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April 2, 2015 / 13 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

The Park Hotel Passover Massacre, America’s Mideast Retreat, and Teaching the Nakba Narrative

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

The Passover massacre was a suicide bombing carried out by a Hamas terrorist at the Park Hotel in Netanya, on March 27, 2002. Thirty civilians, in the midst of a seder, were killed in the attack and 140 others were wounded. David Bedein, director of the Israel Resource News Agency, joins Yishai to reminisce about that awful night; the connected story of the Saudi Peace Initiative; the fraudulent “massacre” in Jenin; the documents that came out of PLO chief Yasser Arafat’s computer; and the link to today’s American empowerment of Iran.

Then, Mati Wagner, Editorial Page Editor of The Jerusalem Post, and Dr. Seth Frandzman, Op-ed Editor of The Jerusalem Post, join Yishai in-studio to talk about the new power vacuum, and anarchy, that is forming in the Middle East due to the retreat of America, and the State Department’s new Persianist spirit which results in the administration’s emboldening of Iran.

Finally, Mati and Seth debate the issue of whether the Arab “nakba” narrative — according to which the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 was a catastrophe — should be taught in Israeli schools.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Rami Levi Discount Supermarkets New Branches Increased Sales But Reduced Profits

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Published by Jewish Business News by Ilan Shavit

Opening five new stores helped Israeli Rami Levi supermarket chain deal with the decline in the local food market over the past year, Calcalist reported.

Company sales grew 6% to $860 million from $810 million the year before. And while the rest of the Israeli food market experienced a decline of 1.7%, Rami Levi’s store sales increased by 0.5% compared with 2013.

But despite the increase in sales and gross profit — Rami Levi’s operating and net profit suffered from a 12% increase in the costs of selling, marketing, general and administrative expenses, which totaled $153 million.

The increase in expenses is primarily due to the opening of six new branches during 2014 and early 2015.

The company’s net profit in 2014 totaled $23.83 million, compared with $30.48 million in 2013 — a drop of 22%. Net income as a percentage of sales decreased from 3.78% in 2013 to 2.77% in 2014.

The company’s top 5 salaries for 2014 came to $840 thousand combined. Rami Levi himself took out of that $690 thousand.

Nasrallah is Angry As Iran’s Isolation Grows

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Iran’s puppet in Lebanon, Hezbollah chieftain Hassan Nasrallah, is angry.

He’s angry at Saudi Arabia for attacking the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, trying to prevent Iran from taking over Yemen.

He’s angry at Palestinian Authority chieftain Mahmoud Abbas, who openly expressed support for Saudi Arabia.

He hasn’t said anything yet about Hamas, but they also expressed support for Yemen and the Saudi coalition.

As Iran makes its way to becoming the North Korea of the Middle East, Nasrallah is angry that Iran isn’t receiving support from his fellow anti-Israel terrorist groups.

But it makes sense, the Middle East is breaking back down into its traditional battle lines.

The Iranian Shi’ites and the Hezbollah Shi’ites are fighting against the Syrian citizens, who are mostly Sunnis.

Hamas and Fatah (Palestinian Authority) are mostly Sunnis, and they probably aren’t thrilled their fellow Sunnis are being killed by Shi’ites.

And as much as all the Muslim groups hate Israel, they hate each other even more.

So now, when the expansionist Islamic Republic of Iran starts openly trying to create their Shi’ite hegemony in the Middle East, backed by nuclear weapons, alliances will naturally shift from the convenient enemy (Israel) to the real enemy (their fellow Muslims).

Nasrallah is angry. But he shouldn’t be.

He’s just been locked in his bomb shelter so long he’s forgotten what the real world really about.

Yemeni President Tells Arab League Houthis Must ‘Surrender or Else’ [video]

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

Yemen’s president, who has fled the country, said Saturday that Iranian-backed Houthi rebels must “surrender” as Arab League powers indicate they might agree to a joint force to back the Saudi attack on the rebels.

President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi spoke at an Arab League meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, and called for the “continuation of Operation Decisive Storm until this gang [the Houthis] announces its surrender, exits all occupied territories in the provinces, leaves state institutions and military camps.”

Iran may have been caught by surprise by the fierce Saudi response to the attempted takeover by the Shi’ite Muslims, and the continuing Saudi air strikes are an indication of a dramatic change in the Sunni Muslim kingdom since King Salman succeeded King Abdullah after his death earlier this year.

Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian warned Saudi Arabia against the consequences of a Saudi-led land invasion of Yemen and described the military attacks as “a strategic mistake.”

“Resorting to military acts against Yemen which is entangled in an internal crisis and fighting terrorism will further complicate the situation, spread the range of crisis and destroy opportunities to settle the internal differences in Yemen peacefully,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said.

Saudi Arabia evacuated dozens of diplomats from Aden and the United Nations evacuated more than 200 personnel from Sanaa on Saturday as the Saudi aerial offensive continued in its third day.

The Houthis are well-armed, are in control of the capital of Sanaa and have opened a new front on the Arabian Sea coast, 60 miles from the key port of Aden.

Many, but not all, Arab League foreign ministers have said they support a joint force, with Egypt and the Gulf States the most anxious sponsors.

Syria, an ally of Iran whose Hezbollah forces are fighting alongside the regime’s army, is an obvious dissident. Iraq also is hesitant to join the Saudi-led campaign.

Netanyahu to Release Frozen Palestinian Authority Tax Revenue

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Prime Minister Netanyahu has approved the transfer of frozen Palestinian Authority tax revenue, following the recommendations of Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.

The tax revenue had been frozen following various unilateral steps by the Palestinian Authority in the international arena, in breach of all agreements with Israel.

Debts owed by the PA, such as for water, sewage, electricity and medical care will be deducted from the amount transferred to the PA.

The Prime Minister’s office says the decision was made based on humanitarian concerns and a broad view of Israeli interests at this time.

PM Netanyahu said that with the Middle East in turmoil, Israel must act judiciously and responsibly, along with determination against the extremists.

The Palestinian Authority has not retracted its plan to go to the International Criminal Court and charge Israelis with war crimes, or other steps against Israel in the international arena, in particular at the UN.

And the PA is still transferring money to the families of terrorists.

Releasing the funds may be an attempt to appease US President Obama, or alternatively, Israel is afraid that the PA may actually collapse, which would usher in a Hamas take over.

Information from Tazpit News Agency was used to produce this report.

With Minimal US Involvement, Arab Coalition Launches Operation ‘Firmness Storm’ Fighting Iranian Expansionism

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Published on Jewish Business News

by Ilan Shavit

Yemeni president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled his palace in the capital city of Aden shortly after the Shi’ite Houthi rebels television station claimed they had taken control of an air base that served U.S. and European troops, Al Jazeera reported. Witnesses described a convoy of presidential vehicles leaving Hadi’s palace. As he was fleeing, Hadi asked the UN to authorize a foreign military intervention in the country.

Sunni countries in the Gulf have been accusing Iran of interference through several Shi’ite proxies in the region—including Israel’s neighbor Hezbollah. Iran has supplied weapons, money and training to the Shi’ite Houthi militia, as Tehran steps up its regional power struggle with Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported, citing Yemeni and Iranian officials say.

And then something new happened last night. Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab countries from the region launched operation “Firmness Storm” in Yemen against the Houthi.

Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Adel al-Jubair said on Wednesday that a coalition of 10 regional states, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, had begun airstrikes against the rebels at 7 PM Eastern time.

“The operation is to defend and support the legitimate government of Yemen and prevent the radical Houthi movement from taking over the country,” al-Jubair told reporters.

Al-Jubeir said the U.S. is not involved in the airstrikes. But CNN military analyst Lt. Col. Rick Francona, a retired U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, said the U.S. probably provides the intelligence.

“The Saudis don’t have the intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capability,” he said. “They needed help and it probably come from us.”

An Egyptian official told AFP that Egypt also plans to participate in the Yemen offensive.

The Saudis have announced that Pakistan, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan have “expressed desire to participate in the operation,” Saudi SPA state news agency said.

According to SPA, last week, commenting on the nuclear talks with Iran, Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal told reporters “the United States will adhere to the negotiations with Iran and will prevent an Iranian development of atomic bomb, but this will not mean we will take our eyes off” the “tendencies of Iran in the region, which is one of the most leading elements of implanting instability in the region.”

Al-Faisal pointed out Iranian intervention in “Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq,” and possibly in other regions. He stressed that these practices must be halted should Iran wanted to be part of the solution in the region, not part of the problem.

This might be a good time to mention Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s much maligned, March 3 speech before Congress, when he warned, among other things:

“Iran’s goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world’s oil supply.”

US Forces Flee as ISIS, Al Qaeda Swallow Yemen

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Al Qaeda and ISIS are dividing the spoils of another country between them, as the last few American special forces flee Yemen to avoid being captured by the horde.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned about the dangerous spread of Al Qaeda and ISIS, and the vulnerability of other nations in the Middle East when speaking to the U.S. Congress earlier this month.

A group of 100 US personnel withdrew from the southern Al-Anad air base on Friday as Al Qaeda terrorists seized a nearby southern city.

The move came a day after 137 people were killed and hundreds more were wounded in suicide bombing attacks at Shia Houthi mosques in the capital city of Sana’a. Responsibility for the attacks was claimed by Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terror group also known as ISIS.

The U.S. military told Al Jazeera they were pulling out their last personnel in the country because of the “political instability and continued fighting” in Yemen.

The forces – along with U.S.-trained Yemeni anti-terror units who were also stationed at the air base – withdrew to an “unknown destination,” according to a military source who spoke with the AFP news agency.

American personnel who were deployed at Al-Anad had been gathering intelligence for the drone strikes against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Yemeni sources told the BBC.

The United Nations Security Council is to meet in emergency session Sunday to discuss the Yemen crisis. The closed session is being held at the request of Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, said Reuters.

On Saturday, Hadi delivered his first televised address since escaping house arrest, pledging to fight what he called “Iranian influence.” The Yemeni president accused Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels who had ousted him from Sana’a.

Iran has repeatedly been named as the patron of the Zaydi fighters aligned with Shia Islam; however, the Houthis deny Iran is involved in Yemeni affairs. Hadi, however, pledged in his speech, “the Yemeni Republic flag will fly on the Marran mountain in Sa’ada (the Houthis northern stronghold) instead of the Iranian flag.”

He also called on the Houthis – whom he called “coup plotters” – to leave Sa’ana and for its militant allies to leave the government ministries. The Houthis, however, have called for a battle against security and military institutions controlled by the president, saying they fighting “extremists.”

The president is currently in the southern port of Aden, where he fled after the capital was seized by the Houthi rebels last month.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-forces-flee-as-isis-al-qaeda-swallow-yemen/2015/03/22/

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