Israel will ask President Barack Obama to bomb Syria or back an Israel strike on anti-aircraft missiles if Syrian President Bashar Assad again tries to ship them to Hizbullah in Lebanon, the London Guardian reported Sunday.
The chaos in Syria is bad timing or any attempts by President Obama to tour the “peace process.” which by all accounts outside wishful thinking Western diplomats is long dead and buried.
Israel, apparently following notification to the Obama administration, bombed a shipment of “gtame-changing” missiles earlier this year before they could cross the Syrian-Lebanese border.
The Soviet-made advanced missiles could cripple Israel’s ability to carry our surveillance flights over Lebanon to spot terrorist activity, Worse, the Israel Air Force would be at a serious disadvantage of Hizbullah were to start bombing northern Israel again, as it did in the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Washington already has promised it would intervene militarily if Syrian President Bashar Assad were to unleash chemical weapons in his do-or-die-struggle to stay in power.
“These missiles are not just a problem for Israel,” a senior Israeli official told the London newspaper. “They include [anti-ship] missiles, and who has the biggest navy in the Mediterranean?” – a reference to the US. Israeli military
Israel does not expect a positive answer from Obama, who already is under pressure to stage pre-emptive strike on Iran’s unsupervised nuclear facilities before they will be able to produce a nuclear weapon.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would be happy to gain at least a public declaration of support for an Israel attack.
“What I hear over and over again from Israeli generals is that another war with Hezbollah is inevitable,” a western diplomat told the Guardian, Hizbullah has at least 60,000 short and medium-range missiles that can bomb Israel at least as far south as Tel Aviv. “It is easy to envisage peace breaking down along the border, almost by accident, along the lines of the First World War,” the diplomat said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week will show President Barack Obama a series of technological products by Israel’s high-tech industries in the framework of a special exhibit that will be set up in President Obama’s honor.
The products that were chosen are in the fields of renewable energy, the war on traffic accidents, medicine, search and rescue, and robotics.
After touring the “Israeli Technology – For a Better World” exhibit at the Israel Museum, President Obama will meet with the next generation of Israeli scientists – young people from Haifa, who won an international robotics competition that was held in the United States last year.
Prime Minister Netanyahu will present to President Obama seven products that were chosen by a professional committee from among proposals presented by Israel’s universities.
National Information Directorate head Liran Dan said, “There are two principal messages that we would like to emphasize during the visit. First and foremost is the deep connection between Israel and the US. Alongside this, we would also like to present to the world the products of the future that originate in Israel and which will be used in many places around the world.”
The chosen products are, in the field of energy alternatives – Phinergy;
In the field of the struggle against traffic accidents – Mobileye;
In the field of medicine – BNA technology by ElMindA , MiniDesktop and Rewalk; and
In the field of search and rescue – robot snake
The seventh product is a “robot waiter” that was designed by Haifa junior high school pupils and which was developed with guidance from Technion researchers.
The device was the winner in an international robotics competition that was held in the United States last year. It shows how a robot might serve a handicapped person in his home. The robot is 35 centimeters tall and uses sensors to orient itself in its surroundings and perform tasks that it has been programmed to do.
Phinergy has developed an aluminum-air battery designed for electric vehicles, and which allows a significant increase in travel range – three times that of a regular electric vehicle. The technology will allow for a reduction in
Mobileye, a global pioneer in developing Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), is to develop and market vision-based systems that will help drivers keep passengers safe on the roads and decrease traffic accidents by warning about dangerous situations and even braking the vehicle when necessary. To date, Mobileye’s technology has been implemented and launched by BMW, Volvo, GM and Ford in over one million vehicles.
ElMindA’s Brain Network Activation technology platform provides a non-invasive tool for the visualization and quantification of BNAs of specific brain functionalities, disease development and rehabilitation from injuries, reactions to treatment, psychiatric and neurological problems, and pain.
The robot snake is designed to enter spaces in collapsed structures with minimal disturbance. The robot assists in location and rescue operations and is unique in its manner of crawling and is very flexible thanks to its great number of segments.
Each joint is motorized and has a computer, sensors, wireless communications and batteries. Its head carries a camera. Thanks to its flexible structure, the snake is able to crawl through wreckage without causing additional structural collapses and provide vital information about inaccessible areas.
The Rewalk approach aims to give persons with lower limb disabilities, such as paraplegia, an experience that is as close to natural walking as possible. The ReWalk exoskeleton suit uses a patented technology with motorized legs that power knee and hip movement. Battery-powered for all-day use, ReWalk is controlled by on-board computers and motion sensors.
The MiniDesktop is a headset that enables computers to be controlled by brainwaves or facial movements. The computer is controlled without a mouse or keyboard by means of a headset that images the user’s brainwaves from 14 separate points. The system, which was developed by three software engineering graduates from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, is designed to serve the physically handicapped who could not otherwise operate a computer or other devices.
“Operation Unbreakable Alliance” also will be ”Operation Unbreakable Traffic Jam” next week.
Motorists as well as tourists coming into the country for the Passover holiday are advised that parts of Jerusalem will be off limits during President Barack Obama’s visit next week.
The road passing by the KingDavidHotel, which will be completely occupied by Obama and his entourage, will be closed during his entire two and a half day visit.
Parking will be prohibited on several major arteries near downtown, and the same roads will be closed to traffic at certain hours. Anyone who parks his car in a prohibited area will not find it on return unless he goes to a lot where it has been towed away.
The Israel Museum will be closed to visitors next Thursday and Yad VaShem will be closed to visitors the following day while Obama visits the two facilities.
Reports that Israel will bring the Iron Dome system to Ben Gurion Airport for President Barack Obama to view because he won’t have time to visit its deployment elsewhere are half accurate. Another reason is that the Iron Dome is needed to protect the president in the event of an enemy missile when President Obama arrives, according to the DEBKAfile website, whose writers include former intelligence officers.
The battery of Iron Dome anti-missiles stationed north and south of Tel Aviv are not close enough to intercept a missile headed for the airport, the website explained.
When Air Force One touches down on the runway, U.S. and Israeli missile interceptors will be deployed in two defensive rings.
The chances of a missile attack are close to nil, but no one is taking any chances.
President Barack Obama may scratch Ramallah from his itinerary and meet Palestinian Authority only in Bethlehem when he visits the Church of Nativity, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported.
The news agency, which has close ties with the Palestinian Authority, quoted “anonymous” PA sources.
A sign of how President Obama would be received by the Arab public was evident in Bethlehem this week, when angry protesters turned out to greet American security officials checking out Bethlehem for the planned visit.
Public warnings were issued by protest leaders in Ramallah that the president would encounter an unfriendly welcome if he visits the city.
The U.S.-based Global Post reported that more than half of Ramallah mall shoppers it interviewed were surprised that Obama even was planning to visit, and most made negative remarks, such as, “Israel controls Obama” and “I know he’s coming, but he’s coming for nothing.”
A U.S. embassy official denied that it did not invite students from Ariel University to President Barack Obama’s speech in Jerusalem next week because the institution is located in Samaria, which the United States considers an illegitimate and illegal settlement.
The speech, set to take place at the Jerusalem Convention Center next Thursday, on the second day of Obama’s visit to Israel, will be open to some Israeli students. But the exclusion of students from the university in Ariel has led some to accuse Obama of boycotting Israel’s newest accredited university, where several hundreds Arabs learn alongside Jews.
An official at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv told JTA that only students from academic institutions with partnerships or joint programs with the embassy were invited to the speech. The official would not comment on whether other institutions fell in the same category.
Israel plans to exercise sovereignty over the city of Ariel, where the university is located, in the event of a final-status agreement.
Ariel, a settlement with 20,000 residents in the northern West Bank, has historically been a sticking point in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Israel has seven universities and a myriad of private colleges.
Students at Ariel expressed dismay at their exclusion from the speech.
“We were pretty shocked about the discrimination and the way in which they are giving up on a university in Israel,” said Ariel University Student Union head Shai Shahaf, according to Yediot Acharonot’s website.
Shahaf and other Ariel students plan to protest outside the speech unless the United States changes its decision.
President Barack Obama will be visiting Israel as a tourist with nothing much to do in the way of diplomacy, according to Thomas Friedman, The New York Times resident know-it-all on Israel.
Friedman has been trying to run Israel for years until he gave up last year when he belatedly realized, for the wrong reasons, that the “peace process” has become a dead issue.
In his op-ed article Wednesday, he stated, “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has shifted from a necessity to a hobby for American diplomats. Like any hobby — building model airplanes or knitting sweaters — some days you work on it, some days you don’t.
“Obama could be the first sitting American president to visit Israel as a tourist.”
He cited three reasons: The reduced dependency of the United States on Arab oil, which means there is no fear of an Arab oil embargo over the issue of Palestine; the overshadowing regional problems, such as the instability in Egypt and Syria; and what he says are the two major obstacles to peace with the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Jewish settlers.
Friedman has always hated settlers, whom he once termed terrorists and Israel’s answer to Hizbullah.
He could have stopped there and be done with it and go back to telling Obama how to run the country, but Friedman never misses an opportunity to show he knows more about Israel than anyone else, especially those living in Israel.
He raised the favorite State Dept. and Peace Now illusion that if those awful settlers continue to live in Judea and Samaria, Israel will be ruling “2.5 million Palestinians with a colonial-like administration that can only undermine Israel as a Jewish democracy and delegitimize Israel in the world community,”
That attitude reflects the simplicity of American foreign policy, which is that the rest of the world outside the United States is black and white and that there are always two and only two possibilities. One is to accept American thinking and the other is to beat the path to catastrophe.
The fact is that the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, and in Gaza before Hamas came along, have enjoyed a quasi-independent life for 46 years, without Israel “ruling” them and without a desire to become ruled by another Arab regime. They suffered malign neglect under the Jordanian occupation, and “occupation” is the only word to describe its usurping authority after the Arab world failed to annihilate Israel in 1948.
After the Six-Day War in 1967 war, the Arabs enjoyed an unprecedented period of growth and prosperity until Yasser Arafat, born in Egypt, came along. He built a terrorist infrastructure that not only killed and wounded thousands of Israelis but also blew up co-existence between Israel and Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
But Friedman, like the State Dept., sees the Middle East, and the world, through American glasses.
He asks Israel “as a friend, I just want to know one thing: What is your long-term strategy? Do you even have one?”
Of course, Israel does not have one and does not need one. It leaves that to the Arab world, whose long-term strategy of destroying Israel through diplomatic means, if not through war and terror, is fading into oblivion, somewhat like Thomas Friedman’s self-assumed mandate to rule Israel and the Middle East.
As for Obama’s visit, Friedman forgot to mention one small issue that will be discussed with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, but the Iranian nuclear threat apparently is not as dangerous as settlers.
President Barack Obama may have to cut short his trip to Israel next week if it coincides with the installation of a new pope, especially if he will be an American. With 75 Catholic Americans and archbishops from Boston and New York who are nominees to replace Pope Benedict XVI.
Cardinals failed for the second straight day on Wednesday to elect a new pope.
President Obama probably will not want to miss the opportunity to be present for the sake of a trip to Israel that is filled with low expectations.
The president has publicly promoted the selection of an American pope. In an interview with ABC News that was recorded on Tuesday and aired Wednesday, he told “Good Morning America,” ”It seems to me that an American pope would preside just as effectively as a Polish pope or an Italian pope or a Guatemalan pope.”
Asked if an American pope would feel obliged to take instructions from the president, Obama responded, “I don’t know if you’ve checked lately, but the Conference of Catholic Bishops here in the United States don’t seem to be takin’ orders from me.”
The first round of voting for a new pope failed to proclaim a replacement. The front-runners are from Italy and Brazil.