Poll Shows Almost 1-in-3 Jews Considered Leaving UK Due to Anti-Semitism

First the good news: In each of the last two years, anti-Semitism has dropped among British adults from the previous year according to a poll published by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA). But the bad news is that 32%—nearly one-third—of Jews polled in 2107 said they considered leaving the United …

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 …

President Assad Boasts of ‘Foiling’ Western Plots against Syria

Embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is feeling confident these days—at least publicly—as he boasted on Sunday that his country “managed to foil the Western project” in that country’s civil war. Assad was further quoted by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) as claiming in a speech there was a …

Netanyahu Prepped to Talk Syria with Putin in Russia This Week

With Israel reportedly in the skies over Syria striking weapons bound for terrorists and Russia in the same skies defending the Syrian regime in that country’s civil war, coordination has been key to avoid tragic wartime mistakes. And that’s not the only reason why the top leaders of Israel and …

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Trump Stops US Embassy Move to Jerusalem, For Now

June 1, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Trump disappoints Israel with embassy decision. U.S. President Donald Trump (left) meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right). Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

Like the three American Presidents before him, Donald Trump formally signed off on a stay that will prevent the United States Embassy to Israel from moving to Jerusalem, in contradiction to repeated promises from President Trump. However, a statement posted on Thursday to the White House website noted that the promise still lingers. “As he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when,” said the Presidential statement.

As provided for under the U.S. law governing the embassy location, national security interests were cited by President Trump as a reason for the decision, although he also went into some additional detail. “President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests,” said the White House statement, which gave no timetable or circumstance for when the embassy move might happen. Regardless of whether it’s a permanent no or just a delay, Israel was disappointed by the decision. … Continue Reading

Palestinians Apoplectic over Israeli Plans for Cable Car to Western Wall

May 29, 2017 News

The Western Wall in Jerusalem. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Western Wall is central to Judaism today as the holiest site for regular religious observance, but when Israel announced plans to build a cable car there and add elevators and tunnels to link it to the Jewish Quarter in the Old City, the Palestinian response was outrage.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry issued a statement that “condemned” the plans and—according to a report by the WAFA Palestinian news agency—didn’t even refer to it as the Western Wall, but as the Al-Buraq wall, the Islamic name for the location that discounts any Jewish connection to the site. And last but not least, the Palestinians called upon the powerful United Nations Security Council to stop Israel from carrying out a collection plans for Jerusalem, including the cable car. … Continue Reading

Norway, UN Condemn Palestinian Naming of Women Center after Terrorist

May 28, 2017 Peace and Conflict

The Palestinians promotion of terror continues—but Norway won’t pay for it. Illustrative banner of terrorists and Dome of the Rock. By Joshua Spurlock

The Israelis have long been pointing out to the world that the Palestinians keep honoring terrorists by naming facilities after them. And last week, when Norway found out their funding of a Palestinian women’s center had been named after terrorist Dalal Mughrabi—who participated in the murder of 37 Israelis, including 12 children—they not only expressed their dismay. They demanded their money back.

“We have asked for the logo of the Norwegian representation office to be removed from the building immediately, and for the funding that has been allocated to the center to be repaid,” Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende was quoted as saying in a report on the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. “We will not enter into any new agreements with either the Palestinian Election Commission or UN Women in Palestinian areas until satisfactory procedures are in place to ensure that nothing of this nature happens again.” Israel said other nations should do as Norway did. … Continue Reading

Israel Hosts United Nations to Boost Doctor Participation in Global Efforts

May 23, 2017 News

United Nations Flag at Headquarters in New York. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The United Nations hasn’t been particularly friendly towards Israel in recent years, but that doesn’t mean the international organization doesn’t still want and need Israeli assistance. Toward that end, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) hosted last week a seminar with the U.N. Medical Services Division and Human Resources, and more than 100 Israeli medical professionals, to discuss U.N. medical services and employment opportunities.

A press statement on the seminar posted to the MFA website said the event, which was done with the participation of the Israeli Ministry of Health, was “aimed at encouraging the participation of Israeli doctors in U.N. medical activities.” Dr. Jillian Farmer, Head of the U.N. Medical Services Division, and Steve Damond-Fagota, a senior officer of the U.N. Human Resources Department, made the presentation. Said the MFA press release, “This is another expression of Israel’s integration into the positive global agenda and the interest shown by the U.N. in recruiting Israelis into its ranks.” … Continue Reading

‘Ways to Advance Peace’ on Agenda for ‘Historic’ Trump Visit to Israel

May 21, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Historic visit this week as U.S. President Donald Trump (left) meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right). Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

United States President Donald Trump’s first presidential trip outside the U.S. will continue from Saudi Arabia to Israel on Monday, and the Middle East peace process is fully expected to be on his agenda. Trump is set to visit Jerusalem and meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the trip “historic” in comments from his office on Sunday. “This is President Trump’s first visit outside the U.S., and the honor is ours that he has chosen to come to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, and—of course—to the State of Israel,” said Netanyahu.

“I will discuss with President Trump ways to strengthen even further the first and strongest alliance with the US. We will strengthen security ties, which are strengthening daily, and we will also discuss ways to advance peace.” That last point has gotten a lot of attention in recent months as Trump has met with Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the U.S. and discussed the dormant peace process between the sides. Trump’s last host on his journey—the Saudi government—is willing to work with the American leader on this goal. … Continue Reading

Saudis Want ‘Deeds, not Words’ after President Rouhani Reelected in Iran

May 21, 2017 News

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

Hassan Rouhani, the technically more moderate candidate running for president in Iran, was reelected last week in Iran—but at this point there is more hope than expectation that Rouhani will coax Iran into the good graces of the global community. Given that the dictatorial Ayatollah leadership holds the real power in Iran and Rouhani’s first term was marred by sponsored terrorism, troubling missile tests, and ongoing military interference in Yemen and Syria, the rival Saudi Arabian government was quick to say they will judge Rouhani by what Iran does—not what is said.

“We welcome an Iran that’s open to the world. We welcome an Iran that lives at peace with its neighbors. We welcome an Iran that doesn’t interfere in the affairs of other countries. But this is not the Iran we see,” said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir in a Saturday press briefing with United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that was published by the U.S. State Department.

“So when you come back to your question of what do we think about the reelection of Rouhani, we want to see deeds, not words. And we will continue to judge Iran based on its deeds, and we will continue to base our policy vis-a-vis Iran based on Iran’s deeds.”­ For his part, Tillerson expressed hope that Iran would change, but refused to comment on his expectations. … Continue Reading

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