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May 13, 2016

In-Depth Issues:

U.S. Establishes Libyan Outposts with Eye toward Offensive Against Islamic State - Missy Ryan (Washington Post)
    American Special Operations troops have been stationed at two outposts in eastern and western Libya since late 2015, lining up local partners in advance of a possible offensive against the Islamic State, U.S. officials said.
    The insertion of U.S. personnel reflects the Obama administration's worries about the Islamic State's Libyan branch, which has several thousand fighters in the coastal city of Sirte and other areas.
    The activities of the American "contact team" take place in parallel to those of allied forces from France and other European nations in the same areas.

With Israel's Okay, Palestinian Police Step Up Operations near Jerusalem - Avi Issacharoff (Times of Israel)
    The Palestinian Authority police, in cooperation with Israel, has significantly increased its operations in villages around Jerusalem in West Bank areas designated as Area B, that are formally under Palestinian civil control and Israeli security authority, Palestinian sources said this week.
    PA police are cracking down in these areas on drug dealing and car theft, and have also carried out raids on terror groups and confiscations of illegal arms.

6,000 Palestinians Arrived in Greece Last Year (AFP-Daily Mail-UK)
    More than 6,000 Palestinians last year arrived in Greece, a major migrant gateway to Europe, according to the International Organization for Migration.
    "We lost hope in the (Palestinian) Authority and Hamas and all the factions," said Mona Karaaz, a medical student at Al-Aqsa University in Gaza, who added that she was considering leaving for good.

30,000 Jews Immigrated to Israel in the Past Year - Judy Maltz (Ha'aretz)
    Since last Independence Day, 29,715 immigrants from more than 90 countries have arrived in Israel, according to the Immigrant Absorption Ministry.
    7,054 came from France, 6,880 from Russia and 6,306 from Ukraine.
    Immigration from English-speaking countries was 4,627: U.S. - 3,072, Britain - 692, Canada - 466, South Africa - 236, Australia - 153, and Ireland - 8.
    Two immigrants came from Indonesia, and one each from Cambodia, New Caledonia and Mauritius.

Video: Israel Independence Day - Amb. Danny Danon (Israel at the UN)
    Ambassadors from around the world wish Israel a Happy Independence Day!
    See also Videos: Israeli Air Force's Independence Day Flyover (Ynet News)
    See also 20 Aerial Photos of Israel on its Birthday - Israel Bardugo (Ynet News)
    See also Video: Technion's Zionist Robot Plays Hatikva (Technion-Times of Israel)
    Researchers at the Technion have built a robotic xylophone with arms that plays Hatikva, Israel's national anthem.

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France: Over 100 Arrested on Terror Charges This Year (AFP-France 24)
    France has arrested 101 people since the start of the year over "direct links to terrorism," Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Friday, six months after the Paris attacks.
    "We are doing everything we can to protect the people of France, but the threat level is still very high."
    Since 2013, 15 planned attacks have been foiled, he added.

FBI: Islamic State Brand Losing Power in U.S. - Eric Tucker (AP)
    Fewer Americans are traveling to fight alongside the Islamic State and the power of the extremist group's brand has significantly diminished in the U.S., FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday.
    "There's no doubt that something has happened that is lasting, in terms of the attractiveness of the nightmare which is the Islamic State to people from the United States," he said.
    The FBI still has "north of 1,000" cases in which agents are trying to evaluate a subject's level of radicalization and potential for violence.

In Remote Corner of Iraq, an Alliance Forms Against Islamic State - Isabel Coles (Reuters)
    Across Iraq and Syria, new groups have emerged where old powers have waned, claiming fragments of territory from Islamic State, such as an alliance between an offshoot of a leftist Kurdish organization and an Arab tribal militia in northern Iraq.
    A Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which includes Yazidis, controls a pocket of territory in Sinjar and recently formed an alliance with a Sunni Arab militia drawn from the powerful Shammar tribe.

Video: Changing Threats to Israel (Part 1) - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
    Israel is not facing standing armies from neighboring states today, but terrorist armies with missiles, tunnels and radical countries like Iran building long-range missiles.
    Video: Threats from the North (Part 2)
    Iran and Hizbullah don't hide their threats to Israel. We will oppose the establishment of terrorist bases in Syria.
    Video: The Palestinians (Part 3)
    In Gaza, the Palestinians have failed to improve their civilian infrastructure and continue to make efforts to build for war. On the West Bank, there is instability because of Abbas' age and the Palestinians' continued refusal to accept an arrangement with Israel.
    Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.

What Jargon Says about Armies and the Societies They Serve - Matti Friedman (Atlantic)
    When I was serving in the Israeli army in Lebanon, I heard a lot about "Buttercup," a radar that alerted us to incoming mortar shells, and also about the "Artichoke" night-vision system for tank gunners.
    Not much in our verbal arsenal was warlike - there was very little in the spirit of the "Hellfire" missile or the "Predator" drone.
    Our base was called Outpost Pumpkin. The artillery battery that helped us out when necessary was called Sycamore. Near us were outposts Basil, Citrus, and Red Pepper.
    In the Israeli army there is a unit sent undercover after terrorists called "Cherry." Another elite outfit is "Pomegranate."
    According to the Israeli linguist Ruvik Rosenthal, the floral euphemisms reflect the fact that while Israelis recognize the necessity of war, they don't celebrate it and would rather not think about it.
    The writer, a former journalist for AP in Jerusalem (2006-11), is the author of Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story (2016).

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Top Hizbullah Commander Badreddine Killed in Explosion
    Senior Hizbullah commander Mustafa Amine Badreddine, 55, died in an explosion near Damascus airport Tuesday, Hizbullah's Al-Mayadeen network reported. The U.S. believes Badreddine has been responsible for Hizbullah's military operations in Syria since 2011.
        Badreddine - along with three other Hizbullah members - is accused of assassinating former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in Beirut in 2005. He was a cousin and brother-in-law of Imad Mughniyeh, who was the military wing's chief until his assassination by car bomb in Damascus in 2008.
        A Hizbullah member interrogated by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) described Badreddine as "more dangerous" than Mughniyeh, who was "his teacher in terrorism." They worked together on the October 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut that killed 241 personnel. (BBC News-Ha'aretz)
        See also Meet Mustafa Badreddine, the Pyromaniac Playboy Leading Hizbullah's Fight in Syria - Alex Rowell (Daily Beast)
  • IRGC Navy Commander: Iran Sees U.S. as Only Threat
    Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi told foreign military attaches in Tehran on Wednesday, "We don't see any enemy but the Americans, and its instance is the (hostile) official remarks of U.S. officials and the trend of their actions" in the past years. Fadavi stressed that the Americans are not as powerful as in the past. "The world nations can confidently resist against U.S. bullying."
        Earlier this month, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Baqeri said six highly likely military attacks on Iran have been deterred in the last two decades due to the country's deterrence, including its missile power. (Fars-Iran)
  • America's Quiet War in Iraq - Nolan Peterson
    The aircraft parked at this military base in Kurdistan in northern Iraq offer a symbolic counterpoint to the White House narrative that U.S. forces are on the sidelines of the ground war against the Islamic State. U.S. Army medevac Blackhawk helicopters are based here, along with Army Apache attack helicopters; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft; and a variety of armed special operations aircraft from different military branches. The U.S. base is an operational hub for the U.S.-led, 66-nation coalition combating Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. U.S. and coalition personnel coordinate airstrikes to support Kurdish peshmerga forces.
        To support operations against ISIS and in Afghanistan, the U.S. is setting up new bases and refurbishing old ones across the Middle East, reflecting a reversal of White House plans to draw down U.S. forces in the region. As of the end of April, the U.S. had conducted 9,073 airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Nearly all the U.S. military aircraft were launched from bases and Navy vessels outside Iraq and Syria. According to open source data, 50,000 U.S. military personnel are deployed throughout the Middle East, including Navy personnel at sea. (National Interest)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Opposes French Plan Even If It Includes "Jewish State" Recognition - Herb Keinon
    "There are many problems with the French initiative, one of them is the lack of recognition of a Jewish state," Israel Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold said Thursday. "But even if that were changed, it wouldn't alter many fundamental problems with the French initiative....When French diplomats vote for a resolution at UNESCO that rejects the historic Jewish connection to Jerusalem, it should not come as a surprise that Israel rejects the French initiative." The French plan includes a meeting later this month in Paris to set out parameters of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, and a follow up international conference later this year.
        "It would be much easier for Abbas to come to Jerusalem to meet Prime Minister Netanyahu, rather than set up this multi-state enterprise in Paris, which I don't think gets us any closer to a negotiated solution, and in fact makes a negotiated solution more distant."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Three Israeli Arabs Indicted for Planning Terror Attack in Jerusalem
    Three Arab men from Jadeidi-Makr in the Western Galilee were charged Wednesday with plotting shooting and stabbing attacks against Israelis at various locations. At one point, the three planned to kill Israeli civilians or soldiers at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City and came to the capital armed with knives, but at the last minute became concerned a knife attack wouldn't inflict serious enough injuries. Last month, one of the three began planning a shooting attack at a synagogue in Acre and began inquiring after weapons. (Times of Israel)
  • Poll: 72 Percent of Palestinians Oppose State on 1967 Lines with Land Swaps
    66% of Palestinians do not consider the U.S. an honest broker in the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations, according to a poll of 1,363 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza conducted on 3-5 May 2016.
        Do you support or reject the rise of an armed intifada in the Palestinian territories? 48.1% support, 47.9% reject. West Bank only: 40% support, 57% reject.
        Do you support or reject stabbings by Palestinians against Israelis? 54.4% support, 36.2% reject. West Bank only: 39.5% support, 52.1% reject.
        Do you support or reject the creation of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines with some land exchange as a final solution for the Palestinian cause? 23.1% support, 72.3% reject. (Center for Opinion Polls and Survey Studies at An-Najah University-West Bank)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):


  • Kerry's Peculiar Message about Iran for European Banks - Stuart Levey
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Thursday in London with a group of European financial institutions for a discussion about "Iranian banking matters," following repeated Iranian complaints that they aren't getting the benefit of the bargain under the nuclear deal. No one has claimed that Iran has ceased to engage in much of the same conduct for which it was sanctioned, including actively supporting terrorism and building and testing ballistic missiles. But now Washington is pushing non-U.S. banks to do what it is still illegal for American banks to do. This is a very odd position for the U.S. government to be taking.
        Washington has warned repeatedly that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps controls broad swaths of the Iranian economy. The IRGC remains sanctioned by both the U.S. and the EU because of the central role it plays in Iran's illicit conduct.
        HSBC is endeavoring to implement consistent and high standards across its global operations, designed to combat financial crime and prevent abuse by illicit actors. HSBC has no intention of doing any new business involving Iran. Governments can lift sanctions, but the private sector is still responsible for managing its own risk and no doubt will be held accountable if it falls short. The writer is chief legal officer of HSBC Holdings, and was the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the U.S. Treasury Department (2004-11). (Wall Street Journal)
        See also U.S. Says Iran Open for Business, But Europe's Banks Disagree - Josh Lederman
    The Obama administration's calls for restoring global business ties with Iran are falling flat in Europe, where risk-averse banks told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday that they don't believe they can do business in the Islamic Republic without triggering U.S. sanctions.
        "We will not accept any new clients who reside in Iran, or which are an entity owned or controlled by a person there," said Standard Chartered. "Nor will we undertake any new transactions involving Iran or any party in Iran." "Deutsche Bank continues to generally restrict business connected to Iran," the bank said in a statement. (AP-ABC News)
  • Iran's Revolutionary Guards Morph into an Expeditionary Force - Ali Alfoneh
    On May 6, at least 16 Iranians from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) ground forces were killed during the rebel seizure of Khan Touman village southwest of Aleppo. The losses indicate continuing Iranian deployment patterns in Syria with the expanded use of IRGC ground forces in addition to or in place of the IRGC-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), the branch normally used for expeditionary operations. They also call into question past reports that large numbers of Iranian forces were withdrawing from Syria.
        14 of those killed served in the IRGC's 25th Karbala Division. Karbala Division spokesman Hossein Ali Rezaei disclosed on May 10 that all of the unit's surviving members serving in Syria, including 21 wounded, were being transferred back to Iran. A survey of funeral services held in Iran for soldiers killed in Syria from January 19, 2012, to May 10, 2016, documents 400 Iranian fatalities, nearly all from the IRGC. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • Rouhani Praises Iran's Terror Reach - Michael Rubin
    Here is President Rouhani, the so-called moderate, showering with praise Qassem Soleimani, head of the Quds Force and Iran's master terrorist, with whom Rouhani described a 30-year friendship: "If we look at eastern Iran, and not just Iran but also throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, we see the footprints of General Soleimani's valor and courage....The IRGC is a pioneer for the sacrifice and defense of holy shrines in Iraq and Syria and for the defense of the oppressed in Palestine and Lebanon and other countries that request Iran's help."
        Consider "Palestine," where Soleimani's partners are not the Palestinian Authority or those seeking to live side-by-side with Israel, but rather Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad - both of which dedicate themselves to the elimination of Israel and any Jewish presence in the region, in effect, seeking genocide. To endorse such life's work suggests that Rouhani is complicit in endorsing, if not enabling, terrorism. The writer is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. (Commentary)
  • She Won a Seat in Iran's Parliament, But Hard-Liners Had Other Plans - Thomas Erdbrink
    Minoo Khaleghi easily won a seat in the Iranian Parliament in February, part of a wave of independents and reformists. On Wednesday, however, Iran's judiciary ruled that Khaleghi could not be sworn in, Fars news agency reported. Photographs of Khaleghi leaked on social media last week showed her in public in Europe and in China without the obligatory Islamic headscarf.
        Opposition-aligned analysts and Khaleghi shot back that the case against her was politically motivated, more about curtailing and marginalizing prominent reformists - and a woman. Khaleghi said the photographs were malicious fakes. The case illustrates how state religion continues to trump politics in Iran, even after the electoral gains of moderate forces, analysts said. (New York Times)
  • With Iran-Backed Conversions, Shiites Gain Ground in Africa - Yaroslav Trofimov
    Not long ago, the few Shiites who could be found in Africa belonged to immigrant communities from Lebanon or the Indian subcontinent. Now, parts of the continent's Sunni Muslim heartland are living through the biggest wave of Sunni-to-Shiite conversions since many Sunni tribes of southern Iraq adopted Shiism in the 19th century. In Nigeria, 12% of the 90 million Muslims have identified themselves as Shiite in a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, up from virtually zero in 1980. The number is 21% for the Muslims of Chad, 20% for Tanzania, and 8% for Ghana.
        "West African Shiites are of symbolic value to Iran, for it to be able to say that its vision of Islam is expanding rather than shrinking," said Vali Nasr, dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. The Shiite wave in Africa kicked off with Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979.
        The vast majority of Sunni Muslims in Nigeria and other countries of sub-Saharan Africa follow the mystical Sufi tradition that abhors the kind of radicalism spread by Boko Haram or the ultraconservative Islam promoted by Saudi Arabia. But Sufi leaders are increasingly worried by the Shiite penetration. (Wall Street Journal)

  • Other Issues

  • The ISIS Challenge in Syria; Implications for Israeli Security - Prof. Hillel Frisch
    To what extent does ISIS pose a threat to Israeli national security, and what should Israel do to meet that threat? Israel would enjoy a freer hand against ISIS than did the Syrian regime, which had to compromise its fight against the organization because of its need for the very oil that ISIS had wrested from the state. ISIS, unlike the Palestinians, would not enjoy international support that might seriously inhibit Israeli action.
        Israel must clearly convey its red lines, the most important of which is the prohibition of the transfer of advanced missile launchers and rockets through both seaports and airports in Lebanon and the Alawite state (if not overrun by ISIS). Israel must clearly signal to Iran that infringement of these red lines will result in the destruction of the installations in question. As long as Iran does not infringe its red lines, Israel will remain militarily neutral in the conflict with ISIS, with the possible exception of defensive activity on the Golan Heights, such as support for the Druze community in Jabal al-Druze. The writer is a senior research associate at the BESA Center. (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
  • Chinese Maritime Strategy in the Mediterranean - Oded Eran
    The Mediterranean region has witnessed accelerated Chinese maritime activity in recent years, primarily of a civilian nature though with sporadic incidents of military activity. China's leaders have long envisioned a strategy of positioning along sea routes far away from the mainland. China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO Group Ltd.), founded in 1961, is today among the top three in the world in container-carrying capacity. Beyond that, it owns and operates 46 container terminals.
        In 2014, 20% of Chinese exports to the world reached Europe and 80% were transported by sea, sufficient reason for China to seek a presence along the sea routes from its ports to the major European ports and ascertain that transportation is safe, efficient, and cheap. For example, on January 20, 2016, Greece announced approval of the offer by COSCO Group Ltd. to acquire 67% of the shares of the Piraeus Port. Other Chinese maritime investments in the eastern Mediterranean are in Port Said and Alexandria in Egypt, Istanbul, and in Ashdod and Haifa in Israel. Dr. Oded Eran served as Israel's ambassador to the EU and Jordan. (Strategic Assessment-Institute for National Security Studies)
  • Israel's NSA - Richard Behar
    The primary function of Unit 8200 of the Israel Defense Forces is to quietly protect the tiny country from its numerous hostile neighbors by decrypting computer codes and intercepting electronic signals. Israeli investigative reporter and national security expert Yossi Melman noted: "The most advanced country in the region, which is devoting a lot of resources to cyberwarfare, is Iran. And the Iranians are trying to attack Israeli computers - civilian, military, intelligence - day and night....With Iranian technology, expertise and advice, Hizbullah [in Lebanon] is also trying to listen and to use coded messages."
        Stuxnet, the computer worm that at one point [2007-8] ravaged Iran's nuclear program, "was a U.S.-Israeli joint venture. It involved 8200 and its counterpart, the NSA, and also the Mossad and the CIA. The idea was Israeli, and it was embraced by the Americans because the U.S. believed it would repel Israeli pressure to take military action against Iran."
        "The Americans also liked it because it was a new kind of a war without firing [traditional] weapons. And they realized that if they did it, it would reduce the risk and chance that the U.S. would have to launch military strikes against Iran. The Bush Administration approved it and the Obama Administration extended the program and accelerated it."
        "Israel does not have interests all over the world. It's small, resource-limited and therefore it doesn't have a wide agenda like the U.S. It has to focus and prioritize - and they are very, very good at that. There are areas in the Middle East where 8200 is better than the NSA."
        "The NSA has the capability to listen to every conversation in the world. But you need to understand the nuances of language and cultures....In that sense, 8200 and Israeli intelligence at large - because they are focusing on Israel's enemies in the Middle East - in some parts of its coverage it has a better understanding of what's going on than the American intelligence community does."  (Forbes)
  • The Arabs' Real Grievance Against the Jews - Fred Maroun
    As Arabs, how many of us have the courage to admit that waging war after war against the Jews in order to deny them the right to exist, and refusing every reasonable solution to the conflict, has led to the current situation? Our message to Jews, throughout history and particularly when they had the temerity to want to govern themselves, has been clear: we cannot tolerate your very existence. Yet the Jews demand the right to exist as equals on the land where they have existed and belonged continuously for more than 3,000 years.
        We Arabs pretend that our lack of respect for the right of Jews to exist is not the cause of the conflict. We would rather claim that the conflict is about "occupation" and "settlements." The Jews see what radical Islamists are now doing to Christians and other minorities who were also in the Middle East for thousands of years before the Muslim Prophet Mohammed was even born: Yazidis, Kurds, Christians, Copts, Assyrians, Arameans, and many others. Where are these indigenous people of Iraq, Syria and Egypt now? Persecuted, run out of their own historical land, and slaughtered by Islamists. Jews know that this is what would have happened to them if they did not have their own state.
        The real Arab grievance against the Jews is that they exist. We want the Jews either to disappear or be subservient to our whims, but the Jews refuse to bend to our bigotry, and they refuse to be swayed by our threats and our slander. Who in his right mind can blame them? The writer, an Arab based in Canada, lived in Lebanon from 1961 to 1984. (Gatestone Institute)

  • Weekend Features

  • Canadian Indian Activist Advocates for Israel's "Native" Rights - Lisa Klug
    Indigenous rights activist Ryan Bellerose, a Metis from northern Alberta, Canada, recently returned from his second trip to Israel. "Indigenous status means that your people had a coalescence and a genesis on the land," says Bellerose, co-founder of Calgary United with Israel. "Everything that makes Jews Jewish - their spirituality, their traditions, their culture, their language, everything - it stems from Israel." "I write about the commonalities of indigenous struggles, so going to Israel and seeing a place where indigenous people have managed to gain self-determination is massive for me."
        "I feel compelled to fight the idea that Israel is a colonialist state, that the Jews are colonizers from Europe and the entire invalid and false Arab narrative that has been spread since the 1960s. This ridiculous inversion of history has been accepted....Coming from an Indian from Canada...I have a unique perspective. I have lived through colonization, and Israel is not even remotely colonialist."
        "You are Jews from Judea. Your entire history is in the earth you walk on. Some of you were displaced and you fought for 2,000 years to return to the land of your forefathers. You do not need to be apologetic for doing something that is the goal of every indigenous people."
        "You are a great example to my people and to all indigenous people of what indigenous peoples are capable of. You were a damaged, fractured people who had the entire world against you, yet you not only regained your ancestral lands, you rebuilt them and you built a thriving, powerful nation without losing touch with your ancestral roots. Tell me that's not a powerful story and example."  (Times of Israel)
        See also Aboriginal Rights of the Jewish People - Allen Z. Hertz
    The writer was senior advisor in the Privy Council Office serving Canada's prime minister and the federal cabinet, and formerly worked in Canada's Foreign Affairs Department. (American Thinker)
  • Israel: A Growing Destination for Indian Travelers - Bappa Majumdar
    When Samuel Reddy was planning a business trip to Israel, hoping to learn about the famous drip irrigation technology used there so as to adopt it on his dry farms in Rayalaseema, his wife insisted on accompanying him; spa tourism was on her mind. His mother, too, wanted to come along; her wish: a religious tour of Jerusalem. Reddy and his family are among many Telugus [numbering 74 million people in India] who have found an ideal travel destination in Israel.
        Israel saw the number of Indian travelers rise from 20,300 in 2006 to 40,000 last year and the number is expected to go up to 50,000 by year end. "Since Israelis also travel to India in droves, the special bond is always there," says Sharon Pelleg, a seasoned tour guide. (Times of India)

The Meaning of True Independence - Col. Richard Kemp (Israel Hayom)

  • For 68 years Israelis have fought again and again to defend their independence against enemies who would subjugate their country. No other nation has struggled so long and so hard, surrounded by such unyielding hostility.
  • Israel's right to exist is not to be sanctioned by the peoples of the Middle East or by the leaders of the Western world. It is to be determined only by the Jewish people who, down the millennia, have fought, suffered and died for that inalienable right.
  • It means that Israel is not to have its borders imposed by international bodies or by foreign states, no matter how powerful they might be. It means that Israelis are not to be dictated to about where they can and cannot settle in their land.
  • It means that Israel is not to be told how it may or may not defend the lives of its people under the sovereign independence of the law. It means that Israel is not to be lectured or scolded about human rights by those that have no glimmer of understanding of what human rights truly are.
  • The civilized world has an obligation to respect this independence just as it respects the independence of other free, democratic nations.
  • Israel has shown mankind how a besieged nation - against all odds - can survive and flourish, decide its own destiny and unwaveringly retain its honor, its decency, its dignity, its integrity and its compassion.

    The writer is a former commander of British Forces in Afghanistan.
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