Monday morning briefs

O Christmas Tree: All over the Middle East this time of year, Christians are persecuted by the majority Muslim populations. So what do the Jews of Israel do? Give Christmas trees to churches in Israel and the terrortories [sic], and offer them to individuals at reasonable prices.

In keeping with its annual tradition, KKL-JNF will once again be distributing Christmas trees to local churches, monasteries, convents, embassies, foreign journalists and the general public as the holiday approaches. Distribution will take place in central and northern Israel, in accordance with lists provided by the Ministry of the Interior, the Municipality of Jerusalem and other bodies. Private individuals, too, can buy a tree for the token sum of 80 NIS [$22.85].

Now they’re greenwashing. Those horrible Israelis!

Obama administration reprisals in 3, 2, 1: Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon said that Israel has no negotiating partner in the PA.

The defense minister said, “As someone who supported [the] Oslo [Peace Process], I’m learning that on the other side we have no partner for two states for two people. There is no one on the other side.

And that isn’t all.

The defense minister said he would be convinced that a partner exists on the other side “the moment they stop teaching their children to put on bomb belts and explode against us, when the state of Israel appears in text books and when Tel Aviv, which they consider to be a settlement, appears on the map.”

Considering that Obama thinks he’s made a “historic” rapprochement with Iran, this is not going to be well-received since he and Kerry are now focusing on trying to announce a “historic” peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. I’m not actually too worried, because there’s no way the Palestinians say yes to anything that has Israel’s security at heart.

Now this is a historic agreement: The PA finally stopped cutting off its nose to spite its face and got together with Jordan and Israel to save the Dead Sea.

Israel in 2014–More secure, not less: Ron Ben-Yishai has an optimistic assessment of Israel’s security issues. Barry Rubin agrees that Israel is far more secure this year than many Eeyores are thinking. The Syria conflict is a major reason behind this: Hezbollah and Iran are tied up in Syria and are diverting manpower and money there. Also, Hezbollah fighters are dying in Syria, which means they’ll have fewer of them to attack Israel. And may many more of them die in Syria, taking out lots of Syrian terrorists with them. It’s a win-win for the world.

Hypocrites of the world, unite: European businesses are trampling each other in the rush to do business with Iran, a nation that executes gays and jails Christians. European governments are trampling each other to be the first to prevent businesses from trading with Israeli companies over the Green Line (a.k.a. the 1949 Armistice Line).

“EU citizens and businesses should also be aware of the potential reputational implications of getting involved in economic and financial activities in settlements, as well as possible abuses of the rights of individuals,” warns the Overseas Business Risk Report reads.

I’m pretty sure there has never been a similar document on Iranian abuses of human rights preventing Europeans from doing business there. But hey, they’ve got nothing against the Jews. Nope. Not at all. It’s all about the human rights issues in the Middle East. Clearly, Israeli settlements are far worse than hanging gays and jailing Christians.

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One Response to Monday morning briefs

  1. Michael Lonie says:

    According to StrategyPage, the Hezbos are expanding their training camps in Lebanon. With thousands of combat veterans from the Syrian Civil War, they can train their “reservists” better and in larger numbers. The writers there don’t think these camps are aimed at Israel, because they are out in the open and not hidden among forests and among civilians in urban areas, and thus exposed to Israel air attack. On the other hand, maybe Hezbollah wants to speed up training in more realistic conditions.

    “In Lebanon Hezbollah is building more training camps and using them to upgrade the combat skills of its many part-time fighters. Hezbollah is heavily involved in Syria, but this is proving very unpopular with most Lebanese, including many Hezbollah supporters. Hezbollah has reduced the number of fighters in Syria and is rotating them in and out of combat (and Syria). This means additional well-trained Hezbollah fighters are needed and that could be what the new training camps are for. But the camps could also be in preparation for another war with Israel. That is unlikely because such a conflict would be very dangerous for Hezbollah, especially given the unpopularity of the Shia militia in Lebanon. Other odd aspect of the new training camps are that they are not as well hidden as previous ones. In the 1990s Israel began attacking Hezbollah training camps with air attacks. In response Hezbollah dispersed its training into forested and heavily urban areas. But now new camps are out in the open and vulnerable to air attack. Israel has not attacked, yet. ”

    The linked article also discusses the hideous Syrian Civil War. It’s a preview of what would happen in Israel if her enemies ever got the upper hand.

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