‘Moderate’ Palestinian Leaders Oppose UN Resolution Condemning Hamas Terror

The world is generally united against terrorism, but for some reason the supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership is opposed to the United Nations condemning Hamas terrorism against Israel. The WAFA Palestinian news agency quoted a spokesman of the Fatah political faction that heads the PA as saying they “totally …

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 …

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

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 …

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

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. …

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Israel to Host Arab Nations in Judo Tournament for the First Time

November 8, 2018 News

Israel and Arab states are getting closer. Illustrative photo of Israeli PM Netanyahu and Egyptian FM Shoukry. Photo courtesy of by Haim Zach / GPO

First, it was the Israeli national anthem playing at a Judo tournament in an Arab nation that showed just how far Israel had come towards being accepted in the Arab sports world. Now, it’s Arab nations who are coming from afar to compete in Judo—in Israel. “For the first time ever, Israel will host an int’l Judo championship in which judokas from Arab countries that we don’t have diplomatic relations with will also participate along w/ their flags and their national anthems. It’s a great achievement for Israel & for Israeli Judo” Ofir Gendelman, Israel’s Arabic spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office, posted to Twitter on Thursday.

Arab nations have long tried to refuse to recognize Israel, even in the sports world, where simply competing against an Israeli can have negative connotations. In the past, in Judo tournaments in Arab nations, Israel’s national anthem was not played when their athletes were victorious. But that changed in the last competition in Abu Dhabi in October, where the national anthem played not once, but twice.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on this significant moment in comments to the gold medalist Israeli judokas on Thursday. “I’ll tell you a secret, when I heard Hatikva twice; I also had tears in my eyes,” said Netanyahu in a press release from his office. “It was so exciting, I do not believe that there was an Israeli who was not excited at this moment, it really has very broad implications. Keep it up, this is a tremendous thing.” … Continue Reading

Gaza Bomb Lands in Israeli Playground, Vehicle Set on Fire by Arson Balloon

November 4, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Last Thursday’s incident wasn’t the first car damaged by a Gaza attack. Illustrative results of past Gaza attack. Photo Courtesy of IDF Spokesperson.

The Gaza arson attacks using balloons and kites have destroyed significant amounts of land and killed many animals. Last week, torching a car was added to the list. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed posted a video on Thursday showing a jeep in flames. “Imagine if YOUR car in YOUR neighborhood went up in flames. This just happened—an explosive balloon launched from #Gaza at #Israel set this car on fire,” said the Tweet caption. According to a report in The Times of Israel, the vehicle that was set ablaze by the arson balloon when it drove over the incendiary object, setting the fuel system on fire. While there were no injuries, the car was notably damaged.

An even more serious attack occurred the same day, as an explosive device apparently attached to a balloon landed in a kindergarten playground, according to same article in The Times of Israel. The school was evacuated and the explosive device was safely removed by Israeli security forces.

That hasn’t been the only threat to children by Gazan explosives. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed also posted a picture of a cluster of colorful balloons along with a larger balloon featuring a cartoon character—and a bomb attached. “It’s safe to say that most children would be attracted to these balloons. However, these balloons are far from safe—they were launched by terrorists in #Gaza and landed in #Israel. An explosive was attached to the balloons,” said the Twitter post. … Continue Reading

Major US Sanctions on Iran—including on Oil Trade—Return for ‘Maximum Pressure’

November 4, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu & US Secy. of State Pompeo Photo courtesy of: Haim Zach / Israeli GPO

The United States on Monday is resuming sanctions on key Iranian industries—including the oil and financial sectors—and their impact was already being felt before the sanctions’ effective date as global businesses anticipated the sanctions “snapback.” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last Friday said that ahead of the sanctions’ return on November 5, they expect to have already reduced Iranian crude oil exports by more than 1 million barrels.

“This massive reduction since May of last year is three to five times more than what many analysts were projecting when President [Donald] Trump announced our withdrawal from the [nuclear] deal back in May,” said Pompeo in comments released by the State Department. “We exceeded our expectations for one simple reason: Maximum pressure means maximum pressure.”

The Israelis were already applauding the American sanction plans last week as well. “For years, I’ve been calling for sanctions to be fully reimposed against Iran’s murderous terrorist regime, which threatens the entire world,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday evening in a press release. “The effect of the initial sanctions is already being felt—the [Iranian] rial [currency] has plummeted, Iran’s economy is depressed and the results are evident. Thank you, President Trump, for this historic move.” … Continue Reading

Denmark Accuses Iran of Plotting Attack in Europe, Talking ‘Actions’ in Response

October 31, 2018 News

Will the Europeans agree with Israel on Iran after attack plot in Denmark? PM Netanyahu and Federica Mogherini. Photo courtesy of: Avi Ohayon (GPO).

Denmark has accused an Iranian intelligence service of plotting to assassinate a political separatist in Denmark and arrested a man they claim was conducting reconnaissance for that plan. In response, Denmark is now talking with the European Union about taking steps against Iran in response, which the BBC said could include sanctions. The BBC report identified Iran’s target as a senior member of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA), a separatist organization that wants to carve out an Arab state in a region of Iran.

The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) posted in a report on their website that while the arrested man denies the charges, the Danes believe the plot was real. Said the PET report, “When PET now states that there is sufficient basis to conclude that an Iranian intelligence service has been planning the assassination of an individual living in Denmark, it is not only based on the case against the man in custody, but on comprehensive intelligence efforts.”

Meanwhile, the angst towards Iran has reached the highest levels of Denmark’s government. Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen posted to Twitter on Tuesday, “It is totally unacceptable that Iran or any other foreign state plans assassinations on Danish soil. Further actions against Iran will be discussed in the EU.” … Continue Reading

Palestinian Leader Briefed by Omani Leader on Israeli PM Visit, Peace Process

October 31, 2018 Peace and Conflict, Peace Process

Abbas met with Oman for update regarding peace process. PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

In another sign the recent visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the Arab nation of Oman could be a turning point in regional affairs, Omani leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said sent a letter addressing Netanyahu’s visit to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The letter was delivered in person on Wednesday by Oman’s Foreign Minister, Yousef bin Alawi, according to the Palestinian WAFA news agency.

The Oman News Agency reported that the letter provided an update on efforts on pursuing peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Notably, the Palestinian report said nothing about the peace process, with the Palestinians repeatedly rejecting out of hand a-yet-to-be-revealed peace plan by the Americans.

However, the Middle East region in general seems to approve of Netanyahu’s visit. Israeli Prime Minister spokesman Ofir Gendelman reposted on Twitter a poll in Arabic by RT Arabic—a Russian Arabic news group—showing noticeably positive feelings about the Israeli trip to Oman. Tweeted Gendelman, “There’s considerable Arab popular support for PM Netanyahu’s historic visit to Oman. In this online survey, 66% said the visit served ARAB interests. Over 49,000 people participated.” … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Sends Condolences after ‘the Worst Anti-Semitic Attack in US History’

October 28, 2018 News

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

Following the horrific shooting attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a condolence message to the Jewish community in Pittsburgh that also expressed thanks for Israel’s friends as part of the fight against anti-Semitism. The Washington Post reported that 11 were killed and six wounded by a suspect Robert Bowers, who reportedly screamed anti-Semitic slurs during the attack and afterwards said he just wanted to “kill Jews.”

Netanyahu called the violence “the worst anti-Semitic attack in US history” and said that this is a “particularly heinous crime that we in Israel have unfortunately experienced as well.” Netanyahu wasn’t alone in Israel responding to the attack. Statements were released from the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, President Reuven Rivlin and others. The Israeli government cabinet meeting observed a minute of silence before Sunday’s meeting in memory of those killed, according to an Israeli press release on the meeting.

Said Netanyahu, whose letter was published by his office, “While these attacks are nothing new in the history of our people, what is new is our ability to fight back against the anti-Semites. Israel does that every day. But the Jewish people are also blessed to have many friends around the word who reject and fight anti-Semitism.” … Continue Reading

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