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Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

‘Secret Obama plan’ forfeits Temple Mount to Palestinians

The Obama administration has quietly presented a plan in which the Palestinian Authority and Jordan will receive sovereignty over the Temple Mount while Israel will retain the land below the Western Wall, according to a senior PA negotiator speaking to WND.

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism.Isreal

The proposed plan is part of the basis for U.S.-brokered talks that are set to resume in Washington next week after Secretary of State John Kerry announced that both Israel and PA President Mahmoud Abbas have agreed to open negotiations aimed at creating a Palestinian state.

Israel has not agreed to the U.S. plan over the Temple Mount, with details still open for discussion, stated the PA negotiator.

The negotiator, who is one of the main Palestinian figures leading the Arab side of the talks, further divulged Kerry’s proposed outline for a Palestinian state as presented orally to Israel and the PA.
He said Jordan has been invited to play a key role in the discussions surrounding both the Temple Mount and Jerusalem while it will be the PA, with some Jordanian assistance, that would ultimately receive control of some of those areas.

WND was first to report in 2007 that Jordan had been quietly purchasing real estate surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem hoping to gain more control over the area accessing the holy site, according to Palestinian and Israeli officials.

Meanwhile, regarding the rest of Jerusalem, Kerry’s plan is to rehash what is known as the Clinton parameters. That formula, pushed by President Bill Clinton during the Camp David talks in 2000, called for Jewish areas of Jerusalem to remain Israeli while the Palestinians would get sovereignty over neighborhoods that are largely Arab. Most Arab sections are located in eastern Jerusalem.

WND previously reported the Palestinians are building illegally in Jewish-owned areas of Jerusalem, resulting in Arab majorities in some neighborhoods.

For the strategic Jordan Valley, Obama’s proposal calls for international forces to maintain security control along with unarmed Palestinian police forces, the PA negotiator said. Israel will retain security posts in some strategic areas of the Jordan Valley, according to the leaked plan.

When it comes to the West Bank, which borders Jerusalem and is within rocket range of Israel’s main population centers, Israel is expected to evacuate about 90 percent of its Jewish communities currently located in the territory, as outlined in Kerry’s plan.

Israel would retain strategic security posts along with the West Bank’s main blocs, Maale Adumin, Ariel and Gush Etzion. In return, Obama is calling for an exchange of territory with the Palestinians in other locations inside Israel, with discussion being open for the Palestinians to possibly receive land in the Israeli Negev in the country’s south.

The PA negotiator further said Israel rejected a Palestinian request that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agree not to place the final peace plan up for referendum in the Knesset.

Indeed, Netanyahu announced today any plan must receive final approval in a national poll.

“I am committed to two objectives that must guide the result … if there will be a result. And if there will be a result, it will be put to a national referendum,” he said at the start of the cabinet meeting.

“Negotiations with the Palestinians will not be easy, but we are entering them with integrity, honesty and hope,” Netanyahu added.

The PA negotiator, meanwhile, said Netanyahu agreed that as a gesture to restart talks, Israel will enact a temporary freeze on all Jewish construction in the West Bank outside the main settlement blocs. According to Israeli sources, such a freeze has largely already been in place for several months now anyway.

The negotiator warned that one of the toughest issues centers on control of water, with Kerry already reaching out to Turkey about the prospect of selling water at a cheaper rate to a future Palestinian state.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/07/secret-obama-plan-forfeits-temple-mount-to-palestinians/#LUdjJD5ud2QswgCf.99

Syria Learns: Don’t Cross Israel’s ‘Red Line’

by Joseph klein
Air Strike
Israel’s air force is reported to have attacked last Thursday a shipment of advanced surface-to-surface missiles from Iran that were believed to be on their way to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Then, early Sunday, according to a Western intelligence source, Israel struck Iranian-supplied missiles headed for Hezbollah again, this time in the vicinity of the Jamraya complex, Syria’s main research center for work on biological and chemical weapons. These attacks followed Israeli airstrikes early this year against a convoy of SA-17 antiaircraft weapons being readied for delivery to Hezbollah. With its strikes, Israel has made clear that it considers the transfer of dangerous weapons to terrorists to be a clear red line that will be enforced with severity if crossed and that there is no room for Syria to test the waters on this issue. The Obama administration, meanwhile, is once again leading from behind on the serious matter of preventing the such weapons from dispersing, while the region rapidly deteriorates.

A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington said in a statement, “Israel is determined to prevent the transfer of chemical weapons or other game-changing weaponry by the Syrian regime to terrorists, especially to Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

Israel’s intelligence indicates that Hezbollah has already set up several bases in Syria, near known locations housing parts of Assad’s chemical warfare arsenal. Drones may be helping Israel gather intelligence, facilitated by Jordan’s decision to open its air space for the Israeli drone flights en route to Syria.

In addition to the danger of Hezbollah getting access to Syria’s chemical weapons, jihadist opposition forces, led by the al Qaeda-affiliated Al Nusra Front, are now within striking distance of Syria’s largest WMD caches.

Israel understands far better than the United States and its other allies the common threat posed by Islamists on either side of the Syrian civil war. In these circumstances, as Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States said, Israel’s options boil down to a choice “between cholera and the plague.” Thus, Israel’s top priority with regard to Syria is to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons, chemical or otherwise, to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s Hezbollah allies and to prevent the seizure of such weapons by jihadists who dominate the opposition fighting to overthrow the regime. “The Israelis are saying, ‘O.K., whichever way the civil war is going, we are going to keep our red lines,’” said Ehud Yaari, an Israel-based fellow of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

President Obama has drawn his own red line regarding the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons. However, his red line grows blurrier by the day as the U.S. military and intelligence communities acknowledge that we do not know where many of the chemical weapons are located, much less how and by whom they might have been used. “We’ve lost track of lots of this stuff,” one U.S. official told The Daily Beast. “We just don’t know where a lot of it is.”

President Obama is waiting for more conclusive proof of the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons before deciding on next steps. “We don’t know how they were used, when they were used, who used them, we don’t have a chain of custody that establishes what exactly happened,” he said. Such proof “would cause us to rethink the range of options that are available to us,” he added.

While President Obama’s caution makes sense in deciding whether and under what circumstances to increase U.S. involvement in Syria, he is mistaken in waiting to “mobilize the international community to support what we do.”

The United Nations, to which President Obama has outsourced major portions of his foreign policy, has been paralyzed in dealing with Syria by differences among the permanent members of the Security Council. Russia and China have vetoed several UN Security Council resolutions against the Assad regime.

Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria, reportedly plans to resign his post in the coming weeks. Like Kofi Annan before him, who also resigned this post, Brahimi is frustrated by the inability to reach a diplomatic solution to the two year old conflict in Syria. “I am personally, profoundly sorry that my own efforts have produced so little,” he told the Security Council in a closed-door meeting last month. “I apologize to the Syrian people for having, in the end, done so little for them during these past eight months and to you, in this council, for having had only sad news to report to you.”

The United Nations has also been unable to send its expert fact-finding team into Syria to investigate alleged use of chemical weapons. Syria refuses to give its consent for the UN team to conduct the on-site investigation unless the investigation is limited only to the one instance that the Syrian government had reported to the UN, rather than also include in the investigation other instances of alleged use presented by France and the United Kingdom.

H.E. Bashar Ja’afari, Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations, derided the lack of detailed information to back up the French and British allegations, such as blood samples, testimonies of injured persons, medical reports or footage that he said the Syrian government had furnished to the UN Secretariat in support of its allegation. Yet, even if such information were supplied by France and the United Kingdom to the satisfaction of the UN’s technical team as sufficient to warrant an on-site independent investigation of their allegations, Ambassador Ja’afari refused to say whether Syria would consent to allowing such an investigation.

“The Syrian government is still waiting to receive information on these situations,” Ja’afari said. “Then, if the Syrian government and the secretary-general and the Security Council members feel that these allegations are also credible, the Syrian government might — might — examine the possibility of asking for further investigation…then it would be up to us.”

Aside from the UN’s inability to deal with the Syrian crisis, President Obama is searching for an “international consensus” that does not exist beyond the immediate situation with Assad. It is true that, with the notable exceptions of Russia, China and Iran, there is a broad consensus that Assad should go. The Arab League has gone as far as seating representatives of the Syrian opposition at its recent summit meeting. Although Russia and China have vetoed several UN Security Council resolutions against the Assad regime, Qatar is moving forward in the UN General Assembly with a proposed resolution welcoming the establishment of the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces and noting “the wide international acknowledgement of the Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.” After some minor tinkering, we can expect this resolution to pass overwhelmingly in the General Assembly.

However, the notion that there is any real international consensus on what should come next after Assad is a mirage. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey are looking to establish an Islamist state in place of the current regime, not anything resembling the pluralistic secular democracy that the U.S. and its European allies have in mind. The Syrian opposition forces are in fact increasingly dominated by Islamists who hate our guts and would love to get their hands on Assad’s chemical weapons to use against us.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey are providing arms and funding to the opposition. They are using the West’s opposition to the Assad regime and the threat of its use of chemical weapons against its own people to suck us into deeper involvement in toppling Assad. Leading from behind as usual, the Obama administration is now strongly considering arming the opposition and participating in attacks on Syria’s air defenses, missiles and air force, using the chemical weapons threat as a further excuse to buttress a so-called “international consensus” against Assad. France and the United Kingdom are considering supplying arms to the opposition once the European Union arms embargo ends at the end of May. What awaits us in the aftermath of Assad’s overthrow is left for another day to worry about.

The United States should not be guided by a phony “international consensus.” Let the Sunni Arab states and Turkey fight their own battles against Assad and his Shiite backers in Iran and Hezbollah. The carnage is deplorable but, other than providing humanitarian aid, anything we do to intervene in an intra-Muslim battle will backfire. History should be our guide here.

America’s interest is to prevent Syria’s chemical and biological weapons from getting into the hands of terrorists, whether they be Shiite or Sunni jihadists. That should be our only red line. Following the talisman of an “international consensus” is a recipe for disaster.

Israel Through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner – on The Glazov Gang

LelaThis week’s Glazov Gang had the honor of being joined by Lela Gilbert, author of Saturday People, Sunday People, actor Dwight Schultz (DwightSchultzFansite.tv) and Ann-Marie Murrell, the National Director of PolitiChicks.tv.

The Gang members gathered to discuss Israel Through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner. The dialogue occurred in Part I and focused on Lela Gilbert’s book, Saturday People, Sunday People: Israel through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner. Ms. Gilbert shared what brought her to Israel, the Israelis’ warm reception of her, and why, as Dr. Gabriel Barkay imparted to her, “Temple Denial is more dangerous and serious than Holocaust Denial.” The Gang therefore reflected on The Cultural Intifada and Temple Denial, a dialogue which dealt with Islamists’ gambit to de-Judaize the Jewish state.

Part II also mostly focused on Saturday People, Sunday People, shedding light on the dire lessons of Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in 2005, the trauma that Israeli citizens, including children, have suffered from Palestinian terror, Jimmy Carter’s Jew-Hate, and the world’s blind spot: the forgotten exodus of 900,000 Jews expelled from Arab and Muslim countries.

The segment ended on a reflection on Margaret Thatcher and the powerful way in which she shaped her era.

To watch both parts of the two-part series, see below:

It is with great urgency that I write to you today.

David-HorowitzBy nominating Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, Barack Obama has given us a preview of a second term that will be even more anti-Israel, more accommodating to the nuclear ambitions of the Iranian mullahs, and more willing to befriend the terrorists of Hamas and Hezbollah. In Hagel, Obama has selected someone who is fully on board with his catastrophic policies, and worse, is willing to act as an undertaker for American power, which will be drastically weakened by huge cuts in our defense budget…cuts even outgoing Secretary Panetta has warned against.

The Hagel nomination is one of the “radical transformations” Obama warned us he would carry out when he was first elected, and it must be stopped. Based on his record of hostility to Jews, Israel, and American military supremacy, Chuck Hagel will be a disaster as Secretary of Defense.
Hagel was the only senator out of 100 who refused to sign the American Jewish Committee’s 1999 statement against anti-Semitism in Russia.
Hagel was one of only a handful of Senators who refused to sign a bipartisan letter to the European Union to add Hezbollah to its list of terrorist organizations.
Hagel strongly opposed the enhanced interrogation of suspected al-Qaeda terrorists after 9/11 that helped prevent more terrorist attacks on our homeland.
Hagel voted to invade Iraq and then, almost immediately, joined the left in attacking the efforts of our troops on the ground.
Hagel currently serves as Chairman of the Atlantic Council, a foreign policy blog. On December 11, 2012 the Atlantic Council published a front page article titled “Israel’s Apartheid Policy,” appropriating a term, “apartheid,” which Israel’s bitterest enemies use to justify calls for its annihilation.
Hagel referred to the “Jewish lobby” in comments he made in 2006, conjuring up the image of rich, powerful Jews pulling the strings of Washington which is a staple of the hate speech of jihadis and neo-Nazis.
The bottom line: Chuck Hagel is bad for America and he is bad for Israel.

This is why the Freedom Center is working overtime to educate our countrymen about what this nomination means. Americans need to understand the role Chuck Hagel will play in Barack Obama’s plan to further distance our country from our Israeli ally, to negotiate with terror and to reduce American influence around the world.

With your help, FrontPage Magazine is going to commission a series of investigative columns that probe the source of Chuck Hagel’s anti-Israel and anti-American beliefs. Has he made other comments that show hostility to our key alliances and to the importance of our military? The Freedom Center will find out, while also educating politicians and policy makers, media figures and public service groups about what Hagel has said and what he believes. We will put this disastrous nomination under a high intensity microscope.

This is a fight about America’s ability to fight. It is a fight about the fight between democracy and barbarism in the Middle East. It is a fight our country can’t afford to lose. Chuck Hagel fought in Vietnam and for that we owe him a debt of gratitude, but he is not qualified for this battle. The Department of Defense needs someone at the helm who supports the military and is willing to use it to protect our country, and Hagel’s past service should not provide immunity for a record of being anti-military and soft on America’s enemies for the past two decades.

America deserves better, and so does Israel.

David Horowitz
President & Founder

Part 2 Protecting Against Mass Murder: A Workable Armed Security Plan

SchoolsThere are things that make schools particularly attractive targets for evil men or crazies who want to inflict harm on others or who want to hurt society: Schools contain large numbers of helpless children and a few adults who can pose no threat to an attacker; Being gun-free zones, schools guarantee that the will be no armed person in a school, with the possible exception of a school resource officer; and, once the slaughter starts, the attacker knows that it will take several minutes for the police to be called and to respond. The attacker also knows that if there is a single policeman assigned to the school, he could get rid of that threat to him by simply removing the officer or distracting him in some way; and even if the officer is not disabled the attacker would simply have to begin his attack in one of the more remote classrooms. For these reasons our children are like lambs in a slaughterhouse
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The only real protection against a terrorist (and no matter their motive, the people who stage these attacks are terrorists) is to have numerous people in all parts of the school who can be first responders to an attack. The outcome at Sandy Hook Elementary School would have been very different had the first teacher who confronted the attacker, and the Principle who confronted him had done so with a gun.
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Schools should be Attack Free Zones; meaning that if an unauthorized person enters a school they are considered a deadly threat and if they do not immediately surrender, they will be shot. This means that schools would have to have the ability to control all access to the school and to identify and control visitors or those on authorized business.
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The two most rational objections to arming school personnel are 1) that they would create a confusing battlefield for police who respond- it would become difficult for the officers to identify the perpetrators as opposed to the armed school personnel; and, 2) School personnel are not trained in the needed skills and procedures. I think there is some valid concern on both points. However, if the arming of school personnel is done properly both these points become moot.
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First the personnel would have to pass the normal gun ownership background checks, second, they would have to pass the concealed carry class, and third they would be required to be trained and sanctioned by the local police department, and would operate under direction of the police department as a reserve unit of the police. This takes away the concern about qualification.
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There are probably several employees at most schools who are already competent marksmen and trained in gun safety. There are likely military veterans or reservists, concealed carry permit holders, reserve officers, or shooting hobbyist on the school staff. These people would be the obvious first class of trainees. The goal would be to have most employees, including administrators, teachers, classified staff, custodians, and bus drivers qualified and armed. Since the reasons schools are such enticing targets for evil or crazy people is because they know they will easily be able to do great harm, having this type of reserve protection would take away that primary attraction as a target.
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The second valid concern is identification of school police reservists. First, since they are under the direction of the police, trained by them, and mingle face to face with officers they would be known by sight to the police. Second they would be provided with a recognizable police vest which they would don in the event of an attack anywhere on the school. The teachers in classrooms would lock down their classroom, direct the children to take cover, and then take a defensive position to stop the attacker from entering.
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Teachers involved in other activities with students would move them to designated safe areas and take up a defensive position to protect the children. Administrators and other non-teaching personnel would don their vests and move quickly to the trouble area, firing on an attacker at the moment they are encountered.
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The reserve officer school personnel would be organized into rank leadership based on competency and training and the senior officer (who might be a teacher or a janitor rather than an administrator) would assume command of the crises until a ranking police officer is on the scene.
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Chances are, that in most cases based on this scenario by the time police arrived all school reservists would be “in uniform”’ the threat would be neutralized, and all arms would be holstered, avoiding the chaos envisioned by detractors.
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Chances are good that this would prevent injury or loss of student life; or at the worst would limit the number of such casualties.
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I will cover reestablishing a healthy American gun culture in Part 3.

Israel Report

According to the recent report 126 Palestinian Civilians has died during Israeli attacked on Gaza,Their report show all were Civilians,Nonsense. If a Palestinian Man,Woman,Boys or Girls hold a military weapon in his or her hands,makes you a Military Person.So how can Israel or any country differentiate the Civilians from a Military Person?report also say Israeli disproportionally and aggressiveness towards the Palestinian,Yes.Israel has to sent a message to all her enemy. The media will show massive of pictures of the Palestinian that were killed and not one of Israeli that was killed, There is no Country on this earth that will sit there and allow another County to fire in their Country,Nonsense. All those Countries and people that are against Israel, If any County fire rockets into their country, They will do the same as Israel. So it is with every Country. Man the UN and everybody that hate Israel can go to HELL.God Bless Israel

Iran’s Agenda in the Gaza Offensive

by Stratfor

To begin to make sense of the escalating conflict in Gaza, we need to go back to the night of Oct. 23 in Khartoum. Around 11 p.m. that night, the Yarmouk weapons facility in the Sudanese capital was attacked, presumably by the Israeli air force. There were indications that Iran had been using this facility to stockpile and possibly assemble weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles, guided anti-tank missiles and long-range Fajr-5 rockets capable of reaching Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from Gaza.

One of the major drivers behind Israel’s latest air and assassination campaign is its belief that Hamas has a large cache of long-range Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rockets in its possession. Israel’s primary intent in this military campaign is to deny Hamas the ability to use these rockets or keep them as a constant threat to Israel’s population centers. This likely explains why in early October, when short-range rocket attacks from Gaza were still at a low level, Israeli officials began conditioning the public to the idea of an “inevitable” Israeli intervention in Gaza. Israel knew Hamas had these weapons in its possession and that it could require a war to eliminate the Fajr rocket threat. It began with the strike on the facility in Sudan, extended to the assassination of Hamas military commander Ahmad Jabari (the architect of the Fajr rocket program) and now has the potential to develop into an Israeli ground incursion in Gaza.

Analysis

Oct. 23 was not the first time Israel allegedly attacked weapons caches in Sudanese territory that were destined for Gaza. In January 2009, Israel allegedly carried out an airstrike against a weapons convoy northwest of Port Sudan heading to Gaza. The convoy included Fajr-3 rockets and was unusually large, with more than 20 trucks traveling north toward Gaza. The rushed shipment was allegedly arranged by Iran to reinforce Hamas during Operation Cast Lead. Iran was also exposed trying to smuggle weapons to Gaza through the Red Sea.

Though efforts were likely made to conceal the weapons cache at Yarmouk, it obviously did not escape Israeli detection. Hamas therefore took a major risk in smuggling the weapons to Gaza in the first place, perhaps thinking they could get away with it since they have been able to with less sophisticated weapons systems. Before Hamas responded to the Nov. 14 Jabari assassination, there were two major spates of rocket and mortar attacks over the past month. The first was Oct. 8-10 and the second was Oct. 22-24. When the decision was made to carry out these attacks, Hamas may not have known that Israel had detected the long-range Fajrs. Launching Grad and Qassam mortars may have been Hamas’ attempt at misleading Israel into thinking that Hamas did not even have the Fajr rockets, because otherwise it would have used them. Hamas may have also erroneously assumed that launching mortars and short-range rockets, as it periodically does when the situation gets tense with Israel, would not lead to a major Israeli response.

By the time Israel attacked the Yarmouk facility, Hamas had to assume that Israel knew of the weapons transfer to Gaza. Hamas then quickly agreed to an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire Oct. 25. When attacks against Israel began picking up again around Nov. 10 — including an anti-tank attack on an Israeli military jeep claimed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and several dozen more rocket attacks claimed by Palestinian Islamic Jihad and smaller Salafist-jihadist groups — Hamas appeared more cautious, calling the main Gaza militant groups together on Nov. 12 to seek out another truce. By then, it was too late. They had already inadvertently provided the Israelis with the justification they needed to get public relations cover for their campaign to destroy Hamas’ long-range rocket program.

On Nov. 14, Jabari was assassinated, and Hamas had to work under the assumption that Israel would do whatever it took to launch a comprehensive military campaign to eliminate the Fajr threat. It is at this point that Hamas likely resigned to a “use it or lose it” strategy and launched Fajr rockets toward Tel Aviv, knowing that they would be targeted anyway and potentially using the threat as leverage in an eventual attempt at another truce with Israel. A strong Hamas response would also boost Hamas’ credibility among Palestinians. Hamas essentially tried to make the most out of an already difficult situation and will now likely work through Egypt to try to reach a truce to avoid an Israeli ground campaign in Gaza that could further undermine its authority in the territory.

In Tehran, Iranian officials are likely quite content with these developments. Iran needed a distraction from the conflict in Syria. It now has that, at least temporarily. Iran also needed to revise its relationship with Hamas and demonstrate that it retains leverage through militant groups in the Palestinian territories as part of its deterrence strategy against a potential strike on its nuclear program. Hamas decided in the past year that it was better off aligning itself with its ascendant parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, than remaining tethered to an ideological rival like Iran that was being put on the defensive in the region. Iran could still capture Hamas’ attention through weapons sales, however, and may have even expected that Israel would detect the Fajr shipments.

The result is an Israeli military campaign in Gaza that places Hamas’ credibility in question and could create more space for a group like the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which has close ties to Iran. The conflict will also likely create tension in Hamas’ relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Jordan and Syria, since the Brotherhood, particularly in Egypt, is not prepared or willing to confront Israel beyond rhetoric and does not want to face the public backlash for not doing enough to defend the Palestinians from Israel Defense Forces. All in all, this may turn out to be a relatively low-cost, high payoff maneuver by Iran.

Report from the Rocket Zone

By Thursday night Israel was well into its second war against the Gaza terror statelet since Israel’s ill-considered “disengagement” from Gaza in 2005, a move widely hailed at the time as ushering in a new era of peace.

The year leading up to the first Gaza war, 2008, saw over a thousand rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza. In 2009 and 2010, the years after that war, the attacks declined steeply; then they began to rise again and this year, 2012, had reached about 800 before Israel, on Wednesday, finally started to fight back again.

Israel launched the campaign on Wednesday afternoon with two major, successful hits: a lethal aerial strike on Ahmad Jabari, head of Hamas’s military wing and the most senior Hamas figure in the Strip, known especially to Israelis for masterminding the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit; and a series of strikes against Hamas’s Iranian-made long-range Fajr missiles, considered strategic because of their ability to hit the Tel Aviv area in central Israel.

Since then southern Israel has been enveloped in rocket firings from Gaza. On Thursday morning three people were killed in the town of Kiryat Malachi, 18 miles from Gaza, when a rocket made a direct hit on a building there. In my city, Beersheva, 25 miles from Gaza, the attacks have been so frequent that this article is literally being written in intervals between air-raid sirens. So far the city’s Iron Dome battery has intercepted most of the rockets and no serious injuries have been reported.

Israel was further stunned on Thursday night when, for the first time ever, rockets from Gaza hit the greater Tel Aviv area, indicating that the air force had not managed to destroy all the Fajrs and signaling a strategic escalation on Hamas’s part. Israel, for its part, had hit over 200 targets in Gaza including terror hubs and arms caches.

On Thursday morning the Israeli air force dropped leaflets on Gaza warning civilians to stay out of the line of fire. That meant the war’s moral asymmetry was absolute, with one side doing its utmost to avoid civilian casualties and the other, Hamas and other Gaza terror groups like Islamic Jihad, launching hundreds of projectiles meant to kill, injure, and terrorize as many civilians as possible.

That did not, however, prevent Mohammed Kamel Amr—foreign minister of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood regime, in power since July—from asking U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton for “immediate U.S. intervention to stop the Israeli aggression.” And the spokesman for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, had still stronger words, saying Morsi had been “follow[ing] the Israeli brutal assault.”

As opposed to words, Egypt’s actions so far have been relatively mild. On Wednesday, immediately after the hostilities began, Egypt’s ambassador to Israel was recalled. On Thursday it was announced that Egypt’s prime minister Hesham Kandil—far less significant than Morsi—would be paying Gaza a solidarity visit on Friday.

In other words, despite the Muslim Brotherhood regime’s radical hostility to Israel, it is probably in no shape at this point to make more than symbolic gestures in Hamas’s defense, with Egypt not far from economic collapse and desperately dependent on U.S. aid. In other regards, too, the regional situation gives Israel a window for action, with both Syria and its Lebanon-based ally, Hizballah, enmeshed in trying to put down the Syrian rebellion.

After a day of aerial and tank fire at the Strip, it was reported by Thursday evening that Israel was calling up 30,000 reserve soldiers, making a ground invasion of the Strip likely. Israel’s goals probably do not include toppling Hamas, since Israel does not want to either reoccupy Gaza or install the Palestinian Authority there, but certainly do include regaining its deterrence by hitting Hamas hard, and restoring normal life to the people of southern Israel.

Although reactions from Washington and London have so far been supportive, it is hard to be optimistic that the West will keep backing Israel when Palestinian casualties start flashing across TV screens. It will be a shame, since one cannot imagine a more just war than one between, on the one hand, a country simply seeking to live in peace, and on the other, savage terror organizations trying to destroy it.

It’s to be hoped that, however much flak is flying Israel’s way, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak will stay the course.

PRAY FOR ISRAEL

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyBToUaon2w[/youtube]

Something unusual is happening in Israel

BY John VanderKam

My brother and his family live in Jerusalem – he is a minister – and a former Navy SEAL – his office is close to one of Israel ‘s largest underground military bases.

He called me last night which is very unusual – usually it is email.

He called to tell me that he is sending his family back to the US immediately due to what he is seeing happen within the last week and what he is being told by his military contacts in both the Israel and US military.

He said he is seeing with his own eyes military movements the likes of which he has never seen in his 20+ years in Israel.

What he called a massive redeployment and protective tactics of forces is underway.

Over the last two days he has seen anti-aircraft missile deployments throughout the Jerusalem area including 3 mobile units that he can see from his office windows.

In addition, he has seen very large Israeli armored columns moving fast toward the Sinai where Egypt has now moved in Armor.

There are reports of the top military leaders meeting with Israel ‘s Sr. Rabi which is something that has happened preceding every prior military campaign.

His admonition is to watch carefully and pray for Israel and its people.

He is convinced that barring something extraordinary Israel will attack Iran – with or without the US – and very soon.

It is the belief in Israel that Obama does not stand with Israel but with the Arab countries.

He has told me before that Israel will saber rattle from time to time but that this time is very different from what he is seeing and hearing.

He was at the Wailing Wall 2 days ago and there were hundreds of IDF soldiers there. As he was leaving he passed at least 20 military buses full of soldiers in route to the wall.

He has never seen this before either.

Just thought I would pass this along.
My brother is not an alarmist by any means.

When he talks like this it gets my attention for sure and usually I find he knows more than he shares.

There are reports that Israel is asking Obama to come to Israel immediately but they are being answered with silence.

My opinion is that I see the making of the perfect storm.