US Closes Palestinian Office in Washington for Rejecting Peace Plan ‘They Haven’t Yet Seen’

The Americans increased the pressure on the Palestinians for obstructing peace again on Monday, as the United States government closed the office of the General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington, D.C. The PLO is the official representative of the Palestinian government to the world and 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 …

US Says Hamas Must Change, While Israel Notes 1000s of Animals Killed by Gaza Arson

The main United States negotiator for Middle East peace called for Hamas to change it’s ways and recognize Israel in an Op-Ed on Friday, and one day later, another attack by Gaza terrorists had Israel noting that arson and explosive attacks had killed thousands of animals in addition to property …

US, Israel Working Together to Pressure Iran; American Sanctions Target Iranian Use of Child Soldiers

The top United States financial official visited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, and in a sign of the times, their first topic named by Netanyahu to the press was not economics; it was Iran. “This is what is going to occupy a great deal of our discussions today—how …

Recent Articles:

Speaking at Nuclear Facility, Netanyahu Hints at Threat to Iran of Mutually-Assured Destruction

August 29, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Israel is working hard to counter Iran’s nuclear threat. Illustrative photo of Netanyahu discussing Iran’s “secret nuclear files”. Photo courtesy of: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Israel’s highest leaders have never officially and publically admitted to having an arsenal of nuclear weapons, which are believed to be held as a deterrent and have never been used in combat. However, with the Iranian regime threatening to wipe out Israel while angling for nuclear weapons of their own, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a strong—if intentionally vague—defensive threat of his own.

Speaking at a ceremony renaming a nuclear research center in honor of former President Shimon Peres, Netanyahu warned Iran and noted, “Whoever threatens us with destruction puts himself in similar danger, and in any case will not achieve his goal.” That sounds similar to the “mutually-assured destruction” doctrine held by the Russians and the United States during the Cold War, in which both sides effectively had the capability of destroying the opposing side with nuclear weapons, thereby deterring both nations from deploying the nukes.

Netanyahu, in the comments on Wednesday released by his office, also made it clear that reports of Iran’s military cooperation agreement with Syria would not prevent Israel from acting to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Israel’s northern neighbor. … Continue Reading

Iran Ousts Economic Minister, Airlines Cancel Tehran Routes as US Sanctions Make Impact

August 26, 2018 Special Feature

Renewed US sanctions on Iran making an impact. President Donald J. Trump signs an Executive Order on Iran Sanctions. Illustrative. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

The United States’ plan to use economic sanctions to pressure the Iranian regime to change their ways is already bearing fruit—including a change in the regime. Economic Minister Massoud Karbasian was forced out of his position by a vote of no confidence by the Iranian parliament on Sunday, and the economic impact of the US sanctions played a role in that decision according to the Fars News Agency.

What’s more, two major airlines—British Airways and Air France, ended their activity in Iran last week, joining a prior decision by KLM. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments released by his office during a visit to Lithuania last Thursday, said in response to the airlines’ decision, “That’s good. More should follow, more will follow, because Iran should not be rewarded for its aggression in the region, for its attempts to spread terrorism far and wide in the Middle East, into Europe… and to many other places in the world.” … Continue Reading

Israeli Researchers Find Pomegranate Juice Could Reduce Risk of Baby Brain Damage

August 22, 2018 News

The Research Team (L-R): Top Row, Dr. Nizar Khatib, Professor Wiener, and Dr. Yuval Ginsburg;
Bottom Row (L-R) Dr. Noor Saadi and Professor Beloosesky.
Photo credit: Pioter Fliter, RHCC.

One of the fruits commonly associated with the nation of Israel—pomegranates—could be a key to reducing pregnancy inflammation and brain damage to newborn babies, according to an Israeli research group who has tested the theory. Professor Ron Beloosesky, Director of the Prenatal Ultrasound Unit in the Division of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Rambam Health Care Campus in Israel, said in a press release that prior research had already shown that pomegranate juice can reduce inflammation.

That’s key, because inflammation can lead to premature birth and can transmit to the baby, increasing the risk of brain damage and lifelong disorders such as cerebral palsy. According to research done by Belooseky and his team, mothers drinking the juice of one of Israel’s Biblical seven species and commonly found freshly squeezed in Jerusalem could help prevent those defects.

“It seems that an accessible and inexpensive juice that can be found in any supermarket has a positive effect on a serious problem that harms mothers and their embryos,” said Belooseky in the press release. After testing the effects of the juice on pregnant rats, human trials are slated to be completed in the next two years. … Continue Reading

US Creates Government Group to ‘Drive Daily Progress’ on Change in Iranian Regime Behavior

August 22, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Israel and the US agree on Iran. Meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Jerusalem. Illustrative. Photo: Amos Ben Gershom GPO

The United States is determined to push for what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called “major changes” in the behavior of the Iranian regime—including their nuclear and missile activities and their support for terrorism—and so he recently announced the formation of the Iran Action Group at the State Department to focus on this effort. “Our hope is that one day soon we can reach a new agreement with Iran,” said Pompeo in a Department press release on August 16.

“But we must see major changes in the regime’s behavior both inside and outside of its borders. The Iranian people and the world are demanding that Iran finally act like a normal nation. The Iran Action Group will drive daily progress on these objectives and I hope do much more.”

Pompeo said that the Group would be “key” to working with other nations on countering the Iran threat, and they join what is already a robust effort. Just this week National Security Advisor John Bolton visited Israel with Iran on his mind. And Brian Hook, the new head of the Iran Action Group, was in London last week for “productive discussions” with European allies on Iran. “We will continue to build on those areas where we are in agreement with our allies and partners around the world and we will work to find consensus on those areas where we are not,” said Hook, in a separate press release last week. As Bolton saw firsthand, Israel already agrees. … Continue Reading

UN Chief Lists Int’l Troops as Means to Protect Palestinians the Same Day Gazans Riot against Israel

August 19, 2018 Peace and Conflict

United Nations vehicle. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

In the wake of months of arson attacks against Israel by kites sent from Gaza, hundreds of rocket attacks from Hamas on Israeli civilians and regular Gaza border riots, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres listed international troops as an option to defend the Palestinians—from Israel. The Ma’an News Agency said that a report published on Friday by Guterres provided four possible methods to protect Palestinians—which the UN chief acknowledged is “highly complex.” One such option was armed UN peacekeepers or troops from “like-minded states” under a UN mandate to provide “physical protection.” Other options included additional aid and UN observers.

Yet the same day the report was released, it was Israel who was once again in need of self-defense. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed reported that “thousands of Palestinians rioted along the security fence with Gaza, hurling several firebombs” and explosive devices on Friday, along with multiple infiltrations into Israel by suspects who quickly retreated back into Gaza. This is nothing new. Israel has spent months defending their border with Gaza from hordes of violent Palestinians interspersed with Hamas terrorists. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said that it’s not Israel who is threatening the Palestinians—it’s their own leadership, including the supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority (PA). … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Calls for More Funds for Israel’s Defense Per ‘2030’ Security Review

August 15, 2018 News

Israel’s security needs money to fight Iran. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up piece of Iranian UAV in February. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben Gershom GPO

Israel’s defense budget will need to grow over the next decade to address the wide range of threats facing the nation—including funding missile defense—as part of their “2030 security concept” announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. The security review considers the upcoming expected threats and as a result of those dangers calls for a larger budget for Israel’s defense. Netanyahu, according to a press release from his office, plans to increase Israel’s security budget by 0.2-0.3% of Israel’s overall economic output, or Gross National Product (GNP), with the goal for the budget to eventually average 6% of GNP.

Israel would have multiple plans for spending the monies, including “Major power-level cyber capabilities”, enhanced offensive abilities to take the fight to the enemy and improving anti-missile defense.

“In the last 20 years we have cultivated a free economy in order to serve national needs, especially security,” said Netanyahu in the press release. “Against the accumulated threats we are at a turning point. Today we are called upon to invest more in security in order to defend our achievements and ensure continued economic growth.” Those upgrades come as Iran is again making headlines for military plans of their own to beat missile defense systems. … Continue Reading

Know the News and how it impacts You

Stay informed! Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow The Mideast Update on Twitter

Like The Mideast Update on Facebook

Categories