Friday, July 5, 2019

Increasingly belligerent Iran poses dilemma for Israel - Israel Kasnett , JNS

by Israel Kasnett , JNS 

“The maximum pressure campaign is working,” says Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “It’s always good to weaken your enemy – not strengthen them.” The question is whether Tehran will test that theory.

It’s not every day that the head of the Mossad intelligence agency gives a public address, so when he does, people listen. His remarks come on the heels of Iran having officially breached the limit of its enriched uranium stockpile set in the 2015 deal and just hours after Israel reportedly struck several targets across Syria, including the capital of Damascus and the central city of Homs, killing at least 15 people.

Speaking at the annual Herzliya Conference, Mossad Director Yossi Cohen offered his professional assessment that Iran is to blame for much of the region’s troubles. Referring to the attack on two oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, he said, "The debate over who is responsible for the attack is vital, and I can tell you with certainty, from the best Israeli and Western sources, that Iran is definitely behind these attacks."
Cohen also emphasized that "Iran is the main sponsor of terrorist organizations in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip." He said that "Iran has transferred more than $100 million to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, most of which was dedicated to the military buildup in both organizations."

He further warned of the dangers of complacency in facing Iran.

"Through these attacks, Iran is trying to say to the world – a world that is afraid of escalation – that if the sanctions are not lifted, it will cause serious damage to the world oil economy," said Cohen. "This is an irresponsible Iranian policy that could ignite a fire in the region."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged European countries to stand by their word and take action over Iran’s announcement that it violated its limit on nuclear enrichment, which was confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency. "On this day, I also call on all European countries to stand behind their commitments. You committed to act the moment Iran violates the nuclear agreement, you committed to activate the mechanism for automatic sanctions that was set in the [UN] Security Council," he said. "Do it. Just do it."
'Set the table for negotiations'

At the conference, in a panel titled "Putting the genie back in the bottle" and moderated by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman, experts weighed in on the nature of the conflict between Iran and Israel, and where it may be heading.

Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, supported the Trump administration’s policy to use all instruments of American power against the Iranian regime.
"The maximum pressure campaign is working," he said. "It’s always good to weaken your enemy – not strengthen them."

"Do we want to confront a weakened Iran or a stronger Iran?" he asked rhetorically. "Confrontation with this regime is inevitable. Indeed, they have been confronting the US for 40 years, and we have been doing very little in response."

In terms of where the United States and Iran are heading on the diplomatic track, he said, "we are heading toward, at least in the short term, a negotiation. The Iranians know they won’t win a military conflict with the United States, so they are starting to set the table for negotiations by increasing their own leverage. If they believe [US President] Donald Trump is going to be re-elected, and that’s a big if, they are going to want to trap this president in negotiations the way they’ve trapped previous presidents in negotiations because they think they can win."

Jean-David Levitte, former senior adviser to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, said Iran is in a weak position and wants to demonstrate its capability to do harm. Levitte said his understanding is that Iran wants to negotiate. "Our duty is to help bring the negotiations back on track and maybe bring the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or 2015 nuclear deal] back on track."

Sima Shine, a senior research fellow in the Institute for National Security Studies and former deputy director general of Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry, responsible, inter alia, for the Iranian file, said she agrees that "at the end of the day, both sides will reach a new agreement. I do not think it will happen in the near future since the Iranians do not trust Trump."

She expressed concern that there is no "Plan B" if the pressure doesn’t work: "I think this is the main problem with the current situation. There is no good Plan B."

Ariel Levite, a nonresident senior associate in the Nonproliferation Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former principal deputy director general of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission, said the JCPOA is not what people thought it was. People have in their minds "some kind of deal that was reached in 2015. The JCPOA is far less perfect than that."

"Most importantly," he added, "there is no way to go back to the JCPOA. That being said, the JPOA [Joint Plan of Action] – the diplomatic agreement that paved the way for the JCPOA – is a list of principles which could and should be the basis of future negotiations."

Levite noted that "there is no strategy for escalation, and there is no strategy for negotiations."

"I think this is the main problem with the current situation. There is no good Plan B."

He pointed to the Oslo process as proof that everyone thought that it would "generate positive dynamics. It did not," he insisted. "There was an illusion that the JCPOA would pave the way for positive dynamics with Iran. It has done exactly the opposite."

Levite said the limitations of the JCPOA, together with the negative dynamics, create the need to go back to the basics. "In the haste to get an agreement in 2015, very serious shortcuts were made, which ultimately produced a very problematic agreement and a very flawed implementation of it thereafter," he said.

Bergman asked fellow participant Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, former security adviser to Netanyahu, whether Israel should prepare for a strike on Iran.

Amidror replied, "The clear answer, ‘yes.’ Israel cannot be in a situation in which Iranians will absorb the ability to manufacture nuclear military capability, and Israel cannot stop it."

He complained that the world has given a free pass to Iran and failed to prevent the Iranians from importing and building 130,000 rockets in Lebanon. He also fumed that the world "is so anxious to stop the Americans today," but has done nothing to stop Iran from acting on its threats to annihilate Israel.

Amidror also insisted that Iran wants to build a barrier in Syria that Israel will face when it comes to the decision of how to stop the Iranian military nuclear program, and emphasized the importance of Israel relying only on itself to guarantee its security.

"We cannot put our future in the hands of any other state. ‘Israel defends itself by itself’ is not just a slogan. It is something that we should pay for," he said. "At the end of the day, if the Iranians cross the red line and we are in a situation in which tomorrow will be too late, we will have to act."

Amidror said Israel must focus on two issues: One is to contain the Iranians and not let them build forward bases in Syria; the other is to prepare the Israeli Air Force to bomb Iran, saying "we should not let any other issues to disturb us or stop us from preparing ourselves for this critical day that might come."

Shine disagreed with Amidror that Israel must be prepared to contain Iran by itself, insisting that it’s a global problem. "The international community should deal with it. I don’t think Israel can take upon itself the solution," he said.

"But can Israel trust the world?" Bergman asked.

Amidror stressed that if the world doesn’t act to neutralize the Iranians, the question is what Israel intends to do. "What do we do if they don’t? The answer to that question should be very clear. We should not let Iran go nuclear."

He added that "for decision-makers, it is not an academic argument over who is better to do it. The question is if they don’t. Israel should be in the position to do the job. … Israel should prepare itself for the situation if all the good people in the world will not do it. … We should do it."

‘Iranians want to wait out Trump’

Levite said Israel needs a four-prong strategy to confront Iran, including economic pressure, pushback against Iranian belligerence in the region, an Israeli strategy to confront Iran if it escalates on the nuclear front or regional aggression, and finally, Israel must be prepared to negotiate and, if necessary and after having exhausted the option of diplomacy, escalate militarily.

"What do we want to accomplish in the negotiations?" he asked. "That is where the Obama administration, in the late stage of the negotiations, lost its marbles. They actually were so eager to get the deal that when moving from the JPOA, which they negotiated skillfully, to the JCPOA, they made a lot of concessions, and they made further concessions after the agreement was concluded!"

But if Iran does obtain nuclear weapons, can Israel depend on mutual deterrence?

Levite said, "Israel should do everything it can to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, even if it means operating alone."

"What do we want to accomplish in the negotiations?"

"We won’t give Iran the pleasure to believe that by having nuclear weapons, they can eliminate Israel," he said.

He noted that Iran already appears comfortable with acting aggressive and confrontational – and that’s without a nuclear umbrella. Imagine what they would do if they have the nuclear umbrella, he posed.

In assessing the near future, each panelist offered their prediction.

"The Iranians want to wait out Trump," stated Dubowitz.

He said they are watching the Democratic debates "very carefully" and will take small, incremental escalatory steps to avoid any major American or European response. "They are building up negotiating leverage," he said, while hoping that the Democrats will undermine Trump politically and defeat him. This way, Iran gets a better deal, receives sanctions relief and the nuclear restrictions "start to sunset."

Said Amidror: "It depends on the Iranians. In the long run, I do not know."

Levite predicted that a breakthrough with North Korea could influence the Iranians to negotiate with Trump, saying "if they see he walked down a fair amount, they will actually negotiate."

Reprinted with permission from

Israel Kasnett , JNS


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Top EU foreign policy nominee has record of slamming Israel, praising Iran - Herb Keinon

by Herb Keinon

Jerusalem was not particularly fond of Mogherini, and now, under Borrell, things might actually become more difficult.

If past comments are any indication, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell Fontelles – nominated on Wednesday to be the EU’s next foreign policy czar – will make Israel pine for Federica Mogherini.

And Jerusalem was not particularly fond of Mogherini, for the most part cutting her out of the Mideast loop because of a perceived pro-Palestinian bias.

Mogherini has not visited Israel on a working visit in some four years, though she did attend the funeral of Shimon Peres in September 2016. The last time she met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was during an icy meeting in Brussels in December 2017, following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move she blasted and which she wanted the EU to condemn. This move failed, however, because of an inability to reach a consensus among all 28 EU states.

As a result of the EU’s decision to label products from the settlements, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended diplomatic ties with the group in late 2015 for a “reassessment.” Though Israel has lifted that suspension, the relationship with Mogherini never recovered.

Mogherini and the EU foreign policy apparatus she led were viewed in Jerusalem as staunchly pro-Palestinian and as a cheerleader for the Iranian nuclear deal, even after Trump withdrew from it last year.

She had planned a trip here in June 2018 to take part in the American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum, but canceled when it was made clear that Netanyahu would not meet with her.

And now, under Borrell, things might actually become more difficult.

When Mogherini took over the helm of the EU’s foreign policy apparatus in 2014, few outside of her native Italy had heard of her. The same cannot be said of Borrell, from the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), who has been a fixture on the European political scene since the 1970s, serving as president of the European parliament from 2004 to 2007 and as Spain’s foreign minister since June 2018. 
As such, Borrell has left a long paper trail, and not one that will necessarily win hearts in Jerusalem. 
Regarding the Palestinian issue for instance, he has come out in favor of EU countries unilaterally recognizing a Palestinian state.

EEU, the Spanish news agency, reported in September that he was leading efforts to get Madrid to recognize “Palestine” as a state.

“The EU officially still supports a two-party-state system for the area of conflict, but the Spanish minister for foreign affairs and his government believe the bloc needs to ‘readdress this issue and take decisions’ as a matter of urgency,” the report read. The story quoted Borrell as saying, “It is obvious that the situation in Palestine must not continue as it is. If the EU is not able to reach a unanimous decision, then each to their own.”

In a scathing op-ed piece in the Spanish digital newspaper in May of 2018, after the Nakba Day riots along the Gaza border which took place as the US was moving its embassy to Jerusalem and led to the deaths of dozens of Palestinians, Borrell said Trump was “encouraging the warlike arrogance of Netanyahu.”

He referred to the incidents that day in Gaza as a “black Monday” that “reflects the dehumanization of the Palestinians by a large part of the Israeli political class and society.”

The irritation those opinions obviously triggered in the Prime Minister’s Office likely pale to the anger at what he has said about Iran.

In an interview in February with Politico, the future EU foreign policy chief said that everyone just has to get used to the fact that Iran wants to destroy Israel.

Asked about the nuclear deal, and whether it was dead, Borrell replied:

“The Americans decided to kill it, unilaterally as they do things without any kind of previous consultation, without taking care of what interests the Europeans have.”

Asked whether the US might “have a point about Iran,” given its vow to destroy Israel and its malignant behavior in the region, he said, “We are not children following what they [the Americans] say. We have our own prospects, interests and strategy, and we will continue working with Iran. It would be very bad for us if it goes on to develop a nuclear weapon … Iran wants to wipe out Israel; nothing new about that. You have to live with it.”

On November 6, a day after the US reimposed a last tranche of sanctions on Iran, Borrell joined Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in blasting the US for the move. The Spanish foreign minister said that he rejected “any kind of position that resembles an ultimatum from anyone and also from the United States.”

In February, on the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran that led to the fall of the Shah and brought Ayatollah Khomeini to power, the Spanish diplomat posted a tweet thread somewhat sympathetic to the regime.

“Today marks 40 years of the Islamic revolution of #Iran,” he wrote. “This regional power has changed a lot during this time. In 1976, the literacy rate was 35%. Now it’s 84%. In 1980, 5% of the women employed were university students. Now they are 47%, but only 16% of the workforce is female, and the unemployment rate of women is double that of men.”

Iran, he wrote, “is a key country in the Middle East region. It has had an essential role in the #Syria war, helping Assad while the Americans are pulling out.”

He noted the strong competition that Shia Iran has with Sunni Saudi Arabia, and then wrote of the two “hard defeats” of the United States in the 1970s: the flight from Saigon and the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran. Forty years later, he wrote, “Vietnam is a productive power fully integrated into the world economy and has excellent relations with the United States.”

In contrast, he said, ”Iran remains an obsession for the US Government. They still do not have diplomatic relations and Trump has also withdrawn from the Nuclear Pact and has imposed sanctions. Surely Iran can survive the sanctions if Trump is not re-elected. Otherwise, the regime could reactivate the nuclear program for military purposes and multiply its interventions in the region.”

These opinions about Iran are not only causing concern in Jerusalem, but in other countries in the region as well. This was the headline in UAE-based newspaper The National reporting on the appointment: “Nomination of Josep Borrell for EU High Representative sparks outcry.”

The sub headline read: “A supporter of the Iranian regime, Mr Borrell will handle the EU’s negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal.”

According to the report, “Borrell is a known supporter of Iran and has made several comments during his time as foreign minister, which were construed as being sympathetic to the regime.”

Borell himself addressed the Knesset in June 2005 as the president of the European parliament, and noted his history with Israel.

“This is not a strange land to me,” he said. “Thirty-six years ago, in 1969 when I had just graduated, I came to Israel to work on a Kibbutz – the one in Galon – following in the footsteps of other young Europeans attracted by that experience.”

Borrell met his first wife there.

European Council President Donald Tusk announced on Wednesday that the European Council would nominate Borrell. In addition, the Council nominated German Defense Minister Ursula Von der Leyen as the new president of the European Commission, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as head of the European Council, and Christine Lagarde – currently the head of the International Monetary Fund – to head the European Central Bank.

All those nominations must now be approved by the European Parliament. One diplomatic official said that it was “almost certain” that the nominations would be confirmed. 

Herb Keinon


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Gibraltar detains Syria-bound supertanker with Iranian oil - AP, Israel Hayom Staff

by AP, Israel Hayom Staff

At US request, British territory interdicts vessel believed to be breaching EU sanctions on Syrian regime. The EU, and others, have imposed sanctions on Assad's government over its continued crackdown against civilians, which target 270 people and 70 entities.

Authorities in Gibraltar said they intercepted a supertanker on Thursday that was believed to be breaching European Union sanctions by carrying a shipment of Iranian crude oil to war-ravaged Syria, while a senior Spanish official said the operation was requested by the United States.

Gibraltar port and law enforcement agencies, assisted by Britain's Royal Marines, boarded the Grace 1 early Thursday, authorities on the British overseas territory at the tip of Spain said in a statement.

It added that the vessel was believed to be headed to the Baniyas Refinery in Syria, which is a government-owned facility under the control of Syrian President Bashar Assad and is subject to the EU's Syrian Sanctions Regime.

The EU, and others, have imposed sanctions on Assad's government over its continued crackdown against civilians. They currently target 270 people and 70 entities.

Spain's caretaker foreign minister said the tanker was stopped by British authorities after a request from the United States.

Josep Borrell told reporters in Madrid that Spain was assessing the implications of the operation because the detention took place in waters it considers its own.

Britain insists Gibraltar is part of the United Kingdom but Spain argues that it is not, and the tanker operation risks offending the Spanish authorities.

"We're looking into how this (operation) affects our sovereignty," said Borrell, who was nominated earlier this week to become the EU's foreign policy chief.

The Spanish claim that the US requested the operation switched attentions as to whether the tanker was carrying Iranian crude or not.

The Gibraltar authorities didn't confirm the origin of the ship's cargo but Lloyd's List, a publication that specializes in maritime affairs, reported this week that the Panama-flagged large carrier was laden with Iranian oil. Experts were said to have concluded that it carried oil from Iran because the tanker wasn't sending geographic information while in Iranian waters. According to a UN list, the ship is owned by the Singapore-based Grace Tankers Ltd.

According to the data firm Refinitv, the vessel likely carried just over 2 million barrels of Iranian crude oil. Tracking data showed that the tanker made a slow trip around the southern tip of Africa before reaching the Mediterranean Sea.

The tanker's detention comes at a particularly sensitive time as tensions between the US and Iran grow over the unraveling of a 2015 nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump withdrew from last year. Trump has also slapped sanctions on Iran and recently approved the passage of a carrier group, bombers and fighter jets to the Persian Gulf.

In recent days, Iran has broken through the limit which the deal put on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium and plans on Sunday to boost its enrichment. Meanwhile, oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz have been targeted in mysterious attacks as Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen launch bomb-laden drones into Saudi Arabia.

The US has rushed thousands of additional troops, an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and F-22 fighters to the region, raising fears of a miscalculation that may spark a wider conflict. Last month, Iran shot down a US surveillance drone, further stoking those fears.

AP, Israel Hayom Staff


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Migrants Try to Buy Children to Illegally Enter U.S. - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Right-wing conspiracy theory, as the media likes to call it, is reality

If lefties really cared about the kids they can't stop weeping over, they would stop encouraging the trafficking and trade in children.

Instead, they boost the trade and then pretend to be outraged.

Here's what any decent person would truly be outraged by.
Some migrants in Tijuana are trying to purchase children from vulnerable single mothers in local shelters so they can more easily cross into the United States, according to shelter directors, migrants and Tijuana law enforcement authorities.
Migrants in Tijuana shelters said they are alarmed after reports of single mothers being approached by groups of men who have offered to buy children to improve their chances of safely crossing into the United States.
A decades-old legal document, known as the Flores agreement, says migrant children should only be held briefly in U.S. border custody, which often means they are released, along with the parent or guardian with whom they crossed while they wait for their asylum cases to make their way through clogged immigration courts.
And releasing unaccompanied minors with their guardians incentivizes trafficking children.
U.S. border authorities have been warning since June 2018 about people fraudulently using children who aren’t theirs to pose as family units and gain entry into the United States, a claim that critics said was overblown.
But now, authorities in Tijuana are warning migrant mothers to keep their children close by and supervised, after reports of men offering to purchase migrant children in order to cross.
Right-wing conspiracy theory, as the media likes to call it, is reality.
Portillo said the groups of men have been approaching the Iglesia Embajadores de Jesus shelter in Tijuana and offering about 7,000 pesos, or $350, to purchase a child to cross into the United States.
She said she fears the requests and the offers of money will turn into demands or kidnappings. Portillo said she never lets her two boys, aged 10 and 8, out of her sight.
“They want to rob our kids so they can cross into the United States,” she said angrily.
Pastor Gustavo Banda, a Tijuana shelter director, said families at the shelter are terrified and feel forced to keep all their children locked inside at all times.
A 15-year-old from Haiti said she was afraid to give her name because she witnessed the men approaching the shelter asking for children to buy.
“It’s horrific,” she said. “I could not even imagine the horror before I came here. I just wonder what happens to the kids once they make it across. It’s not like their mom or dad who will care for them no matter what.”
Ask Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, currently weeping over a Burger King parking lot.

Daniel Greenfield


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France: The Real Emmanuel Macron - Guy Millière

by Guy Millière

Where does he stand?

  • Charles de Gaulle refused to speak of the many French who had collaborated with the authorities of the German occupation. He refused to commemorate D-Day. He even went on to claim that the Normandy landings had "not been the beginning of the liberation of France," but "the starting point of an American attempt to colonize France".
  • President Emmanuel Macron went one step further, saying that France and Germany should create a European army to "protect themselves against Russia, China, and even the United States".
  • France also supported the PLO at a time when it was openly a terrorist movement, unreservedly dedicated to destroying Israel and murdering Jews..... Macron continues the same policy as his predecessors. He never misses an opportunity to invite the current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to the Elysée Palace and he never forgets to kiss him.
  • President Donald Trump now knows Macron. Trump probably remembers that during Macron's visit to Washington 14 months ago, Macron seemed friendly toward him; then, when he went to the Congress, spent his whole speech running down the essential decisions of the Trump administration.

French President Emmanuel Macron said, on November 8, 2018, that France and Germany should create a European army to "protect themselves against Russia, China, and even the United States". Pictured: Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a press conference on November 18, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

June 6, 2019. Normandy, France. The remains of 9,387 American military dead are buried at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial; 9238 Latin crosses for Christians and 149 Stars of David for Jews are aligned on the bluff overlooking Omaha Beach, one of five sectors on the Normandy coast where 132,000 soldiers of the Western allies landed on June 6, 1944. US President Donald J. Trump delivers a speech praising heroism, duty, honor and freedom, and pays tribute to the young Americans who gave their lives; he also speaks of the other soldiers who fought in the Normandy landings: Canadians, British, French. He behaves as a great statesman.

Just before he spoke, French President Emmanuel Macron also paid tribute to those brave soldiers. He added some remarks -- that immediately were seen as a way to lecture the American President:
"America is never as great as when it fights for the freedom of others. It is never as great as when it is faithful to the universal values defended by its founding fathers when two and a half centuries ago, France came to support its independence".
Macron had earlier indicated that he intended to emphasize "French values" and "the art of being French". ​​Jean-Pierre Raffarin, a former French Prime Minister and today one of Emmanuel Macron's political advisors, said the that French President thought the United States had "abandoned core ethical principles" and that "America today would not fight for the freedom of Europe. "

The day before that, Macron organized a ceremony to pay homage to the French resistance. "Without the resistance and all the French fighters," he said, "France would not have regained freedom". At another ceremony to pay tribute to the 177 Free French soldiers who landed at Normandy on D-Day, he said that the French were "everywhere to liberate their own country, on land, at sea, in the air".

President Macron's will to pay tribute to the French resistance and the French who landed on D-Day is understandable. Many French citizens fought bravely. His attempt, however, to describe the French playing a vital role in the liberation of their country, as if the French had liberated France, is harder to accept. It merely diminishes the role of all those who were not French who fought and died to liberate the country.

His words and attitude appear to have their roots in those of General Charles de Gaulle at the end of World War II. The general was filmed in Normandy, a few days after June 6, 1944, just a few miles from the beaches where thousands of young Americans had been killed and not yet even been buried. "France," he said, "begins to free itself and will soon be free, thanks to the French". During the rest of his political career, de Gaulle stressed that France had been liberated by the French. When he talked about the Vichy regime, he said it was composed of "a handful of traitors who had ceased to be French".

De Gaulle refused to speak of the many French who had collaborated with the authorities of the German occupation. He refused to commemorate D-Day. He even went on to claim that the Normandy landings had "not been the beginning of the liberation of France," but "the starting point of an American attempt to colonize France". He then added that "the American occupation of France" had ended during his presidency, when he had decided to "leave NATO and ask the United States to close the American military bases on French territory". He never spoke of the crucial role of the Marshall Plan in rebuilding France, or that NATO was created to protect Western Europe from the Soviet Union.

What de Gaulle said had a profound effect. Until the early 1970s, twenty-five years after the war, no book or film in France dealt with "collaboration". The history textbooks used in French schools omitted the close ties between many French people and German occupation authorities just a few years earlier. Instead, students learned that France had been occupied, and that the Resistance had liberated the country with the help of "Allies". The role of the Americans was barely mentioned. The vast support of the French population for Marshal Philippe Pétain, the anti-Semitism of the wartime Vichy regime and the active contribution of the French police and gendarmes in deporting Jews to concentration camps were never mentioned. Books such as Harvest of Hate by Leon Leo Poliakov (1951) noted the crimes of the Third Reich, but not the crimes of the French police and gendarmes. Only a few copies were sold.

Robert Paxton's book, however, Vichy France, translated into French in 1973, created a scandal. Paxton used countless documents that no one had seen before to describe the extent of "collaboration" in France and the zealous contribution of the Vichy regime to deporting Jews. Many French commentators wrote that the book was not only full of lies but an insult to the honor of France.

Until 1984, no French President even took part in D-Day ceremonies -- and the events were discreet, to say the least.

The commemorations of the 1942 "Vel d'Hiv roundup" (a Nazi-directed raid and mass arrest of Jews in Paris by the French police) became official only in 1992. Before that, only Jewish organizations had participated; newspapers never wrote about it. In 1995, President Jacques Chirac recognized that France was guilty of the Vel d'Hiv roundup and of deporting of tens of thousands of Jews to concentration camps; many French politicians to this day nonetheless persist in saying that he was wrong and that France is not guilty.

Since 1945, no French political leader has ever breathed a word of gratitude to the United States for its contribution to the liberation of France without adding remarks emphasizing the moral values of France and the essential role of the French Resistance. Whenever possible, they have also done their best to show that they could prevail against the United States if they so wished.

The speech delivered by French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin at the United Nations on February 14, 2003 -- criticizing the decision of US President George W. Bush's administration to invade Iraq -- stated that "France is standing up, faithful to its values". The speech earned Villepin unanimous praise in France. Villepin did not, however, mention that France had just concluded secret oil contracts with Iraq's Saddam Hussein and did not want to lose money. When President Nicolas Sarkozy defined his own foreign policy in a speech on August 27, 2007, he stressed that France was allied with the United States, but "not aligned". President François Hollande repeated the same formulation -- "We are allied, not aligned" -- in 2012.

Macron went one step further. On November 8, 2018, he said that France and Germany should create a European army to "protect themselves against Russia, China, and even the United States". Three days later, at a November 11 ceremony, while looking at President Trump, who had not long before that praised "American nationalism", Macron suggested that "patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is its betrayal."

Previously, on April 25, 2018, Macron had delivered an address in front of the US Congress on the Iranian nuclear program in which he enjoined the United States to "respect their signature". "France will not leave the Iranian nuclear deal," he said, "because we signed it [and] we respect our commitments. "

As France apparently feels no guilt about its role in the genocide of Europe's Jews, French leaders have long been indifferent to anti-Semitism. They began to talk about it only in the 1980s -- in order to demonize the "far right". That is what they continue to do.

French foreign policy became anti-Israeli in the 1960s, when, at the end of Algerian war, French politicians thought that it would be more lucrative to establish closer links with the Arab world. France is still anti-Israeli. On November 27, 1967, General de Gaulle delivered remarks mixing anti-Semitism with verbal attacks against Israel. He described the Jews as "domineering and sure of themselves", spoke of their supposed "ardent and conquering ambition" and described Israel as a "war-like state bent on expansion". In June 1967, three days before the Six-Day War, when threats from the Arab world against Israel were impossible disregard and war seemed imminent, de Gaulle decided to institute an embargo on delivering arms to Israel.

During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, French Foreign Minister Michel Jobert refused to condemn Egypt's and Syria's aggression against Israel: "Attempting to set foot at home," he misstated, "does not necessarily constitute aggression".

France also supported the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) at a time when it was unreservedly a terrorist movement, openly dedicated to destroying Israel and murdering Jews. France voted in favor of a United Nations resolution supporting the PLO, and as early as January 27, 1976, called for the "creation of a Palestinian state". President Jacques Chirac unabashedly supported the PLO and, as he put it, the "need to create a Palestinian state". In November 2004, he provided a warm welcome in France to the Palestinian arch-terrorist, Chairman Yasser Arafat just before the latter's death, and offered him a funeral cortege worthy of a great democratic parliamentarian.

On September 21, 2011 President Nicolas Sarkozy also told the UN that France wanted the creation of a Palestinian state as soon as possible "in the lines of 1967", and said that "Palestine" had to have an "observer state" seat at the United Nations "similar to the one the Vatican has". Six weeks later, on October 31, France voted in favor of the entry of the "State of Palestine" into UNESCO.

Macron continues the same policy as his predecessors. He never misses an opportunity to invite the current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to the Elysée Palace and he never forgets to kiss him. Macron also asks for the creation of "a Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital". He condemns all the decisions in favor of Israel made by the Trump administration, and describes the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as a "grave mistake". On May 15, 2018, when Hamas sent terrorists hidden among civilians to storm Israel's border fence with Gaza, and Israeli soldiers had to shoot armed people to prevent their border being breached, Macron condemned "the violence of the Israeli armed forces against the protesters". Only several months later, when rockets were launched into Israel from Gaza, did he condemn Hamas's terrorist activity.

On May 8, 2018, President Trump -- explaining that Iran was now "the leading sponsor of terrorism", and that it "support[ed] terrorist proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas" and was still trying to acquire nuclear weapons capability -- decided to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal. He announced there would be American sanctions to encourage Iran to change its behavior and come to the table for new talks. From that point on, France and Germany have done all they can to circumvent American sanctions and to continue working with Iran. On June 17, 2019 -- when Iran's regime was threatening to use precision missiles to hit "all enemies – at least the ones in the region or the ones who have forces in the region" -- and two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman were struck, Macron advised Iran to be "patient and responsible".

Since 1945, the French attitude towards the United States has been marked by arrogance and ingratitude. In 2005, the American journalist Richard Chesnoff quoted a French professor, Dominique Moïsi:
"When France was a great power, America was a nascent power, when America became a superpower, France became a middle-size power, and now that America is the hyper-power, France is not anywhere near being in the same league."
Chesnoff added that this had led to a mix of unavowed envy and hidden resentment.

At the time of the French Revolution, France claimed to have a universal message; France saw only later that the United States had become "the country embodying the values ​​of freedom and human dignity on earth", wrote Jean-François Revel in 2002 in Anti-Americanism. He added that a French politician had told him, "America stole universality from us". He also stressed that the French claim of having a universal message was often "contradicted by the appalling reality of France's behavior".

France's behavior towards the United States, Israel, and the Iranian regime today might well illustrate his observation.

Macron's remarks in Normandy on June 6 seemed unnecessarily arrogant -- an attitude especially insufferable as, at the moment he spoke, France was still trying to circumvent American sanctions on Iran's malign regime. He is also in no position to make such pointed remarks. For six months, protests by the "yellow vests" have been hitting the French economy hard. They have revealed the extent of the discontent among those French who are disadvantaged. Macron reacted with contempt and brutality: he called protesters a "hateful crowd" and asked the police to restore order "ruthlessly" (twenty four people have lost an eye, five others lost a hand). Macron may have received the support of the elites, but the despair of the protestors did not disappear.

Illegal immigration has transformed many areas of the country into shanty towns. Hundreds of no-go zones in the suburbs have been described by the Algerian writer Boualem Sansal and the journalist Éric Zemmour as small Islamic republics in the making. Jews in France must now conceal their religious identity in public wherever they are.

On November 13, 2018, President Trump, reacting to Macron's November remarks, said in a tweet thread, "there is no country more nationalist than France" and, "it was Germany" that invaded France. "[I]n World Wars One & Two... The French were starting to learn German when we came around."

On June 6, Trump used more diplomatic language. He said that his relationship with France and Macron was "exceptional". But he now knows Macron. Trump doubtless remembers that during Macron's visit to Washington 14 months ago, Macron had seemed friendly toward him, but then, in Congress, spent his whole speech running down the essential decisions of the Trump administration.

On April 24, 2018, Macron, to show his friendship, offered an oak tree to Trump; they planted it together on the White House lawn. The oak, which had been was quarantined by US agricultural authorities, was reported to have died four days after the 2019 D-Day ceremonies. Macron promised to send Trump another oak; it has not yet arrived. Oaks may live eight hundred years. Macron's friendly words seem to have a shorter life expectancy.

Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of 27 books on France and Europe.


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Remembering History’s Most Audacious Hostage Rescue Mission: Entebbe, July 4, 1976 - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

How Israel showed the world that the war on terror could be won.

On July 4th, 1976, as America celebrated its Bicentennial, four Israeli Air Force C-130 Hercules planes carrying over 100 Jewish passengers, twelve Air France flight personnel, and their Israeli rescuers landed safely at Ben Gurion Airport. The safe landing of civilians and commandos marked the end of a week-long, nightmarish drama that gripped all of Israel.

The saga began on June 27, when a Paris-bound Air France commercial airliner took off from Tel-Aviv. The plane was scheduled for a stopover in Athens. Lax security at Athens International Airport enabled four terrorists with forged passports – two from the notorious West German Baader-Meinhof Gang and two from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – to board the flight with their guns, grenades and explosives.

Their hijacking adventure set into motion a sequence of events that would reverberate around the world. It would also ultimately serve to further enhance the prestige and reputation of Israel’s vaunted, specialized commando units and intelligences services.

After a brief refueling stopover in Benghazi, Libya, the terrorists flew their commandeered Airbus A-300 to Entebbe airport in Uganda where they were given a hero’s welcome by their mercurial Ugandan host, the cannibalistically-inclined dictator, Idi Amin. In addition to providing them with safe haven, the despotic Amin placed elements of the Ugandan army at the hijackers’ disposal. In addition to the Ugandans, the terrorists’ ranks now swelled to seven, having been joined by three PFLP operatives during the Benghazi stopover.

Upon landing at Entebbe, the hostages were ferried to the airport’s old terminal building. As luck would have it, an Israeli construction firm had built the terminal for the Ugandans and promptly handed over the construction blueprints to Israeli intelligence for analysis. Still, the outlook was bleak for the hostages. Uganda was more than 3,000 miles from Jerusalem. Moreover, any attempt at air rescue would necessitate flying through radar coverage of three enemy countries – Egypt, Sudan and Saudi Arabia. The well-armed terrorists seemed insulated from attack.

Soon after their arrival, the terrorists segregated those holding Israeli passports and those with Jewish-sounding surnames from the rest of the passengers. The Jews were placed in another room within the terminal. The depressing irony of armed Germans separating Jews – including Holocaust survivors – from non-Jews just thirty years post-Holocaust could not be overstated.

On June 29, the terrorists began releasing the non-Jewish passengers adding additional pressure on the Israeli government to act. The terrorists were transforming an international problem into an Israeli one in an effort to isolate the Jewish state. The Air France flight crew, headed by its captain, Michel Bacos, courageously opted to stay with the Israelis. Bacos died this year at the age of 95 and was recognized by both France and Israel for his heroism.

The release of the non-Jewish passengers represented the first critical mistake of the terrorists. They were immediately debriefed by Israeli intelligence on any information that could potentially assist in a rescue effort. One passenger in particular, Ninette Morenu, possessed a near photographic memory and provided detailed information that would prove invaluable to the rescue operation. Morenu, who was Jewish, was released by mistake due to her non-Jewish sounding surname. Her grandson, Emmanuel Morenu, would later become an officer in the Israel Defense Force’s Sayeret Matkal, the very unit charged with rescuing the Entebbe’s hostages.

Contemporaneous with the debriefing, the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, dispatched an operative to fly a light plane over Entebbe to engage in aerial reconnaissance. The pilot informed the control tower that his plane was experiencing engine trouble and the Ugandans bought the ruse. The Mossad pilot’s photographs provided vital information on the strength, disposition and placement of the Ugandan forces at the airport.

Meanwhile, the hijackers demanded the release of dozens of terrorists held by Israel, Kenya, France, Germany and Switzerland and warned Israel that they would begin executing the hostages by midday of July 1, unless their demands were met. The Israeli government pretended to negotiate while formulating a rescue plan, winning an extension from the terrorists until 2:00 p.m., July 4.

Two plans were presented. The first involved a combined naval commando/paratroop crossing of Lake Victoria from Kenya and seizing Entebbe airport, located adjacent to its shoreline. The hostages would then be spirited out to Kenya with captured Ugandan trucks. This plan was deemed unfeasible. The second option and the one ultimately settled upon was a direct commando assault against Entebbe airport using C-130 Hercules aircraft.

The unit entrusted with spearheading the dangerous mission was Sayeret Matkal, an elite commando unit commonly tasked with carrying out hazardous missions at home and abroad. The Matkal commandos, 33 of them, would be the first to land. Paratroops in the other Hercules aircraft, under the command of Matan Vilnai, would touch down seven minutes later and serve as backup.

Tasked with leading the initial rescue assault force was Yonatan (Yoni) Netanyahu, a man who exuded confidence, and whose considerable military skill and experience made him ideally suited for the command. The unit’s sub-commander was Muki Betzer.

Betzer knew Uganda well having been stationed there some years prior as a military adviser. Relations between Uganda’s Amin and Israel were at one time cordial but soured after Israel refused to supply Amin with weapons that the Israelis believed would be utilized against Uganda’s neighbor, Kenya. Amin was also heavily influenced by Libya’s rabidly anti-Israel dictator, Muammar Qaddafi.  Betzer’s opinion of the Ugandan soldier was low. In a documentary, he described their military capabilities as rudimentary (they knew how to load a magazine and read a map) and their motivation as low.

Assaulting Entebbe and rescuing the hostages with minimal casualties presented many challenges but simply flying the commandos there presented equally daunting challenges. The C-130s would have to evade the radars of three enemy countries. Moreover, the runway lights at Entebbe airport were expected to be closed forcing the massive transport planes to land in the dark. All these thoughts swirled through the mind of Joshua Shani, the Israeli Air Force squadron leader tasked with piloting the lead C-130 carrying the Matkal commandos.

To circumvent enemy radar, the C-130s flew the length of the Red Sea for some 900 miles at low level before penetrating the African continent toward Uganda. To Shani’s surprise and relief, the Ugandans had not turned off the runway lights. He landed his C-130 undetected. The other C-130s carrying additional forces would land approximately seven minutes later.

The Sayeret Matkal now had to cover approximately 2.4 kilometers of ground to reach the old terminal building where the hostages were held. A column of Land Rovers led by a black Mercedes, similar to the type used by Amin, stealthily made its way to the old terminal. A Ugandan sentry greeted the Mercedes by raising his Kalashnikov assault rifle. Betzer, who was familiar with Ugandan military greeting protocols, did not view the Ugandan’s actions as threatening, and urged Yoni to ignore the Ugandan and keep driving to the terminal. Netanyahu disagreed. He and another commando pumped several silenced rounds into the Ugandan. Unfortunately, it didn’t do the trick forcing another commando to fire his unsilenced AK-47 at the Ugandan to confirm the kill.

The burst of automatic fire broke the silence of the still night and alerted the Ugandans and terrorists to the presence of a potential problem. Undaunted by the loss of surprise, the commandos pressed forward and stormed the terminal, ordering the hostages to remain on the floor. A fierce firefight ensued with the Israelis firing short, controlled bursts, systematically eliminating all threats to themselves and the hostages.

Meanwhile, additional forces from the remaining C-130s arrived, and with sheer tenacity and firepower, helped the commandos overwhelm remaining opposition. Having safely secured the hostages and neutralized the enemy threat, the para-commandos turned their attention to Ugandan air force MiG -21 and MiG-17 jet fighters parked at the tarmac. Within minutes, the Israelis transformed Amin’s air force into a smoldering junkyard.

When the guns fell silent, all seven terrorists were dispatched along with some 20 to 40 Ugandan soldiers, and Amin’s air force was no longer a threat to the departing C-130s. Three hostages were killed, including Jean-Jacques Mimouni, a 19-year-old idealist, who in his excitement at seeing the commandos, stood up and began to cheer. A Matkal commando, possibly Betzer himself, mistook the young man for a terrorist and shot him dead. An unfortunate act of friendly fire cut short the life of a promising young man. A fourth hostage, the elderly Dora Bloch, who was at a Kampala hospital at the time of the raid recovering a choking episode, was murdered on Amin’s orders. Her remains were recovered some years later and brought back to Israel for burial next to her husband.

The only IDF soldier killed in the action was the unit’s commander, Yoni. The operation’s name was subsequently changed from Operation Thunderbolt to Operation Yonatan in his honor. A second soldier, paratrooper Surin Hershko, was shot in the spine during the assault and became a quadriplegic.

Operation Yonatan stands out as among the most audacious hostage rescue mission ever undertaken. Israeli soldiers, some of whom were the children of Holocaust survivors, flew some 3,000 miles to rescue Jews who were once again being victimized because they had the temerity to be born Jewish.

More significantly, the operation had consequences that reverberated far beyond Israel’s borders. Amin was humiliated internationally and the defeat of his army and air force set into motion a process that would ultimately lead to his overthrow.

In the decade preceding Entebbe, Palestinian terrorists were responsible for at least 50 skyjackings. Exasperated Western nations took measured comfort in the fact that finally, a resilient nation with backbone, took resolute military action against those waging war on civilization. Following the rescue, the skyjacking scourge declined measurably, and the Baader-Meinhof terror cell responsible for carrying out the hijacking jointly with the PFLP became largely ineffectual thanks to the liquidation of two of its central members as well as post-raid resignations and defections. Most importantly, Israel demonstrated to the world in spectacular fashion that the war on terror was indeed winnable.

* * *

Photo by שבתאי טל at Wikimedia Commons

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.


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BBC survey shows half of Arab young people want to migrate to Europe and North America - Christine Douglass-Williams

by Christine Douglass-Williams

More trouble ahead for Western countries?

A sign of things to come if globalists have their way with open door immigration….
More than half of the young people in the Arab world are looking to leave the area and migrate elsewhere.
That “elsewhere” is Europe and North America. Troubling stats, considering the menace of leaders who support open-door immigration and the grim facts about Islamic doctrine and culture. For example:
While the survey shows a rise in the number of non-religious people in the Arab world, it also suggests more respondents in countries like Morocco and Algeria believe that honour killings are more acceptable than homosexuality.
In Islamic societies, culture and religion are intertwined, as the sharia is all encompassing. And what about overall attitudes toward women, apostates, Jews and infidels? Also, while the survey references “the rise of non-religious people,” it does not address the extent of the rise; nor does it explain what constitutes “non-religious” and the impact of culture upon young Arabs. Also, when people immigrate, they generally seek out their own communities, and with the proliferation of mosques where anti-Semitism and jihad are preached, the picture is rather grim. None of this, however, matters to globalists:
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker declared that Europe had a “clear need” for mass migration from Africa, stating that Europe “will clearly need immigration in the coming decades.”

“Over Half of Arab Young Adults Want to Migrate,” by Chris Tomlinson, Breitbart, June 29, 2019:
More than half of the young people in the Arab world are looking to leave the area and migrate elsewhere, according to a survey by BBC Arabic and the Arab Barometer.
The survey revealed that an average of 52 per cent of those aged 18 to 29 said that they were looking to migrate abroad. With some countries surveyed the proportion is much higher, such as Morocco, where 70 per cent — more than two-thirds — claiming to be considering emigrating, The Jerusalem Post reports.
Dr Mohammed Masbah, director of the Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis in Rabat, commented on the data saying: “The number itself is alarming and has several components.
“Politically, there is a lack of confidence in the government as youth believe the government cannot solve their problems,” he said, adding: “Socioeconomically, youth unemployment is high; the belief is it will get worse.”
The most sought after destination for migration, according to the BBC, is Europe, followed by North America.
While the survey shows a rise in the number of non-religious people in the Arab world, it also suggests more respondents in countries like Morocco and Algeria believe that honour killings are more acceptable than homosexuality.
Experts have previously predicted huge waves of migrants coming to Europe, mainly from Africa, with French-American journalist and professor Stephen Smith claiming that within 30 years Europe could have a population of 150 to 200 million Africans.
In 2017, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker declared that Europe had a “clear need” for mass migration from Africa, stating that Europe “will clearly need immigration in the coming decades”….

Christine Douglass-Williams


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