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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Israel, Australia Expand Defense Cooperation, Face Common Enemy

October 30, 2017 News

PM Netanyahu and Australian PM Turnbull.
Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / Israeli GPO

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Trumbull came halfway around the world to visit Israel, but while there he noted the nations’ shared terror threat is very close to both homes. In comments with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, the Aussie leader said, “As we have discussed many times, we are all fighting together against militant Islamist terrorism. It is a threat to Israel, it is a threat to Australia, it is a threat to all who value and cherish freedom.”

The comments, published by Netanyahu’s office, were made as part of a visit by Turnbull to mark the 100th anniversary of the historic World War I battle for Be’er Sheva, in which a coalition including Australian soldiers defeated the Turks. But that wasn’t the only fight under consideration.

Turnbull noted the two leaders have “many things to discuss” including “more contemporary battles as well, but above all the strength of this relationship between Australia and Israel getting stronger every year.” That relationship and their joint ability to fight common battles actually went hand in hand, as cooperation in defense was an area strengthened during the visit. … Continue Reading

Refused Handshakes while Israeli Flag, Anthem Banned at Arab Judo Tourney

October 29, 2017 Peace and Conflict

The Israeli flag was banned at Judo tourney in UAE. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Israel’s flag and anthem were banned and multiple losing competitors from Muslim nations refused the customary handshake with their Israeli counterparts in a tournament in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but Israeli judo competitors were victorious anyway. The Independent reported that the organizers of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam judo tournament refused to play Israel’s national anthem or fly the Israeli flag, leaving Israeli victor Tal Flicker—the world’s top judo player in his weight class— to sing the anthem to himself.

The report noted that this is due to a ban in the UAE on Israeli symbols. The UAE is one of many Arab nations who do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Instead of the Israeli flag and anthem being honored, the International Judo Federation’s (IJF) flag was displayed and their anthem played instead. On Twitter, Israeli Prime Minister’s Office Arabic spokesman Ofir Gendelman praised the Israelis’ success there despite the controversy. “Israeli judokas won 5 medals in #JudoAbuDhabi2017. That’s the best response to those who banned the Israeli flag and anthem there,” tweeted Gendelman. … Continue Reading

US ‘Deeply Disturbed’ by UN Official Call for Israel Boycott

October 29, 2017 News

The United Nations is acting anti-Israel, again. United Nations Flag at Headquarters in New York. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Strong words signal strong feelings in diplomacy, and the United States last week reacted with a stern rebuke of a United Nations official’s comments after he suggested international sanctions against Israel over the Palestinian conflict would be effective. “The United States is deeply disturbed by recent comments from UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk calling for academic and economic boycotts against Israel, and by his report to the ‎UN General Assembly,” said a statement from the US Mission to the UN.

Lynk, in a report and in follow-up press comments, called last week for sanctions against the Jewish State to force a withdrawal from territory claimed by the Palestinians, according to The Times of Israel. The news report quoted Lynk, the UN Human Rights Council special rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories, as listing out multiple examples of such sanctions and claiming those would cause a “sea change… in the attitude of the Israeli government.”

Lynk’s comments come despite the reality that the Palestinians have generally refused to even negotiate peace with Israel for years, in addition to rejecting multiple Israeli peace offers in the past. The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has repeatedly criticized the UN for being one-sided and unfair in their treatment of Israel, and the statement from her office said the latest comments from Lynk were more of the same. … Continue Reading

Smuggling Thousands of Military Gloves Highlights Hamas Efforts to ‘Exploit’ Policy for Civilians

October 23, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Military tactical gloves. Photo credits: Ministry of Defense Spokesperson

A clothing shipment into Gaza turned out not to be so innocent on Sunday, as thousands of pairs of military tactical gloves were found in the consignment of clothing in another foiled smuggling attempt. An Israeli press release included photos of a pair of camouflaged gloves and noted that it is “suspected that the gloves were intended for use by the Hamas terrorist organization.”

It wasn’t the first time that Gaza terrorists have tried to smuggle military gear or dual use items that can aid in making weapons or fighting Israel. Last year, professional-grade commando knives were found in a plumbing materials shipment, while another plot was foiled aiming to smuggle into Gaza a raw material used in rocket fuel.

“The Hamas terrorist organization has repeatedly tried to exploit Israel’s civilian policy for its own ends at the expense of the civilian population in Gaza,” Gaza Coordination and Liaison Office Head Col. Faris Atila was quoted in the latest press release as saying. “We will continue to frustrate and thwart the abuse of our civilian policy for terrorist goals and the needs of the Hamas terrorist organization.” … Continue Reading

Rock-Throwing Terror: Palestinian Caught on Camera Hitting Boy on Head

October 22, 2017 News

Palestinian stone-throwing left an Israeli boy needing medical care. Israeli MDA ambulance. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Palestinian stone-throwers have long been a symbol of their fight against Israel—but violently chucking rocks is much more than just symbolic. The latest rock-throwing assault injured a 12-year-old Israeli boy in the head and the Palestinian assailant was caught on camera in the act. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed included video of the Palestinian attacker on Saturday leaning over a wall in Hebron and throwing a rock below before running away. The IDF Spokesperson tweeted that that the injured boy was “taken to receive medical treatment, including stitches. Such violence is nothing less than terror.”

Dani Dayan, head of Israel’s consulate in New York, on Twitter called it a “murder attempt of a 12-yrs-old Israeli boy by a Palestinian adult throwing a rock on his head.” Israeli Prime Minister’s Office Spokesman Ofir Gendelman felt similarly, but noted that the Palestinians do not. “A Palestinian throws a rock on the head of an Israeli boy, tries to kill him. The boy was injured. Palestinians say this terrorist is a hero,” tweeted Gendelman, who is fluent in Arabic. And this isn’t the first time Palestinian rock-throwing has led to dangerous—if not deadly—results. … Continue Reading

Heating Up? More Syrian War Spillover Has Israel Threatening Stronger Response

October 22, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Syrian Representative Addresses Human Rights Council. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

For the second time in as many days, Israel was hit on Saturday with what was apparently errant fire from the Syrian civil war. But after dealing with numerous similar incidents since the Syrian conflict began, Israel has had more than enough. After retaliating to the latest attack on Saturday by striking Syrian artillery, the Israeli military threatened the next response would be even stronger.

“Whether errant fire or not, any future occurrences will force the IDF to intensify its response,” said the IDF Spokesperson in a post to Twitter. The latest attack, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter page, involved five projectiles fired from Syria at the Golan Heights region in Israel. The IDF struck three Syrian artillery cannons in response.

“The IDF holds the Syrian regime responsible & won’t tolerate any attempt to breach Israeli sovereignty or threaten Israeli civilians’ safety,” tweeted the IDF Spokesperson. However, the Israelis aren’t the only ones escalating the situation. The Syrian regime that has massacred tens of thousands of their own people is claiming Israel’s acts of self-defense are actually backing terrorists, and it is complaining to the United Nations and threatening a tough response as well. … Continue Reading

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