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August 5, 2015 / 20 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

US Promises to Protect Israel if Iran Attacks

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

An Obama administration official told Israeli diplomatic journalists Monday that the United States will protect Israel if Iran attacks it.

He also promised that the United States will not sell the F-35 advanced warplane to any other Middle East country besides Israel.

The briefing served the Obama administration’s current priority to make sure that Congress does not reject the nuclear deal with Iran by a veto-proof majority. President Barack Obama has no chance of winning majority support in the Senate, and Illinois Republican Rep. Peter Roskam declared on Monday that a majority of House members have pledged to back a resolution of disapproval of the nuclear deal

In the briefing with Israeli journalists, a defense official said that the government’s commitment to Israel’s security is “something US defense officials live on a daily basis.”

He also asserted that Iran’s continued declaration to annihilate Israel “doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t sign a deal that decreases the likelihood they will be a nuclear state.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has argued that ObamaDeal actually paves the way for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. If that is the case, the Obama administration in effect is creating an existential threat to Israel and then proposing a solution that makes Israel dependent on Washington.

Similarly, the promise not to sell F-35 warplanes to other countries n the region, most notably Egypt and Saudi Arabia which have expressed interest in buying the plane, eventually could be used as a tool to force concession from Israel. For example, President Barack Obama, or his successor, could warn Israel that if does not surrender to the Palestinian Authority, Washington will sell the F-35 to Egypt.

 

Kerry ‘Knows’ ObamaDeal Will Make the Middle East a Safer Place

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Anyone who is sure about anything in the Middle East is talking through his hat, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sports the most porous hat in the world.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has reassured the Gulf States he “knows” that the nuclear agreement with Iran will make the world a better place, and the Obama administration is being pressed to “prove” it on the terms of the Sunni oil-rich kingdoms.

They want billions of dollars in weapons, and Qatar dedicated much of Kerry’s visit to insist that the United States force Israel out of half of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

He began his Middle East tour, sans Israel, with talks in Egypt before moving on to Qatar. Despite White House spins to the contrary, the Gulf States are miserably unhappy with the agreement and are keeping their opposition under the surface while exploiting the opportunity to feed the military-industrial complex and shrink Israel.

Kerry said in Egypt:

There can be absolutely no question that if the Vienna plan is fully implemented, it will make Egypt and all the countries of this region safer than they otherwise would be or were.

The United States and Egypt recognize that Iran is engaged in destabilizing activities in the region — and that is why it is so important to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains wholly peaceful.

How does the man know that the deal will make the Middle East safer?

Because he says so, and that’s that.

There have been few people who ever have been able to predict what will happen in the Middle East. Condoleezza Rice, who was Secretary of State in the Bush administration, was “sure” that her move to force democratic elections on the Palestinian Authority would result in a resounding victory for Mahmoud Abbas.

She was one of the few who were shocked that Hamas won the elections.

Kerry’s predecessor Hillary Clinton, who might prove that President Barack Obama really is not the worst president possible, cheered Bashar al-Assad as a “reformer” weeks after the Arab Spring protests broke out in Syria.

President Obama was sure that getting rid of Hosni Mubarak, whose autocratic and undemocratic rule kept Egypt stable, would usher in a new wave of democracy.

He was so sure that he endorsed the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist party, which won the elections. One year later, President Obama enthusiastically backed the removal of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi for a more “democratic regime” headed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is Mubarak Number 3.

And now Mr. Kerry is sure that the ObamaDeal the best thing for the Middle East ever since Islam.

Foreign Ministry Calls Sunni Arab Nations ‘Israel’s Allies’

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

 

Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama dreamed about a “new Middle East” under the leadership of the United States. They were dead wrong.

They may have fantasized that they could make peace between Israel and Sunni Muslim states, the foremost being Saudi Arabia, but their worst nightmares did not envision such an alliance being formed in opposition to none other than the United States.

Dore Gold, director of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador to the United Nations, finally spelled out on Wednesday what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has whispered for months. The Muslims and the Jews have two common problems. One is an enemy, meaning Iran, which threatens to rule an Islamic Caliphate with or without a nuclear weapon.

The other problem is the Obama administration, which is appeasing the enemy.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has stated several times that Israel and Saudi Arabia have a common interest in making sure that Iran does reach nuclear weapons capability. Gold went a lot farther in his message last night to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Referring to Iran, he said:

What we have is a regime on a roll that is trying to conquer the Middle East and it’s not Israel talking, that is our Sunni Arab neighbors — and you know what? I’ll use another expression – that is our Sunni Arab allies talking.

Allies?

What happened to the “unshakeable bond” between the United States and Israel? It is there as long as people believe it. An era does not in a day, and American Jews will believe in that “unshakeable bond” for a long time to come because it makes them feel good.

And isn’t it President Barack Obama who is ready help arm Israel once again, after having forced it to be armed to the teeth by surrendering to many of Iran’s terms in his ObamaDeal, which Israel and the Sunni Arabs are certain is nothing more than a well-paved diplomatic road to hell?

Americans are too far away from the shores of the Middle East to feel the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran the way Jews in Israel and Muslims in the Gulf States feel it.

If Israel and its “allies” were to get it through the State Dept.’s thick skull that a nuclear-armed Iran is no less of a threat to the United States that it is to the United States, perhaps Americans would worry a bit more about Tehran and less about Mexican immigrants, homosexual marriages and Donald Trump.

Gold was upbeat, or at least tried to sound that way, about future relations between Israel and the United States in the likely event that Congress will not be able to ditch ObamaDeal.

He said:

We will find a practical way to come up with solutions to a very dangerous situation. But in the meantime we have to tell what we think about this agreement. We have to say the truth even though it’s unpleasant.

It also may be very unpleasant for President Obama amid his successor to realize that  their influence in the Middle East is dwindling. President Obama was overjoyed at the Arab Spring rebellions for “democracy,” which in the Muslim Middle East means “anarchy” and which was the reality for too long a time in Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria. Iraq is a lost cause.

Obama may have reached out Muslims, but he grabbed a handful of radical Islam that now threatens more than half the world.

He, like most other American politicians, assumes that Israel has no choice but to rely on the “unshakeable bond” with the United States.

Netanyahu Promises 804 Homes for “Settlers’ – 3 Years after Previous Pledge

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Question: How can 300+300=300?

Answer: When the numbers refer to homes promised by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for Jews in Beit El, located in Samaria and north of Jerusalem.

The Prime Minister came out with a new math book by giving his approval for the “immediate” construction of 300 new homes for Jews in Beit El and 504 units in Jerusalem neighborhoods that the Obama administration and the United Nations considered illegal “occupied” by Israel.

These are the same residential unties that the Prime Minister three years ago promised would be built.

Next math question: How can 300+0=600?

Answer: When foreign media report that Israel has given the second approval for the same 300 homes.

Given the bureaucracy involved before the bulldozers get to work, come back in another three years and we’ll see how many times they have been approved, giving the impression that we are talking about 1,200 or even 2,400 homes and apartments for Beit El.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s announcement on the same day the High Court ordered the demolition of a housing project under construction in Beit El is far from coincidental.

The right-wing is up in arms over the decision  that nullifies government approval, based on the argument that it was granted after the project began without permits.

There are plenty of precedents for approving  construction “after the fact,” but they usually don’t apply in Judea and Samaria, unless the homes are being built by Arabs.

The Palestinian Authority, as expected, condemned Netanyahu’s’ announcement, and the U.S. State Dept. will do the same, in more diplomatic terms, when it will be asked about the “new” project by reporters.

Israel never will get a fair shake in foreign media when it comes to building for Jews.

The French AFP news agency wrote as “facts” on Wednesday:

They [settlements] are seen as further complicating peace negotiations aimed at leading to an independent Palestinian state. Talks have been stalled since last year.

The two buildings being demolished in Beit El were reportedly on private Palestinian land that was seized by the army in the 1970s…

Israel seized the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War and nearly 400,000 Jewish settlers currently live there.

The news agency should have just as “factually” reported that Palestinian Authority refusal to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state further complicates peace negotiations.

AFP also should have written that there is no proof that the two buildings that now have been demolished are on “private Palestinian land.”

And its statement that “Israel seized the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War” is totally warped.

The Jordanian Foreign Legion fled Judea and Samaria like jackrabbits in the war, leaving the land in Israel’s hands.\

News agencies also could add in their reports Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria for 19 years, and  “occupation” is the correct word since there was no U.N. mandate for Jordan to take control of the entire region.

They could note that Jordan denied  Jews and Christians to holy sites in “East Jerusalem.”

They also could tell their readers that after 19 years of benign neglect by Jordan – and even worse neglect of Gaza by Egypt – the Arab economy and society flourished under the Israeli “occupation,” until the intifada wrecked everything.

But they won’t report any of that. They simply cannot do so because most foreign journalists work under the assumption that Israel is wrong, if for no other reason than the United States and the European Union say it is wrong.

Kerry Skips over Israel in Middle East Trip

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

When President Barack Obama says Israel his back, does he mean he is turning his back?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is conveniently skipping over America’s closest ally this week during a trip that will take him to neighboring Egypt as well as Egypt, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The reason or skipping over Israel is obvious: The Obama administration’s single-minded objective right now is to make sure Congress does not reject “ObamaDeal” with a veto-proof majority.

President Obama’s declaration that he wants an “honest discussion” on the controversial agreement with Iran has its limits. After Kerry was told by Republican senators last week that he was “fleeced” and “bamboozled” by Iran, he does not want to walk into lion’s den.

But the State Dept., of course, has a different version of why Kerry is not stopping over Israel.

Spokesman John Kirby explained to nosy reporters at Monday’s daily press briefing:

It’s just not part of the parameters for this trip. It’s not – it wasn’t a deliberate decision not to go. There’s an awful lot to cover in eight days, as you can see. It’s literally – it’s an around-the-world trip.

He has been in touch with Prime Minister Netanyahu many, many times over the last several weeks in terms of discussing the deal and the parameters of it. So it’s not as if we aren’t in constant communication with Israeli counterparts about this.

The last call that I see to the Prime Minister took place on Thursday the 16th of July.

A journalist pointed out that was more than week ago, bur Kirby maintained, “Yeah, but that’s not that long ago.”

“Constant communication” is subjective.

The truth is that Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu do not have much to talk about. They can argue until they are blue in the face, but it is not going to get anyone anywhere, even though it would be a boon for the media.

Kerry may not find Egypt much friendlier, but at least he can count on Cairo not enabling the freedom of expression and speech that he doesn’t like in Israel, unless it is in his favor.

He will be in Cairo on Sunday for a session of the U.S.-Egypt Strategic Dialogue, a forum that “reaffirms the United States’ longstanding and enduring partnership with Egypt,” in the words of the State Dept.

That is the same phrase the United States uses for all of its wonderful friends, such as Israel.

On Monday, Kerry will meet with Gulf States officials in Doha, where Saudi Arabia will take the lead to lecture him in private what Netanyahu says in public: The deal with Iran is suicidal, and the war on the Islamic State (ISIS) needs to be more aggressive.

Natural Gas Discovered in Egypt’s Nile Delta; Will Israeli Gas Still Be Needed?

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Natural gas waits for no bureaucracy, and consumers clamor for energy no matter what. Cairo cannot wait for Jerusalem to untangle its political squabbling and eternal red tape.

Instead, Italian energy company Eni was given the green light to search for more gas off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, and along the Nile, according to UPI Business News.

This week, the company announced its efforts have met with success.

Italian energy company Eni said in a statement to media, “Preliminary estimates of the discovery account for a potential of 530 billion cubic feet of gas in place with upside, plus associated condensates.”

The firm signed two off-shore deep-water Mediterranean exploration agreements in January after a 2013 auction held by Cairo. The exploration follows a $5 billion framework agreement signed in March to develop Egypt’s oil and gas reserves.

The new reservoir was found in the Nooros exploration prospect in the Abu Madi West license area, about 75 miles northeast of Alexandria, according to the report. The discovery is emblematic of the company’s strategy to “focus on Egyptian assets close to existing infrastructure and with high resource potential,” Eni said in its statement.

The new discovery will go into production by September, using nearby existing gas treatment facilities, UPI reported. Eni has been operating in Egypt since 1954. The company currently has an equity production of some 210,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

One month ago, Emirati energy firm Dana Gas also announced plans to launch a new drilling campaign in Egypt. Under the deal, Dana will have the right to sell the government’s share of the reserves.

Israeli Energy Exports to Egypt As far back as April 2014, Israel and Egypt have been discussing a deal to export Israel’s natural gas to Cairo. Deals were already signed by Israel with Jordan and the Palestinian Authority despite the diplomatic friction with the latter.

This past February, the Noble Energy-Delek Group which owns the mammoth Israeli Leviathan gas field sent a delegation to Cairo to discuss Israeli gas export to Egypt from the offshore Tamar gas field. The gas would flow to Egypt’s Damietta LNG (liquified natural gas) plant, according to Egyptian oil ministry sources who spoke with Reuters.

The Egyptian government finalized a long-delayed deal for an LNG import terminal and has already reached an agreement to import gas from Algeria. Talks between Cairo and Russia are continuing.

Egypt is also negotiating for gas imports from the Aphrodite reservoir in Block 12 of Cyprus. The island nation recently nixed a bid to import gas from Israel’s Leviathan field for its own domestic use, due to the ongoing snarl of red tape that has been tying up industrial progress on Leviathan in general.

Noble-Delek Talks with BG in Egypt Noble-Delek group, meanwhile, is doing its best to carry on despite the Israeli penchant for bureaucracy. The group remains in talks with Britain’s British Gas (BG) Group that runs one of Egypt’s LNG plants, as well as with the Egyptian Dolphinus Group.

The consortium spent most of last year discussing the deal to build the $2.2 billion 10 billion cubic meter (bcm) sub-sea pipeline to link up with the BG facility, to be completed by 2023.

The group also signed a letter of intent with BG that states “if Leviathan is not developed on schedule, Aphrodite will supply them with the gas they need,” according to an industry source. A similar letter of intent to sell 2.5 b.cu.m. annually to Dolphinus was signed several months ago, using the Tamar field as the source for the gas. The partners said at the time the gas could flow for private industry within 2015.

Sinai Terrorists Kill 3 Egyptian Soldiers

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

Jihadists in Sinai continued their war against Egypt Saturday evening and killed three soldiers and wounded four others in the northern Sinai.

Egyptian military spokesman said soldiers staged counter attacks on Saturday, killing 39 jihadists and destroying two vehicles loaded with bombs.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/sinai-terrorists-kill-3-egyptian-soldiers/2015/07/18/

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