Israel News for January 20, 2017

Embassy Move
The incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer held his first news conference yesterday during which he told reporters to “stay tunes” for details on Trump’s plan to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. He said, “There will be a further announcement on that. The president has made clear that Israel has not gotten the respect it deserves.”

Spicer said that Trump had been consulting with his choice for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, on whether to make the move.

Friedman is the only one of the three who has publicly stated his desire to move the embassy. Do Kushner and Tillerson agree?

Would moving the embassy immediately be a good negotiating tactic in what Trump has called the toughest negotiation ever, or would the mere threat of moving it be a more powerful tool to pressure the Palestinians into making a deal?

Regarding Kushner’s potential to succeed at his new role as Senior White House advisor with a special focus on the Middle East, Trump addressed Kushner saying, “If you can’t produce peace in the Middle East, nobody can. OK. All my life I’ve been hearing that’s the toughest deal in the world to make. And I’ve seen it, but I have a feeling that Jared is going to do a great job.” [Looks like Trump is feeling some “nachas”]

If you’re wondering what the leftist academics think about Trump and his Jewish advisors and supporter, here’s what Columbia University Professor of Modern Arab Studies Rashid Khalidi recently said:

“So they have a vision whereby the occupied territories aren’t occupied, they have a vision whereby there is no such thing as the Palestinians, they have a vision whereby international law doesn’t exist, they have a vision whereby the United States can unilaterally cancel a decision in the United Nations.

And unfortunately, these people infest the Trump transition team, these people are going to infest our government as of January 20. And they are hand in glove with a similar group of people in the Israeli government and Israeli political life who think that whatever they think can be imposed on reality.”

Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians participated in PA sponsored demonstrations against the planned embassy move in Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron.

For further reading click here.

Better Travel
Traveling between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem just got a lot easier and safer with the opening of the new Harel Tunnels on Highway 1. The road, which connects Jerusalem to Tel Aviv is infamous for its extreme curves and traffic congestion. The new tunnels, which run under the city of Mevasseret Zion and the most dangerous stretch of road, will hopefully change that.

At a ribbon cutting event PM Netanyahu said, “The Harel Tunnels that we are inaugurating, together with a bridge that eliminates the dangerous curve, which they called the curve of death — and with the train that will soon run on these tracks — all these will provide a boost for Jerusalem.”

According to estimates by the Transportation Ministry, the tunnels and bridge are expected to cut travel time from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to about 30 minutes (from about 50) if there is no traffic congestion. [That’s a big if.]

For further reading click here.

Must See
Israeli artist Shahak Shapira has created a unique online collection of images called “Yolocaust”, which communicates a clear and shocking message. The photos are of people taking selfies at the Holocaust memorial in Berlin. But when you mouse over the image, something happens. Instead of explaining it to you, you need to see it for yourself. Click here.

Israel Books
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