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Amos Regev, editor-in-chief of the Israeli daily Israel Hayom, writes that world leaders (and many Israelis) are wrong to conclude that Israel’s decision thus far not to attack Iran’s nuclear weapons-building capabilities is due to military inability. Regev lays out the case for Israel’s ability to conduct such a strike and what that action might look like. A fascinating read:
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An attack would not end with a single sortie. Anyone who strikes Iran would have to commit to a protracted campaign. And of course, the attackers would have to counter Iran’s capacity to launch long-range surface-to-surface missiles. According to various estimates, it has hundreds of such projectiles.
Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 at 8:40 AM | Stand For Israel
Today is Veterans Day, when we remember all those, past and present, who serve in the military. Read Rabbi Eckstein’s thoughts on the meaning and message of this day – and give thanks to God for all the men and women who have sacrificed for our freedoms.
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It has become a cliché to say that “freedom is not free,” but certainly history – and, for those with loved ones who have served their country and died in war, painful personal experience – teaches us that freedom is bought with blood and sacrifice.
Monday, November 11th, 2013 at 1:47 PM | Stand For Israel
What, exactly, is there to negotiate about with Iran?
Iran is under three U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions (which carry the imprimatur of international law) ordering them – by right of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that Iran freely signed and never backed out of – to cease uranium enrichment and submit to open inspections. They are in violation of their treaty obligations. When you get a speeding ticket, can you go before the judge and negotiate over the speed limit on the street where you were pulled over? The idea that there’s anything about which to negotiate weakens the laws that govern nuclear non-proliferation and endangers us all.
It’s tempting to say that the Iranians are playing Western governments – ours included – like a fiddle. But people being played aren’t typically willing participants in being played. This “deal” that was scuttled at the last minute by the French would have eased sanctions based on Iranian promises regarding programs they’ve repeatedly said they have no intention of disrupting, let alone discontinuing. The Iranians aren’t even bothering to be duplicitous about this – a negotiator in Geneva says something for Western consumption, his boss in Tehran overrules him. The West touts the first and ignores the second. What rabbit hole have we fallen down?
Every time we go down this road, the very same thing happens. If this were a Peanuts cartoon and we were Charlie Brown, Lucy would have let us kick the football by now out of sheer pity. Iran negotiates in bad faith. The West is strung along. Months pass. Talks are “constructive” and “meaningful.” We’re on the cusp of an agreement – except for the senior officials in Tehran who say we’re nowhere close to an agreement, and who we ignore – and then it all falls through. There are threats and recriminations. But we were so close! And the cycle starts again.
The next time Iran thinks we’re getting serious about stopping them, they’ll suddenly be back at the table and…Read More » Comments (28) »
Monday, November 11th, 2013 at 8:53 AM | Stand For Israel
Since Michael Rubin wrote this piece for CNN, the potential deal between the West and Iran has been scuttled. But Rubin’s point – that this would have been a terrible deal from the perspective of those of us who do not want Iran to develop nuclear weapons and that making such a deal is practically inviting Iran to go nuclear – is valid and timely so long as the U.S. is engaged in unwise negotiations with Tehran:
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It appears Iran has not made any deal that would curtail its nuclear ambition. As described, the framework upon which U.S. and Iranian negotiators appear to agree fails to resolve those issues of most concern to regional states. Obama has unilaterally waived Security Council resolutions demanding a complete enrichment cessation. There may be some enrichment suspension at key sites but, as Rouhani bragged in 2009, he used an early suspension to install new and better centrifuges. And while Iran might convert some more highly enriched uranium to less usable fuel rods, it has backtracked its own earlier proposals to ship fissile material abroad.
Monday, November 11th, 2013 at 8:45 AM | Stand For Israel
As they train against the backdrop of an Israeli sunrise these IDF submariners surely find solace in God’s promise to His children: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you” (Isaiah 43:2).
This weekend and Veterans Day, remember those who have protected our freedoms, and take comfort in God’s ultimate protection. Shabbat shalom, friends.Comments (0) »
Friday, November 8th, 2013 at 3:02 PM | Stand For Israel
Evelyn Gordon, writing at Commentary magazine, brings up a question that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked recently. It is the second most fundamental question of the peace process, the first being: is the Palestinian leadership even interested in peace? If the answer to the first question is “yes” (it’s not, but let’s pretend it is), why should Israel trust the current Palestinian leadership to implement the plan?
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The Palestinians are threatening to renege on their part of the deal–nine months of talks, plus refraining from action against Israel in international forums–on account of Israeli actions that the deal itself allowed. So what confidence can Israel have that the same wouldn’t happen with a full-fledged peace deal?
Friday, November 8th, 2013 at 9:10 AM | Stand For Israel
As the United States begins to give away the store to Iran in the nuclear talks in Geneva, and the Saudis decide whether or not they want to buy nuclear weapons from Pakistan (both news items are in today’s SFI Daily Dispatch), and thousands continue to die in Syria, and journalists continue to be arrested in Turkey, Secretary of State John Kerry is doing exactly what you’d expect an American diplomat to do – haranguing Israel about making concessions to the Palestinians.
And, yesterday, Kerry made a statement that we’re more accustomed to hearing from Palestinian leadership:
“What is the alternative to peace? Prolonged continued conflict. The absence of peace really means you have a sort of low-grade conflict, war. As long as the aspirations of people are held down one way or another … as long as there is this conflict and if the conflict frustrates once again so that people cannot find a solution, the possibilities of violence increase.”
First of all, that patronizing rhetorical question is so typical of Western peace processors. Obviously, the alternative to peace is war. One needn’t be a diplomat or former U.S. Senator to figure that out. But some wars we choose and others are thrust upon us by enemies intent on our destruction. The total failure on Kerry’s part to draw that distinction is as galling as it is mystifying.
But what is really alarming is the implicit shoulder shrug at a third intifada. Kerry seems to suggest: What else are the Palestinians supposed to do? And to what “aspirations” does Kerry refer? Certainly not for a state. A state must be governed – not by gunmen and bomb-makers but by leaders and responsible adults. The Palestinian leadership has never evinced any aspiration to govern a state – only to tear down the one built by the Jews.
Implicit in Kerry’s statement is the assumption that, if Israel fails to make the right choices –…Read More » Comments (45) »
Friday, November 8th, 2013 at 8:49 AM | Stand For Israel
As another round of talks on Iran’s nuclear program gets underway, Israel continues to keep a close eye on Iran and its nuclear ambitions. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said sanctions against Iran should not be lifted too soon.
Also this week in Israel in the News:
• Peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians continue, but tension is brewing over Israel’s intention to build new settlements.
• U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is meeting with top officials in Israel this week, also acknowledged that there hasn’t been as much progress as he had hoped in the peace talks.
• Amnesty International reports that countries bordering Syria, in particular Jordan, are denying entry to hundreds of Syrian refugees.
• More than one thousand women gathered this week at the Western Wall to mark the 25th anniversary of their fight for equal rights to pray at the Wall.
• Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood recently lost another court battle in its bid to remain a legally recognized group.
This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas on possible U.S. intervention in the peace talk process.
Thursday, November 7th, 2013 at 5:00 PM | firstname.lastname@example.org
Evelyn Gordon, writing at Commentary magazine, points out that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might not be very popular in world capitals, but he certainly is effective. While international leaders have been on his case about his tone on Iran, Gordon looks at an interesting, little-noted kink in the recent reporting on the crisis:
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I hadn’t noticed how effective his recent “bombastic bluster” has been until today, when a senior Israeli official pointed out something I’d missed: “We changed the conversation in which everyone was talking about easing the existing sanctions to a conversation in which everyone is discussing the need for preventing additional sanctions,” he said.
Thursday, November 7th, 2013 at 9:01 AM | Stand For Israel
We have previously posted about the conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Yasser Arafat. In November of 2004, Arafat fell ill, slipped into a coma and – after being airlifted to a hospital in Paris – died. Doctors said he died of a massive stroke, but the cause of his illness was not made public by Palestinian officials. Speculation inside Israel – and we’ve seen nothing but speculation – is that he died of complications from a disease that the Palestinian leadership might have found embarrassing, such as HIV/AIDS.But Palestinian officials have maintained that Arafat was poisoned by Israel. Now, a Swiss team of nuclear “experts” has found traces of polonium – a radioactive element used in the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki at the end of World War II – in the remains of the arch-terrorist which were exhumed at the behest of his widow. The theory is that the Israelis somehow got polonium into Arafat’s system, he took ill, and died.
The problem is that they found a LOT of polonium in Arafat’s body (see the post linked above). The amount found – even with the element’s rate of decay factored in – suggests that Arafat would have died far more quickly than he actually did. There is also no proof that, if Arafat was indeed poisoned, Israel was involved. Neither is there a motive, as the IDF had Arafat safely contained inside his compound in Ramallah. And, had Israel wanted him dead, they would have been totally justified in employing a targeted assassination – as was done to Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin – since Arafat had more blood on his hands than anyone.
So this claim can be filed under one of our favorite categories: the Long and Utterly Fictitious Arm of the Mossad (the same folks who recently brought you the terrible Lebanese Spying Eagle)!
Might the polonium have been planted in Arafat’s corpse after his death, by aides keen on blaming his demise on Israel? Or perhaps Arafat himself was inherently radioactive (a…Read More » Comments (9) »
Thursday, November 7th, 2013 at 8:59 AM | Stand For Israel