Former Associate Calls Egypt's Morsi a "Master of Disguise" - Dieter Bednarz and Volkhard Windfuhr (Der Spiegel-Germany)
Abdel-Jalil el-Sharnoubi, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood who has known Mohammed Morsi for 13 years, believes that behind the Egyptian president's veneer of goodwill towards Israel lies a deep-seated hatred.
"For the Morsi I know, any cooperation with Israel is a serious sin, a crime." Anti-Israeli rhetoric, he says, is a "cornerstone of the Brotherhood's ideology."
Increased Russian Oil Sales to China May Impact Iran - Nikolay Kozhanov (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
On Jan. 14, the Russian oil firm Rosneft reached agreement with the China National Petroleum Corp. to increase oil shipments to China from 300,000 barrels per day to 500,000.
Last year, as new Western sanctions on Tehran took hold, Beijing scaled back its purchases of Iranian oil and simultaneously increased its imports from Russia. And Moscow has the capacity to increase its exports much more.
The writer is an expert at the Institute of the Middle East in Moscow.
Rupert Murdoch Apologizes for "Grotesque" London Sunday Times Cartoon (Algemeiner)
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, owner of Britain's Sunday Times, has issued an apology for the offensive cartoon that was published by the Times Sunday, calling the image "grotesque" and "offensive."
The cartoon depicts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a large-nosed Jew, hunched over a wall, building with the blood of Palestinians as they writhe in pain within it.
Iran Sentences U.S. Pastor to 8 Years for Christianity (AP-Washington Post)
An American pastor, Saeed Abedini, who has been jailed in Iran since September, has been sentenced to eight years in prison, the U.S. State Department said Sunday.
Abedini's attorney, Nasser Sarbazi, said his client, who is of Iranian origin but lives in Boise, Idaho, was tried in the Revolutionary Court on charges of attempting to undermine state security by creating a network of Christian churches in private homes.
State Department Spokesman Darby Holladay said, "We condemn Iran's continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion."
Israeli Troops Swap Guns for Computers as Cyber Attacks Rise - Gwen Ackerman (Bloomberg)
At an army base outside Tel Aviv, soldiers of Israel's cyber defense team sit in front of screens of scrolling computer code, ready to pounce on virtual enemies and deflect attacks.
"Cyber has three dimensions: intelligence, defense and offense," said Amos Yadlin, the former military intelligence chief who now heads the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.
Israeli government networks are among the most highly attacked in the world, with daily assaults numbering in the tens of thousands, the Soufan Group, a New York-based security adviser, said in a Jan. 14 report.
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- Unrest Grows in Egypt - David D. Kirkpatrick and Mayy El Sheikh
In Port Said, Egypt, on Monday, police fired indiscriminately into the streets outside their besieged station, a group of protesters arrived with a crate of gasoline bombs, and others cheered a masked man on a motorcycle who arrived with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, as the death toll over three days rose to at least 45 and the growing chaos showed little sign of abating.
After two years of torturous transition, Egyptians have watched with growing anxiety as the erosion of public trust in the government and a persistent security vacuum have fostered a new temptation to resort to violence to resolve disputes, said Michael Hanna, a researcher at the New York-based Century Foundation. (New York Times)
See also Egypt's Port Said - a Pivotal Test for President Morsi - Jeffrey Fleishman (Los Angeles Times)
See also New Unrest Strains Washington's Wariness toward Muslim Brotherhood; Foreign Aid Threatened (AP-Washington Post)
- Huge Arms Shipment Seized in Yemen Reveals Hidden Hand of Iran - Phil Stewart
Yemeni forces intercepted a ship on Jan. 23 carrying a large cache of weapons - including surface-to-air missiles - that U.S. officials suspect were being smuggled from Iran and destined for Yemeni insurgents, officials said on Monday. The arms also included military grade explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and bomb-making equipment. "This demonstrates the ever pernicious Iranian meddling in other countries in the region," a U.S. official said.
- Argentina, Iran Sign Agreement toward Solving AMIA Bombing Case
A "Memorandum of Understanding" including the creation of a "Truth Commission" between the governments of Argentina and the Islamic Republic of Iran and intended to resolve the 1994 terrorist bombing of the Argentine-Jewish Community Center (AMIA) in Buenos Aires was signed on Sunday. (Buenos Aires Herald-Argentina)
See also Israel Disappointed by Argentina-Iran Deal
The agreement between Argentina and Iran was received in Israel with astonishment and provoked deep disappointment. The Argentinean authorities have pointed at Iran as the sponsor of the attack. It is doubtful whether this agreement is how justice will be rendered.
(Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Syria: Hizbullah Sets Up Camps near WMD Facilities - Ron Ben-Yishai
Hizbullah has set up several bases in Syria near known locations of the country's chemical warfare arsenal. As the regime's hold on power slips further, it is becoming apparent that Hizbullah will use the chaos in Syria to transfer advanced weapons systems - and most likely unconventional weapons - into Lebanon. (Ynet News)
See also Israel on High Alert over Syrian WMDs - Yaakov Lappin
Israel is following the possibility of the transfer of Syria's chemical weapons to radical elements, as its northern neighbor appears to be approaching a final meltdown. There are two scenarios that Israel deems unacceptable in Syria. The first is a transfer of chemical weapons and advanced strategic missiles to Hizbullah, and the second involves raids by al-Qaeda-affiliated rebel groups, like Jabhat al-Nusra, on a Syrian chemical weapons depot. Neither radical Shi'ite nor extremist Sunni groups will be permitted to lay their hands on unconventional weapons in Syria.
See also Netanyahu: Israel, U.S. in Sync on Syria - Greg Tepper
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting U.S. congressmen on Monday that Israel and the U.S. were exercising "very close cooperation on developing matters in Syria." (Times of Israel)
- Palestinian Terror Cell Indicted for Failed Shooting Attack in West Bank - Ben Hartman
Six men from the West Bank village of Beit Fajar were indicted in a military court on Jan. 13 for a shooting attack last November, the Israel Security Agency reported Monday. Alaa Muhammad Shukri Takatka, 23, opened fire on a bus leaving Migdal Oz, as well as at buildings in the town and Israeli security forces nearby. The ISA said the group was planning other attacks before they were caught. One of the group, Muhammad Yosef Ahmad Takatka, 21, was also employed as part of the Palestinian Authority's presidential guard.
See also Israel Thwarts Terrorist Attack in West Bank
Border police thwarted a terrorist attack at Tapuah junction in the West Bank on Sunday when it arrested three Palestinians with several pipe bombs and a knife, Army Radio reported. (Jerusalem Post)
- Intelligence Cooperation in Counterterrorism - Lior Akerman
The events of 9/11 led to a fundamental change in how intelligence organizations perceived their role in the common war against terrorism. This was especially true in the U.S. and Europe.
Since then, intelligence ties among the various organizations have gradually improved, as has the transfer of information among them.
As a direct result, terrorist suspects have been located and identified in their home countries, and terrorist organizations in the early stages of formation have been exposed and thwarted. Rapid transfer of suspected terrorists' details made possible their detention and interrogation, while terrorist attacks which had already been planned have been avoided and thwarted, saving thousands of lives in Israel and other countries.
The success of the war against fundamentalist terror organizations hinges on the extent of cooperation and openness among the world's intelligence organizations. The writer is a former brigadier-general in the Israel Security Agency who served as a bureau head.
- Britain's National Sickness - Melanie Phillips
Liberal Democrat MP David Ward recently compared the persecution of the Jews during the Holocaust with the Jews' treatment of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Yet the Palestinian population has more than quadrupled since the rebirth of Israel in 1948, and they have benefited from some of the highest rises in GDP and lowest child mortality ratios in the Middle East.
It is the Palestinians who are committing crimes against humanity by targeting Israeli innocents for mass murder without remission, both from Gaza and from the West Bank. It is the Palestinians who are brainwashed from the cradle to hate Jews and to believe that murdering Israelis is their highest glory. When the Israelis offered them more than 95% of the possible land for a state in 2000 and 2008, the Palestinians responded by murdering more Jews.
The insane belief that Israel is trying to wipe out the Palestinians is now common currency in British progressive circles. The belief that, in Israel, the victims of one of the greatest crimes against humanity are themselves now guilty of crimes against humanity is the collective libel that has become the default position amongst the British intelligentsia.
British Jews who support Israel and try to counter these Big Lies are treated as pariahs by baying mobs whose obsession with Israel has brought about nothing less than a mass derangement in British public debate. Self-defense against extermination is now considered a crime against humanity. (Daily Mail-UK)
Don't Mince Words: Hizbullah Are Terrorists - Jose Maria Aznar and David Trimble (The Times-UK, 29 Jan 2013)
- In July last year, a bus full of Israeli tourists was blown to pieces by a suicide bomber in Burgas, Bulgaria. All the evidence points to it being a plot conceived and executed by Hizbullah. Yet despite this atrocity, some European governments are not willing to declare it a security threat and put it on the EU terrorist list.
- Hizbullah is not just a Lebanese militia group and political party. It is the long arm of Iran. From its inception by Tehran in 1982, it has been committed to the revolutionary goals of the international expansion of Shia Islam, as dreamt of by the Ayatollah Khomeini.
- Hizbullah has a global vision and reach. It has perpetrated attacks in Argentina, Georgia, Israel, Thailand, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. It has been involved in illegal but very lucrative activities in Latin America and West Africa.
- Some argue that there is a difference between Hizbullah's military wing, its political wing and its charitable activities. They are wrong - it is one single body and every part plays a role in the overall strategy.
- Hizbullah is committed to violent revolution. It sees itself as being in total confrontation with our way of life. The idea that engaging Hizbullah would moderate it has proved to be a dangerous illusion. And today, it is actively intervening in Syria on behalf of Bashar al-Assad.
- We know from our own experience in Spain and Northern Ireland that terrorism cannot be defeated unless you tackle all the tentacles that serve the purposes of the terrorists and that includes the political and financial front organizations.
Hizbullah is not the Party of God, it is the Party of Terror, and we should treat it as such.
Jose Maria Aznar was Prime Minister of Spain, 1996 to 2004; Lord Trimble was First Minister of Northern Ireland, 1998-2002 and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998.
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