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Newsletter : 6fax0821.txt

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Olmert Challenges U.N. on Troops from Muslim Nations


Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated Sunday that Israel would not agree to anti-Israel Muslim nations participating in the multi-national U.N. force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The deputy secretary general of the U.N., Mark Malloch Brown, has stated that the U.N. and not Israel would decide the make-up of the force. He also wants Muslin Ma'aleh Adumim nations represented in order to provide a "balance." Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia, none of whom have diplomatic ties with Israel, have stated they want to send their soldiers to part of the force intended to keep Hizbullah terrorists from re-arming.

Iran's Military Exercise & Apocalyptic Plans for Israel & the World DEBKAfile Special Report

Washington is keeping a sharp weather eye out for Tuesday, August 22, which this year corresponds in the Islamic calendar to the date on which many Sunni Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on his winged horse Buraq to "the farthest mosque," which is traditionally identified with Jerusalem.

According to the Muslim legend, on that day, a divine white light spread over Jerusalem and the whole world.

DEBKAfile's intelligence sources report that information rated "highly credible" has reached US undercover agencies of a secret report presented to Iran's supreme ruler Ali Khamenei by Abdollah Shabhazi, one of the heads of the Supreme National Security Council. He claims to expose a mega-terror plot against Jerusalem scheduled for Tuesday, which aims at killing large numbers of Jews, Arabs and Christians.

This atrocity will reportedly arm the United States and Israel with the pretext for hitting Iran's nuclear installations, as well its capital, Tehran, and other big cities. Shabhazi said the US and Israel need to launch a military campaign to restore the deterrent strength they lost in the Lebanon war.

The massive attack would reportedly focus on the Old City of Jerusalem and its eastern suburbs. The Iranian report claims that the plotters, who are not identified, are eager to recreate the divine white light whish spread over Jerusalem in the year 632. It does not rule out the use of a non-conventional weapon.

DEBKAfile reported that the authorities in Israel do not appear to be taking this threat seriously, unlike Washington – and Tehran.

Deeply impressed, Iran's rulers launched a large-scale are, sea and ground exercise Saturday, Aug. 19. The maneuver, dubbed the Blow of Zolfaghar (the sword used by Imam Ali), involves 12 divisions, army Chinook helicopters, unmanned planes, parachutists, electronic war units and Special Forces. State-run television reported a new anti-aircraft system was tested "to make Iranian air space unsafe for our enemies."

DEBKAfile said the point of this massive display of might is in fact to place Iran's armed forces on the ready for the contingency of a US-Israeli offensive on August 22 as per Shabhazi's prediction. The exercise will be moved to Tehran to prepare the capital for a potential assault.

August 22, furthermore, is also the day of Iran's formal reply to the incentives packages on offer from the West in return for halting its uranium enrichment projects. For weeks, Tehran was under pressure from the United States and Europe for an earlier reply, but insisted on August 22.

Prof. Bernard Lewis, the great scholar of Islam and the Middle East offered the background in the Wall Street Journal on Aug. 8:

"In Islam, as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time - Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam… Mr. Ahmadinejad and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced. It may even have a date, indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final answer to the U.S. about nuclear development by Aug. 22. This was at first reported as "by the end of August," but Mr. Ahmadinejad's statement was more precise."

Revolutionary Iran habitually links fundamentalist symbolism to political events.

Prof. Lewis explained the significance of Aug. 22 and added ominously: "This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and, if necessary, of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind."

The Shiites do not recognize Rajab 27 as the date of Muhammad's purported flight to Jerusalem but celebrate Mabath to commemorate the day they believe Allah appeared before Mohammed in a cave and told him he had been chosen as the prophet to spread the divine message across the world. Mabath is marked by Shiites in Iran and other parts of the Middle East with great ceremony.

Claiming to represent the true Islam, the Shiite rulers of Tehran are expected by Washington to mark the date by demonstrating their military superiority for all Muslims to see.

In addition to Bernard Lewis's hypothesis, speculation is rife in Washington about what Iran has in store for Tuesday. Tehran may announce success in producing enriched uranium of a higher grade, meaning it is no more than six months away from a weapons-grade capability. While providing justification for UN Security Council sanctions, Tehran prefers to believe that this announcement will be its passport for admission to the world's nuclear club and its attendant privileges, including the right to enrich uranium independently.

In the meantime, the Iranians are putting on a spectacular show of military bravado to show the world and reassure their own people that they are not afraid of threats.

Iran Test-Fires Short-Range Missiles

By VOA News

Iranian state media said Iran's army has test-fired several short-range missiles as part of a major military exercise that began Saturday. Iranian television says the military tested a surface-to-surface missile called the Saegheh (which means lightning in Farsi) that has a range of 80 to 250 kilometers. The television report said the missile test took place Sunday in the Kashan desert. Iran said the military drills would continue for several weeks in 14 of the country's 30 provinces.

Iran's army commander, General Ataollah Salehi, said Saturday his country must be ready for possible attacks by what he called Iran's "crazy" enemy. It was not clear whether he was referring to Israel, the United States or both. Salehi said Iran's enemies have gone "crazy" after seeing the military capabilities of Hizbullah in Lebanon.

Iran's Grand Plan

By Anti-Defamation League (Commentary)

As Israeli troops moved into southern Lebanon, they began coming to the realization that the infrastructure of bunkers, launching sites, and missiles that Hizbullah built up is even more elaborate and sophisticated than Israel had expected. All of it was done through the financial support, bidding and training from Iran. Israel is now estimating that Iran has spent billions of dollars to create this network.

Why? The answer is clear and speaks to why Israel's chief of staff Dan Halutz has described this battle as possibly Israel's most crucial since the War of Independence. Iran is generating a three-pronged threat to Israel's very existence. By developing a nuclear weapon, by arming Hizbullah to the teeth, and by public statements of its president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran is trying to recreate the idea that Israel's existence as a Jewish state is not a sure thing, that the notion that Israel is now a permanent entity, if not a beloved one, which had taken hold in the Middle East in recent years, is not true.

Israel, the United States, and indeed the entire civilized world must understand the nature of this threat now and must not equivocate in combating all three dimensions of this sinister Iranian strategy.

Undoubtedly, the huge infrastructure that Iran has built up with Hizbullah in south Lebanon would have been expanded in the coming years in parallel with Iran's nuclear development so that the time would arrive when Iran could threaten Israel from Teheran with a nuclear bomb and from Lebanon with chemically-tipped missiles.

Indeed, it wasn't the extremist Ahmadinejad who expressed Iranian intentions most clearly but the more "moderate" Iranian leader Rafsanjani who several years ago chillingly said with regard to the nuclear issue that Israel is a tiny country and one nuclear bomb would devastate the country while Iran was a large country that could sustain ten such bombs.

This is what Israel's war against Hizbullah is about. It is to begin to reverse Iran's implementation of its plan for Israel's destruction. Of course, it is not Israel's problem alone because Iran's aspirations threaten the Gulf States, ensure nuclear proliferation throughout the region, and menace the west through terrorism and the spread of Islamic extremism.

The west should be fully supporting Israel, as has the United States, in this struggle for its own interests. At the very least, the world must understand that Israel will defend itself and do everything in its power to destroy Hizbullah and combat the Iranian threat. It has no choice.

Israel Attacks, Rejects Lebanese and UN Claims

By and DEBKAfile

An office staffer for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel's Saturday raid into Lebanon was not a violation of the ceasefire, but rather the required response to Hizbullah's ongoing violations of the ceasefire.

"The operation was necessary," the official said, "because Hizbullah is violating the ceasefire by smuggling in war materiel from Syria and Iran. It was a necessary operation, and it is good that we did it."

The weekend operation involved two Hummer jeeps that were helicoptered in to the Baalbek region of southern Lebanon, not far from the Syrian border. The Hummers were used to attack a school building used to store weapons brought in from Syria. The building also served as a hideout for Hizbullah terrorists.

IDF officer Lt. Col. (ret.) Emanuel Moreno, 35, of Kibbutz Tlamim in the Negev, was killed in the operation, and two soldiers were wounded, including one in serious condition. Three Hizbullah men were killed.

The IDF announced afterwards, "The purpose of the operation was to prevent and interfere with the transfer of arms from Syria and Iran to Hizbullah... The objectives were achieved in full."

"Hizbullah cannot complain when we take action to stop them from smuggling weapons, in violation of the ceasefire," the aide said. "Hizbullah is not adhering to the ceasefire in other ways as well. There were several incidents this past week in which they fired at IDF soldiers."

Lebanese Defense Minister Alias Al-Mor threatened, following the Israeli attack, that his country would stop deploying its forces in the southern region. He demanded that the UN make its position clear on Israel's action. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has already gone on record as saying that it was Israel that violated the ceasefire.

DEBKAfile's military sources added that the covert mission was one of a series the IDF has been carrying out against Hizbullah's clandestine units since the Lebanon war began. These units are made up of Hizbullah's top specialists in terrorism and undercover combat and are more dangerous than the men in the field.

The IDF commando strike has put the U.N. on notice that Israel will not allow the ceasefire resolution to serve as a tool for terrorists. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan accused Israel of violating the United Nations Security Council ceasefire resolution and only vaguely referred to the violation by Hizbullah's smuggling of weapons from Syria.

Annan already has made it clear that the U.N. does not intend to enforce the resolution and disarm Hizbullah. He has claimed that the UNIFIL mandate is to keep Hizbullah from attacking Israel while leaving the matter of disarmament for diplomats.

An unidentified senior IDF commander told the The New York Times that Hizbullah terrorist leader Hassan Nasrallah was marked for death. "There is only one solution for him," he said. "This man must die."

The IDF officer interviewed by The Times maintained that the war showed that Hizbullah is not just Israel's problem. "The world understands that we are helping to stop the influence of Iran," he said.

The officer also revealed that contrary to previous denials by the government, civilian officials delayed the IDF ground movement for four days until the administration realized that it was losing ground in diplomatic negotiations.

He also admitted that the IDF miscalculated the amount and quality of weapons in the Hizbullah arsenal. The officer added that there is no such thing as a decisive victory against terrorism, but that Israel scored a success in the retaliation against the Hizbullah attacks on northern Israel.

Israel eliminated more than three-quarters of Hizbullah's medium and long range missile launchers, he explained, and its ability to destroy launchers within one minute after their use is unmatched by any other country.

Gibson Won't Apologize on Yom Kippur


The rabbi who invited Mel Gibson to speak at his temple said that Gibson has officially declined the invitation to appear before the Jewish congregation, reported the showbiz website TMZ.

Rabbi David Baron told TMZ that he was recently contacted by Gibson's publicist, who claimed the actor remains "deeply involved in personal work which includes rehab, therapy and counseling for alcoholism."

Baron asked Gibson to his temple on Yom Kippur following the star's drunken anti-Semitism slur. In the letter, Baron made it clear that he "did not invite Mel Gibson to speak; I invited him to deliver a public apology."

Because of Gibson's situation, Baron said he has extended the offer to a later date. In addition to the invitations, Baron said he has also volunteered to join with a group of Jewish leaders dedicated to educate Gibson about the dangers of anti-Semitism.

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