Tag Archives: Israel

How the free market overcomes religious coercion in Israel

Source: Students For Liberty
by Idan Eretz

"State-religion relations are a tough issue in Israel. Israelis come from very different religious backgrounds; from totally secular atheists to hardline ultra-orthodox and everything in between; and that’s only the Jews. This creates a lot of tension about the 70 year old compromise called 'The Status Quo.' But in recent weeks, without any political action, something happened. Something big." (05/22/17)


Palestine: Trump becomes first sitting US president to visit Western Wall

Source: NBC News

"President Donald Trump placed a note in the Western Wall on Monday, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit one of Judaism's holiest sites. The historic visit is part of Trump's efforts to highlight 'the need for unity among three of the world's great religions' on his first foreign trip, senior administration officials said. Trump's stop at the Western Wall came between Sunday's visit to Saudi Arabia where he called on Muslim leaders to 'drive out the terrorists and extremists,' and his forthcoming visit with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Trump stood alone with his hand on the wall for several moments before tucking his note between the cracks. … The Western Wall is not officially recognized as Israeli territory, and the Trump administration has not been clear about whether they believe the holy site is part of Israel." (05/22/17)


West Bank: Israeli troops abduct at least 14

Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar]

"Israeli forces have carried out raids on homes across the occupied West Bank and [abduct]ed at least 14 Palestinians on Sunday, among them a prominent intellectual and former political prisoner. Suha Barghouti, the wife of Ahmad Qatamesh, said 'a large force' of Israeli soldiers arrived at their home in the West Bank city of al-Bireh at 4:30 am local time and [abduct]ed her husband. … Qatamesh's [abduction] comes as Palestinian prisoners enter the 28th day of a mass hunger strike inside Israeli jails. Palestinian media outlets estimate that more than 1,300 prisoners are currently refusing food behind bars, while Israeli officials have said the number is slightly lower. Barghouti, Qatamesh's wife, suspects that his writing and campaigning in solidarity with the hunger-striking prisoners is part of the reason Israeli forces targeted him for [abduction]." (05/14/17)


Palestinian Arabs call for Pizza Hut boycott after Facebook post "mocked hunger strikers"

Source: Newsweek

"Palestinians want to take a slice out of Pizza Hut's profits in Israel, launching a boycott campaign against the American chain after it allegedly mocked the leader of a mass hunger strike in Israeli prisons in a Facebook post on Monday. According to Palestinian social media users, Pizza Hut posted a picture of strike leader Marwan Barghouti in his cell, taken from footage the Israeli Prison Service released on Sunday, alleging that he had broken the hunger strike on two occasions to eat cookies and a candy bar. Text accompanying the post on Pizza Hut's 100,000-strong Israeli Facebook account is alleged to have read: 'Barghouti, if you're going to break a strike, isn't pizza better?'" (05/09/17)


Human Rights Watch slams Hamas for holding two Israelis in Gaza

Source: Beloit Daily News

"Human Rights Watch on Wednesday called on Gaza's Hamas rulers to release two Israeli citizens with a history of mental illness believed to have been detained by the militants, saying their extended detention and isolation was 'cruel and indefensible.' In a detailed report based on interviews with the men's families and with Israeli and Palestinian officials, the New York-based group said Avera Mangistu and Hisham al-Sayed likely wandered into Gaza on foot and had no connection to hostilities between Israel and Gaza. Hamas has indirectly acknowledged holding them but will not provide confirmation until Israel releases dozens of its jailed members." (05/03/17)


Syria: Overnight explosion rocks Damascus; regime blames Israel

Source: ABC News

"An large overnight explosion on Thursday rocked Syria's capital, the country's state media and opposition activists said. The explosion occurred at a military installation near the Damascus airport, according to both SANA state TV and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitoring organization with on the ground contacts in Syria. State television blamed the explosion on Israel, saying it had attacked the location with several missiles from inside the occupied Golan Heights, which Israel controls. In an interview with Israel's Army Radio, Israeli Minister of Intelligence Yisrael Katz stopped short of saying Israel was behind the attack, but said 'the incident in Syria is absolutely in line with Israeli policy to act to prevent advanced weapons from Syria going to Hezbollah in Lebanon with the help of Iran.'" (04/27/16)


Israel: Regime punishes hunger-striking prisoners

Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar]

"Israeli prison officials have cracked down on Palestinian prisoners after more than 1,100 political detainees launched an open-ended hunger strike on Monday. The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs released a statement on Monday saying that Israeli Prison Service (IPS) officials had forcibly moved hunger-striking prisoners to different sections of Israeli jails, confiscated clothes and personal belongings and placed leading figures in solitary confinement. Imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti, Karim Younis and Mahmoud Abu Srour were moved from Hadarim prison to solitary confinement in Jalama prison on Monday evening, according to the Prisoners' Affairs committee. Barghouthi is to be 'prosecuted in a discipline court' as punishment for his op-ed published by the New York Times on Monday, where he described the daily struggle of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and the ambition behind the hunger strike, the statement said. Israeli prison officials reportedly accused Barghouthi of using his wife to 'smuggle' the article out of prison and to the New York Times." (04/17/17)


Israeli regime: No talks with prisoner on hunger strike

Source: Washington Post

"Israel will not negotiate with hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who launched a hunger strike to press for better conditions, a government minister said Tuesday, adding that the organizer of the protest has been placed in solitary confinement. If sustained, the strike led by Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader jailed during the second Palestinian uprising, would be the largest in recent years. … The Palestinian prisoners seek better conditions, including more contact with relatives, and an end to Israel’s practice of detentions without trials." (04/18/17)


Israel: Palestinian Arab prisoners launch mass hunger strike

Source: Yahoo! News

"Palestinian prisoners have launched one of the biggest hunger strikes in recent years in a protest against prison conditions. As many as 1,500 prisoners could be participating in the strikes, which have been planned to coincide with the annual Palestinian Prisoners Day. The strike also comes ahead of commemorations this summer marking 50 years since the 1967 Six Day War and the start of Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The strike has been called for by prominent Palestinian prisoner and leader Marwan Barghouti, who is currently serving a life sentence over his role in the second Palestinian intifada — or uprising." (04/17/17)


The true cost of Israel

Source: The American Conservative
by Philip Giraldi

"[H]ow Israel gets money from the United States is actually quite complex and not very transparent to the American public, going well beyond the check for $3.8 billion handed over at the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1. Even that check, uniquely given to aid recipient Israel as one lump sum on the first day of the year, is manipulated to produce extra revenue. It is normally immediately redeposited with the U.S. Treasury, which then, because it operates on a deficit, borrows the money to pay interest on it as the Israelis draw it down. That interest payment costs the American taxpayer an estimated $100 million more per year. Israel has also been adept at using 'loan guarantees,' an issue that may have contributed to the downfall of President George H.W. Bush. The reality is that the loans, totaling $42 billion, are never repaid by Israel, meaning that the United States Treasury picks up the tab on principle and interest, a form of additional assistance. The Bush-era loan amounted to $10 billion." (04/12/17)