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Pompeo Says Cooperation with Israel over Syria, Iran to Continue

By Reuters

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that the United States would continue to cooperate with Israel over Syria and in countering Iran in the Middle East, even as President Donald Trump plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said as he met with Pompeo in the Brazilian capital that he planned to discuss how to intensify intelligence and operations cooperation in Syria and elsewhere to block Iranian "aggression." In his first public comments on Trump's decision, Pompeo said it "in no way changes anything that this administration is working on alongside Israel. The counter-ISIS campaign continues, our efforts to counter Iranian aggression continue and our commitment to Middle East stability and the protection of Israel continues in the same way it did before that decision was made." Trump announced last month that he planned to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, declaring that they had succeeded in their mission to defeat Islamic State and were no longer needed in the country. In making the announcement, Trump ignored the advice of top national security aides and did so without consulting lawmakers or U.S. allies participating in anti-Islamic State operations. "We have a lot to discuss," said Netanyahu, who like Pompeo was in the Brazilian capital for the inauguration of Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil's new president. "We're going to be discussing our, the intense cooperation between Israel and the United States which will also deal with the questions following the decision, the American decision, on Syria and how to intensify even further our intelligence and operational cooperation in Syria and elsewhere to block Iranian aggression in the Middle East. Netanyahu said Israel was very appreciative of the "strong ... unequivocal support" Pompeo gave Israel's "efforts at self-defense against Syria" in the past few days. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said Pompeo and Netanyahu "discussed the unacceptable threat that regional aggression and provocation by Iran and its agents pose to Israeli and regional security" and Pompeo reiterated the U.S. commitment to Israel's security and right to self-defense. Netanyahu said last month after Trump's announcement that Israel would escalate its fight against Iranian-aligned forces in Syria after the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Israel sees the spread of Iran's influence in the Middle East as a growing threat and has carried out scores of airstrikes in war-torn Syria against suspected military deployments and arms deliveries by Iranian forces supporting Damascus.

Revealed: Israel Played Major Role in Capture of Saddam Hussein

By TPS

The State of Israel was instrumental in the location and capture of Saddam Hussein, according to a report published on Monday. According to a recent report by London-based Arabic website Rai al-Youm, Israel, along with the United States and an additional unnamed Arab country, took part in the operation to locate and capture former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. A short time before Hussein's capture, American forces arrested a close confidant of the dictator named Muhammad Ibrahim, who was turned over to the Mossad to be interrogated about the whereabouts of Hussein. The source, a member of the Jordanian opposition, who claims to be knowledgeable about the operation, says Ibrahim, who was captured after an Iraqi officer who defected to Jordan revealed his whereabouts, crumbled in the Mossad's hands, with the Israelis capable of extracting valuable information from him. The report also claims that the Israeli Prime Minister at the time, the late Ariel Sharon, actually traveled to Iraq after Hussein's capture, and was among the first people to witness him behind bars. This would not be the first Israeli run in with the "Butcher from Baghdad," as Hussein came to be known. In 1992, in response to dozens of Soviet-made Scud missiles being fired from Iraq into Israel in retaliation for the American-headed Operation Desert Storm, Israel's elite commando unit – Sayeret Matkal began training for a covert mission to assassinate Hussein, codenamed Operation Bramble Bush. A plan was devised to kill Hussein with a missile during his uncle's funeral, who Israeli intelligence forces discovered to be terminally ill at the time. However, the operation was scrapped after a training accident during rehearsals lead to the death of five commandos and the wounding of six more, due to an armed missile accidentally being deployed during a dry run of the mission. The fiasco came to be known as the Tze'elim Disaster, named for the Tze'elim training base where the accident occurred. In 1998, the Mossad embarked on Operation Bramble Bush II, in an attempt to once again target Hussein. The Intelligence organization scouted out locations within Iraq which would be ideal to stage an ambush and assassination, but the plans were eventually scrapped due to both American pressure and an Israeli assessment that the assassination of Hussein may thwart Israeli efforts at forging ties with the Arab world.

A New Solution for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

By Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Clarence E. McKnight, Jr., Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Kulwant Singh, U.Y.S.M., Ph.D. and Dr. David Leffler (Op-Ed) Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently said he was "doing everything" to avoid an unnecessary war. Still, daily violence, bloodshed and incitement continue. So what's left that can make a difference? There is something, and it's unconventional, yet highly effective and with a proven scientific record for diffusing violence and terrorism. It's called Invincible Defense Technology (IDT), based on the non-religious Transcendental Meditation (TM) program. As strange as it may sound, when large groups of trained practitioners sit down on a daily basis to do this program together, a powerful "field effect" of coherence and peace ripples throughout the consciousness of the surrounding population. The bigger the group the bigger the effect. The outcomes, repeatedly confirmed by extensive scientific research, are consistent and measurable decreases in war deaths, terrorism and crime. This surprising effect was demonstrated over two months in the summer of 1993, in Washington D.C., where 4,000 meditators gathered for an experiment to lower crime in America's capital. The result, as documented by an independent board of criminologists, was a 25% reduction in criminal violence. (Reference: Social Indicators Research, 1999, 47: 153-201). In 1983-84, at the peak of fighting in the Lebanon war, as many as 8,000 but as little as a few hundred meditators gathered at different times in Israel, Lebanon, Europe and the United States. The documented effects of these assemblies included increased cooperation between the warring parties (66%) and a decrease of hostilities (70%). The odds of these results occurring by chance or any explanation other than the meditation were calculated at one in ten million trillion! (Reference: Journal of Conflict Resolution, 1988, 32: 776-812, and 1990, 34:756-768). Similarly, large TM groups in Manila, New Delhi, and Puerto Rico have generated significant declines in violent crimes. Alternative explanations could not account for the results. (Reference: Journal of Mind and Behavior, 1987, 8: 67-104). Inexpensively, the Israeli military could train and maintain a group of about 800 experts in the IDT strategy. Think of it as a "prevention brigade" whose members meditate twice a day to defuse the deeply-rooted regional stresses and hatred that are the cause of conflict. The research suggests that once such a program becomes operational, societal conditions in Israel and beyond, could quickly improve. And for as long as the peace-creating group is sustained, the collective coherence throughout society would rise through the influences of greater harmony and peace. Better solutions will occur to the people and their leaders for improving their living conditions. Violence will subside. IDT is not restricted to the military; any large groups practicing the IDT techniques can accomplish the goal, meaning all types of citizens could be enlisted, from schoolchildren to retirees. The Global Union of Scientists for Peace (https://www.gusp.org), a global group of eminent scientists and leaders dedicated to supporting alternative, peaceful means of conflict resolution, have endorsed the IDT approach. Among them are Yukio Hatoyama, former prime minister of Japan; former president of Mozambique Joachim Chissano (who applied IDT programs to end that nation's civil war); Lt. General (Ret.) Vasyl Krutov, former chief of the Ukraine Anti-Terrorism Center; retired Ecuadorian Lt. General José Villamil (who also applied IDT to end the conflict between Ecuador and Peru). Given the countless efforts previously tried by Israel that have not worked, why not give this scientifically-validated method a try? It is simple and inexpensive, and with a documented record of success, a cutting-edge brain-based technology that could potentially maximize the safety and security of Israel's people and curb the bloodshed. And not just for Israel, but for the turbulent Middle East and beyond. Israel is already a recognized global leader in innovative technology. Here's an opportunity for it to become a global leader in peace-making, so needed by this troubled world. At one time, meditation was considered "mystical." Now, doctors routinely prescribe it. That's because research shows Transcendental Meditation reduces stress and improves health. Hundreds of studies confirm real benefits for individuals, including better energy, learning ability, job productivity and happier relationships. The revelation that group meditation reduces turbulence in society and improves the community or global health is simply an extension of the individual practice of meditation. This is a new paradigm to be implemented, for it may hold the secret for planetary peace. If wars start in the minds of men, then peace logically should start there as well. (Lt. Gen. Clarence E. McKnight, Jr., (U.S. Army Ret.) is a former Director of Command, Control and Communications Systems for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C., Major General (Ret.) Kulwant Singh, U.Y.S.M., Ph.D., leads an international group of generals and defense experts that advocates Invincible Defense Technology, and Dr. David Leffler is the Executive Director at the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS) http://www.StrongMilitary.org.)

Woman Fined by Rabbinical Court for Seeking police Assistance

By the Jerusalem Post

A woman whose ex-husband is NIS 100,000 in arrears in child support, and who harassed her and her partner following their divorce, has been fined NIS 100,000 by the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court for obtaining a restraining order from the police against him, and for seeking a court seizure of his child-support debts. The basis for the fine is a highly contentious clause in the couple's divorce agreement which stipulates that neither side shall approach the police, family courts, or welfare authorities for any matter regarding the behavior of the other party before obtaining the permission of the rabbinical court to do so. Deborah, not her real name, signed this agreement in 2010 out of desperation to get a divorce agreement from her husband following three years of divorce negotiations. He insisted that he would not grant the divorce unless she agreed to the clause that neither side could approach the civil authorities without permission of the rabbinical court. Deborah was frightened that she would become one of the significant number of women in Israel denied a get (religious divorce) by their husbands for an extended period, and so agreed to the clause. Her ex-husband paid child support payments for three of their four children for the first year following their divorce but failed to continue payments after that. Deborah claims that he owes her NIS 100,000 although the ex-husband claims he owes her half that amount. The divorce agreement included a stipulation that both parties follow an Orthodox Jewish lifestyle, and following the divorce the ex-husband filed a demand that the woman not be allowed to host her male partner at her home. He then began to stalk and harass Deborah and her partner to prove that they were not living a religious life and would wait around outside her house to take pictures of them. Eventually, the woman filed a request with the police for a restraining order against her husband and also filed a request with the police to obtain the child support payments he owed her. He subsequently filed suit against her in the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court demanding NIS 400,000 in fines, as laid out in the divorce agreement, for her violations of the clause prohibiting either side from approaching the civil authorities without the permission of the rabbinical court. The Center for Women's Justice which is representing Deborah is arguing however that the divorce agreement is illegal since it was signed under duress and because the organizations argue that no legal agreement can waive the civil rights to turn to law enforcement agencies for redress. CWJ director Susan Weiss said that the requirement to seek such permission from the rabbinical courts was illegal since the rabbinical courts are not empowered to determine what is a crime or not. She said that Deborah did not seek the permission of the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court because she needed immediate relief from the harassment of her husband. The rabbinical court judges on Deborah's case, Rabbis Uriel Lavie, Shlomo Tam and David Malka, ruled that she had violated the agreement by failing to request the court's permission, and insisted that requesting permission from the rabbinical court before going to the police and civil courts was a "reasonable and accessible" request. Because the option was available to her to request permission, the clause did not violate public policy as CWJ claimed, the judges ruled. They levied a NIS 100,000 fine against her instead of the NIS 400,000 stipulated in the divorce agreement. "CWJ will appeal this decision – as it will all decisions of the rabbinical court – which violate fundamental legal and civil rights of women, and which constitute an illicit power grab of authorities vested in other branches of government," said Weiss. "Once again, this decision demonstrates the rabbinic courts' inability to adjudicate issues in consonance with basic legal principles."


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