Building homes in Israels biblical heartland Photo YT screenshot Wochit News channel SQUARE LOGOCombined with last week's announcement, the decision authorizes a total of 5,500 new homes in Israel's biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.

Putin in meeting closeup Photo Kremin website b LOGOApparently, the US is reasserting its presence in the Middle East - in partnership with Russia. The move effectively coronates Putin as the superpower sovereign of the Middle East. Putin, in turn, and for now, is shutting down Iran and its proxies in Syria.

Montage Site of illegal Iranian missile test in Jan 2017 Photo YT screenshot FOX NEWS channel LOGOYesterday the world learned that Iran recently tested a missile with a payload comparable to a nuclear warhead. Taking to Twitter, Netanyahu called the test "a flagrant violation of the [UN] Security Council." Six thousand miles away, another Twitter user responded. Trump and his new ambassador to the UN have called for an emergency meeting of the Security Council. They are meeting today.

Nasrallah head of Hezbollah threatening Israels ammonia site in Feb 2015 Photo YT screenshot ILTV Israel Daily channel LOGOAmmonia, an essential ingredient for life, could kill thousands of Israelis. The reason: its ammonia supply in northern Israel is a sitting duck for an attack by Hezbollah. Less than a year ago, Hezbollah leader, Nasralla, threatened the Haifa facility, calling it his "atomic bomb." It remains an obvious target.

Montage Israel strengthening ties with India China Photo Israeli GPO Mark NeimanThere are two huge markets, mostly undeveloped, that are opening up to Israel: China and India. While the Western world largely ignores them, Israel is pursuing these Asian countries in the East where, in general, there is a unique openness to the Jewish state.

Montage Christian Arab students Photo YT screenshot andomay channel LOGOAs the US and Europe struggle with the growing phenomena of fundamentalist Islamic terror, most are failing to maintain both parts of a duel responsibility: protect citizens from terror — and from racism. Israel is keenly aware of these obligations and the tension between them. Its struggle to honor that tension, without denying or rejecting either part, is ongoing. From that conscious struggle, Europe and the US have a lot to learn.

Montage Trump Putin w Netanyahu overlay Photos Trump campaign Kremlin Israeli LOGOIt would be a mistake to think there is, or will be, smooth sailing between Jerusalem and Trump's new administration in Washington D.C. When Netanyahu meets with the new US president, he will have four pressing concerns.

Montage Donald J Trump US President elect Photo YouTube screenshot CNN channel LOGOWhy is Trump sending mixed messages about moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? Probably because Israel is asking him to take a different approach to regional peace. If so, it is likely Netanyahu is asking Trump to wait. There are bigger issues at stake.

Montage Trump Signing Executive Order Photo YT screenshot PBS NewsHour channel LOGODuring his first week at work, President Trump has not been idle regarding Israel and the Middle East. He is halting Obama's transfer of $221 million to the PA, working with Putin to oust Iran from Syria, and, in spite of reports to the contrary, still intends to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Montage Syria safe zones Putin Trump Erdogan Photos debka dot com Wikimedia Commons Kremlin dor ru LOGOApparently, Trump and Putin have done more than greet one another on the phone. According to DEBKAfile, they have struck a deal regarding Syria. Under that deal, Iran and its proxies must depart, leaving the US in charge of security along Syria's border with Israel. On the other hand, it solidifies Russia's presence in the Middle East. Moscow is not about to leave.

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