Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Miracles Happen


- Avi Issacharoff

Egyptian President el-Sissi has once again proven that he is the bravest Arab leader in the region by meeting publicly with Prime Minister Netanyahu, something that other Arab leaders will only do under the radar. Their meeting in New York provides a clear indication that Sissi feels confident enough of his position in Egypt and the Arab world to publicly reveal that such an event took place. 
(Times of Israel)


- Tom Tugend (Jerusalem Post)

    Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa last week denounced the Arab boycott of Israel and said his subjects are free to visit the Jewish state.
    The King spoke at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles at an event denouncing religious hatred and violence. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Israel Warns West About Iranian Land Bridge

Ayelet Shaked

'If Assad Wants to Survive, Syria Needs to Keep Iran Out'
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked [pictured] addressed some of the pressing threats looming over the Jewish state during a live interview at IDC Herzliya's International Counterterrorism Conference.

Shaked spoke about the impact of Syrian President Bashar Assad's actions in the region, saying that he has a clear interest to "keep Iran out if he wants to survive."

According to the justice minister, "Israel needs to pressure world powers to not allow [Iran to establish a strong presence in Syria]," and should world powers not comply, the Jewish state should "do what we need to do."

Speaking about the possibility of a growing Iranian presence in the conflict-addled Syria, Shaked said that "Iran's [presence] in Syria can be very bad and Israel will not agree to them" establishing weapons factories and ports. She also expressed her hope that "world powers won't allow it."

She went on to warn of an attempt by different terror groups in the area, backed by Iran, to build a "Shi'ite bridge from Iran [all the way across the] Syrian border with Israel."

Shaked also addressed other threats...[T]he minister said that Israel has to "make sure Hezbollah doesn't get "game-changing weapons" and also warned that "Hezbollah's weapons [arsenal] is growing."
[Jerusalem Post]
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Israel Just Bombed a Chemical Weapons Factory that Syria Shouldn't Have Had - Alex Ward 

Israel bombed a suspected Syrian chemical weapons factory last week, just one day after the UN blamed Syrian forces for a chemical weapons attack in April.
  

It's a very big deal that Syria still had a chemical weapons facility, given that it had earlier promised to give up all of those weapons.
   

In 2013, Syria promised to give up its chemical weapons as part of a diplomatic deal with Russia and the U.S. to avert a planned American strike in response to Assad gassing almost 1,000 of his own citizens to death near Damascus.
(VOX)
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Sending a Signal to Syria - Maj. General Yaakov Amidror

There is no doubt that this sole bombing will not halt Iran's efforts to tighten its grip on Syria, but it makes it clear that Israel enjoys freedom of action in striking Syrian targets.
The writer is former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel and former Head of Israel's National Security Council. 
(Israel Hayom)


What Comes after Bombing of Weapons Factory in Syria? - Elliott Abrams

What would be useful at this point is a statement by the U.S. that we approve of the action Israel took, and that in the event of a conflict Israel would have our support in defending itself. Such a statement might help persuade Iran and Syria to observe the limits Israel is imposing, and might help avoid a wider conflict.

The writer, a senior fellow at the CFR, handled Middle East affairs at the U.S. National Security Council from 2001 to 2009.
(Council on Foreign Relations)
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UPDATE:

Russia Urges Syria Not to Respond to Israel's Attack on Weapons Factory
- Ronen Bergman 

Russia has urged Syrian President Assad not to respond after an airstrike on the country's Scientific Studies and Research Center which the Syrian regime attributes to Israel, a senior Russian official in Moscow dealing with Middle East affairs told Yediot Ahronot.  
The official also noted Russia is aware of Israel's concerns of Iranian entrenchment in Syria and will prevent Tehran from establishing a foothold in the Golan Heights significant enough to pose a threat to Israel.
(Ynet News)
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Saudi's Send 'Trial Balloon' to Israel

Did Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visit Israel?

Did the Saudi Crown Prince Visit Israel?  - Yasser Okbi 

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made a discreet visit to Israel despite the fact that the Jewish state and Saudi Arabia do not have official diplomatic ties, Israeli and Arab media speculated earlier in the week.

Rumors about the momentous visit, which was not confirmed by Israel, started swirling when Israel Radio's diplomatic correspondent covering Arab affairs, Simon Aran, took to Twitter to announce the visit. Aran tweeted that a senior Arab figure from the Gulf region paid a visit to Tel Aviv last week, stirring immense interest in the Arab media. 


Israel Radio's Arabic-language broadcast reported that the the senior figure was a "Saudi prince" who met with senior Israelis to discuss regional peace. According to the report, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Ministry refused to comment on the news.

One Arab media outlet reported that the senior official was Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


Publications in Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE all joined the media storm. As expected, news of the visit was not warmly welcomed by the Arab public. 
[Jerusalem Post] 
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Saudi Prince Paid Secret Visit to Israel
    
"A prince of the Saudi Royal Court paid a secret visit to the country [Israel] in recent days to discuss ideas for advancing regional peace with senior Israeli officials," Israel Radio reported. 
(Anadolu-Turkey)
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Thursday, September 07, 2017

Palestinians Descend from Muslim Invaders

Caliph Umar enters Jerusalem in 637, 19th century engraving

The Colonialism of Palestinian Arab Settlers - Dr. Alex Joffe

It has been claimed that Jews represent an alien population implanted into Palestine to usurp the land and displace the people. Yet a wealth of evidence demonstrates that Jews are the indigenous population of the Southern Levant; historical and now genetic documentation places Jews there over 2,000 years ago, and there is indisputable evidence of continual residence of Jews in the region.

In contrast, historical and genealogical evidence shows Palestinians descend primarily from Muslim invaders, Arab immigrants, and local converts to Islam. The Muslim conquest of Palestine in the 7th century CE is a textbook example of settler-colonialism, as is subsequent immigration, particularly during the 19th and 20th centuries under the Ottoman and British Empires.

Palestinians have the right to define themselves as they see fit. What Palestinians cannot claim, however, is that they are Palestine's indigenous population and the Jews are settler-colonialists. Palestinian genealogies that show their own tribes originating outside the Southern Levant are prima facie evidence of Arab settler-colonialism.

Muslim settlers who migrated or were intentionally implanted in Palestine in the 19th century included Egyptians fleeing from and imported by Muhammad Ali from the late 1820s to the 1840s, as well as Chechens, Circassians, and Turkmen relocated by the Ottoman Empire in the 1860s after its wars with Russia. Tribes of Bedouins, Algerians, Yemenis, and many others also immigrated during that century.

There was a 37% increase in the Palestinian population between 1922 and 1931, over 60,000 persons, as the result of illegal immigration. From 1932 to 1946, another 60,000 illegal male immigrants entered the country, with uncounted females imported as brides. These were in addition to the great influx of Arab workers from 1940 to 1945 in connection with the war effort.
The writer, an archaeologist and historian, is a fellow at the Middle East Forum.
(BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
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Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Bolton Suggests Hitting North Korea's Nukes


 
 
North Korea’s ultimatum to America - Caroline Glick

Sunday’s test, together with North Korea’s recent tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the continental US, was a direct threat to US cities.

In other words, the current confrontation isn’t about US superpower status in Asia, and the credibility of US deterrence or the capabilities of US military forces in the Pacific. The confrontation is now about the US’s ability to protect the lives of its citizens.


[I]f the Trump administration punts North Korea’s direct threat to attack US population centers with nuclear weapons to the UN Security Council, it will communicate profound weakness to its allies and adversaries alike.

[T]he US’s security guarantees, which form the basis of its global power and its alliance system are on the verge of becoming completely discredited.

If you appease an enemy on behalf of an ally then you aren’t an ally.  And eventually your alliance become empty of all meaning.

If the US strikes North Korea in a credible manner and successfully diminishes its capacity to physically threaten the US, America will have taken the first step towards rebuilding its alliances in Asia.

On the other hand, if the current round of hostilities does not end with a significant reduction of North Korea’s offensive capabilities, either against the US or its allies, then the US will be hard pressed to maintain its posture as a Pacific power. So long as Pyongyang has the ability to directly threaten the US and its allies, US strategic credibility in East Asia will be shattered.


[U]nless the North Korean nuclear arsenal is obliterated, Pyongyang’s nuclear triumphalism will precipitate a spasm of nuclear proliferation in Asia and in the Middle East. The implications of this for the US and its allies will be far reaching.

Not only can Japan and South Korea be reasonably expected to develop nuclear arsenals. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and other inherently unstable Arab states can be expected to develop or purchase nuclear arsenals in response to concerns over North Korea and its ally Iran with its nuclear weapons program linked to Pyongyang’s.

In other words, if the US does not respond in a strategically profound way to Pyongyang now, it will not only lose its alliance system in Asia, it will see the rapid collapse of its alliance system and superpower status in the Middle East.

Israel, for one, will be imperiled by the sudden diffusion of nuclear power.


If the US does not directly defeat North Korea in a clear-cut way now, its position as a superpower in Asia and worldwide will be destroyed and its ability to defend its own citizens will be called into question with increasing frequency and lethality.
[Jerusalem Post]
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UPDATES:

Iran Can Be Where North Korea Is in a Short Time - Yonah Jeremy Bob 

"What people need to understand is that Iran can be where North Korea is" in a short time, Dr. Emily Landau, an expert at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, told the Jerusalem Post. To prevent this from happening, the world must devise "a strategy to increase pressure on Iran" with a combination of increased, truly biting sanctions, isolation, and the threat of a military option, she said.

Landau said there have always been concerns about North Korea transferring nuclear weapons technology to Iran, but after its latest nuclear test, which registered as far more powerful than past tests, that could mean sharing hydrogen bomb technology. 
(Jerusalem Post)
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Iran Has Studied North Korea's Playbook - Anthony Ruggiero

North Korea authored the playbook now being used by Iran to fleece the U.S. and our allies. And if the U.S. fails to neutralize the North Korean threat, Iran will notice how the U.S. buckles in the face of nuclear pressure.

Iran has already learned a number of damaging lessons from North Korea. First, cheating on nuclear deals is permitted. President Bill Clinton announced the 1994 Agreed Framework as a deal that would "freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program," but Pyongyang violated the agreement when it started a covert uranium enrichment program. Washington then negotiated the 2005 Joint Statement, but the Kim regime built a nuclear reactor in Syria during the negotiations, and the Bush administration removed North Korea from the state sponsors of terrorism list in 2008.

The writer, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, was a nonproliferation adviser to the U.S. government.
(Weekly Standard)
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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The MidEast Unhinged: Iran Rising



Netanyahu Raising Alarm on Iran, Again - Ben Caspit

An Israeli security official told his American counterparts in Washington, "Take heed, a few days before President Donald Trump arrived for his visit in Saudi Arabia in May, the rebels in Yemen fired missiles toward Riyadh. It's a clear message. The Iranians are already building the capacity to strike with surface-to-surface missiles across a huge belt in the region, which will strike fear among the Sunni regimes. Do you think the king of Jordan would survive this? That stability in Saudi Arabia will be maintained?"
 

"Whatever happens here after the war in Syria will shape the face of the Middle East, and perhaps the entire world, for generations. If the cease-fire agreement does not also include a Shiite retreat, a disaster will happen. You're disturbing the incredibly delicate balance in the Middle East. The immediate price will be paid by those who live here, but in the end, the bill, once again, will be sent to you."
    

An Israeli intelligence source noted, "The Iranians are the only ones who are working toward the long term. They are the only ones with a strategy in this sphere. They think and act like a world power."

Netanyahu sees the nuclear deal as a grave mistake whose ramifications will be suffered for generations. He believes his current warnings to Trump's staff and Russian President Vladimir Putin are like Winston Churchill's attempts to warn Europe and the West about the German threat in the late 1930s. As with the Iranian nuclear deal, the Israelis are making sure to tell the Americans, and also the Russians, that "if Israel's security needs won't be met in the cease-fire agreement in Syria, we'll act in other ways," the source said.
(Al-Monitor)


Iran Is Taking Over Syria. Can Anyone Stop It? - David W. Lesch

Since the civil war began in 2011, the government of Bashar al-Assad has relied on Iran and its proxies like the Lebanese Hizbullah to stay in power. If Syria's orientation toward Iran continues, Israel will feel that when it looks across the Golan Heights, it sees Iran staring back.


The Trump administration has so far seemed willing to cede Syria to Russia, but this really means ceding it to Iran. Moscow wants little more than to maintain its military bases in Syria. It will not actually provide a counterweight to Iran once the war is over. If the U.S. isn't interested in Syria and if Russia continues to focus solely on security issues, Iran will be dominant in Damascus. If Iran is the only party invested in Syria's future, the outcome could be catastrophic.
The writer is a professor of Middle East history at Trinity University in San Antonio.
(New York Times)
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How to Get Out of the Nuclear Deal
-John Bolton

Defining a compelling rationale to exit Obama's failed nuclear deal and elaborating a game plan to do so are quite easy. In fact, Steve Bannon asked me in late July to draw up just such a game plan for the president.  Here it is. 
[Gatestone Institute]
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Monday, August 28, 2017

Antifa Will Target Israel





Antifa & Israel - Amit Deri

Two weeks ago all decent people were shocked by the display of hatred and antisemitism by a group of neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

The good news is that when you actually look at the numbers, it is clear that we are only talking about a small fringe group that the overwhelming majority Americans are disgusted by.

However, even though the numbers are tiny, and even though there have been neo-Nazis in America for decades, the media has given this subject massive coverage, occasionally verging on the hysterical. Among other things, this type of media saturation makes it appear as if the US is in danger of being overrun by hordes of fringe neo-Nazi loonies.

This out-of-proportion coverage is now creating another problem, one that I believe will be far greater for American democracy. This problem in the making has to do with countering the exaggerated Nazi threat, a reaction that is likely to become even more overblown and dangerous than the problem it is intended to confront.

At the forefront of this fight stands “Antifa,” an international anti-fascist group. For them any role in the fight is legitimate. In its “ends justify the means” battle plan, Antifa is already morphing into a group whose behavior is indistinguishable from that of the neo-Nazis they are sworn to obliterate.

Any opposition to their radical Left agenda is to be dealt with by any means necessary. Even physical violence against police is legitimate.

Last week two well-known professors who are vocal BDS activists with anti-Israel views declared that they will help to open Antifa branches on many campuses across the US. Prof. David Palumbo-Liu of Stanford University and Prof. Bill Mullen of Purdue University are already receiving support from academics across America.

In recent rallies Antifa and its supporters have shown complete disregard for civil liberties and the fundamental rights of free speech and assembly. Provocative speakers such as Milo Yiannopoulos at Berkeley and Charles Murray at Middlebury College in Vermont were physically intimidated and harassed and forced to flee for safety.


But as bad as things are, they are bound to get worse.

The frightening scenario is that with all the Antifa organizing on US campuses and the eventual realization that there aren’t really Nazis on campus to shut down, there will inevitably be a witch hunt for others Antifa doesn’t like.

So these radical left-wing vigilantes will need to find another monster, “new Nazis.” It doesn’t take a wild imagination to supply the likely candidate: Israel. After all, Israel is 'colonialist, racist and the oppressor of the poor defenseless Palestinians.' Sure sounds like Nazis.

Thanks to intersectionality, where all oppression is somehow linked into the same oppression, Antifa is most likely to connect with other hate groups belonging to the BDS movement against Israel.

A revealing sneak preview of what to expect was seen this past week at protests in Boston. A non-Jewish activist dared to walk around wrapped in an Israeli flag among the anti-Right protesters. He was immediately surrounded by people screamed phrases such as “you are a Nazi,” and “get out of here!” With several thousand left-wing protesters confronting only a few hundred right-wing activists, it was difficult to even find any Nazis. Not to worry. Support for Israel serves the same purpose and deserves the same response.

In this sense Antifa is likely to follow the example of the group “Black Lives Matter” (BLM). 


Only by turning a blind eye can someone miss the significant violence Antifa is already causing in the US and Europe. But the future is likely to be far worse, as Antifa seeks out “fascists” of its own choosing and depiction.

Campuses are the main focus of radical left-wing groups, and they are becoming more and more violent and dangerous from year to year. Next year it is safe to say that we will probably see Antifa itself on many campuses.

We fear that much of their focus will be on Israel, and by extension Jewish students and non-Jewish supporters of Israel.


Advocating for Israel on US campuses is likely to become increasingly contentious and, dare I say it, dangerous in the coming years.
[Jerusalem Post]
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Friday, August 25, 2017

The Growing Iranian Empire

Source: NYPost

Thwarting a New Iranian Empire - Dore Gold 

People do not understand what it means to leave Iran inside of Syria as currently envisioned by the Great Powers.

The Iranians established themselves in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon back in 1982 and in a few short years established Hizbullah, a guerrilla army that accepted the idea of Iranian domination and leadership of all Muslims. It served as a surrogate for Iran in the Middle East.

It was originally thought that if Israel withdrew from Lebanon, the Hizbullah problem would go away. But Israel did withdraw from Lebanon in 2000 and the Hizbullah threat only got worse because it had nothing to do with Israel. It had everything to do with Iranian regional ambitions.

Years ago, when the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was sitting with a high-level American official, he criticized U.S. policy in Iraq for having recreated the Safavid Empire. The Safavid Empire was the Persian Empire back in the 16th century.

It was then that Persian control stretched over parts of Syria; it covered Iraq including Baghdad; it went south into the Persian Gulf; it included the island of Bahrain; it stretched into half of Afghanistan and into what used to be referred to as Soviet Central Asia. This was a huge state that still exists in the fond memories of many in the Iranian leadership.

Just as Lebanon became a base for Iranian operations across the Middle East, leaving Iranian forces in Syria will create a challenge on a much greater scale. This will pose a direct threat to the future security of Israel as well as Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. 

The bottom line is: Iranian forces must be withdrawn from Syria back to Iran. If the Great Powers leave Iran in Syria, they are setting the stage for the next great crisis in the Middle East, which will be far larger than anything we have seen until now.
The writer, president of the Jerusalem Center, served as Israel's ambassador to the UN and director general of the Foreign Ministry.

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sudan Loves Israel?

Mubarak al-Fadil al-Mahdi says Palestinian Arabs screwed up


Sudanese Minister Calls for Normalization with Israel

Hamas expressed deep regret over statements by Sudan's Investment Minister Mubarak al-Fadil al-Mahdi, who called to normalize Sudan's relations with Israel.

In an interview with Sudania 24TV on Sunday, al-Mahdi said the Palestinians bear significant responsibility for what happened to them.
    
Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour has also said his country wouldn't mind considering the possibility of normalizing ties with Israel.
    
In recent years, Sudan has cut relations with Iran and moved closer to Saudi Arabia and the moderate Arab camp. 
(Sudan Tribune)
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UPDATE:

Israel Seeks Saudi Flights Deal for Hajj Pilgrims 
  
Israel is trying to persuade Saudi Arabia to permit special Hajj pilgrimage flights to Mecca for its Muslim citizens, who now must endure a 1,000-mile bus route across the Jordan River and through the Saudi desert to reach Islam's most sacred shrine.
   

Israel's Communications Minister Ayoob Kara wants them to fly directly from Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion International Airport.  "Reality has changed," Kara said. "This is a good time to make the request, and I'm working hard on it."
  

About 6,000 Israeli Arabs make the Hajj journey every year, though only a few hundred are allowed to fly to Saudi Arabia from Jordan, Kara said.
(Bloomberg-Arabian Business)
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Unholy Alliance: North Korea & Iran



North Korea's ICBM Test Is a Win for Iran - Ted Poe (National Interest)
  • North Korea's recent test of an intercontinental ballistic missile is a game changer. It holds the potential for North Korea to transfer this dangerous technology to another rogue regime, its longtime ally Iran. 
  • For years, experts have suspected North Korea as being the key supporter behind Iran's missile and nuclear programs. Today, many of the missiles Iran would use to target American forces in the Middle East are copies of North Korean designs. 
  • North Korean engineers are in Iran helping to improve its missiles to carry nuclear warheads, according to a report released last month by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the same opposition movement that exposed Tehran's secret nuclear facilities at Natanz and Arak in 2002. 
  • Iran is using North Korean blueprints to build as many as thirteen secret underground missile launch facilities and North Korean experts are assisting the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' efforts to develop nuclear warheads and guidance systems. 
  • This would enable Iran to launch nuclear weapons at the large U.S. bases in the Middle East that restrain Iran's expansionist ambitions. 
  • The missile tested by North Korea in July demonstrated an ability that could put American cities as far as Chicago within its nuclear crosshairs. With North Korea outpacing our own expert expectations, Iran will likely not be far behind.

    Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade.
UPDATE

- Emily B. Landau

Strong international actors cannot afford to be complacent about a negotiated deal when it does not reflect a strategic reversal on the part of the proliferator. 

If the Iran deal has achieved a delay, the challenge is to use this time to reverse negative trends and prepare better for the future, not to rest on one's laurels while celebrating a deal that has not stopped Iran in the nuclear realm, and could render that goal even more elusive in eight to nine years. 
(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
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Monday, July 31, 2017

Jew Arrested for Praying on Temple Mount


 
Video of Jewish group defying status quo and saying Kaddish prayer for recently slaughtered family on Temple Mount

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Palestinians Score Symbolic Victory in Jerusalem

A Saudi newspaper featured a cartoon of The Dome of the Rock with a "victory" sign

Arab and Palestinian media are reveling in what they consider a decisive victory over Israel following its removal of all recently installed security measures at the entrances to the Temple Mount.
    
Cartoons depicting Palestinian resistance have flooded Arab media and Palestinian social media platforms. 
(Ynet News)


UPDATES:



It is ludicrous to view metal detectors as a threat to freedom of Islamic worship, or a change to the status quo at the holy site. Nevertheless, Israel's defense establishment recommended removing the metal detectors. Why?

Right now, Israel's enemies across the Middle East are busy fighting one another. Israel remains outside of the combat arenas. In the wider perspective, Israel's interest is not to enter into a new conflict. Israel has no interest in uniting the Islamic world against it.
(Ynet News)    
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Netanyahu allows himself and his cabinet members to be bullied by his generals because he doesn’t have a policy for securing Israeli sovereignty and advancing Israel’s national interests at the Temple Mount. Without a positive goal, he is reduced to treading water with the hope of keeping a lid on Muslim jihadists. And so his “policy” of bowing to his politically subversive generals bears a disquieting resemblance to George Orwell’s quip, “The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.”

Perhaps the depressing aspect of all of this is that it isn’t hard to figure out what a reasonable, constructive policy would be for the Temple Mount.

As a liberal democracy, Israel has an interest, indeed a duty, to ensure that the holy site is open to all religions and that everyone has the right to freely worship on the Temple Mount. Given the fact that the Temple Mount is the holiest place in the world for Jews, Israel has a vital interest in securing its sovereign control over the area.

To secure its sovereignty and advance its clear interest in facilitating religious freedom for all, Israel’s policy goal is straightforward. The government should enable all faiths to worship freely at the site.

The government should also state outright that if the Palestinians opt instead to incite and commit acts of violence and terrorism from the Temple Mount, Israel will secure its goal and enable Jews and Christians to worship at the holy site unilaterally.

To date, the Temple Mount has been the Palestinians’ ace in the hole. They recycle the blood libel that Jews are endangering al-Aksa every time they feel they are losing ground in their never-ending war against Israel. And Israel inevitably capitulates. But if Israel announces its policy is to secure religious freedom for all on the Temple Mount and makes a good-faith effort to advance it in conjunction with the Palestinians and all other relevant groups, it will set the conditions for taking that ace away.

If after it begins good-faith efforts to collectively advance the liberal, democratic goal of ensuring religious freedom for all at the holy site, the Palestinians again turn to violence, then the Islamic world, or parts of it, will be in a position to blame them when Israel unilaterally enables Jews and Christians to pray on the Temple Mount parallel to Muslim worshipers.

Israel ceded the Temple Mount to terrorists last week. But with a clear goal, we can get it back in short order and keep it perpetually for the good of all humanity.
[Jerusalem Post]
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MORE UPDATES:  

Temple Mount Affair: What Has Changed? - General Yossi Kuperwasser

While Israel's own status on the Temple Mount sustained no evident damage, a new reality has emerged in which Israel has acknowledged the limits of its ability to stipulate the rules of the game. It has also recognized the status of the PA and Jordan as actors capable of deploying popular demonstrations in the streets in a controlled, competent fashion, meaning Israel must consult with them in advance before making any move that affects the Mount.

The Palestinians are caught up in a sense of achievement, which inspires them to harden their positions.
The writer, , former chief of the research division in IDF Military Intelligence and director general of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs, is director of the Project on Regional Middle East Developments at the Jerusalem Center.
(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
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- General Yaakov Amidror

The decision to reconsider the metal detectors indicated maturity and self-confidence on the part of the Jewish state. Once it became clear that this was neither the time nor the place to prove Israel's might, there was no point in insisting on them. Israel did well to grant the Jordanian request and ease pressure off its ally in the war on terror.

In hindsight, the events on the Temple Mount, serious as they were, had little effect on Israel's relations with the Jordanians or the Palestinians. Israel demonstrated responsibility and managed to maintain its strategic relations with Jordan. 
The writer is former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel and former Head of Israel's National Security Council. 
(Israel Hayom)
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