>– Palestinian President Conferred with Ex-SVR Chief Primakov, His Former PhD Thesis Supervisor, in April 2008; Kommersant Daily: Abbas Has “Many Friends” in Moscow
– Russian Envoy Saltanov Meets Exiled Hamas Chief Mashaal in Damascus
– Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister Lashes Out at Israel with Imprecations of Allah’s Judgment
– London-Based Al-Quds al-Arabi Newspaper: US Engineering Corps Deployed in Rafah to Monitor Gaza-Egypt Border and Locate Smuggler’s Tunnels (source)
Pictured above: Ludmilla Mashavisky mourns beside the flag-draped coffin of her son Alex during his funeral at a cemetery in Beersheba today. Mashavisky was killed yesterday during Israel’s offensive in Gaza. One of the objectives of Operation Cast Lead, ignored by Islamists and their leftist sponsors worldwide, is to neutralize Hamas’ capability of launching rocket attacks against the Jewish state.
The storm clouds of war, stirred up by the relentless drive for global domination by the Kremlin and its Islamic allies, continue to swirl about the Middle East as Israel prosecutes the fifth day of its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip. Clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian insurgents, reports Reuters, resumed in the city of Gaza today after the termination of a three-hour truce to permit the admission of humanitarian aid.
Unmoved by a cease-fire plan proposed by France, Egypt, Turkey, and Syria, Moussa Abou Marzouk, the exiled deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, rejected calls for a permanent truce with Israel. France and Egypt hold the co-presidency of the new Union for the Mediterranean. As if on cue, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, the de facto ruler of the failed state known as Lebanon, today warned Israel, Egypt’s “moderate” leadership, and the world:
We have to act as though all possibilities are real and open (against Israel) and we must always be ready for any eventuality. I say to [Israeli Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert, the loser, the vanquished in Lebanon that you cannot overcome Hamas or Hezbollah. Your 2006 war will be but a walk in the park compared to what we have prepared for you in the event of a new offensive. We are ready to sacrifice our souls, our brothers and sisters, our children, our loved ones for what we believe in. We will not abandon the fight or our weapons. Does the government in Egypt need more than 650 martyrs and 2,500 wounded to open the Rafah crossing once and for all to help the people of Gaza toward victory? I am simply asking for the opening of a crossing and not another front.
Nasrallah also commended Venezuela’s red dictator Hugo Chavez for expelling Israel’s ambassador to Caracas and urged all Arab states to follow that example: “Chavez’s decision is a slap in the face for all countries that host an Israeli ambassador. Arab governments must learn from this great Latin American leader.” Jordan and Egypt are the only two countries in the Middle East to have diplomatic relations with Israel.
Yesterday, with typical communist hypocrisy, Chavez ranted on state televsion: “Now I hope that the Venezuelan Jewish community speaks out against this barbarism. Do it. Don’t you strongly reject all acts of persecution? How far will this barbarism go? The president of Israel should be taken before an international court together with the president of the United States, if the world had any conscience.” In light of the fact that Chavez accused the Israelis of acting like “Nazis” in their war against Hezbollah in 2006 and dispatched two dozen heavily armed policemen to search for “subversive activities” at the Hebraica community center in Caracas in December 2007, Venezuelan Jews would do well to look over their shoulders. “We’re facing the first anti-Jewish government in our history,” Simon Sultan, president of Hebraica, opined at the time.
The Kremlin continues to intrude its baleful influence into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under cover of its membership in the Middle East Diplomatic Quartet. Palestinian President/Archterrorist Mahmoud Abbas enjoys a cozy relationship with the neo-Soviet leadership, especially ex-Foreign Intelligence Service chief Yevgeny Primakov, who was Abbas’ PhD thesis supervisor at Moscow’s State Institute of Oriental Studies in 1982. Referring to Abbas’ April 2008 trip to Moscow, Kommersant Daily reveals:
It’s the fourth time Mahmoud Abbas visits Moscow as President of the Palestinian National Authority, although he’d come to Russia’s capital many times before. Since the Soviet times, Abbas has had a lot of friends here. The Palestinian President met with one of them, Russia’s ex-Prime Minister, ex-Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), now President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Yevgeny Primakov right after his arrival Wednesday night. In his time Mahmoud Abbas defended a Ph.D. thesis at Moscow’s State Institute of Oriental Studies, with Mr Primakov being his scientific advisor. Of all the official contacts of the Palestinian President in Moscow, that meeting was probably the most informal one.
On December 22 Abbas flew to Moscow again for face-to-face talks with Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev and this past Monday held telephone talks with the same. In addition to encouraging the Palestinian National Authority in its quest to destroy Israel via either a two-state or binational one-state solution, the neo-Soviet leadership is also briefing Hamas, Gaza’s terrorist government.
Today, in a rare meeting, Russian envoy Alexander Saltanov conferred with the head of the Hamas politburo Khaled Mashaal (or Meshaal) in Damascus, where the terrorist chief lives in exile. A post-meeting statement declared: “Khaled Meshaal expressed his readiness to take part in such a solution to the conflict. But he added that the imposition of capitulatory conditions by Israel were unacceptable. Saltanov called on the leadership of Hamas to behave responsibly towards the fate of the people in the Gaza Strip and take constructive decisions.” In a separate meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, Saltanov insisted upon a “swift resolution to the crisis, which would put an end to the suffering of the civilian population.”
Meanwhile, in a related development, the Russian Navy’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and the destroyer Admiral Levchenko continue their port of call at the Turkish naval base of Aksaz, across from the Greek island of Rhodes, where its deck-based fighter jets carried out exercises last weekend. State-run Novosti quotes naval spokesentity Captain 1st Rank Igor Dygalo as saying: “The Levchenko will dock at the base while the Kuznetsov remains at sea. The visit will last until Thursday, after which the carrier group will carry out joint exercises with the Turkish Navy before returning to its duties in the Mediterranean Sea.” Thus, in addition to utilizing Greek (NATO) airspace for its own naval aviation drill, the Russian Navy will be holding an exercise with (NATO member) Turkey. On Friday the naval task force and its aircraft will carry out a second set of maneuvers near Crete.
As we pointed out in a previous post, should Moscow’s intervention be summoned, the Admiral Kuznetsov is but a hop, a skip, and a jump across the Mediterranean Sea from the conflict in the Gaza Strip. Israel’s support for the pro-Western government of Georgia earned Moscow’s displeasure last year. The willingness of incoming US President Barack Hussein Obama, moreover, to stand up against neo-Soviet adventurism is questionable at best.
We suspect that Greece and Turkey’s amicable view of Russia’s revitalized naval presence in the Mediterranean Basin is probably taking place within the context of the foolish NATO initiative known as Partnership for Peace. According to the NATO website, this program permits NATO member states, Russia, and other “post”-communist countries to engage in “practical bilateral cooperation between individual Partner countries and NATO. It allows Partner countries to build up an individual relationship with NATO, choosing their own priorities for cooperation.” Seeking an opening to advance the long-range Soviet strategy through East-West convergence, a key communist objective, the Moscow Leninists have driven a wedge into the southern flank of NATO.
In what could be another related development, Turkey’s Interior Ministry has intercepted a suspicious shipment bound for Venezuela from Iran, two countries that are openly united in their hatred of the USA and Israel. Last month Turkish customs officials seized 22 containers labeled “tractor parts” at the Mediterranean port of Mersin, only to discover that the shipment contained lab equipment capable of producing explosives. A Turkish customs spokesman explained: “Experts from Turkey’s Atomic Institute determined there were no traces of radioactive material, but said the equipment was enough to set up an explosives lab. We have asked the military to send experts to determine whether to resume the shipment.”
Finally, last Sunday Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced Israel’s Gaza offensive, insisting that the Jewish state was “perpetrating inhuman actions which would bring it to self-destruction. Allah will sooner or later punish those who transgress the rights of innocents.” The Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv refused to comment on Erdogan’s tirade, reports the Jerusalem Post. For students of Bible prophecy, however, the current alignment of Russia(Magog), Turkey (Togarmah), Iran (Persia), Libya (by name), and Ethiopia (by name) against Israel dovetails nicely with Ezekiel’s prediction in chapters 38 and 39 of an end-times military coalition that will invade the Jewish state during the early part of Daniel’s seven-year tribulation period.