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“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8

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Saturday, February 7th, 2015

By David Rubin (Arutz Sheva news)

U.S. President Barack Obama has finally spoken out against the forces of religious extremism that are threatening all of Western civilization. In a speech to the National Prayer Breakfast, Obama, who up to this point has stubbornly refused to use the words Islamic and terrorism in the same breath, is finally criticizing an entire terrorist movement for its religious extremism.

Which one, you ask? ISIS perhaps?

Well, not exactly.

While the leader of the free world could have aimed his arrows at a long list of Islamic terrorist organizations that compete fiercely in their barbarism – Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, and Islamic Jihad, to name but a few – he instead decided to identify what he considers to be the most shocking current manifestation of religious extremism, namely, the Christian Crusaders!

As an Israeli Jew with an acute sensitivity to what was done to my people throughout the ages, I am certainly aware of the extreme acts that were committed in the name of Christianity by the Crusaders. Yes, the Crusades were launched as a response to the brutal Muslim conquests, but many Jews were slaughtered as well. Furthermore, the Crusades led to centuries of religiously-justified persecution of the Jews all across Europe, including the Inquisition, when Jews suffered from mass expulsions, forced conversions, and far worse, and all in the name of Christianity.

However, the Crusades ended some 700 years ago. Furthermore, it must be said that unlike Jihadist Muslims who are emulating the ways of Muhammad, such Christians weren’t emulating Jesus, who wasn’t known for beheadings or violent rampages.

Jumping back to the present, we see that the free world is being confronted with a variety of violent Islamic movements that have in common a strict adherence to the Islamic doctrine of Jihad, or holy war against non-Muslims (the unbelievers), which is arguably the highest precept in Islam, with abuse of woman and children coming in a close second and third place. While many Christians in our times still believe that proselytizing is important, very few, if any, would call for the violent conversion of those who disagree with them, and certainly no Jews believe in such an intolerant, violent doctrine.

Barack Obama appears to have been so scarred from the unfortunate loss of his Muslim father at a young age that he can’t recognize, nor admit, the real and present danger of the intolerant, violent Jihadist ideology and its deep roots in the core of Islam. It seems to be almost an infantile mantra: Islam not bad… Islam not bad… Islam not bad!

The problem is that as the leader of the free world, President Obama needs to be leading the fight against Islamic terrorism from ISIS to Iran, but not only is he not doing it adequately, but he also gets in the way of those who are willing to lead. Rather than face the painful demons in his past, it’s perhaps easier for him to point to the Crusaders of 700 years ago or to reference violent incidents in the Book of Deuteronomy (which he has done) to prove his specious point that Islam is no more dangerous than all the others. To face the “in your face” challenges of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iran, Hamas, Taliban, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, and all the others, is much more difficult, and perhaps for Barack Hussein Obama, emotionally unbearable.


Saturday, February 7th, 2015


Israeli politicians urge Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday to cancel his upcoming speech to the US Congress, repeating a message that they have delivered in the past few weeks on a number of occasions: the speech will negatively impact on US-Israeli relations.

Netanyahu was invited by Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) to address a special joint session of Congress and is expected to advocate for a different policy on Iran that US President Barack Obama has pursued.

The Prime Minister has been criticized for accepting the invitation to speak and breaching the protocol of the White House extending invitations to foreign leaders. Netanyahu has also been accused of using the appearance to influence the Israeli electorate because the speech is scheduled just two weeks before the Israeli elections on March 17.

US Vice President Joe Biden said he would not attend Netanyahu’s speech on March 3 because he would be traveling abroad.

Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog, who was at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, said many European and American leaders were angry that Netanyahu was “inciting the debate” on the Iranian nuclear issue for political reasons, turning the issue into a point of friction with Obama.

“The time has come when Bibi [Netanyahu] must announce that he is canceling his speech before Congress,” Herzog said.

“This speech as part of an election campaign endangers the security of the citizens of Israel and the special relations it has with the US.”

“With all due respect to his campaign, Bibi must lead as a patriot of Israel and not throw Israel’s security under the bus of the election,” he added.

Strategic Affairs Minister Minister Yuval Steinitz slammed Herzog for bringing the Israeli election campaign into the Munich Security Conference.

Steinitz said what Herzog crossed a red line and harmed the accepted practice of not criticizing the government outside of Israel.

Steinitz, who was also in Munich as the head of Israel’s delegation to the conference, said Netanyahu was obligated to do everything he could to prevent the world powers from reaching a bad deal with Iran.

Other political leaders also criticized Netanyahu’s decision to accept Boehner’s invitation.

Zionist Union candidate and former justice minister Tzipi Livni said in Tel Aviv on Saturday, that Biden’s absence at Netanyahu’s upcoming speech shows the extent to which the Prime Minister thinks the speech will benefit him personally instead of thinking of the good of the state.

At the same event where Livni spoke, Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich said Netanyahu was “sticking his finger” in US President Barack Obama’s eye in deciding to speak before Congress.

“I call on Netanyahu to cancel the speech. . . If he is worried that he will be mocked for doing so, I undertake that if he does the right thing, we will not take part in such a reaction in our political campaign.”

Meretz chief Zehava Gal-On also also called on Netanyahu to cancel his planned Washington visit.

Speaking at a cultural event in Kfar Saba on Saturday, Gal-On said that Netanyahu’s speech not only harms US-Israeli relations, it also hinders Israel’s ability to influence the Iranian nuclear issue.

“The Prime Minister who speaks from morning until night about the Iranian threat, is prepared to sacrifice Israel’s position in exchange for an election campaign photo-op,” she said.

Following Biden’s decision not to attend Netanyahu’s speech, Gal-On said she spoke with senior US officials who said that if the Prime Minister chose to defer his speech until after the Israeli election, the winning candidate would be invited to speak to Congress in a respectful manner without the accompanying diplomatic storm and boycotts.

Yesh Atid leader and former finance minister Yair Lapid, who was speaking in Kiryat Bialik, also said Netanyahu’s visit was causing serious damage to Israel’s strategic relations with the US and all in the name of a political act meant to garner a few votes in the election.


Friday, February 6th, 2015

By Edwin Kindzeka Moki and Michelle Faul The Associated Press

YAOUNDE, Cameroon Hundreds of Boko Haram fighters took revenge Thursday on villagers in Cameroon, shooting and burning scores to death and razing mosques and churches after warning Nigeria’s neighbors not to join the battle against the Islamic insurgent group.

France’s President warned that the world was not doing enough to end the wanton killings by the militants, who have waged a campaign of terror in a broad swath of northeastern Nigeria, where they declared an Islamic caliphate in August.

At least 91 villagers were killed and more than 500 were wounded in the northern Cameroon town of Fotokol on the border with Nigeria, where fighting began Wednesday and continued Thursday, Cameroonian officials said.

While Boko Haram has previously carried out attacks in Cameroon, the latest bloodshed came after the group warned Nigeria’s neighbors against uniting against it. Cameroon and Chad joined Nigeria in launching an air and ground offensive against the insurgents on at least two fronts this week.

Military involvement by other African nations in the fight against the insurgents stands to grow even bigger. African Union officials met Thursday to finalize plans for a multinational force to attack Boko Haram, though its deployment could be delayed by funding issues.

Last week, African leaders authorized a 7,500-strong force to fight the Islamic extremists, including pledges of a battalion each from Nigeria and its four neighbors, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin.

“We consider Boko Haram to be a cancer, and if the international community does not focus its mind on this disease it will spread not only in Central Africa but other regions, all over the continent,” Cameroon’s information minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, said at the start of the three-day meeting in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital.

Officials from the United States, France, Russia, Britain and the European Union were attending, along with senior officials from the U.N. peacekeeping department.

Earlier, Bakary told The Associated Press that some 800 Boko Haram fighters were rampaging through the frontier town of Fotokol, located in a thin northern panhandle of the West African nation.

They have “burned churches, mosques and villages and slaughtered youth who resisted joining them,” he said, adding that the insurgents also stole livestock and food. Schools were also being targeted by the insurgents, whose nickname means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language.

Hundreds of Boko Haram fighters were killed Wednesday, according to Cameroon’s defense minister, Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o, who said 13 Chadian and six Cameroonian troops were killed in the fighting. There was no way to independently confirm the account. At least 91 civilians were killed, Ngo’o said, adding that most of the 500 wounded were trapped and could not be taken to hospitals.

The Boko Haram fighters are believed to have crossed into Cameroon from nearby Gamboru, a Nigerian border town that had been an extremist stronghold since November. Gamboru was retaken earlier this week and the fighters driven out amid Chadian and Nigerian airstrikes supported by Chadian ground troops.

French jets also were flying over the area to provide intelligence, French defense officials in Paris said.

President François Hollande said France was supporting the operation with logistics, including providing fuel and sometimes munitions, though he stopped short of saying whether France would participate in military action. France has a big air base in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, which will lead the multinational force. N’Djamena lies on the eastern edge of Cameroon’s panhandle, near the conflict zone.

The French leader told a Paris news conference that France supports African forces fighting what he called a “terrorist sect” that has carried out “horrible massacres.”

He issued a stern call to other world powers, saying: “France can’t resolve all the conflicts in the world.”

“Do your work. Don’t give lectures. Take action.”


Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Dr. Eliyahu Safran (Arutz Sheva News)

Judaism teaches that a person may not contemplate or desire that which he may not attain or that which is forbidden to attain.

No one understands better than the Jew that God is the foundation not only for behavior – how we are to act in the world – but also for morality – how we are to be in the world. And, while the two, action and being, are intimately entwined it is the being, the morality of how God would have us live our lives that takes precedence.

How can I be so certain in my assignment of precedence in this matter? Because our Jewish view is that our actions have meaning. We are not accidental creatures in an accidental world, searching for some artificial construct that we can call “meaning”. We are created in the image of the Divine, with the breath of the Divine within our souls. Because of this divinity, this intrinsic holiness, each and every thing that we do, from the most sublime to the most base, has the potential to be infused with that holiness. God is, therefore we are.

God instructs us as to what is appropriate and what is not. The choice of which to do, of how to act, is our own. God tells us how to behave; the “why” of our behavior, the morality, comes first because God comes first.

Even in God’s most powerful “to-do (and not-to-do) list”, the Ten Commandments, God makes clear the primacy of our morality.

Even the most “non-religious” person has a ready knowledge of these commandments. Indeed, the non-religious person will likely point to the list and see a universality to the list which, to him, actually suggests these behaviors are not God-driven but man-driven. Eight commandments are focused specifically on reasonable behavior that, in sum, leads to the communal good. Not to work on the Sabbath… to honor… not to murder, commit adultery, steal or provide false witness. Each a statement of behavior; what to do, what not to do.

However, the non-religious person is on decidedly weaker ground when we consider the first and last of the commandments. In these two commandments, something is very different. And it is precisely in how the first and last of the commandments differ from the other commandments that they establish why we are a moral people before we are an ethical people.

The first commandment is to believe in God, to know Him and to be cognizant of His everlasting presence. The last mitzvah forbids us from coveting, from being “envious of a neighbor’s house, wife, slave, maid, ox, donkey, or anything else that is a neighbor’s.”

These two dibrot, the first and last, are mitzvot relating not to action but to mind and thought. As such, they define how and why these laws are not merely societal laws but Jewish laws, moral laws. They also give lie to the observation – too often an accusation – that Jews are a legalistic people, concerned only with rules. On the contrary! Judaism is not simply a body of legalisms, nor is Torah a compilation of beliefs and opinions. Judaism is a unified organism of philosophical-theological truths and legal obligations. It is precisely for this reason that Rambam opened his Yad-Hachazakah with the Halakhic principle that “the basic principle of all basic principles and the pillar of all sciences is to realize that there is a First Being who brought every existing thing into being.”

God is. This is the foundation of our morality. But, not to covet, to not be jealous? Why does this law speak to our morality rather than our behavior? It would seem that jealousy is fundamentally human. I want! I want! And if my neighbor has it, I want it even more! To want is the most natural thing in the world. How can Torah forbid jealousy?

These two commandments, the first and the tenth, teach us that the body of Jewish law, is couched with the spirit and soul of Jewish belief and thought. A true Jew not only acts and behaves Jewishly but he also thinks Jewishly (morally) as well. He must be moral. It is forbidden to take something belonging to another but even more so, it is forbidden to desire it in one’s heart!

How does one not desire?

Torah is nothing if not practical. Even if desired, theft, kidnapping, and murder can be restrained. But desire? Desire is a flame in one’s heart, flaring unbidden and unrestrained. How does one not desire? Ironically, or insightfully, it is precisely this prohibition which most clearly characterizes the Jewish, Godly aspect of the Ten Commandments, and places morality before us as our primary posture in the world.

The Ktav V’Hakabalah explains that the Torah, which expects that we “love God with all our heart,” intends to have us use all of our thinking powers and capacities in the pursuit of God; good, decency, honesty. To love God with all our powers means to use our minds exclusively for that which God would approve and condone. To covet is to use our thoughts and emotions to obtain that which is not Godly, and therefore unattainable. In other words, Judaism teaches that a person may not contemplate or desire that which he may not attain or that which is forbidden to attain. Understood this way, it is clear that “not coveting” is a matter of training and discipline no different from not committing any other act. The Torah’s intention is to train the Jew that what is forbidden and prohibited is unattainable and therefore unthinkable. The same individual who can be trained not to murder, steal, or commit adultery can be trained not to covet.

Whatever is unattainable and is not yours, the Torah says, you cannot have. Therefore, don’t desire it, or even think about it.

Rabbi Soloveitchik zt”l taught that, “Coveting is an emotion, a feeling… one can be called upon to exclude an emotion in the same way one must abstain from an act which is considered unworthy.” He noted that every morning we recite three b’rachos of identity. God placed our souls into our bodies, determining for us our religion, our gender, and our social standing. In short, God determined our identity. We praise Him as the One “she’asa li kol tzarki”, who made everything required for me to realize my potential. In our blessings, we see ourselves in God’s image. If we look to God, we see ourselves as reflections of the divine, free of the desire for more.

* * *

When R’ Moshe Sofer of Pshvorsk, a disciple of the Magid of Mezritsch, died he left behind three pairs of Tefillin that he himself wrote. R’ Mendel of Kotzk sought to buy one set of these Tefillin for himself even though the asking price was astronomical. He gave his entire savings to a local hassid with the instruction that he buy and bring him one of the pair.

The hassid returned with the sacred Tefillin. While handing them to the Kotzker he confessed in passing, “Because of these Tefillin I transgressed the Torah’s prohibition of Lo Tachmod.” He lowered his eyes. “I just couldn’t control myself. I put them on.”

Without blinking an eye, R’ Mendel of Kotzk returned the Tefillin to the hassid. “Take them away. I no longer have any use for them. Tefillin that were the cause for one to stumble with Lo Tachmod, are of no use for me.”

Even the holy, if coveted, is reduced.

* * *

R’ Yechiel Michel of Zlatchov said that “not to covet” is more than merely a prohibition; it is also a promise, an outcome. One able to think in Godly terms, who identifies with God’s values and standards, will never covet. It is a matter of perspective – do you look at God or at yourself? To look primarily at oneself is to always want more, to covet. But to look at God and measure a life by His standards?

The command to not covet is a command to develop a spiritual mindset, to develop a way of viewing everything around and about oneself in Godly terms. If you can do that then it is not coveting rather than coveting that is the most human thing of all.


Monday, February 2nd, 2015

By Michael Ireland, Senior Reporter, ASSIST News

Incessant attacks from Boko Haram militants in north-eastern Nigeria have caused over a million people to flee their homes in terror, reports Barnabas Aid.

Often targeting predominantly Christian villages, residents are killed and houses are razed. Christians in northern Nigeria are also victims of repeated violence from ethnic Fulani Muslims who are responsible for killings, burning houses, and forcing Christians to flee.

Barnabas Aid says that on Sunday, January 25, the strategic Nigerian town of Maiduguri in Borno state was attacked. Earlier the same day, militants rampaged through Monguno town in the same state, burning houses to the ground. Earlier, on January 10, at least 19 people were killed in Nigeria when a 10-year-old girl was reported to have blown herself up in Maiduguri, also in Borno state. And the next day, four people were killed and over 40 injured, in attacks from two female suicide bombers in Potiskum, Yobe state, Nigeria.

The ministry says Christians living in the Cameroonian villages close to the Nigerian border document frequent attacks from Boko Haram militants who are spreading terror as they seize cattle, sheep, goats, and motorbikes; burn millet, cotton and peanut crops; and raze homes to the grounds.

It explained that Cameroon continues to receive tens of thousands of Nigerians fleeing the almost daily attacks in the north-eastern states. According to the International Organization for Migration, as of December 23, over a million Nigerians had been displaced as a result of Boko Haram attacks, with at least 912,000 internally displaced and the remainder spilling over into Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

According to the ministry, the numbers of displaced Nigerians will have increased in the five weeks since then, not least because of the huge attack on the Nigerian town of Baga on January 3 in which hundreds were killed and thousands forced to flee. An estimated 3,400 people from Baga fled to Chad. The total number of Nigerians newly uprooted in the ten days to 13 January is around 7,900.

But Barnabas Aid says Boko Haram is not the only threat to Nigerian Christians. Ethnic Fulani Muslims frequently attack villages where residents are mainly Christian, burning churches and houses, and killing the inhabitants.

Barnabas Fund is helping Christian victims of violence and is helping to support displaced Nigerian Christians including those who have fled to Cameroon, where the ministry has recently provided 1,400 families with millet to eat and mosquito nets, soap, bleach, buckets and mats (average cost per family (US$58).

In an online update, the ministry says: “In Nigeria’s Kaduna state, we are assisting 350 displaced Christian families, many of them small-scale farmers who have now lost their land. Unable to harvest their crops, they need food aid. Barnabas is providing food packages containing rice, corn, cooking oil, salt and stock cubes. Using mud, the families are building houses for themselves, and Barnabas is providing metal sheeting, wood and nails for the roofs.”

Nigerian Christian victims of violence who received emergency kits from Barnabas after earlier attacks were “full of praises to God for the gift items from their unseen Christian family.” One of the ministry’s local partner organizations in Nigeria said, “You have proven to us that the Body of Christ is one!”


Monday, February 2nd, 2015


Greece chose a new leader this week, the 40 year old Alexis Tsipras of the left-wing party Syriza. Tsipras lacks any government experience, but was able to form a coalition within 24 hours of the elections. Noteworthy, Tsipras refused a religious swearing-in ceremony for Prime Minister, as is customary in Greece.

Syriza received 36.3% of the vote. The Greek constitution grants a bonus of 50 Parliament seats to the victorious party, in order to create political stability. Thus, Syriza has 149 seats in Parliament, out of 300, and it needed a coalition partner to forge a majority. The day after the election the Independent Greeks, a right wing party that garnered 4.7% of the votes and 13 Parliament seats, joined Tsipras. The new government has a majority of 162 seats.

Syriza was formed several years ago by 14 small groups and political factions on the Left, and elected then 38 year old Alexis Tsipras as its President. Syriza had one goal: To put an end to the process of austerity and reforms, forced upon Greece by the Troika (the European Union, the Central European Bank and the International Monetary Fund), in return for granting it more than 300 billion Euros, to rescue the country from the worst economic crisis in its history.

The two governments in power during those years – the Socialist (“Pasok”) government of George Papandreou, and later the Conservative (“New Democracy”) government of Antonis Samaras – signed a memorandum with the lenders, that became a despised symbol of the suffering of the Greek people.

The Troika forced upon Greece economic steps such as improving the tax collection system, cutting salaries and pensions of public administrators, a reduction in the bloated public service and the privatization of government owned companies. Syriza, the main opposition party, fought vigorously against these demands and the Greek people decided in the recent elections to challenge the European Union (EU) by handing the government to Syriza. This might affect other European countries in economic crisis such as Spain and Portugal.

Syriza’s coalition partner, the right wing party Independent Greeks, formed in 2012, is led by Panos Kammenos. He served as a former deputy minister in the New Democracy government. The Left-Right coalition is based on a common agenda to reject and challenge the imposed austerity regime.

The EU, and especially Germany, is still weighing the best response to the Greek challenge. The EU has said that Greece has to live up to all its international commitments if it is to continue receiving European assistance. However, the EU leadership must accept the fact that the Greeks decided to elect a government which demands very significant changes to the aid package and especially to the conditions attached to it.

At the same time, Tsipras does not want and cannot afford a bitter dispute with the leaders of Europe and Germany in particular, and he will probably seek a compromise. The Greeks want to remain in the EU and in the Euro zone. Nevertheless Tsipras intends to pass in the near future several bills that will reflect his per-elections pledges.

The new government plans to raise the minimum wage, ease the terms for paying overdue debts to the tax authorities, and rehire public service employees who were let go during recent years. Tsipras also plans to establish an investigative commission to look into the circumstances surrounding the previous Greek governments’ adherence to the despised Memorandum with the Troika.

As to Greece’s relationship with Israel, there is ample cause for concern. Since 2010, Greek-Israeli cooperation has significantly improved during the tenure of both the Socialist and the Conservative governments of Greece. Nowadays, the two countries enjoy a close and intimate relationship in several areas including defense, with air force and navy joint maneuvers leading the way.

By contrast, Syriza has been very critical of Israel. The party is not made of one cloth, but many of its leaders are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. Some party leaders were involved in organizing anti-Israeli demonstrations in Athens during Operation Protective Edge last summer, and at least one of its leaders, Thodoris Dritsas, participated in one of the flotillas to Gaza.

The defense relationship may however benefit from the appointment of Panos Kamenos as Minister of Defense, who is leader of the coalition partner “Independent Greeks.” In his previous capacities Kamenos has expressed friendship towards Israel and favored close defense cooperation.

Tsipras only had one meeting with an Israeli leader, in August 2012, with then President Shimon Peres who was on an official visit to Greece. Tsipras had just been elected to Parliament and became the leader of the opposition. The meeting lasted more than an hour and was very cordial. Peres refrained from politics and discussed his vision of the role the young generation should play in today’s world. Tsipras listened tentatively, insisted on speaking Greek and expressed no criticism of Israel. The two mused about their age difference of more than 50 years.

Syriza always takes pain to stress that while it is critical of Israel, it is by no means anti-Semitic, and that it is a staunch critic of the Greek neo-Nazi party, Golden Dawn. Syriza leaders have regularly attended commemorative events for the Holocaust in Greece. Next week, Athens will observe the International Holocaust Day. The large scale event was postponed for several days due to the elections, and it is organized by a senior Syriza leader, Attica regional governor Rena Dourou, in cooperation with the Jewish community.

The new Greek government is unlikely to change its policy towards Israel in the near future. Its main challenge is to find a compromise with the EU in a manner which will satisfy the Greek public; a public that expects miracles from Tsipras and his team. If they succeed, they will be free to consider other foreign policy issues.


Sunday, February 1st, 2015

by David Singer (Arutz Sheva News)

There are some 60 States in the American-led coalition pledged to degrading and destroying Islamic State – but only 21 – regarded as “key members” were at the Conference in London on 22 January – which UK Foreign Minister Philip Hammond described in these terms:

“Today, 21 key members of the global coalition met in London to review and discuss our efforts to degrade and defeat ISIL not just through military force, but by addressing the underlying narrative of the organization, its financing, its flow of foreign fighters, and by reasserting our commitment to Iraq. In total, over 60 countries have signed up to the global coalition, showing the international will and commitment to combat this threat.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry was at pains to clarify why the other 39 States had not joined the talk-fest:

“And all the coalition partners are continuing to make vital contributions .., and we mean all 60. Whether it’s sheltering refugees, training, advising Iraqi troops on the front lines, or speaking out against Daesh’s [Islamic State – Ed] hateful, false ideology, we appreciate the contribution of every single member, each of whom has chosen one line of effort or another.

But we also recognize the need to, as effectively as possible, be able to coordinate all of these contributions. And that’s what the small group that came here today set out to do. The small group will continue to meet on a regular basis and continue, obviously, to consult with the full 60 members of the coalition, who will meet again as a full membership.”

The non-participation of the world’s remaining 133 States in the American-led coalition did not escape Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Abadi’s attention – as he wryly noted:

“Daesh is a terrorist organization. It knows no race, no religion, no region. It spares nobody, so everybody must be facing Daesh.”

Al-Abadi was therefore being more than a little cynical when he stated:

“that Iraq is not alone, the Iraqi people are not alone, but the entire world stands with Iraq.”

One can only ask – why then are these 133 reluctant States not members of the American-led coalition? Are they prepared to let the other 60 States do the heavy lifting for them whilst they just sit by and watch? Will they only be motivated to join the American led coalition when Islamic State comes knocking at their door?

Pointedly the Joint Press Availability with UK Foreign Secretary Hammond and Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi – issued by the US State Department following the London Conference – made no mention of any discussion having taken place at the Conference concerning Yemen’s dramatic cave-in last week – resulting in the resignation of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi after having being held captive following a concerted assault waged by Houthi rebels.

Yemen had been allowing the United States to wage counterterror drone strike operations targeting Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula from Yemen’s sovereign territory.

Membership of Al Qaeda and Islamic State was respectively claimed by the perpetrators of two horrific massacres in Paris at the offices of publisher Charlie Hebdo and a Kosher supermarket – resulting in the murder of seventeen people whilst putting France on a state of highest alert to counter any further possible terrorist attacks in their wake.

The events in Yemen represent a spectacular collapse of President Obama’s policy for similarly countering Islamic State in Iraq – by training supplying and using Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State on the ground whilst the coalition counters Islamic State from the air.

President Obama laid out this policy on 10 September 2014 – citing Yemen as an example of how that policy was working:

“Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL. And any time we take military action, there are risks involved –- especially to the servicemen and women who carry out these missions. But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years. And it is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year: to use force against anyone who threatens America’s core interests, but to mobilize partners wherever possible to address broader challenges to international order.”

Could Yemen’s fate herald the Iraqi Government’s possible collapse? The Kurds held out with US air strikes helping them, but they are a united fighting force.

Al-Abadi ominously told the London Conference:

“Another issue, which is being discussed today, is the fiscal problem for Iraq. You know oil prices have dropped to about 40 percent of their level last year. Iraqi economy and budget relies 85 percent on oil, and this has been disastrous for us…

… We don’t want to see a reverse of our military victory because of our budget and fiscal problems and we have been assured that every member of this coalition will stand with Iraq in its fight against Da’esh “

How long will it take Obama to understand that Islamic State can only be comprehensively defeated by military action undertaken on the ground by a properly equipped and authorised United Nations international force?


Sunday, February 1st, 2015

by Tova Dvorin (Arutz Sheva News)

‘We have proven that nobody is immune from our intention to foil attacks against us,’ Netanyahu warns.

“On Friday, the Defense Minister and I visited our soldiers who were wounded in the terrorist attack on the northern border,” Netanyahu said. “I was very impressed by their determination and their desire to rejoin their comrades at the front and defend our country.”

“The State of Israel is threatened on many fronts,” he continued. “Over the weekend we witnessed how terrorist elements operate beyond our southern border in Sinai and we have also seen Iran’s attempts to open another front against us on the Golan Heights, in addition to the front it is operating against us in southern Lebanon.”

“We have proven that nobody is immune from our intention to foil attacks against us,” he concluded. “Thus we have acted and thus we will continue to act.”

Wednesday’s antitank missile attack on the IDF killed Major Yochai Kalangel and Staff Sgt. Dor Nini and wounded seven others.

An IAF airstrike in the Syrian Golan Heights killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guards general last Sunday, as well as Hezbollah leader Jihad Mughniyeh.


Thursday, January 29th, 2015

by Ben Ariel (Arutz Sheva News)

At least 26 people were killed on Thursday in a series of terrorist attacks targeting army and police positions in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the website of the Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

The attacks included car bombs and mortar rounds, and civilians were among those killed, according to the report.

36 people were injured in the attacks in the town of El-Arish, in North Sinai, where the army is battling an Islamist insurgency that has spiked since the 2013 ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The terrorists fired mortar rounds and used car bombs in the attacks that targeted the headquarters of the North Sinai security directorate in El-Arish, a nearby army base, a hotel and several security checkpoints.

Walls of surrounding buildings were cracked and windows were smashed, as troops combed the area in search of suspects, according to Al-Ahram.

The El-Arish office of the newspaper, located near the targeted police building, was slightly damaged in the attack.

The military said in a statement that the violence came in response to the “successful” security campaign against terrorists in the restive province.

The Egyptian army has been waging war against jihadists in the restive Sinai, and has killed hundreds of terrorists.

The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis have declared responsibility for most of the attacks in the area. Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi’s ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai.

The army imposed a curfew on the region on October 25, following two deadly attacks in El-Arish, which killed dozens of soldiers and were claimed by Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis.

Following the attack, the government decided to create a buffer zone along the border with Gaza, explaining the move was necessary because Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal attacks in El-Arish through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai


Thursday, January 29th, 2015

by Moshe Cohen (Arutz Sheva News)

Speaking at a memorial service for late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Netanyahu said that “Iran is the party that is arming, funding, and organizing the terror groups that operate on our border, in the north and the south.”

“This is the same Iran that is attempting to wrest a pacifist agreement on its nuclear program from the West,” Netanyahu noted.

“They want an agreement that will allow them to continue to develop nuclear weapons. We sharply oppose this agreement. We will continue to defend ourselves from all threats, near and far.”

Nuclear negotiators of Iran and the P5+1 countries – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US, plus Germany – wrapped up their second round of talks concerning Tehran’s nuclear program last week. They agreed to resume their discussions next month.

The talks, chaired by EU official Helga Schmid, are being held with the hope of achieving further progress towards a long-term comprehensive solution on the nuclear issue.

Under an interim deal, Iran’s stock of fissile material has been diluted from 20 percent enriched uranium to five percent in exchange for limited sanctions relief.

Speaking Thursday, Netanyahu urged world leaders to oppose a deal with Iran that allowed Tehran to continue its uranium enrichment program.

“We must realize that the world is reaching one of the most crucial moments in history,” he said. “The question is whether the world signs a bad deal with Iran and turns its back on its responsibility, or whether it presents a united front to hold back the fanaticism of Islamic radicalism before it is too late.”

“We must not have any doubts as to the dangers, and there is no doubt as to what must be done to prevent them from becoming reality. This is how we have acted in the past, and we will continue to do so.”

Two IDF soldiers, Major Yochai Kalangel and Sgt. Dor Nini, were killed Wednesday when Hezbollah fired anti-tank missiles at two IDF vehicles in the Har Dov area.

“Those who committed these acts will pay the full price for their actions,” Netanyahu said. “For a long time Iran has been using Hezbollah to establish a terror front against us on the Golan. We are aggressively acting to prevent this.

“The government of Lebanon and the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria are responsible for attacks on Israel that emerge from their territory,” he added.

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