This issue looks at the latest outbreaks of anti-Semitism, Israel’s diminishing air superiority, Iran’s latest tricks to circumvent sanctions, and the dangers developing in Syria.
OUR ISRAELI CONNECTION
Anti-Semitism on the Rise around the World
Thailand, Bulgaria, Venezuela, Denmark, even the United States. This represents a partial list of countries where plots to attack Jewish people and synagogues have been either carried out or thwarted recently. The billions of dollars Iran has poured into the Hezbollah and Hamas terror networks have given it a global reach. Right here in America, several car dealerships have been shut down for providing funding to Hezbollah! This is not an accident. Iran’s leaders have made the cold calculation that they need to divert Israel’s attention from them into a defensive posture. They hope that by forcing Israel to worry about defending embassies, cultural centers, and synagogues around the world (more than 400 boxes of explosives were found when a Hezbollah operative was arrested in Thailand a few days ago), they can buy time to complete their nuclear weapons program and gain the means to accomplish their goal that Israel be “wiped off the map.”
Israeli Air Superiority in Doubt
General Ido Nehushtan, IAF chief, said that Israel’s air superiority, a vital part of Israel’s long-term defense strategy, is in danger of being erased by the so-called “Arab spring.” The revolts that toppled several repressive governments have also led to a breakdown in law and order, and a number of military bases, particularly in Libya, were looted by groups with ties to terrorists. The IAF fears that advanced military hardware, especially next-generation surface-to-air missiles, will find their way to Hamas and Hezbollah. The IAF operates in Israel’s tiny airspace, rendering military (and civilian) planes vulnerable to attack from the ground. A number of Libyan surface-to-air missiles were seized in Gaza, and the breakdown of control of the Egyptian military over the border with Gaza raises fears of larger and more damaging weapons being smuggled to the terrorists.
IT’S NEWS TO ME
News from the Jerusalem Prayer Team
Because of sanctions designed to halt the transfer of weapons and nuclear arms-related equipment to Iran, the Islamic Republic has resorted to renaming and reflagging its ships to avoid their illegal shipments from being found. A careful study found that roughly seventy five percent of Iran’s ships have been renamed in the past four years. The report said they “are being shuffled like a deck of cards in a Las Vegas casino.” The national fleet (IRISL-Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines) has dropped from the 23rd largest in the world all the way out of the top 100 as Iran has transferred nominal control of its ships to other nations to avoid the sanctions. The Israeli navy has seized several cargo ships loaded with weapons bound for Gaza that while flying the flags of other nations were carrying Iranian cargo from Iranian ports (often falsely labeled as to contents and point of origin).
Syria continues to be rocked by protests against the brutal and repressive Assad regime. Dozens of people were killed by forces loyal to the government last week as they protested against the government in Damascus. Now rumors are starting to surface that Assad is being backed by more than his own military-that Iranian forces have joined in the crackdown just across Israel’s border. A rebel group claims to have captured about a dozen Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers in southern Syria. In addition, Hezbollah terrorists are fighting for the government. These troops, armed and trained by Iran, are hoping to keep Assad in power as he protects and funds terrorist activities. Israeli military forces in the north of the country have been placed on heightened alert for fear that Iran, Syria, and/or Hezbollah will use the unrest as a cover for attacks on the Jewish state.
Syria’s Chemical Weapons Stockpile Threatens Entire Region
The Israel Project reports: As Syria teeters ever closer to civil war, one little-discussed danger concerns the fate of its stockpile of deadly chemical weapons, possibly the largest in the world. Reports suggest that Syria has amassed hundreds of tons of chemical weapons including nerve agents Sarin, Tabun, VX and mustard agents. It may also possibly have developed biological weapons such as anthrax and cholera. Intelligence sources believe many of these agents are weaponized and ready for use, in artillery shells, aerial bombs, cluster munitions and SCUD missile warheads. There are clearly two nightmare scenarios arising out of the growing disarray that threatens to rip Syria apart: the first is that terrorists gain control of some of these weapons. The second is of a full-scale civil war in which one or another party actually deploys them against its enemies causing thousands of civilian casualties.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
A restaurant just opened up on the moon. The food is great but it has no atmosphere.