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May 3, 2015 / 14 Iyar, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘opposition’

Syrian Rebels, “Eagles of the Golan”, Take Over In Syria-Israel Demilitarized Zone

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Syrian rebel soldiers calling themselves “Eagles of the Golan” have taken over Beerajam and Bariqa in Southern Syria, in an area which serves as a demilitarized zone between Israel and the country to the north.

The area around Kuneitra was likely taken because of an armistice forbidding Syria from engaging in military activity in the six-mile-wide area along Israel’s border, providing refuge to rebels not obligated under that law.

Israel has not taken an official position on the months-long civil war.  However, Eagles of the Golan, which is largely comprised of Al-Qaida operatives, has said that it will turn its sites on Israel after it defeats Syrian President Bashar Assad.

On Tuesday night, France became the first Western country to recognize the new opposition.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent said that more than 2.5 million people have been displaced since the fighting began in 2011.

The UN has said it will provide aid to half a million people by the end of the year, including basic necessities such as blankets, warm clothing and cooking supplies.

Mortar Shells From Syria Hit Israeli Moshav

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Three mortar shells landed in Israel’s Golan Heights on Thursday morning, in what security officials are saying is an accidental firing as part of the bloody battle between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and a growing militant opposition.

Two shells fell near moshav Alonei HaBashan, causing no injuries or damage.  The third shell landed inside the moshav, but miraculously did not detonate.  IDF sappers disarmed the mortar.

On Monday, officials reported that it was a stray bullet which hit an army jeep patrolling on the border.  On November 3, three Syrian tanks entered a demilitarized zone between Syria and Israel.  Israel filed a complaint with the UN, which has a large cadre of “peacekeepers” stationed in the area.

Since the beginning of Syria’s civil war in March 2011, over 36,000 Syrians have been killed on both sides and approximately half a million people are considered refugees.

Secret Ballot Could Determine Likud-Beiteinu Future

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Prime Minister Netanyahu is finding out that there is significant opposition to his plans to run the Likud on a joint list together with Yisrael Beiteinu in the upcoming elections.

Following a petition signed by 400 Likud central committee members, and as per Likud rules, the Likud will now be required to hold a secret ballot among all the central committee members to see if they approve of the joint list proposition.

In surveys taken of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu members, the majority claimed to support running as a joint list.

But opponents of the joint list are hoping that in a secret ballot, the results will go against Netanyahu. One Central Committee Member told JewishPress.com that this merger “strips internal democracy from the Likud.”

The secret ballot may be held on Monday.

Related Article: In Mixed Reactions, Some Call Likud-Beitenu Move Brilliant, Some Warn of Losses

Maryland Congressman Apologizes for Holocaust Reference

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

A Maryland congressman apologized for referring to the Holocaust as he discussed his opposition to federal involvement in providing student loans.

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) apologized Thursday for the remarks, which drew criticism.

“While explaining my position on an important Constitutional issue I regrettably used an extreme example as a comparison that was ill-advised and inappropriate,” Bartlett said in a statement. “I should never use something as horrific as the Holocaust to make a political point, and I deeply apologize to anyone I may have offended.”

In his initial comments at a town hall meeting on Wednesday, Bartlett had argued that the federal government lacked the authority under the Constitution to offer student loans and warned of a “slippery slope” if the Constitution is ignored.

“If you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad,” he said, adding: ” The Holocaust that occurred in Germany — how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope.”

President Peres, Defying Netanyahu, Barak: ‘We Cannot Attack Iran On Our Own’

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

President Shimon Peres said Thursday in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 News that Israel alone should not and cannot attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. With this statement, Peres has effectively positioned himself in direct opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

In the interview, the president stresses: “It is clear to us that we alone cannot do it. We can postpone it, but we know clearly that we have to go along with America. There are questions of coordination and timing, but no matter how much nearer the danger is growing, at least this time we are not alone.”

In Israel’s political system, the role of president has been designed as largely ceremonial, intended to preserve the balance of Israel’s democracy. President Peres’s decision to oppose the Prime Minister, who holds the executive powers, is a deviation from decades of tradition, and may result in some harm to the institution of the presidency itself.

Peres also addressed the commitment of President Barack Obama to Israel in connection with an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. “This is an American interest, and he (President Obama) sees this interest,” clarified the president. “Obama is not saying this just to please us.”

The president added that “Israel must rely on herself, but that does not mean she should give up on friends. When I say that I have a right to self-defense, it does not mean that I must be angry with everyone, whatever for?”

During the day, Thursday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak addressed the possible attack on Iran in the Knesset plenum, explaining why this action was necessary. He said that dealing with a nuclear Iran would be difficult, expensive and more dangerous. He added: “The decision, as required, will be made by the Government of Israel, not by groups of civilians and not even by editorials.”

The Channel 2 News full interview will be shown at 8:00 PM Israel time, 1:00 PM New York time.

Getting Priorities Wrong in Egypt and Syria: Three Media Case Studies

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

http://www.rubinreports.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/getting-priorities-wrong-in-egypt-and.html

As I lay here waiting for the gurney to take me into the operating room and read the hundreds of kind letters from so many of you I hope to fill in your time with one more article.

Focus is everything, knowing what the central problem is and dealing with it. Here I want to discuss three articles that I basically agree with to point out how they miss the key issue and thus are somewhat misleading. I’m glad to see these three articles being published but it’s a case of, to quote Lenin, two steps forward, one step back.

First, the Washington Post published an editorial entitled, “The time for patience in Syria is over.” It criticizes “America’s long paralysis in responding to the conflict in Syria,” pointing out that the war and horrific bloodshed is escalating. And it concludes:

“President Obama called on [President Bashar al-] Assad to leave office, a proper reaction to the brutality. But Mr. Obama has not backed his words with actions that might help them come true.”

It isn’t every day that a mass media organ criticizes Obama. Yet there are two problems. One is that the measures the newspaper proposes are very much out of date:

“No one is arguing for a Libyan-style intervention into Syria at this point. But the United States and its NATO allies could begin contingency planning for a no-fly zone, now that Mr. Assad is deploying aircraft against the opposition. Instead of providing only non-lethal support, such as medical supplies and communications gear, America could help supply weapons to the outgunned opposition fighters. It could work with Turkey and other allies to set up havens for them.”

Since the opposition has been asking for a “no-fly zone” for about six months, arguing that the NATO allies “could begin contingency planning” for one isn’t exactly a bold measure. Moreover, while the United States is only directly “providing only non-lethal support,” it is facilitating the supply of lethal weapons by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. And third, there are already safe havens for the opposition fighters in Turkey.

So none of those three ideas are decisive or even highly relevant. The key point is mentioned in passing in another passage, calling on the United States, “…To get a better read on opposition forces and to encourage those less inclined toward sectarianism.”

Yet this is the central issue! There is no point in supporting an opposition that’s going to procue a government dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists! That’s the issue: The United States should do everything possible to help moderates—both defected officers and liberal politicians–gain the upper hand. It should work closely with the Kurds and press hard to make sure that Christians are protected and that the opposition (or at least parts of the opposition responsible) will be punished if it commits massacres.

Is that so hard to see?

But guess what? Senator Marco Rubio also never mentions the Islamism issue in his article on how the United States should intervene in Syria. He better get an advisor who knows something about the Middle East fast or he may end up as another John McCain on the Middle East.

Second, Vali Nasr has some good points in New York Times op-ed. But I perceive two very big flaws. One of them is a warning:

“If the Syrian conflict explodes outward, everyone will lose: it will spill into neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. Lebanon and Iraq in particular are vulnerable; they, too, have sectarian and communal rivalries tied to the Sunni-Alawite struggle for power next door.”

Really? The issue is not that the conflict is going to spill over but that it is part of a Sunni-Shia battle that will be a major feature of the region in the coming decades. Lebanon and Iraq are merely other fronts in this battle and whatever happens in Syria isn’t going to start some new problem in those countries.

The question is merely who wins in Syria. A Sunni victory in Syria would empower a moderate-led Sunni community in Lebanon against Hizballah. As for Iraq, another Sunni power will make that government unhappy but isn’t going to intensify already existing sectarian tensions there. And Kurdish autonomy in Syria isn’t going to set off a Kurdish-Turkish war in Turkey either.

Heavy Fighting in Halab, Syria and Rumors of a Massacre

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Heavy fighting is being reported in Halab, Syria.

Meanwhile, there are unconfirmed rumors of a massacre in Hama, Syria.

The death count for the past day is now up to at least 99, while the Syrian opposition has placed the number as high as 310 people.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/heavy-fighting-in-halab-syria-and-rumors-of-a-massacre/2012/07/20/

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