How Gantz Could Build A Government, Without A Majority

Israel’s second round of elections have been a complex but ultimately straightforward math problem: the ruling Likud party plus their allies equals less than a majority. The opposition Blue and White party plus their allies equals less than a majority. Neither side is willing to make the compromises needed to …

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 …

Iran Ends All Restrictions under Nuclear Deal; Israel Backs US over Killing of General

Iran on Sunday decided to withdraw from all remaining “key” restrictions under the Iran nuclear deal in what was described as the fifth and final such step, just days after Iran’s top spymaster general was killed in an American attack. Meanwhile, Israel reiterated their support for United States President Donald …

Israel Calls for More Iran Sanctions as Protests Rock Tehran over Downed Airliner

The Iran crisis took another twist over the weekend, as protests erupted in the Iranian capital of Tehran and elsewhere against the regime after it was confirmed Iran accidentally shot down a civilian airliner in Iran, killing all 176 passengers on board. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed solidarity …

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Israel Supports Italian Holocaust Survivor Who Received Hundreds of Death Threats

November 11, 2019 News

President Rivlin (at Europe Day Reception). Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Mark Neiman, Israeli GPO –

Italian Life Senator Liliana Segre, a Holocaust survivor, recently succeeded in convincing the Italian parliament to better tackle anti-Semitism, including setting up a parliamentary commission on the issue. In response, Segre has received hundreds of anti-Semitic death threats and now requires ongoing police protection. On Sunday, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin sent Segre a letter expressing solidarity in the face of such hate.

“No words can adequately express my horror and disgust that you should be exposed to such criminal behavior,” wrote Rivlin, whose letter was published by an Israeli press release that highlighted Serge’s situation. “…Your case, unfortunately, is yet another terrible example of the reality for Jews in Europe today, but I believe that the most appropriate response is to carry on doing what you believe in.”

Rivlin went on to invite Segre to Jerusalem, saying it would be a “great honor” for Israel. He said he was “appalled” to hear that the threats require police protection for Segre and praised her for her work. “Your personal mission, your strength and your bravery are a role model for us in Israel and for Jewish communities around the world.” … Continue Reading

US Issues Warning as Iran Promotes Potential End of Arms Embargo

November 11, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Iranian President Rouhani hails coming end to Iran arms embargo. Illustrative. FEMA/Marty Bahamonde.

While the international community has been concerned about Iran’s “breakout” time in which they could rush to build nuclear weapons, a different clock is ticking down to less than a year: the lifting of the United Nations arms embargo on Iran next October. The restriction against Iran selling or buying weapons is currently scheduled to be relaxed in 11 months as part of the Iran nuclear deal—also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday in a speech pointed to that benefit as a key reason for staying in the JCPOA.

“If we stay in the JCPOA according to [UN] Resolution 2231, Iran’s arms embargo will be lifted next year and we can easily buy or export our required weapons, which is one of the major effects of the nuclear deal,” Rouhani said, according to the Iranian Presidency’s website. He later called it a “major political, security and defense goal.”

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Twitter also highlighted this countdown on Monday, but pointed out that the UN Security Council can still stop the embargo from being removed. … Continue Reading

Iran Announces Restart of Activities at Underground Nuclear Fuel Plant

November 5, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

An underground nuclear fuel facility—that one expert said has no apparent “significance” for civilian use—is set to resume nuclear activities as the Iranians continue to undo restrictions on their nuclear program imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal. On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that starting on Wednesday Iran would inject uranium gas into the centrifuges at the Fordow installation, according to the Fars News Agency, as the Islamic Republic continues to try and pressure Europe to make economic concessions to offset sanctions imposed by the United States

This is the fourth time this year that Iran has made a move that runs counter to the requirements under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The same day as Rouhani’s latest announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear again his country’s stance on Iran developing nuclear weapons.

“Given Iran’s efforts to expand its nuclear weapons program, expand its enrichment of uranium for making atomic bombs, I repeat here once again: We will never let Iran develop nuclear weapons,” said Netanyahu on Tuesday in comments released by his office. “This is not only for our security and our future; it’s for the future of the Middle East and the world.” … Continue Reading

Israeli President Tells US, European Envoys ‘Anti-Semitism Not A Jewish Problem Alone’

November 4, 2019 News

President with US and European envoys. Photo courtesy of Mark Neiman (Israeli GPO)

Envoys and coordinators tasked with fighting anti-Semitism from the United States and Europe met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday, and that globally diverse crowd was fitting for Rivlin’s message. “We share the understanding that anti-Semitism is not a Jewish problem alone. It is a problem for all humanity,” said Rivlin, according to press release recap of his comments.

“We are engaged in a bitter joint fight against any expressions of anti-Semitism— from the right, the left or from radical Islam. Anti-Semitism is anti-Semitism is anti-Semitism. There are no gray areas and there is no option other than zero tolerance.”

Rivlin went on to highlight a specific modern form of anti-Semitism that impacts his country directly: anti-Israelism. “One can criticize us so long as it is criticism,” said Rivlin. “The moment it turns to boycotts and actions against Israel that are influenced by anti-Semitism—we will not accept it.”

One of the government officials joining Rivlin, German Government Commissioner on Anti-Semitism Dr. Felix Klein, was quoted as echoing the Israeli President’s belief in a global response. … Continue Reading

Gaza Rocket Strikes Israeli Home, IDF Hits Hamas Targets in Response

November 3, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Gaza rockets have resumed. Spent Palestinian rocket. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Just one day after a rocket fired from Gaza shattered an almost month-long calm, a terrorist rocket hit an Israeli home in the southern city of Sderot—just one of a ten rocket barrage last Friday. In response, Israeli fighter jets bombed multiple Hamas sites, including naval compounds and weapon manufacturing and storage sites, according to the IDF Twitter Feed.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded that his country views Hamas as the party in charge of Gaza and all that happens there. “It must be understood that as far as we’re concerned, Hamas is responsible for every attack originating from the territory of the Gaza Strip. We’ll continue to take action on all fronts for the security of the State of Israel, both openly & covertly, on land, sea, and in the air,” said Netanyahu in comments posted to the official Prime Minister Twitter feed.

Israeli Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Twitter that the rocket that hit the Sderot house caused no injuries. He separately tweeted a photo of a car that had been damaged in the rocket attacks as well. The IDF Twitter feed, after stating that Israel had hit a number of Hamas sites in response, noted, “Terror targets civilians. We target terror.”

… Continue Reading

Netanyahu: Iran Developing Precision Missiles to Attack Israel from Iraq, Yemen

October 28, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu & US Treasury Secy. Steve Mnuchin. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israeli GPO)

Israel has long faced the Iranian missile threat from neighboring countries—with the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and the Assad regime in Syria—but now Iran is looking to expand their range of terror, and its accuracy too. Iran is developing precision missiles capable of striking a circle less than 16.5 feet (five meters) across, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Monday. He went on to tell visiting United States Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that Iran wants to base those weapons not only in Syria and Lebanon, but also Yemen and Iraq.

“Iran is seeking to develop now precision-guided munitions, missiles that can hit any target in the Middle East with a circumference of five to ten meters. They are developing this in Iran,” a press release from Netanyahu’s office quoted him as saying. “They want to place them in Iraq and in Syria, and to convert Lebanon’s arsenal of 130,000 statistical rockets to precision-guided munitions. They seek also to develop that, and have already begun to put that in Yemen, with the goal of reaching Israel from there too.”

Iran has been backing the Houthi rebels in Yemen, as well as militants in Iraq, for years. They have already attacked rival Saudi Arabia using those Houthi allies from Yemen, and that’s not all. … Continue Reading

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