Iran Regime Claims Unrest Defeated, But Unjustified Imprisonment May Continue Protests

The most powerful security force in Iran and a close ally of the regime has claimed that the Iranian uprising has been crushed, but media reports and Twitter are implying that hasn’t happened yet. A reason for the latest outcry in Iran is due to the hundreds of people imprisoned …

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 …

US to UN: Drone Incursion to Israel ‘Wake-up Call’ that Iran Plans to Stay in Syria

The Iranian drone that violated Israeli airspace last week was more than just an escalation—it’s a sign that peace in Syria is a ways away according to the United States and regional conflict may be here to stay. Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, warned the powerful …

Investigation: Turkey Turns ‘Blind Eye’—Sometimes Encourages—Hamas Illicit Activity

A Turkish citizen arrested in Israel for working with Hamas has helped unleash an investigation that led to accusations on Monday that Turkey has been ignoring—and at times enabling—Hamas fundraising and militaristic activity and has even indirectly allowed the terror group opportunity to research weapons for fighting Israel. The delve …

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Syrian Regime Again Found Using Chemical Weapons—and More May Yet Be Uncovered

November 8, 2017 News

Will the UN be silent on Syrian crimes? UN Press Conference Area. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Syrian Bashar al-Assad regime attacked a town in its own country with the chemical weapon sarin in April, an investigative team commissioned by the United Nations announced last month. On Tuesday, the top foreign diplomats of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany condemned the regime’s actions and suggested it could be guilty of more sarin attacks in that nation’s brutal civil war. The quartet of officials also called for the UN Security Council and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to respond appropriately.

“The Syrian regime violated international law, including the Chemical Weapons Convention,” said the joint statement released by the State Department. “We condemn this heinous act and demand that the Syrian regime immediately cease any and all use of chemical weapons and finally declare to the OPCW all chemical weapons that it possesses.”

Previously, Syria had pledged to remove its chemical weapons, but the joint investigation between the UN and the OPCW instead found that the regime used sarin in the town of Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017. Furthermore, the diplomats’ statement said that the OPCW believes another sarin attack in a separate village “more than likely” occurred just a week earlier. Said Tuesday’s statement, “The attack it describes bears the hallmarks of the Syrian Regime.” … Continue Reading

Israel Threatens to Enter Syrian Civil War to Defend Arab Village from Jihadists

November 5, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Syria’s civil war is straying into Israel, again. Israeli signpost showing distance between Israel, Syria in Golan Heights. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The Israelis on Friday threatened to intervene militarily in Syria to defend an Arab Druze village near the Israeli border, which is under assault by the jihadist Nusra Front. The Druze ethnic group counts villages in Israel, Syria, and Lebanon as home territory, with Israel having a special relationship with the minority community that includes Druze members of the IDF.

Haaretz reported that after intense fighting in the Syrian village of Hader, roughly two miles (three kilometers) from the Israeli border, the IDF issued a statement saying, “The IDF is prepared and ready to help the villagers and prevent damage or occupation of the village out of a commitment to the Druze population.” According to an assessment in the Haaretz report, if Israeli needs to get involved in the conflict, it would involve air force strikes and artillery.

Fighting in Hader has already impacted Israel. The IDF Spokesperson posted to Twitter that “due to intense fighting in Hader, Syria, shots were fired at Israel. Israeli civilian injured. The IDF is following developments in the area.” … Continue Reading

Israel Labels Lebanese PM Resignation ‘Wake-up Call’ on Iranian Aggression

November 5, 2017 News

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

Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri stunned the world on Saturday by abruptly resigning his position, giving as his reason the Iranian interference in his country via the terrorist militia Hezbollah. Hariri, a long-time ally of Saudi Arabia, delivered his resignation speech from the Saudi capital of Riyadh, according to a report from the Lebanese news outlet The Daily Star. According to a translation of Hariri’s full address in the report, the resigning Prime Minister accused Hezbollah of being “the arm of Iran” and seeking to “kidnap Lebanon” from it’s place in the world and “its values and ideals.”

Hariri argued that Lebanon slid from its place once it was led by outside influences who “formed a government inside a government… Hezbollah has unfortunately managed to impose a fait accompli in Lebanon using the force of its weapons, which are alleged to be solely for the resistance.” Hariri’s resignation and condemnation of Iranian interference was upheld by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “a wake-up call to the international community to take action against the Iranian aggression that is trying to turn Syria into a second Lebanon.”

Said Netanyahu in comments released by his office, “This aggression endangers not only Israel but the entire Middle East. The international community needs to unite and confront this aggression.” … Continue Reading

Israel, Australia Expand Defense Cooperation, Face Common Enemy

October 30, 2017 News

PM Netanyahu and Australian PM Turnbull.
Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / Israeli GPO

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Trumbull came halfway around the world to visit Israel, but while there he noted the nations’ shared terror threat is very close to both homes. In comments with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, the Aussie leader said, “As we have discussed many times, we are all fighting together against militant Islamist terrorism. It is a threat to Israel, it is a threat to Australia, it is a threat to all who value and cherish freedom.”

The comments, published by Netanyahu’s office, were made as part of a visit by Turnbull to mark the 100th anniversary of the historic World War I battle for Be’er Sheva, in which a coalition including Australian soldiers defeated the Turks. But that wasn’t the only fight under consideration.

Turnbull noted the two leaders have “many things to discuss” including “more contemporary battles as well, but above all the strength of this relationship between Australia and Israel getting stronger every year.” That relationship and their joint ability to fight common battles actually went hand in hand, as cooperation in defense was an area strengthened during the visit. … Continue Reading

Refused Handshakes while Israeli Flag, Anthem Banned at Arab Judo Tourney

October 29, 2017 Peace and Conflict

The Israeli flag was banned at Judo tourney in UAE. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Israel’s flag and anthem were banned and multiple losing competitors from Muslim nations refused the customary handshake with their Israeli counterparts in a tournament in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but Israeli judo competitors were victorious anyway. The Independent reported that the organizers of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam judo tournament refused to play Israel’s national anthem or fly the Israeli flag, leaving Israeli victor Tal Flicker—the world’s top judo player in his weight class— to sing the anthem to himself.

The report noted that this is due to a ban in the UAE on Israeli symbols. The UAE is one of many Arab nations who do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Instead of the Israeli flag and anthem being honored, the International Judo Federation’s (IJF) flag was displayed and their anthem played instead. On Twitter, Israeli Prime Minister’s Office Arabic spokesman Ofir Gendelman praised the Israelis’ success there despite the controversy. “Israeli judokas won 5 medals in #JudoAbuDhabi2017. That’s the best response to those who banned the Israeli flag and anthem there,” tweeted Gendelman. … Continue Reading

US ‘Deeply Disturbed’ by UN Official Call for Israel Boycott

October 29, 2017 News

The United Nations is acting anti-Israel, again. United Nations Flag at Headquarters in New York. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Strong words signal strong feelings in diplomacy, and the United States last week reacted with a stern rebuke of a United Nations official’s comments after he suggested international sanctions against Israel over the Palestinian conflict would be effective. “The United States is deeply disturbed by recent comments from UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk calling for academic and economic boycotts against Israel, and by his report to the ‎UN General Assembly,” said a statement from the US Mission to the UN.

Lynk, in a report and in follow-up press comments, called last week for sanctions against the Jewish State to force a withdrawal from territory claimed by the Palestinians, according to The Times of Israel. The news report quoted Lynk, the UN Human Rights Council special rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories, as listing out multiple examples of such sanctions and claiming those would cause a “sea change… in the attitude of the Israeli government.”

Lynk’s comments come despite the reality that the Palestinians have generally refused to even negotiate peace with Israel for years, in addition to rejecting multiple Israeli peace offers in the past. The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has repeatedly criticized the UN for being one-sided and unfair in their treatment of Israel, and the statement from her office said the latest comments from Lynk were more of the same. … Continue Reading

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