Koenig's International News
Washington: 6:20:44 am - September 23, 2014 - Jerusalem: 1:20:44 pm - Elul 28, 5774


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US launches first airstrikes
against IS in Syria

The United States and partner nations launched their first airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria, as fighting raged Monday between the extremist group and Kurdish forces near the border with Turkey, triggering a surge of tens of thousands of refugees.

The Pentagon said a mix of fighter jets, bombers and Tomahawk missiles fired from ships in the region targeted the Islamic State group. Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said that because the military operation is ongoing, no details could be provided yet. He said the decision to strike was made early Monday by the military.

The strikes focused on IS positions in Raqqa, a stronghold for the Sunni extremists, according to the New York Times, citing US officials. Other targets struck were along the Iraq-Syria border, the newspaper said.

Netanyahu:
Saudi peace initiative is for a bygone era


(photo: Reuters)

The Saudi peace initiative of 2002 is no longer relevant in the much-altered Middle East of 2014, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated this week, in a Rosh Hashana interview with The Jerusalem Post that will appear in full in Wednesday’s paper.

“The question is not the Saudi peace initiative,” Netanyahu said, asked if he would accept the proposal now. “If you read it carefully, you’ll see it was set up in another period, before the rise of Hamas; before Hamas took over Gaza; before ISIS [Islamic State] took over chunks of Syria and Iraq, effectively dismantling those countries; before Iran’s accelerated nuclear program,” he said.

Obviously referring to the Saudi proposal’s call for a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, including returning the Golan Heights to Syria, Netanyahu noted that this plan was made “before the takeover of Syria by al-Qaida on the Golan Heights.”

Abbas to propose new Mideast peace
talks timetable at UN


(photo: AP)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas vowed Monday to present a new timetable for peace talks with Israel when he addresses world leaders at the United Nations this week.

“This week I will propose to the United Nations a new timetable for peace talks,” Abbas said, speaking in English to students at Cooper Union.

Abbas has said he intends to propose a three-year deadline for the Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines, and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Obama to host Netanyahu at
White House next week

US President Barack Obama will welcome Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House on October 1, a US official said in a statement Monday.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden announced the meeting, which is likely to address US-Israeli divisions on negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, the threat posed by the Islamic State terror group, and the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge, among other issues.

The prime minister is set to speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sunday, and will make his way to Washington for the Wednesday meeting. Netanyahu and Obama last met in early March this year, in the midst of a last-ditch effort by the Obama administration to keep the then-ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks viable.

Kerry meets with Iran's Zarif in New
York to discuss nuclear talks, ISIS


(photo: Reuters)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met his Iranian counterpart for more than an hour on Sunday and stressed the need to make progress in nuclear negotiations this week on the sidelines of UN meetings.

Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also discussed the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, a senior State Department official said, without elaborating.

"They spent time reviewing the status of the EU-led P5+1 negotiations on Iran's nuclear program," the official said.

Iran seeks give and take on Islamic
State militants, nuclear program

Iran is ready to work with the United States and its allies to stop Islamic State militants, but would like more flexibility on Iran's uranium enrichment program in exchange, senior Iranian officials told Reuters.

The comments from the officials, who asked not to be named, highlight how difficult it may be for the Western powers to keep the nuclear negotiations separate from other regional conflicts. Iran wields influence in the Syrian civil war and on the Iraqi government, which is fighting the advance of Islamic State fighters.

Iran has sent mixed signals about its willingness to cooperate on defeating Islamic State (IS), a hard-line Sunni Islamist group that has seized large swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq and is blamed for a wave of sectarian violence, beheadings and massacres of civilians.

Diplomats:
Iran open to softened US nuke proposal


An Iranian worker at the Uranium Conversion Facility at Isfahan, 410 kilometers
south of Tehran. (photo: AP, Vahid Salemi)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — With Iran refusing US demands that it gut its uranium enrichment program, the two sides are now discussing a new proposal that would leave much of Tehran’s enriching machines in place but disconnected from feeds of uranium, diplomats told The Associated Press Saturday. Both sides are eager to break the impasse before a Nov. 24 deadline.

The talks have been stalled for months over Iran’s opposition to sharply reducing the size and output of centrifuges that can enrich uranium to levels needed for reactor fuel or weapons-grade material used in the core of nuclear warheads. Iran says its enrichment program is only for peaceful purposes, but Washington fears it could be used to make a bomb.

Ahead of the resumption of talks Friday, The New York Times reported that Washington was considering putting a new plan on the table that would focus on removing piping connecting the centrifuges. That would allow the US leeway on modifying demands that Iran cut the number of centrifuge machines from 19,000 to no more than 1,500.

Netanyahu warns of easing sanctions on Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday warned the West against easing sanctions on Iran to win its support in the fight against jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for talks expected to focus on the prospects of reaching an agreement on reducing Tehran's atomic activities in exchange for an end to nuclear-related sanctions on Tehran.

Their meeting Sunday comes on the third day of the latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.

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'Koenig's Eye View from the White House'
September 19, 2014

Wednesday, September 17 edition:

Audio Report: An interview with an Israeli government official, Q&A with Bill Salus and Bill Koenig on Israel and the Middle East and a video on the Sharia showdown in Belgium

The origin of the Islamic State

Why Qatar supports Hamas

Foreign powers buy influence at U.S. think tanks

The end of Evangelical support for Israel?

One if by land, two if by deceit – Bill Wilson

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Friday, September 19 edition:

The biggest threat to the U.S. economy is from outer space

Obama’s self-defeating fight

Women have left Chicago, London and other cities to join ISIS in Syria

Iranian backed Shiite militias are now more powerful than the Iraqi security forces

Alan West: House resolution to fund Syrian rebels: pure unadulterated madness

News Briefs: This week’s overview of world news that was biblically and prophetically significant

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Featured News

US launches first airstrikes
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Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither
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Our New National Security Policy; Never Let an ISIS Go to Waste -
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Terra Incognita: The West’s axis
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The Men Who Enjoy Killing Jews -
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The Irony of California's Ousting
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Obama vs. the generals -
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Why They Behead Us -
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The SS Barack Obama is sinking
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The Truth About Israel and
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Free world caught in misconceptions about Muslim world - Ben-Dror Yemini

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September 23: Give Out The Blessing -
Streams in the Desert


September 23: The Missionary’s
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A.W. Tozer's Daily Devotional

Charles Spurgeon's 'Morning and
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Daily Light 'Morning and Evening'
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Charles Stanley's Audio Messages

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