Missile-Manufacturing Firms in Syria Are Built by Iran - Adam Kredo (Washington Free Beacon)
Iranian military leaders admitted this week to building and operating missile-manufacturing plants in Syria.
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Aerospace Commander Haji Zadeh said, "A country such as Syria which used to sell us arms, was later on to buy our missiles. Right now the missile-manufacturing firms in Syria are built by Iran."
Reception for Palestinian President in Turkey Mocked as Ottoman Circus (Al-Masry Al-Youm-Egypt)
Turkish President Erdogan received Palestinian President Abbas in the new $800 million presidential palace in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Monday.
The guards were dressed in uniforms that symbolized the 16 eras of Turkish soldiers from the Mongols to the Ottomans, with swords, daggers and traditional helmets and shields.
The exotic ceremony evoked mockery in the Turkish media as an Ottoman circus.
CNN said that the Justice and Development Party, founded by Erdogan in 2002, follows the Islamic heritage of the Ottoman Empire where the sultans considered themselves rulers of the whole Muslim world.
Poll: British Jews Fear Future in Europe (AFP)
45% of British Jews fear they have no long-term future in Britain and 58% were concerned they have no long-term future in Europe, according to a survey published Wednesday by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA).
A quarter of those surveyed said they had considered leaving Britain in the past two years.
The CAA said 2014 saw the most anti-Semitic incidents recorded by police since records began 30 years ago.
Safety of the Jews in France - Gwen Ifill intereviews Jeffrey Goldberg (PBS)
Jeffrey Goldberg: "I talked recently to the prime minister of France, Manuel Valls....[He made the point] that things that start with the Jews never end with the Jews. In other words, it's that old formula. First, they came for the Jews, and I wasn't a Jew, so I didn't say anything. But, in this case, they came for the cartoonists in the middle of the week and by the end of the week they were coming back for the Jews."
"I didn't meet anyone who felt like the situation was under control."
Egypt's Sisi Scores Early Success with Smart Cards for Bread Subsidies - Maggie Fick (Reuters)
The successful roll-out of a new "smart card" system to distribute subsidized bread has been a major achievement for Egypt's government, saving money while earning praise from families who no longer have to wake early to fight for loaves.
Under the new system, families are issued plastic cards allowing them to buy five loaves per family member per day. Buyers no longer have to queue.
Bakeries are paid for the subsidized loaves they sell, rather than being given a fixed allotment of cheap flour, making it harder to siphon off flour to sell on the black market - and there is bread for all.
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- France: Terror Funding, Attack Weapons Came from Abroad - Lori Hinnant and Angela Charlton
French police said as many as six members of the terrorist cell that carried out the Paris attacks may still be at large. Several people are being sought in connection with the "substantial" financing of the three gunmen, said Christophe Crepin, a French police union official. The gunmen's weapons stockpile came from abroad, and the size of it, plus the military sophistication of the attacks, indicated an organized terror network, he added.
"This cell did not include just those three. We think with all seriousness that they had accomplices, because of the weaponry, the logistics and the costs of it," Crepin said. "These are heavy weapons. When I talk about things like a rocket launcher - it's not like buying a baguette on the corner. It's for targeted acts." (AP-ABC News)
See also French Parliament Votes 488-1 to Extend Airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq (AFP)
- U.S. Worried by "Rising Tide" of European Anti-Semitism
"The violent assault on the Jewish community in France...was the latest in a series of very troubling incidents in Europe and around the world that reflect a rising tide of anti-Semitism," White House chief of staff Denis McDonough told the American Jewish Committee in Washington on Tuesday.
"On behalf of the president, I am here to affirm our nation's solidarity with the French people and the Jewish community in France, and around the world, to condemn in the strongest possible terms the violent attacks of last week." (AFP-GlobalPost)
- Turkish President Accuses the West of Being Behind Paris Attacks - Sara Malm
Turkish President Erdogan on Monday suggested French security forces are to blame for the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last week, since the culprits had recently served prison sentences. He added,
"French citizens carry out such a massacre, and Muslims pay the price....Games are being played with the Islamic world, we need to be aware of this."
"As Muslims, we've never taken part in terrorist massacres. Behind these lie racism, hate-speech and Islamophobia."
Erdogan also denounced Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for attending a solidarity rally in France on Sunday with other world leaders. The Mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, told the Financial Times he was convinced the Israeli intelligence service Mossad was behind the attacks.
See also Turkey Says It Helped Hamas Become "Mainstream" (Hurriyet-Turkey)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Prime Minister Netanyahu at Funerals of Paris Terror Victims: Time to Eliminate Radical Islamic Terrorist Groups
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday in Jerusalem:
On this day, when four new graves have been dug in the soil of Jerusalem, the entire State of Israel embraces you with love. Four people who, like the victims from Toulouse who are buried here, were murdered only because they were Jewish. The radical Islamic terrorist organizations are the enemies of all humanity, and the time has come for all civilized people to unite and eliminate them from our midst.
I returned from Paris yesterday. I marched with leaders who came from all over the world. I think that most of them understand, or are beginning to, that radical Islamist terrorism is a real and present danger to the peace of the world we live in.
(Prime Minister's Office)
See also President Rivlin at Funerals of Paris Terror Victims: We Wanted You to Come Home Alive
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said Tuesday in Jerusalem:
Yoav, Yohan, Philippe, Francois-Michel, this is not how we wanted to welcome you to Israel. We wanted you alive. At moments such as these, I stand before you, brokenhearted, shaken and in pain, and with me stands an entire nation.
We promise that we will continue to fight for your right to live as Jews - wherever you may be. Here, between Jerusalem's mountains, we lay to rest our brothers who have come from afar, our brothers, sons of France, but also sons of Jerusalem.
- Saudi Arabia Provides $60M for PA as Financial Aid Plummets
The Saudi Fund for Development has transferred $60 million to the Palestinian Finance Ministry, said Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Egypt Ahmad Abdulaziz Qattan.
The Palestinian government received $243 million in financial aid over the first four months of 2014, compared to $1.49 billion over the same period in 2013.
- Israeli Court Rejects Appeal of Six Shalit Deal Palestinian Prisoners from Jerusalem
An Israeli court in Nazareth on Wednesday rejected an appeal on behalf of six Jerusalem-area Palestinian prisoners who were rearrested in June 2014 after they had been freed in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap in 2011. Israel said the men had violated the terms of the deal upon which they were freed. As a result, they will complete the original lifetime sentences they were serving.
- The International Jihadist Movement Has Declared War - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
The international jihadist movement has declared war. They have declared war on anybody who does not think and act exactly how they would think and act, they have declared war and are executing it on a massive scale, on a whole range of countries with which they are in contact, and they have declared war on any country like ourselves that values freedom, openness, and tolerance. We may not like this and wish it would go away, but it is not going to go away.
And the reality is we're going to have to confront it. Obviously that is what we're doing in concert with our allies, dealing with the very worst manifestation of this, the jihadist army that is occupying parts of Syria and Iraq. This is going to be, unfortunately, the reality of the world we are living in for quite some time. We're just going to have to face that head on and deal with it. That is what our government is committed to do.
(Brian Lilley-Sun News-Canada)
- France: A Watershed Moment in the Western Battle against Islamic Extremism? - David Horovitz
However improbable this may sound, it seems clear that French President Francois Hollande did not want the prime minister of the world's only Jewish state to attend a rally organized in at least partial solidarity with a Jewish community that had just seen four of its members gunned down. Hollande feared that Netanyahu's presence would shift focus from solidarity with France to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and wider Jewish-Muslim relations.
Now that the marchers have all gone home, what are the French actually going to do about the mounting challenge of Islamist terrorism? Does anybody seriously believe, for instance, that France is about to launch a crackdown on Islamist groupings at its higher-education institutions, or devote serious resources to investigating potential incitement at local mosques? Are France and the rest of Europe about to introduce passenger profiling at EU entry points, the way Israel does? Is the EU set to sanction Turkey for facilitating the flow of radicalized European Muslims to and from the Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq?
Do the last few days of Islamist murder in France constitute a watershed moment in the Western battle against Islamic extremism? I fear not. (Times of Israel)
- The Terror Attacks in Paris: A Passing Episode? - Yoram Schweitzer and Oded Eran
The shock that has gripped France will probably wane as time passes, as will the urgency assigned to effective handling of the danger originating on the battlefields of Syria and Iraq that threatens Western democracies. The need to take up the challenge will be postponed to a time when the leaders of Western countries have no choice but to deal with it directly, on a broad scale, and perhaps violently. Presumably only a chain of exceptional events, i.e., showcase terrorist attacks that cause a large number of victims, will unequivocally highlight the risk incurred in not stepping up the military struggle against the challenge to the West posed by the Islamic State. (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)
Ya'alon: We Want the Palestinians to Act as a Responsible Neighbor - Mazal Mualem (Al-Monitor)
- Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said in an interview: "What currently exists between Hamas and us is a balance of deterrence....It will take them a long time to rebuild Gaza and be able to engage in military terrorism again. I hope they learned their lesson, because the blow that Hamas incurred is unlike anything that ever happened to them in the past. Some 30,000 buildings collapsed. Don't people understand what that means? Hamas was armed with 10,000 rockets, and now they have just one-fifth of that."
- "For the past six years, we...have been saying clearly that we do not want to rule over [the Palestinians]....I would like to see them living in economic comfort and security, in a governable structure. I want them as a responsible neighbor. I can live with that. All I want is for them not to bother me....Over the past six years we have reached out to [Mahmoud Abbas] several times, but our reached-out hands remained hanging in the air."
- "We are being threatened with a diplomatic tsunami, but that is an exaggeration. What kind of isolation are they talking about? We have excellent security relationships with various countries in Europe, Asia, and other places, which are interested in having relations with us."
- "One thing that has become accepted around the world is that there is no peace because of the settlements. I ask, if there is a desire for peace and coexistence, why must people be uprooted from their homes and transferred? I do not deny the rights of Arabs to live anywhere in the State of Israel, so why are there areas which are off-limits to Jews? Why is that acceptable? When Abbas says that he wants to receive territories clean of Jews - that is ethnic cleansing. It is even racist."
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