Fewer Israelis Support Two-State Solution
ONLY 36% OF ISRAELIS BELIEVE NEXT GOV’T SHOULD PUSH TWO-STATE SOLUTION: Just 36% of Israelis either “strongly” or “somewhat” agree that the government formed after the election should try to advance a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to the Israel Democracy Institute’s Voice of Israel Index for the month of September.
Among Jewish Israelis, that number is just 31%, while among Arab Israelis it is 60%, the survey found. The numbers among both Jews and Arabs went down from a similar survey in February 2021, when 50% of Israelis believed that the government should try to advance the two-state solution – 44% Jewish and 79% Arab. The data was published a day after Prime Minister Yair Lapid claimed in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, September 22, that most Israelis supported the two-state solution. The current survey shows that a strong majority believes that this is not relevant for the next government. The survey also asked Israelis whether the country should carry out a military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities even without American agreement, with almost half (49%) answering that they “strongly” or “somewhat” agreed that Israel should do so. This includes 55% of Jewish Israelis and 17% of Arab Israelis, the survey found. (JPost / VFI News)
PALESTINIANS, POLICE SCUFFLE AS JEWS VISIT TEMPLE MOUNT ON ROSH HASHANAH; 4 ARRESTED: Palestinians scuffled with police in Jerusalem’s Old City Monday morning, September 26, as Jewish visitors toured the flashpoint Temple Mount to mark the Jewish New Year.
According to police, a group of young Palestinians barricaded themselves overnight in the Temple Mount’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and began launching fireworks from within as the Rosh Hashanah visits began. A video released by the police appeared to show fireworks being shot from an alcove above a door to the mosque, which a spokesman for the force accused the Palestinians of “desecrating.” Police later put out further footage showing rocks being hurled from a door to the mosque and several masked suspects emerging to throw stones, before retreating back inside. Clashes also took place around the nearby Lion’s Gate to the Old City, with police saying rioters threw rocks at officers. At least four people were arrested. “The visits [by Jews] to the Temple Mount are taking place alongside Muslim prayers as usual,” police spokesman Eli Levi said. There were no immediate reports of injuries. (TOI/ VFI News)
IRAN SAYS US TRYING TO VIOLATE SOVEREIGNTY OVER UNREST, WARNS OF RESPONSE: The US attempts to violate Iran’s sovereignty over the issue of protests triggered by the death of a woman in police custody will not go unanswered, the foreign ministry said on Monday, September 26.
Iran has been rocked by nationwide demonstrations sparked by the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini after she was detained by morality police enforcing the Islamic Republic’s strict restrictions on women’s dress. The case has drawn international condemnation. Iran has said the United States was supporting rioters and seeking to destabilize the Islamic Republic. On his Instagram page, Kanaani accused the leaders of the United States and some European countries of abusing a tragic incident in support of the “rioters” and ignoring “the presence of millions of people in the streets and squares of the country in support of the system.”
Iran has also blamed armed Iranian Kurdish dissidents for involvement in the ongoing unrest in the country, particularly in the northwest where most of Iran’s up to 10 million Kurds live. (JPost/ VFI News)
IRAN INDICTS 14 OVER KILLING OF ITS TOP NUCLEAR SCIENTIST BLAMED ON ISRAEL: Fourteen people have been indicted in connection with their alleged roles in the 2020 killing of a top nuclear scientist, in an attack that Tehran has blamed on Israel, an Iranian state news agency said Monday, September 26.
According to the report by Islamic media, the 14 were charged on a number of counts, including “corruption on earth, contribution to intelligence and espionage for the Zionist regime, collusion aimed at disrupting Iran’s security, and endangering the Islamic country’s security.”
There were no details given on the identity of 12 of the 14 people, including their nationalities. Iran frequently arrests, jails, and executes individuals it accuses of spying for foreign nations, without offering proof. Iran has blamed Israel for killing its top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, with a remote-controlled machine gun while he was traveling in a car outside Tehran. Fakhrizadeh, identified by Israel as the father of Iran’s rogue nuclear weapons program, was assassinated in the sophisticated hit reportedly led by a Mossad team. Iran has threatened revenge for the killing. Israel has not publicly commented on the allegation that it was responsible, though former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen confirmed last year that Fakhrizadeh was long in the spy agency’s sights. (TOI /VFI News)
13 KILLED, 21 INJURED AS GUNMAN WEARING ‘NAZI SYMBOLS’ OPENS FIRE AT RUSSIAN SCHOOL: A gunman opened fire in a school in central Russia Monday, September 26, killing 13 people, including seven children, and wounding 21 others.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said the shooting took place in School No. 88 in Izhevsk, a city about 960 kilometers (600 miles) east of Moscow in the Udmurtia region. It identified the wounded as 14 children and seven adults. The governor of Udmurtia, Alexander Brechalov, said in a video statement that the gunman shot himself. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the shooting as “a terrorist act” and said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has given all the necessary orders to the relevant authorities. “President Putin deeply mourns deaths of people and children in the school, where a terrorist act took place,” Peskov told reporters on Monday. (TOI / VFI News)
ISRAEL REJECTS ANNEXATION VOTES IN OCCUPIED UKRAINE AS RUSSIAN PROXIES CLAIM VICTORY: Officials in three Moscow-occupied regions of Ukraine on Tuesday, September 27, claimed victory in referendums for a merger with Russia amid international condemnation of sham ballots.
The local poll body in the southern Zaporizhzhia region said 93.11% of voters opted for Russian annexation after all the ballots were counted. In Kherson, also in the south, authorities said 87.05% of voters opted for Russian annexation after a vote count was completed. In the eastern Lugansk region controlled by pro-Russia separatists, 98.42% opted for annexation by Russia, Russian news agencies said, citing local authorities. Ukraine and its allies have denounced the so-called referendums as a sham and said the West would never recognize the results of the ballots that have dramatically ratcheted up the stakes of Russia’s seven-month invasion. On Tuesday, Israel joined their ranks, with the Foreign Ministry saying in a statement that Jerusalem “recognizes the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, and will not recognize the results of the referendums in its eastern districts.” Israel’s clear rejection of the votes could further raise tensions with Moscow. Jerusalem has sought to maintain cordial relations with Russia despite criticizing the invasion of Ukraine, both due to Russia’s control of Syrian airspace and its large Jewish community. (TOI / VFI News)
ITALY’S MELONI PORTRAYS HERSELF AS STRONG SUPPORTER OF ISRAEL, REJECTS FASCIST PAST: Italy’s Giorgia Meloni, who is on track to become the country’s first far-right leader since Mussolini in World War II, has long tried to distance herself from her party’s fascist past and indicated she would be a strong supporter of Israel, even boasting of ties to the Likud party.
Meloni’s “Brothers of Italy” came top in Sunday’s general elections (September 25), winning some 26 percent of the vote, and her right-wing coalition looks set to secure a majority in both houses of parliament. There was no immediate reaction from Israel, with results coming as the country celebrated the Jewish New Year. But Israel has in the past sought to boycott far-right European parties that have come to power — as it did with Austria’s Freedom Party, which was founded by former Nazis. Brothers of Italy, which Meloni founded in 2012, is a political descendant of the Italian Social Movement (MSI), formed by supporters of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini after World War II. Soaring in popularity — up from just 4% four years ago — the party uses a symbol featuring a tri-colored flame that had been an icon of MSI. Brothers of Italy is headquartered at the same address, on Via della Scrofa in central Rome, where MSI set up its offices in 1946, media reported. Both the US and EU on Monday indicated a willingness to work with Meloni, but cautioned against any possible human rights abuses in Italy. “We have handed fascism over to history for decades now, firmly condemning the loss of democracy, the outrageous anti-Jewish laws, and the tragedy of World War II,” Meloni said in a recent interview with an Israeli newspaper. (TOI/VFI News)
CONTROVERSIAL MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD SPIRITUAL LEADER DIES IN QATAR: Senior Muslim cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, who was based in Qatar and was a spiritual leader for the Muslim Brotherhood, died on Monday, September 26, according to a post on his official Twitter account.
The Egyptian-born cleric, who was in his 90s, was highly critical of Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Considered a respected Muslim scholar and ideologue, al-Qaradawi pushed for Islamic modernism, which aims to reconcile the faith with Western ideas and values such as democracy, equality and civil rights. He was also considered by many to be moderate in Islamist circles of thought and has come out in favor of democracy, donating blood for victims of the September 11 attacks, protecting rape victims, and banning honor killings, among other issues. However, he has also garnered some hostility from the West in the past for statements condoning Palestinian suicide attacks on Israeli citizens, according to the BBC. In a 2004 interview, the cleric said that he does not consider an Israeli woman to be “like women in our societies, because she is a soldier.” “I consider this type of martyrdom operation as evidence of God’s justice,” he reportedly continued. “Allah has given the weak a weapon the strong do not have…the ability to turn their bodies into bombs as Palestinians do.” (JPost / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff