Monday, October 2, 2023

2 Very Ominous Events That Are Going To Happen This Week

You only practice for something if you think that there is a decent chance that it will actually happen.  This week, two "tests" will be conducted that sound rather ominous.  

The first of these "tests" will happen in Russia on Tuesday.  Vladimir Putin has ordered the very first "nationwide nuclear attack exercise" in the entire history of his country, and that is making headlines all over the globe...

Russia will stage its first nationwide nuclear attack exercise across 11 time zones in preparation for potential nuclear war.

It is scheduled to take place on October 3 and will see Vladimir Putin's regime present the West as a nuclear aggressor.

If Vladimir Putin was entirely convinced that there is zero chance that a nuclear war will happen, he would not have ordered these drills.

Obviously he believes that there is at least a remote possibility that the conflict in Ukraine could spark a nuclear war.

It is being reported that this exercise will assume "that martial law has been introduced in Russia" and that a nuclear attack by the western powers would destroy "up to 70% of Russian housing"... READ MORE

Israel's lawlessness, instability attracts Iranians' attention - analysis

The last ten months have seen increasing attention by Iran, its proxies, and their media on what they believe to be increasing instability within Israeli society.

This is a focus of frequent articles and analyses in places like Al-Mayadeen, which is considered pro-Iran, and also Iranian media linked to the IRGC.

The theme is generally one of glee in which they praise protests in Israel and believe this shows Israel is hopelessly divided. Now they have a new focus: lawlessness. 

An article on Iran’s Tasnim news site focused on the “continuation of insecurity in the Zionist regime: explosions and shootings again took victims.” The article focused on a series of incidents reported on Sunday including a shooting and bombing in which criminal gangs clashed with each other and with the police.

From Tehran’s perspective, this is not just a story of criminals clashing, for them this is about internal problems in Israeli society and the inability of law enforcement to deal with these problems.

Rash of crime brings up memories of 2021 violence

It is a reminder of the 2021 conflict between Israel and Hamas when there were clashes in Lod and other cities in Israel. The media at the time also focused on these clashes. Since that conflict, there have been increased attempts by Iran to “unify” various fronts against Israel. This has meant increasing tensions on the northern border and also in the West Bank. From Tehran’s perspective, increasing numerous small threats is important and can benefit Iran’s proxies and destabilize Israel. READ MORE

Gallant to meet US counterpart in Washington, after Netanyahu’s sit-down with Biden

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is slated to meet with his American counterpart, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, in Washington later this month, his office said in a statement Sunday.

The meeting signals an end to an apparent ban by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on minister visits to Washington until he’s invited to the White House.

The Israeli premier met two weeks ago with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, and not at the White House as Netanyahu had sought. But Biden opened their meeting by indicating he would invite Netanyahu to the White House in the near future.

Gallant has met with Austin twice already since entering the role in late December — in Israel and in Brussels. The pair have also held numerous phone calls over the past 10 months.

The Defense Ministry said Sunday that Gallant received an invitation from Austin to Washington. In the statement, the ministry said the official visit to the US was scheduled to take place later this month. READ MORE

IDF said to study security implications of possible Saudi normalization deal

The Israel Defense Forces have reportedly begun studying the range of ramifications for Israel on a military level should a normalization deal with Saudi Arabia be achieved.

The study will look at the possible consequences of the deal, including the options for partnerships and cooperation, along with risks involved for Israel’s security, the Walla news site reported Sunday.

The work is being done by a range of IDF branches, including intelligence, strategic planning, the Iran department, the Air Force and others. It will also look at the different kinds of nuclear programs that Saudi Arabia could set up.

The findings will be presented to Chief of Staff Herzi Levi and then to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, before being brought to the cabinet, the unsourced report said, noting there was currently no timeframe for the study.

The preparations come as US President Joe Biden’s administration is actively engaging Riyadh and Jerusalem to try to broker a normalization deal between the two countries. As part of the framework, Saudi Arabia is also asking the US for a major mutual defense pact and significant arms deals, as well as Israeli concessions to the Palestinians. READ MORE

Dr. Michal Yaari: A dramatic agreement with Saudi Arabia may be almost priceless

The White House announced that there already exists a basic framework for an agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel, which corresponds well with the publicity recently given to the progress of the talks towards an agreement.

The Saudi heir to the throne, Mohammed bin Salman, clarified that he will be willing to be flexible on the Palestinian issue, but the defense alliance with the Americans is important to him. Israel National News discussed the Saudi interests and the Israeli price involved in the agreement with Dr. Michal Yaari, a Saudi Arabia expert from the Open University and Ben Gurion University. READ MORE

Iranian President: Normalization with Israel is reactionary and regressive

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Sunday denounced any attempts by regional countries to normalize relations with Israel, calling such attempts "reactionary and regressive".

"Normalizing relations with the Zionist regime is a reactionary and regressive move by any government in the Islamic world," Raisi said during an international Islamic conference held in Tehran, as quoted by the AFP news agency.

Raisi further labelled any normalization attempt as the "foreigners' desire", while stating that "surrender and compromise" regarding Israel were not on the table.

"The only option for all the fighters in the occupied land and the Islamic world is to resist and stand against the enemies," he said, according to AFP, reiterating Iran's position that Jerusalem must be "liberated".

His comments come as Israel and Saudi Arabia are reportedly close to reaching an agreement on normalization. READ MORE

Israeli, Saudi officals fear US insistence on Palestinian issue can harm normalization

Israeli officials and even Saudi ones are reportedly frustrated with the American administration's insistence on giving the Palestinian issue so much weight in the talks to reach a tripartite agreement between Saudi Arabia, the US, and Israel. Israel Hayom reported on Monday, citing sources that are informed of the details, that the Biden administration's exaggerated obsession with the issue is impeding the process of normalizing ties and halting any breakthroughs.

One of the sources stated that disagreements regarding the central issues on the agenda, including the US-Saudi defense pact and the Saudi nuclear program, are not highly significant and can be overcome.

On the other hand, the source says the American emphasis on the Palestinian issue is so excessive that it can be the thing that collapses the entire process. Saudi officials criticized the US administration's insistence on the issue as well.

Over 50,000 participate in Priestly Blessing at Western Wall in Jerusalem

Tens of thousands participated in Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing) and in the Shacharit and Musaf prayers of Sukkot held this morning (Monday) at the Western Wall Plaza.

In keeping with tradition during the intermediate days of the festival, this year marks the 53rd year of Birkat Kohanim at the Western Wall, initiated by the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gafni OBMand organized for years by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation during the intermediate days of Passover and Sukkot. Hundreds of Kohanim (Jewish priests) bless the large congregation that streams to the Western Wall Plaza with the special priestly blessing from the Torah.

The event took place in the presence of Israel's Chief Rabbis, Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and Rabbi David Lau; Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites; Mayor of Jerusalem Moshe Lion, rabbis, ministers, public figures, hundreds of Kohanim, and thousands of worshippers. READ MORE

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Iran adding cruise missiles to frigate in bid to strengthen navy

Iran is seeking to put more cruise missiles on its Sabalan frigate, an aging ship that dates from the 1960s.

The Sabalan is one of three Alvand-class frigates that Iran owns. They were built back in the 1960s in the UK for Iran’s regime before the Islamic revolution.  In an “exclusive” statement to Iran’s Tasnim News, the navy in Iran says they intend to outfit the frigate with more firepower. It will have 12 cruise missiles installed on it. 

‘In a conversation with the defense reporter of Tasnim news agency, Admiral Shahram Irani, commander of the Navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, announced the increase in the Sabalan destroyer's sea cruise missiles,” the report says.

This is important for Iran’s relatively small navy. Iran doesn’t have very many large surface ships capable of performing blue-water naval operations far from base.

Instead, Iran relies on its IRGC navy to harass ships and conduct operations in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.  READ MORE

Iran can produce fissile material for nuclear bomb in 2 weeks - US says

Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapons program at this time, the United States assessed in a newly released report on countering weapons of mass destruction published on Friday.

The Defense Department report, titled 2023 Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, identified the Islamic Republic as a "persistent threat" and warned that it could build a nuclear weapon in two weeks.

"Iran not pursuing a nuclear weapons program at this time, but has the capacity to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear device in less than two weeks," the report noted.

In the report, the US criticized Iran for its noncompliance with obligations made under the Chemical Weapons Convention and voiced concerns that Tehran is pursuing "dual-use central nervous system-acting chemicals for offensive purposes."

The report also identified the Islamic Republic as a "regional threat" to the Middle East that must be addressed. READ MORE

Unveiling the stealthy intrusion: Iran's espionage in US policy

In the intricate world of global politics and security, the yearning for insights, foresight, and preparedness stands as an imperative pillar. The U.S. Intelligence Community, during the Biden Presidency in 2021, 2022, and 2023, undeniably predicted the looming influence and intelligence threat posed by Iran. The professionals meticulously and continually warned the White House and the esteemed intelligence committees of the House and Senate, reflecting a proactive approach toward national security.

Iran's Pervasive Threat: A Closer Look at the Reports

The reports from 2021 to 2023 present a chilling narrative of Iran's evolving capabilities, particularly in espionage. The growing expertise and readiness of Iran to engage in aggressive intelligence operations position it as a significant menace to the security of not just the U.S. but also its allied networks and data. Iran's opportunistic approach to infiltrations, showcased by recent incidents, highlights the nation's resolve to target countries with stronger capabilities, challenging the conventional notions of power dynamics. READ MORE

Syrian media reports: Israel attacks Iranian arms shipment west of Damascus

According to Syrian media, the Israeli Air Force has carried out an attack near the Al-Assad and Al-Dimas villages west of Damascus,

The reports claim that the attack was on an Iranian arms shipment.

Ben-Gvir shut out of security briefing

Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir was excluded once again today (Sunday) from a security consultation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Defense Minister Yoav Galant, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Shin Bet director Ronen Bar, generals, and more came to the discussion, but the Otzma Yehudit chairman was not invited, despite his position.

A source close to the Prime Minister claimed, according to the report on the Ynet website, that Ben-Gvir tends to make proposals that would embarrass Israel in the global community.

According to him, "He comes to meetings and constantly strives for targeted assassinations, a ban on bringing in workers from Gaza, and various closures on all kinds of villages and cities in the West Bank. He does not understand that with such a policy, the Prime Minister cannot fly anywhere - and certainly not be granted receptions around the world."

Saturday, September 30, 2023

How will the BRICS expansion affect Iran, the Middle East? - analysis

Iran and other countries are joining the BRICS group of countries in the wake of the fifteenth summit of BRICS which took place in South Africa in August.

For Iran, this matters because it is gambling that the group, made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, will shift the global balance of power. Iran has long believed a multi-polar world will emerge that will challenge the US-led world order that emerged in the 1990s. Iran sees BRICS as part of the new world order.  

The Iranian agenda can be seen in a recent long article at Fars News, a pro-regime outlet that tends to parrot the regime’s long-term strategy and agenda.

What do we know about the BRICS expansion?

During a recent meeting in South Africa, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa invited the leaders of 67 countries to the summit. BRICS also announced its expansion to include Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Membership for them begins in January 2024.  

It's impossible not to see that BRICS is now becoming more heavily tied to the Middle East. This matters because China is a key player and it wants to see more ties to the region. China also has used the SCO to reach out to the Middle East. Iran wants to be fully integrated into this new setup, positioning itself with China and Russia. READ MORE

Fearing religious takeover, activists see ‘secular awakening’ in Yom Kippur fray

For three years, the organizers of Yom Kippur street prayers at Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Square characterized the services as a moment in which both secular and religious people could unite around Judaism’s holiest day.

This year saw that thesis shattered, however, as the recent tradition — which started in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic moved prayers outdoors — descended into a shouting and shoving match over organizers’ insistence on placing a divider between the sexes, as required by Jewish Orthodox law, and a refusal by the municipality and secularist protesters to accommodate what they saw as gender-based discrimination in any way on public ground.

The scenes were unprecedented and are already being seen as a watershed moment in the fraught relationship between secularists and religious Jews in Israel, redrawing the borders of acceptable behavior on both sides of the divide. READ MORE

Israeli Left attempts to thwart normalization with Saudi Arabia

David Hersch is Chairman of SAIPAC, the South African Israel Public Affairs Committee. Former chairman of the South African Zionist Federation (Cape Council) as well as a former national vice-chairman of the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF). He is also former member of the South Jewish Board of Deputies (Cape Council). Retired businessman and broadcaster.

In response to Mordechai Kedar’s interview on "Israeli Left trying to torpedo normalization with Saudi Arabia."

The Israeli Left is a disgrace becoming more disgraceful and treasonous by the day with their only goal to undermine the Israeli government and Netanyahu, with no red lines to what they are prepared to do to achieve it The reality is they will harden the electorate against themselves, which would be the correct thing to happen.

Read Moti Kedar’s article to understand and see what the Israeli left has done, possibly via America, to undermine their own country and Netanyahu and note carefully the ridiculous, irresponsible and careless promises they made to Saudi Arabia. READ MORE

Sources: Saudi-Israeli deal will happen even without Palestinian Arabs

Saudi Arabia is determined to secure a military pact requiring the United States to defend the kingdom in return for opening ties with Israel and will not hold up a deal even if Israel does not offer major concessions to Palestinian Arabs, Reuters reported on Friday, citing three regional sources familiar with the talks.

A US source quoted in the report said a US-Saudi pact could look like treaties Washington has with Asian states or, if that would not win US Congress approval, it could be similar to a US agreement with Bahrain, where the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet is based. Such an agreement would not need congressional backing.

Washington could also sweeten any deal by designating Saudi Arabia a Major Non-NATO Ally, a status already given to Israel, the US source said.

While the deal is widely expected to include Israeli concessions towards the Palestinian Authority, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently said that the Palestinian Arab issue will be part of a normalization agreement, three sources told Reuters that the Palestinian Arab core demand for statehood would take a back seat. READ MORE

US official: There's framework in place for Israeli-Saudi deal but nothing is final yet

US National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Friday that a “basic framework” was in place for a potential deal to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, but cautioned that there is no final deal yet.

“All sides have hammered out, I think, a basic framework for what we might be able to drive at,” Kirby told reporters during a phone call, according to report in Al Arabiya.

He said the US was still careful about talking to the public about what the framework would look like and what each side would be expected to do.

“But as in any complex arrangement, as this will inevitably be, everybody’s going to have to do something, and everybody’s going to have to compromise on some things,” Kirby stated, adding that an agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel would be beneficial to both as well as US national security interests and “everybody else in the region.” READ MORE

Friday, September 29, 2023

How Iran gets ‘more bang for the buck’ in influence ops - analysis

Recent revelations in the US that Iranian Foreign Ministry “officials initiated a quiet effort to bolster Tehran’s image and positions on global security issues, particularly its nuclear program, by building ties with a network of influential overseas academics and researchers,” have caused controversy about how the Iran deal was sold to the public and policymakers, in an article at news site Semafor by Jay Solomon called “Inside Iran’s influence operation.”

The report builds on past revelations about great efforts that went into pushing the Iran deal back in 2014-2015. It was already known that Americans had been subjected to a huge campaign comprising of op-eds and articles designed to sway public support for a deal with Tehran, even as Iran held marches calling for “death” to America.

Tehran has become expert at getting more “bang for the buck” when it comes to its policies abroad, sending to focus on cultivating people who might be supportive – without always needing to handle those individuals directly. In essence, it gets others to run the play, and tries to invest in high-quality returns abroad, without the need for ham-handed policies, like directly funding an organization.

In the lead-up to the Iran deal, Tehran benefited from the US experiencing fatigue from an “endless war” in Iraq, as well as from Russian interests: Moscow wanted the US to stop investing in air defenses in Europe, and Iran got it to shift focus to a deal on its nuclear program.

The soft sell was that the US could reduce its forces in the Middle East if Iran was empowered, with the argument being that an empowered Iran would moderate, much as an empowered Putin would moderate once he got gas deals and the US stopped meddling in eastern Europe. The US had sunk “blood and treasure” into nation building in the Middle East, one narrative claimed, and had partnered too much with “Sunni” regimes; a correction was needed and Iran could guarantee America’s investment. To get to “yes,” Iran needed a deal on its nuclear program. READ MORE

US quietly admits that Iranian imaging satellite successfully reached orbit

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United States has quietly acknowledged that Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard successfully put an imaging satellite into orbit this week in a launch that resembled others previously criticized by Washington as helping Tehran’s ballistic missile program.

The US military has not responded to repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press since Iran announced the launch of the Noor-3 satellite on Wednesday, the latest successful launch by the Revolutionary Guard after Iran’s civilian space program faced a series of failed launches in recent years.

Early Friday, however, data published by the website listed a launch Wednesday by Iran that put the Noor-3 satellite into orbit. Information for the website is supplied by the 18th Space Defense Squadron of the US Space Force, the newest arm of the American military. READ MORE

Ministers pan court review of recusal law: ‘A discussion on nixing election results’

Coalition ministers slammed the High Court of Justice on Thursday as it held a hearing on legislation passed in March protecting the prime minister from being forced out of office, saying the justices were undermining the country’s democracy merely by agreeing to review the matter.

Justice Minister Yariv Levin argued in a statement that the hearing on petitions against the government’s recusal law “is de facto a discussion of whether to cancel the election results.” Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called the court session “illegitimate” while his fellow far-right Religious Zionism party member MK Simcha Rothman labeled the hearing “an extreme act.”

Anti-government protesters hit back, accusing Levin of mob-like behavior. Four people were arrested during a demonstration near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Jerusalem residence. READ MORE

Blinken: Israeli-Saudi normalization would be transformative

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke on Thursday about the growing prospects of normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, i24NEWS reported.

Blinken highlighted the profound impact that normalization could have on the region.

"First, it would be transformative if we can get there. You would go from a region where there have been, as you know better than anyone, decades of turmoil – go back to 1979, even earlier – and moving that to the prospects for a much more stable and integrated region, to have at the same time a rapprochement by the leading country in Islam with Israel, that would have reverberations well beyond the Middle East. So if it can be achieved, I think it would be transformative," he said.

At the same time, he acknowledged the complexities involved, stating, "Achieving it is not easy. There are really hard issues that are on the table. We’re working through them." READ MORE

Poll: Netanyahu, Gantz neck and neck, left has majority

The National Unity party has significantly weakened, losing three seats in one week, according to a new poll conducted by the "Lazar Studies" institute, headed by Dr. Menachem Lazar, and published by the Maariv newspaper today (Friday).

According to the poll, the National Unity and Likud parties are tied at 28 seats each, the first time they have been tied in these polls since May 24.

However, the center-left bloc has not weakened much, as the National Unity party's decline is offset by an increase in support for the Yesh Atid and Meretz parties. As a result, the coalition has strengthened by only one Knesset seat. According to the poll, if elections were held today, the current coalition would win 54 seats, while the opposition parties would win a combined 66 seats, a figure which includes all Arab parties.

When asked who is best qualified to be prime minister 44% of respondents said incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while 41% said National Unity party chairman Benny Gantz.

The poll found that the Yesh Atid party would win 17 seats, Shas 10 seats, United Torah Judaism seven, Yisrael Beytenu six, Religious Zionism party five, Hadash-Ta'al five, Ra'am five, Meretz five, and Otzma Yehudit four.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

The Oslo Accords turned 30. Here’s how they’ll shape a Saudi-Israeli peace deal

(JTA) — Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States seem intent on striking a trilateral deal that includes normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Saudi civil nuclear power monitored by the international community, and an American-Saudi defense treaty. So why is it taking so long? Well, a fourth party — the Palestinians — are not part of the negotiations, yet their well-being seems to loom over the negotiations.

I’ve been in the room when Israel negotiated high-stakes questions about its relationships and its future, as the secretary for the Israeli delegation of the Camp David negotiations from 1999 to 2001. So I understand the diplomatic legacies shaping the positions at play today — and the broad implications and deep freight of the issues reportedly on the table.

September can be celebrated as the “Middle East Peace Month,” marking 45 years since the 1978 Camp David Accords (on Sept. 17); 30 years since the first Oslo Accord (on Sept. 13); and three years since the Abraham Accords (on Sept. 15, 2020). These events — and others — create a legacy that is now shaping the coming major milestone: an Israeli-Saudi normalization agreement.

The Israeli-Arab peace and normalization process formally began in 1978 with the Israel-Egypt Camp David Accords that included a Framework for Peace in the Middle East. The next major contractual milestone was the Declaration of Principles (also known as “Oslo A”) which was signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993. The declaration provided for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as an interim self-government, as well as for further negotiations on the “outstanding issues” toward “final status.” Thereafter, dozens of agreements were signed among Israel, Jordan and the PLO, mostly until 1999, as well as with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco since 2020. 

In spite of episodes of conflict and bloodshed and long intermissions, these milestones add up to a 45-year continuum of Israeli-Arab peacemaking, which has been bound by an overarching logic and diplomatic principles that have been reiterated for decades. One example is UN Security Council Resolution 242 that establishes that Israel will withdraw from the whole (French version) or parts (English version) of the West Bank. It appears in all major agreements signed since 1978. READ MORE

Iran says it successfully launched a new satellite

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday "successfully" launched a new military imaging satellite, AFP reported, citing state media.

"The Nour-3 imaging satellite... was successfully placed in orbit 450 kilometers above earth," the IRNA news agency said, quoting Iran’s Telecommunications Minister Issa Zarepour.

He said it was carried by the three-stage Qassed satellite carrier, which also launched predecessors Nour-2 in 2022 and Nour-1 in 2020.

The launch was carried out by the aerospace wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the ideological arm of the country's armed forces.

IRGC commander Hossein Salami was quoted as having told state television that the new satellite would provide higher resolution images than its predecessors enabling the Guards to "meet their intelligence needs".

Iran has several times tried to launch satellites into space. In January, a top Iranian official claimed that Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard had launched a solid-fuel satellite carrier rocket into space and that the test was successful.

A month earlier, Iran claimed it had successfully launched three research satellites into space. According to Ahmad Hosseini, a Defense Ministry spokesman, the rocket used was a Simorgh.

A day later, however, Iran acknowledged that the space launch failed to put its three payloads into orbit after the rocket was unable to reach the required speed.

Iran says its satellite program, like its nuclear activities, is aimed at scientific research and other civilian applications.

US officials say that Iran’s satellite launches defy UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Resolution 2231 enshrined Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States and calls on Iran to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons.

IDF Chief of Staff: Wrong to assume the IDF is immune to the consequences of polarization'

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi spoke on Wednesday at the main ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.

“In recent months we have been threatened by internal disputes. The debate regarding our world of values, is the share of Israeli society since its foundation. Even in times of crisis, we knew how to distill the common out of them, and shelter under it together,” he said.

“The ability to manage a dispute is one of the signs of a healthy society, but a dispute that is followed by a deepening of polarization and division In Israeli society is dangerous; In the face of the security challenges, having a polarizing debate is arrogant and the assumption that the IDF is immune to the devastating consequences of polarization is a dangerous conception,” warned Halevi.

He strongly condemned the calls for refusals to serve that were heard following the protests against the government.

“Criticism of the IDF is allowed - we are also responsible for our own mistakes; but we must not lash out on our soldiers, who serve many years in order to maintain the security of the state -it would be an irresponsibility.”

“Calling the younger generation not to enlist to a meaningful combat service - is a dangerous conception; Calls for not reporting for reserve security missions - are a harm to Israeli security and the IDF,” said Halevi. 

Speaking at the same ceremony, President Isaac Herzog noted the importance of a unified nation. READ MORE

Terror groups order end of Gaza border riots and incendiary balloon launches

The "Rebellious Youth," the group that has been organizing the violent riots and incendiary balloon launches at the Israel-Gaza border, announced on Thursday that its activities, including the balloon launches, would be suspended until further notice. According to a report by Maariv, which cited an announcement by the group in Gazan media, the group stated: "Whoever goes to the border will bear the responsibility."

Rioters amassed on the border several times this week, and terrorists launched incendiary balloons toward Israeli communities near the border. The balloons caused several fires in Israeli territory. During one of the riots, several rioters even crossed the fence from Gaza into Israeli territory, set fire to a military post, and returned to Gazan territory unharmed.

On Wednesday, despite the ongoing escalation, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced that starting on Thursday, Palestinian Arab workers will be allowed to leave the Gaza Strip via the Erez crossing.

The crossing had remained closed in recent days following the escalation of the riots at the Gaza border.

"The continuation of the civilian policy will be possible based on the assessment of the security situation and on stability," said COGAT.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Lessons From The Yom Kippur War That Almost Destroyed Israel Still Relevant

Fifty years ago, Israel came as close as it ever has to losing a war. While the Arab Islamic nations can repeatedly lose wars without paying much of a price, Israel can only lose one major war.

That Israel survived those grim October days when the sirens sounded, the radios blared unit names and young men rushed from synagogues to cars and then tanks and planes on the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, had little to do with the nation's government.

The leftists who had ruled the country without interruption until that war (and whose rule would falter a few years later and almost entirely disappear after its disastrous deal with the PLO) had failed badly. Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan, the subjects of enduring personality cults, had brought the country to the brink of destruction. It was not the political or military leaders who salvaged the situation, but young men fighting desperately and heroically in impossible battles.

The Yom Kippur War was not the first time that Israel was outnumbered or overwhelmed by vastly superior numbers of enemy soldiers and tanks, but it was the first time that the men in the field felt like they had been left on their own by generals and politicians and had no plan to win the war. And so they fought all the more desperately, knowing that there would be nothing else. READ MORE

Iranian-backed Houthi attack on Bahrain soldiers escalates Yemen tensions - analysis

An attack by the Iranian-backed Houthis that killed two Bahrain service members on the Yemen-Saudi border could lead to escalation in the Gulf. The Saudis expressed condolences to Bahrain this week in the wake of the attack. The US has also condemned the incident. The attack comes after the Houthis also had a large military parade on September 21 in Sana’a.

This shows that the Iran-backed Houthis are prepared to use force again in Yemen.   

“This terrorist attack was carried out by the Houthis, who sent aircraft targeting the position of the Bahraini guards on the southern border of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia despite the halt of military operations between the warring sides in Yemen,” the Bahraini military statement said. 

On Monday, the official spokesman for the Arab Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen, Brigadier General Turki Al-Maliki, announced the martyrdom of an officer and a non-commissioned officer and the wounding of a number of members of the duty force participating from the Kingdom of Bahrain who were on the border of Saudi Arabia and Yemen.  

In a phone call made by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, he expressed his condolences for the martyrs of the Duty Force members, Al-Ain media reported. Riyadh sees this as a “treacherous blow to peace.” The attack is seen in the Gulf as evidence that the Houthis have not ceased their “provocative actions” and is not “consistent with the positive efforts being made to seek to end the crisis and reach a comprehensive political solution,” Al-Ain media said. 

Reduced violence after a decade of war

What this means is that the Houthis appear to be prepared to continue targeted attacks that may harm stability on the borders of Yemen. There had been a reduction in violence in Yemen after a decade of war there. The reduced conflict came in part due to the shifts in Saudi-Iran ties after Iran and Saudi Arabia reconciled earlier this year. This also enabled the UN to help prevent an oil spill in the Red Sea. READ MORE