May 24, 2018

Muslim-majority Azerbaijan Ignores Tensions, Sends Delegation To Israel

May 14th was a historic date in Israel this year, marking the country’s 70th anniversary and the day on which the Americans moved their embassy to Jerusalem.

It was also the date on which the number of Gazan terrorists killed during Hamas-orchestrated rioting at the border was greatest, resulting in condemnation of the Jewish state by the Muslim world.

One Muslim state, Azerbaijan, refused to join in the anti-Israel chorus however, putting its national interests first, according to news media.

To that end, the Republic of Azerbaijan sent a delegation of senior officials to Israel from Sunday (13th) to Tuesday (15th) for the first meeting of an intergovernmental economic committee to encourage commercial ties between the two countries.

Even though Azerbaijan is a Muslim-majority country, it opened full diplomatic relations with Israel back in 1992.



Other Mideast States Appreciate Trump’s Iran Decision, Netanyahu Says

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested Wednesday (23rd) that other Middle Eastern states shared Israel’s appreciation for US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

“Israel deeply appreciates the strong leadership of President Trump and Secretary Pompeo’s 12-point plan to block Iran’s aggression, and I can tell you with confidence that the appreciation that I just expressed is shared broadly by many others in the Middle East,” Netanyahu said at the International Air Force Commanders’ Conference being held in central Israel.



Turk Beseeches Erdogan To Reject Hamas Propaganda

While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan increased his public hostility toward Israel calling it a “terror and apartheid state,” a Turkish national wrote an open appeal to his country’s leader, calling on him to stop using Israel as a political battering ram and to reject the Hamas terror group’s false propaganda.

The man, Ismail Gunal Ocal, was a senior official at the Turkish Airlines’ Israel office some 30 years ago.

Ocal said, “I am 70 and fear no one but God.  I propose to you to visit Israel as a tourist for five days.  Don’t be scared, they won’t assassinate you.”

He also said that Jews never betrayed Turkey, but Palestinians have.



In Bid To Buy Influence, Turkey Hands Out Money In East Jerusalem – Yori Yalon

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), an agency of the Turkish government, handed out $420,000 in $500 checks to east Jerusalem merchants and residents in recent days as a gift for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Israel Hayom discovered Monday (21st).  TIKA also handed out Turkish flags, which some east Jerusalem store owners hung at the entrances to their businesses.  It appears that the money handouts are to drum up support for Turkey’s positions among the city’s Muslim population.



ICC Will Not Be Rushed Into Probing Israeli Crimes, Prosecutor Says

The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court has signaled that she will not be rushed into making a decision on an investigation into alleged crimes by Israel in the Palestinian territories.

In response to Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki’s request to the court on Tuesday (22nd) for an immediate investigation into Israeli crimes, Prosecutor Falou Bensouda issued a statement saying she had to consider “issues of jurisdiction, admissibility, and interests of justice” in deciding whether to launch an investigation.  



Iran: ‘Our Military Is More Prepared Than Ever For War’

Following the US announcement of sanctions on Iran  Monday (21st), the chief of the Iranian military warned that his country was “more prepared now than ever” for hostilities, defying the United States.

“Iranian armed forces are now, thanks to God, more prepared than ever and will not wait for the permission or approval of any power to develop defense capabilities,” said Maj.-Gen.Mohammad Bagheri Chief of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic.



Hamas Chief Boasts Of Tehran’s Support, Close Ties To Hizbullah

The leader of the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar boasted this week about the large amounts of cash, equipment, and expertise it has received from Iran and said Hamas is in touch with the Iranian-backed Hizbullah group in Lebanon “on an almost daily basis.”

“Our resistance in Gaza,” said Sinwar, has developed its capabilities with the help of God…. and the Islamic Republic which provided Al-Qassam Brigades and other factions with all they need to carry out the resistance.’  



Defense Minister Lieberman: The Hamas Military Project Is A Failure – Juliane Helmhold

“Tonight, the IDF destroyed another tunnel of the Hamas terrorist organization.  Attempts to attack the State of Israel from the air, the ground or under the ground will be blocked by an iron wall that is the IDF forces,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman wrote on Twitter Wednesday (23rd).  “It would be good for Hamas leaders to internalize that their military project is a failure and invest resources in improving the lives of Gaza residents.”



Louisiana Governor Issues Executive Order Prohibiting Business With Companies That Boycott Israel – Julia O’Donoghue

Governor John Bel Edwards issued an executive order Tuesday (22nd) prohibiting the Louisiana state government from doing business with companies that boycott Israel and terminating existing state contracts with companies that do so.  “The United States, and by affiliation Louisiana, have benefited in innumerable ways from our deep friendship with Israel. Any effort to boycott Israel is an affront to this long-standing relationship,” Edwards said.



Lava Threatens Israeli-Owned Geothermal Plant In Hawaii – Jae C. Hong and Sophia Yan

Authorities were racing Tuesday (22nd) to close off production wells at a geothermal plant threatened by a lava flow from Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.  The Puna Geothermal Venture plant, owned by Israel’s Ormat Technologies, produces 1/4 of Big Island’s energy, harnessing heat and steam from the earth’s core to spin turbines to generate power.