Psalm 121:1-4 "A Song of Ascents. I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: from whence shall my help come? My help cometh from HaShem, who made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel doth neither slumber nor sleep." This Psalm is a declaration of faith and a prayer for God's constant protection.
"In times of extreme pain we look up to the highest peaks, those majestic vistas of natural strength, waiting desperately for a shimmer of hope. The Sfas Emes said, “During many periods of Israel’s history they turned for help in their need to other nations or to those in authority. This rarely brought satisfactory results. Only when Israel comprehended that ‘from naught shall come my help,’ namely, that there is no man or people in whom they can place their trust, did it come to pass that they declared in song: ‘My help comes from Hashem.’
In these difficult times our trust is being tested. Do we really understand that salvation will come only from Hashem? Or do we hedge our bets and quietly wonder if the next foreign minister will come up with the answers?
(Rabbi Yitzchok Rubin).
Irish Journalist Tries to Arrest Foreign Minister Lieberman:
David Cronin, a freelance journalist who has written for The Economist and is a member of the Brussels press corps, shouted, “Mr. Lieberman, this is a citizen’s arrest. You are charged with the crime of apartheid. Please accompany me to the nearest police station” (INN, 02/23/11).
"Any weapon whetted against you shall not succeed, and any tongue that contends with you in judgment, you shall condemn; this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their due reward from Me, says the Lord" (Isaiah 54:17). For more on Apartheid, see 'Hypocricy' - 'Apartheid' - 'Ethnic Cleansing'
Isaiah 50:8-9 "He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand up together; who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? Behold, they all shall wax old as a garment, the moth shall eat them up."
Isaiah 51:7-8 "Hearken to Me, you who know righteousness, a people that has My Torah in their heart, fear not reproach of man, and from their revilings be not dismayed. For, like a garment, the moth (Hosea 5:12) shall consume them, and like wool, the worm (Isaiah 41:14-16) shall consume them, but My righteousness shall be forever, and My salvation to all generations."
The FPA protests against limitations on foreign media covering the upcoming flotilla:
The government’s threat to punish journalists covering the Gaza flotilla sends a chilling message to the international media and raises serious questions about Israel’s commitment to freedom of the press. Journalists covering a legitimate news event should be allowed to do their jobs without threats and intimidation. We urge the government to reverse its decision immediately. The board of The Foreign Press Association 26th June, 2011
Foreign Press Association accuses Israel of trying to intimidate Gaza flotilla journalists:
Israel has warned that journalists participating in the flotilla would be banned from Israel for 10 years, as well as facing confiscation of equipment and other measures.
In a letter to editors, the Government Press Office Director Oren Helman wrote that the flotilla had been organised by western and Islamist extremists: "The flotilla intends to knowingly violate the blockade that has been declared legally and is in accordance with all treaties and international law", the letter read" (newkerala).
Israel Threatens Media Which Want to Cover the Flotilla: Israel warns journalists who want to cover the flotilla, which in a few days will sail towards Gaza with humanitarian help... The flotilla will be regarded as a military target (IDF to NRK, ABC Nyheter, 27.06.2011).
This is clearly a warning for journalists and media collaborating with terrorists...
"The previous flotilla was harmful to Israel in that most news reports highlighted the killing of nine supposed “civil rights activists,” and also worsened already bad relations between Israel and Turkey. It forced Israel to play “catch up” and explain that its blockade was legal, that its soldiers were nearly lynched, and that the bid to bring “humanitarian aid” to Gaza was merely a ploy to put Israel on the defensive (IHH Organizing Another Flotilla - This Time with an Airplane, INN, 04/11/11).
Video: Suicide Activists on the Gaza Flotilla:
Filming from the Ashdod port, HonestReporting's founding editor, Shraga Simmons, looks at how some media reports mishandled the flotilla affair.
Former US Ambassador Joining Flotilla to Gaza:
Samuel Hart, a former U.S. ambassador to Ecuador, is joining the
to Hamas-controlled Gaza despite State Department warnings that doing so is irresponsible.
Hart is joining the Free Palestine Movement and accepts reports that the blockade, which in effect no longer exists overland except for terror-related items, "limits food to a little bit better than starvation levels.”
Although Israel continues to open up the land crossings for building, including items for
$100 million worth of new houses
and schools, Hart stated that the limitedly control on the entry of goods into Gaza “limits building materials [and] people are left to stew in their misery." In an essay explaining his participation, he asked, "What did the residents of Gaza do to deserve such
punishment? (INN, 06/27/11).
Israel backs away from threat to flotilla reporters:
(Reuters) - Israel backtracked on Monday on a threat to bar foreign journalists from entering the country for 10 years if they board a new international aid flotilla that plans to challenge the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The Foreign Press Association welcomes the prime minister’s decision to drop plans to deport and ban journalists covering the Gaza flotilla.
We are pleased to see that Israel has recognized the value of allowing reporters to cover an important news event, and understands that journalists should be treated differently from political activists. We urge the government to continue to do its utmost to promote freedom of the press as core values of a democratic society (The Foreign Press Association , 27th June 2011).
Building Boom in Gaza’s Ruins Belies Misery That Remains
Two luxury hotels are opening in Gaza this month. Thousands of new cars are plying the roads. A second shopping mall will open next month. Hundreds of homes and two dozen schools are about to go up.
"We hear distorted news so frequently that it is often difficult to see the truth
through all the lies that are created to suit political agendas" (Eliezer Braun).
SUCCESS: BBC Brought to Heel:
The BBC has apologized for publishing the false dog story (Honestreporting).
As pro-Palestinian activists prepare to set sail aboard a flotilla to Gaza, the Palestinian coastal enclave is experiencing its first real period of economic growth since the siege they are protesting began in 2007. "The siege on goods is now 60 to 70% over," said Jamal El-Khoudary, chairman of the board of the Islamic University, who has led Gaza's Popular Committee Against the Siege.
Gaza has never been among the world's poorest places. There is near universal literacy, relatively low infant mortality, and health conditions remain better than in much of the developing world. Hundreds of BMWs, pickup trucks and other vehicles have arrived in recent months from Libya, while dozens of white Kia Sportage models are widely thought to have come from the same looted dealership in Benghazi
(New York Times, June 25, 2011) . See also:
Israel Okays Building Boom in Gaza: (INN, 06/22/11).
Netanyahu Orders Navy to Interdict Flotilla:
Prime Minister Binyamin ordered Israel's defense establishment Monday to interdict the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla 2, Voice of Israel radio reported. Netanahyu gave the order during a meeting of his Security Cabinet dedicated to preparations Israel was taking in advance of the new flotilla expected to set sail for Gaza this week. The Cabinet voted in favor of a Navy plan to prevent the upcoming flotilla from arriving in Gaza and granted the IDF authority to prevent the ships' arrival by any means necessary.
Earlier Monday, Israel and Egypt agreed to the arrangement whereby ships taking part in the flotilla could opt to unload cargo at El-Arish. Ships that instead try to force their way to Gaza, however, will be boarded, searched, and have their passengers arrested
Why Does Israel Need to Maintain a Naval Blockade?
Find out in this IDF video at Honestreporting.
Norway Advise Against New Gaza Convoy: Norwegian authorities ask activists to refrain from sending a new convoy to the Palestinian area in Gaza.
"There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza today, and there is no need for a socalled humanitarian convoy", Secr. of State Espen Barth Eide, MFA, says (NRK, 06.05.2011).
FM Jonas G. Stoere warns his own Gaza activists:
FM Jonas G. Stoere warns fellow party members who want to participate in the planned convoy to Gaza are in danger of being exploited by groups with other motives than them... (hm)...
Several central representatives of the Parliament from the Labor party (AP) and Socialist Left Party (SV) have announced they wish to participate in the planned convoy which will try to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza (VG, 09.04.11).
US Slams 'Provocation' By Activists Planning Flotilla to Gaza:
Leaders of countries where the next Gaza flotilla may originate are feeling diplomatic pressure to stop this from happening. This, as
Israel is mulling ways
avoid becoming embroiled
in another violent scenario similar to
that left nine terrorists dead on the Turkish-sponsored Mavi Marmara vessel in the May 2010 flotilla to Gaza.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent letters to a number of countries in the eastern Mediterranean
urging them not to send
these flotillas to Gaza. In addition, the U.S. is also taking a dim view on the latest attempt by Turkish and European activists to breach Israel's defensive blockade of the terrorist-controlled region (INN, 06/02/11).
U.S. Warns Against New Gaza Flotilla
: U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said in a statement Friday: "Groups that seek to break Israel's maritime blockade of Gaza are taking irresponsible and provocative actions that risk the safety of their passengers," adding that there were established ways to move humanitarian aid to Gaza. "We urge all those seeking to provide such assistance to the people of Gaza to use these mechanisms, and not to participate in actions like the planned flotilla." "We underscore that delivering or attempting or conspiring to deliver material support or other resources to or for the benefit of a designated foreign terrorist organization, such as Hamas, could violate U.S. civil and criminal statutes and could lead to fines and incarceration." (Reuters, Fri June 24, 2011).
In April 2011, shifting policy away from the Mubarak era,
Egypt declared the Rafah border permanently open, as part of its steps to lift its blockade on Gaza.
Egypt warns Israel: Don't interfere with opening of Gaza border crossing: The opening of Rafah will allow the flow of people and goods in and out of Gaza without Israeli permission or supervision. An Israeli official said that Israel was troubled by the recent developments in Egypt saying they could affect Israel's national security at a strategic level (Haaretz, 30.04.11).
Egypt is upgrading its ties with Hamas, approaching Iran, among the Egyptians there are increasing calls for abrogation of the 1979 peace treaty.
Israel Working To Stop Second IHH Flotilla To Gaza:
Turkey's IHH confirmed last week the infamous Mavi Marmara will serve as the flagship of
a second flotilla
aiming to violate Israel's territorial waters and break the Israeli blockade on the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza (INN, 04/07/11).
IHH Organizing Another Flotilla - This Time with an Airplane:
The people who brought you last year’s Turkish IHH ill-fated anti-Israel convoy to Gaza are organizing another one – this time with an airplane. Neither Israel nor the Oslo Accords sanction the landing of airplanes from abroad in Gaza.
Virulently anti-Israel Bulent Yaldrim, director of the Turkish terrorist-affiliated IHH group, said last week at a monthly event commemorating last year’s Mavi Marmara flotilla to Gaza that preparations are underway in full force for an even bigger one. “We have just one problem,” he said, “and that is the virus called Zionism.” The speech was reported by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC).
In his aggressive speech, Yaldrim said, “We are not afraid to die as shahids [martyrs]. We won’t retreat until the blockade from Gaza is removed and until we complete the Al Aksa Mosque journey.” He added that boats are expected from “every country, so that Israel will understand that it does not rule the Mediterranean.” The Mawi Marmara is expected to take part again.
Israel's blockade was legal
According to international maritime law, Israel is within its rights in placing a maritime blockade upon an entity with which it is in a state of armed conflict, such as Hamas. When a maritime blockade is in effect, no vessels are permitted to enter the blockaded area, and any vessel that violates or attempts to violate the maritime blockade may be captured or even attacked” (INN, 04/11/11).
Gaza Flotilla Resources
Information resources about the Gaza Flotilla: links, articles, congressional initiatives (Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations).
Since 1967, Israel has repeatedly given “land for peace.”
So Israel uprooted 10,000 Jews from settlements in the Gaza Strip. And every time Israel gives up land for peace, its enemies that are determined to kill them just get closer... So instead of making peace, Hamas seized control over Gaza and engaged in acts of warfare against Israel, nearly 10,000 anti-personnel rockets, directed at Israeli civilians "to resist the occupation."
Israel responded to the rockets by declaring a naval blockade in accordance with international law, to assure that no rockets or other material that could be used for making war and killing Jews were permitted into Gaza.
AUDIO: Maritime Law on the Seas: Israel was Justified:
A7 Radio's "The Tamar Yonah Show" with Tamar Yonah: Facing hatred, condemnations and threats of action because Israel stopped the Gaza Flotilla in 'International waters', Tamar brings on Mr. Amir Yehuda De Leon, a United States Coast Guard/Maritime Law Enforcement Officer.
Moreover, according to statements from the so-called "peace actvists;" "the intention of the flotilla was not to bring humanitarian aid, but to break the blokcade", of whom many of them expressed their whish to become martyrs. Greta Berlin said: “We’re not trying to be a humanitarian mission. We’re trying to say to the world, ‘You have no right to imprison a million and a half Palestinians’ (Israeli raid on flotilla sparks crisis, Japan Today, Tuesday 01st June).
VIDEO: Gaza flotilla participants created war atmosphere before confronting Israel: Participants chanted Islamic battle cry invoking killing of Jews and called for Martyrdom.
The IDF commandos, who seized the ship to guide it into Ashdod port,
killed the attackers in self-defense
after they were set upon as they boarded the vessel. The clash was
on video tape
. The ship has since been returned to Turkey.
“We want Israel, after returning the Marmara ship to us, to apologize, to pay compensations, and thirdly, to lift the siege [of Gaza],” Erdogan continued. “Gaza is an open prison. It is not your right to sentence all those people to jail.”
Did you know that the suffering of millions of Arabs is perpetuated only for political purposes by the Arab states? See 'Arm of the Lord.'
As shown by video evidence, Israeli commandos were ambushed by armed mercenaries posing as peace activists.
Photos of the Mavi Marmara’s Equipment and Weapons, 1 June 2010 (idfspokesperson).
Specific Flotilla Passangers Linked to Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Other Terror Organizations
The commandos opened fire and killed nine of the attackers after three soldiers had been brutalized and temporarily captured, as shown by the pictures, published in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet: Blood-stained Israeli soldiers
So, the one to apologise should be Turkey.
Video Recordings of Statements from Mavi Marmara Crew Members about Preparations Made by IHH Operatives for the Violent Confrontation with IDF Soldiers. An initial analysis of statements taken from passengers aboard the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara after it was towed to the port of Ashdod show that operatives belonging to the radical Islamic Turkish IHHled the violent confrontation with the IDF.
Israel asks U.S. to ban Turk group behind Gaza ships: Israel has asked the United States to consider outlawing the Turkish Islamist group behind a flotilla that tried to break Israel's blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in May. The IHH is a prominent Turkish charity banned in Israel over its alleged support for Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that appears on Israeli, U.S. and EU terrorist lists (Yahoo). Turkish PM: Hamas is a 'Political Group,' Not Terrorists: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Wednesday night that his nation “stands by Hamas,” which he called “a political group” (INN, 01/14/11).
Turkel Panel Unanimously Clears IDF in Flotilla Clash:
The IDF acted in self-defense against IHH terrorists in the
May 31 flotilla clash
on the Mavi Mamara boat, the Turkel investigative panel unanimously concluded Sunday.
The panel, headed by retired High Court Justice Yaakov Turkel, stated that the Navy commandos’ counter terrorist actions "were found to be legal pursuant to the rules of international law."
The ship supposedly was carrying humanitarian cargo, but the Turkel panel verified previous evidence that there was none on board (INN,
Flotilla Report: BBC Plumbs the Depths:
Rather than address the actual findings of the report, which vindicated Israeli actions, the BBC immediately begins by attempting to discredit the report by focusing on Turkish criticisms. Also: CNN’s Mann Can’t Hide His Disappointment and The Independent Charges a Whitewash (Honest Reporting, Jan. 24, 2011).
Jonah 1:1-2 "
And the word of the Lord came to Jonah (DOVE)
son of Amittai (from the root EMeT = TRUTH), saying: Arise, go to Nineveh, the great city, and proclaim against it, for their evil has come before Me." God told the prophet to go to Nineveh to tell the people to repent, which was under severe judgments, because of the wickedness of the people. But Jonah did not want to carry out this mission, so Jonah tried to flee to Tarshish, from the presence of HaShem, taking a boat from Yaffo.
"But HaShem hurled a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
And the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god; and they cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it unto them. But Jonah was gone down into the innermost parts of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.
So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him: 'What meanest thou that thou sleepest? arise, call upon thy G-d, if so be that G-d will think upon us, that we perish not.' And they said every one to his fellow: 'Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us.' So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.
Then said they unto him: 'Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us: what is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?'
'I am an Hebrew; and I fear HaShem, the G-d of heaven, who hath made the sea and the dry land.'
The soul of Yonah, became a tool in the hands of God to arouse a multitude of non-Jewish souls to turn to Him in sincere repentance.
Jonah Ch. 3
"And the word of HaShem came unto Jonah the second time, saying: 'Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and make unto it the proclamation that I bid thee.' And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he proclaimed, and said: 'Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.'
And the people of Nineveh believed G-d; and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. ...and let them cry mightily unto G-d; yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence (HAMAS) that is in their hands. Who knoweth whether G-d will not turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not?'
And G-d saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and G-d repented of the evil, which He said He would do unto them; and He did it not."
The story of Jonah is an allegory of Israel among the Seventy Nations, and how the terrible global storm sent by God as a result of Israel's flight from Him into sin -eventually brings Jonah and all the nations to know and fear God.
Threats to Western Oil: 2 Tankers Hijacked in 2 Days:
Major oil lines to the West are under severe threat after a second supertanker was hijacked in as many days in the Arabian Sea. Shipping officials said the Irene SL was pirated Wednesday morning about 350 nautical miles south-east of Muscat in the North Arabian Sea. It was carrying about two million barrels of crude oil, worth about $200 million.
With a dead weight of 319,247 tons, the Greek ship is in the supertanker category. The vessel was on its way to Suez from Fujairah when it was attacked, according to the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), which protects vessels from piracy.
One shipping official called the hijacking a "significant shift in the impact of the piracy crisis" that has placed major oil lines to the West "under severe threat."
Joe Angelo, managing director of the trade association INTERTANKO, told CNN the ship was ultimately headed for the U.S. coast on the Gulf of Mexico. "Two million barrels of Kuwaiti crude oil destined for the U.S. in a large Greek tanker in the middle of the main sea lanes coming from the Middle East Gulf marks a significant shift in the impact of the piracy crisis in the Indian Ocean," Angelo told CNN.
"If piracy in the Indian Ocean is left unabated, it will strangle these crucial shipping lanes with the potential to severely disrupt oil flows to the U.S. and to the rest of the world," he warned.
On Tuesday, pirates attacked the MV Savina Caylyn, an Italian-flagged oil tanker, which was headed from Sudan to Malaysia. A reported five pirates fired small arms and rocket propelled grenades before boarding the ship (INN, 02/10/11).
Japanese Whalers Shonan Maru 2
hit anti-whalers group Sea Sheperd's futuristic Batman boat, Ady Gil, whose bow was cut off and sank (ABC Nyheter, 6 Jan. 2010).
Japanese whalers discontinue whaling after pressure from animal protecting groups which for a long time have sabotaged the activity (ABC Nyheter, 16 Feb. 2011). Peter Bethune: Paul Watson Ordered Him To Sink Sea Shepherd's Own Boat, Ady Gil, 'To Create Better TV' On 'Whale Wars' (Huffington Post). He says the Ady Gil was salvageable after the collision but that Watson ordered it to be sunk. Bethune said he and two other activists went aboard the Ady Gill and opened compartments and hatches to let in water, the stuff.co.nz news Web site reported. Bethune told New Zealand's National Radio he believed Watson wanted the sinking to "garner sympathy with the public and to create better TV" (Huffington Post).
Silence before the storm at world's bourses, according to Danish analysts. Oil bubble can wreck havoc. The enormous difference between the prices of Brent (North Sea Oil) and WTI (US crude oil used as a pricing benchmark) means something is very wrong. Analysts fear that Brent oil stands in front of a serious price correction (ABC Nyheter, 15.02.11).
Brent crude posted its highest close since September 2008, settling up 2.14 at 103.78 dollars a barrel after rising as high as e104.52. U.S. crude settled up 67 cents at 84.99,..
Oil markets were already jittery after reports of clashes in Iran, Yemen and Bahrain and a rare show of unrest in Libya added to fears that the kind of unrest that toppled the presidents of Egypt and Tunisia could spread to oil-producing countries in the Middle East and disrupt oil flow in the region.
"Troubles in the Middle East are back on the agenda, protests in Bahrain and Saudi have drummed up political tension," said Rob Montefusco, an oil trader at Sucden Financial. The popular uprising in Egypt had helped push Brent crude over 100 dollars a barrel in late January, sending its premium to U.S. oil futures to record levels over 16 dollars a barrel (Brent oil hits 2-1/2 year high due to Israel-Iran tension in Suez, Haaretz, 16.02.11).
Iran: Warships to sail to Mediterranean:
Fleet of ships may soon enter waters very close to Israeli coast as part of drill, says admiral.
A senior official in the Iranian navy revealed Sunday that the Islamic Republic plans to extend its naval range to Mediterranean waters near Israel.
Rear Admiral Gholam-Reza Khadem Bigham says an Iranian fleet of warships will soon set sail for the Mediterranean and Red seas. It will be the first time Iranian ships stray so far from home.
Bigham says the move is part of a year-long drill. "In addition to the drill the fleet will also collect intelligence in the region," Bigham added that a fleet of submarines would also be launched soon,.."
It remains unclear whether Egypt will allow the fleet to pass through the Suez Canal...
(Ynet News, 01.24.2011).
Israel monitoring Iranian warship plans: Israel is closely monitoring Iranian plans to deploy warships in the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, Israeli security officials said.
Officials described deployment of ships to those areas and plans to dock at a Syrian port for a year as "serious provocation," the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.
There is no justification for Iran to deploy warships to the Mediterranean Sea, and if it does Israel will view the move as "a change in the situation -- and Israel will know how to deal with it," a senior Israeli official told the newspaper.Iranian warships are now deployed in Bab el-Mandeb, between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden in the Indian Ocean, joining international efforts to combat piracy, the newspaper said (World Jewish Daily,
Feb. 14, 2011
China keen up to military ties with Iran: Major General Wang Pufeng of the Chinese Academy of Military Science called for further military cooperation with Teheran in a Monday meeting with Iran’s military attache in China Colonel Muhammed Hassan Cheraghi in the Chinese capital, Beijing. The Chinese official described the Islamic Republic as an influental country in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf and said the Chinese army was keen to expand military ties with Iran’s Army, IRNA reported.
Wang pointed out that regarding Iran’s experience in anti-piracy fignting in the Gulf of Aden, the naval forces of the two countries could also exchange experience on anti-piracy nissions. He went on to say that military cooperation between the two countries was further developed after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and was now at a favorable level. The Iranian official, for his turn, said the exchange of military delegations was a major step toward developing bilateral military ties (Press TV, Tue Feb 15, 2011).
Growing ties between Turkey, China, Iran worry Israel and U.S.
Turkey held military drill with China, after canceling with Israel; ..until two years ago Israel was Turkey's main partner for air combat training.
The United States and Israel are watching with concern the growing military cooperation among Turkey, China and Iran,
The West has been watching the changes in the Chinese army's structure, and especially the long-range naval and aerial exercises that indicate Beijing's intention to acquire the ability to conduct warfare far from China's borders.
The developing ties among Turkey, Iran and China are also reflected in weapons deals, with Iran buying from China mainly missile technology.
The C-802 antiship missile fired by Hezbollah in the Second Lebanon War at the Israel Navy's Hanit missile boat was manufactured in Iran with Chinese technology.
Turkey and China are also involved in projects to build oil pipelines from Iran.
Another reason for the close relations between the two states is that China, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, has been in the forefront of opposition to imposing harsher sanctions on Iran in connection to the Islamic state's nuclear program (Haaretz, 07.10.10).
Russia against more Iran sanctions (PressTV, Feb 15, 2011). 'Turkey (Algeria, Syria) supports Iran's nuclear rights.' - Italy: 'Iran entitled to peaceful N-energy.' (PressTV, Feb 16, 2011).
’Muslims must unite against enemies’ Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi says unity among Muslims is the best method to counter the "enemies."
"Unity and solidarity present Muslim governments and nations with the best and most effective way to counter the plans, plots, and conspiracies of the enemies of Islam," Firouzabadi said.
The statement was released in commemoration of the Unity Week, which begins on Wednesday, the birth date of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
Iranian officials say they have invited 250 scholars from 57 countries as well as 500 Shia and Sunni scholars from different Iranian cities (PressTV, Feb 15, 2011).
Gaddafi Tells Palestinians: Revolt Against Israel: Libya's leader instructed the Arab world Sunday to revolt against Israel by appearing en masse on its shores, creating an international crisis.
"Fleets of boats should take Palestinians ... and wait by the Palestinian shores until the problem is resolved," Muammar Gaddafi was shown saying on state television, Reuters reports.
"This is a time of popular revolutions. We need to create a problem for the world. This is not a declaration of war. This is a call for peace," he said in a speech given to mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohamed, a holy day in the Islamic calendar.
He added that Arab states which have relations with Israel are "cowardly regimes."
Gaddafi also issued a call for Muslim nations to join forces against Western powers.
He said the world was divided into white, denoting the United States, Europe and their allies, and green for the Muslim world.
"The white colour has decided to get rid of the green colour," Gaddafi said. "These countries should be united against the white colour because all of these white countries are the enemies of Islam."
(World Jewish Daily,
Feb 13, 2011). See 'Radical Islam'
At Last Minute: Iranian Warships Won't Enter Mediterranean: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned against bellicose Iranian provocation yesterday, and today Egypt prevented the ships from entering the Suez Canal. “The international community must understand,” Lieberman warned, “that Israel will not be able to ignore these provocations forever. Unfortunately, the international community has not showed willingness to deal with the Iranian provocations” (INN, 02/17/11). Earthquake Shakes Up Suez Canal as Iran Warships Approach: An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale shook up residents at the entrance to the Suez Canal early Monday morning, 48 hours before two Iranian ships, a frigate and a supply vessel, are expected to enter the canal
Iranian Vessels Enter Suez Canal
Iran informed Egypt that the vessels - a frigate named Alvand and a supply vessel named the Kharg - have no military equipment, no nuclear materials and no chemicals on board. There has been concern in Israel and elsewhere that the permission for the Iranian ships passage signals a rapprochement between Iran and Egypt, following the revolution against Hosni Mubarak (INN, 02/22/11).
Iran's Web of Secret Wars by Sim Tack:
Iran’s geopolitical objectives go beyond the buildup of military power within its own borders. Iranian influence now stretches all the way to the horn of Africa. A web of self-sustaining secret wars has formed between Lebanon, Gaza, Somalia and Yemen with cooperation of Eritrea and Sudan. In Lebanon Iran has been fueling funds, weapons and training to Hezbollah, which in return delivers training to the Somali Al Shabaab and Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Somali conflict in return has delivered weapons, ammunition and even combatants to other conflicts through Iranian smuggle routes. Iran has also been smuggling weapons to Hamas in Gaza and the Sudanese government through Eritrea, the epicenter of Iran’s illegal smuggling activities.
Iran is also believed to have constructed a naval base in Eritrea that supports these activities as well as military naval presence in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Through this activity Iran is not only able to tie down western resources, it has also succeeded in gaining a stronger position over for example Saudi Arabia as the Islamic state supporter of these rebellions (gcreport.com).
Terrorism and Piracy: The New Alliance:
Somalia’s pirates are not merry bands of lucky amateurs. They are organized militias with informants in foreign ports, and networks of ransom negotiators, money launderers, and arms runners abroad. Moreover, there is mounting evidence of collaboration between militant Islamists and pirate militias (Tara Helfman and Dan O’Shea, Commentary, Feb. 2011).
Americans slain by captors on hijacked yacht; pirates killed, arrested: A round-the-world boating adventure ended tragically Tuesday for four Americans, whom pirates fatally shot after capturing their yacht in the Indian Ocean last week, U.S. officials said.
The 58-foot vessel, named the Quest, was being shadowed by the military after pirates took the ship off the coast of Oman on Friday. Officials had said earlier Tuesday it was less than two days from the Somali coast.
Ship owners Jean and Scott Adam and Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle were found shot after U.S. forces boarded the vessel about 1 a.m. ET, officials said.
The forces responded after a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at a U.S. Navy ship about 600 yards away -- and missed -- and the sound of gunfire could be heard on board the Quest, U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Mark Fox said.
The incident took place as negotiations involving the FBI were under way for the hostages' release, Fox said. Two pirates had boarded a U.S. Navy ship Monday for the negotiations, he said. He said he had no information on details of the negotiations or whether a ransom had been offered.
Two pirates were found dead on board the Quest, he said. In the process of clearing the vessel, U.S. forces killed two others, one with a knife, Fox said. Thirteen others were captured and detained along with the other two already on board the U.S. Navy ship. Nineteen pirates were involved altogether, he said.
The 15 detained pirates were being held together on a U.S. warship, Fox said, and "we will go through the appropriate process to bring them to a judicial process and hold them accountable for their activities."
Fox said Tuesday that authorities believe the 19 pirates came aboard the Quest after traveling on a "mother ship." The "mother ship" trend -- pirates using another hijacked merchant vessel -- has appeared in the past few months, said Cyrus Mody, manager at the International Maritime Bureau in London. The mother ships provide pirates with "a lot more reach, a lot more capability to move out (farther) into the Indian Ocean," he said. As of February 15, pirates were holding 33 vessels and 712 hostages, according to the International Maritime Bureau.
(CNN, February 22, 2011).
Norwegian shipper: Kill pirates on the spot:
A Norwegian shipping magnate was strongly criticized Wednesday for suggesting that pirates captured off the Horn of Africa should be sunk with their skiffs or executed on the spot. “When piracy implies a great risk of being caught and hanged, and the cost of losing ships and weapons becomes too big, it will decrease and eventually disappear,” Jacob Stolt-Nielsen said in an op-ed in Norwegian financial newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv.
The 79-year-old is the founder of Stolt-Nielsen Ltd, one of Norway’s biggest shipping companies. He stepped down as chairman two years ago but still serves on the board. “Pirates captured in international waters have always been punished by death, often on the spot,” Stolt-Nielsen wrote Tuesday, arguing that modern navies should deal with the problem like Roman pirate hunter Pompey did more than 2,000 years ago.
“Not arrest them and say, ‘naughty, naughty, shame on you,’ and release them again, but sink their boats with all hands,” he wrote. “The pirates won’t be frightened by being placed before a civilian court.” Stolt-Nielsen acknowledged that killing pirates could trigger a backlash against crews held hostage. “But you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. This is war and warfare costs lives,” he wrote (Japan Today, 17th February, 2011).
S. Korea and Malaysia Use Force Against Pirates:
The successful anti-piracy commando tactics employed by the South Korean and Malaysian naval vessels against Somali pirates have revived an old debate that was argued in the days of airline hijackings: give in to save the hostages or use force to capture the pirates (INN, 01/23/11).
Libya Remains on UN Human Rights Panel as It Bombs Civilians:
Libya remains on the United Nations Human Rights Council as it continues to pay mercenaries and use tanks, planes and helicopters to massacre hundreds of protesters (INN, 02/22/11).
Gadhafi Vows Fight to Death as East Falls, Oil Ports Shut:
International oil companies halted work in the country, and Libyan ports closed amid heightened tensions, traders said. Global Unrest Puts Stocks in a Dive: The stock market plummeted Tuesday in its biggest drop of the year as escalating tensions in the Middle East and North Africa sent oil prices soaring (WSJ, Feb 22, 2011).
HMS Cumberland on standby to bring Britons back from Libya:
The Foreign Secretary has confirmed that Royal Navy ship HMS Cumberland is on standby to help bring British nationals home from Libya amid widespread anti-government protests. William Hague made his statement as Libyan president Colonel Gaddafi made an address on Libyan state television refusing to stand down from his position. The Type 22 frigate has been patrolling the sea lanes in the Middle East which carry a large proportion of UK trade, both imports and exports. The ship, which is due to be decommissioned this year has also been guarding the Iraqi oil platforms (BFBS, 22 Feb. 2011).
Piracy is flourishing off Somalia, Indian Ocean, southern Red Sea, and the Arabian Sea, Iranian warships are making waves in the Suez Canal - bound for the Mediterranean Sea and the Israeli coast. "Western-style capitalism is falling apart, marking the end of the age of Imperialism,.." (Ahmadinejad stresses need for a new world order, (PressTV, Tue, 16 Jun 2009)."
The fictitious Mahdi is expected to appear when the world is wracked in utter chaos and war...
See 'Radical Islam'
TIME Source: Gaddafi to Blow Up Oil Pipelines: Gas Prices Soar: Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi, once termed a “mad god” by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, is threatening to blow up oil facilities, a source told TIME magazine journalist Robert Baer. Gaddafi’s reported plan to sabotage oil facilities in the oil-producing country “is meant to serve as a message to Libya's rebellious tribes: It's either me or chaos,” Baer wrote.
Oil prices have skyrocketed this week, passing the $95 per barrel mark on world markets. Financial analysts are predicting prices of $140-$200 a barrel if world events do not stabilize. Soaring oil prices could be a knockout punch to the struggling economic recovery in the United States and elsewhere and could spawn a new recession (INN, 02/23/11).
Iraq Could Send Crude Prices to the Moon: Iraq on Friday became the latest country in the region to be affected by the demonstrations and violence that have hit the region during the past several weeks. Iraq's output of 2.5 million barrels a day comfortably exceeds Libya's 1.4 million to 1.8 million barrels -- depending on whose numbers you believe. So Iraq is already more significant for world oil circumstances than Libya (David Lee Smith, Feb. 28, 2011). Can the Saudis Keep Oil From Skyrocketing? And then there is March 11, a day that hundreds of put-upon Saudis are endorsing on Facebook as a "day of rage." How the event will turn out is anyone's guess, but it portends activities that kicked off demonstrations in Egypt, Bahrain, and Yemen (David Lee Smith, Feb. 24, 2011).
According to cables published by Wikileaks, the U.S. is concerned that Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude oil exporter, may not have enough reserves to prevent oil prices from escalating. The cables were sent from the U.S. embassy in Riyadh. According to the British Guardian, the cables "urge Washington to take seriously a warning from a senior Saudi government oil executive that the kingdom's crude oil reserves may have been overstated by as much as 300bn barrels – nearly 40 percent."
The revelation comes as the price of oil has soared to more than $100 a barrel because of global demand and tensions in the Middle East, the newspaper noted. "Many analysts expect that the Saudis and their OPEC cartel partners would pump more oil if rising prices threatened to choke off demand," the paper reported (Threats to Western Oil: 2 Tankers Hijacked in 2 Days, INN, 02/10/11). See also: Is the Next Domino Ready to Fall in the Middle East? Airlines are most directly in the line of fire for rising oil costs. As oil rises, the cost for jet fuel follows suit. Unless airlines have hedged their bets carefully, they could be looking at a world of pain... (David Lee Smith, Feb. 23, 2011).
Netanyahu: Iran Trying to Take Advantage of Arab World Upheaval
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview: Iran is "seeking to exploit" current events. Its decision to send two naval vessels through the Suez Canal is "the first time we've seen elements of a Persian fleet in the Mediterranean since Alexandrine times." This proves Iran has "aggressive intentions." Iran was working as hard as it could to destabilize societies - Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon - before all this, and now it is trying to take advantage of the new situation.
Iran with nuclear weapons would create new threats. "Look at Bahrain. A nuclear Iran would make it a Persian Gulf on both sides." It would control the oil supplies of the world and "spawn a nuclear arms race in the Middle East." Iranian conventional ballistic missiles already have a range which includes western Europe: "It is extraordinarily dangerous for my country, but also for your country." He sees Israel as "merely a forward position of Western values."
The Western powers agree about the Iranian nuclear threat, he says, citing Britain's Defence Secretary, Dr. Liam Fox, as a strong exponent of this view. But he adds: "I think we should do more. I think we can do more." The present sanctions "don't have sufficient bite," and we "need a credible military option if sanctions fail..." (Telegraph-UK,
26 Feb. 2011
Americans: War is Coming, Cut Off Aid to Arabs: Most Americans think that the political upheaval spreading throughout the Arab world may wind up drawing the United States into a new large-scale war, a Rasmussen Reports poll found. The poll also found most Americans favor cutting off aid to Arab countries (INN, 02/27/11).
Iran Widens Hunt for Uranium
: A new intelligence report prepared by a member country of the International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran is expanding its covert global search for uranium for its nuclear activities. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi met secretly last month with senior Zimbabwean mining officials "to resume negotiations...for the benefit of Iran's uranium procurement plan." (AP-San Francisco Chronicle).
As two Iranian warships are docked in Syria;..
Second Suspected Syria Nuclear Site Found
: A second suspected nuclear installation has been identified in Syria, according to commercial satellite photos published Wednesday by Washington's Institute for Science and International Security. The photos are of one of three additional sites the IAEA believes could be connected to the Dair Alzour facility, destroyed in a 2007 Israeli military strike (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 24, 2011).
Satellite Image Shows Suspected Uranium Conversion Plant in Syria
(Institute for Science and International Security, Feb. 23, 2011).
IAEA: Iran May Be Developing a Nuclear-Armed Missile
: The UN atomic watchdog has received new information regarding allegations that Iran may be seeking to develop a nuclear-armed missile, the agency said in a report Friday. It also made clear Iran's determination to press ahead with sensitive atomic activity. The report looked likely to add to Western suspicions that Iran is secretly bent on building a nuclear weapons capability from its enrichment program, and could provide the U.S. and allies with additional arguments for further tightening sanctions on Iran (Reuters, 25 Feb. 2011).
The IAEA Report
(IAEA-Institute for Science and International Security, 25 Feb. 2011).
Iran Seeks Mass Destruction Weapons Parts from Norway:
Norway has foiled Iranian attempts to buy technology for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) that might be used to deliver a nuclear missile, Norway’s security chief has revealed (INN, 03/01/11).
Netanyahu: West Should Support Anti-Regime Protesters in Iran, as It Does in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya
Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed to visiting U.S. senators Sunday the importance now of focusing on Iran. He said the West must ensure that this "wave of democracy" doesn't pass over Iran, and that the international community should be supporting the protesters in Iran to the same degree that they did in Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya. The current situation is providing Iran with numerous opportunities to extend their reach and exploit the changes taking place for their own benefit, he added (Jerusalem Post. 02.28.2011).
The importance of supporting the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom is discussed in the film Iranium, which exposes the threats posed by a nuclear Iran to the international community. Iranium premiered on February 8, and was featured on a
one hour Fox News channel special
with top-10 radio and television commentator, Sean Hannity.
Exclusive Clip – Iranium the Movie: A New Revolution