Displaying items by tag: israel

Thursday, 29 September 2022 22:12

Truss may move UK embassy to Jerusalem

Liz Truss has told Israel’s prime minister, Yair Lapid, she is considering moving Britain’s embassy to Jerusalem. Downing Street said the PM reaffirmed her leadership campaign pledge ‘about her review of the current location of the British embassy in Israel.’ The two met in New York during their visit to the UN General Assembly. Lapid tweeted praise to Truss for considering the move, adding, ‘We will continue to strengthen the partnership between the countries’. 2023 will mark 75 years since the re-establishment of the state of Israel. The recent announcement by the PM could signal a shift in the UK’s foreign policy towards Israel. Britain has embassies in all countries’ capitals except Israel’s. There is a consulate in Jerusalem, but only for Palestinians and not Israelis.

Published in British Isles
Friday, 26 August 2022 09:56

Turkey / Israel: full diplomatic ties restored

Israel and Turkey have announced the return of full diplomatic ties between the two nations, including the reinstatement of ambassadors and consulate generals. This constitutes an important asset for regional stability and very important economic news for Israelis. Their relationship had deteriorated over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Erdogan has been a harsh critic of Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians. Turkey has also hosted several Hamas leaders, which further strained relations between the two nations. Many believe Erdogan’s wish to renew these relations is a result of Turkey's economy floundering and his popularity dipping as a result.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 12 August 2022 10:30

Israel: IDF targets Islamic Jihad

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is backed by Iran, and its headquarters are in Syria. From 5 to 7 August it fired 600 rockets and mortars into Israel. Israel retaliated with jets, drones, helicopters, tanks, artillery and elite commando units against PIJ military bases, weapon production sites, rocket launching sites, and observation posts. Two PIJ cells were hit, killing twelve operatives and several civilians. Israeli military called this operation Breaking Dawn and said it could last a week. At 11.30 am on 7 August a truce was called. Israel had inflicted significant losses on PIJ in those three days, including killing two senior commanders. By the 11th a further eight individuals with ties to terrorism were arrested in Gaza. PIJ was still insisting on the release of prisoners from Israeli jails, warning that their continued custody was grounds for violence to breakout again.

Published in Worldwide

The International Legal Forum has brought accusations of torture against the Palestinian Authority (PA) before the International Criminal Court, the first request of its kind, ahead of a UN report. They called for it to investigate President Mahmoud Abbas (in his 18th year in office after cancelling numerous scheduled elections) and the PA for ‘rampant, wide-spread and systematic torture’ against Palestinian and Israeli nationals. The forum’s CEO said, ‘The Palestinian Authority is yet to be held accountable under the law for committing such grave crimes as torture.’ Examples include Palestinian human rights activist Nizar Banat, who criticised the PA and died after being beaten in the custody of the security services in 2021. A trial against the officers responsible for his death has not yet concluded. Banat’s family call the trial a ‘farce’. The PA also took two mentally-ill Israelis hostage after they inadvertently crossed into Gaza, and refused to allow the International Red Cross access to them.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 22 July 2022 05:50

Maintaining Christian support for Israel

Former American UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said in a media interview that she was concerned about a slight drop in support for Israel among American Christians, especially young Christians. She said, 'We have to remind everyone why Israel matters, why America-Israeli alliance is so strong' and why it needs to continue being strong.’ She mentioned the Abraham Accords, a US-negotiated normalisation deal between Israel and a number of Arab countries, as an example of how it could be done. Haley stressed the 2020 agreement was reached primarily ‘because Arab countries need Israel,’ listing intelligence, innovation, and security as areas of possible cooperation with Israel. Haley also commented on Joe Biden’s meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince during his recent Middle East trip saying the Gulf state is an important ally against a common threat from Iran’s thuggery and terrorism. She said America must be ‘tough with Iran and support Israel's stance.’

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 15 July 2022 09:52

Israel - Saudi Arabia: Joe Biden visit

Joe Biden will visit Israel and Saudi Arabia from 13 to 16 July. The 16th is a Jewish fast day in remembrance of Jerusalem's walls being breached. On that day the president will visit Saudi Arabia where Washington has been brokering talks to transfer a pair of Red Sea islands from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, in a deal that would see Riyadh take small steps toward formal diplomatic ties with Jerusalem. It is also believed that Biden’s visit to the Gulf kingdom is to seek an increase in its oil production and coordinate with regional partners on Iran. The president’s schedule of two days in Jerusalem and Bethlehem indicates Washington also aims to solidify the two-pronged ties with Jerusalem while assuring the Palestinians that his administration is still proactively committed to the two-state solution.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 23 June 2022 21:52

Israel: political instability

Once again there is political tumult in Israel, where the fifth election cycle in three years is about to begin. Crippled by dysfunction and tribalism, Israel has joined the ranks of Italy and Greece, where general elections occur with infuriating frequency. In June 2021 there was a big change when the new government sworn in was not headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, who had held the position for twelve years. A politically diverse coalition was cobbled together by Yair Lapid, leading the centrist Yesh Atid (There Is a Future) party. The coalition government, headed by rightwing prime minister Naftali Bennett, was a grouping of eight political parties, including an Arab Islamist party. It began crumbling in recent months after two right-wing lawmakers defected, which meant that the coalition lost its majority. In recent weeks left-wing and Arab coalition members were not backing key legislation. The next coalition will form after October’s polls.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 19 May 2022 23:41

Pipeline awaits approval

The EU is finding it difficult to decrease its dependence on Russian oil and gas. One alternative is the proposed EastMed pipeline, which would carry natural gas extracted from fields under the waters of Israel's and Cyprus's exclusive economic zones to Greece and from there to other European countries. The pre-feasibility studies of the pipeline, conducted from 2015-18 and paid for by the EU, found that the project is ‘technically feasible, economically viable and commercially competitive’. The US under secretary of state for political affairs, meeting with her counterparts in Turkey, has said that more pipelines are needed in the Eastern Mediterranean. However, the USA prefers to steer business to Turkey rather than to America's democratic allies, Cyprus, Israel and Greece. Algerian gas pipelines are also acceptable to the Americans, but the long-planned EastMed pipeline is not.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 05 May 2022 23:47

Israel: renewed terror threat

There is nothing more horrifying than acts of terror. As wars rage and radical terrorists aim to harm those who are unlike themselves, the biggest casualties are often people who wanted nothing to do with the violence. Innocent, everyday people have their lives stolen from them over their heritage and religion. This is what is happening in Israel right now. Radical terrorists have been attacking Israel in recent weeks, and two Arab members of the Israeli police were recently killed by these actions. Iranian groups of Hamas and Islamic jihad are looking to bring violence and war to the streets of Israel, and the result has been renewed waves of terrorism throughout the country. Thousands of people are vulnerable and scared for their lives. We can pray for ‘Vision for Israel’ as they respond to the situation and help victims and survivors of terrorism.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 28 April 2022 22:37

Global: anti-Semitism in worldwide surge

A study by Tel Aviv University found anti-Semitic incidents dramatically increased across the world last year. The USA, Canada, Germany, Australia and the UK experienced the sharpest rise fuelled by radical left- and right-wing political movements and incitement on social media. The report's release coincides with Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day, 28 April, commemorating the six million Jews murdered by Nazi Germany across Europe during World War Two. It is based on the analysis of dozens of studies from around the world, as well as information from law enforcement bodies, media, and Jewish organisations. Anti-Jewish hate crimes in New York and Los Angeles were almost twice that of the previous year. In France, anti-Semitic incidents increased by almost 75%. The gravest concern is the dark web, which shelters extremists. Anti-Semitic content is freely and openly spread, but is only accessible through special illegal browsing software.

Published in Worldwide
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