With Escalating Conflict in Syria, Israel Can’t Afford to Flinch

Last week, Israel struck Iranian positions near Damascus, evidently to prevent an attack on its own territory. Tehran responded by launching rockets from Syria into the Golan Heights, which either fell short of their targets or were intercepted by Israeli countermeasures; to this, Jerusalem responded with a series of attacks throughout Syria. The episode constitutes a new escalation in the ongoing conflict between the Jewish state and the Islamic Republic, about which Yaakov Amidror comments:

Unlike past reports involving attacks on select targets or a single warehouse, the IDF sought to strike a vast array of targets, apparently the entirety of Iran’s infrastructure in Syria—from intelligence outposts to weapons facilities. [In other words], Israel sought to exploit the opportunity to hit a wide range of targets. The IDF had surely been aware of many of these targets for some time, but the opportunity or the diplomatic justification to attack them hadn’t emerged yet. The Iranians created the justification by firing directly at Israel for the first time. The new situation necessitated a different type of response—decisive and comprehensive.

Because Israel cannot allow Iran to build another war machine in Syria—on top of the one it already has in Lebanon in the form of Hizballah—it had to put a “price tag” on Tehran’s activities. Such an attack, if it was indeed successful, will have set the price appropriately. With that, Israel must not ease up. Its intelligence branches need to understand what was destroyed and then identify where and how Iran intends to push its military build-up forward—and neutralize that as well.

Israel’s mission planners [also] need to study the operation and look into the seemingly exaggerated Russian claim that some of the missiles fired by Israel were intercepted by Syrian air defenses (which the IDF targeted only after they opened fire on Israeli planes). They need to think of new attack methods to overcome the dense Syrian defenses, which mainly consist of Russian air-defense systems. The fight isn’t over yet; it seems Iran still hasn’t given up on its plans.

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Syrian civil war

Nikki Haley Succeeded at the UN Because She Saw It for What It Is

Oct. 15 2018

Last week, Nikki Haley announced that she will be stepping down as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at the end of the year. When President Trump appointed her to the position, she had behind her a successful tenure as governor of South Carolina, but no prior experience in foreign policy. This, writes Seth Lispky, turned out to have been her greatest asset:

What a contrast [Haley provided] to the string of ambassadors who fell on their faces in the swamp of Turtle Bay. That’s particularly true of the two envoys under President Barack Obama. [The] “experienced” hands who came before her proceeded to fail. Their key misconception was the notion that the United Nations is part of the solution to the world’s thorniest problems. Its charter was a vast treaty designed by diplomats to achieve “peace,” “security,” and “harmony.”

What hogwash.

Haley, by contrast, may have come in without experience—but that meant she also lacked for illusions. What a difference when someone knows that they’re in a viper pit—that the UN is itself the problem. And has the gumption to say so.

This became apparent the instant Haley opened her first press conference, [in which she said of the UN’s obsessive fixation on condemning the Jewish state]: “I am here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. I am here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. . . . I am here to emphasize that the United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias.”

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Read more at New York Post

More about: Nikki Haley, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations, US-Israel relations