With ISIS under attack by the Russian coalition in Syria and the US coalition in Iraq, it should be on the run. Instead it is on the offense, launching a terror attack in Cairo yesterday. That attack could be the first strike in Islamic State's promised holiday terror campaign throughout the Middle East - and beyond.
Russia's latest move is deployment of its largest-ever force of ground troops to Syria. With the possibility of more to come, 1,000 troops on their way are not common soldiers. They are special forces, and they come from Chechnya. Like the luminary that informed wise men two thousand years ago, Moscow's star is rising from the north. It is not the same star, however. And its message is quite different.
What was life like in Jerusalem one thousand years ago? Two thousand years ago? How did people do life? What did they look like? The ongoing Temple Mount Sifting Project, has uncovered thousands of clues. Among them are a wide variety of glass bracelets and finger rings worn by adults and children too. Life then, like now, included bling and color.
According to a new report, Israel is not prepared to adequately protect civilians in what most expect will be the nation's next war; namely, a war with Hezbollah in Lebanon in which 1,500 missiles are expected every day for ten days before the attack can be halted.
Although unacknowedged by Jersualem, everyone knows that Israel has recently engaged in an air raid campaign against targets in Syria. So far, it includes two bombing runs last week, and one yesterday morning. Why is Israel doing this, and why now? On Wednesday, without confirming the Israeli sorties, the nation's Defense Minister explained why they are taking place.
The US-led coalition to liberate Mosul from ISIS has petered out. ISIS leaders and troops are strolling back into town without a fight. Meanwhile in Aleppo, ISIS is on the run from a Moscow-Tehran coalition. Why has the US op failed? And when Trump inherits the problem, Jerusalem wonders, will he turn the entire fight against Islamic State over to Putin, and by default Iran?
In the 21st century, when threats develop over a period of years, the challenge is to keep the world from yawning. Speaking at the Saban Forum over the weekend, Israel's Prime Minister and Defense Minister emphasized ongoing threats to peace from Iran and the Palestinian Authority.
The war in Syria is moving south, toward Jerusalem, and with an international coalition of stunning strength. That coalition includes the the first-ever Shiite army which is also a foreign legion. Expected to number 50-70,000, it is shifting the focus of soldiers from political and tribal allegiances to a single religious identity.
In Israel, Ran Peker is a legend. During his military career, he fought in four of Israel's nation-changing wars. From the time he enlisted in 1954 until, as a Brigadier General, he left the IDF in 1984, Peker flew 350 missions - and shot down 7 enemy jets.
For almost two years, US President Obama has been toying with the idea of doing the very thing that former President Jimmy Carter advised in a New York Times op-ed last Monday: lead the way for the UN to step in and create a Palestinian State. According to an AP report published today, Obama has "nearly" ruled out taking action before leaving office seven weeks from today. Nearly.