Friday, June 20, 2014

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: As I See It: With Iran, my enemy’s enemy is still my enemy
To give Iran the edge will not produce regional stability. The more Iran is empowered, the more Saudi Arabia will fight it. The outcome will be a hugely increased likelihood of war and endemic tribal conflict engulfing the region.
In addition, both Iran and Saudi are working not just against each other but to destroy and dominate the West. As such, both should be seen as the West’s mortal enemies. The Western aim, therefore, should be to defeat or at very least box in both of them.
Iraq has turned into a catastrophe because, when the US pulled out, the Obama administration left a vacuum in which Maliki pumped up tribal conflict and paved the way for the ISIS insurgency.
Iran, the most manipulative and sophisticated geopolitical strategic player in the world, understands that Obama’s desperation to turn his back on the threats from the Islamic world has left the US weakened and exposed. Whatever its origins, the Iraq crisis offers Iran an opportunity to exploit that weakness, a threat with which the West now seems too paralyzed to deal. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Caroline Glick: The threat is blowback
The first step the US must take to minimize the Iranian threat is to walk away from the table and renounce the talks. The next step is to take active measures to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration appears prepared to do none of these things. To the contrary, its pursuit of an alliance with Iran in Iraq indicates that it is doubling down on the most dangerous aspects of its policy of empowering America’s worst enemies.
It only took the Taliban six months to move from the Bamiyan Buddhas to the World Trade Center. Al-Qaida is stronger now than ever before. And Iran is on the threshold of a nuclear arsenal.



An unshakable bond
Equally, no modern maps could be used at UNESCO’s specific request and panels which I had written relating to “delicate” subjects like the Six Day War or the fate of Jews in Arab lands were simply removed. Both the Wiesenthal Center and I intend to ensure that these panels will be fully restored once the exhibit is no longer traveling under UN auspices. The veto on recognition of the suffering of Jews under Arab rule underlines the reality that we were subjected to a level of scrutiny and microscopic analysis by UNESCO which may well have been unprecedented. Nevertheless, the text and the visuals passed all of these tough examinations and the exhibit finally opened in Paris on 11 June to a packed crowd. In my opinion, this was a remarkable triumph, given that only six months earlier everything had been suspended at the last moment, after the head of UNESCO’s Arab Group had claimed that holding the exhibition could endanger “the peace process”! The day of the exhibition, a delegation of the Wiesenthal Center, led by Rabbi Hier, which included Project manager Abraham Cooper, European director Shimon Samuels, myself and Canadian MP Irwin Cotler, met with President François Hollande at the Elysee Palace to discuss the Middle East and the threat posed by jihadi antisemitism. Hollande made a point to send a goodwill message to the UNESCO exhibition even though France, unlike Canada, the US, Israel and Montenegro, was not an official sponsor.
A One-Sided Depiction of Israel
The Israeli journalist Ari Shavit’s latest American bestselling book “My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel,” offers a disheartening outlook, a definite but skewed reality, and contains much detrimental PR for Israel.
The book is very well written (Ari Shavit must have had a brilliant editor); it’s an attention-grabbing page-turner, but at the same time, it reinforces the Arab agenda of delegitimizing the state of Israel.
It may serve to convince the ignorant reader, lacking proper background knowledge or understanding of the particular history before reading the book that the Palestinian Arab claims to Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, the Galilee, Lydda, etc. is absolutely justified. And the Jews, the Zionists, and the Israelis are the latest Crusaders whose time in the holy land is fleeting, as it will soon run out.
Report: Secret Algerian document says Tunisian terror group to target Jews, Western targets
A Tunisian counter-terrorism expert cited a secret Algerian report stating that jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia plans to target Jews as well as Western targets in Tunisia, Egypt, and Algeria.
A new report published on Wednesday by the Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor of MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) reveals that Ali Zawi, a Tunisian counter-terrorism expert warned in an article published on Wednesday in the London-based Arab daily al-Quds al-Arabi that terrorists are planning to target the Jewish community on the Island of Djerba during the month of Ramadan.
In Jerusalem, Canada’s Sikh Multiculturalism Minister Visits Temple Mount; Muslim Columnist Tarek Fatah Calls for Opening Shrine to All
Canada’s Minister for Multiculturalism Tim Uppal, a proud, turban-wearing Sikh, visited Israel this week and ascended the Temple Mount, generating a tremendous response from Canadians who felt that worshiping at the Foundation Stone from the Torah’s Abraham, Isaac and Jacob should be open to people all faiths.
Uppal was photographed approaching the Muslim Dome of the Rock, built atop the original Jewish altar, and the picture was widely viewed on social media.
In a statement, B’nai Brith Canada said: “We are pleased to see that more and more Canadians are attuned to this important issue and applaud the Minister for taking this symbolically important step. The issue of religious freedom for all worshipers on the Temple Mount is something that we have previously raised with Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom after a B’nai Brith Canada delegation was harassed this past year.”
Riots at Temple Mount Amid Uptick in Violence
Arab rioters threw rocks and bottles at police at the entrance to the Temple Mount on Friday, when Muslim visitors hold regular prayer services on the holiest site to Judaism.
Police forces dispersed the rioters Friday morning, arresting two of the youths.
There were no casualties in the incident, as prayers on the Mount had already ended.
While riots at the Mount have become common over the past several years, tensions against Israeli security forces have also been rising as the IDF continues to search for the three yeshiva students, who Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu confirmed were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists last Thursday night.
Canadian FM: Demilitarize the West Bank and Gaza
In an op-ed in Canada’s The Globe and Mail, Baird urged the Palestinian Authority, which recently announced a new Fatah-Hamas unity government, to show it could exercise its sovereignty by locating the missing teenagers and stopping rocket attacks by various Palestinian terror groups in Gaza.
“Hamas remains a terrorist organization with an unrepentant commitment to the destruction of Israel. But with that reassertion of authority must come a reapplication of responsibility – responsibility to uphold the Quartet principles in Gaza…. There is no place for militias, private armies or alternative security forces. The principle of ‘one authority, one gun’ must be enforced,” wrote Baird.
Israel Condemns Kenya Terror Attack
Israel on Thursday released an official condemnation of the terror attacks in Kenya, which began Sunday and left 58 people dead.
"Israel strongly condemns the two recent terror attacks in the coastal area of Kenya in which dozens of innocent people were killed," read a statement from the Foreign Ministry.
"Israel denounces in the strongest possible terms the brutal and unwarranted violence that destroys the lives of innocent civilians. We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, to the injured and to the Government and people of Kenya," added the statement.
PA Asks China to Press Israel to Free Terrorists
Rami Hamdallah, Prime Minister of the new Fatah-Hamas unity government, met with a representative of China on Thursday, and called on the Asian superpower to pressure Israel to release jailed terrorists.
Speaking with China's Special Envoy to the Middle East Wu Sike, Hamdallah called for international intervention against the IDF's "Operation Brother's Keeper," which aims to rescue the three Israeli teens who were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists last Thursday, and break the Hamas terror infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.
Support ballooning in Congress for harsher financial sanctions on Hezbollah
Last month, US Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) and Marco Rubio (R-FLorida), both members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2014 (HIFPA) in the Senate, following its earlier introduction in the House by US Congressmen Brad Schneider (D-Illinois), Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina), Eliot Engel (D-New York) and Ed Royce (R-California.) The bill has quickly attained 280 co-sponsors – a number that more than doubled in a matter of weeks and far exceeds the 218 needed for a majority – in the House of Representatives and 36 in the Senate.
Much of the increase in supporters came following a large advocacy mission to Congress by the pro-Israel bipartisan political action committee NORPAC on April 30.
Hezbollah Preparing to Send More Fighters to Syria to Make Up for Transfers to Iraqi Theater
The Daily Star reported Monday that new batches of Hezbollah fighters were preparing to deploy into Syria as Iraqi Shiite militias – which had been battling on behalf of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime – were recalled back across the Syrian-Iraqi border to battle the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS):
"With the Syrian army decimated by desertions and exhaustion, the regime relies heavily on its allies, chiefly Hezbollah as well as Iraqi paramilitaries. It is estimated that there are around 5,000 Hezbollah fighters in Syria at any one time and the party represents the main offensive force in launching operations backed by Syrian airpower and artillery to recapture territory. There were an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Iraqi Shiite fighters serving in Syria before the ISIS offensive in northern Iraq. According to diplomatic sources, the Iraqis were being offered six-month contracts by Iran to serve in Syria with a guaranteed job on their return home."
Isis storms Saddam-era chemical weapons complex in Iraq
The jihadist group bringing terror to Iraq overran a Saddam Hussein chemical weapons complex on Thursday, gaining access to disused stores of hundreds of tonnes of potentially deadly poisons including mustard gas and sarin.
Isis invaded the al-Muthanna mega-facility 60 miles north of Baghdad in a rapid takeover that the US government said was a matter of concern.
The facility was notorious in the 1980s and 1990s as the locus of Saddam’s industrial scale efforts to develop a chemical weapons development programme. (h/t Canadian Otter)
Sudanese Cleric Calls for Attacks on U.S. Embassies, Planes, Restaurants in Support of ISIS


Iran convicts two men of spying for Israel, Britain
Movahhed said the other man passed on intelligence regarding the city of Kerman to a security officer at the Israeli embassy in Thailand. He was arrested last August.
Agence France Presse reported that he had also given information to the Israeli embassy in Turkey.
Both men are believed to be Iranians but Movahhed did not provide their names. It was not known if the suspects had defense lawyers or who they were.
Iran professor faces jail for ‘propaganda’ letters
Zibakalam, 66, who teaches politics at Tehran University, said he was given a 12-month sentence on account of letters he wrote to critics of the present government’s attempts to resolve the nuclear issue.
“What has the nuclear (program) produced for the country?” the letters read. Tehran’s atomic drive has led to years of sanctions and hardship.
Zibakalam was given a separate six-month jail term for asking if Mahafarid Amir Khosravi, once considered Iran’s richest man, should have been sentenced to death for masterminding a $2.6 billion banking scam.
Kerry Says the U.S. Will Share Information With Iran on Iraq Crisis
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the U.S. will share limited information with Iraq over the crisis in Iraq, but the two foes will not work closely together.
“We are interested in communicating with Iran. That the Iranians know what we’re thinking, that we know what they’re thinking and there is a sharing of information so people aren’t making mistakes,” Kerry said in an interview with NBC’s The Today Show on Thursday morning.
Bipartisan Letter to White House: No Iran Sanctions Relief Without Congressional Approval
Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) – respectively the chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee – on Tuesday released the text of a bipartisan letter that they indicated would soon be sent to President Barack Obama “noting that Congress played a central role in enacting sanctions against Iran and informing him that any long-term sanctions relief for Iran requires Congressional action,” the latest in what has become a back-and-forth between the White House and Congress over the degree to which lawmakers should be involved in the implementation of any agreement between Washington and Iran over the latter’s atomic program.
Kurds emerge as winners in Iraq chaos
Among rolling wheat fields with machine-gun fire rattling in the distance, Kurdish fighters patrol the new frontier of their autonomous region of northern Iraq, dozens of miles from their official border. In front of them are Islamic militants, behind them is the Kurds’ newly captured prize, stretches of oil-rich territory.
In Iraq’s chaos, the Kurds are emerging as significant winners — and their victories are fueling sentiment among their population to declare outright independence.
As Sunni insurgents swept over a large chunk of northern Iraq and barreled toward Baghdad the past two weeks, Kurdish fighters known as peshmerga seized territory of their own, effectively expanding the Kurdish-run region into areas it has long claimed. Most notably, they grabbed the oil center of Kirkuk. And in contrast to the Shiite-led government in Baghdad, which is in turmoil, the Kurds are growing more confident, vowing to increase oil sales independent of the central government.
First oil delivery from disputed Kurdish pipeline set for Israel
Iraqi Kurdistan looked set to unload its first cargo of disputed crude oil in Israel from its new pipeline after weeks of seeking an outlet as Iraq's central government has threatened legal action against any buyer.
The SCF Altai tanker was anchored near Israel's Ashkelon port early on Friday morning, ship tracking and industry sources said. The tanker is expected to dock early on Saturday, local sources said.
Securing the first sale of oil from its independent pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan is crucial for the Kurdish Regional Government as it seeks greater financial independence from war-torn Iraq.
SFSU Prez: Professors Allowed to Meet With Terrorists on US Taxpayer Dime
In a stunning press release, San Francisco State University President Leslie Wong defended the two SFSU professors who met with terrorists who have ties to American deaths and terrorist organizations. The statement was released through the website of the organization Palestine Legal Support, which functions in partnership with the Center for Constitutional Rights, without University letterhead or a signature:
Richard Silverstein Serves Up Some Cheap Whine
Richard Silverstein, the clown prince of Israel haters, posted a pathetic kvetch on his blog this week. Seems the Doucheblogger is mystified why local media aren’t clamoring to hear him prattle about his upcoming anti-Israel BDS “event”. In fact they are avoiding him, blowing him off, not taking his calls, have to wash their hair etc.
First of all don’t wait by the phone Richard, she’s not calling you back. But don’t trouble yourself too much over it; we’ll explain what’s going on. You see, they probably think you are insane… and the thing is this, serious radio hosts and print media don’t usually like interviewing insane people (unless it’s for a comedy bit). Your race infused Tourette’s like outbursts certainly haven’t helped. Here’s a tip; people who call African Americans with whom they disagree “negro” or “Uncle Tom” are not going to get many gigs outside of Stormfront or Al Jazeera.
With Declining Ranks, Does a Presbyterian Boycott of Israel Even Matter?
The latest figures released by PCUSA in 2012 indicate that membership has dramatically declined over the last half decade, with the loss of nearly 465,000 members between 2006 and 2012, including 103,000 between 2011 and 2012. These declines have coincided with a growing push by anti-Israel members within PCUSA to have the church divest from Israel.
At the same time, according to the Pew Research Center, PCUSA is one of America’s smallest churches, constituting only 2 percent of total Protestants and 1.1 percent of the American population as a whole. When compared to largely pro-Israel Evangelical Christians, who constitute over a quarter of all Americans, making it the largest single denomination in America, it would appear their influence is limited.
“When you don’t have the moral clarity to denounce an anti-Semitic diatribe such as ‘Zionism Unsettled,’ then something is clearly wrong,” David Brog, executive director of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), told JNS.org.
A birds-eye view of Professor Jacobson’s Case for Israel and Academic Freedom
Bill reviewed the meaning and the impact of academic boycotts and why they were very rare. In fact, even a truly apartheid country like South Africa was not as targeted as Israel is today. Of real interest for me, from a historical perspective, was when he noted that academic interactions with the Soviet Union were actually promoted and encouraged — even though it engaged in true ethnic cleansing (e.g., Stalin’s deportation of the Crimean Tartars).
The audience, many of them well over college age, gasped as Bill would recount of specific incidents of anti-Israel activity on campus (such as professors forced to walk an anti-Israel protest gauntlet). Perhaps the material that disturbed everyone the most was when he reviewed the elements of the “Boycott Call” stemming from a virulently anti-Semitic Durban Conference push to demonize Israel with the false charge of “apartheid” that eventually evolved into a 2005 plan to boycott the state of Israel culturally, politically and academically.
Muslim Vassar Grad Speaks Out About Anti-Conservative, Anti-Academic Climate on Campus
Julian Hassan, a recent graduate of Vassar College, recently made waves for his courage in fighting for academic freedom and human rights on campus. Hassan, a Muslim, encountered heavy resistance from anti-Israel organizations such as Students for Justice in Palestine and J Street in addition to radical faculty members who attempted to assert themselves as the thought police. TruthRevolt recently spoke with Hassan to discuss his fight against for freedom on campus.
BBC’s Hadya Alalawi promotes myth of Israeli restrictions on medical supplies to PA
There is, of course, no “blockade” on PA-controlled areas of Judea & Samaria and restrictions on entry of dual-purpose items into the Gaza Strip do not include medical supplies.
The reference cited to support that claim is a report titled “Barriers to the access to health services in the occupied Palestinian territory: a cohort study” which appeared in late 2012. At least two of the authors of that report are currently involved in political campaigning via NGOs: Jenny Oskarsson of Norwegian People’s Aid and Tony Laurance of Medical Aid for Palestinians.
So is the BBC’s claim that “Israeli controls on the import of medical supplies to the West Bank ….mean many Palestinians have difficulty accessing health services ” (which of course implies that the supplies are inadequate) an accurate one? Well, no. BBC Watch contacted the relevant Israeli authorities and was informed that all medication, based on international standards, is approved.
New Yorkers Angered at Met Opera for Hosting Anti-Semitic Play
In Thursday's "Voice of the People" in the New York Daily News, readers expressed outrage at the Metropolitan Opera's refusal to cancel the anti-Semitic opera The Death of Klinghoffer.
Judith Berson, a member of the Met Opera Guild, attacked the Met's GM Peter Gelb for putting on a performance that justified the brutal murder of Leon Klinghoffer:
Israeli actress Odeya Rush features in ‘Vanity Fair’ young stars list
Israeli actress Odeya Rush is one of Vanity Fair‘s portfolio of up-and-coming stars. The July issue of the popular magazine includes in its 2014 Next Wave Lineup the likes of Jaden Smith, Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz, Jack Reynor and Eve Hewson, as well as a dozen other young faces to be watched.
The 17-year-old Rush will be seen alongside Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges in The Giver this summer. She also recently landed a role in an adaptation of Goosebumps, with co-star Jack Black.
Israeli students make history with nano-satellite launch into space
Israeli high school students made history last night with the successful launch of the Duchifat 1 nano-satellite, which they developed and built as part of an educational project. The secondary school students at the Space Laboratory of the Herzliya Science Center, with help from the Israeli Space Agency in the Ministry of Science, launched the 840-gram satellite from the Yasny launch base in Russia at 22:10 on June 19.
The Duchifat 1, which is solar powered, was attached to a 34-ton rocket during launch. The goal is for the satellite to remain in orbit for 20 years. It is the first Israeli spacecraft of its kind to orbit earth.
PACE and Duchifat-1 in Quadpack


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