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September 4, 2015 / 20 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon’

Lebanon Still Without a President

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Lebanese MPs failed to agree on a president Wednesday, continuing the longest period without a president since the 1990 civil war.

The vote Wednesday was the 20th the parliament has held to elect a president. Only 55 of Lebanon’s 128 MPs were present for the vote.

The vote was boycotted by Hezbollah and the allied Change and Reform bloc. According to the Lebanese news outlet Ya Libnan, Hezbollah is blocking the appointment of a new president at the request of its sponsor Iran, in an attempt to pressure the West to reach a nuclear deal with Iranian leaders.

Lebanon has been without a president for nine months, since the term of former president Michel Suleiman expired. Prime Minister Tammam Salam’s government has assumed the responsibilities of the presidency in the meantime.

The ongoing stalemate in parliament over the Lebanese presidency reflects the rift in Lebanon over the civil war in neighboring Syria. Some Lebanese factions support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while others support those who are attempting to overthrow Assad.

Hezbollah and its allies are strongly pro-Assad. Hezbollah is fighting alongside Assad’s forces in Syria.

Hundreds of Lebanese citizens, most of them Hezbollah members, have died in the Syrian war. The country has also taken in many Syrians fleeing the fighting; currently an estimated one in five people in Lebanon is a Syrian refugee.

Obama Invited Hamas-Backed Qatar and PA to ‘Counter Violent Extremism’

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Among the 80 groups and countries invited to this week’s White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism were Qatar, which finances Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority, which includes Hamas.

Also invited were Hamas, another enthusiast of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood; and Lebanon, which is dominated by Hezbollah; and the Arab League, a collection of Middle East countries from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan that live and breathe by the sword.

As previously reported here by The Jewish Press, President Barack Obama said the United States is not at war against Islam. The enemy is not “radical Islam” because if Muslims are violent and extremists, they aren’t true Muslims.

Just imagine how people would behave according to that philosophy. If you are violent in the name of homosexuality, you are not a true homosexual because same-sex relations are all about peace and love.

And if you are violent for the sake of liberalism, or right-wing causes, you can’t possibly be a true left-winger or right-winger because they stand for peace.

It is not far from Catholicism, by which one can sin 24/6, confess on Sunday and go back for another round.

It is a philosophy of “Judge me by whom I am and by what I do.”

That is why not much is expected from Obama’s White House summit, especially when Muslim leaders in the United States and all over the world are not standing on the soap box to denounce their own radical Muslim preachers who espouse violence, all in the name of peace.

Even worse, they insist that Muslims are radicalized because of their economic and social situation, an attitude being accepted by the Obama, as reported here by The Jewish Press.

Marwan Muasher, a Jordanian politician who oversees research on the Middle East at the US-based Carnegie Endowment, told the London Guardian:

This is not the administration’s war, any administration’s war. It is not equipped to do it; it cannot do it.

The Arab world needs to take the lead on this. The Americans can lead on the military front; they cannot lead on the ideological front. They are not capable of doing so and the region does not want them to do so. The question is, is the region capable of taking the lead ideologically.

The answer so far is “no” for exactly the reason he stated – Middle East Muslim countries do not want the American government making the world safe from radical Islam.

As for his question whether the Muslim world can take “the lead ideologically,” the answer until today has been a resounding “no.”

The Muslim world is in the midst of a war between Sunnis and Shi’ites. The war is being fought on the battlefield and not just by the Islamic State but in virtually every country. It is a war that left Egypt on the brink of anarchy, a situation that continues in Lebanon.

It is a war of who controls oil fields, but above all, it is a war of whose Islam rules, and in order to win, ideology is not a convincing weapon. Their weapon is violence.

The Obama administration’s insistence on not mentioning “radical Islam” in its war on terror makes it impossible to root out violent extremism.

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the House Armed Services Committee in remarks concerning the war against the Islamic State:

We are at war with violent and extreme Islamists (both Sunni and Shiite) and we must accept and face this reality. We must engage the violent Islamists wherever they are, drive them from their safe havens and kill them.”

President Obama has put his administration in a Catch-22 situation.

He cannot Lt. Gen. Flynn’s thinking because it is politically incorrect.

Otherwise, Muslim countries would not have attended the summit, but because he won’t mention “radical Islam,” nothing will happen.

 

Hezbollah Planned to Assassinate Prime Minister Olmert

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Hezbollah planned to assassinate then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2009 in retaliation for the elimination of Hezbollah mastermind terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, according to the London-based Al-Arabi-Al-Jadeed newspaper.

Mughniyeh was killed on February 12, 2008, when his car exploded in the Kafr-Sousa neighborhood in Damascus. Though the assassination was widely attributed to Israel, a recent report by The Washington Post claims the assassination was a CIA-Mossad joint operation.

Al-Arabi’s report claims the Olmert assassination was thwarted by Mohammed Shurba, a high-ranking Hezbollah officer. Shurba was recently arrested by Hezbollah amid concerns that he may be an Israeli agent.

According to the report, Shurba also provided Israel with vital information that helped prevent a Hezbollah terror attack on the Israeli embassy in Azerbaijan in 2009.

As of now, Hezbollah hasn’t released any official response to Al-Arabi’s report. One reason for Hezbollah’s lack of response could be embarrassment over Shurba’s high position in the organization. In recent years Shurba held important roles within the organization, among them, head of the personal security detail of Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s secretary-general.

 

UN Panel to Probe UNIFIL Soldier’s Death in Lebanon

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Another United Nations investigation is about to probe Israel’s involvement in a death among Arab attackers … uh, that is … the panel will probe the death of a UNIFIL soldier in Lebanon while Hezbollah was attacking Israel.

This will be the second such “independent” panel investigating Israel’s role in defending itself from attacks initiated against its citizens.

Currently the UN Human Rights Council is continuing its efforts to “investigate” claims that Israel Defense Forces committed crimes against humanity and war crimes in Gaza during the counter terror war to silence the incessant rocket fire being fired against Israeli civilians in the south.

Professor William Schabas was replaced this week with Mary McGowan Davis, a member of the team that produced the notorious Goldstone Report, after resigning his role as leader of the anti-Israel probe of Israel’s counter terror war against Gaza’s ruling Hamas group and allied terrorists. Although Schabas was known to have an open bias against Israel, it was still a surprise to many when he revealed in his resignation letter that he had actually worked as a consultant for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the past.

The “independent panel” to be appointed by the UN is specifically tasked with investigating the death of a soldier from Spain, a member of the UNIFIL contingent operating in southern Lebanon since November 2014.

Spain last week said it was Israeli artillery that was responsible for the death of its soldier, which took place during an exchange of gunfire that followed an attack launched by Hezbollah on an unprotected convoy traveling near the northern border in Israel.

The terrorists fired six Kornet anti-tank missiles at two unarmored jeeps and two civilian vehicles on Israel’s side of the border. The two army jeeps were incinerated instantly. Two soldiers died and seven others were wounded. One of the missiles went astray and struck a civilian home in the border town of Ghajar, destroying it as well.

UNIFIL was tasked with monitoring the ceasefire that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah and seeing to it that the terrorists did not receive any more arms, among other assignments. It has failed miserably at its assignment, perhaps deliberately. After all, it is easier to deal with disappointed Israelis than to face a deadly threat from Iran and Hezbollah terrorists.

Hezbollah thus now boasts of an arsenal of more than 100,00 lethal rockets and missiles of varying ranges which it has received from Syria and Iran, an array of ordnance any modern army could admire.

As a result, Hezbollah has a free hand in Lebanon. Last week the terror group launched its multi-prong attack on innocent northern Israeli civilians and soldiers traveling in a convoy; such attacks in the past have led to bitter wars. This one was clearly aimed at an attempt to kidnap at least one of the travelers if possible. What should Israel have done, if not defend its people and fire back at the source of missile fire?

When a UNIFIL soldier was hit in the crossfire after Hezbollah launched the attack, how does Israel become responsible for that death?

More to the point, what was a UNIFIL soldier doing in such close proximity to a Hezbollah position?

Methinks the lady doth protest too much….

Netanyahu Tells UN It Failed Its Own Policy to Disarm Hezbollah

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

The United Nations is at fault for failing to carry out its own resolution to disarm Hezbollah, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a phone call Sunday.

Resolution 1701 marked the end of the 34-day Second Lebanon War in 2006 and called on the United Nations to disarm “foreign armies” in Lebanon.

UNIFIL soldiers ignored the resolution from Day One, and Netanyahu raised the issue again Sunday while expressing sorrow for the death of a UNIFIL soldier by artillery fire from the IDF in response to the lethal Hezbollah attack last week that killed two Israeli soldiers.

Netanyahu also took the opportunity to point out that Hezbollah operates with Iran funding and policy direction and that Tehran is trying to escalate violence against Israel.

The Prime Minister’s accusation that UNIFIL is not “reporting on weapons smuggling into southern Lebanon” is nothing new, but the presence of Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights and planning attacks against Israel is unprecedented.

Last week’s firing of an anti-tank rocket on IDF vehicles was the most serious attack since the war in 2006. The war ended in a military stalemate, in itself a victory for Hezbollah, which also benefited from Resolution 1701 negotiated on the Israeli side by then-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

The United and UNIFIL immediately disclaimed any responsibility to disarm “foreign armies,” meaning Hezbollah, and tried to put the onus on Lebanon.

Government spokesman Mark Regev said at the time:

That resolution clearly calls for the creation of a Hezbollah-free zone south of the Litani River, and anything less would mean that the resolution is not being implemented.

Kofi Annan, who was Secretary-General of the United Nations in 2006, insisted, “The understanding was that it would be the Lebanese who would disarm [Hezbollah].”Obviously, if at some stage they need advice or some help from the international community and they were to approach us, we would consider it, but the troops are not going in there to disarm.”

A senior Lebanese official, Mohammed Chatah, said in 2006:

 Hezbollah individuals are people who live in the south and they will not leave their homes and villages, but an armed Hezbollah will not be in the south, pursuant to  Resolution 1701 that stated there will be “no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state.”

That also did not happen because Hezbollah held the cards in the Lebanese government, which it now dominates.

It was clear that the resolution would not be enforced, just like the cease-fire resolution after Operation Cast Lead in December 2008-January 2009 was not honored.

The same Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, negotiated both so-called cease-fires.

Lieberman so Frantic for Votes He Calls for ‘Disproportionate Response’

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman ridiculed Israeli “restraint” and said the IDF needs to deliver a harsh blow to Hezbollah in retaliation for yesterday’s attack that killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven others.

The army retaliated with artillery fire to the source of the attack, and one UNIFIL soldier was killed,

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was fierce with words but extremely cautious in the military response. As The Jewish Press wrote here this morning, Israel does not want all-out with Hezbollah, if for no other reason than because it would not end in victory because of Israel’s inability to buck the usual international community’s demand that Israel not try to destroy an enemy.

Lieberman used to be one of Israel’s loudest hawks until he decided to be dovish for the election campaign to try to dig up votes from the middle-of-the road sector.

Crippled by a lack of trust, compounded by a police investigation of several of his Yisrael Beiteinu cronies for bribery, Lieberman on Thursday jumped on Netanyahu for being the dove.

He wrote on his Facebook page Israel needs to deliver a disproportionate response that defeats terrorism” and that Hezbollah “wants a proportionate response because it would lead to a war of attrition and perpetuate the conflict.”

It’s time to take the glove off when dealing with terrorism,” Lieberman said, but as Foreign Minister, he knows very well that there is not enough widespread support among Israelis to attack deliver Hezbollah a death blow, if it can.

He also did not say he would take responsibility for the certain death and destruction in Israel from Hezbollah missiles if Israel were to deliver a “disproportionate response.”

Lieberman desperately needs votes, but he may have lost even more by reverting back to his old position of mowing down the enemy at all costs.

A “disproportionate response” certainly is the correct strategy but only in a better world, which might come if people like Lieberman did not go off the deep end to seek votes.

Netanyahu: ‘Arik Sharon Knew The Real Threat is Iran’

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Iran has already begun its war against the State of Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Thursday during a speech at a state memorial ceremony for the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

The former prime minister died on January 11, 2014 at the age of 85 after spending eight years in a coma.

Speaking at Sharon’s Sycamore Ranch near the city of Sderot in southern Israel, Netanyahu bluntly announced, “It is Iran that is responsible for yesterday’s attack against us from Lebanon.”

The elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced Wednesday night it “will fight next to the Islamic resistance movement Hezbollah in all its fights against the Zionist State,” according to a report by the Hezbollah-linked Al Manar news outlet in Lebanon. Tehran’s special operations unit has been fighting alongside Hezbollah to bolster government forces protecting President Bashar al-Assad in his civil war against the myriad rebel forces trying to depose his regime since the region-wide “Arab Spring” swept into Syria in 2011. Iran has been a generous benefactor of both Syria and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror group for decades.

“This is the same Iran that is now trying to achieve an agreement, via the major [world] powers, that would leave it with the ability to develop nuclear weapons, and we strongly oppose this agreement. We will continue to defend ourselves against all threats, near and far alike,” Netanyahu said.

“Arik well understood the character of the Iranian regime,” he added, “and what he said then is still valid today.”

At the start of a security assessment meeting at the Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu noted that Iran has been quite busy in the region, placing its proxy forces into position as close as possible to Israeli civilian areas.

“For some time, Iran – via Hezbollah – has been trying to establish an additional terrorist front against us from the Golan Heights,” he said. “We are taking strong and responsible action against this attempt.”

Ariel Sharon was equally blunt in warning the world — and particularly the United States — about the dangers of ignoring the threat posed by Iran and radical Islamists.

In his biography of Ariel Sharon “A Plan For Israel,” pp 244-245), author Uri Dan quotes a 2006 New York Times interview in which Sharon is quoted as saying, “The whole world should be concerned about the Iranian threat.

“Iran, which already possesses ballistic missiles with a range of 1,300 kilometers – capable, therefore, of reaching Israel – is developing missiles with a range of 2,500 kilometers. This danger does not affect just our country, it affects European and other countries as well.

“Once again, it is the role of the international community to block Iran’s nuclear capability, and it is the role of the UN Security Council to take the necessary measures.

“I am very concerned about the voices saying that we have to resign ourselves to the idea that one day Iran will inevitably join the club of nuclear countries…[Europeans’] primary consideration is their economic interests… [Americans] understand the danger presented by nuclear weapons in the hands of a regime like that of Iran.

“The tight control exercised by the International Atomic Energy Agency has led to an interruption, or at least a delay, in the Iranian nuclear program. But Iran is a huge country in which it is easy to hide installations, and the Iranians are masters in the art of double-dealing.”

Russia takes the issue seriously, Sharon added, saying that Iran is the most serious strategic threat that Israel was facing.

“Aside from their nuclear ambitions, the Iranians are actively involved in terrorism,” Sharon noted, “from their regional base in Lebanon,” financing attacks in Judea and Samaria and helping Hamas in Gaza. They “provide them with smuggled weapons… more serious still, the Iranians try to recruit Arab Israelis…”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-arik-sharon-knew-the-real-threat-is-iran/2015/01/29/

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