Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami announced that the country successfully tested a new medium-range missile dubbed ‘Khoramshahr,’ which is capable of reaching Israel and U.S. military bases in the Persian Gulf. “As long as some speak in the language of threats, the strengthening of the country’s defense capabilities will continue and Iran will not seek permission from any country for producing various kinds of missile,” he said. The missile reportedly has a range of 1,250 miles and can carry multiple warheads. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that this is further evidence that Iran seeks to be a global power that threatens not only Israel but all the countries of the free world.
The Israeli government is asking the U.S. to shut down offices belonging to the Palestinian delegation in Washington, which is called the General Delegation of the PLO. The idea was first proposed in a meeting of Israeli officials with President Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, and the ambassador to Tel Aviv, David Friedman. The Israelis reported that they had first raised the issue with members of Congress who could move forward legislation requiring the closing of the office. The office has a lower diplomatic status than a full embassy; the PLO uses the delegation as its embassy to the United States.
Norway has agreed to host former Israeli nuclear technician and whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. The 62-year-old was jailed for 18 years for revealing classified information from Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant to Britain’s Sunday Times in 1986. Vanunu was freed in 2004 but was jailed again twice for failing to cooperate with the terms of his restraining orders, namely those that forbade him from traveling, having contact with foreigners, or communicating with the press. He was granted freedom to relocate to Norway since his wife, Kristin Joachimsen, is a Norwegian citizen. Vanunu converted from Judaism to Christianity shortly before being captured in 1986 by Mossad agents in Rome who then smuggled him to Israel. It is undetermined if Israel will grant him this move as they still view him as a security threat.
Facebook is apologizing for the oversight of not noticing and allowing advertisers to use phrases like “Jew-haters,” “how to burn Jews,” and “history of why Jews ruin the world” as targeting criteria. They vowed to prevent this from reoccurring in the future by implementing tighter policies and human reviewers, amongst other tools to combat such acts of anti-Semitism on their social media site that attracts 2 billion users. The statement follows investigative news organization ProPublica’s report that marketers could put out advertisements specifically targeting users who described themselves as “Jew- haters” in their profiles. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, said she was disgusted by and disappointed by the posts, stating, “Hate has no place on Facebook — and as a Jew, as a mother, and as a human being, I know the damage that can come from hate.”
As Russia’s relationship with the European Union continues to decline, its relationship with Israel seems to be blossoming. Russia is dealing with economic sanctions imposed on them after their military takeover of Ukraine, and this has encouraged them to mend ties with Israel promoting a boom in trade between the two countries. 2017 saw a $380 million (or 25%) increase in commerce from last year, according to Minister of Environmental Protection Zeev Elkin, and Temur Ben Yehuda, chairman of the Israeli Russian Business Council protection. The next project both countries are working on is a free trade agreement.