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Israel Renewing Push to Confront Iran in Syria

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31 May 2018 (All day)
Israel Renewing Push to Confront Iran in Syria
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Wednesday that he is preparing to take additional steps against Iran’s presence in Syria, as Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman prepared to travel to Moscow for talks with Russian officials aimed at that objective. Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Assad told a Russian news program Thursday morning that Israel is threatening Iranian forces in Syria, which he claimed do not exist, because it is “hysterical and panicking” over the imminent defeat of jihadist terror militias in Syria which he claimed were created by Israel to weaken his country. “Israelis have been assassinating, killing, occupying for decades now. But usually they do all this without threatening,” said Assad in an interview with Russia Today. “Now why do they threaten in this way? This is panic, this is a kind of hysterical feeling, because they are losing their dear ones: Al Nusra and ISIS. That's why Israel is panicking recently.”

Popular Musical Group Defies BDS to Play in Tel Aviv
The movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel suffered another defeat Wednesday when popular British musical group Alt-J performed at Tel Aviv’s Exhibition Center. Near the end of their 2-hour concert, the band’s leader shouted out to the crowd “We came a few years ago and coming back is beyond belief. Let’s do this again sometime!”

Shaked Causes Stir in Bayit Yehudi Party Ranks
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the Bayit Yehudi party caused a stir on Wednesday when she declared during an interview with the 101.5 FM radio station that homosexuals would be “welcome” to run on the party’s list in upcoming elections. Other leaders in the party, which succeeded the old National Religious Party and is heavily supported by Israel’s Modern Orthodox community, pushed back on her statement while some voices in the party supported it.

“Anyone who wants and believes in the values of the party would be happily welcomed, even if his sexual preference is different,” Shaked said. “There are primaries, and of course, anyone can run if they believe in the party’s values.”

Settlement Announcement Met with Ambivalence by White House
An announcement this week by Israeli housing authorities that over 2,000 new units have been approved for construction in West Bank communities was met with ambivalence by the Trump Administration in the US, in contrast with the nearly automatic condemnation it received from past US Administrations and most European governments. "The president has made his position on new settlement activity clear, and we encourage all parties to continue to work towards peace," a National Security Council spokesperson said in response to a journalists question about the announcement.

"The Israeli government has made clear that going forward, its intent is to adopt a policy regarding settlement activity that takes the president’s concerns into consideration. The United States welcomes this," the official added. "As the president has said repeatedly, the Administration is firmly committed to pursuing a comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians."

Today’s video gives some analysis of US and Israeli policies in the Middle East


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