Categorized | Middle East Briefing

Is the world safer today?

Posted on 28 January 2016 by admin

There are politicians that argue that today the world is a safer place. Sorry — but I’m just not buying it:

The disastrous ‘Iran Nuke Deal’

Jan. 16, 2016 will go down in infamy as the day that a humiliated United States lost any last vestige of respect and credibility in the Middle East. As Charles Krauthammer wrote in The Washington Post: “Iran shed almost four decades of rogue-state status and was declared a citizen of good standing of the international community, open to trade, investment and diplomacy … without giving up, or even promising to change, its policy of subversion and aggression … without having forfeited its status as the world’s greatest purveyor of terrorism …Overnight, it went not just from pariah to player, but from pariah to dominant regional power, flush with $100 billion in unfrozen assets and virtually free of international sanctions…”
Not to mention the fact that Iran now has a clear pathway to developing and stockpiling nuclear weapons within a few short years … or much less if they cheat.

Are Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran on the brink of war?

The execution of Saudi Shiite cleric Nimr al-Baqer al-Nimr and the subsequent attacks of Iranian rioters on the Saudi embassy in Tehran, and consulate in Mashhad, caused unprecedented damage to the relations between the two countries. Saudi Arabia cut off all diplomatic relations with Iran, together with other Arab-Muslim countries including Bahrain, Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti and the Comoro Islands.
The UAE lowered the status of its diplomatic relations and the governments of Qatar and Kuwait recalled their ambassadors for consultation. Jordan joined the protest against Iran, but retained diplomatic relations.
Iran threatened revenge and warned that the end of the Saudi regime was close. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei threatened the Saudis with “divine retribution” against the heads of the regime.
But is war eminent? It’s possible though most analysts doubt it. One reason is that the Saudis and most Middle East countries believe that because of the watered down conditions of the “Nuke Deal,” Iran is still in the same 2-6 week nuclear “breakout” stage it was this time last year.
That’s why Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir flew to Pakistan last week not only to get assurances that the only Sunni Muslim nuclear country will provide assistance to repel Iranian aggression, but also possibly to get two or three off-the-shelf nukes.

Israel: Knife, gun and car-ramming terrorist attacks continue

Despite the cold and wintry weather, in recent days there has been an uptick of terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens and security forces. Here are just a few:
Two terrorists stabbed two women Monday (Jan. 25) afternoon at a grocery store in the settlement of Beit Horon in the West Bank. A security guard shot and killed both of the attackers.
Security forces found three homemade bombs in the vicinity of the store, apparently planted there by the terrorists, and a bomb squad was called to the scene to neutralize them.
The Shin Bet, in cooperation with the IDF, recently arrested 18-year-old Palestinian twin sisters Diana and Nadia Hawilah, following a search of their house that revealed weapons including pipe bombs, fertilizers used for making explosives, as well as a knife and Hamas headbands. … According to the investigation, Diana bought the chemicals found in her home, watched online video tutorials to learn how to build explosive devices, and intended to use them against Israelis.
A 13-year-old Palestinian girl tried to stab a civilian security guard at the entrance to the settlement of Anathoth in the West Bank’s Binyamin region Saturday morning. The security guard shot and killed her before she was able to hurt him.
There were many more attacks, including a 14-year-old boy who stabbed and killed a mother of six after seeing a program on Palestinian TV, inciting everyone to kill Jews.
There are politicians that argue that today the world is a safer place. … As I said above … I’m just not buying it!
Agree or disagree, that’s my opinion.
Lt. Col. (IDF res) Gil Elan is president and CEO of the Southwest Jewish Congress, and a Middle East analyst. Email: gil@swjc.org
Upcoming briefings and SWJC events are listed at: www.swjc.org
DISCLAIMER: Opinions are the writer’s, and do not represent SWJC directors, officers or members.

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