Arguably, the biggest news from the first meeting between PM Netanyahu and President Trump was not anything they said. Rather, it was the warmth between the men. Both are tough, and Trump remains unpredictable. Still, the camaraderie between the two bodes well for their ability to meaningfully negotiate. In this context, then, there are also a number of intriguing issues and policies that directly impact Israel's security: Iran, a regional peace deal, the Palestinians, settlements and more.
While much of the world celebrates Valentine's Day, Israel remembers a love letter from the "father of modern Zionism," a missive published on this day in 1896, fifty-two years before the Jewish State was reborn.
The Palestinian Authority is pivoting toward Persia while its counterpart in Gaza, Hamas, is pivoting toward ISIS. Not only is the story important in its own right, the details it contains is testimony to the extent of Israeli intelligence. The methods by which it obtained the particulars of this report are an undisclosed but provocative tease. When Israel's enemies secretly meet, their meetings are no so secret as they think.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called the target in northern Israel his "atomic bomb." One year later, that target remained. Now, however, the company that owns it has been ordered by an Israeli court to empty the site in less than ten days. It must also find an alternate location to store the nation's supply of a chemical necessary for life that, undiluted and in large quantities, is also deadly.
Apparently, the larger framework of Trump's support for Israel is a coalition of armed forces to defeat ISIS throughout the region - and to push Iran back inside its borders. With "consequences that are unforeseen," the prospect of a long-term, international army is a Trump-Putin "earthquake" that is "sending tremors through Middle East."