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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Israeli Parliament Votes to Move Elections Up to April—will Netanyahu Win Again?

December 27, 2018 Special Feature

Israeli Knesset Building. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock.

The Israeli parliament, known as the Knesset, voted on Wednesday to dissolve its current rendition and move elections up to April. A press release on the Knesset website said the vote passed overwhelmingly by a 102-2 margin. Just over four years since the last round of elections were held in March 2015, Israelis will be going to the polls again to determine if Benjamin Netanyahu will be able secure his fourth consecutive term as the leader of the Jewish State.

So far, it looks likely. According to a poll earlier this week originally published by the Maariv Hebrew newspaper and reposted in English by The Times of Israel, Netanyahu’s Likud party would win more than double the number of Knesset seats as the runner up party—earning 30 seats compared to 13 for what was then a hypothetical new party to be created by former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz. The Knesset is comprised of 120 seats, making 61 the threshold for holding a majority.

Generally, that is accomplished by multiple parties joining forces in a coalition. The poll, conducted by Panels Politics, found that Netanyahu could narrowly cobble together a government coalition of right-leaning and religious political parties similar to the current government. … Continue Reading

Israel Says US Troop Removal from Syria Won’t Change Policy against Iran

December 25, 2018 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu & the Security Cabinet in the north. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach (Israeli GPO).

The removal of 2,000 United States soldiers from Syria may withdraw a key Israeli ally from the territory of their northern neighbor, but it won’t impact the Jewish State’s determination to prevent Iran from using Syria as a base to attack Israel. In fact, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday that Israel might even increase its anti-Iran efforts.

“The decision to withdraw 2,000 US troops from Syria will not change our consistent policy: We will continue to act against Iran’s attempts to entrench itself militarily in Syria, and to the extent necessary, we will even expand our actions there,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office.

However, he indicated that while the Americans and Israel may take different practical approaches to Syria—the US withdrawing and Israel escalating—the two nations will still work together. “I would like to reassure those who are concerned. Our cooperation with the US will continue in full and finds expression in many areas: Operations, intelligence and many other security spheres,” said Netanyahu. … Continue Reading

Christian Population of Israel Succeeding in School, Work Per New Report

December 25, 2018 News

Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Christian population in the State of Israel grew 50% faster in 2017 than the year before—increasing by 2.2% versus 1.4%—and now numbers approximately 175,000 people, according to the latest numbers published by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). While accounting for just 2% of the Israeli population, the success of Christians underscores the egalitarian nature of Israel. Christians on average are doing well from an employment perspective—roughly two-thirds of all Christians in the country aged 15-years-old or older were employed, compared to 65.1% of Jews per CBS numbers from 2015.

Educationally, 78.5% of Christian 12th grade students in Arab education were entitled to receive a matriculation certificate in the 2016/2017 school year, just 0.2% behind the students receiving a Hebrew education. Over 77% of all Christians in Israel are Arab, but they have had more success than their Muslim counterparts: just 59.5% of Arab Muslims were entitled to graduate from 12th grade in the 2016/2017 school year.

In addition, when compared with Arab Muslim students, there are a higher number of Arab Christians in Israel studying engineering, law, architecture, and medicine. … Continue Reading

Israel Warns Hezbollah, ‘Sees Lebanese Government as Responsible for Everything’

December 17, 2018 Peace and Conflict

President Rivlin with GOC IDF Northern Command at northern border. Photo Courtesy of Mark Neiman (Israel GPO)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin had a stern warning to not just the Hezbollah terrorist group, but to the Lebanese government that tolerates them, against the backdrop of Hezbollah’s terror tunnels into Israel. “Hezbollah’s offensive tunnels into Israeli territory are a clear violation of Israeli sovereignty. Hezbollah, which pretends to be the ‘shield of Lebanon’ will, in the end, lead to its destruction,” said Rivlin in comments to soldiers in the north on Sunday and published in an Israeli press release.

“We see the Lebanese government as responsible for everything that happens in the country and we warn Hezbollah not to subordinate Lebanon to Iran’s agenda, or to use Lebanon as a base for attacking Israel.”

While the president of Israel is more of a ceremonial position with little legal power in the country, the role nonetheless acts as an important voice on behalf of the country. Rivlin, in addition to his current place as president, previously served as the speaker of the Israeli Knesset, or parliament. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Thanks Austrian Leader for Pushing to Define Anti-Zionism as Anti-Semitism

December 16, 2018 News

Israeli PM Netanyahu and Austrian Chancellor Kurz. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Avi Ohayon (Israeli GPO).

Two key leadership councils of the European Union have endorsed the call for member nations to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that includes denying the right of Jews to have their own nation, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday thanked Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for leading this effort. He also quoted Martin Luther King as giving the same definition of anti-Semitism.

“I recently read a cogent remark by the noted American human rights leader Martin Luther King: ‘When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism,’” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office, going on to thank Kurz for his leadership in the European Union adopting a similar definition.

“Nobody can say that they are not against Americans, but they just think that America shouldn’t exist, just as nobody can say that they are not against Jews, but they think that the state of the Jews does not need to exist,” said Netanyahu. “I thank the Austrian Chancellor for working to expose this absurdity and to precisely define anti-Zionism as a type of anti-Semitism.” … Continue Reading

Israel Issues ‘Clear Message’ to Hamas after Terror with Justice, Building Homes

December 16, 2018 Peace and Conflict

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

When terrorists claim Israeli lives, the Jewish State often responds in two ways: administering justice to the terrorists and building new Israeli homes. After one of the most brutal weeks in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) in months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said they had taken down three of the responsible terrorists and were “taking decisive action to find him and we will also deal with him to the fullest extent of the law.”

In comments released by his office, Netanyahu further said he had ordered that the process of demolishing the terrorists’ homes be accelerated and had also revoked work permits for their clans. The moves not only administer justice for the crimes, but are also intended to deter future attacks. “I sent a clear message to Hamas: We will not accept a situation in which there is a ceasefire in Gaza and terrorism in Judea and Samaria,” said Netanyahu. “We will exact a heavy price for this.”

As for a productive response to the violence, Netanyahu highlighted that he had given the go-ahead for thousands of homes to be legalized, two new industrial zones be set up, and for 82 new residential units be approved in Judea and Samaria. … Continue Reading

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