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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘President Bashar Assad’

Wishy-Washy West Endangers Israel with Russian Missiles for Assad

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

The bloody mess in Syria became even more potentially chaotic Wednesday with Russia’s angry announcement that it will supply Syrian President Bashar Assad with S-300 missile systems, and Israel promptly said  it ”knows what to do” to keep the weapons out of use.

The sale of the missiles, which are considered one of the world’s most advanced air defense systems, is a key card in the dangerous game pitting Russia and Assad against Israel and Western powers which have stated that Assad must go while fearful of which terrorists might replace him.

The European Union took what might have been the worst decision possible Tuesday, declaring that it will lift an arms embargo for rebels but at the same time will not directly ship weapons to the opposition forces.

Russia, which supposedly was convinced by Israel earlier this month to hold off the sale of the missiles to Assad, immediately announced it will ship them to the Syrian regime.

Even more tragic, Moscow assured the world that arming Assad with the missiles will actually contain the chaos because it will serve as a warning for “hotheads considering scenarios in which the conflict may assume an international scale with the participation of outside forces.”

The missiles easily could down a commercial airline inside Israel, so what happens if Hezbollah gets its hands on the missiles, or if the rebels get a hold of them?

Guess who will be in the crosshairs.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon answered that question within hours after the Syrian announcement, warning that Israel ”knows what to do” if the S-300 missiles reach Syria. Israel earlier this year bombed Russian-made SA-17 missiles that Syria was shipping to Hezbollah, and  Ya’alon suggested the same fate awaits the SA-300 missiles.

Assad has wanted the missiles for a long time. Russia has wanted to fatten its treasury with the sale of the weapons and also is desperate to keep its investment in Syria from going up in smoke.

Russia’s announcement of the sale also made the London Sunday Times look stupid. It reported on Sunday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had convinced Russian President Vladimir Putin in a recent visit to cancel the sale. The next day, Britain proudly announced that Russia would indeed not sell them to Assad.

On Tuesday, the European Union angered Russia by declaring an end to the  arms embargo, prompting Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to announce the sale of the missiles.

Ya’alon immediately responded to Russia’s claim of the sale of the missiles by stating, “If God forbid, they reach Syria, we will know what to do.”

The mess in Syria has  had a diplomatic parallel. No one really knows the truth from a lie anymore, and even  Ryabkov said, “I can neither confirm, nor deny in what stage these deliveries are at.”

It is even legitimate to ask whether Russia actually will deliver the missiles or if it just rattling sabers.

The problem for Israel, and the world, is that Russia is interested in money and power more than regional stability. It is Assad’s biggest arms supplier, with current contracts worth $1.5 billion.

If Assad goes, not only does Moscow lose a lot of money but it also loses a base of influence in the Middle East.

Sen. Menendez: US-Israeli Bond Stronger than Turbulent Mideast

Monday, May 27th, 2013

The United States cannot stop at jawboning Iran and turning a blind eye to Syria but instead needs to take the offensive to “stand up for American’s interests” as well as those of Israel, said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Sen. Robert Menendez during his first official visit to Israel.

A strong and passionate support of Israel, he chose to write in the left-wing Haaretz newspaper Monday, “I arrive in a thriving Israel, but there is trouble in the neighborhood. From Egypt to Syria and beyond, the Arab revolutions have been a mixed bag for Israel.”

He wrote that instead of standing on the sidelines, the Obama administration “cannot allow the Iranians to continue to stall through talks while simultaneously bringing hundreds of new centrifuges online.”

He also stated that the United States must actively intervene in Syria, regardless of the emergence of Islamic terrorist groups among rebels fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“The United States must play a role in tipping the scales toward moderate opposition groups and work to build a free and stable Syria,:” he wrote. “I know that there are real concerns about providing arms to the opposition, and I understand those concerns. But the choice is not between arming and not arming. The choice is between responsibly stepping in and leaving it to others who will simply arm the extremists.”

The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons sharply criticized Menendez and the Foreign Relations Committee, warning that the senator does not understand that the “heart-breaking situation in Syria is…not nearly as vital to American national interests as” he claims.

“The al Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra front is one of the few Syrian opposition operations currently making headway against Assad,” according to Clemons. “When it comes to al-Nusra in Syria, the enemy of our enemy remains our enemy — but Senator Menendez does not seem to include this group in his fantasy vision of what the Syrian resistance is comprised of.”

Nasrallah Vowing to Sustain Assad’s Regime (Dubbed Video)

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Hezbollah’s chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah on Saturday praised President Bashar Assad, describing him as the backbone of the resistance, and reiterated that his party would prevent the fall of the regime in Damascus.

“Syria is the backbone of the resistance and we will not sit with our hands crossed,” Nasrallah said at a televised speech.during a ceremony marking the 13th anniversary of Israel’s May, 2000 military withdrawal from Lebanon.

“I say to all the honorable people, to the mujahedeen, to the heroes: I have always promised you a victory and now I pledge to you a new one” in Syria, he said

Nasrallah, who only recently threatened his party would intervene militarily to prevent the fall of Assad, also argued that the Syrian rebel forces, posed a grave danger to Lebanon and the religious diversity it enjoyed.

“If Syria falls into the hand of America, Israel and takfiris, the resistance (Hezbollah) will be besieged and Israel will enter Lebanon and impose its will,” Nasrallah said. The term “Takfiri Islamists” refers to an ideology that urges Sunni Muslims to kill anyone they consider an infidel.

“If Syria falls in the hands of America, Israel and the takfiris, the people of our region will go into a dark period,” he said. “If Syria falls, Palestine will be lost.”

“We entered a new phase a few weeks ago: the phase of fortifying the resistance and protecting its backbone,” he said.

He also justified his party’s intervention in Syria, arguing the toppling of Assad would render his group vulnerable and open to being targeted by its enemies Israel and the United States.

Syria, along with Iran, has been the main backer of Hezbollah and much of the group’s arsenal consisting of tens of thousands of rockets is believed to have come through or from Syria. Iran and Hezbollah are predominantly Shia, while Assad’s Alawite sect is a distant offshoot of Shia Islam.

In past weeks, Syrian rebels in the besieged town of Qusair have been under heavy bombardment from Hezbollah combatants. The town is close to the Lebanese border, a conduit for both the government and rebels to get weapons. Dozens of Hezbollah militants are said to have been killed fighting alongside Syrian troops in Qusair since May 19, when government forces launched an offensive to recapture the rebel-held town.

As always, we wish both sides in the conflict many more years of success in their endeavors.


National Emergency Drill Prepares for the Worst

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Israelis will get a real time drill next week, including how to act in a chemical weapons attack, in the annual Home Front national Emergency Preparedness drill.

Tensions on the northern border postponed the drill, which was supposed to take place three weeks ago.

“Our opponents hold long-range missiles with large warheads and a carrying capacity of hundreds of pounds,” and a “large volume of rocket fire” is a certainty in the event of an attack from the north, said Home Front Command Maj. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg.

The last time Israel was under an aerial attack was last November, before the Pillar of Defense counterterrorist campaign ended Gaza terrorist missiles attacks that struck as far north as Tel Aviv and in the Jerusalem area.

In 2006, Hezbollah pounded the Galilee area, Haifa and Hadera with approximately 4,000 missiles and rockets that killed 44 civilians and more than 120 soldiers.

Since then, Hezbollah is estimate to have increased its stockpile of rockets to more than 60,000 missiles.

IDF officers have said it is only a matter of time until Hamas and/or Hezbollah put their missile stockpiles to work. “The question is no longer will rockets be fired at the large populated areas in Israel, the question is when it’ll happen,” according to Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan.

Next week’s drill will test Israel’s preparedness, especially in urban areas such as metropolitan Tel Aviv.

Sirens will sound at 12:30 p.m. and 19:05 p.m. on Monday, and citizens will be instructed to enter bomb shelters or protected rooms for 10 minutes.

The annual drill is going high-tech this year and will include text messaging and social networks.

“Everyone will hear the siren,” the Home Front said in a preparatory message to Israelis. “There will be announcements on television and radio.  A ‘personal message’ will be sent to all those with cell phones that are capable of receiving them and cell phone providers that participate in the program.”

Third Time this Week: Syrians Fire at IDF Golan Heights Patrol

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Israel’s Syrian border continues to heat up. At 1:30 AM Tuesday, shots were opened on an IDF patrol in the Golan Heights, and the force returned fire.

An examination turned out that some bullets hit the patrol vehicle, but no one was injured. A military source said it is still unclear whether this was the result of fire “leaking” over from the clashes between President Bashar Assad’s army and rebels, or deliberate fire.

The IDF force responded by firing a missile at the position from which the shooting took place, and a precise hit at the target was identified.

This is the third such incident since last Saturday night, with someone on the Syrian side opening fire at IDF troops. On Saturday night an IDF jeep was hit, but no damage or injuries were recorded. Early Monday morning, there was a second firing incident near Tel Hazaka, where currently there are severe clashes between rebel forces and Syrian government soldiers.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz has given the order for IDF patros to shoot back at any source of fire from the other side of the border. But in two of the recent three cases the patrols could not locate the source of fire.

The website Walla reports a concern in the IDF that the Golan Heights region could become a magnet for terrorist attacks against Israeli soldiers near borderline perimeter fence. A sector officer told Walla that the military is getting ready to face any eventuality in the area.

Over the past few months, its has been reported that rebel forces, comprised mostly of Al Qaeda fighters, have been pulling to the south of Syria, as the battles between the two sides are raging. On Saturday, the beleaguered Syrian President accused Israel of supporting the rebels in order to bring him down. But Sources in the Israeli security services have been stressing that the “devil we know,” Assad, is by far preferable to Israel over his enemies.

Red Cross Bares Its Heart and Soul, Honors PA Terrorists

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

The International Red Cross together with the Palestinian Red Crescent in Jenin planted 150 trees bearing the names of “veteran prisoners” who were convicted and jailed for murdering Israelis.

Most foreign and local media call them “militants,” reserving the word terrorists for those who kill people for political gain in a media outlet’s home country.

The Palestinian Authority now has helped the Red Cross add another word to the Orwellian Middle East dictionary: “Veteran prisoners.”

The official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported last week that the Red Cross and Red Crescent “planted 150 fruit trees that carry the names of the veteran prisoners jailed in the occupation prisons.” The article was translated and published on Sunday by the Palestinian Media Watch.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida told its readers that the two organizations “conducted a ceremony called ‘My Honor is My Freedom’ in the village of Zububa to mark the 150th anniversary of their founding. Fruit trees were planted at the entrance to the village, where the racist annexation and expansion wall that has swallowed up thousands of acres [of land] was built.”

The Red Cross has a very cozy relationship with the Palestinian Authority, where the Red Crescent has long been a member of the international organization. Israel’s Magen David rescue services were not accepted by the International Federation of Red Cross until 2005, but on a condition: Magen David has to agree not to operate in Judea and Samaria or areas in Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

Displaying the Jewish Star of David, the translation of the term Magen David and the symbol used on its ambulances, would suggest that the Red Cross, God forbid, acknowledges that Jews can live in Judea and Samaria and all of Jerusalem.

The Red Cross, in its devotion to protecting the rights of prisoners under the Geneva Convention, dutifully makes sure that Israel opens its jails to relatives of jailed Palestinian Authority terrorists.

It took an entirely different attitude during the five heart-wrenching years that Hamas held Gilad Shalit hostage after kidnapping him in a terrorist attack in 2006 that left two other soldiers murdered. The Red Cross went through the motions of demanding his release but did not place any pressure on the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority to work for his freedom.

Shalit’s father Gilad said during his son’s captivity, “We demand that the Red Cross’ approach be more active and decisive. I would like to believe that they would give us a sign of life from Gilad. We are conducting ongoing dialogue with the Red Cross but it has not been much help. I did not hear them condemn Hamas on its crime against Gilad. The Red Cross has been a complete failure in this affair.”

It took the Red Cross almost five years until it made a belatedly public appeal for his release. When Shalit was released, the Red Cross did not even examine him.

The Red Cross also took no action against the Red Crescent and the Palestinian Authority’s assisting terrorism in the early part of this century, during the advanced stage of the Intifada that is also called the “Second Intifada” and the “Oslo War.”

IDF occasionally foiled terrorist attacks by inspecting Red Crescent ambulances before allowing them to continue from Judea and Samaria into urban Israel. More than once, soldiers discovered explosives and weapons under the beds of supposedly pregnant women, a gross violation of international law.

This did not stop the Red Cross from honoring the “prisoners.”

If anyone questions that they really are terrorists, check out the background of such “veteran prisoners” as Karim and Maher Younes, Issa Abd Rabbo, Osama Al-Silawi, Mohammed Turkeman, Nasser Abu Surour and Mahmoud Abu Surour, Zaid Younes, Ibrahim Al-Taqtuq, Ikram Mansour, Ahmed Ka’abna, Nael and Fakhri Barghouti and Samir Kuntar, Jamal Hweil, Jamal Tirawi and Jum’a Adam.

The name “Kuntar” should ring a bell.

Born in Lebanon, he joined the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) with the stated goal of killing Jews.

At the age of 16, he helped kidnap an Israeli family from Nahariya, on the northeast Mediterranean Coast. He murdered four people, including a 4-year-old daughter, in the presence of her father, who also was killed. He was cited as a hero by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Nasrallah Brags Syria will Give Hezbollah ‘Game-Changing’ Weapons

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Hezbollah supreme leader Hassan Nasrallah boasted on Thursday that the Syrian regime will ship to the terrorist organization “game-changing” weapons, a week after Israel bombed Iranian missiles that were sent to Syria for delivery to Hezbollah.

Nasrallah’s rhetoric came a day after Syrian President Bashar Assad’ bravado that he will strike Israel but only when he wants to.

Israel has taken all measures to refrain from getting involved in the Syrian civil war and in the ongoing political and often violent instability in Lebanon, where Hezbollah and its allied pr-Syrian parties play a dominating force.

Hezbollah sucked an unprepared Israel into war in 2006, and his warning Thursday that “Syria will give the resistance special weapons it never had before” challenged Israel to strike again and risk repercussions if Assad tries again to send “game-changing” weapons to Hezbollah.

Hezbollah may be losing some of  its shine among its ranks as a result of reportedly heavy casualty figures in Syria, where it is fighting along side Assad’s forces.

Israel officially was not bothered by Nasrallah’s rant.

“We don’t respond to words. We respond to action,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.

Israel Calms War Fever, Re-Opens Northern Air Space

Monday, May 6th, 2013

The IDF has taken its fingers off the panic button and has lifted Sunday’s ban on civilian aircraft in the north following the weekend bombing attacks on missiles in Syria.

The closure grounded Arkia’s Haifa-Eilat flights as well as private planes, and it was supposed to stay in effect at least until Thursday.

An army spokeswoman told the French news agency AFP that the closure was expected to end later on Monday, while the IDF confirmed to the Jewish Press that the ban already has been lifted.

“Civilian aviation in northern Israel will resume regular operation following security assessments,” a statement said.

Headlines around the world are screaming that Syria, Lebanon and Israel are prepared for war, and that is correct to the extent that every normal country beefs up its defenses in the face of a perceived threat.

But a sure sign that everyone, particular Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar Assad, are basically huffing and puffing is that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took off for China Sunday night.

It is extremely unlikely that the Prime Minister of Israel would trek off the Far East to promote trade relations if political and military analysts expected war.

Just to make sure Syrian President Bashar Assad understands Israel’s intentions of self-defense by bombing in Syria of Iranian missiles that were about to be handed over to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel reportedly sent him a soothing  “don’t worry” message Monday.

Israel has no intention of trying to help the rebels and is not trying to intervene in the civil war, said the message, sent through diplomatic channels, according to the Hebrew language Yediot Acharonot newspaper.

Israel has rarely, if ever, intervened in another country’s political affairs, although critics charge that Israel’s political leaders’ love of American politics has proven the United States to be an exception.

Prime Minister Netanyahu knows full well that it will not relish whoever might replace Assad, termed a “butcher” this week by no less than his former short-lived fair weather friend Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Similarly, Israel uncharacteristically shut up during the Arab Spring rebellion against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The war rhetoric mainly is coming from the other side of the border, with Syrian television even calling on “Palestinians to act against Israel” from the Golan Heights.

However, there are virtually no “Palestinians” in the Golan, where most of those who are not Jewish are Druze.

If Syria meant that the tens of thousands of Palestinians in Syria would cross the Golan Heights border like tourists, of it meant that the Druze are going to fight for Assad, that only shows how much the Syrian regime is living in its own world.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel-shoots-down-war-fever-re-opens-air-space-in-north/2013/05/06/

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