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July 28, 2015 / 12 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

France Wants the Whole World to Replace US to Force ‘Peace Process’ [video]

Friday, June 19th, 2015

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is launching a new effort to resurrect the “peace” process” that nobody seems to want, except for Western leaders who see the world from hotel rooms and airplanes.

He is traveling to the Middle East, where he plans to meet with Arab League ministers on Saturday and then with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday.

What new angle could Fabius possibly have in mind to succeed after failures of U.S. Secretaries of State James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Kerry and special envoy George Mitchell, and who else?

The common denominator in the above names is that they all are Americans, and Fabius figures that is the problem. A senior French diplomat told Reuters:

The method to reach a definitive solution has been for both sides to meet face to face with the Americans as an honest broker, but this method has failed. It needs international support.

It is not as if the United States failed alone, the Quartet – consisting the U.S., Russia, the United Nations and the European Union – also escorted the Palestinian Authority to the grave pit that all of them dug for the peace process.

Fabius is building his illusion on the fallacy that, according to the same diplomat, “We can no longer isolate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the regional context.”

Once upon a time, the failure of an agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel was the supposed root cause of unrest in the Arab world.

Then the disagreement became the reason that no one, except perhaps Israel, could stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Now the fall guy is the Islamic State (ISIS). The diplomat said the current “inertia” is “deadly” because if there is not agreement, the ISIS will adopt the Palestinian Authority cause.

Abbas already has rejected the French proposal for a resolution in the U.N. Security Council to give both sides 18 months to agree, meaning Israel must agree to Abbas’ terms. Abbas; problem is that the French resolution would recognize Israel as a “Jewish” state, and he cannot stomach that.

Fabius, like Kerry, doesn’t take “no” for an answer, at least not for 18 months.

The French Foreign Minister forgets it is “He,” and not “he,” who has the whole in His hands.

Israel Saved Obama’s Neck on Assad’s Chemical Weapons

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Israel let President Barack Obama off the hook on which he hanged himself by saying he would bomb Syria because of Bashar Assad’s’ use of chemical weapons, former Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren wrote in his new book.

The man behind the covert plan was none other than Yuval Steinitz, who at the time was Minister of Intelligence. He also is one of the loudest hawks when it comes to warning that President Obama and the other P5+1 powers are in the midst of making a terrible if not lethal mistake by dealing with Iran over its nuclear weapons program.

Assad’s use of chemical weapons, a war crime – as if he were not guilty of others – was discovered in 2013.

President Obama had done everything possible to avoid getting directly involved in the war in Syria, where any result would be a bad result.

However, the use of chemical weapons was a red line President Obama could not ignore.

Obama threatened several times to bomb Syria, and after a month he suddenly changed course 180 degrees.

Oren said it was due to Steinitz, who with the approval of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu came up a plan for Assad to turn over his chemical weapons stockpile to Russia, Assad’s ally.

Bloomberg News reported that Oren wrote in his new book “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide,” to be launched next week but not yet released to the public, that Israel was not against an American aerial attack but was willing to help the president avoid it.

Steinitz was the source of the idea even if it was not a plan so much as an off-the-cuff remark that set off a domino chain reaction.

According to Oren, Steinitz mentioned the idea to the Russians, and then to the State Dept., which did not take him too seriously. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took it very seriously, and the plan quickly moved forward in the United States and United Nations, with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s blessing.

Oren wrote:

The idea originated with an Israeli minister, Yuval Steinitz, who first pitched it to the Russians, who were eager to avoid an American intercession that they could not stop. Netanyahu next brought it to Obama and received a green light.

Before Obama changed course, he had gone so far as to ask the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby to lobby for a war resolution, Oren writes.

Obama never credited Israel, which Steinitz and Netanyahu agreed would not be a good idea,

Steinitz told The New York Times that that he and Prime Minister Netanyahu kept their mouths shut about their role in helping Obama so that no one would say “it’s an Israeli strike [or] Israeli conspiracy, [and] maybe it’s a reason to stop it.”

He told the newspaper:

They never asked if they can give us credit, and we never asked them to give us credit,” he added. “Until today, it was a secret.”

Israel didn’t want credit, giving both Russia and Obama the opportunity to boast.

Oren wrote:

In subsequent interviews, Obama rarely missed the chance to cite the neutralization of Syria’s chemical capabilities as an historic diplomatic achievement.

Russian president Vladimir Putin also took credit for the initiative and praised this ‘vivid example of how the international community can solve the most complex disarmament and non- proliferation tasks.’

Israel’s role remained unmentioned, but its citizens were relieved not to have to sign up for more gas masks.

Granted that President Obama may not think that Israel should bow down to him for not bombing Syria instead of risking retaliation against Israel and the horrendous scene of Israelis walking around with gas masks on their faces because of a chemical attack.

And granted that Obama should not let Israel dictate policy on key issues just because Israel helped him in another area.

But it is one thing not to thank Israel, at least not in public so the the Arabs won’t get upset, and it is another matter to create an image of hate of the leader of an ally that, intentionally or not, may have saved President Obama from one of the worst of the many disasters of his foreign policy.

No one is asking him to say, “Thank you,” but it is reasonable to expect a bit of civility. Obama simply can’t get over his control trip complex.

The president’s obsession with the non-existent “peace process” and with a deal with Iran, no matter what, has blinded him into treating Netanyahu like a voodoo doll in which he has to stick pins.

Israel Has 80 Nuclear Warheads, Says Swiss Research Unit

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Israel has 80 nuclear warheads, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said Monday in a report that estimated the world’s number of warheads fell from 22,600 to 15,850 since 2010.

Most of the drop is due to a reduction in stockpiles in Russia and the United States, it reported. However, the Institute also pointed to “extensive and expensive long-term modernization programs” in both countries.

SIPRI researcher Shannon Kile said in a statement:

Despite renewed international interest in prioritizing nuclear disarmament, the modernization programs under way in the nuclear weapon-possessing states suggests that none of them will give up their nuclear arsenals in the foreseeable future.

The 1968 Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty recognizes three other countries as legally armed with nuclear warheads — China with 260, France with 300 Britain with 215.

Israel, whose policy of “ambiguity” does not admit or deny the presence of nuclear warheads, formerly was estimated by other sources to have at least 200 nuclear warheads.

SIPRI estimates that India has 90-100 warheads and that Pakistan has 100-120 warheads.

North Korea, where the Institute said it was difficult to access “technical progress,” was estimated to have 6-8 warheads.
It added that its estimates are not as reliable for Russia and China as they are for the United States.

Lebanese Media Report Russia Offers to Host Fatah-Hamas Meeting

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Russ has offered to host a peace-pipe meeting between Hamas and Fatah, the Lebanese as-Safir newspaper reported this week.

It added that Hamas accepted the proposal while Fatah, headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, is still thinking about it.

A meeting hosted by Russia would solve the thorny problem of where Fatah and Hamas officials could meet without one side feeling the other has a home advantage.

Russia for years has been trying to play the heavy-weight in the Middle East to counter American influence, which is eroding.

Moscow always plays on both sides of the fence, It is one of the P5+1 countries trying to convince Iran to accept terms to supervise its nuclear development, but it also is building nuclear reactors for the Islamic Republic,

Russia’s trade with Israel amounts to $4.6 billion, but it also has generously armed the Palestinian Authority with weapons and material, such as armored personnel carriers.

IRS $50M Cyber Security Scandal Stretches to Russia

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

A major attack this year by cyber security criminals on the computer network at the U.S. Internal Revenue Service originated in Russia, sources confirmed to Fox News late Wednesday.

The Associated Press has also cited two anonymous sources who reported the IRS believes the hackers are part of a sophisticated criminal operation in Russia. Neither report connected the attack to the Russian government.

But both pointed out that this is not the first time that the IRS has been successfully breached by cyber thieves. Taxpayers whose accounts were accessed will be notified and provided with credit monitoring services, the IRS said.

The IRS inspector-general reported in 2012 hackers managed to manipulate the IRS system into sending 655 tax refunds to a single address in Lithuania. Another 343 tax refunds were sent to another address, this one in Shanghai. Following these attacks, system administrators tweaked the network safeguards to block other hackers.

This year’s attack began sometime in February, according to the report, and continued until mid-May. So far, the thieves have stolen at least $50 million in fraudulent tax refunds. That figure does not include the cost of tracking the breach, nor the expense involved in fixing it and preventing future attempts.

They used a software called “Get Transcript” to access the data. But in order to get into the records, the thieves first had to clear a security screen that required the use of taxpayer information such as a Social Security number, birth date, street address and tax filing number.

According to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, the hackers used stolen Social Security numbers and other information to gain their access to taxpayers’ accounts. Then they used information from prior tax returns to file current fake returns seeking refunds.

“We’re confident these are not amateurs,” Koskinen told Fox News. “These actually are organized crime syndicates that not only we, but everybody in the financial industry are dealing with.” The IRS estimates that it paid out some %5.8 billion in 2013 to identity thieves, both foreign and domestic.

At least 104,000 taxpayer records dating back up to five years and perhaps more were stolen in the cyber heist, officials said.

The IRS notified the Department of Homeland Security following the breach, a federal law enforcement source said. The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a June 2 hearing to question Koskinen and Treasury Inspector-General for Tax Administration J. Russell George on the issue.

“When the federal government fails to protect private and confidential taxpayer information, Congress must act,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said Wednesday in setting the hearing.

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.

China, Russia Unite in Joint Mediterranean Naval Drill

Friday, May 1st, 2015

For the first time ever, China and Russia will conduct a naval exercise together in the Mediterranean Sea. It is intended to become an annual exchange plan, said a spokesperson for the Chinese military.

In a news briefing on Thursday (April 30), Speaking for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People’s Republic of China, spokesperson Sr. Col. Geng Yansheng confirmed “the navies of the two countries are going to conduct a joint exercise code-named “Joint Sea 2015-I” in the waters of the Mediterranean in mid-May.”

“Nine surface ships from the Chinese and Russian navies will take part in the joint exercise,” he said. “China will send three ships of 19th Chinese naval escort task force to take part in the joint exercise. The three ships… have just completed their escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and waters off the Somali coast.”

The exercise is designed to hone the skills of naval personnel in “protection of navigation safety in the far seas,” he said.

It is also intended to “strengthen the pragmatic cooperation between China and Russia and to improve the capabilities of the two navies to deal with maritime threats. What needs to be stressed is that the joint exercise is not targeting any third party and not related to the regional situation,” he underlined.

Russia has continued to arm both Iran and Syria. Both in turn arm Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists in the north, who have ties to the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists within and south of Israel. Despite Israel’s warming diplomatic relationship with China, this exercise may also signal a new direction for the People’s Republic — a concern the spokesperson clearly attempted to allay.

Israel is maintaining a number of natural gas reserve fields in the Mediterranean waters off its northern coast. To its south, its own navy is on constant alert to prevent Iranian-backed terrorists from smuggling weaponry and other contraband to terrorists in Gaza who hope to annihilate the Jewish State.

Other nations who may be affected by this exercise include Turkey, Lebanon, Greece, Crete and Cyprus — all with interests in the gas fields and all of which have either been launching pads or port stops for Hamas “humanitarian” terror flotillas in the past.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/china-russia-unite-in-joint-mediterranean-naval-drill/2015/05/01/

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