Israel's attention has turned to the north, as it must. While to the south Hamas remains a threat, it is a cobra in the sand compared to the resurrected lion of Persia and its pack of predator states pressing in on Israel's northern fence. And egging them on, pushing them toward Israel, is the reawakened bear of Russia, hungry from its hibernating fast since 1991.

The Persian lion is Iran, directly to the east of Israel. Its growing pack of predator states includes portions of Iraq and, to Israel's north, Syria and Lebanon. In an apparent attempt to encircle the Jewish state, Iran is actively recruiting Hamas in Gaza and, intriguingly, Yemen and Sudan, guardians to the Red Sea. Why the Red Sea? One of its forks leads directly to Israel's southern ports in Eilat. The other is the world's shipping thoroughfare through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean from which all of Israel's west coast is accessible.

Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu
Tuesday, 24 March 2015 | In his first interview after Benjamin Netanyahu's successful reelection bid in Israel, US President Obama chided the Prime Minister for his remark one week ago today, specifically his comment about Arab voters.

Last Tuesday was election day in Israel. The race, it seemed, was far too close to call. Speaking in Hebrew, Netanyahu went to social media, urging his supporters to get out and vote. "The rule of the political right is in danger," he said, then added, "Arab voters are moving in vast numbers to the polling stations. Left-wing NGOs are busing them in…"

  Tanakh Study Circle Monday, 7 September 2015 | Last week, just before Shabbat, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife, Sarah, hosted a Bible study in their home. Using the Hebrew word for all the books of the Hebrew Bible, Netanyahu reminded those in attendance, "The Tanakh is the rock of our existence."

Called the Tanakh Study Circle, the Netanyahu's Bible study is held in memory of the Prime Minister's late father-in-law, Shmuel Ben-Artzi, a Bible scholar, linguist and author. He died in 2011 at the age of 96. One part of Ben-Artzi's legacy is the periodic Bible study hosted by his son-in-law.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Netanyahu ~ January 2015 Monday, 23 March 2015 | Analyst Lawrence Solomon notes that Western media "likes to describe Israel as increasingly isolated in the world." But in fact, he writes, just the opposite is true: "Israel has never been less isolated, never been more embraced."
  US President Barack Obama Wednesday, 3 June 2015 | Last night US President Obama lectured the Jewish State on Israeli TV. "The world does not believe that Israel is serious about a two-state solution," he warned. Hence, "the danger here is that Israel as a whole loses credibility."

What's more, he said, Israel is the party primarily responsible for making peace happen. Dismissing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's post-election statements affirming his commitment to a two-state solution, Obama said they lack credibility. "I think that it is difficult to simply accept at face value [Netanyahu's] statement made after an election that would appear to look as if this is simply an effort to return to the previous status quo in which we talk about peace in the abstract, but it’s always tomorrow, it’s always later."

  Temple Mount Friday, 4 September 2015 | The PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] has issued an ominous 'advisory' to foreign journalists. In essence, it says, do not call Judaism's holiest site by its historically and archaeologically irrefutable name. Instead, call it Al-Aqsa, or else.

Two days ago, the "State of Palestine Palestinian Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department" issued a press release. It is titled, "Advisory to Journalists Visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound."

It is an advisory that calls the site "the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound" six times. So should reporters, says the PLO. Accordingly, it has four "urges" for journalists.

Judea & Samaria
the "West Bank"
Thursday, 19 March 2015 | Eliav Shochetman claims that history and its legal documents are clear, the case is ironclad: according to established international law, Judea and Samaria–what the world calls the West Bank– "belong exclusively to the Jewish People and to its national home." Why, he asks, is the world convinced that the opposite is true?

Shochetman is Professor of Law Emeritus at Hebrew University and Dean of the Shaarei Mishpat Law College near Tel Aviv. In the current issue of Sovereignty Journal, its editor, Shlomo Cohen, reports Shochetman's argument and explores its implications.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama in Washington, March 2014 Wednesday, 18 March 2015 | Israeli analyst Caroline Glick anticipates almost two years of unprecedented tension between the US and Israel.

Writing last week in the Jerusalem Post, she asserted that "the next 22 months until President Barack Obama leaves office promise to be the most challenging period in the history of US-Israel relations."

  Pope Francis The Roman Catholic Church announced in May that it has all but finalized a formal agreement with “the State of Palestine.” While it is not the first entity to do so, it might be the most significant. Because of its perceived moral authority, especially in the West, Rome's official recognition may be the “tipping point” that results in a United Nations resolution that “creates” a sovereign state of Palestine apart from negotiations with Israel and contrary to its consent.

The Vatican's official website announced that a formal agreement between “the Holy See and the State of Palestine...has been concluded.” The Holy See is Rome’s supreme authority for the Roman Catholic Church. As such, its decisions are more than statements of policy by a governmental body; they are, in fact, official doctrine for all of its churches worldwide.

A granddaughter helps her grandfather to vote Monday, 16 March 2016 | Tomorrow is a holiday in Israel. No one goes to work so that everyone can go to vote. More than 70 percent of Israeli adults living in Israel are expected to cast their ballots for one of 26 different parties. Individuals from parties that win at least 3.25% of the vote will be given seats in Israel's Parliament–the Knesset–according to the percentage of votes received.

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