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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Moscow’

Russian Iskander Ballistic Missiles Spotted in Syria by Israeli Satellite

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

Advanced Iskander SS-26 “Stone” short-range ballistic missiles have been spotted at Russia’s Hmeimim air base in Latakia, Syria by Israeli satellite imagery, the ISI EROS-B satellite.

Deployment of the advanced ground-to-ground missile system was revealed in satellite imagery analysis by Imagesat International intelligence experts over this weekend.

Although the system is generally deployed under camouflage nets, it is believed that heavy rain and floods forced the air base to redeploy the missile units to a location in which they became visible to the satellite.

The Iskander units were first spotted when the Russian Zvezda TV channel broadcast the deployment of a single Iskander Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) in March 2016.

But according to a report in Defense Update, the current ISIS images show two Iskander vehicles “at a logistic site beside the northeastern part of the runway… most probably SS-26 Trans-Loading vehicles (Transloaders).”

Each 9K720 Iskander-M missile carries a warhead of 480-700 kg. of various types, including penetrating high explosives (HE), fragmenting HE, fuel-air explosives and submunitions, according to Defense Update.

More ominously, Russia has also developed a nuclear warhead for these missiles, which – depending on the warhead — have a range of up to 500 kilometers (311 miles), according to Global Security. They are reported to be highly accurate, hitting the target within four to seven meters (about 4 to 8 yards).

The Iskander was also designed to evade missile defense systems, Missile Threat reports, and is equipped with decoys to dodge interceptor missiles, such as those used with Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

All of this places Tel Aviv and Jerusalem well within dangerous range of these missiles, as well as the cities of Haifa, Tzfat, Herzliya and numerous other targets.

However, it is believed the Russians have no interest in targeting Israeli cities, at least at this point.

And for now, each time advanced weapons begin to make their way to the hands of Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization, Israel has somehow found a way to “neutralize” the threat.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu, Putin Speak by Phone on Eighth Night of Chanukah

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday evening, (Dec. 31), the final night of Chanukah.

The two leaders discussed developments in the region, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Their conversation included an “emphasis on Syria and continued security coordination in this sphere, which has already proven itself in preventing misunderstandings,” the statement said.

According to a statement from Moscow, the call was initiated by Jerusalem and the conversation included a discussion about the “Palestinian-Israeli peace process.”

It was the second conversation between the two men in a week. Last Sunday Israel’s prime minister had called Mr. Putin to express condolences over the crash of a military aircraft that resulted in the death of the entire 60-member Red Army Choir, plus 32 others, while on its way to the Middle East.

Israel’s prime minister was among the world leaders who received New Year’s greetings from Russia’s president this week. Mr. Putin “expressed confidence in the successful continuation in 2017 of joint efforts to enhance the entire range of Russian-Israeli relations and constructive cooperation in addressing regional and international issues in the interests of the friendly peoples of the two countries, and for ensuring peace, security and stability in the Middle East.”

Hana Levi Julian

Russia: 2-State Solution Only Possible Through Direct Talks

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Russia has apparently not quite finished expressing its views on the issues raised by the UN Security Council’s condemnation of Israel’s existence, development and growth in territory won from enemies who attacked the Jewish State in 1967 and thereafter.

The full statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry explaining Moscow’s position following its vote in the UN Security Council in favor of Resolution 2334(2016) condemning Israeli Jewish communities in post-1967 areas was posted in English to the government website this week.

As Russia’s deputy ambassador explained to listeners on Israeli Army Radio on Tuesday, it seems Moscow was not entirely satisfied with the resolution as it was presented, but decided to vote with its fellow Council members anyway.

According to the statement, “The Russian Federation voted for it because the resolution is based on tested formulas reflecting the general view of the international community, which have been reaffirmed many times, on the illegality of Israeli settlement plans in the Palestinian territory.

“Consensus could have been achieved through more rigorous work, which would have taken longer and precluded any rash decisions that may damage the cause,” the foreign ministry commented in its statement on its website.

More to the point, however, is the conclusion reached by Moscow regarding the endless insistence by Washington that the “two-state solution” is the sole “solution” possible between Jerusalem and Ramallah, and the only way forward in order to achieve peace between Israel, her neighbors in the Palestinian Authority and anywhere else in the region.

“Our experience shows convincingly that a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is only possible through direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis without any preconditions,” states the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“It is with this aim in view that Russia has been working and will continue working as a member of the Middle East Quartet of international intermediaries to facilitate such negotiations. We would also like to reaffirm our readiness to host a meeting of the leaders of Israel and Palestine in Moscow.

“We hope that the parties will opt for the policy of constructive cooperation aimed at settling the Middle Eastern problem very soon.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly stated his willingness to meet with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas for direct talks, without preconditions, anywhere at any time.

Abbas has consistently refused to meet for direct talks with Netanyahu at any time, anywhere, for any reason, unless Israel first agrees to all preconditions set by the Palestinian Authority; hence the PA leader’s preference for venues such as the UN Security Council, the Paris Summit, and elsewhere but a face-to-face negotiating table.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia ‘Wanted to Delay the Vote’ at UN Security Council

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Now that the United Nations Security Council has safely passed the anti-Israel resolution 2334(2016) condemning the Jewish State, Russia is expressing second thoughts about the measure.

In an interview with Israeli Army Radio on Tuesday, Deputy Ambassador to Israel Alexei Drovinan said that Moscow didn’t really want to vote on the resolution in the form it was brought to the floor.

“Russia had several issues with the wording of the resolution, and the manner in which the decision was made,” Drovinan said. “We wanted to delay the vote.

“Unfortunately, none of the other members accepted our position, and so the resolution was brought to the floor for a vote.

“We are also dissatisfied with the narrow focus of the measure, that it dealt only with one aspect of the conflict, the settlements,” he added.

Of course, one can ask why — if Russia was so dissatisfied with these issues — Moscow chose not to exercise its veto, if only to force the measure back for a rewrite, rather than choose to allow it to pass with a unanimous vote.

Instead, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova subsequently took the opportunity to lay the blame for the entire incident upon U.S. President Barack Obama, saying in a statement quoted by the Tass news agency that the foreign policy of the American president “evokes aversion of the entire world.

“I think this man and his team — naturally, speaking about the man we mean the team which has proved to be bad for all on the global arena. They have failed to fulfill their obligations taken before some countries, they have failed to fulfill what they were commissioned to, including by the American people on the global arena.”

Now the question is, will Russia again vote with the crowd if the same scenario is repeated with another anti-Israel measure at the UN Security Council before Obama leaves the White House on January 20, 2017?

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Joins Worldwide Condemnations of Killing of Russia’s Envoy to Turkey

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement Monday night condemning the assassination of Russia’s envoy to Turkey, and warning the attack served as a reminder of the need to rein in the forces of planetary terror.

“Israel condemns the brutal assassination of Ambassador Andrey Karlov this evening in Ankara,” Netanyahu said. “We send our deepest condolences to his family and to the Russian people. The murder of a diplomat serves as a stark reminder of the need for the civilized world to come together in fighting the forces of terrorism.”

The U.S. State Department said in its own statement, “We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source.”

Ambassador Andrei Karlov was shot in the back at point-blank range at least eight times by an off-duty Turkish riot police officer named Mevlut Mert Altintas.

Turkey’s Interior Ministry said Altintas was born in 1994 in Aydin and graduated from Izmir police academy. Security officials confirmed he used a police ID to enter the art gallery. “It has saddened us and our people. I offer my condolences to the Russian federation and the Russian people,” Suleyman Soylu, the Turkish interior minster, told reporters.

Several other people were also shot and wounded in the attack. Altintas was eventually shot and killed by Turkish security forces.

The attack took place was the ambassador was speaking at the opening of an art exhibition in the Turkish capital.

Altintas is seen in the video yelling “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Great, in Arabic), and then saying in Turkish, “Don’t forget Aleppo. Don’t forget Syria. Unless our towns are secure, you won’t enjoy security. Only death can take me from here. Everyone who is involved in this suffering will pay a price.”

According to Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, he also shouted in Arabic, We are the one who pledged allegiance to Muhammad, to wage jihad.”

Several other people were also shot and wounded in the attack. Altintas was eventually shot and killed by Turkish security forces.

The attack took place was the ambassador was speaking at the opening of an art exhibition in the Turkish capital.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on national television Monday night that the assassination was intended to drive a wedge between Ankara and Moscow in order to disrupt diplomatic relations.

“The crime that was committed is without doubt a provocation aimed at disrupting the normalization of Russian-Turkish relations and disrupting the peace process in Syria that is being actively advanced by Russia, Turkey and Iran,” he said. “There can be only one answer to this – stepping up the fight against terrorism, and the bandits will feel this.” He added that a investigation team would be sent to Ankara to “know who directed the hand of the killer.”

Hana Levi Julian

Russian diplomat: Moscow, Jerusalem Friendship at Highest Point Ever

Friday, December 9th, 2016

While the man who was condemned as Vladimir Putin puppet is getting ready to change the drapes in the Oval Office, and considering as his Secretary of State ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson – whom Putin awarded Russia’s Order of Friendship, Israel, too, appears to bask these days in the Kremlin’s new, sunny sphere of friendly smiles and sunshine.

Relations between Russia and Israel are at their highest point ever, President Putin Envoy to the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said at “The 10th Convent of RISA (Russian International Studies Association): 25 years of Russia’s Foreign Policy,” a conference hosted this week by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, TASS reported.

According to Bogdanov, President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold regular telephone conversations. “This year bilateral contacts have been unprecedentedly intense,” Bogdanov told the conference.

“Russia’s leadership places great importance on boosting trade, economic and investment cooperation with Israel,” Bogdanov continued, noting, however, that “unfortunately, turnover statistics are a bit disappointing, though Israel remains one of Russia’s biggest economic partners in the region.”

According to Bogdanov, “Given the unfavorable global economic situation and the strength of the US dollar compared with the Russian ruble, in 2015 our turnover (sales) with Israel dropped by 31% to $2.3 billion. At the same time, we have been constantly working to restore turnover to its previous level.”

Bodganov stated that “it is no exaggeration to say that relations between Russia and Israel are now at their highest point ever.”

According to Anna Borshchevskaya, a Fellow at The Washington Institute, Putin pursued improved ties with Israel since he came into office in March of 2000, and the two countries have significantly improved relations on a number of fronts. “Russian and Israeli officials hold meetings and telephone conversations on a regular basis and maintain multiple open channels of communication,” she wrote in 2015. “The two countries have an agreement on visa-free tourist travel for their citizens. Israel is home to over a million immigrants from the former Soviet Union, which bolsters Russia’s ties to Israel. Russian is the third most popular language in Israel after Hebrew and English. Economic relations between the two countries have especially improved, exceeding $3 billion in 2014, a figure slightly higher than Russia’s trade with Egypt the same year. Military relations improved as well, [so much so that] in late 2015, according to press reports, Israel sold ten search drones to Russia, despite Israel’s concerns about Russia’s military and political ties to Iran.”

Для жизни (Google Translate says it means L’chayim).

David Israel

‘Holocaust on Ice ‘ Latest Rage (literally) in Moscow [video]

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Vladimir Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov’s wife Tatiana Navka and actor Andrei Burkovsky performed a Holocaust-themed ice skating routine Saturday night which was called “shameful” but many who have watched it.

Dressed in black and white pinstriped death camp inmate pajamas complete with a gold Magen David, with the Israeli song “Beautiful That Way” for background, the couple performed figure skating jumps, spins, lifts, and other bits of ice rink choreography, in a kind of Auschwitz meets Grenoble show.

Tatiana Navka, a gold medalist in ice dancing at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, posted photos from her Holocaust on Ice routine on Instagram, with an inspirational message to parents to let their children watch the movie “Life is Beautiful,” because “Our children need to know and remember that terrible time, which I hope, God willing, they will never know!”

holocaust-on-ice-instagram

Source: Instagram

Amazingly, Tatiana’s performance was received with applause by the audience, but social media folks have been condemning it in a mix of rage and disbelief, demanding an apology for an astonishing desecration of the memory of the most terrifying event in recent human history.

Sarah Silverman twitted: “Oh those whacky Holocaust victims (OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD).”

Deborah E. Lipstadt twitted: “HAVE YOU LOST ALL SENSE OF DECENCY? HAVE YOU NO SHAME? The Holocaust on ice, complete with a sound track of barking dogs.”

Many people kept their all-caps key on when responding to this one.

And Michael Ian Black twitted: “This might be offensive if they hadn’t take such great care to recreate all the wonderful ice dancing going on at Aushwitz at the time.”

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/holocaust-on-ice-latest-rage-literally-in-moscow-video/2016/11/28/

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