Archive for July 17, 2018

Iran Hints at Nuclear Cooperation with U.S.

July 17, 2018

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei attends a meeting with lawmakers in Tehran. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 12:55 PM PT — Tues. July 17, 2018 One America News Network

Source Link: Iran Hints at Nuclear Cooperation with U.S.

{Iran’s armor is starting to crack? – LS}

The Ayatollah regime in Iran is signaling that it is open for nuclear cooperation with the United States.

Officials at the Iranian nuclear agency said, Tehran could be more transparent in its nuclear endeavors to alleviate some of America’s concerns. However, the Ayatollah regime said the U.S. must stop what it calls “hostile” policies toward Iran.

This comes as the Treasury Department is set to slap two rounds of sanctions on the Islamic republic, while the country is mired in a wave of domestic civil unrest.

Ayatollah regime officials urged for better relations between the U.S. and Iran.

“America is a country that has good technology, if it had good leaders too, it would be able to work very well with Iran and other countries, in a way that both parties could benefit,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency. “There is ground for nuclear cooperation if a political situation is ready, but that’s highly unlikely — first they need to stop being selfish.”

Israeli intelligence recently exposed — what it says– is a military component of Iran’s nuclear program.

Some say Tehran could be seeking better relations with the U.S. for the purposes of regime protection.


Iran’s ‘Supreme Leader’ Khamenei Celebrates Birthday With Genocidal Message for Israel

July 17, 2018

by Ben Cohen July 16, 2018 Algemeiner

Source Link: Iran’s ‘Supreme Leader’ Khamenei Celebrates Birthday With Genocidal Message for Israel

{This man’s obsession with the destruction of Israel seems to permeate every aspect of his life. – LS}

Visitors to the Twitter feed of Iran’s “supreme leader”on Monday were treated to the incongruous sight of multicolored balloons floating above a series of incendiary anti-Israel tweets.

The celebratory mood on what is normally a rather somber feed marks Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s 79th birthday — which falls on Tuesday, July 17, in the Gregorian calendar.

But as the last balloon disappeared from the screen, so did the jollity — leaving only a thread of threatening messages warning of the Jewish state’s coming destruction.

Denouncing US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” proposal for an Israeli-Palestinian peace as a “satanic, vicious plot,” Khamenei declared, “The turbulent dream that Al-Quds [Jerusalem] would be given to the Zionists will never come true.”

He continued: “The Palestinian nation will stand against it and Muslim nations will back the Palestinian nation, never letting that happen.”

As to his ultimate intentions towards Israel, Khamenei left little to the imagination in a further tweet.

“By God’s grace, the Palestinian nation will certainly gain victory over the enemies and will witness the day when the fabricated Zionist regime will be eradicated,” he vowed.

Khamenei’s birthday rant was excerpted from a speech he delivered in Tehran on Monday to organizers of Iran’s hajj — the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia that faithful Muslims are required to make at least once during their lifetimes.

In the same breath as attacking Israel, Khamenei also turned his ire on the Saudis — an increasingly common linkage among Iran’s leaders anxious about the common strategic interests between Jerusalem and Riyadh that have emerged in recent years.

With the hajj scheduled to begin on Aug. 19, Khamenei fanned tensions with Iran’s Saudi neighbor, asserting that Mecca’s holy sites “belong to all Muslims, not to the rulers of Saudi Arabia.”

Arguing that a “true” hajj must include a “disavowal of the infidels,” Khamenei told the gathered Islamic leaders that the pilgrimage “is the best opportunity and a practical scene to demonstrate the unification of religion and politics.”

Khamenei also called for a fresh investigation into a 2015 crush during the hajj that killed hundreds of pilgrims, blaming the tragedy on the Saudi authorities’ alleged indifference to the safety of the participants.

The defiant tone of Khamenei’s rhetoric has not wavered in the face of mounting pressures on Iran’s regime in the wake of the US decision in June to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. With the US expecting renewed sanctions on Iran to be locked in by November, the Islamic Republic has been convulsed by anti-regime protests in several cities, leading to thousands of arrests.

Protests against Iran’s rulers spilled into neighboring Iraq on Sunday, as two demonstrators were killed and dozens more were wounded by security forces during rallies and marches demanding an end to Iranian interference in Iraq’s national affairs.

In Baghdad, hundreds of protesters closed a highway at the entrance to the Iraqi capital’s northwestern Shula neighborhood, chanting “Iran, out out! Baghdad is free!” and “The people want to overthrow the regime,” the AFP news agency reported.

Long Overdue: Congress Wants Recognition of Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

July 17, 2018

By – on

While the Democrats have become the party and the face of the new antisemitism, the Republicans are doing what is right, rational and righteous.

The Golan is  critical to Israel’s security. This key territory could help Israel defend itself from attacks by Iranian forces and others operating in Syria. Syria lost the Golan Heights to Israel in the June 1967 war — when the United Arab Republic, Jordan, and Syria attacked the tiny Jewish state.

Iran’s vow to annihilate the Jewish state and the continuing political turmoil in the Muslim world and its accompanying Jew-hatred only reinforce Israel’s need for long-term defensible borders.

Israeli Control of the Golan Heights: High Strategic and Moral Ground for Israel
By Ephraim Inbar

MAP 1: Northern Israel

Security Needs

The Golan Heights is a sloping plateau, ascending from 300 meters on its west end to 1,000 meters on its east end, and covering a total area
of 1,800 km (695 sq. mi.). The Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee (part of the Syrian-African Rift) mark its western border, the Yarmuk River demarcates its southern perimeter, and the hills along the watershed line and the Rokad River bound it on the east. The 2,814 meter-high Hermon Mountain (partially in Israeli territory) marks the northern boundary of the Heights (see Map 1 and 2). The Hermon provides an excellent vantage point for the entire region – up to Damascus, only some 60 kilometers to the east, and over to the Haifa Bay, on the Mediterranean to the west (see Map 2). The Golan Heights dominate the Jordan River valley, the Israeli Galilee to its west, and the area leading to Damascus to its east.

Map 2: Mount Hermon Overlooks Damascus and Haifa (A North to South Perspective)

Militarily, withdrawal from the Golan Heights would be extremely problematic. Control of this area gives Israel several important advantages, including those that were crucial in repelling the surprise Syrian military onslaught in October 1973, and has enabled Israel to maintain stability along this border. Indeed, despite the absence of a peace treaty, and despite regional tensions that eventually led to violent clashes between Israel and Arab actors, the border between Israel and Syria has remained quiet since 1974. Even the military confrontation between Israeli and Syrian units in 1982, in the Lebanese arena, did not extend to the Golan Heights.

The current border along the watershed line – the hills in the Eastern part of the plateau – is the best defense line against a conventional
military attack from the east. Such an attack must overcome the topographical superiority of the defensive force, as the

terrain requires the attacking side to channel its forces in between the hills. These natural terrain bottlenecks allow a small defending force to repel an attack and bring in reinforcements if needed. In the 1973 October War, the Golan’s topography enabled 177 defending tanks to stop approximately 1,500 Syrian tanks and gave the IDF the critical time to call up and deploy its reserve formations.6 An armored attack can hardly be successful and cannot be sustained for long without taking the hills that Israel presently controls.

No other line on the plateau can confer such defensive advantages as the current border is based on the watershed line and the whole terrain west of this line descends toward the eastern cliffs on the Jordan River. A withdrawal from the Golan would place Israeli troops at its bottom, about 200 meters below sea level, with a very steep gradient toward the plateau at about 300 meters above sea level, making recapturing this territory in a crisis a very complicated military operation (see Topographical Cross-Section on Map 1 and Map 3).

Map 3: The Golan Heights

Control over the Golan Heights enhances the safety of the strategic Haifa Bay area on the Mediterranean Coast by increasing its distance from Syrian positions to almost 90 kilometers. The Bay area is an important industrial hub, houses one of two main Israeli ports, and forms part of the strategically vital triangle, alongside Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, that holds most of the country’s infrastructure and population.

Israeli military presence in the Golan Heights also prevents the formation of an indefensible pocket in the narrow strip (about 7 kilometers wide and 26 kilometers long) of the Upper Galilee, the northernmost part of Israel, an area sandwiched between Hizballah- controlled southern Lebanon and the Golan Heights (see Map 4).

Tens of thousands of Israeli citizens in this “Finger of the Galilee” could be easily disconnected from Israel and taken hostage in the case of a coordinated attack by Syria, if it controlled the Golan, and an Iranian-inspired Hizballah.7 The capacity of this organization to inflict damage upon Israel has grown considerably since the end of the 2006 Lebanon War.

Map 4: “Finger of the Galilee”

Read the rest.

Congress Wants Recognition of Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

Despite failed bid, hearing will press Trump admin to support Israeli ownership of contested land

By Adam Kredo, Free Beacon, July 15, 2018:

Congress is renewing efforts to press the Trump administration into recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the contested Golan Heights region on Israel’s northern border with Syria, bucking efforts by GOP leadership to kill the effort, according to conversations with lawmakers.

The House’s National Security Subcommittee, led by chairman Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.) will hold a hearing Tuesday to examine how recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the territory could bolster U.S. national security efforts to stem the flow of terrorists in the Jewish state and elsewhere in the region by giving the Jewish state unilateral control over the Syrian territory, where Iranian-backed fighters and other jihadists have been spotted since the start of a bloody civil war.

The push to have the Trump administration formally recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territory comes following a Monday afternoon press conference between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladamir Putin, where the two leaders discussed efforts to decrease tension in Syria.

When DeSantis and other Republicans pushed a congressional resolution recognizing Israeli control over the Golan Heights in May, it was nixed by GOP leadership who were seeking to prevent such a vote on the heels of the Trump administration’s successful effort to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The resolution had won support from Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and others.

DeSantis expressed disappointment at the time in comments to the Free Beacon.

“I don’t know why my Golan Heights amendment was not made in order and thus denied a vote,” DeSantis said. “It was a germane amendment that would have provided the House with a chance to add clarity to the broader U.S. policy vis-a-vis Syria.  How could we even contemplate supporting anything other than the application of Israeli sovereignty to such a strategically significant area, especially given the plethora of malevolent forces that undermine security in the region?”

DeSantis, who will chair Tuesday’s hearing, told the Washington Free Beacon he will not stand down despite opposition by some to formally recognizing Israeli control over the territory, which Israel annexed in 1981.

“U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights is overdue and I hope this hearing demonstrates that the time is right for the Trump administration to do so,” DeSantis told the Free Beacon. “As we’ve seen with the successful relocation of our American embassy to Jerusalem, when the U.S. leads with purpose and conviction good things happen.”

The United States has declined for decades to take a position on the status of this territory, but lawmakers such as DeSantis argue the time is right for this effort, particularly in light of the chaos in Syria and the threat it poses to Israeli and U.S. security assets in the region.

sraeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have supported such efforts and also have requested the Trump administration move to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the territory. Public calls for the recognition increased after the Free Beacon first reported on the now-dead congressional resolution on the matter.

The Tuesday hearing will focus on Iran’s destabilizing efforts in Syria and how it has impacted regional security, according to information viewed by the Free Beacon.

Congressional officials and other supporters argue that U.S. recognition of Israeli control of the Golan Heights could thwart Russia and Iran’s growing influence in Syria and also send a powerful message that the United States sides with the Jewish state’s security interests as regional tensions grow.

The United States, under numerous governments, has assured the Israeli government that it supports Israel’s annexation of the territory, but has declined to go as far as backing a full recognition of sovereignty. The area remains a key territory that could help Israel defend itself from attacks by Iranian forces and others operating in Syria, supporters argue.

Iranian militants who are still operating freely in Syria as they defend embattled President Bashar al-Assad have used the Golan Heights and areas near it to target Israel.

In February, for instance, Israel intercepted an armed Iranian drone that had entered its airspace via Syria.

In May, Iranian forces in Syria fired at least 20 rockets at Israeli military personnel stationed in the Golan Heights, leading the Trump White House to issue public statements supporting Israel’s right to self-defense in the face of such attacks.

Witnesses testifying at the Tuesday hearing include Dore Gold, a veteran Israeli official who most recently served as director general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2015 to 2016; Michael Doran, a former senior director of the White House’s the National Security Council during the George W. Bush administration; Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America; and Eugene Kontorovich, a Northwestern University professor of law who has studied Israel’s legal claims to the Golan Heights.

Incendiary balloon lands in kindergarten

July 17, 2018

Source: Incendiary balloon lands in kindergarten

Hours after Netanyahu and Lieberman visit the Gaza border region, threat posed by incendiary balloons becomes particularly tangible when one lands in a kindergarten yard; there were no casualties; Firefighting crews continue their battle against the rampant fires caused by incendiary balloons flown from Gaza.

An incendiary balloon launched Tuesday from Gaza landed a kindergarten’s yard in the Sdot Negev Regional Council where children were present at the time but none were hurt. A police sapper was called to neutralize the dangerous article.

The incident occurred only hours after a visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman in the region.

Incendiary balloon

Incendiary balloon

Earlier, IDF aircraft targeted a group of Gazans who launched incendiary balloonsfrom the northern Gaza Strip into Israel. Firefighters have put out nine different fires caused by incendiary balloons flown from Gaza during the day.

Fires caused by Gazans (Photo: AFP)

Fires caused by Gazans (Photo: AFP)

Speaking during a visit to a regional military base, Netanyahu said: “We are in the midst of a campaign, there is an exchange of blows, and I can say that the IDF is prepared for every scenario. Like me, all Israeli citizens believe in and support the IDF ahead of any possible development.”

Netanyahu and Lieberman in Gaza region (Photo: Haim Horenstein)

Netanyahu and Lieberman in Gaza region (Photo: Haim Horenstein)

Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories for the Gaza Strip Col. Iyad Sarhan addressed residents of the Gaza region via Facebook saying Hamas is responsible for the closing of the Kerem Shalom Crossing.

“The heavy price you are paying is a result of the balloon and kite terror; yes, we absolutely consider these incidents terrorism, therefore the response will be harsh,” he wrote.

Col. Iyad Sarhan

Col. Iyad Sarhan

“We can double the number of trucks entering the Gaza Strip every day, double or triple or even multiply them ten times. You, the merchants, the citizens and the people living in the Gaza Strip are paying the price of terrorism led by the Hamas leadership. We are not the address, questions should be referred to Hamas,” he added.When asked if the current crisis in the Gaza Strip could be resolved without embarking on a broader campaign, the prime minister replied, “I believe that we are doing the right thing. It is advisable that they start paying attention not only to what we are saying, but also to what we are doing.”

Adressing  the reports about the leaks from the security Cabinet meeting, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, “We heard a lot of talk about the security policy of the government. So first of all, it’s worth explaining that security policy should not be a response to political or media pressure. We are operating both with force and intelligently. What we need now is coolness and nerves of steel… not media hysteria. We are doing what needs to be done. ”

At the cabinet meeting Monday, Netanyahu ordered that all incidents of incendiary devices launched from Gaza be met with a response. “We are not prepared to accept any attacks against us and we will respond accordingly,” the prime minister stated on Sunday.

Putin: Trump ‘paid particular attention’ to Israel’s security at summit 

July 17, 2018

Source: Putin: Trump ‘paid particular attention’ to Israel’s security at summit – International news – Jerusalem Post

( This has to be a trick and a lie.  After all, the MSM says Trump’s an antisemite as well as a fascist. – JW )

The leaders of the two countries said Russia and the United States are working together to ensure Israel’s security.

 JULY 16, 2018 19:36

U.S. President Donald Trump receives a football from Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia and the United States are working together to ensure Israel’s security with regards to the advancement of the Syrian regime against rebels near the Golan Heights, US President Donald Trump said to reporters after a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. Trump “paid particular attention” to Israel’s security during the summit, the Russian leader said at a joint press conference after the summit Monday.

Russian cooperation with Israel is a “great thing” Trump said.

“As far as Syria is concerned the task of establishing peace and reconciliation in this country could be the first showcase example of successful joint work,” the US leader said.

Putin also said Washington knows the Kremlin’s position on the Iran nuclear deal, from which Trump withdrew last year.

“We can do something to help people of Syria head in some form of shelter… both of us would be very interested in doing that,” Trump said. “We also discussed at length the crisis in Syria. Cooperation between our countries has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives.”

Putin said he agrees with Trump that the two countries’s armies are working successfully in Syria.

“As far as Syria is concerned the task of establishing peace and reconciliation in this country could be the first showcase example of successful joint work,” Putin said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “welcomed the deep commitment” of the US, his office said in a statement released after the summit. Netanyahu “greatly appreciates the security coordination between Israel and Russia and expressed the clear position President Putin on the need to maintain the separation agreements between Israel and Syria in 1974,” the statement also read.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Candidly Speaking: The perils facing Anglo Jewry

July 17, 2018

Source: Candidly Speaking: The perils facing Anglo Jewry – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

While most British Jews remain committed to Israel, in most cases, the leadership fails to publicly confront and dissociate itself from anti-Israel Jews.

 JULY 16, 2018 21:27
theresa may antisemitism jews england


Over 10 years ago, I warned that the passivity of the Anglo-Jewish leadership would likely lead to disastrous political consequences and negatively impact the younger generation, which was being inadequately educated to face its challenges.

I described Anglo-Jewish leaders as “trembling Israelites, whose uppermost objective was to lie low and, above all, avoid rocking the boat.” The policy for confronting anti-Israel or antisemitic adversaries was summed up by then-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews Henry Grunwald as the “softly softly” approach, generally opposing demonstrations and urging “not to shout when a whisper can be heard.” It was a classic case of shtadlanut – avoiding any public display and attempting to resolve problems by silent intercession.

Despite dissent from Jews at a grassroots level, the prevailing tendency of the leadership was also to ignore the fierce waves of antisemitism and hostility rising from both Muslim immigrants and the Left.

At the time, Ken Livingstone, a 21st-century Oswald Mosley, was the mayor of London, ranting his anti-Israel and antisemitic utterances. The Jewish leadership sought to ignore him.

When the Muslim leadership called for the abolition of Holocaust Memorial Day, the cowardly Board of Deputies leaders responded with an apologetic press campaign claiming that Holocaust Memorial Day was no longer restricted to Jews but also “covers Cambodia, Rwanda, the Balkans and elsewhere.”

To enhance their social acceptability and approval ratings in the anti-Israel media, some Jewish leaders also publicly condemned Israel.

Tycoon Mick Davis, then chairman of Anglo Jewry’s United Jewish Israel Appeal, made comments at the time unprecedented for a mainstream Jewish leader. Davis proclaimed that Israel was in danger of becoming an “apartheid” state and warned the Israeli government that its “bad” actions directly impinged on him in London. The Jewish leadership failed to condemn Davis for his remarks or request him to withdraw them.

In 2006, Melanie Phillips wrote Londonistan, a book predicting the growth of Islam in the UK and the consequent dangers facing society. She was immediately assailed by the Jewish leadership, which publicly condemned her as a mad extremist. Yet less than a decade later, the reality proved to be even worse than her nightmarish prophecies had predicted.

The community was stunned when the Labour Party elected as its leader Jeremy Corbyn, who would qualify as a modern Trotskyist. He was a staunch supporter of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and made no secret of his hatred of Zionism. On various occasions, he associated with a variety of antisemites and even Holocaust deniers. He also supported terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah, which he maintained were committed to peace.

British Jews, the majority of whom were longtime Labour supporters, were shocked. More so after many Labour MPs uttered antisemitic remarks, leading to a pseudo-investigation by the party, after which a few of the most extreme were suspended but the majority were considered kosher on the tenuous basis that their comments were anti-Zionist rather than antisemitic. More recently, the party diluted the internationally accepted definition of antisemitism by removing references such as accusing Jews of being more loyal to Israel than to their own country; claiming that Israel’s existence is a racist endeavor; applying a double standard to Israel; and comparing contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

As a consequence, Jews have defected from Labour in droves, and in the last election the clear majority voted for the Conservative Party, whose leaders, especially David Cameron, were all highly supportive of the Jewish community.

In 2015, Jonathan Arkush was elected president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. After a series of cowardly leaders, who refused to speak out or protest against those promoting antisemitism, Arkush proved to be a courageous leader and boldly confronted antisemites, especially Corbyn. Since his assuming the position, the Board of Deputies has emerged as a true representative of the community. This, hopefully, will be maintained by his recently elected successor, Marie van der Zyl.

But the current situation is seriously worrying. Anglo Jewry faces grave threats. If an election were held today, there is every possibility that the next prime minister would be an outright antisemite.

However, aside from that, an additional serious peril facing the community is the atmosphere from within. I refer to fringe groups like Yachad that publicly criticize Israel. Over 500 Jews signed a petition condemning the Board of Deputies for chastising Hamas and failing to deplore the Israeli killings of those attempting to penetrate Israel’s borders and engage in terrorist attacks.

But the most worrisome development is the status of the younger generation, whose members have been influenced by leaders over the years to accept their fate and remain silent.

Antisemitism at the universities has risen to record levels, and many, if not most, Jewish students simply lie low and try to avoid confrontations with anti-Israel Muslims and radicals. Moreover, even many committed Jews seeking social acceptability feel the need to be publicly critical of Israel.

Last month, there was an extreme display of this when a group of over 50 youngsters protested Israeli policy outside Parliament and then, emulating their American counterparts, named the individual Hamas terrorists killed trying to breach Israel’s border and recited kaddish for them. They also chided the Jewish community for not condemning “the Israeli occupation and the disproportionate force of the Israeli regime,” and expressed anger at Jewish leaders “for refusing to speak about the Nakba and refusing to listen to Palestinian initiatives.”

Their behavior, which received national and even global exposure, shocked and embarrassed most Jews, but what occurred subsequently was even worse. Most of the youngsters involved were members of the Reform youth group Netzer, which purports to be Zionist. One of them, Nina Morris-Evans, had been appointed as a leader of a youth tour of Israel, but she was informed that her actions made her ineligible for this position.

This led to a petition addressed to the Jewish leadership from over 100 signatories describing themselves as “past and present leaders from a range of Zionist youth movements.” They conveyed outrage at being “abused, harassed and bullied online – particularly in a violent, misogynistic manner extending even to death threats.” They pledged not to bow to intimidation and, as “Zionists,” would insist on supporting a plurality of narratives, including those critical of Israel.

What was significant about this petition was that all the participants were either former or current Zionist activists, including a small number from Habonim, the Labor Zionist youth movement, who were apparently unaware that their own party in Israel would have condemned them.

But the majority were from Netzer, who obviously had the imprimatur of their rabbis, which accounted for the large number who signed such a hostile anti-Israel petition.

For the record, Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner and Geoffrey Marks, the chairman of Reform Jewry, described the abuse of Morris-Evans as “misogynistic and violent,” condemning the critics as “bullies,” stressing that Reform Judaism would encourage young people to express their views publicly.

The reality is that today, most Reform rabbis are non-Zionist, and though paying lip service to love of Israel, they are in many cases outrightly critical and even anti-Israel.

These elements are supported by Davis, now chief executive of the Conservative Party, who condemned those “seeking to hound kaddish participants from their jobs.” He added that there was an absence of Zionist leadership for which one turns “to Israel but finds little to inspire.”

The response from the leadership was muted, and there is yet to be heard a reprimand by the Zionist Federation pointing out that such behavior is incompatible with purporting to be a Zionist.

The Jewish Chronicle editorial adopted a neutral position, conceding that most Jews would consider the kaddish for Hamas warped, but claimed that the open letter reflected “a potentially seismic change in the community” and called for “goodwill on all sides.”
Anglo Jewry is confronting painful challenges. The fact that “Zionist” youth can publicly express such hostility toward Israel reflects a breakdown in education.

While most British Jews remain committed to Israel, in most cases, the leadership fails to publicly confront and dissociate itself from anti-Israel Jews. It legitimizes them when applying the policy that the community must tolerate the presence of extremists within the “big tent.” There will be disastrous long-term consequences if demented fanatics like the Jewish deviants reciting kaddish for Hamas or those who, in the name of pluralism, demand toleration of such views are enabled to remain within the Jewish or Zionist mainstream.

In this climate of overt antisemitism in the Labour Party, coupled with the inadequate education of its Zionist youth, the Jewish leadership faces its greatest challenge. If it fails, all that will ultimately remain of Anglo Jewry will be clusters of haredi communities.;

Trump and Putin praise Israel in Helsinki, diverge on Syria and Iran

July 17, 2018

Source: Trump and Putin praise Israel in Helsinki, diverge on Syria and Iran – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

Trump spoke as “we,” which apparently indicated Moscow and Washington both working with Israel and “Israel working with us.”

 JULY 17, 2018 17:50
U.S. President Donald Trump receives a football from Russian President Vladimir Putin

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed Israel, Syria and Iran in their meeting in Helsinki and in subsequent comments to the press. The public comments provide some insight into their view of the future of the Middle East. With the Syrian regime conducting a major offensive in the south and the US deeply involved in eastern Syria, while Israel demands the Iranians leave, this was a central topic of concern in Helsinki.

Trump went first with a discussion of Israel. According to a transcript published by NPR he said, “we’ve worked with Israel long and hard for many years.” He pointed out that the US has never been closer to Israel than it is today. “President Putin also is helping Israel and we both spoke with [Prime Minister Benjamin] Bibi Netanyahu and they would like to do certain things with respect to Syria, having to do with the safety of Israel.” He spoke as “we,” which apparently indicated Moscow and Washington both working with Israel and “Israel working with us.” He continued, “I think they’re working with Israel is a great thing and creating safety for Israel is something bother President Putin and I would like to see very much.”

Putin argued that Russia was helping to “crush terrorists in the southwest of Syria.” He mentioned the 1974 ceasefire lines on the Golan. “This will bring peace to Golan heights and bring a more peaceful relationship between Syria and Israel and also to provide security for the state of Israel.” He said that he paid “special attention” to the issue when sitting with Trump.

The two also discussed the future of Syria. Trump claimed that the US military was successfully coordinating with Russia in Syria.

“Our militaries do get along very well,” he said. Putin said that Russia was working to establish peace and reconciliation. “Russia and the United States apparently can act proactively and take leadership on this issue.” He emphasized the coordination between the US and Russian militaries in Syria helped avoid “dangerous incidents and unintentional collisions.”

Putin elaborated that the crucial issue now was relating to refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. “If we help them, the migratory pressure upon the European states will drop.” He mentioned that Russia was working closely with Turkey and Iran, “so that we will be able to maximize our fighting change together for ultimate success in the issue of Syria.”

Putin shrugged off a question about the “ball” being in Russia’s court in terms of deciding what’s next in Syria. He said he would hand the ball to Trump, and made a joke about the World Cup. Trump agreed that humanitarian concerns were a key for the people of Syria.

On Iran, Putin said that the Iranian nuclear deal had helped ensure the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program.” Trump emphasized the need to pressure Iran and “stop its campaign of violence throughout the area, throughout the Middle East.” The US President then said that the US would not allow Iran to benefit from the defeat of ISIS.  Trump claimed ISIS had been defeated 99%. He said Russia was helping.

So what was said and unsaid? Both Putin and Trump appeared to understand and to some extent support Israel’s concerns regarding Syria. They were keyed in to Jerusalem’s policy, which has included airstrikes on Iranian threats in Syria over the last six years. The use of the word “us” and “we” to describe Israel’s relationship with Moscow and Washington points to an unprecedented level of understanding between Jerusalem and the two world powers. Probably never before have Moscow and Washington been closer in terms of listening to Israel’s concerns. The fact that both Washington and Moscow have their own agendas in Syria, neither of which always mesh with Israel’s agenda was left unsaid. The fact is that Russia cannot remove Iran from Syria, which is Israel’s main goal. Washington also has not committed to a mission to rollback Iran in Syria, still concentrating resources on defeating ISIS.

Putin sees Iran as an important player in the region and not as an adversary. He would like to work more closely with Turkey as well. Trump meanwhile is adamantly opposed to Iran. Here the two leaders expressed differences. Putin was noticeably tight lipped about his views of Tehran’s policies. This could point to growing daylight between Moscow and Iran but it more likely points to Putin’s tendency towards generalization that allows Russia more room to maneuver. The US prefers clearly stated goals, while Russia prefers the veneer of discussion international law, while the opaque nature of Moscow’s actual policy relating to Iran in places like Syria.

Overall the meeting between the two leaders was weak on substance. Prior to the summit some in Israel had pushed stories about Russia agreeing some sort of concept where Iran leaves Syria when the conflict is done. But after Netanyahu’s meeting with Putin and then after Trump’s meeting it is clear that there will be no clear comment about Iran’s future role in Syria, or about Israel’s continued opposition to any Iranian forces remaining.