Russia's Brinkmanship with US Clashes with Israel's Security
Jerusalem will find Russia's delivery of the S-300 missile system to Syria to be an intolerable development; it is safe to assume that Israel will act to prevent this from happening.
Russia is aggressively squaring off with an indecisive and rather meek West about Syria, and in the process, is also threatening to undermine Israeli efforts to ensure that Iran and Syria do not ship strategic weapons to Hezbollah.
The Syrian civil war has become a dangerous and complex battle of multiple actors and their proxies: Sunni versus Shi'ite, Iran versus the Gulf states, Al-Qaeda versus Hezbollah, and on a global scale, the United States versus Russia.
Moscow is trying to deter a potential US or NATO-led initiative to set up a no-fly zone over areas of Syria, and is seeking to stop Western-led air strikes against chemical weapons sites.
Russia also seems concerned that recent air strikes in Damascus targeting Hezbollah-bound guided Iranian missiles -- strikes attributed by the foreign media to Israel -- will pave the way to such an intervention.
Israel has no interest in getting involved in the Syrian civil war. Rather, it is looking out for the safety of millions of citizens, who already live in the shadow of some 80,000 Hezbollah rockets, and would be threatened further by the transfer of precise, powerful missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
In recent days, Russia unleashed a flurry of moves to establish its support of Syria.
The Russian moves include: Declaring that it will proceed with deliveries of the advanced S-300 air defense system to Assad, mobilizing war ships to the eastern Mediterranean, and selling sophisticated surface-to-sea Yakhont missiles to Assad.
Moscow's recent maneuvers might be more bluster than real -- the S-300 has yet to be delivered, and Russia was in 2010 talked out of selling the formidable air defense system to Iran.
The threat, however, was serious enough for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to make an unscheduled trip last week to Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin. The two later held a press conference, repeating their public positions, but it is doubtful that those statements were a complete reflection of their private exchange.
Israel is opposed to Assad receiving the S-300 missile for several reasons: With its sophisticated radars and range of 200 kilometers, the S-300 can hamper Israel Air Force aircraft seeking to monitor Hezbollah in Lebanon. The system can also disrupt future Israeli efforts to intercept the transit of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah through Syria. Finally, Assad can choose to smuggle S-300 batteries to Hezbollah or Iran.
Should the S-300 fall into Iranian hands, the future potential mission of launching a military strike on Iran's developing nuclear program would be more even more complex than it already is. Knowing that the S-300 was in Hezbollah's hands, and could target Israeli aircraft sent to stop it, would only boost the Shi'ite terror organization's confidence to launch cross-border attacks on Israel. For these reasons, Jerusalem will find Russia's delivery of such a system to Syria to be an intolerable development; it is safe to assume that Israel will act to prevent this from happening.
Similarly, the Russian Yakhont missiles already delivered to Syria threaten Israel Navy ships carrying out vital missions in the Mediterranean.
Behind closed-doors, intense diplomacy -- including the sudden visit by CIA Director John Brennan to Israel -- is underway to try and contain these developments, and prevent them from triggering further regional security deterioration.
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|The 'bully' returns. [161 words]||Ethan P.||May 20, 2013 08:38|
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by Soeren Kern
Hamas would likely resort to violence to thwart any attempts to disarm the group. It is therefore highly unlikely the Europeans would confront Hamas in any meaningful way.
Spanish intelligence agents met secretly with Hezbollah operatives, who agreed to provide "escorts" to protect Spanish UNIFIL patrols. The quid pro quo was that Spanish troops would look the other way while Hezbollah was allowed to rearm for its next war with Israel. Hezbollah's message to Spain was: mind your own business.
If the European experience with Hezbollah in Lebanon is any indication, not only will Hamas not be disarmed, it will be rearmed as European monitors look on and do nothing.
What is clear is that European leaders have never been committed to honoring either the letter or the spirit of UN Resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701, all of which were aimed at preventing Hezbollah from rearming.
by Debalina Ghoshal
According to former Bush administration official Stephen Rademaker, for the United States to respond to Russian violations of the treaty by pulling out of it would be "welcome in Moscow," which is "wrestling with the question of how they terminate [the treaty]" and thus, the United States should not make it easier for the Russians to leave.
by Guy Millière
Belgian security services have estimated that the number of European jihadists in Syria may be over 4000.
European leaders have directed their nastiest comments against the Jewish state, none of them has asked why Palestinian organizations in Gaza put their stockpiles of weapons in hospitals, homes, schools and mosques, or their command and control centers at the bottom of large apartment buildings or underneath hospitals. None of them has even said that Hamas is a terrorist organization despite its genocidal charter.
The majority of them are wedded to the idea of redistribution. Their policies are anti-growth, do not afford people any economic opportunity, and are what caused these economic crises in Europe in the first place. The United States seems to be following these thoroughly failed policies as well.
"Europe could not stay the same with a different population in it." — Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe.
by Raymond Ibrahim
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah... There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell." — Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.
Hillary Clinton repeatedly refused to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
In Malaysia -- regularly portrayed in the West as a moderate Muslim nation -- any attempt to promote religions other than Islam is illegal.
"The reason they want to kill me is very clear -- it is because of being a convert to Christianity." — Hassan Muwanguzi, Uganda.
by Dexter Van Zile
Rev. Hanna Massad does not mention that perhaps Hamas actually wants the blockade to end so it can bring in more weapons and cement to build attack-tunnels so it can "finish the job."
Hamas does not just admit to using human shields, it brags about using human shields. Why does Massad have to inject an air of uncertainty about Hamas's use of human shields when no such uncertainty exists?
The problem is that any self-respecting journalist would confront Massad with a follow-up question about Hamas's ideology and violence, but not the folks at Christianity Today.