Newsletter : 13fx0508.txt
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US to Arm Syrian Rebels: Putin's Rebuke, Chinese 'Peace Plan' Mar Netanyahu's Chinese
Negative diplomatic ricochets are pursuing Israel in the aftermath of its air force
attacks on Syria. In the first place, they are seen to have had no effect on Hizbullah's
successful military intervention on the side of the Assad regime or the Syrian war at
In the second, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, while in Shanghai, was given
a sharp dressing-down by President Vladimir Putin Monday, a warning that Russia would not
tolerate further Israeli attacks on Damascus and would respond. Putin did not say how, but
he did announce he had ordered the acceleration of highly advanced Russian weapons
supplies to Syria.
DEBKAfile's military sources disclose that the Russian leader was referring to S-300
anti-air systems and the nuclear-capable 9K720 Iskander (NATO named SS-26 Stone) surface
missiles, which are precise enough to hit a target within a 5-7 meter radius at a distance
of 280 kilometers.
In his phone call to Netanyahu, the Russian leader made no bones about his determination
not to permit the US, Israel or any other regional force (e.g. Turkey and Qatar) overthrow
President Bashar Assad. He advised the prime minister to make sure to keep this in
Our sources add: Since Syrian air defense teams have already trained in Russia on the
handling of the S-300 interceptor batteries, they can go into service as soon as they are
landed by one of Russia's daily airlifts to Syria. Russian air defense officials will
supervise their deployment and prepare them for operation.
Moscow is retaliating not just for Israel's air operations against Syria but in
anticipation of the Obama administration's impending decision to send the first US arms
shipments to the Syrian rebels. Intelligence agencies in Moscow and the Middle East take
it for granted that by the time Washington goes public on this decision, some of the
Syrian rebel factions will already be armed with American weapons.
That the measure was in the works was signified by the introduction Monday by Bob
Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, of legislation allowing the
US to provide arms and military training to the Syrian rebels, US military instructors
have been working with Syrian rebels at training camps in Jordan and Turkey for some
months. So putting the arms in their hands only awaited a decision in Washington.
Putin's message to Netanyahu was intended to reach a wider audience than Jerusalem,
such as Barack Obama in Washington and President Xi Jinping in Beijing ahead of
Netanyahu's talks there Tuesday.
Therefore, when Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Moscow that day, in an attempt
"bridge the divide" between their governments on the Syria conflict, he was preceded by a
barrage of Russian condemnation of the Israeli air strikes in Damascus "as a threat to
regional stability," a stiff warning from the Russian foreign ministry to the "West" to
stop "politicizing the issue of chemical weapons in Syria," and Moscow's "concern that
world public opinion was being prepared for possible foreign military intervention."
In other words, the Russian leader rejected in advance and with both hands any attempt
by the US to use the Israeli air strikes as leverage for a deal with Moscow for ending the
Syrian war. US weapons supplies to the rebels would furthermore be matched by stepped-up
arms supplies to the Assad regime, which Putin is totally committed to preserving.
The Chinese government's cold shoulder to Israel was exhibited less directly that
Moscow's but no less firmly. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was invited to visit
Beijing and meet President Xi two days before the prime minister arrived in the Chinese
capital Tuesday to begin the official part of his visit. The Chinese president unveiled
his peace plan before meeting Netanyahu.
This plan emphasizes, as the key to a settlement, the Palestinian right to a state on
the basis of 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital. It also adopts Abbas'
preconditions for talks, including a stop to settlement activities, an end of the Gaza
blockade and "proper handling" of the Palestinian prisoners issue.
Clearly, Netanyahu would have been wiser to postpone his Chinese visit instead of
taking off while Israeli air force blasts will still reverberating in Damascus. By staying
at home, he would have displayed a firmer and steadier hand at the helm. And after taking
off, he would have done well not to linger for two days in Shanghai first. This gave the
Russian leader the chance to catch him wrong-footed and administer a strong, publicized
rebuke, so bearing down on the agenda of Netanyahu's forthcoming talks with Chinese
Arab Terror in the City of Peace:: Jerusalem Reunification Day May 8, 2013
By Eli E. Hertz (Commentary)
Palestinian Arabs have concentrated many of their terrorist attacks on Jews in
Jerusalem, hoping to win the city by an onslaught of terror who seek to make life in the
City of Peace unbearable. But this is not a new tactic. Arab strategy to turn Jerusalem
into a battleground began in 1920.
Unfortunately, Arab leaders often turn to violence to gain what they were unable to
achieve at the negotiating table. When talks broke down at Camp David in 2000, Palestinian
Arab leaders unleashed the al-Aqsa Intifada, which amounted to a full-blown guerrilla war
It began the day before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, when Arab mobs hurled rocks
from the Temple Mount onto Jewish worshipers praying at the Western Wall below. That rock
attack turned into a steady campaign of terrorist attacks. As the priming powder for the
Intifada, Palestinian leaders incited Palestinians and Muslims throughout the world with
fables that falsely suggested that Jews began an assault on al-Aqsa when Ariel Sharon made
a half-hour visit to the Temple Mount during tourist hours. The truth is that
Palestinians' plans for warfare had begun immediately after Arafat walked out of the Camp
Why do Palestinian Arabs focus terror attacks on the City of Peace? Because
Palestinians, despite their rhetoric, fully understand Jerusalem's symbolic and spiritual
significance to the Jews. Suicide attacks on public buses and cafes, malls, and
other crowded sites in the heart of the city since the 1993 Oslo Accords, are
designed to make life hell for Jewish Jerusalemites.
Atrocities like the February and March 1996 bombings of two #18 buses that killed 26
people and the August 2001 bombing of a Sbarro pizzeria that killed 15 (including five
members of one family), are part of an ongoing 120-year-old battle that Arabs have waged
in opposition to Zionism. In April 1920, a three-day rampage by religiously incited
anti-Zionist Arab mobs left six dead and 200 injured in the Jewish Quarter. The attackers
gutted synagogues and ransacked homes. Arabs planted time bombs in public places as far
back as February 1947, when they blasted Ben-Yehuda Street, Jerusalem's main
thoroughfare, leaving 50 dead.
This was all done before the establishment of the State of Israel. In the 1950s,
Jordanians periodically shot at Jewish neighborhoods from the walls of the Old City. And
after the city was united in 1967, Arabs renewed their battle for the city by planting
bombs in cinemas and supermarkets. The first terrorist attack in that renewed battle came
with the 1968 bombing of Jerusalem's "Machane Yehuda," the open market that left 12
The plain facts about Palestinian Arab behavior clearly demonstrate that under
international law they have forfeited any claim to the City of Peace. Their aggression
cannot and should not be rewarded.
Budapest Jews Fear Violent Attack Only `A Matter of Time'
By The Times of Israel
Denes Ban was wearing a kippah and walking through the small Jewish area of the
Hungarian capital Budapest one day recently when he overheard two younger people talking
"One said to the other, in Hungarian, `Look at this guy
what's on his head? He's
a Jew! Thank God the new government will make sure these type of people won't walk on the
streets.' I was shocked," the Budapest native told The Times of Israel, saying the
incident was one of the scariest he has experienced.
With the World Jewish Congress holding its assembly in Budapest as a show of support
this week, Jews in the Hungarian capital said that anti-Semitism is still alive and well
on both banks of the Danube. Ban said the incident was not the only in which he was
threatened, insulted, spat at, or cursed. "It happens from time to time," he said.
When he retorted at someone who was taunting him outside a synagogue, the man stuttered
and lost his confidence. "They're used to Jews not replying, just accepting," Ban
Jews have felt at home and prospered in Hungary since the fall of the Communist regime,
but "over the past decade, things have changed" and fear has returned, Dr. Peter
Feldmajer, president of the Hungarian Jewish community, told the congress on Sunday. The
59-year-old said recent attacks against Jews and attempts to pass anti-Semitic legislation
were "warning bells" that cannot be ignored. Chief among Jewish concerns in Hungary is the
rise of the ultra-rightist Jobbik party, which openly espouses anti-Semitic views and won
12 percent of parliamentary seats in 2010 elections.
Today Budapest is "where an elderly rabbi is attacked in the street
fascists are heard
where anti-Semite authors are added to the school curriculum,"
Members of the extreme right, led by the Jobbik, have already killed people from the
Roma minority; the Jews fear they're next in line, a member of the community said. "The
question isn't if, it's when," he said, noting the boosted security which includes
surveillance and policemen around various community establishments.
While many local Jews were willing to speak openly, some feared having their name
mentioned in this article. Others were reluctant to even be interviewed. "It's only a
matter of time before someone is hurt," Oren Glick, who oversees the kosher certification
of the community's restaurants, said after morning prayers in one of the capital's
synagogues. The Israeli-born, ultra-Orthodox Glick said that anti-Semitism, though not yet
life threatening, is visible and present every day, near every Jewish establishment in
"One of the school teachers has a neighbor who spits when he walks by. It happens on
his way to work, every single day," Glick explained, adding that the level of security
both by the police and the community "is extremely high, more than before,
because curses and spitting will eventually turn into physical assaults."
Yitzhak, a community member who wished to avoid having his full Hungarian name in
print, bemoaned that he had little hope in the World Jewish Congress meeting or its
statements. "What difference will it make?" he asked, noting that the Jobbik party was
gaining power in parliament.
"People can talk, and maybe draw attention to the matter," he said. But, he added, some
of the security precautions for the conference such as the closing of streets and
the positioning of policemen on street corners, meant to protect the hundreds of WJC
delegates are counterproductive and only cause antagonism. "At the end of the day
[the delegates] will leave Budapest and we'll have to deal with reality."
A similar opinion was voiced by a member of the Hungarian delegation to the congress,
who said that the problem can be solved only if there is dialogue between the Jewish
community and the Hungarian political leadership. "If it takes the WJC to draw attention
[to the issue], it shows just how bad the situation is," he said.
The delegate explained how the Jobbik party, infamous for calling to start a registry
of Jews in the country, has grown stronger in recent years, due to the combination of the
global financial crisis and internal Hungarian politics. "People see problems that aren't
being solved, and they try to make their own solution," he stated. "Blaming Jews, Roma and
others is a way of venting one's anger and frustration."
Budapest's Jewish community "is once again under threat," community leader Feldmajer
said, shortly after keynote speakers including WJC President Ronald Lauder and
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban likened the situation today to that of the
"I don't see an incident like [the 1938] Kristallnacht happening in the near future,
but I do worry individuals might start to commit more serious acts," Ban replied when
asked whether the situation would grow worse. "People are frustrated and are taking it out
on the Jews. Orban says the acts are bad, but he isn't speaking out against the Jobbik
party because he needs votes," he charged.
"I don't think Orban is an anti-Semite
rather, he wants power" and he
made some questionable decisions to achieve it, Ban said, adding that 20 years ago the
Hungarian prime minister was one of his favorite politicians. "He was brave, charismatic.
He represented real liberal values."
Businessman Ban said one of the biggest problems is the lack of initiative when it
comes to combating anti-Semitism in Hungary. "We respond, but we don't create dialogue or
educate people before this happens," he elaborated, adding that "using the Holocaust card"
to guilt-trip the other side was problematic and couldn't be done forever.
Recounting the tale that in ancient China a doctor who got sick was considered a bad
doctor, Ban drew parallels with fighting anti-Semitism. "The goal is also to fight
anti-Semitic acts when they happen, but it's more important to prevent them," he stated.
"The best analogy is cancer. Once someone has it, it's very hard to cure."
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