The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8

Archive for October, 2012


Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

by Chana Ya’ar (Arutz Sheva News)

Hurricane Sandy brought trouble to five nuclear power plants in the path of the storm, one just 40 miles from New York City, ABC News reported. The plants were located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

A Level 2 (4 being the highest) alert was declared at America’s oldest nuclear power plant, Oyster Creek, in Lacey Township, New Jersey. The alert was called Monday evening after the storm made landfall “due to water exceeding certain high water level criteria in the plant’s water intake structure,” said Exelon Corporation, owner of the plant. There was “no threat to the public health or safety,” the company said in a statement, although the plant lost power along with millions of other customers in the area. “The station’s two backup diesel generators activated immediately,” Exelon said, adding that the company keeps two weeks of diesel fuel on site. Power in the plant is essential to maintaining the system that keeps spent fuel rods from overheating and sending the reactor core into a meltdown.

A unit at the Salem Nuclear Power Plant was manually shut down early Tuesday morning. The plant is also located in New Jersey, on Delaware Bay, about 43 miles from Philadelphia. The shutdown came after “four of the station’s six circulating water pumps were no longer available due to weather impacts from Hurricane Sandy,” according to a statement to media by plant co-owner PSEG Nuclear. The plant is stable, PSEG Nuclear said, and “no issues were encountered during the Salem Unit 1 shutdown.” In addition to operating crews on site, the company said, “Salem has designated response teams available.”

Power to unit 3 at the Indian Point plant in Buchanan, NY was automatically shut down Monday night when the connection between the electrical generator and the offsite grid was lost. Entergy, operator of the plant, said in a statement that another unit is continuing to operate and there was no release of radioactivity. There was no threat to public health, a spokesman said, and no damage to equipment.

Also on Monday night, units 1 and 2 shut down at the Nine Mile Point plant near Oswego, NY. Unit 1 shut down automatically due to an electrical fault, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said. Unit 2 shut down due to a power loss from an incoming power line due to the same electrical fault. Power was returned automatically to unit 2 from an emergency diesel generator, and operators are evaluating the cause of the incident, the NRC said. “All plant safety systems responded as designed and the shutdown was safely carried out,” the agency added. The plant is jointly owned by Exelon and a French power firm, in a corporation called CENG.

The least difficult problem was one that occurred at an Exelon reactor at the Limerick Generating Station outside Philadelphia had a problem with its condenser. Technicians there brought operations down to 91 percent power to deal with the problem.

An aerial view photographed by search and rescue missions from the New Jersey Army National Guard showed the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to the state’s coastal region. The shot taken a member of the 1-150 Assault Helicopter Battalion on October 30 showed homes and highways submerged by the ocean that had broken through barriers and rushed over the coastline.


Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu (Arutz Sheva News)

Superstorm Sandy is whipping through New England, leaving behind $20 billion in damage, while President Obama declares New York City a “major disaster area.”

The storm’s ferocity has moved north, but it will be a slow recovery for the Washington-New York area. The capital has been described as a “ghost town,” and New York was virtually shut down.

The death toll has reached 16, and the subway systems in Philadelphia and New York City remain closed.

Economic damage is estimated to be approximately $20 billion, and the number is likely to grow as the East Coast begins to discover disastrous after effects while they dry out. The salt water that gushed into New York City streets may have done untold damage to subway mechanisms.

The storm set off an “alert” at the New Jersey Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, where a rise in flood waters could force the use of emergency water supplies to cool down spent uranium fuel rods.

Sandy was lashing southeastern Canada as of noon Israeli time Tuesday, and more than 100,000 in Ontario are without electricity. A falling sign in Toronto killed one woman Monday night.

Several areas in the Mid-Atlantic states still are being evacuated due to rising flood waters.

Sandy was rare in several aspects, not the least of which is its size, reaching as far inland from the East Coast as the Midwest.

High winds knocked out power for more than 23,000 homes and businesses in Michigan and more than 200,000 in Ohio. Residents in at least one small lake-side village in Wisconsin were warned to evacuate.

Snow was expected in higher regions in Tennessee, West Virginia and Western Maryland.


Monday, October 29th, 2012


The United States and Iran are moving forward with secret negotiations, despite denying earlier meetings took place, according to a source highly placed in the Islamic government.

The source, who remains anonymous for security reasons, added that teams from both sides will resume the talks in the coming days with the hope of reaching agreement to announce a breakthrough before the U.S. elections.

The source said the Obama Administration seems to need a diplomatic victory before the elections in the wake of the attack in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans because the Administration failed to adequately protect the Benghazi consulate.

If President Obama is not re-elected, however, the source contends any agreement reached after the elections will be announced and enforced while he is still in office, once Iran’s supreme leader receives written guarantees from Obama.

The source adds, on a related note, that President Obama chose not to destroy the American, sensitive-technology RQ-170 stealth drone, which was captured by the Iranian forces after it crashed in Iran in December of 2011, because he feared jeopardizing the ongoing secret negotiations.

The negotiations to date have reportedly gone beyond the Iranian nuclear program to include such issues as South America, the Persian Gulf and Syria. On the latter issue, the U.S. has already stepped back from its demand that President Bashar Assad be removed. The source added that both parties have agreed on a broad range of incentives that have been offered to the Islamic regime and which will be revealed in time.

The source said the revelation of the secret meetings has caused internal rifts between Iranian factions. The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has already alerted the Americans that he might remove President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and establish an emergency government. He has already seized authority over much of the affairs of the country, including international matters.

Khamenei has decided to push for Ali Akbar Velayati, the former foreign minister and the current close adviser to the supreme leader on international affairs, as the new President in the upcoming Iranian presidential elections next June, the source added. The American negotiators have already signed off on that.

Velayati is wanted by Argentina for the Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 people.

In a rare interview Saturday on Mashregh, a Revolutionary Guards media outlet, Velayati denied reports of his involvement in secret meetings with the U.S. He also said of the U.S. elections that Mitt Romney showed he does not have the minimum capacity to compete with Obama and that Obama will win the elections unless some unexpected political event derails him.

Today, Iranian major newspapers, including Keyhan, which is directly under the supervision of the supreme leader, scrambled to deny the secret meetings with America.

The Iranian website Kaleme, the official site of the Green movement and close to opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, verified the secret negotiations and gave full coverage to news of the meetings, stating that the presence of Velayati in secret talks with the Americans shows the Ayatollah’s direct approval of such negotiations.

In recent days, Western media have reported on secret meetings between the U.S. and Iran, which both Washington and Tehran then quickly denied. Those denials, however, seem to sidestep the issue and fail to deny the facts, Kaleme reported.

“There is no such a thing as negotiations,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi had said.

The White House, despite its denial, said it is ready for one-on-one negotiations.

The news of these secret meetings even affected Monday’s presidential debates, Kaleme reported, and added that for the leaders of the Islamic regime to tie the negotiations to the U.S. elections would be ugly.

Kaleme suggested that despite internal problems and the economy on the verge of collapse because of international sanctions, it is best for the regime to look for solutions from within, offering more freedom, referring to the suppression of the public and politicians.

As WND reported on Oct. 4, Oct. 19 and Oct. 24, a series of secret meetings took place in Washington and then in Doha, Qatar, between President Obama’s representatives and the Iranian team, including Velayati.

In the Qatar meeting, according to the source, the U.S. delegation urged an announcement, even if only on a temporary nuclear deal, before the U.S. elections to help Obama get re-elected. A Romney presidency, the delegation said, would surely move more toward Israel, and Obama has stood up to Israel against attacking Iran. The regime’s delegation was urged to understand that if Iran did not stand by Obama, Israel will attack Iran.

The Qatar agreement would have Iran announce a partial halt to enrichment, ensure the regime’s right to peaceful enrichment, quickly remove much of the sanctions, accept that Iran’s nuclear program does not have a military dimension and relieve international pressure on the regime while it continues its nuclear program.

Revelation of the secret negotiations reported by WND has caused a stir across the globe, resulting in a leak to The New York Times, a White House denial, the widespread report in Iran and regime denial and a statement by the Qatari Prime Minister that denied the meeting took place in Doha.

The French newspaper Le Monde last week reported that one U.S. official, Robert J. Einhorn, the State Department’s special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control and a long-time proponent of bilateral talks who in 2009 offered a uranium exchange to Iran, has held secret talks with Velayati before.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich, in an interview with the Iranian news agency IRNA on Thursday, said of the secret meetings: “Not only does this not exist, but also there is no need for it. The bilateral talks by the Americans on the Iranian nuclear program will not be worthy for any party.”

WND once again contacted the White House for a response on the negotiations and was referred to the following White House statement from spokesman Tommy Vietor: “It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections. We continue to work with the P5+1* on a diplomatic solution and have said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally. The President has made clear that he will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and we will do what we must to achieve that. It has always been our goal for sanctions to pressure Iran to come in line with its obligations. The onus is on the Iranians to do so, otherwise they will continue to face crippling sanctions and increased pressure.”


Friday, October 26th, 2012

by Chana Ya’ar (Arutz Sheva News)

An American unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was hovering over the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 during the attack in which bloodthirsty Al Qaeda-linked terrorists murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others.

The military backup that should have been racing to the scene, launched in response by those monitoring the Predator drone and other reconnaissance aircraft, moved too slowly and came too late, charged a former CIA commander.

Gary Berntsen told CBS News this week that the savage attack on the consulate was observed in detail by top officials at the U.S. Defense Department as it took place. Terrorists armed with AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) launched a full-scale attack on both the consulate building itself, and the “safe house” located a short distance away.

It was to the second building, which also allegedly housed CIA operations, that Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other American diplomats had been taken in the hopes of keeping them out of harm’s way. But the effort failed, with the diplomats and their security guards overwhelmed by the numbers, weaponry and military nature of the attacking force.

American Defense Department officials were too slow to respond when they saw what was happening, charged Berntsen, and didn’t send in the troops fast enough.

“They stood, and they watched, and our people died,” he raged. “They made zero adjustments in this. You find a way to make this happen. There isn’t a plan for every single engagement. Sometimes you have to be able to make adjustments.”

Sources told CBS there were fighter jets and Specter AC-130 gunships stationed at three nearby bases. But Pentagon officials told reporters the military moved a special ops team from central Europe to Sigonella, Italy instead – an hour’s flight from Libya – and refused to provide further details.

A White House source told the network that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey “looked at available options, and the ones we exercised had our military forces arrive in less than 24 hours, well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies.”

By then, the screaming mob of thousands of radical Islamists, whipped into a bloodthirsty frenzy, had torched the cars on the site, torn the building apart, and destroyed the consulate. And four American diplomats were dead.

According to a report published by The New York Times, witnesses have identified Ahmad Abu Khattala as the ringleader of the attack.

But Libyan authorities have not arrested him, nor has he been taken into custody. In fact, he gave the newspaper an interview as he sipped a milkshake on a hotel patio, mocking both the Libyan and U.S. governments.

“Here I am, sitting in a hotel with you,” he pointed out. “I’m even going to pick up my sister’s kids from school soon.”

Ambassador Stevens repeatedly noted in communiques to Washington that weak security was an issue at the consulate. He noted in June there had been a spike in attacks against “international organizations and foreign interests,” ABC News reported. In August, he sent a cable warning of a series of violent incidents that “dominated the political landscape during the Ramadan holiday.”

The Ambassador underscored to his superiors at the State Department that the attacks were “organized” and that Libyan security personnel was not a “stabilizing force.” He also noted that the Libyan security force provided “little deterrence” – a major red flag that Washington apparently ignored.

Repeated requests to the Obama Administration for additional security to the consulate in Benghazi were rejected.


Friday, October 26th, 2012

by Maayana Miskin (IsraelNationalNews)

The United Nations official responsible for investigating Israel-PA affairs has openly expressed support for a boycott of all companies doing business with Israelis east of the 1949 armistice line.

In his latest report, UN special rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk has called for a boycott on all companies tied to Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria.

Falk included “settlement expansion” as one of the reasons to boycott.

His statements have been severely condemned by Israel and its allies. Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, quoted by the AFP news agency, called on Falk to “either withdraw this biased and disgraceful report – or resign from his position at the United Nations.”

Falk has “not only done a disservice to the United Nations, but also to the Palestinian people,” Baird charged.

Israel condemned Falk’s statements as “grossly biased.” United States UN Ambassador Susan Rice rejected his statements as well, saying, “His call for a boycott of private companies is irresponsible and unacceptable.”


Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

by Elad Benari (IsraelNationalNews)

IAF aircraft struck a terror squad in southern Gaza early Wednesday morning, as it was preparing to fire a rocket at southern Israel, the IDF announced in a statement.

The statement said that a direct hit at the terrorists was identified. It was the third time in one night that the IDF retaliated against the ongoing rocket attacks by Gaza terrorists at southern Israel.

Shortly after midnight, on Tuesday night, IAF aircraft targeted a terror squad in northern Gaza, as it was making final preparations to launch a rocket at southern Israel.

According to a statement by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, a direct hit was identified at the terrorists and the rocket attack was thwarted.

“The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli citizens and IDF soldiers and will continue to operate against anyone who operates terror against Israel,” said the statement.

This air strike took place about an hour and a half after another terror squad was hit as it was preparing to launch rockets at Israel. In this attack, as well, direct hits were identified.

The air strikes came after terrorists from Gaza fired seven rockets at Israel earlier in the evening. The rockets came in three rounds – with one round landing in one town in the Eshkol Regional Council, a second round landing in another town, and the third round landing in an open area.

No one was injured and no damaged was reported in any of the attacks.

Tuesday night’s attacks were a continuation of what appeared to be an escalating deterioration of the security situation in southern Israel.

An IDF officer was wounded Tuesday morning when an explosive device blew up during an IDF exercise in the Gaza border area. The officer was flown by helicopter to Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva, where he was declared by doctors to be in serious condition, with his life in danger. The officer’s condition was little-changed Tuesday night.


Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu (Arutz Sheva News)

A silent “Arab Spring” is brewing in Iran, where Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has come under public criticism not only in the parliament but also from a representative of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards, Ali Saeidi.

He told a reformist daily he does not understand what is going through the mind of Mr. Ahmadinejad. The interview was translated and published by the Al Monitor website. “Incidentally, I told Ahmadinejad his problem to his face. I told him you could have become an historic hero of the nation of Iran, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. It doesn’t get any worse than you turning all the people who were your supporters into your opponents,” Saedi said.

The political deputy of Ahmadinejad’s office, Mohammed Jafar Behdad, publicly criticized Saedi and charged, “The possession of the title ‘representative of the Guardian Jurist doesn’t become a license for the likes of Mr. Saedi to announce that Ahmadinejad doesn’t act in accordance with the acceptable standards and conditions of the regime.’”

Ahmadinejad is near the end of his second term after winning a disputed election that resulted in massive protests and a brutal suppression.

He also has been called on the carpet by the Parliament for the dizzying decline in the rial currency and spiraling inflation in the wake of crippling Western sanctions.

“The problem here is that the Presidents misapprehend their role and place for leadership of the regime,” according to Saedi. “We approved of Ahmadinejad while he acted in accordance with the accepted standards and conditions of the regime….

“I don’t know what this damnable thing [relations with the U.S.] is that the gentlemen want to put its medal around their necks. I now really don’t know what goes through the mind of Ahmadinejad that he puts forth the debate of relations with America.”

Al Monitor reported that a conservative website that is close to one of Ahmadinejad’s severest parliamentary critics stated that the President must “apologize” for the 250% increase in food prices over the past seven years.

Ahmadinejad’s insistence to visit the Ervin prison, where his press adviser has been jailed, also has cost him harsh criticism.

His request was turned down in a confidential letter by the judiciary to Ahmadinejad, who not only published it but publicly said it does not grant its permission to visit the jail.


Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

by Ryan Jones (Israel Today News)

Heavy machine gun fire out of Gaza
Gaza rocket hits Israeli school

Israeli political and military officials responded furiously on Tuesday to wounding of an Israeli army officer by a roadside bomb planted along the fence separating the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip from the rest of Israel.

The bomb was detonated against an Israeli army patrol near the Kissufim Crossing. The wounded officer suffered critical wounds to his face and limbs.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that while the violence had emanated from Gaza, its true source was Iran.

“Today we engaged in exchanges against terrorist aggression that comes from our southern border in Gaza, but it actually comes from Iran and a whole terror network that is supporting these attacks,” said Netanyahu.

Hamas and its allied terror groups are known to receive moral, logistical and material support from the Iranian regime.

Netanyahu vowed that the response to Tuesday’s attack and ongoing rocket fire against southern Israel would be severe.

“We will fight and we will hit them very, very hard,” said Netanyahu. “The way to fight terror is to fight terror, and that we shall do with great force.”

Just hours earlier, Col. Amir Baram, commander of one of Israel’s top paratrooper units, told Channel 2 News that the Israeli army will likely have to launch another ground invasion of Gaza in the near future.

“I think there won’t be a choice. We’ll need to enter Gaza soon,” said Baram, noting that the only way to truly cripple the terrorists’ capabilities is to go house-to-house and destroy their weapons caches.

Israel last entered Gaza in force during the winter of 2008-2009. Despite the massive escalation in terrorist rocket fire that forced Israel to take action, the international community predictably blamed Israel for the conflict and its casualties.


Saturday, October 20th, 2012

by Caroline Glick

The Islamic revolutionary wave sweeping across the Arab world has rent asunder the foundations of the US alliance system in the Middle East. But Obama’s Administration cannot see what is happening.

The operational, intelligence and political fiascos that led to and followed the September 11 jihadist assault on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, all derive from the same problem. That problem is the failure of US President Barack Obama’s conceptual framework for understanding the Middle East.

The Islamic revolutionary wave sweeping across the Arab world has rent asunder the foundations of the US alliance system in the Middle East. But due to Obama’s ideological commitment to an anti-American conceptual framework for understanding Middle Eastern politics, his Administration cannot see what is happening.

That framework places the blame for all or most of the pathologies of the Muslim world on the US and Israel.

What Obama and his advisers can see is that there are many people who disagree with them. And so they adopted a policy of delegitimizing, discrediting and silencing their opponents. To this end, his Administration has purged the US federal government’s lexicon of all terms that are necessary to describe reality.

“Jihad,” “Islamist,” “radical Islam,” “Islamic terrorism” and similar phrases have all been banned. The study of Islamist doctrine by government officials has been outlawed.

The latest casualty of this policy was an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.

Until he was sacked this week, the instructor taught a class called “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism.”

According to Col. Dave Lapan, spokesman for the Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, the instructor was fired for committing a thought crime. He “portrayed Islam almost entirely in a negative way.” Dempsey himself ordered the probe of all Islamic courses across the US military educational system.

The Administration’s refusal to accept the plain fact that the Islamic regimes and forces now rising throughout the Muslim world threaten US interests is not its only conceptual failure.

Another failure, also deriving from Obama’s embrace of the anti-American and anti-Israel foreign policy narrative, is also wreaking havoc on the region. And like the conceptual failure that led to the murderous attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, this conceptual failure will also come back to haunt America.

This second false conceptual framework argues that the root of instability in the region is the absence of formal treaties of peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. It claims that the way to pacify the radical regional forces is to pressure Israel to make concessions in land and legitimacy to its neighbors.

Obama is not unique for his embrace of this conceptual framework for US Middle East policy. He is just the latest in a long line of US Presidents to adopt it.

At the same time the concept that peace processes and treaties ensure peace and stability collapsed completely during Obama’s tenure in office. So what makes Obama unique is that he is the first President to cling to this policy framework since it was wholly discredited.

Israel signed four peace treaties with its Arab neighbors. It signed treaties with Egypt, Jordan, the PLO and Lebanon. All of these treaties have failed or been rendered meaningless by subsequent events.

Today Israel’s 31-year-old peace treaty with Egypt is a hollow shell. No, Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood regime has not officially abrogated it. But the rise of the genocidally anti-Semitic Muslim Brotherhood to power has rendered it meaningless.

The treaty is no longer credible, because the Muslim Brotherhood, including Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, reject Israel’s right to exist. Their rejection of Israel’s right to exist is not a primarily political position, but a religious one. Morsi and his regime perceive Jews as the enemies of Allah deserving of annihilation.

Morsi himself has a rich record of pronouncements attesting to this fact. For instance, in November 2004 he said, “The Koran has established that the Jews are the ones in the highest degree of enmity towards Muslims.”

He continued, “There is no peace with the descendants of apes and pigs.”

In January 2009, Morsi called Israelis “Draculas who are always hungry for more killing and bloodshed using all kinds of modern war weapons supplied to them by the American Administration.” He accused Israelis of “sowing the seeds of hatred between humans.”

With positions like these, Morsi has no need to pronounce dead the peace treaty for which Israel surrendered the Sinai Peninsula, and with it, its ability to deter and block invasions from the south. Its death is self-evident.

The peace was made with a regime. And once the regime ended, the peace was over. The fact that the peace was contingent on the survival of the regime that made it was utterly predictable.

In 1983, Israel signed a peace treaty with Lebanon. The treaty was abrogated as soon as the regime that signed it was overthrown by Islamic radicals and Syria.

Then there was the peace with the PLO. That peace – or peace process – was officially ushered in by the signing of the Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993.

Today, the Obama Administration opposes PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas’s attempts to receive international recognition of a Palestinian state through an upgrade of its position at the UN to non-member state status.

Monday US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice explained that the Obama Administration opposes the PLO’s move because it believes it “jeopardizes the peace process.”

But this is not a credible reason to oppose it. The reason to oppose it is because the PLO’s move harms Israel.

The peace process is dead. It is dead because it was a fraud. The Palestinians negotiated in bad faith from the beginning. It is dead because the Palestinian Authority lost the Gaza Strip to Hamas in 2007. It is dead because Abbas and his PA have no capacity to make peace with Israel, even if they wanted to – which they don’t. This is so because their people will not accept peaceful coexistence with Israel. The Palestinian national movement is predicated not on the desire to establish a Palestinian state, but on the desire to destroy the Jewish state.

Abbas made this clear – yet again – this week in a statement published on his official Facebook page. There he said outright that his claim that Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian territory applies not only to Judea and Samaria, but rather, “the point applies to all the territories that Israel occupied before June 1967.”

With peace partners like this, it is beyond obvious that there is nothing that Israel can do short of national suicide that will satisfy them.

This brings us to Jordan. Jordan is one of those stories that no one wants to discuss, because it destroys all of our cherished myths about the nature of Israel- Arab relations, the relative popularity of jihadist Islam and the US’s options going forward.

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is composed of three population groups. Ethnic Palestinians comprise the vast majority of Jordan’s citizenry. The Hashemites have always viewed the Palestinians as a threat to the regime, and so blocked their integration into governing and military hierarchies. The Palestinians have always been opposed to Israel’s existence.

The second largest group of Jordanians is the Beduin tribes. Until the last decade or so, the Beduin tribes in Jordan, like those in Israel and Sinai, were not particularly religious, nor were they inherently opposed to peaceful coexistence with Israel.

Israeli Beduin served in the IDF in large numbers. The Beduin of Sinai served in Israel’s Civil Administration in Sinai and opposed the peace treaty that returned them to Egyptian control. And the Beduin of Jordan did not oppose the monarchy’s historically covert, but widely recognized, strategic alliance with Israel.

All of this has changed in the past 10 to 15 years as the Beduin of the area underwent a drastic process of Islamic radicalization. Today the Beduin of Sinai stand behind much of the jihadist violence. The Beduin of Israel have increasingly embraced the causes of irredentism, radical Islam and jihad. And the Beduin of Jordan have become even more opposed to peaceful coexistence with Israel than the Palestinians.

This leaves the Hashemites. A small Arabian clan installed in power by the British, the Hashemites have historically viewed Israel as their strategic partners and protectors of their regime.

Since the fall of the Mubarak regime, Jordan’s King Abdullah II has been increasingly stressed by regional events and domestic trends alike. The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has empowered the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan. The rise of pro-Iranian Shi’ite forces in post-US-withdrawal Iraq has made pro-Western Jordan an attractive target for triumphant jihadists across the border. The rise of Islamist forces in the Syrian opposition, not to mention the constant subversive activities carried out by Syrian regime agents, has limited Jordan’s maneuver room still further.

Emboldened by all these forces, the Jordanian Beduin are now in open revolt against the monarchy and its refusal to abrogate the peace treaty with Israel.

This revolt was exposed in all of its ugliness in recent weeks following Abdullah’s appointment of Walid Obeidat to serve as Jordan’s new Ambassador to Israel.

Obeidat’s tribe disowned him and his family and branded him a traitor for accepting the appointment. His tribe invited the other tribes to join it in a mass rally demanding the abrogation of the treaty and the destruction of Israel.

In this state of affairs, the strategic value of Israel’s peace treaty has been destroyed. Even if Abdullah wished to look to Israel as a strategic protector, as his father, King Hussein, did in the 1970 Jordanian civil war between the Hashemites and the Palestinians, he can’t. In 1970, the Syrians shared Hussein’s antipathy to Yasser Arafat and the PLO and therefore did not intervene on their behalf. Today, there is no Arab force that would back him in an Israeli-supported fight against Islamic fundamentalists.

Perhaps in recognition of the fragility of the Hashemites’ hold on power, last week it was reported that the US has deployed military forces to the kingdom. According to media reports, the force consists of a few hundred advisers and other teams whose main jobs are to assist Jordan in handling the 200,000 refugees from Syria who have streamed across the border since the onset of the civil war in Syria, and to help to secure Syria’s chemical and biological arsenals. It is more than likely that the force is also in place to evacuate Americans in the event the regime collapses.

In the current situation, the US has very few good strategic options. But it does have one sure bet. Today the US has only one ally in the Middle East that it can trust: Israel. And the only no-risk move it can make is to do everything in its power to strengthen Israel.

But to adopt this policy, the Americans first need to discard their false conceptual frameworks regarding the Middle East. Unfortunately, as the US response to the Benghazi attack and its continued assaults on Israel make clear, there is no chance of that happening, as long as Obama remains in the White House.


Saturday, October 20th, 2012

by Elad Benari (Arutz Sheva News)

The intelligence chief of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces, General Wissam al-Hassan, among the dead in blast in Beirut.

A top security official linked to the anti-Damascus camp in Lebanon was among those killed in a powerful car bomb in Beirut on Friday, officials told AFP.

The rush-hour bombing in the predominantly Christian district of Ashrafieh killed at least two other people and wounded 96, Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil told reporters at the scene.

A government official said the intelligence chief of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces, General Wissam al-Hassan, was among the dead in one of the highest-profile killings since the 2005 murder of former premier Rafiq Hariri.

Hassan was close to Rafiq’s son, Saad, who is leader of the opposition and hostile to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, AFP noted. He had been tipped to take over as ISF head at the end of this year.

Opposition politician Samir Geagea said Hassan “moved around with exceptional security measures” and had sent his wife and children to Paris because he “knew he was a target.”

The ISF played a central role in the arrest in August of former Lebanese information minister Michel Samaha, who has close links to Damascus and was charged with planning attacks in Lebanon and transporting explosives.

The agency was also deeply involved in seeking the arrest of those responsible for a host of attacks and assassinations between 2005 and 2008, starting with the Hariri assassination.

Friday’s blast occurred only 200 meters from the headquarters of the Christian party, the Phalange, which is also anti-Damascus.

No one claimed responsibility for the bombing, but Phalange MP Nadim Gemayel quickly accused Syria of orchestrating it.

“The Syrian regime is no stranger to such explosions. This is a political blast par excellence,” Gemayel told LBC television. “This regime, which is crumbling, is trying to export its conflict to Lebanon.”

Geagea, head of the right-wing Lebanese Forces, also pointed the finger at Damascus, saying Hassan was targeted “because he arrested Samaha.”

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi, meanwhile, condemned what he called a “terrorist, cowardly” attack, saying such incidents “are unjustifiable wherever they occur.”

State prosecutor Hatem Madi said the car “was blown off dozens of meters” from where it was parked on a street off Sassine Square. Bomb experts told AFP the car was packed with 66 pounds of explosives.

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