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Tuesday, Mar. 28 '17, א' בניסן תשע"ז


by David Rosenberg

A new poll commissioned by Jewish Home party activists is fueling speculation that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked may be considering a primary challenge against her long-time political ally and incumbent party chief, Naftali Bennett.

Earlier this month, Shaked hinted she may be considering a bid for the premiership in the future, sparking rumors regarding more immediate aspirations, including leadership of the Jewish Home party or a possible departure from the party in favor of a senior position within the Likud.

On Monday Shaked again hinted she may pursue the premiership, telling participants of a conference organized by the Or Yarok traffic safety organization that she wasn’t ruling anything out.

"After the age of Netanyahu," said Shaked, "Naftali Bennett needs to be Prime Minister – but I wouldn’t rule out myself in the future [for Prime Minister]."

A poll published Tuesday morning only added more grist for the rumor mill. The poll, commissioned by Jewish Home activists, showed the party would perform better with Shaked at the helm, as opposed to Naftali Bennett. According to the survey, conducted by veteran pollster Rafi Smith, the Jewish Home would win three more seats under Shaked than it would under Bennett’s leadership.

"Shaked brings different voters to the party," said Rafi Smith. "While Bennett brings his base – traditional or religious voters – she brings a different base."

Agriculture Minister and leader of the National Union faction within the Jewish Home brushed off suggestions Shaked would challenge Bennett.

"There’s no way; Shaked won’t run. Let them convince her to run in the primaries, then we’ll see."

Nevertheless, some Jewish Home activists are hoping Shaked will run for leadership of the party.

One activist and former primary candidate, Yossi Fuchs, acknowledged to Army Radio that he is among those who ordered the poll and favors a leadership challenge against Bennett.

"Bennett is always saying that the only way to break the Jewish Home’s ‘glass ceiling’ is to get rid of the Uri Yogevim and the Smotrichim," said Fuchs, referring to criticism by Bennett of Minister Uri Ariel and MKs Motti Yogev and Bezalel Smotrich.

"We think that the public has no problem with them; we just need to change the [party] chairman."

"The religious public believes that it would be easier for Ayelet Shaked to unify the Religious Zionist community than it would be for Bennett."

by Ido Ben Porat

Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu), participating in the AIPAC conference in Washington, is convinced that elections in Israel are not imminent. He also sent an explicit threat to Hezbollah in Lebanon, and expects Israel and the Trump administration to cooperate in curbing the Iranian threat from reaching the Mediterranean.

In an Arutz Sheva interview, Galant was asked about the future of construction in Judea and Samaria and about the efforts to achieve an agreed-upon formula for construction. "I think that there are things which should be left for negotiations," he said. "Obviously things are different than with the previous administration. We also have other fronts, we need American support for what is happening on our northern border. The Iranians are gaining strength and trying to take control of Syria and this has its own repercussions."

Galant stressed that "there is no change in Israel's policies. We will defend ourselves and not allow Hezbollah to gain strength. We will not allow Syrian soil to become a fertile ground for smuggling game-changing weapons to be used against Israel."

"This must be done in a clear, careful and balanced way in order not to be dragged into a situation we do not want. If Nasrallah and the Hezbollah make a serious mistake and try to drag Israel into the war, we will push Lebanon backwards a hundred years."

Galant says that "nobody in our region wants Iranian involvement in Syria, neither the Sunni states nor Turkey and certainly not the Europeans who are concerned about the flood of refugees to Europe. I believe that after the battle in Syria is concluded the Russians will not want Iranian involvement. They are using them in the battle because there are no Russian soldiers."

"In this situation," he said, "a coordinated action by Israel and the US could push the Shiites back into their territories - Hezbollah to Lebanon and Iranians to Iran, and could also give de facto recognition to Israel's sovereignty on the Golan Heights."

Galant referred to the coalition crisis regarding the broadcasting corporation and expressed hope that there would not be elections.

"Whoever perceives the dangers facing Israel on its northern border, the possibilities of confrontation and terror from Gaza and the economic and housing requirements, anyone like this, whether it is the prime minister or the finance minister, realizes the burden of responsibility on them. I presume they will find a way to reach an agreement. The prime minister and finance minister are intelligent seasoned politicians, they will find a way to preserve the coalition in a way that can help the people of Israel," concluded Galant.

by Arutz Sheva Staff


Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the annual AIPAC Policy Conference via satellite Monday afternoon.

"Israel is fast becoming a global technological power and we're very proud of this. All of this is due to Israeli ingenuity and determination, the same ingenuity and determination which enabled us to build a a strong army, a robust economy and a resilient society. We did not accomplish this alone, we relied on the steadfast support of the US." Netanyahu said.

The Prime Minister praised the strong US-Israel relationship. "Israel has no greater friend than America, and America ha no greater friend than Israel."

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm confident our lives will grow even stronger in the years ahead. I had an exceptionally warm meeting with President Trump last month and I want to thank the president for his support for Israel. I want to thank Vice-President Pence for his warm words last night. The administration is turning its words into policies. You see this reflected in Ambassador Haley's standing up for Israel and the truth at the United Nations. You see it in the budgetary requests of President Trump which leave military aid to Israel untouched. We appreciate this and are deeply grateful for the support of the President and congress.

"Israel's hand is extended to all our neighbors in peace. We teach peace to our children and its time the Palestinian Authority did the same. It must stop teaching hatred to children, It must stop paying terrorists, it must stop denying our legitimacy and history."

by David Rosenberg

Two Israeli Arabs in their 20s were killed killed in a car accident in Romania Tuesday morning, the Israeli Foreign Ministry reported.

Among the dead were Muhammad Aljabrin, a 23-year old medical student from Lod, and Ahmed Dahamsha from Kfar Kana.

The 23-year old student was driving with four friends, also Israeli Arabs, when their car collided with a second vehicle near Bucharest. The car carrying the five Israelis then skidded off the road and into the Dambovita river.

Medical teams in Romania evacuated the injured to a Bucharest hospital.

The Ministry has contacted the families of those killed and injured in the accident. Several families of those involved in the accident have already scheduled flights to Romania to visit the injured students now being treated in Bucharest.

by Uzi Baruch

At the central Yesha (Judea and Samaria) event which took place in conjunction with the AIPAC conference in Washington, Arutz Sheva spoke with Israel's consul in New York, former Yesha Council head Danny Dayan, about the change in international approach to Judea and Samaria.

Dayan agrees that there hadn't been such a major and significant event in support of Judea and Samaria in the past. He maintains that this is a result of promotional activities in the international arena which he initiated a few years ago and which are being continued by "my students - who have eclipsed their teacher and are doing wonderful work."

Dayan suggests caution regarding the new administration's goals. "We are in the midst of a process. I don't want to prophecy the end of the process before it has begun. However there is no doubt that the mood has markedly improved. The attitude towards Israel is far more positive than in the past and I hope that this will translate into tangible results."  Dayan would not, however, commit to a time frame and says that this depends on both sides.

Dayan says it is a "great privilege to represent the most important city in the world, Jerusalem, in what is probably the second most important city, New York. For me this is a dream come true. All my life until now was a preparation for this role of representing the Jewish state in the greatest center of Western society. This is a great privilege for which I am grateful every day," said Dayan.

Dayan, despite the enthusiasm for his challenging work, describes himself as a temporary resident in the US and says he is still a resident of the Samaria.

by Arutz Sheva Staff

A terrorism expert and Fox News analyst who served as Donald Trump's Middle East adviser during the election campaign told the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat about the way in which President Donald Trump envisages a successful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, according to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

In an interview with the news outlet last week, Walid Phares, an American scholar born in Lebanon, said that Trump "told [him] personally, when [they] met in late 2015…, ‘I want the moderate Arabs to help us, meaning that they talk to the moderate Palestinians while I talk to Israel.’ That is why I believe it is his personal and strategic goal to solve this matter in a just way."

Phares also referred to America’s concern about Iran’s deployment of missile systems across the Middle East, saying, "This problem does not only concern Israel, but rather the entire region. Iran is trying to become the regional Soviet Union, and to spread its radical ideology under the pretext of fighting Israel. The Iranian regime is fighting the people in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and is oppressing Lebanese, and all this under the banner of ‘liberating Jerusalem’…"

Phares maintained that if the Iranian people were to rebel against the ayatollahs who lead the country as they attempted to do in 2009, the Trump administration would back the effort.

Phares also alluded to threats issued by Iranian proxy group Hezbollah to attack Israeli facilities – including the ammonia plant in Haifa. Phares warned that "any terrorist actions by anyone anywhere in the world against any nuclear reactor, or any action that causes a radiation leak that damages the region and the world, will be considered international terrorist acts requiring an appropriate response.

"If Hezbollah wishes to anger the international community, including Arab and Muslim countries, and other countries, chiefly the US, this would be unprecedentedly reckless. Hezbollah knows this, and [nevertheless] threatens such attacks. The results [of these attacks] would be devastating, mostly for Hezbollah itself. I am not saying they would be devastating for Lebanon. Perhaps the Lebanese are worried and fear the response of Israel and the international community, or of [Arab] countries in the Middle East. No. There is a clear understanding, at least here in Washington, that if this happens, the response will specifically target Hezbollah and its institutions if it threatens international security."

by David Rosenberg

As anti-Israel – and increasingly, anti-Semitic – elements on college campuses have become more vocal, more active, and more provocative on college campuses around the US, pro-Israel activists are working to combat the hatred and misinformation found at so many institutions across the country.

One recently demobilized IDF soldier decided to join the fight on behalf of Israel abroad after hearing how hostile many college campuses have become towards supporters of the Jewish state.

Muhammad Kabiya, an Israeli Bedouin who recently completed his service in the IDF on a search and rescue team in the Israeli Air Force, says critics of the Jewish state abroad display a remarkable ignorance of Israel – particularly the anti-Israel Jews he encountered on US college campuses.

Raised in the village of Kabiya, which was named after his family, Muhammad Kabiya comes from a long line of Bedouin who supported Israel and the Zionist enterprise. His village was one of Arab communities in Israel which backed the newly-formed Jewish state in 1948 and fought on its behalf.

Many villagers and relatives have served in the IDF, said Kabiya, who told United With Israel that his family fully supported his decision to enlist.

"My family sacrificed three soldiers in Israel’s battles," Kabiya said.

After finishing his service in the IDF, Kabiya continued his work on behalf of Israel, becoming an IDF consultant and pro-Israel activist.

Earlier this year, Kabiya had a speaking tour of college campuses in the US, defending Israel, in Arabic, from Arab detractors, and teaching anti-Israel Jews just how little they know about the Jewish state.  The tour was sponsored by the StandWithUs Israel education organization, and was called Between The Lines: Voices from Israel - Stories Untold.

"People don’t know anything about what goes on here [in Israel]," Kabiya told Channel 10. "I’m defending the image of the state that they are trying to destroy."

"When I arrived for an address, ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ had just started. I confronted Jewish students who claimed that Zionism is racism. I told them that they should be embarrassed. I, Muhammad, an Israeli-Arab, was the one who needed to go out and confront anti-Israel Jews. It drove them nuts."

"On the first day [of the speaking tour] a Jewish student gave me a flyer for an address which claimed ‘Zionism is racism’," said Kabiya. "I told him ‘you should be ashamed of yourself’, you don’t need to be working with groups whose goal is to spread hatred and lies against the State of Israel, against your state, the state of the Jews – and I’m telling you that as an Israeli Arab."

Kabiya isn’t the only Arab working to combat anti-Israel bias in the US; earlier this week Sandra Solomon, joined other pro-Israel activists in a counter-demonstration outside of the AIPAC conference in Washington, challenging an anti-Israel protest organized by IfNotNow, an anti-Zionist Jewish group organized by former Sanders campaign staffer Simone Zimmerman.

A Canadian human rights activist born in Samaria and raised in Saudi Arabia, Solomon has received death threats for her work against the spread of radical Islam in Canada and her pro-Israel message.

"I am Palestinian, but I stand with Israel", Solomon said at the counter-demonstration. "We are the Arabs. We occupy the land of the Jews. This Jewish land. It’s going to be there for ever and ever. I used to be a Muslim. They taught me to hate Israel and the Jewish people. There is no Palestine. It’s a lie. They are using Palestine just to kill the Jewish people. Just to hate the Jews. They teach me to ‘purify al-Aqsa mosque from the filthy Jews’. Palestinians are liars."

by Ido Ben Porat


The United States is closer than ever to moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, says Likud MK Amir Ohana, who travelled to Washington DC this week to take part in the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference.

Speaking with Arutz Sheva in Washington, Ohana said the Trump administration is genuinely interested in relocating the embassy to Israel’s capital, adding that if the move does take place, it will likely prompt other countries to move theirs as well.

"I can safely say this: we are closer than ever. I know that this matter [the embassy move] is being checked out very seriously. I’m telling the Americans as well as our viewers that after the US Embassy is moved to Jerusalem, others will move as well."

Ohana also discussed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s pledge to Amona evictees to build a replacement town in Samaria, saying the Prime Minister would stand by his promise.

"I heard the Prime Minister’s own words a week and a half ago at the well-publicized evening coalition event we had reaffirm his promise, saying ‘I promised and I will deliver’."

"He made a promise, and I recommend we don’t time him with a stopwatch," added Ohana, saying it would take time for the new town to be built. "No government would have done so much for the residents of Amona as this present one, or would have done so much to try to stop the evacuation itself."

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