US Ambassador Slams Iran for Religious Rights Abuses against Christians, Other Minorities

The Islamic Republic of Iran is not known for being open to religious minorities, and United States Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback highlighted some of the egregious Iranian offenses in a recent speech. Christians, Baha’is and even Sunni Muslims have faced religious persecution from Iranian authorities. …

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 …

Iran Will Exceed Fuel Limits in Nuclear Deal Later This Month

Following the Iranian decision to withdraw from some of the limitations under their nuclear deal with world powers, the Islamic Republic’s nuclear fuel supply has increased to the point that they will exceed the limits on nuclear fuel storage under the atomic agreement on June 27. Iran’s Fars News Agency …

Israel Approves Town of ‘Trump Heights’ in Golan in Honor of US President

United States President Donald Trump made history earlier this year by recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the strategic Golan Heights region at Israel’s northern border, and on Sunday, Israel made history in return by naming a town for a US President for the first time in 70 years. Ramat Trump, or …

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Romania Announces Plan to Move Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem—And Then Recants

March 24, 2019 News

Jerusalem is the historical and current capital of Israel. Illustrative. Israeli flag at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. By Joshua Spurlock

Another nation on Sunday announced plans to move their embassy to Israel to the capital of Jerusalem—Romania—and then backed off that promise on the same day in high profile government disagreement. The eastern European nation currently holds the Presidency in the Council of the European Union, and on Sunday, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă told the pro-Israel AIPAC conference in the United States they were making the embassy change.

“I am pleased to announce today to the AIPAC audience that after the conclusion of the analysis by all the constitutional actors involved in the decision-making process in my country and, in full consensus, I as the Prime Minister of Romania and the Government that I lead move the Romanian Embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel,” Dăncilă announced, according to a transcript of her comments posted to the Romanian Prime Minister’s Office website and translated by Google Translate.

But just hours after Dăncilă made her statement, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis flatly rejected that any such decision had been made and noted that he has the authority on any final decision on embassy moves, according to a report by Zaire.com and translated by Google Translate. President Iohannis went so far as to call Prime Minister Dăncilă of having “total ignorance in the field of foreign policy” while noting that the issue of moving the embassy to Jerusalem is still under government review.

But it wasn’t all bad news for Israel on Sunday.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Twitter to express his appreciation to Honduras for their decision to take a step towards having an embassy in Jerusalem.

“I thank my friend, the President of Honduras, Juan Hernandez, for his announcement regarding the immediate opening of a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem that will deal with trade, as a first step towards transferring the embassy of Honduras to Jerusalem,” Netanyahu tweeted.
… Continue Reading

US Sanctions Iran Nuclear Group after Threat ‘Highlighted’ by Israeli Intelligence

Israel and the US are working hard to counter Iran’s nuclear threat. Illustrative photo of Netanyahu discussing Iran’s “secret nuclear files”. Photo courtesy of: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

The United States last week levied sanctions on a total of 31 persons and entities for their connections to an Iranian group believed to be a threat capable of re-launching Iran’s nuclear weapons program when the timing was right—and Israeli spycraft helped showcase that risk. The sanctions target those affiliated with Iran’s Organization for Defense Innovation and Research, known in Farsi by the acronym “SPND.” That entity, according to a background briefing from two US Senior Administration Officials published by the State Department, is headed by the founder of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, and controls groups specializing in radiation, explosives, and missiles.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments released from his office on Saturday, congratulated US President Donald Trump and other key figures in the US Administration for the sanctions moves, which his office said came in the “wake” of Israel unveiling an Iranian nuclear program archive in 2018.

“Iran continues to deceive the international community and lie to the world about its military nuclear program,” said Netanyahu. “The Iranian regime continues to conceal its capabilities and to strive for nuclear weapons. Iran endangers the peace of the Middle East and the entire world and must be blocked.” … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Promises Biblical Response to Terrorism

March 18, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu with Israeli soldiers. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (Israeli GPO).

In the wake of a Palestinian terror spree that murdered a19-year-old Israeli soldier and a rabbi father of 12, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear on Monday that the violence would not defeat the Jewish people.” These terrorists will not uproot us from here; the complete opposite will happen. Our response is simple—‘the more they afflict them, the more they multiplied and spread,’” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office, quoting from Exodus 1:12 in the Bible. The comments were timely, as next month is the holiday of Passover, which marks the exodus from Egypt.

The Israeli leader also said that he had given the orders to demolish the home of the terrorist who launched the attack that killed IDF Sgt. Gal Keidan and Rabbi Achiad Ettinger and that “preparations” for that response had begun. He noted that having identified the terrorist, Israeli security forces were in “close pursuit” as of Monday.

“We know that we are in a constant struggle and this requires—of course—the deployment in the field that you see here, but in the end we will defeat the murderers,” said Netanyahu. ‘We will apprehend them. The arms of the security services reach all of these murderers. I want you to look at all of the incidents.” … Continue Reading

Israeli Soldier Killed, Others Wounded in Multi-Location Terror Attack

March 17, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Terror knife attack strikes again. Illustrative photo of knives. Photo courtesy of Israel Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority

It started with a knife and continued with a gun, as a Palestinian terrorist on Sunday stabbed and killed a 19-year-old Israeli soldier, stole his gun and continued the rampage by shooting at Israelis at a bus stop. Another soldier was wounded in the second attack. The IDF Twitter account recapped the day of terror, noting that after the stabbing occurred at Ariel junction and the Palestinian had stolen the gun, the terrorist opened fire at civilians there before heading off to the second location in a car.

The Twitter feed for Israeli paramedic group Magen David Adom initially reported three people were being treated with gunshot wounds, one in critical condition. A follow up tweet said two persons “severely wounded” were being transferred to the hospital.

The IDF Twitter feed reported that Staff Sgt. Gal Keidan was the soldier killed in the initial stage of violence. According to the IDF Twitter feed, the wounded soldier was taken for medical care, while the terrorist remained at large. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments released by his office on Sunday, expressed confidence the attacker would be found. … Continue Reading

Iran, Gas Pipeline on Agenda as US Sec State Pompeo Visits Israel

March 17, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu and US Secy. of State Mike Pompeo. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Avi Ohayon (Israeli GPO)

Iran and their terror proxy Hezbollah are expected to be key topics when United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Jerusalem and Lebanon later this week, as well as the potential for Israeli gas imports to Europe. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, previewing the pending Pompeo visit in comments released by Israel, said that the American diplomat would meet together with the Israeli premier and leaders of both Cyprus and Greece “to discuss the laying of a gas pipeline from Israel to Europe. This will bring vast revenue to state coffers that will be directed to the benefit of Israel’s citizens.”

The discussions between Pompeo and Israel are expected to also include Iran and “Iranian proxies,” according to a senior US State Department official, who spoke to reporters on background that was published in a press release by the State Department. Hezbollah is the primary Iranian proxy, and not surprisingly, a key topic for Pompeo when he visits Lebanon—the homebase for the terror group. Perhaps more surprisingly, the topics of natural resources in the region and Hezbollah are linked. … Continue Reading

Israel Exposes Terror Network in Syrian Golan Led by Hezbollah Killer of US Troops

March 13, 2019 News

Israel knows what Hezbollah is doing in Syria. PM Netanyahu in the north of Israel. Illustrative.
Photo courtesy of Haim Zach / Israeli GPO.

Just two days after a key United States legislator promised to push for American recognition of the Israeli Golan—citing Israel’s security in his comments—that rationale was highlighted as the IDF exposed a Hezbollah terror network operating on the Syrian side of the Golan next door to Israel. IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, in a video posted to the IDF Twitter page on Wednesday, noted that not only is Ali Musa Duqduq heading a network in Syria “aimed at striking Israel,” but he’s been an enemy of the US before too—killing their soldiers in Iraq.

“For American ears, he has history. He was responsible for the abduction and execution of five American servicemen in Iraq in 2007,” said Conricus in the video, noting that Daqduq served time in prison in Iraq before being released as part of a prisoner swap. The terror network includes Syrians, but is “masterminded by Hezbollah,” according to Conricus.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday pointed out Hezbollah is a terrorist proxy of Iran, which has sought to build a military foothold in Syria. “So I have a clear message for Iran and for Hezbollah: Israel knows what you’re doing; Israel knows where you’re doing it. What we’ve uncovered today is just the tip of the iceberg. We know a lot more,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. … Continue Reading

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