Category Archives: Israel

War: U.S. deploys 3rd carrier group to North Korea; Russia will nuke if US or NATO enters Crimea

On the eve of Memorial Day, the world stands at the precipice of war.

(1) North Korea

As the psychopathic and likely psychotic regime of Kim Jong-un continues its saber-rattling, President Trump is standing firm by sending a third aircraft carrier group to the western Pacific.

Kenji Minemura reports for Japan’s Asahi Shimbun that on May 26, 2017, “sources close the U.S. military” said the U.S. Navy has decided to deploy a third carrier-led strike force — the USS Nimitz, one of the world’s largest warships — to the western Pacific to increase pressure on North Korea to rein in its nuclear and missile tests amid mounting concern that it will soon acquire the capability to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

Vincent Stewart, director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, has said that Pyongyang will ultimately succeed in acquiring the technology to equip its ICBMs with nuclear warheads and threaten the U.S. mainland.

It is rare for the U.S. Navy to deploy three aircraft carriers to the same region at the same time. The deployment of Nimitz to join the USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan means that three of the U.S. Navy’s 11 aircraft carriers will be deployed in the western Pacific.

The Carl Vinson strike group, which is also part of the Third Fleet, has been deployed to the Sea of Japan since late April. The Ronald Reagan strike group, which belongs to the Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan, and is in charge of the western Pacific, left its homeport on April 16. It is scheduled to carry out a joint drill with the Carl Vinson strike group, which may be joined by the Nimitz.

The Nimitz strike group, which is part of the U.S. Third Fleet, was originally scheduled to be deployed to the Middle East region, departing from its homeport, Naval Base Kitsap in Washington State, on June 1. Instead, the U.S. Navy decided to deploy the nuclear-powered Nimitz to the western Pacific for six months to deal with this latest crisis involving North Korea.

The deployment of the Nimitz also sends a signal to China to continue cooperating with the United States on this issue. President Donald Trump has said that the U.S. will independently take action against North Korea if China does not cooperate.

(2) Russia

Meanwhile, a member of Russia’s parliament told an international gathering of government security officials today that Russia would be forced to use nuclear weapons if U.S. or NATO forces entered eastern Ukraine, i.e., Crimea.

Patrick Tucker reports for Defense One, May 28, 2017, that Russian parliamentarian Vyacheslav Alekseyevich Nikonov told attendees at the GLOBSEC 2017 forum in Bratislava, Slovakia: “On the issue of NATO expansion on our borders, at some point I heard from the Russian military — and I think they are right — if U.S. forces, NATO forces, are, were, in the Crimea, in eastern Ukraine, Russia is undefendable militarily in case of conflict without using nuclear weapons in the early stage of the conflict.”

While the Soviet Union maintained a policy against the first use of nukes, Putin’s government turned away from that strict prohibition in 2000 with the signing of a new military doctrine that allows for the limited use of nuclear weapons “in response to large-scale aggression utilizing conventional weapons in situations critical to the national security of the Russian Federation.”

But Amy Wolf, a nuclear weapons specialist with the Congressional Research Service, points out that “This is not new, and has been a part of Russian military doctrine for years,” and that although Russia could resort to the use of nuclear weapons first, “There is little indication that Russia plans to use nuclear weapons at the outset of a conflict, before it has engaged with conventional weapons”.

So why is the Russian government telegraphing its willingness to go nuclear in Ukraine/Crimea? In a word, NATO.

Russia has watched with concern as NATO has added a dozen eastern members that used to be under Moscow’s sway. Nikonov said, “For us, [NATO] is a military alliance spanning three-quarters of the global defense money, now planning to expand that figure.”

In the two years since Russia annexed Crimea, NATO’s Baltic members have doubled their defense budgets. In 2018, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia are projected to spend nearly $670 million, up from $210 million in 2014. Craig Caffrey, principal analyst at IHS Jane’s, remarked last October: “This growth is faster than any other region globally. In 2005, the region’s total defense budget was $930 million. By 2020, the region’s defense budget will be $2.1 billion.”

NATO has been expanding its troop presence in Eastern Europe as well. In April 2016, during the Warsaw summit, NATO agreed to increase the size of the NATO force deployed to Baltics to enhance its forward presence. In January 2017, the U.S. deployed some 4,000 troops to Poland. The following month, Germany, announced that it will send some 1,000 troops to  Lithuania.

~Eowyn

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Melania slaps Trump’s hand

This GIF has gone viral.

This morning, Air Force One landed in Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport.

As President Trump and Melania are escorted by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who’s holding hands with wife Sara, Trump reaches his left hand to Melania, who’s walking slightly behind him.

Melania swats his hand away, without breaking her stride.

Here’s the video from which the GIF was made:

This video says that later, Melania held hands with Trump when they visited the Old City in Jerusalem.

UPDATE (May 24, 2017):

Two readers pointed out that what Trump and Melania did was giving each other a low-five (vs. a high-five). So I looked for a video of someone making a low-five, and had a GIF made of this baby giving his mother a low-five.

Compare the baby’s low-five to what Melania did:

I’m now convinced that’s what the Trumps were doing: Melania was walking slightly behind Trump, so he reached back to give her a low-five, and she reciprocated. There’s no discord in their marriage. Phew!

See also “First Couple Donald and Melania hold hands in Jerusalem and Rome“.

~Eowyn

Fake Terrorist: ISIS jihadist calling for attacks on U.S. & Australia is a Jew who lived with his parents in Florida

In March 2017, in separate arrests, a black man in St. Louis and two father-and-son dual US-Israeli citizens were arrested for pretending to be anti-Semites who made a rash of bomb and other threats against Jewish organizations in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand. See:

Yesterday, I came across another case of fake threats, by a Jewish young man living with his parents in Florida, who pretended to be an ISIS/Islamic State jihadist threatening to attack the U.S. and Australia.

Elise Potaka and Luke McMahon report for Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald that on Sept. 9, 2015, the FBI arrested 20-year-old Joshua Ryne Goldberg at his parents’ home in Orange Park, a suburb of Jacksonville, Florida, for pretending to be an Australian-based Islamic State (IS) jihadist and for “distribution of information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction in furtherance of an activity that constitutes a Federal crime of violence”.

The police made the arrest after an FBI joint investigation with the Australian Federal Police based on information provided by Fairfax Media — one of Australia’s largest media companies and the owner of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Calling himself “Australi Witness,” Goldberg had posed online as an IS supporter working with other jihadists on plans to attack individuals and events in Australia and the United States. He even posted pictures of a bomb that he said he was making with “2 lbs of explosives inside”.

Goldberg is Jewish, not a Muslim, and has no real-world links with the Islamic State or any other terrorist group.

US Attorney Lee Bentley III said Goldberg:

  • Instructed a confidential source how to make a bomb similar to two used in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings hoax, with nails, metal and other items dipped in rat poison.
  • Provided five web links to sites containing instructions to make explosives as part of a plot to explode a bomb at a memorial ceremony in Kansas City, commemorating the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The affidavit, released by Special agent William Berry of US Customs and Border Protection, says Goldberg initially denied to police that he had distributed information on how to make a bomb, but later admitted it and “further admitted that he believed the information would create a genuine bomb”.

In the leadup to an exhibition in Garland, Texas, at which pictures of the Prophet Mohammed were to be displayed, posing as “Australi Witness,” Goldberg tweeted the event’s address and urged people to go there with “weapons, bombs or with knifes”. Two Muslim men attempted an attack at the exhibition, and were killed by police. Australi Witness then praised them online as martyrs. Australi Witness Goldberg also urged followers to target Australian cartoonist Larry Pickering, who has previously depicted the Prophet Mohammed.

Goldberg, as Australi Witness, posed online as prominent Australian lawyer, Josh Bornstein. Goldberg established a blog on the Times of Israel in the lawyer’s name and, pretending to be Bornstein, posted an inflammatory article calling for the “extermination” of Palestinians. The Times retracted and apologized for the article. For his part, Bornstein said in a public statement that “I deplore racism…I’ve fought racism since I was four years old”.

When confronted, Goldberg boasted he had fooled “that guy” Bornstein into thinking that the online radical right-wing website “Daily Stormer did it.”

According to Wikipedia, Goldberg also pretended to be these other online personas:

  • White supremacist neo-Nazi on The Daily Stormer, Reddit, and European88.
  • Radical feminist.
  • Woman-hating misogynist on Reddit, advocating corrective rape against “whores and feminazis”, and offering tips on how to do so without getting caught.

Goldberg’s Australi Witness persona fooled journalists and terrorism experts.

As an example, Rita Katz, 54 — a Jew born in Iraq who is a terrorism analyst, co-founder of the D.C.-based private intelligence firm Search International Terrorist Entities (SITE) Intelligence Group, consultant for US and foreign governments, and has testified before Congress on online terrorist activities — said “IS supporter” Australi Witness held a “prestige” position in online jihadi circles and was “part of the hard core of a group of individuals who constantly look for targets for other people to attack”.

You can’t make this stuff up! — but evidently, terrorism expert Rita Katz can.

According to Wikipedia:

  • On Sept. 15, 2015, Goldberg appeared in court where he was ordered to undergo a 30-day mental health evaluation to determine his fitness to stand trial. If tried and convicted, Goldberg faces 20 years in prison.
  • On December 14, 2015, after an examination by psychologist Lisa Feldman at Federal Detention Center, Miami, US Magistrate Judge James Klindt ruled Goldberg mentally incompetent to stand trial and Goldberg was ordered to be undergo psychiatric treatment for four months at the Federal Medical Center, Butner.
  • On June 15, 2016, appearing again before Judge Klindt, Goldberg was described by prison psychiatrists as “improving”, and that there was a “good chance” of him being returned to competency to stand trial. Another status update was scheduled by Klindt for October 15, 2016.

See also:

~Eowyn

Yet more evidence dating Shroud of Turin to time of Christ

The Shroud of Turin is a rectangular 14 ft 5 in × 3 ft 7 in piece of woven flax cloth, believed by Christians to be the burial cloth of Jesus. The cloth bears the faint, brownish 3D imprint of the front and back view of the face and body of a bearded naked man — muscular and tall (various experts have measured him as from 5 ft 7 in to 6 ft 2 in). The imprint shows reddish-brown stains from wounds at the man’s wrist and pinpricks around his brow which are consistent with Christ’s wounds from being nailed to the cross and from the “crown of thorns” mockingly pressed onto his scalp.

In 2013, a test on fibers from the Shroud of Turin, conducted by scientists at the University of Padua, Italy, dated the Shroud to between 300 BC and 400 AD, which would put it in the era of Christ (see “New evidence dates Shroud of Turin to time of Christ“).

Now, an expert on ancient Roman coins has discovered more evidence that the burial cloth could have been used to cover the body of Jesus.

WND reports, April 30, 2017, that Agostino Sferrazza, a numismatist or coin expert, whose specialty is Roman coins, has identified the coins covering the eyes of the Man of the Shroud as having been minted in the days of Pontius Pilate.

In an interview with the French-language RCF Liège, Sferrazza said there is no doubt that the coins covering the eyes of the Man of the Shroud had been coined in 29 A.D.

In 1976, using 3-D projection techniques, researchers first noticed the presence of small bulges on the ocular orbit bones of the Man of the Shroud which wouldn’t match any possible morphological characteristics. The researchers hypothesized that the bulges were leptons: small coins of low value which were common in Israel during the Roman occupation.

Using advanced technologies, researchers — including Turin Faculty of Sciences Associate Professor and computer scientist Nello Balossino — uncovered drawings and inscriptions on the coins:

  • A “lituus” (a curved Roman-style augural staff) appears to be on the coin or disc covering the right eye.
  • On the disc over the left eye, there is what appears to be a sacrificial cup.
  • Most importantly, both coins bear the inscription YKAI, which is believed to be the visible part of the word “TIBERIOY KAICAPOC” — Greek for Tiberius Caesar. That would date the Shroud coins to the time of Pontius Pilate and our Lord’s Passion. (Note: Tiberius was a Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. According to the Gospels, it was during the reign of Tiberius when Jesus preached and was crucified under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea province.)

Alan Whanger, M.D., explains that whereas Jews did not believe in the Greco-Roman practice at the time of covering the eyes of the dead with coins as a tip for Charon who conveyed the dead across the river Styx, there was another reason why Jews and other cultures routinely put coins on the eyelids of the corpse. If a person dies with the eyelids open, they may have the rather disconcerting characteristic of opening again after they are shut, which accounts for “the nearly universal practice among many peoples for millennia . . . to put coins on the eyes of the dead to keep the eyelids shut.”

Whatever the Jewish custom at the time, Dr. Whanger points out that:

“The essential question is whether there are the images of identifiable coins over the eyes on the Shroud . . . . Even if there were never any coins put on the eyelids of any other dead Jews, that does not negate the presence of the images on the man of the Shroud . . . . The Shroud is a unique object, and actually is the only existing intact burial Shroud from Israel/Palestine from that period of time. There are many existing older shrouds from other areas, but none of them have images on them.”

~Eowyn

WTF? ISIS apologizes for attacking Israeli soldiers

And here I thought Muslims see Jews and Israel as their enemy.

Silly me.

Judah Ari Gross reports for The Times of Israel that on April 22, 2017, at an event in the northern Israeli city of Afula, Israel’s former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon was interviewed on stage by Eli Levi, a Channel 10 news correspondent.

Ya’alon said Daesh, the nickname for the Islamic State/ISIS terrorist group in Syria, “apologized” for attacking an Israeli unit: “There was one case recently where Daesh opened fire and apologized”.

Ya’alon did not elaborate on how exactly the Islamic State had expressed its apology to Israel after the attack. The IDF also declined to comment.

Ya’alon’s comment was an apparent reference to a clash that took place near the Syrian border last November, in which Israel’s IDF undertook strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces when spillover fire hit the Israeli Golan Heights. IDF troops exchanged fire with members of Daesh. After a brief gun battle, the Israeli military attacked the terrorist group with airstrikes and tank fire, killing four of them.

Syrian officials have accused Israel of directly aiding the Islamic State and other rebel groups, a claim Jerusalem vociferously denies. Earlier this month Syrian President Bashar Assad once again accused Israel of helping jihadi militants terrorize his country. As reported by Ynet, Assad said:

“You can assume that these terrorists are fighting for Israel. If they aren’t part of the regular Israeli army, they’re fighting for Israel. Israel has common goals with Turkey, the United States, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other countries. Israel is working on helping these terrorists wherever the Syrian army is advancing. It attacks in one form or another to provide them with assistance, and to stop the Syrian army’s momentum in the face of the terrorists.”

That would explain why, as I’d repeatedly pointed out, ISIS (as well as Al-Qaeda to my recollection) attacks and kills Christians and rival Muslims across the Middle East, but not Jews or Israel. As ZeroHedge observes, “after reportedly attacking virtually every religion and ethnicity in the region, there have been virtually no documented attacks by the Islamic State on Israel or its citizens.”

See also:

By the way, the radical-left Antifa militants in street demonstrations and brawls in the U.S. conceal their identity with facial masks.

Ever wondered why those ISIS jihadists in the Middle East similarly mask their faces? What is it about their faces that they are so intent on concealing?

~Eowyn

Israeli intelligence chief said Israel does not want ISIS to be defeated

Have you wondered, as I have, why Israel and the U.S. are hellbent on aiding and abetting jihadist rebels against the Assad government of Syria — a government that, unlike the rebels, does not abuse its Christian citizens? See:

Here’s the answer.

The Herzliya Conference, as described by its host, the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Lauder School of Government of IDC Herzliya, “is Israel’s foremost global policy annual gathering, drawing together the most senior Israeli and international participants from government, business and academia to address pressing national, regional and global issues. The center stage for Middle East risk assessment and policy analysis, the Conference agenda covers a broad span of issues, ranging from nuclear proliferation and the Middle East peace process to world finance and energy security.”

Note: IDC Herzliya is the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya — a private research university in Herzliya, Israel. Herzliya is a city in the district of Tel Aviv, Israel.

To give you some idea as to the importance of the Herzliya Conference, the keynote speakers for the 16th Herzliya Conference, held on June 14-16, 2016, included (in chronological order):

  • Israeli President Reuven Rivlin
  • Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee
  • Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
  • Author and philosopher Bernard Henri-Lévy, who
  • Former Israeli Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak

On June 15, 2016, the second day of the 16th Herzliya Conference, Chief of the Military Intelligence Directorate of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Major General Herzi Halevi delivered a keynote address on “Israel in the Turbulent Middle East: Strategic Review and Intelligence Assessment”.

Herzliya Conference’s report on Major Gen. Halevi’s speech quoted him as saying:

“The Game board in the Middle East has changed. Instead of few states, there are now many players. The transition from nation states to organizations is very significant. There are no good and bad guys, and players on the field change their identities.”

Halevi described a changed Saudi Arabia, whose interests now accord more with Israel’s:

Part of the strategies of the pragmatic Sunni nations are becoming closer to our own. Saudi Arabia is not the same country we once saw just a year and a half ago, they have a new king and are leading the Sunni camp in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is implementing vast reforms in order to move the country away from their oil dependent economy.”

On Iran, while Halevi applauded the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran, he warned that:

Iran is investing great efforts against Israel. Iran is supporting the three main threats on Israel: Hammas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad – in fact, they support 60% of it. It is a Shiite nation giving money to Sunni organization – they would do that to hurt Israel.”

On Syria, Halevi said:

Syrian industries have resumed the production of weaponry for Hezbollah, and neither the world or Israel should accept it – it could escalate the next conflict.”

Jerusalem Post elaborated more on what Halevi said about Iran:

“In the next wars, the majority of weapons that will attack Israel will be Iranian products. Iran is leading the way in cyber warfare and aiding Hezbollah on that front.”

But the most interesting and significant thing Halevi said was not reported by either Jerusalem Post or the Herzliya Conference. Instead, it was reported by AMN (Al-Masdar News, an online newspaper based in Beirut, Lebanon) on June 20, 2016:

Israeli intelligence Chief, Major General Herzi Halevy, said that the last three months have been the most difficult for ISIS since its inception.

In a speech delivered at “Herzliya” conference yesterday, Halevy explicitly said “Israel does not want the situation in Syria to end with the defeat of ISIS,” the Israeli NRG site reported.

“Withdrawal of the super powers from the region and letting Israel alone in front of Hezbollah and Iran that possess good abilities will make ‘Israel’ in a hard position. Therefore, we’ve to do all we can so as not finding ourselves in such situation,” the Israeli chief intelligence added.

AMN ‘s source is the Hebrew-language Israeli news site NRG.

According to Google Translate, the June 15, 2016 NRG report says that “on the second day of the 16th Herzliya Conference,” addressing “the difficult war in Syria,” head of Military Intelligence Herzi Halevi noted that “it reveals the main symptoms today in the Middle East, where countries are weakened and organizations are strengthened”. But “there are advantages” to “the presence of the great powers” in Syria, “as in the case of the destruction of Syria’s [the Assad government’s] chemical weapons.”

Then Halevi said:

האחרונים היו הקשים ביותר מבחינת דאעש מאז הקמתו”, סיפר. “ישראל לא רוצה שבסוריה יסתיים המצב שדאעש הובס, המעצמות עזבו את האיזור ואנחנו נשארנו עם חיזבאללה ואיראן עם יכולות טובות יותר. מצב סיום כזה הוא בעייתי. אנחנו צריכים להשפיע כך שלא נגיע למצב הזה”.

“Israel does not want Syria to end in a situation where Da’ish is defeated, the superpowers leave the region, and we [Israel] are left facing a more powerful Hezbollah and Iran with better capabilities. Such an end result is problematic. We [Israel] need to influence events so that we do not reach this situation.

Da’ish is Arabic for Daesh — the Arabic language acronym for ISIS/ISIL or the Islamic State.

There you have it.

The reason for Israel and the U.S.’s support of the so-called Syrian “rebels” and adamant opposition to the Assad government of Syria — a government that, unlike the jihadist rebels, does not abuse its Christian citizens — is because, in the words of Israeli military intelligence chief Herzi Halevi:

A stable Syria wherein ISIS is defeated would mean the U.S. and allies (“great powers”) would withdraw from the region, leaving Israel alone to deal with Iran and Hezbollah.

It is in Israel’s interest that Syria remains in a civil war, and ISIS continue their demonic destruction and killing of Christians. Why the Obama administration and now the Trump administration as well think all that is in America’s interests — not to mention the interests and wellbeing of Syrian Christians — is another matter entirely.

See also:

~Eowyn

Trump admin. updated Israel ‘in real time’ on Syria missile strike

JTA reports for The New York Jewish Week that Israel’s intelligence minister and a member of the Cabinet’s defense forum Yisrael Katz told Israeli Army Radio that U.S. defense officials “updated Israel in real time” on the Trump administration’s missile attack at Shayrat Air Base in Syria in the early morning hours of April 7.

The attack killed 18 Syrian civilians, including 5 children (AFP) — which is most ironic because Trump had justified the missile strike as a retaliation against Syrian children being killed by an alleged chemical attack allegedly by the Assad government.

Both Yisrael Katz and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu heaped praises on Trump for the missile attack. Katz enthused:

“There are things that only the No. 1 superpower in the world can do. In contrast to the failed policy of leading from behind, which led to Iran’s entrenchment, the United States has restored America’s regional leadership in a big way in the Middle East.”

Netanyahu praised Trump in a statement that Trump, “in both word and action,” had “sent a strong and clear message today that the use and spread of chemical weapons will not be tolerated. Israel fully supports President Trump’s decision.” Israel “hopes that this message of resolve in the face of the Assad regime’s horrific actions will resonate not only in Damascus, but in Tehran, Pyongyang and elsewhere.”

From Wikipedia:

In 1993, the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment WMD proliferation assessment recorded Israel as a country generally reported as having undeclared offensive chemical warfare capabilities.[2] Former US deputy assistant secretary of defense responsible for chemical and biological defense Dr. Bill Richardson said in 1998 “I have no doubt that Israel has worked on both chemical and biological offensive things for a long time… There’s no doubt they’ve had stuff for years.”[24]

Israel is believed to have developed an offensive biological warfare capability.[2] The US Congress Office of Technology Assessment records Israel as a country possessing a long-term, undeclared biological warfare program.[2] Israel is not a signatory to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).[25]

Even the U.S. Congress wasn’t “updated in real time” about the U.S. missile attack.

CBS/AP reports, April 7, 2017:

The U.S. missile strikes Thursday on a Syrian air base were conducted without formal congressional approval….

Trump did let Congress know of his plans to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles Thursday evening…. A White House official said more than two dozen members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, were briefed Thursday by White House and Cabinet officials. House Speaker Paul Ryan, the No. 3 U.S. official, said he was among those informed.

So what is it about Israel that warrants its government having the unique privilege of being “updated in real time” on a U.S. missile attack against a third country?

Inquiring minds really want to know.

See also:

~Eowyn