Tidbits of Truth

A random bit of News Info, The truth about Israel, American politics, & Mideast Foreign Policy... (along with whatever else catches my curiosity).

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11

Top links:

MEMRI: http://www.memri.org/content/en/main.htm
ACT! http://actforamericaeducation.com/
Palestine Facts: http://www.palestinefacts.org/
Shoebat Foundation: http://www.shoebat.com/blog/

Canada Paper Publishes Reverend’s Letter Justifying Terror

When the Toronto Star published a commentary on August 4 by Reverend Lawrence Pushee justifying terrorism against the Israeli Olympians at the 72’ Munich games, Canada’s most read daily newspaper saw its respected news platform exploited by a protagonist who seeks to demonize and vilify Jews and the State of Israel.

Responding to a Star editorial which had taken a principled stance in calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hold a moment of silence at the opening ceremonies in memory of the murdered Israeli athletes and coaches killed by Palestinian terrorists, Rev. Pushee abhorrently declared the following:

“That was indeed a horrible and shocking moment for the international community and such an observance would be welcomed by most of us, but only if it were a balanced time for remembering. The Palestinian assassins targeted Israelis because for decades their people had been assassinated by Israeli agents and members of its occupation forces. Munich didn’t just happen out of the blue. To remember the loss at Munich and not remember the suffering of the Palestinians would be to continue the untruth that Israel is the constant victim.”

Read the rest.

Jewish Olympians

Olympic ‘Jewish Star’ Accepts Invitation to Visit Israel

Aly Raisman
Aly Raisman

Gold-winning American Jewish gymnast Aly Raisman has accepted an invitation from Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein to make her first visit to Israel.

Raisman, 18, who secured the Olympic gold while performing a floor routine to the melody of “Hava Nagilah,” has become known as the “Jewish Star” not only for her extraordinary athletic abilities, but also for paying tribute to the slain Israeli athletes during her shining moments


New Zealand Jewish Sailor Takes Olympic Gold

New Zealand's Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie
New Zealand’s Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie

New Zealand Jewish sailor Jo Aleh and her partner Polly Powrie won the gold medal in the women’s 470 regatta, becoming the first first New Zealand women to win a sailing gold in anything other than windsurfing.

Aleh, 26, whose parents are dual Israeli-New Zealand citizens, was elated as she crossed the finish line.

Today's Headlines from Israel

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi has ordered the retirement of the powerful head of the country’s armed forces, Field Marshal Mohamad Hussein Tantawi and other members of the country’s security echelon including the chiefs of the Navy and the air defense command. The announcement, effectively immediately, came just a week after militants attacked a police station in the Sinai peninsula, killing 16 Egyptian border police. Gen Abdel-Fattah al-Sis who was the head of military intelligence, will replace Tantawi as both armed forces chief and defense minister. Mursi also cancelled the military-declared constitutional amendments that previously gave top generals wide powers.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the target of harsh criticism in his government’s handling of the Iran nuclear crisis. Finance Minister Yuval Shteinitz says that Israel needs to check how such confidential decision making is being carried out in such a public way. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert noted that during his term in office, he faced similar issues which were dealt with secretly and effectively. Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday that the threat of a nuclear Iran has dwarfed all other threats faced by Israel and Iran must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons.

Thousands of American soldiers will be deployed to Israel in the near future to conduct field exercises simulating a massive attack on Israel. The security establishment is preparing for every eventuality from a limited missile barrage to a full scale attack. President Obama recently signed a bill expanding America’s defense cooperation with Israel and another anti-missile defense system will be delivered to Israel by the end of 2013. On the ground, the homefront command is ready but Israeli citizens will not be informed prior to any attack from Iran.

For the first time ever, the Israeli government is undertaking a major urban renewal project over the green line in Maaleh Adumim, near Jerusalem. An apartment block with 147 apartments in severe disrepair will be turned into a sparkling apartment complex with 700 units, parks and commercial centers. Each current apartment owner will receive a single unit. The project, which is expected to take 7 years, is also expected to draw harsh political criticism.

And finally, no medals for Israel but a single gold medal for an Israeli. American born David Blatt coached the winning Russian national basketball team to success. He says that Israel must invest more in sports.

Today's News from Israel

The IDF averted a major terror attack on Sunday night at the Israel-Egypt-Gaza border during which 16 Egyptian border policemen and eight terrorists armed with suicide belts were killed. No Israelis were harmed. Early intelligence prevented the attack although the terrorists traveled about a kilometer into Israel in an armored vehicle with a half ton of dynamite and weapons before being attacked by Israeli forces who struck from the air. The attack raised new fears in Israel about the Egyptian government’s ability to reassert control over the lawless Sinai. Prime Minister Netanyahu, who arrived at the border crossing to thank the Israeli soldiers who acted quickly and professionally, said that when it comes to the safety of its citizens, Israel can rely only on itself.

Egyptian president Mohammed Mursi branded the Islamist gunmen responsible for the attack as “infidels” and promised on Monday to launch a crackdown on terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula. Following the attempted attack, Mursi said that Egyptian forces had taken control of the area and warned of cooperating with terrorists.
Mursi’s own Muslim Brotherhood party released a statement claiming that the attempted attack was a failed terror attempt by the Mossad.

Residents of Kibbutz Kerem Shalom and other settlements on the Israel-Egypt-Gaza border were instructed to turn off lights, lock doors and go into protected rooms as the attempted terror attack played out on Sunday night. Residents say they will not leave the area and that the chances of a child being hurt by a missile are smaller than that of a child being hit by a car in the city.

Iranian state television on Sunday broadcast purported confessions by more than a dozen suspects in connection with the killing of five nuclear scientists since 2010. The confessions included alleged training in Israel before returning to Iran. Tehran says the attacks are part of a covert campaign by Israel and the West to sabotage its nuclear program.

The Israeli Embassy in London is set to hold a memorial on Monday evening for the Israeli athletes killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics. President of the Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge is expected to speak at the ceremony. Widows Ilana Romano and Ankie Spitzer say they don’t intend to give Rogge a warm reception. Hundreds of representatives from various nations are also expected to attend.

And finally, dozens of Jewish students participating in Birthright donned IDF uniforms and spent the day as soldiers learning, among other skills, to give first aid.

Today's News from Israel -Thursday Aug. 2, 2012

The Counter-Terrorism Bureau at the National Security Council on Thursday issued a repeated travel warning to the Sinai Peninsula, calling on all Israelis who are planning to travel to or who are currently staying in Sinai to return to Israel immediately.

A travel warning to the area has been in place for a long time, however the Bureau stated that it has obtained concrete information on terror organizations in Gaza Strip and other elements that are planning terror attacks and abductions of Israeli tourists in Sinai.

Judoka Arik Ze’evi was knocked out of the 100kg competition in just 43 seconds. He was facing Dimitri Peters of Germany in the elimination round of 32.
Peters caught Ze’evi, one of Israel’s few medal hopes, by surprise and had him in a lock with his legs from which Ze’evi could not release himself. Ze’evi signaled his concession after 43 seconds, leaving the Israeli spectators and fans in shock.
Ze’evi, 35, is one of Israel’s Olympic greats and without a doubt one of its most loved. He had tremendous achievements over the past decade in the under-100kg category. He won bronze at the 2004 Athens Games and holds the Israeli record for participation in four Olympic Games together with two other athletes.

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is quitting as international peace envoy for Syria in the face of an armed rebellion against President Bashar Assad whose violence shows no sign of abating after 17 months of strife.

The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to slap sanctions on Iran’s energy, shipping and financial industries, convinced that increasing the economic pressure on Tehran will force it to abandon its suspected nuclear weapons program.

Meanwhile US officials said that “Israeli officials are less confrontational in private… PM Netanyahu understands the consequences of military action for Israel, the United States and the region.”
The more the Israelis threaten, the more the US respond by showing them that they will take care of the problem if it comes to that.

And in the Olympics - A day after their stunning victory over of Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka, the Israeli tennis duo of Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich ran into the American juggernaut known as the Bryan twins at the Olympic Games on Thursday afternoon.

Bob and Mike Bryan, the number-one pair in the world, advanced to the men’s doubles semifinals with a hard fought defeat of the Israelis
Yakov Toumarkin yesterday became the second Israeli swimmer to reach the final of an Olympic event in the semifinal of the men’s 200m backstroke event.
And finally Jerusalem was painted in all the colors of the rainbow on Thursday to mark the city’s annual gay pride parade. Hundreds of participants swarmed the streets of the capital, holding signs marking the 10th anniversary of the parade.

London Olympics 29th July 2012

Massachusettes native, Aly Raisman performs her final floor rountine just before winning the U.S. Woman gymnastics team gold medal!

Israeli Tennis Players Make History in London

Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich
Flash 90

It was a good day for Israel at the 2012 London Olympic Games on Wednesday, as Israeli athletes made history both on the tennis court and in the swimming pool.


News Update August 1st 2012

JNN NEWS, P.O. Box 7411, Jerusalem 91073, Israel

“The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem. The earth and the heavens will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.” Joel 3:16

PALESTINIAN GROUPS LASH OUT AT ROMNEY FOR CALLING JERUSALEM ISRAEL’S CAPITAL: Various radical Palestinian groups Monday criticized Palestinian Authority PM Salam Fayyad for meeting with Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, especially in wake of the latter’s statement that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Romney used the term Sunday night in the Holy City, during a trip to present himself as Israel’s closest ally ahead of the election contest with President Barack Obama. Romney said it was a moving experience to be in Jerusalem and described the city as “Israel’s capital,” to the cheers of an Israeli audience. He suggested he would move the US embassy to Jerusalem if elected president. In response on Monday, chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said, “We condemn his statements. Those who speak about the two-state solution should know there can be no Palestinian state without East Jerusalem. What this man is doing here is promoting extremism, violence and hatred, and this is absolutely unacceptable,” said Erekat. Terror group Hamas’ spokesman Fawzi Barhoum accused Romney of insulting the feelings of Palestinians and Muslims. “Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinians and Palestine and we will never give it up,” said Barhoum. Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine also denounced Romney’s remarks about Jerusalem. Both terrorist factions called for a boycott against the candidate. (Ha’aretz/INN) “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.” Zech 12: 2-3

GIULANI: OBAMA AS ISRAEL’S ALLY IS THE BIGGEST JOKE HE’S EVER HEARD: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani recently called President Obama “the least supportive president” of Israel in history and claimed the idea that Obama is a friend of the Jewish state to be “the biggest joke” he’s ever heard. In a video published on YouTube, Giuliani is asked a number of questions regarding the president’s record on Israel, including Obama’s remarks that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority should be based on pre-1967 boundary lines. “That would be ridiculous if they had to go back to those territorial lines,” Giuliani said. “They’d be in such jeopardy with what’s going on in the volatile Middle East right now. As a prime minister of Israel, you couldn’t possibly agree to what President Obama is talking about.” Asked what he believes to be the significance of Obama having not traveled to Israel during his entire term in office, Giuliani responded by saying, “It isn’t just that he doesn’t go to Israel, but it’s that he has policies that are against the interest of the people of the state of Israel. I think he’s the least supportive president of the state of Israel that we’ve ever had since the state of Israel existed, Republican or Democrat,” Giuliani said. (INN)

KEY LIAISON TO JEWISH COMMUNITY FOR OBAMA CAMPAIGN DECIDES NOT TO PARTICIPATE THIS TIME AROUND: Dennis Ross, a longtime diplomat and a key architect of the Oslo peace process who worked for the Obama campaign during the 2008 Democratic primaries, has stated he won’t be campaigning for Obama this time around. Ross was a powerful asset for the president’s first campaign, speaking at synagogues in swing states and persuading Jewish voters to place their trust in Obama. This year, however, Ross decided to step aside, as Jewish voters scrutinize Obama’s less-than-friendly record on Israel. While Ross claims his reasons for abstaining from this season’s campaign stem entirely from personal and professional reasons, many have speculated he was frustrated that the policies he pursued under Obama have not reaped desired results. Josh Block, a former press aide for the Clinton administration and former top spokesman for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said, “The fact that after three years of working on Mideast policy side-by-side with the president, Ambassador Ross has decided to sit out this campaign will certainly be understood as a message of its own, intentionally or unintentionally.” Aaron Miller, who was Ross’s deputy on the peace process during the Clinton years, said “The peace process is stuck and is likely to remain stuck. The fact is no amount of hand-holding is going to assuage the concerns and suspicions of a pro-Israel community which has now seen some of its fears realized. I wouldn’t want to try to sell Obama to the Jewish community in this environment,” Miller added. (INN)  Pray US voters will seek wisdom from God and that discernment between truth and deception will be clear as Americans go to the polls in November.

ITALIAN OLYMPIC TEAM COMMEMORATES MUNICH MASSACRE: The Italian Olympic team at the London Olympic Games made a noble gesture Sunday and stood in silence outside the quarters of the Israeli team, in memory of the 11 athletes slain in the Munich Olympics 40 years ago. About 30 Italians were present at the ceremony, including Italy’s Minister of Sport, the heads of the Italian Olympic Committee and athletes. Israeli Olympic Committee head Tzvi Varshaviak and Olympic delegation leader Efraim Zinger also took part. (Arutz-7)

AUSTRALIAN JEWISH LEADERS OBSERVE MUNICH OLYMPIC MEMORIAL: Australian Jewish leaders observed a minute’s silence in honor of the 11 Israelis murdered 40 years ago at the Munich Games. Vic Alhadeff, chief executive of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, recounted the tragedy and lauded governments and their leaders around the world who supported the call for a minute of silence at the opening ceremony in London. He also took Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, to task for his failure to heed the calls: “We deplore his decision to hold a low-key memorial ceremony away from the public eye - in the shadows, out of sight of the thousands of spectators who will be at the opening ceremony; out of sight of the 1 billion global television viewers.”  Adaff then added, “The IOC - the world’s ultimate sporting arena - has yet again bowed to expediency and failed in its moral responsibility.” (Ha’aretz) Continue to pray for the security of the 38 Israeli Olympic athletes and their coaches and support staff.

CIVILIANS FLEE ALEPPO AS SYRIAN TROOPS AND REBELS BATTLE: The Syrian army has massed its forces around Aleppo, that country’s largest city, and has been pounding it with tanks and helicopter gunships. The UN said 200,000 Syrians have fled as the government continues to aim its mortars, tank and helicopter gunships on the neighborhoods seized by the rebels. Valerie Amos, the top UN official for humanitarian affairs, said in a statement Sunday, “Many people have sought shelter in schools and other public buildings in safer areas. They urgently need food, mattresses and blankets, hygiene supplies and drinking water.” Aleppo is some 30 miles away from the Turkish border and some of those fleeing the city are headed for Turkey, where tens of thousands of Syrians have already found refuge during the 17-month uprising against President Bashar Assad’s rule. Those fleeing Aleppo have described incessant shelling, shortages of food and gasoline and soaring black market prices for everyday staples. In online videos they can be seen rushing through streets against a backdrop of gunfire and climbing onto any form of transportation available to escape, including trucks, cars and even heavily laden motorcycles. (AP)

AS ASSAD TEETERS, ISRAEL PREPARES FOR BATTLE TO SECURE CHEMICAL WEAPONS: Israeli soldiers and civilians alike are preparing for possible military action to make sure Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons don’t fall into the hands of terrorist groups.  Sources close to the Israel Defense Force said soldiers have been put on standby and are ready to move, while civilian demand for gas masks has jumped 66% over the last few weeks from 2,200 to 3,700 per day. The fears center around the prospect of Hizbullah obtaining Syrian chemical weapons as the Assad regime shows imminent signs of collapse. “Israel will not hold back and will respond decisively if this happens,” Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman said. The Hizbullah terrorist group in south Lebanon - supported by both Syria and Iran - who has long called for the destruction of Israel, is the prime candidate to take possession of the armaments. (Fox News)

SUSPECTED REMAINS OF JEWS MASSACRED ON TEMPLE MOUNT DISCOVERED: The remains of thousands of Jews massacred by the Romans on the Temple Mount during the destruction of the Second Temple may have been uncovered, according to veteran archaeological journalist Benny Liss. Liss screened a video showing thousands of human skeletons in what appears to be a mass grave. He explained the film had been shot in a spacious, underground cavern in the area of the Mercy Gate near the eastern wall of the Temple Mount. Liss raised the possibility the skeletons were the remains of 6,000 Jews, mostly women and children, killed on the Temple Mount when the Romans destroyed the Second Temple. The massacre is described in the writings of Josephus Flavius who witnessed the destruction. (Fox News) 

(Source: jnnnews.com)


News Update July 29th 2012

JNN NEWS, P.O. Box 7411, Jerusalem 91073, Israel

“Why do the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Our God is in heaven;
He does whatever pleases Him.” Ps 115:2-3

SYRIA IS A NIGHTMARE FOR ISRAEL: Intelligence information being rapidly collected and analyzed by the CIA reveals Israel has many causes for concern about the day after Assad. A likely Islamist take over in post-Assad Syria would find Israel surrounded by radical Muslim elements. Of great concern to the Jewish state is also the growing possibility Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal will fall into the hands of terrorists groups such as the Lebanon-based Hizbullah. According to the CIA, the number of Syrian rebels is smaller than what is perceived in the West. In addition, the rebel leadership has been massively infiltrated by radical Muslim Brotherhood elements. CIA officials warn: Not only will there be no new Syria, there is a chance it will be similar to the current Egyptian model or to the Iraqi model, where nobody knows who controls what. The states which offer financial and military support to the rebels have no idea who they’re supporting. (Ynet) Pray much needed aid, comfort and assistance will reach Syrian civilians caught up in their nation’s brutal political upheaval. Pray also foreign governments will be rightly informed and updated as to who and what is behind opposing forces in Syria. May they not fall victim to initiating generous support of causes and Islamist entities that will render Syria in worse condition and Israel at a greater risk than before the uprising began.

NASRALLAH PLACES HIZBULLAH TERRORIST FORCES AT ASSAD’S DISPOSAL: Lebanon’s Al-Joumhouria newspaper, quoting senior political sources, revealed Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has offered Syrian President Assad elements of Hizbullah’s special forces any time they are needed, even if they are required to be sent to open fronts to fight the revolutionaries. Nasrallah also reportedly invited the Syrian president to his personal residence, or even to meet inside the Iranian embassy in Beirut, but Assad has opted to remain in Syria because he still believes he is able to steer the ship with the help of Russian political and military experts. Additionally, a senior commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards weeks ago confirmed Iranian forces are operating in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The West has accused Iran of providing military and technical support to Assad to quell the Syrian uprising. (Asharq Al-Awsat/Guardian) Pray the growing unity between terrorist groups and terrorist governments such as Syria and Iran will fall into discord and confusion.

HIZBULLAH RELEASES VIDEO OF ABDUCTION OF TWO ISRAELI SOLDIERS THAT LED TO SECOND LEBANON WAR: Hizbullah released a video Friday documenting the 2006 abduction of Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. In the video, which was broadcast on the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen television, a group of Hizbullah operatives is seen penetrating the Israeli-Lebanese border fence and walking toward the road where Israeli soldiers are on patrol. The terrorists are then seen approaching a jeep, with Goldwasser and Regev presumably in it, after it was hit by an anti-tank missile. Hizbullah operatives are next viewed opening the door of the jeep and removing the two soldiers. Then the frame freezes. The video was broadcast in a special program that marked six years since the Second Lebanon War. Ghassan bin Jiddo, the Lebanese reporter who broadcast the video and who is the owner of the Al Mayadeen television channel, is known to be close to Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah. Jiddo said Imad Mughniyeh personally oversaw the abduction and was present during the operation. Mughniyeh, a senior Hizbullah leader and one of the most wanted terrorists by the US and Israel was killed in 2008 by a car bomb in Syria. Hizbullah’s capture of Goldwasser and Regev on the northern border sparked the 34-day Second Lebanon War in 2006. Their bodies were exchanged in July 2008 in a prisoner swap for five Lebanese prisoners held by Israel. (Ha’aretz)

WINDSURFER ZUBARI LEADS OUT ISRAEL AT OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY: Israel’s Shahar Zubari led his country’s team into the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics on Friday night, bearing the Israeli flag. Immediately after the team was presented on Israeli television, the faces of 11 Israeli Olympians who were slain in the Munich Massacre 40 years ago were shown. Their names were then read out by the commentators and 30 seconds of silence held in their commemoration. (Ha’aretz) Pray for the safety of Israel’s Olympic team. Global intelligence sources have warned terrorist groups could attempt to carry out attacks against Israel’s participants during the London 2012 Olympic events.

MAYOR SAYS TEL AVIV IS A COOL CITY BUT JERUSALEM IS THE CAPITAL: Tel Aviv’s mayor has dropped the city’s long-time rivalry with Jerusalem to remind Britain that the holy city is Israel’s capital – no matter what the BBC says. The British broadcast authority, which has often been charged with bias against Israel, listed “East Jerusalem” as the capital for the “Palestinian Olympic team” while leaving Israel listed without a capital. After Israel and Jews around the world complained, the BBC partly corrected its mistake and stated that Israel’s “seat of government is Jerusalem” while still omitting Jerusalem as the capital. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai has now come to the rescue by saying although his city is “one of the coolest cities in the world and Israel’s financial and cultural center, we are not Israel’s capital. Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.” Israel’s Olympic team decided to respond to the BBC’s assertion that Jerusalem is not Israel’s capital, by preparing a video in which Israeli athletes are seen saying they are proud to represent Israel “and its capital Jerusalem.” (INN)

WHITE HOUSE CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT CITY IS ISRAEL’S CAPITAL: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney evaded a question at a recent press briefing regarding which city the US considers to be the capital of Israel. Carney refused to disclose whether the US officially believes Jerusalem or Tel Aviv to be the capital of Israel. Persistently questioned for about a minute, a befuddled Carney only responded that, “I have not had that question in a while. Our position hasn’t changed.” During his election campaign, Obama reassured Jewish constituents that Jerusalem will remain the “undivided” capital of Israel. His stance since then has significantly changed. (Arutz-7)

OBAMA DOESN’T HATE JEWS BUT HE HATES ISRAEL: Former New York congressional candidate Asher Taub said Friday, that he hopes the next president of the US will be good to the state of Israel and to its people. Summing up President Barack Obama’s four years in office, he said, “Obama does not hate Jews but he does hate Israel. Obama does not understand the reality of the Middle East.” Taub said he believes a majority of Jews will vote for Romney and explained American Jews are disappointed with Obama for several reasons: “All US presidents have chutzpah, especially the current president, who tells the state of Israel what to do and where to build. That’s a lot of nerve. Also, Obama’s lack of support for an attack against a nuclear Iran, American Jews do not view positively,” he said. On another front, the Republican Jewish Coalition is proceeding with plans for a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign called, “My Buyer’s Remorse.” The drive uses testimonials from people who say they regret supporting President Obama due to his economic policies and his stance toward Israel. (INN) Pray G-d’s designated choice for the next US President will be put into office. Pray all conditions will be conducive to a broad turnout at the polls this November.

OBAMA SIGNS ISRAEL SECURITY BILL AHEAD OF ROMNEY VISIT: President Barack Obama signed a measure on Friday to strengthen US-Israeli military ties, a move that could score points with American Jewish voters on the eve of Republican rival Mitt Romney’s highly publicized visit to Israel. Obama also used the White House bill-signing ceremony to announce he was releasing $70 million in approved funding for Israel’s short-range rocket shield known as “Iron Dome,” a project backed strongly by the powerful US pro-Israel lobby. His reaffirmation of an “unshakeable commitment” to Israel’s security appeared timed to upstage Romney, who has accused the president of undermining Washington’s relationship with its No. 1 partner in the Middle East. The White House denied it was an election-year maneuver, even though senior administration officials have lavished attention on Israel in recent weeks. (Reuters)

ISRAEL DRAFT CRISIS THREATENS TO TRIGGER GOVERNMENT COLLAPSE: With mere days left before a court-imposed deadline to reform Israel’s military draft law expires, the nation’s political leaders are at loggerheads on how to resolve what has become perhaps the country’s most pressing and divisive domestic issue. The impasse over whether and how to scrap the mass exemptions from military service for ultra-Orthodox Jews has already cost PM Benjamin Netanyahu his largest coalition partner. With no obvious compromise in sight ahead of the Aug. 1 deadline, the issue has the potential to trigger the government’s collapse and lead to snap elections. The debate over the exemptions cuts along the nation’s secular-religious divide. Israel’s secular majority, which is required to perform two to three years of compulsory service, widely resents the exemptions, while ultra-Orthodox leaders have been adamant in their refusal to compromise, claiming their young men serve the nation through prayer and study. Earlier this month, Netanyahu dissolved a high-profile committee that recommended largely doing away with the mass exemptions. That prompted his chief coalition partner, the centrist Kadima Party with the explicit goal of ending exemptions for the ultra-Orthodox, to quit the government. Netanyahu now has presented a diluted alternative that doesn’t appear likely to be implemented either. (Huff Post) Pray this impasse will be quickly resolved between opposing political factions. A collapse of the government in the coming week could leave the Jewish state distracted and thus vulnerable to surrounding foes at a time when it most needs to be alert and focused. An eruption in the Syrian or Iranian crisis endangering Israel will necessitate leaders being able to make quick unified decisions across the entire political spectrum.

(Source: jnnnews.com)

Orthodox Jew Runs In London Olympic Torch Relay

(Source: unitedwithisrael.org)

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