PA Antisemitism: Jews "control the media, the money, the press, the resources"
Another expression of Palestinian Authority Antisemitism appeared on government-controlled PA TV earlier this month. The host of a weekly program on Islam, Imad Hamato, who is also a professor of Quranic Studies at the University of Palestine in Gaza, stated that Jews engage in profiteering and control "the money, the press and the resources."
Hamato also stated that Israel, which he calls "a cancerous tumor," is trying to "Judaize" everything and influence the mind of "the Arab intellectual" so that he will accept Israel as "an entity that has a right to live":
"Israel has worked hard to Judaize the land, [but] it did not stop at that. [Israel] worked to realize something else: the Judaization of culture, [so that] the Arab intellectual embraces the idea of acceptance of Israel as a recognized body and as an entity that has a right to live. Israel, the invading country, the cancerous tumor - which we have already called a cancerous tumor in the past - many intellectuals today talk about coexistence and offering our hands in peace, and [say] Israel is part of the region. The noblest Arabs in terms of their Arabness were those who spoke up and said: 'Israel does not exist!' Those who did not say that were ostracized. Now, whoever says that Israel should exist is met with approval... They [the Jews] are usurers. See, the usury money and usurer banks, those who control the money in the world can be counted on one hand - a few individuals - and all of them belong to the Jewish world. They control the media, the money, the press, the resources, the plans." [Official PA TV, May 1, 2015]
Hamato has previously used PA TV to disseminate Antisemitic statements. As documented by Palestinian Media Watch, Hamato stated that Jews are behind all that is wrong in the world and that humanity will never "live in comfort... peace or fortune or tranquility" as long as "the Jews are causing devastating corruption throughout the land." Jews "control the money, the press, the resources" - Muslim preacher on PA TV
How to meet ‘Palestinians’
Peter Beinart complains that Republican presidential hopeful Scott Walker visited Israel and didn’t meet any ‘Palestinians':
The trips Jewish groups organize for American politicians include more Christian holy sights than the ones they organize for their own members. But what they have in common is that Palestinians are talked about, yet rarely spoken to. Which means that politicians like Scott Walker return to the United States thinking they know something about Palestinians when, in important ways, they know less than when they left.
Maybe I can help him learn more. What have ‘Palestinians’ been up to lately? Here is some data (slightly abridged) from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center:
During the past year there has been an increase in the number of vehicular attacks carried out in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, and they have become a frequent modus operandi of the campaign the PA and Fatah call the “popular resistance.” The campaign takes many forms, including the throwing of Molotov cocktails, rocks and stones, and stabbing and vehicular attacks. It enjoys the support of the PA and Fatah.
Since the beginning of 2015 there have been six vehicular attacks and/or attempted vehicular attacks; one Israeli civilian was killed and ten injured, eight of members of the Israeli security forces. Three attacks took place in Jerusalem and three in Judea and Samaria. The number of vehicular attacks began rising in the second half of 2014; during the year there were twelve vehicular attacks, half of them in Jerusalem (compared with two such attacks in 2013).David Singer: Pope Francis Has Joined The Evil-Doers
Abbas – Israel's putative "partner for peace" – leads an Organisation that claims the entire territory of former Palestine as another exclusive Arab fiefdom – denying the Jews any political rights in their biblical, ancestral and internationally sanctioned homeland.
Abbas's continuing refusal to recognise Israel as the nation State of the Jewish people has been a major roadblock to the successful conclusion of negotiations between Israel and the PLO.
Pope Francis – like his predecessor Pope Benedict – is apparently prepared to ignore that Abbas and the PLO remain sworn enemies of the Jewish people - pursuing the total elimination of the Jewish State by armed struggle as documented in the 1968 PLO Charter.
The Pope has strayed from the eternal message of the Psalms - the key to the spirituality of the Old Testament and an essential and permanent part of Christian prayer.
Psalm 28 in the New Jerusalem Bible declares:
Do not drag me away with the wicked, with evil-doers, who talk to their partners of peace with treachery in their hearts.
Repay them as their deeds deserve, as befits their treacherous actions; as befits their handiwork repay them, let their deserts fall back on themselves.
They do not comprehend the deeds of Yahweh, the work of his hands. May he pull them down and not rebuild them!
PMW: PA Adopts 'One State Solution' as Official Policy
While Israeli politicians continue to debate the merits of the “two-state solution,” their Palestinian interlocutors have long moved beyond that model for the solution of the Middle East conflict.
For Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the idea of a “greater Palestine” - that would stretch from “the river to the sea” - is now an official policy.
If this policy had until now been elucidated verbally in Arabic, by “minor” government officials – allowing the PA to say that they had been speaking out of turn or voicing personal opinions – it has now taken on a much more official persona.
In a series of videos and images discovered and released by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the PA's official propaganda ministry has made clear that when the PA says “Palestinian state,” it means not just Ramallah and Jenin, but also Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Beersheva.Netanyahu to EU Foreign Policy Chief: ‘I Support the Vision of Two States’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he is “not for a one-state solution” in a meeting with European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday.
“I support the vision of two states for two peoples — a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state, and I look forward to discussing with you how we can advance that vision forth in a practical, secure, and responsible way,” Netanyahu told Mogherini, adding that his position on the issue “has not changed.”
The prime minister also said that the “peace and security of the region and the world demand that we insist on a better deal” with Iran over its nuclear program. The deadline for a final agreement between Iran and world powers is June 30.France to push 18-month timetable for Mideast peace
France’s upcoming bid for a renewed Middle East peace push at the UN sets a timetable of 18 months for a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and threatens French recognition of Palestine should negotiations fail, newspaper Le Figaro reported Wednesday.
The report states that the resolution being drafted by Paris, and which is expected to be brought before the UN Security Council later this summer, calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, with certain land swaps agreed upon by the parties, and Jerusalem serving as the capital of both nations.
The document being formulated by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says the sovereignty of the demilitarized Palestinian state must be guaranteed, with a gradual Israeli pullout from Palestinian territory. It also says Israel’s security concerns must be addressed, and any Palestinian arms-buildup or terrorist activity prevented.Khaled Abu Toameh: In visit with EU foreign minister, Abbas repeats demand for settlement freeze, release of prisoners
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday discussed with EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini the latest developments surrounding the Middle East peace process.
Following the meeting between Abbas and Moherini in Ramallah, Chief PLO Negotiator Saeb Erekat reiterated the PA’s demand for a freeze of settlement construction and the release of Palestinian prisoners incarcerated before the signing of the Oslo Accords.
Erekat said that Abbas stressed during the meeting that he was in favor of the resumption of the peace process with Israel, but only after the Israeli government accepts the Palestinian demands, which also include acceptance of the two-state solution.
“We are making every possible effort to salvage the peace process,” Erekat told reporters after the meeting. “There’s great cooperation with the Arab League committee entrusted with discussing a new resolution that would be submitted to the UN Security Council. We’re also working together in international forums, including the International Criminal Court. All what we are doing is aimed at preserving the two-state solution as we face an Israeli government that has chosen the language of settlements, dictates, detentions and assassinations.”Norwegian FM Warns Netanyahu: Pressure on Israel Forthcoming
The international pressure on Israel to come to a solution with the Palestinians will only grow stronger after Iran and the P5+1 world powers sign a nuclear deal at the end of June, Norway's Foreign Minister warned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.
According to a Haaretz report Thursday morning, Netanyahu and Borge Brende, who is considered friendly to Israel, held a notably long 90-minute meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
During the meeting, as reported by a Norwegian diplomat, Brende told Netanyahu that given the impending resumption of serious international pressure on Israel, Netanyahu's new government would need to come up with its own diplomatic measure.
According to the diplomat, Netanyahu responded positively to the friendly advice, saying, "I hear you loud and clear."
Should Netanyahu want to resume negotiations with the Palestinians, Brende asserted, he would have to agree to at least one of three conditions presented recently by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
The three conditions include: freezing construction in Judea and Samaria, releasing all Palestinian prisoners jailed prior to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 and consecutive talks for no more than a year, with a Palestinian state established by the end of 2017. PA Diplomat: We'll Submit Two Lawsuits to ICC
A senior diplomat in the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced on Wednesday that the PA will submit two suits against Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on June 25, reports the Xinhua news agency.
Nabil Abu Zneid, the PA’s ambassador in the Netherlands, was quoted as having told Voice of Palestine radio that the two suits are related to the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, as well as to last summer’s fighting in Gaza.
"Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki is to head a high-ranking Palestinian delegation that comprises rights groups, and will submit the two suits against Israel to the international court on June 25," said Abu Zneid.
He added that "the train has already departed the station and Israel has to hurry up to catch it, because refusing to deal with the ICC would be a wring Israeli choice."Iran Complains Israel Threatened Nuclear Attack
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon threatened to attack Iran with a nuclear bomb according to Iran’s U.N. ambassador Gholam-Ali Khoshrou.
As a follow-up, an Iranian military official made similar comments in a report Thursday by the regime’s Fars (Read: Farce] News Agency, which added that Ya’alon said Israel “will kill kids” in attacks on Iranian-backed Hezbollah.
Here is what Ya’alon actually said at a conference in Israel last week when he spoke about what steps Israel might have to take to defend itself:
We should be sure that it is a military necessity….
I do remember the story of President Truman, who was asked, ‘How did you feel after deciding to launch the nuclear bombs at Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end [200,000 fatalities]?’ And he said, ‘When I heard from my officers that the alternative is a long war with Japan, with potential fatalities of a couple of million, I saw that it is a moral decision.’
We are not there yet. But that’s what I’m talking about: certain steps in cases in which we feel like we don’t have the answer by surgical operations or something like that.Iran threatens '80,000 rockets at Tel Aviv and Haifa' over distorted Ya'alon comment
Iranian officials have been thrown into a fit over distorted comments attributed to Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon that have swept across the internet and include popular anti-Israel sites.
A report by Iran's Fars news agency on Wednesday claimed that the defense minister supposedly said “We are going to hurt Lebanese civilians to include kids of the family. We went through a very long deep discussion … we did it then, we did it in [the] Gaza Strip, we are going to do it in any round of hostilities in the future,” while speaking at an unnamed "conference in Jerusalem."
The quote was most likely based on Ya'alon's comments from the May 5 Shurat Hadin conference. He was recounting targeting decisions in which he was involved when it first became apparent that Hezbollah was purposely placing weapons in civilian homes in Lebanon. He said that “If we don’t intercept the rocket-launchers in advance, civilians will be hurt, if not killed. If we hit the launchers, it will hurt or kill Lebanese civilians.” He said a “long, deep discussion” regarding the “moral and legal considerations” took place before the final decision to strike the rocket launcher.
Another quote attributed to Ya'alon, for which a basis could not be found, claimed that Israel would act "as the Americans did in 'Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000.'"
In response, Iranian Major General Rahim Safavi threatened Israel with violence, saying that "the Zionists and the US are aware of the power of Iran and Hezbollah, and they know that over 80,000 (Iranian) missiles are ready to rain down on Tel Aviv and Haifa."Report: U.S. Was Informed of Sanctions-Busting Iran Airplane Deal But Did Not Stop It
Israel informed American authorities of an Iranian airline’s efforts to buy Airbus jets, in violation of American sanctions, but the U.S. didn’t prevent the purchase, Reuters reported today.
“Israel learned from intelligence sources about this very significant breach of the sanctions in advance of it occurring,” the Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.
“We flagged the issue to the U.S. administration,” the official said. “Unfortunately, the deal still went through and there was no success in preventing it.”…
[An Israeli] official said the aircraft were sold to an airline that had been blacklisted by the United States “because of its involvement with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards” and Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrillas.
A State Department official asserted to Reuters that “if there is sanctionable activity, we will take action.” As part of the nuclear negotiations, the United States has allowed the sale of spare parts to Iran, but not the sale of aircraft.Facing Saudi Blockade, Iran Says It Will Allow UN Inspection of Yemen Aid Ship
The captain of an Iranian aid ship, which is being escorted by two Iranian warships to Yemen, said that he will dock in Djibouti and submit to a United Nations inspection, Reuters reported today. The decision delays a confrontation with Saudi Arabia, which is blockading Yemen.
Earlier in the day, the Iran Shahed’s captain had said the ship was due to enter the Bab al-Mandeb strait linking the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea, bypassing Djibouti on the Horn of Africa and heading for the Yemeni port of Hodaida.
“We have decided to dock our ship in Djibouti so the United Nations inspection protocol can take place,” Hossein Amir Abdollahian was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency….
Iran has said the ship is carrying humanitarian aid for Yemeni civilians. Hodaida’s port is under Houthi control.
The captain also said that Iran would send a plane to Djibouti tomorrow. Iran previously sent two aid planes directly to Yemen, but they were turned back by the Saudi Air Force.Iran: Israel helping Saudis fight Houthis
Saudi Arabia has hired Israeli military experts to help in their war in Yemen, sources close to the Saudi government allegedly told Iran’s Fars News Agency.
The unconfirmed report published on Tuesday could well be false and part of Tehran’s media campaign against its Sunni opponents in the region.
“The Zionist experts supervise the Saudi-led coalition’s operations against Yemen directly in addition to intelligence and military coordination between the two sides,” the sources told the Iranian news outlet.Treasury says it won’t pay $1.1 billion judgment to Iran
Israel has refused a Swiss court order to pay compensation to Iran in an arbitration case, it emerged Wednesday. The court ordered the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company to transfer $1.1 billion to the Islamic Republic in a ruling over oil supply agreements dating back to before Tehran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.
“Under the laws of trade we cannot transfer funds to an enemy country,” a statement issued by the Finance Minister said Wednesday.
A judicial official quoted by Iranian state news agency IRNA said Tao, an Israeli firm registered in Panama, was ordered earlier this month to pay the compensation to the National Iranian Oil Company, in a legal tussle dating back to 1989.
In 1968, the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company was established as a joint Israeli-Iranian venture to carry Asian oil from Eilat to Europe via a network of pipelines that reach from Eilat to Ashkelon and up the length of Israel’s coast to Haifa.
According to the EAPC website, the company currently operates 750 kilometers of pipeline in Israel.
As relations between Israel and Iran were severed in the wake of the Islamic Revolution, the Tehran partner dropped out of the arrangement and the company is now managed only by the Israeli side.
However, for years Iran has continued to demand that Israel pay back debts acquired when the arrangement was still valid.Pentagon approves massive $1.9 billion arms sale to Israel
The details of the possible sale were sent for congressional review this week after being approved by the Pentagon, the US Department of Defense said in a statement Tuesday.
If the agreement is finalized, Israel will receive a supply of precision-guided munitions consisting of 750 bunker buster bombs, 3,000 Hellfire missiles, 250 medium-range air-to-air missiles and 4,100 glide bombs, in a deal worth $1.879 billion.
In addition, the package includes 14,500 missile guidance systems — known as tail kits for Joint Direct Attack Munitions — which convert unguided bombs into GPS guided missiles.
A shipment of these weapons will enhance Israel’s military capabilities and boost defense cooperation between Israel and the US, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which coordinates major arms deals, said in a statement.
“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” the statement read.Should Israel Take Obama’s Iran Payoff?
For months, President Obama has been trying to find a way to silence Israeli objections to a nuclear deal with Iran. Up until now, Prime Minister Netanyahu has been adamant in his opposition to what he and many Americans feel is an effort to appease the Islamist regime that will have catastrophic consequences for the security of both the United States and Israel. But, if reports are correct, the Israeli government is preparing to make the best of an awful situation by accepting a massive military assistance package from the U.S. in exchange for what an unnamed senior administration official describes as “some quiet from the Israelis.” While it can be argued that expediency demands that Netanyahu seek to get what help from the Americans that he can, with the outcome of the nuclear negotiations still hanging in the balance, this isn’t the moment for the Israelis to go into the tank for Obama on Iran.
As the Israeli press is reporting, the Americans are prepared to pay what the administration official called, “a hefty price” for Israel’s silence in the upcoming months as a nuclear agreement is debated in Congress. That price will supposedly include up to 50 advanced F-35 fighter jets and anti-missile batteries. Given the importance of maintaining Israel’s qualitative edge over potential Arab and Iranian foes, it’s a tempting offer. Especially alluring for the Israelis is the prospect of more Iron Dome batteries as well as funding for more short-range David’s Sling batteries and the long-range Arrow-3 missile defense.
If, as seems likely, there is nothing Israel can do to prevent the U.S. from appeasing Iran and signing a weak deal that may not even guarantee rigorous inspections, then perhaps the only rational alternative is to accept a bribe from the administration for their silence. The same reasoning led some Arab countries to attend a summit here last week which, though boycotted by the kings of both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, resulted in a U.S. promise about selling them more advanced military hardware. Even if it was accompanied by a weak guarantee of their security that impressed no one, let alone Iranians, the Arabs were not so proud that they turned down U.S. assistance.Senior security source: Massive arms deal with US 'not linked to Iran deal'
The massive US arms sale to Israel, approved by the State Department this week, is not tied to the emerging deal between the international community and Iran over its nuclear program, a senior Israeli security source has said.
The source described on Thursday the $1.87 billion deal, which includes large numbers of precision guided bombs, hellfire missiles for combat helicopters, and bunker busters, as being "part of a multi-year plan, that was updated after Operation Protective Edge [in Gaza last year]."
The source described the package being at the stage of requiring "routine approval in Congress after Pentagon approval."
He stressed that the deal has "no link with the [P5+1] deal with Iran [over its nuclear program]," and that it had no connection to the large-scale weapons deals that occurred recently between the US and Gulf states.IDF Blog: Globalization of Aerial Threats Calls for Globalization of Defense
This week, air force commanders from around the world gathered in Israel to address the globalization of aerial threats. The first international air defense conference included representatives from Israel, Poland, Germany, Greece, the U.S, the U.K, Canada, Italy and the Netherlands.
The rapid globalization of aerial threats presents the need for a global response. Israel is no stranger to such threats, as was evidenced most recently during Operation Protective Edge. After the operation, Israel’s Iron Dome established itself as the model for air defense worldwide. With a nearly 90% success rate, it is the most efficient missile defense system of its kind.
“The Israeli industry occupies a center-field position in the international scene of aerial defense. Regarding the development of advanced protection systems, Israeli systems have more than justified their reputation in the last conflict,” explains Brig. Gen. Shachar Shohat, Commander of the Israel Air Defense Force.
In continuation with previous collaborative efforts with ally armies (i.e., the “Nobel Dina” joint exercise with the US Navy and Hellenic Navy, the “Nobel Shirley” aerial exercise with the U.S Air Force), Brig. Gen. Shohat was joined on May 19 at the IAF base in Palmachim by his colleagues to commence a productive collaboration in a first-of-its-kind conference. The main objective was to construct a plan geared towards improving each army’s collaborative effort in combating the globalization of aerial threats.
“The globalization all over has also reached the military field. The Western world is facing, in many dimensions, the same threats. We have to act together for the security of our societies.” -Maj. Gen. Robert Lowenstein, German Air Force Commander.Hezbollah: We'll Apply Strategies in Syria to Conquer Galilee
Hezbollah officials say they are preparing to use the strategies and techniques they learned fighting Syrian rebels along the border with Lebanon to conquer Israel's northern Galilee region.
The Iranian-backed Shia Islamist group has been making steady gains in its hard-fought campaign to wrest control of the Qalamoun region in Syria from Sunni rebels, including jihadists from Al Qaeda's Nusra Front, despite itself incurring significant losses.
But although that battle is still ongoing, a series of remarks by Hezbollah officials and propaganda outlets, translated by MEMRI, reveal that the terror group still has its eye on a future conflict with Israel.
Among them was Hezbollah official Hashem Safi Al-Din, who told Lebanon's Al Mustaqbal newspaper that "the resistance can replicate its newly acquired experience from the Al-Qalamoun mountains and Syria in the Galilee."Cheering Arab Crowds Greet Return of Vehicular Terrorist’s Body [video]
Last night, at midnight, the police returned the body of vehicular terrorist Amraan abu Dahim to his family in Jerusalem’s A-Tor neighborhood for burial.
Amraan ran over two policemen yesterday, and was then shot and killed by another policeman.
The family was only be allowed to have 20 people attend the funeral.
To ensure the funeral didn’t turn in another Martyr’s Day Parade, the police collected a NIS 20,000 collateral from the Arab terrorist’s family.
But that didn’t stop their terrorist-supporting neighbors from greeting the ambulance on the way.Khaled Abu Toameh: Report: Iran stops cash flow to Islamic Jihad organization
Iran has stopped funding the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization, which is already facing a severe financial crisis, the Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported on Wednesday.
According to the paper, the organization has not been able to pay salaries to its members for the past four months due to the crisis.
It said that the dispute between Iran and Palestinian Islamic Jihad erupted after the group refused to issue a statement supporting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The Iranians, the paper said, demanded that the organization issue a statement condemning the Saudi-led airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen.The Emergence Of 'Galilee Forces' – Palestinian Forces Fighting Alongside Syrian Regime
In recent weeks, fierce battles have raged on several fronts between supporters and forces of the Syrian regime and the Syrian opposition, from Idlib in the north of Syria to Rif Dimashq in the south to the Al-Qalamoun mountains on the Lebanese border. Both sides see these campaigns as highly critical ones that could win the war that is now in its fifth year, and are sending more and more troops to those areas.
In addition to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Lebanese Hizbullah, and the Shi'ite Iraqi, Afghani, and Pakistani militias, Palestinian forces are also fighting alongside the Syrian regime. According to the Revolution Forces of Syria website, the main Palestinian forces fighting alongside the regime included the 60,000-strong Palestinian Liberation Army – "the military wing of the PLO" – and Liwa Al-Quds, led by Muhammad Sa'id, which comprises several thousand residents of Palestinian refugee camps near Aleppo.
This Palestinian loyalty towards the Syrian regime is unsurprising, in light of the fact that over the years, Syria has served as a base and a refuge for armed secular Palestinian groups, and, until recently, for Islamic groups such as Hamas. Against the backdrop of the fighting in the Al-Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus, and ISIS's entry into the camp, the alliance between the Syrian regime and the armed Palestinian groups has become closer, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) even announced that it supported the regime's actions vis-à-vis the camp.
In recent days, a new Palestinian group, the Galilee Forces (Quwat Al-Jalil) or Galilee Brigade (Liwa Al-Jalil), has emerged and is fighting alongside the Syrian regime in Al-Qalamoun and Rif Dimashq; this group is the military wing of the Palestinian Youth Return Movement, and is led by Fadi Al-Mallah, aka Abu Al-Fidaa.Daniel Pipes: As Syria's chemical weapons return, Obama is MIA
The famed “red line” warning that Barack Obama issued in August 2013 to Bashar al-Assad of Syria was arguably the defining foreign policy moment of his presidency: an unequivocal warning to a rogue leader to desist from war crimes or pay the price.
When the incident ended in a blur, with Russian-backed promises that the Assad regime would hand over its chemical agents, responses were bifurcated. The president and his allies hailed this as a monument of diplomacy, whereby a plausible threat led bloodlessly to a major improvement in behavior. In contrast, critics presented Obama as a paper tiger who raged with threats that collapsed when offered meaningless assurances by a well-established liar.
For two years, there was no verdict; the two sides kept making their points without closure. But now, closure is at hand.
That’s because there are currently there are multiple reports of the Assad regime using chlorine in barrel bombs, plus the discovery of traces of ricin, sarin. and VX.Bashar al-Assad's airmen laugh as they drop barrel bombs on fellow Syrians
New footage has emerged showing Syrian aircrew using barrel bombs, one of the most feared weapons in President Bashar al-Assad’s arsenal.
The video footage, which contradicts Mr Assad’s claim that no munitions of this kind have ever been used by his forces, shows an airman crouching inside a Syrian military helicopter, chatting to his neighbour as he lights the fuse of a barrel bomb.
Once the white touch paper is burning, the man casually pushes the weapon out of the aircraft and sends it hurtling towards the ground.
Barrel bombs are metal cylinders packed with high explosives and pieces of shrapnel. These weapons, which have no targeting or guidance mechanisms, are simply rolled out of helicopters as they fly over rebel-held towns and villages. Syrian Regime Helicopter Drops Barrel Bombs on Idlib Province
Libyan Cleric Justifies Beheadings and Body Mutilation "to Strike Terror in the Heart" of the Enemy
In a May 16 interview with Al-Tanasuh TV, Libyan Cleric Muhammad Bouajila, a member of the Libyan Ulema Association, explained that in principle, beheadings and body mutilation are prohibited, but are allowed under certain circumstances "especially if this serves to strike terror in the heart" of the enemy. Sheik Bouajila further commented that Muslims should fight non-Muslims who refuse to convert to Islam or pay the jizya poll tax. Al-Tanasuh TV is owned by Sadiq Al-Ghariani, Mufti of Libya who is associated with the Libya Dawn forces.
How Obama Lost Ramadi
The fall of Ramadi to the fighters of the Islamic State is a disaster for the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. The taking of the city brings IS to just over 60 miles from Baghdad. In addition to showcasing the low caliber of the Iraqi security forces, the events surrounding the fall of the city lay bare the contradictions at the heart of Western policy in Iraq.
Prime Minister Abadi had ordered the garrison in Ramadi to stand firm. He hoped to see a successful stand in the city as a prelude to a government retaking of Anbar province, over half of which is still in IS hands.
But in a manner reminiscent of the fall of Mosul in June 2014, Iraqi security forces ignored orders to defend Ramadi, and fled eastwards to the neighboring town of Khalidiyeh. This left Ramadi to the tender mercies of the fighters of the Islamic State, who have reportedly since slaughtered at least 500 people. It is important to note that even U.S. airstrikes were not sufficient to prevent the debacle.
As of now, Shia militias are heading for the city's outskirts. A militia-led counterattack is expected in the coming days. A further advance eastwards by the Sunni jihadis, at least in the immediate future, is unlikely.
So what is behind the failure of the Iraqi security forces and the continued advance of the jihadis?Krauthammer: Obama Is 'Either Delusional or Cynical' On ISIS
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer said on “Special Report” Tuesday that the Obama administration must be “either delusional or cynical” given its statement that overall, the battle against ISIS has been a success.
“I would hope cynical, because otherwise we’re in deep trouble,” he remarked. “This is a tremendous defeat. It isn’t only a geographic defeat, the fact that Mosul is gone, Fallujah is gone and now Ramadi is gone. It’s that the Iraqi army once again ran.”
“You know, our whole idea is that we will train the Iraqi army,” Krauthammer said. “If you train people who want to fight but don’t know how to fight, that will work.. We actually had that opprotunity in Syria.”
“With Iraq we have the exact opposite, soldiers in name only who want to paid, with corrupt officers and sectarian officers who don’t want to fight. All the training in the world is not going to help them.”‘Birthplace of civilization,’ Palmyra faces final ruin by jihadists
The destruction of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Palmyra would be an “enormous loss to humanity,” the head of the organization warned Thursday, after Islamic State fighters seized the ancient Syrian city and archaeological site.
“Palmyra is an extraordinary World Heritage site in the desert and any destruction to Palmyra (would be) not just a war crime but … an enormous loss to humanity,” said Irina Bokova in a video published by the Paris-based group.
She added that she was “extremely worried” about recent events there and reiterated an appeal for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of military forces.
“At the end of the day, it’s the birthplace of human civilization. It belongs to the whole of humanity and I think everyone today should be worried about what is happening,” added the UNESCO chief.Turkey: 7 Soldiers Arrested in 'Syria Arms Consignment' Case
A Turkish court on Sunday remanded in custody seven serving soldiers accused over the interception last year of an alleged consignment of arms bound for Syria, state media said, according to AFP.
Following police raids in previous days, a total of 10 soldiers appeared before the Istanbul criminal court, the Anatolia news agency reported.
After hearings that lasted all day, three were allowed to go free while seven were arrested ahead of trial and will now be sent to prison.
They have been charged with membership of a terrorist group, impeding the work of the government and espionage.
The arrests are the latest in a string of detentions related to the stopping and searching of trucks in the southern provinces of Hatay and Adana near the Syrian border in January 2014 on suspicion of smuggling arms into Syria.
Documents circulated on the Internet claimed the seized trucks were Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) vehicles delivering weapons to Syrian Islamist rebels fighting President Bashar Al-Assad.In final days, Bin Laden urged followers to kill Jews
Documents swept up in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound portray a leader cut off from his underlings, disappointed by their failures, beset by their complaints and regretting years of separation from much of his extensive family.
Focus your fighting on America, not each other, the sidelined al-Qaeda chief exhorts his followers. In a videotaped will, he urges one of his wives, should she remarry after his death, to still choose to live beside him in paradise. He also directs her to send their son to the battlefield.
Despite some surprising quirks in the collection, the overall message of the 103 letters, videos and reports made public Wednesday hews to the terror group’s familiar mission: In the name of God, find a way to kill Americans. Kill Europeans. Kill Jews.
“Uproot the obnoxious tree by concentrating on its American trunk,” bin Laden writes in a letter urging al-Qaeda affiliates in North Africa to not be distracted by fighting local security forces and to avoid Muslim infighting.
At least 32 Islamic State members, including four of its leaders, were killed in air strikes and a U.S. special forces raid that targeted the group in eastern Syria, a group monitoring the Syrian war said on Sunday. U.S. officials said the raid killed a senior Islamic State leader identified as a Tunisian who helped to manage its black-market sales of oil and gas to raise funds. British-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights gathers its information from sources in the region. The operation in the eastern Deir al-Zor province marked a departure from Washington's strategy of relying primarily on air strikes to target militants in the area.
In an Al-Aqsa Mosque address, posted on the Internet on May 1, Sheik 'Issam Amira said that polytheist enemies should be given three options: "They must convert to Islam, or pay the jizya poll tax, or else, you should seek the help of Allah and fight them." "You should fight them even if they do not fight you," Amira stressed.
Following are excerpts:
Issam Amira: Today, our honorable Islamic scholars talk about defensive Jihad. "Fight for the sake of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress, for Allah does not like transgressors." In other words, you should always be polite, never go against anyone, and never point your weapon at anyone, unless someone attacks you. In all other cases, everything must be peaceful. No!
When you face a polytheist enemy, you should give him three options: They must convert to Islam, or pay the jizya poll tax, or else, you should seek the help of Allah and fight them. You should fight them even if they do not fight you. Seek the help of Allah, and fight them. Let the scholars hear this: You should seek the help of Allah and fight them. Only when they fight you? No! When they refuse to convert to Islam, and refuse to pay the jizya. In such a case, it is meaningless [to let them] keep enjoying their life in this world, eating from the sustenance bestowed by Allah, yet disbelieving in Him. No! against their will, we shall subjugate them to the rule of Allah, without forcing them to convert to Islam.Of course, there was an immediate outcry and denunciations from the moderate Muslims upon hearing about this.
Amira once taught in UNRWA schools. He became involved with Hizb ut-Tahrir and now preaches at a mosque in Beit Safafa, but often preaches at Al Aqsa.
Don’t assume that Halal is benevolent. The system of zakat as well as certification fees bely a nefarious aspect, as detailed by Money Jihad blog…
“Fact check” on halal-terror links ignores facts
Khaled Abu Toameh: Why Arabs Loathe Hezbollah
Tariq al-Hamid, a prominent Saudi editor and political analyst, said that both Iran and Hezbollah have "gone haywire" as a result of the Saudi-led coalition's air strikes against the Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen.
Al-Hamid pointed out that Iran and Hezbollah were now frustrated because of the severe blows that their allies have been dealt in Yemen. "They were hoping that the Houthi control over Yemen would boost the morale of their followers, who are already frustrated because of what is happening to them in Syria," he said. "All the crazy folks in the region are now targeting Saudi Arabia. What is the difference between Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda? And what is the difference between Iran and the Islamic State? The answer is simple; they are all trying to establish a foothold on the border with Saudi Arabia."
Addressing the Hezbollah leader, a Saudi blogger wrote: "You must pay the price for the crime you committed against Lebanon in 2006, when you destroyed Lebanon through your light-heated actions. All what you were seeking back then was to rally as many Arabs and Muslims behind you through your dirty trick." Another blogger wrote: "It is time for the Arab countries to arrest the terrorist Nasrallah and bring him to trial for his interference in Yemen's affairs and crimes against Syria, as well as his betrayal of his country, Lebanon."
Nasrallah and his Hezbollah terrorist group are now more isolated than ever in the Arab world. Until a few years ago, Nasrallah was seen as a "hero" of the Arab world because of his fight against Israel.
Now, however, many Arabs seem to have woken up to the reality that Nasrallah is nothing but an Iranian puppet whose sole goal is to serve his masters in Tehran. This, of course, is good news for moderate Arabs and Muslims in the region. But it remains to be seen whether the U.S. Administration and other Western powers will also wake up and realize that Iran and its proxies pose a real threat not only to Israel, but also to many Arabs and Muslims.The Emergency
Let us be clear about what the White House is considering. It is threatening to cease protecting Israel from the jackals at the United Nations and other international organizations. These words from the Obama administration came the same week that the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women singled out Israel—alone among the UN’s 193 member nations—as the worst abuser of women’s rights in the world. In brief, Obama is signaling his desire to Europeanize American policy toward Israel.
Two weeks later, Obama told Friedman: “It has been personally difficult for me to hear…expressions that somehow…this administration has not done everything it could to look out for Israel’s interest.” Why? “Because of the deep affinities that I feel for the Israeli people and for the Jewish people.”
Translation: Some of my best friends are Jewish.
Many liberal American Jews think of Obama as their friend. He is not—not the friend of any Jew who understands his people are under unique and unprecedented threat. Obama is working to strengthen not only Iran’s hand but also the hand of those in the United States who believe the relationship between the U.S. and the Jewish state should be cleaved.
Nor is Obama a friend of Israel, for his policies are now aiding and abetting the nation that poses a literally apocalyptic danger to the Jewish people. If this deal is signed on June 30, Barack Obama will have made the world a far less safe and far more dangerous place—and by signing it, he will have signaled his willingness to see the Jewish future sacrificed on the altar of his own ambitions.
The threat is not immediate. The emergency is.Why I began labeling Guardian Readers and their ilk “The Fascist Left”
Madeleine Albright was the first woman to become the United States Secretary of State when she was sworn in on January 23, 1997.
According to Wikipedia “Albright was raised Catholic, but converted to Episcopalianism at the time of her marriage in 1959. She did not learn until adulthood that her parents were originally Jewish and that many of her Jewish relatives in Czechoslovakia had perished in the Holocaust, including three of her grandparents.” It was during her tenure as Secretary of State that she learned of her Jewish religious background (or so she claimed at the time).
It was when her family history was mischievously ‘revealed’ by Britain’s Guardian Newspaper that I became forever alienated from that racist publication. They editorialized that the knowledge of her antecedents made for an unbridgeable conflict of interest between her Jewish ‘past’ and her senior American administration position as Secretary of State and therefore she had no choice but to resign from that position. It was a moment of shocking clarity for me, my Damascene conversion.
We do not ever repudiate a persons’ right to express themselves because of their race, their religion, their color, their ethnicity, their sex or their sexuality. That is one of the fundamental rights that inhere in a democratic system. To state that a politician should not have an opinion is absurdly illogical. In fact, I cannot stress enough how infantile the Guardian editorial was. If we assume the sanity of the Guardian Newspapers’ editorial staff then the only possible explanations for making such a statement was either temporary insanity or a concealed agenda.
Russia Wants to 'Redesign' the Middle East
Russia’s goals in the region have been opaque for analysts, even more so for people unfamiliar with Russian politics. Spokesman for the White House Josh Earnest belittled the Russians by suggesting the missile sale was all about badly needed currency.
But Fainberg says that that is hardly the entire picture. The money Russia would make from the deal is extremely limited and cannot hope to make a massive impact on a Russian economy in its sixth year of recession.
“Basically we often quote economic reasons and these are valid, real reasons. But the ultimate and decisive reason is of a geopolitical nature meaning Russia wants to ultimately redesign the Middle East to its best interests and this explains the intensification of its activities in the past weeks whether in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen or Iran. For Russia it is also about containing the spread of Sunni fundamentalism through its Southern borders. The number of Chechen fighters in Iraq and Syria has been on the rise.”
Abbas is an interesting point in the Russian approach to the region. While Russia is clearly closer to Iran and Syria than the Turks or Saudis, they are doing more outreach to the Palestinian Authority than Hamas, the latter being more closely aligned to Iran. That is indicative of a Russian effort to have influence in every place that it can, even to the point where it sometimes has to make choices that will inversely upset one country while benefiting another.
How would Putin “redesign” the strategic layout of the region? By running Russian interests through what it perceives as the potentially most powerful country in the Middle East: Iran.Should Israel Abandon Neutrality on Ukraine?
Russia has worked hard to improve its relationship with Israel since the end of the Cold War, so while Russia would not be affected dramatically by an Israeli shift into Ukraine’s corner – a scenario Fainberg does not advocate nor consider realistic – it would still be an affront to the Kremlin.
“It would create a crisis in ties, but would not affect Putin’s image within Russia and wouldn’t affect Russia any more than the [European] sanctions affect Russia already.”
Some have suggested Israel and Russia have had a mutual understanding about the balance of power in the region, which by the looks of thing has eroded with the S-300 announcement. Yet, there is no clear indication as of now that Russia is looking to sell even more armaments to Israel’s rivals. That could change if Israel plays too assertive a hand in responding to the sale, suggests Fainberg.
“A crisis with Israel would not harm selling of arms to Israel’s enemies. On the contrary, there are plenty of potential buyers.Yet Russia does consider Israel as a military superpower and a key actor to deal with in the region.”More PA Lobbying from the State Dept Briefing Room
Can you imagine if some Jewish reporter for, say, JewishPress.com, repeatedly prodded the State Department spokesperson to provide additional funding to Israel during the daily State Department Press Briefings?
How long do you think something like that would go on before someone, whether from the State Department, one of the other media outlets, or one of the reporter’s employers told the Jewish reporter to stop being so unprofessional or they would be removed from the State Department press briefings?
So what is the deal with Said Arikat?
Why does no one raise an eyebrow when when, month after month, Arikat acts as a lobbyist for the Palestinian Authority instead of a professional journalist? Why is Arikat permitted to whine over the reduction in funding to the PA, and to beg the State Department to intervene?Jennifer Rubin: Obama is prepared to give Iran anything and everything for a deal
If Israelis are expressing “shock and amazement Friday night at US President Barack Obama’s stated openness to Iran’s demand for the immediate lifting of all economic sanctions, and his defense of Russia’s agreement to supply a sophisticated air defense system to Iran,” they should not be. The president will give the Iranians anything and everything to get his deal. “It’s deeply troubling that President Obama declined to publicly reject Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s demand that all economic sanctions against Iran be lifted upon concluding a final nuclear agreement,” Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) told Right Turn. “The president is clearly leaving open the door for significant sanctions relief to Iran up front to secure a controversial deal that will neither significantly nor permanently dismantle Iran’s vast capabilities to make nuclear weapons.” Remaining sanctions would be rendered a mere nuisance after that.
This massive concession is bound to run into widespread opposition in Congress and from our Gulf allies who already fear Obama is ceding domination of the Middle East to Iran. Such a deal would also test how far Hillary Clinton is willing to appease the left in the Democratic Party. Will she embrace the sort of deal that gives Iran cash up front for terrorist activities, leaves it with a nuclear infrastructure, does not allow go anywhere/anytime inspections and does not force Iran to reveal possible military dimensions of its nuclear program? If so she is destroying her image as a tougher-than-Obama foreign policy thinker and ceding the biggest foreign policy issue of our time to the Republicans.
The president who once declared the framework a “historic” deal has been forced to concede there is no deal. Now he’s signaling the final deal will be much worse than he or his defenders ever suggested was possible. He promised to dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons program; now he is locking it in. He once insisted on robust inspections and gradual lifting of sanctions. Those will go by the wayside too. Ultimately, Congress, the 2016 presidential candidates, our allies and the American people will need to explain that total appeasement — which is where this is heading — will not be acceptable. They will then have to devise the means for stopping Obama or immediately reversing his “diplomacy” (which is more like promising to make a ransom payment). Unfortunately for the Saudis, that likely means beginning an arms race as they seek a bomb of their own. It’ll be quite a legacy if Obama gets his way.Obama Kept Iran's Short Breakout Time a Secret
The Barack Obama administration has estimated for years that Iran was at most three months away from enriching enough nuclear fuel for an atomic bomb. But the administration only declassified this estimate at the beginning of the month, just in time for the White House to make the case for its Iran deal to Congress and the public.
Speaking to reporters and editors at our Washington bureau on Monday, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz acknowledged that the U.S. has assessed for several years that Iran has been two to three months away from producing enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. When asked how long the administration has held this assessment, Moniz said: "Oh quite some time." He added: "They are now, they are right now spinning, I mean enriching with 9,400 centrifuges out of their roughly 19,000. Plus all the . . . . R&D work. If you put that together it's very, very little time to go forward. That's the 2-3 months."
Brian Hale, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, confirmed to me Monday that the two-to-three-month estimate for fissile material was declassified on April 1. France’s Position on the Emerging Nuclear Agreement with Iran
In sum, France favors taking a tough stance toward the Iranians. The stick of sanctions must be waved during the negotiations, while acting from a position of strength and demanding additional concessions on Tehran’s part. At the same time, France understands that President Obama has made a strategic decision and is very determined to sign an agreement. Although France is neither interested in confronting the United States nor able to, it will maintain its firm policy while realizing that, in international relations, compromise is necessary. France will wait for a final decision by the U.S. Congress and try to gauge the mood in Tehran, being well aware of Iran’s domestic struggles and of the illness of Supreme Leader Khamenei. (According to French intelligence he has terminal prostate cancer and, according to medical assessments, no more than two years to live.) In light of all these considerations, France will toe the line with the United States and sign the agreement along with it, whether at the end of June or later depending on these various factors.
This posture also affords France a certain advantage, especially with regard to the Arab states. If and when new problems should arise in the future over implementing the agreement, France will put the full onus on President Obama. Indeed, regarding the conflict in Syria, France has accused the United States of irresolution, and the relations between Hollande and Obama have been tense ever since.
Even though France’s position is closer to Israel’s, France does not explicitly demand that all Israeli concerns be reflected in the agreement – whether recognition of Israel’s right to exist, the ballistic-missiles issue, or Iran’s terror activity. France, like the United States, has been focusing on Iran’s nuclear program, not on its overall strategy and hegemonic aspirations in the Middle East.State Department won’t rule out $50B ‘signing bonus’ for Iran
The State Department on Monday would not rule out giving Iran up to $50 billion as a so-called "signing bonus" for agreeing to a nuclear deal later this year, according to comments made to journalists following reports that the Obama administration had formulated a plan to release tens of billions of frozen Iranian funds.
Experts have said this multi-billion dollar "signing bonus" option, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, could be the largest cash infusion to a terror-backing regime in recent memory.
A cash release of $30 to $50 billion upon reaching a final nuclear agreement would come in addition to the more than $11 billion in unfrozen assets that Iran will already have received under an interim nuclear accord reached in 2013.
When asked to address these reports on Monday, State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf attempted to dodge the issue and then accused reporters of getting "spun up" on the issue.
Asked whether Iran could receive $50 billion "on day one after signing" or verbally agreeing to a nuclear deal, Harf told reporters that she would "look into it." Watchdog Group: White House Gaslighting Journalists Over Iran
The group cited President Obama’s move on Friday to placate Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei’s latest demand for immediate sanctions relief upon signing a deal. While the Obama administration insisted it had not shown flexibility and offered no new concessions, it was simultaneously preparing to phase out sanctions in such a way that would offer the Iranians immediate and significant economic relief, the Israel Project said.
“They’re trying to borderline-gaslight journalists by insisting that there was no new concession, that the President didn’t signal any new flexibility, and that sanctions relief will still be phased out. That line is falling a bit flat – Obama said what he said – but now the question is how they intend to square the circle,” the group asked in an email sent to reporters. “How do they make sanctions relief phased in principle, so they can keep saying they didn’t cave, but instantaneous in practice, so that the Iranians will take the concession?”
An infusion of $50 billion dollars would increase Iran’s GDP by more than 10 percent and “signal the end of meaningful financial pressure,” the group wrote. It would allow Iran to “march across the Middle East, which would panic our Arab allies.”Former White House Official: “Coercive Component” Needed in Deal to Prevent Iranian Nuke
When Fisher pressed about how enforcement could work if Iran was found to be cheating over the course of the deal, Doran termed this question “the crucial one.”
The way the president has set this up, he has incentivized Iran to pocket huge benefits up front. This has put them in a position to be able to go for a bomb when they want in a position of much greater economic strength and diplomatic strength. Because the very process of the negotiation is destroying the sanctions regime we established, which is the greatest nonmilitary instrument we have for coercing them. This is the fundamental flaw at the heart of the coercion strategy.
He’s going to use his waiver authority to free up all this money that is in escrow accounts across the globe that is going to pour into Iranian coffers nearly immediately. At the same time, the United Nations Security Council is going to bless the agreement, which is then going to free up the Europeans and others, including the Russians and the Chinese, to engage in commercial activity with the Iranians. And so we will have effectively gutted the sanctions regime.
Iran’s status in the international community is going to be greatly improved, and then there’s going to be an international commercial lobby and a diplomatic-military lobby, which includes the Chinese and the Russians, in favor of the new order in which Iran is a citizen in good standing in the international community that they can do business with.Iran refuses IAEA inspectors second entry to Parchin base
Iran will not grant the International Atomic Energy Agency a second entry to the Parchin military base, the spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization said on Monday.
"Parchin is a military base," Behrouz Kamalvandi said at a news conference in Tehran. "They [the IAEA] have been raising the issue for years. It is important for their propaganda. They know we will not allow them to visit the Parchin base again, but they think raising the issue benefits the propaganda."
Kamalvandi said that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, while serving as Iran's chief negotiator years ago, had allowed the IAEA to enter the Parchin military facilities for inspection.
"In a meeting between President Rouhani and [IAEA chief] Yukiya Amano, President Rouhani reminded him that 'when you requested to visit the facilities in Parchin for the first time, I said yes, you can go to Parchin and everywhere else, and you can collect samples. But it can be allowed just for once as it is a military base. A second visit will not happen.'"Americans Eager to Sell Iran the Rope to Hang Them
Back in the 1970s, columnist George Will memorably characterized the eagerness of American businesses to do business in the Soviet Union as proof that they loved commerce more than they loathed Communism. Propping up a tottering evil empire that threatened Western freedom was nothing compared to the chance to make a buck. A generation later, we’re seeing the same phenomenon on display as other groups flock to Iran now that President Obama has made it possible, if not likely that it will be legal for Americans to do business in the Islamic Republic. As the New York Times reports today, though they were chaperoned by minders who kept them out of the presence of dissidents or other victims of the regime, one such group still found it impossible to escape being confronted with evidence of the theocracy’s hate-filled ideology. But, as with other hopeful, profit-minded pilgrims to other totalitarian regimes, participants preferred to see the country as one big market rather than one big prison whose rulers are intent to do harm to the West.
Like the Times’s own disgraceful journalistic tourists to Iran, such as Roger Cohen and Nicholas Kristof, the group featured in today’s article gushed over the welcome they received and the wonders of Iran’s ancient culture, friendly people, and market potential. The delegation of venture capitalists and business executives organized by a group called the Young President’s Organization got a red carpet tour as well as constant assurances that they and their money will be safe in Iran. When they had the temerity to ask about billboards across the country that proclaimed the regime’s trademark “Death to America” slogan, they were told that this was the product of a bygone era and that a “new Iran” was emerging. That seemed to comfort them, as did the likely inference that the presence of American cash would speed along the transformation of Iran.
But it’s likely that along with tourist sites and meetings with Iranians that said the right thing about wanting to re-engage with the West, these young entrepreneurs and executives didn’t find out much about the way the theocracy oppresses dissidents and religious minorities. Nor is likely that they learned much about the way the regime and its various military arms operate businesses that finance international terrorism as well as an arms buildup that threatens the region. It’s likely they also heard the same tripe about Iran’s right to civilian nuclear energy (in a nation overflowing with massive oil reserves).WaPo Reporter To Be Charged with Espionage in Iran
Jason Rezaian, 39, a reporter for the Washington Post, will be charged by the Iranian government with espionage, “conducting propaganda against the establishment,” “collaborating with hostile governments” and “collecting information about internal and foreign policy and providing them to individuals with malicious intent,” according to his attorney, Leila Ahsan, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Ahsan said that her client, who has been jailed for nine months, was in good health but his isolation from the world has sapped his well-being. Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron said Ahsan and Rezaian met for 90 minutes on Monday and that Rezaian could receive a 20-year sentence.
Last July 22, Rezaian, his Iranian wife Yeganeh Salehi, who writes for the National newspaper in Abu Dhabi, and two other anonymous journalists were arrested; his wife and the two journalists were later released. Rezaian had previously written for The San Francisco Chronicle.Obama Vows ‘Ironclad’ Support Of Israel If Israel Destroyed By Iran (satire)
President Barack Obama sought to reassure Israel and its allies in the US that an impending deal with Iran over the latter’s nuclear ambitions would not compromise his commitment to backing the Jewish State if it is completely obliterated by Iran’s atomic weapons.
The president met with Jewish leaders at the White House today, and told them his administration does not intend to withdraw even an ounce of support for Israel in the event of a ballistic missile attack that wipes the country off the map, a goal Iran’s leadership has publicly declared. Jews and israelis need not worry, said Obama, for if Iran follows through on its goal of destroying Israel, the US would maintain its commitment to vetoing UN Security Council resolutions that single out the Jewish State for condemnation. He also promised that existing trade agreements would be honored, and that offers for help would remain open.
Jewish leaders welcomed the president’s declaration, but admitted they had hoped for more concrete demonstrations of Obama’s commitment to Israel. “I must confess I was looking for a statement that the US might be willing, for example, to extend loans or some other form of aid to Israel after Iranian nukes remove her from the face of the Earth,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, a former Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. “Alternatively, he could affirm his resolve to pay lip service to the notion of a Jewish national home. But what the president did say is certainly a step in the right direction.”Arabs Attack Jerusalem Councilman's Home - For the 49th Time
In a shocking collapse of security and law enforcement, the home of Jerusalem Councilman Arieh King in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ma'ale Hazeitim on the Mount of Olives was attacked last week - this makes the 49th time that King's house has been struck by Arab terrorists.
King announced on his Facebook page that the firebomb attack, in which two masked Arab terrorists hurled four Molotov cocktails at his home in an attack captured on security cameras, marks 49 times he has been targeted since August 2013. The attack caused damage to his possessions, and police were unable to locate the assailants.
"I told police officers that (next time - ed.) will be the 50th attack, I will not be able to stop my special team (my 4 boys) to take (sic) the law in their own hands,"'I sought to kill Jews,' said terrorist who rammed car into Israelis at Jerusalem bus stop
The east Jerusalem Palestinian who rammed his car into Israelis waiting at a bus stop in the French Hill section of the capital last week told police that he was intent on “seeking out Jews to murder,” authorities permitted the press to report on Tuesday.
Khaled Koutineh, 37, from Anata, was arrested for running over and killing Shalom Yohai Cherki, 25, and seriously injuring a young woman.
In the initial days after the incident, police said they had not yet determined whether Koutineh hit the bus stop by accident or if it was a racially-motivated attack, saying the incident required further investigation.
“It is possible and there is a very strong basis to now say that this was a terror attack,” Danino said on Saturday, calling it one of several “devastating” terrorist attacks to strike the capital over the past few months.Iranian spy sentenced to seven years after being found guilty of espionage.
An Iranian-born Belgian national was sentenced to seven years at Central District Court in Lod on Tuesday after being convicted of charges that he spied for Iran.
In September of 2013, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) apprehended Ali Mansouri at Ben-Gurion International Airport carrying photographs of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and other sites.
The Shin Bet alleged that Mansouri was apart of a special operations unit within Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, sent to Israel to locate potential terror targets for the Islamic Republic.
According to the Shin Bet, Mansouri was promised $1 million to use his position as a businessman to establish companies for Iranian intelligence services in Israel in order to "harm Israeli and Western interests."
Mansouri's defense attorney Avigdor Feldman said that no appeal was expected from his client.Replacing carpet at Jerusalem shrine reveals religious rift
It began as a routine remodeling project: Muslim authorities replacing an old carpet worn thin by masses of worshippers at the Dome of the Rock, the iconic, gold-topped shrine that overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem.
But there is no such thing as routine remodeling when it comes to the most contested piece of real estate in Jerusalem, where the presence of a mere screwdriver can threaten to ignite religious tensions.
The carpet has sparked a verbal holy war over the hilltop compound, which is revered by Jews and Muslims whose competing claims often spill over into violence.
Israeli archaeological authorities say the repairs were carried out behind their backs, and an Israeli government minister urged an immediate halt to the work, claiming it might cause irreparable damage. Frustrated Israeli researchers say previously undocumented ancient floor designs were discovered when the old carpets were peeled off, but they didn't get a chance to document the designs before workmen covered them up with the new carpet.
And some researchers claim the Bible's deepest secrets may lie beneath some of the newly exposed floor designs.
"Something is there. I don't know what. But something is hidden there," said Israeli archaeologist Zachi Dvira, who studies the site.Khaled Abu Toameh: PA ministers leave Gaza after Hamas placed them on house arrest
PA ministers who arrived in the Gaza Strip earlier this week returned to the West Bank after Hamas imposed severe restrictions on their movements and contacts.
Palestinian sources said Hamas had placed the ministers under house arrest in their hotel, preventing them from receiving or talking to anyone.
The 10 ministers were dispatched to the Gaza Strip as part of the Palestinian Authority government’s effort to solve the problem of thousands of public employees who have not received their salaries for several months. The ministers were accompanied by 30 senior government officials.
“Hamas has banned the ministers from leaving their hotel,” the sources said.
“They are also prohibited from meeting with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. They are literally under house arrest.”New Hamas import tax leaves Gaza merchants fuming
A new import tax imposed by Hamas on commodities entering the Gaza Strip has left local merchants fuming, with some threatening to stop importing food products into the Hamas-controlled Strip altogether.
On Saturday, members of Hamas’s parliamentary bloc Change and Reform approved the National Solidarity Tax law, imposing a new levy on “non-basic” commodities such as meat, fruits and vegetables, clothing, and electronics. Flour and medicine will be exempt from the new tax, Hamas parliament member Ahmad Abu Halbiya told Turkey’s Anadolu news agency.
“The purpose of the law is to ease the suffering of the poor in the Gaza Strip,” Abu Halbiya said, explaining that the percentage of the tax will be raised gradually, eventually reaching 10% in some cases. “Residents will not feel it,” he asserted.Ex-President Morsi beats death penalty, sentenced by Egypt court to 20 years in prison
An Egyptian court sentenced ousted President Mohamed Morsi to 20 years in prison without parole on Tuesday for the killing of protesters in December 2012, in a decision broadcast on state television.
It was the first ruling against Muslim Brotherhood leader Morsi since the army toppled him in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. The decision can be appealed.
The fall of veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011 paved the way for what was unthinkable for decades - the Brotherhood ruling the most populous Arab country.
However, in a twist of fate, Morsi's handpicked army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, toppled him in 2013, bringing Egypt's secular-nationalist state security apparatus and intelligence service back to power after mass protests against the Islamist president's rule turned bloody.
A tough crackdown was then launched against the Brotherhood in which thousands were detained and hundreds were put on trial.Egyptian Given Life Sentence for 'Spying' for Israel
An Egyptian court on Sunday sentenced to jail a man convicted of “spying for Israel” in the Sinai Peninsula, judicial officials said, according to AFP.
Two Israeli accomplices of the jailed Egyptian were tried in absentia and also given life terms, the officials added.
In a verdict delivered by a court in North Sinai, the three were also slapped with fines of 10,000 Egyptian pounds (about $1,130) each. In Egypt, a life sentence amounts to 25 years.
Prosecutors said the convict, Salamah Mohamed Suleiman, received money and was also given a house in Israel in return for providing his Israeli handlers with information about Egyptian security forces and jihadists in North Sinai.
Suleiman also illegally travelled to Israel five times -- the first visit being in 2011 -- to work out the details of his mission that intended to "harm Egypt's national interests", the prosecution said, according to AFP.
Sunday’s verdict comes several weeks after an Egyptian man was sentenced to life in jail and a woman to 15 years for spying for Israel.Egypt sentences 22 members of Muslim Brotherhood to death
An Egyptian court sentenced 22 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death on Monday over an attack on a police station in a district outside Cairo in 2013, judicial sources said.
The assault was part of a wave of violence that rocked the country after the army removed elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi from power following mass protests against his rule in June 2013.
One other defendant, who is a juvenile, was given a 10-year sentence, the sources said. A lawyer for the convicted men said they would appeal.
The defendants were convicted of murder, attempted murder and the destruction of public facilities, among other charges during an attack on the police station in Kerdasa district, in which one policeman was killed.Belly dancer is sentenced to six months in prison for 'insulting Egypt' by wearing a costume resembling their national flag during a performance
An Egyptian court has sentenced a popular Armenian belly dancer to six months in prison for 'insulting the Egyptian flag' after she wore a tight dress in its red, white and black color scheme.
The court in Agouza, west of Cairo, said Sofinar Gourian, popularly known as 'Safinaz', was fined £15,000 after being found guilty in a case raised by a private complainant.
She is expected to avoid jail time, however, after paying £10,000 bail and launching an appeal against the six month prison sentence.
Insulting the flag was made illegal by decree under Egyptian President Adly Mansour who ruled for a year after the army overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013.
The change in law made it a crime to raise, display or sell an Egyptian flag if it is damaged in any way, or even if the colour has faded.'ISIS leader al-Baghdadi hurt, no longer in control of daily operations'
Reclusive Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been recuperating for weeks from serious injuries sustained as a result of a March air strike in western Iraq, the British newspaper Guardian is reporting on Tuesday.
The daily cited an Iraqi source as saying that Baghdadi’s injuries were initially so severe that it forced him to relinquish day-to-day control of ISIS.
The Guardian reported that the ISIS high command was so concerned about their leader’s condition that they began making contingency plans in the event that al-Baghdadi would die.
The ISIS leader was seriously wounded by an attack launched by the US-led coalition in the al-Baaja district of Nineveh, close to the Syrian border.
Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Abadi confirmed this past November on his Facebook account that al-Baghdadi was injured by a US airstrike near Mosul. The post also said Baghdadi's deputy was killed in the attack. ISIS to Western Christians: "You Won't Have Safety ... Until You Embrace Islam"
Approximately two months after the Islamic State (IS) published a video depicting its members slaughtering 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, on Sunday, April 19, the Islamic jihadi organization released another video of more Christians in Libya being massacred, this time for not paying jizya—extortion money demanded of the "People of the Book" according to Koran 9:29.
Two scenes appear in the 29-minute-long video published by al-Furqan, the Islamic State's media wing. The first scene consists of a group of Christian Ethiopians dressed all in black, on their knees, with their arms tied behind their backs. Masked IS members stand behind the Ethiopians with rifles aimed at their heads. According to the video, this scene takes place in the city of Fezzan. The Christian captives are called "Worshippers of the cross belonging to the hostile Ethiopian Church."
The second scene shows more Christian Ethiopians dressed in orange uniforms and standing on the shores of Barqa, the same region where 21 Egyptian Christians were earlier decapitated for refusing to convert to Islam.
Other scenes include the narrator referencing the fatwas of medieval jurist Ibn Taymiyya that proclaim all Christians "infidels." Then Abu Malik ibn Ans al-Nashwan, apparently one of the group's leaders, appears saying that "The dealings of the Islamic State with Christians under its authority is according to Allah's Sharia [Islamic law]. Jizya [tribute] is imposed on those who accept, and war on those who resist."Turkey angered by Copenhagen sculpture
Plans to install a sculpture commemorating the Armenian Genocide in one of Copenhagen's busiest squares have Turkish officials up in arms.
A sculpture that will be placed in the heart of Copenhagen in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide threatens to further derail the already-strained relations between Denmark and Turkey.
The nine-metre high sculpture, entitled ‘The Draem’ (Danish Remembrance Armenian Empathy Messenger), is to be placed in the square Kultorvet for ten days in May to mark 100 years since upwards of 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman regime.
The plans have elicited a protest from the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen.Turkish FM says Erdoğan, Obama to open mosque in US
After Turkish Foreign Minister announced that President Barack Obama "accepted in principle" to join President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a trip to Maryland to open a mosque, a White House spokesperson has said there were "no presidential visits or travel to announce" at the moment.
On April 19, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who was on a three-day visit to Washington, visited the Turkish-American Culture and Civilization Center in Maryland that also has a medium-sized mosque, and lunched with representatives from the American Muslim community.
“During a phone call, President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan asked President [Barack] Obama to accompany him in opening the center together and President Obama accepted his offer in principle,’” Çavuşoğlu told the representatives, according to Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency. If Obama’s schedule allows at the time of the opening, he will accompany Erdoğan, he added.
"We don’t have any conversations to read out for you. And no travel or Presidential engagements to announce," Mark Stroh, a White House National Security Council spokesman, told daily Hürriyet on April 20.
The complex has been built on a large area and consists of a coffee house, gift shops, cultural center, amphitheater and exhibition hall, computer lab, library, Turkish bath/hamam and guest house.
Chloe Valdary: The fake sincerity of pro-Palestinian commentators
This process usually occurs when the acolytes of armchair social justice mistake colloquy in echo chambers for sincere concern for the wellbeing of others. Politicians, professors and journalists alike carry on mindlessly suggesting untenable and, worse, immoral prescriptions that ostensibly help Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank but which in fact bring about their demise. The logic of these academics, when put to practical use, reads more like a satirical pamphlet than advice intended to be taken seriously:
• Let’s prove we love Palestinians by creating a state which, under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority, has already robbed them of international aid, persecuted their minority population, and withheld from them the dignity of basic civil liberties – such as the right to vote, and the right to choose one’s own religion.
– Every pundit on CNN (et al) who advocates for a Palestinian state, without fully comprehending what they are calling for.
• Let’s prove we love Palestinians by championing the tunnel complex built by Hamas – even though those tunnels were built with the blood of Gazan children who were deemed to be expendable by the Hamas regime.
– Al Jazeera (et al) which, when describing the tunnel system as a “Palestinian assertion of political autonomy and resistance” failed to realize that it was symbolically standing on the graves of innocent Gazans in order to push a brutal political agenda.
• “Let’s prove we love Palestinians by suggesting that Hamas was ‘resisting’ against oppressive Israeli policies in the 2014 conflict even though Hamas reigns brutally over its own people á la Joseph Stalin.
– Every member of the glib pep squad that is Students for Justice in Palestine (et al) who serve as proxies running interference on campus for regimes that persecute their own people.Natan Sharansky: When did America forget that it’s America?
I am afraid that the real reason for the U.S. stance is not its assessment, however incorrect, of the two sides’ respective interests but rather a tragic loss of moral self-confidence. While negotiating with the Soviet Union, U.S. administrations of all stripes felt certain of the moral superiority of their political system over the Soviet one. They felt they were speaking in the name of their people and the free world as a whole, while the leaders of the Soviet regime could speak for no one but themselves and the declining number of true believers still loyal to their ideology.
But in today’s postmodern world, when asserting the superiority of liberal democracy over other regimes seems like the quaint relic of a colonialist past, even the United States appears to have lost the courage of its convictions.
We have yet to see the full consequences of this moral diffidence, but one thing is clear: The loss of America’s self-assured global leadership threatens not only the United States and Israel but also the people of Iran and a growing number of others living under Tehran’s increasingly emboldened rule. Although the hour is growing late, there is still time to change course — before the effects grow more catastrophic still.PMW: "There were between one and two million Jewish victims" of the Holocaust, says official PA daily
On the occasion of the Israeli remembrance day for the victims of the Holocaust last week, a regular columnist in the official Palestinian Authority daily wrote an op-ed in which he recognized the fact that the Holocaust occurred and targeted Jews. But although the writer even called it "a catastrophe," he reiterated false statements that have long been part of PA policy regarding the Holocaust, minimizing its scope and blaming the Zionist movement for participating in evil.
The PA daily repeated the claim that Jews have exaggerated the number of victims and that it was not 6 million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, but only "between one and two million":
"Estimates regarding the number of Holocaust victims differ. The supporters of the Zionist movement have exaggerated the number of victims, claiming that it amounts to 6 million, whereas others, unbiased researchers, have estimated that there were between one and two million Jewish victims." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 18, 2015]
The writer hinted to an oft-repeated accusation that Jews were themselves at fault because their non-Jewish fellow citizens wanted to be rid of them due to the inherent Jewish evil:
"Regardless of the number, the bottom line is that a catastrophe that harmed the Jews in Europe occurred, due to matters concerning the relations between the European nations and the Jews living among them. "
The writer also repeated the claim that Zionists wanted "to increase the Jews' suffering" in the Holocaust in order to blackmail Europe into supporting Israel - "the Zionist colonialist project", to further Jewish immigration to Israel and to create more "compassion" for the Jews:
"The Zionist movement wanted to achieve a series of goals: First, to take advantage and use this [the Holocaust] to blackmail the European states financially and politically to make them support the Zionist colonialist project. Second, to bully the Jews to immigrate to the Israeli ethnic cleansing state, which was [then] in in the preparatory stages of establishment. Third, to increase the Jews' suffering and abuse in order to take advantage of the world's compassion for them."
Nazi invasion of London EXPOSED: World's top Holocaust deniers... filmed at secret race hate rally where Jews are referred to as the 'enemy'
Nazi sympathisers, Holocaust deniers and their supporters from across the world have held a sickening secret rally in Britain at which speakers unleashed anti-Semitic rants, referring to Jews as ‘the enemy’ and ‘children of darkness’.
The meeting of the shadowy organisation will fuel fears of a growing resurgence in hatred towards Jews across Europe. The vile event was observed by a Mail on Sunday undercover team.
Held in London’s Victoria, the meeting was, said experts, the most significant gathering of Holocaust deniers Britain has ever seen, with speakers invited from Spain, Canada and the United States.
Today, the largest Holocaust remembrance event ever held in Britain will mark 70 years since the liberation of concentration camp Bergen-Belsen by the British Army.
But last Saturday, just a short walk from New Scotland Yard, it was clear that the sinister anti-Semitic conspiracy theories which led to the extermination of six million Jews are still fostered by a poisonous few.Beinart's neo-Neturei-Kartism
It now appears, well, at least to me, that Peter Beinart's odyssey from his family's Betar/Revisionist roots to anti-Zionism is reaching full expression. Seemingly self-delighted with his outrageous opinions and more invidious action-suggestions of boycott (supposedly selective but he forgets that not all who read him are as smart as he thinks he is), he now has published a call with the message that
Instead of helping left- and right-wing American Jews talk to each other about Israel, let’s help them find a common Jewish identity beyond Israel.
He acknowledges that he is treated with disdain in some quarters. Nevertheless, he has friends amongst these people and what sustains their relationships is --- studying Judaism. Israel is too contentious a subject and among the bonds of communal connection that Jews share, Israel is but one of them, the others being "a shared memory of oppression" even though "the sense of exclusion that once forged solidarity among American Jews weakens" as the memory of the Holocaust fades (tell that, Peter, to Nashville), "Jewish culture" (his example is the bialy) and the third is “tikkun olam” (which in his extreme secular liberal/progressivism means (the idea that Jews bear a special responsibility to the strangers in our midst [but "in our midst" originally meant within the Land of Israel but we know Beinart's perversions of Jewish history, religion and culture, don't we?]).
As for history, he falsely claims that "the Holocaust created an American Jewish consensus in support of the Jewish State". Not quite. The extermination of 6 million Jews only suppressed the political ideology that Binart now seeks to, pardon the cross-religious literacy, resurrect. VIDEO: Jewish reporter harassed in Paris street
We have run several posts about Walking While Jewish in European cities, and the resulting street harassment.
Here is another example. Call it “Reporting While Jewish” in Paris.
Miri Michaeli Schwartz is a reporter for Israel Channel 10 News.
She was doing a report on the streets of Paris regarding the search for the downed Green Wings flight a number of weeks ago, when some Arab men noticed the Hebrew lettering on her microphone. They surrounded her and began to harass her.
She just recently posted the short video, which only show a small part of the incident, on her facebook page
ISIS Supporters Hand Out Israeli Heaters In Gaza Giveaway
Palestinian ISIS supporters in the Gaza Strip are giving away Israeli space heaters to local civilians.
Images posted in in an ISIS forum show supporters handing out space heaters from Sachs, one of Israel’s leading electronics companies, in boxes relabeled with the ISIS logo and a message that reads: “These are provided by the soldiers of the Islamic State. Don’t forget to pray for us.”
The electronics were distributed as part of a tradition called Zakat, an Islamic tithing for the poor, which ISIS has capitalized on to build political support in Gaza, just as it has in other areas throughout the region. ISIS fighters in Syria, Iraq and Libya have routinely invested in charity to strengthen their ties with the local communities under the Islamic State’s control. In some areas of Iraq, ISIS also collects tithes to pay for zakat gifts to the poor, based on people’s assets or wealth, using forms like the one shown below.PM: Israel sees S-300 sale to Iran with ‘utmost gravity’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said Israel treated Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to supply advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran with “utmost gravity.”
“Israel views with utmost gravity the supply of S-300 missiles from Russia to Iran, especially at a time when Iran is stepping up its aggression in the region and around the borders of the State of Israel,” he said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
The prime minister also reiterated Israel’s stance about the framework long-term nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, saying it didn’t address Iran’s regional military aspirations.Putin warns Israel not to sell arms to Ukraine
Russian President Vladmir Putin warned Israel Saturday against a “counterproductive” sale of weapons to Ukraine, in response to his own divisive decision to supply the advanced S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Iran.
“It’s the Israeli leadership’s choice,” the Russian leader said. “It’s their right to do what they think is appropriate.” But, he warned on Russian state-run media, “It will only lead to another round of conflicts, to a rise in the number of victims — and the outcome will be the same.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Putin Thursday in a failed attempt to convince the Russian president to refrain from selling the system to the Iranians.
Israeli media reported last week that Israel was mulling arms sales to Ukraine in the face of Moscow’s resolve to go through with a delivery of the S-300 system to Iran.Ready for the truth about Iran? Khamenei wants to destroy us
Why are so many "experts" amazed that there is no deal with Iran? It's certainly not because Western negotiators weren't willing to meet the mullahs halfway; they were eager to compromise, even to drop longstanding demands, in an effort to reach agreement.
The surprise shows that we don't grasp the nature of the Iranian regime, which is why the pundits and the diplomats are so often forced to scramble for explanations when things don't go according to scheme.
Our basic error, from which all the others flow, is that we think our offer of a strategic alliance — President Obama's "outstretched hand" — is attractive to Iran. It isn't. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei doesn't want a deal with us; he wants to destroy us. When he calls us the "Great Satan" or when he leads chants of "Death to America!," he means it.
Khamenei wants to go down in Islamic history as the man who defeated America, not the imam who signed a deal with the devil. He's willing to accept our surrender, but he won't forge a partnership with Obama.Iran leader derides ‘silly’ US threats, but urges his military to be ‘prepared’
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged the country’s armed forces Sunday to increase their “defensive preparedness,” hitting out at a US warning of possible military action. He also reportedly called the US and Israel the most serious threat to the world.
Khamenei told commanders and troops in a speech that Iran “will never accept such silly remarks,” a jab at General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, though he did not name him.
Dempsey said Thursday that should ongoing diplomacy with Iran fail, “the military option… to ensure that Iran does not achieve a nuclear weapon is intact.”Khamenei calls Iran's ambition for nuclear weapons a 'myth'
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday the United States had created the "myth" of nuclear weapons to portray Iran as a threat, hardening his rhetoric before nuclear negotiations resume this week.
Khamenei has supported the talks but has continued to express deep mistrust of the United States. As the highest authority in Iran, the withdrawal of his support could cause the negotiations to collapse.
"They created the myth of nuclear weapons so they could say the Islamic Republic is a source of threat. No, the source of threat is America itself," Khamenei said in comments cited by the semi-official Fars news agency.
"The other side is methodically and shamelessly threatening us militarily ... even if they did not make these overt threats, we would have to be prepared," he said in an address to military commanders.Israeli TV: Obama ‘president of Iran’
Barack Obama is the president of… Iran? Channel 2 news accidentally bestowed that honorific upon Obama Saturday night when reporting on a press conference by the US president.
The mistake, in an on-screen ID tag, came at a time when Israeli concerns over the US-Iran relationship are particularly acute.
Ties between America and Israel have grown strained in recent months as Obama attempts to work out a nuclear deal with Iran, on terms Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu furiously opposes.PreOccupied Territory: In Nod To Zionist Control, Woman On New $20 Bill To Be Golda Meir (satire)
The campaign to replace the visage of President Andrew Jackson on the American twenty-dollar note with that of a woman came to an end today with an announcement by the Federal Reserve that it had made its selection: Golda Meir, an Israeli leader who served as Prime Minister from 1969-1974. The Fed announcement explained that the selection was made in keeping with the need to please the US’s Zionist overlords.
Meir’s countenance was chosen over previous frontrunners Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, and Wilma Mankiller. A Federal Reserve spokesman told reporters that the organization, which instructs the Bureau of Printing and Engraving on the design and production of the various denominations of currency, felt compelled to acknowledge the central role that the International Zionist Conspiracy plays in American governance, while maintaining the quest to honor a woman with a place on the $20 bill.
“The role of the Federal Reserve has always been one of balancing competing interests, albeit generally of a strictly fiscal or monetary nature,” said Fed representative Learned Elder. “In this case, however, there wasn’t much of a competition – we were able to find an inspirational woman who also happened to be an influential Zionist.”1.15 million flags to fly on Independence Day
In celebration of Israel's 67th birthday, Israelis will fly an estimated 1.15 million blue and white flags, a 15% increase over the previous year.
According to the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, Israel citizens and businesses will shell out roughly NIS 11 million for flags of all shapes and sizes.
Put end to end, they would reach around 940 million meters in length, according to Avi Marom, of the chamber's textile branch.
There was a 10% spike in orders for giant flags for decorating buildings, and a 12% increase in purchases from local authorities.
"The largest flag purchased this year is 687.5 meters long," Maron said.Netanyahu pays homage to fallen brother as Israel prepares to honor war dead
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited the gravesite of his brother, Yoni, on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem on Saturday night, kicking off a somber week that will culminate on Wednesday with national remembrance for Israel's fallen soldiers.
Yoni Netanyahu was the only Israeli soldier killed during the 1976 raid launched by special forces who successfully extricated over 100 Israeli and Jewish passengers of an Air France jet that was taken hostage by Palestinian and German terrorists.
The events of Entebbe are believed to have had a profound impact on Netanyahu, who went on to write numerous books about terrorism before embarking on a successful diplomatic and political career that eventually brought him to Israel’s premiership.
At the time of the operation, Netanyahu said during a memorial two years ago, he was studying in the US, and the moment he heard IDF soldiers had landed in Entebbe, he knew his brother had to be there, and called his parents.Bereaved families to Ya'alon: Prevent joint Israeli-Palestinian memorial service
Criticism against the annual Remembrance Day ceremony held by the organization Combatants for Peace has intensified. The ceremony is a private initiative that allows members of bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families to come together to mourn their losses attributed to the ongoing conflict.
According to a report by Army Radio on Sunday, this year 107 bereaved Israeli families from Samaria sent a letter to Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon demanding that he prevent visas from being issued to the Palestinian families wishing to enter Israel to participate in the ceremony.
"The ceremony is provocative and demeaning to Remembrance Day and to the memory of the fallen soldiers," the letter read. "We are appalled that the Israeli government would allow such a joint memorial event to be held in memory of our enemies who are the reason for the murder and injury to our boys who enlisted in the army to protect the people and the land, and our boys living in Israel who died, if only because they were Jews." Second victim of Jerusalem terror attack still in serious condition
Shira Klein, 20, who was wounded in Wednesday’s apparent terror attack in Jerusalem’s French Hill neighborhood, remains in serious but stable condition.
The attack claimed the life of 25-year-old Yohai Sherki, the son of prominent rabbi Ouri Sherki who is well known in the city’s francophone community. Sherki died of his injuries on Thursday morning and was buried later that day.
Klein is hospitalized in the intensive care unit of the capital’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, where she is kept sedated and connected to machines that assist her breathing, according to Hebrew media reports.Arab Mob Hurls Rocks at Beit El, IDF's 'Hands are Tied'
At least 70 Palestinian Arabs from the Jalazun village approached Beit El on Friday evening, locals stated Saturday night, and began throwing rocks at IDF soldiers stationed nearby, Border Police officers who arrived at the scene, and Jewish homes in the community.
Several of the rocks hit the yard of the Koren family as the children were playing outside, a representative told Arutz Sheva - "and, by a miracle, no one was hurt."
One rock caused "thousands of shekels" of damage to a shed on the property, however, which was filled with medical equipment.
Security forces responded with riot control measures; six terrorists were injured in the attack. Just two rioters were arrested and taken into police custody for questioning. Two men who plotted to bomb Mamilla open mall in Jerusalem sentenced to prison
Two east Jerusalem residents who planned a massive terror attack at Jerusalem's outdoor Mamilla mall during the High Holidays in 2013 were sentenced to lengthy prison sentences at the Jerusalem District Court on Sunday.
Both defendants, Ahmad Rishek, who was given a ten year prison term and Ismail Abu Mfalfal, who received an 8-year prison term, were convicted of conspiracy to aid an enemy during war and attempted manufacturing of a weapon in January.
Rishak, 23, from Shuafat, and Abu Mfalfal, 27, from Abu Dis – were indicted in September 2013. They were not charged with attempted murder, which carries a more serious sentence, because they were caught early in the planning stage.
They and other Hamas members from Ramallah and Jerusalem were led by Hamdi Romana, 22, of Ramallah, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said.
During the investigation by the IDF and the police, security forces uncovered an explosives lab in Romana’s home, including instruction manuals on how to construct bombs, the Shin Bet stated.Hamas Toughens Conditions for Releasing Soldiers' Bodies
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has introduced strict conditions for any future transaction with Israel regarding the return of the bodies of two soldiers killed in Operation Protective Edge.
Last October, there was talk in Hamas of a swap of Arab terrorists in exchange for the bodies of Givati Brigade officer Hadar Goldin and Golani Brigade combat soldier Oron Shaul, although the deal never materialized.
Now, in an interview with Tayaf radio in Gaza, Mashaal said Hamas would not sign any agreement to release terrorists in exchange for the bodies, "before Israel fulfills its earlier commitments regarding the release of prisoners" - a reference to the fourth tranche of terrorist releases Israel halted in 2014 after the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas declared a unity government.
Mashaal also demanded that all terrorists rearrested after being released during the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal be re-released. PreOccupied Territory: Those Sons Of Apes And Pigs Must Stop Dehumanizing Us By Saeb Erekat, Palestinian Negotiator (satire)
The key to Israeli-Palestinian peace lies with the people, not with the politicians. A stable, lasting accord must be based in mutual respect for the other’s sovereignty and human dignity. That is why those descendants of apes and pigs must cease their dehumanization campaign against the Palestinian people.
Whether or not negotiations between us and Israel are taking place – and we all know whom to blame for the current impasse – they will only succeed, when they eventually resume, if each side sincerely commits to portraying the other as worthy of all the rights inherent in being human. That is the only way to guarantee that an agreement will be honored. Someone better beat that into the Israelis’ heads, because they, like most subhumans, only understand force.
It is merely one more arena in which Israeli hypocrisy abounds. They claim to want a negotiated solution, but reject negotiations predicated on a non-negotiated premise. They insist on universal access to holy places, but ignore the Muslim desire to deny that access. They build a barrier, ostensibly to keep out “terrorists,” but ignore its deleterious impact on the Palestinian suicide bomber industry, knowing that literally dozens of families of such bombers depend on Palestinian Authority pensions for their livelihood – at the same time painting a society that engages in such attacks as barbaric. Characterizations of anyone as less than fully human must stop, and the first ones to stop must be those simian, porcine Jews.Lancet accused of editorial misconduct
On March 31 2015, hundreds of physicians from across the globe submitted a complaint to the Senior Management and Board of Reed Elsevier concerning “egregious editorial misconduct at The Lancet that is unacceptable in general and also gravely violates your own published Editorial Policies”.
The signatories include 5 Nobel laureates, 4 knights and a Lord.
The letter protests "the grossly irresponsible and damaging editorial misuse of The Lancet for political purposes" as well as the "abject failure of the owner/publisher, Reed Elsevier, to enforce appropriate ethical standards of editorship.", citing as examples, the publication of the fraudulent MMR vaccine article, as well as last years "Open Letter to Gaza"
The Lancet, owned by Reed Elsevier, is one of the major general medical journals. It has been misused by its editor-in-chief, Dr Richard Horton, as a vehicle for his own eclectic personal and political agenda, at times characterized by flagrantly irresponsible publications. The worst examples of this are the MMR vaccine scare of 1998 and “An open letter for the people in Gaza” by Manduca et al published on July 22, 2014.Zoabi to Talk 'Israeli Apartheid' with American College Students
MK Hanin Zoabi (Joint Arab List) is taking her recent, court-sanctioned reelection and using it to do what she does best - attack the Jewish state. And this time, globally.
Zoabi will be the featured speaker at an anti-Israel event sponsored by the New York University (NYU) chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
Entitled "Israeli Racism and Apartheid: An Insider's View - A Talk with Parliament Member Haneen Zoabi," the event will take place this coming Friday night at 8 p.m. in Manhattan for students and interested parties alike.
Described by SJP as a "Palestinian citizen of Israel and a feminist paliementarian," Zoabi will give what the student club describes as an insider perspective on the "Israeli Apartheid" experienced by "Palestinian citizens."
Despite this so-called "apartheid," it is ironic that Zoabi, who, whether she admits it or not, comes to NYU as a representative of the Israeli Knesset, is speaking about discrimination in that same country. In Sydney Soon, A Campus Law School Hass Fest
The rather squalid all-day event that's going to take place in the Staff Common Room of the Law Faculty at the University of New South Wales campus in the Sydney suburb of Randwick on 24 April was excitedly touched on about a fortnight ago in a video (I wouldn't bother, if I were you) by a veteran Aussie Israel-basher of Jewish birth, Vivienne Porzsolt (of "Jews Against The Occupation", one of those would-fit-into-a-telephone-booth outfits).
With former NSW parliamentarian (Greens, need you ask!) and publisher Sylvia Hale (the Hale half of Hale and Iremonger), Ms Porzsolt went on the Flotilla in 2010 and had a nice little adventure.
In the video mentioned above she sits alongside Peter Slezak, another Israel-bashing "as-a-Jew", who's going to be a speaker at the Randwick hate-fest.
The keynote speaker will be the notorious Israel-bashing Ha'aretz journalist Amira Hass, who's currently already in Australia working her mischief magic among the we-hate-Israel set. (Sorry, folks, this dinner to meet her in Sydney is all booked out!)Real People — Not Bus Stops
While the article written underneath the bizarre headline makes clear what happened, one has to wonder if whomever wrote the misleading headline even took the time to read the story. Unfortunately, the headline is perhaps the most important part of an article since many news readers simply skim through the paper, whether online or in print. Based on the headline, how could anyone understand that this was an act of terrorism against two innocent people rather than a crash at an inanimate bus stop?
This is not the first time that headline writers have gotten it wrong when it comes to acts of terrorism against Israelis. After a similar attack in 2011, we reported on headlines at the BBC, the Associated Press, and Sky News — all of who described the target of an attack as a bus stop, rather than the real people who were victims of the terrorist.Guardian publishes essay falsely charging Israel with ethnically cleansing Jerusalem Palestinians
There are multiple distortions, errors and misrepresentations of fact throughout an 1800 word essay published by Teju Cole at The Guardian on April 17th, titled ‘Slow violence, cold violence – Teju Cole on East Jerusalem‘. However, the most egregiously false charge leveled at Israel by Cole – a writer and literary critic who has contributed to the New York Times, New Yorker, Financial Times, and The Atlantic – is that Palestinians are being ethnically cleansed from Jerusalem.
Here are the relevant passages.
As in other neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem – Har Homa, the Old City, Mount Scopus, Jaffa Gate – there is a policy at work in Sheikh Jarrah. This policy is two-fold. The first is the systematic removal of Palestinian Arabs, either by banishing individuals on the basis of paperwork, or by taking over or destroying their homes by court order.
The second aspect of the policy is the systematic increase of the Jewish populations of these neighbourhoods
This two-fold policy, of pushing out Palestinian Arabs and filling the land with Israeli Jews, is recognised by all the parties involved. And for such a policy, the term “ethnic cleansing” is not too strong: it is in fact the only accurate description.
First, it’s important to note that Jews were the ones ethnically cleansed from east Jerusalem following the Jordanian occupation of that section of the city in the aftermath the 1948 war. That’s the only reason why east Jerusalem was – for the first time in the city’s history – Jew-free between 1949 and 1967, thus giving rise to the media misnomer of a “historically Arab east Jerusalem”.Stone-Throwing, Lost in Haaretz Translation
"Haaretz, Lost in Translation," that enduring phenomenon of Haaretz's English translators deleting information about Arab violence or wrongdoing which had appeared in the Hebrew original, strikes again.
This time, Haaretz translators transform a Palestinian stone-thrower who was fatally shot as he was engaged in violence against Israeli troops into a non-violent marcher who was shot for no offense greater than feeling rage over his cousin's death.
The original Hebrew version of Levy's article Friday notes that the crowd of Palestinian mourners had been throwing stones.
The relevant sentence, underlined in red, means (CAMERA's translation):
Thousands accompanied him on his final journey and at the end hundreds of enraged youth approached the checkpoint at the exit of the city, and threw stones.
For some reason, this violence on the part of the Palestinian crowd was does not appear in the English article.New ISIS video purportedly shows shooting, beheading of 30 Ethiopian Christians
A video purportedly made by Islamic State and posted on social media sites on Sunday appeared to show militants shooting and beheading about 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya.
Reuters was not able to verify the authenticity of the video but the killings resemble past violence carried out by Islamic State, which has expanded its reach from strongholds in Iraq and Syria to a conflict-ridden Libya.
The video, in which militants call Christians crusaders and say they are out to kill Muslims, showed about 15 men being beheaded on a beach and another group of the same size shot in their heads in Libya's southern desert interior.
Both groups of men are referred to in a subtitle as "worshipers of the cross belonging to the hostile Ethiopian church".Never Again Should Include Endangered Yazidis
In April, the renewal and rejuvenation of Spring join with faith and remembrance. Faith and hope are embodied in the celebrations of Passover and Easter; darker memories are stirred by the commemorations of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) and of the Armenian Genocide.
On Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) 2015, Jews will gather around the precious remnant of aging survivors. We will touch yellow stars of David, view documentaries showing the tracks at Auschwitz approaching the Arbeit Macht Frei sign, avert our eyes from the images of endless piles of corpses near the mouths of the crematoria and the walking corpses following liberation. We will give voice to our deepest fears over the resurgence of deadly antisemitism in Europe and relentless attacks demonizing the state of Israel-home to the largest Jewish community in the world.
But this year, the Jewish community and everyone else for whom memory is a sacred trust should also be looking at haunting images of the Yazidis, the people targeted for extinction by ISIS. Having sustained mass murders, the starvation deaths of their children, and the mass abduction of their women, they might soon be reduced to a historical footnote.Electric vehicle industry keen on SoftWheel technology
Israeli startup SoftWheel, which already has the wheelchair and bicycle world talking about its groundbreaking suspension system within wheels, is now eyeing the electric vehicle market.
Daniel Barel, CEO of Softwheel, told ISRAEL21c that several car manufacturers have already approached the Tel Aviv-based company about its technology that can reduce wasted energy and absorb shocks for a smoother ride, but refused to disclose any names.
SoftWheel’s technology ups the ante on current tire and suspension systems with its wheels automatically responding to changes in the terrain. The company is currently focused on improving wheelchair and bicycle wheels but hopes to crack the automobile, airplane and mass transit markets as well.Israeli economy sees highest growth in years in Q4 2014
The Israeli economy grew 7% in the last quarter of 2014, the highest rate of growth in recent years, the Central Bureau of Statistics reports.
The 7% growth in Q4 of 2014 represents a stark contrast to the 0.3% growth in the third quarter of the same year -- when Operation Protective Edge was under way -- and a mere 1.5% in Q2. Total economic growth for 2014 stood at 2.8%, compared to total growth of 2.7% for all of 2013.
In general, the numbers indicate a real improvement in the economy in the last quarter of 2014: Israel's total economic value crossed the trillion shekel threshold and reached its highest-ever amount: NIS 1.09 trillion ($278 billion). Per capita economic growth grew by 5% in Q4.
The improvement in the living standard in those same months was reflected in new car purchases, which jumped by 75.5%, as well as in purchases of refrigerators, televisions, and washing machines and dryers, which all increased by 22.1%. Purchases of clothing and footwear increased by 10.3%, while spending on airfare for trips abroad rose by 8.1%. The only decreases noted were of newspapers and medications, which were down by 1.7%. Zionism in Animation: Bringing Hasbara to 21st Century
A new crowdfunding campaign, arriving just in time for Yom Haatzmaut [Israel's independence day], looks to "tell the story of Zionism" through a series of 100 short animated clips.
The project, entitled "Zionism in Animation," sees itself as a way to "inform and educate" Jews around the world about the history and culture of the Jewish state, in the hopes of strengthening their connection to both Judaism and Israel.
Telling the story of Zionism in an "attention-grabbing way" is the primary goal of the project created by Jerusalem-based Rogatka animation stuio owner Shlomo Blass.
Accorging to Zionism in Animation's website, many Jews do not know enough about the return to their homeland, and particularly with the digital revolution, animated content fills a gaping hole in engaging Millennials in Zionist education. Zionism in Animation - Crowd Funding Campaign
By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Columbus, Ohio, man who trained with Islamic militants in Syria has been arrested and charged with supporting terrorism and making false statements, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday. Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, 23, a naturalized American, had been instructed by a Muslim cleric to return to the United States and carry out an act of terrorism, a federal indictment said. The indictment said Mohamud told an associate that he wanted to go to a military base in Texas and "kill three or four American soldiers execution-style." Mohamud's brother was killed fighting with the Nusra Front, the Syria-based affiliate of al Qaeda, the indictment said.
By Shadi Bushra and Khalid Abdelaziz KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese voters trickled in to polling stations on Monday at the start of a three-day election boycotted by the main opposition parties, with President Omar Hassan al-Bashir set to extend his quarter-century in power. The presidential and parliamentary polls are the first since Sudan saw its south secede in 2011, losing a third of its land and nearly all of its oil production. He has also promised to maintain stability, warning against a change in government while the region is embroiled in violence from Libya to Yemen. In Sudan, security forces are tackling insurgencies in the western territory of Darfur and along the border with South Sudan.
ISIS demanding $30M to free Christian hostages, Assyrian source says - Experts: Cyber jihadists could target US TV ...
04/03 Links Pt1: Glick: The diplomatic track to war; Horovitz: Defeatist Obama’s deal with the devil
Caroline Glick: The diplomatic track to war
Everyone recognizes that the situation is only going to get worse. With each passing week, Iran’s power and brazenness will only increase.
Everyone understands this. And this week they learned that with Washington heading the committee welcoming Iran’s regional hegemony and nuclear capabilities, no outside power will stand up to Iran’s rise. The future of every state in the region hangs in the balance. And so, it can be expected that everyone is now working out a means to preempt and prevent a greater disaster.
These preemptive actions will no doubt include three categories of operations: striking Hezbollah’s missile arsenal; striking the Iranian Navy to limit its ability to project its force in the Bab al-Mandab; and conducting limited military operations to destroy a significant portion of Iran’s nuclear installations.
Friday is the eve of Passover. Thirteen years ago, Palestinian terrorists brought home the message of the Exodus when they blew up the Seder at Netanya’s Park Hotel, killing 30, wounding 140, and forcing Israel into war. The message of the Passover Haggada is that there are no shortcuts to freedom. To gain and keep it, you have to be willing to fight for it.
That war was caused by Israel’s embrace of the notion that you can bring peace through concessions that empower an enemy sworn to your destruction. The price of that delusion was thousands of lives lost and families destroyed.
Iran is far more powerful than the PLO. But the Americans apparently believe they are immune from the consequences of their leaders’ policies. This is not the case for Israel or for our neighbors. We lack the luxury of ignoring the fact that Obama’s disastrous diplomacy has brought war upon us. Deal or no deal, we are again about to be forced to pay a price to maintain our freedom. Melanie Phillips: Slippery face-saver, but Iran wins
In 2003, similar hopes of a “Grand Bargain” with Iran which would disarm Hezbollah likewise turned to ashes. The west made two bad mistakes which it is still making today.
First, it pinned its hopes on Iran’s reformist-seeming presidents – but the only person who matters is the implacable Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.
Second, it failed to grasp the central role of deception in Iranian diplomacy through the Islamic principle of taqiyya, or mandated lying in the defense of Islam. Any agreement with Iran over its nuclear program is therefore worth nothing at all.
The west thinks that it can swallow Iran.
In fact – with Obama’s free pass empowering it to extend its influence over Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and Yemen – Iran is instead swallowing the West.
Of course, it may already be too late to stop the Iranian bomb. Credible reports suggest Iran has outsourced its development to Syria and North Korea. But then, the deal being negotiated was never about stopping Iran getting the bomb. It was all about stopping America and Israel from stopping Iran from getting the bomb.
Obama and Iran have now got more breathing space to achieve precisely that.David Horovitz: Defeatist Obama’s deal with the devil
Extolling the virtues of his deal with Iran on Thursday, President Barack Obama made a false and extremely nasty assertion: “It’s no secret,” he claimed, incorrectly, “that the Israeli prime minister and I don’t agree about whether the United States should move forward with a peaceful resolution to the Iranian issue.”
It is indeed no secret that Obama and Netanyahu don’t agree on how to thwart Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions. It is emphatically not the case, however, that Israel’s prime minister opposes “a peaceful resolution to the Iranian issue.” It is emphatically not the case, despite Obama’s insinuation, that Israel’s leader regards military intervention as the only means to thwart Iran.
Netanyahu has not been saying no to diplomacy. His endlessly stated contention is not that war is the only alternative to the deal so delightedly hailed by Obama as “the most effective way to ensure Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon.” Rather, in Netanyahu’s insistent opinion, what is needed is simply a different, far more potent deal.
As Netanyahu made plain in anguished, infuriated tones on Wednesday, in the final hours before the Lausanne agreement was struck, what was required was not no deal at all, but rather “a better deal,” one “which would significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear infrastructure” and “link the eventual lifting of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program to a change in Iran’s behavior.” A deal to ensure that Iran “stop its aggression in the region, stop its terrorism throughout the world, and stop its threats to annihilate Israel.” That, said Netanyahu, is “the deal that the world powers must insist upon.”
Dore Gold: The Flawed Underpinnings of the New Nuclear Understandings with Iran
The underlying flaw in the new nuclear understandings between the P5+1 and Iran is the fact that it leaves Iran’s vast nuclear infrastructure intact. Indeed, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif boasted, after the understandings were announced, that Iran did not have to close down a single nuclear facility, it will continue to engage in uranium enrichment, and it can engage in research and development (meaning it can develop new generations of centrifuges that operate at 10 or 20 times the speed of the first-generation centrifuges that have been installed in uranium enrichment plants like Natanz and Fordow). And while Iran holds on to this nuclear complex, Western sanctions on the Iranian economy will be removed and Tehran will be awash with cash to support its expansionism into Middle Eastern countries, its missile programs which are not covered by the agreement, and its global backing of terrorism. For these reasons the agreement looks like a grave error of historic proportions.
Careful diplomacy would have had to assume that Iran will violate the new understandings and at the end of the day will not comply with its terms. That is what the historical record unquestionably demonstrates. Tehran concealed its enrichment facilities that it was obligated to declare under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran did not provide full access to suspected sites that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sought to inspect. The famous Parchin weapons site was tampered with; asphalt was poured over large areas to make ground samples difficult to obtain, should Iran be forced to open the area in the future. By leaving the Iranian nuclear infrastructure intact, should Iran follow the path of its North Korean ally and evict the inspectors of its nuclear sites, Tehran would be able to reconstitute a full-scale nuclear program in short order and make a straight dash to nuclear bombs.Joel Pollak: Iran Deal: Munich II
The P5+1 powers have, as expected, reached a “framework agreement” on a nuclear deal with Iran. And, as suspected, the agreement allows Iran to retain its enrichment facility at an underground bunker. It also allows Iran to maintain a small amount of enriched uranium, and will offer the regime sanctions relief as soon as it can show it is keeping its end of the bargain. As to information about possible military dimensions of Iran’s program, there is nothing but an agreement to talk further.
The deal is a near-complete capitulation by President Barack Obama. It has one redeeming feature: Iran has agreed to dismantle the heavy water nuclear reactor at Arak. Secretary of State John Kerry obtained a few other concessions, and the administration’s apologists are pointing to the fact that there are several pages of details as if that makes the whole process worthwhile. Obama taunted his critics, saying that a deal was surely better than war, which he suggested was the only alternative.
But the question at stake is not whether there will be war with Iran. There already is. Iran’s Houthi proxies ousted a government in Yemen that had provided the most important foundation for Obama’s policy of attacking Al Qaeda terrorists who threaten the United States. The Iranians are also propping up Bashar al-Assad in Syria, whom the Obama administration is at least theoretically committed to deposing. And though it is fighting ISIS in Iraq, Iran is taking over what the U.S. once defended.Edwin Black: Oil is Still Fueling Iran’s Atomic Ambitions
While the world’s diplomats are focused on the two key fuels, uranium and plutonium, one ancient fuel drives this entire process. That ancient fuel is oil.
Petrodollars have been financing Iran’s nuclear program for almost two decades. So, while the International Atomic Energy Agency is struggling to embed its monitors deep inside Iran’s infrastructure, the average person can help slow the centrifuges simply by reducing their household’s demand for oil.
Even though Iranian oil has been proscribed by international sanctions, all oil is fungible. When oil consumption is measurably reduced in America and elsewhere, it very quickly lowers the value of the global supply. That cheapens the value of Iran’s oil, the financial furnace of its nuclear program.
Iran needs oil to sell at approximately $143 per barrel to maintain its social, governmental, and military programs. But the global glut, combined with the recession and some conservation, have driven recent prices into the high $40s and $50s per barrel. This means that even if sanctions are relaxed and the stealth market expands, Iran will still be hurting at the pump and in the bank. (h/t Elder of Lobby)Iran Nuke Deal Heralds Lower Oil Prices
American and Iranian diplomats have agreed to end sanctions on the world’s largest Shi’ite Muslim country, causing oil prices to tumble as markets feared more crude will be added to global supplies.
Bad news for Saudi Arabia, but good new for Iran which will soon be able to sell oil to eager buyers, especially in Europe. The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. benchmark … fell as low as $1.83, or 3.6%, to $48.27 a barrel, while the international Brent contact, which had been down about $2, was recently down $2.89, or 5%, at $54.21 a barrel.”
Analysts were initially skeptical diplomats would reach an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program, but once the announcement was made Thursday oil prices tumbled.
“There was skepticism that a real deal could have been reached, but when those headlines came out that they made substantial progress, the market started to sell off,” Phil Flynn with brokerage Price Futures Group told the WSJ.WaPo Editorial: President Obama has Retreated From Previous Positions on Iranian Nukes
Noting that President Barack Obama’s stated goals for an acceptable nuclear deal with Iran in 2012 would see Tehran “‘[…] end their nuclear program’ and ‘abide by the U.N. resolutions that have been in place,'” an unsigned staff editorial published today in The Washington Post laments that the president has retreated “a long way” from these positions.
The “key parameters” for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program released Thursday fall well short of the goals originally set by the Obama administration. None of Iran’s nuclear facilities — including the Fordow center buried under a mountain — will be closed. Not one of the country’s 19,000 centrifuges will be dismantled. Tehran’s existing stockpile of enriched uranium will be “reduced” but not necessarily shipped out of the country. In effect, Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will remain intact, though some of it will be mothballed for 10 years. When the accord lapses, the Islamic republic will instantly become a threshold nuclear state.
The editorial also observes that the sanctions relief that would follow an agreement would allow Iran “to wage more aggressively the wars it is already fighting or sponsoring across the region.”
In addition to emphasizing Obama’s retreat on demands of three years ago, the editorial also questions whether the outlines of the deal announced today would even accomplish the more limited goal that the president now cites as his benchmark of success.Obama details ‘historic’ nuke deal with Iran, Jerusalem slams ‘dangerous capitulation’
In Jerusalem, officials slammed the framework as “a capitulation to Iranian dictates.” The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, called it “a bad framework that will lead to a bad and dangerous agreement. If finalized, it would make the world “far more dangerous.”
The agreement constitutes “international legitimization of Iran’s nuclear program” whose “only purpose is to build nuclear weapons.”
Obama, whose remarks were broadcast live in Iranian state TV, vowed that “there will be no daylight, there is no daylight” between the US and Israel on security, and said the US would continue to stand with Israel in the face of Iran’s destabilizing policies and threats.
Today “we have achieved the framework” for a long-term deal, a framework “that would cut off every path” that Iran could take to the bomb, including the toughest inspections “ever negotiated,” he said.
He said the terms of the deal, first, closed off Iran’s plutonium route to the bomb. The core of the Arak reactor will be dismantled, he said.Iran Accuses U.S. of Lying About New Nuke Agreement
Just hours after the announcement of what the United States characterized as a historic agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, the country’s leading negotiator lashed out at the Obama administration for lying about the details of a tentative framework.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the Obama administration of misleading the American people and Congress in a fact sheet it released following the culmination of negotiations with the Islamic Republic.
Zarif bragged in an earlier press conference with reporters that the United States had tentatively agreed to let it continue the enrichment of uranium, the key component in a nuclear bomb, as well as key nuclear research.
Zarif additionally said Iran would have all nuclear-related sanctions lifted once a final deal is signed and that the country would not be forced to shut down any of its currently operating nuclear installations.
Following a subsequent press conference by Secretary of State John Kerry—and release of a administration fact sheet on Iranian concessions—Zarif lashed out on Twitter over what he dubbed lies.
“The solutions are good for all, as they stand,” he tweeted. “There is no need to spin using ‘fact sheets’ so early on.”Lausanne Dispatch: Questions about Sanctions Relief Cast Doubt on Parameters for Nuke Deal
In the understanding reached on Thursday between the P5+1 global powers and Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland, there appears to be a discrepancy in the language on the sequencing of sanctions relief between the European Union/Iran join statement and a factsheet released by the Obama administration on the parameters of the understanding.
The EU/Iran statement says that the “EU will terminate the implementation of all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions and the US will cease the application of all nuclear-related secondary economic and financial sanctions, simultaneously with the IAEA-verified implementation by Iran of its key nuclear commitments”. The administration’s factsheet, on the other hand, reads that “the U.S. and E.U. nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps. If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, these sanctions will snap back into place.”.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has taken to Twitter to emphasize that there will in fact immediate lifting of sanctions. “The solutions are good for all, as they stand. There is no need to spin using ‘fact sheets’ so early on,” one of his Tweets reads. Zarif continued, “Iran/5+1 Statement: “US will cease the application of ALL nuclear-related secondary economic and financial sanctions.” Is this gradual?” The Iranian Foreign Minister added, “Iran/P5+1 Statement: ‘The EU will TERMINATE the implementation of ALL nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions’. How about this?”No deal yet on timing of sanctions relief for Iran: France
France’s foreign minister warned Friday that the tricky issue of when crippling sanctions on Iran would be lifted following a framework deal over its nuclear program was “not yet solved.”
“The Iranians want sanctions to be lifted immediately,” Laurent Fabius told Europe 1 radio station.
“We say to them: we will ease the sanctions as you respect what you have agreed to and if you don’t live up to your commitments, of course we can return to the situation we had before.
“On this point, there is not yet a deal,” said Fabius.France Says it Wanted a Better Deal
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who represented France in the nuclear talks between Iran and world powers, revealed on Friday that his nation had rejected an original version of the deal reached the day before for not being "solid enough."
In an interview with Europe 1 radio cited by Fox News, Fabius said he had tried to hold out for stronger terms, but when the Iranian delegation threatened to leave the talks he was forced to capitulate.
France wants a strong deal "to prevent other countries in the Gulf such as Saudi Arabia from embarking on nuclear proliferation," Fabius said.
Speaking about the framework deal that was reached in Lausanne, Switzerland on Thursday, the foreign minister called it a "very important" step, but said "the end of the road is the end of June," by which time a final deal is to be reached.
Fabius's comments come after the Wall Street Journal released an in-depth report Thursday night, citing numerous current and former US representatives in the negotiations, and showing how US President Barack Obama's administration gradually gave up on its goals during the course of the talks from September 2013.This Is Not a Deal
Today in Lausanne, Switzerland, officials from the United States, Iran, and other world powers delivered big news about the negotiations aimed at halting Iran’s quest for a nuclear bomb. But they didn’t announce a deal. In fact, they didn’t even announce an agreement. Rather, they revealed, according to the New York Times, a “specific and comprehensive general understanding about the next steps in limiting Tehran’s nuclear program.” There’s a lot of padding in that description for a reason: the P5+1 powers are far off from anything resembling a nuclear deal with Tehran.
What we now have is confirmation that negotiations will continue. There’s good reason to believe that this is what both sides were after above all else. For Tehran it means continued sanctions relief, and for the Obama administration it means its diplomacy cannot yet be judged a failure.
Going by social and professional media responses, the administration has achieved its goal in spades. Today’s announcement is largely being seen as cause for optimism. This is foremost a measure of how low Americans have set the bar for diplomatic progress in the Obama age. Today’s “understanding” is actually verification—on paper—of long-rumored American capitulations on Iran’s nuclear program.Experts: Iran Will be '3 Weeks from a Nuclear Weapon'
Responding to the Iran nuclear deal sealed Thursday, one expert has revealed that the nuclear centrifuge research allowed by the deal likely will allow the Islamic regime to reach a point where it can make a dash for the nuclear bomb within three weeks.
Joe Cirincione, head of the American anti-nuclear proliferation group The Ploughshares Fund, told New Scientist that Iran currently has 8,000 kilograms of uranium enriched to the point where they can be used as nuclear fuel.
The centrifuges Iran has declared would be able to further enrich that quantity into a nuclear bomb within two to three months at present, he says.
But with the deal, during which Iran will be allowed to continue enriching at a reduced rate and conduct research that could let it improve its centrifuge technology, that breakout time will drop considerably.Robert Malley, Once Too Anti-Israel for Obama, Negotiating with Iran
Once, Robert Malley was too radical for the Obama campaign, or for the White House. The Middle East scholar, widely seen as anti-Israel, reportedly met with the terrorist group Hamas and encouraged the United States to do the same.
Then, in February, President Barack Obama appointed Malley as a senior director at the National Security Council. Today, Malley is advising Secretary of State John Kerry in Lausanne, Switzerland as he negotiates with Iran over a nuclear deal.
A photograph released by Agence France-Presse shows Malley with his back to the camera, looking serious as Kerry enjoys a laugh with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
Throughout the talks, Israel–which is not involved–has expressed concerned that international negotiators are leaving it open to threats from Iran.
The fact that Malley is at the table, in the only delegation that might consider Israel’s welfare, will not be reassuring to Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.WaPo on Iranian Lobby-Linked NSC Director: Nothing To See Here!
The Washington Post has taken to investigating a Breitbart report that established President Obama’s National Security Director for Iran, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, was previously an employee at the alleged pro-Iranian regime lobbying group NIAC (National Iranian American Council).
Nowrouzzadeh was listed in a White House brief as being one of a select group of officials who took part in a Tuesday night meeting with President Obama on the ongoing Iran nuclear negotiations. It is believed that this was the first time the White House revealed her position as National Security Council Director for Iran.
The Washington Post spoke with a White House “senior administration official,” who told the D.C. paper that the 31-year-old had worked for the Defense Department and the State Department before moving to the National Security Council.
It remains unclear what qualifies the young National Security Council Director for such an esteemed position, but for the fact that she supposedly has received four awards during her short stint in government service. The Post reports: “She’s received awards from Defense, State, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the FBI, we were told.”Netanyahu to Obama: Iran deal threatens Israel’s survival
A nuclear deal with Iran based on the political framework reached in Switzerland between Tehran and the P5+1 group earlier Thursday “threatens the survival of the state of Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US President Barack Obama during a phone call to discuss the accord.
In further comments Friday, Netanyahu said any final agreement must “include a clear and unambiguous Iranian recognition of Israel’s right to exist.”
Obama phoned Netanyahu hours after the framework was struck. Netanyahu has been strongly opposed to the emerging deal, arguing that it does not have the necessary safeguards and will pave the way to a nuclear Iran.
“A deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel. Just two days ago, Iran said that “the destruction of Israel is nonnegotiable,” and in these fateful days Iran is accelerating the arming of its terror proxies to attack Israel. This deal would legitimize Iran’s nuclear program, bolster Iran’s economy, and increase Iran’s aggression and terror throughout the Middle East and beyond,” Netanyahu told Obama during the call.Israeli cabinet unanimously opposed to Iran framework nuclear deal
Israel's security cabinet is united in its opposition to the framework deal reached between world powers and Iran, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement issued following a special meeting said on Friday.
Netanyahu, who earlier spoke by phone with US President Barack Obama, saying that he was "vehemently opposed" to the agreement, was shortly expected to deliver a statement.
Obama called Netanyahu within hours of the deal being struck, saying it represented significant progress toward a lasting solution that cuts off Iran's path to a nuclear weapon.Steinitz: Parameters of Iranian nuclear agreement ‘detached from reality’
The smiles that accompanied the announcement on Thursday of parameters for an Iranian nuclear agreement in Lausanne between the world powers and Iran are detached from reality, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said in Jerusalem’s initial reaction to the development.
The reality, Steinitz said, is that Tehran refused to make any concession on the nuclear issue and continues to threaten Israel and all other countries in the Middle East.
Even before the press conference in Lausanne where the announcement was made, the Prime Minister’s Office posted the following message on Twitter: “Any deal must significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear capabilities and stop its terrorism and aggression.”
The tweet was posted above a map with arrows leading from Tehran to Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq under the headline, “Iran’s aggression during the nuclear negotiations.”
Government officials made clear that Israel will continue publicly fighting against the deal, emphasizing Iran’s aggressive behavior throughout the Middle East even at a time when it does not yet have nuclear capabilities.Air Force Chief hints Israel could launch a surprise attack on Iran
As the world powers are working out a nuclear deal with Iran, some in Israel are hinting at a different approach.
Israeli Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel said Wednesday at a conference at the Ben-Gurion House in Tel Aviv that "from a purely military standpoint, there is a very large advantage [in a preemptive strike], because it achieves the goal, assuming that you have the capability."
Eshel noted that "there are those who argue that because the enemy now has greater capability to strike the Israeli home front than [it did] in the past, the question is more relevant than ever."
"Unlike that attack [referring to Operation Focus], Israel is [now] seen as strong. Our military actions require international legitimization. Would an action like this -- a surprise -- would it get that legitimization? I think that's a major change. We were weak then. Now we're in a different place."Israel Should 'Seriously Consider' Striking Iran, Expert Says
Israel should "seriously consider" a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities in the aftermath of the "framework deal" announced between Tehran and western powers Thursday, a leader defense and security expert said.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva Friday, Professor Efraim Inbar, who heads the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, said the deal had realized Israel's worst fears by leaving Iran's nuclear program essentially intact.
The Islamic Republic's nuclear program has been granted "legitimacy" by the agreement, which still allowed it to continue enriching uranium and to maintain a reactor capable of producing enriched plutonium, he said. "And that's what worries Israel, that they (Iran) will be able within a short time frame to reach a nuclear bomb."
"I hold the view that the only way to stop Iran in its journey to a nuclear bomb is through military means," Inbar maintained, suggesting that "Israel needs to seriously consider striking a number of important nuclear facilities" to head off the threat.Menachem Begin To Joe Biden: I Am Not A Jew With Trembling Knees
While the Obama Administration continues their pressure on Israel, for at least Vice President Joe Biden, it would not be the first time that there has been personal animosity with an Israeli leader. The reality is that while some of the names change, this conflict is about Israel’s refusal to surrender to a Palestinian Arab enemy who seeks to destroy them. The United States is wrong to pressure Israel – yet, this too shall pass.
History often repeats itself.
On June 22 1982, Joe Biden was a Senator from Delaware and confronted then Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin during his Senate Foreign Relations committee testimony, threatening to cut off aid to Israel. Begin forcefully responded, “Don’t threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.”German FM: Israel should take closer look at framework Iran deal
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Friday Israel's government, which has said a framework agreement on Iran's nuclear program will endanger Israeli security, should take a closer look at the deal.
Steinmeier said it was too early to celebrate the framework deal, reached on Thursday in Switzerland, because there was much work to do before a final agreement was signed.
"We ask the Israeli government to look more closely at the agreement," Steinmeier, who was speaking through an interpreter, told a news conference after talks with his French and Polish counterparts.
"Its main points are intended to guarantee that security in the Middle East... will improve, and not get worse," he told reporters in the Polish city of Wroclaw.American Jewish umbrella group skeptical over nuclear deal
The American Jewish umbrella group, Jewish Federations of North America, said Thursday that the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers “leaves vital issues woefully unresolved.
“The agreement provides scant detail on how the phased sanction relief will be implemented. It contains insufficient clarity on how Iranian adherence to the agreement will be verified. And it is ambiguous on what penalties will be imposed if Iran fails to fulfill its commitments,” according to a statement from the organization, which represents the Jewish communal federations across North America.
“The [Obama] Administration has repeatedly reaffirmed that ‘it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon.’ Even during the current negotiations, the White House has often said, ‘a bad deal is worse than no deal,'” the statement notes.In wake of Iran framework deal, Saudis put on a brave face
True, Arab leaders were always less vociferous than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the potential threat from Iran’s nuclear program. But followers of the Arab media could have easily missed the historic framework agreement reached between Iran and the superpowers on Thursday altogether.
“The Saudis are in a state of shock,” said Uzi Rabi, head of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University and an expert on the Persian Gulf. “They understand that this deal is a game-changer in favor of Iran, and are deeply concerned, but they’re not in the habit of crying over spilled milk.”
Saudi Arabia was putting on a brave face in its news coverage of the deal. “The agreement will prevent a nuclear Iran; Obama to reassure Gulf leaders in Camp David summit,” read the headline of Saudi-owned daily Asharq al-Awsat Friday. It quoted the telephone conversation between US President Barack Obama and King Salman on Thursday, in which the latter hoped for “a binding final agreement that will strengthen security and stability in the region and the world.”Boehner demands Congress approval for Iran deal
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner did not hide his criticism of the Iran framework deal announced on Thursday and accused U.S. President Barack Obama's administration of seeing fit to hastily lift sanctions while ignoring Congress.
"The parameters for a final deal represent an alarming departure from the White House's initial goals. My longtime concerns about the parameters of this potential agreement remain, but my immediate concern is the administration signaling it will provide near-term sanctions relief. Congress must be allowed to fully review the details of any agreement before any sanctions are lifted," Boehner said Thursday.
Boehner recalled a recent tour of the Middle East in March, and cited Iran's negative influence on the region.
"After visiting with our partners on the ground in the Middle East this week, my concerns about Iran's efforts to foment unrest, brutal violence and terror have only grown. It would be naïve to suggest the Iranian regime will not continue to use its nuclear program, and any economic relief, to further destabilize the region," he said.Krauthammer: 'Not A Chance In The World' Sanctions Will Return If Iranians Cheat
KRAUTHAMMER: They were completely unclear about what the requirements are. It is possible that when they sign the agreement in June, there will be a huge relief of sanctions. And when Obama speaks about snapping them back, if the Iranians are cheating, there is not chance in the world that the Chinese, the Russians or even the Europeans are going to snap on sanctions again. We would be acting alone, we’d be completely isolated.
So, number one, they are going to get their economy back and that’s all they really wanted. But the second, the most astonishing thing is that in return, they are not closing a single nuclear facility. Their entire nuclear infrastructure is intact. The soundbite you showed of the president, and that was in December, no more than a year and a half ago, he talked about you don’t need the Fordow facility, they are keeping it, it’s not going to close. They don’t need the Iraq reactor. They are gonna keep it. It will be “updated.” And lastly, they don’t need the advanced centrifuges, they are going to be developing new ones in the Fordow reactor. So, they are going to have the entire infrastructure in place either for a breakout after the agreement expires or when they have enough sanctions relief and they want to cheat and to breakout on their own.Sen. Mark Kirk likens Iran deal to Nazi appeasement, warns of nuclear conflict
Sen. Mark Kirk blasted the nuclear deal with Iran on Thursday, saying the Obama administration’s diplomacy was worse than Britain’s attempts to appease Nazi Germany and predicting Israel would soon be pulled into a war with Iran.
The Illinois Republican trashed a deal struck by global powers with Tehran, concluding in a phone interview “that Neville Chamberlain got a lot of more out of Hitler than Wendy Sherman got out of Iran,” a reference to a top State Department negotiator on the deal.
But Kirk wasn’t done, forecasting that lifting any more sanctions on Iran “dooms the Middle East to yet another war,” one that Israel will have to clean up, perhaps in a nuclear fashion.
Hillary Clinton is pictured. | AP Photo
“We should be a reviewing presence to see how this unfolds,” Kirk said of Congress’ role, adding: “Which we all know is going to end with a mushroom cloud somewhere near Tehran.”
Kirk’s office called to clarify that Kirk was referring to a nuclear test in Iran.
Asked if he could find anything to like in the deal, Kirk responded: “No.”2016 Contenders Perry, Huckabee and Fiorina Criticize Obama's Deal With Iran
In an op-ed for Fox News, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina echoed Gov. Perry’s and Gov. Huckabee’s concerns. She said the deal the U.S. negotiated with Iran threatens American security.
“U.S. officials know that Iran has had a long-term plan to gain a nuclear weapon and destabilize the region through its support of terrorist organizations. And it is known that President Rouhani has never agreed to full and unfettered United Nations inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities,” the potential 2016 presidential candidate wrote.
She went on to say the Iranian government constantly violated sanctions placed on Iran by the United Nations.
“We know that they have flat-out lied about every nuclear facility they have built over the last three decades,” added Fiorina. “This is not the behavior of a potential ally or of a partner. These are the actions of a country trying to bluff its way into persuading the United Nations, the United States, and its allies to allow it the freedom to develop a nuclear weapon for military purposes.”Hillary Clinton Backs Iran Nuke Deal
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has come out in support of Thursday’s deal with Iran, but she also hedged her bets a bit, saying, “the devil is always in the details.”
Her full statement reads as follows:
The understanding that the major world powers have reached with Iran is an important step toward a comprehensive agreement that would prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and strengthen the security of the United States, Israel, and the region.
President Obama and Secretary Kerry have been persistent and determined in pursuit of this goal building on a decade of bipartisan pressure and diplomacy. Getting the rest of the way to a final deal by June won’t be easy, but it is absolutely crucial.
The devil is always in the details in this kind of negotiation.Joyful Iranians dance into night after nuclear deal
Hundreds of Iranians took to the streets in Tehran early Friday to celebrate a breakthrough in talks with the West that may end the country’s 12-year-long nuclear crisis.
The capital’s longest street, Val-e-Asr Avenue, was lined with cars as drivers sounded their horns in approval of a framework deal intended to lead to a comprehensive agreement with world powers in June.
“Whatever the final result of the negotiations, we are winners,” 30-year-old Behrang Alavi said on Val-e-Asr at around 1:00 am as the noise reverberated around him.
“Now we will be able to live normally like the rest of the world,” he said, as people flashed V-signs for victory and danced while waving white handkerchiefs in a traditional Iranian celebration.Iranian hardliners criticize nuclear deal
Iran’s hard-liners on Friday criticized a tentative nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers — saying the deal was a bargain for the West and a disaster for Iran. Meanwhile supporters of the deal compared Iran’s conservative opposition to the Israeli government — which remains heavily critical of the agreement.
Hossein Shariatmadari, an adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and editor of the hard-line Kayhan daily, told the semi-official Fars news agency on Friday that Iran exchanged its “ready-to-race horse with a broken bridle.”
Another conservative analyst, Mahdi Mohammad, referred to the Fordo underground uranium enrichment facility and told the news outlet that under the deal, “A disaster happened in Fordo.”First Friday Prayers after Deal: “Death to America”
Well, Mohammad Javad Zarif might know how to charm politicians like Secretary of State John Kerry and his diplomatic team but, increasingly, it seems as if President Obama’s notion of a historic change in Iranian behavior was, well, a bit premature.
Every Friday afternoon in Iran, in Tehran and every major provincial capital and town, a senior cleric will give a sermon which outlines the themes and beliefs of the regime. Think of it as a religiously-oriented weekly State of the Union address.
Two weeks ago, chants of “Death to America” against the backdrop of a sermon by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei made headlines, although some journalists tried to put a positive spin on the event. Well, fast forward two weeks. As Iran is 8.5 hours ahead of the East Coast of the United States, Friday afternoon has come and passed in Tehran, so what happened after yesterday’s game-changer?
Crowds chanted “Death to America” and “Death to the al-Sa’ud” according to the Iranian press, not just in one city but across the country. Indeed, here it says that finally, the “Death to America” mantra is being realized.
John Kerry, call your office.MEMRI: Board Director Of Hizbullah-Affiliated Daily On Joint Statement By Iran, World Powers: 'The West Has Capitulated!'
Several hours after the joint statement by Iran and the world powers in Lausanne, Switzerland on the Iran nuclear deal framework, Ibrahim Al-Amin, the board chairman of the pro-Hizbullah Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, published an article in the daily titled "A New World: The West Has Capitulated!" In it, he wrote that in every conflict there is a winner and a loser, and that in this case it is the West, led by the U.S., that has been defeated. He said that what happened is a great achievement, for it is not just Western recognition of Iran's right to nuclear energy, but Western recognition that every nation is entitled to attain its rights – which will lead to greater rebellion against Western and American hegemony in the coming years. He concluded his article by saying that in his speech following the joint statement, President Obama implicitly acknowledged that the U.S. had had no other choice, and that Iran's enemies heard Obama saying, 'I am at your service, Khamenei." Why Are Iranians Taking Selfies With Their TVs?
The Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, whose political and international coverage is strictly controlled by government authorities, took the unusual step of showing Obama’s speech live and uncensored. In his speech, Obama asserted that the basis for agreement was “not based on trust,” but rather on “unprecedented verification” of Iranian nuclear facilities by outside inspectors.
In response to seeing the leader of Iran’s greatest geopolitical foes on state television, young internet-savvy Iranians responded in the only way they knew: by taking “selfies with Obama.”
This photograph is captioned “Obama himself wants to take a selfie with me”:
The same user also uploaded a photograph kissing the broadcasted face of Secretary of State John Kerry.
Another man, unable to restrain himself, wound up pinching the president’s cheek.Military Families Level $200 MILLION Lawsuit On Iran, And They Just Might Win
Iran orchestrated an attack against U.S. soldiers during the Iraq war, and now the families of three victims are suing the Iranian government for $200 million.
Agents from Iran-supported organizations launched a raid on U.S. headquarters in Karbala in 2007. Assailants passed a checkpoint manned by Iraqi police by pretending to be American security agents — driving black SUVs, brandishing American weapons and speaking perfect English, reports The Associated Press.
Four soldiers were taken captive and later shot while handcuffed in pairs. One victim’s family isn’t involved in the suit.
“Lt. Jacob Fritz, Specialist Johnathan Chism and Private First Class Shawn Falter were taken prisoner and then murdered in January 2007 by Iranian-backed Hezbollah agents and the Khazali network, an Iraqi militant group also funded and trained by Iran,” writes Associated Press reporter Richard Lardner.
Commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) even created a replica of the Karbala Provincial Joint Coordination Center to train attackers inside Iran’s borders, discovered by a U.S. spy satellite.