Oslo Accords signing ceremony in 1993 Monday, 21 September 2015 | Last week Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pledged to drop a "bombshell" when he speaks to the United Nations General Assembly in nine days. Speculation about that bombshell included his possible resignation as President, the dismantlement of the Palestinian Authority [PA] or declaring dead the Oslo Accords. In fact, according to the Palestinian News Network [PNN], Abbas plans to seek international declaration of Palestine as a State under occupation, "with Israel being the occupying power."
 Wednesday, 9 September 2015 | Windless and warm, Jerusalem is swimming in a brownish-orange haze. While residents here lightheartedly compare the atmospheric look to scenes from movies like Mad Max and Star Wars, it is a kind of Israeli humor that, paradoxically, affirms the toxicity of air that everyone must breathe.

Sandstorms like this, called haboobs, are fairly common. But this haboob at this time and this size is anything but common. Not only does it blanket Jerusalem, it has fallen on the entire northwestern side of the Middle East. Satellite photos of the phenomenon portray an amoeba-like cloud draped across Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

  Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Monday, 26 October 2015 | The foremost legal scholar of Islam in Jerusalem is the Grand Mufti, Muhammed Hussein. Yesterday, he asserted that the first man, Adam, perhaps with the help of angels, built today's Dome of the Rock, the 1300-year-old Islamic shrine that sits atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City. Accordingly, he said, the site has been an Islamic mosque "3,000 years ago and 30,000 years ago."
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  Tuesday, 25 August 2015 | As the United Nations prepares to lift sanctions against Iran for its weapons-grade nuclear program, the prospect of an economic crisis hit yesterday in markets around the world. Is there a connection?

Yesterday saw almost every market teeter on the brink of free fall. Economic fears were triggered by China's ongoing failure to prevent a sell off. In spite of yet another infusion of cash to undergird its markets, The Washington Post reports that "Chinese stocks recorded their biggest slump in eight years during what [its] media dubbed 'Black Monday.'"

Israel Advanced Technology Industries, a conference sponsor Wednesday, 7 January 2015 | Counterintuitive to global perception of the Jewish state, Israel's economy is robust and growing.

Yesterday Israel sponsored its first Foreign Trade conference in Tel Aviv. Israel's Minister of Economy, MK Naftali Bennett, kicked off the event stating that, "Recently there is a trend of complaining how bad everything is in this country.

  Terror attack at bus stop Wednesday, 14 October 2015 | After weeks of rising violence aimed at Jews, yesterday's wave of terror in Jerusalem seems to be a tipping point. Attacks began in a city near Tel Aviv. A terrorist attempting murder was subdued in Ra’anana. Minutes later, another stabbing attack was thwarted in Holon, just south of Tel Aviv.

Then, at 10:23 a.m., a rat-a-tat-tat of vicious assaults hit Israel's capital city.

Netanyahu with world leaders: “...if we are united, this terrorism will be unable to defeat us.” Monday, 11 January 2015 | After separate but related terrorist incidents in Greater Paris last week, Israel's response has been public and emphatic. The essence of its message has two parts: it calls on nations to protect their Jewish citizens and it invites those same Jewish citizens to immigrate to Israel. "The state of Israel is your home," said Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. "All Jews who want to immigrate to Israel will be welcomed here warmly and with open arms. Our state is your state."

Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe and PM Netanyahu Tuesday, 20 January 2015 | As hostility toward Israel grows in the West, Israel is increasingly building economic ties with the East. This week the Land of the Rising Sun has come to town, ready to do business with the Jewish state.

The world's largest regional economy is the European Union, currently Israel's biggest trading partner. The US is a close second. But in the East, China is a very close third. And next in line is Japan with a hearty $5 trillion Gross Domestic Product.

  Russian anti-submarine ship (illustrative) Friday, 25 September 2015 | Only days after Netanyahu's visit to Moscow, Russia's Defense Ministry has announced its plans to engage in a "combat training exercise ...in the eastern part of the Mediterranean." Russia has recently beefed up its military presence at its Syrian Mediterranean port in Tartous.

Yesterday's Defense Ministry press release emphasized that the exercise was "adopted at the end of 2014." The unsaid message: its proximity to today's operations in Syria is accidental.

 Knesset Building Wednesday, 3 December 2014 | For people outside Israel, the country's method of government can be confusing. How does democracy work Israeli style? Israel's government is a parliamentary democracy. Among other things, this means that Israel's Parliament, the Knesset, can be dissolved before completing its members' four-year term. This happens when Israel's Executive Branch, led by the Prime Minister, cannot maintain essential unity in its Cabinet.

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