Egypt’s Power Players.
On February. 3, military police in their characteristic red berets raided the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, an
Egyptian human rights organization.
The military men leading the operation didn't act neutral. In Egypt, the
military is not a profession; it is a ruling caste (L A Times)
Egypt's Khomeini - Lee Smith
Here is Yussuf al-Qaradawi, the Qatar-based Muslim Brotherhood preacher speaking about the Holocaust
on January 30, 2009:
"Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish
them for their corruption.
The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did
to them - even though they exaggerated this issue - he managed to put them in their place.
This was divine
punishment for them.
Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers." (Tablet)
No Room at Table for Muslim Brotherhood - Jeff Jacoby
If Egypt is to have any hope of a transition to a genuine constitutional democracy, the Muslim Brotherhood
must not be treated as a legitimate democratic partner.
Its credo could hardly be more explicit, or more
antidemocratic: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Koran is our law. Jihad is our way.
Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope."
This week, senior Brotherhood figure Kamal al-Halbavi
said his wish for Egypt is "a good government like the Iranian government, and a good president like Mr.
Ahmadinejad, who is very brave." (Boston Globe)
U.S. Sanctions Lebanese Bank for Aiding Hizbullah - Evan Perez (Wall Street Journal)
The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday February 10, ordered sanctions against the Lebanese Canadian
Bank SAL, that helped drug traffickers launder money and finance the Lebanese group Hizbullah
Egypt Takes Aim at Al-Jazeera for Protest Coverage - Ryan Lucas (AP-Washington Post)
The Egyptian government has made clear it believes a chief culprit stoking the anti-government protests is
pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera.
Authorities have banned its Arabic and English language channels from
broadcasting and revoked the press credentials of all of its journalists.
Pro-government thugs set the Qatar-
based network's Cairo offices ablaze last week, along with the equipment inside.
The Intellectual Assault on Israel and Pro-Israel Advocacy: How the American Jewish Community
Should React - Steven Bayme (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs-American Jewish Committee)
Notwithstanding the visibility of intellectual assaults on Israel's legitimacy and American support for Israel,
American public opinion remains overwhelmingly pro-Israel as it has been consistently since 1948.
far, candidates running for office remain quick to demonstrate their pro-Israel credentials.
The City of David - Jennifer Rubin
Today I learned that the "Old City of Jerusalem" is not what really is old. Below a parking lot outside the
walls of the "Old City" (contained within a wall that is a mere 450 years old) is the most magnificent excavation
site in Israel.
We see the homes from which the Jews were expelled to Babylon, and then we traverse back
to 1000 BCE, to the city King David captured.
Our guide from the Ir David Foundation has a Bible in hand.
Here the Bible is the archaeologists' guide.
Within the same site they found two seals identifying two figures
described in the Book of Jeremiah.
You are standing in the palace of David, verifiable with Phoenician
designs. And then you descend further through the underground water system that supplied the City of
David with water and through which David and his army, in a commando-style raid, seized the city from the
Jebusites. And there, on the spot covering the spring, as described precisely beginning in Kings 1:1, is the spot
where Solomon was anointed king. And down you go to the spring, the existence of which fixed Jerusalem's
location. The Bible is a sort of message in the bottle to the future to tell us that yes, the Jews were here in this
spot, at that time. And mind you all of the City of David is in what the Palestinians would claim as their capital.
It's more than a religious and historical site of immense meaning.
It is the answer to those who would have us
believe Jews lack a verifiable claim to land dating back 3000 years and beyond.
In contrast to what Obama
lectured us from Cairo at the beginning of his term, Israel is not merely recompense for the Holocaust. It is the
ancestral home of the Jewish people. And if you doubt it, spend a morning in the City of David. (Washington
Report: Malware Aimed at Iran Hit Five Sites - John Markoff (New York Times)
The Stuxnet software worm repeatedly sought to infect five industrial facilities in Iran over a 10-month period,
according to a report released Friday by Symantec, a computer security software firm.
Liam Murchu, a
security researcher at the firm, said his team was able to chart the path of the infection because Stuxnet recorded
the location and type of each computer it infected.
Such information would allow the authors of Stuxnet to
determine if they had successfully reached their intended target.
Turkish Regime Sees Egypt Revolution as Opportunity for Repression, Islamism – B. Rubin (Rubin Report)
While all eyes are on Egypt, the Turkish government has pressed for more Islamization in Turkey and the
strengthening of the Muslim Brotherhood there.
Now it has arrested 162 more military officers on trumped-
up charges as part of its long-term campaign to subordinate the army.
Dutch Parliament Affirms Israel as Jewish State - Benjamin Weinthal (Jerusalem Post)
113 of the 150 members of the Dutch parliament voted earlier this month to affirm Israel's existence as a Jewish,
democratic state and to urge the EU not to recognize a unilaterally-declared Palestinian state.
Egypt Reportedly Losing Control of Sinai to Bedouin - Yaakov Katz (Jerusalem Post)
Concern is mounting in Israel over reports that the Egyptian police force has abandoned the Sinai Peninsula in
face of growing Bedouin violence, and that the territory will turn into a breeding ground for global jihad.
U.S. Vows to Oppose UN Resolution on Israel
The U.S. will use "the tools that we have" to block a resolution condemning Israeli settlements, Deputy
Secretary of State James Steinberg told the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday
"We have made very clear that we do not think the Security Council is the right place to
engage on these issues," he said.
Steinberg also told the lawmakers that Washington was making a vigorous
diplomatic campaign to stop countries from declaring their recognition of an independent Palestinian state, as
several Latin American nations have done.
U.S. Says Won't Let Mideast Change Threaten Israel
Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg told lawmakers that the U.S. is committed to ensuring that political
changes in the Middle East, including unrest in Egypt, do not threaten Israel.
Gantz takes over command of the IDF
Lt. General Benny Gantz was sworn in as the Israel Defense Forces 20th chief of staff on Monday February
14, at the Kirya military center in Tel Aviv after being promoted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
Defense Minister Ehud Barak and officially taking command of the IDF at an earlier ceremony in Jerusalem.
Russian UN Ambassador proposes Security Council visit to Middle East
Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin announced on Tuesday February 8, that he has proposed a visit
to the Middle East by the UN Security Council in an effort to kick start negotiations between Israel and the
Palestinian Authority, the first such trip since 1979.
Jordan: King's Bodyguards Shoot Protesters - Mudar Zahran (Hudson Institute-New York)
A visit by King Abdullah of Jordan to Al-Hashemiyah University in the rural area of Mafraq turned violent
Sunday February 13, when his bodyguards opened fire on protesters, injuring at least four
From Tunis to Cairo to Riyadh? - Karen Elliott House (Wall Street Journal)
The Saudi royal family increasingly is seen by its subjects as profligate, corrupt and unable to deliver efficient
Iran Sees Biggest Protests in a Year - Thomas Erdbrink and Liz Sly
In Tehran on Monday February 14, large crowds of protesters defied tear gas to march down a major
thoroughfare, chanting "Death to the dictator," in the biggest demonstration in the Iranian capital since the
government effectively crushed the opposition movement in December 2009.
Protesters in Libya Demand Gaddafi Ouster and Reforms - Maggie Michael (AP-Washington Post)
Unrest in Libya spread on Wednesday February 16, with riot police clashing with protesters in Benghazi, and
marchers setting fire to security headquarters and police stations in two other cities, witnesses said.
using Facebook and Twitter have called for nationwide demonstrations Thursday to demand the ouster of
longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi who came to power in 1969 through a military coup. More than 100 have
been killed by February 20,and many more injured by fre from helicopter gunships and sniper fire.
Iranian Warships Bound for Syria Are Set to Transit Suez Canal - Ethan Bronner
Israel warned on Wednesday February 16, that two Iranian warships were poised to pass through the Suez Canal
en route to Syria.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, "Israel is closely monitoring the movement of the
Iranian ships and has updated friendly states on the issue." (New York Times)
U.S. Spies: Iran Split on Nuclear Program - Adam Entous
A new classified U.S. intelligence assessment concludes that Iran's leaders are locked in an increasingly heated
debate over whether to move further toward developing nuclear weapons, saying the bite of international
sanctions may be sowing discord.
Hizbullah Threatens to Conquer Northern Israel in Future War
Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday February 16, called on his fighters to stand ready
to occupy the Galilee area in northern Israel in the event of another war.
PM Netanyahu told Nasrallah it
won’t ever happen and to stay in his bunker!
Israeli Economy Booms in Fourth Quarter - Adrian Filut
In spite of many attempts to marginalize Israel in many ways, Israel's GDP rose at an unprecedented pace of
7.8%, on an annualized, seasonally adjusted basis, in the fourth quarter of 2010, the Central Bureau of Statistics
reported Wednesday. February 16. Such a performance is NOT being achieved by leading nations! (Globes)
The Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood - Chris Luenen
While the Muslim Brotherhood is mainly known as an Egyptian Islamist opposition party, the Brotherhood has
become a truly international force with over 70 branches worldwide and an international coordinating body
known as the tanzim al-dawli.
It has access to large funds through obligatory contributions from its members,
from rich private donors mainly from the oil-rich Gulf states as well as from its vast business ventures.
The Brotherhood has given rise to almost all jihadi groups past and present, including al-Qaeda, Al-Gama'a al-
Islamiyya, al-Jihad, Hamas, and the ultra-radical Takfir wal-Hijra. (National Interest)
Outsiders Assist in Bahrain Crackdown - Janine Zacharia (Washington Post)
Bahrain has witnessed a crackdown by a police force heavily composed of foreign nationals and controlled by
a widely despised prime minister, as the country's Shiite majority, dissatisfied over their place in a Sunni-
led monarchy, followed the mood of protest in other Arab countries and pushed for reform.
security forces, including riot police, are filled with Pakistanis and other foreign-born troops and officers
Golan Heights - Beautiful and Strategic - David Abel (Boston Globe)
The Golan Heights was a battleground for years between Syria and Israel, which seized the strategic highlands
during the Six-Day War in 1967 and parried a Syrian effort to retake the area in 1973.
Over the last three
decades, this windswept territory of 500 square miles has been transformed into a breadbasket of Israel, giving
rise to kumquat and apple groves, spicy cabernets and tangy olive oil, sweet milk chocolate and dainty pastries.
There are now artist colonies and multimillion-dollar industries, hot springs and ski slopes.
U.S. Tries to Head Off UN Vote Against Israeli Settlements - David E. Sanger
The Obama administration was trying to head off a vote in the UN Security Council on Friday February 18, that
would declare Israel's settlement construction in the West Bank illegal . President Obama called PA President
Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday in an effort to delay the vote or offer a compromise. His request was rejected
(New York Times)
Congressional Leaders Urge U.S. Veto - Bridget Johnson
Ho use Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) put out a
joint statement Thursday February 17, saying: "The Palestinian leadership's decision to reject the difficult but
vital responsibility of making peace with Israel through direct negotiations, and instead to advocate for anti-
Israel measures by the United Nations Security Council, is counterproductive and unacceptable."
of negotiating directly with Israel to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict, Palestinian leaders continue to
seek to circumvent the negotiating process by advocating anti-Israel measures at the UN Security Council, UN
General Assembly, and UN Human Rights Council.
The U.S. should not condone or reward this behavior by
supporting their resolutions.
We strongly urge the Administration to veto this resolution and to uphold our
longstanding commitment to Israel's security." (The Hill)
Muslim Brotherhood Role Rising in Egypt - Sherine El Madany and Patrick Werr
The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood is playing an increasingly important role in preparing for post-Mubarak elect
ions promised within six months. The Brotherhood has a member on the committee redrafting the constitution,
is on a council set up by activists to protect the revolution, and has said it will set up as a political party as soon
as laws are changed to let it do so. Egypt is now ruled under military law, something which the masses did not
expect and which does not fit in with the idea of democratic reform
Abbas' Intifada: Isolating Israel and Unilateral Steps - Khaled Abu Toameh
Palestinian President Abbas has reached the same conclusion as his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, that he will
not get all of what he wants from Israel at the negotiating table, so he has instead decided to take the battle
to the international arena.
To convince the U.S. and the Europeans to support their unilateral declaration
of statehood, Abbas and Fayyad have chosen to embarrass and isolate Israel through a diplomatic uprising,
designed to force Israel to submit to all Palestinian demands. But still the Israeli GDP rises above all others.
Israeli Legal Eagle Gets Her Talons into Terrorist Groups - Barney Zwartz
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner says her Israel Law Center has collected $120 million for victims of terrorism, put liens
on $600 million more, and won judgments for more than $1 billion against such groups as Hamas, Hizbullah,
the governments of Iran and North Korea, and banks that service terrorists. ''We go after the funds of terrorist
groups, taking away their oxygen. If you stop the flow of money you can stop the flow of terrorism,'' she says.
Knesset passes bill to penalize renegade MKs
The so called Bishara bill, which will allow the Knesset to deny the salary, pension payments or any additional
payments given to former MKs who fail to report for questioning when summoned by the police, was passed by
the Knesset on Monday February 13, over fierce opposition from Arab lawmakers who condemned it as "racist."
The bill came into being after it was found that the former MK Azmi Bishara received all the benefits of a
former MK while he at the same time had failed to report to legal proceedings including investigation, trial
or sentencing. It also affects those who encourage foreign governments or entities to engage in boycott,
divestment and sanctions campaign against the Jewish State
Violence and uncertainty persist on the Gaza Border
An IDF patrol near the border with Hamas controlled Gaza shot three suspected infiltrators on Thursday
February 17, after they approached the fence and failed to heed warnings to halt. Palestinian sources said all
three men were killed, while no terrorist groups have claimed them as their own
Palestinians proceed with plan to put settlements to UNSC vote
Over strong objections from the US, the Palestinian Authority appeared poised to present a resolution
condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank for a vote before the UN Security Council Friday afternoon
February 18. An emergency meeting of PLO and Fatah leaders was called by PA President Mahmoud Abbas
on Friday morning February 18, following a lengthy phone call with US President Barak Obama.
to PA sources, Obama told Abbas that the US would use its Security Council veto to cancel the resolution to
avoid placing a further strain on efforts to re-establish negotiations between the PA and Israel.
Policy magazine reported on Thursday that the PA and Lebanon, which holds a rotating seat on the Security
Council, rejected an offer to accept a US sponsored statement that the UNSC "does not accept the legitimacy of
continued Israeli settlement activity," if the proposed resolution is withdrawn.
Republican congressmen want to assist Israel
Among 87 incoming Republican freshmen in the US House of Representatives, the majority (65) have signed
a letter committing to current levels of defense assistance to Israel.
The letter reads in part
faces threats from escalating instability in Egypt, Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, Hamas terrorists in Gaza
and the existential danger posed by Iran's nuclear program, full US security assistance to Israel, including
supporting Israel's acquisition of the Iron Dome defense system, has never been more important for our own
national security interests."