This issue examines the implications of the rising power of Israel”s ultra-Orthodox, more rocket attacks from Gaza, the growing Israeli-Indian connection, the amazing claims by Iran”s leaders, and the cooling relationship between Russia and Iran.
OUR ISRAELI CONNECTION
Canada”s National Post reports
The [Israeli] Knesset has approved a draft bill that would permit the Haredim [Israel”s extreme right wing ultra-Orthodox] to dictate the criteria for legal Jewish status. They would then hold the power to exclude thousands of Jewish converts, even many converted by Orthodox rabbis, from eligibility for Israeli citizenship under the “law of return” accorded all Jews as aninherentright. Whether the bill passes or not this time — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reassured panicked Diaspora Jews he wouldn”t support it — it reminds us that, given Israel”s electoral system of proportional representation, the political will of the disproportionately swelling ranks of Haredim (now about 1.3 million) will, one rapidly approaching day, dominate the Knesset–and Jewish destiny.
The Israel Project reports
Terrorists in Gaza fired a Grad rocket into the Israeli town of Ashkelon Friday morning (July 30), hitting
a residential area and sending several people into shock as well as damaging nearby cars and an apartment complex. A few hours later, terrorists launched two mortars that hit the western Negev. The explosions didn”t cause injuries. Ashkelon, a port city of 125,000 people along the southernmost portion of the Mediterranean, is located seven miles (12 km) from Gaza and has been the site of numerous past Gaza rocket and missile attacks. The Ashkelon attack occurred a day after the Arab League met in Cairo and approved Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to engage in direct peace talks with Israel.
With a population of 1.2 billion people, India is the world”s largest democracy and has upgraded its relationship with Israel significantly in the last two decades. As democracies surrounded by mostly authoritarian neighbors, the two countries have improved cooperation in areas of mutual interest and concern. India and Israel have joined together in counterterrorism efforts and increased trade and economic ties, and Israeli high-tech companies and start-ups are increasingly outsourcing much of their development to India.
IT’S NEWS TO ME
Joel Rosenberg reports
“Iran”s Supreme Leader has reportedly issued a fatwah, or Islamic edict, demanding that people obey him as the earthly “deputy” of both the Prophet Muhammad and Shi”ism”s mysterious 12th Imam. He also accused the U.S. and Britain of sowing division among Muslims and of fomenting the recent mosque bombing in Sistan-Baluchestan. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has created a stir after apparently issuing a religious edict Tuesday claiming ultimate spiritual powers on Earth. Iranian media reported that he told followers that they must “obey him” as the “representative of the Prophet Muhammad and [Shi”ism”s] 12th Imam on Earth…..””
“Iran expects the United States to launch a military strike on “at least two countries” in the Middle East in the next three months, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told state-run Press TV,” reports Reuters. Ahmadinejad”s warning comes amidst several interesting developments in the region — surprisingly tough new economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union and Canada, and a curious rift developing between Russia and Iran. Moscow and Tehran have been increasingly close allies in recent years. But in recent weeks:
* Russia voted for new U.N. sanctions on Iran
* Russia criticized Iran for moving towards nuclear weapons
* Russia now says it will not deliver S-300 missiles to Iran (after saying just a few weeks ago that it would).
Furthermore, the BBC reports that “an additional factor that may further influence the decision-making in Moscow is Saudi Arabia”s offer to buy more than $2 billion worth of Russian weapons (helicopters, armour, anti-aircraft missiles) on condition that Russia does not sell Iran S-300 missiles, and stops supporting it [Iran] in the UN.”
AS I SEE IT
Considering the implications of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei”s proclamation, you”d think it would have created a worldwide stir. Maybe it will, but so far, it hasn”t made the cut in the global news agencies. Did he grow impatient in waiting the 12th Imam to show up? Will he soon raise his claim from being a “deputy” to being the long awaited Muslim Messiah? Since Shia Muslims believe that creating worldwide chaos will create the ideal environment for the coming of the 12th Imam, Khamenei seems to be preparing himself and the world for something big. Read more.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
What do Eskimos get from sitting on the ice too long?
Why is negotiating with Muslim leaders a bad idea? Listen to an interview I did with TruNews not long ago.