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Remembering the Spirit of the Yom Kippur War: Israel Prepared to Defend Itself

During this morning’s speech at the state memorial ceremony for the fallen soldiers of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel will never be dependent on other countries for its self-defense. He also warned Iran that it would not ignore its constant threats to destroy Israel.

The lessons from the Yom Kippur War are very clear and relevant to today: Israel cannot not afford to sit idly by as dangers to its existence increase.

“The IDF is prepared to pre-empt any threat, defensively and offensively, with crushing strength, in weaponry and in spirit,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said.

With President Trump’s announcement of US withdrawal of troops in Syria, and in the event Iran attacks Israel, can Israel still rely on the US? What are concerns for Israel now? David Horovitz discusses in his Times of Israel analysis HERE.

Read our own Helen Freedman’s letter to the editor of The New York Post below.

Letter to the Editor: The New York Post

Trump’s decision to have the U.S. quit Syria leaves the Kurds, who have been remarkable fighters and allies of America, to fend for themselves. Surrounded as they are by Iraq, Syria, Iran, Turkey and Armenia, the Kurds are about 35 million people without a country. Despite this, with America’s help, they succeeded in routing ISIS, the fearsome jihadi terror group. With America out of the picture, it is likely that ISIS will be encouraged to regroup.

With all of Trump’s positive and courageous actions in Israel and the Middle East, it is believed that his greatest accomplishment was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018. That “deal” was an Obamanation which gave Iran great wealth and sanctions relief, enabling Iran to advance its ballistic missile program and spread weaponry amongst its satellites in the Middle East. In addition, Iran is attempting to create a land bridge to the Mediterranean by conquering a direct path through Iraq and Syria into Lebanon where Hezbollah has thousands of missiles aimed at Israel.

As America retreats from Kurdish controlled Syria, Senator Lindsay Graham, one of the foremost experts on national defense, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, all strong supporters of President Trump, have been critical of his decision. The Kurds consider it a “stab in the back.” Israel is alarmed as to what this means in terms of strengthening Iranian resolve to eliminate the Jewish state. Trump is accustomed to using economic muscle to convince leaders to keep their promises and behave. It usually doesn’t work with despots. Trump declares he will only fight where it is to America’s benefit. Proving that America is a reliable ally might be of great benefit. Let’s hope the President will reverse his decision on abandoning the Kurds.

Helen Freedman

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Jerusalem Keeps Us Safe

Addressing a rally of pro-Israel Evangelicals yesterday, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman hailed the recently inaugurated Pilgrimage Road. This is a new archaeological site in Jerusalem’s City of David that lies underneath the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, as a “once in a century discovery.” It also proves beyond any doubt the existence of the Jewish Temple in the city.

What keeps Israel safe? One would think armed troops and bombs, but not quite, according to Amb. Friedman. Instead he tells the audience that it is Israel’s history – a history that stands for shared values, beliefs and having goals. Standing for something keeps Israel grounded. To lose all of this is to lose safety and security.

“Jerusalem does not only move us spiritually. It literally keeps us safe,” Let me be clear about an important point: no quantity of bombs or fighter jets or troops really guarantees anyone’s security.”

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UNRWA: Evolve or Dissolve, Says Former Exec

We like Ellie Rudee’s article on the current status of UNRWA and are glad to see the issue of refugee definition, along with other serious organizational problems, being confronted.

At the close of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, former senior UNRWA official James Lindsay stated, “UNRWA’s major structural problem is its unique definition of who qualifies as a refugee. According to the agency’s definition, Palestinians who have citizenship in their host countries, including 1.8 million Jordanian citizens, are still classified as refugees. This is unlike the definition used by the U.N. Human Rights Council, which is responsible for all other refugees around the world.

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Yesterday is Today as Israel’s 22nd Knesset Opens

President Reuven Rivlin spoke today at the inaugural meeting of Israel’s 22nd Knesset. One of his key points was focused on the need to form a government. Without it, Israel remains in crisis.

Rivlin drew a historical comparison between yesterday and today. He pointed out that, in his day, President Chaim Herzog felt he too had limited power when he tried to intervene to help form a national unity government.

“My power, too, is limited. I have nothing but words. I can only suggest, and perhaps try to build bridges. I also do not know whether I am the most appropriate mediator. But I know this – we are facing a time of crisis for the House of Jacob, an emergency for Israel’s security and for Israeli society, an emergency for Israeli democracy: all that is dear to us,” stated President Rivlin.

Liberman-Netanyahu meeting ends in stalemate ~Batya Jerenberg

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The Ties That Bind: BDS and Terrorism

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs yesterday confirmed a report by the TPS news agency that the head of the terror squad that murdered Rina Shnerb, Sammer Arabid, worked as a clerk for the Palestinian Authority BDS organization Al-Dameer, which supports and promotes boycotts against the State of Israel.

In February 2019, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs released the “Terrorists in Suits” report that revealed more than 100 links between terrorist organizations and BDS. Al-Dameer is one of the organizations listed on this report.

Doesn’t this reveal everything about the face of BDS?

Latest breaking news: “Israel Reportedly Arrests Another Palestinian Behind the Deadly Dolev Spring Attack” Several Palestinians have been arrested in connection with the August attack that killed Rina Shnerb. ~ Anna Ahronheim

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Mandate to Form Ruling Coalition Given to Netanyahu

On Wednesday, President Reuven Rivlin granted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the chance to form a government for the sixth time.

Following a meeting at the President’s residence with Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, which failed to bring about a breakthrough, President Rivlin formally gave Netanyahu four weeks to form the government stating to the press that Netanyahu had the best chance to form one. The deadline is October 24.

To be continued.

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Trump to UN: We Have No Tolerance for Anti-Semitic Hate of Israel

At the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York City this past Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump, once again, stated his strong support for Israel at this annual gathering.

In his address to the audience of world leaders, Trump called upon all nations to normalize their ties with Israel.

He also lambasted Iran for its “bloodlust” and “illicit behavior.” After a pause in that part of his speech, Trump stated, “America will never tolerate such anti-Semitic hate. Fanatics have long used hatred of Israel to distract from their own failures.”

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Calling It Out For What It Is: UN Report Faces Anti-Semitism

Americans For A Safe Israel applauds the release of an unprecedented United Nations report that links anti-Semitism to BDS.

The report titled “Combating Antisemitism to Eliminate Discrimination and Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief,” was released by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Ahmed Shaheed. It defines anti-Semitism as a global phenomenon—not one largely confined to the United States and Europe. The Special Rapporteur recognizes that the sources of anti-Semitism are varied, coming from the far right, from members of radical Islamist groups and from the political left.

The report also recommends that all member states adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of anti-Semitism.

AFSI applauds the UN for taking this very important step with the release of this report. Now, the UN must, once and for all, put a stop the double standard that festers within its own walls when it comes to Israel. The UN is responsible for allowing virulent anti-Semitism to foment among member nations, many of whom are openly hostile to Israel. Without confronting this, the report cannot be effective in the long run.

What next steps will the UN take to turn the tide on anti-Semitism? AFSI will be watching.

Read the text of the report HERE.

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Working to Break Election Deadlock: Is Israel Headed Toward Unity Government?

Today is one week since the elections in Israel were held. Here is the latest update.

As of yesterday, Arutz Sheva reports that yesterday all representatives of the major parties (including the Joint Arab List) came to President Reuven Rivlin’s home – one by one- to declare their recommendation for who should lead the next government.

This morning, representatives of the smaller parties submitted their recommendations.

Now that all recommendations have been received, President Rivlin will decide who to give the mandate to form a coalition first. The Jerusalem Post reports that a meeting with Rivlin, Netanayhau and Gantz was set for 6:30 pm today, Israel time, at which it should be decided who will form the next government.

Netanyahu did not lose, and Gantz did not win ~Caroline Glick

Blue & White to Joint List: Will repeal law on illegal building ~Arutz Sheva Staff

‘Deal of the Century’ to be significantly delayed ~Nitsan Keidar

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As Israel Waits for Election Final, Is Israel Missing Out?

Speculation is rampant about how Israel’s September 17 elections will be resolved. With all but the votes of the IDF Soldiers and the diplomats counted, Blue and White has a slight lead over Likud but no way to form a government without Likud. Netanyahu has solidified a right-wing bloc of 55 that has pledged in writing to remain a bloc with him at the head. Gantz says he should head a unity government and wants it to be a “liberal” one.

Do you think Israel will have a third round of elections in February?

Or will someone put the country ahead of themselves and find a path to forming a government?

Since President Donald Trump’s election in 2016, Israel has benefited from many golden opportunities in its partnership with Trump. AFSI remains concerned about lost time – the lack of a functional government means more lost golden opportunities working with President Trump.

Election results hanging in the balance also mean a delay in the long awaited release of the ‘Deal of the Century.’

And what about promises made to reclaim the Jordan Valley and Hebron?

It’s true patience is a virtue but the loss of time in Israel’s case is not productive.

In the meantime, here are a few of the latest reports and opinions on the election:

Gantz says he should lead unity government, rejects coalition led by right ~TOI Staff

Elections Update: Still No Clear Winners: Another Round of Elections Appear to be on Horizon ~David Sidman

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