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Israeli Army Warns of New Hizbullah Threat

By VOA News
A Hizbullah commander who allegedly headed a 2007 raid on an American base in Iraq, which ended with the slaying of kidnapped American soldiers, is now building a secret force that could attack Israel from Syria, according to an Israeli military intelligence report. The force that Ali Musa Daqduq is building could be used to widen a front with Israel in case of another clash with Lebanon. Hizbullah also could launch attacks only from Syrian territory to spare Lebanon from painful Israeli retaliations, Yoram Schweitzer of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv said in an interview. Israel and Lebanon have amassed such a destructive capability on both sides of the border that they deter one another there. Hence, Israeli attacks on convoys of arms for Hizbullah were targeted when they were in Syria, not Lebanon. Daqduq, who also is known as Ali Hussein Sajid, joined Hizbullah a quarter-century ago. He was involved in attacks on Israeli forces in southern Lebanon, trained militants in Iran and Iraq, established cells in Iraq to fight American and Iraqi forces, and commanded the January 2007 raid on an American base in the Karbala region. There, raiders wearing American-style uniforms killed a guard and abducted four soldiers who were later executed. British troops arrested Daqduq in Basra two months later; he was in jail, without trial, until the American withdrawal from Iraq. The security agreement with Iraq required that its government would have to concede to transfer individuals into or out of the country, so an American idea of transferring him to Guantanamo was dropped, the Israeli Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center noted. The Iraqis returned him to Lebanon in 2012, citing a lack of evidence. He then became responsible for training Hizbullah's Special Forces, the Israeli intelligence report said. The new buildup, called the Golan File, started last summer in the northern tip of the Golan Heights, close to Lebanon. The recruits come from the town of Quneitra and several villages such as Hader, Arneh and Khan Arnabeh, some of which are Druze. The Druze community did not join the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The report suggested the recruits "joined for financial reasons." While some of the men had been trained in sabotage, sharpshooting, and firing mortars and Grad rockets, they now engage in gathering intelligence on Israel, sometimes from Syrian army positions along the border. They patrol the border to familiarize themselves with the terrain and analyze infiltration routes, but the network is still "in initial stages of establishment and recruitment and is not yet operational," the intelligence report added. The men's light arms and anti-tank missiles have been in the area during the civil war, but the report anticipates attempts to deliver additional weaponry from Lebanon "or avail themselves of the existing arsenals kept by Hizbullah and Iran in Syria." The Golan File is very secret, compartmentalized, and has been initiated "without informing the Assad regime," the report noted. Assad is "sitting in his office and doesn't know about it." Earlier attempts to establish buildups on the Golan crashed when commanders assigned to the task — Samir Kuntar and Jihad Mughniyah — were killed. Israel was the immediate suspect but never assumed responsibility for their deaths. Hizbullah knows that Assad wants to stabilize the area and doesn't want to give Israel reasons to strike there. In an attempt to nudge him, the Israeli report argued that "Now, with the end of the [civil] war in sight, Hizbullah has lost its legitimacy to stay in Syria." Russia, too, would not want to see clashes there. "The Russians have a growing interest in security stability of the Assad regime," the report noted. Israeli troops, meanwhile, have stepped up their preparations for an encounter, with more elite forces deployed there. Israel strengthened its intelligence-gathering capabilities and established new hidden routes, said the commander of the division that is deployed on the Golan, Brig. Gen. Amit Fisher. The military "will act with full force to push it away from the Golan front," he added. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, "Israel knows what you're doing; Israel knows where you're doing it. What we've uncovered today is just the tip of the iceberg. We know a lot more."

A Purim Proposal for Governing Israel

By Prof. Paul Eidelberg (Commentary in Israel National News) Jews constantly complain about the ineptitude of Israeli governments and will continue to do so no matter which party gets to form the coalition. Hence the present writer, having made an exhaustive study of Israel and its Jewish politicians, at this moment offers the only possible solution to Israel's decrepit and perilous state of affairs. I propose that the people of Israel hire Gentiles to run their Government! Preposterous you say? But what can be more preposterous than the Jews who have been in charge of Israel's Government? Would Gentiles have surrendered the Sinai with its Israeli-developed Alma oil fields, air bases, and $15 billion infrastructure for what Anwar Sadat scornfully called a "piece of paper"? Of course not! Would Gentiles consider relinquishing their country's heartland and holy places in Judea and Samaria to Arab terrorists who teach their children to exalt suicide bombers? Ridiculous! Would any Gentile Prime Minister destroy flourishing Jewish communities in Gush Katif and give their farms and orchards to Hamas – for nothing? Are you insane? Would any Gentile Prime Minister have offered the Golan Heights and its water reserves to a military despotism like Syria, the haven of 10 terrorist groups? Absurd! Would Gentile Prime Ministers arm tens of thousands of Arab terrorists to protect the citizens of their country? Nonsense! Would any Gentile Prime Minister release 400 Arab terrorists in exchange for the corpses of three Jewish soldiers plus one Israeli known to have collaborated with Hizbullah? And 1000 of them for a single soldier instead of acting resolutely to free him? Madness! Gentiles are not fools. Some may preach "love your enemy," "turn the other cheek," "resist not evil." But only foolish Jewish prime ministers practice these apolitical and suicidal precepts. My proposal to hire Gentiles to run Israel's Government is not original. It was suggested to me by a learned rabbi, a successful businessman who lived in Israel for many years. He assured me that if Gentiles were hired to operate the Government of Israel, the country could relax and prosper beyond the fondest dreams of old-time Zionists. Let me explain. With a Gentile Government in Jerusalem, anti-Semitism will cease and, with it, the raison d'etre of the United Nations (good riddance!). With Gentiles in charge of the country, CNN and BBC will stop bashing Israel, Thomas Friedman of the New York Times will be out of a job, and Ha'aretz will go bankrupt. BDS and all the anti-Zionist NGOs will close up shop. Further, with Gentiles running Israel's Government, all foreign embassies will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Arab ambition to annihilate Israel will be a thing of the past. A genuine Middle East peace process will be concluded. Barack Obama will volunteer to mow the grass on the White House lawn. Hillary will study flower arrangements. Meanwhile, with Gentiles like Steve Forbes and Bill Gates (dare I say Donald Trump?) in charge of the government, capital investment in Israel by Jews and non-Jews alike will abound. A flat tax will be introduced, and Jews will flock to the Land of Milk and Honey. In 10 years the Galut will cease to exist, and Jews will fill the country. As a consequence, while many Arab citizens of Israel will emigrate, many will convert to Judaism (insisting, of course, on Halakhic conversion for their children's sakes.) The same can be said of the Palestinian Arabs, for with a Gentile government in Jerusalem, Jewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria will expand enormously, and Gaza will be dotted with Jewish spas and casinos. Moreover, the conflict between secular and religious Jews will subside. After all, that conflict is very much a struggle for control of the government. But with Gentiles at the helm, secular and religious Jews will have much less to fight about, especially after left-wing Knesset Members emigrate to Brooklyn. Finally, given the birthrate of religious Jews, Israel will soon become a truly Jewish state efficiently run by Gentiles. There is one potential flaw in this entire proposal. Suppose Gentiles in charge of the government decide to become Jews! That would be a tragedy of the first magnitude. Hence, the Gentiles hired to operate Israel's government must first sign a solemn contract stipulating they will not convert to Judaism. Heaven forbid that Jews should resume control of the Jewish state! Prof. Paul Eidelberg (Ph.D. University of Chicago), a resident of Jerusalem is a former U.S. Air Force officer. He is the founder and president of the Israel-America Renaissance Institute), He has written several books on American and Jewish Statesmanship. His latest book "The Judeo-Scientific Foundations of American Exceptionalism: Today's Choice for the `Almost Chosen People'" will soon be published.

`Megillat Hitler,' FDR and the Jews

By Dr. Rafael Medoff (Commentary)
FDR pledged "the abrogation of all laws and decrees inspired by Nazi governments or Nazi ideologists." But his public rhetoric apparently didn't express his private feelings. Among the more remarkable documents of the Holocaust is a scroll, created in North Africa in 1943, and called "Megillat Hitler." Written in the style of Megillat Esther and the Purim story, it celebrates the Allies' liberation of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, which saved the local Jewish communities from the Nazis. What the scroll's author did not realize, however, was that at the very moment he was setting quill to parchment, those same American authorities were actually trying to keep in place the anti-Jewish legislation imposed in North Africa by the Nazis. On Nov. 8, 1942, American and British forces invaded Nazi-occupied Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. It took the Allies just eight days to defeat the Germans and their Vichy French partners in the region. For the 330,000 Jews of North Africa, the Allied conquest was heaven-sent. The Vichy regime that had ruled since the summer of 1940 had stripped the region's Jews of their civil rights, severely restricted their entrance to schools and some professions, confiscated Jewish property, and tolerated sporadic pogroms against Jews by local Muslims. In addition, thousands of Jewish men were hauled away to forced-labor camps. President Franklin Roosevelt, in his victory announcement, pledged "the abrogation of all laws and decrees inspired by Nazi governments or Nazi ideologists." But there turned out to be a discrepancy between FDR's public rhetoric and his private feelings. On Jan. 17, 1943, Roosevelt met in Casablanca with Major-General Charles Nogues, a leader of the new "non-Vichy" regime. When the conversation turned to the question of rights for North African Jewry, Roosevelt did not mince words: "The number of Jews engaged in the practice of the professions (law, medicine, etc.) should be definitely limited to the percentage that the Jewish population in North Africa bears to the whole of the North African population… "The President stated that his plan would further eliminate the specific and understandable complaints which the Germans bore toward the Jews in Germany, namely, that while they represented a small part of the population, over 50% of the lawyers, doctors, school teachers, college professors, etc., in Germany, were Jews." (It is not clear how FDR came up with that wildly exaggerated statistic.) Various Jewish communities around the world have established local Purim-style celebrations to mark their deliverance from catastrophe. The Jews of Frankfurt, for example, would hold a "Purim Vintz" one week after Purim, in remembrance of the downfall of an anti-Semitic agitator in 1620. Libyan Jews traditionally organized a "Purim Ashraf" and a "Purim Bergel" to recall the rescue of Jews in those towns, in 1705 and 1795, respectively. The Jewish community of Casablanca, for its part, declared the day of the 1942 Allied liberation "Hitler Purim," and a local scribe, P. Hassine, created the "Megillat Hitler." (The original is on display at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.) The seven chapters of the scroll poignantly blend the flavor of the tale of ancient Persia with the amazing stroke of fortune that the Jews of Casablanca had themselves just experienced. It uses phrases straight from Megillat Esther, such as "the month which was turned from sorrow to rejoicing" and "the Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor," side by side with modern references such as "Cursed be Hitler, cursed be Mussolini." The Jews of North Africa had much to celebrate. But after the festivities died down, questions began to arise. The Allies permitted nearly all the original senior officials of the Vichy regime in North Africa to remain in the new government. The Vichy "Office of Jewish Affairs" continued to operate, as did the forced labor camps in which thousands of Jewish men were being held. American Jewish leaders were loathe to publicly take issue with the Roosevelt administration, but by the spring of 1943, they began speaking out. The American Jewish Congress and World Jewish Congress charged that "the anti-Jewish legacy of the Nazis remains intact in North Africa" and urged FDR to eliminate the Vichy laws. "The spirit of the Swastika hovers over the Stars and Stripes," Benzion Netanyahu, director of the U.S. wing of the Revisionist Zionists (and father of Israel's current prime minister) charged. A group of Jewish GIs in Algiers protested directly to U.S. ambassador Murphy. Editorials in a number of American newspapers echoed this criticism. At first, Roosevelt administration officials dug in their heels. Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles insisted that technically, the region was no longer under Allied military occupation and the U.S. could not dictate how the local government ran things. "The undersecretary of state was perhaps right from a strictly formal viewpoint," Prof. Michael Abitbol noted in his study of North African Jewry during the Holocaust. "But he was strangely underestimating the immense influence wielded by the United States over North African internal politics." Eventually, under the accumulated weight of public protests, the Roosevelt administration made it clear to the local authorities that the anti-Jewish measures needed to be repealed. The implementation process, however, was painfully slow. In April 1943, the forced labor camps in North Africa were officially shut down, although some of them continued operating well into the summer. The Jewish quotas in schools and professions were gradually phased out. In May, the racial laws in Tunisia were abolished. Two hundred Italian Jews who had been taken by the Allies to a Tunisian forced labor camp, because they were citizens of an Axis country, were released after several months. And on Oct. 20, 1943, nearly a year after the Allied liberation, full rights for North Africa's Jews were at last reinstated. The victory that "Megillat Hitler" celebrated was finally complete. (Rafael Medoff is director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies)

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