Will Sinn Féin’s ascent hurt Israel-Ireland relations?

There are two issues on the agenda when it comes to Israel and Ireland: the “Occupied Territories Bill” and possible recognition of a Palestinian state.

With Sinn Féin, the political arm of the former Irish Republican Army, surging in exit polls in Saturday’s election, there is a real possibility that the next government of Ireland could take anti-Israel steps in the near future.

Sinn Féin, which has long held anti-Israel positions, reached 22.3% of the vote for the Daíl, Ireland’s lower house of parliament, the highest share of the national vote it has ever received, according to exit polls.

The radical party was nearly tied with what are traditionally the two large parties in Ireland: Fine Gael, the party of Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, which received 22.4%; and Fianna Fáil, which got 22.2%.

“Fine Gael, which has been in power since 2011, has been friendlier to Israel than Fianna Fáil or, for that matter, Sinn Féin, of course, which has been known to be extremely anti-Israel and very close to the Palestinian delegation in Ireland,” said Daniela Traub, Israel’s former deputy ambassador to Ireland.

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No daylight between Trump, Netanyahu – but will the sun set on annexation?

Likud voters in Judea and Samaria are a relatively small yet influential group, and Netanyahu is left doing damage control and repeating over and over that annexation will really happen.

That Jerusalem and Washington have no daylight between them is something both sides have been saying. It is important to both the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government to emphasize they are in sync with one another.

The reason they keep having to say that is because it sure looked like there was daylight recently.

Right after US President Donald Trump presented his peace plan almost two weeks ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would annex the settlements within a matter of days. Then, mere hours later, special adviser to the president Jared Kushner more or less said, “not so fast.”

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Friedman to ‘Post’: Settlers should want annexation to be done right

US ambassador provides clarity in the confusion over the timing of US recognition of Israeli settlement annexation.

Waiting for annexation, rather than having it be done immediately, is in the interest of settlers, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

Friedman sought to provide clarity regarding the timing of US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over 30% of Judea and Samaria under the Trump administration’s peace plan, which they call a “vision.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in the immediate aftermath of the plan’s presentation last month that he would annex West Bank settlements the following week. But he amended that to after the March 2 election in remarks this week. This came after Special Adviser to the US President Jared Kushner repeatedly said annexation could take a few months and would come after the election.

Though it appeared at first that Netanyahu’s and Kushner’s statements were at odds with one another, Friedman said: “There has never been a substantive disagreement on these issues.”

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Donald Trump peace plan was two years in the making – ‘not a sprint’

Dore Gold, who advised the US team, explains how this plan might actually work.

WASHINGTON – When US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made their joint statement on Tuesday about “Peace to Prosperity,” the latest US plan for Israel and the Palestinians, all the expected players were in the East Room of the White House: Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner; daughter Ivanka Trump; Jason Greenblatt, the former head of the peace team; and US Ambassador David Friedman.

And there were some of Trump’s greatest and most pro-Israel supporters there, as well, like casino magnate and philanthropist Sheldon Adelson and Evangelical Christian leader and founding member of a Trump advisory panel, Dr. Mike Evans.

Among all the usual suspects was a less expected face, that of Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) president Dore Gold.

Gold quietly helped the peace team, but only went public with his involvement when he attended the program’s rollout. He shared details of his work for the first time with The Jerusalem Post hours after Trump presented his plan.

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How would Israel-US relations change under President Bernie Sanders?

Is Israel about to get ‘Berned’?

WASHINGTON – The annual AIPAC Policy Conference begins on Sunday, drawing in pro-Israel activists and politicians from around the US and both sides of the aisle.

There will also be a conspicuous absence: that of US Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), the front-runner in the Democratic primaries.

Sanders’s decision to skip AIPAC and his statements about Israel’s leadership and policies, along with his surge in the primaries, have left many observers of the US-Israel relationship wondering what would happen should he become president.

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Georgian president: Israel can voice our concerns to Russia

Salome Zourabichvili, a former Iran sanctions negotiator for the UN, says world is ‘back to square one’ in curbing Tehran’s nuclear aspirations.

Israel should serve as a go-between for Georgia and Russia over the latter’s continued occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili said on Tuesday.

“We have two territories occupied by Russia, which is very present. They have military bases… people have been taken hostage. It is a very painful, direct relationship,” between Georgia and Russia, Zourabichvili said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post hours after her arrival to Israel.

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Will Turkey get in the way of Israeli gas?

It’s been a historic week, but Ankara could be a spoiler in an otherwise win-win situation.

Tablet: Israel’s Eyes in the North – The Woman Who Watches Hezbollah

Sarit Zehavi, founder of the Alma Center think tank, has her eye on Hezbollah and her feet planted firmly in her beloved Galilee.

At the end of August, there was tension in the northern Galilee. Israel stopped Hezbollah from launching a drone from Syria by killing two terrorists, who had both been trained in Iran, before they could carry out the attack. Two drones crashed in Beirut, and the Lebanese blamed Israel, which denied involvement.

Sarit Zehavi, founder and CEO of Alma Research and Education Center, a think tank in the western Galilee focused on geopolitics and security on Israel’s northern border, posted a video on YouTube on Aug. 27, briefing viewers on how Israel foiled an Iranian attack from Syrian territory, and Lebanon’s connection to the incident. On Sept. 1, Hezbollah shot several rockets into northern Israel.

Zehavi’s son Mor was supposed to have his bar mitzvah several days later in their hometown, just a short drive from Israel’s border with Lebanon. But now, the plan looked like it was going to be a bust, and it reminded her of an entirely different bar mitzvah story—her father’s.

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