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East-West-North-South: The Race for Syria after the Islamic State

The current race for control of territory in Syria now appears to be a competition between Iran and the United States, which have established two respective axes – with a vertical American (north-south) effort on the one hand, and a horizontal Iranian (east-west) effort on the other hand. In practice, this is another stage in the shaping of Syria in preparation for the day after the Islamic State. In the meantime, the country’s southwestern region, from Daraa to the Golan Heights, remains open for activity and influence by Israel and Jordan, which must begin taking action before it is too late. Contacts are apparently underway to formulate a joint Israeli-Jordanian-American strategy aimed at preventing Iranian influence and the presence of its proxies, especially Hezbollah and Shiite militias, in the southern Syria.

Increasing signs are pointing to the impending fall of the Islamic State in Syria, which has suffered a series of defeats in recent months. The territory in eastern Syria that will be freed of Islamic State control now constitutes a focus of the major struggle between the United States and Iran in Syria, as both are striving to seize the area. Early June marked the onset of the final phase of the US-led coalition’s offensive to conquer the city of Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State in Syria, with a combined Kurdish-Arab (though predominantly Kurdish) ground force – the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – and air support provided by the international coalition, including the United States, other Western countries, and Arab states. At the same time, Iran and its proxies have also started intensifying efforts aimed at shaping Syria the day after the fall of the Islamic State. Forces of the pro-Assad coalition are currently trying to expand their control in the Deir ez-Zor region and improve their access to Raqqa and the surrounding area, and also seize key positions along the Syrian-Iraqi border.

By INSS -- Udi Dekel- Monday, June 26, 2017 - Full Story

US pressure on Israel? No need to panic!

Can Israel afford to defy US presidential pressure to concede land, which is historically and militarily critical to the future of the Jewish State?

US presidential pressure has been an integral part of the US-Israel saga since 1948. However, in retrospect, US pressure on Israel has been based on erroneous assessments of the Middle East, failing to advance the cause of peace, as evidenced by the only two peace accords (between Israel and Egypt and Jordan), which were the result of direct Israeli initiatives, not US pressure.

In fact, US pressure on Israel has forced Arabs to outflank the US from the maximalist side, causing further setbacks to the peace process.

By Yoram Ettinger - Monday, June 26, 2017 - Full Story

How the Asbestos Hysteria Led to the Grenfell Tragedy

There was no single cause of the tragic 24-story Grenfell Tower conflagration in London. The British newspaper The Telegraph lists eight factors, including lack of dual staircases, lack of sprinklers both outside and inside, and sub-standard fire doors—none of which at this time appear to have violated the law. But nothing contributed more to the sheer speed of the spread, blocking both exits and preventing rescues, and hence the horrific death toll, than what’s called “cladding.” That’s a covering or coating on the structure.

According to The Telegraph, fire safety experts warned as much as 18 years ago that the cladding used on buildings such as Grenfell Tower—used to improve both energy efficiency and aesthetics—posed a deadly threat because it essentially turns a high-rise into a chimney, funneling the heat upwards. Why? Partly it’s “breathing space” between cladding panels allowing oxygen to enter and partly because the cladding was made of aluminum and . . . polyethylene. “Ethyl” means a petroleum byproduct. And while petroleum byproducts may be good for heating and cooling insulation, petroleum burns.

By Michael Fumento - Saturday, June 24, 2017 - Full Story

The New United States Policy against the Islamic State: Ramifications for Asymmetric Warfare

Are the recent US strikes against the Islamic State, as well Russia’s permissive policy on airstrikes in Syria that cause mass civilian casualties and extensive harm to civilian infrastructures, evidence of a change in international standards in the fight against terrorist organizations and sub-state actors? A related question is: do the rules of engagement that apply to powers such as the United States and Russia also apply to other states confronting terrorism, such as Israel? How should Israel prepare for its next confrontation against a sub-state actor such as Hamas or Hezbollah that operates in an urban environment while intentionally embedded in the civilian population?

In late May 2017, US Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis announced a change in United States strategy in the war against the Islamic State, amounting to a transition from attrition to a concerted policy of annihilation. Mattis announced that the US intention is to prevent foreigners fighting in Islamic State ranks from surviving the battle and returning home or acting elsewhere, such as in North Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Mattis added that civilian casualties in the war against terrorism is “a fact of life,” but made it clear that US forces would continue to make great efforts to prevent civilian casualties, while taking the army’s needs into consideration. However, is already clear that since President Trump took office there has been an increase in civilian casualties in US attacks in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State.

By INSS -- Liran Antebi, Udi Dekel- Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - Full Story

Watch a former US Special forces soldier run through ISIS gunfire to save a little civilian girl in

The old media loves to portray the U.S. military as uncaring warmongers running roughshod over the globe.  To them, the United States is always the problem, never the solution.  The truth is that members of the American Armed Forces have a long history of trying to assist local civilians during engagements, and lending aid and comfort is almost always one of their primary goals.

Even after their service is up, many of them become aid workers - dedicating themselves to the effort to help those in harm’s way. You’d never know it if you only listen to the left.

So, when we have a piece of footage like this, we like to make sure you see it. On the streets of Mosul, ISIS snipers had killed multiple civilians in the middle of a wide street. That’s when ex-Green Beret David Eubank saw a little girl moving among the victims.

By Robert Laurie - Monday, June 19, 2017 - Full Story

Deceiving Trump and Tillerson has consequences for Abbas

President Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson are quickly learning that tough talk is needed to rein in Mahmoud Abbas—who has deceived Trump and Tillerson twice in the last month.

  1. Abbas sweet-talked Trump at the White House on 3 May claiming:

“we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly responded on 4 May:

“I heard President Abbas yesterday say that Palestinians teach their children peace. That’s unfortunately not true. They name their schools after mass murders of Israelis and they pay terrorists,”

By David Singer - Monday, June 19, 2017 - Full Story

Defending Israel and Fighting Anti-Semitism - My Ariel Avrech Memorial Lecture

I was honored and privileged to be asked by Robert Avrech of Seraphic Secret to undertake the Ariel Avrech Memorial Lecture in memory of his son Ariel, who passed away at an early age.

Robert and Karen are incredible people who have managed to transmute their loss into a search for meaning. And it was a great responsibility to be part of that and to follow speakers like David Horowitz and Larry Elder who have delivered the lecture in the past. It was also a pleasure to meet up with fellow bloggers from Bookworm Room and Rob from Joshuapundit, as well as having colleague Mark Tapson and Kyle Kyllan, producer of The Enemies Within. And thank you also to those who came from as far away as Marin County and Orange County. I was happy to meet everyone and privileged to be able to participate in this event.

The following is the text of my remarks. You can see the video above. My speech begin after opening remarks by Robert, Karen and a friend of Ariel’s who shared some beautiful memories of him with us.

By Daniel Greenfield - Monday, June 19, 2017 - Full Story

Canadian Beauty Queen to Address U.N. Rights Council Today on China’s Persecution of Falun Gong

GENEVA— Chinese-Canadian human rights activist, actress and beauty queen Anastasia Lin will testify before the United Nations Human Rights Council this afternoon in Geneva. To request an interview, send email to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Lin was famously barred from China when she went to represent Canada at the 2015 Miss World competition. Her struggle was profiled in the New York Times and reported worldwide.

Today, Lin’s testimony will address the situation of human rights in China, whose government was recently reelected to the 47-nation body.

Lin was invited to speak by the independent non-governmental human rights group UN Watch

Israel’s economy - persistent defiance of conventional wisdom

In defiance of the jagged cutting edge of the Middle East, the inherent regional unpredictability, uncertainty, instability, violence, brutal Islamic intolerance of the “infidel” and the lack of formal diplomatic relations with most of its neighbors, Israel has displayed a unique level of resilience, steadfastness, stability and creativity.

By Yoram Ettinger - Thursday, June 15, 2017 - Full Story

Palestinian official donates playroom to a Haifa hospital

Every year, an estimated 1,200 children and adults residents of the Palestinian Authority (PA) territories come to Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa for medical treatment.

A few months ago, “M,” a senior figure in the PA who wishes to conceal his identity, was treated for cancer at Rambam. While hospitalized, he met many patients and their families from the PA areas, and began to take particular interest in the unique needs of hospitalized children.

“When I arrived at Rambam, I saw a medical team that treats its patients with dedication, but I also saw the suffering of sick children,” said M. “Palestinian children, Israelis, Syrians, and children from other countries are being treated at Rambam for serious illnesses and are in need of all the help they can get.”

After completing a round of treatment, he decided to donate tens of thousands of shekels to establish a playroom for children undergoing radiation therapy at Rambam’s new Joseph Fishman Oncology Center.—More…

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - Full Story

UN Secretary General Defends UN Agency that Teaches One Palestine “River to Sea”

The spokesperson for United Nations Secretary General António Guterres issued a statement on Monday on behalf of the Secretary General strongly defending the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The statement defended UNRWA against what the Secretary General considered to be unfair criticism. The statement expressed the Secretary General’s “support for UNRWA and his admiration for the role it plays in delivering essential services and protecting the rights of millions of Palestine refugees across the Middle East.”

The Secretary General, through his spokesperson, bestowed special praise for UNRWA’s supposed contributions to the education of Palestinian children. It “provides education for half a million refugee girls and boys, teaching them human rights and tolerance,” the Secretary General spokesperson’s statement said.

By Joseph A. Klein - Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - Full Story


This may come as a shock but intense terror incitement is happening in Jerusalem and nobody is taking a bit of notice.

Noise is being made about stopping Mahmoud Abbas paying salaries to jailed terrorists but nobody is addressing the source of the incitement, even when it is taking place regularly in our capital, and it is being done under guise of sport.

Let’s follow the money trail and we’ll arrive at the hard evidence of what is happening and who is failing to stop the incitement that leads to murder and bloodshed on the streets of Jerusalem. Who knows about it, and who is turning a blind eye?

By Barry Shaw - Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - Full Story

The Palestinian-North Korean Connection

A thorough examination of the track record of the Palestinian Authority, the PLO, Fatah (all three headed by Mahmoud Abbas) and Hamas is a prerequisite for a realistic assessment of the nature of the proposed Palestinian state and its potential impact upon vital US interests in the Middle East.

North Korea has scrutinized these terror organizations since their inception, in 1959 (Fatah), and has identified the significant, long-term, geo-political synergies between them and Pyongyang. Hence, the systematic and elaborate geo-strategic cooperation, since 1966, between one of the most repressive, terroristic and anti-US regimes in the world and the Palestinian terror organizations, which have been systematically anti-American, role-models of international and intra-Arab terrorism, subversion and treachery. Similarly to North Korea, they forged alliances with the USSR and the ruthless East European communist regimes, collaborated with Iran’s Ayatollahs, fomenting egregious systems of hate-education, incitement and repression.

By Yoram Ettinger - Monday, June 12, 2017 - Full Story

Qatar under Siege: Regional Implications and Ramifications for the Palestinian Arena

The severing of relations between Qatar and the Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, on the grounds that Qatar has been supporting terrorism, which follows on the heels of President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, will have serious regional implications. Closing Qatar’s sea and air space and the land border with Saudi Arabia are tantamount to casus belli and could lead to chaos in the emirate if not solved soon. Isolating Qatar will also have serious regional implications on Israel and the Palestinian arena. Qatar is one of the main financial supporters of the reconstruction Gaza Strip, in addition to paying salaries within the Hamas government and helping to provide services to Gaza Strip residents. Its isolation could lead to a decrease in its support for the Gaza Strip and push Hamas into the open arms of Iran. Although fighting terrorism is in the interests of Israel and the United States, Israel would be wise to advise the US administration not to paint Qatar into the corner, if only because this would push it further towards Iran.

By INSS -- Kobi Michael, Yoel Guzansky- Monday, June 12, 2017 - Full Story

U.N. defends election of Saudi Arabia to rights council

GENEVA,  The U.N. today said that questioning Saudi Arabia’s membership on the Human Rights Council is a “distraction,” a “gross oversimplification,” and an “attempt to stigmatize.”

This was the response of Philip Alston, a U.N. Human Rights Council expert who presented a report today on Saudi Arabia, to a question (see text below, video here) posed in the plenary of the 47-nation body by Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group.

Alston, a prominent NYU scholar who serves as the U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty, said that “with countries like Saudi Arabia” what is needed is “engagement.”

Kim Jong Un orders North Korean pilots to prepare for carrier attacks - praises pilots’ ‘scientific’

Since North Korea has no oil production of its own, military commanders are understandably reluctant to waste jet fuel. Every precious drop must be obtained from the DPRK’s increasingly irritated regional allies so Nork air force training has an embarrassing tendency to rely on toy planes and scale models.  Here’s a picture of what that looks like:

By Robert Laurie - Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - Full Story

Trump should move Pollard to Jerusalem

President Trump’s delay in moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem presents the President with a wonderful opportunity to commute Jonathan Pollard’s sentence - freeing Pollard to move from New York to Jerusalem.

Trump made his unequivocal Embassy pledge on 22 March 2016:

“We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.”

By David Singer - Monday, June 5, 2017 - Full Story

Will Nikki Haley Bark or Bite at the UN Human Rights Council?

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on Fox News.
American UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has decided to wade into the shark-infested waters of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

On June 6, 2017, she will join a decades-long list of American diplomats who have given speeches about the “unacceptable” discrimination against Israel by the UN’s top human rights body, and the “credibility” problem from welcoming human rights violators as members. The response is equally predictable: eye-rolls, yawns and a few disingenuous murmurs about UN reform.

It’s about time we changed the script.

By Anne Bayefsky - Monday, June 5, 2017 - Full Story

UNRWA fakes Gaza girl campaign with image of bombed-out Damascus

GENEVA – UN Watch today demanded that UNRWA chief Pierre Krahenbuhl apologize for using images of a girl from a bombed-out Syrian building as part of a global campaign to raise money for the organization by pretending the girl is a Gaza victim of Israeli actions.

UNRWA is now running the above photo on Facebook and in paid Twitter ads. It is also now UNRWA’s cover image on both Facebook and Twitter.

UNRWA’s narrative of the photo tells of a girl named Aya from Gaza who is said to be 11 years old now, and who has suffered from the Israeli blockade of Gaza, occupation, and walls.