UPDATES 9 am Israel time, Sunday, October 20 2013:
Troubling research from the Gilat Research group within the Volcani Center today that the northwestern Negev is beginning to undergo an intense process of desertification. During the last ten years, rainfall amounts have been half the already low “normal” with the result that up to 90% of the native plants have died. As each one dies, so dies a mini-ecosystem, and that ecosystem is replaced by such things as bacteria and lichens which effectively seal the surface of the land and do not permit what little moisture there is to penetrate.
**A brief follow-up to yesterday’s blog about the importance of Israel retaining an IDF force along the Jordan Valley: a number of news reports today indicate that not only does Israel want the IDF to be there, but also Jordan wants the IDF to control the area. The fear in Amman is that were the PLO to control the border, King Abdullah’s regime could be quickly destabilized. After all, the majority population in Jordan is Palestinian.
**Over the course of the last week, the Israeli public and the world have become slowly aware of the scale of Turkish duplicity regarding the Mossad program directed against Iran which was operating out of Turkey with the full knowledge and assistance Turkish intelligence.
We now know that the names of at least 10 Mossad agents were turned over to the Iranians by the head of Turkish intelligence, Hakan Fidan, back in early 2012. The latest revelations this morning are that not only did Fidan turn over the names of the agents to Iran, but also Fidan has been supplying Tehran with “sensitive” information about Israel and the United States since 2010. In all cases, Fidan acted with the complete knowledge Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan.
And now there is every reason to believe that President Obama and PM Netanyahu both knew about the Turkish betrayal of Mossad last year–almost as soon as it happened.
What happened to the agents and the supplying of intel about Israel and the U.S. are bad enough, but these revelations raise new questions about President Obama and PM Netanyahu.
Why was Obama cozying up to Ankara when he knew that Israeli and American information was being passed to Iran? Why did Obama strong-arm Netanyahu into making an “apology phone call” to Erdogan when he knew what Turkey had done? Knowing what he did, why in the world did Netanyahu allow himself to be strong-armed by Obama on the tarmac at Ben Gurion?
Palestinian incitement against all things Israeli continues apace with Mahmoud Abbas declaring (in Arabic) once again this week that the new “Palestine” will be “Jew-free” and that “Palestine” extends from Rosh Hanikra on the northern Lebanese border to Eilat on the Red Sea.
It is in this context that violence continues to escalate such as that of yesterday: 3 Molotov cocktails at Abu Dis, 5 Molotov cocktails at Qalandiya, 3 Molotov cocktails at the Police checkpoint in Hebron, and “rock” throwing at Negohot and Lycia (where an IDF soldier was wounded). All of the above events took place between 4:30 pm and 8:00 pm.
Another form of incitement that Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO regularly engage in is the glorification of terrorists.
Such a terrorist is “His Excellency” Hilarion Capucci, the 91-year-old retired archbishop of Caesarea for the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. Ordained a priest in 1947, Capucci was appointed archbishop in 1965.
By 1974, Capucci was a fully functioning member of the PLO and regularly used his diplomatic status to smuggle guns and ammunition to the Palestinians.
Finally, he was caught on August 18, 1974 with carload of weapons in his Mercedes. He was convicted in an Israeli court and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Immediately, his arrest raised an outcry in the Vatican with the patriarch of the Melkite Church proclaiming that Israelis were no different than Nazis.
After intense pressure from the Vatican, Capucci was released after serving only two years with the promise that he would not return to his previous activities. He quickly became a friend of various popes:
But of course Capucci immediately returned to his previous activities–which continue to the present. In 2009, he attempted to breach the Gaza blockade on a Lebanese ship; in 2010, he was on board the Mavi Marmara when Turkish IHH terrorists attacked Israeli soldiers as they legally boarded the ship.
All of which brings us to this week, and the latest Palestinian incitement when Mahmoud Abbas awarded Capucci the Palestinian medal of honor in Rome:
What can your humble servant say? A terrorist wearing the clothes of a religious Catholic, supported by the Catholic church, allowing himself to be used for incitement against Israel–and still doing everything he can to destroy Israel—that is Hilarion Capucci.