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Sunday, February 01, 2015

Super Bowl preview from Saturday Night Live

Once again too good not to share.

Seattle Seahawks players Richard Sherman (Jay Pharoah) and Marshawn Lynch (Kenan Thompson) discuss Deflate Gate and interview Coach Pete Carroll (Taran Killam).

Let's go to the videotape.


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The NY Times corrects a big lie

The headline above was the Times' attempt to spin Prime Minister Netanyahu's 2011 trip to Washington. This time, the lies are starting before the Prime Minister leaves Israel.

The Times reported last week that President Obama had been 'blindsided' by House Speaker John Boehner's invitation to Netanyahui to speak. That was false. The correction - first noticed by Omri Ceren - proves it.
Ed Lasky adds:
In 2011, Boehner sent a notice to the WH stating his intention to invite Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress. The White House never responded (spite? incompetence?) and Boehner proceeded to extend the invitation to Netanyahu. Netanyahu accepted the invitation and spoke. The White House did not express any outrage in 2011. That was before the 2012 reelection, of course, so Obama did not want to run the risk of losing any support.
But that was then and this is now. And as Barack Obama has reminded us, he will never be on a ballot again so he can do whatever he wants now and go “full Bulworth,” as he told close aides he wanted to do in his second term.
Boehner clearly assumed the same series of events was occurring when the White House failed to respond this time to the notice given to the White House before he sent an invite to Netanyahu.  (Hat Tip: CJL and LR).
The White House deliberately created this “crisis” to impugn Netanyahu and undercut support for him and Israel. No less than Senator Harry Reid blamed this diplomatic faux paus entirely on Boehner and Netanyahu for undercutting support for Israel among Democrats . The media, or much of it, has been relentlessly attacking Israel over a lie promoted by people in the administration.
Most pro-Israel President evah? You gotta be kidding.

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Israel's football team's owner and quarterback visit the IDF

From here.
Participants on the trip say Brady was visibly moved by what he saw and experienced. Shrage remembers a Chabad rabbi who was close with Myra leading the group’s Friday night dinner.
“Everyone started to dance, and Tom soon joined in. To see Tom Brady dancing in a circle with us, singing with us, that was really special.”
“I think he was enormously moved.”
The Krafts took Brady to an IDF infantry base as well. Boston-born Netzach Yehuda battalion soldier Avi Sandler was in basic training in the Jordan Valley. He had just completed a week of field exercises and a forced march back to his base.
He was told to put on his beret and report to the Deputy Company Commander’s office.
“I was nervous, as at that point one only went to his office if he was in trouble,” said Sandler.
“As I entered the office and saluted, I saw two other soldiers with American backgrounds already seated. We were told that a group of important Americans will be visiting the base tomorrow and that we were chosen to attend as representatives.”
Fellow soldier Label Garelik was sitting in his room when his sergeant came in, and told him that there were some Americans visiting who wanted to speak to soldiers who had moved to Israel from the US.
“Some Robert Kraft or something.”
The next morning, the soldiers were bused to the firing range, where a weapons demonstration was prepared for the visitors.
“Quietly, on the side, my friend says, ‘Avi, isn’t that Tom Brady?'” Sandler recalled. “Other than Mr. Kraft, we had no clue who was visiting. I responded, ‘It looks like him but what would he be doing here?'”
“‘We quickly turned to Brady and asked, ‘Are you Tom Brady?'”
“‘Yes,’ he responded. Our mouths dropped.”
One of the soldiers asked Brady if he wanted to play football with them.
“I don’t mix business and pleasure,” Brady joked.
The soldiers gave a demonstration of the various weapons lined up at the range. Brady exclaimed “Damn!” as the machines gun were firing.
The Patriots quarterback even took some target practice at the base’s shooting range. “I was worried about the recoil,” Shrage recalled. “We certainly didn’t need Brady hurting his throwing shoulder shooting a rifle.”
Other New Englanders were given the opportunity to meet Brady at the Israel Museum at a Saturday night dinner.
Read it all. So whom are you rooting for today? GO PATS!

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This says it all

Doesn't it?

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Why now? US says 'The CIA collaborated with the Mossad to kill Imad Mughniyah'

The Washington Post reports that the death of Imad Mughniyah was a joint CIA-Mossad operation.
The United States helped build the bomb, the former official said, and tested it repeatedly at a CIA facility in North Carolina to ensure the potential blast area was contained and would not result in collateral damage.

“We probably blew up 25 bombs to make sure we got it right,” the former official said.
The extraordinarily close cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli intelligence services suggested the importance of the target — a man who over the years had been implicated in some of Hezbollah’s most spectacular terrorist attacks, including those against the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and the Israeli Embassy in Argentina.
The United States has never acknowledged participation in the killing of Mughniyah, which Hezbollah blamed on Israel. Until now, there has been little detail about the joint operation by the CIA and Mossad to kill him, how the car bombing was planned or the exact U.S. role. With the exception of the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden, the mission marked one of the most high-risk covert actions by the United States in recent years.
Israel, of course, has said 'no comment.' So has the CIA. But over the past week we've been warned repeatedly about how Prime Minister Netanyahu would be 'jeopardizing' cooperation with the United States if he comes to Washington to speak to Congress in March. Cooperation like this? Well, maybe.
Really?  This comes out right now?  The “new” book by Robert B. Baer cited in the article was actually published in October — and it doesn’t say there was collaboration.  Baer and unnamed others have been gotten to confirm it, apparently.  But the timing is distinctly odd, given the recent dust-ups between Hezbollah and the IDF.  You might almost think someone was trying to add fuel to the fire.  Notice how the finger points at an event in the Bush years, and not at cooperation since Obama took office, although there undoubtedly has been such cooperation.
So Obama is burning the bridges between the US and Israel because he's ticked off that Netanyahu is coming to the US to tell Congress that Israel is opposed to Obama's weak policies on Iran. How short sighted!

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For which football team should fiscal conservatives root on Super Sunday

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

I'm still in Boston and tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday. Yes, I'm invited to a Super Bowl party, and you can guess the team for which I am rooting. Yes, of course, it's Israel's football team, the New England Patriots.

But here's an aspect I never really thought about: For which team should you be rooting if you're a fiscal conservative?

Let's go to the videotape.

Yet another reason to like Bob Kraft.... And oh, yes, another 14 inches of snow now forecast for tomorrow night into Monday....

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Why Netanyahu must address Congress: Obama has given in to 80% of Iran's demands

Oh... my... God....
Israeli officials told Channel 10 on Friday that they are convinced the Obama administration has already agreed to most of Iran’s demands in the P5+1 negotiations over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

According to unnamed officials, Washington “has given the Iranians 80 percent of what they want” out of the negotiations, Channel 10 is reporting.

Jerusalem officials appear alarmed at the prospect that the United States will soon strike a deal with the Iranian regime that will leave it with a “breakout capacity” of months during which it can gallop toward a nuclear bomb.

The practical significance of the American compromises in the talks is that Iran will be permitted to keep over 7,000 centrifuges, enough for the Iranians to produce enough enriched material to sprint toward the bomb within a matter of months.

These developments have apparently fueled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s sense of urgency in traveling to Washington and addressing Congress in hopes of lobbying American lawmakers to pass tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
This really isn't about the Israeli elections....

Shabbat Shalom everyone. 

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Israelis make up their minds, spit at Obama

Friday is poll day in Israel, and the polls show that Israelis are siding with their Prime Minister, and spitting in the face of President Obama.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party reached the top spot in a Panels Research poll taken for The Jerusalem Post and its Hebrew sister newspaper, Ma’ariv Sof Hashavua, on Thursday for the first time since Labor and Hatnua joined forces on December 10 to create the Zionist Union.

The poll found that the Likud would win 25 seats, the Zionist Union 24, Bayit Yehudi 14, the Joint Arab List 12, Yesh Atid 11, United Torah Judaism and Koolanu eight, Shas seven, Meretz six, and Yisrael Beytenu five. The parties polled that did not cross the 3.25-percent electoral threshold were Green Leaf and both Yahad Ha’am Itanu and Otzma Yehudit.

Last week, the Zionist Union was ahead of the Likud by two seats, and two weeks ago the lead was three.

The percentage of respondents calling themselves “undecided” fell from 30% to 18%.


While all other polls taken since the election season began found that the issues Israelis vote on most are the gap between rich and poor and other socioeconomic matters, the new poll found that the security situation is now the voters’ top priority, 39% to 25%. Only 1 percent of respondents said the issue that would decide the vote most would be Israel’s foreign relations.

Thirty-five percent of respondents said their personal security situation had worsened in recent days, 60% said it had not changed, and 3 percent said it had improved.
For those doing the Right-Left count it's Right 59, Left 49 plus 12 seats for the Arabs (who have never been in a coalition).

What could go wrong?

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Krauthammer: 'Obama has less personal sympathy for Israel than any other President'

A reminder that I am in Boston where the Sabbath has not started yet.

Over the past week, I've heard a lot of talk comparing President Obama's relations with Israel with those of American Presidents who seemed more friendly, but with whom we also had disagreements: Reagan, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and so on.

But with Obama... it's different. Here's Charles Krauthammer. Let's go to the videotape.

Yes, Obama's different. Even George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter had less antipathy toward Israel than he does.

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Pat Condell: Time to stop Muslim immigration to Europe

It's about time someone non-Jewish who is not a far Right racist spoke up against Muslim immigration to Europe.

Let's go to the videotape.

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Why the Jews?

Matti Friedman will be speaking here in Boston on Monday night, and I hope to be there. You can look for "Mr. Matzav."

Friedman spoke last week in London and the text of his remarks is embedded below. Serious stuff.

Matti Friedman Speech

Hope to see you all on Monday night.

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School Retaliates Against Student For Parent’s Pro-Israel Stance

Received via email earlier today:
A state education department found that a school district and School Committee Chair retaliated against a student because of her parent’s complaint about inaccurate and biased materials.

The decision by the Massachusetts agency found that the Newton Public Schools (NPS)  and School Committee Chair Matthew Hills sent confidential information about the student and her family to local media, which published it. The media entities - a newspaper and a blog - also published false claims that the parent was associated with anti-Muslim groups.

The student’s family said that both the newspaper and blog knew that the family had previously been stalked and that publishing the false allegations put them in danger. They also stated they suffered emotional distress and other harm due to the district’s actions.

Parents and education groups have accused the school of distributing inaccurate and anti-Israel material, resulting in the removal of several widely used resources. One resource, the Arab World Studies Notebook, has been been subject to intense criticism by education groups and removed from other school districts. The district also removed a website and whited out a textbook’s claim that the Catholic church was “reconsidering polygamy as a Christian option”.

Parents’ complaint are supported by organizations including the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, StandWithUs, and Zionist Organization of America. 

Last September, the education research organization Verity Educate issued a report on materials used in NPS history classes. The report found numerous inaccurate and deceptive material, including altered primary source documents. It also found substantial anti-Israel bias, including material described as ‘neutral’ which had been prepared by anti-Israel activists.

The district denies that any bias or inaccuracies exist. Officials also told parents that they would ‘never’ read the report issued by Verity Educate or any other organization and that parents upset about deceptive or racist class material “should find another school for their children”.

“The retaliation by school officials against a child because of a parent’s legitimate complaints about biased and deceptive class materials is outrageous”, said Evan Jacobi, president of the group Parents for Excellence in Newton Schools (PENS). “Their goal is to further intimidate  parents who object to their children being told that biased and grossly inaccurate material is true.”

Hills was also found to have violated state Open Meeting law several times in 2014 in an attempt to cover up a plagarized speech given by Newton Superintendent David Fleishman, and advised Fleishman and others to violate state and federal law by withholding documents from responses to public records requests. No sanctions have been imposed on Hills for these violations.

Contact PENS President Evan Jacobi at NewtonExcellence@gmail.com for more information.
Yours truly grew up in Newton, Massachusetts (although, thankfully, I never attended its public schools).

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Sen. Cruz: Has President Obama Launched a Political Campaign Against Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu?

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Congressman Lee Zeldin, R-NY-1, today sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry asking for information regarding media reports that U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used to fund efforts to influence upcoming elections in Israel. This is from Senator Cruz's press release.
“Has President Obama launched a political campaign against Prime Minister Netanyahu and his representatives?” Sen. Cruz asked. “This administration’s relentless harassment of Israel is utterly incomprehensible. The Islamic Republic of Iran is pursuing the deadliest weapons on the planet, and there can be no doubt that their first target will be Israel, followed by the United States. This administration should be focusing its animosity on the very real enemies we face, not on our staunch allies.”

“It is completely unacceptable to use U.S. tax dollars to influence the elections in Israel,” said Rep. Zeldin. “State Department grants should never be given to entities working to overthrow strong allies like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We have great allies around the world, but Israel is our strongest, and a beacon of freedom in a region filled with radical Islamic extremists and state sponsored terrorism. Today, I join with Sen. Ted Cruz in calling for a U.S. Department of State investigation into this important matter.”

As specified in the letter, a recent article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that a U.S. taxpayer-funded non-profit organization called OneVoice is actively working with a campaign operation called Victory 2015 (V15) in an effort to influence the upcoming elections in Israel on March 17, 2015.

As a result, Sen. Cruz and Rep. Zeldin request answers to the following eight questions:

  1. How much funding has the U.S. Government provided to OneVoice, PeaceWorks Network Foundation, and any connected initiatives, projects or subsidiaries?
  2. Who approved providing such funds?
  3. What is the oversight and accounting process for how these funds are being spent?
  4. How often and on what dates has such funding been provided?
  5. What were the specific reasons and terms for providing funds, and how are these funds specifically being spent?
  6. Can the Department of State guarantee that none of these funds have been or will be used in the endeavor detailed above, namely the partnership with V15, or any similar effort to exert undue influence over the Israeli political process?
  7. Was there any knowledge from the State Department or other U.S. government officials of the partnership with V15 prior to providing funds to OneVoice?
  8. Does OneVoice’s work with V15 violate its 501(c)(3) status (or the status of the PeaceWorks Network Foundation) as a tax-exempt organization and should such status be revoked?
In the letter, Cruz and Zeldin write, “Of course private American citizens are free to engage in political activities according to their inclinations, but given the overtly partisan nature of this particular case, we are deeply concerned by the relationship that also exists between OneVoice and the U.S. Department of State.”

January 29, 2015

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Senate Banking Committee passes Kirk-Menendez 18-4

Here's a pretty strong indicator that the Senate has had enough with President Obama's dithering on Iran. The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday reported out the Kirk-Menendez bill that would increase sanctions on Iran. It wasn't even close. The vote was 18-4.

The Banking Committee vote suggests that the a veto-proof 68 Senators now support the Kirk-Menendez bill. Here's how that calculation comes about:
52 Republicans (everyone but Flake and Paul)
10 Democrats on the Menendez letter indicating support (Menendez, Schumer, Blumenthal, Peters, Casey, Cardin, Coons, Manchin, Donnelly, Stabenow)
3 Democrats on Banking who voted 'yes' today but weren't on the Menendez letter (Tester, Heitkamp, Warner)
3 Democrats who cosponsored Kirk-Menendez during its last iteration (Booker, Bennett, Gillibrand)
The bill has been moving forward quickly. Consider this:
Tuesday: The Senate Banking committee held hearings to discuss the legislation (that was the same day 10 Democrats signed the Menendez letter indicating support).
Tuesday (night): The legislation was introduced with 16 co-sponsors (7 Democrats and 9 Republicans, including McConnell, indicating that it has a clear path to the floor).
Thursday: The legislation got voted out of committee 18-4.
What could go wrong?

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2 IDF soldiers killed, 7 wounded in Hezbullah attack near Har Dov

Two IDF soldiers have been killed and seven wounded - two moderately and the rest lightly - in an RPG attack on an IDF jeep near Har Dov, where the borders of Israel, Syria and Lebanon all meet. This is from a constantly updated post on the IDF blog. It's in reverse chronological order.
19:24 PM: The IDF has confirmed that during today’s attack, Hezbollah militants fired 5 anti-tank missiles at the patrolling force near Mt. Dov. One soldier and one officer were killed:
  • Sergeant Dor Chaim Nini, 20, from Shtulim. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant.
  • Captain Yochai Kalangel, 25, from Har Gilo. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Major.
Maj. Kalangel was a company commander in the “Tzabar” Battalion of the Givati Brigade. Staff Sgt. Nini was an infantry soldier. Their families have been notified.
Seven additional IDF soldiers were injured, two of them moderately. The injured soldiers were evacuated to a hospital.
14:20 PM: The IDF has confirmed that two soldiers were killed in this morning’s attack. Additionally, seven other soldiers were wounded, two of them moderately.
13:50 PM: The IDF responded to attacks with combined aerial and ground strikes at Hezbollah operational positions.
13:36 PM: The IDF holds Hezbollah responsible for the attacks in northern Israel today.
12:51 PM: Mortars hit a military position on Mt. Hermon. The IDF closed the site and is evacuating civilians from the area.
11:35 AM: An anti-tank missile was fired at a military vehicle near Mt. Dov in northern Israel. Several injured in the attack.
I'm almost surprised the IDF only went after Hezbullah assets and not after Lebanon's infrastructure. I would expect that if Hezbullah continues to escalate, Lebanese targets will be hit.

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Terror attack leaves 140 million without power

A terror attack on the country's power grid left 140 million people without power in Pakistan. It was the third such attack in two weeks.
A terrorist attack on the Pakistani national grid plunged more than 140 million people into darkness before power was restored, prompting U.S. experts to warn that terrorist cells and “lone wolves” in the United States could cause similar damage to the vulnerable national electric-grid system.
The blackout in Pakistan affected more than 80 percent of the country’s population and all public services in all the major cities, including the capital, Islamabad.
A separatist group in the Naseerabad district of Baluchistan province in the country’s southwest caused the blackout by blowing up a major transmission line connected to the national grid.
It was the third such attack in two weeks.
“It shows the bad guys definitely do know what they’re doing when they want to – in a country with upwards of 100 nuclear weapons,” said Clare Lopez, vice president for research and analysis at the Washington-based Center for Security Policy.
In the latest attack on a major transmission line in Pakistan, two nuclear plants went offline after the outages while problems occurred at the country’s main international airport in Lahore.
Read the whole thing.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Senate Democrats give Obama a deadline on Iran

Ten Senate Democrats have sent a letter to President Hussein Obama threatening to vote for time-triggered sanctions if Iran does not agree to a framework by March 24.
"In acknowledgement of your concern regarding congressional action on legislation at this moment, we will not vote for this legislation on the Senate floor before March 24," said the letter, led by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who is the co-author of Iran sanctions legislation.

"After March 24, we will only vote for this legislation on the Senate floor if Iran fails to reach agreement on a political framework that addresses all parameters of a comprehensive agreement," they wrote.

The letter was signed by Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.), Ben Cardin (Md.), Chris Coons (Del.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.).
The White House had been pressuring Democrats to hold back on the sanctions bill, warning it could blow up the negotiations and empower hard-liners in Iran who want to walk away from the table.
With Democrats now pledging to hold their fire until March, it could set the stage for a last-ditch push to try and reach the outlines of a deal.
It is doubtful that any sanctions deal could be passed before then anyway.
All but two of the signatories — Peters and Stabenow — were co-sponsors of a previous version of the sanctions bill. But two Democrats who had previously sponsored an Iran bill — Sens. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) — did not sign the letter to Obama.

The letter describes the signatories as "supporters" for a new Iran sanctions bill, which could bring the bill closer to a veto-proof majority. If Republicans were united, they would need at least 13 Democrats in order to override a presidential veto.

"We are Democratic supporters of the Iran Nuclear Weapon Free Act of 2015 — a bill that would impose sanctions on Iran only if Iran fails to reach a comprehensive agreement by the June 30 deadline," the letter said. 

While the Democrats pledged not to vote for the bill on the Senate floor, it says nothing about a Senate Banking Committee vote on Thursday, when some of the Democrats are expected to vote for advancing the bill.

An aide to Menendez said he still plans to co-sponsor and vote for the bill this Thursday.

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IDF: Hezbullah behind rockets launched from Syria

The IDF is confirming that Hezbullah is behind two rockets that were launched from the Golan Heights onto Israel earlier on Tuesday. This is from the first link.
A senior IDF source remarked on the two rockets fired from Syria that hit the Golan Heights Tuesday afternoon, saying the IDF response strike took out the rocket launcher.
The rockets were fired from territory under the control of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad according to the source, who added that those who actively launched the rockets were members of the Iran-proxy Hezbollah terrorist organization, which has been fighting for Assad.
In the attack on Tuesday, two rockets hit two separate regions on the Golan Heights, one in the Hermon region and the other in El Rom.
Mount Hermon, which is a skiing site, was evacuated on IDF orders following the attack - it is to reopen on Wednesday. The IDF responded with tank and cannon fire at the sources of the rocket strike in Syrian territory.
 I'm kind of disappointed they didn't hit Hezbullah assets in Lebanon as well. Next time....

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Mohammed Allahdadi died because... he left his cell phone on

Hey youngsters - you have to turn your cell phone off once in a while.
An Iranian general killed in an alleged Israeli air strike last Sunday in Syria may have died because he did not turn off his cellphone.  

The Lebanese newspaper Al-Joumhouria reported on Saturday that a Hezbollah investigation into the strike found that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Mohammed Allahdadi kept his cellphone on in a sensitive area targeted by Israeli intelligence.

According to the report, Allahdadi was in the Quneitra area on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights on Sunday with Hezbollah personnel at outposts that the Syrians and the Iranian built in order to counter Syrian rebels along with Syrian army forces. A few days before Allahdadi's visit a joint "operations room" was established with Hezbollah.

Allahdadi reportedly was killed along with his personal assistant, his driver and a more junior Iranian officer.  

Eleven people total were killed in the airborne attack, including Jihad Mughniyeh the son of the late Hezbollah military leader and Imad Mughniyeh Mohammed Issa, the head of Hezbollah's operation in war-torn Syria and Iraq. Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group which is backed by Iran and fought a 34-day war with Israel in 2006, said six of its members died in the strike.

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IDF digging trenches along Syrian border in Golan

Good morning to all of you from snowy Boston where, at least from looking out my window, the storm does not appear to be overrated. My boots are arriving tomorrow (I do have rubbers for my shoes in the meantime).

The IDF is reportedly digging trenches on the Golan Heights to prevent infiltration from Syria. That won't stop rocket fire like what happened this morning (see below), but at least it will keep Hezbullah outside the border.

The IDF has begun digging trenches along the border with Syria, Walla! News reports Monday night, amid fears of real escalation between Israel and Islamists in neighboring Syria and Lebanon. 
The mechanical engineering company of the IDF's Northern Command has employed tractors and borders to dig the trenches, a source told the news site, amid specific concerns regarding terrorist infiltrations by car via border crossings. 
"The trenches are being dug along vulnerable spots on the border, after a thorough analysis [of the risks], to prevent free traffic in the area and reduce infiltration," the military source stated. Outposts near the Syrian border are not far from rebel positions from the Al-Nusra Front and the Free Syrian Army, who patrol the border regularly in cars and motorcycles. 
In addition, Western diplomatic officials said that Israel has imparted to Lebanon a stronger warning than before, emphasizing that Jerusalem will respond to any attack on Israel or Israeli institutions anywhere in the world.
This was conveyed today the Arabic Al Hayat newspaper, published in London, which claimed that Israel has given warning, through foreign ambassadors, that Hezbollah would be perceived as responsible for any harm to Israeli targets, "even at the other end of the world."

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Obama reinventing 'protocol'

It's been less than a week since the Obama administration started seething over a surprise invitation extended to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress by Speaker of the House John Boehner. The Obama administration whined to anyone who would listen that the invitation was a  'breach of protocol.'

The Obama administration is reinventing diplomatic protocol. It is sending a team to Israel - led by Obama's own campaign manager from the 2012 elections - to defeat Netanyahu in Israel's March 17 election. I hope that all Israelis are outraged by this patronizing interference in our country's election. Yet another reason to vote against Livni and Herzog's non-Zionist party (as if you needed one).

This is from the next to last link.
The anti-Netanyahu, left wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports a group called “One Voice,” reportedly funded by American donors, is paying for the Obama campaign team. That group is reportedly being lead by Obama’s 2012 field director Jeremy Bird.
As Jerusalem Post columnist and putative Knesset candidate Caroline Glick reported on her Facebook page, “Obama won’t meet Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington when he addresses the Joint Houses of Congress in March because of Netanyahu’s visit’s proximity to the Israeli elections. And Obama, of course believes in protocol and propriety which is why he won’t get involved.” And yet, Glick adds, “He’s just sending his 2012 field campaign manager to Israel to run a campaign to defeat Netanyahu.”
For all the harsh accusations of foreign interference currently being leveled against GOP Speaker John Boehner, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, reports of Obama operatives actively working to unseat a democratically elected leader of a strong U.S. ally is hardly the news it might appear to be.
The Obama White House has aggressively worked to defeat allied leaders it has not liked and to elect or re-elect foreign leaders it does like. As the Times of Israel recently reported, the list of Obama Administration meddling in foreign elections is a long one.

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Greetings from Boston

For those who were wondering, I made it.

My flight was supposed to land at 5:55, and after circling to get the most weather-favorable approach, it landed around 6:15. We were one of four international flights that came in at the same time. The international flight after ours, which was scheduled to land at 6:35, was canceled. I have been told that the airport was officially closing at 7:00. I cannot confirm that one. There were signs on the Massachusetts Turnpike (which I took to get to where I was going - probably a good idea, although I considered taking Storah Drive) that said there's a travel ban from Midnight. Skidded once (turning onto Hahvahd Street) and got stuck on ice trying to park in the parking lot (half a dozen people pushed the car into a parking space).

I figure this is my penance because during the Great Blizzard of '78, I was a college senior in New York, and did not come up to Boston until I took the overnight train (the only thing running) on Thursday night. That storm hit on a Monday (Great pictures at that link by the way - beats any Jerusalem snow storm).

If I can stay awake for a while, I will try to post a little more....

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