Monday, November 17, 2014

From Ian:

Netanyahu Warns US: ISIS and Iran Must Both Lose
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed support Sunday for the US fight against Islamic State terrorists, but cautioned against any softening toward Iran.
"We want them both to lose. The last thing we want is to have any one of them get weapons of mass destruction," Netanyahu said in an interview with CBS Face the Nation.
PM Netanyahu Interviewed on CBS's "Face the Nation"


Antisemitic "documentary" demonizes Jews on PA TV
The film explains that Jews were expelled from European countries in the Middle Ages because the Europeans "could not bear their character traits, monopolies, corruption, and their control and climbing up positions in government." It also states that these countries "felt they had suffered a tragedy by providing refuge for the Jews." Finally, it claims European countries later saw the Balfour Declaration, in which Britain stated that it viewed "with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people," as "an ideal solution to get rid of" the Jews.
"Faced with the Jews' schemes, Europe could not bear their character traits, monopolies, corruption, and their control and climbing up positions in government. In 1290, King Edward I issued a decree banishing the Jews [from England]. Following him were France, Germany, Austria, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Spain and Italy. The European nations felt that they had suffered a tragedy by providing refuge for the Jews. Later the Jews obtained the Balfour Declaration, and Europe saw it as an ideal solution to get rid of them."
[Official PA TV, Nov. 11, 2014 and Jan. 1, 2013]




A Palestinian State - What the World Should Expect
At a moment when supremely civilized countries all over the world seem eager to support Palestinian statehood - Germany is the latest - few have taken the trouble to examine precisely what this support could actually mean. To be sure, the expected impact of a 23rd Arab sovereignty would be most immediately injurious to Israel, although, over time, even enthusiastic European advocates of "Palestine" would likely suffer their own consequent harms. This is because a Palestinian state - any Palestinian state - would quickly become yet another dedicated launching site for Jihadist terrorism.
Oddly enough, nothing could be more obvious.
"Hamas is ISIS, and ISIS is Hamas," correctly explained Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu before the U.N. General Assembly last September: "They all have the same ideology; they all seek to establish a global militant Islam, where there is no freedom."
Also in September, Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, now working together with his "brothers" in Hamas, asked the U.N. Security Council to set a deadline of November 2016 for a full Israeli withdrawal from Judea/Samaria (West Bank), including East Jerusalem. His draft resolution vaguely accepts a "Two State Solution" for the disputed areas, but all major Palestinian media continue to speak, officially, of Israel itself as "Occupied Palestine." The "moderate" PA "solution," therefore, exactly like the "radical" Hamas "solution," calls for a single Arab state, in all of the land now defined as Israel, West Bank, and Gaza.
"From the River to the Sea." These are the unambiguously endorsed borders of "Palestine," exterminatory boundaries that are expressed not only in words, videos, and documents, but also cartographically, in oft-published PA maps.
Since 2005, when Israel "disengaged" from Gaza in the naive hope of receiving a suitable quid pro quo from Hamas and the Palestinian Authority - that is, peace and cooperation from the Arab side - the only recognizable use to which this land has been put is as a Palestinian staging ground for endless war and ghastly terror.
Plainly, the only intended Palestinian solution for Israel remains a determinedly "final" one.
The Arabs Will Lose Jerusalem Too
In 1947, Israel accepted the "two-state solution" declared by the United Nations, focusing her efforts on moving ahead, never looking back. Since then, Israel has made a desert bloom. We have built roads, schools, hospitals, universities and great cities. Despite the many wars Israel has had to fight, the people of Israel have never stopped looking forward.
Israel has shown time and time again its willingness to make painful sacrifices for the sake of a genuine and enduring peace with its Arab neighbors. Israeli Arabs have infinitely more human rights in Israel than Jews ever had in any Arab nation, or that Arabs have in any Muslim nation in the Middle East. Not surprisingly these fundamental freedoms seem to be always overlooked by the very Arabs that enjoy and benefit from democratic rights in Israel. The hearts and minds of the Palestinian Arabs continue to be overwhelmingly "occupied" with Jew-hatred. This is the true narrative about the so-called “occupation”.
Once again a new generation of Arabs, including Israeli Arabs, are taking up gasoline bombs and even using cars as weapons in order to kill or injure Jews to further that same futile aim and in the name of this ancient hatred. Though many of Israel’s enemies promote the notion that the violence is caused by Jewish actions, the latest terror campaign, if it continues, will be very much like every other episode in the Palestinian Arab’s hundred-year war against Zionism.
Those that wish the Palestinian Arabs well should urge them to try to shake off this rejectionist mindset, lest they waste another century in pointless conflict. Should they continue ramming the shore, like the great whales do until they die, they will in the very soon future lose it all.
Israeli Concessions are Seen as Proof Israel is Wrong
From the Muslim and any objective observer’s view-point, no government that truly believes its people have the right to pray on the Temple Mount would ever give it up for any purpose, no matter how great. The Islamic world doesn’t see Israel’s Temple Mount prayer-ban as a “sacrifice for peace,” but as an “admission against interests” that the Temple Mount doesn’t belong to Israel and the Jewish people.
They see it as validating the Palestinian narrative: the Temple Mount is Palestinian, so why should the Palestinians pay for it with any “security” measures that protect Israel? To Arab thinking, and to others not predisposed to Israel, the real inference from the Ambassador's rhetorical “questions” insures that Israel has already lost its case.
Imagine asking the average American: “Israel doesn’t allow Jews to pray on its holiest site the Temple Mount, but it does allow unlimited Muslim prayer. Does that mean Israel has a right to the Temple Mount?” What would any objective person conclude from that? Anyone would think Israel doesn’t believe it has any right to be there in the first place, otherwise they should do on the Temple Mount whatever they believe they should, especially prayer. It’s only leftist thinking that makes this statement into a badge of “Peace.”
Israel’s entire “Land for Peace” delusion leads to the same results. Palestinian Arabs and Muslims don’t see the “Peace concessions” that Israelis have conned themselves into believing are “sacrifices.” Arabs see Israeli concessions as explicit admissions by Israel that Israel doesn’t rightfully belong in Judea and Samaria. And, who wouldn’t.
New EU foreign policy chief: Recognizing a Palestinian state is not enough
European foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels Monday morning to discuss the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process amid growing calls by local politicians for the member states to unilaterally recognize Palestine as a state.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini of Italy, told reporters that the topic in front of the EU council of foreign ministers is boosting the EU’s role in a renewed peace process.
“What we need is not just recognition [of a Palestinian state]. We need the building of a Palestinian state that can live next to the Israeli one in peace and security,” she said before the council meeting.
Abbas is never held liable
The Palestinian media has praised the perpetrators of several of the recent attacks, including Moataz Hejazii, who shot Yehudah Glick, a proponent of Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount, outside of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center last month.
While the government has placed cameras on the Mount of Olives, tougher steps, including increased prosecution of perpetrators and the holding parents of minors who commit crimes accountable, should also be taken, he asserted.
“The US has made some statements on it but there has to be an accountability. Abbas is never held accountable and here you see the direct calls that he has made and indeed...calls to violence. Certainly the incitement was blatant and clear.”
Netanyahu Warns Abbas Israel Will Protect Its Citizens
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday that Israel will protect its citizens from Arab violence.
Last week terrorists carried out 240 attacks against Israelis, killing two and wounding at least 23 others.
Speaking at the start of the weekly government cabinet meeting, Netanyahu called on “Abu Mazen” – the terrorist name used by Abbas among Arabic speakers – to “stop this propaganda immediately.”
Fatah blesses terrorists for heeding call: "Jerusalem needs blood to purify itself of Jews"


PA TV sends "greetings and honor" to terrorist murderers and their families


PLO, PA said to mull cutting security ties with Israel
Anonymous “knowledgeable sources” told London-based daily Al-Hayat that despite American efforts to restart peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, “the Palestinians cannot wait for American action while Israel races against time by changing the situation in Jerusalem and the West Bank and imposes a policy of fait accompli.”
The Palestinian Authority has been facing mounting pressure from the Islamist factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as well as from smaller left-wing factions within the PLO, to halt security coordination with Israel as a punitive measure in response to Israeli construction beyond the Green Line.
Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas’s faction, has also begun preparing the ground for security disengagement from Israel if a Palestinian bid for recognition via the United Nations Security Council fails. The movement’s Revolutionary Council declared in October that failure to recognize “Palestine” as a full member of the UN could “end the peace process” and “halt all official ties stemming from the Oslo agreement and mutual obligations arising from it.”
Jewish man stabbed in back in suspected Jerusalem terrorist attack
A 32-year-old Jewish man is recovering after being stabbed in the back with a screwdriver, allegedly by an Arab suspect, on a downtown Jerusalem street on Sunday evening.
According to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, the attack took place shortly after 6 p.m. on Hanevi’im Street, from which the suspect fled by foot toward Damascus Gate.
Shortly after the unidentified victim was stabbed, Magen David Adom paramedics arrived at the scene to treat the man and transfer him to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Rosenfeld said.
Multiple road blocks were erected in the area as police continue to search for the suspect, he said, adding that the attack is being investigated as nationalistically motivated.
In response, Hamas praised the stabbing on Sunday evening, calling it “a natural response to the crimes of the occupation,” according to Palestinian news site Al-Resalah.
Netanyahu told Jordan’s king to take reins at Temple Mount – report
During the Thursday meeting, attended by Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry, Jordan’s King Abdullah II expressed dissatisfaction regarding the Jewish Knesset members who had visited the Temple Mount in recent weeks, telling Netanyahu that their presence was inconsistent with the prime minister’s public assurances of maintaining the status quo of the compound, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif.
In response, Netanyahu reportedly told the king he was unable to restrict the movements of MKs, according to news site NRG.
Abdullah, however did acknowledge President Reuven Rivlin and Netanyahu’s recent requests that right-wing MKs refrain from visiting the contested holy site, and noted the decline in such visits over the last week, the Hebrew daily reported.
Netanyahu reiterated his commitment to Abdullah and Kerry that Israel has no intention of changing the delicate status quo at the Temple Mount, including leaving in place a controversial Israeli policy that bans prayer by non-Muslim visitors.
According to NRG, Netanyahu reminded Abdullah that Jordan maintains administrative control of the holy site (??), and encouraged the Hashemite Kingdom to take a larger role in restoring quiet. Netanyahu also pointed out that the recent clashes were carried out with the full knowledge of the Jerusalem Waqf.
Yehudah Glick Medical Update
Rabbi Yehudah Glick was spotted zooming through the halls of Shaarei Tzedek hospital on his wheelchair, bundled up with blankets – and without any breathing tubes or other equipment plugged into him. Utterly inspiring.
This is a miraculous recovery for the Jewish Human Rights activist who was shot 4 times at close range by an Arab assassin on October 29, 2014 outside the Begin Center in Jerusalem.
Glick underwent multiple surgeries to remove parts of his intestines, lungs, and repair other internal damage from the shooting. Besides the shots to his stomach and chest, Glick was also shot in the arm and neck.
It was only a week that ago doctors were finally able to first wake him up and begin weaning him off the respirator.
Danon to Propose: Your Child Threw Rocks? No Stipends
On Monday, MK Danny Danon (Likud) will bring up for a vote in the Knesset a proposal to revoke stipends from parents whose children carried out a rock throwing attack.
The proposal comes in the wake of the continued violence in Jerusalem, much of which is perpetrated by Arab-Muslim minors.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva on Sunday, Danon said he was not worried about a fiery debate over his proposed law.
“I very much hope it will provoke a storm," he said. “We must stop this reality and if necessary impose fines on parents. Throwing rocks is attempted murder and we have to stop it.”
Autopsy report: Palestinian bus driver hanged self, no foul play
Jerusalem Police accused the Palestinian media and extremists of incitement Monday afternoon, shortly after an autopsy report concluded there was no criminal activity involved in the death of a Palestinian Egged bus driver who was found hanged inside his vehicle Sunday night.
Prior to the announcement, police patently denied rampant speculation in the Arab press that Youssef al-Ramouni, 32, was murdered in the capital by Israelis in a nationalistically-motivated crime.
“Again, we can see the Palestinian media and extremists using this sad incident of an Arab Egged bus driver who committed suicide in order to try to incite and provoke disturbances among the Arab community,” said Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
Ramouni was found dead at the start of the route he was supposed to have driven late on Sunday, in an area of Jerusalem close to Jewish settlements and Palestinian neighborhoods.
Rosenfeld added that the report, conducted by an Arab coroner, would be handed over to his family, along with Ramouni’s body, which is scheduled to be buried in a Tuesday funeral in Abu Dis, a Palestinian town on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Arabs Riot against Israel because Arab Bus Driver Hanged Himself
The driver was 32-year-old Yousef al-Ramouri, a driver for the Egged bus company, which is one of the most desired positions for a worker because of its generous benefits.
He was found hanged from his bow tie inside the bus he was driving in the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Givat Shaul in Jerusalem. Officials said there were no signs of violence on his body.
But that is not the way Palestinian Authority and leftist media reported the tragic death. The Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency quoted witnesses that they saw the “execution” of al-Ramouri at the hands of those fanatic settlers.
So now al-Ramouri is a martyr.
IDF Blog: The Patriot Missile: Aerial Defense Against Enemy Infiltrations
The Patriot surface-to-air missile system, officially known as the MIM-104, is an important part of Israel’s aerial defense. Designed by the American company Raytheon, this ground-to-air, long-range missile is able to intercept and shoot down all types of aircraft. Drones, helicopters and fighter jets can all be targeted from a distance of 160 km. During the IDF’s most recent operation, the system executed its first three interceptions in the past 20 years.
Lieutenant Uri Regev was the operations officer of two Patriot batteries located in Israel’s Southern District during Operation Protective Edge. “As the operations officer, my mission is to train the soldiers during times of quiet, as well as to act as quickly as possible during emergency situations,” he said.
Safeguard the Druze's integration
Muslims want to sever the Druze-Israeli ties, to unravel the much-touted blood bond they view with scorn.
Muslims have also harassed a Christian priest who has called on Arab Christians to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces and denounced Israel's decision to recognize Israeli-Aramean as a distinct ethnic group that dates back to the Bible and speaks its own unique language.
The Israel Police must boost its presence in Abu Snan to make sure bloody sights on Saturday -- stabbings, hit-and-run attacks and grenade throwing -- do not recur. All Israeli citizens are entitled to a sense of security, regardless of their ethnicity, religious affiliation and gender. But Israel must make it clear that any group that seeks greater integration in Israeli society will be protected.
We must address this situation lest things become much worse.
Watch: Palestinian Car Thief Rams Police Checkpoint
Police have released video footage of the moment a Palestinian car thief smashed his way through a police roadblock early Sunday morning.
As previously reported by Arutz Sheva, the driver - a Palestinian resident of Kafr Tamun in Samaria (Shomron) - was eventually taken into custody by Samaria District police near the city of Ariel.
He had initially stolen the truck and was being tailed by police as he made his way east on Highway 55.
Officers mobilized the Samaria central checkpoint to apprehend the thief - setting up a makeshift post on the main traffic thruway leading from Kfar Saba, in the west, to Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria, in the east.
Hamas Official: Abbas is Thwarting Reconciliation
Speaking to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency, Yahya Mousa accused Abbas of “thwarting reconciliation in favor of investment projects, security coordination with Israel and a war against political Islam.”
He added that a reconciliation agreement was reached between Hamas and Fatah thanks to successive initiatives by Hamas.
“Whenever reconciliation moves a step forward, he takes several steps backward,” Mousa told Ma’an.
He urged Abbas to “leave” because “he isn’t part of the solution anymore, but rather a problem to the Palestinian national liberation project, and poses a huge threat to the Palestinian plight and to the unity of the Palestinian people.”
Hamas Leader: We Plan to Carry Out Terror from Judea and Samaria
Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar declared on Sunday that the terrorist movement is planning to develop its capabilities to carry out terror attacks against Israel from Judea and Samaria, and that it intends to continue to lead the Palestinian camp which advocates for armed struggle until Israel is destroyed.
Al-Zahar, who spoke in Gaza, said that the movement views the carrying out of terror attacks from Judea and Samaria as important, and plans to use available means and new methods, such as stabbing and hit-and-run attacks, against Israelis.
He further said that in the last war, Hamas’s rockets reached as far as Haifa, and that now the time has come to increase the range and destructive power of the missiles so that they can hit any point in Israel. Al-Zahar added that Hamas’s terror tunnels destroyed Israel’s security strategy as well as its plan to establish a buffer zone along Gaza.
Palestinian Military Industries Upgrades Anti-Blame Dome (satire)
Palestinian engineers unveiled the latest version of a blame-deflecting defense system today, improving the existing model to include a far more powerful deflection system to repel even preliminary notions that Palestinians could be expected to behave morally.
The Con-Dome system sheaths Palestinian society and government from accusations of involvement in, or incitement to, violence against Israelis, and prevents the international media and foreign governments from developing infectious ideas about demanding actual concessions from any party but Israel. The previous model shielded Palestinians from criticism in isolation, ensuring that any blame directed their way was tempered by a parallel denunciation of Israeli defensive measures; the upgrade increases Con-Dome’s effectiveness by up to seventy percent in actually causing others to blame Israel for violence by Palestinians.
Initially slated to go into effect in time for this summer’s war in and around the Gaza Strip, Con-Dome was delayed by supply problems from going online until recent weeks, problems that, once it was activated, became Israel’s fault. Until then, the Palestinians had to settle for the media and governments of Western countries merely taking Hamas’s civilian casualty figures at face value.
Eyeing Hezbollah, navy ups joint training with air force, infantry
In light of increased tensions with Hezbollah in Lebanon, the air force, ground forces and navy have increased the number of joint exercises in recent weeks.
The changes have seen a “significant” rise in integrated drills, the IDF said. The drills focus on a range of combat scenarios, including underwater missions, air-based missions and the deployment of infantry units.
Infantry-only combat exercises have also been increased, the IDF said.
The Israel Navy’s northern Security Company, based at Haifa, is taking part in the strenuous combat preparation program.
Isis and al-Qaeda agree 'to end fighting and join against their opponents'
Militant leaders from the Isis and al-Qaeda terrorist groups have agreed to stop fighting each other in order to join against their opponents.
Isis, which calls itself the Islamic State (Isis), and al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, have been engaged in bitter fighting for more than a year in an attempt to dominate the bloody rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The accord set between the extremists groups in northern Syria last week could spell problems for the US-led coalition in its fight against Isis, as it complements its air strikes by arming “moderate” rebel factions to fight on the ground.
Now, if the two terrorist groups fulfil their agreement and unite as one force, this would further weaken US-backed rebels - who are viewed as relatively disorganised.
Islamic State commanders liable for mass war crimes: U.N.
Islamic State commanders are liable for war crimes on a "massive scale" in northeast Syria, where they spread terror by beheading, stoning and shooting civilians and captured fighters, U.N. investigators said on Friday.
Their report, based on over 300 interviews with witnesses and victims, called on world powers to bring the commanders before the International Criminal Court for both war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Paulo Pinheiro, who chaired the U.N. panel, told a news conference that its findings would add to a secret list of war crimes suspects from all sides in Syria's civil war, in which some 200,000 have been killed since March 2011.
Since U.S.-led air strikes began targeting Islamic State in Syria in late September, its fighters have begun taking up positions in civilian houses and farms, leading to civilian casualties, the report said.
After Kassig beheading, 26-year-old woman is last American ISIS hostage
Sunday's murder of American Peter Kassig is believed to have left Islamic State with only one more captive American, a 26-year-old woman, according to The Daily Beast.
The last standing captive's name is unknown. Yet like Kassig, she was an aid worker in Syria, helping children who were orphaned or separated from their families as a result of the ongoing civil war.
The unnamed woman has been held by Islamic State militants since August 2013. Over the course of her captivity, US officials, along with her family, have remained firm in their request that her identity remain anonymous and out of the public's eye.
Islamic State bribes Arab leaders in order to expand power base
The Quilliam report contains twitter messages of Islamic State operatives that reveal that the group tries to expand its power base in other Arab countries by bribing local and Islamist Leaders. Islamic State started these operations after it was warned that its international isolation could lead to the collapse of the organization.
Bribing ideologues
As for the religious and financial aspects of the plan, IS leadership feels that they don’t have supporters inside or outside IS that have wide popular appeal Bin Ali has asked the IS leadership to offer money to Sheikhs and influential [ideologues] outside IS to join, and has guaranteed their relocation and provision of residences In reality, a number of Sheikhs have been offered to join IS via middle men, including Saudis, Egyptians, Jordanians, Moroccans and Yemenis For example, offers include a million [dollars] as well as providing private homes, and relocating their families, household furniture and libraries As well as guaranteeing the operation to move them and forging passports for them if they agree to the offer.
CIA Blunder? Kurdish Leader Says ISIS Has '200,000 Fighters'
The CIA and other intelligence services have estimated the fighting strength of Islamic State (ISIS) to be no more than 31,500 terrorists - but according to a senior Kurdish officer, that number is actually at least 200,000.
Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of Iraqi Kurdish Region President Massoud Barzani, told the Britain's The Independent that ISIS's ability to attack simultaneously over a wide region spanning Syria and Iraq shows its true fighting force is much higher than previously thought.
"I am talking about hundreds of thousands of fighters because they are able to mobilize Arab young men in the territory they have taken," Hussein said, noting the recruitment tactics of the brutal jihadist group.
Gulf States to Return Envoys to Qatar
Gulf leaders agreed Sunday on the return of Saudi, Emirati, and Bahraini envoys to Qatar after an extraordinary meeting in Riyadh, promising an end to eight months of tense relations, according to AFP.
The agreement "promises the opening of a new page that will present a strong base, especially in light of the sensitive circumstances the region is undergoing," said a Gulf Cooperation Council statement.
"Based on this, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain have decided to return their ambassadors to Doha," it said.
In March, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar, in protest over Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, especially in Egypt.
One week to ‘finish the job’ in Iran nuclear talks
Iran and six world powers begin a final round of talks in Vienna on Tuesday aiming to overcome significant remaining differences and agree a historic nuclear deal by a November 24 deadline.
“There’s still a big gap. We may not be able to get there,” US President Barack Obama warned last Sunday.
After 12 years of rising tensions, threats of war and failed diplomacy this accord would silence for good fears of Tehran developing nuclear weapons — an ambition it has always denied.
Success could put Iran and the West on the road to improved relations after 35 years in the deep freeze. Failure could mean renewed Iranian nuclear expansion and even military action.
Israel in ‘Huge’ Lobbying Effort Ahead of Deadline for Iranian Nuke Deal
Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister, Yuval Steinitz on Sunday told Israel Radio that the Jewish state is engaged in what he termed a “huge” lobbying effort ahead of a Nov. 24th deadline for a deal on Iran’s nuclear program, suspected by Israel and western powers as being a covert weaponization project.
The head of Iran’s Majlis (Parliament) Nuclear Committee said Sunday that the United States has sent Tehran an eight-page document, summing up the American position towards the Nov. 24th target date for formulating a nuclear deal, Israel’s Walla News site said.
“Excessive demands by the United States are leading to a deadlock in the talks,” committee chief Ibrahim Carhana told an Iranian news agency, adding that, “After a year of negotiations, we returned to the starting point – and even below zero.”
Iran Nuclear Pact Faces an Array of Opposing Forces
“Here it is a test of Obama’s strength and strategy,” he said. “In Tehran it is a proxy for a fundamental choice: whether Iran is going to continue to view itself as a revolutionary state, or whether it’s going to be a normal country,” which so many of its young people yearn for it to become.
So far, Mr. Khamenei has avoided making that choice, intelligence assessments by the United States and its allies conclude. While he has authorized President Hassan Rouhani and his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to negotiate with the United States and its partners, they believe that the supreme leader may decide whether to approve a deal only after his negotiators come home with the details.
That is what happened with a much smaller deal in 2009, which he killed after an agreement was reached in Vienna. And surrounding the ayatollah are hard-liners who have opposed any accord, as well as leaders of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, which is responsible for the military side of the nuclear program.
But Mr. Litwak’s observation about how the deal is a proxy for other issues applies equally to the rest of the key players in the negotiations: Israel, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Western Europe.
German customs investigation unit: Iran violates sanctions by purchasing nuclear technology
According to the report, the German custom’s criminal investigation unit (ZKA) said Iran’s regime over the last few months sought components for its nuclear program in Germany. “We continue to observe criminal nuclear proliferation activity, “ said ZKA President Norbert Drude.
Iran employs front companies to disguise its illegal purchases, noted the ZKA, adding that the front companies and personnel were used in dozens of cases by Iran to obtain sanctioned economic goods. Iran was successful in some cases.
Germany has aimed to fill wide holes in its porous system of export control. The country’s regulatory agency continues, however, to approve dual-use technology to Iran. Dual-use merchandise can be used for military or civilian purposes. The regulatory agency BAFA refuses to name the German firm involved in dual-use trade.
"Zionist" Olive Trees in Turkey

Apparently, some Turks have brought a totally unexpected dimension into the Islamic debate over the trees that will point to the last living Jews on earth. Despite a dubious source, a campaign ad circulating popularly in Turkish social media calls for a boycott against olive trees. Why?
It invites everyone to join the campaign by visiting the hashtag "#zeytinalmiyoruz (We are not buying olives)."
In conspiratorial thinking, the campaign may be the work of anti-Islamists who are trying to ridicule the Islamists. Regardless of whoever is behind the campaign, some pro-government Turks have already joined it, with tweets that demonize olives and olive trees.
Can countries go insane? If, in the Islamic thinking, Muslims will defeat Jews in the war before the Day of Judgment, why fight olive trees now? Why are olive trees Zionist trees and other trees are not? Will Muslims lose the war if olive trees do not betray the hiding Jews? If so, why is there a prophecy that says Muslims will win the war? Such questions of reason can be endlessly multiplied only to remain unanswered in a country where reason is being systematically defeated by Islamist bigotry.
Cuba Rejects Erdogan's Offer to Build Country's First Mosque
Cuba has reportedly rejected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's offer to build the country's first mosque.
Erdogan's offer came during a speech in Istanbul to Muslim leaders from Latin America, in which he made the bizarre claim that Muslims discovered America nearly three centuries before Christopher Columbus.
But according to the Turkish World Bulletin website, the head of Havana's tiny Muslim community, Pedro Lazo Torres, said that his joint efforts with Turkey's Religious Affairs Foundation (TDV) to open a mosque in the Cuban capital was rejected by the country's communist government.
He expressed his disappointment at the decision, contrasting it to the decision to allow Russia to build at Russian Orthodox church in the country. Cuba's 4,000 Muslims are currently restricted to praying in private homes.


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