March 1, 2018

The Iranian Threat and the Eternal Meaning of Purim – Eliora katz

On Thursday (1st) Jews celebrate Purim, the tale of the Jews narrow escape from extermination in the Persian Achaemenid Empire in the fifth century BCE, a millennium before the rise of Islam.  The Book of Esther tells how King Xerxes selects Esther as his new queen, who conceals her Jewishness.  The king’s advisor, Haman, persuades the king to exterminate all the Jews of Persia.  Esther audaciously reveals her identity and everything turns upside down.  Xerxes orders Haman hanged, and the Jews defeat their enemies in a two-day war across the persian provinces.

Last year Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russia’s President Vladimir Putin: “Today there is an attempt by Persia’s heir, Iran, to destroy the state of the Jews.  They say this as clearly as possible and inscribe it on their ballistic missiles.”



Iran to Hold International “Israel Hourglass” festival

The first International Hourglass Festival, dedicated to anti-Israel art and media, will be held in Tehran in April, it was announced Tuesday (2/27).  Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, secretary-general of the International Conference on Supporting the Palestinian Intifada, said the “Hourglass Festival” is a symbol of the imminent collapse of the Zionist regime of Israel, as predicted by the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

Amir-Abdollahian said he cannot publicize the Islamic Republic’s plan to realize the leader’s prediction that the Israeli regime will collapse within 25 years, but it will definitely happen.  He further rejected any negotiation between Israelis and Palestinians, stressing that those who believed the conflict could be resolved peacefully are now sure the only way is resistance.

The organizers will work with 2,400 anti-Israel NGOs in Europe, North America, Latin America, and Eastern Asia to promote the festival across the world, said Mahdi Qomi, executive secretary of the festival.



Syrians Support Israel over Iran – Seth J. Frantzman

After the Syrian-Israel clash earlier this month, Faisal al-Qassem, who hosts a debate program on Al Jazeera, asked his Twitter followers on Feb. 10 who they support: Iran and its militias or Israel.  56% of the respondents (12,800 people) said they supported Israel.

One Syrian commented, “There is no Syrian in his right mind who would line up with Israel against his native Syria, but you will find millions of Syrians queuing up with the blue devils (Israel) against the fascist sectarian regime (Iran) that has surpassed all the monsters on earth in killing Syrians.”



Satellite Photos Show Iran Establishing New Base in Syria – Jennifer Griffin and Lucas Tomlinson

Satellite images from Israel’s ImageSat show Iran has built another permanent military base operated by its Quds Force eight miles northwest of Damascus, complete with hangers used to store short and medium-range missiles capable of hitting all of Israel, Western Intelligence sources say.  A similar base built last year south of Damascus was destroyed in December by Israeli surface-to-surface missiles.



Militants fire at IDF soldiers at checkpoint east of Ramallah

Militants fired at IDF soldiers at a security checkpoint east of Ramallah Tuesday (2/27), according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

No injuries were reported and IDF forces are searching the area for suspects.  Bullet casings were found at the scene.



IDF Chief arrives in Greece to discuss security with head of Greek army

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot arrived in Greece on Tuesday (2/27) to meet with the head of the Greek army, Admiral Abangelos Apostolakis, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

Eisenkot will meet with Greek security and military officials to discuss common security challenge, the conflict in the Middle East and regional security developments in addition to future military cooperation.



Jordan Foils ISIS plot to attack Israeli Businessmen, U.S. Embassy – Khaled Abu Toameh

A terror cell affiliated with Islamic State planned to attack Israeli businessmen, the U.S. embassy in Jordan, and other Western and Jordanian targets in Amman, Jordan’s Al Rai revealed on Tuesday (2/27).  Jordan’s security forces uncovered the plot last November and arrested 17 members of the terror cell.



Why is Israel Scattering Millions of Flies around Gaza? – Lidar Grave-Lazi

Every week, 33 million flies are scattered from airplanes onto orchards and agricultural farmland surrounding Gaza by Israel’s Agriculture Ministry in order to combat the Mediterranean fruit fly.  The sterile male flies mate with female flies infesting the crops, thus preventing the creation of the next generation of fruit flies.  The technique is an environmentally friendly and chemically-free pest control method.



Turkish President Erdogan tells Six-year-old she’d receive honors if martyred

At a rally on Saturday (2/24) exhorting Turks to support their soldiers in Syria, Turkish President Erdogan called to the stage Amine Tiras, 6, who was dressed in a military-style uniform.  “Her Turkish flag is in her pocket,” Erdogan proclaimed.  “If she becomes a martyr, God willing, she will be wrapped in it,”



Hate-crime charges reinstated in Paris trial of Muslim accused of killing Jewish neighbor

The judge in the case of the murder of an orthodox Jewish woman in Paris has declared the killing a hate-crime, after originally scrapping those charges from the indictment of the murder suspect who confessed to killing the woman.

The examining magistrate on Tuesday (2/27) reinstated the charge of murder aggravated by racial hatred, after the Paris Prosecutor’s office appealed his dismissal of the charge earlier this month.

Sarah Halimi, 65, was killed in April when her neighbor Kobili Traore, a 28-year-old Muslim man, threw her from the window of her third-story apartment.  Traore was heard shouting about “Allah” and calling her “a devil” in Arabic.