January 21, 2019

Netanyahu Heading To Chad Sunday To Renew Diplomatic Ties

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to fly to Chad on Saturday night (19th) to announce the renewal of diplomatic ties with the African Muslim-majority nation.

During his one-day trip on Sunday (20th) to N’Djamena, the country’s capital city, Netanyahu will meet Chad’s President Idriss Deby for a meeting and a formal declaration by the two leaders on the re-establishment of diplomatic relations which were severed 47 years ago.

In November, Deby made a surprise visit to Israel, during which he said he was interested in restoring full diplomatic ties.  As he left the country after a three-day trip, during which he also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Netanyahu promised to fly to the country’s capital “soon” for the formal re-establishment of ties.

“The relations between our countries were cut in 1972 for specific historic reasons, but our special relations continued all the time,” said Deby, who has ruled Chad since 1990.

Israel said Chadian leaders have acknowledged that clandestine contacts continued even after relations were severed.

“My current visit to beautiful Israel expresses our desire to take the relations that existed all the time and make them stronger,” Deby said in November.

Chad is located in a potentially strategic important place for Israel, as it could enable Israeli aircraft to shave off several  hours in flight routes to Latin America. However for this to happen, Israel would need to get overfly permission from Sudan, which does not appear imminent.

The Republic of Chad has a population of 15,000.000 people.



40 UN Ambassadors To Visit Israel On Holocaust Remembrance Day

Memorial ceremonies will be held across the world to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.  As part of the United Nations’ commemoration of the day, born of a UN resolution initiated by Israeli diplomat Roni Adam in 2005, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon will lead a delegation of 40 ambassadors from the UN on a trip to Israel.

Among those set to take part in the delegation are ambassadors from the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary, Panama and South Sudan.

Prior to the five-day Israel visit, the ambassadors will visit Poland to learn about the Holocaust and hold a memorial ceremony at the death camps.

While in Israel, the diplomats are expected to meet with President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior government officials.  The delegation will visit Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and take a helicopter tour of Israel’s northern front and its borders with Syria and Lebanon. While there, the envoys will view one of the cross-border terror tunnels dug under the Israel-Lebanon border by Hizbullah.

Danon, who as Israel’s envoy has brought a number of diplomatic delegations to Israel said “this type of delegation does a great deal to promote Israel in the international arena.  The ambassadors see from up close the beauty and uniqueness of our country alongside the challenges and regional complexities and return to the UN with a positive perspective toward Israel.”

He said the impact of the trip “is manifested in their votes in our favor at the General Assembly, in collaborations and in their joining our struggle against the lies spread by our enemies.”



Deadly Attack In Kenya Directed Against ‘Zionist Jews,’ Terror Group Says

The Somali Islamist terror group that carried out Tuesday’s (15th) attack on a hotel complex in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi has issued a fresh statement declaring that the atrocity was directed against ‘Zionist Jews.’

The assault claimed the lives of 14 people, including US citizen Jason Spindler – a survivor of the Sept. 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda terror attacks in New York.

On Tuesday night, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that security forces had regained control of the complex, with all the terrorists “eliminated” in the process.

On Wednesday (16th), in a statement from Al-Shabaab, an affiliate of Al-Qaida, it said that the attack was in “response to the witless remarks of US President Donald Trump and his declaration of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel.”

The statement concluded with a message to the “Zionist Jews,” whom it described as “killers of the Prophets and brothers of monkeys and pigs,” saying: “know that by oppressing the Muslims in Palestine, you are waging a war against the entire Muslim community of believers…. We will hold you accountable for every ounce of blood spilt in Palestine…. What awaits you is a fate similar to that of your ancestors of Bani Quraydha (a Jewish tribe in Arabia during the 7th century) at the hands of the Prophet Muhammad and his noble companions.”



Arab League Head: Importance Of Palestinian Cause ‘Reduced’

The Arab League’s Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit has recently said the importance of the Palestinian cause has been somewhat “reduced,” sparking outcry in the Arab world.

“There are more pressing matters we (Arab Countries) must contend with, since the Arab world has dramatically changed,” he said in a televised interview in Egypt.

“Arab nations have recently seen the hardest of times,” Aboul Gheit said in reference to war-battered countries Yemen, Libya and Syria.  “We must not forget the mistakes made by Arab rulers, inflicting tragedies upon the region.”

An Egyptian political analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the secretary-general’s “statements are a clear attempt to prepare the ground for the normalization of relations with the Zionist entity.”

Backing the Arab League’s secretary-general, a senior Palestinian Authority official said that Aboul Gheit made his remarks against the backdrop of political uncertainty and ongoing conflicts in the Arab world.



The Golan Heights Should Stay Israeli Forever – Steven A. Cook

→Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly been lobbying the Trump administration on the idea of formally acknowledging Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights.

→But whether Washington recognizes Israel’s annexation or not, the Israelis are never withdrawing from the Golan Heights – conquered in the June 1967 war – nor should they.

→Above all, the Golan does not require the control of a large hostile population, as the 27,000 Druze on the Golan Heights have accommodated themselves peacefully to Israel’s rule.

→The Golan Heights multiplies Israel’s force in the event of a war, and is an unrivaled intelligence-gathering platform.  From its posts atop the Golan heights, the IDF can look and listen in on the valley below that leads to Damascus, only 45 miles away.

→There is no question that holding onto the plateau is superior to withdrawing, as there is no certainty there will ever be any kind of agreement with the Syrian regime.

→In the wake of the Syrian civil war, Iran and its expeditionary force, Hizbullah, are a threat to Israel’s security.  The Golan Heights is critical to keeping both from achieving their ends.

The writer is a senior fellow for Middle East and African Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations,