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 …

Israel Holding Hamas Responsible as Gaza Attacks Continue

Following more rocket attacks from Gaza against Israel, the IDF hit back at Hamas in a counterstrike last Friday. Based on comments from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, expect that Israeli response to Gaza violence to continue as needed. “We are acting against Islamic Jihad, as it is …

Iraqi Protestors Challenging Iranian Influence Have ‘Clearly Made Iran Nervous’

Protests are making an impact in Iraq, and it’s not just the leaders in Baghdad that are feeling the pressure. Leaders in Iraq’s next-door neighbor and general bad influence Iran are taking notice too, as Iraqi protestors have opposed Tehran’s entanglement in their country. “Iraqis increasingly view Iran as having …

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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

Netanyahu Reiterates Plan to Annex Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria

September 2, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu in Elkana. Photo courtesy of Haim Zach (Israeli GPO)

With elections just weeks away in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing for Israeli sovereignty over all the Jewish communities in the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria. Those communities—also known as settlements—are located in the so-called West Bank, which is also claimed by the Palestinians. On Sunday, while in the settlement of Elkana, Netanyahu was quoted by a press release as saying, “This is the old, original home of the Jewish people and we will build more in Elkana. We will not uproot anyone here… and with G-d’s help we will apply Jewish sovereignty over all communities as part of the land of Israel and the State of Israel.”

Netanyahu also referred to a major community destroyed in the 2005 Gaza disengagement, in which Israel withdrew from multiple communities in the Gaza Strip in an effort to step towards peace with the Palestinians, saying, “There will be no more Gush Katif; there will be no more uprooting.”

The land-for-peace model has long claimed that Israel could surrender territory to the Palestinians in exchange for a peace accord. However, the 2005 Gaza disengagement and multiple rounds of negotiations with the Palestinians based on that premise have yet to yield peace—something Netanyahu highlighted in Sunday’s comments. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Implicitly Rebukes France for Iran Talks During Tense Days

September 1, 2019 News

The French and Israel aren’t on the same page when it comes to Iran talks, Israeli flags. Illustrative.

French President Emmanuel Macron called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday and the Israeli premier took the opportunity to tell the French leader his view on France’s efforts to engage Iran in new negotiations over their nuclear program and regional tensions: Now is not the time.

A press release from Netanyahu’s office said he told Macron that “the present—when Iran is stepping up its aggression in the region—is precisely the wrong time to talk with Iran.”

The Netanyahu-Macron phone call came after the French met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and speculated about future talks including the United States. Macron, in a press conference with US President Donald Trump published to the White House website, said last week that French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had met with Zarif and that “a roadmap has sort of been set, but nothing is absolutely set in stone. And we will have to move ahead together to find an outcome.” … Continue Reading

Hezbollah Launches Anti-Tank Missiles at Israel, IDF Responds

September 1, 2019 Peace and Conflict

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

Hezbollah on Sunday made good on their threats of revenge for alleged recent Israeli drone attacks, launching multiple anti-tank missiles at Israeli targets—including an ambulance. However, the IDF Twitter feed reported that no Israelis were injured by the attack, which also hit an IDF outpost. The post said the Israelis responded by firing back at the Hezbollah group responsible for the attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summed it up by stating in comments released by his office, “We were attacked with several anti-tank missiles. We responded with 100 shells and firing from the air by various means… At this time I have an important announcement: We have no casualties—not even a scratch.”

Netanyahu made it clear that the situation was fluid and more conflict could be coming. “We are consulting about the next steps. I have ordered that we be prepared for any scenario,” said Netanyahu. “We will decide on the next steps pending developments.”

IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus made sure to highlight who attacked whom first. In a Twitter post, he noted, “Chronology matters. First Hezbollah fired missiles at Israel, then we responded. Hezbollah just admitted they attacked Israel from Lebanon because we foiled a Quds Force attack a week ago from Syria,” referencing a failed Iranian drone attack. Conricus’ post later also alluded to how Hezbollah’s actions blatantly violate United Nations Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon war over a decade ago. … Continue Reading

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