I have been blogging for 10 years and throughout that time I have argued against the two-state solution and have asked for a paradigm shift. Since Egypt and Jordan are far from assuming their assigned roles by the two plans cited here, the one remaining option is conflict management. But conflict management does mean maintaining the status quo. It involves changing the paradigm over time in a way that strengthens us. The first order of business is to extend Israeli law to the settlements or annexing Area “C” which is essentially the same thing. Ted Belman
New times call for new thinking
By David M. Weinberg
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said that Israel needs to rethink its overall security needs in the wake of the (clearly mislabeled) “Arab Spring.” He noted that Islamists were on the march, and hinted that Israel would have to increase defense spending.
Indeed, the times call for new strategic thinking. Consistently ahead of the curve has been the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (where I direct public affairs). Its experts have conducted over-the-horizon and out-of-the-box research that has not always been politically correct or appreciated at the time by mainstream pundits and journalists. But Netanyahu has definitely noticed. He had good reason to choose the center as the venue for his major foreign policy speech back in June 2009.
AIPAC sounds the alarm. Remember all the weapons that came into the hands of terrorists in Libya. Don’t let the same thing happen in Syria. Ted Belman
AIPAC, NEAR EAST REPORT
In a sign that Syria may be on the brink of civil war, defectors from the military were reportedly responsible for recent attacks on an intelligence base near Damascus and a ruling Baath party office in the northwest of the country. There is a growing boldness among deserters in confronting President Bashar Assad’s regime, which the U.N. estimates has killed more than 3,500 people in a brutal crackdown.
The United States, European Union and Turkey all agree that Assad has lost the legitimacy to lead. But what will happen to Syrian weapons stockpiles if and when Assad’s rule collapses?
The device above is called a “Red Crystal.” It is the emblem that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) seem to have agreed that Israel must put on its ambulances instead of the traditional Magen David, if MDA is to be allowed to join the international organization (one wonders if MDA will have to change its name as well).
Katyusha fire on Israel was Syrian warning. Turkey ready for any scenario
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 29, 2011,
[..] IDF sources read the rocket attack as the Assad regime’s last warning to the US, fellow NATO members and Gulf nations that Israel would be first to pay the price for their planned intervention in Syria. It would trigger a Lebanese-Israel border clash followed by a massive rocket assault on Israel. More Katyusha incidents are therefore to be expected to emphasize the message.
In Istanbul meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said his government hopes that a military intervention in Syria will never be necessary “but is ready for any scenario.”
Jerry Gordon asks in the New English Review Will Israel Win the Energy Prize in the Levant Basin?
Gordon used to blog with me on Israpundit. We are sympatico. He has a military background, a high finance background and a Zionist background. And he is a terrific journalist.
This is one of the more important pieces I have written concerning Israel. It will have broader implications for the 2012 Presidential and Congressional elections.
Very simply it is about Israel as the emerging energy giant in the Middle East surpassing Saudi Arabia as a vital and secure source of the world’s natural gas and oil supply both offshore and onshore.
by Steve Kramer (www.encounteringisrael.com)
I recently attended this season’s first lecture sponsored by the English Speaking Friends of Tel Aviv University. The subject was the Arab Spring and its impact on the Middle East. The lecturer was Professor Asher Susser of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University (TAU). He was the Director of the Center for twelve years and has taught for some thirty years in TAU’s Department of Middle Eastern History. Susser has been a visiting professor at Cornell University, the University of Chicago, Brandeis University, and the University of Arizona. His most recent book is “Israel, Jordan and Palestine – The Two-State Imperative.”
The author makes the point that the Republicans are so blindly pro-Israel that it would make it difficult for them to muster a coalition to attack Iran. Only the anti-Israel Democrats would be able to do so.
When the US attacked Iraq in 2003, many accused her of doing so because of the efforts of Jewish Lobby to defend Israel. PM Sharon was at pains to say that this war had nothing to do with Israel’s interests and he made clear that he didn’t ask the US to do it and that in fact he was against it. Currently Bibi is at pains to make the case for Attacking Iran an issue for the West and that it should be decided by them as in their best interests. He has never said that he wants the US to take out Iran in order to defend and protect Israel.
Yes, only Nixon could go to China, only Begin could give up the Sinai and, after the disastrous Republican war against Iraq, only the Democrats can wage war on Iran, BUT WILL THEY? Ted Belman
Republicans and Israel: Too much love can kill you
Republicans are saying they’ll attack Iran for Israel’s sake – this might not only prove to be ‘bad for the Jews’ in the long run, but could also come back to haunt the Republicans themselves.
By Chemi Shalev, HAARETZ
In the first Gulf War in 1991 and once again in the war against Iraq in 2003, Israel was asked by the U.S. administration to maintain a “low profile,” in order to avoid the perception that America was fighting with Israel, or on its behalf. Both George Bushes, senior and junior, considered it prudent to relegate Israel to the sidelines – even when it was under direct attack, as was the case in 1991 – in order to help establish international coalitions and to maintain public support for the war, especially in the Muslim world. In both cases, Israel complied.
By Ted Belman
The best outcome for the conflict in Syria is for the Sunnis and the Kurds to be victorious in Syria. But they must do so aligned with Saudi Arabia and Israel. My recent article The Kurds and the Sunnis must be united to stop Iran from taking over in Iraq and al Qaeda in Syria spells it out and my argument was buttressed here.
Herb London reported a few days ago, U.S. Betrays Syria’s Opposition
In an effort to understand and placate Syrian opposition groups, Secretary Clinton invited them to a meeting in Washington. Most of those invited, however, have links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Missing from the invitations are Kurdish leaders, Sunni liberals, Assyrians and Christian spokesmen. According to various reports the State Department made a deal with Turkey and Muslim Brotherhood representatives either to share power with Assad to stabilize the government, or replace him if this effort fails.One organization, the Syrian Democracy Council (SDC), an opposition group composed of diverse ethnic and religious organizations, including Alawis, Aramaic Christians, Druze and Assyrians was conspicuously — and no coincidentally — omitted from the invitation list.
He is redistributing power in the ME from the strong to the weak
Remember that the LAT refuses to release a tape it had of a dinner in support of “Palestine” that Obama attended. I wonder what could have been so toxic that the LAT, ostensibly a believer in the right to know and freedom of the press, would decline to release the tape. Readers are asked to speculate on what the tape might have contained. Actually, you don’t have to speculate. I am reliably informed that the Audio tape clearly picks up the toast “death to Israel”.
In the fall of ’08 Palin said
“It must be nice for a candidate to have major news organizations looking after his best interests like that,” “In this case, we have a newspaper willing to throw aside even the public’s right to know in order to protect a candidate that its own editorial board has endorsed. And if there’s a Pulitzer Prize category for excelling in kow-towing, then the L.A. Times, you’re winning.”
Palin attacked Obama on what she called his “assortment of friends from Chicago.” She described Khalidi as “another radical professor from the neighborhood who spent a lot of time with Barack Obama going back several years.” She referred to the Times’ reporting about Obama having been at a party for Khalidi in 2003, where Khalidi described Israel as the perpetrator of terrorism. At this same speech she shared the stage with Joe the Plumber who had previously answered in the affirmative tha he believed that “Obama would be the death of Israel”. Ted Belman
No love in an Obama second term
By Richard Baehr, ISRAEL HAYOM
In March 2007, Ali Abunimah, the founder of the Electronic Intifada, a virulently anti-Israel website, published an important article that was almost entirely ignored by the mainstream media. The article, “How Barack Obama Learned to Love Israel,” appeared just months after U.S. President Barack Obama officially launched his campaign for the presidency.
Abunimah argued that Obama learned to “love” Israel because of the promise of Jewish campaign contributions for his candidacy, first in his run for the U.S. Senate in 2004, then for the White House in 2008. Abunimah wrote the article after hearing Obama’s first major speech to an AIPAC group, in which he claimed Obama said all the good stuff that is music to the ears of liberal Jewish donors. While Israel may not be the most important issue for most liberal Jews (abortion rights and social justice certainly rank far higher) there is at least a threshold test with regard to support for Israel, and Abunimah argued that Obama passed it with flying colors.
Aaron Klein is a careful journalist. If these reports are true, one must ask, why would Israel place missiles near Jerusalem? Is it because of the elevation or because Jerusalem is the most eastern part of Israel proper? Ted Belman
By Aaron Klein
JERUSALEM — Multiple eyewitnesses reported seeing Israeli military trucks in recent days transport and station large missiles at the periphery of Jerusalem and in locations inside the West Bank.
The descriptions of the projectiles are consistent with the Jewish state’s mid-to-long range Jericho ballistic missiles.
The missile movement, if confirmed, would be considered unusual.
One of the eyewitnesses was a member of the Palestinian Authority security services. He claimed to me that a large missile was stationed five days ago near Neve Yaacov, a Jewish neighborhood in northeast Jerusalem. That neighborhood is adjacent to several Palestinian-inhabited towns.
The Sunday meeting has now taken place. Netanyahu wants to Dilute power of Likudniks in settlements.
Sources close to Netanyahu said the numbers of committee members from the West Bank rose artificially due to an outdated rule passed in 1992. The rule sets the number of committee members from Judea and Samaria based on how many people in the region voted Likud in the last election.
In other regions, the committee member totals are based on the region’s voter registration drive.
Apparently, The prime minister is apparently concerned Judea and Samaria residents will use the committee to put obstacles before his future diplomatic moves. In the first three months after the new committee is elected, its members will be permitted to change the party’s constitution with a simple majority, rather than the two-thirds majority required most of the time.
PM scrambling to stop hawks from over-taking Likud
By GIL HOFFMAN, JPOST
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will convene top Likud officials and advisers on Sunday to strategize how to prevent residents of Judea and Samaria and other hawks from obtaining too much power in the party.
Euro crisis widens gap between EU institutions and member states
By John R. Bolton, The Washington Times
The crisis of the euro, the common currency of 17 European Union members, continues unabated. Because of massive, sustained budget deficits by several eurozone countries, some could default on their sovereign debt obligations, or the euro itself might disintegrate, profoundly affecting the EU’s political and economic future.
Very little media attention, however, is focused on a very different, but even more important, EU problem, namely its “democratic deficit.” This large, growing gap between remote EU institutions in Brussels and citizens of its member states dramatically highlights the rising frustration and impotence felt by individual voters. To combat the euro crisis, EU elites are ignoring or overriding popular opposition to harsh austerity measures and imposing on fellow democracies the policies demanded by leaders of other, more powerful EU countries.
This article reflects the view I set out in The Kurds and the Sunnis must be united to stop Iran from taking over in Iraq and alQaeda in Syria. Namely, the Kurds and Sunnies will bring Assad down and maybe even annex part of Syria. Ted Belman
By Brian M Downing, ASIA TIMES
The uprising in Syria turned much more violent in the past week and the Bashar al-Assad government is tottering. Civilians have obtained weapons and begun an armed resistance. Syrian soldiers are deserting and forming a Free Syrian Army. While the Arab League on Sunday voted to impose punitive economic and political sanctions on Damascus, fighting is breaking out nationwide between the Sunni majority and Shi’ite minority.
A faltering regime and rising violence often leads to a military coup. They were commonplaces in much of the developing world back in the 1950s and 1960s and a convoluted and incomplete one began in Egypt last fall. Syria is ripe for one now. The Arab
By Ted Belman
Guess what, Iran: We’ll fire 150,000 missiles at Israel if attacked. OUCH.
Most of these missiles will be directed to Israel’s major cities along the coast. These are not military targets but civilian targets. The civilian casualties will be enormous. And I am not talking about “collateral damage”. I am talking the intentional killing of civilians. This is a war crime.
Palestinian poll: 56% oppose armed struggle against Israel
Hamas may have won support for their involvement in Shalit deal, but new poll finds that PA President Abbas still has majority vote. JMCC survey reveals West Bank, Gaza attitudes to Israel,US and international community
Elior Levy, YNET
A new poll carried out by the Palestinian Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) reveals that support for Fatah among residents of the Palestinian Authority has not been hurt by the Shalit deal , which was completed between Hamas and Israel last month.
And yet, the Hamas-led Shalit deal still receives wall to wall support – 86% of those questioned expressed their satisfaction with the results of the deal – the satisfaction rate is close to that of the Israeli satisfaction rate with the deal.
The Threats in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea
by Prof. Efraim Inbar
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 156, November 24, 2011
The turmoil in the Arab world is changing the strategic landscape around Israel. However, one area that has received little attention is the eastern Mediterranean basin, where elements of radical Islam could gain control. In this region, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey display Islamist tendencies, leaving Israel and Greece as the only Western allies.
A review of the political dynamics in the states on the shores of the eastern Mediterranean generates great concern about the ability of the West to continue enjoying unrestricted access to this area.
Evolving political events in Libya indicate that radical Islamic elements will definitely play a greater role in the future of the country. If the transition to a new regime descends into civil war, the ensuing chaos may allow greater freedom of action for Muslim extremists from the shores of this Mediterranean country.
by Emanuele Ottolenghi and Jonathan Schanzer
Amidst Europe’s worst economic crisis in recent memory, the European Parliament (EP) has just decided to raise Europe’s aid to the Palestinians by €100 million – 30 percent more than previous years.
At the end of tough negotiations among the European Union’s institutions over the 2012 budget, the EP somehow made room for an additional €18 billion over the €129 billion cap imposed by expenditures-wary EU member states. Among the additional line items is that extra €100 million for the Palestinians.
An extra €100 million may not seem like that much compared to an overall budget of €147 billion for 2012, but it cannot be ignored that this is money the EU does not have. Moreover, the EU is pledging taxpayer money at a time when the only guarantee it will be spent responsibly has just disappeared.
UN Watch calls on UNESCO to reverse the decision
Vote slammed by UNESCO director herself & Canada’s Foreign Minister
GENEVA, Nov. 23 – UN Watch today called on UNESCO’s executive board, which includes the US, France, the UK and other Western democracies, to reverse its unanimous election of Syria to a pair of committees – one dealing directly with human rights issues – even as the Bashar al-Assad regime maintains its campaign of violence against its own citizens.
The Arab group at UNESCO nominated Syria for the spots, and though the 58-member board approved the pick by consensus on Nov. 11, the agency has not yet posted the results on its website.
Syria’s election came just a day before the League of Arab States moved to suspend Syrian membership of that body.
“The Arab League’s suspension of Syria is stripped of any meaning when its member states elevate Syria to UN human rights committes,” says Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch.