Iran Seeks Golan Presence
IRAN ASPIRES TO BUILD AN ARMY ON GOLAN BORDER: Iran aspires to build an army on Israel’s Golan Heights border, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday, October 11, as he doubled down on Israeli sovereignty in that region and warned Tehran against continued entrenchment there.
“The Golan Heights is Israel, period,” Bennett said as he addressed the Makor Rishon newspaper conference that focused on economic and regional development of the mountainous region that the Jewish state captured from Syria during the 1967 war. Israel applied sovereignty to the Golan, but that move has been recognized only by the United States. Jerusalem has long claimed that the region is a strategic necessity, particularly in light of the Syrian civil war and as one of the fronts in Iran’s continuous military battle with Israel. “Iran, which has dispatched proxies and built armies to surround the State of Israel, aspires to build yet another army on the border of the Golan Heights,” Bennett said as he stood in the Golan. “We will continue to act wherever and whenever necessary, at our initiative, and on a daily basis, in order to roll up the Iranian presence in Syria. They have nothing to look for there,” Bennett said. “Their adventure on our northern border needs to end. Thus, we will ensure not only the peace of the residents of the Golan Heights but of all citizens of Israel,” he explained. But he clarified that Israel’s ties to the Golan were not dependent on the argument that it was territory necessary for Israel’s security. “I would like to make one thing clear – our position regarding the Golan Heights is not connected to the situation in Syria,” Bennett said. The “horrors taking place in Syria may make it seem as if it would be preferable for the Golan to prosper under Israeli hands” than to be “yet another arena for killings and bombings,” he said. “But even in the situation – which could happen – in which the world changes direction regarding Syria, or regarding the [Bashar] Assad regime, this has no connection to the Golan Heights” and Israeli sovereignty there. Golan Heights development is a strategic goal for this government, Bennett said, as he promised to double, if not quadruple the population there. In six weeks, the government will approve a national plan for the Golan Heights that will include the creation of two new communities and investment in development, infrastructure, business and renewable energy, Bennett said. (JPost / VFI News)
MERKEL – TALKS WITH IRAN MUST BE RENEWED: Iran should rejoin negotiations to renew its deal with world powers to restrain its nuclear program, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday during a press conference with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem.
“Iran’s uranium enrichment has made the topic into an urgent matter,” she said. “The nuclear agreement is not ideal, but we are now in a difficult situation because the Iranians are not entering talks and are continuing to enrich uranium.” Iran left the talks in Vienna about a possible return to the 2015 nuclear deal in June and has been obfuscating whether it intends to return to negotiations ever since, while advancing its nuclear program farther than ever before. “Without an agreement, we will be in a worse situation,” Merkel said. “The message to Iran is unequivocal: Return to the negotiating table.” Bennett said the world “is waiting, and the Iranians are killing time, and the centrifuges are spinning.” Israel would ensure with actions, not just words, that Iran will never have a nuclear weapon because it would be an existential threat, he said. “One can only imagine the degree of damage [Iran] would cause if the world knew that behind their bullying is a nuclear weapon,” Bennett said. “There is no point in trying to appease the Iranians; they interpret appeasement as weakness… This is a critical time, and Germany’s position is very important.” Merkel was in Israel for a visit marking the end of her 16 years in office. Her likely replacement is Social Democrats leader Olaf Scholz, pending coalition negotiations. She held a one-on-one meeting with Bennett, joined a full cabinet meeting and met with President Isaac Herzog. “I want to use this opportunity to emphasize that the topic of Israel’s security will always be of central importance and a central topic of every German government,” Merkel said. “It is not only matters that affect our past that play a part, but also our look to a common future,” she said. (JPost / VFI News)
US CITIZENS TO ENTER ISRAEL WITHOUT GREEN PASS: “Vaccinated tourists from the US will be allowed to enter Israel with their own health declaration despite not having an electronic Green Pass.” Head of Public Health Services Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis said at the Jerusalem Post Conference on Tuesday, October 12.
“They are going to get in with their own declaration of vaccination,” she said to senior health analyst Maayan Hoffman. “Once they get in, they have to submit their vaccination status and their certificates. A percentage of them will be inspected.” The visitors will be exempt from isolation provided that they meet the criteria of who is considered inoculated in Israel. “If they have a fresh vaccine booster or less than six months have passed since their first vaccine they will be allowed to receive a green pass in Israel to go around – and if not, they need to be in isolation for seven days and then take another PCR test.” Last week, Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash said that the authorities intend to reopen the borders to foreign nationals who are fully vaccinated as early as November. Last month, Jerusalem joined the EU’s digital COVID certificate program, ensuring mutual recognition of the documents such as the Green Pass. Non-citizens would be required to present an electronic Green Pass, which is used in Israel as well as in several other countries, but not in the US. Alroy-Preis points out how Israel now has some additional layers of protection in place, such as the PCR tests required of everyone before and after a flight. She said that from a health perspective, it may be best to keep the skies closed, but the goal is to learn how to live alongside COVID. (IHN / VFI News)
ISRAEL TO ALERT EMBASSIES WORLDWIDE OF POSSIBLE IRAN THREATS: Israel has warned its missions around the world of a possible Iranian terror threat, a television report claimed on Wednesday, October 6, following the arrest of an Azeri national over an alleged plot to assassinate one or more Israeli businesspeople in Cyprus.
Israeli diplomats across the globe have been told to remain on high alert. The network also said three suspects in the foiled attack attempt in Cyprus, revealed earlier this week, are suspected of fleeing the island nation. Iran has been behind repeated threats against Israelis and Israeli missions around the world over the years. In March of this year, the National Security Council warned Israelis they could be targeted by the Islamic Republic abroad. It said Iran was behind a bombing attack near the Israeli embassy in India in January, which did not cause casualties. The Israeli government has blamed “Iranian terror” for last week’s reported plan to kill billionaire Teddy Sagi in Cyprus. However, local media reported Wednesday that Cypriot authorities do not believe Iran is behind the plot. Authorities are also said to be convinced the would-be hitman’s target in the plot was not Sagi, but other members of his company. Sagi is the founder of the gambling software company Playtech, which has offices in Nicosia. Some sources had claimed that the foiled attack was an assassination attempt against Sagi linked to his business dealings. But the Israeli government on Monday, October 5, blamed Iran and said Sagi was targeted only because he was an Israeli businessman. An Azeri suspect was arrested last week on reported suspicions of planning to attack one or more Israeli businesspeople. Cypriot authorities unsealed 11 possible charges the suspect is being investigated for, including terror activity, attempted murder, belonging to a criminal organization, conspiracy to commit a crime, and being in the country illegally. A lawyer for the suspect, whose name has not been released, told the Israeli network that his client denies any terror links and has nothing to hide. (TOI / VFI News)
JORDANIAN KING VOWS TO SUPPLY LEBANON WITH ELECTRICITY IN MEETING WITH PM:
Jordan’s King Abdullah II received Lebanon’s prime minister in Amman on Sunday, saying his country will stand by the small nation and its people during its worst-ever economic crisis.
The visit to Jordan by Prime Minister Najib Mikati is his first to an Arab country since he formed his cabinet last month. It comes after the premier’s trips to France and Britain, as Mikati seeks their help. Lebanon’s economic crisis, unfolding since 2019, has been described by the World Bank as one of the worst in the world in 150 years. More than 70 percent of Lebanon’s population lives in poverty, and the national currency is in a freefall, driving inflation and unemployment to unprecedented levels. On Wednesday, October 6, Jordan agreed to supply Lebanon with electricity through Syria and work is underway for a timetable. Egypt has also agreed to supply Lebanon with natural gas to its power plants through Jordan and Syria. Lebanon suffers electricity cuts for up to 22 hours a day and on Saturday, October 9, the country’s two main power plants were forced to shut down after running out of fuel. That left Lebanon with no government-produced power. On Sunday, October 10, the Lebanese army gave emergency supplies of fuel to the two plants and they resumed work, according to Electricity Minister Walid Fayad. Jordan’s Royal Court quoted the king as telling Mikati that “Jordan will always stand by the side of Lebanon and its brotherly people.” It gave no further details but said the two officials discussed regional affairs as well. (TOI / VFI News)
SALLY ROONEY NOVEL WON’T BE PUBLISHED IN HEBREW: Bestselling author Sally Rooney won’t allow her recently published novel, “Beautiful World, Where Are You?” to be published in Hebrew because she supports a cultural boycott of Israel.
Like the acclaimed Irish author’s first two books, “Beautiful World” explores the life and romance of intellectual, urbane millennials. It debuted at the top of the New York Times bestseller list when it was published in September, following a publicity campaign that came on the heels of Rooney’s popular second novel, “Normal People,” which was also adapted into a TV series. That publicity campaign, however, will not be reaching Israel. The Hebrew-language publisher of Rooney’s first two books, Modan Publishing House, said last month that Rooney won’t allow her new book to be published in Hebrew because she supports an Israel boycott. Rooney’s agent confirmed the news. Rooney, 30, has been open about her opposition to Israel. In July, soon after the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Rooney was one of the thousands of artists to sign a letter accusing Israel of apartheid and calling for its international isolation. The letter called for “an end to the support provided by global powers to Israel and its military; especially the United States,” and for governments to “cut trade, economic and cultural relations.” Ireland has a history of pro-Palestinian sentiment, owing to what many Irish citizens see as a cultural link to their struggles against the British. This summer, the country passed a motion condemning “de facto annexation” of Palestinian land. In 2018, Dublin’s city council passed resolutions endorsing a boycott of Israel and calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Ireland. (JPost / VFI News)
7-ELEVEN IS COMING TO ISRAEL: Electra Consumer Products said Tuesday, October 12, it signed an agreement with the global 7-Eleven chain to open dozens of stores around Israel over the next three years, beginning with the launch of a Tel Aviv branch next year. The agreement is for 20 years, with an option to extend for another 50 years.
“Unlike a “makolet” (Israeli convenience store), 7-Eleven offers an experience with fast food, a large variety of hot and cold drinks, and various products that do not exist elsewhere,” Electra CEO Zvika Schwimmer said. “I am sure that the shopping experience at 7-Eleven will be different and special for the Israeli consumer.” By the end of 2024, Electra is expected to invest over NIS 60 million in the brand and the opening of 7-Eleven stores in Israel, which will supply fast food and exclusive products to the Israeli market. Israel’s growing and vibrant population and continued economic expansion “presents an ideal location for the growth of 7-Eleven stores.,” said Joe DePinto, president and CEO of the global 7-Eleven organization. Following a memorandum of understanding signed between the two companies in November 2020, Electra will invest NIS 60 million in the brand by 2024. The company paid an undisclosed sum for the franchise upfront, and will also pay a percentage of its income on a monthly basis. 7-Eleven is a multinational convenience store chain based in Dallas, Texas, which operates and grants franchises and licenses to more than 77,000 stores in 18 countries and regions, including 16,000 in North America. The chain is known for its famous slogan, “Oh Thank Heaven For 7-Eleven,” and is known for iconic brands like Slurpee, Big Gulp and Big Bite. (JPost / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions, and scripture references made by VFI News writers and editors are based on the best information received.
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