WEEK OF OCTOBER 28 THROUGH NOVEMBER 3
Iran Marks 33rd Anniversary of US Embassy Seizure
(Scores gather in Tehran to mark one of the most infamous hostage situations in modern times. Crowd chants 'death to America,' 'death to Israel'; banner slams Obama as 'loyal dog of Israel')
Nov. 3….(YNET) As Iranians marked the 33rd anniversary of the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran with a rally outside the former mission building Friday, an Iranian commander offered a pot of gold and set impossible conditions for restoring ties with the "Great Satan." However, General Mohammad Reza Naqdi of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard, insisted his offer of 10 kilograms of gold to anyone who found a "regime more criminal than the United States" would go unclaimed, allegedly because his troops "have already done the research and found Washington is the worst on earth."
Naqdi spoke as thousands of Iranian students rallied outside what was once the US Embassy. The crowd chanted "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" and burned US and Israeli flags. The rally is an annual event to mark the November 4, 1979 storming of the embassy by militant students who held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days to protest America's refusal to hand over the toppled Iranian shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi back to the country for trial. Washington severed relations with Tehran after the embassy takeover, and they have not been restored since. The former embassy is now painted with anti-American murals and used as a training site for Guard troops. Naqdi, who commands the Guard's paramilitary branch known as the Basij, set his own "conditions" for resumption of diplomatic relations with the US in a speech to the crowd. The US, he said, must abolish the CIA, pull out its warships from the Persian Gulf and dismantle its military bases in 50 countries around the world if it wants to restore ties with Tehran. "They (the US) must prove they've grown into sensible human beings and stop supporting the usurper Zionist regime," said Naqdi, expanding on his list of conditions. A statement released by the organizers of the event said the US will remain Iran's "No. 1 enemy and the Great Satan," a term commonly used by Tehran to vilify Washington.
Sharia Law Being Planned in Egypt
Nov. 3….(WND) Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said Wednesday it is committed to enshrining Islamic Shariah law as the main source of a new constitution, seeking to mollify ultraconservative Islamists who accuse the group of not advocating strongly enough for Islamic rule. Islamic influence in Egypt's governance is the most inflammatory issue following last year's ousting of longtime President Hosni Mubarak. Islamists have swept elections since then, and the Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi is the president, but the Brotherhood faces criticism from even more stringent Islamists as much as from liberals.
Ultraconservatives known as Salafis have pushed for firm language in the new constitution to ensure implementation of Shariah, even calling for demonstrations on Friday. Top Salafi clerics threatened to rally voters against the constitution when it is put to a vote in a referendum before end of this year, if their demands are not met. Together, Salafis and the Brotherhood dominate the 100-member assembly writing the new constitution. The controversy centers on the phrasing of key articles that expand the role of Islamic Sharia laws. The previous constitution said "the principles of Shariah" are the basis of law in Egypt. Liberals favored such phrasing, which they say allows greater leeway, meaning legislation can meet the broad ideas of Islam. Salafis wanted that changed to "the rulings of Shariah," implying Egypt's laws would have to abide by the strict letter of what clerics say is meant in Islamic law. Liberals fear that could bring heavy restrictions on many rights and would forge a new role for religious scholars similar to clerical rule in Iran.
In its statement, the Muslim Brotherhood appeared to try to accommodate liberals' demands by keeping the phrase "principles of Shariah," while adding an article explaining what that means: the principles would include "the juristic rules" of Shariah agreed upon by scholars and the "accepted sources" of the Quran's interpretation.
Many Egyptians fear the implementation of Islamic penal code as they watch neighboring Saudi Arabia punishing people convicted of murder, drug trafficking, rape, adultery and armed robbery with execution, usually with a sword, cutting off limbs or stoning to death. Islamists have emerged as the strongest political force in the new “democratic Egypt. Morsi was elected president after the Brotherhood and the Salafis swept parliamentary elections.
Sinai Salafists Threaten Israel, Egypt Security
Nov. 3….(Jerusalem Post) Security in the increasingly lawless Sinai Peninsula continued to be a pressing issue in both Egypt and Israel this week, with threats to both countries from the al-Qaida-affiliated Salafist jihadi groups who have found fertile breeding grounds in Sinai since the Egyptian revolution. On Thursday, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party demanded law enforcement authorities move to regain control of security in Sinai, following a week of reports of terrorist activity in the troubled peninsula. Over the past months, al-Qaida-linked groups have conducted a series of deadly terrorist attacks against both Egyptian and Israeli interests on the border, including the September 21 shootout that killed 20-year-old Cpl. Netanel Yahalomi.
The increased jihadi activity threatens security in both countries, and has led to increasing calls for Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to amend the Camp David peace accords with Israel in order to allow for a greater Egyptian military presence in Sinai. On Tuesday, a Cairo court dismissed a petition calling for the peace agreement to be amended, but the future of the Camp David accords is likely to remain a pressing political issue in Egypt.
Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities’ arrest last week of a terror cell in Nasr City suspected to be linked to al-Qaida has heightened fears in both countries that extremists are expanding out of Sinai and into other areas of Egypt. Those fears are also bolstered by increasing efforts by al-Qaida to align itself with extremist Salafist and jihadi elements across the Arab world, including Egypt. In a recent video posted on jihadi websites, al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri incited Egyptians to rise up against their government and “grab Egypt’s dignity and honor from corrupt hands.”
Meanwhile, the most active Salafist jihadi groups in Gaza, including Ansar Bayit al- Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem) and the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC), have targeted Israeli interests and continue to threaten the country. In response, Israel has stepped up its counter-terrorism activities, last month carrying out a successful targeted killing of two senior MSC operatives, Ashraf Salah Hisham and Ali Abd Karim Saidani, codenamed Abu al-Walid al- Maqdisi.
Israel faces increased threats from the growth in weapons smuggling from Egypt, including across the country’s 1,200- kilometer border with Sudan. According to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), Iran provides Sudan with weapons which are then transferred via Sinai to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza. The growth in weapons smuggling, combined with increasing Salafist-jihadi activity in Sinai, has led to fears that Sinai terrorists could also obtain trafficked weapons and use them against Israeli and Egyptian targets. An apparent raid on a Khartoum munitions plant last week, which Sudan said was carried out by Israel, served to highlight Tehran’s role in providing weapons to Hamas, and the dangers posed by the Sinai smuggling network.
Egypt, as well as Israel, is in danger from the increased weapons trafficking from Iran via Sudan, a senior Israeli defense official commented. “In actuality, these munitions pass through Sudan, so it is endangering its major neighbor, Egypt. It harms national security because tomorrow these arms could also be used against the Egyptians,” Gilad told Army Radio, the Reuters news agency reported.
In a Thursday report, New York-based intelligence analysis firm The Soufan Group, noted that several years ago the Khartoum newspaper, Rai al-Shaab published a claim that a secret agreement allowed the Quds Force, the IRGC’s extraterritorial unit, to set up a factory in Khartoum to streamline the supply chain to Hamas and other Tehran-backed groups in Middle East and Africa. “While the report was never confirmed or denied, the newspaper was nevertheless shut down shortly afterward and its deputy editor arrested on charges of treason and espionage,” the Soufan Group added. The Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based independent research project, has documented the presence of a drone, landmines and other Iranian weapons in Sudan.
The project’s 2009 survey lists Iran as one of the top exporters of small arms to Sudan. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)’s Arms Transfer Database, which details suppliers and recipients of major conventional weapons, lists Iran has having exported five Shahin multiple rocket launchers to Sudan in 2008.
Benghazi Reveals Obama-Islamist Alliance
Nov. 2….(American Thinker) The nature of the Benghazi disaster is now clear. Ambassador Stevens was engaged in smuggling sizable quantities of Libyan arms from the destroyed Gaddafi regime to the Syrian rebels, to help overthrow the Assad regime in Syria. Smuggling arms to the so-called "Free Syrian Army" is itself a huge gamble, but Obama has been a gambler with human lives over the last four years, as shown by the tens of thousands of Arabs who have died in the so-called Arab Spring, which has brought nothing but disaster to the Arab world.
For the last four years, the Obama policy has been to offer aid and comfort to violent Islamic radicals in the delusional belief that their loyalty can be bought. We therefore betrayed Hosni Mubarak, our 30-year ally in Egypt, so that the Muslim Brotherhood led by Muhammed Morsi could take over. Obama indeed demanded publicly that Mubarak resign, for reasons that never made any sense at all. Egypt went into a political and economic tailspin, and the Muslim Brotherhood were elected. The Muslim radicals have now purged the only other viable political force, the army and police, to protect their monopoly on power. President Obama colluded in that betrayal.
In Libya, we undermined Moammar Gaddafi, who had surrendered his nuclear program to the Bush administration. In Afghanistan, we betrayed the central government set up by the Bush administration and negotiated with the fanatical war sect of the Taliban to take over. The Taliban entered our history when they gave safe haven to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda in the years before 9/11/01 to plan, train, equip, and implement the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. The Taliban are our fanatical theological enemy, as shown by their sadistic attempt to assassinate 14-year-old women's rights advocate Malala Yousuf. Afghanistan has many thousands of Malalas we will never hear about.
Our consistent policy of betrayal of moderate Muslims in favor of radical Islamo-fascists goes hand-in-hand with our appeasement of the Iranian Khomeinist regime, which is the most America-hating Shiite regime, now facing competition from America-hating Sunni regimes in Egypt and elsewhere. It also fits our cooperation with Turkey's "neo-Ottoman" regime, which has also purged the Turkish army and police to remove modern-minded Turks from power. Egypt and Iran will soon have nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles.
We have therefore followed a single "community disorganizing" policy toward the Muslim world, consisting of betraying moderates to bring theocratic fascists to power. Obama "explained" that policy in a publicized argument with Hillary Clinton at the White House when Mubarak was overthrown. His explanation? Fascist revolutions are "organic," and therefore more stable than moderate revolutions. Obama's fantasy policy runs contrary to US foreign policy since World War I. The biggest loser in this mad administration has been hundreds of millions women of the Muslim world, who were on a path to modernity and freedom until Obama and Hillary Clinton betrayed them. Today they are shut inside the prisons of sharia law. The second-biggest loser has been relative stability in a great geographical swath of the Muslim world, from Afghanistan and Pakistan across the Middle East, all the way to Tunisia and Morocco. The third-biggest loser has been our anti-proliferation policy against the spread of weapons of mass destruction among developing nations. From fighting proliferation, we have turned to aiding it. Those three Horsemen of the Apocalypse are now out of the barn and riding free.
In Benghazi, al-Qaeda showed that they could not be bought even by our back-stabbing policy. Our Benghazi arms-smuggling base was attacked by elements of AQIM (al-Qaeda in the Maghreb) in an act of betrayal against our fantasy-driven way of doing things. The American betrayer was itself betrayed, and Obama-Hillary could do nothing to defend the Americans under attack at the Benghazi arms-smuggling base, because any public revelation of the truth would rip the cover off our mad actions and focus the hatred of Muslim nations on the United States.
The evidence now shows that President Obama was aware of the attack within 55 minutes of the start. It lasted for six or seven hours, and Obama consistently countermanded standing orders to protect Americans under attack in the Africom command area. General Ham may have been fired for following standard US policy to defend American personnel.
In Syria, the Assad regime now has a legitimate basis to convict us of deadly dabbling in the Syrian civil war. Russia and China are likely to take up Assad's cause at the United Nations. They would be right on the facts.
Because the Benghazi attack coincided exactly with the AQ attack on our Cairo Embassy, both on September 11 of this year, this was apparently a central command decision by AQ, presumably ordered by Osama bin Laden's successor, Al Zawahiri, in Pakistan using a video released on the web shortly before those attacks. The message was "al-Qaeda lives!" Everybody who saw the news photos that day got that message. Only Obama is in public denial.
Because the Egyptian regime chose not to defend our embassy, we know that Muhammad Morsi was in cahoots with the AQ attack. Host governments always have the first responsibility to defend accredited embassies. Egypt "forgot" to defend us, and that was the message. The purpose of the AQ attacks was to embarrass the United States, and to show us to be a paper tiger, precisely the way Ayatollah Khomeini did to Jimmy Carter. AQ also wanted to tear off the cover of the Benghazi arms-smuggling operation, to make us look like a treasonous ally, which, as it turns out, we are. All of our allies around the world, from South Korea and Japan to Israel, Australia, and Norway, must now be reassessing our reliability. One major betrayal of our allies is enough to shatter sixty years of faith in American leadership.
American Muslims Overwhelmingly Support Obama
(Most American Muslims also disdain the US Constitution)
Oct. 31….(WND) Nearly half of 600 Muslim-American citizens polled who plan to vote in the 2012 presidential election believe parodies of Muhammad should be prosecuted criminally in the US, and one in eight say the offense is so serious violators should face the death penalty. The results came in a groundbreaking scientific poll for WND by the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies. It was taken Oct. 22-26 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.98 percentage points.
The poll also found 40 percent of Muslims in America believe they should not be judged by US law and the Constitution, but by Shariah standards.
And the big winner among Muslim-Americans in the presidential election is Barack Obama, the poll found. More than 72 percent said they are definitely supporting Obama, and another 8.5 percent are leaning that direction. Only 11 percent are for Romney. Nearly 55 percent of the American Muslim voters say the US is on the right track, and another 13 percent are uncertain. Virtually all of the respondents (98 percent) are American citizens and 97 percent are registered to vote. “Almost half of those Muslims surveyed, an astonishing 46 percent, said they believe those Americans who offer criticism or parodies of Islam should face criminal charges,” said pollster Fritz Wenzel in an analysis of the survey’s results. “Even more shocking: One in eight respondents said they think those Americans who criticize or parody Islam should face the death penalty, while another nine percent said they were unsure on the question,” he said.
While the respondents overwhelmingly lean toward the Democratic Party and like the direction Barack Obama, who repeatedly has praised Islam around the world, is leading this nation, they also have a fundamental conflict with American life, expressing objections to the freedom of speech and religion guaranteed in the Constitution. American Muslims, Wenzel said, “show signs of ambivalence toward the US Constitution generally and the First Amendment specifically.” Nearly one in three said Israel either has no right to exist or they were uncertain whether it does.
Robert Spencer, author of “Stealth Jihad” and “Did Muhammad Ever Exist,” told WND the survey is a “disquieting indication that Muslims in the US support Shariah blasphemy laws and want to bring them to the US.” “This should not surprise anyone,” he said. “There is no reason to believe that Muslims in the US believe in a different form of Islam from that which prevails everywhere else. But it underscores the need for Americans to defend, forthrightly and without apology, the freedom of speech, as it is increasingly embattled today, and to revive and enact anti-Shariah laws nationwide.”
Walid Shoebat, who “used to be a radicalized Muslim willing to die for the cause of jihad” before he adopted Christianity in 1994, was a member of the PLO and was recruited to plant a bomb in Bethlehem. The author of ”God’s War on Terror” told WND it is not right that Muslims have a “double standard.” He said to be fair, any Muslim who “says the Bible is corrupt or the Christians corrupted the Bible” should be penalized in the way they want to punish Christians who mock or ridicule Muhammad.
Syria on the Cliffs Edge Between Assad and Al Qaeda
Oct. 31….(DEBKAfile) The collapse of the Eid al Adha truce brokered by UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi left Syria careering into unknown territory. The powers which castigate Bashar Assad for butchering his people refuse to abandon their hands-off policy for clipping his wings. On this point, there is little difference between US President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney, except that the latter says Syrian rebels ought to be given heavy arms for defense against Assad’s army, tanks and air force.
Even America’s allies in the region are being held back from direct military confrontation with the Assad regime. Turkey was on the verge of expanding its border clashes with Syria into active backing for the rebels with a view to carving out a buffer strip, a safe haven and a no-fly zone on and over Syrian soil. But then, last week Obama sent the Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs, to Ankara to hold Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan back from any cross-border action.
Assad, the Syrian rebels, and al Qaeda too sense that the country is now up for grabs. This realization is shared by their various sponsors, including Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan and the Emir of Qatar. The Syrian ruler therefore feels he is sitting pretty with no one around who is willing or able to stop the indiscriminate air bombardment of urban areas which he began to intensify in the last week. By the same token, Russia and Iran don’t face international opposition to the arms and personnel back-up they are providing Assad’s forces.
In sharp contrast, the Obama administration is entangled by his critics at home in a crisis over the circumstances surrounding the terrorist murder of US ambassador Chris Stevens and 3 diplomats at the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The administration is accused of failing to provide the necessary security before and during the consulate raid. The ambassador played a key role in US undercover operations to neutralize Libya and the region against destabilizing jihadists. As an indirect consequence of the crisis around his death, the supply of SA-7 missiles from Libya to the Syrian rebels has dried up.
After looking around him, Assad felt he could safely put into practice his plot for the assassination of the Lebanese security chief Brig. Gen. Wassam in Beirut on Friday, Oct. 19. By a single stroke, the Syrian knocked over the mainstay of US-Saudi intelligence operations in Syria. But, as a vital hub for the American war on al Qaeda in the region, the Lebanese security chief’s importance far transcended a single conflict. His death was a major blow for US intelligence. So the two murders eliminated two linchpins of the US undercover war on Al Qaeda in the region and left a free field for Assad and the jihadists to fight it out between them for supremacy.
Obama Administration Complicit in “Libya to Syria Rebels Weapons” Operation?
Oct. 31….(CDN/Diana West) To fully understand what happened in Benghazi, and the ongoing Libyan fiasco is that US Ambassador Stevens was located in a CIA safe-house, and from that location is where on the night of the attack he dined with the Turkish General Counsel. Why did Ambassador Stevens meet with this Turkish official? Apparently, the Obama Administration was heavily involved in running weapons through Turkey to aid the Syrian Rebels, but the real kicker here is that we handed over 400 tons in just one shipment, to Al Queda and the Muslim Brotherhood, who are the leaders of these so called “Syrian Rebels”. We can only speculate what the Turkish General Counsel talked with Ambassador Stevens about that night, but what is clear is that Al Queda backed forces were on scene whilst the two men dined. The ‘Libyan forces’ called the Feb. 17th Brigade, and backed by Al Qaeda were the extra security the US State Department hired to help man that CIA safe house. What is interesting to note from this data is the utilization of the Feb. 17th Brigade. We know that this “Brigade” is an affiliate of Al Queda and they fought under the “Black Flag” of Al Queda. Diana West, an expert in Middle East affairs has this to offer: The Obama administration in its zeal to overthrow Assad in Syria threw in with bad guys, such as the “Syrian rebels,” the “martyrs,” the Muslim Brotherhood, and the whole jihad-happy crew in Libya and the wider Middle East. Uncle Sam, more or less, crossed to the “other side.” It is this alliance or support for “martyrs” and their sympathizers in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria that is the betrayal from which Benghazi-gate rises, particularly as our veterans’ cemeteries and hospitals are filled with casualties caused by such “martyrs.”
Benghazi is shaping up to be the worst cover-up ever in the history of the US. The 12 reports that were filed within the first 24 hours of the attacks on our embassy, outlined to the White House exactly what had transpired, and never once mention a “protest” or any “video”. They do mention an Al Queda linked group called Ansar al-Sharia, claiming the responsibility for the attacks, just as claimed by the new Libyan president the next day.
FOJ Note: The Obama Administration has been working for 2-3 years to support and promote Muslim Brotherhood agendas in Libya, Egypt, and Syria. The initial plan was to convince people in the West that this geo-political uprising was a revolution of grass roots democracy-loving people. In truth, it has all been coordinated to bring about “change” in the power structure of the world, and especially in the Middle East.
As In the Days of Noah:
(Hurricane Sandy's rain, wind and floods will devastate 6 states and DC that have legalized same-sex marriage with 2 others voting)
Oct. 30….(Bill Koenig) Six states that have legalized same-sex marriage: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, the District of Columbia, with Maryland and Maine voting November 6 on referendums on same sex marriage. New Jersey offers civil unions granting rights similar to marriage. Pennsylvania's state statute bans same-sex marriage. Laws that would legalize same-sex marriage in Washington and Maryland were passed in 2012, but each will be subject to a referendum during the November 2012 elections, while Maine will also vote on an citizens' initiative to establish same-sex marriage.
The Gimme Society: The Entitlement Mugging
Oct. 30….(George Will / JewishWorldReview) The election-eve mood is tinged with sadness stemming from well-founded fear that America’s new government is subverting America’s old character. Barack Obama’s agenda is a menu of temptations intended to change the nation’s social norms by making Americans comfortable with the degradation of democracy. This degradation consists of piling up public debt that binds unconsenting future generations to finance current consumption. So argues Nicholas Eberstadt, an economist and demographer at American Enterprise Institute, in “A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic.” This booklet could be Mitt Romney’s closing argument.
Beginning two decades after the death of Franklin Roosevelt, who would find today’s government unrecognizable, government became a geyser of entitlements. In 2010, government at all levels transferred more than $2.2 trillion in money, goods and services to recipients, $7,200 per individual, almost $29,000 per family of four. Before 1960, only in the Depression years of 1931 and 1935 did federal transfer payments exceed other federal expenditures. During most of FDR’s 12 presidential years, income transfers were a third or less of federal spending. But between 1960 and 2010, entitlements exploded from 28 percent to 66 percent of federal spending. By 2010, more than 34 percent of households were receiving means-tested benefits. Republicans were more than merely complicit, says Eberstadt: “The growth of entitlement spending over the past half-century has been distinctly greater under Republican administrations than Democratic ones. Between 1960 and 2010, the growth of entitlement spending was exponential, but in any given year, it was on the whole over 8 percent higher if the president happened to be a Republican rather than a Democrat. The Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush administrations presided over especially lavish expansions of the entitlement state.”
Why, then, should we expect Romney to reverse Republican complicity? Because by embracing Paul Ryan, Romney embraced Ryan’s emphasis on the entitlement state’s moral as well as financial costs.
As evidence of the moral costs, Eberstadt cites the fact that means-tested entitlement recipience has not merely been destigmatized, it has been celebrated as a basic civil right. Hence the stunning growth of supposed disabilities. The normalization and then celebration of dependency help explain the “unprecedented exit from gainful work by adult men.” Since 1948, male labor force participation has plummeted from 89 percent to 73 percent. Today, 27 percent of adult men do not consider themselves part of the workforce: “A large part of the jobs problem for American men today is not wanting one.” Which is why “labor force participation ratios for men in the prime of life are lower in America than in Europe.”
One reason work now is neither a duty nor a necessity is the gaming, defrauding, really of disability entitlements. In 1960, an average of 455,000 workers were receiving disability payments; in 2011, 8.6 million were, more than four times the number of persons receiving basic welfare benefits under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Nearly half of the 8.6 million were “disabled” because of “mood disorders” or ailments of the “musculoskeletal system and the connective tissue.” It is, says Eberstadt, essentially impossible to disprove a person’s claim to be suffering from sad feelings or back pain. “In 1960,” Eberstadt says, “roughly 134 Americans were engaged in gainful employment for every officially disabled worker; by December 2010 there were just over 16.” This, in spite of the fact that public health had improved much, and automation and the growth of the service/information economy had made work less physically demanding. Eberstadt says collecting disability is an increasingly important American “profession.”
For every 100 industrial workers in December 2010, there were 73 “workers” receiving disability payments. Between January 2010 and December 2011, the US economy created 1.73 million nonfarm jobs, but almost half as many (790,000) workers became disability recipients. This trend is not a Great Recession phenomenon: In the 15 years ending in December 2011, the United States added 8.8 million nonfarm private sector jobs, and 4.1 million workers on disability rolls. The radiating corruption of this entitlement involves the collaboration of doctors and health care professionals who certify dubious disability claims. The judicial system, too, is compromised in the process of setting disability standards that enable all this. America’s ethos once was what Eberstadt calls “optimistic Puritanism,” combining an affinity for personal enterprise with a horror of dependency. Nov. 6 is a late and perhaps last chance to begin stopping the scandal of plundering our descendants’ wealth to finance the demands of today’s entitlement mentality.
Hezbollah Threatens Galilee in Next War
Oct. 29….(WND) Benedetta Berti is a terrorism analyst for the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, and says the next conflict in the region will not be another skirmish. “They been saying that in the next war, the stakes will be much higher,” Berti said. “It will be a decisive war.” That the stakes are high was affirmed by a statement from Hezbollah on an English-language website that in the case of war, the Galilee region of Israel will be targeted.
Hezbollah has its sights on Galilee because military strategists say it is a key location between the Golan Heights to the east and Lebanon to the north and west. Berti adds that the rhetoric has become more intense since the 2006 war. “After 2006 they’ve been talking a lot about the escalation of the next conflict. Nasrallah said to me that in the last war, there were limited rockets in the north. In the next war they’ll be aiming for all of Israel. “He’s giving the idea of rockets in the Golan and trying to create the idea of strategic parity,” Berti said. “Talk of the Galilee in this context, trying to say Hezbollah is much more powerful, and they’re trying to say they can inflict a much greater blow in the next round.”
Middle East Forum Executive Director Daniel Pipes says he believes Hezbollah’s claim is more than an empty threat. “Hezbollah attacked the Galilee in 2006 and did considerable damage. There is every reason to think that its capabilities have increased since then,” Pipes said. But he said he doesn’t know of any grand strategy. “If there is a master plan, I would not know it. But this is definitely not hot air; Hezbollah has tens of thousands of rockets and missiles at its disposal,” Pipes said. The Hezbollah site includes confirmation from Nasrallah of the status. “It is the second time Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah sets Galilee as an inevitable target for the Resistance’s field operations in case ‘Israel’ attacks Lebanon,” the web page statement said.
Later in his statement he said, “According to the scenario of the likely confrontation, whoever takes over Galilee is automatically able to take over South Lebanon and plains surrounding Tabaria (Tiberias) Lake, and vice-versa; liberating any part of Galilee via the Lebanese territories shall petrify ‘Israel’ since most of its settlements are built nearby the Lebanese borders,” the web page said. However, Berti says there’s a possibility that the web post is psychological warfare against Israel. “I think it’s important in this case to separate between psychological warfare, which is something both Israel and Hezbollah have been doing since 2006, and reality,” Berti said. “What I mean by that is that I’m skeptical that Hezbollah can take over the Galilee, given the balance of power and the Israeli’s stronger military. “I think they’re saying that in the context of propaganda and psychological warfare.” She says actual military capability and “psy-ops” have to be considered. “What they can do and have been doing is smaller scale incursions. That’s something that Hezbollah fighters have been training to do since 2006. That’s much more realistic – Hezbollah fighters crossing the border and carrying out a smaller operation,” Berti said.
Berti says another factor that determines Hezbollah’s capacity to carry out the Galilee threat is the Iranian-backed group’s involvement in Syria. However, Berti says that in her analysis, the group doesn’t have the logistical means to capture and occupy a large area of territory like the Galilee. However, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth senior military analyst Ronen Bergman disputes those who doubt Hezbollah’s strength. Bergman writes in an article for Bloomberg News that Hezbollah has more military power than many of the world’s countries. “Ever since it forced the Israelis’ panicky retreat from Lebanon in 2000, Hezbollah has been building up an immense military force, with firepower that 90 percent of the world’s countries don’t possess, according to Meir Dagan, the former director of the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency,” Bergman wrote.
Although Berti says she doesn’t believe Hezbollah has the manpower to capture and occupy territory, Bergman said in his article that Hezbollah may have a much wider objective in their sights. “Hezbollah’s launching of a pilotless spy plane, which was shot down by Israel’s air force in the southern part of the country in early October, has been seen as more evidence that the Lebanese militia is preparing for war,” Bergman wrote. “No doubt it was collecting information in case of another confrontation with Israel, but whether the terrorist group is seeking a full-blown war is a more complicated question that may depend less on what Hezbollah wants than on the heat it is getting from its patrons,” Bergman wrote. Bergman adds that whether they have the force numbers to occupy territory, Hezbollah is nonetheless a well-armed force. “The group’s possession of so sophisticated a craft (which was assembled from Iranian-made parts) is further evidence that Hezbollah is the most advanced and best-equipped militia of its kind the world has ever seen,” Bergman wrote.
Hurricane Sandy Developed on Night of Last US Presidential Debate
(Major storm ironically appears headed directly toward Washington DC,…of all places)
Oct. 29….(World Watch / Bill Koenig) Sandy developed from an elongated tropical wave in the western Caribbean Sea on October 22. It quickly strengthened after becoming a tropical depression and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Sandy six hours later. Sandy moved slowly northward toward the Greater Antilles and gradually strengthened. On October 24, Sandy was upgraded to a hurricane, shortly before making landfall in Jamaica.
Romney stated: Is the Middle East in tumult? Yes. Is al-Qaida on the run, on its heels? No. Are Israel and the Palestinians closer to reaching a peace agreement? No, they haven’t had talks in two years. We have not seen the progress we need to have, and I’m convinced that with strong leadership and an effort to build a strategy based upon helping these nations reject extremism, we can see the kind of peace and prosperity the world demands.
Obama's positions on Israel's land are well documented. US-Israel joint military exercises this week in Israel were small and were motivated to stop Israel from attacking Iran's nuclear development program prior to the US election. The renewing of military aid this week was politically timed.
Hurricane Sandy is expected to come ashore in the Northeast US on the 21st anniversary of the "Perfect Storm." That record setting storm devastated the New England Coast as President George HW Bush hosted the Madrid Conference from October 30 to November 1, 1991.
The Perfect Storm sent 30 foot ocean waves into Bush's Kennebunkport home as he was calling on Israel to give up the West Bank (Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem). The Madrid "land for peace" conference began the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Hurricane Sandy is expected to disrupt the campaign and voting in the 2012 US Presidential Election. Both major political parties have publicly endorsed "two states" on Israel's covenant land.
Saudi King Urges UN Action Against Anti-Islamic Talk
Oct. 29….(AFP) Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz on Saturday demanded a UN resolution condemning insults on monotheistic religions after a low-budget film produced in the US sparked deadly protests last month. "I demand a UN resolution that condemns any country or group that insults religions and prophets," he said during a meeting at his palace with religious figures and heads of hajj delegations in the Mina valley where pilgrims were performing final rituals of hajj. "It is our duty and that of every Muslim to protect Islam and defend the prophets."
The king also called on Saturday for the "unity of the Islamic nation (and) rejecting division to face the nation's enemies" as he urged for dialogue among Muslims. "Dialogue strengthens moderation and ends reasons of conflict and extremism," he said. "The interconfessional dialogue center which we had announced in Mecca does not necessarily mean reaching agreements on the matters of belief, but it aims at reaching solutions to divisions and implementing co-existence among sects," he added. The Saudi monarch proposed in August setting up a center for dialogue between Muslim confessions in Riyadh.
Hezbollah Helping Defend Assad in Syria
Oct. 29….(Arutz) 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. 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.
Hamas Launches Missiles at Israel’s Dimona Nuke Reactor
Oct. 29….(DEBKAfile Exclusive Report) While Iran’s nuclear facilities occupy most of the world’s attention these days, there is also efforts underway to undermine Israel’s nuclear capacity, diplomatically, and now, with missiles. Less than 24 hours after Sudanese President Omar Bashir pledged “decisive steps against Israeli interests which are now legitimate targets,” for the destruction of the Iranian missile plant in Khartoum, Palestinian rocket teams early Sunday, Oct. 28, fired Grad missiles as target finders against Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona. This is reported exclusively by Debkafile. They exploded on open ground in the Ramat Negev district southwest of the town of Dimona. The nuclear plant is only 42.5 kilometers as the crow flies from the southern Gaza Strip. Saturday night, the Israeli Air Force struck a Palestinian rocket team in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younes, killing one Hamas operative and injuring a second critically.
The Palestinian Hamas has evidently launched a new and expanded targeting-policy marking two developments of grave import: One: Its rulers have submitted the Gaza Strip to Tehran for use as its southern operational arm against Israel, complementing Hizballah’s pivotal role to the north of Israel; and two, having acquired improved surface missiles, Hamas is setting its sights firmly on the most sensitive locations within their reach, e.g., Israel’s nuclear reactor and air force bases and the American X-band radar station in the Negev. The Islamist rulers of Gaza are expected to keep on trying to perfect their aim. Israel’s defense ministry and high IDF command sounded at sea Sunday over this dangerous new departure. The IDF spokesperson started out by disclosing that one Grad rocket from Gaza had been aimed at the city of Beersheba, later raising the number to two, both of which exploded outside the city.
But the Grad launched against the nuclear reactor at 07:44 was followed by hours of official silence. Even then, the army spokesperson reported a missile fired against Ramat Hanegev in general terms, without mentioning the reactor’s location in that district at its northernmost point. It was the second time in three weeks that Tehran was seen to be focusing on Israel’s nuclear plant, debkafile’s military sources note. On Oct. 6, an Iranian stealth drone which flew over Israel managed to photograph the reactor building and its air defense system’s radar. The data gathered was given to Hamas to help guide its first rocket attack on Dimona.
Debkafile reported earlier that not two, but four, Grad rockets were fired Sunday morning at Beersheba. They all exploded outside the town and caused no casualties or damage. The mayor decided to keep schools closed for the day since none are fortified against rocket attacks. Beersheba University stayed open for studies. Saturday night, the Palestinians shot a salvo of five Qassam rockets at the Eshkol district. Three exploded over the Gaza Strip; two on the border fence.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 21 THROUGH OCTOBER 27
Obama Endorses Same-Sex Marriage Initiatives
Oct. 27….(Chicago Tribune) President Barack Obama on Thursday endorsed state ballot initiatives to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state, Maryland and Maine as he sought to galvanize gay and lesbian enthusiasm for his re-election bid. Statements issued by the Obama campaign in those three states urging voters to approve the gay-marriage measures on their respective November 6 ballots came five months after Obama became the first US president to express support for the right of same-sex couples to wed. With polls showing Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney running neck and neck, the outcome of the race is likely to hinge largely on the Election Day turnout of their core constituencies, and both candidates are doing the utmost to motivate their supporters.
For Obama, the gay and lesbian community is seen as a loyal and potentially pivotal voting bloc, along with larger demographic groups such as Hispanics and single, young women.
Nearly identical endorsement statements were issued in support of similar initiatives on the November 6 ballot in Maine and Maryland. Six states and the District of Columbia have already extended marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples, all brought about by court rulings and legislative action. Maine, which rejected gay marriage in a 2009 referendum by 53 percent to 47 percent, could become the first state to legalize same-sex marriage solely by popular vote.
In Washington state and Maryland, whose legislatures passed laws expanding marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples earlier this year, citizens will vote on whether to let those statutes stand. Opponents of gay marriage hope Minnesota will become the latest state to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as exclusively a union between a man and a woman, effectively banning same-sex nuptials.
In Washington state, where polls show the "yes" campaign for gay marriage running ahead of the opposition in a tightening race, campaign manager Zach Silk said in a statement that "having the president weight in on approving Referendum 74 puts an extra gust of wind in our sails." A recent Washington Post poll found voters in Maryland likely to approve the state's gay marriage law in the November election.
UN Human Rights Council Declares War on Israel
(UN's war on Israel puts American economy in crosshairs)
Oct. 27….(Washington free Beacon) The Washington Free Beacon has obtained a report soon to be released by the United Nations that calls for an international campaign of legal attacks and economic warfare on a group of American companies that do business in Israel, including Hewlett-Packard, Caterpillar Inc., and Motorola Solutions Inc. The Human Rights Council (HRC), a body dominated by Islamic countries and known for its hostility to, and heavy focus on, the Jewish State, issued the report. The George W. Bush administration refused to participate in the HRC, but President Barack Obama joined it soon after taking office. Members of the HRC include infamous human rights abusers such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Libya, China, and Cuba.
The Obama-approved body maintains a “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories [sic].” The current rapporteur is American college professor Richard Falk, a 9/11 “truther” who once posted an anti-Semitic cartoon on his personal blog.
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman blasted the report and the HRC’s special rapporteur: “We believe you should have prevented the Secretariat from being a party to Mr. Falk’s anti-Israel agenda. Mr. Falk’s entire tenure as Special Rapporteur has served to undermine the credibility of the institution of the United Nations.” The report attempts to instigate a campaign of boycott, divestment, sanctions, and legal action against a litany of international companies doing business in Israel. In addition to American companies, the UN targets include major European firms such as Veolia Environnement, Group 4 Security, the Dexia Group, the Volvo Group. “The costs to companies and businesses of failing to respect international humanitarian law are considerable,” the report warns, “including damage to a company’s public image, impact on shareholder decisions and share price and could result in employees being criminally responsible for rights abuses.” The report warns American employees of targeted companies that they face legal risks. “Employees of companies can face investigation and prosecution for human rights violations committed irrespective of where the violation was committed.”
In addition to legal action against American employees of targeted companies, the Special Rapporteur “concludes that all companies that operate in or otherwise have dealings with Israeli settlements should be boycotted.” The companies should ”be prepared to accept any consequences, reputation, financial, or legal, of continuing operations.”
Israel Concerned About anti-Semitic Talk Out of Egypt
Oct. 27….(Fox News) The new tone coming out of Egypt - punctuated by President Mohammed Morsi mouthing "Amen" to an Imam's call for the destruction of Israel - is rattling residents of the Jewish state, who claim the Obama administration isn't taking the ratcheted-up rhetoric seriously. Lip reading by the Anti Defamation League and the Middle East Media Research Institute confirmed Morsi's approval of a prayer delivered by influential Imam Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour last Friday, in which he stated, “Oh Allah ... grant us victory over the infidels. Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters.” Israelis already nervous by the rise of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood say it is the latest example of a disturbing trend. “There is no question that the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood has prompted open expressions of anti-Semitism in ways that were never publicly expressed during the Mubarak period," Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office told Fox News.com. "The Obama administration is treating this far less seriously than it should be
The rise to power this summer of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood prompted fears that the anti-Israeli, and anti-Semitic party, would be set on a collision course with its near neighbor, jeopardizing the peace treaty which has held firm between the previously warring nations since 1979. But while the rhetoric has been heated, the new Egyptian leader has also proven to be more pragmatic than some expected, thus far placing the national interest ahead of his own and his party’s religious ideology.
The party that propelled Morsi to power, however, has made no secret of its contempt for Judaism and Christianity. When Mohammed Badie in 2010 became leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and consequently President Morsi’s spiritual guide, he stepped up his attacks on Israel even while Hosni Mubarak still held an iron grip on power in Egypt.
Determined to recapture Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa (Golden Dome) Mosque, Badie told his followers, “Every Muslim is obliged to wage Jihad in order to restore it (Jerusalem) to Muslim rule”. Of the Jews he added, “Allah would free the world of their filth and corruption. Jerusalem will be regained only through Jihad, not through negotiations.” Badie’s continued use of inflammatory and racist language against Jews recently prompted the Wiesenthal Center, an internationally renowned human rights organization, to insist that President Obama condemn the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood and, if necessary, cut off ties with the organization, until he withdraws his comments. No clear condemnation of the organization has yet been issued by the Obama administration.
RUSSIAN GENERAL WARNS SYRIAN REBELS ARMED WITH MANPADS
Terror militias reject Eid truce
Oct. 26….(ICEJ News) Russia’s chief of staff Gen. Nikolai Makarov confirmed on Wednesday that his country’s intelligence services believe rebel factions fighting against the regime of Syrian president Bashar Assad have acquired Man Portable Air Defense Missiles manufactured by “several states, including Stingers made in the United States.” He added that “we need to still find out who has delivered them.” Reports of rebel factions possessing anti-aircraft missiles have surfaced before but so far there has been no confirmation that they have been used to shoot down regime aircraft. Meanwhile, there were few signs on the ground in Syria that a truce scheduled to go into effect on Thursday evening would be honored by the various warring factions. “The Syrian government has agreed to a ceasefire” during the Moslem holiday of Eid, UN Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi insisted on Wednesday. “If we succeed with this modest initiative, a longer ceasefire can be built.” “The FSA will stop firing if the regime stops,” military council chief Gen. Mustafa Al Sheikh told AFP by telephone. However, he added: “It is impossible that the regime will implement the truce, even if it says it will.” Other rebel factions, including the Islamist terror militia the Al Nusra Front, have already said they won’t abide by the cease-fire. Meanwhile, opposition groups reported that at least 142 people were killed across Syria on Wednesday, as fierce fighting continues.
Sudan's al-Bashir regime accuses Israel of air strike
Oct. 26….(ICEJ News) The government of Sudan accused Israel of responsibility for an explosion which severely damaged a weapons factory in the capital of Khartoum on Wednesday, vowing retaliation and demanding that the UN Security Council take action. The Sudanese government, which is led by indicted war criminal General Omar al-Bashir, offered little evidence for its accusations beyond its own "analysis" of the debris from the explosion. "There is nothing I can say about this subject," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said told Israel's Channel Two News in response to a question about the accusations. Meanwhile, reports surfaced on Thursday that the destroyed plant was owned by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and used to produce weapons for Hamas and other terrorist groups.
Clinton downplays emails implicating militant group within hours of Libya strike
Oct. 25….(FOX News) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pushed back Wednesday on the suggestion that Sept. 11 emails implicating a militant group in the Libya consulate attack were proof of terrorist involvement, saying their claims of responsibility on Facebook and Twitter were not "evidence." Though social media was vital in driving -- and monitoring -- the so-called Arab Spring that overthrew longtime dictators in Libya and other countries, Clinton dismissed it as an unreliable source after a series of internal emails sent by Clinton's State Department staff surfaced in which officials reported within hours of the attack that militant group Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility in Internet postings. "Posting something on Facebook is not in and of itself evidence," Clinton said. "And I think it just underscores how fluid the reporting was at the time and continued for some time to be." She suggested those producing the emails were "cherrypicking" documentation, as the White House noted the organization reportedly had denied responsibility in other settings. "I think within a few hours that organization itself claimed that it had not been responsible. Neither should be taken as fact," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. But the group is a prime suspect. Indeed, one suspect in custody in Tunisia is a member of Ansar al-Sharia, one lawmaker told Fox News. Three Republican senators, in a letter Wednesday to the White House, said they were "disturbed" by the latest email revelations, claiming it "adds to the confusion" about what the administration knew of the attacks. Though the emails, obtained by Fox News on Tuesday, are just one piece of the puzzle, they reveal some of the most detailed information yet about what officials knew in the initial hours after the attack. And they again raise questions about why U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, apparently based on intelligence assessments, would claim five days after the attack that it was a "spontaneous" reaction to protests over an anti-Islam film. Ansar al-Sharia is a group in eastern Libya that sympathizes with Al Qaeda. A member of the group suspected of participating in the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi has been arrested and is being held in Tunisia. But the newly uncovered emails clearly state the involvement of a militant group whose agenda is to establish an Islamic state in eastern Libya. Despite this, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney backed up Rice on Sept. 18. He said: "Based on information that we -- our initial information ... we saw no evidence to back up claims by others that this was a preplanned or premeditated attack; that we saw evidence that it was sparked by the reaction to this video." Carney went on to say "that is what we know" based on "concrete evidence, not supposition."
ROCKETS POUND SOUTH AFTER BIN THANI VISIT TO GAZA
(Five wounded in Israel as strikes continue)
Oct. 25….(ICEJ News) Qatari emir Hamad bin Thani’s visit to the Gaza Strip on Tuesday was hailed by the leaders of the Islamist terror militia Hamas as a breakthrough in its relations with the world. “Today we declare victory over the blockade through this blessed visit,” Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said. Addressing Palestinians, Haniyeh added: “This is your day of victory. Today, the victory is in the Gaza Strip and tomorrow it will be in liberated Jerusalem.” Bin Thani’s official reason for being in the Strip was to deliver hundreds of millions of dollars worth of aid for construction of housing and other infrastructure, but his hosts wasted no opportunity to make political points. In the hours after bin Thani left through the Rafah border crossing back to Egypt, Gaza based terror groups began an escalated barrage of rockets and mortars into Israel. Over 70 projectiles landed in Israel by Wednesday afternoon. The IDF retaliated by striking at rocket squads and terror infrastructure in the Strip, killing three Hamas operatives and wounding two others. Israeli security officials warned that harsher measures would be taken if the attacks continued. Five people in Israel were wounded by the rocket strikes, including two foreign workers who were in critical condition Wednesday. The Iron Dome air defense system intercepted seven rockets as thousands of Israelis living near the border spent the day in bomb shelters.
Sudan blames Israel for military factory explosion
Oct. 25….(AP) KHARTOUM, Sudan - A powerful explosion at a military factory rocked Sudan's capital before dawn Wednesday, sending detonating ammunition flying through the air and causing panic, the official news agency and local media reports said. Officials said there were no reports of deaths, although some residents had suffered from smoke inhalation. They did not say what caused the blast. Thick black smoke covered the sky covered the sky over the Yarmouk Military Industrial Complex in southern Khartoum. Sudan's media reported that nearby buildings were damaged by the blast, their roofs blown off and their windows shattered. Defense Minister Gen. Abdul Rahim Mohamed Hussein and senior officials visited the site of the explosion and held an emergency meeting with top army generals while security forces sealed off the area surrounding the complex and halted traffic. Khartoum governor Abdul-Rahman Khedr told SUNA agency that no one died in the explosion. He said the fire was under control and an investigation into the cause is under way. In 2009, a convoy carrying weapons in northeastern Sudan was targeted from the air, killing dozens. It was widely believed that Israel carried out the attack on weapons shipment headed for Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. Israel never confirmed or denied that. Sudanese parliamentarians denied that weapons were transported in the area. In 1998, the United States cruise missiles bombed a Khartoum pharmaceutical factory suspected of links to al-Qaida in the aftermath of the terror group's bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. Sudan has been a major hub for al-Qaida militants and a transit for weapon smugglers and African migrant traffickers
Netanyahu warns ‘terrorists will not get away with it’
Oct. 24….(ICEJ News) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters before meeting with Quartet envoy Tony Blair on Monday that the Jewish State will not allow terrorists in the Gaza Strip to fire rockets into Israel “with impunity” even as IDF aircraft hit two terror squads in the Strip as they were making ready to launch mortars over the border. "We will not allow anyone to arm themselves and fire rockets on us, and think they can do this with impunity," Netanyahu said, explaining the IDF's retaliatory policy. "They are not going to get away with it. We attacked them before, we attacked them after and we're going to prevent them from arming themselves. This is our policy…and they know that's what we're doing." Palestinian sources confirmed that two terrorists were killed in the IAF strike on Monday morning and two more were wounded. In addition to the rockets launched into Israel from the Strip in recent days, a car bomb near the border fence on Tuesday morning wounded an IDF officer during a routine patrol. He was evacuated to Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba where he was listed in critical condition. Meanwhile, a trip to the Gaza Strip by an official delegation of the Gulf Emirate of Qatar has been heavily criticized by Israel and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. The delegation, led by Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Thani, was condemned by the PA because it would bolster the standing of the Islamist terror militia Hamas among ordinary Palestinians, as well as in the Arab, Islamic and international arenas. “We can’t welcome the visit of the emir and his wife to the Gaza Strip,” said political analyst Adel Abdel Rahman, who is affiliated with the Fatah faction which dominates the PA. “The visit does not serve the unity of the Palestinian territories, the people and the political system. On the contrary, the visit poses a threat to unity and our political system.” “It is quite strange that the emir of Qatar should choose sides within the Palestinian camp, and choose the wrong side while he is at it,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said. “What this visit means is that he sides with Hamas, and not with the PA, which he never visited.”
Netanyahu to Europe: Jerusalem is Ours!
Oct. 22….(Israel Today) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday rebuffed European criticism over the construction of new housing units in a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem, insisting that the Holy City belongs to the Jews. Last week, Israel's Interior Ministry approved the construction of 800 new apartments in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. Gilo is home to tens of thousands of Israeli Jews, and new construction there is by no means out of the ordinary. But Britain, France and the European Union immediately took advantage of the opportunity to again express their displeasure with Jewish sovereignty over the entirety of Jerusalem, calling those few new apartments an "obstacle to peace."
Netanyahu said the world can call it whatever it wants, but his government will not "impose any restrictions on construction in Jerusalem." The Israeli leader added that Jerusalem "is our capital" and the Jewish nation has a connection to Jerusalem that is as "ancient and powerful" as the connections Europeans have to their respective capitals.
Netanyahu: Israel Unaware of Contacts Between Iran, US
(Netanyahu says Israel has no information on plans for direct nuclear talks, claims Iran invariably uses negotiations to advance its nuclear program and buy time)
Oct. 22….(YNET) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said he was unaware of plans for direct talks between Iran and the United States as reported by the New York Times on Saturday. "We have no information on such contacts and I cannot say they are happening," Netanyahu said. The prime minister further added, "Iran is actively using negotiations to advance its nuclear program and buy time. During this year's talks with the West, Tehran enriched thousands of kilograms of uranium so it's unlikely the case will be any different with the US." etanyahu said that the best way to solve the Iranian nuclear problem peacefully would be to impose even tougher sanctions on Tehran and prepare a credible military option.
According to the New York Times, the US and Iran agreed to one-on-one negotiations following secret exchanges that date back to beginning of President Barack Obama's term. The report found Israeli officials slightly confounded. Senior state officials struggled to provide answers to whether or not the US and Iran have been engaging in secret contacts and whether Israel was aware of this backchannel. Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Sunday that the Iranians refuse to engage in direct negotiations but noted he would welcome any negotiation that would halt Iran's nuclear program. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also addressed the reports and said he "believes the White House's denial" adding there was no reason to doubt it. "I think that the US understands who they're dealing with. They have a decade of experience vis-a-vis Iran on these issues. The Iranian proposals are meant to buy time and to cheat."
Obama-Khamenei Nuke Summit, Before Election?
Oct. 22….(DEBKAfile Exclusive Report) US President Barack Obama has agreed to hold direct talks on Iran’s nuclear program with its leaders, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Is this a surprise? On April 16, 2012, Debkafile disclosed that Washington and Tehran were conducting back-channel talks in Paris and Vienna, Sources close to Obama have now leaked word to the New York Times that the dialogue is to be elevated to direct talks at summit level. This disclosure, despite its subsequent denial by the White House, has three clear objects:
1. To slow down the Republican contender Mitt Romney’s momentum in opinion polls ahead of the Nov. 6 election. Obama’s campaign advisers believe the president’s willingness to engage Iranian leaders directly on their nuclear program, in contrast to Romney’s tougher stance, will appeal to the American voter’s reluctance for US military action.
2. To preempt Romney’s presumed plan to drop the disclosure of the back-channel dialogue as a bombshell in their last debate on foreign policy scheduled for Monday, Oct. 22 in Florida.
3. To reassure Tehran that the Austere Challenge 12 joint US-Israeli war game starting Sunday Oct. 21, albeit in reduced form, will not be the opening shot for an “October surprise” on Iran. This kite was flown by David Rothkopf, who is close to the Democratic leadership, in Foreign Policy on October 9, although it was not picked up by anyone else in Washington or Jerusalem. Under the heading an “October surprise,” he cited a White House faction as recommending to Obama that the US join Israel in launching a surgical operation against Iran’s nuclear facilities before the US election.
President Obama is now signaling Tehran that he has rejected this advice in favor of upgrading his dialogue with Iranian leaders. However, beyond the calculus of campaign strategy, it is important to note that the clandestine dialogue in progress for the best part of a year has produced no breakthrough in the controversy on Iran’s nuclear aspirations. This is mainly because Obama’s emissaries have never stipulated plainly that Tehran must stop uranium enrichment as a quid pro quo for the dialogue to continue. Just the reverse: they let it be known that Washington does not object to Iran’s enrichment program per se so long as it is not used for building a nuclear weapon. The differences between the two sides centered on the American demand for the International Atomic Energy Agency to be allowed 24/7 monitoring access to the enrichment projects to determine that parts of the stock did not suddenly disappear for use in manufacturing a bomb. Tehran has only agreed to inspectors paying visits once a fortnight.
Vice President Joe Biden was outspoken about this during his debate with Paul Ryan on Oct. 11. He actually said that the quantities of enriched uranium accumulated don’t matter, only what Iran does with it. This admission aroused little notice although it implied that the Obama administration is willing to let Iran approach a very risky threshold. It also indicated a very wide gulf still existing between the Obama administration’s indulgent attitude toward a nuclear Iran and Israel’s insistence on red lines for limiting the quantities and grades of enriched uranium Iran is permitted to accumulate.
At the same time, Israel keeps on backtracking on those red lines: When Iran moved its enrichment plant into an immune zone earlier this month, one red line disappeared. And Israel is no longer openly challenging Washington’s assurance that a decision by Khamenei to go forward and start building a weapon would reach US intelligence at the precise moment it is made. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have therefore been forced back step by step and have silently fallen in behind Obama.
For his part, the US president believes a summit with Iran’s rulers will enhance his chances of reelection. But he is leaving Netanyahu to face the Israeli voter in three months with nothing remaining of his pledge to prevent a nuclear Iran, and clutching at the outward concurrence between Israeli and US intelligence appraisals of Iran’s nuclear progress.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 14 THROUGH OCTOBER 20
Bombing in Lebanon Threatens Wider War
Oct. 20….(CNN) A top Lebanese intelligence official known for his anti-Syrian stance was killed Friday in a massive explosion that shattered a normally peaceful neighborhood in Lebanon's capital, Beirut, the country's news media reported. The attack, which killed Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan and at least two others, has heightened fears that Syria's civil war is starting to boil over into neighboring Lebanon.
Saad Hariri, a Lebanese opposition leader and former prime minister, told CNN that he had no doubt who was responsible: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He accused the Syrian leader of "killing his own people" and said "he will not think twice" about killing Lebanese in order to protect himself. "The message from Damascus today is anywhere you are, if you are against the regime from Lebanon, we will come and get you," said Hariri, who blames the 2005 assassination of his father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, on Syria's government. "No matter what you try to do, we will keep on assassinating the Lebanese." Hours after Friday's attack, gunfire erupted in the northern Lebanese city and enraged citizens in Beirut blocked roads and fired guns in protest, Lebanese news reports said.
Al-Hassan, the chief of the Internal Security Forces Information Branch, was a powerful Sunni Muslim figure aligned with a political movement that emerged after Rafik Hariri's assassination and opposes Syria's government under al-Assad. He was also leading an investigation into a Lebanese politician accused of working with two Syrian officials to plan attacks inside Lebanon. A Lebanese political source who did not want to be named told CNN it was 99% confirmed that al-Hassan was dead. "There is an unrecognizable body found, and they have found his personal belongings at the scene," the source said.
Al-Hassan's killing brought a sense of deja vu to Lebanese, recalling the 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri, which triggered the end of Syria's occupation of Lebanon, and the turmoil that followed.
During Friday afternoon rush hour, a car bomb exploded in East Beirut's Ashrafiyeh district, rocking the heart of the predominantly Christian area, a populous stretch replete with shops, churches and office buildings. With a significant presence of security forces, the neighborhood is "among the safest" in the city, said Aram Nerguizian, who teaches around the block from the attack site. The massive blast created a crater of rubble near Sassine Square, tearing off the balconies of nearby apartments. Panicked and tearful residents poured out of apartments at the site, some carrying victims to ambulances. The impact left rows of mangled cars and charred buildings, and shook the windows in CNN's offices, about a 10-minute drive from the scene. At least one car was engulfed in flames, blackened wreckage littered the street, and windows were blown out. The exact casualty count was unclear: Lebanon's National News Agency said eight people died and more than 90 were injured, but it later amended the figure to at least three deaths and 110 injuries.
Lebanese politician Michel Samaha, who was at the center of one of al-Hassan's investigations, has been accused by a military court of trying to form an armed group to spread sectarian violence in Lebanon by plotting political and religious assassinations. Two Syrian security officers also have been charged. A controversial figure with close ties to Damascus, Samaha is currently in jail, awaiting trial. "Unfortunately, today, al-Hassan paid the price for his success," Saad Hariri said. Human rights groups, foreign governments and world leaders condemned the blast, demanded justice and called for calm. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, for instance, urged "all Lebanese parties not to be provoked by this heinous terrorist act and to maintain their commitment to national unity."
The Shiite militant and political movement Hezbollah, which has a prominent role in Lebanon's government and the US government labels a terrorist organization, also criticized the blast, which it described as a"sinful attempt to target the stability and national unity." And Syria called the attack a cowardly, "unjustifiable" terrorist act. Yet some, including Hariri and Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, weren't convinced, believing Damascus is responsible either directly or indirectly for the bombing.
Many Lebanese believe al-Assad wants to promote instability in Lebanon and elsewhere to turn attention away from the 19-month long civil war in his country. Lebanon is still recovering from its own 15-year civil war that ended in 1990. Since then, the Middle Eastern nation has been plagued by assassinations and sectarian tension among Sunnis, Shiites, Christians and others. Prior to Friday's blast, there had been fighting in Syria near the Lebanese border. Clashes in Tripoli, Lebanon, between supporters and opponents of Syria's government also erupted. Yet Nerguizian, a scholar with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, calls those clashes relatively insignificant for Lebanon compared to Thursday's bombing. "An event like this can increase the risks of Sunni-Shiite conflict in urban centers like Beirut," he said. "It could be a harbinger for more instability."
FOJ Note: The war in neighboring Syria has pitted mostly Sunni insurgents against President Bashar Assad, who is from the Awalite sect linked to Shiite Islam. The bombing attack took place about 200 meters from the local Lebanese Phalanges Party headquarters. The party is widely known to oppose Hezbollah and the Assad regime.
Obama Finally Admits to Israel: Iran is Building 4-6 Bombs
Oct. 20….(DEBKAfile Exclusive Report) President Barack Obama this week clued Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in on the latest US intelligence input confirming that Iran will have enough enriched uranium for 4-6 bombs by March 20133, Debkafile reports from its Washington and intelligence sources. His update, which took place in the framework of quiet US-Israeli intelligence-sharing on the state of Iran’s nuclear program, was Obama’s first acknowledgment that sanctions and diplomatic pressure are not having any effect on that program.
It is now clear to his administration that Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will press on toward a nuclear weapon capacity at any price, even if faced with a military threat. No pause is to be expected in Iran’s drive to accumulate enough enriched uranium to fuel a nuclear bomb arsenal, while advancing at the same time along a second track toward a plutonium bomb. This updated US intelligence included three more data:
1. Most of the enriched uranium for the 4-6 nuclear bombs is scattered in 20-percent grade form among different caches. When vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan revealed Iran’s possession of enough fissile material for five nuclear bombs during his debate with VP Joe Biden on Oct. 10, Biden waved the revelation away with contempt. It is now confirmed by his boss, the president.
2. After completing the transfer of advanced centrifuges to the fortified underground site at Fordo, Iran is now ready to expand uranium enrichment at Natanz by doubling the number of centrifuges working there to 6,000. The new annex to house them, on which building began in March 2011, is almost finished.
3. The technological infrastructure for the rapid conversion of 20-percent enriched uranium to the 90-percent weapons grade is now in place. It is estimated in Washington that no more than two to three weeks will elapse between a Khamenei order for the conversion to begin, to the production of enough weapons-grade material for Iran to build its first nuclear bombs. The US intelligence experts keeping track of Iran’s program are sure they will know when that order is given.
Notwithstanding all the facts and figures from his own intelligence experts on the imminence of a nuclear Iran, President Obama is still leaning hard on Netanyahu to hold off a preemptive strike until after the Nov. 6 presidential election. He promises that, shortly after the vote, if he is reelected, he will put before Tehran the endgame document prepared by a White House team in the form of an ultimatum with a deadline for response. But Obama is still not saying how he will respond to an Iranian rejection of the document’s main points, or whether he will again agree to return to the negotiating table while Iran is allowed to forge ahead on its bomb program. This had been the standard diplomatic format under his watch.
Debkafile’s Washington sources disclose that a large group of former high-placed US diplomats, ex-officials and elder statesmen, Democrats and Republicans alike has come forward to warn the Israeli prime minister to give up any expectation, ever, of Barack Obama’s cooperation on the Iranian nuclear issue. These former top Washingtonians all harbor strong reservations about the president’s foreign policy, especially on Iran. Some have called Netanyahu in person and warned him that the White House instituted an intelligence-sharing dialogue with Israel only as a device for delaying an Israeli attack on Iran. If reelected, they say, he will weasel out of his repeated pledges to prevent Iran attaining a nuclear weapon and certainly not countenance preventive military action by Israel. This is no secret to Tehran. Counting on Obama maintaining this posture and Israel’s compliance, the Iranians are certain they can go full speed ahead toward their nuclear goal without fear of interference.
Our sources also disclose that three questions on Iran will be put to the president and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney in their third and last debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, Monday, Oct. 22.
Ann Romney Would be 1st Pro-Life First Lady (ever) Since 1973
Oct. 20….(WND) Ann Romney interviewed with the liberal women of The View on Thursday but didn’t back down in proclaiming her pro-life position. If her husband Mitt Romney wins the presidential election, she would become the first pro-life First Lady since Roe v. Wade. Although Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush were pro-life and crafted extensive pro-life records, their wives did not share their pro-life positions. Ann Romney did not demure on abortion and proudly said she has also converted to the pro-life position. “The good news is, I’m not running for office and I don’t have to say what I feel. But I am pro life. I’m happy to say that,” the candidate’s wife said.
Mrs. Romney went through the explanation of how Mitt Romney, when confronted with legislation that would allow human embryos to be destroyed in a person’s earliest days of life, that Mitt had a genuine change of heart. “He could not have, on his conscience, creating human life for experimentation,” Romney said. “That’s when he came out saying he was pro life. I think we all have to understand this is an issue that is so tender and there are people on both sides of the issue, with very good conscience, coming with a different opinion.” Mrs. Romney also would not give pro-abortion activist Joy Behar the pleasure of making Mitt Romney out to be a candidate who doesn’t care about women’s issues. “You know, again, I would love it if you’d get my husband on the couch, Joy, and you could go down with that all you want,” she said.
In August, Romney shared a personal moment in talking about the multiple miscarriages she suffered and how they affected her life and the life of her family. Mrs. Romney had the miscarriages in her 40s and the couple’s youngest son was reportedly devastated by the news, reportedly collapsing in tears in front of his mother as she informed him of the loss of one of her babies before birth. Mitt Romney himself had not heard the story of his son’s reaction until Ann Romney shared it with CBS. Ann Romney talked about how their son Craig, the youngest of the five boys the Romneys have, really wanted a little brother or sister and was “thrilled: when she a announced she was pregnant. She was four and a half months pregnant at the time it happened. “You know, I [had] sort of told him, ‘I’m sorry, but that, you know, there’s no more children in our future.’ So, he was thrilled to death” when he was told about her pregnancy, said Ann Romney. “I knew I was losing the baby. It was about three or four in the morning and I decided that I wasn’t going to wake Mitt up,” Mrs. Romney says in the upcoming interview. “I waited until it was about six in the morning and I said, ‘Mitt, you gotta take me to the hospital right now.’” “I was home by the time he got home from school in the afternoon and he walked in the door and he was about ten or 11 years old and he fell on the floor and he just burst into tears,” she added. “And the poor little kid had been at school all day long holding this sorrow inside of him and having no one to speak to, no one to comfort him, no one to explain what is going on.” “I said, ‘You know, Craig, you know, you’re probably not going to have another little brother or little sister in your life, but you’ll have children of your own someday. And, you know, this little hole will be filled by that,’” said Ann Romney in the CBS interview. “And the interesting thing: He married a woman who had younger, much younger brothers. And when I saw Craig playing with those younger brothers, I thought to myself, ‘Isn’t life interesting. He got those little brothers. He had to just wait a while
According to CBS, Mitt Romney said he “hadn’t heard the story of Craig coming home from school that day and being so devastated.” “I’m not surprised. He’s a very tender heart and a wonderful father today himself,” he added.
Romney’s health has come up before in the campaign as voters get to know her as well as her husband. Romney has battled with multiple sclerosis since 1998 and fought an early-stage breast cancer diagnosis in 2008. In 2007, Ann Romney said she no longer supports abortion and said she joins her husband, Republican presidential candidate Mitt, in taking a pro-life viewpoint. Ann Romney told Fox News that what is important now is that both she and her husband are pro-life and actively promoting the pro-life perspective. She also said that she became pro-life at the same time as Mitt after evaluating the issue of embryonic stem cell research.
Obama Pulling An October Surprise, With Help From Iran?
Oct. 20….(WND) Iranian and US negotiators have reached an agreement that calls for Iran to halt part of its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of many of the US sanctions against the Islamic regime, according to a highly placed source. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, expects a letter from President Obama in a few days guaranteeing the details of the agreement, arrived at recently during secret negotiations in Doha, Qatar.
The source, who remains anonymous for security reasons and is highly placed in Iran’s regime, said that once Khamenei receives Obama’s guarantees, he will authorize an announcement by Iran on a solution to the nuclear crisis before the US presidential elections. The agreement calls for Iran to announce a temporary halt to partial uranium enrichment after which the US will remove many of its sanctions, including those on the Iranian central bank, no later than by the Iranian New Year in March. Iran is in the throes of massive inflation and citizen unrest because of the sanctions.
French intelligence verified today that Yukiya Amano, the current director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has been given the go-ahead by the US to be ready to travel to Iran and announce the agreement, according to Hamid Reza Zakeri, a former intelligence officer in the regime who has defected to Europe. The source in Tehran said Khamenei has made it clear that unless he receives Obama’s written guarantees, he will not begin the process, which would dramatically boost Obama’s re-election chances. The guarantees would ensure the regime’s right to peaceful enrichment, quickly remove many of the sanctions, accept that Iran’s nuclear program does not have a military dimension and relieve international pressure on the regime while it continues its nuclear program. Also, the US would announce that the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists was the work of a foreign country, though Israel would not be named, to increase legal pressure on Israel. According to the Iranian source, a previous Obama letter to Khamenei indicated that it’s best for the regime not to give any motive to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.
In the Obama-Khomeini agreement, according to the source, the US delegation urged an announcement, even if only on a temporary nuclear deal, before the US elections to help Obama get re-elected. A Romney presidency, the delegation said, would surely move more toward Israel, and the Iranians were reminded that Obama has stood up to Israel against any plans to attack Iran. The regime’s delegate was urged to understand that if Iran does not stand by Obama, Israel will attack Iran.
Muslim Uprisings Opens Flood Gates for Al Qaeda
Oct. 19….(Washington Times) The recent wave of anti-West demonstrations across the Muslim world and the attack that killed four Americans in Libya have triggered mounting concern among analysts and US officials that al Qaeda is exploiting the chaos that has followed the Arab Spring’s overthrow of secular dictatorships aligned with the United States. Al Qaeda’s affiliate in North Africa has been linked to the Sept. 11 military-style assault on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Circumstantial evidence now is emerging that supporters of the terrorist network were involved in fomenting deadly protests against America last month in Egypt, Yemen and Tunisia. The demonstrations, in which violent but unarmed mobs stormed the US and other Western embassies, generally were reported to be spontaneous expressions of outrage over an Internet video that denigrates Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. “Al Qaeda has tried to exploit the ‘Arab Awakening’ in North Africa for its own purposes during the past year,” states a report from the Library of Congress about the group’s strategy in Libya.
The report’s authors say al Qaeda’s senior leadership is taking advantage of the way the rebellions have “disrupted existing counterterrorism capabilities.” In addition, Thomas Joscelyn, a terrorism analyst at the hawkish Foundation for the Defense of Democracy, said that “there are not too many dots to join” to link high-profile al Qaeda supporters to the demonstrations in the Arab world:
• In Cairo on Sept. 11, protesters breached the US Embassy’s walls, burned the American flag and raised an Islamic battle standard used by al Qaeda. The call to protest the Internet video came from al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri’s younger brother Mohammed, among others. Demonstrators chanted, “Obama, Obama, we are all Osama,” indicating their allegiance to slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
• In the Yemeni capital of Sanaa two days later, protests at the US Embassy were sparked by a call from Abdul Majid al-Zindani, a Muslim cleric who was named as a “specially designated global terrorist” by the Treasury Department in 2004 because of his links to bin Laden. Five demonstrators were killed, as the mob clashed with Yemeni security forces protecting the embassy.
• In Tunisia, where at least four died in similar clashes, the demonstration was organized by Seifallah ben Hassine, otherwise known as Abu Iyad al Tunisi. Hassine leads a group called Ansar al Shariah-Tunisia. Analysts say that al Qaeda-inspired jihadists in Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere have adopted the name Ansar al-Shariah for their cause.
Sinai Becoming an Al Qaeda Stronghold
Oct. 19….(USA Today) The Sinai Peninsula has become a base for arms smugglers and a way station for jihadists from Egypt and the Middle East looking to launch attacks on Israel, security experts say. The Bedouins who live here say the problem persists and apart from a few ineffective raids, the elected government of Egypt, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, is doing little to stop it. Fought over in three wars between Israel and Egypt, Sinai was made a demilitarized zone following a peace agreement between the two nations and the Bedouin tribes that have resided here for centuries have seen little government presence since. Militancy is not new to the area.
In October 2004, bomb attacks targeting tourist hotels killed 34 people in Taba.
In July 2005, the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh was attacked with bombs at a market and hotel, killing 88 people.
In April 2006, a series of three bombs exploded in tourist areas of the resort city of Dahab. At least 23 people were killed.
In recent months, militants have launched bold attacks on Egyptian installations and security in what appears in some cases to be an attempt to open a new jihadist front against Israel from Egypt, experts say. Since early last year, militants have sabotaged the Arab Gas Pipeline at least 12 times, forcing its closure for sometimes days or months. The pipeline delivers natural gas to Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Israel. Though the peace deal 37 years ago between Israel and Egypt bars large numbers of troops in the Sinai, Israel has given its assent to Operation Eagle, a military campaign launched in August to restore security.
Bedouin businessman Nassir Abou Akar says as many as 1,000 jihadists are operating in the peninsula. "They're all over Sinai, from east to west," he said. Palestinians lead some of the groups, and recruits appear to include Egyptians from outside Sinai, Bedouin, and Arabs from around the region, experts said. The Egyptian government has long neglected Sinai's more than 300,000 indigenous Bedouin who have been marginalized by the state and believe they are treated as second-class citizens. With few economic opportunities, many have turned to illegal arms trading or smuggling. Locals say every Bedouin home is armed.
Attacks on Egyptian outposts elicited little response until Aug. 5, when militants attacked the border post during Ramadan. They killed 16 guards and seized two armored vehicles that they tried to rush through the Israeli border. One vehicle blew up, the other was stopped by Israeli gunfire and six attackers killed. No group took responsibility for the attack, but Egypt's MENA news agency said that the attackers were jihadists who had "infiltrated from Gaza through tunnels."
Then an organization called Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for a Sept. 21 cross-border attack that killed an Israeli soldier. The group said it was behind an attack on the Arab Gas Pipeline, and the firing of rockets into Israel's southern city of Eilat in August. "This group is trying to serve as an umbrella for different Salafi-jihadi factions, which already operate in Sinai under different names," Yaari said, adding that Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis is the most significant group of its kind in the peninsula. Yaari says there are newly established links between some Salafi jihadists in Sinai and al-Qaeda in Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula, considered by the Pentagon to be perhaps the most dangerous al-Qaeda branch. Ansar al-Jihad and Mujahedeen Shura Council in Sinai claim affiliation with al-Qaeda. Leaflets circulated last year stated a new al-Qaeda chapter opened in the peninsula. In 2011, al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahri praised attacks. One reason for the growth in militancy and Egypt's failure to arrest it is that jihadist groups are sheltered by some in the Bedouin population who are heavily armed with weapons from Sudan and Libya, said Shlomo Brom of the Institute for National Security Studies, a think tank in Tel Aviv.
Russian S-400s Relocated Near Turkey. Hizballah Fires Rockets into Syria
Oct. 18….(DEBKAfile Exclusive Report) Hizballah has begun depleting line of rockets and fighting units it has facing Israel from the Litani River of South Lebanon and moving them to the Syrian front line at Homs to strengthen Assad’s forces, Debkafile's military sources reveal. Hizballah’s forward line against Israel is still in place among the southernmost Shiite villages, but a part of their artillery back-up is gone and, for the first time, Hizballah’s ground-to-ground rockets are moving in an eastward direction into Syria. This is a striking reversal of the usual direction taken by Hizballah hardware which, for years, headed from east to west to reach Lebanon from Iran and Syria. This step attests to the scope, fury and determination of the Syrian army’s current land and air offensive against the rebels. It also means that Hizballah has no fear of Israeli retaliation for the infiltration of an Iranian stealth drone from Lebanon into its air space on Saturday, Oct. 6, even after HIzballah leader Hassan Nasrallah promised more unmanned interlopers would intrude on Israel’s skies.
Tuesday, Oct. 16, America’s UN Ambassador Susan Rice told a Security Council meeting on the Middle East that Nasrallah’s fighters were now part of “Assad’s killing machine.” Hizballah’s leaders, she said, continue to plot with Iran new measures “for propping up a murderous and desperate dictator.”
The Assad regime has found support in another, more powerful quarter: Moscow has announced the deployment starting Wednesday, Oct. 17, of advanced S-400 interceptor missile batteries in Russia's southern military region opposite Turkey. Russian military spokesman Col. Igor Gorbul described those missiles as “targeting Turkey” against its involvement in NATO’s missile shield program. He emphasized that the S-400s are capable of destroying all types of airplanes, as well as ultra-stratospheric and ballistic missiles.
Debkafile's military sources say that, beside the issue of the NATO missile defense system to which Russia is firmly opposed, Moscow is relaying a double warning to Turkey on two additional scores: One, that any more interceptions of Syria-bound aircraft coming from Russia after the incident of Oct. 10 would bring forth a Russian military response; and two, that Moscow will not tolerate aerial intrusion in the Syrian conflict by Turkey or any other NATO member. This warning was directed specifically against the imposition of a no-fly zone over Syria, which Turkey is in the process of enforcing. Col. Gorbul said the Russian army would finish relocating the S-400 interceptors in their new positions by the end of the year.
Netanyahu Warns of Syria Transferring WMD’s to Terrorists
(PM tells EU ambassadors that Israel would weigh military action to prevent chemical weapons from falling into terrorist hands; voices opposition to Egypt tinkering with peace treaty)
Oct. 17….(Jerusalem Post) Israel will weigh military action if it suspects Syria's chemical weapons might fall into the hands of terrorist organizations, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday. "We will do everything that is needed" to ensure Syria's WMD stockpiles are not transferred, Netanyahu said at a meeting with EU ambassadors stationed in Israel. Netanyahu told the European envoys that fighters from Hezbollah were taking an active role in the slaughter taking place in Syria, and that Syrian President Bashar Assad would not have survived this long without Iran's intervention. The EU has been steadfast in its refusal to place Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations.
Turning to Egypt, Netanyahu made clear that he was opposed to any efforts by the new Egyptian government to make changes in the 1979 peace treaty with Israel. Changes in the treaty, he said, were liable to endanger the whole peace agreement and harm the ability of to reach other accords since Israel's trust in the honoring of the treaties will have been eroded. Netanyahu also said that Jerusalem expected Egypt to prevent Sinai being used as a launching pad for terrorist attacks, saying that it was also in the world's interest that international terrorists not get a base in Sinai.
Moving from country to country, Netanyahu spoke briefly to the ambassadors about Turkey, and said that he would welcome assistance "from everyone of you" in rebuilding Israeli-Turkish ties, something "in the interest of both sides."
As to the Palestinians, Netanyahu said the Palestinian Authority "wasted" four years by refusing to negotiate with Israel until its conditions were met, something he said he was unwilling to do. The PA's plans to seek the status in the UN General Assembly as a "non-member observer state" will make it more difficult to find a solution and will just waste more time, he said. "Don't lend your hands to this process," he urged
Netanyahu said the Palestinians needed to take economic steps to improve their financial situation, and stop "blaming us for everything happening there." He warned that a boycott of products from Judea and Samaria would only worsen the Palestinian economic situation and lead to the firing of some 25,000 Palestinians employed in West Bank factories.
In a related development, Israel's ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor called upon the Security Council and responsible members of the international community to "stop the provocation" of a vessel that set sail from Sweden that is currently on its way to Gaza to challenge Israel's naval blockade. Prosor, in a letter sent to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the president of the Security Council, said the ship was expected to arrive in the vicinity of Gaza with a week. He wrote that this "could affect the stability of our region" by raising tensions and sparking "a serious escalation of conflict." "Israel’s naval blockade is a necessary and legitimate security measure. Its only purpose is to stem the flood of arms into Gaza, where terrorists continue to fire rockets into Israeli communities day and night," Prosor wrote. "There is no need for this flotilla. There is not a single civilian good that cannot enter Gaza." Prosor wrote that the "rap sheets" of the passengers make clear "they are driven by radical and extremist agendas." For instance, he said, "Johan Galtung, the leader of this provocation was recently suspended from the Swiss World Peace Academy for making a series of public anti-Semitic rants." Dubbing the group "weekend revolutionaries," Prosor wrote that "instead of delivering much-needed goods to address the humanitarian crisis in Syria, the broken moral compass of these self-proclaimed human rights activists has steered them to Gaza. Even without access to today’s GPS systems, the medieval Vikings had a far better sense of direction."
Israel Concerned Syria’s Chemical Weapons Could Fall into Terrorists Hands
Oct. 17….(Times of Israel) Israel would consider a military option against Syria to ensure that the country’s chemical weapons do not reach the hands of extremists, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday. “Israel will do everything it takes to ensure Syria’s chemical weapons do not fall into the hands of terrorist organizations, and if such a situation arises, then Israel will weigh a military option,” Netanyahu told a group of European ambassadors in Jerusalem. The prime minister also noted that Iran and Hezbollah have assisted Syrian President Bashar Assad in his 19-month crackdown against opposition groups. The growing fear is that extremist fighters and other groups may get their hands on Syria’s vast chemical and biological weapons stockpiles if Assad falls. The threat of the weaponry falling into rebel hands has grown as the uprising has intensified in recent months, particularly after four members of Assad’s inner circle were killed in a Damascus suicide bombing in July. The US also reportedly recently sent a secret military task force to Jordan to prepare for possible scenarios in which the stockpiles get loose.
Sec. Rice: US Does not Accept Legitimacy of Israeli Settlements
(Ambassador Susan Rice tells UN council US opposes outposts, says Israel must step up efforts to deter violence, hate crimes)
(FOJ Note: Ambassador Rice is the same diplomat who cannot recognize a terrorist attack from a movie critique)
Oct. 17….(Israel Today) The Obama Administration on Tuesday reiterated its position that Jews must not be allowed to build and live on their ancient biblical heartland for the sake of peace in the region. Speaking before the UN Security Council, US Ambassador Susan Rice stated that the White House "does not accept the legitimacy of Israeli settlement activity [sic], and will continue to oppose any efforts to legalize Jewish outposts." Though technically the territories of Judea and Samaria are disputed, the US and other Western powers set no such limits on the Arab population's rampant construction. Rice went on to suggest that the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, which the world calls "the West Bank," is a detriment to the international community's plan to solve the conflict by birthing a Palestinian Arab state.
Some Israelis are concerned that an Obama win in the upcoming US presidential election will result in significantly increased pressure on Israel to meet Arab demands. Many of the same Israelis have been urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to quickly adopt a legal study that he commissioned that justifies the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria. "After years in which, unfortunately, a question mark hovered over the question of the right of the state of Israel to settle in Judea and Samaria, a panel of senior jurists...determined that Israelis have a legal right to settle [there]," Erdan was quoted as saying by Israel National News. "Let us not leave this report in the desk drawer." Erdan was referring to the Levy Committee that Netanyahu himself established to look into the legality of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria under international law. The committee was comprised of three senior Israeli jurists, including an international law expert who was party to the formulation of the "Oslo Accords." The committee made public its findings early in July, noting that the standard accusation that Israel is militarily occupying Judea and Samaria is inaccurate under international law. "Our basic conclusion is that from the point of view of international law, the classical laws of 'occupation' as set out in the relevant international conventions cannot be considered applicable to the unique and sui generis historic and legal circumstances of Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria, over the course of decades," the judges wrote. In other words, the Geneva Conventions define "military occupation" as the seizing of another nation's land, and the fact is that no nation legally controlled Judea and Samaria following the fall of the Ottoman Empire, which itself had ruled the area for over five centuries.
Additionally, the Jews cannot be considered an outside force in Judea and Samaria, but rather the historic founders of the territory as a unified nation-state. Jewish archeological finds dating back millennia abound in the "West Bank." The committee based its findings on "international, Jordanian, Israeli and even Ottoman laws," all of which led to one inescapable truth: "Israelis have the legal right to settle in Judea and Samaria and the establishment of settlements cannot, in and of itself, be considered to be illegal."
An electromagnetic pulse attack — the ‘other’ Iranian nuclear threat
Some experts say Tehran may be preparing for an EMP strike — which could ‘fry’ electrical grids, with devastating consequences
Oct. 16….(Times of Israel) Just what might happen if the Iranians got their hands on a nuclear weapon? Would they fire it at an Israeli city, causing tens or hundreds of thousands of casualties? Or would they use it as a geopolitical weapon, seeking to dominate the Middle East and forcing the hand of Western powers, either subtly or by overtly threatening death and destruction to those who fail to heed their dictates? While political scientists and world leaders have debated the likelihood of those two possibilities, there is a third plausible scenario: The use of a nuclear weapon by Iran to carry out an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack against Israel, the US, or Europe. Such an attack could cause severe damage to the electrical grid in the targeted nations, to the extent that the routines of daily life, centered around the use of electrical power, could be halted, for a short or even long period of time.
An EMP is an above-atmosphere level detonation of a nuclear device that produces enough radiation to wreak havoc with electrical systems. The blast produces a very brief but intense electromagnetic field that can quickly induce very high currents in electrical devices, shorting them out. The stronger the electromagnetic field, the “pulse,” the stronger the current, and the more likely electrical devices are to “blow out.” It’s akin to a power surge that shorts out your refrigerator or TV when too much voltage surges through the electrical outlet on a whole other scale. While there is much speculation as to what exactly an EMP would do to electrical appliances and digital devices, scientists have differences of opinion over how badly they would be affected (the world hasn’t really experienced a direct EMP blast yet, so much of the speculation is based on educated guesses) the far-greater concern is what an attack would do to the electrical infrastructure in a targeted area. If an EMP strike is large enough, or there are enough such strikes, the blasts could knock out power plants, electrical substations, and other sensitive equipment, causing a massive power failure that may take weeks or months to overcome. Data centers housing servers would likely be badly damaged as well, as would be communications systems.
The EMP issue is hardly being discussed in Israel, said Dr. Emily Landau, director of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies and a lecturer at Tel Aviv University. “There isn’t much discussion of it right now, but when the discussion does begin, there is no doubt that it will focus on the balance between how much it will cost to deal with, versus how likely such an attack may be,” she said. Landau, an expert on Iran’s nuclear program, believes that Iran could very well be planning an EMP attack on Israel, based on statements the Iranian regime has made, and actions it has taken. And, she said, Iran would be capable of delivering an EMP attack if it acquired a nuclear weapon.
“Some are skeptical that Iran would use a nuclear bomb just for an EMP attack,” said Landau. “If they already have a nuclear weapon, why not use it for the main purpose for which it was designed? But while a nuclear bomb targeting an Israeli city would cause mass destruction on a local or regional basis, an EMP attack could cause even more lasting damage, destroying Israel’s electrical grid.” If Iran did opt for an EMP attack, the damage to Israel would be very high, she said. “Iran doesn’t have a nuclear bomb yet, and hopefully they won’t have one, but if they do manage to build a bomb, an EMP attack is a real possibility,” Landau added. “Many people in the US are concerned about EMP now, and although the public discussion hasn’t begun in Israel yet, I expect that it will in the near future.”
The US Congress in 2000 established the Congressional Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack. In 2004, the committee produced a 70-page executive summary on the EMP threat, and it issued a final report on the matter in 2008. According to the report, “several potential adversaries have or can acquire the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication.” The impact would be devastating, the report said. “EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences. EMP will cover the wide geographic region within line of sight to the nuclear weapon. It has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of US society, as well as to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power,” it said.
Iran’s arsenal of atomic bombs would be no match for the US, which could obliterate any memory of Islamist Iran in a matter of minutes. But, Pry told The Times of Israel, he believes that Iran could get the most leverage out of a nuclear bomb by using it to trash large parts of the electrical grid in the US, making it easy for the Islamist regime to swoop in and act as it wishes on the world stage, even launching an invasion of Israel.
Israel Says Iran Seeks to Make Lebanon 'Outpost for Terror'
Oct. 16….(Newsmax) Iran is providing Hezbollah militants with financing, training and sophisticated weaponry in an attempt to transform Lebanon into an "outpost for terror," Israel's UN ambassador said on Monday. Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah claimed responsibility last week for the launch of an unmanned drone which Israel shot down earlier this month after it flew 25 miles (55 km) into the Jewish state, saying the aircraft's parts were manufactured in Iran and assembled in Lebanon. "Iran has provided Hezbollah with the funds, training and advanced weapons to hijack the Lebanese state and transform it into an outpost for terror," Ambassador Ron Prosor told a UN Security Council debate on the situation in the Middle East. "One does not need any further evidence that Hezbollah is a direct proxy of the Iranian regime," he told the 15-nation council. "Hezbollah's continued provocations could have devastating consequences for the region."
Tensions have increased in the Middle East with Israel threatening to bomb the nuclear sites of Hezbollah's patron Iran if diplomacy and sanctions fail to stop Iranian nuclear activity the West says is meant to develop a weapons capability. Tehran says it is seeking only civilian nuclear energy. Iran has threatened in turn to strike at US military bases in the Middle East and retaliate against Israel if attacked. Indirectly taking a swipe at the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, Hezbollah's traditional stronghold, Prosor said the group has amassed significant military capabilities in recent years. "I know that there is no shortage of those willing to express their 'commitment to Israel's security' in these halls," Prosor said. "Yet displays of commitment to Israel's security have been difficult to find over the past six years as Hezbollah has turned southern Lebanon into one giant storage facility for 50,000 missiles."
Hezbollah, a powerful Shi'ite Muslim militant and political group backed by Syria and Iran, was established with the help of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps after Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Hezbollah last fought Israel in 2006 during a 34-day war in which 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers, were killed.
Jews Make up Less Than 0.2% of Mankind
(Study reveals global Jewish population reached 13.75 million in past year; about 43% of world’s Jewish community lives in Israel)
Oct. 16….(YNET) The global Jewish population reached 13.75 million in the past year, with an increase of 88,000 people, a study by Hebrew University Professor Sergio DellaPergola reveals. According to the study, one out of every 514 people in the world is Jewish, less than 0.2% of mankind. About 43% of the world’s Jewish community lives in Israel, making Israel the country with the largest Jewish population.
The Central Bureau of Statistics reported on the eve of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year 5773, that the total population of Israel in 2012 grew to nearly 8 million. About 73% of the population is native born. The Israeli Jewish population stands at 5,978,600, up 1.8%; the Arab population numbers at 1,636,600, up 2.4%; and the rest of the population including Christians and non-Jews reached 318,000 people, up 1.3%. Israel’s Jewish population makes up 75% of the state’s total people. In all, the Jewish state’s population increased by 96,300 people in 2012, a growth rate that did not diverge from the average rate in the past eight years.
Part of Israel’s population increase comes in part of the new immigrants that have arrived to the country. In 2011, Israel welcomed 16,892 new immigrants as citizens, with the largest populations coming from Russia (3,678), followed by Ethiopia (2,666), United States (2,363), Ukraine (2,051) and France (1,775).
Israel’s population is relatively young compared to populations in other western countries, with 28% of the population aged 0-14. Israel’s life expectancy is one of the highest of the international Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) 34 member states, with Jewish males’ life expectancy 4.2 years higher than their Arab counterparts.
The Central Bureau of Statistics also found that 40% of Israel’s population lives in the center of the country, with Tel Aviv as Israel’s densest region, while 17 % lives in the north, 14% in the south, 12% in Jerusalem and Haifa, and 4% in Judea and Samaria. Over 47,885 couples married in Israel in the past year, of which 75% were Jewish and 21% Muslim. In 2011, there were 166, 296 babies born in Israel.
The world’s principal religious populations divide as follows according to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 2012: Christians at 33% or 2.1 billion, Muslims at 24% or 1.65 billion, Hindus at 14% or 900 million, and Buddhists at 6% or 350 million. At least one billion people in the world do not ascribe to any religion at all.
Iran’s Gestapo' Rounds Up Christians
Iranian police, termed “Iran’s Gestapo” by a Christian news site, has arrested between 100 and 400 Christians and thrown them into prisons.
Oct. 16….(Arutz) Iranian police, termed “Iran’s Gestapo” by a Christian news site, has arrested between 100 and 400 Christians and thrown them into prisons. Firouz Khandjani, a council member of the 'Church of Iran' house church movement, told the Christian BosNewsLife website, "We have learned that at least 100, but perhaps as many as 400 people, have been detained over the last 10 days.” He said massive arrests of men and women included the break-up of church services held by evangelical Christians in three cities, including Tehran. "We know that many have been forced to say they will no longer attend church services in exchange for freedom,” he said. "They are of several movements. But it has become clear that Protestant Christians are now viewed as enemy number one of the state," according to Khandjani. "We need urgent prayers.”
One of at least five members of the Church of Iran in the city of Shiraz who were arrested last Friday is Mohammed Roghangir, known locally as 'Brother Vahid', who led a house church service attended by some 15 people. "We are also concerned about sister Roxana Forughi as this is the second time she is being detained,” Khandjani added. Iranian Christians said they were taken to Plak 100, the notorious detention center of Iran's Intelligence Ministry. Khandjani confirmed reports that seven Christians received suspended five-year sentences last week for "action against the national security," after they were already jailed for up to three weeks in Rasht, some six years ago.
The latest reported crackdown comes on the eve of Monday’s trial of five Christian converts detained in Adel-Abad prison eight months ago following a raid on a house church in Shiraz. Since their arrests, the five been confined in cells housing dangerous criminals on charges of "creating illegal groups", "participating in a house church service", "propagation against the Islamic regime" and "defaming Islamic holy figures through Christian evangelizing," Iranian Christians said.
Iranian Pastor Behnam Irani potentially faces the death penalty for the "apostasy” of abandoning Islam. The news site estimates there are at least 100,000 evangelical Christians in Iran, based on numbers provided church groups.
Focus on Jerusalem / Sorry For Inconvenience of Downtime
Oct. 16….Note from the Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry. FOJ was temporarily suspended for 2-1/2 days over the weekend due to lack of funding. Thanks to everyone for their patience and understanding as I returned from weekend meetings and worked things out.
Former Hizballah Leader Turned to Jesus
Oct. 15….(Israel Today) A Messianic Jewish congregation in Bowling Green, Kentucky recently hosted a most unusual guest speaker, a co-founder of Lebanon's Hizballah terrorist militia, a group dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Dr. Daniel Shayesteh was a political and military figure in the regime of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran in the 1980s. He is said to have helped with the formation of Hizballah, and with the training and indoctrination of the terrorists who make up its ranks.
While visiting Hope in Messiah, a Messianic congregation headed by Jonathan Sacks, Shayesteh said that faith in Yeshua had transformed him from a man of hate into a man of love. "It is amazing to me that I was a man preparing young boys and girls with hatred toward Christianity," Shayesteh told local ABC affiliate WBKO. That statement also revealed an often forgotten aspect of the situation in Lebanon, that Hizballah and the Islamists at work there hate not only Israel, but Lebanon's large Christian population, as well.
Iranian Cyber Attacks Hitting Israeli Military, US Financial Targets
Oct. 15….(DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis) A week ago, on Oct. 6, an unmanned Iranian aerial vehicle with stealth attributes breached Israeli air space. By eluding Israel’s radar, the UAV exposed serious gaps in its air defenses. Thursday, Oct. 11, Hizballah’s Hassan Nasrallah admitting the drone had come from Lebanon, promised it would not be the last. He seemed to be mocking Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his reliance on strong border fences to keep Israel safe. A week went by and Saturday, Oct. 13, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) website quoted its chief, Lt. Gen. Ali Jabari as stating that his naval and missile forces are on “strategic deterrent readiness,” a novel term just invented by the Islamic Republic. He spoke Friday at an army base in Khorrasan, during a tour with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Iranian general hinted that the Iranian-Hizballah drone had been able to come close to Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona.
Both admissions that Iran and Hizballah were conducting military cyber warfare on Israel were tinged with contempt, arising from the certainty that Israel would not retaliate for the UAV’s invasion any more than it had responded to the posting of thousands of Iranian elite Al Qods troops just across its Syrian and Lebanese borders. Shortly after Nasrallah spoke, the US Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan managed to break through VP Joe Biden’s interruptions to reveal the stark fact that Iran already possesses enough fissile material to make five nuclear bombs. The cat was finally out of the bag after years in which American and Israeli leaders contrived to keep this secret dark by verbal acrobatics and blinding showers of impenetrable “facts and figures.” It was no slip of the tongue as Mitt Romney’s running mate was briefed by the team which is preparing the candidate himself for his second debate against President Barack Obama next Tuesday, Oct. 16.
Debkafile’s Washington sources disclose that the team is headed by the former US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, who is slated for the job of National Security Adviser if Romney wins the Nov. 6 election. Ryan’s revelation implied that a Romney administration’s Iran policy would take off from the point of its possession of sufficient fissile material for a nuclear arsenal. Not that this guarantees US military action against Iran’s nuclear program under a new president, or even backing for an Israeli strike, only that now we all know that it is not necessary to destroy the 20 or more Iranian nuclear sites to demolish its program, only to home in on the stockpile of fissile material which took Tehran 20 years to enrich and accumulate.
The Iranians, realizing their secret was out, are certainly not hiding their precious fissile stockpile of approximately one ton at the Fordo nuclear enrichment plant which continues to turn out more enriched uranium. This stock encased in a lead container no bigger than a large kitchen table could be concealed anywhere in the vast 1.6 million-square-kilometer area of the Islamic Republic of Iran. So a fleet of bombers and array of bunker buster bombs have become dispensable for pre-empting Iran’s nuclear bomb aspirations. All that is needed is one missile, provided of course that the vital core stock can be located.
Also on Thursday, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unveiled his “pre-9/11 moment” speech which revealed that for two weeks, hackers had been hammering the websites of big American banks, the Saudi national oil company Aramco and Qatar’s Rasgas. In a strong comment, he said the US would strike back and consider a preemptive strike against cyber terrorism, without saying how or actually naming Iran. However in leaks to the American media, former US government officials and cyber-security experts reported that the administration believes Iranian-based hackers were responsible for what Panetta warned could be the first “cyber Pearl Harbor” against America.
The Wall Street Journal pointed to a team of 100 Iranian experts as the perpetrators of the cyber attacks on America and the Gulf oil states. Tehran appears to be sending a message that if US-led sanctions continue to cut down its oil exports and restrict its banking business, Gulf oil producers and American banks would pay the price. Panetta’s words may therefore be read as Washington’s final warning to Iran to desist from cyber warfare. In the days leading up to his speech on cyber-terror, the defense secretary was tireless in cautioning against the menace of the Syrian civil war spreading to neighboring countries and evoking Bashar Assad’s threat to bring out and use his chemical weapons.
Before he turned to the cyber threat, the Syrian war had indeed tipped over into an escalating Turkish-Syrian showdown. Both these developments mean that the waves of Middle East violence are lapping ever farther afield. All the parties with an interest in stirring up trouble are keeping a weather eye on the Obama-Romney debate next Tuesday to see if the president recovers the momentum he lost to his Republican challenger in the first debate. Before or after the debate, each of them, Al Qaeda, Iran, Syria or Hizballah, is capable of taking direct action to show it is a player to be reckoned with. Such action may explicitly target an American interest or stir the pot by going for Israel, Turkey, Jordan, or a Gulf oil nation. It can no longer be denied that Tehran is already on a cyber offensive against them all. In the absence of any response, Iran may decide to push further against its targets.
Netanyahu: Israel subject to increasing number of cyber attacks
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says in weekly cabinet meeting that there are 'daily attempts' to infiltrate the country's computer systems.
Oct. 15….(Ha Aretz) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted this morning that Israel is recently the target of increasing cyber attacks. Speaking at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that "there is an escalation in the attempts to carry out a cyber attack on Israel's' computer infrastructures. There are daily attempts to break into Israeli systems." So far, apart from isolated cases, Israeli officials have refrained from commenting on cyber attacks against Israeli targets. Netanyahu added that the National Cyber Headquarters "is active in blocking these efforts, by developing what I might call a digital Iron Dome, to protect Israel from cyber terror."
The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that government-backed Iranian hackers are responsible for cyber attacks against American targets in recent months, which damaged US banks and energy companies in the Persian Gulf. The report claims that that the cyber attacks left "signatures" leading to Teheran. It seems that the team includes just under a hundred Iranian experts.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta commented on Friday on the cyber threat, saying that it had indeed increased, but that the pentagon was ready to face the challenge. Speaking with businessmen in New York, Panneta said that the recent move was probably the most "destructive attack that the private sector has seen to date," but did not attribute it to Iran. Still, Panneta said that Iran has "undertaken a concerted effort to use cyberspace to its advantage." He added that the pentagon has invested billions of dollars to increase its ability to identify the source of the attacks, block them and react when needed. Panneta insisted that the attackers will be identified and will bear responsibility for their actions against the US and its interests.
Iran on Sunday denied allegations by US officials that Tehran was behind cyber attacks on oil and gas companies in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. "These false and unethical charges are rather politically motivated and part of the ongoing US elections campaign," said Mehdi Akhavan, head of the country's cyberspace division. "Iran itself is victim of cyber attacks and we therefore offer our help to the affected companies," the official was further quoted by ISNA news agency as saying.
Christians / Pray and Go Vote (Like Never Before)
Oct. 15….(WND) In a recent Family Talk newsletter, Dr. James Dobson follows up on the request from the martial arts champion, television and movie actor Chuck Norris, who with his wife, Gena, recently released a public service announcement asking Christians to vote. They noted that there were some 30 million Christians who did not vote in the 2008 election, and Barack Obama won by 10 million, bringing into the White House his plans for open homosexuality in the US armed forces, nearly unlimited abortion on demand and other policies. Dr. Dobson, who does not advocate for or against individual candidates in this year’s election as a representative of Family Talk, noted the situation in which the nation finds itself approaching the 2012 election.
The nation “is … in a moral and spiritual freefall.”
“Religious liberty … is under assault like never before.”
“Christians are being required to pay for abortions through their health insurance.”
“Twenty-one countries in the Middle East are in turmoil.”
“Israel’s very existence continues to be threatened.”
“Iranian analyst Alireza Forghani has boasted that Jerusalem will soon become a mass ‘graveyard.’”
“Given the state of the world and the decline of our country, how can a single Christian stay at home on Election Day? The stakes are simply too high,” Dr. Dobson wrote to constituents. “If you’re among those eligible voters who haven’t determined whether you’ll even bother to make your voices heard on Election Day, I want to urge you in the strongest possible terms, to rethink your position!” he said. “In a sense, every election is a ‘crossroads,’ especially when it involves the selection of national leadership. Whether directly or indirectly, our president, congressmen and senators will establish life and death policies on our behalf and our children. These decisions will have an impact long after our elected officials have left office. In the following quadrennial, for example, the next president may make at least two appointments to the US Supreme Court. If confirmed, each of them will be appointed for life. Given the unprecedented power of the court today, the selection of those justices could have a profound effect on the country for decades,” he said. He said issues even as fundamental as whether the Constitution of the United States will be protected are being decided.
But most importantly, he said, “your trip to the polls must be preceded by a time of earnest prayer. Pray that the Lord would grant you wisdom as you prepare to cast your ballot. Pray that His will would be accomplished in the election and that the leaders of His choosing would win their respective races. And pray that those who hold positions of authority over us, both now and after the election, would hear the voice of God and seek His face as they embrace the numerous responsibilities placed upon them.”
WEEK OF OCTOBER 7 THROUGH OCTOBER 13
Russia: Just Let Iran Have Nukes (Its no Problem)
Oct. 12….(Israel Today) Russia's foreign minister on Thursday appeared to suggest that Israel and the West should just let Iran attain nuclear weapons, if indeed that is what the Islamic Republic is after, as Moscow estimates those weapons will never be used against the Jewish state. "Until now, it has not been clearly proven that Iran intends to develop nuclear weapons," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted by Israel's Channel 10 News as telling Israeli Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin.
Lavrov continued by insisting that even if Iran is seeking an atomic bomb, "Russia estimates that Tehran does not plan to attack Israel with nuclear weapons." Rivlin, who is currently visiting Moscow, responded by calling on Russia to do more to halt Iran's nuclear program. "The friendship between Russia and Iran gives Moscow the opportunity and obligation to prevent Iran [from attaining] a nuclear weapon," said Rivlin. For Rivlin and for most Israelis, the best guesses of foreign powers like Russia are not enough to put aside fears that Iran's nuclear program presents an existential threat to the Jewish state. Especially given the Iranian leaderships' repeated calls for the annihilation of Israel.
Nor was it possible to take seriously Lavrov's claims that Iran might not even be trying to build nuclear weapons. Earlier this week, international nuclear experts reiterated that Iran has escalated its uranium enrichment program, and is enriching uranium far past the point of what is required for civilian purposes.
According to a report published by the independent Institute for Science and International Security, Iran will have enough weapons-grade uranium to build its first atomic bomb in two-to-four months. That assessment backed up the warnings of a report in August by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Meanwhile, Foreign Policy magazine reported that Israel and the US might soon launch a joint aerial strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. According to the journal, Washington is said to be increasingly ready to participate in a brief surgical strike that would set back Iran's nuclear program without necessarily risking a full-scale war.
Muslim Brotherhood's Top Sheikh Urges Jihad for Jerusalem
(Supreme Guide of Egypt's ruling movement: liberation of the Holy City "will not be through negotiations or UN)
Oct. 12….(Arutz) The supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement which Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi belongs to, called on Thursday for a jihad (holy war) to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule. "Jerusalem is Islamic, and nobody is entitled to make concessions" on the Holy City, said Sheikh Mohammed Badie in his weekly message to supporters, according AFP. "The jihad for the recovery of Jerusalem is a duty for all Muslims," he said, stressing that the liberation of the Holy City "will not be done through negotiations or at the United Nations."
Israel, which signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, has watched with concern as Islamists were catapulted to the forefront of politics following a popular uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak last year. Morsi has repeatedly said he would respect international treaties signed by Cairo. But there have also been multiple calls from Cairo to "revise" the accords. The United States under Barack Obama appeared to throw Mubarak under a bus and to almost welcome the Muslim Brotherhood's takeover, a fact that has served to heighten Israel's anxiety over the future stability of the region.
Muslim Brotherhood Issues Call to Take Jerusalem
Oct. 12….(Times of Israel) Egypt’s foremost Muslim Brotherhood official called on the Arab world Thursday to replace negotiations with Israel with “holy Jihad,” claiming that if Jews are allowed to pray on the Temple Mount they will destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and supplant it with the third temple. Mohammed Badie, Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, declared in a public message published by Egyptian daily Al-Ahram that “the Zionists only understand force,” and that Arabs cannot hope to achieve justice from the Jews “through the corridors of the United Nations or through negotiations.”
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate, but he resigned all official positions in the movement upon taking office. He has said that his government would uphold the Camp David peace accords with Israel, and recently named a new ambassador to Israel. “The time has come for the Islamic nation to unite around one man for the sake of Jerusalem and Palestine,” Badie said. “The Jews have dominated the land, spread corruption on earth, spilled the blood of believers and in their actions profaned holy places, including their own.” “Zionists only understand the language of force and will not relent without duress,” Badie continued. “This will only happen through holy Jihad, high sacrifices and all forms of resistance. The day they realize we will march this path and raise the banner of Jihad for the sake of God, is the day they will relent and stop their tyranny.”
Obama's Wears Ring: 'There is no God but Allah'
Oct. 11….(WND) What we don’t know about Barack Obama could fill volumes. Yet, here he is after spending four years in the White House and facing re-election, still an enigma. It’s not just Obama’s tendency toward secrecy and control of information that is at fault. It’s also a deep, deep institutional problem within the media, both the big corporate press and the so-called alternative press. There are certain stories they just won’t cover. There are certain avenues they will just not explore. There are certain subjects just too sensitive to pursue.
This week, we found another one that strikes right at the core of Obama’s very identity – and the many contradictory stories he has told about his life. As a student at Harvard Law School, then-bachelor Barack Obama’s practice of wearing a gold band on his wedding-ring finger puzzled his colleagues. Now, newly published photographs of Obama from the 1980s show that the ring Obama wore on his wedding-ring finger as an unmarried student is the same ring Michelle Robinson put on his finger at the couple’s wedding ceremony in 1992. Moreover, according to Arabic-language and Islamic experts, the ring Obama has been wearing for more than 30 years is adorned with the first part of the Islamic declaration of faith, the Shahada: “There is no god except Allah.”
The Shahada is the first of the Five Pillars of Islam, expressing the two fundamental beliefs that make a person a Muslim: There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s prophet. Sincere recitation of the Shahada is the sole requirement for becoming a Muslim, as it expresses a person’s rejection of all other gods. “Dreams from My Real Father” producer Joel Gilbert, an Arabic speaker and an expert on the Middle East, was the first to conclude that Obama’s ring, reportedly from Indonesia, bore an Islamic inscription.
Photographs published last week by the New Yorker from Obama’s time at Occidental College, taken by fellows students, indicate that the ring Obama wore three decades ago is the one he is wearing in the White House. “By wearing the Shahada on jewelry, a person communicates that Allah is in control of all circumstances. Allah controls you; Allah is the one and only one.”
Obama, who attended Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago for two decades, has repeatedly insisted he is a Christian. Now we have a new context for what Obama meant when he told the Islamic audience in Cairo that he has ‘known Islam on three continents,” Gilbert said. “He also told the Cairo audience that he considered it part of his responsibility as president of the United States ‘to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.’ All religious Muslims are by definition required to defend Islam.
US-Israel Reportedly Discussing Joint ‘Surgical Strike’ on Iran
Oct. 10….(Times of Israel) Israel and the US are reportedly working on a limited joint attack on Iran aimed at setting the country’s nuclear program back several years without inflaming the region, a source close to talks between the nations said. The report comes after weeks of strained discussions between Israel and the US on how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program, with the US refusing to set “red lines” for Iran that, if crossed, would trigger military action, and the Obama Administration publicly opposing a reported Israeli willingness to carry out a unilateral strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.
In an op-ed published on the Foreign Policy website on Monday, David Rothkopf cited “a source close to the discussions” who said a surgical strike plan against Iran’s enrichment facilities is being developed. The air attack, which may only take a couple of hours, would use bombers backed up by drones to take out just the key facilities at the heart of the bomb-making program, setting it back by several years, indicated Rothkopf, a prominent commentator, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former Clinton administration official. “The action that participants currently see as most likely is a joint US-Israeli surgical strike targeting Iranian enrichment facilities,” he wrote. “The strike might take only ‘a couple of hours’ in the best case and would only involve a ‘day or two’ overall, and would be conducted by air, using primarily bombers and drone support,” the source said.
The US has repeatedly stressed its belief that there is still time for sanctions and diplomacy to thwart the Iranian nuclear drive, and is apparently wary of being drawn into another protracted Middle Eastern conflict. However, a limited strike would set Iran back while benefiting the entire region by sending a clear message to Russia and China of US influence, the report said. Officially, the US and Israel say they are in lockstep over how to deal with the Iranian threat. However, reports have surfaced of behind the scenes bickering over the timeline for action, and the “red lines” argument has been conducted publicly. Tellingly, President Barack Obama could find no time to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu during the prime minister’s brief visit to the US two weeks ago, although the two leaders have spoken twice at length by phone recently.
Most experts believe Israel does not have the capability to hit Iran as effectively as the US, and Israeli leaders have said Israel’s “window of opportunity” for causing substantive damage to the Iranian program is closing fast. On Sunday, a high-ranking Iranian official joined the chorus of voices warning Israel off a solo strike, telling Iranian media Israel was powerless without a US green light. “Israel cannot attack Iran on its own. If it attacks Iran, it must be sure that the United States will join it, either at the beginning of the war or during the war. Therefore, it needs the United States’ permission,” said Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who serves as the head of a top advisory council. Rafsanjani, who previously served as Iran’s president, said that “the enemies” had placed their faith in sanctions and propaganda, an indication that they are not interested in war with Iran. Rafsanjani added that if the US shows goodwill, Iran will not be against opening a dialogue with Washington. Nonetheless, he advised that Iran should prepare itself for any eventuality.
US, Israel Planning October Surprise?
Oct. 10….(DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis) Four facts deserve attention with regard to a potential attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The first is that the Iranian-Israeli war is already at hand. Iran launched it by sending an unmanned drone into Israeli air space Saturday, Oct. 6, breaking new ground in belligerence with a cyber attack. Israel countered by stationing Patriot missile interceptor batteries in Haifa and other parts of its northern region. That Tehran initiated hostilities with a cyber attack on Israel cannot be wiped from the record any more than its score: two points, Iran; zero, Israel, whose air defenses proved no match against a large, slow-moving and cumbersome aerial vehicle loaded with electronic equipment. As many experts have pointed out, Patriots are not designed for intercepting aircraft, only missiles. Their deployment therefore aims at defending the country from potential Iranian or Hizballah missile strikes from Lebanon or Syria, depending partly on the state of the Syrian war.
And indeed, Hamas and Jihad Islami spokesmen, when they assumed shared responsibility for the 55 Palestinian missiles and mortars fired against Israel Monday morning, Oct. 8, said quite openly that the rules of Gaza warfare had changed: IDF attacks on terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip, however limited in scope, would draw forth reprisals not only from that Palestinian-ruled territory but from Lebanon, they said. As of mid-September, under newly-signed military pacts, the strings of the two leading Palestinian terrorist militias in the Gaza Strip are being manipulated from Beirut by Iran and Hizballah. It is they who now set the rules and dictate the scope of Palestinian anti-Israel operations from Gaza. The drone’s incursion was a separate Iranian initiative. The other three points pertinent to the Iranian-Israel confrontation are:
1. US intelligence recently warned President Barack Obama that Iran’s nuclear breakthrough point is much closer than formerly estimated, i.e. approximately 7 weeks off. In late November, therefore, Iran will enough 20 percent plus enriched uranium to build a nuclear bomb. American and Israeli intelligence see eye to eye on this estimate. It flies, however, in the face of the assessments circulated in Israel by anti-attack factions who are now claiming that Iran has slowed the progress of its military nuclear program in order to divert much of its enriched uranium to civilian projects. This claim is not only incorrect, but it is a valuable contribution to Tehran’s propaganda effort to prove that its program is entirely innocent and peaceful.
2. A US Congressional Research paper published internally on Sept. 28 asserts that Israel is capable of going it alone without the United States against Iran’s nuclear sites, including the Fordo underground enrichment facility. This fact has been suppressed by the anti-attack camp, whose spokesmen have insisted that Israel lacks this capacity. The experts commissioned by congress to determine the truth of the matter concluded: “an attack on Esfahan, Natanz, and Arak might require deploying only 20% of Israel’s top-line fighters purchased from the United States. “This yields an Israeli strike involving at least 100 aircraft. Most sources indicate that Israel has a total of “around 350 fighter jets.” The US congressional research team adds that, although Israel received enough 7 KC-130 refueling planes from the US to cover the round trip to Iran and back, the Israeli Air Force has also secretly developed two more refueling options about which the US knows very little. “Over the past two years, Israel Aerospace Industries-IAI bought up all the Boeing 707s coming on the international market and had them converted in IAI factories into KC-135 refueling planes,” says the report.
After the Congressional Research Center published these findings, David Rothkopf, who is close to US Democratic Party leaders, tested the ground with a report Monday, Oct. 8, in Foreign Policy, which said that the United States and Israel are considering the possibility of a joint "surgical strike" against Iran's nuclear facilities as an “October surprise.” He quoted a source said to be close to the discussions, which claimed that “a small-scale attack is currently viewed as the most likely military option by air, using bombers and supported by drones,” which Israel would not be able to carry out on its own. What Rothkopf was saying is that President Obama has no more than 20 days to decide if and when to conduct this US-Israel attack on Iran. His clock, say our sources, is ticking at the same speed as that of former Mossad chief Efraim Halevi who on August 1 predicted an attack on Iran within twelve weeks; and Tzahi Hanegbi, the former Knesset defense and foreign affairs committee chair and close confidant of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who said in mid-September that the next 50 days would be critical for Israel’s destiny.
Protestants No Longer Majority in US
Oct. 10….(AP) For the first time in its history, the United States does not have a Protestant majority, according to a new study. One reason: The number of Americans with no religious affiliation is on the rise. The percentage of Protestant adults in the US has reached a low of 48 percent, the first time that Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has reported with certainty that the number has fallen below 50 percent. The drop has long been anticipated and comes at a time when no Protestants are on the US Supreme Court and the Republicans have their first presidential ticket with no Protestant nominees.
Among the reasons for the change are the growth in nondenominational Christians who can no longer be categorized as Protestant, and a spike in the number of American adults who say they have no religion. The Pew study released Tuesday, found that about 20 percent of Americans say they have no religious affiliation, an increase from 15 percent in the last five years. Scholars have long debated whether people who say they no longer belong to a religious group should be considered secular. While the category as defined by Pew researchers includes atheists, it also encompasses majorities of people who say they believe in God, and a notable minority who pray daily or consider themselves "spiritual" but not "religious." Still, Pew found overall that most of the unaffiliated aren't actively seeking another religious home, indicating that their ties with organized religion are permanently broken.
Growth among those with no religion has been a major preoccupation of American faith leaders who worry that the United States, a highly religious country, would go the way of Western Europe, where church attendance has plummeted. Pope Benedict XVI has partly dedicated his pontificate to combating secularism in the West. This week in Rome, he is convening a three-week synod, or assembly, of bishops from around the world aimed at bringing back Roman Catholics who have left the church.
The trend also has political implications. American voters who describe themselves as having no religion vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. Pew found Americans with no religion support abortion rights and gay marriage at a much higher-rate than the US public at large. These "nones" are an increasing segment of voters who are registered as Democrats or lean toward the party, growing from 17 percent to 24 percent over the last five years. The religiously unaffiliated are becoming as important a constituency to Democrats as evangelicals are to Republicans, Pew said. Researchers have been struggling for decades to find a definitive reason for the steady rise in those with no religion.' The spread of secularism in Western Europe was often viewed as a byproduct of growing wealth in the region. Yet among industrialized nations, the United States stood out for its deep religiosity in the face of increasing wealth.
Now, religion scholars say the decreased religiosity in the United States could reflect a change in how Americans describe their religious lives. In 2007, 60 percent of people who said they seldom or never attend religious services still identified themselves as part of a particular religious tradition. In 2012, that statistic fell to 50 percent, according to the Pew report. "Part of what's going on here is that the stigma associated with not being part of any religious community has declined. the largest jump in "nones" has been among whites. One-fifth of whites describe themselves as having no religion. More growth in "nones" is expected. One-third of adults under age 30 have no religious affiliation, compared to 9 percent of people 65 and older. Pew researchers wrote that "young adults today are much more likely to be unaffiliated than previous generations were at a similar stage in their lives," and aren't expected to become more religiously active as they age.
Iranian Backed Islamic Jihad Launches Missile Attacks Into South Israel
Oct. 9….(DEBKAfile Special Report) Israeli warplanes, self-propelled artillery and short-range missiles attacked Hamas and Jihad Islami positions and command posts in the Gaza Strip early Monday, Oct. 8, shortly after Palestinians loosed a barrage of 55 missiles and mortar shells on the Eshkol district. Both terrorist organizations claimed they were responsible for the barrage, which caused no casualties only heavy damage to property. Israelis living within range of the Gaza Strip are warned to stay 15 seconds away from protected shelters.
Israel’s response was major because for the first time the two dominant organizations in Gaza, the radical Hamas and Iran-sponsored Jihad Islami, assumed responsibility for avenging an Israeli attack on radical Salafist terrorists affiliated with al Qaeda. This attests to the comprehensive ties of operational collaboration forged between the diverse terrorist organizations fighting Israel from the Gaza Strip. Yesterday, a targeted Israeli air strike critically injured two motorcyclists, members of al Qaeda-linked groups in the Rafah district of southern Gaza. Palestinian sources reported 11 people injured including five children.
Israel also suspects that the pilotless helicopter sent by Iran to breach Israeli air space Saturday, Oct. 6, which flew in from the Mediterranean over the Gaza Strip, was jointly orchestrated by Tehran, Hizballah and Hamas as part of a war exercise Hamas conducted in the Gaza Strip on that day.
Abu Obeida, commander of the Hamas military arm Ezz e-din al-Qassam responded to the Israeli assault with a warning: “The resistance” would not permit “Israeli aggression” to continue, he said, and went on to laud Hamas’ partnership with Jihad Islami and the high level of operational cooperation between the various parts of the movement. Any more Israeli attacks, he warned, would bring forth an even more powerful and extensive Palestinian reprisal.
Debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report that Hamas draws its bravado from the military protocols its leaders secretly signed with Hizballah Sept. 13 under the Iranian aegis, which obliges signatory to come to the aid of the other when it is attacked. Jihad Islami, Iran’s Palestinian surrogate in the Gaza Strip comes under this umbrella too. The signing was first disclosed on this page on Sept. 23. Confirming this, JIhad Islami spokesmen have just threatened that the next round of attacks on Israel will come from Lebanon.
Israel Shoots Down “Iranian” Drone Over Southern Israel
Oct. 8….(Maariv) The Israeli air force shot down an unmanned drone Saturday over the northern Negev desert, the nation's military said. The Israeli Defense Forces spotted the drone, which did not carry any weapons or explosives, hovering over Gaza before it entered Israeli airspace, military spokeswoman Avital Leibovich said. Forces kept the drone under surveillance until a fighter jet shot it down around 10am Saturday over the Yatir Forest, the IDF said. Leibovich declined to discuss the drone's route or whether it had flown over military installations. "We view this incident of attempting to enter Israeli airspace very severely and we will consider our response later," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement released Saturday afternoon. It was not clear where the drone originated. Military officials, however, said it does not appear that it took off from Gaza, which along with Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Mediterranean Sea forms the western border of the Negev. Airspace over Israel’s nuclear reactor, where Israel is believed to have built more than 200 nuclear warheads, is a no-fly zone.
The Israeli dailies Yediot Ahronot and Maariv published maps based on military "estimates" that claimed to show the route taken by the drone. The maps said the aircraft took off south of the Lebanese coastal city of Sidon, headed south and then turned east over the Gaza Strip and into Israel. Yediot also claimed the drone was made in Iran.
An Iranian Act of Belligerence against Israeli Military Targets
Oct. 8….(DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis) However Israeli official spokesmen present the incident of Saturday, Oct. 6, the penetration of Israeli air space by a large unmanned helicopter should not have been allowed to happen. The surprise interloper should have been shot down before spending nearly half an hour over southern Israel. The incident showed ID intelligence and command not up to handling enemy surprises, even after countless drills and exercises. Four months ago, on July 20, Hizballah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech, “The resistance movement will surprise Tel Aviv in any future war.” Hizballah with Iranian backing almost certainly proved its point Saturday, very likely in collaboration with its Palestinian ally, Hamas. Our intelligence experts note that before the Israeli Air Force fighters scrambled to shoot it down, the intruder would have had enough time for its surveillance equipment to beam to its Iranian control station, wherever it was, the electronic signatures of US and Israeli military installations within its purview in the South and the Negev. This was a major lapse.
The alien aircraft should have been intercepted the moment it flew in from the Mediterranean and entered the skies of the Gaza Strip. By then, it was clearly seen heading toward Beersheba. Had there been weapons aboard, the incident would have ended in a worse disaster, reminding Israel of its worst nightmare: an Iranian plane flying over with a nuclear bomb. As it is, the sophisticated aerial surveillance vehicle was able to cover the space over the IDF’s southern facilities, the town of Beersheba and the Israeli Air Force base at Nevatim before it was shot down over the Yatir forest south of Mt. Hebron. Its primary missions may have been to record the electronic signatures of the Dimona nuclear reactor’s air defense systems and the American X-band radar station in the Negev, which is linked to the US X-band station in Turkey. Together, they are the “forward eyes” of the joint US-Israeli shield against Iranian ballistic missile attack. If the intruder came to spot the gaps in that shield, it would have succeeded.
It is therefore important in this context to recall a more recent and explicit threat, this one by Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s ground forces, who said on Sept. 23 that his country was not waiting to be attacked but ready to carry out preemptive operations against the US and Israel. The aerial overflight Saturday may well have been a preparatory step for such an attack. Tehran would also have noted the time lapse before Israel acted: The IDF asked the Defense Minister Ehud Barak what to do instead of acting at once and Barak passed the buck to the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. They decided initially to down helicopter by electronic means and capture it intact in an attempt to establish who sent it and study its systems. However, the Iranian controllers fought back, hence the cyber battle rocking back and forth over southern Israel for nearly half an hour, before shooting it down.
Iran, Hezbollah likely behind UAV Invasion
Oct. 8….(JPOST) With Iranian funds and technological assistance, Hezbollah has been trying to build up its UAV capabilities. Of all the hostile elements seeking to harm Israeli national security, only two have the capability, track record and motivation to send drones into Israeli airspace: Iran and its Shi’ite proxy Hezbollah. The IDF has refused to comment on where the drone that was intercepted Saturday over southern Israel originated, or who sent it, but several factors point to Tehran and its Lebanese terror organization as prime suspects. Ten days ago Iran showcased a new long-range drone it said could fly to Israel and carry out reconnaissance or bombing missions. The drone, called Shahed-129, was proudly unveiled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps at the end of September. It reportedly has a range of 2,000 kilometers and was likely presented as part of Iran’s attempt to reply to Israel’s fleet of massive Heron drones. Herons can fly to Iran and carry out a range of missions, and could be deployed in a future strike on Iran’s nuclear sites.
If Tehran wanted to send a drone toward Israel, however, it would not have to launch one from its own territory. It has already set up a military base in southern Lebanon in the form of Hezbollah, a terror entity that has been trying to infiltrate Israeli airspace with its own drones for several years. With Iranian funds, and likely with Iranian technological assistance, Hezbollah has been trying to build up its UAV capabilities. The latest reminder of this came in July, when an experimental Hezbollah drone crashed in southern Lebanon.
During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Israeli F-16 fighters intercepted a Hezbollah drone packed with explosives that was heading toward central Israel. The small, low-flying aircraft was tracked by the air force as soon as it took off from Lebanon. In September, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said his organization could bomb the Dimona nuclear reactor in southern Israel. And last week The New York Times cited classified Pentagon data as indicating that Iran had practiced bombing runs on Dimona and Haifa. In light of this background, it seems reasonable to conclude that Iran and Hezbollah are testing out their latest drone capabilities to see how far they can get into Israeli air space and to test Israeli responses. The latest incident appears to be a brazen message from Tehran and Hezbollah saying that in any future conflict, they will attempt to reach sensitive points deep inside Israel.
Turkey, Syria Trade Fire; Border Tensions Mount
Oct. 8….(AP) Turkey and Syria fired artillery and mortars across their volatile border for a fifth consecutive day on Sunday, in one of the most serious and prolonged flare-ups of violence along the frontier. The exchange of fire stoked fears that Syria's civil war will escalate into a regional conflagration drawing in NATO member Turkey, once an ally of President Bashar Assad but now a key supporter of the rebels fighting to topple him. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had warned on Saturday that Ankara would respond forcefully to each errant Syrian shell that lands on Turkish soil.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 1 THROUGH OCTOBER 6
Iran: We Just Need an Excuse to Destroy Israel
Oct. 4….(Israel Today) Almost baiting Israel to launch a preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, the representative of the Islamic Republic's "supreme leader" to one of its most secretive military forces stated this week that Iran is now just waiting for the right excuse to destroy the Jewish state. Seemingly contradicting himself, Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Shirazi, Ayatollah Khameini's liaison to the Qods Force, told reporters that Iran would need just "24 hours" to destroy Israel in what he called a "war of attrition."
The Qods Force is a clandestine wing of Iran's Revolutionary Guards and answers directly to Khameini. It's primary field of operations is outside Iran's borders. Shirazi said he believed Israel was foolish enough to try a preemptive strike on Iran, and that Iran would then use its "expertise in fighting wars of attrition" to bury Israel.
Iran fought an extremely bloody eight-year war of attrition against Iraq for the better part of the 1980s. But, of course, Iran does not share a border with Israel, so any war of attrition between the two states would be carried out largely with air and missile forces, where Israel enjoys a significant advantage, both in quality and numbers.
Meanwhile, the Times of Israel cited unnamed Iranian sources as saying the Islamic Republic's nuclear program is accelerating. "More and more young graduates and people are brought in every day," said one source who works at one of Iran's nuclear facilities. "We have been working non-stop." The source revealed that Iran would be able to enrich large quantities of uranium to 50 or 60 percent by early next year. Uranium must be enriched to 90 percent to be used in nuclear warheads.
Israeli experts have noted that uranium need only be enriched a very small amount to be used for energy production, so the fact that Iran has already nearly reached 50 percent is all the evidence needed that its nuclear program is military in nature. It has also been repeatedly pointed out, most recently by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the UN General Assembly, that the early stages of uranium enrichment are the hardest and most time-consuming. For Iran to jump from its current position to possessing weapons-grade uranium requires only a small time investment and the proper equipment.
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Says Won't Meet with Israel
(Muslim Brotherhood expresses unequivocal support of Palestinian statehood bid)
Oct. 4….(YNET) Two days after Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi spoke before the UN General Assembly and urged action on the Palestinian statehood bid, the Muslim Brotherhood stated that until a breakthrough is made in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, senior Egyptian officials will not meet with their Israeli counterparts. Secretary General of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo Mahmoud Hussein told the Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Youm Friday that "Any meeting between the two countries' top officials prior to the full restoration of the Palestinian people's rights is a reproachable ideological luxury." The statement bolstered Morsi's UN statement, saying that while Egypt will abide by all of the international agreements signed by the Mubarak regime, the UN "Must end all forms of occupation of Arab land and strive for peace that includes a sovereign Palestinian state… Egypt will support any move to that effect by the PA." Hussein told the newspaper that no one in the Islamist Cairo regime will meet with Israeli officials "Until the Zionist entity fulfills its obligations to the Palestinians. We don’t have to meet with anyone."
Israel, he added, "Must cease the daily infringements towards the Palestinians before there is any official visit, and it must stop the daily strikes on Gaza and end all settlements."
Russia Tells NATO to Stay Away From Syria
Oct. 3….(Reuters) Russia told NATO and world powers on Tuesday they should not seek ways to intervene in Syria's civil war or set up buffer zones between rebels and government forces. Moscow further called for restraint between NATO-member Turkey and Syria, where violence along their shared border has strained relations between the former allies. Tensions have flared since a mortar round fired from inside Syria struck the territory of Turkey. Ankara has threatened to respond if the strike were repeated. When asked by Interfax if Moscow worried whether the tense border situation could prompt NATO to intervene to defend Turkey, its easternmost member, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov warned against any such step. "In our contacts with partners in NATO and in the region, we are calling on them not to seek pretexts for carrying out a military scenario or to introduce initiatives such as humanitarian corridors or buffer zones."
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, one of Assad's most caustic critics, recently lashed out at Russia for blocking efforts at the UN Security Council to exert pressure on Assad and said Moscow's stance allowed massacres in Syria to continue. Turkey has floated the idea of setting up "safe zones" inside Syria to protect civilians from the conflict but that would also have to be approved by the Security Council. Russia and China have vetoed three Security Council resolutions condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and have blocked attempts to impose further sanctions on his government or intervene more directly in the conflict.
Ankara has repeatedly complained of artillery and gunfire spilling over the border into Turkey, leading to threats of retaliation. "We believe both Syrian and Turkish authorities should exercise maximum restraint in this situation, taking into account the rising number of radicals among the Syrian opposition who can intentionally provoke conflicts on the border," Gatilov was quoted as saying.
The West accuses Russia of supporting Assad in the bloody 18-month conflict and imposing a stalemate in the Security Council as violence in Syria has spiraled. Moscow says Syrians themselves should decide their fate and says it will veto any Security Council resolution that could serve as a springboard for military intervention. Russia accuses the West of overstepping its mandate when it set up a no-fly zone in Libya last year, leading to the fall of Muammar Gaddafi to a popular uprising and insurgency. Western diplomats in Moscow say Russia seems to believe Assad may still successfully cling to power though they see Russia's dialogue with some Syrian opposition groups as an attempt to secure its interests there if he were overthrown.
Iran's Ahmadinejad Says Syria Crisis May Engulf Region
Oct. 3….((Reuters) Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today warned that hostilities in Syria could engulf the region and accused some Syrians of trying to use their country's conflict to settle scores with Tehran. In comments to Al Jazeera television, Ahmadinejad said that a national dialogue and new elections, rather than war, were the only way to solve the Syrian crisis, saying the Syrian people should choose their own path. "There is another way to find a solution, it is national, mutual understanding in order for there to be elections in the future," he said.
The interview was translated from Persian into Arabic by Al Jazeera. He made similar remarks at a news conference in Tehran. "We don't say what they should do. We help them sit down and reach a mutual understanding. We don't say who should go and who should stay, this would be interfering in countries' affairs. But we say it is people's right to choose," he told the news conference.
Every world power involved in the Syrian crisis "has made its own mistakes," he said, warning that the Syrian conflict would spread to other countries in the region if it was left unsolved. "Tomorrow, the atmosphere in Jordan may be like what Syria is experiencing. Thus, we must search for a practical and good solution for all the people's of the area, otherwise catastrophes will fall upon us all." Ahmadinejad suggested the Syrian crisis was being used to try to undermine Iran.
FOJ Note: For once in his life, Mr. Ahmadinejad is right about something. The Syrian Conflict could indeed blow up into a much broader war. In fact, the Bible even suggests that very potential in the “Burden of Damascus.”
Why the US Won't Attack Iran
(Americans weary of war in distant countries; changing Democratic Party less supportive of Israel)
Oct. 3….YNET/Avraham Zilkha) The violent protests that erupted in the Arab and Islamic world recently serve as a reminder to the US of what may happen should it attack Iran. If this was the reaction to a primitive movie about the prophet Mohammed, how will the Muslims respond to a strike on Iran's nuclear installations? It is safe to assume that in such an event the Sunni-Shia divide won't serve as a moderating factor. Even if Israel launches a go-it-alone attack, the US will be accused at least of assisting the Jewish state, if not of actually taking part in the strike, and will be exposed to more acts of terror.
The Obama administration's fear of a rift with the Muslim world was evident in the numerous conciliatory statements made by the American president during his speech before the UN General Assembly. He dedicated a significant part of his address to lauding the revolutions which swept the Arab world over the past year and stressed Washington's support for the uprisings. At the same time, he addressed the Iranian crisis only briefly. The US has a number of reasons not to attack Iran. These are some of them:
1. Since the Vietnam War the US has not gone to war without an international coalition, although it has always shouldered most of the burden. This was the case in the Gulf War, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the campaigns in the former Yugoslavia and in Libya. Obama was criticized for leading the NATO forces' victory in Libya 'from afar,' and some considered this to be his new doctrine. Even during the invasion of the island of Grenada in 1983 President Reagan had a small coalition. Obama will need a much broader coalition of nations to share the military and economic burden of an attack on Iran, but the chances that he will succeed in forming such a coalition for a war that will mostly benefit Israel are slim. In 1967, President Johnson failed to form an international force to break the naval siege of Eilat. Even if Obama does succeed, the process will be long and will not coincide with Netanyahu's timetable.
2. Just like Israel's security establishment, the American security establishment is not interested in a war in Iran at this juncture. The recent statements made by the chairman of the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff and by the defense secretary have made this abundantly clear. The opposition to an attack stems mainly from the fact that the US armed forces are spread out in a number of countries and are worn out after 10 consecutive years of fighting. The US Army is also fearful of budget cuts that would make it difficult to replenish its arsenal after any campaign against Iran.
3. A sharp rise in the price of oil, which would almost certainly follow any attack on Iran, would severely hurt the US economy. Such a development would hinder Obama's plans to rescue the American economy from the current crisis. The cost of a war on Iran would also increase the US' national debt, which currently tops $16 trillion.
4. While the average American is hostile to the Iranian regime, the majority of the US public has grown weary of war, particularly in distant countries, and is no longer interested in being the 'world's police officer.' Israel's harsh threats have made Iran's nuclear program an Israeli problem, and despite the support for the Jewish state among Conservatives and Evangelicals, recent polls show that 60-70% of Americans are against going to war with Iran.
5. Within the Democratic Party, the traditional pro-Israel consensus between the workers' unions and the liberal camp is dissipating, to some extent due to Israel's policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians. Moreover, many Jewish supporters of the Democratic Party are disgusted by what they view as the domination of religion, racism and nationalism over the Jewish state. The party's character is changing with the addition of many African-Americans and Hispanics, who do not support Israel. The omission of language declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel from the Democratic Party's platform is indicative of this trend. Due to demographic changes, if he is reelected Obama will have difficulties waging a war that appears to be an Israeli interest without the support of his party, at the very least. It must also be remembered that Obama believes in diplomatic solutions to international disputes and also seeks reconciliation with the Muslim world.
There might not be any no doubt that Obama wants to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb, but he has many reasons not to employ military force to achieve this goal. We shouldn't expect Romney to act any different if he is elected president.
'Our Nation Has Lost Its Way'
Oct. 2….(Franklin Graham) After watching the political conventions of both parties last month, it’s clear that America is quickly hurtling down a road toward God’s judgment. One party affirms a belief in the sanctity of life. The other party does not. One party supports the traditional, biblical definition of marriage between one man and one woman. The other party enthusiastically endorses and promotes same-sex marriage.
I will not—cannot vote for a candidate, regardless of their political affiliation, who supports same-sex marriage and advocates abortion. God will judge our nation if we continue down this path. Here in Charlotte near our headquarters building, the Democrats held their convention and made a clear choice to leave God and Jerusalem out of their platform. They caught so much criticism from around the country that they moved to reinsert the words but needed a two-thirds majority to make the change.
The mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, who was presiding at that time during the convention, asked all in favor to say “aye.” Many voiced their approval. But when he asked all opposed to say “no,” I watched in horror and absolute disbelief at the deafening roar as delegates rejected including any mention of God’s Name. After the mayor called for two more votes, each with the same result, opponents shouted in protest as the mayor wielded his gavel and declared it approved.
I appreciate those delegates at the Democratic convention who stood up by saying “aye.” They were the minority, with the majority clearly rejecting any mention of God. This all happened on national television, and it sent goose bumps up my spine and shock waves across America. When the Prophet Jeremiah warned the Judeans of impending Babylonian captivity, he repeatedly reminded them that their exile would take place because they had forgotten God (Jeremiah 2:32; 3:21; 13:25; 18:15).
In our great prosperity of years past and our nation’s long period of world leadership, perhaps America has largely forgotten God and instead proudly chosen to rely on our own wisdom and strength. Does your vote count? You bet it does. Now is the time for people of faith to stand up for clear biblical standards and for our freedom to live by those standards. Christians need to be careful how they vote this fall, not just nationally, but also on the state and local levels. What are the candidates’ positions on issues in our culture that are clearly addressed in the Word of God? We need to elect leaders who believe in the sanctity of life, and who defend and fight for God’s definition of marriage between one man and one woman.
My father and I both take a strong stand on biblical values. I believe this year could be one of the most important elections held in our nation’s history. The spirit of the antichrist is gaining strength in American society, and it is evident all around us. If you’re not registered to vote, then be sure to do so before the election. Let us also not forget that elections and politics are temporal. Elections do matter, but “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20, NIV). Lasting change comes not from political parties but from the power of the Gospel.
Syria 'Reaffirms' Intent toRegain Golan Heights
(Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem addresses UN General Assembly, calls on international community to compel Israel to join Non-Proliferation Treaty as means to disarm Mideast of WMDs)
Oct. 2….(YNET) Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem on Monday reaffirmed his country's commitment to restore the Golan Heights and called on the international community to compel Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Addressing the UN General Assembly's annual ministerial meeting, al-Moallem accused some UN Security Council members of supporting "terrorism" by Syrian rebels. He said that calls for President Bashar Assad to step down were "blatant interference in the domestic affairs of Syria, and the unity of its people and its sovereignty."
The Syrian foreign minister said that what is going on in Syria must not "shift the focus" from what he claimed were the real issues, the Palestinians and the Golan Heights. He declared that Syria reaffirms its commitment to its "natural right" to restore the Syrian Golan Heights adding that Damascus rejects Israel's attempts to change the region's natural landscape while violating Security Council resolutions.
Al-Moallem further added that Syria is renewing its call for the international community to recognize a Palestinian state and blamed Israel for the failure of efforts to bring about a "just and comprehensive" peace in the Middle East. He noted that Israel's settlement policy violates understandings adopted as a basis for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Addressing the nuclear issue, the Syrian diplomat called on the international community to "free the Middle East of WMDs." He called on the world to compel Israel, "the only nuclear power in the region," to join the NPT and allow IAEA inspection of its nuclear facilities. He claimed that sanctions against Syria serve only Israel's "expansionist interests."
Ex Muslim: Islam Scares The Hell Out of Me
Oct. 2….(WND) Islamic countries indoctrinate children with hatred toward Israel and teach them Israel has no historic claim to the land or the city of Jerusalem, Nonie Darwish, founder of Arabs for Israel, told WND’s Greg Corombos. Darwish shared her story of being born into a Muslim family in Egypt and being raised to hate Israel. “It is the total annihilation of Israel and the Jews,” she said. “This is what the center of the educational system in the whole Arab world is. We were taught Jerusalem is a Muslim city; Jews had nothing to do with it, and we have to liberate it. There’s no acknowledgement that Jerusalem has any roots in Judaism or Christianity. There’s total denial of history.” Darwish said she only learned the truth after she came to America, because the Muslim world often filters and censors information. “I actually worked in censorship when I was a journalist in the Middle East,” she explained. “Information is totally filtered, and the propaganda, at the same time, is daily, very intense. Islam lives on propaganda and denies the truth.” She said any person who challenges the Muslim version of the truth is “immediately regarded as a traitor, and riots happen and this person’s life is threatened.”
Darwish warned, “This is now coming to the West, this fear that I used to live in in the Muslim world, which was fear of speaking my mind, fear of saying the truth, is now following me to America. My culture of origin is now infecting America with fear of speaking the truth. She continued, “Unfortunately, we have an administration now that is allowing this to happen and finding excuses for it. And that scares the hell out of me.” Darwish said she wants to see Arabs and Israelis living side by side in peace, but that cannot happen as long as “the number one enemy of Islam is the truth.” She explained that Muslims have failed to deal with reality for the past 1,400 years and have irrationally loathed the Jewish people since they rejected Muhammad in the seventh century. Darwish said President Obama’s Middle East policy is a failure and it’s been proven by the events of the past three weeks.
She said it’s unthinkable that America’s consulate in Benghazi did not have enough security and that the Obama administration took 10 days to admit Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed in a terrorist attack. Obama called the murders a “bump in the road,” and Darwish wants to know, “A bump in the road to what? The road to what?” She added, “The road in the Middle East is turning into hell. What road is he talking about? “The Muslim Brotherhood already took over. Radical Islam and Shariah are being entrenched in the whole Middle East. The radical Islamist groups are ruling countries there now. They’re now ganging up to destroy Israel. They’re about to have nuclear weapons. We are in grave danger, and President Obama is talking about what? He’s talking about a road to destruction. He thinks there is a road that will bring peace? What is he talking about?” Darwish slammed what she considers Obama’s habit of apologizing to Muslims and said it’s unclear why America should be apologizing. “We are giving them the impression that we are very weak, and we want to appease them,” she said. “We’re acting out of guilt for what?! We lost 3,000 citizens on 9/11, and we’re apologizing for what?”
She said Obama’s United Nations speech scared her, especially his statement that “the future does not belong to those who slander of the prophet of Islam.” Darwish said no religion should be above criticism, and Obama’s language reminds her of the repression inside her native Egypt. She also said the lack of media scrutiny for Obama policies reminds her of how the governments often control the media in the Middle East.
Finally, Darwish said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a “brave man” in his defiance toward the Iranian nuclear program, but she questioned whether Israel can successfully stop the program without any help from the United States. She said it may already be too late to prevent a nuclear Iran.
Egypt Describes Israel as ‘Occupied Arab Palestine’
(‘This will remain its name till the end of time,’ aide says regarding Cairo’s future relations with Israel)
Oct. 1….(Times of Israel) An adviser to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday said “removing the constraints of the Camp David Peace Accords” with Israel is a top national priority, and referred to Israel as “occupied Arab Palestine.” In an interview with Egyptian daily Al-Youm A-Sabi’, Mohammed Saif Al-Dawla, an Arab nationalist and Morsi’s adviser for Arab affairs, said that the Mubarak regime provided Israel with “free services” which will not continue under the new regime. “There is land on Egypt’s eastern border called occupied Arab Palestine,” said Saif Al-Dawla in response to a question on Egypt’s future relations with Israel. “This will remain its name till the end of time, and this is a national principle as well as a historic truth.”
Saif Al-Dawla said that in the Camp David peace accords signed with Israel in 1979, Israel’s national security was given precedence over Egypt’s; noting that 150 kilometers of Sinai territory must remain clear of Egyptian military forces under the terms of the treaty, whereas Israel is only obligated to a 3-kilometer demilitarized strip. He added that the Camp David peace accords implicitly overpower the joint Arab defense treaty.
FOJ Note: Egypt, now under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood is stepping away from the 1979 peace deal that saw Israel concede the entire Sinai Peninsula over to Egypt in exchange for….”a paper of peaceful intentions.” Also this week, President Obama has authorized the awarding of another 450 million dollars in US aid to this so-called new democracy, that is abandoning step-by-step the US brokered peace deal with Israel. The US has paid many hundreds of millions of dollars to Egypt to “get along” with Israel since 1979, and it was all for naught.
Retrieving Golan a Key Priority for Syrian Rebels
(Once we’ve defeated Assad, we want an Islamist regime’)
Oct. 1….(Times of Israel) If Youssef Zoabi is right, Israel has good reason for concern. Speaking from an office in Amman, where he took refuge after fleeing his native Syria 14 months ago, Zoabi said the fall of the Assad regime will enable Syrians to realize their deepest aspiration, to regain the Golan Heights from Israel, “through negotiations or by force.” “Why do Western countries not intervene in Syria on a humanitarian basis? Because of Israel,” he asserts. “Once the Assad regime disappears, people will start thinking about retaking the land which is rightfully theirs. “We have no problem with negotiations with Israel, as long as the outcome does not include concessions or capitulation,” he says. “The entire Syrian people agrees on regaining its rights first by peaceful means and, if that doesn’t work, through other means. Israel is terrified by this.
FOJ Note: Well, there its is, the stated goals of the Rebels seeking the overthrow of Assad in Syria. They want war against Israel, and yet another Muslim theocracy. No wonder President Obama supports democracy (sic) in the Arab world.
Turkey and Egypt Denounce Assad, Support for Palestinian State
(Erdogan says Turkey determined to speak out against Israel's 'state terrorism.)
Oct. 1….(Ha Aretz) Turkey and Egypt sought to boost their alliance in a turbulent region on Sunday, unleashing harsh criticism of the Syrian regime and pledging joint support for the Palestinian cause. Egypt's new president, Mohammed Morsi, addressed a major congress of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party, amid signs that a partnership between their two countries is emerging, and said they both plan to stand by Palestinians and the Syrian people. "Our common goal is to support other people who are standing up against their administrations or regimes, to support Palestine and the Syrians in their efforts," Morsi said. "The events in Syria are the tragedy of the century," Morsi said. "We will be on the side of the Syrian people until the bloodshed ends, the cruel regime is gone and Syrian people reach their just rights."
In his speech to the congress, which is marking the ruling Justice and Development party's decade in power, , Erdogan promised that Turkey, which is host to some 88,000 Syrian refuges as well as Syrian opposition groups, would continue to support the Syrian people wanting to oust the regime of President Bashar Assad. He appealed to Russia, China and Iran to stop backing the regime. "We call on Russia, China as well as Iran: please review your stance. History will not forgive those who stand together with cruel regimes," he said.d.d.d.
With Khaled Meshal, the leader of the Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas also present, Erdogan said Turkey is determined to speak out against what he called Israel's "state terrorism" in the region and praised Morsi for his support to Palestinians. "Through Morsi's leadership, our Palestinian brothers in Gaza and in all other Palestinian cities are able to breathe easily," and we will help them be free he said. Erdogan told delegates at the congress that the era of military coups in the country is over and that Turkey is a model for other Muslim countries to emulate. "The era of coups in our lands will never return again," Erdogan said. "Anyone who intervenes or tries to intervene in democracy will sooner or later go in front of the people's courts and be made to account."
FOJ Note: Muslim Brotherhood nation coalitions (in the name of democracy) are rising fast all around Israel. The Arab Spring has given rise not to freedom, but to further Islamic submission. Both Turkey and Egypt, only recently friendly nations toward Israel, have each turned toward Islamic madness aimed at destroying Israel.