Blame it all on the US
What is to be made of the mess that is Syria? Does there exist a side with which America might prudently align? To decipher this puzzle, it’s important to recall a little of Syria’s history and how that history continues to shape its people.
Syria is a nation with a diverse collection of ethnicities and a multitude of religious affiliations. Its capital, Damascus, is the oldest still existing city in human history. Since 1970, when a coup led by then-family patriarch Hafez Assad brought them to power, the Assad family have enjoyed uninterrupted rule, despite repeated attempts to dislodge them.
T. Belman. It wont be long now. When KIng Abdullah abdicates and Jordan becomes Palestine, Saudi Arabia will recognize Israel.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said the Palestinian leadership needs to accept the peace plans proposed by the US or stop complaining and that the Arab world has lost interest in the so-called Palestinian issue.
In a closed-door meeting with heads of Jewish organizations in New York in March, Bin Salman harshly criticized Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians’ diplomatic conduct over the past 40 years, according to a report by American news site Axious. The report cited an Israeli foreign ministry cable sent by a diplomat from the Israeli consulate in New York as well three other sources – Israeli and American – who were briefed about the meeting.
Death tool up to 26 and still rising – mostly iranians
Blasts were reported in the Hama countryside on Sunday night [Al Jazeera]
Syrian state TV says that rockets have struck military positions in the countryside of Hama and Aleppo provinces.
A military source was quoted as saying by SANA that the “new aggression” by Syria’s enemies had taken place at around 10:30pm (19:30 GMT) on Sunday.
The state TV outlet aired images of what it said was the explosions. It had earlier reported that successive blasts were heard in the Hama and Aleppo countryside and that authorities were investigating the cause.
The Europeans won’t do business with Tehran if that means losing access to American banks.
By Jamil N. Jaffer WALL STREET JOURNAL April 29, 2018
Will President Trump terminate the Iran nuclear deal? Many national-security experts are concerned he will, by refusing to waive sanctions that are up for renewal in mid-May. Some worry that unilaterally reimposing sanctions on Iran would isolate the U.S. internationally, as Europe’s leaders still broadly support the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Others argue that the JCPOA is working and Iran is largely abiding by its commitments. Still others urge the U.S. to continue waiving sanctions if the Europeans are willing to consider potential changes to the deal.
“We remain deeply concerned about Iran’s dangerous escalation of threats to Israel and the region and Iran’s ambition to dominate the Middle East remains. The US is with Israel in this fight,” Pompeo said.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) meets with PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, April29, 2018. (Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv)
Mike Pompeo voiced a strongly worded message of support for Israel as he came to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday on first trip to the Middle East as secretary of state.
The discussions, unsurprisingly, focused on Iran, its actions in the region, as well as the nuclear accord that President Donald Trump has threatened to walk away from by May 12th if serious changes are not made. Pompeo and Netanyahu apparently see eye to eye on these issues.
Conflicting reports in Arab media pin blame on Israel, US, and UK after dozens killed at Iranian facilities in Syria.
At least 18 Iranian servicemen were killed in a series of explosions at military sites across Syria Sunday night, a state-run Iranian media outlet reported Monday.
Arab media outlets have issued conflicting reports Monday morning, blaming either Israel, or the US and UK for a series of explosions at military facilities in Syria believed to have been used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Some 700 IDF officers and soldiers serving in reserve duty have signed a petition to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and to the Army’s Central Command, demanding immediate removal of left-wing activists and anarchists involved in inciting violence in Judea and Samaria.
“Permanent activists of Israeli anarchist organizations arrive every week to confront and clash with security forces in Judea and Samaria, inciting the populace and participating in setting up roadblocks and in violent disturbances,” the petition says.
Adam Armoush is a 21-year-old Israeli Arab who, on a recent outing in Berlin, donned a yarmulke to test a friend’s contention that it was unsafe to do so in Germany. On Tuesday he was assaulted in broad daylight by a Syrian asylum-seeker who whipped him with a belt for being “yahudi” — Arabic for Jew. (Watch the video)
The episode was caught on video and has caused a national uproar. Heiko Maas, the foreign minister, tweeted, “Jews shall never again feel threatened here.”
It’s a vow not likely to be fulfilled. There were nearly 1,000 reported anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin alone last year. A neo-fascist party, Alternative for Germany, has 94 seats in the Bundestag. Last Thursday, a pair of German rappers won a prestigious music award, given largely on the basis of sales, for an album in which they boast of having bodies “more defined than Auschwitz prisoners.” The award ceremony coincided with Holocaust Remembrance Day.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In the years ahead, Israel could face the growing prospect of WMD terrorism – i.e., attacks involving chemical, biological, or even nuclear weapons. In this connection, it is vital that Israeli officials do their utmost to prevent perfidious enemy manipulations of humanitarian international law. This is especially urgent with regard to enemy use of “human shields,” an illegal form of military deception that could be used to deter Israeli retaliation. Perfidy can originate with both state and sub-state foes, and could conceivably involve primitive nuclear devices such as “dirty bombs” (weapons that do not involve genuine chain reactions, but instead attach conventional explosives to fissile materials).
By David Singer
Trump’s intention was revealed when the State Department released its annual “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017” (“Report”) – renaming its segment previously entitled “Israel and The Occupied Territories” with a new descriptor – “Israel, Golan Heights, West Bank, and Gaza”.
Liberal American Jews “are not especially connected to Israel because they are not especially connected to being Jewish.”
Now that the dust has settled and pundits have had their say on the issue of being within your rights to be critical of the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu , now is the time to understand why being seen to be endorsing the State of Israel governed by Netanyahu has become impossible for Jewish liberals.
Actress Natalie Portman explained her decision to snub the prestigious Genesis prize in Jerusalem, also known as the “Jewish Nobel,” saying that she did not want her attendance to be seen as an endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She chose to boycott a ceremony which “honors individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their chosen professional fields, and who inspire others through their engagement and dedication to the Jewish community and/or the State of Israel.”
By Shimon Arad
INSS Insight No. 1047, April 29, 2018
In January 2018, the United States and Egypt signed a bilateral communications security agreement known as the Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), which protects and regulates the use of sensitive American avionics and communications systems. This development now allows, for the first time, the acquisition by Egypt of US-made high precision GPS-based air-to-ground weapon systems and components, as well as advanced air-to-air missiles.
Over the years, Israel’s concerns over the sale of large quantities of US weapon systems to Egypt were moderated by the quality cap dictated by the absence of a CISMOA agreement. Israel thus needs to raise this issue with Washington, within the context of the Qualitative Military Edge (QME) discussions. Given the unreliability of enduring stability in the Middle East, as exemplified by the events in Egypt since 2011, Israel should not disregard possible future scenarios in which its QME versus Egypt may matter. Based on the current convergence of security interests between Israel and Egypt, raising this issue with the US, though likely to upset Cairo, is not expected to undermine the practical manifestations of this relationship.
Nothing wrong with US policy reflecting the majority in Israel
The annual human rights report released by the US State Department on Friday reflects a new, Trumpian Middle East policy. In a distinct shift from previous years, the State Department refrained from referring to the West Bank, Golan Heights, and Gaza Strip as “occupied territories,” as these areas are designated under UN Resolution 242 of 1967. The decision to favor the neutral terminology “Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza” demonstrates the adoption of US Ambassador David Friedman’s policy views. Tacitly, the new terminology also indicates the administration’s close alignment with the Israeli Right, which has pushed forward legislation to annex West Bank settlements in recent months.
Afterall, its our neck and our country on the line.
I want a divorce. Not from my wife, whom I love dearly, but from the liberal and progressive American Jewish community. From those American Jews who believe that they have a special right to judge and advise the state of Israel because their parents were Jewish.
I have just finished reading a piece by Peter Beinart in the Forward which blames Israel for the condition of the population of Gaza! His article systematically distorts reality and ignores fundamental facts (e.g., that Hamas interdicts supplies of all kinds entering the strip and diverts them to military use; that Gaza has received massive amounts of international aid to fix infrastructure problems, but the money has disappeared into attack tunnels and rockets; and more). And of course, at the end of the article he introduces the clincher: “Trump and Netanyahu,” which never fails to trigger a progressive audience.
The eternal conflict with Tehran is pictured as a political dispute between the Iranian regime and the Gulf countries’ governments and Israel.
No one doubts the long history of this dispute, its roots and incidents but also the Tehran’s victims which include states and countries other than the Gulf.
The majority of the Lebanese people suffered more than any Arab state for a period of time from Iran’s domination and practices which include the Syrian occupation that remained in effect within the context of the alliance between Tehran and Damascus. Hezbollah is merely like an Iranian police unit in Lebanon that carries out the “duties” for which it was established and funded.
Defense Minister says Israel is not concerned by Russia’s military presence in neighboring Syria.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Friday that Israel is not concerned by Russia’s military presence in neighboring Syria because Moscow is a “pragmatic actor” with whom deals can be struck.
“What is important to understand is that the Russians, they are very pragmatic players,” said Liberman during a discussion on the alliance between Russia, Syria and Iran at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, as quoted by AFP.
In the best tradition of the immortal headline, “It All Started When Israel Retaliated,” Amnesty International on Friday called for an arms boycott against Israel, which is “carrying out a murderous assault against protesting Palestinians, with its armed forces killing and maiming demonstrators who pose no imminent threat to them.”
“Over the last 11 years, civilians in the Gaza Strip have suffered the devastating consequences of Israel’s illegal blockade in addition to three wars,” AI explained, describing a world divided into innocent Arabs and murderous Israelis. “As a result, Gaza’s economy has sharply declined, leaving its population almost entirely dependent on international aid,” the AI explained, failing to note that Israel has been out of the Gaza Strip since 2005, and that the reason Israel is monitoring goods going into Gaza has to do with the ruling Hamas terror group’s use of these goods to dig terror tunnels, produce explosives and manufacture rockets – thousands of which it shot at Israeli civilians for three straight conflicts as well as on more limited opportunities in between.
Where does Netanyahu stand on the explosive legislation that would weaken the bedrock of Israeli democracy? Stay tuned
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Olivier Fitoussi
The upcoming month – which a former director of Military Intelligence has described as the most dangerous May Israel will have faced since May of 1967 – also bears the potential for political-coalition upheavals. In fact, many are wondering which will come first: an escalation of tensions along the borders or an implosion of the government that will generate a general election. Of course, it’s possible that neither will happen and that we will experience containment on all fronts.