Friday, September 19, 2014

From Ian:

The TBS of the TSS - A chronicle of irrational fanaticism
Time to remove kid-gloves
The aftermath of Operation Protective Edge leaves little room for niceties in the conduct of the public debate on Israel’s security and on the measures it should adopt to preserve its security. This is no time to call a spade as a manually operated device whose principle function is to create elevation differentials in the surface of the Earth.
We can no longer afford to recoil from the unpleasant necessity of calling a spade a spade.
The recent – and likely-to be-repeated – round of fighting in Gaza should have driven home to anyone with a smidgen of common sense and common decency that conceding territory to Arab control is both futile and fatal.
The revelations of the terrorist capabilities developed in the wake of the 2005 abandonment of Gaza – in terms of overhead missiles and underground tunnels – underscored just how dangerous, detrimental and dysfunctional it is to exchange Jewish land for some wisp of hope of peace with the Arabs. The truth is so glaringly apparent that this nefarious, nonsensical notion can no longer be excused or condoned by assuming well-intentioned naiveté.
It is imperative, therefore, to conduct an open public debate – however heated and blunt, even brutal – about the motives of obdurate adherents of this disproved dogma and the reasons for them clinging so doggedly to it.
Sarah Honig: Hey diddle, Fatah and the fiddle
In her authoritative clipped cadences, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni admonishes those of us who refuse to sweeten Ramallah figurehead Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah cohorts with “daring initiatives.” She sternly disapproves of Israelis who “are not willing to pay the price of a diplomatic arrangement.”
We might of course nitpick and wonder whether a diplomatic arrangement is in fact attainable. And if so, we might further press and inquire why such arrangement hadn’t already been attained.
We might point out that the moderation Livni ascribes to Abbas connotes goodwill and that a minimal supply thereof should have facilitated some arrangement long ago – long before the advent on our scene of Hamas’s religious bad-guys. Secular enemies, as per Livni’s idiosyncratic political lexicon, aren’t quite enemies – certainly not extremists or terrorists.
So why then the absence of peace? Are we to understand that she pins the blame on Israel’s supposed small-minded stinginess? *We could ask in what gospel it’s written that diplomatic arrangements (which are hardly irrevocable) must be purchased with hard territorial and strategic currency (which cannot thereafter be recovered). But since in her world Livni writes the rules, this question is unlikely to be answered.
Released: The "Official" List of Hamas Violations of Int'l Law
In advance of the UN Human Rights Council investigation of Israeli "war crimes" in Gaza this summer, the Lawfare Project has compiled a detailed list of "Hamas's Violations of International Law."
The New York-based Lawfare Project attempts to safeguard against the abuse of the law as a weapon of war. It turned its attentions this month to ensuring that international law is not turned against Israel, in the face of Hamas indiscriminate rocket and tunnel attacks against Israel.
It is well-known that Hamas used, in various ways, its civilian population as shields in the face of Israeli missile attacks, while firing rockets at Israeli population centers and tunneling into Israel for the purpose of facilitating terrorist attacks. However, the exact international laws that Hamas has violated are not widely understood, and the Lawfare Project has prepared an 11-page document to fill in this gap.
The document lists the specific rule violated by Hamas, and provides documentation of the violations. For instance, Rule 1 of Customary International Humanitarian Law is the Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants. The Lawfare Project notes that the U.S. State Department has condemned Hamas rocket fire on Israeli civilians, and Hamas itself declared that all Israelis had become targets for its missile attacks.
Hamas has admitted violating the rule requiring advance warning of attacks, and the UN Relief and Works Agency said it found rockets hidden by Hamas in a school – in violation of Rule 22 (Precautions Against the Effects of Attacks).
The full Lawfare Project report can be seen here.
Caroline Glick: Why Rouhani loves NY
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s trip to New York next week will be a welcome relief for the Iranian leader. Finally, he’ll be somewhere where he’s appreciated, even loved.
Ahead of his trip to America, the US media continued its practice of presenting Rouhani as a moderate, and a natural ally for the US. NBC News’ Anne Curry interviewed Rouhani in Tehran, focusing her attention on his dim view of Islamic State.
Rouhani told Curry, “From the viewpoint of the Islamic tenets and culture, killing an innocent people equals the killing of the whole humanity. And therefore, the killing and beheading of innocent people in fact is a matter of shame for them and it’s the matter of concern and sorrow for all the human and all the mankind.”
The US media and political establishment’s willingness to take Rouhani at his word when he says that he’s a moderate is one of the reasons that Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz was in such a desolate mood on Wednesday.
One of Steinitz’s chief concerns was the US’s insistence that Rouhani is a moderate.
In his words, “The only thing that has changed [since Rouhani replaced president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] is the tone. The only difference is that the world was unwilling to hear from Ahmadinejad and [his nuclear negotiator Saeed] Jalili, what it is willing to listen to from Rouhani and [Iranian Foreign Minister Javad] Zarif.”



Watchmen for the walls of Jerusalem
On the Temple Mount – which is the holiest site in the world to Jews – Jewish visitors are accosted frequently and systematically, while the police stand aside. It goes without saying that the almost-five-decade- long ban on Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount outrageously remains in place, lest the Arabs get really angry.
Last month, masked Arab rioters, probably hired by the Islamic Movement in Israel or the Palestinian Authority-controlled Wakf Islamic trust, stormed and burned a police station on the Temple Mount.
Nobody in the government emitted as much as hiccup.
The police continue to insist that the violence is “atmospheric” and not instigated by a guiding hand – but I wonder. The leader of the rabble-rousing northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, has been banned from the city, but his henchmen and those of radical Salafist movements continue to stir things up, especially on the Temple Mount.
Why we will always win this war
They’re called terrorists for a reason.
They don’t have the courage to win in a battle and they don’t have the numbers to win in a democracy.
Instead they attack the most innocent and vulnerable: Kidnapping and raping women and girls on an industrial scale, beheading helpless captives for the camera and slaughtering en masse countless other normal everyday people.
This is both cruelty and cowardice at a level that is literally inhuman. The creatures who commit such acts, and those who support them, forsake all claims not just to membership of this or any other country but to humanity itself.
The civilised world reeled in horror recently at images of Western hostages being summarily executed by the so-called Islamic State, so much so that many seemed to blame the actual images, as though the pixels on countless websites, television stations and newspapers were somehow themselves to blame.
Now we have been forced to confront the chilling reality that such an unthinkable scene was very nearly played out live here in Australia, in the centre of our largest city.
The victims? Even the plotters themselves didn’t know. It would be just a random person snatched on the streets of Sydney in order to have their life snuffed out for no other reason than for simply being alive in the first place.
Aussie Jews urged to be vigilant following beheading scare
In the wake of Australia’s counter-terrorism raids on Thursday that detained 15 people and foiled an alleged beheading plot by Islamic State jihadists, Jewish community groups called on Australian Jews to remain vigilant during the High Holidays.
A security bulletin released by the Community Security Group, which works with national and local Jewish groups on security issues, urged Jews to remain alert during the upcoming holidays, when synagogues will likely be filled to capacity.
The major pre-dawn operation was carried out across Sydney and Brisbane by more than 800 officers in possession of 25 search warrants. One person has so far been charged with grave terrorism-related offenses.
At least one gun was seized, along with a sword.
The Hypocrisy of the 8200 Affair
Over the years, dozens of these “letters” by refusers and self-righteous Israelis on the left have appeared. In 2003 alone a group of elite pilots and members of the special forces Sayaret Matkal sent self-serving public letters complaining of moral qualms they had. It is part of the Israeli military tradition for some of the conscripts to decide to make a statement. That’s fine, but it should be seen for what it is, politics in the guise of morality.
When Haaretz says the Israeli public should “debate” the intelligence services methods they a proposing a preposterous nonsense that no democracy in the West does. No one debates how exactly the CIA or NSA or MI6 does its job. Every democracy should put in civilian control and safeguards to protect civil liberties. True, Israel’s control of the West Bank puts it in the odd position of ruling over people and using methods on them that its own citizens might not be exposed to. But this is not the case with Gaza: listening to phone calls in Gaza and collecting intelligence to exploit is no different than Americans listening to conversations in Iraq between Jihadist groups.
And this work is as old as intelligence gathering. If the refusers truly cared they wouldn’t have run off to give interviews to UK newspapers and provide ammunition for Israel’s enemies, they would have tried to pinpoint exact areas where Israel’s methods might be better. The same is true of the naysayers in the newspapers – if they want change they should propose how Israel can fight its enemies while not using traditional means of collecting information.
This Is Not What Democracy Looks Like
Qatar is the chief sponsor of the Muslim Brotherhood, the global Islamist movement whose offspring include Hamas, al Qaeda, and Islamic Jihad. Hamas’ leader, Khaled Meshal, resides in Qatar’s capital. It is a financial and ideological sponsor of Hamas—whose charter demands not only the destruction of Israel but also the removal of Jews from an Islamic “Palestine”—as well as a supporter of the Taliban, the Al-Nusra front, militias in Libya, and other armed prophets throughout the Ummah. And Qatar is the founder and owner of Al Jazeera, which pushes the Brotherhood line, and whose anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism have reached our shores in the form of Al Jazeera America.
The Qatari regime is awful. And, of course, it is authoritarian. I don’t want its agents and proxies interfering in our intellectual or policy debates, period, especially without having to tell the law enforcement officers of my country what they are doing with their money and why. The current arrangement—by which one has to read closely between the lines to detect Islamist influence in Washington—is unacceptable.
An example. The director of Brookings’s Foreign Policy Program is Martin Indyk. You know Marty. He recently took a sabbatical from Brookings and was for a time U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations. In this capacity he demanded that Israel make unilateral concessions to the Palestinian Authority, and was overheard bashing the Jewish State and its government over drinks at a hotel bar. He and the Qataris have lots to talk about at development meetings.
Exit Qatar: What's next for Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood?
Some political analysts attribute the recent change in Qatari policies towards the Brotherhood to warming relationships between Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Following a GCC meeting in late August, in a sign Qatar was ready to heed some of the GCC and Egypt's demands regarding the Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced they would be returning their ambassadors to Doha after recalling them in the spring.
Others are less convinced.
"The relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar is stronger than it may appear. What Qatar did, in expelling a couple of famous faces from the Muslim Brotherhood, is just a way to (diffuse) some of the pressures of other countries in the GGC," Ahmed El-Ban, a researcher on Islamist movements, told Ahram Online.
Earlier, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain called on the fellow Gulf state to expel leading Brotherhood figures and tone down Al Jazeera's broadcasts. Gulf media even circulated reports of possible economic sanctions being imposed on oil-rich Qatar by its GCC peers.
This spring, to increase pressure on Doha, both Saudi Arabia and the UAE blacklisted the Brotherhood on their own soil and declared it a terrorist group, following Egypt's designation of the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation last December.
On the other hand, political analyst and researcher on Islamist movements Ammar Ali Hassan believes the change of heart in Qatar relates to the ongoing war on terrorism – specifically against the militant group known as the Islamic State – to be led by the US.
Israel to re-authorize security barrier route near West Bank historical site
The government on Sunday is set to debate the re-authorization of 45 kilometers of the West Bank security barrier’s route in the Battir region of Gush Etzion, which is a World Heritage site.
It is reviewing the barrier’s route at the request of the High Court of Justice, but the move forces the government to make a public stand on a contentious diplomatic issue that has been mostly dormant in the last few years: the West Bank security barrier.
In 2004, the International Court of Justice at the Hague issued a non-binding advisory opinion, explaining that construction of the barrier over the pre-1967 lines was illegal.
Israel designed the barrier to prevent the type of suicide bombings that killed around 1000 thousand people during the second intifada. It has refused to heed the ICJ opinion, which it believes is legally flawed and the result of a biased process.
But the pace of construction has been slow and according to the United Nations, 12 years after the barrier's inception, only 62% of its 712 kilometer route has been completed.
Among the uncompleted sections is the route in the Gush Etzion region, just outside Jerusalem, including a 45 kilometer stretch that was approved in 2006.
Barkat Promises 'Zero Tolerance' on Arab Rioting
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat addressed Jerusalem's "silent intifada" on Thursday night, urging that he will take a hard line against Arab rioters, who have been throwing Molotov cocktails and fireworks at police and civilians.
"I want to clarify this decisively: a heavy and uncompromising hand should be taken against anyone who does violence of any kind," Barkat stated on his Facebook page. "We will not accept a situation where we see throwing stones or Molotov cocktails at the light rail, at Jewish homes in eastern Jerusalem or any other kind of violence."
It is unacceptable that police arrest rioters only to have them released in a "revolving door" by the court, said Barkat.
"We have to step up and create a deterrent, a punishment to let [rioters] know - anyone who thinks they can take the law into their own hands will be caught and will pay a heavy price," Barkat urged.
Poll: Israelis care more about peace process and EU than Iran
Israelis see advancing the peace process with the Palestinians as more important than confronting the Iranian nuclear threat, according to a poll published this week. Indeed, the survey shows, the public is more interested in the Israeli government promoting better ties with moderate Arab states and the European Union than in dealing with Tehran’s nuclear program.
The survey, commissioned by Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, a left-leaning Israeli think tank, also showed that most Israelis view their nation’s standing in the world as very poor and are deeply dissatisfied with the way their leaders are steering the country’s foreign policy.
Asked which issue should be Israel’s top foreign policy priority for the coming six months, 34 percent of respondents named the Israeli-Palestinian peace process (30% of Jewish and 71% of Arab respondents). In contrast, only 12% mentioned dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue (13% of Jews and 4% of Arabs.)
“The Iranian issue is losing traction in the Israeli public discourse, and that’s interesting,” said Mitvim chairman Nimrod Goren. In a society dominated by discussions of national security, one would have expected the Iranian nuclear threat to be listed first, he said.
2 Iranians with fake Israeli passports arrested in Kenya
Kenyan authorities reportedly arrested two Iranians in Nairobi who tried to reach Israel using fake Israeli passports.
The two men, both in their early 20s, were arrested several days ago, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday.
The passports were forgeries based stolen Israeli passports. The news site revealed only the first names of the Israeli identities, Adi and Avshalom.
The two men were scheduled to board a Brussels Airlines flight to the Belgian capital, and fly from there to Ben Gurion Airport, according to the report.
An Israeli official told the daily that Israeli passports were relatively easy to forge because many Israelis have not yet switched to biometric passports, which store on chips unique information including facial recognition and fingerprints.
It is not yet known what the Iranians in custody were planning to do in Israel, Yedioth Ahoronoth reported.
UK Jewish group provides Bedouins with mobile bomb shelters
During Operation Protective Edge, most Bedouin Arabs in Israel’s Negev Desert found themselves without bomb shelters to escape the rocket barrages from Gaza. Now a British Jewish group, the UK chapter of the Jewish National Fund, has purchased three mobile bomb shelters for the residents of the predominantly Bedouin city of Rahat.
“Having help from organizations like JNF UK in these difficult times is vital to our communities and shows that we can work effectively and live side by side in the Negev,” Rahat Mayor Fayez Abu Sahiban said, according to a JNF press release. “A large proportion of the Bedouin population in this region lives in temporary dwellings, which means the Iron Dome [missile defense system] cannot recognize these settlements. Having mobile bomb shelters will help preserve life, particularly the lives of our children.”
Hamas Accuses Fatah of Splitting Unity Government
The war of words between Hamas and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction continued to heat up on Friday, after Hamas lashed out at unity government Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.
Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri gave Hamdallah a tongue lashing on his official Facebook page Friday, accusing the prime minister of "still being loyal to the orders of the Fatah movement and conducting its decisions."
Hamdallah "isn't behaving according to the rules of the unity government, and ignores the rights of Gaza residents and their suffering," charged Abu Zuhri. "He is reinforcing the rift and adding to the failure of the (unity) government."
Abu Zuhri's verbal barrage comes after Hamdallah earlier on Friday revealed no plans have been instituted to ensure the implementation of the reconciliation agreement signed by Hamas and Fatah in April.
Hamas Seeking 'Alternatives' to PA Unity Government
An "alternative" to the Palestinian "unity" government may be in the works, Hamas "political leader" Mahmoud Zahar stated late Thursday night, claiming that the Hamas-Fatah unity pact was only a "temporary arrangement."
According to Zahar, the unity pact signed in April, was "only meant to last six months, and after that, there are choices for alternatives." He did not mention the possibility of an election date, however.
In the interim, there "is no doubt that it is a failure," Zahar said of the unity government.
The announcement surfaces amid multiple reports over the past several months that the unity government itself has been slowly crumbling.
'Thousands' Sneaked Out of Gaza During Operation Protective Edge
Despite the recent Egyptian siege and Israeli blockade on the Hamas-enclave of Gaza, reportedly thousands of residents of the coastal strip of land have illegally made their way out in recent months through Hamas's smuggling tunnels to Sinai.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that some 2,890 self-defined "Palestinians" have arrived in Italy this year. Some doubt has been cast on that figure, as some migrants claim to be "Palestinians" to avoid repatriation to countries with extradition agreements with the European Union (EU).
However, a Gaza-based human rights worker confirmed the appraisal, revealing to AFP "we estimate that thousands of people have left the Gaza Strip clandestinely over the past two months, especially during the war," referring to Operation Protective Edge.
"Due to the fact they left through tunnels to Egypt - an illegal, secret way to leave - we have no precise figure," added the worker, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Syrian Regime: Establishment Of Anti-Terror Coalition A Vindication Of Our Position; Any Action Not Coordinated With Us Will Have Repercussions
The position of the Syrian regime, led by President Bashar Al-Assad, on the formation of the anti-terror coalition led by the U.S. and the Gulf states against the Islamic State (IS, formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – ISIS) is twofold. On the one hand, it sees the West's acknowledgement that extremist Islamist organizations are a threat and must be combated as justification of what it has been claiming since the beginning of the civil war in the country, as well as an opportunity for rebuilding its status internationally through collaborating with the coalition. In this context, the Syrian Al-Watan daily and the Lebanese Al-Akhbar daily, which are close to the Syrian regime, claimed that Syria-U.S. intelligence coordination was taking place, brokered by a third party, and that this coordination had helped regime forces strike ISIS targets within Syria. Whether or not this report is true, its publication by regime-associated papers indicates that the Syrian regime is willing to cooperate with the coalition, but only on its own terms. By the same token, the regime cannot publicly oppose the idea of an international coalition to fight the IS, since it itself claims to be fighting them.
Funding woes force U.N. to slash rations for Syrians: official
The United Nations will have to slash food rations to four million Syrians by 40 percent in October due to a shortage of funds, despite better access to areas in need, a senior U.N. aid official said on Wednesday.
John Ging, director of operations at the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said in an interview that the "break in the pipeline" means greater hunger as a fourth winter of the Syrian civil war sets in.
A record 4.1 million people in Syria received rations in August as more convoys were able to cross front lines and borders from Turkey and Jordan, the U.N.'s World Food Programme (WFP) said this month.
Syria still has many chemical weapons — Israeli official
Israel’s security establishment maintains that the Syrian army still possesses “significant” stockpiles of ready-for-use arms primed with chemical toxins, in contravention of the regime’s commitment to dismantle or give up its entire chemical weapons arsenal, an Israeli security officials told Reuters Thursday.
“There is, to my mind, still in the hands of Syria a significant residual capability… that could be used in certain circumstances and could be potentially very serious,” the official was quoted as saying.
According to the official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, the stockpiles, which were hidden by the Syrian army in secret locations across the war-torn country, included missile warheads, bombs, and rocket propelled grenades. The official added, however, that Israeli intelligence had been able to discover the whereabouts of the hidden arms.
Kerry: Assad Violated Chemical Weapons Treaty
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday there is evidence that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is using chlorine gas, “in violation” of a global chemical weapons treaty.
"We believe there is evidence of Assad's use of chlorine," Kerry testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, according to The Hill.
Chlorine gas is not on the list of chemicals Syria declared to the international community, but Kerry said its use is prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention.
The secretary said the U.S. also had “some questions” about Assad honoring other parts of the weapons treaty.
Syrian Opposition Leader Visits Wounded Countrymen in Israeli Hospital: ‘Assad Slaughters Us, You Heal Us’
An exiled Syrian rebel leader visited countrymen wounded in fighting being treated at an Israeli hospital this week, in a first-ever such visit by a senior Syrian official, Israel’s NRG News reported Thursday.
“After what Assad has taught us, we see who is the enemy,” 57-year-old opposition leader, Dr. Kamal Al-Labwani, who is living in Turkey, said during his visit, delayed until now for fear of showing recognition of support for the Jewish state. He is here, after attending the International Conference on Counter-Terrorism, held in Herzliya.
During his week-long visit, in which Al-Labwani was to meet with top government officials, he will be joined by Israeli-American businessman, Moti Kahana. Kahana is involved in humanitarian activities for Syrian civil war victims, and is active in efforts to remove the remaining Jews in the country.
Philippines begins withdrawing troops from Golan
The Philippine army has begun withdrawing its forces from the Golan Heights two weeks earlier than planned due to the escalating fighting on the Syrian side of the plateau.
A military spokesman in Manila said 244 Filipino soldiers were evacuated in a UN aircraft, and are slated to arrive Friday in the country’s capital Manila, Israel Radio reports.
The remaining 100 soldiers will be evacuated in a week.
Last month, Philippine soldiers found themselves surrounded and battling Syrian rebels with ties to Al Qaeda after the rebel group had demanded their surrender.
One of Oldest Known Synagogues Seized by ISIS in Syria
The ancient city lies near the Iraqi border on a cliff overlooking the Euphrates River, and has fallen into ISIS hands; satellite imagery from April shows numerous holes from looter digs littering the site.
Images show hundreds of people, including gunmen, taking part in the excavations from dawn until night in many cases. Abdulkarim notes dealers are present, and "when they discover an artifact, the sale takes place immediately. They are destroying entire pages of Syrian history."
One of the earliest known Jewish synagogues is located at Dura Europos along with numerous pagan temples and churches, making the digging particularly troubling.
The fate of the synagogue, which was discovered in 1932 and dated by an Aramaic inscription to 244 CE, remains unknown.
First French strike targets Islamic State depot in Iraq
France announced Friday it had conducted its first airstrike in Iraq and had destroyed a logistics depot held by the Islamic State group.
The office of President Francois Hollande said Rafale fighter jets struck the depot in northeastern Iraq on Friday morning and the target was “entirely destroyed.”
“Other operations will follow in the coming days,” said Hollande’s office in a statement. It did not elaborate on the type of material at the depot or its exact location.
Islamic State Conquering Syria's Turkish Border
The brutal Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group has been conquering massive swathes of Syria and Iraq, and recently extended a foothold in Lebanon - now the push of the group's over 30,000 jihadsts has brought them to the very gates of Turkey in Syria's north.
Fierce fighting between ISIS and Kurdish forces Thursday night ended with the jihadists conquering 21 northern Syrian villages in 24 hours.
The ISIS fighters also beseiged the Kurdish city Ayn al-Arab (Kobani in Kurdish) located a mere 12 miles from the Turkish border, reports Al Jazeera as cited by Walla!.
Turkish Military Weighs 'Buffer Zone' Against Threat from Iraq, Syria
Turkey's military is drawing up plans for a possible "buffer zone" on the country's southern border, where it faces a threat from Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, Turkish media quoted President Tayyip Erdogan as saying on Monday.
The government will evaluate the plans and decide whether such a move is necessary, Turkish television stations quoted Erdogan as telling reporters on his plane as he returned from an official visit to Qatar.
A presidency official confirmed that Erdogan had made such remarks but did not specify where along the border the zone might be established and gave no further details.
Israel envoy: Nuclear Iran ‘a thousand times’ more dangerous than Islamic State
Saying a nuclear Iran would be a “thousand times” greater threat to the world than the Islamic State, Israel’s ambassador to the United States warned against including Iran in any coalition to derail the jihadist group.
Ron Dermer, speaking Wednesday to guests at a pre-Rosh Hashanah reception at his residence in suburban Maryland, also cautioned the US against accommodating Iran during the current effort to degrade IS.
His urgent tone was the latest sign of a split between the Obama and Netanyahu governments over how to deal with Iran’s role in stopping IS, which is seizing swaths of Iraq and Syria.
Iranian Prof: Suspicion of Nuclear Program Results From Iran’s Threats Against Israel
Sadegh Zibakalam, a professor of political science at the University of Tehran, made the remarks at an academic conference in May of this year.
“Other countries use nuclear knowhow too. Why is there no [international] opposition to these countries? Why has this problem become [the source] of so much trouble for Iran? The conservatives’ answer is that the West does not want Iran to enjoy an industrial and economic revolution. [However,] every country capable of enriching uranium to 3% is also capable, when it so desires, of manufacturing uranium enriched to 80%, which can be used for a nuclear bomb. Thus, the claim that the Westerners do not want Iran to advance [technologically] is [anchored in] an illusion. Iran has not made any new advances in its nuclear [program]. At Natanz and Fordo, we are [now] carrying out activity that some British scientist carried out years ago.
“If the problem has nothing to do with Iran’s progress and Iran’s economy, what is it connected to? Why does Iran’s potential capability to enrich uranium constitute a problem? [The answer is that] Iran has announced clearly that it wants to destroy Israel. Not one of the other countries with a nuclear program has ever announced that it wants to destroy another country. I do not know who gave [the job of] destroying Israel to Iran. Did the U.N. give this mission to Iran?”
Report: Iran Has Failed to Improve Its Treatment of Baha’is
The Baha’i International Community issued a report Monday, which charged Iran with failing to meet its own pledges on human rights. The document lists 34 broken commitments, and was presented at a news conference in Geneva.
“Iran has utterly failed in every case to fulfill the commitments it made to improve human rights in relation to its treatment of Baha’is when it stood before the Human Rights Council four years ago,” said Diane Ala’i, the BIC’s representative to the United Nations in Geneva, discussing the report.
“The Council is built on the idea that its members will be honest and sincere in their pursuit of human rights, and Iran’s record of ‘unfulfilled promises’ is a sad testimony of the gap between that country’s rhetoric and reality,” said Ms. Ala’i.


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