US opens 1st permanent military base in Israel

Will the U.S. Embassy be next? Or (pope) Francis?

Even though the US has routinely deployed forces to Israel, it is only now opening an official permanent military base in the country. The move, largely seen as symbolic, is meant to send a strong message to Israel’s enemies.

It will be a “base within a base,” located inside the Israeli Air Force’s Mashabim Air Base in the middle of the Negev desert, close to a US military radar installation east of Dimona that tracks ballistic missiles. MORE

Israel gives green light to decriminalize marijuana use

FILE PHOTO: A worker harvests cannabis plants at a plantation near the northern town of Nazareth, IsraelThe Israeli government voted on Sunday in favor of decriminalizing recreational marijuana use, joining some U.S. states and European countries who have adopted a similar approach.

“On the one hand we are opening ourselves up to the future. On the other hand, we understand the dangers and will try to balance the two,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet in broadcast remarks. MORE

Iranian Jewish lawmaker blasts Netanyahu

img760220“Netanyahu is an insane vampire drowned in crimes from head to toe, and the recent remarks made by the racist Israeli prime minister is not surprising to me,” Siamak Mareh Sedq, who represents the Jews of Iran in the government, said during an open session of parliament, JTAreported, citing Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency. MORE

Steven Spielberg movie Catholic kidnapping of Jewish boy

webRNS-SPIELBERG-MORTARA4-022317Suffer little children?  Can we trust Queer loving Steven to tell the truth?

BOLOGNA, Italy (RNS)  It was a heart-wrenching story that bitterly divided Catholics and Jews in Italy and provoked an international scandal more than 150 years ago.

Edgardo Mortara, a Jewish boy from Bologna, was secretly baptized by a maid when he fell ill and then forcibly removed from his family in 1858 at age 6 and raised as a Catholic with the blessing of Pope Pius IX. MORE

Israeli security establishment to Netanyahu: Don’t touch Iran deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in JerusalemPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has often stated that he would try to convince the new American administration to reopen the nuclear agreement that was signed between Iran and the six world powers in July 2015. He even told CBS last December that he has at least “five ideas” on how to facilitate the reopening of the agreement. Evidently he will share his ideas in February with US President Donald Trump in a meeting that will take place between them in Washington. MORE

Trump’s Ambassador Might Work From Jerusalem

ambasQuoting unnamed Israeli Foreign Ministry officials, Channel 2 news said intended ambassador David Friedman, who has said he looks forward to working from the US embassy in Jerusalem, might instead merely work from the city with a small staff, while the Tel Aviv embassy remains intact and most of its operations and staff stay there.

The report noted that building contractors in neighborhoods near the existing consulate in Talpiot have received calls recently from would-be buyers seeking luxury homes for Americans. MORE

U.N.’s anti-Israel vote fuels Republican calls to defund world body Inbox x

lindseygraham_c0-329-4500-2952_s885x516The resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank could be the most expensive vote ever taken at the United Nations.

The Obama administration ignited an uproar on the right Friday after refusing to veto Resolution 2234, sending U.S.-Israeli relations into a tailspin and fueling calls from key Republicans and conservative leaders to strike back by pulling U.S. funding. MORE

How Israelis put Trump over the top on Election Day

103downloadAt a post-election celebration in Israel, members of the Republican Party branch in that country gathered to discuss how their efforts contributed to Donald Trump’s victory on November 8. On hand were the president of the Republican group, Marc Zell, Tzvika Brot, Ariel Sander, and others. Zell said that despite the important contribution of Israeli-American voters to Trump’s victory, there were too few absentee ballots cast from Israel to alter the outcome of the election. But Trump’s popularity in Israel did persuade non-Jewish voters in the U.S. to pull the lever for the New Yorker, said Zell. MORE