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May 4, 2016 / 26 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘news’

Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Hamas Preparing For War With Israel

The fact that Hamas risked digging a terror tunnel into Israel – as the IDF announced on Monday – shows that Gaza’s Islamist leaders are preparing for the possibility of war with the Jewish state.

Hamas has recently been weakened by successful Egyptian military actions to take out smuggling tunnels along the Egypt-Gaza border. It has not yet fully recovered from the massive damage inflicted by the IDF on the Islamic group’s militant infrastructure during the 2014 Israel-Gaza War. Hamas most likely does not want a war with Israel in the near future, fearing an Israeli military campaign can threaten its rule in Gaza.

However, there is a paranoid wing within the Hamas leadership that believes Israel will launch a confrontation in Gaza at some point to further minimize Hamas’s political and militant positions. And so Hamas seems to be prepping all fronts for a war that could break out tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year.

As part of this readiness campaign, Hamas apparently took the daring move to dig a tunnel into Israel.

The IDF did not discover weapons inside the tunnel and Hamas reportedly realized its tunnel was discovered at about the same time that the IDF found the tunnel opening in Israeli territory. Yet Hamas did not immediately use the tunnel to carry out an attack before the IDF could quickly react, further indicating that the tunnel is part Hamas’s preparations for a future battle and was not meant for an imminent terrorist attack.

Breitbart Jerusalem first reported last November that Hamas is in the process of building a sophisticated network of tunnels beneath​ the Gaza Strip, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the ​issue.

The underground tunnel infrastructure mirrors ​the network built by Hizbullah in Lebanon. The Iran-sponsored militia is known to have ​dug a vast underground tunnel ​complex replete with war rooms, internal communication lines, ventilation systems, and even missile silos.

 

Terrorists Likely In Possession Of MANPADs

The CIA believes that Mideast rebels have already obtained man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADs, and the agency fears the weaponry could be acquired by terrorist groups and utilized against civilian aircraft.

This significant detail was contained in the 13th paragraph of a Wall Street Journal article reporting on CIA plans to possibly arm moderate Syrian rebels with more advanced weaponry if the truce in Syria continues to deteriorate and full-scale fighting resumes.

The Journal reported: “The CIA believes that rebels have obtained a small number of Manpads through illicit channels. Fearing these systems could fall into terrorists’ hands for use against civilian aircraft, the spy agency’s goal now is to prevent more of them from slipping uncontrollably into the war zone, according to U.S. and intelligence officials in the region.”

It is widely known that some Syrian rebel elements have already obtained and deployed MANPADs.

Earlier this month, a Syrian jet was reportedly shot down by rebels utilizing an antiaircraft missile. The event marks the second time the Syrian government said it was attacked in recent weeks by rebels deploying antiaircraft missiles. The Syrian military last month said one of its warplanes was shot down in western Syria in March.

This reporter has raised questions in the past about how the Mideast rebels may have obtained MANPADs. Did NATO-member Turkey, already in hot water for brazenly shooting down a Russian warplane, pass antiaircraft missiles to rebels as part of Ankara’s obsessive bid to counter the Syria-Russia axis? Turkey, concerned by Syria’s recent gains against the Islamic State and other rebel forces, is known to be one of the main suppliers of more extremist elements among the anti-Assad rebels.

There is also the possibility that antiaircraft weapons were obtained by Syrian rebels from elements that looted Moammar Khadafi’s reserves of of MANPADS. The largest terrorist looting of MANPADS took place immediately after the 2001 U.S.-NATO military campaign, strongly pushed by Hillary Clinton, that toppled Khaddafi’s regime in Libya.

Aaron Klein

Al Jazeera Shuts Down American Cable Network

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

The Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network announced Wednesday it will shut down its Al Jazeera America cable network effective April 30.

The decision comes after a run of two and a half years on the air. But at the bottom line, the network was not a big sell to Americans.

“While Al Jazeera America built a loyal audience across the US and increasingly was recognized as an important new voice in television news, the economic landscape of the media environment has driven its strategic decision to wind down its operations and conclude its service,” the company said in a statement.

Al Jazeera America CEO Al Anstey further explained, “Our business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the U.S. media marketplace.”

The government of Qatar had originally purchased the Current TV cable news channel co-founded by former U.S. vice-president Al Gore for some $500 million in 2013, and it was from that base the network was launched.

As many as 700 staff members may lose their jobs, according to an unnamed source quoted by CNN. The NewsGuild of New York is the union representing 46 of the digital journalists at Al Jazeera America; NGNY was told by the network that it employs 291 staff members, according to a report by USA Today. The newspaper cited low ratings, operational problems and a lack of advertisers as the main reasons for the network’s failure to thrive.

Network executives said in a statement on the website from Doha that the company plans to “expand its existing international digital services to broaden its multi-platform presence” in the U.S.

Al Jazeera is hoping for better success on the Internet, where “U.S. and non U.S. consumers alike” can access its programming via “mobile devices for news and information…. journalism and content, wherever and whenever they want.”

Al Jazeera already has a considerable presence on the Internet, together with its Middle Eastern satellite television network. It is not clear whether the network would send its current Doha programming to the U.S., or continue the American cable network programming, via the Internet.

Hana Levi Julian

US Media Asks, ‘Did Israeli PM Deliberately Mislead UN on Iran?’

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Some of America’s broadcast news media headlined with a startling question on Tuesday: “Did Israel’s prime minister deliberately mislead the United Nations about Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon?”

That question and similar leads and headlines on broadcast news networks in the United States are starting to look like an active, open campaign to discredit Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu — and possibly delegitimize the State of Israel — ahead of Netanyahu’s trip to Washington DC next week.

That particular question was asked on CNN in reference to an alleged disagreement between Israel’s international intelligence agency, the Mossad, and the prime minister over the estimated time necessary for Iran to be able to cross the threshold to become an international nuclear power.

It’s an old story that made the news and was put to rest in Israel literally months ago, one that was more a matter of semantics than anything else, as CNN correspondent Nick Robertson in London quickly made clear.

Robertson wisely reported on the truth of the matter, pointing out that the Mossad stated there was “no daylight between the view of Mossad and the prime minister.”

Apparently a briefing sheet distributed to reporters included an unclear point on “item 9” he said, which “someone has chosen to deliberately undermine the prime minister when he goes to the United States next week.” (ed: italics added)

Just a day earlier the same news media outright ignored a major verdict handed down in New York federal district court, ending a 10-year-long lawsuit by 10 families of victims of terror against the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority.

The court found in favor of the plaintiffs, deciding the PLO and the PA are civilly and financially liable for the injuries and deaths of American citizens in six terror attacks between 2002 and 2004 overseas. Damages in the amount of $655.5 million were awarded to the plaintiffs, to be paid by the PA and PLO.

It was a record-making, landmark decision — and not one television news network covered the story. To its credit, the New York Times headlined the bulletin within seconds after a verdict was reached.

But where were the broadcast news networks with their “Breaking News” bulletins? They were right there when it came to questioning whether Israel’s prime minister “deliberately misled the United Nations on Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon.”

But some of America’s mainstream broadcast news media seem to be “missing in action” when it comes to reporting on what is really happening in the Middle East — at least when it comes to Israel, Iran and the Palestinian Authority.

Let’s hope America’s viewers are more savvy — and demanding — and switch to media where they can find more accurate coverage of events in the Middle East.

Hana Levi Julian

Arab-Israeli Journalist to Gazan Journalist: Hamas is Playing a PR Game on the Expense of the People of Gaza”

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

i24 News’ anchor Lucy Aharish, an Israeli Arab, lashed out against a Gazan journalist who was a guest on her show last week, telling him that Hamas were to blame for the crisis in Gaza. The journalist, Alaa al-Mashehrwi, was asked about the current situation in Gaza. He began lamenting about the reality there, accusing Israel of war crimes, of occupying Gaza and of generating a humanitarian crisis, which he defined as ‘very bad, very strong and very dangerous’.

Lucy Aharish did not sit silent and allow the lies to be aired and cut him off, saying that Hamas leaders use civilians as human shields, hide weapons caches and launchers in civilians homes, and therefore they are responsible for the civilian casualties.

She called on al-Mashehrwi to go out together with other journalists and civilians, face Hamas and the Islamic Jihad and demonstrate against their use of the civilian population. She urged them to demand from Hamas that they stop firing into Israel, assuring him that once they stopped the suffering on both sides would stop.

Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency

The Morning After… If Obama Bombs Syria

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

The proposed threat of an American attack on Syria brings up more questions than solutions.

Since I’m in the year of mourning for my mother, I content myself with watching just the news on television, mostly BBC, Europe and Bloomberg. So, I’ve been hearing a lot about the United States President Barack Hussein Obama and his attempts to get the support of Congress and foreign countries for his proposed attack.

There are some very serious problems with his plan.

– One, he wants to replace Bashar al-Assad with the opposition, which isn’t in favor of American plans. And they certainly aren’t western and freedom-loving. You can best describe the opposing sides as “the devil and the deep blue sea.”

– Obama is trying to convince the Americans that this attack won’t require any American soldier to land in dangerous Syrian territory. If that’s the case, how does he expect to destroy all of the nerve gas?

– And if he doesn’t totally destroy the nerve gas, what’s the point?

It’s pretty obvious that if the opposition gets into power and has nerve gas, they’d use it, too. I consider it terribly naïve to think that there are such differences between the Syrian sides. Remember what has been going on in Egypt. The world, especially Barack Hussein Obama, enthusiastically celebrated and praised the change of regime and “democratic elections” in which Mohammed Morsi was elected president. He didn’t last very long, because the Egyptian public is volatile. They aren’t the same culture and nature as Americans or even Europeans.

The more I listen to the news, the less I want an attack on Syria. It will only destroy the fragile peace that now exists in the Middle East, and if this area becomes a true war zone, no place, not Europe, America, Africa or Asia will be safe. Is that the legacy Barack Obama wants to leave on this earth, be known as the man who started World War Three?

Visit Shiloh Musings.

Batya Medad

France Calling for Use of Force in Syria

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius told BFM-TV today that “if it is proven, France’s position is that there must be a reaction, a reaction that could take the form of a reaction with force.”

He added that “there are possibilities for responding,” but refused to elaborate. He did state that if the UN Security Council could not make a decision, one would have to be taken “in other ways.”

Syrian government officials said the claims of an army chemical weapons attack on its own civilians were “totally false” and the news outlets reporting those claims were “implicated in the shedding of Syrian blood and support terrorism.”

Turkey’s deputy prime minister has said only the Syrian government is in possession of the type of chemical weapons the opposition claims were used in the attack. Turkey’s foreign minister said “all red lines” have been crossed by the Assad regime.

But Iran has rejected the claims that its ally, President Bashar Assad, had deployed chemical weapons, saying the rebels would be responsible, if such an attack had really taken place.

“If the information concerning the use of chemical weapons is accurate, very definitely they were used by terrorist groups… who have shown they will not hold back from committing any crime,” Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said to the IRNA news, referring to the rebels.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague urged international supporters of the Syrian regime to “wake up to … its murderous and barbaric nature” ahead of the UN meeting, Sky News reported.

But Russia, the traditional supporter of the Assad regime, suggested the attack could be a “premeditated provocation” by opposition forces.

Officials from Russia and China are reported to have blocked a stronger press statement supported by Britain, France, the US and others, Sky News reported.

Earlier, Mr Hague said that if verified, the attack “would mark a shocking escalation in the use of chemical weapons in Syria”.

He added: “Those who order the use of chemical weapons, and those who use them, should be in no doubt that we will work in every way we can to hold them to account.”

Yori Yanover

7-Eleven on Grand Street

Friday, August 9th, 2013

To most of our readers around the globe, this might not mean much. But the idea of having a 7-Eleven outlet on Grand Street, on the very hallowed ground where Jewish immigrants—workers and scholars, poor and relatively less poor—have set foot for the first time in America… Well, frankly, I’m not sure what it means, but it certainly signals change. The Lower East Side is Moishe’s Bakery, not Denny’s. It’s small, individualized, personal—not a chain of identical stores selling identical products to millions.

20130731-115350Speaking of change, according to my friends at The Lo-Down, the website serving the old neighborhood with hyper-local news and tidbits, the first customer to purchase anything at all at the new 7-Eleven was my good friend and former client, Jacob Goldman, of Loho Realty, a man who’s been embracing change on the Lower East Side since change became in again.

My daughter was absolutely overjoyed with the news—she’s been a documented Slurpee addict since Slurpee was recognized as an addiction by the APA. My daughter declared she was starting to save for a ticket back, to have her frozen flavored drink.

And so the battle is being waged – Zionism and national renewal versus Slurpee. And I’m not betting on that one.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/7-eleven-on-grand-street/2013/08/09/

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