— by David Streeter
U.S. and Israeli forces will be conducting their largest joint military exercise in the coming weeks, according to The Jerusalem Post. The exercise — known as Austere Challenge 12 — will start on October 21 and focus on strengthening Israel’s air and missile defense capabilities. Notably, the exercise will include further testing of Israel’s Iron Dome missile interception system, a project which was championed and funded by the Obama administration.
The Jerusalem Post reported:
The US and Israel will commence the largest-ever joint air defense drill of its kind in Israel on October 21, an army source said on Tuesday….
[L]arge numbers of American soldiers are expected to begin arriving in Israel, where they will set up aerial defense positions on Israeli territory and on US Navy vessels off the Israeli coastline.
The three-week drill will simulate various missile defense scenarios, and is expected to end with a live-fire interception of a decoy incoming Patriot missile.
One of the objectives of the drill is to facilitate the rapid deployment of US missile defense systems to Israel and test their ability to operate in conjunction with Israeli defense systems during a conflict….
In 2009, the IDF and US European Command held the Juniper Cobra 10 air defense exercise, which involved 1,400 US soldiers and the same number of IDF soldiers.
The exercise was hailed as a success by Israeli and American military commanders.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office said of the U.S.-Israel military relationship, “the US and Israel hold regular joint exercises between the militaries” and that the upcoming drill represents “another milestone in the common strategic relations between the US and Israel.”
Is it Iran?
No, it is the United States.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a tyrannical bill that would severely limit what’s possible on the internet. Today, many websites have blacked out for the first time ever as a protest to oppose the bill.
Participating websites include:
- Cheezburger Network
- Boing Boing
- The Internet Archive
- … and many more …
Email and tweet at your friends, tell them to tell everyone about the strike. When the day comes, , tweet like crazy (#SOPASTRIKE), and call Congress. A special website has been created to connect you with your Senator.
— Sharon Bender
B’nai B’rith International condemns the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 2001 World Conference Against Racism. That event, in Durban, South Africa, was a forum overshadowed by rabid anti-Israel sentiment and deserves to be remembered as embodying the worst aspects of the United Nations.
The vote results included 104 nations in favor of the resolution, 22 against, and 33 abstentions.
B’nai B’rith International commends those nations voting against the commemoration: Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Netherlands, Palau, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Particularly disappointing was the near unanimous bloc of Latin American nations voting in favor of the resolution.
More after the jump.
The proposal to celebrate the original Durban conference has been championed by Arab and other largely non-democratic states, many with records characterized by mistreatment of minorities that have used their collective numbers to push through many anti-Israel resolutions at the world body. Though it is now only in its early planning stages, the Durban commemoration has been scheduled for a time when world leaders are expected in New York in September 2011, and just after the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
“It is tragic that more nations don’t publicly recognize and condemn Durban as the anti-Israel, anti-Jewish free-for-all it truly was,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said. “Our delegates joined other non-governmental organizations in walking out of the conference in 2000 and again during Ahmadinejad’s anti-Israel diatribe during the 2009 Durban Review Conference in Geneva. The prospects for anything positive to take place at a 10-year commemoration are no better.”
The 2001 World Conference Against Racism, with its Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA), implied that Israel alone is a racist nation. Even worse than the U.N. proceedings were the NGO forum and street scenes that saw horrific expressions of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
“The original Durban conference attempted to validate the perverse theory that Zionism is racism,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “Durban’s legacy of hate, intolerance, and double standards should never be forgotten, and should certainly never be celebrated.”
Following the proposal to commemorate Durban, Canada was the first country to unequivocally state it would not attend such an event. B’nai B’rith is calling on all countries not to participate in “Durban III.”
This weekend the Wall Street Journal reported that under President Barack Obama’s leadership military cooperation with Israel has increased. The article said, “U.S. military aid to Israel has increased markedly this year. Top-ranking U.S. and Israeli soldiers have shuttled between Tel Aviv and Washington with unusual frequency in recent months. A series of joint military exercises in Israel has included a record number of American troops.”
According to the article, “This month, about 200 U.S. Marines joined a battalion of Israeli soldiers for an all-night march through the Negev desert, the culmination of three weeks of joint drills. As dawn approached, they crept up on a mock village, an Israeli military-built recreation of a typical Palestinian hamlet, used for combat training.”
The piece also noted, “The exercise was the biggest U.S.-Israeli joint infantry exercise ever, according to officials. By comparison, at the same exercise last year, there were only around 20 U.S. Marines involved. In the fall, there will be an even bigger joint infantry exercise involving tanks and armored vehicles, officials said.”
This development is part of a larger trend of closer and closer military cooperation between the United States and Israel under President Obama’s leadership.