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 …

Netanyahu Says Deterrence Strengthened: Terrorists Know We Will Put Attackers ‘in the Crosshairs’

Just days after assassinating senior Islamic Jihad commander Abu al-Ata, and despite hundreds of rockets being fired by Islamic Jihad at Israel since then, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel’s action “changes the equation” vis-à-vis terrorists. “The arch-terrorists know that we can put them in the crosshairs and …

Israel Supports Italian Holocaust Survivor Who Received Hundreds of Death Threats

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 …

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Cautious Trump Says War with Iran Is Option after Saudi Strike

September 18, 2019 Peace and Conflict

US President Donald Trump is weighing his options on Iran. Illustrative photo, edited for size. Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead.

The United States is readying “very significant sanctions” on Iran after the latter launched a massive attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure, according to US President Donald Trump, who further noted his country has more options for a response than just sanctions. “There are many options. And there’s the ultimate option [of going to war], and there are options that are a lot less than that,” said Trump in comments on Wednesday posted to the White House website. “And we’ll see. We’re in a very powerful position.”

Trump, however, appeared to express caution on warfare in his comments to reporters, highlighting the war in Iraq that has dragged on far longer than the US originally envisioned. “There’s plenty of time to do some dastardly things,” said Trump. “It’s very easy to start. And we’ll see what happens… If we have to do something, we’ll do it without hesitation.”

Regardless of whether the US launches retaliatory strikes on Iran, stronger sanctions against the Islamic Republic are promised. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his support for that move in a statement on Wednesday. … Continue Reading

Trump, Netanyahu Plan to Discuss US-Israel ‘Mutual Defense Treaty’

September 15, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu with US President Trump. Photo courtesy of Israeli GPO

The United States and Israel could move towards arranging a mutual defense treaty linking the two countries, according to US President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed and comments from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Saturday, Trump tweeted in a pair of tweets, “I had a call today with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the possibility of moving forward with a Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and Israel, that would further anchor the tremendous alliance…. between our two countries. I look forward to continuing those discussions after the Israeli Elections when we meet at the United Nations later this month!”

Netanyahu thanked Trump on Twitter and then spoke further on the proposal on Sunday in comments released by his office. “We agreed to advance a historic defensive alliance between the US and Israel at our upcoming meeting at the UN General Assembly,” he declared.

“This is historic because it adds a powerful component of deterrence against our enemies, alongside maintaining the ability to act, and freedom of action, of our forces. On this we will always insist and it will always be in this defensive agreement just as it has entered into the other defensive agreements. This is a main component for coming generations to ensure our future.” … Continue Reading

Politicians Predict Impact of Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ Peace Plan on Israel

September 15, 2019 Peace and Conflict

What will the Trump peace plan look like? PM Netanyahu and US President Trump. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Avi Ohayon (GPO)

The long-awaited Middle East peace plan from United States President Donald Trump is not expected to be unveiled until after Tuesday’s Israeli election, but Israeli politicians are already making bold statements about details in the as-yet-unseen plan dubbed “The Deal of the Century.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments released by his office on Sunday, reiterated his pledge to extend Israeli sovereignty to the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, known as settlements.

He then went on to imply that was part of Trump’s vision. Said Netanyahu, “These things will come up in the plan of the century; it will come very fast after the elections.”

Meanwhile, a right-wing political rival to Netanyahu warned on Sunday that that positive prediction for Israel isn’t the whole story. Former Israeli minister of education Naftali Bennet, a candidate with the Yemina party running for Israel’s parliament (Knesset), posted to Facebook that the Trump plan would ultimately create “islands” of settlements in an “ocean of “Palestine”, according to a report in “The Times of Israel”. … Continue Reading

Arab Village Electrician Uncovers Ancient Artifacts, Helps Israel Preserve Them

September 11, 2019 Human Interest, News-Drash

Some ancient artifacts are discovered by accident. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Diego Barkan, Israel Antiquities Authority.

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 that last weekend inadvertently discovered artifacts dating back thousands of years. According to a press release from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), Yassin was just leaning against a mountain ridge when it partly crumbled and exposed pottery and a copper dagger blade that are believed to be 4,500 years old.

While finding the historically valuable items was surprisingly easy, Yassin’s next step to find them a safe home was not—but he chose to do the right thing anyway. “Ahmed showed good citizenship from the start by delivering the findings to the Antiquities Authority,” Nir Distelfeld of the Antiquities Theft Prevention Unit was quoted in the press release as saying. “He told me there were some who called him a dupe and a traitor in that he handed the artifacts over to the state [of Israel], but he chose to act as a law-abiding citizen.

“Ahmed realized that this was not his private property, but a legacy belonging to the general public and must reach the professional bodies responsible for antiquities.” … Continue Reading

Israel Exposes Site Where Iran ‘Conducted Experiments for Nuclear Weapons’

September 9, 2019 News

Illustrative photo of Netanyahu discussing Iran’s “secret nuclear files”. Photo courtesy of: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Israel has once again exposed Iranian nuclear secrets, this time unveiling a site Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday was where “Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons.” The publication of the previously covert site follows Israel’s uncovering of the Iranian nuclear archive that detailed efforts to develop nuclear weapons in the past, as well as a nuclear warehouse that proves Iran violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“Today, we reveal that yet another secret nuclear site was exposed in the archives that we brought from Tehran,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “In this site, Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons. This is the site near Abadeh, south of Isfahan. When Iran realized that we uncovered the site here’s what they did: they destroyed the site. They just wiped it out.

The Israeli premier continued with a warning to Iran’s leadership. “This is what I have to say to the tyrants of Tehran: Israel knows what you’re doing, Israel knows when you’re doing it and Israel knows where you’re doing it,” said Netanyahu. “We will continue to expose your lies. What we see is a consistent pattern of Iranian lies, deception and violations.” … Continue Reading

Gaza Violence Explodes—Literally—with Rockets, Drone Attack

September 8, 2019 Peace and Conflict

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

Just two weeks after Israel foiled an Iranian drone attack plot, Gaza terrorists launched their own drone attack and bombed an Israeli military vehicle on Saturday. In response, Israel struck multiple Hamas targets. The incident follows the firing of multiple rockets at Israel from Gaza on Friday, with a report from The Times of Israel that Egyptian mediators were in the Gaza Strip seeking to deescalate the situation.

IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus reported via Twitter on Saturday that Gaza terrorists “apparently tried to attack IDF soldiers with an IED dropped from a small drone flown over from Gaza. No injuries, slight damage to vehicle. Probably same type of drone used for photography.” In response, per posts to the IDF Twitter feed, Israel struck the terror squad “responsible for launching the drone” as well as “a number of Hamas targets, including offensive naval equipment and 2 military compounds in Gaza. We hold Hamas responsible.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments released by his office on Sunday, said of Israel’s counterstrikes, “We are acting vigorously against any attempt to harm our citizens and soldiers. Just like we showed again last night, we will not tolerate any attempted aggression against us and we will maintain the security of Israel.” … Continue Reading

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