The biggest challenge facing the Trump administration in terms of confronting ISIS is how to do so without benefiting Iran, the editor-in-chief of The Algemeiner said in an interview with i24 News on Thursday.
Asked by anchorwoman Michelle Makori about how the US could achieve the goals of both taking on Iran while also wiping out ISIS, Dovid Efune replied, “[Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu has said this — when your enemies are fighting each other, you do not strengthen one of them, you weaken both. The challenge for the new national security apparatus, from the president down is going to be how do you stem the threat of ISIS while ensuring that Iran is not empowered in the process. And I think we’re beginning to see what the beginning stages of what that strategy might look like. And that involves prying Iran and Russia apart [and] isolating Iran from Russia and the international community.”
Israel’s economy had its strongest quarterly performance since 2013, the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.
The economy grew by an annualized 6.2 percent in the last quarter of 2016, 4.2 percent in the third quarter, and 5.3 percent in the second quarter. The data showed that, year on year, the economy grew 5 percent in the second half of 2016, following 3.2-percent growth in the first half of the year.
David Friedman testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Feb. 16, 2017
The Reform movement became the largest Jewish body to oppose the nomination of David Friedman as United States ambassador to Israel.
In a statement released Friday, one day after the launch of Senate hearings to confirm Friedman, Union for Reform Judaism President Rabbi Rick Jacobs released a statement saying Friedman is “the wrong person for this essential job at this critical time.”
The statement says President Donald Trump’s longtime bankruptcy lawyer lacks the qualifications for the position, noting he has never been involved in professional foreign policy issues “other than as a zealous partisan and financial supporter of settlement activity.”
Setting aside a perplexing remark by President Trump, he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a strong and important show of unity at the White House Wednesday.
Bad news first: Trump’s apparent ignorance of the two-state solution, which for very good reason has been the basis for Mideast peace negotiations for decades.
“I’m looking at two states and one state. I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one,” said the President, perhaps unaware that a one-state solution would either consign Palestinians to permanent second-class status — or, via demographic change over the course of a few generations, end Israel’s status as a Jewish state.
Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump at a joint White House news conference, Feb. 15, 2017
President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there would be “no daylight” between the United States and Israel and planned to set up a number of working groups in areas of bilateral security and economic interests.
Like their joint news conference prior to the leaders meeting on Wednesday, the joint statement released later that evening by both governments was short on specifics but long on friendly agreement.
Israel’s multi-layered defense shield took two major steps forward in the past month. On Jan. 18, Israel declared the long-range Arrow-3 missile defense system operational, and on Jan. 25, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Israel’s Missile Defense Organization successfully conducted a fifth series of tests of the medium-range David’s Sling Weapon System.
Arrow-3 and David’s Sling—both jointly produced by the United States and Israel—are two critical components of Israel’s multi-layered defense shield, which also includes Arrow-2 and Iron Dome. Together, these four systems will help Israel defend itself against complex strategic threats.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday dropped a U.S. commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a longstanding bedrock of Middle East policy, even as he urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to curb settlement construction.
In the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, the Republican president backed away from a U.S. embrace of the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, upending a position taken by successive administrations and the international community.
“I’m looking at two states and one state, and I like the one both parties like,” Trump told a joint news conference with Netanyahu. “I can live with either one.”
Donald Trump meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, Sept. 25, 2016
On the eve of a summit between President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a senior White House official said a two-state solution was not a necessary outcome of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
“A two-state solution that doesn’t bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to achieve,” the official said Tuesday evening, according to a pool report for reporters filed from the White House, which did not name the official.
The Obama years sprang some unwanted surprises on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — like secret nuclear talks with Iran.
This week, in his first White House visit with President Donald Trump, Netanyahu’s priority will be to make sure Israel is kept in the loop and that the two countries’ positions are generally aligned, according to Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. for much of Barack Obama’s term.