Archive for February 18, 2018

The U.S Jewish Establishment’s War Against Israel

February 18, 2018

By – on

https://gellerreport.com/2018/02/u-s-jewish-establishments-war-israel.html/

In many ways it should be the best of times for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after successfully surviving eight grueling years of the pro-jihad Obama administration. Israel’s economy is booming. Its tech sector (along with Silicon Valley) is the envy of the world. Israel’s per capita GDP has just surpassed Britain, France, and Japan. Israel’s unemployment rate is at an impressive four percent. The once-isolated Jewish state has relations with over 150 countries. Israel’s cooperation with its Arab neighbors, including Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, has never been stronger. Israel’s military, by most accounts, is the strongest and most advanced in the Middle East. Prime Minister Netanyahu is now working with President Donald Trump, who has asserted himself as the most pro-Israel President ever.

Unfortunately, the incredible accomplishments of Israel’s greatest-ever Prime Minister have not softened the disdain that much of the Jewish establishment in the United States has toward him, and even toward Israel itself. The Jewish left, which is represented by organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace, the Soros-funded J-Street and the New Israel Fund, have become increasingly hostile to Israel, as Israel has rapidly moved away from its socialist roots. Many of these organization’s talking points are expressed by disgusting leftists including Peter Beinart, Noam Chomsky, Bernie Sanders, and Norman Finkelstein. They will go out of their way to slander Israel for defending itself, and for its unwillingness to commit national suicide by allowing a terror state to be created on its doorstep.

The left-leaning U.S Jewish community, for the most part, has no conception of what it is like to live in the most dangerous neighborhood on the planet. They don’t understand the geopolitical issues, the security issues, or the urgencies that can come when living in Israel. When Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely expressed her frustration about the U.S Jewish community’s lack of understanding about life in Israel, she stated that “people that never send their children to fight for their country, most of the Jews don’t have their children serving as soldiers, going to the Marines, going to Afghanistan, or to Iraq. Most of them are having quite convenient lives. They don’t feel how it feels to be attacked by rockets, and I think part of it is to actually experience what Israel is dealing with on a daily basis.” For the most part, Hotovely is absolutely correct. As a result, many U.S Jews are growing uncomfortable with Israel, and more specifically, with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party. 2017 was a contentious year between Israel and the U.S Jewish community, and much of the blame went to Netanyahu.

In 2016, Donald Trump announced that he would run for U.S President. A significant majority of the Jewish community in the United States despise the pugnacious Trump, and spent billions of dollars trying to keep him out of office. Many accused Trump (and still do) of anti-Semitism, and subsequently voted for Hillary Clinton in overwhelmingly large numbers. On January 20, 2017, President Trump took office. No one outside of the U.S was happier than Prime Minister Netanyahu. Netanyahu (and his cabinet) knew that it would be much better for Israel to deal with a President Donald Trump than with a President Hillary Clinton. Clinton would no doubt have appeased the Democrat Party’s growing radical-left constituents, who despise Israel intensely.

Many U.S Jews are infuriated with Netanyahu for having the audacity to support a President who is a genuine friend to his country, and who also conflicts with their liberal values. In December 2017, President Trump acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and promised to move the U.S embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Many Jews in the U.S were mortified by this decision. Members of the biased media elite such as Thomas Friedman were appalled. Friedman, who is a Trump hater and a long-time critic of Prime Minister Netanyahu, complained that Trump “gave away the crown jewel.” J-Street condemned the decision, as did 100 Jewish scholars. Jewish politicians such as Vermont’s Bernie Sanders and California’s Diane Feinstein also criticized the decision. In Israel, the response could not have been more different. Trump has become revered in Israel. Trump’s approval rating among Israel’s Jews is between 70 -79 percent, compared to a 25 percent approval rating among the U.S Jews. The U.S Jewish community has also accused Netanyahu of expanding settlement activities due to his friendship with Trump.

In June 2017, Netanyahu received another slap from the U.S Jewish establishment when the Israeli government decided to suspend a plan to build an egalitarian prayer section at the Western Wall, and would only allow Orthodox Jewish law for conversions. Many prominent U.S Jews were outraged, including longtime supporters of Israel such as Miami’s Isaac Fisher. Fisher threatened to end his significant charitable work in Israel. Daniel Gordis, a leading voice for Conservative Judaism, urged American Jews to cancel their El Al tickets and fly Delta or United. He also proposed the withholding of donations to Israeli hospitals, so that “they start running out of money and begin to falter.” Jewish politicians such as Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, and Jerry Nadler slammed the decision. The situation had deteriorated to such an extent that the Israel lobbying group AIPAC was forced to fly to Israel and call an emergency meeting with Netanyahu, after being inundated with irate phone calls from AIPAC donors.

In 2018, Netanyahu decided to deport the 40,000 African migrants who have arrived in Israel over the last several years. The migrants arrived in Israel illegally from Sudan and Eritrea. As in Europe, the migrants have created havoc in the tiny Jewish state. Crime in South Tel Aviv has skyrocketed, and it has essentially turned into a dangerous slum. Many in Tel Aviv are afraid even to enter the dreadful neighborhoods inhabited by African migrants. In February, the Netanyahu government gave the migrants 60 days’ notice to leave Israel or face jail.

Predictably, this decision generated significant opposition from Jews all over the United States. Many Jews (from the comfort zones of Manhattan, Bethesda, Los Angeles, and others) had the audacity to compare African migrants in Israel to Jews trying to escape the Holocaust in Europe. The ADL’s CEO Johnathan Greenblatt compared the plight of the African migrants in Israel to that of the “dreamers” in the United States. The Soros-funded New Israel Fund organized protests in Tel Aviv. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, head of the Reform movement in the United States, indicated that it would be “at odds with Jewish values” to deport illegal migrants. 850 U.S rabbis and cantors signed a petition to support settling the migrants in Israel. Many other liberal Jewish organizations are livid with Netanyahu because he will not allow South Tel Aviv to turn into East London or North Marseilles.

Then on February 13, 2018, the left-leaning Jewish community in the U.S received some great news. The Israeli Police recommended that Netanyahu be indicted for breach of trust and bribery. They have been salivating over the idea that Netanyahu might resign or even go to jail. They will call Netanyahu corrupt, which is an interesting accusation against the Israeli Prime Minister given the fact that vast majority of the U.S establishment supports the truly corrupt and immoral Democrat Party. In Netanyahu’s place they would love to see a compliant Israeli such as Yair Lapid or Isaac Herzog, who would no doubt embrace their policies of Liberal insanity for the state of Israel. If they succeed, it will be one of the greatest tragedies in Israel’s history.

Rocket fired from Gaza hits Negev home without exploding 

February 18, 2018

Source: Rocket fired from Gaza hits Negev home without exploding – Israel Hayom

Trump to host PM Netanyahu at White House next month

February 18, 2018

Source: Trump to host PM Netanyahu at White House next month – Israel Hayom

PM Netanyahu Addresses the Munich Security Conference regarding Iran

February 18, 2018

 

 

The Israel-Lebanese oil dispute – part of US-Russian Mid-East energy battle 

February 18, 2018

Source: The Israel-Lebanese oil dispute – part of US-Russian Mid-East energy battle – DEBKAfile

Instead of accepting a US-brokered deal for Block 9, Hizballah and Iran make Israel’s offshore gas and oil fields a fourth war front.

When six years ago, the US tried to mediate the dispute over Block 9, which straddles the maritime waters of Lebanon and Israel (offering 60 percent to Lebanon; 40 percent to Israel), Russia, Iran and Hizballah had not yet intervened militarily in that early stage of the Syrian civil war. At the time, too, the US controlled Middle East energy markets and Israel cherished the belief that its offshore gas and oil fields were rich enough to supply Europe’s annual consumption and make the Jewish state a Middle East energy power.

But Beirut flatly rejected the US compromise then – just as it does now, except that, today, Lebanon speaks with a stronger and more aggressive voice, backed since then by Hizballah’s and Iran’s victories in the Syrian war arena.

Israel, for its part, missed the train. Major international energy firms have since drawn away from investing in the development of Israel’s Mediterranean gas and oil fields, and it has fallen back on supplying its own needs and sales to neighbors, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians. Most of all, Israel has reason to rue its rejection of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s repeated offer to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for Russian state firms to develop those fields, finance a pipeline network to Europe and provide security for the project. Putin maintained that neither Iran nor Hizballah would venture to attack rigs and pipelines under Russian ownership and protection. This rationale worked effectively in October 2017, when Iraqi and Shiite militia forces seized the oil city of Kirkuk from the semiautonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, while refraining thus far from laying hands on the oil fields supplying Turkey, because the Kurds had earlier handed them over to the Russian Rosneft energy giant.
Netanyahu spurned Putin’s proposition at the time for the sake of Israel’s close ties with Washington.

In the present geo-strategic circumstances, DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources are strongly skeptical of the chances of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Acting Undersecretary David Satterfield pulling off their bid to broker a deal between Lebanon and Israel over Block 9. Even if a compromise is negotiated, Beirut will flout it before the ink is dry, just as it did UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which prohibited Hizballah from rearming after its 2006 war with Israel or positioning armed strength in South Lebanon.

Five compelling impediments stand in the way of the US mediation bid:

  1. The Block 9 issue has evolved from the latest turn in the Syrian war into part and parcel of a broader test: US controls the oil fields and gas plants of eastern Syria which the US-backed SDF seized from ISIS last year, including the Conoco natural gas facility. Against this, Iran, Hizballah and Syria are in position for holding Israel’s Mediterranean oil and gas facilities hostage.
  2. A resolution of this impasse is contingent on the US and Russia reaching understandings on Syria. In their absence, US forces on Feb. 7, for the first time attacked Russian “mercenaries” helping Syrian and pro-Iranian attempting to cross the Euphrates and seize control of the Tabiyeh oil fields on the eastern bank; and Moscow, for its part, will not lift a finger to stop the Iranian Al Qods commander, Qassem Soleimani, or Hizballah’s chief, Hassan Nasrallah, from continuing to threaten Israel’s offshore rigs. Nasrallah said explicitly on Friday, Feb. 16: The region has entered “the battle of oil and gas. No one should look at this as a separate dispute,” he said. If the Lebanese Defense Council so decides, we [Hezbollah] are ready to disable Israel’s offshore gas installations in a couple of hours.”
  3. The Israeli-Lebanese dispute is not the only energy-related quarrel in the region, which Secretary Tillerson is trying to tackle. For months he has been trying without success to settle the feud which oil-rich Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt are fighting with Qatar. Just as the former is tangled up in the Syrian crisis, the latter is caught up in the challenge the US and Saudi Arabia is presenting to Iran’s bid for control of the Red Sea and determination of the outcome of the Yemen war.
  4. The Trump administration’s perception of Lebanon’s government and mlitary structures is unrealistic. Its officials appear to believe that they are not fully under Iranian and Hizballah control and can still be rescued from those Shiite-imperialistic claws. Washington therefore continues to remit arms and funds to Beirut, although Hizballah takes the first cut.

For Israel, the dispute over Block 9 is a major handicap for its strategic position against its foes. Until now, Israel had to contend with three belligerent Iranian-Hizballah fronts building up from Quneitra on the Syrian Golan, southern Syria and southern Lebanon. Hizballah’s threat to its offshore gas and oil fields has added a fourth.