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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Palestinian Political Faction Glorifies Terrorists, Condemns Israeli Police

June 18, 2017 Peace and Conflict

The Palestinians promotion of terror continues. Illustrative banner of terrorists and Dome of the Rock. By Joshua Spurlock

Following the two-pronged Palestinian shooting and stabbing terror attack on Friday that murdered Israeli border policewoman Hadas Malka, the Fatah political faction headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did worse than just fail to condemn the terrorism. “Instead of condemning the attack, Fatah… issued a statement in which it condemned the Border Police fighters who killed the terrorists, and praised the murderers as heroes,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday. “It seems that mendacity and brazen gall know no bounds.”

Netanyahu, in comments released by his office, noted that Fatah wasn’t the only so-called moderate Palestinian group that did not respond appropriately. Noted the Israeli premier, “Of course, the Palestinian Authority [P.A.] is refusing to condemn the murder and the same Authority will now pay financial compensation to the murderers’ families.” That issue of the P.A. payments has created international concern, with the United States being troubled by it. Meanwhile, two different Palestinian terror groups claimed credit for last week’s murder. … Continue Reading

UN Agrees with Israel that Gaza Electricity Crisis ‘Internal Palestinian Dispute’

June 15, 2017 News

This is where the Gazan taxes are being spent – on rockets. Illustrative photo of spent Rockets fired from Gaza. By Joshua Spurlock.

The United Nations and Israel agree: The electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip—occurring after the Palestinian Authority requested that Israel cut supply due to lack of funding from Hamas in Gaza—is an “internal Palestinian” matter. U.N. Resident Coordinator assigned to the Palestinians, Robert Piper, was quoted by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs website as saying on Wednesday that “the people in Gaza should not be held hostage to this longstanding internal Palestinian dispute.”

That language is almost identical to how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the situation one day before. “It needs to be understood that the issue of electricity in Gaza is subject to a disagreement between the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) and Hamas,” said Netanyahu in comments from his office on Tuesday. “Hamas is demanding that the P.A. pay for the electricity and the P.A. is refusing to do so. This is an internal Palestinian argument.” And while Israel is a key provider of electricity to Gaza, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman made it clear it’s not their decision to cut the power—in fact, they are “definitely ready to provide.” … Continue Reading

Israel Funding University Research into Super Secure Quantum Communications

June 12, 2017 News

This system in the lab at the Hebrew University’s Quantum Information Science Center is used to control light in optical fibers, shaping the wavefront of photons using a fiber piano. (Photo courtesy of Yitz Woolf for Hebrew University)

Imagine a communications system that uses some of the smallest particles known to man, and then imagine that that system makes that communication even more resistant to hacking. Israel certainly is, which is why the nation’s Ministry of Defense awarded 7.5 million shekels ($2.12 million) to Hebrew University to pursue research into quantum communications. The project’s ultimate goal is develop the talent and technology necessary to develop a system that “will prevent eavesdropping, protect data privacy and secure national infrastructure,” said a press release from the University.

Quantum communications—which is based on quantum physics and the special characteristics of matter and light at the infinitesimally small scale—could be the key to the future of securing data. “Current methods of encrypting data are increasingly vulnerable to attack as the increased power of quantum computing comes online,” said the press release. “Quantum communication systems use the laws of physics to secure data and are therefore resistant to attack.” … Continue Reading

Netanyahu: Disband UN Refugee Agency that ‘Perpetuates’ Palestinian Problem

June 12, 2017 Peace and Conflict

United Nations vehicle. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was founded almost 70 years ago to specifically support Palestinian refugees, while millions of other refugees of the world are supported by the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). This despite the reality that so-called Palestinian refugees have spent decades away from the land inside Israel that they claim and have effectively settled in numerous locations and countries. That disparity in U.N. treatment was cited by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a reason to incorporate Palestinian refugees into the UNHCR and get rid of UNWRA altogether.

“I regret that UNRWA, to a large degree, by its very existence, perpetuates—and does not solve—the Palestinian refugee problem. Therefore, the time has come to disband UNRWA and integrate it into the UNHCR,” said Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office. And perpetuating a refugee crisis for decades isn’t the only thing going wrong with UNRWA. … Continue Reading

US Envoy to UN Says Jerusalem Embassy Move Could Be ‘Part of Peace Process’

June 4, 2017 Peace and Conflict

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

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, a strong supporter of Israel at the international body, implied that the plans to move the U.S. embassy to Israel to Jerusalem could be some type of negotiating point or inducement in a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Asked by CNN’s Jack Tapper if the embassy move—delayed by Trump last week—could be “leverage” for a peace deal, Haley did not directly confirm or deny that it could be. Instead, she acknowledged it could play a role.

Haley, according to a transcript of her interview with CNN’s State of the Union posted to the CNN website, said that President Donald Trump “knows that it could be very much a part of the peace process… He hasn’t changed his position on moving the embassy. It’s all about time. So I think that he wants to see how the peace process plays out and then handle it accordingly.” Israel has expressed their disappointment at the delay, following promises by Trump to move the embassy to Israel’s capital, a common practice with embassies in other nations. The peace process, a priority for Trump, was named in a White House statement as a reason for not moving the embassy now. … Continue Reading

Netanyahu in Africa: Include Us in African Union, Support Us at United Nations

June 4, 2017 News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) conference.
Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / Israeli GPO

Israel wants to partner with African nations to build a better future for Africa. They also hope to build a better future for Israel, too—specifically, in international organizations such as the United Nations and the African Union. “Our growing bilateral relations should also be reflected, I believe, in international forums,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office during a visit to Liberia.

Netanyahu went on to ask for African nations’ “support in rejecting anti-Israel bias at the United Nations,” as well as calling for Israel to again be an observer state of the African Union (AU). Regarding the AU status, Netanyahu said, “Now, it’s clearly—and I say this openly, especially with my great sympathy and affinity for Africa. It’s definitely in our interest. But, ladies and gentlemen, I fervently believe that it’s in your interest too, in the interest of Africa.” … Continue Reading

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