Archives For Ron Cantor

Israel and Lebanon have no diplomatic relations and are generally hostile neighbors, but the Jewish state was moved by the horrific tragedy.

“We share the pain of the Lebanese people and sincerely reach out to offer our aid at this difficult time,” President Reuven Rivlin wrote on Twitter in Arabic, English and Hebrew.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said in a joint statement that “Israel approached Lebanon through international defense and diplomatic channels to offer the Lebanese government medical humanitarian aid.”

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The chief justice in South Africa is having to defend himself for making comments straight from the Bible that “were pro-Israel” and lamenting his country’s lamented “lopsided” attitude towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Mogoeng Mogoeng said that he is being targeted by Africa4Palestine, a human rights organization previously known as BDS South Africa, for remarks he made during a Jerusalem Post webinar last month where he expressed his “biblical obligation” to pray for and support Israel.

The pro-Palestinian organization filed an official complaint against the justice.

Mogoeng said he was a Christian who believed in the Bible “in its totality” and “embracing, professing and ordering one’s affairs in line with the holy Bible is a fundamental human right entrenched in the supreme law of the republic, the Constitution.”

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In the midst of daily protests against the government’s handling of the pandemic and skyrocketing unemployment across the country, rumors of new elections are flitting through the political scene — while the ink on the new coalition agreement has not even dried.

And while the national unrest is directed against the current government, the shocking idea of new elections appears to come from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s own office. Despite suffering from a record low approval rating, Bibi actually stands to gain from new elections. 

Haaretz speculated that Netanyahu may want to risk another election in order to regain control over the Justice Ministry portfolio especially as he faces trial in January on bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges. Then Channel 12 reported another possible strategy: to form a new right-wing coalition, leaving Gantz’s party out of the loop — and securing a full term as the sole prime minister. Under the current coalition deal, Netanyahu and Gantz have agreed to a rotating term as prime minister for each of them (however, most Israelis doubt that Bibi will ever turn over power). 

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With Israel coronavirus cases on the rise again (no #5 in the world per capita), the medical system is feeling the strain and authorities are keeping a close watch on the number of patients in serious condition before healthcare facilities are overwhelmed. 

Currently the dedicated COVID-19 wards in four Israeli hospitals are maxed out and a fifth hospital is precariously close to reaching its limit as well. The Health Ministry reported that more than 700 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized around the country, including 317 in serious condition and about 100 on ventilators. 

Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital COVID ward is operating at 152 percent of its capacity while Shaare Zedek Medical Center is at 106 percent. Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv is at 110 in the virus ward percent and nearby Assaf Harofeh Medical Center said it is at 110 percent.

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The Israeli army is on high alert after an exchange of fire between Israel and Hezbollah on Monday afternoon when armed members of the terror group opened fire at Israeli troops and tried to infiltrate through Israel’s northern border, according to the IDF.

Artillery fire was heard booming through the area, lasting almost an hour, on both the Israeli and Lebanese sides of the border. No Israelis were injured.

“Hezbollah needs to know that it is playing with fire,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a news conference Monday night.

The IDF is bolstering troops and firepower, including “advanced” firepower and intelligence gathering equipment, to the border despite a relative return to calm.

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