Tag Archives: assassination

Are Iran explosions an ‘inside job?’ (Or did I already say that?)

In my last post I linked to a column by Caroline Glick which laid out some reasoned speculation that the spate of recent explosions at military and military-industrial facilities in Iran may be due, not necessarily to covert operations by Israel or others as widely thought, but to activities by Iranians resistant to the regime.

Not that I want to take one side or another, but I think it’s significant to point out today’s news coming from inside Iran that may corroborate such a viewpoint. Even more striking is the report that those responsible (whether part of the resistance, or perhaps others within the regime seeking to seize power) may include elements of Iran’s military and even the Ayatollah’s own son.

It’s not at all for certain at this point, and tales of intrigue coming out of Iran are nothing new, but it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on—especially in view of the things Glick had written.

Can you say stay tuned?


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Back to the ole’ 140s: 9 March 2010

I haven’t really been away – I just wanted that last post of Malcolm Hedding’s  insights on apartheid to remain at the top of the stack for a while. It needed to be noticed, and apparently has been seen by quite a few. The truth, once it’s presented, tends to stick out a little, don’t you think?

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Top o’ the Mideast news today is US Veep Joe Biden’s visit to Israel. Now, ole’ foot-in-mouth Joe can always be counted on for a few gaffs, and he doesn’t disappoint. The way I read this quote in Israel National News, he takes credit for the internal pressure put on the Iran regime by the post-election protests:

Biden insisted, "Since our administration came to power, I would point out that Iran is more isolated — internally, externally — has fewer friends in the world.”

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As reported by IsraelNN.com and other outlets, hundreds of Christians were brutally slaughtered with axes and knives by a Muslim Nigerian mob on Sunday of this week. Now witness this rather tepid reaction from the United Nations, keeping in mind their vociferous outrage at the casualties occasioned by Operation Cast Lead:

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon expressed sorrow Monday night at the slaughter. In a fairly restrained response, he told reporters that he is “very disturbed” at the situation, and “call[ed] upon all sides to act with maximum restraint.”

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More stuff that just isn’t so: aptly named and admirably astute Honest Reporting observes that foreign media coverage of Israel’s authorization of 112 housing units in Beitar Illit  is calling it “new settlements” activity, whereas the construction is taking place within a developed city of 36,000 residents. I suppose we can apply the “new settlements” label to just about anything we want to, can’t we? While we’re in the neighborhood, check out this video from Maoz Israel titled “The Genesis of the ‘Settlements’ Myth.”

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And just to round things out, here’s a post about “Passport Hypocrisy” from Alan M. Dershowitz. With regard to the alleged use of stolen or forged passports in the al-Mabhouh assassination, Mr. Dershowitz points out that such a practice is very much standard operating procedure when it comes to this sort of thing, so what’s all the fuss about? What, indeed?

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To believe, or not to believe – you always have to ask yourself the question.

I haven’t posted for a few days, largely because the major news surrounding Middle Eastern issues has been in more of a flux than usual, if that’s imaginable.

cokelore_santa_1942 You’ve got the al-Mabhouh  assassination – the latest wrinkle appears to be that now Dubai is issuing an arrest warrant for Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu; never mind that the organization to which the assassinated assassin belonged is saying no, no, see – it was Jordan. Or maybe Egypt. And it was probably Fatah. And Iran says it was Europe. So yeah, sure, lets go arrest Bibi. That will put a stop to all this nonsense. Yes, Virginia, the world is nuts.

Kerry-Bibi-GETTY But I’ve also noticed several developments since Monday that, if taken at face value, and without digging beneath the surface, appear amazingly positive. First, U.S. Senator John Kerry came out “solidly behind” Netanyahu’s call for truly tough sanctions against Iran. I’ve never been a fan of Kerry, but his statement on its own is positive; whether the man is sincere is really not for me to say.

And then yesterday it was reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Lebanon, in effect, don’t expect us to protect you from Israel if you keep letting Hezbollah bring in more arms. Now maybe you think this is not news – that the current U.S. administration has supported Israel’s right to self defense from the get-go, but to me, this is news. And  whether the woman means what she says or not, at least in this instance, I’m not here to say. At least not today.

Shalit-Israeli-Arabs And now it’s beginning to look like the Arab world is having second thoughts about its opposition to Israel. Say what!? Well, at least the Arab League is now saying it’s OK to talk. That might not seem like much, but it does represent a shift.  And here’s something that we didn’t expect (although it’s only right): Israeli Arabs demonstrated in front of the Egyptian Embassy in favor of the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Actually, this isn’t all that shocking, considering the little known fact that the vast majority of Arabs living in Israel do actually support the Israeli government. But it bears repeating.

ap_Muhammad_Tahir_ul_Qadri_100302_mn Now this is strange: the leader of a global Muslim movement has issued a strongly worded fatwa against terrorism. I don’t have a problem with that, do you?

And regarding anti-Semitism overseas? Well, there’s not much good news there – except Canada’s Ontario Legislature just passed a resolution condemning the annual anti-Israel event known as “Apartheid Week.” I might have mentioned this before, but, to summarize the words yesterday of Washington Post writer Richard Cohen, Israel is not South Africa.

Yet we still must – I repeat, must – have more sense than to blithely accept everything at face value, pleasant or unpleasant; we simply have to, as a matter of survival, roll up our sleeves and dig beneath the surface in all things. And that takes work. I truly hope my readers don’t think that I have a lot of answers here. I don’t carry the ball – I just try to say “whoa” once in a while when I see something coming that’s just not right. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is visiting Israel this week. During the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Senator Biden was presented, as I recall, as a supporter of Israel. Maybe he is, in some ways. But take care – read these beneath-the-surface observations by respected columnist Caroline Glick during an interview published today in Israel National News.

In some words written several centuries ago, test and prove all things until you can recognize what is good, and then hold on tight to that.

Shalom, y’all.


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140s for 24 and 25 Feb 2010

I just discovered a neat trick: whenever I miss a day, cover up, uh, I mean, make up for it by merely including the missed dates in the current post title. Cool, huh?

0114-mehsud-drone-pakistan_resize Ok, so I’m not fooling anyone – but who in the world do we think we’re fooling when we cry bloody murder (more or less literally) if we even suspect that Israel has taken out a military enemy by what we term ‘extra legal’ means, but we can do something similar as many times and in as many places as we very well please? Such as in Afghanistan or Pakistan, for instance.  Mr. Gerald M. Steinberg has quite a bit more to say on the matter here.

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RachelsTomb_LG I said something earlier about Israel’s proposal to create a list of locations significant to the nation’s Jewish heritage. Judging by all the violent opposition, it must be a really good idea. Now the latest objection (as of this writing – who knows what will come next?) is that the list includes only Jewish places. Now let me get this straight, Mr. Abbas – you vehemently object to a list of Jewish heritage sites, but you are even further offended that it doesn’t include non-Jewish sites. Would you be happy, Mr. Abbas, if we changed the list to include locations having nothing to do with its purpose? You would? Whom do you think you’re fooling?

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It doesn’t look like I’m going to get very far way from this who-are-we-fooling thread today – regarding all the “hand-wringing over forged passports” (as Mr. Steinberg puts it), we might well note as that Mr. Mabhouh used the same technique as part of his stock in trade. Why am I not surprised? Thanks, Intellicept 3!

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Sadaam_NYY_Cap Ah, but allow me to end on an enlightening observation. It gives me a sort of wry pride as an American to note that the more people dump on Israel, the better we like the feisty little country. Maybe it’s that root-for-the-underdog thing. The latest Gallup poll as cited in Arutz-7 news shows popular American support for Israel is currently near its highest level in 20 years.  The last time it was this good was when Ol’ Saddam was shooting Scuds at her during the First Gulf War. And oh, by the way, Mossad T-shirt sales have skyrocketed. I don’t suppose Europe will ever quite get it, do you? How about them Yankees!

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140s for 23 Feb 2010

Cruella de Vil I think it was who said, “Imbeciles! I’m surrounded by imbeciles!” If she only knew! Prof. Barry Rubin recently had good reason to lodge a similar complaint with regard to some of the things which are currently being written about the Middle East by people who should otherwise know better. or, as he puts it,

Prof_Rubin_1I am reading material that simultaneously has no connection with the real world, is full of internal contradictions, and often seems deliberately tailored to misrepresent events in order to prove a false thesis. Fortunately, this stuff has not done actual damage in the real world–much of it has not been implemented in policy–yet but may in future…

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Speaking of Middle Eastern Insanity, Richard Cohen of the Washington Post has every reason to question whether Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is crazy like a fox, or just plain crazy. (Via World Jewish Daily.)

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Is Israeli Knesset run by Mossad? Was the assassination of al-Mabhouh a good deed?

3_a A heated debated arose in the Knesset House Committee on Tuesday, following a request to hold a plenum session on the "forged passports affair". Member of Knesset Talab El-Sana (United Arab List – Ta’al) asked if the Knesset was run by the Mossad, while MK Carmel Shama (Likud) called the assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh a "mitzvah".

The Knesset House Committee session was held following a decision by the Knesset presidency not to authorize the matter for discussion on the Knesset plenum’s agenda. El-Sana filed an appeal to the committee, which was also rejected.

"Why isn’t the Israeli Knesset holding a discussion?" El-Sana asked the committee. "Anyone trying not to hold a discussion has a reason not to hold a discussion… Does (Mossad chief) Meir Dagan decide which matters are discussed in the Knesset?"

Thanks for the info, Ynet (and a tip o’ the hat to tweeter MlleJacqueline), but can anyone please explain all that?

Oh, and pay no attention to the news that another arrest has been made in the investigation, not of an Israeli or anyone connected with Mossad, but of one of al-Mabhouh’s own aides. Thanks, again, WJD for the tip.

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Palestinian-Flag5 For a long while now, the Palestinian leadership has been saying it wants peace, as long as Israel will submit to its demands. Although obviously they haven’t been saying it quite that way. But now that Israel wants to do something to honor the cultural heritage of the Jewish people in the land, both Fatah and Hamas somehow decide that’s a pretty good reason to start a new war.

Israel finds all that, well, a bit off. I agree.

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Or, getting back to the vivid imagination of Iran’s leaders, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that Britain’s M16 isn’t out to get you via the BBC.

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And – just my two cents here – you can’t very well see where you’re going if you’re always looking over your shoulder.  Shalom, y’all, and good night.

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140s for 22 Feb 2010

Happy Monday, y’all! Or it might not even be Monday any more by the time I get this out. There’s not all that much to say right now, but a few things I’ll point out, the first being that Bibi is right in telling the world that it’s time to, as it were, fish or cut bait when it comes to Iran. Actually it’s been that way for a while, but it needs to be said again, and at least the world hears Mr. Netanyahu, even it it doesn’t listen.

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Speaking of listening, a lot us on my side of the line of scrimmage have been trying to point out for a while that Israel did not create the Palestinian refugee problem – the Arab states did in 1948. Well, guess what? Now some prominent  Arabs are beginning to say something about it, too. Prominent, but not in control. But maybe, just maybe, someone will listen.

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Then there’s the ongoing brouhaha over who killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. I’m still not saying Mossad didn’t do it, but it’s more important to note that since we still don’t know who did, we should not be so eager to finger a possible culprit. Especially if we have a tendency to finger whoever it is we don’t like. Which is apparently starting to happen. While at the same time there are more reasons not to be so quick to judge, not fewer.

Then there is this aspect of the whole affair that we should keep in mind:

The issue here is not the use of forged passports, but the bringing to justice of a criminal terrorist responsible for murdering innocent civilians.

Ya think?

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Yes, we had no 140s…

…yesterday, that is. And just a few today. All three items that I have for you this evening come by way of Unity Coalition for Israel, an excellent source for news having to do with Israel and the Middle East from a perspective I unabashedly share.

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Some information I have not seen elsewhere concerns Washington, D.C. based Saudi reformer and director of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ali Alyami. He is quoted as saying

ali-Aliyami "Democratizing Saudi Arabia is the key to democratizing all Arabs and Muslims. The best, easiest, cheapest and quickest way to achieve this formidable undertaking is to empower Saudi women who are already in the forefront in challenging their ferocious political, religious, economic, social and educational environment. Due to Saudi Arabia’s centrality to Islam and its possession of the largest known oil reserves, Saudi Arabia plays a major religious and economic role in the lives of both Muslims and non-Muslims. Empowering Saudi women will resonate throughout Arab and Muslim societies."

Kind of radical, isn’t it? But not in the usual way we think of when we put “Muslim” and “radical” in the same sentence. We need to remind ourselves now and then that, while Islamism in the radical sense is indeed an enemy of civilization, that does not mean that we ought to pre-judge all – or even the majority of – Muslims. Turn here for the rest of the commentary by Phyllis Chesler of PajamasMedia.

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By the same token, we need not swing the opposite direction and say, ‘Oh, poor misjudged Muslims.’ We must, if only for the sake of our own survival, be observant and ready to speak when we see a danger that others may not see. One dangerous situation I had not known of involves the takeover of the British underworld by Muslim gangs since 9-11, at least according to this article from The Sun via UCI. The key phrase that jumped out at me here was the quote, "The reality is that Asian gangs don’t give much of toss about religion, but with Islam comes fear, and with fear comes power.”

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One more thing, which I touched on earlier, is with regard to the national enemies of Israel (Muslim or otherwise) having a problem with Israel defending itself without waiting for an invasion from the outside. (In particular with reference to the assassination in Dubai last month of self-confessed murderer Mahmoud Mabhouh, which we are still not saying was done by Mossad – but we don’t know that it wasn’t.)  UCI passes along this comment from Guy Bechor of Ynet:

“We are currently facing an odd situation the likes of which we have not seen for many years: Israel’s enemies are in panic, or is it paranoia, for fear that Israel will be attacking them.” Hezbollah is convinced that it will suffer a blow at any moment, Hamas is still licking its wounds, Syria is concerned, and Iran’s foreign minister already declared that Israel is a "nation of crazy people" with "mad leaders" who may launch a strike.

Meanwhile, the frightened Lebanese turned to the UN, to UNIFIL, and to French President Sarkozy and asked for France’s protection against the "terrible" Israel. However, the French announced that as long as Hezbollah is armed, they will only ask Israel to refrain from destroying Lebanon’s civilian infrastructures and no more than that. All this was published by the Arab media.

On the other hand, our borders are quieter than they have been in many years.

So how do we explain this bizarre Middle Eastern paranoia? The IDF is training today as it has not done in dozens of years. Every day, from morning till night: Tanks, airplanes, helicopters, live-fire drills and soldiers running around. The Lebanese watch this from across the border, as do the Syrians, and they are becoming anxious: What are the Israelis plotting over there? Is there something we don’t know?

The Israeli restlessness prompts anxiety among our enemies, and this is good, of course. It’s called deterrence

You don’t say?

See y’all in a day or few.


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