August 31, 2018
PM: Only The Strong Can Make Peace
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Wednesday (29th) at a ceremony to rename Israel’s nuclear research facility for former President Shimon Peres.
“Shimon aspired toward peace,” Netanyahu said, “but he knew that true peace could only be achieved if our hands strongly grasped defensive weaponry. In the Middle East, and in many parts of the world, there is a simple truth: There is no place for the weak. The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong.”
“This process, of normalization by leading countries in the Arab world with the strong state of Israel, is happening before our eyes on a scale that would have been impossible to imagine a few years ago. This process bears hope within it that, in the end, the cycle of peace will be completed. But it is impossible to deny the fact that there are yet many enemies in this region and beyond,” he added.
“But our enemies know very well what Israel is capable of doing. They are familiar with our policy. Whoever tries to hurt us – we hurt them. I am not spouting slogans. I am describing a persistent, clear and determined policy. This is our policy. It is backed by appropriate deployment, equipment, preparedness and – in the hour of need – appropriate orders.”
“Anyone who threatens us with annihilation will find himself under the same threat, and will not succeed,” he stated.
Official: Israel Won’t Relent In Effort To Push Iran Away From Its Borders
Israel won’t relent on its effort to push Iran away from its borders and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “made the struggle against the Iranian military entrenchments in Syria a top priority,” a senior Jerusalem source said Tuesday (28th).
The remarks followed reports that Iran and Syria have signed a deal for military cooperation as part of which the Islamic republic has pledged to rebuild the Syrian army, which has been severely depleted by the seven-year civil war.
The official said the Israel Defense Forces “will continue to act with full determination against attempts by Iran to transfer military forces and weapons systems to Syria.”
“Diplomatically, we will continue with our effort to have the international community exert pressure on the Iranian regime, as we have seen it take its toll,” he said.
Iran’s Parliament subjected President Hassan Rouhani to a public grilling on Tuesday (28th) over the country’s economic crisis, and rejected his answers as “excuses.”
Rouhani who was summoned to answer to Parliament and growing public criticism of the regime, admitted that U.S. sanctions on Iran were having a serious impact on the economy, saying, “many people have lost their faith in the future of the Islamic republic and are in doubt about its power.”
Commenting on the Iran-Syria deal, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said, “The pact between Syria and Iran for rehabilitating the Assad army is an excuse and a facade meant to grant legitimacy to the Iranian forces remaining in the area. But as far as we are concerned, no machinations keeping the Iranians in Syria will be acceptable.”
U.S. Envoy Haley Questions Number Of Palestinian Refugees
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Tuesday (28th) appeared to question the world body’s count of Palestinian refugees, the latest in a series of steps by the Trump administration challenging how relief aid is delivered to the Palestinians.
Speaking at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank often sympathetic to Israel, Haley agreed with a questioner who suggested that UNRWA, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, overcounts their number.
The United States earlier this year cut its aid for UNRWA to $60 million from $350 million for the year.
“We will be a donor if UNRWA reforms what it does. … If they actually change the number of refugees to an accurate account, we will look back at partnering with them,” Haley said.
UNRWA says its supports about 5 million Palestinian refugees. However, the vast majority are “descendants” of individuals who left the area during the 1948 War and the establishment of the State of Israel.
Haley also questioned the emotionally charged issue of the “right of return” to Israel, claimed by the Palestinians as part of an eventual peace settlement.
She said that Palestinian claims over a “right of return” should be “taken off the table.”
French Jewish MP Gets Death Threat In Envelope With White Powder
French Jewish Parliament member Meyer Habib received a death threat on Monday (27th) when he received an envelope containing white powder and a menacing letter.
The wing where his office is located in the French National Assembly building was evacuated for two hours, while 40 security officials and chemical experts examined the content of the envelope.
Habib, who represents French nationals living abroad in the French parliament, has required personal security in the past. In July, the threats against his life moved to social media.
The threatening letter was full of anti-semitic slurs stenciled on a piece of paper taken from Habib’s office. The letter was poorly written, and said “You aren’t French and don’t belong in the National Assembly. You are an Israeli terrorist with blood on your hands,” and included a threat on his life.
Habib said in response: “It’s sad and disconcerting to be in a situation where a member of the French parliament receives death threats because he is Jewish and a friend of Israel. Beyond the personal aspect, I’m very concerned for the French republic, and I think a response and action is necessary at the highest level.”
Exhibit Featuring Israeli Victims Of Terrorism On Display At UN
The United Nations marked its first International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute To the Victims of Terrorism last Tuesday (21st), after the UN General Assembly designated August 21 as a date to honor and support victims and survivors of terrorism around the world.
To accompany the remembrance day, the UN is hosting a month-long exhibition of interviews and documentaries highlighting international solidarity with victims of terrorism.
As part of this, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon has curated an exhibition commemorating Israeli terror victims, which is on display at UN headquarters in New York.
The exhibition includes the names and images of Israelis murdered in terrorist attacks since 2017 along with personal descriptions of each victim, written by family members or close friends.
“The international community must demand that Palestinian Authority Leader Mahmoud Abbas stop transferring salaries to murderers,” Danon said, referring to the stipends paid by the PA to jailed terrorists or to families of slain terrorists.
The display opened on Monday (27th) and will continue through September.