January 23, 2018

Prior to Pence’s address, Prime Minister thanks him for standing up for the truth

Prior to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s Knesset address on Monday (22nd) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked him for standing up for the “truth” and supporting Israel at the United Nations.

Netanyahu stated that Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the country’s capital will go down as one of the most historic decisions in Israel’s chronicles.

Alternating between English and Hebrew, Netanyahu lauded the unbreakable alliance between the countries, saying they had a “shared destiny.”

“America has no greater friend than Israel, and Israel has no greater friend than the United States of America,” he declared.



Pence speech rife with Biblical references rocks the Knesset

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was met with one standing ovation after another in the Knesset, during his speech rife with Biblical references and expressions of support for Israel and the Jewish people.

Under U.S.President Donald Trump, Pence said, US-Israel ties are stronger than ever.

“As I stand in Abraham’s Promised Land, I believe that all who cherish freedom and seek a brighter future should cast their eyes here and marvel at what they behold…How unlikely is Israel’s birth; how more unlikely is her survival,” he said.

Pence the first U.S. Vice President to address the Knesset’s plenary, spoke to a packed room.

A devout Evangelical Christian, Pence paraphrased Psalms: “The USA is proud to stand with Israel and her people, as allies and cherished friends.  And so we will pray for the peace of Jerusalem, that those who love you be secure, that there be peace within your walls and security in your citadels.  And we will work and strive for that brighter future, so everyone who calls this ancient land home shall sit under their own vine and fig tree, and none shall make them afraid.”

(jpost.com; reuters.com)


Palestinians rally against Pence’s visit to Israel

Palestinians demonstrated in the West Bank city of Nablus Monday (22nd) against the visit of Vice President Mike Pence to Israel.  Protesters chanted against Donald Trump also and stepped on pictures of Pence in a sign of anger.

Some shouted “Trump is a pig” – “May God demolish his home.”  



Abbas seeks EU support for Palestinians amid row with U.S.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas sought EU support in Brussels on Monday (22nd) amid bitter acrimony with the United States, but it looks unlikely that he will get much in the way of concrete commitments.

In an interview with AFP on Sunday (21st) in Brussels, Palestinian Foreign MInister Riad al-Malki said Abbas would urge the European Union to officially recognize the State of Palestine “as a way to respond” to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.



Paris suburb to recognize Palestinian statehood

The city council of a suburb of Paris said it would recognize what it called “the state of Palestine.”

The office of Gennevilliers Mayor Patrice Leclerc, a Communist Party of France politician, announced on Friday (19th) the move, which is symbolic and has no bearing on French foreign policy.

The so-called recognition was made in an executive order and signed Monday (22nd).  At least three other municipalities in the Paris region are preparing to take similar steps.  Those municipalities honored Marwan Barghouti recently, a Palestinian terrorist, and member of the PLO who is serving multiple life sentences in Israel for the murder of Israelis,



Top Hamas official admits group courting Iran, Hizbullah  

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar confirmed over the weekend that the Gaza Strip-based terrorist group was seeking to bolster ties with Iran and its Lebanon-based proxy, Hizbullah.

“Our relations with Iran and Hizbullah have returned to their natural path and we intend to develop these relations.  We will continue to expand our ties with Iran and Hizbullah,” al-Zahar said.

Last week, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Hamas is investing considerable resources into establishing terrorist infrastructure in Lebanon in order to threaten Israel.



Gaza businesses hold mass strike to protest economic crisis – Sue Surkes

Gaza’s private sector mounted the biggest strike in years Monday (22nd), to protest a worsening economic crisis.  On Sunday (21st), Israeli President Reuven Rivlin warned, “The time is coming near when the infrastructure in Gaza will collapse, leaving many civilians in distress, with no sanitary conditions, exposed to pollution, impure water, and epidemics.  The people who are preventing the rehabilitation of Gaza are the people of Hamas.”

Gaza comedian Adel al-Mashuchi said, “Once we thought about returning to Haifa and Jaffa and liberating Jerusalem.  Today we dream that there will be electricity and water and medical treatment; we dream there will be food on the table.”



Netanyahu: Israel is not an enemy of Pakistan – Muhammad Wajeeh

After Pakistan issued what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  called “a very bellicose statement” on his trip to India, the Israeli PM stated in an interview: “We (Israel) are not enemies of Pakistan and Pakistan should not be our enemy either.”



Israel delivers surveillance jet to Italy – Anna Ahronheim

Israel delivered a second advanced reconnaissance jet to the Italian Air Force on Sunday (21st), completing a reciprocal trade deal signed in 2012 that saw the Israel Air Force acquire 30 Leonardo M-346 Lavi jets to train its pilots.  Italy purchased an equivalent value of Israeli aerospace technology, including satellites and two G550 surveillance planes.

The G550 early-warning and air-control system developed by Israel Aerospace Industries provides aerial and maritime situational awareness at all altitudes, over any terrain, and in any weather condition, and can operate at long range with extended night time.



Polish neo-Nazis celebrate Hitler’s birthday, spark investigation

An undercover television report that showed members of a Polish neo-Nazi group celebrating Adolf Hitler’s birthday, complete with a swastika cake, has prompted criminal investigation.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki denounced fascism in response to the report, which aired on a Polish news channel on Saturday (20th).

The report showed members of the group wearing Nazi uniforms and taking part in bizarre rituals, including the celebrating of Hitler’s 128th birthday.  The members toasted Hitler in front of a flaming swastika.

Poland’s prosecutor general launched an investigation Sunday (21st) for suspected “public propagation of fascism,” a crime punishable by up to two years in prison.