On September 6, 2007, Israeli jets destroyed a nuclear reactor in the Syrian desert, provoking neither international condemnation nor significant retaliation. By coincidence, just after the tenth-year anniversary of this bombing, the IDF appears to have destroyed another Syrian installation producing dangerous weapons. Gabriel Scheinmann revisits the dramatic story of Israel’s bringing intelligence about the reactor to President George W. Bush, the Bush administration’s choice not to act, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s decision to solve the problem without U.S. support—a story that has significant implications for today’s concerns about Iran and North Korea. (Interview by Jonathan Silver. Audio, 57 minutes.)
Ten Years Ago, Israel Stopped Bashar al-Assad’s Syria from Becoming Another North Korea
The EU Violates International Law, Steals Palestinian Land, and Then Demands Compensation from Israel
Last month, the eight European countries that make up the West Bank Protection Consortium sent a formal letter demanding €30,000 in compensation for two classrooms with solar panels that Israel dismantled in August. The letter, as Ruthie Blum explains, ignores the fact that the structures, located in part of the West Bank called Area C, were built in violation of international law:
[The 1995 agreement known as] Oslo II, which created the Palestinian Authority (PA), divides the West Bank into three geographical sections—Areas A, B, and C—and specifies which government controls each. Area C is under the military and civil jurisdiction of Israel alone. . . . Yet, for years, there has been non-stop building in Area C, . . . in a transparent effort to populate Area C with Palestinians. . . .
[The] Middle East analyst Bassam Tawil [has] noted massive “behind-the-scenes” Palestinian construction, the goal of which is “to create irreversible facts on the ground” and completely encircle Jerusalem. He points out that while Israel is condemned for any and every attempt to build housing in the West Bank and Jerusalem [which it never does in Area A, assigned by Oslo to the sole jurisdiction of the Ramallah], the Palestinian Authority has been undertaking, with impunity, a “colossal” construction project that is “illegal in every respect.” . . .
On a recent tour of the area, [another] Arab affairs expert, Khaled Abu Toameh, explained that this ongoing construction, funded mainly by the EU and Qatar, is made possible through the “confiscation” of privately owned tracts of Palestinian land by unlicensed contractors whose interest is solely financial. . . All they want, he said, is to line their pockets at the expense of helpless landowners, who are told that they must sacrifice their property to help the Palestinian Authority populate the area for political gain against Israel. . . .
It takes particular gall for European Union representatives to express “humanitarian” outrage at Israel for razing illegal structures in the West Bank—while the EU is in league with Palestinian criminals who have been brazenly stealing Arab-owned land.