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  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 22, 2023. (photo: United Nations)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu departed for Israel from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport early on Sunday morning, wrapping up a six-day trip to the United States that included meetings with heads of state and an address to the United Nations General Assembly.

    “I think this visit brought many achievements, and with your help, and thanks to you, we were able to do lots of good things for the State of Israel,” the premier told fellow members of the Israeli delegation shortly before takeoff, noting he had met with some 20 leaders from five different continents during the visit.

    “I also want to thank many of you for the congratulations [that I received] on the U.N. speech, which, to my joy, was not only broadcast live on U.S. television networks but also live in Saudi Arabia. This is, of course, a blessing for next year; next year will be a good year for us,” he added.

  • An illustrative image of an Israel Police officer. (photo: Israel Police)

    Police will be stationed throughout Jerusalem to prevent vehicular traffic from disrupting the holy day of Yom Kippur on Monday, and will be on alert to prevent disturbances and suspicious activity, the Israel Police said on Sunday morning.

    The State of Israel will bring in the fast day on Sunday evening with increased tensions on the Lebanese and Gazan borders, as well as a spate of terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and counterterrorism operations in the West Bank.

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addresses the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023 at United Nations headquarters. (photo: Mary Altaffer, AP)

    Russia's top diplomat denounced the United States and the West on Saturday as self-interested defenders of a fading international power structure, but he didn't discuss his country's war in Ukraine in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly.

    “The U.S. and its subordinate Western collective are continuing to fuel conflicts which artificially divide humanity into hostile blocks and hamper the achievement of overall aims. They’re doing everything they can to prevent the formation of a genuine multipolar world order,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

    Later, in a press conference, Lavrov said the U.S. was “effectively engaged in hostilities with us, using the Ukrainians as fodder.”

    “You can call this whatever you want to call this, but they are directly at war with us," he said. “We call this a hybrid war. But that doesn’t change the reality.”

  • Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen speaks at the American Jewish Committee's offices in New York City during the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 21, 2023. (photo: Govt. of Israel, Twitter; caption: Audacy.com)

    Six or seven Muslim nations will join Saudi Arabia in making peace with Israel following the conclusion of the long-sought normalization deal with the Saudis, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen revealed in an interview with KAN News on Friday afternoon.

    Speaking directly after Netanyahu's speech at the UN General Assembly in which he heralded the dawn of a "new Middle East," Cohen said that "it's important to restate what the prime minister said, peace with Saudi Arabia is also peace between Jews and the Muslim world.

    "Six or seven nations from Africa and Asia will join the peace deal with the Saudis," Cohen said. 

  • Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud attends a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly, September 19, 2023. (photo: Caitlin Ochs, Pool via AP)

    The Saudi foreign minister tells the UN General Assembly that a solution must be expedited for the Palestinians for the sake of Middle East security.

    “The stability of the region rests on a just and comprehensive solution for the Palestinian cause… and the establishment of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Faisal bin Farhan says in his address.

    The comment comes amid increased talk about a potential historic normalization deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel, with Riyadh said to demand Israeli concessions to Palestinians that nevertheless fall short of giving them an independent state.

    Bin Farhan adds on the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that his country “rejects and condemns all the unilateral steps that constitute a blatant violation of international laws and which contribute to the collapse of regional and international peace efforts and are hindering the path of diplomatic solutions.”

  • Saudi Arabia has said that any solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would need to include an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.

    The statement was made by Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Furhan Al-Saud at the UN General Assembly on Saturday night. He spoke the day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his address, during which he touted the idea of a "new Middle East" with normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu uses a red marker on a map of 'The New Middle East' as he addresses the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. (photo: Bryan R. Smith, AFP)

    Taking the stage Friday at the United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is “at the cusp” of a historic peace agreement with Saudi Arabia, a deal he predicted will transform the Middle East.

    “Such a peace will go a long way to ending the Arab-Israeli conflict,” said Netanyahu, addressing the gathering for the 12th time. “It will encourage other Arab states to normalize their relations with Israel. It will enhance the prospects of peace with the Palestinians. It will encourage a broader reconciliation between Judaism and Islam, between Jerusalem and Mecca, between the descendants of Isaac and the descendants of Ishmael.”

    “All these are tremendous blessings.”

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  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken looks on during a meeting with Turkey's Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in New York, Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. (photo: Bing Guan, Pool Photo via AP)

    Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear program is a “profoundly destabilizing element” and its decision to bar UN nuclear inspectors from overseeing nuclear sites in the country last week suggest it is not interested in “being a responsible actor,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday.

    At a press briefing Friday, Blinken answered a question about Saudi Arabia’s demand for US cooperation in establishing a civilian nuclear program on Saudi soil as part of a potential US-brokered normalization deal with Israel, with a reference to a comment made by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who said this week that if Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, Riyadh must do the same.

  • (L) Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, May 19, 2023. (Saudi Press Agency via AP); (C) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem (Alex Kolomoisky/Pool/Flash90); (L) US President Joe Biden on November 2, 2022 in Washington, DC (Michael A. McCoy / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told top nuclear and security experts in Israel to cooperate with US negotiators on a proposal for a “US-run uranium enrichment operation” in Saudi Arabia, as part of a potential normalization deal between Jerusalem and Riyadh, unnamed Israeli and US officials told the Wall Street Journal.

    In exchange for normalizing ties with Israel, Saudi Arabia is asking the US for a major mutual defense pact, significant arms deals, and cooperation in establishing a civilian nuclear program on Saudi soil, as well as Israeli concessions to the Palestinians.

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) meets with former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger in New York on September 21, 2023 (photo: Avi Ohayon, GPO)

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US journalists, including Semafor founder Ben Smith and NBC executives, in his hotel in New York earlier this morning.

    He also met with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

    Heading back to the UN, Netanyahu will meet with heads of Pacific island states, leaders from the Caribbean, and Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi.

  • Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the APEC Leader's Informal Dialogue with Guests during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC summit, November 18, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. (photo: Athit Perawongmetha, Pool Photo via AP)

    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Wednesday that “every day we get closer” to Saudi Arabia normalizing ties with Israel, while clarifying that the Palestinian issue is still a “very important” component of the process.

    The comments represented rare public remarks in English by bin Salman regarding the normalization effort, offering an additional degree of optimism regarding its chances, hours after US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the issue during a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

    Bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia known colloquially as MBS, made the comments during an interview with Fox News, which released several brief segments of the conversation that will air in full later Wednesday evening.

  • US President Joe Biden holds a bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly in New York City, US, September 20, 2023. (photo: Kevin LaMarque, Reuters)

    American President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday in New York City, with talked focused on how Israel can achieve peace with Saudi Arabia.

    As protestors chanted against the prime minister outside the hotel where they met, Netanyahu told the president with confidence that "Under your leadership, we can achieve historic peace with Saudi Arabia, which will advance the resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict, promote reconciliation between the Islamic world and the Jewish state, and advance Israeli-Palestinian peace."

    The statement came on the backdrop of Biden's expression of support for the Jewish state and their shared interest in stopping Iran from achieving nuclear proliferation.

  • During a much-anticipated Wednesday meeting on the UN sidelines, US President Joe Biden will press Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to present significant concessions that he is willing to make to the Palestinians in order to help secure a normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia, an official familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel on Tuesday.

  • US President Joe Biden addresses the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York City, US, September 19, 2023. (photo: Mike Segar, Reuters)

    The United States plans to seek both the normalization of the Jewish state with its Arab neighbors and a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, US President Joe Biden told the United Nations on Tuesday.

    “Israel’s greater normalization and economic connection with its neighbors delivering positive and practical impacts even as we continue to work tirelessly for just and lasting peace, for Israelis and Palestinians, two states for two peoples,” he said.

    Biden set out his country’s foreign policy agenda as one of the first speakers to address the high-level portion of the 78th opening session of the UN General Assembly.

  • King Abdullah II of Jordan addresses the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, September 19, 2023. (photo: Seth Wenig, AP)

    Jordan’s King Abdullah II says the Middle East will suffer as long as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved, moments after US President Joe Biden touted a deal linking India and Saudi Arabia to Europe via Jordan and Israel despite the lack of progress on a two-state solution.

    “No architecture for regional security and development can stand over the ashes of this conflict,” he says.

    He also appears to chide the international community for its halting efforts on Israeli-Palestinian peace.

  • Over 75 current and former American Jewish community leaders have signed onto an open letter to US President Joe Biden urging him to only pursue a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia that includes “measures that tangibly advance prospects for a two-state solution” and reverses “the worrisome trajectory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. (photo: Avi Ohayon, GPO)

    As a sign of the continued thaw in the contentious relationship between Ankara and Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

    The two discussed efforts to reach a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia among other regional and international issues.

    It’s the second such meeting between Erdogan and an Israeli prime minister since 2008. Last year, he met with former Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

  • Elon Musk and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sept. 18, 2023. (photo: Israel GPO, Avi Ohayon)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kicked off a US trip in California [on Monday] to talk to billionaire businessman Elon Musk about antisemitism on his social media platform X – while Musk asked him to address his judicial overhaul in Israel.

    Netanyahu's high-profile visit to the San Francisco Bay Area comes at a time when Musk is facing accusations of tolerating antisemitic messages on his social media platform, while Netanyahu is confronting political opposition at home and abroad.

    The official agenda was to consider artificial intelligence, with Netanyahu and the Tesla CEO mostly in agreement on the need to weigh the technology's benefits against its societal risks.

    The freestyle conversation, which included jokes from both men, soon turned to free speech and antisemitism, with Netanyahu telling Musk he hopes that within the confines of the First Amendment, he can find a way to roll back antisemitism and other forms of hatred on his social media platform.

  • (L-R) US President Joe Biden, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (photo credit: VIA REUTERS)

    The US State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs denied reports that efforts to reach a normalization deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel had been halted on Monday.

    "The United States remains committed to furthering Israel's regional integration, including through active diplomacy aimed at Israel-Saudi normalization. Talks are ongoing, and we look forward to further conversations with both parties," the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs posted on X.

  • Gilad Erdan, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, at the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations in New York City on Jan. 16, 2023. Photo by Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90.

    This week’s meeting in New York between the leaders of Israel and the United States on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly is sure to be a headline-grabber.

    But Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations says there are plenty of other reasons to pay attention to the goings-on at the annual High-Level Week at Turtle Bay.

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Provocative Commentary

“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” 
― E.M. Bounds