israelAM for July 20, 2015

< back to sign up

US to Israel – We Can Agree to Disagree
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter arrived in Israel to meet with PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yaalon. Carter supports the Iran deal but claims that he won’t try to convince Israel to do the same.”I’m not going to change anybody’s mind in Israel,” Carter said in an interview. “We can agree to disagree.” Carter hasn’t indicated that the US will compensate Israel militarily for the Iran deal. The fear is that ending the sanctions currently in place against Iran will provide Iran with resources to increase their military capabilities and finance their terror proxies including Hezbollah and Hamas.

Regarding compensation, PM Netanyahu said, “if this deal is supposed to make Israel and our Arab neighbors safer, why should we be compensated with anything?” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz added, “We are very grateful for the assistance we get from the United States, but I think it’s wrong to use the word compensation because there is no real compensation for a nuclear threat.”

Just two months ago Washington announced a $1.9 billion arms sale to Israel for a range of missiles and bombs, including bunker busters that can penetrate reinforced defenses to reach underground targets, but doesn’t include the Pentagon’s biggest bunker buster bomb. Under the current US-Israel defense pact, Israel receives about $3 billion in military aid from the US each year. The pact expires in 2018 and is currently being renegotiated.

Meanwhile, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in Iran, said yesterday that the nuclear deal would not change Iran’s policy in supporting allies in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Lebanon and among the Palestinians. That’s bad news for Israel and the rest of the free world.

Protecting Iran’s Nuclear Capability
Israeli security officials are puzzled and worried, to say the least, about one small paragraph in the nuclear accord between the Western powers and Iran. Paragraph 10 on page 142 agrees to, “Co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical systems.” That sounds like the US and European allies will be responsible for helping protect Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Over the years there have been numerous acts of sabotage targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities that have significantly slowed Iran’s bomb making efforts. While no one has ever claimed responsibility, the CIA and Mossad are assumed to be involved. The security “co-operation” clause in the new agreement would obligate the allies to protect Iran from these kinds of attacks, including those originating in Israel. The clause obviously applies only to non military nuclear facilities. Of course, Iran claims to only have non-military facilities.

If you believe that Iran plans to continue it’s ultimate goal of developing nuclear weapons, as Israel clearly does, then this clause presents Israel with a huge problem. Will sabotaging Iran’s nuclear capabilities be viewed as an attack against the US? Bizarre, and scary.

Germany Stands Up for Israel in Iran
German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel urged Iran at the start of a three-day visit to improve its relationship with Israel if it wants to establish closer economic ties with Germany and other western powers. He offered Germany as a mediator. “You can’t have a good economic relationship with Germany in the long-term if we don’t discuss such issues too and try to move them along,” Gabriel told a gathering of German and Iranian business people in Tehran. “Questioning this state’s (Israel’s) right to existence is something that we Germans cannot accept.”

Germany was once Iran’s leading overseas supplier until 2007, when it lost its position to China. The Germans view the nuclear agreement as the first step in the process of winning new business. Trade between the 2 countries could equal 6 billion Euros within just two years.

Herzog denies Unity bid
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union party denied that he was engaged in negotiations to join the current government coalition. He said, “Benjamin Netanyahu must be replaced. He needs to be sent home. I’m saying no to crawling into Netanyahu’s extremist right government.”

Government sources have said that there are ongoing discussions about the possibility of a unity government, something that many in the government favor. But without compromising their fundamental right wing principles, a joint venture seems impossible. Democracy rules.

Terrorists arrested. Leader still free.
Israeli security forces have arrested the terror cell responsible for the murder of Israeli farmer Malachi Rosenfeld last month and for shooting at an ambulance and other Israeli vehicles.The leader of the terror cell, Ahmad Najar, a Hamas operative, was not among the suspects arrested. Najar was jailed for taking part in murdering 6 Israelis but was released in the Gilad Shalit exchange. He currently lives in Jordan where he continues to organize terror attacks.

Terror Vs. Terror in Gaza
A radical Isis inspired terror group called Salafists are thought to be responsible for bombing 6 vehicles in Gaza belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials. The Salafists have been bombing public buildings, attacking Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives, and firing occasional rockets into Israel to provoke Israeli retaliation against Hamas. Hamas has been arresting Salafists. And the cycle continues.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Cursing Rabbi
Ezra Sheinberg, the Safed rabbi and kabbalist jailed for allegedly molesting and raping at least 11 women, has been placing Kabbalistic curses upon his jailers. In response the Chief Rabbi of Safed, R. Shmuel Eliyahu, has told the corrections officers not to fear. “I don’t believe that someone in Heaven is listening to his curses.” R. Eliyahu then gave them his own blessing and told them that they are performing a Mitzvah by guarding the criminal. It’s unclear whether this will be enough to keep some of the guards from steering clear of the cursing rabbi.

Israeli Gambling Domination
Israeli gaming company 888 Holding plc operate the world’s largest online casino and poker operation. It just got even bigger by acquiring the British-Austrian gambling company Digital Entertainment for $1.4 billion. This gives the term “holy rollers” a whole new meaning.

Brain Drain
According to latest government figures there are 21,400 Israeli academians, including 2,400 PHD’s, living and working outside of Israel. Minister of Trade Aryeh Deri said that he’ll continue working on getting them back home to help build Israel’s economy. Good luck.

Yes, This Really Happened
Trying to flee from police, a 28 year old burglar in Ramle hopped into the backseat of a car and yelled, “drive, drive”. The driver was a detective in an unmarked car. Yup, that really happened.