The last couple of days have been filled with drama at the UN, and yet there was nothing really surprising in any of the speeches that were made.
We’ll start with the other speeches first (not necessarily in chronological order) and then get to Netanyahu’s.
President Obama, on the surface, said all the right things. However a slightly longer look at his words reveal the facileness of his thinking and his detachment from the realities of the Middle East. Prof. Barry Rubin is most scathing about the speech:
If one listened to Obama’s speech, one would think that this was a man who gave strong support to the opposition in Iran and to the moderate democratic forces struggling in Lebanon and Egypt (most U.S.-backed programs to help organize politically in Egypt went to the Muslim Brotherhood) and who backed those fighting for a Syria that isn’t an Islamist dictatorship.
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Friday, Sep. 28 ’12, Tishrei 12, 5773
1. IRANIAN SATELLITE BLEW UP AFTER LIFTOFF
2. OBAMA SLAMMED FOR ‘LIBYA LIES’
3. JEWISH CENTER BOMBED IN SWEDEN
4. THE CHIEF RABBI WHOSE LEGACY LIVES ON – RABBI AVRAHAM SHAPIRA
5. REPORT: LIEBERMAN NOT AVERSE TO UNILATERAL WITHDRAWAL
6. MAJOR POWERS DEMAND URGENT ACTION FROM IRAN
7. U.S. UNIMPRESSED BY NETANYAHU SPEECH, WON’T SET RED LINES
8. NETANYAHU, CLINTON MEET AFTER UN SPEECH
1. IRANIAN SATELLITE BLEW UP AFTER LIFTOFF by Gil Ronen
An Iranian attempt to launch a satellite into space failed when the missile carrying the satellite exploded shortly after liftoff, completely destroying the satellite.
HIS Janes reported that the accident took place in May, and that Iran’s space agency has made great efforts to hide it from the public’s knowledge.
The failure is expected to set back Iran’s space program considerably.
Western experts said that the mishap shows Iran is facing difficulties in ballistic missile development. Janes revealed that U.S. spy satellites followed the attempted launch, which took place at the space center near Tehran. Black spots were seen covering the area around the launching pad immediately after the accident.
Iranian officials announced that the Safir-1B satellite launch vehicle would be launched on May 23, but subsequently announced that the launch had been delayed for up to 10 months without saying why.
2. OBAMA SLAMMED FOR ‘LIBYA LIES’
by Maayana Miskin
The United States media is increasingly criticizing U.S. President Barack Obama for his statements regarding the mob attack in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, including the ambassador. An editorial printed Thursday by the Washington Examiner accuses Obama of lying to cover the true motive of the attack.
The Obama administration”s own statements “clearly demonstrate Obama has been lying about the incident for political gain from day one,” writes Conn Carroll.
Carroll pointed to a timeline of statements published by the Washington Post. The Post called the statements “a case study of how an administration can carefully keep the focus as long as possible on one storyline – and then turn on a dime when it is no longer tenable.”
“For political reasons, it certainly was in the White House”s interests to not portray the attack as a terrorist incident, especially one that took place on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks,” the Post report noted. “Instead the administration kept the focus on what was ultimately a red herring — anger in the Arab world over anti-Muslim video posted on You Tube.”
The Wall Street Journal joined the criticism as well. An article titled “The Libya Debacle” noted, “None of the initial explanations offered by the White House and State Department since the assault on the Benghazi consulate has held up.”
“Four Americans lost their lives in Benghazi in a terrorist attack that evidence suggests should have been anticipated and might have been stopped. Rather than accept responsibility, the Administration has tried to stonewall and blame others,” it accused.
The Obama administration initially said the attack was sparked by Muslim outrage over an amateur anti-Islam film, the trailer for which had been posted on YouTube. UN Ambassador Susan Rice termed the assault “a spontaneous reaction… as a consequence of the video.”
While several senior officials in the Obama Administration, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have since termed the Benghazi slayings terrorism, Obama has avoided the term. On Monday he said the attack “wasn’t just a mob action.”
In his UN address Tuesday, Obama referred to “a crude and disgusting video” which, he said, “sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world,” a statement taken by many to imply a link between the YouTube trailer and the Benghazi assault.
3. JEWISH CENTER BOMBED IN SWEDEN
by Maayana Miskin
An explosive device was set off outside a Jewish community center in Malmo, Sweden late on Thursday night. Nobody was hurt in the blast, but the building sustained damage.
Local police said it appeared that someone had tried to break in the door.
Two 18-year-old men have been arrested in connection to the attack. The men were nabbed after police successfully traced one of two cars that witnesses saw speeding away after the blast; the second car has not yet been found.
The attack comes just one week after a delegation of Jews from Copenhagen came to visit the city and express support with Malmo”s Jews in the face of anti-Semitic hate in the city. Local Jewish leaders say most of the hate comes from Muslim immigrants, who make up one-fifth of the city”s population.
The city leadership does not help matters. Mayor Ilmar Reepalu has responded to anti-Semitism by asking local Jews to disassociate themselves from Israeli policy, and has referred to Zionism as “unacceptable extremism.”
Local leader Rabbi Schneur Kesselman says he has suffered many verbal assaults and threats. In one case, he and his wife were nearly run down by a speeding car.
Just one day before the attack, a guard at the city”s Jewish cemetery told the Jewish Chronicle, “You don”t wear a kippah in this city. That would be suicide.”
4. THE CHIEF RABBI WHOSE LEGACY LIVES ON – RABBI AVRAHAM SHAPIRA by Arutz Sheva Staff
His twinkling eyes were always understanding and full of humor, except when the Land of Israel or the Jewish identity of the state were endangered. Then the diminutive Talmudic genius, the undisputed leader of religious Zionism for decades – along with his close friend the late Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu – became an fearless and indomitable lion.
Despite the fact that every Zionist MK, general and decision maker found the way to his modest home, a stone’s throw from the yeshiva, it was open and filled with ordinary people who came for advice, blessings, encouragement, to ask him to officiate at weddings and circumcisions, from dawn to dark.
He would go by the yeshiva kitchen in the morning to say a good word to the staff and to make sure his “children” were going to be well fed so they could learn Torah properly.
At over ninety, after fasting all day, he led the Neilah service and the rafters shook from his cries to the Almighty. This he did barefoot, because he would bless the congregation as a Kohen during the service, and after his students accompanied him home singing “This is how the High Priest looked when he left the Holy of Holies” would wait almost another hour to break his fast as did the medieval Tosafist Rabbenu Tam.
He respected Israel’s government and loved the IDF as living symbols of Jewish resurgence, but fought the disengagement bitterly -prophetically prescient in his warnings of its aftermath.
Rabbi Avraham Elkana Kahane Shapira, head of the flagship Merkaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem after Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook’s passing and head of the Supreme Rabbinic Court, passed away Erev Sukkot five years ago.
Almost everyone who knew him, can tell personal stories of how he touched their lives. And so the Merkaz HaRav Beit Medrash was packed as religious leaders memorialized him – first among them his eldest son, well- known scholar Rabbi Yaakov Shapira who heads the yeshiva today , at the forefront of the religious Zionist Torah world.
“It is not as if five years have already passed”, he said, “because we feel his presence constantly, try to follow in his path, as Joshua did when Moses died. It is our hope that many more students will strengthen the glory of Torah in his memory.”
Members of the audience recalled the glorious days of the Chief Rabbinate under Rav Avrum and hoped that Merkaz HaRav yeshiva would take an active role in renewing that spirit.
Venerable sage and former Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, founder of the Shas party, accompanied by Minister Eli Yishai, attended and spoke affectionately and humorously of his fellow member of the Supreme Rabbinic Council. He told of the book Rav Avrum (as his students loved to call him) borrowed and returned it in tatters six months later – which Rabbi Ovadia jokingly compared to the Purim story’s Esther’s six months in oil and perfumes before seeing the king – and how Rav Avrum, laughing, claimed it “died a work-related death” which in Jewish law, absolves the borrower of a farm animal from replacing it.
MK Zevulun Orlev (HaBayit HaYehudi) had a close relationship with Rav Avrum and spoke of the sage advice he received from the Chief Rabbi who saw the Chief Rabbinate as a step in the direction of Israel’s redemption. He recalled how when the MK told him that he doesn’t wear a black hat and sport a beard because his wife doesn’t approve, Rav Avrum told him that his wife comes first.
Rabbi Zalman Melammed, founder and dean of the Beit El yeshiva, whose initiatives were guided by Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, praised Rav Avrum’s leadership, vast knowledge and unassuming modesty.
He succeeded in recreating the awe students of the yeshiva had felt as the High Holy Days approached, while today’s students listened raptly to his every word.
5. REPORT: LIEBERMAN NOT AVERSE TO UNILATERAL WITHDRAWAL by Maayana Miskin
Foreign Minister Lieberman has not ruled out the possibility of a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from much of Judea and Samaria, Yisrael Hayom reports.
Lieberman”s stance – as expressed in closed-door meetings – was compared to that of Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also raised the possibility of a major withdrawal in the region.
Lieberman, however, conditioned his approval for a withdrawal on two things: that Israel”s security interests would not be harmed, and that the international community would recognize the move as legitimate.
He rejected the idea, raised by Barak, that Israelis living in areas affected by the withdrawal could choose to remain in their homes as citizens of the Palestinian Authority.
Shortly before Yom Kippur, Defense Minister Barak shared his plan for a Judea and Samaria withdrawal in an interview with Yisrael Hayom. Barak said he would keep the “settlement blocs,” including Maaleh Adumim, Gush Etzion, and Ariel, allowing roughly 90% of Israelis living east of the 1948 armistice line to remain in their homes.
The IDF would remain in strategically important areas, Barak said.
Barak”s plan would mean evicting tens of thousands of people from dozens of Israeli towns and villages. He proposed easing the process by offering financial incentives to leave, and by providing new towns so that entire communities could move together. A similar initiative prior to the expulsion of Israelis from Gaza in 2005 was made less successful by the fact that most of the new communities remain incomplete.
6. MAJOR POWERS DEMAND URGENT ACTION FROM IRAN by Elad Benari
Iran must take urgent action to allay mounting international concerns over its nuclear drive, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said Thursday after talks among the major powers.
“We discussed at length the need for Iran to take action urgently as we considered the Iranian nuclear issue,” AFP quoted Ashton as having told reporters after the talks with the foreign ministers of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and United States.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief, who engages with Iran on behalf of the international powers, said she updated the foreign ministers on her talks with Iran’s chief negotiator Saeed Jalili in Istanbul last week.
“I will from that meeting now be in touch with Iran to continue this process,” Ashton added.
A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP Ashton will discuss “possible next steps” raised by the ministers.
France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the meeting had been short because the major powers were united in the Iran crisis.
“We agreed that the main word is ‘unity,’ unity and to exert pressure,” Fabius told reporters.
“What is very important is that the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany are completely united on the behavior we have to have toward Iran.”
The senior U.S. official also said the international group “is completely united in ensuring that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon.”
The six nations have pursued a dual track of applying pressure through sanctions while holding talks with Iran’s government, which denies that it is trying to develop a nuclear weapon.
UN ambassadors for the United States, Britain and France have warned that time is running out for a negotiated settlement.
“We believe it is necessary for Iran to understand that there are consequences to their not addressing the concerns of the international community. And we believe that it also helps create space for diplomacy which is far away the preferred way to deal with this issue,” the U.S. official told AFP.
Earlier this week, diplomats said that Britain, France and Germany have officially called for new European Union sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.
The foreign ministers of the three countries wrote to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton calling for tougher measures as the showdown with Iran becomes more tense.
Details of the new measures are still being worked on but EU foreign ministers will discuss the move at a meeting in Brussels on October 15, the diplomats said.
Earlier this month it was reported that EU nations are exploring a new raft of sanctions against Iran.
“We might have to decide soon a new round of sanctions in the European Union,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said.
He added, “I see a growing consensus between my colleagues. We will not accept a nuclear weapon for Iran.”
7. U.S. UNIMPRESSED BY NETANYAHU SPEECH, WON’T SET RED LINES by Elad Benari
The Obama administration remained unimpressed on Thursday after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu”s speech to the United Nations and reiterated that the President would not set “red lines” for Iran.
“As the prime minister said, the United States and Israel share the goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” spokesman Tommy Vietor of the National Security Council said on Thursday, adding, “We will continue our close consultation and cooperation toward achieving that goal.”
Meanwhile, officials in Washington quoted in the Israeli media praised Netanyahu for the conciliatory approach he took towards Obama but made ??it clear that the United States still opposes placing a red line for Iran.
The officials noted that Obama had been making his way from a campaign stop in Virginia as Netanyahu was making his speech and as such had no time to watch the speech live. While Obama has declined a request for a meeting by Netanyahu, the two are expected to speak over the phone on Friday.
Obama rejected the idea of placing “red lines” for Iran during a phone conversation with Netanyahu several weeks ago, and received backing from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who said that red lines “are kind of political arguments that are used to try to put people in a corner.”
Earlier this week, Obama likened Israeli pressure on him to draw a clear “red line” over Iran’s nuclear ambitions to “noise” he tries to ignore.
Interviewed for “60 Minutes” on CBS, Obama said, “When it comes to our national security decisions – any pressure that I feel is simply to do what’s right for the American people. And I am going to block out — any noise that’s out there.”
In his UN speech, Netanyahu drew an actual red line with a marker on a chart symbolizing Iran’s uranium enrichment program, and explained that Iran must be told that if it reaches enough uranium enriched to the 90% level in order to make a nuclear bomb, it will be attacked.
8. NETANYAHU, CLINTON MEET AFTER UN SPEECH by Elad Benari
The United States and Israel “share the goal” of stopping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, a U.S. official said late Thursday after top level talks in New York between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
AFP reported that the two met for 75 minutes one-on-one, hours after Netanyahu called for the international community to impose a “red line” on Tehran to stop it enriching enough uranium to make a nuclear bomb.
“They had an in-depth discussion on Iran, and reaffirmed that the United States and Israel share the goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” a senior State Department official said in a statement quoted by AFP.
“They agreed that we will continue our close consultation and cooperation toward achieving that goal.”
The U.S. official added that the two leaders “discussed regional developments and the peace process. It was an open, wide-ranging constructive conversation.”
In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly earlier on Thursday, Netanyahu drew an actual red line with a marker on a chart symbolizing Iran’s uranium enrichment program, and explained that Iran must be told that if it reaches enough uranium enriched to the 90% level in order to make a nuclear bomb, it will be attacked.
“I’ve been speaking about the need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons for over 15 years,” he said. “I spoke about it when it was fashionable and when it wasn’t fashionable. The hour is getting late. Very late. When it comes to the survival of my country, it is not only my right to speak – it is my duty to speak. And I believe that this is the duty of every responsible leader who wants to preserve world peace.”
The Obama administration remained unimpressed after Netanyahu”s speech, and officials in made ??it clear that the United States still opposes placing a red line for Iran.
President Obama rejected the idea of placing “red lines” for Iran during a phone conversation with Netanyahu several weeks ago. Earlier this week, he likened Israeli pressure on him to draw a clear “red line” over Iran’s nuclear ambitions to “noise” he tries to ignore.
While Obama has declined a request for a meeting by Netanyahu, the two are expected to speak over the phone on Friday.
As the world braces for more outbreaks of Muslim vengeance for perceived religious insults, there are new twists in author Salman Rushdie’s saga, which in 1989 brought fanatic Islamism’s intolerance to the Free World’s attention.
Iran’s ayatollahs seized upon Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses to launch a global campaign to silence freedom of expression and to have whatever is put out in the public domain effectively submit to Islamic censorship.
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Friday – Terrorists attacked an IDF patrol near Mount Harif on the Israel-Sinai border around noon. Israeli radio reports that following a heavy exchange of fire, three terrorists were killed and two IDF soldiers were injured.
Unconfirmed: One soldier was killed, and 2 seriously injured in the attack
The IDF reports that this was an attempt to infiltrate into Israel, and at least one of the terrorists was wearing an explosives belt or carrying explosives to carry out a a major attack. None of the terrorists managed to infiltrate into Israel.
Arutz Sheva adds:
An initial investigation showed that the terrorists entered into Israel through an area where there is no security fence and that they were heavily armed.
Large IDF forces converged on the location of the firefight, in the Har Harif area, and engaged the terrorists until they were eliminated.
“A very large…
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Tishrei 3, 5773 / Wednesday, Sep. 19 ’12
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- 1. New Cartoon: Jew Pushes Mohammed in Wheelchair
- 2. E-Mail ‘Nagger’ Helps You Keep Rosh Hashannah Vows
- 3. Hackers Attack Bank of America Over Anti-Islam Film
- 4. Report: Assad May Use Chemical Weapons on Syrians
- 5. IDF Soldiers Scrambled in North for Surprise Drill
- 6. Abbas Proposes Canceling Oslo Accords
- 7. NJ Jewish Couple Killed While Walking Home from Synagogue
- 8. Romney Explains Dangers of a Palestinian State Alongside Israel
1. New Cartoon: Jew Pushes Mohammed in Wheelchair
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
New satirical cartoons of Mohammed in a French magazine on Wednesday show its cover with an Orthodox Jew pushing the prophet, while in another cartoon Mohammed is shown in the nude, with his back side aimed at a film director.
The cartoon of the wheelchair is entitled “The Intouchables” and refers to an award-winning French film about a poor black man who becomes the caregiver for an aristocratic millionaire quadriplegic and becomes his best friend. He, of course, sees his charge in every state of dress and undress.
The Charlie Hedbo magazine rejected suggestions not to publish the cartoons, which are likely to inflame Muslim rage that already has left more than 30 people dead in violent riots and terrorist attacks over an anti-Islam film posted on the Internet.
The trailer of the satirical amateurish film “Innocence of Muslims” has received nearly 11 million clicks. It contains several immodest scenes that preclude its being posted on Arutz Sheva.
Muslim rage for material that mocks Islam and the prophet Mohammed has been escalating for years since a Danish newspaper depicted Mohammed with a bomb in his turban. Subsequently, Dutch legislator Geert Wilders posted a short movie called “Fitna”, “ which warns the world of radical Islam.
Charlie Hedbo’s offices were firebombed last year after it published an edition called “Sharia Hebdo.”
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault stopped short of asking the magazine not to publish the latest cartoons but expressed his “disapproval of all excesses.” ”We are in a country where freedom of expression is guaranteed, including the freedom to caricature,” he said on a French radio network.
”If people really feel offended in their beliefs and think there has been an infringement of the law – and we are in a state where laws must be totally respected – they can go to court,” Ayrault said.
French Muslim leaders appealed for calm, and French government officials are planning to stage a protest over the posting of the “Innocence of Muslims” film.
French police arrested dozens of protesters in an illegal demonstration last Saturday against the movie.
2. E-Mail ‘Nagger’ Helps You Keep Rosh Hashannah Vows
by Rachel Hirshfeld
A group of rabbis from Crown Heights have devised a new e-mail alert service aimed at reminding people to keep their Rosh Hashannah resolutions.
“[It] can nag you once a day. It can nag you weekly, monthly, but it rests on Shabbat,” Rabbi Motti Seligson, 30, said of the Resolution Solution, which he created with a team of tech-savvy rabbis, according to The New York Daily News.
More than 1,000 users have already signed up on the Chabad website since the project launched last week.
The alert system takes aim at a “3,000-year-old Jewish problem with resolutions,” said Rabbi Seligson of Chabad.org, a website about Jewish culture operated by the Chabad Lubavitch Media Center.
“It is hard to keep your resolution and go all the way,” he said, according to the Daily News. “Most people do it for a week or two.”
Daniel Nottes, 28, signed up last week, asking for frequent reminders about his resolution to use his gym membership four times a week.
“It’s like a virtual Jewish mother,” said Daniel Nottes, 28, who signed up for the service last week. “Jewish mothers aren’t annoying. They are persistent. They keep you in check.”
3. Hackers Attack Bank of America Over Anti-Islam Film
by Chana Ya’ar
A United States bank had its website targeted by hackers Tuesday in revenge for the obscure amateur video that mocked Islam’s Prophet Mohammed. Visitors to the U.S.-based Bank of America website were temporarily unable to perform transactions as a result of the attack.
The hackers, who called themselves “Cyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam” appeared not to be U.S.-born, or at least, seemed to post in English as a second – or third – language. They added in the jihadist statement posted on the Pastebin.com website that the attack was the “first step” in a larger plan to target property owned by “American Zionist capitalists.”
The cyber terror group also threatened to continue attacks until the “erasing of that nasty movie” – presumably the obscure amateur video clip mocking the life of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed – that ignited worldwide violence. Rioters in Muslim-populated countries attacked U.S. embassies and consulates, as well as diplomatic missions from the UK and Germany. The film was used as the excuse to savagely carry out the murders of an American ambassador to Libya, three other American diplomats and two U.S. Marines, as well as 28 others.
The group blamed production of the film, “Innocence of Muslims,” on the “United States of America with the held of Zionist Regime.”
The post, made sometime Tuesday, read as follows:
My soul is devoted to you Dear Prophet of Allah
Dear Muslim youths, Muslims Nations and are noblemen
When Arab nations rose against their corrupt regimes (those who support Zionist regime) at the other hand when, Crucify infidels are terrified and they are no more supporting human rights. United States of America with the help of Zionist Regime made a Sacrilegious movie insulting all the religions not only Islam.
All the Muslims worldwide must unify and Stand against the action, Muslims must do whatever is necessary to stop spreading this movie. We will attack them for this insult with all we have.
All the Muslim youths who are active in the Cyber world will attack to American and Zionist Web bases as much as needed such that they say that they are sorry about that insult.
We, Cyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam will attack the Bank of America and New York Stock Exchange for the first step. These Targets are properties of American-Zionist Capitalists. This attack will be started today at 2 pm. GMT. This attack will continue till the Erasing of that nasty movie. Beware this attack can vary in type.
Down with modern infidels.
Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest.
4. Report: Assad May Use Chemical Weapons on Syrians
by Chana Ya’ar
The Syrian government has already considered using chemical weapons on rebel forces and civilians “as a last resort” – despite protestations to the contrary.
According to a report published Wednesday by The London Times, President Bashar al-Assad’s regime discussed the option at least three months ago. The report quoted as its source a former high-ranking Syrian Army officer who defected to the opposition and left the country.
In an interview conducted from the safety of Turkey, Major-General Adnan Sillu said he defected three months ago after participating in a meeting held at Syria’s chemical weapons center. Sillu also confirmed the regime had considered providing such weapons to the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terrorist organization.
The talks, held south of Damascus, focused on whether to use chemical weapons on their own people, he said.
“We were in a serious discussion about the use of chemical weapons, including how we would use them and in what areas,” Sillu said. “We discussed this as a last resort,” he added, “such as if the regime lost control of an important area as as Aleppo… They wanted to place warheads with the chemical weapons on missiles – to transfer them this way to Hizbullah… it was for use against Israel, of course,” he added.
Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards were often present at the meetings as well, Sillu said, “to advise” and instruct on “how to use” the chemical weapons.
Syria at this point has “nothing to lose,” the former Syrian Army general pointed out, warning, “If a war starts between Hizbullah and Israel, it will be only good for Syria.”
5. IDF Soldiers Scrambled in North for Surprise Drill
by Chana Ya’ar
IDF soldiers in northern Israel were scrambled without warning early Wednesday for a surprise drill designed to test their “fitness and readiness.”
The troops from the army’s Northern and Central Commands gathered on the Golan Heights for the exercise, where they were joined by the Israel Air Force. Other military units were involved as well. A live fire exercise is scheduled for some time in the afternoon.
“The drill is one that is routine, and part of a program of tests and surprise military exercises held throughout the year,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit explained. “This exercise is being conducted under the command of chief artillery officer Brig.-Gen. Ro’i Riptin.”
Just a week ago, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz joined the head of Northern Command, Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan, to supervise a pre-holiday military drill testing the Golani Brigade at the Golan Heights.
Gantz underscored the importance of Israel’s being able to “maintain our readiness, because the environment around us is volatile.”
There is increasing concern over the savage civil war being fought between Syrian government troops and the opposition forces just across the border of Israel’s Golan Heights. Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards are now deployed in Syria on behalf of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Israel is also worried over the possibility the country’s chemical weaponry may fall into unwanted hands.
6. Abbas Proposes Canceling Oslo Accords
by David Lev
Palestinian Authority head, Mahmoud Abbas, proposed cancelling the Oslo Accords with Israel at a weekend meeting of the PA leadership, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) told AFP on Tuesday.
PLO Executive Committee member Wassel Abu Yusef said Abbas raised the idea of “cancelling the Oslo agreement as well as the associated economic and security arrangements,” at the meeting on Saturday and Sunday.
Abu Yusef said that “members of the Palestinian leadership had mixed opinions on the issue, and it was decided to postpone any decision until their next meeting,” due to be held after Abbas’s return from the UN General Assembly later this month. “It was the first time the Palestinian leadership put the issue of the Oslo agreement on the table since it was signed in 1993,” Abu Yusef added.
Earlier this month, the Palestinian Authority — faced with social unrest over price rises and inability to pay bills despite massive donations — asked Israel for talks on amending the Paris Protocol, the 1994 agreement that governs economic ties between the two sides.
Abu Yusef added that the PA leadership also discussed holding presidential and parliamentary elections “in the light of Hamas’s refusal to complete Palestinian reconciliation.”
Gaza’s Hamas rulers and Abbas’s Fatah movement signed a reconcilation deal early last year that was supposed to have paved the way for the long-delayed elections to be held in Gaza and PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria. But bickering over the implementation of the agreement has hampered any progress towards going ahead with the overdue elections.
7. NJ Jewish Couple Killed While Walking Home from Synagogue
by Elad Benari
Ari and Sari Horowitz, a husband and wife who were returning home from synagogue in East Brunswick, New Jersey, this past Shabbat, were struck by a car and killed.
According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, the accident occurred on Dunhams Corner Road, just past the curving intersection with Hardenburg Lane in East Brunswick. The report said that a car swerved off the road and struck six pedestrians just before 12:30 p.m., according to authorities. The Horowitzes, both 51, were killed and four others were injured.
Members of the Young Israel congregation in East Brunswick identified one of the injured persons as the Horowitzes’ 27-year-old son, Ami, who was visiting from Israel. Ami’s condition was initially described as critical but it appears he will recover though he’ll need reconstructive surgery on his elbow and perhaps on an ankle as well, said congregation president Aron Adams.
Ari Horowitz served as president of the congregation from 2005 to 2007, the Star-Ledger reported. He and his wife, who raised a great deal of money for Israel, will be buried there, congregation members said.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and East Brunswick police have not formally identified anyone who was involved in the accident and have not said whether they will charge the driver, a 49-year-old woman who was said to be in stable condition.
Saturday’s accident was not the first for pedestrians walking to and from Young Israel, the report noted. Eighteen months ago, three members of the congregation were injured on a Friday evening.
Adams said that “people often drive too fast” on Dunhams Corner Road. “It’s a very residential area, but people want to use it as a highway,” he said, noting the speed limit is 40 mph but should be 25.
Adams said police are doing the best they can to cope with the situation. He noted the synagogue will be trying to improve things on Dunhams Corner Road by paying to install flashing lights on signs that warn of children crossing.
8. Romney Explains Dangers of a Palestinian State Alongside Israel
by Arutz Sheva Staff
In a just released video, Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney stated, in a private fundraiser, what he saw as the dangers of a West Bank Palestinian State.[youtube:126951]
“What the border would be?” asked Romney. “Maybe seven miles from Tel Aviv to what would be the West Bank.
“The other side of the West Bank, the other side of what would be this new Palestinian state would either be Syria at one point, or Jordan.
“And of course the Iranians would want to do through the West Bank exactly what they did through Lebanon, what they did near Gaza, which is that the Iranians would want to bring missiles and armament into the West Bank and potentially threaten Israel.
“So Israel of course would have to say, ‘That can’t happen. We’ve got to keep the Iranians from bringing weaponry into the West Bank.’”
The graphic illustrating this article, by Att’y Mark Langfan, illustrates Romney’s point.
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