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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Moscow’

Assad Warns US and Israel to Expect Chemical Attack (Video)

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Syrian President Bassar al-Assad told interviewer Charlie Rose that the United States, Israel and other American allies can expect to be hit with chemical weapons if President Barack Obama carries out his threat to attack.

Assad, who has denied that his regime used chemical weapons despite widespread evidence to the contrary, implied that Iran and Hezbollah or rebels could use chemical weapons to repel a military strike.

“It could happen…if the rebels or the terrorists in this region or any other group have” chemical weapons, he explained.

The United States “should expect everything, not necessarily from the government,” if the United States attacks, he said. Assad added that Syria is “not the only player in the region” and that “you have different parties, you have different factions, you have different ideology.”

It would only take one or two deranged Al Qaeda terrorists, and not necessarily Assad’s soldiers, to use an American attack as an excuse to try to be the Great Arab hero who tried to destroy Israel with a “dirty bomb” or poison gas.

However, based on Assad’s previous actions and statements during the civil war, he used the interview to prepare the groundwork to use chemical weapons and blame others for it.

Rose is one of the few journalists allowed into the country and to meet Assad, dispelling rumors that he is hiding underground. Rose described Assad as “remarkably calm.”

As for the chemical attack on Syrian civilians last month, Assadcontinued to maintain a “What, me?” attitude in the interview, which will be aired in full on Rose’s PBS show Monday evening after excerpts were viewed Monday morning on CBS.

“Our soldiers, in another area, were attacked chemically,” Assad maintained. “But in the area where they say the government used chemical weapons, we only have video, pictures and allegations. We were not there, our forces, our police, our institutions, don’t exist.

“How can you talk about what happened if you don’t have evidence?”

While Assad was warning of a chemical attack, an Israeli official who has been briefed by Washington told Reuters that the Obama administration would give Israel only “hours” notice before attacking Syria.

That could mean two hours or 10 years. In either case, that is enough to rev up the F-16 engines but not enough to mobile troops.

Former Defense Ministry top honcho Amos Gilad, who has sounded suspiciously dovish and often has been dead wrong since leaving office, said in a speech at a counterterrorism center that Israel is totally out of the picture concerning if and when President Obama orders an attack.

There also is the possibility that the unidentified Israeli official who spoke with Reuters simply is lying and that the United States and Israel are cooperating closely towards a military strike.

If the Obama administration were not to give Israel enough notice to prepare for an attack, then Washington would have to take on the job of answering a lot of questions if Israeli civilians end up being killed.

It also is no secret that the American government relies heavily on Israel for intelligence information in the Middle East in general and in Syria specifically. Israel, and not the United States, has the human resources to plant dark-skinned Arabic-speaking agents in Syria.

Regardless of whether Israel will have no notice or plenty of notice before an American attack, President Obama already has given the world a least a couple of weeks to prepare for it.

The results have been panic. Russia has sent warships to the region and has threatened that Obama is laying with fire that will erupt into a regional war, or not a world war. Israel has deployed a battery of the anti-missile Iron Dome system around Jerusalem, and Turkey has placed anti-aircraft batteries along its southern border with Syria.

The rhetoric is great for headlines, and no one will say that Syria will throw out the welcome mat for an American attack.

But so far, Obama has one powerful diplomatic weapon on his side: Russia and Syria bear the burden to prove that the Assad regime did not deploy chemical weapons. No one believes Assad’s’ denials accept, perhaps, his properly British educated wife.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has given Assad the “exit option” of turning over chemical weapons in a week to the international community in return for President Obama’s pushing the “stop” button.

Chemical Weapons Expert: Russia Is Key to Avoid War with Syria

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Russia is the only key to end the bloodshed in Syria and to neutralize the chemical weapons threat without a foreign military intervention, according to a former Israeli Dense Ministry chemist who is considered perhaps the country’s best expert on chemical weapons in Syria.

It is totally inconceivable to bomb the chemical and biological weapons because an attack could cause exactly the horrid result that everyone outside of Syria wants to prevent – a large scale humanitarian disaster, retired Lt. Col Dr. Dany Shoham told The Jewish Press Sunday. He is a former macro-biologist and chemist for the Defense Ministry and specialized in chemical and biological warfare in the Middle East.

There are two ways to make sure their chemical and biological weapons will not be used – either by foreign military intervention, which would entail getting rid of Assad and replacing him temporarily with a non-Syrian; or ending the bloody civil war by diplomacy, an approach that is virtually impossible without Russia’s cooperation, he said.

There is no doubt that chemical weapons have been used in Syria, and it is “99 percent certain” that it is Assad and not the rebels who have committed a war crime by unleashing them, in violation of the Geneva Convention and all rules of war, Dr. Shoham stated. “In my opinion, there is only the slightest chance that rebels have used chemical weapons, but that doesn’t mean they won’t do so,” said the former macro-biologist for the Defense Ministry.

Syria is manufacturing the chemical and biological weapons within Syria, but Russia may be assisting Syria, he added.

As for the military option, he pointed out that the United States is “planning and practicing for an operation” in Jordan, using its own officers and soldiers as well as Jordanians.

“Whoever wants to prevent danger ideally should replace Syrian guards,” he said. Dr. Shoham  did not say what would happen next, but it is clear that any foreign invader would be stuck with local resentment far worse than what the United States faced in Iraq after its invasion. A foreign takeover also would likely plant the seeds for an eventual radical Muslim regime that could make the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood look like bleeding heart liberals.

However, the invading force at least would be able to confiscate the chemical and biologic weapons, according to Dr. Shoham. “We know where most, but not all, of them can be found,” he said.

The diplomatic option so far has not taken hold for the simple reason that without Russia, it can’t happen.

“The solution has to come from Russia. Russia has to force Syria diplomatically,” he said, and “America knows it.”

How and when they might happen is conjecture, but Dr. Shoham pointed out that President Barack Obama will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in five weeks.

The two leaders spoke by phone last week, and the White House stated, “President Obama and President Putin reviewed the situation in Syria, with President Obama underscoring concern over Syrian chemical weapons,” and they agreed to “stay in close consultation” by instructing their foreign ministers to continue discussions on Syria.

President Obama and Putin are due to meet in June during the Group of Eight industrialized nations meet in Northern Ireland.

Moscow is invested up to its neck in the Syria military arsenal, and if it does not want to see it boomerang on itself by letting it fall in the wrong hands, Putin will have the opportunity to play the role as world leader and twist Assad’s arm – if it is not too late.

Russian Jewish Billionaire’s Death a ‘Mystery’

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

London forensics experts found no traces of hazardous materials to explain the mysterious death of Boris Berezovsky, a 67-year-old Jewish oligarch and Kremlin critic.

Russia’s Channel One reported that his body was found on Saturday in the bathroom of his home in the London area, and that he had suffered a heart attack last week. But ThamesValley police say his death is being treated as “unexplained,” the Guardian reported.

“Officers found nothing of concern in the property and we are now progressing the investigation as normal,” said a statement from police about tests for biological or chemical poisons,

Berezovsky fled to Britain about 10 years ago, after a bitter falling out with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid fraud charges that Berezovsky said were politically motivated. He was born in Moscow in 1946 to a Jewish father and a mother with Jewish roots. He immigrated to Israel in 1993 but later renounced his Israeli passport.

Berezovsky became a strident and frequent critic of Putin, accusing the leader of ushering in a dictatorship.

He accumulated his wealth in the years following the collapse of Soviet Russia, when he acquired local firms, among them oil companies and television stations, rising to prominence during the term of Boris Yeltsin in the nineties. Russian media reported recently that Berezovsky, once the richest man in Russia, had suffered heavy losses.

Russian Jewish Group Offers Free Matzah

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

The Russian Jewish Congress has partnered with one of the country’s leading Internet companies to deliver free matzah to Muscovite Jews. The only cost to recipients will be the price of the delivery.

The collaboration with the online marketing giant Vigoda.ru will allow the Jewish organization to send two million emails on Thursday in the hope that the offer will help introduce matzah to the homes of young professionals who would otherwise not get them.

“The idea is to reach out to young and secular Jews and to reintroduce or sometimes introduce this basic custom of Judaism,” Matvey Chlenov, the RJC’s deputy executive director, told JTA. “Like most Muscovites, they are busy with careers and raising children and will often not take the effort to spend two-three hours in Moscow’s notorious traffic jams to get to a handful of places where matzot are on sale.”

The emails that are meant to place matzah on the menu this Passover were sent through Vigoda.ru, a Russian website and company that, similar to the American website Groupon, offers various deals for reduced prices in a daily email that it sends to a large number of people.

The Russian Jewish Congress has stocked up on a ton of matzah it hopes to give out with help from Vigoda and through the organization’s own campaign on social media.

David Shostak, co-owner and CEO of Vigoda, said his firm decided to include the Russian Jewish Congress’ offer in an email to two million recipients in Moscow as “a service to the community.” Shostak, who speaks Hebrew, said he runs the company from Moscow but travels often to Israel.

Russia, Syria Blast Turkey for Forcing Plane Landing to Search for Arms

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Relations between Russia and Turkey have been strained by the forced landing of a Syrian passenger plane which Turkey said it need to inspect for smuggled military equipment.

Moscow has said Ankara endangered the lives of Russian passengers when it commanded the Syrian plane to land, and Damascus said the interception was akin to piracy.

Moscow has been providing military assistance to forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Turkey and Syria’s border has been heating up, with Syria attacking Turkish border towns and Turkey offering asylum to Syrian nationals associated with the opposition.

Turkey issued military jets to escort the planes after receiving intelligence that “non-civilian cargo” was aborad the Airbus A0320 bound for Damascus.  There were 30 Russian passengers aboard the plane, 17 of whom were denied requests to meet with Russian diplomatic services.

No arms were found aboard the plane.  Some cargo was seized and the plane and passengers continued to their destination.

Russia Bans “Innocence of Muslims”

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

In a show of solidarity with movements seeking to preserve respect for Islam, a Moscow ruled on Monday that the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” may not be shown in all of Russia.

In a report by the Tehran Times, the court’s decision followed one of the previous week in a court in Grozny, capital of the Muslim-dominated Russian province of Chechnya.

Justice Ministry spokeswoman Marina Gridneva said the film – which aimed to suggest to viewers that there are deviant and unsavory aspects of Islam and founder Mohammed – could incite ethnic and religious intolerance.  Various terror acts across the Middle East have been attributed to Muslim outrage over the low-budget US-made film.

The Russian communications minister threatened to block access to YouTube if owner Google did not immediately block access to the film.  Google said it would comply with court orders.

Meet the Israeli Olympians: Judo – Arik Ze’evi (Video)

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Arik Ze’evi, a Judoka & a writer, is a 4-Time European champion, including the 2012 European Championship. Ze’evi is also the Winner of last year’s (2011) Grand Slam in Moscow, and has won a bunch of titles & medals throughout his career, but in London 2012, Ze’evi aimes to go for the Olympic medal, again!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/sports/meet-the-israeli-olympians-judo-arik-zeevi-video/2012/07/29/

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