WEEK OF AUGUST 24 THROUGH AUGUST 30
Putin: Don’t Mess With Nuclear Russia
Aug. 30….(Reuters) President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia's armed forces, backed by its nuclear arsenal, were ready to meet any aggression, declaring at a pro-Kremlin youth camp that foreign states should understand: "It's best not to mess with us." Putin told the assembly, on the banks of a lake near Moscow, the Russian takeover of Crimea in March was essential to save a largely Russian-speaking population from Ukrainian government violence. He said continued fighting in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists launched an uprising in April, was the result of a refusal by Kiev to negotiate. Ukraine, and Western governments, accuse Russia of sending troops and armor to back the separatists in a conflict that has already killed over 2,000 people. Russia denies the charge. "Russia is far from being involved in any large-scale conflicts," he said at the camp on the banks of Lake Seliger. "We don't want that and don't plan on it. But naturally, we should always be ready to repel any aggression towards Russia. "Russia's partners, should understand it's best not to mess with us," said Putin, dressed casually in a grey sweater and light blue jeans. "Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers. His tone darkened when speaking on Ukraine, blaming the United States and the European Union for the "unconstitutional" removal of Kiev's former Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovich and replacement with a pro-European government.
IDF Now on High Alert in Golan
Aug. 30….(Times of Israel) As a result of the fighting on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, the level of alert was raised on the Israeli side, an army spokesperson said Thursday, without confirming that it had been increased to the highest level. The announcement followed several incidents in the area, including the capture and execution of 160 Syrian soldiers by the Islamic State, gruesome pictures of which appeared online Thursday, and the abduction, also Thursday, of 43 Fijian UN peacekeepers by al-Qaeda-affiliate al-Nusra Front at the Quneitra crossing with Israel, where fighting has raged this week between Syrian rebels and government forces. Another 81 peacekeepers, from the Philippines, were trapped in the area by heavy clashes between rebels and Syrian troops, according to the UN. Philippines military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said in a statement that Syrian rebels demanded that the Filipino troops surrender their firearms, but the soldiers refused. “They did not surrender their firearms as they may, in turn, be held hostage themselves. This resulted in a stand-off which is still the prevailing situation at this time,” Zagala said.
On Wednesday, the Quneitra crossing was seized by rebel combatants, including members of the Nusra Front, one of the main groups fighting forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad for control of the embattled country. “Al-Nusra Front and other rebel groups took the Quneitra crossing, and heavy fighting with the Syrian army is continuing in the surrounding area,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based NGO. Also Wednesday, at least seven mortars fired from Syria landed in the Israeli side of the Golan Heights. The IDF said it had not determined whether the mortars were fired into Israel intentionally, or were a spillover from fighting between rival factions on the Syrian side of the border.
The Israel-Syria border region has seen intermittent exchanges of fire throughout the war in Syria. Although Israel has largely attributed these incidents to stray fire from clashes in Syria, there have been attempts to target Israeli soldiers. In June, the UN Security Council strongly condemned the intense fighting between Syrian government and opposition fighters in the Golan Heights and demanded an end to all military activity in the area. Syrian mortars overshooting their target have repeatedly hit the Israeli-controlled Golan, and UN peacekeepers have been abducted.
Islamic State Vows to Reach 'Palestine
(IS goal is to invade West Bank and 'kill the barbaric Jews')
Aug. 30….(Jerusalem Post) Islamic State's English-language publication inspires potential recruits with graphic images and messages of jihad while vowing to strike down every "obstacle on its path to Palestine." The organization calling itself the Islamic State has risen from the fog of war in Syria and Iraq in recent months and drawn the attention of the world with major victories on both sides of the Euphrates River that have claimed swaths of territory for its declared caliphate, or Islamic State.
Now in the organization's new English language publication, Dabiq, aimed at young Muslims in western states, the extremist organization declared, "Islamic State will do everything within its means to continue striking down every apostate who stands as an obstacle on its path towards Palestine." Denouncing the ineffectiveness of other Arab states and organizations in carrying out the "will of Allah," the magazine vows that, "Its [Islamic State's] actions speak louder than its words and it is only a matter of time and patience before it reaches Palestine to fight the barbaric Jews and kill those of them hiding behind the gharqad trees, the trees of the Jews."
The Islamic State recently brought attention to the large and growing number of westerners in its ranks with the video of American journalist James Foley's execution, at the hands of a masked IS militant speaking English in a British accent. The shocking video and revelation that the American hostage's killer might be a British citizen turned jihadist led a man hunt to identify the man. Assessments by Britain’s two intelligence and security agencies led to the positive identification of 23-year-old British-born Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, nicknamed “Jihadi John” by his colleagues. Western countries are well aware of the issue. "I don't think this video changes anything. It just heightens awareness of a situation which is very grave and which we've been working on for several months." British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told the BBC.
Now the Islamic State is producing a slick new magazine in English which caters to potential recruits around the world to answer the "call to Hijrah," migration to the Islamic State. The publication does away with the often poetic translation of Arab prose found in other jihadist propaganda and writes in plain English that young Muslims in Europe or the United States can relate to. The publication's second issue opens by telling its readers, "The first priority is to perform hijrah from wherever you are to the Islamic State. From the state of the infidel to the state of Islam."
Al-Qaida has an English language publication of its own titled Inspire, but the Islamic State's new periodical demonstrates the movement's prowess in creating an image for itself with graphic illustrations and a slick format. Captioned high quality pictures show Islamic State jihadists, or mujahadeen, in the field and graphically gruesome executions of the movement's enemies. In everything it does, Islamic State's writers justify the movement's terrorist activities and militant strategy with the movement's overall aspiration to establish a caliphate, or state ruled by the movement's strict interpretation of Islamic Law.
Saudi King Warns West About IS: “You’re Next”
Aug. 30….(AFP) King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has warned that the West will be the next target of the jihadists sweeping through Syria and Iraq, unless there is "rapid" action. "If we ignore them, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month," he said in remarks quoted on Saturday by Asharq al-Awsat daily and Saudi-backed Al-Arabiya television station. "Terrorism knows no border and its danger could affect several countries outside the Middle East," said the king who was speaking at a welcoming ceremony on Friday for new ambassadors, including a new envoy from Saudi ally the United States.
The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group has prompted widespread concern as it advances in both Syria and Iraq, killing hundreds of people, including in gruesome beheadings and mass executions. Lack of action would be "unacceptable" in the face of the phenomenon, King Abdullah said." You see how they (jihadists) carry out beheadings and make children show the severed heads in the street," he said, condemning the "cruelty" of such acts. "It is no secret to you, what they have done and what they have yet to do. I ask you to transmit this message to your leaders: 'Fight terrorism with force, reason and (necessary) speed'."
President Barack Obama has yet to decide whether the United States should launch raids against positions held by the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria to follow US air strikes on IS activities in Iraq. US Secretary of State John Kerry called Friday for a global coalition to combat Islamic State fighters' "genocidal agenda".
Horn of War Developing in Northern Israel & Golan Heights
Aug. 29….(DEBKA) The cross-border incident on the Golan Wednesday, Aug. 27, in which an Israeli officer was injured by stray fire from the fighting between Syrian army and rebel forces near Quneitra, put this battle zone on the front pages. However, Debkafile’s military sources report that this incident, fought by only 300 combatants on each side backed by 10 tanks, had no real military importance for the Syrian conflict at large. The Syrian army, helped by Iran and Hizballah, is winning and the rebel side is crumbling.
The battle for Qoneitra, fought 200 meters from the Israeli border, is much more important as a touchstone in quite a different setting that concerns not only Israel but the complicated US posture against the many-headed Al Qaeda peril in the Middle East.
The US, Jordan and Israel are quietly backing the mixed bag of some 30 Syrian rebel factions which Tuesday, Aug. 26, seized control of the Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing, the only transit point between Israeli and Syrian Golan. However, here comes the rub, Al Qaeda elements have permeated all those factions. The crossing is formally under the control of UNDOF, an international peacekeeping force, which too is falling apart as contingents are recalled by their governments.
Damascus hit back at the rebels Thursday, Aug. 28, by sending the Syrian air force to destroy the new rebel positions. This was a flagrant contravention of Israel-Syrian armistice agreements. The Israeli air force might have been justified in scrambling to combat the Syrian air incursion, but was not ordered to do so.
This appeared to contradict a fact which Israel has kept very dark: The 30 or so Syrian rebel offensive to wrest Quneitra would have stood no chance without Israel’s aid - not just in medical care for their injured, but also in limited supplies of arms, intelligence and food. Israel acted as a member, along with the US and Jordan, of a support system for rebel groups fighting in southern Syria. Their efforts are coordinated through a war-room which the Pentagon established last year near Amman. The US, Jordanian and Israeli officers manning the facility determine in consultation which rebel factions are provided with reinforcements from the special training camps run for Syrian rebels in Jordan, and which will receive arms. All three governments understand perfectly that, notwithstanding all their precautions, some of their military assistance is bound to percolate to Al Qaeda’s Syrian arm, Jabhat Al-Nusra, which is fighting in rebel ranks. Neither Washington or Jerusalem or Amman would be comfortable in admitting they are arming Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front in southern Syria. And not only Nusra: It turned out in this week’s incident that some of the rebel fighters come from the terrorist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a coalition of Al Qaeda contingents based in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip. Another piece of this dissonant jigsaw is Al Maqdis’ close alignment for its violent operations with the Palestinian Hamas ruling Gaza, with which Israel has just been locked in a deadly 50-day war.
Wednesday night, at his news conference to sum up that war, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu included in his list of Israel’s diplomatic successes, the winning over of world opinion to the perception that Hamas and Al Qaeda belong to the same family of terrorists and share the same fundamentalist ideology, which must be fought. As he spoke, Al Qaeda fighters, intermingled with Syrian rebel factions, fetched up just yards from Israel’s northern border fence.
Debkafile’s military sources say that Washington, Amman and Jerusalem can expect to keep the embarrassing fact fairly quiet only until the first black Al Qaeda flag is raised over a rebel position at the Quneitra crossing or a captured Syrian post opposite the line of Israeli positions on the Golan. Israel will then face a new dilemma on this sensitive front, which will take some explaining.
Former CIA Expert: Obama is Betraying America
Aug. 29….(WND) It’s an explosive charge, one that practically accuses the president of treason. A former CIA agent bluntly told WND, America has switched sides in the war on terror under President Obama. Clare Lopez was willing to say what a few members of Congress have confided to WND in private, but declined to say on-the-record. She said the global war on terror had been an effort to “stay free of Shariah,” or repressive Islamic law, until the Obama administration began siding with such jihadist groups as the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates. Why the switch?
Lopez explained, when the so-called Arab Spring appeared in late 2010, “It was time to bring down the secular Muslim rulers who did not enforce Islamic law. And America helped.” And why would Obama want to do that? As she told WND earlier this month, Lopez believed the Muslim Brotherhood has thoroughly infiltrated the Obama administration and other branches of the federal government. She also came to the conclusion Obama had essentially the same goals in the Mideast as the late Osama bin Laden: “to remove American power and influence, including military forces, from Islamic lands.” Why would Obama order the killing of bin Laden? Because the president “couldn’t delay any longer,” once the opportunity was presented, Lopez told WND. There were “no more excuses” available to avoid it and he “thought it might look good,” she mused.
The former CIA operative’s perspective affects her prescription for what the US should do about the terror army ISIS, as she called for caution and restraint. While there has been a sudden chorus of politicians and military experts calling for the immediate elimination of the terrorist army after it beheaded American journalist James Foley last week, Lopez believes the US should have an overall strategy in place before fully re-engaging in the Mideast militarily. Any military action would be further complicated, she told WND, if it were not clear which side the US is on, either in the short term or in the overall war on terror.
Lopez’s insights are backed by an impressive array of credentials. She spent two decades in the field as a CIA operations officer; was an instructor for military intelligence and special forces students; has been a consultant, intelligence analyst and researcher within the defense sector; and has published two books on Iran. Lopez currently manages the counter-jihad and Shariah programs at the Center for Security Policy, run by Frank Gaffney, former assistant secretary of defense for international security policy during the Reagan administration.
Lopez described the stunning extent of infiltration of the administration and other branches of the federal government by the jihadist group the Muslim Brotherhood. She said the infiltration began under former President Bill Clinton but really took hold under the Obama administration, which, she said, “includes various levels of understanding and misunderstanding of Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood.” “Some in the administration genuinely appear to believe the Muslim Brotherhood can act as a foil or counterweight to al-Qaida, although with what’s going on in Syria, it’s hard to understand how they would still think that,” she observed.
Lopez felt it was impossible to understand why the president and some of his top appointees, such as CIA Director John Brennan, “consistently seem to apologize for Islam, even in the face of such atrocities as the Foley beheading,” adding, they “take pains to assure the world they don’t think IS, (or the Islamic State, also called ISIS) or whichever perpetrator it was, has anything to do with Islam. How can they possibly believe that genuinely when everything these jihadis do tracks directly to the literal text of Quran, hadiths and Shariah?” “In any case, and for whatever motivations, there is no doubt this administration switched sides in what used to be called the Global War on Terror,” she said. “Even though President George W. Bush was obviously confused and mistaken when he called Islam a ‘religion of peace’ the day after 9/11, he wasn’t deliberately exonerating the perpetrators.
Lopez maintained, it was the Obama administration “that actively purged truthful curriculum about the inspirational relationship between Islamic doctrine, law, and scripture and Islamic terrorism.” In fact, she said, they were told what to purge by groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, and even allowed some of those same groups to supervise the purge. All of that, she observed, “would seem to indicate certain knowledge about the Islamic threat, and a determined effort to ignore that threat.” Lopez chastised the Obama administration for what she called beating a hasty retreat, under fire, out of Afghanistan and Iraq, knowing full well they would both fall to Islam, the Taliban and Iran, respectively.
By 2014, she maintained, US leadership had purged all its training curriculum and official discourse of any terminology that would accurately identify the Islamic enemy, “and the time was right. Al-Qaida receded and [ISIS] arose. The US couldn’t tell the difference between jihadist militias to save its life anyway, quite literally.”
The former CIA operative said, “as Israel fought enemies on all sides to remain free, secure and Jewish, America began to move away from Israel and toward its Muslim enemies. And, as Iran moved inexorably toward a deliverable nuclear weapons capability, America helped.” She said the Obama administration “consistently has engaged with this Iranian regime, pleaded with it to engage, and continue to engage, in obviously fruitless negotiations over their nuclear weapons program. The administration extended deadlines repeatedly, refused to hold Iran to account meaningfully for its terror support, including involvement in Sept. 11, lethal support to Iraqi militias in the 2000s and continuing harboring al-Qaida operations cell on its soil.”
Furthermore, Lopez insisted the administration refused to even broach certain key topics in negotiations (such as Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program) and failed to insist that earlier UN Security Council resolutions demanding Iran halt all nuclear enrichment be implemented before any further talks. Instead, she said the administration explicitly signaled, in the November 2013 Joint Plan of Action agreement, it would allow Iran to continue enrichment permanently.
The goal of the global war on terror, or GWOT, launched after Sept. 11, was understood to be the defeat of jihadism both in the Mideast and globally. But, Obama has articulated no such goal, and has, in fact, declared there no longer is a global war on terror. Far from seeking the defeat of jihadism in the Mideast or globally, Obama prefers to let Sunni and Shiite jihadists each have their own spheres of influence in the Muslim world and America should withdraw its troops and influence from the region.
Lopez advised, “I don’t think the USA should act as cats’ paw for either side of an intra-Islamic sectarian squabble, which has at least a 50-50 chance of winding up a pan-Islamic alliance against us, even as Iran and al-Qaida remain joined in an operational terrorist alliance that began in 1990, brought us Sept. 11, and continues to this day. No one is talking about Iran and its role, whatever it is, regarding [ISIS]. That concerns me.”
One former Pentagon analyst then went a step further than many other commentators in suggesting, “the US and allies may have to begin working with Syria and Iran to defeat a common threat. It isn’t the Shiites of Iran launching these jihadist groups. It’s the Sunnis under the control and financing of Saudi Arabia and a number of the other Gulf Arab states.” Lopez disagreed on two fronts. She cited the danger in partnering with Iran, and she urged caution in implementing a short-term plan of confronting ISIS before developing a coherent long-term strategy for the Mideast and to defeat jihadism. “I remain concerned that we not tip the balance in favor of either side in this essentially intra-Islamic sectarian fight between Shiites and Sunnis. Both sides are jihadist enemies of the US, our friends, allies and security interests,” said the former CIA analyst.
Lopez pointed out how ISIS is also fighting at least six adversaries on multiple fronts at the same time: against the Iraqi and Syrian governments; al-Qaida militias in Syria, non-al-Qaida militias in Syria; the US and UK airstrikes; the Kurds; and maybe the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps or Qods Force, too. And, she adds, while countries such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey may have initially instigated and bankrolled ISIS, those regimes and others, such as Iran and Qatar, “play all sides of the jihadi game” and have “enabled a monster in ISIS” they can no longer control, and “they should be allowed to reap what they’ve sown.”
Everybody in the Middle East waits for the US to stumble into the scene again and again like some deus ex machine, so the whole charade can begin all over again, and more American blood and treasure is spent. What is wrong with this picture? Lopez says the US seems to be manipulated to fulfill objectives not in its best interests. Lopez argued, before US leaders could deduce the right course of action on the other side of the world, first they must figure out the right things to do at home.
Al Qaeda On Israel’s Northern Border
Aug. 27….(Israel Today) An Al Qaeda-linked Syrian rebel group seized control of the Quneitra Crossing between Israel and Syria on Wednesday. Israeli authorities ordered farmers and other civilians in the northeastern part of the Golan Heights to evacuate earlier in the day, as Syrian government forces battled the Al-Nusra Front near the border region. As the fighting raged, a number of mortar shells landed in Israel, and wayward gunfire from Syria wounded an Israeli army officer. The IDF responded with targeted artillery fire.
The Al-Nusra Front has repeatedly acknowledged its allegiance to Al Qaeda. At one point, al-Nusra was working together with the Islamic State (formerly ISIS), but the two groups later began fighting one another when Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi tried to force a merger.
Israel and Hamas Enter an Egyptian Cease-Fire Deal
Aug. 27….(DEBKA) Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi were able to bring Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip to accept an unlimited ceasefire in hostilities in effect from 7pm Tuesday, Aug. 26, based on the 2012 deal. Netanyahu did not ask for his ministers’ endorsement, knowing he did not have majority support in the cabinet. Hamas violated all eleven agreed during during the 50-day Gaza conflict. Up to the last minute, Hamas kept up heavy rocket and mortar fire, causing two Israeli deaths and injuring seven people, three seriously, in an Eshkol District kibbutz. It is too soon to tell whether Hamas will honor the deal during the month’s run-up to negotiations on a durable truce accord to be brokered by Egypt. There is no certainty that Israel and Hamas deal were not presented with different drafts for approval by Egypt, which will require nimble footwork from Cairo diplomats to bridge at some point, or that Operation Defensive Edge is indeed over.
Battered by Hamas’ escalating rocket and mortar assaults, Israelis are again tossed on the uncertain waters of an imminent ceasefire which never materializes. This illusion is propagated again by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi. Washington has also been enlisted to the effort by drafting a resolution for the UN Security Council. It was tabled at the request of the White House with quiet backing from Netanyahu for the purpose of blocking the European measure, which is backed by Qatar, one of the Hamas’ few supporters and host to its political leader Khaled Meshaal.
Why is President Barack Obama standing behind Egypt and Israel this time? His reasoning is complicated. Netanyahu and El-Sisi, who speak regularly and discreetly by phone, have been persuaded by their intelligence services that Meshaal is an impediment, not just to a temporary ceasefire, but to any sort of accommodation for ending the Gaza conflict. They are convinced that all the Palestinian factions, including Hamas-Gaza, would go for an end to the war, in the hope of a Gaza deal leading to a settlement between Israel and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Those intelligence analysts cling to the hypothesis that Hamas-Gaza really wants to end the war, and this assumption dominates top-level thinking in Jerusalem and Cairo, in the face of all Hamas' actions to the contrary in 50 days of escalating Hamas warfare up until Tuesday, Aug. 26. This dichotomy leaves Israelis increasingly confused and uncertain about how to conduct their lives, especially in the areas closest to the Gaza Strip, which have been largely depopulated by non-stop Hamas short-range rocket and mortar fire. The theory found a champion this week in an unexpected quarter: Khaled al-Batsh, one of the top men of Islamic Jihad, the pro-Iranian Palestinian terrorist movement which is Hamas’ most active partner in the offensive against Israel. He suddenly announced he was in favor of a truce.
Lest he be suspected of overnight conversion to peace-lover, debkafile’s intelligence services turns to another hidden aspect of the Gaza conflict for an explanation: The Palestinian group’s patrons, Iran and Hizballah, are working hard to paint their ally Syrian President Bashar Assad as the only force in the Middle East capable of fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, IS. If their proposition is accepted, they will reciprocate by bringing about a halt in the Gaza hostilities. They would also be able to show themselves in the light of the real forces of peace and moderation in the region.
The US-Egyptian-Israeli line therefore hinged on the presumption that a deal introducing Tehran to the Gaza equation would be beneficial, because Meshaal, who relies heavily on Iranian support, would not be able to spurn an Iranian demand to stop the fighting in Gaza. But this math has not panned out. Meshaal showed his nerves were strong enough to withstand the potion mixed for him in Washington, Jerusalem, Cairo, Ramallah. He not only stuck to his guns against ending the Gaza conflict, he outmaneuvered them all by enlisting Hamas’ secretive military chief Muhammed Deif to this end. The object of an Israeli targeted assassination on Aug. 19, Meshaal said that Deif had survived the attack and they were in close contact.
Whether he spoke the truth or not cannot be determined at this point. But by bandying Deif’s name and claiming he too was flat against a ceasefire, Meshaal set a clear course for the war to continue, irrespective of efforts to bring about a truce in the fighting. Deif’s word in the movement is law, which no Hamas member would dare defy. So, at this point, all the schemes and machinations for ending the Gaza crisis by diplomacy are in deadlock, debkafile’s intelligence and military sources report. The two options remaining to the leaders of Egypt and Israel are:
1) Unable to break Khaled Meshaal’s will, they must find a way to persuade Hamas-Gaza that it is in their best interests to defy, or even sack him.
2) To apply military pressure that is beyond Hamas’ capacity to resist, i.e., effective IDF ground action to stop the fighting by sheer force.
Of course, if the Hamas political chief were to surprise everyone by caving in and accepting a truce, that would be a third option. But there are no signs of this happening. His movement continued meanwhile to signal its true intentions in no uncertain terms Tuesday, Aug. 26, Day 50 of the Gaza conflict, by unveiling a new 340mm rocket with an extra large warhead which crashed down on a private home in Ashkelon, injuring 59 people, the largest number of casualties by any single rocket so far. Two houses were leveled and dozens more damaged. And so Hamas Gaza graphically belied the hypothesis of its intentions which guide, or misguide, Washington, Jerusalem and Cairo.
US Considering Taking Fight Against Islamic State into Syria
Aug. 25….(Jerusalem Post) Obama has not yet been presented with military options for attacking Islamic State targets beyond two important areas in Iraq, but is considering next steps. The United States is considering taking the fight against Islamic State militants into Syria after days of airstrikes against the group in Iraq and the beheading of an American journalist, the White House signaled on Friday.
President Barack Obama, soon to end a two-week working vacation on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, has not yet been presented with military options for attacking Islamic State targets beyond two important areas in Iraq, said White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes. But Rhodes made clear that going after Islamic State forces based in Syria is an option after the release of a video this week showing one of the group's fighters beheading American journalist James Foley and threatening to kill a second American, Steve Sotloff. "We will do what's necessary to protect Americans and see that justice is done for what we saw with the barbaric killing of Jim Foley. So we're actively considering what's going to be necessary to deal with that threat, and we're not going to be restricted by borders," he said. The US effort against Islamic State thus far has been relatively limited. US forces have conducted more than 90 air strikes in Iraq to protect the Iraqi Yazidi religious minority and attack Islamic State positions around the Mosul Dam.
Extending the fight into Syria would allow opportunities for disrupting the group's supply lines. Republican Senator John McCain told Reuters this week that Islamic State fighters have moved military equipment seized in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul into Syria and that they hold enclaves in Syrian territory that have been identified. A move into Syria, even only with air power, would be a reversal for Obama. He stepped back from a threat to launch airstrikes in Syria a year ago in response to a chemical weapons attack against civilians it blamed on forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Time and time again over the past year, Obama has rejected greater involvement in the three-year-old Syrian civil war out of concern about getting entangled in a conflict with no clear positive outcome for the United States. But officials say the situation now is different because Islamic State militants represent a direct threat to Americans and American interests. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Thursday that Islamic State cannot be defeated without addressing the part of the group that is based in Syria.
US forces have already had one direct ground engagement with Islamic State militants in Syria. The White House said this week that a rescue mission this summer aimed at securing the freedom of Foley, Sotloff and a handful of other American hostages led to a firefight in which a number of militants were killed. The hostages were not at the location. The United States is taking the Islamic State militants far more seriously now than it did six months ago, when Obama told the New Yorker magazine that they were the "JV team," which is short for "junior varsity" and means they are not the best players on the field.
US General Dempsey Hits Islamic ‘End-of-Days’ Vision
Aug. 25….(In The Days) During a Pentagon briefing last Thursday, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said it’s possible to contain the Islamic State militants, but it can’t be done permanently without going after the group in Syria. Speaking to reporters with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Dempsey said he wasn’t predicting US airstrikes in Syria, but said the problem must be addressed diplomatically, politically and militarily by America and its regional partners. “They can be contained, not in perpetuity,” Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news conference.
The United States so far has restricted a series of airstrikes to Iraq, but concerns have increased as the Islamic militant group has extended its reach from safe havens in civil-war-ravaged Syria across the Iraqi border. Appearing with Dempsey at the Pentagon Thursday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel credited US bombing as well as US arms supplies to Iraqi and Kurdish forces as key factors in the recapture this week of the Mosul Dam in Iraq that had been in the hands of the Islamic State militants.
Hagel said the US airstrikes have helped Iraqi and Kurdish fighters regain their footing in Iraq. But the secretary also said in a question-and-answer session with reporters that the well-resourced Islamic State militants can be expected to regroup and stage a new offensive. Dempsey said that taking on the Islamic State more forcefully would not necessarily require airstrikes by the US in Syria, although Hagel appeared to leave open that possibility by saying, “We’re looking at all options.” Hagel said operations the US military has undertaken so far “have stalled ISIL’s momentum and enabled Iraqi and Kurdish forces to regain their footing and take the initiative.” ISIL and ISIS are alternate acronyms for the Islamic State group that is an outgrowth of the al-Qaida terrorist network. The US has restricted its military action to Iraq, but concerns have increased as the Islamic militant group extends its reach from safe havens in Syria across the Iraqi border.
Dempsey, who served multiple tours in Iraq during the 2003-2011 war, was pointed in his comments about what it would take to ultimately defeat the Islamic State group. “They can be contained, not in perpetuity,” Dempsey said. “This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision and which will eventually have to be defeated. “To your question, can they be defeated without addressing that part of their organization which resides in Syria? The answer is no,” he said. “That will have to be addressed on both sides of what is essentially at this point a nonexistent border. “And that will come when we have a coalition in the region that takes on the task of defeating ISIS over time,” Dempsey added, using another acronym for the group. “ISIS will only truly be defeated when it’s rejected by the 20 million disenfranchised Sunni that happen to reside between Damascus and Baghdad.” Neither Hagel nor Dempsey gave any indication of an imminent change in the US military approach in Iraq, which President Barack Obama has said will include further airstrikes but not the introduction of American ground forces.
Taking the US Fight Against IS into Syria
· FOJ Note: Is the Syrian – IS Conflict God’s Trap for America?
· Is the Burden of Damascus looming on the horizon?
Aug. 25….(DEBKA) British and German intelligence sources reported Saturday, Aug. 23, that US intelligence aid to the Assad regime, channeled through German BND intelligence, had enabled the Syrian air force to more precisely target al Qaeda units. These reports tie in with proliferating accounts from Washington that President Barack Obama is on the point of a decision to extend military strikes into Syria for targeting the Islamic State’s terrorist base. He has been warned by some top US generals that IS poses a threat to the United States and cannot be seriously engaged without dealing with the group’s Syrian stronghold. “We’re not going to be restricted by borders,” said Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, in a comment Thursday.
Debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report that there is no confirmation from the ground in Syria that Washington is indeed passing intelligence to Syria through Berlin to help the Syrian air force reach IS targets. The fact is that Syria is falling well short of arresting the IS advance on two critical fronts:
1. Aleppo. The Islamist threat looms grimly over an approaching Syrian-Hizballah military victory, under Iranian commanders, in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. They have come close to dislodging rebel forces from their last footholds, only to be faced with a new enemy. In the last fortnight, al Qaeda forces armed with American weapons taken booty in Iraq have surged out of their northern Syrian stronghold of Raqqa to capture dozens of villages around the city. Syrian and Hizballah forces, after completing their takeover of Aleppo, will find themselves encircled by Islamist units.
2. Tabqa Air Base. IS forces have pinned down some 1,000 Syrian air force and military personnel in the Tabqa air base southwest of Raqqa. They are locked in fierce combat. Every attempt by the Syrian army in the last two weeks to break the siege has been repelled by the Islamists. The latest attempt by the new Syrian Republican Guard’s 124th Brigade to reverse the battle has not so far broken the extremists’ stranglehold.
The fall of Tabqa air base would represent the Islamic State’s next major victory after the capture of Iraq’s second city of Mosul in July. It would open the road to Hama, 480 km to the west, and the main highways to Syria’s most important ports and naval bases in Latakia and Tartus in the Assad clan’s heartland. In a word, by taking Tabqa, IS would virtually roll back a year of advances made by the Hizballah-backed Syrian military against the insurgency, and replace the former threat to the Assad regime with a new one from the Islamic State. So in any decision to extend US military action from Iraq to Syria, President Obama must take into consideration its likely collateral effect – if successful, which would be to rescue Assad’s rule in Damascus from the Islamist peril and relieve his Hizballah and Iranian allies of this pressure.
After declaring for nearly four years that Bashar Assad must go, the US president may end up sending a US aircraft carrier to save him. This decision by the US president would bear heavily on the security of two of Syria’s neighbors, Israel and Jordan. debkafile’s military and intelligence sources add that, in view of Egyptian president Abdel Fatteh El-Sisi’s recent clandestine contacts with President Assad, an American decision to strike al Qaeda in Syria may also influence El-Sisi’s calculations about hosting diplomacy for an accommodation of the Gaza conflict.
Rocket Fired From Lebanon hits Northern Israel
Aug. 25….(Times of Israel) A rocket fired from Lebanese territory hit northern Israel late Saturday, the army said, on the 47th day of a war against the Islamist terror movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip. “The rocket that was fired from Lebanon hit the Upper Galilee,” the IDF said in a statement. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the launch. Two five-year-olds were reported to have been lightly injured by shrapnel.
A Lebanese security source said the rocket was fired from Dheira, three kilometres (nearly two miles) from the border with Israel. The same source noted that Israeli helicopters were seen flying around the border area. In mid-July, at least nine rockets were fired from Lebanon at the Jewish state, prompting Israel to retaliate with artillery fire. Lebanese military officials said at the time they believed the attacks were carried out by a small Palestinian group in an act of solidarity with Gazan terrorists.
Israel Being Pounded by Rockets From Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria
Aug. 25….(YNET) At least five rockets were fired from Syria at the northern Golan Heights Saturday overnight, after a rocket fired from Lebanon hit an empty house in the Western Galilee earlier. Rocket alert sirens blared through the Golan Heights at least three times around 1:30am in short intervals. All of the rockets hit open areas, while three of them hit close to communities in the northern Golan. There were no reports of wounded. Earlier Saturday night, two people were lightly wounded from rocket shrapnel in Be'er Sheva on Saturday night after two rockets hit a parking lot and a park in the city, police said.
Lebanese reports indicated that two rockets had been fired into Israel from Dheira in southern Lebanon, three kilometers from the border with Israel. According to the reports, security forces from Lebanon began searching for the locations from where the rockets were fired. A Lebanese source said IAF helicopters were seen flying over the area of the border.
Some 100 rockets were fired at Israel on Saturday, with one of the rockets hitting a communal dining hall in Nahal Oz, the very same kibbutz in which 4-year-old Daniel Tregerman was killed from a mortar hit the day before. Damage was caused to the structure, but fortunately there were no injuries. At least one rocket was intercepted over Petah Tikvah in a rocket volley at central Israel on Saturday evening, with shrapnel falling the yard of a house. Three rockets were intercepted earlier over Ashkelon and shrapnel from the interceptions caused damage to buildings in the city. Another rocket shot down over Sdot Negev. One rocket hit an open area in Sdot Negev, one in Be'er Tuviya that started a fire, and three in open areas in Eshkol and another hitting a cowshed. Rocket fire increased in the late afternoon, with seven rockets hitting open areas in Eshkol and two inside communities, one of which caused light damage to a storage space. Six rockets hit Sdot Negev while four were intercepted by the Iron Dome over Hof Ashkelon.
In the early afternoon, one rocket landed inside a community in Eshkol, causing damage to houses while another landed near the border fence inside the regional council's area. No one was hurt. One rocket landed in an open area in Sdot Negev, while three rockets were intercepted over Ashdod, Ashkelon and Hof Ashkelon. Around noontime, two rockets hit open areas in Sdot Negev, while another hit inside a community in Eshkol. One woman was treated by paramedics for shock. Sirens sounded multiple times around noontime in the Sha'ar HaNegev, Sdot Negev and Eshkol Regional Councils. One rocket exploded in a small forest near one of the communities, causing a fire to erupt. Palestinian rocket attacks continued to pound southern Israel on Saturday morning, with six rockets landing in the Sdot Negev Regional Council area. Iron Dome shot down one rocket above the council.
Earthquake Jolts Northern California
Aug. 25….(CNN) A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Northern California early Sunday, the US Geological Survey said. The largest earthquake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area in 25 years sent scores of people to hospitals, ignited fires, damaged multiple historic buildings and knocked out power to tens of thousands in California's wine country on Sunday. The earthquake is the largest to shake the Bay Area since the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta quake in 1989, the USGS said. That temblor struck the area on Oct. 17, 1989, during a World Series game between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics, collapsing part of the Bay Bridge roadway and killing more than 60 people, most when an Oakland freeway fell. Sunday's quake was felt widely throughout the region. People reported feeling it more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border.
In Napa, at least 90 people were injured, three critically, including a young child, according to Queen of the Valley Hospital spokeswoman Vanessa deGier. One child was hurt when a fireplace collapsed and has been airlifted to UC Davis Medical Center, deGier told CNN. "The majority of injuries that we are seeing are non-life-threatening, but still serious," she said. "Lots of lacerations and abrasions, obviously from fallen debris." It was the strongest earthquake to hit the Bay Area since 1989, when a quake struck during the World Series. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency. Sunday's earthquake struck 4 miles northwest of American Canyon, 6 miles southwest of Napa, and 9 miles southeast of Sonoma, according to the USGS.
Muslim Jihadist Kills Four Americans
Aug. 25….(Christian News) A Muslim black man has admitted to multiple murder charges committed in two states, of which he told investigators were committed as retribution against the United States for its military operations in the Middle East. “My mission is vengeance for the lives, millions of lives that are lost every day,” Ali Muhamad Brown stated, according to reports. “Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, all these places where innocent lives are being taken every single day. All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life.” Brown, 29, is currently behind bars in the Essex County Jail in Newark, New Jersey on charges that he murdered 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin on July 25th by gunning him down at a red light. According to NJ Advance Media, after firing multiple shots into the vehicle, Brown moved Tevlin’s body into the back seat of the car, which he then drove to a nearby apartment building and abandoned it. The two did not know each other.
Authorities in Washington State have also charged Brown for the murder of 30-year-old Leroy Henderson, who died in April after being shot ten times in the back while walking home. On June 1st, Brown reportedly killed Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young after meeting them at a night-club in his Seattle neighborhood. He then left Washington and traveled to New Jersey. “The defendant was on a bloody crusade, executing four innocent men, with the same murder weapon, over the course of approximately two months, and all under the common and single scheme of exacting ‘vengeance’ against the United States government for its foreign policies. Brown is being characterized as a devout Muslim who finds US operations against Islamic groups in the Middle East to be “evil.”
WEEK OF AUGUST 17 THROUGH AUGUST 23
Hamas Conducts Mass Executions Against IDF Intelligence Penetration
(Hamas fires more rockets into Israel, killing a 4 year old boy)
Aug. 23….(DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis) Hamas put 18 Palestinians before firing squads as Israel informers Friday, Aug. 22. Eleven were executed at a police station in Gaza City; then seven were shot dead publicly in a square outside the central mosque. The Palestinian fundamentalists exposed the excruciating brutality of their methods to warn off Israel’s Shin Bet and army intelligence from future targeted killings of its commanders. Hamas has avoided confronting the IDF which is massed outside the Gaza border and moved the war to its home front.
The Islamist rulers of the Gaza Strip know they have to contend with local Palestinians willing to serve Israel, because of their total exposure to the loss of family, friends, livelihood, homes, or even their lives, under IDF bombardment in retaliation for Hamas rocket fire against the Israeli population. Those who have already suffered such losses are more than ready to act as the Israeli air force’s target markers, whether for remuneration, or to get back at Hamas rulers who have brought death and disaster down on them and their families.
Hamas security agencies hunted down the Palestinians who were suspected of leading the Israeli Air Force and its smart precision bombs to their targets this week: Military chief Mohammed Deif, whose fate is still unknown, and the commanders of southern Gaza. The Palestinian Islamists, who lean heavily on Iranian and Hizballah advisers, seem to have taken a leaf out of their methods in order to halt Israeli liquidation of their military chiefs. Some of the 18 victims summarily executed Friday were most likely innocent, but were not afforded due process to clear themselves of the charge of collaboration. That is the way of these extremists. By its action, Hamas set its feet on a course from which there is no return, only war to the end.
The gruesome images coming from the Gaza Strip brought to mind chillingly the video of the Islamic State’s unspeakable murder of the American journalist James Wright Foley aged 40, perpetrated in punishment for US air strikes in Iraq. It took the Palestinian Hamas just three days to demonstrate it had not changed its spots and belonged to the same barbarian fraternity as IS. The tragedies of 18 anonymous Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are not likely to affect the course of events in the Middle East. However they should at least dispel any illusions in the minds of Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu or even Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, that there is any prospect of drawing to the table the savage Hamas, any more than the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, for any kind of productive negotiations to end the Gaza conflict. While those three leaders seriously seek a political resolution to the Gaza conflict, Hamas is eager for nothing but bloodshed.
Obama Playing Politics With Christian Persecution
Aug. 23….(WND) Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., is blasting President Obama and his administration for playing politics with human tragedy around the world, specifically Christian persecution, and failing to prevent a handful of terrorists from growing into the powerful ISIS army now rampaging across Iraq. “Whatever it is, it seems like this administration can’t find their tongue in time to actually prevent any of this tragedy,” Franks said in an interview posted online Friday by Concerned Women for America. Franks, who leads the International Religious Freedom Caucus in the House, was interviewed about the persecution of Christians by Shari Rendall, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee director of House legislation.
Pointing out the extreme dangers Christians face worldwide, he said Obama administration officials “only respond when the politics become so antithetical to them that they have to.” Franks cited the recent case of Meriam Ibrahim, who was sentenced to die for her Christian faith but later released. He also noted Saeed Abedini, the American pastor imprisoned in Iran; the Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria; the Muslim Brotherhood persecution of Christians in Egypt; and ISIS. “The bottom line is if you don’t have religious freedom, there’s no hope for any other kind of freedom,” Franks told CWFA. “Religious freedom’s the cornerstone of all other freedoms.” He said religious freedom “is fundamental and basic,” but “not everyone in the world believes that.”
He called ISIS “the most dangerous group so far that we’ve ever seen arise ultimately as Islamist terrorists.” “They make al-Qaida, who was horrifying, look like a bunch of Cub Scouts,” he said. “They’re extremely dangerous in their desire to hurt, and destroy and torture. Of those who do not hold their perspective, Christians seem to be at the top of their list.” He said something must be done to stop them. “They’re incredibly dangerous. If the free world stands by and lets these monsters do what they are doing, then not only will those monsters in the not too distant future knock on our door, but we will certainly have invited them because in my judgment we have to keep in mind that there is evil in the world.” They are not like other enemies, Franks said. “If we’re not willing to confront, it will kind of smell fear and it will be supercharged in its attack,” he said. “I think that’s what’s happened.”
The congressman said the president has a responsibility to monitor and deter such aggression. “I been extremely critical of President Obama and it’s primarily for that reason. It seemed like whenever there’s suffering of the innocent, whether it’s the unborn at the hands of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, innocent people at the hands of Syrian president Bashar Assad or innocent Coptic Christians in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, or innocent Christians at the hands of ISIS in Iraq,” he said. He said he and dozens of other members of the House had warned Obama in a letter of the rise of ISIS. “We could see the signs. We knew what ISIS did in Syria, what they did as they were moving into Iraq. It would have taken so little to prevent them from coming into Iraq it’s almost laughable, yet this administration did not exert that much initiative,” he said.
He further said if there is “one thing as surprising as the obliviousness of this president, it is the totality of that obliviousness.” “Truly, it seems as if there is no threat that has not managed to catch him utterly off-guard. And the sad reality is that his consistent inability to anticipate obvious danger has almost invariably led to the loss of innocent life on an massive and heartbreaking scale,” Franks said. “As the radical terrorist group ISIS, which Mr. Obama once compared to a junior varsity basketball team, continues its rampage across Iraq, reportedly beheading children and selling women into sexual slavery along the way, a half-hearted scramble to catch up simply will not be sufficient at this point. We are witnessing a Christian genocide in Iraq and this president has a moral obligation to respond swiftly and completely to the situation his own ineptitude helped to create.”
Haniyeh Vows Hamas Will 'Liberate Palestine”
Aug. 23….(Jerusalem Post) After the killing of three of its senior commanders by Israel, Hamas vowed early Friday that it would be “strengthened” in its quest “to lift the siege on Gaza” and “liberate Jerusalem and Palestine from the neo-Nazi occupier who destroys houses and kills women and children.” Hours after the targeted strike on the Hamas commanders, Ismail Haniyeh, the former head of the Hamas regime in Gaza, released a statement that was read aloud by the Hamas television network.
Haniyeh said that Hamas “was saddened over the deaths of our brothers and commanders who went on the path of great ones.” “We want to emphasize that despite the pain of their loss, the history of the Hamas movement has proven more than once that it is stronger after every targeted killing of one of its senior members,” Haniyeh said. “After a senior operative is killed, we immediately continue on our path without hesitating or stepping back,” Haniyeh said. “The Zionist enemy has paid a dear price that has been exacted by the fighters of the Az a-din al-Kassam Brigades both inside and outside Gaza,” Haniyeh said. “Our people and our brave commanders have set a goal of lifting the siege on Gaza and liberating all of Jerusalem and Palestine from the neo-Nazi occupier who only destroys houses and kills women and children.”
Who Will Stand Up for the Christians?
Aug. 22….(Ronald S. Lauder) Why is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa? In Europe and in the United States, we have witnessed demonstrations over the tragic deaths of Palestinians who have been used as human shields by Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza. The United Nations has held inquiries and focuses its anger on Israel for defending itself against that same terrorist organization. But the barbarous slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Christians is met with relative indifference.
The Middle East and parts of central Africa are losing entire Christian communities that have lived in peace for centuries. The terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped and killed hundreds of Christians this year, ravaging the predominantly Christian town of Gwoza, in Borno State in northeastern Nigeria, two weeks ago. Half a million Christian Arabs have been driven out of Syria during the three-plus years of civil war there. Christians have been persecuted and killed in countries from Lebanon to Sudan.
Historians may look back at this period and wonder if people had lost their bearings. Few reporters have traveled to Iraq to bear witness to the Nazi-like wave of terror that is rolling across that country. The United Nations has been mostly mum. World leaders seem to be consumed with other matters in this strange summer of 2014. There are no flotillas traveling to Syria or Iraq. And the beautiful celebrities and aging rock stars, why doesn’t the slaughter of Christians seem to activate their social antennas?
President Obama should be commended for ordering airstrikes to save tens of thousands of Yazidis, who follow an ancient religion and have been stranded on a mountain in northern Iraq, besieged by Sunni Muslim militants. But sadly, airstrikes alone are not enough to stop this grotesque wave of terrorism.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is not a loose coalition of jihadist groups, but a real military force that has managed to take over much of Iraq with a successful business model that rivals its cold blooded spearhead of death. It uses money from banks and gold shops it has captured, along with control of oil resources and old-fashioned extortion, to finance its killing machine, making it perhaps the wealthiest Islamist terrorist group in the world. But where it truly excels is in its carnage, rivaling the death orgies of the Middle Ages. It has ruthlessly targeted Shiites, Kurds and Christians. “They actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick” a Chaldean-American businessman named Mark Arabo told CNN, describing a scene in a Mosul park. “More children are getting beheaded, mothers are getting raped and killed, and fathers are being hung.” This week, 200,000 Aramaeans fled their ancestral homeland around Nineveh, having already escaped Mosul. The general indifference to ISIS, with its mass executions of Christians and its deadly preoccupation with Israel, isn’t just wrong; it’s obscene.
In a speech before thousands of Christians in Budapest in June, I made a solemn promise that just as I will not be silent in the face of the growing threat of anti-Semitism in Europe and in the Middle East, I will not be indifferent to Christian suffering. Historically, it has almost always been the other way around: Jews have all too often been the persecuted minority. But Israel has been among the first countries to aid Christians in South Sudan. Christians can openly practice their religion in Israel, unlike in much of the Middle East.
This bond between Jews and Christians makes complete sense. We share much more than most religions. We read the same Bible, and share a moral and ethical core. Now, sadly, we share a kind of suffering: Christians are dying because of their beliefs, because they are defenseless and because the world is indifferent to their suffering. Good people must join together and stop this revolting wave of violence. It’s not as if we are powerless. I write this as a citizen of the strongest military power on earth. I write this as a Jewish leader who cares about my Christian brothers and sisters. The Jewish people understand all too well what can happen when the world is silent. This campaign of death must be stopped.
Americans Should Brace for Waves of Islamic State Terror
Aug. 22….(In The Days) The Islamic State, which controls large portions of Iraq and Syria, “seems to be absolutely certain they will be trying to kill as many Americans as possible in the United States as well as elsewhere,” said Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch. Tuesday’s horrific videotaped beheading of American photojournalist James Foley was packaged with a new Islamic State posting on social media threatening the United States: “We will drown all of you in blood.”
President Obama gave a stern reply Wednesday afternoon, saying in a televised address that the U.S. and its allies will work together to “extract this cancer” that is the Islamic State. “ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents,” Mr. Obama said. “No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day. ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings.” The White House said earlier this month that the Islamic State is not a threat to Americans, a position deemed “utter hogwash” by Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, which monitors Islamic extremism. “The White House says that the US is not at war with the Islamic State,” Mr. Spencer said. “But the Islamic State certainly is at war with the US.”
A US intelligence official said Thursday, “I would tell you ISIL has had a longstanding, overt interest in killing Americans.” Mr. Spencer said there is ample evidence that the terrorist group, which controls large portions of Iraq and Syria and has committed mass executions, is gearing up for attacks against the US. The US government believes some Americans have joined the Islamic State and, programmed to conduct suicide bombings, will pose risks upon their return.
Britain says hundreds of its nationals have joined the militants and have committed some of its most brutal killings. British authorities said Wednesday that they suspect the black-clad executioner in Tuesday’s beheading video is a Briton. Prime Minister David Cameron said the man had not been identified, but “from what we have seen it looks increasingly likely that is a British citizen.” Germany and France say about 1,300 of their nationals have joined jihadist groups, including the Islamic State, The Associated Press reported.
In the US, the Islamic State flag has appeared sporadically as the terrorist group’s propaganda arm tries to recruit young killers. “They have said they are going to go after Americans,” Mr. Spencer said. “They have said American civilians are all legitimate targets. It seems to be absolutely certain they will be trying to kill as many Americans as possible in the United States as well as elsewhere.” Retired Army Gen. John M. Keane, who is pressing the White House to adopt a broad campaign against the Islamic State, agrees that the terrorist organization of more than 10,000 fighters represents wider threat. “The Islamic State is the new face of al Qaeda and is a threat to US vital interests in the Middle East and a threat to the safety and security of the American people,” Mr. Keane said. “Despite some limited setbacks in northern Iraq, IS maintains the initiative and freedom of movement throughout Iraq and Syria. What the US needs is not just rhetoric condemning this barbarism but a US-led strategy with our allies to first stop IS and then defeat them.”
The Islamic State has perfected the car bomb as a weapon. After US troops left Iraq in 2011, it unleashed waves of suicide and remotely detonated car bombs throughout Baghdad and other cities. A Canadian member of the Islamic State was quoted as saying he is training others on how to build such deadly weapons, a hint that such vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices may show up in his home country.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin, formerly the Pentagon’s No. 2 intelligence official, said the Islamic State’s game plan is to threaten the US repeatedly to raise its stature among young potential jihadists. He said the terrorist group also believes it can intimidate Mr. Obama into halting the roughly 75 airstrikes that have helped Iraqi Kurds protect their capital of Irbil and retake the Mosul Dam. “The notion is that Barack Obama is weak right now and he will fall back on appeasing his base, which is very much against any continuation of military ops in Iraq,” Gen. Boykin said. “I personally believe that this notion is a miscalculation by IS. Obama is under too much pressure now from inside his own party to try to convince anyone that the US should declare victory and go home.”
The Obama administration has sent mixed messages on the threat posed by the Islamic State, which previously called itself the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. In January, Mr. Obama seemed to brush off any dangers, comparing it in an interview with The New Yorker to a “JV team” compared with al Qaeda. After the Islamic State army in June swept out of Syria into northern Iraq and took the large city of Mosul and then moved south toward Baghdad, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had a new perspective. “Make no mistake, and this country should not make any mistake on this, nor anyone in Congress, ISIL may not appear to be an imminent threat to the United States,” he said. “It is a threat to the United States. It is a threat, a clear threat to our partners in that area, and it is imminent.”
Has ISIS Infiltrated Our Southern Border?
Aug. 22….(Breitbart) While the nation was preoccupied with angry protests in Ferguson, Mo., explosive new developments are emerging at the US southern border. A news story surfaced today indicating that there are signs pointing to a direct ISIS terror connection at the US border with Mexico. Citizens who have constantly warned that the lack of attention to the illegal alien crisis would lead to Islamic terrorists crossing the border into the United States from Mexico are expressing alarm at the latest developments. Breitbart is reporting that US Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, stated during a news forum that Mexican drug cartels are in regular talks with the dangerous Islamist terrorist organization ISIS. In the Middle East, ISIS has seized large sections of territory in Iraq and Syria. The group is so brutal that even Muslims who are part of al Qaeda express alarm over their tactics. In the areas they have seized, ISIS has slaughtered, abused, enslaved, and beheaded hundreds of Christians and Jews living in the region. The latest victim of ISIS barbarism was American journalist James Foley, whom the US confirmed today was beheaded by ISIS in a gruesome video.
Illegal alien watchdog groups and concerned citizens have been warning for several years that the lax US policy toward immigration and its non-enforcement of border security laws would eventually lead to a major crisis given the ease with which drug cartels, human traffickers, and Islamic terrorists can move across the southern border into the United States. Many believe that at least some of these terrorists are already in the country, lying in wait for the right time to strike.
Members of Congress have already seen signs at the southern border within the extreme northern end of Mexico that terrorists may have collaborated with drug cartels. Poe states, "The drug cartels use the same operational plan as terrorist groups do. They kill their opponents, they behead their opponents, they brag about it and they have operational control of many portions of the southern border of the United States. They're vicious as some of these other terrorist organizations."
Since 2009 the tactics of the drug cartels have grown more brutal in the wake of evidence that the Mexican criminals have used Jihadists to advance their agenda. Numerous reports have emerged indicating that over the last six years the drug cartels have beheaded dozens if not hundreds of Mexican citizens caught in the crosshairs of these dangerous criminals. The cartels have certainly shown no reticence about engaging in brutality. Thus, it is difficult to imagine that the cartels would have any hesitation at all about engaging in talks with ISIS, even to the point of launching collaborative efforts.
How, then, can the United States successfully address this growing problem? An obvious starting point is to begin to strictly enforce immigration law. But it must go much further. The border fence which was passed into law and approved by Congress in 2004 must be completed. And it must be tall enough to do the job. Double fenced and even triple fenced portions of the border are needed. Barbed wire should be placed at the top of the fences. National Guard troops should be sent to the border as Gov. Rick Perry ordered in Texas. They should be armed and given orders to shoot illegal aliens attempting to cross the fences in spite of repeated warnings to stop.
Extremist, you say? Not if you want to prevent headchoppers from invading and seizing portions of the United States. And not if you believe that the role of the National Guard is precisely as the name denotes, to guard the homeland, the nation, from attack. No greater potential for attack exists than that which is represented by drug cartels and Islamist terrorists.
Brown Beat Missouri Cop Half-to-Death Before Shooting
Aug. 21….(Fox News) Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of Michael Brown touched off more than a week of demonstrations, suffered severe facial injuries, including an orbital (eye socket) fracture, and was nearly beaten unconscious by Brown moments before firing his gun, a source close to the department's top brass told FoxNews.com. “The Assistant (Police) Chief took him to the hospital, his face all swollen on one side,” said the insider. “He was beaten very severely.”
According to the well-placed source, Wilson was coming off another case in the neighborhood on Aug. 9 when he ordered Michael Brown and his friend Dorain Johnson to stop walking in the middle of the road because they were obstructing traffic. However, the confrontation quickly escalated into physical violence, the source said. “They ignored him and the officer started to get out of the car to tell them to move," the source said. "They shoved him right back in, that’s when Michael Brown leans in and starts beating Officer Wilson in the head and the face." The source claims that there is "solid proof" that there was a struggle between Brown and Wilson for the policeman’s firearm, resulting in the gun going off, although it still remains unclear at this stage who pulled the trigger. Brown started to walk away according to the account, prompting Wilson to draw his gun and order him to freeze. Brown, the source said, raised his hands in the air, and turned around saying, "What, you're going to shoot me?"
At that point, the source told FoxNews.com, the 6-foot-4, 292-pound Brown charged Wilson, prompting the officer to fire at least six shots at him, including the fatal bullet that penetrated the top of Brown's skull, according to an independent autopsy conducted at the request of Brown's family.
Wilson suffered a fractured eye socket in the fracas, and was left dazed by the initial confrontation, the source said. He is now "traumatized, scared for his life and his family, injured and terrified" that a grand jury, which began hearing evidence on Wednesday, will "make some kind of example out of him," the source said. The source also said the dashboard and body cameras, which might have recorded crucial evidence, had been ordered by Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, but had only recently arrived and had not yet been deployed.
A spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department, citing the ongoing investigation, declined late Wednesday to say whether Wilson required medical treatment following the altercation. Edward Magee, spokesman for St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCullough, said the office will not disclose the nature of the evidence it will reveal to a grand jury. "We'll present every piece of evidence we have, witness statements, et cetera, to the grand jury, and we do not release any evidence or talk about evidence on the case."
Wilson is a six-year veteran of the Ferguson police force department, and has no prior disciplinary infringements. Massive protests have since taken over the St. Louis community, prompting Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon last Thursday to place Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson at the helm of security operations in an effort to calm ongoing tensions. The federal government is also investigating the death, and Attorney General Eric Holder has taken the lead, calling “the selective release of sensitive information” in the case “troubling.”
On Friday, Ferguson police released surveillance video showing Brown stealing cigars from a convenience store just before his death. Jackson came under intense criticism for disclosing the tape and a related police report as he also insisted that the alleged robbery and the encounter with Wilson were unrelated matters. Brown’s family, through their attorney, suggested the tape’s release was a strategic form of “character assassination.”
However, FoxNews.com’s source insisted that there was absolutely no spin agenda behind the tape’s release and that there were a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) media requests filed by media outlets seeking it. Tom Jackson is said to have waited on publicly releasing it, and did not want it shown until Brown’s grieving mother first had the chance to see it. “He defied the FOIAs as long as he could,” noted the insider. “A powerful, ugly spin has completely ruined public discourse on this whole situation.
FOJ Note: Policeman Wilson is beaten half to death, and the American AG rushes to the location to comfort the perpetrator of the beating. US Attorney General Eric Holder traveled to the St. Louis area where he met with community leaders, FBI agents and the parents of an unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot by police on Aug. 9, setting off more than a week of violent protests. The attorney general said he understood how some minorities mistrust the police. I say, what about the policeman’s fear for his life by an attacker.
US Intel Confirms Beheading of American Journalist
Aug. 21….(Fox News) President Obama, reacting to the brutal execution of an American journalist by Islamic State terrorists, said Wednesday that the militant organization has "no place in the 21st century," as US intelligence analysts confirmed the authenticity of a video showing the journalist's beheading. The president, in brief remarks from Martha's Vineyard, said the video of James Foley's death "shocks the conscience," while vowing to continue the fight against the organization which has taken root across swaths of Iraq and Syria. He called for a "common effort" across the Middle East to "extract this cancer so it does not spread." "The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people," Obama said. "We will be vigilant and we will be relentless." Military analysts and US lawmakers also say the execution should be a wake-up call to the need to dismantle the militant organization.
The remarks come after the White House National Security Council released a brief statement saying the intelligence community reviewed the video and has "reached the judgment that this video is authentic." Obama said he spoke with Foley's parents earlier Wednesday. The beheading marks the first time the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, or ISIL, has killed an American citizen since the Syrian conflict broke out in March 2011, upping the stakes in an increasingly chaotic and multilayered war. “America got a glimpse of exactly who they are,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., told Fox News on Wednesday. “This is a group you need to deal with.” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., called the "brutal execution" of a hostage "the clearest indication to date that ISIL has declared war on the United States."
The militants in the video railed against US airstrikes in Iraq and threatened to kill a second American journalist, depending on Obama’s “next decision,” an apparent reference to US military policy in the region. The video puts pressure on the White House to weigh the risks of ramping up airstrikes in Iraq targeting the Islamic State, and the possibility that militants could kill more Americans in response. But in an indication that the US response is not changing, a US official said American fighter jets and drones conducted nearly a dozen strikes in Iraq since Tuesday. The official told the Associated Press the airstrikes were in the area of the Mosul Dam and were aimed at helping Iraqi and Kurdish forces create a buffer zone at the key facility.
Foley, 40, from Rochester, NH, disappeared in northern Syria in November 2012. He had previously reported for several outlets, including Stars and Stripes, but was freelancing for Agence France-Presse and the Boston-based media company GlobalPost at the time. The car he was riding in was stopped by four militants in a contested battle zone that both Sunni rebel fighters and government forces were trying to control. He had not been heard from since.
FOJ Note: This President needs to find the spine to do something! He needs to declare total war on this ISIS outfit, and go full throttle to destroy them. Instead, directly after a brief press conference, Obama went back on vacation to play another round of golf.
Islamic State Posts Execution of US Journalist to Deter Obama from Further Involvement in Iraq War
Aug. 21….(DEBKA) Iraqi Islamic State terrorists released a video online Tuesday night, Aug. 19, purportedly showing the beheading of American photo-journalist James Wright Foley, 40, abducted in Syria 22 months ago, after threatening to punish the US and Britain for air strikes in Iraq. Also visible was another kidnapped US journalist, Stevent Sotloff, who had been missing from northern Syria since July 2013. Under the caption “A Message to America,” it was indicated that Sotlof was being held hostage to the next United States actions in Iraq. It is not clear where the videotaped atrocity had been filmed whether in Syria or Iraq. It was posted as Iraqi and Kurdish forces awaited tensely for Barack Obama to decide whether to expand US involvement to other sectors of the war against IS, after American and British air strikes tipped the balance of the battle for the Mosul dam. The tape aimed at deterring any foreign intervention in the Iraqi-Kurdish struggle to contain the Islamist advance.
Obama held back from making a public statement about the beheading until the video could be formally authenticated. "If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends," White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement. The audio revealed a voiceover in a pure British accent. This was noted in London and prompted UK Prime Minister David Cameron to cut short his vacation and return to Downing Street Wednesday, to take charge of discussions on the British connection with US efforts in support of the forces fighting IS in Iraq. At least 500 British Muslims have joined IS, possibly twice that number have joined Islamist forces in Syria and Iraq.
As for the situation in Iraq, it is still not clear if Kurdish Peshmerga troops backed by US air strikes have finally wrested the strategic Mosul dam from Islamist control. After its recovery was reported and confirmed Monday by President Obama, who said in Washington: “Iraqi and Kurdish forces, backed by American air strikes, had captured a strategically important dam near Mosul,” witnesses on the spot attested to debkafile’s military sources that renewed fighting had erupted. It appeared that IS had raised reinforcements from Mosul, just 15 km away to take the strategic dam, the largest in Iraq, back, because they own a strong interest in holding onto it. Blowing it up would inundate large parts of the country and cause tens of thousands of deaths. And so the threat itself is a powerful psychological lever. On the other hand, IS would think twice about carrying it out, because most of the victims would be Sunni Iraqis, whose support and sympathy the group courts. Control of the dam also provides the town of Mosul, which the Islamic State captured two months ago, with a good defense line as well as a jumping-off position against the Kurdish capital of Irbil, headquarters of the Peshmerga and some 1,000 US servicemen deployed there.
Debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report that the Al Qaeda Iraqi wing has been sighted gearing up for a counter-offensive against the Peshmerga and Iraqi army. Their commander, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, has taken some of Saddam Hussein’s most professional and experienced army officers as advisers. It is almost impossible for US and British spy satellites and aerial surveillance to predict where the Islamists will strike next after the shocking video. They already control vast areas of northern western, central and eastern Iraq, roughly the size of Britain and Ireland combined, with a front line 1.600 km long. They have proved they are able to flit across long distances at speed, mingling with indigenous populations, which are friendly enough to keep the Sunni jihadis supplied with intelligence, food, fuel and medical care.
The Islamic State therefore enjoys a substantial strategic advantage on the ground, to offset its relatively small numbers (estimated at 35,000) even when pitted against the far larger Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga supported by US and British air strikes. The Peshmerga has mustered some 200,000 fighting men, drawing on its Turkish PKK brethren and Syrian Kurdish militias, as well as Kurdish volunteers from other countries, intent on saving the only Kurdish semiautonomous republic, the KRG, from being overrun by Islamic terrorists. But Kurdish troops are starved of weapons and ordnance; they have no air force or even helicopters for air cover, and lack armor and self-propelled artillery.
The Islamists in contrast are heavily armed with the latest American tanks and self-propelled artillery taken booty from the 30,000 Iraqi soldiers who fled from their advance. Tuesday, Iraqi forces launched and halted an offensive to recapture Tikrit, home town of executed dictator Saddam Hussein, in the face of fierce resistance from Islamic State fighters. This was the seventh Iraqi military bid to recapture the predominantly Sunni town of Tikrit, which fell to IS in late June, and which commands the highways linking Baghdad to the north and the east.
This attempt had special significance, because it was the first Iraqi military operation since Haidar Al-Abadi took over as prime minister of Iraq last week from fellow-Shiite Nouri al-Maliki. The new man was heavily backed by the Obama administration in the belief that he would have better luck than his predecessor in persuading Sunni leaders to support a major campaign to halt the Islamic State. But the operation was doomed from the start by the composition of the assault units. They consisted of poorly trained Iraqi Shiite militiamen, accompanied by Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers, under the command of Al Qods Brigades chief Gen. Qassam Soleimani. Sending a Shiite force commanded by Iranian officers to recapture a Sunni town like Tikrit was scarcely likely to appeal to the town-dwellers, draw the Sunni factions fighting with IS over to the national Iraqi army, or indeed make them fans of the new prime minister.
Saudi Paper 'Promotes' Global Call to Kill Jews
Aug. 21….(Arutz) An op-ed last Tuesday in a prominent Saudi Arabian newspaper justified statements from international anti-Israel rallies calling for Jews to be killed as an "understandable reaction" to the "barbaric war" Israel is conducting in Gaza. The piece in the Saudi Gazette, written by UK-based Pakistani journalist Ali Ashraf Khan, was translated and revealed by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). According to Khan, the statement "all Jews should be gassed," a call for a continuation of the Nazi genocidal machine which was heard at recent pro-Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) rallies in the Netherlands, was "understandable." "How come they (the Jews) don’t realize or nobody has explained to them that this is an understandable reaction of people who feel helpless in the face of the barbarity that Israel is committing against helpless civilians in Gaza," penned Khan.
The UK-based journalist also voiced his support for the international boycott campaign targeting the Jewish state, saying "Twitter and social media are running a boycott campaign telling people not to buy any Jewish items or services related to or tainted with Jewish money. The fallout of such a campaign could outlast the Gaza war for years or even decades." Writing on Tuesday, a day before Hamas breached the last ceasefire which it did against this Tuesday in a repeat performance, Khan claimed "the ceasefire in Gaza has ended and Israel is attacking Gaza once again. No lessons were learnt." Khan concludes with the weighty words "it is the fall of the Western civilization." Some have indeed noted that the horrific anti-Semitic backlash over the Israeli defensive operation in Gaza has "returned to Europe in the 19th, 18th and 17th centuries, dozens and hundreds of years," as stated by Nobel laureate Professor Yisrael (Robert) Aumann.
Aumann added that the current UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) committee to investigate "war crimes" allegations against Israel is a simply manifestation of anti-Semitism. That anti-Semitism has been rampantly revealed as of late amid the biased coverage of Operation Protective Edge; a recent study found anti-Semitic incidents worldwide in July had risen 383% compared to the same month in the previous year
Hamas Launches Rocket Barrage At Tel Aviv
Aug. 20….(WND) The Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command Tuesday issued orders to reopen bomb shelters in all communities within a range of 50 miles from the Gaza Strip. The directive comes as rockets were fired from Gaza to as far as Tel Aviv just hours before the expiration of the temporary truce between Hamas and Israel. One of the rockets landed in an open area in metropolitan Tel Aviv, the IDF said in a statement emailed to WND and other media outlets.
Israeli army warplanes reportedly already struck targets inside the Gaza Strip in response to the rocket attacks. The salvo, the first in more than two weeks, will likely completely collapse the long-term cease-fire efforts and threatens to reignite the Gaza offensive.
Already, the Israeli government has pulled its envoy from Cairo, where truce talks have been ongoing.
Israel has been opposing some of Hamas’s demands, such as a “fishing zone” and a port in the Mediterranean Sea. The Jewish state fears a port could be used to ship weapons. Hamas also has been demanding an end to the blockade of the Egypt-Gaza border. Anticipating further rocket fire, the IDF Home Front Command also instructed residents near the Gaza border to stay in shelters until further instructions are issued. Also, the command has banned any gathering of more than 300 people within four miles of Gaza or 500 people within 24 miles of the Hamas-controlled territory.
Obama's True Colors Finally Revealed
Aug. 19….(By Steven Emerson) When I first read the recent media reports, I thought they must certainly be satire: "Washington officials have told Egypt that the US will guarantee Israel's commitment to any agreement signed." The US offering Hamas to "guarantee" Israeli commitments to any agreement signed? As if anyone needed proof of the Obama Administration's antipathy to Israel, here it is in black and white. If anyone party needed a commitment to enforce its agreements in any deal, it would be Hamas, which has been known to break every commitment it ever made. To pick just a few at random:
Violating a commitment it made in the Clinton negotiated 2012 truce that it would cease its missile attacks on Israel. And at the same time, it should be noted that President Obama personally signed an official letter at the time of the 2012 negotiated cease fire to Prime Minister Netanyahu that the US would provide Israel with the technology to defeat and stop Hamas smuggling of weapons. But subsequent to that empty promise, Hamas soon received in massive quantities from Iran, Sudan, and North Korea. That promise was never carried out.
Israel on the other hand meticulously fulfilled its part of the bargain by severely relaxing the blockade on Gaza, allowing tons of previously restricted cement and steel into Gaza, increasing the number of daily truckloads of food, medical stuff and building equipment through the two Israeli checkpoints into Gaza by more than 250 truckloads a day ( a commitment is still upheld during the Hamas war against Israel, a fact mostly ignored by the mainstream media blindly committed to the Hamas narrative that Israel was the aggressor).
Remember when Obama spoke to the annual AIPAC conference a few years back and ceremoniously declared, "I got your back." This is the same President who, as the Wall Street Journal disclosed last week, personally held up the Israeli request for additional Hellfire missiles that it had depleted in its war with Hamas. As far back as 1967, the United States had made a firm promise to Israel that it would never allow the Egyptians to blockade the Straits of Hormuz, considered the lifeline of Israel. But when the Egyptians blockaded the Straights of Hormuz in May 1967, what did the US do? Nothing. And in the current round of negotiations being held in Cairo now, according to leaked details in Egyptian newspapers Israel agreed to make the following astonishing concessions:
Hamas Resorts to Direct Blackmail as Truce Talks Collapse
Aug. 18….(Israel Today) While Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams remained in Cairo on Sunday, the chances of reaching a long-term agreement before the current ceasefire expired a day later were almost nil, according to Israeli participants. On Friday, Egypt leaked to the press details of its comprehensive truce proposal, which calls for a gradual easing of the blockade of Gaza to be overseen by Israeli and Egyptian forces and future talks on a Gaza seaport and airport, as demanded by Hamas. Israel responded to the proposal with some wariness, noting that it wasn’t prepared to dilute its security demands, and that agreeing to a seaport and airport as part of the overall ceasefire package, regardless of when they would be built, would be seen as a prize for Hamas’ aggression against the Jewish state. “If Hamas thinks it will make up for its military losses with a political achievement, it is wrong,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at Sunday’s cabinet meeting.
But Israel’s cautious approach to the new Egyptian proposal was of little consequence, as Hamas had already rejected the deal a day earlier. Hamas leaders said that Israel would accept all their demands, including the immediate and unconditional lifting of the Gaza blockade, or face a new war of attrition in its southern regions. Netanyahu said if Hamas believed Israel would play along with this blackmail, it was sadly mistaken. “If Hamas thinks that by continuing the steady trickle of rocket fire it will force us to make concessions, it is wrong,” the prime minister insisted.
Israel was far more accepting of recommendations issued on Friday by the European Union, which called for the lifting of the Israeli blockade in exchange for the disarming of all militant groups present in Gaza. Many Israelis, including most members of Netanyahu’s government, are adamant that the demilitarization of Gaza be a firm condition of any long-term ceasefire.
Netanyahu-Sisi-Abbas Lineup Confronts Hamas-Islamic Jihad
Aug. 18….(DEBKA) The Egyptian and Palestinian Authority delegations slapped down an ultimatum for Hamas when negotiations for a durable Gaza truce resumed in Cairo, Sunday, Aug. 17. debkafile’s intelligence report that Hamas was given the option of declaring a one-month extension of the five-day ceasefire which runs out Monday midnight, or else the announcement would be made from Ramallah Monday in the name of the Palestinian national unity government. This was the first joint action taken by the triple bloc formed by Egyptian President Abdel Fatteh El-Sisi, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for pushing the Islamist Hamas-Islamic Jihad duo up against a wall.
The three-way bloc fronted the talks for a durable truce in Gaza when they resumed in Cairo Sunday, Aug. 17. Debkafile’s intelligence sources report exclusively that Egyptian President Abdel Fatteh El-Sisi, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas have lined up in a solid phalanx against the Islamist Hamas-Islamic Jihad alliance. Their lineup, backed from the wings by Saudi King Abdullah and Russian President Vladimir Putin, set itself five objectives:
1. To confront Hamas with a solid political-security front which is beyond its power to break.
2. To corner Hamas into accepting the Egyptian ceasefire proposion unchanged and unconditionally.
3. To compel Hamas to disarm, i.e. dismantle its rockets and tunnels, so pulling the teeth of its military wing, Ezz e-Din al-Qassam.
4. To distance the Obama administration from the triple bloc’s dealings with the Palestinian Islamist factions.
5. To keep the Europeans from interfering in those dealings.
The foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany and Italy meeting in Brussels offered Friday to take charge of Gaza’s border crossings and work to prevent illegal arms flows.Saturday, Cairo, Jerusalem and Ramallah politely informed Brussels that they preferred to handle this situation on their own and no European diplomatic or security assistance was needed. The quiet shaping of this three-way alliance for resolving the Gaza conflict, by means of a sustainable cessation of hostilities, kept most of Israel’s and world media guessing, says debkafile. In the interests of tight secrecy, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon chose to keep the rest of the cabinet in the dark as well, incurring loud complaints from ministers.
The proposition the three partners have formulated puts Hamas and Jihad on the spot. The Arab world has abandoned them and their only source of funding is Tehran. So their choices are grim: Face an escalated war that Israel will fight until the bitter end, or swallow hard and accept the only proposition on the table which is tantamount to disarmament and capitulation. Their isolation is complete. The Egyptian, Israeli and Palestinian leaders have managed to cut Hamas away from any backing in Washington, Qatar and Turkey as well as blocking its path to Moscow.
To encourage Hamas to choose the right path, the Israel Air Force is cruising around-the-clock over Hamas bases and command centers in the Gaza Strip, ready at a signal to switch to the offensive if the Palestinian fundamentalists make the wrong choice in Cairo.
Mahmoud Abbas, who appeared to be sitting on the sidelines of the Gaza conflict during Israel’s month-long military operation, finally threw in his lot with Sisi and Netanyahu when it came to the crunch.
WEEK OF AUGUST 10 THROUGH AUGUST 16
Most American Pastors Silent on Current Issues Despite Biblical Beliefs
Aug. 16….(Christian News) Most pastors believe that the Bible addresses the current issues of the day, but few speak about them from behind the pulpit, according to a recent study from a prominent research organization. George Barna was a guest on the American Family Radio program “Today’s Issues” on Thursday, where he explained a research project that he has been working on for the past two years. In his study, Barna’s organization asked pastors across the country about their beliefs regarding the relevancy of Scripture to societal, moral and political issues, and the content of their sermons in light of their beliefs. “‘What we’re finding is that when we ask them about all the key issues of the day, [90 percent of them are] telling us, ‘Yes, the Bible speaks to every one of these issues,” he explained. “Then we ask them: ‘Well, are you teaching your people what the Bible says about those issues?’ and the numbers drop to less than 10 percent of pastors who say they will speak to it.”
Barna’s group also polled pastors about what factors they use to gauge whether or not a church is successful. “There are five factors that the vast majority of pastors turn to,” he outlined. “Attendance, giving, number of programs, number of staff, and square footage.” “What I’m suggesting is those pastors won’t probably get involved in politics because it’s very controversial. Controversy keeps people from being in the seats, controversy keeps people from giving money, from attending programs,” Barna said.
Pastor Chuck Baldwin, a radio broadcaster and former presidential candidate, commented on the study in an article published on Friday entitled Odds Are that Your Pastor is Keeping the Truth from You Instead of Preaching It. He opined that Barna’s research shows that most pastors deliberately choose not to speak on the issues of the day despite knowing that the Bible speaks to them. “That 90% of America’s pastors are not addressing any of the salient issues affecting Christian people’s political or societal lives should surprise no one,” he wrote. “It has been decades since even a sizable minority of pastors have bothered to educate and inform their congregations as to the Biblical principles relating to America’s political, cultural and societal lives.” “Please understand this: America’s malaise is directly due to the deliberate disobedience of America’s pastors, and the willingness of the Christians in the pews to tolerate the disobedience of their pastor. Nothing more! Nothing less!” Baldwin continued. “When Paul wrote his own epitaph, it read, ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.’ (II Timothy 4:7) He didn’t say, ‘I had a large congregation, we had big offerings, we had a lot of programs, I had a large staff, and we had large facilities.’” “It is time for Christians to acknowledge that these ministers are not pastors; they are CEOs. They are not Bible teachers; they are performers. They are not shepherds; they are hirelings,” he said. “It is also time for Christians to be honest with themselves: do they want a pastor who desires to be faithful to the Scriptures, or do they want a pastor who is simply trying to be ‘successful?’”
Nasrallah: Israel is a Cancer and the Ultimate Goal is to Remove It
Aug. 16….(Jerusalem Post) Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has said in an interview that “Israel is a cancer” and that the “ultimate goal should be to remove it.” Speaking in a multi-part interview on Thursday, which is to be published over the next two days in the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, which tends to support Hezbollah, Nasrallah said that Israel seeks short wars that lead to “a quick, decisive and clear victory.” “The reason for this is their realization that any future war is going to be a lot more difficult in terms of its targets and the ability of the resistance, its rocket capabilities and capabilities in all areas. The enemy cannot withstand a war of attrition,” he said.
Nasrallah played down the success of the Iron Dome defense system, asserting “it will face a real issue when there is a large number of rockets.” Asked about advice he would give the “Palestinian resistance” in Gaza, Nasrallah responded, “When a human being is given two choices, either surrender or fight, there is no choice between fighting and humiliation. The culture of the resistance and the choice of the resistance grew among the Palestinian people because they have no other option.” Asked about Hezbollah’s relationship with Hamas following its break with its ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, Nasrallah said that despite this, “contacts and meetings were never put on hold. Everything stayed normal.” Asked, “Are we going to enter Jerusalem?” the Hezbollah leader responded, “I have no doubt.” “The most dangerous problem we face today, whether it is with the Lebanese or Arab public, is to get to a point where the people of the region consider Israel’s existence normal,” emphasized Nasrallah. He went on to add, “Israel is an illegitimate entity and it is a threat to the region. It is a constant threat to the whole region. We cannot coexist with this threat. That is why the ultimate goal of the Arab and Islamic nation is to end Israel’s existence irrespective of the problems, sensitivities and everything that has happened and could happen between Palestinians and non-Palestinians, Shia and Sunni, Muslims and Christians.”
Obama & Netanyahu Are Now Open Combatants
Aug. 16….(FOJ) White House and State Department officials who were leading US efforts to rein in Israel's military campaign in the Gaza Strip were caught off guard last month when they learned that the Israeli military had been quietly securing supplies of ammunition from the Pentagon without their approval. Since then the Obama administration has tightened its control on arms transfers to Israel. But Israeli and US officials say that the adroit bureaucratic maneuvering made it plain how little influence the White House and State Department have with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and that both sides know it.
(Traditional allies, USA and Israel, but Netanyahu sees no friend in President Obama, and Mr. Obama has nothing but disdain for Israel’s leader. And Mr. Obama is systematically destroying our nation’s status in the Middle East, and abandoning Israel)
What’s with the split between Obama and Netanyahu? The dispute between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is nothing new: it has been bubbling since Obama took office in 2009. As reports emerge that the White House blocked a transfer of Hellfire missiles to the IDF during Gaza operations, Obama is accusing Netanyahu of attempting to bypass his office by looking to allies in Congress for support. This, too, is old news, as Netanyahu’s predecessors also used the US legislature to circumvent the will of US presidents. But the Netanyahu-Obama split has taken on a novel spin in that, only twice before, was Washington denied a say in an Israeli military campaign.
In 1956, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion teamed up with Britain and France for an attack on Egypt behind the US’ back. In 1981, it was Menachem Begin who defied Washington when he ordered the successful bombardment of an Iraqi nuclear reactor near Baghdad. Now it is Netanyahu’s turn to swim against the American tide. His actions have a more comprehensive impact than those of prime ministers’ past. Not only is he standing in opposition to the Obama administration’s ingrained policy of avoiding military force, he’s also working closely with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to counter the US Mid East policy departure that hinges on Obama’s understanding with Iran. This new Israel-Saudi-Egypt alliance has pushed US off the regional center stage and sidelined its efforts to bring the Gaza conflict to an end.
For the US, crossing Saudi Arabia and Egypt is tricky. But publicly lambasting Netanyahu and Israel is par for the course. Viewed through this lens, the press “leak” to the Wall Street Journal on the blocked missile supply makes perfect sense. At the same time, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt share the same beef against the administration for working closely with Iran. Obama’s cohorts in Baghdad are colluding with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei under the guise of battling the extremist Islamic State (IS, formerly IS) slashing its way through Iraq. The two powers plan to resolve Iraq’s crisis to their own benefit. To this end, Obama has granted Iran its rubber stamp and the status of a regional superpower - even before it inks a deal on a nuclear accord, which
Saudi Arabia and Israel, in particular, fear will turn out to be inimical to their strategic interests and national security. Egypt and Saudi Arabia hit back by sending Sisi to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday August 12 in Sochi. They are inviting him to join the new alliance. It is too soon to say how far Netanyahu is willing to go in this direction.
Allen West Declares Obama is An Islamist, Seeking America’s Demise
Aug. 15….(AP) Former Florida Rep. Allen West declared President Obama an Islamist who is intentionally working against the security of the United States. “The only plausible explanation for many actions taken by President Obama and his administration is that they are working counter to the security of the United States of America,” the former Florida congressman and retired US Army lieutenant colonel wrote in the post published Wednesday.
Among six example he gives to back up his point is Obama’s decision to release of five Taliban in exchange for Sgt. Bergdahl in May, providing weapons of support to the Egyptian government led by the Muslim Brotherhood, and negotiating with Hamas. He also writes at length about Obama’s recent decision to lift a ban on Libyan’s attending US flight schools and studying nuclear science, which had been in place since 1983. “Can anyone explain what the strategy and objective is here in lifting this ban with a nation that is or should be on the terrorist watch list?” he asks. ”Sorry, but I can only explain this one way: Barack Hussein Obama is an Islamist in his foreign policy perspectives and supports their cause.” “The pivot away from the Middle East seems to be nothing more than an opportunity to enable Islamists and their goals,” he continues. “Anyone supporting this Libyan ban being lifted is indeed an enemy of this state.”
FOJ Note: I think Mr. West is spot-on. I have thought this for quite sometime now!
Obama Administration Suspended Military Aid to Israel
Aug. 15….(Times of Israel) A senior Israeli official confirmed to Israeli media that the US had suspended a shipment of Hellfire missiles to Israel amid worsening ties over fighting in Gaza. The decision to hold off on the transfer was most likely on grounds of increased diplomatic tension, the official said, corroborating a Wall Street Journal report earlier in the day that claimed the White House and State Department had been angered by a transfer of arms to Israel and had ordered greater oversight into future sales.
The report claimed that US-Israeli tensions are at a record high, with US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said to hold a “particularly combative phone call on Wednesday” and officials on both sides resorting to name-calling. The accounts sparked an internal debate between Israeli politicians. An unnamed Israeli official lambasted the prime minister’s conduct and had fierce criticism for Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer as well, the Ynet news website reported. “We all remember how they went behind the back of President Barack Obama to support the other candidates in the middle of the US elections,” he said. “Netanyahu is responsible for the situation.” Netanyahu made his preference for Obama’s rival, Republican Mitt Romney, plain during the 2012 US presidential campaign.
Reports of fraying relations with Washington were worrying, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, a security cabinet member, said. “This is a worrying trend and we cannot allow it to continue. Our relations with the United States are a strategic asset that must be maintained.”
Likud MK’s were harshly critical of the US decision to suspend the missile shipment and rushed to Netanyahu’s defense following the report. MK Miri Regev said the move was proof “that we can only rely on ourselves” and MK Tzipi Hotovely praised the prime minister for taking a stand against the US pressure on Israeli security interests during the operation. She added, however, that despite the rift, Israel and the US have shared goals. “We must take into account that in two and a half years’ time, President Obama won’t be sitting in the White House, and we will remain here with the threats and the challenges,” said MK Danny Danon, who was fired by the prime minister during the operation from his position as deputy defense minister. Danon’s comments echoed that of unnamed Israeli officials who told The Wall Street Journal that Netanyahu felt he could wait out Obama’s last two years in office while relying on firm support from Congress.
The Wall Street Journal report said the US had blocked the missile shipment approved by the Pentagon, and would begin to monitor Israeli arms requests and have them subject to White House and State Department approval. The decision to evaluate every request by the Israeli military separately came after the White House and State Department discovered last month that the Pentagon was supplying Jerusalem with arms without their knowledge, the newspaper report said.
After learning of these transfers, the Obama administration, perturbed that much of the ammunition was used by the IDF in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, revised the review process in a move that is likely to limit or at least delay Israel’s requests for weapons. Israeli officials, in turn, describe the Obama administration as weak and naive, and are doing as much as they can to bypass the White House in favor of allies in Congress and elsewhere in the administration.” An Israeli official said the tension had become “very personal,” and described it as “mistrust and a collision of different perspectives on the Middle East.”
Obama Administration Livid with Israel? Hamas Can’t Believe its Luck
(Israel left Gaza in 2005 and now finds itself under relentless attack by the terrorists who took over. It deserves international support; instead, it’s being abandoned by US President Obama)
Aug. 15….(Times of Israel) After the abandonment of Israel by the UK, with its promise to limit arms sales to Israel if Hamas restarts its attacks on our civilians, we now learn that the US is already restricting arms sales to Israel, having halted a planned supply of the Hellfire precision missiles that enable Israel to strike at the rocket launchers set up by Hamas in the heart of Gaza’s residential areas.
It becomes ever harder to understand what the US administration thinks it is doing in the Middle East. Its influence is waning across the region. It appears insufficiently robust, to put it mildly, when dealing with the region’s most dangerous regimes, notably Iran. Its ill-judged lack of enthusiasm for Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, apparently blamed by Washington for ending an elected Muslim Brotherhood presidency, even though president Mohammed Morsi would likely have ensured no further elections, is pushing Egypt ever closer to Russia. And now ties with the region’s only democracy are fraying. Some in the administration appear to labor under the delusion that if only Benjamin Netanyahu, described by some US officials in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal as “reckless and untrustworthy,” could be weakened and eased aside, Israelis might elect a leadership more inclined to follow its thinking and consider territorial compromise in the cause of a rejuvenated peace process with the Palestinians. The fact is, of course, that an Israel attempting to de-fang Hamas, concerned at the possibility of rising tensions in the West Bank, aware that Hezbollah in Lebanon is many times more powerful than Hamas is, and watching Iran working to outwit the West on its route to nuclear weapons, is as likely to veer left as Hamas is to voluntarily disarm. Far from being the most obdurate prime minister, Netanyahu is the most moderate that Israel can be expected to choose in the foreseeable future. It is frankly astounding to the overwhelming majority of Israelis that Israel is being blamed for and pressured to end a war it manifestly sought to avoid, against a terrorist-government sworn to its destruction that repeatedly breaches the ceasefire efforts Israel consistently accepts. That the conflict is widely misrepresented, and that hostile governments are critical, is bad enough for Israel. Far, far graver is that key allies, to one degree or another, are turning upon it.
Hamas has fired more than 3,000 rockets into Israel. It exploited periods of calm in the years since it violently seized control of Gaza to build a network of tunnels under the border into Israel through which it planned major terrorist attacks. It documentedly emplaced its war machine in the heart of Gaza’s residential neighborhoods. It seeks to lift “the siege of Gaza” so that it can build a still more potent offensive capability. It should be blindingly obvious that Israel and Egypt do not impose the blockade as a collective punishment or caprice. There was no blockade before Hamas seized power in 2007. Israel had unilaterally left Gaza two years earlier, and hoped to be rewarded with tranquility. If Gaza was not run by a terrorist government, there would be no need for a security blockade to prevent arms smuggling.
Rather than criticizing Israel for seeking to protect its civilians from Hamas, and moving now to limit its capacity to do so, the US, UK and the rest of the international community should be emphatically backing Israel in its struggle against the cynical Hamas, for the sake, too, of the civilians of Gaza. They should be insisting that Hamas disarm. And they should be making clear that they share Israel’s and Egypt’s concern that lifting the blockade is not tenable so long as any easing of restrictions would be exploited by Hamas.They would thus be underlining the message to Gazans that Hamas is not fighting for their freedom, as it claims, but is, through its pursuit of war against Israel, denying them their freedom. They would also be giving Israel reason to believe that when it finds itself in crisis, in good part, it can be argued, because it undertook a territorial withdrawal widely urged by the international community, the world will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with it. Right now, the sense in Israel is quite the reverse, not support, but abandonment.
From Hamas’s point of view, it must be a source of immense delight to witness the strains, and practical fallout, in the relationship between Washington and Jerusalem. It wins an election in which the US insisted it be allowed to take part, even though it has never renounced terrorism. It murders its way to control of Gaza. It diverts Gaza’s resources to turn the Strip into one great big terrorist bunker. It hits Israel, over and over and over again. It intimidates international journalists to not report on and film its attack methods. And the international community condemns Israel, the UN sets up inquiries into Israeli war crimes, and Israel’s allies limit its arms supplies. All it needs to do, Hamas can only conclude, is keep firing at Israel’s towns and villages, forcing Israel to respond, confident that this will bring still more criticism down on Israel as well as growing restrictions on Israel’s ability to defend itself. Wow, the Hamas leaders must be thinking, the free world is just so dumb.
IS Actively Joining Gaza Terror War on Israel
Aug. 12….(Arutz) As Operation Protective Edge holds in a temporary ceasefire, evidence has come out revealing the extent of the extremist Sunni group Islamic State's (IS, formerly ISIS) involvement in the terror war against Israel from the Hamas stronghold of Gaza. Terror organizations associated with IS and Al Qaeda have been proven to be joining the fight against Israel in Gaza, firing rockets on Israeli civilian population centers and attacking IDF troops.
On Sunday the Abdullah Azzam Brigades declared it had fired a Grad missile towards the Israeli town of Mivtahim located near southern Gaza. The announcement comes after similar ones last month by the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and Majlis Shura al-Mujahidin organizations.
IS terrorists have already been proven to be active in Gaza in a video uploaded by the group in July, showing them firing rockets on Israel. Perhaps more troubling is a Channel 10 report which on Sunday exposed that in recent months black IS flags have been commonly seen in Arab-Israeli towns in northern and coastal Israel, notably in the cities of Nazareth and Akko.
Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge on July 8, the IS and Al Qaeda-associated organizations in Gaza have announced the deaths of at least 13 of their terrorists in the fighting against the IDF and Israel. The 13 include Abdullah Awani al-Fara, Ahmed Omar Abed al-A'al, Jaber Hamdan Abu Jaber, Saeed al-Lahawani, Usa Mohammed al-Sha'ar, Yusuf Jalal Barkat, Hamza Yusuf Muamar, Eyman Abed al-Rauf al-Sheikh, Hamza Halad al-Kadi, Mohammed Hamdan, Rasam Abu A'adra, and Mohammed al-Hamida. The list repeats Abdullah Awani al-Fara's name to reach a total of 13, a technique being used rampantly in the manipulation of casualty figures being presented about the operation.
A video posted last Friday shows terrorists of the IS and Al Qaeda affiliated organizations active in Gaza. Masked terrorists can be seen making declarations in front of the black IS flag and firing mortar shells at Israel.
Iran Says Hezbollah Ready to Open Second Front Against Israel
Aug. 12….(Algmeiner) A senior Iranian military commander threatened that the country’s Lebanon based surrogate Hezbollah was prepared to open a second front of rocket fire against Israel as negotiators worked to bring quiet to the Jewish state’s southern border after more than a month of fighting with Gaza based terror group Hamas.
Lieutenant Commander General Hossein Salami of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ claimed on Saturday that Hezbollah is prepared to “storm the Zionist regime by its high-precision missiles.” “Today, all the residents in the occupied territories feel insecure and the security of the occupied territories is in an equation that on one side the powerful Hezbollah exists which is ready to storm the occupied territories and everyone knows the destruction power and preciseness of its weapons, and the other variable in this equation is the Palestinian resistance which has destroyed 11 tanks of the regime and damaged 48 others using good tactics, techniques, technologies, missiles, rockets and new weapons,” Salami said in a live interview with Iran’s state-run TV, according to semi-official state news agency Fars.
Salami also criticized more moderate Arab states for allegedly opposing the “Palestinian resistance.” He claimed that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan are three Middle Eastern allies of the US who regulate their own policies based on US and Israeli policies, according to Fars. “The reason that the Zionist regime has chosen this opportunity for attacking Gaza is that they felt that the policies of the Arab regional states is more coordinated with the Zionist regime than the resistance,” he said. The general also claimed that that the US has attempted to replace the “Zionist threat” in the region by highlighting the threat posed by Iran. Despite the forthright rhetoric, it is widely believed that Hezbollah is far too heavily engaged in its battle on behalf of Syrian strongman Assad against rebels to instigate a foe as formidable as Israel.
Israel's Peace Partners: We Killed More Jews Than Hamas!
Aug. 12….(Israel Today) Among some Palestinians, Hamas’ stock is soaring after it dragged Israel into a month-long war that saw 3,500 missiles rain down on the Jewish state’s most populated civilian areas. It was after years of successful, gory suicide bomb attacks that Hamas garnered enough popularity to win a parliamentary majority in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah faction isn’t about to let that happen again, and is trying to remind everyone that it has killed far more Israeli Jews than Hamas. In a post to its official Facebook page, Fatah boasted (fictitiously) that it “has killed 11,000 Israelis,” while “sacrificing 170,000 shahids (martyrs)” to do so.
Fatah also noted that it was the first to launch an intifada (terrorist uprising) against Israel all the way back in 1988, and that it was the first to fire a shot in the Second Intifada that began in 2000.
And these are the people whom the Western world (and some Israeli politicians) call “moderates” and genuine peace partners. These are the people with whom Israel is told to negotiate its future.
Islamic Terrorists in Iraq Are Beheading Christians
(Announce they’re coming for American Christians too!)
Aug. 12….(CBN) Islamic terrorists in Iraq are beheading children and burying people alive, and it won't stop there. They have a message for America: "We're coming for you." Over the past week, the army of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), also known as IS (Islamic State), swallowed up swaths of Iraq like a pervading darkness.
In just one day, tens of thousands of Christians fled from towns like Qaraqosh and Bartilla, about 25 miles away. Most came to the town of Erbil with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. "America is at a crossroad," says Retired Gen. Paul Vallely, who has more than 15 years of experience in special operations and other military ops. He shared his insight on the chaos in Iraq and how it will impact America, on The 700 Club, August 11. "They take everything from the house, from the store, everything," one refugee told CBN News. "They hate Christians especially.
We Are Soldiers of the Caliphate and We Are Coming For You
Aug. 12….(Telegraph) In a video released by the Islamic State (IS) group has shown militants celebrating and raising the black IS flag over buildings and facilities in a number of key Iraqi locations under their control. The militants took control of Mosul in June, and captured a string of towns and Iraq's largest hydroelectric dam and reservoir in recent weeks. In the video, armed militants of the Islamic State group stand by a tank, holding weapons as one declares to the camera: "Our message to the entire world is that we are the soldiers of the Caliphate state and we are coming." Their statements seemed to be directed especially at the United States, with a particular warning for Christians in America, “we will behead you.”
FOJ Note: If President Obama doesn’t fully engage this terrorist army, and dedicate our nation to destroy this enemy, then they will indeed attack the US. Furthermore, if President Obama merely uses only pinprick air attacks against IS, then all he is accomplishing is ticking them off all the more! The US needs to fully support Israel against Hamas and Hezbollah, and go full-speed to destroy all these Islamic networks of terror, (and their sponsors) and quit playing,….. Golf.
US Arms Rushed to Iraqi Kurds from Jordan & Israel
(Al Qaeda-Sinai targets US military facilities)
Aug. 12….(DEBKA) The Kurdish Peshmerga fight against encroaching Islamic State troops gained a broad new dimension Monday, Aug. 11, when the US began airlifting large quantities of military equipment, including ordnance, from Jordan and Israel to the semiautonomous KRG capital, Irbil. The US maintains 10,000 special operations and marine forces at the King Hussein Air Base in northern Jordan, with large stocks of ammunition that were originally destined for the rebels fighting Bashar Assad in Syria. They are now being redirected to the Kurdish effort to stop the rapid Islamist march on their republic, along with supplies from the US emergency stores maintained in the Israeli Negev.
Debkafile’s military sources reveal that for some weeks, those stores and other US facilities in southern Israel have been in the sights of IS elements, which arrived in Sinai six months ago to reinforce Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, the local offshoot of Al Qaeda. The US, Israel and Egypt have taken care to keep this development under their hats. But in the last month, while Israel was engaged in Operation Defensive Edge against the Palestinian Hamas, IS and Al-Maqdis shot rockets from Sinai at US and Israeli military facilities in the Negev, in support of Hamas. Their attacks were described by Western observers as intense on some days as the Palestinian rocket barrage against the Israeli population.
The speed with which the American military effort in northern Iraq has spiraled in four days, from limited air strikes on IS targets Friday, Aug. 8, to direct arms supplies Monday - will soon confront President Barack Obama with the need for a speedy decision on whether to send American troops back to Iraq. US air strikes are clearly limited by the lack of an organized list of targets. All they can do now is bomb chance targets as they are picked up by reconnaissance planes or satellites. To be effective, the US Air Force needs to be guided in to target by special operations forces on the ground, who can supply precise data on the movements of IS fighters and mark them for air attack with laser designators.
Another shortcoming is the small number of US fighter-bombers available for Iraq. The aircraft which conducted four attacks on IS forces came from the USS George HW Bush aircraft carrier in the Gulf, which has 70 warplanes on board. This is not enough aerial firepower to stop the Islamists’ advance. They are also disadvantaged by being prevented from striking IS forces in Syria, a limitation which further curtails their effectiveness, as it did in the US war against Saddam Hussein. In the years 2003-2007, Al Qaeda had the great advantage of an open Syrian border. Instead of maintaining the bulk of its forces in Iraq, they could slip across into Syria out of range of US attack.
Obama will not overcome any of these military issues by his determined focus on sorting out the political situation in Baghdad. Replacing Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki by having his rival, Deputy Speaker Haider al-Abadi, nominated to replace him Monday, even with the backing of Sunni and Kurdish factions who detest Maliki, won’t affect the warfront. This change may generate inter-factional violence in the capital. And it will not quickly stiffen the Iraqi Army or enhance the Kurdish Peshmerga’s ability to curb the Islamists’ rapid advance. Bringing them up to scratch by restructuring and retraining them on modern operational lines, and providing the Iraqi army with an effective air force, will take anything from two to four years.
Last week it was discovered that, among the Islamist fighters who died in US air strikes Friday and Saturday, was a large group, estimated by intelligence sources as up to 200, of American citizens fighting in the ranks of Al Qaeda’s IS in Kurdistan and western Iraq. The Islamic State never releases facts and figures about its losses. However, Sunday, Aug. 10, a spate of threats imbued with a sense of revenge started appearing on social media, such as: “This is a message for every American citizen. You are the target of every Muslim in the world wherever you are.” Another was more brutal: “ISIS is ready to cut off your heads, dear Americans, O sons of bitches. Come quickly.” The approaching 13th anniversary of the 9/11 Al Qaeda attacks on America is causing concern in US intelligence and counter-terrorist quarters about possible surprises ahead.
Hundreds Around World Protest Against Israel
Aug. 11….(Arutz) Several hundred demonstrators gathered in Manhattan on Saturday to protest Israeli actions against Hamas in Gaza, 1010 WINS reported. The protesters began organizing near Columbus Circle, and planned to march to the United Nations headquarters.
Zouleikha Ban, who was born in Algeria and lives in Staten Island, said protesters feel they are all Palestinians because “there is no justice” in Gaza. The protesters called for an end to US aid to Israel. Many demonstrators told 1010 WINS it’s no longer just about the firing across the border, it’s about Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
Some protesters said they don’t believe Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state. “Israel has the power, Israel has political power, Israel has the money, Israel has everything, and everything is at their resource. But the only option they think they have is to kill,” one protester said, according to 1010 WINS. “Our tax dollars are going to Israel in support of this genocide,” Rula Yousef said. “Innocent children in Gaza have been slaughtered, bombs are being thrown at their houses as we speak and American stands by Israel.”
Some of the demonstrators chanted: "Free, free Palestine! Occupation is a crime!" Mostafa Asadi, an engineer from Philadelphia who came to New York for the protest, said the current violence in the Middle East started more than six decades ago. "The Zionists took Palestinian land and expelled them in 1948, and now Israel is trying to control the area," said Asadi, an Iran native who hoisted a sign that said: "Stop the US-Israeli blockade of Gaza." "The Israelis are racist," he told AP.
Throughout the operation in Gaza, there have been anti-Israel protests throughout the world, especially in Europe where these protests sometimes turned violent. One protest in Paris saw hundreds of Muslim extremists attacking a major synagogue in Paris, provoking clashes with Jewish youths who rushed to defend the site and worshippers trapped inside. In Berlin, footage of one such protest showed hundreds of demonstrators chanting in German, “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come on out and fight on your own”.
Last Saturday, thousands of protesters rallied outside the White House to call for peace and an end to the fighting in Gaza. The crowd, young and old from across the United States, including scores of children on parents' shoulders, chanted "End US Aid to Israel" and "Israel out of Palestine.
FOJ Note: The last time I checked the facts on Gaza, I discovered that Israel uprooted many Jewish families (2005) from the area, and turned the entire Strip over to the Palestinian Authority. Israel has tried to give the Palestinians land, money, utilities, statehood, and peace. But there is no satisfying the Palestinians. They simply want Israel DEAD. Gazans could have transformed their strip into a prosperous prototype for all Palestinians, but they chose to continue the hatred.
US Pastor Saeed Abedini’s Family Makes Plea to Obama
Aug. 11….(Fox News) A heart-wrenching new video shows the teary-eyed young children of imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini in an impassioned appeal to President Obama for help in getting their father freed from an Iranian prison. The YouTube video shows Rebekka and Jacob Abedini pleading with Obama for help in bringing their Daddy home. “I miss him so much,” Rebekka says in the video, posted last week. “I don’t want him to miss another birthday or Christmas or Father’s Day,” Jacob adds.
The 33-year-old Saeed Abedini is in his second year of an eight-year prison sentence handed down to him for allegedly evangelizing in his homeland. Abedini’s family is from Boise, Idaho, where his wife Naghmeh has been organizing a worldwide effort to pressure the Iranian government to release her husband. “Why does our Daddy need to be in prison for loving Jesus,” Rebekka says as she stares into the camera. In another scene, tears roll down her face as she stares in the camera from her bed. “I pray that Daddy comes back home,” she cries. “But he’s still not home.” Jacob says his heart is crying and points to his heart when his mother asks him where it hurts. “It cries because it misses Daddy,” the boy says of his heart. “I miss him a lot…a thousand lots." He says his heart doesn’t stop crying. “It hurts right now.”
In June, Secretary of State John Kerry said the US continues to call for Abedini’s release. “In Iran, US Iranian citizen Pastor Saeed Abedini remains imprisoned. The Iranian authorities sentenced him to eight years behind bars simply because of his religious beliefs,” Kerry said. “We will continue to call for his release and we will continue to work for it."
FOJ Note: The Obama Administration never made pastor Abedini’s imprisonment an issue during nuclear talks, nor during sanctions discussions with Iran. It could easily have secured his release in those negotiations, but Sec. Kerry said, “we don’t want to complicate our links to Iran,” with side issues.
Ceasefire Set For Midnight
Aug. 11….(DEBKA) In response to Egyptian mediation, Israel is ready to shrink the security zone inside the Gaza Strip by 200 meters, provided the Palestinian Hamas observes a further 72-hour ceasefire going into effect at midnight Sunday, Aug. 10, Debkafile’s intelligence sources report. And if the truce holds overnight, Israeli negotiators will return to Cairo Monday morning to resume the talks interrupted by Hamas rocket fire Friday. Debkafile further reports that Israel may allow Gaza Strip to have a seaport at some time in the future, in return for the territory’s demilitarization, but not an airport. These concessions, say our sources, are not yet on the table, but part of a potential future deal that depends on Hamas holding to its side of the bargain, including disarmament and a permanent ceasefire. But, most of all, it depends on the Hamas’ real decision-maker. Egyptian and Israeli intelligence believe that the elusive Muhammed Deif, commander of the Hamas military wing, is the organization’s final arbiter and have reason for presuming that he has decided that the time has come to halt hostilities with Israel. If they have got this wrong, then the seventh ceasefire in the six-week long conflict will last no longer than the previous six.
These developments come in the wake of the steps reported by Debkafile earlier Sunday. Cairo sent a secret message to Jerusalem Saturday night, Aug. 9, saying that Egypt had been unable to bring Hamas around to any compromise because “you [Israel and the IDF] haven’t hit them hard enough.” This is revealed by Debkafile’s exclusive military and intelligence sources. Therefore, there was no point in sending Israel’s envoys back to the Egyptian capital for negotiations on a durable cease-fire, because they would be coming on a fool’s errand. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cancelled their departure, after understanding the import of the message: The Egyptian ceasefire initiative proposed by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi had nowhere to go, until Israel’s armed forces clobbered Hamas’ military wing, Ezz e-Din Al-Qassam, into submission.
After their price for a ceasefire was rejected, Hamas and Islamic Jihad considered dropping out of the negotiating track. But meanwhile, on Friday, Aug. 8, they went back at their old practice of shooting rockets at the Israeli population, while also reserving the option to ramp the barrage up or down as it suited their plans. By Sunday morning, Aug. 10, the short 72-hour respite for southern Israeli was over and the diplomatic impasse in Cairo had evolved into a diplomatic void.
From the first week of the IDF ground operation in the Gaza Strip, Israel’s leaders had been groping for a way out of the hostilities. Half a dozen ceasefires were declared, and violated by Hamas, who viewed the effort as a sign of Israeli weakness. The prime minister and defense minister Moshe Ya’alon had counted on the 72-hour ceasefire, which expired Friday morning, providing Hamas commanders with a chance to come out of their bunker hidey-holes and view the devastation on the Gaza Strip surface. They would then be shocked into throwing in the towel, or so it was hoped. But instead, Hamas commanders immediately seized on the ruins as an opportunity to parade the Palestinians of Gaza to the world as victims of “Zionist” inhumanity, of which they hands were entirely clean. By now, Netanyahu and Ya’alon appear to be stumped for a policy.
All their military and political maneuvers, including their decision to limit the IDF ground incursion in the Gaza Strip last month to a depth of no more than one kilometer, failed to wrest the tactical initiative of the war from Hamas or bring harm to its military wing. Friday, when Hamas resumed its rocket barrage Friday, it was in good shape, unlike the Gazan population, to embark on a war of attrition and keep it going for weeks, if not months.
The inhabitants of the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip were cast into a depressing uncertainty. After living under rocket attacks of varying intensity for 14 years, many decided to finally pull up roots, when promises by the prime minister and army leaders, that the bane was finally over and they could live in peace and safety, went out the window. IDF generals warned Sunday morning of the dangers to the Gaza communities of a protracted period of indecision. They recalled the situation on the eve of the 1967 Six Day War, when the army stood ready, day after day, to rebuff Arab aggressors around its borders, while the late Prime Minister Levi Eshkol dithered and the Chief of Staff, the late Yitzhak Rabin, couldn’t take the suspense.
Today, too, IDF divisions stand at their staging posts, ready and willing, just as soon as they get the order, to drive deep into the Gaza Strip and finally dislodge the fundamentalist Palestinian orchestrators of the senseless violence emanating for so many years from this sliver of territory. If this order goes out, then, perhaps, Egypt may find Hamas more amenable to negotiating some sort of durable cessation of hostilities and an end to the destruction.
WEEK OF AUGUST 3 THROUGH AUGUST 9
* Personal Request
Aug. 9….(FOJ) My Father (age 84) is battling a blood related form of leukemia that is now affecting his liver, causing sclerosis. The Doctors have relayed information to me that they can do nothing more for him. I have already grieved my heart out, and the time of travail is only begun. I ask readers of FOJ to pray for my Dad, my Mom, my brother, and for me.
Hamas Backers Spend Fortunes on Rockets and Tunnels While Gazans Live in Misery
Aug. 9….(Fox News) The latest ceasefire between Israel and Hamas ended Friday morning when Hamas resumed its costly campaign of rocket attacks on Israel even as its 2 million constituents suffer from wrenching poverty. Although the millions of Palestinians packed into the small strip suffer from chronic unemployment, and lack of electricity and running water, Hamas and its backers such as Qatar have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on tunnels and rockets with one goal in mind: killing Israelis. “When you look at what Hamas did with all the cement and the materials that went into Gaza for ‘building’, and you now see that most went on the tunnels, you understand that from their point of view the civilian side is not important,” retired Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror, former national security advisor to the prime minister of Israel and director of the Intelligence Analysis Division in Israel’s Military Intelligence, told FoxNews.com.
So far, Israel has destroyed some 32 terror tunnels, each one requiring the equivalent of 350 truckloads of building supplies and costing up to $3 million to create, according to the IDF. And 3,360 short and medium-range rockets have been fired at Israel by Hamas and other militant Islamist groups, likely costing millions more. Hamas’ arsenal- estimates suggest they still retain a significant number of missiles, includes home-made crude Qassam rockets,as well as longer-range more sophisticated weapons such as the Iranian Grad and Fajr5, and Syrian-made M302’s. Hamas had scores of rocket launching sites, many placed in or close to schools, mosques, and hospitals - including missiles hidden in UNRWA schools on three separate occasions.
Regional experts argue that Hamas’ terror infrastructure shows the terrorist group elected to power in 2006 shows its economic policies place war on Israel above the welfare of its own people. Gaza’s total gross domestic product is approximately $750 million, and although funding for attacks on Israel often comes from patrons like Iran, Turkey, and Qatar, true economic aid from Gaza’s allies should be spent to better the lives of Palestinians, experts say. “Hamas is the same movement that runs both the civilian and the military in Gaza,” said Amidror. “So when the money is going to Hamas, it is going both for civilian and military purposes. There is no question that Qatar is the biggest funder of Hamas. In the past it was more taxes from the tunnels that ran from the Sinai Peninsula that funded Hamas, but today there is no question that it is Qatar more than anyone else.”
In 2012, the former Emir of Qatar visited Gaza and made a donation of $400 million to Hamas, a donation The New York Times reported would go towards “two housing complexes, rehabilitate three main roads, and create a prosthetic center, among other projects.” Hamas appear to have diverted the funds to terror projects. The Qatari smoke screen of donating to ‘civilian projects’ fools few people, Israeli officials say. In one of his final speeches last month before he stepped down as president of Israel, Shimon Peres also highlighted Qatar as the main financier of the Gaza regime. The Jerusalem Post reported that Peres “charged Qatar, saying that Qatar had no right to spend millions of petrol dollars to enable Hamas to build rockets and tunnels instead of developing Gaza.”
Meanwhile, the Palestinians who suffer under Hamas’ governance can only watch as money that could have been spent to improve their lives is spent on rockets and tunnels now being systematically destroyed by the IDF. “Most of Gaza’s civilians survive in substandard living conditions without the infrastructure to support basic sanitation, running water, and a sewer system,” said Itamar Gelbman, a former IDF special forces lieutenant and a US-based security consultant. “The unemployment rate is over 40 percent and for the lucky ones who actually do work, they have to settle for an average salary of $16 per day.” Gelbman said instead of building terror tunnels, Hamas could have used the same money, equipment, and engineering to construct sewage and water treatment facilities, improve old infrastructure, build schools, and even create beach front resorts
While its leaders live lavish lifestyles with luxurious villas on the Mediterranean shore, most Gazans sit and suffer as government workers go unpaid and money that could have been used to improve many lives continues to be squandered on Hamas’ pursuit of destroying Israel. “Only judging by their deeds you understand that there is no way that Qatari money went to civilian programs” said Amidror. “The materials went for military purposes.”
'It's Time for Real Victory Over Hamas'
Aug. 9….(Israel Today) The former head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, wrote on Friday that the time has come for real victory over Hamas and other jihadist forces holding sway in the Gaza Strip. Avi Dichter lamented in a post to his Facebook page that the Western world has lost its capacity to truly defeat its enemies and win wars, as it did in World War II. Sixty nine years ago exactly, the American leadership understood that there is no other way to end the bloody war against Japan, but with one action: dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima,” he noted. Dichter stressed that while “Hamas is not the Japanese army and Israel is not the United States,” Israel and its Western critics can nevertheless “learn something from the process that the United States and Japan went through during that war.”
As the 72-hour ceasefire crumbled and Hamas resumed rocket fire on southern Israel, Dichter insisted that any further long-term truce negotiations simply must include the demilitarization of Gaza. Hamas must be defeated in a military sense. And expecting Hamas to agree to that conclusion is nothing short of “delusional,” said Dichter, meaning that Israel or some other force is going to have to enter Gaza and defang the terrorists.
ISIS: We Will Raise Flag of Allah in White House
Aug. 9….(Newsmax) The Islamic State has warned the United States that it plans to attack America and raise "the flag of Allah in the White House." "I say to America that the Islamic caliphate has been established," Abu Mosa, a spokesman for the terror group, also known as ISIS, told Vice Media in a video interview posted online Thursday. "Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq. We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House." The nine-minute video is the first of a five-part series from Vice Media after reporter Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks embedded with ISIS fighters, gaining unprecedented access to the terror group.
In the first video, Dairieh heads to the Syrian city of Raqqa, where the brutal extremists are building a regime while also laying siege to a Syrian army base. The ISIS threat to conquer the United States was issued before President Barack Obama announced Thursday that he planned to authorize "targeted" airstrikes against the hard-line Sunni jihadists to prevent the genocide of ethnic minorities in Iraq, including tens of thousands of fleeing Christians, as well as to protect U.S personnel in Irbil and Baghdad.
The Islamic State has captured vast swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria as it attempts to create a caliphate in the region. with its shadowy leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the caliph.
US Strikes Against ISIS in Northern Iraq
Aug. 9….(AP) The US has launched an air strike against militants from the Islamic State (IS) group in northern Iraq. The Pentagon said its aircraft attacked artillery being used against Kurdish forces defending the city of Irbil. The Sunni Muslim group IS, formerly known as Isis, now has control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria. Tens of thousands of people from minority groups have fled their homes due to the militants' advance. IS has also seized Iraq's largest dam.
According to US officials, the dam is a vital part of Iraq's infrastructure as it controls the level of the Tigris River and is a key source of water and electricity generation for the Iraqi people. According to the Pentagon statement, two F/A-18 planes from an aircraft carrier in the Gulf dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on mobile artillery near Irbil, where US personnel are based. The air strike is the first time the US has been directly involved in a military operation in Iraq since American troops withdrew in late 2011. No time limit has been set for air strikes, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, but he insisted that a "prolonged military conflict that includes US involvement is not on the table."
The United States launched another round of airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq Friday, using drones and a fighter jets to attack a mortar position and vehicle convoy near Erbil, the Pentagon said. The strikes came a day after they were threatened by President Barack Obama. A drone struck a mortar position twice at around 10 a.m. ET, killing ISIS fighters who returned to the site after the first attack, Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement. About an hour later, four F-18 fighter jets dropped a total of eight laser-guided bombs on a convoy of seven vehicles and a mortar position, destroying both. The fighter jets took off from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, in the Persian Gulf.
Tens of thousands of members of one of Iraq's oldest minorities have been stranded on a mountain in the country's north-west, facing slaughter at the hands of jihadists surrounding them below if they flee, or death by dehydration if they stay. UN groups say at least 40,000 members of the Yazidi sect, many of them women and children, have taken refuge in nine locations on Mount Sinjar, a craggy mile-high ridge identified in local legend as the final resting place of Noah's ark. At least 130,000 more people, many from the Yazidi stronghold of Sinjar, have fled to Dohuk, in the Kurdish north, or to Irbil, where regional authorities have been struggling since June to deal with one of the biggest and most rapid refugee movements in decades.
The Spreading Scourge of Anti-Christian Persecution
Aug. 7….(Dr. Ben Carson) The images projected across our television and computer screens throughout the day as we rest in the creature comforts of our offices and homes are very sobering. They should elicit the most basic instincts of both fear and compassion for hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of our fellow brothers and sisters. They are images not soon forgotten, though we have seen them before countless times. Each time we see them, the groans and pain evident on their faces grows more real for us and more difficult to ignore.
I’m referring to those around the world persecuted by a group of religious zealots whose behavior is difficult to comprehend. Their intolerance against Christianity is beyond horrible. People are being beheaded for their faith. Women and young girls are being sexually violated and whole families are being wantonly slaughtered in cold blood. Perhaps just as abhorrent is the profound silence of the American government as represented by the current administration. Even though President Obama has declared that we are not a Judeo-Christian nation, we are still compassionate people who should not ignore humanitarian atrocities, much less ones where the victims are only guilty of maintaining a belief in the principles espoused by Jesus Christ.
We have an obligation as Americans to denounce these acts of persecution. Even those who do not worship a higher deity should be concerned. For when we stand up to such intolerance, we are defending the root of freedom. We are defending choice, the ability to worship and call on the name of a heavenly being without fear of torture and abandonment.
The president, who very early in his tenure won the Nobel Peace Prize, now has an opportunity to truly be the broker of peace in a very troubled part of the world. He can be a champion of freedom of religion, which is a founding principle of our nation. As long as religious practices do not infringe upon the rights of others, he can make it clear that it is wrong to interfere with those practices.
In our own country, we must become more reasonable in the adjudication of disputes about religious symbols. For instance, if a Christmas tree or manger scene has been a long-standing tradition in a community, and one or two people come along and claim that it offends them and must be removed, should those few individuals have the power to interfere with the seasonal joy of thousands who rejoice in the viewing of those symbols of the holiday season? If someone is offended by a menorah in a Jewish community, would it not make more sense to give them some sensitivity training than to disturb the entire community by removing the symbol? I could go on for quite some time mentioning various symbols associated with a wide variety of religions, but I think the point is clear. When we reward unwarranted hypersensitivity surrounding religious ceremonies or beliefs, we add fuel to the hatred and intolerance that subsequently produces religious persecution.
I am certain that some will say religious persecution in other parts of the world does not concern us and that we cannot be the police for the planet. Certainly, there is some validity to the latter part of that statement, but if we continue to ignore or tolerate religious persecution elsewhere, it is just a matter of time before we will experience it to a much greater degree than we have already here at home.
As far as the Middle East is concerned, we are not helpless and can dispatch the State Department to do all it can to help those in this desperate time of need. Some conservatives and cynics might argue that such a move requires government dollars. Who’s to say? We don’t fully comprehend how besieged these people are, much less know what it would take to grant them relief.
Governments need to decry such persecution, and root it out wherever and whenever they can. The United States should lead in that effort, just as it has with combating sex trafficking and other problems the collective world can and has decried in the past. It is hard to find an issue that demands a sharper clarion call for leadership now.
Hamas Manual Found: Stategy for Using Human Shields as a Weapon
Aug. 6….(In The Days) IDF forces in the Gaza Strip found a Hamas manual on “Urban Warfare,” which belonged to the Shuja’iya Brigade of Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades. The manual explains how the civilian population can be used against IDF forces and reveals that Hamas knows the IDF is committed to minimizing harm to civilians. Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has continuously used the civilian population of Gaza as human shields. The discovery of a Hamas “urban warfare” manual by IDF forces reveals that Hamas’ callous use of the Gazan population was intentional and preplanned.
This Hamas urban warfare manual exposes two truths: (1) The terror group knows full well that the IDF will do what it can to limit civilian casualties. (2) The terror group exploits these efforts by using civilians as human shields against advancing IDF forces. In a portion entitled “Limiting the Use of Weapons,” the manual explains that: The soldiers and commanders of the IDF must limit their use of weapons and tactics that lead to the harm and unnecessary loss of people and destruction of civilian facilities. It is difficult for them to get the most use out of their firearms, especially of supporting fire. Clearly Hamas knows the IDF will limit its use of weapons in order to avoid harming civilians, including refraining from using larger firepower to support for infantry. The manual goes on to explain that the “presence of civilians are pockets of resistance” that cause three major problems for advancing troops:
(1) Problems with opening fire
(2) Problems in controlling the civilian population during operations and afterward
(3) Assurance of supplying medical care to civilians who need it
Lastly, the manual discusses the benefits for Hamas when civilian homes are destroyed: The destruction of civilian homes: This increases the hatred of the citizens towards the attackers [the IDF] and increases their gathering support around the city defenders. (Hamas]). It is clear that Hamas actually desires the destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure, knowing it will increase hatred for the IDF and support their fighters. It is also of no small importance that this manual belongs to the Shuja’iya Brigade. The IDF fought a major battle in the neighborhood of Shuja’iya, which had been turned into a terrorist stronghold. The discovery of this manual suggests that the destruction in Shuja’iya was always part of Hamas’ plan.
Plans For Third Jewish Temple Expanding
Aug. 6….(Now The End Begins) An Israeli organization has launched a campaign to raise funds for draft plans of a future temple site, which, if built, it says, would ‘usher in universal harmony.’ “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 9:27
There is much excitement in Israel with talk of the proposed coming Third Temple in Jerusalem. As you will see in this article, Jews in Israel feel that the building of this temple will usher in “world peace and harmony”. But that is not what the prophets have declared. Daniel says that, in the last days, the temple that will be built will be the temple of Antichrist, and will offer up abominations that the God of Abraham will completely reject. Instead of bringing in ‘world peace’, the Old Testament declares that it will usher in the time of Jacob’s Trouble, and great tribulation will fill the whole earth. “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:7
As Egypt, Qatar, the US and the UN write proposals for Israel-Hamas ceasefires, one organization based in Jerusalem’s Old City hopes to compose a peace plan of a different kind: a detailed architectural blueprint for the Third Jewish Temple on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. The Temple Institute, which has recreated 60 vessels to be used in a Third Temple and which sponsors educational programs about the temple worldwide, has created a $100,000 Indiegogo campaign to draft plans for a Third Temple.
Building the temple, says the Indiegogo campaign statement, would “usher in a new era of universal harmony and peace,” as prophesied in the Bible. “It is not enough to wait and pray for the Third Temple,” the statement added. “It is a Biblical obligation to build it.” According to Rabbi Chaim Richman, the institute’s international director, the temple would stand in the present location of the Dome of the Rock, a Muslim shrine. Muslims revere the mount as the Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary. But Richman did not set a target date for breaking ground for the construction project. The temple will be built, he told JTA, when “the world will want us to build the temple. “The Jewish people have a responsibility to all of humanity, including Islam,” Richman said. “I don’t expect it to come about through any sort of confrontation or any sort of military maneuver. The Jews have to represent good in the world, light in the world.”
The Indiegogo campaign is tied to the upcoming fast of Tisha b’Av, which mourns the First and Second Temples’ destruction. Richman quoted the verse in Isaiah calling the temple “a house of prayer for all nations.”
Obama and Kerry Make The Most Strategic Mistakes in Military History
Aug. 5….(Steve Emerson/Investigative Project on Terror) ) The obsession by the Obama-Kerry administration with imposing a cease-fire on the warring parties in the Hamas-Israel war will go down in history as one of the most strategic mistakes in military history. Here is a fact the administration deliberately and maliciously ignored: In the history of modern warfare, no terrorist group has ever honored a cease-fire. Hamas has broken every cease-fire it ever said it would honor. Every single one.
Even the Israel-Hamas 2012 cease fire, brokered by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was simply agreed to by Hamas to give it an opportunity to restock its military arsenal, pressure Israel to lift its restrictions on the import of cement and steel into Gaza, material that Clinton said would be used to build hospitals and schools, but in fact was used to build a network of underground tunnels into Israel and build a subterranean network of underground bunkers, weapons storage facilities and launching pads. Hamas simply used the cease-fire to rebuild its military infrastructure and as predicted by Israeli military intelligence, would simply break the cease-fire when it felt ready to take on the Israelis once again.
And on Friday, Hamas did the exact same thing. It agreed, through its main financial backer Qatar (which is the world’s largest financial sponsor of terrorist groups including Hamas, Hizbollah, Al Qaeda and Al Nusra in Syria) and which the US inexplicably anointed as its interlocutor to Hamas, that it would honor a 72-hour cease-fire initiated by the Obama-Kerry administration.
On Thursday night, Kerry proudly announced the cease-fire. But read the main sentence of his press conference. “Then, as soon as the cease-fire is underway tomorrow morning, I talked to the Egyptian foreign minister tonight. Egypt will issue invitations to the parties to come to Cairo immediately in order to engage in serious and focused negotiations with Egypt to address the underlying causes of this conflict.”
“Underlying causes?” What in God’s name is Kerry talking about? That would be the equivalent of announcing a cease-fire with Al Qaeda after it killed 3000 Americans on 9-11 on the grounds that it needed to “address the underlying causes” of Al Qaeda’s war against the United States and the West.
Here is a little secret for Mr. Kerry: The underlying causes of the current Israeli-Hamas war, initiated by Hamas with its launching of tens of thousands of missiles into Israel and its use of underground tunnels from Gaza to carry out murderous attacks against Israel civilians, is that Hamas, like Al Qaeda, is a nihilistic radical Islamic organization dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state and the establishment of an Islamic caliphate. The term “underlying causes” directly implies there are legitimate rational grievances by Hamas. Yes, the same “underlying causes” that motivated Adolph Hitler to carry out a worldwide war of conquest, including the Holocaust of six million Jews. Hamas is the embodiment of pure evil. And its motivation is the same as that of Al Qaeda and ISIS.
On Fox News, the former US Ambassador to Bahrain, Adam Ereli, summed up the conflict in words that accurately described the “underlying causes” behind the war between Israel and Hamas: What we’re seeing happen between Israel and Gaza is not a localized conflict, but is much, is part of a much bigger regional war. And that war has Iran, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood on one side and it has the forces of what I would call reason and moderation on the other side, being Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the countries of the Gulf. And United States has an interest in ensuring that the forces of reason and moderation prevail."
Mr. Ereli was right on point. But somehow this administration lost sight of its real strategic interests and instead embraced an agenda that has resulted in extensive damage to our national interests, which in turn has resulted in increasing the strategic threat to American national security.
This administration believes that Al Qaeda is bad but the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the parent of Hamas and Islamic Jihad as well as that of Al Qaeda, is a rational organization with “legitimate grievances” that can be negotiated with on the same basis that the US can negotiate with Canada or Germany. That is why this administration has embraced the Muslim Brotherhood, starting with the first speech Mr. Obama gave in Cairo in February 2009, where the first two rows of “dignitaries” were 20 leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt hand-selected by the Obama administration.
Moreover, the Obama administration, according to an investigation carried out by my organization, the Investigative Project on Terrorism, lifted all visa restrictions on Muslim Brotherhood officials in their applications to visit the United States. In a report our organization will be releasing next week, more than 25 senior Muslim Brotherhood officials who had publicly called for jihad against the United States or the West, or had openly expressed their support for Hamas and Hezbollah, visited the United States in the past three years and met with senior US officials. One of them, who served as vice president of a Muslim Brotherhood group that had called for the killing of Americans, actually met with President Obama in the White House.
So the “underlying causes” of the current war of annihilation carried out by Hamas against Israel is very simple: It believes that Israel needs to be destroyed paralleling the same agenda of Al Qaeda that believed the United States should be destroyed. We are talking about an organization that won’t be satisfied in the short term until every Jew in Israel is dead and in the long term until Western civilization is destroyed replaced by a worldwide Islamic caliphate.
Hamas on last Friday succeeded in kidnapping an Israeli officer, after launching a suicide bombing against Israeli soldiers in a well-planned operation 90 minutes after the cease-fire had gone into effect. Immediately following the suicide bombing that killed several Israeli soldiers (still unreported), a group of up to 10 Hamas terrorists immediately descended upon the scene of the bombing where chaos reigned supreme, and kidnapped the Israeli officer in charge of the company stationed in Gaza. Then Musa Abu Marzuk, a leader of Hamas in Cairo, who was invited to participate in the talks with the US and UN officials on the cease fire, had the audacity to announce the kidnapping took place BEFORE the cease-fire went into effect. This was a manifestly demonstrable lie, as Israel would never have agreed to a cease-fire if it knew one of its soldiers had been kidnapped.
The Obama-Kerry administration’s obsession with imposing a cease-fire on Israel on the grounds that too many civilians were being killed in collateral damage (caused by the fact that Hamas used the Gaza population as human shields to protect its launching of missiles ensconced in hospitals, mosques, kindergartens and civilian apartment buildings) somehow convinced itself that Hamas was an organization with “legitimate” political grievances. Yes, the same type of radical Islamic group whose agenda parallels exactly that of the same radical Islamic groups that has killed thousands of Americans and Europeans and whose wars of aggression has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Christians in Syria and Iraq.
At this point the Obama administration, if it truly wants to limit the damage to our own national security and reverse the strategic threat to the survival of Israel, needs to be honest with itself and acknowledge its historic mistake in its approach to the Muslim Brotherhood and its stepchild, Hamas. The Muslim Brotherhood is the godfather of all Sunni terrorist groups, from Al Qaeda to Hamas, a fact these groups openly admit.
This is a classic war of good versus evil. The only difference between the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist offspring is the deception perpetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood in portraying itself as opposed to violence and committed to political pluralism. Nothing could be further from the truth. All one needs to do is read the covenant of the Muslim Brotherhood in which it states its commitment to carry out jihad to dominate the world, read the contemporary incendiary statements of Muslim Brotherhood officials issued in Arabic and not in English, and observe the Muslim Brotherhood hatred and persecution of Christians, secular women, non-believing Muslims, infidels and gays.
This administration’s current policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood extends from the legitimacy it has conferred on the Muslim Brotherhood organization overseas and its chief patron, Qatar, to the embrace of Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the United States. This administration has gone so far as to ban the mention of the term “radical Islam” and to claim that the word jihad means only peaceful struggle and not violent commitment to impose Islam, which is the genuine historic and religious definition of jihad. Reversing these policies would not only help protect the long term strategic interests of the United States but would also protect and help in the growth of the community of genuine Muslim moderates who in the end are the only key to reversing the growing threat of radical Islam in the world today.
Israel Confirmed it has Agreed to Egypt’s Proposal for a 72-hour Ceasefire in Gaza, for Tuesday Morning
Aug. 5….(Jerusalem Post/YNET) Israel accepted an Egyptian cease-fire proposal on Monday night that is to go into effect Tuesday at 8:00am.Senior diplomatic officials pointed out that from the early stages of the Gaza operation Israel had accepted the Egyptian proposal. They stressed that the ceasefire was unconditional and pointed out that its acceptance came after Israel finished destroying the terror tunnels.
The officials said Israel was preparing for the possibility that Hamas would violate the cease-fire, as it has done in the past, and also cautioned the Israeli public to continue to be vigilant as Hamas could try to carry out a major attack for a final “victory picture” before the cease-fire goes into effect. It was not immediately clear when an Israeli delegation would head to Cairo for indirect talks on a long-term agreement. The officials said that if the cease-fire was honored there would be no reason for a continued IDF presence inside the Gaza Strip. The members of the security cabinet were informed of the decision, but there was no reason for a vote.
Earlier on Monday, Azzam al-Ahmed, head of the Palestinian delegation to the Cairo discussions on a cease-fire formula, confirmed that a ceasefire would go into effect Tuesday morning. Al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah official, said the cease-fire would be for 72-hours, during which Israel and the Palestinian factions would hold indirect talks in Cairo about consolidating the truce. Other Palestinian and Egyptian sources had claimed on Monday night that a cease-fire agreement would go into effect at 8am. on Tuesday.
Ziad al-Nakhaleh, deputy head of Islamic Jihad and a member of the delegation, said in a TV interview that he expected a cease-fire agreement to be announced “in the coming hours.” He added that the Egyptians had demonstrated “great understanding” for the demands of the Palestinians regarding a cease-fire. The Palestinian delegation presented their demands to the Egyptians late on Sunday. The demands called for an immediate cease-fire and a lifting of the siege on the Gaza Strip, in addition to the reopening of all border crossings. They also called for international assurances that Israel would refrain from launching military attacks, and for UN assistance in rebuilding the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians also demanded an airport and seaport in addition to free passage between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Israeli officials dismissed this list of demands in recent days as “completely unrealistic.”
Before the flurry of reports about a possible cease-fire, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Monday afternoon that the Gaza campaign was continuing and the only element coming to a conclusion right now was the actions against the tunnels. “The campaign will end only when quiet and security for a prolonged period of time is restored to Israeli citizens,” Netanyahu said following security deliberations with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz at the headquarters of the IDF’s Southern Command in Beersheba. Netanyahu, in his comments, made no mention of an imminent ceasefire.
IDF Carves out 1-3km Security Strip while Pulling Troops Out of Gaza.
(A humanitarian truce to be declared tomorrow)
Aug. 5….(DEBKA) After withdrawing the bulk of its ground troops from the Gaza Strip in a “new phase” of its counter-terror operation, Israel declared a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire for seven hours starting 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 4 to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid and for displaced Palestinians to return to their homes. Eastern Rafah was not included. The IDF would respond to any attacks during that time. But on the quiet, the IDF was on the process of conducting a major strategic operation, carving out a buffer strip or cordon sanitaire just inside the Gaza border, designed to be controlled from outside by special forces and armored units on round-the-clock alert, to bar hostile infiltrations. They are equipped with a battery of firing posts, sensors and drones. This sterile strip runs 65km from Beit Hanoun in the north to Khan Younis in the south, roughly following one of Gaza’s only motorways, Highway 6 (see map). All the territory east of this line up to the Israeli border has been cleared of buildings and vegetation to a depth of 1 km in the north and center of Gaza and 2-3 km deep in such areas as Khan Younis.
These dimensions were calculated to reduce Palestinian rocket fire against Israel’s southern communities, and deter Hamas from planning new tunnels. The Israel troops pulled out of Gaza are redeploying in a new formation as a “breakthrough force,” able to cross back into Gaza for rapid response operations if necessary. It is made up of large armored units, special operations contingents and air force, and is highly mechanized rather than fielding soldiers on foot. This force is capable of raids that penetrate deeper into the territory than ventured by the IDF in the first 27 days of Operation Defensive Edge.
Unconventional Warfare: Obama’s Changing of America
(Children are the latest pawns in Obama's transformation “CHANGE” of America)
(What is President Barack Obama really up to with his shocking border policy?)
Aug. 5….(WND) Despite the disapproval of a vast majority of Americans, he’s singlehandedly negating the nation’s immigration laws and luring hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens to flood into the US across its southern border. Many are minors, kidnapped, robbed, murdered or preyed upon en route by sexual predators, coyotes and drug cartels, with recent reports of astonishing numbers of both boys and girls being raped in transit. Dead bodies of illegal aliens, including young children, are reported washing up along the riverbanks of the Rio Grande.
In addition, teenage members of the ultra-violent MS-13 gang, whose initiation requires them to commit murder, rape or other heinous crime, are being allowed into the US under Obama’s policy, and gangs are then recruiting new members from among the massive influx of unaccompanied immigrant minors. In Texas alone, over the last six years illegal aliens have been convicted of committing 640,000 crimes, including over 3,000 homicides.
Meanwhile, top medical doctors fear an imminent “public health catastrophe,” one publicly predicting a wave of immigrants “coming here with a number of infectious diseases that will spread like wildfire,” and another warning, “A public health crisis, the likes of which I have not seen in my lifetime, is looming.” Overwhelmed emergency rooms, multiple contagious diseases like drug-resistant tuberculosis and fears of school epidemics top their list of concerns. So why is Obama doing it?
“What Americans are witnessing right now is a Trojan Horse disguised as a humanitarian crisis,” says Whistleblower Editor David Kupelian. Adds author Diana West in this issue of Whistleblower, “Children are usually just children, but when 130,000 of them are expected to storm the border in the coming year, they more closely resemble an advancing column, a kind of foreign legion of child-mercenaries raised abroad with cynical promises of booty in the form of cradle-to-grave taxpayer charity.”
As Americans endure the continual spectacle of uncontrolled illegal immigration, which amounts to nothing less than an invasion of their country, they are haunted by President Ronald Reagan’s warning: “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.”
US-Obama-Kerry in Race to Divert Israel From All-out War on Hamas
Aug. 3….(Fox News) The administration’s public outrage at suspected capture of Hadar Goldin gives Israel new leeway but is also meant to avert a go-it-alone mentality. The capture of IDF officer Hadar Goldin resets Western support for Israeli operations in Gaza to their peak levels at the very start of Operation Protective Edge. This will give the Israeli army several days in which to conduct search and destroy operations and to pursue other military objections, should it be ordered to do so, before the civilian toll in Gaza once again reverses the tide.
The rising international condemnation following the bloody attacks on UNRWA schools and the Shujaiyeh market last week, especially that of the U.S. administration, was one of the major factors contributing to Israel’s decision on Thursday night to accept the new cease-fire deal worked out by Secretary of State John Kerry. When White House spokesperson Josh Earnest pinned responsibility for the latest attack on an UNRWA shelter on Israel and described it as “indefensible” and “unacceptable,” decision-makers in Jerusalem understood that while operations in Gaza were yielding diminishing military returns they were exacting a rapidly rising diplomatic price.
Netanyahu to Obama/Kerry: Don't Second Guess Me on Hamas
Aug. 3….(AP) Following the quick collapse of the cease-fire in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Obama White House not to force a truce with Palestinian militants on Israel. Sources familiar with conversations between Netanyahu and senior US officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, say the Israeli leader advised the Obama administration "not to ever second guess me again" on the matter. The officials also said Netanyahu said he should be "trusted" on the issue and about the unwillingness of Hamas to enter into and follow through on cease-fire talks.
The Obama administration on Friday condemned "outrageous" violations of an internationally brokered Gaza cease-fire by Palestinian militants and called the apparent abduction of an Israeli soldier a "barbaric" action. The strong reaction came as top Israeli officials questioned the effort to forge the truce, accusing the US and the United Nations of being naive in assuming the radical Hamas movement would adhere with its terms. The officials also blamed the Gulf state of Qatar for not forcing the militants to comply. With the cease-fire in tatters fewer than two hours after it took effect with an attack that killed two Israeli troops and left a third missing, President Barack Obama demanded that those responsible release the soldier.
Obama and other US officials did not directly blame Hamas for the abduction. But they made clear they hold Hamas responsible for, or having influence over, the actions of all factions in the Gaza Strip. The language was a distinct change from Thursday when Washington was focused on the deaths of Palestinian civilians. "If they are serious about trying to resolve this situation, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released as soon as possible," Obama told reporters. He added that it would be difficult to revive the cease-fire without the captive's release. "It's going to be very hard to put a cease-fire back together again if Israelis and the international community can't feel confident that Hamas can follow through on a cease-fire commitment," he said. His comment reflected uncertainty in the US and elsewhere that Hamas was actually responsible for the incident or if some other militant group was to blame. At the same time, Obama called the situation in Gaza "heartbreaking" and repeated calls for Israel to do more to prevent Palestinian civilian casualties FOJ Note: (how about calling on Hamas to do anything to safeguard their own people, besides using them as cannon fodder?) Despite the collapse of the truce, Obama credited Kerry for his work with the United Nations to forge one. He lamented criticism and "nitpicking" of Kerry's attempts and said the effort would continue.
Kerry negotiated the truce with UN chief Ban Ki-moon in a marathon session of phone calls over several days while he was in India on an official visit. Kerry had spent much of the past two weeks in Egypt, Israel, the West Bank and France trying to mediate a cease-fire with Qatar and Turkey playing a major role because of their close ties with Hamas. Those efforts failed with Israel saying it could not trust Hamas and some Israelis and American pro-Israel groups complaining that the US was treating the group, a foreign terrorist organization as designated by the State Department, as a friend. Late Thursday, however, Israel accepted Kerry and Ban's latest proposal, despite its reservations. Once the truce was violated, though, Israeli officials hit out at not only Hamas, but the United States and Qatar for its failure. An Israeli official said the Netanyahu government viewed both Hamas and Qatar as having violated the commitment given to the US and the UN and that it expected the international community to take practical steps as part of a "strong and swift response," especially regarding the return of the abducted soldier.
In a phone call with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, Netanyahu vented his anger, according to people familiar with the call. Netanyahu told Shapiro the Obama administration was "not to ever second-guess me again" and that Washington should trust his judgment on how to deal with Hamas, according to the people. Netanyahu added that he now "expected" the US and other countries to fully support Israel's offensive in Gaza, according to those familiar with the call. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter by name. They said Netanyahu made similar points to Kerry, who himself denounced the attack as "outrageous," saying it was an affront to assurances to respect the cease-fire given to the United States and United Nations, which brokered the truce.
UN Blasts Israel for Not Sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
Aug. 3….(Arutz) In what may be one of the most ridiculous accusations yet against Israel, the UN's top human rights official condemned Israel on Thursday for failing to share the Iron Dome anti-missile system with Hamas, Breitbart reports. According to the report, human rights commissioner Navi Pillay condemned Israel’s military actions to stop Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, telling reporters that Israel was “deliberately defying International Law... in a way that may constitute war crimes.” "There is a strong possibility that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes,” Breitbart quoted Pillay as saying following a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council on Gaza. She backed this statement by citing Israel’s refusal to share its Iron Dome ballistic missile defense shield with the "governing authority" of Gaza. Pillay criticized the US for helping Iron Dome, adding, "No such protection has been provided to Gazans against the shelling.” Just because Hamas fires rockets indiscriminately aimed at Israeli civilian population centers without provocation and fires them from within its own population centers does not “absolve” Israel from its own legal violations, Pillay told reporters, according to Breitbart. Pillay failed to mention that the Iron Dome was developed in order to save the lives of innocent civilians from Hamas’s endless rocket attacks against Israelis. The Iron Dome is designed to intercept rockets that are fired towards populated areas. It has proven very effective and its success rate was listed as 90% in 2012.
According to Breitbart, Pillay also condemned what she termed Israeli "targeting" of UN-run schools and hospitals in Gaza. She did not mention, nor was she reminded by any of the reporters present, that at least three UN-run schools in Gaza have been used as rocket warehouses, a gross violation of international law that clearly falls within the category of war crimes. "What I'm seeing now is a recurrence of the very acts that the Gaza fact-finding mission indicated as constituting war crimes and crimes against humanity," she said. While the claim regarding the Iron Dome is a new one, Pillay’s latest comments are certainly not the first time she has condemned Israel for “war crimes”. Just last week, Pillay opened an emergency UN debate on Gaza by saying there is a "strong possibility" that Israel is violating law in Gaza, and that could amount to war crimes. She said the killing of Gaza civilians, especially children, raises concerns on Israel's precautions and respect for proportionality.
Thousands in Washington Protest Against US Support for Israel
Aug. 3….(Jerusalem Post) Thousands of people attended a demonstration outside the White House in Washington DC on Saturday to protest against US support for Israel and call for an end to military action in the Gaza strip. Demonstrators, who carried Palestinian flags and chanted "Free, free Palestine" while holding up signs bearing slogans including "Stop Genocide" and "Free Gaza", called on the administration of US President Barack Obama to end military aid for Israel. "They just feed them money, that's all they do. Feed Israel money, feed Israel weapons, and nothing happens, I mean, and they won't stop it. They are bombing Palestinians and they are killing them and they still don't want stop funding a war," said one protester. "It's completely one-sided, and you've got to understand that the Israelis, they have a lobby that's the most powerful lobby in the world, and that's what keeps the politicians in business here," said another. Crowds swelled after the protest moved into downtown areas of the city. One of the demonstrators called for the United States to review its relationship with Israel. "I know we have a complicated relationship with Israel and I think this is a moment in history when we need to change that relationship. My reason for being here today is that my tax dollar is paying for 1,600 people dead in Gaza today, many of whom civilians, many of whom are children. And I regret that my tax dollar is paying for them," he said.
Also on Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country would continue operations in Gaza until calm is restored, however long it takes.
FOJ Note: This anti-Israel movement materializing here in America will lead to America’s destruction. (that’s a Bible-based fact) Israel is not the bad boy bully in Gaza. Hamas is the evil entity causing death for all in the region. And if Americans begin turning their support, blindly towards terrorist organizations, and bashing a true democratic freedom loving state in Israel, God almighty will damn America to a severe judgment.