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  • The S-400 anti-aircraft missile system on display in Russia. (CC BY-SA Соколрус/Wikimedia)

    Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had announced Wednesday that the system would be deployed in Latakia, in northwest Syria, in response to Turkey shooting down a Russian warplane the day before.

    This nigh-impossible speed that would be required to bring in and activate the system in barely 24 hours has prompted some to question whether the S-400 system had been in place well before the Turkish military shot down the Su-24M aircraft, or if it is in place at all.

    The advanced missile system, completed in 2007, is capable of detecting and destroying aircraft some 400 kilometers (250 miles) away

  • Israeli vegetables (Photo: Moti Kimchi)

    Following downing of Russian jet by Turkey, the Russian agriculture minister announces the cessation of vegetable imports from Turkey; Israel among the countries that could benefit from the ban on Ankara.

    Tensions between Russia and Turkey continue to mount as Moscow announced this week that it would stop importing vegetables from Ankara, listing Israel as a possible alternative.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin recently ended security cooperation with Ankara and asked Russian citizens to avoid visiting Turkey, but the Russian president seems to want to punish Turkey even more for downing Russian combat jet. 

    On Wednesday, Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev said that Russia may substitute imports of vegetables from Turkey with those supplied from Iran, Israel, and Morocco due to a "breach in sanitary regulations."


  • A Russian pilot gives the thumbs-up sign on an airbase in Syria. (photo credit:RUSSIAN ARMED FORCES)

    Israel will not take action against Russian fighter jets that encroach into its air space, a senior air force official said on Thursday.

    The issue of Russian sorties in Syria was magnified in recent days after Turkey downed a Su-24 fighter jet that it claims entered its air space near the border.

    According to Israeli military officials, such a scenario is not in danger of repeating itself in the skies over the Golan Heights.

    "The Russian military is a new, key player which we are not ignoring," a senior military official told reporters on Thursday. "There is a clear boundary here, and they are busy with their matters, and we are busy with ours."

  • IAF war drill. (photo credit:IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)

    Tel Nof Air Base, central Israel, Tuesday: A siren wailed through the base, as soldiers, technicians, ground crews, and pilots scrambled, honing their responses to a mock air assault on this strategic target south of the city of Rehovot.

    It was only a drill, but an important one, simulating a full-scale conflict on the northern front.

    The drill enabled the base’s munition assembly crews to practice their critical role in any future war: putting together guided bomb kits and churning out hundreds of the precision-guided weapons per day.

    “This is an assembly line, producing bombs,” a senior IAF officer from the Technical Branch said.

  • US Secretary of State, John Kerry, meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at PM Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem, during an official visit to the region, on November 24, 2015.(Haim Zach/GPO)

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday that Israel would only implement trust-building measures with the Palestinians when the violence against Israelis abates entirely, a senior Israeli official said.

    During their meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said Israel would only agree to take steps to improve the security and economic situation for Palestinians in the West Bank when calm is fully restored, according to the official.

    There is no settlement freeze, nor will there be one, Netanyahu continued, according to the senior official. If the international community wants Israel to okay building plans for Palestinians, it should recognize Israel’s construction in the settlement blocs, the prime minister declared.

  • President Obama's open-door immigration policy is set to accept more immigrants from Muslim nations over the next five years than the entire population of Washington, D.C., according to federal documents.

    Figures from the Department of Homeland Security show that the president has already issued 680,000 green cards to immigrants from Muslim nations over the past five years. Unless Congress changes his policy, that number will be repeated in the next five years. 

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) pictured at a State Council Presidium on Russia's import-substitution in the Urals city of Nizhny Tagil, Russia November 25. Putin on Wednesday said Turkey's political leaders had been encouraging the Islamization of Turkish society, something he said was a problem. REUTERS/ALEXEI NIKOLSKYI/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN

    Russian President Vladimir Putin escalated his war of words with Turkey on Wednesday when he accused the Turkish leadership of having encouraged the “Islamization” of the country for years and stating that there was a “deeper problem” than just the Turkish military’s downing of a Russian warplane.

    The diplomatic fallout of Tuesday’s incident near the Syrian border is becoming increasingly bitter as relations between Turkey and Russia face further strain. Putin confirmed the deaths of one Russian pilot and a marine involved in a rescue attempt, while the Syrian army rescued a second pilot, and then turned his attention to what he described as an “unfavorable environment” in Turkey.

    "The problem is not the tragedy we witnessed yesterday," Putin said, according to the TASS news agency. "The problem is much deeper. We observe...that the current Turkish leadership over a significant number of years has been pursuing a deliberate policy of supporting the Islamization of their country.”

  • AP Photo

    The co-pilot of the Russian bomber shot down by Turkish jets on the Syrian border has said he received no warnings before the plane was fired on.

    The co-pilot, Captain Konstantin Murakhtin, spoke to the Russian state news agency Sputnik at military base in Syria, where he was brought after being rescued by the Russian military overnight.

    "There were no warnings. Not via the radio, not visually. There was no contact whatsoever,” Murakhtin told Sputnik.

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and US Secretary of State John Kerry speak to the press during a meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, November 24, 2015. (AFP/POOL/ATEF SAFADI)

    US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Wednesday that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is at a “pivotal point” and could worsen beyond repair unless both sides make rapid compromises.

    “As you know, we’re very concerned about the violence and the potential for the situation to spin out of control,” Kerry told reporters as he arrived home in Boston after visiting leaders from both sides in Jerusalem.

    “Over these past months we have been encouraging the parties to take affirmative steps to reduce tensions and demonstrate a genuine commitment to a two-state solution.”

    “I think we may be reaching a pivotal point now where both sides have important decisions to make for the future and we obviously hope that they make choices that will advance the prospects for lasting peace.”

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Provocative Commentary

“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” 
― E.M. Bounds