Wednesday, July 22, 2015

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: How and why to kill the deal
Unfortunately, while eminently reasonable sounding, Ignatius’s analysis is incorrect. Kerry’s details of the deal are beside the point. The big picture is the only thing that matters. That picture has two main points.
First, the deal guarantees that Iran will develop nuclear weapons. Second, it gives $150 billion to the mullahs.
The details of the deal – the number of centrifuges that keep spinning, the verification mechanisms, the dispute resolution procedures, etc. – are all debatable, and largely irrelevant, at least when compared to the two irrefutable aspects of the big picture.
According to the administration, today Iran needs a year to use the nuclear materials it is known to possess to make a nuclear bomb. Other sources claim that Iran requires several months to accomplish the task.
Since these materials will remain in Iran’s possession under the deal, if Iran abandons the agreement, it will need at most a year to build nuclear weapons.
Then there are the unknown aspects of Iran’s nuclear program. We must assume that Iran has ongoing covert nuclear operations in unknown installations through which it has acquired unknown capabilities.
These capabilities will likely reduce the time Iran requires to make bombs.
Under the deal, the US and its negotiating partners are required to protect Iran’s nuclear assets from sabotage and other forms of attack. They are required as well to teach Iran how to develop and use more advanced centrifuges. As a consequence, when the agreement expires, Iran will be able to build nuclear bombs at will.
If Iran remains a threat, the deal bars the US from taking any steps to counter it aside from all-out war.
The agreement ends the international sanctions regime against Iran. With the sanctions goes any prospect of an international coalition joining forces to take military action against Iran, if Iran does walk away from the deal. So sanctions are gone, deterrence is gone. And that leaves only war.
In other words, far from diminishing the chance of war, the deal makes it inevitable that Iran will get the bomb or there will be a full scale war, or both.
Alan Dershowitz: US gave away better options on Iran
The most compelling argument the Obama administration is offering to boost what it acknowledges is a compromise nuclear deal with Iran is this: it’s better than the alternatives. That sort of pragmatic point is appealing to members of Congress, particularly skeptical Democrats who are searching for ways to support their president and who are accustomed to voting for the lesser of evils in a real-politick world where the options are often bad, worse, even worse, and worst of all.
But the question remains: How did we get ourselves into the situation where there are no good options?
We did so by beginning the negotiations with three important concessions. First, we took the military option off the table by publicly declaring that we were not militarily capable of permanently ending Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Second, we took the current tough sanction regimen off the table by acknowledging that if we did not accept a deal, many of our most important partners would begin to reduce or even eliminate sanctions. Third, and most important, we took off the table the option of rejecting the deal by publicly acknowledging that if we do so, we will be worse off than if we accept even a questionable deal. Yes, the president said he would not accept a “bad” deal, but by repeatedly watering down the definition of a bad deal, and by repeatedly stating that the alternative to a deal would be disastrous, he led the Iranians to conclude we needed the deal more than they did.
These three concessions left our negotiators with little leverage and provided their Iranian counterparts with every incentive to demand more compromises from us. The result is that we pinned ourselves into a corner. As Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute put it: “The deal itself became more important than what was in it.” President Obama seems to have confirmed that assessment when he said: “Put simply, no deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East.”
Only time will tell whether this deal decreases or increases the likelihood of more war. But one thing is clear: By conveying those stark alternatives to Iranian negotiators, we weakened our bargaining position.
The consequences will be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and a greater likelihood of war.
Moynihan’s message on BDS and Iran appeasement: We’ve got to stop this
Forty years ago, in July 1975, America’s new UN ambassador heard how American diplomats at the first International Women’s Conference in Mexico City tolerated Third World insults. Banging his fist on the table, Daniel Patrick Moynihan exclaimed: “We’ve got to stop this!” These are sobering times. The international threats are daunting – and leadership is wanting. Whatever you think of the Iranian agreement, the image of the great, virtuous United States of America negotiating with Iranian diplomats in exclusive European hotels while Iranian thugs yell “Death to America” on Teheran’s streets diminished all democracies. And whatever you think of Israel’s particular policies, the fact that many Progressives consider democratic Israel public enemy number one, not Iran, North Korea or other truly evil regimes, demeans liberalism.
This topsy-turvy world needs some history lessons and inspiring role models. With liberal Democrats dominating the American government and media, let’s remember muscular liberals who defended America proudly. Forty years after he became US ambassador to the UN, while building toward the fortieth anniversary of his denunciation of the infamous “Zionism is racism” resolution in November 1975, we should echo the great liberal statesman Daniel Patrick Moynihan, vowing: “We’ve got to stop this!” Moynihan refused to be an appeasing diplomat. Diplomats should deploy many tactics, he said, not just negotiation and compromise. Occasionally, diplomats had to defend national dignity, courageously, aggressively.
Accused of picking a fight over the Zionism-is-racism resolution, he replied, “Damned right we did!” Moynihan’s vigor stemmed directly from his liberal belief in an activist government operating intelligently, creatively and proactively, both domestically and internationally.
Moynihan mocked diplomats who believed their mission was to woo the enemy rather than defend America.



Netanyahu: Sometimes the entire world is wrong
At a meeting with visiting Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the nuclear deal reached last week between world powers and Iran "poses grave threats to Israel and the Middle East, to Europe and the world."
Netanyahu noted the deal would "put Iran at the threshold of an entire nuclear arsenal within a decade, because at that time the deal permits Iran to build as many centrifuges as it wants and to enrich as much uranium as it wants, which means that Iran could break out in a decade or so to dozens of nuclear bombs in zero time. And almost immediately, starting from this year, as the deal passes, the deal will give Iran hundreds of billions of dollars to bankroll its aggression in the region and its terrorism around the world."
Netanyahu reiterated his view that the deal is a "historic mistake."
"Now, we're repeatedly told that no deal is better than a bad deal," Netanyahu said. "Well, this is a bad deal. Yet today we are told that the whole world supports this bad deal. Well, that's just not true. Israel and many Arab states oppose this deal. And, in any case, sometimes the entire world can be wrong.
"It was dead wrong on another nuclear deal -- the one with North Korea. We were told then by the international community, the scientific community, the arms control community that that deal would prevent North Korea from getting nuclear weapons and it would make the world safer. Well, we all know how that turned out."
Obama Lied: There Are No Ballistic Missile Restrictions in Iran Deal
President Barack Obama boasted last week that his administration forced Iran to accept an eight-year delay in the lifting of ballistic missile sanctions, when Iran wanted those restrictions canceled immediately. (Never mind that Iran made the demand at the last minute, raising a “non-nuclear” issue of the sort Obama says the U.S. could not make with regard to American captives.) Now, Obama’s brag turns out to have been a lie. There are no effective ballistic missile restrictions in the deal: Iran is merely “called upon” to refrain, voluntarily, from such technology.
The old text of UN Security Council Resolution 1929 (2010), reads (emphasis added):
Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology, and that States shall take all necessary measures to prevent the transfer of technology or technical assistance to Iran related to such activities…
The Iran deal, as formalized by UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015), reads (emphasis added):
Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology, until the date eight years after the JCPOA Adoption Day or until the date on which the IAEA submits a report confirming the Broader Conclusion, whichever is earlier.
IAEA tells Congressmen: There are two secret side deals with Iran that won’t be shared with you
Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Congressmen Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) issued a press release yesterday on a startling discovery they made during a July 17 meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency officials in Vienna: There are two secret side deals to the nuclear agreement with Iran that will not be shared with other nations, with Congress, or with the U.S. public.
One of these side deals concerns inspection of the Parchin military base, where Iran reportedly has conducted explosive testing related to nuclear-warhead development. The Iranian government has refused to allow the IAEA to visit this site. Over the last several years, Iran has taken steps to clean up evidence of weapons-related activity at Parchin.
The other secret side deal concerns how the IAEA and Iran will resolve outstanding issues on possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Iran’s nuclear program. In late 2013, Iran agreed to resolve IAEA questions about nuclear weapons-related work in twelve areas. Iran only answered questions in one of these areas and rejected the rest as based on forgeries and fabrications.
Former Department of Energy official William Tobey explained in a July 15 Wall Street Journal op-ed why it is crucial that Iran resolve the PMD issue. According to Tobey, “for inspections to be meaningful, Iran would have to completely and correctly declare all its relevant nuclear activities and procurement, past and present.”
State Spokesman Repeatedly Refuses to Answer Whether There Are ‘Side Deals’ Between Iran and Nuclear Watchdog
State Department spokesman John Kirby repeatedly refused to answer direct questions from MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough Wednesday over whether he knew about reported “side deals” between Iran and the nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that would not be subject to scrutiny by Congress or the American public.
“I won’t speak for the IAEA,” Kirby said. “What I can tell you is that all relevant documents to this deal, certainly all those in our possession, have been delivered to Congress. They were delivered over the weekend, and they’ll have access to everything that we have access to.”
Salehi: We've Reached Understandings with IAEA on PMD; Technical Issues Being Resolved Politically
In an Iranian TV interview, negotiator Ali-Akbar Salehi, head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, said that Iran had "reached understandings with the IAEA" on the issue of the Possible Military Dimension (PMD). He said: "Now there is political backing [of the P5+1], and the [PMD] issue should be resolved." Salehi further said that the IAEA could no longer act independently on this matter, as it had done in the past. The interview was broadcast on the IRIB TV channel on July 21, 2015.


Obama’s Record on Palestinians a Clue to How He’ll Handle Iran Deal Breaches
One of the major issues in the debate over the Iran deal revolves around the question of what will happen if international inspectors want to visit a particular nuclear site, and the Iranians say no.
But an equally important consideration is: What will happen if Iranian violations are actually discovered? The Obama administration’s handling of Palestinian violations of agreements they’ve signed offers an important clue as to how it will respond to Iranian breaches.
Consider the issue of incitement to commit terror. The Oslo Accords obligated the Palestinian leadership to “abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda.” This obligation was reiterated in the 1998 Wye River agreement, which required the Palestinian Authority (PA) to “prevent incitement against the Israeli side.”
The United States government has never denied that the PA’s anti-Israel incitement is a serious problem. In fact, after the massacre of four rabbis and a policeman in a Jerusalem synagogue last November, Secretary of State John Kerry said the attack was “a pure result of incitement, of calls for ‘days of rage,’ of just irresponsibility,” and “is unacceptable.”
There is, however, a big difference between talking about incitement and actually doing something about it—as Israel has discovered. Back in 1998, when the Israelis began complaining seriously to the Bill Clinton administration about the PA’s incitement, the administration should have taken Israel’s side and insisted that the PA stop it. But it didn’t. Getting tough with the PA might “endanger the peace process,” the White House reasoned. And maintaining the appearance of a “peace process” became the administration’s priority.
So instead of siding with its ally, the U.S. created a committee. The “Trilateral U.S.-Israeli-Palestinian Anti-Incitement Committee” met a few times from 1999-2000 and then stopped functioning.
Why is J Street Supporting Iran? Whom is J Street Working For?
All major American Jewish organizations strongly oppose the Nuclear deal with Iran which funds and conducts global terrorism. Yet J Street, which claims to be Pro-Israel, will now spend millions of dollars lobbying in favor of the deal.
Why? Is this Pro-peace? Pro-Israel? Whom is J Street working for?


Former Saudi Ambassador to US: Gulf States Willing to Attack Iran
Prince Bandar’s comments to Beirut Daily Star and also reported by the Times of London were the first public criticism from Saudi Arabia, and he was straight to the point.
He warned that ObamaDeal will “wreak havoc” and then bluntly asserted:
Saudi Arabia and the Gulf powers are prepared to take military action without American support after the Iran nuclear deal
Prince Bandar is not a small voice. He was ambassador to Washington for 20 years, and MRC TV noted that it is unlikely that he would have conducted a major newspaper interview without King Salman’s blessing.
The prince’s view of the Obama administration sounds like Israel’s when it comes to relying on the United States.
“People in my region now are relying on God’s will, and consolidating their local capabilities and analysis with everybody else except our oldest and most powerful ally,” Prince Bandar told the Beirut newspaper.
He was even more candid in an article he wrote for the London-based Arabic news Web site Elaph, where he compared ObamaDeal with Bill Clinton’s agreement with North Korea, which supposedly would keep its word and not develop a nuclear bomb.
Nuclear Arms Race: Saudi Source Reveals Plan for the Bomb
While US President Barack Obama claimed he prevented a nuclear arms race in the Middle East when he presented the Iran deal last Tuesday, a key source in Saudi Arabia laid bare that claim by expressing the country's sense of urgency to acquire its own nuclear weapon.
Jamal Khashoggi, head of the Saudi Al Arab news channel that is owned by a prince of the ruling Saudi royal family, and who previously was the media aide to Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US, Prince Turki al Faisal, revealed that Saudi Arabia may be going nuclear very soon.
"I think Saudi Arabia would seriously try to get the (nuclear) bomb if Iran did. It's just like India and Pakistan. The Pakistanis said for years they didn't want one, but when India got it, so did they," Khashoggi told Reuters on Tuesday.
The statement confirms the warnings by experts, who said that the Saudis will likely rush to obtain a nuclear weapon feeling threatened by the Iran nuclear deal, which critics warn will pave the Islamic regime's path to a nuclear arsenal. Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran have long been key rivals vying for influence in the region.
If Saudi Arabia were to go for a nuclear bomb it would likely face international sanctions, but it remains unclear if the Saudi economy could actually be threatened given the global dependence on Saudi oil; Saudi Arabia is the leading oil exporter in the world.
Saudis seek US stand against Iran ‘interference’
Saudi Arabia’s leaders sought assurances on Wednesday that the United States stands firmly against Iranian “interference” in the Middle East, during a visit by US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
Carter arrived as part of a Middle East tour trying to allay the concerns of US allies that Iran could still be able to develop an atomic weapon despite an agreement reached this month between Tehran and six major powers led by Washington.
Sunni-ruled Gulf states are wary of the overtures to Tehran by Washington, their traditional defense partner.
Riyadh and its neighbors believe the deal will only embolden their Shiite regional rival, whom they accuse of meddling in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
Poll: 73% of Americans Have Little or No Confidence that Iran will Keep Nuke Deal
A plurality of Americans who are familiar with the nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), disapprove of the agreement, while 73% of Americans have little or no confidence that Iran’s leaders will abide by its terms, according to a poll released today by Pew Research Center. The poll also revealed that a majority of Americans have little or no confidence that the inspections regime will be able to catch Iran cheating.
More Americans disapprove than approve of the deal struck last week by the U.S., Iran and five other nations to limit Iran’s nuclear program: Among the 79% of Americans who have heard about the agreement, just 38% approve, while 48% disapprove (14% do not offer an opinion).
There is widespread skepticism about aspects of the agreement, particularly the Iranian leadership’s commitment to the terms of the deal: Most of those familiar with the agreement say they have not too much (35%) or no confidence at all (38%) that Iran’s leaders will uphold their side of the agreement. And while there is greater confidence in the U.S. and international agencies’ ability to monitor Iran’s compliance, 54% are not too (33%) or not at all (21%) confident, while a smaller share (45%) express at least a fair amount of confidence in their ability.
Obama slams ‘lobbyists, money’ working against his Iran deal
In an interview with “The Daily Show” on Tuesday, US President Barack Obama took a swipe at “the money” and “the lobbyists” being marshaled by opponents of his controversial nuclear deal with Iran.
Strongly championing the accord, which is being bitterly opposed by Israel and which is being challenged by the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby, Obama urged viewers to contact their elected representatives to make sure the accord passes Congress. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other critics of the deal are vowing to try to muster sufficient support in Congress to block the accord by the two-thirds majority necessary to overcome any presidential veto.
“We were talking earlier about the Middle East and an issue like Iran,” Obama told host Jon Stewart. “I really want people to pay attention to this issue and learn about it, and then contact your elected representatives and express your opinion.”
Reiterating his assertion that there were no better terms possible for the deal, and that therefore the choice is between this deal and war — a claim consistently disputed by Netanyahu — Obama added: “This is an example of where we have a huge issue of war and peace. Either we stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon through diplomacy, or potentially we have a military option. You’ve got a bunch of talking heads and pundits, and folks who are not going to be making sacrifices, if in fact you end up in a conflict, who are reprising some of the same positions we saw during the Iraq war, and if they are not hearing from citizens, then we end up making bad choices.”
Iran deal gets own Twitter handle in White House push
If you still have burning questions about the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, The White House is there for you — on Twitter.
The White House launched an official Twitter account dedicated to answering questions about the Iran deal on Tuesday morning. In a testament to the interest in the polarizing agreement, the account – aptly named @TheIranDeal – garnered nearly 6,000 followers in the first four hours.
“Tweet us your questions, and we’ll set the record straight,” the account’s description reads. The account was promoted by various members of the administration.
So far, Twitter has not been overly kind to its new member. (h/t
Nuclear Expert: Deal Gives Iran More than 24 Days to Avoid Inspections, Hide Illicit Work
Iran could delay inspections of suspicious nuclear sites for longer than the 24 days specified in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), William Tobey, a former deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration, wrote Monday in an analysis for Foreign Policy. Tobey explained that snap-back provisions in the JCPOA effectively allow Iran even more time to answer inquiries by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) before facing penalties, which it may use to hide evidence of illicit nuclear work and render an inspection meaningless.
First: the JCPOA specifies that if the IAEA has concerns regarding undeclared activities, it should first raise the matter with Iran. If the regime’s response proves unsatisfying, the IAEA could then request access to a facility, triggering the 24-day timeline. But the JCPOA leaves unspecified the time Tehran would have to answer the initial IAEA expression of concern — although such a step would, of course, tip off those attempting to conceal illicit activities.
Second: even if Iran defied a decision to grant the IAEA access to a suspect site, under the terms of the JCPOA, it would take 85 days before sanctions could “snap back.” At, say, day 70, Iran might well relent and invite the IAEA to tour the suspect site, leaving the other parties to the JCPOA to decide between sanctioning Iran and tubing the agreement, or accepting the inspection offer and hoping the deal can limp on. Based on the arguments being made about not letting the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program stand in the way of a prospective accord, it is pretty clear how that dilemma would be resolved.
Jewish Democrats not rushing to endorse Iran deal
Anyone who assumes the debate over the Iran deal will divide strictly along party lines should think again.
Some prominent American Jewish groups, rabbinical leaders and political figures who ordinarily align with the Obama administration and the Democratic Party are so far refraining from endorsing the Iran agreement – and, in some cases, are strongly criticizing it. If this trend continues, it could have serious implications for the deal’s chances of winning congressional approval.
The groups that are most loyal to the administration have remained faithful. The National Jewish Democratic Council, Americans for Peace Now, J Street and Ameinu (formerly the Labor Zionist Alliance) have endorsed the agreement.
But the major middle-of-the-road groups have not.
Can Schumer Finesse His Iran Deal Vote Dilemma?
For a politician who normally would do anything for publicity or attention, Senator Chuck Schumer has been mighty quiet the last week. The reason isn’t a mystery. The signing of the Iran nuclear deal has put Schumer into a tight spot. As the designated successor to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Schumer is obligated not to lend assistance to the effort to stop a pact that is President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement. Yet, at the same time, he is under enormous pressure to make good on his past promises to oppose a weak Iran deal and to stand up in defense of the State of Israel, whose security is compromised by the administration’s appeasement policy. Schumer has spent his entire political career positioning himself as an outspoken supporter of Israel as well as a fearsome partisan Democrat. Under most circumstances, that needn’t be a contradiction in terms, but with President Obama lobbying Congress hard to back his deal, they are now. For once, Schumer must choose. But the question is not only what choice will he make but also whether his attempts to keep his feet firmly planted in both the pro-Israel camp and that of the administration can possibly succeed.
Though the administration is seeking with the assistance of left-wing groups to promote the notion that the Iran deal is good for Israel that flimsy argument is deceiving no one. The pact grants Western approval for Iran’s status as a nuclear threshold state enriches it via the collapse of sanctions and provides few safeguards (a 24-day warning period for inspections makes promises about monitoring cheating a joke) against its eventual acquisition of a nuclear weapon once the deal expires. The deal will not only enable Iran to give more support for Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists but will assist Tehran’s goal of regional hegemony.
It is one thing for those whose support for Israel has always been secondary to their left-wing ideology or pro-Obama partisanship (such as the J Street lobby or the National Jewish Democratic Council) to endorse this brazen act of appeasement. For Schumer, a man who has staked his career on being the shomer (Hebrew for guardian) of Israel’s security in Congress, it would be a stunning betrayal that he would never live down.
'Americans, This Deal Imperils Your Families'
Former Israeli Ambassador to the US MK Michael Oren (Kulanu) sought to silence proponents of the Iran nuclear deal signed last Tuesday - prime among them US President Barack Obama - who claimed it was the best possible option.
In an op-ed Tuesday in Politico Magazine, Oren noted that proponents of the deal say international sanctions would be violated by Europe, Russia and China; that Israel and other critics of the deal did not propose an alternative; and that America either must accept the deal or go to war.
"None of these assertions is true," emphasized the former ambassador.
Oren began by deconstructing the current Iran deal, noting that under its framework Iran could either use advanced IR-8 centrifuges and break out to a nuclear weapon before an inspection, which must wait 24 days, or else wait ten years for the conditions to end and be able to produce a nuclear arsenal in no time.
In a significant remark given Saudi intentions to obtain a nuclear weapon stated this week, he noted that Iran's "neighbors, beginning with Saudi Arabia, would rush to acquire their own. The result would be a strategic arms race that would transform the already unstable Middle East into a nuclear powder keg."
Iran’s deputy FM: We told world powers we’ll keep arming our allies
Iran’s deputy foreign minister said Tuesday that the recently reached nuclear deal with the world powers did not include limitations on Iran’s weapons capabilities or missile power and that Tehran would keep arming its regional allies.
We have told them [the P5+1 world powers] in the negotiations that we will supply arms to anyone and anywhere necessary and will import weapons from anywhere we want and we have clarified this during the negotiations,” Abbas Araqchi told Iranian state TV.
In his speech on Saturday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei listed Iran’s allies as follows: “The Islamic Republic of Iran will not give up support of its friends in the region — the oppressed people of Palestine, of Yemen, the Syrian and Iraqi governments, the oppressed people of Bahrain and sincere resistance fighters in Lebanon and Palestine… Our policy will not change with regards to the arrogant US government.”
Last year, the supreme leader said Iran should keep arming the Palestinians until Israel is destroyed “by a referendum of the people living there.”
Khamenei propaganda video says nuclear deal doesn't ensure Israel's security
A video threatening that the safety of Israel will not be ensured despite the nuclear deal signed between world powers and Tehran last week was released on the official YouTube page of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollal Ali Khamenei this week.
The video begins with a clip of US President Barack Obama ensuring that the US "will continue our unprecedented efforts to strengthen Israel's security."
A montage of Iranian missiles blasting off follows, accompanied by a voice-over from a speech by Khamenei in which he declares, "Israel's security will not be ensured whether there will be a nuclear agreement or not."
The video was released as Iran's leaders try to convince hardliners in the country to accept the concessions it made in the nuclear deal.
An Iranian official said Wednesday that Iran will not accept any extension of sanctions beyond 10 years.
Abbas Araqchi, one of several deputy foreign ministers, also told a news conference Iran would do "anything" to help allies in the Middle East, underlining Tehran's message that despite the deal Iran will not change its anti-Western foreign policy.
Media Ignore Ayatollah’s Rifle at Speech about Nuclear Program
In his speech on Saturday, during which he derided the “arrogant U.S. government” and made his first public comments on the agreement over Iran’s nuclear program, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was holding what appeared to be an assault rifle, yet no mainstream media outlet thought to mention it.
Journalists from the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and The New York Times offered analysis of Khamenei’s words, as well as other circumstantial commentary, mostly in praise of what they portrayed as a victory of the Obama administration, but not one made even a passing reference to the presence of a rifle in the leader’s hand or its significance.
The Ayatollah’s official website, on the other hand, drove the point home by posting a closeup photo taken of the gun from beside the podium, which even showed the magazine sticking out.
German minister engulfed by storm of criticism for Iran visit
Kühnert added, “Under Rouhani more people were executed than under [former president Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. I don’t want to see pictures in which people are hanged from German cranes. Under these premises, I do not want to restart trade with this land.”
Reinhold Robbe, the head of German-Israel friendship society and a member of the Social Democratic party, sent The Jerusalem Post a statement from the daily Tagesspiegel, in which he was quoted as saying: “The trip is an absolute false signal.”
Green Party MP Volker Beck, who is the head of the German-Israel parliamentary group, warned in the same paper against “unprincipled courting of economic contracts in Iran.”
Deidre Berger, the head of the Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee, told the Post on Tuesday, “Although the ink has hardly dried on the agreement, German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel rushed to Iran with a business delegation. Iranian leaders were clearly unimpressed with Minister Gabriel’s admonition to improve their relations with Israel, particularly as he pledged to resume Germany’s friendship with Iran."
How Tehran tried to stop Israel’s ‘Stop the Bomb!’ ad
A commercial for the Bezeq phone company in which actor Gidi Gov flies to “Tehran” and faces off against the ayatollahs — which premiered on Israeli TV two weeks ago, just as world powers were finalizing their nuclear accord with Iran — appeared to be a case of art imitating life. Turns out it was actually a case of life imitating art imitating life.
While filming the ad, in and around a sports stadium in Kiev, the crew was confronted by three Iranians who said they were from the embassy, wanting to know why the stadium was decorated with huge posters of ayatollahs Khomeini and Khamenei and other Iranian signs. The Israelis responded by claiming they were working on a Polish production, rather than, heaven forbid, a production for the state commonly described by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as the “Zionist entity”.
The idea for the ad was suggested by Bezeq, which, for reasons not entirely clear, wanted to promote its new “smart home” high-tech system with a commercial based on “Argo”, the 2012 Oscar-winning Ben Affleck film that dramatized the rescue of six US diplomats held as hostages in Tehran from 1979 to 1981.
“Argo,” incidentally, was filmed in California. Which might have been more expensive for Bezeq, but would have ensured no Iranian embassy presence.
Sick: Palestinian Village Celebrates Murder of Malachi Rosenfeld
Residents from the Arab village of Silwad northeast of Ramallah held a mass celebration on Monday night - over the death of an Israeli whom Hamas terrorists targeted in a shooting attack earlier this month.
A convoy of cars ran through the village waving the Hamas flag and shouting encouraging slogans over the death of Malachi Rosenfeld, according to Palestine magazine. Rosenfeld, 26, succumbed to wounds he sustained in a terrorist shooting attack near the communities of Shvut Rachel and Kida on June 29.
"The motorcade is to celebrate the recent terror attack of the Al-Qassam Brigades [Hamas's "military wing" - ed.] near the Shvut Rachel settlement near Nablus [Shechem - ed.]," Palestine said.
It added that residents of Silwad feel proud because the terrorists responsible hailed from their settlement, and condemned the arrest of two of the perpetrators by the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s security forces as a "stab in the back of the armed struggle."
In Rare Interview, IDF Reveals Terror Tunnel Detection System
In a rare interview with CNN on Wednesday, senior IDF officials revealed they are testing a new tunnel detection system with the help of American military aid meant to thwart Hamas's sophisticated terror attack tunnel network into Israeli territory, which the Islamist group is busily rebuilding by siphoning off humanitarian aid material.
The IDF was surprised at how advanced the Hamas tunnels were in Operation Protective Edge, locating and destroying 32 of the lethal underground routes.
One year after last summer's war, the IDF is testing a new detection system along the Gaza border as Hamas builds new tunnels which Israel must find to keep its civilians safe.
IDF Maj. Nir Peled told CNN that the tunnels are a constant threat, noting it's "just like a game of hide-and-seek. We manage to find one tunnel, so we know that Hamas are digging the next tunnel in a different way, in a different depth."
Peled acknowledged that the IDF was aware of Hamas tunnels years before last summer's war but had trouble locating them. Now with its new detection system, Israel hopes to make the threat a thing of the past.
At Least 17 Stone-Throwing, Petrol Bomb Attacks Carried Out Against Israeli Targets Since Monday
At least 17 stone-throwing and petrol bomb attacks were carried out against Israeli vehicles in the West Bank and Jerusalem on Monday night and Tuesday, Israel’s 0404 news website reported.
Among the attacks, a bus operating on Route 464 to the Israeli city of Ariel was targeted in the area of Hizma. Its windows and sides were damaged by stones thrown at the vehicle.
Despite considerable damage to the bus, there were no injuries as a result of the attack.
Another stone-throwing incident occurred near Karmei Tzur, also in the West Bank, where stones were thrown at a car traveling on Route 60. This attack also did not result in any injuries.
Israeli TV Discovers Rock-Throwing Terror War
Channel 2 TV, Israel's leading mainstream TV channel, gave its viewers a sneak peek Tuesday at the years-long, ongoing war of attrition against Jews on the roads of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
The report was prompted by the Knesset's passing, in the final readings, of a law that makes it possible to send people convicted of throwing rocks at moving vehicles to up to 10 years in jail, even if their intent to maim or murder was not proven.
The channel reported that more than 1,000 charges of rock throwing are filed against defendants annually, and that last month alone, 140 rock attacks were recorded, down from 270 in March.
The report provided viewers with footage from recent rock attacks – of the kind that Arutz Sheva reports about on a near daily basis.
The report also includes an interview with a bus driver who said: “In five months, I have expreienced four fire bombs. Boulders and rocks – once every week or two, on a regular basis.”
Majority of Israelis Support Rebuilding Jewish Communities in Gaza, Survey Says
The survey’s findings—63 percent of respondents called disengagement a mistake, and 51 percent supported Jewish rebuilding—contradict opinion polls taken at the time of the disengagement in 2005, which showed strong backing for withdrawing from the coastal territory. Additionally, the survey found that 47 of Israelis oppose evacuating Jewish communities from Judea and Samaria.
Prof. Efraim Inbar, who heads the think tank, said the survey results are generally “surprising,” the Times of Israel reported. Nevertheless, Inbar is personally not surprised that many Israelis have reconsidered their opinion on the Gaza disengagement, especially because Hamas has seized power there and Israel has fought several wars with the Palestinian terror group.
“Since we know a majority of the public in 2005 supported the disengagement, it’s very clear that some of the respondents don’t feel comfortable with their past support for the disengagement and therefore testify today that they opposed it,” Inbar said.
120 Palestinians nabbed trying to slip into Israel
Border Police officers on Wednesday intercepted 120 Palestinians hiding in a ditch as they prepared to cross into Israel by slipping past security checkpoints.
After receiving an alert that Palestinians were planning to breach the security barrier near the Oranit settlement, in the northern West Bank, border police searched the area together with IDF troops and stopped the suspects before they managed to cross.
The Palestinians were detained for questioning and several were found to have a history of security-related and criminal offenses, police said.
Superintendent Meytal Koniv, commander of the unit that intercepted the Palestinians, said that following the month-long Muslim fast of Ramadan, security forces expected a surge in the number of Palestinians trying to enter Israel illegally to find work.
A Family moves from Canada to Gaza. You'll never guess why
The hyperbole predominates the media, and is meant to perpetuate the myth of the eternal victimhood of the Palestinian people. Gaza is an "open-air prison". Gaza is a "concentration camp".
Its never been true.
In November, 2008, the al-Aloul family left Gaza and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia.
Last fall, they moved back.
KPBS tells their story: Gaza to Canada And Back To Gaza: Why A Family Chose to Return
For those of you who still buy into the "Open air prison" meme- Ihab al-Aloul, his wife Somaya and their six children moved to Gaza to improve and upgrade their standard of living.
One benefit for the al-Alouls in Gaza is a private swimming pool. On a recent afternoon, workers installed a new lawn around the pool patio. The squares of grass were grown on a local sod farm. One drawback: the irrigation water is salty - much of the tap water in Gaza is brackish. Aloul says it's not the best for the grass but "it's not killing that much."
In Canada, the family's apartment had no yard, let alone a pool.
Uncle of Tennessee Shooter Arrested in Jordan
An uncle of the man who killed four Marines and a sailor in Tennessee has been in custody in Jordan since a day after last week’s attacks, a lawyer told The Associated Press (AP) on Tuesday.
The lawyer, Abed al-Kader Ahmad al-Khateeb, told the news agency that he was barred from seeing his client and that family members were also prevented from visiting the detainee.
Computers and cellphones were taken from the man's home, but he has not been charged with anything, the attorney said.
Al-Khateeb identified his client as Asaad Ibrahim Asaad Haj Ali, a maternal uncle of the Chattanooga attacker, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez.
A Jordanian official said Tuesday that he is sure the uncle and "other relevant people" in Jordan were being questioned, but he would not elaborate and or confirm that the uncle was detained. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case with the media.
The report of the uncle’s arrest comes a few days after the FBI said on Friday it would investigate Abdulazeez’s visit to Jordan in 2014, and whether he left Jordan to visit other countries before coming home.


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