The Knesset on Tuesday voted 31-18 to repeal articles of the 2005 Gaza Disengagement Law banning Israelis from entering and residing in four communities in northern Samaria. The Gaza disengagement led to the destruction and evacuation of the Israeli communities of Sa-Nur, Homesh, Ganim and Kadim in northern Samaria, as well as 21 communities in the Gaza Strip. In addition to rolling back the articles (23-27) banning movement into and out of, and residence in, northern Samaria, the amendment stipulates that Article 28, which canceled rights regarding real estate in vacated territory, will not apply to rights established there starting from the date of the bill’s approval. READ MORE
BLOOMBERG US Condemns Israel Over Reversal on West Bank Settlements LawThe Biden administration condemned an Israeli parliament vote repealing a 2005 law that barred settlers from parts of the West Bank, calling the move “provocative and counterproductive.” The US is “extremely troubled that the Israeli Knesset has passed legislation rescinding parts of the 2005 Disengagement Law,” deputy State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said. “We call on Israel to refrain from allowing settlers to return to the area.”
A former member of the United States Marines was shot in a Palestinian terror attack on March 19. The victim, American-Israeli weapons instructor David Stern, was shot in the head and the shoulder while driving with his wife Rachel on Route 60 in Huwara, a town in the northern West Bank, on their way to a class in Jerusalem. Stern, a resident of the Itamar settlement, was seriously injured but is expected to survive. In a video posted to social media from his hospital bed, Stern said, per The Times of Israel, he had stopped the car to allow the terrorist to cross the road, only to notice that “he was blocking one hand in a very suspicious way. READ MORE
TPS Shooting of Ex-US Marine Puts Spotlight on Palestinian Pay-For-Slay ProgramWhen Palestinian terrorist Leith Nazar opened fire on an Israeli car driving through the village of Huwara on Sunday, he had no idea who he was shooting at a former US Marine who is also a martial arts and weapons instructor and trainer. And because David Stern is a dual US-Israeli national, the attack is raising questions about the Biden administration’s commitment to the Taylor Force Act.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded Wednesday to a chorus of concern from evangelical Christians in the U.S. and from believers in Israel related to a bill introduced by two ultra-Orthodox of members of Israel’s Knesset would make it a criminal offense to persuade anyone to convert to another religion. In a tweet, Netanyahu declared in Hebrew and in English, “We will not advance any law against the Christian community.” The prime minister’s announcement allayed fears that the bill, proposed by two members of the coalition government, would become law. READ MORE
US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) on Thursday said that he believes the US should condition aid to Israel based on the country’s support for a two-state solution. “I worry that we are at a moment in which we are watching a future Palestinian state be obliterated by the pace of settlements, by the legalization of outposts,” Murphy said in an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson. “And I think the United States needs to draw a harder line with this government. If we’re going to continue to be in the business of supporting the Israeli government, they have to be in the continued business of a future Palestinian state. READ MORE
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir ordered the closure of the Voice of Palestine radio station’s operations in Israeli territory on Monday. The order does not affect the station’s operations in the West Bank or anywhere else outside of Israeli territory. The Voice of Palestine radio station is run by the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation which is in turn run by the Palestinian Authority. The station’s main office is in Ramallah. ..“I will not accept and we will not allow incitement and support for terrorism and terrorists, neither by the Palestinian Authority nor by any other body,” said Ben-Gvir. “The State of Israel is sovereign and anyone who tries to fight us will find himself outside.” READ MORE
PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH What are the Palestinians thinking?A newly published poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, provide an interesting view of the thoughts and opinions of the Palestinians…According to the survey, Palestinian support for terror against Israel is multi-faceted and includes, inter alia, substantial support – 71% of the population – for the cold-blooded murder of brothers Yagel and Hallel Yaniv, aged 19 and 21 respectively, by Hamas terrorist Abd Al-Fattah Kharousha, while they were driving on a main road through Hawara. In addition to supporting the cold-blooded murder of Israelis, substantial parts of the Palestinians (68%) support the creation of armed terror groups to attack Israelis…
On Sunday, March 5th, Benjamin Anthony, Co-Founder of The MirYam Institute, sat down to interview Simcha Rothman in the Knesset in front of a group of 23 active officers of the U.S. Army, brought to Israel on the annual MirYam Institute Israel Strategy & Policy tour (I-SAP). MK Rothman currently serves as the Chair of the Constitution, Law & Justice Knesset committee and is the architect of the judicial reform currently at the heart of the Israeli conversation.
MK Rothman answered questions on why he was leading the effort for judicial reform, why he assigns urgency to the reform he is leading, whether or not these reforms leave Israel and members of the IDF exposed to prosecution in international legal forums, the implications of the reforms for Prime Minister Netanyahu and whether the reforms he seeks to implement are worth the massive civil unrest and demonstrations taking place throughout much of Israel in direct opposition to the changes he seeks to bring about. Following the initial long form interview, MK Rothman took questions from the officers. Click here to view the interview.
On Feb. 16, Israel Defense Forces Lt. Col. (retired) Dr. Gal Luft was arrested at the airport in Cyprus as he was about to board a flight home. Three days later, Luft posted a stunning claim on his Twitter account. He wrote: “I’ve been arrested in Cyprus on a politically motivated extradition request by the U.S. The U.S, claiming I’m an arms dealer. It would be funny if it weren’t tragic. I’ve never been an arms dealer. DOJ [Department of Justice] is trying to bury me to protect Joe, Jim and Hunter Biden. Shall I name names?” Luft’s description of the charges was accurate. He is also accused of lying to the FBI and violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). If convicted of the charges on his arrest warrant, he would face up to 96 years in prison.READ MORE
For eight years now, vlogger Drew Binsky has made a living traveling the world, creating content that aims to lift the curtains on remote communities for his 3.6 million YouTube subscribers. He’s visited places as hard to reach as North Korea and South Sudan. But in his most recent video, Binsky, who is Jewish, doesn’t even leave the country. Instead, he takes his camera to Brooklyn to explore the different Hasidic movements, members of what he describes as “the most religious and closed-off community in America.”..The 43-minute video, twice as long as a typical Binsky production, has garnered nearly 800,000 views since it was posted on YouTube on Monday. In it, Binsky, who grew up Reform, explains the history of Hasidism in New York and the customs and traditions of the insular community. READ MORE
In November 2022, for the first time in a nearly a decade, an election in Israel had a decisive outcome. The government that emerged from that election two months later was instantly unacceptable to other Israelis, who have since taken to the streets. Over the past two months, the question I have been asked more than any other is: Can you explain what’s going on in Israel? The answer is not difficult: The right is seeking to enact an activist agenda, and that agenda angers, alarms, and/or terrifies everybody who didn’t vote for the parties of the right. Those parties, together with the Likud party under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, won 64 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. Thus, the results constituted a winning margin for the Netanyahu bloc of about 3 percent, roughly the same spread that separated George W. Bush from John Kerry in 2004. READ MORE
When Constantinople finally fell to the Ottomans on Tuesday, May 29, 1453, the Byzantine Empire and its capital had up to that point survived for 1,000 years beyond the fall of the Western Empire at Rome. Always outnumbered in a sea of enemies, the Byzantines’ survival had depended on its realist diplomacy of dividing its enemies, avoiding military quagmires, and ensuring constant deterrence. Generations of self-sacrifice ensured ample investment for infrastructure. Each generation inherited and improved on singular aqueducts and cisterns, sewer systems, and the most complex and formidable city fortifications in the world. READ MORE