What Americans should learn from Israel’s missile-defense system
The Israeli missile-defense system known as Iron Dome once again finds itself in the international spotlight, causing many Americans to wonder if the U.S. has anything comparable. Here are a few important points about Iron Dome and missile defense in general for Americans to consider.
(1) Iron Dome is a missile-defense system that intercepts short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. The system is designed to hit only incoming missiles headed toward population centers, which, up to this point in the conflict, have been about 30 percent of the total fired by Hamas. Continue reading
Once again the Middle East has descended into a vicious circle of simultaneous human tragedies. The essence of this often repeated situation had been the irreconcilable difference between the arbitrary interpretation of the basic rights of the various ethnic and religious communities and their diametrically opposed sense of intolerable injustice. The differences between the two sides, Arabs and Israelis, had always been fundamental. The former had believed that what they had called Palestine had been promised to the Prophet Muhammad by Allah and sealed for eternity by conquest and occupation over fourteen centuries. The Jews had derived their right to the land of Eretz Israel and Zion directly from God over two millennia before Muhammad was even born. Jewish immigration throughout the 20th century and the establishment of the State of Israel had been viewed by the Arabs as illegal occupation of their land, and condemned and fought accordingly. The Jews had invoked history and asserted that they only exercise their God-given right to return to the land of their forefathers. Continue reading
by Liel Leibovitz
Here’s a bit of wisdom that cannot be repeated often enough: Deliberately targeting civilians is a war crime. If you don’t believe me, ask U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who was adamant on this point last year, when Syria’s president Assad, aided by Hamas’ brethren Hezbollah, engaged in the very same tactics we now see coming out of Gaza, albeit with much more devastating results. And if that’s not enough, consider a regime that targets not only the enemy’s civilians but also its own: Appearing on TV the other day, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri waxed poetic about the merits of using men, women, and children as human shields, a heinous tactic that puts every civilian in Gaza in needless risk.
The world has repeatedly—and rightly—asked that Israel take measures to protect the civilian population of Gaza. Israel chooses its targets very carefully, and, knowing that Hamas’ cowardly creeps would have likely stacked every strategic building with armfuls of kids, according to the instructions of its leaders, it takes extraordinary measures to provide ample warning before each strike. These include text messages and calls, leaflets dropped from above, and “knock on the roof” measures, or firing flares to signal an upcoming strike. Continue reading
The Iranian interim agreement that went into effect Monday does not prevent Iran from implementing its intentions to create nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Netanyahu said in the Knesset.
Netanyahu, in a speech welcoming visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the Knesset on Monday, said that the international community’s goal – one that has not yet been achieved — must be stopping the Iranians from gaining the capacity to build a nuclear weapon.
The prime minister likened the manufacturing of the fissile material needed to make a bomb to a train that must pass through three stops: the first stop of enriching uranium to 3.5 percent, the second stop of enriching uranium to 20 percent, and the final step of enriching uranium to 90 percent. Continue reading
A Saudi prince sent a harsh message to President Obama and his administration, saying White House waffling and indecision has compromised the ability of the United States to nail down a peace pact between Israel and the Palestinians.
“We’ve seen several red lines put forward by the president, which went along and became pinkish as time grew, and eventually ended up completely white,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former intelligence head of Saudi Arabia, in The New York Times. “When that kind of assurance comes from a leader of a country like the United States, we expect him to stand by it. There is an issue of confidence.”
Specifically, the prince blasted Mr. Obama for reneging on promises — a habit that’s been shown by recent polls about Obamacare to plague the president with constituents in the United States, too. Continue reading
Karzai made the deal with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran Sunday.
“Afghanistan agreed on a long-term friendship and cooperation pact with Iran,” Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi said, according to Reuters. “The pact will be for long-term political, security, economic and cultural cooperation, regional peace and security.” Continue reading
A draft deal with Iran on its nuclear program that Israel asserted would imperil its very existence is the latest sign that Israel and longtime ally the United States are as far apart as ever on how to deal with growing threats in the Middle East.
Analysts say the Obama administration needs to take Israel’s fears seriously, while the White House insists it is doing what is best for the security of Israel, the United States and the Middle East.
Aaron David Miller, a former U.S. peace negotiator who has advised Democratic and Republican secretaries of State, said the rift may cause problems for the United States on multiple fronts, including a risk of dragging the United States into war with Iran. Continue reading
In the beginning, the Hebrew Bible tells us, the universe was all “tohu wabohu,” chaos and tumult. This month the Middle East seems to be reverting to that primeval state: Iraq continues to unravel, the Syrian War grinds on with violence spreading to Lebanon and allegations of chemical attacks this week, and Egypt stands on the brink of civil war with the generals crushing the Muslim Brotherhood and street mobs torching churches. Turkey’s prime minister, once widely hailed as President Obama’s best friend in the region, blames Egypt’s violence on the Jews; pretty much everyone else blames it on the U.S.
The Obama administration had a grand strategy in the Middle East. It was well intentioned, carefully crafted and consistently pursued.
Unfortunately, it failed. Continue reading
by Jay Newton-Small
Though Gotham is full of visiting heads of government and state, the President is meeting no one this time around. Is it insurance against possible gaffes? Or just a broader excuse not to meet the Prime Minister of Israel?
On Monday, President Barack Obama made his fourth pilgrimage to New York City for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. He arrived in Manhattan on a glorious autumn afternoon and rushed to his first – and only – public event of the day: a taping of ABC’s The View with his wife, Michelle. Continue reading