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May 30, 2015 / 12 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Russia to Deliver S-300 Missile System to Iran… Eventually

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Russia’s controversial deal with Iran to sell Tehran a powerful air defense system was completed on Monday. Both sides pronounced the talks – frozen since 2010 — a success.

It’s just that each side defined the term differently.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian openly told Iranian state-run news agencies the deal was a “success” and the system would soon be delivered.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters on Tuesday the deal was not quite sealed, despite a statement by President Vladimir Putin several weeks earlier lifting the ban on selling the arms to Iran.

Following Monday’s talks, Russia confirmed it had indeed decided to delivering its S-300 air defense missile system to Iran. But the Kremlin was decidedly vague on a date.

“The decision on delivering the S-300 to Iran has been taken but the realization of the project will take some time,” said Yevgeny Lukyanov, deputy head of the Russian security council, reported Moscow news agencies.

Russia is being equally cagey with its fellow world powers as they negotiate with Tehran over its nuclear technology program in the P5+1 talks led by the United States.

Iran continues to seek – and sometimes to actually find – ways to circumvent international sanctions imposed on transactions dealing with any nuclear or other energy-related product of Iran. The Islamic Republic is also demanding that all sanctions be immediately lifted upon signing any agreement with the world powers.

However, the Tehran government still refuses to allow unlimited, unfettered access to its nuclear research and development sites upon signing the agreement that would limit its uranium enrichment and other nuclear technology activities.

Because these roadblocks still remain, European negotiators are now telling journalists the talks may not end in success; or at least, they won’t close by June 30, the latest deadline set by the U.S. and Iran.

Russia, and China, are also adding their own roadblocks; neither appears willing to stand firm on the issue of imposing “snap back” sanctions to ensure Iran’s compliance with the terms of the deal.

Hence, perhaps, Russia’s latest dance with Iran – and the rest of the world – as it dangles a delivery date for the S-300 missile defense system before the Islamic Republic.

“As I understand, the time of delivery has not yet come,” Lukyanov told reporters.

Netanyahu Cabinet Approves Ministerial Committee on Arab Affairs

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

For foreign pundits not intimately familiar with the composition of the new Netanyahu government, one might think at first that Israel’s cabinet is comprised of left-center politicians. But despite the hard-nosed reputation of the leader of the Jewish State, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu led his cabinet Wednesday in approving the formation of a new ministerial committee Wednesday to deal with issues affecting Israel’s Arab sector.

The ministerial committee, proposed by Senior Citizen Affairs Minister Gila Gamliel, is to be chaired, in fact, by Netanyahu. Gamliel will serve as vice chairperson.

Gamliel, who called the cabinet’s vote of approval “welcome news,” said the formation of the new committee was a “genuine mission.” She added that she believes it “will have a direct influence on reducing gaps, and on equality in the State of Israel.”

Future plans include “in depth discussions with sector representatives” to evaluate what moves the government should take to “reduce the gaps that currently exist in Arab society.”

Gamliel added that she will schedule meetings with Israeli Arab Mks “so we might cooperate in advancing our common goal.”

Minister Warns ‘Hamas Trying to Escalate Security Situation’

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Residents of southern Israel were wondering Tuesday night whether they would be sleeping in their beds or their bomb shelters again by morning. In Gaza, Hamas leaders were wondering the same thing.

A Grad Katyusha rocket attack was launched by Gaza terrorists Tuesday night on southern Israel. One rocket exploded in the community of Gan Yavne, near the port city of Ashdod. At least one teenage girl was taken to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon due to trauma from the attack.

Before midnight, Likud minister Miri Regev was already calling for a government response to the rocket fire aimed just a few hours earlier at civilians in the region. “It’s unfortunate that Hamas is trying to escalate the security situation in the south,” said Regev, a former IDF brigadier-general and spokesperson, currently serving as the government’s Minister of Culture and Sports.

The Hamas leadership began evacuating from their general security quarters after the attack. Gaza media outlets continued to broadcast the news that Hamas terrorist leaders are fleeing their headquarters, as they have in the past under such circumstances. The evacuation is expected to continue into the morning hours – or until all of the leadership is safely tucked away.

There was no immediately information about property damage resulting from the rocket fire. Five Code Red incoming rocket alert air raid sirens activated due to the launch — or launches — in communities that included Bnei Darom, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Lachish, in addition to Gan Yavne.

Things have been quiet for at least a month. Almost four weeks ago to the day, Gaza terrorists fired a Qassam rocket at the Gaza Belt city of Sderot. The rocket exploded on the outskirts of the city and did no damage but triggered air raid sirens in communities throughout the area and sent dozens of families scurrying for cover.

Tuesday’s attack was more serious, involving a more highly-powered rocket that went further north and was capable of far more damage. However, Israelis are for the most part well protected from such attacks due to frequent preparation drills by Home Front Command (two such drills are planned for the country in the coming days, as a matter of fact) and updated building codes that mandate built-in bomb shelters in each new housing unit.

Hamas has done nothing of the sort for its own people, however. As has been the standard in the past, there is nowhere for Gaza civilians to shelter or hide from any Israeli reprisal — in fact, the terrorist organization routinely urges civilians to stand on the roof of buildings in which rocket launchers are housed, and which are targeted for destruction by the Israeli Air Force.

The enclave’s Hamas terrorist rulers never built bomb shelters to protect their people from the reprisals they trigger after launching unprovoked attacks on southern Israeli civilians, assuming that gory photos of civilians deaths will evoke the endless sympathies of an international readership.

Obama’s Adas Israel Speech and Keeping Kids Kosher

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai rejects what he sees as the “Israel-is-to-blame” narrative of President Obama’s speech at the Adas Israel synagogue in Washington DC.

Then, Yishai is joined in-studio by Orthodox Union senior managing director Rabbi Steven Weil and director of leadership development Rabbi Ari Rockoff to discuss the future of American Jewry. They discuss their latest initiative: meeting with 18-year-olds spending a gap year in Israel, to encourage them to involve their counterparts in the US, who have grown distant from their Judaism.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

De facto  Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Israeli diplomats Thursday that her policy is to deliver  a message to the world that “this land is ours” because God gave it to the Jews.

Hotovely official is Deputy Foreign Minister and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu officially has the title of Foreign Minister. In practice, he has placed his trust in her to deal with foreign diplomats.

An Orthodox woman and mother to a baby girl, Hotovely somewhat shocked several Israeli diplomats with a “Dvar Torah,” Hebrew for a short lesson from the Torah. She quoted in brief the Torah commentator Rashi, who cited the interpretation of the  first word of the Torah:

Rashi wrote:

Said Rabbi Isaac: It was not necessary to begin the Torah except from ‘This month is to you, (Exod. 12:2) which is the first commandment that the Israelites were commanded. Now for what reason did He commence with ‘In the beginning?’

Because of [the verse] ‘The strength of His works He related to His people, to give them the inheritance of the nations.’ (Psalms 111:6). For if the nations of the world should say to Israel, ‘You are robbers, for you conquered by force the lands of the seven nations [of Canaan],’ they will reply, ‘The entire earth belongs to the Holy One, blessed be He; He created it (this we learn from the story of the Creation) and gave it to whomever He deemed proper When He wished, He gave it to them, and when He wished, He took it away from them and gave it to us.’

Hotovely added, “We need to return to the basic truth of our rights to this country,” she said. “This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologize for that.”

Her comment that no apologizes are necessary is right out of election campaign of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) and its chairman Naftali Bennett.

Hotovely also quoted Rabbi Yehuda Ashkenazi:

If Jews will convince themselves when facing the world that they are right in their ways, they will get along fine.

Haaretz reported that one diplomat said, “This the first time we have been asked to deliver a Dvar Torah to explain Israel to the world.”

It’s about time.

Her speech to the diplomats represents a radical change – a real revolution – in the Israeli government.

Hotovely, a darling of the national religious movement, has shown herself to be a brilliant politician, and she has won the full trust of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, which is not easy.

One of the main reasons Netanyahu named her as Deputy Foreign Minister is because Hotovely never has lashed out at the Prime Minister like other Likud politicians.

She and Moshe Feiglin, whom Netanyahu maneuvered out of the Knesset, believe that the national religious movement is better off working through the Likud party instead of a smaller and ideologically defined faction, such as the old National Religious Party (Mafdal).

Hotovely has succeeded where Feiglin failed. He tried to go one-on-one against Netanyahu. Hotovely plays the game the way politicians are supposed to play it.

Even when the government carries out expulsions of Jews from the homes in Judea and Samaria, she politely disagrees but carries on with the attitude, “He is the Prime Minister, and I respect that,”

Netanyahu can trust Hotovely, who speaks excellent English, to represent the e the government, and she has stated that she will do so even if she personally disagrees.

Foreign media are aghast that Israel has a de facto Foreign Minister who is against the two-state illusion but Netanyahu has brilliantly made Silvan Shalom responsible for the non-existence “peace process” that Israel has to pretend is alive.

Israel Refuses to Pay $1.1 Billion Swiss Court Award to Iran

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Israel says it will not pay a $1.1 billion award to Iran over a dispute dating back to the period of the Islamic Revolution, won by Tehran this week in the Swiss Federal Court.

“Under the laws of trade we cannot transfer funds to an enemy country,” read a statement issued by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday.

The response came after the court ordered the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC), to pay the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) $1.1 billion over a joint venture that began long before the ayatollahs seized Tehran’s government. The plaintiffs also demanded $7 million in legal fees, although it is not clear whether the court approved the charge. In addition, the court allowed Iran to file a $7 billion arbitration claim against the Jewish State.

In 1968, the two countries made a deal to carry oil from Asia to Eilat and on to Europe. At the time, the NIOC delivered 14.75 million cubic meters of crude oil, worth $450 million, to Israel’s Trans-Asiatic Oil (TAO), Ltd.

The oil moved via a pipeline that reached from Israel’s southernmost port eastward to its Mediterranean port of Ashkelon, and then up the coast to its northern port of Haifa.

Today, the EAPC pipeline in Israel stretches approximately 750 kilometers, according to the company’s website.

The ayatollahs cut off Iran’s business with Israel – and its deal with EAPC –as soon as the ruling Shah was eliminated from the government, saying the Islamic Republic did not recognize Israel as a legitimate nation. To this day, Iran still vows to “wipe the Zionist entity from the map of the world.”

Israel seized Iranian assets and launched a counter-suit to offset its own losses after the deal went sour.

Liberman Warns Netanyahu Not to Meet Arab Party Head

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman is up in arms because Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has scheduled talks with Ayman Odeh, head of the Israeli Arab Joint List of parties.

Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beytenu party, himself pulled out of Netanyahu’s coalition, deliberately leaving Netanyahu the slimmest of margins with which to form a government.

Speaking in an interview on state-run Voice of Israel radio, Liberman accused Netanyahu of flip-flopping on the issue of support for a two-state solution. “Anyone who thinks going back to the 1967 lines will solve the conflict is autistic,” Liberman told the interviewer.

He complained that remarks on the issue by Netanyahu following his meeting on Wednesday with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini reflected a change of heart from the image he portrayed during his campaign.

For Netanyahu to schedule a meeting with Ayman Odeh, the head of the united Arab parties, simply added more fuel to the fire.

“This man represents a list of terror supporters in the Israeli parliament, and the prime minister of Israel, who heads a government which defines itself as nationalist, is meeting with him,” Liberman complained in a statement.

“Netanyahu’s meeting with Odeh, one of the sharpest opponents of Israel being the state of the Jewish people, gives legitimacy to forces working to destroy Israel from within and gives a stamp of approval to the fifth column working inside the Israeli parliament,” he added.

Liberman, who defines himself as nationalistic, swore he would not remain in another Netanyahu government.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/liberman-warns-netanyahu-not-to-meet-arab-party-head/2015/05/21/

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