Andrew Klavan: Good News, Beheaded Christians

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Netanyahu kommer till Washington för att Obama inte gav honom någon annan möjlighet

Column One: In Israel’s hour of need – Opinion – Jerusalem Post.

Netanyahu is coming to Washington next week because Obama has left him no choice.

It is hard to get your arms around the stubborn determination of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today. For most of the nine years he has served as Israel’s leader, first from 1996 to 1999 and now since 2009, Netanyahu shied away from confrontations or buckled under pressure. He signed deals with the Palestinians he knew the Palestinians would never uphold in the hopes of winning the support of hostile US administrations and a fair shake from the pathologically hateful Israeli media.

In recent years he released terrorist murderers from prison. He abrogated Jewish property rights in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. He agreed to support the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. He agreed to keep giving the Palestinians of Gaza free electricity while they waged war against Israel. He did all of these things in a bid to accommodate US President Barack Obama and win over the media, while keeping the leftist parties in his coalitions happy.

For his part, for the past six years Obama has undermined Israel’s national security. He has publicly humiliated Netanyahu repeatedly.

He has delegitimized Israel’s very existence, embracing the jihadist lie that Israel’s existence is the product of post-Holocaust European guilt rather than 4,000 years of Jewish history.

He and his representatives have given a backwind to the forces that seek to wage economic warfare against Israel, repeatedly indicating that the application of economic sanctions against Israel – illegal under the World Trade Organization treaty – are a natural response to Israel’s unwillingness to bow to every Palestinian demand. The same goes for the movement to deny the legitimacy of Israel’s very existence. Senior administration officials have threatened that Israel will become illegitimate if it refuses to surrender to Palestinian demands.

Last summer, Obama openly colluded with Hamas’s terrorist war against Israel. He tried to coerce Israel into accepting ceasefire terms that would have amounted to an unconditional surrender to Hamas’s demands for open borders and the free flow of funds to the terrorist group. He enacted a partial arms embargo on Israel in the midst of war. He cut off air traffic to Ben-Gurion International Airport under specious and grossly prejudicial terms in an open act of economic warfare against Israel.

And yet, despite Obama’s scandalous treatment of Israel, Netanyahu has continued to paper over differences in public and thank Obama for the little his has done on Israel’s behalf. He always makes a point of thanking Obama for agreeing to Congress’s demand to continue funding the Iron Dome missile defense system (although Obama has sought repeatedly to slash funding for the project).

Obama’s policies that are hostile to Israel are not limited to his unconditional support for the Palestinians in their campaign against Israel. Obama shocked the entire Israeli defense community when he supported the overthrow of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, despite Mubarak’s dependability as a US ally in the war on Islamist terrorism, and as the guardian of both Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and the safety and freedom of maritime traffic in the Suez Canal.

Obama supported Mubarak’s overthrow despite the fact that the only political force in Egypt capable of replacing him was the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks the destruction of Israel and is the ideological home and spawning ground of jihadist terrorist groups, including al-Qaida and Hamas. Obama then supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime even as then-president Mohamed Morsi took concrete steps to transform Egypt into an Islamist, jihadist state and end Egypt’s peace with Israel.

Israelis were united in our opposition to Obama’s behavior. But Netanyahu said nothing publicly in criticism of Obama’s destructive, dangerous policy.

He held his tongue in the hopes of winning Obama over through quiet diplomacy.

He held his tongue, because he believed that the damage Obama was causing Israel was not irreversible in most cases. And it was better to maintain the guise of good relations, in the hopes of actually achieving them, than to expose the fractures in US-Israel ties caused by Obama’s enormous hostility toward Israel and by his strategic myopia that endangered both Israel and the US’s other regional allies.

And yet, today Netanyahu, the serial accommodator, is putting everything on the line. He will not accommodate. He will not be bullied. He will not be threatened, even as all the powers that have grown used to bringing him to his knees – the Obama administration, the American Jewish Left, the Israeli media, and the Labor party grow ever more shrill and threatening in their attacks against him.

As he has made clear in daily statements, Netanyahu is convinced that we have reached a juncture in our relations with the Obama administration where accommodation is no longer possible.

Obama’s one policy that Netanyahu has never acquiesced to either publicly or privately is his policy of accommodating Iran.

Since Obama’s earliest days in office, Netanyahu has warned openly and behind closed doors that Obama’s plan to forge a nuclear deal with Iran is dangerous. And as the years have passed, and the lengths Obama is willing to go to appease Iran’s nuclear ambitions have been left their marks on the region, Netanyahu’s warnings have grown stronger and more urgent.

Netanyahu has been clear since his first tenure in office in the 1990s, that Iran’s nuclear program – as well as its ballistic missile program – constitutes a threat to Israel’s very existence. He has never wavered from his position that Israel cannot accept an Iran armed with nuclear weapons.

Until Obama entered office, and to an ever escalating degree since his reelection in 2012, preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons has been such an obvious imperative among both Israelis and Americans that Netanyahu’s forthright rejection of any nuclear deal in which Iran would be permitted to maintain the components of its nuclear program was uncontroversial. In some Israeli circles, his trenchant opposition to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear capabilities was the object of derision, with critics insisting that he was standing strong on something uncontroversial while buckling on issues like negotiations with the Palestinians, where he should have stood strong.

But now we are seeing that far from being an opportunist, Netanyahu is a leader of historical dimensions. For the past two years, in the interest of reaching a deal, Obama has enabled Iran to take over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. For the first time since 1974, due to Obama’s policies, the Golan Heights is an active front in the war against Israel, with Iranian military personnel commanding Syrian and Hezbollah forces along the border.

Iran’s single-minded dedication to its goal of becoming a regional hegemon and its commitment to its ultimate goal of destroying the US is being enabled by Obama’s policies of accommodation. An Iran in possession of a nuclear arsenal is an Iran that can not only destroy Israel with just one or two warheads. It can make it impossible for Israel to respond to conventional aggression carried out by terrorist forces and others operating under an Iranian nuclear umbrella.

Whereas Israel can survive Obama on the Palestinian front by stalling, waiting him out and placating him where possible, and can even survive his support for Hamas by making common cause with the Egyptian military and the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the damage Obama’s intended deal with Iran will cause Israel will be irreversible. The moment that Obama grants Iran a path to a nuclear arsenal – and the terms of the agreement that Obama has offered Iran grant Iran an unimpeded path to nuclear power – a future US administration will be hard-pressed to put the genie back in the bottle.

For his efforts to prevent irreparable harm to Israel Netanyahu is being subjected to the most brutal and vicious attacks any Israeli leader has ever been subjected to by an American administration and its political allies. They are being assisted in their efforts by a shameless Israeli opposition that is willing to endanger the future of the country in order to seize political power.

Every day brings another serving of abuse. Wednesday National Security Adviser Susan Rice accused Netanyahu of destroying US relations with Israel. Secretary of State John Kerry effectively called him a serial alarmist, liar, and warmonger.

For its part, the Congressional Black Caucus reportedly intends to sabotage Netanyahu’s address before the joint houses of Congress by walking out in the middle, thus symbolically accusing of racism the leader of the Middle East’s only liberal democracy, and the leader of the most persecuted people in human history.

Radical leftist representatives who happen to be Jewish, like Jan Schakowsky of suburban Chicago and Steve Cohen of Memphis, are joining Netanyahu’s boycotters in order to give the patina of Jewish legitimacy to an administration whose central foreign policy threatens the viability of the Jewish state.

As for Netanyahu’s domestic opponents, their behavior is simply inexcusable. In Israel’s hour of peril, just weeks before Obama intends to conclude his nuclear deal with the mullahs that will endanger Israel’s existence, Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog insists that his primary duty is to defeat Netanyahu.

And as far as Iran is concerned, he acts as a free loader ad a spoiler. Either he believes that Netanyahu will succeed in his mission to derail the deal with or without his support, or he doesn’t care. But Herzog’s rejection of Netanyahu’s entreaties that he join him in Washington next week, and his persistent attacks on Netanyahu for refusing accommodate that which cannot be accommodated shows that he is both an opportunist and utterly unworthy of a leadership role in this country.

Netanyahu is not coming to Washington next Tuesday to warn Congress against Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, because he seeks a fight with Obama. Netanyahu has devoted the last six years to avoiding a fight with Obama, often at great cost to Israel’s national security and to his own political position.

Netanyahu is coming to Washington next week because Obama has left him no choice. And all decent people of good will should support him, and those who do not, and those who are silent, should be called out for their treachery and cowardice.

http://www.CarolineGlick.com

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Kongressmän som bojkottar Netanyahus tal går emot protokollet

The appalling talk of boycotting Benjamin Netanyahu – Opinion – Jerusalem Post.

As a liberal Democrat who twice campaigned for US President Barack Obama, I am appalled that some Democratic members of Congress are planning to boycott the speech of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 3 to a joint session of Congress.

At bottom, this controversy is not mainly about protocol and politics – it is about the constitutional system of checks and balances and the separation of powers. Under the Constitution, the executive and legislative branches share responsibility for making and implementing important foreign-policy decisions. Congress has a critical role to play in scrutinizing the decisions of the president when these decisions involve national security, relationships with allies, and the threat of nuclear proliferation.

Congress has every right to invite, even over the president’s strong objection, any world leader or international expert who can assist its members in formulating appropriate responses to the current deal being considered with Iran regarding its nuclear-weapons program. Indeed, it is the responsibility of every member of Congress to listen to Netanyahu, who probably knows more about this issue than any world leader, because it threatens the very existence of the nation state of the Jewish people.

Congress has the right to disagree with the prime minister, but the idea that some members of Congress will not give him the courtesy of listening violates protocol and basic decency to a far greater extent than anything Netanyahu is accused of doing for having accepted an invitation from Congress.

Recall that Obama sent British Prime Minister David Cameron to lobby Congress with phone calls last month against conditionally imposing new sanctions on Iran if the deal were to fail. What the president objects to is not that Netanyahu will speak to Congress, but the content of what he intends to say.

This constitutes a direct intrusion on the power of Congress and on the constitutional separation of powers.

Not only should all members of Congress attend Netanyahu’s speech, but Obama – as a constitutional scholar – should urge members of Congress to do their constitutional duty of listening to opposing views in order to check and balance the policies of the administration.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with Speaker John Boehner’s decision to invite Netanyahu or Netanyahu’s decision to accept, no legal scholar can dispute that Congress has the power to act independently of the president in matters of foreign policy. Whether any deal with Iran would technically constitute a treaty requiring Senate confirmation, it is certainly treaty-like in its impact.

Moreover, the president can’t implement the deal without some action or inaction by Congress.

Congress also has a role in implementing the president’s promise – made on behalf of the American nation as a whole – that Iran will never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

That promise seems to be in the process of being broken, as reports in the media and Congress circulate that the deal on the table contains a sunset provision that would allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons after a certain number of years.

Once it became clear that Iran will eventually be permitted to become a nuclear-weapon power, it has already become such a power for practical purposes.

The Saudis and the Arab emirates will not wait until Iran turns the last screw on its nuclear bomb. As soon as this deal is struck, with its sunset provision, these countries would begin to develop their own nuclear-weapon programs, as would other countries in the region. If Congress thinks this is a bad deal, it has the responsibility to act.

Another reason members of Congress should not boycott Netanyahu’s speech is that support for Israel has always been a bipartisan issue. The decision by some members to boycott Israel’s prime minister endangers this bipartisan support.

This will not only hurt Israel, but will also endanger support for Democrats among pro-Israel voters. I certainly would never vote for or support a member of Congress who walked out on Israel’s prime minister.

One should walk out on tyrants, bigots, and radical extremists, as the United States did when Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust and called for Israel’s destruction at the United Nations. To use such an extreme tactic against our closest ally, and the Middle East’s only vibrant democracy, is not only to insult Israel’s prime minister, but to put Israel in a category in which it does not belong.

So let members of Congress who disagree with the prime minister’s decision to accept Boehner’s invitation express that disagreement privately and even publicly, but let them not walk out on a speech from which they may learn a great deal and which may help them prevent the president from making a disastrous foreign- policy mistake.

Inviting a prime minister of an ally to educate Congress about a pressing foreign-policy decision is in the highest tradition of our democratic system of separation of powers and checks and balances.

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Israelisk media misskrediterar Netanyah med hjälp av islamisten Obama

America and Israel: A love story – Israel Opinion, Ynetnews.

Op-ed: While Israeli public has been misled into thinking that we are in a crisis with US public, annual Gallop poll points to record high support for Israel.

For several weeks now, we have been hearing in the media thatIsrael’s relationship with the United States is ruined. “It’s irreversible,” one commentator prattled. “America has completely turned its back on us,” another commented. “The relations have never been so bad,” a third one added, and a fourth one concluded that “it’s hopeless and finished.”
The perplexed citizen asks himself how is it possible that one speech in the parliament, a place where the entire essence is to listen to speeches, managed to destroy our relationship with our great and historic friend. Can a decades-long alliance be erased in one moment?

Well, nothing of the kind has happened. America is not turning its back on us, and there have already been conflicts in the past, even greater ones, with the American administration on critical issues.

Fortunately, the prestigious Gallup research institute this week published its annual index, which at how the American public perceives Israel. The index has been published regularly for a quarter of a century now, since 1989, and includes a surprise for our commentators: A record high support for Israel. Seventy percent of Americans view Israel favorably.

 

Gallup poll shows 70% of Americans view Israel favorably (Photo: AP)

Gallup poll shows 70% of Americans view Israel favorably (Photo: AP)

 

A look at the Gallup ranking of the Americans’ attitude towards Israel over the years points to a rise in this public’s support: In 1992, the overall American level of support for Israel was 47%, in 2000 it was 54%, and since then it has continued to climb to its current level. In other words, this is a demonstrated, strong friendship.

The survey was conducted after the alleged clashes with US President Barack Obama and after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s intention to address the Congress was already made public. So it seems that the commentators misled the Israeli public into thinking that we are in a crisis with the broad American public.

By the way, according to the survey, only 17% of the American public views the Palestinian Authority favorably – a pretty permanent rate, which is based – among other things – on the Muslim voice and on the voice of American Jews from the radical left.

An examination of the Democrats and Republicans’ attitude towards Israel reveals a difference: While the Republicans’ supporters are in love with Israel, with a record high support level of 83%, the Democrats’ support level fell to 48% this year. The Democrats, however, have never really liked Israel, and their support level since 1989 has always been below 50%, excluding last year when it reached 55%.

Jews in the United States tend to vote for the Democrats, but it seems that due to the hostile attitude towards Israel, some of them are beginning to move from the Democratic camp to the Republican camp. The change in the Jewish voting pattern should particularly concern the Democrats ahead of next year’s presidential election. They must rebuild the destruction created by the Obama administration if they wish to stop the Jewish shift towards their rivals.

The American public’s support is increasing also due to the global war on terror, as Israel and the US stand together in the Western civilization’s defense, and as Europe is being washed by Islam. The American public is aware of this very special alliance, which is not only built on interests but also on a shared goal to advance democracy and freedom in the world, in the spirit of Israel’s prophets.

Both Israel and the US are built on this noble purpose, which is exclusively unique to these two countries. The Obama administration may not share this goal, but the Obama administration will come to an end in about a year and a half from now.

Are these figures only reflecting a trend or also creating it? There isn’t a single Congress member or senator who hasn’t seen the Gallup data – who the American public loves – and whoever goes against the broad public will likely be punished by the public. It’s a shame that the Gallup index is not receiving much exposure in Israel.

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Sannolikheten för krig mellan Israel och Iran har just stigit

The Odds Of A War Between Israel And Iran Just Went Way Up
The Economic Collapse By Michael Snyder, on February 25th, 2015

 

Uh oh – Iran just got caught with both hands in the cookie jar.  It turns out that even while Iran has been negotiating a “historic peace deal” with the western world, it has been secretly operating a huge underground nuclear enrichment site that it didn’t tell anyone about.  But this is what the Iranians always do.  They lie, lie and then lie some more.  So how in the world can you make a deal with a government that absolutely refuses to tell the truth?  These revelations about a secret underground nuclear facility just outside Tehran come at a time when it looked like the Obama administration was about to cave in and give Iran just about everything that it wanted.  The “deal” that Obama was going to give them would have allowed the Iranians to keep all of the nuclear infrastructure that they have already constructed and would also give them permission to start building nuclear weapons in about a decade.  It would be a monstrously bad deal for the western world, and the Iranians should have jumped at it.  But now these new revelations could throw a wrench into those negotiations.  But much more importantly, knowledge of this secret nuclear facility has got to be extremely alarming to the Israelis.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has always said that Israel will never, ever allow Iran to construct a nuclear weapon.  So what will happen if the Israelis determine that Iran is actually much closer to building a nuclear bomb that anyone originally suspected?  The truth is that the odds of a war between Israel and Iran just went way up thanks to these revelations, and that is not good news for any of us.

This new evidence of a secret nuclear facility that Iran had not told anyone about was revealed by the National Council of Resistance of Iran earlier this week

Despite Iran’s denials that it is on the path to a nuclear bomb, new evidence charges that the Islamic republic has an “underground top-secret site” that is enriching uranium intended for nuclear weapons that has been hidden from the West for years.

According to the Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the complex, called Lavizan-3, is right outside Tehran, “buried deep underground in tunnels and underground facilities” with “radiation-proof doors” to prevent any leaks that could be detected by the United Nations International Energy Agency inspectors.

The revelations were unveiled during a Washington, D.C., news conference by the NCRI, which first exposed elements of Iran’s covert nuclear program in 2002.

The NCRI claims to have extensive knowledge of this complex, and it is even in possession of a photograph of a door that shields the facility from radiationwhich was smuggled out

The NCRI describes the underground complex as having an elevator that “descends several stories, deep underground, and opens into a 650-foot tunnel, which leads to four parallel halls. Because the ground is inclined, the halls are deeper underground,” by as much as 164 feet below the surface.

The NCRI also said it smuggled out a photograph showing a 1-foot thick lead-lined door that shields the complex from radiation, and that the secret rooms and hallways are insulated for sound and radiation leaks so that they would remain undetected.

“If the United States is serious about preventing the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weapons, it must make the continuation of talks conditional on the IAEA immediately inspecting Lavizan-3 site,” said Soona Samsami, the NCRI’s United States representative.

So will Iran immediately allow international inspectors to go take a look at the Lavizan-3 site?

Of course not.

As they usually do, the Iranians will probably deny that anything is going on there.

But we have reason to trust the NCRI.  They have a track record of being right on the money when it comes to the Iranian nuclear program…

NCRI has a track record of accurately disclosing secret Iranian uranium enrichment sites. In 2002, NCRI revealed Iran’s top secret uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, some 100 miles north of Isfahan, and a second top secret Iranian nuclear plant in Arak, approximately 150 miles south of Tehran, designed to produce heavy water for the production of plutonium for use in nuclear weapons.

Amazingly, there will be people that will read this article and leave comments defending Iran.

How in the world can you defend a regime that habitually lies and deceives the rest of the world?

If the Iranians had just been honest, they could have gotten an overwhelmingly lopsided deal from the Obama administration.  And if they had actually stuck to the deal, the Israelis probably would not have attacked them for at least a few years.

But now all bets are off.  At this point, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes that the Obama administration has totally given up on the goal of preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons.  Just check out comments that he made during a speech earlier this week

“I respect the White House and the President of the United States but on such a fateful matter, that can determine whether or not we survive, I must do everything to prevent such a great danger for Israel,” Netanyahu said in a speech.

He said world powers had pledged to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, adding that “from the agreement coming together it appears they have given up on this commitment“.

So if the Israelis believe that the diplomatic approach is dead, what does that leave?

War is coming, and it might be sooner than most of us think.

It is not likely that Israel will attack Iran before the Israeli elections.  But after the elections are over, anything can happen.

And there are already reports coming out of the Middle East that Saudi Arabia has offered to let Israel use Saudi airspace for an attack on Iran…

Saudi Arabia is prepared to let Israeli fighter jets use its airspace if it proves necessary to attack Iran’s nuclear program, an Israeli TV station reported Tuesday, highlighting growing ties in the shadow of Tehran’s nuclear drive.

Riyadh’s only condition is that Israel make some kind of progress in peace talks with the Palestinians, Channel 2 reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed senior European source.

The Saudi authorities are completely coordinated with Israel on all matters related to Iran,” the European official in Brussels said.

The Saudis hate Iran and do not want to see the Iranians get nuclear weapons either.  So an attack by Israel on Iran would serve their interests.

And if the Saudis can use this crisis to push for a Palestinian state, that is all the better as far as they are concerned.

But of course if a Palestinian state is established in the aftermath of a war between Israel and Iran, that will just set the stage for even more war.

We are entering a time of great geopolitical instability.  Wars and rumors of wars seem to be the order of the day.

And thanks to the duplicity of the Iranians, World War III could erupt in the Middle East at any time.

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Iran skryter med att de kan sänka ett hangarfartyg

PLAY VIDEO|0:28

TEHRAN — Iran’s navy may pale in comparison to that of the United States, but on Wednesday it inflicted serious damage on an American aircraft carrier — a mock-up of one, to be exact.

The replica, which seemed to have been built on top of a barge, took some nasty hits, just as a real carrier would in a real war situation, Iranian commanders boasted.

“A unique power has been created, and we do not like to put it into practice,” Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the highest commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, told the local news media. “But if, God forbid, such a day comes,Iran’s navy will have the complete control over the Sea of Oman, the Hormuz Strait and the Persian Gulf.”

The simulation, called Great Prophet 9, was the centerpiece of an exercise by the naval branch of the Revolutionary Guards, and it was carried out in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway through which more than 20 percent of the world’s oil passes.

State television showed images of missiles striking a “ship” resembling a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, similar to the ones permanently patrolling the blue waters of the Persian Gulf. Enveloped in smoke, the ersatz warship was swarmed by dozens of Iranian speedboats, as a presenter described the types of missiles, torpedoes and rockets blowing holes in its sides.

Military officials could be heard shouting “praise the lord” each time the replica was hit.

“That is the Fateh-110 missile hitting its target,” the presenter said, as more smoke belched from the fake aircraft carrier. “God will guide those who fight in line with his wishes,” he added, quoting a line from the Quran.

Though Iran and the United States are engaged in nuclear talks, Iran has often threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for any attack on its nuclear sites.

Wednesday’s make-believe attack is part of Iran’s strategy to show military might, despite being engaged in direct talks with its archenemy, the United States.

The United States’ presence in the Persian Gulf has long vexed Iran’s leaders, who have said there is no reason for the American Navy to project power so far from its borders. In addition, Iranian officers say, its very presence presents a danger to the region.

“American aircraft carriers are very big ammunition depots housing a lot of missiles, rockets, torpedoes and everything else,” the Revolutionary Guards’ navy chief, Adm. Ali Fadavi, said on state television, adding that a direct hit by a missile could set off a large secondary explosion. Last month, Admiral Fadavi said his force was capable of sinking American aircraft carriers in the event of war.

The mock carrier bore a striking resemblance to a model that the United States military noticed when it was under construction in a shipyard in the port of Bandar Abbas last year. It quickly became known as the Target Barge. The United States did not seem overly concerned about the exercise or the implied threat to its carriers.

“We are aware of a recent exercise by Iranian naval forces involving a mock-up of a vessel similar to an aircraft carrier,” said Cmdr. Elissa Smith, a Defense Department spokeswoman. “We are confident in our naval forces’ ability to defend themselves against any maritime threat.”

Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, the spokesman for the Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, echoed that confidence, adding in remarks to The Associated Press, “It seems they’ve attempted to destroy the equivalent of a Hollywood movie set.”

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Israel skall förse Israel med dricksvatten – historiskt avtal

Israel, Jordan ink ‘historic’ water pact

Agreement designed to rehabilitate the Dead Sea, provide the drought-plagued Jordanians with desalinated water

Israel and Jordan on Thursday signed a landmark agreement designed to provide the drought-plagued Jordanians with drinking water and to slow the decay of the Dead Sea.

Under the terms of the pact, a pipeline will be laid between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea and a desalination plant will be built in the Jordanian port town of Aqaba.

The agreement envisions the annual pumping of 200 million cubic meters of water from the Red Sea: 80 million will be desalinated at the Aqaba plant and Israel will get 30-50 million of that amount for use in its southern port town of Eilat and the Arava region – both desert areas with a chronic water shortage. The Jordanians will get 30 million cubes for their needs in the arid southern part of their country and an additional 50 million cubes of water for the central and northern parts of their country.

The landmark agreement was signed by Silvan Shalom, who holds the ministerial portfolios for energy and water, regional development and development of the Negev and Galilee, and Jordan’s Water and Irrigation Minister Hazem Al Nasser in the presence of US envoys to the two countries.

”I’m standing here deeply moved, having put pen to paper in the signing of a historical agreement,” Shalom said. ”We are realizing the Zionist vision of Theodor Herzel who, as early as in the late 19th century, had predicted the need to revitalize the Dead Sea.”

”This is the most important agreement since the peace treaty with Jordan,” the official went on to declare. ”It’s the high point of a productive cooperation between Israel and Jordan that will help rehabilitate the Dead Sea and offer solutions to Jordan’s water supply crisis.”

Last year Israel announced that its current desalination capacity exceeds its needs due to two consecutive years of heavy rainfall. Therefore, the Treasury in conjunction with the Water Authority, decided to cut desalinated water production by 30% this year, saving the country an expected $54 million.

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