Category Archives: Middle East News

Middle East News

Saudi – Israel Alliance Comes Into The Daylight

A growing Israeli-Saudi alliance that has been kept hidden is coming out into the daylight.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Shortly before al-Jubeir spoke, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called on the Arab world to help put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “The Palestinians do not have a capacity to sign a final status agreement with Israel,” he said. “It is possible only as a part of [an] all regional solution. We must sign simultaneously a regional solution with the Arab world and [the] Palestinians.” JOL

After Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called on the Arab world to help put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that he believes that the conflict will be resolved this year.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir spoke at the 53rd Munich Security Conference today about the option of achieving regional cooperation in order to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “I believe that 2017 will be a year when a number of challenges in the Middle East will be resolved,” he said, adding that Saudi Araba is ready to do what is necessary in order to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. JOL

Iran

Al-Jubeir also sounded optimistic about the Trump administration, saying that the US president and Riyadh both want to destroy ISIS and stop Iran from gaining too much power. “Iran remains the single main sponsor of terrorism in the world,” al-Jubeir said. “It’s determined to upend the order in the Middle East.” JOL

Saudi Arabia and Israel both called on Sunday for a new push against Iran, signaling a growing alignment in their interests, while U.S. lawmakers promised to seek new sanctions on the Shi’ite Muslim power.

Turkey also joined the de facto united front against Tehran as Saudi and Israeli ministers rejected an appeal from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for Sunni Gulf Arab states to work with Tehran to reduce violence across the region. Reuters

Nationalism and Transnationalism

President Trump’s nationalist sensibility, “America First”, has shattered the globalist elitist consensus.

Nationalists see patriotism as a virtue; they think their country and its culture are unique and worth preserving. This is a real moral commitment, not a pose to cover up racist bigotry. Some nationalists do believe that their country is better than all others, and some nationalisms are plainly illiberal and overtly racist.

But as many defenders of patriotism have pointed out, you love your spouse because she or he is yours, not because you think your spouse is superior to all others. Nationalists feel a bond with their country, and they believe that this bond imposes moral obligations both ways: Citizens have a duty to love and serve their country, and governments are duty bound to protect their own people. Governments should place their citizens interests above the interests of people in other countries. American-Interest

Nationalist strengthen allies to minimize U.S. overseas military deployments while still securing American interests.

The same economic forces that were transforming the world after the Cold War had salvaged “Palestine”. Arafat had lost his sponsors in Moscow, but his new sugar daddy’s name was “Globalism”.

The Cold War had been the focus of international affairs. What replaced it was the conviction that a new world tied together by international commerce, the internet and international law would be born.

The demands of a clan in Hebron used to be able to hijack the attention of the world because the scope of the clash between Capitalism and Communism could globalize any local conflict. Globalization was just as insistent on taking local conflicts and making them the world’s business through its insistence that every place was connected. The terrorist blowing up an Israeli pizzeria affected stock prices in New York, the expansion prospects of a company in China and the risk of another terrorist attack in Paris. And interconnectedness, from airplane hijacking to plugging into the international’s left alliance of global protest movements, had become the  best weapon of Islamic terrorists.

But now globalization is dying. And its death may just take “Palestine” with it.

A new generation of leaders is rising who are actively hostile to globalization. Trump and Brexit were the most vocal rebukes to transnationalism. But polls suggest that they will not be the only ones. The US and the UK, once the vanguards of the international order, now have governments that are competitively seeking national advantages rather than relying on the ordered rules of the transnational safety net. Read full article at FrontPageMag

Pro-Palestinian American Journalist Changes His Views On Israeli And The Conflict After Moving to Jerusalem

Former Huffington Post journalist Hunter Stuart was pro-Palestinian, gradually his views changed about the Israel and the conflict when he moved to Jerusalem in 2015 to report on the region.

In the summer of 2015 I moved to Israel for a year-and-a-half stint freelance reporting in the region. I was very pro-Palestinian. Almost everyone I knew was, viewing Israel as an aggressor, oppressing the poor noble Arabs who are being so brutally denied their freedom.

It wasn’t until the violence became personal that I began to see the Israeli side with greater clarity. When I traveled to the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan for a story, a Palestinian kid pointed at me and shouted “Yehud!” which means “Jew” in Arabic. Immediately, a large group of his friends were running toward me with a terrifying sparkle in their eyes. I shouted at them in Arabic “I’m not Jewish,” over and over. I told them in Arabic that I was an American journalist who “loved Palestine.” They calmed down after that, but the look in their eyes when they first saw me is something I’ll never forget.

Even the kindest, most educated, upper-class Palestinians reject 100% of Israel – not just the occupation of east Jerusalem and the West Bank. They simply will not be content with a two-state solution and they want the Israelis who live there now to leave. They almost never speak of coexistence; they speak of expulsion, of taking back “their” land. The ongoing desire of Palestinians to wipe Israel off the map is unproductive and backward-looking and the West must be very careful not to encourage it.

I know a lot of Jewish-Israelis who are willing to share the land with Muslim Palestinians, but for some reason finding a Palestinian who feels the same way was near impossible. If the Palestinians are given their own state in the West Bank, who’s to say they wouldn’t elect Hamas, an Islamist group committed to Israel’s destruction? That’s exactly what happened in Gaza in democratic elections in 2006. Having Hamas in control of the West Bank and half of Jerusalem would be suicide for Israel. And no country can be expected to consent to its own destruction. Read full article at JPost

Minerals In Iron Age Clay Jars Findings Suggest The Earth’s Magnetic Field Has Always Fluctuated

Ancient Judea pottery that spanned from the 8th to 2nd century AD suggests that a fluctuating magnetic field is a natural cycle.

Map Ancient Judea -Daily Mail

Readings made from ancient clay jar handles from the Middle Eastern kingdom of Judah suggest that Earth’s magnetic field won’t collapse anytime soon.

Researchers have previously warned that the planet’s magnetic field intensity is in sharp decline. They claim this could flip weather patterns and cause a chaotic disruption of Earth’s communication systems.

But the researchers from Tel Aviv University [and University of California San Diego] have used ancient clay pottery to reveal that the current dip in Earth’s magnetic field is likely just part of its natural cycle.  DailyMail

The Jars

The new research is based on a set of 67 ancient, heat-impacted Judean ceramic storage jar handles, which bear royal stamp impressions from the 8th to 2nd century BCE, providing accurate age estimates.

“The period spanned by the jars allowed us to procure data on the Earth’s magnetic field during that time — the Iron Age through the Hellenistic Period in Judea,” says Dr. Ben-Yosef. “The typology of the stamp impressions, which correspond to changes in the political entities ruling this area, provides excellent age estimates for the firing of these artifacts.” …

Ceramics, baked clay, burned mud bricks, copper slag — almost anything that was heated and then cooled can become a recorder of the components of the magnetic field at the time of the event,” said Dr. Ben-Yosef. “Ceramics have tiny minerals – magnetic ‘recorders’ – that save information about the magnetic field of the time the clay was in the kiln. The behavior of the magnetic field in the past can be studied by examining archaeological artifacts or geological material that were heated then cooled, such as lava.” BreakingNewsIsrael

Clay contains the mineral magnetite, which when put under the intense heat of a kiln transforms into a permanent record of the alignment and intensity of Earth’s magnetic field at the time. Image Courtesy Prof. Oded Lipschits U of Tel Aviv

Magnet Field Fluctuations

The data they collected showed a decline in the planet’s magnetic field intensity over a 600-year period.  But the team also found a sharp upward lift in the eighth century BC.

The findings support theories that there have been two upward spikes in Earth’s magnetic field intensity, known as the Levantine Iron Age ‘geomagnetic spikes.’

The researchers’ findings confirm the second of these proposed spikes and also reveal that the magnetic field around the Middle East dipped after 732 BC, dropping 27 percent in just three decades.   DailyMail

No Reason For Alarm

But a new study published in PNAS from Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and University of California San Diego researchers finds there is no reason for alarm: The Earth’s geomagnetic field has been undulating for thousands of years. Data obtained from the analysis of well-dated Judean jar handles provide information on changes in the strength of the geomagnetic field between the 8th and 2nd centuries BCE, indicating a fluctuating field that peaked during the 8th century BCE.

“The field strength of the 8th century BCE corroborates previous observations of our group, first published in 2009, of an unusually strong field in the early Iron Age. We call it the ‘Iron Age Spike,’ and it is the strongest field recorded in the last 100,000 years,” says Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef of TAU’s Institute of Archaeology, the study’s lead investigator. “This new finding puts the recent decline in the field’s strength into context. Apparently, this is not a unique phenomenon – the field has often weakened and recovered over the last millennia.” BreakingNewsIsrael

Saudi Arabia Deports 40,000 Muslim Pakistanis, Citing Terrorism Concerns

Saudi Abdullah Al-Sadoun, chairman of the security committee calls “for thoroughly scrutinizing the Pakistanis before they are recruited for work in the Kingdom.”

Saudi Arabia has deported a staggering 40,000 Pakistani migrant workers in the span of just four months, citing terrorism concerns.

The Saudi Gazette reported last week that “a number of Pakistanis were held in the crimes of drug trafficking, thefts, forgery and physical assault.” Authorities feared that some of the migrant workers were linked with ISIS, or as the Saudis call the terror group, Daesh. Other migrants were deported due to expired residency and work permits.

“Against this backdrop, Abdullah Al-Sadoun, chairman of the security committee of the Shoura Council, called for thoroughly scrutinizing the Pakistanis before they are recruited for work in the Kingdom,” added the Gazette. “He asked for more closer coordination with the concerned authorities in Pakistan to thoroughly check those coming to work in the Kingdom due to the involvement of a number of Pakistanis in security issues.”…

Is Saudi Arabia immune from the charge of Islamophobia because its leaders are Muslim? Or, better yet, is the Left’s entire hysterical crusade against Trump’s “Islamophobia” a red herring meant to delegitimize the political opposition DailyWire

Literally – Planting the Seeds Of The Third Temple

The new Sanhedrin in Israel has begun planting to provide the agricultural needs of the Third Temple.

“When people think about sacrifices, they think about animals and blood,” Rabbi Weiss said. “But most of the sacrifices were, in fact, from plants, grown around Israel.”

Many of the elements for the daily Temple service were agricultural and specific to the Temple. Semolina was frequently brought as a sacrifice with olive oil. The wine libation came from vines cultivated using a specific method. Rabbi Weiss pointed out that even some minor aspects of the Temple service required vast agricultural resources….

Ever-present on the altar were three piles of wood: the first for burning the animal sacrifices, the second for making coals to burn the incense, and the third for the perpetual altar fire commanded by the Bible.  BreakingNewsIsrael

Plants required for the Temple

There are many different plants required for the Temple, each with its own special conditions. The Sanhedrin’s new Temple forests are dispersed around Israel to provide the specific conditions suitable for each plant. In the Hebron Hills, they planted 30 Cedars of Lebanon and several pomegranate trees. In Kochav Hashachar overlooking the Jordan Valley, they planted half an acre of grapevines surrounded by Cedars. In Shaarei Tikvah in Samaria, cinnamon trees, one of the 11 ingredients in the Temple incense, are ready to be planted. In Itamar, a vineyard of 200 vines has been dedicated to Temple use. Seven date palms were planted in the Western Negev for use in the Shavuot offering.  BreakingNewsIsrael

There is also a modern-day Israeli farmer Guy Erlich growing plants for a future Third Temple.

It started with the Balsamon tree, better known as the Balm of Gilead.

For 1,000 years, ancient Hebrew farmers in this area were the only ones in the world known to cultivate this exotic plant, using it for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Now Erlich’s biotech adventure is reviving that trade and more.

“He knew how to make out of it most important medication of the ancient world, a perfume that was considered to be the best perfume in the Roman Empire,” Erlich explained. “It says it’s the first ingredient of the incense of the Holy Temple and since the Second Temple period, it says (it was used) as the anointing oil of the kings of Israel. At the sixth century, it disappeared from here, together with the Jewish people.”

Erlich got his first plant from a shoot that was smuggled by a German scientist out of Saudi Arabia and brought to Israel. Oddly enough, the plants he grows are thriving in the intense heat and salty soil on the shores of the Dead Sea. CBN

 

Photo by Ian W Scott

National Security Advisor Michael Flynn: Iran ‘On Notice’

National Security Advisor Mike Flynn said today “we are officially putting Iran on notice” after a missile test and an attack on a Saudi frigate that the Pentagon believes was an attack meant for a US warship.

“The Obama Administration failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions—including weapons transfers, support for terrorism, and other violations of international norms.  The Trump Administration condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security, prosperity, and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East and place American lives at risk.”

Full text:  The White House Office of the Press Secretary, February 01, 2017 Statement by the National Security Advisor

Video: National Security Advisor Michael Flynn: ‘We Are Officially Putting Iran On Notice’ For Missile Launch

Saudi Frigate Attacked

“A Saudi frigate on patrol west of the port city of Hodeida was hit by a terrorist attack from three suicide boats belonging to the Houthi militias,” the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said, according to Reuters.

In the attack, two Saudi sailors were killed and three were wounded.

Footage claiming to show the attack surfaced Monday.  In the video, you can hear shouts in Arabic, “Death to America, Death to Israel, Death to the Jews.”


Initially, Iranian media reported that the Saudi frigate had been hit by an anti-ship missile, much like the kind Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen had fired in October at an Emirati ship and several US Navy vessels.

Later, Saudi media reported the incident as a terrorist attack carried out by “suicide boats,” or small craft laden with bombs, which left two Saudi sailors dead. BusinessInsider

Pentagon believes attack on Saudi frigate meant for US warship

U.S. defense analysts believe those behind the attack either thought the bomber was striking an American warship or that this was a “dress rehearsal” similar to the attack on the USS Cole, according to one official.

The attack, near the Bab al Mandab Strait connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, occurred in the same area where U.S. Navy warships came under missile attack in October.

An American destroyer shot down those incoming missiles — the first successful engagement in combat using an American SM-2 missile. FoxNews

President Trump Says Persecuted Christians Will Be Given Priority As Refugees

(b)Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization. Executive Order Jan. 27, 2017 

It only makes sense to give priority to those persecuted.  ‘Persecuted’ would include many religious minority groups in the region; Christians, Yazidis…

In an exclusive interview with The Brody File, President Donald Trump says persecuted Christians will be given priority when it comes to applying for refugee status in the United States.

“We are going to help them,” President Trump tells CBN News. “They’ve been horribly treated. Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, at least very tough to get into the United States? If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair, everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair.” CBN

Video:  Brody File Exclusive:  President Trump Persecuted Christians

Christian Freedom International president Jim Jacobson praised the order.

“This means that persecuted Christians will finally be considered for resettlement. Under the Obama administration, persecuted Christians from Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere were either essentially ignored or flatly denied consideration for resettlement to the U.S,” Jacobson said in a statement. “The Trump administration has given hope to persecuted Christians that their cases will finally be considered.”  ChristianPost

On Friday President Trump signed an executive order that bans Syrian refugees indefinitely, suspends the U.S. refugee program for 120 days, and blocks entry into the U.S. for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Ammar Sawan is a Syrian now living in Jordan who applied to resettle in the U.S.   Sawan and his family is safe in Jordan, he can put all your dreams in the country he is now in – Jordan.

A refugee who fled worn-torn Syria and dreamed of living in the United States with his family is among those who have spoken out following Trump’s immigration ban.

Ammar Sawan took his first step toward resettlement in the US three months ago by submitting to an initial round of security screenings.  But his plan for a better life fell apart when President Donald Trump enforced an indefinite ban on Friday on displaced Syrians entering the United States.

Sawan, who is a Syrian refugee living in Amman, Jordan with his family, revealed on Saturday that he learned of Trump’s decision from TV news the night before.  ‘When we heard of the order, it was like a bolt of lightning, and all our hopes and dreams vanished,’ the 40 year-old said.

The upholsterer, who supports his family with odd jobs in Amman, said he was especially disappointed for his four children who he had hoped would get a good education in the U.S.  DailyMail

Support And Opposition Of US Embassy Relocation To Jerusalem

Video:  Jerusalem: 4000 Years in 5 Minutes

Israel considers Jerusalem its eternal and indivisible capital.  Currently, no country has its embassy in Jerusalem.

President Trump is not the first President to promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem in line with the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which was passed by Congress in 1995. But every president since has signed a national-security waiver suspending the act, arguing that Jerusalem’s status will be determined only after a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Economist

Thanks to a law signed by Bill Clinton, Trump will face a decision on whether to move the embassy within his first six months in office. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 mandates that the U.S. Embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem or risk a massive cut in State Department funding, but allows the president to postpone the move for reasons of national security.

Since the law’s passage, successive presidents have issued such a waiver every six months. The most recent one, signed by Obama on Dec. 1, expires in May 2017, meaning it will be up to Trump to decide the embassy’s fate. Politico

Christians – Support

Aside from its centrality to Jewish history, and its role as Israel’s capital, Jerusalem is also a holy place for many Bible-reading Christians. As such, prominent pro-Israel Christian organizations are lining up to express their support for President Donald Trump’s campaign vow to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and to hold the president accountable for his words.

Susan Michael, the US director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), said Christians already understand that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and would like to see the American government follow suit. In fact, the ICEJ has had its own “unofficial” embassy in Jerusalem since 1980, a point that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted in his 2016 Christmas address.

“Hundreds of millions of Christians around the world understand from their Bible the spiritual significance of Jerusalem to the Jewish people, and that it was established as the capital of Israel some 3,000 years ago by King David,” Michael told JNS.org, adding that Christians “believe the spiritual law of blessing established in Genesis 12 that God will bless those who bless the Jewish people.” Algemeiner

Political

“A U.S. administration would be seriously harming its potential role, as it has historically played, as a so-called ‘honest broker’ between the Israelis and the Arabs,” said Edward Djerejian, the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and ambassador to Israel under the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations. Politico

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer was an original co-sponsor on the Jerusalem Embassy Act and has expressed support for relocating the embassy.

“Senator Schumer has long supported moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and has called on both Democratic and Republican Presidents to make this happen,” Matt House, Schumer’s spokesman, told Politico in an email.

EU – Opposes

European Union foreign ministers opposed any plan to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and warned that it could ratchet up tensions with the Arab world.

“It is very important for us all to refrain from unilateral actions, especially those that can have serious consequences in large sectors of public opinion in large parts of the world,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters after chairing their talks in Brussels.

“We hope that there can be reflection on consequences of any move that is taken,” she said. Mogherini declined to say what consequences could be considered as no formal decision has been made to move the embassy. USNews

Muslim Nations and Allies – Oppose

Reasons (and others) we can expect that NO Muslim nation will agree with President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  Continue reading Support And Opposition Of US Embassy Relocation To Jerusalem

Under Cover Of Night, Syrian Wounded Seek Help From Israel

Nearly every night Syrian wounded come to the Golan Heights in Israel seeking medical help.  Coming into Israel challenge their perceptions about the Jewish state.

It happens nearly every night. After dark, the Syrian wounded come to known locations on the Israel-Syria front in the Golan Heights, driven by desperation to seek help from an enemy army.

Israeli soldiers on lookout or patrol spot them waiting by the fence and whisk them away to a rear position where army medics soon arrive, according to army officials operating in the Golan Heights.

Israel refuses to accept refugees fleeing the nearly six-year conflict in Syria, a country with which it remains technically at war. But it has allowed in more than 2,600 Syrians for medical care…

One man, his legs pierced by shrapnel, survived a bomb attack in his village in which 23 people were killed.

“In the past we used to know Israel as our enemy. That’s what the regime used to tell us,” he said. “When we came to Israel we changed our minds, there is no enmity between us.

“In the end we discovered that our regime is the enemy of us all,” he said, referring to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.  Reuters

Video: Under the Cover of Night, Syrians Seek Help From Israel