The Israelis are promoting a Red Sea-Mediterranean Sea waterway, the Ben Gurion Canal, as a rival to the Suez Canal. As per the Israelis, the distance between Eilat, a southern Israeli port and resort town on the Red Sea near Jordan, and the Mediterranean is not long and is in fact similar to the distance of the Suez connection between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.
The idea of Ben Gurion canal has surfaced at a time when the Abraham Accords have radically changed the political landscape of the sensitive region. On 20th October 2020, the unthinkable happened when the Israeli state-owned Europe Asia Pipeline Company (EAPC) and the UAE-based MED-RED Land Bridge inked an arrangement to use the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline to move oil from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.
On April 2nd, 2021, Israel announced that work on the Ben Gurion Canal is expected to begin by June 2021. The initial reference to the Ben Gurion Canal was published about two years back in Hebrew language publications. As per the sources, Israel will build the canal from Eilat on the Red Sea to Mediterranean. Unlike the Suez Canal, the Israeli canal can handle ships going in both directions. This will be achieved by the creation of two canals. Unlike the Suez Canal which is along the sandy shores, the Israeli canal will have rocky walls which means that it scarcely requires maintenance. Israel plans to build small cities, hotels, restaurants and nightclubs along the canal. Each proposed canal is about 50 meters in depth and about 200 meters in width. They will be 10 meters deeper than the Suez Canal. A ship with a length of 300 meters and a width of 110 meters, which is the largest size of ships in the world, will be able to pass through the canal. The Suez Canal is 193 km long and the trans-Israel canal would be about 100 km longer.
The canal construction will take about 5 odd years involving about and 300,000 engineers and technicians who will be recruited from around the world. Israel has projected an income of about USD 6 billion a year or more from the canal. This is in addition to the fact that Israel will have the largest artery connecting the Mediterranean with the Red Sea. The cost of making this canal is estimated to be between $16 billion to $55 billion depending upon sources.
Ben Gurion Canal will give Israel the freedom from blackmail arising out of access to the Suez Canal. Arab states have been leveraging the Red Sea to pressure Israel and in response, Israel has decided to gain more control of the Red Sea. Not just the Arab states, even the African states around the Red Sea have conflicts among themselves and their strategies to deal with it are a concern to the Red Sea stakeholders. These African countries have cultural and economic affinities with the Arab states.
The strategic and mineral-based economic potential of the Red Sea attracts even the big powers. In the past, it was an area of rivalry between the US and the Soviet Union which still continues in a milder manner.
One of the main military benefits for Israel is that it gives Israel the strategic options as the Ben Gurion Canal will totally take away the importance of Suez for the US Military if needed in the aid for Israel.
JERUSALEM, Israel (LifeSiteNews) October 13th, 2023
According to reports, Yonatan Moshe Erlichman, grandson of a distinguished physician in Beit El, Dr. Mati Erlichman, “died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest while taking a bath.”
n 2020, at the age of 5, the child had appeared in a video produced by the regional council of Mateh Binyamin. The video was part of a government program aimed at pushing COVID vaccines on children, despite the nearly universal immunity of children to COVID-19.
The video made Yonatan a “poster child” for the vaccine campaign in Israel, which became one of the most draconian nations in the world for vaccine measures. The video aired just before the nationwide vaccine campaign began.
After a distinguished physician's grandson who appeared in vaccine promotions tragically passed away, one commentator asked, 'How many more children will die on the golden altar?'
The INS Drakon is not a "nuclear submarine", it's a diesel-generated electric propelled submarine, but has additionally a fuel cell and batteries, arrangement capable of allowing a 15.000 miles voyage in silence. The hull is stealth design. It's weapons include 6 torpedo tubes (53 mm) and 4 tubes enabled to launch nuclear-armed cruise missiles with a range capable to hit Iran from the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the Red Sea, or comparable positions. All 6 existing vessels (of 2 different basic hull designs, Dolphin-I and Dolphin-II; 3 of each) have that armament; together they could cover all of Iran's major cities in one only attack, with nuclear destruction. But it's still Diesel-electric submarines, including the new INS Drakon. The Dolphin-I ships will be replaced from 2027 on by a new Class (Dakar), equally Grman built, all fuel cell equipped and stealth.
Israeli Pastor Amir Tsarfati just released a video that all of Northern Israel is now under attack by drones launched from Lebanon by Hezbollah.
Asher Intrater, President of Tikkun Global declares we are fighting a spiritual war that we must be both humble and bold. How is that possible? In military war there are rules of engagement. What does that mean? Today Asher gives an update on the war in Israel and explains how waging war impacts the promise of peace. Watch. Engage. Pray
The Wall Street Journal
Senior officials with Hamas and Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group backed by Iran, told The Wall Street Journal on Sunday that officers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran helped plan Hamas’ deadly attack on Israel carried out Saturday. During meetings in Beirut, IRGC officers and four militant groups supported by Iran, including Hamas, strategized for months ahead of the attacks—the worst on Israeli soil since 1973, according to the Journal. IRGC officials even gave the ultimate green light for the assault last Monday, the newspaper reported. Despite the claims, U.S. intelligence officials have said that they cannot corroborate accounts of Iranian involvement—though at least one anonymous European official confirmed Hamas and Hezbollah’s accounts. Israel’s UN ambassador indirectly blamed Iran for the attacks on Sunday, saying “The proxies of Iran in our region, they tried to be coordinated as much as possible with Iran.”
Iranian security forces helped plan Hamas’s attack on Israel and gave approval for it to take place, according to reports.
Two members of the terrorist groups Hamas and Hisbollah told the Wall Street Journal that Saturday’s deadly attack, which has killed 700 people, was planned in meetings with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from August.
The newspaper said a final go-ahead was given by Iranian officials at a meeting in Beirut last Monday with representatives from Hamas, Hisbollah and a Lebanese political faction.
, the US Secretary of State, has said American officials have not yet seen evidence that Iran was behind the attacks, but the country has long been an enemy of Israel and a supporter of jihadi groups in the region.
Mahmoud Mirdawi, a senior Hamas official, said the attack was a “Palestinian and Hamas decision”, but other officials from Syria and Europe said Iran had been involved.
The news comes after the president of Iran urged Muslim countries to join the attacks on Israel.
Ebrahim Raisi, who spoke to Hamas on Sunday, said that Iran supports Gaza’s right to self-defence and called for Israel to be held accountable for endangering the region.
“The Zionist regime and its supporters are responsible for endangering the security of nations in the region, and they must be held accountable in this matter,” he said.
He urged Muslim governments to “support the Palestinian nation”, while praising “resistance” efforts by Hamas and Islamic Jihad as well as in countries including Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.
This archeological discovery is one of the most substantial pieces of Physical evidence that the Biblical story is accurate, yet no one has heard of it. This video will take you on a journey to the most ancient part of Jerusalem. This place - known as Temple Zero, also identified as the Temple of Melchizedek - is so old that it even predates the city of David, the first capital of Jerusalem.
Sept. 17th Jerusalem Post
Saudi Arabia has reportedly told the Biden administration that it is freezing US-brokered, indirect normalization talks with Israel because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline government is unwilling to make any concessions to the Palestinians.
According to the report Sunday in the Saudi-owned Elaph newspaper, citing officials in Netanyahu’s office, the US has informed Israel of the Saudi stance.
It said that Israel was “confused” by the move, believing that the Saudis were prepared to move ahead with normalizing ties without linking it to the progress on the Palestinian issue.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah on Monday affirmed their “full support” for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and urged Israel to fulfill its obligations in accordance with international law to honor all agreements signed with the Palestinians.
Finding a suitable solution to the Palestinian cause and achieving a just and comprehensive peace is a “strategic option and a regional and international requirement,” the three leaders said in a joint communique after the tripartite summit in the Egyptian city of El Alamein.
The summit was held amid ongoing talk about a possible normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia. In their communique, Sisi, Abdullah, and Abbas did not make any direct reference to reports about US efforts to broker a deal between Jerusalem and Riyadh. They stressed their “adherence” to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, however, which stipulates that the Arab states would normalize their relations with Israel only after a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
In a series of strategic political and military moves, Hezbollah is intensifying preparations for an imminent confrontation with Israel, drawing global attention and raising concerns about regional stability. Under the guise of the battle over an Israeli border barrier, the terror group aims to preserve its option of invading the Galilee, while also serving Iran’s interests in establishing a foothold in Syria.
Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, is reportedly promoting the deployment of his forces along the border, with over 30 outposts established for alerting and observation. Lebanese sources suggest that the group is readying itself for a prolonged conflict with Israel, which it believes is gradually accepting new rules of engagement set by Nasrallah.
As tensions escalate on the border, Lebanon has backed Hezbollah’s claims, rejecting any negotiations with Israel over the border. Al Akhbar, a Lebanese daily close to Hezbollah, reported on Saturday that Beirut demands that Israel recognize the border established in 1923 and withdraw from the village of Ghajar. Nasrallah’s recent remarks further emphasized this stance, warning of an inevitable escalation if the situation is not resolved promptly.
Furthermore, Hezbollah continues to provoke the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and challenge Israel along the Blue Line, exacerbating border incidents and violating established orders. Nasrallah’s threats to resist any attempts to remove a tent erected in Israeli territory, signaling the terror group’s determination to assert its presence in the region.
The mounting tension has drawn the attention of the United States, which is attempting to mediate between Israel and Lebanon to prevent a full-scale confrontation. Amos Hochstein, the American special envoy, known for his involvement in previous mediation efforts on maritime border disputes, has been dispatched to the region.
Hezbollah’s military capabilities have also seen significant improvements, with the group maintaining 15 battalions, including the elite “Radwan Unit” of 8,000 highly trained fighters. This force has been redeployed from the Syrian conflicts to the Israeli border, bringing with it invaluable operational experience.
Additionally, there have been reports of a noteworthy enhancement in Hezbollah’s unmanned aerial and air defense capabilities, as well as anti-tank weaponry.
The Israel-Lebanon Border
The Blue Line demarcating the 120 km-long border was created in 2000 by UN cartographers to verify Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon, which the UN Security Council later certified as complete. The border runs from Rosh HaNikra on the Mediterranean coast to Mount Dov, where the Israeli-Lebanese border converges with Syria. Hezbollah says it does not recognize the Blue Line and disputes numerous points along the border.
Among those points is a strip of land on Mout Dov itself, which Israel captured from Syria. Hezbollah claims the area called Shebaa Farms belongs to Lebanon. Syria has not commented on the matter.
International peacekeepers from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) have been deployed in southern Lebanon to monitor the border since 1978.
However, Israel and Lebanon reached a US-brokered agreement delineating their maritime borders in October 2022.
Hezbollah has in the past year constructed no fewer than 27 military posts along the border.
The posts were built under the guise of Green Without Borders, a Hezbollah-affiliated organization that poses as an environmental NGO. Hezbollah launched the project in parallel to Israel’s construction of a fortified perimeter fence along the entire border. Israel’s effort to fortify the border was prompted by the discovery of Hezbollah cross-border attack tunnels in 2018.
[Reader Mayer Ilovitz points out that green is the signature color of Islam, and green without borders refers to Islam without borders.]
According to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War, the terror group is forbidden from operating near the border and Israeli officials have been critical of UNIFIL’s inability to stop Hezbollah.
Hezbollah is believed to be responsible for a roadside bombing inside Israel at the Megiddo junction in March. Its leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, is believed to have given a green light to Palestinian terror groups in Lebanon to fire a barrage of rockets in April during the beginning of the Passover holiday.
Hezbollah perceives Israeli social divisions over judicial reform as a sign of weakness.
by Ron Canter
The present coalition is Israel’s democratically-elected government. The people voted for these reforms.
There is no such thing as a democratically-elected government in Israel. Don’t get me wrong, Israel is a democratic nation. But our elections do not work like they do in America, where you vote for a president and his platform. In Israel, you vote for a party. And then the leader of the party with the most votes must negotiate and horse trade in order to form a coalition of at least 51% of the Knesset seats. In this situation, he will have to compromise and make deals to get people to join. When he makes these compromises, he may end up doing things that he did not promise to do in order to build a government.
In the present situation, it is true that the prime minister wanted to see judicial reform (like many Israelis). But he did not run on a platform of completely neutering the Supreme Court. The measures that are being taken now we're not part of his platform. This is why hundreds of thousands of Israelis are protesting on the streets.
The law passed by the Knesset on Sunday, July 23rd will serve to strengthen Israel’s democracy, not weaken it.
Today on CNN, Prime Minister Netanyahu told Wolf Blitzer that the law that they passed on Sunday would strengthen Israel’s democracy not weaken it. The law he is referring to is where the Supreme Court can overrule a decision by the government that is deemed “unreasonable.” Prime Minister Netanyahu sought to make it seem that “reasonableness” was a weak, arbitrary standard, but in truth it is legal term that “finds its roots in various legal traditions and influences. Israel's legal system draws inspiration from Jewish law (Halakha), British common law, and legal principles adopted by other Western legal systems.”
Taking away this Device of the Supreme Court (to declare government decisions unreasonable) will destabilize Israel’s democratic nature because “Canceling that standard would remove the only tool for reviewing arbitrary and highly unreasonable decisions by the government.” There is no other check on the government’s decisions, since the executive and legislature are one.
Had the Prime Minister and his coalition said that they needed to better define the reasonable standard, that would have strengthened democracy. Getting rid of it weakens Israel’s standing as a democratic country.
BREAKING JULY 28th: Likud leaders are now demanding and end to the unilateral judicial reforms. “Netanyahu understands that too,” said the a Likud official. “All of the prime minister’s allies understand today that the reform had caused tremendous damage.”
The protesters don’t represent the nation. Most people back the judicial reforms.
66% of Israelis are against the reforms. 47% of the members of Netanyahu’s own Likud party are against the reforms. 70% want the ruling coalition (Netanyahu) and the opposition leaders (Lapid, Gantz) to meet together to decide on a way forward for judicial reform.
When 5% (500,000 people) of the entire nation go out on a Saturday night to protest, it is clear that the majority of a nation is concerned. Imagine nearly 17,000,000 Americans gathering to protest! I don’t believe that has ever happened, but that is what we are talking about.
Israel will still have checks and balances between the legislative and the executive branch.
In Israel, the executive branch and the legislative branch are one in the same. The prime minister (executive) is the head of the coalition which is made-up of at least 51% of the Knesset (Legislature). By definition, the opposition (Knesset members not in the coalition) is less than 50%, and therefore has no legal authority to be a check or balance against the coalition. They can make noise, but that is about it.
There are no checks or balances between the prime minister and the coalition since they are one in the same. Without an independent Supreme Court, the coalition will be able to pass any law they want to regardless of how it affects human rights. Technically, they could even pass a law that says there will be no more elections and there would be nothing the Supreme Court could do about it, if they continue on this path. (I am not saying they would do that—and hope they would not—I am saying they would have that power.)
MYTH: The protests are just from the far left.
Israel is a center-right country. In the present Knesset, less than 4% of the seats belong to a left-wing party (Labor party has 4 seats, which is 3.75%). The entire representation of the Israeli left wing is four seats out of 120!!!
So when 500,000 people protest, which represents at least 5 million (half the country), it is impossible to say that they are merely far-left protesters.
Israeli military forces were operating in the West Bank city of Jenin early Monday morning, in a major operation focused on the city’s restive refugee camp, with reports of airstrikes on multiple targets.
The Palestinian Authority health ministry said three people were killed and at least 13 others were wounded in a number of strikes, as large numbers of Israeli ground forces were seen entering the city from several directions. The ministry said three Palestinians were listed in serious condition.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that “security forces are now engaged in a widescale effort to thwart terror throughout Jenin” and had struck “terror infrastructure” in the city shortly after 1 a.m., without explicitly saying the Air Force was involved
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is expected to arrive in Beijing on Tuesday for a three-day visit, will be the first Arab leader to be hosted by China this year.
The visit is seen as a sign of China’s ongoing effort to increase its influence in the Middle East at a time when the US has refocused its attention on the Indo-Pacific region and Ukraine. It’s further seen as a sign of strengthened relations between the Palestinians and China, which has long been critical of Israeli policies and measures.
Abbas’s visit to China comes shortly after Beijing helped broker the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran. It also comes in the aftermath of China’s offer to help Israel and the Palestinians resume peace negotiations, which have been stalled since 2014.
Founded in 1987, the Temple institute located in Jerusalem aims to rebuild the temple, training choirs and clerics and making objects for use in religious rites.
While apprentice choristers come from across Israel to delve into the collection of ancient hymns, the Temple Institute has made all of the objects deemed necessary for Jewish rites according to rabbinical instructions.
These include priestly robes, baking moulds for bread, incense burners and musical instruments.
- 'Matter of time' -
Known as Temple Mount to Jews and revered as their holiest site, the compound has for centuries housed Al-Aqsa mosque, the third most sacred place in Islam.
Those seeking to rebuild the temple recall the former place of worship, destroyed around 70 AD during the Roman period.
According to Jewish tradition, their first temple was demolished in 586 BC by then ruler Nebuchadnezzar II at the same location.
For Haim Berkovits, a 50-year-old third temple advocate, "you can say whatever you want (about the Muslim presence), this was the place for Jews".
Jewish worship at the future temple is "only a matter of time", he said.
Berkovits is part of Boneh Israel ("Building Israel"), an organisation which according to its website works at "bringing the redemption closer".
In order to hasten their sought-after redemption, Boneh Israel imported five red heifers from the United States last year.
The plan is to sacrifice them and blend the ashes with water, a mixture that will be used to brush anyone deemed impure -- for example those who have had contact with a corpse -- before their ascent to the third temple.
The rare cows are crucial, because the inability to perform this ritual is part of Israeli rabbinical authorities' opposition to Jewish visits to Temple Mount.
The animals' "return is a messianic sign", affirmed Berkovits at a farm in northern Israel where they are inspected by vets and rabbis to ensure that every single hair is red.
Specifically, Jerusalem is concerned about a deal that would allow the regime in Tehran to freeze part of its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of U.S. sanctions, according to Kan News.
A source close to the White House told Kan that “diplomacy is the best way to stop Iran from having nuclear weapons,” and it was reported that messages have been broadcast between Washington and Tehran on the nuclear issue.
ran International reported on Saturday that Washington and Tehran are close to a deal on the release of billions of dollars in frozen funds in exchange for the release of American hostages and “flexibility” in nuclear negotiations.
The money would reportedly come from frozen assets in Iraq and South Korea valued at up to $10 billion or more, according to Iranian officials.
U.S. sanctions bar Iraq from paying Iran for natural gas and electricity it imports, and South Korea owes Iran $7 billion for oil imported prior to May 2019, when former U.S. president Donald Trump imposed a fresh set of sanctions on Iran.
According to the Iran International report, in return Iran would be expected to take a less rigid approach to its nuclear program, and release three U.S. citizens held hostage in Iran—Siamak Namazi, Emad Sharghi and Morad Tahbaz—and two U.S. permanent residents—Jamshid Sharmahd and Shahab Dalili. All five are detained on espionage charges.
On Friday, Iran exchanged two prisoners with Belgium in a deal that was brokered by Oman.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told Kan on Monday that while there was “excellent cooperation” between the United States and Israel on Iran, which had resulted in several achievements, “The State of Israel relies first and foremost on itself.”
Cohen is currently on a diplomatic trip to central Europe, and met in Zagreb on Monday with Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid said that an interim agreement would be “dangerous” and that “every effort” must be made to prevent one.
“It is possible that such an agreement will make it difficult for us to act—and we must do everything to prevent this from happening,” he said, according to Kan.
Amid mounting security tensions on Israel's northern border with Lebanon, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah recently responded to statements made by the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate Aharon Haliva that Israel is preparing for war with Hezbollah.
"You are not the ones threatening war, it is us who do so," Nasrallah emphasized. "And any such war will include all of Israel's borders." He further said that "any wrong action in Palestine, Syria or Iran could lead to a major war."
A nuclear facility Iran is constructing near the Zagros Mountains is so deep it is likely beyond the range of a U.S. weapon designed to destroy such sites.
Satellite imagery shows Iranian workers digging tunnels near the Natanz nuclear site in central Iran, about 140 miles south of Tehran.
Such a facility presents a “nightmare scenario that risks igniting a new escalatory spiral,” said Kelsey Davenport, the director of nonproliferation policy at the Washington-based Arms Control Association, AP reported.
“Given how close Iran is to a bomb, it has very little room to ratchet up its program without tripping U.S. and Israeli red lines. So at this point, any further escalation increases the risk of conflict,” she added.
Four entrances have been dug into the mountainside, images analyzed by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies reveal. Each is 20 feet wide and 26 feet tall.
Based on the size of dirt mounds and other satellite data, experts at the center told AP that Iran is likely building a facility at a depth of between 260 feet and 328 feet.
“So the depth of the facility is a concern.… It would be much harder to destroy using conventional weapons such as a typical bunker buster bomb,” said Steven De La Fuente, a research associate at the center who led the analysis.
The new Natanz facility will likely go deeper than Iran’s Fordo plant, a uranium enrichment site exposed in 2009.
Such facilities led the U.S. to create the 30,000-pound, precision-guided GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), or “bunker buster” bomb, which can cut through at least 200 feet of earth before detonating, says the U.S. military.
U.S. officials reportedly have talked about using two such bombs, one after the other in quick succession. It is not clear whether even that would be enough to damage the new Natanz facility.
Jerusalem Post Article
Former national security adviser Yaakov Amidror said Thursday that war with Iran is increasingly likely and Israel needs to gear up to attack without US assistance.
“We need to prepare for war. It’s possible that we will reach a point where we have to attack Iran even without American assistance,” Amidror, a hawkish former general who served as Nation Security Council chief under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2011-2013, said in an interview with Radio 103 FM.
Amidror was discussing a flareup over the Passover holiday that saw rockets fired at Israel from Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria by groups largely seen as Iranian proxies.
He also questioned the US commitment to Israel’s security.
“America is not the same America in terms of its presence, and the Iranians see that. The US has much greater problems than the Middle East. The world looks at Israel differently,” he said.
Some 11,516 olim (immigrants) arrived in Israel from Former Soviet Union (FSU) countries, representing 92% of olim who arrived during January and February and a 434% increase compared to the number of immigrants from this area during these months last year – according to an official document of the Jewish Agency obtained by The Jerusalem Post.
The vast majority came from Russia (10,203), almost seven times more than in the same period in 2022. Only 583 immigrants arrived from Ukraine, a 32% increase compared to the two first months of 2022. In addition, 388 immigrants came from Belarus, an increase of 229%.
Some 342 immigrants came from other FSU countries, an increase of 235% compared to the number of immigrants from these countries during January and February 2022.
During the first two months of 2023, the number of immigrants to Israel through the Jewish Agency was 12,658, an increase of 219% compared to last year.
A “horrible nuclear war” will break out if the world does not stop Tehran from obtaining atomic weapons, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his first ever address to the Iranian people on Thursday night.
“If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, this will be a problem all of us will face. It will change the world,” he said in an English-language interview with Washington-based Iran International that was also dubbed into Persian and broadcast in Iran.
News reports claim the Israeli prime minister has held secret meetings with senior defense officials to discuss a potential strike. "When we speak of preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon, we must keep all the possible means – I repeat, all possible means - on the table," Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said, speaking at an event alongside officials from the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
Netanyahu said he had a message for “those who say, ‘Well, if we take action against Iran, we will face war’ – You will face a war if you don’t, a potentially horrible nuclear war if you don’t.”
Iran has enough highly enriched uranium to build “several” nuclear weapons if it chooses, the United Nations’ top nuclear official is now warning. The warning from Rafael Mariano Grossi of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in response to questions from European lawmakers this week, shows just how high the stakes have become over Iran’s nuclear program. Even at the height of previous tensions between the West and Iran under hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran never enriched uranium as high as it does now.
(February 13, 2023 / JNS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday called on opposition leaders to stop leading Israel into chaos after a tempestuous Knesset committee meeting and a mass demonstration outside the Knesset in Jerusalem.
“I call on the leaders of the opposition: Stop this. Stop deliberately dragging the country into anarchy. Get over yourself. Show responsibility and leadership because you’re doing the exact opposite,” the prime minister said in a video posted to social media.
“Look what happened today in Jerusalem: The opposition is going wild inside the Knesset and its members are jumping on the tables. [Tel Aviv Mayor] Ron Huldai is explicitly inciting bloodshed, and the leftist demonstration is calling the prime minister a ‘traitor,’ ” he said.
Mike Pompeo, the former US secretary of state, has defended Israel’s decades-long control of the Palestinian territories by claiming that the Jewish state has a biblical claim to the land and is therefore not occupying it.
Pompeo told the One Decision podcast that his religious beliefs, US strategic interests and his view of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, as a “known terrorist” underpinned his support as the Trump administration’s top diplomat for the shift in US policy away from mediating a two-state solution and toward more openly siding with Israel.
“[Israel] is not an occupying nation. As an evangelical Christian, I am convinced by my reading of the Bible that 3,000 years on now, in spite of the denial of so many, [this land] is the rightful homeland of the Jewish people,” he said.
Pompeo, who referred to the occupied West Bank by its Israeli name of Judea and Samaria, declined to support a two-state solution of an independent Palestine alongside Israel – an increasingly diminishing prospect after years of failed negotiations and the rise to power of politicians in Israel who advocate annexing the occupied territories.
“I’m for an outcome that guarantees Israeli security and makes the lives better for everyone in the region,” he said.
(February 15, 2023 / JNS)
When U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas last month, he boasted of the over one billion dollars in aid that the Biden administration had programmed for the terrorist territories.
That aid has come with a very heavy price.
In Feb. 2019, President Trump’s total cutoff of aid to the Palestinians became official. That year, 10 Israelis or people in Israeli controlled areas were killed in stabbings, shootings, rocket and other attacks, down from 12 the previous year, 15 in 2017 and 16 in 2016.
Iran officially revealed the first-of-its-kind underground airbase Tuesday dubbed "Eagle 44," capable of housing fighter jets and long-range cruise missiles, first reported Iranian news outlet IRNA.
An opening ceremony was reportedly attended by Iran’s top military commanders, including its Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Bagheri and Army Commander Major General Abrolrahim Mousavi.
Iranian officials not only championed how the airbase will enable its military to better conduct varied operations, but struck an aggressive tone when it came to its chief adversary, Israel.
Any attack on Iran from our enemies, including Israel, will see a response from our many air force bases including Eagle 44," Bagheri told state-run TV, reported Reuters.
The comments come as tension between Iran and Israel continues to escalate, particularly following the election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who vowed to be tough on Iran from the campaign trail.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is prepared to use military force to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, the head of Israel’s National Security Council said Monday.
Speaking with Channel 12 during the ceremony Monday marking the transfer of control of the IDF from outgoing chief of staff Aviv Kochavi to his successor, Herzi Halevi, National Security Council chief Tzachi Hanegbi said that should Israel find itself isolated and without alternatives vis-à-vis Iran’s nuclear program, Netanyahu would undoubtedly use force to prevent Tehran from realizing its atomic ambitions.
“If we are abandoned, Prime Minister Netanyahu will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.”
Hanegbi, a long-time ally of Netanyahu who thrice served as minister in the prime minister’s office and also served as acting prime minister in Netanyahu’s stead, said Israel has been preparing for a scenario in which it must act alone against Iran.
“The central mission of the prime minister and his primary obligation is to ensure that Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons. The alternative to an attack is accepting a reality in which a radical regime has nuclear weapons. No Israeli leader can accept that.”
Netanyahu himself hinted Monday at a possible military confrontation with Iran, saying that Israel "won't wait until the sword is on our neck, but we also won't be dragged into unnecessary wars."
(January 3, 2023 / JNS) Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah warned on Tuesday of consequences for Israeli Cabinet member Itamar Ben-Gvir’s visit to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
In televised remarks on the third anniversary of the U.S.’s assassination in Iraq of Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, Nasrallah said National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s visit could cause the volatile situation in the Middle East to “explode.”
He deemed the new Israeli government “corrupt” and “extremist” and said it was directing itself to a “very dangerous point” with its policies in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
“The desecration of the Muslim and Christian sanctities in Palestine will not only explode the situation…but could actually cause an explosion in the whole region,” said Nasrallah, making claims similar to those on past occasions. “Our people will not accept such a violation.”
He cautioned Western countries to stop “crazy extremist Israelis” if they do not want another war in the region. “We are awake, alert and ready. We will not allow any change to the rules of deterrence in Lebanon,” Nasrallah said.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday stressed US opposition to policies that undermine efforts to reach a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, during his first call with new Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.
The United States has repeatedly stressed this position before and after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government was sworn in last week. Netanyahu’s right-religious coalition has agreed to expand Israeli settlements in the West Bank and legalize dozens of wildcat outposts. The first clause of its overall government guidelines specifies: “The Jewish people have an exclusive and inalienable right to all parts of the Land of Israel” — an area that includes the biblical Judea and Samaria, today’s West Bank.
Netanyahu’s Likud party has also agreed in principle with the far-right Religious Zionism faction to work to annex large parts of the West Bank. However, those two parties’ coalition deal includes a clause giving the premier an effective veto, which he is likely to maintain, as he seeks a normalization deal with Saudi Arabia.
A recently leaked European Union document outlining E.U. strategy to help extend Palestinian control over Area C of Judea and Samaria reveals “a gross violation of Israel’s sovereignty and jurisdiction by purported allies,” Naomi Kahn, director of the International Division for Regavim, an Israeli NGO that deals with land issues, told JNS.
Under the Oslo Accords, Area C, covering 60% of Judea and Samaria, commonly known as the West Bank, falls fully under Israeli authority.
The document, which came to light last week, for the first time reveals that official E.U. policy is to help the Palestinian Authority take over Area C, Kahn said. The document declares the ultimate objective is to integrate Area C with Areas A and B, which fall under Palestinian control.
The relationship between Russia and Iran is becoming “a full-scale defense partnership,” warned U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Friday.
“Support is flowing both ways” as Moscow offers the Islamic Republic “an unprecedented level of military and technical support” in exchange for drones and possibly ballistic missiles to deploy in Ukraine, Kirby said.
“Russia is seeking to collaborate with Iran on areas like weapons development and training,” he said. “We are concerned that Russia intends to provide Iran with advanced military components.
“Since August, Iran has transferred several hundred UAVs to Russia and Russia has been using these UAVs to attack Ukraine’s critical infrastructure and kill Ukrainian civilians,” Vedant Patel, principal deputy spokesperson of the U.S. State Department, said on Friday.
(December 4, 2022 / JNS)
Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, the commander-in-chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), predicted that Israel would soon fall and Iran will use the impending “world war” as a “graveyard” for the policies of the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and their allies. He added, “Our enemies—America, England, Israel, and the regime of the Saud clan—are overtly meddling in the domestic affairs of our country. We are determined to confront them.”
The United Nations General Assembly voted on Wednesday to hold an event commemorating Israel’s establishment as a “catastrophe.”
In a majority, 90 member countries voted in favor of the move with 30 dissenting, and 47 abstaining from the vote, according to the Jerusalem Post. The United States and most of the European Union came out against the proposal.
The word “Nakba” is an Arabic word meaning catastrophe, according to the Jerusalem Post. The Palestinians use to the term to refer to Israel’s establishment in 1948, which is observed annually on May 15.
In 1948, the British Mandate expired allowing Israel to announce the formation of a Jewish state and its independence. The Palestinians, however, claim the day as a time of mourning due to the displacement of their people following the Palestinian government’s rejection of the two-state proposal put forth by the United Nations in 1947.
The Israel Air Force this week will hold one of its largest drills in years with the United States Air Force simulating offensive strikes against Iran’s nuclear program.
The drill will take place from Tuesday until Thursday over the Mediterranean Sea and Israel. It will include long-range flights such as those that Israeli pilots might need to make in order to reach the Islamic Republic.
Washington and Israel have signed an agreement that would see the US come to assist Israel with missile defense in times of war, and the two militaries have held numerous joint air defense exercises in recent years.
Otzma Yehudit leader and the next national security minister, MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, plans to launch a new effort that could culminate with a boost to grant retroactive approval to unauthorized settlements in Judea and Samaria, Israel Hayom has learned.
According to the plan, under his new portfolio, Ben-Gvir plans to advance measures to expropriate land for developing infrastructure, as well as to allot hundreds of thousands of shekels to various unrecognized communities that have so far lacked official status The plan depends in part on having the necessary sign-off from the various other agencies outside his ministry. It also includes a boost to the staff in the Civil Administration, which administers civilian matters in Judea and Samaria on behalf of the Defense Ministry, to make the implementation go faster.
The plan is a direct consequence of the newly announced agreement between Likud and Otzma Yehudit that guarantees the latter's support in the upcoming confidence vote to swear in Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister for the sixth time. The decision to grant the party overall responsibility for the approval process of unauthorized settlements has led to a backlash on the Right, with some accusing Netanyahu of handing over this prerogative to Ben-Gvir despite him lacking the required experience, in an apparent effort to avoid any meaningful progress on this hotly contested issue.
President Joe Biden has promoted a senior State Department official to a new role in charge of engaging with the Palestinians, a senior US official told The Times of Israel on Tuesday. Hady Amr, who for the past two years served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs, has been named special representative for Palestinian affairs.
The United Nations General Assembly voted 98-17 to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the illegality of Israel's "occupation" of Palestinian territories on the grounds that it can be considered de facto annexation.
This resolution specifically asked the ICJ for an opinion on the status of Jerusalem, which is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims. The city is one of the most volatile and contentious points of discord between Israelis and Palestinians.
The broad-range resolution also ignored Jewish ties to its holiest site, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, referring to it solely by its Muslim name of al-Haram, al-Sharif.
(November 2, 2022 / JNS)
Apparently in Israel, the fifth time is the charm. After repeated attempts by the opposition, by defectors from his own right-wing bloc, by the prosecution and the Supreme Court to prevent embattled former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from ruling, the electorate finally ended Israel’s protracted political deadlock by voting overwhelmingly in favor of Netanyahu and his natural—and loyal—right-wing allies.
Speaking to his Likud party faithful, Benjamin Netanyahu smiled widely as he foresaw his comeback a year after he was dramatically ousted as prime minister by a broad coalition of his opponents.
The people want a government which projects "power, not weakness", he said, his voice hoarse from days of campaigning. He was answered with shouts of "King Bibi" - his fans using his nickname.
(October 27, 2022 / JNS) Israel has warned Syria that it will step up attacks if Syria continues to help Iran send weapons to the area, Al Arabiya reported.
According to unnamed sources, Iran is sending weapons disguised as aid to Syria and Lebanon via air, land and sea.
The report came after Israel was blamed for a third strike in Syria in three days. The Israeli Air Force struck multiple targets in the Damascus area early on Thursday, according to Syrian state media.
Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) sent a massive supply of Iranian drones to its proxies in Syria, according to an Oct. 23 report by the Syrian opposition website Euphrates Appeal Media Network (Nida Al-Furat) thay was shared with JNS by the Middle East Media Research Institute’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor.
The report came after Israel was blamed for a third strike in Syria in three days. The Israeli Air Force struck multiple targets in the Damascus area early on Thursday, according to Syrian state media.
Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) sent a massive supply of Iranian drones to its proxies in Syria, according to an Oct. 23 report by the Syrian opposition website Euphrates Appeal Media Network (Nida Al-Furat) thay was shared with JNS by the Middle East Media Research Institute’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor.
Published: OCTOBER 8, 2022
‘If any Jew from our community asks me if they should make aliyah to Israel under the current circumstances, I tell the vast majority to leave,” Rabbi Boruch Gorin, head of the Public Relations Department of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday in a phone interview from Russia.
Gorin is a member of the Chabad movement and close to Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar. The fact that Gorin would say such a thing publicly explains that Russia is in a very different place since President Vladimir Putin decided to draft men over the age of 18.
Gorin said that during this past Yom Kippur in Moscow, he saw about 20% fewer congregants than usual.
“It’s not a rumor; people are leaving Russia,” he said. “Most of those who have left or who plan to leave are people that have boys around that age of the draft, or [where] the father of the family may be at that age. These families are scared and frightened that the borders will be closed [for men].”
Asked whether he is considering leaving the country, Gorin responded that he was sent back to Russia by the Lubavitcher Rebbe after he left in 1991.
A new oleh from Russia told the Post on Thursday that “almost all the young [Jewish] men are trying to leave Russia. They are all either about to leave or they have left already. We don’t know when it will be forbidden for men to leave, but at the moment there are no restrictions.”
AS REPORTED by the Post, Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata requested a budget of NIS 1 billion and received approval for only NIS 90 million in urgent funds for the new Russian olim. Expectations are of tens of thousands of Russian olim in the next few months.
“In the short term, the government will be credited with the quality of resources and services put into absorption of olim and the allocation of resources,” the agency official said.
Yet he has criticism regarding the long-term effect of Russian and Ukrainian aliyah in 2022. “We need to be able to absorb them as a country. If we have 2,500 people waiting for a Hebrew ulpan, then we have a problem. We are trying to get involved and to give a solution to the relevant ministries, but Israel had to be prepared for this situation – and it wasn’t.”
“There is an urgent need of 60 more classrooms for teaching Hebrew,” the agency source said.
As for the shortage of flights from Russia, the agency representative said that El Al is expected to make more flights available for this ongoing effort. He explained that even though reports speak of tens of thousands of Jews, or of those entitled to make aliyah, waiting to board a plane at any moment, the situation on the ground is less dramatic.
Bill Koenig, a White House journalist, the webhost of Watch.org and author of Eye to Eye discusses the link between natural disasters like Hurricane Ian and the treatment of God's Holy Land, Israel.
"From day one, the Biden Administration has been unequivocal in our support for a two-state solution. That has not changed. As President Biden made clear to the UN General Assembly last week, “A negotiated two-state solution remains…the best way to ensure Israel’s security and prosperity for the future and give the Palestinians the state...to which they are entitled,” Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said.
She praised both Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas for endorsing the Two-State Solution during their speeches at the UN General Assembly last week: "And we are not alone in pushing for such a peace. In fact, the hall of the General Assembly was filled with calls for a two-state solution during High-Level Week. Prime Minister Lapid made a courageous and impassioned speech that articulated his vision of “two states for two peoples.” The significance of his appeal for peace between Israelis and Palestinians should not be underestimated. "
The Temple Institute and Boneh Israel made a huge step towards reinstating the Temple service on Thursday when five red heifers landed at Ben Gurion International Airport.
A team of rabbis from the Temple Institute flew out to inspect the cows. The requirements are incredibly demanding, requiring that there be no more than two non-red hairs on the entire calf. The heifer must be two years and one day old to be suitable for the ceremony. Sometimes, a calf that is perfectly red when it is young develops black or white hairs as it grows older or may develop a blemish. Sometimes, the colored hairs fall out or disappear. Certifying the calf requires a complete and intensive inspection.
To be suitable for the red heifer ceremony, the cow must be two years and one day old so these heifers will be raised in Israel until they reach the proper age.
“This past Hebrew year was תשפ,ב 5782, an acronym for תהיה שנה פרה בישראל (It will be a year for the heifer in Israel). In one week, we will begin the Hebrew Year תשפג, 5783, the year in which the ceremony of the Red Heifer will be performed. This is an acronym for תהיה שנה פרה גאולה (It will be a year of the Red Heifer of redemption).”
From the time of Moses, who personally prepared the first heifer, until the destruction of the Temple, only nine red heifers were prepared. Nonetheless, the stored blood and ashes gathered from nine red heifers was sufficient to maintain the ritual purity of the entire nation for almost 2,000 years. According to Jewish tradition, there will only be ten red heifers in human history with the tenth heifer ushering in the Messianic era.
Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon in the underground facilities of Fordow, near Qom, has enabled it to be on the brink of nuclear breakout. Tehran is more likely to attack Israel directly. However, as it has no air force and very little capacity to dispatch troops from Iran, Iran will probably opt for a missile war in which Hezbollah, locate north of Israel in Lebanon, will likely take part.
Hezbollah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah on Friday issued a fresh threat over the offshore Karish gas field partly claimed by Lebanon, warning Israel against beginning extraction amid maritime border talks between Jerusalem and Beirut.
In a televised speech for the Shiite commemoration of Arbaeen, Nasrallah noted upcoming tests at Karish, with the platform slated to be connected to Israel’s national gas grid in the coming days. According to Nasrallah, Hezbollah “sent a very strong message” concerning the tests but Israel clarified they would not involve extracting gas from Karish.
“The red line to us is that there should not be extraction from Karish,” he said, according to the Naharnet news site.
TEHRAN — Iran intends to pursue membership of a Chinese and Russian-led bloc that is meeting in Uzbekistan this week, President Ebrahim Raisi said Wednesday as he prepared to head to the summit.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) — made up of China, Russia, India, Pakistan and four ex-Soviet Central Asian countries — was set up in 2001 as a political, economic and security organization to rival Western institutions.
The summit set for Thursday and Friday in the Uzbek city of Samarkand is the first entirely face-to-face leaders’ meeting since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined 'Fox & Friends' to discuss the repercussions of the potential deal and how that will impact nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.
Iran has started enriching uranium with one of three cascades, or clusters, of advanced IR-6 centrifuges recently installed at its underground enrichment plant at Natanz, a report by the UN atomic watchdog to member states seen by Reuters said on Monday.
Iran is using the cascade of up to 174 machines to enrich uranium to up to 5 percent purity, the confidential report said. Of the other two IR-6 cascades at the underground plant, one was undergoing passivation, a process that precedes enrichment, and the other had not yet been fed with nuclear material, it added.
The IR-6 is the Islamic Republic’s most advanced model. Under the 2015 nuclear accord, Tehran would only be allowed to use less efficient first-generation IR-1 centrifuges.
Iran has been using IR-6 centrifuges to enrich uranium to up to 60% purity, close to that required for use in nuclear bombs, at an above-ground complex in Natanz for over 12 months, the report noted.
Iran's president warned Monday that any roadmap to restore Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers must see international inspectors end their probe on man-made uranium particles found at undeclared sites in the country.
by JNS WRITERCAROLINE GLICK
The “quiet” on the northern and southern fronts that Israel’s leaders point to is the result not of Israeli deterrence, as they claim, but deterrence by our enemies.
Something happens almost every day that tells us that Israel’s enemies are preparing for war. On the other hand, Israel’s responses to these events indicate that Israel is not preparing for war. Three separate events last week exposed this distressing state of affairs. First, on Monday, Iran and its proxies in the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen marked the second anniversary of the U.S. assassination in Iraq of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force. At a ceremony in Tehran, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi pledged to kill former president Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Not only did the Biden administration not condemn the Iranian regime for threatening the life of a former president and secretary of state, but on the day Raisi made the threat, President Joe Biden’s nuclear negotiators were in Vienna beginning another round of nuclear talks with Raisi’s emissaries. U.S. officials told reporters ahead of the talks that they expect to close a deal with the Iranians, perhaps a partial one, in the near future.
The BBC on Wednesday cited the Jewish Agency as saying that 20,500 of Russia’s estimated 165,000 Jews have made Aliyah since March, the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is an astonishing figure, indicating that more than 12% of Russian Jews were fearful enough of the changes overtaking their country to leave everything behind and take advantage of Israel’s offer of a new home.
Anna Shternshis, Professor of Yiddish studies at Toronto University and a specialist in Russian Jewish history, told the BBC this time the Jews are rushing to leave Russia without there being a rise in antisemitism, as was the case in the 1970s and ‘80s. She explained that “every time something happens in Russia, some upheaval, some change, Jews are always in danger.” This was the case, she said, during the economic crisis of the late 19th Century under Czar Nikolai, the 1917 revolution, and World War Two. “Not everyone acts on it, but every Jew in Russia today is thinking about this,” she said.
In late July, Israel Hayom cited similar figures that were offered by the Jewish Agency regarding Russian Aliyah: since the beginning of 2022 no less than 19,168 Jews immigrated to Israel from Russia, compared to 7,824 in all of 2021. Meanwhile, only 12,358 Jews have made Aliyah from Ukraine this year, even though they are under more direct physical danger than their Russian brethren.
One of the reasons cited by Israeli Aliyah officials is the very real fear that President Putin would ban flights with Olim to Israel. Many view the legal assault on the activities of the Jewish Agency by Moscow as the result of Russian reluctance to see highly educated Jews, especially IT experts, all of whom have been schooled in Russia, fleeing the country. This reluctance has become particularly acute under the constant cyber-attacks on Russia.