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Christians United for Isrel

Daily Alert

Friday, January 23, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

Iran and Hizbullah Plan New Front Against Israel on Golan Heights - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
    High-ranking Hizbullah figure Jihad Mughniyeh, who was killed in Sunday's airstrike in Syria, appears to have been responsible for upgrading the operation of Iran and Hizbullah on the Golan Heights with an eye toward opening an additional front against Israel.
    Mughniyeh commanded dozens of carefully selected fighters who received intensive training from Iranian and Lebanese instructors in deploying explosive devices and firing rockets and anti-tank missiles, as well as carrying out major terror attacks in Israel after sneaking over the border.
    The new Hizbullah network fired Katyusha rockets at Israel on four occasions during last summer's war in Gaza.
    According to Israeli intelligence, Mughniyeh was engaged in advanced preparations for additional attacks.
    See also Strike Against Hizbullah in Syrian Golan Was Warning Not to Prepare Another Front Against Israel - Jonathan Spyer (Jerusalem Post)
    The Israeli strike was a response to a clear attempt by Iran and Hizbullah to violate the status quo with Israel.
    The action by Israel should not be seen as a casting aside of the rules of engagement on the northern border, but rather an insistence on maintaining these rules, and a warning of the consequences of continued violation of them.
    See also IDF Increasing Presence in North to Defend Against Potential Hizbullah Attacks - Yaakov Lappin (Jerusalem Post)




Scotland Yard Reveals Huge Rise in Anti-Semitic Crime in London - Rosa Doherty (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
    The latest figures from Scotland Yard showed there were 299 hate crimes against Jewish people between the start of April and the end of December.
    That represented a rise of 128% on the same period in 2013, when there were 131 hate crimes. The period included the months during the Gaza conflict last summer.
    Police said last week that they were increasing patrols in areas with large Jewish communities following the terror attacks in Paris.




Hamas Forms "Liberation Army" in Gaza - Khaled Abu Toameh (Gatestone Institute)
    Instead of directing its resources toward the reconstruction of Gaza, Hamas has begun recruiting thousands of Palestinian youths between 15 and 21 to its new "Liberation Army."
    The new recruits will undergo military training by members of Hamas' Izaddin al-Qassam Brigades.
    "The main purpose of these training camps is to prepare an army for the liberation of Palestine and its holy sites in the near future," said Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri.

  
Pro-Palestinian Demonstrators Ejected from New York City Hall - Michael Gartland (New York Post)
    Pro-Palestinian demonstrators had to be ejected from New York City Hall for screaming at a meeting in which the City Council passed a resolution commemorating the Holocaust.
    Councilman David Greenfield of Brooklyn said, "We can stop pretending that this is about Israel...what you saw here today was naked, blind anti-Semitism."
    See also Palestine Activists Disrupt Auschwitz Commemoration - Ben Cohen (Algemeiner)




Human Rights Watch and the Destruction of Rafah - Elliott Abrams (Council on Foreign Relations)
    The government of Egypt is destroying Rafah, a town in Egypt on the border of Gaza, leaving thousands of Egyptians homeless, in an effort to create a buffer zone along the border.
    Human Rights Watch, which put out report after report criticizing Israel for its conduct along the same border and near Rafah, appears to be dead silent about the same conduct when Egypt undertakes it.
    The writer served as deputy national security advisor in the administration of President George W. Bush, where he supervised U.S. policy in the Middle East.




Egypt Uncovers Explosives-Laden Smuggling Tunnel between Sinai, Gaza (Maan News-PA)
    Egyptian security sources said Saturday they had uncovered and destroyed a smuggling tunnel running under the Gaza-Egypt border that contained a large amount of explosives and mortar shells. Sources in Cairo said the tunnel ran about 1,200 meters and is believed to be one of the biggest in the area.
    The tunnel interior was covered with steel boards and the floor was made of iron bars covered with wood boards. The tunnel was outfitted with electric lights and an internal communication network.
    Army intelligence suggested there were other smuggling tunnels in the area which could potentially run up to three km. into Egypt.




Tel Aviv Engineering Students Bring Clean Water Solution to Tanzania (No Camels)
    With a lead donation from Arison Group's Shikun u'Binui construction company, five engineering students from Tel Aviv University went to Tanzania to build a system that would provide hundreds of students at a local high school with clean drinking water.
    Engineers Without Borders (EWB) initiated and supervised the project, which installed a 48,000-liter rainwater harvesting and advanced filtration system.
    They also trained school officials and volunteers on how to operate and maintain the system.
    The team created the system with the help of Israeli rainwater harvesting expert Amir Yechieli.
    When funding permits, the team plans to return to Tanzania to expand the existing system to 160,000 liters and to create a similar one for the village's medical center, for which they will also install solar panels.




Visualead, the Israeli Start-up Alibaba Just Invested In - Orr Hirschauge (Wall Street Journal)
    Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. announced it has invested in QR codes technology company Visualead Ltd., in its first ever investment in an Israel-based start-up.
    A Quick Response code is a square shaped, two-dimensional barcode originally intended to track parts in the automotive industry. QR codes are widely used in China and Japan.
    Visualead developed technology that enables graphics, and even animation, to be integrated into QR codes, making the integration of QR codes into ads, commercials and products much easier.




Doctors from Israel, Morocco and Jordan Perform Facial Surgery in Vietnam (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
    Two Israeli doctors from Rambam Hospital joined "Operation Smile" in Vietnam, performing operations on children with cleft palate with doctors from 18 countries, including Morocco and Jordan.




Israeli Solar Power Technology to Light Up Ethiopia - Anav Silverman (Tazpit-Ynet News)
    Ethiopia signed an agreement with the leading Israeli developer of solar-biogas hybrid power technology, AORA, to provide power for rural communities in Ethiopia.
    AORA's technology runs not only on solar radiation, but also on almost any gaseous or liquid fuel, including biogas, biodiesel and natural gas, helping to generate full power when sunlight is insufficient.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Saudi King Abdullah Dies, Crown Prince Salman Is New Ruler
    King Abdullah, 90, has died, state television reported on Friday, and Crown Prince Salman became king. King Salman, 79, was named crown prince in June 2012 and had been representing the king at most recent public events because of the monarch's poor health. In March 2014, King Abdullah named Prince Muqrin as a second crown prince. (Arab News-Saudi Arabia)
        See also Salman Ascends Throne to Become Saudi King - Ben Hubbard
    The new king of Saudi Arabia, Salman, is best known for overseeing the development of the Saudi capital, Riyadh, during his nearly 50 years as its governor. He became the country's defense minister in 2011. But Salman's own health is in question. He has had at least one stroke and lost some movement in one of his arms.
        Prince Muqrin, 69, is next in line to the throne. A former air force pilot, Muqrin served as governor of Madina Province and head of Saudi intelligence, a post he held until 2012. (New York Times)
  • UN Hosts First Ever Meeting Dedicated to Combating Anti-Semitism
    The UN General Assembly gathered Thursday for its first ever meeting dedicated to global action against anti-Semitism. The informal meeting, attended by about half the 193 member states, was organized by mainly Western nations in order to address an "alarming outbreak of anti-Semitism worldwide." Planning began last October in response to the murder of three people outside the Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium, and the killing of a rabbi and three children in Toulouse, France. (TIME)
        See also below Observations: Even If the Palestinians Were Granted a State, Anti-Semitism Would Not Dissipate One Iota - Bernard-Henri Levy (Huffington Post)
  • Argentine President: Prosecutor Nisman's Death Not a Suicide - Mariano Castillo
    President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who initially called special prosecutor Alberto Nisman's death a suicide, reversed her thinking Thursday. In a statement, she called it "the suicide (that I am convinced) was not a suicide." Nisman was investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires which killed 85. (CNN)
  • U.S. Fears Chaos as Government of Yemen Falls - Shuaib Almosawa and Ron Nordland
    The American-backed government of Yemen abruptly collapsed Thursday, leaving the country leaderless as it is convulsed by an increasingly powerful force of pro-Iran rebels and a resurgent al-Qaeda. (New York Times)
  • Egypt's Sisi Urges New Muslim Religious Discourse to Fight "Terrorism"
    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi on Monday that the fight against "terrorism" needs a new Muslim religious discourse in addition to security and military measures. "The fight...should include a reformed religious discourse from which false ideologies that could lure some into adopting violence to impose their ideas have been removed."  (AFP-Al Arabiya)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Mossad Chief Denies Opposing New Sanctions on Iran - Barak Ravid
    Mossad chief Tamir Pardo issued a rare statement on Thursday denying reports that he told U.S. senators he was opposed to further sanctions on Iran. Pardo noted that he did meet with a delegation of senators on Jan. 19, at their request, and with Prime Minister Netanyahu's approval. "Contrary to what has been reported, the Head of the Mossad did not say that he opposes imposing additional sanctions on Iran," read the statement. Rather, "the Head of the Mossad emphasized in the meeting that the exceptional effectiveness of the sanctions imposed on Iran in recent years are what brought Iran to the negotiating table."
        "The Head of the Mossad noted that in negotiating with Iran, it is essential to present both carrots and sticks and that the latter are currently lacking....In the absence of strong pressure, the Iranians will make no meaningful compromises....The Head of the Mossad pointed out explicitly that the bad agreement taking shape with Iran is likely to lead to a regional arms race."  (Ha'aretz)
  • Israel Calls on Europe: Take a Stand Against Anti-Semitism
    Israel's Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor told the UN General Assembly meeting on anti-Semitism Thursday: "The struggle against anti-Semitism must be a priority for every nation because the hatred that begins with the Jews never ends with the Jews. History has shown us time and again that when a nation's Jews are not safe, the entire society is at risk."
        "We don't need any more monuments commemorating the Jews who were murdered in Europe, we need a strong and enduring commitment to the living Jews in Europe."
        "The days when Jews were the world's victims are over. We will never again be helpless and we will never again remain silent. Today we have the State of Israel standing guard. We have seen the evil that man is capable of, and so we must be vigilant."  (AP-Ynet News)
        See also Quotes from UN General Assembly Meeting on Anti-Semitism (AP-ABC News)
        See also Israeli UN Ambassador Speaks at Commemoration of the Liberation of Auschwitz
    A commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp was held on January 21, 2015, at UN Headquarters in New York, organized by the Permanent Mission of Poland to the UN. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Israeli Delegation Visits India to Strengthen Strategic Relationship - Lidar Grave-Lazi
    A delegation from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs was in India this week to strengthen the strategic relationship between Israel and India. The delegation signed a collaborative agreement with Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), a leading New Delhi-based think tank close to Prime Minister Modi. The parties discussed the security situation in West Asia, including in Pakistan and in Iran. In addition, they analyzed new trends in international terrorism.
        "Israel and India share many strategic interests, as both countries are dealing with a radical Islamic threat and are engaged in territorial disputes," said Ambassador Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center and former Israeli ambassador to the UN. "This is a tremendous opportunity for strategic dialogue that is open and productive, at a time when there are those trying to portray Israel as isolated and ostracized."  (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

    Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi Arabia's Coming Struggle - David Ignatius
    The death of King Abdullah begins a period of generational change. Crown Prince Salman, the nominal successor, is elderly and infirm, as is the next in line, Prince Muqrin. The nightmare for moderate Saudis is that the extremists of the Islamic State have a significant following among young Saudis. Decades have shown that the West's ability to influence the royal family in moments like this is limited, to put it mildly. (Washington Post)
  • Royal Roulette: The Succession Battle within the House of Saud - Simon Henderson
    Crown Prince Muqrin, the son of a Yemeni slave girl, is the youngest surviving son of Ibn Saud, the kingdom's founder. Where will the throne go after Muqrin? Once all of Ibn Saud's sons are dead or incapacitated, which grandson of Ibn Saud will inherit the throne? The writer is director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (Foreign Policy)


  • Iran

  • The Long Arm: Iran Is Expanding Its Influence Abroad
    Officials in Tehran are not shy about their aim of spreading influence abroad, nor of their apparent success. Tehran can claim, with only a pinch of hubris, to run three Arab capitals: Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut. This week it may have added a fourth: Sana'a, Yemen's capital.
        Moreover, an Israeli strike on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights that killed Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, an Iranian general, exposed Iranian meddling in another part of the Middle East. To its critics, Iran alarmingly holds sway from the Mediterranean Sea to the Fertile Crescent and the Gulf of Aden. "The Iranians are experts at taking advantage of chaos," says Shimon Shapira, a retired military man now at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. (Economist-UK)
        See also Iran's Emerging Empire - Charles Krauthammer
    Iran's march toward conventional domination of the Arab world has been largely overlooked in Washington. For the Saudis and the other Gulf Arabs, this is a nightmare. They're engaged in a titanic regional struggle with Iran. And they are losing - losing Yemen, losing Lebanon, losing Syria and watching post-U.S.-withdrawal Iraq come under increasing Iranian domination. The nightmare would be hugely compounded by Iran going nuclear. (Washington Post)
  • Fact Checker: Has Iran's Nuclear Program Been "Halted" and Its Nuclear Stockpile "Reduced"? - Glenn Kessler
    In his State of the Union address on Jan. 20, 2015, President Obama said: "Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we've halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material."
        Olli Heinonen, who headed the IAEA's safeguards section, said, "It is true that 20%-enriched uranium stocks have decreased, but Iran is still producing uranium enriched up to 5% uranium. The latter stocks have actually increased when you talk about stocks of UF6 [uranium hexafluoride] and other chemical compounds." Moreover, "it appears that the production of centrifuge components continues. Same with the Arak reactor. No new nuclear components have been installed, but it does not mean that the production of those came to halt."
        David Albright, who heads the Institute for Science and International Security, said it was not correct that the 3.5%-enriched stock had been reduced; instead it has been converted from one form ("hexafluoride") to another ("oxide"), a step that he said was taken largely for cosmetic (political) purposes. As a practical matter, the conversion of 3.5% to oxide form would only add about two weeks to the break-out period, since Iran could reconvert it back into hexafluoride. In effect, the amount of nuclear material available to Iran has gone up "about a bomb's worth during the JPOA [interim agreement]," Albright said. (Washington Post)
  • How Congress Can Use Its Leverage on Iran - David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey
    Tehran's insistence that existing U.S. sanctions be lifted as part of a nuclear-weapons agreement gives U.S. lawmakers substantial leverage. Congress should insist that any Iranian agreement take the form of a treaty. The Constitution requires that treaties be made only with the advice and consent of the Senate.
        Congress should pass legislation now clearly stating the parameters of an acceptable nuclear deal with Iran, emphasizing the need to eliminate any Iranian breakout capability. It should also put the Iranians and our allies on notice that, absent congressional approval, the president cannot deliver comprehensive and permanent relief from the existing sanctions statutes. Messrs. Rivkin and Casey served in the Justice Department under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Mr. Rivkin is also a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. (Wall Street Journal)


  • Palestinians

  • Canada's Foreign Minister: The Way to a Palestinian State Is through Dialogue with Israel - Raphael Ahren
    The Palestinians would like Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird to say he's sorry for his government's unabashedly pro-Israel stance. They shouldn't hold their breath. Baird said Tuesday in Tel Aviv, "It's always wise to speak with moral clarity." While Palestinian protestors booed and hurled shoes and eggs at Baird during his visit to Ramallah, ex-chief Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat released a statement denouncing Baird and urging him to ask the Palestinian people for forgiveness for his country's consistent support for Israel.
        Baird told the Times of Israel, "We strongly support a Palestinian state. We just believe it's a byproduct of peace negotiations with Israel. The way to accomplish a Palestinian state is dialogue with Israel and not taking unilateral action."
        "With the anti-Semitism rising in so many parts of the world, it's probably more important today than it was even a few short years ago that there be a Jewish state where people can seek refuge."
        On Iran, Baird said, "Iran could be a stabilizing element in the region - if they gave up their support of terrorism, cleaned up their human rights record and took a different path on the nuclear program. Iran can play a leadership role in the region and the world. But they have to change course."  (Times of Israel)
  • An Attack Against Coexistence - Ben-Dror Yemini
    Jews and Arabs ride the No. 40 bus in Tel Aviv, but the terrorist from Tulkarm didn't really care who was Jewish and who wasn't. Make no mistake. The terror attacks of the past few years are not aimed at protesting a certain injustice. Does anyone seriously think that the terrorist used a long knife so that the Palestinians would have a sovereign state, prosperity, welfare, advanced education and human rights?
        Nearly all the attacks of the past few years are aimed at imposing Islam on central Tel Aviv, just like they are aimed at imposing Islam on central Paris. (Ynet News)
  • The Unsettling ICC Gambit - Melanie Phillips
    It is intolerable that the ICC has first of all accepted that "Palestine" is a state, and second that it may put Israelis in the dock while they are the victims of true war criminals, the Palestinians. Whether the ICC will actually proceed with a prosecution, however, remains very much to be seen. The Palestinians think that, since the world is on their side, the ICC will be too. This, though, is far from clear, particularly since the ICC knows if it doesn't display judicial integrity it is finished.
        Originally, Israel strongly supported the formation of such a court to end the injustice of impunity for war crimes or crimes against humanity. But it pulled out after a group of Arab states inserted a provision in the ICC's governing Rome Statute specifically to target Israeli settlements. It's the settlements, rather than nonexistent Israeli war crimes in Gaza, which the Palestinians are thought to want to place in the ICC's sights.
        They know that the West endorses the view that Israel's settlements are illegal. But this widely held view is simply wrong. As international lawyers and eminent jurists and scholars such as Eugene Rostow, Howard Grief, Eugene Kontorovich, Alan Baker and others have attested, the only fair and logical interpretation of the relevant treaties and statutes is that the settlements are legal several times over.
        Israel is entitled to retain territory seized in a war of self-defense while the people there remain belligerent. The claim that the settlements are illegal under the Geneva Convention is based on a clear misreading of its prohibition of population transfer; the Israelis living in the West Bank freely chose to migrate there. These territories were never "Palestinian" lands, because such a collective entity never existed - until it was invented purely to destroy the Jewish people's legitimate claim. The writer is a columnist for The Times (UK). (Jerusalem Post)


  • Arab World

  • A Persistent Threat: The Evolution of Al-Qaeda and Other Salafi Jihadists - Seth G. Jones
    This report argues that the U.S. faces a serious and growing Salafi-jihadist challenge. Beginning in 2010, there was a rise in the number of Salafi-jihadist groups and fighters, particularly in Syria and North Africa. There was also an increase in the number of attacks perpetrated by al-Qaeda and its affiliates.
        The broader Salafi-jihadist movement has become more decentralized among four tiers: core al-Qaeda in Pakistan, led by Ayman al-Zawahiri; formal affiliates that have sworn allegiance to core al-Qaeda, located in Syria, Somalia, Yemen, and North Africa; a panoply of Salafi-jihadist groups that have not sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda but are committed to establishing an extremist Islamic emirate; and inspired individuals and networks.
        The threat posed by this diverse set of groups varies widely, though several pose a substantial threat to the U.S. homeland or U.S. interests overseas. The writer previously served as the representative for the commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations. (RAND Corporation)
  • How Images of the Prophet Muhammad Became "Forbidden" - Terrence McCoy
    Dozens of Pakistani lawmakers rumbled through the streets of Islamabad chanting: "Death to the blasphemers." The "blasphemers" in this case were the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists who recently published a fresh depiction of the prophet Muhammad on their weekly newspaper's cover in remembrance of the journalists who were killed in the Paris terrorist attack. "Making blasphemy cartoon of Prophet is the worst act of terrorism," declared a banner at the rally. "The Sketch Makers Must Be Hanged Immediately."
        The Koran, in fact, does not directly forbid the portrayal of Muhammad, Christine Gruber of the University of Michigan has written. The ban is a very modern construct. The most explicit fatwa banning the portrayal of Muhammad, she notes, arrived in 2001. Its creator was the Taliban.
        Hundreds of years ago the depiction of Muhammad in artwork was not all that uncommon. In non-Arab regions, researchers have unearthed a panoply of remarkable and detailed portraits of Muhammad that date before the 16th century. But such drawings were far rarer in the Arabian Peninsula.
        In modern times, Muhammad's image continued to appear in Muslim nations, including Iran, where until recently, the Guardian reported, carpets showing his image as well as postcards were openly sold. (Washington Post)
        See also The Koran Does Not Forbid Images of the Prophet - Christiane Gruber (Newsweek)
        See also Islam's Hidden History of Muhammad Images - Emma Graham-Harrison (Observer-Guardian-UK)
  • The Dire Consequences of Meddling in Libya - Con Coughlin
    Downing Street prided itself on the fact that the overthrow of Col. Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 was accomplished without the need for any boots on the ground and without incurring a single British combat casualty. Since then, the country has descended into chaos, with roaming, lawless bands of Islamist militias killing and kidnapping their opponents.
        Prior to 2011, Libya was producing 1.6 million barrels per day of crude oil, with significant quantities being sold to British refineries. Daily output now stands at around 350,000 barrels, barely sufficient to keep Libya's own refineries operating - those whose oil tanks have not been set ablaze by rogue rockets fired by Islamist militias. There are around 100 different Libyan militias operating in the country. (Telegraph-UK)
        See also Wider Chaos Threatens as Fighters Seize Branch of Libya's Central Bank - David D. Kirkpatrick (New York Times)


  • Weekend Features

  • Amazon to Buy Israeli Hardware Firm for $350M - David Shamah
    Online retail giant Amazon was set to buy Israeli semiconductor development firm Annapurna Labs for $350-400 million, industry sources reported Thursday. Annapurna works on communications and processing systems for data centers.
        Amazon is one of the world's biggest cloud service providers. "Like other cloud platform providers, Amazon has a large number of data centers, and is constantly looking for faster and more efficient ways to enable their customers to use their services," a source said.
        On Wednesday, document storage firm Dropbox announced that it was buying Israel-based CloudOn, which allows users to edit Microsoft Office documents from mobile devices. Sources said the deal was worth about $100 million. (Times of Israel)
  • Samsung Invests in Israel - David Shamah
    Korean tech giant Samsung will invest $10 million in Israel patient monitoring firm EarlySense. EarlySense developed a system that uses sensors embedded into a mattress or chair cushion to monitor heartbeat, respiration rate, and movement. It operates on the theory that the more a patient moves around in bed, the healthier they are, in general. The data is transferred to a monitoring station, with the system setting off alarms in the event that something appears amiss.
        Samsung also invested in Rounds, which lets users set up chat groups with friends, allowing any member of the group to communicate with others at the same time, or individually - but with Rounds, users get to see their friends, with the app utilizing not only text, but voice and video as well.
        Samsung has two Israeli R&D centers, which develop telecommunications products, and do semiconductor work as well. (Times of Israel)
Observations:

Even If the Palestinians Were Granted a State, Anti-Semitism Would Not Dissipate One Iota - Bernard-Henri Levy (Huffington Post)

French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy told a special session of the UN General Assembly on Thursday:

  • In Europe and elsewhere, faulting the Jews is once again becoming the rallying cry of a new order of assassins. The United Nations was founded to fight this plague. This assembly was given the sacred task of preventing those terrible spirits from reawakening. But they have returned - and that is why we are here.
  • It is not accurate to say that the policy of a particular state - I am referring, obviously, to the State of Israel - generates anti-Semitism. I have seen European capitals in which the destruction of the Jews was nearly total, yet where anti-Semitism still thrives. I have seen others, farther away, where no Jews have ever lived - yet where the word "Jew" is a synonym for the devil.
  • Even if Israel's conduct were exemplary, even if Israel were a nation of angels, even if the Palestinians were granted the state that is their right, even then, alas, this old, enigmatic hatred would not dissipate one iota.
  • Today's anti-Semitism offers three shameful new propositions:
    1. The Jews are detestable because they are assumed to support an evil, illegitimate, murderous state. This is the anti-Zionist delirium of the merciless adversaries of the re-establishment of the Jews in their historical homeland.
    2. The Jews are all the more detestable because they are believed to base their beloved Israel on imaginary suffering, or suffering that at the very least has been outrageously exaggerated. This is the shabby and infamous denial of the Holocaust.
    3. In so doing, the Jews impose on us the memory of their dead, to completely stifle other peoples' memories, and to overshadow other martyrs whose deaths have plunged parts of today's world, most emblematically that of the Palestinians, into mourning. And here we come face to face with the modern-day scourge, the stupidity, that is competitive victimhood.
  • Let us imagine a UN General Assembly in which Israel would have its place, its full place, one country among others, no more and no less flawed than others, bound by the same responsibilities but enjoying the same rights - and let us imagine, while we are at it, that you unanimously acknowledge it to be what it truly is: an authentic, solid, and rare democracy.
  • A world in which the Jews once again became the scapegoats for all people's fears and frustrations would be a world in which free people could not breathe easy and the enslaved would be even more enslaved.


     
Iran, Russia Working on $20 Billion Oil-for-Goods Deal - Jonathan Saul and Parisa Hafezi (Reuters)
    Iran and Russia have made progress towards an oil-for-goods deal worth up to $20 billion, which would enable Tehran to boost energy exports in defiance of Western sanctions.
    Moscow and Tehran are discussing a barter deal that would see Moscow buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.
    An Iranian official said missiles would also be part of the deal, together with Russia providing assistance with building two nuclear plants in Iran.
    The White House has said such a deal would be inconsistent with the nuclear talks between world powers and Iran.




Iran to Help Hizbullah Tighten Internal Security (Daily Star-Lebanon)
    Iranian Lt.-Col. "Mahmoud A." arrived recently in Lebanon to provide counsel as Hizbullah radically reforms its internal security apparatus.
    Hizbullah arrested one of its field commanders in Syria, after it was alleged that he was dealing with the Israeli Mossad and played a role in leaking information to agents.
    Moreover, an Iranian intelligence official known as "Habari" has relayed information about informant cells to Hizbullah.




Questions about the Peace Process - Rick Richman (Commentary)
    Why do people have to be paid - in the form of cash, prisoners, freezes, etc. - to convince them to show up to negotiate a state for themselves?
    Why do people who have signed a formal agreement, obligating themselves not to take "any step" outside bilateral negotiations to change the status of the disputed territories, have to be paid to convince them to adhere to their agreement?




Second Sunrise of Indian Jihad - Praveen Swami (The Hindu-India)
    The al-Qaeda ideologue Asim Umar asked India's Muslims last summer:
    "You who have ruled India for eight hundred years, you who lit the flame of the one true God in the darkness of polytheism: how can you remain in your slumber when the Muslims of the world are awakening?"
    "If the youth of the Muslim world have joined the battlefields with the slogan 'Shari'a or Martyrdom,' and put their lives at stake to establish the Caliphate, how can you lag behind them? Why is there no storm in your ocean."
    Last week's arrests of the key recruiter and the operations chief of the Indian Mujahideen has led to speculation that India's most feared terror group - responsible for savage serial bombings in major cities, including the 2006 attacks on Mumbai's suburban train system - may be disintegrating.
    But investigators have found disturbing new evidence that Umar and other propagandists are succeeding in calling a new army into being.



The Israel Pledge

We believe that the Jewish people have a right to live in their ancient land of Israel, and that the modern State of Israel is the fulfillment of this historic right.

We maintain that there is no excuse for acts of terrorism against Israel and that Israel has the same right as every other nation to defend her citizens from such violent attacks.

We pledge to stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel and to speak out on their behalf whenever and wherever necessary until the attacks stop and they are finally living in peace and security with their neighbors.

   
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