Zio-Watch News Round-up

Dr. Patrick Slattery’s News Roundup, January 23, 2015



From The Independent
Israel’s attack on Hezbollah is a case of shoot first, ask questions later

ROBERT FISK, Tuesday 20 January 2015
An Iranian general and six Hezbollah officers have been wiped out by helicopters near the Syrian city of Quneitra. But what were they doing there?

Very occasionally, the Israelis go for the jugular. Their helicopter attack on “terrorists” near the Syrian city of Quneitra at the weekend certainly drew aside the curtain of Hezbollah-Iranian assistance to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Damascus. An Iranian general and six Hezbollah officers were wiped out in the attack, including Jihad Moughniyah – son of Imad Moughniyah, kidnap organiser of Western hostages in the 1980s and himself an assassination victim.
Hezbollah funerals are almost as emotional as victory parades – in Shia theology, they might almost be counted of equal importance – and after Moughniyah Snr’s own massive obsequies in Beirut’s southern suburbs in 2008, Jihad and his comrades were certain to receive on Monday the appropriate gestures of honour and defiance which define Hezbollah’s narrative of “resistance” to Israel. Only, of course, we do not yet know exactly what Iranian General Mohammed Ali Allahdadi and his Hezbollah companions were doing in the tiny Syrian village of Mazraat Amal.

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Kerry says Netanyahu welcome to speak in U.S. ‘at any time’

(JTA) — Secretary of State John Kerry said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is welcome to speak in the United States “at any time.”

Kerry’s statement Wednesday came a day after House Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress next month regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The Obama administration did not receive prior notice of the address, which Kerry called “a little unusual,” according to the French news agency AFP.

On Wednesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the invitation broke established protocol, as arrangements for Netanyahu to visit are generally coordinated with the Obama administration.

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From PressTV

A Palestinian youth looks at rubble from damaged houses in war-torn Gaza City, December 10, 2014. (AFP Photo)

A UN agency tasked with providing aid for Palestinians will suspend its activities in the war-torn Gaza Strip due to a lack of funds.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) will suspend its aid program in war-torn Gaza by the end of January, by which time it will have run out of money for the aid activities in Gaza, UNWRA spokesperson Christopher Gunness said on Thursday.

Gunness said that UNRWA had received only USD 135 million out of the roughly USD 720 million needed for its emergency operations to reconstruct damaged houses and provide shelters for displaced people in Gaza.

“Because of this shortfall, we’re going to be forced to suspend the program by the end of the month,” Gunness told Reuters. “Our concern is the humanitarian impact this would have on the people of Gaza.”

Meanhwhile, aid agency Oxfam has said that heavy winter storms, power outages, and fuel and cooking gas shortages have deteriorated the situation in Gaza.
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From Ynet News

Lebanese official: Israel crossed the red line in war with Hezbollah

Source says if Hezbollah does not respond ‘it means it is stuck in Syria’s mud and has lost its deterrent ability’; Israeli defense official says Hezbollah response expected, but won’t lead to all-out war.

Threats of retaliation against Israel continued Thursday after an airstrike attributed to the IAF in the Syrian Golan killed six Iranian military and six Hezbollah fighters.


A senior security sources in Lebanon who is affiliated with Hezbollah said that the attack, in which Iranian general Mohammad Ali Allahdadi and the son of master terrorist Imad Mughniyah were killed, “shows that Israel has crossed the red line in the security war with Hezbollah, which means the rules have changed.”
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Dutch ex-minister: World peace if Israeli Jews move to U.S.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA) — A Dutch former cabinet minister reportedly said that world peace would be achievable if Israel’s population is forced to move to the United States.

The statement was attributed to Herman Heinsbroek, who served as the Netherlands’ minister of economic affairs in 2002, in an article that appeared Thursday in the online edition of the prestigious financial monthly Quote, based on an interview with Heinsbroek.

“It was an historical error to give the Jews their own country in the middle of Islam,” he is quoted as saying. “You’ve had nothing but war ever since and you’ve had anti-Semitism resurging, too. My idea: Give the Jews their own state somewhere in the United States and 25 years to move their state over there.”

Heinsbroek is also quoted as saying that if implemented, his solution “will finally create, perhaps, peace in the world.”
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From The Independent
Watch Tony Blair get increasingly irritated when asked about Iraq war report

The former PM told reporters at Davos to read his statement

Wednesday 21 January 2015

With David Cameron blaming the Labour party for the controversial decision to delay publication of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War until after the May general election, it was only wise to question the man who took the country to war.

Tony Blair was asked by reporters about the delay to the inquiry as he left a building at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“I’ve put out a statement, go and see it,” Blair responds as he heads towards his car. Several reporters continue to follow him and ask questions such as “Did you cause the delay?” and “Do voters have a right to know the contents of the report before the general election?”
Eventually, as he nears his car, he turns around and repeats, in a somewhat irritated tone, “I’ve just told you. I’ve put out a statement so you can go and read the statement.”
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Abdullah, Saudi king, peace proposal author, dies at 90

(JTA) — Saudi Arabian King Abdullah, the architect of a proposal that U.S. governments have suggested is the basis for a comprehensive Israeli-Arab peace, has died.

Saudi media reported that Abdullah, 90, died late Thursday.

He is succeeded by the Crown Prince, Salman, his brother, who is 79.

Abdullah in 2002, when he was Saudi crown prince, proposed a peace plan that would grant Israel comprehensive peace in the Middle East in exchange for its withdrawal to 1967 lines, including from eastern Jerusalem.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

U.N. General Assembly holding first-ever meeting on anti-Semitism

(JTA) — The United Nations General Assembly will hold its first-ever meeting focused on anti-Semitism.

The meeting, to be held Thursday, was organized in the wake of a series of anti-Semitic incidents, including the hostage crisis at a French kosher supermarket this month and the shooting last year at a Brussels Jewish museum.

Israel, the United States, Canada and all of the European Union states were among the 37 countries that called the meeting, according to a news release from Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

French philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy will deliver the keynote address. Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, also will speak, according to AP, in addition to representatives of other countries.
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From the Jewish Daily Forward

Congressional Democrats Say Republicans Alone Invited Benjamin Netanyahu To Speak

Reid and Pelosi Slam ‘Hubris’ of GOP Bipartisanship ClaimBy Patricia Zengerle

Published January 22, 2015.

Fuming Democrats accused Republicans on Thursday of breaking protocol by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress without consulting them, challenging Israel’s assertion that the invitation was extended by both U.S. political parties.

Netanyahu’s government issued a statement on Thursday saying the invitation had been extended by the “two-party leadership” of Congress, but congressional aides said they knew of no members of the party who had been consulted.

Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, said the invitation to Netanyahu by Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner was “hubris.”
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