What’s Really Going on in Israel?

A conversation with Telos Group founder Todd Deatherage about the current conflict, why it matters and what we can do about it.

Shortly after news that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet had rejected Senator John Kerry's terms for a ceasefire, officials said Israel will observe a 12-hour unilateral ceasefire starting early Saturday morning. The terms of Kerry's truce deal were not immediately made clear, but Israel has said they will not agree to any terms for peace without significant modifications to the proposal. Hamas, in the meantime, has not responded to proposed ceasefire at all ... Discuss


Last night, nearly 10,000 Palestinian protestors demonstrated near an Israeli checkpoint in a rally that led to a violent confrontation with Israeli security forces. According to the Jerusalem Post, at least 200 of the protestors and 27 Israeli police officers were injured when some of the demonstrators began throwing rocks and firebombs. At least two Palestinians were killed. Israeli forces arrested 39 individuals involved in the riots.

The Palestinians had gathered to protest an Israeli offensive in Gaza against Hamas militants in a campaign that has stretched out for more than two weeks. According to the BBC, Since the latest round of violence between Israel and Hamas began on July 8, at least 800 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed ... Discuss


Militants from the radical Islamic group ISIS (who have taken to calling themselves "The Islamic State") reportedly made good on threats to destroy sites and shrines they claim are “un-Islamic.” According to the civil defense authority in Iraq—where ISIS has taken over several cities—the group intentionally blew up the tomb of Jonah. In both Christianity and Islam, Jonah is famous for being the prophet who was swallowed by a whale. ISIS, who has been enforcing brutal forms of Sharia law in the areas it controls, remotedly detonated bombs at the Sunni mosque that was home to the tomb. Earlier this month, the group forced the Christian community in Mosul to flee after threatening anyone who did not convert to Islam with death ... Discuss


Though they said there is nothing to indicate Russia was directly involved in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, U.S. intelligence officials believe that the separatists in Ukraine responsible may have been trained by Russia. Last week, a commercial airliner carrying 298 people was downed by a missile near a conflict-plagued area of the Ukrainian and Russian border. According to intelligence evidence, the commercial flight was mistaken for a Ukrainian military plane, and was targeted by the pro-Russia militants.

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told CNN, “We do think President Putin and the Russian government bears responsibility for the support they’ve given the separatists… We’re going to continue to pull the thread on this case to determine exactly who do we believe fired that missile.” In response, the U.S. and EU have placed new sanctions on Russia, mostly aimed at restricting Russian officials and business leaders ... Discuss


With mountains of sad news pouring in from all over the globe this week, the Internet has collectively rejoiced at the appearance of an old man whose carefree attitude and and cane-free style reminds us that the world is not yet devoid of happiness. Nothing has been confirmed about this gentleman's identity, but he can confirm that his heart is great and his feet are sure. Thank you, sir, for providing us all with the inspiration to dance another day ... Discuss