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  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels on March 4, 2022. Credit: Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.

    On an upcoming trip to the Middle East and North Africa, Jill Biden, the U.S. first lady, will visit Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Portugal, but not Israel. And Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, reportedly scrapped a planned trip to Israel, according to news reports.

    On June 1, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement, which stated in part, “I have heard all of the reports about Iran. I have a sharp and clear message for both Iran and the international community: Israel will do whatever it needs to do to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”

    The first lady “is expected to attend the wedding of the Jordanian Crown Prince—an unelected monarch whose country is majority Palestinian—as part of her visit. But she will skip the region’s only true democratic nation,” Joel Pollak reported in Breitbart.

  • File: In this handout photo, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a security cabinet meeting at military headquarters in Tel Aviv on May 9, 2023. (Avi Ohayan/GPO)

    The security cabinet is set to convene next week to discuss a potential multi-front conflict including Iran and Hezbollah, amid concerns over Tehran’s progress toward nuclear weapons capabilities.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant will also hold a security assessment before the security cabinet meets Sunday, Channel 12 news reported Thursday.

    The meetings were set up amid escalated tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and Israeli warnings that a broad conflict could break out over the issue.

  • The renewed momentum toward a nuclear deal with Iran alongside new information on the scope of its enrichment and the decision by the international atomic watchdog to shut two outstanding investigations have had Israeli decision-makers on edge.

    An Israeli diplomatic official told Israel Hayom that Israel was "moving closer to the decisive moments in the face of the nuclear threat posed by Iran; we will not let Iran have a nuclear weapon." The source made this comment after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the International Atomic Energy Agency report on the status of Tehran's nuclear program and the state of the investigations: "I have a clear message to Iran and the international community: Israel will do everything it needs to do in order to deny Iran a nuclear weapon." 

    Earlier on Thursday the Israeli Foreign Ministry slammed the IAEA for its decision to end the probe into two cases of undeclared nuclear activity, which have been a sticking point between Iran and the West on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal. 

  • Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar during a speech marking Memorial day at the agency's headquarters in Tel Aviv, April 25, 2023. (screenshot: Shin Bet)

    The head of the Shin Bet security agency was in Washington on Thursday for meetings with senior American officials amid growing US concern over the security situation in the West Bank and the deterioration of the Palestinian Authority, an Israeli official said.

    Ronen Bar’s meetings will include ones at the White House, the State Department and the CIA, the official said, confirming a report in the Axios news site.

    The official did not specify whether Bar would be meeting with CIA chief William Burns, who has been closely involved in US efforts to stabilize the PA.

  • Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, March 9, 2010. (photo: Miriam Alster, Flash90)

    The U.S. seeks to silence Israeli opposition to a revived Iran nuclear deal by offering to broker a Saudi-Israeli normalization deal in exchange, Israel Hayom reported on Thursday.

    Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi flew Wednesday to Washington for meetings with U.S. officials about the possible Iran deal, which Israel strongly opposes, and Saudi-Israel relations, which Israel strongly supports.

    Although U.S. President Joe Biden once referred to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or 2015 Iran nuclear deal, as “dead” on the sidelines of a Nov. 4, 2022, mid-term election rally, recent reports suggest his administration is still working towards some kind of agreement.

  • Centrifuges at the Iran nuclear energy exhibition in the Islamic Revolution and Holy Defense Museum, 2018. (photo: Maps / Shutterstock)

    Israel is worried by reports of an interim nuclear agreement between the United States and Iran being reached “in the coming days and weeks,” Israeli media reported on Monday. 

    Specifically, Jerusalem is concerned about a deal that would allow the regime in Tehran to freeze part of its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of U.S. sanctions, according to Kan News

    A source close to the White House told Kan that “diplomacy is the best way to stop Iran from having nuclear weapons,” and it was reported that messages have been broadcast between Washington and Tehran on the nuclear issue.

  • Foreign Minister Eli Cohen seen during his trip to Hungary with his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó on May 31, 2023. (photo: Israeli Embassy in Hungary)

    Israel's Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Wednesday said Hungary would become the first European Union state to move its embassy to Jerusalem, effectively recognizing the holy city as Israel's capital.

    His announcement came as he met his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó in Budapest, with the latter declaring that "cooperation between Hungary and Israel has reached a historic peak.”

    “Hungary supports us in the international arena,” Cohen said, speaking at a Chabad synagogue. “More good news is that in a number of weeks, Hungary will be the first EU state to announce that it is moving its embassy to Jerusalem." 

  • Paraguayan President-elect Santiago Pena in Asuncion, Paraguay. (photo: Jorge Saenz, AP)

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday congratulated Paraguayan President Santiago Pena on his recent election victory and welcomed his counterpart's intention to return his country’s embassy to Jerusalem.

    In a phone call, Netanyahu congratulated the economist and former finance minister for his victory in the election earlier this month, which extended the long rule of Pena’s conservative Colorado Party.

    The two leaders expressed their commitment to strengthening bilateral relations and noted that this would promote economic initiatives, growth, and prosperity for both Jerusalem and Asuncion.

  • Then-Special envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Brett H. McGurk delivers remarks during a press conference at Fort Belvoir, Va., Oct. 24, 2017. Photo: U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro/U.S. Dept. of Defense.

    U.S. President Joe Biden’s White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk visited Oman on May 8 to discuss with officials there the possibility of reaching out to Iran regarding its nuclear program, according to Axios.

    McGurk traveled to Muscat after visiting Saudi Arabia with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and then Israel to brief Prime Minister Netanyahu on the talks Sullivan held with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

  • The top floor of this building in Moscow shows damage from the drone strike. (photo: CNN)

    Russia is blaming Ukraine for launching a drone attack on Moscow early Tuesday which reportedly left two people injured and several buildings damaged, a rare incident in the Russian capital after months of war.

    While incidents in Moscow are uncommon, residents in Kyiv have faced 17 airstrikes this month. There was a Russian bombardment of the Ukrainian capital overnight, which officials said killed at least one person.

    At least three residential buildings in Moscow were damaged by drones on Tuesday, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported, citing emergency services and residents.

  • [Representative Alex] Mooney’s bill, which was introduced in the House on Thursday ... is calling for something called the Digital Dollar Pilot Prevention Act, which aims to prevent the Federal Reserve from launching a pilot program that would test the operability of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the U.S. financial system.

  • President Isaac Herzog and Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Baku, on May 29, 2023 (photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)

    BAKU - President Isaac Herzog’s visit to Azerbaijan was planned with even greater levels of security than usual, amid concerns that Iran would attempt to disrupt the visit.

    The Iranian border with Azerbaijan is about 100 km from the capital, Baku.

    “Azerbaijan is a neighbor of Iran, a destabilizing force in the region seeking to undermine Israeli alliances of peace and security in the region,” Herzog said on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport.

  • Hamas supporters wave the terrorist movement's flag during a student rally at Birzeit University, near Ramallah, May 19, 2022. Credit: Flash90.

    Hamas secured crucial victories in two recent student council elections at major Palestinian universities, pointing to growing discontent with the Palestinian Authority, the ruling Fatah party and President Mahmoud Abbas.

    Palestinian officials acknowledged that election results at Birzeit University, near Ramallah, and Al-Najah University, in Shechem (Nablus) indicate Hamas’s increasing popularity among Palestinians.

  • The C-Dome during testing aboard the Israel Navy's Sa'ar 6-class "Magen" corvette. (photo: Ministry of Defense Spokesperson’s Office)

    Israel has successfully tested a naval version of its land-based Iron Dome air-defense system, the C-Dome.

    The interceptor was installed on the Israel Navy’s Sa’ar 6-class “Magen” corvette and was on target when faced with simulated threats such as rockets, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.

    C-Dome is a joint project of the Israel Navy, the Israel Missile Defense Organization (part of the Defense Ministry’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development) and Rafael Advanced Systems.

  • For many Americans, Memorial Day represents the start of summer — the promise of warm, sunny days, evenings illuminated by fireflies, barbecues in the backyard, and trips to the beach. But Memorial Day is not actually about any of that. It is a day to remember how the men and women of our Armed Forces have answered the call to give their lives to defend the people and the country they love. They have entered into the service willingly, knowing that the price of freedom is extraordinarily high. 

  • Soldier place flag on the grave of Medal of Honor recipient Michael Crescenz at Arlington National Cemetery. (Patrick Hughes)
  • President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., meet in the Oval Office on May 22, 2023. (caption: CNBC; photo: Saul Loeb, AFP, Getty Images)

    With days to spare before a potential first-ever government default, President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached final agreement Sunday on a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and worked to ensure enough support in Congress to pass the measure in the coming week.

    The Democratic president and Republican speaker spoke with each other Sunday evening as negotiators rushed to draft and post the bill text so lawmakers can review compromises that neither the hard-right or left flank is likely to support. Instead, the leaders are working to gather backing from the political middle as Congress hurries toward votes before a June 5 deadline to avert a damaging federal default.

    “Good news,” Biden declared Sunday evening at the White House.

  • President Isaac Herzog met with Turkish President Recept Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara March 9, 2022. (photo: Chaim Tzach, GPO)

    Israel's President Isaac Herzog sent his congratulations to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his latest presidential win.

    In a statement released via Twitter, President Herzog expressed well wishes to the re-elected Turkish leader. He expressed an interest in continuing to develop the evolving relationship between the two Middle Eastern nations.

    "Congratulations to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on his election victory," he wrote. "I am convinced we will continue to work together to strengthen and expand the good ties between Turkey and Israel."

  • Jewish activists clash with police during a protest against a conference of Christians outside the Davidson Center in Jerusalem, Israel, on May 28, 2023. (Arie Leib Abrams/ Flash90)

    Christian worshipers who prayed at an archeological park bordering the Western Wall on Sunday, were met by hundreds of Jewish protesters, including Jerusalem’s deputy mayor, shouting at them to leave.

    The protesters were responding to an Evangelical Christian call for prayer at the Davidson Center, which is situated south of the Western Wall Plaza and features access to a segment of the Jewish holy site.

    The incident underlines the strains on the relations of religious Israeli nationalists with Christian Evangelicals, who politically and financially support Israel as well as the strategic goals of religious nationalists, but diverge radically from them on theology.

  • (photo: Fire and Rescue Servuce)

    Keren Kayemet L'Israel (KKL-JNF) forestry teams and Israel's Fire and Rescue Services fought at least 176 separate forest fires across Israel on Saturday, amid a severe heatwave felt throughout the country.

    In the north of the country alone, 53 fires had to be put out on Saturday. The coastal area saw 32 fires, the greater Jerusalem area 28, the south 24, the central region 22, while the West Bank suffered 14 blazes throughout the day.

  • Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters via video, marking Martyrs’ Day in Beirut’s southern suburbs, in November. (photo: Aziz Taher, Reuters)

    Amid recent security tensions in the north, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah spoke on Thursday night for the "Day of Resistance," where he marked 23 years since the IDF left Lebanon, and responded to statements made by the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate Aharon Haliva.

    "You are not the ones threatening war, it is us who do so," Nasrallah emphasized. "And any such war will include all of Israel's borders." He further said that "any wrong action in Palestine, Syria or Iran could lead to a major war."

    He further said that "after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 and the withdrawal from Gaza, the concept of 'Greater Israel' no longer exists."

  • This is a locator map for Afghanistan with its capital, Kabul. Iran borders Afghanistan on its western side. (graphic: AP)

    The Taliban and Iran exchanged heavy gunfire Saturday on the Islamic Republic’s border with Afghanistan, killing and wounding troops while sharply escalating rising tensions between the two countries amid a dispute over water rights.

    Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency quoted the country’s deputy police chief, Gen. Qassem Rezaei, accusing the Taliban of opening fire first Saturday morning on the border of Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province and the Afghan province of Nimroz. IRNA said Iran inflicted “heavy casualties and serious damage.”

    From the Taliban’s view, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Nafi Takor accused Iran of shooting first. Takor said the firefight killed two people, one from each country, and wounded others. He described the situation as now being under control.

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Provocative Commentary

“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” 
― E.M. Bounds