October 27, 2017

In News Surrounding Israel by The Friends of Israel

Minister: Israeli army could act if world fails to stem Iran nuclear ambitions

Israel’s Intelligence Minister, Israel Katz said on Thursday (26th) that the country would consider taking unilateral military action to ensure its arch-foe Iran never obtains nuclear weapons.

“If international efforts led by U.S. President Donald Trump don’t stop Iran from acquiring nuclear capabilities, Israel will act militarily by itself,” Katz told Reuters, in an interview from Japan, where he is currently holding talks with government officials in an effort to galvanize support for Trump’s hardline stance toward the Islamic Republic.

“There are changes that can be made to the nuclear agreement to ensure that Iran will never  have the ability to have a nuclear weapon,” Katz told Reuters.

(i24news.tv; afp.com)


U.S. House of representatives votes to thwart Hizbullah’s cash flow – Richard Lardner

The U.S. House of Representatives approved bipartisan legislation Wednesday (25th) to block the flow of money to Iran-backed Hizbullah and to sanction the group for using civilians as human shields.  The bill targeting Hizbullah’s finances, sponsored by Reps. Ed Royce (R.-Calif) and Eliot Engel (D-NY, directs the administration to sanction the people and businesses engaged in fundraising and recruitment activities for the group.

(ap.com; washingtonpost.com)


Hizbullah’s leader in the Golan exposed

Munir Ali Na’im Shaiti, the person entrusted by Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah to be in charge of the Golan Heights from Damascus to the border with Israel, is the man who will, to a great extent, sketch for Hizbullah the plan for the next war on the Syrian front.

Shaiti, 50, was given the nickname Haj Hashem in the course of his long service with Hizbullah during which he, among other things, ordered the 2002 shooting attack at Kibbutz Matzuva which caused the deaths of six Israeli civilians.



130 Israeli companies, 60 international corporations on UN “blacklist” – Itamar Eichner

130 Israeli companies and 60 international corporations operating in Israel have received warning letters from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein cautioning them of their impending inclusion in a “blacklist” of companies active in the territories.  No such list to other regions of conflict – such as the Crimean Peninsula and Western Sahara – have been created.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has been working to promote legislation in Congress determining that any country divesting its business dealings from Israel will be considered to have “capitulated” to the Arab boycott, and would thus be in violation of American law.



Internal dissent in Hamas over reconciliation deal – Avi Issacharoff

Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a key Hamas leader in the West Bank, said Tuesday (24th) that the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah “is only a media event.”  Yousef pointed to the PA arrests in recent days of many Hamas activists in the West Bank and also noted that the PA’s sanctions against Gaza remain in place.  In the West Bank there is real dissent among Hamas leaders, many of whom were left out of the talks that brokered the reconciliation.



Fatah continues campaign against Balfour Declaration

The Fatah movement headed by Mahmoud Abbas, who also serves as Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman, on Wednesday (25th) condemned British Prime MInister Theresa May who announced her intention to officially mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

Munib al-Jar’ub, the Fatah official in charge of public diplomacy, said that May’s remarks express a bias toward the “racist occupation state,” a reference to Israel, and represent a danger of legitimizing an “occupation” that targets Palestinians and their land.



Standing up to agricultural terrorism – Boaz Haetzni

The wholesale theft of agricultural produce committed last Saturday (21st) at Moshav Shekef by 70 residents of the Palestinian village of Beit Awwa illustrates the extent of an ongoing problem.  Zionism’s fight for its life in Israeli farms in the Galilee and the Negev plays out in daily acts of economic and agricultural terrorism.  Fences are destroyed, herds and crops are stolen, irrigation systems are wrecked, and protection money is demanded.

In response, Israeli civilians founded “Hashomer HaHadash,” named after the pre-World War I “Hashomer (Watchman) defense organization, who donate their time to guard fields and herds.  

One Hashomer member said, “We volunteers don’t even get gas money, but we do get a smile of thanks from those who continue to hold onto the nation’s land and our future in this country.”  

This grassroots organization coordinates fully with the Israeli police.



Pence to visit Israel on Hanukkah

Vice President Mike Pence announced on Wednesday (25th) that he will travel to Israel and Egypt in late December, and said the US will redirect funds aimed at helping persecuted Christians and other minorities away from the United Nations (UN).

Pence will visit Israel during Hanukkah.  He is slated to discuss the prospects of the diplomatic process in the Middle East, address U.S. policy toward Iran and highlight Israel’s space program.



Israeli wins judo gold in UAE, which refused to play Israeli anthem or raise flag

An Israeli judoka won a gold medal on Thursday (26th) at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Judo tournament, but had to sing his own private “Hatikvah” because organizers refused to play the Israeli national anthem.

He also had to celebrate his victory under the International Judo Federation’s flag, because the emirate banned the display of Israeli symbols.



Another Canadian university rejects BDS

The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) on Wednesday (25th) voted against a motion in favor of adopting the anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

Anti-Israel activists were unable to persuade a critical mass of University of Winnipeg students to support this initiative, thanks to students who organized the campaign opposing it.