Tuesday, September 16, 2014

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Obama's self-defeating fight
After a week of talks and shuttle diplomacy, aside from Australia, no one has committed forces. Germany, Britain and France have either refused to participate or have yet to make clear what they are willing to do.
The Kurds will not fight for anything but Kurdistan. The Iraqi Army is a fiction. The Iraqi Sunnis support IS far more than they trust the Americans.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan will either cheer the US on from a distance, or in the best-case scenario, provide logistical support for its operations.
It isn’t just that these states have already been burned by Obama whether through his support for the Muslim Brotherhood and the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi. And it isn’t simply that they saw that the US left them hanging in Syria.
They see Obama’s “strategy” for fighting IS – ignoring the Islamic belief system that underpins every aspect of its existence, and expecting other armies to fight and die to accomplish the goal while the US turns a blind eye to Turkey’s and Qatar’s continued sponsorship of Islamic State. They see this strategy and they are convinced America is fighting to lose. Why should they go down with it? Islamic State is a challenging foe. To defeat it, the US must be willing to confront Islamism. And it must be willing to fight to win. In the absence of such determination, it will fight and lose, in the region and at home, with no allies at its side.
Chloe Valdary: Stealing from the Palestinians
Instead of condemning Abbas and the PA in the highest terms for their ill treatment of their people, we in the West have coddled them, made excuses for them, and have refrained from holding them accountable for their criminal activities. Moreover, we have proclaimed that in the name of peace, the Palestinian Arabs should be consigned to a life of perpetual misery and oppression by being made to live under the regime of the PA . We advocate for the sanctioning of the PA ’s war crimes vis-a-vis the creation of a Palestinian state while claiming that we care about the dignity and worth of Palestinian Arabs; this makes us accountable and guilty of giving the same lip service that Abbas gives to his people.
Indeed, many in the West routinely praise Fatah as the more “moderate” party. Thus, reporters attempt to make it their business to be au courant with the Arab-Israeli conflict but often miss the nuances and idiosyncrasies that fuel and prolong they very hostilities they claim to hate.
For example, in July, journalist and MSNBC commentator Rula Jebreal described Abbas in The Daily Beast as a “moderate,” who is allegedly “humiliated and ignored” by Israel. Haaretz columnist Peter Beinart also touts this line. He describes Abbas in an article as attempting “to bring [his] people dignity and justice” in contrast to Hamas. This is risible, to say the least; Abbas himself humiliates and ignores the plight of his own people. He encroaches upon their rights and rules by fiat; he is a dictator and there is no “justice” in this.
Indeed, Abbas perpetuates and profits from his people’s misery – all while claiming it is Israel who is to blame. In this, Abbas is able to provide a smokescreen for his own misdeeds. Anytime poverty is rampant or some other ill befalls Arabs, Abbas can simply blame Israel — all while stealing money from his people.
This is the real cycle of violence that fuels the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is a con game masterfully and brilliant played by Abbas and his ilk. The losers are the Arabs who are constantly told by the West that Abbas is the moderate savior who will rescue them from the sins of Israel. (h/t MtTB)
Bill Clinton: Netanyahu ‘Not The Guy’ For Peace
Bill Clinton said he agrees Benjamin Netanyahu is “not the guy” for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal during an on-camera conversation at Sen. Tom Harkin’s steak fry fundraiser on Sunday.
An unnamed man approached Clinton in a rope line and said of Netanyahu: “If we don’t force him to make peace, we will not have peace.”
“First of all, I agree with that,” Clinton said. “But in 2000, Ehud Barak–I got him to agree to something, and I’m not sure I could’ve gotten Rabin to agree to it, and Rabin was murdered for giving land to the Palestinians.”
“But Netanyahu is not the guy,” the man replied.
“I agree with that,” Clinton said.
Clinton Pops Off On Netayahu

Ben-Dror Yemini - "The Industry of Lies", an interview

Iron Dome: Israel ends the long battlefield reign of the missile
I’ll never forget the scene in the movie Independence Day when the missiles, artillery and even nukes fired by US forces were completely ineffectual in the face of the aliens’ force field technology. Indeed, no decent sci-fi plot is complete without the sight of earth militaries desperately pummeling the alien invader’s deflector shield with missiles, rockets, artillery and tank shells, all to no effect.
Prior to the invention of gunpowder, physical shields and strong city walls provided effective protection against the primitive ranged weapons of the day. But for over 1000 years cannon shells, bombs and rockets have been unstoppable offensive weapons that overwhelmed all physical defences.
Today, missiles of all sorts (guided), rockets (unguided), shells and bombs are the main weapons of all the world’s militaries and the only defence is to destroy the enemy’s launchers with your own accurate missiles, guided bombs and artillery.
But all this is about to change radically, because Israel has perfected and battle proven effective force fields / shields for its cities, bases and armoured vehicles. These systems can defeat every missile, rocket, shell and even bomb currently in existence by blowing them up mid-air before they can reach their target.
Why Great Palestinian Victories Are Worse Than Defeats
But for Hamas, this global Muslim support, however gratifying it might be, is just as damaging as Soviet support was for Arafat during all the years when he was at the peak of his political fortunes, and might have gained a state within the West Bank and Gaza by making the necessary compromises with Israel, Jordan and Egypt, with American support.
What Hamas can achieve in this world is to keep what it has—the control of Gaza by force of arms if not consent—and then to develop Gaza in every possible way by soliciting aid and investment and securing easy access in and out by rigorously abjuring any form of violence against its two neighbors, Israel and Egypt. Soon enough, in its rising prosperity, Gaza would have both a port and airport, instead of blockades and tunnels. There are eager donors and all else needed is available, notably Israeli and Egyptian reciprocity. But of course Hamas would be abjuring global Islamic support, and would immediately have to fight it out with Islamic Jihad, which serves Iran and has no interest at all in peace.
That global Islamic support at the United Nations—and everywhere else from Sweden to Sydney—makes and will make absolutely no difference to the misery of everyday life in Gaza, should be the decisive consideration for responsible leaders. But just as Arafat kept sacrificing the living Palestinians for the sake of his own idea of Palestine as he jetted around the world, Hamas leaders will ruthlessly sacrifice the people of Gaza for Islam, not without rewards for themselves (Gulf money is pouring in) to assuage the pain. The tranquility of the West Bank, and the loyalty of Israel’s Arab citizens throughout 50 days of hard to watch fighting, show that they know very well what Hamas has to offer: death, destruction, and failure.
UN report calls for Palestinian unity gov’t control of Gaza
A new UN report calls for the Palestinian unity government to assume control of the Gaza Strip in the wake of the fighting in the coastal region over the summer.
“Reconstruction, recovery, governance and security in the Gaza Strip must take place in the context of the return of one legitimate Palestinian Authority to the Strip,” reads the report from UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, the body coordinating development assistance to the Palestinians.
The AHLC will meet in New York on September 22 in a meeting hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
“The formation of the GNC [Government of National Consensus] under President Abbas and in accordance with the PLO principles was welcomed by the international community,” says the report. “The UN has long underscored the need for progress towards Palestinian unity in line with existing resolutions, within the framework of the PLO commitments and the positions of the Quartet and the Arab Peace Initiative.”
The report also urged Israel to allow the development of Area C, the part of the West Bank under full Israeli civil and security control.
Regarding the fighting in Gaza, the report denied that there was any evidence that cement intended for UN projects was diverted toward Hamas’s tunnel building effort. Still, it said, “the effort and resources devoted by Hamas to construct this network in order to launch attacks against Israel is unacceptable.”
Akunis: 'Two-State Solution' will Bring Terror Tunnels to Center
Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) warned on Monday that a “two-state solution” will endanger the security of Israeli residents and will bring rockets and missiles to the heart of the country.
Akunis’s comments came in a meeting with Likud members in the Sharon region city of Kfar Saba.
"This year, we learned what we had already known - that withdrawals do not promote peace but rather advance war," he said, referring to the recent Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
"Many understand today what we said long ago: the establishment of a Palestinian state will come at the expense of the security of Israeli citizens,” said Akunis.
"If we make the mistake of withdrawing from Judea and Samaria, tunnels will be dug towards Kfar Saba and mortars will be intercepted over the Ben Gurion Airport. Wise people learn from past mistakes and do not repeat them,” he concluded.
Ya'alon: The coming year will not be quiet on the security front
The coming year will not be a quiet one in the world of security, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon warned Tuesday during a briefing with journalists at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv.
"Things can occur in every sector," he said, citing the high level of instability afflicting the region.
Causes of instability include the presence of multiple terror organizations in Gaza, heavy fighting in Syria, and Iran's strategy of becoming a nuclear break-out state, while remaining the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Additionally, Hezbollah continues to build up its capabilities in Lebanon, and Islamic State fighters are provoking conflict throughout the Middle East, though they pose no immediate threat to Israel, or to Jordan, Ya'alon said.
The multiplicity of terror organizations in Gaza is a challenge to stability, Ya'alon added.
Last Israeli wounded in Gaza war released from hospital
Gadi Yarkoni, the last Israeli wounded in Operation Protective Edge, was released from Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba on Monday, and will be entering a rehabilitation program at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.
The orthopedic and intensive care medical teams said an emotional goodbye to the 47-year-old father of three, who was very severely wounded by mortar fire from Gaza into Kibbutz Nirim only an hour before the cease-fire took effect.
Two long-time members of the kibbutz, Zevik Etzion, 55, and Shahar Melamed, 43, were killed in the attack that wounded Yarkoni.
Yarkoni underwent a series of surgeries and was amputated below the knee on both legs.
Likud Passes Party Platform Calling for Israel to Topple Hamas in Next Gaza Operation
Hundreds of Likud members took part in a meeting of the party's Central Committee in Ashkelon on Monday, where they passed a party proposal obligating the toppling the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza in the next counter-terror operation.
"We must rehabilitate our deterrence, and in the next round destroy Hamas - there must be a clear decisive (blow)," said Likud Central Committee Chairman MK Danny Danon at the event.
The statement refers to the perceived lack of decisive military action in Operation Protective Edge, the third such operation in Gaza, which ended with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sealing a ceasefire with Hamas that coincided with a nose-dive in his approval ratings.
Israeli Reality Check for Liberal Critics
Israel’s American critics viewed the latest conflict in Gaza as more evidence of how the Jewish state needs to be saved from itself. That is particularly true of Jewish groups like the left-wing lobby J Street whose attacks on the Netanyahu government and support for Obama administration pressure on Israel have continued even as anti-Zionist and pro-BDS (boycott, divest, and sanction) efforts have intensified. But the latest opinion poll from Israel illustrates yet again just how out of touch these liberal know-it-alls are with reality as seen by the majority of Israelis.
A new opinion poll from Israel’s Channel 10 provides sobering results for those who continue to hope that Israelis will listen to them and both push for a new prime minister and resolve to begin leaving the West Bank. While many, if not most Americans, actually believe the press when they call Netanyahu a “hard-liner,” the perception of his conduct at home is very different. Far from convincing Israel to start ceding more territory to the Palestinians, after their 50-day ordeal during the summer as thousands of rockets fell on their heads and a new threat of terror tunnels made them feel even less safe, more Israelis seem inclined to view Netanyahu as not tough enough.
State Department Spokesperson: Gaza Strikes Are War Crimes
On Thursday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf pronounced three Israeli air strikes in and around U.N. facilities in Gaza during this summer’s conflict with Hamas to have been unjustified—and therefore war crimes. According to Harf, “the suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians.” She added that “Israeli authorities say they’re investigating. We expect these to be investigated thoroughly and promptly, and we’ll continue pushing them to do so.”
​Now, it is easy to dismiss Harf’s remarks as so much blather, issued without any access to operational or investigative information—if not for the rich irony of her former job as an intelligence analyst for the CIA. It is no secret that the CIA’s drone wars in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia have escalated markedly since President Obama took office, with an estimated 390 extra-judicial assassinations and bombings which have killed at least 2400 people, with some estimates closer to four thousand. It is also no secret that many of the people killed and injured by the CIA’s drones—and other American weaponry—have been civilians.
​Luckily for Harf, international human rights groups have already completed surveys of the results of the CIA’s extra-judicial killing spree:
Israel Fights Back Against the Jerusalem Intifada
Israel has begun to get serious about cracking down on Arab attackers who are determined to harm Jews in Jerusalem and around the country.
On Monday alone, by 10 pm security personnel had recorded a total of 39 terror attacks carried out against travelers on the roads of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
Most involved Arabs hurling rocks and firebombs at vehicles as they passed by. Such attacks can be lethal, and indeed have sometimes led to deaths or severe injuries.
Late Monday and early Tuesday, Jerusalem District Police arrested 22 Arabs in connection with recent rioting and attacks on Jews.
Arab Kids Hurl Firebombs at Jews in Jerusalem
Police on Monday arrested five Arab children aged 12 to 13 from the mixed Jewish and Arab neighborhood of Abu Tor in eastern Jerusalem, after they threw molotov cocktails at Jewish homes in the neighborhood.
The five perpetrators admitted under investigation to hurling the firebombs at the homes of Jewish families on several different occasions because they "hate Jews," as they put it.
Police investigators updated the relevant welfare sources, and at the end of their investigation will pass the evidence to the attorney's office so as to submit an indictment against the children due to the seriousness of the incident, despite their young age.
Al Qaeda Flags Continue to Fly Near Temple Mount
Flags of the Al Qaeda terror group are flying atop the Kotel Hakatan (“Small Kotel”), a remnant of the retaining wall of the Temple Mount that is a continuation of the Western Wall, located in the Muslim Quarter. The Kotel Hakatan is adjacent to one of the entrances to the Temple Mount.
Meanwhile, said Avichail Weizmann, a resident of the Old City and a student at Hakotel Yeshiva in the Jewish Quarter, municipal signs and other symbols of Israeli sovereignty are torn down or destroyed on a regular basis, and that includes signs in the area of the Kotel Hakatan, which he visits frequently. Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Weizmann said that he had contacted city officials numerous times about the issue, but so far to no avail.
Two weeks ago, Weizmann said that he noticed several flags with Arabic writing flying over the Kotel Hakatan – a flag which turned out to be the symbol of Al Qaeda. He filed a complaint with police, which sent out an investigator – who concluded that the flags were actually signs of a “religious nature” and as such none of the police department's business. According to Weizmann, the flags are still there.
Haifa U. Arab students cleared for Nakba Day event
Disciplinary committee finds student organizers not guilty of disturbing the peace at gathering that featured ex-terrorist
The University of Haifa’s disciplinary committee on Tuesday found in favor of three students who were suspended for organizing a campus Nakba Day commemoration that was banned by the university in May.
The university rescinded permission for the event, which was to mark Arab losses in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, several hours before it was scheduled to start, on the grounds that it posed a threat to public safety.
The dean suspended and filed disciplinary charges against five student organizers for organizing an illegal campus activity.
The disciplinary committee which reviewed the incident cleared three of the five students of wrongdoing and handed down a conditional sentence for the other two.
U.N. Pulls Peacekeeping Forces Out of Syria to Israel
The United Nations moved its peacekeeping force out of the Syrian side of the Golan Heights to Israel, claiming that the troops were in danger from the ongoing Syrian civil war.
Peacekeepers from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which has monitored the Syrian-Israeli border since 1974, were relocated from several positions including Camp Faouar, a base inside of Syria, to Israel.
End of an Era: UN Peacekeepers Stop Pretending to Keep Peace
So having UN troops retreat from a war zone into the comforts of Israeli protection is helpful because it will at least prevent them from playing their usual, anti-Israel role in armed conflict. Looked at from that perspective, then, this retreat may be the best move UN forces have made in years.
More than anything, this is yet another reminder that the international community ought to be far more judicious in pressuring Israel to withdraw from territory and put their security in the hands of others. Peace plans tend to suggest that Israel pull back farther than Israeli military leaders are comfortable with, having their place taken by a coalition of international troops. It is clear–as it has been for a while–that this is rarely a feasible option.
The international community also likes the idea of considering the Golan Heights occupied Syrian territory. They should ask the UN peacekeeping forces if they’d like the land to which they’ve currently retreated to still be on the Syrian side of the border. They should ask that question, by the way, while there still is technically a country called Syria.
PreOccupied Territory: UN Changing ‘Peacekeeper’ Designation To ‘Sitting Duck’ (satire)
The renaming comes after a series of incidents in which UN peacekeepers monitoring compliance with the 1974 agreements between the Israeli and Syrian armies came under attack and were taken captive by rebels fighting the Syrian government, though they were subsequently released into Israeli territory. Other UN troops in the Demilitarized Zone were rescued from a rebel siege through the intervention of a separate UN convoy that came under fire. Given that the force’s mandate does not include serious combat activity, it cannot present a serious deterrent to an entity uninterested in maintaining peace, and its soldiers become pawns. The UNTSO commander, Major General Michael Finn of Ireland, has decided to rename the UN peacekeepers under his command “sitting ducks.”
UN sitting ducks will continue to perform the same duties as before under the new name, says Finn. “It is not the nature of the missions that has changed, but the precision of the terminology,” he said. As before, UN sitting ducks will mark minefields and educate locals about the dangers; oversee the movement of people and agricultural produce; and conduct regular surveys of area military facilities to ascertain that the limits on troop concentrations are followed.
Palestinian economy to shrink in 2014, World Bank says
The Palestinian economy is expected to contract for the first time in seven years in 2014, the result of the recent Gaza war, continued Israeli and Egyptian restrictions on Palestinian trade and a drop in foreign aid, the World Bank said Tuesday.
The bank issued the report ahead of a meeting next week of donor nations to the Palestinians on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
The bleak forecast is a “wake-up call to everyone” that the status quo, particularly in Gaza, cannot continue, Steen Lau Jorgensen, the bank’s top official in the West Bank and Gaza, told The Associated Press.
The bank predicts the overall Palestinian economy will shrink by 4 percent this year, ending a period of growth driven largely by international aid that began in 2007. The downturn is expected to be sharpest in war-battered Gaza, with a projected drop of 15%, the bank said.
Fatah: “Make the sons of Zion tremble and burn”
Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party continues to call for launching rockets at Israel. In a video it posted on Facebook, produced by Fatah’s military wing the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Fatah praises as a “heroic Martyr” a member of its military wing who was killed while launching rockets at Israeli cities from the Gaza Strip. A song in the video endorses launching rockets at Israel to “make the sons of Zion tremble and burn”:
“Fire RPGs, launch the KN rockets (i.e., mid range rockets) Shoot, Muhammad, do not fear, Sow terror among the enemy’s soldiers ... Launch your rockets, Make the sons of Zion tremble and burn.” [Facebook, “Fatah - The Main Page”, Sept. 3, 2014]
Fatah song promotes terror: “Launch your rockets, make the sons of Zion tremble and burn”

Report: Hamas Executes Officer over Spying Charges
Hamas has executed a Palestinian Arab officer for spying for Israel, the Turkish Anadolu agency reported on Monday, citing a security website close to Hamas.
"The 59-year-old officer, who is working for the Palestinian Authority's security apparatus, has been executed by the security agencies belonging to the resistance factions," the Hamas website said.
According to the website, the officer had spied for Israel for 23 years.
The website, however, did not say when the officer had been executed. There was no comment from the Palestinian Authority.
In Jordan, Ever Younger Syrian Brides
The bride-to-be was so young and shy, she spent her engagement party cloaked in a hooded robe that swallowed her slim figure but could not quite hide the ruffled pink dress her fiancé’s family had rented for her.
As the Syrian women celebrating her coming wedding to an 18-year-old cousin chattered around her in the Zaatari refugee camp, she squirreled herself in a corner, perking up only when a photo or message from a friend popped up on her cellphone. The girl, Rahaf Yousef, is 13.
Speaking wistfully of her days at school, she declared herself throughout the day to be “indifferent” to the marriage she says will keep her from finishing her education. But no one seemed to be listening.
For many Syrians stuck in Jordan’s squalid and sometimes dangerous refugee camps, marrying girls off at younger and younger ages is increasingly being seen as a necessity — a way of easing the financial burden on families with little or no income and allaying fears of rape and sexual harassment in makeshift living spaces where it is harder to enforce the rule of law. As a result, Unicef says, the number of marriages involving girls younger than 18 has ballooned since the war in Syria started.
Muslim Brotherhood Leader Sentenced to Life in Jail
Mohammed Badie, top leader of Egypt's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, was sentenced to life in jail along with 14 others Monday on charges of murder and inciting violence during clashes near Cairo last year, Reuters reported.
The session had been summoned for witness statements but the judge surprised journalists and others present by issuing a verdict, according to the report.
Badie, 71, is among hundreds of Brotherhood members already sentenced to death in mass trials that have drawn criticism from Western governments and human rights groups.
The death sentences are subject to appeal.
Hezbollah vows to destroy Islamic State in Syria
Troops from the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah will fight alongside Syrian regime forces for as long as necessary in order to eradicate Islamic State combatants in the embattled country, the deputy head of the Shiite organization’s executive council said Monday.
“There could never be a war of words between ISIS and us, but there is the field where we will defeat them,” Nabil Qaouk maintained, according to the Daily Star, a Lebanese media outlet.
“Day after day, it is becoming clear to Lebanon, the Arab, Muslim and international communities that there is a great need for Hezbollah to remain in Syria. The current situation today imposes on Hezbollah to stay in Syria more than any other time,” he added.
Assad atrocities outstrip Islamic State in Syria, UN panel says
The UN commission investigating war crimes in Syria blamed President Bashar Assad’s government for committing the bulk of atrocities inside the war-torn country, exceeding the toll from the horrific massacres perpetrated by Islamic State fighters.
The head of the UN commission, Brazilian diplomat and scholar Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, described the Islamic State extremist group and anti-government armed groups capturing the world’s attention as “agents of death and destruction,” but emphasized the government’s sieges and attacks in Syria’s civil war which has killed over 190,000 people and destabilized the region.
Islamic State’s actions ‘close to genocide,’ says NATO chief
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, strongly backed the U.S.-led mission against Islamic State on Monday, saying the group's actions were "very close to genocide."
NATO has little, if any, role in the operation, and not all NATO members are taking part, especially given a certain war weariness in various countries. But Mr. Rasmussen said, "We have seen again and again that appeasement does not lead to peace, it just incites tyrants."
In an address whose ringing tones recalled the Cold War, Mr. Rasmussen, who steps down at the end of the month, said the West faces a an "arc of crisis and instability" stretching from Eastern Europe to the Middle East, revolving around the two poles of Islamic State and Russia.
"Their agendas and ideologies are different," he said. "But they are virulent, violent, and viciously anti-Western."
Kerry 'Won't Rule Out' Military Cooperation With Iran
US Secretary of State John Kerry has waffled on his position from last Friday, when he ruled out Iran's participation in a global coalition against Islamic State (ISIS) - on Monday, he said in an interview that he would be open to military cooperation with Iran.
Asked in a Yahoo interview whether the US would cooperate militarily with Iran, Kerry did not rule out the option, saying "let’s see what Iran might or might not be willing to do before we start making any pronouncements."
Kerry elaborated saying "I think we are open to any constructive process here that could minimize the violence, hold Iraq together - the integrity of the country - and eliminate the presence of outside terrorist forces that are ripping it apart. I wouldn’t rule out anything that would be constructive to providing real stability.
Mideast Christians urge Arabs to lead fight against Islamic State
Middle East Christian leaders called on Muslim governments and religious authorities on Tuesday to condemn Islamic State for its assault on minority religious communities and to take the lead in efforts to destroy its power in Iraq and Syria.
They told a news conference that the reaction so far from Arab countries had been "timid" to the militant group's killings and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Christians in massacres against all religious and ethnic minorities.
"The situation of Christians and other minorities amid the massacres and atrocities of (Islamic State) is dire and our future in the region is at stake," said Patriarch Ignace III of the Syrian Catholic Church of Antioch.
"The leaders of Arab countries and the Arab League have to stand up and do something."
Patriarch Sako I of the Chaldean Catholic Church said in Iraq over 10,000 Christians -- who have had large communities in the Middle East for some 2,000 years -- in Iraq had been killed by the militants and some 170,000 expelled from the north.
First Time: US Bombs ISIS Near Baghdad to Support Iraqi Troops
For the first time, U.S. warplanes this week bombed terrorists from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) operating near Baghdad.
The air strikes were coordinated with Iraqi forces and came in support of ground troops fighting to defend that nation’s capital.
Six ISIS vehicles were destroyed near Sinjar, along with a ISIS position southwest of Baghdad that had been the source of gunfire directed at Iraqi troops.
Thus far, the United States has carried out 162 air strikes against the terror group in Iraq since it began missions early last month.
Islamic State Downs Syrian Fighter Jet
The Islamic State terrorist group downed a Syrian air force jet for the first time today, in signs the terror group also known as ISIS is improving its military capabilities.
“IS fighters fired on a military aircraft which crashed,” said the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. "It is the first aircraft shot down since the regime launched airstrikes against the jihadists in July following their declaration of a caliphate in late June."
Syrian regime forces have been bombing ISIS's de-facto capital in the northern city of Raqqa for several weeks now.
Hostage Alan Henning thought his work for Muslim charity would save him from ISIS
The Briton threatened with execution next by militants from Islamic State in Iraq and Al-Sham is a Manchester taxi driver who drove a van full of aid to Syria to help children in the war-torn country.
British MPs demand immediate military action against ISIS as another aid volunteer threatened with death
Alan Henning had taken time off from his job to deliver clothes and bedding that he and friends had collected, when he was abducted on Boxing Day last year.
The 47-year-old father of two was part of a small aid group called Aid 4 Syria, friends told The Daily Telegraph. He was on his fourth convoy to the country when he was seized by masked men near the Turkish border.
Ex Malaysian Prime Minister Blames Creation Of ISIS On Jews
"What is happening today is bloodlust, which started with the fight against Jewish Zionism and the creation of the state of Israel.
"Unable to defeat the Jews and their nominally Christian European backers, the Muslims have now turned against each other. And occasionally when they manage to capture a European, they vent their spite on him."
He warned that this may go on for decades and even centuries, as long as there is the Israeli state and the Palestinians are denied their right to a homeland.
German Islamic State member played on Jewish soccer team
A 20-year-old German man went on trial in Frankfurt on Monday on charges he was a member of the extremist Islamic State group, the first such case to come to court in Germany.
Prosecutors allege that Kreshnik Berisha, who once played for a Jewish soccer club, traveled to Syria last year and fought with the group before returning to Germany five months later.
Berisha, who was arrested at Frankfurt airport in December, faces up to 10 years in prison for membership in a foreign terrorist organization. But judge Thomas Sagebiel indicated that Berisha could receive a prison sentence between 3 ¼ years and 4 ¼ years if he cooperates and prosecutors agree to a deal.
The Danger of Depending on Turkey
States that support terrorist organizations abroad frequently have woeful records of suppression and intolerance at home. What was true of Saddam’s Iraq remains true of Assad’s Syria—and of Turkey, whose president is still to be confronted with the contradiction of membership in a democratic alliance like NATO and support for jihadist organizations like Hamas. Obama has delicately raised the issue with Erdogan—“The President and President Erdogan discussed the importance of building tolerant and inclusive societies and combating the scourge of anti-Semitism,” said a White House statement after the two leaders met at the last NATO Summit—but this assumes that a “tolerant and inclusive society” is what Erdogan wants. When you have a store in downtown Istanbul refusing entry to “Jew Dogs” at the same time that Erdogan lambasts Israel as “worse” than Adolf Hitler, that’s a misguided and even dangerous assumption.
Ultimately, the war against Islamic State is a war against the philosophy of jihad. As with any war involving multiple parties fighting on the same side, an overarching political vision is nearly impossible to achieve. During the Second World War, the U.S. and Britain had few illusions about the Soviet Union, even as they allied with it. Similar cynicism is warranted now when it comes to Turkey.
Erdogan is Leading Turkey Down a Dangerous Path
The U.S. and the EU continue to cooperate with Turkey out of strategic necessity. However, Turkey’s Islamization under Erdogan and his deliberate compromising of Turkey’s democratic principles by jailing journalists without trial, suppressing peaceful demonstrations, and manipulating the justice system all point to a dangerous slippery slope, indicated by Turkey’s Freedom House ranking of only “Partly Free.”
Erdogan must realize that his policy of ‘zero problems with neighbors’ has been a dismal failure, his domestic policy that spreads fear rather than freedom will come back to haunt him, and his blind support of extremist groups such as Hamas will catch up with him. His treatment of Israel only exemplifies his poor judgment and the dangerous path he is treading.
It is clear that Erdogan wants to be remembered as the new Ataturk (the father of the Turks), surpassing the founder of the republic. He certainly would do anything in his power to preside as President over the hundredth anniversary of the Republic in 2023.
Erdogan may dream about that moment of glory, but he will not get there unless he is struck by a spasm of lucidity and realizes that should this trend continue under his presidency, it will eventually rob Turkey of its potential to become a significant global power, which Erdogan so badly aspires to.
Turkey Offers to Host Muslim Brotherhood Leadership
Turkey has offered to host the seven Egyptian leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood who were asked to leave Qatar.
Turkish media quoted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan late Monday as saying his nation would welcome the leaders if they wished to come to Turkey.
Erdogan, who leads the Islamist AK Party, made the remarks while speaking to reporters on his presidential plane during his return flight Monday from a state visit to Qatar.
Turkey has also been mentioned as a possible destination for Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal, who it was rumored was also asked to leave Qatar. Hamas officials later denied the report published in a Tunisian newspaper, however, saying the group’s relations with Qatar were “passing through an extraordinary phase.”

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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