Last Saturday (February 10, 2018) Iran’s Islamic Republic resumed its provocation of Israel by sending a drone over Israeli territory. It was answered by force as expected. An Israeli Apache Helicopter shot down the drone (it has not been verified whether the drone was armed or not) over northern Israel. Iran’s involvement in Syria, including the deployment of Iran-backed Shiite militias, near Israel’s Golan Heights, has alarmed Israel. Israel has accused Iran of building precision-guided missile factories for Hezbollah in Lebanon. As Iran and its sponsored Shiite militias, including the Lebanese Hezbollah, continue to encroach on Israel’s border, Jerusalem has vowed to defend its territory and its people. A year ago, Israel’s missile defense batteries intercepted and destroyed several Iranian built drones used by Hezbollah to penetrate Israel’s airspace from Syria. Saturday, Israeli fighter jets were able to hit and destroy the aerial defense system around Damascus that Russia helped to build.
In retaliation over Iran’s drone attack, eight Israeli F-16 Fighter jets attacked numerous military targets inside Syria, including an airfield near Palmyra called T-4 base, where the drone originated. One of the F-16 fighter jets was damaged during the attack while on the way back from the operation inside Syria. Its two pilots managed to parachute down over Israeli territory. The F-16, which was abandoned by the pilots, crashed inside Israeli territory. One of the pilots was wounded, but is expected to fully recover. The Syrian and Iranian media and government spokespeople celebrated the “downing” of the Israeli F-16 as a major accomplishment. Following the damage to the Israeli Fighter jet, a squadron of Israeli F-16’s returned to Syria and wiped out the Syrian/Iranian air-defense system throughout the Assad dominated Syria.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Sunday (February 11, 2018) that “Yesterday we dealt severe blows to the Iranian and Syrian forces. We made it unequivocally clear to everyone that our rules have not changed one bit. We will continue to strike at every attempt to strike at us. This has been our policy and it will remain our policy.” Yoav Galant, retired former army general, Cabinet Minister, and a member of Netanyahu’s Security Cabinet, told the Associated Press that “we do not just talk, we act.” Galant, a former IDF Deputy Chief of Staff, added, “I think that the Syrians now understand the fact that hosting the Iranians on Syrian soil harms them.” Israel’s Intelligence Minister Israel Katz told Army Radio that “They and we know that we hit, and it will take them some time to digest, understand, and ask how Israel knew how to hit those sites (a reference to the air-defense systems). These were concealed sites and we have intelligence agencies and the ability to know everything that is going on there, and yesterday we proved it.”
According to Arab News (February 11, 2018), Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, addressing a flag-waving crowd at the central Tehran’s Azadi Square, said that “They (a reference to the U.S. and Israel) wanted to create tension in the region…they wanted to divide Iraq, Syria…They wanted to create long-term chaos in Lebanon but…with our help their policies failed.” For the Iranian-Shiite coalition, this day of fighting (Saturday, February 10, 2018) led to what Hezbollah has called “a new strategic era.”
In seven years of Iranian involvement on behalf of the Assad regime in the Syrian civil war, it was able to show a number of solid achievements, including saving the Alawite-led (a syncretic sect of the Twelver branch of Shiite Islam) Assad regime from total collapse. Tehran, with Russian help, solidified Assad’s rule (but as their own puppet), and the Assad regime now controls two-thirds of Syria’s territory. It is at this point that the Islamic Republic of Iran intends to change the balance of power on the Syrian-Israeli border. The Iranians took advantage of the chaos inside Syria to build up military assets that would target Israel, while at the same time, providing advanced weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Iran is seeking to establish the Shiite Crescent or a land corridor from Iran through Iraq and Syria, to the Mediterranean Sea. Even more important for the Tehran regime is to have a permanent presence and military bases on Syrian soil. Now that it has consolidated its presence in Syria, Iran has turned its focus on the last obstacle that stands in its way to achieve its ultimate goal of becoming the regional hegemon – Israel.
Throughout the Syrian civil-war, Israel stayed largely out of it. Israel did however launch occasional airstrikes on weapon convoys headed from Iran to the Hezbollah terror group. In recent months though, Israel turned its attention to military sites suspected of hosting Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and Shiite militias recruited by Iran from Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen, being too close to its borders.
To sum up the effects of Israel’s operation, on February 10, 2018 Iran suffered casualties from the Israeli assault, as did the Syrian army. Israel managed to destroy a large number of Syrian anti-aircraft batteries, mainly SA-5 and SA-17 missiles, including some that were just received by Syria. In addition, the Israeli raid destroyed a Syrian radar installation upon which the Syria’s air defense depend on. According to a statement by the IDF, this was the most painful blow against Syria’s air defense system since the First Lebanon War in 1982. When the smoke finally cleared over this day of fighting, each of the sides could have claimed a heroic victory, as well as a loss of assets. Israel lost one of its fighter jets and now finds itself susceptible to Iranian penetration. Iran paid a price for violating Israeli sovereignty but the Assad regime paid the heaviest price for its participation in the incident.
Insofar as Israel’s defense policy is concerned, being surrounded by Iranian IRGC troops and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon and on its Golan Heights border with Syria, is intolerable and must not stand. The Iranians are not necessarily seeking a full-scale war with Israel at this time. They will be content to change the existing equation, by forcing Israel to limit or stop its operations in Syria. Israel, for its part, must prove the effectiveness of its deterrent power, by demonstrating to Bashar Assad that any attempt by Iran and its clients to deter Israel from acting in self-defense would exact a heavy price. This comes in direct conflict with Iran’s schemes to surround Israel with potential missile batteries that could reach all points inside Israel. Israel’s natural reaction to these irreconcilable Iranian threats might eventually lead to a war between these two Middle Eastern powers.
Mar 13, 2018 0
Protesters rally against Turkey’s attacks on Kurds and others in Afrin, at the White House on January 26, 2018. (Shutterstock)
Armed Syrian militias allied with Turkey have reportedly been demanding that Kurdish Christians in Afrin province convert to Islam or face execution. In a video circulated by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a militia fighter described the Kurds as “infidels” and offered them a choice between converting to Islam or facing decapitation.
“By Allah, if you repent and come back to Allah, then know that you are our brothers,” said the man. “But if you refuse, then we see.”
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Iraqi Archbishop Bashar Warda made the following observation during a recent speech: “Having faced for 1,400 years the slow-motion genocide that began long before the ongoing ISIS genocide today, the time for excusing this inhuman behavior and its causes is long since passed.”
That Muslims have cleansed non-Muslim peoples by the sword since the seventh century to the present is of course factually well-documented. But what of the more subtle “slow-motion genocide”? How does that work? The answer is connected to another question: Why did so many non-Muslims become Muslim in the first place?
Many modern day Muslims and Western apologists claim that the ancestors of today’s 1.5 billion Muslims converted to Islam due to its intrinsic appeal; that the modern day coercion and persecution committed by the Islamic State and others is an aberration.
Conversely, many Muslim and non-Muslim historical records make clear that most people embraced Islam, not out of sincere faith, but for a myriad of reasons—from converting in order to enjoy the boons of being on the “winning team” to converting in order to evade the dooms of being on the “losing team.”
A high-ranking defense official revealed to the Senate on Tuesday that Iran has fully incorporated a Russian long-range anti-aircraft missile system into its military, seriously upgrading its ability to threaten the US and Israeli military interests in the region. But the general’s report failed to take into account divine intervention which has plagued the system in the past.
Lieutenant General Robert P. Ashley, Jr., Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday about Iran’s “generational improvement in capabilities,” according to Bloomberg News.
Despite evidence of a serious deterioration in relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel, one researcher contends that Israeli Arabs continue to show a strong link to a Jewish and democratic Israel.
Israeli Arabs protest the initial approval of a bill to enforce lowering the volume on loudspeakers broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer, Kabul, Israel, March 11, 2017.
In Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s school of morality and politics, accepting a bribe is no reason to unseat an elected premier, nor is a hostile takeover of the country’s media. He insists that a prime minister should not be replaced because of criminal indictments or guilty verdicts. According to Netanyahu, a prime minister can only be “replaced at the ballot box,” although what he means is that a prime minister can only be “replaced by Jews at the ballot box.”
March 17 marks two years since his horrible election-day video warning — “Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls” — and calling on Jews to turn out en masse. It’s hard to know how many votes he picked up for the Likud with this alarmist message, but the damage he caused to relations between Jews and Arabs is discernible.
The Palestinian security forces in Gaza are just as tough as the Israelis on the youths who try to cross the border looking for work.
Two Palestinian teenagers look at the rubble of destroyed buildings, Gaza City, Gaza, June 10, 2015.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — More Gazans are seeking to flee to Israel in search of jobs in light of the high unemployment rate and the worsening economic conditions in the coastal enclave. On Feb. 16, Palestinian security forces stopped three young Gazans from crossing into Israel through the southern Gaza Strip. Four young men were also arrested Feb. 13 and interrogated by the Ministry of the Interior.
Despite a warning from the security apparatus in Gaza back in August that any Palestinian who attempts to cross over into Israel would be arrested and imprisoned, they keep trying.
Israeli concerns are also growing about the attempts by Gazans to sneak into its territory. The Israel Defense Forces arrested four young men attempting to cross into Israel Feb. 1 and another Feb. 2.
A visit to Morocco shows that the claim
of Palestinians to a “right of return” has little historic, moral or legal basis.
Jews lived in Morocco for centuries before Islam came to Casablanca, Fez, and Marrakesh. The Jews, along with the Berbers, were the backbone of the economy and culture. Now their historic presence can be seen primarily in the hundreds of Jewish cemeteries and abandoned synagogues that are omnipresent in cities and towns throughout the Maghreb.
The Arab press has evinced an inordinate interest in the future of Binyamin Netanyahu over the past few weeks, due to the various ongoing investigations against him and against several people who held key positions in his entourage. Arab interest is motivated by hopes for the prime minister’s downfall and a resulting disintegration of Israel’s Rightist camp, leading to the Left’s assuming the leadership of the Jewish State. The Left, after all, has proven time and time again that it is willing to pay a higher price than Netanyahu for a piece of paper on which the word “peace” appears.
AIPAC’s mission to cultivate and maintain bipartisan support for Israel in the United States is an important mission. Unfortunately, the messages AIPAC’s leaders delivered during the organization’s annual policy convention this week in Washington indicate that they are at a loss for how to achieve their mission in the contentious political environment now prevalent in the post- Obama America.
You’ve undoubtedly heard that Jerusalem represents the third holiest city in Islam.
That is provably untrue.
Or, perhaps you’ve read in Wikipedia or heard on CNN that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest place of worship in Islam.
That, too, is a provable lie.
Or, maybe you heard about the vote by UNESCO in 2016 that denied any Israeli connection to the Temple Mount, referring it only by the Islamic name, “Haram al-Sharif.”
After weeks of outrage at the close ties between top Democrats and Louis Farrakhan, the leader of an anti-Semitic hate group, the media finally condemned anti-Semitism by a top political official.
President Trump and OMB Director Mick Mulvaney had referred to outgoing NEC Director Gary Cohn as a “globalist.” And “globalist,” according to Think Progress, the Huffington Post, Salon, and Vox, is an “anti-Semitic slur.” Those are the same media outlets that had no problem using “globalist” as a slur when targeting Trump. HuffPo had published a piece tarring him as “Trump: The Globalist Plutocrat” and Vox had described Trump going to Davos, “the world’s biggest party for globalist elites.”