Saturday, August 31, 2013

From Ian:

A New Era of Anti-Semitism Is Here. Daniel Goldhagen Blames Globalization.
Nearly 20 years later, Goldhagen has broadened his scope in a new work. The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism offers an in-depth look at anti-Semitism around the world. He argues that it’s an almost pathological prejudice that spans centuries and cultures and therefore is a uniquely destructive force that has redoubled its strength thanks to a new age of globalization and information-sharing. Goldhagen joins Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry to discuss why anti-Semitism is distinct from other forms of prejudice, how globalization has contributed to its resurgence, and what we can do to combat this scourge. [Running time: 29:40.]
Egypt Joins With Israel in Battling Gaza Terrorist 'Fishermen'
When Gaza terrorists try to run the blockade, IDF vessels fire at the Gaza ships, forcing them to remain inside the perimeter, eliciting loud complaints from the PA about how Israel is “shooting at innocent fishermen,” complaints that other Arab nations such as Egypt, join in with.
But with the unrest in Egypt and the attempts by Muslim Brotherhood Islamists – with whom Hamas is closely affiliated – the Egyptian army seems to have changed its tone. On Friday, the Ma'an News Agency in Gaza reported that Egyptian army vessels had fired at “fishermen” from Gaza, too. No details were given, but it appeared that the “fishermen” were on their way to Egyptian territorial waters.
Hamas did not comment on the “Egyptian aggression” against Gaza “fishermen,” as they generally do when Israel fires at Gaza Arabs on these ships.
Explosion near IDF patrol on Gaza border
An explosive device was detonated Friday near an IDF patrol jeep that was traveling close to the border fence with the Gaza Strip.
No soldiers were injured in the incident.
An IDF Spokesman said that the explosive device was likely detonated by a terrorist group while the army force took part in routine patrol activities.
IDF Chief Says Many Secret Operations Have Been Carried Out on Golan Front
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday met with the IDF General Staff forum, including Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, who revealed that much defense work on Israel’s Golan front has been achieved away from “the cameras.”
While Jews around the world prepare for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, next week, Israelis are preparing for potential retaliation by Syria if the U.S. moves to punish the regime of President Bashar al-Assad for crossing President Obama’s “red line” by using chemical weapons.
What if Israel Had Left the Golan Heights?
Why didn’t we pursue the path Shiffer and his friends had advocated? Why didn’t we let the Golan Heights come under the control of the Assad family and forsake our security? Had a deal been signed with Assad, the bloody encounters of the Syrian civil war would have take place right above the Sea of Galilee; no Israeli/Jewish community would have been safe. Pro-Syrian sleeper cells would become active, too. This is all just common sense.
But the Left’s orthodoxy is still wedded to the dogma that the conflict with our enemies is mainly about territory. There are still many among us who accept this folly; they are awarded airtime and column inches. Jews have always had a knack for being the devil’s advocate.
U.S. Assessment on Syria’s Use of Chemical Weapons
The United States Government assesses with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013. We further assess that the regime used a nerve agent in the attack.
These all-source assessments are based on human, signals, and geospatial intelligence as well as a significant body of open source reporting. Our classified assessments have been shared with the U.S. Congress and key international partners. To protect sources and methods, we cannot publicly release all available intelligence - but what follows is an unclassified summary of the U.S. Intelligence Community's analysis of what took place.
Kerry: We know Assad killed 1,429 of his own people and we say, ‘Never again’
“The United States government now knows that at least 1,429 Syrians were killed in this attack, including at least 426 children. Even the first-responders, the doctors, nurses and medics who tried to save them, they became victims themselves. We saw them gasping for air, terrified that their own lives were in danger. This is the indiscriminate, inconceivable horror of chemical weapons. This is what Assad did to his own people,” said Kerry.
Kerry said, “history would judge us all extraordinarily harshly if we turned a blind eye to a dictator’s wanton use of weapons of mass destruction against all warnings, against all common understanding of decency, these things we do know.”
US intel knew Assad regime was preparing chemical attack 3 days in advance
An administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the report detailed Assad’s motivation in launching the attack on the 12 locations targeted last week. The regime had been focused on those neighborhoods and wanted to clear the area of opposition fighters. The US official said that pro-regime forces had exhausted their conventional options, and he emphasized that “the regime considers chemical weapons in its portfolio of military use. They do not see it as an extreme measure for extreme cases.”
US officials acknowledged that they had been surprised by the large and “indiscriminate” scale of last week’s attack, but said that they had signals and human intelligence as early as the Sunday before the assault. In contradiction to reports in recent days, another official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that there was “no indication” that the scale or targets of the attack were a mistake.
Analysis: Are Syrian and Iranian threats just bluster?
According to Karsh, Assad knows that the strikes will probably be limited, “so he speaks in a large voice, but he probably is already in a bunker, waiting for it to be done and over with.”
He says there may be a silver lining in a Western attack in that it could foreshadow one with Iran. Syria’s military may be better than Iran’s, and if the West is successful, it may show that attacking Iran might not be as difficult as previously assumed, he said.
On the other hand, should the attack go horribly wrong, it will drive the final nail in the West's willingness to confront Iran, an eventuality too dreadful to contemplate.
Indecision on Syria undermines Israeli confidence
While officially mum on the British decision not to participate in a strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, many Israeli policy makers are neither surprised nor disappointed — because “that’s what they expected,” the official said. It is now commonly accepted in Jerusalem that the international community’s assurances to stand with Israel in a possible future attack from neighboring Arab states or Iran are “based on hypocrisy,” he added.
As Syria strikes loom, Samatha Power's skills better suited to classroom than UN
NGO leaders, who celebrated Power’s appointment as U.N. ambassador, have never understood the practicality of that decision or the motivations of those who may or may not vote for a resolution to protect the vulnerable.
Too many members of the U.N. benefit from the status quo and won’t make decisions for purely altruistic reasons. Ambassador Power doesn’t understand this reality.
Power’s speeches, thus far, put forward purely intellectual arguments that are ignored by the very people we need to support us. This elitist strategy won’t work inside the U.N. Her academic style is bound to fail.
Erdogan says limited response not enough, wants Assad gone
A limited military response to the reported use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime is not enough, and any kind of intervention should aim to topple him, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said late Friday.
“It can’t be a 24 hours hit-and-run,” Erdogan told reporters at the presidential palace in Ankara. “What matters is stopping the bloodshed in Syria and weakening the regime to the point where it gives up.”
Syrian Opposition Says West Must Enable ‘Syrian People to Defend Themselves,’ Not Just Carry Out ‘Punitive Strikes’
“We are not asking for a punitive strike or for some show or slap in the face that lasts only for a day or two; rather, we want permanent protection for the Syrian people and the recognition of their rights to live,” As-Saleh said. “This calls primarily for enabling the Syrian people to defend themselves, preventing regime armament and forcing foreign invading troops – be they Iranian, Lebanese, or Iraqi – to withdraw from Syria.”
Western nations, including the United States, have threatened to strike Syria in response to its use of chemical weapons in an attack near Damascus last week that left hundreds of civilians dead. Syria and its backers in Moscow and Tehran have denied the allegations, placing blame on Syrian opposition forces.
Assad's brat 11-year-old kid reportedly goads US into attacking Syria in bizarre Facebook rant
The 11-year-old son of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Hafez, has reportedly goaded the US to strike Syria in a Facebook post.
"I just want them to attack soooo much," Hafez al-Assad allegedly wrote, "because I want them to make this huge attack of beginning something that they don't know the end of it."
Whether the profile is real or not has not been confirmed -- but The New York Times has put forward evidence backing its authenticity.
Will Iran fight to the last Lebanese?
All this does not mean that Hezbollah will do nothing if the Iranians ask the party to widen the Syrian conflict. On the contrary, it is almost certain that Hezbollah would – seeing Assad’s survival as part and parcel of its own survival. But the potential costs are higher than anything the party has faced in its history as a branch of Iran’s security and intelligence apparatus. This will make Hezbollah think twice before acting rashly, and may give Barack Obama the leeway he seeks for a limited military operation in Syria.
The question is whether all sides are good at reading the signals sent by the other. When the rockets start flying, cool judgment often goes. (h/t EoZ)
Syrians Charged in Deadly Lebanon Attacks
Five people, including a Syrian army captain, were charged on Friday over deadly attacks in the northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli a week ago, a judicial source told AFP.
Two Lebanese religious figures were also charged over the twin car bombs outside Sunni mosques on August 23, which killed more than 45 people in the bloodiest attack since Lebanon's 15-year civil war ended.
Egypt: 6 Dead in Clashes During Protests
At least six people were killed and 190 were wounded on Friday in Egypt as violent clashes erupted between supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi and security forces, the Health Ministry said, according to Al Arabiya.
The protests come after a relative lull following the arrests of many Muslim Brotherhood leaders. The Friday rallies were the movement's biggest show of defiance since clashes two weeks ago in which hundreds of protesters were killed."
Plenty of propaganda and indoctrination, but apparently one thing John Greyson didn't teach his students was how to make a decent movie
York University's anti-Israel fanatic John Greyson is currently in jail in Egypt for charges including helping the Muslim Brotherhood's terrorist activities.
A few of his students and colleagues at York produced a short video appeal for his release. In viewing it, in which they describe the things they learned from Greyson, it becomes apparent one thing he did not teach them was how to make a decent motion picture.
Miss Israel Pageant Finalist Gives Up Modeling Career to Serve in Israel’s Border Police
Zoe Russell, a 5’10″ blonde beauty, was a finalist in the Miss Israel Pageant not long ago, but instead of taking the more glamorous route a modeling career would afford her, she has chosen to serve in Israel’s Border Police.
Instead of an evening gown, her outfit includes “a heavy and cumbersome vest, dusty helmet, rifle and boots,” Israel’s Channel 2 reported, publishing a recent interview, including official photos of the border policewoman.
Of serving in the Border Police, Russell, 20, said, ”It’s another world, perhaps less glamorous and glitzy, but there is a lot of action, that causes the blood to flow hard. There are amazing warriors who see female combatants as equals, and, most importantly, I see my work as part of the national mission of safeguarding the security of the state and its citizens.”

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