web analytics
May 29, 2016 / 21 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

Iranian Government Humiliates U.S. After Freeing Sailors

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Iran kept its promise and released the U.S. Navy sailors with their two small boats back into the Persian Gulf late Wednesday, but not before snapping a wealth of images and probably scrutinizing the vessels right down to the last bolt.

Tehran made certain to get as much mileage as possible from the unexpected windfall of the boats that drifted Tuesday a scant mile (two kilometers, 1.2 miles) into its territorial waters.

Seizing both, Tehran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif assured U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the crews of a lone female and nine male sailors would be released “promptly.”

But they were held for 24 hours on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf – home to a base of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps — for as long as could reasonably be managed without an international public relations disaster. Although Iran does not usually concern itself with public relations, this time it was important.

After all, Iran is on track for “implementation day” shortly — the day when the economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic are to be lifted. On that day billions of dollars are to start flowing again into its coffers, and oil can once again begin flowing in the other direction, towards its still-loyal European customers.

Meanwhile, the IRGC technicians had plenty of time to examine previously inaccessible American technology and equipment, photograph it from every angle and probably sample it as well. Perhaps some tinkering? Anything taken? These are questions that will only be answered once the sailors are safely back to base and debriefed, and engineers can go over the equipment.

The sailors were also filmed in humiliating circumstances, on their knees with hands behind their heads — good footage for reminding folks on the home front and abroad who’s the boss on the high seas, and at home, when it counts.

That footage and those snaps are now being released to the Iranian and global public. The images will also jog the memories of anyone old enough to remember the days of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, those who watched the coverage of the American Embassy hostages in Tehran.

The message is crystal clear:  If you choose to sail into Persian Gulf waters, beware. We await you, and at any opportunity we will pounce. This is an area under our complete control. Enter at your own risk.

The lack of response by Washington when a Middle East nation violates UN Security Council resolutions – like the test of a ballistic missile by Iran last October – is an invitation to an escalation at some point down the line.

More to the point, the message to Tehran when its Navy fires a rocket almost directly at an American military vessel — as it did last month — and life continues with “business as usual” is one that is dangerous and very unwise.

In the Middle East, a non-response is perceived as weakness, vulnerability and availability for more of the same. For those who look to the U.S. as an ally, this is a very bad message indeed.

Hana Levi Julian

Rivlin: Faithful Jews Are not Anti-Christian or Anti-Muslim

Monday, December 28th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin told Christian leaders Monday that “a faithful Jew cannot be anti-Christian or anti-Muslim.”

He added that “we all have a duty…to show the world that the conflict in this region is not a war about religion; it is a war against hate.”

Absent from his speech was the questing of how to deal with clerics who preach hate in the name of their religion.

Hosting the traditional annual reception for leaders of Israel’s Christian communities to mark the civil New Year, he praised the 50-year-old fifty-year-old Nostra Aetate declaration, which defined the Catholic Church’s policy against anti-Semitism.

President Rivlin added:

I was honored this year, to meet with the Pope in the Vatican, where we spoke about how this relationship has grown stronger over the years….. Pope Francis said, ‘A true Christian cannot be an anti-Semite’.

Let me say – a faithful Jew cannot be anti-Christian or anti-Muslim….

I am proud that Israel protects the freedom of worship and expression for everyone, of every faith. It is not enough for us to only be a safe home for Christians. We want the community to prosper, and play a part in Israeli society.”

He said this mission as President is “to build bridges between our communities, in the Holy Land and around the world…and show that people with different beliefs can live side by side, and even together; in schools and universities, in the workplace, in parliament, and even on the soccer field.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Canada’s New Government Reaching Out to Arabs to ‘Help Israel’

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

The new government in Canada headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made it clear how much Israel lost a friend after last month’s elections that ousted Stephen Harper.

The new Liberal party Foreign Affairs Minister, Stéphane Dion, said Wednesday he will try to improve relations with Arab countries in the Middle East in order to play “honest broker.”

Harper was unabashedly pro-Israel and strongly backed the Netanyahu government throughout every crisis, whether it was the IDF response to Hamas missile attacks on Israel or Palestinian Authority incitement and terrorism.

In an interview with the Ontario-based iPolitics, Dion said of the policy towards Israel in the new government headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

The main difference is that we will stop making it a partisan issue

Israel is a friend, it is an ally, but for us to be an effective ally, we need also to strengthen our relationship with the other legitimate partners in the region.

For example, we need to strengthen our relationship with Lebanon and this will help Lebanon but also Israel. To be helpful, you need to strengthen your relationship with the other legitimate partners and that is what we will do.

Dion said that countries that are around Israel “should be part of the solution and not becoming completely dysfunctional as, unfortunately, Syria became.”

Dion said Canada’s strongly pro-Israel stance has cost it being an honest broker, and he gave one example:

I remember in the past, the minister of foreign affairs of Canada receiving a phone call from his counterpart in Israel, asking him to be in touch with a group in Lebanon that was legitimate but not willing to believe what the government of Israel was telling them.

He said to the minister of foreign affairs…. ‘I think if it is coming from you, because you have strong links with them, it may help us.’

I’m not sure today Canada is in a situation to do that anymore.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

US ‘Willing’ to Send Soldiers to Fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

 

United States army soldiers might be sent to Syria and Iraq to fight the Islamic State (ISIS), Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday.

His remarks directly contradict President Barack Obama, who has said the United States will not have any “boots on the ground” in Iraq and Syria. They also reflect the Obama administration’s concern that Russia has become the one and only Western power broker in the Middle East, filling the vacuum that President Barack Obama has left open by discarding opportunities to take the lead.

Carter told the committee:

We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground.

Last week, U.S. soldiers participated with Kurdish forces to free hostages held by ISIS in northern Iraq, but the Pentagon said that the maneuver did not mean the United States was putting “boots n the ground” in the country.

But Carter has said that there probably will be “more raids of this kind and that the rescue mission “represents a continuation of our advise and assist mission.”

In simple English, the United States is putting boots on the ground in specific operations, for the time being, in the war against ISIS, but the White House is saying it isn’t.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Palestinian Authority and Fatah at Odds on How to Kill Jews

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

The Palestinian Authority and Fatah are in the midst of rare disagreement. To be specific, what is the preferred method to murder Jews?

Abbas, who still is considered Israel’s “peace partner” by the world, never, never urges Arabs to go out and kill Jews. He simply calls on them to continue the “resistance,” the wink-wink word for terror.

The Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) has translated and published recent cartoons posted on the Fatah and Palestinian Authority official web pages, and they illustrate the different tactics to carry out the same strategy.

Rock-throwing, which has killed several Jews either through a direct hit or by causing the driver to lose control of his vehicle and crash, has a romantic lure for media that always are looking for a nice angle that can show terrorists as lovers of freedom who use David’s weapon against Goliath to face the monstrous Goliaths they try to destroy.

How can anyone accuse the Palestinian Authority of encouraging terror when all it does is post a cartoon of rock-throwers, while the Fatah party that Abbas heads publicizes caricatures of Arabs stabbing Jews to death to fulfilling their “national duty,” as PLO Executive Committee member Mahmoud Ismail said and as reported here two weeks ago.

Here is a cartoon provided by PMW and which was published this week by the Palestinian Authority official daily Al-HayatAl-Jadida. Note how happy the children are when they throw rocks with slingshots, great stuff for anyone who sees children as victims and not terrorists.

incitement-rocks-cartoon

 

The same daily two weeks ago published a “weather forecast” of rocks falling like rain on Israeli soldiers:

incitemnt-rocks-on-IDF-cartoon

 

But the Abbas-led Faith party, unlike his Palestinian Authority regime, goes for the jugular.

PMW posted the following cartoon that was published in on Faith’s Facebook page, although the official Palestinian Authority daily saw it fit to post them also.

Perhaps, they wanted to give “equal time” to the “opposition.”

Text: “Here is Jerusalem, you crazies, beware!” [Official Facebook page of the Fatah Movement, Oct. 4, 2015]

incitement-stab-cartoon

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Assad Flies to Moscow to Thank Putin

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Dateline, Moscow, Syria – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew from Damascus to Russia Tuesday night to thank president Vladimir Putin for saving his life and keeping in power, for the time being.

Assad has not left Syria since the Arab Spring swept through the country in 2011. He rode out the storm for a couple of months, backed by the Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who called him a “reformer,” before his heavy hand of suppression boomeranged into civil war.

So far, the alternative to Assad is a worse barbarian.

President Barack Obama says there will be no peace in Syria so long as Assad is in power. Fortunately, what he says means less and less in the world, especially in the Middle East and particularly in Syria, where Putin has outfoxed and out-smarted President Obama to fill the vacuum of power.

Putin’s massive military support for Assad, ostensibly to attack the Islamic State (ISIS) but in reality to protect the Assad regime from revel groups, Al Qaeda and a host of other enemies, has erased the overdone predictions that Assad is about to disappear, one way or the other.

Everyone has been saying that for four years, including Israel’s then Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who public stated that he would be toppled within six months. That was three years ago.

News of Assad’s visit was kept secret until Wednesday morning, when the Kremlin released a transcript of the Putin-Assad meeting. The Syrian president may have returned to Syria already.

Moscow is just about the only place on earth he could have visited without fearing that he might never return to Syria, unless in a coffin, if he were lucky.

The world’s “most dangerous man,” as Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Joel Brinkley once described Assad, was given a royal welcome by Putin, for whom Assad is a pawn.

Assad said during the visit:

First of all I wanted to express my huge gratitude to the whole leadership of the Russian Federation for the help they are giving Syria.

If it was not for your actions and your decisions the terrorism which is spreading in the region would have swallowed up a much greater area and spread over an even greater territory.

Putin stated:

We are ready to make our contribution not only in the course of military actions in the fight against terrorism, but during the political process

The United States is the big loser in the Middle East chess game. It lost credibility long ago with the make-believe “peace process” that has left Kerry somewhere on another planet.

It remains to be seen whether Russia one day will be sorry for trying to be in charge of the Syrian-Iranian axis if the eternal Muslim hatred of outsiders trying to tell them what to do explodes in Moscow’s face.

For the time being, strange as it seems, Israel is a winner, despite the constant threat of Iran’s nuclear development that Russia has helped fund.

Assad is a butcher, dictator, a despot and corrupt, just like almost every other Middle East ruler. However, it was clear from the fall of Hosni Mubarak that the alternative of anarchy is even worse.

If Assad can remain in power, especially if Putin calls the shots, Israel can feel more secure that the Syrian his hatred of Israel and his threats to capture the Golan Heights will remain rhetoric.

Another bonus is that with Russia in charge, the United States will make less trouble.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Hamas, Fatah Hoping Terror Wave Swells to ‘Tsunami’

Monday, October 19th, 2015

The Hamas terrorist organization is working hand-in-hand with the Palestinian Authority’s leading Fatah faction to morph the current terror wave into a “tsunami” of terror against Israeli citizens.

Fatah is using its control over Palestinian Authority media, finances, international diplomacy and politics. Hamas is using the strategies of terror.

A cartoon posted Monday (Oct. 18) on the official Facebook page of the Fatah faction shows a Palestinian Arab child kicking a long-nosed, terrified Chassidic Jew off the grounds of the Temple Mount, the site holiest in Judaism.

In the background of the picture are the Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock along with the words written in Arabic, “Leave our skies,” translated by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW palwatch.org) monitoring organization that keeps an eye on Palestinian Arab media.

A line from a poem by the PA poet Mahmoud Darwish, calling for all Jews to leave Israel, is posted with the cartoon: “Leave our country, our land, our sea, our wheat, our salt, our wounds. Everything.”

The cartoon is another addition to the long list of incitement disseminated by the Palestinian Authority’s leading faction, headed by Mahmoud Abbas – the world’s idea of the Palestinian Arab “partner for peace” towards to whom Israel should be directing her efforts.

Abbas himself said just last month:

The Al Aqsa [mosque] is ours … and they have no right to defile it with their filthy feet… We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem. (Sept. 16)

That statement alone was not only silly and superfluous but also was deliberately inflammatory and lent credibility to a base lie about Israel intending to change the status quo at the Temple Mount, which it never has. Nor does the present government intend to do so now.

A subsequent statement by Abbas’ adviser Ahmed al-Ruweidi was gauged to keep the fires burning just as attacks seemed to be slowing down. “[Palestinian] residents of Jerusalem will not move from their city” he said, as if Israelis intended to throw them out, adding “Their actions and policy will not scare us.”

He added:

We will remain in Jerusalem and protect it and its holy sites (as if Israel intended to destroy the holy city or its holy sites when in fact Israel has been the only guardian of the city in a thousand years to restore the city’s beauty and allow open access by all peoples to those sites), first among them the blessed Al Aqsa.” (To this day the site remains under the province of the Islamic Waqf Authority and the Jordanian government, with the full agreement and cooperation of the State of Israel — the precious “status quo.”)

Meanwhile Hamas has also urged Arabs in Judea and Samaria to carry out suicide bombings across the border in Israel, issuing a “call to arms” to terrorists in Hebron and Shechem as the first order of the day.

Senior Hamas terror official Mahmoud al-Zahar said Sunday the current wave of terror needs to be escalated from a popular terror war into an actual, armed terror war, according to the Hebrew-language Yediot Achronot newspaper.

Al-Zahar made an open call for the use of guns and explosives, ramping up both the intensity and the scope of the attacks planned ahead.

Terrorists in the Hebron area of Judea and those in the Shechem (Nablus) area of Samaria were the first to receive the new orders. Both are situated in areas that could potentially be used as launching sites for terror attacks on all four of Israel’s major cities: Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva, Tel Aviv, and Haifa.

According to the report, an official with the Palestinian Authority security force claimed a Hamas cell in Hebron with at least six members was recently captured, together with explosives and funds. The cell members reportedly said under interrogation that they wanted to die, a revelation that led investigators to believe the terrorists had been instructed to carry out suicide bombing attacks against Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-fatah-hoping-terror-wave-swells-to-tsunami/2015/10/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: