“Likud supporters think that any government Gantz leads would be more likely to make the same blunders that Barak and Olmert made in the course of formulating generous peace offers”

Gantz sends a message to American liberals, but are they listening?
by Jonathan Tobin
January 22, 2020

…But if he has any hope of breaking the stalemate that has left Israel without a governing coalition for more than a year, [Benny] Gantz is going to have to convince more centrist voters that he can be trusted with the nation’s security. That’s why he made a campaign pledge this week designed to win over voters who have supported Netanyahu, but might shock the majority of American Jews who hold negative views of the prime minister. Rather than promising to work for a two-state solution, Gantz proposed something that the Palestinians say would make such a deal impossible: annexation of the Jordan Valley. READ MORE

Posted in Israel & Middle East, Politics | Leave a comment

“According to Hebrew media reports on Monday, Israeli officials believe the release of Issachar from Russian prison is all but agreed upon”

Putin to meet mother of Israeli backpacker imprisoned in Russia – Kremlin
by Staff
January 22, 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet the mother of jailed backpacker Naama Issachar while in Israel for the World Holocaust Forum, a senior Kremlin official told the Russian business daily Vedomosti on Wednesday. Issachar was sentenced by Russia to 7.5 years in prison after 9.5 grams of marijuana were found in her luggage during a layover in a Moscow airport in April. Putin’s foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov told Vedomosti that Putin will meet Issachar’s mother Yaffa during his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Thursday. READ MORE

JNS Netanyahu pens letter to Israeli American jailed in Russia, vowing to free her “We do not abandon anyone to his fate,” wrote Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Naama Issachar, 27, who was arrested in Moscow on drug charges in April.

Posted in Israel & Middle East, Jewish, Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“Neda was among the millions of Iranians of all walks of life who had taken to the streets of Iran to protest the regime representative’s false claims of victory”

Iranian Women Defy the Mullahs; Western Feminists Nowhere in Sight
by Giulio Meotti
January 19, 2020

In October 1979, in a rare interview with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci charged that the veil was symbolic of the segregation into which the Islamic revolution women had cast women. “Our customs,” Khomeini answered, “are none of your business. If you do not like Islamic dress, you’re not obliged to wear it because Islamic dress is for good and proper young women.” “That’s very kind of you,” Fallaci replied. “And since you said so, I’m going to take off this stupid, medieval rag right now.” Fallaci removed her veil and left the room without saying another word. READ MORE

JERUSALEM POST Ruthie Blum: Right from wrong – Neda Soltan’s message from the grave On June 20, 2009, a young woman named Neda Soltan was gunned down in Tehran during a mass demonstration sparked by the rigged results of the presidential election that had taken place a week earlier. Though opposition candidate Hussein Mir Mosavi had beaten incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the ballot box, the latter declared himself the winner and hailed his reign as that of the “people’s will.” 

Posted in Islam, Israel & Middle East, Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“Launched in 2016 and funded by conservative US gentiles and Jews, the Passages program aims to shape the next generation of Christian leaders and shore up support for Jewish State”

US Christian students come to Holy Land to connect to biblical and modern Israel
by Renee Ghert-Zand
January 14, 2020

Five hundred college students streamed into a large party venue in southern Jerusalem with a panoramic view of the Old City. They noshed on mini shwarma sandwiches and cotton candy, and danced with abandon to Israeli pop music — some creating a mosh pit near the DJ’s stage at the front of the hall. But they weren’t participating in Birthright Israel, the mega project that since it was founded in 1999 has brought upwards of 750,000 young Jews to the country. These young Americans were in Israel this month with Passages, an organization that brings practicing Christian college and graduate students from all over the United States to the Holy Land for a 10-day trip to connect with the biblical roots of their faith, and with modern Israel. READ MORE

Posted in Israel & Middle East, Jewish | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“Decades of incompetent budgeting and enormous but unfunded promises shove Illinois into insolvency, unable to pay bills as they come due”

Repeating: Democrats, it’s time for Madigan to go.
Editorial Board
January 17, 2020

…Parents watch in chagrin as young people by the tens of thousands join an Illinois Exodus and build their futures elsewhere. Tax gouges relentlessly expand, but never enough to sate the ruling Democrats — as always, they want more money to spend, this time via higher income taxes. Each word of that paragraph was true on July 2, 2017, when we first urged House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton to resign from their leadership posts. And each word of that paragraph is true today, although not the end of the story. READ MORE

Posted in Politics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“In a groundbreaking New York Times op-ed, two prominent Reform rabbis describe the workings of a movement to demonize Israel now widely found in high school curricula across the nation”

Newton’s anti-Jewish curriculum scandal makes it to the pages of The New York Times
January 16, 2020

They identified the anti-Israel high school curriculum at Newton Public Schools as part of “a much bigger problem” across the country: “Anti-Israel activism has spread beyond the college campus and into the elementary and high school classroom,” they write. The rabbis caution: “A hateful obsession with Israel too often descends into hatred of Jews, even if it doesn’t start there.” For the past nine years, APT and fellow grass roots Jewish groups have fought to counter anti-Israel and anti-Semitic curricula in Newton Public Schools which is funded in part by Arab petro dollars. This, while Boston’s establishment Jewish groups — including the ADL, CJP, and JCRC — deny that the problem exists. READ MORE

NEW YORK TIMES Rabbis Ammiel Hirsch and Joshua Davidson: The Anti-Israel Craze Hits High School We are deeply worried about the effect that hatred of Israel has on students. We emphasized in our remarks that for centuries, anti-Semitism emerged from both the right and the left of the political spectrum. We described what far-right anti-Semitism looks like, but, since we are liberal rabbis, we spent most of our time discussing anti-Semitism among the left. It’s especially important for us to speak against hate in our own camp….To describe Zionism as racism, to deny Israel’s most basic right to exist, is anti-Semitic in effect, if not in intent.

Posted in Israel & Middle East, Jewish, Politics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Trump to Europe: How badly do you want to sell cars in US market ?

U.S. threatened Europe with auto tariffs over Iran nuclear program – Washington Post
January 15, 2020

The Trump administration has threatened to impose a 25% tariff on European automobile imports if Britain, France and Germany do not formally accuse Iran of breaking the 2015 nuclear deal, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed European officials. The three European countries triggered a dispute mechanism under the agreement on Tuesday, amounting to a formal accusation against Tehran of violating its terms and could lead to the reinstatement of United Nations sanctions lifted under the accord. Iran has criticized that move, calling it a “strategic mistake.” READ MORE

WASHINGTON POST European countries trigger dispute mechanism in Iran nuclear deal European countries on Tuesday triggered a dispute mechanism in their nuclear deal with Iran, a move that could lead to the return of United Nations sanctions on Tehran. Britain, France and Germany said that they had been “left with no choice” but to make the move. Iran announced Jan. 5, after the U.S. killing of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, that it would no longer be bound by limitations on its nuclear energy program.

JERUSALEM POST UK expands Hezbollah asset freeze, targets entire organization Britain’s Treasury said it has designated the entire Hezbollah organisation as a terrorist group under its Terrorism and Terrorist Financing rules, and as such its assets will be frozen. Previously it was only Hezbollah’s Military Wing which was subject to asset freezing under UK government rules.

Posted in Islam, Israel & Middle East, Politics | Leave a comment