“Gearing up?” Don’t make me laugh

The TOI recently reported, “that the Obama administration will tell Israel next month that it is gearing up for a “window of opportunity” to strike Iran in June.

In this article Jennifer E Dyer writes:

    Gearing up with what? The carrier that isn’t deployed? The Air Force aircraft that will run out of flying hours in May?”

Dead in the water: Obama’s military and the Iran nuclear threat

J E Dyer, Liberty Unyielding

Two to three years ago, the United States Department of Defense had enough military forces on station in, or readily deployable to, the Persian Gulf region (the “CENTCOM AOR” – area of responsibility – or Southwest Asia, as it is called in the military) to execute a limited strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities without asking Congress for special funding. The military could have performed such an operation “out of hide,” as quickly and seamlessly as the president wanted it to.

Four to five years ago, moreover, the U.S. had the regional political capital to use our bases in the local nations (e.g., Qatar and Bahrain) to launch and direct such a strike campaign.

February 28, 2013 | 8 Comments » | 12 views

Hagel Without Tears

Editorial of The New York Sun | February 27, 2013

By confirming Charles Hagel as secretary of war, Senator Schumer and the Democratic leadership send a pointed message to the Jewish community in America. It is that if the Jewish defense agencies are not going to stick up publicly for Israel, it is hard to expect others to do so. There is no sugar-coating the point. The Senate has just confirmed the most truculent cabinet officer in respect of Israel in more than a generation because important institutions and leaders shrank from making an issue of it.

This is a story that is painful for many people to talk about. It would be inaccurate to suggest that the only objection to putting Mr. Hagel in at the war department had to do with Israel. He would be inadequate, even were Israel not an issue. There is a broad sense within the Jewish community — as there is among a number of non-Jewish senators who permitted his nomination to go to the floor — that Mr. Hagel has proven himself incompetent and disingenuous.

February 28, 2013 | 7 Comments » | 7 views

West offers Iran new deal, drops demand to close Fordow

By JPOST.COM

World powers agree to ease sanctions imposed on Tehran if the Islamic Republic suspends uranium enrichment at the nuclear plant, takes measures to constrain ability to quickly resume enrichment, the ‘New York Times’ reports.

The six world powers have offered Iran a new deal during the two days of nuclear talks held in Kazakhstan this week, that includes easing some of the sanctions imposed on Tehran and dropping the demand that the Islamic Republic shuts down its enrichment plant at Fordow, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

In return for easing some of the sanctions, P5+1 insisted Tehran suspends uranium enrichment at the plant and take a series of measures that would “constrain the ability to quickly resume enrichment there,” the Times cited a senior American official as saying.

February 28, 2013 | 2 Comments » | 6 views

Obama is coming to Israel to play hardball

Op-ed: US president will not travel thousands of miles just to eat hummus or place note in Kotel
Eitan Haber, YNET

During his next term as prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu will have to do what he avoided doing in his previous terms: Draw boundaries and begin establishing two states for two peoples. This painful process, certainly from Netanyahu’s perspective, will commence soon.

Officials in Jerusalem and Washington say that Obama will not introduce a new plan during his visit to the region next month; that it is important for him to show the Jewish community in the US that he is not hostile toward Israel. This could be true. Or not.

February 28, 2013 | 68 Comments » | 16 views

Cairo: Court orders Gaza tunnels destroyed

Roi Kais, YNET

A Cairo court ruled that the Egyptian government must destroy all tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

The labyrinth of tunnels is an infamous smuggling route for arms trafficking.

It is also believed that 30% of the goods that reach the Gaza Strip, as well as over 1.5 million people a year, make their way through the tunnels in an attempt to bypass the blockade that has been imposed by Israel and Egypt for more than seven years.

The underground maze stretching beneath Rafah, Sinai and Gaza is said to include 450 main tunnels and 750 sub-tunnels.

February 28, 2013 | 0 Comments » | 11 views

THE END OF AN ERA…….

The Roy Rogers Museum in Branson , MO has closed its doors forever.

The contents of the museum were sold at a public auction.

Roy Rogers told his son, if the museum ever operates at a loss, close it And sell the contents. He complied. 

Note the follow-on article truly the end of an era.Here is a partial listing of some of the items that were sold at auction…

Roy ‘s 1964 Bonneville sold for $254,500, it was estimated to Sell between 100 and 150 thousand dollars. 

His script book from the January 14,1953 episode of This Is Your Life sold for $10,000 (EST. $800-$1,000).
February 28, 2013 | 0 Comments » | 9 views

Oxford Students Resoundingly Reject BDS Movement

Oxford students voted 69 – 10 to defeat a motion that would have required them to support and promote the economic and political anti-Israel warfare method known as the BDS movement.

By: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, JEWISH PRESS

Oxford University, the oldest university in the English-speaking world, is an exemplar of academic elite institutions. Tonight, February 27, the student leadership there voted to reject the motion to join in and promote the economic and political warfare anti-Israel effort known as the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement.

Students had been discussing the motion and voted in their own colleges in advance of tonight’s vote. “This boycott goes against everything the university stands for. The idea that we are not going to read your books or articles or hear your arguments on the basis of your nationality is ridiculous,” Henry Watson, a student at Magdalen College, a constituent college of Oxford, said. Magdalen College voted to defeat the motion 39-3, earlier this week.

February 27, 2013 | 5 Comments » | 17 views

Israel makes further progress against cancer

Israel Sets the Pulses Racing

Michael Ordman, JPOST

 Life in the Jewish State is never boring, and the activities of Israeli politicians can sometimes raise stress levels significantly. But if you look beyond an all too frequent selection of sensationalist negative news reports, an exciting and pulsating picture of Israel’s achievements is revealed.

Israel’s goal as far as cancer is concerned is to discover treatments that can maintain the pulse of the sufferer indefinitely.  A team of 11 scientists from the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot has found a combination of two antibodies to attack aggressive breast cancer tumors, causing them to collapse and die.  Another group of Weizmann Institute scientists has developed a microscopic device that is injected into your body to search for genetic malfunctions in your cells.  If it finds any, it emits a pulse of green light to highlight the diagnosis. The scientists are now working on upgrading it to destroy the cancerous cells.

Read more …

February 27, 2013 | 1 Comments » | 13 views

Another Layer of Defense: The Arrow-3 Test

INSS Insight No. 407. February 27, 2013
Shapir, Yiftah

The first test launch of the Arrow-3 missile interceptor system was conducted by the Israeli defense establishment on the morning of Monday, February 25, 2013. Not many details are available, but the test appears to have been a success.

Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing have been developing the Arrow-3 system jointly for several years for the Israel Missile Defense Organization, with the participation and funding of the US Missile Defense Agency. The funding for the project is not part of the regular American defense aid for Israel. When the Arrow-3 becomes operational, scheduled for 2014-2015, it will reinforce the existing Arrow-2.

February 27, 2013 | 3 Comments » | 10 views

How AIPAC Is Losing

Chuck Hagel will be secretary of Defense, and Iran will go nuclear. So much for an all-powerful Israel Lobby.

By Lee Smith, Tablet Magazine

This weekend, more than 10,000 pro-Israel activists, Jews and non-Jews alike, will gather at the Washington convention center for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference. These friends and supporters of the U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship will hear from members of Congress and the executive branch who will all testify to the singular influence that AIPAC, as the pillar of the pro-Israel community, wields in the capital of the free world.

February 27, 2013 | 5 Comments » | 6 views

Europe: A Continent in Flight

By Bruce Bawer, FPM

Different parts of Europe, same story.

Let’s start with France, where a new report by a Jewish community group, Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive (SPCJ), says that anti-Semitism in that country has gotten so much worse in the wake of last year’s Toulouse school massacre that the number of Jews who are “crossing the Channel to find safe haven in the U.K.” is skyrocketing. One sign of the trend: “St John’s Wood Synagogue in London has set up a separate French minyan, attended regularly by 120 people on Shabbat,” with new faces showing up every week. A February 21 piece in the Jewish Chronicle about the SPCJ report noted that while anti-Semitic “incidents” in Britain and France are roughly comparable in number, those in France “are far more likely to involve violence.”

It also quoted Britain’s Chief Rabbi as warning that “the position of Jews in Europe today is very difficult….Jews in Europe have begun to ask, is there a place for us here?” Perhaps the most telling detail in the Jewish Chronicle article was this: while the SPCJ report “originally stated that in over three-quarters of the antisemitic incidents the perpetrators were reported as being of North African origin,” this fact was later deleted from the text.

February 27, 2013 | 19 Comments » | 10 views

Harsh EU report likely won’t spell settlement sanctions

TIMES OF ISRAEL

Senior European Union officials stationed in East Jerusalem and Ramallah have recently recommended that the organization curb trade with Israelis located beyond the Green Line and cease financial support for them.

The move is seen as another indication of the EU’s growing frustration with Israeli settlement policies and the stagnating peace process, but the imposition of any kind of concrete sanctions against Israel remains unlikely.

In a new report sent to Brussels and foreign ministries in 27 member states, the consuls general representing the EU in the Palestinian territories call on the EU to “prevent, discourage and raise awareness about problematic implications of financial transactions including foreign direct investments, from within the EU in support of settlement activities, infrastructure and services,” Haaretz reported Wednesday.

February 27, 2013 | 5 Comments » | 8 views

Shas: Maybe we can live with Bennett’s Hareidi plan

This is looking good. I like that Bennett wants the Israel Land Authority and the Defence Minister’s responsibility for building in J & S. I expect that the compromise solution for the Hareidi will be accepted by Shas and it will join the government. I also expect Yesh Atid to join because Lapid won’t be appointed Leader of the Opposition. His best shot at influence is to accept Shas in the coalition because it accepted the compromise and he will get at least the Ministry of Education which he wants. Ted Belman

Likud moves closer to agreeing on plan for drafting haredim
Bennett drafts plan, with Lapid’s blessing, for drafting ultra-Orthodox • Likud may agree to it • Shas: Maybe it is something we can live with •

ISRAEL HAYOM

Following coalition talks that continued almost until dawn on Tuesday, Likud-Beytenu and Habayit Hayehudi representatives will meet again Wednesday evening to discuss a plan drafted by Habayit Hayehudi for enlisting ultra-Orthodox Jews into the Israel Defense Forces. The plan has already been agreed to by Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid.

February 27, 2013 | 5 Comments » | 9 views

Op-Ed: The “Hilltop Youth”: Israel’s Heroes

The “hilltop youth” deserve our awe and respect, not the maligning to which they are subject

Giulio Meotti, INN

With their long hair flying in the wind, their yarmulkes askew, their fringes peeking out from under faded t-shirts, the maligned “hilltop youth” are the Jews of the Jewish State, the Jews of the “settlers”.

Is education deficient? Blame the hilltop youth. Is crime rampant? Blame the hilltop youth.

They are Israel’s most outstanding individuals, instilled with ideals that their government ministers can only envy. They are Israel’s last heroes.

February 27, 2013 | 12 Comments » | 8 views

Jewish Home is the party of reform

Report: Jewish Home Presents Social, Economic Demands to Likud

By David Lev, INN

Negotiations continued Tuesday between the Likud and the Jewish Home Party over the possible entry of the latter into a coalition being cobbled together by Binyamin Netanyahu. The negotiations have been going on for the past few days, with Jewish Home MKs presenting what they expected from a government that they would agree to be a part of.

The discussions have revolved around issues such as negotiations with the Palestinian Authority and the role of Tzipy Livni as head of those negotiations, as well as the extent of integration of the hareidi yeshiva population into the IDF.

February 27, 2013 | 3 Comments » | 7 views

EU Recommends Boycott Against Israel Presence in Judea, Samaria

By Chana Ya’ar, INN

The European Union has formally recommended its 27 member states “prevent” Israeli activity in Judea and Samaria through an economic boycott of Jewish communities in those regions.

The EU’s latest boycott recommendation came to light in the publication of the EU’s Jerusalem Report 2012, released Wednesday, in which the European body recommends its members avoid financial transactions with Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, AFP reported.

In the report, the EU suggests its member states “prevent, discourage and raise awareness about problematic implications of financial transactions, including foreign direct investments from within the EU in support of settlement activities, infrastructure and services.” The recommendation followed an internal report which alleged that Israel had used construction in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria to prevent the possibility of a two-state solution.

February 27, 2013 | 7 Comments » | 8 views

Likud: Deal with Bennett can be made immediately

By LAHAV HARKOV, JPOST

Officials from both parties say deal is likely to be signed in coming days; former settler leader Ariel to be given Housing portfolio.

Likud Beytenu and the Bayit Yehudi are likely to sign a coalition agreement in the coming days, sources in both parties said on Tuesday.

The final deal is likely to give the Construction and Housing portfolio to MK Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi), a former Yesha Council secretary-general, which could allow for expansion of settlements, even though during the election campaign Likud Beytenu said it would keep the ministry for itself.

While the two parties have not yet discussed portfolios, Likud sources said the party plans to offer the Housing Ministry to Ariel, who is second on the Bayit Yehudi list and leader of its negotiating team. Likud Beytenu has previously leaked offers to the press before relaying them directly to the Bayit Yehudi.

February 27, 2013 | 4 Comments » | 8 views

Elaborate surveillance operation raises concerns about broader Hezbollah attacks

By Joby Warrick, The Washington Post,

The Israeli tourists on Arkia Airlines Flight 161 from Tel Aviv could not have known it, but their arrival in Cyprus July 6 was watched closely. A pair of trained eyes counted each passenger as the group exited the plane and boarded a shuttle, headed for resorts that had also been carefully studied and mapped.

The bearded foreigner who silently tracked the Israelis had done his work well. He knew where the visitors would sleep, shop and eat. He knew how many security guards patrolled their hotel parking lots and how long it would take police to arrive from the station down the street.

But the watcher was being watched. When Cypriot police picked him up, the Hezbollah operative quickly acknowledged what he was doing, although he claimed not to know why.

February 27, 2013 | 2 Comments » | 7 views

Hagel wins, Israel loses, J-street cheers

This is an enormous victory for the anti-Israel crowd both because,
1) Hagel with all his faults passed muster. Thus he will be able to push the J-Street line which is to pressure Israel into a peace agreement
2) It is further evidence of the decline of the Right, and the ascendency of the Left. In particular it underscores how the Democratic Party can no longer be seen as pro-Israel. For a list of what the democrats ignored or embraced about Hagel go to Jeff Dunetz at Breitbart. And let me remind you, AIPAC sat this one out as did the ADL. Ted Belman

JStreet – The political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans

It’s official: the hawks have lost again.

Despite an unprecedented smear campaign leading to the first-ever
filibuster of a Defense Secretary nominee, Senator Chuck Hagel has been
confirmed by a vote of 58 to 41.

Over the last few months you have stood with J Street in supporting
Senator Hagel’s nomination. From our activities on Capitol Hill, to our
work in the community, and of course our “Smear a Bagel, not Chuck
Hagel” campaign, together we’ve made the pro-Israel, pro-peace case for
Sen. Hagel’s fitness to lead the Pentagon.

February 27, 2013 | 15 Comments » | 6 views