Arutz Sheva Daily Israel Report Sunday, Oct. 28 ’12, Cheshvan 12, 5773

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Sunday, Oct. 28 ’12, Cheshvan 12, 5773

 

 

 

HEADLINES:

1. ‘SAUDI ARABIA FUNDS MOSSAD ANTI-IRAN OPERATIONS’

2. HIZBULLAH FIGHTS IN SYRIA AGAINST REBELS FOR ASSAD 3. PHOTOS OF DEVASTATING ROCKET DAMAGE 4. GRAD MISSILE HITS BE’ER SHEVA; IAF KILLS HAMAS TERRORIST 5. AL-QAEDA LEADER CALLS FOR INCREASED KIDNAPPINGS OF WESTERNERS 6. REPORT: UK DENIES US ACCESS TO BASES FOR GULF BUILDUP 7. OBAMA ATTEMPTS TO JUSTIFY NOT VISITING ISRAEL AS PRESIDENT 8. CONSERVATIVES DERIDE, SPOOF OBAMA ‘R-RATED’ AD

 

 

1. ‘SAUDI ARABIA FUNDS MOSSAD ANTI-IRAN OPERATIONS’

 

An article posted by a former CBS News producer Barry Lando claims that none other than Saudi Arabia helps fund Israeli Mossad operations against Iran.

 

“A Strange Alliance: Are the Saudis Bankrolling Israel’s Mossad?” appears on his blog. Lando”s source is named only as “a friend, with good sources in the Israeli government.”

 

He wrote, “The head of Israel’s Mossad has made several trips to deal with his counterparts in Saudi Arabia-one of the results: an agreement that the Saudis would bankroll the series of assassinations of several of Iran’s top nuclear experts that have occurred over the past couple of years.

 

“The amount involved, my friend claims, was $1 billion dollars. A sum, he says, the Saudis considered cheap for the damage done to Iran’s nuclear program.”

 

Lando admitted that “the tale sounds preposterous” but added, “On the other hand. it makes eminent sense. The murky swamp of Middle East politics has nothing to do with the easy slogans and 30-second sound bites of presidential debates.”

 

Israel and Saudi Arabia have at least one thing in common: neither country wants to allow Ahmadinejad to obtain nuclear capability.

 

Lando noted that the claim of the strange alliance “also makes perfect sense, that, in retaliation for the cyber attacks on their centrifuges, the Iranians reportedly launched their own cyber attack on a Saudi state-owned target: Saudi Aramco, the world”s most valuable company.”

 

Aramco”s computer system suffered a massive cyber attack in August, and American intelligence officials have blamed Iran.

 

“A report earlier this year by Tel Aviv University cites Saudi Arabia as the last hope and defense line for Israel,” Lando wrote. “With most of Israel”s traditional allies in the region sent packing or undermined by the Arab Spring, the Saudis are the Jewish State”s last chance to protect its political interests in the Arab world.”

 

Lando has long experience on Iran. He recently wrote a book called “Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush.”

 

He charged on Counterpunch earlier this year that Israel, the United States and Iran do not understand each other”s motives while “their advisors are engaged in an incredibly dangerous three-way game of blind man’s bluff.”

 

He said he personally ran into American ignorance in 1980 when he was producing ’60 Minutes’.

 

“I was struck by the total inability of Americans—even at the highest level—to understand the emotions and history that drove the hatred of all things American that had exploded in Iran with the fall of the Shah,” Lando wrote.

 

“Just up West 57th street from CBS News, for instance, was a huge billboard with the diabolical image of Khomeini glowering down on New York. I suggested we do a report to give Americans a better idea of what was driving Iran”s revolutionaries and their violent feelings against the United States….

 

“I stitched together a tough report with Mike Wallace based on a series of interviews in New York and Washington.” Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was charged by one interviewee “for turning a blind eye to the excesses of the Shah, and refusing to have any contact with the opposition groups.”

 

Lando also reported that classified U.S. documents exposed by Iran “showed that American diplomats based in Teheran had warned Washington months earlier of the threat of a possible hostage-taking – particularly if the U.S. allowed the despised Shah to come to America for medical treatment, as the U.S. ultimately did. Those warnings had been completely ignored by Washington.”

 

However, before the program was broadcast, President Jimmy Carter called the president of CBS News “to try to convince him not to broadcast the report. It would, he said, undermine U.S. negotiations with Iran at a very delicate time.”

 

CBS did not agree to back down but agreed to change the report”s title from “Should the U.S. Apologize?” to a more neutral “The Iran File.”

 

“It was difficult to understand how our report could upset the hostage negotiations,” wrote Lando. “We were not revealing any secrets to Iran. The Iranians already knew well the role of the U.S. in their own history. The people we were informing were 20 million Americans — who didn”t understand what was really roiling Iran.

 

“And still don”t.”

 

 

2. HIZBULLAH FIGHTS IN SYRIA AGAINST REBELS FOR ASSAD

by Chana Ya’ar

 

Guerrilla fighters from Lebanon’s Hizbullah terrorist organization are fighting in Syria’s civil war together with loyalists for President Bashar al-Assad.

 

In a special report, a soldier from the Free Syrian Army told The Independent newspaper, published Sunday in the UK, the Shi’ite Muslim terrorists are full military allies of the Syrian regulars.

 

Hizbullah has for years been the beneficiary of Syria’s largesse, as well as that of Iran. Syria, for its part, has long been generously funded and equipped by Tehran as well. Both have been abundantly armed by Iran, and thoroughly trained in the use of the weaponry.

 

“Everyone knows they have fighters there,” the 23-year-old opposition fighter was quoted as saying. But recently there has been an upswing in the number of fighters, as well as firepower with which they have been supplied, he said.

 

“At night Hizbullah fire rockets at us from the Lebanese side, and we have the Syrian army on the other side,” said a second rebel fighter who fled his border village two weeks ago. “We are squeezed.”

 

There are reporters of “barrel bombs” – oil drums packed with TNT and shrapnel – being dropped from helicopters, rockets and other explosives being fired by Hizbullah guerrillas.

 

One rebel fighter described “thousands of soldiers” from Hizbullah, who arrived “because the Syrian army couldn’t fight us alone.” He recognized them, he said, by their combat skills and American-made M16 assault rifles. Sheikh Amr Al Ali, an FSA fighter, added that it is impossible to tell exactly how many Hizbullah troops there really are.

 

The proof, he said, can be found in “those who come back to the Beka’a in a coffin or those we capture.”

 

Recent photos of Hizbullah funerals for their fighters show what has become a full-scale guerrilla army, with troops carrying the coffins of fallen members.

 

Hizbullah has given no details about the deaths of those who have fallen in the past few weeks, but sources who spoke about fighters near Baalbek said two terrorists and another Hizbullah fighter were killed near a Syrian border town where rebels have been actively engaged in fighting Assad’s forces.

 

 

3. PHOTOS OF DEVASTATING ROCKET DAMAGE

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

 

Qassam and Grad missiles often are described as exploding “in open areas,” but it only takes one that actually succeeds in hitting a home to realize the devastation an attack causes.

 

Gaza terrorist groups and the IDF resumed another stage of “Hamas roulette” in which rockets that land in open areas are met with a symbolic response against “a terror tunnel” or “weapons storeroom,” while physical injuries merit a more serious Israeli military retaliation.

 

Two farm workers were seriously wounded last week in an explosion in an “open area” but others escaped injury but were left nearly homeless, as the photos from the IDF illustrate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. GRAD MISSILE HITS BE’ER SHEVA; IAF KILLS HAMAS TERRORIST

by Elad Benari

 

Gaza-based terrorists fired two Grad missiles at the southern Israeli city of Be’er Sheva early Sunday morning.

 

The missiles exploded in an open area near the city and did not cause any physical injuries or damages. The city announced that schools would be closed Sunday because of the attack.

 

Overnight Saturday, IAF aircraft struck a terrorist cell in Gaza, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit announced.

 

According to the announcement, the terrorists were making final preparations to launch a rocket into southern Israel. Direct hits at the target were scored, and secondary explosions were heard, said the IDF.

 

Sources in the Palestinian Authority told AFP the strike took place in the southern town of Khan Younis and killed a terrorist with the” Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades military wing of Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization.

 

The Israeli airstrike came shortly after two Qassam rockets fired from Gaza exploded in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council district.There were, miraculously, no physical injuries and no damage to property.

 

Rocket attacks on southern Israel are ongoing, but an escalation in attacks was recorded this week as Gaza-based terrorists fired more than 80 rockets at the region on Wednesday alone.

 

Three people were wounded, two of them seriously, and three homes were hit in a morning rocket barrage.

 

By Wednesday night it was reported that an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire had been reached between Hamas and Israel. That ceasefire, however, was broken after several hours, when terrorists again fired a mortar shell at the Eshkol district.

 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Gaza terrorists on Wednesday that if the rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israel do not stop, “deeper activity” in the region lies ahead.

 

“We did not start this recent escalation,” the prime minister pointed out, “but if it continues, we are prepared to go ahead with much wider and deeper military operations.”

 

 

5. AL-QAEDA LEADER CALLS FOR INCREASED KIDNAPPINGS OF WESTERNERS

by Rachel Hirshfeld

 

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has called on Muslims to increase efforts to kidnap Westerners in exchange for imprisoned jihadists, citing the success in the abduction of American aid worker Warren Weinstein in Pakistan.

 

In an undated two-hour video posted on jihadist websites, al-Zawahiri called for the abductions as part of a vow not to “spare any efforts” to free Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

 

“God the great and almighty granted us success to capture the Jewish American Warren Weinstein,” al-Zawahiri said according to the terror monitoring group SITE intelligence.

 

“We are seeking, by the help of God, to capture others and to incite Muslims to capture the citizens of the countries that are fighting Muslims in order to release our captives,” he said.

 

Al-Zawahiri also called for Egyptians to rise up against Israel.

 

“I call on every free and honorable (person) in Egypt to participate in every protest against the Israeli Embassy, against the peace treaty with Israel, against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and against every siege of Gaza,” al-Zawahiri said.

 

“Islamic movements and masses must be at the forefront of those protests and the first to sacrifice for their sake,” he added.

 

The video is the latest in a series released by al-Zawahiri, who was al Qaeda’s No. 2 leader under Osama bin Laden. He took over leadership in June 2011 following bin Laden’s death, according to statements posted on jihadist websites.

 

Al-Zawahiri is believed to be hiding somewhere in Pakistan’s tribal region that borders Afghanistan.

 

He was indicted in absentia for his alleged role in the August 7, 1998, bombings of the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, that killed 224 civilians and wounded more than 5,000 others, according to the National Counterterrorism Center, part of the U.S. federal government.

 

The FBI is offering a $25 million reward for information leading to his capture, the same amount as the reward for bin Laden.

 

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the August 2011 abduction of Weinstein from his home in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

 

Months later, al-Zawahiri made a number of demands of the United States in exchange for Weinstein’s release, including the release of Abdel-Rahman. Washington has maintained it will not negotiate with terrorists.

 

 

6. REPORT: UK DENIES US ACCESS TO BASES FOR GULF BUILDUP

by Rachel Hirshfeld

 

The British government rejected U.S. requests to use military bases in the United Kingdom as part of a build-up in the Gulf, citing legal concerns that a pre-emptive strike on Iran would violate international law, The Guardian reported.

 

The United States has made informal requests to access British bases in Cypress and British territories in the Atlantic and Indian oceans as part of contingency planning for Iran, The Guardian reported, citing unnamed officials.

 

British ministers, however, have responded with legal advice from the U.K. attorney general”s office that says Iran does not currently represent “a clear and present danger” and as a result, providing assistance to U.S. forces potentially involved in a strike on Iran would violate international law.

 

“The UK would be in breach of international law if it facilitated what amounted to a pre-emptive strike on Iran,” said a British defense official. “It is explicit. The government has been using this to push back against the Americans.”

 

While the Obama administration has not made a formal request to the British government for military access, the United States has been exploring the “British position” on the use of bases.

 

The UK has assumed that it would only become involved once a conflict had already begun, and has been reluctant to commit overt support to Washington in the buildup to any military action, the paper reported.

 

“It is quite likely that if the Israelis decided to attack Iran, or the Americans felt they had to do it for the Israelis or in support of them, the UK would not be told beforehand,” said an unnamed source. “In some respects, the UK government would prefer it that way.”

 

A U.S. State Department official told The Guardian that, “The U.S. and the U.K. co-ordinate on all kinds of subjects all the time, on a huge range of issues. We never speak on the record about these types of conversations.”

 

The Obama administration has repeatedly said that it wants a reach a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear program, although President Obama has said he will not rule out using military force to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

 

“The key to holding back Israel is Israeli confidence that the US will deal with Iran when the moment is right,” another official said.

 

In August, the most senior US military officer, General Martin Dempsey, distanced himself from any Israeli plan to strike Iran”s nuclear facilities. He said such an attack would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program.”

 

“I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it,” he added.

 

 

7. OBAMA ATTEMPTS TO JUSTIFY NOT VISITING ISRAEL AS PRESIDENT

by Rachel Hirshfeld

 

In an interview with NBC News late last week, President Barack Obama attempted to justify why he has not visited Israel since becoming president.

 

“The truth of the matter is, there are a number of countries I didn’t visit,” Obama said. “I visited Israel just a couple of months before I was president.”

 

“Given how important I think the situation in the Middle East is and our partnership with Israel, which is stronger than it”s ever been, when I go to Israel, I want to make sure that we are actually moving something forward,” the president continued.

 

While Obama did not elaborate on what he meant by “moving something forward,” it is likely that he was referring to peace negotiations, which have been deadlocked during his presidency.

 

The Romney campaign fired back with a statement calling Obama’s Middle East foreign policy a “failure.”

 

“After promising to make peace a top priority, the president sought to place “daylight” between the United States and Israel, and failed to engage in the peace process,” said Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg. “His excuse for not visiting Israel is that “there are a number of countries” he “didn’t visit.” But President Obama fails to recognize that Israel isn”t just any other country — it is our closest ally in the Middle East. As President, Mitt Romney”s first overseas trip will be to Jerusalem, and under a Romney Administration, the world will never question America”s solidarity with Israel.”

 

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During the final presidential debate on foreign policy, Romney accused Obama of going on an “apology tour” after being elected president.

 

“Mr. President, the reason I call it an apology tour is because you went to the Middle East and you flew to Egypt and to Saudi Arabia and to Turkey and Iraq,” Romney said. “And by the way, you skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region, but you went to the other nations. And, by the way, they noticed that you skipped Israel. And then in those nations and on Arabic TV you said that America had been dismissive and derisive.”

 

“I think they looked at that and saw weakness,” Romney continued. “It’s essential for a president to show strength from the very beginning.”

 

 

8. CONSERVATIVES DERIDE, SPOOF OBAMA ‘R-RATED’ AD

by Gil Ronen

 

 

 

In their last-minute attempts to woo the young female vote, Democrats have crossed the line separating good taste from vulgarity and published a video that compares voting for Barack Obama to losing one’s virginity. The YouTube video featuring actress and filmmaker Lena Dunham has received a million hits in two days, but much of the attention is negative, judging by the viewers’ rating of the video.

 

Conservatives have blasted the ad. Charlotte Hays of the Independent Women’s Forum called it “a new descent into vulgarity.”

 

“That a campaign would cut an ad such ad heralds a profound cultural shift in our country and not a good one,” she wrote. “This had got to be our first R-rated presidential campaign ad. But it is the logical extension of the Obama campaign’s urging women to ‘vote our lady parts.’ No wonder women are moving towards Governor Romney.”

 

Conservative Pajamas Media’s comedian-reporter Steven Crowder was quick to record and publish a brilliant takeoff on the embarrassing Democrat video. The spoof has received 50,000 views in its first day on the air and – thus far – overwhelming approval from its viewers.

 

Crowder’s most popular video thus far is a scathing report on his home city of Detroit, which he describes as having been ravaged by decades of socialist Democratic municipal policies.

 

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Note: Arutz Sheva has provided links to the Democratic campaign video and Crowder’s takeoff on it, but has not posted them for reasons of dress and language that do not conform to our rules.

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