Netanyahu meets with Russian Prime Minister on Iran, Syria, ISIS and bilateral economic relations
Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Jerusalem Thursday morning, their meeting centered on military coordination in Syria, increasing cooperation in energy, agriculture and trade and most significantly, combatting Islamic global terrorism, specifically ISIS.
Medvedev is on a four-day tour of Israel where he will meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials before returning to Moscow. He has been clear that the focus of his visit is to improve existing bilateral economic relations. The Russian prime minister’s visit also marks the 25th anniversary of restored diplomatic relations between the Russia and Israel.
Netanyahu stated during their press conference, “We would like to take advantage of the great opportunities of the new world, but there are those who would like to take us backward to the old world of the dark and murderous Middle Ages, and we are partners in the war on radical Islamic terror. Israel, Russia and he US and many other countries share the goal of eliminating Daesh [Islamic State].”
On Israel-Russia military coordination in Syria he stated “I think that cooperation between all of the elements I have said toward this goal serves each one of us and also serves humanity,” Netanyahu referring specifically to Israel’s ongoing concern with Iran, Netanyahu stating “We are also concerned by the second element leading radical Islam and this is Iran which champions the destruction of Israel and also supports 360 degree terror on five continents
He spoke of the necessity of cooperative, agreed red lines when it comes to Iran and Israel’s security in relation to Iran’s forces in Syria. Netanyahu stated that “We are determined to do two things: First, prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons and second, to prevent Iran – in any situation that arises in Syria, with or without an agreement – from establishing itself militarily in Syria, on the ground, in the air or at sea. We are also determined to prevent it from bringing about the establishment of Shiite militias, which it is organizing, and of course, the arming of Hezbollah with dangerous weapons aimed at us.”
Medvedev spoke of Israel as a strong economic partner, stating that the Jewish state is Russia’s “biggest partner in the region for economic affairs”. He called for the need to increase and pursue “economic and commercial relations”, particularly in the area of agriculture between Russia and Israel. He stated “In Russia there are specific agricultural conditions and in Israel there is the technology which combined can bring about quality”.
On global terrorism and ISIS, Prime Minister Medvedev stated “The Russian Federation also suffers from terror and it is part and parcel of the same thing. In light of this fact we have to fight terror together and that relates to security cooperation. With joint efforts we need to destroy the seed of terror which lies in the hands of ISIS.”
This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, November 10, 2016, and reposted with permission.
Amir is the founder of Behold Israel and lives in northern Israel. He has been invited to churches, prophecy seminars and conferences around the world, to teach on current events in Israel in light of Bible prophecy. Since 2004, Amir has been consultant to various law enforcement agencies and seminars on homeland-security issues.
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Israelis warned to avoid soccer match after terror threat
Israel’s World Cup 2018 qualifying game in Albania was moved and Israelis have been warned not to attend the match on Saturday after four Islamic State suspects were arrested on suspicions of planning attacks at the event.
“In recent days, Balkan officials have arrested individuals affiliated with ISIS who have planned terror attacks against a range of targets in the Balkans, including the international soccer game between Albania and Israel,” read the the Counter Terrorism Bureau warning. “Despite the arrests, and depending on the situation, there is still a significant threat of attacks in the area. Therefore, the Counter Terrorism Bureau is issuing a travel warning to Albania, where there is a concrete threat (level 2), and recommends Israelis refrain from attending the national team game on November 12.”
Israel’s national team is slated to play Albania’s national team on Saturday to qualify for the next World Cup.
On Tuesday, Albanian officials relocated the game from a stadium in the city of Shkodër to another venue, in the city of Elbasan, citing unspecified terror threats. The fours suspects, all Muslim, were arrested last week in Shkodër by Albanian security forces, thanks to a tip from the Mossad.
Albanian officials said the four planned to bring explosives into the game in order to attack the Israeli soccer players.
Israel’s national players will go ahead with the game, but were given strict restrictions on their movement and will be carefully guarded during their trip.
A statement from Israel’s Ministry of Culture and Sport said, “The minister is closely following the security arrangements and clarified that the safety of players and other members of the delegation is the primary consideration.”
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
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Palestinians claim Dead Sea Scrolls as their own
The Palestinian Authority has determined that the famous Dead Sea Scrolls belong to the Palestinian people, according to Israeli media reports.
The PA laid claim to the ancient scrolls, saying they were found in Qumran, an area of the West Bank that Palestinians want for a future Palestinian state. Reportedly, the PA stated that Israel illegally appropriated the scrolls since Qumran lies beyond the “Green Line,” a demarcation line drawn in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan after Israel’s War of Independence, the Arab-Israeli War, of 1948.
The scrolls are now housed at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Found inside caves in Qumran between 1947 to 1956, the scrolls include the third oldest known manuscripts of texts found in the Hebrew Bible. Most of the Qumran scrolls are written in Hebrew.
The PA reportedly plans to formally ask the Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation, to decide that Israel be required to “return” the scrolls to the Palestinian people. The committee is an advisory body to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Center.
The Palestinians informally raised the matter with the committee in September this year. It is reported that both the Israel Antiquities Authority and Shama-Hacohen, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, announced the PA plans to make a formal claim to the scrolls when the committee meets again in 2017.
Some 40 percent of the scrolls contain biblical texts including Isaiah, Deuteronomy and Psalms. Another 30 percent is made of non-canonical texts from the Second Temple period, such as the Book of Enoch and prophecies by Ezekiel, Daniel and Jeremiah that are not included in the Bible. A further 30 percent comprises texts that document the beliefs and rules of ancient Jewish groups. The scrolls are considered powerful proof of a Jewish presence in the area since ancient times.
Even so, the Palestinians state the scrolls belong to them, pointing to the fact that Qumran is now part of Section C in the West Bank – an area the Palestinians claim for their state. “Section C” is an area of the West Bank that is controlled by Israel and has some 150,000 Palestinians and more than 389,000 Israelis living there. The division of the West Bank into the administrative sections A, B and C was the result of the 1995 Oslo II Accords. Area A is exclusively governed by the PA, area B is run by both the PA and Israel and area C is run only by Israel. Sections A and B were marked out to in such a way as to have only Palestinians living within them.
The Palestinian claim has angered Israelis as this announcement comes on the heels of UNESCO resolutions that ignore Jewish claims to the Temple Mount. The claim would also appear to be a step backward after PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s surprise attendance at the funeral of Shimon Peres last month, when no other Arab state leaders attended.
Karen Faulkner is a British Israeli citizen. She has a Master's degree in Human Rights & Transitional Justice from Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
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Netanyahu, Israelis congratulate President-elect Trump
Israeli politicians congratulated Donald Trump on his victory as America’s 45th president-elect and hailed him as a friend of Israel, some wholeheartedly and some more cautiously.
“We will work together to advance security, stability and peace in our region,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. “The bond between the US and Israel is based on shared values, shared interests and a shared future. I am sure that president-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the special alliance between Israel and the US and we will bring them to new heights.”
Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who is on the rightwing of Israeli politics, seized the moment to bring up Trump’s stated opposition to a two-state solution.
“Trump’s victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country, which would hurt our security and just cause,” Bennett said in a statement. “This is the position of the president-elect, as written in his platform, and it should be our policy, plain and simple. The era of a Palestinian state is over. We are sure the special relationship between the United States and Israel will continue, and even grow stronger.”
During the election, Trump also railed against the American nuclear deal with Iran calling it “the stupidest deal of all time.”
He promised to tear up the deal because it allows Tehran to produce nuclear weapons and gives nothing to the US in return, another promise most Israelis are hoping he keeps.
While most Israelis preferred Hillary Clinton to be elected, calls went out today with hopes to heal what had become an acrimonious relationship between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama.
Isaac Herzog, head of the Zionist Union, praised Trump’s unexpected victory as a win for the common people.
“The American democracy today chose to place at its forefront an American leader who taught the analysts and doubters that we are in a new era of change and a replacement of the old ruling elites! You did the unexpected against all the odds, the polls, and the research, and the prophets of the old era,” Herzog said. “I am sure that the defense and economic cooperation with our strongest and most important ally will continue even more so during your presidency.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat urged Trump to make good on his promise to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a promise that all candidates make but none implement.
“On behalf of the city of Jerusalem, I am writing to congratulate you on your victory,” he said. “I am confident that you will continue to empower our city by reaffirming its sovereignty by moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.”
The status of Jerusalem is one of the most divisive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both Palestinians and Israelis claim Jerusalem as their capital. Trump has pledged to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital.
Despite Bennet’s assertion that the idea of a Palestinian state is “over,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ congratulated Trump and called on him to work toward a Palestinian state.
“We are ready to deal with the elected president on the basis of a two-state solution and to establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders,” spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP.
Saeb Erekat said he doesn’t expect US positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to change under Trump because both parties are committed to a two-state solution.
“I think this will not change with the coming administration,” he said.
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
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Are you ready for some American football… in Israel?
The Kraft Family Israel (Gridiron) Football League (IFL) is set to kick off its tenth season in a few weeks, with eight teams competing for the league title.
The Jerusalem Lions, the Judean Rebels, the Tel Aviv Pioneers, the Haifa Underdogs, the Petah Tikva Troopers, the Beer Sheva Black Swarm, the Mazkeret Batya Silverbacks and the Ramat HaSharon Hammers make up the roster of teams.
Believers are participants on nearly all these teams as players, managers, coaches and even owners. I myself am an assistant manager of the Jerusalem Lions. I started out in the league five years ago as a player, and although I enjoyed it, I didn’t enjoy getting injured, which happens a lot when you’re playing a full contact sport in your mid-30s. So I moved to a managerial position where I could stay involved but less likely to get hurt.
Although I don’t get paid for my work and, in fact, often pay for the privilege of participating, it provides me the opportunity to obey Jesus’ command to be “salt and light” in one small little corner of Israeli society populated mostly by people who, without football, might not ever have much contact with believers.
Everyone on the team knows I’m a believer, but no one has ever protested my presence. There’s a couple of Arab Catholic guys playing on the team and we pray before every game that there won’t be any injuries and for the game to be a blessing to everyone involved, while the Jewish guys, many of whom are Orthodox, respectfully give us space and privacy. A couple of them even told me that this has inspired them to pray before the games too.
Being involved in the football league also gives me a chance to help build civil society and culture in this country, something government officials often talk about and which I think all believers ought to be actively involved in as much as they can.
Finally, it’s a lot of fun, especially when the Lions win football games, which they do quite often, although it’s been a few years since we won the league championship.
The head coach of the Haifa Underdogs is Jay Armstead, a believer from the US.
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to see some of the guys that I have coached on the national team as they are spread out on all the other teams,” he said, referring to Israel’s recent formation of a national team that has competed in the European League.
Pastor Al Nucciarone of Jerusalem’s Baptist House also leads the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Israel, which has organized several teaching seminars and clinics for the IFL.
“When I first came here nine years ago, the IFL was just getting started. I got a hold of the league and arranged for several coaches to come over and started plugging them in with the IFL. We started off small, then got some momentum and interest. Now we have clinics in five different locations every summer with college and professional coaches and players from the US. We have a permanent invitation from the league. We do this to be salt and light, to help promote peace and community development through sports.”
Cole Kiser is a student from Texas who joined the coaching staff of the Judean Rebels and their high school affiliate, the Warriors.
“It gives you a chance to interact with people you otherwise would not,” he said. “The team aspect of football is unlike any other sport, and when people who do not know each other outside of football come together to achieve a common goal, it’s inspiring.”
“We have high hopes for the year in terms of wins and losses, but ultimately we coaches care much more about character development. We tell our players all the time to make good choices, and that extends much further than the football field. Football teaches teamwork, selflessness, and hard work. These are qualities our players can learn on the football field and apply to other areas of their lives. Not to mention that football is fun! It’s the greatest sport in the world, and to be able to participate in this sport in Jerusalem of all places is an amazing opportunity.”
On behalf of all those believers blessing Israel through their contributions to the IFL, I request prayers that we may be a good reflection of God’s love for this country and its people. I’d ask you to pray for the Lions to win the championship too, but that might not be fair.
In any case, you can find us on Facebook at IFL – The Israel Football League.
Aaron is a member of Jerusalem Assembly, House of Redemption.