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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Trump Says May ‘Put Out Pieces’ of Peace Plan before Israeli Elections

August 19, 2019 News, Peace Process

US President Donald Trump may publish peace plan details soon. Illustrative photo, edited for size. Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead.

The long-awaited “Deal of the Century” peace proposal from the Trump Administration may soon be unveiled—at least parts of it, anyway. United States President Donald Trump on Sunday clarified that he intends to wait on presenting his full Middle East peace plan until after the upcoming Israeli elections, but some details may get shared ahead of the September 17 vote.

“I probably will wait, but we may put out pieces of it,” said Trump of his peace plan in comments to reporters posted to the White House website. “We have some very talented people—as you know, our great ambassador [David Friedman] and others. We have some very talented people. But that’s probably the toughest deal of all— peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians—because they’ve been decades of hate. And it’s tough to make a deal when there’s that much hate.”

The supposedly moderate government heading the Palestinian Authority (PA) has so far turned that hatred towards the Americans by repeatedly disparaging and rejecting the US plan even before seeing what’s in it. However, Trump doesn’t believe his administration’s policies towards the Palestinians—such as withholding funding—are the problem. Rather, he thinks they can be part of the solution. … Continue Reading

Gaza Attacks Israel Again, Netanyahu Warns Elections Won’t Prevent ‘Wide-Ranging Campaign’

August 18, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Is another conflict in Gaza coming? Israeli tank. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

After rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza on back-to-back nights over the weekend and terrorists tried to infiltrate Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday they would do what was necessary to defend Israel in spite of upcoming elections—even a “wide-ranging” military campaign in Gaza. “I have heard talk to the effect that I have refrained from embarking on a wide-ranging operation based on electoral considerations. This is incorrect,” said the Israeli leader in comments released by his office. “…If it proves necessary, we will embark on a wide-ranging campaign regardless of the elections. With or without the elections, we will do what is necessary for the security of Israel.”

Netanyahu’s comments included congratulations to the IDF for taking down five Gaza terrorists the IDF Twitter feed said were “attempting to infiltrate” Israel. The Tweet on Sunday said that the previous night, the IDF soldiers monitoring the security fence with Gaza spotted the terrorists armed with rifles. In roughly 30 seconds, “our troops had already arrived at the scene in order to stop the terrorists,” said the post. … Continue Reading

Trump Calls Lawmaker’s Canceled Israel Trip to Visit Grandmother ‘A Complete Setup’

August 18, 2019 News, Peace Process

On second thought, Rep. Rashida Tlaib decided not to visit her grandmother in Israel. But why did she change her mind? Rep. Tlaib. Image from tlaib.house.gov.

After Israel granted United States Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib permission to visit her 90-year-old grandmother, the US lawmaker rescinded the request due to Israel conditioning the visit that she not use it to promote anti-Israel bocyotts. In response, US President Donald Trump accused Tlaib on Twitter of using her elderly family member in an anti-Israel ruse.

“Rep. Tlaib wrote a letter to Israeli officials desperately wanting to visit her grandmother. Permission was quickly granted, whereupon Tlaib obnoxiously turned the approval down, a complete setup,” tweeted Trump on Friday. Previously, the American leader had speculated on the situation, noting on Twitter that “Israel was very respectful & nice to Rep. Rashida Tlaib, allowing her permission to visit her ‘grandmother.’ As soon as she was granted permission, she grandstanded & loudly proclaimed she would not visit Israel. Could this possibly have been a setup? Israel acted appropriately!”

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified the decision to deny Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar was based strictly on their promotion of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, not their political party. “We respect all members of Congress. Our directive is to facilitate, on a regular and automatic basis, the entry of all members of Congress, Democratic and Republican,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “…There is only one exception and it is the BDS law that obligates us to evaluate the entry of people who support BDS.” … Continue Reading

Israel Honors Security Agency that Helped Nab Teen Killers, Stop Hundreds of Attacks

August 12, 2019 News

President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu at ceremony for ISA outstanding employees, Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (Israeli GPO)

The Israel Security Agency (ISA) recently made the news for their role in apprehending two suspects believed to have murdered 18-year-old Dvir Sorek in a stabbing terror attack. But behind the scenes, they’ve been responsible for preventing hundreds of other terror attacks from even taking place. “You caught Dvir’s murderer within 48 hours,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday at an award ceremony for ISA employees. “…You work night and day for the well-being of our citizens. In the past year, you thwarted over 600 terrorist attacks. This was a counter-terrorist action of immense scope. We are doing everything to cut off terrorism at its outset.”

Netanyahu, whose comments were published by his office, thanked the ISA for their role in catching Sorek and noted he had “great confidence” Israel was going to catch the teen killers. “This is what you have done in recent years; all murderers, without exception, have been apprehended,” said Netanyahu to the ISA award winners. “In every case in which vicious murderers have cut down innocent Israeli lives, it has not taken much time for us to find them.” … Continue Reading

Pompeo Slams Iranian Leader as ‘Sick’ for ‘Call for Violence’ against Israel

August 11, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu & US Secy. of State Pompeo. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of: Haim Zach / Israeli GPO

Iranian threats against Israel are a disturbing trend, but the timing of the latest rant from Iran’s leader drew stern condemnation from United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In a message delivered by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and posted to his website on August 10, the Iranian dictator called Israel’s government “child killers” and praised Palestinians for being “on the battlefields more enthusiastic, and braver than yesterday. But the ultimate outcome requires assistance from all Muslims.”

While Khemenei’s words were in honor of the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, it’s timing also aligned with the saddest day of the Jewish calendar marking the destruction of both temples and other tragedies. That caught Pompeo’s attention.

As part of a series of Twitter posts, Pompeo said, “It’s sick that on the eve of #TishaBAv—a solemn day for the Jewish people—@khamenei_ir calls for violence against the Jewish state.”

Pompeo followed up in another Tweet to say, “@khamenei_ir doesn’t see ‘progress’ as prosperity for the Palestinian people, but Palestinian terrorists switching from rocks to rockets to kill more Jews. The Iranian people don’t want this; they deserve leadership behaviors that reflect their greatness.” … Continue Reading

Terror Foiled: Israel Arrests Teen’s Killers, Stops Gaza Attacks

August 11, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Israeli soldiers were busy over the weekend. Israeli Soldiers. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

It was an intense start to the weekend in Israel, as security forces apprehended the terrorists believed to be behind the terror stabbing of 18-year-old Dvir Sorek and shut down an attempted attack at the Gaza border—twice—in just two days. On Saturday, a group of four terrorists from Gaza sought to cross the border with Israel carrying AK-47 rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and grenades, according to posts on the IDF Twitter page. The IDF tweeted that “once one of the terrorists crossed into Israel, our troops opened fire. The terrorists were neutralized.” The tweet also noted that one grenade was thrown by the terrorists.

A follow-up tweet showed a range of weapons, noting that “these are the weapons possessed by the terrorists who attempted to infiltrate into Israel from Gaza last night. Their (unfulfilled) objective: murdering Israelis.” A separate tweet saluted the female border-monitoring soldier, given the alias “Sargent Y”, noting she “spotted 4 armed terrorists on their way to carry out a brutal terror attack in Israel. Because of her they were stopped. And innocent lives were saved.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments released by his office on Saturday night, commended “the IDF unit that acted quickly and efficiently on the border with Gaza and prevented a terrorist infiltration of our territory.”

He continued, “Hamas is responsible for all aggression emanating from the whole of Gaza. Israel will continue to act to thwart infiltrations of its territory and attacks on our citizens.” … Continue Reading

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