Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israeli Capital in Historic Move

United States President Donald Trump kept a campaign promise and fulfilled 70 years of Jewish longing on Wednesday by officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announcing plans to move the American embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. “Today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s …

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 …

Palestinian Riots, Rockets and Calls for Intifada in Response to US Jerusalem Move

Following the historic decision by United States President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Palestinians launched multiple terror attacks against Israel and called for more. An Israeli security guard was stabbed in the chest and an Israeli kindergarten was damaged by a Palestinian rocket over …

Netanyahu Promotes Jerusalem as Israeli Capital in Europe

The Untied States recently made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister, took a visit to Europe as an opportunity to hint to the Western allies they should do the same. Netanyahu believes they’ll get there eventually. “I believe that all or most …

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Russia Says Iran Legitimately in Syria, But Israel Won’t Allow Iranian Base There

November 15, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Is Russia going to endorse an Iranian base in Syria?Russian President Vladimir Putin. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of the office of the President of Russia.

The United States and Israel have a goal of seeing Iranian units leaving Syria, but Russia—the other major world power involved in the Syrian war along with the US—says they did not agree to that plan. The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday that the Syrian ceasefire deal with the US does not involve “goals on Syria”. And when discussing the American objective of seeing Iranian soldiers and terror proxy Hezbollah leave Syria, Lavrov deflected and instead called the US opposition allies in the conflict the “biggest threat.”

Lavrov, according to SANA, said the Russian and Iranian presence in Syria is “legitimate” and at the invitation of the Syrian regime, whereas the US coalition is “illegitimate.” But while Russia is demurring on the departure of Iranians from Syria at best, the Israelis have made it clear they will not allow Iran to have a base in their next-door neighbor to the north—even if they have to stop the Iranians by themselves. … Continue Reading

Hamas ‘Appalled’ by Security Cooperation between PA and Israel

November 12, 2017 News

Palestinian security forces. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

One of the most successful arrangements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been their counterterrorism cooperation, a program that has been strongly supported by the United States. Hamas, which is in talks to reconcile with the PA, isn’t just opposed to the security partnership—they’re “appalled” by it.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a press statement last week that his group “is appalled by the on-going security collaboration” between the PA and Israel in the Judea and Samaria region (West Bank). Barhoum, whose statement was published by the Hamas website, said the Israel-PA security cooperation is “considered the greatest danger to the Palestinian people and their legitimate right to resist the occupation.” The term “resistance” can also refer to terror attacks, especially when used by Hamas.

The Hamas comments follow a public confirmation by PA Police chief Hazem Atalla that the security coordination had been resumed by all PA security forces, according to The Jerusalem Post. PA President Mahmoud Abbas had announced a suspension in the cooperation over the metal detectors erected at the Temple Mount to prevent terrorists from bringing weapons to the holy site. Following riots and international pressure, the Israelis chose to remove the metal detectors. … Continue Reading

Israel, Gaza Terror Group Trade Threats after Tunnel Attack

November 12, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Is war brewing with Gaza? Israeli tank. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Israel has already recently thwarted attempted terrorism by Gaza militants by blowing up a terror tunnel that reached into Israeli territory, and they are making it clear they won’t tolerate an escalation in the situation. To the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group—which has a presence in Gaza and leadership based in Syria—the Israeli message was clear: Further aggression could be met with assassination of the terror group’s leaders in Damascus.

The leader of Israel’s liaison group with the Palestinians, Maj. Gen. Yoav Moedechai, posted a video to the organization’s Twitter page this weekend to issue an Israeli warning in Arabic. “We advise the Islamic Jihad leadership in Damascus to exercise caution and take control over the situation,” said Mordechai, the head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), in comments also translated into English captions.”

“To the leadership of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Damascus—Ramadan Shalah and Ziad Nakhaleh—we say: Take matters quickly into your own hands, because you are the ones who will be held accountable.” In response, Islamic Jihad issued some threats of their own. … Continue Reading

Syrian Regime Again Found Using Chemical Weapons—and More May Yet Be Uncovered

November 8, 2017 News

Will the UN be silent on Syrian crimes? UN Press Conference Area. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Syrian Bashar al-Assad regime attacked a town in its own country with the chemical weapon sarin in April, an investigative team commissioned by the United Nations announced last month. On Tuesday, the top foreign diplomats of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany condemned the regime’s actions and suggested it could be guilty of more sarin attacks in that nation’s brutal civil war. The quartet of officials also called for the UN Security Council and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to respond appropriately.

“The Syrian regime violated international law, including the Chemical Weapons Convention,” said the joint statement released by the State Department. “We condemn this heinous act and demand that the Syrian regime immediately cease any and all use of chemical weapons and finally declare to the OPCW all chemical weapons that it possesses.”

Previously, Syria had pledged to remove its chemical weapons, but the joint investigation between the UN and the OPCW instead found that the regime used sarin in the town of Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017. Furthermore, the diplomats’ statement said that the OPCW believes another sarin attack in a separate village “more than likely” occurred just a week earlier. Said Tuesday’s statement, “The attack it describes bears the hallmarks of the Syrian Regime.” … Continue Reading

Israel Threatens to Enter Syrian Civil War to Defend Arab Village from Jihadists

November 5, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Syria’s civil war is straying into Israel, again. Israeli signpost showing distance between Israel, Syria in Golan Heights. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Israelis on Friday threatened to intervene militarily in Syria to defend an Arab Druze village near the Israeli border, which is under assault by the jihadist Nusra Front. The Druze ethnic group counts villages in Israel, Syria, and Lebanon as home territory, with Israel having a special relationship with the minority community that includes Druze members of the IDF.

Haaretz reported that after intense fighting in the Syrian village of Hader, roughly two miles (three kilometers) from the Israeli border, the IDF issued a statement saying, “The IDF is prepared and ready to help the villagers and prevent damage or occupation of the village out of a commitment to the Druze population.” According to an assessment in the Haaretz report, if Israeli needs to get involved in the conflict, it would involve air force strikes and artillery.

Fighting in Hader has already impacted Israel. The IDF Spokesperson posted to Twitter that “due to intense fighting in Hader, Syria, shots were fired at Israel. Israeli civilian injured. The IDF is following developments in the area.” … Continue Reading

Israel Labels Lebanese PM Resignation ‘Wake-up Call’ on Iranian Aggression

November 5, 2017 News

Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon are a threat in Lebanon and to Israel. Sign showing the distance between Jerusalem and Lebanese capital city. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri stunned the world on Saturday by abruptly resigning his position, giving as his reason the Iranian interference in his country via the terrorist militia Hezbollah. Hariri, a long-time ally of Saudi Arabia, delivered his resignation speech from the Saudi capital of Riyadh, according to a report from the Lebanese news outlet The Daily Star. According to a translation of Hariri’s full address in the report, the resigning Prime Minister accused Hezbollah of being “the arm of Iran” and seeking to “kidnap Lebanon” from it’s place in the world and “its values and ideals.”

Hariri argued that Lebanon slid from its place once it was led by outside influences who “formed a government inside a government… Hezbollah has unfortunately managed to impose a fait accompli in Lebanon using the force of its weapons, which are alleged to be solely for the resistance.” Hariri’s resignation and condemnation of Iranian interference was upheld by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “a wake-up call to the international community to take action against the Iranian aggression that is trying to turn Syria into a second Lebanon.”

Said Netanyahu in comments released by his office, “This aggression endangers not only Israel but the entire Middle East. The international community needs to unite and confront this aggression.” … Continue Reading

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