Who Really ‘Won’ and ‘Lost’ the Israeli Election

The ballots have been cast and there is no clear winner in the Israeli elections. Neither major party—Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud or the Blue and White party led by former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz—has a clear majority in the 120-member Knesset (Israeli Parliament). The final makeup of the next …

Arab Village Electrician Uncovers Ancient Artifacts, Helps Israel Preserve Them

Arabs can face opposition from their own people for helping Israel, but one Arab villager recently chose to do the right thing in spite of critique and in the process helped Israel preserve history. The resident of the village of Araba in northern Israel, Ahmed Nassar Yassin, is an electrician …

Israel Condemns Turkish Offensive in Syria, US Imposes Sanctions

As Turkey invades neighboring Syria to battle alleged terrorists among the Kurdish minority there, Israel has warned of the potential for “ethnic cleansing” and the United States on Monday issued sanctions against the Turks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also offered humanitarian support to the Kurdish people. “Israel strongly condemns …

Israeli, German Leadership Agree More Needed to Battle Anti-Semitism

Following the horrific shooting attack at a synagogue in Halle, Germany on Yom Kippur, Israeli leadership spoke with their Germany counterparts on Thursday to discuss doing more to address anti-Semitism. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and “expressed his appreciation for her vigorous …

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Hezbollah Launches Anti-Tank Missiles at Israel, IDF Responds

September 1, 2019 Peace and Conflict

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

Hezbollah on Sunday made good on their threats of revenge for alleged recent Israeli drone attacks, launching multiple anti-tank missiles at Israeli targets—including an ambulance. However, the IDF Twitter feed reported that no Israelis were injured by the attack, which also hit an IDF outpost. The post said the Israelis responded by firing back at the Hezbollah group responsible for the attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summed it up by stating in comments released by his office, “We were attacked with several anti-tank missiles. We responded with 100 shells and firing from the air by various means… At this time I have an important announcement: We have no casualties—not even a scratch.”

Netanyahu made it clear that the situation was fluid and more conflict could be coming. “We are consulting about the next steps. I have ordered that we be prepared for any scenario,” said Netanyahu. “We will decide on the next steps pending developments.”

IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus made sure to highlight who attacked whom first. In a Twitter post, he noted, “Chronology matters. First Hezbollah fired missiles at Israel, then we responded. Hezbollah just admitted they attacked Israel from Lebanon because we foiled a Quds Force attack a week ago from Syria,” referencing a failed Iranian drone attack. Conricus’ post later also alluded to how Hezbollah’s actions blatantly violate United Nations Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon war over a decade ago. … Continue Reading

Israel Fights on Twitter—And Allegedly Attacks in Real Life—Hezbollah Precision Missile Program

August 29, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Iran is sharing missile tech with Hezbollah. Iran manufactured missile. Illustrative. Former US Amb. to UN Nikki Haley showing Iranian-made weapons used in Middle East conflict. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of UNITED STATES MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS.

The IDF unleashed a flurry of information on Twitter on Thursday exposing an Iranian plot to produce precision-guided missiles for the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon, just days after Israel reportedly attacked technology for developing fuel for such missiles in Lebanon. The IDF Twitter page posted multiple videos, including one comparing the precision missiles to a “missile with @waze”, referencing the popular navigational phone app.

The video post said that terrorists could use the precision-guided technology to direct a missile to “an exact address.” The video continued by noting that the IDF “won’t let Hezbollah navigate their missiles to toward Israeli homes.”

The Israeli military reportedly did just that over the weekend, as The Times in London reported that a recent drone attack in the Lebanese capital of Beirut not only was carried out by Israel, but targeted machinery that is used for “high-grade propellant” for precision-guided missiles. Israel has not officially claimed responsibility for the incident. … Continue Reading

Iran Shoots Down Talks with US after Trump Signals Openness to Diplomacy

August 27, 2019 News

Will Iranian President Rouhani moderate Iran, or is he just for show? Illustrative. FEMA/Marty Bahamonde.

One day after United States President Donald Trump openly discussed possible negotiations with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Iranians firmly dismissed unconditional talks between the sides. Rouhani, in comments published by the Fars News Agency, said they were “ready for talks” but told the Americans that they had to remove sanctions as the “first step.” Said Rouhani, “The door cannot be unlocked without this step.”

Rouhani made it clear they were not interested in just a photo op with Trump, while Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif went a step further in a separate Fars report, saying that no meeting between Trump and Rouhani “could be imagined.”

Iran’s tough stance comes after Trump on Monday made his most conciliatory comments toward Iran since taking office. The US President told reporters it was realistic to envision talks with Rouhani within weeks. “I don’t know the gentleman. I think I know him a little bit just by watching over the last number of years what’s happened. I’ll tell you one thing: He’s a great negotiator. But he—I think he’s going to want to meet,” said Trump in comments published on the White House website. … Continue Reading

Israel Strikes Syria to Foil Iranian ‘Killer Drone’ Attack and Hezbollah Vows Revenge

August 25, 2019 Peace and Conflict

This isn’t the first time Iranian drones and Israel have clashed. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up piece of Iranian UAV in February. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben Gershom GPO

Israeli forces foiled an Iranian plot to attack Israel with “killer drones” by targeting forces affiliated with Iranian special ops inside Syria on Saturday, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear on Saturday night that Iran “has no immunity anywhere.” On Sunday, the Hezbollah terror group warned of attacks of their own.

The IDF Twitter page said that Israel had “prevented a pending, large-scale attack of multiple killer drones on Israel by striking Iranian Quds Force operatives and Shiite Militia targets in Syria.” Netanyahu, in separate comments released by his office on Sunday, said the drones were “explosive-laden” and planned to “kill Israelis on the Golan Heights.”

Netanyahu called the Israeli action a “complicated operation” and a “daring decision” that “prevented serious attacks.” He warned not only Iran, but any country hosting Iranian forces, not to strike Israel. “I would like to emphasize: This was an initiative of Iran, under the command of Iran, at the behest of Iran.

“…I would like to stress that we will not tolerate aggression against Israel from any country in the region. Any country that allows its territory to be used for aggression against Israel will face the consequences, and I repeat: The country will face the consequences.” … Continue Reading

Trump Says May ‘Put Out Pieces’ of Peace Plan before Israeli Elections

August 19, 2019 News, Peace Process

US President Donald Trump may publish peace plan details soon. Illustrative photo, edited for size. Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead.

The long-awaited “Deal of the Century” peace proposal from the Trump Administration may soon be unveiled—at least parts of it, anyway. United States President Donald Trump on Sunday clarified that he intends to wait on presenting his full Middle East peace plan until after the upcoming Israeli elections, but some details may get shared ahead of the September 17 vote.

“I probably will wait, but we may put out pieces of it,” said Trump of his peace plan in comments to reporters posted to the White House website. “We have some very talented people—as you know, our great ambassador [David Friedman] and others. We have some very talented people. But that’s probably the toughest deal of all— peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians—because they’ve been decades of hate. And it’s tough to make a deal when there’s that much hate.”

The supposedly moderate government heading the Palestinian Authority (PA) has so far turned that hatred towards the Americans by repeatedly disparaging and rejecting the US plan even before seeing what’s in it. However, Trump doesn’t believe his administration’s policies towards the Palestinians—such as withholding funding—are the problem. Rather, he thinks they can be part of the solution. … Continue Reading

Gaza Attacks Israel Again, Netanyahu Warns Elections Won’t Prevent ‘Wide-Ranging Campaign’

August 18, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Is another conflict in Gaza coming? Israeli tank. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

After rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza on back-to-back nights over the weekend and terrorists tried to infiltrate Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday they would do what was necessary to defend Israel in spite of upcoming elections—even a “wide-ranging” military campaign in Gaza. “I have heard talk to the effect that I have refrained from embarking on a wide-ranging operation based on electoral considerations. This is incorrect,” said the Israeli leader in comments released by his office. “…If it proves necessary, we will embark on a wide-ranging campaign regardless of the elections. With or without the elections, we will do what is necessary for the security of Israel.”

Netanyahu’s comments included congratulations to the IDF for taking down five Gaza terrorists the IDF Twitter feed said were “attempting to infiltrate” Israel. The Tweet on Sunday said that the previous night, the IDF soldiers monitoring the security fence with Gaza spotted the terrorists armed with rifles. In roughly 30 seconds, “our troops had already arrived at the scene in order to stop the terrorists,” said the post. … Continue Reading

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