‘Moderate’ Palestinian Leaders Oppose UN Resolution Condemning Hamas Terror

The world is generally united against terrorism, but for some reason the supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership is opposed to the United Nations condemning Hamas terrorism against Israel. The WAFA Palestinian news agency quoted a spokesman of the Fatah political faction that heads the PA as saying they “totally …

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 …

Israel Warns Hezbollah, ‘Sees Lebanese Government as Responsible for Everything’

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin had a stern warning to not just the Hezbollah terrorist group, but to the Lebanese government that tolerates them, against the backdrop of Hezbollah’s terror tunnels into Israel. “Hezbollah’s offensive tunnels into Israeli territory are a clear violation of Israeli sovereignty. Hezbollah, which pretends to be …

Netanyahu Thanks Austrian Leader for Pushing to Define Anti-Zionism as Anti-Semitism

Two key leadership councils of the European Union have endorsed the call for member nations to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that includes denying the right of Jews to have their own nation, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday thanked Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for leading this effort. …

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US Closes Palestinian Office in Washington for Rejecting Peace Plan ‘They Haven’t Yet Seen’

September 11, 2018 Special Feature

The Palestinian office in Washington is no more. Illustrative photo of Palestinian event. By Joshua Spurlock

The Americans increased the pressure on the Palestinians for obstructing peace again on Monday, as the United States government closed the office of the General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington, D.C. The PLO is the official representative of the Palestinian government to the world and in peace negotiations with Israel, but lately, those peace efforts have been largely dormant. In a statement, the US State Department slammed the Palestinians’ rejectionism.

“The PLO has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” said spokesperson Heather Nauert in the press release. “To the contrary, PLO leadership has condemned a US peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the US government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise.”

The US decision to close the PLO office follows a recent determination to cancel funding of the United Nations refugee agency that focuses solely on Palestinians as the Palestinians continue to push back against US peace efforts. Israel has supported both US actions, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling the closure of the PLO office “the correct decision” in a statement on Tuesday. … Continue Reading

US Ambassador to Israel at 9-11 Memorial Confirms to Everyone US and Israel ‘Stand Together’

September 9, 2018 News

The JNF-KKL September 11 memorial in Israel. Photo Courtesy of the JNF-KKL.

The only memorial outside the United States that names all of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks is in Israel. In view of that, it’s not surprising that US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman highlighted the special bond between the countries at the recent annual ceremony marking 17 years since the attacks.

“In this beautiful plaza, at this inspiring location, we remind the families of those lost and we confirm to people everywhere, that we stand together—Americans and Israelis—and that together we continue to heal and to build, in a spirit of solidarity and commitment to the future,” said Friedman in comments published in a Jewish National Fund (JNF) press release. The memorial was held on September 6 due to 9/11 falling on the Biblical holiday of Rosh Hashanah (also known as the Jewish New Year) this year.

Friedman is a strong proponent of US-Israel ties and at a recent toast for Rosh Hashanah reiterated that sentiment. “This year, let us dedicate ourselves to building upon our great accomplishments, to making the US-Israel relationship even stronger, and to bringing peace, prosperity and security to the region,” said Friedman in a Twitter post recapping the Rosh Hashanah event. … Continue Reading

US Accuses Syrian Regime and Allies—Russia and Iran—of Refining ‘Playbook of Death’

September 9, 2018 Peace and Conflict

U.S. Ambassador the U.N. Nikki Haley. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Mission to the UN

The United States last week at the United Nations warned another regime-led offensive in Syria—this time against the province of Idlib—would “create generations of Syrians who will never forget” the brutality of the Syrian regime, and it’s not just the Syrians who are to blame. Russia and Iran also were slammed by US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley for being President Bashar al-Assad’s “enablers” in the atrocities in Syria.

Last Friday, Haley accused Assad and his allies of a “playbook” that involves surrounding a civilian area, making the “preposterous claim” that everyone there is a “terrorist” and then launching attacks “until the people no longer have food, clean water, or shelter.” Next on the attack list is Idlib, which Haley noted has 3 million people at risk in it, which she said are “99 percent innocent civilians.”

“It’s a playbook of death. The Assad regime has spent the last seven years refining it with Russia and Iran’s help,” said Haley in comments to the UN Security Council that were posted to the US Mission to the UN’s website. She further warned that it’s not just the Syrian people who would take note of the viciousness of the Assad regime, Russia and Iran. The Americans would too., while separately Israel has also expressed concern over Iran’s military presence in Syria. … Continue Reading

IDF Says Bombed 200 Iranian Targets in Syria, Warns Hezbollah Next War ‘Will Be the Last’

September 5, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Israeli aircraft fight back against terror from above. Illustrative image of F-35. Image courtesy of the US Department of Defense website. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

When Israel said it intended to prevent Iran from establishing a base in Syria, they meant it—striking more than 200 Iranian targets in Syria since 2017. The Times of Israel, citing senior IDF officials in a press briefing on Tuesday, reported that Israel hit the hundreds of targets—which included advanced weaponry and military bases—with 800 bombs and missiles.

One day earlier, Israeli military leveled an existential threat against Iran’s proxy terror group in Lebanon, Hezbollah. The head of the IDF Northern Command, Major General Yoel Strick, was quoted by the IDF Spokesperson Twitter feed in a series of tweets as saying of Hezbollah at the Channel 2 News conference, “We‘re aware of their financial situation and abilities. If they knew what we knew about them, they wouldn’t speak so confidently.”

He continued, “Their terrorist organization will feel our strength. I hope there‘ll be no war, but if there is, it‘ll be the last northern war.” … Continue Reading

Abbas Meets Egyptian Delegation to Discuss Palestinian Reconciliation with Hamas

September 2, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Can the Palestinians reunite with Egypt’s help? Illustrative photo of Palestinian event. By Joshua Spurlock

The Egyptians are working to fix the ongoing rift between the Hamas terrorist group that controls Gaza and the Palestinian Authority—led by President Mahmoud Abbas and controlling territory in Judea and Samaria (also known as the West Bank)—and to that end Abbas met with their delegation to talk on Saturday. The Palestinian governments in Gaza and the West Bank have been controlled by rival factions since 2007, when Hamas threw the PA out of Gaza in a violent coup. Since then, multiple attempts to reconcile the sides—considered by some to be a key step before the Palestinians can sign a lasting peace deal with Israel but what also could reintegrate a recognized terrorist group into the official Palestinian government—have faltered.

The latest effort by Egypt included a visit by members of the Egyptian General Intelligence with Abbas in his de facto capital of Ramallah, according to the WAFA Palestinian News Agency. The meeting and PA leader Abbas’ direct involvement comes just days after United States Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt slammed the PA for their lack of involvement in finding a solution for Gaza. The White House Special Representative for International Negotiations, in a State Department press release last week, told the PA to get involved in fixing Gaza or “others will fill that void.” Greenblatt also said the Donald Trump Administration “strongly supports” Egyptian efforts ‎to “help facilitate an agreement to restore calm in Gaza and bring about the conditions for the Palestinian Authority to fully assume its responsibilities in Gaza.” … Continue Reading

Israel Agrees as US Halts Funding for ‘Irredeemably Flawed’ Palestinian Refugee UN Group

September 2, 2018 Special Feature

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Yad Binyamin. Photo credit: Avi Ohayon (GPO)

Citing a failed model of operations and the failure of other nations to do their financial part, the United States on Friday announced they were cutting off all funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). US spokesperson Heather Nauert said UNRWA’s considering future generations of Palestinians eligible “refugees” from the 1948 and 1967 wars, instead of just the people who actually fled those wars more than half a century ago, played a role in the US decision to start looking for other ways to financially aid the Palestinians besides UNRWA.

“Beyond the budget gap itself and failure to mobilize adequate and appropriate burden sharing, the fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have marked UNRWA for years—tied to UNRWA’s endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries—is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years,” said Nauert in a press release from the State Department.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heartily agreed with the US decision, contrasting Israel’s handling of Jewish refugees who were absorbed into their country with the UNRWA situation. “They created a unique institution, 70 years ago, not to absorb the refugees but to perpetuate them,” said Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office. “Therefore the US has done a very important thing by halting the financing for the refugee perpetuation agency known as UNRWA. It is finally beginning to resolve the problem. The funds must be taken and used to genuinely help rehabilitate the refugees, the true number of which is much smaller than the number reported by UNRWA.” … Continue Reading

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