11th February 2018
After the rather dramatic happenings of last two days I thought you deserve an explanation
A Russian missile
Shot by Syrian soldier
Backed up by Iranian officer
Downed an American plane
Flown by an Israeli pilot
Who was saved by an Israeli Arab Doctor
In an Israeli hospital
With a Syrian patient in the next room
Welcome to the Middle East!
A potted history since the first time I saw Lebanon
1. Lebanon 1963 there was no real border between Lebanon and Israel– a Jewish country and a Christian country, not enemies. We stood and chatted with Lebanese soldiers the other side of a car park-like barrier arm and wandered in and out of both countries for a photo-op
2. 1970 – Arafat attempts a failed coup in Jordan, causes deaths of at least 10,000 PLO supporters at the hands of King Hussein and flees Jordan. Syria refuses to accept him and he and his cohorts are accepted by Lebanon – in a move of Christian sympathy.
3. Since that date the advance of destructive forces of Hezb-Allah have grown in Lebanon, destroying that once Christian country from the “Pearl of the Middle East” (Beirut) into a war zone.
4. Hezb-Allah is supported by Iran.
5. Iran takes advantage of and encourages the dreadful war in Syria with the help of Hezb-Allah which until the insertion of Iran in the equation was a failing organisation.
6. Iran is delighted to take advantage of the utter chaos and establish bases in Syria which gives them a strong foothold in the region.
7. Iran brings “volunteers” from Pakistan etc to join Hezb-Allah in Syria and help in the training of Syrian troops in advanced warfare and establishes military bases in Syria.
8. Syria shoots a Russian made advanced anti-aircraft missile from an equally advanced drone at an Israeli aeroplane, successfully downing the F16i on Israeli soil, the first time that an Israeli aeroplane has been downed in very many years.
9. Israel decides to retaliate successfully targetting 12 Syrian and Iranian installations – whose sole aim, apparently, is to destroy Israel – in the words of the Iranian leaders.
10. There is a media message to the world, cleverly worded, that Israel is the aggressor even if the reaction is justified.
11. Prime Minister Netanyahu has telephone conference with President Putin who is also trying to prevent the escalation.
12. A world that stayed silent over the murder of over 500,000 Syrians at the hands of a despot leader is suddenly concerned about Israel responding to an attack on her soil.
I wish you a good week
With love from Jerusalem