Israel Sends Rescue Teams to Mexico after Quake

Groups of Israelis decided to spend their New Year’s holiday traveling to Mexico—but it wasn’t for a vacation. Search and rescue teams from the Israeli military and the iAID organization went to assist Mexico in recovering from last week’s devastating earthquake—and chose to help out during last week’s Rosh HaShannah …

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 Slams Iranian Aggression; Tehran Threatens Nuclear Response to Deal Collapse

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday had a litany of accusations to share about Iranian misdeeds in the Middle East, from religious persecution to attempting a regional takeover. Earlier that same day, Iran reminded everyone of their ultimate threat by openly warning they would halt additional nuclear inspections if …

Israel Joins US in Leaving UNESCO, Netanyahu Says UN Body ‘Platform for anti-Semitic Decisions’

The Americans withdrew their full member status at the United Nations cultural body in part due to an anti-Israel bias, so it’s not surprising that the Israelis have joined the United States in leaving the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu …

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Israel ‘Holds Syrian Regime Responsible’ as Border Spillover Attacks Continue

July 2, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Syria’s civil war is straying into Israel, again. Educational sign post showing distance between major locations in the Middle East. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Syrian mortar fire hit Israeli territory again this weekend, as violent spillover from that nation’s civil war that was once a rare incident has now become a regular occurrence. Israel retaliated to projectiles that landed in Israel on both Friday and Saturday by hitting the Syrian military directly at the “source of the fire”, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter page. IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis was quoted by the Twitter page as stating that “Israel holds the Syrian regime responsible for any breach of its borders and will act accordingly.”

Since last Saturday, more than a dozen Syrian projectiles have hit Israeli territory and the IDF Spokesperson tweeted that after searches on the Syrian border last week “heavy machine gun bullet holes were identified” in a United Nations peacekeeping post near the border. Israeli civilians have been “instructed to stay away from open areas near the border” according to a video posted to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter page last week summarizing some of the incidents. … Continue Reading

American Football Owner Helps Build Sports Complex in Jlem, Brings Legends on Israel Tour

June 28, 2017 News

Jlem Mayor Barkat, Robert Kraft & NFL Hall of Famers. Photo courtesy of Jeki Levi

Some of the greatest players in American football history recently got a chance to experience a history even more legendary—the Land of Israel. The tour, organized by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, brought 18 Hall of Fame players earlier during the month of June from the National Football League to tour Israel, as well as to promote the American sport amongst Israelis. While they were there, they also got to assist in inaugurating a multi-million-dollar sports facility in Jerusalem to help honor the 50 years of the city’s reunification.

“We said that you would do great good here, and I hope you felt that you did great good here,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker, who also attended the tour. Baker, in a video of the tour farewell posted to the Patriots’ website, went on to say that “I told you that it might change your life and I’ve talked to so many of you that said that it did change your life.” … Continue Reading

Israel Strikes Syrian Military in Response to ‘Spillover’ Fire, Twice

June 25, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Syria’s civil war is straying into Israel, again. Educational sign post showing distance between major locations in the Middle East. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Multiple Syrian projectiles hit Israeli territory on Saturday and the Israelis were very clear that such “spillover” from the Syrian civil war is unacceptable, as the Israeli military took the strong response of publicly targeting the Syrian military directly. Then it happened again the next day.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed said that on Saturday “more than 10 projectiles” hit an open area in Israel, and in response the Israeli strikes on Saturday took out a Syrian heavy machine gun position and two tanks, according to a video posted to the Twitter account.

On Sunday, the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed said that following “several Syrian projectiles” hitting an open area in the northern Golan Heights region of Israel, the IDF struck two Syrian military artillery positions and an ammunitions truck. While no Israeli injuries occurred in the Syrian attacks, more than a dozen projectiles have struck Israel in two days. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in comments on Sunday published by his office, warned against future Syrian attacks—intentional or not. … Continue Reading

Israeli Security Forces Arrest Citizen Muhammad Azzam for Planning to Join ISIS

June 25, 2017 News

Israeli security forces prevent terrorism, at home and abroad. Israeli police car. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The resident of an Israeli Arab town was arrested earlier this month for contact with ISIS, also known as the Islamic State (IS), and for making plans to join the brutal terrorist organization. Muhammad Azzam, an Israeli citizen from Kfar Manda, was arrested on June 6 in a joint operation between the Israeli Police and Israel Security Agency (ISA), according to an ISA press release published on Sunday.

During the investigation of Azzam, the ISA said they learned that Azzam “supports the IS idea, followed IS propaganda online and recently made tangible preparations to leave for the combat zone in order to join the ranks of IS fighters.” He was also in online contact with ISIS fighters who were helping him.

The Israelis take the situation very seriously. “The ISA views Israelis who support IS, are in contact with it and who go to fight in its ranks, as a severe strategic threat,” said the ISA press release. … Continue Reading

Israeli Air Force—Four Times Better than Last Time—Confident about Preparing for Next War with Hezbollah

June 21, 2017 Peace and Conflict

Israel’s Air Force has added new planes, such as the American F-35. Illustrative image of F-35. Image courtesy of the Department of Defense website. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

The military challenges facing Israel from the north have grown, but so have Israel’s capabilities in the air—four times as much according to the Air Force, able to overwhelm their northern foe Hezbollah in a fraction of the time. That’s the assessment from Israel Air Force Commander Major General Amir Eshel, who told a conference on Wednesday that “over the last four or five years we have multiplied our capabilities by a factor of 4. What we could do in 34 days during the second Lebanon War, we can now do in 48 hours.”

Good thing, because the growing strength of Hezbollah—which is believed to have stockpiled tens of thousands of missiles—will put more of Israel at risk than before. But Israel hasn’t been just letting Hezbollah grow. Media reports have indicated multiple attacks on weapons in Syria that had been bound for Hezbollah.

Eshel alluded to that in his comments, “Our activities in this period in between wars, beyond removing the threats over us, have an effect that will be measured only with hindsight,” said Eshel, whose comments at the IDC Herziliya Conference 2017 were published by the Israeli Government Press Office. “What we are currently doing, and the results which are very well known to our enemies, to my mind are postponing a war. Does this mean there won’t be a war? One cannot promise that.” … Continue Reading

After US Downs Syrian Plane, Tensions Spike with Russia that Could Put Israel, Others at Risk

June 19, 2017 News

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of the office of the President of Russia.

The United Stated defended local fighters assisting in the coalition against ISIS by shooting down a Syrian plane that was bombing near the locals, and now Russia is threatening to shoot down almost everybody. The New York Times reported that the Russian Defense Ministry not only supported their ally in the Syrian regime, but issued threats on their behalf. “All flying objects, including planes and drones of the international coalition, detected west of the Euphrates, will be followed by Russian air defense systems as targets,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday, according to the report.

The Russians have long coordinated with the various nations engaged in the skies above and around Syria to avoid dangerous mistakes. That has included Israel as well as the United States. The Russians also said they suspended the coordination hotline with the U.S., but The New York Times noted that threat has been issued before only to disappear later. The United States on Monday defended their actions. … Continue Reading

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