Treat Israel Like Other States, Oman Says

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Bloomberg


The Gulf state of Oman said it’s time to acknowledge Israel’s existence, articulating that outreach a day after a secret meeting between their leaders was divulged.

“I will say this for the first time: Israel is a state that is present in this region and we all know this,” Foreign Minister Yusuf Bin Alawi said at the Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrain on Saturday. “Maybe it is time for Israel to be treated the same and also bear the same obligations as other countries.”

…Bin Alawi defended his position by highlighting the historical presence of Jews in the Middle East, pointing to Islamic texts that attested to that, and touting the mutual benefits of stronger Arab-Israeli ties.

“The Torah saw the light in the Middle East and the prophets of Israel were born in the Middle East,” he said. “We cannot exclude anyone in this region.” The Israeli government had no comment on Bin Alawi’s remarks.

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Netanyahu, Israeli officials make one-day visit to Oman

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JNS


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a secret one-day trip to Oman on Friday, where he met with the ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who has led his country for nearly 50 years.

It is the first trip made by an Israeli prime minister since Shimon Peres in 1996.

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Why Netanyahu Called Off a War in Gaza

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Bloomberg


Israelis within missile range of the Gaza Strip went to bed with trepidation Wednesday night, unsure whether a full-scale war in Gaza was imminent. Israel’s Security Cabinet had convened for a midnight emergency session Wednesday, following Tuesday’s attack on Beersheba, Israel’s largest southern city.

By Thursday, though, it was business as usual. The government’s decision not to respond with a major military campaign shows both the limited options available on Gaza and the nature of Israel’s defense priorities.

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Australia May Follow Trump in Moving Its Embassy in Israel

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Bloomberg


Australia is considering following U.S. President Donald Trump’s lead in moving the nation’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

“Australia should be open-minded to this,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday. “We’re committed to a two-state solution but, frankly, it hasn’t been going that well.”

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MI6 HONORS BRITISH SPY FOR SAVING 10,000 JEWS FROM NAZI GERMANY

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Jerusalem Post


In a rare acknowledgement of its secretive work, Britain’s MI6, officially the Secret Intelligent Service, honored late British intelligence officer Major Frank Foley on Tuesday for saving an estimated 10,000 German Jews in Nazi Germany prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.

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US announces it’s cutting all funding to Palestinian refugee agency

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Times of Israel


WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced Friday it cutting nearly $300 million in planned funding for the UN agency that aids Palestinian refugees, ending decades of support.

The State Department announced in a written statement Friday that the United States “will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation.”

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China chides Iran over threat to block oil exports through Strait of Hormuz

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Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) – Iran should make more effort to ensure stability in the Middle East and get along with its neighbours, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Friday, as Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned they may block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz.

Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait are among China’s most important oil suppliers, while Qatar supplies liquefied natural gas to China, so any blockage of the strait would have serious consequences for its economy.

But Beijing has had to tread carefully with Arab nations like Saudi Arabia as China also has close ties with Iran.

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Austria’s Kurz to Rouhani: ‘Unacceptable’ to question Israel’s right to exist

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Times of Israel


In a joint press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Wednesday said he considered it “absolutely unacceptable” to question the right of Israel to exist or call for the Jewish state’s destruction.

Ahead of the meeting in Vienna, Kurz had said he would speak plainly with Rouhani about Iran’s role in the Middle East, as Tehran continues to deny accusations it is destabilizing the region.

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How Sheldon Adelson just might be turning the tide against BDS on US campuses

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Times of Israel


In the academic year that just ended, Sheldon Adelson’s Maccabee Task Force, set up to battle anti-Israel activism on US campuses, focused on 40 of what it assessed were the schools most hostile to Israel and most intimidating to pro-Israel students. At 15 of these campuses, it had been anticipated that student governments would seek to pass BDS resolutions — resolutions demanding that their schools divest from Israel.

According to David Brog, who runs the Maccabee Task Force, however, several of the expected resolutions were withdrawn. Of the 10 that were submitted, only three were passed. And of the three campuses where the anti-Israel resolutions were successful, two of them had not had student leaders participate in the Maccabee Task Force’s bus trips to Israel — a central component of its pro-Israel action plan.

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US quits the UN’s Human Rights Council, citing its ‘chronic bias against Israel’

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Times of Israel


The United States is withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council, US ambassador Nikki Haley said Tuesday, branding the global body a “cesspool of political bias.”

“We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights,” she said at a press conference announcing the move.

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