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Netanyahu is only good at political intriguing

Having failed to help Mubarak or bomb Iran, or to destroy Hezbollah’s rocket arsenals or Hamas’ tunnels, Netanyahu continues to excel at Knesset affairs. He is now close to splitting his real enemy—which is not Iran, but Kadima—by moving seven Kadima MK’s to the Likud. That would leave Bibi with an unprecedented coalition in the Knesset, which he has no use for.

The seven MKs will receive government portfolios, mostly as deputy ministers, to further beef up Netanyahu’s government, which is already of monstrous size.

One has to understand the great moral transformation—degradation actually—that occurs when MK’s, lowly figures in Israel’s political hierarchy, become government officials. They usually change their phone numbers, hire security personnel, and become different people.

Assad or Hezbollah: who would be the better owner of chemical weapons?

Israel and the US are engaged in truly schizophrenic negotiations over the handling of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles. The weapons are widely expected to fall into Hezbollah’s hands after Assad is ousted, just as Hamas and Hezbollah procured chemical weapons in Libya when  NATO bombed Gadhafi out.

But why exactly was it any better for Assad to have chemical weapons than Hezbollah? He is an unstable, pro-Iranian, anti-Israeli ruler who certainly could attack Israel. Yet, for decades Israel allowed the Syrians to accumulate unconventional weapons.

22 July 2012 Posted in Syria

The White House bars Israel from destroying chemical weapons in Syria

According to the NY Times, the Obama administration objected to Israel bombing Syrian chemical arsenals before they fall to Hezbollah.

Obama, of course, shows hypocrisy in laying Israel open to chemical attacks while proclaiming his commitment to our security, but what is the Hussein’s hypocrisy compared to that of our own government, which has shirked its most basic duties?

20 July 2012 Posted in Syria

Government: liars or traitors?

Burnt Lieberman declared that the Israeli government has solid information proving the involvement of Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Bulgarian terrorist attack. If so, why there has there been no counterattack against Iran and Lebanon? Even Bill Clinton launched ballistic missiles against terrorist targets after similar attacks on Americans.

If Lieberman’s information is true, it marks a major departure from the previous policies of Iran and Hezbollah, which have traditionally avoided direct involvement in terrorism for fear of provoking Israeli reprisals. Our country’s deterrence is waning.

Egypt: democracy won, Israel lost

Mohammed MursiYears ago, the Americans installed democracy in Lebanon and Palestine. Famously, that resulted in Hezbollah and Hamas coming to power. Never mind, the White House repeated the trick in Egypt.

The Egyptian junta rigged the election results to bring a secular candidate to presidency, but at the last moment the junta agreed to announce the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mursi as the winner.

Such a turnaround could only have been the result of pressure from Obama. The US president is bent on bringing the Muslim Brotherhood’s moderates to power across the Muslim world. Egyptian crowds appear to share this view, as Shafiq’s supporters gathered to protest foreign intervention in Egyptian elections.

It is inconceivable that our ally, the leading Western power, ousted Mubarak, the lynchpin of regional peace for thirty years, and pushed out his successor in order to install the Muslim Brotherhood, which will no doubt turn Egypt into the Sunni Iran.

Jewish suckers to pay $25 billion for our own gas

The Power Authority has approved gas purchases from the Tamar gas field by Israel’s two power companies. The two contracts are valued at $25 billion. We are buying our own gas from the oligarchs at the world market’s prices even while the IDF defends the field from Turkey and Hezbollah.

Israel: nowhere to run

The government is considering a home-front plan to evacuate hundreds of thousands of Tel Aviv-area residents in the event of rocket attacks. But what is the point?

If Hezbollah and Syria were to attack us with mid-range rockets, some 5 million rather than “hundreds of thousands” of residents would need to be evacuated. From Greater Tel Aviv alone, 1.5 million people would have to be moved. But moved where?

Our southern regions are just as vulnerable to attacks from Gaza, where Palestinian factions have accumulated some 50,000 rockets, many of them not so crude.

Free Syrian Army hones the skills to fight Israel

US, French, and Turkish instructors are training FSA rebels in terrorist warfare, so far against Assad. They are being taught infiltration, hit-and-run tactics, how to disappear into civilian populations, and how to use roadside bombs. The Turkish army even supplies them with IEDs.

The Saudis sent the FSA large shipments of Kornet and other advanced anti-tank weapons, some of which will eventually find their way to Hamas and Hezbollah.

03 June 2012 Posted in Syria

Rocket attack on Eilat: special thanks for the Arab Spring

Eilat and Netivot have been attacked by rockets stolen from Qaddafi arsenals by the NATO-supported ‘freedom fighters.’ Now the PRC uses them for attacks on Israel from the Sinai.

It remains unknown whether we destroyed the entire cargo of chemical weapons that Hezbollah and the Iranians purchased in Libya.

Hezbollah is not dangerous?

Hezbolla rocket launcherAccording to the briefing given to the security cabinet, fewer than 300 Israelis would die in the worst-case scenario of an Iranian counterattack.

It is clear that Iranian ballistic missiles are no threat to us. They are easy to intercept and carry very small loads. But what about 1,400 Syrian Scuds, 40,000 Hezbollah rockets, and the untold numbers of rockets in Gaza? The only way to keep casualties that low, if we look to the example of the Second Lebanon War, is to destroy their arsenals preemptively. Since, presumably, we know more or less all of their locations, why not destroy them now?

Israel drawn into the Star Wars conundrum

Iron Dome batteryThe better-than-expected success of the Iron Dome in dealing with the recent spate of rocket attacks from Gaza has created a state of euphoria. Now, the reasoning goes, we can protect our turf rather than fighting the Palestinians on theirs. The IDF is pushing for several more Iron Dome batteries.

All of this is very wrong. The Domes are penetrable by multiple-rocket launchers. It is only a question of how large a salvo our Arab enemies can muster.

As with the Soviet-American missile offense-vs-defense race, one side’s increased defensive capabilities sparked an arms race. So the Arabs will switch from Grads to Fahr-5s, and on Hezbollah’s side of the border, to Scuds. Israel will be stuck with a hugely expensive and ultimately inefficient solution, always in fear of saturation-level attacks.

Iranian elections: the background

The clerics are all but dictating how the vote should go. Areas that vote as they are instructed will receive favorable programs after the election. To qualify for these programs, there must be a considerable voter turnout in the area, and the voters must select the regime’s approved candidates.

Prices for almost everything have risen as the rial has declined. Food prices are becoming a political problem, as has access to some basic food products.

Iran has taken extraordinary steps to prevent their version of the Arab Spring. Security forces and clergy have played an active role in preventing this.

There is rising unrest among the middle class. The more rural areas have been showing signs of unrest for several years, and they don’t always vote the way the clerics direct, as they tend to receive fewer economic benefits.

Shiite clergy have become more tolerant towards Sunni clergy in Iran, and they have been working with them to achieve goals outside Iran. Sunni influence has helped with Egypt and has been useful in continued conflict with Americans in Iran. It’s not just the Taliban upsetting the Afghan people over American actions in Iran. The burning of the Quran is the big one. Iran has been funneling funds to Sunni clergy in Afghanistan through the Sunni clerics in Iran. The goal is speed the reduction of NATO forces in Iran—and American forces in particular—before they can stabilize the more secular government structure in place now. An Islamic nation is not enough for Iran. They want an Afghanistan based on Islamic law again. That means they will assist the Taliban in regaining power.

The public has suffered from the economic sanctions. Fear of further sanctions in the near future are having a bigger effect. With rising unemployment and prices, the general public feels the current leadership is endangering Iran’s economic future.

The Iranians have had a hard time ensuring Hezbollah’s cooperation against Israel. Hezbollah wanted to take a more defensive position than Iran wanted, out of fear of Israel attacking Lebanon. To counter this, Iran is going to build up the Lebanese army for defensive purposes in order to encourage Hezbollah to once again become the offensive force Iran is paying it to be. Hezbollah will remain the major armed and political force in Lebanon.

If the Clerics and the Guard feel their hold on Iran is slipping due to American pressure, they will attack Israel. Anti Zionism and Anti Americanism are the two main tools the clerics have for keeping public support. When anyone tries to publicly suggest that Iran comply with the IAEA program in order to get the sanctions lifted, they are very quickly labelled a Zionist spy or American sympathizer and jailed—or worse. Many believe that the clerics will attack Israel before they allow themselves to lose their hold on Iran’s government.

US concerned over Al Qaeda elements in Syria. But who planted them?

The White House claims it refuses to arm Syrian rebels because the weapons might fall into the hands of extremists there.

If the extremists play such an important role, why support the anti-Assad movement at all? Why not supply the extremists with reasonable quantities of weaponry, which is not very advanced compared to Hezbollah’s and Hamas’ stockpiles? Who, if not the US, airlifted Al Qaeda-linked rebels from Libya to Syria via Turkey?

In reality, the US refuses to arm Syrian rebels because it wants to check Saudi influence in the region, and to preserve Assad as a conduit to Tehran.

Hezbollah calls bluff on embassy attacks

Nasrallah has denied his organization’s involvement in the embassy attacks. Though the denial was expected in any case, his reasoning is entirely logical: reprisals are always designed to result in mass casualties, not directed against insignificant individuals.

American entente with Salafists: repeating the old error

Salafists in EgyptThe US Ambassador in Egypt met with Salafist leaders. The move is ground-breaking, as White House officials have refused to meet with the Muslim Brotherhood for decades, and the Salafists are the most extreme sort of radicals. Salafists advocate the extreme form of Sharia, militancy toward Israel, and terrorism. These views have made them the second-biggest political party in Egypt.

The Americans’ intentions are transparent. We have seen this before in Israeli relations with Hamas, and previously with Hezbollah. The idea was to nurture a small ultra-radical offshoot, which would counter a major terrorist organization (Fatah and Amal, respectively) without a chance of growing big precisely because it is too radical to attract mainstream supporters. That reasoning has proved wrong repeatedly, and has resulted in the creation of Al Qaeda.

Now the White House is gambling that the Salafists will curtail the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose 49% win came as a surprise to no one but Washington officials. Salafists will agree to cooperate with the Americans precisely because they advocate the most radical form of Islam, which sanctions any deceit in pursuit of its goals.

In any conflict with the MB, the Salafists would win. Though the MB theoretically enjoys broader support, much of this support comes from urbanized liberals who care about their mortgages more than political ends. The Salafists can bring a much more militant crowd into the streets.

More things are permissible to Hezbollah than to Israel

Nasrallah rejected the UN Sec-Gen’s call to disarm his organization. Officially, Hezbollah has to disarm for two reasons: because of the UNSC ceasefire terms of 2006, and because it has transformed from a paramilitary organization into a political party. The second reason carries little weight in Lebanon, where every major political group is armed to the teeth because, hey, they are all Arab brothers. But the UNSC resolution is binding.

Israel strives to conform to UN demands to the letter, even when they are clearly detrimental to our national interests, but Lebanese terrorists-cum-politicians have the good sense and courage to dismiss the UN as irrelevant outside New York.

Hassan Nasrallah

Army treats settlers as enemies

Two soldiers were arrested for passing ‘intelligence data’ to settlers. All they did was warn the settlers of pending demolitions.

But the army, unable to fight Iran or Hezbollah, makes settlers into enemies and decent soldiers into spies.

Israel invents her enemies

A conservative Jew wanted for price-tag attacks (graffiti spraying and the like) was detained when he tried to enter the Knesset. The media quickly accused him of planning a price-tag attack in the Knesset, despite zero evidence that he intended to commit any crime.

Another three conservative Jews were arrested for the crime of stalking army forces. Oh no, they did not plan to sell information to Hezbollah. The youngsters simply watched the army to see when it was coming to destroy their hamlets (‘illegal outposts’), at which point they were to call their fellow protesters.

Israeli gas exports: what’s the point?

Israel’s Finance Minister has agreed in principle with his Indian counterparts to export Israeli gas to India. Israeli officials have also negotiated gas sales with other countries.

This is an odd story. If we view gas reserves as merely another object of commerce, then it makes no sense to develop the fields, the operation of which would be complicated by Hezbollah terrorism and Lebanese territorial claims. Private companies will profit while the state handles all this trouble. Besides, Egypt and Russia will be happy to supply us gas at market prices.

The main reason given for developing the fields is energy independence. If so, why allow private companies to export our gas, much less promote such a squandering of a strategic resource?

Israeli gas

Two monopolists rob Israelis of our gas

The Israeli Electric Corp has signed a deal with Tamar gas field owners at $5 per million BTU. The world’s going price for closely located offshore gas fields is $3.75–$4.50. The IEC dropped its earlier demand to get the lowest possible price from Tamar.

Here is the situation: Israel enters a costly conflict with Lebanon/Hezbollah—supported by Turkey—over the gas field. More likely than not, we will have to defend the field against terrorist attacks, especially since Hezbollah clearly has access to sea-to-sea missiles. We also face a major diplomatic battle with Lebanon over the rights to the field. In return, we will buy gas from Tamar at a somewhat higher-than-market price.

Tamar field