Saturday, September 29, 2018

At UN, Netanyahu exposes another secret Iranian ‎nuclear warehouse ‎- Mati Tuchfeld, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

by Mati Tuchfeld, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

Addressing U.N. General Assembly, prime minister urges tougher action against Iran, says European leaders must join U.S. efforts to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions

PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the U.N. Assembly, Thursday
Photo: AP 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on ‎Thursday described what he said was a secret atomic ‎warehouse in Iran and accused Europe of appeasing ‎Iran.‎

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, ‎Netanyahu showed an aerial photograph of the Iranian ‎capital marked with a red arrow and pointed to what ‎he said was a previously secret warehouse holding ‎nuclear-related material.‎

In May, Netanyahu revealed that Israel had obtained ‎incriminating evidence from an Iranian archive, ‎proving Tehran has lied to world powers during and ‎after the signing of the 2015 nuclear agreement.‎
The evidence – over 100,000 pages and 183 CDs – was ‎obtained in a secret operation by the Mossad, ‎Israel's national intelligence agency.‎

Addressing world leaders on Thursday, Netanyahu ‎accused Iran of hiding a clandestine nuclear ‎warehouse in a rug-cleaning plant in Tehran, arguing ‎that this showed Iran still sought to obtain nuclear ‎weapons despite ostensibly agreeing to relinquish ‎this aspiration.‎

Netanyahu said the site in question contained some ‎‎33 pounds of radioactive material that has since ‎been moved, and called on the U.N. atomic agency to ‎inspect the location immediately.‎

‎'U.N. must take action'‎

Criticizing the IAEA he said, "In May, I presented a ‎short summary of what we obtained to the ‎international media. I provided hard evidence of ‎Iran's plans to build nuclear weapons and its plans ‎to deceive the international community. Israel ‎shared this information and even more damning ‎evidence that we found with members of the P5+1, and ‎with the International Atomic Energy Agency.‎

‎"Months have passed. The IAEA has still not taken ‎any action. It has not posed a single question to ‎Iran. It has not demanded to inspect a single new ‎site discovered in that secret archive.‎

"So, given this inaction, I decided to reveal today ‎something else that we have shared with the IAEA and ‎with a few intelligence agencies. Today, I am ‎disclosing for the first time that Iran has another ‎secret facility in Tehran – a secret atomic ‎warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment ‎and material from Iran's secret nuclear weapons ‎program."‎

Holding up the image of the facility, he said, "Here ‎it is. You see, like the atomic archive, it's ‎another innocent looking compound."‎

Netanyahu noted that Iran was aware that the site ‎had been discovered and was working to clean it out, ‎to further deceive the IAEA. ‎

‎"You have to ask yourself a question. Why did Iran ‎keep a secret atomic archive and a secret atomic ‎warehouse? … The answer to the question is simple. ‎The reason Iran didn't destroy its atomic archive ‎and its atomic warehouse is because it hasn't ‎abandoned its goal to develop nuclear weapons. In ‎fact, it planned to use both of these sites in a few ‎years when the time would be right to break out to ‎the atom bomb.‎

‎"But, ladies and gentlemen, rest assured, that won't ‎happen. It won't happen because what Iran hides, ‎Israel will find," he asserted. ‎

Netanyahu urged IAEA head Yukiya Amano to "do the ‎right thing. Go inspect this atomic warehouse, ‎immediately, before the Iranians finish clearing it ‎out."‎

Taking aim at the ayatollahs' regime, Netanyahu ‎said, "I also have a message today for the tyrants ‎of Tehran: Israel knows what you're doing, and ‎Israel knows where you're doing it. Israel will ‎never let a regime that calls for our destruction to ‎develop nuclear weapons. Not now, not in 10 years, ‎not ever.‎

‎"Israel will do whatever it must do to defend itself ‎against Iran's aggression. We will continue to act ‎against you in Syria. We will act against you in ‎Lebanon. We will act against you in Iraq. We will ‎act against you whenever and wherever we must act to ‎defend our state and defend our people."‎

Warning that Iran's hegemony aspirations would never ‎be confined to the Middle East, Netanyahu criticized ‎the fact that "while the United States is ‎confronting Iran with new sanctions, Europe and ‎others are appeasing Iran by trying to help it ‎bypass those sanctions.‎

‎"I'm a historian's son, I have to ask. I ask not ‎merely as an historian's son, I ask it as a Jew, as ‎a citizen of the world, as someone who's lived ‎through the 20th century: Have these European ‎leaders learned nothing from history? Will they ever ‎wake up?‎

Well, we in Israel, we don't need a wakeup call, ‎because Iran threatens us every day. Because despite ‎the best of hope, and there were many hopes around ‎the nuclear deal, this deal did not push war further ‎away. It brought war ever closer to our borders," ‎the prime minister said.‎

He lambasted Iran for its involvement in the Syrian ‎civil war and its attempt to establish permanent ‎military bases there from which to attack Israel, as ‎well as for its funding and arming of the Lebanon-‎based Hezbollah terrorist group. ‎

He then presented evidence that the latter was using ‎Iranian funding to build weapon production ‎facilities in the heart of Lebanese capital, ‎including near the Beirut's international airport.‎

Seattleite images of Iranian-funded Hezbollah ‎facilities in Beirut       IDF Spokesman's Unit

"I also have a message for Hezbollah today: Israel ‎knows, Israel also knows what you're doing. Israel ‎knows where you're doing it. And Israel will not let ‎you get away with it," Netanyahu declared. ‎ 

He lauded U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to ‎withdraw from the 2015 deal and impose new sanctions ‎on the Islamic republic, saying, "Israel is deeply ‎grateful to President ‎Trump for his bold decision to ‎withdraw from the ‎disastrous nuclear deal with Iran. ‎Many, many of our ‎Arab neighbors are also grateful. ‎And everyone who ‎cares about the peace and security ‎of the world ‎should also be grateful."‎

Netanyahu urged European leaders to do the same. ‎

‎"Instead of coddling Iran's dictators, join the U.S. ‎and Israel and most of the Arab world in supporting ‎new sanctions against a regime that endangers all of ‎us and all of the world," he said.‎

The prime minister also hailed Arab states that have ‎been pursuing stronger ties with Israel following ‎the nuclear deal, saying the Iranian threat has, in ‎fact, "brought Israel and many Arab states closer ‎together than ever before, closer together than ever ‎before, in an intimacy and friendship that I've not ‎seen in my lifetime and would have been unimaginable ‎a few years ago.‎

‎"Israel deeply values these new friendships, and I ‎hope the day will soon arrive when Israel will be ‎able to expand peace, a formal peace, beyond Egypt ‎and Jordan to other Arab neighbors, including the ‎Palestinians. I look forward to working with ‎President Trump and his peace team to achieve that ‎goal."‎

After thanking Trump and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. ‎Nikki Haley "for the unwavering support they have ‎provided Israel at the United Nations," the prime ‎minister lauded the U.S. for deciding to halt its ‎funding of UNRWA, the U.N. agency that aids ‎Palestinian refugees. ‎

UNRWA claims it serves 5 million Palestinian ‎refugees in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank ‎and the Gaza Strip, but Washington and Jerusalem ‎dispute this figure, saying that UNRWA policies only ‎perpetuate the Palestinian notion of refugeehood ‎thus undermining the chances for peace.

Criticizing the U.N. for its clear anti-Israel bias, ‎Netanyahu said, "Day after day, the Trump ‎administration has stood up to what has long been a ‎specialty here at the UN – slandering Israel. Even ‎though the shameful resolution comparing Zionism to ‎racism was repealed 25 years ago, I'm sorry to say ‎that its foul stench still clings to these halls.‎

‎"Here at the U.N. Israel is absurdly accused of ‎racism … apartheid … and ethnic cleansing. Ladies ‎and gentlemen, you know what this is? It's the same ‎old antisemitism with a brand new face. That's all ‎it is," he said, adding, "What is unique about the ‎Jewish people is not that we have a nation-state. ‎What is unique is that many still oppose us having a ‎nation state."‎

‎'This is not how you achieve peace'‎

Turning his attention to the Israeli-Palestinian ‎conflict, Netanyahu blasted Palestinian Authority ‎President Mahmoud Abbas, who spoke shortly before ‎him, for rejecting all efforts to promote the ‎regional peace process.‎ ‎

"Moments ago, President Abbas outrageously said that ‎Israel's Nation-State Law proves that Israel is a ‎racist, apartheid state. ‎

‎"President Abbas, you should know better," Netanyahu ‎exclaimed. "You wrote a dissertation denying the ‎Holocaust. Your Palestinian Authority imposes death ‎sentences on Palestinians for selling land to Jews. ‎Did you hear that? If a Jew buys an apartment, a ‎piece of land anywhere in the Palestinian ‎territories, the Palestinian who sold him that land ‎is executed. That's what the law says.‎

"President Abbas, you proudly pay Palestinian ‎terrorists who murder Jews. In fact, the more they ‎slay, the more you pay. That's in their law too. And ‎you condemn Israel's morality? You call Israel ‎racist?‎

"This is not the way to peace. This is not the way to ‎achieve the peace we all want and need and to which ‎Israel remains committed. This body should not be ‎applauding the head of a regime that pays ‎terrorists. The U.N. should condemn such a ‎despicable policy."‎

Lauding Israel's achievements, Netanyahu said, "The ‎nation-state of Israel is the only place where the ‎Jewish people proudly exercise our collective right ‎of self-determination. That right was recognized ‎nearly a century ago by the League of Nations and ‎over 70 years ago by the United Nations when it ‎voted to support the establishment of a Jewish ‎state. That's what it said, that resolution – a Jewish ‎state.‎

‎"At the same time, Israel is a vibrant democracy, ‎where all its citizens –Jews and non-Jews alike – enjoy ‎equal individual rights, and these rights are ‎guaranteed by law. ‎

‎"In the Middle East, that's not obvious, now that's ‎an understatement, In the Middle East, where women ‎are often treated as property, minorities are ‎persecuted, gays are hanged, Israel stands out as a ‎shining example of freedom and progress. I could not ‎be more proud to represent my country, Israel," he ‎said.‎

Mati Tuchfeld, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Post-Kavanaugh, Democrats will reap the whirlwind - Patricia McCarthy

by Patricia McCarthy

The Democrats on the Judiciary Committee revealed their inner selves yesterday, and it was an ugly, ugly picture.

The hearing yesterday was a shameful exercise in abuse, unspeakable abuse by Democrats, of both Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh. Blasey Ford did show up and testify, her two Democrat activist lawyers, Debra Katz and Michael Bromwich, by her side. She was not credible, but we should all feel sorry for her.

She is fifty-two years old but seemed childlike. She speaks in a child's voice, which rose in pitch at the end of every sentence as though she is unsure about the validity of her own words. She was at times cheerful and giddy, which was off-putting, given the reason she was there: to shatter a fine man's life's work. She has traveled the world but had told the committee she was afraid to fly. So she is not an honest person. But she is clearly damaged, and those lawyers and whoever recruited them should be indicted for cruelty to an unstable person. Her lawyers and Dianne Feinstein have abused her horribly and used her as their tool to ruin Kavanaugh.

The Democrats on the Judiciary Committee revealed their inner selves yesterday, and it was an ugly, ugly picture. Every one of them attacked, demeaned, and verbally assaulted Judge Kavanaugh. Not one of them was civil or respectful to this man, who has led a life of high achievement, service, grace, and class. Booker, Harris, Durbin, Blumenthal, et al. are thugs. They are bullies in search of power with no regard for the truth or decency. No one should ever again vote for any of them. Every one of them has permanently stained their committee and the confirmation process. They have also forever destroyed their own legacies. Their performances today are what each of them will be remembered for. 

Ford's original letter to Feinstein is so badly written that it is hard to believe it was drafted by an educated person. Dr. Ford did not know the word "exculpatory" but has a Ph.D. Ford seemed as though she was in a dissociative state. She was reciting a studied script, blanks and all, as though she had been hypnotized. She had no reasonable explanation for why each of the witnesses she named denies ever being at such a party. She did not address the fact that one of them, her girlfriend, made a statement under oath that she had never met Kavanaugh and remembered no such gathering. The Democrats in the room badgered Kavanaugh relentlessly but ignored the fact that there is still no corroborating evidence, no witnesses, no proof that the incident ever happened. There is only this sad woman's distant, incomplete, and flawed memory. The Democrats don't care. All they care about is keeping that seat vacant. 

When asked who paid for her polygraph and who was paying her lawyers, Ford said she did not know. She said she thought there were some GoFundMe pages, but she had no idea how to manage them. She said she did not know that Sen. Grassley had offered to come to California to interview her. Her head must have been in the sand. Most likely, her lawyers wanted the spectacle we saw. They have been certain they could force Kavanaugh to withdraw. They badly misjudged the man they have tried to destroy. Kavanaugh rightly eviscerated them. It was his testimony that was truly heart-wrenching. It is likely that the millions of those who watched cried more than the judge did.

That any of this happened is the historical low point in American politics – and make no mistake: this was all about politics, not Kavanaugh. If there was any doubt before, there is no longer: the American left today is malevolent.

The Democratic Party has demonstrated for all to see just how soulless it has become. The Democrats on the committee disgraced themselves. The two youngsters, Harris and Booker (neither of them will ever be president), are callow, shallow, rude, and power-mad. We have seen what they are made of: pure narcissism.

What we saw today was the judiciary committee Democrats mercilessly abusing Kavanaugh, again, having already abused Blasey Ford into a stupor. Kavanaugh was justifiably enraged and fought hard against his abusers. He did a magnificent job. So did Sen. Graham in defense of Kavanaugh.

Any senator who votes against Kavanaugh now is betraying his own inability to see the truth when it is sitting right in front of him. Any senator who votes against this man now is signaling his approval of wholesale character assassination for sordid political purposes. The Democrats in the Senate might consider that.

A no vote is a vote for more of the horrific circus we saw today. Redeem yourselves, Democrats. Vote to confirm this good man.

Patricia McCarthy


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Netanyahu's bombshell speech - Amnon Lord

by Amnon Lord

Thursday the prime minister showed more evidence corroborating Iran's intent to develop nuclear weapons. It will be hard for Amano to ignore the challenge put forth by Netanyahu.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered two speeches on Thursday. The first was indeed surprising, not just because of the classified intelligence he shared but also because he confronted the International Atomic Energy Agency head on, as well as the Iran-appeasing European nations.

Appeasement is a tough word to use and he made it clear during the speech. That word has a troubled past, and Netanyahu, being a son of a historian, knows full well what the word has come to represent: the failed policy adopted vis-à-vis Nazi Germany during the 1930s.

The atomic bomb Netanyahu dropped during the speech was in the part in which he revealed that some 15 kilograms of radioactive material was dispersed on Tehran's streets. Netanyahu advised the residents of the city to buy a Geiger counter on Amazon to ensure they were not affected by the radiation. But the big question is what IAEA Director General Yukya Amano is going to do now that he is aware of the secret nuclear warehouse Netanyahu unveiled, which could potentially store some 300 tons of radioactive material.

As a Japanese national, Amano knows all too well what it means to live under the existential threat of a nuclear North Korea. Netanyahu has once again stated in his speech that the nuclear deal was based on a lie that had received a stamp of approval by the IAEA.

As was the case in the press conference several months ago, when Netanyahu exposed Iran's nuclear archive, on Thursday the prime minister showed more evidence corroborating Iran's intent to develop nuclear weapons. It will be hard for Amano to ignore the challenge put forth by Netanyahu.

But Netanyahu's most vociferous attack was on Europe. "Think about this: The same week Iran was caught red-handed trying to murder European citizens, European leaders were rolling out the red carpet for President Rouhani, promising to give Iran even more money," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu did not name the European leaders he was referring too, but it is clear who they are: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and her colleagues in Brussels. "Have these European leaders learned nothing from history? Will they ever wake up?" Netanyahu asked.

Netanyahu's speech was different than his other addresses before the U.N. General Assembly. He provided damning evidence against Iran and he built a case like a well-trained prosecutor, establishing an unshakable foundation. But Netanyahu managed to do something that no other Israeli public advocate or frankly anyone else has been able to do on the world stage: He has made a compelling case for nullifying that Iran nuclear deal, and managed to make the case for the policy adopted by Israel and the United States, and to convey his message in a convincing manner.

The last part of his speech was the second speech, aimed at uncovering the propaganda lies regarding Israel's alleged racism, as well as to appeal to Israeli citizens and explain the merits of the Nation-State Law.

There is a reason why movie theaters have stopped selling two-for-one tickets. Netanyahu had no good reason to sell such a ticket, especially since the first movie was such a hit.

Amnon Lord


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

The SPLC: A Massive, Multi-Million-Dollar Character Assassination Machine - Robert Spencer

by Robert Spencer

Former SPLC spokesman Mark Potok declared: “Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate groups, I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely destroy them.”

As Brett Kavanaugh defended himself on Thursday against scurrilous and unsubstantiated allegations brought forward by the Democrats, who have now richly earned the sobriquet “the Evil Party,” David Horowitz tweeted: “The left lives by character assassination - Bork, Thomas, Kavanaugh.” Yes it does, and this doesn’t manifest itself solely in Supreme Court nominee hearings. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the establishment media’s principal source for determining who is acceptable in the public square and who isn’t, is a well-heeled, unscrupulous character assassination machine, destroying lives and reputations with impunity for years now.

The SPLC has for years defamed me as a “hate group leader” and an “anti-Muslim extremist.” These are not mere words. Tyler O’Neil reported in PJ Media last September that former SPLC spokesman Mark Potok declared: “Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate groups, I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely destroy them.”

Potok added: “You are able to destroy these groups sometimes by the things you publish. It’s not so much that they will bring down the police or the federal agents on their head, it’s that you can sometimes so mortally embarrass these groups that they will be destroyed. … We see this political struggle. We’re not trying to change anybody’s mind. We’re trying to wreck the groups. We’re trying to destroy them. Not to send them to prison unfairly or to take their free speech rights away, but as a political matter to destroy them.”

The SPLC is making headway in that plan in my case, prevailing upon both MasterCard and Discover card to refuse to process donations to my organization, Jihad Watch. I’ve started an Indiegogo fundraiser to raise money to sue the SPLC. It will be interesting to see if the SPLC prevails upon Indiegogo to quash a fundraiser that is critical of the SPLC.

Those who may be applauding MasterCard and Discover Card for quashing a “hate group leader” should stop and think for a minute. The first question for them to ponder is this: What if the SPLC is wrong? It is already established that the SPLC is not infallible in determining who is “hateful” and who isn’t -- witness the $3,375,000 it paid to Maajid Nawaz for smearing him as “anti-Muslim extremist.”

Then consider a hypothetical world in which credit card companies and social media platforms shunned people on the word not of the Southern Poverty Law Center, but on the word of, say, the American Family Association. In that event, the Left, which is so authoritarian today, would suddenly become champions of the freedom of speech. But this will remain a hypothetical, because outside of The Handmaid’s Tale, the AFA and other socially conservative groups would never crack down on dissent the way that the Left is doing today.

Nonetheless, the point is still sound: once it is generally accepted that people can be barred from services based on their political views, America has ceased to exist as a free society.

What will be the next step? Will MasterCard and Discover deny me a personal credit card as well, because I’m on the SPLC’s hit list? Will the SPLC pressure other companies to deny service to me and others that the SPLC has defamed?

In five or ten years, if this trend is not checked, will it be possible for me and others whom the SPLC is trying to destroy to buy a house? A car? Groceries? If the precedent is established that people can be discriminated against based on their political views, there is no telling where it could end, or if it will end at all.

Whatever you may think of me and of the other people that the SPLC has targeted for destruction, the implications of what is being done are clear. America is at a crossroads today. The choice before us is whether we will continue to exist as a free society, or whether we will become a totalitarian state in which holding the proper opinions is an indispensable prerequisite of being able to function as a citizen at all.

If the Southern Poverty Law Center is not decisively exposed and repudiated, and if MasterCard and Discover don’t back down, and if others join them, it isn’t just I who am threatened. At risk is the basic and hard-won principle of equality of access to services. When that goes, our other freedoms will swiftly follow -- more swiftly than most Americans realize.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His new book is The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Gaza rioters hurl at least 100 explosives at IDF - Arutz Sheva Staff

by Arutz Sheva Staff

Rioters on Gaza border with Israel hurl at least 100 explosives, grenades, at IDF soldiers during border riots.

Approximately 20,000 rioters and demonstrators participated Friday in the Hamas-led riots that took place in several locations along the Gaza security fence.

The rioters sabotaged security infrastructure, attempted to cross the security fence and infiltrate into Israel in several locations and hurled over 100 explosives and grenades towards IDF troops and the security fence.

No IDF injuries were reported.

In a statement, an IDF spokesman said, "Hamas continues to orchestrate belligerent activity throughout the Gaza Strip, cynically using Gazan civilians and endangering children by sending them to the security fence as a cover for terror activity."

"Hamas is responsible for the violent riots and their consequences.

"The IDF is determined to continue operating to defend Israeli civilians against all those who seek to threaten Israeli security. The IDF is prepared to operate in the face of similar events; attempts to conduct terror attacks will be met with a severe response."

IDF sappers are currently neutralizing and disposing of explosive devices and grenades hurled at IDF troops and the security fence during Friday's riots throughout the Gaza Strip.

Arutz Sheva Staff


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

China’s Naval Success and Its Grand Strategy - Emil Avdaliani

by Emil Avdaliani

US world power rests upon its ability to dominate the seas and the world’s commercial and military routes. Any power aspiring to a similar position goes against American geopolitical interests.

US CNO Adm. Jonathan Greenert departs PLAN ship Datong FFG 580 with ship's Commanding Officer Lt. Cmdr. Hao He, US Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor via PacCom

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 961, September 28, 2018

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: US world power rests upon its ability to dominate the seas and the world’s commercial and military routes. Any power aspiring to a similar position goes against American geopolitical interests. China’s naval successes in the past decade or so therefore have far-reaching effects as the country is gradually becoming more experienced in military operations in far-flung regions across the globe.

A look at the map of China shows what the country’s geopolitical imperatives have been over the course of centuries.

Perhaps the first goal of all the successive Chinese dynasties was to gain and maintain control of the heartland – the Han core, which contains major Chinese rivers and is abundant with people and productive lands. The next logical goal was maintenance of influence over the buffer zones that surround the Han core. These consist of mountainous regions to the west, desert lands to the northwest, and impregnable forests to the south.

The third major imperative was historically to protect China’s coastline from foreign powers. However, because this threat was quite small in the ancient and medieval periods, the country did not see a need to develop powerful naval capabilities. In an age when there were no transcontinental trade routes and the only way to connect with the Middle East and Europe was the famous Silk Road, the geographical boundaries (mountains, jungles, deserts, and the sea) on all sides made China essentially a closed country with self-sufficient economic means. The Yangtze and Yellow rivers, with their surrounding fertile lands, produced enough to feed large populations in the Han core.

If China’s insularity was once a geopolitical advantage rather than a constraint, this has not been the case since the late 20th century. In the age of international trade routes and supply chains, China has to be open and in many cases must rely upon raw materials brought from abroad via sea routes. Thence comes China’s fourth geopolitical imperative: protection of international trade lines and resource hubs.

This will only be viable through two options: finding alternative land routes such as One Belt, One Road; or building a powerful military fleet capable of securing resources and global supply chains across the Asia-Pacific and elsewhere.

Building a powerful navy will mean collision with the US, whose global primacy rests upon its domination of sea lanes and relevant security alliances in Europe and the Asia-Pacific. Any diminution of US sea power will have a direct impact on the world order. This explains the importance Washington attaches to developments in foreign powers’ naval capabilities.

It is true that Chinese naval technology is still substantially behind current US capabilities. The US has 11 aircraft carriers and the Chinese only one, and that one still lacks an aircraft wing capable of operating off a carrier deck. However, what is important here is the trend: China has made significant progress over several decades and is rapidly developing new destroyers, amphibs, stealth fighters, and long-range weapons. This could expand its expeditionary military operations around the globe.

China continues to construct an array of offensive and defensive capabilities to enable the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to gain maritime superiority within the first island chain in the Asia-Pacific. Those are the islands that run from the Kurils, through Taiwan, to Borneo, roughly encompassing the Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and South China Sea.

China’s broad range of anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs) and launch platforms, as well as submarine-launched torpedoes and naval mines, allow the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to create an increasingly lethal, multi-access threat against an adversary approaching Chinese waters and operating areas.

The PLAN continues to develop into a global force. It is gradually extending its operational reach beyond East Asia and the Indo-Pacific into a sustained ability to operate at increasingly long ranges. The PLAN’s latest naval platforms enable combat operations beyond the reach of China’s land-based defenses.

Furthermore, the PLAN now has a sizable force of high-capability logistical replenishment ships to support long-distance, long-duration deployments, including two new ships being built specifically to support aircraft carrier operations. The expansion of naval operations beyond China’s immediate region will also facilitate non-war uses of military force.

The PLAN’s force structure continues to evolve, incorporating more platforms with the versatility for both offshore and long-distance power projection. China is engaged in series production of the LUYANG III-class DDG, the JIANGKAI II-class FFG, and the JIANGDAO-class FFL. China also launched its first RENHAI-class (Type 055) CG in 2017.

Even on the aircraft carrier level, despite its numerical inferiority, China continues to learn lessons from operating its lone carrier, the Liaoning, which is produced in the Ukraine. China’s first domestically produced aircraft carrier, launched in 2017, will be commissioned in 2019 (according to various sources, this will be a multi-carrier force). China’s next generation of carriers will probably have greater endurance and be capable of launching more varied types of fixed-wing aircraft than the Liaoning.

PLAN Aviation is also making progress on improving capabilities to conduct offensive and defensive offshore operations such as strike, air, and missile defense, strategic mobility, and early warning and reconnaissance missions.

For the moment, the PLAN’s ability to perform missions beyond the first island chain is modest. Its ability is constantly growing, however, as it gains more experience operating in distant waters and acquires larger and more advanced platforms. The US will remain a dominant force for the coming couple of decades, but Chinese successes should not be underestimated.

Chinese naval successes, as reflected in the recent Congressional report, add to growing American fears that China might become a global competitor in coming decades. From the US perspective, what the Chinese are doing in Eurasia through its pivotal One Belt, One Road initiative as well as various moves to influence Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan is geopolitically significant. The Chinese are doing exactly what the Americans oppose – solidifying one-country rule in Eurasia.

BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family

Emil Avdaliani teaches history and international relations at Tbilisi State University and Ilia State University. He has worked for various international consulting companies and currently publishes articles focused on military and political developments across the former Soviet space.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Welcome to Sanctuary Sweden! - Judith Bergman

by Judith Bergman

If you commit crimes against Jews that can "be perceived as a serious political crime directed against other Jews" then you might be eligible for asylum in Sweden.

  • Feras, an illegal alien to begin with -- and a convicted felon, whose asylum request Sweden had rejected -- and who therefore lacked any legal right to stay in the country, was granted that right for the sole reason that he had committed a violent hate crime against Swedish Jews.
  • The precedent that this case establishes is highly disturbing:
  • If you commit crimes against Jews that can "be perceived as a serious political crime directed against other Jews" then you might be eligible for asylum in Sweden. The rights of Sweden's vulnerable Jews have apparently ceased to matter.
  • In Sweden, it appears that that the "human rights" of foreign aspiring murderers are more important than the human rights of law-abiding citizens.

The synagogue in Gothenburg, Sweden, which was firebombed on December 9, 2017. (Image source: Lintoncat/Wikimedia Commons)

Are you in a European country illegally, flouting your deportation requirement and instead committing arson? No problem. If the country to which you are to be returned might conceivably harm you (details unspecified), you are welcome instead to stay in Sweden, commit more crimes and harm Swedes.

A Swedish Appeals Court (Hovrätten) recently overturned the deportation ruling against one of three convicted perpetrators of an arson attack against the synagogue of Gothenburg in December 2017, on the grounds that it would be in contravention of his "fundamental human rights".

The 22-year old Arab man, known as Feras, from Gaza, was in Sweden illegally when he committed the attack. His asylum request had been rejected by the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket); he had apparently been told to leave the country (date not available); he had not. For reasons that are unclear, he was not held for deportation, but still walking around freely in Sweden.

Feras used that freedom to participate in an attack on the Gothenburg synagogue. Approximately 10-15 other young men, of whom only three were charged, joined him. It seems that while young Jewish people were gathered for a party in an adjacent building, his friends and he had thrown burning objects at cars parked inside the synagogue fence. No one was hurt and the fires were quickly extinguished by rain, leaving only marginal material damage. The court therefore refused to categorize the crime as attempted murder by fire, as the prosecution had asked. Both the lower court and the Court of Appeals did find, however, that the arson attack constituted an anti-Semitic hate crime.

Previously, the lower court had already convicted Feras of "grossly unlawful threats and attempted serious damage" and had sentenced him to two years in prison and subsequent deportation. The Court of Appeals (Hovrätten), nevertheless, said that Feras "...committed grossly unlawful threats with the intention of violating members of the Jewish assembly, but that the act can also be perceived as a serious political crime directed against other Jews. Given the possible interest of Israel in the matter and the insecure situation prevailing at the border crossings to Gaza and the West Bank and in the areas themselves, the Court of Appeals considers there is reasonable reason to fear that NN's fundamental human rights would not be safeguarded if he was expelled to Palestine. The Court of Appeals therefore rejects the prosecutor's claim of deportation..." The court also referred to reports by the Swedish Foreign Ministry on human rights and democracy in Israel and "Palestine". The reports may contain much Israel hatred; this is after all the Swedish Foreign Ministry of Margot Wallström, who once described Israeli self-defense against terrorists as 'extrajudicial executions'.

The Court, in other words, speculated that because Feras was guilty of a crime that "can also be perceived as a serious political crime directed against other Jews", Israel might have a security interest in him. For that reason alone -- with no details indicated -- returning him to the region of Israel and Gaza would ostensibly be in contravention of his "fundamental human rights".

The Court of Appeals' ruling meant that Feras, an illegal alien to begin with, and a convicted felon -- whose asylum request Sweden had rejected, and who therefore lacked any legal right to stay in the country -- was granted that right for the sole reason that he committed a violent hate crime against Swedish Jews. As Feras evidently likes to try to set Jews on fire. After he finishes serving his two years in prison he will be out, and free possibly to commit new hate crimes against Jewish citizens in Sweden.

The precedent that this case establishes – that if the case is not appealed and reversed by the Supreme Court -- is disturbing: If you commit crimes against Jews that can "be perceived as a serious political crime directed against other Jews" then you might be eligible for asylum in Sweden. The rights of Sweden's vulnerable Jews have apparently ceased to matter.

Actually, no Swedish citizens' rights appear to matter in the Swedish court system anymore. In 2017, a report showed that 75 % of those who were sentenced to prison and subsequent deportation for serious crimes, were nevertheless set free after serving their sentences and allowed to stay in Sweden for a variety of reasons, such as risk of torture and death penalty in the country of origin or simply because the country of origin refused to receive them.

According to more recent statistics, 9 out of 10 convicted foreigners in Sweden are not deported.

The problem extends to terrorists as well. In 2017, for example, a Syrian who arrived in Sweden as a "refugee" in 2015 was acquitted of attacking Shia Muslims with firebombs. However, having said in monitored conversations that he saw himself as a jihadist who wanted to become a martyr, and considering that he had been in touch with ISIS, Swedish intelligence evidently deemed him too dangerous to stay in Sweden. The immigration authorities sought to have him deported to Syria, but they did not succeed. It seems the law does not permit his deportation to Syria: he risked being arrested or executed there. Instead, he was also released to walk freely around in Malmö.

In Sweden, it appears that the "human rights" of foreign aspiring murderers are evidently more important than the human rights of law-abiding citizens.

Judith Bergman is a columnist, lawyer and political analyst.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

The IDF as never seen before - Dr. Harold Goldmeier

by Dr. Harold Goldmeier

"Snapshot" ranks among the most important books about modern Israel with its clearheaded explanations about security and safety, military technology and prowess, and the military’s impact on social and political institutions. Review.

See 'Snapshot,  and you will read it and refer to it time and again. Snapshot is a phenomenal visual and thought-provoking book.

The Israel Defense Forces function on a daily basis employing stealth and deception more than raw power.  Yoav Limor and Ziv Koren created a tome using the same techniques. The size is for a coffee table throw down. The presentation is a work of art.

The photography is efficient, elegant and powerful. The photos express the pieties of reverence for Israel’s soldiers, their selflessness, respect, loyalty and their devotion to saving a nation. The photography is so engrossing the reader might too easily forget to read the brilliant text of every tightly knit chapter. Snapshot is a must have book to understand the modern Jewish State, how and why the IDF became the central feature the inflection point of the Jewish people.

The Holocaust and centuries-long persecutions of the Jewish People paved the way for the revolutionary thinking among Jews called Zionism. A homeland by legal authority, defended by a Jewish army, morphed into a political ideology, yet, there is room for those who also believe in diplomacy, democracy, prayer, and pleadings.

Security and safety are the central missions, but the IDF is also the vehicle to assimilate and acculturate refugees, immigrants and native residents of other races and faiths. The IDF accepts people from disparate cultures arriving from the far corners of the world…white, black, brown, Caucasian and Oriental, religious and secular, Jew, Bedouin, Arab, Christian or Druze, educated and illiterate, survivors and sabras. They meet in IDF tents and training grounds and the photographs so eloquently make the point. Their lives depend on one another.

It’s the IDF that is responsible for the Jewish condition today that among the world’s 65M refugees there is not one Jew for the first time in 2,000 years. “Either (the IDF) is fighting, or else it is preparing for war.” In between battles, “the shadow war, the purpose of this state is to carry out quiet activity to eliminate the enemy’s capabilities and prevent an all-out war.” Special units travel the world and inside the country to fulfill this mission, and Snapshot has the pictures to prove it.

By the 2017 democracy index, Israelis “trusted the IDF…vastly exceed(ing) the number of Israel’s citizens who declared their trust in any other institution of the state—more than the presidency or the Supreme Court.” Limor, the journalist, and Koren the photojournalist share a “love and concern for it.” But they are not hesitant to expose the structural cracks, the enormous stress from supporting a high-tech volunteer military diminishing domestic needs and priorities, the costs to moral, and shifting agendas from pressures by decorous political and public relations vagaries.

The authors go into detail about why some people serve in the IDF and others are exilic willing to risk government benefits and jobs in Israel. It worries military commanders because it increasingly seems “the ethic of service as contribution to society is shattered, the more worthy may not enlist—and this will lead to a vastly different army.” The authors relate a conversation between Brig. Gen. Eran Shani and his daughter who when asked if there was no mandatory service will she enlist? Her answer makes the point: “Maybe I would contribute to society in another way—science, medicine, or academia.” Avidity among the vast majority of youth for serving seems to be on the wane but they show up for the draft. “Draft classes are expected to grow dramatically, with thousands of additional soldiers per year.”

I disagree with the authors on several points the most important of which is their opinion that the existential threat is slim. “In terms of national security, these threats are only tactical.” They admit the Israeli public does not agree either. “The public conceives of each missile, each terrorist, and each bomb as an existential threat.”

The public is right to do so because the rule of engagement in the Middle East is for every action there is an unintended consequence. Hamas building attack tunnels as the authors describe stimulates new technologies to destroy tunnels. But tunnels were one of the considerable factors contributing to the military collapse in Vietnam because while tunneling terrorists are not an existential threat they have a powerful demoralizing effect on the population.

Moreover, Israelis live with a siege mentality evidenced by politics shifting more rightwing over ensuing decades. Who can say where that will lead society and Israel’s unremitting generational enemies—nuclear Turkey and Iran today; Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and the Gulf States in the past.

Snapshot ranks among the most important books about modern Israel with its clearheaded explanations about security and safety, military technology and prowess, and the military’s impact on social and political institutions.  Limor and Koren engross the reader. The book demonstrates how the IDF is, to paraphrase, a lurching work in progress. While politics may be a poisoned chalice, the IDF is what protects the state, thus the Jewish People, from becoming an endling. Behind every weapon is one of Israel’s children, and nothing makes that point more emphatically than the book’s cover picture.

Dr. Harold Goldmeier is a former Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard University where he received his doctorate. He served in the administrations of three U. S. Governors, is a business management consultant with a personal interest in education and NGOs. He is writing an e-Book on Healthcare Insights.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Real Madrid's guest of honor is teen terrorist - Arutz Sheva Staff

by Arutz Sheva Staff

Soccer club hosts teen terrorist Ahed Tamimi, gifts her personalized soccer shirt in public ceremony.

Ahed Tamimi

Real Madrid, a Spanish soccer club, on Friday hosted teen terrorist Ahed Tamimi.

Tamimi served an eight-month prison sentence for attacking IDF soldiers, and has since said that her goal is to "eliminate Israel."

Tamimi met with Emilio Butragueño, a former Real Madrid player.

She also received a soccer shirt sporting her name and the number 9.

Real Madrid welcomed Palestinian teenage activist Ahed Tamimi to the Santiago Bernabeu yesterday after spending eight months in prison for slapping an Israeli soldier in December 2017," the team tweeted Saturday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted, "The prestigious soccer club of Real Madrid embraces a terrorist inciting to hatred and violence. Shameful."

"Ahed Tamimi is promoting violence against Israeli citizens. @realmadrid-receiving a terrorist that incites hatred and violence is something that has nothing to do with universal football values."

Arutz Sheva Staff


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

German police accuse Syrian refugee of plotting ‎chemical attack in Israel ‎- Israel Hayom Staff

by Israel Hayom Staff

German police arrest 21-year-old Syrian refugee who was allegedly actively recruiting ‎members for a cell that was to carry out the attack

German police have arrested a Syrian refugee on ‎suspicion of plotting a chemical attack in Israel, ‎local media reported Friday.‎

The suspect, 21, was allegedly actively recruiting ‎members for a cell that was to carry out the attack at the time of his arrest.

According to media reports, the suspect is believed to be affiliated with the ‎Islamic State group.‎

German police confirmed that the suspect was ‎detained last week after he was involved in a brawl ‎in a Berlin café. ‎

The suspicions against him arose following ‎information provided by German intelligence. Police ‎then began tracking the suspect via his cell phone ‎signal, but he was arrested only after the café ‎incident. ‎

Israel Hayom Staff


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter