“Why would I want to?”
“Some people see him as possibly the next President of Iran… Of not he’s still a Kingmaker, choosing the next Supreme Leader of Iran… … He’s Israel’s biggest threat and growing (Jeremy Corbyn aside!)
Soleimani’s multi-national army is destabilizing the Mideast
The commander of Iran’s Quds Force is more than a military leader, say Israeli observers. Active from the Lebanese coast to Yemen, his activities have stirred up powerful “antibodies” in the region.
Hardly a week goes by without mention of the notorious commander of Iran’s overseas elite Quds Force, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Most recently, he has been linked with the brutal and deadly repression of protests in Iraq – demonstrations that have threatened the stability of the pro-Iranian government in Baghdad.
Born in 1957 in a southeastern Iranian village to a poor family, Soleimani initially worked in construction to help his father pay off a debt, according to a profile released by the Tel Aviv-based Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. He became involved in revolutionary activities against the regime of the Iranian Shah in 1976. Soleimani joined Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in 1979, just as the Corps set up a regional command in the city of Kerman, where he had been living.
Despite lacking any military experience, his charismatic personality opened doors, and Soleimani quickly received command roles. His first duties included repressing Kurdish separatists in western Iran. After the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq War, he was sent to the southern front against Iraq in 1981, and rose through the ranks, becoming a division commander by the end of the war in 1988.
He returned to Kerman as a division commander to repress a local rebellion launched by Sunni Baloch separatists – a mission he accomplished successfully, though with many casualties. In 1998, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei appointed him to lead the Quds Force, replacing Ahmad Vahidi, who played a key role in the 1994 attack on the Jewish community AMIA center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people and injured more than 300. Vahidi was also linked to the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 American soldiers and injured some 500 people, according to the Meir Amit Center’s report.
In subsequent years, the Quds Force – a part of the IRGC – developed dramatically, as its scope of operations across the Middle East grew exponentially. Soleimani’s standing grew together with the power of his covert unit.
In the past 16 years, the Quds Force has taken advantage of the collapse of Middle Eastern states, the US invasion of Iraq, and civil wars that raged in Yemen and Syria to build proxy Iranian forces throughout the entire region. Iran uses these forces to threaten and attack Sunni-Arab states and Israel, and to pursue its goal of becoming a hegemonic power.
In Lebanon, the Quds Force stood up the strongest nonstate force in the world: Hezbollah. Hezbollah’s arsenal of some 130,000 rockets and missiles is pointed directly at Israeli cities and strategic sites. It has more firepower than most NATO armies.
‘The full picture comes together’
“Soleimani leads Iran’s foreign policy in the Middle East,” Doron Itzchakov, an Iran specialist from the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, told Jewish News Syndicate. “His status is no less than that of Iran’s Foreign Minister [Mohammad] Javad Zarif.”
Soleimani leads Iranian activity in every location that the regime labels as being important to its “strategic depth,” including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen, said Itzchakov. “He is certainly beyond being a military leader. His political involvement is very strong.”
Because of the unusual structure of the Iranian state (it doesn’t resemble any Western governmental structure), Soleimani’s role cannot be described using Western terminology, said Itzchakov. “Although he’s not the commander of the IRGC, he’s stronger than the new IRGC commander, Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, even though they both have the same rank.”
The Iranian regime first set out to spread its principles and ideology around the region, and later turned this vision into what it dubs “the resistance axis,” which includes the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization in Gaza. “This then turned into ‘strategic depth.’ On all of these matters, Soleimani has the upper hand – more than any other person in the Iranian political and military arena,” said Itzchakov.
With the Iranian Foreign Ministry responsible for dealing with Europe, Soleimani runs Iran’s activities in the Middle East, according to an “unwritten but clear arrangement,” he stated.
In the Middle East, Soleimani has been hard at work creating a multi-national army, which Itzchakov described as being his most significant project. Soleimani’s army is made up of a network of pro-Iranian, largely Shiite militias, such as Ansar Allah in Yemen, the Popular Mobilization Front in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon and an assortment of militia forces in Syria.
“He outlines the doctrine of that army. He connects it to the objectives of Iran and the IRGC,” said Itzchakov.
Within Iran, the IRGC’s objectives do not always match up with those of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his reformist camp, but that has not stopped the IRGC from having the final say on a wide array of issues, including military-security, economic affairs and Iran’s role in the Middle East.
While Soleimani is vital to Iran’s power projection, he draws that power directly from the Supreme Leader, stressed Itzchakov. “This helps shed light on how Iran sees itself in regards to Israel. The Supreme Leader gives the IRGC legitimacy, and they, in turn, act as his supporting pillar. When one sees where the central power of Soleimani comes from – the Supreme Leader – and one analyzes Khamenei’s statements about destroying Israel, the full picture comes together.”
According to this picture, Soleimani draws his status and authority from Khamenei’s ideology, which he then translates into steps on the ground. “The overall picture is that Soleimani draws lots of power from the Supreme Leader, who supports his operations outside of Iran’s borders.”
And those operations only seem to be growing. The Quds Force was formed in 1990 for the stated mission of “exporting” the Iranian revolution abroad, and it has since morphed into Iran’s premier terrorism elite force.
A prestigious overseas terrorism force
It has been behind a series of attacks on US assets, Israel and pro-Western Arab states, employing proxy war to achieve its objectives, in order to cover Iran’s tracks and hide its direct involvement.
According to the Meir Amit Center, the Quds Force includes a series of department headquarters, special command centers and regional administrations divided according to geographic locations.
“The Force receives much prestige within the Iranian leadership, has access to many resources and influences the Iranian security-strategic decision-making, including on sensitive foreign issues that touch on Iran’s activities in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and the Gaza Strip,” the Center said in a report.
In 2007, the US Treasury designated the Quds Force as a terrorist entity. In 2011, Washington sanctioned five Iranians, including Soleimani, from the Quds Force that are linked to a plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States. This year, the US State Department decided to designate the whole of the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization.
“He does indeed receive the support of the Supreme Leader, and in recent years, he has gotten popular support, too,” (Col. Ret.) Reuven Erlich, head of the Meir Amit Center, told JNS. “He is actually consolidating his power by broadening Iranian influence, conducting subterfuge, terrorism and activating various proxies.”
‘The long arm of the Iranian regime for subterfuge’
Erlich described Soleimani as being “highly efficient and active. The scope of his activities stretches from the Lebanese Mediterranean coastline to Yemen. He has a wide sphere of activity, which he navigates well. He is the long arm of the Iranian regime for subterfuge in the Middle East.”
At the same time, Soleimani’s project is being targeted by the very same states it is designed to attack: Sunni Arab powers and Israel.
In just the past two years, Israel has launched hundreds of strikes on Iranian sites in Syria, including weapons factories, missile shipments, and terror squads. This has prevented the Quds Force from achieving most of its vision of building a second Hezbollah in Syria.
“When one conducts war via proxy and builds outposts in all sorts of areas, it stirs up antibodies,” said Erlich. “We are seeing these antibodies being released by Israel, Saudi Arabia, and internal Iranian elements. Soleimani’s project is big, and it has had its successes, but it also absorbed blows from time to time. It’s not a black or white situation.”
While Soleimani is likely satisfied with the results of his dark project thus far, he seeks to go much further, argued Erlich. “He has stood up many proxies that he can now activate,” he added.
Out of all of them, Hezbollah is the most efficient and most widely consolidated.
Said Erlich: “Hezbollah has to be maintained with weapons and money, but not more than that. In other states, Soleimani’s proxies are encountering antibodies that constantly need treatment.”
US pressure is boosting Qasem Soleimani, a commander in the Revolutionary Guard
“I can think of one architectural wonder that should be constructed in Israel!” 😆😂🤣
I studied Construction Management at University, which had a path to go on and study architecture (extra four or five years)… But I never really took an interest or understood the importance of architecture until I visited Astana.
Think about it, the buildings you live in, work in, learn in, play in, pray in… their design, their layout, how they look from the outside and inside, what their constructed from, why they where constructed, how they where constructed… it effects the human consciousness (subconscious) in a profound and sometimes subtle way. It influences how you think, individually and collectively, how you act, your spirituality… You can encode some deep Occult and philosophical, mathematical and natural secrets into it (The Pyramids of Giza being the most obvious example)… It’s a societies or civilisations way of making its mark on the landscape it inhabits. “We are here, this is who we are”…
Where ever I go now, I’m like ‘the architecture!’ 😂🤣
“There’s something very inspiring happening again in Israel,” says architect Asaf Mann
New public buildings, infrastructure developments and talented young local architects are contributing to the creative boom said Mann, who is a partner architect at the firm his father founded, Mann Shinar Architects, in Tel Aviv.
“There’s something very inspiring happening once again in Israel,” Mann told Dezeen.
“Before that, the last inspirational moment was back in the 1960s and 70s, or even the Bauhaus period and the initial planning initiative.”
Contemporary projects to surpass Bauhaus architecture
Israel’s built environment was strongly impacted by the Bauhaus, the German design school that had a major influence on modernist architecture.
Jews who studied at the school, or were influenced by its teachings, emigrated to the region to flee persecution during the interwar years.
As a result, Tel Aviv contains the world’s largest collection of Bauhaus buildings.
However, Mann believes the current era of development will far outweigh Bauhaus architecture in terms of quality, as buildings in that period were often built cheaply and quickly to provide mass housing to accommodate the surge of immigrants.
“The Bauhaus is cheap building and, as you see in Tel Aviv, the facades of those old buildings don’t look great,” he said. “They’re stucco, they’re falling apart, and they all need a re-do.”
Tel Aviv home to “extremely talented young architects”
According to Mann, the current boom can be partially credited to a wave of homegrown architects that are choosing to base themselves in Israel and are contributing to the country’s development.
“A lot of young talent of architects who studied abroad or studied in Israel are coming in with new ideas,” he said.
“I see extremely talented young architects in Tel Aviv, like really hot stuff.”
Other changes influencing Tel Aviv’s landscape are large-scale projects spearheaded by well-known international firms.
British-Israeli architect Ron Arad, for example, has recently completed an iceberg-like office tower, while KPF has proposed a 340-metre-high supertall skyscraper that could be the country’s tallest building if completed.
“All of these crazy towers that are shooting up in Tel Aviv,” said Mann, who added that there are a number of projects are underway in Jerusalem – like a library his firm is working on with Herzog de Meuron for The National Library of Israel and a new building for Israel’s Ministry of Justice.
“A lot of public buildings are coming into place, especially in Jerusalem,” he added. “It’s going to get interesting.”
Government buildings and infrastructure projects are also developing, including Tel Aviv’s above-ground metro line that is expected to complete in 2021, and a bullet train that links the city to Jerusalem which launched in 2018.
“Israel coming into an adolescent period”
The boom is not just limited to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv however. Other building proposals around the country include the development of Haifa’s waterfront and a city centre in Be’er Sheva, both by Mann Shinar Architects, as well as a cancer centre designed by Arad.
Mann credits Israel’s architecture boom to a growing stability in the country, which has been in a long-term conflict with Arab states.
“Israel is really coming into an adolescent period,” he said. “It’s finished with kindergarten, and it’s there to stay. It’s not any more question of: ‘Are we gone tomorrow?’.”
“It doesn’t matter what your political stances are. After a long period of major wars, we’re looking at over ten years of relative stability which impacts all kinds of development. Israel has become a lot more stable.”
Yair Lapid was giving warnings on BBC Newsnight back in 2016…
(Israeli security and intelligence sercices have been monitoring this since waaaaay before Corbyn was elected leader! 😎)
Yair Lapid: Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite and a racist
Yair Lapid: Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite and a racist
Blue and White MK Yair Lapid excoriates Labour UK chief Jeremy Corbyn, denouncing him as an “anti-Semite and a racist.”
David Rosenberg, 09/12/19
MK Yair Lapid, one of the four leaders of the Blue and White party, denounced Labour UK chairman Jeremy Corbyn on Monday, in a rare commentary on internal British politics.
Speaking at the Israel Allies Foundation’s Chairman’s Conference in Jerusalem, Lapid excoriated Corbyn, calling the British Opposition leader an “anti-Semite” and a “racist”.
“Usually, you’re not supposed to interfere in elections in other countries. But in this case I’m going to make an exception. Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite. If you want to know something in this world, you have to come to an expert. And there are experts about anti-Semites – they’re called ‘Jews’. And I’m an expert on this. We can tell an anti-Semite when we see one. This isn’t even a new form of anti-Semitism,” said Lapid.
“We’ve talked quite often about this black and red coalition against the Jews, but this is old-school, plain anti-Semitism just using new excuses. And everyone should take this into mind when going into the voting booths, because racists are racists are racists, and Jeremy Corbyn is a racist.”
Lapid also discussed the recent vote by the French National Assembly to recognize anti-Zionism as a form of anti-Semitism, lauding the French legislature for the vote and adding that the “conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is not about the ‘settlements’, it’s not about the ‘occupation’. The conflict was there long, long before the Six Day War, before any settlements were there”.
“Hatred was always there,” continued Lapid.
Corbyn’s Labour party, which leads the Opposition in the British Parliament, has been polling behind Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives since new elections were declared for December 12th, though recent polls show Labour cutting into the Tories’ lead, with Remainers shifting support from the Liberal Democrats to Labour.
While Corbyn has long denied accusations of anti-Semitism, deflecting the claims as attacks on his criticism of Israel, the Labour chief has been denounced by some within his own party, including the Jewish Labour Movement, which last week accused Corbyn personally of anti-Semitic behavior.
In November, British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis took the unprecedented step of commenting on the upcoming elections, warning against the possibility of a Corbyn victory and urging voters to oppose Labour.
How Jewish voters across country are rejecting party once seen as their political home.
I mean… if the UK is the third biggest downloader of child pornography in the world, if the top police officers are stating it is an ‘epidemic’, if one in six girls and one in eight boys have experienced child sex abuse before the ages of sixteen, if one in twenty UK adults are believed be a sexual risk to children… If it’s been exposed at every level of society, every institution and every occupation and walk of life… … And not a single person mentions it in regards to a general election…
Fuck Brexit, fuck the NHS, fuck austerity… You can’t even take an interest as to whether your children are being sexually molested!
(Boris, because he supports the Jewish communities)