Palestinian stonethrowers wound Jewish baby
Wednesday, August 25, 2010 | Israel Today Staff
Palestinian Arab stone throwers attacked a Jewish vehicle south of the Judean town
of Hebron on Tuesday, wounding an infant passenger.
Israeli army medics treated the baby at the scene, but decided the child needed
to be evacuated to a Jerusalem hospital for further treatment.
While such an attack by Jews on an Arab family likely would have made headlines
around the world, Tuesday's attacks by Arabs on a Jewish family was all but ignored.
Palestinian Muslims who reject violence are persecuted
Monday, June 07, 2010 | Israel Today Staff
Palestinian Arabs belonging to the little-known Ahmadiyya sect of Islam have come
under increased persecution, while being denied basic protections by the Palestinian
Ahmadi Muslims follow the teachings of Mirzam Ghulam Ahmad, whom they believe to
have been the Muslim messiah. They reject the use of violence in all cases, and
believe that mainstream Islam has been distorted into a blood-thirsty religion.
For their beliefs, top Palestinian clerics have ruled that the Ahmadi Muslims among
them are apostates, a label that puts them in danger of regular acts of intimidation,
violence and other mistreatment. As apostates, Palestinian Ahmadis are also stripped
of their rights in court, meaning they have no legal recourse against their more
violent Sunni neighbors.
The Palestinian Authority is "encouraging the cold-blooded murder of Ahmadis" by
failing to take concrete action to protect the community, Mohammed Sharif Ouda,
head of the Ahmadi community in Israel, told Arutz Sheva radio.
Peres inadvertently contrasts loving God to hateful Allah
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 | Israel Today Staff
While dining with local Arab leaders and visiting Muslim diplomats to break the
Ramadan fast on Tuesday, Israeli President Shimon Peres appeared to inadvertently
contrast God's loving nature to the violence taught in the name of Allah.
Israel National News reported that Peres told his hosts, who included the Jordanian
and Turkish ambassadors, that Jews and Arabs are cousins with a shared father in
Abraham, and should be able to coexist peacefully.
Peres seemed to suggest that the problem is that while "the One we pray to in Hebrew
does not command us to throw bombs," Muslims praying in Arabic are apparently receiving
a different set of instructions.
Muslim clerics across the Middle East, but especially in Israel and the Palestinian
Authority-controlled territories, regularly use their pulpits to preach violence
against Jews and the "Christian" West.
Nevertheless, Peres, always the diplomat, maintained that the world would be worse
off without Islam. He did not elaborate.
Saudi girl executed for becoming Christian
Thursday, August 14, 2008 | Israel Today Staff
A young girl in Saudi Arabia was brutally executed by her Muslim father this week
after he learned his daughter had converted to Christianity.
Middle East business news website Zawya.com reported that the man, who is a prominent
member of a "virtue committee," first cut out his daughter's tongue and held a
one-sided religious debate with her. He then burned his daughter alive.
Observant Muslims hold that their Prophet Mohammed taught that Muslims who convert
to any other religion must be killed, often in extremely brutal fashion.
Report: Israel, US preparing for war with Iran
Thursday, June 24, 2010 | Israel Today Staff
A flurry of news reports over the past week indicate that Israel and the US are
readying for an imminent military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
On Wednesday, Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency reported that about a week
ago a squad of Israeli military aircraft landed at a military airstrip in Saudi
Arabia, of all places. It was reported earlier this month that Saudi Arabia had
agreed to let Israel pass through its airspace in order to strike Iran.
The Israeli aircraft reportedly landed at the airport in Tabuk in northwest Saudi
Arabia, which according to the report will act as the central base of operations
for the Israeli air campaign against Iran.
Fars cited a local Saudi resident who said the Israeli presence and cooperation
between the ruling local Saudi prince and the Jewish state was the talk of the
Saudi Arabia does not have formal relations with Israel, and publicly refers to
the Jewish state as an enemy. But Riyadh is just as fearful of an Iranian nuclear
bomb as Israel, and would likely resort to any means to avoid having its regional
economic influence disturbed.
At the same time, Iran's Press TV reported that a very large contingent of US ground
forces had massed in neighboring Azerbaijan. The independent Azerbaijani news website
Trend confirmed the report.
Those reports came just days after the Pentagon confirmed that an unusually large
fleet of US warships had indeed passed through Egypt's Suez Canal en route to the
Persian Gulf. At least one Israeli warship reportedly joined the American armada.
Middle East Muslims urged to rise up against Christians and Jews
Tuesday, February 09, 2010 | Israel Today Staff
One of the top leaders of the Yemen-based branch of Al Qaeda urged fellow Muslims
in an audio recording posted to the Internet this week to rise up in holy war against
all Christians and Jews found in the Arabian Peninsula.
"The Christians, the Jews, and the treacherous apostate rulers have pounced on
you...you have no other way out from this plight other than to wage jihad," declared
Saeed al-Shehri, a former Saudi inmate at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Shehri today serves as the deputy commander of Al Qaeda forces in Yemen, a burgeoning
base of operations for the terrorist network. Authorities in Yemen believed he
had been killed in an air strike in December, but later announced they had been
New Iran sanctions not enough, warns Israel
Thursday, April 01, 2010 | Israel Today Staff
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev said on Thursday that a new package
of sanctions against Iran currently being considered by the UN Security Council
won't be enough to halt Iran's nuclear program.
"The sanctions being crafted won't prevent Iran from continuing to enrich uranium,"
Shalev told Israel's Army Radio.
Shalev was happy to see China finally joining the rest of the security council
in taking the Iran threat seriously, but noted there was a downside to such broach
cooperation, since China's involvement means the sanctions that are eventually
adopted will be much softer.
US and European officials hope to have new sanctions ironed out by the end of April.
But Israeli officials warn that Iran is too close to developing nuclear weapons
to continue wasting time, and that in the absence of severe sanctions, military
action is becoming increasingly necessary.
Jordan to join Middle East nuclear mix
Wednesday, November 26, 2008 | Israel Today Staff
Jordanian media reported this week that the Hashemite Kingdom has signed a civilian
nuclear cooperation deal with China as part of an accelerated effort to develop
nuclear energy capabilities.
Jordan currently imports nearly all of its energy, being one of the few Middle
East nations with little or no oil reserves.
The new deal will see China help Jordan mine and process uranium and build an initial
nuclear power station.
The news did raise some concerns from those who noted that Jordan and other "moderate"
Middle East states could translate their civilian nuclear capabilities into nuclear
weapons programs if they feel threatened by Iran's nuclear program.
In Jordan's case that could prove exceptionally dangerous to Israel in the long-term,
as King Abdullah has repeatedly warned that his rule could be threatened by Jordan's
far more radical Palestinian majority.
Vatican blames Israel for all Christian problems in Mideast
Thursday, January 21, 2010 | Israel Today Staff
A document released by the Vatican this week blamed Israel not only for the exodus
of Christians from Palestinian-controlled territories, but for the plight of Christians
across the entire Middle East.
The document will serve as the basis for an October gathering of bishops to discuss
the difficulties of minority Christian communities in the Muslim world.
It was largely authored by Arab bishops from the Middle East, most of whom said
that the Israeli "occupation" of Arab-claimed lands is the root cause of nearly
all oppression of Christians in the region. They suggested that in the absence
of the "occupation," radical Islamic forces across the region would lose support
and be unable to cause trouble for Christians.
The document also appeared to justify the use of terrorist violence by Muslims
in both Israel and Iraq:
"Violence is in the hands of the strong and weak alike, the latter resorting to
whatever violence is within reach in order to be free."
A Vatican official told reporters on Tuesday that the Catholic Church is not trying
to take sides or make policy recommendations, but insisted that the Middle East-based
bishops who authored the document "know the situation well."
Jimmy Carter cozies up to Syrian and Hamas despots
Sunday, December 14, 2008 | Israel Today Staff
Former US President Jimmy Carter arrived in Syria on Saturday where he declared
that relations between the two countries would improve significantly under President-elect
"I don't have any doubt that the situation will improve between the United States
and Syria after we have a new president," Carter told reporters in Damascus following
his meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.
Despite Syria's recently revealed covert nuclear program, its alliance with Iran's
current leadership, its support of anti-American insurgents in Iraq and its sponsorship
of anti-Israel terror groups, Carter wants the US to positively engage Assad, and
is confident Obama will do just that.
Carter also sided with Assad on his position that peace between Israel and its
neighbors can never be achieved until the Jewish state surrenders all the land
the Arabs claim it illegally occupies.
Carter was scheduled to spend Sunday with Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashal.
The former president has long rejected the notion that just because Hamas is a
recognized terrorist organization openly dedicated to Israel's destruction that
it shouldn't be engaged in dialogue.
Lebanon: We love Hizballah
Thursday, April 08, 2010 | Israel Today Staff
Though the United Nations has officially demanded that Lebanon disarm and dismantle
Hizballah as a fighting force, Beirut continues to insist it will do no such thing
and that the terrorist militia enjoys broad popular support.
Speaking to reporters in Qatar, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman stressed that
"all the Lebanese are united both behind the army and behind the resistance [Hizballah],
defending their land and their dignity against aggression."
Suleiman was adamant that "no one in Lebanon, especially in the government, will
harm the resistance's status."
Meanwhile, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, widely regarded as a moderate in
Western capitals, visited Damascus on Wednesday to solidify his country's renewed
ties with Syria.
Hariri called the newfound friendship between Lebanon and Syria, which illegally
occupied and controlled its neighbor for decades, a response to what he called
Report: Israel to attack Iran this year
Thursday, April 16, 2009 | Israel Today Staff
United Press International reported on Wednesday that Arab gulf states are convinced
that Israel will attack Iran's nuclear facilities in the very near future, and
that the Islamic Republic's first response will be to launch missiles at its Arab
Iran considers states such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates
to be collaborators with an imperialist American regime, and therefore culpable
in any US-backed Israeli strike on its soil.
According to the report, those states are currently deploying Patriot missile batteries
to defend against incoming Iranian missiles.
Meanwhile, Israeli President Shimon Peres told visiting US envoy George Mitchell
that talk of an imminent Israeli strike on Iran is "nonsense," and that Jerusalem
remains committed to a diplomatic resolution of the crisis.
But earlier in the week, Peres issued a firm warning that should US-led diplomatic
efforts to halt Iran's nuclear program ultimately fail, Israel will have no choice
but to exercise its military option.
Gilad Shalit becomes pawn in Palestinian power struggle
Monday, November 23, 2009 | Israel Today Staff
Newspapers in Israel on Monday were bursting with news that a prisoner swap deal
with Hamas that would see abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit finally released
was just days away. But Arab media outlets revealed that the purported deal may
have a lot more to do with internal Palestinian politics.
According to Israeli reports, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
had agreed to release nearly all of the terrorists demanded by Hamas in exchange
for Shalit. The deal was reportedly being held up by squabbling over just a few
Israeli organizations that represent the victims of Palestinian terror responded
by preparing Supreme Court petitions and other protests against releasing dangerous
terrorists who will inevitably go on to kill more Israelis.
Meanwhile, Saudi and Kuwait newspapers ran stories suggesting that the alleged
deal was actually a power play by Hamas. According to the reports, Hamas had agreed
to reach a swap deal with Israel if Egypt altered the terms of reconciliation efforts
between the terror group and Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority.
If true, that could mean a new Palestinian unity government in which Hamas would
play a very significant, and perhaps even overriding, role. Israel has vowed in
the past that it would not be party to peace talks with a Palestinian Authority
ruled by Hamas. But with US President Barack Obama so determined to oversee a peace
deal at any cost, Hamas may be banking on the idea that Israel would have no choice
but to legitimize the terror group by negotiating with it.
Israeli, Lebanese armies clash along border
Tuesday, August 03, 2010 | Israel Today Staff
The Israeli and Lebanese armies engaged in a rare armed clash along Israel's northern
border on Tuesday.
According to Israeli military sources, the incident was sparked when Lebanese soldiers
confronted Israeli troops conducted routine operations along a disputed section
of the border. The Lebanese refused to depart the area and instead opened fire
on the Israelis.
In the Lebanese version of events, it was Lebanese soldiers who were operating
in the area, and the Israelis who refused to leave. The Lebanese said they fired
warning shots to scare off the Israelis, but were instead met by Israeli tank fire.
Whatever version of events is correct, the clash quickly turned into a short-lived
artillery exchange that saw several shells fired by both sides. Residents across
northern Israel were told to enter their bomb shelters.
There were no casualties on the Israeli side. Lebanon reported two of its soldiers
It is unusual for the Lebanese army itself to engage in armed conflict with the
Israeli army. Usually, the Lebanese prefer to attack Israeli through terrorist
militias such as Hizballah.
Syria tries to turn Russia against Israel and America
Thursday, August 21, 2008 | Israel Today Staff
Syrian President Bashar Assad traveled to Moscow on Thursday to try to drive a
wedge between Russia and Israel amid on ongoing crisis in Georgia and in light
of Jerusalem's military aid to the small Caucasus nation.
An Assad aide told Russian media as the Syrians arrived in Moscow that they would
seek to purchase advanced air defense systems, medium-range missiles and military
aircraft, among other military hardware, from their hosts. If acquired, those weapons
would help to tip the regional balance of power in favor of Israel's neighbors.
Israel stopped selling military hardware and providing military training to Georgia
earlier this year as experts correctly predicted an armed conflict with Russia.
Jerusalem feared that if it was viewed as helping Georgia fight Russia, the latter
would increase arms sales to Israel's Arab enemies.
Statements by Russian leaders as the Georgian war raged that they appreciated Israel's
"balanced" approach calmed those fears, at least temporarily.
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters that Moscow's
current policy is to sell only defense weapons to Syria, but that it would also
entertain any new requests by Assad.
Assad also told Russian media that he is ready to host Russian ballistic missiles
in Syria to help Moscow respond to America's intention to deploy an advanced missile
shield system in Poland.
The Syrian leader's efforts to further damage ties between Russia and the West
comes in the wake of major European powers courting Assad by inviting him to major
Report: Israel and Iran met over nuclear crisis
Thursday, October 22, 2009 | Israel Today Staff
It may sound impossible, but according to reports Thursday morning, Israeli and
Iranian nuclear officials met in Cairo last month to discuss the Iranian nuclear
That according to a member of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission who said the
meeting was arranged by Australia. She refused to give any details of the talks
between the two bitter enemies.
The news broke just hours after reports flooded mainstream media regarding a possible
compromise deal between Iran and the international community that would delay the
Islamic Republic's ability to build nuclear weapons.
According to the deal, Iran will send all of its known enriched uranium to Russia
for processing. Considering Tehran's past tendency to lie about aspects of its
nuclear program, some observers fear that what it sends to Russia won't be all
of its enriched uranium, and that enough will be kept behind to build and test
and atomic bomb.
Syria will defend Iran if Israel attacks
Monday, December 14, 2009 | Israel Today Staff
If Israel does attack Iran's nuclear facilities, it will undoubtedly result in
a regional war after Iran and Syria signed a mutual defense agreement on Sunday.
Kuwaiti media reported that the agreement was signed at the weekend while Iranian
Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi was visiting Damascus.
Speaking to Syrian media, Vahidi said the agreement was a strong deterrent to an
Israeli strike on his country's nuclear facilities. Vahidi said that in addition
to a Syrian response, Iran would retaliate for any strike on its nuclear facilities
by firing ballistic missiles at Israel's nuclear facilities.
Europe locked out of Middle East peace talks?
Sunday, August 29, 2010 | Israel Today Staff
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner at the weekend highlighted the fact that
there will be no European presence when the Israelis and Palestinians restart direct
peace negotiations in Washington Thursday.
Kouchner said it was "too bad" that Europe had apparently been locked out of the
renewed peace talks, considering how actively his and other European nations had
been involved in the process up until now.
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton responded via a spokesperson
that her office was less concerned about who is sitting at the table with the Israelis
and Palestinians than it is with a successful outcome.
For many observers, Ashton's response seemed to be an effort to save face, as it
is odd and breaking with recent tradition for Europe to not be represented at the
Israelis, however, are likely to be pleased with that development. Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear that he was entering the talks without preconditions,
and would not accept any preconditions for continuing the negotiations.
Washington has more or less lined up with Netanyahu's position. But the Middle
East Quartet comprised of the US, EU, UN and Russia has lined up with the Palestinians
in insisting that Israel formally extend its Jewish building freeze in Judea and
Samaria as a precondition for the talks continuing.
If Europe had been invited to the talks, it could be interpreted by the Palestinians
as an endorsement of their Quartet-backed preconditions.
US lawmakers warn Turkey to back off Israel
Thursday, June 17, 2010 | Israel Today Staff
US lawmakers are getting fed up with Turkey's continuing antagonism toward Israel,
which escalated in the wake of Israel's raid on a Gaza blockade-busting flotilla
this month, during which nine Turkish citizens with ties to terrorist organizations
Turkey led the international community in condemning Israel for the raid, and has
set up its own commission of inquiry into the incident. Ankara has also threatened
to downgrade ties with Israel and may not return its ambassador to Tel Aviv.
A number of members of the US House of Representatives warned in interviews this
week that Turkey will suffer consequences if it continues down this path.
In March of this year, a bill recognizing Turkey's genocide against the Armenians
during and after World War I passed a House committee by a single vote. But many
congressmen who previously opposed calling Turkey out publicly for that past sin
now say they may support the bill when it comes before the full House of Representatives
in the near future.
The lawmakers said that Turkey is clearly moving closer to Iran and its terrorist
proxies and adopting a more Islamic position. That being the case, they are less
concerned about damaging US-Turkish relations by officially recognizing a holocaust
only slightly less severe than that carried out against the Jews of Europe during
the second world war.
Turkey has conducted a charm offensive in Washington since the bill was first introduced.
But several lawmakers suggested it was hypocritical for Turkey to insist that the
US treat it with kid gloves, while being so exaggeratedly harsh with Israel.
Iran: Tel Aviv will be ruins
Tuesday, July 08, 2008 | Israel Today Staff
A senior Iranian official on Tuesday told state-run media that Tel Aviv will be
obliterated if either Israel or the US dare to launch a military strike against
Iran's nuclear facilities.
"The Zionist regime is pressuring the White House to attack Iran. If such a stupid
act were undertaken, Tel Aviv and the American ships in the Persian Gulf would
be our first targets and would be burnt to ruins," warned Ali Shirazi, an assistant
to supreme Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Over the past month, both the US and Israeli militaries have conducted massive
exercises believed to have simulated strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities and
maneuvers to defend against any Iranian retaliation.
Despite those preparations, Israeli officials have acknowledged that Israel would
be unable to actually launch an attack on Iran without a green light from Washington,
as Israeli planes would have to fly through Iraqi airspace controlled by the US
According to a former Pentagon official and leading US military analyst, the White
House recently made very clear to Israel that that green light has not been given,
and likely won't be given during the final months of the Bush Administration.
Speaking to gathered Israeli defense analysts at Israel's Institute of National
Security Studies on Monday, Prof. Anthony Cordesman said that reining in Israel
was the primary purpose behind the recent visit by Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs
of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen.
Cordesman, who is today the top defense analyst for the ABC television network,
said that Mullen was sent by the White House to make it clear to Israel that the
US is sticking to a policy of diplomacy vis-a-vis Iran, and that is not expected
to change before the next US president takes office.
Former US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton believes that puts Israel
in an impossible situation.
Jerusalem is increasingly convinced that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons in the
absence of military intervention by Israel or the US. But Democratic presidential
candidate Barack Obama has indicated that if he is elected, he will take the military
option for dealing with Iran off the table.
If Obama wins the presidential election in November, Israel will know that it has
less than two months to hit Iran, or have its greatest existential nightmare come
true, Bolton told a leading British newspaper last month.
Israel's first female Arab combat soldier
Wednesday, July 28, 2010 | Israel Today Staff
Cpl. Elinor Joseph, a young Christian Arab woman from northern Israel, has won
herself a place in a respected infantry unit, making her Israel's first ever female
Arab combat soldier.
Joseph will serve as a combat medic in the Karakal Battalion, after more than a
year of battling misconceptions that she was too weak for such a position.
Joseph originally did not plan to enlist in the IDF. Arab citizens of Israel are
not required to enlist due to the societal difficulties that serving in the Jewish
state's army can cause. But some choose to enlist anyway. Joseph's father was one
of them, and she remembered the great sense of pride and accomplishment that his
years as an Israeli paratrooper had given him and the whole family.
So, despite the fierce objections of her friends and many others in her local community,
Joseph decided to enlist. "I believe in what I am doing," she told the IDF Spokesman's
Unit. "My parents also are very proud of me, maybe a little bit too much."
Although she had always intended to be a combat soldier, the recruitment officer
she first met with told Joseph she was too small and frail to be in such a unit.
Upset, but not discouraged, Joseph aced a medic's course and was then deployed
to one of the many checkpoints between Samaria (the so-called "West Bank") and
While there, Joseph earned the respect of her Jewish comrades. She also rebuffed
international accusations that Palestinian Arabs are routinely abused at such checkpoints,
noting that the treatment of Palestinians by the soldiers she was stationed with
was "always full of respect."
After a year of proving herself at the checkpoint, Joseph applied to join Karakal
and was accepted.
She said it can be surreal serving in such an intense position as an Arab in the
army of the Jewish state, especially during training and briefings that so heavily
emphasize Jewish morals and methods.
"I know I am part of the Jewish State's army, and therefore, when we speak about
that, I listen and learn. I got used to it and I respect it, although I do not
delve too much into the country’s identity. I have my own identity and I will respect
that of the country."
That attitude has been mutual. Despite being "different" than most of the soldiers
around her, Joseph says she has "always been respected - not just me, but also
my customs and my religion."
Article courtesy of Israel Today magazine, www.israeltoday.co.il