Israel Still Aiding Wounded Syrians, Turning Them from ‘Enemies to Friends’

Israel and Syria have been mortal enemies since Syria attacked the newly reborn State of Israel almost 70 years ago. But that hasn’t impacted Israel’s ongoing work to help Syrians wounded in that nation’s civil war—and it may even offer hope for peace. It certainly isn’t stopping, even as violence …

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 Strikes Syrian Military in Response to ‘Spillover’ Fire, Twice

Multiple Syrian projectiles hit Israeli territory on Saturday and the Israelis were very clear that such “spillover” from the Syrian civil war is unacceptable, as the Israeli military took the strong response of publicly targeting the Syrian military directly. Then it happened again the next day. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter …

Israeli Security Forces Arrest Citizen Muhammad Azzam for Planning to Join ISIS

The resident of an Israeli Arab town was arrested earlier this month for contact with ISIS, also known as the Islamic State (IS), and for making plans to join the brutal terrorist organization. Muhammad Azzam, an Israeli citizen from Kfar Manda, was arrested on June 6 in a joint operation …

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All 100 US Senators Tell United Nations Anti-Israel Bias ‘Must Change’

April 30, 2017 News

U.S. Congress responds to anti-Israel bias at the U.N. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Getting the entire United States Senate to agree on anything is a challenge, given that it is comprised of bitterly divided political parties. A recent letter to the United Nations from all 100 U.S. Senators acknowledged this reality, but then said, “We are united in our desire to see the United Nations improve its treatment of Israel and to eliminate anti-Semitism in all its forms.” The Washington Post reported that the full 100 member Senate signed the letter to U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, a copy of which was obtained by newspaper and also posted to the website of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.

“Too often, the U.N. is exploited as a vehicle for targeting Israel rather than as a forum committed to advancing the lofty goals of its founders. These actions have at times reinforced the broader scourge of anti-Semitism, and distracted certain U.N. entities from their original missions,” said the letter. “…Through words and actions, we urge you to ensure that Israel is treated neither better nor worse than any other U.N. member in good standing.” … Continue Reading

Media Tour ‘Alarming Proof’ of Hezbollah Cooperation with Lebanon Military

April 30, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon are a close threat to Israel. Sign showing the distance between Jerusalem and Lebanese capital city. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

For years, the Israelis have been warning of Hezbollah violations of the United Nations Security Council resolutions that prohibit Hezbollah military buildup in the border region with Israel. Israel not only has evidence this occurring—Hezbollah invited the media to witness it. Furthermore, the supposedly moderate Lebanese Armed Forces was fully aware of it. In response, Israeli ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon issued a strong letter on April 25 to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres reiterating their concerns.

As noted in the letter, during the journalists’ tour by Hezbollah along the demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel, the media took photos of “Hezbollah fighters in full military regalia stationed along the route, holding guns and RPG launchers.” And after the tour, the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon noted that they were given last minute warning by the Lebanese army. “This announcement clearly indicates that the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) was aware of Hezbollah’s intention to conduct this tour in advance and serves as alarming proof of the growing cooperation between Hezbollah and the LAF,” Danon wrote in the letter, which was posted to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. … Continue Reading

Second Thoughts? Trump Orders Review of Iran Nuke Deal

April 26, 2017 News

Could the US end up battling Iran at sea? US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jordan Crouch/Released.

United States President Donald Trump has long said that the Iran nuclear agreement, which involved the major world powers and included the U.S., was a “bad deal.” He hasn’t been as clear about the possibility that he could pull the U.S. out of the deal… until now. Recently, following a Congressional review of Iran’s commitment to their side of the deal—known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—Trump ordered an interagency review of the deal that opens the door to its repeal.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in comments to Congress summarized on the State Department website, “raised concerns about Iran’s role as a state sponsor of terrorism and alerted Congress to an effort directed by the President to evaluate whether continuing to lift sanctions would be in U.S. national security interests.” Once the review is done, Trump’s Administration “looks forward to working with Congress on this issue,” noted Tillerson’s letter to Congress. Roughly a week after the comment, Iran got too close for comfort to an American warship in the Persian Gulf. … Continue Reading

Palestinian Authority to Give British Student Killer Salary as Light Shown on Payments

April 23, 2017 Peace and Conflict

The Palestinians aren’t just praising militants—they’re paying them too. Illustrative banner of terrorists and Dome of the Rock. By Joshua Spurlock

The terrorist who murdered British student Hannah Bladon on the light rail in Jerusalem on Good Friday is slated to receive $1000 per month from the Palestinian Authority (P.A.), reported the Daily Mail Online’s Mail on Sunday. The Daily Mail article quoted Itamar Marcus, the Director of watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch, as saying that Jamil Tamimi’s arrest and designation as a terrorist by Israel puts Tamimi or his family on the Palestinian government’s list to receive a monthly salary from the P.A.

Marcus said this is due to a P.A. law that provides for such payments to those who are put into prison for “resisting the occupation”—a phrase used by Palestinians that includes acts of terrorism. Israeli Prime Minister ‘s Office spokesman Ofir Gendelman had previously highlighted this tragic reality shortly after the attack in a Twitter post, noting that the P.A. will “REWARD the Palestinian attacker who did it w/ a monthly salary.” Over the weekend, Gendelman tweeted a graph showing the increase in payments corresponding to the amount of Israeli prison time—which actually ends up paying more for the worst of the terrorists. “The P.A. pays to terrorists who serve sentences in Israeli jails $350 to $3000+ a month. The more Israelis they’ve killed, the more they get,” Gendelman posted to Twitter. … Continue Reading

Israel, US Agree Iran and Terrorists Are Two Key Middle East Threats

April 23, 2017 News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis in Jerusalem. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben Gershom – GPO

United States policy in the Middle East has changed with the new Trump Administration, and Israel believes it’s for the better. That they agree on the two greatest threats to the region helps too. U.S. Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis visited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend and pointed to Iran and terrorists such as ISIS as two key dangers in the region. Those strong words from Mattis, similar ones from President Donald Trump, and the recent American missile strike on Syria in response to chemical weapons used the regime in that nation’s civil war haven’t been missed by Israel.

“We sense a great change in the direction of American policy,” said Netanyahu in comments with Mattis released by his office. “…This has been appreciated around the world and in our region. I think this is a welcome change, a strategic change of American leadership and American policy.” Mattis made it clear that the two regional threats of Iran and ISIS aren’t risks to Israel alone. … Continue Reading

Wondering How to Stop ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorism? PM Says ‘Come to Israel’

April 20, 2017 News

PM Netyanyahu and ISA Director Nadav Argaman. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / GPO

The same day a gunman killed a police officer in the heart of Paris in an apparent terror attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered a solution to nations wondering how to stop the growing plague of solitary terrorists. He pointed to the efforts of the Israel Security Agency. “I must tell you that the entire world is impressed because this problem has already spread to many countries,” said Netanyahu on Thursday in comments from his office. “You ask, ‘How is it possible to deal with lone attackers who are incited by the same forces?’ And you tell them, ‘Come to Israel.’”

Netanyahu praised the actions of the ISA—not all of which is public—that have helped the Jewish State limit the impact of a surge in what some call “lone wolf” terror attacks over the last couple years. “We know, I know and, to a certain degree, the public knows your contribution in lowering the attack curve, in providing security, and in giving and saving life,” said the Israeli leader during a visit with the ISA. “This is only a small part of what you do, which entails considerable innovation.” … Continue Reading

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