- Israel to shelter 100 Syrian orphans
- Bipartisan resolution condemning Palestinian incitement, reaffirming U.S.-Israel ties introduced to the House
- Benefits of moving the embassy to Jerusalem
- Saudi magazine publishes piece by Israeli journalist in another sign of warming ties
The policy, which follows a decision made by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, will allow the children to become permanent residents after four years, with the possibility of remaining in Israel for the rest of their lives. Immediate relatives of the orphans will also be in consideration for refugee status in Israel.
The orphans will reportedly be placed with Arab Israeli families.
Over 2,500 Syrians have been treated in Israeli hospitals since 2013, even though the two countries have been in a state of war since 1948. Israeli journalist Ron Ben-Yishai documented one of the risky missions the IDF undertook to rescue an injured Syrian fighter in 2015. Pregnant women sometimes travel to the border in order to deliver their babies in Israel, and Israeli doctors have treated young Syrian patients with cutting-edge procedures that allowed them to walk again.
The resolution notes that there have been more than 300 terrorist attacks targeting Israelis since September 2015 and describes 266 of them; it also provides specific examples of incitement to violence by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who said just before the wave of terror began, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.”
Abbas’ political party, Fatah, boasted in August that it had “killed 11,000 Israelis.” He has consistently refused to condemn acts of terrorism. A senior adviser to Abbas stated last June, “Wherever you find an Israeli, slit his throat.” When a Palestinian terrorist went on a stabbing spree in Jaffa that killed American army veteran Taylor Force, the PA’s official TV news station called the terrorist responsible a “martyr,” and on Twitter, Abbas’s Fatah party hailed him as a “martyr” and a “hero.” Last February, Abbas met with families of terrorists who carried out attacks against Israelis, telling them: “Your sons are martyrs.”
A chief benefit would include “restoring balance to U.S. policy.” The United States already maintains a diplomatic facility in Jerusalem to represent Washington to the Palestinian Authority—skewing U.S. policy in favor of the Palestinians, he wrote.
“Sending a strong message that the new administration stands with the Israeli government on a major symbolic issue with high potential costs could push the Palestinian leadership to a greater sense of urgency in negotiations,” according to another Washington Post op-ed published last month. “The U.S. Embassy move could even help advance efforts to duplicate the precious Jewish-Muslim coexistence model of Samuel’s Tomb for Jerusalem’s other contested sacred spaces.”
Argentine chief prosecutor Alberto Nisman accused Argentina’s then-President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, of blocking an investigation into the 1994 attack in return for favorable trade deals with Iran. A day before Nisman was to present his evidence to the Argentine Congress, his body was found with a bullet hole in his head.
Saudi Arabia and Israel have gradually grown closer in the face of the common Iranian threat. An article in The Jerusalem Post last August highlighted the phenomenon of local and state-run media outlets in Saudi Arabia beginning to shift their long-held position of enmity toward Israel. Recent changes include quoting Israeli officials; asking Saudis to discard their “hatred of Jews”; and calling for direct talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia, free from intermediaries. David Pollock of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy branded the pivot as “the new normal,” saying that while pragmatic, behind-the-scenes dialogue between Israel and Arab countries is “nothing new,” the presence of two sides in public forums marks an undeniable turning point. “What is noteworthy today is that the issue is being actively and openly debated in major Arab media, with both proponents and opponents each having their say.”
In another sign of this slow but persistent change, Anwar Eshki, a former general who has served in senior positions in the Saudi military and foreign ministry, visited Israel last July as part of a delegation of Saudi academics and businessmen.