“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.” Isaiah 17:1
From JPost: Blasts shock Damascus, Israel blamed by Syrian television for the strikes. IDF spokesman says, ‘we don’t respond to this kind of report.’ One site targeted is the Jamraya military research center; a previous Israeli target.
BEIRUT – Powerful explosions struck the outskirts of Damascus early on Sunday, sending columns of fire into the night sky, and Syrian state television said Israeli rockets had struck a military facility just north of the capital.
Israel declined to comment on the attack, but the blasts occurred a day after an Israeli official said his country had carried out an air strike targeting a consignment of missiles in Syria intended for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
“The new Israeli attack is an attempt to raise the morale of the terrorist groups which have been reeling from strikes by our noble army,” Syrian television said, referring to recent offensives by President Bashar Assad’s forces against rebels.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights quoted eyewitnesses in the area as saying they saw jets in the sky at the time of the explosions.
It said the blasts hit Jamraya as well as a nearby ammunition depot. Other activists said a missile brigade and two Republican Guard battalions may also have been targeted in the heavily militarised area just north of Damascus.
Video footage uploaded onto the Internet by activists showed a series of explosions. One lit up the skyline over the city, while another sent up a tower of flames and secondary blasts.
There was no immediate comment from Israeli officials on Sunday’s explosions. “We don’t respond to this kind of report,” an Israeli military spokeswoman told Reuters.
The Jewish state has repeatedly made clear it is prepared to use force to prevent advanced weapons from Syria reaching Lebanon’s Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah guerrillas, who fought a 34-day war with Israel in 2006. Assad and Hezbollah are allied to Iran, Israel’s arch-enemy. source – JPost
Since Barack Hussein Obama has occupied the President’s chair at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, there have been a number of Islamic Muslim terror attacks, both foreign and domestic, which have resulted in the death of America citizens. The Fort Hood shootings, Benghazi, the Underwear Bomber, and now the latest one, the Boston Marathon Bombing, which resulted in 4 dead people and scores more injured with limbs blown off as well as a whole host of other injuries.
What do all these attacks have in common? Obama’s refusal to stand up in front of the American people and call it for what it is – Muslim terror attacks against America.
Here is what Mr. Obama had to say about the Muslim brothers who terrorized Boston for the past week:
“WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama declared Friday night that the capture of a second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings “closed an important chapter in this tragedy.” But he acknowledged that many unanswered questions remain about the motivations of the two men accused of perpetrating the attacks that unnerved the nation.
“The families of those killed so senselessly deserve answers,” said Obama, who branded the suspects “terrorists.”
The president spoke from the White House briefing room after 10 p.m. on the East Coast, just over an hour after law enforcement officials apprehended 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.” source – The Blaze
Obama’s love for all things Islam
So Obama seems puzzled about the “motivations” of the two men who planned and carried out the bombings? Well, my my, anyone with internet access and the ability to read could tell you what the “motivations” of the Tsarnaev brothers was – Islamic terror attacks. So why is Obama unable and unwilling to call all these myriad attacks for what they are? Let’s look at a few of his quotes since 2008 and perhaps that will shed some light on the situation:
“The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer” – Barack Hussein Obama, Cairo speech 2008
“The Future Must Not Belong To Those Who Slander The Prophet Of Islam” – Barack Hussein Obama, speech at the United Nations 2012
“I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction” Barack Obama, in his book The Audacity of Hope
Do you know that the Obama administration has declared the Ft. Hood Shooting to be an act of workplace violence? Do you know that Obama has simply stopped talking about Benghazi and hopes you don’t notice? Do you read about anything other than basketball scores and the Kardashians?
Obama stood in front of the United Nations General Assembly and functionally addressed the entire free world when he proclaimed that anyone who “slanders the prophet Mohammad” has no part in the future of America.
America, sound asleep and easy pickings
Hey America, are you awake?…are you alive?…are you even out there? Our government has been hijacked by an Indonesian Socialist who stands for, stands with and promotes Islam in all its many disgusting forms. The wolf is in the hen house and making chicken nuggets out of our entire nation and way of life.
Do you care? The deed is being done…while you watch.
I will close with my prediction of an event that will occur before Obama’s second term becomes his third term. Ready? Here it is -
a Muslim flag will fly over the White House…and YOU, America, put it there.
Goodnight, Gracie…wherever you are.
Jerusalem is the capital city of Israel
“The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.” Psalms 147:2,12
Trying to say that the Jews have no connection to Jerusalem would be as absurd as saying the Yankees have no connection to the Bronx, that France has no connection to the Eiffel Tower, or that peanut butter has nothing to do with jelly. It is insanity. Yet, that is exactly the theme of the latest Muslim jihad against Israel and the Jews. They are attempting to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem, the place that the Old Testament calls the “city of David”, of all connection to the Jewish people.
Thousands of years before the birth of Muhammad or the start of Islam as a religion, King Solomon built God a Temple in Jerusalem. Jews worshipped at that Temple for nearly 2,000 years before being driven out of it by the Roman army. The Muslim Dome of the Rock would not be built for nearly another 700 years after that. So I ask you, on what basis do you try and make the claim that Jerusalem belongs to the Muslims?
From Yahoo News: DOHA (Reuters) – The Arab League on Tuesday approved a Qatari proposal to set up a $1 billion fund for Arab East Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as the capital of an independent state under any peace deal with Israel.
Arabs say that Israeli settlement-building on land captured in the 1967 Middle East war, including Arab East Jerusalem, has made a two-state solution backed by the United States unfeasible.
Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, said his country will contribute $250 million to the fund, which he called for in an opening speech to an Arab summit in Doha that focused on the crisis in Syria and stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
“The summit… calls for setting up a fund to support Jerusalem to the value of $1 billion to finance projects and programs that would maintain the Arab and Islamic character of the city and reinforce the steadfastness of its people,” the draft resolution said.
The Islamic Development Bank, based in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea city of Jeddah, will manage the fund, it said. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the fund to help protect the Arab character of the city and urged Arab states to contribute to it.
“The Israeli occupation is working in a systematic and hurried way to Judaise East Jerusalem, change its features and uproot its Palestinian inhabitants, attacking the al-Aqsa Mosque and its Muslim and Christian holy sites,” Abbas said in a speech at the summit.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the initiative was “a badge of shame” for Qatar.
“Objecting to ‘Judaisation of Jerusalem’, so to speak, is absurd and is equatable to an objection to the Catholic nature of the Vatican or the Islamisation of Mecca, it is naturally unthinkable,” Palmor said.
The fate of Jerusalem has proved one of the thorniest sticking points in past Middle East peace negotiations. Citing Jewish biblical ties to the holy city, Israel annexed the Arab eastern half and its surroundings in 1980 in a move rejected by the United Nations Security Council. source – Yahoo News
God will decide the ‘fate of Jerusalem’…
“I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” Joel 3:2
RAMALLAH, West Bank (CBS/AP) — President Obama called for a free and independent Palestinian state while visiting the West Bank with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas Thursday.
“Palestinians deserve a state of their own,” Obama said during a joint news conferencewith Abbas in Ramallah.
Obama believes that a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians is possible.
“If we can get direct negotiations started again I believe that the shape of a potential deal is there,” Obama said.
Obama said he told Israeli officials that the White House does not consider settlement activity in the West Bank to be appropriate or constructive. He says Palestinians should not have to confront the daily indignities that come with occupation.
A new poll finds 36 percent of the 500 Israelis who were surveyed believe the president is more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israel, The Jerusalem Post reports. By comparison, 26 percent said Obama was more pro-Israel than pro-Palestinian.
Obama arrived in Israel Wednesday to kick-off his Mideast swing. The president will also visit Jordan before heading back to the White House. source – CBS News
Major threat to Israel
For the first time in many years, voices in the US administration were criticizing the Israeli defense forces for under-reacting and, in this case, also underestimating the chemical weapons threat emanating from Syria and neglecting to pursue counter-measures. This is what visiting Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak heard when he met US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon Tuesday, March 5, as the new defense secretary’s first foreign visitor.
Debkafile’s military and Washington sources disclose that Barak was berated for “inadequate and cursory” military preparations which failed to take into account that a chemical attack on Israel would make it necessary for the IDF to enter Syria – most likely for an offensive operation coordinated against the common threat with the Turkish and Jordanian armies.
Present at the meeting between Hagel and Barak were also Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff and Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. Our sources add that the conversation ranged over the Syrian crisis with no reference to a nuclear Iran.
From the defense secretary, Barak heard intelligence estimates confirmed for the first time by an American official that Hizballah has been able to procure a quantity of chemical weapons from Syria – a development which Israel’s leaders have vowed to prevent.
The proliferation of chemical weapons to HIzballah and other armed bands on Israel’s borders was apparently in the mind of Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin, UN Security Council president for March, when he cautioned Monday that trouble was building up between Israel and Syria. source – DEBKA
The coming nuclear showdown
(Reuters) - Iran has begun installing advanced centrifuges at its main uranium enrichment plant, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Thursday, a defiant step that will worry Western powers ahead of a resumption of talks with Tehran next week.
In a confidential report, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said 180 so-called IR-2m centrifuges and empty centrifuge casings had been put in place at the facility near the central town of Natanz. They were not yet operating.
If launched successfully, such machines could enable Iran to speed up significantly its accumulation of material that the West fears could be used to devise a nuclear weapon. Iran says it is refining uranium only for peaceful energy purposes.
Iran’s installation of new-generation centrifuges would be “yet another provocative step,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in Washington.
White House spokesman Jay Carney warned Iran that it would face further pressure and isolation if it fails to address international concerns about its nuclear program in the February 26 talks with world powers in the Kazakh city of Almaty.
Britain’s Foreign Office said the IAEA’s finding was of “serious concern”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the report “proves that Iran continues to advance swiftly towards the red line” that he laid down last year.
Netanyahu, who has strongly hinted at possible military action if sanctions and diplomacy fail to halt Iran’s nuclear drive, told the U.N. in September that Iran should not have enough higher-enriched uranium to make even a single warhead.
Iran denies Western accusations that it is seeking to develop a capability to make atomic bombs. Tehran says it is Israel’s assumed nuclear arsenal that threatens peace.
The IAEA’s report showed “no evidence of diversion of material and nuclear activities towards military purposes,” Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh told Iranian media.
U.S. lawmakers meanwhile are crafting a bill designed to stop the European Central Bank from handling business from the Iranian government, a U.S. congressional aide said on Thursday, in an attempt to keep Tehran from using euros to develop its nuclear program.
In the early stages of drafting, it would target the ECB’s cross-border payment system and impose U.S. economic penalties on entities that use the European Central Bank to do business with Iran’s government, the aide said on condition of anonymity.
The aide disclosed the new push for sanctions ahead of fresh talks on Tuesday in which major powers hope to persuade the Iranian government to rein in its atomic activities, which the West suspects may be a cover to develop a bomb capability.
RISING WESTERN PRESSURE
It was not clear how many of the new centrifuges Iran aims to install at Natanz, which is designed for tens of thousands. An IAEA note informing member states late last month about Iran’s plans implied that it could be up to 3,000 or so.
Iran has for years been trying to develop centrifuges more efficient than the erratic 1970s IR-1 model it now uses, but their introduction for full-scale production has been dogged by delays and technical hurdles, experts and diplomats say.
The deployment of the new centrifuges underlines Iran’s continued refusal to bow to Western pressure to curb its nuclear program, and may further complicate efforts to resolve the dispute diplomatically, without a spiral into Middle East war.
Iran has also started testing two new centrifuge types, the IR-6 and IR-6s, at a research and development facility, the IAEA report said. Centrifuges spin at supersonic speed to increase the ratio of the fissile isotope in uranium.
In a more encouraging sign for the powers, however, the IAEA report said Iran in December resumed converting some of its uranium refined to a fissile concentration of 20 percent to oxide powder for the production of reactor fuel.
That helped restrain the growth of Iran’s higher-grade uranium stockpile since the previous report in November, a development that could buy more time for diplomacy.
The report said Iran had increased to 167 kg (367 pounds) its stockpile of 20 percent uranium – a level it says it needs to make fuel for a Tehran research reactor but which also takes it much closer to weapons-grade material if processed further.
NEW OFFER TO IRAN
One diplomat familiar with the report said this represented a rise of about 18-19 kg since November, a notable slowdown from the previous three-month period when the stockpile jumped by nearly 50 percent after Iran halted conversion.
Israel last year gave a rough deadline of mid-2013 as the date by which Tehran could have enough higher-grade uranium to produce a single atomic bomb if processed further. Experts say about 240-250 kg of 20 percent enriched uranium would be needed.
But a resumption of conversion, experts say, means the Israeli “red line” for action could be postponed. Refined uranium can fuel nuclear energy plants, which is Iran’s stated aim, or provide the core of an atomic bomb, which the United States and Israel suspect may be its ultimate goal.
Next week’s talks between the six powers and Iran to try again to break the impasse in the decade-old dispute are their first since mid-2012 but analysts expect no real progress toward defusing suspicions that Iran is seeking atomic bomb capability.
The United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany want Iran to halt 20 percent enrichment and shut the Fordow underground plant where this takes place. Iran wants them to recognize what it regards as its right to refine uranium for peaceful purpose and to relax increasingly strict sanctions battering its oil-dependent economy.
In Paris, French deputy foreign ministry spokesman Vincent Floreani said the powers were ready to make a new offer to Iran with “significant new elements” and that they hoped Tehran would engage seriously in the negotiations. source – Reuters
BEIRUT (AP) — An Israeli air attack staged in Syria this week may be a sign of things to come.
Israeli military officials appear to have concluded that the risks of attacking Syria are worth taking when compared to the dangers of allowing sophisticated weapons to reach Hezbollah guerrillas in neighboring Lebanon.
With Syrian President Bashar Assad’s grip on power weakening, Israeli officials fear he could soon lose control over his substantial arsenal of chemical and advanced weapons, which could slip into the hands of Hezbollah or other hostile groups. These concerns, combined with Hezbollah’s own domestic problems, mean further military action could be likely.
Tzachi Hanegbi, an incoming lawmaker in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party and a former chairman of parliament’s influential foreign affairs and defense committee, signaled Thursday that Israel could be compelled to act on its own. While Israel’s preference is for Western powers to gain control over Syria’s arms stockpile, he said there are no signs of that happening.
“Israel finds itself, like it has many times in the past, facing a dilemma that only it knows how to respond to. And it could well be that we will reach a stage where we will have to make decisions,” Hanegbi told Israel’s Army Radio Thursday. Hanegbi, like other Israeli officials, would not confirm Israeli involvement in the airstrike.
In this week’s incident, Israeli warplanes conducted a rare airstrike inside Syria, according to U.S. officials who said the target was a convoy carrying anti-aircraft weapons bound for Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese militant group allied with Syria and Iran.
The Syrian military has denied the existence of any weapons shipment and said a military research facility outside Damascus was hit.
On Thursday, Syria threatened to retaliate, while Hezbollah condemned the attack as “barbaric aggression.” Iran, which supplies arms to Syria, Hezbollah and the Hamas militant group in Gaza, said the airstrike would have significant implications for Israel. Syrian ally Russia said it appeared to be an unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation.
Syria’s ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdul-Karim Ali, said Damascus “has the option and the capacity to surprise in retaliation.” He told Hezbollah’s al-Ahd news website that it was up to the relevant authorities to choose the time and place.
For now, Israeli officials seem to be playing down the threats
“Israel took a big gamble out of the belief that Iran and Hezbollah won’t retaliate. The question is, `Are they right or not?’” said Moshe Maoz, a professor emeritus at Hebrew University who specializes in Syria.
Officials believe that Assad’s position in Syria is so precarious that he cannot risk opening a new front with Israel. With an estimated 60,000 Syrians killed in the civil war, Israeli officials also think it’s too late for Assad to rally his bitterly divided nation behind him.
“Syria is in such a bad state right now that an Israeli retaliation to a Syrian action would be harsh and could topple the regime. Therefore Syria is not responding,” Maoz said.
Israel is far more worried about the threat of sophisticated weapons reaching Hezbollah. In a monthlong 2006 war, Hezbollah fired some 4,000 rockets and missiles into Israel before the conflict ended in a stalemate. Israeli officials believe the guerrilla group has restocked its arsenal with tens of thousands of missiles, some capable of striking deep inside the Jewish state.
Resigned to this fact, Israel has set a number of “red lines” for Hezbollah that it says are unacceptable, in particular the acquisition of new weapons that it believes would change the balance of power in the region. These include chemical weapons and sophisticated anti-aircraft and surface-to-sea missiles.
If the SA-17s were to have reached Hezbollah, they would have greatly inhibited the Israeli air force’s ability to operate in Lebanon. Israel has frequently flown sorties over Lebanese skies since 2006.
The airstrike is part of an Israeli strategy known to military planners as “the policy of prevention,” or the “war between wars.” In recent years, Israel is believed to have launched a number of covert missions, including airstrikes in Sudan and assassinations of key Hezbollah and Hamas militants, aimed at disrupting the flow of weapons to its Iranian-backed enemies. Israel has never acknowledged involvement.
Israeli security officials believe that Hezbollah, despite its claims of victory, is still deterred by the experience of the 2006 war, in which it lost hundreds of fighters. Instead of a direct war, Israel fears Hezbollah might try to strike Israeli or Jewish targets around the world. Israel has accused Hezbollah of a string of attacks on Israeli targets in recent years, including a deadly attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last July.
The Israeli airstrike comes at a particularly sensitive and vulnerable time for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Despite its formidable weapons arsenal and political clout in the country, the group’s credibility and maneuvering space has been significantly reduced in the past few years.
Hezbollah still suffers from the fallout of the 2006 war, which many in Lebanon accused it of provoking by kidnapping soldiers from the border area. Since then, the group has come under increasing pressure at home to disarm, leading to sectarian tensions between its Shiite supporters and Sunnis from the opposing camp that have often spilled into deadly street fighting.
When Hezbollah sent an Iranian-made reconnaissance drone over Israel in November, the group boasted of its capabilities – but critics in Lebanon slammed it for embarking on a unilateral adventure that could provoke Israel.
Despite persistent reports and accusations that Hezbollah members are fighting alongside the military in Syria, Hezbollah has largely approached the Syria conflict with caution, mindful that any action it takes could backfire.
“In different times, Hezbollah would have reacted to Israel’s surgical strike, but not today,” said Bilal Saab, director of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, North America. “This is a time for hunkering down and weathering the storm.”
The uprising in Syria, the main transit point of weapons brought from Iran to Hezbollah, presents the group with its toughest challenge since its inception in 1982.
The group could still get weapons, but would struggle to get them as easily without the Syria supply route. Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah’s public support for the Assad regime has proved costly and the group’s reputation has taken a severe beating. Former champions of the group now describe it as hypocritical for supporting Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, but not in Syria.
As for Israel and Syria, although they are bitter enemies, they have avoided direct conflict for most of the past 40 years. Israel has been careful to stay out of Syria’s civil war, not wanting to be seen as supporting any side in the conflict.
While the attack overnight Tuesday, believed to be the first by Israel on Syrian soil since 2007, appeared to come out of nowhere, signs of impending action were evident in recent days. On Jan. 23, the day after national elections, Netanyahu convened top security officials for an emergency meeting to discuss the situation in Syria.
One of the meeting participants, Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, warned this week that Israel could be forced to carry out a pre-emptive attack under certain circumstances. The same day, Israel suddenly moved a new, state-of-the-art rocket-defense system to the northern city of Haifa, which was hit hard by Hezbollah rocket fire during a 2006 war.
Uzi Rabi, a military analyst at Tel Aviv University’s Dayan Center, said the attack was a “kind of message” sent by Israel to Syria and Hezbollah.
“It says we do have capabilities when it comes to intelligence gathering … and this would serve as kind of a warning sign to Hezbollah not to transfer chemical weaponry from Syria to Hezbollah,” he said. source – AP