Israel Strikes Weapons Storage Day after US Espouses Support of anti-Iran Action in Syria

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday last week provided American backing for Israel’s efforts to prevent Iran from setting up a new base of operations in Syria. One day later, Israeli warplanes struck weapons storage facilities belonging to Iran, including a target at an international airport in …

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 …

Netanyahu Tells Arabs that Iran Is Main Threat, To Talk with Putin to ‘Ensure Freedom of Action’ against Iran

It’s a busy season of diplomacy for Israel against Iran, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Poland last week for a conference with Arab and Western nations discussing the threat from Tehran, and this week he will be in Poland’s neighbor Russia to discuss how to keep combatting that …

Israeli Spacecraft Launching for the Moon This Week

Israel is set to become just the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon, as the satellite “Beresheet”—Hebrew for “Beginning”—is scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX rocket around the end of this week with its destination being the lunar surface. The spacecraft will carry a time capsule to …

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Denmark Accuses Iran of Plotting Attack in Europe, Talking ‘Actions’ in Response

October 31, 2018 News

Will the Europeans agree with Israel on Iran after attack plot in Denmark? PM Netanyahu and Federica Mogherini. Photo courtesy of: Avi Ohayon (GPO).

Denmark has accused an Iranian intelligence service of plotting to assassinate a political separatist in Denmark and arrested a man they claim was conducting reconnaissance for that plan. In response, Denmark is now talking with the European Union about taking steps against Iran in response, which the BBC said could include sanctions. The BBC report identified Iran’s target as a senior member of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA), a separatist organization that wants to carve out an Arab state in a region of Iran.

The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) posted in a report on their website that while the arrested man denies the charges, the Danes believe the plot was real. Said the PET report, “When PET now states that there is sufficient basis to conclude that an Iranian intelligence service has been planning the assassination of an individual living in Denmark, it is not only based on the case against the man in custody, but on comprehensive intelligence efforts.”

Meanwhile, the angst towards Iran has reached the highest levels of Denmark’s government. Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen posted to Twitter on Tuesday, “It is totally unacceptable that Iran or any other foreign state plans assassinations on Danish soil. Further actions against Iran will be discussed in the EU.” … Continue Reading

Palestinian Leader Briefed by Omani Leader on Israeli PM Visit, Peace Process

October 31, 2018 Peace and Conflict, Peace Process

Abbas met with Oman for update regarding peace process. PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Marco Castro

In another sign the recent visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the Arab nation of Oman could be a turning point in regional affairs, Omani leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said sent a letter addressing Netanyahu’s visit to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The letter was delivered in person on Wednesday by Oman’s Foreign Minister, Yousef bin Alawi, according to the Palestinian WAFA news agency.

The Oman News Agency reported that the letter provided an update on efforts on pursuing peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Notably, the Palestinian report said nothing about the peace process, with the Palestinians repeatedly rejecting out of hand a-yet-to-be-revealed peace plan by the Americans.

However, the Middle East region in general seems to approve of Netanyahu’s visit. Israeli Prime Minister spokesman Ofir Gendelman reposted on Twitter a poll in Arabic by RT Arabic—a Russian Arabic news group—showing noticeably positive feelings about the Israeli trip to Oman. Tweeted Gendelman, “There’s considerable Arab popular support for PM Netanyahu’s historic visit to Oman. In this online survey, 66% said the visit served ARAB interests. Over 49,000 people participated.” … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Sends Condolences after ‘the Worst Anti-Semitic Attack in US History’

October 28, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Following the horrific shooting attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a condolence message to the Jewish community in Pittsburgh that also expressed thanks for Israel’s friends as part of the fight against anti-Semitism. The Washington Post reported that 11 were killed and six wounded by a suspect Robert Bowers, who reportedly screamed anti-Semitic slurs during the attack and afterwards said he just wanted to “kill Jews.”

Netanyahu called the violence “the worst anti-Semitic attack in US history” and said that this is a “particularly heinous crime that we in Israel have unfortunately experienced as well.” Netanyahu wasn’t alone in Israel responding to the attack. Statements were released from the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, President Reuven Rivlin and others. The Israeli government cabinet meeting observed a minute of silence before Sunday’s meeting in memory of those killed, according to an Israeli press release on the meeting.

Said Netanyahu, whose letter was published by his office, “While these attacks are nothing new in the history of our people, what is new is our ability to fight back against the anti-Semites. Israel does that every day. But the Jewish people are also blessed to have many friends around the word who reject and fight anti-Semitism.” … Continue Reading

Netanyahu Defends Israeli Forces in Judea and Samaria: ‘We Keep the Peace’

October 24, 2018 Special Feature

PM Netanyahu & JFNA Chmn. Sandler at the JFNA GA. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / GPO

The Palestinian Authority (PA) publicly laments the presence of Israeli security forces in the Judea and Samaria region (the West Bank), but if the IDF hadn’t been there, PA President Mahmoud Abbas wouldn’t be with us either. “Couple of years ago we uncovered a plot of 100 Hamas to kill [Abbas]. Not kill him politically—kill him,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday. “So if we weren’t there, they’d not be there, which is exactly what happened when we left Gaza.”

Netanyahu, in comments to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) General Assembly published by his office, said he refuted a complaint from former US Vice President Joe Biden that a persistent Israeli security force in the Judea and Samaria region that would be part of a Palestinian state would prevent it from being a “fully independent state.” Netanyahu insists that Israel’s presence is necessary.

Netanyahu recalled his words to Biden at the time: “Okay, it is what it is. You can give it any name you want: state minus; autonomy plus; autonomy plus plus. Sounds like a rating agency or something. But that’s it—that’s the truth.” And the truth is clear in Gaza. … Continue Reading

US, Israel Working Together to Pressure Iran; American Sanctions Target Iranian Use of Child Soldiers

October 21, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu & US Secy. of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. Photo Courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO).

The top United States financial official visited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, and in a sign of the times, their first topic named by Netanyahu to the press was not economics; it was Iran. “This is what is going to occupy a great deal of our discussions today—how to stop Iran’s dual aggression: Its quest for a nuclear arsenal and its quest for a conventional arsenal and its plans of conquest in the Middle East,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office during a meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

As head of the US Treasury, Mnuchin is key to enforcing US sanctions on Iran, which are ramping up even more in November when oil restrictions go back into effect. And those aren’t the only increase in sanctions. Additional moves were announced last week by the US after they discovered who is paying for an Iranian militia to use child soldiers.

The major US sanctions on oil follow the decision by US President Donald Trump to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Netanyahu noted that the sanctions relief and economic benefits from the JCPOA—totaling hundreds of billions of dollars—only fueled Iran’s aggression in the region to “unbelievable heights.” … Continue Reading

US Says Hamas Must Change, While Israel Notes 1000s of Animals Killed by Gaza Arson

October 21, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Hamas has been harming Israelis for a long time. Illustrative results of Gaza rocket attack. Photo Courtesy of IDF Spokesperson.

The main United States negotiator for Middle East peace called for Hamas to change it’s ways and recognize Israel in an Op-Ed on Friday, and one day later, another attack by Gaza terrorists had Israel noting that arson and explosive attacks had killed thousands of animals in addition to property damage. Jason Greenblatt, an assistant to US President Donald Trump and US Special Representative for International Negotiations, wrote in The Jerusalem Post last week an entire piece talking about the crisis in Gaza and what Hamas must do to improve the lives of their citizens. The op-ed was a response to an interview done by Hamas political leader Yahya Sinwar calling for the betterment of the lives of Gazans and noting that war is not the ultimate answer.

Aside from the obvious of renouncing terrorism, Greenblatt called for Hamas to recognize Israel, allow the Palestinian Authority to return to Gaza in a true political reconciliation, and accept the agreements the Palestinians have previously signed with Israel. The US envoy also hinted at human rights improvements to change the corruption and suppression Hamas employs in Gaza today.

Greenblatt noted that the outcome in Gaza is up to Hamas, and one day after the American’s editorial, a fuller picture of Hamas’ violence against Israel was tweeted out by the IDF following yet another attack. … Continue Reading

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