The Present Situation with Syria

EVP Eitan
EVP News Letter - 29 August 2013

Latest developments in the Syrian Situation

After initial reports and assessments in the world press regarding an imminent US led surgical strike at strategic Syrian military targets, it now seems as action may be delayed due to the British Governments decision to withdraw its support for such a move until the report of UN observers on the ground in Syria is received.

UN observers, sent specifically to corroborate the use of chemical weapons have inspected the areas reported to have been hit but have as yet, not issued a report.

There would appear to be a need for impartial corroboration of use of chemical weapons and by whom in order to justify a surgical strike against Syrian targets by US led forces.  A report in the New York Times quoted US officials as saying that whilst there is no "smoking gun" pointing to Assad's direct responsibility for ordering the use of chemical weapons, as his country's leader, he still bears responsibility

So, in the meantime, the Assad regime has begun removing military equipment and units from bases that could be targeted to unknown locations.  Armored vehicles and trucks carrying troops were seen leaving the Damascus International Airport area, which includes three army bases, and heading toward the nearby town of Harran al-Awamid, opposition activist Ma'moun al-Ghoutani said by phone from the area, adding that lights had been turned off at the airport.

According to some reports, the European Union has warned Assad that any use of chemical weapons against Israel or any other country in the region will result is a sever escalation of any action being taken against the regime and the almost certain downfall of his regime. 
It was further reported that Western nations asked Israel to exercise restraint in case of an assault by Assad or other "actors" supporting him. According to the report, Israel has made it clear it will not sit by idly if there is a significant attack on Israel.

We will keep you posted over the coming days.   


Philip Barnea


EVP Communications
Syria has an arsenal of 10,000 and rockets

US attack in Syria may lead to regional war that will not pass Israel by. Despite fierce fighting against rebels, Assad's army continues to arm itself with Russian weapons. What is the Syrian army preparing for the IDF? And what will Israel's initial blow look like? 

Will the Syrian air force use kamikaze pilots? 


The Syrian air force is considering using kamikaze pilots against attacks by western forces, a Syrian army officer operating air defenses near Damascus has claimed in an interview with the Guardian.

The officer told the British newspaper 13 pilots had signed a pledge this week saying they would form "a crew of suicide martyrs to foil the US warplanes." Click here to see the full story  

Syrian Jet Fighter

Assaults on Christians Continue in Egypt, Islamists Call for 'Friday of Martyrs' Protests

Deadly assaults on Christians at the hands of radical Islamists have continued across Egypt more than nine days after Muslim Brotherhood protests were dispersed last week. ICC sources inside the country report that many Christians are "living in horror" as police forces continue to ignore attacks on Christian communities and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi call for new protests on Friday.

Follow this link for the full story  

The United Nations and impartiality (or lack of)

United? Nations?
An Open Letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
To His Excellency Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:


I must confess my surprise at your recent statement that, "No, I don't think there is discrimination against Israel at the UN."


Respectfully, Mr. Secretary-General, there is discrimination against Israel at the UN, and it is not new, either.


For starters:


* Israel is the only UN member state that has been targeted for annihilation by another UN member state, Iran, which has suffered no sanction from a world body devoted to the pursuit of global peace and security.


* Israel is the only country not included as a permanent member of one of the five all-important regional groups, which determine membership on key UN bodies. It has temporary status with WEOG (the West European and Others Group) in New York and no status in Geneva, while it is excluded from its natural home, the Asian group.


* Israel is the only UN member state with a permanent agenda item devoted to it at the UN Human Rights Council.


* Israel is the target of more than half the resolutions of the UN Human Rights Council, while many serial human-rights abusers get away, quite literally, with murder.


* Israel is the only country subject to a battery of UN General Assembly resolutions annually, irrespective of the facts on the ground.


* The Palestinians are the only "refugee population" in the world not covered by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Rather, they have their own agency - UNRWA.


* Speaking of UNRWA, the definition of a Palestinian refugee is totally different from that of all others. Palestinian refugees and all their descendants without limit are included in the UNRWA definition.


* Further to UNRWA, unlike UNHCR, its mandate is not to resettle the refugees, but rather to keep them in limbo, unsettled, and, yes, angry. As early as 1951, though, when John Blanford, UNRWA's director at the time, proposed resettling up to 250,000 refugees in Arab countries, those countries refused, leading to his resignation. The message got through. No UN official since then has pushed for resettlement.


* And how about the standing divisions in the UN - the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People, and the Division for Palestinian Rights in the UN's Department of Political Affairs - and the special rapporteurs in Geneva, all devoted permanently to supporting the Palestinian cause and demonizing Israel? Is there anything remotely comparable in the UN for any other country in the world?


The list, I'm sorry to say, goes on.


In fact, you yourself have acknowledged, publicly and privately in the past, that there is discrimination against Israel at the UN. And it is in violation of the noble UN Charter, which assures the equal rights of all member states, big and small.


Mr. Secretary-General, as an organization whose link to the UN began at the founding conference in San Francisco in 1945, we count on your voice, and your moral authority, to be heard in condemning the systemic singling out and unfair treatment of Israel, a UN member state in good standing since 1949.


Sincerely yours,


David Harris
AJC Executive Director
The clock is ticking...

WASHINGTON - For over a decade, the United States, Israel and independent scientific experts have largely disagreed over just how long Iran has until it becomes capable of building its own nuclear weapons.

That debate is over.

US and Israeli officials now discuss granting Iran a period of months - less than half a year - to change course before considering diplomacy exhausted and resorting to alternative measures.

To read the full story - press this link 

The Arak reactor, 190 kilometers southwest of Tehran
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