This comes from Joel Rosenberg:
Even as President Obama and his team are preparing a major tour through Israel and the Middle East next month, two Israeli leaders today significantly ratched up the prospect of an Israeli military strike by this summer. Is it a bluff, or is Jerusalem running out of patience?“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented Wednesday on the nuclear negotiations between the West and Iran, saying that the six powers should clarify to Tehran that if it continues to pursue its nuclear program it would face ‘military sanctions,’” reports Ynet News in Israel. “As the talks drew to their end, Netanyahu said that if Iran’s refusal persists, ‘There are other means of compelling Iran to adhere to the international community’s demands.’”
“Netanyahu said that it was unlikely that the Islamic Republic would capitulate to the West’s demands, and curb its nuclear endeavors,” noted Ynet. “‘Just like North Korea, (Iran) continues to flout all international standards,’ Netanyahu said, adding that the international community should also toughen the financial sanctions imposed on the ayatollah’s regime. As the nuclear talks in Kazakhstan drew to an end Wednesday, Iran’s chief negotiator Said Jalili told reporters that the negotiations were ‘positive’ and that the offers made by the P5+1 group of nations’ delegates were ‘more realistic than those presented in the past and made an effort to approach the positions of Iran.’ According to Iran’s Press TV, the next round of talks between Tehran and the six powers – Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany – will be held in April.”
The Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. is echoing Netanyahu’s message today.
“I think there’s time, but there’s not much time” for sanctions to work, Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren told USA Today. “There’s a window for diplomacy, but the window is closing….We know that given the centrifuges that they have now, they will pass a red line. That’s the point where we will no longer be able to prevent them from making a nuclear weapon, and that line is coming up in the summer. If they install the next generation of centrifuges — and they’re installing them right now — (and) if those centrifuges begin to spin, then the time will be even shorter.”
Four Israeli Air Force fighter jets crossed into Lebanese airspace Thursday, the Lebanese National News Agency reported. According to the report, the planes flew over the villages of Arqoub, Hasbaya, and West Bekaa at a medium altitude.
The news agency also claimed that Israeli troops and armored vehicles had massed along the Lebanese border, near the Shebaa farms.
There was no Israeli confirmation of the reports.
Israel has warned that it will intervene militarily if it fears Syrian non-conventional weapons are being transferred, or about to be transferred, to Hezbollah forces in Lebanon or other rogue forces.
Earlier this month, Israeli Air Force jets reportedly carried out a series of mock raids over southern Lebanon, flying low over the towns of Nabatiyeh, Iqlim al-Tuffah and Marjayoun.
The fighter planes also reportedly flew over the Litani River, a natural barrier that marked the northern lines of the IDF presence in Lebanon before Israel’s 2000 withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comparison of Zionism to Nazism, calling it a “dark and slanderous remark, the likes of which we thought had passed from the world.”
The Foreign Ministry issued a statement regarding Erdogan’s “hollow” remarks as well, charging that they “stem from ignorance.”
Erdogan on Wednesday described Zionism as a “crime against humanity” on par with anti-Semitism and fascism.
Speaking in Vienna at a United Nations event devoted to dialogue between the West and Islam, Erdogan decried rising racism in Europe and the fact that many Muslims “who live in countries other than their own” often face harsh discrimination.
“We should be striving to better understand the culture and beliefs of others, but instead we see that people act based on prejudice and exclude others and despise them,” Erdogan said, according to a simultaneous translation provided by the UN. “And that is why it is necessary that we must consider — just like Zionism or anti-Semitism or fascism — Islamophobia as a crime against humanity.”
The Turkish leader’s comments, made at the official opening of the fifth UN Alliance of Civilizations Global Forum, drew harsh criticism from UN Watch, a Geneva-based watchdog group monitoring anti-Israel bias and human rights abuses at the organization.
“Erdogan’s misuse of this global podium to incite hatred, and his resort to Ahmadinejad-style pronouncements appealing to the lowest common denominator in the Muslim world, will only strengthen the belief that his government is hewing to a confrontational stance, and fundamentally unwilling to end its four-year-old feud with Israel,” UN Watch said in a statement.
Erdogan was also criticized by the Anti-Defamation League and B’nai B’rith International.
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