Friday, 24 April 2015 | Yesterday on its national day of Independence, Israel held its annual International Bible Contest in Jerusalem. Awarding first place to 15-year-old Eyal Yitzhak Matas from Petah Tikva near Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Netanyahu praised all of the contestants. He also used the opportunity to teach a Bible lesson.
The prophets of the Bible, Netanyahu reminded, envisioned "ingathering of the exiles of Israel—from east and west—to our historical homeland."
In yesterday's welcome of Canada's Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson to Jerusalem, Netanyahu expressed gratitude for Canada's consistent stand with Israel. He illustrated Canada's "refreshing" support by comparing it with BDS.
According to the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the BDS movement has three objectives. It claims to aim for an end to the Jewish State's alleged 'occupation' of its biblical heartland, Judea and Samaria. It also seeks to correct allegations of institutionalized Israeli abuse of Palestinians and their human rights. And its third goal is the 'right' of 'Palestinian refugees' to return to all properties that they abandoned or lost in Israel's War of Independence. That war was initiated by Palestinians and Arab nations against the newborn Jewish State one day after its modern-day birth on 14 May 1948.
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 | Yesterday morning Israel's President Rivlin granted Prime Minister Netanyahu two more weeks to establish a coalition government.
After his party's win in general elections four weeks ago, Netanyahu's task has been to form a new coalition. Surprisingly little has been leaked in Israeli press about attending negotiations. Various reports have indicated passionate bartering for various positions, including powerful appointments as Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Interior. But reports of blow-by-blow rhetoric from leaders of various parties courted by Netanyahu have been muted. One reason might be that Netanyahu tried and failed to establish a unity government with the center-left.
Just past sunset in Jerusalem, Netanyahu stood to speak. He was the keynote speaker at a ceremony that marked the start of Yom HaShoah—Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day. The event took place at Yad Vashem. According to its website, Yad Vashem is the "World Center for Holocaust Research, Documentation, Education and Commemoration." For Israelis, the institution and its work are like the nation's soul.
Monday, 13 April 2015 | Less than twenty-four hours after US President Obama lashed out at Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, saying he had not heard an alternative plan to his proposed deal with Iran, Netanyahu (a.k.a., Bibi) gave him one.
Two days ago President Obama held a press conference in Panama City. The topic was his friendly meeting earlier that day with Cuba's communist president, Raúl Castro. But the first question put to the President threw Iran into the conversation.
Wednesday, 8 April 2015 | While US President Barack Obama and his team aggressively work to sell their 'framework agreement' with Iran, the Islamic Republic is announcing plans to aggressively manufacture weapons-grade uranium. It is also asserting that all differences between its understanding of the agreement as compared with the US is proof that American officials are "liars and untrustworthy."
Perhaps counter-intuitively, Netanyahu's philosophical ruminations were at the heart of comments made at Israel's 5th Cybersecurity Conference where he spoke last Tuesday.
Tuesday, 7 April 2015 | Major General Nimron Sheffer, says that vis-à-vis Iran, inasmuch as "Israel feels its existence depends on action, we will take it."
Sheffer is no schnook. He is head of the IDF's Planning Directorate which, for its part, is the central body of the IDF's General Staff. Its primary function, for the IDF and Israel's Ministry of Defense, is strategic planning. When Sheffer speaks, he does so as the ultimate insider to Israel's military doctrine.
Several days ago Sheffer met with Yoav Limor, correspondent for Israel Hayom. Just before Pesach, Limor reported what Sheffer had to say.