, in a press conference with US President Donald Trump published to the White House website, said last week that French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had met with Zarif and that “a roadmap has sort of been set, but nothing is absolutely set in stone. And we will have to move ahead together to find an outcome.” … Continue Reading

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