PACKER’S CORNER: Coalition Woes, Syrian War, and Near Assasination of PA Prime Minister

Fireworks in the Israeli coalition government this week! For the first time since anyone can remember, there was a real crisis within the government coalition this past week. The reason: the potential draft of yeshiva students and/or the Prime Minister’s alleged desire for elections based on Likud’s strong showing in recent election polls.

Without going into tremendous detail, basically, the Supreme Court recently invalidated the current system of exempting yeshiva students from the army. Therefore, a new law has to be passed to replace the old one. The Haredi/ultra-orthodox parties wanted this done before they would vote for the budget. There was a set deadline to vote for the budget, so time was running out. Majorly complicating things was Avigdor Lieberman’s party’s virulent and vocal opposition to the law being proposed without coordination with the defense ministry. They promised to vote no, Netanyahu would then fire those that voted “no” and disband the government for elections in June.

The conclusion: the conscription law was read in the Knesset and passed a first vote. This was done with the approval of the Rabbinical council that directly the ultra-orthodox parties as to how to vote. It must pass others to become law and that won’t happen until the next session of the Knesset – after Pesach. The budget was passed and the coalition is fully intact. Remains to be seen what will happen next session – probably won’t be smooth sailing like it had been up until this most recent crisis. There still another year and half until scheduled national elections – looking doubtful right now if this government will make it to then.

President Trump fired his Secretary of State – Rex Tillerson – and replaced him with the former head of the CIA – Mike Pompeo. Unclear how this will effect US policy in the Middle East, but Pompeo is said to very much oppose the Iran nuclear deal. Will be interesting to see how aggressive he is about that opposition, which he shares with President Trump. (Trump also appointed the first woman to lead the CIA, but no one on the right is surprised and no one on the left seems to care. go figure)

War rages on numerous fronts in Syria. Death toll for civilians way over 1000 in Eastern Ghouta, just outside of Damascus. Turkey continues to gain ground in the northwest of Syria against the Kurds. Not clear what will happen if Afrin does fall to Turkey – both to the civilians and the fighters. Could be the same fate…

Oh, and the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority was almost assassinated in Gaza this week. Seems the attackers blew up the wrong car as the convoy made its way into Gaza. There were injuries, but only to security. Of course, this does not bode well for PA-Hamas reconciliation.

SHOWDOWN IN AFRIN: Will the USA Stop Turkey’s Invasion of Kurdish Rojava?

The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and their jihadist allies of the Turkish contingent of the FSA are now 5 km away from Afrin City.  As the rest of the Kurdish enclave has quickly been gobbled up by the TAF, Kurdish civilians have fallen back on Afrin City as the Tweet below shows.

The original purpose of the “Operation Olive Branch” as the TAF called it was to “cleanse” the Turkish-Syrian border of Kurdish “terrorists.”  Of course Erdogan loves to call most Kurdish people terrorists.  Now that the TAF and the FSA (Turkish division) have nearly encircled Afrin City, most observers are questioning whether Erdogan is really more focused on genocidal ambitions against all Kurdish people.

With a serious showdown in the offing in the next few days as Turkey begins its seige of Afrin City, there is still hope that the Kurdish leadership in Syria will allow the Assad regime to enter Afrin City to push back on the TAF.

Of course there is still a possibility, no matter how remote, that Donald Trump may decide to take Turkey to task for wantonly attacking a key US ally.  As the siege over Afrin City begins there is dimming hope that the US will make a case to defend the Kurds in Afrin, which would remain isolated from the US backed eastern Rojava located from the Euphrates to the Iraqi border.

If the Kurds allow the Syrian regime to enter Afrin City this would effectively pit a Russian proxy in direct confrontation with a NATO member.  Of course it is a NATO member who is busy decimating  an indigenous people and key ally of the biggest NATO member of all, the USA. We may see a tacit allowance of Russian/Syrian assistance of an American ally in order to push back against everyone’s favorite enemy, Turkey.

Whether or not the USA enters the fray against Turkey or at least supplies direct weapons or supplies to the Kurdish majority SDF in Afrin  remains to be seen.  If they keep stalling then either the Kurds in Afrin will be wiped out or the Russian/Syrian access will pull the Afrin Kurds into their orbit.

If there is any question over the brutality of the TAF and the goals of Erdogan’s “Operation Olive Branch,” the Tweet below and the many similar to it should remind every one of the evil that is being allowed to grow in northern Syria.

The perils of postponing preemption

Israel is approaching a point when it must decide to destroy enemy capabilities, rather than attempting to deter the enemy from using them.

To remain at peace when you should be going to war may be often very dangerous…Let us attack and subdue…that we may ourselves live safely for the future.
– Thucydides (c. 460–395 BCE)

No government, if it regards war as inevitable, even if it does not want it, would be so foolish as to wait for the moment which is most convenient for the enemy.
– Otto von Bismarck (1815–1890)

…it is possible that the dangers into which we are steadily advancing would never have arisen. But the world and the Parliaments and public opinion would have none of that.. When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure…

Winston Churchill (1874-1965), House of Commons, May 2, 1935.

In the past few days, senior IDF officers have publicly warned that the chances of war on Israel’s northern border in 2018 are growing significantly –see for example here and here.

100,000 missiles just for show?

The specter of renewed fighting presents Israel with a daunting dilemma.

Since the end of the 2006 Lebanon War, poorly conducted—and even more poorly concluded—by the Olmert government, the arsenal of the Iranian terror proxy, Hezbollah has grown exponentially in both the quantity and quality of its weaponry—now reportedly over ten times its pre-war size, and vastly enhanced in terms of its precision and destructive capacity.

Indeed, no one even vaguely familiar with the brutal nature of the organization—its gory past, and chilling proclamations of future intent—could even remotely entertain the hopelessly naïve belief that it was stockpiling over 100,000 missiles just for show.

Accordingly then, the working assumption underlying Israel’s strategic planning must be that, at some stage, they will in fact, be used against Israel and its civilian population centers. Certainly, any policy discounting such a possibility as implausible would be wildly irresponsible.

As Israeli military sources point out—the likelihood of such a grim scenario has been increased by several other factors—over which Israel has little to no control.

The one is the winding down of the civil war in Syria, in which Hezbollah has been embroiled to support their ally, Bashar al-Assad, who appears to have regained control of much of the country. This allowed Hezbollah forces to begin disengaging from the fighting and to refocus their attention on the hated “Zionist entity” to the south. The other is the undisguised efforts of Iran to establish a permanent military presence in both Syria and Lebanon—including the deployment of troops and the production of weapons in these two client states—and the completion of a Shia crescent, creating an effective land bridge from Iran to the Mediterranean coast.

Who decides when?

Given the assumption that, bolstered by its patron’s pervasive physical presence, Hezbollah will in all likelihood, eventually, use the vast arsenal at its disposal, the inevitable question is: Will Israel allow its deadly adversary to choose the time, place and circumstances for a major attack against it? Indeed, more to the point, can Israel afford to allow Hezbollah such a choice?

To grasp the consequences of permitting Hezbollah the chance of a large-scale first-strike, it is necessary to understand that the organization now poses a much graver threat than that of an asymmetric war with a guerrilla army, as it did in the past. Thus, a study published in July 2017 by a well-known security studies institute warned:
“…military buildups by Iran and Hezbollah – in Syria, and the production of high quality weapons in Lebanon – could mark the start of a new era… and could be seen as an attempt by Iran and Hezbollah to create a symmetrical strategic equation with Israel, if not more than that, i.e., achieving the capability to inflict significant damage to critical military and civilian systems in Israel”.

Accordingly, Hezbollah has become as a strategic danger to Israel, and while on its own it is clearly unable to invade and conquer large tracts of territory, it is eminently capable of wreaking massive damage on Israel’s civilian population and its strategic infrastructure.

“Unprecedented threat to infrastructure…”

Both the sheer numbers and greatly improved precision of Hezbollah’s weaponry, relative to 2006, could pose an almost insurmountable challenge to Israel’s missile defense systems. For now, not only would a far greater number of missiles be launched, but far fewer would be off target, and could therefore be left to fall un-intercepted, causing neither damage nor casualties…

Thus, the previously cited study cautions: “the threat represented by even a small number of precision missiles that breach Israel’s countermeasures and strike critical systems, such as electricity generation, could be unprecedented. The picture is similar with regard to other critical systems, such as national electricity management; natural gas infrastructure; sea water desalination (only five facilities supply about half of Israel’s drinking water); and many other examples from civilian and military fields.”

As the authors, former government minister, Gideon Sa’ar, and experienced Israeli air force veteran, Ron Tira, point out: “Israel is exceptionally vulnerable to attack by precision weapons, as on the one hand it is an advanced Western country dependent on sophisticated technologies, and on the other it is small, with very concentrated infrastructures and very little redundancy.”

The effects of the accompanying civilian casualties, the disruption of vital services and socio-economic routine—and consequent corrosive impact on public morale of such an assault are difficult to overstate. Indeed, there are certainly liable to be far-reaching and irreversible ramifications for the future resilience of the county—which must be averted at all costs.

Degrading deterrence?

Moreover, if a surprise precision missile attack were launched at Israel’s major air bases, even if the aircraft were left unscathed, damage to runways and infrastructure could render them inoperative—thus crippling, or at least severely curtailing, Israeli ability to retaliate.

After all, the very perception of the feasibility of such a scenario on the part of the enemy could, in itself, erode Israeli deterrence, based as it is—at least in conventional contexts—largely on airpower. This might well prompt the enemy to launch such an attack, in the belief that, if successful, it could then proceed to bombard the country with relative—albeit temporary—impunity.

Indeed, the very concept of ongoing deterrence, as the term has been used in the enduring Arab-Israeli conflict, in which large-scale military clashes flare up regularly, typically after a tense interbellum of several years, should be critically examined. In the intervening period between fighting, Israeli sources attributed the relative calm to the effectiveness of Israeli “deterrence”.

However, Israel’s adversaries, whether Hamas or Hezbollah, have not been deterred in the sense that they have had their will to engage in combat broken. Quite the reverse. Not only have they emerged from each engagement still spoiling for a fight, but after a period, they have emerged with new and vastly enhanced capabilities to be employed in the next round of battle.

So rather than being deterred, both Hamas and Hezbollah have merely been forced to regroup, rearm and redeploy—ready to attack when the time appears opportune.

But for the grace of God?

Certainly, with regard to Hezbollah, claims that it has been deterred, rather than compelled to regroup, rearm and redeploy—seem, to be charitable, unpersuasive. After all, what adversary, if deterred, proceeds immediately to expand their offensive capabilities by over a thousand percent?!

Indeed, it is an open question as to whether Hezbollah—had it not been enmeshed in the Syrian civil war in 2014—would have joined Hamas during Operation Protective Edge in a coordinated bombardment of Israeli cities to overwhelm the defensive capabilities of the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

It is an equally open—and ominous—question as to whether it will do so in a fourth round of fighting in Gaza—something numerous pundits consider unavoidable.

Regarding the situation on the northern border, several pundits have advocated a process of limited strikes on specific targets to foil the Iranian buildup, and convey the message that Israel will not tolerate such developments—and will not finch from escalation to prevent them.

This, however, is a prescription that is very likely to fail, increasing dangers, rather than diminishing them. Indeed, given manifest Iranian resolve and proven difficulty in breaking Hezbollah’s will to fight, it is liable to lead not only to the hardening of targets— for example by converting them from surface to underground sites—but to familiarizing the enemy with Israel’s methods and capabilities.

So what then, should Israel do to confront the emerging strategic peril in the north?

Deterrence vs. preemption: the doctrinal clash

At the risk of sounding repetitive, I have been warning for years that successive Israeli governments have been backing away from confrontations in which Israel can prevail, thereby risking backing the country into a confrontation in which it may not—or only do so at exorbitant costs.

Such a situation may well be brewing on the northern border today—with Iran at the gates in Syria, with Hezbollah deploying in the Golan, with a massive arsenal in the Lebanon trained on much of the country, and with the possibility of a coordinated attack in the south from Gaza. And if Israel waits until Iran can spread an effective nuclear umbrella over its Judeocidal proxies….?

Simple common sense and survival-based logic would seem to mandate one course of strategic action to contend with these ominous developments: Massive preemption to destroy the enemies’ ability to attack, not deter them from doing so.

In this regard, it is important to gasp that there is a doctrinal clash between the ability to attain effective deterrence and to achieve successful preemption. After all, in order to deter adversaries, one needs to convince them that they will suffer unacceptable damage were they to attack. But to convey such a message, one needs to reveal one’s capabilities to wreak such devastation—for otherwise, how could one’s potential attacker be convinced not to attack?

By contrast, successful preemption typically calls for surprise to overwhelm the enemy with an unexpected assault—which requires concealing one’s capabilities so that the enemy cannot make preparations to thwart them.

The choice of which of these somewhat antithetical doctrines to adopt may soon be upon Israeli policy makers.

1967 triumph vs 1973 trauma

In weighing this strategic dilemma, Israel’s leadership will, in effect, have to decide whether they are willing to risk sacrificing Israeli lives to appease the deity of political correctness. For in the past, restraint has often proven ruinous.

So the choice is between incapacitating the enemy while you can; or continuing to deter the enemy—until you can’t!

In making this decision, it may well be instructive for today’s policymakers to look back at the nation’s history and compare the triumph preemption brought in 1967, to the trauma wrought by deterrence failure in 1973.

Seen in this light, the lesson seems unequivocal… Or is that just me?

PACKER’S CORNER: Building in Israel Continues and There is Nothing the Left Can Do

The drama in Syria just gets better and better.  At least 2 major developments this week. President Assad and his government forces are agressively massacring sunni muslim rebel supporters (maybe) just outside of Damascus in an area called Eastern Gueta. The area has been under siege for a few years and now Assad is attempting to clean it out completely, ie. kill every man, woman, and alot of children. You’ll excuse my language, but the world doesn’t seem to give a flying…. He’s killed at least 250 civilians (a good number of them children) over the last two days. #arablivesmatter? Not even close.
Meanwhile, Turkey continues their bloody cross-border attack into Syria in the northwest and have begun to make observable progress against the Kurdish defenders. Consequently, the Kurds have apparently made a deal with the Syrian Government to have them send in reinforcements to theoretically defend the “sovereign borders” of Syria. This has thrown all the alliances up in the air with Syria/Hezbollah/Iran/Russia now allied with American supported Kurds against NATO member Turkey and sometimes America supported Sunni rebels. Quite a masterpiece here. Much more exciting than that new movie about Black superheroes.
Two important developments happened in Israel just today – and we’ll get to Prime Minster Netanyahu’s legal troubles soon, but first something that is quite real and not fabricated. Significant progress was made in the establishment of 2 new LEGAL communities in the “West Bank” – Amichai in the Binyamin region (just north of Jerusalem) and Netiv Avot in Gush Etzion  (just south of Jerusalem). Amichai is intended for those Jewish residents who were expelled from Amona a year ago and the new area of Netiv Avot is meant for those Jewish residents whose houses are scheduled to be destroyed in the current community of Netiv Avot by Supreme Court order at some point in the next 3 months.
We aren’t talking about that many people here – just a few hundred. Why is this so important? It’s important because it shows how incredibly worthless the efforts of the extreme left in Israel have been. Every time they succeed in getting their fellow ultra-leftist self-hating friends at the Supreme Court to knock down a few Jewish houses in the “west bank” for dubious “legal” reasons, the Government responds with large-scale development in a nearby location. Both Amichai and the future Netiv Avot will be exponentially larger than their predecessors and unlike them – WILL BE TOTALLY LEGAL!!! While Netiv Avot’s existence strengthens the Jewish presence in Gush Etzion, Amichai’s very strategic location is a much more serious victory for the overall settlement enterprise. The still-not-legal neighboring communities of Achia, Adei Ad, Yishuv HaDaat and Eish Kodesh must be ecstatic at the establishment of a legal community that physically links them back to the also legal communities of Shvut Rachel and Shiloh (see map pic). The Shiloh Bloc is a crucial area, for historical and religious reasons as well, for preventing the expulsion of the Jewish presence in the area between the cities of Ramallah and Shechem (Nablus). BIG BOOST for them right here. HUGE LOSS for the left. Wait for the pics of the families moving in and dedicating the synagogues. Alot of #winning.

We had to get here eventually. Things appear to have gone south for Prime Minister Netanyahu on the legal front. More of his close associates have turned into state witnesses against him – at least according to the press. There is now a fourth official investigation and many are saying this is the most serious. Yes, even more serious than cigars. Objectively, all these accusations appear pathetic and irrelevant, however, legally (Israeli legally) things aren’t looking good for Netanyahu’s political future. Its hard to understand why the Israeli police would make deals with witnesses who themselves appear guilty of crimes without good reason. But as we’ve said before numerous times, the Israeli police has a solid reputation for a special kind of stupid. With that said, Bibi may finally actually be in trouble, but its the lucky Jewish month of Adar so anything good for the Jews is possible!

Turkey and Syria Head for Direct Clash in Afrin

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has now entered the Afrin conflict by threatening to push Turkey and Turkish aligned militants out.  In return, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) have threatened to attack the SAA if it enters Afrin. As of yesterday, the SAA was seen entrering the Afrin area.  In response the TAF had already begun bombing the approach to Afrin City.

According to Turkish sources the SAA has now halted deployment in the district.

Anadolu Agency (source):

“Pro-regime groups, who tried to enter Syria’s Afrin to support YPG/PKK-Daesh against Turkey’s ongoing operation in the region, have withdrawn Tuesday before reaching the city following warning shots, according to reliable sources on the ground.

The pro-regime groups departed in the Nubl-al-Zahraa region, in southern Afrin, at around 5.00 p.m. (1400GMT) with the aim of supporting YPG/PKK-Daesh terror groups against Operation Olive Branch, said the source on condition of anonymity due to speaking to the media.

The militias tried to advance into the city with a convoy of 20 vehicles including armored vehicles with DShK heavy machine guns

The withdrawal of the pro-Bashar al-Assad terror groups came when they were about 10 km (about 6 miles) away from Afrin, in northwestern Syria.”

In direct contradiction to Turksh claims the SAA has already entered Afrin City over night and are still there. Sputnik News reports the following:

“We maintain contact with the Syrian army, authorities in Afrin and the Kurdish self-defense units (YPG). The forces sent [to Afrin] are directed from the Syrian government, from the command of the Syrian army. Erdogan turned out to be a bad road policeman today, saying that he stopped the movement of Syrian forces that were heading to Afrin. These words are wrong, the forces are is already in Afrin,” YPG spokesman Reizan Hedu said.

Afrin remains tense and appears the main trigger point to a wider war involving Turkey, Russia/Syria/Iran, and the USA. Accordign to many observers Afrin seems to be the sacrificial lamb to Turkey in order to keep them out of eastern Rojava (northeastern Syria).  It is in that area where the majority of US bases exist.

The Syrian regime and the Syrian Kurds have never been allies and in fact have been violently opposed to one another.  Yet, with Afrin isolated and Turkey posing a far bigger threat to both, the Kurdish leadership in Afrin has decided to tactically allow the Syrian regime to push back on Turkey.

Is This a Trigger Event?

My analysis says that this very well could be the trigger event we have been anticipating.  Remember Erdogan wants to reestablish the Ottoman Empire in which his conquering of Damascus plays into an important mythos concerning the rise of the neo-Ottoman empire at the End of Days. The SAA’s entry into Afrin ups the ante and sets up a Turkish-Syrian conflict that has the ability to bring in Russia and the USA.


The Downed F-16: An Emuna Debriefing

Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza are giving out candies on the streets and dancing in joy. Why? For the first time since 1982, the IAF (Israeli Air Force) lost an aircraft in combat. An Israeli F16i “Soufa” (Storm) fighter jet was hit with shrapnel from an exploding SA-5 or SA-17 Russian anti-aircraft missiles launched at them from Syria. The plane was already back in Israeli airspace when it was hit. The pilot and navigator safely ejected and parachuted to safety, but the pilot was badly wounded and the navigator slightly wounded. Thanks to Hashem, the pilot is already out of life-danger and intensive care and the navigator has been released from the hospital.

An IAF post-mission probe determined that Syrian anti-aircraft missiles locked onto another of the eight planes carrying out the strike, but that plane was able to evade the missile. They surmise that had the downed pilot react differently, he too may have avoided being hit. We reject such hindsight, because the plot and the navigator reacted exactly as Hashem wanted them to react. Hashem wanted the plane to get hit, but in His mercy, the pilots’ lives were not only spared, but they landed safely inside Israel.

So here’s the emuna (simple and pure faith in the Creator/HaShem) debriefing: Hashem did tremendous miracles this past Shabbat. Let’s see a few of them:

  1. Although Hezbollah and Hamas are ruining their people’s teeth with candy, Iran is silently suffering, not yet recovered from the knockdown blow it received from Israel. Israel hit such super-sensitive and secret Iranian targets within Syria, including the military air base in Mezzeh, where the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force are stationed to supervise the transfer of military equipment from Tehran to Damascus and from there to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Another target was the T-4 air base in the Homs province east of Palmyra. This tremendous Syrian military air base in Syria houses IRGC air force teams and was being groomed to be the staging base for an Iranian attack against Israel. The base was damaged so bad that it was put out of commission. It lost its radar, tracking and communication facilities, its control tower and 54 runways. The miracle: all this damage was inflicted by eight Israeli F16 warplanes only!
  2. Hashem gave the Syrians a bone with the downing of the Israeli F16; Hashem knows how Arab pride works. Were it not for this face-saving measure, Syria, Iran and Hezbollah would have started an all-out missile war.
  3. Hashem showed Israel that they are not invincible, but dependent on Him. Yet, in His mercy, the plane came down in Israel rather than in hostile territory, Heaven forbid. The pilots are home, alive.
  4. The downed F16 landed in a field within Kibbutz Hardouf in the Galilee. Had it crashed in a populated area, it could have caused many casualties, Heaven forbid.
  5. Shrapnel from Syrian anti-aircraft missiles fell inside Israel but no one was hurt. This is no joke, for the shrapnel are heavy, jagged chunks of metal that fall from a tremendous altitude. (A chunk of shrapnel from an intercepted Hamas missile once landed on my neighbors balcony and put a hole in the 8″-thick concrete floor.)

Hashem, You are so great! Thank You for Your miracles – the ones we can see and the many ones we don’t see.


As of this writing, the situation on our northern borders is very volatile. Now is the time to strengthen emuna and to take on some – any – commitment in strengthening our relationship with Hashem. This is the message that Hashem wants to convey in our emuna debriefing. I’ll be the first to commit: with Hashem’s help, I want to be especially careful about saying “amen” every time I hear a blessing. This is something we all can do; it’s easy yet it’s tremendously cogent. Every “amen” has the power of knocking an Iranian, Syrian, Hezbollah or Hamas missile out of the sky. G-d willing, this coming Wednesday, I’ll give an entire lesson on “amen”. Meanwhile, may Hashem protect our country, our soldiers and our people, amen!

Originally Published on Lazer Beams.

Syria with Russian Backing Shoots Down Israeli F-16 over the Golan

The reports streaming out of Israel and Syria paint a clear turning point in the tense relationship between the two countries. Despite differences in reports and who is repsonsible, what is clear is that an Iranian military drone took off from a Syrian base that is also manned by Russian soldiers and flew into Israeli airspace.

The Israeli airforce (IAF) shot down the drone and then went on to destroy the UAV base it took off from.

Watch below:

The drone incident led to a barrage of Israeli airstrikes on Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria. Syria responded with heavy anti-aircraft fire that set off multiple warning sirens in Israel. Syria used its Russian supplied S-200 air defense system and fired at Israeli F-16s downing one. The two pilots ejected and landed in Israeli territory. and managed to down an Israeli F-16 in Israeli territory, seriously wounding a pilot.

The IAF said the battle began with the Iranian drone violating Israeli airspace before being destroyed by a combat helicopter over the city of Beit Shean, near the Jordanian border.

In retaliation to the downing of its F-16, the IAF attacked 12 known Iranian installations in Syria. Many of these bases are acknowledged by Russian military to be used by the Iranian Al Quds forces.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said the following about today’s incident:

“I have been warning for some time about the dangers of Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria. Iran seeks to use Syrian territory to attack Israel for its professed goal of destroying Israel. This morning Iran brazenly violated Israel’s sovereignty. They dispatched an Iranian drone from Syrian territory into Israel. And this demonstrates that our warnings were 100% correct. Israel holds Iran and its Syrian hosts responsible for today’s aggression. We will continue to do whatever is necessary to protect our sovereignty and our security.”

Clear Russian Involvement Should Worry Everyone

With Russia’s involvement in allowing an Iranian drone to take off from a UAV base it commondeers with Syria, the prospects for aregional conflagration spiralling out of control have increased considerably. More than that, Moscow has seemingly decided to push back against the US strike that took place on February 8th against Shiite troops in Eastern Syria that killed Russian troops as well.

Russia seemingly thought that the IAF would not reatliate as it did, which triggered a serious knee jerk respinse from Syria. The deeper issue is Putin’s move to back up his erstwhile ally Syria against Israel.  This renders Bibi Netanyahu’s private agreements with Putin null and void.

The Middle East is fast being broken down into proxies that are either connected to Russia or the USA. This air battle between Israel and Iran/Syria may blow up into a major conflict or at the very least spell the beginning of a far more chaotic situation.

SPLITTING SYRIA: The Coming Showdown and the New Middle East

With Turkey at a standstill against the Syrian Kurds and the US and Russia in a race to build up their bases within their respective proxy areas, Syria has become defacto split along sectarian lines.  Assad and his battered army control the coast and South, while the Kurds along with their Sunni Arab allies control the North and Northeast.

The stage is set for a Kurdish-Sunni state in the heart of Syria.  This is a further disintegration of the colonial borders drawn after World War One and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.  Of course, Erdogan also wants a collapse of these borders, but his goal is a resurrection of the Ottoman Empire.  With the Kurds armed to the teeth and backed by American special forces and weaponry, he will have a hard to following through with his goal.  Yet, his entry into Syria is an unknown that can upend the quiet stability that has formed after the destruction of ISIS.

Currently the Allawites have been happy just to survive even if the price has been to become a Russian vassal.  Russia, for its part just wants to retain its hold on its Syrian basins and have a strategic ability to push back on the West whenever the Donbass in Ukraine feels Kiev’s heat.  With this in mind, Russia has turned the other way while the Kurds on the otherwise of the Euphrates have successfully built a proto-state.

The real losers in Syria’s disintegration have ironically been Iran and Turkey.  Iran, was hoping to use the chaos to move in next to Israel, but the Kurdish controlled area has cut down on their land bridge, while Israel’s ability to attack Iranian positions in Syria have remained unshackled.

Turkey’s invasion into Syrian Kurdistan has exposed Erdogan as a paranoid autocrat that is fearful of rising Kurdish influence throughout Syria and Iraq.  Yet ironically, his overextension may actually be the cause for the rise of an indpendent Kurdistan, thus dooming Turkey to former shadow of its current self.

Turkey senses it cannot afford to lose so expect it to go all out in Syria, while eventually the Iranians will make a serious push against US assets in the region.  The real question is whether Russia will stay out of the coming conflict.


PACKERS CORNER: Time to Legalize Havat Gilad

Tonight is the Yahrzeit of my Grandfather, of beloved memory, Huna Leib (Lionel) ben Aharon (Packer). Anything good that comes from this installment is dedicated to the spiritual elevation of his precious soul. He was a wonderful man and an even better Grandfather!

Speaking of death, the carnage in northwest Syria continues and seems to only be getting worse. While the Turkish army is making slow but steady progress against the Kurdish defenses, it seems more attention should be focused on the Syrian “rebels”. They are not only fully participating in the fighting, but many videos and pictures have emerged of terrible atrocities they are committing. If this surprises you, I suggest you move from Antarctica to somewhere with access to some form of worldly information. Its difficult to envision the Kurdish forces hanging on, but we can hope and pray. No country is currently more involved in attacking the Jewish Presence in Jerusalem than TURKEY! That my surprise some folks, but evidence is everywhere here in the Old City.

The saga of officially recognizing Havat Gilad as a legal community continues for another week. Now the Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, promises there will be a final cabinet vote on Sunday. To help understand the significance of this potential move, I have included a picture of a map of the area. If one looks closely, Havat Gilad sits in between the Jewish communities of Kedumim and Yitzhar.

On this specific map and in most “peace plans”, the yellow and black line is that of the proposed security fence/possible future Israeli border. Kedumim in inside the line, but Havat Gilad and Yitzhar are outside. By recognizing Havat Gilad, everything gets closer to Yitzhar. Yitzhar sits on the north side of the arab village of Huwara. This is quite a hostile area for Jewish motorists to traverse to get to the nearby Jewish Communities of Yitzhar, Bracha, Itamar and Elon Moreh. Similar to the Hevron area farther south, there is no real possibility for a contiguous “palestinian state” if the Jewish presence remains in this area. The current Israeli Government has promised to build a bypass road around Huwara. If that happens, based on previous similar examples (think/google Tekoa and the “Lieberman Road”), development should skyrocket. Starting to understand why Havat Gilad is so important? If not, pm me. I love the attention.

Investigations of the Prime Minister continue and the Government Coalition remains obscenely stable.

This week, Poland is claiming not to be historically anti-Semitic and not to have been involved in the killing Jews in the Holocaust. Not really sure what to say about this other than to simultaneously think of every dumb polack joke I have ever heard. Those folks got a real talent.

Finally, there’s a whole to do about the planned upcoming deportation of African infiltrators from Israel back to Africa. Personally, I don’t see why the black hebrews can’t be thrown in (out) as well. In short, people who live far away from and are not personally affected by them think we should let them all stay, because why the hell not?  And those who live with/interact with them, vehemently want them to go. Seems to be a recurring pattern. I would like to make a suggestion: those advocating for the infiltrators to stay should threaten to go to Africa with them, in real solidarity, if they get deported. Even better, they should sign legal paperwork guaranteeing it. Or would they prefer to wax self-righteous all the while preaching from their exclusively ashkenazic high income ivory towers. I guess we’ll have to wait to see what they decide.

Obama, Hezbollah, and the End of Israel

As I currently sit in my house South of Jerusalem, there is a storm rising on Israel’s Northern border.  The storm is the Iranian axis made up of the Syrian regime, Hezbollah, and Iranian special forces.  This grouping is now a mere 4km from the Israeli Golan, an unthinkable situation just a few months ago.

It has become increasingly clear that the most potent menace out of the three antagonists is the Lebanese Hezbollah.  What was once just an Iranian proxy, has become a battle heartened army over the last few years of fighting to save Assad’s regime in Syria.  The Hezbollah now boasts over 100 thousand rockets aimed at Israel.  Their armed forces are not only situated North of Israel, but now buttress the Hermon, a strategic mountain that overlooks Israel’s Hula valley and Northern coastal areas.

How did this happen?  How did Hezbollah become such a threat to Israel?  Now, before I write further, I want to make it clear that the Israeli government going back to former Prime Minister Ehud Barak who hastily pulled out of Southern Lebanon, thus ceding control to Hezbollah deserves some of the initial blame for Israel’s current strategic situation.

Yet, it is becoming apparent thanks to Josh Meyer at Politico that the Obama administration had willfully shut down and blocked key parts of Project Cassandra, a secret program started in 2008 under the auspices of the DEA to target Hezbollah’s billion-dollar criminal enterprise and in many cases block it.  Hezbollah’s financing has been critical in allowing what was once just a terrorist organization to grow into a political movement and formidable army.

Meyer’s piece, which has become the focus of a cross-section of politicians and pundits since its publication on the 18th of December, essentially blew the lid off the fallout of Obama’s Iranian appeasement policy.

“In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation,” Meyer starts his article.

“The Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah.”

Meyer’s article is thick with investigative research.  Despite push back by former Obama and Clinton officials, it is hard to dismiss his findings. There is no need to reproduce in this article what Meyer wove together over at Politico.

What is important to understand is that Israel’s most determined enemy was allowed to grow and build its army and weaponry with full knowledge and acceptance by former President Obama. This is not a small matter and the decision to allow this was clearly not taken without the understanding that doing so would essentially put Israel into mortal danger as it may very well be now.

The Iranian axis may still have captured Beit Jinn this past week, but its ability to inflict blow after blow against Israel would not be as potent if it were not for Obama’s reckless determination to reach a deal with the Iranian regime on the back of Israel’s safety.

The coming war between Israel and its mortal enemies is a direct consequence of the policy decisions in the Obama administration.  Without the chaos of the Arab spring, which Obama championed, nor the overtures to the Iranian regime, by the President himself, Iran would have never been able to reach to the Levant. Iran made the progress it did in large part due to the help of a well-financed Hezbollah.

The coming weeks are critical for Israel as war seems to be a foregone conclusion.  It is important that the truth be uncovered concerning the Obama administration’s role in railroading a program that was designed to weaken one of Israel’s and the USA’s most diehard enemies. It is also imortant that writer’s like Josh Meyer are championed instead of attacked as is happening now by public agents close to the Obama and Clinton teams.