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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘missile’

American Pride Undermined by Inaction in Syria

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

I’ve heard many people say that America has no vital national interest in Syria. Well, how about this.

When I was an American living in England for 11 years it stuck me that one of the principal differences between my country and the UK was the lack of Union Jacks flying from people’s homes and businesses. In America countless homes have the stars and stripes flying as do many stores. It’s ubiquitous.

Why the difference? I always believed it was the fact that Americans have immense pride in being American while other countries don’t celebrate their national heritage as much. Yes, the British do so on special occasions like a royal wedding. But we Americans do so on ordinary days as well.

The reason: because America stands for something. It was the world’s first modern constitutional democracy. It threw off the yoke of a tyrant and established the people’s rule. More recently it liberated Europe from the tyranny of Nazism, liberated Iraq from the mass murderer Saddam Hussein, and was instrumental in purging Libya of the butcher Gaddafi.

Americans are justly proud of how we embody human liberty. Europe was once part of this alliance, especially in the Second World War where Britain, especially, was exemplary. But since them, the Europeans have taken a cynical approach to liberating incarcerated peoples and the prevention of genocide.

But what happens to American pride when we begin to watch bodies of gassed children and choose to remain innocent bystanders? What are we to be proud of then? A lofty standard of living? High speed internet? Cheaper gas then Europe?

Americans are driven to advance their country because they believe in their country. Our national promise is predicated on an affirmation of our values.

I cannot imagine loving America with the same passion that courses through my veins if America doesn’t use its righteous might to protect the innocent and the weak. I will always be a proud American. But that pride stems from the values we espouse and promote.

Yes, I realize we can’t be the world’s policeman. Even our strength and resources are limited. But I come back to a famous Rabbinical teaching in Ethics of Our Fathers that says, “It is not for you to complete the work, but neither can you wash your hands of it, either.” We’re not obligated to intervene in every atrocity. Nor are we capable. But neither can we turn a blind eye to the most egregious violations of human rights. If we do so then we are misusing the wealth and strength of our nation.

The Rwandan genocide, whose twentieth anniversary is this coming April, was all coordinated from a single radio antenna. The United States was asked to fire a single missile that would have destroyed the transmitter. The Clinton Administration refused because it was spooked by the events of Black Hawk down that had transpired a few months earlier in October, 1993. But that one missile could have largely prevented a mass atrocity that claimed the lives of nearly one million people.

We are not the world’s policeman. And our national debt is becoming a crisis of its own. But we can afford a few cruise missiles fired at Bashar Assad’s air force and presidential palaces, which will force the tyrant to live in the underground bunkers that should be the abode of monsters who gas their people.

Photos of Damage from Missile Attack on Northern Israel

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Another miracle saved Israel in Thursday’s attack on the north, where two Katyusha rockets exploded in the middle of Kibbutz Gesher HaZiv and Moshav Shavei Tzion, causing only property damage without injuries – except, of course, for trauma.

One other missile was shot down, and a fourth rocket landed in the sea, but other missiles launched at Israel fell in Lebanon, short of their target, according to the Beirut Daily News and the IDF.

“The remaining rockets fell outside of Israeli territory,” the military said in a statement.

It reported that the Lebanese army discovered four wooden launching pads in the outskirts of a village. Sources said four missiles were fired from an area near a village operated by the United Nations and southeast of the coastal city of Tyre.

The Abdullah Azzam Brigades, an Al-Qaeda-inspired group that the United States has designated as a terrorist organization, claimed responsibility for the attack in a post on the Twitter account of Sirajuddin Zurayqat, an influential Islamist.

The official Lebanon National News Agency said Israel flew two unmanned drones at low altitudes over Tyre after the attack that broke a relatively long period of calm in the Nahariya area, hard hit in 2006 by Hezbollah. Residents living near the launching site and the border confirmed to the Star that the IDF did not retaliate.

After the attack, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned of retaliation, saying, “Anyone who harms us, or tries to harm us, should know — we will strike them.”

Increased tensions and battles along the Lebanese borders are the last thing that Israel and pro-Lebanese factions want. The shaky Lebanese government has its hands full with the constant pro-Syrian and Hezbollah forces that dominate southern Lebanon, terrorist attacks by Hezbollah and Sunni Muslim against each other, and the spillover form the Syrian civil war.

UNIFIL spokeswoman Antonette Miday said peacekeepers inspected the launching site and that U.N. forces would plea to Lebanon and Israel to maintain calm.

Lebanese officials were incensed at the missile attack, the first on Israel since May. Both President Michel Suleiman and caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati condemned the rocket fire as a violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 and Lebanon’s sovereignty.

The Katyusha missile that slammed into Kibbutz Gesher HaZiv caused large-scale property damage

The Katyusha missile that slammed into Kibbutz Gesher HaZiv caused large-scale property damage. Photo by Kobi Snir/Flash 90

Katyusha missile that exploded in a street in Kibbutz Gesher HaZiv Thursday afternoon

Katyusha missile that exploded in a street in Kibbutz Gesher HaZiv Thursday afternoon. Photo by Kobi Snir/Flash 90

 

The missile attack shattered the windows and punctured tires of this van, which was parked without anyone inside at the time of the explosion. Photo by Shay Vakni/Tazpit News Agency

The missile attack shattered the windows and punctured tires of this van, which was parked without anyone inside at the time of the explosion. Photo by Shay Vakni/Tazpit News Agency

Security officials gather up remains of missile.  Shay Vaknin/Tazpit News Agency

Security officials gather up remains of missile. Shay Vaknin/Tazpit News Agency

Northern Israel Airports to Remain Closed

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

The Haifa airport will remain closed overnight due to the rocket fire from Lebanon.

Passengers returning from Eilat will instead land in Sde Dov in Tel Aviv, and from there, they will be bused to Haifa.

IDF Hits Syrian Military Position with Tammuz Missile

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

In response to the mortar fire that hit the Israeli side of the Golan on Saturday multiple times, on Saturday afternoon the IDF launched a “Tammuz” missile at at least one of the Syrian military positions that launched the mortars.

The missile hit the position and took out a Syrian’s mortar cannon. It’s unknown if any Syrian soldiers were hit in the retaliatory strike.

The Tammuz guided missile has a range of 25 kilometers, can track a target independently, and can penetrate the armor of any tank. Each missile costs half a million shekels.

Syria Moved Missiles Before Israeli Strike

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Not putting all their eggs in one basket, Syria moved a number of their anti-ship cruise missiles before Israel allegedly destroyed their storage area in a July 5 attack, according to a report in the NY Times.

The report says that some of the Russian Yakhont missiles were removed from their launchers and the warehouse before the strike.

American intelligence reports that immediately following the strike Syrian president Assad set fire to vehicles and launchers to make it look as if more missiles were destroyed than actually were.

Both Israel and the US consider the missiles to be a serious threat to their ships in the region.

Russia recently also shipped SA-26 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, along with technical experts.

In both January and May of this year, Israel hit other Syrian missile systems that they believed were headed for Hezbollah.

Rebels Claim Israel Bombed Russian-Made Anti-Ship Missiles

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Syrian rebels have implicitly fingered Israel for the bombing of Russian-made Yakhont anti-ship missiles near the Syrian port of Latakia last week, a bombing that the Assad regime has blamed on a group linked with Al Qaeda terrorists.

It was not the FSA [Free Syrian Army] that targeted this,” the rebels’ army spokesman Qassem Saadeddine told Reuters. “It is not an attack that was carried out by rebels. This attack was either by air raid or long-range missiles fired from boats in the Mediterranean.”

The rebels maintain that they do not have the capability to stage an attack that was a powerful as the bombing near Latakia.

Israel remained officially non-committal, but Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told inquiring reporters, “We have set red lines in regards to our own interests, and we keep them. There is an attack here, an explosion there, various versions – in any event, in the Middle East it is usually we who are blamed for most.”

Israel has struck several times in Syria and Lebanon the past several years, most notably the bombing of a  nuclear installation under construction with the help of North Korean scientists. Israel is assumed to have assassinated Hezbollah’s mastermind terrorist Imad Mughniyeh five years ago and has bombed stockpiles of advanced missiles that were on their way from Syria to Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon.

The target at Latakia, according to the rebels, was a cache of Yakhont anti-ship missiles, which could be used to attack Israel’s offshore natural gas and oil rigs and would have been at least the fourth time Israel has bombed a site in Syria this year.

Between 10 and 12 Syrian soldiers were killed in last week’s blast, according to Arab sources. It is not clear if the bombing was form the air or from sea.

Syrian blamed the bombing on a group linked  Al Qaeda, a departure from its previous policy of charging that Israel is the guiding hand behind the Syrian rebellion against President Bassar al-Assad.

However, the official Syrian statement, in typical language of propaganda, could be read as implying Israel.

“The attack in Latakia was not carried out from the air or the sea, but by a terrorist group aligned with Al Qaeda,” according to Syria’s official state media. ”

Assad for the past year or so has equaled Israel with terrorists, and given his state of mind, he may not want to credit Israel with having the power to continually break through Syrian defenses and attack at will.

It is perfectly reasonable and logical for him to define Israel as linked to Al Qaeda.

Livni in Russia, Denies Visit Linked with Missile Sale to Syria

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who doubles as the government “Minister for the Peace Process,”  traveled to Russia on Tuesday to talk with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, reportedly  over Moscow’s declared intentions to follow through with the sale of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to the Syrian regime. Her spokeswoman denied that the purpose of the visit was to talk about the S-300.

The missile system is considered one of the most sophisticated in the world and  could down an Israeli commercial aircraft well within Israel’s borders. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu flew to Russia earlier this year to try to dissuade Russia from selling the system to Syria.

Livni’s discussions with Lavrov could be another chapter in the sage of American efforts to bring Israel and the Palestinian Authority back to direct negotiations over a future Palestinian Authority state. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was rumored to have been planning to return to the region this week, but the State Dept. has made no mention of a trip.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/livni-in-russia-denies-visit-linked-with-missile-sale-to-syria/2013/07/09/

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