by Times of Israel staff
Israel and Lebanon’s landmark maritime border deal went into effect on Thursday evening after a ceremony at a UN base near the border, ending years of conflict over the matter and repeated sabre-rattling by the Hezbollah terror group.
Delegations from both countries met but did not interact. No photos were issued from the signing event.
US mediator Amos Hochstein hailed it “a great day” for Israel, Lebanon and the broader region. Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the agreement represented de facto recognition of Israel by Lebanon. While Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun rejected this claim, whereas the chief Lebanese negotiator spoke of “a new era” and invoked the Abraham Accords treaties between Israel and other regional states.
The deal was signed separately by Aoun in Beirut and Lapid in Jerusalem, and went into effect after the papers were delivered at the ceremony to US mediator Hochstein, who added his own signature.
The deal paves the way for both sides to engage in lucrative offshore natural gas extraction after long years of disagreements over drilling rights.
Before signing, Lapid claimed that Lebanon’s signing onto the deal amounted to a de-facto recognition of the Jewish state. Aoun rejected Lapid’s assertion, countering that “demarcating the southern maritime border is technical work that has no political implications.”
While the agreement was not a peace deal, it was nonetheless an agreement between states, and could serve as a precedent for progress between Israel and other countries with which Israel has no ties.
Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak
There is no "Right-Wing block" in Israel. The term is used by Jew-haters to discredit Zionism – the Jewish Independent movement. It is the only independent movement both the Right and Left of political spectrum hate. Unfortunately, at the moment, there is no true Zionist block in Israel!
As Israelis trudge to the polls for the fifth time in less than four years, both the public and pundits agree that this election - just like the previous four - is about whether former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should return to power as the country’s leader. Most also agree that the Nov. 1 vote will do little to shift the logjam that has left the country in political limbo since December 2018. (This election can end in deadlock again, due to Netanyahu's selfish refusal to step down from leadership of Likud party.)
Several hours after a terror attack near Kiryat Arba, shots are fired at Israeli troops from a passing vehicle near the Palestinian town of Bani Na’im.
“Palestinian terror will not break or beat us. We will continue to fight it with all determination and strength, day and night, wherever the terrorists and their senders (are),” Omer Barlev, Public Security Minister, wrote on Twitter. (Wouldn't it be better to end terror with the same "determination and strength" by removing enemies from the Jewish land?)
Pressed on purchase of Iranian drones and deployment of them against Ukraine, Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov sought to calm growing Israeli concerns of Moscow’s cooperation with Tehran. “Russia is not playing against Israel and I would like to confirm that we fully and totally are taking into account the legitimate security concerns of Israel,” Viktorov said.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz arrived in Turkey, marking the first official visit to Ankara by an Israeli defense chief in more than a decade. Gantz met with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ankara and Jerusalem announced they would restore full diplomatic ties 12 years after they were partially severed in the wake of the Mavi Marmara incident in which a group of activists from a Turkish terror organization that tried to breach the naval blockade of Gaza.
51% of Israelis say Netanyahu must step aside as chairman of the Knesset’s largest party if he and the parties allied with him fail to win an outright majority in the Knesset. Israelis have gone to the polls four times since Netanyahu’s government collapsed in late 2018, with two elections in 2019 failing to offer a clear path to either Netanyahu or Benny Gantz to form a government. (Bibi should have resigned from politics four years ago.)
Fatah, which is headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, released a video boasting of carrying out 7,200 terror attacks against Israel in 2022 and criticized Hamas for doing nothing.
The United States is concerned "over current heightened tensions, violence and loss of both Israeli and Palestinian lives in the West Bank," Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Israeli President Isaac Herzog. Blinken emphasized the need for "all parties to urgently de-escalate the situation." (He is equally concerned for the lives of Jewish victims of Palestinian terror and their killers. Only by removing the enemy population from the Jewish land will "de-escalation" be achieved.)
Israel destroyed a Lion’s Den bomb lab in Shchem (Nablus). Israeli forces detonated an explosives manufacturing lab used by the Lion’s Den, a local Islamic militant group, hidden in a residential apartment in the city. At least five Palestinians died, including Lion’s Den leader Wadee al-Huh, and 20 were wounded. “Recently, this terrorist group has continued recruiting, plan, and carrying out attacks aimed against innocent Israeli civilians,” the IDF said in a statement following the attack. “We will continue to operate to thwart the threat of terrorism.”
Seventy-five members of Congress addressed a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking about the ongoing investigation into antisemitism in the State Department. An investigation looking into to antisemitism in the State Department was opened by Blinken in July 2021. The letter pointed out that by law the State Department must report to Congress on the status of the investigation into the incidents, including recommendations for how the agency can improve its policies regarding discrimination. (It is an old and well-known secret that the State Department has been conducting anti-Semitic policies under the banner of anti-Zionism.)
Olympian triathlete Shachar Sagiv has become the first Israeli athlete to compete in the Super League Triathlon in Saudi Arabia. The Israeli Olympic Committee head said that this is "a very significant breakthrough". It is the latest sign of growing informal ties between the former enemies.
The United Nations General Assembly's first committee, which deals with disarmament, global challenges, and threats to peace that affect the international community, voted 152-5, on a resolution concerning "the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East". The resolution states that Israel must dispose of all its nuclear weapons. Canada, Israel, Micronesia, Palau, and the United States voted against the resolution. Another 24 countries abstained, including (gutless, anti-Semitic) European Union members. While Israel has never officially admitted to having nuclear weapons, the resolution clearly singles out the Jewish state. (As usual, the main focus of the 'Ugly Nothing' is Israel - not Iran, or other major issues the world is facing.)
Quote of the Week:
“Our Tanach (Torah) teaches us that we are from here (Israel), we have come back to our land. I am not a racist, I do not hate Arabs, I hate terrorists. We have a major Jihad problem on so many levels that our political leaders and security experts refuse to deal with head-on. I am the candidate saying that the emperor has no clothes and that we have some serious problems. They want to bury me as a way to strike at Jewish nationalism - so they call me a racist. My vision is a proud, strong Jewish state. I have no problem with our minorities - provided they are law-abiding citizens.” - Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of Religious Zionist Party – Unfortunately, most of the so-called Palestinians, in PA-controlled areas and even In Israel, support the intentions of Fatah and Hamas terrorist organizations, and wish the demise of the Jewish state.
by Tovah Lazaroff
With Israel under a constant stream of criticisms from the United Nations, a new report, which makes the case that Israel's "occupation" of land over the pre-1967 lines are illegal, was called blatantly antisemitic by Yair Lapid.
Questions have also been raised about the three-person commission, particularly after one of its members, Miloon Kothari, made a comment that social media was largely controlled by the Jewish lobby.
Israel's Mission to the UN in Geneva recalled that the COI (Commission of Inquiry on Occupied Palestinian Territory) "was formed when Israel was under attack from thousands of rockets fired from the terrorist organization Hamas. Yet in their first report to the United Nations General Assembly, the Commission chose to make no reference to the conflict in May 2021, no reference to the Hamas, and no reference to acts of terrorism.”
Most COI inquiries that investigate human rights situations are temporary with a limited time frame, this one is open-ended. ('The Ugly Nazi' is still at its anti-Semitic best!)