Archive for February 12, 2019

Off Oopic:   Democrats vs the Jews | The Andrew Klavan Show 

February 12, 2019

 

 

Iran Threatens Tel Aviv; Netanyahu Warns Revolution Celebrations Could be Last

February 12, 2019

Source: Iran Threatens Tel Aviv; Netanyahu Warns Revolution Celebrations Could be Last

Do not say, “I will repay evil;” wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you. Proverbs 20:22 (The Israel Bible™)

As part of Iran’s celebrations commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, the Deputy head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) political bureau Yadollah Javani said the Jewish state would suffer if America struck Iran.

“The United States does not have the courage to shoot a single bullet at us despite all its defensive and military assets. But if they attack us, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground,” said Javani, according to state news agency IRNA, and reported by Reuters.

“Islamic Iran has reached a level… to protect its borders by effective military capabilities, and firmly punish any aggressor,” said Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif, spokesman for the IRGC.

In response to the threat, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a strong statement against Iranian aggression.

“I do not ignore the threats of the Iranian regime, but neither am I intimidated by them. If this regime makes the awful mistake of trying to destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa, it will not succeed. However, this would be the last anniversary of the revolution that they celebrate. They should take this into account.”

Iran’s leaders spoke at a rally marking the 40th anniversary of the overthrow of the Shah – Mohammad Reza Pahlavi – in 1979 and the imposition of an Islamic theocracy. The effects of the end of centuries of monarchic rule are still being felt in both Iran and the region.

The celebrations included several instance of muscle flexing, including the launch and test of new missiles, which would put Israel squarely within precise range of the Iranian armed forces.

Chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” can often be heard at these kinds of rallies.

Despite the show of national solidarity, Iran faces acute economic distress, following U.S. President Donald Trump administration’s imposition of sanctions.

 

Syria: Two Iranian revolutionary guard members killed in Israeli attack

February 12, 2019

Source: Syria: Two Iranian revolutionary guard members killed in Israeli attack

By World Israel News staff

Media sources in Syria say that two members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps were killed and an unspecified number of others were hurt when “Israeli warplanes” launched missiles that targeted an Iranian military base in the Quneitra countryside, on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

Syrian regime state-agency SANA said that an “Israeli attack on Quneitra province” caused damage to a hospital when tanks opened fire, and that one of the observation posts in Jebata Al-Khashab, adjacent to the Israeli border, had also been targeted.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied these reports.

On Monday, SANA reported that Israeli troops had fired several shells on various positions in Quneitra, including an observation post.

Last month, the Israeli military confirmed attacking Iranian military targets in Syria, hours after carrying out a rare daylight air raid near the Damascus International Airport.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the volatile situation in Syria at a summit meeting next week.

The Israeli-Russian contacts are aimed at preventing military confrontations between the two countries. Israel is also hoping that Russia will help in efforts to prevent Iranian entrenchment in Syria, even as the U.S. works on pulling out of the war-torn country.

 

Rouhani: Iranian revolution ‘thriving’ amid U.S. failure in Middle East

February 12, 2019

Source: Rouhani: Iranian revolution ‘thriving’ amid U.S. failure in Middle East – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

Iran presents itself as a model of regional security in Turkey while Tehran’s foreign minister meets Hezbollah in Lebanon.

BY SETH J. FRANTZMAN
 FEBRUARY 12, 2019 07:32
Rouhani: Iranian revolution is 'thriving' amid U.S. failure in Middle East

Iran is thriving 40 years after the Islamic Revolution, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said at events marking the anniversary at Azadi Square in Tehran. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also boasted on Twitter that the US was facing “forty years of failure” and that US President Donald Trump should rethink US policy.

The statements form part of a narrative pushed by Tehran amid the anniversary celebrations as the regime seeks to shrug off problems at home and position itself as the main opponent of the US in the Middle East. With an obsessive focus on the US, both Rouhani, Zarif and others directed most of their comments at Washington. In some ways, the statements are a tradition that dates back to the revolution in 1979 and the hostage crisis that began in November of that year.

Zarif traveled to Beirut on Monday and met with Lebanese foreign minister Gebran Bassil. He said that, “all the forces entering Syria without the permission of the official leadership must exit.” The statements were made in a way that they were directed at the role of the United States in eastern Syria. The US has said that it will withdraw from Syria, but Tehran wants to illustrate the degree to which it has won in Syria by getting the US to withdraw while Iran remains in the country. As recently as last fall, the US was calling for Iran to leave Syria.

Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander General Hossein Salami said that “they [the US] want Iran to leave the region to clear the way for their dominance and allow them once again to control our borders.” Instead the US is pulling out its troops and the corps’ bases will flourish.

Iran thinks it is riding high. With Zarif in Lebanon and Rouhani speaking in Tehran, it feels that it now controls or influences a swath of the region from Tehran to Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut. Iran also thinks it has outplayed the US. In late January, Iranian Armed Forces Chiefs of Staff chairman General Mohammad Baqeri said that the US had squandered 7 trillion dollars in Iraq and Syria, achieving nothing, while “the Islamic Republic [of Iran] gained a lot despite its very low spending in those countries.”

Zarif was careful in Lebanon not to provoke any backlash by noting that his presence in the country was not directed at any other countries. He said this after meeting Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah and speaking with Lebanese Parliament speaker Nabih Berri. This comment may have been to avoid provoking anger in Saudi Arabia, an ally of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, or even to cool tensions with Israel. Zarif didn’t mention Israel specifically, but Nasrallah thanked Iran for its support for “Palestine and all resistance movements.”

The discussions arise as tensions rose along the Golan on Tuesday as Syrian state media reported that Israel shelled sites near Quneitra in the first such incident since Syrian forces returned to the Golan cease-fire line in the summer of 2018.

In Turkey, the new Iranian ambassador, Mohammad Farazmand, told reporters that Iran was now a “regional power and an independent country,” and that it had made great strides in the last forty years. He praised the role of Turkey and Russia in their efforts to solve the Syrian conflict and noted that the presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran would meet in Sochi this week.

Iran is a model for “West-Asia” security, he said. “Turkey is Iran’s window opening to the West while Iran, for Turkey, is like a window opening to the East,” he added, indicating the growing partnership between Ankara and Tehran. In the last several years, Turkey and Iran have grown increasingly close and Turkey received exemptions from the US to trade with Iran despite Washington’s sanctions.

Overall, Iran’s 40th anniversary events for the revolution have sought to underpin its string of victories in the Middle East and present it as the leading country in the region. From Lebanon to Turkey, it asserted that its model has succeeded and that the US has failed in its agendas.

Israel strikes Quneitra, near Syrian border with Golan Heights

February 12, 2019

Source: Israel strikes Quneitra, near Syrian border with Golan Heights – SANA – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post

The state-run outlet said the tank targeted a hospital and observation post “with a number of shells.”

BY JERUSALEM POST STAFF
 FEBRUARY 11, 2019 20:26
An old military vehicle on the Israeli side of the border with Syria, near Magdal Shams

An Israeli tank struck Syrian territory in Quneitra, near the Golan Heights border, Syrian state news agency SANA said on Monday, without providing further details.

The media outlet cited its own reporter, who said the strikes only caused “material damage.”

The state-run outlet said the tank targeted a hospital and observation post “with a number of shells.”

Quneitra was recaptured by Bashar Assad’s regime forces in July 2018, having been held by a rebel faction for the majority of the country’s seven-year-long civil war. The area sits some 500 feet from the 1974 internationally-mediated ceasefire line.

In late December, IDF forces fired at armed suspects approaching the Israeli border from Syria.

Israel routinely hits Iranian targets in Syria, with officials taking credit for strikes near Damascus in January. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said that Israel will not allow Iranian entrenchment in Syria.

 

Off Topic:  Avigdor Liberman: Want Jewish children and grandchildren? Move to Israel 

February 12, 2019

Source: Avigdor Liberman: Want Jewish children and grandchildren? Move to Israel – Diaspora – Jerusalem Post

A wave of antisemitism is sweeping the world and gaining momentum,” Liberman said.

BY SARA RUBENSTEIN
 FEBRUARY 12, 2019 11:28
Liberman: Want Jewish children and grandchildren? Move to Israel

Avigdor Liberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beytenu Party, said on Tuesday that Jews who “want their children and grandchildren to remain Jewish have only one choice – move to Israel as soon as possible.”

Liberman’s comments came Tuesday, almost 48 hours after Jewish and non-Jewish leaders across Israel and the US hastily responded to antisemitic comments by Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who tweeted that she believes AIPAC is paying politicians to be pro-Israel.

“A wave of antisemitism is sweeping the world and gaining momentum,” Liberman said in the statement. “Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar in the US Congress expresses support for the BDS movement and writes antisemitic tweets.”

Liberman noted that Omar’s tweets are not isolated but are part of a rising wave of antisemitic incidents around the world, as well as an increasing rate of assimilation. 

“Neo-Nazi demonstrations with hundreds of participants take place in Budapest, Hungary, and the police don’t lift a finger,” he said. “Antisemitic slurs are hurled at Jews on the London Underground and on the Frankfurt express train in Germany. In the heart of Paris, yellow paint was sprayed on a Jewish-owned restaurant and the word ‘Jude’ was written all over it.”

Specifically, he cited a 16% increase in antisemitic incidents in Britain and a 74% increase in France.

“Jews throughout the world, and in Europe in particular, must draw conclusions from these antisemitic incidents,” Liberman said.

 

Trump says Omar ‘should be ashamed of herself’ over AIPAC money tweets

February 12, 2019

Source: Trump says Omar ‘should be ashamed of herself’ over AIPAC money tweets | The Times of Israel

US president, who has himself been accused in the past of using anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money, says he doesn’t find Democrat lawmaker’s apology to be adequate

( Accused by whom? The same leftist liars who call hon a racist and a totalitarian. – JW )

US President Donald Trump boards Air Force One as he leaves Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, Feb. 11, 2019, for a trip to El Paso, Texas (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
US President Donald Trump boards Air Force One as he leaves Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, Feb. 11, 2019, for a trip to El Paso, Texas (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

US President Donald Trump said Monday that freshman Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar “should be ashamed of herself” over tweets suggesting that a powerful pro-Israel interest group pays members of Congress to support Israel.

The Minnesota congresswoman “unequivocally” apologized earlier Monday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats rebuked her. She said she had no intention of offending anyone and thanked her colleagues for educating her on anti-Semitic tropes.

On Air Force One flying to a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas, Trump said that Omar had made “a terrible statement” and that he didn’t find her apology to be adequate. Asked what she should have said, Trump replied, “She knows what to say.”

Omar issued the apology following a cascade of criticism from lawmakers and Jewish groups.

Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota speaks at a press conference calling on Congress to cut funding for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and to defund border detention facilities, outside the US Capitol in Washington, on February 7, 2019. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole,” Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, said in a statement.

“We have always to be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize,” she added.

Omar had faced growing accusations of anti-Semitism after writing Sunday on Twitter that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s call for her and Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) to be admonished over their criticism of Israel was “all about the Benjamins baby,” a slang term for $100 bills.

Asked to clarify who she believed is paying politicians to support Israel, Omar named AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby group.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the 2018 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, at Washington Convention Center, March 6, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Though an influential player on Capital Hill, AIPAC does not endorse candidates or contribute to their campaigns.

Omar on Monday stood by her criticism of the “problematic role of lobbyists in our politics,” lumping in AIPAC with the pro-gun National Rifle Association and oil companies.

“It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it,” she said.

The US president is himself no stranger to accusations of using anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money.

In a 2015 speech in Washington to the Republican Jewish Coalition, Trump told the audience: “You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money.”

He also said: “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken.”

A tweeted picture by Donald Trump that uses an apparent Star of David to call Hillary Clinton ‘the most corrupt candidate ever!’ (Screen shot)

Leveling corruption accusations against rival presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Trump in 2016 tweeted, then swiftly deleted, an image depicting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton next to a Star of David superimposed over piles of money.

A former employee wrote in a 1991 book that Trump once told him: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day,” The Guardian reported.

Last year Trump said he rejects white supremacism and anti-Semitism, but did not say how he would counter the phenomena and angrily rejected claims that his rhetoric spurs division.

Agencies contributed to this report.