Saudi Crown Prince: Israelis Have Right to “Their Own Land”
Oberlin Alumni Group: School President Must Not Tolerate "Hostile, Anti-Semitic Behaviors"
EU Said To Reject Ballistic Missile Penalties on Iran
Despite Missing Prize Deadline, Israel's Aerospace Nonprofit Still Shooting for the Moon
Saudi Crown Prince: Israelis Have Right to “Their Own Land”
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, said Israelis are entitled to live peacefully on their own land in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg published on Monday in The Atlantic magazine. His comments mark another public sign of the growing relationship between the kingdom and the Jewish State.
Reuters reported that when asked if the Israelis have a right to a nation state in their ancient homeland, the Crown Price replied: “I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land.” He added that “we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations.”
Saudi Arabia, the custodian of Islam’s holiest sides, does not recognize the state of Israel and the two countries maintain no official diplomatic ties. However, Iran’s rising power in the region –spanning from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen — have led to shared interests that push Saudi Arabia and Israel to work together against what they perceive as a common Iranian threat.
Last month, the kingdom opened its airspace for the first time to a commercial flight to Israel with the inauguration of an Air India route between New Delhi and Tel Aviv. Flight 139 landed at Ben Gurion Airport after a seven-and-a-half hour journey, marking a historic shift for Riyadh.
While Saudi Arabia opposed the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Arab officials said at the time that the kingdom is on board with the broader U.S. strategy for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.
Oberlin Alumni Group: School President Must Not Tolerate “Hostile, Anti-Semitic Behaviors”
In response to a public letter published by Carmen Twillie Ambar, president of Oberlin College, defending the school against charges of fostering a climate hostile to Jews and supporters of Israel, a group of alumni said that Ambar must defend the “traditions” upon which the school was founded and stop tolerating “hostile, antisemitic behaviors” that frequently occur on campus.
On Facebook, the Oberlin chapter of Alumni for Campus Fairness (ACF) said that it was “pleased” that Ambar had responded to their earlier open letter, but rebutted a number of points made by the school’s president.
“It is unacceptable for Jewish students to wake up on Passover and see a wall of posters representing the ten plagues as Israeli acts of aggression, and it is unacceptable for Jewish students to hear shouts of “Free Palestine” as they enter Rosh Hashanah services,” the ACF post argued. “Yet, these hostile, antisemitic behaviors are tolerated by the administration, despite being a mockery of the traditions upon which Oberlin College was founded and unbecoming to an institution that claims to honor diversity.”
They also said that Oberlin must “publicly acknowledge that for millions of Jews in the United States and worldwide, their Jewish identity is inseparable from the Jewish State of Israel, and that Zionism represents the same kind of national self-determination that is afforded to people all over the world.” Jewish students should not be harassed for expressing pro-Israel views, or be told that by expressing support for Israel they will be ostracized “as social outcasts.”
EU Said to Reject Ballistic Missile Penalties on Iran
Members of the European Union are balking at imposing sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program, The Times of Israel reported last week.
EU members Spain, Italy and Austria rejected proposed penalties by the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, which would penalize Iran for its continued ballistic missile program and support for the Assad regime in Syria’s civil war. These penalties would include freezing assets as travel bans on 15 individuals, companies, and groups involved in these endeavors.
The U.K., France and Germany are attempting to fix the nuclear deal with and address weaknesses in the deal so that President Trump will not withdraw from the deal as threatened. Trump has said that he will not continue to waive sanctions against Iran as per terms of the deal on May 12 unless the deal is fixed to end Iran’s ballistic missile program, ensure that Iran’s military sites can be inspected, and end the sunset clauses in the deal.
Italy said that since targeting the ballistic missile program alone would not satisfy Trump and it was concerned about putting its planned €5 billion ($6 billion) business deals with Iran at risk.
The EU, according to its rules, cannot impose further sanctions Iran without unanimous agreement.
The U.K., France, and Germany were three of the six nations who made the deal with Iran in 2015. They have been raising concern with Iran’s ballistic missile program, but it appears that not all members of the EU agree and that disagreements over details of the deal would have derailed it.
Despite Missing Prize Deadline, Israel’s Aerospace Nonprofit Still Shooting for the Moon
The Google Lunar X Prize competition expired on March 31 with no winner. Yet Israel’s team, the nonprofit SpaceIL, is continuing its mission of landing an unmanned module on the moon – with plans to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 in the fourth quarter of 2018, even if Lunar X does not find another major sponsor.
“We are moving forward with the project, regardless of the terms or status of the Google Lunar X Prize,” said newly appointed SpaceIL CEO Ido Anteby, formerly of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission.
“SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries are committed to landing the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon, and we plan to launch before the end of this year.”
“Our mission was never about winning the prize money – although $20 million would have been nice,” said Anteby. “It’s about showing the next generation that anything is possible – that even our small country can push the limits of imagination.”
The Google Lunar X Prize Moon Race was started in 2007 to inspire innovators from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration.
To win the grand prize, a team had to have been the first to successfully place a spacecraft on the moon’s surface, travel 500 meters on the moon, and transmit high-definition video and images back to Earth – all before the competition’s deadline, March 31, 2018.