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Iron Dome Funding: Israel in the Middle

US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has objected to swift passage of a bill to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. This is according to five congressional sources who told Politico last Thursday.

The bill, which the House overwhelmingly approved last week by a vote of 420-9, would appropriate $1 billion for the Iron Dome.

A spokeswoman for the Kentucky senator said, “He proposed that we pay for the House bill with money that is going to go to the Taliban.”

Without a secure Israel – the only democratic ally in the Middle East -not only does Israel suffer, but does America as well. Senator Paul should not waste another minute more on holding back Iron Dome funding. he can take up his fight with Congress about funding the Taliban in a different way, we’re sure. America needs Israel as a stabilizing force and influence in the Middle East. Biden’s surrender to the Taliban in Afghanistan highlights just how important Israel is to keeping the tinderbox that is the Middle East in check. Destabilization in the Middle East occurs rapidly, unexpectedly, shockingly and mercilessly. Look how fast the Shah of Iran fell in 1979.

While Senator Paul’s concerns about where the funding for Afghanistan will go are legitimate, we are sorry to see Israel caught in the middle of this argument. It directly affects Israel’s ability to maintain its defense capabilities. Israel’s defense is a priority and we trust Senator Paul and the Congress will come to a decision that is satisfactory to both sides soon.

Source:
Senator Rand Paul blocks swift passage of Iron Dome funding bill, by Ben Ariel/Arutz Sheva, October 1, 2021

 

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E1 Area in Ma’aleh Adumim Critical to Israel’s Security

The Civil Administration is set to hear objections by left-wing NGOs to the plan to construct close to 3,500 homes in the E1 area of the community of Ma’aleh Adumim, located just outside of Jerusalem.

The plan has inched forward since 1994 despite intense opposition from the United States and Europe. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had allowed for the plan to be deposited in 2020, a move that brings the project close to the final approval stage. The upcoming hearings would advance the project but would not be the final stage in the approval process.

The development of E1 is critical to ensure Israel’s hold on this territory and secure a unified Jerusalem. Since taking office in May, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has spoken of the importance of continued development and has pledged not to freeze planning or building. Final approval on this matter is what we want to see, not empty words over and over to assure us everything will be OK. Judea and Samaria is long overdue for the application of Sovereignty.

Source:
IDF to hold hearing on contentious E1 settler building project, by Tovah Lazaroff/Jerusalem Post, October 3, 2021

 

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Iran Nuclear Threat: Is Israel Ready?

Zvi Yehezkeli, Arab affairs analyst at Channel 13, on Friday morning warned that Israel has no plan for dealing with the Iranian threat.

In an interview last Friday with 103 FM Radio, Yehezkeli emphasized that Iran is determined to become a nuclear power. “The Iranians are advancing towards a nuclear weapon, and Israel has no strategy,” he told the radio station. Clarifying his statement, Yehezkeli explained that although Israel has a desire to attack Iran and foil its nuclear advancement, “in the US there is a new boss. Whatever we do, the Iranians will continue advancing quickly towards a bomb. The pace at which they advance shows that they don’t care about the world, and they will soon be capable of nuclear weapons. And that’s news which is not good for Israel.”

The information Yehezkeil spoke of in his interview is of concern. But on the other hand, Israel does not have to reveal its plan or strategy to defend against the threat of Iran. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett only issued a threat at his recent UN General Assembly speech: “Iran’s nuclear program has hit a watershed moment, and so has our tolerance.” What he basically said is that if you do not act, we will do so ourselves. Even if we have to pay a price for it, you will get dragged into this with us – whether you like it or you don’t. We’d like to trust that Israel does have a plan and is ready to defend itself.

Source:
Analyst warns: ‘Iran is making fast progress – and Israel has no strategy’, by 103FM/Arutz Sheva, October 1, 2021

 

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Bennett’s UN Speech: Did He Represent Israel’s Best Interest?

Political analyst and journalist Caroline Glick has harshly criticized Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s inability to stand up to the new US administration. She recently shared her insights into Bennett’s policy gained from his speech earlier this week to the UN General Assembly.

Glick states at the outset that the prime minister’s speech not only did not change anything about her criticism of him, but on the contrary, only served to strengthen it. “The great threat to Israel these days from Iran is reflected in the unwillingness of the US administration to do anything active to prevent Iran from crossing the last line towards independent nuclear capability. Instead of dealing with it in a real way, that is, militarily, the US administration is doing everything to resume the nuclear talks with the Iranians, which will lead to American and UN legitimacy for an Iranian nuclear arsenal.”

In this reality, Glick emphasizes, “Naftali did not say anything about it. He did not condemn, not even a little bit, the dangerous nuclear agreement. On the contrary, his defense minister said that Israel was fine with the American talks leading up to the nuclear agreement.”

Glick states that she is not holding Bennett to a higher standard than his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu. “I demand that he represent the interests of Israel. He did not represent Zionism and Israel. He did not defend us against our most bitter enemies, Iran and the Palestinians. He did not preach morality to anyone when we are fighting for our right to exist.”

As an example of whether or not Israel’s interests are a priority, Arutz Sheva reports today that the United Arab List (Ra’am) has issued a list of demands to the government for its support in passing the state budget. Israel’s narrow coalition government must pass a spending plan by November or face immediate dissolution and snap elections. With a bare majority in the Knesset, the government must win the support of the UAL for the budget to ensure the bill’s passage.

But in recent weeks, UAL members have threatened to block the budget’s passage in the Knesset plenum if an agreement is not reached regarding spending for the Arab sector.

Without more transparency from Bennett’s government, it does seem that Israelis are being pushed aside to appease the Arabs and Iranians and in doing so, America. Why and at what cost to Israel? Whether or not it’s ultimately true….those are the optics and we remain concerned.

Sources:
Caroline Glick: Bennett didn’t represent Israel or Zionism at the UN, by Shimon Cohen/Arutz Sheva, September 29, 2021

United Arab List chief lists conditions for backing state budget, by Dalit Halevy, September 30, 2021

 

 

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US VP Harris Encourages Student on Israel Hatred

Vice President Kamala Harris broke with several decades’ worth of bipartisan support for the Jewish State on Tuesday when she said she “was glad” that a student had brought up concerns about funding Israel’s “ethnic genocide” and “displacement of people.”

The student was referring, of course, to the standalone bill approving $1b to replenish Iron Dome after terrorists in Gaza shot more than 4,000 missiles at Israeli civilians earlier this year, and this is important to state: noncombatants. The Jewish men, women, and children targeted by these missiles are not soldiers. And no one gets to call them that for just living in a city that has belonged to their people for thousands of years. They are simply just Jewish people, living their lives.

Contrary to what Vice President Kamala Harris told this student—who may be quite sincere, being ignorant, or, on the other hand, perfectly aware she is spreading anti-Semitic propaganda—it is not healthy to debate the right of Jewish people to defend themselves in the face of terror. It is not healthy to encourage the voices that speak out against the rights of Jewish children, for example, to live.

Source:
VP Harris Tells Antisemitic Student “Your Truth” Has a Right to Be Heard, by Judean Rose, September 29, 2021

 

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Khan Al-Amar: Reality Ignored Again

Yesterday, the High Court of Justice approved the government’s request for an additional six month extension of the deadline to present to the court its plan for the evacuation of Khan al Ahmar, an illegal Palestinian Authority/European Union – supported outpost in the Adumim Region. The decision is the most recent stage in the sixth petition filed by the Regavim Movement against what it has called “the Palestinian Authority’s flagship outpost in the systematic takeover of Area C.” In 2009, Regavim filed the first petition against this Bedouin encampment on Route 1, a few short minutes’ drive from Jerusalem, in an attempt to compel the Israeli government to enforce the law and block the PA’s creeping annexation of state land throughout Judea and Samaria.

Responding to the decision, Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim, noted: “The chronic ‘after-the-holidays” excuse isn’t a solution – it’s part of the problem. In the case of Khan al Ahmar, procrastination is an attempt to ignore reality and erase hard facts. The state is attempting, for the umpteenth time, to push off its commitment to evacuate Khan al Ahmar – until after the next holiday, Passover. Procrastination won’t change the bottom line: The State of Israel must take action against the ongoing Palestinian takeover of Judea and Samaria. Khan al Ahmar has been, and continues to be, the test case for the larger strategic challenge.”

Source:
Khan al Ahmar: High Court of Justice grants the government an additional delay. “Compromise attempts become uncompromising contempt”, by Regavim, September 29, 2021

 

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Bennett to UN: “They All Want To Destroy My Country and They’re All Backed By Iran”

Naftali Bennett spoke at the UN General Assembly today at 9am (EDT) today to deliver his first international political speech since being sworn in as Prime Minister of Israel.

Bennett talked about the Israeli fight against the coronavirus and presented his government’s current policy – encouraging vaccines while having fewer restrictions and avoiding lockdowns. Bennett focused on messages about Israel’s independence in the face of the threats that surround it.

Part of the speech was devoted to the Iranian issue. Bennett demanded significant actions by the international community to prevent Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons. Against the background of the US intention to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, Bennett message stated that the days of speeches are over and now the test of action has arrived.

Bennett did not respond to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the UN last week and called on the PA to “engage in the welfare of their people and not obsess over Israel.” A source in the Prime Minister’s entourage said in a conversation with reporters that “the prime minister has a clear position on the Palestinian issue and on a Palestinian state. There is currently no possibility of political negotiations – we are dealing in the realms of possibility.”

Shortly before Bennett’s address to the UN General Assembly, Israel’s ambassador to the United States and United Nations, Gilad Erdan, spoke. He said that the US and other world powers are increasingly considering a “plan B” to stop Iran’s nuclear program, should talks fail. “The international community and Americans are starting to talk to us more about a plan B on Iran.” Erdan did not elaborate on what the alternative plan would entail. “In the past, the estimate was that there was an 80 percent chance it [Iran] would return to the [2015 nuclear] deal, today that has dropped to around 30%. If Iran doesn’t return [to the deal], this changes the whole picture for the world,” he added.

We applaud Prime Minister Bennett for standing up to world leaders in the well-known Halls of Israel Hatred at the UN. He remained strong against Iran’s commitment to obtain nuclear weapons. He also touched upon the recent anti-Semitic Durban Conference and thanked the 38 nations who chose to side with Israel by not attending. Bennett also emphasized the fact that can no longer be ignored: “…Israel is forging ties with Arab and Muslim countries. Ties that began 42 years ago with Israel’s historic peace agreement with Egypt, continued 27 years ago with Israel’s peace agreement with Jordan,
and even more recently with the Abraham Accords – a “warm” peace deal that normalized our relations with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.”

We still question the stability of the new government that needed to pay the Islamist Ra’am Party 50 Billion shekels and agree to normalize many dunams of Arab settlements in the Negev (how can this be excused?) in order to form the slimmest coalition. But in speaking at the (almost empty) United Nations, Bennett seems to have hit many of the right notes.

Sources:
Full Transcript & Video: PM Naftali Bennett’s Address to 76th UN General Assembly, by Hana Levi Julian/Jewish Press, September 27, 2021

Live: PM Bennett at UN: ‘Words won’t stop Iran, action will’, by Arutz Sheva Staff, September 27, 2021

Israeli ambassador says world mulling ‘plan B’ to stop Iran’s nuclear program, by TOI Staff and Agencies, September 27, 2021

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Creative Protection of Illegal Arab Construction?

Several clusters of illegal Arab homes are being built these days in the eastern part of Gush Etzion, near the communities of Tekoa, Nokdim, and Herodion. At some point, Regavim movement monitors who are always on the hunt for illegal Arab construction noticed the construction start of an illegal school in an area between two of those clusters. (Today they are sure to have noticed the blatantly aggressive arson fire at nearby Jewish owned Kashuela Farms.)

“The Palestinians figured out that they would not gain a state through peace agreements or intifadas, so they decided to establish a state through a sprawling settlement push across all of Judea and Samaria,” explained Eitan Melet, coordinator of Regavim in Judea and Samaria. “As part of this strategy, they picked the location of this specific school with precision, to create continuity of the construction sites involved.”

Instead of tackling the problem of illegal construction from its inception, the Civil Administration holds off for five or six years. This makes things worse because when it tries to act on the demolition order, by then it faces clusters of homes with families and children. Now a mess is created along with a PR nightmare with world media looking on passing negative judgement on Israel.

Sources:
Regavim Petitions High Court over Civil Administration’s Creative Protection of Illegal Arab Construction, by David Israel, September 24, 2021

The Israeli government must not reward bad behavior, by Meir Deutsch/Jewish News Syndicate, September 26, 2021

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Progressive Dems Voted Against a Safe Israel, Sided with Terrorists, But Lost In The End!

The US House of Representatives narrowly passed a stopgap spending earlier this week, dropping planned funding of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

The temporary spending plan was approved 220 to 211 along party lines, with House Democrats backing the bill and Republicans uniting against it.

The bill was scheduled to go to the Senate for approval, though no timetable was set for a vote in the upper chamber. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told Israel’s Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Tuesday the removal of the provision was a “technical delay.”

At least twice this week, Jew-hating Congressional “Squad” members were behind their blatant attempt to harm Israel. On September 21, “Squad” members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (“AOC”) (D-NY) and Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) convinced the Democratic House leadership to remove $1 billion of funding to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, by threatening to vote against a key Democratic bill to increase the debt ceiling and continue funding the U.S. government. The House then passed the government funding and debt-limit increase bill without the Iron Dome allocation.

There are still allies on Israel’s side. US Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced a bill for $1 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense on Wednesday, following the sum’s removal from a US budget bill. “The United States’ commitment to the security of our friend and ally Israel is ironclad. Replenishing interceptors used to protect Israel from attacks is our legal and moral responsibility,” she said in a statement.

AFSI is happy to report that the vote today for the DeLauro’s bill was in favor of funding the Iron Dome. The US House of Representatives today passed HR 5323, the Iron Dome Supplemental Appropriations Act. The bill passed 420-9.

Israel was being used as a political football again with the Democrats giving in to the demands of Progressive, Israel hating Congress members. When they do this – no matter what the political agenda or technical delay – it sends a negative message about Israel’s right to defend and secure herself. It also tarnishes the Democrats image of being the pro-Israel party in the United States. We thank those Congress members from both sides of the aisle who want to maintain a strong relationship between the US and Israel. They worked decisively and swiftly in defense of Israel to get the Iron Dome funding reintroduced and passed.

Sources:
Congress approves Iron Dome resupply funding, by Arutz Sheva Staff, September 24, 2021

Bill for $1 billion introduced in US House for Israel’s Iron Dome, by i24News, September 23, 2021

Iron Dome Funding: House of Representatives drops aid to Israel from spending bill, by David Rosenberg/Arutz Sheva, September 23, 2021

 

 

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Standing With Israel At The UN General Assembly

The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday commemorated a landmark but contentious 2001 anti-racism conference that was accused of being anti-Semitic over its attitude towards Israel.

Israel and dozens of other nations boycotted the 20th anniversary commemoration event of the contentious Durban Conference in South Africa, amid worries that it would also feature attacks on the Jewish state. However, reports from the event indicated that Israel was not mentioned.

The UN pledged to redouble efforts to combat racism around the world. We’ve heard it before and are still waiting to see this happen. Words mean nothing without action.

Israeli Ambassador Gilad Erdan lambasted “the radical antisemitism” of the 2001 Durban Conference in remarks at a competing, virtual meeting organized by a professor at Touro College in New York.

At least 32 nations skipped the assembly’s event on Wednesday, by Israel’s count. AFSI thanks those 32 brave nations for standing side by side with Israel and for sending a clear message about the truth.

Source:
UN commemorates controversial Durban summit with no apparent mention of Israel, by AP and TOI Staff, September 23, 2021

 

 

 

 

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