Israel News for February 14, 2017

UN Appointment
UN Secretary-General António Guterres is considering appointing Israel’s former foreign minister Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) to the senior position of of Under-Secretary-General (there are 91 officials currently holding that title). The appointment is apparently part of an attempt to get former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad to lead the UN political mission in Libya, which was blocked by the US. PM Netanyahu remarked that he would consider approving Fayyad’s appointment if Israel also received a senior level appointment. So the Livni appointments seems to hinge on the US removing its objection to the Fayyad appointment.

A Palestinian official has never been appointment to such a senior position and Israel is worried of the precedent of appointing a Palestinian official to such a high-ranked position.

US Ambassador Haley said the Trump administration “was disappointed” of Guterres’s intentions to appoint Fayyad. She said, “For too long the UN has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel.”

She added that the US does not recognize a Palestinian state and does not support the message Fayyad’s appointment would send.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon welcomed the American statement, saying “This is the beginning of a new era at the UN, an era where the US stands firmly behind Israel against any and all attempts to harm the Jewish State.”

The Under-Secretary-General (USG) is one of the highest ranks in the UN and includes a staff, an office, a salary of $200,000-$250,000 a year, and an expense account of some $1 million a year.

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Germany Cancels Meeting
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided to cancel the annual government-to-government meeting with Israel, scheduled for May 9, apparently as a result of scheduling difficulties. Israeli officials believe the cancelation was due to anger in Berlin over the passing of the Regulation Law. German officials suggested the real reason for the cancelation was the feeling that the two governments were too far apart on the issue of Middle East peace to make such a meeting worthwhile. According to one senior German official, “Our relations have been completely pared back. We have practically given up on making progress in the current environment.”

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More Annexation
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said in an interview yesterday that annexing major settlement blocks (like Gush Etzion and Ma’aleh Adumim) in areas which would ultimately become part of the country in any final peace agreement would be beneficial to Israel. This is in contrast to the statement by President Rivlin yesterday who advocated annexing the entire West Bank and granting the Palestinians citizenship. Annexing exclusively Jewish areas would avoid having to grant citizenship to Palestinians.

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Rabbi Released
Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman was released this morning from Maayanei Hayeshua hospital in Bnei Brak. The 103 year old leader sage and Haredi leader had been in intensive care for the past two weeks. The public is requested to continue praying for his full recovery.

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Big Wedding
The daughter of the Bobov (Hasidic) Rebbe got married recently in Boro Park (NY). If you missed it you can see photos of some of the festivities – click here.

Coming Home

Here’s an amazing opportunity to help fulfill the words of the prophets.

2700 years after their ancestors were exiled from the Land of Israel, more than 100 Bnei Menashe from northeastern India will be making Aliyah this week thanks to the Shavei Israel organization ( The Bnei Menashe immigrants, descendants of a lost tribe of Israel, will settle in the Galilee. Their Aliyah this week marks the launch of #OperationMenashe2017 in which Shavei Israel plans to bring a total of 700 Bnei Menashe home to the Jewish state over the next 12 months. This is in addition to the 3,000 Bnei Menashe that the organization has brought on Aliyah over the past 15 years. Founded by Michael Freund, Shavei Israel relies on donations to continue its important work with the Bnei Menashe and other lost and hidden Jewish communities worldwide.

If you want to assist in the historic return of the Bnei Menashe to Zion, please CLICK HERE and make a donation today.