That dinner cancellation

Ashton and Zarif in Tehran recently

Ashton and Zarif in Tehran recently

Just about the only semi-newsworthy report to have emerged out of the latest round in Vienna  of negotiations on Iran’s nuclear project is the fact that Iranian foreign minister Muhammad Zarif had cancelled a dinner date with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Viewed against the presumed big picture this is a negligible item, bordering on preoccupation with idle incidentals. Yet, as such, it’s highly significant. It almost goes to show that there’s really no big picture. Supposed talks with Iran continue sporadically and constitute the pretext for alleviating sanctions on the rogue regime’s nuclear ambitions. But in effect, nothing is happening. Continue reading

Syria’s lingering hell

Israeli soldiers evacuate their comrade who was wounded during an explosion near the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights

Military medics treating one of the Golan attack victims

Hezbollah is the culprit that most readily comes to mind when trying to figure out who masterminded the roadside attack on IDF soldiers in the Golan last Tuesday. Hezbollah’s motivation is obvious following the destruction of its missile transports into Lebanon.

Not only has it vowed revenge but its ally, embattled Damascus despot Bashar Assad, has served ample warning that from now on he won’t bar Hezbollah forces from striking against Israel from the Golan.

With that in mind, the detonated booby-trap device (and possible kidnap attempt) was no surprise. Continue reading

Jordan’s bizarre jurists

Jordanian legal-eagles burn the Israeli flag at Amman’s Palace of Justice and call for Daqamseh’s release

Jordanian legal-eagles burn the Israeli flag at Amman’s Palace of Justice and call for Daqamseh’s release

Unfortunately, not many Israelis recall that today is the 17th anniversary of the Naharayim massacre in which a Jordanian soldier cold-bloodedly massacred seven Israeli schoolgirls.

Yet that unspeakable crime is bizarrely, almost obsessively, remembered in Jordan and there it has oddly just made the headlines again – but not in the way Israelis would readily imagine.  Continue reading

Joke sentence

Raed Salah celebrates

Raed Salah celebrates

It’s not often that when a defendant is sentenced to do time behind bars he exclaims jubilantly. But that’s precisely what happened last week when Islamic Movement Northern Branch leader Sheikh Raed Salah – an Israeli-Arab, former mayor of Umm el-Fahm and a convicted Hamas collaborator – was handed down an eight-month term for inciting to violence in 2007.

Salah had then orchestrated riots against archeological rescue-digs and a new pedestrian bridge near the Temple Mount. He accused Jews of “eating bread dipped in children’s blood.” He praised and eulogized terrorist murderers. He threatened anyone who claims any Jewish connection to the Western Wall, “even to just one stone.” Thereafter, Salah has been regularly holding “Save al-Aksa” rallies dedicated to the incendiary calumny that Israel is out to demolish the Muslim compound atop Temple Mount.

His ultra-light sentence inspired him to shout insolently in open court: “Blessed is God – I got off cheap!”  Continue reading

Worthless guarantees

BingoUltra-popular in cyberspace these days is a cartoon showing Vladimir Putin as a shrewd strategist executing moves on a chessboard, while a laid-back Barack Obama incongruously plays a single checkers piece and yells “Bingo!”

We may agree or disagree with this depiction but such is the widespread perception of the Ukrainian crisis and the invasion of Crimea. The Russian leader is regarded as having handily outmaneuvered the American president and with him the entire West. Continue reading

Exposing the charade

Jonathan Pollard red, white and blue

Jonathan Pollard red, white and blue

Odds are that convicted spy Jonathan Pollard is now in his 29th year in prison only because of thinly camouflaged anti-Semitism. That is the learned opinion of James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Woolsey has said so in interviews to Channel 10, as well as to The Jerusalem Post. He went on the record and without beating around the bush. He thus gave an authoritative voice to what many suspected and hinted at for years. Continue reading

Oxfam’s lopsided logic

image

On the face of it, Oxfam is as irreproachable as motherhood and apple-pie. Who can be against its declared goals of combating hunger and promoting justice?

Oxfam’s confederation and its familiar charity shops are fixed features in some 90 countries worldwide. Founded in the city of Oxford in 1942, it crusaded for allowing food relief into occupied Greece. Ever since, Oxfam has embedded itself in the public perception as the harbinger of goodness and goodwill.

As such, it became de rigueur to champion its causes and indeed numerous celebrities score popularity points by starring as Oxfam campaigners.  Actress Scarlett Johansson was one of many who flocked to the Oxfam banner until she dared defy the outfit’s dogma.
Continue reading

Siding with Iran

Obama delivering his State of the Union addressIn business, the early bird really does catch the worm and, mindful of that, European firms are rushing with headlong alacrity to do deals with Iran – even though pro forma only some sanctions against the ayatollah regime had been lifted.

Europe’s eagerness for commercial transactions with Iran might well lend the impression to the uninitiated that all sanctions were dropped.

It’s as if reentering Iran is a chance not to be missed for a whole gamut of concerns – from banks and financial conglomerates to the oil and gas sector and even carmakers and assorted manufacturers.  Continue reading

Moral Obtuseness

Catherine AshtonBaroness Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Vice President of the European Commission, issued a statement on January 27 marking international Holocaust Remembrance Day.

It was commendable that the EU at all chose to note the day, but what Ashton said on its behalf was surreal. She managed to use 121 words without ever mentioning Jews. Her glaring omission in the context of the Holocaust is quite remarkable.

Ashton even lauded “all those who acted with courage and sacrifice to protect their fellow citizens against persecution.”  But who were these nameless “fellow citizens?”

It’s highly doubtful that Ashton’s lapse is inadvertent. Continue reading

Kerry’s hurt feelings

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alomDefense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was forced to apologize for having seemingly slighted US Secretary of State John Kerry when he referred to his continual shuttles to Israel and the Palestinian Authority as “messianic” and “obsessive.” State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki described Ya’alon’s words as “offensive and inappropriate.”

That wasn’t all. Ya’alon’s criticism was blown up into a major diplomatic confrontation when an unnamed ”senior US official” demanded that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “put this right by publicly expressing his disagreement with the statements against Secretary Kerry, the negotiations with the Palestinians and Kerry’s commitment to Israel’s security.”

This virtual ultimatum turned the entire incident quite overtly into a round of arm-wrestling in which Washington appeared determined to push Jerusalem’s arm down decisively. Continue reading