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."
What are Trump's positions regarding the Jewish State and the issues that it faces? What will Netanyahu encounter whe he meets with Trump on Wednesday? Three days before that meeting, an interview with the US President was published by Israel's largest daily paper, Israel Hayom. Based on things Trump said, and would not say, Jerusalem continues to adapt to a fast-moving US president whose support for Israel is in a context that is still coming into focus.
Wounded Syrian children and relatives who accompany them, often minors themselves, find themselves seeking help in an enemy country that, they have been told, is as bad as Satan. Instead, at the Ziv Medical Center, they are greeted by an Arab Israeli named Issa, Arabic for Jesus. Issa is their constant companion, beginning to end, as the children are treated by Israeli physicians. "I was afraid of the Jews," Jason (a pseudonym) says. "Now I'm not afraid at all."
Archeologists from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, along with faculty and students from a Christian university in the US, have found "one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries, and the most important in the last 60 years, in the caves of Qumran."
ISIS is not only to Israel's north, in Syria, and east, in Iraq; it is also just across the border to the south. In fact, the terror group has taken over a large swath of the Sinai peninsula. From its stronghold there, it launched four rockets into Israel last night. But this is not the only military activity that occurred during the evening. There were two more.
In an announcement that Jerusalem did not expect, Russia has signaled its intent to provide high-tech weapons to the armed forces of Syria. The problem is that Damascus remains the puppet of Iran and a sibling puppet with Lebanon's "Party of Allah." Their visceral commitment to Israel's destruction is at least as strong as their desire to defeat ISIS. Accordingly, Jerusalem wonders: will these high-tech weapons be added to Hezbollah's vast arsenal for use against the Jewish state?
Any notion of a united bloc of aligned countries standing as a wall against Iranian and Sunni Islamist advancement is little more than a mirage.