Iran Regime Claims Unrest Defeated, But Unjustified Imprisonment May Continue Protests

The most powerful security force in Iran and a close ally of the regime has claimed that the Iranian uprising has been crushed, but media reports and Twitter are implying that hasn’t happened yet. A reason for the latest outcry in Iran is due to the hundreds of people imprisoned …

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 …

US to UN: Drone Incursion to Israel ‘Wake-up Call’ that Iran Plans to Stay in Syria

The Iranian drone that violated Israeli airspace last week was more than just an escalation—it’s a sign that peace in Syria is a ways away according to the United States and regional conflict may be here to stay. Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, warned the powerful …

Investigation: Turkey Turns ‘Blind Eye’—Sometimes Encourages—Hamas Illicit Activity

A Turkish citizen arrested in Israel for working with Hamas has helped unleash an investigation that led to accusations on Monday that Turkey has been ignoring—and at times enabling—Hamas fundraising and militaristic activity and has even indirectly allowed the terror group opportunity to research weapons for fighting Israel. The delve …

Recent Articles:

Anti-Semitic Echoes: Palestinian President Claims Israel ‘Colonial Project’

January 15, 2018 News

President Mahmoud Abbas. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

The supposedly moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas unleashed his true beliefs about Israel on Sunday in a government leadership meeting, citing an Egyptian author claiming Israel is a “a colonial project that had nothing to do with Judaism,” in an Arabic speech posted to the official WAFA Palestinian News Agency website, according to online English translations. Abbas’ claim directly contradicts the Hebrew Bible, in which the Land of Israel and its cities—especially Jerusalem—are repeatedly promised to the Jewish people.

Abbas told the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) that “the functional nature of Israel means that colonization has taken it to do a certain job. A colonial project that had nothing to do with Judaism, but the Jews [were] used to be a tool.” The Palestinian leader, held by some as a partner for peace, went on to mention a litany of conspiracy theories, including claims that Europeans plotted 200 years ago to have Jews live in “Palestine” to defend European civilization and that the first prime minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, conspired with Iraqi politicians to force Iraqi Jews to immigrate to Israel because “they refused to come to Palestine.”

In reality, Jews were driven out of a number of Arab nations by Arabs and came to Israel as refugees, while Jews from Europe risked prison and death to move to Israel after the British placed restrictions on immigration. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday slammed the comments as not only grossly untrue, but tainted with anti-Semitism. … Continue Reading

Israel Destroys Third Terror Tunnel in 2 Months, Warns Don’t ‘Try Us’

January 14, 2018 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

The war below ground to defend Israel continued over the weekend, as the IDF destroyed the third Hamas terror tunnel in two months, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed. The latest tunnel ran in the area of the Kerem Shalom crossing from Gaza into Israel, a location that directly impacted the people of Gaza. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus noted in a video on Twitter that the tunnel not only violates Israeli sovereignty, but also puts at risk the operations of the Kerem Shalom humanitarian crossing, which he noted is where 5 million tons of humanitarian goods enter Gaza from Israel per year.

A separate video by Col. Koby Heler on the IDF Spokesperson Twitter feed said the tunnel ran under the crossing itself, while another Twitter post said that the crossing would not be open the day after the IDF destruction of the tunnel “following an assessment of the situation.”

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Conricus said that the IDF “does not wish to escalate the situation, however we hold the Hamas terrorist organization responsible for any acts of aggression against the State of Israel or its civilians and we will continue to defend our borders and sovereignty.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had an even sterner warning to Gaza’s terrorists: Don’t test us. … Continue Reading

Trump Warns ‘Last Chance’ to Fix Flawed Iran Nuke Deal

January 14, 2018 News

President Donald Trump is warning the Iran nuke deal must be fixed, or else. Illustrative. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

120 days from now and the international Iran nuclear deal could be dead if Europe and the United States can’t agree on a revised approach to the Islamic Republic. US President Donald Trump last Friday waived sanctions against Iran as part of their involvement in the deal, but the American leader warned in comments posted to the White House website it would be the last time he would do so without a supplemental international agreement that toughens restrictions on the Iranian nuclear and missile programs. According to media reports in The Independent and others publications, President Trump’s next opportunity to address sanctions is 120 days later.

“I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies’ agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal,” said Trump on Friday. “This is a last chance. In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal.”

Trump’s warning was heard clearly in Israel, and they’re already telling Europe to listen too. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Calls for Shuttering of Palestinian UN Agency, Backs Trump’s Critique

January 7, 2018 News

U.S. President Donald Trump (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) agree on UNRWA. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

The United Nations have had a special refugee organization specifically dedicated to Palestinians for 70 years, despite the fact that Palestinians haven’t had new refugees for decades. But that organization’s time, or at least it’s funding, may finally be limited. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) should be shut down and its funding diverted to helping real refugees, following critiques of UNRWA by the Trump Administration.

In particular, Netanyahu slammed the “refugee” status of the Palestinians covered by UNRWA. That status implies they have rights to land in Israel from which they fled during conflicts more than 50 years ago, rights which Palestinians call the “right of return”, which believes that Palestinians should be allowed to retake territory in Israel even after being granted a Palestinian state on additional lands controlled by Israel.

“UNRWA is an organization that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem. It also perpetuates the narrative of the right-of-return, as it were, in order to eliminate the State of Israel; therefore, UNRWA needs to pass from the world,” said Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office. “…Of course this creates a situation in which there are great-grandchildren of refugees, who are not refugees but who are cared for by UNRWA, and another 70 years will pass and those great-grandchildren will have great-grandchildren and therefore, this absurdity needs to stop.” … Continue Reading

Arabs Push for UN Recognition of Palestinian State with Jerusalem as Capital—Or Will They Settle for Ramallah?

January 7, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Jerusalem is the historical and current capital of Israel. Illustrative. Israeli flag at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. By Joshua Spurlock

The Arab League is planning to seek a United Nations resolution that will recognize a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital according to an announcement following a meeting of foreign ministers, Al-Jazeera reported on Sunday. Jordanian foreign minister Ayman Safadi told reporters the plan is also to seek UN recognition of the 1967 armistice lines for the Palestinian state’s borders, which would put the Biblical heartland—including cities such as Bethlehem, Hebron, and Shechem—under Palestinian control.

The Arab League plan is in opposition to the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by United States President Donald Trump. However, one key member of the Arab League—Egypt—has reportedly waffled on whether or not they really think it’s worth fighting for Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. The New York Times reported that Egyptian intelligence officer Capt. Ashraf al-Kholi encouraged prominent Egyptian talk show hosts to push their audiences to resign themselves to the Trump decision.

According to audio of the phone call obtained by The New York Times, the Egyptian Intelligence officer privately asked the talk show hosts, “How is Jerusalem different from Ramallah, really?” Instead, he pointed to the city currently housing the Palestinian Authority government—Ramallah—as a capital for the Palestinians. … Continue Reading

Iran Regime Claims Unrest Defeated, But Unjustified Imprisonment May Continue Protests

January 7, 2018 Special Feature

Will Iran leadership overcome protests?
Illustrative official meeting. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The most powerful security force in Iran and a close ally of the regime has claimed that the Iranian uprising has been crushed, but media reports and Twitter are implying that hasn’t happened yet. A reason for the latest outcry in Iran is due to the hundreds of people imprisoned in response to the protests, and even an Iranian student media normally friendly to the regime is crying foul. Meanwhile, the Americans continue to push for international oversight on human rights violations in Iran.

In a Sunday report, the semi-official Fars News Agency quoted a statement released by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp claiming that various security forces had “broken down the chain of unrest.” However, Farnaz Fassihi of the Wall Street Journal tweeted that as of Saturday—just one day prior to the IRGC victory claim—there were protests in more than a dozen cities and graffiti opposing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

And that’s not all. The BBC, citing the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA), reported that with over 1,000 arrested, reformist members of Iran’s parliament were saying 90 university students were among those taken. One parliamentarian, Mahmoud Sadeghi, said that a number of those students were not even involved in the protests. … Continue Reading

Know the News and how it impacts You

Stay informed! Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow The Mideast Update on Twitter

Like The Mideast Update on Facebook