ISRAEL, THE MIDDLE
EAST & ASIA
- Visit 'Peace In Jerusalem'
- for more comprehensive
ongoing reports by Retired Pastor/Teacher James McCutchan - Jmccutchan@aol.com
- SENIOR PALESTINIAN OFFICIAL: US, EU PRESSURING PA TO RENEW
PEACE TALKS WITH ISRAEL
- May 11, 2015 | Worthy News - The Palestinian Authority leadership
is under pressure from the international community to resume
the peace talks with Israel, a Palestinian official was quoted
on Saturday, the Jerusalem Post reported. Continued: http://www.worthynews.com/18686-senior-palestinian-official-us-eu-pressuring-
MUBARAK AND SONS SENT TO JAIL FOR CORRUPTION
- [Ednote: Last I heard Mubarak received the death sentence]
Former Egyptian president and his two sons sent to three years
in prison on corruption accusations.
By Ben Ariel - 5/10/2015 - An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced
ousted president Hosni Mubarak to three years in prison on corruption
accusations, after he was cleared of murder charges in another
case, AFP reports.
Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal, also sentenced to three
years, were present in the caged dock, wearing suits and sunglasses.
Their lawyers may try to appeal. It was not immediately clear
whether the sentencing took into account time served, according
to the report. All three had been arrested in 2011, months after
Mubarak was toppled in a popular 18-day uprising after three
decades in power. State news agency MENA later reported that
prison authorities contacted the prosecution to inquire about
how much time the three had already spent in jail.
- ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER CALLS OFF WEST BANK BUS SEGREGATION
By JOSEF FEDERMAN - AP - May 20, 2015 - JERUSALEM (AP)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday canceled a plan
that would have banned Palestinian laborers from riding on the
same buses with Jewish settlers in the West Bank, just hours
after it was announced - an embarrassing about-face that reflected
the tensions enveloping Israel's new government. The inauspicious
start for Netanyahu's hard-line government illustrated the difficulties
that loom as it tries to advance a pro-settler agenda in the
face of rising global outrage and domestic criticism.
- The reversal came as the European Union's foreign policy
chief, Federica Mogherini, was in town. The EU has taken a tough
stance against settlements built on lands claimed by the Palestinians.
As the bus plan was unveiled, Israeli critics across the political
spectrum derided it as racist, with one opposition politician
comparing it to "apartheid." Israeli President Reuven
Rivlin, a member of Netanyahu's Likud Party, called the plan
"unthinkable" and said there had been "great damage"
to Israel. Netanyahu's new coalition, which was sworn into office
last week, is dominated by settler sympathizers, and the busing
plan, launched late Tuesday on a trial basis, had sought to separate
settlers and Palestinians from traveling together through the
West Bank. http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/israeli-prime-minister-calls-off-west-bank-bus-segregation
- AFTER ELECTIONS, NETANYAHU LOYALIST SAYS ISRAEL 'DELIGHTED'
TO RENEW PALESTINIAN TALKS
- March 18, 2015 - Israels Deputy Minister of Foreign
Affairs Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) said yesterday in an interview
that the new government is willing to return to the negotiation
table with the Palestinians. We would be delighted to renew
the negotiations, Hanegbi said in an interview with the
Israel Project. We believe it is in the interest of both
people the Israeli and the Palestinian to have a
dialogue; to discuss our disputes; to try and find [a] common
denominator in the issues that are so crucial to both people.
- Hanegbi, a Netanyahu loyalist, also said that the new government
will begin an intense effort to renew the trust between the United
States and Israel.
- We will make an effort, a very, very intimate and intense
effort to renew the trust between the governments, said
the deputy foreign minister. It is essential for the security
of Israel. It is essential for the survival of the state of Israel.
Hanegbis words are significant in light of Netanyahus
vocal opposition this week to the establishment of a Palestinian
state. The hostility of the Obama Administration towards Netanyahu
was also widely reported in the weeks leading up the Israeli
- OBAMA MOVING TOWARDS SUPPORTING UN RESOLUTION TO FORCE PEACE
- The White House hoped a new Israeli prime minister would
resume peace talks with the Palestinians. With Netanyahu holding
on, the administration is weighing a turn to the U.N. to help
force a deal.
- March 19, 2015 - After years of blocking U.N. efforts to
pressure Israelis and Palestinians into accepting a lasting two-state
solution, the United States is edging closer toward supporting
a U.N. Security Council resolution that would call for the resumption
of political talks to conclude a final peace settlement, according
to Western diplomats.
- The move follows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus
decisive re-election Tuesday after the incumbent publicly abandoned
his commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state the basis
of more than 20 years of U.S. diplomatic efforts and promised
to continue the construction of settlements on occupied territory.
The development also reflects deepening pessimism over the prospect
of U.S.-brokered negotiations delivering peace between Israelis
- Shortly before this weeks election, the United States
informed its diplomatic partners that it would hold off any moves
in the U.N. Security Council designed to put Israel on the spot
at the United Nations in the event that Netanyahus challenger,
Isaac Herzog, won the election. But U.S. officials signaled a
willingness to consider a U.N. resolution in the event that Netanyahu
was re-elected and formed a coalition government opposed to peace
talks. The United States has not yet circulated a draft, but
diplomats say Washington has set some red lines and is unwilling
to agree to set a fixed deadline for political talks to conclude.
- U.N.: PEACE PROCESS ONLY WAY FOR ISRAEL TO STAY A DEMOCRACY
- Reuters - By Michelle Nichols - 3.18.2015 - UNITED NATIONS
(Reuters) - The United Nations said on Wednesday that Israel
needs to stick with the Middle East peace process to remain a
democracy after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abandoned
a commitment ahead of his re-election to negotiate a Palestinian
- In the final days of campaigning before Israeli voters went
to the polls on Tuesday, Netanyahu said he would not permit a
Palestinian state to be created under his watch and also promised
to go on building settlements on occupied land. U.N. Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon believes the peace process, including an end to illegal
settlement building, is "the best and only way forward for
Israel to remain a democratic state," U.N. spokesman Farhan
Haq told reporters.
- Palestinians seek a state in Gaza, the West Bank and East
Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in the 1967 War.
- UN CHIEF URGES ISRAEL PEACE DEAL WITH PALESTINIANS FOR STATE
- Associated Press - 3.18.2015 - UNITED NATIONS (AP)
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon responded to Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu's election victory with a call Wednesday for
the new government to negotiate a final peace agreement that
will create "a viable Palestinian state." U.N. spokesman
Farhan Haq made clear that the unusually pointed statement reflects
the secretary-general's expectation and response to Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu's campaign comments opposing a two-state solution.
He said Ban's call for the new government to create conditions
for a negotiated peace deal includes halting "illegal settlement
- "The secretary-general firmly believes this is also
the best and only way forward for Israel to remain a democratic
state," Haq said.
- He said Ban welcomed the election results and expressed hopes
"for the rapid establishment of a new government that reflects
the will of all Israeli voters."
- Israel's U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor denied Israel's democracy
is threatened. "The United Nations may disagree with the
policies of the Israeli government, but there is one fact that
can't be disputed - that Israel is the only democracy in the
Middle East," Prosor said in a statement, noting that voter
turnout in Tuesday's election was 72 percent
THAT DIDN'T LAST LONG... HE CHANGED HIS MIND JUST BEFORE THE
After Netanyahu promises no Palestinian state if he is re-elected
he reverses on the Two-State solution
Netanyahu's Last-Minute Reversal on the Two-State Solution
The Atlantic - By Adam Chandler 3.18. 2015 - Back in 2009, just
three months after he became Israel's prime minister for the
second time, Benjamin Netanyahu delivered what many called "an
historic address." In it, Netanyahu described his "vision"
of peace between Israelis and Palestinians:
There are two free peoples living side by side in this small
land, with good neighborly relations and mutual respect, each
with its flag, anthem and government, with neither one threatening
its neighbor's security and existence. The speech was deemed
remarkable because it contained Netanyahu's first-ever call for
the establishment of a Palestinian state, a statement he had
resisted throughout his long and winding political career. Nearly
six years and three Gaza wars later, and with his political legacy
on the ropes, Netanyahu issued a major retraction on Monday evening:
I think that anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian
state today and evacuate lands, is giving attack grounds to the
radical Islam against the state of Israel, he said in a
radio interview. Needing to siphon off votes from right-leaning
parties, Netanyahu's change in course is the latest moment of
The reversal came as his political fortunes flounderNetanyahu's
Likud Party is trailing in Israel's (notoriously fickle) polls,
leaving many to believe he might be unseated in Tuesday's elections.
Badly needing to siphon off votes from Israel's right-leaning
parties, Netanyahu's change in course is the latest moment of
panic in a campaign he was never meant to lose. On Sunday, Netanyahu
raised the specter that his party might not emerge with enough
seats to secure the premiership. In doing so, Netanyahu sank
his long-standing air of invincibility in a country where a majority
of citizens have had trouble imagining anyone else as their prime
"One of Netanyahus greatest electoral assetsborne
out in those relentless polls showing him to be voters
preferred prime ministeris that he had created a palpable
sense of inevitability about his rule," David Horovitz argues
over at The Times of Israel. We'll find whether that is still
true on Tuesday. But given his election-eve reversal, it seems
Netanyahu may not even believe it anymore. This article was originally
published at http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/03/Benjamin-Netanyahu-Rejects-Two-State-Solution-
- WHAT ISIS REALLY WANTS
- The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It
is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among
them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Heres
what that means for its strategyand for how to stop it.
By Graeme Wood - March 2015 - What is the Islamic State? Where
did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity
of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders
seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published
confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the
Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle
East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic
States appeal. We have not defeated the idea,
he said. We do not even understand the idea. In the
past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State,
variously, as not Islamic and as al-Qaedas
jayvee team, statements that reflected confusion
about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic
- The group seized Mosul, Iraq, last June, and already rules
an area larger than the United Kingdom. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
has been its leader since May 2010, but until last summer, his
most recent known appearance on film was a grainy mug shot from
a stay in U.S. captivity at Camp Bucca during the occupation
of Iraq. Then, on July 5 of last year, he stepped into the pulpit
of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, to deliver a Ramadan
sermon as the first caliph in generationsupgrading his
resolution from grainy to high-definition, and his position from
hunted guerrilla to commander of all Muslims. The inflow of jihadists
that followed, from around the world, was unprecedented in its
pace and volume, and is continuing.
Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable:
It is a hermit kingdom; few have gone there and returned. Baghdadi
has spoken on camera only once. But his address, and the Islamic
States countless other propaganda videos and encyclicals,
are online, and the caliphates supporters have toiled mightily
to make their project knowable. We can gather that their state
rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide;
that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of
certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its
survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger ofand
headline player inthe imminent end of the world.
- The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq
and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose
beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy,
and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior.
Its rise to power is less like the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood
in Egypt (a group whose leaders the Islamic State considers apostates)
than like the realization of a dystopian alternate reality in
which David Koresh or Jim Jones survived to wield absolute power
over not just a few hundred people, but some 8 million.
- PUSHING BACK, KERRY SAYS SENATORS CAN'T TOUCH IRAN NUKE DEAL
- Diplomat voices utter disbelief at Republican
senators letter to Tehran, says prospective pact wont
be legally binding
- The Times of Israel - By Times of Israel staff, AP and AFP
March 11, 2015 - Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said
a prospective nuclear deal wouldnt be legally binding,
and that Congress wouldnt be able to override the accord
between Washington, Tehran and world powers.
- The American diplomat spoke at a hearing of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee, and criticized Republican lawmakers for
dispatching a letter to Iran warning against the nuclear talks
hes leading, saying it threatened global trust in America.
Kerry said that the letter undermined American foreign policy
and was legally incorrect.
- This risks undermining the confidence that foreign
governments in thousands of important agreements commit to,
Kerry told the committee, adding he had reacted with utter
disbelief to news of the letter, which comes as he prepares
to return for further intense negotiations reaching the critical
- Kerry said that the deal hes negotiating is not a legally
binding plan, but will be one that has a capacity
- The senators letter erroneously asserts this
is a legally binding plan, he said. It is incorrect
when it says that Congress can actually modify the terms of an
agreement any time. That is flat wrong.
- SECURITY COUNCIL REPORTEDLY STARTING TALKS ON LIFTING IRAN
- Officials say major world powers considering a resolution
to remove UN sanctions if a nuclear deal goes through
- By Judah Ari Gross - March 12, 2015 - Major world powers
are considering a UN Security Council resolution to lift UN sanctions
against Iran if a nuclear agreement is struck this month, Western
officials told Reuters Thursday.
- Though officials in Tehran and Washington have warned that
work remains before an agreement is reached, the Security Council
is seeking to law the groundwork to lift restrictions quickly
should the sides come together.
- If theres a nuclear deal, and thats still
a big if, well want to move quickly on the
UN sanctions issue, an official who declined to be named
told the news agency.
- Iran and six world powers are currently engaged in high-stakes
talks to curb Irans nuclear program and keep it from developing
the ability to build nuclear weapons, in exchange for lifting
punishing sanctions that have crippled the countrys economy.
Talks thus far have dealt primarily with easing the US and EU
sanctions against Iran in exchange for the Islamic Republic curbing
its nuclear enrichment program for at least 10 years.
- SUING TERRORISTS TO STOP TERRORISM
- Chris Mitchell - CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief - This
week on Jerusalem Dateline: President Barack Obama claims Islamic
terrorism isn't rooted in Islam but Christian and Jewish leaders
say differently. Plus, suing terrorists to stop terror; and the
brutal Islamic caliphate rounds up hundreds of Christians.
OBAMA CAMPAIGN TEAM ARRIVES IN ISRAEL TO DEFEAT NETANYAHU IN
- By THOMAS ROSE - 26 Jan 2015 - Just days after the Obama
White House accused House Speaker John Boehner of breaking
protocol by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
to address a joint session of Congress, a team of up to five
Obama campaign operatives has reportedly arrived in Israel to
lead a campaign to defeat the Israeli Prime Minister in upcoming
national elections scheduled for March 17. The anti-Netanyahu,
left wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports a group called One
Voice, reportedly funded by American donors, is paying
for the Obama campaign team. That group is reportedly being led
by Obamas 2012 field director Jeremy Bird. As Jerusalem
Post columnist and putative Knesset candidate Caroline Glick
reported on her Facebook page, Obama wont meet Benjamin
Netanyahu in Washington when he addresses the Joint Houses of
Congress in March because of Netanyahus visits proximity
to the Israeli elections. And Obama, of course believes in protocol
and propriety which is why he wont get involved.
And yet, Glick adds, Hes just sending his 2012 field
campaign manager to Israel to run a campaign to defeat Netanyahu.
For all the harsh accusations of foreign interference currently
being leveled against GOP Speaker John Boehner, Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer,
reports of Obama operatives actively working to unseat a democratically
elected leader of a strong U.S. ally is hardly the news it might
appear to be.
The Obama White House has aggressively worked to defeat allied
leaders it has not liked and to elect or re-elect foreign leaders
it does like. As the Times of Israel recently reported, the list
of Obama Administration meddling in foreign elections is a long
German Chancellor Angela Merkel Merkel, an Obama Administration
ally, was hosted at the White House prior to recent German elections.
Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the left wing Labor
Party visited 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, not once, but twice prior
to British elections. Those were won by Conservative party leader
David Cameron, who himself visited Washington last week at Obamas
invitation to lobby the U.S. Congress against adopting a new
sanctions measure to help confront Irans burgeoning nuclear
program. Oddly, thats the very issue Obama and the mainstream
media now roundly condemn John Boehner for involving himself
- ZIONISM DEBATE AT HEART OF BITTER ISRAELI VOTE
- By DAN PERRY - AP - February 22, 2015 - JERUSALEM (AP)
What is Zionism? The ideological question, rooted in the 19th
century, has gained surprising urgency in an Israeli election
campaign that seems more open than had been expected. Seeking
to take votes from the nationalistic right of Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, the relatively liberal opposition has rebranded
itself as the Zionist Union -- sparking a debate about a concept
that some considered resolved when the Jewish state was declared
and widely recognized in 1948.
Since adopting the name in early December, Isaac Herzog's Labor
Party bolstered by a smaller grouping led by former opposition
leader Tsipi Livni has surged in the polls. They are now
running neck-and-neck in the polls with Netanyahu's Likud.
- The debate over who best reflects the ideals of Zionism --
and who can most credibly lay claim to its successes -- has lent
an oddly philosophical hue to a campaign that had been dominated
by more prosaic issues such as budget scandals in the management
of the prime minister's residence. Along the way, the stage appears
to have been set for a surprisingly climactic vote.
- U.S. AND ISRAEL: MANUFACTURED CRISIS
Feb 26, 2015 By ELLIOTT ABRAMS - The crisis between the
United States and Israel has been manufactured by the Obama administration.
Building a crisis up or down is well within the administrations
power, and it has chosen to build it up. Why? Three reasons:
to damage and defeat Netanyahu (whom Obama has always disliked
simply because he is on the right while Obama is on the left)
in his election campaign, to prevent Israel from affecting the
Iran policy debate in the United States, and worst of all to
diminish Israels popularity in the United States and especially
among Democrats. Suppose for a moment that the Netanyahu speech
before Congress is a mistake, a breach of protocol, a campaign
maneuver, indeed all the bad things the White House is calling
it. Grant all of that for a moment for the sake of argument and
the behavior of the Obama administration is still inexplicable.
Clearly more is behind its conduct than mere pique over the speech.
- First comes the personal relationship and the desire to see
Netanyahu lose the election. Recall that Obama became president
before Netanyahu became prime minister, and it is obvious that
the dislike was both personal and political before Netanyahu
had done anything. Obama does not like people on the right, periodAmericans,
Israelis, Australians, you name it. Obama also decided immediately
on taking office to pick a fight with Israel and make construction
in settlements and in Jerusalem the central issue in U.S.-Israeli
relations. Remember that he appointed George Mitchell as his
special negotiator one day after assuming the presidency, and
Mitchell was the father of the demand that constructionincluding
even construction to accommodate what Mitchell called natural
growth of families in settlement populationsbe stopped
dead. A confrontation was inevitable, and was desired by the
White House. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/us-and-israel-manufactured-crisis_867037.html?
- DID OBAMA GIVE ISRAEL GO-AHEAD WITH SYRIA?
- Mar 24, 2013 By DANIEL HALPER - On Friday, President
Barack Obama left Israel, after spending a couple days with the
leaders of America's closest ally in the region. Now today, two
days later, Israel has acknowledged that it fired at a military
position in Syria. "Israel said it fired into Syria on Sunday
and destroyed a machinegun position in the Golan Heights from
where shots had been fired at Israeli soldiers in a further spillover
of the Syrian civil war along a tense front," Reuters reports.
"It was not immediately clear whether Israel held Syrian
troops or rebels responsible for what a spokesman for Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu said had been a deliberate attack on Israeli
patrols in the occupied territory."
- The sequence of events leads one to ask, what did the two
leaders, Obama and Netanyahu, discuss regarding Syria when they
met multiple times this last week in Jerusalem? And what did
they agree to do to deal with the Syria issue?
- The answers aren't immediately clear. But we do know that
the two discussed Syria. "Mr. President, we discussed today
the situation in Syria," said Netanyahu at a joint press
conference with the two leaders. "We share the goal of seeing
a stable and peaceful Syria emerge from the carnage that we have
witnessed over the last two years. That carnage has already resulted
in the deaths of over 70,000 people and the suffering of millions.
We also share a determination to prevent the deadly arsenal of
weapons within Syria from falling into the hands of terrorist
hands. And I have no doubt that the best way to do that is to
work closely with the United States and other countries in the
region to address this challenge. And that is what we intend
NETANYAHU SPEECH: HOW FAR WILL DEMOCRATS GO TO SAVE OBAMA'S PRIDE?
- By Michael Goodwin - February 04, 2015 - ·New York
Post - Asked if Democrats might skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahus speech to Congress about Iran next month, House
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi answered, I dont know.
The implied threat is remarkable and a sign of how bent
out of shape the White House remains over Speaker John Boehners
invitation to the Israeli prime minister. The growing anger is
turning what aides initially called a breach of protocol into
a dangerous test of how far the party will go to defend President
Obamas foolish pride.
Iran is the most dangerous nation on earth, and Obamas
disproportionate reaction to the planned speech reveals his determination
not to have reality intrude on his craven negotiations with the
mad mullahs. By all accounts, he has offered so many concessions
that the deal in the works would effectively approve Iranian
- SUSAN RICE REMARK ON NETANYAHU'S UPCOMING SPEECH EVEN SEEMS
TO SURPRISE VETERAN NEWSMAN
Feb. 25, 2015 - Oliver Darcy - National Security Advisor Susan
Rice sharply criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus
upcoming speech to Congress Tuesday, contending the act would
be destructive of the fabric of the relationship
between the U.S. and Israel. The relationship between Israel
as a country, and the United States as a country, has always
been bipartisan, Rice told Charlie Rose. And weve
been fortunate that politics have not injected into that relationship.
What has happened over the last several weeks
on both sides there has now been the injection of a degree of
partisanship. Thats when the national security advisor
made the comment that seemingly took Rose, a veteran newsman,
off guard. [It's] not only unfortunate, I think its
destructive of the fabric of the relationship, Rice said.
Susan Rice: Netanyahu's 'Destructive' Speech to Congress (Feb.
24, 2015) | Charlie Rose
LIVE BLOG: HERZOG CONGRATULATES NETANYAHU, REFUSES TO SAY WHETHER
HE'LL JOIN COALITION
- Final results: Netanyahu's Likud scores decisive victory
in Israeli election, set to win 30 Knesset seats, Zionist Union
gets 24 Netanyahu calls for 'strong' government to safeguard
security, welfare Meretz leader Zehava Galon resigns in
wake of election results. By Haaretz | Mar. 18, 2015 | With nearly
all votes counted, Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party is set to
emerge as the election's big winner with 30 seats. The Zionist
Union trails behind with 24 seats. The Joint List of Arab parties
is the third-largest party at this point, followed by Yesh Atid,
Kulanu, Habayit Hayehudi, Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu, United Torah
Judaism, Meretz and Yahad. President Reuven Rivlin said he would
work for a national unity government. Ballots were cast at 10,372
polling stations throughout Israel. There are 5,881,696 Israelis
(citizens over the age of 18) who were eligible to vote today
for the 20th Knesset.
CENTRIST RUNNER-UP SAYS HE WON'T JOIN NEW ISRAELI COALITION
- March 19, 2015 - Associated Press - Israel's parliamentary
election this week says his party will not join the next government,
and accused Benjamin Netanyahu of racism. Isaac Herzog says his
Zionist Union, which finished second in the vote, would sit in
the opposition and "challenge a narrow right-wing government."
Herzog spoke Thursday to Army Radio. The latest tally from Tuesday's
vote shows the Zionist Union got 24 seats, compared to Likud's
30. Herzog criticized Netanyahu's campaign, saying it "touched
on racism" and was based on "lies, hostility and fear-mongering."
In a last-ditch attempt to spur supporters to the polls, Netanyahu
said Arab citizens were voting "in droves" and were
endangering years of rule by his Likud Party. The comments drew
accusations of racism from Israeli Arabs and a White House rebuke.
- THIS SENTENCE SHOULD CAUSE A LOT OF CONCERN ABOUT IRAN TAKING
- Jeremy Bender and Michael B Kelley - Mar. 17, 2015 - A disturbing
sign of Iran's growing influence in Iraq and beyond was highlighted
on March 8 during a seminar titled "The Iranian Identity,"
Bloomberg View reports. "Iran is an empire once again at
last, and its capital is Baghdad," said Ali Younusi, an
adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei. Iraq, particularly
the eastern and southern regions of the country with a majority
Shia population, has tended to fall within the orbit of Iran's
influence. During the Iran-Iraq war (1980 to 1988), Iran funded
Shiite militias with the aim of overthrowing Saddam Hussein's
The two countries ultimately ground each other into a stalemate.
But after the American invasion and subsequent withdrawal from
Iraq, Iran's ability to project power into Iraq has only grown.
Here are various ways in which Iran is constantly expanding its
power in Iraq: The formation of Shiite militias - Read more:
- IRAN'S MILITARY MASTERMIND IS 'A MORE STATELY VERSION OF
OSAMA BIN LADEN'
- Michael B Kelley - Mar. 5, 2015 - The US-led fight against
the Islamic State relies increasingly on Iran and its proxies,
and that has created an uncomfortable de facto alliance with
an Iranian military mastermind with American blood on his hands.Maj.
Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the head of Iran's Quds Force, the foreign
arm of the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), has been pictured
on the frontlines for the past couple of months. Most recently
he has been seen in Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein now
controlled by the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL),
which is under siege by Iran-backed militias. US assistance is
nowhere to be found. "There's just no way that the US military
can actively support an offensive led by Suleimani," Christopher
Harmer, a former aviator in the United States Navy in the Persian
Gulf who is now an analyst with the Institute for the Study of
War, told Helene Cooper of The New York Times. "He's a more
stately version of Osama bin Laden." Nevertheless, the US
military sees Iranian involvement as "a positive thing"
as long as Shia-Sunni tensions don't get out of hand.
"This is the most overt conduct of Iranian support, in the
form of artillery and other things," Gen. Martin E. Dempsey,
the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed
Services Committee on Tuesday. "Frankly, it will only be
a problem if it results in sectarianism."
- LARGEST CHRISTIAN PENTECOST CELEBRATION IN ISRAEL'S MODERN
- May 21, 2015 | LEONARDO BLAIR - At the 11,600-seater Jerusalem
Pais Arena in Israel Monday morning, workers here were busy trying
to get the brand new 40,000-square-meter facility ready for what
could be the largest Christian Pentecost Sunday celebration in
the Jewish nation's modern history. The workers, wary of publicly
discussing the event at the venue out of concern for their jobs,
would only say there has been a buzz about it in the last few
days. They know "the Christians are coming."
- The celebration being organized by the Empowered21 Global
Congress, will happen May 20-25 and feature some of the most
well-known Spirit-empowered leaders from around the globe such
as Teen Mania Ministries president and founder, Ron Luce; Samuel
Rodriguez Jr., president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership
Conference and Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of Free Chapel.
Jeremy Burton, executive director for university relations and
communications at Oral Roberts University, explained during a
tour through the city Monday that they won't have specific numbers
on how many Spirit-empowered Christians that will show up for
the gathering until the weekend, but says participants are expected
to show up from multiple countries around the world.
- Oral Roberts University President, William M. Wilson, who
also serves as president and co-chair of Empowered21, said the
gathering will be a landmark one for the movement. "This
is a pivotal moment in history for the global Spiritempowered
movement," said Wilson in a statement. "The Impartation
service, which will pass the mantel of the global Spiritempowered
movement on to the next generation, is of particular significance.
Our prayer is that this service will be a catalyst, igniting
the hearts and minds of young people from around the globe with
the fire of God's love and power. Continued: http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2015/May21/215.html
- WARY ISRAEL WATCHES LATEST UN BID TO FORCE IT TO COME CLEAN
- State Department official holds talks in Jerusalem as US
denies it will abandon pledge to protect Israel from damaging
- By Times of Israel staff May 21, 2015 - Official Israel was
on Thursday maintaining a stony silence, but insiders said they
were concerned that the Obama administration might not block
new efforts by a UN conference to force Israel to come clean
on its nuclear capabilities as a step toward a nuclear-free Middle
- The United States has sent a top official to Israel to discuss
the question of a Middle East free of nuclear weapons, a central
issue of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference
that is set to adopt its closing resolutions on Friday. At the
previous conference, in 2010, to Israels dismay, the Obama
administration signed onto the final document which called for
a conference of all Middle Eastern states to move forward on
a 1995 proposal for a nuclear-free Mideast and which urged Israel
to sign the NPT treaty and place all its nuclear facilities
under comprehensive IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)
safeguards. Later, though, President Barack Obama and his
then national security adviser James Jones denounced efforts
to single out Israel. We strongly oppose efforts to single
out Israel, and will oppose actions that jeopardize Israels
national security, Obama said. And Jones said he deplores
the singling out of Israel, which he said placed the prospect
of the planned conference in doubt. http://www.timesofisrael.com/wary-israel-watches-latest-un-bid-to-force-it-to-come-clean-on-nukes
PALESTINIANS HAVE RIGHT TO FREEDOM, OBAMA SAYS AT DC SYNAGOGUE
- Jewish values compel two-state solution, president says,
hailing contribution of American Jews, denouncing rise of anti-Semitism,
defending Iran nuke deal
- By Ilan Ben Zion and Rebecca Shimoni Stoil May 22, 2015 -
WASHINGTON President Barack Obama on Friday called for
the establishment of a free Palestinian state alongside Israel,
saying it was necessary for the preservation of Israeli democracy,
security and integral to Jewish values. Wearing a white kippah,
Obama spoke to a crowd of about 1,000 at Washington DCs
Adas Israel Congregation, one of the largest in the capital,
marking Jewish American History Month. He touted his pro-Israel
policies and sported his close ties with Jewish advisors, wishing
the audience a slightly early Shabbat Shalom and
peppering his speech with Hebrew terms such as tikkun olam
repairing the world. He said his personal philosophy was
inspired by Jewish values and the Israeli pioneer spirit, and
forcefully objected to claims that disagreements
over policies belied a lack of support for the Jewish state.
- Obama was greeted by ringing applause when he affirmed a
vision of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace
and security. Just as Israelis built a state in their
homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their
land as well. Thats not easy, he quipped. The
Palestinians are not the easiest of partners. The neighborhood
is dangerous and we cannot expect Israel to take existential
risks with their security and so any deal that takes place has
to take into account the genuine dangers of terrorism and hostility.
- The president acknowledged what some of his opponents have
also claimed that his standards for Israel are high. Yes,
I have high expectations for Israel the same way I have high
expectations for the United States of America.
- FRANCE, BRITAIN SEEK UN ACTION ON PEACE PROCESS
- New Zealand working on draft resolution; envoy says timing
- after Israeli elections, before US presidential campaigns
- By AFP and Times of Israel staff April 22, 2015 - 27 rance
and Britain urged the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday
to set a framework for a peace agreement between Israel and the
Palestinians, as New Zealand announced it was working on a draft
resolution to revive long-stalled peace talks.
- Its the responsibility of this council to adopt
a consensual and balanced resolution that sets the parameters
of a final status and a timeline for the negotiations, French
UN Ambassador Francois Delattre told a council meeting, according
to Reuters. Britains UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said
that Britain saw merit in a council resolution setting
out the parameters for a peaceful and negotiated solution.
But this will require proper consultation to achieve the
full backing of the council, he was quoted by Reuters as
saying. [...] The ambassador emphasized that the timing was right
to move forward, after the Israeli elections and before the United
States becomes embroiled in the campaign for the presidency in
2016. Whole article: http://www.timesofisrael.com/france-britain-seek-un-action-on-peace-process
- US PROPOSES $1.9 BILLION MILITARY PACKAGE FOR ISRAEL
- May 20, 2015 - JNS.org The United States has proposed
a $1.9 billion military package for Israel amid growing concerns
over Iran. The massive package, which was announced by the U.S.
Department of Defenses Defense Security Cooperation Agency
and must be approved by Congress, includes 750 bunker buster
precision-guided bombs and 3,000 Hellfire missiles, among several
- The United States is committed to the security of Israel,
and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to
develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability.
This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives,
the Department of Defense said in a statement, adding, The
proposed sale of these munitions will not alter the basic military
balance in the region. The timing of the American-Israeli
deal comes as President Barack Obama promised last week to step
up military assistance to Arab Gulf states due to their concerns
about Irans nuclear program. Similarly, Israels concern
about Iran is reportedly the reason for Americas increased
military aid to the Jewish state.
- ISRAEL DEMOLISHES HOUSE, 3 ILLEGALLY-CONSTRUCTED STORES IN
- Meretz City Councilman Dr. Meir Margalit describes demolitions
as extreme, and poorly timed. Three illegally-built shops and
a house under construction were demolished by Israeli government
bulldozers in east Jerusalems Silwan neighborhood, adjacent
to the Old City, on Tuesday morning. In a statement, the Wadi
Hilweh Information Center said a coterie of IDF soldiers, accompanied
by a bulldozer, arrived during the early morning hours, cordoned
off the area, and proceeded to raze the structures. Israeli
bulldozers arrived at 4.00 a.m., backed by dozens of Israeli
troops, and leveled the three shops to the ground under the pretext
they had been built illegally, the center said.
- TZIPI LIVNI: ISRAEL IS WEAK, ISOLATED WITHOUT THE US
"Netanyahu committed the original sin of intervening in
American domestic politics and ruined relations with US,"
says the Zionist Union knesset member. Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu is eroding Israels relations with the US, leading
to the Jewish states diplomatic isolation, Zionist Union
MK Tzipi Livni said Tuesday. Speaking at an Israel Bar Association
conference in Eilat, Livni said the prime minister had committed
the original sin of intervening in American domestic
politics and ruined relations with the US a reference
to Netanyahus March speech to Congress without the approval
of US President Barack Obama.
- The former foreign minister continued that much of Israels
security and ability to project strength depends on US
support, pointing out that even in the heat of war, Israels
ability to finish an operation and achieve its postwar aims depended
on the US. According to Livni, the country has a choice of being
seen as it is now, a small, isolated country, or
as it could be seen if relations with the US were repaired
a country with deep links [to] and support from the
worlds most powerful country.
- U.S. THREATENS SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL, MAKES EXCUSES FOR
- Mar 19, 2015 By DANIEL HALPER - The U.S. government
might impose sanctions on Israel or allow its greatest ally in
the Middle East to be tried in the International Criminal Court,
according to Politico. Michael Crowley reports: Obama officials
must now decide whether more international pressure on Israel
can help bring a conservative Netanyahu-led government back
to the negotiating table with the Palestinians or
whether such pressure would simply provoke a defiant reaction,
as some fear. Obama has other diplomatic options. He could expend
less political capital to oppose growing momentum within the
European Union to impose sanctions on Israel for its settlement
- More provocative to Israel would be any softening of Obamas
opposition to Palestinian efforts to join the International Criminal
Court, which the Palestinian Authority will formally join on
April 1. Under a law passed by Congress, any Palestinian bid
to bring war crimes charges against Israel at the court will
automatically sever Americas $400 million in annual aid
to the Palestinian Authority, although some experts suggested
Obama could find indirect ways to continue some funding - even
if only to prevent a dangerous collapse of the Palestinian governing
body. Meanwhile, in other news, the U.S. government is making
excuses for Iran's testing of its nuclear program. Bloomberg
reports: When nuclear monitors said Iran had started testing
a single advanced centrifuge last year, some U.S. politicians
and analysts jumped on the report as proof the Islamic Republic
cant be trusted. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/us-threatens-israel-makes-excuses-iran_891950.html
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