Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif Wednesday, 8 April 2015 | While US President Barack Obama and his team aggressively work to sell their 'framework agreement' with Iran, the Islamic Republic is announcing plans to aggressively manufacture weapons-grade uranium. It is also asserting that all differences between its understanding of the agreement as compared with the US is proof that American officials are "liars and untrustworthy."

  Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu Thursday, 25 June 2015 | "Israel is a unique place,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said earlier this week. Because what it is and where it is, it is "absolutely necessary [for the State] ...to challenge assumptions." This dynamic, he said, "is deeply embedded in the DNA of our people. The father of our nation, Abraham, challenged God. That's as big a challenge as you can have. And we have had that embedded in our culture throughout and it's very much something that we see in the development of businesses."

Perhaps counter-intuitively, Netanyahu's philosophical ruminations were at the heart of comments made at Israel's 5th Cybersecurity Conference where he spoke last Tuesday.

 Tuesday, 7 April 2015 | Major General Nimron Sheffer, says that vis-à-vis Iran, inasmuch as "Israel feels its existence depends on action, we will take it."

Sheffer is no schnook. He is head of the IDF's Planning Directorate which, for its part, is the central body of the IDF's General Staff. Its primary function, for the IDF and Israel's Ministry of Defense, is strategic planning. When Sheffer speaks, he does so as the ultimate insider to Israel's military doctrine.

Several days ago Sheffer met with Yoav Limor, correspondent for Israel Hayom. Just before Pesach, Limor reported what Sheffer had to say.

US President Barack Obama Monday, 06 April 2015 | The ‘Obama Doctrine,’ says Thomas L. Friedman, is to engage America's enemies in lieu of sanctions and isolation. It is a doctrine President Barack Hussein Obama has consistently pursued with countries like Cuba and Burma. And now, Iran. According to Obama, his doctrine is that the US "will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities."

Two days ago, Friedman, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for the New York Times, met with Obama in the White House. For forty-five minutes, Friedman asked questions about Obama's 'framework' agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program. The Times subsequently released a video of the interview along with Friedman's written report published yesterday.

Map showing the extent of the first Persian Empire Thursday, 2 April 2015 | The first Persian empire is well-known to students of the Bible. Its founder, King Cyrus the Great, is lauded as the ruler God used to return the Jewish people from 70 years of exile. It is also portrayed by the book of Daniel as one of the world's most powerful and influential governments in human history.
  Russian President Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Tuesday, 22 September 2015 | Concerned about Russia's new military stronghold in Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu went to Moscow yesterday. Before a joint meeting between the country's two leaders, Russian President Putin chuckled at the notion that Syria poses any meaningful threat to Israel.

 In the aftermath of Russia's sudden establishment of a military presence in Syria, Netanyahu quickly arranged a trip to Moscow. Signaling his country's keen concern, Netanyahu brought along top military advisers. "I asked IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, General Commanding Officer of Intelligence, and of course my Military Secretary, to join me in order to clarify things," Netanyahu said after a three hour meeting with Putin.

President Rivlin signing the document that asks Binyamin Netanyahu to form the new government. Thursday, 26 March 2015 | Late yesterday Israel's President Rivlin formally received the final count of votes from election day in Israel on Tuesday, 17 March. Afterward, he declared that his choice for building a coalition government was Benjamin Netanyahu. It was a declaration that included a solemn admonition to Israel's once and future Prime Minister.

Israel's attention has turned to the north, as it must. While to the south Hamas remains a threat, it is a cobra in the sand compared to the resurrected lion of Persia and its pack of predator states pressing in on Israel's northern fence. And egging them on, pushing them toward Israel, is the reawakened bear of Russia, hungry from its hibernating fast since 1991.

The Persian lion is Iran, directly to the east of Israel. Its growing pack of predator states includes portions of Iraq and, to Israel's north, Syria and Lebanon. In an apparent attempt to encircle the Jewish state, Iran is actively recruiting Hamas in Gaza and, intriguingly, Yemen and Sudan, guardians to the Red Sea. Why the Red Sea? One of its forks leads directly to Israel's southern ports in Eilat. The other is the world's shipping thoroughfare through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean from which all of Israel's west coast is accessible.

Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu
Tuesday, 24 March 2015 | In his first interview after Benjamin Netanyahu's successful reelection bid in Israel, US President Obama chided the Prime Minister for his remark one week ago today, specifically his comment about Arab voters.

Last Tuesday was election day in Israel. The race, it seemed, was far too close to call. Speaking in Hebrew, Netanyahu went to social media, urging his supporters to get out and vote. "The rule of the political right is in danger," he said, then added, "Arab voters are moving in vast numbers to the polling stations. Left-wing NGOs are busing them in…"

  Tanakh Study Circle Monday, 7 September 2015 | Last week, just before Shabbat, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife, Sarah, hosted a Bible study in their home. Using the Hebrew word for all the books of the Hebrew Bible, Netanyahu reminded those in attendance, "The Tanakh is the rock of our existence."

Called the Tanakh Study Circle, the Netanyahu's Bible study is held in memory of the Prime Minister's late father-in-law, Shmuel Ben-Artzi, a Bible scholar, linguist and author. He died in 2011 at the age of 96. One part of Ben-Artzi's legacy is the periodic Bible study hosted by his son-in-law.

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