Author Archive

The Arab world silently celebrates

March 22, 2018

Source: The Arab world silently celebrates – Israel Hayom

Prof. Eyal Zisser

n response to headlines in the Israeli media Wednesday acknowledging the 2007 airstrike that destroyed Syria’s nuclear reactor in Deir ez-Zor, after having kept quiet for over a decade, the Arab world, including Syria, was deafeningly silent.

Although the general consensus from day one has been that Israel carried out the aerial assault that knocked out Syria’s clandestine nuclear reactor, developed with North Korean assistance, Israel waited until Wednesday to confirm the strike.

Damascus’ silence, at least, is completely understandable. Syrian President Bashar Assad has much more pressing matters on his agenda than media hype in Israel over something everyone already knew – he is a little too busy waging a war of survival, rather successfully, against his countrymen who have rebelled against him. In addition, the nuclear reactor episode is no source of pride for the Syrian regime, specifically not the way Assad’s nuclear adventure ended and his decision to refrain from leveling any kind of response to the Israeli airstrike.

Moreover, the Israeli confirmation included no new information, aside from petty squabbling over credit – namely between then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak and then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the heads of Military Intelligence and the Mossad. Other than that, the information was widely reported over a decade ago and attributed to reliable American sources. At most, the information that Israel made public on Wednesday will be used by Syrian intelligence agents or by Iran, who will pore over the previously classified material in search of details to help them prepare for the next clash.

The few Arab networks that did inform their viewers about the Israeli media frenzy, were noticeably overjoyed at Assad’s misfortune. They gloated at the humiliation of the Syrian leader who used chemical weapons on his own people but was too intimidated to face Israel.

Alongside the gloating, there was also palatable relief in the region’s capitals at the thought that Assad was kept from developing nuclear weapons. Is there any doubt regarding his willingness to use nuclear weapons on his own people or against his opponents in the region?

But the silence in Damascus and the Arab networks low profile regarding the Israeli news in no way suggests that the Arab world isn’t closely monitoring Israel’s every move. Today, thanks to social media, this task is easier than ever before.

Even the Arabs who believe in far-fetched conspiracy theories interpreted the timing of Israel’s publication as a clear and simple message to Iran: that Jerusalem is determined, just as it was in the past, to nip any security threat in the bud. This message is also addressed to the many other hostile Arab states.

Eyal Zisser is a lecturer in the Middle East History Department at Tel Aviv University.

Trump, Saudi Prince & UAE to set up action group against Iran

March 22, 2018

Source: Trump, Saudi Prince & UAE to set up action group against Iran – DEBKAfile

Ahead of their White House talks on Tuesday, March 20, President Donald Trump and the Saudi Crown Prince agree on a new Supreme Committee to coordinate military and diplomatic efforts for curbing Iranian expansion. The United Arab Emirate is the third member. This committee, to focus on coordinated operations, will consist of the three governments’ national security advisers. For final decisions, they will call in President Trump, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman (MbS) and the UAE Emir Sheikh Muhammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MbZ). White House sources reported that the new group would be ceremonially launched in Washington this week. The Emirates national security adviser Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan will come over to join the event. The emir himself is expected in Washington soon.

US and Saudi officials confirmed Tuesday that the new Supreme Committee’s mission would be to execute the goal shared by the three governments, namely, to stall Iran’s expansionist designs across the oil-rich Gulf and the Middle East.

DEBKAfile’s sources report that this move is consistent with the decision which President Trump is widely believed to have reached for taking the United States out of the 2015 nuclear with Iran. Intensive discussions are taking place in the White house on timing; whether Trump should make the announcement when the next deadline for re-certificating the accord comes up in mid-May or jump the gun in March or early April. The US, the Saudis and the UAE are meanwhile checking to make sure that their military assets are in sync and ready for potential repercussions.
The new Supreme Committee will fill the cohesion void left in the Gulf Cooperation Council by the refusal of two of its members, Qatar and Oman, to go along with the tough policies pursued by Saudi Arabia and the UAE since MbS took over the reins of government in Riyadh three years ago.

IDF chief: Reactor strike showed Israel will not tolerate existential threats 

March 21, 2018

Source: IDF chief: Reactor strike showed Israel will not tolerate existential threats – Israel Hayom

Thank you Peter Kivat

March 18, 2018

For your generous donation to the site in memory of Dan Miller.

It helps me, Joop and Louisiana Steve keep going.

Any reader interested in becoming an editor here, please reply to this post and we’ll get in touch.

Thanks to those of you who have sent your comfort on the loss of Dan.

It means a lot to me…

– JW



An officer and a soldier killed in Palestinian car-ramming attack 

March 18, 2018

Source: An officer and a soldier killed in Palestinian car-ramming attack – DEBKAfile

A Palestinian terrorist crashed his car Friday, March 16, into a group of Israeli soldiers killing an officer and a soldier and injuring two others, one seriously.

Doctors are fighting for his life at the Beilinson hospital, to which the victims were evacuated by helicopter. There was a driver and a passenger in the car which rammed into a IDF unit on Highway 585 outside Mevo Dotan, 10km west of Jenin, which was patrolling the highway in northern Samaria. The terrorist, Allah Kabha, 26, from the Palestinian village of Barta’a, was slightly hurt and captured. He is being interrogated in hospital. Kabha was found to have a previous record: he had been jailed for eighteen months on security violations and banned from entering Israel. The second Palestinian in the car appears to have fled.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed after the attack to “take action in pursuit of the death sentence for this terrorist, the demolition of his home and the punishment of his confederates in this crime. There are no lone wolf [Palestinian] terrorists,” he said. “Abu Mazen and the Palestinian Authority pay money to their families. We will stop this.”

DEBKAfile’s military sources: The IDF investigation of the event will also question why the military patrol had no back-up against a vehicular attack.

Dan Miller is no more

March 16, 2018
Dan pix
It is with deep sadness that I report to our readers that my good friend and fellow editor of this site, Dan Miller, has passed away.

Those of you who have been with the site over the last three years know  how important his contributions were.

He will be sorely missed by all of us.

May he truly rest in peace… – JW

I received the following from his wife: 


Dear Joe,
Dan asked me to communicate with you should he not make it through the latest of his health problems.  
He felt a deep connection with Isreal, with Warsclerotic, and with you, Joe.  
Please forgive my delay in communicating with you.  It, as you must know, has been a tremendously difficult time for me.  I needed some time to recover even the tinyest bit of perspective.
Please keep him in your prayers.
Best,  Jeanie
Here is what I wrote to our families:

Dan and I started our adventures together almost 26 years ago. Over the years, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve won and we’ve lost. Always, our

​mutual ​

love and respect made it possible to overcome the inevitable obstacles that present themselves over a lifetime.

Dan died last Sunday afternoon. I will miss him forever. He has preceded me in this last and greatest adventure of all.

As was his wish, I will spread his ashes over the finca he loved so well.


Rest in peace

​ and
Namaste, My​Darling

Curriculum Vitae and subsequent life:

Herbert Daniel Miller was graduated from Yale University, cum laude, and the University of Virginia Law School where he was notes editor of Law Review and a member of The Order of the Coif. After he graduated, he joined the United States Army JAG Corp where he was Special Courts Marshall Judge for the Country of Korea. Upon returning to civilian life, he joined the law firm of Koteen and Naftalin in Washington, D.C. until he retired as a partner in 1996.

Thereupon, he and his wife cruised in the Eastern Caribbean as well as Trinidad, Venezuela and Colombia in their sailboat, Namaste. They achieved their Dive Master certificates in Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. In 2002, they reached Panama, spending a month in the Kuna Yala Islands on their sailboat before settling in Western Panama.

He leaves behind his wife, Jean Fiester Miller, his son, Nicolas Miller, his daughter, Elizabeth Korchnak and his sister, Margaret Zilm, his nephews Andrew and Gregory Zilm, as well as three grandchildren.

Mum’s the word

March 16, 2018

Source: Mum’s the word – Israel Hayom