Israel PM outlines support for U.S. regional battle against Sunni and Shiite radical axes


A major foreign policy address given on Thursday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - who in recent weeks has been politically strengthened by a growing consensus that the Jewish state emerged strengthened from its summer war against Hamas - saw the Israeli premier outlining Jerusalem's posture on a range of regional issues and aligning the Jewish state with the United States and its traditional Arab allies against radical Sunni and Shiite antagonists in the Middle East. Analysts have been reading the Middle East as split between those three camps for at least a year, with the traditional U.S. allies opposite the Iran-anchored Shiite camp opposite an axis of Sunni extremists that includes Turkey, Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Brotherhood's Palestinian offshoot Hamas, and various other jihadist groups. Netanyahu on Thursday emphasized both that Iran must be denied the means to acquire nuclear weapons - a scenario he described as the "ultimate terror" - and that Washington's goal of degrading the Islamic State (ISIS) also had to be advanced. The Israelis have in recent days taken the lead in urging the U.S. and its allies to pool intelligence on the jihadist threat posed by ISIS, after reportedly having shared their intelligence with Washington. Netanyahu's Thursday language on the issue was straightforward: [ISIS] "must be rolled back and they must ultimately be defeated" and "that's why Israel fully supports President [Barack] Obama's call for united actions against ISIS." Netanyahu's remarks echoed those of Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who on Wednesday declared that he "praise[d] the American initiative to take action and form a coalition against the Islamic State, and hope[d] those efforts will succeed." The prime minister also hinted at what is widely thought to be extraordinary but covert U.S.-Israel intelligence cooperation, noting that the Israelis were "playing [their] part in this continued effort" and that "some of the things are known; some of the things are less known." Washington's Israeli and Arab allies are known to be urging Washington to pursue policies that roll back expansionism gambits by both ISIS and Iran.


The trailers and poster advertisements for the third installment of the widely popular Hunger Games franchise has sewn Israeli fashion designer Alon Livne into the hype surrounding the newest film, Mockingjay. Actress Johanna Mason dons Livne’s all-white dress gown which “juxtaposes the flowing drapery of classic statuary while the super modern and sculptural iridescent white bodice references the branch motif of the Panem Seal,” according to the film’s Capitol Couture website. The film’s fashion watch website continues with its accolades for the dress, saying: “With plunging lines and slits as daring and divine as the warrior woman herself, every element of Johanna’s ensemble (including her Alexander Wang shoes and hand-carved marble bangles by Chen Chen and Kai Williams) exudes her fierce strength and enduring pride—a true darling of the Capitol.” Livne trained at Alexander McQueen in London and at the luxury Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli. His designs are sought out by international stylists, editors, and fashion enthusiasts, including the likes of Lady Gaga and Beyonce. The dress in Mockingjay is from Livné’s Spring-Summer collection for 2014. (via Israel21c)

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