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 …

Hamas Protests Targets Security Fence Again; Israel Takes Down Another Hamas Terror Tunnel

Over the weekend, Israel thwarted another Hamas terror tunnel stretching from Gaza to Israel that could have been used for attacks on Israeli civilians, while Gaza has continued the violence above ground in the now regular border rioting inspired by Hamas. The IDF Blog reported that the targeted terror tunnel …

Israel Celebrating 70th Birthday, Admired Around the World

The State of Israel kicked off their Independence Day marking 70 years as a modern nation on Wednesday night, and the country’s place in the world is only getting better according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “As I travel around the world meeting other leaders, I am struck by …

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Netanyahu Calls for Shuttering of Palestinian UN Agency, Backs Trump’s Critique

January 7, 2018 News

U.S. President Donald Trump (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) agree on UNRWA. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

The United Nations have had a special refugee organization specifically dedicated to Palestinians for 70 years, despite the fact that Palestinians haven’t had new refugees for decades. But that organization’s time, or at least it’s funding, may finally be limited. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) should be shut down and its funding diverted to helping real refugees, following critiques of UNRWA by the Trump Administration.

In particular, Netanyahu slammed the “refugee” status of the Palestinians covered by UNRWA. That status implies they have rights to land in Israel from which they fled during conflicts more than 50 years ago, rights which Palestinians call the “right of return”, which believes that Palestinians should be allowed to retake territory in Israel even after being granted a Palestinian state on additional lands controlled by Israel.

“UNRWA is an organization that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem. It also perpetuates the narrative of the right-of-return, as it were, in order to eliminate the State of Israel; therefore, UNRWA needs to pass from the world,” said Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office. “…Of course this creates a situation in which there are great-grandchildren of refugees, who are not refugees but who are cared for by UNRWA, and another 70 years will pass and those great-grandchildren will have great-grandchildren and therefore, this absurdity needs to stop.” … Continue Reading

Arabs Push for UN Recognition of Palestinian State with Jerusalem as Capital—Or Will They Settle for Ramallah?

January 7, 2018 Peace and Conflict

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

The Arab League is planning to seek a United Nations resolution that will recognize a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital according to an announcement following a meeting of foreign ministers, Al-Jazeera reported on Sunday. Jordanian foreign minister Ayman Safadi told reporters the plan is also to seek UN recognition of the 1967 armistice lines for the Palestinian state’s borders, which would put the Biblical heartland—including cities such as Bethlehem, Hebron, and Shechem—under Palestinian control.

The Arab League plan is in opposition to the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by United States President Donald Trump. However, one key member of the Arab League—Egypt—has reportedly waffled on whether or not they really think it’s worth fighting for Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. The New York Times reported that Egyptian intelligence officer Capt. Ashraf al-Kholi encouraged prominent Egyptian talk show hosts to push their audiences to resign themselves to the Trump decision.

According to audio of the phone call obtained by The New York Times, the Egyptian Intelligence officer privately asked the talk show hosts, “How is Jerusalem different from Ramallah, really?” Instead, he pointed to the city currently housing the Palestinian Authority government—Ramallah—as a capital for the Palestinians. … Continue Reading

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

January 7, 2018 Special Feature

Will Iran leadership overcome protests?
Illustrative official meeting. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Evan Schneider

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 in response to the protests, and even an Iranian student media normally friendly to the regime is crying foul. Meanwhile, the Americans continue to push for international oversight on human rights violations in Iran.

In a Sunday report, the semi-official Fars News Agency quoted a statement released by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp claiming that various security forces had “broken down the chain of unrest.” However, Farnaz Fassihi of the Wall Street Journal tweeted that as of Saturday—just one day prior to the IRGC victory claim—there were protests in more than a dozen cities and graffiti opposing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

And that’s not all. The BBC, citing the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA), reported that with over 1,000 arrested, reformist members of Iran’s parliament were saying 90 university students were among those taken. One parliamentarian, Mahmoud Sadeghi, said that a number of those students were not even involved in the protests. … Continue Reading

Analysis: Iran Protests Different This Time, and More Likely to Succeed

January 1, 2018 Special Feature

President Donald Trump is warning Iran not to hurt protestors. Illustrative. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

The 2009 Green Revolution in Iran went from hope to despair as the Iranian regime eventually crushed them and terminated an opportunity for freedom in Iran. But almost nine years later in the dark days of winter, a new hope of freedom might just spring out of the midst of that despair.

The latest Iran protests that began in the final days of 2017 don’t have a catchy nickname or even a clear leader, but so far they’re emerging across the country and lighting Twitter ablaze with images and videos.

There are four key differences between this round of protests and those in 2009, and because of them the result could be very different this time around. It also might just result in an outcome somewhat different than hoped. … Continue Reading

Iranians Protest Economy, Regime, While Trump Warns ‘World Is Watching’

December 31, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Will Iranian President Rouhani moderate Iran, or is he just for show? Illustrative. FEMA/Marty Bahamonde.

As civilian protests in Iran reached their fourth day on Sunday amid some reports of violence over the weekend, the protests have expanded far beyond economic concerns to target even the regime itself. An opinion piece in The Washington Post by Maziar Bahari cited Iran’s financing of foreign terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah—while Iranians struggle financially at home—as one reason for the protests, and Bahari retweeted a Twitter post from Iran Wire of a video of protestors chanting “Death to Khamenei”, referring to Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Bahari’s Twitter feed, citing the Iran Wire group, showed videos of protests on Sunday in multiple cities across Iran.

The situation is serious enough that at least two presidents are publicly taking notice. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the discontent and highlighted economic struggles and government corruption as reasons for the protests on Sunday according to a report by the Tehran Times. Meanwhile, United States President Donald Trump has issued stern warnings to the Iranian regime not to mistreat protestors. … Continue Reading

Gaza Fires Iranian Rockets at Israel; IDF Says Iran Risking Palestinian Lives

December 31, 2017 News

Hamas has fired thousands of rockets at Israel over the years, among other acts of terror. Illustrative photo of spent Rockets fired from Gaza. By Joshua Spurlock.

Over the last couple months, Gaza terrorists have launched numerous rockets at Israel—first after Israel destroyed a Gaza terror tunnel destined for Israel, then in apparent violent protest since the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital—and now the reason for the latest attacks may be to back a dictator over 1,000 miles away in Iran. The IDF Spokesperson said that rockets used last week were Iranian-made, arguing that the attacks benefit the interests of the Iranian regime to the detriment of the Palestinians in Gaza.

The rockets were fired at Israel during a ceremony for fallen soldier Oron Shaul, whose body is still held by Gaza terrorists. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed said the attack “violated moral and humane standards,” and then blamed Iran for the act of terror.

“The rockets were launched by a terror organization that used standard-grade Iranian weapons. This is a severe incident that proves once more how much these terror organizations despise the residents of Gaza & are willing to put them at risk of escalation over Iranian interests,” tweeted the IDF Spokesperson. … Continue Reading

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