Opinion—Syria May Be the Melting Pot of Trouble, But Focus Is Key

Syria is so bad the bad guys are fighting worse guys and now not everyone on the “good side” is happy even when the good guys have success against the bad guys. It’s a hodge-podge of turmoil and terror, impacting virtually the entire region. It’s not just that three or …

The Syrian Four: Return of the Axis of Evil and Beginning of the End?

If it sounds like nefarious planning, does that make it so? Fox News reported that Russian generals, Iranians, and Syrians all met together… not in Moscow, not in Damascus, and not in Tehran, but in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. What does it mean? Most likely, they were meeting to …

Iran Hopes for Russia Alliance with Hezbollah—But Does Russia?

Could the Axis of Evil get a new spoke in Russia? An advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader told reporters it would be their “ideal” for Russia to ally with the Islamic Republic, Syria, and Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. Russian news source Sputnik International quoted Ali Akbar Velayati as saying that …

Germany: Iran Ready to Talk to Saudis over Broken Relations

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was on the defensive as he traveled to Iran and Saudi Arabia in an effort to improve relations between the testy rivals—and he may have already seen some progress on the first day. In a report by the Iranian PressTV covering the press conference between …

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Iran Hopes for Russia Alliance with Hezbollah—But Does Russia?

February 4, 2016 Peace and Conflict
From Russia, with blood? Russia is helping Hezbollah in Syria. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

From Russia, with blood? Is Russia helping Hezbollah in Syria? Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Could the Axis of Evil get a new spoke in Russia? An advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader told reporters it would be their “ideal” for Russia to ally with the Islamic Republic, Syria, and Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. Russian news source Sputnik International quoted Ali Akbar Velayati as saying that “the prerequisites for the creation of such an alliance are prepared” as he noted his own nation’s ties with Russia on the Middle East issues.

However, the same day the Iranian official raised the specter of a Russian alliance with one of the world’s most dangerous terror groups, the highest ranking member of Russia’s parliament told Israel they “will not allow the transfer of weapons to an organization that wreaks destruction and death,” according to a press release on the website of the Israeli Knesset. Chairwoman of the Russian Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, who is the highest-ranking Russian official after their president and prime minister, was visiting Israel on Wednesday. … Continue Reading

Germany: Iran Ready to Talk to Saudis over Broken Relations

February 2, 2016 News
Will talks in Iran fix Middle East tensions? Illustrative official meeting. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Will talks in Iran help fix Middle East tensions? Illustrative official meeting. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Evan Schneider

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was on the defensive as he traveled to Iran and Saudi Arabia in an effort to improve relations between the testy rivals—and he may have already seen some progress on the first day. In a report by the Iranian PressTV covering the press conference between Steinmeier and his Iranian counterpart, the German diplomat said he learned that Iran is ready to start discussions with the Saudis regarding the damaged relations between the two nations.

Steinmeier’s visit follows one of the roughest patches between the two Middle East powers after Iranians attacked Saudi diplomatic posts in Iran and Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in response. But despite his role as attempted peacemaker, Steinmeier and the German government felt the need to defend his visit in the midst of the crisis between the countries. In short, they argued that talking to the sides now was better than doing nothing. … Continue Reading

France to Israel: Capitulate to Palestinian Demands or Else?

January 31, 2016 Peace and Conflict
France is looking farther away from Israel than ever before. French, Israeli flags. Illustrative.

France is looking farther away from Israel than ever before. French, Israeli flags. Illustrative.

France is concerned that the potential for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is slipping away, so they are calling for an international summit to be held on the matter to work towards hashing out a negotiated solution, according to The Guardian. And if the conference fails? Then France will recognize Palestine as a state unilaterally, according to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

Give the Palestinians what they want or France will? Not exactly a lot of motive for negotiating peace, noted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to the plan. “The substance of negotiations is compromise and the French initiative, as it has been reported, in effect gives the Palestinians in advance reasons not to do so,” said Netanyahu in comments by his office. “I believe that we will see a sobering up on this issue. In any case, we will work to bring this about and our position is very clear: We are prepared to enter into direct negotiations without preconditions and without dictated conditions.” … Continue Reading

UN Head Effectively Blames Victim Israel for Palestinian Terror against Them

January 26, 2016 News
Ban has chosen the wrong side before - remember this handshake with a brutal dictator? Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (right) shakes hands with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left). Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

Ban has chosen the wrong side before – remember this handshake with a brutal dictator? Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (right) shakes hands with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left). Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

The leader of the United Nations tried in vain to speak against Palestinian terrorism while also slamming Israel as well, and as a result implied that Israeli actions and the floundering Palestinian economy are behind the wave of Palestinian terror that has killed dozens of Israelis and wounded hundreds more. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon made it clear he condemned the Palestinian terrorism, but then shockingly hinted that the victim—Israel—was to blame for it.

“As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism,” said Ban, in comments published on the UN News Centre website. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly opposed the UN head’s insinuations, saying the comments “give a tailwind to terrorism.” … Continue Reading

Palestinian Terror Sisters Apprehended by IDF

January 26, 2016 Peace and Conflict
Palestinian incitement is encouraging teens to plot terror. Illustrative banner of terrorists and Dome of the Rock. By Joshua Spurlock

Palestinian incitement is encouraging teens to plot terror. Illustrative banner of terrorists and Dome of the Rock. By Joshua Spurlock

A pair of sisters are the latest Palestinian terrorists to be caught by the IDF plotting explosive attacks, as online incitement and terrorist propaganda continues to influence both sides of the gender barrier. An IDF press release said pipe bombs, homemade explosive materials, and Hamas paraphernalia were found in the terror sisters’ home—and one of the women confessed to watching videos online on how to make explosives.

That sister also was “exposed to and driven by online incitement and radical Islamic content propagating, promoting and encouraging Palestinian women to take an active part in the acts of terrorism against Israelis,” said the press release. The other sister was involved in hiding the weapons. … Continue Reading

Israel-US Ties Remain ‘Very Strong’ Despite Disagreements

January 24, 2016 News
US-Israel not always close, but still sharing a table. PM Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Kerry. Photo Courtesy of Haim Zach (GPO).

US-Israel not always close, but still sharing a table. PM Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Kerry. Photo Courtesy of Haim Zach (GPO).

The Obama Administration has faced plenty of criticism regarding their sometimes rocky relationship with Israel, with news reports openly questioning if the Americans might be on the verge of abandoning their key ally in the Middle East. Such reports have raised the specter of Israel being unjustly turned into a pariah state over a misguided international support for the Palestinians.

But so far, the doomsday scenario hasn’t taken place, noted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday. “In recent years, we have heard remarks about the collapse of relations [with the US]. What has collapsed is the talk about a collapse and what is becoming increasingly clear is that this special relationship finds expression in very many areas,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. As an example, Netanyahu pointed to security assistance from the US to Israel, which includes a memorandum they hope to put in place to provide such backing for the coming decade. … Continue Reading

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