JerusalemHere is the Shira Chadasha Boys Choir with Yerushalayim (Jerusalem).
Let's go to the videotape.
Shabbat Shalom everyone.
But there is danger in thinking that the removal of these settlements would bring about a liberal, enlightened Middle East. The danger is analytical: If you don’t understand what ails the Middle East, how can you possibly fix it? It is also dangerous to scapegoat Israel for problems it didn’t cause, in the same way that it has historically been quite dangerous to blame the Jewish people for problems they didn’t cause. Brzezinski’s native Poland provides lessons in this regard.That's true. The problem is that Goldberg thinks that we should expel 500,000 Jews from their homes anyway, because it would put us on what he sees as a 'higher' moral plane.
Before I go on, the usual caveats: The settlement project -- especially those settlements far from Jerusalem that have been planted in the middle of thickly populated Palestinian areas -- is a strategic and moral disaster for Israel. The settlements should be dismantled. They threaten Israel’s standing in the world; they threaten to undermine the very nature and purpose of Israel. And so on. I’ve written before about the threat that settlements pose, at great length.What Goldberg misses is that not only won't dismantling the 'settlements' bring about a 'liberal enlightened Middle East.' Dismantling the 'settlements' will also do nothing for Israel's standing in the world. You see, the world only likes Jews when we're on the verge of being exterminated. The rest of the time, they consider us fair game.
Thursday’s Kerry, at least the one on display alongside Netanyahu, was completely different. Nary a word about the settlements, not a word about a third intifada, not a hint of his “I’ve got news for you” hectoring.
On Thursday it was smiles, “my friend, Bibi,” and a deep understanding of Israel’s security concerns.
If the television interview left the impression of a secretary of state a bit cavalier and dismissive about Israel’s security concerns, Thursday’s statement provided the antidote.
“I understand the challenge of security that Israel faces,” he said, after recalling a visit he took to Kiryat Shmona in 1986 where he saw Israeli children hiding from rockets from Lebanon, and another visit he took years later to Sderot where he saw people “taking cover from Gaza.”
What happened? What happened was a bad month in USIsraeli relations – a month where everybody, including Iran, saw fundamental tactical differences between the US and Israel.
What happened was, at Washington’s urging, the signing of an interim accord on Iran that the Israeli government considers a danger to Israel’s security.
A senior US administration official who briefed reporters Thursday said that in the US view, the Iranian deal has not impacted on the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process. Iran, he said, was a separate discussion.
This, however, seems to be wishful thinking. The two issues – the Iran deal and the Palestinian negotiations – may not be linked in Washington’s view, but they are linked in Jerusalem’s.
Not linked in the sense that if you get something on the Iranian front, you can give something more to the Palestinians, but rather that Israel watched carefully, and with grave concern, what happened in Geneva, and drew the conclusions.
Despite the efforts of Kerry and Netanyahu to paper over difference at their joint appearance on Thursday, there was deep, deep disappointment in Israel over how the Obama administration, and Kerry, handled the Iranian dossier.
And here is where there is linkage with the Palestinian issue, and it also explains Kerry’s underlining the security issue in his statement Thursday.
First of all, the agreement Kerry is pushing with the Palestinians will necessitate Israel taking calculated security risks.
But with Iran suddenly “off the ropes,” emboldened and enjoying newfound international legitimacy as a result of the recent accord in Geneva, Israel is likely to be less willing – not more willing – to take those security risks.
Secondly, any possible future agreement with the Palestinians would undoubtedly necessitate ironclad security guarantees from the US. An Israeli willingness to place its security in the hands of American guarantees has decreased – not increased – as a result of Washington’s handling of the Iranian file.
As a result, Kerry comes to Jerusalem and – unlike the impression he left after his television interview last month – places a huge emphasis on Israel’s security.What could go wrong?
American mediation is moving significantly toward Israel's demands, according to a diplomatic source who was involved in the meetings between the two on Thursday. The source told the Ma'ariv daily that the US accepts Israel's stance on a long-term presence in the Jordan Valley as well as the need for an Israeli military presence there. The source added that the outline presented by Kerry and security advisor John Allen "gives good responses to Israeli demands and comes very toward Israel."Hmmm.
In response to the ongoing public criticism of the Geneva agreement, the P5+1 have expressed understanding of the skepticism in Israel and other Middle East states about Iran’s sincerity and its intention to honor its commitments under the agreement. They contend, however, that it is valuable as a partial interim agreement intended to create a better atmosphere for important discussions on a permanent settlement with Iran on the issue of its nuclear activity.All of this is really nothing new. In an interview with Yedioth Aharonoth, Dr. Gary Samore, the recently retired White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction, says that President Obama talked Israel out of striking Iran during the 2012 election campaign.
It is difficult, therefore, to understand the outbursts of joy and the affection shown toward the Iranians by the P5+1 leaders after the agreement was signed. It is hard to believe that the P5+1 representatives did not realize that this sends a message that the agreement has led to a dramatic change toward Iran. Evidenced by the conduct of the P5+1 states – even if this was not their intention – Iran is now presented as a country increasingly integrated into the family of nations and as an element that will help resolve the crisis, more than as the country responsible for the crisis in the first place. The strategic significance of this image is that Iran is increasingly distanced from its status as a radical, isolated state that under certain circumstances constitutes a legitimate object of military action.
Since the signing of the agreement, the P5+1 leaders, especially President Obama, have made numerous statements that challenge the very idea of a military option against Iran as a realistic option. Furthermore, in almost every speech, Obama has taken the trouble to criticize harshly, albeit implicitly, Prime Minister Netanyahu, who despite his denials has been portrayed as preaching the value of the military option.
It thus appears that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s repeated statements that Israel does not consider itself bound by the agreement with Iran and his harsh criticism of the accord have raised concerns among the P5+1 states about a possible Israeli military strike against Iran during the next six months. Such an attack, they correctly fear, would cause the collapse of the agreement in which they invested considerable efforts.
Perhaps it is for this reason that the P5+1 leaders seem to be making intensivking e efforts to delegitimize the military option. At this stage their effort is presumably focused on preventing an Israeli military strike until the current agreement expires. President Obama has been the most explicit on this issue.
I think the interests are very similar, but there are questions of sovereignty, questions of respect and dignity which are obviously significant to the Palestinians, and for the Israelis very serious questions of security and also of longer-term issues of how we end this conflict once and for all.Translation: The 'Palestinians' won't compromise because to do so would injure their Muslim 'respect and dignity' (yes, the same reason that there are so many 'honor killings' among Muslims). And by the way, they also refuse to give an end-of-conflict assurance even if they get all their other purported demands.
The ['Palestinian'] official, who spoke on condition of anonymity and declined to elaborate on the proposals, said Kerry presented them to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas after discussing them separately with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.I would not hold my breath waiting for the Obama administration to conclude that it's the 'Palestinians' who are preventing an agreement. But a few more indicators like this one could push some members of Congress to start speaking out.
"The Palestinian side rejected them because they would only lead to prolonging and maintaining the occupation," the official said, referring to Israel's hold on the West Bank, among territories where Palestinians seek statehood.
One of the main obstacles in the talks up until now is believed to be the issue of whether Israel will retain a security presence along the Jordan River after any agreement.
Kerry said that retired US general John Allen, who he described as one of the best military minds in the US, has been charged by US President Barack Obama with analyzing the security aspects of any future agreement and "ensuring the security arrangement that we might contemplate in the context of this process will provide for greater security for Israel."
Yadlin, formally head of Military Intelligence, and Avner Golov, a senior INSS researcher, published, together, a systematic overview of Iran’s military capabilities and assessed the likely Iranian strategic calculations when choosing a response.
They concluded that the nightmare scenarios of regional full-scale war is exaggerated and “serves Iran as an excellent deterrence mechanism, since it weakens the credibility of the military option and decreases the chances of the Iranian regime agreeing to a diplomatic solution.”
They said that “the option of an attack on Iran, as well as the threat of it, is an important and central mechanism in the service of diplomacy.”Read the whole thing. It's detailed and fascinating.
To solve the conflict, Israel must immediately freeze Jewish building in the West Bank outside the settlement blocs, and pledge to release all Palestinian prisoners at the end of the negotiations, Diskin said at the 10th anniversary event hosted by the Geneva Initiative.
“The implications of the absence of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is more existential than the Iranian nuclear issue,” Diskin told an audience at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.A few comments:
Sources close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu slammed Diskin and his comments, saying that “anyone who thinks that the Palestinian threat is greater than the threat of a nuclear bomb in the hands of Iran, which calls for the destruction of the Sate of Israel is divorced from reality and lacking any strategic vision.”
Netanyahu will be influenced by neither “recycled statements, nor the righteous preaching that flows from the personal frustration of someone who wanted to be appointed the head of the Mossad, but did not get the job,” the sources said.Very nice but the international community - correctly - sees Netanyahu as spineless and pliable and as long as that continues to be the case, he and we will be under pressure.
Tom Nisani, a political science student, used the term "war zone" to describe the campus and told Arutz Sheva that the situation has become an “impossible” one: “Since the academic year began,” he said, “we have been witnessing repeated attacks near the dormitories. It can be harassment of the girls or worse – the throwing of firebombs into the university grounds. Only last week, a woman was injured here as she drove on the university's perimeter road. Her car is simply full of holes.”
The throwers of rocks and firebombs come from Issawiya, Nisani confirmed. “Just two weeks ago, they arrested a terror cell there, which had attacked campus buildings and cars. I regret to say that even the Hadassah Hospital, which serves Arabs, is being targeted with rocks. We are holding evening patrols because of the phenomenon of harassment, but for now, my recommendation is that people avoid bringing their cars to the campus, because they will either be broken into, or attacked with rocks.”
The Arabs of Issawiya have become fearless, said Nisani. “Every once in a while, a few youths come out with boulders and rocks, or they break into cars in broad daylight. They molest girls, stopping their cars next to them and honking their horns. The girls do not feel safe to walk here in the evening. The university invests in security – there are cameras and the police are involved. But we think there needs to be tougher enforcement, and an uncompromising war.
“At the same time, we are conducting patrols with walkie-talkies in the evenings, and we even have some Arab volunteers, who understand that things cannot go on like this.”From 1949-67, Hebrew University's Mount Scopus campus was an Israeli enclave across the 'green line.'
UAL Ta'al MKs Ahmed Tibi, Ibrahim Sarsour, Masoud Gnaim and Taleb Abu Arar, a Beduin who lives in the Negev, called the plan "discriminatory and [a] violation of international law," quoting UN and Amnesty International officials condemning it, and asked for Kerry's "immediate intervention to halt the proposed plan…designed to expel thousands of Palestinian citizens in Israel from their existing homes."
The Prawer-Begin bill is a five-year economic development initiative seeking to regulate Beduin settlement in the South. The Beduins in question are Israeli citizens, many of which serve in the IDF. The plan aims for a compromised solution for tens of thousands of Beduins currently scattered in unrecognized villages throughout the Negev, legalizing 63 percent of claimed land.
Beduin and their supporters oppose the bill because they say the legislation would result in up to 40,000 Beduins losing their land.
Opponents on the Right criticize the bill as being too generous, saying that the state is giving away land for free, land that the Beduin could not prove to be theirs in court.
"Since developing this plan in 2009, Israel has destroyed more than 200 homes belonging to Palestinians in the Negev. Simply put, this plan constitutes ethnic cleansing. We seek your urgent attention in this matter," the UAL-Ta'al MKs wrote to Kerry.
Also Thursday, Kalfa wrote a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein demanding that Knesset Interior Committee meetings and all votes on the bill be frozen until the government agrees to more transparency.
Kalfa said he uncovered an agreement between Doron Almog, director of the Directorate for Economic and Community Development of the Negev Beduin in the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Housing Ministry, which is controlled by the Bayit Yehudi, from July 2013 that was not reported by Almog to the Knesset Interior Committee.And were the Israeli government - in compliance with demands from the 'Palestinians' and Kerry - to remove Jews from land they purchased from the Israeli government in Judea and Samaria, that would be... ethic cleansing?
It’s raining, it’s pouring – in Israel!
Finally! In my 30+ years in Israel, I do not recall such a long dry spell from after Shmini Atzeret.
What’s today? Yes, it’s the last day of Chanukah 5774. But what else is it? It’s December 5th, the day that our fellow Jews start saying Vetain Tal Umatar Livrachah in Chutz La’Aretz.
Perhaps the Ribbono Shel Olam is telling us that if we behave like Galus Yidden vis-à-vis who is going to save your neck tomorrow or the next day, then we’ll be treated like Golus yidden for the most essential material resource we require.
אֶרֶץ אֲשֶׁר ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ דֹּרֵשׁ אֹתָהּ תָּמִיד עֵינֵי ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ בָּהּ מֵרֵשִׁית הַשָּׁנָה וְעַד אַחֲרִית שָׁנָה (דברים פרק יא פסוק 12).
Just a thought.Hmmm.
A previously unknown group, Ahrar al-Sunna Baalbek brigade, claimed responsibility for the attack in a message on Twitter. The group's name suggested it had Lebanese Sunni Muslim links.
Al-Laqqis was on his way home when he was killed, the official Hezbollah television station Al-Manar said. It gave no detail of the operation but said "the accusation is directed at the enemy, Israel.”
Hezbollah described Laqqis, who will be buried in the Bekaa Valley town of Baalbek later in the day, as "one of the leaders of the Islamic resistance" against Israel who had been frequently targeted by the Jewish state.
He had been with Hezbollah since its first days in the 1980s, when it was set up with Iranian support to fight Israeli troops occupying south Lebanon, and his son was killed in the 2006 war, Hezbollah said in a statement.
"The Israeli enemy tried to get to our martyr brother several times, in more than one location, but these attempts failed until this repugnant assassination," it said.
Israel would "bear full responsibility and all the consequences for this heinous crime", it said.
But Israel denied involvement. "This has strictly nothing to do with Israel," foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.
"Hezbollah has made a fool of itself in the past with these automatic and groundless accusations against Israel ... If they are looking for explanations as to what is happening to them, they should examine their own actions."Hezbullah does indeed have its own set of enemies in Lebanon. But to admit that would mean admitting to failing to subjugate the Lebanese people and would deprive them of blaming the enemy everyone loves to hate.
Commander of the Navy’s Fourth Naval Zone, Admiral Rezayee said, “The previous flotillas of warships were sent to the Mediterranean Sea and passed the Suez Channel and even sailed through the Pacific Ocean and the China Sea. Now we intend to enter the Atlantic Ocean and this will be materialized after dispatch of the next flotillas of warships.”
Rezayee said the warships are sent to international waters for a three-month stretch, and this would be Iran’s 29th flotilla, which would include two logistic and combat warships, as well as one subsurface vessel.
The statement comes a week after defense magazine Jane’s unveiled satellite photography of Iran’s new Fateh-class submarine, the largest Iran has ever built, which it launched into the Persian Gulf. Iran is also building a second at the Caspian port of Bandar Anzali. Jane’s said that at about 48 meters, the Fateh-class is bigger than the largest subs built by North Korea, which is believed to have helped Iran produce its 29-meter Ghadir midget subs. The one being built at Bandar Anzali will also be the first submarine launched in the Caspian.
What could go wrong?Last month, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said that Iran plans to dispatch its next flotilla of warships to the high seas in early 2014 to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirate attacks, FARS reported.
"The results of the analyses allow us to conclude that the death was not the result of poisoning," the source told Reuters, quoting from conclusions of a report by French forensic experts handed over to Arafat's widow Suha.
Swiss forensic experts said last month that results from their tests of samples taken from Arafat's body were consistent with polonium poisoning but were not absolute proof of the cause of death.
Arafat died in a French hospital in November 2004, four weeks after falling ill after a meal, suffering from vomiting and stomach pains.
The official cause of death was a massive stroke, but French doctors said at the time they were unable to determine the origin of his illness. No autopsy was carried out.
A lawyer for Suha Arafat said her legal team would do a counter-expertise and was confident it would show that the French findings would in fact support the Swiss conclusions.
"We have no doubt that the most comprehensive and thorough report that examined all aspects of this case remains the Swiss report," Saad Djebbar told Reuters.
The French report is not due to be published.
A radiation scientist who examined the Swiss and the French reports for Suha Arafat said both studies had found similar levels of Polonium 210 in Arafat's body but differed in their explanations of how it got there.
The scientist, who declined to be named, said the French report concluded that some of the radioactivity could be explained by the presence of radon gas in the tomb where Arafat was buried.That's what happens when you start looking for 'evidence' nine years after the fact.... But then, we all know how Arafat really died anyway.
In the past few months, increasing numbers of Dati Le'umi (Religious Zionist) women have come to the Kotel on Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the new Hebrew month, , to join Women For the Wall in showing, through sincere prayer, Tefillah, that we wish to preserve an opportunity for undisturbed traditional prayer at the Wall.
Why is this important? What is it that we hope to accomplish?
Let's start at the beginning. When King Solomon built the Holy Temple, Beit HaMikdash, thousands of years ago, he prayed that G-d should always hear our prayers when directed towards that site. The prophets said that the Kotel HaMa'aravi, the Western Wall, would never be destroyed, and whenever Jews were able to come to the Holy Land, we returned to pray there.
And once the Wall was liberated from Jordan in 1967, Israeli Jews immediately requested a place for traditional prayer at the Holy site.
The plaza is less than 50 years old. It is less than 12%, of less than one sixth of the length of the Wall. Robinson’s Arch is one of several other exposed sections. No one is told they can't pray at “the Wall” in whatever fashion they choose, they are merely asked to respect tradition in this small section. It's not about the “ultra-Orthodox;” it's what every one of us – from all around the world, with all of our different and wonderful customs, minhagim – expect to find when we, as Jewish women, go to pray.
The bottom line is this:
1. After 25 years, WOW is unable to bring 75 Israeli women to the Kotel.
2. The American students of HUC are trying to change the way that we pray in the Jewish State.
We support everyone's right to pray in their own fashion, including those who pray in accordance with millenia of Jewish tradition.
The Conservative and Reform movements have both endorsed Ezrat Yisrael, the area set up at Robinson's Arch, as a place for alternative prayers. WOW alone has put up untenable obstacles, including their demand to disrupt the traditional plaza even after they move.
WOW should move to Religious Minister Naftali Bennett's new Ezrat Yisrael platform without delay, without telling the government how prayers at our traditional plaza should be run. WOW cannot dictate the terms under which they will stop trying to change us, stop insulting our intelligence, our independence, and our Judaism.
And that is why your prayers with us, on Wednesday, the second day of Rosh Chodesh at 7:30 am at the Kotel, are so important. We hope you will join us!
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has warned that the PA will "take action" against Israel via international bodies if peace talks fail, ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
"The talks are going through great difficulties because of the obstacles created by Israel," Abbas told visiting Arab journalists late Monday at his headquarters in Ramallah.
"If we don't obtain our rights through negotiations, we have the right to go to international institutions," he said.
"The commitment to refrain from action at the UN ends after the nine-month period agreed for talks."
US-brokered peace talks, which resumed at the end of July after a three-year gap, have already begun to flounder as disputes continue over numerous core issues, such as PA demands for all Jews to be deported from any future "Palestinian State" in Judea and Samaria, as well as ongoing incitement against Israel.
The PA negotiating team has tendered its resignation in protest of Israeli construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, but Abbas has yet to accept it.What a brilliant idea it was to hold these ill-prepared talks. What could go wrong?
A police investigation into the incident has found that the Egged Route 32 bus was making its way to the stop when suddenly a crashing sound was heard as rocks shattered the windows of the bus.
Police officers who were called to the scene began searching the area for the rock throwers. The passengers were evacuated from the area. There were no reported injuries.
Just last week, two-year-old Avigail Ben-Tzion was seriously injured by Arab rock-throwers in Jerusalem.
Arab terrorists hurled rocks at the car she was travelling in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood in southern Jerusalem. The incident was just the latest in a string of violent attacks on Jewish motorists by Arab extremists in Jerusalem.
Avigail was taken to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital and was released Sunday.The incident is mostly being ignored by mainstream media (Arutz Sheva - the source of this report - definitely does not qualify as mainstream). After all, we can't say anything that might hurt the 'peace process.'
The White House denied the claims late Monday. "There is no truth to this report," said Caitlin Hayden, spokesperson for the National Security Council.
Jimmy Carter was the last U.S. president to visit Iran, before the Islamic revolution in 1979 and the subsequent hostage crisis.Anyone else find that denial hard to believe?
Netanyahu's aides defended the premier's tough and defiant public criticism of the interim deal signed between the Islamic Republic and world powers freezing Tehran's nuclear program for six months in return for minor sanctions relief.
"There's a collapse of the sanctions against Iran, what are we to do? Send faxes to the White House?"
"Seventy-five years ago, before we had a state, the Jews tried to hold backroom talks with [then-US president Franklin D.] Roosevelt, and it did not really help the Jews of Europe," they added, according to Channel 2.
While Netanyahu himself did not respond to his predecessor's comments directly, his aides offered a harsh condemnation of Olmert's views.
"Not everyone has experience in continuous failure like Ehud Olmert does," they were quoted as saying. "Like his failure in running the country, in understanding the international state of things and in diplomacy."
Olmert "can talk to the Americans about the borders of Qalqilya in backrooms, but at the end of the day, in these kind of topics, you have to raise your voice," they added.They were too kind to Olmert. Way too kind.
68-year-old Palestinian-Canadian investor detained in Ramallah after calling for toppling Mahmoud Abbas.
— Khaled Abu Toameh (@KhaledAbuToameh) December 2, 2013
[Saudi Arabia's highest religious council, the Majlis al-Ifta’ al-A’ala] condemned what it said were "Israeli attempts to split the Al Aqsa Mosque" by implementing alternate prayer arrangements for Jewish and Muslim worshippers, as well as by establishing a fixed area for Jewish worship.
In an announcement issued on November 30th, the council alleged that "the occupation authorities [i.e. Israel] are trying to create a Jerusalem 2.0", and went on to claim that the Israeli government is trying to "complete the construction of a museum at the foot of the Al Aqsa Mosque". That latter allegation echoes claims by Palestinian Authority media that the Israeli government plans to build a large complex - complete with a "Jewish museum" - near the Mughrabi Gate.
Israel has not officially responded to the claims, according to Israel’s Channel 2 News, but similar claims have been made in the past by Muslim extremists to encourage riots and other violence against Israeli police and Jewish worshippers.
The council continued by alleging that the ultimate aim of the Israeli government was "to facilitate a breakthrough at the holy Al Aqsa Mosque and to defile it in an intensive way through the settlers [referring to Jewish worshippers - ed.], and by providing them with security".
It further warned that "the offensive activity against the holy Palestinian [sic] sites, and first and foremost the holy Al Aqsa Mosque, will turn the region into a ticking time bomb and trigger an imminent religious war", and declared that "the Al Aqsa Mosque, will all its corridors and expanses, and every part of it - both over and underground - is the absolute right of the Muslims alone, and the city of Jerusalem will remain Islamic and Arab".
The threat was likely a response to a bill, tabled by Israel's Religious Affairs Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, which would put an end to discriminatory practices on the Temple Mount and instate shared prayer arrangements similar to those in effect at the Cave of the Patriarchs (Me'arat Hamachpela) in Hevron.Again, although I would not ascend the Temple Mount myself because my rabbis don't allow it, a situation where only Muslims can pray on the Temple Mount, which is 'controlled by Jews,' is a bit absurd.
Under Morsi’s rule, the Egyptian authorities granted Egyptian citizenship to thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, including top Hamas officials.I'm fine with this so long as it's limited to 'Palestinians' who live in Gaza. You might recall that Jordan's King Abdullah revoked citizenship from 'Palestinians' living in Jordan in order to ensure that they don't 'give up' their 'right of return.' If Egypt behaves similarly, that would be troublesome. But in the context of the Egyptian government's dispute with the Muslim Brotherhood, I can't really see a problem with what they're doing now.
One of the Hamas leaders who received an Egyptian passport was Mahmoud Zahar, who was born to an Egyptian mother.
The Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported that the Egyptian authorities have taken effective measures to revoke the citizenship of Zahar and many other Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.
The paper quoted an Egyptian source as saying that the latest measure targeted Palestinians who are “affiliated with certain Palestinian political parties or those who are connected to outlawed groups in Egypt.”
The source pointed out that Egyptian law prohibits those who obtain Egyptian citizenship from engaging in political activities or membership in political parties in the first five years.
Palestinian sources claimed last year that the Egyptian authorizes had agreed to grant citizenship to more than 50,000 Palestinians who were born to Egyptian mothers.
The discreet complex atop Mt. Keren is a U.S. military installation, and the 100 U.S. service members who staff it are the only foreign troops stationed in Israel. Most are guards; a few are support. The technicians are recognizable by the protective suits they wear to shield them from the extraordinary amounts of radiation generated by the no less extraordinary apparatus the base is built around.
The small, rectangular-shaped portable radar peeking around a concrete blast wall is so advanced it can see over the horizon, and so sensitive it can spot a softball tossed in the air from 2,900 miles away. (Tehran is a mere 1,000 miles away to the northeast.) On Mt. Keren, the X-band radar is indeed pointed northeast, toward Iran, where it could detect a Shahab-3 missile launched toward Israel just seconds into its flight — and six to seven minutes earlier than Israel would know from its own radar, called Green Pine.
The extra time means a great deal. Six additional minutes increases by at least 60% the time Israeli officials would have to sound sirens that will send civilians scrambling into bomb shelters.
It also substantially increases the chances of launching interceptors to knock down the incoming missile before it reaches Israel, hiking the likelihood its wreckage or warhead falls in, say, the wastes of the Jordanian desert rather than Israel's heavily populated coastal plain. And should the interceptor miss, the extra time might allow for the launch of a second one.
All this is possible, however, only if U.S. officials choose to share the information, because only Americans have eyes on the radar. And if it's difficult to imagine a U.S. commander-in-chief choosing to withhold an early warning that could save civilian lives of a close ally, both sides recognize that if the Iranian missiles were launched in retaliation for an Israeli air strike, the onus might be on the Israeli government that set such events in motion. In any event, military officials and outside analysts say that uncertainty can only inhibit any Israeli impulse to "go it alone."I wrote many, many posts about the x-band radar when it was first installed. X-band was a parting gift from George W. Bush, and was installed in early 2009, shortly before Bush left office. The Americans did insist on controlling it, but they insisted on that in every other installation too (you may recall that in Turkey there was a dispute because the Turks object to information from their x-band radar being shared with Israel). But in mid-2009, the Americans did allow Israel to station at least one person in the control room. Here's what I wrote about it then, and I think it still applies.
Note that the Americans are running the show and that there's still only one Israeli being allowed in. I argued here that we are better off with the Americans running the show without us than we would be without the radar at all. I still believe that. If there's really an attack, God forbid, the Americans are unlikely to refuse to turn the radar on. They know that Iran would like nothing more than to have some 'high quality' American casualties.In 2011, x-band radar installations in Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia were linked.
On the other hand, with Hopenchange in power, one never knows for sure....