Future soldiers leave ‘comfort’ of North America to defend Israel

Seventy future IDF soldiers—more than half of them women—immigrated to Israel from North America this week, arriving on an El Al Airlines flight chartered by the Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah agency. “I realized that if [IDF soldiers] felt [Israel] was my home, and I felt it was my home, then shouldn’t it be my duty to protect it too?” said Sophie Stillman of Hopkins, Minn., one of the future soldiers arriving on the aliyah flight Aug. 15.

Posted on August 15, 2017 and filed under Features, Israel, U.S..

CAMERA conference helps students combat BDS at home and abroad

Some 80 students from 13 different countries participated in a high-level training conference that prepares students to make Israel's case to various audiences, including anti-Israel professors and campus activists, many of whom lead the BDS campaign against the Jewish state. "There's a global problem, which is attested this year by the many countries the kids are coming from. But the very good news is the spirit and positive energy of the wonderful students who care about Israel and its cause,” said Andrea Levin, executive director of CAMERA, the conference's organizer.

Posted on August 15, 2017 and filed under Israel, Education, U.S., News.

Top Israeli, American experts concerned about North Korean nuclear precedent for Iran

Several top experts on nuclear proliferation and Iran told JNS.org the failure to successfully deal with North Korea sets a precedent for a similar result with the Islamic Republic. “If a short-term delay causes the international community to be lulled into a false sense that the [nuclear] deal ‘is working,’ as we are hearing lately from deal supporters, it is likely to wake up with a nuclear Iran that will be as firmly entrenched as North Korea,” said Emily Landau, director of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies.

Posted on August 14, 2017 and filed under News, World, Israel, U.S..

Iraqi Christians are racing against time

In Qaraqosh, Iraq, international agencies have repaired a significant amount of the damage done to schools during the Islamic State occupation. Schools are ready to welcome students to the new academic year. But the great challenge is that many Qaraqosh families’ homes still await repair or rebuilding. Iraqi Christians are hoping for a new life marked by peace and stability, but Western powers must make a major contribution to make their aspiration a reality, writes Joop Koopman, communications director for Aid to the Church in Need-U.S.A.

Posted on August 14, 2017 and filed under Christian, Opinion.

Want diversity and tolerance? Stop demonizing conservatives

Those who refuse to listen to or to associate with political opponents are at the core of our society’s current political illness, in which we have been divided into two warring camps that have lost the ability to listen to each other. That’s why if you think Dennis Prager must be boycotted or believe Morton Klein is as much of a threat to American Jewry as Islamist terrorists, then don’t bother the rest of us with hypocritical complaints about President Donald Trump, writes JNS.org Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin.

Posted on August 11, 2017 and filed under U.S., Opinion.

As Israel faces growing threat from enemy drones, science fiction comes to life

A quadcopter from Gaza landed in Israel earlier this month, and the IDF released a short message, saying a unit had arrived to take it away for checks. The seemingly mundane incident is, in fact, indicative of a growing trend: the use of drones by Israel’s enemies. Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic State and other radical non-state actors have their own drone programs, each at different stages, and posing different levels of threat. One day, the sight of drones defending the skies against other drones may not be science fiction.

Posted on August 10, 2017 and filed under Israel, News.

Rising star Ayelet Shaked on Israel’s court system, democracy, security and her future

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, a rising star in the Jewish state’s political landscape, was named this month as Forbes Israel’s “Woman of the Year.” Shaked is one of two female Knesset members from her party and one of two women serving on Israel’s ten-member inner security cabinet. At age 41, she portends to help shape Israeli policy for years to come. Shaked gives JNS.org a wide-ranging interview on Israel’s court system, democracy, security and her future.

Posted on August 10, 2017 and filed under Israel, News.

Senators concerned about extremist summer camp for Palestinian Americans

Two prominent U.S. senators are raising questions about an American-funded school in Ramallah that is running an extremist summer camp for Palestinian teens from around the world, many of them Americans. The controversial summer program, called “Go Palestine,” is run by the Ramallah Friends School, a 148-year-old Quaker institution in the Palestinian Authority’s de facto capital. Its stated mission is to provide Palestinian teens from abroad with “introductions to Palestinian culture, cuisine, life and work, and the Arabic language.” But in addition to traditional summer camp fare, Go Palestine participants are immersed in anti-Israel films and lectures by militants, some with terrorist connections.

Posted on August 9, 2017 and filed under Israel, U.S., News.

State Department’s new Mideast director has record of criticizing Israel

David Satterfield, the newly appointed Middle East director at the State Department, has demonstrated that he does not fully appreciate the difference between Palestinian aggressors and Israeli victims, writes JNS.org columnist Stephen M. Flatow.

Posted on August 9, 2017 and filed under Israel, Opinion, U.S..

Amid new US sanctions, how much of Iran’s nuclear deal relief funds terrorism?

As the Trump administration ramps up sanctions against Iran, how much of Iran’s sanctions relief from the nuclear deal of 2015 is funding the Islamic Republic’s support for sectarian conflict and terrorism across the Middle East? President Donald Trump last week imposed new sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile program and human rights violations. The sanctions come amid Iran’s reported fueling of the recent Temple Mount crisis and its agreement to bolster relations with the Hamas terror group.

Posted on August 8, 2017 and filed under Israel, News.

Christian spin on Birthright counters mainstream perceptions of Israel

One of the strongest sources of support for Israel has been found among evangelical Christians in the U.S. Yet today, evangelical Christian millennials, like the rest of their generation, are becoming less religiously observant, which Christian leaders fear may eventually erode support in their community for the Jewish state. In order to counter this trend, Christian leaders are taking a page from the Jewish playbook by launching 10-day trips to Israel for college-age adults. 

Posted on August 8, 2017 and filed under Features, Israel, U.S..

Pressure mounts against Netanyahu amid corruption probes

Some 3,000 demonstrators gathered in Petah Tikva near the home of Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit Saturday night, to protest what they view as slow progress in the corruption cases against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The protest came after three separate probes into the prime minister’s conduct came to a head when Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow, signed a deal to become a state witness in the investigations, increasing speculation that Netanyahu could soon be indicted on corruption charges.

Posted on August 6, 2017 and filed under Israel, News.

Want peace? Use Taylor Force to call the Palestinians’ bluff

Compelling the Palestinian Authority to reject a culture of violence that ensures the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue indefinitely is the only hope for the conflict’s resolution. No matter where your political sympathies lie, it’s time to realize that opposing the Taylor Force Act undermines any hope for peace, writes JNS.org Opinion Editor Jonathan S. Tobin.

Posted on August 4, 2017 and filed under Israel, Opinion, U.S..

Court ruling deals blow to Palestinian efforts to restrict Jews in Jerusalem

Palestinians are vowing to continue its efforts to prevent Jews from living in large parts of Jerusalem’s Old City, despite a July 31 Israeli court ruling permitting a Jewish purchase of several properties there. The ruling capped a 13-year legal struggle over Jewish investors’ purchase of two Arab-run hotels and an unidentified third property, all owned by the Greek Orthodox Church and located in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. The transaction was arranged by the Israeli organization Ateret Cohanim, whose director, Daniel Luria, told JNS.org, “As the indigenous people of this Jewish homeland, we have the moral, historical and natural right to live in peace…in any and every neighborhood of Jerusalem.”

Posted on August 4, 2017 and filed under Israel, News.

Australia’s Palestinian state push is Israel’s latest challenge in English-speaking world

A push for unilateral Palestinian statehood recognition by the New South Wales branch of Australia’s Labor party marks the latest opposition to Israeli interests among far-left elements in English-speaking countries, including in New Zealand’s government, America’s Democratic party and the U.K.’s Labour party. Jeremy Jones, director of international affairs for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, said that in the broader Australian Labor party, there is “a solid core of anti-Israel activists, mainly in the party’s left faction, who push for changes of Labor support for Israel as well as a popular perception of Palestinians as victims.”

Posted on August 3, 2017 and filed under Israel, News, World.