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.’”
This is because, to them, UNRWA represents the West, and the West owes them free services forever because it allows Israel to exist. The billions that UNRWA spends to help out Palestinians is not aid - it is a jizya tax that the dhimmis must pay, or else.
Yesterday there was a protest in Amman, Jordan.
UNRWA employees observed a one-hour stoppage and a sit-in in Amman on Wednesday, voicing their concerns over “schemes” concocted against the “incubator of millions of Palestinian refugees”.
Held in front of the agency's headquarters in Amman, the rally, which is part of series of measures to escalate protests, was called upon by the UNRWA workers union in Jordan.
"We are petrified over the options the agency's administration is entertaining now. UNRWA services, especially education, are what we thrive on," one of the agency's teachers, who preferred anonymity, told The Jordan Times.The protest isn't over lack of education options for kids. It is the curtailment of a work program.
I found this photo from the Amman rally interesting:
The sign just says "Protest of the Jordanian Union of Workers in the Aid Agency [UNRWA]" - but why are they wearing masks?
Apparently, they cannot distinguish between terror and protests - protest is just a form of "resistance" and you must dress up the part.
They must have learned that terrorist costume is admirable from UNRWA schools.
PodCast: Focusing on Israel, the U.S.-Iranian detente, and the conflicted Middle East: with Caroline Glick and Richard Baehr
We make no secret of our respect, admiration and, yes, love of Israel. And though turmoil in the region is nothing new, we thought that we should continue to examine the percolating situation in the Middle East after we’ve been able to analyze the Iranian nuclear deal.
Two of our favorite people with whom to discuss the topic are Richard Baehr, the Chief Political Correspondent for American Thinker (simply one of the best), and Caroline Glick, Deputy Managing Editor for the Jerusalem Post, and former assistant Foreign Policy Advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.A distorted evening with Max Blumenthal
And it was at this point I realised that shock is a major part of Blumenthal’s selling process. He deliberately seems to go out of his way to anger the part of the audience he knows is both present and critical of him. The BDS boys are already sold; they don’t need feed such as this, Blumenthal desires to be disliked. He wants to agitate because it gets him noticed. Once the Q&A highlighted the presence of pro-Israelis, Blumenthal visibly became more outrageous; it was as if the two sides feed off each other. His message of hate towards Israel sells his books and the more we shout his name in anger from the rooftops, the more books he will sell. So he turns the level of venom up another notch.
Israelis don’t shoot Hebrew speakers. It’s a fantasy world created by a conspiracy nut who suggested that ‘my government’ ‘his government’ and ‘Israel’ are all engaged in some deep dark scheme that keeps the innocent Palestinians locked away in their refugee camps because it pleases some cabal of capitalists. All we need is for all those capitalists to be Jewish and we have a new edition of Protocols.
Blumenthal works on the premise that you cannot attack his position without appearing to attack victims, cynically using dead Gazan children as human shields. As Blumenthal mentions the amount of explosives the Israelis used as being more than ‘Hiroshima’, describes military strategies where Hebrew speakers are targeted for killing and uses comparisons with Darfur to infer genocide, the clear message is one of total force by a brutal army against an innocent population. Massive force being used without care against one of the highest populated areas on earth. And yet more innocent people died in Syria last week than in Gaza in a 50 day conflict ( Didn’t you see the massive protests in London?) Given Israel’s supremacy, the numbers simply do not tell the same tale. Israel clearly is not behaving the way that is being attributed to it.
And it was over. Having seen a slight altercation outside the building caused by two seemingly harmless women, I approached them at the station on the way home. They did not know who I was, and my possession of a bag with Blumenthal’s book suggested I was ‘a friend’. I am not going to recount the exchange here, but as usual a simple conversation about the conflict highlights a thorough lack of knowledge or information and a deep hostility to ‘Zionists’. They have formed solid opinions without even a grasp of the basics. When eventually they realised I was a Jew who wouldn’t spit on the Israeli flag, they walked away.
I haven’t read the whole book yet, but having seen Blumenthal talk, the over-riding sensation I am left with is one of sadness. The only challenging questions that came out in the Q&A were from pro-Israelis, the remainder of the audience had nothing to say and gushed over every word. It was an empty room with a few empty people looking for their bias to be fed. And fed they were.Sarah Honig: The humanistic ardor of interwar Poland
Poland made history on Monday morning, April 19, 1937. It taught the world how to implement a boycott without actually admitting that it’s doing anything of the sort.
Headliners of today’s European Union have learned the lesson well, even if few of the EU’s sanctimonious sermonizers can likely cite the source and inspiration for their very unoriginal charade.
The Polish non-boycott was no mean feat on the eve of WWII, when dark clouds of impending doom already gathered over the heads of European Jewry.
Given the bestial goings-on and the brutish anti-Jewish boycotts next-door in the Third Reich, Poland appeared positively refined by comparison – the soul of sophistication.
The Poles never sank as low as the crude and vulgar Germans. They didn’t adopt the practice of daubing storefronts with giant Jude inscriptions, smashing windows or sending out storm troopers to form scary picket lines, carry offensive signs in the formidable Teutonic tradition and warn off the super-race away from subhuman Jewish shopkeepers.
Instead, Poland’s Minister of Industry and Commence Antoni Roman issued an edict that looked impeccably non-discriminatory.
It ordered that all business signs boldly display the proprietor’s name, directly above any other incidental scrap information such as what was sold at the premises. Precise rules were stipulated regarding the size of the letters required.
What could possibly be wrong with that? The measure applied to everyone throughout the republic. Surely nothing could be more equitable. No single community or grouping was targeted.JPost Editorial: Don’t parole Pollard
Last week, screaming headlines were generated worldwide by breaking news in The Wall Street Journal that the US was preparing to release Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard after 30 years in prison. This announcement, predictably, unleashed a tidal wave of media coverage.
A subsequent announcement a few days later officially confirming imminent parole for Pollard added to the deluge of reports, which continue unabated.
There is something suspect in the timing of these news stories.
Jerusalem’s rejection of Pollard’s release as intended to mitigate Israel’s displeasure with the disastrous Iranian nuclear pact was predictable.
However, denials by US officials, claiming that Pollard’s release is unrelated to the Iranian deal were less predictable.
There were simply too many denials, at too high a level and employing too strident a tone to be credible.
Clearly, the media frenzy about Pollard occurs precisely when the Obama administration needs headlines diverted away from the Iranian deal. The public’s attention instead has become focused on a subject that many love to hate: Israel.
Thousands attend anti-violence protests across Israel
Thousands of people attended a number of anti-violence, anti-homophobia rallies across Israel Saturday evening.
The protests came in the wake of the stabbing attack Thursday at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade in which six people were injured, one of them seriously, by an ultra-Orthodox man — who had just finished serving a 10-year sentence for stabbing three people at a similar parade 10 years prior — followed by the firebomb attack Friday morning in the West Bank village of Duma which left a Palestinian toddler dead and his family fighting for their lives. The suspected perpetrators are Jewish extremists.
A Peace Now rally in Tel Aviv against incitement and violence began at 7:30 p.m. local time at Rabin Square. Demonstrators then headed toward Gan Meir to join up with those marching for LGBT rights — a separate event organized by LGBT and youth groups.
The LGBT rally also marked the six-year anniversary of a shooting at a Tel Aviv gay youth center in 2009 in which two people were killed. The perpetrator has yet to be caught.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog and Meretz head Zahava Gal-on spoke at the anti-violence rally, reiterating comments they made earlier in the day on their Facebook pages.Slain Palestinian toddler’s parents, brother still fighting for lives
The parents and brother of a Palestinian toddler burned to death by suspected Jewish terrorists were still fighting for their lives Saturday, as protests over the firebomb attack on their home entered a second day.
The attack in the West Bank village of Duma, which killed 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha, sparked an international outcry over Israel‘s failure to get to grips with violence by hardline Jewish settlers.
His father, Saad, was being treated for third-degree burns at the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, where a spokeswoman described his condition as “critical”.
Mother Riham and four-year-old brother Ahmed were being treated at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer near Tel Aviv, where a spokeswoman described their condition as life-threatening.
Saad has burns on 80 percent of his body, Riham is suffering from burns over 90% of her body, and four-year-old Ahmad has 60% burns, Army Radio reportedPM Visits Injured Relatives of Child Killed in Terror Attack
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu paid a visit to the family of the Palestinian child Ali Dawabsha, who was murdered in an attack on his home in the Arab village of Duma early this morning.
The PM spent time with relatives injured in the firebomb attack, believed to be the work of Jewish extremists, at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer.
Speaking following the visit, Netanyahu strongly denounced the "brutal" attack and said he had called Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to vow Israel would track down the killers.
"I just came from the bedside of four-year old Ahmed Sa'ed. Sixty percent of his body is burned. We're doing everything we can to save this young boy, give him a life," Netanyahu said. "His two parents are in other parts of the Israeli health system. We're trying to give them the best treatment to save their lives."
"When you stand next to the bed of this small child, and his infant brother had been so brutally murdered, we're shocked, we're outraged. We condemn this. There is zero tolerance for terrorism wherever it comes from, whatever side of the fence it comes from, we have to fight it and fight it together."
"I spoke to President Abu Mazen right before I entered the hospital. I told him of this visit and of Israel's absolute commitment to find the perpetrators, bring them to justice," Netanyahu continued, while calling for calm.Zero Tolerance for Jewish and Arab Terror in the Middle East
The attack on Duma does also raise troubling questions about how peace might ever be attained. For some critics of Israel and many Jewish left-wingers, the answer is easy: get rid of the settlements and separate the two peoples. But even if Israel were to do so, the history of the past 20 years of attempts to make peace shows that this wouldn’t solve the problem.
Ten years ago Israel removed every single soldier, settler, and settlement from Gaza in the hope that that the separation would end the violence if not foster peace. But instead Israelis watched Gaza become a launching pad for terror attacks via rockets and tunnels. Far from fostering peace, the withdrawal seemed to encourage Palestinians to continue their war on Israel’s existence. If the overwhelming majority of Israelis consider such a withdrawal from the far more strategic West Bank to be unimaginable it is because they know that it would likely lead to the creation of another and even more dangerous terror base on their doorstep, not mutual coexistence. Even the so-called “moderates” among the Palestinians reject the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter its borders are drawn. So long as Palestinians view their national identity as inextricably linked to a violent war on Zionism, terror will continue and peace will be impossible.
But the events of the last week show that it isn’t good enough for Jews to merely condemn an Arab and Muslim political culture that will not allow peace to happen. It is also incumbent on Israelis and their friends to acknowledge that horrors such as those that occurred at Duma only serve to justify Arab hatred and serve the cause of the Islamist haters that are gaining ground throughout the Middle East. Just as we are right to ask Muslims to police their extremists, so, too, must Jews also act against their haters.
There should be zero tolerance for hate and terror among both Arabs and Jews. Unfortunately, there seems little chance that Palestinians will isolate and reject Fatah-linked terrorists, Hamas and Islamic Jihad the way Israelis are condemning the Duma killers. Indeed, the calls for more terror attacks on Jews in response to Duma from the government of the independent Palestinian state in all but name in Gaza have already begun. But the answer begins with appropriate action against the terrorists and those who support them by the Israeli government.Recent Jewish Fatalities from Arab Terror: Hello, Mainstream Media?
Jewish terrorism is practically nonexistent. It is so rare, that if it happens it’s difficult to believe. Supposedly Jewish “extremists” have attacked an Arab house, resulting in the death of a toddler, and it’s made headline news all over the mainstream media. Naturally, Jews everywhere are condemning the attack because unlike Palestinian Authority and Hamas leaders who applaud the murder of Jews, handing out candy, naming schools, streets and plazas after terrorists, justifying the savagery, actually paying terrorists and inciting more violence, Jews do not condone terrorism.
This attack is horrific. There is no denying it.
The issue here is the double standard. Why so much news on this attack and nothing on Arab attacks against Jews?
So far, four Israelis have died this year due to Arab terrorism. These are four deaths in addition to the countless wounded in various attacks. Does the world know this? It is information you have to search for. Sure, Israeli newspapers and Jewish sites reported on their deaths, but where was the mainstream media? I saw no coverage of any of these attacks in the regular American news sites I visit. If they won’t report on them, I will.Barack Obama’s Antisemitic Rant on the Iran Deal
On Thursday, Obama led a conference call with left-wing activists in which he repeatedly railed against his political opponents by using the old canard of rich Jews using their money to exert control.
Accusing critics of the deal of being “opposed to any deal with Iran”–i.e. of advocating war–Obama railed against “well-financed” lobbyists, as well as the “big check writers to political campaigns,” and “billionaires who happily finance super-PACs.” He complained about “$20 million” being spent on ads against the deal—a subtle reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC–whose support he had repeatedly courted when running for office).
Some of Obama’s references were thinly-veiled attacks on specific (Jewish) individuals—columnist Bill Kristol, for example, the Weekly Standard publisher and former New York Times resident conservative who served in the George H.W. Bush administration, and also helps run the Emergency Committee for Israel, which opposes the Iran deal; or billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who is a prodigious Republican benefactor, super PAC donor, and well-known hawk on Israel issues.
On the call, Obama twice accused his opponents of being the same people “responsible for us getting into the Iraq war.“ That sweeping, and largely false, characterization of the opponents of the Iran deal repeats the sensational accusations of The Israel Lobby, a widely discredited 2007 book that accused a group of pro-Israel, and largely Jewish, individuals and organizations of pushing the U.S. into war with Iraq, and seeking to drag America into a new war with Iran.
Obama’s deliberate, and jarring, choice of words clearly worried even some sympathetic Jews. Huckabee Responds to Obama’s Anti-Semitic Language
GOP presidential candidate Gov. Mike Huckabee is responding to Breitbart News’ Joel Pollak’s recent report about President Obama using anti-Jewish language in order to boast his Iran deal.
The former Arkansas governor says:
Instead of basting his critics with personal attacks, President Obama needs to open up his eyes. The last time the world ignored these types of threats against Jews, millions died, and it shouldn’t take a mushroom cloud over Israel for Obama to realize that ‘taking Iran’s word for it,’ is idiotic and absolutely insane. Iran has the blood of American soldiers and civilians on its hands, and for decades, they’ve been murdering Jews, Christians, and Muslims across the world.
Huckabee continued, “If Congress approves this agreement, President Obama will go down in history as the architect of a dangerous deal that triggered senseless death and a nuclear arms race across the Middle East.”Anne Bayefsky: Huckabee is Right: Iran Nuclear Deal Brings us Closer to Catastrophe of Holocaust Proportions
In other words, the Prime Minister of a democratic state, a close ally, and three-quarters of Jewish Israelis from all political stripes who are opposed to the deal were dismissed, along with the insufficiently specific “rhetoric.”
The militarization of Iran’s nuclear program, Kerry suggested in the same hearing, was all in the past. “We know what they were doing, we’ve already drawn our conclusion about 2003. We know they were engaged in trying to make a weapon.” So this deal literally gives Iran a do-over.
Downplaying the evil intent of Iran isn’t just fuzzy thinking. This posture has formed the essence of the President’s foreign policy from the moment he took office and is critical to appreciating the catastrophic nature of the deal.
As early as March 2009, President Obama produced a video in which he directly addressed the “leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran” seeking “engagement grounded in mutual respect.” When his vision finally culminated last week in the overthrow of the entire hard-won UN sanctions regime, Ambassador Samantha Power boasted that negotiators “demonstrated” “mutual respect.”
Governor Huckabee is telling us: stop whatever you’re doing, and let that sink in. Mutual respect for a regime overtly committed to genocide against the Jewish state.Obama's Iran Deal: Two False Choices
Critics of the Iran deal have pointed out that President Barack Obama has imposed a false choice on Congress: accept a bad deal, or go to war–as if those are the only two alternatives. In fact, Obama has imposed a second false choice: either cooperate with the international community, or go it alone.
Actually, the truth is that the U.S. would not be alone if it rejected the deal—and the international community was never united behind sanctions in the first place.
If Congress rejects the deal, and overrides the president’s veto, it would be applauded by Israel and by many of the Sunni Arab states of the Middle East. More than that, the U.S. would likely be supported by France, which held a tougher line than the Obama administration throughout the negotiations. Eventually, if the deal fell apart, the U.S. could lead its European partners back to negotiations–in a weaker position than the P5+1 had in 2013, but stronger than today.
The way Obama tells the story, the world was divided over how to deal with Iran until he came to office and reached out to the international community and united everyone behind sanctions. That is false–George W. Bush built the international consensus on Iran, and Obama resisted sanctions at first–but it also omits the fact that the new UN sanctions enacted on Obama’s watch gave generous waivers to Russia and China, which is why they agreed not to veto them.
With the lifting of international sanctions by the UN Security Council—before Congress has had a chance to review the deal—not much changes for Russia and China. The real change is in Europe, to which Iran will soon be open for business.
But Europe is also within Iran’s missile range, making this a different case from Iraq, where Europe’s commercial interests prevented western unity, leading to war. This time, Europe is willing to be tough–but only if the U.S. leads.MEMRI: Critical Points To Consider In Understanding The Iranian Nuclear Deal: Part II
The following analysis is the second in a series which discusses the Iranian nuclear deal and examines the JCPOA as a legal document from an American perspective. This analysis will identify and explain various loopholes and their consequences in the JCPOA. Loopholes are common in the JCPOA and occur most often in the form of a prohibition or provision set forth in clear terms, followed by a statement or paragraph either negating or providing a possible alternative to the stated prohibition or provision. The decision to negate or to provide a possible alternative is dependent on the Joint Commission. In making so much dependent on the Joint Commission, the JCPOA has been turned into a provisional document which stands to be altered by the Joint Commission at its discretion. This analysis will also draw on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231 which endorsed the JCPOA for reference. It does not intend to be an overall assessment of the deal.
Nuclear Activity "Suitable For The Development Of A Nuclear Explosive Device" Could Be Allowed
If there is any area in the JCPOA where prohibitions should be absolute, it should be the section regarding the development of nuclear weapons since the reason for the whole agreement is – as per statements by President Obama and Secretary Kerry – to prevent nuclear weapons development. However, the JCPOA provides alternatives even to this provision.Sen. Tom Cotton and Rep. Ron DeSantis: Congress Must Reject the Iran Deal
During his reelection campaign, President Obama also promised that any deal with Iran would require Iran to “give up its nuclear program and abide by the U.N. resolutions that have been in place,” which do not permit Iran to enrich uranium. The president said flatly that “the deal we’ll accept is [the ayatollahs] end their nuclear program. It’s very straightforward.” In fact, it didn’t end up being so straightforward. The deal goes beyond the mere acceptance of an Iranian nuclear program; it requires the international community to facilitate Iran’s program, even to assist Iran in protecting its program from sabotage. Just a few years ago, a deal that permitted Iran to develop advanced centrifuges would have been unthinkable. The deal makes the international community, including the United States, active sponsors of Iran’s development of a nuclear weapons capability fortified against outside efforts to sabotage it.
When explaining the deal to the American people, President Obama said it was based on verification, not trust. Yet this deal forces us to rely on a convoluted bureaucratic process to even initiate the inspections of undeclared nuclear sites that are critical to ensure that Iran is not assembling a nuclear weapon. Iran can drag that process out for 24 days, concealing any offending conduct in the meantime. This is a far cry from “anytime, anywhere” inspections his administration lauded earlier in the negotiating process.
And if violations are identified the deal includes an explicit provision relieving Iran of its obligations under the deal in the event that the sanctions are reinstated. This represents a “nuclear snapback” that will likely negate the prospect of imposing sanctions in response to Iranian violations. Worse, the deal even lifts sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, including Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, whose activities killed so many American servicemen in Iraq.
Supporters of the deal maintain that the only alternative to this deal is war. It’s something President Obama has hinted at often. But it should come as little surprise that once again, his rhetoric isn’t reality. President Obama was right when he previously said that the alternative to a bad deal is no deal. No deal would have provided us with the opportunity to reset the negotiations and achieve a better deal, one that actually requires Iran to completely disarm its nuclear program.Top General: U.S. Agreed to Lift Iran’s Arms, Ballistic Missile Embargoes Against My Advice
Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in congressional testimony Wednesday that he advised the White House against lifting restrictions on Iran buying arms and ballistic missiles as part of the nuclear deal, but was overruled, Foreign Policy reported.
Asked directly by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) if he voiced opposition on that part of the pact, Dempsey said: “Yes … and I used the phrase ‘as long as possible,’ and then that was the point at which the negotiation continued.”
“But, yes, that was my military advice,” Dempsey, who is retiring in September, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. The hearing was the administration’s latest attempt to sell Congress on the historic deal, which limits Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing harsh economic sanctions against the country.
In the exchange, embedded below, Ayotte referred to an exchange she had with Dempsey while the negotiations were ongoing and in which he had expressed his opposition to those concessions.Netanyahu to bring case against Iran deal to N. American Jews in live webcast event
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has repeatedly spoken out against the Iran nuclear deal, will state his case once again next week in a live webcast targeting Jewish institutions across North America.
Netanyahu will deliver remarks and answer questions from participants in an event described by organizers as a live virtual experience that will bring together thousands.
The event is co-sponsored by the member organizations of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and Jewish Federations from across North America.
The webcast will be transmitted to computers, cell phones and flat screens set up in synagogues, organizations and Jewish community centers large and small throughout the continent, organizers said.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) the largest pro-Israel lobby in Washington has been lobbying intensively on Capitol Hill in order to kill the deal. Another Democrat on House Foreign Affairs Committee Announces Opposition to Iran Deal
Rep. Albio Sires (D – N.J.) announced today that he is opposed to the nuclear deal with Iran. Sires, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee whose district includes Hoboken and parts of Newark, stated that he was concerned with the short time frame of the deal, as well as Iran’s history of sponsoring terrorism worldwide. His full press release is below:
I am opposed to the current proposed nuclear agreement with Iran, I do not feel the agreement will prevent them from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
The Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Energy testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee earlier this week, but I am still very doubtful. Iran has spent decades evading international sanctions, promoting terror in the region, and violently oppressing its own people. I am concerned that if the proposed agreement is made official, hardliners within the Iranian regime may hinder its implementation. Most importantly, the time frame of the deal is too short and it is unclear what will happen to Iran’s nuclear program after the initial pressure to comply dissipates and Iran is allowed to enhance its nuclear and weapons capabilities.
In the coming months, I will continue to meet with constituents, experts, and our allies in the region, but I am not convinced that this is in the best interest of our national security.Report: Administration Hindering Review of Iran Nuke Deal Documents
There are 18 documents relating to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the recently concluded nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 nations, which the administration is keeping from public view by treating them as classified, even though 17 of them are unclassified, The Daily Beast reported yesterday.
The Obama administration delivered 18 documents to Congress on July 19, in accordance with legislation requiring a Congressional review of the nuclear deal. Only one of these documents is classified, while the remaining 17 are unclassified.
Yet many of these unclassified documents cannot be shared with the public or discussed openly with the press. The protocol for handling these documents, set by the State Department and carried out by Congress, is that these unreleased documents can only be reviewed ‘in camera’—a Latin term that means only those with special clearance can read them—and must be held in various Congressional [Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facilities] SCIFs. …
“The unclassified items… should be public. This is going to be the most important foreign policy decision that this Congress will make,” a Republican Senate aide told The Daily Beast. “This is the administration that once said it would be the most transparent administration in history. They’re not acting like it.”IAEA Refuses to Brief Senators on Iran Deal, Even in Classified Setting
Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said at a hearing on the Iran nuclear deal today that they requested a meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency on its agreements with Tehran.
These deals are not in the possession of the Obama administration and have never been seen by Secretary of State John Kerry, much less provided to Congress.
“I believe one person may have read it at the — at the facility, but doesn’t have it, they don’t possess it,” Kerry told the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday.
Today, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano had been invited to come address lawmakers next week, but refused.
He turned down a meeting with senators in any setting: public, private or classified.
Corker is now gathering signatures from senators for another letter to Amano in hope that the IAEA chief will reconsider.Poll: 76 Percent of Israelis Think Israel Needs to Continue Fighting Iran Nuclear Deal
More than three-quarters of the Israeli public believes that Israel needs to press on with efforts to torpedo the Iran nuclear deal, a new Israel Hayom survey conducted by New Wave Research revealed.
According to the poll, 76 percent of Hebrew-speaking Jewish Israelis believe Israel should continue fighting the deal, while only 15 percent think that Israel should not fight it.
In the survey—a random selection of 500 individuals over the age of 18—the Israeli public’s decisiveness on the nuclear issue was also reflected in the general opinion regarding President Barack Obama, who is seen as having led world powers toward the agreement with Iran. Asked whether they thought Obama was looking out for Israel’s interests, 73 percent said no, and only 20 percent believe Obama had Israel’s best interest at heart.Iran FM urges ‘nuclear’ Israel, other states to disarm
In an op-ed in The Guardian, Zarif said: “The joint comprehensive plan of action, as the accord is officially known, cements Iran’s status as a zone free of nuclear weapons. Now it is high time that we expand that zone to encompass the entire Middle East.”
Zarif charged that Iran and other signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty have “actually done far more for the cause of non-proliferation in practice than nuclear-weapon states have done on paper.”
The Iranian FM also took a jab at the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, UK, France, Russia and China — all of whom have nuclear weapons and are signatories to the NPT, as well as nuclear-armed, non-NPT states India, Pakistan and North Korea.
These states, he said, “completely brush[…] off their disarmament obligations under the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and customary international law.”
“In light of the Vienna deal, it is high time that the nuclear ‘haves’ remedied the gap by adopting serious disarmament measures and reinforcing the non-proliferation regime,” he wrote.Iran's parliament has no authority over nuclear deal, Iran's top negotiator says
Iran's parliament does not have authority over the nuclear agreement signed with world powers last month, the Islamic Republic's top nuclear negotiator was quoted as saying on Saturday.
The comments from Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's atomic energy agency, are the latest volley in a lengthy battle between Iranian officials supportive of the deal, and hardliners who are skeptical of it.
The conservative-dominated parliament in June passed a bill imposing strict conditions on any nuclear deal, such as barring international inspectors from Iran's military sites.
Under the terms of the final deal, however, Iran must provide access to suspect sites including at its military facilities within 24 days, or risk sanctions being reimposed.
"It is absolutely not the case that the government must bring before parliament any agreement it wants to sign with a foreign country," Salehi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.
"The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is not a treaty or a convention, and I don't know under what definition it would go to parliament."Russia, US and Saudi plan trilateral meet in Qatar
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday that Sergey Lavrov will confer with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir during his two-day trip to Doha starting Sunday. Kerry earlier has said he plans to meet separately in Doha with Lavrov to discuss Syria, Iran and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that during his visit to Qatar, Lavrov will discuss the crises in Syria, Libya and Yemen, international efforts to combat the Islamic State group and Iran’s role in regional affairs after last month’s signing of Iran’s nuclear deal.
Despite Russia-US tensions over Ukraine, President Barack Obama has thanked Moscow for helping reach the agreement.
Kerry departed for the Middle East on Friday for security talks in Egypt and discussions in Qatar with Arab foreign ministers whose countries are wary of the nuclear deal struck with Iran. He will not visit Israel, America’s foremost ally in the region, and the primary foreign opponent of the Iran agreement.Dispatch from Iraq: the Stealth Iranian Takeover Becomes Clear
The genius of the Iranian method is that it is not possible to locate a precise point where the Iranian influence ends and the "government" begins. Everything is entwined. This pro-Iranian military and political activity depends at ground level on the successful employment and manipulation of religious fervor. This is what makes the Hashed fighters able to stand against the rival jihadis of ISIS. Says Major General Juma'a Enad, operational commander in Salah al-Din Province: "The Hashed strong point is the spiritual side, the jihad fatwa. Like ISIS."
So this is Tehran's formula. The possession of a powerful state body (the IRGC's Quds Force) whose sole raison d'etre is the creation and sponsorship of local political-military organizations to serve the Iranian interest. The existence of a population in a given country available for indoctrination and mobilization. The creation of proxy bodies and the subsequent shepherding of them to both political and military influence, with each element complementing the other. And finally, the reaping of the benefit of all this in terms of power and influence.
This formula has at the present time brought Iran domination of Lebanon and large parts of Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Current events in Iraq form a perfect study of the application of this method, and the results it can bring. Is Iran likely to change this winning formula as a result of the sudden provision of increased monies resulting from the nuclear deal? This is certainly the hope of the authors of the agreement. It is hard to see on what it is based.
The deal itself proves that Iran can continue to push down this road while paying only a minor price, so why change? Expect further manifestations of the Tehran formula in the Middle East in the period ahead.‘Make him uneasy’ — Clinton emails reveal debate on handling Netanyahu
In an email dated September 22, 2009 and entitled “Bibi/Abu Mazen” — Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ respective commonly used monikers — Berger advised Clinton that the public debate should shift “from settlement freeze to final status.”
“Going forward, if Bibi continues to be the obstacle, you will need to find the ground from which you can make his politics uneasy,” Berger wrote. “I think you can do that even with current concerns in Israel about US posture.”
Berger also recommended that Clinton should “be mindful of Abu Mazen’s politics,” saying that he was “[t]aking a lot of criticism for meeting with Bibi without settlement freeze.”
In another email three days earlier, Berger wrote: “The objective is to try shift the fulcrum of our current relations with Bibi from settlements — where he thinks he has the upper hand — to ground where there is greater understanding in Israel of the American position and where we can make him uneasy about incurring our displeasure… Ironically, his intransigence over 67 borders(sic) may offer us that possibility to turn his position against him.”
Berger also suggested sending then-Middle East envoy Gorge Mitchell back to the region in an effort to find “a common basis to relaunch negotiations.”The Canceling of Palestinian Elections
The Occupation Regime cancels elections scheduled for Palestinian Arab universities!
Why haven’t the international news media reported this outrage? Where are the usual protests of the United Nations and the State Department? What is the reason for their silence?
Because the occupier is not Israel. It’s the Palestinian Authority.
PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas recently canceled the scheduled elections for the student councils after the first such election, at Bir Zeit Uniersity, resulted in the Islamist Bloc winning 26 out of the 51 seats, while Abbas’s Fatah movement won only 19.
The online Hamas newspaper Alresalah charged that Abbas canceled the remaining elections out of fear the Islamists would defeat Fatah on other campuses, as well.
Elections are a bit of a sore point for Abbas’s regime. He was first elected as chairman of the PA on January 15, 2005, for what was supposed to be a single four-year term. That term ended in January 2009, yet, more than six years later, Abbas is still in power and no further elections have been held.
The PA elections issue is rarely discussed in the U.S. media, however, because it contradicts the pro-Palestinian narrative favored by so many American journalists. Not long ago, both Peter Beinart of CNN and Dana Milbank of the Washington Post again trotted out the old allegation that Israel “occupies millions of Palestinians.”Hamas leader's car fire-bombed in West Bank
Amid rising tensions between the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority and Hamas, overnight on Friday unidentified attackers fire-bombed the private vehicle of a senior Hamas official in the Palestinian city of Jenin.
According to Maan news, Wasfi Qabaha, a former Palestinian prisoner's affairs minister, said that the suspects threw petrol-bombs from a moving vehicle, setting his car ablaze in front of his home in the al-Basatin neighborhood of Jenin.
Qabaha took to Facebook, claiming that the attack was the 38th time such attacks targeted him.
“Collaborators with the [Israeli] occupation hurled a Molotov bomb at my Hundai Accent 2007 which was parked in front of my house in Baghdad Street in al-Basatin neighborhood," Qabaha said in his social media statement.
Hamas was quick to point the finger at rival faction Fatah, led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose crackdown on Hamas in July resulted in the arrest of some 245 of the group's members and sympathizers.Tech investments in Israel hit new high
A new report by the the Israel Venture Capital (IVC) Research Center shows that Israel’s tech economy is attracting more investment money than ever – as well as a better “class” of investor.
The report issued Tuesday found that Israeli high-tech firms set a new record for financing in the second quarter of 2015 – breaking the record set in the last quarter of 2014. The report said that 179 Israeli high-tech firms raised a total of $1.12 billion during Q2/2015 – beating the $1.11 billion raised in Q4 2014.
The IVC report also shows that Israel is attracting more attention from private equity investors, a development that portends well for the tech economy, according to Koby Simana, CEO of IVC Research Center. “If we want the local high-tech industry to continue growing and see more large-scale, mature companies emerge, there is room for technology investments from more than just venture capital funds, local or foreign,” said Simana. “The industry needs a variety of investors and investment models to support companies throughout various stages.”
Much of the Q2 investment money came from foreign private equity (PE) investors, the IVC data show – with venture capital-backed (VC) investments hitting a six-year low. That change, said Simana, is a sign of maturity for the Israeli tech economy; while VCs generally invest in earlier growth-stage companies and start-ups, PE investors seek out companies that are more mature, with bigger sales and larger markets, further along on the road to “making it big.”Visiting Israel’s hot start-up scene
I recently had the privilege to fly from Silicon Valley to what many call Silicon Wadi (also known as Tel Aviv, Israel). Israel has more than 6,000 startups and attracts more venture capital per person than any other country in the world.
While I was in Israel, I was able to sit down with some of the people behind the hottest startups on the planet and find out everything there is to know about the tech scene in Israel, Jerusalem, and the surrounding areas. It was amazing to meet some brilliant entrepreneurs who are shaping how we do things online.
Here are some of the hot startups that I see as having a bright future as well as a potential billion-dollar valuation (if they don't already) in the near future.Yad Vashem marks diversity, bravery of Red Army Jews
A new, online exhibit at Yad Vashem recounts the powerful and personal stories of 100 soldiers in the Soviet Union’s Red Army, a lesser-known side of the Holocaust story.
There were between 350,000 to 500,000 Jews in the Red Army during the war, and about 140,000 were killed, said Dr. Arkadi Zeltser, who directed the Yad Vashem project, supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation.
The goal of the project, titled “Jews in the Red Army,” Zeltser said, was to tell the individual histories of some of the soldiers.
“It’s difficult to find what people felt during the war,” Zeltser said. “For us, it was important to give them an opportunity to speak.”
The Yad Vashem research team spent a year combing through both official documents, such as Russian military records and personal accounts of the war, like diaries and letters. They also used coverage of the war by the Yiddish language press and published materials from Jewish anti-fascist groups.
The researchers found official documents for those featured in the exhibit, confirming their Jewish identities, which was not always an easy task. Some were not identified as Jewish in documents, such as one soldier who had a father who was a rabbi and a brother in a yeshiva, but was listed as a Lithuanian national. There were men and women represented, serving in a wide range of military units, such as the air force, armored corps, submarines and intelligence agencies. The women were medical staff, as well as fighters, translators and propagandists against the Nazis.Qanta Ahmed Unveiled - Dialogue with Technion President Peretz Lavie 2015 Board of Governors
Dr. Qanta Ahmed and Technion president Prof. Peretz Lavie in a dialogue at Technion's 2015 Board of Governors meeting. Dr. Ahmed is a 2015 recipient of an Honorary Fellowship from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
Dr. Ahmed, is a physician, author and journalist and a frequent television commentator on Islam and Islamic extremism .
Her first book, In the Land of Invisible Women (Sourcebooks 2008) details her experience of living and working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and has been published internationally in 13 countries including in translation and is now in its 12th edition.
A graduate of the University of Nottingham, England, she has been a physician for 20 years.
Dr. Qanta Ahmed is a subspecialist board certified sleep disorders specialist and faculty attending physician in the Department of Medicine as part of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care Medicine at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, New York. Dr. Ahmed is appointed Associate Professor of Medicine at the State University of New York (Stony Brook). She practices sleep disorders medicine in Garden City at the Winthrop University Sleep Disorders Center where she treats adolescents and adults of all ages.
Overwhelming Israeli Opposition Strongest Sign Iran Deal Is A Bad One
No country has more to lose from a military confrontation with Iran than Israel — and no country has more to gain than Israel from a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue.
And yet, an overwhelming majority in the Jewish State views the Iran deal as a catastrophic mistake, one that potentially threatens the country’s very existence. This reality alone should make you think twice about the Obama administration’s claim that it negotiated a strong deal to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Critics of Israel’s position on the Iran deal are often quick to paint Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a warmonger. But why would Netanyahu be anxious for a military confrontation? Israel would likely be the main target of any Iranian response to a strike on its nuclear program, even if the attack was conducted by the United States. With Iran’s terror proxy Hezbollah armed with an estimated 100,000 rockets in southern Lebanon, the consequences of an Iranian retaliation could be very grave for the Jewish State.
Conversely, Israel would benefit most from a deal with Iran that actually prevented the Islamic Republic from being able to obtain nuclear weapons capability. A good deal would eliminate the threat of an apocalyptically anti-Semitic regime being able to gain the means to make its genocidal dreams a reality. At the same time, a good deal would remove the need for a possible military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities that could precipitate a bloody confrontation between Israel and Iran’s terror proxy Hezbollah. Jennifer Rubin: Blaming failure of a rotten deal on Israel?!
Kerry does not “fear” Israel would be blamed; he is threatening to blame Israel if U.S. lawmakers decide that the deal is not in the interests of the United States. Not only is he inciting anti-Israel fervor, but he also is repeating another canard, namely that Israel controls Congress. In doing all this, the administration echoes ancient tropes against the Jews and not-so-ancient ones against an Israeli government that won’t meekly assent to its death.
The administration sounds more unhinged with each passing day, no doubt because it is not convincing Democrats to stand with the White House in defense of a rotten deal. In particular, many lawmakers who insisted on disclosure of the possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Iran’s nuclear program are learning it won’t be in the dealIn other words, the administration caved on PMDs and the deal would go into effect without ever forcing Iran to disclose information necessary to conduct adequate inspections. (“Outside nuclear experts said understanding Iran’s past nuclear work was critical to verifying the new agreement because it establishes a baseline for what Tehran has done in the past.”) Democrats who insisted on a credible inspection process and know that it depends on our understanding of Iran’s past nuclear weapons program have a choice: Cave (as the president did, thereby sacrificing their own credibility) or insist the president go back (with additional leverage in the form of new sanctions) to obtain what Kerry once promised he would get.
No wonder the administration is throwing a fit, louder and more overtly anti-Israel with each passing day. The president and his advisers desperately want to divert attention from their own grossly defective deal — and blame Israel if it fails. Nothing could be more revealing of the deal’s weakness and the Obama administration’s hostility to Israel than the manner in which it is defending the deal.Can @TheTimes cite examples of Bibi saying he ‘opposed’ Iran negotiations? #IranDeal
In a July 28th article (Huckabee likens Iran deal to Holocaust), Times of London Middle East reporter Hugh Tomlinson claimed that Israel’s prime minister not only opposes the current Iran nuclear deal, but actually has opposed negotiations with Iran altogether.
Here’s the relevant passage, in the penultimate paragraph of the article.
Congress has two months in which to review the Vienna accord before voting to accept or reject it. Israel, which bitterly opposed negotiations with Iran from the outset, has been lobbying Congress for months in an attempt to block the deal.
Given that serious negotiations with Iran date back to 2009, Tomlinson is in effect saying that Binyamin Netanyahu has “bitterly opposed negotiations with Iran from the outset”. Indeed, Tomlinson has made this same claim on at least one other occasion.
However, as CAMERA has demonstrated, despite some media claims echoing Tomlinson’s take on Netanyahu’s position, the fact is that the prime minister has consistently supported negotiations with Iran, albeit one which achieved ‘a better deal’ than the one the six world powers have been prepared to accept. A Washington Official, and the Washington Post, Fabricate Israeli Praise for the Iran Deal
The Post's headline promises a discussion of Israelis who feel the deal is "good" for their country. And the article goes on to name four prominent Israeli security experts. The message for readers, then, is that even if Israel's government and the largest opposition party are united against the deal — an inconvenient reality for the deal's advocates in the American government and the media, who normally can find allies among Israeli politicians who are so often at each other's throats — at least those in the know understand how truly good the agreement is.
Except it isn't true. Let's look at the security experts named in the piece:
Tharoor first mentions Ami Ayalon, a former head of the Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, and links to a Daily Beast piece entitled "Ex-Intel Chief: Iran Deal Good for Israel."
Unfortunately for Tharoor (and for Daily Beast commentator Jonathan Alter), Ayalon, who begrudgingly supports the deal because it is "the best plan currently on the table" and because he believes there are no available alternatives, nonetheless has said in no uncertain terms, "I think the deal is bad. It's not good."
Tharoor then cites former intelligence chief Efraim Halevy, but strangely links to an Op-Ed Halevy wrote after a framework agreement was finalized in Lausanne last April but before the details of this final deal were agreed upon in Vienna this month. In a more recent (and thus relevant) Op-Ed, Halevy described what he sees as several strong points in the agreement and concludes that it is "important to hold a profound debate in Israel on whether no agreement is preferable to an agreement which includes components that are crucial for Israel's security."
He didn't explicitly state which side of the debate he favors, although there is a sense that leans toward the idea that Israel must get behind the deal. But like Ayalon, his tepid defense of the deal, if it is even that, seems to hinge on the idea that this agreement makes the emergence of any other, better deals unrealistic. "There will be no other agreement and no other negotiations," Halevy says in his recent Op-Ed.
The Iran Deal and the Rut of History
This accord will strengthen a contemptible regime. And so I propose—futilely, I know—that now, in the aftermath of the accord, America proceed to weaken it. The conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action should be accompanied by a resumption of our hostility to the Iranian regime and its various forces. Diplomats like to say that you talk with your enemies. They are right. And we have talked with them. But they are still our enemies. This is the hour not for a fresh start but for a renovation of principle. We need to restore democratization to its pride of place among the priorities of our foreign policy and oppress the theocrats in Tehran everywhere with expressions, in word and in deed, of our implacable hostility to their war on their own people. We need to support the dissidents in any way we can, not least so that they do not feel abandoned and alone, and tiresomely demand the release of Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi from the house arrest in which they have been sealed since the crackdown in 2009. (And how in good conscience could we have proceeded with the negotiations while the American journalist Jason Rezaian was a captive in an Iranian jail? Many years ago, when I studied the Dreyfus affair, I learned that there are times when an injustice to only one man deserves to bring things to a halt.) We need to despise the regime loudly and regularly, and damage its international position as fiercely and imaginatively as we can, for its desire to exterminate Israel. We need to arm the enemies of Iran in Syria and Iraq, and for many reasons. (In Syria, we have so far prepared 60 fighters: America is back!) We need to explore, with diplomatic daring, an American-sponsored alliance between Israel and the Sunni states, which are now experiencing an unprecedented convergence of interests.
But we will do none of this. We will instead persist in letting the fire spread and letting time tell, which we call realism. Wanting not to fight wars, we refuse to join struggles. Sometimes, I guess, history really is a rut. Obama's Gamble with Iran's Theocratic Regime
Obama's Iran deal is a direct manifestation of the President's fundamentally misguided worldview, one that wishes away danger and then believes in the wishes.
Even more concerning is that the Iran deal may directly conflict with U.S. obligations as a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Iran deal may be unconstitutional, violate international law and feature commitments that President Obama could not otherwise lawfully make. By seeking approval of the deal under the UN Security Council, Obama has bound the U.S. under international law without Senate consent.
The gravest consequence of Obama's Iran deal is that the world bestowed ideological legitimacy on the Islamic Republic's radical theocracy, and in so doing has consigned the people of Iran to near permanent rule under the iron fist of Shi'a Islamism.
A total reversal of the Iranian regime's behavior should have been, and still can be, a precondition for the removal of any sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program. An end to Iran's financial and materiel support for terrorist forces such as Hezbollah and Hamas must be demanded, along with the return of the four American hostages Iran is holding.
There is still time for a better deal that can be had.Iran Deal: $150 Billion to Fund Obama's War
The Iran deal does not prevent a nuclear Iran. At best, it only delays it a few years.
Under the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, $150 billion would go to a single regime that has been a state sponsor of terrorism for the entire 36 years of its existence.
The Iran deal, in five years, will actually lift a ban on sending Iran conventional weapons, including (in eight years) intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting the United States. But Iran is already wasting no time buying weapons and producing weapons on its own.
When Obama leaves office, he may think that any catastrophe the Iran deal causes will not "technically" be his, but the next president's. But it is his. It's as if someone is lighting a long fuse and will then say he was not near the dynamite when it went off. Any explosions that result from this huge military and financial payday to Iran will, and should, be known as "Obama's war."Obama Knows Iran will Use its Nukes on Israel
At first, Obama said we couldn’t talk about his Iranian Nuke Deal unless it was finalized. Then, Obama said we couldn’t talk about his Iranian Nuke Deal unless we read it all - and simply didn’t disclose all of his side-deals. Now, he says Mike Huckabee’s comparison of shipping the Jews of Israel to the new ovens of the Iranian Auschwitz-Nuke is “ridiculous.”
Perhaps Obama wants to wait until Iran nukes Israel for it to be politically correct to call Iran’s wiping Israel off the map a “Holocaust.” But, make no mistake, Obama knows full well that Iran intends to wipe Israel off the map with its Obama-blessed Nukes.
Come on, does anyone (except the American left-wing cool-aid drinking Jews) really believe that Iran will abide by their “voluntary” protocols under the Vienna announcement? Of course not! Are Obama or any of the European Union leaders so rank stupid and naïve that they think Iran won’t build a bomb just like North Korea? Does anyone not know that one of Iran’s first targets will be to annihilate Israel?
Of course Obama knows Iran will seek to annihilate Israel, so that must be what Obama wants.Grassroots Activism May Very Well Kill the Iran Deal
The rally organizers are assisting with grassroots protests across the country. Protests have been held in Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, and San Diego. And since the success of the Times Square rally, we have heard from people in cities and towns across the country. We are here to help anyone interested in launching a grassroots rally in their hometown. Let us all share these great patriots’ optimism and encourage our fellow Americans to fight for our children and grandchildren.
Jewish sage and scholar, Hillel the Elder, stated millennia ago, “If I am not for myself who is for me? And being for my own self, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?" Americans have less than 60 days to make their voices heard and to do their part to save the world from a nuclear Iran. Now is the time to stop Obama and the mullahs from leading us to the point of no return.The Cynical Pollard Release Leak
The past few weeks have confirmed something that was always true about the way the Obama administration wages political battles. There is no stunt too cheap or statement so cynical that the White House won’t employ in order to advance its agenda. That’s the only way to interpret the bizarre Friday afternoon leak to the Wall Street Journal in which ”administration officials” said convicted spy Jonathan Pollard would be released later this year in order to help smooth relations between the U.S. and Israel in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal. Other officials, including the Attorney General, speaking on the record rather than off it, quickly denied the plan. There is a scheduled parole hearing for Pollard in November. Yet there is no assurance that the spy, who will have served 30 years in prison by then, will be released. But either way, the attempt to inject this emotion issue into the already inflamed debate about Iran was a deeply cynical ploy that was clearly aimed at defusing anger about the administration’s efforts to defend a nuclear agreement by isolating Israel and its defenders. Whatever one may think of the merits of the case for clemency for Pollard — and at this point it is a strong one — this issue has no place in the discussion about Iran and should be dismissed out of hand by those seeking to push back against the administration’s efforts to silence its critics.
The Pollard affair has been an irritant in U.S.-Israel relations since his arrest in 1985. As I explained in detail in my March 2011 COMMENTARY article on the issue when Pollard had already been in jail for 25 years, this is a tragic story in which the misconduct of the oath-breaking former U.S. Navy analyst and his Israeli handlers has done great damage both the alliance and to the position of the many loyal American Jews working in the defense establishment that have since then labored under false charges of dual loyalty.
Pollard’s crime was serious, but it is also unprecedented in that no other spy for a friendly country has ever received a punishment anything like the life sentence he received. Those who foolishly labor him a hero have hurt his cause as well as that of Israel since such talk continues to inflame the U.S. intelligence establishment to oppose his release. Indeed, Pollard might well have been released long ago had he and those close to him ever learned to stop trying to defend his indefensible conduct and stuck to the entirely reasonable case to be made about his sentence being unreasonably harsh. But even if we are hearing less about him being a martyr these days, it is far from unlikely that U.S. intelligence will again intervene in the parole process as they have before. But like those of Pollard’s supporters who make improbable claims about the nature of the information he gave illegally transferred to Israel, so, too, do his opponents continue to exaggerate the impact of his spying. What he did was bad enough but there is no reason to believe that his efforts had much impact on the disasters befalling U.S. intelligence at the time. Had it been known at the time of his sentencing that the real source of the problem was a pair of Russian spies (Aldrich Ames at the CIA and the FBI’s Robert Hanssen) it would have been far more difficult for the government or the judge in the case (who threw out a plea bargain to which Pollard had agreed in order to spare the government the problem of a trial) to justify such a draconian sentence.
But regardless of the rights and wrongs of this 30-year ordeal, involving Pollard in the question of the Iran deal would be wrong from the point of view of both U.S. and Israeli security.Obama eyes next diplomatic steps with Iran
Even as he defends his nuclear deal with Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry is speaking more bullishly about partnering with Tehran on a range of crises in the Middle East — at the same time as another top Obama national security official offers a cautionary note about Iran’s future behavior.
“I know that a Middle East that is on fire is going to be more manageable with this [nuclear] deal, and opens more potential for us to be able to try to deal with those fires,” including Syria, Yemen and Iraq, Kerry told the Council on Foreign Relations on Friday.
During the nuclear talks, Kerry said, he “tried very hard” to raise other regional issues with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, but the Iranian lacked authority to discuss them. Yet since the deal was struck, Zarif and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani “have made it clear that, with the agreement, they are prepared to discuss the regional issues,” Kerry added.
Kerry’s comments hint at new strategic planning within the administration about leveraging a changed relationship with Tehran to help stabilize the Middle East. Sources said Kerry also harbors a desire to jump-start the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process, though on that score he may differ with President Barack Obama.
Any optimism is tempered by the sheer complexity of the problems, however — not to mention deep-seated skepticism about Iran’s willingness to moderate its foreign policy.Close Reading of Nuclear Deal Suggests Iran Has Not Agreed to “Snap-Back” Sanctions at All
The relevant clauses appear twice: Once in section 26, at the very end of the discussion of the US commitment to refrain from re-imposing lifted sanctions or introducing new ones, and then again in section 37, at the very end of the discussion of how Iranian violations will be addressed by the UN. In section 26 it appears as follows:
Iran has stated that it will treat such a re-introduction or re-imposition of the sanctions specified in Annex II, or such an imposition of new nuclear-related sanctions, as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part.
Later, in section 37, after describing how the UN could reimpose sanctions in the event of Iranian non-compliance, we discover the following:
Iran has stated that if sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part.
The appearance of these clauses in the text raises the following question: If one side states that if the other exercises a described redress in the event of noncompliance, they will see that as “grounds for” pulling out of the deal entirely, isn’t that tantamount to saying they view the reimposition of sanctions as a material breach—and that, in other words, they do not accept, in principle, any reimposition of sanctions under any circumstances?
The suspicion that this is the case, and that the U.S. may even have willingly conceded this point, grows further with a careful reading of the sentences in section 26 that lead up to the clause quoted above. Why War Isn’t Inevitable If Congress Rejects the Iran Nuclear Deal
Last week Secretary of State John Kerry said bluntly about the Iran deal: “This is a choice between a diplomatic solution and war.” But is that really the case?
Much of the Obama administration’s efforts to sell this accord have involved shackling the public and congressional debate with this binary choice and the horrific consequences should Congress reject the accord and overturn a presidential veto.
The administration’s logic goes something like this: Congress takes the hit for sinking the accord; Iran reaps a huge propaganda victory and divides the world powers with which it has been negotiating for months (the “P5 +1,” or the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany); the sanctions regime collapses; Iran then accelerates its nuclear program; Israel threatens war and attacks if Iran achieves “break out” or nuclear weapon threshold. By this thinking, the U.S. is invariably drawn into war because Iran gets close to a weapon or because we have to support Israel. And if Iran goes to produce an actual weapon, the U.S. could strike Iran directly.
A congressional override of the president’s veto would make it impossible for the president to waive critical oil and banking sanctions against Iran. But would the July 14 deal then be scuttled, with our allies jumping ship on sanctions and Iran then breaking out? War isn’t necessarily what follows from all this. Yes, the odds of resuming negotiations to get a better deal seem unlikely. But so does the prospect of inexorable confrontation. Half of Americans want Congress to reject Iran deal — poll
A little over half of Americans want Congress to reject the Iran nuclear deal, according to a new CNN/ORC poll. Fifty-two percent of respondents said that Congress should reject the agreement, while 44% said Congress should approve it.
The poll showed President Barack Obama’s approval ratings remained more or less constant at 49%, down just 1% from June, while the deal was described by some as his greatest achievement.
The July poll found that the public was split along party lines, with 66% of Republicans saying Congress should reject the deal, and 61% of Democrats saying Congress should approve the deal.
The deal was more favored by younger and college-educated respondents than by older and less educated respondents.
Those for and against the agreement are engaged in a verbal battle to lobby lawmakers.Understanding the poll of US Jews on the Iran deal
Do you support or oppose this agreement, or don’t know enough to say?” The timing of the poll may raise questions. The interviewing of the 501 respondents began on Thursday, July 16 – barely 24 hours after most people were reading about the Iran deal for the first time. That may not have been sufficient time for the respondents to have familiarized themselves with the details of the agreement. At that early point, many people may have heard President Barack Obama’s remarks when he announced the agreement, but it’s much less likely that they had yet heard any substantive critiques of the deal.
Moreover, a well-known problem in public opinion polling is that some people are embarrassed to admit that they don’t know enough about the subject.
Instead of honestly saying that they don’t know enough to answer, they choose either “support” or “oppose.” If the president of the United States supports it, and they have not yet read enough to know who opposes it or why, they probably would be more inclined to say they support it.
One of the interesting additional findings of the Jewish Journal poll was a sharp split between those American Jews who have visited Israel and those who have not. Those who have visited Israel favor the deal by just 48% to 44% – which is a statistical tie, since it is within the poll’s 6% margin of error.
By contrast, those Jews who have never visited Israel support the agreement by a margin of 58% to 30%.Kerry announces Mideast trip, skipping Israel
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday announced a trip to the Mideast next week and then Asia, including a stop in Vietnam. Kerry, however, will not visit Israel.
The top US diplomat starts off in Cairo, for the US-Egypt Strategic Dialogue on Sunday.
He then goes to Doha, Qatar, to meet with foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.
Kerry will also travel to the Southeast Asian city state of Singapore, where he will deliver a speech on US trade and investment.Iranian Envoy: Tehran Ready to Share Nuclear Knowledge With Neighbors
Alireza Enayati, Iran’s Ambassador to Kuwait, voiced Iran’s readiness to share its nuclear knowledge with neighboring countries, including Kuwait, Fars News reported on Monday.
Enayati made his comments during an interview with Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida.
The interviewer asked Enayati, “Are you [Iran] ready to share your nuclear expertise with your neighbors?”
Enayati responded, “Of course, we are ready to do so,” adding that, “this is precisely what the chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi announced.”Former Revolutionary Guard head: Deal violates Iran's red lines
According to the deal, Iran agreed to massively reduce its ability to enrich uranium. It also made many compromises on arms embargoes and ballistic missile technology transfer. These violate Iran's red lines set by its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on peaceful use and development of nuclear energy and technology and developing conventional weapons.
"That is actually one of the red lines that Iranian are talking about. So, defense issues, conventional weapons, including missile systems are not negotiable from the Iranian point," said Hassan Hani, a professor at Imam Sadiq University.
Hani said these two issues are the most important red lines for Iran, and they can be seen as challenges for the implementation of that agreement.Saudi Arabia Blasts Iran's 'Aggressive Statements'
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, on Monday denounced what he called "aggressive statements" by Iran, intensifying the verbal sparring between the regional rivals after a global deal on Tehran's nuclear program, AFP reported.
On Sunday, Iran's foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Saudi ally Bahrain of making "unfounded allegations" to foment "tension in the region", after the interior ministry in Manama said it had detained two men accused of trying to smuggle weapons from Iran.
"This does not represent the intentions of a country seeking good relations," al-Jubeir said of the Iranian comments.
"These statements are escalating and they are many," he charged, according to AFP.Nasrallah to Arab states: Don’t cozy up to ‘cancerous’ Israel
The head of the Hezbollah terror group, Hassan Nasrallah has called on the Arab world to resist normalizing ties with Israel, warning that that the “cancerous” Jewish state is milking the benefits of regional unrest by using the turmoil to improve its relations with moderate Arab states.
Nasrallah, who makes few public appearances, made the statements during a speech broadcast Tuesday at an international conference in Beirut.
“The Zionist entity is taking advantage of the events taking place in our region in a bid to normalize ties with several Arab states,” Hassan Nasrallah said according a report from Hezbollah mouthpiece Al-Manar.
“Right now, there are some Arab countries that have taken Israel out of the circle of threats,” he said, according to the Iranian Press TV. “This is something very dangerous.”Wall Street Journal Op-Ed Backs Breitbart: States Can Stop Iran Deal
On July 22, Breitbart News was the first to point out that the states have the power to block significant portions of the Iran deal, whether or not it passes Congress. That is because most states have enacted legislation divesting from Iran, and some, like New York, have even harsher legislation that prevents the state from doing business with the regime or with companies that do so.
In an op-ed in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, constitutional lawyers David B. Rivkin and Lee A. Casey agree: the states are “free to impose their own Iran-related sanctions.”
As Rivkin and Casey note in “The Lawless Underpinnings of the Iran Nuclear Deal,” the reason states have the power to stop the deal and to apply their existing sanctions, or even add new ones, is that President Barack Obama made an “end-run” around Congress by deciding not to submit the agreement as a treaty. Thanks to Sen. Ted Cruz’s litigation in Medellín v. Texas (2008), we know that international treaties–and, by implication, executive agreements–have no power over state law unless enabled by separate federal legislation, which does not yet exist.New York, California Will Keep Iran Sanctions: Legislators
The States of New York and California have no intention of complying with the Iran deal’s requirement that state and local governments lift their own sanctions against the Iranian regime.
As Breitbart News first reported last week, and the Wall Street Journal confirmed Monday, states have the constitutional authority to retain their existing sanctions against Iran, or even to apply new ones, because President Barack Obama decided to impose the Iran deal as an executive agreement without any federal enabling legislation that would override state laws.
“We will do everything in the world not to support the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism,” said Democrat Dov Hikind, a New York State Assemblyman, speaking to Breitbart News on Monday.
Hikind said that while he was “cautiously optimistic” that Congress would have the votes to override President Obama’s expected veto and reject the Iran deal, he was also confident that New York would keep tough sanctions in place against Iran. New York, like 29 other states, has passed divestment laws that prevent the state from investing public funds in Iran.Europe to drop sanctions on Iranian terrorists and entities
Along with the Iran nuclear agreement, the European Union has agreed to remove sanctions on Iranian entities and individuals deeply involved in terrorism.
Making matters significantly worse from the Israeli and European Jewish perspective is Europe’s decision to allow the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, or the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as it usually called in the West, broad latitude to operate within the EU starting in 2023.
“The EU delisting of IRGC military organizations and personnel is tantamount to a green light for Iran-sponsored terrorism. Likewise, the EU delisting of IRGC financial, engineering, construction, energy and transport sector entities amounts to European approval of the IRGC’s dominance in Iran’s economy, which equates to the continued repression of the Iranian people by a regime that just cashed in on temporarily deferring aspects of its nuclear program,” Ali Alfoneh, an expert on the Revolutionary Guard, and a fellow a the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote.
Europe’s media are not paying attention to some of the fine print in the nuclear agreement that largely affects their citizen’s security as well as that of Israel institutions across the continent.Iran Set to Receive Massive Relief From SWIFT Sanctions
Iranian media outlets have been reporting that Iran is set to receive massive relief from the world’s biggest interbank transfer network, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) sanctions.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi said on Monday that hundreds of Iranian individuals and bodies, including banks and financial institutions, would be delisted from the SWIFT sanctions immediately upon the Iranian nuclear deal coming into effect, according to Iranian Fars News Agency.
“In the initial step, 800 Iranian institutions, organizations and individuals will be taken off the list on the day the agreement is put into practice,” he said.
SWIFT is the system through which financial institutions move money electronically. Every major global financial institution uses SWIFT. In 2012, the United States successfully pushed for a number of Iranian banks to be barred from using SWIFT.Bahrain Breaks Up Iran-Backed Terror Plot, Recalls Ambassador From Tehran
In this weekend’s incident, Bahraini authorities arrested two suspected smugglers, at least one of whom received training from Iranian forces. Last month, the authorities foiled another terror operation plotted by members of the Iran-backed Saraya al-Ashtar. They also intercepted explosives on their way for use against nearby Saudi Arabia in an incident that, according to Bahraini police chief Major-General Tariq al-Hasan, demonstrated “clear similarities” to other attacks perpetrated by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The IRGC is an Iranian military organization that helps the Supreme Leader maintain his power at home and advance his imperial goals abroad. It supports the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Hezbollah terror organization in Lebanon, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and some of the most radically sectarian Shiite militias in Iraq. The IRGC and the Iranian regime stand to gain a tremendous financial boost from the deal recently signed between Iran and world powers.
This weekend’s arrests occurred at the same time that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif kicked off a tour to three Arab states – Kuwait, Qatar, and Iraq – in an effort to deepen ties and sell the nuclear deal. Zarif dismissed Bahrain’s charges as “unfounded allegations” that served to “create a climate of tension in the region.”
Bahrain has accused Iran of interfering in its internal affairs after Tehran criticized the arrest of a Bahraini opposition leader. Iran has previously called Bahrain its “14th province” and Ali Khamenei has called Bahrain “part and parcel” of Iran.Whose Iran Rhetoric is Worse? Huckabee’s or Obama’s?
Mike Huckabee probably thought he hit the jackpot today when President Obama responded directly to the former Arkansas governor’s characterization of the Iran nuclear deal as something that would “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” When you are running for the Republican presidential nomination and struggling to get some attention in the midst of the obsessive coverage of Donald Trump, anything, even a quote that is branded on Morning Joe as the most outrageous comment yet made on the 2016 campaign trail is a positive of a sort. Yet Huckabee shouldn’t be crowing. As Joe Scarborough pointed out, raising the specter of the Holocaust in that manner actually does the administration a favor since it allows the president to dismiss his critics as hysterics and to pose as the adult in the room. Nevertheless, liberals shouldn’t be allowed to get away with denouncing the irresponsible hyperbole of Iran deal critics in this manner. As much as Huckabee’s statement was inappropriate, it is hard to argue that it is much worse than the president’s characterization of all of those opposing his policy as warmongers or Secretary of State John Kerry’s repeated efforts to intimidate both Israelis and American Jews into silence on the issue by claiming that speaking up will “isolate” them or cause the world to blame Jews for the potential defeat of a terrible agreement. Is Huckabee’s Iran deal rhetoric said really any worse?
Faced with criticism Huckabee did not back down. Instead, he defended his remarks as being entirely appropriate because of the potentially disastrous impact of the administration’s diplomacy on Western and Israeli security. The candidate is right to call out the president for failing to draw the correct conclusions from Iran’s refusal to back down on its support for terror and dedication to Israel’s destruction, even in exchange for a deal that makes them a threshold nuclear power and rewards the regime with over $100 billion. But his comment violated a standard rule of political discourse in which the person who invokes a Holocaust analogy first always loses.US Zionist group backs Huckabee on Holocaust-Iran deal analogy
The Zionist Organization of America stood by Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who said President Barack Obama will march Israelis “to the door of the oven” as part of the Iran nuclear deal.
“The ZOA agrees with Governor Huckabee that this Iran deal could lead to a Holocaust-like massacre of the Jews,” the ZOA said in a statement. “In such circumstances, when the Jewish state is threatened with nuclear annihilation, a Holocaust analogy such as Governor Huckabee used is acceptable and not out of place.”
The former Arkansas governor has come under fire for the analogy, made in an interview this weekend with Breitbart News.Attacking Clinton on Iran deal, Huckabee says ‘mushroom cloud over Israel’ unacceptable
Huckabee defended his remark, accusing Obama of ignoring threats from Tehran.
“What’s ‘ridiculous and sad’ is that President Obama does not take Iran’s repeated threats seriously. For decades, Iranian leaders have pledged to ‘destroy,’ ‘annihilate,’ and ‘wipe Israel off the map’ with a ‘big Holocaust,'” he said in a statement.
“‘Never again’ will be the policy of my administration and I will stand with our ally Israel to prevent the terrorists in Tehran from achieving their own stated goal of another Holocaust,” he added.
“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history,” Huckabee said in an interview with Breitbart News broadcast on Sirius/XM radio Saturday. “He’s so naive he would trust the Iranians and he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven.”
Huckabee said that “this Iran deal should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans.Iran Deal Fails 4 of Schumer's 5 Demands
New York Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), the third-highest ranking member of the Senate Democratic caucus, is emerging as the key figure in the congressional battle over the Iran deal.
Schumer, who has maintained a tight silence since the nuclear deal was announced two weeks ago, was the most frequent target of last week’s rally against the deal in Times Square. Activists say a “no” vote from Schumer will not be enough; they want him to rally others to override President Barack Obama’s anticipated veto. Supporters of the deal are also lobbying him, hard.
Yet the deal, by Schumer’s own standards, is a failure. In May, at a dinner for Agudath Israel, an Orthodox Jewish group that lobbies for religious concerns, Schumer laid out “five things we have to be very, very careful about” in the emerging deal. The Iran deal fails four of five.Schumer's Broken Promise Confirms Tom Cotton Was Right (Part 2)
Last week, the so-called fact-checking website PolitiFact website gave Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) a “false” rating for claiming that President Barack Obama had promised to “dismantle Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for dismantling the sanctions.” An analysis of Obama’s own statements, and the timeline of negotiations, proves that Cotton was telling the truth, and PolitiFact, through sloppy research, was not.
There is also ample evidence that leading Democrats were promising to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program, long after negotiations had started. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), the third-highest ranking member of the Senate Democratic caucus, made an explicit promise to that effect at a gala dinner for a Jewish charity in December 2013–after an interim deal was agreed: “And I want to assure you that together, Democrats and Republicans are gonna work to see that we don’t let up on these sanctions, as this agreement did, until Iran gives up not only all nuclear weapons, but all nuclear weapon capability, all enriched uranium, all the centrifuges, and all the heavy water reactors at Arak.”
Members of Congress, as well as members of the public, could be forgiven for believing what Schumer was promising–that the White House would hold out for dismantling Iran’s entire, illegal nuclear program. Only the Arak plant is to be replaced. All other promises were broken.Democratic Congressman Goes on Record Opposing Iran Nuke Deal
Calling the recently announced Joint Comprehensive Plan for Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1 powers “historic … for all the wrong reasons,” Rep. Juan Vargas (D – Calif.), who until this year served on the House Foreign Affairs Commitee, wrote that he will vote against the nuclear agreement in an op-ed published Saturday in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Vargas argued that instead of providing limited sanctions relief and cutting Iran’s “path to a nuclear bomb,” the deal gives Tehran a “rapid payday” of up to $150 billion and “[legitimizes] its path to nuclear-threshold status.” The congressman noted that Iran never explained its past nuclear work to international inspectors and continues defying demands to do so.
Vargas further pointed out that the JCPOA threatens to spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East by allowing Iran to become a nuclear-threshold state. In addition to failing to stem Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Vargas criticized the deal for failing “to halt Iran’s aggressive imperialism in the Middle East.” He also observed that Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the terrorist group Hezbollah, praised the deal because it “will also reinforce the position of [Iran’s] allies.”PreOccupied Territory: Iran Insists Inspectors Get No Access To Ayatollah’s Porn Collection (satire)
Officials in Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs sought to quell reports today that international inspectors would be able to see some of the country’s sensitive material under the recent agreement, and asserted unequivocally that access to the Supreme Leader’s pornography collection was not part of the deal.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif called reports that international auditors would be able to access Ayatollah Khamenei’s extensive porn collection “baseless,” that Iran would never have agreed to such terms, and that such a provision crosses all red lines. He told reporters that the subject had not even been mooted at the Vienna talks, and only mentioned in passing in a preliminary stage of the earlier negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland, never to be discussed again, and that bringing it back up was a cynical attempt to make it look as if Iran had made concessions.
“The Supreme Leader’s galleries of exquisite erotic photography and portraiture; his vast libraries of breathtaking video collection, including premium access to major online streaming sites; and the specially commissioned works and live performances of classic orgy scenes – all these and more must and will remain the exclusive province of Ayatollah Khamenei and the select few with whom, in his divine wisdom, he has deigned to share,” continued Zarif. “The notion that we would compromise on such a point of sensitivity, pride, and sanctity is worse than untrue – it is offensive, and could only be the work of the Satanic Zionist regime that controls the international media.”
Other government officials echoed Zarif. “Some reports included mention of access to the leader’s comprehensive libraries of certain porn stars’ body of work, so to speak,” said Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics Hossein Dehghan. “Nothing could be farther from the truth. We would never consider tolerating, let alone offering, compromise on this point. The Jenna Jameson, Sylvia Saint, Priya Rai, Sasha Grey, Sunny Leone, Asia Carrera, Tera Patrick, Stoya, and Jayden Jaymes video collections, especially, will never be made available to outside eyes.”
“Not even mine,” added Minister Dehghan under his breath, with a look of dejected longing.JPost Editorial: Lessons from Gaza
Ten years after Israel evacuated the Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip and parts of northern Samaria, very few – whether on the Right or on the Left or in the Center – are willing to stand wholeheartedly behind what is referred to as “the disengagement.”
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog recently referred to the pullout as a “mistake,” as did Shimon Peres some time ago.
And although Benjamin Netanyahu voted in favor of the disengagement plan on October 26, 2004, he resigned in protest on August 8, 2005, shortly before it was implemented, and has been a leading critic ever since.
Public opinion has shifted significantly over the past decade. If in the months leading up to the pullout polls consistently showed a strong majority in favor, at least one recent survey shows that the situation has changed.
According to a poll conducted in July for the Begin-Sadat Center of Strategic Studies, 63 percent of respondents claimed they were against the evacuation at the time, while 51% said Israelis should move back to Gaza Strip. Clearly, some respondents lied about their past support for the pullout out of a feeling of regret.Disengagement protesters reoccupy evacuated West Bank settlement
The IDF warned on Tuesday that it will clear over 200 protesters out of the ruins of the Sa-Nur settlement in the West Bank after they converged on the formerly evacuated site early Tuesday morning.
Protesters took up positions in an abandoned British fort at the site to mark 10 years since the 2005 Gaza disengagement during which Jewish residents were also forcibly evacuated from four settlements in the northern West Bank, including Sa-Nur.
The settlements of Kadim, Ganim, and Homesh were also cleared out at the time, along with the larger Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip.
Among those who took part in the reoccupation of the settlement were families who were evacuated in 2005 as well as rabbis, public figures, and MK Bezalel Smotrich from the nationalist Jewish Home party.
“Ten years after the expulsion the time has come to rectify, and the start of rectification is here in northern Samaria,” Smotrich said. “I think it that today it is clear to every child in Israel that the disengagement was folly and aside from terror and a Hamas state it didn’t achieve anything.”PM rushes to calm seething coalition after settler evacuation
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to quell a budding coalition crisis Tuesday morning, as members of the pro-settler Jewish Home party threatened to hobble, or even topple, his government over its move to clear out illegally built structures in the West Bank.
“We’re acting to bolster the settlements, and we’re doing so in accordance with the law,” Netanyahu said in a statement hours after hundreds of Israel Police special forces stormed the two buildings in the Dreinoff neighborhood of the settlement of Beit El, north of Jerusalem.
Settler demonstrators had barricaded themselves in an attempt to prevent the implementation of a High Court of Justice decision ordering the demolition of the structures, and some 50 were detained after scuffles with police.
“Our stance regarding the houses in Beit El is clear,” Netanyahu continued. “We are opposed to demolishing them and are pursuing judicial courses to prevent such a step. I will request that the government’s stance, to the effect that the planning process at the site has been concluded and that there is thus no need to demolish the houses, will be brought before the High Court of Justice as well.”Summer Camp With Guns
Summer camp can mean very different things to different kids.
For Jewish children, summer camp means squirt guns and color wars.
For many Palestinian Arab children, summer camp means training with real guns and preparing for actual war – jihad – against Israel.
The watchdog group “Palestinian Media Watch” recently exposed what has been going on this summer in a camp called “Jerusalem in the Eyes of the Lion Cubs and Flowers of Palestine,” held in the Nablus (Shechem) region.
The camp, it should be noted, is not an independent operation. It is sponsored by the Palestinian Authority’s National Security Forces, together with the “Lion Cubs and Flowers of Palestine,” which is the Fatah youth movement. Fatah, the largest component of the PLO, is headed by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.MEMRI: Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi: Permission Previously Given To Palestinians To Carry Out Suicide Attacks – No Longer Valid; They Now Have Missiles That Can Strike Deep Inside Israel
On July 27, 2015, the office of International Union of Muslim Scholars head Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi posted on his website an announcement clarifying the sheikh's position on suicide attacks, in response to the airing by Egyptian television channels of a 2013 video of statements by him that can be interpreted as a call to carry out suicide attacks in Egypt.
The announcement cited passages from Al-Qaradhawi's 2009 book Fiqh Al-Jihad ("The Laws of Jihad"), in which he ruled that suicide attacks are prohibited by Islamic law, but were permitted at this time in Palestine because of its unique circumstances. However, it stated, now that the Palestinians have missiles capable of striking deep inside Israeli territory, this permission is no longer valid.
This ruling by Al-Qaradhawi banning suicide attacks in Palestine marked a reversal in his position on the matter, as he had previously referred to suicide attacks as "the most sublime jihad." He had also attacked other clerics with different views on the matter, such as Saudi Mufti 'Abd Al-'Aziz bin 'Abdallah Aal Al-Sheikh who held that such acts were prohibited since they were suicide, which is banned in Islam.
The western-left today thinks that the Jews are oppressive to Muslims in the Middle East. They believe that Jewish Israelis are brutalizing and ethnically-cleansing the innocent "indigenous" population.
In previous decades the so-called "Palestinian narrative" has taken hold of the western imagination. Within that narrative, vicious and militaristic Jews marched out of Europe and violently displaced the native population in the early-middle of the twentieth-century. Jews pushed "Palestinians" out of their native land where, as "Palestinians," they had been living for many thousand of years. Mahmoud Abbas even laughably claimed that the "Palestinians" have a 9,000 year history on that land. He said, "Oh, Netanyahu, you are incidental in history; we are the people of history. We are the owners of history."
If the "Palestinians" are the "owners of history" it must be a secret history that they keep entirely to themselves. I have never heard of a people with a secret history before! The "Palestinians" have lived on that land for 9,000 years and, yet, somehow, history seems to have passed them by. It is a profound mystery. There are no records of a "Palestinian" state on that land. There are no records of the great "Palestinian" artists or leaders or scientists that thrived in the Land of Palestine for all those thousands of years. Yet the foundation of Arab and western-left hostility toward the Jewish Israelis is the idea that they violently displaced the native population. Jews, we are to understand, are illegally "Occupying" - with the Big O - Judea, a land that belongs to Palestinian-Arabs, not Jews.
There is always a charge against the Jews among westerners in every generation.
Every generation they tell us just why Jewish kids deserve a good beating. In previous generations, of course, we were either guilty of killing Jesus or of giving the world Jesus and are, therefore, responsible for the failings of Christianity. We were sometimes thought of as the heinous agents of greedy capitalism or the heinous agents of totalitarian socialism. And, needless to say, in the early part of the twentieth-century, we were the wrong "race." We were considered inherently, essentially, bad people.
In this generation, however, the charge is that we are mean to Arabs.
There are around six million Jews in Israel and something between three hundred and four hundred million Arab-Muslims surrounding them in the Middle East. For reasons having to do with theocratic bigotry, Muslims in that part of the world traditionally despise the Jews and often teach their children to throw stones at us. Throwing stones at Jews in Israel is not a manifestation, as is often claimed, of righteous push-back against the "Occupation," but is a time-honored tradition within Arab culture, grounded in the rankest form of bigotry and persecution of the despised "other."
It was Caliph Omar Abd al-Azziz, who reigned between 717 and 720 CE, who codified the rules of dhimmi status, sometimes referred to as the Pact of Omar or Covenant of Omar, but which I like to think of as Jim Crow for Jews. The first and foremost rule was the paying of jizya tax and acceptance of the conditions of ahl al-dhimma. In Martin Gilbert's In Ishmael's House, we read:
There could be no building of new synagogues or churches. Dhimmis could not ride horses, but only donkeys; they could not use saddles, but only ride sidesaddle. Further, they could not employ a Muslim. Jews and Christians alike had to wear special hats, cloaks and shoes to mark them out from Muslims. They were even obliged to carry signs on their clothing or to wear types and colors of clothing that would indicate they were not Muslims, while at the same time avoid clothing that had any association with Mohammed and Islam. Most notably, green clothing was forbidden...
Other aspects of dhimmi existence were that Jews - and also Christians - were not to be given Muslim names, were not to prevent anyone from converting to Islam, and were not to be allowed tombs that were higher than those of Muslims. Men could enter public bathhouses only when they wore a special sign around their neck distinguishing them from Muslims, while women could not bathe with Muslim women and had to use separate bathhouses instead. Sexual relations with a Muslim woman were forbidden, as was cursing the Prophet in public - an offense punishable by death.
Under dhimmi rules as they evolved, neither Jews nor Christians could carry guns, build new places of worship or repair old ones without permission,or build any place of worship that was higher than a mosque. A non-Muslim could not inherit anything from a Muslim. A non-Muslim man could not marry a Muslim woman, although a Muslim man could marry a Christian or a Jewish woman. Martin Gilbert, In Ishmael's House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2010) 32 - 33.The unacknowledged foundation of the conflict is Arab-Muslim Koranically-based bigotry against Jews... we children of orangutans and swine. Were it not for Islam, there would be no conflict. Or, another way of putting it is that if Israel was not a Jewish state, but yet another Muslim state, there would be no conflict based on a supposed need for a "two-state solution." In fact, not only would there be no conflict, there would not even be any "Palestinians." The reason for this is because the designation "Palestinian" only came into being so that Arab-Muslims could make their hysterical claims upon historically Jewish land. The great majority of local Arabs did not consider themselves "Palestinian" until the latter third of the twentieth-century. And some even remain skeptical concerning it to this day.
"Palestinian" does not represent an ethnicity any more than "Saharan" represents an ethnicity or "Californian" represents an ethnicity. If we must use outdated terms, then anyone who lives in Israel - a part of the former British Mandate of Palestine - must be considered a "Palestinian." There are Muslim Palestinians and Jewish Palestinians and Christian Palestinians and Rosicrucian Palestinians and Rastafarian Palestinians and Atheist Palestinians. To claim that only Muslims and Christians can be "Palestinian" would be something akin to claiming that only Rastafarians and Rosicrucians can be "Californians." As someone who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, it sometimes seems as if California is, in fact, run by Rastafarians and Rosicrucians, but no one would ever suggest that only some people can be Californian.
Furthermore, it must be understood that "Palestinian," as an ethnic designation, was artificially constructed or contrived. It did not emerge, as other ethnicities have, organically, but was primarily a creation of Yassir Arafat and the Soviets. Even Rashid Khalidi in Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness only finds the first quiet notions of the idea emerging around the turn into the twentieth-century, but everyone who understands the history of the conflict knows that most "Palestinians" only came to see themselves as "Palestinian" in the 1960s with the creation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
Many would suggest that, contrived or not, "Palestinian" as an ethnic or national designation now exists and that as a matter of general human decency, if not liberal ideology, it must be acknowledged. And, of course, the world has acknowledged the "Palestinians" as a distinct people with a history and with rights. What I fail to understand, however, is just why it is that Jewish people are under any moral or ethical obligation to acknowledge a people who only recently came into existence as a people for the purpose of undermining, and eventually destroying, Jewish national autonomy?
Jews may acknowledge the "Palestinians" or we may not. Jews may negotiate with "Palestinians" or we may not. It may even be in Israel's best interest to both acknowledge and negotiate with "Palestinians" or, maybe not. But just why in this world are we under any sort of ethical obligation to acknowledge a people who only emerged as a people for the sole purpose of destroying Jewish freedom on our own land?
I suppose that I am trying to slam the barn door only after the horses have escaped, but I am one of those who has come to the conclusion that the very biggest mistake that Israel ever made was in acknowledging a distinct "Palestinian" people and, therefore, agreeing to negotiate with their alleged representatives, the PLO terrorist organization. Were it up to me Israel would only agree to negotiations with legitimate state actors. Israel may legitimately negotiate with Iran, but it certainly should not negotiate with the Islamic State (IS), which Barack Obama deceptively refers to as ISIL in order to veil the Islamic nature of the group. And just as Israel should not negotiate with the Islamic State, so it should not negotiate with either Hamas or the Palestinian Authority.
Neither represent legitimate state actors and both are entirely riddled with genocidal anti-Semitism.
As we are seeing with the Iranian bomb situation, Israel can no longer afford to allow itself to be pushed around. People respect those who respect themselves and letting the murderers of Israelis out of Israeli prisons, as a concession to Mahmoud Abbas and Barack Obama, does not suggest self-respect, but its opposite. The only way for Jews to have self-respect, however, is to see through the "Palestinian narrative" for the tissue of lies that it represents. Otherwise both Israeli Jews and diaspora Jews must, by necessity, see themselves as complicit in a terrible crime against the innocent indigenous population.
I recommend against it and history backs us up.
Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.
Natan Sharansky: Jews stood up to the U.S. government 40 years ago, and should again on Iran
As difficult as this situation is, however, it is not unprecedented. Jews have been here before, 40 years ago, at a historic juncture no less frightening or fateful than today’s.
In the early 1970s, Republican President Richard Nixon inaugurated his policy of detente with the Soviet Union with an extremely ambitious aim: to end the Cold War by normalizing relations between the two superpowers.
Among the obstacles Nixon faced was the USSR’s refusal to allow on-site inspections of its weapons facilities. Moscow did not want to give up its main advantage, a closed political system that prevented information and people from escaping and prevented prying eyes from looking in.
Yet the Soviet Union, with its very rigid and atrophied economy, badly needed cooperation with the free world, which Nixon was prepared to offer. The problem was that he was not prepared to demand nearly enough from Moscow in return. And so as Nixon moved to grant the Soviet Union most-favored-nation status, and with it the same trade benefits as U.S. allies, Democratic Sen. Henry Jackson of Washington proposed what became a historic amendment, conditioning the removal of sanctions on the Soviet Union’s allowing free emigration for its citizens.
By that time, tens of thousands of Soviet Jews had asked permission to leave for Israel. Jackson’s amendment sought not only to help these people but also and more fundamentally to change the character of detente, linking improved economic relations to behavioral change by the USSR. Without the free movement of people, the senator insisted, there should be no free movement of goods. Watchdog Says Obama Administration ‘Inventing’ Iran Concessions Under Nuclear Deal
According to TIP, four points in the infographic leave out information from the deal. The first claims that Iran has agreed to use only light-water nuclear reactors indefinitely, aside from the existing heavy-water reactor in Arak. TIP said that this “brand new claim” actually “contradicts past statements by President Obama.”
In the President’s post-Vienna speech he noted, “For at least the next 15 years, Iran will not build any new heavy-water reactors,” and not indefinitely, the group said.
The second concession claimed by the State Department is that Iran agreed not to cooperate with other countries on developing uranium enrichment technologies for 15 years. TIP alleges that this is also a “brand new claim,” and “can’t be true because the JCPOA obligates the Russians to cooperate with Iran on nuclear technology at Iran’s underground enrichment bunker at Fordow.”
The third concession listed in the infographic is that Iran has agreed to let the IAEA monitor the production and stockpiling of all heavy water in Iran. TIP points out that this is not a new concession, and was included under the Lausanne framework agreement, which said, “Iran will not accumulate heavy water in excess of the needs of the modified Arak reactor, and will sell any remaining heavy water on the international market for 15 years.” The JCPOA merely repeats this obligation, according to TIP.
The fourth claim was that Iran had agreed not to develop proficiency in uranium or plutonium metallurgy for at least 15 years, which would prevent it from producing the necessary components for a nuclear weapon. TIP claims that “the Iranians have had that proficiency since at least… 2009.”
One of the State Department-listed concessions was that Iran committed not to “engage in certain activities that could be used to design and develop a nuclear weapon.” The Israel Project acknowledged that this clause was included in the JCPOA, but, the group said, it is “100% unenforceable.” TIP quoted former IAEA official Olli Heinonen as saying that there’s “not really even an inspection procedure for that, I think it’s zero. It’s not even one.”
The State Department fact sheet also included two Iranian concessions that TIP said were “widely expected, and were aimed at fixing glaring and well-known loopholes left in the Lausanne text.”Then and Now, Leftists Bowed Before Iranian Anti-Semites
Andrew Young, the ambassador to the United Nations under the Carter Administration, said that Khomeini was "a saint, a Social Democrat saint" and compared his revolution in the name of Allah to the American movement for civil rights. The Ambassador to Tehran, William Sullivan, compared the imam to Gandhi. The consultant of Jimmy Carter, Bill James, wrote that Ayatollah had to be admired "as a man of integrity."
Richard Falk, jurist from Princeton and future UN envoy in the Middle East, led the American mission in the suburb of Paris and hailed Khomeini as "a new model of popular revolution based, in large part, on nonviolent tactics". The Iranian expert Richard Cottam in the Washington Post called Khomeini "moderate, centrist", a hermit who was not interested in power. who would, once he defeated the Shah, retire in the holy city of Qom.
The exact opposite is, of course, what happened.
As Houchang Nahavan, former minister of the Shah and author of "Iran, the Clash of Ambitions" said: "Many leftist movements of Europe sent their delegations to the international conference held in Tehran in favor of the operation of the hostages of 4 November 1979." From France, the gay poet Jean Genet, unaware of what the mullahs did to homosexuals, expressed great sympathy for Khomeini because he had dared to oppose the West.
The journalist André Fontaine, director of the Monde, compared Khomeini to John Paul II in an article entitled "The Return of the divine" while the philosopher Jacques Madaule, re-defining the role of Khomeini, said that "his movement will open the doors to the future of humanity", defining Khomeinism as a "clamor from the depths of the times" who refuted "slavery."
Michel Foucault, in the famous articles in the Corriere della Sera and the Nouvel Observateur, was able to commend the impressive achievement of Khomeini as "the first of the Grand insurrection against global systems, the most modern form of revolt". The same Jean-Paul Sartre, guru of the Left, decided to go in person to Tehran to sustain publicly, with a great reinforcement of publicity, the wild-eyed imam.
Jpost Editorial: Blaming the victim
Iran is run by fundamentalist, apocalyptic mullahs who have no qualms about using violence to promote their expansionist designs throughout the Middle East, from Syria and Lebanon to Iraq and Yemen. The regime persecutes its own people, dealing out death sentences to homosexuals, oppressing religious minorities such as the Baha’is and incarcerating journalists, including Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian.
US President Barack Obama openly admits that the Islamic Republic is anti-Semitic and promotes terrorism around the world. He is well aware that Iran’s leaders regularly call for the destruction of the US and Israel. One of them is Qassem Suleimani, head of the Quds Force, the Revolutionary Guards expeditionary unit, who is responsible for exporting Iranian terrorism and training Shi’ite forces that killed US military personnel in Iraq. Another is Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who during a recent rally in Tehran again praised his people for calling for the demise of the US and Israel.
Yet it is Israel that US Secretary of State John Kerry is threatening, for daring to try to protect itself from the existential threat presented by the Islamic Republic’s warmongering leaders.
In two appearances last week, he warned Israel that it would be blamed if it dared to act against Iran.
On NBC’s Today show, Kerry said that an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be an “enormous mistake.”
“If they bombed them, sure, I presume Iran would then have a reason to say, ‘Well, this is why we need a bomb,’” he said.
Speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations, Kerry said Israel’s international isolation would increase should the US Congress reject the nuclear deal.Immoral to say Israel should stay out of Iran accord debate in US, minister says
Kerry, speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said that if Congress overturns the accord, “our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated and more blamed, and we would lose Europe and China and Russia with respect to whatever military action we might have to take, because we will have turned our backs on a very legitimate program that allows us to put their [Iran’s] program to the test over these next years.”
Steinitz completely rejected warnings that Israel should stay out of the debate.
“To demand from a country which Iran threatens publicly to destroy, to wipe it off the map, that it not express its opinion on something so relevant for our national security, future and existence is an illogical and even immoral demand,” Steinitz said.
If there is harsh criticism inside the US – among the public, in Congress, in the media and among experts – then it is because the accord is “full of holes,” Steinitz added.
“This hint that if the agreement will be rejected by Congress, then Israel will turn into a scapegoat, is unacceptable to us,” he said. “Congress is sovereign to make any decision. If it rejects it, that means there is a big majority among the Republicans and also many Democrats who think the accord is not good and is full of holes, and needs to be rejected.”
Hanging the specter of isolation over Israel’s head is not acceptable dialogue between friends, Steinitz said.
It is, however, not the first time Kerry has warned Israel of isolation if it does not adopt the policies he says are good for it.Obama presents a false dichotomy on Iran
President Obama and his supporters have done a terrific job of framing the debate over the Iran nuclear agreement as a choice between taking the deal or opting for war. They continually challenge critics to articulate an alternative to the deal, claiming that there isn’t one. This is a superb debating technique, and it has put critics on the defensive. But it is a false dichotomy. The choice might conceivably be between a deal and war, although that is by no means certain — the Cold War, after all, ended with neither a deal nor war. But the choice at hand is between accepting this deal now or continuing to press and negotiate for a better deal later. Many critics of this particular agreement, including me, believe that it would be far preferable to sign a good deal with Iran than to go to war with Iran — but also believe that this is a very bad deal indeed.
There is historical precedent for thinking about the issue in this way. The Nixon administration signed the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) in 1972, and the Senate ratified it. The agreement did not have the desired effect. The Soviet nuclear stockpile expanded dramatically in subsequent years, and the period of detente supposedly ushered in by that agreement ended with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. That invasion came five months after the conclusion of another poor nuclear arms deal from the U.S. standpoint, SALT II. The Senate refused to ratify SALT II, ending the SALT process.
But war between the United States and the Soviet Union did not ensue. Both Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan instead increased the pressure on the Soviet Union dramatically, including with enhanced economic sanctions and significant increases to the defense budget — begun by Carter — that forced the Soviet Union to spend more on its own military. Within a few years, Soviet leaders came to the conclusion that major internal reform was necessary and that a thaw in relations with the United States was desirable.Hillary Clinton Makes the Most Important Decision of Her Presidency
Clinton’s decision, meanwhile, isn’t really about Israel or the American Jewish community either. It’s about what kind of party—and what kind of country—she wants to lead.
If Clinton were to come out against the Iran deal, she’d give cover to all the Democrats on the Hill who don’t like the deal and don’t trust Obama—and who don’t want to have to explain to their constituents why they voted for an Iranian nuclear mushroom cloud in the desert, or somewhere worse. The Democratic Party would be able to escape being portrayed as the party that gave in to Iranian demands because it was so bedazzled by the promise of a second Nobel Peace Prize and the illusory hope of peace at any price. Consequently, the JCPOA would be resoundingly defeated, letting the Democrats slip the noose of Obama’s foreign policy failures, and stripping the Iranian nuclear weapons program of the international legitimacy granted by the deal.
It’s a no-brainer for Clinton, unless she wants to be the last one standing in a game of musical chairs and inherit an international order more dangerous than at any time since the Cold War. It’s true that the Iranian military is a far cry from a Red Army capable of overrunning Europe, but that’s precisely why Tehran seeks the bomb. A nuclear weapon fixed on ballistic missiles, including missiles that will soon be able to reach the United States, makes a regional power like Iran a global threat.
The problem for Clinton in opposing the deal may be something closer to home—the threat that Obama will support a primary challenger to her and release those 30,000 emails from her private server that the White House has in its possession and is now presumably investigating. If she comes out against the Iran deal, the administration will leak something—or many things—capable of doing irreparable harm to her candidacy.
If Clinton comes out against the Iran deal, she might not get to be president. If she gives the deal her blessing, she’ll be wrestling for eight years with a tiger that her predecessor left on her doorstep and she brought in the door. Either way, Obama has booby-trapped Clinton’s White House. (h/t Elder of Lobby )Former CIA Official: Letting Iran Collect Samples for IAEA Makes Nuke Deal a “Dangerous Farce”
Allowing Iran to collect the environmental samples from suspected nuclear sites that will be submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency for review would make the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action a “dangerous farce,” former CIA intelligence analyst Fred Fleitz wrote Friday in National Review Online. Fleitz’s warning came after an intense exchange at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Thursday, in which Secretary of State John Kerry would not definitively deny Sen. James Risch’s (R-Idaho) claim that Iran will be responsible for gathering samples from the military base Parchin, where the IAEA suspects Iran may have conducted illicit nuclear testing.
The revelation that Iran will collect samples concerning its own nuclear-weapons-related activity makes the whole agreement look like a dangerous farce. This is not just an absurd process; it also goes against years of IAEA practice and established rules about the chain of custody for collected physical samples. The revelation that Iran will collect samples concerning its own nuclear-weapons-related activity makes the whole agreement look like a dangerous farce.
Senator Risch suggested in his remarks that the IAEA would remotely monitor the Iranians’ taking of samples by video. But even if there were a reliable way to ensure that Iranian “inspectors” were carefully monitored, took samples from locations identified by the IAEA, and provided these samples directly to IAEA officials, the process would still be a sham, since it would still place unacceptable limitations on IAEA inspections. To be meaningful, IAEA inspectors must have unfettered access to suspect facilities and be free to take samples anywhere, using whatever collection devices they choose. Only by collecting samples at locations and with methods that Iranian officials may not have anticipated can inspectors reliably find possible evidence of nuclear-weapons-related work that Iran tried to clean up.White House launches Iran side deals counterattack
As the “side deals” argument gained traction in GOP circles, administration officials stepped up their effort to fight back.
“I know there has been a suggestion by some Republicans that there are some agreements that were cut off to the side,” press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday. “The fact is, this is a critical part of the agreement.”
The White House also took to Twitter to rebut GOP claims.
“There's no ‘secret’ or ‘side’ deal with Iran. Congress has everything we have on the #IranDeal” read one tweet on @TheIranDeal account, set up by the White House to sell the agreement to the public.
“Lots of misperceptions re the #IranDeal,” National Security Adviser Susan Rice tweeted. “This is a good deal that should be judged on its merits, not distortions.”
Administration officials say the Iran-IAEA agreements aren’t side deals, but standard practice in crafting arms-control pacts.Iran Revolutionary Guard Commander: US Can’t Make the Slightest Move Against Iran
Hossein Salami, a commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said the United States was unable to undertake even the slightest military action against Iran, since the response would be a crushing retaliation, Fars News reported on Sunday.
“Today the U.S. knows that the slightest move against the Islamic Republic of Iran will ruin its house of dreams,” Salami said addressing a ceremony in the city of Zahedan.
Salami’s remarks came after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a military option against Iran was still a possibility if Iran failed to adhere to its obligations under the recently announced deal to curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting international sanctions.
Lashing out at Kerry, Salami said “the Americans have always resorted to bullying because they lack diplomatic skills.”House Democrats whip for Iran deal
Three days before world leaders formally unveiled an interim deal in early 2014 to slow the growth of Iran’s nuclear program, two House Democrats quietly met to start discussing how they could sell a final accord — if it ever came to fruition — to a skeptical Congress.
It was Jan. 9, 2014, and Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett and North Carolina Rep. David Price knew that without a sustained campaign from allies in Congress, it would be tough for President Barack Obama to persuade lawmakers to support the agreement over the strong objections of pro-Israel groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
“We knew we really needed to get a message going that was strongly in favor of diplomacy,” Doggett said. “And now we are in the position to go back to folks and ask what areas they have questions about. The only alternative is war.”
The deal faces a make-or-break vote this September, when Republicans will move forward with legislation to scuttle the agreement. The GOP is trying to build a veto-proof majority, and both sides, along with Obama himself, are lobbying hard for every vote, with Doggett, Price and about a half-dozen other Democrats quarterbacking the effort to keep Obama’s legacy-defining diplomatic achievement afloat in the House.JCPA: Iran: Challenging Our Missile Program Means Crossing a Red Line
Iran has also made clear at all stages of the rigorous nuclear talks that the missile and rocket issue is not up for discussion. In addition, following the Security Council resolution, Iran’s Foreign Ministry again hastened to emphasize that the ballistic missile program in particular, and the missile program in general, have no connection at all to the talks and were never discussed during them. Iran claims that its missiles were not intended to carry nuclear warheads and are, therefore, outside the scope and jurisdiction of the Security Council’s resolution and its annexes.
Iran’s success at maintaining its missile capability while totally excluding the issue from the negotiations will have far-reaching ramifications for the Middle East. The country’s expected economic recovery, along with its growing confidence after holding its own against the world powers and continuing to build up all the elements of its nuclear and missile programs, will likely accelerate its missile, drone, and rocket development along with the transfer of completed missiles and rockets, plus the know-how to manufacture them, to the terror organizations that Iran supports all over the Middle East, as Khamenei has already made haste to affirm in his recent defiant speeches.
The rockets, drones and missiles will be a major part of Iran’s growing assistance to its proxy terror organizations and other clients in the Middle East. Iran wants to recast the region in its own image while continuing the process, already in full swing, of ejecting the United States from it. The rockets and missiles are likely to strike U.S. allies in the region (the Houthis are already firing rockets at Saudi territory) and, in the future, the more Iran’s confidence grows, to limit U.S. freedom of movement in the Persian Gulf and in the area of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait while exacting a high price for the U.S. in any military conflict with Iran.
The United States has in fact made peace with Iran’s transformation into a regional power, without calculating the dangerous long-term implications for itself and for its allies in the region.Iran Starts Building $2.5 Billion Power Plant in Iraq
Iran on Monday announced that it has started a $2.5 billion project to build a natural gas combined cycle power plant in Iraq, marking the largest such engineering services deal for the Islamic regime, and an important shift as Iran's influence grows in Iraq even as America's fails.
The project, which will build the plant in Rumaila in the southern Basra province, was announced by Abbas Aliabadi, head of the Iran Power Plant Projects Management Company (MAPNA), as reported by the state-run PressTV and semi-official Fars News Agency.
MAPNA sealed the contract for the deal one-and-a-half years ago but just now started executing the agreement. It would appear the lifting of sanctions and the general improvement in Iran's financial picture due to the Iran nuclear deal signed earlier this month led to the development.
The new plant will have a 3,000 megawatt capacity - Iraq's current national grid has a total 8,500 megawatt capacity. The contract was signed with the Iraqi-Jordanian Shamara Holding Group.
"This power plant will start operation in about 16 months and will be able to produce 18 billion kilowatt-hours per year," Aliabadi said. "This project, which is financed and managed by the private sector and is guaranteed by the Iraqi government, will augment Iraq's power generation capacity by 20%."
As noted by Aliabadi, the first unit of the plant is to join the Iraqi national grid in early 2017, and the entire plant will be operational in four years.Huckabee unrepentant on Iran deal Holocaust analogy
Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee appeared to double down Sunday on comments equating the US nuclear deal with Iran to the Holocaust, despite intense criticism from leading Jewish and Democratic figures.
The candidate was unperturbed by the denouncements, tweeting a photo of his earlier statements that the deal was “marching the Israelis to the door of the oven,” and adding: “Tell Congress to do their constitutional duty & reject the Obama-Kerry #IranDeal.”
The Anti-Defamation League called Huckabee’s comments “completely out of line and unacceptable,” regardless of one’s views of the deal with Tehran. It noted that whatever the differences between the administrations, the US remaines Israel’s strongest ally.
The ADL called on all sides of the debate on the nuclear accord to conduct themselves “responsibly and civilly.”Obama: Huckabee's Holocaust analogy ‘ridiculous,’ ‘sad’
US President Barack Obama on Monday deplored a comment by Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who likened the agreement on an Iranian nuclear deal to “marching the Israelis to the door of the oven,” a reference to the Holocaust.
Obama, asked about the comments at a news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said they were part of a pattern of attacks by 2016 Republican presidential candidates that would be “considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad.”
Such issues as the Iran nuclear deal deserve serious debate, not outlandish statements, he said.
“It doesn’t help inform the American people,” Obama added.HuffPo Looks to Help Obama’s Iran Deal by Exploiting Mike Huckabee Quote
Governor Mike Huckabee appeared on Breitbart News on Saturday and gave one quote that Huffington Post seemed to think was the most important news of the day on Sunday, likely because the lefty online newser thinks it can be exploited to help Obama’s failing Iran nuke deal.
All day on Sunday, despite what was going on in the rest of the world, Huffington Post featured Breitbart’s Mike Huckabee interview as the left media continues its search of any Republican “gaffe” to highlight in order to help push Obama’s disastrous Iran deal over the finish line.
On Saturday morning on Breitbart’s Sirius XM Patriot channel 125 program, Huckabee told Breitbart’s editor-in-chief Alexander Marlow that Obama’s Iran deal was the worst of all worlds, not just for the U.S.A. but also for Israel. In fact, Huckabee thought that Obama was essentially setting up Israel for another Holocaust.Dershowitz on Huckabee: 'There Will Be No Ovens,' Thanks to Israel
Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law professor emeritus and noted defender of Israel, has reacted to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s comments on Breitbart News Saturday. “This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven,” Huckabee said.
“There will be no ovens this time, as long as Israel has the right and might to defend its citizens from those who deny the Holocaust while calling for another one,” Dershowitz told Breitbart News on Sunday.Cheney: Iran Deal Puts Us Closer to 'Actual Use' of Nukes Than at Any Time Since WWII
Former Vice President Dick Cheney argued the Iran nuclear deal would “put us closer to the…actual use of nuclear weapons than we’ve been at any time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II” on Tuesday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.
Cheney said, “I can’t help but just shake my head, Sean, at what we’re seeing here. We’ve seen a repetition of the same kind of operation with respect to other issues. The one thing that really disturbed me was when he said we have ‘stopped the proliferation [spread] of nuclear weapons.’ That’s a lie. That’s just a — the fact of the matter is, that the situation we’ve got when Iran ends up with a nuclear weapon, that is bound to lead others in the region to protect themselves and in effect to acquire their own capability. I think that was one of the biggest problems we had when we were in office that we were concerned about, was nuclear proliferation. We’d seen the Iraqis in ’81 with a nuclear reactor. The Israelis took it out. In ’91, they had a second program, we took it out in Desert Storm. When we took down Saddam Hussein in ’03, Gaddafi gave up his nuclear materials, and that let us wrap up AQ Khan, etc, etc. There’s long history there. What Obama has done, has in effect, sanctioned the acquisition by Iran of nuclear capability. And it can be a few years down the road. It doesn’t make any difference. It’s a matter of months until we’re going to see a situation where other people feel they have to defend themselves by acquiring their own capability. And that will, in fact, I think, put us closer to the use — actual use of nuclear weapons than we’ve been at any time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.”
He continued, “The fact of the matter is, our capabilities have never been perfect in terms of being able to read other nations and what they were doing. Usually, we have historically underestimated the nuclear efforts of others. And I think this is a situation where we don’t have the kind of access we need to be able to get in and know what is going on from a covert standpoint. They’ve had covert programs in the past, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised that they have things underway now that we don’t know about.”Richard Millett: Neturei Karta hurl abuse at C4T’s anti-Iran protest.
Campaign For Truth activists went to 10 Downing Street today to protest the nuclear deal recently signed by America, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China with the Iranian regime which basically grants Iran the bomb after 10 years have expired. But that’s only if the mullahs don’t cheat earlier.
Letters of support, one of which was from Colonel Richard Kemp who commanded British forces in Afghanistan, were read out.
Colonel Kemp’s letter started: “I am sorry I am unable to be with you in London to support you in this important event. I thank you and congratulate you for making the effort to come here today to protest this truly ill-judged and dangerous agreement.”
He then described the Iranian regime as a “fascist, imperialist, totalitarian, murderous dictatorship”, criticised the release of funds that will “enable the Ayatollahs to expand their imperialist violence many times over” and said the Iranian mullahs are the “most duplicitous double-dealing and deceitful regime in history”.
Then just as C4T representatives were about to deliver a letter to David Cameron the Neturei Karta extremists suddenly appeared brandishing an Iranian flag and a Palestinian one. They spent 20 minutes yelling “Israelhell” and telling Zionists that they are not Jews.
I asked them why they weren’t in synagogue for Tisha B’av but I was lectured that they didn’t need to be. Fair enough. Eventually the police moved them on for protesting without advanced permission.Is Iran Less Dangerous to the World Thanks to #IranDeal?
If this is what Iran's supreme leader sounds like after signing the deal with the west, what is the Ayatollah's Iran going to act like when it gets richer and stronger as a result of it?
On Saturday, July 18, four days after the signing of the agreement with the world powers, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei delivered a speech broadcast live on Iranian state television, in which he vowed that the nuclear agreement with the major powers would not change Iran's policy against the "arrogant American government" nor would it change the Islamic Republic's policy of supporting its "proxies" in the region:
What the Syrian Weapons Charade Says About the Iran Deal
The Wall Street Journal has an eye-opening expose today about how Syria failed to comply with its obligations under the agreement with the United States to get rid of all of its chemical weapons. Reporters David Entous and Naftali Bendavid write, “One year after the West celebrated the removal of Syria’s arsenal as a foreign-policy success, U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the regime didn’t give up all of the chemical weapons it was supposed to.” Indeed, Bashar Assad continues to drop chemical weapons, specifically chlorine bombs.
How did this happen? The reasons are instructive in light of the administration’s argument that Iran will be forced to comply with the nuclear deal. The article notes:
The Syrians laid out the ground rules. Inspectors could visit only sites Syria had declared, and only with 48-hour notice. Anything else was off-limits, unless the regime extended an invitation.
“We had no choice but to cooperate with them,” said Mr. Cairns [the leader of the UN inspection team]. “The huge specter of security would have hampered us had we gone in there very aggressively or tried to do things unilaterally.”
The U.S. and other powers had the right to demand access to undeclared sites if they had evidence they were part of the chemical-weapons program. But that right was never exercised, in part, inspectors and Western officials say, because their governments didn’t want a standoff with the regime.
This is how inspections operate in reality — and it’s not the way that Secretary of State John Kerry claims in touting the effectiveness of sanctions. In reality, inspectors are at the mercy of their hosts who, after all, control the country and can use force if necessary to prevent the inspectors from going where they are not wanted. Advocates of the Iran deal suggest that it includes a way to force inspections of undeclared nuclear sites — but that will take a minimum of 24 days and probably longer. That’s a lot longer than the 48-hour inspections that the Syrians allowed and even those weren’t enough.Where's the Coverage: Dead Terrorist was al-Qaeda's "leader in Iran"
According to previously disclosed classified U.S. intelligence estimates, the Khorasan Group had been planning attacks on the U.S. homeland and had “been working with bomb makers from al-Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate to test new ways to slip nonmetallic explosives past airport security. Officials fear that the Khorasan militants could provide these sophisticated explosives to their Western recruits, who could sneak them onto United States-bound flights.”
The New York Times reported (“Qaeda Leader in Syria, a Bin Laden Ally, Is Killed in Strike, U.S. Says,” July 22, 2015) Muhsin al-Fadhli was identified in 2012 by the U.S. State Department as al-Qaeda’s “leader in Iran” where he directed “the movement of funds and operatives.” The Times observed that prior to arriving in Syria and working with al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front, the terrorist leader had been living in Iran where he was one of a number of al-Qaeda operatives who had fled into the country from Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. The newspaper noted that Iranian officials have since claimed that Fadhli and other al-Qaeda terrorists were under house arrest while there, but have failed to provide any proof of that or an explanation of how they managed to escape to Syria. The Baltimore Sun (“Drone kills al-Qaeda leader,” July 21) similarly detailed that not only was Fadhli “head of the network’s [Al-Qaeda] operations in Iran” but that the word “Khorasan”—a Persian word—is the name of an 8th century province in “an early Islamic caliphate that spanned what is now northern Iran and part of Afghanistan.”
Yet, other publications did not note the terrorist’s Iranian connection at all when providing an overview of his background.PreOccupied Territory: State Dept. HR Downgrades Anti-Zionism From ‘Requirement’ To ‘Advantage’ (satire)
The US Department of State modified its hiring procedures this week, making a potential hire’s anti-Israel prejudice an advantage rather than an essential requirement to land the job, Department sources reported today.
Secretary of State John Kerry ordered the recruitment policy shift two months ago, but bureaucratic delays prevented its immediate implementation. Spokesman Andy Smittick acknowledged that the State Department has long been known for its bias against Israel, even under more than a decade-and-a-half of successive pro-Israel presidential administrations such as Clinton and George W. Bush. That discrepancy grew out of a longtime internal worldview that continues to see Israel as the source of the trouble in the Middle East, a view that has gripped the Department at least since the 1950’s. If the Jews would simply relinquish their desire to have a country of their own in their historic homeland, the thinking goes, American interests would improve. Aides say Kerry aimed to make at least some cosmetic changes as part of the effort to soften Israeli opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.
In practice, said Smittick, State Department recruitment is unlikely to change in any noticeable fashion, as interviewers will continue to enjoy a wealth of applicants, and, consequently, the luxury to continue selecting new hires with the traditional levels of anti-Israel sentiment. The requirement, for example, that applicants for positions in the North Africa and Middle East Division possess at least a Bachelor’s Degree in a field related to Arab culture, but no such expertise or knowledge of the Jewish ties to the land of Israel, automatically prejudices hiring in favor of analysts and diplomats predisposed to agree with Israel’s enemies and not to appreciate or empathize with the Jewish State’s concerns.US Intel Report Adds Fourth Netanyahu Term to List of Terror Threats (satire)
Unbeknownst to many, the 2015 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Communities, published in late February, includes an electoral victory for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party.
According to Ferris Appleby, the Assistant Director of National Intelligence who delivered the annual report to the United States Senate: “Netanyahu’s nonstop bellyaching about a nuclear holocaust is a major buzzkill. Every time the United States gets ready to hand over the keys to the Middle East to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Israeli premier slaps them away. Where’s the love, Bibi? It is the conclusion of this report that Prime Minister Netanyahu is so uptight, if you stuck a centrifuge up his ass, in two weeks, you’d have a dirty bomb.”
Appleby noted that while [Iranian President] Hassan Rouhani is “cocky, inconsiderate, inattentive, and almost unfeeling, the way he is fighting ISIS is a real turn on. Makes me tingle just thinking about it.”
Upon the publication of the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Communities, Prime Minister Netanyahu sent midnight tweets to the leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia.Iran Trademarks Phrase “Nuclear Holocaust” For “Civilian Purposes” (satire)
In a shocking move on the heels of an historic nuclear treaty with the international community, the Iranian government has submitted an application for the trademark of the phrase “nuclear holocaust.” Predictably, the leaders of some small countries that have super-obvious combovers have come out in opposition to the application, claiming ownership over the phrase, “nuclear holocaust,” is suspicious – calling it, “suspicious.” Furthermore, many are concerned that the act is an indication that Iran is interested in carrying out a nuclear holocaust sometime in the future.
However, Iran has indicated that the trademarked phrase will only be used “for civilian purposes.” What this actually means is unclear, and Iranian officials have remained characteristically mum on the issue. “We won’t confirm or deny the reasons for our need to own ‘nuclear holocaust,’” said an Iranian spokesman, “We just want the right to use it, and to be paid whenever someone else does, when…. uh…. when the right time comes.” There is precedent for this type of trademarking, like when Nazi Germany took ownership of the phrase “gas chamber,” or when Scooter Braun invented “Justin Beiber.”Mossad: 3 Iranian Jews missing since 1990s killed en route to Israel
Two decades of mystery shrouding the fate of three Iranian Jews who disappeared in 1997 have come to a close, after the Mossad confirmed that they were killed by Iranian authorities while attempting to emigrate to Israel.
The Mossad did not immediately say how they were killed, however, or by whom.
Nourollah Rabi-Zade, from Shiraz, and brothers Syrous and Ibrahim Ghahremani, from Kermanshah, were instructed by Israeli agents to approach the Iran-Pakistan border to meet a smuggler who would sneak them out of the country. However, the three men never turned up to the meeting point, and were never heard from again, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Monday.
The announcement comes a year after the intelligence agency announced that a separate botched emigration attempt, orchestrated by Israel and overseen by Mossad and Jewish Agency officials, resulted in the deaths of eight Iranian Jews en route to Israel in 1994.Surprise IDF drill simulates strikes from north and Gaza
Thousands of Israel Defense Forces reservists were required to present themselves to their units in a surprise emergency drill starting Monday that simulated rocket attacks from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip as well as cyber attacks. The drill will end on Wednesday.
The exercise was set to simulate incidents in the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and on the Lebanese border, and throughout Israel.
The Israel Defense Force Spokesperson’s Unit reported that emergency exercises would be conducted across Israel between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
In addition to the thousands of reservists who took part in the exercise, hundreds of thousands more were contacted as part of the drill.IDF probes two senior officers over Gaza school shelling
Two senior IDF officers are reportedly being investigated by Military Police for their role in the shelling of a UN facility in Gaza that killed 20 Palestinians during last summer’s war with Hamas.
According to an Army Radio report Monday, the inquiry joins additional investigations underway into suspected IDF operational misconduct during the conflict in the coastal enclave between Palestinian groups and Israeli forces.
The officers, both of whom hold the rank of colonel — one served as a brigade commander during the operation — are the most senior to be investigated thus far.
The report noted that one of the officers was stationed outside the coastal strip and provided support artillery fire to IDF troops maneuvering inside Gaza.Saudi car spotted in Jaffa
Cars with foreign license plates are rare enough in Israel, but the one spotted in Jaffa on Friday caused quite a stir.
Army Radio’s Arab Affairs reporter Jacky Hugi spotted a silver Mercedes parked near Jaffa’s Clock Tower bearing a Saudi license plate — a highly unusual, if not unprecedented sight in Israel. He quickly pulled out his camera, sharing the image on Twitter.
“The nuclear deal with Iran is starting to prove itself,” he wrote, in ironic reference to the shared concern over Iran’s nuclear project that has made unlikely private allies of Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Later, a Facebook friend notified Hugi that he had struck up a conversation with the driver in Jerusalem, and had learned that he was a Saudi businessman.
Hugi told the Times of Israel on Sunday that he had no further information on the car, but said that if the driver were given an exceptional entry visa to Israel, there’d be no reason for his car to be banned.Israeli Arabs’ access to Gaza to be limited
Cars with foreign license plates are rare enough in Israel, but the one spotted in Jaffa on Friday caused quite a stir.
Army Radio’s Arab Affairs reporter Jacky Hugi spotted a silver Mercedes parked near Jaffa’s Clock Tower bearing a Saudi license plate — a highly unusual, if not unprecedented sight in Israel. He quickly pulled out his camera, sharing the image on Twitter.
“The nuclear deal with Iran is starting to prove itself,” he wrote, in ironic reference to the shared concern over Iran’s nuclear project that has made unlikely private allies of Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Later, a Facebook friend notified Hugi that he had struck up a conversation with the driver in Jerusalem, and had learned that he was a Saudi businessman.
Hugi told the Times of Israel on Sunday that he had no further information on the car, but said that if the driver were given an exceptional entry visa to Israel, there’d be no reason for his car to be banned.Horrific Video Shows Palestinians Lynching Rare Striped Hyena
A sickening video has emerged online showing a gang of Palestinian Arabs lynching a rare striped hyena.
The video description says it was taken on July 25 near Hevron in Judea, where many of Israel's few remaining striped hyenas live.
At the start of the video at least one Palestinian-driven car is seen chasing the hyena, as it walks alongside a road. Other cars soon join in, several of which attempt to run over the animal or block its path.
The men finally succeed in cornering the hyena - possibly striking it with a car as well - at which point they mercilessly pelt the helpless animal with boulders, rocks and other projectiles.
After a long and agonizing ordeal, the animal finally lies dead or fatally injured on the ground.
Striped hyenas are an endangered species in Israel, and hunting them is illegal.MEMRI: Egyptian Writer 'Ali Salem: Israel Has No Intention Of Occupying Sinai; Cooperation Between Egyptian And Israeli Peoples Will Benefit The Region
On July 8, 2015, following the series of brutal attacks carried out in the Sinai by terrorist organizations, especially Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis, which is affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS), the Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm published an article by Egyptian playwright, author and political commentator 'Ali Salem in which he criticized the Egyptian government's neglect of the peninsula. According to Salem, the Egyptians did not develop the Sinai due to fears by the country's elite that Israel would occupy the territory, which would leave any development projects in the peninsula in Israeli hands. Salem decisively argued that Israel would not undertake such a foolish act.
Salem also criticized Egypt's reluctance to normalize cultural relations with Israel out of fear that Israeli cultural influence would endanger the Egyptian regime. He argued that it was actually the Arab Spring revolutions that toppled Arab regimes, as opposed to cultural ties with Israel, which he argued would benefit the region.
Salem further said that Egypt would defeat the terrorism in the Sinai and that Israel does not exploit Egyptian violations of the peace treaty to create tension between the countries because it looks forward to improving relations in the long term. Salem concluded that the regional situation would improve once the Egyptian and Israeli peoples cooperated with each other.
07/15 Links Pt1: The Iranian regime is anti-Western and anti-Semitic. Can we trust its nuclear deal?
Douglas Murray: The Iranian regime is anti-Western and anti-Semitic. Can we really trust its nuclear deal?
Nothing has changed in the rhetoric of the Iranian regime in the thirty six years since it came to power. Nothing meaningful has been shown to have altered in its ambitions. But it is the presumption of this deal that the Iranian regime – a regime which continues to boast of its desire to wipe UN member states off the map – is a rational actor. This is in many ways morally as well as strategically bamboozling. If Iran were led, say, by a group of far-right wing white racist Ku Klux Klan members who had seized the country by force I doubt the American administration would regard it as a rational actor whose word on nuclear ambitions would be accepted and their build-up of conventional weaponry permitted. But the Iranian regime is instead a rabidly racist anti-Western and anti-Semitic regime which sponsors anti-Western and anti-Semitic terrorism around the world. The fact that our governments have just signed a deal with them is surprising. The fact that they have done so without any significant political opposition in the UK is damning.
Well now Iran can look forward to a flood of hundreds of billions of dollars of unfrozen assets. Lobbyists in London, Paris, Moscow and Beijing are already in place and limbered up to start promoting business with Iran. Once that show is on the road it is highly unlikely – whatever else happens – that the sanctions so carefully put in place by previous administrations will be reintroduced. What is highly likely is that after a brief interregnum the Iranian regime will start to lie and cheat and cover-up all over again. Will America or Britain be in a position to do much about it then? Will we have the will? What will happen when Russia sells Iran the anti-aircraft system Moscow has wanted to sell for years and which is now back on the table? What about when, in five years time according to this agreement, Iran is allowed to gain further ballistic technology? What about at any point in the next decade when the inspectors have their first refusal of access to a site, or the sense that the real action appears to be happening elsewhere?
Then Iran will have what the Ayatollahs have always wanted – the time to ‘break out’ and develop the weaponry which their leaders have repeatedly threatened to use. Then, or perhaps a long time before then, Sunni powers in the Middle East region who have become increasingly nervous about the unchecked ambitions of Iran and disenchanted with their ‘allies’ in the West, will compete in a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. At some point this will mean that the least stable continent in the world will be armed to the teeth with the world’s most dangerous weaponry.
I know that Greece is important. And I know that the manner in which a fox can be killed appears to matter to a lot of people. But it is also possible – just possible – that what has been going on in Vienna in recent days is more important than any of this and that Britain and the world will rue the day that our global interest became so limited and our diplomatic attention-span grew so wretchedly small.Michael Oren: Why Israel Won’t Be Celebrating the Iran Deal
The present deal with Iran poses a threat not only to Israel, but to the U.S. and the world
In Israel, one of the world’s rowdiest democracies, politicians rarely agree on anything. Which is why their reaction to the nuclear arms deal with Iran is so unique. For the first time in living memory, virtually all Israelis – left, right, religious, secular, Arabs, Jews – are together calling the deal disastrous.
The reasons might not be clear to many readers of the agreement. According to preliminary reports, its 100 pages contain bewilderingly complex provisions for supposedly delaying Iran from making a bomb. There are international inspections of the Iranians’ nuclear facilities but none that would actually catch them off guard. There are limits to the number of centrifuges with which Iran can enrich uranium to weapons grade, but only for a decade during which not a single centrifuge will be dismantled. And Iran can continue to research and develop more advanced technologies capable of producing nuclear weapons even faster. Most mystifying still, the deal recognizes Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear power without demanding that Iran cease promoting war throughout the Middle East and terror worldwide.
For Israelis, though, there is nothing mystifying about this picture. We see an Iranian regime that will deceive inspectors and, in the end, achieve military nuclear capabilities. We see an Iranian nuclear program that, while perhaps temporarily curtailed, will remain capable of eventually producing hundreds of nuclear weapons.
This is a picture that we’ve all seen before. Back in 1994, American negotiators promised a “good deal” with North Korea. Its nuclear plants were supposed to be frozen and dismantled. International inspectors would “carefully monitor” North Korea’s compliance with the agreement and ensure the country’s return to the “community of nations.” The world, we were told, would be a safer place.Alan Dershowitz: Does this deal prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon?
Certainly the words of the Iranians are not the same as the words of Obama. Whose words accurately represent the meaning of the contract we are being asked to sign?
The time has now come to be crystal clear about the meaning of this deal. If it is intended to prevent Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons, the President must say so in the clearest of terms and he must get the Iranians to express agreement with that interpretation. Ambiguity may be a virtue at the beginning of a negotiation, but it is a vice in interpreting and implementing a deal with such high stakes.
Recall that former US President Bill Clinton made similar assurances with regard to North Korea back in 1994 – as the accompanying chart shows. But within a few short years of signing a deal that he assured us would require the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear program, that country tested its first nuclear weapon. It now has a nuclear arsenal. How can we be sure that Iran will not act in a similar fashion?
The deal with Iran has been aptly characterized as a “leap of faith,” “a bet” and a “roll of the dice” by David Sanger in a news analysis for the New York Times. The gamble is that by the time the most restrictive provisions of the deal expire, Iran will be a different country with more reasonable leaders. But can the world and especially the nations most at risk from an Iranian nuclear arsenal, depend on faith, bets and dice, when they know that the last time the nuclear dice were rolled, they came up snake-eyes for America and its allies when North Korea ended up with nuclear weapons.
The burden of persuasion is now on the Obama administration to demonstrate that Obama was accurately describing the deal when he said that it will “prevent” Iran from “obtaining a nuclear weapon.” It is a heavy burden that will be – and should be – difficult to satisfy.
Netanyahu on Iran deal: The more you read it, the worse it gets
“When we examine this agreement — which is bad in every aspect — when we read this agreement, the picture becomes more bleak and we discover it’s filled with absurdities,” Netanyahu said.
“For example, the agreement gives Iran 24 days’ [notice] before an inspection; it’s like giving a criminal organization that produces drugs a 24-hour warning before performing a search,” he said.
“In addition, the sanction snap-back mechanism is so complicated and serpentine that one needs a PhD to understand it. One clause creates a huge incentive to invest in Iran because it says that the reinstatement of sanctions will not apply to agreements that have [already taken place]. Another section includes the people that were removed from the sanctions list, one of them being Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s global terror arm. It is absurd, terror [meets] nuclear [power],” he said, referring to the commander of Iran’s elite Quds force.JPost Editorial: Israel must make it clear that America’s security is at stake, not just America’s allies.
The first step in an Israeli-led anti-Iran deal campaign is to enlist leading politicians who are not members of Netanyahu’s government. Figures such as opposition leader Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni of the Zionist Union and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, among others, will be crucial to the lobbying effort on Capitol Hill, particularly among Democrats.
Opposition to the Iran deal crosses party lines in Israel.
It is not unique to the Likud or to right-wing parties.
It should be the same in the US.
Second, the Israeli campaign against the deal must avoid personal attacks on the US president. Lobbying efforts must focus on the issues. Democrats will rally around their president if they perceive him to be the subject of baseless ad hominem accusations.
Third, Israel must make it clear that it does not oppose – and never has opposed – a deal with Iran. With Hezbollah and Hamas on its northern and southern borders, Israel, more than any other country in the Middle East, has an interest in a diplomatic as a opposed to a military solution to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. If anything, Israel is opposed to the present deal because it actually increases the chances of a military conflict with Iran.
Fourth, Israel should work to form an informal alliance with countries like Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that share Israel’s concerns about a nuclear Iran.
Democrats should know that there are Sunni states concerned enough about the Iran deal that they are even willing to cooperate with the Zionists.
Finally, Israel must make it clear that America’s security is at stake, not just America’s allies. America is not doing Israel a favor by opposing the deal. It is also looking out for its own interests.Opposition head will work with PM against Iran deal, won’t join gov’t
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog said Wednesday he would work with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition to thwart the Iran nuclear deal, in a rare show of cooperation.
Herzog met with Netanyahu late Tuesday for an update on the nuclear agreement, which has been roundly criticized by both, as well as by the cabinet.
“I had a meeting yesterday where I learned about the deal and I think it is bad for Israel. [Netanyahu and myself] will certainly cooperate when it comes to the security of Israel. As an Israeli patriot, this deal is dangerous,” Herzog told Israeli news site Walla.
According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu updated Herzog on the security implications of the deal, which were also reviewed by the cabinet ministers.John Bolton: Why the Iran Nuclear Deal Won’t Be a Final Deal
Moreover, leaks indicate that the Vienna deal will be implemented in stages, with partial performance from both sides before it “goes live” completely. These significant unresolved areas provide new opportunities for Iran to extract concessions from Obama. Consider just three examples still being disputed even in the last hours:
- Iran’s prior weaponization activities (the military work to take enriched uranium or plutonium and actually create the critical mass necessary for the uncontrolled chain reaction of a nuclear explosion) are far from resolved. Endless disputes and obstruction by Tehran are still entirely possible.
- The extent and nature of inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency are still very much undecided. Whatever paper agreement is reached is worth little until actual implementation, when Iranian concealment, cheating, delay and obstruction can defeat whatever is written.
- The White House claims the parties agreed on a “snapback” mechanism to revive economic sanctions if Iran is found to have violated the deal. This highly questionable assertion turns critically on deciding that there is actually a violation, which itself can be subject to endless dispute and further delays.
These outstanding issues exemplify the enormous loopholes Tehran can already exploit and substantive policy areas where Obama, incredibly, still has more concessions he can make. The entire accord is shaped around the central premise that Iran has lied in the past and will lie in the future. It has already violated its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty pledge not to develop nuclear weapons, not to mention all the commitments made in prior negotiations over the past 12-plus years.For Israel, Iran deal could signify a renewed military option
Internationally, there seems to be a sense of near unanimity regarding Israel’s inability to carry out a debilitating strike in Iran. Former CIA director and commander of US forces in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus practically ridiculed the notion in a recent conversation with Jeffrey Goldberg in Aspen. Patiently, as though to a group of school children, he noted that Israel lacks the 30,000-pound bomb that the US has and possesses no plane capable of carrying it. Therefore, he left unsaid, Israel has no way to thwart militarily Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
But neither did Israel have any business winning the War of Independence or the Six Day War or the battle on the tarmac in Entebbe. Furthermore, the eight F-16s that buried Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor were said to be unable to reach Iraq, over a string of enemy countries, without being noticed, and were too heavily weighted to carry enough gas to return.
The army and Mossad spy agency are far from perfect. They have known the taste of failure. But like the negotiations, which were deemed too big to fail, the implications of an Iranian bomb are too severely large to accept or contain. Israel’s military option may not be ideal, and it may only be worthy of execution when the knife is already cutting the flesh, as former Mossad head Meir Dagan once said, but when Ya’alon said Tuesday that, if necessary, “we will know how to protect ourselves with our own power,” one got the impression that it was not a hollow statement.U.S. Will Teach Iran to Thwart Nuke Threats
The United States and other world powers will help to teach Iran how to thwart and detect threats to its nuclear program, according to the parameters of a deal reached Tuesday to rein in Iran’s contested nuclear program.
Under the terms of a deal that provides Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief, Iran and global powers will cooperate to help teach Iran how to manage its nuclear infrastructure, which will largely remain in tact under the deal.
Senior Iranian officials, including the country’s president, celebrated the deal as a victory for the country. Iran’s state controlled media quoted President Hassan Rouhani as saying that the deal will “remove all sanctions while maintaining [Tehran’s] nuclear program and nuclear progress.”
In what is being viewed as a new development, European countries and potentially the United States agreed to “cooperate with Iran on the implementation of nuclear security guidelines and best practices,” according to a copy of the agreement furnished by both the Russians and Iranians.
This will include “training courses and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to prevent, protect and respond to nuclear security threats to nuclear facilities and systems as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems,” according to the text.Vienna Dispatch: Nuclear Agreement Reached, Puts Iran on Path to Bomb
A series of collapses – which picked up pace in the days before framework talks last spring in Lausanne, Switzerland and accelerated afterwards – have been blasted by experts for adding up to a deal that is too weak to verifiably prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, even during the period before restrictions are lifted. Following those talks, which ended with an announcement on April 2, former Deputy-Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Olli Heinonen noted that even if the deal worked – even if it kept Iran from going nuclear for a decade – the other concessions made by the United States meant that Iran would be “a threshold breakout nuclear state for the next 10 years.”
Analysts have drawn particular attention to American concessions on four core issues: the demand that Iran detail the full extent of its nuclear program including its possible military dimensions (PMDs) to the IAEA, the duration of the agreement, the inspections regime that is supposed to verify a deal, and the structure of sanctions relief.
The deal will stop short of forcing the Iranians to disclose the full extent of their nuclear program, prior to receiving sanctions relief. The IAEA initially referred Iran to the United Nation’s Security Council in 2006 over its refusal to cooperate and continued stonewalling. The Security Council then passed six resolutions that sanctioned Iran for failing to end its uranium enrichment program and come into compliance with its Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations. Despite its commitment in November 2013 to begin working with the IAEA to resolve the differences, Iran has still not made sufficient progress. It partially answered just two of the twelve outstanding questions that the IAEA has about Iran’s past efforts to develop nuclear weapons.Israel Rebuffs UK’s Hammond Over Wanting Permanent Iranian Stand-Off
Israel rejected on Wednesday comments by U.K. Foreign Minister Philip Hammond earlier in the day that Jerusalem sought a permanent stand-off with Iran over its nuclear program, saying the country sought negotiations with Tehran more than anybody else.
“We were probably the people who pushed harder than anyone else in the world to bring Iran to the negotiating table in the first place,” a diplomatic official told The Algemeiner in response to Hammond, who said Israel does not want any deal with Iran.
“No one was more interested than Israel in a good deal with Iran,” the official said.Former IAEA Official: ‘The Fix is In’ Regarding Iran’s Past Nuclear Research
The nuclear agreement announced Tuesday says Iran must resolve outstanding questions about its past nuclear weapons research before sanctions are dropped. However, a former IAEA official says of the agreement, “The fix is in.”
Tariq Rauf is a former head of the Verification and Security Policy Coordination Office at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He now works for the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) as an expert on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Rauf says the IAEA has been looking for a way to sidestep a thorny issue about Iran’s past military research into nuclear weapons. Earlier this month he told Bloomberg News, “[IAEA Director Yukiya] Amano is under pressure on finding a way out on the possible military dimension investigation.”
The longstanding questions about possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s past nuclear research program are supposed to be resolved prior to the dropping of sanctions on Iran. The final nuclear deal announced Tuesday lays out a path to do this. However the promise to resolve these issues is at odds with longstanding Iranian insistence that it has never done any such research. Indeed, President Rouhani claimed again Tuesday, “Iran has never been after atomic bombs.”
So how can the issue be resolved if Iran continues to deny any such research ever took place? “The fix is already in. The Americans have said they don’t want a confession,” Rauf told the Guardian Tuesday. He added, “Amano has said he will give an assessment report, not a conclusion, which is not what the IAEA normally does. His likely assessment by December is that there are unanswered questions, but the agency has what it needs, and it will be rubber-stamped by the board.”Deal Will Give Iran 24 Days to Cover Up Suspected Nuclear Sites
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the international agreement signed by Iran and the West, will give the Islamic Republic up to 24 days to hide any illicit nuclear activity from international inspectors.
Under the terms of the deal, the only site Iran may use for nuclear development for the next 15 years will be the Arak facility. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog organization, will be charged with ensuring that Iran fulfills this obligation. But under the framework agreement, while the IAEA will be able to monitor Iran’s existing reactors at Arak, they will not have unfettered access to other sites that might potentially contain nuclear development activities.
Iran has a history of covering up illicit nuclear developments. In August of 2002, an Iranian dissident group “revealed a secret uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and a heavy water facility at Arak,” the United States Institute of Peace noted. Nuclear Deal Silent on Iran’s Parchin Military Plant, Bushehr
The Iranian nuclear deal reached in Vienna contains no reference to the Parchin military facility where most of Iran’s past nuclear arms-related work was carried out.
Additionally, the draft agreement made public on Tuesday contains no stated limits on Iran’s Russian-made Bushehr nuclear power facility that analysts say could produce plutonium for dozens of bombs.
Also, the accord will lift international sanctions on several Iranian entities currently engaged in supporting terrorism and building ballistic missiles, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-Air Force Al Ghadir Missile Command.
The Tehran-based command is a key element in developing nuclear-tipped missiles and is considered to be in operational control of Iranian missiles.
The lifting of sanctions in eight or fewer years will also include removing sanctions on Parchin Chemical Industries—a firm involved in the past in Iranian ballistic missile and chemical explosive work that was possibly related to nuclear arms applications.WATCH: Iranians celebrate nuclear deal, hail Zarif as hero
The crowd was small at first but as the din of car horns grew louder so did the number of Iranians celebrating a long-awaited nuclear deal in Tehran late Tuesday.
Some said they hoped it would improve their lives and change Iran’s image abroad. Others simply wanted to express their gratitude.
“Thank you Mr. Zarif,” said Parvaneh Farvadi, among the hundreds who assembled at Parkway, a busy intersection in the north of the capital, shortly after sundown.
Her admiration was not confined to Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, whose name rang out in song.
“I love John Kerry,” the 32-year-old said of the US Secretary of State who for almost two years has faced Zarif at the forefront of nuclear talks which culminated in Tuesday’s historic deal.Nuke Deal Removes Sanctions on Iran's Terror Commander
Aside from removing UN conventional arms embargo on Iran after five years, the nuclear deal signed Tuesday by the P5+1 powers and Iran grants several other questionable concessions to the leading state sponsor of terror, unrelated to its controversial nuclear program.
The most glaring of these concessions is seen by some as the inclusion of the name Qassem Soleimani on a list of companies and individuals who will have sanctions against them removed as expressly detailed in the deal, reports Yedioth Aharonoth.
Soleimani is the Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander who leads the elite Qods Force, which conducts foreign operations outside Iran's borders and directs the Islamic regime's terrorist activities throughout the world.
While no clear reason was given as to why Soleimani - who is on the official American terrorist list, and whose Qods Forces have murdered American soldiers in Iraq - had individual sanctions against him removed, the move apparently comes due to the shared fight against Islamic State (ISIS) that Soleimani has been leading in Iraq in parallel to American efforts.Iran's Supreme Leader Posts Photo of Himself Trampling Israeli Flag: 'The Zionist Regime Is Doomed'
A photograph posted on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s official website--as the Obama administration was finalizing negotiations on a deal intended to prevent Iran from building a nulcear weapon--shows the walking stick-waving supreme leader striding across, and apparently glaring at, a painted representation of Israel’s national flag.
The caption on the photo, according to a translation by American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Rubin, reads, “The Zionist Regime is Condemned to Vanish.”
“The Zionist regime is a regime with very shaky pillars,” the caption continues. “The Zionist regime is doomed. The Zionist regime is an imposed regime and was created with intimidation. Nothing created with intimidation can last long and this one will not last long either.”
The photo was posted last Thursday (18 Tir, 1394 on the Persian calendar), on the eve of Iran’s annual “Quds [Jerusalem] Day” – also dubbed “Death to Israel Day” since chants to that effect typically characterize rallies across in the country, along with “Death to America.”White House Iran strategy: Get U.N. blessing before Congress votes
White House officials said Tuesday that their plan for enacting the Iran nuclear agreement is to first get the United Nations to agree to its terms, including a gradual easing of sanctions, which will put more pressure on Congress to go along with what the world has already approved.
In a call with reporters, officials said the sanctions against Iran that eventually prodded them into negotiations were international sanctions, and said it's now up to the U.N. to vote on the deal announced Tuesday morning.
"We put sanctions in place to get a diplomatic resolution, and that is what we have done," he added.
While many Republicans indicated they oppose the deal, the Obama administration isn't giving them much time to organize. It plans to seek a U.N. Security Council resolution enshrining the steps Obama laid out for phasing in sanctions relief as early as next week.
It will be much tougher for detractors on and off Capitol Hill — such as Israel — to stop the arrangement once the U.N. signs off on it.Key Democrats skeptical of Iran deal
Sen. Ben Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said it was “particularly important” for the administration to hold thorough briefings to solidify support on Capitol Hill.
“There are many aspects of this agreement that I need clarification” on, Cardin said. “There are certainly areas of interest and concern.”
Coons, the Delaware Democrat who occupies Biden’s old Senate seat, said that given Iran’s past record of “supporting terrorism globally,” he enters the review process “with a position of suspicion and distrust of Iran.” He added that he must be convinced that the inspections regime and the way the sanctions relief is structured won’t enable Iran’s long-term ability to build a bomb.
Though Democratic leaders said it was premature to try to predict how their caucus will end up voting, liberals are confident at least 34 Democrats will back Obama. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) spent most of the morning poring over the agreement; after he was finished, he issued one of the strongest statements of support on Capitol Hill.
Eventually, he predicted, most of his colleagues would do the same.
“It’s a much better deal than a lot of people would have given the secretary credit for ahead of the negotiations,” Heinrich said of Secretary of State John Kerry. “So I think at the end of the day that there’s going to be adequate support for the president’s position. The reality is the Republicans have nothing as an alternative.”Analysis: Chuck Schumer Now the Most Important Man in the World
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is one of two dozen Republicans racing for the White House, on Tuesday challenged Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who will become the Senate Democratic leader in 2017, to turn his back on President Obama and help kill the Iran deal.
“Chuck Schumer is supposed to be the guardian of Israel. He goes around everywhere and says, ‘My name is Schumer. It means guardian of Israel,’” Graham said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“Well, if you care about Israel, you will not put her in this box,” Graham said. “If you care about the United States, you will not allow our chief antagonist to become a nuclear threshold nation guaranteed in nature with no restrictions for them to go beyond that.”
“The Iran drama is only beginning. Assuming that Obama can sell this deal to Congress—Chuck Schumer, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you,” Jeffrey Goldberg wrote Tuesday night. And he’s absolutely right.Report: Lifting of Iran Arms Embargo Raises Concern among Senate Democrats
The article also quoted Sen. Robert Menendez (D – N.J.) who said, “Listen, the last thing we need to do is give Iran the ability to have the wherewithal to have arms going throughout the region. They’re already involved in Yemen, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Iraq. … What is lost here is that if we lift the arms embargo, then the Russians freely can sell the S-300 [missile] to them, and that makes it a lot more difficult in the future—should Iran violate the agreement and move towards their nuclear capability for a nuclear weapon—of trying to strike them with the S-300 as a defense missile system. For all of those reasons, it should be a redline. And the intercontinental missile issue should also be a redline.”
The concern expressed by the senators about ending the arms embargo was echoed even by members of the administration. The National Journal cited outgoing Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and current Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter as opposing Iran’s ability to develop or acquire intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). Carter was quoted as saying, “the I in ICBM stands for intercontinental, which means having the capability from flying from Iran to the United States … And we don’t want that.”Sen Tim Scott: Obama Veto Threat Sign of Weakness
South Carolina Senator Tim Scott blasted not only the deal with Iran on its nuclear program but also President Obama's posture towards Congress regarding the deal.
As he announced the agreement with Iran early Tuesday morning in Washington, President Obama threatened to veto any attempt to vote down or reject the deal in Congress.
"I will veto any legislation that prevents the full implementation of this deal," Obama said.
Appearing on Fox News with Stuart Varney, Senator Scott said the President's statement showed his own lack of confidence in the deal.Expert: Lifting Arms Embargo on Iran Would Put America’s Military “At Serious Risk”
Lifting the arms embargo was one of the provisions of the agreement that was announced today.
Bowen analyzed three arguments offered to justify the deal: that Iran’s spends less on its military than many of America’s Middle Eastern allies and is, therefore, not a threat to them; that the embargo on conventional arms was imposed as part of the nuclear sanctions and not significant by themselves; and that Iran needs the weapons to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He then showed how each of these arguments is flawed.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states might spend more on military hardware than Iran, but their troops are not as well-trained, so spending alone is a poor way to judge the quality of Iran’s military force. Allowing Iran to upgrade it conventional forces with Russian or Chinese arms “could be devastating for U.S. and [Gulf Cooperation Council] naval and air bases if there are further relaxations on Iran’s acquisition of missile technology.” Additionally, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has stated that he has no interest in working with the United States beyond achieving a nuclear accord, so Iran would hardly be a reliable ally in the fight against ISIS. Allowing Iran access to more and better weaponry “could empower a range of Iranian proxy forces, partners and terrorist groups,” Bowen wrote, which “could endanger U.S. personnel at regional diplomatic and military facilities.”Canada to keep sanctions against Iran despite nuclear deal
Canada will keep its sanctions in place – at least for now – despite the nuclear agreement Iran has reached with major world powers.
Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson issued a statement saying that Canada “will continue to judge Iran by its actions not its words,” and that the government in Ottawa will examine the agreement carefully before making any policy changes.
“We will examine this deal further before taking any specific Canadian action,” Mr. Nicholson said in the statement.
That means Canada is refusing to follow the course set by its major allies, including not only the Obama Administration in the U.S., but Britain, France, and the European Union. They negotiated the deal with Iran as part of the “P5+1” group that also included China and Russia, and have agreed to lift economic sanctions in return for Tehran’s nuclear concessions.
But Prime Minister Stephen Harper was caught between two allies on this deal. While Washington pushed for a deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned against it. So far, Mr. Harper is sticking with Mr. Netanyahu’s doubts – though Mr. Nicholson said that Canada appreciates the “efforts of the P5+1” to negotiate an agreement.Russia Expects U.S. to Scrap European Missile Defense as Part of Iran Deal
The pro-Kremlin Russia Today notes Russia thinks U.S. plans for missile defense in Europe will be scrapped as part of the deal. If Iran is allegedly giving up on nuclear weapons, the logic goes, Europe will not need that shield anymore.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov cites President Barack Obama on this very topic, years ago. “We all probably remember that in April 2009 in Prague, President Obama said that if the Iran nuclear program issue is sorted out, then the task of creating the European segment of the missile defense system will disappear,” Lavrov said at a press conference in Vienna on Tuesday.
It is debatable whether everyone in the hapless Obama State Department remembers the president saying that. Also, back in 2009, these bumbling fools were convinced Russia was friendly—hey, Hillary Clinton even gave them a “reset button!”
Years later, in the 2012 presidential election, President Obama would mock his opponent Mitt Romney for warning about the Russian threat. Now an expansionist Russia is knocking on every Baltic door, threatening NATO itself, and displacing U.S. influence in the Middle East while counting on President Obama to continue weakening America’s position, for as long as he remains in office.
The Russians are supposed to be big players in ensuring Iranian compliance with the minimal terms of the nuclear deal, which should tell you a lot about how much wiggle room Iran has to ignore even the few minor concessions it has made.Ron Dermer: Israeli ambassador: The four major problems with the Iran deal
Israel has long been concerned that the “P5+1” powers would negotiate a bad deal with Iran. But the deal announced today in Vienna is breathtaking in its concessions to an Iranian regime that is the foremost sponsor of terror in the world, is on a march of conquest in the Middle East, is responsible for the murder and maiming of thousands of U.S. soldiers, and vows and works to annihilate the one and only Jewish state.
There are four major problems with this deal. First, it leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure. This is not the hoped for “dismantle for dismantle” deal, in which the sanctions regime would be dismantled in exchange for the dismantling of Iran’s nuclear-weapons making capability. Rather, this deal leaves Iran’s nuclear capabilities essentially intact (the conversion of the Arak heavy-water facility being the notable exception). In fact, this deal allows Iran to improve those capabilities by conducting research and development on advanced centrifuges and building intercontinental ballistic missiles, whose sole purpose is to carry nuclear warheads.
To keep Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions in check over the next decade, the P5+1 countries — the five U.N. Security Council members plus Germany — are relying on intelligence and inspectors. Here, the historical record does not bode well. The United States and Israel have two of the finest intelligence agencies in the world. But it was years before either knew that Iran had secret facilities at Natanz and Fordow . Daniel Pipes: Could the Iran Deal Be the Worst International Accord of All Time?
The United States alone, not to speak of the P5+1 countries as a whole, has vastly greater economic and military power than the Islamic Republic of Iran, making this one-sided concession ultimately a bafflement.
Of the administration’s accumulated foreign-policy mistakes in the last six years, none have been catastrophic for the United States: Not the Chinese building islands, the Russians’ taking Crimea, or the collapse into civil wars of Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. But the Iran deal has the makings of a catastrophe.
Attention now shifts to the U.S. Congress to review today’s accord, arguably the worst international accord not just in American history or modern history, but ever. Congress must reject this deal. Republican senators and representatives have shown themselves firm on this topic; will the Democrats rise to the occasion and provide the votes for a veto override? They need to feel the pressure.Why Is Obama Abandoning 70 Years of U.S. Nonproliferation Policy?
There are several problems with this line of argumentation but foremost among them is that all the examples these critics cite are of countries that were already de facto nuclear powers and that eventually went on to build the bomb. If Washington’s goal is to simply manage Iran’s entry into the nuclear club, then the proposed nuclear deal can be rationalized. But that is not the case that the Obama Administration is making to Congress and the public, where there is a bipartisan consensus in favor of a policy of prevention.
A deal that allows Iran to keep a uranium enrichment program will not prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Instead, it will make an Iranian bomb more likely. It also increases the risk of a nuclear arms race in the region. Then there is the matter of setting a dangerous precedent: It will be impossible for Washington to argue that it trusts Iran with sensitive nuclear facilities but not its friends and allies. To make matters even worse, in the wake of a deal, all of this will happen with the international community’s stamp of approval. Seventy years of successful U.S.-led nonproliferation policy will have been trashed.
In sum, if to this point you have been confused about the arcane technical details in the Iran nuclear negotiations, save yourself some trouble. Unless the negotiators return to insisting on zero enrichment, their efforts deserve zero support.The Dawn of Iranian Empire
For a more succinct (and, on the whole, accurate) account, go right to the statement issued by Tehran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency. It notes, inter alia:
-) World powers have recognized Iran’s peaceful nuclear program and are to respect the nuclear rights of Iranian nation within international conventions…
-) The Islamic Republic of Iran is to be recognized as a nuclear technology power authorized to have peaceful nuclear programs such as complete nuclear fuel cycle and enrichment to be identified by the United Nations.
-) All unfair sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council including economic and financial sanctions on Iran are to be lifted as per the agreement and through issuance of a new resolution by the United Nations Security Council.
-) All nuclear installations and sites are to continue their work contrary to the early demands of the other party, none of them will be dismantled.
-) The policy on preventing enrichment uranium is now failed, and Iran will go ahead with its enrichment program.
-) Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will remain intact, no centrifuges will be dismantled and research and development on key and advanced centrifuges such as IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, IR-8 will continue.
So far, so familiar — and dismaying. This agreement is a massive capitulation to Iran. Having started negotiations with the goal of ending Iran’s nuclear program, the U.S. and its European negotiating partners are winding up legitimating Iran’s status as a nuclear power in waiting.
But there are some surprises in the final language.
The most pleasant surprise is the “snapback” provision which would, in theory, at least, allow the reintroduction of sanctions should Iran violate the agreement. It had been widely feared that “snapback” would require a vote of the U.N. Security Council, which would allow Russia or China to veto such a resolution. Instead, the agreement sets up a Joint Commission — composed of the European Union, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran — to adjudicate disputes over implementation. It would only take a bare majority of the commission to reinstitute sanctions, which means that the U.S. and its European allies could re-impose sanctions even without the support of Russia and China.Iran deal: Obama's global multiculturalism gone mad
Widely billed as the first post-American president, Barack Obama has now nailed his colours firmly to the mast, to be left there for posterity. While most politicians would at least claim that they entered the political fray so as to leave the world a better place than they found it, the nuclear deal with Iran proves beyond doubt that Obama intends to bequeath a more dangerous one.
His thinly veiled excuse is that something had to be done with Iran, and that there was no appetite for a military intervention that may not have worked anyway.
But this misses the point. The deal we have which kinda offers some sort of verification, and kinda prevents further enrichment, and could kinda be enforced if they renege and kinda expires in a decade or so anyway, frankly amounts to a capitulation.
In yet another instance of Obama's defeatist stance, the administration approached the whole situation without truly understanding (or without wanting truly to understand) that the West held all the best cards.
Our military capacity is vast compared with Iran's, as is the economic stick we could wield if we wanted to. This should not have been a process where two equal parties came together and hammered out a deal.
It should have been almost wholly one-sided. While we could not have dictated terms entirely, we could have surely shown who was boss.Here’s the Truth About 6 of Obama’s Iran Deal Claims
Months of Iranian pressure on the United States brought its fruition. Iran got a deal that legitimizes its nuclear program, rewards its defiance of international treaties and obligations, and provides it with additional billions of dollars to continue its terrorist activities in the Middle East.
Here are the White House’s most egregious misinterpretations of the deal, looking at claims President Obama made during his remarks about the deal this morning.
1. “A comprehensive long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
The concluded deal does not prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon in the future. The deal imposes temporary restrictions on Iran’s illegal nuclear program.
After their expiration, Iran will have better resources to pursue more advanced nuclear technologies and potentially build a nuclear weapon faster than would be the case had sanctions remained in place.
The deal also allows Iran to obtain currently restricted materials to advance its ballistic missile program.Time to Call Obama and Kerry What They Are: Traitors
The real traitor was always in the White House. And it’s time we called his foreign policy what it is.
Obama and Kerry have not made this deal as representatives of the United States, but as representatives of a toxic ideology that views America as the cause of all that is wrong in the world. This is not an agreement that strengthens us and keeps us safe, but an agreement that weakens us and endangers us negotiated by men who believe that a strong Iran is better than a strong America.
Their ideology is that of the screaming anti-war protester denouncing American forces and foreign policy anywhere and everywhere, whose worldview has changed little since crying, “Ho! Ho! Ho Chi Minh. NLF is going to win” in the streets. The only difference is that he now wears an expensive suit.
Their ideology is not America. It is not American. It is the same poisonous left-wing hatred which led Kerry to the Viet Cong, to the Sandinistas and to Assad. It is the same resentment of America that Obama carried to Cairo, Havana and Tehran. We have met the enemy and he is in the White House.US Official Dismisses Israeli Concerns Over Iran Deal : No One Takes Netanyahu Seriously
A senior U.S. official dismissed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s stated concerns over the Iran nuclear deal announced on Tuesday, claiming that nobody pays attention to the PM anyway, Israeli Channel 2 news reported.
“Nobody takes any of Netanyahu’s proclamations seriously,” the official said, “nobody listens to him.”
During an interview with MSNBC later in the day, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also responded to Netanyahu’s criticism of the deal.
Asked in the interview what he thought of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s reference to the deal as a “historic mistake,” Kerry responded, “Well, he said the same thing about the interim agreement, and he was wrong.”
Kerry described the prime minister’s comments as “way over the top.”
“He doesn’t even know what the concessions are that we have not engaged in,” he said, “because we haven’t made concessions.”John Kerry: Israel is ‘Safer’ Because of Nuclear Deal
Shortly after the agreement was announced earlier on Tuesday, Netanyahu called the deal a “historic mistake” saying that “far-reaching concessions” were made by the world powers to Iran that will lead to Iran receiving “hundreds of billions of dollars with which it can fuel its terror machine and its expansion and aggression throughout the Middle East and across the globe.”
Kerry rejected those comments, saying that Netanyahu “said the same thing about the interim agreement, and he was wrong.”
“Israel is safer,” Kerry said.
President Obama called Netanyahu on Tuesday to talk about the Iran deal, saying that it “will not diminish our concerns regarding Iran’s support for terrorism and threats toward Israel,” according to a description of the call provided by the White House.
The White House announced that Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter will travel to Israel next week as a “reflection of the unprecedented level of security cooperation between the United States and Israel.”Following Iran deal, a deafening Arab silence
As the agreement between Iran and the superpowers was announced Tuesday morning, Saudi newspapers went to print with headlines about surveillance cameras in mosques and a minor cabinet reshuffle.
For a kingdom currently engaged in a proxy war with Iran in Yemen, the utter Saudi silence on the looming nuclear deal was deafening. The word “Iran” was also nowhere to be found on the front pages of dailies in Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
“There’s an [Arab] sense of disappointment mixed with shock,” said Uzi Rabi, director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle East research at Tel Aviv University. “These countries, and especially Saudi Arabia, are trying to come to terms with the materialization of their worst fears.”
The most immediate result of the Arab sense of desperation will be the start of a regional arms race, Rabi estimated. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and even Turkey will begin to develop scientific nuclear programs.Israel’s UN Ambassador: World Will Pay the Price for Iran Deal
Israel’s U.N. ambassador warned on Tuesday that “tomorrow, the rest of the world will pay the price” for the nuclear deal with Iran announced earlier in the day.
“On the dawn of this new day, [the Iranians] can lean back comfortably, and act without limitations, with newfound economic prosperity, and with a broad smile on their faces,” said Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor.
The Israeli envoy emphasized Iran’s recent calls for the eradication of Israel, most recently during the run-up to the emphatically anti-Israel “Quds Day,” a national Iranian festival meant to show solidarity with the Palestinian cause but also serve as a stark reminder of the Islamic Republic’s deep loathing for Israel.
“The Iranians have woken up today to the dawn of a new day. It is very similar to the dawn of the previous day, in which they were a religiously fanatic state that seeks the annihilation of another nation, and acts to fund and promote terror all over the world,” he said.US Envoy Admits Iran Deal May 'Unnerve' Forces Fighting ISIS
Retired general John Allen, the US special envoy for the coalition against Islamic State (ISIS), admitted Tuesday that some of Washington's allies in the war with ISIS would be unnerved by Tuesday's nuclear deal between the West and Iran.
"For many of the members of the coalition, Iran has been, is and probably will remain one of the principal sources of threat to their national security," he said.
"I won't speculate on the outcome of the announcement made this morning with respect to whether it will fundamentally change Iran's behavior, but it's of course a very important question for all" coalition members, Allen said.‘Stop Nuclear Iran’ Rally Next Wednesday at Times Square
A mass rally that might attract tens of thousands of people is scheduled for next Wednesday 5:30 p.m. (EDT) at Times Square in New York City.
Police have planned for thousands of people to show up, but Tuesday’s agreement with Iran and the explosive opposition from Israel and the Jewish community in the United States is likely to draw much larger crowds.
The long-rage forecast is for temperatures in the 80s (Fahrenheit) and a 50 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms.
Speakers at the rally include:
Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law Professor; John Batchelor, Radio Host WABC-AM; Caroline Glick, Deputy Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post;
David Brog, Executive Director, Christians United for Israel; Steven Emerson, founder of The Investigative Project on Terrorism; Frank Gaffney, founder of the Center for Security Policy;Edgar Davidson: The Iran deal: the comparison with 1938 is wrong and here is why
The 1938 deal at least attempted to address the core problem: To stop the militaristic intentions of a murderous antisemitic dictatorship (Germany). The 2015 deal legitimizes and funds the militaristic intentions of a murderous antisemitic dictatorship (Iran).Savings? Not When We’re Going To Get Nuked Anyway By Moshe Kahlon, Minister of Finance (satire)
Let me get this straight: you want me to worry about affordable housing, the cost of living, defense expenditures, struggling Holocaust survivors, fiscal responsibility, and a crumbling health care system, while none of that is going to matter in a few years when Iran gets the bomb? Get real. Me, I plan to liquidate the State’s assets and throw the biggest goddamn party you ever saw. Get it while the gettin’s good.
Does anybody seriously think the mullahs of Tehran aren’t going to cheat, sneak, defy, bribe, and bully their way to a nuclear weapon as quickly as possible? Sure, some residual sanctions might slow them down by a few months, but all that will cease to matter once Iran has a nuclear weapon. There’s literally no down side for the Ayatollahs in ignoring the deal and continuing to develop those weapons. No one can credibly argue that Russia will agree to reimpose sanctions when violations are inevitably revealed, so bye-bye deterrent to non-compliance. And bye-bye to financial responsibility of any sort, because when the Middle East goes all mushroom cloud, you folks who rambled on and on about the deficit and the budget are going to feel pretty silly. Canape, anyone?
I encourage all of you to follow my example. Junior will not need to attend university, because there will be no university, and no Junior, for that matter. We are all going to fry, every last non-cockroach between the Mediterranean and the Indus River, and possibly everyone else on Earth, too. This afternoon I’ll be holding a conference for the heads of all municipalities and local governments on quick ideas for how to transform public bomb shelters – which will be pretty much useless in the coming nuclear apocalypse – into night clubs where we can live out our remaining days in one constant party.Kerry, Iran's Zarif Recommended for Nobel Peace Prize (not satire)
Critics accuse US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of having sealed a nuclear deal on Tuesday that will lead to a regional nuclear arms race in the Middle East - but the two may be on their way to winning a Nobel Peace Prize.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a leading Swedish think-tank, has recommended Kerry and Zarif for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for their leading roles in the nuclear deal, reports the International Business Times on Wednesday.
Tariq Rauf, director of SIPRI's Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Program and formerly chief of Verification and Security Policy at the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 2002 to 2011, said the two deserved a Nobel prize.
He called the Iran nuclear deal the "single-most important multilateral agreement in decades," comparing it to the 1996 Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on nuclear detonation testing - critics have compared the new deal to a similar one reached with North Korea in 1994, which around a decade later enabled the Communist regime to obtain nuclear weapons.
Long time readers of SFW know that we have explained repeatedly that zakat has been used to fund Jihadists because Shariah mandates it.
Here we have an article on the subject from a Muslim writer in the Pakistani media acknowledging the fact that zakat funds Jihadists and pointing out that the Pakistani government has done nothing to stop the flow of money.
There is probably a good reason for this: there is no mechanism in Shariah for cutting off zakat funds from those waging Jihad…
The month of Ramzan is one of the seasons which militants use to secure their yearly finances. While extremist and militant groups are set to raise funds during the holy month, Pakistan’s government has not taken any concrete measures to stop them from doing so.
Apart from routine fund collection through charity and donations, banned groups have three major sources of financial supplies: zakat collection in Ramzan; collection of animal hides on Eidul Azha; and foreign funding. Even if one of these supply lines is blocked, it will have huge impact on the militants’ operations.
The militants’ media publications are still available, which carry appeals for donations. Pamphlets containing such appeals can also be found on notice boards of some mosques. Banned groups are still operating in cyberspace and attracting people to contribute to their cause.
It is interesting to know how these groups collect funds through couriers. Wealthy Arabs in the Gulf States, who take the religious obligation of zakat very seriously, deem madrassahs in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh as deserving entities for their charity. They usually assess and set aside their zakat before Ramzan and engage local religious scholars in these countries to distribute it among the deserving. Pakistani madrassahs, religious parties and militant groups remain in contact with these religious scholars, who keep them on the list of the deserving. Religious scholars either visit the Gulf countries themselves or send their represen-tatives as couriers to collect zakat. Most militant groups also send their couriers to collect such donations.
Once officials investigating the collection of animal hides on Eidul Azha found links between organised money laundering and banned militant groups. Militant groups use animal hides as a cover to legitimise funds received from abroad, by showing that the money had been generated by selling the hides.
Most militant groups in Pakistan are continuously changing their organisational structure, networks, and tactics and introducing new ways of generating funds. Many of them have also created permanent sources for finances. Militant groups have established public welfare wings to cover their activities.
After they were banned, many groups resurfaced as charity organisations to boost their image among the masses as well as to avoid government restrictions. This ploy has not only helped them gain social acceptance but also enabled them to expand their support base.
Tour companies were evacuating thousands of foreign holidaymakers from Tunisia on Saturday, a day after a gunman killed 39 people at a beach hotel in an attack claimed by Islamic State. Tunisia's Prime Minister Habib Essid said most of the dead were British, and Britain's foreign office said 15 Britons had been confirmed killed in the attack in the resort town of Sousse, 140 km (90 miles) south of the capital Tunis. It was the second major attack in the North African country this year, following an Islamist militant assault on the Bardo Museum in Tunis in March when gunmen killed a group of foreign visitors as they arrived by bus.
Ramadan starts on 17 June and, as usual, with the onset of Ramadan, the Islamic media is littered with reminders for Muslims of the importance of Zakat, the obligatory charity tax that is one of the 5 pillars of Islam.
Zakat is also one of the most troubling aspects of Islam for non-Muslims and one of the most troubling aspects of Shariah-compliant finance, since zakat is an integral part of the Islamic financial system.
The accompanying diagram of zakat illustrates the problem. Included in the list of “Zakat Deserving People” front and center is the category of “In Cause of Allah.”
Widely circulated, authoritative Shariah texts, including Reliance of the Traveler defines this category as those who are fighting in Islamic military operations for whom there is no allotment on an army roster.
In other words: irregular combatants. They are properly called Jihadis, though in the West we normally refer to them as terrorists…
Key Preliminary Findings of the High Level International Military Group on the Gaza Conflict
From 18th – 22nd May 2015, the High Level International Military Group, made up of 11 former chiefs of staff, generals, senior officers, political leaders and officials from the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Holland, Spain, Italy, Australia and Colombia visited Israel for a fact-finding mission on the 2014 Gaza conflict. We were led by General Klaus Naumann, former Chief of Staff of the Bundeswehr and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, the most senior officer in the Alliance, and Giulio Terzi, former Foreign Minister of Italy. Also in the group were Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper, formerly US State Department Ambassador at Large for war crimes issues; and Mr Rafael Bardaji, former National Security Adviser to the Government of Spain.
This was part of a longer term project by our group, whose principal concern is how civilian lives can be protected and military forces can fight effectively when operations must be conducted in a densely packed civilian area. We will be producing a full report this autumn.
Our mission to Israel was unprecedented. We were the first such multi-national group of senior officers to visit the country. We were granted a level of access to the Israeli government and Defence Force that has not been afforded to any other group, from the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Minister of Defence, Moshe Ya’alon, right down to the field commanders responsible for fighting the battle on the ground.
We were well aware of the allegations made by some governments, the United Nations, human rights groups and the media, that Israel acted outside the laws of armed conflict in Gaza. Some have suggested that the IDF lacked restraint or even deliberately targeted innocent civilians.
Our findings lead us to the opposite conclusion. We examined the circumstances that led to the tragic conflict last summer and are in no doubt that this was not a war that Israel wanted. In reality Israel sought to avoid the conflict and exercised great restraint over a period of months before the war when its citizens were targeted by sporadic rocket attacks from Gaza. Once the war had begun, Israel made repeated efforts to terminate the fighting. The war that Israel was eventually compelled to fight against Hamas and other Gaza extremists was a legitimate war, necessary to defend its citizens and its territory against sustained attack from beyond its bordersMajor-General Jim Molan (Ret.): “Israel’s war was just,” reports Australian general after mission on Gaza conflict
Given our examination of the cause of Operation Protective Edge, it would be indefensible to argue that Israel wanted it, initiated it or sustained it, or that Israel acted in anything other than defence of its citizens. On this basis alone, Israel’s war was just. It will be interesting to see if the imminent UNHRC report and the ICC inquiry can deliver fairness. Many do not understand it is not illegal to kill civilians in war as long as that is not the purpose of your actions, hence the appalling term “collateral damage”. Unlike our fight in Iraq or Afghanistan, Israel fights repeatedly in the same neighbourhood, and so its understanding and its intelligence is far superior to anything that I have enjoyed in similar targeting decisions that I have made.
While acknowledging the tragedy of death in war and given the immense capability of the IDF, it stands to Israel’s everlasting credit that far more did not die. But from the very top of the command chain down to the infantry and pilots, the personal moral position that individuals took was mirrored in the targeting processes, decisions on the ground and in the real care taken.
War can brutalise, but the Israelis scrupulously “cared” for the Palestinians. By contrast, Hamas was an enemy whose central strategy was to directly target the Israeli population and who repeatedly used their own population as human shields, both of which in any fair system would constitute major war crimes.
The women of the kibbutz were proud of their sons, but they would also be proud of what one senior Israeli commander whose soldier son was about to deploy to Gaza, recounted.
“Come back alive,” he said in farewell, “but come back human.” I wonder what the Hamas version of this farewell would be.
Jim Molan is a retired major-general in the Australian Army.Who is Guilty of War Crimes in the Gaza War?
Israel is accused of a disproportionate response to Hamas rocket attacks. Is this accusation true? How does Israel compare to other military forces fighting asymmetrical wars?
Israel ‘exceeded legal standards’ in Gaza conflict, military group tells UN
A multi-national military group comprised of former chiefs of staff, generals and politicians submitted a report to the United Nations on Friday indicating that Israel went to great lengths to adhere to the laws of war and to protect Palestinian civilians during last summer’s 50-day war with Hamas in and around the Gaza Strip.
The report was submitted to the official UN probe into Operation Protective Edge, the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry, which is expected to issue its own report in the coming days. The findings are set to be discussed at the end of the month before the Council.
The High-Level International Military Group on the Gaza Conflict in 2014 held a fact-finding mission to Israel between May 18-22. It was sponsored by a pro-Israel group, was reportedly given unprecedented access to senior officials, and investigated allegations of war crimes and disproportionality.
The group found that “during Operation Protective Edge last summer… Israel not only met a reasonable international standard of observance of the laws of armed conflict, but in many cases significantly exceeded that standard.”
They wrote that “in some cases Israel’s scrupulous adherence to the laws of war cost Israeli soldiers’ and civilians’ lives.”Thomas Wictor: Israel didn’t kill 500 Palestinian children
Almost a year after Operation Protective Edge ended, Jew-haters are once again making the ludicrous accusation that Israel killed more than 500 children during the conflict. The true number will never be known, but it’s time to put this fairytale to rest once and for all.
We’ll use the list of names provided by the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights (AMCHR), a tally which comes from the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH). Right away we begin to see problems.
The AMCHR says 504 children were killed, but it lists 317 boys and 190 girls. That’s 507, not 504. Thus we have definitive proof that the press are merely stenographers for the Palestinians. Nobody at the Telegraph even bothered to count the names, and neither did the AMCHR. This was a propaganda exercise, and a sloppy one at that.
Although Palestinian media and “human rights” outlets got the names of the dead from the Ministry of Health, there are so many falsehoods that we simply can’t know who died.'Bosnian fans stepped on Israeli flag, hurled anti-Jewish chants'
Perhaps Israel national team soccer player Ben Sahar was on to something.
The forward made waves before Friday’s Euro 2016 qualifying match against Bosnia - which Israel proceeded to lose 3-1 - when he said that “the hostile Muslim spectators at the game [in Zenica] will spur us on.”
His comment raised eyebrows, yet it appears that his concerns were well-founded. Pictures emerged of mobs of Bosnian fans stepping on a replica Israeli flag before the match. There were also reports that some extremist fans were chanting anti-Israel and anti-Jewish slogans.
Two goals by striker Edin Visca and a penalty from Edin Dzeko helped Bosnia to a 3-1 win, reviving the hosts' chances of reaching the finals in France.
Visca scored in the 42nd minute after Israel took a surprising lead against the run of play a minute earlier through striker Tal Ben Haim.On 65th Anniversary, Looking at UNRWA and its Hamas Ties
On April 18, two roadside bombs exploded in the Gaza Strip. Neither of the IEDs planted by Salafi jihadists opposed to Hamas rule in the enclave caused serious damage, but both explosions targeted United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) facilities. While the incidents were widely reported, there has been little questioning of why UNRWA buildings were targeted by those opposing Hamas. The logical conclusion is that in the eyes of those who planted the devices, Hamas and UNRWA are identified as cooperating entities.
Back in 2004, confirmation of UNRWA’s relationship with Hamas came from the very highest level when the U.N. organization’s long-time Commissioner-General, Peter Hansen, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, “I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don’t see that as a crime.” Hansen left his post soon after.
According to its critics, UNRWA allows the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to dictate what will be taught in UNRWA schools, including incitement against the State of Israel, the aspiration to martyrdom, and the demonization of Jews. Hamas is alleged to control the UNRWA teaching staff union and through those teachers, feed young and impressionable minds a diet of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic indoctrination. UNRWA vehemently denies this charge.ISIS Jihadist Tweets Pamela Geller's Home Address, Urges Followers to '#GoForth'
International Business Times (IBT) reports that a man believed to be British Islamic State jihadist "kingpin" Junaid Hussain tweeted free speech activist Pamela Geller's home address, apartment number and all, accompanied by the hashtag "#GoForth."
The tweet came just hours after a third man connected to a plot to kill her and to murder Boston police was arrested. Hussain's Twitter account, under the name Abu Hussain al-Britani, has since been suspended.
Just last month, two terrorists were killed and one security guard injured in Texas during a controversial “Draw Muhammad” contest organized by Geller, who heads a group called the American Freedom Defense Initiative. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.UN-Sanctioned Saudi Blood Libel: Another Obstacle to Peace
Although Israel has been providing free medical treatment to Syrian refugees as well as Palestinians from the disputed territories and even from Gaza, the U.N. World Health Organization singled out Israel as the one country in the world to be condemned for violating human health rights. Saudi Arabia, which sits as a member of the U.N. Human Rights Council, sponsored the exercise in the absurd.
If hypocrisy needed a poster child, the despotic and brutal regime of Saudi Arabia, which is currently bombing Yemenite civilians into oblivion and is advertising job openings for additional executioners (growth industry in Saudi Arabia), more than set the standard.
Worse, a majority of the so called “civilized” nations of the world supported the resolution, showing that subservience to the power of oil trumps any semblance of integrity in the international community.
The Saudis can be dismissed. It is unnecessary to delineate their acts of brutality. These have long appeared before the world. The Saudis’ hypocrisy is a mainstay of their propaganda. If not for their oil, their anti-Israel vitriol would be disregarded, as one day the changing nature of the energy market will cause it to be.
With the exception of naive, leftist college students who are taught that the U.N. is a citadel of virtue, no one will take a Saudi-sponsored resolution seriously.Why the Iran Nuclear Deal is a Hard Sell
With the June 30 deadline for a deal with Iran over its nuclear ambitions looming ominously, the Obama administration is having a hard time persuading a skeptical public that these negotiations are going to tame the Tehran regime.
On the two critical issues—preventing Iran from weaponizing its nuclear program, and rolling back the expansion of Iranian political and military influence throughout the region—all the evidence suggests that the White House is engaged in what Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former head of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, has bluntly called “wishful thinking.”
“It is clear that the nuclear deal is not a permanent fix but a placeholder,” Flynn told the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week. Iran, he continued, has “every intention” of building a nuclear weapon, and the desire of its Islamist regime to wipe Israel off the map is “very real.”
“Iran has not once contributed to the greater good of the security in the region,” Flynn declared, before concluding that “regime change” is the best means of preventing the mullahs from obtaining a nuclear weapon.Nuclear Deal-Breakers?
With less than three weeks to go before the P5+1 countries are slated to finalize the framework for a nuclear deal with Iran, an examination of where things stand today is in order.
The good news is that the regime in Tehran, ruled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is not likely to sign the agreement it ostensibly reached with the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia, China and Germany on April 2 in Lausanne.
The bad news is that U.S. President Barack Obama would rather risk having a mushroom cloud explode over the Middle East than let his fantasy of a diplomatic solution to global jihad go up in smoke.
None of this comes as a surprise. Obama’s dream of achieving a nuclear deal with the Islamic republic has been almost as great as his obsession with forcing Israel to establish a Palestinian state. And in each case, the fact that the realities on the ground make it impossible is of no consequence to him.State Dept Struggles to Explain Massive Nuke Concessions To Iran
State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke claimed Friday that the “goal posts haven’t moved” in Iran negotiations as he struggled to explain the administration’s latest concessions.
The United States is in negotiations with Iran in regards to their nuclear program. During Friday’s press briefing, Rathke struggled to define what concessions or conditions were required for the Iranians to meet for a nuclear deal to be achieved.
Associated Press reporter Matt Lee pressed Rathke to clarify what the United States objectives are for the negotiations.
LEE: But what if the concerns aren’t addressed? What if the access that they give doesn’t address the concerns? You already got the deal. They’re already getting sanctions relief. Or are you saying that if the concerns aren’t addressed at some point down the road, then they’re not going to get the sanctions relief that they would have gotten for that part of –
RATHKE: I’ve laid our position out clearly. It hasn’t changed.
LEE: Well, I’m very confused because it does seem that the goal posts seem to be moving.
RATHKE: No the goal posts haven’t moved.State Dept Struggles to Explain Massive Nuke Concessions To Iran
Iran reportedly stepping up shipments of arms, cash to Taliban
The Iranian government reportedly has stepped up shipments of weapons and money to the Taliban in Afghanistan in recent months.
According to The Wall Street Journal, which cited Afghan and Western officials in its report, Iran's motivations for stepping up support for the militants are to prevent ISIS from gaining a foothold in Afghanistan and providing a check on U.S. influence ahead of the planned withdrawal of most American troops by the end of 2016.
The report quotes a Taliban fighter as saying that the militants receive weapons from smugglers paid by Iran's government who traffic the contraband through the remote border region where Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan meet. Among the weapons Taliban units allegedly receive are mortars, machine guns, rifles, and rocket-propelled grenades. Iranian Professor: The Costs of Enriching Uranium Have Hurt Iran
In a public debate last month against an advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollahi Ali Khamenei, Prof. Sadegh Zibakalam of Tehran University, who is associated with the reformist movement in Iran, argued that Iran’s enrichment program has been expensive for the country with little benefit. His remarks were translated Tuesday by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Zibakalam argued that enriching uranium has huge direct operating costs, but the penalties for having an illicit enrichment program has hurt Iran even more. Zibakalam suggested that Iran would have been better off buying enriched uranium and incurring neither cost.
Zibakalam, who was sentenced to prison last year for questioning Iran’s nuclear program, made several references during the debate to not being allowed to express an opinion about the nuclear program. In a different forum last year, Zibakalam said that Iran’s threats against Israel were the reason Iran’s nuclear program is viewed with suspicion.Egypt opens border with Gaza for the first time in months
Egypt opened its borders with the Gaza Strip for the first time in months Saturday, allowing Palestinians to enter and leave the isolated coastal strip.
The Rafah border crossing will operate for six hours a day for the coming three days and 15,000 people Palestinians have applied to exit to Egypt, said Maher Abu Sabha, head of the Gaza side of the crossing. He said those were humanitarian cases and included medical patients, students and Arab residents whose residency permits were about to expire. However, he said only 1,500 of those were actually expected to pass through.
Rafah is Gaza’s only gateway to the outside world with no Israeli control. Egypt has kept it mostly closed since the militant Hamas group seized control of the coastal strip in 2007. The closure worsened after Egypt’s military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood member, in 2013. Hamas is an offshoot of the Brotherhood.
Egypt has opened the Rafah crossing in both directions only five days this year. Last month, it allowed the return of Palestinians stranded in Egypt.BDS activists playing by unprincipled rules
BDS activists constitute a fraction of students, and they know passing divestment resolutions means nothing. No university has divested. But divestment is a hood ornament. The long game is about winning over tomorrow’s decision-makers and persuading them to turn on Israel.
Which leads to the worst hypocrisy of all. Though they routinely cling to their First Amendment rights as they excoriate Israel, no one shuts down free speech like BDS activists.
They refuse to engage in dialogue with their counterparts. They shout down pro-Israel voices on campus. There is no debate. For BDS supporters, when it comes to Israel, case closed.
Guess what, BDS people? Case not closed. You know full well the Israeli-Palestinian issue is complicated. Since Israel isn’t going anywhere, the only moral way out is a peaceful solution.
If you want really want peace — and so many of you drape yourselves with the mantle of “peace activist” — then practice peace. You don’t have to break bread with Israel supporters, but at least break the ice.
If you’re so right about everything, what are you afraid of?Fighting the good fight
While this year I was spared the dubious pleasure, I have come across my fair share of mid-lecture protests.
Anti-Israeli students often stage walkouts, which is a form of silent protest. They stand up en masse during the lecture, reveal shirts bearing prints of the faces and names of children who were killed in the Gaza Strip, place duct tape over their mouths and walk out. Once outside the lecture hall, their protest becomes very loud.
We always ask them to stay, to ask us the hard questions, to deal with the issues. We explain that the road to peace includes bilateral dialogue, and if they believe in peace they should stay. They never do.
Arriving at the University of Pittsburgh, we met a relatively aggressive protest rally, and needed the help of campus security to make our way across campus.
"You see that student?" The security guard, pointing to a young man, asked us as we made our way to the lecture hall. "I see him in every rally. Last week he protested for the release of wild geese, for the boycott of North Korean products, and for having peanut butter snacks in the cafeteria. It's his only chance to get any dates."Orange CEO sows confusion on Israel trip aimed to resolve dispute
The CEO of French telecom giant Orange, in Israel on a visit he said was designed “to clear up the confusion” over its dealings here, failed to clarify the company’s plans for business and investment in the Jewish state, and instead seemed to sow further uncertainty.
Stephane Richard, who met on Friday with both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former president Shimon Peres, said in a TV interview Friday night that his firm was not withdrawing from Israel — “absolutely not,” he said — and would keep doing business here. But asked in a follow-up question whether “the brand of Orange will go out of Israel,” he answered, “I don’t know. We will see.”
He also claimed that comments he made last week in Cairo about wanting to withdraw from Israel were misunderstood and distorted, but did not clarify how Orange would resolve its relations with the Israeli firm Partner, which has the rights to its brand in Israel.Jews are Excluded from European Universities. Does it Ring a Bell?
The case of Orange, the French mobile phone company that is considering abandoning the Israeli market, was on the front pages of all major newspapers. But there is a silent boycott of the Jewish State which is more insidious, latent and even more dangerous because it undermines Israel's cultural superiority and cuts Israel's link with the rest of the world.
In 2002, the year of the beginning of the academic campaign against Israel, Paul Zinger, the head of the Scientific Association of Israel, revealed that more than seven thousand scientific research projects are sent from Israel abroad every year. Dozens of scientific papers were returned that year, with the terse explanation: "We refuse to examine any document from Israel". That phenomenon now seems out of control.
"The academic boycott is illegal according to all academic organizations in the world," says Professor Zvi Ziegler, a mathematician at the Technion (Institute of Technology in Haifa) and head of the main scientific forum fighting the boycott. "It is against progress, so you will not find universities or European academics who officially boycott Israel. But many do silently, behind the scenes".
Among the silent measures taken by the boycotters is refusing to participate in conferences held in Israel, ignoring requests to write letters of recommendation for Israeli scholars looking for promotions, and refusing contributions from Israeli scholars.
This happened to Oren Yiftachel, a leftist Ben Gurion University scholar, whose publication, sent to the magazine Political Geography, was refused by their saying that they did not accept anything that came from the state of the Jews. Finland’s Anti-Israel Disgrace Spawns New Activist Group
Finland excluded the centrist JNF from its "World Village Festival," but the pro-Israel forces did not take that sitting down.
The head of the Finnish branch of ICAHD, Skysy Räsänen, crowed that banning the JNF was “a victory for the BDS movement.”
KEPA also pointed to testimonies by, amongst others, Rabbis for Human Rights, as justification for banning the JNF.
While the JNF was mild in its response, there were some who were less so.
One organization, a brand new pro-Israel group that calls itself VOIS – Voice of Israel in Scandinavia, is a spin-off from a larger pro-Israel organization.
VOIS was galvanized by the rejection of JNF from the Festival. It set up a presence outside the gates to the Festival, and handed out pro-Israel literature, engaged with those entering the Village, and directly challenged the organizers of the event on the JNF ban.
One member of the group marched into the Village and spoke directly to Jonas Bistrom, KEPA’s development policy specialist. This VOIS member, Kenneth Sikorski, sought to engage Bistrom about the exclusion of the JNF from the Festival. Specifically, as Sikorski told the JewishPress.com, Bistrom was asked whether the WVF asked the JNF for a response to the allegations leveled against it, before the decision was made to exclude the pro-Israel organization. Sikorski also pressed Bistrom on whom KEPA had relied in making the exclusion determination.Israel crisis averted in Missouri as biology professor’s anti-Zionist course nixed
A University of Missouri (MU) fall 2015 honors tutorial that pro-Israel students felt would promote bigotry and misinformation on their college campus has been cancelled. “Perspectives on Zionism,” which was scheduled to be taught by self-proclaimed “post-Zionist” and “Nakba Jew-in-law” George Smith, was nixed due to no enrollment, according to a June 10 announcement.
Yet the catalyst behind the cancelled course—Smith, a tenured biology professor who pushed for a curriculum that the instructor himself said would have included works by anti-Zionist authors such as Ilan Pappé, who has accused Israel of ethnic cleansing—is very much active.
The pro-Israel community welcomed the news of the course’s cancellation.
“I can now walk away with the knowledge that there is no interest among students [at MU] to take biased classes like Smith’s,” said Destiny G. Albritton, former president of MU’s Christians United for Israel (CUFI) campus chapter.
“We salute the MU administration for upholding academic standards and being a model other schools can emulate,” Roz Rothstein, CEO of the Israel education organization StandWithUs, said.Northwestern University Rabbi Calls for Stronger Action After Latest Antisemitic Incident on Campus
A rabbi at Northwestern University said the school must take serious action against antisemitism on campus, following yet another incident of anti-Jewish graffiti on university grounds this week.
“We need the university to be aware of it, conscientious that it is painful, and vigilant in terms of trying to educate the student population about the important of diversity and what these types of hurtful symbols mean,” Chabad Rabbi Dov Klein told the Algemeiner. “Whether it’s a symbol against the Jewish community, against the African American community [or] against the Arab community, these things are not tolerated.”
Construction workers on campus discovered the antisemitic vandalism on Monday morning at the construction site of the new Kellogg School of Management building, The Chicago Tribune reported. The daubed images included a swastika which was painted over by construction personnel later that day.
The incident was the second case of antisemitic vandalism to take place at Northwestern in the past two months. In April, university police found a swastika drawn on the wall of a study lounge in the school’s library.CAMERA: Christian Zionism: The Antidote for the World's Oldest Hatred
In what was an historic, precedent-setting event, the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) sponsored a conference titled “People of the Land: A Twenty-First Century Case for Christian Zionism” in Washington D.C on April 17, 2015. This meeting was reportedly the first of its kind in that scholars presented academic arguments in support of a Christian Zionism that is rooted in two thousand years of ecumenical theological traditions.
This symposium was significant in that the content presented in eleven papers represents an essential, and long over-due, scholarly contribution to the dialogue about Zionism in the Christian world. The combined presentations made a theological and historical case for a Christian Zionism that is substantively different than the Zionist movement supported by dispensationalists and proponents of an End Times eschatology.
As IRD President Mark Tooley pointed out:
Contrary to common critique, Christian Zionism is not a modern political movement, popularized by Left Behind fiction — it dates to the early Church Fathers.
In other words, Christian Zionism did not begin with the belief in premillenial dispensationalism first introduced in the nineteenth century through the work of John Nelson Darby and made popular in the United States through the Scofield Reference Bible. Rather, Christian Zionism is rooted in theological traditions as old as the Church itself.ADL Concerned Over Spike in Antisemitic Crimes in New York
The Anti-Defamation League expressed concern over the latest New York Police Department’s crime report, which indicated higher levels of antisemitic crime so far this year.
“The increased number of reported antisemitic incidents is significant and troubling,” said ADL Regional Director for New York Evan R. Bernstein.
But the ADL does not believe that the spike in incidents, 53 hate crimes against Jews this year, are a cause for alarm, said Bernstein.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force said there was a 29 percent rise in antisemitic crimes this year, over the same period in 2014.Anti-Semitic incidents reach all-time high in Canada
Recorded anti-Semitic incidents reached an all-time high in Canada last year, indicates B’nai Brith’s annual audit.
The yearly tally, released June 11, shows there were 1,627 reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2014, a 28 percent increase over the year before.
The previous record was 1,345 incidents in 2012.
Most cases last year – 84 percent or 1,370 incidents – involved harassment; there were 238 reported incidents of vandalism, or 15 percent of all cases; and 1 percent of recorded incidents, or 19 cases, involved violence.
Reported incidents of vandalism in 2014 declined over the year before by nearly 40 percent. But cases of harassment increased by nearly 30 percent.Mexican girls’ cheer-dance team does Nazi-themed routine
A cheer-dance team in Mexico drew criticism Friday for a routine in which they displayed flags with swastikas, dressed in pseudo-military outfits. One girl also appeared to toss a Nazi salute to the crowd.
The performance by about two dozen girls aged 10 to 16 and one boy came at a cheer-dance competition in the western city of Guadalajara at the end of May.
The girls wore red armbands, camouflage dance outfits and carried red flags as they strutted in marching-style formations.
A video of the performance drew condemnation when it began to circulate Friday on social media sites.
On local news sites, many readers said the girls probably didn’t know much about the Nazis, and blamed the event organizers and the team’s choreographer for the questionable routine.Hungarian ex-mayor fired over anti-Semitic tirade
A Hungarian county’s government fired a former department chief after he was heard making anti-Semitic sentiments in a recording that surfaced online.
Imre Sisak, a former lawmaker for Hungary’s Socialist Party, MSZP, was fired Tuesday from his position as the head of a department within the local government of the northern country of Nógrád, ATV reported.
In the audio recording, which surfaced online in April, Sisak rants about how “foreign trade companies are all run by dirty Jews” and describes the Jewish people as “a vile, dirty folk.” He referenced the late Jewish mayor of Paszto, Laszlo Kramer, as an example proving his point. Kramer passed away in 2013. Sisak served as Paszto’s mayor from 1998 to 2014.
According to ATV, Sisak eulogized Kramer after his passing, highlighting in a statement the late mayor’s “readiness, devotion to his voters and town, willingness to help and constructive attitude.” He also credited Kramer with “greatly contributing to the town, including by setting up an ambulance post.”Israeli Water Experts Present Green Walls at Expo Milano
Israeli water experts traveled to the 2015 Expo Milano on food production, culture and diplomacy, to present the latest Israeli water-saving technologies.
Among advancements Israeli innovators presented were so-called green walls, vertical gardens soiled directly into indoor and outdoor walls.
The Israeli team showed a green wall that had been planted along the Israeli pavilion at the event. The wall was about 230 feet long by 39 feet high, planted with rice, wheat and corn, and managed through a computer program and mobile app, Chinese Xinhua news reported on Thursday.Smart energy for off-the-grid rural towns
A new demo village in southern Israel’s Arava Desert showcases cutting-edge Israeli solutions for housing, energy, water and agriculture needs of populations out of reach of national water and energy grids in any part of the world.
The village, built in the environmentally forward Kibbutz Ketura ahead of last December’s sixth annual Eilat-Eilot Green Energy Conference, is a central feature of the Eilat-Eilot Off-Grid Hub, a project of the nonprofit Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Initiative.
The village has three solar-powered model structures constructed by volunteers from Kibbutz Lotan’s Eco-Building Program – a thatch-roofed communal building with simple yet innovative sources of natural light and ventilation; a straw-and-wool insulated plywood house roofed with palm leaves (for ventilation) and metal (for protection from the elements); and a dome-shaped, thermally balanced “Earth Bag” house made with sacks of local soil.
These structures spark creative thinking about inexpensive, sustainable green building, says Tomer Weinstein, manager of the Eilat-Eilot Off-Grid Hub.Britain’s Prince William Praises Jewish Unity Amid Threats
Britain’s Prince William praised the country’s Jews on Thursday for staying unified amid threats against their community, the UK’s Jewish News reported.
His remarks were made in London at his first ever speaking engagement at a Jewish event.
“During a year when many in the Jewish community have had cause to feel under threat, for no reason other than simply the fact of your Jewishness, your unity is all the more precious,” he said at Jewish Care’s 25th anniversary dinner at Alexandra Palace. “Your commitment and loyalty to one another, and to society more widely, is ultimately what keeps you strong.”
Addressing more than 1,400 guests at the event, the Duke of Cambridge said British Jews deserve “particular praise” for caring for one another and for their generosity throughout history. He added, “The results of your commitment to one another within the Jewish community are obvious – the real and loving care that thousands of elderly and vulnerable people receive, among the many works that you carry out.”
The Prince also paid tribute to Jewish Care as a leader in providing health and social care services, especially in relation to dementia, to vulnerable members of the Jewish community in and around London. The organization operates a Holocaust Survivors Center that William said serves as “a second home” to its residents.
UN grants observer status to Hamas-linked NGO
Israel slams decision saying the British-based Palestinian advocacy group is a 'front' for Hamas
A British-based Palestinian advocacy group allegedly linked to Hamas was on Monday granted an observer status at the United Nations, in a move that sparked ire among Israeli officials.
The decision to approve the application of the Palestinian Return Center (PRC) was made by the 19-member Committee on NGOs, which is understood to be dominated by Israel's regional arch enemy Iran.
Israel's UN mission issued a statement condemning the decision.
The group, which does not acknowledge Israel's right to exist, has denied allegations by the Israeli government and other bodies that it acts as “a front” for Hamas. Yet in 2010 it was outlawed in Israel over suspected Hamas links.
Twelver[sic] members of the Committee on NGOs voted in favor of the motion (Including Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey, Venezuela, China and Cuba), three were against in (USA, Uruguay and Israel), and three abstained (India, Russia and Greece). Burundi was absent from the vote.
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor slammed the decision, saying “Until today, the UN has given Hamas discounts and let it strengthen its activities. Now, the UN went one step further, and gave Hamas a welcoming celebration at its main entrance, allowing it to be a full participant.
"According to this script, one day we may find Hezbollah sitting at the Security Council and ISIS voting at the Human Rights Council. This is the peak season for the UN’s Theatre of the Absurd." (h/t Yenta Press)JPost Editorial: Jew Hatred
Turkey’s Jews are looking for a way out in part because they are concerned by anti-Semitic comments made by the leaders of the Islamist Justice and Development Party. In 2013, for instance, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused an “interest rate lobby” of backing the widespread anti-government protests that he said were aimed at bringing down the economy and toppling his government. This was a thinly veiled attack on “Jewish banking interests.”
Last May, after Freedom House downgraded press freedom in Turkey from “partly free” to “not free” – thus putting the country in the same category as Libya, South Sudan, Ukraine, and Zambia – Erdogan said the move was motivated by Jewish and American interests.
“Could you expect a Freedom House ranking of world media to draft a positive about Turkey while David Cramer, a Jew, or James Woolsey, a CIA boss, or Donald Rumsfeld, a drug baron, are at its helm?” he asked.
Instead of admitting that there has been a serious crackdown on freedom of the press, Erdogan has instead deflected criticism by deploying conspiracy theories.
In Ankara and Buenos Aires, in the corridors of FIFA and Tehran, Jew-hatred blinds people to the facts, undermines the rational process of learning from mistakes and is ultimately self-destructive. Venomous anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism can only be obstacles to rational decision- making.
World powers should especially be reminded of this truth as they deal with the Iranian regime, which does not hide its hatred toward Israel, ahead of the scheduled deadline for a nuclear deal at the end of this month. Turkey's 'Jerusalem Fetish'
It is truly fascinating that Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, a professor of political science, believes that Jerusalem, built a millennium before the birth of Islam, is originally a Muslim city. And that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, -- Saudis should please not get offended -- thinks Jerusalem is the Muslims' "most important Mecca."
Jerusalem has always had a spectacular place in a Turkish Islamist's heart and mind. But pre-election fervor in Turkey has lifted their "Jerusalem fetish" to new heights.
Turkey's Islamists today look like Egypt's second president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, a Pan-Arab nationalist, and his army commanders almost half a century ago. On May 16, 1967, Nasser ordered U.N. Emergency Force Commander, Indar Jit Rykhye, to evacuate his force from the Sinai buffer zone within 48 hours. When Rykhye asked one Egyptian commander if Egypt was aware of the consequences, the commander replied: "Oh sir, I'll meet you at lunch in Tel Aviv." The UN force left, and Egypt and Israel were left alone to fight the 1967 war. This author does not know where the Egyptian commander had lunch the next day, but definitely not in Tel Aviv. His words, however, may have inspired Turkey's leaders.
Prime Minister Davutoglu, formerly foreign minister, has reiterated countless times since he joined the Turkish cabinet in 2009 that, "We will have prayers at the al-Aqsa mosque in the Palestinian capital 'Quds' ([Jerusalem]." This wish remains to be fulfilled. But that does not discourage Turkish leaders from cherishing increasing doses of "Jerusalem-fetish."
When a Kurdish politician said in a public speech that "Jerusalem is the holy city for the Jews," a furious Davutoglu held a rally and said at the top of his voice: "Jerusalem is our holy place;" and that he would never allow the city's "Islamic character" to change.
Seth Frantzman: Success and pitfalls of Palestinian anti-normalization
In the worldview of anti-normalization the theory is that while peace activists holding hands next to Damascus Gate and singing brings together Jews and Arabs in an example of coexistence, this makes Israeli rule appear benign.
The main thrust of anti-normalization activists is devoted to pressuring Palestinians not to cooperate with Israeli Jews. Professor Mohammed Dajani fell afoul of this in March 2014 when he took students from Al-Quds University to visit Auschwitz. He told an interviewer at Moment Magazine what happened next: “Students marched to my office holding placards that said ‘depart you normalizer’ and handed my secretary a letter warning me not to come back to the university.”
Dajani was critiqued in the Palestinian media. In another interview the professor noted that while Palestinians do not object to organizations that discuss moderation and peace, “They are against normalization of relations with Israel and the Israelis. But you cannot disconnect one from the other... if you believe in moderation you believe in peace and reconciliation... you can’t make peace with the other without dialogue with the other.”
But the anti-normalization agenda says it is better to sever relations with Israelis entirely, whether it is academic cooperation, peace hugs, research or anything.
A Palestinian woman who works with Israeli peace activists and appeared on a radio show hosted by Israelis told me she was criticized by her friends as a “normalizer.”
“They said I should cut off all ties with Israelis and Jews,” she said.
The violent attack on the hug event was indicative that those who think they are opposing “normalization” often can’t tell the difference between Palestinians, Israelis, Jews or foreign activists. Ben-Dror Yemini: BDS is a threat to Israel's very existence
ISIS? Iran? North Korea? The industry of lies spun by the BDS movement is convincing more and more people that Israel is the source of evil in the world. Make no mistake: This is not a campaign against settlements. It's a war on the legitimacy of the Jewish state. All reasonable forces, from right and left, must act against the economic, academic, and cultural boycott which has become a strategic threat. Yedioth Ahronoth is enlisting in the fight back.
Support for Israel in the United States is at its peak. But it's an illusion. On campuses, at research institutes, and in media outlets, there has been a consistent, protracted, and dangerous erosion of support for Israel.
It is already invading politics. Sidney Blumenthal was a senior advisor to Bill Clinton. His son, Max Blumenthal, has become a prominent and venomous activist on campuses against Israel's very existence. This isn't what happens in every Jewish family. Far from it. But that's the trend.
Israel is enduring one of the most systematic attacks against its existence. You don't need to be part of the BDS movement in order to be on the anti-Israel front.
When a member of Breaking the Silence appears at events sponsored by BDS, that is not criticism. That is demonization.
When Peter Beinart, one of the leaders of the Jewish left in the United States, who defines himself as a Zionist and Orthodox, claimed that on Lag BaOmer of 2014 Jews committed a pogrom against Palestinians, he was not working to criticize. He spread a blood libel.
When Richard Goldstone published the report bearing his name, he caused a propaganda hit to Israel, even though he recanted after some time. And the list is a long one.
The success of BDS is particularly impressive because it is a movement that uses the language of rights, but deals in practice with denying Israel's right to exist. The result is a major deception. Cruz Accepts "Defender of Israel" Award, Promises Unwavering Support
Accepting the "Defender of Israel" award from the World Values Network at the Third Annual Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala last Thursday night, Senator Ted Cruz said that "The nation of Israel has never been in more jeopardy."
As a presidential candidate, he made his support for Israel crystal-clear, and spoke strongly against the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.
Among his comments were calls for moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, for defunding the Palestinian Authority because of incitement against Israel and partnering with HAMAS, and for defunding the United Nations if it continued to target Israel.
Regarding the BDS movement, which he called "anti-Semitism, plain and simple," Cruz said that any U.S. University that boycotts Israel will forfeit federal taxpayer dollars.
His 15-minute remarks were interrupted after virtually every sentence with loud whoops and applause from a room that included such notables as Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Elie Wiesel, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the U.S.In slog for White House, Graham hacks path through Mideast
When kicking off his campaign Monday, South Carolina’s senior senator is sure to blast President Barack Obama’s withdrawal of troops from Iraq, insist on the need to strong-arm Iran over its nuclear program and work to subdue the violent Islamic State fighters who have gained footholds in Iraq and Syria.
Yet in the early days of the 2016 campaign for president, Graham has already gone further than most of his rivals for the GOP nomination in saying how he would tackle such problems, while acknowledging the potential costs of his strategy.
Graham wants to put an additional 10,000-plus US troops into Iraq, adding to the several thousand there now working as trainers and advisers only. He says it could take even more troops to stabilize the Middle East over time, adding “more American soldiers will die in Iraq and eventually in Syria to protect our homeland.”
The Islamic State extremists, Graham argued at a recent campaign stop, “want to purify their religion and they want to destroy ours and blow up Israel. Every day they get stronger over there, the more likely we are to get hit over here.”
He added, “I don’t know how to defend this nation, ladies and gentlemen, with all of us sitting here at home.”
It’s a calculated risk for the 59-year-old three-term senator and retired Air Force lawyer who surprised many when he began to hint earlier this year he would run for president.Farhud ingrained on our history
The Iraqi government formed a commission of inquiry to investigate the riots, and found that the Nazi propaganda broadcast from Berlin was a key factor, and that the prolonged incitement against the Jews had prompted their murders by Muslim rioters.
The committee also found that actions by Grobba and then-Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who fled to Iraq in 1939, had contributed greatly to the Farhud.
Still, despite its significance in modern Jewish history, the Farhud is relatively unknown in Israel, and its events are excluded from the education system's curriculum.
One must wonder why the Mizrahi narrative goes untaught in Israel. How many Holocaust survivors from Libya, Morocco or Tunisia have even been interviewed by the media?
The history of European Jews in studied in Israel as if it is the history of the Jewish people as a whole, and there is borderline criminal neglect in teaching the Sephardi heritage. Students are taught about the toll World War II and the Holocaust took on Europe to great extent, but they know nearly nothing about the toll it took on the Jewish communities in Libya, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, and so on.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev would be wide to introduce the rich culture of Sephardi Jews into the curriculum, as they now make up over 55% of Israelis.
Edy Cohen is a research fellow at Bar-Ilan University.Jewish guys with Nazi guns
For a lowly ex-GI with little fondness for military punctilio, the offer was too good to turn down and off I went in Gorn’s jeep. We soon arrived at the unit’s encampment and I quickly noticed that something was missing: There were no anti-tank guns in sight, only one wooden replica of a cannon.
When I pointed out the omission, Gorn assured me that as soon as the Israeli infantry captured a gun from the enemy, we would be in business.
Indeed, within a short time, the unit welcomed a 17-pound artillery piece that had been seized from the Jordanian Legion. We made do with this venerable weapon until the battle of Faluja, where Israeli troops surrounded a sizable Egyptian force under the command of one Col. Abdel Nasser, later to become president of Egypt.
The beleaguered Egyptians fought stubbornly, but one day our unit, part of the encircling Israeli force, received a perfect present – a shipment of anti-tank guns from Czechoslovakia that was originally destined for Germany’s Wehrmacht. The weapons were so new, they were still wrapped in the original oilcloth, which we quickly ripped off to discover a curious emblem stamped into the side of the gun barrel – a big, fat swastika.
Irony doesn’t get much better than that – a bunch of Jewish guys firing a swastika-emblazoned gun at the enemy.Slain soldier’s niece lobbies to bring down theater over play inspired by killer
As on the night of April 25, when a 26-year-old medical student stood outside the Arabic theater holding a photo of the murdered uncle she never met — IDF soldier Moshe Tamam — while inside, a play based on one of the men serving a life sentence for his killing — Walid Daka — unfolded on stage.
“I was physically attacked by one of the actresses. They also called me a ‘murderer’ and a ‘Nazi,’” Ortal Tamam said of the protest. “It was a terrible night.”
Now, Tamam, a genetic researcher, is spearheading an effort to get the theater’s funding pulled entirely. In a little over a month, she has garnered nearly 13,000 signatures on an online petition, and says she has the backing of Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog and Kulanu chair Moshe Kahlon to boot.
Following complaints from the Tamam family, the Haifa municipality suspended its NIS 1.2 million ($300,000) in annual funding from the theater and set up a panel of inquiry to evaluate the content of the play and its future steps. The panel has since met twice, and was expected to announce its decision next week.
But the Al-Midan management maintains the play, “A Parallel Time,” while admittedly partly based on Daka’s life, is simply a fictionalized account of the day-to-day activities of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, and does not address, nor does it glorify, acts of terror.Welfare Jihad in Europe
Anjem Choudary, a British-born radical Islamic cleric who lives off the British welfare state, has repeatedly urged his followers to quit their jobs and claim unemployment benefits so they have more time to plot holy war against non-Muslims.
Choudary believes that Muslims are entitled to welfare payments because they are a form of jizya, a tax imposed on non-Muslims in countries run by Muslims, as a reminder that non-Muslims are permanently inferior and subservient to Muslims.
In 2010, The Sun reported that Choudary takes home more than £25,000 ($39,000) a year in welfare benefits. Among other handouts, Choudary receives £15,600 a year in housing benefit to keep him in a £320,000 ($495,000) house in Leytonstone, East London. He also receives £1,820 council tax allowance, £5,200 income support and £3,120 child benefits. Because his welfare payments are not taxed, his income is equivalent to a £32,500 ($50,000) salary. By comparison, the average annual earnings of full-time workers in Britain was £26,936 ($41,000) in 2014.
Although analysts are divided over the question of how many followers Choudary actually has, no one disputes the fact that he is far from alone in exploiting the British welfare system.
British taxpayers have footed the bill for the Moroccan-born Najat Mostafa, the second wife of the Egyptian-born Islamic hate preacher Abu Hamza, who was extradited to the United States in October 2012. She has lived in a £1 million, five-bedroom house in one of London's wealthiest neighborhoods for more than 15 years, and has raised the couple's eight children there.
Abu Hamza and his family are believed to have cost British taxpayers more than £338,000 in benefits. He has also received £680,000 in legal assistance for his failed U.S. extradition battle. The cost of keeping him in a British prison since 2004 is estimated at £500,000.Legal Insurrection: Israelis shelter in place near Gaza
All along the Gaza border, Israel is building shelters and people are staying.
Our journey off the usual tourist trail through Israel continued today with a visit to border areas near Gaza.
Sderot is famous for being the closest Israeli town to Gaza, and the first and most frequent target. The Sderot Media Center has a wealth of information.
Because Sderot is so close, the town has only 15 seconds warning once a launch is detected.
There are bomb shelters everywhere, including on the street (see Featured Image – “Shalom” painted on a bomb shelter) and in the playground, where the bomb shelter is in the form of a large caterpillar so as to make it more welcoming to children.
Individual homes and apartment buildings are being retrofitted with “safe rooms” at government expense.
We met with Sderot’s security chief, David Shneor, who showed us the underground facility used during times of crisis as the town’s emergency response command center.JCPA: Intra-Arab Rifts the Real Reason for Palestinians’ FIFA Failure
The Palestinians’ failure to get Israel expelled from Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is no cause for Israeli complacency. The reason that the Palestinian attempt failed has less to do with Israeli diplomacy, and more to do with intra-Arab rifts.
Behind the intra-Arab rift stands tension between Qatar, on the one hand, and Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States, on the other. The latter view Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup in Doha in 2022 as an effort to promote the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda on the world stage. The Gulf States watched with concern as Qatar recruited FIFA President Sepp Blatter to its cause. In response, they backed Prince Ali of Jordan against Blatter in order to stop the Brotherhood from gaining access to Europe via the World Cup.
There are other political concerns at stake as well. Qatar has earmarked Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian Football Association, Fatah activist and former head of the Palestinian Preventive Security Force, to succeed Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas once he steps down. Rajoub, for his part, maintains close ties with Hamas in Gaza. (His counterpart in Gaza is Abd al-Salam Haniyeh, son of the Hamas prime minister.) The issue of freedom of movement between Gaza and the West Bank is aimed at creating a convenient link between Hamas and the West Bank. Thus, Qatar’s backing of Rajoub as eventual PA president is aimed at opening the West Bank to Hamas.Say it Loud, Say it Clear: No World Cup for Qatar
In a normal world, it wouldn’t be Israel that is the target of a campaign for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions. The tiny Gulf emirate of Qatar is a far better candidate.
Why Qatar? There are many reasons. Let’s start with its internal system of governance. Although a smattering of ordinances inherited from the period of British rule remain in place, Qatar is a state based on Islamic sharia law. Practically, that means you can be stoned to death for blasphemy, apostasy and, of course, the paramount “crime” of homosexuality. And if you’re a non-Muslim about to fall in love with a Muslim in Qatar, don’t—such “illicit” sexual relations will result in your receiving several lashes.
About 2 million people live in Qatar, but only 10 percent of the population, at most, possess the rights accorded to full Qatari citizens. There’s a word for that, and it’s frequently applied, deceitfully and wrongly, to Israel. I’m talking about apartheid, of course. The term is far more accurate in the Qatari case because, as in South Africa during the bad old days, a wealthy, privileged, and enfranchised minority rules over a downtrodden, disenfranchised majority. The group that suffers most from this grotesque system are Qatar’s migrant workers, estimated at approximately 1.4 million, who come to the emirate to earn money for their families back in countries like Bangladesh and Nepal, and who end up, quite literally, as slaves in private houses or on construction sites.FIFA suspect uses fake news in defense
Warner, 72, was arrested in Trinidad and Tobago last Wednesday on bribery charges as part of a massive bust of top soccer officials. He was pushed out of FIFA four years earlier amid another bribery scandal, which he blamed at the time on “Zionists.”
In a video uploaded to his personal website Sunday, Warner held up a printout of an article from the satirical news site the Onion titled “FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup in the United States.”
He goes on to suggest that US efforts to prosecute former FIFA officials stemmed from the country’s “failed bid to host the World Cup.”
“The US applied to hold the World Cup in 2022 and they lost the bid to Qatar — a small country, an Arabic country, a Muslim country,” Warner said in the video recording, which was also uploaded to Facebook and YouTube. “I could understand the US embarrassment.”Helsinki Environmental ‘World Village’ Bans Jewish National Fund
The Finnish “World Village festival emphasizing the environment has banned the participation of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), the largest environmental organization in Israel. The Finnish government feigned it was powerless to interfere in the boycott and told the Israeli Ambassador to Helsinki that it has no say in the matter because the “Maailma Kylässä” festival is a “private event.”
Dan Ashbel, the Israeli ambassador to Finland, said:
I wonder how this scandalous decision is consistent with values such as eco-friendliness, fairness, tolerance, and the desire for peace. I wonder if the rest of the organizations in the festival are required to stand up to the same criteria.”
However, the Finnish government’s security forces were able to convince the World Village to ban the Freedom of Speech village, warning that an exhibition supporting the freedom of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine to publish cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed might cause violence.
The JNF has planted 240 million trees since 1901, and Israel is one of only two countries in the world that registered a net increase in the number of trees at the beginning of the 21st century.United Church of Christ and The "Big Lie"
In just a few weeks, on June 26-30, the opening gavel will sound on United Church of Christ (UCC) General Synod. Two of the many proposals this national Synod will entertain call on the church to divest from Israel, and one of them will propose declaring that Israel's actions towards the Palestinians constitute "apartheid."
The UCC, representing approximately 1.2 million members in 5,100 churches in the USA, is just one of the member churches of the World Council of Churches (WCC), which insists on making Israel the whipping boy of a misguided "peace and justice" agenda. In June, UCC member delegates will have an opportunity to determine the direction of their denomination.
Sadly, the UCC delegates' choices regarding Israel will be based on documents, "proofs" and appeals built upon a foundation of lies, false choices and political fantasies that accuse Israel of being an "Apartheid State" and an "illegal occupier of Palestinian land."
The UCC's attacks against Israel are not alone on the Christian world stage. The UCC is but one small example of a growing number of Christian groups that advocate against Israel by using what some have called "The Big Lie."George Galloway would rally support for Palestinian cause if he became London Mayor
George Galloway has said he will use his position to rally support for the Palestinian cause if he succeeds in his campaign to become mayor of London.
The Respect Party leader said he would not call for the city to be an "Israel-free zone" as he did in Bradford when he was an MP there.
But he said that he would use the mayoralty to promote his "moral position" on the conflict in the Middle East.
"The mayor is not the pope and the mayor is not the president and he is not the prime minister or the foreign secretary," he told the BBC1 Sunday Politics programme.
"Of course, it's unimplementable. It is a moral position and my moral position on Palestine is well known.
"It would certainly be my aim to encourage the huge swell of pro-Palestinian support in London. Palestine has more supporters in London than anywhere else in the country."
The maverick left winger announced that he would be standing in next year's mayoral election after he lost his Bradford West parliamentary seat to Labour in last month's general election. Pro-Israel lobby to be formed in Polish parliament
Seventy years after the Holocaust, the Jewish state will be getting its first-ever pro-Israel caucus in the parliament of Poland, at an historic launching ceremony Monday in Warsaw.
The Israel Allies Foundation will launch its 32nd Israel Allies Caucus around the world when its representatives and those of the World Jewish Congress meet with Jewish and Christian leaders in Poland to mobilize support for Israel through faith-based diplomacy.
The new Polish Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus hopes to garner support for the State of Israel through their shared Judeo-Christian values.
“As anti-Semitism continues to rise in Europe and around the world, it is moving to witness this historic initiative by members of the Polish parliament to publicly support the Jewish state just 70 years after the Holocaust,” said former MK Shai Hermesh, chairman of WJC-Israel.
Besides Hermesh, the Israeli delegation includes Knesset Christian Allies Caucus director Josh Reinstein, Israel Allies Foundation European Director Andras Patkai, WJC Israel executive director, Sam Grudwerg, Col. Moshe Leshem, Dr. Laurence Weinbaum, and Israel’s Ambassador to Poland Anna Azari.Guardian descends into bizarre anti-Israeli dreamland…literally
By way of a perverse kind of optimism, there have been those among us who have predicted that at some point the anti-Israel brigade in Britain would eventually run out of steam. After all, once you’ve flung totally false charges of racism, imperialism, colonialism, ethnic cleansing, Nazism, war crimes etc for long enough, surely you’ll just get bored and move on. But where?
If the latest preposterous offering from the Guardian is anything to go by, you go into dreamland, literally. Think I’m making this up? Try this from Dr. Giles Fraser, whose author byline describes him as “priest-in-charge at St Mary’s Newington in south London and the former canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral.”
Dr Fraser’s article is headlined, Little wonder that my dreams in Nablus are so disturbing, and it begins with him waking up at 3am in his hotel in Nablus after dreaming about a ginger cat and some animal described as a cross between a mouse and a spider. After a short while, he goes to sleep again:
“But dreams return. I am walking down the street with a woman, next to a large concrete wall. I can hear panicked shouts, the sound of a large number of young people on the other side. Suddenly, one of the panels of the wall rotates, like a revolving door.
“Through the opening I glimpse people running away from something, but the source of the panic is unclear. She goes through the concrete door. I do not. The door closes. I hear more shouting. I don’t know if I should have gone through with her. All I know is that we are separated. I wake again, sweating, confused, frightened.”The Guardian sympathetically portrays extremist group ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’
If the Guardian had checked the links at Canary Mission’s site, or engaged in even a minimal amount of original research, they would have easily established that the group’s claims regarding the extremist nature of SJP are completely accurate.
- SJP was founded in 2001 by Hatem Bazian, an extremist who endorsed an intifada in Palestine and the U.S., and expressed support for Islamist attacks on American soldiers in Iraq.
- SJP has staged events in which Israel was compared to Nazi Germany.
- SJP chapters hosted antisemitic speakers.
- SJP chapter events have included Hamas and Islamic Jihad supporters.
- SJP members have physically assaulted Jewish students on campus and often disrupt pro-Israel events.
- Protests organized by SJP chapters have included hate-speech and chants such as “From the River to the Sea Palestine will be Free” – calling for the destruction of the Jewish State.
- SJP members have been condemned for using social media site to post antisemitic graphics. In 2014, SJP’s Tumblr account actually published a Nazi propaganda poster, captioned “Liberators”, seen here:
Finally, note the photo (seen at the beginning of this post) the Guardian used – a still shot taken from an SJP rally at Northeastern University in Boston in 2014 – designed to portray SJP activists in a sympathetic light.
As you can see in the following clip of the very protest in question, members of the group can be heard chanting their support for another violent intifada.Kevin Connolly continues the BBC’s amplification of anti-Israel delegitimisation
Once again, no effort was made by Connolly to provide listeners with the necessary background information which would help them understand why the Israeli army and intelligence services should be interested in the activities of people such as Mahmoud Sarsak or Omar Abu Rois. And whilst Connolly again interviewed Israeli footballer Yossi Benayoun along with former Israeli diplomat Alan Baker, neither of those interviewees represent an official Israeli response.
As readers may be aware, in the end Jibril Rajoub withdrew his original motion from the FIFA agenda – for the time being at least and much to the chagrin of many. Interestingly, there has to date been no coverage of that development in the story on the BBC News website’s Middle East page.
The outstanding feature of all the BBC’s coverage of this latest Palestinian attempt to delegitimize Israel in the international arena is of course that – in common with its coverage of stories relating to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – the corporation has on the one hand failed to adequately explain to its audiences the political motivations lying behind the move whilst simultaneously giving uncritical and unqualified amplification to spurious labels such as “racism” and “apartheid”.
That editorial policy makes the BBC a self-conscripted partner in the carefully orchestrated campaign to portray Israel as an entity which no right-minded person can countenance and that of course is an issue upon which the publicly funded broadcaster must be held to account. 42+1 years on BBC still refrains from using the word terror
On May 27th the BBC World Service sent the following Tweet to its one hundred and ninety-four thousand followers.
The link promoted in that tweet leads to a filmed report which was actually first broadcast a year ago. As was noted here then, the synopsis to that report about the 1972 Lod Airport Massacre makes no use of the words terror, terrorism or terrorists.
That observation still stands. Hollande warns of resurgent anti-Semitism
French President Francois Hollande reiterated statements against anti-Semitism at a ceremony honoring a part-Jewish victim of the Nazis along with three other resistance fighters.
Hollande made the statements on Wednesday, at a ceremony for the reburial of the resistance fighters’ remains in the French republic’s Pantheon in Paris.
“Seventy years on, these hatreds re-emerge,” Hollande said of the racism promoted by the Nazis and their French collaborators during Germany’s occupation of France. The haters have “different faces and under different circumstances, but always with the same words, and the same intentions. They target innocents, journalists, Jews and policemen,” Hollande said.
He also linked Nazi hatred to the killing of 17 people in Paris, in a series of attacks by Muslim fanatics in Paris in January. On Jan. 11, millions took to the streets in Paris to protest the killings.Belgian cop says he’d ‘kill each and every Jew’
A junior police officer in Belgium is facing dismissal after saying he would kill “each and every Jew” during a debate on Facebook this past Friday.
“The word Jew itself is dirty. If I were in Israel, frankly, I would do to the Jews what they do with the Palestinians — slaughter each and every one of them,” wrote the officer, who was only referred to as Mohamed N. in Belgian media.
The debate quickly spiraled as the officer ignored requests from others in the discussion to tone down his statements, according to a report in Belgian paper Le Soir.
The officer was going by the pseudonym Bebeto Gladiateur.
“If this is true, this gentleman will see the door. There is no question about it,” Le Soir quoted Molenbeek Mayor Françoise Schepmans as saying. “The guardians of the peace assume a role of mediation in the community. They are the image of communal authority. His words shocked me… I cannot tolerate such an attitude of a communal agent.”Music used as resistance to the Nazis captures new audiences
It might be hearing the survivors’ haunting voices, singing Yiddish songs recorded after the Holocaust, or maybe it’s listening to romantic songs from the “cabaret” at Westerbork, where Jews awaited weekly transports to death.
With many back-stories to choose from, a new wave of researchers and artists is elevating “music as resistance” to the forefront of Holocaust education. A leading project is the traveling mega-production called “Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin,” a memorial concert for the musical prisoners of the Nazi camp Theresienstadt, also known as Terezin, outside Prague.
Launched in 2002, the production hinges on a lavish, full orchestra performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s seminal Requiem, a Roman Catholic funeral mass. It was this complex Latin arrangement that Jewish conductor Raphael Schachter, imprisoned in Theresienstadt, chose to perform with a chorus of 150 fellow prisoners in 1943.
To build their story around the 84-minute Verdi masterpiece, “Defiant Requiem” creators interspersed it with live narration, video testimony from Theresienstadt survivors, and “show” footage shot by Nazis inside the camp. The finished product has been performed more than 30 times around the world, and recently wrapped a coast-to-coast US tour.Midburn – The freedom to be different
It’s three in the morning, and I’m lying on a mattress inside the Kino Time Resonance Pyramid, absorbing the throbbing, pulsating music emanating from the highest-quality loudspeakers. My audial senses saturated, I emerge into the star-filled Negev landscape as multitude lasers paint psychedelic pictures in the sky.
Draped in ubiquitous desert dust, I walk past the enormous pile of glowing embers that a few hours earlier was “Adam and Eve,” a towering wooden effigy of a man and woman that had imploded in a pyrotechnic orgy.
Hundreds of happy, dust-covered revelers dance like there’s no tomorrow in half-a-dozen installations around the sprawling site of Midburn, the Israeli version of the iconic Burning Man festival held annually in the Nevada desert.
The second Midburn, which ended a week ago near David Ben-Gurion’s home kibbutz, Sde Boker, attracted some 6,000 people, more than twice last year’s number – making it the third-largest event of its type anywhere.
It almost didn’t happen, due to police concerns about issues including public nudity, but Midburn spokesman Eyal Marcus told ISRAEL21c that compromises reached in court at the last minute let Midburn go forward.Hyundai seeks Israeli tech for its ‘connected cars’
Korean car company Hyundai aims to become a leader in connected car technology – and it wants to use Israeli tech talent to accomplish that goal.
The company is sponsoring its first app hackathon contest (Hebrew), with developers of the best apps getting a NIS 100,000 prize and a contract with Hyundai Israel, and possibly, Hyundai agencies in other parts of the world.
The car of tomorrow may not be ready to fly, but it is ready to be tricked out with all sorts of communication technology that will help drivers get where they need to go more safely, possibly more quickly – and definitely more enjoyably. Already standard on some higher-end 2015 models are entertainment systems that integrate Internet radio apps (TuneIn, IheartRadio, Stitcher), direction apps (Waze, Google Maps), and communication apps (connections to smartphones, messaging systems).
Hyundai already incorporates these apps in some of its models (notably the i-35, one of its higher-end offerings), but it wants to go further – hence the i-Way hackathon, said Hyundai Israel director Davidi Piamenta.
“Unlike other companies, we have developed our own API, and participants in the contest will have access to it,” Piamenta told reporters at a press conference Sunday. “We want as many ideas in the first stage, after which we will cull the top three. Those apps will win prizes of NIS 100,000, NIS 30,000, and NIS 15,000.”Indian PM set to make historic first visit to Israel
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to visit Israel during the coming year, in what will be the first state visit by an Indian prime minister to the Jewish state. No firm date has yet been fixed for the trip.
The visit was announced by Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, who revealed she is also planning on traveling to the region in the near future, with stops in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Swaraj said the purpose of the tour was to strengthen India’s ties with regional governments.
The Modi trip would culminate a steady improvement in bilateral ties since Israel and India formalized full diplomatic relations in 1992.
However, it would not be the Indian politician’s first time in Israel; Modi visited Israel during his term as chief minister of Gurajat province, a position he held from 2001 to 2014.
Modi, who was elected prime minister last year, has made developing cooperation with Israel a focus for his government’s diplomatic policies. (h/t Herb Glatter)Tens of thousands attend NYC Israel solidarity parade
Tens of thousands of people gathered in the streets of New York on Sunday to mark the 51st annual Celebrate Israel Parade.
American and Israeli politicians joined 30,000 other people who marched up Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue in a show of solidarity with Israel for the all-day event marking Israel’s 67th birthday.
A number of Knesset members, including Minister without portfolio Ofir Akunis, Minister of Science, Technology and Space Danny Danon (Likud), Avraham Naguise (Likud), Yoav Ben Tzur (Shas) and Revital Swid and Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Union) represented the Israeli parliament at the parade.
New York Mayor Bill De Blasio also attended the event.
Some 35 organizations including the Israeli government, Nefesh B’Nefesh and the UJA Federation of New York, sponsored this year’s parade entitled “Israel Imagines Peace.”
Close to 100 soon-to-be immigrants to Israel from the Tri-State area participated in the march, according to Nefesh B’Nefesh.
U.S. President Barack Obama met on Thursday with the family of American journalist Steven Sotloff, who was beheaded last year by Islamic State militants. The White House said Obama met with Sotloff's parents Art and Shirley and his sister, Lauren, while he was in Florida for fundraising and a briefing on the upcoming hurricane season. "The president expressed his and the first lady’s condolences for Steven’s death," White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said.
PA Antisemitism: Jews "control the media, the money, the press, the resources"
Another expression of Palestinian Authority Antisemitism appeared on government-controlled PA TV earlier this month. The host of a weekly program on Islam, Imad Hamato, who is also a professor of Quranic Studies at the University of Palestine in Gaza, stated that Jews engage in profiteering and control "the money, the press and the resources."
Hamato also stated that Israel, which he calls "a cancerous tumor," is trying to "Judaize" everything and influence the mind of "the Arab intellectual" so that he will accept Israel as "an entity that has a right to live":
"Israel has worked hard to Judaize the land, [but] it did not stop at that. [Israel] worked to realize something else: the Judaization of culture, [so that] the Arab intellectual embraces the idea of acceptance of Israel as a recognized body and as an entity that has a right to live. Israel, the invading country, the cancerous tumor - which we have already called a cancerous tumor in the past - many intellectuals today talk about coexistence and offering our hands in peace, and [say] Israel is part of the region. The noblest Arabs in terms of their Arabness were those who spoke up and said: 'Israel does not exist!' Those who did not say that were ostracized. Now, whoever says that Israel should exist is met with approval... They [the Jews] are usurers. See, the usury money and usurer banks, those who control the money in the world can be counted on one hand - a few individuals - and all of them belong to the Jewish world. They control the media, the money, the press, the resources, the plans." [Official PA TV, May 1, 2015]
Hamato has previously used PA TV to disseminate Antisemitic statements. As documented by Palestinian Media Watch, Hamato stated that Jews are behind all that is wrong in the world and that humanity will never "live in comfort... peace or fortune or tranquility" as long as "the Jews are causing devastating corruption throughout the land." Jews "control the money, the press, the resources" - Muslim preacher on PA TV
How to meet ‘Palestinians’
Peter Beinart complains that Republican presidential hopeful Scott Walker visited Israel and didn’t meet any ‘Palestinians':
The trips Jewish groups organize for American politicians include more Christian holy sights than the ones they organize for their own members. But what they have in common is that Palestinians are talked about, yet rarely spoken to. Which means that politicians like Scott Walker return to the United States thinking they know something about Palestinians when, in important ways, they know less than when they left.
Maybe I can help him learn more. What have ‘Palestinians’ been up to lately? Here is some data (slightly abridged) from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center:
During the past year there has been an increase in the number of vehicular attacks carried out in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, and they have become a frequent modus operandi of the campaign the PA and Fatah call the “popular resistance.” The campaign takes many forms, including the throwing of Molotov cocktails, rocks and stones, and stabbing and vehicular attacks. It enjoys the support of the PA and Fatah.
Since the beginning of 2015 there have been six vehicular attacks and/or attempted vehicular attacks; one Israeli civilian was killed and ten injured, eight of members of the Israeli security forces. Three attacks took place in Jerusalem and three in Judea and Samaria. The number of vehicular attacks began rising in the second half of 2014; during the year there were twelve vehicular attacks, half of them in Jerusalem (compared with two such attacks in 2013).David Singer: Pope Francis Has Joined The Evil-Doers
Abbas – Israel's putative "partner for peace" – leads an Organisation that claims the entire territory of former Palestine as another exclusive Arab fiefdom – denying the Jews any political rights in their biblical, ancestral and internationally sanctioned homeland.
Abbas's continuing refusal to recognise Israel as the nation State of the Jewish people has been a major roadblock to the successful conclusion of negotiations between Israel and the PLO.
Pope Francis – like his predecessor Pope Benedict – is apparently prepared to ignore that Abbas and the PLO remain sworn enemies of the Jewish people - pursuing the total elimination of the Jewish State by armed struggle as documented in the 1968 PLO Charter.
The Pope has strayed from the eternal message of the Psalms - the key to the spirituality of the Old Testament and an essential and permanent part of Christian prayer.
Psalm 28 in the New Jerusalem Bible declares:
Do not drag me away with the wicked, with evil-doers, who talk to their partners of peace with treachery in their hearts.
Repay them as their deeds deserve, as befits their treacherous actions; as befits their handiwork repay them, let their deserts fall back on themselves.
They do not comprehend the deeds of Yahweh, the work of his hands. May he pull them down and not rebuild them!
PMW: PA Adopts 'One State Solution' as Official Policy
While Israeli politicians continue to debate the merits of the “two-state solution,” their Palestinian interlocutors have long moved beyond that model for the solution of the Middle East conflict.
For Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the idea of a “greater Palestine” - that would stretch from “the river to the sea” - is now an official policy.
If this policy had until now been elucidated verbally in Arabic, by “minor” government officials – allowing the PA to say that they had been speaking out of turn or voicing personal opinions – it has now taken on a much more official persona.
In a series of videos and images discovered and released by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the PA's official propaganda ministry has made clear that when the PA says “Palestinian state,” it means not just Ramallah and Jenin, but also Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Beersheva.Netanyahu to EU Foreign Policy Chief: ‘I Support the Vision of Two States’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he is “not for a one-state solution” in a meeting with European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday.
“I support the vision of two states for two peoples — a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state, and I look forward to discussing with you how we can advance that vision forth in a practical, secure, and responsible way,” Netanyahu told Mogherini, adding that his position on the issue “has not changed.”
The prime minister also said that the “peace and security of the region and the world demand that we insist on a better deal” with Iran over its nuclear program. The deadline for a final agreement between Iran and world powers is June 30.France to push 18-month timetable for Mideast peace
France’s upcoming bid for a renewed Middle East peace push at the UN sets a timetable of 18 months for a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and threatens French recognition of Palestine should negotiations fail, newspaper Le Figaro reported Wednesday.
The report states that the resolution being drafted by Paris, and which is expected to be brought before the UN Security Council later this summer, calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, with certain land swaps agreed upon by the parties, and Jerusalem serving as the capital of both nations.
The document being formulated by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says the sovereignty of the demilitarized Palestinian state must be guaranteed, with a gradual Israeli pullout from Palestinian territory. It also says Israel’s security concerns must be addressed, and any Palestinian arms-buildup or terrorist activity prevented.Khaled Abu Toameh: In visit with EU foreign minister, Abbas repeats demand for settlement freeze, release of prisoners
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday discussed with EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini the latest developments surrounding the Middle East peace process.
Following the meeting between Abbas and Moherini in Ramallah, Chief PLO Negotiator Saeb Erekat reiterated the PA’s demand for a freeze of settlement construction and the release of Palestinian prisoners incarcerated before the signing of the Oslo Accords.
Erekat said that Abbas stressed during the meeting that he was in favor of the resumption of the peace process with Israel, but only after the Israeli government accepts the Palestinian demands, which also include acceptance of the two-state solution.
“We are making every possible effort to salvage the peace process,” Erekat told reporters after the meeting. “There’s great cooperation with the Arab League committee entrusted with discussing a new resolution that would be submitted to the UN Security Council. We’re also working together in international forums, including the International Criminal Court. All what we are doing is aimed at preserving the two-state solution as we face an Israeli government that has chosen the language of settlements, dictates, detentions and assassinations.”Norwegian FM Warns Netanyahu: Pressure on Israel Forthcoming
The international pressure on Israel to come to a solution with the Palestinians will only grow stronger after Iran and the P5+1 world powers sign a nuclear deal at the end of June, Norway's Foreign Minister warned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.
According to a Haaretz report Thursday morning, Netanyahu and Borge Brende, who is considered friendly to Israel, held a notably long 90-minute meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
During the meeting, as reported by a Norwegian diplomat, Brende told Netanyahu that given the impending resumption of serious international pressure on Israel, Netanyahu's new government would need to come up with its own diplomatic measure.
According to the diplomat, Netanyahu responded positively to the friendly advice, saying, "I hear you loud and clear."
Should Netanyahu want to resume negotiations with the Palestinians, Brende asserted, he would have to agree to at least one of three conditions presented recently by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
The three conditions include: freezing construction in Judea and Samaria, releasing all Palestinian prisoners jailed prior to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 and consecutive talks for no more than a year, with a Palestinian state established by the end of 2017. PA Diplomat: We'll Submit Two Lawsuits to ICC
A senior diplomat in the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced on Wednesday that the PA will submit two suits against Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on June 25, reports the Xinhua news agency.
Nabil Abu Zneid, the PA’s ambassador in the Netherlands, was quoted as having told Voice of Palestine radio that the two suits are related to the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, as well as to last summer’s fighting in Gaza.
"Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki is to head a high-ranking Palestinian delegation that comprises rights groups, and will submit the two suits against Israel to the international court on June 25," said Abu Zneid.
He added that "the train has already departed the station and Israel has to hurry up to catch it, because refusing to deal with the ICC would be a wring Israeli choice."Iran Complains Israel Threatened Nuclear Attack
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon threatened to attack Iran with a nuclear bomb according to Iran’s U.N. ambassador Gholam-Ali Khoshrou.
As a follow-up, an Iranian military official made similar comments in a report Thursday by the regime’s Fars (Read: Farce] News Agency, which added that Ya’alon said Israel “will kill kids” in attacks on Iranian-backed Hezbollah.
Here is what Ya’alon actually said at a conference in Israel last week when he spoke about what steps Israel might have to take to defend itself:
We should be sure that it is a military necessity….
I do remember the story of President Truman, who was asked, ‘How did you feel after deciding to launch the nuclear bombs at Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end [200,000 fatalities]?’ And he said, ‘When I heard from my officers that the alternative is a long war with Japan, with potential fatalities of a couple of million, I saw that it is a moral decision.’
We are not there yet. But that’s what I’m talking about: certain steps in cases in which we feel like we don’t have the answer by surgical operations or something like that.Iran threatens '80,000 rockets at Tel Aviv and Haifa' over distorted Ya'alon comment
Iranian officials have been thrown into a fit over distorted comments attributed to Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon that have swept across the internet and include popular anti-Israel sites.
A report by Iran's Fars news agency on Wednesday claimed that the defense minister supposedly said “We are going to hurt Lebanese civilians to include kids of the family. We went through a very long deep discussion … we did it then, we did it in [the] Gaza Strip, we are going to do it in any round of hostilities in the future,” while speaking at an unnamed "conference in Jerusalem."
The quote was most likely based on Ya'alon's comments from the May 5 Shurat Hadin conference. He was recounting targeting decisions in which he was involved when it first became apparent that Hezbollah was purposely placing weapons in civilian homes in Lebanon. He said that “If we don’t intercept the rocket-launchers in advance, civilians will be hurt, if not killed. If we hit the launchers, it will hurt or kill Lebanese civilians.” He said a “long, deep discussion” regarding the “moral and legal considerations” took place before the final decision to strike the rocket launcher.
Another quote attributed to Ya'alon, for which a basis could not be found, claimed that Israel would act "as the Americans did in 'Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000.'"
In response, Iranian Major General Rahim Safavi threatened Israel with violence, saying that "the Zionists and the US are aware of the power of Iran and Hezbollah, and they know that over 80,000 (Iranian) missiles are ready to rain down on Tel Aviv and Haifa."Report: U.S. Was Informed of Sanctions-Busting Iran Airplane Deal But Did Not Stop It
Israel informed American authorities of an Iranian airline’s efforts to buy Airbus jets, in violation of American sanctions, but the U.S. didn’t prevent the purchase, Reuters reported today.
“Israel learned from intelligence sources about this very significant breach of the sanctions in advance of it occurring,” the Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.
“We flagged the issue to the U.S. administration,” the official said. “Unfortunately, the deal still went through and there was no success in preventing it.”…
[An Israeli] official said the aircraft were sold to an airline that had been blacklisted by the United States “because of its involvement with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards” and Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrillas.
A State Department official asserted to Reuters that “if there is sanctionable activity, we will take action.” As part of the nuclear negotiations, the United States has allowed the sale of spare parts to Iran, but not the sale of aircraft.Facing Saudi Blockade, Iran Says It Will Allow UN Inspection of Yemen Aid Ship
The captain of an Iranian aid ship, which is being escorted by two Iranian warships to Yemen, said that he will dock in Djibouti and submit to a United Nations inspection, Reuters reported today. The decision delays a confrontation with Saudi Arabia, which is blockading Yemen.
Earlier in the day, the Iran Shahed’s captain had said the ship was due to enter the Bab al-Mandeb strait linking the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea, bypassing Djibouti on the Horn of Africa and heading for the Yemeni port of Hodaida.
“We have decided to dock our ship in Djibouti so the United Nations inspection protocol can take place,” Hossein Amir Abdollahian was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency….
Iran has said the ship is carrying humanitarian aid for Yemeni civilians. Hodaida’s port is under Houthi control.
The captain also said that Iran would send a plane to Djibouti tomorrow. Iran previously sent two aid planes directly to Yemen, but they were turned back by the Saudi Air Force.Iran: Israel helping Saudis fight Houthis
Saudi Arabia has hired Israeli military experts to help in their war in Yemen, sources close to the Saudi government allegedly told Iran’s Fars News Agency.
The unconfirmed report published on Tuesday could well be false and part of Tehran’s media campaign against its Sunni opponents in the region.
“The Zionist experts supervise the Saudi-led coalition’s operations against Yemen directly in addition to intelligence and military coordination between the two sides,” the sources told the Iranian news outlet.Treasury says it won’t pay $1.1 billion judgment to Iran
Israel has refused a Swiss court order to pay compensation to Iran in an arbitration case, it emerged Wednesday. The court ordered the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company to transfer $1.1 billion to the Islamic Republic in a ruling over oil supply agreements dating back to before Tehran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.
“Under the laws of trade we cannot transfer funds to an enemy country,” a statement issued by the Finance Minister said Wednesday.
A judicial official quoted by Iranian state news agency IRNA said Tao, an Israeli firm registered in Panama, was ordered earlier this month to pay the compensation to the National Iranian Oil Company, in a legal tussle dating back to 1989.
In 1968, the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company was established as a joint Israeli-Iranian venture to carry Asian oil from Eilat to Europe via a network of pipelines that reach from Eilat to Ashkelon and up the length of Israel’s coast to Haifa.
According to the EAPC website, the company currently operates 750 kilometers of pipeline in Israel.
As relations between Israel and Iran were severed in the wake of the Islamic Revolution, the Tehran partner dropped out of the arrangement and the company is now managed only by the Israeli side.
However, for years Iran has continued to demand that Israel pay back debts acquired when the arrangement was still valid.Pentagon approves massive $1.9 billion arms sale to Israel
The details of the possible sale were sent for congressional review this week after being approved by the Pentagon, the US Department of Defense said in a statement Tuesday.
If the agreement is finalized, Israel will receive a supply of precision-guided munitions consisting of 750 bunker buster bombs, 3,000 Hellfire missiles, 250 medium-range air-to-air missiles and 4,100 glide bombs, in a deal worth $1.879 billion.
In addition, the package includes 14,500 missile guidance systems — known as tail kits for Joint Direct Attack Munitions — which convert unguided bombs into GPS guided missiles.
A shipment of these weapons will enhance Israel’s military capabilities and boost defense cooperation between Israel and the US, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which coordinates major arms deals, said in a statement.
“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” the statement read.Should Israel Take Obama’s Iran Payoff?
For months, President Obama has been trying to find a way to silence Israeli objections to a nuclear deal with Iran. Up until now, Prime Minister Netanyahu has been adamant in his opposition to what he and many Americans feel is an effort to appease the Islamist regime that will have catastrophic consequences for the security of both the United States and Israel. But, if reports are correct, the Israeli government is preparing to make the best of an awful situation by accepting a massive military assistance package from the U.S. in exchange for what an unnamed senior administration official describes as “some quiet from the Israelis.” While it can be argued that expediency demands that Netanyahu seek to get what help from the Americans that he can, with the outcome of the nuclear negotiations still hanging in the balance, this isn’t the moment for the Israelis to go into the tank for Obama on Iran.
As the Israeli press is reporting, the Americans are prepared to pay what the administration official called, “a hefty price” for Israel’s silence in the upcoming months as a nuclear agreement is debated in Congress. That price will supposedly include up to 50 advanced F-35 fighter jets and anti-missile batteries. Given the importance of maintaining Israel’s qualitative edge over potential Arab and Iranian foes, it’s a tempting offer. Especially alluring for the Israelis is the prospect of more Iron Dome batteries as well as funding for more short-range David’s Sling batteries and the long-range Arrow-3 missile defense.
If, as seems likely, there is nothing Israel can do to prevent the U.S. from appeasing Iran and signing a weak deal that may not even guarantee rigorous inspections, then perhaps the only rational alternative is to accept a bribe from the administration for their silence. The same reasoning led some Arab countries to attend a summit here last week which, though boycotted by the kings of both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, resulted in a U.S. promise about selling them more advanced military hardware. Even if it was accompanied by a weak guarantee of their security that impressed no one, let alone Iranians, the Arabs were not so proud that they turned down U.S. assistance.Senior security source: Massive arms deal with US 'not linked to Iran deal'
The massive US arms sale to Israel, approved by the State Department this week, is not tied to the emerging deal between the international community and Iran over its nuclear program, a senior Israeli security source has said.
The source described on Thursday the $1.87 billion deal, which includes large numbers of precision guided bombs, hellfire missiles for combat helicopters, and bunker busters, as being "part of a multi-year plan, that was updated after Operation Protective Edge [in Gaza last year]."
The source described the package being at the stage of requiring "routine approval in Congress after Pentagon approval."
He stressed that the deal has "no link with the [P5+1] deal with Iran [over its nuclear program]," and that it had no connection to the large-scale weapons deals that occurred recently between the US and Gulf states.IDF Blog: Globalization of Aerial Threats Calls for Globalization of Defense
This week, air force commanders from around the world gathered in Israel to address the globalization of aerial threats. The first international air defense conference included representatives from Israel, Poland, Germany, Greece, the U.S, the U.K, Canada, Italy and the Netherlands.
The rapid globalization of aerial threats presents the need for a global response. Israel is no stranger to such threats, as was evidenced most recently during Operation Protective Edge. After the operation, Israel’s Iron Dome established itself as the model for air defense worldwide. With a nearly 90% success rate, it is the most efficient missile defense system of its kind.
“The Israeli industry occupies a center-field position in the international scene of aerial defense. Regarding the development of advanced protection systems, Israeli systems have more than justified their reputation in the last conflict,” explains Brig. Gen. Shachar Shohat, Commander of the Israel Air Defense Force.
In continuation with previous collaborative efforts with ally armies (i.e., the “Nobel Dina” joint exercise with the US Navy and Hellenic Navy, the “Nobel Shirley” aerial exercise with the U.S Air Force), Brig. Gen. Shohat was joined on May 19 at the IAF base in Palmachim by his colleagues to commence a productive collaboration in a first-of-its-kind conference. The main objective was to construct a plan geared towards improving each army’s collaborative effort in combating the globalization of aerial threats.
“The globalization all over has also reached the military field. The Western world is facing, in many dimensions, the same threats. We have to act together for the security of our societies.” -Maj. Gen. Robert Lowenstein, German Air Force Commander.Hezbollah: We'll Apply Strategies in Syria to Conquer Galilee
Hezbollah officials say they are preparing to use the strategies and techniques they learned fighting Syrian rebels along the border with Lebanon to conquer Israel's northern Galilee region.
The Iranian-backed Shia Islamist group has been making steady gains in its hard-fought campaign to wrest control of the Qalamoun region in Syria from Sunni rebels, including jihadists from Al Qaeda's Nusra Front, despite itself incurring significant losses.
But although that battle is still ongoing, a series of remarks by Hezbollah officials and propaganda outlets, translated by MEMRI, reveal that the terror group still has its eye on a future conflict with Israel.
Among them was Hezbollah official Hashem Safi Al-Din, who told Lebanon's Al Mustaqbal newspaper that "the resistance can replicate its newly acquired experience from the Al-Qalamoun mountains and Syria in the Galilee."Cheering Arab Crowds Greet Return of Vehicular Terrorist’s Body [video]
Last night, at midnight, the police returned the body of vehicular terrorist Amraan abu Dahim to his family in Jerusalem’s A-Tor neighborhood for burial.
Amraan ran over two policemen yesterday, and was then shot and killed by another policeman.
The family was only be allowed to have 20 people attend the funeral.
To ensure the funeral didn’t turn in another Martyr’s Day Parade, the police collected a NIS 20,000 collateral from the Arab terrorist’s family.
But that didn’t stop their terrorist-supporting neighbors from greeting the ambulance on the way.Khaled Abu Toameh: Report: Iran stops cash flow to Islamic Jihad organization
Iran has stopped funding the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization, which is already facing a severe financial crisis, the Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported on Wednesday.
According to the paper, the organization has not been able to pay salaries to its members for the past four months due to the crisis.
It said that the dispute between Iran and Palestinian Islamic Jihad erupted after the group refused to issue a statement supporting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The Iranians, the paper said, demanded that the organization issue a statement condemning the Saudi-led airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen.The Emergence Of 'Galilee Forces' – Palestinian Forces Fighting Alongside Syrian Regime
In recent weeks, fierce battles have raged on several fronts between supporters and forces of the Syrian regime and the Syrian opposition, from Idlib in the north of Syria to Rif Dimashq in the south to the Al-Qalamoun mountains on the Lebanese border. Both sides see these campaigns as highly critical ones that could win the war that is now in its fifth year, and are sending more and more troops to those areas.
In addition to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Lebanese Hizbullah, and the Shi'ite Iraqi, Afghani, and Pakistani militias, Palestinian forces are also fighting alongside the Syrian regime. According to the Revolution Forces of Syria website, the main Palestinian forces fighting alongside the regime included the 60,000-strong Palestinian Liberation Army – "the military wing of the PLO" – and Liwa Al-Quds, led by Muhammad Sa'id, which comprises several thousand residents of Palestinian refugee camps near Aleppo.
This Palestinian loyalty towards the Syrian regime is unsurprising, in light of the fact that over the years, Syria has served as a base and a refuge for armed secular Palestinian groups, and, until recently, for Islamic groups such as Hamas. Against the backdrop of the fighting in the Al-Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus, and ISIS's entry into the camp, the alliance between the Syrian regime and the armed Palestinian groups has become closer, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) even announced that it supported the regime's actions vis-à-vis the camp.
In recent days, a new Palestinian group, the Galilee Forces (Quwat Al-Jalil) or Galilee Brigade (Liwa Al-Jalil), has emerged and is fighting alongside the Syrian regime in Al-Qalamoun and Rif Dimashq; this group is the military wing of the Palestinian Youth Return Movement, and is led by Fadi Al-Mallah, aka Abu Al-Fidaa.Daniel Pipes: As Syria's chemical weapons return, Obama is MIA
The famed “red line” warning that Barack Obama issued in August 2013 to Bashar al-Assad of Syria was arguably the defining foreign policy moment of his presidency: an unequivocal warning to a rogue leader to desist from war crimes or pay the price.
When the incident ended in a blur, with Russian-backed promises that the Assad regime would hand over its chemical agents, responses were bifurcated. The president and his allies hailed this as a monument of diplomacy, whereby a plausible threat led bloodlessly to a major improvement in behavior. In contrast, critics presented Obama as a paper tiger who raged with threats that collapsed when offered meaningless assurances by a well-established liar.
For two years, there was no verdict; the two sides kept making their points without closure. But now, closure is at hand.
That’s because there are currently there are multiple reports of the Assad regime using chlorine in barrel bombs, plus the discovery of traces of ricin, sarin. and VX.Bashar al-Assad's airmen laugh as they drop barrel bombs on fellow Syrians
New footage has emerged showing Syrian aircrew using barrel bombs, one of the most feared weapons in President Bashar al-Assad’s arsenal.
The video footage, which contradicts Mr Assad’s claim that no munitions of this kind have ever been used by his forces, shows an airman crouching inside a Syrian military helicopter, chatting to his neighbour as he lights the fuse of a barrel bomb.
Once the white touch paper is burning, the man casually pushes the weapon out of the aircraft and sends it hurtling towards the ground.
Barrel bombs are metal cylinders packed with high explosives and pieces of shrapnel. These weapons, which have no targeting or guidance mechanisms, are simply rolled out of helicopters as they fly over rebel-held towns and villages. Syrian Regime Helicopter Drops Barrel Bombs on Idlib Province
Libyan Cleric Justifies Beheadings and Body Mutilation "to Strike Terror in the Heart" of the Enemy
In a May 16 interview with Al-Tanasuh TV, Libyan Cleric Muhammad Bouajila, a member of the Libyan Ulema Association, explained that in principle, beheadings and body mutilation are prohibited, but are allowed under certain circumstances "especially if this serves to strike terror in the heart" of the enemy. Sheik Bouajila further commented that Muslims should fight non-Muslims who refuse to convert to Islam or pay the jizya poll tax. Al-Tanasuh TV is owned by Sadiq Al-Ghariani, Mufti of Libya who is associated with the Libya Dawn forces.
How Obama Lost Ramadi
The fall of Ramadi to the fighters of the Islamic State is a disaster for the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. The taking of the city brings IS to just over 60 miles from Baghdad. In addition to showcasing the low caliber of the Iraqi security forces, the events surrounding the fall of the city lay bare the contradictions at the heart of Western policy in Iraq.
Prime Minister Abadi had ordered the garrison in Ramadi to stand firm. He hoped to see a successful stand in the city as a prelude to a government retaking of Anbar province, over half of which is still in IS hands.
But in a manner reminiscent of the fall of Mosul in June 2014, Iraqi security forces ignored orders to defend Ramadi, and fled eastwards to the neighboring town of Khalidiyeh. This left Ramadi to the tender mercies of the fighters of the Islamic State, who have reportedly since slaughtered at least 500 people. It is important to note that even U.S. airstrikes were not sufficient to prevent the debacle.
As of now, Shia militias are heading for the city's outskirts. A militia-led counterattack is expected in the coming days. A further advance eastwards by the Sunni jihadis, at least in the immediate future, is unlikely.
So what is behind the failure of the Iraqi security forces and the continued advance of the jihadis?Krauthammer: Obama Is 'Either Delusional or Cynical' On ISIS
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer said on “Special Report” Tuesday that the Obama administration must be “either delusional or cynical” given its statement that overall, the battle against ISIS has been a success.
“I would hope cynical, because otherwise we’re in deep trouble,” he remarked. “This is a tremendous defeat. It isn’t only a geographic defeat, the fact that Mosul is gone, Fallujah is gone and now Ramadi is gone. It’s that the Iraqi army once again ran.”
“You know, our whole idea is that we will train the Iraqi army,” Krauthammer said. “If you train people who want to fight but don’t know how to fight, that will work.. We actually had that opprotunity in Syria.”
“With Iraq we have the exact opposite, soldiers in name only who want to paid, with corrupt officers and sectarian officers who don’t want to fight. All the training in the world is not going to help them.”‘Birthplace of civilization,’ Palmyra faces final ruin by jihadists
The destruction of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Palmyra would be an “enormous loss to humanity,” the head of the organization warned Thursday, after Islamic State fighters seized the ancient Syrian city and archaeological site.
“Palmyra is an extraordinary World Heritage site in the desert and any destruction to Palmyra (would be) not just a war crime but … an enormous loss to humanity,” said Irina Bokova in a video published by the Paris-based group.
She added that she was “extremely worried” about recent events there and reiterated an appeal for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of military forces.
“At the end of the day, it’s the birthplace of human civilization. It belongs to the whole of humanity and I think everyone today should be worried about what is happening,” added the UNESCO chief.Turkey: 7 Soldiers Arrested in 'Syria Arms Consignment' Case
A Turkish court on Sunday remanded in custody seven serving soldiers accused over the interception last year of an alleged consignment of arms bound for Syria, state media said, according to AFP.
Following police raids in previous days, a total of 10 soldiers appeared before the Istanbul criminal court, the Anatolia news agency reported.
After hearings that lasted all day, three were allowed to go free while seven were arrested ahead of trial and will now be sent to prison.
They have been charged with membership of a terrorist group, impeding the work of the government and espionage.
The arrests are the latest in a string of detentions related to the stopping and searching of trucks in the southern provinces of Hatay and Adana near the Syrian border in January 2014 on suspicion of smuggling arms into Syria.
Documents circulated on the Internet claimed the seized trucks were Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) vehicles delivering weapons to Syrian Islamist rebels fighting President Bashar Al-Assad.In final days, Bin Laden urged followers to kill Jews
Documents swept up in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound portray a leader cut off from his underlings, disappointed by their failures, beset by their complaints and regretting years of separation from much of his extensive family.
Focus your fighting on America, not each other, the sidelined al-Qaeda chief exhorts his followers. In a videotaped will, he urges one of his wives, should she remarry after his death, to still choose to live beside him in paradise. He also directs her to send their son to the battlefield.
Despite some surprising quirks in the collection, the overall message of the 103 letters, videos and reports made public Wednesday hews to the terror group’s familiar mission: In the name of God, find a way to kill Americans. Kill Europeans. Kill Jews.
“Uproot the obnoxious tree by concentrating on its American trunk,” bin Laden writes in a letter urging al-Qaeda affiliates in North Africa to not be distracted by fighting local security forces and to avoid Muslim infighting.