Syrian-Turkish Joint Army Drill Intensifies Threat to Israel
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Syria is tightening its military alliance with Turkey as it reinforces its recent threat
to send Israel back to “the Stone Age” if it attacks Hizbullah. Syrian President Bashar Assad told a Kuwaiti newspaper on Saturday it has “surprises" in store for Israel.
Turkish military officials said that its soldiers began joint military exercises with Syria on Monday, the second time in a year. The army maneuvers are another sign of closer ties between Damascus and Ankara, which was considered to be a friend of Israel until last year, when it fell in line with most of the Arab world’s anti-Israel campaign.
Turkey also has established closer ties with Iran, and an Iranian-Turkish-Syrian-Lebanese axis would pose a monolithic threat to Israel from the north.
Syrian sources told the Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai
that if Israel were to attack the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terrorist army, Syria would impose a naval blockade on Israel, using ground-to-sea missiles.
The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad also has the capability to fire 60 ballistic missiles and 600 tactical missiles in one day, the sources told the newspaper. They added that if Hizbullah is attacked, Syria would fight alongside the Lebanese army, which has shown signs of being part and parcel of Hizbullah’s forces.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday tried to defuse the hostile atmosphere, stating that Israel has no intentions of staging an attack.
Diplomatic tensions flared up two weeks ago after it was revealed that Syria has been arming Hizbullah with long-range Scud missiles. The report was first carried by Al-Rai
and may have been leaked by the United States in order to create pressure for United Nations Interim Forces (UNIFIL) to beef up their patrols in Lebanon.
Syria categorically denied the charges, and the United States officially said it is investigating the report.
Israel refuses to sell Turkey advanced naval Barak-8 interceptor
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 27, 2010, 4:50 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israel has turned down several Turkish requests for advanced military hardware, according to Israeli and Western intelligence sources. Sources in Ankara say that the impact from Prime minister Tayyep Recep Erdogan's alignment with Syria and Iran and poisonous attacks on Israel is beginning to cut into the Turkish army's operational capabilities. In recent weeks, Turkish naval chiefs tried to find out in particular if Israel would be willing to sell the Barak 8 missile interceptor, whose radar provides 360-degree coverage against incoming missiles or air attack, and which was developed in partnership with India.
Security sources told debkafile that it was decided in Jerusalem not to sell, in case Erdogan decided to allow Iranian military intelligence experts to study the Barak-8 and analyze its technology. This interceptor is a key defensive component for the Israeli missile and warships patrolling the Persian Gulf seas opposite Iran, the Red Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean opposite Syrian and Lebanese shores.
As debkafile revealed exclusively last November, the Turkish Prime minister and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad signed a secret military pact on Oct. 28, 2009, requiring Turkey's military intelligence, its air force and navy to help Iran repel a possible Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities. It included a provision for the sharing of any data and technology on Israeli weapons systems in Turkish possession, which the IDF might use for a potential strike. Click here for article.
Since that pact was signed, Israel has cut off all advanced weapons supplies to the Turkish armed forces. India too is flatly against letting Turkey getting hold of the Barak 8, in whose development the Indian Navy has invested $330 million since the program began in 2004. New Delhi fears that from Turkey, the technology might leak to Tehran, which India fears is capable of trading its secrets with Islamabad for Pakistani nuclear and missile technology.
Six months ago, India and Israel signed a $1.1 billion contract for the purchase of the interceptor and its installation on most of its navy's warships. The system, complete with launchers, radar and installation sells for $24 million.
The Barak 8 provides warships with all-weather, day-and-night, 360 degrees coverage and is capable of intercepting incoming missiles when they are no more than 500 meters away from target.
Israel's Barak-8 naval shield
'Japanese Scapegoated Indonesia's Jews in WW2'
by Gil Ronen
Indonesia's Jewish population numbered about 3,000 during World War Two, out of a total population of 68 million – yet the Japanese occupiers blamed this small group for an economic crisis and sent its members to forced labor camps.
Studies on the plight of Indonesia's Jews under the Japanese occupation were presented Tuesday at the ninth annual convention on Asian Studies at Haifa University. According to Prof. Rotem Kovner of the Asian Studies Program, the Jewish population in Indonesia on the eve of Japan's invasion was about equally divided between Jews of European descent and Jews of Iraqi descent. When the Japanese took over, the European Jews were placed in concentration camps along with all other Europeans, but Iraqi Jews remained free, as did Jews who were citizens of neutral countries or countries allied with Japan.
The tiny scapegoat
In mid-1943, however, things changed: a deep economic crisis broke out in Indonesia. “The Japanese, who wanted to calm the local populace, began uttering vague promises of independence and simultaneously looked for a scapegoat,” Kovner explained. “Despite the Jewish population's tiny size, it was chosen for this role.”
It was at this point that anti-Semitic propaganda began to be spread in Indonesia. Jews were blamed for the economic woes, having supposedly taken over natural resources. Other familiar European anti-Semitic claims were rehashed for the Indonesian populace.
Dr. Ran Shauli noted that while Japan persecuted Chinese and other minorities in the other countries they conquered, Indonesia was unique in that no ethnic group was persecuted – except for the Jews.
Jews in Indonesia now number an estimated twenty (20) individuals, out of a total population of about 230 million. US President Barack Hussein Obama spent four years of his childhood in that country. (IsraelNationalNews.com)