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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1800 on: October 01, 2013, 09:12:03 AM »

Unfortunately not only is that true, but Team Obama made Israel's logistics MUCH harder by leaking the existence of a refueling deal with Azerbaijian back when Israel was planning to bust a move.

My understanding is that Iran's program is so spread out and so dug in that a strike short of a nuclear attack would but delay the program-- AND IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD JUSTIFY IRAN GOING NUKE AND GOING TO WAR AGAINST ISRAEL. 
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G M
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« Reply #1801 on: October 01, 2013, 10:41:50 AM »

Unfortunately not only is that true, but Team Obama made Israel's logistics MUCH harder by leaking the existence of a refueling deal with Azerbaijian back when Israel was planning to bust a move.

My understanding is that Iran's program is so spread out and so dug in that a strike short of a nuclear attack would but delay the program-- AND IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD JUSTIFY IRAN GOING NUKE AND GOING TO WAR AGAINST ISRAEL. 

Exactly the box Buraq wanted to put Israel in.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1802 on: October 13, 2013, 09:18:27 PM »



http://www.yourjewishnews.com/2013/05/27143.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1803 on: October 25, 2013, 11:40:22 AM »

WSJ
Rogue State
Think Israel wouldn't strike Iran's nukes in defiance of America's wishes? Think again.
BY URI SADOT | OCTOBER 21, 2013

As American and Iranian diplomats attempt to reach a rapprochement that would end the historical enmity between their two governments, Israel is weary of being sidelined by its most important ally. While the U.S. incentive for diplomacy is great, it could place Washington in a short-term conflict of interests with Israel, which views Iran as an existential threat. With the renewed negotiations in place, will Israel dare strike a Middle Eastern nation in defiance of its closest allies? It seems unlikely, but 32 years ago, the answer was yes.

On June 7, 1981, Israel launched Operation Opera. A squadron of fighter planes flew almost 1,000 miles over Saudi and Iraqi territory to bomb a French-built plutonium reactor on the outskirts of Baghdad, which Israeli leaders feared would be used by Saddam Hussein to build atomic bombs.

The operation was successful, but the international reaction was severe. On the morning following the attack, the United States condemned Israel, suggesting it had violated U.S. law by using American-made military equipment in its assault. State Department spokesman Dean Fischer reiterated the American position that the reactor did not pose a potential security threat, and White House press secretary Larry Speakes added that President Ronald Reagan had personally approved the condemnation.

Israel didn't hesitate back then to bomb what it viewed as a threatening nuclear program, even at the risk of provoking a conflict with the United States -- and it will likely not hesitate today. As the strike against Iraq shows, Israeli policymakers see the acquisition of nuclear weapons by a hostile regime as an existential threat, and they will risk a breach with Israel's closest allies to prevent it.

Twelve days after the Israeli strike on Iraq, the U.N. Security Council "strongly condemn[ed]" Israel's attack as a violation of the U.N. Charter and the norms of international conduct. The wording of the resolution was carefully drafted by Jeane Kirkpatrick, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and was unanimously approved by the council.

The Reagan administration, which had entered office less than five months prior, had been caught off guard by Israel's surprise attack. Diplomatic cables from the Israeli Embassy in Washington that week reported a very difficult first few days in defending Israel's actions. Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner noted that the "fierce [critiques] of Israel were unlike previous reactions to Israeli operations in the past … and were fueled by the negative briefings given by the administration to Washington reporters."

As Pazner suggested, the media response was scathing. The New York Times editorialized on June 9 that Israel's attack "was an act of inexcusable and short-sighted aggression. Even assuming that Iraq was hellbent to divert enriched uranium for the manufacture of nuclear weapons." The Washington Post stated, "the Israelis have made a grievous error … contrary to their own long-term interests and in a way contrary to American interests as well."

The American public was also largely antagonistic to Israel's attack. Some two weeks after the bombing, a June 19 Gallup poll showed that a plurality of Americans, 45 percent, did not think Israel's strike was justified. In another Gallup survey, conducted one month after the attack, only 35 percent of Americans said they were "more sympathetic to Israel" than to Arab nations. While 57 percent of Americans believed Iraq was planning to make nuclear bombs, only 24 percent thought bombing its reactor was the right thing to do.

The Arab reaction to the raid was vociferous and universal. Iraq's rivals, such as Kuwait, Iran, and Syria, denounced the attack, and Saudi Arabia even offered to finance the construction of a new Iraqi reactor. In Washington, recently declassified CIA estimates predicted that the aggravated Arabs would turn away from the United States and toward the Soviet Union. "Washington's ability to promote Arab cooperation against a Soviet threat or to bring the Arabs and Israelis to the bargaining table has been struck a hard blow," the report warned.

Within Reagan's cabinet, opinions were split. Six years after a major break in U.S.-Israel relations, triggered by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's refusal in 1975 to withdraw from strategic areas in the Sinai, strong voices lobbied the president to teach Israel a lesson. These figures -- including Vice President George H.W. Bush, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, and Chief of Staff James Baker -- were greatly concerned about Israel's offensive use of American fighter jets, in violation of the 1952 military assistance treaty.

On the other side of the table sat Secretary of State Alexander Haig and National Security Advisor Richard Allen, who argued for only a symbolic punishment to placate world opinion.

After several days of discussions, Reagan eventually adjudicated in favor of Israel. He would later write in his memoirs that he was sympathetic to Israel's position and "believed we should give [it] the benefit of the doubt." He directed Kirkpatrick not to condemn Israel itself, but only its "action." The actual punishment was also light -- a delay on the delivery of fighter jets that only lasted a few months.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1804 on: November 04, 2013, 11:08:37 AM »

It is POTH, so caveat lector:
============================================
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/04/world/middleeast/to-shape-young-palestinians-hamas-creates-its-own-textbooks.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131104
GAZA CITY — When a class of Palestinian ninth graders in Gaza recently discussed the deadly 1929 riots over access to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, it was guided by a new textbook, introduced this fall by the Islamist Hamas movement.

Books used by 55,000 children in eighth to 10th grade do not recognize modern Israel or mention the Oslo Peace Accords.

Asked the lesson of the uprising, one of the 40 boys in class promptly answered, “Al Buraq Wall is an Islamic property,” using the Muslim name for the site, one of the holiest in Judaism. Pleased, the teacher then inquired whether the students would boycott Israeli products, as Arabs had boycotted Jewish businesses in 1929. A resounding chorus of “Yes!” came back from the class.

For the first time since taking control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, the Hamas movement is deviating from the approved Palestinian Authority curriculum, using the new texts as part of a broader push to infuse the next generation with its militant ideology.

Among other points, the books, used by 55,000 children in the eighth, ninth and 10th grades as part of a required “national education” course of study in government schools, do not recognize modern Israel, or even mention the Oslo Peace Accords the country signed with the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1990s.

Textbooks have long been a point of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which dueling historical narratives and cultural clashes underpin a territorial fight. And they are central examples of what Israeli leaders call Palestinian “incitement” against Jews, held up as an obstacle to peace talks newly resumed under American pressure.

Beyond their take on Israel, the new texts are also a salvo in the war for influence between the rival Palestinian factions: Gaza-based Hamas and Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority and the West Bank. They reflect a growing gulf between the 1.7 million Palestinians living in the densely populated Gaza Strip and the 2.5 million spread among the West Bank’s cities and villages.

“Textbooks are always and everywhere a very important means of representing a national ethos,” said Daniel Bar-Tal, a Tel Aviv University professor who helped lead a comprehensive recent study of Israeli and Palestinian textbooks.

“When a leader says something, not everyone is listening. But when we talk about textbooks, all the children, all of a particular peer group, will be exposed to a particular material,” he added. “This is the strongest card.”

What Gaza teenagers are reading in their 50-page hardcover texts this fall includes references to the Jewish Torah and Talmud as “fabricated,” and a description of Zionism as a racist movement whose goals include driving Arabs out of all of the area between the Nile in Africa and the Euphrates in Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

“Palestine,” in turn, is defined as a state for Muslims stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. A list of Palestinian cities includes Haifa, Beersheba and Acre — all within Israel’s 1948 borders. And the books rebut Jewish historical claims to the territory by saying, “The Jews and the Zionist movement are not related to Israel, because the sons of Israel are a nation which had been annihilated.”

For contemporary history, there is a recounting of Hamas’s battle with Israel last fall that exaggerates: The books say that rockets from Gaza sent “three million Zionists underground for eight days” (somewhat fewer Israelis were in and out of shelters sporadically), that Tel Aviv was hit (one missile landed in the sea, and another fell well short) and that an attempted strike on Israel’s Parliament building “forced the Zionists to beg for cease-fire.”

Yosef Kuperwasser, a senior Israeli official who has led the charge against the incitement, said the new texts were blunter expressions of a dangerous message spread throughout Palestinian schools and news media.

“Palestinians have developed a system of deception — to English-speaking people they sell one story, and to themselves they have a different story,” Mr. Kuperwasser said. “Textbooks are one of the tools with which they tell their children what is the truth.” He added, “If you want real peace, it has to be based on a real change in the culture of hatred.”

The study that Professor Bar-Tal co-led found that Palestinian Authority books generally contained more negative characterizations of Israel and less self-criticism than Israeli books do of Palestinians, but that both sides presented the other as the enemy, failed to properly mark most maps and lacked information about each other’s religion, culture and daily life.
=========================

 Hamas officials said they had introduced the new textbooks, and doubled the time devoted to the national education course to two sessions per week, because they believed that the Palestinian Authority was under pressure from Israel to sanitize its curriculum. “We need to make sure generations stick to the national rights,” said one Hamas lawmaker, Huda Naim.
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The Gaza Strip is home to 465,000 students. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which supports Palestinian refugee families, runs 250 schools for grades one to nine, and the Hamas government controls 400 schools serving all grades (there are also 46 private schools). Both Hamas and the refugee agency use the Palestinian Authority curriculum also taught throughout the West Bank, but Hamas has added programs, like a military training elective introduced in high schools last year that focuses on resistance to Israel.

In April, Hamas approved a law requiring gender-segregated schools from age 9, and making criminal any contact between educational institutions and Israel. Hamas has also recently increased modesty patrols to check clothing on college campuses and to stop young unmarried men and women from fraternizing in public.

Abdel-Hakim Abu Jamous, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority’s Education Ministry in Ramallah in the West Bank, said no national education textbooks were used in West Bank schools, leaving individual teachers to run lessons as they wish. Jehad Zakarna, a senior official in the ministry, said he had not seen the Hamas textbooks, which were introduced at the start of school on Aug. 20, and therefore could not comment on them.

The new books, written by a Hamas committee, feature cover pictures of Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, a West Bank city, both sites of continuing clashes between Muslim and Jewish worshipers.

Besides their questionable treatment of Israel and Jews, the textbooks present a decidedly Hamas spin on Palestinian politics and recent history. For example, Ahmed Yassin, a Hamas founder, is given equal billing with Yasir Arafat, the former Palestinian president, who remains the definitive national hero in the West Bank.

Anound Ali, a 10th grader at another Gaza City school, expressed concern that the new books could further divide Palestinians. “School textbooks were the last thing uniting us with the West Bank — now we study something different,” she said one recent day after class.

She added: “The book has nothing about Oslo. It’s our right to know about Oslo because it’s a fact in our life.”

At Suliman Sultan School here in Gaza City, a three-story L-shaped building overlooking the rubble of a stadium destroyed by an Israeli F-16 airstrike last November, many students and teachers were thrilled to have the new textbooks.

“It shows the cruelty of the occupation,” said Ahmed Bessisso, a 15-year-old student in the class that discussed the 1929 uprising. “It encourages students to participate in national activities.”

Ahmed’s classmate Mohamed Ajour, also 15, said that he preferred “to study the history of Palestine instead of the history of Egypt or Jordan,” and that the books present the “Palestine I want to learn about — I don’t recognize that Palestine is only Gaza and West Bank.”

Munir Qatayef, who teaches another national education section in the school, said the book had been “big for students.”

“It’s highly politicized,” Mr. Qatayef said. “It’s a lesson of nationalism and belonging.”
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ccp
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« Reply #1805 on: November 08, 2013, 08:27:05 AM »

Lead article on Drudge.

Treasury simply stopped enforcing companies that do business with Iran.  I assume the House and Senate Committees that deal with this were in the dark.

The government departments are simply ordered to do his bidding behind the scenes.

This makes Iran Contra look like peanuts.

Of course the shysters will be out en masse denying this is the case. 

And Hillary will be doing polls and devising her distancing strategy behind the scenes.

She will campaign for stronger ties with Israel and the Hollywood hypocrites will be flooding her with money.   Now the liar in chief is safely in for the second term they will shift their support to the next one.

All the while we are going to have a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1806 on: November 08, 2013, 08:47:52 AM »

Treasury simply stopped enforcing companies that do business with Iran.  I assume the House and Senate Committees that deal with this were in the dark.

The government departments are simply ordered to do his bidding behind the scenes.

This makes Iran Contra look like peanuts.

Of course the shysters will be out en masse denying this is the case. 

And Hillary will be doing polls and devising her distancing strategy behind the scenes.

She will campaign for stronger ties with Israel and the Hollywood hypocrites will be flooding her with money.   Now the liar in chief is safely in for the second term they will shift their support to the next one.

All the while we are going to have a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. 

This time he meant it, if you like your nuclear plan, you can keep your nuclear plan.
------------------

http://www.jpost.com/Iranian-Threat/News/First-step-deal-on-Irans-nuclear-program-expected-as-early-as-Friday-330978

Netanyahu slams proposed deal with Iran in harshest words to date

The deal being worked out between the world powers and Iran is a very bad deal that Israel is not obliged by, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday.

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G M
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« Reply #1807 on: November 08, 2013, 04:51:04 PM »

Who could have foreseen that Buraq would fcuk Israel?
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objectivist1
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« Reply #1808 on: November 11, 2013, 08:17:13 AM »

Will Obama Give Iran the Deal of the Century?

Posted By P. David Hornik On November 11, 2013 @ frontpagemag.com

Israeli officials were described as “furious at the Obama administration” over what seemed to be an emerging nuclear deal between the P5+1 countries (the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China, plus Germany) and Iran.

One official was quoted saying that “the Americans capitulated to Iranian maneuvering…. Kerry wants a deal at all costs and the Iranians are leading the Americans by the nose.”

As for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, he was described as being “in shock.” That was evident enough in a statement Netanyahu released Friday morning after seeing off Secretary of State Kerry at the airport, in which Netanyahu dispensed with diplomatic bromides and said:

I urge Secretary Kerry not to rush to sign, to wait, to reconsider, to get a good deal. But this is a bad deal—a very, very bad deal. It’s the deal of a century for Iran; it’s a very dangerous and bad deal for peace and the international community.

Kerry’s visit to Israel had already been a rough one, in which he first stigmatized Israeli communities as “illegitimate” and then, on Israeli TV Thursday night, as The Times of Israel’s Raphael Ahren aptly put it, “appeared to come perilously close to empathizing with potential Palestinian aggression against Israel.” (Reactions by other Israeli commentators were titled “Kerry, give it a rest” and “Kerry: Stay home”.)

But the real stunner came on Friday when Jerusalem apparently got word of the deal that seemed to be taking shape in Geneva. It led to the canceling of a joint media appearance between Netanyahu and Kerry, and prompted, instead, a bitter exchange between them before Kerry headed off to the Swiss city.

The possible deal gravely worries Israel—and others with a realistic view of the situation—because it allows Iran to continue uranium enrichment (albeit at a lower level—now meaningless given Iran’s advanced centrifuges), continue the construction of its heavy-water reactor in Arak (aimed at producing plutonium bombs), while not requiring the dismantling of a single centrifuge.

At the same time, in “reward” essentially for nothing, the deal gives Iran sanctions relief far beyond what Israeli officials had been led to expect, reportedly including “the unfreezing of $3 billion of fuel funds, an easing of sanctions on the petrochemical and gold sectors, an easing of sanctions on replacement parts for planes and a loosening of restrictions on the Iranian car industry.”

With Chinese, Italian, German, and other companies champing at the bit to resume doing lucrative business with Iran, it’s believed such an opening will lead to the sanctions regime’s total collapse.

So Israel was relieved when it turned out the deal—for the time being—had fallen through on Saturday. But with the talks set to resume in nine days, trepidation remains high.

Israel’s ally in objecting to the putative deal has turned out to be France. That appeared to validate earlier reports that, among the Western powers, France was the most clear-eyed about the ayatollahs’ regime and the closest to Israel in its perceptions. France has long had tight ties with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states and appears to have absorbed some of their realism—and fear—about a nuclear Iran.

Meanwhile, on Sunday morning, Netanyahu’s office issued a press release in which he stated:

Over the weekend I spoke with President Obama, with President Putin, with President Hollande, with Chancellor Merkel and with British Prime Minister Cameron. I told them that according to all the information reaching Israel, the impending deal is bad and dangerous.

It is not only dangerous to us; it is dangerous for them, too. It is dangerous for the peace of the world because in one fell swoop it lowers the pressure of the sanctions which took years to build, and conversely, Iran essentially preserves its nuclear uranium enrichment capabilities as well as the ability to advance on the plutonium enrichment path.

…I asked all the leaders what the rush is. And I suggested that they wait…. It is good that this was ultimately the choice that was made but I am not fooling myself—there is a strong desire to strike a deal….

Iran’s allegedly “moderate” president Hassan Rouhani, for his part, did not sound conciliatory on Sunday when he said Iran’s “red lines” included uranium enrichment and that “We will not answer to any threat, sanction, humiliation or discrimination.” But with Iran’s interlocutors—possibly with the exception of France—already apparently ready to fold on the enrichment issue, Rouhani’s words seemed aimed mainly at Israel.

For Israel, after so many avowals of President Obama’s determination to prevent Iran from going nuclear, the latest turn of events is alarming and disillusioning. Many believe that, as long as diplomatic activity between the P5+1 and Iran is going on, Israel is effectively screened out of taking military action. Netanyahu had that in mind when he also said on Friday: “Israel is not obliged by this agreement and Israel will do everything it needs to do to defend itself and the security of its people.”

If the situation looks desperate and Israel takes that course, it will not be without (tacit) allies in the region.
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
DougMacG
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« Reply #1809 on: November 11, 2013, 12:31:10 PM »

http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2013/11/217314.htm
In Jerusalem, Nov 7, 2013:

Sec. Kerry described Israel's settlements in the West Bank as "illegitimate" and warned ominously: "The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos. I mean, does Israel want a third intifada?"
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1810 on: November 18, 2013, 08:37:42 PM »

Click here to watch: Hamas Prepares for War

During an Al-Qassam Brigade military parade Hamas officials called on Fatah to prepare for war with Israel, and threatened to declare war if Jews are allowed to pray at the Temple Mount. At the parade by Hamas' "military wing", which marks a year since the IDF Pillar of Defense counter-terror operation in Gaza, Raeed Sa'ad, a high-ranking commander of Al-Qassam, called on Fatah and its military branch in Judea and Samaria to prepare for the next clash with Israel. Sa'ad added that "jihad and struggle" were the only way to confront Israel, saying "don't be mistaken by the peace talks that won't bring anything but additional concessions." The call comes right after Palestinian Authority (PA) negotiators quit recent peace talks. Hamas called on the PA to end the talks altogether just Thursday. Hamas spokesperson Mahmoud Al-Zahar spoke at the same event, opining that the balance of forces is swinging in favor of the Palestinians, and saying that in the next conflict "we will invade them and they won't invade us." Additionally Sa'ad threatened Israel, warning that Al-Qassam Brigades will declare war if plans to allow Jews to pray at the holiest site in Judaism in a rotating time table between Jews and Muslims is carried out.

Mushir al-Masri, a top Hamas terrorist and member of the PA parliament, declared that a 'calm' or cease-fire period with Israel was the best time to prepare new tactics against Israel's alleged "aggression" - both above and below ground. Speaking on behalf of Hamas at the College for Science and Technology in Khan Yunis on Monday, al-Masri emphasized that the next conflict with Israel would be underground, and that "we will enter your homes, your schools, your positions and your strongholds."

WATCH HERE

Meanwhile Yehudah Glick, Chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Fund, ended a 12 day hunger strike Thursday after Jerusalem District Police Chief Yossi Pariente gave him permission to return to the Temple Mount. Glick began the hunger strike after police barred him from the Temple Mount with no reason cited.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1811 on: November 25, 2013, 12:22:17 PM »

http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/iaf-launches-largest-international-military-exercise-in-israels-history?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Israel+Breaking+News+Video%3A+IAF%2C+US+Air+Force+hold+largest+joint-military+exercise+in+Israel%27s+history&utm_campaign=20131125_m118065256_11%2F25%3A+Israel+Breaking+News+Video%3A+IAF%2C+US+Air+Force+hold+largest+joint-military+exercise+in+Israel%27s+history&utm_term=IAF+Launches+Largest+International+Military+Exercise+in+Israel_27s+History
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1812 on: November 26, 2013, 10:38:16 AM »

Caroline Glick at the Jerusalem Post is particularly harsh on President Obama today.

The Goal of Obama's Foreign Policy

By Caroline Glick - November 26, 2013

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/11/26/the_goal_of_obamas_foreign_policy_120781.html#ixzz2llp35Oz5

Last paragraph: 

His goal is not to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. It isn’t even to facilitate a rapprochement between America and Iran. The goal of Obama’s foreign policy is to weaken the State of Israel.

Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/11/26/the_goal_of_obamas_foreign_policy_120781.html#ixzz2llpFs2xL
Follow us: @RCP_Articles on Twitter

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objectivist1
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« Reply #1813 on: November 26, 2013, 11:32:42 AM »

I've met and chatted with Caroline.  She's an incredibly sharp, incisive, no-nonsense person who tells it like it is with no sugar-coating.  I think she's actually just being honest and factual in this piece.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1814 on: November 26, 2013, 02:50:52 PM »

I first became aware of her via Rachel's postings of her articles here-- the quality of them spoke for itself.  Very cool that you met her.  How did it come about?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1815 on: December 03, 2013, 11:45:45 AM »

 Israel's New Strategic Position
Geopolitical Weekly
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 04:00 Print Text Size
Stratfor

By George Friedman

Israel has expressed serious concerns over the preliminary U.S.-Iranian agreement, which in theory will lift sanctions levied against Tehran and end its nuclear program. That was to be expected. Less obvious is why the Israeli government is concerned and how it will change Israel's strategic position.

Israel's current strategic position is excellent. After two years of stress, its peace treaty with Egypt remains in place. Syria is in a state of civil war that remains insoluble. Some sort of terrorist threat might originate there, but no strategic threat is possible. In Lebanon, Hezbollah does not seem inclined to wage another war with Israel, and while the group's missile capacity has grown, Israel appears able to contain the threat they pose without creating a strategic threat to Israeli national interests. The Jordanian regime, which is aligned with Israel, probably will withstand the pressure put on it by its political opponents.

In other words, the situation that has existed since the Camp David Accords were signed remains in place. Israel's frontiers are secure from conventional military attack. In addition, the Palestinians are divided among themselves, and while ineffective, intermittent rocket attacks from Gaza are likely, there is no Intifada underway in the West Bank.

Therefore, Israel faces no existential threats, save one: the possibility that Iran will develop a nuclear weapon and a delivery system and use it to destroy Israel before it or the United States can prevent it from doing so. Clearly, a nuclear strike on Tel Aviv would be catastrophic for Israel. Its ability to tolerate that threat, regardless of how improbable it may be, is a pressing concern for Israel.

In this context, Iran's nuclear program supersedes all of Israel's other security priorities. Israeli officials believe their allies, particularly those in the United States, should share this view. As a strategic principle, this is understandable. But it is unclear how Israel intends to apply it. It is also unclear how its application will affect relations with the United States, without which it cannot cope with the Iranian threat.

Israel understands that however satisfactory its current circumstances are, those circumstances are mercurial and to some extent unpredictable. Israel may not rely heavily on the United States under these circumstances, but these circumstances may not be permanent. There are plenty of scenarios in which Israel would not be able to manage security threats without American assistance. Thus, Israel has an overriding interest in maintaining its relationship with the United States and in ensuring Iran never becomes a nuclear state. So any sense that the United States is moving away from its commitment to Israel, or that it is moving in a direction where it might permit an Iranian nuclear weapon, is a crisis. Israel's response to the Iran talks -- profound unhappiness without outright condemnation -- has to be understood in this context, and the assumptions behind it have to be examined.

More than Uranium

Iran does not appear to have a deliverable nuclear weapon at this point. Refining uranium is a necessary but completely insufficient step in developing a weapon. A nuclear weapon is much more than uranium. It is a set of complex technologies, not the least of which are advanced electrical systems and sensors that, given the amount of time the Iranians have needed just to develop not-quite-enough enriched uranium, seems beyond them. Iran simply does not have sufficient fuel to produce a device.

Nor it does not have a demonstrated ability to turn that device into a functioning weapon. A weapon needs to be engineered to extreme tolerances, become rugged enough to function on delivery and be compact enough to be delivered. To be delivered, its must be mounted on a very reliable missile or aircraft. Iran has neither reliable missiles nor aircraft with the necessary range to attack Israel. The idea that the Iranians will use the next six months for a secret rush to complete the weapon simply isn't the way it works.

Before there is a weapon there must be a test. Nations do not even think of deploying nuclear weapons without extensive underground tests -- not to see if they have uranium but to test that the more complex systems work. That is why they can't secretly develop a weapon: They themselves won't know they have a workable weapon without a test. In all likelihood, the first test would fail, as such things do. Attempting their first test in an operational attack would result not only in failure but also in retaliation.

Of course, there are other strategies for delivering a weapon if it were built. One is the use of a ship to deliver it to the Israeli coast. Though this is possible, the Israelis operate an extremely efficient maritime interdiction system, and the United States monitors Iranian ports. The probability is low that a ship would go unnoticed. Having a nuclear weapon captured or detonated elsewhere would infuriate everyone in the eastern Mediterranean, invite an Israeli counterstrike and waste a weapon

Otherwise, Iran theoretically could drive a nuclear weapon into Israel by road. But these weapons are not small. There is such a thing as a suitcase bomb, but that is a misleading name; it is substantially larger than a suitcase, and it is also the most difficult sort of device to build. Because of its size, it is not particularly rugged. You don't just toss it into the trunk, drive 1,500 miles across customs checkpoints and set it off. There are many ways you can be captured -- particularly crossing into Israel -- and many ways to break the bomb, which require heavy maintenance. Lastly, even assuming Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon, its use against Israel would kill as many Muslims -- among them Shia -- as Israelis, an action tantamount to geopolitical suicide for Tehran.
A Tempered Response

One of the reasons Israel has not attempted an airstrike, and one of the reasons the United States has refused to consider it, is that Iran's prospects for developing a nuclear weapon are still remote. Another reason is difficulty. Israel's air force is too far removed and too small to carry out simultaneous strikes on multiple facilities. If the Israelis forward-deployed to other countries, the Iranians would spot them. The Israelis can't be certain which sites are real and which are decoys. The Iranians have had years to harden their facilities, so normal ordnance likely would be inadequate. Even more serious is the fact that battle damage assessment -- judging whether the site has been destroyed -- would be prohibitively difficult.

For these reasons, the attack could not simply be carried out from the air. It would require special operations forces on the ground to try to determine the effects. That could result in casualties and prisoners, if it could be done at all. And at that the Israelis can only be certain that they have destroyed all the sites they knew about, not the ones that their intelligence didn't know about. Some will dismiss this as overestimating Iranian capabilities. This frequently comes from those most afraid that Tehran can build a nuclear weapon and a delivery system. If it could do the latter, it could harden sites and throw off intelligence gathering. The United States would be able to mount a much more robust attack than the Israelis, but it is unclear whether it would be robust enough. And in any case, all the other problems -- the reliability of intelligence, determining whether the site were destroyed -- would still apply.

But ultimately, the real reason Israel has not attacked Iran's nuclear sites is that the Iranians are so far from having a weapon. If they were closer, the Israelis would have attacked regardless of the difficulty. The Americans, on the other hand, saw an opportunity in the fact that there are no weapons yet and that the sanctions were hurting the Iranians. Knowing that they were not in a hurry to complete and knowing that they were hurting economically, the Iranians likewise saw an opportunity to better their position.

From the American point of view, the nuclear program was not the most pressing issue, even though Washington knew it had to be stopped. What the Americans wanted was an understanding with the Iranians, whereby their role in the region would be balanced against those of other countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, the Arabian emirates and to some extent Israel. As I've argued, the United States is still interested in what happens in the region, but it does not want to continue to use force there. Washington wants to have multiple relations with regional actors, not just Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Israel's response to the U.S.-Iran talks should be understood in this way. The Israelis tempered their response initially because they knew the status of Iran's nuclear program. Even though a weapon is still a grave concern, it is a much longer-term problem than the Israelis admit publicly. (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tried hard to convince the United States otherwise, the United States isn't biting.) Since an attack has every chance of failing, the Israelis recognize that these negotiations are the most likely way to eliminate the weapons, and that if the negotiations fail, no one will be in a more dangerous position for trying. Six months won't make a difference.

The Israelis could not simply applaud the process because there is, in fact, a strategic threat to Israel embedded in the talks. Israel has a strategic dependency on the United States. Israel has never been comfortable with Washington's relationship with Saudi Arabia, but there was nothing the Israelis could do about it, so they accommodated it. But they understand that the outcome of these talks, if successful, means more than the exchange of a nuclear program for eased sanctions; it means the beginning of a strategic alignment with Iran.

In fact, the United States was aligned with Iran until 1979. As Richard Nixon's China initiative shows, ideology can relent to geopolitical reality. On the simplest level, Iran needs investment, and American companies want to invest. On the more complex level, Iran needs to be certain that Iraq is friendly to its interests and that neither Russia nor Turkey can threaten it in the long run. Only the United States can ensure that. For their part, the Americans want a stronger Iran to contain Saudi support for Sunni insurgents, compel Turkey to shape its policy more narrowly, and remind Russia that the Caucasus, and particularly Azerbaijan, have no threat from the south and can concentrate on the north. The United States is trying to create a multipolar region to facilitate a balance-of-power strategy in place of American power.
Israel in 10 Years

I began by pointing out how secure Israel is currently. Looking down the road 10 years, Israel cannot assume that this strategic configuration will remain in place. Egypt's future is uncertain. The emergence of a hostile Egyptian government is not inconceivable. Syria, like Lebanon, appears to be fragmented. What will come of this is unclear. And whether in 10 years the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan will remain Hashemite or become a Palestinian state is worthy of contemplation. None have military power now, but then Egypt went from disaster in 1967 to a very capable force in 1973. They had a Soviet patron. They might have another patron in 10 years.

Right now, Israel does not need the United States, nor American aid, which means much less to them now than it did in 1973. They need it as a symbol of American commitment and will continue to need it. But the real Israeli fear is that the United States is moving away from direct intervention to a more subtle form of manipulation. That represents a threat to Israel if Israel ever needs direct intervention rather than manipulation. But more immediately, it threatens Israel because the more relationships the United States has in the region, the less significant Israel is to Washington's strategy. If the United States maintains this relationship with Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others, Israel becomes not the anchor of U.S. policy but one of many considerations. This is Israel's real fear in these negotiations.

In the end, Israel is a small and weak power. Its power has been magnified by the weakness of its neighbors. That weakness is not permanent, and the American relationship has changed in many ways since 1948. Another shift seems to be underway. The Israelis used to be able to depend on massive wellsprings of support in the U.S. public and Congress. In recent years, this support has become less passionate, though it has not dried up completely. What Israel has lost is twofold. First, it has lost control of America's regional strategy. Second, it has lost control of America's political process. Netanyahu hates the U.S.-Iran talks not because of nuclear weapons but because of the strategic shift of the United States. But his response must remain measured because Israel has less influence in the United States than it once did.

Read more: Israel's New Strategic Position | Stratfor

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« Reply #1816 on: December 04, 2013, 08:58:31 AM »

Spencer and Geller Banned from Britain for Supporting Israel

Posted By Robert Spencer On December 4, 2013 @ frontpagemag.com

New revelations about why I was banned from entering Great Britain reveal how deeply compromised the British government is to hard-Leftists and Islamic supremacists – including the most virulent haters of Israel.

As faithful FrontPage readers may recall, last June I was banned from Britain because, as a letter from the U.K. Home Office told me, “your presence here is not conducive to the public good.” Why not? Because I said (quite factually) that Islam “is a religion and is a belief system that mandates warfare against unbelievers for the purpose for establishing a societal model that is absolutely incompatible with Western society.” And also because, the letter said, “you are the founder of the blog Jihad Watch (a site widely criticized for being Islamophobic),” and “you co-founded the Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America, both of which have been described as anti-Muslim hate groups.”

Note the passive voice: the Freedom Defense Initiative (actually the American Freedom Defense Initiative, AFDI) and Stop Islamization of America “have been described as anti-Muslim hate groups” by whom? The letter didn’t say. And Jihad Watch has been “widely criticized for being Islamophobic” by whom? The letter gives no hint, instead attempting to establish these charges as the judicious assessment of neutral observers.

Now, however, newly released documents relating to our case, as Pamela Geller discussed in a recent Daily Caller article, reveal that the Home Office’s decision was guided by far-Left agitation groups with a deep animus against Israel.

Of course, this was already obvious from the Home Office’s repetition of the charge that Jihad Watch is “Islamophobic” in its letter to me. “Islamophobia” is a manipulative and propagandistic neologism designed to intimidate non-Muslims into thinking that there is something “bigoted” and “racist” about resisting jihad terror and opposing Sharia oppression of women, non-Muslims, gays and others. The only people who use it at all are Islamic supremacists who want to clear away all obstacles to the advance of jihad, their Leftist allies, and those whom they have bamboozled into thinking it is a legitimate term of discourse – such as the British Home Office.

So it was obvious already who was whispering into the Home Office’s ear, but now it is confirmed. As Pamela Geller noted, in the newly revealed documents “all reference to the identities of those who asked that we be banned have been blacked out.” However, “their black marker missed one reference, revealing that one of the groups complaining about us was Faith Matters. Faith Matters was founded by a Muslim named Fiyaz Mughal, who also heads up Tell Mama, a group dedicated to tracking ‘Islamophobia.’ Tell Mama lost government funding in June after making false claims of waves of attacks ‘Islamophobic incidents.’”

So around the same time that Tell Mama was being stripped of its government funding for lying about the prevalence of “anti-Muslim hate crimes,” that same government was accepting its advice and counsel in favor of banning Pamela Geller and me from the country. Was the Home Office unaware that Tell Mama was wildly exaggerating “Islamophobia” in Britain, and was thus an untrustworthy source for any information related to it, or did it simply not care?

As the Home Office makes its case against us, it also cites as authorities two pro-jihad smear sites, Loonwatch and Islamophobia Today – both of which have published numerous false charges, distortions, and outright lies about me, my public stands on various issues, my activities, and my associations. Both are devoted to completely discrediting anyone who dares to criticize jihad and Islamic supremacism, and to portraying those who oppose jihad terror as just terrible, terrible people. Generally they do this in the context of lurid ridicule of and furious hatred and contempt for their targets, larded with risible pseudo-scholarly “refutations” of their works recalling nothing so much as Der Stürmer. And true to their Nazi prototype, both are relentlessly anti-Israel, retailing Palestinian jihad propaganda with the same clownish fury and disregard for the facts that marks their analyses as a whole.

That anyone regards such sites seriously, with their gleeful flouting of accuracy and genuine analysis, and willingness to retail any smear to discredit their targets, is strange enough. That the British Home Office would be among those who do is a telling indication of just how thoroughly David Cameron’s Conservative government has been compromised, and how abjectly it has capitulated to a far-Left agenda.

The prime confirmation of this comes from one email from the Home Office’s massive team investigating Geller and me. The author (name redacted, of course) notes that the subject profiles that were prepared on us cite our “pro-Israeli views,” and argues that this material be removed, lest the wicked Zionists Geller and Spencer “argue publically that their exclusion is on the basis of their support for Israel.”

Well, that let the cat out of the bag. So here goes: I am hereby arguing publically that my exclusion was on the basis of my support for Israel, along with my “Islamophobia.” In banning me from the country, the British government capitulated to far-Left and Islamic supremacist pressure groups that are both virulently anti-Israel and enraged about the trumped-up phenomenon of “Islamophobia,” while making excuses for or ignoring altogether the reality of Islamic jihad and the numerous human rights abuses perpetrated daily in its name.

Were this a Labour government, this capitulation might be understandable – after all the Leftist/Islamic supremacist alliance has been noted in numerous quarters for years, and people nowadays more or less expect liberals and Leftists to be anti-Israel and anti-counterjihad, if not outright pro-jihad. But the Tories?

The Conservative government of David Cameron has failed the British people as thoroughly and resoundingly as the Republican Party has failed the American people. Both could have and should have constituted themselves as a loyal opposition, departing from the Leftist line. Instead, they have parroted it in innumerable ways, and disenfranchised millions of their constituents by offering no alternative to the dominant paradigm.

Whether or not I ever get into Britain again, the Conservative collapse revealed in the Home Office documents relating to my ban reveal a ruling party, and a society, that is profoundly confused, deeply compromised, and facing far greater crises to come.
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
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« Reply #1817 on: December 06, 2013, 10:06:46 AM »

http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/hamas-tallies-attacks-against-israel-in-tv-clip?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Israel+Breaking+News+Video%3A+Hamas+tallies+attacks+against+Israel+in+TV+clip&utm_campaign=20131203_m118163564_12%2F6%3A+Israel+Breaking+News+Video%3A+Hamas+tallies+attacks+against+Israel+in+TV+clip&utm_term=Hamas+tallies+attacks+against+Israel+in+TV+clip
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« Reply #1818 on: December 14, 2013, 10:56:28 PM »

Abbas Decorates Arch-Terrorist, Killer of 125 Israelis

 


Click here to watch: Abbas Decorates Arch-Terrorist, Killer of 125 Israelis

The snow that fell in Jerusalem Thursday morning presented dangers to motorists in Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has granted a posthumous honor to arch-terrorist Abu Jihad, who was responsible for the murder of at least 125 Israelis in numerous terror attacks that he planned, including a bus hijacking in 1978, in which 37 civilians were murdered. Official PA TV News reported that Abbas, in order "to honor the founding leaders and the first generation of the Palestinian revolution and the PLO, and out of loyalty to their history of struggle," chose to decorate Abu Jihad with "the highest order of the Star of Honor." At the ceremony, Abbas handed the award to Abu Jihad's widow. Secretary-General of the Presidential Office, Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, read aloud the "decree" signed by Abbas, calling terrorist Abu Jihad "the model of a true fighter and devoted leader," and praising him for "his honorable national role":

WATCH HERE

The glorification of arch-terrorist Abu Jihad is a long-standing PA and Fatah policy. Every year in April, the anniversary of Abu Jihad's death is marked with numerous events and ceremonies held in his honor. This year, PMW reported that the official PA news agency WAFA lauded Abu Jihad as a killer of 125, listing all the terror attacks he planned and directed, specifying the number of murdered: "Abu Jihad was killed by the Israeli Mossad in Tunisia on April 16, 1988... and was crowned the Prince of the Martyrs of Palestine... Among the military operations planned by Abu Jihad: the explosion at the Zohar reservoir in 1955; the operation to blow up the Israeli National Water Carrier in 1965; the operation at the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv, which killed 10 Israelis, in 1975; the blowing up of a truck bomb in Jerusalem in 1975; the killing of Albert Levi, the senior sapper, and his assistant, in Nablus in 1976; the Dalal Mughrabi operation (i.e., bus hijacking), in which more than 37 Israelis were killed, in 1978; the shelling of the Eilat Port in 1979; the Katyusha fire on the northern settlements [in Israel] in 1981..."

[WAFA and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 16, 2013] At a Fatah event in January this year, Abbas praised Abu Jihad and other terrorists who killed hundreds as "the blessed Martyrs" and "the leaders of all the fighting forces": "We renew the promise to our blessed Martyrs, that we will follow the path of the Martyr Brother Yasser Arafat and his comrades among the leaders of all the fighting forces, all the Martyrs. Among them, I mention Martyr Abu Jihad..."
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« Reply #1819 on: December 25, 2013, 07:08:26 PM »

Iron Dome Deployed to Sderot, Tensions high on Border With Gaza

 


Click here to watch: Iron Dome Deployed to Sderot, Tensions high With Gaza

Israeli Defense Forces have struck a Hamas observation site near the border fence and also destroyed a weapons storage site and a Hamas base. According to the IDF, Hamas used the post to monitor IDF movement in the sector. The moves came after a sniper in Gaza shot and killed an Israel citizen a day earlier. 22-year-old Salah Shukri Abu Latyef had been doing maintenance work on the Israel-Gaza security in the northern Gaza strip. He was evacuated to a nearby hospital, but died of his injuries. According to the IDF's website, this and similar incidents are becoming more frequent, with Hamas leaders praising recent attacks by lone individuals or organizations on the Jewish state.

Fearing rocket fire from Gaza, the IDF deployed the Iron Dome anti-missile system Wednesday to protect the Western Negev city of Sderot. On Tuesday, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck multiple terror enclaves in Hamas-controlled Gaza, in response to the murder of 22 year-old Salah Shukri Abu Latyef earlier that day. Laytef had been fixing damage to the security fence for the IDF, after reports revealed that the fence had sustained multiple breaches since last week's storm. The IDF stated that the decision to move the Dome to Sderot is to avoid taking unnecessary risks. Sderot suffered a barrage of missile attacks during Operation Pillar of Defense, and it could be a prime target in the event that Hamas retaliates. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon warned Hamas Tuesday that Israel's patience with rocket attacks - and over its role in the wave of terror rolling across Israel - has begun to wane. The attack was the fifth in 5 days; statistics released Monday revealed that the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have led to an increase in terror. "I advise Hamas to not test our patience," Yaalon warned. "If there won't be quiet in Israel, there won't be quiet in Gaza either." Hamas, as usual, responded with defiance, insisting that "the occupier and its raids will not deter or stop the resistance."
WATCH HERE

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« Reply #1820 on: January 03, 2014, 08:16:43 AM »



http://www.dodbuzz.com/2013/12/30/reports-kerry-would-put-us-troops-in-palestine/
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« Reply #1821 on: January 03, 2014, 11:27:46 AM »

second post

http://www.investigativeproject.org/4253/despite-israeli-strikes-hizballah-gathers


http://www.investigativeproject.org/4252/israelis-nato-ally-turkey-now-hamas-top-funder
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« Reply #1822 on: January 04, 2014, 08:24:08 PM »

Unfortunately, and perhaps soon to be tragically, it looks like I was quite prescient when I commented here that it would prove to be a historical error when Israel pulled back before the job was done the last time it went into Lebanon.

=========================

Click here to watch: Hezbollah Significantly Upgrades Missile Threat to Israel

U.S. officials believe members of Hezbollah, the militant group backed by Iran, are smuggling advanced guided-missile systems into Lebanon from Syria piece by piece to evade a secretive Israeli air campaign designed to stop them. Some components of a powerful antiship missile system have already been moved to Lebanon, according to previously undisclosed intelligence, while other systems that could target Israeli aircraft, ships and bases are being stored in expanded weapons depots under Hezbollah control in Syria, say current and former U.S. officials. Such guided weapons would be a major step up from the "dumb" rockets and missiles Hezbollah now has stockpiled, and could sharply increase the group's ability to hit Israel hard in any potential new battle, officials say.

Israel struck inside Syria at least five times in 2013, seeking to take out systems bound for Hezbollah without provoking a direct confrontation. U.S. and Israeli officials say the airstrikes have stopped shipments of ground-to-air SA-17 antiaircraft weapons and ground-to-ground Fateh-110 rockets to Hezbollah locations in Lebanon. Some originated from Iran, others from Syria itself. Nonetheless, as many as 12 antiship guided-missile systems may now be in Hezbollah's possession inside Syria, according to U.S. officials briefed on the intelligence. Israel targeted those Russian-made systems in July and again in October with mixed results, according to U.S. damage assessments. The U.S. believes Hezbollah has smuggled at least some components from those systems into Lebanon within the past year, including supersonic Yakhont rockets, but that it doesn't yet have all the parts needed there. "To make it lethal, a system needs to be complete," said a senior defense official. Hezbollah already has around 100,000 rockets, according to Israeli intelligence estimates, but those are primarily unguided weapons that are less accurate. Its longer-range rockets are spread across Lebanon, meaning Israel's next air campaign—should one come—would have to be broad, Israeli officials have told their U.S. counterparts, according to American officials in the meetings. Hezbollah's possession of guided-missile systems would make such an air campaign far riskier.
WATCH HERE

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« Reply #1823 on: January 05, 2014, 11:51:22 AM »

"Unfortunately, and perhaps soon to be tragically, it looks like I was quite prescient when I commented here that it would prove to be a historical error when Israel pulled back before the job was done the last time it went into Lebanon."

I think you were right too. 
I feel the same way about Iran going after nucs as I think you agree with that too.

The problem is nearly the whole world is against Israel from a PR point of view.

And with Brock and the military planners who have already made it quite clear from their actions (not their public comments) that they have no intention of using military force and Cold war style containment or assured destruction.

Brock has risked the safety and security of Israel.

As a Jew it is very emotionally hard for me to wonder if it is not in the better interests of the US not to get dragged into a major Mid East war for a tiny country.

OTOH if we don't stick with our friends in need than we have no friends. 

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« Reply #1824 on: January 05, 2014, 12:44:10 PM »

A most difficult question, fairly planted.

Here is how I answer it:

Israel has proven itself time and time again, be it de-nuking Iraq or Syria, or leading the way with action against Islamic fascism.

Now that Baraq has left us without any position or dependable Arab allies in the mid-east, which remains a vital area for the world and the for the US, our only remaining ally there is Israel.  As Iran goes nuke (and this includes its missile capabilities) we may find ourselves to be very, very glad to have Israel as an ally/base of operations.

OTOH if we abandon Israel, do you think the fascist fundamentalists will stop there, or will they be emboldened?
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« Reply #1825 on: January 05, 2014, 12:58:10 PM »

"OTOH if we abandon Israel, do you think the fascist fundamentalists will stop there, or will they be emboldened?"

Unfortunately this question is already answered.   Hopefully the next Presidential candidate will make a your case if not too late at that point.  Then again it probably already is too late unless massive military or even nucs are used from my armchair public online intelligence gathering seems to indicate.

With regards to "our" interests;  as we keep attaining near energy independence what exactly are our interests in the Middle East.

Hasn't it always been about oil?
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« Reply #1826 on: January 05, 2014, 01:29:51 PM »

Again a fair question fairly presented.

Yes it HAS been about oil and yes we are nearly self-sufficient already and stand to become an important exporter, but what has changed is there is now a nuclear variable.  A nuclear arms race in the mid-east is dangerous for the whole planet, not only for the risks of armageddon in a part of the world where people take such things quite seriously but also for the risks of a nuke or three getting into AQ type hands or someone shooting a missile from an ocean tanker off the coast of the US and setting off an EMP over the continental US etc.
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« Reply #1827 on: January 05, 2014, 01:41:15 PM »

Good point.   I don't hear many making the point we should use military force to prevent proliferation of nucs.

Has any country other than Israel actually done so?
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« Reply #1828 on: January 09, 2014, 10:53:08 AM »

Click here to watch: US-Brokered Deal 'Just the First Stage' in Israel's Demise

As US-brokered talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) continue, amid pressure for further territorial concessions by Israel, a senior Palestinian Authority official has told Syrian TV that any agreement will simply be the "first stage" in eradicating Israel altogether. Abbas Zaki posted a clip of the interview - which was promptly translated and circulated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) - onto his Facebook page. In response to concern expressed by the interviewer that any US-imposed deal would be "deficient", insofar as it would "only" require Israel to cede Judea and Samaria, a smiling Zaki urges calm. "You can relax. We find ourselves united for the first time. Even the most extreme among us, Hamas, or the fighting forces, want a state within the '67 borders [sic]. Afterward, we [will] have something to say, because the inspiring idea cannot be achieved all at once. [Rather] in stages," he responded.

Zaki is a senior member of the central committee of Fatah - the Arab nationalist party which dominates the PA, and is headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The strategy to eradicate the Jewish state "in stages" via a combination of terrorism and diplomacy, as opposed to in a single military conquest, has been voiced by many PA officials in the past, who note that Israel cannot be destroyed in one fell swoop.
WATCH HERE
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« Reply #1829 on: January 09, 2014, 11:42:16 AM »

second post

http://conservativetribune.com/kerry-offers-troops-to-protect-palestine/

What do we make of this idea?
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« Reply #1830 on: January 09, 2014, 11:56:44 AM »


It's a perfect  "but he wore a kippa at AIPAC" update .
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« Reply #1831 on: January 09, 2014, 12:56:16 PM »

As long as we can shoot to kill those who would mess with our troops, is there not a logic to this?
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« Reply #1832 on: January 09, 2014, 01:12:36 PM »

As long as we can shoot to kill those who would mess with our troops, is there not a logic to this?
It's the Samantha Power plan.What could go wrong?
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« Reply #1833 on: January 09, 2014, 06:18:00 PM »

A witty ad hominem no doubt, but if we sit this out, does not WW3 across the middle east become more likely?  And is that not a bad thing for the US?

===============================================

http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/no-way-kerry-say-it-aint-so?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=ACTION+ALERT%3A+No+Way+Kerry%2C+Say+it+Ain%27t+So%3F&utm_campaign=20140108_m118632630_8%2F1%2F14+ACTION+ALERT%3A+No+Way+Kerry%2C+Say+it+Ain%27t+So%3F&utm_term=Click+here+to+watch+the+brilliant+video+analysis+of+past+US+Ambassador+to+the+UN_2C+John+Bolton+on+Kerry_27s+recent+peace+efforts

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-accuses-kerry-of-urging-eu-settlement-pressure/


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« Reply #1834 on: January 09, 2014, 09:12:52 PM »

second post of the evening:

Click here to watch: Caught on Tape: Muslim Waqf Illegally Drilling on Temple Mount

Muslim worshippers don't just have more freedom to pray on the Temple Mount, a recent investigation reveals: they apparently also have permission to drill. An investigation Monday by Yehuda Glick, Director of the Haliba organization for Jewish freedom on the Temple Mount, caught Waqf officials red-handed in the act of drilling through the ancient stones. Vandalizing the Mount - Judaism's holiest site and a national landmark for people of all religions - violates the law; when caught in the act on film, the perpetrators quickly tried to conceal their actions. The Waqf is the Jordanian-run Islamic trust which administers the Temple Mount. It has been accused on numerous occasions of mounting a concerted campaign to "Islamize" the site by destroying ancient Jewish artifacts. Glick spoke to Arutz Sheva about the revelation and about the special session of the Knesset Committee for the Interior Wednesday regarding the ineffectiveness of Israeli law enforcement system in light of recent events at the Temple Mount compound. Glick said that on Monday, during his daily visit, he noticed a group of Waqf officials drilling with heavy machinery at the site. Needless to say, such an act is supposed be performed only after obtaining permission from the authorities and in the presence of a government inspector.
"They saw me coming and immediately tried to hide. It set off warning bells for me and I started filming straight away," Glick recalled. "They tried to hide, and then shouted to the policeman who was there that I could not take pictures without their permission. The policeman ignored them." Glick stated that the Waqf officials were using a drill bit measuring over a meter long to drill through the stones, potentially causing serious damage to artifacts buried underneath. "This is in contempt of the law," he lamented.

Glick sees this incident - as well as many others - as prime evidence that the only response to the destruction of antiquities at the Mount, and the Waqf's flagrant violations of the law, is to open the Mount to Jewish visitors for all hours of the day. He compares the situation to that of a mashgiach (kashrut supervisor) at a kosher restaurant overseeing the handiwork of a kitchen worker, whose sole aim is to purposely make the food unfit (not kosher) for its Jewish customers. Similarly, Glick stated, the Israeli police cannot be everywhere at once - as current events indicate - and the Waqf uses the opportunity to purposely vandalize Judaism's holiest site. The purpose of such activities is not only to cause damage in the short-term, but also to damage Judaism's inherent claims to the site by destroying evidence of the ancient Jews there, Glick says. The Mount is frequently closed to Jewish visitors and is often the site of anti-Jewish discrimination. Jews are prevented from praying or performing any other religious rituals, while Muslim visitors pray freely. Muslim anger over the site has escalated since MKs have announced efforts to equalize prayer rights at the site, through legislation which would allow full religious freedom.
Source: Arutz Sheva
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« Reply #1835 on: January 14, 2014, 10:41:46 AM »

Rival Fatah Terrorists Exchange Fire Just Outside Jerusalem

 


Click here to watch: Rival Fatah Terrorists Exchange Fire Just Outside Jerusalem
Members of Fatah, the party of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, have reportedly raided Arab villages in "Area C", just north-west of Jerusalem, opening fire with automatic rifles. The clashes are reportedly part of internal power struggles within the party. "Area C" refers to areas within Judea and Samaria which are under full Israeli security control, in contrast to Areas A and B which are under full and partial PA control respectively. The Arab news source Ajnad News reports that residents of the villages Katane, Bidu, and Beit Anan, which lie just outside of Jerusalem, feel "insecure" after automatic gunfire rent the still night air. Residents relate that the fire from automatic weapons was different from recent celebratory gunfire commemorating the founding of the Arab-nationalist Fatah at the beginning of the secular year. This time, they said, the gunfire stemmed from conflict between two rival Fatah factions in the villages.
WATCH HERE
Fatah is coming under increasing scrutiny, after a recent incident in which members of the group armed with automatic weapons were filmed in Kalandiya, in northern Jerusalem, and after a PA police officer was arrested for involvement in the bombing of a bus in Bat Yam two weeks ago. Under the Oslo Accords, armed Palestinian Arab groups are forbidden from operating in Area C, and the growing presence of armed terrorists may be an ominous sign of things to come. Israelis are already skeptical about the intentions of the Fatah-led PA, given ongoing incitement and conflicting messages during the current talks. In a clip exposed last week, a senior member of Fatah told Syrian TV that any peace agreements are merely the "first stage" in realizing the group's ultimate goal of destroying Israel.
Source: Arutz Sheva

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« Reply #1836 on: January 15, 2014, 02:01:10 AM »



http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/hamas-israel-has-eight-years-left-to-exist?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Israel+Breaking+News+Video%3A+%27Israel+Has+Eight+Years+Left+to+Exist%27&utm_campaign=20140114_m118738225_1%2F15%3A+Israel+Breaking+News+Video%3A+%27Israel+Has+Eight+Years+Left+to+Exist%27&utm_term=Hamas_3A+_E2_80_98Israel+Has+Eight+Years+Left+to+Exist_E2_80_99
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« Reply #1837 on: January 15, 2014, 08:37:15 PM »


They think Israel will survive Obama.
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« Reply #1838 on: January 18, 2014, 10:50:42 AM »

 The Gaza Withdrawal and Israel's Permanent Dilemma
Geopolitical Weekly
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 04:02 Print Text Size
Stratfor

By George Friedman

Editor's Note: The following analysis originally ran in August 2005. We repost it today in light of the recent death of Ariel Sharon.

Israel has begun its withdrawal from Gaza. As with all other territorial withdrawals by Israel, such as that from Sinai or from Lebanon, the decision is controversial within Israel. It represents the second withdrawal from land occupied in the 1967 war, and the second from land that houses significant numbers of anti-Israeli fighters. Since these fighters will not be placated by the Israeli withdrawal -- given that there is no obvious agreement of land for an enforceable peace -- the decision by the Israelis to withdraw from Gaza would appear odd.

In order to understand what is driving Israeli policy, it is necessary to consider Israeli geopolitical reality in some detail.

Israel's founders, taken together, had four motives for founding the state.

    To protect the Jews from a hostile world by creating a Jewish homeland.

    To create a socialist (not communist) Jewish state.

    To resurrect the Jewish nation in order to re-assert Jewish identity in history.

    To create a nation based on Jewish religiosity and law rather than Jewish nationality alone.

The idea of safety, socialism, identity and religiosity overlapped to some extent and were mutually exclusive in other ways. But each of these tendencies became a fault line in Israeli life. Did Israel exist simply so that Jews would be safe -- was Israel simply another nation among many? Was Israel to be a socialist nation, as the Labor Party once envisioned? Was it to be a vehicle for resurrecting Jewish identity, as the Revisionists wanted? Was it to be a land governed by the Rabbinate? It could not be all of these things. Thus, these were ultimately contradictory visions tied together by a single certainty: None of these visions were possible without a Jewish state. All arguments in Israel devolve to these principles, but all share a common reality -- the need for the physical protection of Israel.

In order for there to be a Jewish state, it must be governed by Jews. If it is also to be a democratic state, as was envisioned by all but a few of the fourth strand of logic (religiosity), then it must be a state that is demographically Jewish.

This poses the first geopolitical dilemma for Israel: Whatever the historical, moral or religious arguments, the fact was that at the beginning of the 20th century, the land identified as the Jewish homeland -- Palestine -- was inhabited overwhelmingly by Arabs. A Jewish and democratic state could be achieved only by a demographic transformation. Either more Jews would have to come to Palestine, or Arabs would have to leave, or a combination of the two would have to occur. The Holocaust caused Jews who otherwise would have stayed in Europe to come to Palestine. The subsequent creation of the state of Israel caused Arabs to leave, and Jews living in Arab countries to come to Israel.

However, this demographic shift was incomplete, leaving Israel with two strategic problems. First, a large number of Arabs, albeit a minority, continued to live in Israel. Second, the Arab states surrounding Israel -- which perceived the state as an alien entity thrust into their midst -- viewed themselves as being in a state of war with Israel. Ultimately, Israel's problem was that dealing with the external threat inevitably compounded the internal threat.
Israel's Strategic Disadvantage

Israel was at a tremendous strategic disadvantage. First, it was vastly outnumbered in the simplest sense: There were many more Arabs who regarded themselves as being in a state of war with Israel than there were Jews in Israel. Second, Israel had extremely long borders that were difficult to protect. Third, the Israelis lacked strategic depth. If all of their neighbors -- Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon -- were joined by the forces of more distant Arab and Islamic states, Israel would find it difficult to resist. And if all of these forces attacked simultaneously in a coordinated strike, Israel would find it impossible to resist.

Even if the Arabs did not carry out a brilliant stroke, cutting Israel in half on a Jerusalem-Tel Aviv line (a distance of perhaps 20 miles), Israel would still lose an extended war with the Arabs. If the Arabs could force a war of attrition on Israel, in which they could impose an attrition rate of perhaps 1 percent per day of forces on the forward edge of the battle area, Israel would not be able to hold for more than a few months at best. In the 20th century, an attrition rate of that level, in a battle space the size of Israel, would be modest. Israel's effective forces rarely numbered more than 250,000 men -- the other 250,000 were older reserves with inferior equipment. Extended attritional warfare was not an option for Israel.

Thus, in order for Israel to survive, three conditions were necessary:

    The Arabs must never unite into a single, effective force.

    Israel must choose the time, place and sequence of any war.

    Israel must never face both a war and an internal uprising of Arabs simultaneously.

Israel's strategy was to use diplomacy to prevent the three main adversaries -- Egypt, Jordan and Syria -- from simultaneously choosing to launch a war. From its founding, Israel always maintained a policy of splitting the front-line states. This was not particularly difficult, given the deep animosities among the Arabs. For example, Israel always maintained a special relationship with Jordan, which had unsatisfactory relations with its own neighbors. Early on, Israel worked to serve as the guarantor of the Jordanian regime's survival. Later, after the Camp David Accords split Egypt off from the Arab coalition, Israel had neutralized two out of three of its potential adversaries. The dynamics of Arab geopolitics and the skill of Israeli diplomacy achieved an outcome that is rarely appreciated. From its founding, Israel managed to prevent simultaneous warfare with its neighbors except at a time and place of its own choosing. It had to maintain a military force capable of taking the initiative in order to have a diplomatic strategy.

But throughout most of its history, Israel had a fundamental challenge in achieving this pre-eminence.
Israel's Geopolitical Problem


The state's military pre-eminence had to be measured against the possibility of diplomatic failure. Israel had to assume that all front-line states would become hostile to it, and that it would have to launch a pre-emptive strike against them all. If this were the case, Israel had this dilemma: Its national industrial base was insufficient to provide it with the technological wherewithal to maintain its military superiority. It was not simply a question of money -- all the money in the world could not change the demographics -- but also that Israel lacked the manpower to produce all of the weapons it needed to have and also to field an army. Therefore, Israel could survive only if it had a patron that possessed such an industrial base. Israel had to make itself useful to another country.

Israel's first patron was the Soviet Union, through its European satellites. Its second patron was France, which saw Israel as an ally during a time when Paris was trying to hold onto its interests in an increasingly hostile Arab world. Its third patron -- but not until 1967 -- was the United States, which saw Israel as a counterweight to pro-Soviet Egypt and Syria, as well as a useful base of operations in the eastern Mediterranean.

In 1967, Israel -- fearing a coordinated strike by the Arabs and also seeking to rationalize its defensive lines and create strategic depth -- launched an air and land attack against its neighbors. Rather than risk a coordinated attack, Israel launched a sequential attack -- first against Egypt, then Jordan, then Syria.

The success of the 1967 war gave rise to Israel's current geopolitical crisis. Following the war, Israel had to balance three interests:

    It now occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which contained large, hostile populations of Arabs. A full, peripheral war combined with an uprising in these regions would cut Israeli lines of supply and communication and risk Israel's defeat.
    Israel was now dependent on the United States for its industrial base. But American interests and Israeli interests were not identical. The United States had interests in the Arab world, and had no interest in Israel crushing Palestinian opposition or expelling Palestinians from Israel. Retaining the industrial base and ruthlessly dealing with the Palestinians became incompatible needs.

    Israel had to continue manipulating the balance of power among Arab states in order to prevent a full peripheral war. That, in turn, meant that it was further constrained in dealing with the Palestinian question by force.

Israeli geopolitics created the worst condition of all: Given the second and third considerations, Israel could not crush the Palestinians, but given its need for strategic depth and coherent borders, it could not abandon the occupied territories. It therefore had to continually constrain the Palestinians without any possibility of final victory. It had to be ruthless, which would enflame the Palestinians, but it could never be ruthless enough to effectively suppress them.
The Impermanence of Diplomacy


Israel has managed to maintain the diplomatic game it began in 1948 -- the Arabs remain deeply split. It has managed to retain its relationship with the United States, even with the end of the Cold War. Given the decline of the conventional threat, Israel's dependency on the United States has actually dwindled. For the moment, the situation is contained.

However -- and this is the key problem for Israel -- the diplomatic solution is inherently impermanent. It requires constant manipulation, and the possibility of failure is built in. For example, an Islamist rising in Egypt could rapidly generate shifts that Israel could not contain. Moreover, political changes in the United States could end American patronage, without the certainty of another patron emerging. These things are not likely to occur, but they are not inconceivable. Given enough time, anything is possible.

Israel's advantage is diplomatic and cultural. Its ability to split the Arabs, a diplomatic force, is coupled with its technological superiority, a cultural force. But both of these can change. The Arabs might unite, and they might accelerate their technological and military sophistication. Israel's superiority can change, but its inferiority is fixed: Geography and demographics put it in an unchangeably vulnerable position relative to the Arabs.

The potential threats to Israel are:

    A united and effective anti-Israeli coalition among the Arabs.
    The loss of its technological superiority and, therefore, the loss of military initiative.

    The need to fight a full peripheral war while dealing with an intifada within its borders.

    The loss of the United States as patron and the failure to find an alternative.
    A sudden, unexpected nuclear strike on its populated heartland.

Therefore, it follows that Israel has three options.

The first is to hope for the best. This has been Israel's position since 1967. The second is to move from conventional deterrence to nuclear deterrence. Israel already possesses this capability, but the value of nuclear weapons is in their deterrent capability, not in their employment. You can't deal with an intifada or with close-in conventional war with nuclear weapons -- not given the short distances involved in Israel. The third option is to reduce the possibility of disaster as far as possible by increasing the tensions in the Arab world, reducing the incentive for cultural change among the Arabs, eliminating the threat of intifada in time of war, and reducing the probability that the United States will find it in its interests to break with Israel.

Hence, the withdrawal from Gaza. As a base for terrorism, Gaza poses a security threat to Israel. But the true threat from Gaza, and even more the West Bank, lies in the fact that they create a dynamic that decreases Israel's diplomatic effectiveness, risks creating Arab unity, increases the impetus for military modernization and places stress on Israel's relationship with the United States. The terrorist threat is painful. The alternative risks long-term catastrophe.

Some of the original reasons for Israel's founding, such as the desire for a socialist state, are now irrelevant to Israeli politics. And revisionism, like socialism, is a movement of the past. Modern Israel is divided into three camps:

    Those who believe that the survival of Israel depends on disengaging from a process that enrages without crushing the Palestinians, even if it opens the door to terrorism.

    Those who regard the threat of terrorism as real and immediate, and regard the longer-term strategic threats as theoretical and abstract.

    Those who have a religious commitment to holding all territories.

The second and third factions are in alliance but, at the moment, it is the first faction that appears to be the majority. It is not surprising that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is leading this faction. As a military man, Sharon has a clear understanding of Israel's vulnerabilities. It is clearly his judgment that the long-term threat to Israel comes from the collapse of its strategic position, rather than from terrorism. He has clearly decided to accept the reality of terrorist attacks, within limits, in order to pursue a broader strategic initiative.

Israel has managed to balance the occupation of a hostile population with splitting Arab nation states since 1967. Sharon's judgment is that, given the current dynamics of the Muslim world, pursuing the same strategy for another generation would be both too costly and too risky. The position of his critics is that the immediate risks of disengagement increase the immediate danger to Israel without solving the long-term problem. If Sharon is right, then there is room for maneuver. But if his critics, including Benjamin Netanyahu, are right, Israel is locked down to an insoluble problem.

That is the real debate.

Read more: The Gaza Withdrawal and Israel's Permanent Dilemma | Stratfor
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« Reply #1839 on: January 19, 2014, 08:45:44 AM »

http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/palestinian-authority-calls-for-jihad-in-jerusalem?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Israel+Breaking+News+Video%3A+Palestinian+Authority+Calls+For+%E2%80%98Jihad+in+Jerusalem%E2%80%99&utm_campaign=20140115_m118757792_1%2F16%3A+Israel+Breaking+News+Video%3A+Palestinian+Authority+Calls+For+%E2%80%98Jihad+in+Jerusalem%E2%80%99&utm_term=Palestinian+Authority+Calls+For+_E2_80_98Jihad+in+Jerusalem_E2_80_99

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12 Tribes:  Click here to watch: PM Netanyahu's Meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan
A Likud parliamentarian considered a close ally and confidante of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that Israel’s insistence on maintaining a military presence in the Jordan Valley as part of any final status agreement with the Palestinians is supported by Jordan. MK Ofir Akunis told a town hall gathering in Tel Aviv on Saturday that Israeli officials have received feedback from their Jordanian counterparts who are alarmed at the prospect of an Israeli withdrawal from the boundary that separates Judea and Samaria from the Hashemite kingdom. “The Jordanians are opposed to an Israeli withdrawal from the Jordan Valley out of fear that if a Palestinian state arises and is taken over by extremist elements like Hamas and Al-Qaida, this would endanger the king’s rule, not just Tel Aviv,” Akunis said.
WATCH HERE
Netanyahu met last week with Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman for what was described as a “surprise” visit. The meeting focused on the current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
In a statement released upon Netanyahu's return to Israel, he stressed the important role played by Jordan, under King Abdullah's leadership, in the efforts to bring about an agreement. He also emphasized that Israel places a premium on security arrangements, including Jordan's interests, in any future agreement that will take into consideration the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, signed 20 years ago. Akunis went on to attack the Palestinians, whom he deemed “an obstacle to peace.” “Their insistence not to recognize the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people proves that the conflict isn’t just territorial, but it is one that is being waged for our existence,” he said. “I believe that we should have negotiations with the Palestinians, but we need to understand that a Palestinian state could endanger most Israeli cities.” “My vision, and that of Likud, says that we have no interest in controlling the Palestinians,” Akunis said. “I am in favor of maximum Palestinian self-rule and deep economic cooperation between our peoples, but I am not ready to have a Palestinian state be born on the ruins of my country.”
Source: Jerusalem Post





======================
 Stratfor
Israel and Jordan Work to Preserve Their Strategic Relationship
Analysis
January 17, 2014 | 1411 Print Text Size
Israel and Jordan Work to Preserve Their Strategic Relationship
Men stare across the Jordan Valley on Jan. 8. (AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Summary

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a brief and unannounced visit to Jordan to meet with King Abdullah on Jan. 16. The visit is not altogether unusual, despite some media reports to the contrary; Netanyahu also visited Abdullah in December 2012 and March 2013, each time without giving advance notice. After the prime minister arrived, Amman issued a statement saying the visit reflected the king's desire to make "tangible progress" on peace talks with the Palestinians and "protects the interests of the Jordanian kingdom." Netanyahu's spokesman gave a more vague description, saying the visit was to discuss "economic cooperation between the two countries and other regional matters."

There is little reason to expect much headway in negotiations over the peace process. However, there are less high-profile negotiations underway between Israel and Jordan over economic matters that carry much more strategic significance.
Analysis

It is natural to assume that the primary driver behind Netanyahu's visit is U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's tireless efforts to promote a new framework for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. A major part of Kerry's proposal focuses on addressing Israel's security concerns by using advanced technology and weaponry to obviate the need for a heavy Israeli troop presence in the Jordan River Valley, which borders the West Bank. Any proposal concerning Israeli troops in the Jordan River Valley would necessarily involve Amman, and there are several issues related to the peace process that Netanyahu would have discussed with Abdullah during this visit. At the same time, Israel has shown every indication that it is not exactly taking Kerry's proposal seriously. According to Israel's defense minister, the proposal is not worth the paper it was written on.
Israel and Jordan
Click to Enlarge

Either way, Israel currently has little incentive to concede much to a weak and fractured Palestinian negotiating partner at the behest of the United States -- especially when Washington is already proceeding with a nuclear settlement with Iran in spite of Israel's protests. While Israel can use the visit to ease some of the tension with Washington by demonstrating it is not completely neglecting the peace process, there is little reason to expect significant headway in the negotiations.
Critical Economic Deals

But Israeli-Jordanian relations are not relegated solely to the Palestinian issue. Israel is actively (and quietly) pursuing several deals with Jordan that are designed to tether the Hashemite Kingdom to Israel economically and thus improve their strategic relationship. Israel's Delek Group and Texas-based Noble Energy, both of which have led Israel's efforts to develop offshore natural gas reserves, are reportedly close to signing a 15-year contract with the Amman-based Arab Potash Company, one of the world's largest potash companies (and one in which the Jordanian government has a 26 percent stake). According to the deal, Arab Potash would supply Israeli natural gas to a potash facility in Jordan. A nine-mile natural gas pipeline would be built across the Dead Sea, linking an Israeli chemical plant to Arab Potash's facility on the Dead Sea shores. The project is slated for completion in 2016, though the timeline is subject to revision.
Preserving the Dead Sea

Jordan's potash industry has suffered from water shortages, but there is a plan to resolve that issue, too. Since 2002, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian National Authority have been working on a water deal that was finally agreed upon in December 2013, once the environmental and technical studies were completed. Under the deal, Israel will provide Amman with 50 million cubic meters of fresh water per year from the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel, and the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank will be able to buy 30 million cubic meters of fresh water per year from the Sea of Galilee and up to 20 million cubic meters per year from a desalination plant in Aqaba. Israel will soon be putting out tenders for the construction of the desalination plant in Aqaba, which will sell potable water to Jordan and Israel, a project that is estimated to take about five years to complete. A pipeline to carry the water from the desalination plant to the Dead Sea is also part of the proposal.

These economic deals are critical to Israel's strategy of preserving its relationship with Jordan, currently the only neighbor willing to absorb the political risk of maintaining a cooperative relationship with Israel. But the unrest that swept the region in 2011 has added some urgency to the initiatives. One of the biggest political casualties of the Egyptian unrest was a natural gas pipeline that begins in El Arish on the northern rim of the Sinai Peninsula and connects to Ashkelon in Israel via an underwater pipeline and to Aqaba in Jordan. This pipeline has become a popular target for insurgent attacks. And ever since details of the Israeli-Egyptian contract were leaked -- they revealed that Cairo was selling Israel natural gas at a preferential rate while Egyptians were struggling with natural gas shortages at home -- the pipeline has also been a major point of controversy for Islamists who oppose the military-backed regime.

The Egyptian contract with Israel has been suspended indefinitely, and while Israel is relieved to see the military back in control in Cairo, it knows the regime will still be on rocky footing as it tries to quell ongoing unrest. Public displays of cooperation with Israel, such as a deal to export Israeli natural gas to Egypt, will not work in the regime's favor at this sensitive political juncture. In fact, the Egyptian regime will be more prone to playing up tensions with Israel for domestic consumption.
Prioritizing Jordan

Meanwhile, the Egyptian natural gas supply to Jordan has been sporadic, now delivering around one-fifth of the contractual rate of 240 million cubic feet per day. Given Egypt's persistent natural gas shortages at home, Jordan cannot expect a reliable energy supply from Egypt anytime soon. Jordan imports 97 percent of its energy, and most of its electricity generation has been powered by natural gas. After losing its main natural gas supply from Egypt, Jordan has had to import more fuel oils from Gulf Cooperation Council states. Consequently, Jordan's energy bill has skyrocketed, forcing the already economically challenged desert state to spend an additional $2 billion a year on energy imports.

So far, the Jordanian government has effectively contained domestic political demonstrations, kept its opposition divided and fended off a spreading jihadist threat from the Levant. However, Amman is also well aware of its vulnerabilities and is not about to get complacent. Persistently high electricity prices could threaten Amman's ability to tame a restive populace.

Jordan's stressful energy situation is also of great concern to Israel, which has a deep interest in the preservation of the Hashemite regime. Israel is thus prioritizing Jordan as it plans to export its excess natural gas. This is where politics trumps commercial interests in Israeli policymaking. With the Tamar field, which contains approximately 283 billion cubic meters of recoverable reserves, now online, and the larger Leviathan field, which contains 509 billion cubic meters of recoverable reserves, slated to come online in 2017, Israel is moving ahead with plans to become a natural gas exporter. In November, a High Court ruling confirmed a decision from the Israeli Cabinet, which proposed to keep 60 percent of its natural gas for domestic consumption and 40 percent for export. Negotiations are currently underway for Israel to export some 2.5 billion to 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, in addition to 400 million to 500 million cubic meters of natural gas supplied to factories on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea. The 15-year $2 billion natural gas contract proposal stipulates that Jordan would receive the natural gas only if Israel has excess supply, particularly during off-peak hours.

The Jordanian market pales in comparison to the burgeoning Asian markets, where high premiums are an extremely tempting option for any rational energy producer. But while the debate continues over whether it is worthwhile for Israel to build an expensive floating liquefied natural gas terminal off its Mediterranean coast to reach markets further afield, Israeli politicians will be looking first at its neighbors as potential customers worthy of preferential rates. Deals with Turkey, Egypt and the Palestinian National Authority still carry their fair share of political complications, but Jordan for now remains the ideal business and political partner for Israel in the neighborhood.

Read more: Israel and Jordan Work to Preserve Their Strategic Relationship | Stratfor
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« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 11:10:20 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #1840 on: January 24, 2014, 10:36:29 AM »

Twelve Tribes:

Arab Palestinian leadership threatens to turn Tel Aviv into “ball of fire”


Click here to watch: Arab Palestinian leadership threatens to turn Tel Aviv into “ball of fire”

The Fatah party of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has posted threats to bomb Tel Aviv on its official Facebook page. The threats came in the form of a video by Fatah's armed wing - the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade - which threatened to turn Tel Aviv "into a ball of fire", as well as escalated rocket fire on Israeli civilians. Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade has been declared a terrorist group by the US, EU, Israel and Canada, among others. The threats come despite the fact that the Palestinian Authority is engaged in "peace negotiations" with Israel, and bolster claims by Israeli leaders that the PA is not really serious about finding a peaceful political solution to the conflict. The Israeli government only recently released its annual "Palestinian Incitement Index", which showed that incitement against Israel and the Jewish people is continuing on official media channels including - inter alia - by bodies that are very close to the PA Chairman and in educational and religious networks. The findings also show that during the period of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, not only did incitement not lessen, in certain areas it even increased, and that recently, the use of prominent Nazi elements - such as the image of Hitler - has also increased.

WATCH HERE

Israeli officials - including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - regularly complain that the issue of officially-sanctioned incitement by the PA goes largely ignored by the very same diplomats who regularly berate the Israeli government for construction in Judea and Samaria. The Israeli Foreign Ministry recently summoned European diplomats to explain their countries' one-sided criticism of Israel, after several European countries summoned Israeli ambassadors over construction plans in Judea and Samaria. Prime Minister Netanyahu himself called out the EU for its "hypocrisy". "The EU calls our ambassadors in because of the construction of a few houses? When did the EU call in the Palestinian ambassadors about incitement that calls for Israel's destruction?" Netanyahu asked foreign correspondents at his annual new year reception. Such incitement ranges from the glorification of Nazism and the lionization of Adolf Hitler, to programs on official PA television featuring heavily-stereotyped Jews as villains (and encouraging violence against them), and various TV and radio shows which literally wipe the Jewish state off the map. In at least one case, a terrorist who went on to murder an off-duty Israeli soldier used official PA TV to send a coded message of his plan to his jailed brother. But the involvement by the PA in diplomatic talks and the simultaneous calls for continued violence by its official organs may not be as contradictory as it seems.

Another video exposed earlier this month by PMW revealed - not for the first time - how PA officials view negotiations, and subsequent Israeli concessions, merely as a "first stage" in the ultimate destruction of Israel, after which terrorism can be resumed "more effectively".

Source: Arutz Sheva

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« Reply #1841 on: January 26, 2014, 11:45:20 AM »

Click here to watch: Lebanese report: IAF jets flying over Beirut

Hezbollah's Al-Manar network reported Sunday morning that Israeli Air Force aircrafts are flying intensively in Lebanese airspace in the western Lebanon Valley, Beirut, Baalbek and Hermel. Earlier Sunday it was reported by Voice of Lebanon radio station that IAF jets are scouring Lebanese airspace and hovering over the capital Beirut. Meanwhile, Lebanese El-Nashra news website reported that the IAF is operating in low altitude in the area of Baalbek in the Lebanon Valley.The Lebanese army released a statement Sunday that two Israeli warplanes have entered Lebanese airspace and flew in the country for over an hour. In the past two months, Lebanese media reported on numerous IAF operations within Lebanese airspace. However, none of the cases included a strike on Lebanese soil.

WATCH HERE

During the past weekend, there was much debate in the Lebanese media about an interview with senior Israeli officials in the Ramat David IAF base. Among others, the interview featured an Air Force unit commander who said: "We are closely following attempts to smuggle arms from Syria to Lebanon and attempting to prevent it from reaching Hezbollah." LBC, the network that released the highly-debated interview, issued a statement on Saturday in which they claim they have fallen into an IDF trap, which used the network for its own purposes. "The error was made due to a misunderstanding, and not, God forbid, due to conspiring with the army that carried out the heinous acts in Lebanon, unrelated to its actions against the Palestinian people. They are still occupying Lebanese land and their Air Force is still violating Lebanese sovereignty," the statement read.
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« Reply #1842 on: February 04, 2014, 06:29:42 AM »

Things have gotten so bad that even this has hardly gotten mention  cry cry angry

Click here to watch: Netanyahu: Kerry’s Boycott Threats ‘Immoral and Unjust’

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sharply criticized US Secretary of State John Kerry Sunday for threatening Israel with boycotts if peace talks fail. "Attempts to impose a boycott on the State of Israel are immoral and unjust," Netanyahu stated, at the opening of his weekly cabinet meeting. "Moreover, they will not achieve their goal. First, they cause the Palestinians to adhere to their intransigent positions and thus push peace further away. Second, no pressure will cause me to concede the vital interests of the State of Israel, especially the security of Israel's citizens. "For both of these reasons, threats to boycott the State of Israel will not achieve their goal," Netanyahu concluded.

The public's outcry over the plan has been long and loud, with ongoing protests against the plan's preconditions - the release of 106 Palestinian Arab terrorists back into public life - and vigils, protests, and even mass prayer calls being held against Israel accepting the Kerry framework. Outrage has intensified since the new boycott threat, the second time Kerry has been known to orchestrate boycotts against Israel - despite being an ally. Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon responded to Kerry's threats of boycotts, saying "we respect Secretary of State Kerry but will not hold talks with a gun to our head. Friends don't put ultimatums on the security of the state of Israel." "We will make decisions that guard the interests of the state of Israel," Danon continued. "If we made choices based on the various forecasts of boycotts, we wouldn't be here today. In the past we saw that wherever the IDF wasn't present terror takes root."

WATCH HERE

Sometimes, even the US eats its words. State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki took to Twitter Sunday to defend the remarks of US Secretary of State John Kerry, who threatened Israel with boycotts if peace talks fail. "Today’s status quo absolutely, to a certainty, I promise you 100 percent, cannot be maintained. It’s not sustainable. It’s illusionary," Kerry stated on Saturday night at the Munich Security Conference. "You see for Israel there’s an increasing de-legitimization campaign that has been building up [. . .] there are talk of boycotts and other kinds of things. Are we all going to be better with all of that?" Kerry's comments were widely perceived as threats by not only the media, but the Israeli government. Both Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sharply criticized Kerry's comments.
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« Reply #1843 on: February 11, 2014, 08:24:06 AM »

Israel in 1968 & 2014: The Jews Are Alone

Posted By Ronn Torossian On February 11, 2014

In 1968, a longshoreman named Eric Hoffer wrote an amazing op-ed in the LA Times, which is as relevant today as it was then. He was a non-Jewish American social philosopher who wrote newspaper columns, as well as books. He died in 1983, after writing nine books and winning the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His first book, The True Believer, published in 1951, is widely recognized as a classic.  Eric Hoffer was one of the most influential American philosophers and free thinkers of the 20th Century.

Acclaimed for his thoughts on fanaticism, Hoffer’s LA Times column from May 26, 1968 is worth rereading. Entitled “Israel’s peculiar position,” he said:

The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it.  Turkey threw out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchman. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese and no one says a word about refugees. But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single one.

Indeed, today in the year 2014 we hear about the Palestinian Arab claim for the right of return – yet no one discusses the one million Jews from Arab and Muslim states, who were forced to flee persecution, imprisonment and pogroms. While there is so much talk today about the need for refugees to be protected, Jewish refugees naturally are ignored.

Hoffer further states:

Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious, it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world. Other nations, when they are defeated, survive and recover but should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed. Had Nasser triumphed last June [1967], he would have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews.

The facts are simply that in 1967, Israel tried desperately to avoid war, endlessly tried to avert it, and this young nation faced threats from the entire world. Israel won the defensive war, and indeed, to the victors go the spoils — even when they are Jewish.

In 1967, Hoffer said,

There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or when two Blacks are executed in Rhodesia. But, when Hitler slaughtered Jews no one demonstrated against him.  The Swedes, who were ready to break off diplomatic relations with America because of what we did in Vietnam, did not let out a peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews. They sent Hitler choice iron ore, and ball bearings, and serviced his troops in Norway. The Jews are alone in the world.

Indeed, in February 2014, in Central Africa, 800,000 Muslims have fled their homes, and an entire nation’s Muslims are endangered.  It’s not news – yet every time the Jews lift a finger to protect themselves, the world goes nuts.  As it was in 1968 when Hoffer wrote this article it is in the year 2014, when the world endlessly condemns and criticizes Israel – the Jews are alone in the world.

As Hoffer concluded, “I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish, the Holocaust will be upon us all.” Indeed, the enemies of Israel remain the enemies of America – there’s big Satan and little Satan for the Muslim fundamentalists.

And I, Ronn Torossian, realize that history often repeats itself – and this article from 1968 is just as relevant in 2014 as it was then.

Hoffer said in a later interview that

A world that did not lift a finger when Hitler was wiping out six million Jewish men, women, and children is now saying that the Jewish state of Israel will not survive if it does not come to terms with the Arabs. My feeling is that no one in this universe has the right and the competence to tell Israel what it has to do in order to survive. On the contrary, it is Israel that can tell us what to do. It can tell us that we shall not survive if we do not cultivate and celebrate courage, if we coddle traitors and deserters, bargain with terrorists, court enemies, and scorn friends.

President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry should heed these words – and stop kowtowing to terrorists.  They’d also do well to leave Israel alone – Israel remains the only country in the world that suffers universal criticism and condemnation.

Just last year Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the international community of “deafening silence” in response to Hamas threatening to destroy Israel.  As Netanyahu said: “This weekend the leader of Hamas, sitting next to the Hamas leader of Gaza, a man who praised Osama Bin Laden, this weekend openly called for the destruction of Israel. Where was the outrage? Where were the U.N. resolutions? Where was President Abbas? Why weren’t Palestinian diplomats summoned to European and other capitals to explain why the PA president not only refused to condemn this but actually declared his intention to unite with Hamas? There was nothing. There was silence and it was deafening silence.”

Indeed, today as in 1968, Israel is very much alone.
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« Reply #1844 on: February 13, 2014, 07:39:38 AM »

Click here to watch: Heavy Clashes Erupt on Israeli Border During Rebel Offensive

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz shared a bleak outlook on the internal conflict in Syria and its repercussions for Israel, characterizing the ongoing civil war as a lose-lose situation for Israel. “Heads or tails,” Gantz said, describing the almost three-year war in terms of a coin toss, “the result is negative either way.” “If [Syrian President Bashar] Assad survives he is beholden to the radical axis, to Iran and Hezbollah which bolster him,” he elaborated. “If Assad falls, he will be replaced by global jihadists or other organizations.” Even if Assad does emerge from the conflict on top, Gantz asserted, he will not regain full control of Syria, leaving the door open for other extremist elements. Speaking at an event at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Gantz said that Israel’s strategic reality was changing, and the country would have to adapt. “Every one of our borders is tested more than in the past,” he said. “The [neighboring] nations as we know them and the borders as we know them exist de jure but it is doubtful that they exist de facto.”

A senior Israeli intelligence official told the Associated Press that more than 30,000 al-Qaeda linked fighters were active in Syria, a huge increase over previous Western estimates. He claimed that the Islamic rebel groups in Syria currently focused on toppling Assad intend to turn their sights on Israel after dispatching the Syrian government. “The longer the war in Syria continues, the more jihadists and radicals are coming to this territory,” the official said.

WATCH HERE

The jihadis currently control most of the Syrian territory that directly borders Israel, although they have not fired rockets or missiles at Israeli territory.
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« Reply #1845 on: February 13, 2014, 09:12:29 AM »




Summary

A high-powered Fatah delegation visited Gaza on Feb. 11 to meet with the leaders of Hamas. The two sides will discuss ways of implementing the understanding they reached on ending the intra-Palestinian conflict and reach a power-sharing settlement. Two days earlier at a news conference, Hamas Politburo member Khalil al-Hayyah and Fatah Central Committee Member Nabil Shaath said talks were in the implementation stage after having reached an agreement ending a nearly seven-year civil war.

Given that the two groups have failed to reconcile for years, it is unclear that this latest move will succeed. However, it is significant that a senior Fatah official traveled to Gaza to meet with Hamas leaders, and both sides are using unprecedented conciliatory language. The progress made thus far is due to the confluence of numerous regional dynamics and could lead to a breakthrough. If it were reached, an intra-Palestinian rapprochement would complicate matters for Israel, which is already dealing with a very difficult geopolitical environment, considering the shifts underway in Syria, Iran and Egypt. It could also complicate the U.S.-led effort to restart Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

Analysis

The divide between the secular Fatah movement and the Islamist Hamas has been a key factor in preventing any progress in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. In fact, the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 took place at a time when the Fatah-controlled Palestine Liberation Organization no longer monopolized the Palestinian landscape. It was being challenged by Hamas, which, along with other smaller Islamist and secular factions, was engaged in militancy against the Israeli occupation. There has not been much progress since the Oslo Accords.

From Israel's perspective, the attacks within its borders constituted a major threat to its national security. However, the violence perpetrated by Hamas and other smaller groups like Palestinian Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and others enabled Israel to resist international pressures to negotiate with the Fatah-dominated Palestinian National Authority toward a final settlement that would produce a sovereign Palestinian state. Whenever pressed by the United States and other major global powers to negotiate with the Palestinians, the Israelis would simply say there was no coherent Palestinian side to negotiate with.

In 2005, the government of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon unilaterally withdrew from the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip, a decision that arose from the desire to further the intra-Palestinian divide. The Israeli position was strengthened even further when Hamas, after a decadelong boycott of the Palestinian National Authority, participated in legislative elections in 2006, won a landslide victory and formed a government. From Israel's perspective, the Palestinian government was now in the hands of a terrorist group that did not recognize Israel's right to exist. However, the Israelis did not want to see the Palestinian landscape dominated by any single group.

Israel had long encouraged the growth of Hamas' predecessor organization, al-Mujamma al-Islamiyah, an apolitical religious organization that did not oppose the occupation, as a counterweight to Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization, which for decades had pursued armed struggle against Israel. However, when the roles reversed and Israel was faced with an armed Islamist movement that had gained power via the ballot box, it was all the more important for Israel that Hamas not totally push Fatah aside.
Israel and Palestinian Territories
Click to Enlarge

Fortunately for the Israelis, Hamas' rejection of the state of Israel created a dilemma for the Islamist movement, forcing it to form a coalition government with Fatah in order to avoid complete international isolation. Power sharing proved to be a problem at the outset and only aggravated the rivalry. The arrangement fell apart in June 2007 as the two factions descended into open warfare, which led to Hamas' seizing control of the Gaza Strip. Since then, the two areas that comprise the Palestinian territories have been separate geopolitical entities, with Fatah ruling the West Bank and Hamas controlling the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli strategy for managing the Palestinians has been based on this de facto partition of the Palestinian territories. Israel has viewed Gaza as a militant enclave that periodically needs to be dealt with militarily, as evidenced by the two major wars in 2008 and 2012 as well as by frequent airstrikes. Meanwhile, it maintains a direct occupation in the West Bank, where it has steadily increased Jewish settlements while allowing the Fatah-led Palestinian National Authority to run the territory's day-to-day affairs.

This is why the Obama administration's 2013 initiative to restart stalled talks between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority is about the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, leaving Gaza as a rogue entity. In other words, the United States was not about to wait for Hamas and Israel to reach a common negotiating platform. Instead, the plan was to use the Palestinian division as an opportunity to push forward a negotiation with Fatah and Israel, with the hopes that an isolated Hamas would become more moderate and try to catch up if a deal were struck to avoid being completely sidelined.
After the Arab Spring

The meltdown of secular autocratic regimes in the Arab world that began in 2011, particularly the one in Egypt, directly affected the balance of power in the Palestinian territories. The ouster of the Mubarak government and the rise of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood threatened to weaken Fatah and enhance Hamas' position. Until the July 3, 2013, coup in Egypt that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood government, it appeared as though Hamas would be able to expand beyond Gaza and revive itself in the West Bank, especially with support from Iran, Qatar and Turkey and improved relations with Jordan.

However, the coup not only reversed these changes but created unprecedented hostilities toward Hamas. Under the leadership of Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Egyptian military regime has tried to contain the political unrest led by the Brotherhood and an insurgency led by Sinai-based jihadist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. The government has accused Hamas of participating in the political unrest and the militancy. As a result, Hamas has been squeezed from both sides -- Egypt and Israel -- and has struggled against a rising Salafist-jihadist movement in Sinai that has a presence in Gaza.

While Hamas faces a major reversal of fortunes, Fatah has been on the upswing -- and not just because of the Egyptian coup. The renewed push for a breakthrough in the long stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process has given Fatah considerable agency. However, the Israeli-Palestinian talks have not made much progress, in large part because of the issue of the Jewish settlements and Israel's demand that it maintain security control of the border between the West Bank and Jordan.

In addition to having a weak hand in the negotiations, Fatah does not want a Palestinian state that is limited to the West Bank or is further undercut by settlements. It needs a way to enhance its bargaining position. Fatah would also like to take advantage of Hamas' weakened position after the turn of events in Egypt.

Reconciling with Hamas could help Fatah on all these fronts. Indeed, it appears that the constraints upon both Palestinian factions have aligned such that both sides see benefits to cooperating in efforts to develop a single Palestinian entity, in which they would share power. The negotiations between the two sides have reached a stage where the discussions are centered on the creation of a roadmap to national unity, which involves fresh legislative and presidential elections.

The most significant statement to come out of Shaath and al-Hayyah's joint news conference came from the Hamas official, who said that although his group was not involved in the peace talks with Israel, it supported Fatah chief and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in resisting pressures "to give up the constants of the Palestinian people." This statement shows that not only is Hamas prepared to accept Fatah's retaining the Palestinian presidency, it also may be willing to support the secular movement in the talks with Israel. 
Hamas' Delicate Position

Hamas has stagnated over the past several years in political isolation, but it has avoided fresh elections because it was afraid it would not perform as well as it did previously. However, its leaders may now be calculating that it is time to share the blame for its territory's problems to save its own political credibility, especially since it is facing competition from an array of Salafist and jihadist entities.

The extent to which Hamas is willing to change track remains unclear. What is clear is that Hamas has realized that it has peaked in terms of its power, which is confined to the Gaza Strip. It is caught between Israel and Egypt's military regime, which has proved to be more hostile than the Mubarak government. Within the confines of the Gaza Strip, it runs an entity that amounts to a little more than a municipality -- one that lacks international recognition and thus remains isolated.

Making matters worse is that its rule in Gaza has been challenged by Salafist-jihadist forces cooperating with their allies in neighboring Sinai, which used to be Hamas' gateway to the outside world. Recently, Hamas has been entangled in the struggle between Cairo and its jihadist rebels. This would explain why, during the news conference, al-Hayyah went out of his way to emphasize that Hamas would never interfere in Egypt's affairs or engage in actions that would harm the Egyptian people.

Similarly, Hamas is struggling to sustain the truce with Israel that was established in November 2012. Salafist-jihadists have been launching rockets at Israel, and Israel Defense Forces have been responding with airstrikes on Gaza and engaging in pre-emptive action. Hamas' concerns about the rising fortunes of Salafist-jihadists are not limited to Gaza and Sinai. Like many other actors in the region, Hamas is watching the growth of Salafist-jihadism across the entire region, especially in light of the escalating conflict in the Levant.

Hamas and Fatah see the shared need to secure Palestinian national interests before the strategic situation in the region gets worse. They also agree that in addition to being a threat, the current circumstances give the Palestinians an opportunity because Israel and the United States would like to move toward some sort of settlement on the Palestinian issue as a way to manage the growing uncertainty in the region. The U.S.-Iranian negotiations have also created a dynamic in which Tehran has hinted that it would not oppose a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that was acceptable to the Palestinians.

For Israel, a reunification of the Palestinians would be a setback for its strategy, which has relied on the Hamas-Fatah conflict to manage the Palestinian issue. However, with the region's overall strategic environment becoming hostile -- struggles on Israel's two key borders with the Arab world (Egypt and Syria/Lebanon) and Iran on its way to international rehabilitation -- the Israelis are also re-evaluating their situation. Ultimately, the current situation is a strange alignment of all the factors in the Palestinian issue. It is too early to say whether this complex configuration will enable Hamas and Fatah to finally put the past behind them -- the sheer number of moving parts could easily frustrate the latest efforts. But the situation has not been this conducive to cooperation since the start of their civil war.

Read more: Is the Palestinian Civil War Coming to an End? | Stratfor

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« Reply #1846 on: February 27, 2014, 08:56:23 AM »

Shapiro Crashes UCLA Divestment from Israel Hearing, Resolution Defeated 7-5

Posted By Paul Bois On February 27, 2014



[Visit TruthRevolt.org.]

On Tuesday night, the UCLA undergraduate student government heard public testimonies for nearly 9 hours — from 7 p.m. until 4 a.m. — on whether or not the university should go forward with a resolution to boycott and divest from businesses that allegedly “profit from the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.”

The meeting, attended by over 500 people, began at 7 p.m. Tuesday night and ended 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. Ben Shapiro, TruthRevolt.org Editor-in-Chief and UCLA alum, crashed the divestment hearing to blast both the student sponsors and those considering the anti-Semitic measure. Here’s the transcript:

My name is Ben Shapiro. I’m an alumnus of this university. I’m also a local talk show host on 870 [AM] in the morning, and I got out of bed and left my one month old baby there when I saw what was going on here tonight. I’ve never been more ashamed to be a Bruin. I’ve never been more ashamed to be an alumnus of this university than to see this divestment petition being considered at this level.

To pretend this is about occupation, to pretend this is about peace, to pretend that this anything other than vile, spiteful Jew hatred is a lie!

There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing Saudi Arabia. There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing Iran. There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing Palestine. There is only one reason we are discussing Israel and not discussing the vast bevy of human rights violations that happen every day in the Middle East, exponentially worse that what happens in Israel.

Any gay or lesbian that is targeting Israel in this room seems to have forgotten how high they hang gays from cranes in Iran. Every person of liberal bent who suggests that Israel is the problem in the Middle East seems to have forgotten that there is only one country in the Middle East that actually has any sort of religious diversity in it. The countries that are apartheid countries are those that are Judenrein – like, for example, Palestine.

So, for us to sit here and pretend that Israel is somehow on a lower moral plane is a direct manifestation of anti-Semitism. And to hold Jews to a different moral standard than any other country or group on the face of the earth represents nothing but an age-old and historic hatred for the Jewish people. All the folks here who are pretending that the B.D.S is about anything other than that, I would like to see a poll of those folks, and see how many of them actually believe in the existence of a Jewish state, qua-Jewish state, not as a state like any other, but as a Jewish state. They don’t. They don’t acknowledge that existence. They don’t believe in that existence. They don’t believe in peace. All this is about, pure and simple, is a desire to target the Jewish people.

“Judenrein” was a Nazi term to mean “clean of Jews.”

According to the Daily Bruin, the Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC) shot down the resolution by an anonymous vote of 7-5. Despite protestation, the USAC decided the ballots would be secret when some members voiced concern for their safety.

Students in favor of the resolution offered no comment, saying they were “too disappointed.” Video of one particular protester has circulated:
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« Reply #1847 on: February 28, 2014, 07:10:11 PM »


[](http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/arabs-set-police-station-on-fire-in-jerusalem-burn-israeli-flag-near-temple-mount)

Click here to watch: [Arabs Set Police Station on Fire in Jerusalem, Burn Israeli
flag near Temple
Mount](http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/arabs-set-police-station-on-fire-in-jerusalem-burn-israeli-flag-near-temple-mount)

Jerusalem Arabs set ablaze a police station next to the Lions' Gate in the capital's
Old City on Wednesday. Aryeh King, nationalist Jerusalem city councilman and member
of the municipality's Emergency and Security Committee, was present at the attack
and managed to document it. According to King, police officers fled the scene.
"Unfortunately the prime minister is instructing the authorities to avoid eastern
Jerusalem, and these are the results," charged King. "Last night the funeral of a
terrorist was held there, they marched from the Mount of Olives towards the Lions'
Gate attacking everything in their path and didn't let Jews pass," reported King. He
adds that once the group arrived at Lions' Gate they burned the police station.

King, who lives in Maaleh Zeitim on the Mount of Olives, noted that the incident
merely highlights an endemic failure of the capital's security. "The security in
eastern Jerusalem is abandoned, women don't dare go to the mikveh (ritual bath) in
Armon Hanatziv, in Park Hamesilah next to Beit Tzafafa people are robbed in broad
daylight," commented King. The Jerusalem councilman added that Arab residents "build
wherever they want," without enforcement of the building laws.

[WATCH
HERE](http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/arabs-set-police-station-on-fire-in-jerusalem-burn-israeli-flag-near-temple-mount)

As for reports that US Secretary of State John Kerry wants to create an Arab capital
for the Palestinian Authority (PA) by dividing Jerusalem, King called the proposal
"a delusional step that testifies as to how disconnected he is." "After all, the
light rail passes through Beit Hanina, so suddenly the train will pass in a
different country?" questioned King. "There are tens of thousands of Jews there, in
the adjacent Nave Ya'akov, in Pisgat Ze'ev and also in Beit Hanina." "The Americans
are disconnected from reality," charged King. "Don't they understand the Arabs don't
want eastern Jerusalem? They want all of Jerusalem."
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« Reply #1848 on: March 02, 2014, 09:53:17 PM »


[](http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/muslims-riot-again-on-temple-mount-jews-detained)

Click here to watch: [Muslims Riot Again on Temple Mount, Jews
Detained](http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/muslims-riot-again-on-temple-mount-jews-detained)

Dozens of Jews waited for hours on Sunday morning to get in to the Temple Mount,
Judaism’s most holy site. One of those waiting was arrested moments after
entering, Temple Mount activists report. The Jews were reportedly detained due to
Muslim riots on the mount. Several Muslim leaders have called to prevent Jews from
accessing the holy site, and Muslim worshipers often hold violent protests in
response to Jewish prayers in the area. Eventually the Jewish visitors were allowed
in, but many were permitted to remain for only a few minutes. Police allowed the
Jews to enter in groups of no more than 25 people at a time, with each group allowed
to enter only when the previous group had left. The second group to enter was met
with insults and violent protests by Muslim worshipers. Police decided to avoid
violence by removing the Jewish group. A Jewish youth who confronted Muslim men who
yelled insults was arrested.

[WATCH
HERE](http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/muslims-riot-again-on-temple-mount-jews-detained)

A video filmed by one of the visitors showed police urging the Jewish visitors
“not to enflame things” vis-à-vis the angry Muslim worshipers.A
third group which had been waiting to visit for over two hours was allowed to enter
the Mount only toward the end of visiting hours. The group was given several minutes
at the site and then ordered to leave.
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« Reply #1849 on: March 03, 2014, 11:13:02 AM »

The man is dangerous:

www.weeklystandard.com/print/blogs/if-he-believes-it-it-must-be-so_783721.html
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