Thursday, November 12, 2009

Iran violating UN arms embargo

From AP, 11/11/09, by EDITH M. LEDERER:

UNITED NATIONS — The United States accused Iran Tuesday of violating a U.N. arms embargo by secretly sending weapons to Syria in a cargo ship seized by Israel, a U.S. official said.

...U.S. deputy ambassador Alejandro Wolff and British deputy ambassador Philip Parham raised Israel's seizure of the cargo vessel Francop on Nov. 4 off Cyprus during a closed-door council debate on implementation of the 2006 cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon that ended their 34-day war, council diplomats said.

... Iranian markings on the side of containers filled with rockets, missiles, mortars, anti-tank weapons and munitions [were] shown to reporters in Israel.

The United States told the council that the concealed arms shipment, "clearly manifested from Iran to Syria" in violation of a March 2007 arms embargo, provides "unambiguous evidence of the destabilizing proliferation of arms in the region..." ....

The United States also called on Syria and Iran to end their "material support" for Hezbollah and other militias in Lebanon, which violates the 2006 cease-fire resolution...

...Britain's Parham told reporters after the council meeting that the Francop appears to be the third case of illegal Iranian arms exports this year.

"We hope that Iran will play a part in achieving a secure, peaceful and prosperous Middle East, but its current behavior appears to point in a different direction," Parham said.

Documented proof of Iranian arms smuggling to terrorists

From the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 10 Nov 2009:

On Tuesday (November 3, 2009) a special Israeli naval force detained and boarded the MV Francop, a merchant ship flying the flag of Antigua and destined for the Syrian port of Latakia.

Hidden among the dozens of other containers on board, and disguised as civilian goods, the ship contained a consignment of 36 shipping containers with 500 tons of arms en route via Syria to the Hizbullah terrorist organization in Lebanon. A total of about 9,000 mortar bombs of different types were seized, along with about 3,000 Katyusha artillery rockets, 3,000 recoilless gun shells, 20,000 grenades and over a half million rounds of small arms ammunition.

Iran routinely smuggles weapons to terrorist groups it supports. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards transfer their shipments over air, sea, and land routes, and do not hesitate to make use of civilian carriers, often without their knowledge.

An examination of the munitions seized proves conclusively that the source of the arms was Iran. This is clear both from the shipping documents and the markings on the munitions themselves.

Follow this link to the MFA web page that provides photographic evidence of the smuggling.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sadly: no need for Arab moderates: the extremists are more successful

From The Rubin Report, Sunday, November 8, 2009, by Barry Rubin*:

You have to feel sorry for those courageous enough to be Arab moderates. Most of your countrymen hate you, the government wants to crush you, the Islamists want to kill you, and the West doesn’t want to help you

......given ...the limited space permitted for free thought, the moderates have to talk like radicals to survive. In political terms, faced with the battle between the two giant movements of Islamism and Arab nationalism, they have to choose sides. Most liberals back their governments even though these are repressive dictatorships as a lesser of two evils to living under an Iran-, Gaza-, or Taliban-type state.

....The usual response by mainstream Arab thinkers has been: You want us to talk or act like people in the West? That is a betrayal! We will not surrender an inch….

...The Arabs have learned to speak the language of the modern international community and they are doing better at it than Israel.

Old style [which most Islamists still use, though even them not all the time]: The Jews are inferior. We will kill them all. We will never accept peace. We will wipe out Israel.

New style: The Israelis say that we are inferior. They want to kill us all. They don’t want peace. They violate our human rights. We are the victims. They want to wipe us out.

And by this brilliant inversion everything has changed. Leftist movements, humanitarian-oriented groups, huge sections of academia, large parts of the media, and various European governments bash Israel and extol the poor victims of the war criminal, racist, war-mongering, intransigent Israelis.

Of course, in fact, the positions of the Arab states and the Palestinian movement haven’t changed even in the tiniest iota. For example, in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, the “one-state” solution argument was something that isolated the Arabs and increased Western support for Israel. Then it was presented as: Throw Israel into the sea. Jewish-Zionist nationalism cannot be allowed to live. Palestine is Arab, Arab, Arab alone!

Today, exactly the same “one-state” concept is spun with the colored lights and tinkling bells of multiculturalism and political correctness into seeming like a utopia where nationalism is passé and everyone will just be nice to each other and get along just fine.

In short, Arab governments and societies don’t need ...liberals to bring a compromise triumph through real moderation. The extremists “know how to talk to them [the West and the world] and convince them...[the radicals, not the moderates] are more skillful in obtaining [the West’s] material, political, or moral support.”

Israel just gets slandered but is a free and democratic country whose people are able to move forward in developing its culture, raising living standards, and enjoying freedom. The Arabs are the ones who have to live with the consequences of their own disastrous “success” in gaining international sympathy by changing nothing.

What a remarkable but horrible irony. The “progressive” and “humanitarian” forces of the West have helped make real democratic and social reform unnecessary for the Arabic-speaking world and delivered it into decades more of violence, dictatorship, repression, stagnation, and failure.

*Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Israel - leader in business innovation

From an interview, Wed. Oct. 28 2009, with Dan Senor, co-author of 'Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle,' in which he discusses with CNBC how Israel has managed to become a leader in business innovation:

(the video commences with a brief advertisement)
Key points:
1. Israel's unique role in encouraging immigration and integrating immigrants into the economy.
2. Israel's unique focus on research and development.
3. The unique role of Israel in integrating its ex-soldiers into the economy after they conclude military service.
4. Israel's "ethos of resiliance and survivability" and its culture of entrepreneurship and innovation - business goes on regardless of war.
6. Israel as a historically-socialist economy that has been moving towards free-market capitalism, while America has been moving in the opposite direction.

India Deepens Defense Ties with Israel

From Outlook India 18/11/09 by Harinder Mishra in Jerusalem:

As India and Israel move to deepen their military ties, Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor arrived here on a key visit where he is scheduled to hold talks with top military officials.

General Kapoor will hold discussions with senior defence officials as 'part of regular ongoing exchanges' to tighten bilateral defence ties. The three-day visit will also allay fears that the CBI enquiry into controversial Barak missile deal may disrupt the robust defence ties between the two countries.

Defence sources here said that Gen Kapoor, who arrived here yesterday, will meet Defence Minister Ehud Barak, Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, besides other senior army officials.

He will also visit the Israel Defence Forces southern command.

Israel has become India's No. 1 supplier of arms and ammunition, overtaking Russia. The bulk of supplies constitute about 50 percent of Israel's defence exports and about 30 percent of India's imports.

Israel has supplied a range of defence products, including Barak missiles, assault rifles, night fighting devices, radar network, hi-tech electronic warfare systems and information technology related equipments.

The Indian Air Force last May received the first of the three Phalcon airborne early warning radar systems (AWACS) from Israel as part of a 1.1 billion USD deal in a big boost to its surveillance capabilities in the region.

The next delivery is expected in the first quarter of next year. As per recent reports, India is interested in working with Israel on submarine-launched cruise missiles, ballistic missile defense systems, laser-guided systems, satellites as well as unmanned aerial vehicles.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Hezbollah gears up for more war

From The Guardian Observer, Sunday 8 November 2009, by Mitchell Prothero and Peter Beamont:

Hezbollah is rapidly rearming in preparation for a new conflict with Israel....

Last week, Israeli commandos seized a ship in the Mediterranean loaded with almost 400 tonnes of rockets and small arms ...being sent from Iran to its Hezbollah allies. ...Hezbollah fighters have been busy reinforcing fixed defence positions north of the Litani river.

Having lost many of its bunkers in the south, Hezbollah is preparing a new strategy to defend villages there. ...senior commanders have done little to disguise the scale of rearmament. "Sure, we are rearming, we have even said that we have far more rockets and missiles than we did in 2006," said a Hezbollah commander, speaking on condition of anonymity....