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April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘arms’

Will Romney or Obama Save Israel from Iran?

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Who will save Israel from Iran? President Romney or President Obama?

On August 26th The New York Times had this to say:

Weapons sales by the United States tripled in 2011 to a record high, driven by major arms sales to Persian Gulf allies concerned about Iran’s regional ambitions, according to a new study for Congress. Overseas weapons sales by the United States totaled $66.3 billion last year, or more than three-quarters of the global arms market, valued at $85.3 billion in 2011. Russia was a distant second, with $4.8 billion in deals.

Sixty-six billion dollars. That is a lot of money for a cash-strapped country. (Compare that to $48 billion – the budget of the Department of Homeland Security in 2012). Now, let’s say you were working in the Pentagon, or at Northrop Grumman, or you were a Senator or Congressman for an arms manufacturing state – would you go to sleep at night praying for world peace? No, you would not. Instead, you would thank God for the success of your business, and especially for the guys you owe it all to, Ayatollah Khomeini and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They are responsible for all that business – 66 billion Dollars.

As Israel waits for a green light from the US to attack Iran so as to deal with the Iranian threat, some in America prosper from the arms escalation in the Middle East. And while we hear palliatives to the effect that this or that president will help Israel with Iran, it is all just a game, and a delay tactic. Iran is too lucrative to US arms manufacturers to allow Israel to have total victory over the Mullah regime. For the powerful arms industry, nothing could be better than a bunch of far-away Middle East folks who have disposable cash and who love to buy American made arms. The USA may talk peace but it sells war.

The Iran problem is not the making of Barack Obama. Fifteen years ago I was an intern in AIPAC’s Washington DC office. Back then,  Middle East analyst Keith Weissman was constantly warning that Iran had the will and the capacity to pursue a weapon of mass destruction. Netanyahu himself has been making this issue public for over a dozen years. This problem has been festering and no American leader, Republican or Democrat, has really tried to deal with it – maybe because for them there is no problem, but rather, a financial opportunity.

The current Republican candidate for US President, Mitt Romney is not more pro-Israel or anti-Jihad then Reagan, Bush I or Bush II. He is cut of the same cloth and he has not made one indication that he will seriously take on Iran, Saudi Arabia terror sponsorship, southern Lebanon, or Gaza. Nor has he made any signs that he will curtail that other favorite policy of US presidents – that of shrinking Israel and forcing a “Two-State solution.”

The odds are that a Romney White House will not change the course of American foreign policy, just as, ironically, President Obama has not.  In fact, there has been little change in US policy for the past 40 years, and the last 9 presidents. When it comes to the Middle East, the US has consistently allowed radical Islam to flourish, and sold arms to the region, all the while trying to shrink Israel.

The one thing that the Obama administration has changed is the tone and the rhetoric – and this has brought visibility to the rest of their actions including the arms sales, the friendliness to Jihadist Islam, the open antagonism to Israel, and the will to shrink it.  But during the George W. Bush years – the closest thing to Mitt Romney we have had – the very same policies did not show because Bush II ‘loved Israel’. All the while he was in bed with the Saudis as they were exporting Wahabbi Jihadism all over the globe (including US campuses), he created the Palestinian Dayton ‘security forces’ (terror army), did nothing to curb Iran’s ambitions, and effectively stopped the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

For four years, George W. was in office after Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which calls for the embassy to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999. The law also said that “Jerusalem should remain an undivided city…[and that] Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel.” To sidestep the law, President Bush, used a proviso loophole and waived that law every 6 months. Every six months for the remainder of his term President Bush said NO to an Israeli Jerusalem.

UN Watch: Iran Elected to UN Arms Trade Treaty Post

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Iran was elected to a top post on the UN Arms Trade Treaty conference, UN Watch revealed on Sunday. The Geneva-based human rights group is calling on UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who addressed the conference on the same day, to condemn the selection of the Tehran regime.

“Right after a UN Security Council report found Iran guilty of illegally transferring guns and bombs to Syria, which is now murdering thousands of its own people, it defies logic, morality and common sense for the UN to now elect this same regime to a global post regulating the transfer of guns and bombs,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental monitoring group based in Geneva.

“This is like choosing Bernie Madoff to police fraud on the stock market. And the U.N.’s scandalous choice of Iran is exactly why we fear that Syria’s declared bid for a U.N. Human Rights Council seat is not impossible.”

Although the U.N. conference website and summary fail to name the 15 members elected to the bureau on July 3rd, UN Watch has discovered that the countries elected to the five regional groups include Iran, Japan, and South Korea for the Asian group; Kenya, Egypt and Nigeria for Africa; Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Ukraine for Eastern Europe; Australia, Netherlands and Switzerland for the Western Europe & Others Group; and Mexico and two others for Latin America.

The United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, which opened last week and runs until July 27, promises to deliver a new agreement to regulate the transfer of arms.

UN Watch called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who addressed the conference on the same day as the election, to condemn the decision to give Iran a position of responsibility in regulating the arms trade.

“He should remind the conference that the Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt its probited nuclear program, and that Iran continues to defy the international community through illegal arms shipments to the murderous Assad regime,” said Neuer.

US: Russia Shipping Attack Choppers to Syria

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton charged Russia with delivering attack helicopters to Syria.

“We have confronted the Russians about stopping their continued arms shipments to Syria,” Clinton said Tuesday at an appearance with Israeli President Shimon Peres. “We are concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria.”

Clinton suggested that Russia was showing bad faith in the international effort to oust the Bashar Assad regime in the 15th month of its crackdown on opponents by claiming that its arms transfers were not used in the crackdown.

“That is patently untrue,” she said. Syria has used helicopter gunships in attacks on civilians, according to reports.

Israel is furious at the arms transfers; its leaders are concerned that the Assad regime may attempt to draw Israel into a conflict as a distraction.

“What happens in Syria matters greatly to the U.S., but matters drastically to Israel,” Clinton said.

She said the United States would give until mid-July to see results from an effort led by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to achieve a peaceful transition, adding that she had made clear to Annan that Iran could not be involved.

Peres, in remarks at a lunch hosted by the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center, said the Arab League should take the lead in assuming responsibility for the Syrian transition.

Clinton gave the Russians higher marks for their role among the major powers seeking greater nuclear transparency in Iran.

Moscow is due to host the next round of talks with Iran on June 18-19, and Clinton suggested that the Russians share the Western perception that the Iranians are stalling.

“The Russians have made it clear they want the Iranians to advance the discussion in Moscow, not just to come, listen and leave,” she said.

What if God Stopped Believing in You?

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Many atheists carry a theological crutch.  Most are unaware of it.  And, if you show it to them, most will deny it’s there.

It is the silent belief that, should they ever change their mind about God, God will always be there for them.

One of the great comforts of being an atheist is the assumption that if one day the skies parted and God appeared and said “thou shalt choose,” thou could choose God then.  Or perhaps later in life, on your deathbed, or at some distant time in the future when you find yourself looking for something more – you could choose what’s behind “Door #2” then.  Until then, atheists feel free to spend their Sabbaths partying or at the beach or at that quiet, new hipster brunch place down the street (before it’s overrun by hipster wannabes).

This is the atheist’s backup plan.  A theological crutch.  The belief that, should you ever decide to open “Door #2,” God will always be there waiting for you with open arms.  It is a belief built on an assumption about the character of God: that He is more of a sap than any ex-boyfriend or girlfriend you have ever dumped, and He will gladly spend all of eternity waiting patiently behind Door #2 in the hopes that you will someday open it.

But what if there was a consequence to not believing in God?  What if you opened Door #2 and God was no longer there?

What if God stopped believing in you?

IAEA Inspectors Uncovered Higher Grade Iranian Enriched Uranium

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Evidence found in an underground bunker in Iran could signal the country’s having moved one step closer toward the uranium threshold needed to make nuclear arms, International Atomic Energy Agency diplomats said today.

IAEA inspectors found traces of uranium enriched up to 27 percent at Iran’s Fordo enrichment plant, the Associated Press reported.

While still well below the 90-percent needed for a nuclear weapon’s fissile core, the figure is Iran’s highest-known enrichment grade yet. It also is well above the Islamic Republic’s main stockpile, which can only be used for fuel at around 3.5 percent.

The diplomats stressed this did not necessarily mean that Iran was pushing ahead toward weapons-grade level material. One possible explanation, they explained, was that the centrifuges that produce enriched uranium initially over-enriched at the start of the process as technicians adjusted their output.

Calls to Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s chief delegate to the IAEA, were rejected and the switchboard operator at the Iranian mission said he was not available. IAEA media officials said the agency had no comment.

Iran started enriching to 20 percent last year, mostly at Fordo, saying it needed the material to fuel a research reactor and for medical purposes.

Opposition: Iran Accelerating Nuclear Weapons Program

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

A new report on the Iranian nuclear arms program compiled by the Iranian opposition group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) shows that Iran is in fact accelerating its efforts to build a nuclear bomb.

MEK is known for its ties with the CIA and the Mossad and was responsible for the revelation of the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in 2002.

The report was obtained by two major Western outlets, the German paper Die Welt and the Jerusalem Post.

The Post revealed that the headquarters of the Iranian organization dealing with the development of a nuclear weapon (known by its Farsi acronym SPND) is based in Mojdeh, a military facility near Tehran.

SPND has seven sub-divisions, each of them dealing with a different element of the process needed for building a nuclear weapon.

The MEK report appeared three days after a publication by the Washington based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) about the ‘washing’ of a building at Parchin, a military complex southeast of Tehran. The IAEA suspects that this building contains an explosive chamber used to carry out nuclear arms related experiments and has repeatedly demanded access to the complex.  Iran has not yet complied with this demand.

These revelations come a few days before Iran and the major world powers are to resume their talks about the Iranian nuclear program.

EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton last Friday expressed optimism about these talks.

She said: “my ambition is that we come away with the beginning of the end of the nuclear weapons program in Iran.”

Ashton’s use of the term ‘nuclear weapons program’ however, clearly went beyond the usual EU description of Iranian nuclear activities.

Iran expert Emanuele Ottolenghi expects the MEK report to be a game-changer in Western perceptions of Iran’s nuclear program.

Meanwhile, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued his rhetoric against Israel, calling the Jewish state a ‘mosquito’.

During the same speech Ahmadinejad made a veiled remark about certain developments in Iran that would enable Iran to become a “developed country.” As a result, he said, “Iran’s enemies would not be able to challenge the Islamic Republic anymore.”

NCFJE’s Toys For Children: Bringing Cheer To Those Who Need It Most

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Huge plush teddy bears greet me as soon as I walk through the door. Puzzles line the shelves along with boxes of Lego and dress-up clothes. Every few inches another toy. Another game. Another child’s dream.

I finger a strand of colorful beads and imagine a little girl, whose hair has fallen out due to medical treatments, putting the necklace over her head with the brightest smile. The Battleship game my friends and I have fond memories of playing with as children – perhaps it will go to a paralyzed boy to play with when his classmates come to visit him at the hospital.

While walking through FAO Schwarz makes anyone’s heart beat a bit faster, walking among the toys carefully selected by director Rabbi Shloma Leib Abramowitz and coordinator Mrs. Baila Hecht of Toys for Hospitalized Children makes one’s heart beat with a powerful purpose. These toys will put smiles on the faces of so many children who presently have few reminders in their lives of what it means to be happy.

For so many youngsters, hospitals and rehabilitation centers all around the country have unfortunately become their reality. It is for these residents that such toys will bring some light and cheer.

Since its founding in 1954 as a project of National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education, Toys for Hospitalized Children has grown tremendously in its services and offerings. This year, during the holiday season extending from November through January, approximately 15,000 toys were distributed in the U.S. In addition to providing children in hospitals with toys, Toys for Hospitalized Children (THC) has expanded to cater to seniors, individuals living in shelters, all aged people with autism and special needs, infants and their destitute families, and others.

* * * * *

It’s holiday season when a group of girls arrives at the pediatric wing of Beth Israel Hospital in New York City. Arms laden with boxes of toys, the girls’ excitement is infectious.

In the main waiting room, Mrs. Hecht goes down the list of names with the girls and begins handing toys to them with personalized instructions. “This teddy bear is for 4-year-old Rachel in the corner room. You can give her this necklace too – the beads are large enough that she won’t hurt herself.

“Here, you will visit Bobby – wear this mask because his room must be germ-free – and give him this remote-operated helicopter. He will like it because his father is a pilot, and since he is bed-bound he can watch it soar around the room.

“And, give these to Stacy, please, in the second room down there on the left. She will love the princess stickers and dress-up gloves because she’s a girlie-girl, and since she has acute asthma this is better for her than the stuffed animals.”

Standing off to the side in the waiting room, sipping from a juice box, is a 10-year-old boy whose brother is sitting in a wheelchair before a television set, an IV bag hanging by his side. The big brother eyes the group with widening eyes – he’s never seen anything happy when visiting his sick brother here before. Suddenly spotting him, one of the students, at Mrs. Hecht’s encouragement, hands the boy a book he might enjoy. A smile quickly spreads across his face and he asks if he could have another that he can read to his brother. Then, armed with the two books, he wheels his wheelchair-bound brother to a quiet corner of the room and flips open one of the books to begin reading aloud.

Time and again Toys for Hospitalized Children brings sparkle and sunshine to the lives of people of all ages. While the allocation of goods is non-denominational, Mrs. Hecht ensures that those who need them the most receive them right away.

(In addition to distributing toys to hospitalized kids, THC makes discrete handouts to needy families. Items are offered to seniors as well. While distributing gifts and jelly doughnuts on Chanukah this year to residents at Belle Harbor Manor, an assisted living facility in New York, a volunteer named Esther says she felt immense joy from seeing the recipients’ happy faces and warm handshakes.)

Children in hospitals all over the country can benefit from these gifts. All toy donations are altruistic in nature, but due to various limitations associated with distributing goods to ill patients in these facilities, new toys are the only kind that can be used.

Report: Iran Imports Tons of Weapons, Despite UN Sanctions

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Despite a UN arms embargo, Iran has imported over £350 million worth of weapons in the last three years, according to an Oxfam report reported on by Britain’s Telegraph newspaper.

The report will show that UN arms embargos do little to thwart sanctioned countries, with 10 such nations purchasing £1.4 billion in 2000-2010, according to the report.

Iran has enjoyed some success from renaming ships and reflagging them as a way of importing arms.

Russia and China are believed to be Iran’s primary suppliers.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-iran-imports-tons-of-weapons-despite-un-sanctions/2012/05/03/

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