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Likud and Labor Hold Pre-Election Conventions

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Posted on: 
11 Jan 2019
Likud and Labor Hold Pre-Election Conventions
The Likud and Labor parties, historic rivals in Israel’s political scene, held their pre-election conventions on Thursday in Tel Aviv and Eilat, respectively. While the Likud event was festive and included few events dedicated to official business, the Labor convention was rocked by rebellious heckling and  speeches by MK’s unhappy with the leadership of chairman Avi Gabbay. MK Eitan Cabel, who recently told a radio interviewer that Gabbay would have been fired long ago if he was running a private company the way he’s running the Labor faction, gave an angry speech in which he said, among other things, that “We can’t sacrifice the party for one man,” adding: “We can’t be silent when you are killing the only chance for the wonderful people sitting here – who got 24 seats last time – to continue their work.”

PA Demands UN Renew ‘Zionism is Racism’ Resolution
The Palestinian Authority announced on Thursday that it is calling on the UN to renew a resolution declaring that “Zionism is racism” because of a road being built connecting Jerusalem to the suburb of Ma’aleh Adumim and running through an area the PA wants for a future state. “To all those who are defending the state of occupation, it’s time to drop the claim that its the only democracy in the Middle East now that it has opened the apartheid road, which separates Israeli and Palestinian drivers,” PLO Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani said.

US Withdrawal from Syria Scrutinized by Lawmakers
Senior US military officials testified on Capitol Hill Thursday regarding plans to implement President Donald Trump’s order for US forces to be withdrawn from Syria. Senate Armed Services Committee  chairman Jim Inhofe, (R-Okla.) told reporters he had asked the Administration to ensure allies including Israel and U.S.-backed Kurdish factions “are well taken care of on this — and I believe they will be.”

Elsewhere, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke in Cairo on Thursday, saying among other things that "It's time for old rivalries [in the Middle East] to end, for the sake of the greater good of the region…(the US) will use diplomacy and work with our partners to expel every last Iranian boot" from Syria and will bolster efforts "to bring peace and stability to the long-suffering Syrian people."

Eilat Listed as Must-Visit Tourist Destination
The movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel suffered another dramatic defeat on Thursday when the The New York Times published a list of “must-visit” tourist destinations including the Red Sea resort city of Eilat. The article specifically mentioned the newly opened Ramon International Airport in Timna Valley, just 20 minutes north of Eilat, which allows visitors to come to the city directly from major European airports.

Israel Wins Some and Loses Some Military Export Deals
Israel’s Elbit Systems announced a multi-million dollar sale of state-of-the-art SkyStryker attack drones to the armed forces of Azerbaijan on Thursday, just a day after another Israeli defence manufacturer, Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, said it had landed a large order from the US Army and Marine Corps for its Trophy active protection systems (APS) to be installed on M1 Abrams battle tanks. However, the Defence Ministry was obliged to announce this week that a $500 million deal to sell used Israeli F-16 jets to NATO member Croatia has fallen through due to “unforeseen problems” of an unspecified nature.

“The Ministry of Defense attaches great importance to the deepening of cooperation between Israel and Croatia, and initiated the project of the F-16, which includes Israeli know-how and technology, which was conducted professionally in the framework of the GTG deal between the two countries,” said director-general of the Defense Ministry Udi Adam while on a recent visit to Zagreb. “Croatia has acted professionally and judiciously all along the way. Unfortunately, we have not been able to realize the deal because of problems that could not have been expected and are not under the control of the countries.”

Today’s video gives a brief look at Israel’s strategic challenges


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