Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Syrian Army Vows To Remove All U.S. Troops From Syria

Syrian Army Vows to Remove All US Troops From Syria

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has responded negatively to the US pledge to create a new “border” force in northern Syria of some 30,000 US-backed fighters, saying not only are they violating Syrian sovereignty, but the Syrian Army’s goal must be to end the US presence in the country outright.
Syria has long opposed the US military presence in the country, which was deployed without Syrian permission, and which Pentagon officials say will last long after the outright defeat of ISIS.
Whether the Syrians can do anything about it is another matter. The US presence in Syria is substantial, and backed by a large, heavily-armed Kurdish force. Despite the US deployment being plainly illegal, there’s no practical way to remove them by force.
It’s curious that the Syrian state media made it clear the position was that of the military, as made by the foreign ministry, suggesting the two ministries may not necessarily be on the same page with rhetoric about the US presence.

The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Why No Peace?

The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Why No Peace?

  • The jihadist aim is to isolate Israel politically; to influence political leaders, public opinion, international institutions and international organizations so that on the day their planned offensive begins, no one will be there to support Israel and the Jews. The Palestinian Authority, the PLO and the Arab/Muslim states will be unhampered to do what Hitler was unable to do in historic Palestine -- make it Judenrein (free of Jews).

On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her...
(Zechariah 12:3)


The critical question of why the Middle East seems unable to achieve peace has just been rigorously considered again, this time by Michael Calvo, an international lawyer, in an important new book, The Middle East and World War III: Why No Peace? It is worth being read by all political leaders, academics, journalists, students and anyone who wants to understand why there is no peace and what may happen.

The book analyzes why the Israeli-Palestinian/Arab/Muslim conflict has not been resolved, in spite of the Oslo Accords and many years of active involvement by the European Union, individual European states, the U.S., Russia and the United Nations.

The long-term Palestinian use of terror, for instance, looked at chronologically:
"to achieve Palestinian political goals, to influence Israeli politics, to favor a given Israeli candidate for the post of Prime Minister, to compel the Israeli government to conceal more land, to prevent a final peace settlement by maintaining a state of conflict that could eventually lead to total war, to erode Israeli and American resolve and to demonstrate to Arab population that peace is not an option and that the existence of the Jews on their land cannot be recognized".
Some of the attacks occurred just when foreign representatives landed in Israel, "to prevent the revival of the peace talks." Mr. Jason Greenblatt should take that into consideration.

There is, according to Calvo, also a psychological and religious preparation for armed conflict with Israel, the manipulation of the media and of minds, the practical preparation of the armed conflict and its planned outbreak, as well as its control by the Palestinian leadership. The terrorists are elevated to heroes and role models. Palestinian policeman, armed individuals, adolescents and adults, sometimes a father or even a mother of young children, are ready to kill Jews by any means and even to blow themselves to pieces for their cause to reach paradise. But they were not born jihadists. They were, and are still, being incited to become jihadists.
The terrorists simply "did what the Palestinian Authority ordered them to do," said Mahmoud Abbas.

The internationalization of the conflict is made clear -- especially the role played by Arab and Muslim countries, including Jordan and Egypt which signed a peace treaty with Israel -- to prepare the world to accept the destruction of the Jewish State.

The legal propaganda in war against Israel is analyzed. It covers many fields and how to answer. Are the territories of Judea Samaria (West Bank) occupied, disputed or liberated? To whom do they legally belong?

The jihadist aim, as convincingly described in the book, is to isolate Israel politically; to influence political leaders, public opinion, international institutions and international organizations so that on the day their planned offensive begins, no one will be there to support Israel and the Jews. The Palestinian Authority (PA), the PLO and the Arab/Muslim states will be unhampered to do what Hitler was unable to do in historic Palestine -- make it Judenrein (free of Jews).

The propaganda war, to achieve this aim, warns Calvo, consists largely of: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), Israel apartheid weeks, the delegitimization, demonization and dehumanization of Israeli Jews; and the actions before UNESCO, the World Health Organization, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the UN General Assembly and Security Council.

The strategy to destroy Israel is implemented through both governments and non-governmental organizations, funded mainly by the European Union and its member states, primarily Norway and Switzerland. It includes a malignant alliance of anti-Semitic individuals, anti-Jewish Christian churches, questionable Catholic societies, radical Leftists and radical Muslims of all countries. This alliance has one aim: to discredit, damage, demonize and eventually destroy Israel.

This conflict has been considered a territorial conflict by all states and dealt with as such, even by Israel: everyone had reasonable hope that a compromise over land would bring peace. The author's wider perspective, however, leads to the provocative conclusion that because of misguided ideology and theology, there is and will, for the medium term, be no peace in the Middle East.

At the moment, Arabs and Muslims are in a jihadist religious conflict, a theological/metaphysical conflict with Israel's Jews, however much the West may refuse to see it. Understanding the problem must begin at its roots.

Leading experts and Pope Francis have said that the world has already entered World War III, but no world leader other than Israel's has dared to share their analysis. Are they afraid?

The Palestinian leaders, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia's Wahhabis, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, most of the Muslim states, the Iranian mullahs and government, all from whichever Islamic persuasion, share the same jihadist ideology, encapsulated in one sentence, the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood:

"Allah is our goal, the prophet is our ideal, the Qur'an is our constitution, jihad is our way, and death for the sake of Allah is our aspiration".

This ideology is used to justify killing Jews and infidels whoever they are and wherever they are found, from New York to Mumbai, Paris, Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Moscow, Berlin, Manchester and London; and as far away as China, Buenos Aires, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and the Philippines.

Of the familiar collusion between Iran and North Korea regarding their nuclear programs, Calvo concludes: "Their endgame plan to intimidate and paralyze America is simple." The distance from Pyongyang to Los Angeles is the same as between Tehran and New York.

Unless a forthright strategy against radical Islamic terrorism, whether by Sunni or Shia, whether from the "fertile crescent" or from the Iranian Empire, is engaged by all states and primarily by the United States, the author lays bare, World War III will soon get even worse; a war with devastating, perhaps nuclear, consequences.

Colonel Richard Kemp is a retired British Army officer who commanded British Forces in Afghanistan and headed the international terrorism intelligence team in the UK Prime Minister's office.
This article, in a slightly different form, is taken from Colonel Richard Kemp's Foreword to "The Middle East and World War III – Why No Peace?" by Michael Calvo.

Middle East Conflict: It Centers On The Fate Of Jerusalem Exactly As Foretold

How many times have we seen a similar article? Can anyone doubt the amazing accuracy and specificity of biblical prophecy? 

A prophecy: The word of the Lord concerning Israel.
The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth,and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.’
(Zechariah 12)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday continued to rail against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, cautioning that actions taken in the city could spark a future war, while also advocating a “peaceful” path.
“Jerusalem is the gate of peace and war — Trump must choose,” said Abbas, who was at a conference in the Al Azhar University in Cairo on “global support for Jerusalem.”
While warning of war, the 82-year-old Palestinian leader also reiterated several times that the only way forward for Palestinians to oppose both American and Israeli policies involved peaceful means.
“A popular and peaceful resistance is the path that will succeed and that we will continue on,” Abbas said.
In contrast with a controversial speech Abbas gave on Sunday in Ramallah, in which he bitterly attacked the US president and other American officials, and issued a series of attacks on Israel, asserting that the Jewish state was a “colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism,” the Palestinian leader in Cairo was sober and measured.
“Whenever a new American administration comes, it curses its predecessor. How can we trust this great country to act as an arbitrator between us and Israel? We can’t trust it and won’t accept it as an arbitrator,” Abbas said.
After Trump’s December 6 speech recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Abbas declared that the US could no longer serve as a peacebroker, and instituted a boycott of the Trump administration. The US president initially said his decision merely recognized the reality that Jerusalem serves as Israel’s capital and was not meant to prejudge the final borders of the city, though later he said it had taken the city “off the table.”
“We are in the midst of major challenges and in the face of a major conspiracy aimed at Jerusalem,” Abbas told a crowd of Muslims and Christian clerics at al-Azhar.
He urged Muslims and Christian worldwide to “defend” Jerusalem, and encouraged members of the two faiths to travel to Jerusalem, stressing that such visits did not constitute “normalization” with Israel.
“We need your support, for you to stand by us,” Abbas said. “No honorable Jew would accept the violations against Jerusalem,” he added, while noting that “there are a lot of honorable Jews.” The PA leader didn’t specify what these “violations” were, but in the past has used to term to mean the “Judaizing” of Jerusalem and restricting of access to the Temple Mount.
Abbas said repeatedly that Jerusalem was a city for Muslims and Christian to live in, without mentioning Jews. At the same time, he said that should Palestinians attain rule over Jerusalem, it would be a city open to all religions, especially the Abrahamic faiths, including Judaism.
“We will resort to all the options but we will not resort to terrorism and violence,” he said. “We have other means, including returning to the masses of our nation to take their role in working for the sake of Jerusalem.”

Abbas highlighted as an example of nonviolent resistance Palestinian protests in Jerusalem last July over security measures placed around the Temple Mount by Israeli police in the wake of a terror attack there.
He also said the Palestinians would go to the International Criminal Court “to defend our right.”
Abbas praised the actions of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi, who has become a Palestinian icon after appearing in a video hitting and provoking Israeli soldiers.
“She attacked and struck an armed soldier and didn’t fear. Now she sits in prison,” Abbas said of Tamimi.
During his speech, he renewed his claim that the Palestinians are the descendants of the ancient Canaanites mentioned in the Bible.
“We’ve remained here and we are not leaving our land,” Abbas said.
An Israeli TV report aired Tuesday night said Abbas had decided to give his earlier fiery address denouncing Israel and the US after Saudi officials informed him of the parameters of Trump’s peace plan, which were overwhelmingly favorable to the Jewish state.
A close associate of the PA president was summoned to Riyadh for an urgent meeting earlier this month. There, the details of Trump’s peace plan, which provides for a “state-minus,” were presented to the Palestinians for the first time, the Hadashot report said.
The plan’s main clauses were as follows: less-than-full statehood for the Palestinians, ongoing Israeli control over security matters, a permanent IDF presence in the Jordan Valley, land swaps not based on the pre-1967 lines, no settlement evacuations, and an Israeli veto regarding the final status of Jerusalem, which would be later negotiated by the parties, the report said.

Persecution In The Middle East: 'Middle East Christians On The Eve Of Destruction'

Report Details Scope of Persecution in the Cradle of Christianity

While Christianity traces its birthplace to the Middle East, that region has been arguably the most hostile area for the religion in recent years. A new report by the Christian charity group Open Doors has found that most of Israel’s neighbors, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the Palestinian territories, are among the world’s most dangerous places for Christians.
Susan Michael, U.S. director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), told JNS that “Islamic extremism originated in the Middle East and is the main cause of persecution of Christians in the world today. It is a dangerous and violent ideology that must be stopped.”
Egypt’s embattled Christian minority, which comprises roughly 10 percent of the country’s population and stands as the largest Christian community in the region, has been the frequent target of Islamic terrorism. Coptic churches in Alexandria and Tanta were struck by suicide bombers last April, killing 45 people on Palm Sunday. Last December, at least eight Christians were killed in a terror attack on a Coptic church south of Cairo.
According to the Open Doors report, Egyptian Christians suffer in “various ways” such as pressure on Christian converts to return to Islam, severe restrictions on building places of worship and congregating, and violence.
“Egyptian Christians have had significant attacks and pressure from extremist elements seeking to impose sharia standards on minority faiths, as well as from ISIS factions that want to use Christians as a useful target to undermine the Egyptian government and economy,” David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, told JNS. He added that the report “shows that people who want to make a decision to explore or practice the Christian faith face great cultural pressure, if not violence.”
Adel Guindy, the former president of Coptic Solidarity, a U.S.-based human rights organization that promotes equality for Coptic Christians in Egypt, told JNS that the situation for the Copts has worsened considerably under President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi—despite his rhetoric in support of Christians and against radical Islam—and has reached “an all-time high.”

“El-Sisi is quick to blame it on ‘external forces,’ [but] it is in fact homegrown. It’s a direct result of a permeating hate culture that dominates the entire public space,” Guindy said.

The rest of the Middle East

Elsewhere, the Open Doors report noted that Christian converts in Jordan face “a great deal of persecution, Christians in the Palestinian territories (Gaza Strip and West Bank) are “caught in the middle of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” and that “Islamic militant groups are the clear threat” to Syrian Christians.
“The persecution of Christians in Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian territories does not necessarily come from their governments, but from their populations who have been indoctrinated with Islamic theological teachings that are hostile to non-Muslims. It will take a significant amount of years of intentional education to change that attitude,” said ICEJ’s Michael.
The report identified North Korea as the country where Christians face the highest level of discrimination, followed by Afghanistan and Somalia. More than 3,000 Christians were killed worldwide due to their faith last year.
Other Middle Eastern and North African countries that were ranked among the top 10 most dangerous places for Christians were Libya, Iraq, Iran and Yemen.
“Whether in North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, the Palestinian territories or elsewhere, the persecution of Christians has reached near-epidemic levels,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. “We urge world leaders and international organizations like the U.N. to bring this crisis to the top of their collective agenda and seek to protect endangered Christian minorities and all people of faith.”
The persecution of Christians in Muslim-majority countries presents a stark contrast to the world’s only Jewish state, where the Christian population has steadily increased in recent years to about 170,000, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. Israeli Christians enjoy freedom of worship, and even regularly outperform their Jewish and Muslim counterparts in high school matriculation exams.
“The Arab-Christian minority in Israel is a minority within a minority and faces some challenges, but they are citizens of a democracy that protects their freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” Michael said. “This is in such contrast to the Muslim countries around them, where Christians and their places of worship are regularly attacked. There is a growing number of Christians voluntarily serving in the Israel Defense Forces in order to protect their country and their freedoms from the forces of Islamic militants wanting to destroy Israel.”

The future for Mideast Christians
Guindy said that recent trends “make it difficult to predict” whether Mideast Christians can survive “the current tsunami” of persecution.
“The picture is rather gloomy, and the fact that Christians’ presence in the Middle East has shrunk from one-fifth of the population a century ago to barely 3 percent today speaks volumes….Islamistpressure, coupled with the West’s lack of action beyond hollow words of sympathy, make it difficult to be realistically optimistic,” he said.

Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the Palestinian territories are amongst the most dangerous places on earth for Christians, according to a new report.

Although Christians claim the area as their Biblical heartland alongside Israel, persecution and discrimination, especially in the past 15 years, means they now constitute no more than three to four per cent per cent of the region’s population, down from 20 per cent a century ago.
Hard-line Islamic views and state-sanctioned “religio-ethnic cleansing”are the key drivers behind the Christian genocide.
Just 12 months ago, the Islamic State branch that operates in and around Egypt designated the northern African country’s Christian minority their “favorite prey” in a 20-minute propaganda video.
#ISIS pledges to kill all Christians in #Egypt new propaganda video.#Christian#Jesus #Church #Copts
— Chris Tomson (@TheDaneChris) February 19, 2017
Now the latest report released by the British Christian charity group Open Doors, an organization that monitors ill-treated Christians worldwide, reveals Egyptian Christians in particular are found to suffer in “various ways” such as pressure to convert to Islam, severe restrictions on building places of worship and congregating, and outright violence.
Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, which comprises roughly 10 percent of the country’s population, has been the frequent target of Islamic terrorism with Coptic churches in Alexandria and Tanta both struck by suicide bombers last April, killing 49 and leaving more than 100 injured on Palm Sunday.
Last December, a squad of terrorist gunmen attacked the Mar Mina church in southern Cairo, killing between eight and ten people and wounding at least five more.
“Christians in Egypt face a barrage of discrimination and intimidation yet they refuse to give up their faith. It is hard for us…to imagine being defined by our religion every single day in every sphere of life,” Open Doors UK and Ireland CEO Lisa Pearce said in a statement.
“In Egypt, as in many other Middle Eastern countries, your religion is stated on your identity card,” she said. “This makes discrimination and persecution easy — you are overlooked for jobs, planning permits are hard to obtain and you are a target when you go to church.”
Overall, North Korea stands at the top of a list of 50 countries where at least 215 million Christians faced the most severe persecution in 2017, resulting in 3,066 deaths and 1,020 rapes mainly targeting women.
The Open Doors report follows previous warnings that Christians in the Middle East are teetering on the eve of destruction.
In 2015 a report titled Persecuted & Forgotten?, disturbing data outlined the plunging numbers of Christians in the part of the world that gave birth to the faith and made a dire prediction of what the future holds. As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, the alarming rate of decline in the Biblical heartlands means Christianity could vanish in areas it has called home for millennia unless the world steps in.
To that end,  Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orb├ín has previously urged EU leaders to protect Christianity in the Middle East, or risk its destruction.
He said his country was taking the lead on extending aid to Christian minorities, and, in particular, on supporting programmes to help them return to their homelands in safety.

De-Escalation Zones In Syria Derailed - New Reality For Israel

Fading Trump-Putin trust derails de-escalation zones on Syria’s borders with Israel, Jordan

Washington’s decision to keep US bases in northern Syria, secured by a new 30,000-strong local force, drew a strong threat from Moscow. Col. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, chairman of the Russian State Duma Defense Committee, said, “The practices of the United States, which is leading an international coalition allegedly against Daesh, contradict the Russian interests in Syria. Russia will work in cooperation with its partners to take necessary procedures to establish stability in Syria,” he was quoted as saying by Novosti news agency on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “There is a fear that they are pursuing a policy to cut Syria into several pieces.” On the same day, a delegation of Syrian rebel chiefs arrived in Washington to try and persuade the Americans to restore aid. The US administration suspended that aid program seven months ago, immediately after Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin talked at the July 2017 G20 summit in Munich. It was then that they agreed to establish a series of de-escalations zones in Syria to wind down the warfare, with special focus on its border regions with Israel and Jordan.

However, when in recent weeks, Trump found the Russians opening the door for Iran to deepen its military presence in Syria, he lost faith in his deal with Putin. The Syrian rebels sensed an opportunity at hand to bid for the resumption of US arms and aid. A Free Syrian Army (FSA) delegation accordingly landed in Washington this week and openly solicited the CIA to go back to its former training and aid programs.

It may be assumed that FSA chiefs had received some sign from the Trump administration that their journey was worthwhile. They may also have understood that, if Washington was willing to set up a new army in northern Syria, dominated by the Kurdish YPG militia, it would be equally amenable to reconstituting the FSA for operating on other fronts, especially against the advancing Syrian government army and its Iranian and Hizballah allies.

In a word, the situation is a far cry from Putin’s assertion at the Russian Khmeimim air base near Latakia on Dec. 11, that the war was ending with a Russian victory.  Instead of being over, the war has switched to a new stage.

In further reference to the new US plans for northern Syria, Lavrov said on Monday: “What it would mean is that vast swaths of territory along the borders of Turkey and Iraq to the east of the Euphrates River would be isolated.” He complained: “There is nothing in the UN Security Council resolutions that have been pointing to that and neither is it in our previous agreements, so we are expecting some clarification from the US.”

But the Trump administration is now busy translating its decisions into actions on the ground in Syria and has no time for diplomatic wrangling. The de-escalation zones agreed by the two leaders seven months ago are dissipating, under the pressures of Russian-Iranian movements, US counter moves and Moscow’s threats. It is now up to Israel to adapt to the new reality that Syrian border zones are no longer secure.