Biden: Pre-1967 Mindset
BIDEN: I SUPPORT TWO STATES BASED ON PRE-1967 LINES: US President Joe Biden pledged his support for a two-state resolution based on the pre-1967 lines with mutual land swaps when he held a joint press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday, July 15, in Bethlehem.
While Biden did not cede to Abbas’ request to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state, he did speak of a “future Palestinian state” and one with continuous territory. “Two states along the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, remains the best way to achieve equal measures of security prosperity freedom and democracy for the Palestinians as well as Israelis. “The Palestinian people deserve a state of their own that is independent, sovereign, viable, and continuous,” Biden said. Despite this, he said, the ground is “not ripe” at “this moment to restart negotiations.” Biden’s words fell far short of the Palestinian demands, which included the resumption of peace talks and unilateral immediate recognition of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital. But his speech was markedly different from that of his predecessor Donald Trump, who in his visit to Bethlehem in 2017, didn’t even mention the words “two states” in his address. Biden, unlike any of his predecessors since the 1993 Oslo Accords, has not pushed forward an Israel-Palestinian peace process. Trump in contrast spoke of the “Deal of the Century” he planned to conclude with Israelis and Palestinians. (JPost / VFI News)
‘THERE WILL BE NO NUCLEAR IRAN,’ LAPID VOWS AFTER MEETING WITH BIDEN: Visiting US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Yair Lapid met in Jerusalem on Thursday, July 14, where they discussed stopping Iran’s nuclear program and building a coalition of moderate nations in the Middle East among a series of issues of concern between the two countries.
“Yes, Mr. President, of course, we… also talked shop about Saudi Arabia and your trip there, which is extremely important to Israel — trying to build a more moderate coalition here in the Middle East, long needed,” said Lapid after the meeting, sitting beside Biden. “We have discussed the Iranian threat — and what we think is the right thing to do in order to make sure, which is something we share, there will be no nuclear Iran. This is not only a threat to Israel but to the [whole] world. And we discussed some other issues we’re going to keep to ourselves,” Lapid said. Biden said the two leaders “talked about how important it was, [and] I talked about how important it was from my perspective, for Israel to be totally integrated into the region, and complete its integration.” He emphasized that “the vast majority of the American public, not just my administration, is completely devoted to your security, without any if, ands or buts — without any doubts about it.” (TOI / VFI News)
BIDEN VIEWS DEFENSE TECH AT AIRPORT, INCLUDING IRON DOME, NEW LASER-BASED IRON BEAM: US President Joe Biden on Wednesday, July 13, toured a Defense Ministry display of Israel’s multi-tier air defense systems at Ben Gurion Airport, shortly after a welcoming ceremony by top officials.
The display at the airport included the long-range Arrow, medium-range David’s Sling, short-range Iron Dome, and an in-development high-powered laser interception system dubbed Iron Beam. The Iron Beam is designed to work in tandem with systems like Iron Dome, and shoot down smaller projectiles. Israel hopes to partner with Washington on the Iron Beam project, including American investment in further development and deployment of the system. Shortly before he toured the display, Biden was given a mostly classified briefing by Defense Minister Benny Gantz and other security officials. An unsourced report provided a list of some of what was said to Biden by Israeli security chiefs. Much of the focus, unsurprisingly, was on Iran. The key points reportedly put to the president included details on Iran’s billions in spending to develop and arm itself with new weapons and its distribution of weaponry to various proxy groups in the region, with details of which groups and what equipment each got. (TOI / VFI News)
NEW RUSSIAN LAW MAY MAKE JEWISH, ISRAELI ORGS ‘FOREIGN AGENTS’: Russia has expanded its definition of “foreign agents,” and it will now include “those who take part in any activity that authorities determine goes against Russia’s national interests, or who receive support of any kind, not just money, from abroad.”
In this case, Jewish representatives from the Jewish Agency or representatives of international Jewish organizations may be categorized as “foreign agents.” According to Russian media “anyone who has worked with a ‘foreign agent’ or received funding from one will be included in a new Justice Ministry list of people and groups ‘affiliated with foreign agents.’ The Jerusalem Post has reported exclusively that the Jewish Agency has been under investigation by Russian officials for the past three years, during which information and hardware from their offices were examined closely. In a letter sent to the Jewish Agency this week, revealed exclusively by Post, the Agency received a list of what the Russian Justice Ministry sees as violations of the law and the consequences of these violations. As reported, a senior Israeli diplomatic official said that “Russia has claimed that the Jewish Agency illegally collected information about Russian citizens.” (JPost / VFI News)
ISRAEL WARNS AGAINST NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL TO SRI LANKA AMID ‘CHAOS’: The Foreign Ministry recommended on Thursday, July 14, that Israelis avoid all non-essential travel to Sri Lanka, amid political turmoil and violence gripping the country.
“Israeli citizens in Sri Lanka are recommended to take into account the deteriorating economic situation that has resulted in an intensified shortage of fuel, cooking gas, and even food,” the Foreign Ministry travel warning said. “This situation could develop into additional deteriorating of authorities’ ability to govern, which could include chaos in some areas of the country,” the warning said. The Foreign Ministry also cautioned that leaving the country could be difficult because of uncertainty around flights leaving the capital, Colombo. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country on Wednesday, and his replacement declared a state of emergency. (TOI / VFI News)
ISRAEL, MOROCCO SIGN MOU TO FURTHER TIGHTEN THEIR BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP: In a move on Monday, July 18, in Geneva that will boost innovation and strengthen entrepreneurial relations between Israeli and Moroccan innovators, the State of Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco signed their first official memorandum of understanding (MoU) on intellectual property.
The agreement was signed by Israel Patent Office Executive Director Ofir Alon and Moroccan Office of Industrial and Commercial Property Director-General Abdelaziz Babqiqi. It was performed on the sidelines of the Sixty-Third Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva (WIPO) and witnessed by WIPO Director-General Daren Tang. The MoU will promote cooperation between the two nations in the field of industrial property protection, a subset of intellectual property that pertains to patents for inventions, trademarks, commercial names and designations, protection against unfair competition, and a host of other subjects. (JPost / VFI News)
IRAN ΜAY ΤRY TO ΑSSASSINATE TRUMP, POMPEO OR ΟTHER ΕX-SENIOR OFFICIALS: A new intelligence report has warned that Iran may be plotting to assassinate top former United States officials in revenge for the drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani two years ago.
The June 16 intelligence assessment from the National Counter Terrorism Center was issued just two days before President Joe Biden announced his current Middle East tour. Biden on Wednesday opened his first visit to the Mideast since taking office with a stop in Israel, where Iran’s nuclear ambitions were expected to be the top item on the agenda. According to the intelligence report, Iran has identified former President Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and other officials as ‘priority targets’ for their role in overseeing the January 2020 US drone strike that killed Soleimani as he visited Iraq. Iran has long openly made bombastic threats to take revenge for Soleimani’s death, but the new report offers further confirmation that US officials are taking the threats seriously. (DMail / VFI News)
ISRAELI RHYTHMIC GYMNAST DARIA ATAMANOV SCOOPS TWO GOLDS, A SILVER AT WORLD GAMES: Israeli rhythmic gymnast Daria Atamanov finished with two gold medals and a silver at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama.
Atamanov, 16, took first place for her ribbon routine on Wednesday, July 13, and came second in the batons contest. Her success came the day after she took the gold medal for her ball routine. In the remaining of the four disciplines in the event, the hoops, she came in sixth. As result, Israel finished top of the table in rhythmic gymnastics with three medals, followed by Italy with one gold and two silver, and Bulgaria with gold and silver. (TOI / VFI New)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff