|Edwin Black||April 28th 2016|
Jerusalem Post and agencies
For a hard-core segment of travelers to Jerusalem, when the sun sets at the Sabbath, the magic in the air is not just the serene image of a peaceful dusk in an enchanted land. It is the empowering knowledge that the sun still shines on a Jewish State surrounded by fiery military and diplomatic turmoil. Israel remains a nation determined to survive and preserve its sense of magnetic amazement. In the minds of many, a visit to Israel is more than just a vacation. It is a geopolitical destination. Traveling to and enjoying Israel makes a statement to the world and to history. It reflects the steeled determination to be happy and fulfilled in one of the most treasured places on earth, despite a virtual siege around every corner. Read more ..
The Edge of Terrorism
|J. Millard Burr and Rachel Ehrenfeld||April 24th 2016|
The American media, which continues to concentrate on a bill making its way through Congress that would allow American citizens to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for losses suffered as a result of the 9/11 attacks, paid no attention to the Golden Chain.
The victims claim that the release of the 28 pages missing from the 9/11 Commission Report is of crucial importance to their case. Those pages, they say, would show the interrelationship that ties the hijackers to the Saudi regime itself and therefore would offer a damning indictment of the Kingdom. But President Obama, like President Bush before him, refuses to make it public. And the Saudi Royal Family that vehemently denies funding al Qaeda, threatened that if the 28 pages are released, they would sell more than $750 billion of Saudi investments in the U.S.
Of equal if not of greater importance than the missing 28 pages, is the forgotten investigation of the Bosnia-BIF office. Crucially, among the boxes and files was found a note ostensibly written by Osama Bin Laden that lists a "Golden Chain" of twenty Arab plutocrats who were and remain suspected of financing international terrorism, including the funding of al Qaeda. Read more ..
Brazil on Edge
|Luis Fleischman ||April 24th 2016|
Center for Security Policy
On April 17, the Brazilian lower house of Congress voted by more than a two-thirds majority to impeach the current president, Dilma Rousseff. The Senate will vote on the impeachment but contrary to the lower house, a simple majority would be enough to approve such impeachment. If the Senate approves impeachment proceedings, Rousseff will have to step down transferring powers to her vice-president Michel Temer. If she were absolved, she would remain in her position.
The rationale for her prosecution is that she violated fiscal rules by hiding the budget deficit and by illegally using money from state-owned banks at the time she was running for re-election. The request to impeach her was signed by three judges, one of whom is a founder of the ruling Workers Party (PT), the party of President Rousseff. Read more ..
|Edwin Black||April 22nd 2016|
EDITORS NOTE: All details of Edwin Black’s Passover coverage are taken faithfully from Exodus chapters 5-15, plus Rashi’s Commentary.
Approximately two million Children of Israel are now encamped in the Sinai following their extraordinary exodus from Egypt yesterday. Just days ago, they were slaves to Pharaoh. Today, they are free men and women, destined for self-determination in a land of their own. Only now are the details of their fantastic experience coming to light.
The dramatic sequence of events began some weeks ago with the unexpected return of exiled prince Moses, who previously fled Pharaoh's wrath after slaying a taskmaster. In his daring appearance at the Palace, the inarticulate Moses, speaking through his brother Aaron, declared himself to be the personal emissary of a powerful new "od,"previously unknown to the Royal Court. Moreover, Moses asserted that his God was the protector of the Children of Israel, who have been in bondage for more than four centuries in Egypt.
The entire Royal Court was aghast as Moses demanded that the Children of Israel be permitted to travel three days into the desert for an unprecedented "fast and sacrifice" their God. Making clear that he was not asking a Court indulgence, Moses looked straight at Pharaoh, stamped his roughhewn staff and issued the ultimatum that would be his rallying call during the coming days: “Let my people go.”
Laughter echoed throughout the hall as Pharaoh sneered, "Who is your 'God?' I know him not. Nor will I let Israel go!" Showing little patience, Pharaoh cited reports that Moses had been “disturbing the people from their works” in various building projects wholly dependent upon slave labor. As a punitive measure, Pharaoh proclaimed that henceforth slaves would be compelled to gather their own straw, even as their daily brick quota was maintained. Read more ..
Some 100 world airlines operate regular flights to Israel, but the country's Ministry of Tourism wants more. It has launched an initiative to encourage direct flights from "new" gateways to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV). In recent years, dozens of airlines have inaugurated service to Israel, and while El Al, Israel's national carrier, remains the number one airline operating flights to and from Tel Aviv, EasyJet has become the airport's number two airline, with multiple daily flights from 10 major European gateways.
Within its scope of promoting tourism to Israel, the Ministry views tourism trade professionals as strategic partners and wants to participate in the marketing efforts of airlines that initiate flights from "new" gateways to Israel. For eligibility, flights must operate from November 1, 2016 through October 31, 2017 and possess measurable potential to bring additional tourists to Israel. To be considered a "new" gateway, airports must be located more than 120 kilometers from an airport already servicing direct flights to Israel. Read more ..
Israel and Turkey
|Shoshana Bryen||April 20th 2016|
Read more ..
Turkish sources assert that Turkish-Israeli governmental relations are about to come out of the deep freeze. But this is a reflection of Turkey's regional unpopularity and glides over Turkish demands for Israel to end the blockade of Gaza. To meet Turkey's condition, Israel would have to abandon the security arrangement it shares with Egypt -- which has increased Israel's security and has begun to pay regional dividends. To restore full relations between Israel and Turkey would irritate Russia, with which Israel has good trade and political relations, and a respectful series of understandings regarding Syria. Israel's relations with the Kurds are also at issue here.
After the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla -- in which Turkey supported the Hamas-related Turkish organization, the IHH, in its effort to break the blockade of Gaza -- Turkey made three demands of Israel: an Israeli apology for the deaths of Turkish activists; a financial settlement; and lifting the Gaza blockade, which Turkey claimed was illegal. The last would provide IHH with the victory it was unable to achieve with the flotilla.
|Igal Ram and Eliana Rudee ||April 20th 2016|
LA Jewish Journal
What truly puzzles the Israeli public is "Israel Apartheid Week," being staged on several U.S. college campuses these last few weeks. A spin-off of the anti-Israel BDS movement, its “commercial” success can best be explained as a “Disneyland of Hate.” Activists are not fighting a real struggle for their own rights or anyone else’s. Rather, this is a pretend civil rights struggle for a mediated image of a subjugated victim of an evil oppressor in faraway Occupied Land.
The story is so rife with metaphors that it has become a radical paradise: Indigenous people lived in the beautiful land of Jesus, herding sheep and growing olive trees. All of a sudden enter a bunch of crooked-nosed, conniving, colonialist Jews, armed to the teeth and backed by vast financial resources, who cheat and kill the poor victims, rob them of their land, raze their villages, and drive them away to camps. Then they build a huge wall to keep them in perpetual captivity. The colonialists use their sinister, cutting-edge technologies to ravage their victims, extending their tentacles globally to influence politicians, the media and the public. Read more ..
Obama and Israel
|Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Dr. Harold Brackman||April 20th 2016|
LA Jewish Journal
Vice President Biden, speaking at J Street a few days ago, voiced the Obama Administration’s “overwhelming frustration” — at Israel for the lack of Mideast peace.
Well, “frustration” seems to be the Middle East’s middle name these days. Has the Administration or the Media bothered to inquire about the “overwhelming frustration” of millions of displaced Syrians, ethnically cleansed Iraqi Christians, disappearing Yazidis, and dare we say it: the citizens of Israel.
Many Israelis are “overwhelmingly frustrated” by the world’s stony silence, as their fellow citizens were literally being stabbed in the back by (primarily) young Palestinian terrorists.
They are "overwhelmingly" angered by a suicide bomber who failed to kill himself but who succeeded blowing up a Jerusalem bus and injuring 21 innocents at the height of rush hour. Read more ..