Turkey is seeking to divide the Kurds so as to control them

Contrary to what this article says, Turkey is in league with the PKK. She is attempting to split the Syrian Kurds to prevent their autonomy. More on this later. Ted Belman

Turkey must work with Syria’s Kurds
While Turkey may be threatened by Kurdish gains in Syria, there’s little it can do to prevent an autonomous Syrian Kurdistan

Ranj Alaaldin, guardian

Turkey’s support for the uprising against Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, has been challenged during the last week or so as Kurds in the north-east of Syria have taken control of several towns and cities.

The ploy, if it succeeds, will bring a further extension of Kurdish automony in the Middle East, complementing Iraq’s booming Kurdistan region, where 5 million Kurds govern themselves as a federal entity within Iraq and with minimal interference from the central government in Baghdad.

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July 31, 2012 | 4 Comments » | 173 views

U.S. Gymnast Aly Raisman Advances in Olympics With ‘Hava Nagila’ Routine

Gymnast Alexandra Raisman, 18, has made the all-around individual finals for the U.S. at the London Olympics. The Jewish athlete from Needham, Mass., advanced by performing a routine set to the music of “Hava Nagila,” a well-known Jewish song that has often been used in sports routines.

Raisman’s coaches are Romanians Mihai and Sylvia Brestyan, who had coached the Israeli national team in the early 1990s.

July 31, 2012 | 9 Comments » | 439 views

Is the war in Syria undermining the Palestinian claim to the right of return?

By Pinhas Inbari, WJC ANALYSIS –

The fate of the Assad regime in Syria has been the main focus of media attention in recent months. Yet, another crisis has quietly developed on the sidelines of the Syrian calamity which may greatly affect the Palestinian refugees and the coveted “right of return”.

Over the past year, the Palestinians have challenged Israel by organizing mass marches of refugees to the Jewish state’s northern borders in order to breach its defenses and “return” to their homes. These attempts ended in a debacle, prompting the angry marchers, who felt betrayed by PLO organizers, to storm and set fire to the headquarters of Ahmad Jibril – one of the founders of the PLO – located in the Syrian Palestinian capital refugee camp of al-Yarmuk, situated in Damascus. The collapse of the “return marches” became the precursor of a process accelerated by the Syrian crisis, whereby the destruction of the refugee camps is leading to the dissolution of the right of return.

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July 31, 2012 | 10 Comments » | 91 views

Gov’t Approves Massive Tax Hikes, Spending Cuts

By Chana Ya’ar, INN

The government on Monday passed a sweeping measure to tighten Israel’s belt at a time when the world is facing another global financial crisis.

With a vote of 20 to 9, the Cabinet approved a package of austerity measures designed to raise some NIS 14.15 billion within a year, and reduce the budget deficit by 1.5 percent. Voting against the package were the Independence and Shas parties, as well as Likud Social Services Minister Moshe Kahlon.

The measures include raising taxes, increasing fines and cutting budgets.

Tax Hikes and Fines

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July 30, 2012 | 12 Comments » | 117 views

The Arab world on the precipice

By Mordechai Kedar

The point of this ironic story is that the Arab world does not need “weapons of total destruction”, since even without them the area is in total ruins. The situation in Syria these days illustrates this situation, and in live broadcast. With presidents slaughtering their own citizens in the thousands, and their capitals serving as a front in the battle against them, and the state’s military branches fighting against its people, when human dignity – especially that of women and girls – is openly trampled upon and these countries’ economies are collapsing, the Arab world is in an advanced state of systemic collapse, “total destruction.”

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July 30, 2012 | 13 Comments » | 139 views

More than just a fence


Growing number of countries flock to Israel to study construction of Egypt border fence; India to send delegation to review technologies for its fence with Pakistan, Bangladesh; US examining Elta radars for Mexico barrier.
Border between Israel, Egypt along Road 12

The fence is 5 meters in height and layered with barbed wire. It is supported by dozens of radars that are deployed along the border to issue alerts about possible crossings while the potential infiltrators are still kilometers away.

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July 30, 2012 | 0 Comments » | 120 views

The female Sabra and the “male” Cobra

This woman’s army

At first glance, it is hard to connect the tall, blonde beauty with a helicopter gunship. But when Maj. Maya enters the cockpit of “her” Cobra and starts the ignition, it looks like the most natural thing in the world. A rare interview.

“The most important thing is the mission that I was given,” says Maya.

She fired her first missile during the Second Lebanon War. Maj. Maya, the first woman pilot of a helicopter gunship in the Israel Air Force, hovered over a suspect vehicle deep inside enemy territory, and when the identification was confirmed, she fired directly at him from her Cobra. “I was excited. There was no time to be scared. I was focused on the mission. To tell the truth, the most exciting thing was going back to base. The technicians from the technical department, who had been welcoming pilots back from missions for 20 years, welcomed me there. They looked at the helicopter and saw that a missile was missing; and they are the sort who know very well what it means to come back for the first time without a missile. They embraced me with warmth and compliments. I thought to myself that if they, who saw me grow up in the fleet like a baby, were pleased, I’d done my job.”


July 30, 2012 | 0 Comments » | 140 views

Israel’s overseas volunteers

My cousin was among them in 1948 and was killed in 1951.  Ted Belman

by Steve Kramer (www.encountering israel.com)

Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People on the Tel Aviv University campus, is more than a museum. This unique global institution tells the ongoing and extraordinary history of the Jewish people. Beit Hatfutsot connects Jewish people to their roots and strengthens their personal and collective Jewish identity. Beit Hatfutsot conveys to the world the fascinating narrative of the Jewish people and the essence of the Jewish culture, faith, purpose and deed while presenting the contribution of world Jewry to humanity. (www.bh.org.il

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July 29, 2012 | 4 Comments » | 227 views

Is the two-state solution doable?

By Ted Belman

Is the two-state solution doable?  Dani Dayan, Chairman of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, thinks not. Seth Mandel thinks otherwise.

The NYT published a strongly worded Op-Ed this week by Dani Dayan, under the title “Israel’s Settlers are here to stay”.  Seth Mandel, in an article in Commentary Magazine, called his comments “wrongheaded”.

Mandel accused him of ignoring “both an accepted reality and the Palestinian people”.  Dayan has every right to ignore or even reject, both. Mandel further complained  that “two of his ideas contained in the op-ed would be, if accepted, detrimental to the American foreign policy doctrine that results in such steadfast American support for Israel.” I beg to differ for reasons set ?out below.

Mandel writes:

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July 29, 2012 | 21 Comments » | 143 views

The United States, Russia, and The Syrian Crisis

This is exactly how my working group on a federated Syria sees the conflict and the solution. Ted Belman


The most important international factor that influences the Syrian crisis is the politics of the United States and Russia. In the eyes of the majority of the American observers, the primary factor for the continuing bloodshed in Syria is the diplomatic and military support rendered to Assad’s regime by Russia.

Let’s take a closer look at the main arguments of the powerful group of observers and experts who tend to blame exclusively Moscow for the endless bloodbath in Syria. Some of those arguments are absolutely correct. It is true that one of the main reasons for the Russian attitude is the traditional close relationship between Moscow and Damascus that has lasted for decades. It is also true that the loss of this connection will deprive Russia of its only remaining ally in the area. In case of a regime change, Russia is about to lose Tartus, which is the only base of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean.

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July 29, 2012 | 6 Comments » | 115 views

Jewish Federations are abandoning Israel

By Jerry Gordon, Iconoclast

Lori Lowenthal Marcus of Z Street  writes in The Jewish Press of plans by the North American Jewish Federation to drop the term “Zionism” from its Global Planning Table, “Jewish Federations to Drop “Zionism” from their Global Plans”.

And we all thought that Jewish Federations were the  focus of the American Jewish Community’s coimmitment of the Jewish State of Israel.  However, we have seen over the past few years evidence of distancing of Federations’ from commitment to Israel.

That  was reflected in underwriting  Olive Tree Initiative trips for college students at UC Irvine in California  to mistakenly meet Hamas Representatives on the West Bank in Israel by an affiliate of the Jewish Federation of Orange County  California. 

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July 28, 2012 | 22 Comments » | 132 views

Sinai Infiltration Plummets to 244 in July

By Gil Ronen, INN

Illegal Infiltration into Israel through Sinai has plummeted sharply in last two months, according to official statistics.

The number of illegal immigrants who have crossed the border thus far in July is 244. In June, the number of infiltrators was 928. In May it was 2,031. This means the rate of infiltration has dropped by over 85% in two months.

Unlike previous months, all of the immigrants crossing the border illegally have been arrested and detained. Before the government changed its policy on infiltration, the infiltrators were escorted by the IDF from the border and then put on buses to Tel Aviv, where they were released.

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July 28, 2012 | 1 Comments » | 120 views

Foundations of antisemitism: the gospels

By David Turner, JPOST

Introduction: If Paul and the gospels reflect the struggle with Judaism for identity and survival, the writings between the second and fifth centuries reflect a rear-guard defense against the continuing attraction of Judaism for early Christians.

Paul of Tarsus is regarded by most forms of Christianity as the father of the religion. In the previous blog, Anti-Judaism and the Origins of Christianity the roots of future anti-Judaism were noted in several of Paul’s epistles. Easily the most damaging in influence was 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16, where “the Jews” are blamed for the death of Jesus: “the Jews who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets… The wrath of God has come upon them at last.” Paul died before the first written gospel appeared but his influence upon the later literature is clear. Matthew 27:25 directly refers to 1 Thessalonians 2, but with far more drama. This gospel, and that of John, would provide inspiration for centuries of anti-Jewish persecution, resulting in the murders of millions of Jews long before the 20th century and the Holocaust. In Mein Kampf Hitler justified his extermination program as, “by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

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July 28, 2012 | 33 Comments » | 214 views

Adieu, two-state solution

Arab Spring punctures balloon

By Amir Taheri, N Y POST

The Arab Spring has punctured many received ideas about Middle Eastern politics — including the “two-state solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The “two-state” formula was always based on two questionable assumptions:

    1) that Palestinians regarded themselves as a nation in a world of nation-states and wished to create a state of their own;

    2) that creating a Palestinian state was something that Israel acting alone could magically make happen.

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July 28, 2012 | 3 Comments » | 160 views

1972 Massacre of Israeli Olympic Team


What followed was perhaps the best remembered operation in Israeli history. Under orders from then-prime minister Golda Meir, the Mossad was tasked with hunting down not only the released Munich terrorists but all those involved in planning the massacre. The mission, dubbed “Wrath of God,” was designed to instill fear in every terrorist’s heart. In the words of Defense Minister Ehud Barak as quoted in Gordon Thomas’s Gideon Spies, “The intention was to strike terror, to break the will of those who remained alive until there were none of them left.”

Over the period of two years, Mossad carried out a series of brilliantly planned, clinically executed assassinations. The first terrorist was shot eleven times in Rome, one bullet for each Israeli he helped murder. Another died when he answered a call in Paris; the bomb in the phone blew off his head. The next to die was expertly pushed under a London bus at rush hour.

Hours before they died, each man’s family would receive flowers and a condolence card bearing the same words “A reminder we do not forget or forgive.”

July 28, 2012 | 10 Comments » | 115 views

Into The Fray: The rationale for Romney


Reinventing America or uninventing America: That is how the choice between Romney and Obama ought to be presented.

Mitt Romney steps off his campaign plane [file]

A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. – A passage of disputed origins frequently, but apparently incorrectly, ascribed to Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee (1747-1813)

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July 28, 2012 | 0 Comments » | 109 views

Jews are commanded to remember

Guide for the Perplexed: “The 9th Day of the Month of Av”
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought,” July 27, 2012
Based on Jewish Sages

1.  The 9th Day of (the 11th Jewish month) Av is the most calamitous day in Jewish history. Fasting on that day commemorates national catastrophes, in an attempt to benefit from history by learning from critical moral and strategic missteps, thus preventing future catastrophes. It was first mentioned in the book of Zechariah 7:3.

2.  The Passover holiday of liberty and the fast of the 9th Day of Av are commemorated on the same weekday.  The fast of the 9th day of Av is succeeded by the 15th day of Av – a holiday of love and rapprochement.The 9th Day of Av is treated simultaneously as a day of lamentation and holiday, thus highlighting a cardinal lesson: In order to fortify liberty and advance deliverance, one must commemorate calamities, avoid wishful-thinking and be mentally and physically prepared to face crises, and never lose optimism. A day of destruction/oblivion is the first day of the path toward construction/deliverance. A problem is an opportunity in disguise. According to the Jerusalem Talmud (Berachot 2:4), the Messiah is destined to be born on Tisha Be’Av.

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July 28, 2012 | 0 Comments » | 106 views

Enlisting support for KURDNAS

I am working with Sherkoh Abbas, a signatory to this letter, and others in both the US and Israel to drum up support for a federated Syria in which the Kurds would have significant autonomy. We had a hand in fashioning the letter.Ted Belman

With Syrian Kurdistan Rising: Read this Letter from KURDNAS to Chief Rabbi of Russia

July 25, 2012

Berl Lazar,
Chief Rabbinate of Russia

Dear Chief Rabbi Lazar,

Syria is currently in the midst of a violent internal conflict that has evolved into a bloody civil war. This has resulted in the deaths of over 19,000 people and the destruction of an untold number of communities. This chaos has led to a deterioration in security that has enabled radical Islamists to begin establishing for themselves a haven within Syria. Syria is currently at a stage where power is still being contested. This stage in the Syrian conflict is crucial to the overall future of Syria and the well-being of its people. A conscious international effort must be created in order to ensure that radical Islamists do not seize control of the country. Doing so will lay the groundwork for the establishment of a peaceful, secular, and democratic Syrian federal republic. We must act immediately to seek regional and international support in order to not only replace the current Assad regime but to also eliminate the possibility of a rising Muslim Brotherhood led Islamist regime. An Islamist regime would work under a Sunni Arab nationalist agenda and towards an Islamic supremacist society.

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July 27, 2012 | 6 Comments » | 143 views