February 26, 2018

U.S. will open Jerusalem embassy in May, for Israel’s 70th birthday

The Trump administration has confirmed that the U.S. embassy will be moved to Jerusalem this coming May, coinciding with Israel’s 70th Independence Day.

“President Trump’s decision to move the United States Embassy to Jerusalem this coming Independence Day follows his historic declaration in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement issued by the Israeli Embassy in Washington on Friday (23rd).

“The decision will turn Israel’s 70th Independence Day into an even bigger celebration.  Thank you President Trump for your leadership and friendship,” the Israeli leader stated.

Ron Dermer, Israeli Ambassador to the UN, tweeted: “May 14, 1948, President Truman recognized the State of Israel.  May 14, 2018 President Trump will move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.  70 years apart.  Two historic decisions – one united capital.”



Netanyahu to invite Trump to inaugurate U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem in May

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to invite U.S. President Donald Trump to Israel in May to inaugurate the U.S. Embassy, which Washington announced on Friday (23rd) will be relocated to Jerusalem on Israel’s Independence Day, Hadashot TV news reported on Saturday (24th).



Hamas official: PA Chairman Abbas’ time is coming to an end

Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee and responsible for the organization’s international relations, said an Egyptian security delegation was expected to visit Gaza on Sunday (25th) in order to advance a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

Meanwhile, it seems, Hamas is in no rush to agree to any meaningful compromise regarding the reconciliation agreement.

Osama Hamdan, the Hamas official in charge of international relations, told Al-Aqsa Radio that Hamas is preparing for the period after the Abbas era ends.

“I believe Chairman Abbas has reached the end of his political road,” Hamdan emphasized.  



Poland freezes controversial new Holocaust law

A Polish delegation will arrive in Israel this week to try and reach a compromise on Poland’s controversial new Holocaust law.

Earlier this month, the Polich Senate approved a bill that prohibits references to Polish involvement in the Holocaust.  The bill prohibits describing Nazi death camps in Poland as Polish, and sets fines or a maximum three-year jail term as punishment.



The Massacre of Jews in Jedwabne Poland, 1941

On July 10, 1941, villagers in Jedwabne, Poland, turned against their neighbors.  The Jews who survived the axes were burned alive in a barn on the outskirts of town.  The Germans had just recaptured the area, but it was not the Germans who bolted the doors, poured the gasoline and lit the fire.  What happened at Jedwabne, where more than 300 Jews perished, profoundly challenges a national narrative that portrays Poland as a victim.



UNIFIL Peacekeepers accuse Lebanese Army of hindering their work – Anna Ahronheim

The UN force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has accused Hizbullah and the Lebanese Army of hampering their work, the French Le Journal du Dimanche reported over the weekend.  A chief warrant officer for the French contingent said, “We are caught in the aggressor’s grip.  Doing the bare minimum has become a political choice.”

A former UNIFIL liaison officer said,”When we would detect military activities in our area near the border with Israel, the Lebanese Army would prevent us from posting observers.  Everyone knows Hizbullah is using the area for the next war.”  Israel has repeatedly warned that the Lebanese Army has lost its independence and has become an integral part of Hizbullah’s network.

A Finnish commander noted that “Indonesian peacekeepers are constantly reporting Israeli movements to various Lebanese actors,” and that some of UNIFIL’s civilian employees “do not hide their Hizbullah membership.”



60 European Parliament members call to classify Hizbullah as terrorist entity – Benjamin Weinthal

60 members of the EU Parliament sent a letter last week to EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, urging her to classify all of Hizbullah as a terrorist entity.  

MEP Anders Vistisen (Denmark) said: “It’s outrageous that the European Union still hasn’t denounced Hizbullah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.  Hizbullah’s growing arsenal and entanglement in regional conflicts severely destabilizes certain countries and the wider Middle East.  It is time to acknowledge that Islamist-inspired terrorism is not only a threat to the Middle East, but is also the top threat to Europe’s security.”



Snubbed by EU, Israeli Cartoons slamming Iran go on display – Michael Bachner

An Israeli exhibition of cartoons criticizing human rights conditions in Iran will be displayed next to the European parliament in Brussels starting Wednesday (28th), after the parliament refused to display them inside the building.  The exhibition initiated by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and The Israeli Cartoon Project (TICP), is an Israeli response to an annual anti-Israel/ anti-Holocaust cartoon contest in Iran.

“As Israelis we are proud to stand with the oppressed Iranian people, whose rights are being brutally trampled by the Ayatollah regime,” said Yossi Klar and Asaf Finkelstein, directors of TICP.



Ohio Israel Bond purchase reaches $200 million

The Ohio Treasurer’s Office purchased $52.8 million in Israel bonds on Feb. 15 to increase the state’s holdings to $200 million – the highest figure for a state in U.S. history, according to Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s office.  “First and foremost, we’re making this investment because it’s a good investment for the taxpayers of Ohio,” he said.



Israel Aerospace Industries earned $2 billion in Iron Dome radar sales – Michael Bachner

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has sold 100 units of the Iron Dome radar to nine countries, including Canada and India, for a total of $2 billion, the Calcalist news website reported last week.  More radar units are to be purchased soon by the Czech Republic.