Peres urges Israelis to continue polio vaccines
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 | Yossi Aloni
President Shimon Peres visited a child care clinic in Jerusalem where he praised the Health Ministry efforts to prevent a new outbreak of polio and urged all Israelis to get their kids inoculated, revealing that his own family had to battle the debilitating virus during a previous outbreak.
"One of my children was a victim of polio at the age of 8 months," Peres recalled. "My wife Sonya and I were at his bedside as he was feverish and shivering in pain for three days and three nights. We were helpless. For the next year and a half later my son was paralyzed in the lower body."
Fortunately for the Peres family, their son made a near full recovery following months of rehabilitation. Not everyone is so lucky. “I do not wish this experience on anyone,” the president continued. “I call on all parents in Israel - prevent your children from suffering - it’s within your power!”
Some parents in Israel are concerned the vaccination could have ill effect on their little ones, and have been putting off or out right avoiding the new treatment.
To them, Peres said: “The doctors in Israel are among the best in the world, and parents can trust them 100 percent. In Israel the infant mortality rate is among the lowest in the world - and there is no other explanation except that we have the best doctors.”
Israel launched the new polio vaccination campaign after strains of the virus were found in sewage pipes in the south of the country. Later tests revealed that it had spread to the north, and that at least dozens of people were carrying the virus.
In the first three days of the campaign, 128,000 Israeli children were inoculated. The plan calls for one million children to receive a significantly weakened polio strain, and for the vaccine to spread from those children to the rest of the population.
Israelis scramble for gas masks as Syria attack looms
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 | Ryan Jones
Demand for gas masks in Israel quadrupled on Tuesday as reports poured in that the US and Britain were just days away from attacking Syria over its use of chemical weapons against civilian populations.
Commercial airline pilots told British newspaper the Guardian that they had spotted a large number of military aircraft converging on the British air force base in Cyprus, just 100 miles from Syria.
At the same time, US Secretary of State John Kerry publicly denounced the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, and his boss, President Barack Obama, reportedly ordered his advisors to draft a document justifying military action against Syria without a UN mandate.
In the shadow of this looming threat, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported that the families of leading Syrian politicians and military figures were fleeing the country.
Meanwhile, the Assad regime again threatened that any Western attack on Syria would result in a Syrian assault on neighboring Israel. Syria’s Deputy Information Minister Halaf Al-Maftah said that in such a scenario, Israel would face not only Syria, but a coalition that also included Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and various terrorist organizations.
Syria is believed to have one of the largest chemical weapons arsenals in the world, and if it has used these weapons against its own population, there is concern it would have no problem employing them against the hated “Zionist entity.”
However, Israeli military officials reiterated that Syria was unlikely to take any serious direct action against the Jewish state. Israel’s response to any major Syrian attack would be crushing, and the Assad regime knows that it could not survive a war against the combined forces of the US, UK and Israel.
Muslim Violence Targets Christians (Again)
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 | Noah Beck
As Egypt’s Islamists blame Christians for the ouster of Mohammed Morsi, anti-Christian violence has reached epidemic levels. On August 17th, one Egyptian human rights leader said that there had been an estimated 82 churches across Egypt attacked and heavily damaged by Morsi supporters in a mere 48 hours.
One week later, the number of anti-Christian attacks has risen to 90.
Unfortunately, the persecution of Christians is nothing new in Egypt or other Muslim-majority countries. But thanks to the mainstream media, few Westerners understand the true scale or nature of the horrors involved.
As you read this, Christians around the world are being murdered, raped, plundered, abducted, forcibly converted to Islam, or otherwise oppressed by Muslims. Christians in Muslim-majority areas are some of the most vulnerable and horribly oppressed people on Earth; they live at the mercy of the mob and receive little or no protection from the police or other government institutions.
The reach of this silent tragedy is sweeping – a global religious genocide on “slow burn” with occasional conflagrations that make it into the mainstream media. There are an estimated 100 million persecuted Christians.
This massive crime is documented in shocking and painstaking detail in Raymond Ibrahim’s new book Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians. The book is required reading for anyone who cares about religious freedom, human rights, and/or the survival of Christians in their ancestral lands.
In Crucified Again, Ibrahim methodically presents overwhelming evidence of Muslim persecution of Christians (documented with about 700 footnotes). His exhaustive, scholarly, and compelling study uses many news and historical sources, and statements by contemporary Muslim clerics. The evidentiary details are far too numerous to summarize here, but a few examples stand out.
Ibrahim explains the theological basis for Muslim persecution of Christians. He notes the Islamic belief that Koranic verses from later in Muhammad’s career abrogate contradictory verses from earlier. The hostile verses naming Christians “infidels” occur towards the end of his career, so they override any tolerance for Christians in earlier verses. Ibrahim writes: “The Koran’s final word on the fate of Christians and Jews is found in Koran 9:29 [where] Allah commands believers, [to fight them]…’until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.’”
Ibrahim cites the writing of renowned Muslim scholar Ibn Khaldun [1332-1406]:
"[Jihad] is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force … The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them… But Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations."
Ibrahim explains: “The Conditions of Omar…[details] exactly how [Christians and Jews] are to feel themselves subdued.” The laws applicable to “dhimmis” (non-Muslims treated as second-class citizens under Islamic hegemony) made life so miserable for Christians over the millennia that these rules gradually transformed thousands of miles of formerly Christian territory into what is today the “Arab world.”
Ibrahim also highlights a tragic historical absurdity: many of the Muslims persecuting Christians today are themselves descendants of Christians who converted because of persecution.
Having established the theological basis for Muslim oppression of Christians, Ibrahim reviews the endless historical examples of these crimes. He cites one medieval Muslim historian reporting that “30,000 churches were burned or pillaged in Egypt and Syria alone” in just two years. During the Abbasid rule (in 936), “the Muslims in Jerusalem…burnt down the Church of the Resurrection [believed to be built atop the tomb of Christ].” Ibrahim notes the “1453 conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans and the subsequent attack on…the Hagia Sophia and its transformation into a mosque.”
After reviewing the more notable examples from history, Ibrahim catalogs the extent to which such Muslim persecution of Christians continues today across the entire Muslim world, “from Afghanistan to Zanzibar” – regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, or language.
Crucified Again details how these anti-Christian crimes are often incited by governments and/or religious leaders of Muslim countries. Ibrahim “broke news” in 2012 merely by translating into English that Saudi Arabia’s highest religious authority declared it “necessary to destroy all the churches” in the Arabian Peninsula. The shocking statement by Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah Al al-Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, was widely reported by Arabic-language media, but the Western mainstream media avoided coverage of the outrage. As Ibrahim argues, the media willfully ignore such news because it contradicts their narrative that all Muslim violence is motivated by some socio-economic or political grievance.
But the West risks its own demise by ignoring four truths:
a hateful, absolutist ideology drives Islamist violence against non-Muslims;
sharia’s draconian penalties for apostasy and blasphemy maximize Muslim demographic growth because nobody can safely criticize or leave Islam (including those converted under duress);
sharia destroys the rights and freedoms cherished by the West;
sharia creates a Muslim monopoly on the marketplace of ideas – something antithetical to any free society.
To survive, the West cannot let sharia laws take root in Muslim-majority communities of Europe and North America.
With documented examples, Crucified Again also debunks the myth of the “moderate” Muslim state. So-called “moderate” states like Turkey or the Maldives may not be as atrociously violent towards their Christian minorities as countries like Pakistan, Iraq, and Egypt, but they follow the same patterns of anti-Christian persecution and are far from Western standards when it comes to treating their non-Muslim minorities with equal rights, justice, and dignity.
Ibrahim has argued elsewhere that the Koran’s violent verses, unlike “their Old Testament counterparts…[use] language that transcends time and space, inciting believers to…slay nonbelievers today no less than yesterday.” According to Ibrahim, Old Testament violent verses are fundamentally different because they are merely a descriptive account of historical incidents – not a prescriptive exhortation to attack non-believers in the future.
Ibrahim shows how the Western media, academia, and the Obama administration have all whitewashed Muslim oppression of Christians and/or supported Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood to the point of enabling anti-Christian persecution and obscuring it from the public. Indeed, of Ibrahim’s 680+ cited news sources reporting on Muslim abuse of Christians, only about 6% were from the mainstream media. Biased media coverage of the Middle East deserves a book of its own, but to cite one powerful example, consider how CBS’s “news” program, Sixty Minutes, defamed the only Mideast country where Christians are actually safe (Israel) while missing the real story of Mideast Christian persecution so thoroughly documented in Crucified Again.
Western passivity over the maltreatment of minority Christians has only encouraged Islamists to attack them for any perceived wrong by the West – whether it’s offensive cartoons, movies, or any other grievance. Worse, the apathetic West has forgotten that the Islamic prohibitions (against apostasy, blasphemy, and proselytism) used to justify Muslim oppression of Christians completely negate Western values like freedom of speech and religion.
Ibrahim elsewhere makes an excellent point about Muslim animus towards Israel: “if grievances…were really about justice and displaced Palestinians, Muslims – and their Western appeasers – would be aggrieved by the fact that millions of Christians are currently being displaced by Muslim invaders.”
Indeed, the truer explanation for Muslim hostility towards Israel is that it’s the only non-Muslim state in the entire Middle East and North Africa. As long as Israel thrives as a strong, non-Muslim state, the Islamist mission of global jihad has failed in that region where Muslims are strongest. But if Israel were ever to fall, one can only imagine the genocide that would descend upon Israeli Jews – and the Israeli religious minorities sheltered in Israel (Christians, Bahá’ís, etc.).
Despite the grim signs for the West, it’s worth noting that there is a tiny but brave reform movement within Islam that should be robustly supported. Courageous humanists like Irshad Manji, who questions received doctrines with critical-thinking and a preference for tolerance over conquest, are the best hope for a reformed Islam that builds on its virtues, fixes its problems, and is at peace with itself (regarding the Sunni-Shia divide) and the non-Muslim world. Of course, anyone who reads Crucified Again will be unsurprised that Irshad Manji lives in the West.
Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and an Israeli submarine with a diverse crew, including a Christian Israeli.
Collapse reported on Temple Mount
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 | Israel Today Staff
Eyewitnesses told Turkish media this week that a portion of the Temple Mount platform near the Al Aqsa Mosque has collapsed, creating a serious safety hazard and a possible threat to the stability of the Islamic structure.
If the report is accurate, it would be the second serious collapse on the Temple Mount in the past five years.
Palestinian officials claim that the collapses are caused by deliberate Israeli action to bring down the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock so that the Jewish Temple can be rebuilt.
But archaeologists and engineers have been warning for years that the heavy construction projects being carried out by the Muslims atop the Temple Mount are destabilizing the huge number of ancient structures and water cisterns that riddle the sacred plateau.
Many believe it is only a matter of time before most of the platform collapses. And there are fears such a collapse could occur during Ramadan, when upwards of 100,000 Muslims gather atop the Temple Mount for weekly prayers.
“He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked shall be silent in darkness.
For by strength no man shall prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces; from heaven He will thunder against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
He will give strength to His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed.” 1Sam 2: 9-10
FEAST OF TABERNACLES LONDON, 2013: Plan on celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles with us in London, September 27 and 28, 2013 at the Emmanuel Centre. Speakers include Myles Munroe, Barry & Batya Segal, with special guests. Myles Munroe has been a frequent visitor to Israel encouraging and teaching the local believers. He is a friend of God’s purposes for the Jewish state. To register, or for more details, go to: www.josephstorehouse.co.uk or call 01793-862121 in the UK.
PM: ISRAEL’S ‘FINGER ON THE PULSE’ OF SYRIA DEVELOPMENTS, IF NECESSARY WILL ALSO BE ‘ON THE TRIGGER’: Syria’s use of chemical weapons against its own people “simply demonstrates” what will happen if Iran gets even deadlier weapons, PM Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday. What we see in Syria is how extremist regimes have no reservations whatsoever about using these weapons even against innocent civilians, against their own people.” Netanyahu said Israel drew three conclusions from this incident. “One, this situation must not be allowed to continue. Two, the most dangerous regimes in the world must not be allowed to possess the most dangerous weapons in the world. And three, we expect that this will stop, but we must always remember our sages’ ancient principle: ‘If we are not for ourselves, who will be for us?’ That is to say, our finger must always be on the pulse. Ours is a responsible finger and if necessary, it will also be on the trigger.” Israel’s President Shimon Peres said Sunday the “time has come for a joint effort to remove all the chemical weapons from Syria. They cannot remain there either in the hands of Assad or of others.” He said that while he could “understand the problems and doubts” about intervening in Syria, “the moral call is superior to any strategic considerations.” (J.Post) Pray for the increased protection of Israel as the events in Syria threaten to engulf the region in a catastrophic war.
PENTAGON WEIGHS MILITARY OPTIONS AGAINST SYRIA: On Saturday, US military and national security advisers met with President Barack Obama at the White House to consider options for responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government last week. The American military updated a list of possible targets to include mobile units of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army, after extensive evidence surfaced Wednesday that his forces used chemical weapons against civilians in a suburb of Damascus, killing hundreds. Israel’s security establishment estimates Washington is considering a limited yet effective attack that will make it clear to the Damascus regime that the international community will not tolerate the use of weapons of mass destruction against Syrian civilians or any other elements. Meanwhile, the White House said Obama will continue to gather facts before deciding on a course of action. During an interview last week with CNN, the president made no mention of the red line that US intelligence officials say has been breached several times. US confirmation took more than four months after rebels similarly reported chemical attacks in February. Assad’s government, then as now, has denied the claims as baseless. (J.Post/Fox) The obvious question for Israelis is: So how does Obama’s “red-line” speechifying work when it comes to Iran’s nuclear weapons development?
WESTERN LEADERS “CONCERNED” ABOUT CHEMICAL WEAPONS MASSACRE: NOW WHAT?: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Saturday that all indications show the Syrian government was behind a “chemical massacre” last week against its own people. A preliminary assessment made by US and allied intelligence agencies concludes chemical weapons were indeed used by Syrian forces last week. US President Obama’s national security aides are studying the NATO air war in Kosovo as a possible blueprint for acting without a mandate from the UN. Russia is likely to veto any military action in the Security Council, and Obama is wary of bypassing the UN. German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Russia and China for torpedoing a UN Security Council resolution that would have demanded that the Damascus regime give UN inspectors complete freedom of operation. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Friday that if claims that Syria used chemical weapons several days ago are true, a speedy response will be needed to prevent another such attack. Meanwhile, Iran is warning America against any involvement in Syria. “Trespassing over the red line in Syria will have severe consequences for the White House,” the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard told Iranian media. Iran is determined to keep its ally Assad in power, and views the Sunni-dominated rebel forces as a threat to its own plans of regional hegemony. (INN) Pray that as the nations deliberate a possible coordinated military move against the Assad regime that there will not be a repeat of last week’s merciless use of chemical weapons against the Syrian population.
BRITAIN: SYRIA DESTROYED EVIDENCE OF CHEMICAL ARMS USE: British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Sunday evening that Syria has apparently hidden evidence of the use of chemical weapons against civilians in the Damascus area. He said some of the evidence was almost certainly destroyed by government shelling of the area, some disintegrated and some was sabotaged. Meanwhile, The UN secretary-general’s office said inspectors hope to begin their investigation Monday at the suspected chemical attack site. The Syrian government has agreed to cease all hostilities as long as the UN inspectors are on the ground. Before Sunday, UN inspectors in Syria attempting to gather information were not allowed to visit the site of the recent attack. One senior Obama administration official said the Syrian government’s announcement was too little, too late. “If the Syrian government had nothing to hide and wanted to prove to the world that it had not used chemical weapons in this incident, it would have ceased its attacks on the area and granted immediate access to the UN - five days ago,” the official said Sunday. “At this juncture, the belated decision by the regime to grant access to the UN team is too late to be credible, because the evidence available has been significantly corrupted as a result of the regime’s persistent shelling and other intentional actions over the last five days,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly. (INN/CNN)
ISRAELI DEMAND FOR GAS MASKS SPIKE ON RISING SYRIA TENSIONS: The possibility of a US attack on Syria has led to a sharp rise in the number of Israelis seeking to obtain their gas masks. According to the Israeli postal service, which operates the mask distribution centers, on Sunday between 7 A.M. and 1 P.M. alone it received four times the usual number of requests. Statistics released by the postal service reveal that most residents of Israel’s north have already acquired gas masks. Other parts of the country have seen similar figures. On the other hand, only 29% of Jerusalem residents have masks at home. (Ha’aretz)
LIBERMAN: MERETZ PROVIDING THE SHEEP’S CLOTHING TO COVER ABBAS THE WOLF: If PA President Mahmoud Abbas is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, then Meretz Members of Knesset are providing that woolly cover, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman, Avigdor Liberman, contended on Sunday. (Meretz is a left-wing, Zionist, social-democratic political party.) Liberman’s comments came three days after all six Meretz lawmakers met with Abbas in Ramallah, who told them no progress was made in peace talks, but that he hopes they will not be a waste of time. “Abbas is using Meretz MKs the way a wolf uses sheep’s clothing,” Liberman wrote on Facebook. “Once every few months, Abbas meets with members of left-wing parties and says the things they want to hear in English in order to appear like someone who is really interested in peace with Israel.” Liberman added that it is unfortunate Meretz MKs don’t stay in Ramallah between their meetings, to hear “speeches of incitement encouraging terror and terrorists” that Abbas makes in Arabic. “Apparently, some people like being sheep that are used as a cover for wolves,” he concluded. (J.Post)
POLL: ONLY 21% BELIEVE IN PA STATE AS REAL SOLUTION: A new survey has found that only a small minority of Israelis believe the Palestinian Authority will establish a new Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza – and only 11% hope it will. The poll asked respondents to choose the solution to the Israel-PA conflict they most prefer, and the solution they think is most realistic. The most popular answer in both cases was simply to maintain the status quo. Currently Judea and Samaria is split into three areas, called A, B, and C. The PA has full control over Area A, Israel controls Area C, and in Area B the IDF is tasked with oversight of security, while the PA has legal power over other aspects of daily life. (Arutz-7)
MUBARAK RELEASED FROM JAIL: Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison and placed under house arrest Thursday, more than two years after he was deposed during the Arab Spring uprisings. A court ordered last week that Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years, be released while he awaits a retrial for complicity in the killing of demonstrators during the protests against him. Mubarak’s release comes amid ongoing violence and political turmoil since the ouster of his successor, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, earlier this summer. The ailing Mubarak appeared in court, Sunday, three days after being released from prison, as the process of the retrial begins. (Time World)
Palestinians cancel peace talks after deadly clash
Monday, August 26, 2013 | Israel Today Staff
The Palestinian Authority canceled Monday evening’s session with Israeli peace negotiators in response to a deadly clash between Israeli soldiers and a violent Palestinian mob earlier in the day.
In a fairly routine operation, Israeli Border Police officers dressed in civilian clothing entered the Palestinian town of Qalandiya just north of Jerusalem to arrest a wanted terror suspect.
Just moments after the officers arrived at the suspect’s home, a mob numbering at least 1,500 poured into the streets and began hurling firebombs and stones at the Israelis.
The Border Police officers responded with rubber bullets and tear gas, but were beginning to be overwhelmed when IDF soldiers arrived to back them up. The soldiers resorted to live fire as the situation spun out of control.
"Large violent crowds such as this which significantly outnumber security forces leave no other choice but to resort to live fire in self-defense," an IDF spokesman said in a statement to the press.
Three Palestinian rioters reportedly died of gunshot wounds during the clash.
The riots subsided for several hours, but resumed as Palestinians again took to the streets Monday afternoon for the raucous funeral procession of the three deceased men.
Palestinian Authority officials, who view such mob activity as “peaceful protest,” accused Israel of “assassinating” the rioters.
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Syrian rebels: Israel must help us take down Assad
Monday, August 26, 2013 | Ryan Jones
A senior Syrian rebel leader on Sunday told Israeli media that the Jewish state must help must help topple the Assad regime by convincing Western powers to intervene militarily in Syria’s civil war.
"If Israel wants to prove it has good intentions toward the Syrian people it must urge the international community to intervene in Syria," the official told Israel’s Ynet news portal.
The source said that Syrians opposed to the Assad regime feel that Israel has been providing the dictator with diplomatic cover by not being more vocal in its opposition to the brutal tactics being used by government forces.
Israel has purposely taken a low-profile approach to the Syrian civil war, as it does not feel it can trust the Sunni-dominated rebel forces any more than it can the current regime. Many of the groups making up the rebel forces are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda, and hate Israel at least as much as Assad and his cronies.
However, the latest alleged atrocities committed by Syrian government troops have lead Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do exactly what the rebels requested - press Western powers to finally take action.
British media reported on Sunday that Royal Navy vessels had begun preparations for an initial cruise missile strike against Syria, and that London was urging America to join the attack.
Russia demanded that the US and its allies not act hastily, and welcomed a decision by the Assad regime to permit access to the alleged chemical weapons attack zone to foreign investigators. But, White House officials said the gesture was too little, too late.
A joint British-American strike on Syria is expected within the week.
While that might sound like a dangerous prospect for Israel, military commanders in the Jewish state said they view a retaliatory strike against their country as unlikely.
Army officials told Israel’s Channel Two News that the Assad regime is perfectly aware of how forcefully Israel would respond to any unprovoked attack on its homefront, and that it could not possibly survive a war against the combined forces of the US, Britain and Israel.
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Israeli minister: Two-state solution is unrealistic
Monday, August 26, 2013 | Israel Today Staff
The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that the world is touting, and that the Israeli leadership has publicly accepted, is unrealistic and will never happen, insisted a senior Israeli government minister.
"Those who are here understand why the vision of two states is unrealistic and will ever happen. Those who think they can force us to build only within the Auschwitz borders are wrong," said Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) on Sunday as he helped dedicate two new neighborhoods in the Samarian Jewish community of Kedumim.
The term “Auschwitz borders” was first used by former and legendary Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eben in 1969, when he noted that the Arab states and the international community were trying to confine Israel to tiny, indefensible borders, much as how the Jews were corralled into ghettos during the Nazi Holocaust.
Ariel said Israel would continue building homes for Jews on all of the land promised to this nation in the Bible, as that is the only true Zionist response to the threats against the Jewish state.
Many Israelis, and many in the Israeli government have come to accept the notion that they must surrender Judea and Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”) for the establishment of a Palestinian state in order to maintain a demographic Jewish majority in Israel.
But Knesset member Tzipi Hotoveli (Likud) told a gathering in Jerusalem on Sunday that Israel should not fear fully annexing those “disputed territories” and establishing a bi-national state.
Speaking at a conference advocating recognition of Jordan as the true Palestinian state, Hotoveli noted that annexing Judea and Samaria and granting Israeli citizenship to the 2.5 million Arabs living there would still mean a Jewish majority west of the Jordan river.
In fact, it would be a similar ratio of Jews to Arabs as what existed in the region when David Ben Gurion declared independence in 1948. Israel’s first prime minister did not let himself be deterred by the fact that there were only 600,000 Jews to the 450,000 Arabs living in the area.
Just as in Ben Gurion’s time, there remains a sufficient Jewish population around the world that will eventually immigrate to the Jewish state to further offset the increased Arab citizenry. And in the meantime, Israel will have solidly staked its claim to its historic and biblical heartland.
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Israel expects US attack on Syria
Sunday, August 25, 2013 | Ryan Jones
Israeli leaders are anticipating US military action against neighboring Syria after Western leaders appeared to accept evidence that the regime of dictator Bashar Assad had used chemical weapons against its foes, including civilian populations.
In fact, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was openly urging Washington to make good on its threat to intervene should Assad employ non-conventional weapons against his own people.
In statements to the press prior to Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres even hinted that Israel itself could strike Syria if the situation did not stabilize soon.
Peres noted that the price of allowing Syria to continue holding chemical weapons after it has proved it’s willingness to use them against even internal enemies was far higher than the cost of taking forceful preemptive action.
While most Israelis no doubt agreed with Peres, the prospect of open warfare with Syria caused some trepidation at home, as only 60 percent of Israelis currently possess up-to-date gas mask kits.
Meanwhile, Iran is warning America against any involvement in Syria. “Trespassing over the red line in Syria will have severe consequences for the White House,” the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard told Iranian media.
Iran is determined to keep its ally Assad in power, and views the Sunni-dominated rebel forces as a threat to its own plans of regional hegemony.
For Israel, there is no good outcome to the Syrian civil war. If Assad wins, Iran’s influence in the area will continue. If the rebels win, Syria will likely descend into chaos and become a haven for all manner of radical terrorist organizations, much like what happened to the Gaza Strip and Southern Lebanon.
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