Friday, May 31, 2013

Assad vague on delivery of Russian missiles

From Times of Israel, 30 May 2013,

Earlier reports erroneously cited Syrian president specifying his country had already received a first shipment of S-300 anti-aircraft systems.

Syrian President Bashar Assad during an interview broadcast on Al-Manar Television on Thursday, May 30, 2013. (photo credit: AP/Al-Manar Television)
...Russia’s S-300 missiles would significantly boost Syria’s air defenses and be a game-changer, but Assad was unclear about whether Syria has received a first shipment.
Earlier Thursday, Al-Manar had sent text messages to reporters with what it said was an excerpt from the interview.
The station quoted Assad as saying Syria had received a first shipment of such missiles. The Associated Press called Al-Manar after receiving the text message, and an official at the station said the message had been sent based on Assad’s comments.
In the interview, Assad was asked about the S-300s, but his answer was general.
He said Russia’s weapons shipments are not linked to the Syria conflict. “We have been negotiating with them about different types of weapons for years, and Russia is committed to Syria to implement these contracts,” he said.
“All we have agreed on with Russia will be implemented and some of it has been implemented recently, and we and the Russians continue to implement these contracts,” he said.

Iran implicated in Buenos Aires bombing

From Reuters, 29May 2013, by Guido Nejamkis :
An Argentine prosecutor accused Iran on Wednesday of establishing terrorist networks in Latin America dating back to the 1980s and said he would send his findings to courts in the affected countries.
State prosecutor Alberto Nisman is investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. Argentine courts have long accused Iran of sponsoring the attack.
Iran, which remains locked in a stand-off with world powers over its disputed nuclear program, denies links to the blast. No one was immediately available to comment at the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires on Wednesday.
In a 500-page-long document, Nisman cited what he said was evidence of Iran's "intelligence and terrorist network" in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname - among others.
In the case of the AMIA (Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina) center bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina has secured Interpol arrest warrants for nine men - eight Iranians and one person presumed to be Lebanese. Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi is among the officials sought by Argentina, which is home to Latin America's largest Jewish community.
Another Iranian with an outstanding arrest warrant against him in the case is Mohsen Rezaie, a former head of the Revolutionary Guards who is running for president.
Nisman said new evidence underscored the responsibility of Mohsen Rabbani, the former Iranian cultural attache in Argentina, as mastermind of the AMIA bombing and "coordinator of the Iranian infiltration of South America, especially in Guyana."
Nisman said U.S. court documents showed Islamist militant Abdul Kadir - who was sentenced to life in prison in 2010 for participating in a foiled plan to attack John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York - was Rabbani's disciple.
Kadir "received instructions" from Rabbani "and carried out the Iranian infiltration in Guyana, whose structure was nearly identical ... to that established by Rabbani in Argentina," the prosecutor wrote.
Nisman urged Interpol to intensify its efforts to execute the arrest warrants...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hezbollah urges Hamas members and officials to ‘leave Lebanon immediately’

Lebanese Shiite movement’s decision comes as response to Hamas’ role in ongoing war against Assad regime in Syria.
End of a love affair
BEIRUT ... Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah called on Hamas members and officials who are still present in Lebanon to leave the country 'immediately and within hours.' The decision comes as a response to the Palestinian Islamist movement’s role in the ongoing war in Syria against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Media sources close to the Palestinian national liberation movement Fatah in Lebanon said a Hezbollah senior security official informed Hamas representative in Lebanon, Ali Baraka, that all of those related to Hamas on the Lebanese territory became have become unwelcome.
The military unit of Hamas has broken ties with former ally Syrian President Bashar Assad and has begun training members of the opposition’s Free Syrian Army in Damascus, according to a report by The Times of London.
Anonymous diplomatic sources told the Times, earlier this month, that members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades were training Free Syrian Army units in the rebel-held neighborhoods of Yalda, Jaramana and Babbila in the Syrian capital.
“The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades have been training units very close to Damascus...” a Western diplomat with contacts in both the Assad regime and the Syrian opposition told the London daily newspaper.
According to the Times, Hamas has been helping the rebels in digging a tunnel beneath Damascus in preparation for an attack on the city, a skill that Hamas has honed by constructing tunnels to smuggle supplies from Egypt into the Gaza Strip.
A Palestinian source from Lebanon’s Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp reportedly said that Hamas’s aid to the rebels is common knowledge, however Hamas officials have denied any affiliation with Syrian rebels.
The political bureau of Hamas was situated in Damascus. The organization’s leaders enjoyed the protective patronage of the Syrian regime and aid from Hezbollah.
By late December 2011, when the Syrian uprising started shifting into high gear, Khaled Mashaal, Hamas’s top political leader, quietly left Damascus in February last year and relocated to Qatar.
That same month, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh allegedly declared the movement’s support for the Syrian opposition.
Syrian state-run media accused Mashaal of being “ungrateful and treacherous.”
As far as Khaled Meshaal is concerned, the underlying logic is simple: His movement’s new patron and funder, the Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, is a vocal opponent of Assad’s regime.

The antisemitism campaign based on 3 lies

From PM Netanyahu's message to the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism Conference 2013:

Three vilifications
  • that Israel is guilty of war crimes,
  • that it doesn't want peace, and
  • that we are guilty of violating human rights
are the antisemitic campaign that is levelled against the Jewish people and their state.  

I commend all the delegates attending the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism.
There were two myths about antisemitism.

The first was that after the Holocaust antisemitism would disappear.
And the second was that with the creation of the Jewish state, antisemitism would disappear.
That didn't happen. Neither one of them.
In fact, the antisemites took a respite after the Holocaust, but that's all it was. It was a brief intermission.
And what was unfashionable is now becoming fashionable again. After the rise of Israel, what is fashionable today is to say, "Well, I don't hate Jews, I just don't think they should have a state." Or, effectively, that their state is an illegitimate one that doesn't have the right to exist.
To further this attack on the Jewish state, three arguments are put forward by the antisemites all the time, and they are false all the time.
The first is that Israel is guilty of war crimes. We, who fight war criminals with measured means, whose cities are attacked by terrorists who fire from built-up areas and try to pinpoint the rocketeers - we are accused of war crimes by the war criminals. That is one facet of the vilification that we experience.
The second is that we are expansionists, we don't want peace, we never agree to compromise. That's patently false. The State of Israel repeatedly has offered concessions, has made concessions for peace that no other people, no other state has made in history. I don't know of any other case in which the victor made concessions in order to achieve peace, but we've done it again and again.
We are prepared to compromise for peace - for a genuine peace. This is our most reverent hope, to live in peace with our neighbors. It is not reciprocated as much as we want, and recently it is not reciprocated at all. We can only hope that it will change.
The third argument is that we are violators of human rights. Did you hear that? Israel, the one country in the vast expanse that recognizes the rights of everyone - women, minorities, every individual - who have access to the best court system in the world. Israel has a free press and a vibrant democracy, and Israel is accused of violating human rights. This is when in our neighborhood hundreds of people are killed daily, massacred daily in neighboring regimes.
... there is only one remedy for the slander, and that's the truth. And I encourage you to fight and win the battle of truth...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Global Tsunami of Anti-Semitism

From Isi Leibler, 28 May 2013:

Participants at the fourth conference of the Global Forum for Combating anti-Semitism, held under the auspices of the Foreign Ministry this week in Jerusalem, will be provided with data highlighting the accelerated global erosion of the status of Jews and Israel.

(The Forum will be screened in its entirety via a live online feed which can be viewed here)
In the post-Holocaust era, many had predicted, mistakenly, that the world’s oldest hatred would recede, even anticipating that anti-Semites would soon become an extinct species. Instead, defaming Jews has emerged as the greatest global political growth industry - a virtual tsunami. In fact we are witnessing a resurrection of the medieval paranoia which effectively blamed Jews for all the disasters of mankind.
The most concentrated venom is relentlessly directed against ‘the state of the Jews’ (anti-Israelism) which is now the principal vehicle employed to demonize Jews. It dominates debates at the UN and other international organizations where rogue states and barbaric regimes seek to delegitimize the state of the Jews.
The bias and double standards against Israel became so intense that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) decided to explicitly define such behavior as anti-Semitic (see page 29 of this document).
The escalation of Jew hatred over recent years has been greatly accelerated by the economic meltdown and surge in unemployment throughout Europe. Such an environment breeds xenophobia which, since time immemorial, was always directed against Jews, exploiting them as scapegoats.
The era of the internet and electronic global communications has been a boon to Jew baiters, enabling them to globally disseminate their hatred instantly and effectively.
New varieties of Judeophobia have emerged and integrated with the traditional anti-Semitism which had been temporarily muted due to revulsion at the horrors of the Holocaust. The new blend fuses traditional right wing religious, racial and economically inspired hatred of Jews with leftist varieties which now dominates indigenous Western anti-Semites. Ironically, the left bases its demonization of the Jewish state on bogus Israeli human rights violations whilst avoiding condemnations of Arab anti-Semitism and abdicating its traditional long standing role of purporting to champion rights of the oppressed and condemning human rights violations – an area in which the Arab world excels.
The greatest outpouring of anti-Jewish hatred emanates from the newly empowered Moslem countries with its combined population of 1.6 billion. In conjunction with their diasporas in Western countries, they frenziedly promote a devilish brew of unique Islamic anti-Semitism combined with the traditional Western varieties. They depict Jews as vampires; descendants of apes and pigs; evil creatures disseminating AIDS; the masterminds behind 9/11; etc. Their incitement is at least as potent as the worst Jew-hatred promoted during the Nazi era. In addition, the Jihadist component has been the principal element stoking the escalation of global violence, terror and murder against Jews.
We also witnessed the emergence of Jewish anti-Semites, who are now increasingly promoted to the forefront by our enemies as representing “decent” Jews. They legitimize Holocaust inversion as a vehicle to besmirch their kinsmen – comparing Israelis to Nazis and Palestinians to Jews during the Holocaust.
The hatred has reached epic levels in Europe, the continent whose soil was drenched in Jewish blood only 70 years ago and ironically today commemorates an annual Holocaust Memorial.
Incredibly, European Jewish communities probably face greater anti-Semitism today than prior to the Holocaust. Then, at least liberals and much of the left were willing to condemn the Nazis and speak out on behalf of Jews. Today, under the guise of promoting human rights, the left is usually heading the anti-Jewish pack.
This is cogently summarized in the introduction to Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld’s new book “Demonizing Israel and the Jews” where he states “today well over 100 million Europeans embrace a satanic view of the state of Israel. They believe that Israel is exterminating the Palestinians… This current widespread demonic view of Israel is an imitation of the diabolical beliefs about Jews which many held in the Middle Ages, and those promoted more recently by the Nazis and their allies”.
Opinion polls confirm that nearly 50% of Europeans regard Israel as a greater threat to the peace and stability of mankind than North Korea, Iran or Syria.
There is also increasing anti-Jewish street violence in European cities, much of which is understated as hooliganism. In many cities Jews are advised not to wear kippot (Jewish skullcaps) or other signs of Jewish identification.
In France, the aggressive approach of sectors of Islamic migrant communities has resulted in murders.
Attitudes in the UK have also dramatically changed as reflected in the frenetic and shameful hostility and bias towards Israel and the Jews expressed by the bulk of the media.
These attitudes even permeate the British judiciary, with one judge acquitting a group which had vandalized products designed for Israel on the grounds that it was engaging in justified opposition to the “occupation”. More recently a judge upholding the right of UK Teachers Union to boycott Israel condemned the plaintiff for behaving inappropriately by suggesting that Israel was relevant to the Jewish religion. The UK Protestant Churches have reverted to their former hostility to the Jews with some even challenging Israel’s legitimacy.
Even Germany, despite its special relationship with the Jews, has been displaying signs of growing anti-Semitism and Holocaust fatigue.
Other European countries are witnessing a resurgence of xenophobia and neo-Nazism. The situation in Hungary is especially stark where Jobbik, the Nazi party whose supporters proudly chant Heil Hitler and other Nazi slogans, gained 17% of the vote. In Greece its Neo-Nazi counterpart “Golden Dawn” recently polled 12% of the vote.
Belgium, Holland and the Scandinavian countries, especially those hosting substantial Muslim immigrant communities with electoral clout, have also registered major upsurges in anti-Semitism.
In these communities, many Jews are in denial. Leading somewhat cloistered lives and not personally encountering anti-Semitism, they refuse to acknowledge the intense hostility saturating their societies.
The greatest impact is on the younger Jewish generation whose parents grew up in an environment in which they took pride in their Judaism and association with Israel. But in a climate in which the media and society continuously bombard them with defamatory reports about Israel Jewish pride and dignity is undermined and increasing numbers of younger Jews seek anonymity. Some even engage in anti-Israeli rhetoric to attain social acceptability.
Such a pariah lifestyle is not an environment likely to inculcate a positive Jewish identity and there is now serious concern about the long-term survival of many established Jewish communities.
Some read the writing on the wall and recognize that there is no future for their children in Europe, and contemplate emigration or encourage their children to leave.
There is no denying the fact that the government of Israel has badly mishandled the situation. It has merely paid lip service to the problem and its diplomats abroad ceremoniously condemn anti-Semitism. But there has been no real effort to coordinate a global campaign to confront the hostility and systematically promote our position in the battle of ideas in which the struggle against anti-Semitism should have been a priority.
The Israeli government’s hosting of a global conference with endless speeches on anti-Semitism every three years is surely not the answer. What is required is the creation of a global operating center to coordinate an ongoing campaign to combat the plague. However, there is no indication of any intention to create a permanent Secretariat to deal with the issue.
There are many talented diaspora Jews and non-Jewish friends willing to cooperate with us in such a project. This is one area in which the resources of major US Jewish agencies like the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, with numerous years of experience and engagement in this arena, could provide considerable assistance.
Yet, to date we have failed to take effective action to confront this scourge which in the long run extends beyond Jew hatred and will damage Israel no less than diaspora Jews. Many Israeli leaders fail to appreciate that the battle for the mind, which we are losing, is an extension of the military conflict.