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May 30, 2015 / 12 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

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.

UN Raps Israel Over Status of Palestinian Women

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

There was a Prime Minister named Netanyahu He had Israeli children to feed and to school The UN Commission on Women said, “Nu, You should have watched over PA women too!”

Sometimes one just has to sit back and wonder when the members of the United Nations are going to come home from DisneyLand.

On Friday (March 20) the UN Commission on the Status of Women actually passed a resolution blaming Israel for “the grave situation of Palestinian women.”

Anyone who has had a look at the mansions on the hills behind the photo-op shacks along the roads of Judea and Samaria knows what a sham this is. Whatever crisis exists is one of the PA government’s own making, fed by its leadership’s insatiable appetite for Jewish and Arab blood and terror, and drained by the unending parade of foreign aid-supported salaries paid to incarcerated life-sentence terrorist prisoners who performed their “jihad” (holy war) by attacking Israelis — both Jews and Arabs.

“The Israeli occupation remains the major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development of their society,” according to the resolution. As usual the international community is asked to pick up the tab for what is called “the dire humanitarian crisis being faced by Palestinian women and their families.”

Oddly, Israel was the only country to be singled out by the commission – oddly, because Iran hangs women for weird reasons, yet that nation was not mentioned — and yet it seems as though the UN Commission on the Status of Women is beginning to mimic the UN Human Rights Council. Perhaps they’ve been taking lessons.

This agency functions under the same international body that has granted these women status as residents of a “non-member observer state” – that is, an independent sovereign nation as yet undeclared officially in the UN Security Council. We have yet to see how long that will last. U.S. President Barack Obama has been threatening to abandon Israel there; if he does, the entire world may change — again.

Two governments, as a matter of fact, given that the Palestinian Authority is actually comprised of not one, but two governments.

The so-called “unity government” touted by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas under the pact with Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization requires a separate government for that region. Gaza is still treated as a separate state, as it has been since Hamas seized control and ousted the PA’s leading Fatah faction in 2007.

So two governments, for one Palestinian people, in the one Palestinian Authority which has two Palestinian states comprising one Palestine … ? It’s all very confusing.

Why should Israel be held responsible for the “grave situation” of women whose welfare falls under the aegis of their own government? The government of the entity sponsored the resolution, in fact.

Yes. It does sound a little contradictory doesn’t it? But the resolution was sponsored by South Africa and by the Palestinians. It passed with 13 abstentions, by a vote of 27-2. Only the United States and Israel voted against it.

European Union members – cowards that they are – abstained. We will see how the vote goes one day when such cowardice brings the chickens home to roost.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, denounced the resolution of course. “If anyone has ever doubted that the UN is biased against Israel, today we got further proof,” he said.

“Of the 193 member states in this institution, dozens slaughter innocent civilians and impose discriminatory laws that marginalize women and yet they all get a free pass,” he observed.

Obama Aides Lay Groundwork to Betray Israel at UN Security Council

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Aides to President Barack Obama told media Friday the U.S. will “reassess” its relationship with Israel in the wake of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s re-election to an historic fourth term.

A White House official couched the nasty reality in more diplomatic language, saying the president had told the prime minister “we will need to re-assess our options following the prime minister’s new positions and comments regarding the two-state solution.”

An official statement distributed following the call said the president had emphasized the U.S. “longstanding commitment to a two-state solution” during his conversation with Israel’s prime minister.

Earlier in the day on Thursday, Netanyahu clarified his position on the issue, explaining his reasons for a statement during the campaign in which he told supporters he would not back the establishment of a Palestinian state during his fourth term. In that clarification Netanyahu talked about the present realities in the Middle East with which Israel has to contend. He also noted that he supports the same conditions for negotiating a sustainable peace that he had set forth in his speech at Bar Ilan University in 2009: a demilitarized Palestinian state led by a government willing to recognize the Jewish State of Israel.

But he pointed to changes on the ground that cannot be denied – or ignored – and that present a real threat.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has united his government in Ramallah with that of Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, which is allied with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah. All three are faithful proxies of Tehran. In addition, Gaza is now home to bases for a number of Salafi global jihad terrorist groups. Among them are the Army of Islam, Al Qaeda, and Daesh, also known as ISIS or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Iran and its proxies are also literally parked on Israel’s borders, in Lebanon, Syria, the Syrian side of the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. A new Palestinian state would be ripe for the picking as well, creating for Israel an existential threat that no leader could allow.

None of which has impressed Obama. At a briefing on Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters: “Now that our closest ally in the region – and one of the two parties who would be responsible for negotiating a two-state solution – has withdrawn from their commitments, to that ideal, it means that we need to rethink the kinds of policy decisions that we’re going to have to make going forward.”

Never mind the fact that the Palestinian Authority – the first of the two parties responsible for negotiating the two-state solution — withdrew from its commitments several years earlier.

Obama has entirely ignored the fact that the PA, via the PLO, unilaterally dropped out of the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords. He has also turned a blind eye as the PA abandoned its moral and legal obligations to negotiate a final status agreement with Israel, using the United Nations as an excuse to break that deal. The General Assembly of the United Nations participated, allowing itself to be so used by granting the entity non-member observer nation status, which opened the door for the PA to join hundreds of international treaties.

Some members of the American media are also using a double standard to judge Israel’s decisions on its national security and foreign policy.

CNN news anchor Wolf Blitzer interviewed Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz as part of Israel’s “Likud-led government” and baldly demanded to know: “Do you support what’s called a two-state solution, Israel living alongside, the new state of Palestine.”

Arab Officials Destroy Food Supplies Delivered by Israeli Truck to Hebron

Friday, March 20th, 2015

It’s not clear who the unlucky store owner was, but wise was he for not fighting Arab officials who ransacked an Israeli delivery truck in Hebron this week (March 16).

A mob of Palestinians swarmed to watch the spectacle, most occupied with their cell phones, arms extended to record the event for posterity and the Internet.

Boxes of Tnuva milk were flung to the ground, their precious white nutrient spilling all over the street. No Arab babies will grow strong teeth and bones from that spilt milk this weekend – but the wildly cheering crowd could have cared less.

Other goods in a riotous montage of reds, yellows and greens also were splattered as their packaging split when they struck the rough street around the truck.

It seemed to be a straightforward enough sight: “Arabs in Hebron broke into an Israeli delivery truck and destroyed all the packages within, tossing them onto the street to the wild cheers of the crowd,” reported the Elder of Zion blog, who sourced the report from FajerTV.

But according to commentators on the blog, local merchants already long ago restricted deliveries to Palestinian drivers, using Palestinian trucks, and shipments made only after payment received in full. The first, according to a local source, was “due to security reasons,” and the second “because collecting debts in the PA by Israelis is practically impossible.”

The Israel Electric Company has also discovered the reality of that second issue; in fact power to a number of PA communities has been shut down due to the millions of shekels owed to the company by the Palestinian Authority, which has been impossible to collect.

More than one commentator agreed this week that regardless of why Israeli goods are boycotted, a lack of supplies will “still be portrayed as ‘Those dastardly Israelis are intentionally starving the so-called ‘Palestinians’ … Just like you-know-who did to you-know-who…’ “

Another commentator suggested as a solution that if Israel ever decides to transfer funds to the PA, such monies should be given by “filling a food truck with the cash and driving it slowly through Hebron.”

Obama ‘Threatening to Abandon Israel’ at UN Security Council

Friday, March 20th, 2015

President Barack Obama appears to be “rushing to the United Nations” to force a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Fox News reported Thursday night. It’s another nail in the coffin replacing the trust Israelis once had in American presidents, a commentator observed.

In an interview on the cable television news network, U.S. Army Lt.-Col. Ralph Peters (res.), said Obama seems to want to “pick a fight – a deadly fight potentially – with Israel.”

Peters, clearly upset, told the interviewer he could not understand why Obama appears to be aligning the United States with radical Islamist nations against the sole democracy in the Middle East. “Our policy is off the rails,” he said.

Obama’s staff, he maintained, “overplayed their hand so badly that the Israeli people, even those who don’t much like Bibi (Netanyahu), turned this from an economy-based election to a security-based election. Obama’s accommodation with Iran at any cost is very frightening.”

Although most U.S. politicians consider the Iranian nuclear deal to be a policy issue, Peters correctly noted that in Israel, “it is a matter of survival.

“And that’s what this election told us, that the people of Israel, for the first time ever, fear an American president,” he concluded.

However, Fox News journalist Megan Kelly reported in a separate segment that the White House does not see it the same way. She quoted President Obama as saying that he sees “no path to a peace agreement,” and added that the president is “now threatening to abandon Israel at the United Nations.”

The comment referred to Obama’s threat to consider the option of not using America’s veto to block a UN Security Council resolution to grant statehood to the Palestinian Authority, possibly along the 1949 Armistice lines, also known as the “1967 border.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded: “You can’t force the people of Israel, who just elected me by a wide margin to bring them peace and security — to secure the State of Israel — to accept terms that would endanger the very survival of the State of Israel.

“I don’t think that’s the direction of American policy,” he said. “I hope it’s not.”

Kelly interviewed Netanyahu about the issue on her Fox News TV program, The Kelly File, late Thursday night.

Netanyahu Explains Aim for ‘Achievable’ Solution on MSNBC

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is again making headlines, this time over his vision for an “achievable” solution for Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu told MSNBC‘s Andrea Mitchell in his first interview since his re-election for a fourth term, “I don’t want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution. I haven’t changed my policy… from six years ago.”

That, despite his statement earlier in the week in which he said flatly that he would not allow a Palestinian state to be established during his fourth term as prime minister.

Netanyahu maintains there is no real contradiction between the two. The difference, he said, is in the changes on the ground.

If the United States chooses not to veto a vote at the United Nations declaring the Palestinian Authority an independent sovereign state, that will not change the reality, Israel’s prime minister said.

“First of all, that state would become a terrorist state. Iran says that they will arm the West Bank the way they arm Gaza.

“We withdrew from Gaza… and just a few months ago thousands of rockets were fired on our heads. We don’t want it to happen again.

“I think the (Obama) administration has said time and time again the only way to achieve peace is a negotiated solution – you cannot impose peace – and in any case, if you want to get peace, you’ve got to get the Palestinian administration to abandon the pact with Hamas and engage in genuine negotiations with Israel for achievable peace.

“We also have to make sure that we don’t have ISIS coming in to that territory,” Netanyahu pointed out. “It’s only two dozen miles away from our borders — thousands of miles away from yours,” he reminded Andrea Mitchell.

“So we need the conditions of recognition of a Jewish state and real security in order to have a realistic two-state solution – and I’m talking about what is achievable and what is not achievable,” he said.

“To make it achievable, then you have to have real negotiations with people who are committed to peace,” he added. “It’s time that we saw the pressure on the Palestinians to show that they are committed too.”

But the reality has changed. A unity government was formed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas with Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group, which is allied with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization.

Daesh, also known as ISIS or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terror organization, already has cells in Gaza. So does Al Qaeda. And operatives from both groups have been discovered and arrested on both sides of the 1949 Armistice line, also known as the “1967 border.”

Attacks have been perpetrated also in those areas against Israelis by operatives from other terror groups, including those affiliated with Hamas and – yes – even Fatah, the faction led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

With Israel’s survival on the line, can it still depend on America? Netanyahu said he has no doubt.

The prime minister was interrupted with a question about his relationship with President Barack Obama when he began to talk about the “unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States.”

Without missing a beat, Netanyahu replied, “I think that was reflected in the relationship between the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Israel.

“We can have differences,” he went on, “but we have so many things to unite us; and we have a situation in the Middle East [that] is very dangerous and presents a common challenge to us.”

Has Obama called yet to congratulate the prime minister? (By this time, according to the PJ Tatler, the American president had already been on the phone to say ‘mazel tov’ to: Turkey’s newly-elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; newly-elected Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and in the following regime, newly-elected Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi; newly-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani; Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin; Afghanistan’s newly-elected President Ashraf Ghani and runner-up Abdullah Abdullah; and new Chinese President Xi Jinping.)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-explains-aim-for-achievable-solution-on-msnbc/2015/03/20/

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