By Loucoumane Coulibaly ABIDJAN (Reuters) - From Abidjan airport's packed arrivals hall to the hotels and plush villas mushrooming across the city, Ivory Coast is booming, a rare African bright spot as the world's biggest cocoa producer bounces back from years of turmoil and civil war. With elections due in a month, many Ivorians had expected a pause in the post-conflict growth spurt, but such is the confidence in a smooth vote and a second term for incumbent Alassane Ouattara that the expected blip has not materialized. The International Monetary Fund's assessment is only marginally less bullish, while the bustle on the streets of the commercial capital attests to the turnaround in the four years since the nation's second civil war in less than a decade killed 3,000 people.
That sounds insane, but characterizes the Jewish people, or at least elements therein. Since the Zionist enterprise created – at massive cost and against great odds – what in many ways may be the best modern state on the planet earth, Jews have been repenting for their success.
How is it possible, says the little devil that sits on the shoulder of writers like Ari Shavit or Peter Beinart and whispers in their ears, that Jews should have all this, Jews that were despised in the civilized world for at least 2000 years and whom many important people today still despise?
They don’t deserve it, says the devil. They must have stolen it. They must have committed massacres and ethnically cleansed the indigenous people from their land. Because, as Mahmoud Abbas, a proud ‘Palestinian’, says, Jews have filthy feet that defile the land. You never hear Mahmoud Abbas admitting his sins, or indeed the sins of any ‘Palestinian’, unless of course it is an Arab that has challenged his authority as the dictator of the Palestinian kleptocracy.
They can’t prove that the massacres and ethnic cleansing happened, but they know in their hearts that it had to happen, because otherwise the Jews would still be living the kind of life they truly deserve, paying jizya to Muslim rulers or eating dirt in the ghettos of Europe in between Easter-time pogroms like my grandparents did.
We fought wars and like all wars not every bullet fired was perfectly just. We made mistakes. But we weren’t Nazis, we weren’t Arabs and we weren’t even Americans or British. We fought in self-defense and we did what was necessary to survive.
Amira Hass, a Jewish woman and writer for the Ha’aretz newspaper, famously said that “throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule.” Hass doesn’t agree with me that the Jewish people has a birthright, the same as any indigenous people, and that it is the land of Israel, and that even the Jew-despising nations recognized this in international law, and that there is no ‘foreign’ rule here. But getting stoned to death is a long tradition among Jews (it’s even mentioned in the Yom Kippur liturgy), and for Amira Hass it’s what we deserve. The Jewish people cheated their ordained fate, and it’s the Arabs’ duty to punish them.
Even the President of the State of Israel doesn’t feel comfortable with his ‘Jewish privilege.’ The morning after an ugly crime in which three Arabs were burned to death, when the police investigation had barely begun, he announced that “Jewish terrorists” were responsible for the crime. Now it’s almost two months later and the Jewish terrorists are still not in hand, despite assurances from various government officials that they know who did it, “in principle,” (the words of Moshe Ya’alon) anyway. But it had to be Jews, because we know that Jews, especially right-wing extremists, are guilty of everything. To be a Jew is to be guilty.
So why are we surprised when the non-Jewish world expects us to sit down with representatives of the PLO, still a criminal terrorist gang, and offer up our land in return for promises (which nobody in their right mind expects that they will keep)? When the Arabs said that we massacred them, ethnically cleansed them, burned them, stole their land, were descended from Khazars, and never even had a Temple on the Mount where we put our “filthy feet,” did we object? Only a little. Mostly we said that we suffered a lot in the Holocaust, both sides have made mistakes and our security is important to us.
What we did not say was that we are the indigenous people of the land of Israel, we have a biblical, historical moral, and legal right to the land – recognized in the Mandate – and it isn’t a sin to defend ourselves, our history and our rights.
It isn’t a moral policy – or a particularly effective one – to try to ingratiate ourselves with those who hate us by accepting guilt for crimes that we didn’t commit. Self-flagellation engenders contempt, not respect. And it isn’t moral or effective to be silent and fail to demand the justice that we truly deserve.
Something to think about on Yom Kippur. May we all be blessed with a peaceful year.
IDF Blog: The Palestinian Attacks that Terrorized Israel this Year
In the past 12 months the lives of thousands of Israelis have been threatened by Palestinian terror. Driving your car, taking the bus, or simply walking around- daily routine has become dangerous to Israelis. Here is a recap of all the main terrorist attacks against Israelis in the last year.
October 22- A 20 year old Palestinian terrorist, Abed a-Rahman a-Shalud, drove his car into a Jerusalem light rail station, killing a three-month-old infant, Haya Zissel Braun, and a 22 year-old Ecuatorian, Karen Mosquera, and injuring seven others.
November 10- A Palestinian stabbed an IDF soldier near the Haganah train station in Tel Aviv. The soldier, Almog Shilony, was evacuated to the hospital in critical condition. He succumbed to his wounds later that evening.PMW: Fatah: Israel is decapitating the Dome of the Rock
In a cartoon published on the website of Fatah's Information and Culture Commission, Israel is portrayed as an Islamic State executioner dressed in black with a Star of David on his hood and the text “Judaization” across his robe. The executioner is swinging an axe, about to decapitate a Palestinian whose head is the Dome of the Rock. The Palestinian is resting his head on a sleeping chopping block labelled “the international disregard.” [Website of Fatah's Information and Culture Commission, Sept. 19, 2015]
This cartoon is yet another example of how the Palestinian Authority and Fatah - both headed by Mahmoud Abbas - keep fanning the flames of recent months’ riots and unrest in Jerusalem. Palestinian Media Watch has documented that the PA and Fatah support and promote the riots in Jerusalem.
PA Chairman Abbas himself promised that Allah will reward those who "will not allow" Jews' "filthy feet" to "defile" the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem.
The official PA daily has published cartoons promoting rock throwing and both PA and Fatah officials have endorsed continued conflict at the Temple Mount, encouraging Ribat - religious conflict/war to protect land claimed to be Islamic.
Earlier this month, Fatah spokesman in Jerusalem, Raafat Alayan, repeated the libel that Israel is acting “to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and build the alleged Temple”: Is the Iran Deal a Dud?
Two new studies have confirmed that this fear is justified. Iran will be able quickly to produce nuclear weapons fuel even under the terms of the JCPOA.
Iran can emerge in 15-20 years, or less, as a nuclear power with the potential, at a time of its choosing, "to make enough weapon-grade uranium for several nuclear weapons within a few weeks." – David Albright, founder and president of the Institute for Science and International Security.
If sanctions failed to do the job, and if Iran engaged in future illegal nuclear activity -- no matter how serious -- would the U.S. use military force? When the U.S. and its allies discovered that North Korea had illegally built a nuclear weapon and massively cheated on the agreed framework, did anyone use military force to stop its effort? No.
The likelihood is far greater that the U.S. will look the other way in order not to admit that the deal it agreed to is a dud.
Iran has already repeatedly attacked the United States, from the murder of 241 Marines in Lebanon in 1983, to the attack on Khobar Towers; the murder of Americans over Lockerbie; the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya; the attack on the USS Cole; has been complicit in the attacks of September 11, 2001; is still holding four Americans hostages and, openly, is daily threatening America again.
Shmuley Boteach: The Deal is Done, But We Must Continue to Fight Iran’s Use of Terror and Death
Iran will engage in nuclear blackmail, forestalling any Western attempts to curb their expansion of support for terror proxies that kill Americans and American soldiers. The repeated saber-rattling of North Korea, and its murder of South Korean soldiers with no repercussions, will repeat itself in the Middle East.
It may be a done deal, but it’s worth noting that Weinberg and others’ knee-jerk reaction in favoring what the political establishment laid out, and her resorting to talking points to support this flawed deal, is the opposite of the Jewish values she represents. Iran hangs gay men from cranes in city squares. Iran stones women to death. Iran shoots peaceful protesters through the heart in front of the world. And Iran has lied for more than a decade about its nuclear program. So why have we now legitimized them through this deal?
And what if President Obama plans to go further – as many believe – and reopens the iconic U.S. Embassy in Tehran, appointing an ambassador, before the end of his term? Would Democratic lawmakers support bringing in a regime from the cold that savagely brutalizes its own people?
No person of conscience can be silent as Iran proudly proclaims and plans the annihilation of Israel and the exportation of terror around the globe.
Those who did not even publicly object to Iran’s repeated promise to exterminate six million Jews in Israel have degraded, however unwittingly, the victims of genocide the world over, who once had cause to believe that “Never Again” actually meant never again.
The deal may be done. But the fight against Iran’s brutality and genocidal ambitions continues.Iran on Israel: ‘We Are Going to Destroy Them’
The commander of Iran’s army said on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic would destroy Israel at all costs despite the recent nuclear deal aimed at reining in the country’s rogue behavior, according to comments by these officials.
Ataollah Salehi, commander of Iran’s army, said that no matter how many weapons are given to Israel, “we are going to destroy them,” according to comments reported in Iran’s state-controlled press and independently translated from Persian for the Washington Free Beacon.
The comments follow reports that Iran has unveiled new advanced military hardware and intends to violate international prohibitions on its construction of ballistic missiles, which could be used to carry a nuclear payload.
“Israel only barks, no matter how much weapons are given to [it], we are going to destroy them, we will promise this task will be done,” Salehi was quoted as saying by the Fars News Agency.
Salehi expressed pride in Iran’s support for terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah that seek the Jewish state’s destruction. The military leader also said that Iran has been directly responsible for attacks on Israel.
“We are glad that we are in the forefront of executing supreme leader’s order to destroy the Zionist regime,” he said. “They have been hit by those supported by us [Iran] even though they have not confronted us directly; if they confront us directly they will be destroyed.”Ad featuring kids, mushroom cloud slams Democrat for backing Iran deal
A conservative group is airing an ad showing kids counting down to a mushroom cloud to slam Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado over the Iran nuclear deal.
The ad by the group Advancing Colorado shows children counting down from 10 in different languages, then a huge explosion and billowing cloud. Over charred and smoking rubble it claims that Bennet is “jeopardizing our safety” by backing the deal.
The ad offers a taste of how the GOP may seek to use the Iran issue politically after Senate Democrats including Bennet blocked Republican attempts to unravel the deal.
Bennet is up for re-election next year in a competitive state, though Republicans don’t yet have a candidate against him. He is the most vulnerable Senate Democrat this cycle, but in 2018 a number of potentially vulnerable Democrats will be defending their seats and Republicans will likely try to make them pay a price for supporting the agreement.MEMRI: Former Minister Belayat: Algeria Should Obtain Nuclear Weapons to Drive the Jews out of Palestine
Former Algerian Minister of Urban Development and former head of the FLN party Abderrahmane Belayat stated that Algeria should obtain nuclear weapons. Speaking on September 20 at an event organized by Al-Hiwar newspaper under the title "Zionist Violation of Al-Aqsa," Belayat said that Algeria should place its nuclear weapons on a mountain and tell the Jews to leave Palestine.
'Sunnis, Shi'ites fight each other, but they agree Israel has no place in Mideast,' Netanyahu says
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said that Israel was facing two primary enemies - "extremist Shi'ite Islam led by Iran and its satellites, and the Sunni version which is currently led by Islamic State."
Speaking at a toast honoring the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Mossad spy agency, the prime minister said that "while Israel cannot solve all of the main problems in the Middle East, they are revealing themselves in full force."
Although Sunnis and Shi'ites are in conflict with one another, "there is one thing that they agree on, and that is that we don't have a place in this Muslim realm, as they see it," the premier said.
"Alliances change," Netanyahu said. "They rise and fall and rise again, and they send their troops in every which way - and we are amidst all of this."
"There's one certainty - nobody makes alliances with the weak," the prime minister said. "Our real defense during the state's existence and the 65 years of the Mossad's existence is the might of the State of Israel. It is this might that we are nurturing."Why Republican candidates support Israel
Israelis have never asked American soldiers to defend them. They would not want that. They would, however, like Americans to support their right to defend themselves. Most Americans do. I assume you do, too.
I'm running out of space, so here's my last point for today: George Gilder, as I hope you'll agree, is one of contemporary America's most brilliant conservative minds (and, as you probably know, he doesn't happen to be Jewish). A few years back he wrote a book called "The Israel Test." His straightforward conclusion: Israel is "the most vulnerable source of Western power and intelligence."
More to the point, Israel is "not only the canary in the coal mine, it is also a crucial part of the mine." If Americans will not defend Israel, they will "prove unable to defend anything else. The Israel test is finally our own test of survival as a free nation."
I think most of the candidates on the stage last week understand how Gilder reached that conclusion. You clearly don't, but you're smart enough to follow Gilder's reasoning. Unless this is not about reason. Unless this is about something else. In which case, no words or argumentation will convince you.Senior Israeli official: World needs to see through Abbas's 'charade'
The international community should end the “charade” whereby Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas refuses to negotiate with Israel, deliberately creates a crisis, adds to the crisis through inflammatory rhetoric and then pleads to the world to “save us,” a senior government official said on Wednesday night.
The official, who said the world should finally hold Abbas “accountable” for his behavior, was responding to the PA leader’s comments in Paris on Tuesday alongside French President François Hollande warning of a third intifada resulting from violence in Jerusalem, and calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to end Israel’s actions in the Old City, stop settlement activity, and return to negotiations.
“We spoke about what’s happening at Al-Aksa,” Abbas told a news conference after meeting with Hollande. “It’s extremely dangerous. We don’t want it to continue, and [if it did] the alternative would be chaos or an intifada that we don’t want.”
Hollande urged calm in Jerusalem and said the post- 1967 status quo on the Temple Mount should not be put into question.
The senior government official in Jerusalem said that while it is incumbent upon all responsible leaders to do what they can to encourage calm, Abbas is doing the exact opposite.Controversy surrounds IDF shooting death of Palestinian woman in Hebron
The IDF Spokesman’s Office said shots were fired by soldiers to remove the threat posed by a woman advancing towards them with a knife.
The unit “acted in accordance with expectations, and that the whole incident will be investigated,” it said.
A senior army source said Hashlamun set off a metal detector at Hasam Shoter (the policeman’s checkpoint) in Hebron, which separates the Israeli and Palestinian sections of the city.
She ignored requests by the soldiers to stop, and stood in a suspicious manner before advancing toward the soldiers, the source said.
“Soldiers shouted for her to stop, and fired at the ground. She, nevertheless, continued to walk toward them, and pulled out a large knife. The soldiers fired at her legs, but she did not stop. At this stage, she was hit in the lower body,” the source said.
Minutes after the incident, the IDF recovered the knife from Hashlamun, and published a photograph of the knife on the ground.Hevron Stabber Told Friends 'She Was Planning Attack'
The Palestinian woman shot on Tuesday morning at an Israeli army checkpoint had been planning to conduct a terror attack for months, despite Palestinian reports she was an innocent bystander.
Palestinian eyewitnesses at the Hashoter checkpoint in Hevron claim Hadeel al-Hashlamon, 18, was shot for no reason, though the IDF maintains she was gunned down only after trying to stab a soldier.
An investigation into the incident, Channel 2 reports Thursday, reveals that al-Hashlamon was known to the Israel Security Agency and had long expressed a desire to commit a terrorist act.
In recent months, al-Hashlamon told friends on numerous occasions she wanted "do something" and carry out an attack. The day before the incident in Hevron, she asked to separate from her husband and told him they would not see each other again.
Photographs disseminated by the Palestinian activist group "Youth Against Settlements," however, seems to portray al-Hashlamon as standing far away from IDF forces with no knife in hand, while the soldiers' weapons are drawn.
Israeli authorities are investigating the suspicion that al-Hashlamon may have coordinated the attack, and its documentation, in advance, having arrived on scene at the same time as the Palestinian photographer. Jordan's King Abdullah won't speak with Netanyahu, Arab media report
Relations between Jordan and Israel have soured to the point where King Abdullah is refusing to communicate directly with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Channel 2 reported on Thursday, citing Arab and Jordanian media sources.
The Kuwaiti daily A-Jarida is reporting on Thursday that King Abdullah refused Netanyahu's request to hold a secret meeting in the Red Sea resort town of Aqaba, just over the border near Eilat.
According to the reports, the Hashemite monarchy is furious with the Israeli government over recent statements accusing Amman of playing a destabilizing role and turning a blind eye to Palestinian provocations on Temple Mount.
The reports indicate that not only has the Jordanian government refused to accept any back-channel messages from the Prime Minister's Office, but it is also considering a recall of its ambassador to Tel Aviv as a means to express its displeasure with Jerusalem's policies as they relate to the Islamic holy sites.
The Jordanian government "has changed its diplomatic tactics" in response to Israel's latest measures relating to Temple Mount, local press reports say.Temple Mount closed to Jewish visitors, tourists for Muslim holiday
The Temple Mount will be closed to Jewish visitors and tourists on Thursday due to the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the Festival of the Sacrifice, Israel Police said Wednesday night.
The Muslim holiday coincided with Yom Kippur for the second time in two years, and Israel tightened security in Jerusalem and the West Bank to be on alert for possible unrest.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon also issued orders to ease restrictions on access to West Bank Palestinian worshipers to the holy site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, which houses the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque. It is the third-holiest site in Islam and the holiest in Judaism.
Married Palestinian men from the West Bank over 45 years of age, and women 30 years old and over, will be allowed to pray at the site, according to Ya’alon’s instructions, which were described as overtures.Arab MKs Threaten Israel with 'Intifada' on Sukkot
Islamic Movement officials have threatened Israel with a third intifada to begin on Sukkot, against the backdrop of so-called Israeli "attacks" at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.
In an interview with a Turkish news agency, translated by The Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI), the Islamic Movement's Northern Branch chairman Sheikh Raed Salah warned that "if Israel's violations continue, a third Palestinian intifada will break out in the West Bank and Jerusalem."
Salah, who was convicted in 2003 for funding Hamas, then called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pressure Israel with international lawsuits, and also demanded that Jordan be more forceful in its condemnation of the Jewish state.
The Islamic Movement's Jerusalem advisor, Ali Abu Sheika, also joined the act, warning of "a genuine intifada against the occupation in late September on Sukkot" as a result of the "critical and dangerous situation on Al-Aqsa."
Several Joint List MKs, who have been quite vocal in their attacks on Israel's attempts to defend itself against the Islamist extremists violently rioting on the Mount, issued threats as well. IDF troops arrest Palestinian carrying explosives in Jordan Valley
Israel Defense Forces troops manning a post in the Jordan Valley arrested a Palestinian man who approached their position carrying an explosive device, the military said Wednesday.
The incident occurred hours after the Yom Kippur holiday ended. The suspect was taken in for interrogation, the army said.
Earlier, two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the West Bank settlement of Psagot, near Ramallah. Palestinians were suspected of throwing the firebombs at the fence of the Jewish settlement, Israel Radio reported. The explosives didn’t catch fire and no injuries were reported.
Rocks were also thrown at the light rail by residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat. Damage was caused to the train, but no injuries were reported. Police were searching for suspects.
Several fires were also reported in Jerusalem during Yom Kippur, which ended Wednesday at sundown. According to Ynet, several of the incidents were suspected of being arson.Security cabinet to vote on tougher legislation against stone-throwers
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will convene his security cabinet on Thursday to vote on proposed legislation introducing mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of throwing rocks and firebombs, and easing the rules governing police use of live fire in rock-throwing incidents in Jerusalem.
The cabinet will also vote on introducing fines to parents of minors caught throwing rocks or firebombs and possibly revoking their social security benefits should they refuse to pay.
The cabinet vote comes despite opposition by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein who, at a meeting with Netanyahu on Sunday, suggested instituting minimum sentences for such offenses through a one-year trial period. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is said to be looking for a three-year provision.Radical Arab MK to Meet Top Terrorist in Prison
MK Basel Ghattas, considered too radical even for his Joint List party, is at it again, with plans to meet arch-terrorist Marwan Bhargouti, who he argues is a “symbol of Palestinian struggle.”
Barghouti, 56, was sentenced to five life sentences in 2002 after being convicted of multiple murder and attempted murder charges for attacks carried out by the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades on Israeli civilians and soldiers during the Second Intifada.
In an interview, Ghattas asserted it was “a great honor” for him to meet with Barghouti, saying: “The Palestinian prisoners are the conscience of the struggle of Palestine for freedom and independence and for an end to the occupation."
“Without true Palestinian leadership during these difficult days when there does not seem to be any possibility of a peace agreement – and in light of Israel's attempt to change the status-quo on the Temple Mount and expand its occupation of Jerusalem, I felt it was necessary to meet with this man, a son of the Palestinian people,” said Ghattas.
Last June, Ghattas's fellow Arab Joint List MKs expressed anger over his participation in a flotilla that attempted to sail to Gaza in June. Sinai: Egypt Claims it Killed 500 Terrorists in 16 Days
The Egyptian military claimed Wednesday to have killed more than 500 jihadi terrorists over the previous 16 days, as it gears up for the second phase of an intensive counter-terrorism operation in the restive eastern Sinai Peninsula.
Scores more terror suspects were also arrested during the operations.
According to the state-controlled Al Ahram, the first 16-day phase of "Operation Martyr's Right" achieved all of its primary objectives, including "destroying terrorist hideouts and artillery storage facilities."
"This operation reflected the cohesion between the army, police and the people of Sinai – as well as the unprecedented welcoming [of the people of Sinai] of joint cooperation to control the security situation and to regain their rights of security and stability," the army said in a statement.
The operation also extended to parts of western Egypt where armed Islamist groups have gained a foothold.
On Monday, soldiers killed 10 terrorists in the Bahariya Oasis. Authorities say they were planning attacks against tourists and other "foreign interests" during the festival of Eid al-Adha, which began Wednesday.
The second stage of the operation will be aimed at restoring order and the rule of Egypt's central government to Sinai, which has been almost entirely ungoverned since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.Saudi Arabia: More than 717 pilgrims die in stampede in worst haj disaster in 25 years
At least 717 pilgrims were killed on Thursday in a stampede outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi authorities said, the worst disaster to strike the annual haj pilgrimage in 25 years.
At least 805 others were injured in the crush at Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, caused by two large groups of pilgrims arriving together at a crossroads on their way to performing the "stoning the devil" ritual at Jamarat, Saudi civil defense said.
Thursday's disaster was the worst to befall the pilgrimage since July 1990, when 1,426 pilgrims were crushed to death in a tunnel near Mecca. Both stampedes occurred on Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), Islam's most important feast and the day of the stoning ritual.
Photographs published on the Twitter feed of the Saudi civil defense on Thursday showed pilgrims lying on stretchers while emergency workers in high-visibility jackets lifted them into an ambulance.PreOccupiedTerritory: Mossad Unconcerned People Might Catch On To Hajj-Stampede Device (satire)
Israeli intelligence operatives expressed confidence today that even after repeated incidents involving hundreds of fatalities in stampedes surrounding the annual Hajj pilgrimage, no suspicions have raised regarding the Israeli machine that causes the disasters.
A stampede today near Mecca claimed at least 717 lives as two large groups of pilgrims converged on a bridge in the adjacent village of Mina. Hundreds more were injured, and witnesses said emergency workers had troubled reaching the site in large numbers because of blocked roads, the Associated Press reported. However, neither official Saudi media nor local observers appear to have caught on that the Mossad is behind the stampede, as part of a broader campaign to sow disaster and instability in the region, and then exploit the chaos to maintain its usurpation of Arab land and resources.
Mossad Colonel Gulli Bul said his organization was “extremely satisfied” that so far, none of the several stampedes at the Hajj in recent decades has been traced back to the agency. “The technology behind the device, which obviously I am not at liberty to discuss, is one coup,” he explained, “but that pales in comparison to the success we have enjoyed in our efforts to conceal the origins of these incidents, which, given the media hype in the Muslim world surrounding the Hajj, is no small feat.”
The few experts willing to discuss such a device spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for their safety. “Any organization capable of developing and deploying a stampede-machine undetected can certainly make my death appear an unambiguous suicide or accident,” said one.
Egyptian security forces have killed 12 people including Mexican tourists in error while chasing jihadists in the vast Western Desert, sparking condemnation of what Mexico called a "deplorable" air attack. In Mexico, President Enrique Pena Nieto said 14 Mexicans were involved in Sunday's "grave incident". Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu told reporters that an air strike killed at least two Mexicans.
Eugene Kontorovich: “Resolution 242 Revisited”: new research on Security Council’s approach to Israel-Arab conflict
My new article, “Resolution 242 Revisited: New Evidence on the Required Scope of Israeli Withdrawal” has just been published in volume 16 of the Chicago Journal of International Law, and is available here. 242 may be the Security Council’s most famous resolution, yet amazingly, there are entire veins of evidence about its meaning that have remained untapped.
The article happens, fortuitously, to be quite relevant to the drama that will likely unfold in the Security Council this fall. So let me say a few words here about what the evidence developed in the paper suggests about these developments. (When I began working on the article last year, I did not know anything about a potential new Council resolution.)
France will reportedly soon introduce a new proposed resolution about the Israeli-Arab conflict in the Council. President Obama has repeatedly hinted that he might not veto such a resolution.
One thing the paper makes clear is that Res. 242 represented a territorial compromise, with accommodations to Arab and Israel positions. The French resolution – which mandates a withdrawal to the 1949 Armistice Lines – would specifically undo the parts of that compromise that were in Israel’s favor, and essentially “reverse” 242, replacing it with the resolution demanded by the U.S.S.R and Arab states in 1967. If the U.S. allows this to happen, it would be a fundamental reversal of 50 years of Middle East diplomacy.Lawfare bulwark: Israel has become a convenient target
About two months ago, Professor Eugene Kontorovich stood before a special US congressional committee and laid out what he sees as the irrationality of boycotting Israel.
Kontorovich, 40, is considered a world-class expert in constitutional and international law, and deals mainly with the issue of international boycotts. Kontorovich said the committee members sought deeper understanding of boycotts against Israel and so invited him to speak.
The professor delivered a comprehensive overview: Among other things, Kontorovich detailed a series of laws legislated in the US in the 1970s, which stated that Arab League pressure to boycott Israel should be rejected. At the end of the meeting, says Professor Kontorovich, the committee expressed unequivocal opposition to boycotts of Israel.
“The problem is that now the boycott is not led by Arab countries, but by the European Union,” he explains. “Still, the Americans listened carefully, and I am convinced that my words convinced them that boycotting Israeli companies’ goods is a move that is dangerous for the free world no less than for Israel.Are Abbas’s threats to quit part of a ploy to embarrass Israel?
Is that also an empty threat? Possibly. If Abbas were to declare Palestine an occupied state, ties between Israel and the PA wouldn’t end that very day. But the move would undoubtedly embarrass Israel in the international arena and beyond, and raise serious doubts about the Netanyahu government’s continued cooperation with the PA. It’s also possible that the declaration would lead to a resolution echoing the same content in the Security Council, seriously complicating things for Israel.
In the meantime, senior PLO and Fatah officials are gearing up for the Palestinian National Council. Senior members of Fatah are competing for three spots reserved for the movement in the PLO Executive Committee — including one for Abbas if he ultimately decides to run.
Another three spots are reserved for independent contenders who are also likely to be close to the PA president.
After all is said and done, his position will only be strengthened after the elections.
And who is running for the rest of the seats? As one senior member of the Executive Committee, Tawfil Tirawi, put it, “Who isn’t?”
Everyone, it seems, wants a seat at the table of what is considered, at least symbolically, as the international Palestinian leadership.Israel unfazed by PA threat to end Oslo accords, declare Palestine occupied state
“It’s an empty statement,” said Alan Baker, a retired Israeli diplomat and former legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry. “I don’t think it has any significance whatsoever. Nothing Abbas says, no declaration he makes at the UN, will change anything on the ground.”
The only thing it would achieve, Baker said, is to invalidate his status as president of the PA, as well as the legitimacy of the Palestinian parliament and courts. “It would also open up the opportunity for Israel to do whatever it deems necessary to protect its security and political interest, and could even cause possible termination of security and economic cooperation and other measures that are intended for the benefit of the Palestinian people.”
Is it even possible for Palestine to become a “state under occupation”? In his speech in New York later this month, Abbas will point to the General Assembly’s 2012 decision to accept “Palestine” as a non-member observer state and argue that Israel refuses to end the occupation of his state.
However, some argue that only existing states can be considered occupied, such as France during World War II or, more recently, Ukraine’s Crimea, which was occupied by Russia. But “Palestine” seeks to achieve statehood while under occupation, a situation without historical precedent. A state can only become “occupied” if parts or all of the territory it controlled is in effective control of another power, some legal scholars argue. That would not be the case here.
The Palestinians, however, are likely to argue that a sovereign “Palestine” existed before the 1967 Six Day War, when Israeli captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip, even though that appears to be a difficult position to defend among international law scholars.
Abbas set to annul Oslo accords, declare Palestine a state under occupation
The fog created by the ostensibly impending resignation of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appeared to clear Monday, as details emerged indicating that the resignation threats were a diversion ahead of a dramatic move planned by the Palestinians: declaring Palestine a state under occupation and reneging on their obligations as detailed in the Oslo Accords.
The move was apparently decided on several months ago by Saeb Erekat, the acting head of the Palestinian negotiating team and the secretary general of the PLO’s executive committee, who was the man behind a document setting out the Palestinians’ diplomatic moves against Israel during the month of September.
Erekat, who is expected to be elected as a full member of the PLO Executive Committee at the organization’s next meeting, is already emerging as one of the most powerful men in Abbas’s circle and a potential successor to the 80-year-old PA president. Erekat was also the brains behind the Palestinian plan to ramp up pressure on Israel by joining institutions and organizations like the International Criminal Court at The Hague and others.
One senior PLO official, Ahmed Majdalani, told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency on Sunday that the central committee would discuss the above-mentioned resolutions in its coming session. After voting on the decisions, the Palestinians are expected to announce the annulment of all agreements signed between the PLO and Israel, and to declare a new relationship with the Jewish state. Majdalani added that an announcement has already been drafted by the preparatory committee of the Palestinian National Council.France and PA to hold peace summit in Paris
French and Palestinian government officials are set to meet in Paris later this week to discuss ways of restarting peace talks with Israel, and may also review preliminary steps towards French recognition of a Palestinian state.
The meeting was scheduled to take place in another five days, Israel Radio reported Sunday. The report did not say which officials would participate in the event.
The talks are to focus on agreeing terms acceptable to the Palestinians for reopening talks with Israel. The proposal would then be submitted to the United Nations Security Council.
While the get-together is billed as being about breathing life into the moribund negotiations with Israel, in diplomatic circles the meetings is seen as the first move toward an eventual French recognition of a Palestinian state, Israel Radio said.PA official: Obama should recognize Palestinian state in his UN speech
The Palestinians are demanding that US President Barack Obama recognize the Palestinian state during the upcoming session of the United Nations general assembly in New York, a senior Fatah official said on Sunday.
Mohammad Shtayyeh, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, told the Jordanian Al-Ghad newspaper that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the session to discuss efforts to revive the stalled peace process and the situation in the Palestinian territories.
Shtayyeh said Abbas was planning to address the General Assembly “in his capacity as the president of the state of Palestine, unless he decides not to seek reelection as Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee.”
The PLO’s parliament-in-exile, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), is scheduled to meet in Ramallah ahead of the General Assembly to discuss electing new members of the Executive Committee. It’s not clear at this stage whether Abbas will seek reelection during the PNC session.Erekat: Not Interested in Abbas's Job
With Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas adamant about retiring, he is said to be looking for a successor – and if that is the case, he should be looking elsewhere if he is considering Saeb Erekat, the PA's top negotiator with Israel, Erekat said in an interview Sunday.
Speaking to the London-based Al Araby Al-Jadid newspaper, Erekat said that “if the situation remains the same, the Israeli occupation will succeed Abbas.” Erekat was hinting to the possibility that the PA would resign and shut itself down, demanding a single state merger in which Palestinians would become Israeli citizens.
Erekat has said on previous occasions that if progress is not made on establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, he would advocate for the “one state solution.”
MK Abbas Wants to Cancel Oslo? Let Him Give Back His Guns
Jewish Home Knesset Faction Chairman, MK Yinon Magal, welcomed reports Monday that Palestinian Authority (PA) chief Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) intends to declare the Oslo Accords null and void in his upcoming speech at the UN General Assembly.
"I congratulate Abu Mazen for his declaration that he intends to cancel the Oslo Accords, which he and his partners from Hamas have violated anyway, on a daily basis, in the last 22 years,” stated Magal.
"On this occasion, I call upon him to give back the guns that the Palestinian Authority received as part of the agreement, and which served to murder Jews.”Alan Dershowitz on Iran Nuclear Deal: ‘I’m Furious With President Obama’
Long-time Democrat, Israel defender and famed law professor Alan Dershowitz told a synagogue audience on Saturday night that he was “furious” with President Obama over the Iran nuclear deal.
Speaking at Manhattan’s illustrious Park East Synagogue on the Upper East Side to a crowd gathered for the pre-high-holiday Selichot prayer service, Dershowitz implied he had been betrayed by the president he had formerly championed.
He recounted being invited to the Oval Office before Obama’s reelection in 2012, where the president had committed to being vigilant on the Iranian nuclear issue. Obama has now crossed many of his own red lines, said Dershowitz, who backed Obama in two elections.
The international law expert, who just published The Case Against the Iran Deal: How Can We Now Stop Iran from Getting Nukes? –– a book he completed in 11 days — went on to point out that not a single senator who announced support for the deal was of the opinion that it was a good agreement.
He also asserted that the P5+1 powers have entered into an as yet unseen secret side deal with Iran, which negates the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s central premise: that “Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.”
The former Harvard scholar said the deal was worse than Russian roulette, because there is a “more than a one-in-six chance under this deal that Iran will develop nuclear weapons.”Nuclear Jihad
In the year 628, Muhammad, now ruling in Medina, signed the ten-year Treaty of Hudaybiyyah with his long-time enemies, the tribal confederacy of Quraysh, who ruled Mecca. Twenty-two months later, under the pretext that a clan from a tribe allied with the Quraysh had squabbled with a tribe allied to the Muslims, Muhammad broke the treaty and attacked Mecca, conquering it. It is as certain as day follows night, that the Iranian regime will find a pretext to break the deal. Already, on September 3, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamene'i made it clear that he would back out of the deal if sanctions were not completely removed at once.
The Iranian regime not only despises democracy; it considers all Western law, including international law, invalid.
The Shi'a consider themselves underdogs, who are willing to sacrifice all to establish the rights of their imams and their successors. That was what the 1979 revolution was all about, and it is what present the Iranian regime still insists on as the justification for its opposition to Western intrusion, democracy, women's rights and all the rest, which are deemed by Iran's leadership as part of a plot to undermine and control the expansion of the Shi'i faith on the global stage. These are not Anglican vicars.
The Iranian Army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps "have responsibility... for a religious mission, which is Holy War (Jihad) in the path of God and the struggle to extend the supremacy of God's law in the world." — Iran's Constitution, Article "The Religious Army".British MP Accuses UK of Supporting Iran ‘at Expense of Long-Term Allies’
Following the U.K.’s reopening of its embassy in Tehran, a British MP has accused his government of supporting an “aggressive” Iranian regime instead of its true friends. Conservative MP Guto Bebb also criticized the British government for supporting the Iranian nuclear deal “at the expense of our long-term allies in the region.”
In an interview with Tazpit, Bebb described U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond’s hopes for Iran’s becoming a reformable regime as “misguided.”
The Aberconwy MP, who called for a parliamentary debate in June to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal then under discussion, added that the latitude given to the Iranian government would have been unacceptable to the U.K. government a year ago.
Bebb said he advocated for the continuation of sanctions, which he claimed were proving to be effective measures against Iranian aggression.
Rejecting Hammond’s parliamentary remarks that the deal represented a victory for diplomacy, and Hammond’s assurances to Prime Minister Netanyahu in July that it removes the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon, Bebb told Tazpit he is amazed “that the foreign secretary seems to consider this a success story; his predecessor, Liam Fox, considers this to be completely unacceptable.”Joel Pollak: Colin Powell Backs Iran Deal as ‘Israel Lobby’ Crumbles
Powell made his announcements on NBC News’ Meet the Press on Sunday. “My judgment…is that it’s a pretty good deal.” Powell said that while Iran could continue working toward a nuclear weapon when the deal expires, the agreement would at least slow that down. “We have stopped this highway race that they were going down.” Powell added that “they get nothing” in terms of sanctions relief “until they show compliance,” which repeats a White House talking point, but ignores the fact that sanctions will be lifted when Iran has only begun to show compliance.
In his speech at American University last month, President Obama said that “many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal.” The implication was that support for the Iraq war ought to disqualify those same people from opining on the Iran deal. That rule only appears to apply in one direction: Powell’s role in the Iraq War did not prevent the White House from touting his support for the Iran deal.
Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schulz (D-CA) literally cried on CNN’s State of the Union as she spoke about her “Jewish heart” and rejected the idea that she “sold out Israel.”
And Jonathan Chait of New York magazine gloated over the collapse of the “Israel lobby” in Washington, DC.Debbie Wasserman Schultz asked to resign by constituents over Iran decision
Seething from her announcement in support of the Iran nuclear deal, constituents from Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's district have called for her to resign her office immediately for having betrayed the will of her voters. Schultz, who had delayed announcing her position on the deal and under severe pressure from many of her constituents to renounce the deal, on Sunday, Sept. 6 said she would support the Iran nuclear agreement.
In a five-and-half-page statement released to The Miami Herald on Sunday, Debbie Wasserman Schultz outlined her reasoning for supporting the agreement.
“I have subsequently come to the conclusion that the agreement promotes the national security interests of the United States and our allies and merits my vote of support ...” she wrote. “This agreement is not perfect. But I join many in the belief that with complex, multilateral, nuclear non-proliferation negotiations with inherent geopolitical implications for the entire world, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ deal.”
It didn’t take long for thousands of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s constituents to call for her “immediate resignation for having betrayed the trust of those who voted for her” and for “going against the will of the majority of her constituents.” An August Quinnipiac poll showed Florida voters oppose the pact 61 percent to 25 percent.
Just last week, hundreds of protestors gathered outside of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Aventura, Florida office to urge her to vote against the Iran nuclear agreement. (h/t Jewess)Wounded Vets Rally Against Obama's Iran Nuke Deal
The newly-organized anti-Iran nuclear deal group, Veterans Against the Deal, held a 300+ person rally last week outside the Aventura, Florida, congressional office of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)in hopes to pressure her to vote against President Obama’s controversial and highly-unpopular Iran nuclear deal.
Two of the keynote speakers of the event were wounded combat veterans Sgt. Robert Bartlett, and SSgt. Brian Mast, who is also running for the U.S. Congress is Florida’s 18th congressional district.
Brian Mast had some choice things to say about the elected officials who have stayed silent on the Iran deal:
Our elected officials are looking on to the evil that Iran has posed to the rest of the world and they are doing nothing about it…
We need to tell Debbie Wasserman Schultz, we need to tell Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), we need to tell Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL), that if they vote “yes” on this deal, that they will have the blood of U.S. service members on their hands.Iranian defense minister: US still 'Great Satan'
Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan has declared that despite having signed a nuclear agreement with the United States in July, Iran still views the U.S. as the "Great Satan," and now it is the U.S., rather than Iran, that faces global isolation.
Speaking to Mayadeen TV in Lebanon last week, Dehghan said: "Ayatollah Ali Khomeini called the U.S. the Great Satan and there is nothing strange about it. This name was given on the basis of the principles of the holy Quran, which clearly points to Satanic characteristics, conduct and goals.
"Since the end of World War II, the U.S. has dedicated itself to a policy of instigating strife, discord and wars between the world's nations. They have occupied countries and carried out conspiracies all over. They have meddled in the affairs of others, and have toppled independent regimes. The U.S. did not hesitate to perpetrate the most abominable crimes against the Vietnamese and Korean people, as well as many other countries, because they refused to serve as its lackeys.
"When the U.S. administrations insist on a policy of arrogance toward others, it is only natural that the Iranian regime continues to view the U.S. as the Great Satan," he concluded.
Dehghan added that Iran does not trust the U.S. MEMRI: Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan: The U.S. Is Still the "Great Satan" after the Nuclear Deal
Israel unmoved by EU proposal to expand Arab role in peace talks
An EU proposal to expand the Quartet as a way of jump-starting the stymied Israel-Palestinian diplomatic track elicited shrugs in Jerusalem on Sunday, with officials saying that what is needed is a Palestinian desire to hold talks, not “bureaucratic creativity.”
“From our perspective, the problem is that the Palestinians have no desire to conduct serious negotiations, and no amount of bureaucratic creativity can help that,” one official said.
The EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Friday that Jordanian, Saudi and Egyptian representatives would take part in an expanded meeting of the Quartet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly later this month in the hopes of jump-starting some sort of diplomatic process. The US, EU, Russia and the UN currently make up the Quartet.
“We hope that this restart of the process can lead to improvements on the ground and also to re-open prospective and political horizons to the talks,” she said. Senior Hamas Official Denies Talks with Israel
Hamas has denied allegations by other Palestinian factions – notably the rival movement Fatah – that it is seeking to establish a separate state in Gaza in return for a long-term truce with Israel, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported Sunday.
In a statement posted late Saturday on his Facebook page, Moussa Abu Marzouk, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said his group had no intention of “accepting the separation of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank in return for concessions [from Israel].”
“We have repeated it many times,” he added. “Any consolidation of the truce [with Israel] that we, along with other Palestinian factions, signed in Cairo during last year’s war on Gaza must come in return for opening Gaza’s borders; the unimpeded delivery of building materials into Gaza; lifting the [Israeli-Egyptian] siege on Gaza; allowing Gaza’s airport to operate; and allowing construction of a Gaza seaport.”
Several reports have surfaced in recent weeks that Israel and Hamas have been working on a long-term arrangement through international mediators, specifically the UN, since the end of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last summer.Hamas could be removed in next conflict with Israel, general says
Hamas could be toppled in a future confrontation with Israel, a senior Israeli officer said on Monday, attempting to counter the impression that Israel would maintain Hamas in power at all costs.
Speaking at an international conference organized by the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, outgoing IDF Southern Command chief Sami Turgeman indicated that Israel has changed its view of Hamas as an irreplaceable fixture of the Gaza Strip.
“We don’t see Hamas as something that has to remain forever,” Turgeman said. “Hamas would like to replace the State of Israel with an Islamic state, and we would like to replace it as well.”
Those comments were a dramatic change of position for Turgeman, who said earlier this year that the IDF sees no viable alternative to Hamas in Gaza.Don't lecture Israel about aiding needy Syrians, defiant Netanyahu says
While Israel is not indifferent to the human tragedy of refugees from Syria and Africa, it is a small country that cannot throw its doors open to receive them, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
Netanyahu’s comments, made at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting, came a day after opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) called on the government to absorb refugees from Syria.
“We have conscientiously treated over a thousand wounded from the fighting in Syria, and we have helped them rebuild their lives,” Netanyahu said. “But Israel is a very small country, with neither demographic nor geographic depth and, therefore, we must control our borders.”
Netanyahu said it must secure the borders both against illegal migrants looking for work, as well as from terrorists.Likud Reveals Labor Leader Herzog’s Phone Number to Refugees, Promising ‘Comfortable Lodging’
Likud ministers on Sunday responded critically to Knesset opposition leader, Zionist Camp (Labor) chairman Isaac Herzog, who stated Israel was obligated to take in refugees from Syria and Iraq. Minister of Transport and intelligence, Israel Katz, wrote on his Facebook page Sunday morning: ” Herzog calls on the government of Israel to take in Syrian refugees. What lack of political wisdom and of national responsibility. He should have at least suggested, as the Prime Minister of Finland has done, to take them into his own home.”
And MK Nava Boker (Likud) did one better, urging the refugees to contact Herzog directly, writing on her Facebook page: “Dear Syrian refugee, upon your arrival in Israel, please contact MK Isaac Herzog, phone number 02-640-8533 for sleeping accommodation. You will be transported to a comfortable home in the [prestigious] Tzahala neighborhood of Tel Aviv.”100,000 Palestinians have fled Syria to Europe, official says
Nearly 100,000 Palestinians have fled Syria to Europe and are living in harsh conditions, Ziad al-Aloul, head of the Palestinian Forum in Europe, revealed on Sunday.
Aloul told the Al-Resalah online newspaper that some 500,000 Palestinians have fled their homes in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria.
Only 200,000 of them have remained inside Syria, while the rest have found shelter in a number of Arab countries.
He also revealed that about 1,000 Palestinians have drowned in the sea while they were on their way to Europe, and that 100 of them were still missing.
About 430 Palestinians and Syrians went missing while they were on their way to Italy, and another 2,300 drowned as they tried to reach Greece, he said.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority announced that it was following “with great interest” the plight of the Palestinian refugees in Syria.Israel bolsters Jordan border to keep out terrorists, refugees
Work on a 30-kilometer (18.6-mile) fence along a southern stretch of Israel’s border with Jordan has begun amid efforts to protect Israel against security threats and to keep migrants and asylum seekers from entering the country, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday.
The barrier will run along the country’s eastern border — from Eilat northwards to the Samar sand dunes — and will join a series of other fences Israel has along other borders, including one recently completed on the Egyptian frontier.
The prime minister — during a visit to the planned route of the border fence in the south with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz — said that Israel was not able to take in refugees. He pointed to the European refugee crisis as proof of why Israel needs the barrier.Syrian Druse stand between ISIS and Israeli border, Druse sheikh warns
Israeli Druse leaders told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that the southern Syrian Druse city of Sweida serves as the last barrier separating Islamic State from Israeli territory on the Golan Heights.
If Islamic State gets past Sweida, it puts Jordan and the Israeli border areas at risk, Israeli Druse spiritual leader Sheikh Maufak Tarif told the Post.
The Druse in Sweida are preparing for war and will fight if they have to, he said.
“The situation there is not easy and Islamic State is on the east side,” he explained, adding that it seems that Islamic State is preparing to attack the city.
Asked about his meetings with Israeli officials and foreign governments regarding the Syrian Druse situation, Tarif replied that he is in contact with both Israeli and foreign officials all the time.
“It is a very stressed situation,” he added, urging the US to attack the Islamists in Syria.IDF to unveil new radar system for mortar shells
The Israel Defense Forces is set to unveil a new radar system developed by the army that would improve warning time for southern residents in cases of incoming short-range rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.
The system will be operational next month in communities surrounding the Palestinian enclave, which are vulnerable to rocket attacks.
The new technology is expected to allow an extra seven to eight seconds for residents to seek shelter between the time the projectile is launched and the siren sounds.
More importantly, the system will allow for sirens to be triggered early enough in areas in which previous warning times were insufficient — or even nonexistent. Some communities only have up to five seconds of warning time to run for shelter.Palestinian man gets threats for saving US Jewish students
Despite being threatened with decapitation, Faiz Abu Hamadiah says rescuing youths from Hebron mob was the right thing to do
Hamadiah showed the interviewer a machete that he “keeps by the door,” and said he was prepared to use it against anyone who attempted to enter his home to harm the students, even at the risk of endangering his own life, he said.
“I was afraid… that men in ski masks would come and give us trouble. [But I knew I would defend them], even if it risked my life and the lives of my children,” Hamadiah said.
“This is my worldview,” he explained. “Either you are human, or you don’t do it and then you aren’t human.”
Hebron is divided between a small population of settlers and a larger population of Palestinians, who control most of the city.
Hamadiah had initially dismissed concerns that he would be branded a “collaborator” by his neighbors. “I did the right thing,” he said on Thursday. “We need to live here together.”Palestinians call day of rage after firebombing victim dies
Palestinians called for a “day of rage” throughout the West Bank in response to the death of Riham Dawabsha, who succumbed overnight to wounds she suffered in a firebomb attack on her home on July 31.
Dawabsha died at the Tel Hashomer hospital, near Tel Aviv, where she was treated for burns to 90 percent of her body, inflicted in the attack on her family home in the West Bank village of Duma. It was her 27th birthday.
Palestinian protests were called for Tuesday and Israeli security forces were placed on alert after news of Dawabsha’s death was released by the hospital.
Her body was to be taken to the pathology institute in An-Najah National University for an autopsy. From there, the deceased mother was to be moved to the mosque in Duma, where she was to be buried after the midday prayers. Thousands were expected to take part in her funeral ceremony.
Riham’s grieving father Hussein complained bitterly of the apparent lack of progress in efforts to apprehend the perpetrators of the attack, which police suspect was carried out by Jewish Israeli extremists.Egyptian Authorities to Open Rafah Crossing for Three Days
Egyptian authorities on Sunday notified the Gaza Ministry of Interior that the Rafah border crossing would be open for three days starting Monday to allow Gazans to leave for the holy Muslim Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia's Mecca, Gazan officials said, according to the Ma’an news agency.
The Hamas-run Ministry of Interior said in a statement that the Egyptian authorities would only allow pilgrims access through the terminal.
Egyptian authorities have kept the crossing virtually sealed since a terrorist attack in the Sinai Peninsula in October 2014, though they have temporarily reopened the crossing several times.
Last month Egyptian authorities opened the crossing for four days, allowing 2,579 humanitarian cases to leave Gaza while 3,178 people were permitted entry to the coastal enclave.
In late June, Egyptian authorities agreed to keep the crossing open for a week, the longest period so far this year.JCPA: The Disintegration of Syria and Its Impact on Israel
Syria’s fragmentation into separate, battling enclaves is intensifying. The two main enclaves are “central Syria,” controlled by the Assad regime, and the Islamic State. Other enclaves are controlled by the communities that populate them (the Kurdish region in the north and the Druze Mountain in the south) or by Sunni opposition elements (part of Aleppo, Idlib, the southern Golan, and numerous rural areas around the main cities, including Damascus). All factions are fighting to expand their spheres of control or prevent gains by their enemies; and while each of these factions is pursuing local offensives and succeeding, the Islamic State is expanding its control in a way that could have strategic ramifications.
The fear of the Islamic State will probably lead external actors to boost their involvement in the fighting, thereby lessening the centrality of the regime’s struggle against the other insurgent groups. Against the backdrop of the nuclear deal, there are increasing chances of cooperation between the United States, Iran, and Assad, and possibly also Turkey and Saudi Arabia, in the campaign against the Islamic State. This situation, apparently, forms the background for initiatives to bring the war to an end that have led to the new UN Security Council resolution.
Gains by the Assad regime, Iran, and Hizbullah in the crucial area of the Syrian-Lebanese border are likely, under these circumstances, to lead to intensified efforts by Iran and Hizbullah, as a secondary theater, to build capabilities for attacking Israel in the northern Golan.
In light of all these factors, and given the ongoing human distress, Israel may have no choice but to reconsider its policy toward the developments in Syria.Analysis: Russia taking advantage of West’s inaction to keep Assad in power
Russia’s recent military buildup in Syria has sparked concern in Western capitals as Vladimir Putin again appears to be shrewdly calculating that the West will not significantly counter his moves.
The Russian president’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region last year was not strongly resisted by the Europeans or Americans, and the Kremlin likely expects even less resistance to its involvement a half-world away.
Russia’s efforts to maintain its Syrian ally and build inroads with Egypt and elsewhere represent its contest with the US for power and influence in the region.
US Secretary of State John Kerry told his Russian counterpart on Saturday the United States was deeply concerned about reports that Moscow was moving toward a major military build-up in Syria widely seen as aimed at bolstering President Bashar Assad.
US authorities have detected “worrisome preparatory steps,” including the transport of prefabricated housing units for hundreds of people to a Syrian airfield, which could signal that Russia is readying deployment of heavy military assets there, a senior US official told Reuters.IS forces Syrian Christians to pledge to abide by Islamic rules, pay special tax
The Islamic State group is forcing Christians in the Syrian territory it controls to sign a contract for dhimma (non-Muslims), restricting external expressions of their faith and agreeing to pay a jizya tax levied on those who do not follow Islam.
The Islamist organization controls swathes of Iraq and Syria, where some 10 million people live, according to a March 2015 assessment by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which monitors the Arab media, says that the Islamic State’s media office in the Damascus province on Thursday published a photo report showing Christians in the town of Al-Qaryatayn in central Syria signing the contract, which it says requires signatories “to pay the jizya poll tax, abide by Islamic rules and refrain from certain activities.”
In exchange, MEMRI says, the contract offers certain protections for Christians, including a guarantee that they will come to no harm and will not be forced to convert. The contract adds that anyone found to be in violation of any of the articles in the 11-point contract will be “treated as a combatant.”
SFW has long focused on the role of Islamic charities in funding Jihad. This is a chief concern surrounding Shariah-compliant finance because of the byproduct of Shariah finance in which funds are funneled to Islamic charities as zakat or to “purify” impurities in portfolios.
As we have detailed scores of times over the years, here we have yet another probe in the UK of Islamic charities involved in impropriety…which often leads to the conclusion that money has been provided to Jihadists…
TWO ISLAMIC charities that raised at least £1m between them for “refugees in war torn Syria and Palestine” and “victims of natural disasters in Pakistan” are facing probes into “significant financial irregularities”
The Light Charity UK (TLC) received more than £400,000 in one year, but after paying staff was left with just £8,000 for charitable causes, while the connected Fatimiyya Trust pulled in over £162,000 but had ZERO left after making a loss by spending close to £170,000 on staff and support costs.
The Charity Commission is to carry out separate inquiries into the two west London-based organisations which raised more than £1m between them from 2010 to 2012 and have failed to file subsequent accounts, so the total sum is unknown and could be significfantly higher.
Douglas Murray: The New Racists: Jew Hate
If you had thought that the only qualification needed is to excel at your chosen art form and then see if you can gather audiences, you were wrong. That is not enough anymore -- certainly not if you are Jewish.
The treatment of the reggae star Matisyahu is something new. For Matisyahu is not an Israeli -- he is an American. For a while, only Israeli Jews were made pariahs among the nations because of an unresolved border dispute involving their country. Now it is Jews born anywhere else in the world who can be targeted in the same way. They are singling out Jews -- Jews and only Jews.
Habima performers were insulted and vilified while on stage at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, trying to perform "The Merchant of Venice." None of the protesters seemed to see the irony of vilifying Jews on stage during that of all plays.
Spain has its own border issues. Perhaps Spanish performers should henceforth be quizzed about their political attitudes before they are allowed to perform abroad? Maybe the rest of the world should demand that all artists from Spain sign a statement or make a video supporting Catalan independence if they are to be allowed to perform in public?
Only one country and one geopolitical question is addressed in this way. Turkish artists are nowhere in the world asked to condemn their country's illegal occupation of Northern Cyprus -- an occupation, lasting more than four decades, of half an EU member state.
Their singling out of Jews, wherever they are from, makes their racist motivation abundantly clear. If the Rototom Sunsplash festival wants to take part in this racist BDS fever then it is them -- and not Jews -- whom the world must make into pariahs.Foreign Ministry: Spanish festival's boycott of US Jew Matisyahu proves BDS is anti-Semitic
If you plan on going to the Sunsplash Rototom Reggae Festival in Spain this week, you better not speak the language of the Hebrewman. If you do, they might kick you out.
The festival’s cancellation of a scheduled August 22 appearance by Jewish-American reggae artist Matisyahu – under pressure from Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists – unmasks the anti-Semitic nature of that movement, a Foreign Ministry representative said Sunday.
“We always said that BDS was not connected to the Palestinian issue or the settlements but was nothing more than Jew hatred,” spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said.
“And this demonstrates that.”
Matisyahu, Nahshon stressed, is not Israeli.WJC President Condemns Cancellation of Matisyahu Concert
World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder on Sunday expressed “outrage” and “utter bewilderment” at news that a music festival in Spain had disinvited American Jewish musician Matisyahu for failing to sign a pro-Palestinian declaration.
“This is a clear instance of anti-Semitism, and nothing else,” Lauder said in a statement, urging Spanish authorities “to condemn this sad incident and to take appropriate action those responsible for it.”
“Matisyahu is an American Jew. More importantly, like everybody else in a free and democratic society, he not only has a right to express his views – whether you agree with them or not — but he also has every right not to have the repugnant views of the festival organizers imposed on him. He is a musician who has been denied the opportunity to play his planned gig at a European reggae festival purely because he is Jewish and because he refuses to side with the vicious and bigoted BDS movement,” Lauder said.
“And to the people of Spain, I say this: Being a ‘Zionist’ and supporting Israel has nothing to do with supporting apartheid. Rather, it is about supporting democracy, the rule of law, freedom, openness and diversity,” he continued.
“The Rototom Sunsplash festival benefits from financial support from public authorities. I very much hope that they will convey a clear message to the organizers that either they re-invite Matisyahu and apologize for their outrageous behavior, or they pay back that financial aid, because anti-Semitism and racism must not be rewarded by public support – not in Spain, and not anywhere else,” added Lauder.
MEMRI: Iranian VP And Atomic Chief Salehi Reveals Details From Secret Iran-U.S. Nuclear Talks: Khamenei Made Direct Talks Conditional Upon Achieving Immediate Results; U.S. Conveyed Its Recognition Of Iran's Enrichment Rights To Omani Sultan, Who Relayed The Message To Then-President Ahmadinejad
In an interview published in the daily Iran on August 4, 2015 under the title "The Black Box of the Secret Negotiations between Iran and America," Iranian vice president and Atomic Energy Organization head Ali Akbar Salehi, who is a senior member of Iran's negotiation team and was foreign minister under president Ahmadinejad, revealed new details on the secret bilateral talks between Iran and the U.S. that started during Ahmadinejad's second presidential term. According to Salehi, U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz, whom Salehi knew from his period as a doctoral student at MIT, was appointed to the American negotiation team at Salehi's request, a request which the Americans met within hours.
Salehi added that Khamenei agreed to open a direct channel of negotiations between Iran and the U.S. on the condition that the talks would yield results from the start and would not deal with any other issue, especially not with U.S.-Iran relations. Following this, Salehi demanded, via the Omani mediator Sultan Qaboos, that the U.S. recognize Iran's right to enrich uranium, and received a letter from Qaboos expressing such American recognition, which he relayed to Ahmadinejad.Obama Has Destroyed the Military Option on Iran
The major options available to the president in the face of an Iranian nuclear threat are covert (sabotage, cyberwarfare) and military (precision airstrikes with bunker-busting bombs). Mr. Obama has these at his disposal today. But his successor is unlikely to have them in 10 years.
Why? For seven reasons.
First, amazingly, the Vienna nuclear agreement requires the Europeans to assist Iran with training and technology in protecting its nuclear sites and program against sabotage. It is no coincidence that, in 2013, when Mr. Obama deviated from his earlier insistence on Tehran ceasing uranium enrichment in favor of negotiating a deal permitting continued enrichment, the CIA and NSA “drastically curtailed its cooperation with Israel.” This cooperation, aimed at disrupting the Iranian nuclear project, had enjoyed “significant successes over the past decade,” according to veteran military and intelligence analyst Ronen Bergman.
The nuclear deal thus renders future sabotage and cyberwarfare against Iran — such as the Stuxnet virus, which wrecked a fifth of Iran’s centrifuges in 2010 — more difficult; perhaps, in time, even impossible.
Second, Mr. Obama has himself admitted the possibility that, at the deal’s expiration, “the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero.” (So much for his current claim that “Iran [would be] further away from a weapon” in 10-15 years). This means there might not be time to act even militarily, since Iran may well already have one or more nuclear weapons.
Third, Tehran will have had the time to reinforce existing underground facilities and build new, deeper ones that might be impervious to airstrikes. This means that the 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator, the bunker-busting bombs which can penetrate Iran’s underground nuclear facility at Fordow, might not be enough to do the job.Obama can do Iran nuclear deal even if Congress disapproves
The September vote on the Iran nuclear deal is billed as a titanic standoff between President Barack Obama and Congress. Yet even if lawmakers reject the agreement, it's not game-over for the White House.
A congressional vote of disapproval would not prevent Obama from acting on his own to start putting the accord in place. While he probably would take some heavy criticism, this course would let him add the foreign policy breakthrough to his second-term list of accomplishments.
Obama doesn't need a congressional OK to give Iran most of the billions of dollars in relief from economic sanctions that it would get under the agreement, as long as Tehran honors its commitments to curb its nuclear program — at least for now.
"A resolution to disapprove the Iran agreement may have substantial political reverberations, but limited practical impact," says Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "It would not override President Obama's authority to enter into the agreement."
Lawmakers on their summer break are deciding how to vote. A look at the current state of play:Iranian official: Moniz joined nuclear talks because of me
It is becoming increasingly evident that Iran dictated the terms of the nuclear negotiations with world powers. In an Iran Daily interview published this month, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, provided a behind-the-scenes look at the talks -- and the picture he presented was not a flattering one for world powers.
According to a translation of the interview provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute, Salehi, who was a senior member of the Iranian negotiating team, demanded that his old acquaintance, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, join the talks. Salehi first became familiar with Moniz in the 1970s when Salehi was a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Americans acceded to Salehi's demand.
"Moniz joined the talks because of me," Salehi said.
Salehi said he himself had been called on to join the talks in February 2015, when it became clear that most of the remaining problems to be resolved were technical in nature.
Salehi said he was very pleased with the direct dialogue with Moniz. The J Street paradox
American Jews are embarrassed. The feeling that U.S. President Barack Obama is determined to approve a deal with a country that threatens to destroy Israel puts them in an uncomfortable position. Concerns about the consequences of the deal have united most Jewish organizations in an unprecedented manner, as they work with various American groups making every effort to thwart it.
It is therefore puzzling that the left-wing Jewish lobby group J Street, which purports to be "pro-Israel and pro-peace," chose to remove itself from the Israeli consensus that is supported by most American Jewish organizations.
J Street is not embarrassed, however. It is in the midst of a multi-million dollar campaign supporting the deal, which -- even if the optimists are correct, and a nuclear Iran is delayed -- still gives the ayatollahs billions of dollars that they will use, among other things, to arm terrorists against Israel. How can J Street call itself pro-Israel when it works against the majority of Israelis?Joel Pollak: Iran Deal Has No Significant Public Support
If rallies could vote, the Iran deal would lose in a landslide.
Supporters of the deal–who consist of a small minority of the Iranian expatriate community, and the radical left fringe–have held several rallies across the country in recent weeks.
The largest of these, in Los Angeles, reached 200 participants–a tiny fraction of the 800,000-strong Iranian-American community in the city. This weekend’s rally in Washington, D.C. reached 100 participants. Around 80 gathered in San Diego.
In contrast, over 10,000 rallied against the Iran deal in Times Square last month, and 1,000 gathered at a Los Angeles rally.
Supporters of the Iran deal have also tried to crash town hall meetings of U.S. Senators and Representatives. But they were a no-show last week in at least one California district, and barely managed a handful of demonstrators in New York–against hundreds of opponents of the deal.
The low interest and attendance by supporters of the Iran deal are reflected by national polls, which show that Americans oppose the deal roughly 2-to-1.Ambassador Dermer on Israeli Support for Netanyahu on Iran Deal: Moses Didn’t Have Those Numbers
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said on Sunday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has more support in the Jewish state for his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal than Moses had when he led the Israelites out of Egypt.
Dermer’s comment was made in an interview with CNN‘s Fareed Zakaria in response to a question on whether it was prudent policy for Israel to oppose the Obama Administration on the Iran deal, given the importance of Washington’s support for Israel’s security.
Acknowledging the centrality of Israel’s relationship with the United States, Dermer said that ensuring the State of Israel’s survival was more important, and that, “the Prime Minister of Israel and the head of the [opposition] agree that this is a very bad deal that endangers Israel’s security.” He continued, “in Israel this view is shared by the Prime Minister, by the head of the opposition [Isaac Herzog], by 30 out of 33 members of our Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Moses didn’t have those kind of numbers.”
Dermer also said he believed that President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were sincere when they claimed that the Iran deal would make both the United States and Israel safer, but, “We just disagree with their judgment. We think this deal will endanger Israel’s security.”
He also said that while Israel is not directly lobbying U.S. lawmakers to vote down the deal, “We are telling them that this is a bad deal that endangers Israel’s security.”An Open Letter to President Obama From the Children of Holocaust Survivors
Dear President Obama,
As proud children of Jewish Holocaust survivors, we strongly condemn your recent statement that Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu are the only ones who oppose your ill-conceived deal with Iran.
Rather than propagate these erroneous and misleading attacks, the American people would be better served if you highlighted the truly relevant facts. Fortunately, the Israeli people, Netanyahu, and many members of Congress seem to understand these facts – especially in light of the important lessons of the Holocaust.
You, and those who support you, are quick to appear at annual Holocaust memorial commemorations and utter the words “we shall never forget.” But, with this deal, it is abundantly clear that you have indeed forgotten, or perhaps never understood the lessons of the Holocaust. At least Neville Chamberlain did not have the advantage of history as his guide.Iranian Dissidents: Nuke Deal Will Enrich “Tyrants and Theocrats,” Fund Human Rights Abuses
A group of 53 Iranian dissidents wrote a letter, published Friday by The Daily Beast, outlining their opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran and arguing that the agreement’s failure to hold Tehran accountable for its human rights abuses, both domestic and international, will only empower the Islamic regime and endanger the world.
This deal will provide up to $150 billion windfall of cash into the bank account of our tyrants and theocrats. This money will not be spent on the Iranian people but rather to enrich a repressive regime.
Sadly, the world has not demanded real improvements in human rights. Thousands of activists continue to languish behind bars (including several Americans) and it is tragic that their release was not included in these discussions.
We are sounding the alarm bells before it is too late. Those who care about peace should help restore focus to the Iranian regime’s brutal human rights records, its support for global terror and role in destabilizing the Middle East. More pressure should be applied to the regime, not less.Khamenei: Deal or No Deal, Iran Will 'Shut' US Out
The fate of Iran's nuclear deal with world powers is still undecided but it will not leave the country open to US influence, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday.
Khamenei, the country's highest authority, said in a statement quoted on his website that Tehran would block any US attempt to influence Iran despite the historic accord.
"They think that through this agreement - the fate of which is not clear as no one knows if it will be approved here or in America - they could find a way to intrude into the country," Khamenei said.
"We have closed such a path and will decisively shut it. We'll allow neither economic nor political nor cultural intrusion by the United States."Iran Declares: Even if Congress Defeats Deal, We Won
The US Congress is currently engaged in a 60-day review period of the Iran nuclear deal after which it will vote on whether or not to approve the agreement, but according to the Islamic regime it has "won," no matter what Congress decides.
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), told a gathering in Tehran on Sunday that Iran has won, even if Congress rejects the deal and blocks US President Barack Obama's veto, reports the semi-official Fars News Agency.
"The fate of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCOPA) is not fully clear yet since there is commotion in the US, and the Congress and the US administration have stood up to each other," Salehi said of the Iran deal.
But he added that "no matter (if) the JCPOA is approved or disapproved by the US Congress and even if Obama fails to do anything, we will be the winning party."Iran's Hard-Liners Call on Parliament to Reject Nuclear Deal
Around 50 hard-line students and activists in Iran staged a rally, calling on the parliament to reject the landmark nuclear deal reached with world powers last month, The Associated Press (AP) reported on Sunday, citing Iran's official IRNA news agency.
The report said the protesters carried signs outside the parliament building decrying the agreement as an "injustice to our nation."
Lawmaker Zohre Tayebzadeh addressed the crowds, claiming the deal crosses "red lines" by allowing the United States to supervise Iran's uranium enrichment program.
Iran's parliament and the Supreme National Security Council, the country's highest security decision-making body, are to consider the agreement in the coming days, noted AP.Donald Trump Says Iran Deal Will Lead to ‘Nuclear Holocaust’ (VIDEO)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Sunday that the Iran nuclear deal concluded in Vienna last month will result in a nuclear Holocaust.
“They are going to be such a wealthy, such a powerful nation, they are going to have nuclear weapons,” the 2016 hopeful said of Iran in an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press. “They are going to take over parts of the world that you wouldn’t believe. And I think it’s going to lead to nuclear Holocaust.”
The bombastic business tycoon went on to describe the negotiators of the accord, including Secretary of State John Kerry “and his friends,” as “incompetent.”
In contrast to other Republican candidates, Trump told Meet the Press host Chuck Todd that he wouldn’t discard the nuclear deal on day one of his presidency, but, he said, he would “police that contract so tough that they don’t have a chance, as bad as the contract is. I will be so tough on that contract.”Presidential Candidate Ben Carson Implies Obama’s Iran Deal is Antisemitic (VIDEO)
Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson suggested on Sunday that the Iran nuclear deal spearheaded by President Barack Obama is antisemitic.
“I think anything is antisemitic that is against the survival of a state that is surrounded by enemies and by people who want to destroy them and to sort of ignore that and to act like everything is normal there and that these people are paranoid, I think that’s antisemitic,” Carson said on Fox News Sunday when asked about a recent Jerusalem Post op-ed he had written on the subject.
Although the retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeons did not specifically mention the Iran deal, he said that during a recent visit to Israel he could not find one person who “didn’t feel that this administration has turned its back on Israel.”
Indirectly criticizing Obama, Carson said a U.S. president should hold a position that “begins to draw people together behind a vision, not one where you castigate those who believe different from you.”
In the Jerusalem Post article, the surgeon-turned-politician called President Obama the “divider-in-chief” and said the language he has used to argue for the Iran nuclear agreement had “antisemitic themes.”Huckabee Traveling to Israel to Discuss 'Insane' Iran Deal
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has been one of the more vocal of the Republican presidential candidates in condemning President Obama's Iran deal, particularly as it will impact Israel. In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" this weekend, Huckabee announced that he was traveling to Israel to do some fundraising and to discuss the president's "insane" deal.
Guest host Dana Bash brought up Huckabee's planned two-day trip to Israel this week and asked, "Why is it more important to be in Israel than in Iowa right now?"
Huckabee said he had "several activities" planned, including fundraising and meeting with "a number of officials" to discuss the deal, which he said is "the most dangerous situation" the country faces.Sharpton Calls On Black Churches to Support Iran Deal
Social justice activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton is calling on black churches to organize in defense of President Obama's unpopular Iran deal. Sharpton's argument: If the deal is blocked, America might be drawn into a war with Iran, which will inevitably lead to the deaths of a "disproportionate" number of African Americans.
"We have a disproportionate interest, being that if there is a war, our community is always disproportionately part of the armed services, and that a lot of the debate is by people who will not have family members who will be at risk," Sharpton told Huffington Post writer and MSNBC contributor Ryan Grim Saturday.
"I am calling on ministers in black churches nationwide to go to their pulpits Sunday and have their parishioners call their senators and congressman to vote yes on the Iran nuclear plan," said Sharpton, who regularly turns to African American churches to support his political activism.
"There needs to be a balance in this. Clearly lobbyists and others like AIPAC are pushing on their side and there needs to be an organized effort on the other side," said Sharpton, echoing one of the president's more inflammatory talking points. "And we're kicking it off tomorrow morning."No verdict yet for US reporter on trial in Iran
Lawyer Leila Ahsan said last Monday that the secretive trial had its final session and that she expected a verdict “within a week.”
But the head of Tehran’s justice department, Gholamhossein Esmaili, said Sunday that the court had yet to reach a decision.
“The end of the proceedings in the file of Jason Rezaian has yet to be announced. The verdict has yet to be reached,” Esmaili was quoted as saying by the official ISNA news agency. “The judge sets the date of the verdict.”
Rezaian, a 39-year-old Iranian-American, has been in custody more than a year and is being tried behind closed doors, drawing condemnation from his family, employer and press freedom groups.
His newspaper has called the trial a “sick brew of farce and tragedy” and said it “has been anything but transparent and just”.U.N. Human Rights Experts Call on Iran to Release American Journalist Jason Rezaian
The Washington Post asked the United Nations to support its demand for the release of captive journalist Jason Rezaian, held prisoner for over a year by the Iranian regime on absurd charges of “espionage.” As Rezaian’s long, secret “trial” grinds on, several U.N. human-rights experts have expressed their concerns.
“The arrest, detention and secret trial of Mr. Rezaian violate his rights and intimidate all those working in the media in Iran,” said David Kaye, the U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, as reported at the Washington Post. “His continued detention violates basic rules that not only aim to protect journalists, bloggers, human rights activists and others, but to guarantee everyone’s right to information.”
Seong-Phil Hong, head of the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, said that Jason Rezaian “seems to have been detained for the simple fact of having exercised his rights to freedom of expression, association and political participation,” while his “rights to legal counsel of his choice and to due process of law seem to have been forgotten.”Kuwaiti news reports: Seized weapons were smuggled in from Iran
An immense arms cache that had been seized in Kuwait was smuggled into the country from Iran, two Kuwaiti newspapers reported on Sunday.
The Kuwaiti Interior Ministry said on Thursday that authorities had found ammunition, explosives, weapons and grenades in holes dug under houses in an area near the Iraqi border. Three men who owned the houses were detained.
Al-Anba, one of the country’s most circulated newspapers, reported that the weapons had been smuggled across the border from Iraq for use by members of an Iranian-backed Hezbollah cell.
But the dailies, al-Rai and al-Qabas – citing unnamed sources – made known on Sunday that the weapons had been brought into Kuwait by sea from Iran. They quoted the sources as saying that the new information had come from confessions made by the detainees during interrogation.
Al-Qabas said that the number of suspects held on foot of the investigation has now risen to 13.
“The suspects have disclosed that there is a direct Iranian line in supplying weapons to Kuwait by sea,” al-Rai reported.PMW: Mahmoud Abbas to visit Iran as PA – Iran strengthen bilateral ties
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas will be visiting Teheran in the near future in order to strengthen bilateral ties. Senior Fatah official Abbas Zaki, who is traveling to Iran to arrange Abbas’ visit, said the ties are “an inevitable step if we [the palestinians] want to confront the Israeli occupation.” In the past Iran was a significant supplier of weapons used in terror against Israel and was behind the shipping of 50 tons of weapons to the Palestinian Authority on the ship "Karine A" that Israel intercepted in 2002.
Earlier this month Abbas already sent a senior official to Teheran to deliver a personal letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about the “Israeli offensives against ‘our people and its holy places.’” PLO Executive Committee Member Ahmed Majdalani was sent “to repair its relations with Iran... and it was agreed to determine actual steps to bring the occupation to an end, in addition to Palestinian participation in resolving the Syrian crisis. This is due to the fact that President Abbas’ initiative and the Iranian initiative to end the war taking place there intersect.”
Significantly, the PA has been reluctant up until now to publicly take sides in the Syrian civil war, in which Iran has been the main supporter of the forces of Syrian President Assad. It may be that in the interest of receiving Iranian aid the PA is willing to side with the Assad regime.
At that first meeting it was decided to schedule the Abbas visit to Iran and that Abbas Zaki will lead a Fatah delegation to Iran to plan the details of the visit.Looking Ahead at Middle East "Peace"
The U.S. has provided approximately $5 billion to the Palestinians in bilateral aid since the mid-1990s and about $540 million this year. The EU added more than €500 million ($558 million), making it the largest single-year donor. Why should Palestinian Authority (PA) not have to pay the bill for its own savage behavior? And why is the U.S. so determined to protect it?
According to the deputy head of UNRWA, the organization needs $101 million in order to open schools on time. Why does the Hamas government not pay for its own children to go to school? And why does the Hamas government not pay for the repair of its own people's houses? UNRWA and the U.S. government seem to believe that the PA and Hamas cannot be expected to spend their own funds -- or donated funds -- on the needs of their own people. Hamas can therefore use all its funds to make war.
As long as Hamas and the PA are permitted both to spend sponsors' money on terrorism and warfare while escaping responsibility for the needs of their people, and as long as Iran is a key donor -- with all the temptations, means and opportunity to "wipe Israel," as it repeatedly threatens to do -- the idea of a U.S.-led "peace process" is fantasy.Prosor Complains Against Anti-Semitic UN Executive
Israel's Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor met this week with Carmen Lapointe, UN Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services, and submitted a demand for an investigation into the behavior of Rima Khalaf, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
Prosor demanded that Khalaf be placed before a disciplinary court, according to a report Monday on Army Radio.
The issues with Khalaf are not new. Last year, Prosor asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to fire Khalaf, after she indirectly compared Israel with Nazi Germany, and blamed Israel for all of the Arab world's problems in the area of development.
Ban spoke with Khalaf about the matter but did not fire her.
Several weeks ago, Khalaf again made provocative statements against Israel.
She expressed support for the hostile “flotilla” that sought to breach Israel's maritime blockade on Gaza in June, and said the move was legitimate. She compared the Israeli response to an act of terror, saying: “The Israeli response to the flotilla is like the violent abductions carried out by pirates at sea, in the air and on land, which the world does not hesitate to call terror.”
At another event, which took place at the UN HQ in New York, she said that “terror activities” constitute “a war for justice.”Will an Undiplomatic Appointment Hurt Israel?
Netanyahu may actually be counting on Danon’s ambition causing him to avoid saying stupid things or starting needless quarrels. After all, Netanyahu’s own rise can be dated to his tenure in the same UN post from 1984-88. By giving him the opportunity to demonstrate a grasp of foreign affairs that goes beyond slogans — a prerequisite if he is ever to have a realistic chance of becoming prime minister — Netanyahu may be hoping that Danon will behave in a manner that will do his country credit. Indeed, Danon’s promise to faithfully represent Netanyahu’s policies, including a two-state solution, seems to indicate that he is probably more interested in getting ahead than ideological purity.
Perhaps Netanyahu may also be thinking that having as one of its chief spokespersons someone who can articulate Israel’s case in a non-defensive manner won’t harm Israel. For decades, too many professional Israeli diplomats have de-emphasized any mentions of Israel’s rights in the conflict with the Palestinians and spoken instead only of its security. That enabled them to fit in better among their fellow diplomats at world forums, but it created an unbalanced discussion that favored Israel’s enemies. In any debate between those who claim their rights and those that only talk of wanting to be safe, the former always prevail in the court of international opinion.
In the last two years, Netanyahu has rightly sought to change that by appointing ambassadors with more forthright styles. It is a matter of opinion as to whether that approach is working. But those who claim that those who speak for Israel must only discuss the desire for peace and compromise must account for the fact that the last 20 years of peace processing and Israeli concessions has only worsened its international image rather than helped it.Red Cross offering training to Hamas on International Law
The International Committee of the Red Cross have begun training courses for Hamas militants last month in International Law and humanitarian principles, the New York Times reported on Sunday.
The sessions, which began last month, discussed how the International Criminal Court dictates wartime conduct and how it decides what constitutes war crimes.
The challenge for those organizing the lessons, however, was convincing members of Hamas' armed Kassam Brigades, that international law and Islamic law could work hand in hand, according to the report.
Some members of the military wing saw connections between Islamic and Western law, using verses from the Kuran. "The prophet used to give orders to his army that you should not kill any child, nor cut down any tree," said one member. "As long as he is not fighting me, I should not kill him."
Others, however, were more skeptical of the courses, and argued that in the ongoing conflict with Israel, using these humanitarian principles should sometimes be "overlooked, because the situation is different." Khaled Abu Toameh: Source: Delegation heads to Egypt to discuss long-term truce between Hamas and Israel
A senior Hamas delegation is preparing to head to Egypt for talks on a possible long-term truce between the Islamist movement and Israel, sources in the Gaza Strip revealed on Sunday.
The sources said that the delegation, which would be headed by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, is also expected to visit Qatar and Turkey.
They said that it was not clear yet whether the Egyptian authorities had given permission to the Hamas officials to enter Egypt through the Rafah border crossing.
Other sources claimed that the Hamas delegation has been invited to a meeting in Cairo with the head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service to discuss efforts to achieve a long-term truce with Israel.
Ahmed Yusef, a top Hamas official, was quoted last weekend as saying that significant progress has been achieved toward reaching a long-term truce in the Gaza Strip.Turkish-Israeli detente contingent on Gaza ceasefire, official says
Israel’s ability to normalize diplomatic relations with Turkey is contingent upon a ceasefire agreement with Hamas to ease the Gaza blockade, a Turkish official said on Monday.
“The negotiations surrounding [the Turkish vessel Mavi] Marmara are proceeding gradually and are interlaced with Hamas’s negotiations on a ceasefire,” Yasin Aktay, an adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglo, told Hamas daily al-Resalah, which called the Gaza blockade “a Turkish matter.”
For the past five years, Turkey and Israel have been negotiating the terms of a diplomatic solution to the crisis caused by the May 2010 killing of nine Turkish activists during an IDF commando raid on the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara, which, as part of a six-ship flotilla, attempted to break the Israeli naval blockade imposed on Gaza.
Even before the flotilla, once warm ties between Jerusalem and Ankara soured over Israel’s military actions in Gaza.Terror groups in Lebanon denounce ISIL, reject own blacklisting by Canada
Two political parties in the Middle East designated as terror groups by Canada predict the Islamic State movement won't survive and question why they're blacklisted when co-operation could defeat the common enemy.
Representatives of both Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon have separately condemned ISIL in rare meetings with The Canadian Press.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has denounced the jihadist militants, a position he has used to buttress Canada's involvement in the U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
National security is a leading issue in the Oct. 19 federal election.
ISIL is "not accepted" by most Muslims represented by Hamas, said its boss in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan.
"In Gaza, we do have the resolution to deal harshly and prevent these groups," he said.
A source close to Hezbollah's top leadership said extremist movements "mushroom, but they never last and don't find a place with moderate Sunnis and Shias.'UN Won't Stop ISIS Even if it Beheads Everyone in Libya'
However, Libya's Ambassador to the UN Ibrahim al-Dabashi expressed his pessimism that the Security Council would in fact take action.
In an interview with the London-based Arabic paper Asharq Al-Awsat, al-Dabashi said on Sunday that the UNSC will not agree to arm the Libyan army before a national consensus government is formed - even if ISIS conquers all of Libya and beheads all of its citizens first.
Al-Dabashi accused the Security Council of "encouraging" the massacres conducted by ISIS and being partners to the crimes.
According to the UN representative, every weapon-bearing Libyan citizen who does not take part in the war against ISIS is a "coward" and is an accomplice to the crimes, and they should expect to be killed like the rest when ISIS arrives.
Many families have fled Sirte, the birthplace of Libya's former ruler Muammar Gaddafi, after ISIS executed 73 youths there including children under the age of 14, and proceeded to burn their bodies on the coast. ISIS likewise beheaded 12 others and crucified their bodies.ISIS 'Mein Kampf' Blames Israel for Global Terrorism
Intelligence officials are comparing a newly discovered secret Islamic State document to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” as it blames Israel for the rise of the Islamic State and crowns U.S. President Barack Obama as the “Mule of the Jews.”
The document serves as a Nazi-like recruiting pitch that attempts to unite dozens of factions of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban into a single army of terror. It includes a never-before-seen history of the Islamic State, details chilling future battle plans and urges al-Qaeda to join Islamic State.
Its tone is direct: “Accept the fact that this caliphate will survive and prosper until it takes over the entire world and beheads every last person that rebels against Allah. This is the bitter truth, swallow it.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal center for human rights who heads Center’s Digital Terrorism and Hate Project, compares the Islamic State threats in the document to the rise of Nazism pre-World War II.
The brutal killing of a teacher and three children at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse in 2012 by an Algerian Islamist was a major signal to the Jewish community that Europe was no longer safe and that not enough was being done to curtail the rise of anti-semitism, he said.
“It’s important to remember what our founder, Wiesenthal said, ‘it often starts with the Jews but it never ends with the Jews,” Cooper said. “As a matter fact [Islamic State] did not create anti-semitism but they are taking advantage of it, and they are building on it."
Alan Dershowitz: Netanyahu emulates Churchill in trying to influence US policy to protect Israel
Does President Obama really believe that Israeli leaders are required to remain silent and simply accept the consequences of a deal that puts its population at risk? As Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly said, Israel is not Czechoslovakia, Czechoslovakia too was excluded from the negotiations that led to its dismemberment, but it had no ability to influence the policies of the negotiating nations. Nor did it have the ability to defend itself militarily, as Israel does.
The United States would surely not accept a deal negotiated by other nations that put its citizens at risk. No American leader would remain silent in the face of such a deal. Israel has every right to express its concern about a deal that has crossed not only its own red lines but the red lines originally proposed by President Obama.
President Obama’s attack on Prime Minister Netanyahu for doing exactly what he would be doing if the shoe were on the other foot has encouraged Israel bashers to accuse opponents of the deal of dual loyalty. Nothing could be further from the truth. I and the deal’s other opponents are as loyal to our country as is President Obama and the supporters of the deal. I am a liberal Democrat who opposed the invasion of Iraq and who twice supported President Obama when he ran for president. Many of the deal’s strongest opponents also cannot be accused of being warmongers because we believe that the deal actually increases the likelihood of war.
The President should stop attacking both the domestic and international critics of the deal and engage us on the merits. That is why I have issued a challenge to the Obama Administration to debate its critics on national television. This is a wonderful occasion for Lincoln-Douglas type debates over this important foreign policy issue. At this point in time the majority of Americans are against the deal, as are the majority of both Houses of Congress. The President has the burden of changing the public’s mind. This is, after all, a democracy. And the President should not be empowered to impose his will on the American public based on one-third plus one of one house of Congress, when a majority of Americans have expressed opposition. So let the name calling stop and let the debates begin. Jpost Editorial: After Abbas
Yasser Arafat was not able to accept the generous offer made by then-prime minister Ehud Barak at the 2000 Camp David summit. Similarly, Abbas has failed on a number of occasions to make any form of concession to Israel.
And Abbas can only blame himself for the situation he faces today. He has done next to nothing during his long term as president to prepare his people for peace.
If anything he has been counterproductive. Official PA media outlets regularly refer to parts of Israel inside the Green Line as “occupied territories.” Palestinian officials – and many Arab MKs – reject the Jewish ties to sites resonating with Jewish history such as the Temple Mount, Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb.
The PLO ’s Hanan Ashrawi, a Christian whose co-religionists are persecuted throughout the Middle East, accused US President Barack Obama of adopting the “discourse of Zionist ideology” simply because Obama acknowledged the Jewish people’s deep roots in the Land of Israel.
Palestinian violence directed at Israelis is practically a daily phenomenon in the form of stone-throwing, firebombs and other deadly attacks – David Bar-Kappara, Danny Gonen and Malachi Rosenfeld were murdered by Palestinians in the last two months.
Yet precious little is heard from Palestinian leaders denouncing this violence. The incitement continues and streets and squares are named after terrorists.
There is little reason to expect this to change when Abbas finally fulfills his often repeated threat to resign. This sad reality may be the real obstacle to any chance of a resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Michael Totten: The Forward's Dispatch from Iran
Regardless, reporters should never take what police state apparatchiks say at face value, but Cohler-Esses does so more than once.
During the course of my conversations with several senior ayatollahs and prominent political and government officials, it became clear that there is high-placed dissent to the official line against Israel. No one had anything warm to say about the Jewish state. But pressed as to whether it was Israel’s policies or its very existence to which they objected, several were adamant: It’s Israel’s policies. Others, notwithstanding their ideological objection to a Jewish state, made it clear they would accept a two-state solution to Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians if the Palestinians were to negotiate one and approve it in a referendum.
You really have to read between the lines on this stuff.
First of all, anyone and everyone in Iran who talks to an American journalist flanked by an official fixer and translator knows that every word they utter will be carefully read by the authorities. That’s as true for people inside the government as it is for people on the street. Authoritarian regimes install fear in everyone, including their own officials. Nobody wants to be purged. So who knows what they privately believe?
Second, political figures even in free countries lie to routinely lie to reporters and say what the intended audience wants to hear. And Iran’s official line right now to Western audiences is that the government is increasingly moderate, reasonable, and flexible. (That’s probably the only reason a reporter from The Forward was given a journalist visa in the first place.)
Anyway, it makes no sense that Iran only objects to Israeli policy. Iranian leaders routinely scream Death to Israel. They also routinely scream Death to America.
Hezbollah in Lebanon likewise shouts Death to Israel and Death to America, and Hezbollah likewise says it’s just objecting to American policies, but come on. The United States government objects to plenty of Mexico’s policies, but not even Donald Trump or Pat Buchanan begins meetings by screaming Death to Mexico or appears at any Death to Mexico rallies.
The United States doesn’t even have Death to Mexico rallies.
Distorting the Truth About Iran and Israel
No serious observer contends that the Iranian people, like any other group on the planet, all speak with one voice about any issue. Nor is it extraordinary to learn that some of them might express a wide range of views about Israel and the United States. But to contend that the existence of some level of dissent in Iran from the positions of its government shows that the country’s policies are changing or that it is not actively seeking the destruction of Israel is to tell a lie. That’s exactly what the New York Times did today when it published a story headlined, “Reporting from Iran, Jewish Paper Sees No Plot to Destroy Israel.” The “Jewish Paper” is the Forward, which dispatched reporter Larry Cohler-Esses to the Islamist state for a weeklong visit. Cohler-Esses’ story has something of the feel of the articles produced in the past by those who visit tyrannical states in the hope of producing favorable coverage intended to blunt the revulsions of the democratic world. But while there is much to criticize in the piece, it does not claim to prove that there is “no plot to destroy Israel.” That is entirely the Times’ invention. It demonstrates how the flagship of the mainstream liberal media will seize upon the pretext to back up President Obama’s false characterizations of Iran and its leadership as posing no real threat to Israel.
Coming to grips with the reality of the anti-Semitism and hate that is at the heart of Iranian foreign policy is a difficult problem for the administration. It has struck an agreement with Iran that, at best, merely postpones the moment when the Islamist regime will get a nuclear bomb while granting its nuclear program international approval. It also gives it a lucrative cash bonus in the form of perhaps $100 billion in unfrozen assets and the relaxation of sanctions that will enrich the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. The fact that this deal will give material aid to Iran’s terrorist campaign against Israel while leaving open the door to it eventually gaining the ability to wipe out the Jewish state with a nuclear weapon ought to trouble President Obama’s supporters. Some, like The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, struggle to justify the blithe assertions from Obama that Iran’s Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is “just a politician.” Obama and Secretary of State Kerry treat Khamenei’s ideology, statements and even Iran’s history of acting on his murderous goals as unimportant. They believe the chance for détente with the West, which is obviously in Iran’s best interests will always override other considerations.
Goldberg wrongly claims there are no real alternatives to the Iran deal but, unlike Obama, he understands that concerns about Iran are not purely the function of fear but rooted in reality. Just as important, he is aware that by framing the argument about Iran as one between “Jewish special interests” and “the rest of the world,” the administration and its cheerleaders are empowering anti-Semites in the Middle East as well as possibly here at home. Unfortunately, Goldberg is too much a prisoner of his own liberalism and support for Obama’s vision to draw the proper conclusions from this or the flaws in the Iran deal. He thinks it would be a good idea if it made more of an effort to signal that it knows it is dealing with vicious anti-Semites and terror supporters. But that is exactly what Obama and Kerry can’t do because they are so wedded to their vision of détente with those anti-Semites.The Judean People's Front: Iran Supports the Two-State Solution? Not So Fast
However, despite this "positive" report, when discussing his meeting with Grand Ayatollah Abdolkarim Mousavi Ardebili of Qom, not only did his son say that he has no understanding of the two state solution, but said that “This is an idea much discussed in the West, but not much here.” Ardebili was very clear in his opposition to the existence of Israel:
“We believe that the State of Israel must be changed, corrected and improved. And if that is not possible, and if the nature of the state does not allow for improvement, then the state must be destroyed.”
And while he may dress it up as opposition to policies, the specific policy he and the Iranian regime oppose is the ancient anti-Semitic canard of Jewish-infanticide:
The only way to achieve peace, he explained, was for the Israelis “to stop their cruelty against Palestinians.” Israel, he said, “kills children and proudly defends killing them.”
So how exactly is it that Cohler-Esses was able to report that so many Iranian officials and ayatollahs were willing to support a two-state solution? This seems like a very moderate, mainstream position that we would expect from any Western country. That is because this solution that is presented as moderate and reasonable means one thing to us and quite another to the Iranians. Remember where Cohler-Esses said that such an agreement would need the Palestinians to "approve it in a referendum?"Obama Falsely Claims that Pro-Deal Iranians Support U.S.
Obama spoke last week at American University – the same place where President John F. Kennedy delivered perhaps his most famous speech, outlining a plan to curb nuclear arms (!) – and compared Iranian anti-American elements with Republicans.
"Just because Iranian hardliners chant 'Death to America' does not mean that that's what all Iranians believe," Obama said. "In fact, it's those hardliners … chanting 'Death to America' who've been most opposed to the deal. They're making common cause with the Republican Caucus."
Mauro points out that it is precisely many Iranian supporters of the deal who chant "Death to America." He brings several examples of Iranian moderates, that is, supporters of the nuclear deal, who favor this position.
For instance, the President of Iran himself, Hassan Rouhani, who is clearly a supporter of the nuclear deal, said in May 2013, "Saying ‘Death to America’ is easy. We need to express ‘Death to America’ with action."
Clearly, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei supports the deal – and he said, just after it was signed, "Our policies toward the arrogant government of the United States will not be changed at all." What are those policies, in his opinion? In March of this year, he said, "Of course, yes, Death to America."
Former Iranian President Rafsanjani, considered a moderate and a supporter of the nuclear deal, had;this to say about Israel and Islam, in 2001: "If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel…"Zarif: Israel's 'Plot' Against Iran Has Been Defeated
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif boasted this week that an “Israeli plot” against Iran's nuclear agreement with the six world powers has been defeated.
According to the Iranian PressTV, Zarif made the remarks on Tuesday upon his arrival in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on the first leg of his regional tour.
He said the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in Vienna last month created a historic opportunity for the countries in the Middle East region to repel “dangerous threats” such as the Israeli regime and terrorism.
Zarif expressed hope that the conclusion of Iran's nuclear talks with the world powers would benefit the countries and nations in the region.
Zarif also specifically pointed to the Israel, terrorism, extremism and violence as the major challenges facing the countries in the Middle East, according to Press TV.
Iran has continued its rhetoric against Israel and the United States even after it signed the deal with Western powers.IRGC officer: We laugh at Obama’s ‘ridiculous’ military threats
An adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called continued American threats of a military option against Iran “ridiculous” and laughable.
Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Asoudi, Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards, said President Barack Obama’s insistence that Iran could still be confronted militarily should it shirk its obligations under the nuclear deal had become a joke to Iranian officials, the Fars news agency reported Wednesday.
“We should thank Obama for refreshing us by referring to his ‘Options On The Table,’ including the military one,” he said while addressing troops in the city of Shahroud. “We just relax and laugh at such ridiculous words.”Iran to Flout UN Resolution, Hold Ballistic Missile Drills
Despite an annex in the UN adoption of the Iran nuclear deal calling on the Islamic regime to desist from nuclear-capable ballistic missile activity, Iran is planning to resume long-range ballistic missile drills in the coming months according to a key army commander.
Iranian Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan announced on Thursday that six specialized military drills testing domestic rocketry are to be held by next March, reports the semi-official Fars News Agency.
"The Ground Force will stage six war games," Pourdastan said, noting the first drill will take part in the western part of the country in the fall, followed by a second war game in the eastern part of Iran.
Significantly, he said that specialized missile drills will also be included in the war games.
There has been a push in the Iranian parliament to resume ballistic missile drills following the nuclear deal as a show of force and a military deterrent against the US and Israel. That push comes despite the fact that the ban on Iranian ballistic missile trade is only to be lifted after eight years according to the nuclear deal. New York Lawsuit for Victims of Terror Goes After Kerry, Lew and Unfrozen Iranian Assets
Israeli activist legal center Shurat Hadin and New York attorney Robert Tolchin filed a lawsuit at a New York district court asking for an injunction to halt the U.S. from releasing over $100 billion in frozen Iranian assets as part of the pending nuclear deal with Iran, the New York Observer reported on Tuesday.
The lawsuit names two dozen plaintiffs who were victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism between 1995 and 2006, and the State and Treasury departments as well as their current secretaries, John Kerry and Jack Lew, respectively, are listed as defendants. Kerry and Lew were crucial in framing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) with Iran that would release at least $56 billion in frozen Iranian assets in exchange for some restrictions and monitoring of Iran’s vexed nuclear program.
The plaintiffs together hold $1 billion in claims against the Iranian government, and apparently they fear the windfall cash destined for Iran upon implementation of the JCPoA will strip them of their best leverage for getting Tehran to pay up.
Tolchin was convinced that the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 ensured that the law was on the plaintiffs’ side; the law allows victims of terrorism to claim their compensation from blocked funds.Joe Lieberman to head group opposed to Iran deal
Lieberman, the group said in a statement, “will play a key leadership role throughout UANI’s efforts to educate and inform the American public regarding the serious shortcomings of the Iran nuclear deal.”“UANI is honored to have Senator Lieberman, a longtime UANI Advisory Board member and close friend, assume a leadership role at this critical time,” Wallace was quoted in the statement as saying. “Senator Lieberman’s foreign policy and national security expertise is highly respected and renowned around the world. We could have no better leader as the American people consider this flawed Iran agreement.”The US Congress is expected to vote on the agreement by September 17. A fierce battle between the Obama administration and the pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is currently raging for Congressional votes on the matter.So far, some three dozen House members, all Democrats, have announced support for the deal, along with nearly 20 Democratic senators. The most prominent opponent of the accord is Senator Chuck Schumer, who last week announced that he would vote against the deal.MEMRI: Kuwaiti Columnist: The Gulf States' Real Enemy Is Iran; Israel Is A Friendly Country
In an article titled "A Prudent Enemy Is Better than An Imprudent One" in the Kuwaiti government daily Al-Watan, columnist 'Abdallah Al-Hadlaq wrote that the real enemy of the Gulf states is not Israel, whom he called "a friendly country," but rather Iran. He argued that Iran's Rule of the Jurisprudent regime is fascist, and that if it attains nuclear weapons it will not hesitate to use it against the Gulf states, whereas Israel, which has possessed such weapons for years, has never used them in its wars against the Arabs. Al-Hadlaq even called upon the Gulf states to sever their ties with Iran and form an alliance with Israel by strengthening their ties with it on the political, commercial and even military levels.
This is not the first time Al-Hadlaq has expressed concern regarding Iran and, conversely, support for Israel. In fact, his position led him to be included on a blacklist of Arab writers who espouse such views, published in 2009 by papers and websites that support the resistance axis.Washington Post: Obama Attacks on Opponents Signal Weakness of Iran Deal Merits
President Barack Obama’s often-bitter attack strategy on the Iran nuclear deal has enfeebled the very merits of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action he has sought to defend before Congress, an editorial in the Washington Post said on Wednesday.
“By not sticking to the merits of the deal, Mr. Obama implies a lack of confidence in them,” wrote the Post‘s editorial board.
The editorial chided the president for attacking critics who believe the nuclear deal legitimizes Iran to become a nuclear threshold state while not demanding any sort of steps toward regional moderation up-front through “certitude” and ad hominem attacks, especially against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Republican caucus, which Obama compared to hardliners in Iran who also want to scuttle the deal.
The editorial noted that the president’s attacks against some Republicans was disingenuous, as he had warmly praised Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) just a few months back for being “sincerely concerned about this issue,” calling him a “good and decent man.”
The Post also rebuked the White House for vindictively turning its back on New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer — a likely contender to replace Harry Reid (D-NV) as Senate Democratic leader — encouraging Democrats to “deny him the job” after the senator penned a 1,700-word treatise on why he respectfully opposed the administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.New campaign rallies millions of US Christians to urge Congress to kill Iran deal
A new campaign is working to rally millions of US Christians to call on Congress to nix the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. The campaign, which is led by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, warns that the Islamic Republic cannot be trusted and intends to destroy both the US and Israel.
The Fellowship urges Christians to sign an online petition and to send letters imploring their congressmen and senators to vote "no" on the nuclear deal. The campaign is accompanied by a video based on the Cold War-era "Daisy" TV advert used in Lyndon B. Johnson's 1964 presidential campaign.
In the Fellowship's modern-day version of this video, a little boy counts down as a girl runs and hides under a table, before a mushroom-shaped cloud follows the sound of an explosion. This is followed by a quote by Iranian President Rouhani calling for "death to America," and a subsequent message by the Fellowship's president Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein: "Tell Washington NO to a Nuclear Iran."
The campaign is being promoted across multiple media channels and has also distributed two million emails to the Fellowship’s Christian allies nationwide. According to the group, supporters have already responded from every Congressional district in the country to every member of the House and Senate, sending tens of thousands of letters, with thousands more signing petitions. Only 4 Pro-Iran Deal Activists Show up at Brooklyn Town Hall
Supporters of the Iran deal were in short supply at a town hall-style meeting with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) Tuesday night.
Four supporters of the deal stood up during the question-and-answer portion of the evening and held homemade signs aloft urging passage of the deal. But their position in the room prevented those in the back from hearing the speakers on stage.
“Excuse me, could you please sit down? I can’t see the congressman,” one man asked the protesters.
“Sit down!” another urged.
After a brief confrontation, the protesters were asked to leave by security. But the incident was a footnote on what was otherwise a strong outpouring of anti-deal sentiment from the Mill Basin community.
A standing-room-only crowd of hundreds at the Flatbush Jewish Center cheered as Rep. Jeffries, who remains undecided on the deal, called Iran the leading sponsor of terrorism worldwide and vowed to do his part to never allow the country to build a nuclear bomb.Pro-Iran Deal Activists Fail to Show at California Town Hall
Pro-Iran deal activists failed to show up at a town hall meeting for Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), despite the fact that it was advertised by a coalition of left-wing groups that is trying to rally support for President Barack Obama’s effort.
The meeting, at the Colfax City Council Chambers, was listed on the “60 days to stop a war” website, which is co-sponsored by the National Iranian American Council, a pro-Iran group; MoveOn.org, an anti-war organization; Daily Kos, a left-wing blog; and other left-wing groups.
Last week, President Obama held a conference call with left-wing activists, in which he urged them to”get loud and active” in support of the Iran deal. He warned them that he needed their support: “I can’t carry it by myself,” he told them.
Despite the president’s appeal, no one appeared in Colfax, and only two supporters of the Iran deal came to an earlier town hall meeting with LaMalfa in Grass Valley.'Even supporters of the deal know Iran will break it'
"I don't understand how J Street people can claim they are pro-Israel," Shawn Evenhaim, the chairman of the board of the Israeli American Council, said this week in an interview with Israel Hayom.
"They are far from representing American Jewry, even though most American Jews vote for Democrats," he said.
Evenhaim, who lives in California, is currently visiting Israel, where he was born and raised. In mid-October, the IAC will hold its second annual conference, in Washington, D.C.
"More than 1,000 leaders from across the U.S. will be at the conference," Evenhaim said.
Israeli politicians set to attend the conference include National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud), Construction Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu), Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog and Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah.
Recent weeks have seen great tension between the U.S. and Israeli governments over the nuclear deal signed by world powers, including the U.S., with Iran. Evenhaim believes it is the IAC's duty to oppose the deal, which he said harms the security of both Israel and the U.S.NYT’s Friedman: Israel should’ve worked with US for better Iran deal
Friedman criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach of trying to block the deal by pushing against US President Barack Obama’s policies, and said that the Israeli leader should instead have “hugged Obama” in order gain more access to the negotiations between Iran and the so-called P5+1 world powers of US, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany.
Closer work with the US would have meant that “we didn’t just have a P5 but that Israel was the P6, so that Israel was effectively in the room through the US because of such a tight relationship.”
“I think we would have had a better deal and Israel would have had a better deal,” Friedman said. The current agreement is, he said, “a giant bet.”
“It’s a bet by the leader of Iran that the deal with be just transactional — ‘we’ll [the Iranians] do the deal, we’ll get our money’ — but that it won’t change the region. And it is a bet by Barack Obama that the deal with not be transactional, but transformational.”
“I am frightened for Israel,” he said. “It really is a bet and what I am trying to argue for is to increase the insurance on the bet by increasing our deterrence.”Dr. Ben Carson: White House employing ugly tactics to sell a rotten Iran deal
By reducing a vitally important matter with life and death consequences to a partisan football the president is doing a disservice to the American people. For months the president and his secretary of state proclaimed that no deal was better than a bad deal. Today, a bad deal has been reached and they have changed their tune completely, saying that the only alternative to this deeply flawed agreement is war.
It is clear that the president and his team are in full campaign mode, demonstrating a steely resolve to jam through this misguided Iran deal at all costs. They are smearing those who dare to raise questions and employing a take no prisoners approach complete with bigoted dog whistles and malicious whisper campaigns that cynically divide our country. Just imagine how different things would be today if Obama and his negotiators had demonstrated a fraction of this tenacity at the negotiating table with the Iranians.
It’s not yet too late. Democrats in Congress must put policy above partisanship and reject this very bad deal. For everyone’s sake, I pray that they will ultimately decide to do what is right for the United States as opposed to what they are being told is right for their party’s leader.
During the coming weeks the American people should continue to demand a better deal with Iran that will dismantle Tehran’s nuclear program and strengthen, rather than threaten, our nation’s long-term security.New ADL Chief: Charges Against Opponents of Iran Deal Create “Hostile Climate” For American Jews
The new national director of the Anti-Defamation League has said that he is “deeply troubled” by some accusations made against opponents of the nuclear deal with Iran, which he wrote “can foster a hostile climate for the American Jewish community.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, who formerly worked in the Obama White House, wrote an op-ed Wednesday for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) that criticized the rhetoric of both supporters and opponents of the deal, but specifically noted that supporters, including some members of the administration he used to work for, are attaching troubling stereotypes to opponents. He wrote that he was “deeply troubled” by those who called Sen. Chuck Schumer (D – N.Y.) a “traitor” for opposing the deal.
As the debate over the Iran deal has gone forward, the administration has at times waded into characterizations that in the eyes of many members of the Jewish community recall malicious accusations about Jews. References to money and the well-funded opposition, while factually accurate, resonate negatively in a Jewish community that has been targeted for centuries as using its wealth for sinister purposes. This anxiety only is bolstered when one realizes that no one has raised issues about the finances and organizations of the deal proponents.Simon Wiesenthal Center criticizes ‘gutter level’ of debate on Iran deal
Speaking with The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, associate dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper said that many on US President Barack Obama’s side who were lobbying for the deal had engaged in tactics that were “meant to bully and demean opponents – especially Jews.”
Cooper’s comments came as some American Jews have expressed reservations about the rhetoric that the Obama administration and its supporters have employed recently in addressing the agreement’s opponents. Jewish Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York) has been among the targets, with one magazine running a cartoon accusing Schumer of being a “traitor” and portraying him as a woodchuck standing in front of an Israeli flag.
“I grew up during the Cold War, [which was a period] no less complex than today when it comes to the nexus of international diplomacy, nuclear proliferation, trade, human rights, Jewry and anti-Semitism,” Cooper said.
“Debates back then were hot, often harsh, but never reached the gutter level of what Senator Schumer and other opponents to the Iran deal are confronting today,” he continued. “In fact, on baseline issues of human rights and the anti-Semitic Soviet campaigns, there was a solid bipartisan consensus.”
While he said it was understandable that Obama wanted to rally his base, “especially among progressives, some of whom have contempt for the Jewish state on a quiet day,” Cooper took issue with the charges that such groups have leveled against opponents, particularly Jewish ones – such as having the same mind-set as the Revolutionary Guard, or being in the pocket of special interest groups like AIPAC.
“Such tactics will back-fire,” he asserted.Group of heavyweight Hollywood Jews expresses public support for Iran deal
A group of Jewish Hollywood movers and shakers has thrown its hat into the ring of public debate and has come out in support of the Iran nuclear deal that has caused fissures in the American Jewish community.
Calling themselves "American Jewish supporters of Israel," 98 prominent members of Los Angeles' Jewish community who are mostly linked to Hollywood signed a letter that will appear as a full-page ad in Thursday's L.A. Jewish Journal in which the group urges Congress to approve the agreement because it is in the "best interest of the United States and Israel," according to the Hollywood Reporter.
"We appreciate that many have reasonable concerns about the risks of a complex nuclear weapons development agreement with an untrustworthy adversary like Iran," the letter stated. "We too hold these concerns, but the deal that was reached is not founded on trust; it is grounded in rigorous inspections and monitoring."
Among the lead signatories of the ad are billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad, superstar architect Frank Gehry and TV writer-producer Norman Lear, according to HR.
Other signatories included Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, film producers Lawrence Bender and Mike Medavoy and Game of Thrones executive producer Carolyn Strauss.
The group writes that killing the deal would be a "tragic mistake."
Europeans Rush to Profit from Iran Deal
Middle East expert Ilan Berman points out that for Iran, trading with Europe is actually the perfect self-defense, a virtual guarantee that it will not face military attack if it cheats on its obligations under the nuclear deal.
Sanctions will also be lifted on Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's $95 billion business empire, as well as on Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which operates a vast network of companies and industries. No wonder European media outlets are referring to Iran as the "new El Dorado," the "chance of a century," and the "last untapped market."
"Conducting business with the Iranian regime means to finance the nuclear program, the annihilation threats against Israel, Holocaust denial, the export of Islamist terror and the oppression of the Iranian population." — Stop the Bomb, Austria.
"Everyone is looking at Iran with greed." — Senior French official.Switzerland first to lift Iran sanctions after nuclear deal
Just one month after the signing of the nuclear agreement between world powers and Iran, Switzerland has officially removed sanctions on Iran in what it called a sign of support for the deal.
Switzerland's governing Federal Council decided Wednesday to lift a ban on precious metals transactions with Iranian state entities and end requirements to report trade in Iranian petrochemical products and transport of Iranian crude oil, among other measures. The sanctions had already been suspended in January 2014.
The Swiss government, which also cited its "interest in deepening bilateral relations with Iran," said it reserves the right to reimpose them if implementation of the nuclear deal fails.
Other Western countries have yet to lift sanctions on Iran, pending verification that it is complying with the nuclear deal.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Damascus on Wednesday and met with Syrian President Bashar Assad. The two discussed the ongoing civil war in Syria and a four-point proposal Iran wants to offer to the United Nations as a way to end the strife in Syria.Iran touts revival of stalled Pakistan pipeline
The Iranian foreign minister said Thursday that he has discussed the possibility of resuming work on a stalled Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline during his current visit to Islamabad.
Mohammad Javad Zarif, who arrived in the Pakistani capital on Thursday, was speaking after meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other officials.
The gas pipeline project was designed to help Pakistan meet its energy needs, but Washington for years had opposed it because of concerns over Tehran’s nuclear program.
Zarif said he hoped that a landmark nuclear deal reached with world powers last month could pave the way for the resumption of work on the project.
Iran has invested over $2 billion in the project, but Pakistan has yet to finish construction on its half of the pipeline.Briefing congressmen on Iran deal concerns, PM provides no ‘Aha!’ moment
On Sunday, Netanyahu hosted a group of 22 Democrats headed by House Whip Steny H. Hoyer (Maryland). On Wednesday, he met with 36 Republican lawmakers led by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA).
“He did not tell us how to vote,” McCarthy, who is on the record opposing the deal, told Israeli reporters Thursday in Jerusalem. “He’s much like every leader of every other country, [who] convey what they see.”
Earlier this week, Hoyer — who has not yet announced how he’s going to vote — said Netanyahu made his case in a “respectful” and “moderate” fashion. “He understands that the decision is up to the members of the House that owe their judgment to their constituents,” Hoyer told the Haaretz daily after the prime minister’s meeting with the Democratic legislators.
“He didn’t tell them to vote one way or another,” said Hoyer, “but it was clear he hopes they will vote against the agreement because it is a bad deal that will allow Iran to have a path to a nuclear bomb in 13 years. He said, ‘It is not my place to tell you how to vote. It is up to you — but my opinion is…’”New York Jews Strongly Oppose Iran Nuclear Pact, Poll Shows
Fifty-three percent of New York City Jews oppose the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, a poll by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut revealed on Tuesday, underlining growing opposition to the landmark agreement pursued by the Obama administration.
Only 33% of Jewish respondents in New York said they supported the nuclear deal with Iran that would unfreeze billions in assets for the regime in Tehran in exchange for some restrictions and monitoring of the country’s nuclear program.
New York Republicans represented the most polarized group, with a full 70% saying they opposed the deal, while 15% said they supported it.
Although New York Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, announced his opposition to the deal last week, only 33% of New York Democrats said they opposed the deal, according to the survey. Forty-three percent were in favor and 24% said they did not know enough about the deal to make up their minds.
Among the five boroughs, Staten Island was most opposed, with 76% rejecting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is officially known, and only 11% in favor.Republicans Less Sure of Votes Against Iran Deal
Republican senators, including some vociferously opposed to the Iranian nuclear deal, are now less confident they will be able to overcome a veto by US President Barack Obama of a resolution removing US sanctions against Iran.
"I still believe the president will have enough votes to sustain a veto," Arizona Republican junior Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said in an interview.
That the Senate will be able to pass a bill supporting the sanctions and opposing the Iran deal is not in question, Flake believes, but overriding a presidential veto of the bill is another question, he said.
Just last week, senior Arizona Senator John McCain said that that he was “confident” there were 60 Senate votes against the deal. Although he was less positive about getting the 67 votes needed to override a veto, he was encouraged by the prospect of New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer and other Democrats voting to keep sanctions.
This week, however, a number of Democratic senators have declared their support for the Iran deal, putting the prospect of a veto override further out of reach, Flake believes.White House Doesn't Want To Let Pentagon Release Report On Russia's Violations Of Nuclear Treaty
The White House is interfering with release of a Pentagon report that assesses risks involved in Russia’s breach of the 1987 Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Some lawmakers in Congress want the assessment to be released, so they can begin to address treaty violations through legislative countermeasures. GOP Rep. Mike Rogers became aware of the report’s existence last month and has since been pushing for its release, but despite his best efforts, it still “seems to stay tied up in the White House,” the Washington Free Beacon reports.
“As we look to the near-term future, we need to consider how we’re going to respond to Russia’s INF violations,” Rogers said, according to the Free Beacon. “Congress will not continue to tolerate the administration dithering on this issue.”
It’s no secret that the United States believes Russia has violated the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. A Department of State report released in early June determined that Russia continues to brazenly ignore the treaty signed by President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.Kerry Warns Israel That If They Oppose Iran Deal, He Will Personally Deliver 10,000 Electric Bikes to Tel Aviv (satire)
United States Secretary of State John Francis Kerry issued a chilling ultimatum to Israel earlier today according to credible sources. Per these sources, in a closed-door session Kerry informed Israel’s Ambassador Ron Dermer that if Israel continued to oppose the Iran nuclear deal, that Kerry would personally deliver 10,000 electric bikes to downtown Tel Aviv. “10,000 effing bikes, Ron. You think I’m bluffing? C-17 baby. I can bring all the electric bikes I want” Kerry continued, “I will personally hand out these bikes. Then just try walking down the sidewalk or crossing the street….. But I’m not finished. You cross me and my Embassy will sponsor a week-long 24/7 matkot tournament . With mizrahi pop music. Lots and Lots of mizrahi pop music. How you like them apples, Ron?” Kerry went on to promise that if Israel continues to oppose the deal, he would kick off the matkot tournament, give away the electric bikes by hand, and then go windsurfing.In Support of Iran Deal, 29 Top Nuclear Scientists Say Death by Nuke Relatively Painless (satire)
In a letter endorsing President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, 29 of America’s leading nuclear scientists vowed that death by nuclear annihilation is generally quick and painless.
“After reading the agreement cover to cover and hearing from both critics and proponents of the deal, we can confidently say that having a nuke dropped on your city is a relatively peaceful way to go,” the letter read. “You’ll be gone before you realize what’s happened.”
“While those within the explosion’s air blast radius will die nearly instantaneously, citizens in the radiation radius will experience severe burns and will likely suffer for days or weeks,” the letter states. “However, as long as people make sure they are either within 0.7 kilometers of the detonation or beyond 2 kilometers from the blast point, they will be able to avoid a slow, painful death.”
The ringing of endorsement of the scientists is expected to give a boost to Obama’s efforts to win Congress’ support for his agreement, though several senators have expressed apprehension over their constituents being instantaneously reduced to ash.
“Some warmongers keep insisting that there’s a better deal to be had,” President Obama said, shaking his head. “But they have yet to offer an alternative, less painful way for the Iranians to achieve their goal of ‘Death to America.’”