This edition looks at Israel”s devastating fire, the Star of David”s appearances in Iran, Israel”s unlikely ally, more on the GZ Mosque”s funding request, and a new weapon now in use in Afghanistan.
OUR ISRAELI CONNECTION
The Israel Project reports
Forty people have been killed as the worst forest fire in Israel”s history swept through the forests of Mount Carmel near Haifa. The unprecedented disaster plunged Israel into mourning on the first day of the Chanukah festival. Most of the dead were prison guards in the process of evacuating inmates from a prison in the path of the fire. Their bus was overtaken by fast-moving flames. Israel appealed for Cyprus, Italy, Russia and Greece to send firefighting planes to quell the flames which continued to rage. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said 10 firefighting aircraft are en route to Israel from Spain, Greece and Cyprus. Egypt, Jordan and Turkey were quick to offer help to the Jewish state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and thanked him for his country”s help. It was his first conversation with the Turkish leader since the flotilla incident soured relations between the traditional allies earlier this year.” Emergency services evacuated more than 15,000 people from their homes as flames swept through at least 5,000 acres of woodland. Police arrested two people, residents of a Druze village, on suspicion of setting fires. The Jerusalem Post said they were detained after being seen hurling Molotov cocktails in a forest on a Carmel mountain hilltop. Below is a link to a news article.
A satellite image of Tehran airport taken by Google Earth service outraged Iranian government officials as the Star of David appeared on the roof of the headquarters of the national carrier Iran Air. As speculations rose about the presence of the Zionist symbol in the Islamic republic that has severed all ties with Israel since the 1979 revolution, Iranian media explained that the Iran Air building was, in fact, constructed by Israeli engineers during the time of Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi. This is not the first time that the Star of David stirs outrage in Iran, as it was spotted in August on top of one of the buildings in Tehran”s Revolution Square. The square itself had hundreds of Stars of David, in what local media viewed as a symbol of evil trying to destroy the heart of the Islamic republic.
IT’S NEWS TO ME
The release of hundreds of thousands of pages of confidential US State Department documents this past week revealed a number of embarrassingly frank assessments of international leaders; it also revealed some surprising relationships between Middle Eastern nations, particularly between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Though Israel and Saudi Arabia have
no official relationship, the common threat posed by Iran, particularly with the nuclear weapons program nearing completion, has made the two nations unlikely allies. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has been urging the United States to take strong action, even including military strikes against Iran, telling them to “cut off the head of the snake.”
Though Israel is certainly a primary target of Iran”s future weapons, the ancient hatred between the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam make the Arab nations of the Gulf region vulnerable to attack. Iran has both territorial, religious and economic incentives to either wage war on the Gulf oil states-or at minimum use the threat of nuclear attack as a means of obtaining concessions from the other nations. Since neither the Bush nor Obama Administrations have taken any effective steps against Iran, King Abdullah has apparently offered to support Israel in taking military action. The Saudi king has reportedly told Israeli military
officials through indirect diplomatic channels that the Arab nation will provide tactical help to facilitate an Israeli attack on Iran.
Jay Sekulow reports
We recently let you know that the developers for the Ground Zero Mosque had the audacity to ask for our tax dollars to pay for their Islamic mosque to be built – in the same spot where parts
of the airplanes that destroyed the World Trade Center crashed to the ground. It has now been reported that their application for $5 million of our tax dollars would help get their $100 million project started. According to news accounts, the developers of the Ground Zero Mosque only have $20,000 in their bank account.
Vision to America reports
After years of development, the U.S. Army has unleashed a new weapon in Afghanistan — the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System, a high-tech rifle that can be programmed so that its 25-mm. ammunition detonates either in front of or behind a target, meaning it can be fired just above a wall before it explodes and kills the enemy. It also has a range of roughly 2,300 feet — nearly the length of eight football fields — making it possible to fire at targets well past the range of the rifles and carbines that most soldiers carry today. Lt. Col. Christopher Lehner, project manager for the semi-automatic, shoulder-fired weapon system for the U.S. Army”s Program Executive Office Soldier, said that the XM25″s capability alone is such a “game-changer” that it”ll lead to new ways of fighting on the battlefield, beginning this month in Afghanistan.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
The economy is so bad that a truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico.